Films Seen: In 2005

  1. (30 December) Mindhunters (2005, Renny Harlin) (v) [61] [Wonderfully ludicrous, as I'd hoped.]
  2. DNF. (27 December) Silent Running (1972, Douglas Trumbull) (v) [Pretty dreadful -- what I saw was about a 26 -- but there was interference in the TiVo signal, rendering enough of it unviewable that I gave up.]
  3. (26 December) Munich (2005, Steven Spielberg) (f) [87]
  4. (25 December) /Bad News Bears/ (2005, Richard Linklater) (v) [53]
  5. (25 December) The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005, Judd Apatow) (v) [45] [That's right, I'm the guy that thinks Four Brothers is better.]
  6. (25 December) Four Brothers (2005, John Singleton) (v) [49] [Memo to dayfornight: Family. But not that bad, really.]
  7. (24 December) The Skeleton Key (2005, Iain Softley) (v) [35]
  8. (24 December) March of the Penguins (2005, Luc Jacquet) (v) [38] [They're penguins. They march. 'Nuff said.]
  9. (23 December) Pretty Persuasion (2005, Marcos Siega) (v) [50] [Still better than Fantastic Four.]
  10. (22 December) From Here to Eternity (1953, Fred Zinneman) (v) [52]
  11. (22 December) Jesus Christ Superstar (1973, Norman Jewison) (v) [58] [From Messiah of Evil to Messiah of Vibrato.]
  12. (21 December) /Messiah of Evil a.k.a. Dead People/ (1975, Willard Huyck) (v) [88] [This movie is awesome. YM will most definitely V.]
  13. (20 December) Breakfast on Pluto (2005, Neil Jordan) (f) [29] [I dunno -- seemed pretty gay to me.] [Also, confidential to socialretard: where you at? where you at? where you at?]
  14. (20 December) Brokeback Mountain (2005, Ang Lee) (f) [67] [I dunno -- seemed pretty gay to me.]
  15. (19 December) Bunny Lake is Missing (1965, Otto Preminger) (v) [56]
  16. (14 December) King Kong (2005, Peter Jackson) (f) [78] [Anything with Ann & Kong: 100; Everything else: oh, I don't know, let's say, uh, 63]
  17. (10 December) 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974, John Frankenheimer) (v) [27]
  18. (9 December) Busting (1974, Peter Hyams) (v) [62]
  19. (9 December) Layer Cake (2005, Matthew Vaughn) (v) [38] [Vaughn knows exactly what he wants to say and how he wants to say it. Unfortunately, what he has to say is the very definition of dull.]
  20. (7 December) /Two-Lane Blacktop/ (1971, Monte Hellman) (v) [86] [WTF? Last time I saw this, I didn't rate movies, but it woulda been in the 55-65 range. Guess there's a time and a place.]
  21. (7 December) The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (v) [76]
  22. (5 December) That's Entertainment! (1974, Jack Haley Jr.) (v) [70]
  23. (28 November) The Hitch-Hiker (1953, Ida Lupino) (v) [53]
  24. (27 November) Rancho Notorious (1952, Fritz Lang) (v) [57]
  25. (24 November) Walk the Line (2005, James Mangold) (f) [33] [Be wary of anyone who praises this movie for anything other than Reese Witherspoon or the music.]
  26. (19 November) Rolling Thunder (1977, John Flynn) (v) [79] ["For, like, 20 minutes, it was a 100!" -- Kent M. Beeson, on Rolling Thunder]
  27. (19 November) /Prophecy/ (1979, John Frankenheimer) (v) [22] [Stupid but stupid.]
  28. (19 November) /The Green Slime/ (1969, Kinji Fukasaku) (v) [47] [Stupid but fun.]
  29. (18 November) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005, Mike Newell) (f) [60]
  30. (16 November) Tropical Malady (2005, Apichatpong Weerasethakul) (v) [58] [Not really my kind of thing, but totally deserving of a second viewing -- just not on this cruddy DVD.]
  31. (15 November) M. Butterfly (1993, David Cronenberg) (v) [54] [Well below 50 for most of the running time -- it's not boring, but just barely -- but the last twenty minutes are pretty great.]
  32. (15 November) /A Child is Waiting/ (1963, John Cassavetes) (v) [63] [I'm not too-cool-for-school to like this.]
  33. (13 November) Scanners (1981, David Cronenberg) (f) [48]
  34. (13 November) /The Brood/ (1979, David Cronenberg) (f) [90, up from 85]
  35. (13 November) /Videodrome/ (1982, David Cronenberg) (f) [95]
  36. (12 November) /H.G. Wells' The Food of the Gods/ (1976, Bert I. Gordon) (v) [32]
  37. (10 November) /George A. Romero's Land of the Dead/ (2005, George A. Romero) (v) [69, down from 77] [Let my zombies go!]
  38. (9 November) /The Devil's Rejects/ (2005, Rob Zombie) (v) [74, down from 79]
  39. (8 November) /The Haunting/ (1963, Robert Wise) (v) [82] [And that, Mr. Hough, is how you direct a haunted house picture.]
  40. (5 November) Memories of Murder (2005, Bong Joon-ho) (v) [49] [Again, Korea. Whatever man.]
  41. (4 November) 3-Iron (2005, Kim Ki-Duk) (v) [61] [Maybe I just don't get Korean film. I found Oldboy boring and I guess I'm the only one who found this a little... y'know... silly. Impeccably made, tho, which saves it.]
  42. (30 October) High Tension (2005, Alexandre Aja) (v) [47] [Hey French auteurs! Wanna break into the American market, but not sure where to start? It's easy: just rip off a prolific horror writer. Trust me, no one will notice. Not even the writer himself -- the dangers of prolificacy, I guess.]
  43. (30 October) /The Legend of Hell House/ (1973, John Hough) (v) [35]
  44. (24 October) Nosferatu (1922, F.W. Murnau) (v) [51]
  45. (23 October) Monster From Green Hell (1957, Kenneth G. Crane) (v) [30] [Quick, Henry, the Flit!]
  46. (22 October) /The Incredible Shrinking Man/ (1957, Jack Arnold) (v) [87]
  47. DNF. (18 October) The Vampire Bat (1933, Frank Strayer) (v) [t/o] [Jesus.]
  48. (9 October) Spanglish (2004, James L. Brooks) (v) [56]
  49. (8 October) A Bay of Blood a.k.a. Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971, Mario Bava) (v) [46]
  50. (8 October) /Air Force/ (1943, Howard Hawks) (v) [68]
  51. (4 October) A History of Violence (2005, David Cronenberg) (f) [84] [A little disappointed that I still haven't seen a 90+ this year. Anyway: Cronenberg's a perverse mutha, but we probably knew this.]
  52. (2 October) House of Bamboo (1955, Samuel Fuller) (v) [48] [Cinemascope didn't do Fuller any favors.]
  53. (30 September) Cold Water (1994, Olivier Assayas) (f) [92] [That ending is a real kick in the nads.]
  54. (30 September) Lord of War (2005, Andrew Niccol) (f) [73] [Expiring AMC passes #5 & #6]
  55. (30 September) Proof (2005, John Madden) (f) [47] [Expiring AMC pass #4 and a two-leg discount! Ha!]
  56. (28 September) The Brown Bunny (2004, Vincent Gallo) (v) [67]
  57. (28 September) The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005, Scott Derrickson) (f) [0] [Yeah, you read that right. This is my Elephant. Good thing it was a two-legged discount]
  58. (28 September) Cry_Wolf (2005, Jeff Wadlow) (f) [40] [Expiring AMC pass #3; also: Aaaargh. There's a lot of similarities between this and a script I co-wrote, Yellow, only, of course, not as good :-)]
  59. (27 September) /The Curse of the Cat People/ (1944, Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise) (v) [90]
  60. (26 September) Serenity (2005, Joss Whedon) (f) [55] [Very Important Note: I have never seen the TV show.]
  61. (25 September) Dallas 362 (2005, Scott Caan) (v) [57] [Sorry playas.]
  62. (25 September) The Brothers Grimm (2005, Terry Gilliam) (f) [45] [Expiring AMC passes #1 & #2]
  63. (24 September) Intensity (TV) (1997, Yves Simoneau) (v) [50]
  64. (19 September) My Bloody Valentine (1981, George Mihalka) (v) [27] [Kevin Shields, get back to work, you slacker.]
  65. (17 September) /Batman Begins/ (2005, Christopher Nolan) (f) [74] [Down from 80; the lack of style really hurt this time -- something like this needs a "Spider-Man swinging through the city" or "Harry Potter rides the Hippogriff" moment, and it's too busy to slow down. Also, my seat was broken.]
  66. (16 September) /Humanoids from the Deep/ (1980, Barbara Peeters) (v) [36]
  67. (15 September) The Slumber Party Massacre (1982, Amy Jones) (v) [61]
  68. (9 September) Broken Flowers (2005, Jim Jarmusch) (f) [78] [Grade will probably go up on a second viewing; Jarmusch films usually do.]
  69. (9 September) Broken Flowaz (2005, John Singleton) (f) [78] [Great performance by Ice Cube as an aging Don Juan visiting his lovers from the past] [My apologies; this movie doesn't exist.]
  70. (5 September) Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005, Doug Liman) (f) [58]
  71. (29 August) /The Boogens/ (1981, James L. Conway) (v) [30]
  72. (28 August) Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005, Stuart Samuels) (v) [Above Average]
  73. (26 August) Fantastic Four (2005, Tim Story) (f) [19] [Er, on the other hand, Loews...]
  74. (26 August) /War of the Worlds/ (2005, Steven Spielberg) (f) [82, up from 79] [Thanks for the double feature, Loews!]
  75. (20 August) Bad News Bears (2005, Richard Linklater) (f) [53]
  76. (15 August) Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1974, Bo A. Vibenius) (v) [77] [In 1974, Michael Haneke will Kill Bill.]
  77. (11 August) Wedding Crashers (2005, David Dobkin) (f) [52]
  78. (7 August) Ride Lonesome (1959, Budd Boetticher) (v) [59] [Desperately in need of a widescreen remastered DVD. The Encore broadcast version looks like crap.]
  79. (7 August) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005, Tim Burton) (f) [81]
  80. (6 August) Garden of the Dead (1974, John Hayes) (v) [23]
  81. (6 August) The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005, Judy Irving) (f) [76] [Get out your handkerchiefs.]
  82. (6 August) Sky High (2005, Mike Mitchell) (f) [43]
  83. (1 August) Broken Arrow (1950, Delmer Daves) (v) [61]
  84. DNF. (31 July) House of Flying Daggers (2004, Zhang Yimou) (v) [w/o] [Yeah, you read that right. I told my wife to wake me when it's over.]
  85. (31 July) /Scarface/ (1932, Howard Hawks) (v) [90]
  86. (28 July) California Split (1974, Robert Altman) (v) [78]
  87. (26 July) One Two Three (1961, Billy Wilder) (v) [88]
  88. (23 July) /The Winged Serpent a.k.a. Q/ (1982, Larry Cohen) (f) [80]
  89. (23 July) The Devil's Rejects (2005, Rob Zombie) (f) [79] [Grindhouse-A-Go-Go]
  90. (17 July) Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005, Miranda July) (v) [75] [It's Garden State for adults, so, you know, proceed accordingly.]
  91. DNF. (15 July) Bad Timing (1980, Nicolas Roeg) (v) [The TiVo giveth and the TiVo taketh away. First hour was a 50 or so -- imagine 21 Grams with less plot and an even more fractured chronology -- but started to calm down after that and get better. But I stopped it (it was late), intending to pick it up later, but it got deleted. Ah well, no biggie -- Criterion's putting it out in September.]
  92. DNF. (14 July) Rise of the Undead (2005, Jason Horton & Shannon Ellery Hubbell) (v) [t/o] [Sorry, Shannon.]
  93. (11 July) Fanny and Alexander (1983, Ingmar Bergman) (v) [76] [Finally! My apologies to the Netflix users who've been waiting for this.]
  94. (9 July) /A Boy and His Dog/ (1975, L. Q. Jones) (v) [73]
  95. (8 July) /Interiors/ (1978, Woody Allen) (v) [72]
  96. (7 July) /The More The Merrier/ (1943, George Stevens) (v) [82]
  97. (6 July) Tentacles (1977, Ovidio Assonitis [as "Oliver Hellman"]) (v) [66] [Not a typo.]
  98. (6 July) Rude Boy (1980, Jack Hazan & David Mingay) (v) [57]
  99. (6 July) The Invisible Boy (1957, Herman Hoffman) (v) [20]
  100. (4 July) Comanche Station (1960, Budd Boetticher) (v) [48]
  101. (4 July) /His Girl Friday/ (1940, Howard Hawks) (v) [85] [Rosalind Russell -- the best female lead performance ever? Quite possibly.]
  102. (3 July) Kung Fu Hustle (2005, Stephen Chow) (f) [83]
  103. (3 July) Pat and Mike (1952, George Cukor) (v) [35]
  104. (2 July) The Lords of Dogtown (2005, Catherine Hardwicke) (f) [39] [Not entirely convinced that Hardwicke knows how to make a movie; was Thirteen this bad? Heath Ledger keeps it watchable.]
  105. (1 July) Viridiana (1961, Luis Buñuel) (v) [65]
  106. (1 July) The Mephisto Waltz (1971, Paul Wendkos) (v) [46] [In less than 24 hours, I've seen two movies -- this and The Manster -- where the horror element is a metaphor for a mid-life crisis. Weird.]
  107. (1 July) Decision at Sundown (1957, Budd Boetticher) (v) [73]
  108. (1 July) The Manster (1962, George Breakston & Kenneth G. Crane) (v) [25]
  109. (30 June) /Isle of the Dead/ (1945, Mark Robson) (v) [44]
  110. (30 June) /Beyond the Valley of the Dolls/ (1970, Russ Meyer) (v) [34]
  111. (29 June) /Close Encounters of the Third Kind/ (1977, Steven Spielberg) (v) [70]
  112. (29 June) War of the Worlds (2005, Steven Spielberg) (f) [79] [First 2/3rds: 90; last 1/3rd: 50]
  113. (27 June) /Pickup on South Street/ (1953, Samuel Fuller) (v) [85]
  114. (26 June) George A. Romero's Land of the Dead (2005, George A. Romero) (f) [77]
  115. (25 June) /Day of the Dead/ (1985, George A. Romero) (v) [41] [Would be in the 30s, except for a) the excellent gore and b) the Peter Boylesque performance of Howard Sherman as "Bub".]
  116. (24 June) /Dawn of the Dead/ (U.S. Theatrical Cut) (1978, George A. Romero) (v) [98]
  117. (24 June) Hotel Rwanda (2004, Terry George) (v) [67]
  118. (23 June) /Night of the Living Dead/ (1968, George A. Romero) (v) [72]
  119. (21 June) /Westworld/ (1973, Michael Crichton) (v) [90] [It's so unfair that one guy can be a kajillion-selling author and write and direct an artistically successful feature film.)
  120. (20 June) /In A Lonely Place/ (1950, Nicholas Ray) (v) [77]
  121. (19 June) Sahara (2005, Breck Eisner) (f) [70] [Thanks, Seattle Media, for the widespread coverage of the new cheapie theater in Lynnwood. Oh, wait, I mean: suck it. Also: this movie is surprisingly good.]
  122. (19 June) Cinderella Man (2005, Ron Howard) (f) [64] ["I just want my kids back!" -- Thomas Jane, Homeless Dad]
  123. (18 June) Batman Begins (2005, Christopher Nolan) (f) [80] [Am I the only one on Listology that thought this was the bee's knees?]
  124. (12 June) White Noise (2005, Geoffrey Sax) (v) [1] [Accurately titled, at least.]
  125. (11 June) National Treasure (2004, Jon Turteltaub) (v) [53]
  126. (10 June) /Phantom of the Paradise/ (1974, Brian De Palma) (v) [73] [Fourth viewing (I think), down from 89]
  127. (10 June) Confidential Report a.k.a. Mr. Arkadin (1955, Orson Welles) (v) [46]
  128. (9 June) The Devil-Doll (1936, Tod Browning) (v) [68] [Let's get small.]
  129. (9 June) /The Exterminating Angel/ (1962, Luis Buñuel) (v) [79]
  130. (8 June) La Dolce Vita (1960, Federico Fellini) (v) [55] [Hey Steve! You're not the only one that can disparage a classic!]
  131. (5 June) Daria: Is It College Yet? (2002, Karen Disher) (TV) (v) [Average]
  132. (4 June) /Mikey & Nicky/ (1976, Elaine May) (v) [90]
  133. (29 May) /Rocky/ (1976, John G. Avildsen) (v) [62]
  134. (29 May) /Kaïro/ (2001, Kiyoshi Kurosawa) (f) [59]
  135. (28 May) /Daria: Is It Fall Yet?/ (2000, Karen Disher & Guy Moore) (TV) (v) [Above Average]
  136. (28 May) The Walking Dead (1936, Michael Curtiz) (v) [61]
  137. (27 May) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004, Danny Leiner) (v) [56]
  138. (26 May) /The Tarnished Angels/ (1958, Douglas Sirk) (v) [84] [Bloody as hell.]
  139. (26 May) Absolut (2004, Romed Wyder) (f) [53]
  140. (26 May) Dog Star Man (1964, Stan Brakhage) (v) [63] [Has Nicolas Roeg ever claimed Brakhage as an influence? Cuz I see a link.]
  141. s23. (23 May) Wedlock House: An Intercourse (1959, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  142. s22. (23 May) Desistfilm (1954, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  143. (23 May) Don't Play Us Cheap (1973, Melvin Van Peebles) (v) [30]
  144. s21. (20 May) Simon of the Desert (1965, Luis Buñuel) (v) [60]
  145. (20 May) The Terminal Man (1974, Mike Hodges) (v) [65] [May go up if I can see an unedited version, but unlikely.]
  146. s20. (19 May) The Stars Are Beautiful (1974, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  147. s19. (19 May) The Garden of Earthly Delights (1981, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  148. s18. (19 May) /Cat's Cradle/ (1959, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  149. s17. (19 May) Black Ice (1994, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  150. s16. (19 May) Commingled Containers (1997, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  151. s15. (19 May) /Rage Net/ (1988, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  152. s14. (19 May) Rage Net (1988, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  153. s13. (19 May) Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse (1991, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  154. s12. (19 May) /The Wold Shadow/ (1972, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  155. s11. (19 May) /Mothlight/ (1963, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  156. s10. (19 May) /Eye Myth/ (1967, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  157. (16 May) Junior Bonner (1972, Sam Peckinpah) (v) [74]
  158. (15 May) /Wild Strawberries/ (1957, Ingmar Bergman) (v) [69]
  159. (15 May) Overlord (1975, Stuart Cooper) (v) [72]
  160. (15 May) It's Alive (1974, Larry Cohen) (v) [52]
  161. (12 May) /Young Frankenstein/ (1974, Mel Brooks) (v) [64]
  162. (12 May) The Lords of Flatbush (1974, Stephen F. Verona & Martin Davidson) (v) [43] [Huh. Not what I was expecting.]
  163. (12 May) Nazarín (1959, Luis Buñuel) (v) [58]
  164. (11 May) /Imitation of Life/ (1959, Douglas Sirk) (v) [41] [Burnt to a crisp.]
  165. (10 May) Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2005, Xan Cassavetes) (v) [Average] [Raise your hand if you've seen this and are now jonesing to see Stuart Cooper's Overlord. Also: Theresa Russell: still kinda hot. Where's her Sideways?]
  166. (9 May) The Evil (1978, Gus Trikonis) (v) [17]
  167. (9 May) Bigger Than Life (1956, Nicholas Ray) (v) [59] [Time to pass the mic to SteveR...]
  168. (3 May) /Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia/ (1974, Sam Peckinpah) (v) [55]
  169. (1 May) /Juggernaut/ (1974, Richard Lester) (v) [93] ["It's JuggerTAUT!" -- Kent M. Beeson, he loved him some movies]
  170. (30 April) The Sugarland Express (1974, Steven Spielberg) (v) [69]
  171. (30 April) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005, Garth Jennings) (f) [51] [If there was ever a film that called for Richard Lester to come out of retirement...]
  172. (27 April) /Piranha/ (1978, Joe Dante) (v) [63] [...and Bradford Dillman fought the cold/there was no-one with him/he was all alone.]
  173. (27 April) /Husbands/ (1970, John Cassavetes) (v) [79]
  174. (24 April) Ocean's Twelve (2004, Steven Soderbergh) (v) [73] [Why the hatin', America? Is it because it was directed by Full Frontal Soderbergh and not Out of Sight Soderbergh?]
  175. (23 April) Frank Miller's Sin City (2005, Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez) (f) [71]
  176. (23 April) Oldboy (2005, Park Chan-wook) (f) [45]
  177. (22 April) The Towering Inferno (1974, John Guillermin) (v) [12] [There is absolutely no reason to see this movie.]
  178. (13 April) Ali -- Fear Eats The Soul (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder) (v) [88] [My first Fassbinder; I'm very impressed.]
  179. (12 April) Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974, Martin Scorsese) (v) [68]
  180. s09. (11 April) /Cops/ (1922, Buster Keaton & Eddie Cline) (v) [Above Average]
  181. (11 April) /demonlover/ (2003, Olivier Assayas) (v) [66] [Third viewing, up from 64]
  182. (10 April) In Good Company (2005, Paul Weitz) (f) [57]
  183. (9 April) "It's Alive!" (1969, Larry Buchanan) (v) [22]
  184. (9 April) Saw (2004, James Wan) (v) [15]
  185. (7 April) Shaolin Soccer (2001, Stephen Chow) (v) (dubbed) [44]
  186. s08. (6 April) The Wold Shadow (1972, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  187. s07. (6 April) Window Water Baby Moving (1959, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  188. s06. (6 April) /Cat's Cradle/ (1959, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  189. s05. (6 April) /Eye Myth/ (1967, Stan Brakhage) (v) [It's nine seconds long, in case anyone out there was wondering.]
  190. s04. (5 April) Mothlight (1963, Stan Brakhage) (v) [Anyone else see the signature "By Brakhage" and immediately hear it with the "Mennen" jingle? Anyone? No?]
  191. s03. (5 April) /Eye Myth/ (1967, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  192. s02. (5 April) Eye Myth (1967, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  193. s01. (5 April) Cat's Cradle (1959, Stan Brakhage) (v)
  194. (4 April) /The Conversation/ (1974, Francis Ford Coppola) (v) [87]
  195. (2 April) The Sentinel (1977, Michael Winner) (v) [49]
  196. (2 April) Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, Michael Cimino) (v) [27]
  197. (27 March) Spring Break Shark Attack (2005, Paul Shapiro) (TV) (v) [2] [Ever see that straight-to-video Jaws rip-off from a few years back, where the sharks roared, like lions? That was awesome.]
  198. (26 March) /The Incredibles/ (2004, Brad Bird) (v) [87] [Down from 91; no change in enthusiasm, just tryin' to act all tough.]
  199. (21 March) Foxy Brown (1974, Jack Hill) (v) [56]
  200. (20 March) /Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter/ (1974, Brian Clemens) (v) [31]
  201. (20 March) Infernal Affairs (2004, Wai Keung Lau & Siu Fai Mak) (v) [61]
  202. (11 March) The Laughing Policeman (1973, Stuart Rosenberg) (v) [38]
  203. (10 March) /Peeping Tom/ (1960, Michael Powell) (f) [81]
  204. (3 March) The Small Back Room (1949, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (f) [62]
  205. (3 March) /Heavenly Creatures/ (1994, Peter Jackson) (v) [84] [Down about 10 points or so, if I was giving ratings back then.]
  206. (27 February) Finding Neverland (2004, Marc Forster) (f) [38] [For the longest time, I thought Marc Forster (Monster's Ball) was the same guy who did Slam. Just sayin'.]
  207. DNF. (24 February) The Giant Gila Monster (1959, Ray Kellogg) (v) (sans MST3K) [t/o] [Just. Couldn't. Do it. Even more sorry I couldn't make The Red Shoes, Greg.]
  208. (23 February) Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004, Grant Harvey) (v) [45]
  209. (21 February) Ray (Theatrical Version) (2004, Taylor Hackford) (v) [22] [Ironic that a movie about Ray Charles should lack rhythm.]
  210. (19 February) Closer (2004, Mike Nichols) (f) [56] [Whaddya know, they made a movie about Eric Gagne!]
  211. (19 February) Million Dollar Baby (2004, Clint Eastwood) (f) [72] [Put me down in the Yes-it's-predictable-but-it's-done-with-enough-panache-that-I-don't-care camp.]
  212. (17 February) /Black Narcissus/ (1947, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (f) [59]
  213. (17 February) /The Magnificent Ambersons/ (1942, Orson Welles) (v) [86]
  214. (15 February) Krull (1983, Peter Yates) (v) [56] [First forty minutes are laughably bad, very MST3K; then, mysteriously it gets, if not better, then weirder, in a Lynch/Dune kind of way. Surprisingly violent for a Star Wars-inspired fantasy film.)
  215. (15 February) Stander (2004, Bronwen Hughes) (v) [62]
  216. (13 February) /Q/ (1982, Larry Cohen) (v) [80] [Not a typo.]
  217. (13 February) The Aviator (2004, Martin Scorsese) (f) [50] ["Can a white elephant really learn to fly?" Apparently not.]
  218. (12 February) The Chronicles of Riddick (2004, David Twohy) (v) [8]
  219. (11 February) Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002, Guy Maddin) (v) [60] [Fleshpots!]
  220. (11 February) La Terra Trema (1947, Luchino Visconti) (v) [57]
  221. (10 February) /A Matter of Life and Death/ (1946, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (f) [98] [Friggin' awesome.]
  222. (10 February) Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004, Brett Sullivan) (v) [70] [I'm shocked - shocked! - by how much I liked this.]
  223. (8 February) /Sisters/ (1973, Brian De Palma) (v) [77]
  224. (8 February) /The Element of Crime/ (1984, Lars von Trier) (v) [40] [Sorry, Scott.]
  225. (7 February) /The Leopard Man/ (1943, Jacques Tourneur) (v) [68]
  226. (6 February) /I Walked With A Zombie/ (1943, Jacques Tourneur) (v) [48] [My least favorite Val Lewton horror film.]
  227. (5 February) /Thunder Bay/ (1953, Anthony Mann) (v) [42] [C'mon, gang! Let's put on an oil rig!]
  228. (5 February) Troy (2004, Wolfgang Petersen) (v) [67]
  229. (3 February) /I Know Where I'm Going!/ (1945, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (f) [73] [The hounds of love are hunting.]
  230. (2 February) /Cat People/ (1942, Jacques Tourneur) (v) [85]
  231. (2 February) 13 Going on 30 (2004, Gary Winick) (v) [58] [Good performance from Ruffalo -- oooh, there's a shock.]
  232. (1 February) Hearts and Minds (1974, Peter Davis) (v) [88]
  233. (31 January) The King of Comedy (1983, Martin Scorsese) (v) [70] [Finally!]
  234. (31 January) Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004, Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky) (v) [60]
  235. (30 January) The Bourne Supremacy (2004, Paul Greengrass) (v) [40] [My god is that last 1/2 hour dull.]
  236. (29 January) Napoleon Dynamite (2004, Jared Hess) (v) [62]
  237. (29 January) Collateral (2004, Michael Mann) (v) [47] [Slightly amusing anecdote and a note to all screenwriters: When we put this into the DVD player, somehow, some way, we started the movie at chapter 2 (where Cruise is entering the code to get into the building), completely missing 13 minutes and 8 seconds of story without realizing it. Thing is: with the exception of not seeing Jada and Foxx in the same scene (necessary for the third act to have any emotional resonance), we didn't miss a damn thing. (In fact, I feel sorry for the people who had to hear about the limo service twice.) Makes me seriously re-think the role and necessity of exposition.]
  238. (28 January) /It! The Terror From Beyond Space/ (1958, Edward L. Cahn) (v) [27]
  239. (28 January) DIG! (2004, Ondi Timoner) (v) [55] [Keeping up with the Scotts and Steveses.]
  240. (28 January) /Dawn of the Dead (Unrated Director's Cut)/ (2004, Zack Snyder) [For the commentary. Nothing earth-shattering.]
  241. (28 January) Dawn of the Dead (Unrated Director's Cut) (2004, Zack Snyder) (v) [84; down from the theatrical release's 89, but that's more about being a tougher grader this year -- my enthusiasm hasn't dropped at all. Also: I accidentally picked up the 'full frame' version, because they apparently still do that, and I'm pissed.]
  242. (27 January) /Magnificent Obsession/ (1954, Douglas Sirk) (v) [61] [Burnt to a crisp.]
  243. (26 January) Friday Night Lights (2004, Peter Berg) (v) [33] [Mr. Berg! Put your hands up and step away from the Avid!]
  244. (25 January) /Faces/ (1968, John Cassavetes) (v) [75] [In case anyone was wondering, it's Five Days of Cassavetes Week at my house.]
  245. (25 January) The Uninvited (1944, Lewis Allen) (v) [63]
  246. (24 January) /Shadows/ (1959, John Cassavetes) (v) [78]
  247. (23 January) /The Amityville Horror/ (1979, Stuart Rosenberg) (v) [20] [Hilarious.]
  248. (22 January) I, Robot (2004, Alex Proyas) (v) [68] [Slick, well-made Hollywood product... and for once, that's a good thing.]
  249. (22 January) New York, New York (1977, Martin Scorsese) (v) [52]
  250. (21 January) The American Nightmare (2000, Adam Simon) (v) [39]
  251. (20 January) The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) (f) [79] [A dense work, both narratively and visually; rating will probably go up after a 2nd viewing.]
  252. (20 January) The Five Obstructions (2004, Jørgen Leth & Lars von Trier) (v) [67]
  253. (20 January) An Injury to One (2003, Travis Wilkerson) (v) [64]
  254. (17 January) Beyond the Sea (2004, Kevin Spacey) (f) [13]
  255. DNF. (15 January) Full Circle (1976, Richard Loncraine) (v) [t/o] [First 1/2 hour soporific; consulted Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies to see if it was worth it, had ending spoiled; determined that destination not worth the journey.]
  256. (15 January) I ♥ Huckabees (2004, David O. Russell) (f) [81]
  257. (14 January) /The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire (a.k.a. Count Yorga, Vampire)/ (1970, Bob Kelljan) (v) [45]
  258. (13 January) 49th Parallel (1941, Michael Powell) (f) [77] [down from 85; changed my mind]
  259. (11 January) /Dragonslayer/ (1981, Matthew Robbins) (v) [85]
  260. (10 January) Killer's Kiss (1955, Stanley Kubrick) (v) [45]
  261. (9 January) Cabin Fever (2003, Eli Roth) (v) [10]
  262. (6 January) So Funny It Hurt: Buster Keaton & MGM (2004, Kevin Brownlow & Christopher Bird) (v) [40]
  263. (5 January) /The Skydivers/ (1963, Coleman Francis) (v) [11]
  264. (3 January) Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, Paul Mazursky) (v) [75]
  265. (2 January) It Came From Outer Space (1953, Jack Arnold) (v) [59]
Author Comments: 

/title/ seen before
(f) seen on film/in a theater
(v) seen on TV (DVD, VHS, TiVo, etc.)
[xx] rating
[w/o] walkout
[t/o] turned it off
[Above Average, Average, Below Average] Documentaries and shorts are rated using the Leonard Maltin Made-For-TV rating system. However, the Brakhage films are off-limits for the time being.

Rating system (new for 2005, you suckas!), adapted from the one used by SteveR (and now with equivalent letter grades):
100-97 = Masterpiece (A)
96-90 = Fantastic; best of the year (A-)
89-80 = Remarkable (B+)
79-70 = Very Good (B)
69-60 = Good (B-)
59-50 = Okay (C+)
49-40 = Mediocre (C)
39-30 = Bad (C-)
29-20 = Horrible (D+)
19-10 = Torture (D)
9-1 = Would end a war if dropped on opposing country (D-)
0 = Uwe Boll (F)

Gave 'Cabin Fever' a lower rating than a Coleman Francis film? Beautiful!

Heh, thanks! I was really shocked that Cabin Fever was such a crapburger.

Agree with both of you! The best thing about "Cabin Fever" is the title sequence -- it's all downhill, and fast, from there.

Matt and I can't wait to hear your defense of "I Heart Huckabees." ;-)

I bet! Thing is, I honestly have a hard time believing that it needs defending. But I'll see if I can come up with ~200 words.

Funny, that's sorta how I feel about "The Life Aquatic."

You show me your 200 words, and I'll show you mine.

My SpongeBob kicks both their arses.

Beyond the Sea...[13]

Why, man, why?

I knew this was going to come up, and I almost pre-emptively laid out the reasons when I put up the entry. Anyway:

1. My wife loves Kevin Spacey. 2. My wife loves Bobby Darin 3. It was at the $3 theater. In a word, inevitable.

And she didn't really like it, either.

I understand as only a married man can. That's why in the last year I've suffered through Pieces of April, Something's Gotta Give and two Party Monsters.

Also, what are your thoughts on the Assault on Precinct 13 remake?

Two Party Monsters? Oh, did you see the doc as well?

Assault: Unlike a lot of geeks, I thought the original was i-ight; it had its moments, it was fun, but I didn't think it was a classic. So, I wasn't against a remake. But what they've come up with sounds more like The Negotiator than Assault. If it gets good reviews, I might go.

...did you see the doc as well?
Unfortunately, yes. Although it wasn't quite as bad as the docudrama. God, that Home Alone kid is a bad actor.

If it gets good reviews, I might go.
Me too. But, really, we should just let Steve see it and tell us all about it and then when the DVD is released we can watch it at our leisure if it pleases us to do so. (Update: Yikes, I didn't realize that the director is also a French rap music producer. Hmmm. That can't be good.)

Holy crap, really? He wasn't responsible for that rapping French five-year old, was he?

Ha! I don't know, but it looks like Assault is getting fair-to-middling reviews from the amateur online critics.

HA! Just for that, I ain't seeing it. I'll wait for one of you guys to beat me to it.

Well, I'm sure the DVD will be out by April.

Hey, you're site isn't accepting any comments...or maybe it's just me.

Hmmm, let me check it out. Which entry?

>Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: http:

That's the error message I'm getting on "Yorga".

Ah, right! That was happening to me, too. For some reason, it doesn't want you to put "http://" in the website box anymore. Try it just as "" (or whatever it is you're using :-) ) and see how it goes.


Wow! The Amityville Horror really so good?

Heh, honestly, I really enjoyed how bad it was. I didn't realize that watching a kid fall down a set of stairs (twice!) could be so funny.

Please tell us your thoughts on "Alone in the Dark," which currently has a 10/100 rating over at Metacritic. You have seen it, right? ;-)

Oh dear god, Uwe Boll. I think Penny Arcade said all that needs to be said.

I think Mr. Kza would be very amused by this. (Well, the first panel but really the whole strip's funny too.)

You know, I'd heard of Something Positive, but this is the first time I've read it. Funny stuff, but scary, too -- I recognize myself in these people. (I also like how the blood from the beating is still on her shirt in the next strip.)

What did you not like about "DiG!"?

Well, as you said, "It's always fun to watch a creative genius self-destruct on-screen", but I never really saw "genius", just egocentric asshattery and derivative music, so the fun had diminishing returns. And the decision to have Courtney Taylor narrate was a poor one, even though I was more sympathetic towards the Dandies. Zia's a babe, tho.

Yeah, maybe I should add "self-proclaimed" before genius.

No, you shouldn't -- there wasn't a single person in that doc who wasn't convinced of Newcombe's genius. Is anyone who's reading this familiar with the work of the Brian Jonestown Massacre? I wonder if I'd have a different opinion if I knew the music.

I actually owned their "Thank God For Mental Illness" album back in the late nineties, but I knew nothing about the band at the time.

I dunno, I found it interesting in spite of my finding the majority of the music pleasant but thoroughly boring.

You're right about Zia, though -- wow. I'd be her Dandy!

I'm feeling like I'm in a distinct minority around here for loving The Bourne Supremacy. I'll have to give it another try one of these days. Perhaps it being one of the only movies I saw in the theater last year made a difference.

Give it another try? Why, so you can learn to dislike it?

:-) So I can reestablish courage in my convictions.

Actually, if I saw it in a theater, I might've given it a better rating. I have a fairly big TV, but all the fast cutting just makes mincemeat out of it on video, imo.

Believe me, it wasn't any better on the big screen. It was still a mincemeat pie, just a lot taller.

I got physically sick in the theater from all the rapid cutting and hand-held 'camerawork.'

It's okay. No hard feelings. Matt has your back on von Trier's debut, by the way. He gave it 1.5/4. Of course, he also gave "xXx" 3.0/4.0. ;-)

... and I still maintain that it's pretty hilarious, and Diesel's great in it. Oooooh, I'll never live that one down (I don't have high hopes for the sequel with Ice Cube). :-)

Asia looked nice, at least. And, anyway, I feel about "Deep Blue Sea" the way you do about "X To The Third Power," so it's all good...

Hey, we told you "Ginger 2" was good. Would we lie to you?

Don't bother with the prequel, though; it's mediocre at best.

I had a feeling...

That sucks, cuz you know I have to.

The prequel's not bad. Just not nearly as good as the first two films. It's a 49 in my opinion, while the sequel would be high 60s/low 70s and the original around a 64 or so. Ah, numbers, how I have missed thee.

You are good to your word! Ginger Snaps 3 better or worse than you expected?

Slightly worse. The first 30 minutes weren't too bad, in the mid-fifty range; there's some nice, subtle-for-a-horror-movie bits. But then it starts getting rote. Overall, it's like a mash-up of the first Ginger Snaps and, as Scott mentioned, Night of the Living Dead, and frankly, that's to no one's benefit. The ending is lively, and I could watch Emily Perkins and Katherine Isabelle do nothing in a room for two hours, but that's about it.

Wow, you guys all liked it? Word on the street (some other street, apparently), is that the first one (which I liked quite a bit) is the only one worth watching.

The first one's better, and has more humor as well, but #2 is definitely solid. It gets a bit unfocused at the end, but the upside of that is I really didn't know where the hell it was going (with the obvious exception of certain things, like werewolf attacks). And the ending is odd, odd, odd.

Have any idea if I'd like Ginger Snaps? I enjoyed (but didn't respect too much) the Evil Dead trilogy and like almost nothing else similar to it.

It's a tough call. Your genre dislikes seem to run pretty deep. As an experiment though, I'd be curious to know the result.

I like to think that I can like a movie of any genre as long as it is done well. Some genres are just really, really hard to do well (e.g. comedy), and other genres have a popular audience that doesn't place any requirements on quality, so filmmakers are usually lazy with them (e.g. gore horror). And, there's always the chance that I'll enjoy a movie more than I respect it (e.g. the Evil Dead trilogy). Perhaps I'll have to watch it some time as an experiment.

I think you should give Ginger Snaps a try. It's definitely more character-oriented than Evil Deads, and the humor is situational, as opposed to slapstick and goofball. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; #2 is one of my all-time faves.) There's still gore, though, and the finale is drawn-out longer than it needs to be, but I think it's a winner (the two leads help immensely).

I loved the sequel. Well, maybe I didn't love it, but I liked it a heck of a lot. In my opinion, it's a better film than the original. It has style to spare, a solid child performance and one of the strangest endings of any movie in 2004.

Alrighty, I'm sold.

Hey, about that prequel . . . What's the deal? Is it a remake of the first one set in a different time period? Or did they actually bounce those characters back in time? Or is it just the same actresses playing completely different parts?

It's set in Canada during the 19th century. The actresses play characters that share the names of the ones they played in the original "Ginger Snaps," although they're not exactly supposed to be the same girls...or are they?
The film itself is not bad -- the plot is basically a riff on "Night of the Living Dead" -- but it's not nearly as good as the either of the first two movies.

I guess I was just too influenced by the really crappy website they had up while it was in production; it really looked like a cheap cash-in on Ginger 1's good name. I was really surprised by how deadly serious it was, in relation to the first. And Emily Perkins (who I thought was outstanding in the original) just made my Yellow dreamcast short-list based on this performance.

Only a 57 for Terra Trema? It would probably be in the high 80's for me. But I saw it on the big screen at a Visconti retrospective and they had a lecture before and after. That might've primed me to be moved and all that.

I think the key phrase here for both of us is "primed to be moved", since, for whatever reason, it just bounced off me like a ping-pong ball. I mean, there's a lot about it I liked, but it never affected me emotionally (except for perhaps the scene near the end when 'Ntoni signs up to go back to work on the boats). Also, probably important: Not a fan of the "downward spiral" plot.

Holy crap. How sure are you about that 98 for A Matter of Life and Death? Is your rating scale tipped in favor of personal enjoyment or an attempt at objective judgement?

I'm just now noticing your comments on Collateral. I once put in the second video cassette of Lawrence of Arabia first, on my first viewing. I got to the end without realizing my mistake. I didn't think it was too great, but I didn't obviously notice I was missing something. It was a better film when I watched it again, correctly.

Dawn of the Dead: yeah, I'm dumfounded that full frame is still so popular. In fact, as far as I can tell, it's still MORE popular than widescreen. Honestly, people... honestly...

Oh, and curious: how much 'slack' do you give older films for their lack of sofistication or cynicism or intelligence or technical bravado or whatever? I always have the hardest time figuring out what to forgive and what not to forgive, especially since I haven't watched the films I've seen in anything resembling chronological order (as RosieCotton has somewhat attempted). So, I often watch an old film and am blown away by what is accomplished, or the level of narrative sophistication. Then, I later watch an earlier film with the same triumphs and I have to revise my estimation of the later, earlier-viewed film. Bah!

1) I'd say personal enjoyment trumps objective judgment, generally speaking; in fact, I doubt I can muster any sort of "objective judgment", since I don't feel I know or understand the medium enough to make such calls. (Which reminds me: I keep meaning to eliminate the word "masterpiece" in my ratings scale; such a designation, I think, should be independent of its rating. For example, there's no doubt in my mind that Faces is a masterpiece, but I'd have trouble justifying to myself giving it a 97+. I like it, just not that much.) ANYWAY... A Matter of Life and Death. I'd seen it before, but this was the first time on film. And it just blew me away, in terms of the use of color, sound, editing, acting, mise-en-scene, etc. Sure, the story's a bit slight, and there's definitely a lull during the court scene, but it was really an amazing example of what cinema can do. And maybe that's what I'm looking for, ultimately.

2) So you didn't notice that Lawrence was in the middle of its story? Interesting! It's been years since I've seen it, so I can't really imagine your experience. Maybe I'll revisit it this year.

3) A week ago, I went to Costco and found a double pack of Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Shaun of the Dead, both widescreen, for $18. Needless to say, I picked it up. Now to properly dispose of the full screen...

4) Heh, good question! I think I tend to give a lot of slack, particularly since my knowledge of history isn't that great. I think what I'm looking for mostly is if the story is told well, regardless. (That's how I could give something like Best Years of Our Lives, a pretty plain-looking movie, a 90 in my pre-curmudgeon (i.e., 2004) days.) And to connect this back to Life and Death, there are several moments where time has stopped, and so the actors freeze -- and of course, no one can be completely still (you can see Kim Hunter breathing in one shot). But I'll let that slide with no problem, because of everything else. Then there's something like King Kong, [99 points] which is a fantastic story, but also seems to me like an unprecedented technical achievement. To me, that King Kong was made in 1933 is like saying that we landed on the moon in 1933; it's that amazing. Sure, we can see how fake it is now and we can tell immediately how the effects were created, but if you look at certain scenes (like when dinosaurs attack), it's clear how much care went into their presentation. So I take that into account with that movie, as well.

I'm sorry, did I even really answer your question? I got carried away :-)

Oh, you answered everything very satisfyingly!

Lawrence: Yeah, didn't realize. The second cassette opened with the train ambush, which seemed like a fittingly exciting opening. I figured there were no opening credits as in Star Wars and LOTR, just the way I like it.

You refered to your 'pre-curmudgeon' days. Do you have different ratings standards for 2005 than you had during 2004?

I'm making a conscious effort to be a tougher grader this year than last. I'd like to think that any score in 2004 would be reduced 5-10 points if I saw them this year (I dropped Dawn of the Dead five points, even though I think it's just as good as the first time). Of course, that makes Life and Death's 98 even more remarkable, so perhaps I'm fooling myself :-)

I did that recently as well, but I changed my criterion for ratings so there's no across-the-board 5-point drop or anything. Some films remained at a similar level, some fell terribly. I don't think any films gained.

Yeah, well, that damned 98 is working. I'm gonna have to bump it to the top of my queue now, dammit!

Geez, A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) isn't even Netflixable, though it is available on DVD and they carry 15 other David Niven films!

I saw it on VHS several years ago, but at the showing introduced by Thelma Schoonmaker (Scorsese's editor and Powell's wife), she briefly mentioned something about the rights being tangled up -- something about someone wanting to remake it, and keeping it from appearing on DVD. I think she said something along those lines, at least.

Heh... "Fleshpots!" Doesn't quite beat "Ice Breast" from "Cowards", but it's close.

Frankly I'm a little bit shocked by your rating for The Aviator, which I think is a great movie.
What was it you didn't like about it?

Oh, it just seemed like the same ol' bloated biopic nonsense. There are some moments where you can tell an artist (if not Scorsese specifically) was at the helm, but otherwise, no different from, say, Chaplin to me. The score would've been worse, probably, if not for Alan Alda (who is great in an absolutely nothing role) and the Safe-esque ending. Oh, and the "clouds over Oakland!" sequence was really good -- it looked like Scorsese and CGI were able to get along, perhaps for the first time.

Ah, Krull... Along with The Beastmaster a joy from my pre-to-adolescent years that I'd be dreadfully afraid to revisit now.

You know, if you're the least bit curious, I'd say go for it and see it again. It's not totally awful by any means -- and I say this as someone who would've fallen in love with it, had I seen it when I was 11 (and not relegated to playing the very hard coin-op at Circus Circus).

Alrighty, one of these days (probably not soon), I'll do that.

Oh my ... Circus Circus ... most crazed arcade I've ever been to (aside from the one in Penn State, which is a novel in itself). I recall spending several drunk hours there two years ago playing one of the Tekken games. I knew there was something wrong with me when I'd rather spend my quarters on "House of the Dead" than some slot machine.

What did you think of "Monster Balls"? I thought it was crap.

Let's just say -- I believe I snorted audibly when it was revealed that the father and the son not only used the same prostitute, but liked the same position.

Halle Berry winning an Academy Award was just a bizarre, David Lynchian dream, right?

Of course it was.

In the same universe where Paul Giamatti wins an Oscar for Sideways, but otherwise, of course it was.

So, Kent, should I delete "The Laughing Policeman" from my TiVo without watching it in your opinion?

You'd be better served by watching any 2 episodes of "Homicide: Life on the Street" in my opinion.

What dragged Infernal Affairs down for you? I was quite impressed with that one.

I certainly enjoyed it, but found it evaporating from my mind when it was over. The only thing that's sticking around is the wonderful scene about a 1/2 hour in... you know, with the drug bust and the morse code. But to really have some oomph, the material really called for an artist, like Michael Mann... or Martin Scorsese ;-)

Oh, and I hope the remake either gives the female characters something to do, or just cuts 'em out entirely.

Gotcha. I have certainly penalized plenty of movies for lack of stickiness. I was personally happy with the direction and cinematography though.

It will be interested to see what Scorsese does with it. Supposedly he hasn't watched the original, so is just working from the idea (more or less).

Hey tough guy: I dare you to rewatch "Eternal Sunshine" and drop its rating from that near-perfect 97. ;-)

Probably sooner rather than later...

If only Renny Harlin had directed "Spring Break Shark Attack."

Renny Harlin? Shit, I'd take Michael Bay. Or even Edward Burns.

Rah! I'm a monsta!

(Actually, you're probably referring to this straight-to-video nonsense, but isn't ragging on a "Jaws" sequel much more fun? And as expected, Ken Begg couldn't resist the shark attack either.

Honest to God, I didn't know that there was roaring in Jaws 3-D. Good to know that trilogy is still the first, in all things. (There is no such thing as Jaws: The Revenge. I don't care if I saw it in the theater. I don't care if I forced my friend to see it instead of some obviously-silly flick called Robocop. It doesn't exist.)

But yeah, I think I was referring to one of those Shark Attack. I only saw the end of it, but that was enough. (Some interesting effects, tho.)

The Ken Begg + Company reviews were pretty much spot on. I was surprised, however, that the most hilarious scene got only a passing mention:

01:39:20 – Some poor guy parasailed right into a shark’s jaws. Good move, sucker.

What isn't indicated here is how obviously complicated the shot was. We start by seeing the windsurfer enter the frame from the left, and he glides across the water and we pan with him, and when he reaches the right side of the frame, he falls into the mouth of a shark. It's kinda like "that scene" from Irreversible, only, uh, with a shark. It must've taken several takes to get it right. Yet, for all that effort, it was the funniest thing I'd seen in awhile. My wife and I watched it over and over again and we couldn't stop giggling. A shame the rest of it was simply stupid.

The Conversation lies safely inside my 10 favorite films of all time. I'm glad to see you liked it so much. The sound design & editing of the mall scene alone should be revered like the greatest cinematography scenes of all time like Odessa Steps or the opening of Touch of Evil or the Psycho shower scene, etc. And the ending remains one of my favorites. I think it's Coppola's best work, and that's really saying something because I love his other classics as well.

1974 is a funny year. First you have The Godfather II, which I think is even better than the original, already one of the best films of all time. But even better is the absolutely flawless Chinatown, and still better is another Coppola film: The Conversation. And those are just the great U.S. films from that great year. Yowza.

The Conversation actually went down a bit in my estimation; I was fully expecting to give it 90+, and I surprised myself. I may get around to writing a blog entry to figure out why that is. I also think I prefer GF2, but we'll find out soon enough.

(In case it isn't obvious -- and it probably isn't -- I'm doing kind of a survey of 1974. Reason being, I own about 6 1974 DVDs, and I need to get some Top Tens up and going.)

"Anyone else see the signature "By Brakhage" and immediately hear it with the "Mennen" jingle? Anyone? No?"

I do now. Thanks.

Then my work here is done.

Nine seconds, but more rewatchability value than nine out of ten full-length films. God, that film's awesome.

You know, I'm really not getting that much out of it, at least not yet. I've found more value in Cat's Cradle and The Wold Shadow so far, but then, I'm a complete experimental film noob and I can connect the former to both traditional narrative and Martin Arnold, and the latter to Tarkovsky. Complete and utter non-narrative (like Mothlight, which I doubt I'll watch again) is just completely out of my frame of reference. (Or put another way, I'm starting to build my frame of reference now.)

Right now, I'm trying to build up my experience points, so to speak, so I'm ready for Dog Man Star (which sounds exciting) and The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes (which I'm dreading).

I still haven't taken the full-length plunge that is "Dog Star Man". I have, however, seen "Act". Don't plan on doing anything else for about twenty minutes after it's done. You won't want to.

And personally, I find "Mothlight" to be one of the most thrilling, astonishing things I've ever seen. If you asked me to explain why, I'd probably just look at you with my mouth hanging open before finally stammering out "I have no idea..." :-)

Plunge! I found Dog Star Man to be one of the most satisfying experimental films this side of Meshes of the Afternoon.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs (who sees Kza trying to act all tough over there... Hope it works better for you than it usually does for me!)

Saw (2004, James Wan) (v) [15]

Yes, indeed!

I'll probably be writing up a quick blog entry, just so I can defend my high rating.

I think 90 minutes of that creepy clown doll riding a tricycle would have been a much better movie. ;-)

Oh God, the Buchanan.

Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God....

So why is it that you watched a middlin'-60s movie (demonlover) three times?

A question I asked myself!

Easiest answer: The first hour is an 80, the second hour is a 40.

But that's not exactly true, at least after this viewing, because my estimation of the second half went up (and my estimation of the first half went down).

If you watch the movie, I think you'd understand. It's a movie that's more about surfaces and editing rhythms, but there is an interesting narrative there as well; but then it goes haywire after the first hour. (Assayas is known for leaving huge gaps in his stories, and this one is no exception.) That'd be fine if I thought the story was ho-hum; but I find it very interesting, so it always got real frustrating for me when it goes off the rails in the second half. But this time, I think I was able to follow the story the whole way through.

Sad thing is, I'll probably watch it again somewhere down the road. (Assayas made one of my all-time favorites, Irma Vep.)

Hey, thanks for the review! I've long had demonlover on my to-see list, and haven't quite been able to get over the hump to either watch it already, or remove it from the list. I get the impression now that it's not going to be my cup of tea.

Although... I dunno... Any movie able to elicit three viewings from an ambivalent viewer must be strangely compelling...

Likely the same reason I watched it a second time even though I gave it a C on first try: There's something about it that begs revisting. Maybe because it is so elusive.

Ah, "My First Fassbinder" would, without a doubt, be a far more interesting movie than that thing with the similar title starring Albert Brooks and Helen Hunt's clone.

Dan, The Conversation seems like the only movie that was any good in april so far!

Ray = 22 ? should i stay away from it then?

Well, I'd say definitely check out Ali - Fear Eats The Soul if you haven't already. But I have a tendency to seek out crap, so that accounts for April.

I found Ray pretty tedious, but I generally find biopics that cover large portions of a subject's life to be tedious, so YMMV.

oh that meant ot say "dang" not "Dan" lol

Hmm, I'm thinking of leaving work early on Wednesday to see "Sin City" and I'm guessing that you, unlike Matt the Hater, would say that I should do so.

I'd say "yes". I'm thinking of putting my thoughts on the blog, but the short version: I was expecting to hate it (I'd read Marv's story a few months ago -- wasn't impressed -- and read a lot of the reviews), but ended up being... charmed is the best word I can think of. I found it impossible to take seriously, which helped rather than hindered, but my extreme disappointment with Oldboy may also have been a factor.

Hope you do a write-up of "Oldboy" as well. I pretty much agree with MTH about it.

I may have to. Quickly scanning some bad reviews, I didn't see anyone with my POV: that it's pretty boring. (Didn't help that I saw one word in reference to the movie: incest and figured out the big third-act twist.)

I agree with you about "Ocean's Twelve," but didn't ya hate the Willis/Roberts bit?

Actually, no. I didn't think it lasted long enough to get annoying. And I thought Julia Roberts (playing Tess playing Julia Roberts) was quite good.

Ye gods. "Ocean's Twelve" a 73? I usually like Soderbergh in his playful, meta-movie mode (see: my enjoyment of "Full Frontal" and "Schizopolis"), but on this count I think I have to side with MD'A and his retitling.

Wow, I'm just not understanding the hate. Is it all the celebrities? I wish all movies, especially sequels, were as bad or poorly-made as Ocean's Twelve.

I can only hope that "Piranha II: The Spawning" is next! ;-)

If I had my way, the Lee Majors extravaganza Killer Fish would be next. I haven't seen that in 20 years.

Ever seen Piranha II? I haven't, but my wife has, back when she was on a Lance Henriksen kick. She tends not to speak of it.

I have seen Piranha II, and perhaps the less said the better. :)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I'm with Mr. Bangs on "The Spawning." It's a must-see only for James Cameron completists. Now, "Killer Fish" on the other hand... ;-)

But, what about Zooey?

Adorable as always, but the performance is nothing to write home about. In fact, other than Bill Nighy (who really seemed to "get" the Adams universe), none of the performances were better than average -- very surface level.

Ah, well, another one for the Netflix queue.

Only a 55 for "BMtHoAG"?

It's been a while, but I remember it being one of my favorite Peckinpahs. Hope you do a write-up, even though it's a re-watch.

You are correct about "Bigger Than Life," even if you are incorrect about "Alfredo Garcia." ;-)

Heh! I think Bigger Than Life is essential Ray, if you're into Ray, and it's shot well, but, like the Kaiser Chiefs song says, it didn't move me. It did make me imagine what would've happened if Todd Haynes had been enamoured of this film instead of All That Heaven Allows, tho.

Still don't get the big whoop over Alfredo Garcia. I mean Theo Explains It All, but he still liked it better than me.

On second reading -- I think I understand what the prob is. Need to get crackin' -- the blog don't update itself...

You don't rate docs?

I've been reviewing my policy.

Generally, yes. However, it seems to me there are two kinds of documentaries: ones that have some kind of artistic intent, and those that are primarily about giving information. Most, of course, have a little of both, but usually there's an emphasis on one or the other.

Now, if I feel there is an artistic intent behind the doc, then I'll give it a number rating. What do I mean by "artistic intent"? I think what I mean is, there's some kind of theme being explored, or, better put, that the intent is to give the audience some kind of experience. For example, if the documentary is the "I'm just a camera, I'm following people around" type (Some Kind of Monster, Salesman, Wiseman), or if it's going for a kind of poetic effect (Alain Resnais' docs), or if it's structured like a narrative fiction film (Capturing the Friedmans, The Times of Harvey Milk), then I put it in the artistic camp, and I feel like I can judge it in comparison with fiction. If, however, the primary focus is to deliver information on something the audience is unfamiliar with (and the key ingredient here are talking heads), like Z Channel, then a rating seems like a disservice. I was going to give Z Channel a 60, but it seemed too high; I definitely enjoyed it, but it seemed like there were plenty of "lesser" movies I'd rather see again. After all, one viewing of Z Channel was enough to get the info, and there's nothing artistic about it to bring me back.

Of course, this whole artistic/information spectrum is fluid. Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control is a good example of an artistic talking head documentary. (I imagine most Morris docs are.) But that generally seems to be the division, to me.

So anyway, I've decided that docs like Z Channel will now get a different grade, borrowing from the Maltin Guide: Above Average, Average, or Below Average. That should work for the time being.

I like that explanation. I have a lot of trouble grading most docs because I can't really compare them to the other films I see. I saw one on Howard Zinn the other night that definitely fell into the non-artistic, informational category.

I've already got the Tivo ready for Overlord and Bad Timing.

Yeah -- Bad Timing. I've been interested in seeing it since I read about it in McKee's "Story". Never thought I'd get a chance to see it.

Of all people to copy you picked Maltin?

Why, ya got a better suggestion?

"Nazarin" ain't all that? Say it ain't so!

Yeah, it was just i-ight -- it does have its moments, though. But Buñuel's cynicism just gets wearying here. (FWIW, I like The Exterminating Angel and Discreet Charm, so maybe I don't mind his cynicism when it's wrapped up in intellectual games.)

Without getting on your nerves now, but what about this? The deadline is fixed for May 31 (in 2 days). You don't have to give any votes though. It is up to you.

Ah, crap! I'm sorry, I totally spaced. Will put some names up today. (Soon as I figure out my other two nominees!)

AARRGGHH!! I admit that everyone has probably his/her classics (s)he doesn't get, but La Dolce Vita? Why, hell, why?

Sorry, '22, but while the thing is impeccably shot and acted, and it has some wonderful moments, I found it, on the whole, to be a slog.

Ugly confession: I didn't even finish it.

Heh -- I don't feel so bad, then.

Edit: Uglier confession -- I took 3 days to watch it. Part of that was time issues, but part of it was also the wearying nature of the thing.

I remember really liking "La Dolce Vita" when I saw it, but then I think I was 16 when I saw it and liked most everything. Nowadays, I might end up in a similar situation -- there's a lot of dead air between brilliant setpieces, as I recall.

Kent, I highly esteem your opinion (that is also why I've favoritized this list).

For La Dolce Vita: I even admit that there may be some moments that are a bit slow, but all in all Fellini has drawn a great portrait of society, that is not bound to a specific time or place: Rome, 1960 or Paris, 2005, or whatever. It just doesn't matter. And that is one element of the film's greatness, IMO.

But we all have our classics we don't get, for some reason or another.

A "1"?! Wow! Now I've gotta see it! ;-)

Oh lord, no, please, don't. It's the blandest, poorest excuse for a horror film I've ever seen. It makes Abandon look like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Absolutely nothing happens for an hour... and then nothing continues to happen. Then something happens at the end, but it doesn't make a lick of sense. I would've turned it off, but I rented it from Lackluster, so it felt like more of an investment then, say, Netflix.


Gotcha. I'll stay far away...unless the wife insists for same insane reason.

I think you just described "Dragonfly", actually.