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Kinketsu, how did you get a job writing for them?

I watched The Chumscrubber last night and there isn't much to talk about as it is a load of rubbish but it did get me thinking about the current state of American independent cinema. It has always gone in waves where one film catches the imagination and a whole host of imitators follow, yet the current trend of suburban disatisfaction and anomie has been around way too long.

There are so many examples of these cookie-cutter films that say nothing new and lack any real individuality even though many gain very strong casts and festival buzz. Every year since American Beauty we get a host of these self aware films about affluent people struggling with their lives. I don't have a problem with the films that maybe put a new spin on things or have a distinct voice (The Squid and the Whale and Dear Wendy spring to mind) but most are totally interchangeable: They will share woeful voiceovers, family dislocation, social misfits, the 'kooky' girlfriend that sets the lead free, therapy and prescription drugs and normally a scene with the protagonist running through the streets to some in vogue indie-lite music. They are all so utterly predictable and dull. Thumbsucker, Chumscrubber, Garden State, Elizabethtown (although not really an indie movie), Me You and Everyone We Know, and the list can go on and on. Hell, even just seeing the trailer for the new film The Go-Getter you can tell it is going to be the same bullshit all over again.

There must be original voices out there and it is about time they ditch these type of tedious and smug movies and try something new.

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After finishing Heroes marathon TV viewing on HD DVD it is time to watch films.

I have watched two films today

Mean Girls - recorded off TV - I though the film is funny and typical teen stuff. It had lot of original stuff in it.

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Blu Ray - wonderful film and great acting / singing from everyone and lovely storyline. I think it is well made film. I think it will be better with repeated viewing as you can enjoy the film without working out what it is about.

But I did not even read the box when I bought the film and was a little shocked to see it is a musical film based on the musical of Sweeney Todd. I am wondering if Sasha's costume of Italian Hairdresser is stuck out like a sore thumb. I think it is a shame there is a no modern version of Sweeney Todd as people don't like tabloid journalists :)

I think the menu of Blu Ray could be better as I can't select correct sound track and subtitles from the start. Blu Ray play in stereo not 5.1 which mean I have to pause the film and change it. Wonderful extra and everything subtitled :lol:

Nice to see summer time which mean not much football or TV to watch as there is more films viewing opportunities.

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Kinketsu, how did you get a job writing for them?

I think they liked some of the other things I'd written, at places like Midnight Eye, a Japanese film journal.

I just came back from Indiana Jones, so that's the most recent film I've seen. After the sad news about Sydney Pollack today, I might go back and watch Jeremiah Johnson and The Yakuza.

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Mean Girls - recorded off TV - I though the film is funny and typical teen stuff. It had lot of original stuff in it.

I reluctantly saw that on a plane (missed the ending as we were coming in to land), so I've finally caught up at the weekend. It's surprisingly good. Partly, one assumes, as the lovely Tina Fey from 30 Rock wrote the script and co-starred.

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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Marisa Tomei naked! :wub:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman naked! :o

This is the sort of film I find terribly stressful to watch. It reminds me of when you're in some crappy situation at work that you can't see any way out of. It's a fairly good heist movie combined with a dysfunctional-family-falls-apart movie, and by the time it had worked it's way to a finish it felt entirely superfluous to requirements. But Philip French drew a neat comparison with director Sidney Lumet's adaptation of A Long Day's Journey Into Night, which Hoffman also played on Broadway in recent years, as they share some of the same horribly corrosive familial psychodrama. This one has more shooting and killing, and roughly the same amount of bitter recriminations and drugs.

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I didn't know you wrote for Midnight Eye, that is one of my favourite film sites.

Oh, glad to hear it! It's always nice to know some people are actually reading it! But yeah I've been contributing to Midnight Eye for while now, though I've been sidelined into other things more recently, first for M.E and then day to day life. You can find a bunch of articles by me there, although the search function tends to omit some if they are awkwardly titled, which is marvellous.

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Valley of Elah praise

I agree with you completely, it was a wonderful piece of cinema. The only gripe I had with it was its length, it seemed to go on a tad too long. Highly recommended in my book.

I watched 'The Bucket List' last sunday, a movie I didn't have high hopes for. Turned out it was pretty much as expected, a well acted, predictable movie that handles a dark matter in a joyful way. I think I liked it more than I should've, perhaps due to me recently losing my father to cancer and this movie kinda highlighted the stuff we talked about during his last couple of months. This movie kinda takes the step further and show two guys who live out their dreams and fantasies before 'kicking the bucket'...my father and I just talked about it. Was kinda nice to see two strong actors handling their parts in a way it seemed they loved it.

This is probably not a movie I'd recommend to everyone, but here I am recommending it. Good (not great) stuff.

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F for Fake

Orson Welles' last completed film as a director. It's a clever-clever documentary about a notorious art forger, his biographer who's involved in an outrageous Hitler Diaries-style fraud with a Howard Hughes biography, and about Orson Welles and how clever and self-indulgent he is. There are magic tricks, anecdotes, fast cuts, hilariously dated Whicker's World-style travelogue and social commentary, Orson Welles eating food and walking about in a hat and cape, and a shaggy dog story involving Picasso and Orson Welles' sexy young girlfriend who mostly just walks up and down, not wearing very much and being ogled by lecherous old men. And there's this

a short, very good monologue on Chartres, art, authorship and attribution.

He was a funny old fella, that Welles.

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I watched a couple of Henri Clouzot movies over the weekend; The Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques. I’d never heard of Clouzet before but my film buff friend hooked me up with these 2.

The Wages of Fear (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046268/)

It’s about a group of desperate men stuck in a South American town hired by an oil company to drive 2 trucks full of nitroglycrine across a rough road. They don’t have safety gear so the trucks could blow up at any time. It starts off slowly enough, showing us why each man would take on such a dangerous job but once they start driving the tension shoots right up.

It’s beautifully filmed, great characters (there’s a Mario and a Luigi), cracking acting and an incredible ending. An absolutely top class film.

Les Diaboliques (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046911/)

A mans wife and his mistress plot to kill him but he seemingly comes back from the dead to haunt them. Fairly standard set-up but there’s so many red-herrings thrown into the plot I wasn’t able to guess where it was going. I really enjoyed this one as well.

(Apologies for the links but Opera and the forum don’t seem to get on)

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Tonight I watched

Top Gun (HD DVD) It is a classic film about US Fighter Pilots in the 80s. I have seen this film 3 times before I think. It doesn't age at all and it is a wonderful film. It is even better viewing this time as it is first time I have seen this film with home cinema setup I used DTS 5.1 for soundtrack. Love the noise. I think this is one of best film from young Tom Cruise. I do think the picture is below standard compared to other HD DVD.

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This morning I watched a French film on DVD

La Vie En Rose - A wonderful film about Edith Piaf. She is a legendary singer from the slum of Paris and rise to stardom in New York. The acting from Marion Cotillard is outstanding. Her academy award for best actresses is well earned. The film is in French with english subtitles. It also got excellent DTS 5.1 soundtrack which mean it can show off the music better. Before the film is made I never heard of her though. If you like film with Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and co. You will like it.

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I got F for Fake last week in the Play sale, Graham. I've been wanting it for years but predictably when the Criterion edition came out I bleated about the price. But for a tenner, get in. I'll hopefully watch it over the weekend.

Last night, Frontiere(s), French Hostel-em-up. Unpleasant and unforgivably lazy, and I didn't buy its attempt at a social commentary beard, either. Suggest avoid. I only watched it because Orooth told me to, and then revealed he hadn't watched it himself. Well, he's on the list now.

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Another Kubrick classic this time: The Killing. I don't know how innovative it really was at the time, but nowadays it's nothing new. Still, it's incredible to see how little it aged: it is never stiff, thanks to Kubrick's great use of tracking shots and editing. The writing's also great, especially in the first halve. Me likes. :P

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I don't think I understood a single line of dialogue spoken by the chess playing hard man in The Killing.

I watch english spoken films with subtitles by default, so that wasn't any problem to me.

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Oh. I forgot about this.

The other day we watched Total Recall.

Total 80s vibe to it, but it's still not a bad film at all. We found some of the effects a bit funny (the guy with the leader of the resistance on his tummy), and you really get taken out of the future when he gets on a train full of 14" portable CRT TVs.

6/10

:lol:

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machinegirlposter1.jpg

"Machine Girl"

The good - Maximum gore, hot chicks, "drill bra"

The bad - Justifying watching it to the GF/The english dub

The verdict - Best film i've ever seen!..... today.

577ef1154f3240aL.jpg

"WAZ" (replace the A with some stupid triangle thing)

The good - Some fairly decent actors in the mix, some wince enducing torture

The bad - It's that guy from So Solid Crewe doing an American accent.../Obviously a straight to DVD affair

The verdict - Have seen a lot worse. Very watchable.

and finally watched today (for my woman)

"What Happens in Vegas"

What_happens_in_vegas.jpg

The good - It raised some guilty "lolz"/Diaz looks fairly stunning at times.

The bad - The romantic schmalz.

The verdict - If your bird/submissive same sex partner makes you watch a romantic comedy, this one isn't too terrible.

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I watched American Gigolo for the first time today and I thought it was really good. I've never really rated Richard Gere but he was excellent in this. I loved the glossy sheen the whole film had. Has anyone seen The Walker? Is it any use?

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I just wanted to say that I love American Gigolo. I think it is well up there with Schrader's best work (and that includes Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and Mishima) and for some reason it just doesn't get the recognition it deserves (a 5.8 rating on IMDB is ridiculous). Gere was just made for the role and the ambiguity of his sexuality is handled really well. Considering it was released in 1980 it really did catch the mood for how the decade would pan out.

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Last night after the boredom of England friendly I watched Barton Fink on DVD which I got for 1.99 in HMV sale last year.

It is a dark comedy about a writer Barton Fink (John Turturro) who leave New York for Hollywood and have to write a wrestling picture in 1941 and the writer had a hard time. He was disturbed by noisy neighbour (John Goodman) Then they build up a friendship (Won't tell the rest to allow people to enjoy it)

It is good story writing and decent acting, but the DVD is poor quality due to glitches (could be cheap disc they used)

Another quality work of Coen Brothers. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101410/

I enjoy the film, but disappointed with the disc and soundtrack. It is average for me.

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Probably one of the few people in the world who hadn't seen First Blood until last night.

Weird thing is, i thought i'd seen it, but i hadn't. Maybe because he's so ingrained in pop culture.

Anyway, really enjoyed it. Really felt it for Rambo. The only bad thing that stood out was that the colonels acting seemed very wooden.

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Last night I watched Cristian Mungiu's "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days". This is the second Romanian film I've seen recently, following on from "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu".

"4 Months..." is a fantastically shot and performed film which deals with the operation and aftermath of an illegal abortion at the tail end of Communist-era Romania.

Gabita is the naive recipient of this abortion, aided by her more street-wise flatmate Otilia. The film intersperses still scenes in rooms with highly active outdoor scenes. The latter scenes are reminiscent of Polanski's "Frantic" merged with Scott's "Blade Runner", in particular there was a fantastic half-lit street scene which could have come right out of Scott's film.

For all that the film deals with a serious issue, it does have a lightness of touch to make it more appealing to a wider audience. However one thing that struck me is how little I had considered how much of an impact the decision to have an abortion can have on women - it's a serious undertaking which can leave them with scarred memories for life, this film really makes you think about this more deeply.

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Last night I watched Cristian Mungiu's "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days". This is the second Romanian film I've seen recently, following on from "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu".

That was a good film, very gripping. It was composed in an interesting fashion too: the camera always seemed "flat on" to the action (not sure how best to describe it).

I started a little thread, but I didn't get any replies (except from me!).

I'm going to put Mr. Lazarescu on my lovefilm queue, if that's similarly good.

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So I just watched Blow. I never fancied it before.

I was pretty impressed. Great performances. Gotta love Ray Liotta :lol:

Laura is not happy that Rachel Griffiths was not old enough to be Johnny Depp's mother.

Beautifully shot, and a lovely soundtrack. Oddly life affirming, and the dialogue and narration were spot on too.

Shame I hadn't seen it before.

Blade Runner at the weekend :P

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Saw If... last night (check Secret Cinema thread). Hadn't seen it since I was about 16 and loved it all over again. Malcolm McDowell is just fantastic in it. The caning scene is also brilliantly done. It is quite dated now but also kind of timeless as its set in a public school which hasn't really changed in years.

My wife had never seen it and she loved it. I really wanna watch Clockwork Orange again now.

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