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Archive through October 23, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Arts & Other Philosophical Sundries » FILM FORUM » NOW PLAYING » Archive through October 23, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 1:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oops. Maybe this should have gone to Movie News. Sorry.
Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - 1:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I understand Terry Gilliam has been ready to do "Good Omens," by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, for ages but was stalled in March because nobody wants to buy the U.S. rights. $15 million would be 15,000 people with 1000 each, or 150,000 with 100 each.

Posted on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Damn Marc..I'm going to pretend I didn't read that and go anyway.
Posted on Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 11:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

THE RING is a stunning looking film that collapses under its own pretensions. It manages to create a sense of dread and uneasiness, but delivers no real scares. Cool cinematography and special effects does not make up for the film's incoherent script. Very disappointing.

Naomi Watts stars in THE RING. She doesn't come close to the amazing performance she gave in MULLHOLLAND DR.
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 11:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'll be seing THE RING later today.
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 10:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Joalco if you recommend it that way I'll do it, thanks.
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 7:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Went and saw "The Ring" again today. While this movie is not perfect, it's head and shoulders above what the Hollywood machine craps out in the name of suspense, horror, or thriller movies.

Not completely true to the source material, but damn close, this is a disturbing film that has no need of overt violence and gore, profanity, or gratuitous T & A.

It's best to go into this movie without knowing too much about it....

Give it a shot.
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cool. I love failed film projects. Some of the most beautiful pieces of film ever shot were those for Orson Welles' unfinished IT'S ALL TRUE. He made it in South America after CITIZEN KANE, at the same time he was making THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. Which gives you some clue as to why it was never finished.
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 6:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

LOST IN LA MANCHA is a Spanish/UK/US coproduction directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, documenting Terry Gilliam's attempt to bring "Don Quixote" to the big screen. The film gives a brief history of the unfinished Orson Welles version of the story, including some tantalizing bits of footage from the abandoned project, and outlines Terry Gilliam's extravagant career. It shows how the failure of BARON MUNCHHAUSEN has made Gilliam Hollywood poison. The point is made again and again that Gilliam is trying to make a Hollywood-scale film without Hollywood money. His film gains financing strictly from European investors, and at a whopping $32.5 million budget, is still underfunded.

I can't begin to go into every detail of the film because they are many and fascinating. We see Gilliam's illustrations for the project, dating back 10 years. There is animation of these storyboards, showing the mind of Gilliam at work as he imagines the film again and again. There's even a Monthy Python style animation as things start going wrong.

First, he has sets and costumes, but no actors. (Vanessa Paradis has not even signed her contract only 4 weeks before shooting is scheduled to begin.) Then he finds the only soundstage in Madrid available is little more than a warehouse. We all laugh in horror as the sound of a pallet being wheeled across the floor echoes horrendously. Then they start shooting at a nature reserve located one mile from a NATO air base. The jets flying above ruin the only good footage of the day. Then a storm hits the location. Not just a storm, though--a torrent that sends all the equipment floating downstream and reduces the dusty, parched setting to thick mud. Then the film's star, Jean Rochefort, becomes ill. The curse of Quixote is fully at work.

The film is comic/tragic. It's funny to watch one disaster after another befall the film. It's funny to watch everyone literally biting their nails to the nub. It's funny to watch Johnny Depp, just watch him. But it's also very sad. We see glimpses of what little film was shot. It's brilliant. We see the wonderful invention of Gilliam and the marvelous sets and costumes and humor that promise a great, great film. We see the completion guarantor near the edge of ruin because some paperwork with his reinsurer is not in order. We worry about Rochefort's health, fearing he might have prostate cancer. And we enjoy three flabby actors Gilliam has cast to play giants running toward his camera. Gilliam sees the rushes and says, "that's our trailer." In fact, the documentary ends with this footage and the words on screen "COMING SOON." It's a funny and sad moment.

I liked this film very much for many reasons, not the least of which is because it really gave me a chance to understand the business behind the movies. We talk a lot about ROI and box office. Here it is in action, the real deal. Go see this film!!!!
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 11:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's Primal Fear (the one I couldn't remember). That was pretty amazing work. And he wasn't that bad in The Score; I retract that. Or Rounders.

But I sure didn't picture him as Will Graham.
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


it is as I feared.

I thought Hopkins' shtick was wearing thin in Hannibal, so I'll probably pass on Red Drag. Norton has had other weak perfs, IMO -- The Score, for example.

Norton seems to like roles where he displays two distinct personalities -- Fight Club, The Score, and the one with Richard Gere and the murdered cardinal whose title escapes me.
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 9:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

in my review of RED DRAGON "Hannibal stick" should read "Hannibal schtick".
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 11:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One additional thing, other than the lousiness of the movie, made my viewing of RED DRAGON such a bad experience:

I sat next to a kid who was about 7 years old. What kind of parent brings their child to a film that graphically depicts the slaughter of innocent families, cannibalism, burning bodies,
a blow job, and a vivid close-up of Philip Seymour Hoffman's dirty feet.
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 11:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

RED DRAGON dir. Brett Ratner.

RED DRAGON is dreadful. Its boring, devoid of any scares, and contains the first lousy performance of Edward Norton's career. Michael Mann's MANHUNTER is a far superior treatment of the same book. The new version is pointless. It was created solely for the purpose of making a quick buck. And I think it may not even accomplish that. Word of mouth may sink this putrid cinematic turd. Among the many art crimes created by RED DRAGON, the worse is wasting a really good cast. Out of a lineup comprised of Harvey Keitel, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson, Ralph Fiennes and Norton, there is not a single remarkable performance. You would think that at least one of these fine stars would deliver a scene or moment that was compelling, but no, they are all victim of piss poor direction. Ratner is a hack. There are scenes that are so clumsy, so artificial, that I am shocked they ever ended up on the screen. Norton speaks his lines in the same disengaged monotone that he used in FIGHT CLUB. But, the zombie delivery was right for his role in FIGHT CLUB. In RED DRAGON, he fails to create a character of any substance. He merely sleepwalks thru the movie. Without a central character to care about, RED DRAGON fails to involve the viewer. And forget about Anthony Hopkins saving the day. His Hannibal stick is way past its sell by date. He's gone from being effectively creepy and frightening in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS to being a tired old queen with strange eating habits. Enough already!
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 7:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I saw a slight but entertaining French film last night,MY WIFE IS AN ACTRESS. It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg. I adore her. She's an exquisite genetic blend of her parent's best aspects. Her parents being Serge Gainsbourg and
Jane Birkin. She has one of those faces that I could gaze at forever. And she's a terrific actress.
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 9:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tonight I saw "The Piano Teacher", a French film.
Lot's of food for thought. Has anyone else seen it?
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2002 - 6:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Avalon was a very cool flick, with visual style to burn.

I got to see a sneak preview of "The Ring" Tuesday night. It's a very faithful adaptation of the original, with the lovely Naomi Watts in the main role. Even though it's rated PG-13, this is a suspenseful, scary film. I was a little wary of this remake when I heard who was directing (Gore Verbinski, who also directed the good-for-a-kid-flick "Mouse Hunt" and the I-didn't-see-it-but-I-heard-it's-crappy "The Mexican."), but my fears were totally unfounded. This is undoubtedly the most visually stylish of all the Ring movies & remakes.

Check it out opening weekend. You won't be disappointed.

(I'm not going to ruin any of the surprises -- just go see it!)
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 1:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In Amsterdam we get the non-English-language stuff before everyone else, US blockbusters 1-3 months after, and British movies occasionally. Bend it Like Beckham, for instance, is in sneak previews right now.

Avalon (2001) is science fiction directed by Mamoru Oshii, who previously did anime classic Ghost in the Shell. Avalon is a Japanese production filmed in Poland and using Polish actors. It's Polish-language too, so subtitles are required.

In the near future--i.e., when virtual reality finally lives up to the hype--there's a combat game called Avalon. Teams battle in fields and ruined cities. The top player is a woman named Ash who plays solo after her team the Wizards dissolved under mysterious circumstances.

She's got no life outside the game, though she does keep a dog. Ash is looking for a rumored ultimate level of the game, that Murphy, the Wizards leader may have glimpsed before winding up brain-dead in a hospital.

The combat scenes are great--the Warsaw Pact may be defunct, but they still make great hardware, and the Polish army did the maneuvers (no, they didn't do cavalry charges at tanks). The VR philosophy doesn't go much beyond what other movies like Videodrome or the Matrix deliver, but Avalon does it fairly economically. It's all very beautifully shot, with sepia tones and those silver and platinum processes from a hundred years ago, maybe a little too arty, but what the hell.
The actress playing Ash was picked because she looks exactly like the lady cyborg cop in Ghost in the Shell.

It's definitely worth a look, especially on a large screen. The DVD may be available in the US and the UK. It's region 3 or maybe unencoded, and comes with English and Japanese subtitles. Great soundtrack too.

Apologies if this did the Angelika circuit last year, but the time-shift here is murder.
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 9:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CITY BY THE SEA is a mediocre, predictable bore.
Another unexceptional flick starring the once great Robert De Niro. When will De Niro get off his lazy ass and give us a performance the equal of his early work? He seems perfectly content to sleepwalk thru one lousy flick after another.
Even the wonderful Frances McDormand phones in her performance in CITY. The only actor in the movie that seems to actually believe in what he's doing is James Franco. Franco does a pretty convincing job of playing a burned-out junkie.
CITY BY THE SEA tries to go for a nitty gritty realism, but it plays it way too safe. Its another Hollywood movie that has wandered into an area that has been covered better by indie flicks like REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and JESUS'SON.
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 6:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

DAHMER is available on DVD.
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 5:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Im going to go see One Hour Photo tomorrow.
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thats the one with that country song in it " I got friends in crawlspaces.."
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah, I'm wondering if anyone has seen the Dahmer movie. I'm not sure if it is playing where I live or if it ever played where I lived.
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 7:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

see anything good lately?
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 2:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Discussion of films currently in the theaters.

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