Films seen: in 2005

Tags: 
  1. [1 Jan] They Drive By Night (1940, Raoul Walsh) (B-)
  2. [3 Jan] Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974, Martin Scorsese) (B)
  3. [4 Jan] Possession (1981, Andrzej Zulawski) (C-)
  4. [7 Jan] Hotel Rwanda (2004, Terry George) [*] (B+)
  5. [7 Jan] Maria Full of Grace (2004, Joshua Marston) (B)
  6. [8 Jan] In the Realms of the Unreal (2004, Jessica Yu) [*] (B+)
  7. [8 Jan] The Letter (1940, William Wyler) (C+)
  8. [9 Jan] Million Dollar Baby (2004, Clint Eastwood) [*] (B+)
  9. [10 Jan] A Certain Kind of Death (2003, Grover Babcock/Blue Hadaegh) (B+)
  10. [10 Jan] Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (1972, Shunya Ito) (B)
  11. [11 Jan] The Palm Beach Story (1942, Preston Sturges) (A-)
  12. [14 Jan] Side Street (1950, Anthony Mann) [*] (B-)
  13. [14 Jan] Somewhere in the Night (1946, Joseph Mankiewicz) [*] (B)
  14. [15 Jan] Railroaded! (1947, Anthony Mann) (B-)
  15. [15 Jan] The Roaring Twenties (1939, Raoul Walsh) (B)
  16. [15 Jan] Chain Camera (2001, Kirby Dick) (B)
  17. [16 Jan] The Purified (2002, Jesper Jargil) (B)
  18. [16 Jan] Time of the Wolf (2003, Michael Haneke) (C+)
  19. [16 Jan] Gun Crazy (1949, Joseph H. Lewis) (B+)
  20. [16 Jan] Quai des Brumes (1938, Marcel Carne) (A)
  21. [17 Jan] He Ran All the Way (1951, John Berry) [*] (B-)
  22. [17 Jan] He Walked By Night (1949, Alfred Werker/Anthony Mann {uncredited}) [*] (B)
  23. [18 Jan] /Born to Kill/ (1947, Robert Wise) (B+)
  24. [18 Jan] Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise & Fall of Jack Johnson (2005, Ken Burns) (B+)
  25. [20 Jan] Brute Force (1947, Jules Dassin) (A-)
  26. [21 Jan] 711 Ocean Drive (1950, Joseph M. Newman) [*] (B-)
  27. [21 Jan] /Force of Evil/ (1948, Abraham Polonsky) [*] (A-)
  28. [21 Jan] Act of Violence (1949, Fred Zinneman) (B+)
  29. [22 Jan] The Blue Gardenia (1953, Fritz Lang) (B-)
  30. [23 Jan] Johnny Eager (1942, Mervyn LeRoy) (B+)
  31. [23 Jan] Killer Bait aka Too Late for Tears (1949, Byron Haskin) (B)
  32. [24 Jan] The Crimson Kimono (1959, Samuel Fuller) [*] (B-)
  33. [24 Jan] /Pickup on South Street/ (1953, Samuel Fuller [*] (A-)
  34. [24 Jan] From Russia With Love (1963, Terence Young) (C+)
  35. [25 Jan] The Leopard Man (1943, Jacques Tourneur) (B-)
  36. [26 Jan] Berlin Express (1948, Jacques Tourneur) (B-)
  37. [26 Jan] Trick Baby (1973, Larry Yust) (B-)
  38. [28 Jan] Daisy Kenyon (1947, Otto Preminger) [*] (A)
  39. [29 Jan] Personal Velocity (2002, Rebecca Miller) (C+)
  40. [30 Jan] They Won't Believe Me (1947, Irving Pichel) (B)
  41. [30 Jan] Fighting Elegy (1966, Seijun Suzuki) (B+)
  42. [1 Feb] 6ixtynin9 (1999, Pen-ek Ratanaruang) (B+)
  43. [1 Feb] The Big Steal (1949, Don Siegel) (B)
  44. [4 Feb] Stander (2003, Bronwen Hughes) (B-)
  45. [4 Feb] Blueberry (2004, Jan Kounen) [SFIndie] (C)
  46. [5 Feb] /Infernal Affairs/ (2002, Andrew Lau/Alan Mak) [*] (B+)
  47. [6 Feb] The Spiral Staircase (1945, Robert Siodmak) (B-)
  48. [6 Feb] Crossfire (1947, Edward Dmytryk) (B)
  49. [7 Feb] I, Curmudgeon (2004, Alan Zweig) [SFIndie] (C+)
  50. [8 Feb] Napoleon Dynamite (2004, Jared Hess) (B)
  51. [9 Feb] Collateral (2004, Michael Mann) (B-)
  52. [11 Feb] Fat City (1972, John Huston) (A-)
  53. [11 Feb] The Criminal aka Concrete Jungle (1960, Joseph Losey) (B)
  54. [11 Feb] Suspicion (1941, Alfred Hitchcock) (B)
  55. [12 Feb] The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2004, Judy Irving) [*] (B+)
  56. [12 Feb] Possessed (1947, Curtis Bernhardt) (C+)
  57. [13 Feb] The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005, Jeff Feuerzeig) [SFIndie] (A-)
  58. [13 Feb] Casque d'Or (1952, Jacques Becker) (A-)
  59. [14 Feb] Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...Spring (2004, Kim Ki-duk) (B+)
  60. [19 Feb] Random Harvest (1942, Mervyn LeRoy) (B)
  61. [19 Feb] The Water Magician (1933, Kenji Mizoguchi) [*] (B-)
  62. [20 Feb] Gate of Hell (1953, Teinosuke Kinugasa) (B+)
  63. [21 Feb] The Yakuza Papers Vol.3: Proxy War (1973, Kinji Fukasaku) (B+)
  64. [21 Feb] Blood and Black Lace (1964, Mario Bava) (C+)
  65. [22 Feb] Youth of the Beast (1963, Seijun Suzuki) (B+)
  66. [25 Feb] Fearless Freaks (2005, Bradley Beesley) [*] (B)
  67. [26 Feb] Hoop Dreams (1994, Steve James) (A-)
  68. [28 Feb] Year of the Bull (2003, Todd Lubin) (B-)
  69. [1 Mar] Night and the City (1950, Jules Dassin) (B+)
  70. [5 Mar] The Yakuza Papers Vol.4: Police Tactics (1974, Kinji Fukasaku) (B)
  71. [5 Mar] Catching Out (2003, Sarah George) (B-)
  72. [8 Mar] Tension (1949, John Berry) (C+)
  73. [11 Mar] The Yakuza Papers Vol.5: Final Episode (1974, Kinji Fukasaku) (B+)
  74. [13 Mar] Kamikaze Taxi (1995, Masato Harada) (B)
  75. [14 Mar] How to Draw a Bunny (2002, John Walter) (B+)
  76. [14 Mar] All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001, Shunji Iwai) (B-)
  77. [16 Mar] Kanto Wanderer (1963, Seijun Suzuki) (B-)
  78. [19 Mar] Ministry of Fear (1944, Fritz Lang) (C+)
  79. [19 Mar] You Only Live Once (1937, Fritz Lang) (B)
  80. [21 Mar] Zero Focus (1961, Yoshitaro Nomura) (B)
  81. [27 Mar] /This Boy's Life/ (1993, Michael Caton-Jones) (B)
  82. [27 Mar} My Architect: A Son's Journey (2003, Nathaniel Kahn) (B-)
  83. [27 Mar] Straight Outta Hunters Point (2003, Kevin Epps) (B+)
  84. [28 Mar] Dirty Work (2004, Tim Nackashi/David Sampliner) (B-)
  85. [1 Apr] Sin City (2005, Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez) [*] (B+)
  86. [1 Apr] Ley Lines (1999, Takashi Miike) (B)
  87. [1 Apr] Nightmare Alley (1947, Edmund Goulding) (B+)
  88. [3 Apr] /To Live and Die in L.A./ (1985, William Friedkin) (B+)
  89. [3 Apr] Jubilee (1977, Derek Jarman) (C)
  90. [3 Apr] Foxy Brown (1974, Jack Hill) (C+)
  91. [4 Apr] /Mulholland Drive/ (2001, David Lynch) (A-)
  92. [5 Apr] Red Lights (2004, Cedric Kahn) (B+)
  93. [8 Apr] The Yes Men (2004, Dan Ollman/Sarah Price/Chris Smith) (B)
  94. [13 Apr] Three...Extremes (2004, Fruit Chan [B+], Chan-wook Park [B-], Takashi Miike [B]) (Overall grade = B)
  95. [16 Apr] Undisputed (2002, Walter Hill) (C)
  96. [17 Apr] Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004, Shola Lynch) (B-)
  97. [18 Apr] Johnny Angel (1945, Edwin L. Marin) (C+)
  98. [19 Apr] Gojoe (2000, Sogo Ishii) (B)
  99. [20 Apr] Young Thugs: Innocent Blood (1997, Takashi Miike) (B-)
  100. [22 Apr] Kung Fu Hustle (2005, Stephen Chow) [*] (B+)
  101. [22 Apr] 3-Iron (2004, Kim Ki-duk) [SFIFF] (A-)
  102. [24 Apr] Conflict (1945, Curtis Bernhardt) (B)
  103. [24 Apr) Primer (2004, Shane Carruth) (B+)
  104. [25 Apr] The Fall of Fujimori (2005, Ellen Perry) [SFIFF] (B+)
  105. [29 Apr] Murderball (2005, Henry Rubin/Dana Shapiro) [SFIFF] (B+)
  106. [30 Apr] Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005, Alex Gibney) [*] (B+)
  107. [30 Apr] D.O.A. (1950, Rudolph Maté) (B)
  108. [6 May] Dead Birds (2004, Alex Turner) (C+)
  109. [7 May] Vera Drake (2004, Mike Leigh) (B+)
  110. [8 May] Juggernaut (1974, Richard Lester) (B+)
  111. [9 May] Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004, Deb Ellis/Denis Mueller) (B)
  112. [19 May] The Touch of Her Flesh (1967, Michael Findlay) (C)
  113. [23 May] King's Game (2004, Nicolai Arcel) [SIFF] (B+)
  114. [24 May] Omagh (2004, Pete Travis) [SIFF] (C+)
  115. [25 May] Shake Hands With the Devil (2004, Peter Raymont) [SIFF] (B)
  116. [25 May] Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2004, Lu Chuan) [SIFF] (B)
  117. [26 May] Absolut (2004, Romed Wyder) [SIFF] (B-)
  118. [26 May] 36 (2004, Olivier Marchal) [SIFF] (B-)
  119. [27 May] Beneath Her Window (2004, Metod Pevec) [SIFF] (B+)
  120. [27 May] Tony Takitani (2004, Jun Ichikawa) [SIFF] (B+)
  121. [27 May] Punk: Attitude (2005, Don Letts) [SIFF] (C)
  122. [28 May] The Art & Crimes of Ron English (2004, Pedro Carvajal) [SIFF] (C)
  123. [28 May] The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005, Taggart Siegel) [SIFF] (A-)
  124. [28 May] The Gits (2005, Kerri O'Kane) [SIFF] (C+)
  125. [30 May] Kontroll (2005, Nimrod Antal) [*] (B-)
  126. [30 May] Feast of Death (2001, Vikram Jayanti) (B)
  127. [31 May] Imelda (2003, Ramona Diaz) (B)
  128. [03 Jun] The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004, Nils Mueller) (B-)
  129. [03 Jun] Rogue Cop (1954, Roy Rowland) (B)
  130. [05 Jun] Panic in the Streets (1950, Elia Kazan) (B)
  131. [09 Jun] The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004, Wes Anderson) (B-)
  132. [10 Jun] The Devil Doll (1936, Tod Browning) (B+)
  133. [11 Jun] Woman is the Future of Man (2004, Hong Sang-Soo) (C)
  134. [12 Jun] The Naked Spur (1953, Anthony Mann) (B+)
  135. [13 Jun] The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, Stuart Rosenberg) (B-)
  136. [17 Jun] 2046 (2004, Wong Kar-wai) (C+)
  137. [17 Jun] The Isle (2002, Kim Ki-duk) (B-)
  138. [18 Jun] /Vertigo/ (1958, Alfred Hitchcock) (A-)
  139. [22 Jun] The Education of Shelby Knox (2005, Marion Lipschutz/Rose Rosenblatt) (B)
  140. [23 Jun] S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003, Rithy Panh) (B+)
  141. [24 Jun] Land of the Dead (2005, George A. Romero) [*] (B)
  142. [01 Jul] Samaritan Girl (2004, Kim Ki-duk) (C+)
  143. [01 Jul] The World, The Flesh & The Devil (1959, Ranald MacDougall) (C)
  144. [02 Jul] March of the Penguins (2005, Luc Jacquet) [*] (B+)
  145. [03 Jul] Devil's Doorway (1950, Anthony Mann) (B-)
  146. [04 Jul] Devils on the Doorstep (2000, Jiang Wen) (A-)
  147. [04 Jul] Spider Forest (2004, Song Il-Gon) (B+)
  148. [04 Jul] Border Incident (1949, Anthony Mann) (B-)
  149. [10 Jul] Whipsaw (1935, Sam Wood) (C+)
  150. [11 Jul] Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan) [*] (B-)
  151. [16 Jul] Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (2005, Tim Burton) [*] (B)
  152. [17 Jul] Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004, Adam McKay) (C+)
  153. [18 Jul] The Old Dark House (1932, James Whale) (B)
  154. [22 Jul] Last Days (2005, Gus Van Sant) [*] (B-)
  155. [22 Jul] The Hitch-Hiker (1953, Ida Lupino) (B)
  156. [23 Jul] Night Moves (1975, Arthur Penn) (B)
  157. [23 Jul] The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947, Felix Feist) (B-)
  158. [25 Jul] They Came Back (2004, Robin Campillo) (B)
  159. [28 Jul] We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005, Tim Irwin) [*] (A-)
  160. [29 Jul] Mondovino (2004, Jonathan Nossiter) (B+)
  161. [29 Jul] On the Run: Trilogy 1 (2002, Lucas Belvaux) (B)
  162. [30 Jul] Spring Forward (1999, Tom Gilroy) (B-)
  163. [30 Jul] Angel Face (1952, Otto Preminger) (B-)
  164. [30 Jul] Scene of the Crime (1949, Roy Rowland) (B+)
  165. [31 Jul] The Machinist (2004, Brad Anderson) (C+)
  166. [3 Aug] Gates of Heaven (1978, Errol Morris) (B+)
  167. [4 Aug] The Narrow Margin (1952, Richard Fleischer) (B+)
  168. [4 Aug] Dillinger (1945, Max Nosseck) (C)
  169. [5 Aug] Broken Flowers (2005, Jim Jarmusch) [*] (B+)
  170. [9 Aug] The Girl From Monday (2005, Hal Hartley) (C+)
  171. [10 Aug] An Amazing Couple: Trilogy 2 (2002, Lucas Belvaux) (B)
  172. [12 Aug] Grizzly Man (2005, Werner Herzog) [*] (A-)
  173. [13 Aug] Scarecrow (1973, Jerry Schatzberg) (B+)
  174. [13 Aug] Slim Susie (2003, Ulf Malmros) (C+)
  175. [14 Aug] /Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains/ (1981, Lou Adler) (B)
  176. [15 Aug] Blood on the Moon (1948, Robert Wise) (B)
  177. [17 Aug] Vernon, Florida (1981, Errol Morris) (B)
  178. [23 Aug] Prime Cut (1972, Michael Ritchie) (B-)
  179. [27 Aug] April Fool's Day (1986, Fred Walton) (C+)
  180. [27 Aug] The Slumber Party Massacre (1982, Amy Jones) (B-)
  181. [10 Sep] Catch Me If You Can (2002, Steven Spielberg) (B)
  182. [27 Sep] Funny Ha Ha (2003, Andrew Bujalski) (B-)
  183. [27 Sep] North Beach (2000, Jed Mortenson/Richard Speight Jr.) (C+)
  184. [01 Oct] Over the Edge (1979, Jonathan Kaplan) (B)
  185. [06 Oct] Thief (1981, Michael Mann) (B+)
  186. [08 Oct] Serenity (2005, Joss Whedon) [*] (B)
  187. [15 Oct] Good Night, and Good Luck (2005, George Clooney) [*] (B+)
  188. [23 Oct] Capote (2005, Bennett Miller) [*] (A-)
  189. [28 Oct] The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton) (B)
  190. [29 Oct] Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005, Shane Black) [*] (B)
  191. [29 Oct] /We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen/ (2005, Tim Irwin) [*] (A-)
  192. [31 Oct] Long Weekend (1978, Colin Eggleston) (B-)
  193. [03 Nov] 16 Years of Alcohol (2003, Richard Jobson)(C+)
  194. [04 Nov] House of 1000 Corpses (2003, Rob Zombie) (C+)
  195. [06 Nov] The Squid & the Whale (2005, Noah Baumbach) [*](B)
  196. [09 Nov] The Devil's Rejects (2005, Rob Zombie) (B+)
  197. [24 Nov] Fear & Trembling (2003, Alain Corneau) (B)
  198. [29 Nov] Cape Fear (1962, J. Lee Thompson) (B+)
  199. [05 Dec] The White Diamond (2004, Werner Herzog) (B+)
  200. [07 Dec] Mighty Aphrodite (1995, Woody Allen) (B-)
  201. [08 Dec] The Big Fix (1978, Jeremy Kagan) (B)
  202. [09 Dec] /Sideways/ (2004, Alexander Payne) (B+)
  203. [10 Dec] Shelter Dogs (2003, Cynthia Wade) (B)
  204. [10 Dec] Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque (2004, Jacques Richard) [*] (A-)
  205. [11 Dec] Detective Story (1951, William Wyler) (B-)
  206. [11 Dec] Ball of Fire (1941, Howard Hawks) (B+)
  207. [12 Dec] Overnight (2003, Tony Montana/Mark Brian Smith) (B)
  208. [13 Dec] King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper) (B-)
  209. [14 Dec] The Dark Corner (1946, Henry Hathaway) (B)
  210. [15 Dec] Interiors (1978, Woody Allen) (B+)
  211. [16 Dec] King Kong (2005, Peter Jackson) [*] (B+)
  212. [17 Dec] Syriana (2005, Stephen Gaghan) [*] (B-)
  213. [17 Dec] /Bad Santa/ (2003, Terry Zwigoff) (B)
  214. [17 Dec] The Street With No Name (1948, William Keighley) (B-)
  215. [18 Dec] Dawn of the Dead (2004, Zack Snyder) (B)
  216. [18 Dec] Tell Them Who You Are (2004, Mark Wexler) (B+)
  217. [18 Dec] Oliver Twist (1948, David Lean) (B+)
  218. [19 Dec] The Last Gangster (1937, Edward Ludwig) (C+)
  219. [21 Dec] The New Centurions (1972, Richard Fleischer) (C+)
  220. [22 Dec] /Invasion of the Body Snatchers/ (1956, Don Siegel) (B+)
  221. [23 Dec] /Sin City/ (2005, Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez) (B+)
  222. [24 Dec] Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2005, Mike Newell) [*] (B)
  223. [24 Dec] /Scrooge/ (1951, Brian Desmond Hurst) (B+)
  224. [24 Dec] I'll Be Seeing You (1944, William Dieterle) (B)
  225. [24 Dec] The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005, Judd Apatow) (B)
  226. [25 Dec] Beyond Tomorrow (1940, A. Edward Sutherland) (C)
  227. [25 Dec] Holiday Affair (1949, Don Hartman) (B-)
  228. [25 Dec] /After Hours/ (1985, Martin Scorsese) (B)
  229. [25 Dec] Thieves' Highway (1949, Jules Dassin) (B)
  230. [25 Dec] Laura (1944, Otto Preminger) (B+)
  231. [26 Dec] Clash By Night (1952, Fritz Lang) (B)
  232. [27 Dec] Alfie (1966, Lewis Gilbert) (B)
  233. [28 Dec] Criss Cross (1949, Robert Siodmak) (B+)
  234. [29 Dec] The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957, Jack Arnold) (B-)
  235. [30 Dec] Great Expectations (1946, David Lean) (A-)
  236. [31 Dec] The Wrong Man (1956, Alfred Hitchcock) (B+)
Author Comments: 

A = masterpiece. one of the best films i've ever seen
A- = a great film. short of a masterpiece, but pretty hard to find fault with
B+ = a solid film with some elements of greatness but not the complete package
B = a solid, if unexceptional film.
B- = worth seeing, but with some reservations
C+ = has some good elements and may hold your interest but just doesn't satisfy in the end.
C = a very blah, mediocre film (or perhaps a film that has strengths that are balanced by glaring deficiencies)
C- = a thoroughly mediocre film that has elements that annoy to the point where you wonder why you're wasting your time
D+/D/D-/F = haven't ranked anything this low yet, so I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it

[*] = seen in theatre
/ / = previously seen
SFIndie = seen at San Francisco Independent Film Fest
SFIFF = seen at San Francisco Int'l Film Fest
SIFF = seen at Seattle Int'l Film Fest

Cloned From: 

The kids in "Chain Camera" were very entertaining, but I had the same problem with it that I had with "Spellbound": there were too many of them. If Dick had focused on four or five of the most interesting kids, it would have been a better film. What did you think?

Also, "In the Realms of the Unreal" looks like something I have to see. Unfortunately, I have little hope that it will open at our Landmark.

I agree that it would've been better if it'd been more focused. I wonder, though, if Dick would've had enough good stuff to use if he'd narrowed it down. I thought here were a lot of interesting moments.

Did you Tivo the Dogme documentary? I really enjoyed that one.

No, but I will tonight. Thanks for the info!

The Letter has one of my favorite Bette Davis performances. I also like that eerie, nearly-silent scene (in this very dialogue-driven movie) when Bette Davis's Leslie meets the widow of the man she killed. It's the climax of the movie, because for the first time Leslie has met someone stronger than she is--which is why the studio-dictated ending actually kind of works.

Can you spare some brief comments on "Time of the Wolf" and "Quai des Brumes"? I have them both queued up to watch this week.

I've been seeing so many that there's no way I can keep up writing about them. Maybe I should slow down.

"Time of the Wolf" to me was a case of interesting parts not making a cohesive whole. I'm not a big fan of Haneke, but I will say he knows how to create tension. Best thing about the film to me was this girl, Anais Demoustier, who played Isabelle Huppert's daughter. I thought she was pretty great. Huppert didn't really have much to do here unlike in "The Piano Teacher."

"Quai des Brumes" was the best film I've seen so far this year. I love Jean Gabin and he was at his best in this. The story isn't really anything you haven't seen before (tough guy protagonist who deep down is a good guy, love interest who breaks through his tough exterior, etc.) But the film's got a really dark and cynical tone to it like the best American film noir and I really like that sort of thing.

I've been seeing so many that there's no way I can keep up writing about them.

Yeah, at this rate you'll end up seeing 472 movies in 2005. And, thanks to TiVO, no doubt. :-)

Yeah, TiVO and the Noir City double features have gotten me off to a good start.

I forgot about your Noir fest. Lucky bastard!

As of yesterday, I was on track for something like 977 in 2005. Time to gouge my eyes out.

Wow, with a wife and a full-time job I can only hope to see about 300 a year max.

Tried to watch "Time of the Wolf" tonight. Does it get significantly better after the 45 minute mark?

Just finished watching it, and actually it doesn't. It gets less interesting. I was with it all the way up to the arrival at the station, but after that not so much. Still, it ends on an uncommonly hopeful note, so it's not all bad.

Good, I won't bother trying to finish the thing. Instead, I'll watch something stupid like "Cellular" or "Friday Night Lights" or "The Forgotten." Forget art.

Well, if you're looking for stupid, they don't come much stupider than "The Forgotten".

Actually, my wife wants to see it so you know how that goes...

Dude, what kind of crack are you smoking. Maybe the big screen made the difference, but I thought the first hour of Time Of The Wolf was mond-bogglingly great. That scene out in the forest, where its totally dark except the far in the distance dot of light ... all that shit blew my mind.

Admittedly it goes downhill later on, great ending though.

The first act bored me, but I've been known to be very easily distracted, especially when trying to watch a movie like this at home. I'll give it another shot some day.....Oh, also, quit bogarting the rock, Greg. ;-)

Ye gods, I can't believe I agree with you on "Wolf", since unlike you, I'm a total Haneke fanboy.

Do you plan to keep up this Crazy with a capital C movie-viewing schedule for the rest of the year?

It's crazy, I know. I'm not sure. Noir fest is pretty much over, so no more double features. And I'm sure that I won't go as wacko on Tivo forever. But I do have a real chance to beat my all time yearly high of 251. The interesting thing is I'm still going out and doing other things. But every single moment I'm at home, I'm watching a film.

If I wasn't away from home for 13 hours every work day, I'd probably be right there with ya.

Oh, by the way, have you ever seen "Nightmare Alley," the OOP noir with Tyrone Power? I just ordered a bootleg DVD; hope it's as good as they say it is.

Haven't seen it yet. Guy Maddin had it at the series her curated at the PFA a few months back, but I missed it. It's in my Greencine queue, but never seems to be available.

I've been meaning to ask you about the picture quality of the "Film Noir Collection: Killer Bait" disc. Their edition of "Scarlet Street" is the single worst DVD transfer I have ever seen; it's unwatchable.

It's absolutely horrible. Almost unwatchable, but the film was interesting enough that I stuck with it. I'm glad I didn't decide to buy that set.

From Russia with Love (probably the best 007-adventure) just a C+? How did that come?

The Bond films just don't do anything for me the way they did when I was younger. There was nothing really bad about it, except for some of the cheesy dialogue. It moved along nicely and was entertaining, but there was nothing to really make it stand out for me. 10 years ago, I probably would've given it a solid B, though. I guess my tastes have changed.

God I love "Fighting Elegy" ... it's by far my favorite Suzuki (though I've only seen five). Such a dexterous example of managing wild tonal shifts in a workable way -- the thing moves like a great piece of music.

I just saw it myself last night. Holy Christ. It's amazing.

I gots to check this movie out. I've only seen three Suzukis (Pistol Opera [weird, like Paradjanov], the technicolor one with the cowboy bar [liked it], and the black & white predecessor to Pistol Opera [didn't care for it]) Obviously, I can never remember the titles of the other two. Anyone care to compare these to Fighting Elegy?

It's different than the other widely available Suzukis in that it's about school-age kids rather than yakuza. It's still very, very whacked out, though. But then, if you didn't like "Branded to Kill" (who doesn't like that film? I mean, dude!), you might not care for "Fighting Elegy". They traffic in the same kind of what-the-hell-did-I-just-see spirit. I mean, the hero plays a piano with his penis! What the hell!

Admittedly, I need to see all three Suzukis again. But I think I found Tokyo Drifter (that's what it's called!) more welcoming in a 60s psychedelic head-trip way, and found Branded to Kill cold and obscure in an arty 60s kind of way. Or maybe it's cuz TD feels like a musical, and who doesn't like musicals? Still, I gotta see it (and the fact that it's about kids instead of Yakuza makes it more interesting to me as well).

[Criminy Craffft, Steve, it's late on this coast. You must be in the darkest before the dawn over there.]

Very whacked is right, but in a good way. The only thing I thought was kind of odd was that the lead actor (in fact, most of the actors) playing a teenager looked like he was mid-to-late 20's. But he was really good and maybe a young kid wouldn't have been able to play the part.

Wow, you went two whole days without watching a movie? What's wrong with you?! ;-)

Errands and other chores on Wednesday and out shooting pool last night. You can bet I'll make up for it this weekend. SF Indie Fest starts tonight and I have a mess of DVDs and Tivo'd flicks to watch. It's going to be a big weekend for me, although I may have to watch at least the first half of the Super Bowl.

Yeah, same here. I have the weekend off and Tuesday is Mardi Gras, so that day will have to be spent watching flicks. By the way, I think you'd really like "Nightmare Alley" if you can find it anywhere.

Ha ha, I feel no connection to the Super Bowl so I get my Sunday to gorge upon the cinematic art form! HA HA! BOW BEFORE ME! (Okay, maybe not.)

...so I get my Sunday to gorge upon the cinematic art form!

So, you'll be seeing Alone in the Dark, then? ;-)

LOL... I would if my local Loews saw fit to carry it. What can I say, I'm a masochist...

Also, I feel no connection to Mardi Gras, so on Tuesday I will do my own gorging. That is, if the wife lets me.

Spare a thought on "Fat City"? I saw it in 2001, I believe, but can't remember a thing about it. Maybe I'll TiVo it this week.

I loved it for a lot of reasons. I love tales of the down and out to begin with. So if you're not a fan of that type of story, I could see where it could seem boring or something. It's almost oppressively bleak at times, but sick bastard that I am...I like that.

When watching this, I thought of Barfly and how artificial and phony that film seems in comparison. There's also some really good dialogue and Huston was pretty masterful in creating a sense of place with the way he showed California's Central Valley in all it's depressing glory. I guess Conrad Hall should get some credit for that as well.

"Wild Parrots" was really that good, huh? I saw it opened 'round here the other day, but the description didn't exactly make it sound like a must-see. I'll have to check it out.

It's a lot better than you'd think from the description, but I'm a little biased in favor of it because it takes place in SF and I love me some animals. It is a really well-made film, though. And surprisingly moving as well.

I saw Battles Without Honor Or Humanity last year, what are the rest of the Fukasukus like in comparison?

I've heard that Vol.1 (Battles) is by far the best of the series. From what I've actually seen, I'd say Vol.2 is not quite as good as Battles, but Vol.3 is almost up there with it. There's nothing really different about each episode in that it's just a continuation of the storyline of the various yakuza factions vying for power in Hiroshima. Vol.3 is a little different because it has a stronger element of humor than the first couple. Anyway, if you liked Battles, you should definitely see the rest of the series.

I TiVo'd "Tension." Should I delete it, site unseen?

Damn...this site is slower than molasses today. I would say, no, don't delete it. I was on the fence between C+ and B-. It's worth watching for Basehart, Audrey Totter and some of the supporting players (William Conrad as a cop with the constant munchies). The plot, however, is ludicrous and annoyingly so at times. I've seen so many good examples of noir this year that this one, while a decent watch, suffered in comparison.

Hmmm, not sure if I want to bother with a C+/B- noir, especially when there's genuinely weird-ass shit to get from Netflix.

So glad you enjoyed Hoop Dreams. It's managed to hang in my "favorite documentary" spot for a long time now.

In the Realms of the Unreal

Can anyone tell what they thought of this documentary. I've been reading about it for a while now in the papers, but it has yet to appear over here on DVD.

Okay, since you probably won't write anything about them on "Sick People," what are your thoughts on "Nightmare Alley" and "Sin City"?

I'm going to try doing a weekly update on Sick People. I have a few things to say about Sin City. I really wish I'd seen Nightmare Alley in the theatre when Guy Maddin showed it here a few months ago, but I appreciate you sending me the disc because it was well worth seeing. I was sort of lukewarm on the first 45 minutes or so, but things really picked up from that point on.

I wish that I'd seen "Nightmare Alley" in a theatre, too. Of course, I'd never have that chance in New Orleans. Speaking of which, I'm really starting to feel kinda blah about watching movies at home. With a TiVo hard-drive full of Turner Classic movies and a Netflix queue filled to the brim with new releases and foreign films, I've never had more viewing choices, but I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove.

I read on Digital Bits today that Nightmare Alley's getting a proper DVD release this summer. Too bad it's not part of the Film Noir Collection #2 coming out soon.

I hear you about getting into the groove. I've been the same way until this past weekend. I had all these good movies and didn't want to watch any of them. I started watching Oz and Angel on DVD until I got the movie-watching feeling back.

I just need to get my ass back into a theatre and see some flicks proper-like. I want to see my boss' cousin's movie ("Imaginary Heroes") before it leaves our Landmark on Friday, then "Millions" and, of course, "Sin City." The new Woody Allen is also out here Friday, so maybe I'll do that, as well, although I haven't bothered to see one of his in a theatre since "Everyone Says I Love You."

Really? You didn't like "D.O.A."? It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember liking it a lot. It's certainly heads-and-shoulders better than the remake from the eighties.

I wouldn't say I didn't like it. I liked the story fine. But some of the stuff between Edmond O'Brien and the actress who played his girlfriend was so disgustingly over-the-top sappy that I found myself getting really annoyed. I might've downgraded it too much based on that. You're right that the Quaid remake is far inferior.

So, since you're not really updating Sick People very much anymore, could you spare a few words about "Dead Birds"? It sounds interesting.

Good intentions and crap follow through, man. Story of my life. Ummm...Dead Birds is worth a look. It's got some decent acting, some good visuals and a few good jolts. It's also different than your average horror flick since it's set during the Civil War. Don't expect to be wowed, but do expect to be entertained and somewhat impressed by a good deal of what you see.

I wasn't really impressed, but I did like it better than the similarly themed movies "The Grudge" and "The Ring."

You gonna watch the next two "Flesh" films?

My first Something Weird experience. Since the next two are on the same disc, I'll probably watch 'em when I get back from Seattle. Some of the way the first one was shot was cool, the different murder methods were interesting and I have nothing against lots and lots of topless women. But I hope the sequels don't drag as much as this one did.

They do. That's the dirty secret of grindhouse cinema: It takes a lot of patience to get to the good parts. Still, even though the second film is a heinous crime against everything I hold dear, it's still worth suffering through just so you can say you made it to the third and best film. Think of "Touch" as the meat, "Curse" as the vegetables and "Kiss" as the sweet, sweet ice cream sundae.

What's the scoop on "Kontroll"?

When I was 17 I did what people told me, uhh!
Did what my father said, and let my mother mold me
But that was long ago

I'm in
Kontroll
Never gonna stop
Kontroll
To get what I want
Kontroll
I like to have a lot
Kontroll
Now I'm all grown up

Also: Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.

You are a strange and very sick man, K. But I like that.

Yes. Please tell me that you Googled the lyrics to the J.J. song.

I confess: I did Google them. Sad thing is, if pressed, I very well may have been able to conjure them from memory. At least, I know I'd have better luck with "Nasty".

(The singles off that album were pretty big in my peer group when we were 14.)

The singles off that album were pretty big in my peer group when we were 14.

I'm sorry.

I think I was listening to the Dead Kennedys and Depeche Mode when I was 14 (what an odd combination!).

Nah, s'allright. T'was good times. To be fair, we were also getting into rap at the time: Run-DMC, Beasties, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim. I think what happened was, MTV finally made it onto our cable roster, and we just had it on all the time.

I remember *hating* the Beasties when I was a college freshman in '86, 'cuz the frat guys loved to play "Fight For Your Right To Party" over and over and over. I really didn't appreciate them until "Check Your Head."

Wow, that almost happened to me with Nirvana. That's how fast they hit: they went from the outsiders to the frats in a matter of months (at least at my college).

And yeah, I can imagine "Fight For Your Right" meant more if you were a stupid 14-year old!

Hey, have you see Project Grizzly? I'd think it would make a great double-feature with "Grizzly Man."

Good idea. Haven't heard of it, but I'll have to add it to the queue. I had all this stuff to say about Grizzly Man after I saw it yesterday and then I had to go out drinking for the rest of the day. Damn, I'm stupid.

"Project Grizzly" is a pretty fucked up doc, although not - apparently - as fucked up as "Grizzly Man."

Also, isn't Gene Hackman awesome in "Scarecrow"?

Careful. I'm going to have to wash your mouths out with soap and take your salmon away.

I walked out of Grizzly Man feeling pretty spent. Fucked up is right. Herzog made me feel more nauseous than any gross-out horror flick I've seen without showing anything or even using any of the audio of the mauling. Just the scene where he has headphones on and is listening to the audio himself is pretty gut wrenching.

Yeah, Hackman was pretty amazing in the 70's with Scarecrow, The Conversation, Night Moves and French Connection. He was at the top of his game.

You could make it a festival by including Grizzly Adams episodes... (which just reminds me of the "Streisand movie about a kosher bear" joke.)

Let's hear it for "Slumber Party Massacre" fandom!

It surprised me how much I enjoyed it. Obviously, not a great movie, but a lot of good things going on. 30 year olds playing teenagers, the supposedly horny two guys who peep on the girls but seem completely gay, the shower scene, and the excellent bloodletting in the final 10-15 minutes. If only all B slasher flicks were as much fun.

Yeah, it's all relative. Not a good movie by most standards, but within the slasher genre it's a king (or queen, if you want to run with the film's tampered-with-but-stil-undeniable feminist leanings).

the supposedly horny two guys who peep on the girls but seem completely gay

Okay -- so it wasn't just me, then.

Oh, and:

the shower scene

How could anyone not tell this was written by an academic? You could practically see the quotation marks here.

I gave it a 61, but now I'm wondering if I lowballed it.

Okay, so are we going to get a write-up on "Kong" over at "Sick People"?

Yes, but first I think I'm going to head out and see the first show of the day of Syriana or the gay cowboy movie.

I don't think "Gay Cowboys in Love" has opened here in Austin yet. May drag myself out to see "Kong" next week, though. It's gotta be better than the Jeff Bridges/Jessica Lange one that I saw as a kid.

I was wrong. For some reason, "Brokeback" is only playing at one theater in north Austin. Strange.