Author Topic: goodguy's Watch Log  (Read 68914 times)

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #75 on: September 25, 2009, 09:19:17 PM »
   Dexter (Season 3, 2008)
Created by: ?? Seriously, I have no idea.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter
DVD: R1-US Paramount/Showtime (Aug 18, 2009)

My rating: -

Cover blurb: Dexter is back and more killer than ever! The groundbreaking and critically acclaimed original series from Showtime returns on DVD with all 12 thrilling and riveting episodes in DEXTER: The Third Season. Having faced his darkest demons and eluding the FBI, Dexter has a new take on taking life, when a high profile case puts him in the sights of the most powerful and influential DA in Miami. Will Dexter's need to do away with those who slip through the cracks finally lead to his undoing? Or will his new friend in the DA's office prove to be all he needs to have his cake and eat it too?

Well, I'm still completely in love with Dexter's foulmouthed sister, so that's a plus. Michael C. Hall as Dexter is still terrific and there are no weak links in the remaining cast. But the shows premise of a sociopath unable to feel any emotions and just faking it starts to wear really thin and becomes more and more unbelievable during its 3rd season. Yet, the 4th season is about to start and I think I read somewhere that a 5th season is already locked. Seems like Showtime really wants to run this series into the ground. I really prefer series to be prematurely cancelled instead of fizzling out.

Anyway, the 3rd season is still pretty great entertainment, but the show has definitely lost its edge. I was already miffed by the Heroin plot of S2, but despite my misgivings, it did work very well. But Dexter's new friend in S3 just isn't that interesting. Also, there aren't any flashbacks to Dexter's childhood and youth anymore, only an ongoing conversation with his father in Dexter's head. Not really that interesting either.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #76 on: September 25, 2009, 09:37:10 PM »
A friend of mine told me 3 weeks ago he rented the 1st season and his wife and him got hooked right away.  They watched the whole season in a week-end and then rented the rest of the series to watch it.

It's available on Blu-Ray at around 45$CAD for season 1, I'm thinking of buying it and give it a try.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #77 on: September 26, 2009, 12:48:40 AM »
It's available on Blu-Ray at around 45$CAD for season 1, I'm thinking of buying it and give it a try.

S1 I can wholeheartedly recommend. It is definitely the sharpest in terms of writing. Among other things, I really liked the way they developed Rita (Dexter's girlfriend, played by Julie Benz) with a plot that always played a little on soap clichés, but than skillfully danced away from it. Great stuff.

Well, I'm still completely in love with Dexter's foulmouthed sister...

I was just thinking again of a scene later in S3, where she wakes up startled, having overslept, and spouts out:
(click to show/hide)
as the first words of the day. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like much in plain text, but her panicked delivery is so endearing... Yeah, I'm smitten.  :-[ Her and Trixie from Deadwood should meet for a drink someday.

---
(*1) BTW, what is the forum policy on bad language? I'm using spoiler tags just to be on the safe side.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #78 on: September 26, 2009, 02:58:04 AM »
   Sudden Manhattan (1997)
Written & Directed by: Adrienne Shelly
Starring: Adrienne Shelly, Tim Guinee, Roger Rees
DVD: R1-US Vanguard (2002)

My rating:

Cover blurb: SUDDEN MANHATTAN is an off-beat, black comedy about a New York girl in trouble. Donna, a 20-something, is jobless, single and broke. On a fateful day, reality turns itself upside down and she is suddenly faced with one absurdity after another. Men start stalking her and murders take place all around her. Full of deliciously funny moments, SUDDEN MANHATTAN weaves an intricate and engaging storyline including lovers, admirers and fortune tellers that may just hold the key to the puzzle that her life has become.

"The song of love is a shriek."

I only knew Adrienne Shelly for her work as an actress with Hal Hartley. That she also was a writer and director, I didn't learn before hearing of her senseless death, shortly before the premiere of her film Waitress (with Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion) in early 2007. That one was her last, Sudden Manhattan was her first.

The movie is a charming and quirky romantic comedy set in, well, Manhattan. It is a little neurotic, but not as grating as Woody Allen's stuff to which it has been compared. There is an overall playfulness and a surreal creativity that comes to full force towards the completely whacko finale. Highly enjoyable, with great performances throughout.

DVD Notes

Unfortunately, I can't recommend the DVD, but AFAIK it is the only one available. Full screen, washed out colors. I had high hopes for Shelly's audio commentary, but she basically says that she hasn't watched the movie for years, doesn't know what the hell she was thinking when making it, and not much more. Bummer.
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #79 on: October 04, 2009, 12:08:13 AM »
  Duplicity (2009)
Written & Directed by: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen
DVD: R1-US Universal (Aug 15, 2009)

My rating:

Cover blurb: Oscar winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star as two sexy spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves on either side of an all-out corporate war, they'll put everything on the line to remain one double-cross ahead in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse. From writer/director Tony Gilroy (seven-time Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton) comes the film critics are raving about: "Roberts and Owen have sizzling chemistry in this instant classic."(Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST)

No they don't. Have "sizzling chemistry", I mean. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of a movie pairing with less chemistry (*1). That Roberts and Owen can do much better even with somewhat detached characters playing games with each other, they both demonstrated in Closer a few years ago. Here, about the only scene that works between them is one that gets repeated a few times throughout the movie under different circumstances; the first repetition also cleverly clueing you into what's really going on, plotwise.

The plot, of course, is all clever scheming and double-crossing in a corporate spy game. For all its cleverness, it is surprisingly pedestrian and dragged quite a bit during the two hour running time. It has a final twist, I didn't see coming. Maybe I would have, if I cared enough about it in the first place. But I'm the guy who prefers Ocean's 12 over Ocean's 11, so spending too much time on supposedly intricate plotting and twisting is a surefire way to get me bored.

The highlight of the movie is Carrie Preston as a travel agent who gets caught in the crossfire. She has a separate scene with each of the leads, and with her, even Clive Owen gets a chance to shine.


---
(*1) Maybe Kate Beckinsale and the Michael character in the Underworld movies, but there the romance angle wasn't that important anyway.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 12:14:51 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2009, 10:31:34 AM »
  Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
Written by: Megan Holley
Directed by: Christine Jeffs
Starring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin
DVD: R1-US Anchor Bay (Aug 25, 2009)

My rating:

Cover blurb: Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams, Golden Globe Winner Emily Blunt, and Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in this "colorful, refreshingly quirky comic drama" (Leah Rozen, People).
Desperate to get her son into a better school, single mom Rose (Amy Adams) persuades her slacker sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to join her in the crime scene cleanup business to make some quick cash. With the help of their ill-fated salesman father (Alan Arkin), they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, finding themselves up to their elbows in murders, suicides, and... specialized situations. But underneath the dust and grime they also come to discover a true respect for one another, and create a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.


"Quirky" is pretty much an indie staple nowadays, and while this one doesn't exactly disappoint, it is a bit too well-calculated as an audience pleaser. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are both gifted actresses and give strong performances. Adams has the more interesting role while Blunt is a bit underused, especially since a side plot involving her and the tech girl from 24 (name?) ends rather abruptly. All in all, pretty light fare, but nontheless worth watching.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2009, 02:47:43 PM »
   Nadja (1994)
Written & Directed by: Michael Almereyda
Starring: Elina Löwensohn, Martin Donovan, Galaxy Craze, Peter Fonda
DVD: R1-US Artisan (2000)

My rating: -

Cover blurb: Twin brother and sister vampires struggle against each other - and the ancient curse that binds them - in this stylish, erotic thriller set against the concrete canyons of modern-day Manhattan. Fiendishly seductive Nadja (Elina Löwensohn), and her brother Edgar (Jared Harris), spend their days entombed in darkness, and their nights hiding in the heart of the New York afterhours scene. But Edgar is haunted by the painful duality of life lived in the shadows - and troubled by his twin's relentlessly evil nature. Nadja weaves her sensual spell around the niece and nephew of famed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Fonda), Edgar joins forces with his would-be-assassin, plotting to bring down his sister in an all-out orgy of sex, blood, danger and death that the L.A. Weekly calls "Truly hot! Sex and moviemaking of the unsafest sort."

I know too little about the genre, but it seems that in the '90s, vampire movies entered the arthouse cinema, and some even in glorious black and white. The best known is probably Abel Ferrara's The Addiction, a philosophical meditation with then indie icon Lili Taylor as the lead.

Nadja is another one, a more obscure and experimental project, mixing standard 35mm material with video footage shot with a Fisher Pixelvision toy camera. It is a stylish and trippy experience with cool music from Portishead and My Bloody Valentine. There isn't much substance to it, but it sure looks eeriely beautiful. For the most part, it takes place in Manhattan, but for the finale it goes to a Carpatian castle. The dialogue is sometimes hilariously absurd and sometimes poetic, but it is played completely straight throughout. Elina Löwensohn, who also happens to have a natural Romanian accent, is gorgeous and exotic in the title role. Recommended, if you can enjoy an atmospheric B&W movie outside the standard genre fare.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2009, 12:42:17 PM »
  Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Season 2, 2008)
Created by: Josh Friedman
Starring: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Richard T. Jones
DVD: R1-US Warner (Sep 22, 2009)

My rating:

Cover blurb: The time: today. The stakes: all our tomorrows. A nascent AI, assisted by deadly cyborgs, continues to edge toward world domination and the ruin of humankind. It accepts no limits. It fears no one. Except John Connor. The machines know John, now 16, is the future leader of the human resistance. They know he is growing in abilities. They must find and terminate him. But Sarah Connor is there, protecting and instructing her son as he becomes the man he's destined to be.
The hunt is on in a season of powerful revelations, breathless pursuits and bravura effects. A mysterious 3-dot symbol (do UFOs provide a clue?), a girlfriend for John (is Cameron jealous?), a mysterious tech company ZeiraCorp (can it master the renegade software called Turk?) - Season 2's 6-disc action arsenal is locked, loaded, ready to amaze.



This show has managed to surprise me twice now. As I wrote in my previous review, I got into S1 with very low expectations, but found it pretty well done and once or twice close to outstanding. For S2 I hoped it would continue on that level, but I've read a lot of negative comments on it (even here), thus I started watching S2 with guarded curiousity - yeah, I'm a pessimistic guy by nature.

But all those nay-sayers were dead wrong. In S2, the show fully unlocks the potential that could already be seen in S1. I found the overall story arc fascinating and well developed, resulting in a great payoff as its central question is revealed in the two-parter Today Is the Day and turned around in the finale.

A number of new characters are introduced to great effect, much enhancing the dramatic qualities of the show. I especially liked Jesse (Stephanie Jacobsen in a role similar to her Kendra in BSG Razor, but much better realized here, both in writing and acting). Without spoilering anything, I just want to note that I also liked the Riley (Leven Rambin as John's new girlfriend) arc very much, although not right from the beginning. The same is true for the addition of Shirley Manson to the cast, which had me worried for a bit, but turned out to work great.

S2 has some stand-alone episodes, which may have been forced by the Network, but mostly they work great as character pieces. In addition, you can almost literally see the network notes tacked onto certain scenes or shots, but those are minor annoyances.

Bottom line: In its second year, TSCC has become a truly great show and I'm a little sad that it is gone. Dollhouse has some big shoes to fill if it wants to justify Fox' choice.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 12:45:47 PM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #83 on: October 23, 2009, 10:35:28 PM »
   Dollhouse (Season 1, 2009)
Created by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Eliza Dushku, Tahmoh Penikett, Olivia Williams
DVD: R2-UK Fox (Sep 7, 2009)

My rating:

Cover blurb: FROM JOSS WHEDON, CREATIVE MASTERMIND BEHIND Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, comes the provocative Dollhouse, a sexy, suspensful thriller starring the stunningly talented Eliza Dushku.
As an "Active," the mysterious Echo (Dushku) serves as an unwitting agent of Dollhouse, an illegal underground organisation that provides its elite clientele with programmable human beings. Actives receive personality imprints, allowing them to temporarily become anyone or anything - the perfect burglar, lover, spy, or assassin. Now, with the FBI and her own shadowy past closing in, Echo must face a rogue Active who will stop at nothing to bring Dollhouse down - forever.


Since I briefly mentioned Dollhouse in my Terminator: TSCC review, the first thing to get out of the way: Joss Whedon was right. Commenting upon Fox's decision regarding both shows, he said that the better show got cancelled.

As everyone else said, Dollhouse really improves with episode 1x06, but don't be fooled into thinking it turns suddenly brilliant. The first five episodes are really aweful generic crap, with 1x06, the backstory gets more focus and becomes more interesting, but only in a "wonder with what twists they will come up with next"-way. To me, that is always the least interesting thing about any show. The characters (and not only the dolls) remain pretty lifeless throughout and the show doesn't improve visually at all, continuing in the same flashy but dull style it started with.

I remember Joss Whedon telling over and over the story how he invented the show basically as a way for Eliza Dushku to show off her versatility. Sadly she doesn't have that much. Jennifer Garner did a better job on Alias with portraying different personas, and both are not even in the same game as Toni Collette on United States of Tara.

Olivia Williams does a pretty good job as head of the Dollhouse, but that too is a very generic role. I liked Amy Acker as Dr. Saunders, but she is underused. Surprisingly, I also liked Fran Kranz as Topher, the resident genius and doll programmer.

Much fuss has been made about the unaired final-final episode of the season, 1x13 Epitaph One. Despite the general opinion, as an episode, it isn't really that great. But it jumps 10 years forward in the future and gives a condensed view of the shows concepts, ideas and possible developments. As such, it is more an interesting footnote than anything else.

The DVD also contains the discarded original pilot. It certainly is better than the new one (1x01 Ghost), but again the difference in quality is not earth-shattering.

Bottom line: Dollhouse is an interesting premise executed badly in almost every possible way.
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #84 on: October 27, 2009, 07:05:48 AM »
   The Wicker Man (UK 1973)
Written by: Anthony Shaffer
Directed by: Robin Hardy
Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland
DVD: R2-UK Optimum (3-Disc CE, 2006)

My rating: -

Cover blurb: Since its release in 1973, The Wicker Man has held an enduring fascination for audiences, commanding a devotion that most films can only dream of. A unique and bona fide horror masterpiece, the film can now be seen in its original theatrical version and Director's Cut including 15 minutes of footage that was thought lost for decades!
When a young girl mysteriously disappears, Police Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate. But this pastoral community, led by the strange Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) is not what it seems as the devoutly religious detective soon uncovers a secret society of wanton lust and pagan blasphemy.
Brilliantly scripted by Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, Frenzy) and featuring an astounding performance by the legendary Christopher Lee, director Robin Hardy's atmospheric use of location, unsettling imagery and haunting soundtrack gradually builds to one of the most terrifying and iconic climaxes in modern cinema.


This is the second time this year that a much-hailed masterpiece of British '70s cinema falls a little flat for me. A few months ago, I watched "O Lucky Man!" (also made in 1973) for the first time and was similarly underwhelmed. But I digress.

All my warning bells should have gone off as Jon called this the "Citizen Kane of horror movies" in his recent LTROI review. They didn't, because Jon turned that phrase into praise for LTROI, and I happen to agree with him on that.

First of all, The Wicker Man isn't really a horror movie. It's a thriller that goes a bit on the weird side, but isn't overly imaginative. A bit folk-singing, lyrics with corny sexual subtext, a bit nude dancing - those wacky pagans! The main problem: all of this is more funny than poetic and remains so as the creepiness is supposed to slowly increase. Still, Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee give mostly solid performances and I suppose I shouldn't complain about Britt Ekland being naked (although there is a body double involved in addition to her being dubbed).

Anyway, I was amused for about the first half of the movie and I got a bit bored during the second half as it became pretty clear where this would all end. As for the ending itself, I didn't found it terrifying as so many have claimed, just again a bit silly.

I'm not sure why this movie is regarded so special. It lacks the haunted and poetic atmosphere that, for example, Picnic at Hanging Rock has. It lacks the true weirdness and beauty that you can find in Czech surrealist movies of that time, for example Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. It might be an improvement over the usual Hammer horror stuff Christopher Lee was doing at the time, but seriously, that's not a big achievement.

DVD Notes

I watched the two documentaries included in this release (The Wicker Man Enigma and Burnt Offering) and found the production history more interesting than the movie itself. I didn't bother with the Lee/Hardy interview or the commentary.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2009, 02:24:12 PM »
Oh, that Wicker Man! I meant the superior remake with Nicholas Cage...  :tease:

Of course I didn't, though going by your review I bet you wouldn't find much difference. ;) First things first, while it isn't a genre film, it is predominantly Horror; it's an horrific, abstract and nightmarish situation. Some class it as Fantasy, but if you drag it right back to the core genres then that means it has to be Horror. Anyway, I'm far more concerned about your reference to O Lucky Man. Where the heck did you pull that from and who has been telling you it's a classic of British cinema? It's a tolerated oddity at most! No-one ever confuses it with the term classic over here. Then again maybe I've led a sheltered life and Rich will come up with a passionate defence... :laugh:

I can't remember where I first read the quote "the Citizen Kane of Horror", but I remember disagreeing. By it's very nature it has little of the technical endeavour. However then I started to think about it more and couldn't find another candidate, and by the time I'd seen it again, I was enthusiastically agreeing. It comes down to the substance and it's very clever, and deceptively intricate.

Traditional horror features a fantasy monster and therefore can be dismissed as silly by people not wishing to engage such nonsense. Even LTROI has this safety net. Other horrors piggyback on accepted ideals such as the Bible, giving The Exorcist and The Omen weight. But they can still be dismissed as silly. The Wicker Man is silly (or is happy to appear so, like the inhabitants of the island), but cannot be dismissed because it is absolutely authentic. Your average Christian would see the island as the natural end-point of a promiscuous society. I suppose it is dated now, but back in 1973, Britain had just emerged from the brief Swinging Sixties and the birth of the teenager and the moral God-fearing guardians were seeing things start to crumble.

While I like your review, albeit disagreeing, it does surprise me that you make no reference to religion or faith. I'm not religious at all, but I do respect their position. Therefore, the first time I saw The Wicker Man, I thought it was too silly to be taken seriously, but on multiple subsequent viewings it clicked and even when I think about Howie now and the situation he finds himself in, it makes my skin crawl. It's a viable situation and he is physically and spiritually helpless, so in that sense, I think he's more alone than anyone has ever been in cinema. He hasn't even got a church to retreat to. Finally, because I believed in Howie, I did find the ending as awful as I'd been led to believe.

They're attacking not just him, but they're undermining everything he's built his life on. He's relying on his faith to see him through the most testing situation possible and I like the sense that regardless of the outcome, his life will be irrevocably altered. It's this fundamental strength of the story and attention to detail that set it apart.

Out of interest, which version did you watch? Some find the theatrical cut less obvious. Certainly it's a film I hope you will come back to. As another comparison with Citizen Kane and a few others, it was only second or third viewings where I really got it.

EDIT: Forgot to mention. This theory of silliness expands on what I've been saying recently that proper horrors go out of their way to make you question what you're seeing. The folk-dancing nudes or people in animal masks are the "wtf" moment. Just like a chimp armed with a razor blade (Phenomena)...  :stars:
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 02:31:21 PM by Jon »

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2009, 08:47:18 PM »
I didn't call "O Lucky Man!" a classic, but from various reviews (including one on DVDTimes, I believe), I got the impression it was considered a masterpiece, not with much (or any?) mainstream impact of course, but then I don't care much about that anyway. It was nominated at Cannes, though. And I remember someone here praising it as his all-time favorite movie.

But on to "The Wicker Man". You are right, I didn't talk about faith or religion. What I write up here, usually aren't proper reviews, more random notes and comments. If I had to come up with something as elaborate as your usual reviews, I probably would have to spend half a day writing it.

The antagonism of Christianity versus the "old gods" is of course central to the movie; it's so obvious that I skipped it. Plus, it doesn't really work for me, because Howie mostly comes of as a righteous prick - even in the director's cut, which softens that impression a tiny bit with the introductory scenes on the mainland. He doesn't appear so much as a man whose faith is tested, more as someone who is unable to deal with or accept anything outside his limited experience. Part of that might be deliberate; to make us free-spirited viewers sympathize with the inhabitants of the island. That didn't work for me either. I was neither enthralled nor offended by the villagers, and I certainly didn't experience a WTF moment - mostly I rolled my eyes at the trashy second-rate eroticism with which they were portrayed. Again I have to refer to "Picnic at Hanging Rock", which does a so much better job at creating an eerie and seducing atmosphere - without needing any nudity btw.

Some spoilers follow:
(click to show/hide)

What you say about traditional horror versus "authentic" horror just doesn't apply to me. I'm not a horror fan in any way, but I would never dismiss a movie as silly, because of its supernatural components. I don't see that as a safety net. Like you, I'm not a religious person, but I don't need a rational explanation for everything. To go back to "Picnic" once more; that movie too has no supernatural element, but it is ambiguous and open-ended, not neatly tied up.

Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #87 on: October 27, 2009, 09:43:48 PM »
Hmmm, if you couldn't sympathise with Howie then the film is undone, because I don't think there was ever a moment you should sympathise with the villagers, except in their efforts to pursue their own religion. Religion is the whole point of the film, so if you were looking for something else then you would be dissappointed. The plot is supposed to be obvious to a point, because -and here is where maybe it has dated- no-one could possibly expect such a morally decent chap like Howie to fail in finding that girl. Coppers like that used to be depended on, so he may be righteous, but he's also thorough. So much of the film is tied into British history (the Maypole, etc), tolerated by Christianity, that as a study of religious fervour and methods, it's utterly peerless, but that beautifully simple plot still makes for a powerful horror as well. Pick it apart and there are a lot of layers.

You might appreciate a couple of points in the Empire essay who put it much better than I'm attempting to! http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=7892

I vaguely remember Picnic at Hanging Rock, but it was a long time ago. Certainly never got under my skin like The Wicker Man, probably because there is so much in this film I can identify with, atmosphere aside. My reference to authentic horror doesn't apply to me either, but I can appreciate it. But there are a lot of people who can't begin to take vampires and ghoulies seriously. These pagan fellas in the silly hats make much more sense to them!

By the way, I do not spend half a day writing a review! Three, maybe four hours at most... :bag: No seriously, I just waffle. If I did it properly I'd manage to shorten them.

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #88 on: October 27, 2009, 10:49:07 PM »
Just a quick note that the Empire essay Jon has linked to contains heavy spoilers.

And I find it telling that it mentions Polanski's "Repulsion" as one of the lesser examples of non-traditional horror, overshadowed by "The Wicker Man". It has been a long time since I've seen the former, but I'm pretty sure that I would find it superior.

If I'm supposed to sympathize with Howie right away, then the entire setup makes even less sense. And I did get that religion is the central theme, even if I forgot it to mention in my original review.  :bag:  The problem is that it falls flat, there isn't any real discourse about it, mostly because Howie is unable to express his "faith" - he is just appalled and speechless, no match for the eloquent Lord Summerisle.

Spoilers again:
(click to show/hide)

Come to think of it: In its best moments, the baffled interactions of Howie with the villagers indeed reminded me a little of the land-surveyor K. in Kafka's "The Castle", who pretty clearly is the character we sympathize with. But that's a largely superficial connection; the movie was never in danger of approaching the thematic richness of that novel. ;)
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #89 on: October 28, 2009, 01:33:30 AM »
Just a quick note that the Empire essay Jon has linked to contains heavy spoilers.

Oops, good point. Their essays are not reviews as such, more studies to put particular films in context, so can be very spoilerific.

If I'm supposed to sympathize with Howie right away, then the entire setup makes even less sense. And I did get that religion is the central theme, even if I forgot it to mention in my original review.  :bag:  The problem is that it falls flat, there isn't any real discourse about it, mostly because Howie is unable to express his "faith" - he is just appalled and speechless, no match for the eloquent Lord Summerisle.

Spoilers again:
(click to show/hide)

I think he does express his faith by simply by being there and trying to see it through. He never falters.

(click to show/hide)