"AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

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"AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:13 pm

Akira Kurosawa's I LIVE IN FEAR (1955) on Criterion Eclipse DVD for the first time. I knew Kurosawa could go dark when allowed to do existential dramas ("The Idiot," "Dursu Uzala," etc.) but even I wasn't ready for both the bleakness of this story and the tour-de-force performance by Toshirô Mifune. Made only ten years after the end of World War II I bought both (a) the conviction that Kiichi Nakajama (Mifune, imposing even under layers of make-up and thick glasses to make him look twice his age) truly believes he's trying to protect those he loves from nuclear anhialation by moving them all to Brazil, and (b) the certaintity of his family (flawed personalities and all) that they're doing the right thing by clipping Kiichi's wings. Kurosawa is so focused on trying to subtly explore the ramifications of everybody's actions/reactions on everybody else (especially Takashi Simura's mediating doctor as the audience surrogate) that he forgets to make this an enjoyable film. I can admire this for being the follow-up project after "Seven Samurai" and for having the balls to tackle the subject matter it does. Like "The Idiot" though this is a good Kurosawa movie I don't care to watch any time soon (or ever).

Sergio Corbucci's NAVAJO JOE (1966) at NYC's Anthology Film Archives for the first time. Feature one of a Corbucci spaghetti western two-fer left me pretty underwhelmed. Leo 'Morricone' Nichols' score is annoying as s*** (I instantly recognized the parts Tarantino borrowed for "Kill Bill"), the day-for-night continuity is distractingly bad (if the movie were better it might have been charming) and everybody in the cast except Nicoletta Machiavelli (including a sleepwalking Fernando Rey) seem to not even be trying. You know a spaghetti western is in trouble when the bad guy you're supposed to love to hate (Aldo Sambrell's Duncan) is just boring. Ironically, despite his well-publicized hatred of this flick, Burt Reynolds delivers a pretty good lead performance. He's no Clint, but Burt's Joe commands the screen and does the loner hero thing well-enough to be the only thing worth remembering "Navajo Joe" for. Thankfully...

...Corbucci's THE MERCENARY (1968) (also at AFA for the first time) was just what the doctor ordered. Picture the DNA of "The Wild Bunch" and "The Man Who Would Be King" intertwined with every spaghetti western cliche ever conceived. Everything that was iffy or flaky with "Navajo Joe" is completely gone in this amusing, over-the-top and cinematically satisfying (much better cinematography, production values and ambition) tale of a Mexican revolutionary (Tony Musante) that hires a care-free Polish mercenary named Kowalsky (Franco Nero) to guide his attempts to both fight the Mexican army and get rich. And somehow Jack 'Curly' Palance wondering buck-naked through the desert is inserted into the story to justify a latter 'circle of death' duel between the leads. It's like a dress-rehearsal for Corbucci's "Companeros" except it can kick ass and chew bubblegum on its own two legs. Giovanna Ralli also shines as the pretty girl the men kind-of want and the resourceful peasant-turned-rebel protege. I've never seen "D'Jango" but after seeing Nero's piercing blue eyes in this I want to, badly. The scene in the desert caravan with the water barrel has to be the single best thing I've seen in a spaghetti western, ever! :lol:

MST3K: THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1991/1956) on DVD. I know this one is a favorite among MSTies but to me it's just average. The borderline-earnest, dead-serious way Mr. BIG (Bert I. Gordon) directs and his actors portray this lunacy (a 50′s shoe-string budget “King Kong”-type nuclear horror fantasy about a soldier that grows into a mad giant) robs the flick of the finely-tuned balance it needs to break out under Joel & The Bots’ assault. Glenn Langan is almost too good at bringing down what should be a gloriously goofy flick with his mopping and close-ups. The worst thing I can say about Langan is that, at his most annoying, he reminds me of a slightly poe’d Telly Savalas. It might be low-budget and B-grade, but “TACM” is one of the few “MST3K” experiments that can work well as a source of ridicule (Joel's 'I'm huge, ahhhh!' quips, Crow's 'stock footage' voice, etc.) but almost right away you go back to following the narrative because you can't help but get wrapped into it. Even the goofy props (big syrynge) or bad effects shots (Glenn’s giant hand holding Carol) don't make you forget that, even as an "MST3K" experiment, "TACM" has a dignity about itself that keeps it from joining the likes of "Manos" and "Space Mutiny" as hall of fame legends.

MST3K: RED ZONE CUBA (1994/1965) on VHS. Between this and Kurosawa's "I Live In Fear" (saw them back-to-back earlier today) my quota for cinematic nihilism is more than filled. If "The Amazing Colossal Man" was "King Kong" on a shoe-string budget then "Red Zone Cuba" is like "Tora! Tora! Tora!" done by hobos with no movie-making skill whatsoever. Even with the assistance of a hilarious short about speech posture ('there's a pear in appearance'), John Carradine's beautiful voice (!) singing the movie's theme song, stunningly-incompetent editing/filmmaking (cricket foley during indoor scenes?) and Mike & the bots clawing back at the 'deep hurting' with clever quips ('this film dares you to watch it,' 'In Cold Blood: The Series,' etc.) "Red Zone Cuba" is like a black hole that constantly sucks joy from those watching it. Even the fact writer/director/star Coleman Francis looks like Curly from the Three Stooges (something the Brains take full advantage of with hearty 'Nyuk Nyuk' jokes) can't shield us from the grimy, slimy and all-around unpleasant characters/atmosphere he brings to barely-moving life. You know an "MST3K" experiment is bad when even Mike Nelson becomes Carol Channing. :shock:

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011) in theaters for the first time. Other than Chris Evans' distractingly-manly voice when Steve Rogers was a weakling (they should have altered his voice with a slightly higher pitch) this is a fun and amusing matinee serial wannabe (that happens to be a multi-million entry into an ongoing superhero movie franchise) that doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. Evans sells the Captain's selfless earnestness well (it doesn't feel hokey), Tommy Lee Jones has his best movie role in years and the supporting cast (Tobey Jones, Stanley Tucci, Neal McDonough, etc.) more than compensates for Hayley Atwell's flatness and Hugo Weaving's green-screen chewing Red Skull. Alan Silvestri's score is also pretty pedestrian and denies the Cap a signature musical hook like Williams' score for "Superman." Despite the mandatory CG and SFX effects (being retro makes them look less impressive than "Green Lantern's" alien worlds when in fact the opposite is true) Joe Johnston directs even the disposable scenes with all the love and care that Dante and Zemeckis brought to their Spielberg-produced 80's projects. I left the theater really wanting to see "The Phantom" or "Innerspace" again.

And, last and certainly least, this is the first time that I've watched a TV season of BIG BROTHER (2011) on CBS/SHOWTIME 2 from the very beginning. Started watching "BB" two seasons ago by accident (last year I joined a few weeks into it) which means I should have been glad that they brought back memorable couples from the last couple of years (Jeff & Jordan, Brendon and Rachel) along with I'm-told-they're-memorable Evil Dick and his daughter Daniele. WRONG! Six veteran "BB" players versus eight star-struck newbies has resulted in an unbalanced (forced to play as couples), dull (Golden Key twist) and crushingly predictable game (noobs have been routed) that has only turned interesting recently because of a crack in the veterans' alliance. It didn't help that Evil Dick left very early depriving the show of someone with personality besides Jeff (whom I like but there's way too much of him during Diary Room sessions). Ratings are up though, so America is eating this up (and so am I since I'm watching the Showtime 2 "After Dark" show as I type this) especially now that the despised 'Brenchel' duo is vulnerable. Guilty pleasure.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby stypee » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:28 pm

When I read the bizarre thread heading I thought you were making a reference to the ridiculous musical broadway rendition of the hit 1990 film "Ghost" which will be out soon... or is it out?

Any who..

I'm bad at keeping up with these viewing threads, here's some stuff I've watched recently...

Aftermath 1986? - Allegedly the most successful film ever to play in Berlin, ever! It's a bizarre silent, pretentious mess of a movie. Honestly, couldn't get past the first thirty minutes. I found the opening credits pretty clever, they appeared to have been done on a Commodore 64 but other than that it felt like some kind of experimental student film directed by some college kid that has seriously perverted sexual issues.

K3: Prison of Hell - Germans have this bizarre fetish with oral sex when it comes to making "hardcore" versions of their exploitation films. This was a double disc release with two versions, 1 was I assume the "cut" print that had the subtitles. The other appeared to be some kind of weird assembly cut with all the "hardcore" stuff deleted and no subtitles. Basically there is little to explain here, take your typical Roger Corman WIP film, toss it in the middle of the jungle with really icky looking actors. This was the first movie in a long time that actually made me feel dirty. Didn't even get through the whole thing,

Made In Serbia - Not to be confused with "A Serbian Film" - I really liked this movie allot. I found it a little hard to distinguish whether it was entirely fact or fiction but regardless it really gave me a bit more insight on the whole Serbian Film Movement that appears to be going on. Basically this is a pseudo-documentary on the lucrative porno industry in Serbia. It's fairly new, I think it started sometime in the mid 80's (the clip of the very first Serbian Porno film is freaking hilarious) and starts off with a guy sitting in his small dedicating his entire life to watching adult movies. His passion is to make the best Serbian Porno EVER made so he takes a journey on and explores the strange world of the Serbian Porn Market. He follows a few directors around and creates a documentary of his exploits while searching for the most popular adult film star in Serbia. It's a slightly uncomfortably quirky experience and if you aren't prudish I'd check it out. You'll need a NTSC - PAL player.

Mallrats: 10th Anniversary Director's Cut? - To milk more money out of fans such as myself, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier reassembled the Mallrats to give us their own perspective on what it would have looked like if Universal didn't hire their own editor. For the first time I actually have to agree with the studio on this one. While Smith has admitted that he really isn't a good director he clear proves it in this "new cut". There is little to no coverage and some of the most composed shots I've ever seen. My first 5 minute student television production actually had more camera movement and better composition than this mess. I can assure you I have little ego to admit that.

A Box Of Butters (South Park Box-Set) - While I have cut my DVD spending down considerably I just had to pick this one up. 13 episodes all centered around my favorite South Park fella' Butters. You can throw a million and one different arguments at me, call me what you want but I still find South Park, even after all these years both clever and intelligent despite the poop and fart jokes.

Team America: World Police - I've had this sitting in my collection for ages and while I did see it during it's theatrical run, I've found a new respect for it. Again, there are so many arguments and differences of opinion when it comes to Trey Parker and Matt Stone but frankly, you just can't hold a candle to their genius... I revoke my past comment about "Family Guy" which got one of the most arrogant replies I've ever read on this message board. Yes, "Family Guy" IS NOT at all genius (I did once say it was), it has NO redeeming value and it appears that ever OTHER season grants it's audience with a decent amount of episodes, it's just a guilty pleasure and it's time will soon pass as will Seth McFarliene... I sense Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to be with us until the bitter end and I can't wait to see what they have to dream up next :)
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby HGervais » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:50 pm

stypee wrote:Team America: World Police - I've had this sitting in my collection for ages and while I did see it during it's theatrical run, I've found a new respect for it. Again, there are so many arguments and differences of opinion when it comes to Trey Parker and Matt Stone but frankly, you just can't hold a candle to their genius... I revoke my past comment about "Family Guy" which got one of the most arrogant replies I've ever read on this message board. Yes, "Family Guy" IS NOT at all genius (I did once say it was), it has NO redeeming value and it appears that ever OTHER season grants it's audience with a decent amount of episodes, it's just a guilty pleasure and it's time will soon pass as will Seth McFarliene... I sense Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to be with us until the bitter end and I can't wait to see what they have to dream up next :)

Run out and get a recoding of their Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. You won't be sorry.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Gabriel Girard » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:40 pm

Daybreakers - Directed with flair and containing a classic campy Willem Dafoe performance. Nice to see an original twist on the vampire.

Sherrybaby - This would be a forgettable, typical ''junkie on the rebound'' flick if it wasn't for four things : 1. Maggie Gyllenhaal's heartfelt, heartbreaking performance. 2+3. Maggie's boobs. 4. Danny Trejo showing his sensitive side.

Creepshow 2 - So terrible that I watched most of it on fast-forward.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:43 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:more than compensates for Hayley Atwell's flatness

Ain't nothing flat about Hayley Atwell.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:24 pm

Claymore. This is a series that, for the first two thirds, seems like it's going to build to something spectacular, but ends up mired in endless battles whose worsening odds keep getting negated by the protagonist's endless ability to surpass her supposed limits. More troubling is the abandonment of a potentially rich plot-thread that is introduced at a turning-point in the series, only to be forgotten in the subsequent series of monster fights. Despite the slick character design and intriguing premise, the series degenerates into another entry in the Biggest Attack Ever genre (see Dragon Ball Z as the prime mainstream example) where individual battles are spread across multiple episodes with the running time mostly padded with close-ups of anguished faces as introspective voice overs describe the odds of the fight and how the characters will have to become even stronger to defeat their enemies. The battles contain plenty of movement, but it isn't exactly choreographed. It mostly involves the protagonists lunging at the monster, being deflected at the last moment and falling back. Rinse, repeat ad nauseam. The fact that the Claymores of the title can be impaled, dismembered and generally pummeled with a seemingly ambiguously determined chance of regeneration does not help the sense of urgency during melees. And while the character designs are solid, the variation between the 20+ platinum-blonde, statuesque Claymores is subtle enough that it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of who's doing what when they all join forces at the climax of the series. The series closes on an especially unsatisfying note, with no sense of accomplishment or progress. Warning: suffers terribly from whiny boy sidekick syndrome. 6/10 for a decent couple of acts and some good Sword & Sorcery atmosphere.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:14 pm

Ironclad - There's been so much amazing stuff out of the UK lately that seems criminally overlooked on this side of the pond: Centurion and Solomon Kane immediately come to mind, and more distantly I'm constantly reminded of Niel Marshall's (rather awesome) Doomsday.

Ironclad trumps them all. James Purefoy could be an a-list actioner if only Hollywood would give him the chance, he DESTROYS the likes of Jason Statham, and outdoes the H-wood big buys like Matt Damon in the gravitas and intensity departments. Then you get the supporting cast, including rather incredible turns from Brian Cox and Paul Giamatti (who has one explosive moment that just brings the house down), a plot that borrows liberally from Seven Samurai, right down to character parallels, and some wonderfully executed action sequences. The best period actioner i've seen in a dog's age, just one hell of an amazing feat.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:24 am

Steve T Power wrote:Ironclad - The best period actioner i've seen in a dog's age, just one hell of an amazing feat.

Between this and 13 Assassins, it's been an embarrassment of riches on the action front lately.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:28 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Ironclad - The best period actioner i've seen in a dog's age, just one hell of an amazing feat.

Between this and 13 Assassins, it's been an embarrassment of riches on the action front lately.


Doubly embarassing is what these guys are doing on budgets under 30 million! Hollywood? Wake the eff up!
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:23 pm

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. [cliché]A mixed bag[/cliché]. This is something of an anthology tied together by a story about a rookie lantern learning the history of the corps hours prior to an apocalyptic showdown with Krona, the planet-sized ruler of the antimatter universe. Only "The First Lantern" is wholly effective. The other episodes range from flawed but entertaining ("Abin Sur"; "Mogo Doesn't Socialize") to awful ("Kilowog"; "Laira"). Jason Isaacs is excellent as Sinestro, but he is wasted as a background character. Nathan Fillion is decent, but his voice is simply too recognizable. I kept hearing Mal or Bill Pardy, not Hal Jordan. Roddy Piper and Arnold Vosloo are good as Bolphunga and Abin Sur, respectively. The rest of the cast is mostly functional. Henry Rollins is terrible.

Wonder Woman. Decent. Good character design and animation. I wish they had ditched the invisible jet, but other than that it was solid.

Batman: Under the Red Hood and the first two-thirds of Justice League: The New Frontier remain the high points of DC animated movies.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Future Man » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:56 am

Trollhunter

Norwegian B movie fun. The effects are pretty great by most any measure.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:06 am

Steve T Power wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Ironclad - The best period actioner i've seen in a dog's age, just one hell of an amazing feat.

Between this and 13 Assassins, it's been an embarrassment of riches on the action front lately.


Doubly embarassing is what these guys are doing on budgets under 30 million! Hollywood? Wake the eff up!

I think the bigger budgets are hurting more movies than they're helping. The more money you have into a project, the more money guys get involved, and every one of them is looking at the bottom line only, not making a great film. Hence, the countless screenings, tinkering, reshoots, rewrites, etc. Ironclad looks like it was straightforward, shot in proper sequence with little to no interference in the director's vision. When you've got a lower budget, they'll let the man do his job. Sure, it's a genre flick, and not planning on winning any Oscars, but it does what it was intended to. Look what happens, a great movie at a reasonable price. 25 million dollar budget, and (couldn't find the box office numbers) it most likely made a profit. Throwing money at a project isn't a guarantee of success.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:25 pm

Let’s see, August so far…

The Exorcist (repeat viewing)
The Panic in Needle Park (repeat viewing)
Inception (first viewing)
Black Rain (repeat viewing)
Limitless (first viewing)
Seinfeld season 1-2 (repeat viewing)
Avatar (repeat viewing)
Legends of the Fall (repeat viewing)
Escape from Alcatraz (repeat viewing)
The Prestige (repeat viewing)
Dawn of the Dead (2004 remake) (repeat viewing)
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby stypee » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:45 pm

I somehow got my hands on every single episode ever made for the hit series Growing Pains, I am somehow glued to the screen in all it's glorious cheesiness. I've been watching it since I got home from Cardiac Rehab this afternoon.. I'm reverting back to my past childhood, Freud would have a field day with me right now. Now if I can only get passed the insanity of what Kirk Cameron has become it will be even more enjoyable... I can say that cause' I'm a Christian, with a touch of logic.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:13 am

I missed my chance to edit the post above, and I can't delete it either, but I wanted to elaborate on it anyway, so I'm posting it again

The Exorcist (repeat viewing) - The only part I dislike about the extended edition is the flashes of that weird cheesy demonic face…but it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of this great horror film – has definitely stood the test of time.

The Panic in Needle Park (repeat viewing) - Gritty 70’s drug movie rises above its overdone genre with the performances of Al Pacino and Kitty Wynn. I love the sparse film making too – the lack of any music score on the soundtrack I think is great – the film is scored with NY street noise or simple silence.

Inception (first viewing) - Mind bender. Will have to watch again before I comment further, but I will say that DiCaprio continues to impress me more and more with each performance. He has definitely survived being a teen heartthrob and has matured into a fine actor.

Black Rain (repeat viewing) - Ridley Scott’s take on the buddy cop picture, and typically, makes it his own.

Limitless (first viewing) - Good Friday night leave your brain at the door flick. Fun.

Seinfeld season 1-2 (repeat viewing) - The clothes may have aged terribly, but the humor still gets me every time.

Avatar (repeat viewing) - Second viewing of the “collectors extended cut”, I can’t help but really dig this film.

Legends of the Fall (repeat viewing) - I love this film. Everything a good epic should be. One of James Horner’s finest scores too.

Escape from Alcatraz (repeat viewing) - Old school Clint Eastwood. Enough said!

The Prestige (repeat viewing) - On a Chris Nolan kick after seeing Inception. I get absorbed by this film.

Dawn of the Dead (2004 remake) (repeat viewing) - Zack Snyder’s remake/tribute to the Romero original achieves what so many have failed to do – make a remake that is as good as the original
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:29 am

stypee wrote:Now if I can only get passed the insanity of what Kirk Cameron has become it will be even more enjoyable... I can say that cause' I'm a Christian, with a touch of logic.

We have to be Christian to say Kirk Cameron is a nut job, now?
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby stypee » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:48 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
stypee wrote:Now if I can only get passed the insanity of what Kirk Cameron has become it will be even more enjoyable... I can say that cause' I'm a Christian, with a touch of logic.

We have to be Christian to say Kirk Cameron is a nut job, now?


LOL... Absolutely not.. I became involved with Christianity about a year ago, ironically, the day before my emergency heart surgery I was supposed to get baptized. I was raised Catholic but was still on that "search"... In all honesty, since I've now moved out of New York City, I'm questioning my "faith".. Christians do not believe their "faith" is a religion... I have a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ and extraordinarily grateful for what my church had done for me when I was released from the hospital which included paying my insane roommate my rent, sending me gift cards for groceries and helping me cover my car insurance for a car that wasn't even drive-able at the time..

After a few months of living here I had gotten an e-mail from my church asking to call my New York congressman to put a stop to the gay marriage purposely... I had always looked at my church as being extraordinarily open minded. They had offered special group sessions for people struggling with divorce.. It should be noted that clearly in the bible, in black and white, the words "divorce is a sin" are stated... If this is the case than why is it wrong for gays to marry? That was only one of my arguments.. I stated that love is love no matter how you look at it and if God created all things, he created love therefore he created homosexuality.

That all being said I am again questioning.. I can't accept these contradictions to suit the needs of what a specific church believes to be right.. In the words of the song HOPE by R.E.M. "You want to trust religion and you know it's allegories but the people who are followers have written their own stories.." I stated this in my argument with the church.

Needless to say I got some idiotic response from one of my pastors..

That all being said, now that I live in NC, i am looking for a church to attend because I still want to be a part of faith and I want the peace I had experienced when I became involved with it..

To conclude my Kirk Cameron is a nut-ball statement - I've researched many of his claims and his really weird websites with his host who oddly looks like he walked of the set of a gay porn film. Many of the believes Kirk tries to throw at you are simply ridiculous, even by Christian standards. Christians do understand that you have to suspend belief to believe there is something out there that you can't see or touch, alas a metaphysical being. But Kirk, he's just nutty. if you check out his "way of the master" series (which should be the title of a karate film) it's just off the wall. He also has open panel discussions with his minion discussing Christian beliefs with both scientists as well as athiests... Their conclusions end up in obvious disagreements and the "way of the master" people splice quick little comments after the arguments by atheists and scientists making it appear that they have second thoughts but they make the edit so quick you don't know what the guy stated after the fact (except for one clip where the guy just walked away after his comment) so I just question Kirk's nuttiness.

I will, however, support the outstanding efforts he and his wife have put into their camp designed for children with deathly illnesses to spend with their families. That is something I strongly support and very much admire..
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby stypee » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:00 pm

Attrage wrote:
The Exorcist (repeat viewing) - The only part I dislike about the extended edition is the flashes of that weird cheesy demonic face…but it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of this great horror film – has definitely stood the test of time.

l


I'd recently purchased the outstanding Blu-Ray and watched the extended cut, it was maybe my third viewing of the "version you've never seen" through the years.. i don't recall the goofy demonic face inserts aside from the brief one shown in the original cut. The one deleted scene "The Exorcist" scene that I was very impressed with (which had caused both Blatty and Friedkin to stop speaking to each other for a brief period of time) was on the staircase when both priests are having a discussion (forgive me, I don't recall what it was about, I think it was question of faith) in which I found completely imerssive, as brief as it was. I also loved the way the shot was composed, I found it outstanding.

I really love the Blu-Ray of this film, it's one of the most interesting sets I have in my collection (what's left of it, don't forget my super sale!), my only complaint is the new commentary by Friedkin (I had mentioned this earlier) where he just basically narrates the film as your watching it, seemed quite pointless.. The Blatty/Friedkin commentary on the other hand is excellent.


Strange, i just went into a rant on Christianity and now I'm commenting on "The Exorcist".
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:42 pm

stypee wrote:
Attrage wrote:
The Exorcist (repeat viewing) - The only part I dislike about the extended edition is the flashes of that weird cheesy demonic face…but it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of this great horror film – has definitely stood the test of time.

l


I'd recently purchased the outstanding Blu-Ray and watched the extended cut, it was maybe my third viewing of the "version you've never seen" through the years.. i don't recall the goofy demonic face inserts aside from the brief one shown in the original cut. The one deleted scene "The Exorcist" scene that I was very impressed with (which had caused both Blatty and Friedkin to stop speaking to each other for a brief period of time) was on the staircase when both priests are having a discussion (forgive me, I don't recall what it was about, I think it was question of faith) in which I found completely imerssive, as brief as it was. I also loved the way the shot was composed, I found it outstanding.

I really love the Blu-Ray of this film, it's one of the most interesting sets I have in my collection (what's left of it, don't forget my super sale!), my only complaint is the new commentary by Friedkin (I had mentioned this earlier) where he just basically narrates the film as your watching it, seemed quite pointless.. The Blatty/Friedkin commentary on the other hand is excellent.


Strange, i just went into a rant on Christianity and now I'm commenting on "The Exorcist".

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but there are three that I remember, there’s the one in the range-hood above the oven as Regan’s mom crosses the kitchen and the power goes out. There’s another when Regan is at the doctor’s office having the tests, and there is another I think as her mom goes to enter her bedroom one time. For me, they are the only instances in this otherwise brutally immersive and atmospheric film that “take me out of the movie”.
I totally agree with you about the commentary – when I first switched it on I actually really thought it was the “English Audio Descriptive” option selected by mistake!
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Gabriel Girard » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:27 pm

I watched a lot of stuff but don't really feel like writing so I'll go with one word reviews and numerical ratings

The Lookout - Great! 7.5/10
The Town - Awesome! 9/10
Moon - Great! 8/10
Leaves Of Grass Great! 7.5/10
Hobo With A Shotgun Meh 6/10
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:39 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:The Lookout - Great! 7.5/10
The Town - Awesome! 9/10

Reverse those and I'm with you.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:22 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Gabriel Girard wrote:The Lookout - Great! 7.5/10
The Town - Awesome! 9/10

Reverse those and I'm with you.


I'm with Gabe there. The Town blew me away. The Lookout was certainly the more unique picture, but Affleck's crime drama was just so exceptionally executed...
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:17 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Gabriel Girard wrote:The Lookout - Great! 7.5/10
The Town - Awesome! 9/10

Reverse those and I'm with you.


I'm with Gabe there. The Town blew me away. The Lookout was certainly the more unique picture, but Affleck's crime drama was just so exceptionally executed...


Right on! Also its uniquenes makes The Lookout's cliché's (wise blind guy, dim beat cop with a pregnant wife, third act flashback where JGL remembers the accident) stand out even more. It's a very solid B flick that makes me wish that Scott Frank would direct more films. The Town surpasses it by its scope, its camerawork, its performances and its depth of characterisations. It's a more visceral and accomplished worK. IMHO of course, I don't want to sound like Selk ;-)
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:14 pm

Employee of the Month - Sunday night...channel-surfing. Had like, 3 moments that made me chuckle, but by and large watching 90 minutes of this thing reminded me why I usually avoid these kind of movies like the plague.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:46 am

MODERN PROBLEMS (1981) on HBO 2 HD for the first time. A nasty early 80's Chevy Chase comedy vehicle that's made of two completely different plot threads (workplace/romantic comedy and special effects) that not only don't mesh together at all but, due to sloppy editing and bad direction from Ken Shapiro, actively work to cancel each other out. Chase (playing a loser air traffic controller with love trouble) being covered with nuclear chemicals that give him telekinetic powers ("Secret World of Alex Mack" anyone?) is a neat gimmick that the movie promptly wastes on either juvenile hijinks (Patti D'Arbanville 'faking' orgasms) or gross no-payout gags (the nose bleed) that just aren't funny. Only Nell Carter, Brian Doyle-Murray and Dabney Coleman('s fine-looking rear-end circa 1980 :shock: ) survive this with a measure of dignity.

Francis Ford Coppola's ONE FROM THE HEART (1982) at NYC's Anthology Film Archives for the first time. This is easily Coppola & Company's most over-produced, over-designed, over-photographed and visually-stunning (even with a 1:37:1 AR) period movie I've seen since "Tucker: The Man and His Dream." It's clearly a labor of love of filmmakers infatuated with their then-new tools and freedom to use them, which explains why its creators were blind to how insipid the pre-recorded sung soundtrack (a key element of this 'musical' film) comes across, or that Teri Garr and Frederic Forrest make for a very plain-vanilla and boring lead couple (the latter more than the former). Only Raul Julia and Harry Dean Stanton bring their 'A' game and crazy energy to the proceedings, which makes the sudden-but-expected plot twist of Frannie not leaving with Ray on the plane and coming back to Hank at the end all the more puzzling because it's what we as an audience want to see happen. All and all not a good or terrible movie, just a very ambitious one that came out at a time when this type of entertainment was beyond-passe. An early scene in which Hank tries to light-up his living room with red light from a lamp to set a sexy mood right after artificial red lighting had already turned the room red (an effect that vanishes before Hank attempts to recreate it) shows a wry insider's wit about filmmaking that will go over the heads of most people.

APRIL FOOL'S DAY (1986) on Showtime 2 HD for the first time. You have to be in a really generous mood to appreciate what this movie was trying to pull back in '86, to the point that compared with today's slick horror flicks it almost feels 'classy.' This one-off attempt at another holiday-themed horror franchise is to the "Friday the 13th" series (with which it shares a studio, producer, actress Amy Steel and an 80's horror vibe) what "Halloween III" is to that franchise: the odd duck of the litter. "AFD" is more like a series of self-contained, strung-along scenes (in which no-name actors are allowed to goof-off for minutes at a time) than a coherent story, with a payoff that I personally found as disappointing as the twist ending of Nic Cage's "Next." YMMV.

SPLASH, TOO (1988) on PAL VHS for the first time. I may be the only person alive on planet Earth that has not seen the original "Splash" but has seen its made-for-TV sequel (which I watched while doing a friend the favor of converting his PAL European tape to American NTSC format). Todd Waring and Amy Yasbeck make a cute sitcom-type lead couple, but Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah they ain't. The forced humor of Allen and Madison returning to their old NYC life and attempts to rescue imprisoned dolphins date the movie worse than its fashions or music. Nice to see Doris Belack (a character actor that I recognized as a semi-regular judge on the "Law & Order" shows) as the wicked neighbor trying to bust Madison's secret, but this unnecessary sequel was DOA the moment it was greenlit without the original cast/crew involved.

MST3K #804: THE DEADLY MANTIS (1997/1957) on VHS. Except for Crow-under-Bill-Corbett's-command still not quite together yet this is an exceptionally well-made Universal 'atomic monster' movie that also happens to set itself pretty easily for riffing by Mike and the bots. After a front-loaded attack of military stock footage (including some goofy overcranked silent footage of eskimos panicking) the movie's wooden, stoic heroes are set-up as man of action (Craig Stevens' Col. Parkman), man of science (William Hopper's Dr. Jackson) and 'female' (Alix Talton). The giant mantis is revealed at the halfway mark and, to the movie's credits, the SFX hold up real well and give the movie's riffs ('I was a good mantis, I prayed,' 'let's go kick some thorax,' etc.) a personality that's missing from the dead-serious narrative. Along with Mike blowing-up the first of many planets (a Sci-Fi Channel era highlight) and great host segments (intergalactic country radio, alien road kill, etc.) "The Deadly Mantis" is another Season 8 classic episode unlikely to be officially released because of Universal's refusal to play ball with Shout! Factory. :(

CINEMATIC TITANIC LIVE: EAST MEETS WATTS (2009/1974) on DVD. Nothing's changed since the last time I saw this last May, except the Titans are preparing to perform it live at NYC's Best Buy theater this September and I have Orchestra tickets. These guys make it a point to update/change old jokes after several months. Here's hoping that the answer to the pressing question 'who stabbed the duck?' will finally be answered. :D

CINEMATIC TITANIC LIVE: DANGER AT TIKI ISLAND (2010/1968) on DVD for the first time. Saw the Titans perform this one live 16 months ago (on the same NYC venue where I'll watch them again this September). Seeing "Tiki Island" again on DVD I was able to get new-to-me little jokes, off-the-beaten-path riffs and new-to-DVD callbacks ('Tom Servo' from the live show becomes 'Wild West Tom Servo, yeeeehaawww!'). The real stars are the movie's laughably-put together monsters (a "Hulk"-like raping mutant that looks like 'Big Bird's abusive husband', plus killer tree branches), seeing the Titans mess-up (or just stay quiet and letting the movie's weirdness generate laughter on its own) and a psycho-sexual vibe that inhabits that netherworld between PG-13 and R. Of the three 'Live' "CT" shows I've seen this one is the most polished, weird and just-plain whacked-out bonkers, i.e. the funniest of the bunch.

And, last but most definitely not least, Mike Cahill's ANOTHER EARTH (2011) in theaters for the first time. This is such a simple-yet-efficient blueprint for low-budget filmmakers of to do science fiction on a shoe string. Brit Marling (who also co-wrote and co-produced the feature) is never less than mesmerizing as a young woman with a self-destructive streak that matches her guilt for what she did to the life of a man (William Mapother) she doesn't know. The sci-fi aspect doesn’t come as cheap plot device despite clearly being the background gimmick to a very indie angst-driven human drama happening in ‘our’ Earth. The fat-free 90 min. narrative's focus on Rhoda Williams' evolving relationship with John Burroughs (and, to a lesser extent, their immediate families) is both unflinching and fascinating. From the daring-but-could-have-gone-really-tasteless final act to an ending that hasn’t made me wish more for a sequel to materialize (but none will, which fuels the final scene's elliptical near-perfection), “Another Earth” is the best and most enthralling movie I've seen all year DESPITE co-writer/director/co-producer/cinematographer/editor Mike Cahill occasionally falling victim to the low-budget indie film curse of the shaky, zooming in/out handheld camera.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby stypee » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:16 pm

APRIL FOOL'S DAY (1986) on Showtime 2 HD for the first time. You have to be in a really generous mood to appreciate what this movie was trying to pull back in '86, to the point that compared with today's slick horror flicks it almost feels 'classy.' This one-off attempt at another holiday-themed horror franchise is to the "Friday the 13th" series (with which it shares a studio, producer, actress Amy Steel and an 80's horror vibe) what "Halloween III" is to that franchise: the odd duck of the litter. "AFD" is more like a series of self-contained, strung-along scenes (in which no-name actors are allowed to goof-off for minutes at a time) than a coherent story, with a payoff that I personally found as disappointing as the twist ending of Nic Cage's "Next." YMMV.


I distinctly remember when this first came out on video and renting it, didn't Sean S. Cunningham have something to do with this? I don't remember how I felt about the pay off, I don't even remember what my friends felt about the pay off when we watched it together but I do remember one line and at 13 years old, the rewind button was hit quite a few times thanks to our adolescent stupidity..

"Tonight.. somebody will pull their wang!"

Cut to:

A hot dog coming out of a bun..


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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:07 pm

Navy Seals - Yep, more often than not this one is the brunt of jokes, but it's a surprisingly effective little action flick that takes itself a little more seriously than most of the era. There's a little more earnest effort and some very well mounted bang bang kinda stuff for all the kids raised on GI Joe and Top Gun. Also a surprisingly human treatment of the Islam fundies who would go on to become the object of ridicule in flicks like True Lies. Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby HGervais » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:13 pm

Your Highness...a movie I dearly love. It's also perhaps the dirtiest movie I own. Like Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz, it's a satire of a very specific kind of genre movie that also stands on its own as an example of that genre.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:01 am

stypee wrote:I distinctly remember when this first came out on video and renting it, didn't Sean S. Cunningham have something to do with this?
No, not a thing. After "Friday the 13th Part III" Frank Mancuso Jr. took over as producer of "F13th" and all the other Paramount horror cheapies (including "April Fool's Day"). It wasn't until Jason was dropped by Paramount and picked-up by New Line for "Jason Goes To Hell" and "Jason X" that Sean Cunningham returned to the franchise.

stypee wrote:...I do remember one line and at 13 years old, the rewind button was hit quite a few times thanks to our adolescent stupidity..
"Tonight.. somebody will pull their wang!"
Cut to:
A hot dog coming out of a bun..
Oh how I miss childhood stupidity... That was freakin' gold to us.
It's actually an uncooked sausage weiner coming out of its wrapper... but your hazy memories aren't that far off. ;-) That's what I meant that "AFD" would now be considered 'classy' compared with today's ADD-edited horror flicks. Scenes like the 'wang' coming out (along with the gore and nudie shots) were the highlights of horror flicks back then for the under-17 audience they were meant for even though the MPAA rating denied them easy access to them. It was the 'forbidden fruit' mentality, and sadly those days are gone now that kids today can download the latest (or oldest) flick from the internet with the click of a keyboard. :(
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:07 am

Steve T Power wrote:Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

Not at all, Hot Shots 1 & 2 were outstanding.... :lol:
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:01 pm

Dunnyman wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

Not at all, Hot Shots 1 & 2 were outstanding.... :lol:

As was his 60 seconds of screentime at the end of Ferris Bueller.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:56 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Navy Seals - Yep, more often than not this one is the brunt of jokes, but it's a surprisingly effective little action flick that takes itself a little more seriously than most of the era. There's a little more earnest effort and some very well mounted bang bang kinda stuff for all the kids raised on GI Joe and Top Gun. Also a surprisingly human treatment of the Islam fundies who would go on to become the object of ridicule in flicks like True Lies. Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

It’s great to see this film getting some love here. I still reckon it has one of the most effective openings of any action film I have ever seen (the helicopter/gunboat prologue), and *spoiler alert* to this day, I still get a little choked up when Lt Curran (Michael Biehn) breaks the news to Chief’s wife that her husband was killed in a “training accident”. Likewise, Joanne Whaley-Kilmer’s narration over real news footage of Middle-East violence is pretty chilling, even more so now in post-9/11 times. And the final set piece battle in a bombed out Beirut is an exceptionally well-executed sequence. I forget where it was actually filmed, but it’s incredibly realistic.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Gabriel Girard » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:59 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
Dunnyman wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

Not at all, Hot Shots 1 & 2 were outstanding.... :lol:

As was his 60 seconds of screentime at the end of Ferris Bueller.


The original Wall Street, The Arrival, Eight Man Out and Being John Malkovich are the other keepers in his filmography.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:30 pm

Attrage wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Navy Seals - Yep, more often than not this one is the brunt of jokes, but it's a surprisingly effective little action flick that takes itself a little more seriously than most of the era. There's a little more earnest effort and some very well mounted bang bang kinda stuff for all the kids raised on GI Joe and Top Gun. Also a surprisingly human treatment of the Islam fundies who would go on to become the object of ridicule in flicks like True Lies. Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

It’s great to see this film getting some love here. I still reckon it has one of the most effective openings of any action film I have ever seen (the helicopter/gunboat prologue), and *spoiler alert* to this day, I still get a little choked up when Lt Curran (Michael Biehn) breaks the news to Chief’s wife that her husband was killed in a “training accident”. Likewise, Joanne Whaley-Kilmer’s narration over real news footage of Middle-East violence is pretty chilling, even more so now in post-9/11 times. And the final set piece battle in a bombed out Beirut is an exceptionally well-executed sequence. I forget where it was actually filmed, but it’s incredibly realistic.


I'm convinced that you're like the Australian dwelling upside down version of me. You are in Australia right?

What are the chances you could send me a 2010 Vauxhall Maloo HSV? ;)
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:14 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Attrage wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Navy Seals - Yep, more often than not this one is the brunt of jokes, but it's a surprisingly effective little action flick that takes itself a little more seriously than most of the era. There's a little more earnest effort and some very well mounted bang bang kinda stuff for all the kids raised on GI Joe and Top Gun. Also a surprisingly human treatment of the Islam fundies who would go on to become the object of ridicule in flicks like True Lies. Sheen sucks though, it must be said, Is Platoon the only good flick this guy ever did?

It’s great to see this film getting some love here. I still reckon it has one of the most effective openings of any action film I have ever seen (the helicopter/gunboat prologue), and *spoiler alert* to this day, I still get a little choked up when Lt Curran (Michael Biehn) breaks the news to Chief’s wife that her husband was killed in a “training accident”. Likewise, Joanne Whaley-Kilmer’s narration over real news footage of Middle-East violence is pretty chilling, even more so now in post-9/11 times. And the final set piece battle in a bombed out Beirut is an exceptionally well-executed sequence. I forget where it was actually filmed, but it’s incredibly realistic.


I'm convinced that you're like the Australian dwelling upside down version of me. You are in Australia right?

What are the chances you could send me a 2010 Vauxhall Maloo HSV? ;)

Yep I am in Australia, and it's weird I had the same thought when I read your post, and what's weirder still is I recently watched Navy Seals myself...

That's a refreshing request. Mostly the people I know in North America keep asking me to send them kangaroos. Here in Australia they are Holden Maloo HSV's, I've never seen them by Vauxhall but I assume it's the same vehicle with a different badge on it.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:33 pm

Attrage wrote:Here in Australia they are Holden Maloo HSV's, I've never seen them by Vauxhall but I assume it's the same vehicle with a different badge on it.

Send me one while you're at it, why they haven't been imported to North America is beyond me as it's all GM....

Just finished Pillars of the Earth and...wow, underwhelmed. Where to start? Ian McShane basically trying to be Sam Neill's character from the Tudors isn't a great move, the incredibly cheap looking sets don't help, Rufus Sewell (who's usually excellent) being a pompous nitwit, the majority of the cast having no idea what accent they're using at any given moment, and really lame continuity errors all combine to kill this thing. About the only positive I could find is Hayley Atwell who keeps her accent constant, never overacts and doesn't mind getting "dirtied up" to look more like most women looked in that time period. By the third episode I despised all of the characters equally and was hoping for a gory invasion by the French or Spanish. Starz, simply doing a period piece does NOT equal the quality of Rome or The Tudors. You have to put a little effort into it.

Also completely caught up with all the TV from last year, and am ready for new episodes!
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:41 am

Attrage wrote:That's a refreshing request. Mostly the people I know in North America keep asking me to send them kangaroos. Here in Australia they are Holden Maloo HSV's, I've never seen them by Vauxhall but I assume it's the same vehicle with a different badge on it.


Yeah, that's them. Holden Special Vehicles. HSV Maloo R8. Very purdy.

Dunnyman wrote:Send me one while you're at it, why they haven't been imported to North America is beyond me as it's all GM....


Pontiac had shown it at their last Detroit Auto Show as the G8-ST, and It was confirmed for the 2011 model year, then GM killed Pontiac... sucks as the G8 was one of the nicest vehicles i've ever driven.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby azul017 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:11 pm

HGervais wrote:Your Highness...a movie I dearly love. It's also perhaps the dirtiest movie I own. Like Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz, it's a satire of a very specific kind of genre movie that also stands on its own as an example of that genre.


Yeah, for a satire it has a sizeable budget. I love how Natalie Portman plays her part completely straight, and as a result gets the most laughs. Maybe after her self-imposed break, she can do more comedic roles.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:53 am

Steve T Power wrote:HSV Maloo R8. Very purdy.

this=baffle
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:36 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:HSV Maloo R8. Very purdy.

this=baffle


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Give me my car-truck!
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dunnyman » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:HSV Maloo R8. Very purdy.

this=baffle


I miss El Caminos damnit!
Give me my car-truck!

A true legend of the whole car/hot rod culture...my bro had a 69 SS with a 396 that'd light the tires up for blocks...
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby mavrach » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:18 pm

American History X - For the first time in a long while. I guess I never realized it before but this movie has the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the back of the skull. The symbolism is so obvious, with black & white flashbacks, slo-mo showers, cliches almost. On the other hand, the movie is absolutely brutal, and Edward Norton's performance was incredible. It doesn't hold back at all, so you'd think the writing would be a little less obvious and, well, black & white.

Hatchet I & II - Dumb fun. The humor was pretty idiotic, but I found myself laughing the whole time anyway. I've been singing that stupid "chicken & biscuits & gravy" song to myself all day. Not to repeat every review out there, but the kills were indeed really creative, led by a monster that fails to be memorable at all. A lot of C-list horror icons keep it afload. Overall I enjoyed these.

Hobo With A Shotgun - This is going to be one of those "love it or hate it" movies, either you get the tone or you don't. Most people will dismiss this as a dumb action flick. I really liked this, and found the excessive violence to be hilarious. Henchman taking a flamethrower to a schoolbus full of kids while playing "Disco Inferno???" Awesome. There are a load of ridiculous one-liners that the 80's wish they came up with.

Pumpkinhead - This movie is so close to being a good movie, I can taste it. Stan Winston, who created most of the iconic movie monsters that we remember most, had a new creature on his hands here that thanks to the final interesting twist, could have been another big one. It sets a great mood of the backwood southern environment, but it wastes too much time on a group of generic teens that we see in every horror movie anyway. There's the one-dimensional 80's douchebag that we're supposed to root against, and he even gets a weak death. Then there's the sweet innocent couple that you're sure will be the final teens. And the disc is on fullscreen only??
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Attrage » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:21 pm

Two thirds of the way through watching the Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh/Philippa Boyens commentary on the Lord of the Rings extended editions (for the second time – yes, I am completely nuts for commentaries). Jackson and Walsh being husband and wife, and the three of them very close friends, the commentary has a great relaxed feel to it, with quite a bit of humour thrown in. I also like the good mix of production talk, as well as expanding on the story and characters etc. What I am most struck by though is something I have mentioned to Tolkien book purists who complained incessantly about the film’s deviations from the source material. You have only to listen to this commentary for a detailed and sensible explanation as to why they chose to change certain things or omit whole chapters/characters from the novel.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dan Mancini » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:32 am

Conan the Barbarian (2011)
I'm too tainted by nostalgia to say that it's better than Milius' movie, but it's undoubtedly a closer adaptation of Robert E. Howard's writings. Is Momoa a better Conan than Schwarzenegger? No doubt about it. There are shots where he looks like a Frazetta painting brought to life. He handles the dialogue just fine (people complaining that the movie sounds too "modern" are just wrong-footed by the fact that the actors aren't throwing around bad British accents, but British accents are no less incongruous in the Hyborian age than American accents, so who cares?). And his fighting is pure awesome. There's nothing martial artsy about whatsoever. It's raw, brutal, and not at all constrained by fairness or decency.

The thing I was most worried about going in was that the flick would be a nightmare of bad CGI, but Marcus Nispel uses technology well throughout (mostly). There are CG enhancements to traditional shots, for sure, but they're mostly subtle and believable. More than anything, he uses CG to do what it does best: replace old school matte paintings. He does a good job of keeping it out of the action scenes. The scene in which Conan fights the sand dudes? The transitions where they form from or collapse back into sand are CGI (as you'd expect), but during the actual fighting it's all stunt men in make-up, as it should be.

Is the movie flawed? Definitely. There are more than a few clunky moments (Conan's birth chief among them). I wish they hadn't lifted the revenge plotline from Milius' movie. And there's an entire action set piece that's essentially a non sequitur (Conan and another dude spend 10 minutes breaking into the bad guy's castle, only to watch him parading away outside the castle walls). Also, as much as Ron Perlman makes a fantastic barbarian chieftain (and he does), the entire beginning of the movie is redonkulous in how fervently it tries to establish young Conan's badass credentials. The whole thing borders on self-parody until the switch to Momoa as Conan.

If you're a Conan fan, you should dig it. Just don't go in expecting an action opus on the level of Ironclad or 13 Assassins.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:36 pm

MST3K #310: FUGITIVE ALIEN (1991/1978) on DVD for the first time. Even a viewing of the KTMA (i.e. Season Zero) version couldn't have prepared me for the full-on frontal assault to the senses this Japanese-badly-dubbed-to-English made-for-TV experiment brings to the show's canon. It's a really cheesy and colorful "Star Wars"-inspired space opera (a season's worth of it from a short-lived Japanese TV series crammed into 90 min.) but, unlike "Time of the Apes," the flick is reasonably watchable (practical SFX work is cheap but decent) and Joel & the bots rise to the challenge with perhaps one of their finest riffing outputs ever. From the classic 'Forklift song' (had to rewind it three times to enjoy; the timing of the lyrics and the song is impeccable) to the debut of Mike Nelson's on-camera impersonation of Jack Perkins and every riff in-between ('It's Dorf!'), the jokes in "Fugitive Alien" run fast and furious because otherwise the runaway plot (about an alien named Ken who is on the run from his race for killing a fellow alien named Ken who was about to shoot an Earthling kid named Ken... uhhh??!! :D) would overwhelm fragile little minds and warp them. Tatsuya Azuma may be technically this "movie's" leading man, but for my money Jô Shishido steals the flick (bad dub and all) with his hammy but stoic Capt. Joe role. Plus for my money "Fugitive Alien" has the finest, most perfect dead-on post-credits stinger ('Hahahahahahahahaha... YOU'RE STUCK HERE!') in the show's history. A (goofy-ass, "MST3K"-chastened) classic, and "Fugitive Alien 2" is on tap.

Rewatched WINGED MIGRATION (2002) on Blu-ray with director Jacques Perrin's commentary track. Between his hard-to-understand thick accent and his esoteric thoughts (few of them about production and most of them about birds being one with the world... I think) Perrin makes for a bland and sleep-inducing commentator on his (and his fellow French nature filmmakers') work. You know a commentary is boring when you're happy it's over by hearing a credits' tune sung by Nick Cave! :o

LAW & ORDER: THE FOURTEENTH YEAR (2003-2004) on DVD. The last season with Jerry Orbach's Lennie Briscoe in the cast. Shame it was released on DVD with the edited-for-syndication edits, which rob the last episode's (C.O.D.) final scene of Briscoe retiring from the 23rd precinct of much of its poignancy. More problematic than the edits is that, at this point in the show's history, the ratings were at an all-time high but the cast on the 'Order' side has cipher Elisabeth Röhm and right-wing mouthpiece Fred Thompson completely sucking the joy and fun out of courtroom arguments and backroom lawyering scenes. Thompson's sanctimonious homespun sayings were cringe-worthy and Röhm's acting could charitably be described as Barbie doll-like (i.e. plastic). Still, a handful of really good episodes (Identity, Compassion, Nowhere Man, Gaijin, etc.) that stand out from the decent-to-average one's (there's really not a bad "L&O" episode because of the quantity/quality with which Dick Wolf's assembly-line machinery cranked them out) and the reliability of the ol' regulars (Waterson, Epatha Merkerson, Jesse Martin, etc.) makes this a Box Set worth owning. See you soon over on the "Trial by Jury" side Lennie. :cry:

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT - THE FIFTH YEAR (2003-2004) on DVD. Except for the switch of prosecuting ADA's (farewell Stephanie March's Alex Cabot; welcome to the nuthouse Diane Neal's Casey Novak) this is a pretty by-the-numbers season of "SVU," which means it's a pretty good year. Except for the first year (too bland, brightly-lit and vanilla) and most recent seasons (when the writers and cast have pretty much run out of things to do or say that they haven't done twice already) the 2nd to 6th seasons of "SVU" were the show cranking its formula of TV noir (darker sets/photography), sex crimes (which often bridge into other more sensational crimes), Benson & Stabler's ongoing shomance (for fans only), inner-demon battles and guest-stars pinning for an Emmy nomination (look for a then-unknown Michael Emerson as a sadistic child rapist/murderer in 'Ritual') at peak levels of proficiency. I've seen these episodes already a million times on TV (and in HD to boot, as opposed to the 1:33:1 SD transfers in this seven-year old Box Set) but it was fun to just watch one "SVU" episode after another at work while munching breakfast (or on the subway train heading back to Harlem) and wondering aloud 'how the hell does NBC and Dick Wolf expect the show to continue now that Chris Meloni has quit?' :(

SENNA (2011) at Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC for the first time. The best complement I can pay this sports documentary is that I was enthralled by it even though I'm not a fan of (or know much about) Formula 1 racing. Though cut down to 106 minutes for its theatrical US release (the original international version ran 160 min.) and rough-looking (standard-definition TV images blown-up to 35mm) this is a compelling and well-edited window into the rise, personal life (sanitized) and career of the superstar Brazilian F1 driver before his untimely death in 1994. If you thought the rivalry between Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe in 2007's "The King of Kong" was intense these two had nothing on Senna's rivalry with Frenchman Alain Prost. With petulant facial expressions, an insider's knowledge of the sports' politics and aloof tone of voice Prost makes the perfect foil/antagonist to Ayrton's youthful good looks and idealistic aspirations for the sport. Using only archival footage and voice-overs (which ocassionally veer toward making Senna too saintly; his foundation provided most of the footage/support/access for this documentary's creation) director Asif Kapadia makes Senna, his sport, its rules, personalities and history accesible and compelling. Think of this as the best '30 on 30' ESPN documentary ever made, except it's so good you have to pay movie prices to see it.

RIFFTRAX LIVE! - JACK THE GIANT KILLER (2011/1962) on Fathom Events' live movie theater network for the first time. Of the three Rifftrax Live! shows I've attended this one packed the biggest number of body-bending HUGE laughs (at least 10-12, versus 2-3 each from "Reefer Madness" and "House on Haunted Hill") and consistently-funny riffing by far. The phrase 'seize the bone' will live in infamy from now to eternity, and the NES videogame references brought the house down hard TWICE! It helped that the movie was preceded by perhaps the most nihilistic educational short ever conceived, 'What Is Nothing' (along with two cute but misplaced SomethingAwful.com animated shorts), which set an already pre-sold audience into laughing hysterics on its own (the riffing kind-of fell flat because the short itself was hilarious enough on its own). That "Jack The Giant Killer" happens to be an expensive-looking Harryhausen-wannabe rip-off of "7th Voyage of Sinbad" (with the same hero-villain-director of the latter) is gravy because it's already watchable on its own goofy vibe. With Mike Nelson ('this is how I look at bacon'), Kevin Murphy ('I'm Irish and now even I hate the Irish') and my man Bill 'the best Crow' Corbett (the perfectly-timed 'If you can’t be civil, you can just leave' observation) at the top of their comedic timing though (except for the couple of times Murphy lost it and bust-out laughing at the sight of Torin Thatcher's Pendragon) this might be the trio's best post-"MST3K" work to date. It rivals the show's Russo-Finish experiments and gives even "Space Mutiny" a run for its money... I'm serious, it was that good. :D
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:19 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:Conan the Barbarian (2011)
I'm too tainted by nostalgia to say that it's better than Milius' movie, but it's undoubtedly a closer adaptation of Robert E. Howard's writings. Is Momoa a better Conan than Schwarzenegger? No doubt about it. There are shots where he looks like a Frazetta painting brought to life. He handles the dialogue just fine (people complaining that the movie sounds too "modern" are just wrong-footed by the fact that the actors aren't throwing around bad British accents, but British accents are no less incongruous in the Hyborian age than American accents, so who cares?). And his fighting is pure awesome. There's nothing martial artsy about whatsoever. It's raw, brutal, and not at all constrained by fairness or decency.

The thing I was most worried about going in was that the flick would be a nightmare of bad CGI, but Marcus Nispel uses technology well throughout (mostly). There are CG enhancements to traditional shots, for sure, but they're mostly subtle and believable. More than anything, he uses CG to do what it does best: replace old school matte paintings. He does a good job of keeping it out of the action scenes. The scene in which Conan fights the sand dudes? The transitions where they form from or collapse back into sand are CGI (as you'd expect), but during the actual fighting it's all stunt men in make-up, as it should be.

Is the movie flawed? Definitely. There are more than a few clunky moments (Conan's birth chief among them). I wish they hadn't lifted the revenge plotline from Milius' movie. And there's an entire action set piece that's essentially a non sequitur (Conan and another dude spend 10 minutes breaking into the bad guy's castle, only to watch him parading away outside the castle walls). Also, as much as Ron Perlman makes a fantastic barbarian chieftain (and he does), the entire beginning of the movie is redonkulous in how fervently it tries to establish young Conan's badass credentials. The whole thing borders on self-parody until the switch to Momoa as Conan.

If you're a Conan fan, you should dig it. Just don't go in expecting an action opus on the level of Ironclad or 13 Assassins.


I'm with you on the strengths for sure. I won't re-hash what you wrote, but suffice it to say it's not as ridiculously brutal, stupid, or gory as some of the reviews made it out to be. Momoa is just plain incredible in the role, the supporting cast brings it, and the whole thing (while not an adaptation) easily feels more like one of Howard's short stories, something that would have spewn from the pages of Wierd Tales in the early 30s than either of the comic book or previous movie versions.

I also had no trouble whatsoever with the first act, I loved the establishment of the bad assery, and the Cimmerian Days. And surprisingly enough, in spite of my loyalty to Howard's material, the revenge angle didn't bother me much.

Meanwhile, Nispel's shots were gorgeous, the production design was staggeringly beautiful, and the action was amazingly well mounted.

My chief flaw - The flick moves around like a whipped dog! Call it The Two Towers syndrome, it felt like massive scene changes took place every two minutes, which gave the whole thing a breakneck pace, but I felt it would have been better served with a little more downtime between settings, and a few more character moments. maybe 20-30 extra minutes of padding. Look at the first 20 minutes of the theatrical cut of The Two Towers and then watch the extended version and you'll get some idea of what i'm talking about.

Either way, I've finally gotten a REAL Conan film, and it certainly didn't disappoint, I see this one sitting comfortably on the shelf for years to come with Centurion, The 13th Warrior, and Milius' 1982 original.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby Dan Mancini » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:48 am

Steve T Power wrote:I also had no trouble whatsoever with the first act, I loved the establishment of the bad assery, and the Cimmerian Days. And surprisingly enough, in spite of my loyalty to Howard's material, the revenge angle didn't bother me much.

I overstated things. While I had problems with the establishment of the badassery, and thought the Pict sequences that hit the web a few weeks ago was entirely gratuitous since it was quickly followed by the village raid, I did think the quieter scenes between Perlman and the young Conan were pretty great. If Nispel was going to go with a revenge storyline, I'm glad he took the time to establish real rapport between Conan and his father.

Also, even though I thought the sequence with the tentacled creature was an unnecessary diversion, it was cool that Nispel staged things so that the monster was an obstacle instead of a foe, and that Conan was more concerned with taking out the human guards.

And, yes, I would not be opposed to a Blu-ray release of a 2 1/2-hour director's cut of the flick. Not one bit.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:16 am

Preliminary box office numbers for this weekend show "Conan The Barbarian" coming at #4 (behind "The Help," "Planet of the Apes" and "Spy Kids 4D" but ahead of the "Fright Night" remake). Unless it has a strong Saturday night "Conan" will bomb in the US of A but could still pull some decent coin overseas. :(
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby azul017 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:48 am

Lionsgate bought the domestic distribution rights from Nu Image for $25M. If the film makes over $30M domestic and has decent DVD sales/rentals, I won't be surprised if Nu Image greenlights a sequel.

CBS Films made a profit on The Mechanic, but that cost 50% less than Conan did.
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Re: "AHH, GHOST!!!" (2011 WATCHING THREAD)

Postby the5thghostbuster » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:11 pm

So far this month:

Night of the Hunter - first time ever watching the film, and man, is it fantastic...and bloody strange. As horrific as the film is, there is almost a blackly comic tone to the film, thanks in no small part to Robert Mitchum's performance, which is sinister, insane, and humourous. The biggest question for me with regards to the film is to what degree the final third of the film is to be taken striaght, and how much is meant to be ironic.

Cowboys and Aliens - I have seen this twice now, once with my father who really wanted to see the film, and once with my gf who also wanted to see it. It's a fun slice of filmmaking, with a heck of a cast of characters. Still, it feels a little slight in some ways, as if there is an even more ambitious and crazy version that exists at the edges of the frame that we are not able to see.

The Secret of Kells - Beautiful little film that makes me wish that the family film market was not dominated by Hollywood crap. Thoughtful and surprisingly dark at points, the film is one I wish was available on Blu-Ray in North America. And I have to admit: I had no idea that the Book of Kells is a real historical artifact.

The Mission Impossible Films - My gf and I live in different cities, so I came down for a week to visit her, during which we watched a bit together, including the Mission Impossible series, which she had never seen. For me, the first film is an underrated De Palma effort, filmmed in a manner that is almost hypnotic in just how reserved and cold it is. The second film however...guilty fun. Its dumb, overblown, and basically a vainity project for Cruise, but its hard not to get caught up in Woo's visual style. Part three is argueably a more solid film overall, but it feels pretty tame overall. It is a professional piece of work, well crafted and entertaining, but is lacks a strong sense of identity the other two films have, for better of worse.
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