Recent comments

  • Surprisingly Good Movies   14 years 45 weeks ago

    To be honest, I liked From Dusk Till Dawn too. I guess that I always had seen Clooney as the doctor in ER and I didn't like that character all that much. I haven't seen Out of Sight, but I will look for it. My admiration of his abilities is growing. It just has taken some time... :)

  • Open Forum Discussion ; GLADIATOR Winning Best Picture!   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Thanks, Jim. I knew I couldn't be alone in liking Erin Brockovich!

    I can certainly understand somebody liking Traffic more, although I don't. I am a bit baffled by the number of people who seem to label it as an outright awful film.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Netflix Anyone?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Jim, last week they sent me The Contender on Tuesday and I got it on Saturday. Today I got Central Station and American History X which were shipped on Saturday. I think my local PO slowed The Contender shipment down.

    Counting turnaround you could probably get one there and back 2 or 3 times in a 2 week period. If you're at the 4 movie plateau that would 2 or 3 films x 4 x 2 (2 week periods in a month) = 16 to 24 a month. Does that seem reasonable to the other NetFlix users?

    The queue helps me alot. Unfortunately I have 334 films in my queue right now. You could always just try it for a month. :-)

  • Open Forum Discussion ; GLADIATOR Winning Best Picture!   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I haven't seen Traffic, so I can't comment on their comparative merits, but I do agree that Erin Brokovich was a very good movie.

    The plot was a typical David v. Goliath story, but that is hardly a strike against it (unless we want to ban archetype-based plots altogether, but that would put a pretty serious crimp in most artistic output). The script, characters, and performances elevated it from the pack.

    The script and Robert's performance of her part of it resulted in a fully-realized character, which is quite rare. We get windows into so many aspects of her life and personality: single motherhood, the sense of lost potential, true grit that sometimes flows over into abrasiveness, and vulnerability. It's all there.

    And of course, Albert Finney was terrific. In fact, I thought the whole movie was well-cast and well-acted. I liked it. Starting with Out of Sight, Soderbergh has been on a quite a roll. I can't wait for Ocean's Eleven.

  • Open Forum Discussion ; GLADIATOR Winning Best Picture!   14 years 45 weeks ago

    This is my feeling on Erin and Traffic. They are both very good movies.
    Erin Brockovich was very entertaing, and Julia was VERY good in it. It was a cliched story, but the movie actually made it feel fresh. It had some interesting aspects to it, such as the yellow motif (the sand in many scenes, the always yellow lights, the sun seeming more yellow than normal) and the actual characters in it (as opposed to charicatures). I thuroughly enjoyed it, but I felt it had a little bit of a lack of substance.
    Traffic was slightly more compelling to me than Erin was. On reflection, it wrapped up to neatly, and there were far too many speeches in it for my taste.
    The script for Traffic was very interesting, up until the last fifteen minutes. I felt that Benicio Del Torro's character was brilliant (which was probably more of Benicio than the script.), and that Don Cheadle also shone in his role.
    My main problems with the film were all in Catharine Zeta Jones' plot. First, I thought she turned in a mediocre performance. I also hated her character, and disliked the time the movie spent concentrating on her. I thought that Michael Douglass' character's plot was a teensy bit cheesy (slight sarcasm in the 'teensy'), but I loved the time spent on his daughter's addiction.
    Overall, I liked Traffic slightly more than Erin Brockovich, but both were good films.

    Now, on the topic of who shaould have won, I think it is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon hands down. Traffic became tangled in its own plots, and the stories were unbalanced; Erin Brockovich had little substance; Gladiator was a popcorn movie, nothing more; and I was not able to view Chocolat. But Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon hit me like a two-ton train. I came out of there amazed. First, the sheer visualbeauty of the film was astounding, with the best cinematography in a long while. Second, the performances in the film were absolutely wonderful (Michelle Yeoh's subtle and noble love for Li Mu Bai, and Zhang Ziyi's firey hatred of everything that could possibly restrict her stood out, but there were no bad performances in the movie). Third, the story was so graceful and engrossing, that I felt like I could have stayed in my seat for three more hours and never be bored.

    So, there ya go. That's my two cents.

  • Open Forum Discussion ; GLADIATOR Winning Best Picture!   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Even the innovative use of color filters to designate location points out Traffic's unfortunate reliance on the past. This technique was used by Soderbergh before (and better) in Out of Sight.

    We'll have to agree to disagree here. I have difficulty believing that you are comparing EB unfavorably to such truly cliched and boring law dramas such as A Civil Actin and Rainmaker.

    And, my friend, you should know that I respect you as well. In fact, I rarely take the time to differ with somebody I don't respect. :)

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • GAME0003: Name The Series TV Character   14 years 45 weeks ago

    boy you're good :-) i'll tally your new score shortly.

  • Netflix Anyone?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Wow. I didn't think there was anywhere left in the US that you could get farther than about 5 miles from a blockbuster. The video store I used to go to go bought my them, and there's now one 2 blocks from my house. (and one 2 miles away and ...)

  • read in 2001   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I've liked all of his stuff. It was interesting though that i finally watched The World According to Garp the same weekend that I finished Widow.. Certain ideas definitely do tend to recur in his stuff. I'd just never read any of the books close enough together to notice.

  • read in 2001   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Isn't a Widow for One Year great? John Irving writes such great female characters!

  • Netflix Anyone?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Cool, thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, I live in the sticks, so there's no Blockbuster near here (and I assume the Blockbuster deal is a "show up at the store" deal rather than via mail). I love our local video store, but their DVD collection is kinda sparse. Hence my Netflix interest.

    As for my viewing habits, I was kinda thinking I'd watch 'em immediately upon receipt and then ship them back the next day. Any projections for how many per month that will get me under the basic plan?

    I also like the queue idea. I'm hoping I'll put a bunch of movies I should see on there, and then I'll feel compelled to watch them when they come. Too often, when I go to the video store and browse, I pick up the latest schlock rather than something more meaty that has migrated off the "new releases" shelf. So in theory, I'll watch a better class of film by using a queue. :-)

  • DOC1. [Past] Documentaries   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I'm a huge fan of the ABC/History Channel series "The Century: America's Time" hosted by Peter Jennings. It's a six tape affair, but full of very interesting interviews with older people, veterans, etc, who experienced the 20th century.

  • GAME0003: Name The Series TV Character   14 years 45 weeks ago

    #34 is Dave Foley in Newsradio
    #35 is Justine Bateman in Family Ties
    #37 is the lawyer guy in Seinfeld, though I don't know the actor's name
    #38 is the dad on Alf - same actor who plays Denbigh on the Norm Show

  • DOC1. [Past] Documentaries   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I loved Hoop Dreams. I also enjoyed Brother's Keeper, The War Room, Roger & Me, and Looking for Richard. And it feels like I'm the only one that hasn't seen Ken Burns' Civil War (I really should - everybody loves it).

  • what dead musician should God bring back to life?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    he was in the Dave Beethoven Five!

  • what dead musician should God bring back to life?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    What band did he play in?

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs (who, yes, is joking)

  • what dead musician should God bring back to life?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    no one (besides me) think's it would be interesting to have Beethoven (or even Mozart) alive today?

  • what dead musician should God bring back to life?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Buddy Holly in a bad mood...

    Of course, if I was living in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, I probably would be a bit less chipper myself.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Books I read this summer   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I liked it, but it wasn't as good as I had expected. I liked the style of it at first, but I got tired of it towards the end. Overall I would say it was good and I reccomend reading it, it just wasn't as good as maybe it could have been. :)

  • what dead musician should God bring back to life?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    hehe, I voted for Buddy Holly myself.

    As a complete sidenote, has anyone ever seen "Six String Samurai"? It's probably the only entrant ever in the "Kung Fu/Rockabilly/Post-Apocalyptic/Quest" genre... I'm serious. But the Interesting Thing is, its main character is sort of a very Buddy Holly-esque character... I can't even explain it well here... try the imdb for a little more concrete info.

    Antihero

    Qui custodet ipso custodes?

  • GAME0003: Name The Series TV Character   14 years 45 weeks ago

    7 points for you Buddy, and thanks for playing! This game has been languishing a little.

  • Netflix Anyone?   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Well now, how much do you *really* like dvd's?

    Netflix is pretty good, although i found i kept them long enough that i wasn't getting very many a month, with the lag turnaround time in the mail. But, if you plan well, it's a pretty good deal.

    If, however, you wanna watch dvd's ALL the time, try blockbuster's deal. I don't know if it's just in california or what, but it's 30 dvd's, for 30 days, for $19.99. The catch is, that it's strictly one dvd per night... If you don't rent a movie on Tuesday, you can't say, "Okay, i'll rent two dvd's on Wednesday". You can, however, have more than one out at a time... thus, if you rent a five-day rental dvd on monday, and one on tuesday, and wed, thur, and fri, you can still have the monday one out on friday, and all the others too.
    Really, for twenty bucks, if you figure it's generally a good 3 to 4 bucks to rent a dvd, even if you just get 5 or 7 movies in that entire month, you're still a little ahead.

    Basically, netflix is good if you wanna hang on to the dvd's for a while and watch them at your leisure (and have up to 3 at a time, or more if you pay more), but you have to plan in advance what you want to see. The blockbuster video dvd rental pass is good if you're the type of person that suddenly wants a dvd to watch tonight, and likes to choose randomly.

    Wow, long-winded, but my wife and I really like renting dvd's, so we put a lot of thought into the two systems.

    If you like vhs a lot, Blockbuster has a similar system for vhs, only it's $7.99 a month.

    Later, guys.

    Antihero

    Qui custodet ipso custodes?

  • Open Forum Discussion ; GLADIATOR Winning Best Picture!   14 years 45 weeks ago

    I completely disagree about Traffic. While it did aim much higher than Brockovich, and may not have succeeded quite as well, then I have to contend that EB set extremely low standards for itself. I thought Traffic was ambitious in its attempt to balance so many aspects of the drug war, and in this respect it succeeded admirably. As well, other filmic techniques were used, and used well. The use of colour filters for the different locations, for example.

    EB on the other hand, set out to tell a David vs. Goliath tale set in a law-type setting. Been done. The twist here was the character representing David, whose brashness and unprofessionality (while original in this type of film), added nothing to the standard plot a la A Civil Action, Rainmaker, etc. etc. I agree too many critics focus on plot, but I didn't think the character in this film was enough to carry it. In short, I thought that this film was nothing special.

    My vote was for Traffic, but to be fair I haven't seen Almost Famous or Requiem For a Dream. As a matter of fact, of the nominees for Best Picture, I only saw the two mentioned here and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    BTW, I respect both of your opinions greatly, and have enjoyed your comments on this subject. I will have to see Gladiator before I comment on its worthiness for the win, but I suspect people were simply dazzled by its being an epic. After all, if it's an epic, it must be good, right? There were so many fantastic films this year, it's a shame to see the nominees populated largely by big-budget spectacle films which may have been good, but not necessarily important, or even that interesting.

  • Interesting movies you may not have heard of   14 years 45 weeks ago

    Yes; I was agreeing with you.

    Shalom, y'all!

    L. Bangs

  • Interesting movies you may not have heard of   14 years 45 weeks ago

    i was merely referring to the semantics of it all. in the states we tend to say "college" instead of "university", which is the term that seems to be commonly used in canada and other parts of the world. although i graduated from a school that offers under- and post-graduate programs, i still say i went to "college" instead of saying i went to "university". prior to the school i went to for my degree, i did go to a private liberal arts college that offered degrees in all areas of study, as most liberal arts schools in the states tend to do.