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Journal memfree's Journal: movies 12

Must leave work. Must jot down links and make FAST reviews. Much more detail on my thought about these films over here, and in the sub-links there-in.

Jim Broadbent duo (evil Mr. Squeers in NN, and evil Boss Tweed in GoNY -- and Roger Ashton-Griffiths is also in both):

Nicholas Nickleby: This is the sort of film where actors get to show their chops, but the source text is so long that the film seemed like a series of people announcing life-changing events. The movie flowed as well as it could, but there wasn't time to dwell on anything. The best part about the film is watching actors Act. They have pretty thin characters to portray, so it all comes out as more stage-y than real, but it is fun to see talented people going at the roles.

Gangs of New York: Like Nicholas Nickleby, this film was too rushed -- which is quite a thing to say about a film almost three hours long! I never felt any connection to the characters. The film didn't make them likeable and didn't give them much depth -- just lots to do. As a result, *I* didn't like the characters or care much what happened (this is unlike "About Schmidt" -- which depicts everyone in a VERY negative, unsympathetic way, but which I considered a really good film) Didn't see why it bothered to throw in September 11th stuff. Seemed out of place.

The rest:
The 25th Hour: Disclaimer: I love almost every film Spike Lee makes. The fictional characters are more realistic, and the movie is compassionate towards them. Also, it has some shots I expect will stay with me for years. Like 'Gangs', "The 25th Hour" also had a September 11th tie in, but it this case, it was useful and embedded within the movie. See this one. I loved it, but you might merely like it. A couple (only a couple) scenes have heavy violence.


From the "War Is" (anti war PR) film series at UofP:

The War Game (1966, B&W): Filmed for the BBC, but banned from view at the time.
This is a sort of fake documentary that uses actual accounts to suppose what would happen in the event of a nuclear war in Britain. Using the information that was current at the time, the film points out that NATO troops may be the first to deploy nukes. It then shows a fiction of how horrid a nuclear war would be in graphic detail.

Bed In: I think anyone who's had an interest in the Beatles or the 60s as a whole has seen footage of the week long "Bed In" held by John and Yoko in a Montreal hotel. This film is Yoko's personal cut. It is of interest to see what she felt was worthy of inclusion in comparison to other depictions, but it isn't a particularly useful anti-war device.
Most any documentary about the event will be more informative, so only watch this is you are a serious Beatles fan. It is not required viewing for anyone else. Oh, if you are a film student, you might enjoy how they did the end credits (low budget and interesting in a college-level way).

More stuff on these linked within here.

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  • Six bullets. One goes stray and misses the bitch, and five into Lennon. Why God, Why?!

    Was wondering about 25th Hour. Looking forward to renting this.

  • I thought this was done well. Not to stupid with the slap-stick but enough to make it fun and to neutralize the love story. I heard that Brittnay Murphy and Ashton Kutcher are together in real life.

    http://www.mediagab.com/story.asp?id=229 [mediagab.com]
    • I'm kinda surprised that anyone whose reading my admittedly snobbish movie choices would voluntarily go to see "Just Married".

      I expect you're right that it truly is fun entertainment, but I want more than just entertainment from movies. For me, movies are a compromise to offset my financial inability to travel the world and experience alternate situations first-hand.

      Since it's my travel substitue, a movie usually needs one of the following to get me in the door:
      • Prospect for an interesting concept (often sci-fi movies fit this -- like the societal like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, or Matrix, or the interesting alternate life form like Alien, Terminator, )
      • Believable characters that seem like real people (though they may be in an unlikely situation)
      • There's complexity (often a moral complexity) to a central conflict (The Believer, The Terrorist)
      • Exposure to a fairly accurate portrayal of culture other than my own
      • Historical/Actual basis (real people or real events -- even if its just some rock star's bio)
      • An argument for some point of view (either real, like "Bowling for Columbine", or fictional, like the sympathetic POV for the murder in "Peeping Tom").
      • Documentary content (including recordings of rock concerts)
      • The film is an interpretation of a book
      • It's intended to be a fable with an underlying moral or example (lots of kids movies fit in here)
      • The film is at a festival and I know nothing about it
      On top of that, I dislike movies that rely on improbable coincidences (having one coincidence establish a movie's premise is ok, but if there's a bunch, the story BETTER show that a person/thing manipulated events). I also hate movies that are constantly breaking really basic laws of physics like XXX's scene where an avalanche doesn't topple a flimsy frame tower, or any number of films where the car leaves the road and EXPLODES -- sometimes in mid-air (but I will forgive Sci-Fi for its laser-like weapons that are visible and travel slowly because a) it's hard to let viewers know what's happening when depicted realistically, and b) symbolism is fine and dandy -- I'll also pretend the weapon sound-effects are meant to show what the gunners hear in shipboard atmosphere).

      The movies I'm least likely to see are those where:
      • The previews show people screaming in surprise or goofy panic: "Aaaahhhhh!"
      • People slipping, falling down, or otherwise getting hurt in 'funny' ways
      • Films that don't seem to go past: "Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl", with no further development of anything.
      • The point of the film is the car chase
      • The villain is ONLY evil, and seems to have no reason for being evil
      • The hero is depicted as GOOD when what he's really doing is bad (usually by taking the law into their own hands, or reacting to rumor instead of getting evidence)

      By the way, I did make an account on your site, but when I attempted to preview a 'test' story, no content displayed. Looking at the source, I see two things. 1) There's a <table> with no close (</table>) -- which is not proper HTML, and 2) it appears the error happens after the title (my title was "test", and my message was "test of preview") like so:
      <div class="TitleBar">test</div>
      <font face="Arial" size=2>
      <p>Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers</font> <font face="Arial" size=2>error '80040e14'</font>
      <font face="Arial" size=2>[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Line 1: Incorrect syntax near '='.</font>
      <font face="Arial" size=2>/includes/functions.asp</font><fon t face="Arial" size=2>, line 15</font>
      The above is the end-of-page when this error happens. Obviously other people are posting, so I expect your site isn't happy with what my browser sends.
      • Well it seemed to be the only movie that opened this past weekend so me and the 'boys' went out looking for a good laugh. Adaptation came out also with Nicholas Cage but I am not sure what that is all about. I haven't seen much hype about it.

        I agree with your tastes in movies except for

        People slipping, falling down, or otherwise getting hurt in 'funny' ways.

        I find that stupid funny movies are great for parties. Me and a few friends of mine get together once a month to enjoy a good "Movie the drinking game" night. Usually we find a slapstick comedy and find rules of the drinking game for that movie online then we watch the movie and drink. It makes for an entertaining and fun night.

        So for our first movie night we watched "Spaceballs" and followed the rules drinking only when certain things were said or done.

        By the way I did look into the problems you were having with submitting a story and can not duplicate it. I ran the sumitstory.asp through the W3C Validator and I was not getting any broken tables nor could I find any in the code. I also tried your test story as you describe and could not replicate the problem. Can you tell me what browser you are trying to submit stories? You can use the Contact form on the site or the e-mail above to contact me directly if you wish.

        • Never mind about the 'preview' button. Yesterday if didn't work, today it does. I've no explanation. Maybe my account was too new?

          Honestly, I've liked a couple stupid movies, but most of 'em aren't good enuf. I liked "Strange Brew" more than "Space Balls", but more than anything (maybe it was the "Hamlet" aspects), I like people who came out of that old SCTV group (let's see if I get their names right...Joe Flarety, Eugene Levy, Rick Morranis, Anrdrea Norton, Jonh Candy, Cathrine O'Hara, and Dave Thomas as The Beaver).
      • So are you saying you won't go with me to go see "Kangaroo Jack"? ;-)
        • Wasn't on my list, no :-)

          Go see Adaptation. It's pretty good -- not great, but above 'ok'. It is in love with itself. It is both self aggrandizing and self depricating. It talks a lot about movie cliches and all their evils, and then intentionally uses them. The centrakl conflict is: writer tries to make movie script from book with no plot. Struggles with self.

          I'll be seeing: The Hours, Lan Yu, and an exceptionally large number of old 'war' films. *Maybe* one more, there'll be guest sepakers at the 'war' fest, so those will run long, and I don't see much else playing.

          Will report to yr site next.
          • So are you interested in anything that is opening this weekend?

            National Security
            Kangaroo Jack
            A Guy Thing
            P.S. Your Cat Is Dead

            None really peak an interest with me. I don't think I have seen a preview for P.S. Here is a quick description I got off a site I go to: Two desperate men, thrown together one New Year's Eve when their lives have crumbled, willing to kill each other, until they discover that each is the other's only salvation.

            Steven Guttenberg stars and directs it so make your own judgement. I never liked him to much.
            • The only one that has a chance is "P.S. Your Cat Is Dead", because a) its based on a book, and b) it was made with an affiliation of my favorite video store (if you go to psYourCatIsDead.com [psyourcatisdead.com], it'll forward you to TLA Releasing). On the other hand, when it was on the festival circuit last year, I overheard folks who'd seen it and were making negative comments. Here's the synopsis [phillyfests.org] I was reading at the time.

              I might try it, but it isn't a 1st choice. The rest seem like they were slapped together soley so someone could make a buck off a captive consumer population. Since I don't want to encourage that, I absolutely won't give them any money.
              • Your tastes seem a bit highbrow, which begs the question: Why on earth would you put pottymouth me on your friends list?
                • What? You don't like fans? I can take you off my list if you want.

                  Yeah, I get priggish about movies, but it's probably because I have don't have taste in any other arenas. Fashion? I can't dress my way out of a paper bag. Literature? Given free time, I'll sleep before I'll read (got a book for Xmas I really like, but I still haven't read 100 pages of it). Theater? The stage is like low-budget film with no editor and a screen that's too small. I'll wait for the play to be turned into a movie. Music? Classical music tends to bore me. I want lyrics with feeling and lots of percussion. Ideally, there should be wailing guitar, too. That rules out most the high brow stuff. There *might* be an opera I could tolerate, but I haven't heard it. Alas, what little ability I once had to ferret out good new music in my favored rock/rock-influenced genre, I lost the skill long ago, and now rely on others to find the good stuff (or more likely, I just keep playing the older tunes).

                  So... I'm left with the low-brow pseudo-'Art' of movies and get as high-brow as I can with it. In this tiny realm that requires so little money to get, and is so easy to find, I have a niche where there's something I enjoy, and where I can look for the unusual and less examined pieces. I've made it my hobby. While I WISH more people would get fanatical over films, I understand that most people aren't going to waste their time obsessing over movies the way I do.

                  P.S. I don't give a fuck whether or not people are pottymouths.
                • Cause your a lengend on the Slashdot comments front. If your not on thier buddy list then they are a nobody.

                  OK enough ass kissing, I am getting light headed. To much Methane I guess!

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.