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Added by jaytoast on 5 Jul 2010 05:49
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Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 1 E 1 - July 2010

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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.

People who added this item 1294 Average listal rating (738 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1

[Animation Comedy Drama]

What a great and wonderful film. There are times when it dark, gritty and unpleasant but still rings with a sweet tone. This is not a children film by any stretch of the imagination.

Note: Jason Pettus over at CCLaP has a not so favorable opinion of this film but I still love him.

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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7
Alexandra (2007)


[Russian War Drama]

Plot: An elderly woman takes a train trip to visit her grandson at his army camp inside Chechnya.

This film isn't overly long nor overly complicated. However, that doesn't detract from any emotional intensity of the film. A human face can tell a thousand stories and Aleksandr Sokurov captures that perfectly. There are not any blaring messages that can be easily quoted and quantified and yet this film leaves a clear impression.
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People who added this item 934 Average listal rating (496 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8



[German Complex Drama Mystery]

I didn't instantly love this film. I spent a few days meditating on the movie before revising the film.

Note: Reviewed by Listal Member "AgentLexi"
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People who added this item 656 Average listal rating (355 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3


Everything changes for 15yr old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Note: My Full Review "Fish Tank"
Time Out London: Review
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People who added this item 568 Average listal rating (290 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
Che: Part One (2008)


Che Part 1 & 2 are more meditative then dramatic. I think Soderbergh did an excellent job of not casting Che in a romantic light and not delving into too much political speculation.

For those who are fascinated with Che, Soderbergh's film might be a disappointment. However, this is an important film that casts Che in a very human light.
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The Coen brothers are always hit and miss with me... missing more often then hitting. It was a pure accident that I even rented this film.

Still, it was a nice introspective dark comedy that I thoroughly enjoyed and Aaron Wolff is just too cute as the perpetually stoned Jewish boy.
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People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0


Nothing quite beats "Godzilla vs. Mothra" but if you are looking for a good film that has a bit more intellectual flair, this Mockumentary is a good pick.

Pumpkinate's List: Miscellaneous Giant Monsters
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Retro Picks

People who added this item 4010 Average listal rating (2346 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5


I am trying to no longer avoid movies that center on or around WWII. So, this was a good place to start. There are many reasons to like this film and Roman Polanski polished a true gem here.

One thing that I enjoyed the most was that it all took place in Warsaw. I felt like I could watch how the war unfolded on the city streets and changed the landscape.
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People who added this item 797 Average listal rating (455 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


French Romantic Black Comedy - This movie will easily take a place in one of my top all time favorite romantic film. It starts off with them as two kids and a simple game that over the course of years becomes more and more destructive.

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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


West Berliners dig a tunnel under the Berlin Wall, hoping to get their loved ones out of East Berlin. This is an exciting, fact-based drama that is well acted by a German cast. The running time of nearly three hours is somewhat excessive but the story is interesting enough that it rarely drags. The characters are well developed. There are a couple of emotional scenes that become too melodramatic and stray from the central plot line. For the most part, however, the filmmakers wisely stay focused on the the building of the tunnel. The tension builds nicely in the final part, as the escape plan is put in motion. ~ Written by Kenjha
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2


Russian Drama - Something about this film made me think it was going to be some tawdry romance in the back seat of a car. Luckily it was nothing like that.

The film takes place in 1950's Russia. Aside from a physical handicap Veria is a whole closet full of issues and disorders. While the driver seems play the 'white knight' he is a bit more complex. I liked that the film didn't feel cliche and had a rather complex ending.
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People who added this item 386 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Europa (1991)


The final film in Lars von Trier's 'Europa' trilogy which illuminates the traumas of Europe in the future. The two other parts are The Element of Crime (1984) and Epidemic (1987).

This is considered the best of the trilogy and I really couldn't agree more. While I did love Element of Crime, Zentropa pulls together the themes of the previous films quite well.
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People who added this item 103 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2
Epidemic (1987)


Meh, I think I was more excited about getting this in the mail then I was actually watching. Good and there are some beautiful scenes but really should have watched this film before "Europa".
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Classic Picks

People who added this item 2307 Average listal rating (1424 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 8.9


Yep, had never seen it before and plan on renting Nikita Mikhalkov "12" so figured it was about time.

Great cast and wonderful script. Worth every second... and how did this not win the Oscar that year???
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"It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms."

Part of TSPDT's 1,000 list this was a great choice and easily one of the best black comedies that I have seen.
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People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Wings (1966)


A great pick from early Russian cinema put out by Criterion. I didn't watch any of the bonus features but that would be worth a re-rental.

"No Angels: Larisa Shepitko’s Wings" written by Adam Bingham
www.sensesofcinema.com/2009/cteq/no-angels-larisa-shepitkos-wings/
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Sci-Fi & Horror Films

People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 4.7 IMDB Rating 5.5

[Suspense - Horror]

The slight Edgar Allan Poe element to this film was enough for me to enjoy this film. Not bad acting and a decent script, really can't ask for too much more. Ah, and no it isn't gory.
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[French Artistic Graphic Horror]

Ah... I think I threw up in my mouth... and here I was avoiding "Texas Chainsaw.." for so many years.

After watching this you *will* fully understand why the term "French Extremism" took root... even if the directors hate that term.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 4.5
Down (2001)


[Action - Horror]

"When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways"

If your a fan of 80's horror (especially Larry Cohen's "Q, The Winged Serpent") this should be a treat for you. It has much of the same style but with a touch of humor here and there. Fun to watch as an all star cast seems to have been transported back in time when scripts mattered and you had directors who just wanted to make a decent films not red carpet extravaganzas.
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People who added this item 145 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 5.5


Atmospheric Horror from "AfterDark Horror Fest"

This is good recommendation from Kym over at "Kymflix".
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"alive with something we came to know only as 'death'..."

[Sci-fi Horror B-Movie ]

Ah, b-movie cheesy goodness.... perhaps a better title for the film would be "Misogynistic Space Men Versus the Vampire in a Rubber Suit". Still it was fun to watch and lucky the cheesy dialog was limited.
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The Time Machine

People who added this item 1295 Average listal rating (627 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.1


[Russian Sci-Fi]

I'm pretty sure that this now the third time I have seen the film. It isn't as long as I remembered but is is more beautiful and thoughtful then I had remembered. So, I feel completely safe to keep this as one of my highest rated films.

It also seems very timely when there is all the talk about 3D and tired cgi gets tossed onto the big screen. There is something almost subversive about taking the time to show the human face.
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People who added this item 543 Average listal rating (275 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


While I still love this film... time has tarnished a bit from my heart. So, it is still a great film but "In the Mood for Love" can now stay safely in my 'all time favorites' realm.
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Mixed Bag

People who added this item 155 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.5
Inside Paris (2006)

"Take time to ignore the sadness of your family."
Every lineage has its great quality.Ours is detachment.


French Drama Romance - Mildly cute film about a romantic relationship ending in depression and confusion.
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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
O'Horten (2007)


Norwegian Comedy Drama - A bitter sweet film that meanders through the unusual events surrounding Horten's retirement. There are quite a number of things I liked about this film. While quirky thoughtful films are a favorite of mine... this just didn't quite live up to expectations.

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American Crime Drama - Cronenberg, guns, Viggo Mortensen, gangsters... I have strange feeling that I have seen this movie before and that I'm going to be seeing one very much like it in the future... which is perhaps when I might feel differently about this film.

Listal member Grand Assault review: "Promised but didn't deliver"

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People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Italian coming of age drama with two brothers representing different political ideologies of 1950's Italy, Fascism and Communism. So, I guess in that regard it is interesting... considering that many people don't know the difference.

Personally, it didn't branch out into new cinematic territory so... Meh...
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 5.1
Alien Hunter (2003)


This is another "Kymflix" pick and I agree that it isn't great but it isn't bad ether. It was the right mix of cheese and substance.
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People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6
Deathwatch (2002)



This is a little out of sorts because I did really enjoy this AND it was a re-watch. However, I haven't seen too many favorable opinions of the film so "view at your won risk". While it is a bit predicable the film still has some of the most amazing acting talent crammed into one muddy trench (and Jamie Bell).

It is currently avalible to watch on Hulu:
www.hulu.com/watch/142480/deathwatch
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People who added this item 18 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.6


Well, there are a few things that I could think to do with Nicholas D'Agosto locked in a room... we will stick with playing.

Decent, interesting but... a bit boring around the edges. Thankfully didn't fall into the 'Boxing Helena' realm.
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People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 0
Random cheesy horror... wasn't really paying much attention so my feelings might be unfair but... then again... it was pretty cheesy...
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People who added this item 54 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 0
Supernatural thriller...? Psychologial thriller?

"Little House on the Prairie" meets Edgar Allan Poe.
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People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (92 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.8
[Trash Cinema - Exploitation Sub-genre: rape/revenge]

Ah... well there is perhaps a good reason why this title isn't very easy to find. It is pretty dreadful. Then again most people renting this film are pretty aware of the standards in a 'rape revenge' film.

So, if you are the type of person who can't make it 5min into "Killer Clowns from Outer Space" or rented "Snakes on a Plane" and complained that it was nothing more then two hours of 'snakes'... 'on a plane'... then perhaps you should skip this one.

Oh, and for the love of god please don't rent this if someone told it was "Neo-Noir".

Still, very strange to watch and wasn't a complete waste of time as it was a choice little bit from trash cinema dumpster.... educational if nothing else :P
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Cinema Diary for 2010
The Year of The Tiger



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 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, 7 months ago 2 comments



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