bringing the sky down to earth…

But first, there’s something that been bothering me. Pluto.
Yes, I know that we all heard more than enough about Tombaugh’s posthumous smack-down. But I have some issues with it… The whole “cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit” thing? Ignoring the other planets that haven’t… Pluto’s specific reason is that its orbit overlaps with Neptune? Shouldn’t that disqualify Neptune as a planet, because it hasn’t cleared Pluto out of its orbit? Also, personally, I am of the belief that good ol’ Luna doesn’t orbit around the Earth, so much as they both orbit the sun along the same track. I think that either makes neither one a planet or both Terra and Luna planets. Anyway, they need to come up with stronger reasoning before they downgrade the Scorpio planet. We don’t get a planet anymore? That may work for Cancer’s, but for me? No go… This Pluto thing won’t stick…

Anyway yes, another not soo filmic time. We’re busy trying to find a new apt and getting ready to move, you see, so films are kind of on the backburner… But I did manage to squeeze a few in.

First off, exciting news from DvdSavant! He announces that Facets is releasing Who Wants to Kill Jessie? on DVD. It’s good because this is a brilliant and wonderful comedy that is virtually unknown in the usa, the bad news is that I already have a Ceske PAL dvd of it and I hope this one won’t have some feature that will make me want to replace it! It’s a well-founded and frequent fear to those who impatiently end up buying foreign discs… At some point, a US disc always seems to come out…

And then… Yes, it’s from the acclaimed director of Run Lola Run, but since I haven’t seen that, it don’t know if its good or a bad thing but, I do like this one. Winterschläfer, It is basically a drama about two couples, one maybe splitting apart, one maybe coming together and it’s a nice quiet film with some beautiful alpine scenery. But wait, there’s more. There is a car theft and an accident and a some big plummets and some deaths and a developing mystery plot that the main characters don’t even realize is going on! Some seem to qualify it as an erotic thriller, but it has just got some old Euro-nudity in it and it’s not particularly thrilling, so I don’t buy that description. More like a “romantic” drama with mystery. But it is well done and engrossing in it’s quiet way, with some good tragedy thrown in to keep you interested.

Caitlin saw a preview for Haute Tension when she watched Crash, luckily we have it so I got a chance to watch it again. Well, I still like it, it is tense and it looks great. Some fun characters and good startles and nervous-making scenes. Sure it’s not The Descent, but it’s still a great, fun horror movie.

Dragonslayer… Always reminding me of Lake Town from the Hobbit, this is another film which is good to look at. Well, let me rephrase that, the outdoor “scenery” shots are quite beautiful, Scotland or somesuch, the rest of it isn’t that visually great. The lead character is hard to take seriously, maybe he’s right for the role, but all I could think is… “that guy? what is he doing there?” The effects, while certainly dated, remind you that they were quite good in the day. Some of the other charcters are good: Ralph Richardson, of course, does fine in his brief role, and the lame king is good as is his evil henchman. In fact, most of the people do a good job. If only the story were a little better done and please, some other lead…

Also, for a Disney film, it did seem a bit gorey.

dragonslayer, or exercise guru, you be the judge…
dragonslayer 37:18
Well, it started to grow on me. Trying out another fassbinder film, I watched Love is Colder Than Death. The performances are quite stilted, it has the appearance of being filmed in a vacant building (just using whatever furniture was there and sheets for set dressing) and the characters rarely seem to change their clothes… Ulli Lommel came across as a cardboard Alain Delon..

killers… hot or not…
not delon…
Yet somehow, as it progressed, it started to grow on me. Fassbinder’s puffy solo gangster, the bad impression of Delon, the halfassed femme fatale, the lack of sets or costumes, the eternally unconvincing drama… Anyway, I felt that the film as a whole, the cinematography and most everything else, improved as the film went on. Yes, a first film, in the most collegiate sense of the word, but there was something about it that makes me think I will need to watch it again.

masterful set design
love is colder… 06:56
love is colder… 43:22

do not believe in what you think you see…

Mystic River… Don’t ask me what I was thinking, I always assumed that it was another Bridges of Madison County. Boy, was I wrong. But it was good. A great cast: Sean Penn can still play a bastard with the best of them, and Tim Robbins does a great (albeit fuddled) job. Another one of those serious serious dramas where nothing good happens at all. It reminded me of Copland, though I think just due to the quiet negativity, the story where someone does something wrong and everybody ends up paying the price and the ensemble cast, all doing good jobs with material much more down hearted than usual (well, except of course, Sean Penn). Anyway, I recommend it, if you are up for this sort of thing… In which case, watch Copland too.

And we finally got around to watching Hustle & Flow. Great! I liked it alot! Some really good characters, a fun plot, great music and just well made. A film version of the standard Eazy-E, 50 Cent story of a street hustler who decides he wants to be a rap star, Hustle has some really good performances, especially in the characters of D-jay and Shug. Skinny Black reminded me of someone. Cait suggested Ludacris but, though I know the name I don’t know anything about Ludacris so it wasn’t him I was reminded of. Strangely enough, it was Lucacris who played Skinny Black. And Ike Hayes was also there, he’s always good to see.

Also, we couldn’t help but wonder where it took place. The city had such a look of concrete squalor and the heat and humidity of the south. The only thing I could think of when I saw it was: Tennessee… And yep, Memphis, it was. As Skinny Black says, the best place to keep Memphis is in my rear view. Anyway, Terrence Howard is great, though sometimes when he talked he sounded a bit too tone-locish for comfort, but it seems he did some of the rapping, which is good. Some of the best rap I’ve heard in many years… Sadly “Whoop that Trick” isn’t available as a single at iTunes, only as part of the package deal. And I can’t go that deep…

hustle & flow 41:36

hustle & flow 1:40:11

Finally, we watched Jesus’ Son. Sort of reminiscent of Buffalo 66 in an “indie-style movie about a couple of losers who do one lame thing after another” kind of way. The Crudup guy has a simple mindedness that, while irritating, makes him seem not as bad (in both ways) as that creep in Buffalo 66, but he’s still trouble. It’s kind of a crazy movie in a sad but fun way and but it’s a pretty entertaining movie, and it can be pretty funny at times.

Hercules in the Center of the Earth (or Hercules in the Haunted World, as the case and disc say). Campy ok, yes it is. but, man, its Hercules! Filled to the brim with heroic deeds, heck, the guy sails to hell and comes back, and that’s just the start of it, all in the name of love. Hercules and his guy pal Theses endure multiple heralcean feats: battling assasins, a shambling rock monster, crushing walls, flying undead who take a minute and a half just to open their coffins, a flaming lake and all sorts of illusions, the wrath of Pluto and the evil Christopher Lee as they pursue their women across the land (one of their ladies is even Pluto’s daughter)! And it all takes place in a Bava Technicolor wonderland of audacious brightly dark sets, in a story filled with Grecian frolicking and endless action, the dubbing isn’t bad, and Bava is the greatest of the old 60’s-70’s Italian b-movie directors… But you’ve got to wonder why Hercules drags that prissy wimp Theses around everywhere…

hercules in the center of the world 36:56

hercules in the center of the world 1:10:36


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