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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 87: November 28th, 2008.

High Fidelity




Quick, if you could list your top 5 records, could you? I can't. John Cusack's character is asked the same question and he responds with, I'll make you a mix tape. In watching this film I can see how some people may see it and think that it is dated. I mean, records? Tape decks? Kids these days all have mp3 players, I'd be surprised if they even knew what a CD was. But these elements do not date this film, they enrich it, give it nostalgia.

Don't be too quick to heap this film in with other so called music flicks like Empire Records, which is good in it's own right, but these are two different flicks. High Fidelity recounts the top 5 break-ups from Rob, who breaks the 4th wall to talk to the audience about those break-ups. He decides to go back and talk to these girls to see what went wrong and what does it all mean. Each segment sort of flies by before it even starts.

I loved all the music chit chat, it seemed really natural and Tim Robbins cameo is absolutely hilarious. Both his sex and fight scenes steal the show. The film does tend to drag in places and cut be cut down 10 minutes or so, but it is definitely something you can watch more then once. I have a friend who says that this film speaks to him so much because he can see himself in the character. Another friend of mine says the same thing about Almost Famous. One day I will find one of these films that will speak to me....one day.

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Suspect's Reviews



i'm SUPER GOOD at Jewel karaoke
yaaay True Lies! pretty much anything with Schwarzenegger is entertaining, in my opinion.

i really enjoyed Definitely, Maybe too! it was much more thoughtful and sweet than i had imagined.
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letterboxd



U know Sussy the usual, Thanks
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 88: November 29th, 2008.

Quills



I'm usually not a big fan of period pieces, they tend to bore me, but Quills managed to entertain me and I found myself intrigued by the story, plot and characters. A few missteps here and there, but overall this was a good movie.

The opening scene immediately captivated me and the performance from everyone involved kept my attention throughout the rest of the film. Michael Cain's character is so despicable that I really hated him here. Winslet proves that she has always been great and is one of my favourite actresses working today.

The film has many sub-plots that distract the viewer and many feel unfinished. The young wife of Cain and the architect, the man on horse, Marquis wife, everything seemed to be there but not really finished. It left me unsatisfied with the final product and I wanted it to feel more complete.

Quills has managed to get me to give period pieces another chance. I thank it for that.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 89: November 30th, 2008.

Prom Night



I never really thought the horror remakes were truly horrible until I watched this piece of crap. For some strange reason these PG-13 horror remakes are still being made, ruining the reputation of the originals. Damn you Prom Night, Black Christmas and When A Stranger Calls...why? WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!

So what's wrong with this film? Well, let's get out the list.

For one, it's not thrilling, chilling, scary, intense, jumpy, gory, fun, interesting, funny...so on and so on. The execution of this film is pathetic and weak. It's not even a well made crappy horror flick, at least When A Stranger Calls can say that. This isn't even really a remake, it's a remake by name only. The film is so predictable that it makes the ending to films like Titanic or Passion Of The Christ surprising.

Slasher horror films always have certain cliches to them, meaning they are full of violence, sex and gore. This film had none of that. That PG-13 rating cripples it so much that I did not even get any enjoyment out of the deaths of these horribly acted characters. That's right, the acting is bad too, surprised? The characters are horribly written, I had no attachment to any of them. I didn't even hate them enough to want them to die. I simply did not care. At least in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre I hated the Franklin character so much that I was cheering when he was finally killed. Here, none of them do anything. I guess you can say that the horrible acting is attributed to the horrible script with horrible characters, but some blame has to be put on their shoulders. Don't even get me started on the dialogue.

The killer? What ever happened to mystery? We know who it is from the beginning, we see him all the time so there is no suspense or edge of your seat entertainment. It's just the viewer sitting there wasting their time watching this guy stab people.

So to say this movie sucks is an understatement. It's a pure and simple cash grab. I'm sure film fans know well enough to skip it, now I'm telling you horror fans. Save your money as well.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 90: December 1st, 2008.

Scrooged



Bill Murray's film Scrooged is something I always put on when the Christmas holiday starts turning it's head. It's one of those must watch films and it never disappoints. Murray can carry a film, Scrooged was evidence of this way before Lost In Translation or Broken Flowers.

The modern day take on A Christmas Carol is funny and heartfelt, with dark undertones. Frank's transformation is believable and Murray pulls off the crazy hysterically. When you have Christmas movies that are all friendly family fun, it's nice to turn to this darker piece to get into the spirit. This is probably my favourite version of the Dicken's tale, because it tries to be different and it worked.

I wouldn't have minded if it were even a bit darker, but the end result is still great. A film that I can never really tire of and I'm glad of that because it gets watched at least once a year.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 91: December 2nd, 2008.

Videodrome



"If he says Long Live The New Flesh and shoots himself, I'm going to be pissed"

That was a quote from my friend when we watched this...unique film. Of course he ended up disappointed, but I on the other hand thought it was just crazy enough to like. Cronenberg is one of those directors that is talented enough to make a bizarre film not seem too out of control. Much like Lynch, but just on different levels.

James Woods stars in this flick as an owner of a small TV station looking for the next big thing, enter videodrome. An erotic, snuff like show, that alters one's reality. Woods experiences some strange things, like becoming one with his television and his hand melting together with a gun. Weird enough for ya? That's only the tip of the ice berg.

It has a cult following, a rightfully so. It's one of those 'has to be seen to be believed' flicks.I recommend it. One of Cronenberg's better films.




I am half agony, half hope.
I've owned Scrooged for years now, but haven't watched it. Not sure why I was reluctant to view it, maybe because I have my holiday favorites already. I will give it a watch now, though. Thanks, US.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 92: December 3rd, 2008.

The Hoax



I'm not a big Richard Gere fan, I find his acting to be very bland. I didn't like him in Primal Fear, or more recently I'm Not There. Although, I must say two films I've seen recently I enjoyed him in, The Hunting Party and The Hoax. The Hoax tells the story of Clifford Irving, who wrote an autobiography on Howard Hughes, the only problem was that it was all a lie. The film is entertaining and Gere does a good job with his performance, I did not find him annoying once. Even if the film takes liberties with the actual story, it's still something to watch.

Whether or not you think Irving is clever for what he did is irrelevant, the way he did it and how it is revealed in the film is what entangles you. Every time you think he is caught, he manages to squirm away free and continue his web of lies. It's almost thrilling...almost.

The story goes a tad bit on the weird side when he starts seeing imaginary figures, like A Beautiful Mind. They seem out of place for a story like this and doesn't flow very well with the rest of the film. Alfred Molina co-stars as the partner in crime and he plays up the nerves, while Marcia Gay Harden is Gere's wife, who also takes a part in the scheme of things. Hope Davis and Julie Deeply round out the supporting cast, with Deeply given very little to do.

I did enjoy the film and it was interesting enough for me to actually look up the events up what really transpired. With every film that is 'Based On True Events' liberties are taken and this one is no different. Playing up more parts and adding in their own little stories to make things seem more interesting and flow better. The Hoax winds up being one of Gere's better films.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 93: December 4th, 2008.

Severance



I thought this was suppose to be a horror movie? It turned out to be something completely different. The final act turns into almost straight up action. Severance is a perfect example of 'never judging a book by it's cover' only in this case it's a film by it's dvd/poster. A group of people go into the wilderness for a team building exercise, the only problem is it turns into something horrible when people start dying, Masked killer? Ghost? One of their own killing? Nope, I won't ruin what happens at the end, but to say the least I was disappointed.

The film is deemed a horror comedy. I laughed at one part, the foot in the cooler bit, the rest was stale. The horror? Well, the deaths have a sort of horror element to them, as in they are gory, but I did not get any real sense of a horror genre with this flick. I wanted more of what the poster had...there was none of the in the movie.

I suspect if you go into this flick with absolutely no preconceived notions of it then you would enjoy it, my hopes were high and they were crushed. Now, I'm not saying it's a bad movie. On the contrary, it was really well done.

I can recommend the film, even though I wasn't happy with the final product. Fans of this type of film might get a kick out of it. I mean, any film when a guy shoots a bazooka deems at least one viewing right?




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 94: December 5th, 2008.

Eraserhead



This is why I am doing this whole thing. To watch a film like this. I have only seen three other Lynch films in their entirety (I'm still having trouble watching all of Inland Empire). I have no idea if people on this board like this film, but I do know that many here like Lynch and his unusual style. Saying unusual is an understatement too.

The sound design in this film is phenomenal, if not bizarre and is the film's key ingredient. If this sound design did not work then I do not think the film would have such a cult following. Everything is heightened to an extreme and surreal beyond what one can imagine. Thew squeaking of the puppies, the disturbance of the radiator, so on and so on.

If I were to actually try and figure out what the film was about, my head would explode ala Scanners. I get some themes and meanings, but was lost in the so called narrative, if you can call it that. Lynch has always been one for the abnormal things and this is no different. I can say that this is one of his weirder ones and that is saying a lot.

The dream sequence ties into the title and seem to have nothing to do with the film, upon first look that is. Eraserhead is definitely a 'watch more then once' experience. You can debate with everyone about what the film was trying to say or what the hell is was even about, but no one can be certain. I don't even think Lynch knows.

Now whenever you watch a film that is experimental, you try to find some value and meaning within it. You want it to be more then just another weird film for the sake of being weird. Lynch has been accused of this many times, but I think he is better then that. His films do have substance, you can tell in how he tells the story and how things seem to re-appear. Unlike other films where they pop up and are never seen again. Even though there are numerous scenes that just simply don't make sense to me, like when the daughter is sitting on the couch and doing something weird, then the mother brushes her hair. Even worse is when the chicken starts bleeding and the mother reacts to it in a bizarre manner.

This is my least favourite of Lynch's films, for the simple fact that I never was interested in what little story there was. It didn't seem to go anywhere and for me to be invested in a film it has to be telling a story, one that I can understand, comprehend, or at the very least, try to look more into. Eraserhead did none of this for me. After watching it, I do not really care to watch it again to find any hidden meanings or to try and understand whatever it is that I missed from the first viewing. I can go on in life saying that Eraserhead did nothing for me and of course be hated for it, but whatever.

But never say never right? Who knows, maybe one day down the road I'll get a chance to watch this so called 'masterpiece' again, and think it's brilliant. Until then, I'll say not.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Eraserhead is surely no masterpiece, but I'll be the first to say that anyone interested in filmmaking or trying to communicate nightmares through films should watch and rewatch it when they find it necessary. I've seen it four times now (no biggie, I realize, but pretty good for a film I originally gave a 1 because "it offends my sensibilities" (similarly to Pink Flamingos). It's a good thing that I look at films in a far-broader perspective than I used to (even if some of you still think I'm still a mainstream hack-lover). I agree about the sound design, but it goes hand-in-hand with the lighting/photography and F/X. It's also interesting to watch The Elephant Man and think that at the beginning, it might be another Eraserhead, but all of a sudden, it magically translates into a powerful human drama.
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\m/ Fade To Black \m/
I wasnt that fussed on Severance TBH and I havent seen Eraserhead.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 95: December 6th, 2008.

Blue Velvet



After my disappointing time with Eraserhead, I decided to check out some of the Lynch films I have lying around and came across Blue Velvet. Probably one of his more straight forward films, is still strange and out there. I like Lynch and the fact that he has balls to do what he wants to do that isn't the norm of society. People love and hate him for it. Whether you like Lynch or not, you know that the film experience will not be normal and Blue Velvet is no different. Again, one should watch this film more then once, hate to say it but it's true.

With Dennis Hopper, you can almost tell that the role will be somewhat overdone. Only this time it completely calls for it. Frank Booth is a sick and twisted character that is portrayed with gusto from Hopper. When one thinks of Blue Velvet, you can bet your ass the first thing that comes to their mind is Frank Booth. The rest of the cast holds up pretty well.

A lot of the film rests on MacLaclan being believable as the young kid who is tangled up in this mess. You know he's way over his head and you scream at him to get out of the situations at he finds himself in. Dern, who has become a Lynch regular, plays the innocent daughter of the sheriff. Her scenes are nice, but hard to watch when she tries to cry. Dern is usually better than what she serves us here. Rossellini's performances is the one that might stick with you though. While Hopper is having fun in this sick and twisted world, Rossellini's the one that is the tortured soul. The performance is courageous.

The meanings behind Blue Velvet? I'm sure everyone can come up with their own little theme and morality tale. The film isn't told in away the makes it clear, it's always up to the audience and Lynch loves to do that.
The opening sequence is great as well. The images and sound convey happy and safe feelings, yet when you watch it you can't help but feel disturbed and unsettled. It's all too cheery and seems to be hiding something. It's only when Lynch takes us deeper down the rabbit hole do we see why we had those feelings.

Blue Velvet isn't for everyone, as is the case with almost every Lynch film. The film has some pretty strong images and undercurrents of sex and violence. Not to mention a ton of other bizarre things to all make up the plot. Wanna watch a film for film class? Try this one, the symbolism alone is enough to write pages about.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 96: December 7th, 2008.

Audition



Takishi Miike is a filmmaker who will have made 3 films by the time you read this. The guy never seems to stop. Is that a good sign? Well, my experiences with him have not really been for the better. His films always seem to rub me the wrong way, yet I still think that the guy is talented. His films are just as weird, if not weirder then what Lynch has offered. What makes them different is that Lynch seems to have a grasp of the story he is telling, no matter how bizarre it might be. Miike on the other hand seems to go with whatever is weird and relies on more visually then having a cohesive plot. Izo is a really bad film (some people here love) His entry into the 3 Extremes film was the weakest one and yet I still seek out his films. How can this be?

Audition is no doubt his best film. I'm still waiting to see Visitor Q and Gozu. Audition starts off slow, but that helps the shocking, twisted and repulsive ending that grabs you, stays with you and makes you cringe. Just thinking about it still gives me shivers. A widower decides to audition some girls to be his next wife, the one he fancies has some dark things in her head and the nightmare she brings to him is unbearable.

Don't go into this film thinking that it will make you puke, wanting to be shocked or anything, because it's all at the end here. Some people may be bored, but the story was interesting enough for me to keep watching. Some parts still don't make sense to me, but if it did then the film would have failed. It takes a good hour or so before anything out of the ordinary begins to happen and it kind of feels like a bunch of different films by the end (drama, romance, horror).

The ambiguity of the film serves it better. What you may think it deals with one viewing, it seems to deal with something else on another. Miike surprised me here, I enjoyed this film. I doubt any of his other films will top it, this seems to be his most mature piece.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
DAY 97: December 8th, 2008.

The Wicker Man



I never saw the original, but people have told me that is isn't anywhere near as horrible this trash is. Could it possibly be half decent? I hope so, because if this remake gives me any indication of what type of film the original is...I'm running away fast.

Nicolas Cage is an actor I like, but with each film he is appearing in lately it is making it harder and harder to actually be a fan. The Wicker Man is without a shadow of a doubt his absolute worst film. Should I even try reviewing it? If I do that is me spending more time and thought being put into a review than the filmmakers put into the actual film.

Horrible performances, horrible script, horrible direction. The film was a waste of time, money and talent. Horrible, horrible, horrible. It's unintentionally funny to the point of parody. The film has become an internet sensation with people laughing at the absurdity in the seriousness. Cage punching a woman out while dressed as a bear? What? Drop kicking a woman to the chest? What?!?!? Don't even get me started on the overacting regarding the bees. That scene has become infamous and whenever someone yells "Not the bees" everyone knows what they are talking about and we all share a hearty laugh.

The Wicker Man is a perfect example of someone not respecting the source material (it has to be better, right?) and a studio's attempt to cash in on a recognizable name in the horror community. Cage can do better and he should, this is an embarrassment.

Thank you and good night.