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Added by jaytoast on 17 Aug 2012 10:01
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Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E9a - etc 2012

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Double Feature - One

People who added this item 1275 Average listal rating (701 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5


After watching "Talk to Her", it was sort of nice to get back to wild and complicated Almodóvar that I know and love. I actually got a little lost and started the film over from the beginning after hiding the cheesy-puffs so that I wouldn't get distracted.

I like the film and I especially love how well this film works as a mirror of the film "The Skin I Live In". How the main character of the film is actually not present in the film. Just the memories and ideals that have shaped an identity that is far from reality of the person those ideas were based upon.
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People who added this item 1283 Average listal rating (740 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8


Movie Exchange wrap up ~ Film Choice by Xanadon't

One of the more sedate or at least 'less strange' films by Almodóvar. Granted that is coming from someone who watches a lot of strange things.

The story works well and certainly continues a theme in Almodóvar's work about identy and relationships with people who are not present in one way or another. So, in that regard I think the film is necessary but I wasn't overly impressed or taken in by the film.
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Double Feature - Two

People who added this item 289 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
The Tall Man (2012)


This is nothing like Pascal Laugier's previous work. So, if your expecting pure horror and gore... don't bother.

I did like the story and had me guessing about what was happening and what was real. I think it did a nice job of delivering a story that didn't have twists so much as major story revelations.
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People who added this item 888 Average listal rating (533 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Movie Exchange wrap up ~ Film Choice by Xanadon't


Review by PvtCaboose91

"WTF did I just watch?", would be a wild understatement. Also that I some how watched this expecting that I would go to bed soon after was an extreamly poor cinematic decision to make. If I didn't already have a stack of films to watch, I would be breaking into my local video store for a copy of "My Little Mermaid".

I do give the film credit for being more then some standard torture porn. However, there are still a few aspects to the story that don't feel as well developed. However, I'm more thinking of books from the horror genre that I have read more then any other film title. So, perhaps since I'm grasping at literary equivalents I should give the film a bit more credit.

For now however, off to watch something that hopefully won't keep me awake all night.
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Pasolini's Trilogy of Life

While watching these film with little or no background information is certainly fine. If your looking for a bit more depth to Pasolini trilogy and how it relates to his other films, I recommend a little reading.

The Delay of Death – Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life by Gabriel Abrantes


The article help put some of my thoughts about this series and Pasolini's work into a more cohesive form. As well as bringing up some new ideas and information.

"But I wonder. Why create a work of art when dreaming about it is so much sweeter?"

This was actually quite a lot of fun. Pasolini managed to mix the ugliness of the middle ages and some moments of beauty.
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People who added this item 144 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5


So, after fully enjoying The Decameron, this was a major disappointment. There were aspects that were too slap stick, lasted too long and really didn't make sence. Over all it left me feeling confused about not only the stories Pasolini chose for this film but his depiction of them. It just got to a point where I wanted it to end faster.

However, it was an interesting effort and I still prefer my dark ages, dark.
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People who added this item 136 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9


The film by its self is rather weak. The trilogy as a whole was an interesting series and one that seems to still provoke debate. If your going to take time with the series I would recommend trying to find a copy of the Criterion Blu-ray remastered edition. Quite a number of the older copies are in extreamly poor states and not worth the effort.
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Noir Before Christmas

... or how I spent Christmas eve.
People who added this item 232 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4


This was one of the best films to chose to start a night of film noir. It has all the classic elements. I might not have been surprised by the twists in the film, there was an elegance to the film as a whole. Tom Neal has a great face, filled with grit and great expressions. Alas, his real life homicides didn't do much for his carrier.

The copy I watched wasn't the best print of the film. Still, this gives me an excuse to track down a good copy for my own library.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.8
Suddenly (1954)


Film Noir icon Sterling Hayden teams up with Frank Sinatra playing an assassin. I think for those reasons alone this film has a bit of a cult status. This didn't quite hold my attention. There were some interesting moral plays regarding the use of guns and patriotism. However, these felt a little weak.
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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6


I remember watching Underneath (1995) in the theater. Despite the noon hour, one friend fell asleep, I prayed for the film to end and the third friend... well he thought it was brilliant. So, I was never in much of a hurry to watch the original.

This was my mistake as the film is actually quite brilliant. I like the twists and how the story unfolds. Also, some of the cinematic tricks are pretty amazing and had me rewinding a few scenes just so I could watch them again. There are flaws but with a very traditional noir ending I was glad I sat down and gave the film a chance.
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People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8


A twisting story of a con man with a dream. Unlike other Noir films, this isn't quite the 'every human is a bastard' story. Still, I liked the con man who was so wrapped up in his own story that he seems incapable of stopping.
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Black Christmas

I had high minded goals to relax and get some reading done for Christmas. However, I started a nice little roll with watching some Film Noir I had been missing out on watching in 2012.
People who added this item 191 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8


As a precursor to "Touch of Evil" the film works well and stands out from other Noir films. However, I have mixed feelings about how well the non-sympathetic protagonist was handled. Still, an essential film that leaves me with something to reflection upon.
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People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


The films certainly falls on the lighter side of Film Noir. There is some early use of multiple perspectives. The story is told from the perspective of the investigation team as a whole and intersects of day-to-day life in the city.
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Crossfire (1947)


For some reason it was rather difficult to get a copy of this film. With any film that I have waited for a long period of time it tends to be a rather disappointing experience. That is par for the course with any film junkie.

The film is a little heavy handed with the social commentary and there are a few moments where the film becomes a bit too 'educational'. However, the film manages this element well and leaves me nostalgic for a time when Hollywood put out films with substance.
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Top Picks...

Oct 7th - First Viewing



The fact that this film ever got made at the time was rather controversial. Still, it was a interesting glimpse into the world of Valerie Solana. However, unless your aware of some of the history of the feminist movement the film might seem rather bland or confusing. Still, the film left me with a lot to think about and reminisce about.
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People who added this item 615 Average listal rating (327 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
Oct 6th - First Viewing


A very interesting documentary. How the film was shot and put together was superb. Trying to capture a moment in time and the grand beautiful meaningless of a perfect moment is a noble effort. The film left me with quite a bit to think about and some things aren't fully explained... still this is perhaps more of a positive aspect then I'm giving the film credit for.
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People who added this item 567 Average listal rating (343 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.6


My pulse was racing and hands sweating. Since I wasn't having a stroke, I can officially say that I really liked this film. I had avoided reading much of anything about the film so everything was unexpected. While I would recommend you do the same, I will tell you that this film manages to build tension without using convoluted plot twists. So, I appreciated that story building aspect.
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People who added this item 905 Average listal rating (574 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7
ParaNorman (2012)


I did get a chance to watch the film *again*. Which, if you are around children shouldn't come as a surprise. I have to say I really did enjoy the film more a second time around. I think the visuals might have been better on the big screen. So, watching the film by candle light was a good option ;)
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Yep, it is a pretty 'saccharine sweet' film that isn't very realistic. However, I knew that before going in and as far as 'non-reality romantic comedies' go this was by far from the worst offender. So, yes... I enjoy the film not despite the flaws but because of them.
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People who added this item 186 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
Butter (2011)


This film is rather similar to "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999) or "Election" (1999). Two films that I loved very much... however this film didn't manage to hit enough of a raw or dark nerve and instead felt a little lighter. Still, it was a decent film and was nice to see Jennifer Garner brave a the roll of a less then sympathetic character.
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People who added this item 198 Average listal rating (92 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.7


OK, I know what your asking yourself. How could I of all people put off watching a film called "Toast" for so long? Well, I guess I was waiting for "Butter" to come out so I could watch them together. Ha! It was a nice double feature.

That said the film is based on Nigel Slater's memoir and if you don't know a lot about him, you might find this film a little 'plain'. I liked that it focused on the family relationships and wasn't a 'coming out film'. It was also worth watching just to see Helena Bonham Carter not playing a character that is bizarre.
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People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.4


Having already had my dose of sweet romantic comedies, this was a very welcomed film. This is a very dry comedy with a little grit. I liked that the religious decisions stayed as a fact and the film didn't delve into questioning how one person might practice their faith. This an emotional film with a very pragmatic awakening.
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People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.4
Bellflower (2011)



Movie Exchange wrap up ~ Film Choice by The Giraffe


External Review @
Tiny Mix Tapest

This is certainly a memorable film and far more complex then just a mild surface viewing. There was a point where I really wanted to hate the film but I stuck with the film and began to feel a sense of poetry in the chaos.

This is a film that I may have to watch again. I also watched this after watching "Blue Valentine" which I really didn't like at all. So, this film filled a nice void that was left by the other film.
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People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.6
Snowtown (2011)

"Snowtown is one of the most nihilistic and horrific Australian movies in history, yet it is also a compelling masterwork which benefits from excellent filmmaking and stunning performances right across the board." ~ PvtCaboose91 - Full Review

I'm glad that I had watched "Martyrs" the night before as it prepared me for the gut wrenching and extreamly disturbing experience of this film. The only real fault of the film is some of the narrative structure was a little confusing. Still,I think that a more polished narrative might have taken a four hour films and that really would have been too much time spent in this world. So, the things that are left unsaid work well with the focus on the emotional evolution/de-evolution of the central character.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
Prodigal Sons (2008)


Kimberly Reed heads home to attended her 20th year High School reunion. This is the first time that any of them have met Kimberly as a woman. Which is actually the least interesting part of this documentary... from there it is a roller coaster of family dysfunction, family discoveries, learning what can be healed in the past and what can never be fully mended.

You'll feel a lot better about your messed up family after watching this film.

Oh, and I did like that it dealt with some of the issues about how many people who have undergone sexual reassignment tend to dismissing their life growing up as another gender.
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People who added this item 1521 Average listal rating (925 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7


Review by PvtCaboose91

Film and poetry mix with a film of conflicting emotions. Each of the characters represent conflicting emotions and moral vagueness. The story works as a loose framework to bind the elements together into a cinematic ode to New York city. I was especially impressed by how Spike Lee used visual conflict (staging, the use of tracking shots and jump cuts) and audio conflicts (asynchronous sound, ie hearing the sounds of the park but seeing a dog barking and not hearing the dog). This is how you use the elements of your craft to tell more then just one story and create something more for the viewers.
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People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (61 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
A Better Life (2011)


The story is very simple and doesn't stand out as political film about immigration.

No, this is a simple film about a father trying to carve a niche for his son. I liked the straight forward approach with a film that feels more personal then universal in its perspective.
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International

People who added this item 363 Average listal rating (202 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8


A very sedate and poetic film. I liked the use of the Frankenstein as part of the symbolism in the film. So, the film still fits in nicely with an October theme while and was a nice break from horror films.
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People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.6


This isn't the blood and sex soaked ode to debauchery that one might expect. It is certainly more tame then some American counterparts of the 'crime-spree lovers' genre. However, the fact remains is that there are very few American films that I would even attempt to compare this film with.

Instead, I find this film more similar to a strange retelling of Hansel and Gretel. There are many layers about struggling with sexuality and sexual identity. Conflicting desires and expectations. This is strange and at least one point darkly humorous story that reaches back to a primal level of storytelling.

I enjoyed that the motivations of the characters remains open to interpretation and I'm still left with a feeling of ambiguity.
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People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Raven (1943)


So, no this isn't a horror film staring Vincent Price. It is complex and dark film about a town terrorized by a poison pen writer.

I watched the Criterion dvd, then watched the special features. The interview with Bertand Tarvernier, director of Coup de Torchon was extreamly informative and gave a lot of insight into the film. Also, into the early years of French Cinema.

The excerpts from a 1975 documentary "The Story of French Cinema" was interesting but on the whole rather disappointing and now I'm trying to see if there is an entire copy of that film somewhere.

The film is on par with early Hitchcock and kept me guessing about the identity of the Raven and intrigued with the characters. The characters themselves are flawed and colorful. They all seem to remain at least a little dis-likeable yet sympathetic. Something that seems to challenge many contemporary film makers.

The film is also a marvelous piece of cinematic history and yes... I plan on watching it again before I return the film. I do recommend trying to rent the Criterion dvd the interview and film quality make it well worth the effort.
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People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0


My main complaint with the film would have to be the use of the handheld camera and close-ups. Even on the small screen it was a little nauseating.

Still, the story was funny, colorful and touching. I liked all the characters in the mall and how it takes on its own surreal little world. A very nice film about a man discovering that his parents aren't the idols he thought and have more in common with his life then he is willing to accept.
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People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Plan B (2009)


The film has a strange rom-com plot which for the most part is the films only comedic aspect. The idea of getting your ex-girlfriend back by sleeping with her new boyfriend is well... odd.

I have to say there are a number of things that worked for me. The film has a very strong gay theme and strong male eroticism without the two characters actually jumping into bed with each-other. There is an awkward processes to their relationship that felt more orgainic. You are also given plenty of screen time where the camera is devoted to the internal emotions of the main characters. This can be pretty boring for anyone not really a fan of New Wave.

However, all these elements worked well for me and kept me engaged and connected with the characters.

The only thing that didn't work was in the end still not quite finding the relationship that believable. This can be chalked up to personal pet-peeves, poor subtitles and my very limited Spanish language skills.

However the film is worth watching if your looking for a great example of Argentinian New Wave or a GLBT themed film that is quite different from the rest.
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People who added this item 313 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5


Coming in at six hours and twenty-three minutes, this is by far the longest film I have watched. The fact that I made it through all six hours in one day and still felt engaged with the film should be a testament to the strength of this family epic. I'm impressed that the story didn't go down some of the more cliché paths that other Italian films about family and brothers have already taken. So, from that point it was rather refreshing. There is a subtleness to any message or statement the film might be making which might make it easy to over look.

My only major qualm would be a moment towards the end were a bit of surrealism was used to show something that really didn't need to be shown and broke from the film feeling very real. After six hours it was sort of confusing.
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Woo Hoo! At last a decent action crime thriller! I really enjoyed this film and the story was one of the smartest scripts that has come around. I will be interested to watch more Erik Van Looy films in the future. I do plan on watching this again before I need to send it back.
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A surrealist social and political satire. Cinematography may have changed but the political landscape feels that it has changed very little.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
El mar (2000)


It isn't often that I stop and think to myself "I'm glad I watched "Salo"." Not that this film comes even close to the depravity depicted in Pasolini's classic.

Still, I think it is easy to overlook the twisted nature of the film and dig for a deeper meaning. I feel there was more to the story of the characters then just sexual longing and brutality. However, I guess I'll have to see if I can pick up a copy of the book to discover more;)
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Classic Picks...

People who added this item 370 Average listal rating (239 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Oct 6nd - Re-Watch


As a classic and given the time that this film was made it is an excellent film. James Mason makes a wonderful version of Captain Nemo. However, the film just dragged in too many places for me to not be overly aware of the flaws. The overly blonde Kirk Douglas took his shirt off far too many times and the numerous fist fights were dull. The 'three guests' of Nemo just don't work very well as an antithesis of humanity or at least they didn't force that enough in the film.
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People who added this item 1148 Average listal rating (697 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3


A fun film that still manages to be serious. It was a good pick for an alternative movie for the holidays.
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Filmed while the US was still neutral in WWII, a U-Boat crew are stranded in Canada and attempt to reach the US border. Yes, the film is very preachy but it was nice that it focused on a more philosophical aspect. This still stands as a visually remarkable film filled with some great actors of the time.
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People who added this item 398 Average listal rating (229 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


This is a pretty dry dark comedy. This was a sweet and amusing film. It was fun to see Peter Sellers so early in his carrier.
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This is now one of my favorites of the Film Noir genre. I'm going to have to go back and watch "Night of The Hunter". Watching Robert Mitchum go from good-guy rolls to the roll of villain has been a fun cinematic journey.
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People who added this item 820 Average listal rating (524 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8


A far less glamorous roll for Steve McQueen then "The Great Escape". Having read quite a bit about the colonization of South America and about the history of Devil's island, this film wasn't that interesting to me personally. In fact I wish it had been a bit more ugly.
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People who added this item 938 Average listal rating (584 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


This is one of those films where now I'm kicking myself for not having watched sooner. As far as a lexicon of filmography this is pretty essential viewing.
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People who added this item 1352 Average listal rating (748 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1


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LGBT Theme...



People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9


Meh, there was quite a bit of this film that has been lost and it was necessary to use the text from the book to re-construct. So, there was that problem. Also, that this was an 'informational film'. So, the lectures took center stage to any actual story.

I honestly, can't recommend the current dvd edition put out by Kino. Yes, it is a very impressive effort but I actually enjoyed reading about the film more then actually sitting down and watching what remains.
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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7


Gay coming of age mixed with gay coming home. I really liked this film it used some nice poetic magic realism to blend the past and present into one moment. A very impressive film and one that I would watch again. LOL, but I might keep my recommendations to Peter Greenaway fans only.
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.8


Featured List
New Queer Cinema by nusch

As one of the defining films of New Queer Cinema this film can be a little hard to track down. Still, there are several places you should be able to find the film streaming online.

The script was polished and well though out. While still a very artistic film it doesn't sacrifice the story for a sense of avant garde cinema. The story covers more ground then any other attempts to capture the case of Leopold and Loeb. Instead we are offered some insight into the twisted power struggle of the two men and their life in prison.
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Horror Films...



At first I didn't really care too much for this film. Sure a technical marvel and the story was done well... still there were some religious tones that were personally difficult for me to put into perspective of the period that this film was made. My gut reaction wore off and I found this film taking a nice place in the cannon of horror classics.
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People who added this item 153 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.7


The only real reason to watch this film is getting to see Vincent Cassel in a horror film. There is a certain "Wicker Man" quality to the whole film that leaves few surprises.
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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.

Diary Entries for 2012


October | September | August | July | June | May | April | March | February |
January

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)
list by jaytoast
Published 6 years, 5 months ago 2 comments



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Comments

Posted: 6 years ago at Oct 2 19:04
I see 4 horror films & one documentary that I'm excited to know what you think of. The rest I haven't seen (though I do want to watch both versions of The Ladykillers). Yay for October!

I'll have to check out Island of Lost Souls, and Eyes Without a Face too whenever I get to it. I'll start my viewing tonight.
Posted: 6 years ago at Oct 4 23:11
So glad you enjoyed Monster Squad. I've loved it since I first saw it as a kid & you're right that it's not too dated now.
Posted: 6 years ago at Oct 8 5:07
Agreed all around on Man On Wire.
Posted: 6 years ago at Oct 11 19:36
Glad you enjoyed Dead & Breakfast. Definitely campy fun. Agreed on the country singer haha.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 29 22:09
OK, so... ah... well... whatever. Oct, Nov and December are all going to get rolled up into one list. I just haven't been watching *any* films lately. Hopefully I will be able to try and catch up on some of the MEP films that I missed out on this year during the month of December.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Dec 1 20:23
I can't recall for sure, but I believe it was the Criterion Collection Le Corbeau that I watched on Netflix instant. It definitely was an excellent transfer; the only downside to instant watch is that there's never any access to the extras. I did add the Criterion DVD to my Amazon wish list in hopes someone will be willing to shell out for it for me though. Heh.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Dec 2 5:43
@giraffe Ha, I put it on my wishlist as well. The price is pretty high right now. Hopefully they will repackage the film as bluray and the price might come down... a tad.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Dec 13 20:37
I'm tempted to re-watch Bellflower this month, but may hold off until next year. It's an interesting film & I really like it, I just wasn't satisfied with the ending the first time around. Glad you found it worth sticking with. :)
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Dec 15 10:53
Your positive response to Man on a Ledge comes as quite a shock to me... maybe I'll reconsider the utter lack of interest in it that I took away from the trailer all those months ago.

Ah, I see that for the time being I can still pretend Chernobyl Diaries never happened. Thanks, I get tired of bitching about shitty camera work so nice to see you rail against it here!

Lots of stuff here that I'm not familiar with... One minute I'll feel like I've been paying attention. And then I visit one of your lists :)

And I see that Martyrs happened to you. Yeah, sorry- could've included a copy of The Little Mermaid or Milo and Otis to go with it if I'd been thinking. I've got Inside any time you're ready for it.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Dec 15 20:24
Ha, no "Martyers" was great to watch. The next night I watched "The Snowtown Murders" (2011) which was also squeamishly difficult to sit through.

Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Dec 30 12:15
oh some interesting films to add to my will watch some day list

I have a question how did you format it to go from number 63 then show a headline Mixed Bag and then continue with number 64?

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