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Added by jaytoast on 16 Jul 2012 01:39
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Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E8 - August 2012

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10 Films Recommended by Phillydude


Due to some technical issues with the United States Postal Service, I now bring you a month dedicated to one user. This month is all about Mr Phillydude. Some films found using Listal's recommendation feature others he kindly suggested.


Actually I really enjoyed this film. Some exceptional performances that didn't feel over the top or sensationalist. I'm glad the film spanned so many years and seemed to manage more then just a passing insight into the life of John Nash. The handling of schizophrenia was dealt with very well and glad that there was as least some handling of the issues of how horrible the medications can be for people with this type of mental illness.
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A very funny and often zany film. One that I'm sure I will re-watch again in the future. Good comedies are so difficult to find so this was a real treat.
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People who added this item 326 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


Paul Newman once again managed to play a less then likeable lead character. That showed human frailties, not just the drinking but the moral and emotional frailties of a man struggling on many different levels. It is a rare treat to see a character that isn't two dimensional and ultimately predictable.

This made up for my less then favorable response to "Absence of Malice"
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People who added this item 253 Average listal rating (165 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4


Ah, the classic Bates Motel. I'm pretty sure that I watched this many years ago on cable tv. As a horror film sequel this does manage to stand apart from the rest and added several twists and layers to the story.

The 80's were littered with so many bad horror film sequels that I'm typically avoid them. However, this film isn't your typical, low budget slasher in the woods, kind of film.
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People who added this item 111 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4


Being from the Pacific Northwest part of the US, the story of Frances Farmer is one that lives as part of the 'other history' you learn about only really from living in a place long enough. Yes, there are books about the life of Frances Farmer just not ones that you get to read in grade school so she lives on very much as a cult icon.

Despite what many official reviewers have stated about this film being littered with inaccuracies... actually it isn't and is far less inaccurate then I was lead to believe. The story is a tad 'watered down' but then again the conditions of a state run mental hospital during that time is generally something best left to horror films. So, I don't really fault the film for trying to walk the line of showing the horrors without being a horror film.

Jessica Lange and Kim Stanley on screen manage to capture such raw emotions and it was nice to see such powerful performances. The film has stood the test of time and is still a remarkable film to watch.

The weakness for the film lies in that I actually read about Frances Farmer years ago and then watched the 'making of' this film to understand or appreciate some qualities that I misses. So, it is a great film I'm just not sure how well it holds up on its own and without any additional information needed to appreciate the film.

I would easily recommend this film to anyone interested in her life.
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People who added this item 548 Average listal rating (263 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
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A very dry and dark comedy. Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard gave very impressive performances. The character of Rupert Pupkin is one that is sure to stay with you after you watch the film and might stand as one of my favorite performances from Mr De Niro.
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A fun and delightful film.
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A very intense film with some great performances. Just a word of warning don't try to watch it with "Mississippi Burning" like I did.
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Not quite sure, the movie just fell flat for me. That could be for a number of reasons. Still, I think September might be due for a re-watch of several Monty Python films... make sure my funny bone isn't broken.
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Top Picks...

People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Waste Land (2010)


Featured List
Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature

A very powerful film about how art can change the lives of those that it touches. The differences between what we tell ourselves 'who we are' and what we actually believe we are. It was extreamly nice to watch a film about an artist concerned about the moral implications of their art work.

Oh, I cried at least once watching this documentary.
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My world I love Kar Wai Wong's films and his ability to capture the other side of love. If "Happy Together" is the cinematic equivalent of the tango then "My Blueberry Nights" is the cinematic equivalent of the blues. Yearning, heartache, a love that hurts more then it heals, how two people bring more sadness to each-other then joy. Still, this a sad song there is a sweetness in this pain. Listening to the blues never makes me sad, it is always music that makes me feel less alone. That my pain is some how shared with the whole world and in that there is a connection to others. We are never alone in our feelings of loneliness.
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People who added this item 313 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2


With most of the critics clamoring about this film being a failed remake of the 1949 film, this film became a huge box office flop.

The 1949 film focused on the story of Willie Stark. This version focused on the book and the story of Jack Burden. OK, but let's just ignore what other people have said for a second.

I actually really enjoy this film. It is a beatful and grand film that becomes larger and larger as the story becomes more and more corrupt. You can almost feel the machinery of greed and corruption growing.

The most amazing acting talents brought together and they all worked quite well together. I never felt that one person over shadowed another.

The story is complex and mysteries unravel in unlikely spots. In that sense there is some nontraditional elements of timing and discovery. However, I think that this worked well and kept the film rather raw.

While the film may not become one of my favorites. It also isn't the bomb that others have claimed or perhaps they haven't sat through "Battlefield Earth" or "Street Fighter".
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Foreign Language...

People who added this item 1402 Average listal rating (798 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.5


Wow, deciding to purchase this film was a good idea. With a run time of 2 hours and 53min it might take me some time to get through all the extra features.

A wonderful and sweet film. Another one that took me far too long to watch. I now understand why this is consider every film makers 'you must love this film'. Also, it was nice that the romantic story seemed to have at least one footing in reality.
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People who added this item 149 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
Baarìa (2009)


Quick Description: Giuseppe Tornatore directed this grand-scale portrait of life and love over several decades in a small town in Sicily.

This isn't a bad film, in fact is quite lovely and a technical marvel on many levels. I also enjoyed the stories perspective on historical events.

However, it was far too similar to the feel of "Cinema Paradiso". Watching both films the same weekend wasn't the best idea. Also, it felt a little too similar to "My Brother is an Only Son" (Mio Fratello È Figlio Unico) and yet again we are treated to a cinematic history lesson about Italy. Not that this is a bad thing it is just a subject that you should actually know something about before trying to watch this film.

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Classic Picks...



Featured List
July Movie Journal - Xanadon't


Hay, what can I say... sometimes I'm a coward when picking films and have to have someone I know watch the film first. A truly funny film that never slows down.

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This was a little too much over the top "Classic Epic" film for me... well actually it was the love story aspect that brought me to the brink of boredom. It is just one of those cases where you know that with 'a classic love story' that it isn't going to end with bluebirds and everyone singing the "happy, happy, joy, joy" song.

I'm sure that I will actually grow more fond of the film over time. It is visually exquisite and the musical score is a perfect match. So, even if your put off by the love story aspect the film is a technical marvel and something worthy of watching at least twice.
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A fairly straightforward film about life in a small down, filled with desperation and depression. Empty lives without hope or meaning and just when you think things will get better... they don't. This could easily be any town even today. Strangely, things haven't changed that much.
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External Review @
Roger Ebert

A powerful and important film. The voting rights act of 1965 is still an issue today. If you think that we have progressed very far from this type of bigotry you are very wrong.

That said, Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe and Frances McDormand give amazing performances. It was nice that the film didn't cast anyone in a perfect light. I think it also still manages to leave the question open of weather or not things could have been handled better.
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OK, because I don't have a cult classic section. This film is here.

This was a wonderful, very low budget special effects sci-fi action film. Despite the era and the budget it actually managed to not be half as cheesy as I thought it was going to be. Sure, the ending was wildly predictable but still a solid piece of entertainment.
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Internet Treasure Hunt...

YouTube



For the first film from Melville Webber and James Sibley Watson I chose this film. It is for the most part purely a visually abstract film and a surreal interpretation of the story. Still, some very creative camera usage and nice if somewhat rough usage of the montage.


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As a second feature was Melville Webber and James Sibley Watson "Lot in Sodom". Very nice artistic representation of the story. Simple yet elegant in a way.

I always enjoy early experimental films. Sadly they leave me feeling that cinema has actually de-evolved in many ways.
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Horror Films...

People who added this item 1266 Average listal rating (848 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
Insidious (2010)
Re-watch


So, I'm not quite sure where my mind was when I first watched this film but I did in fact enjoy the film far more the second time around. I'm still not sure that I would put it as my favorite horror film but it is a contender.
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People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 4.3
Playback (2012)


The only thing creepy about this film is Christian Slater 'getting off' watching hidden camera video of High school girls. The rest of the film is your typical assortment of bad actors who only get cast in films because they couldn't find a modeling jobs, really bad make-up, even more pathetic special effects and a script idea that is so old that it makes me wonder if they summoned someone up from the dead just to write the screen play.

Sadly, screenwriters summoned back from the dead by the powers of Satan would have been a far... far more interesting film. After this I would have gladly watched a room full of zombies typing for 2 hours.

Asking if you should watch this film is like asking if you should sniff glue or watch paint dry.
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People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.8
Detention (2011)


Wow, I'm not really quite sure what kind of film this was because it is not really a horror film. Yes, there is a killer and there is a bit of gore but for the most part the film is just random silliness.

The film does make sense in a strange hyper-active kind of way. It almost feels more like a spoof of all the super-trendy mind-fuck horror films that are only cool because they barely make any sense. I think I would only recommend this film if your planing taking a lot of Oxycontin and eating a five pound bag of Skittles in one night.
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Featured List
Amazing Underrated Obscure Bizarre Films PART 10
by JayTrotter

Sometimes crazy feels like wearing pink and using excessive amounts of glitter. If you weren't aware of that... then you should be.


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It is strange that this film can feel sweet and creepy at the same time. Adding another layer of 'deeply disturbed' to the overall film. A creepy and spooky little gem of a film that is nether gory or grotesque. So, very much the type of 'horror/thriller' film that I enjoy.
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Mixed Bag...

People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.3
On the Inside (2011)


Ever since I watched "Quid Pro Quo" I have been less reluctant to watch films starting Nick Stahl. Even if the movie has received poor ratings.

This is a pretty straight forward film about imprisonment (mental institution) and touches briefly on some ideas about redemption. While easy to toss aside as a nothing film with a nothing story. It is actually what the film didn't do that I enjoyed.

Would I recommend this film? Perhaps not but still some nice performances throughout the film and I didn't feel my IQ drop into the single digits after watching the film.
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People who added this item 821 Average listal rating (547 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.8
Battleship (2012)


My word... if I'm going to continue to watch this type of garbage I really need to start drinking a hell of a lot more.

Hay, stop me if you have heard this one before... Young man with a lot of 'potential' but who's hot headed nature undermines his success. He must learn to channel his talents in order to succeed... and have sex with the blond chick. Wow... yes... that sound was my jaw hitting the floor... how absolutely uninspired can you get in a script?

Which really wouldn't be so bad if this lame movie didn't take so long to tell that boring ass story and get to the part where things start to blow up.

I liked "G.I. Joe. The Rise of Cobra" for heavens sakes. My expectations aren't too incredibly high when it comes to CGI action film eye candy. But please... PLEASE don't bore me to death before you even get to the whole point of the movie. Being a 2 hour commercial for the US Navy, Hasbro toys, and Coke.
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People who added this item 114 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Lantana (2001)
I decent low-key mystery film. The primary focus of the film is on several married couples and the disinigration of a relationship. There is other stuff about men not sharing there feelings... bla bla bla... ya so it wasn't really 'my kind of film'. Still, it didn't fall asleep or turn the film off and that is saying quit a lot for the 'mid-life crisis heterosexual married couple drama film genre'.
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A fun and rather silly little film. Still, not too horrible for the family-film genre. Sadly, I'll never be able to look at Aaron Johnson again without thinking of him as a pre-teen just needing a nice cup of hot chocolate.
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Quite a bit better film then "The Thief Lord" as the subject matter is slightly more serious. All in all it was a nice film and a welcomed break from the 'all too happy' family films. I also pretty much adore Maggie Smith in any film.
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This Months Wrap Up

People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Everest (1998)
So, I didn't quite get to most of the films I had intended on watching.

The month started with a royal screw up by the USPS and I ended up having a number of dvd stolen. So, much of the month was spent on the phone or just sort of coping with the depression that people can be right jerks when it comes down to it. So, ya... that wasn't the best way to start the month.

The other down side to this was that I had to give up my part in the Movie Exchange Program as there just isn't a safe way to get a package delivered to my ghetto trash apartment building.

The good news... is that since I didn't feel a true commitment to watch films and try to view them beyond a mere surface level. That August was also a good time for me to quit smoking. I had cut down on smokes and coffee, got some web design work done and yep... quit smoking and drinking coffee. I started drinking coffee when I was 12 and started smoking when I was 16... so those were pretty much two vices I would have easily sworn to you that I was never going to give up.

So, while some of you might not understand. I'm sure others do... quitting both is my personal equivalent of climbing Mount Everest and I'm happy to say that things are going quite well. Still, this means a few more days of keeping me away from the computer and a few more weeks of me being 'fuzzy headed'. I'm trying to limit watching movies just because it triggers cravings besides I'm not really thinking all too clearly so enjoying a film requires some effort.

Ha, but you know... going out to dinner, taking walks along the river and spending time with my friends. I'm not feeling like I'm missing too much currently.

So, Cheers! Here is to September and what the future might bring. :)
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Cinema Diary for 2012
The Year of The Dragon




This is a scrapbook of ideas, impressions and information about the movies I watch. It is basic, rough and raw in an effort to expand my personal viewing experiences. This is a creative exercise not a critical one. I hope you enjoy.

Other Diary Entires:
Dear Cinema Diary - July 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - June 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - May 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - April 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - March 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - February 2012
Dear Cinema Diary - Jan 2012

Diary Entries for 2011


October thru December | September | August | July | January

Diary Entries for 2010


December | November | October | September | August | July

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My Film Diary Index (28 lists)
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Published 6 years, 1 month ago 2 comments



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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Aug 12 22:42
So glad you loved Cinema Paradiso, enjoyed Johnny Dangerously, & found a better appreciation for Insidious. And I think it's great that you're spending the month watching some of phillydude's recommended films. :)
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Aug 15 21:06
Possibly you're already aware of it, but in case you're not I should link you to this site for your Internet treasure hunt. :)
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Aug 16 16:02
Good to see that you liked Insidious more this time around. I think it is among the best horror films in recent years, if not at least the one that I had most fun watching!
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Sep 1 14:57
Congrats on quitting both smoking & coffee! I'd say those are far more admirable accomplishments than watching 40 movies in a month. ;)
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Sep 1 15:28
I think when I hit my three week mark I will just start wearing a crown in public. You know... just for formal occasions LOL
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Sep 12 3:39
Sometimes crazy feels like wearing pink and using excessive amounts of glitter. If you weren't aware of that... then you should be.


:)
Posted: 5 years, 7 months ago at Nov 7 15:43
Insidious is even worse than the Paranormal Activity movies. 1 good jump-scare (Darth Maul) and that's it!!! What a waste of good actors!
Detention on the other hand is a smart and funny fast-paced Sci-Fi_Fantasy_TeenSlasher! Not quite Horror but very entertaining. Only THE CABIN IN THE WOODS was better.
Posted: 3 years, 8 months ago at Oct 12 4:41
Yep, pretty much agreed on Detention now that I've seen it.

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