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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old October 15th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
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Play time! Something fun...rating movies from Netflix or elsewhere.

Hey film lovers from around the world! I rent films from Netflix, and just emailed a friend my latest rentals in the last 60 days. I rated them for him, and add a little description on a few. Just for fun I thought I'd post my list, and see if I could get flamed...nothing like a good flame right? OR, you could post a reply to my list....rate them yourself or better yet, post your own list! I'd love to see someone else's, so I can add more movies to my queue at Netflix.

The stars are obviously my ratings, and the comments are mine too. Oh, I watch on average of one film a day...and usually all the bonus material if any.

8MM ***** (rent it!)
All the President's Men ***** (rent it!)
Affliction **** (take place in NH where i live)
All the Real Girls ***
Barfly ***
Blazing Saddles: Special Edition ****
GoodFellas: Special Edition *****
Bloody Sunday ** (this film would have been ok, but WAY to much handheld camera's the most distracting thing i've ever watched.)
Treasure of Sierra Madre: Special Edition ****
The Bridge on the River Kwai ****
Capturing the Friedman's ***** (rent it!)
Chicago ****
City of God ***** (lots of handheld camera, but works better than the bloody sunday it!)
City by the Sea **
Clay Pigeons ***
A Clockwork Orange ****
Coming Home ***
Dark City ***
Dead Calm ***
Dead Man ***
Dead of Winter ***
Deer Hunter *****
A Decade Under the Influence ****
Dinner for Five: All the seasons available on DVD ***** (rent it!)
Dog Day Afternoon ****
The Elephant Man ***** (rent it!)
Frances ****
Ghosts of the Abyss ***
The Girl Next Door ***** (i actually liked this movie, and didn't think i would)
Good Will Hunting ***** (rent it!)
Happiness ***** (rent it!)
The Hunt for Red October *****
Lethal Weapon *****
The Last Waltz ****
Lawrence of Arabia *****
The Life and Times of Steve Marriott **
Lost in Translation ***
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra *
The Love Letter **
Manhattan Murder Mystery ***** (woody allen's best in my opinion - he made an entertaining non-woody kinda film, rent it!)
Marathon Man ***** (rent it!)
Mask: Director's Cut ***
Midnight Cowboy ****
The Missing **
The Mosquito Coast ***** (rent it!)
Northfork *****
Odessa File ***
October Sky ***** (rent it!)
The Others ***
Papillon ***** (rent it!)
Permanent Midnight ****
Punch-Drunk Love ***
Return to Paradise ***** (this has the most incredible ending in a movie i have ever seen - rent it!)
Road to Perdition ***
Schindler's List *****
The School of Rock ****
Singin' in the Rain ***** (the new dvd looks amazing, and the story is better then expected - rent it!)
Something Wicked This Way Comes ***
Sophie's Choice ***** (rent it!)
State and Main ***** (funny, and very new england because david mamet grew up near beverly, ma! rent it!)
Stevie ***
Straw Dogs ****
Sunset Boulevard ***** (rent it!)
The Sweet Hereafter ***** (this is really a great film - rent it!)
Taxi Driver *****
Thirteen ****
Three Days of the Condor ***
Titanic ****
To Kill a Mockingbird ***** (rent it!)
Veronica Guerin ***
Tucker: The Man and His Dream ***** (great film! rent it!)
Witness ***** (rent it!)
Wonderland ***
Christopher C. Murphy
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Old October 15th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #2
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i don't think there would be space enough for me to post my lists. i'm doing a personal movie history study of my own. i have 500 movies on que and at least close to 100 on titles i have already rented and i'm just coming out of the silent film era. i believe there are more films released on the 'golden age' of cinema than ever, even now? it's amazing the amount of quality films as you head into gold age of cinema. one of the biggest reason i'm doing nf is the amount of large 'classics' catalogue that BB and other rental outfits don't have. for foreign and rare titles i goto
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Old October 15th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #3
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Great list Christopher!

I see you are not a fan of over-used handheld (I hear ya). What did you think of Bourne Supremacy? I thought it raised the bar on relentless camera shake to unfortunate levels.

p.s. fun note for viewers of "Manhattan Murder Mystery", recommended on Christopher's list; watch for an 18 year old Zach Braff (writer/director/star of "Garden State") in his first feature role as Woody's son.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 09:11 AM   #4
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Location: Boston, MA
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Thanks Charles! I know, I'm a lame film watcher...haven't seen "Bourne Supremacy" or the latest one from Damon. I need to, of course.

It's just that him and Ben haven't gone in the direction I'd hoped after Good Will Hunting. Actually, Damon in Ripley is great and a few others where he had a good story behind him. Ben? That dude needs to lock himself in a room with about 100 classic scripts for a weekend, and hopefully he'll emerge with a clue. He co-wrote Good Will? It's so hard to imagine right now.

Also, before I forget Charles. Way back I you mentioned growing up in (I think) Cambridge? I wrote a reply that I'm from Beverly, Danvers, Rockport MA area....and go into Boston a couple times a week!

Hey Yi, I hear you...and that's a good idea to start back at the silent era and move forward. I might do that....and if you haven't already check out the Library of Congress site. They have an immense collection of downloadable silent era films...more than anywhere. Start with he "Great Train Robbery"...totally cool stuff there. It's underrated for a resource on early films.

Start here:

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Old October 15th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #5
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we really need to kidnap charles, bring him back here and make good will hunting 2 or somn =P.

i've seen ed porter's great train robbery. i think i have that on DVD somewhere along with george melies's a trip to the moon. i'm still amazed that in 1902 and 1903 they had the capability to finish a narrative that audiences could follow, it's VERY amazing. but those two works above are probably the best representation of the 'films' going on during that era. it wouldn't be until 1910s with the rise of D.W. Griffith that filmmaking and the commercial aspects of it really take off. i plan to create a section of my website dedicated to which titles i think are the greatest representations of the artist/period. as of right now off of the top of my head 3 of the greatest directors of silent cinema is clearly D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. i can think of no other that comes remotely close. these 3 are the giants. if you really want to know some film history here is the best work by the artist:

1. Way Down East (D.W. Griffith). Birth of a Nation is very over-rated. Melies and Porter's techniques have already shown us what is possible on film D.W. Griffith doesn't improve much upon those two with Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, which was a mess. The biggest problem I have with Griffith is his blatant racisim. Birth of a Nation for supporting KKK idealogy and Broken BLossom for sins against "Chinky" and having white actor potraying "the yellow man". *sigh*. though Broken Blossom contains Lillian Gish's (The queen of silent film) best performance.

2. The Kid (Charlie Chaplin). many will argue gold rush, city lights, modern times but i think the kid really sums up Charlie quite nicely. imho it is his best. plus Chaplin is the first 'auteur' before th word began to apply to such a person. he wrote, directed, starred, make-up, planned the sets, he oversaw every part of the production and late into his life he wrote the score. listen to this score, it is his best one.

3. Saphead (One Week). Buster Keaton's physical comedy is so much better than CHaplin's. no ones does physical comedy better in the silent film better. even fatty arbuckle. i think buster trained under fatty but quickly surpassed his teacher. on this particular DVD saphead the movie sux but it was the first movie that made buster famous. there is a short on this DVD titled One Week, it is the best representation of buster keaton ever. you have him jumping off of 2-3 story house without injurying himself, you have him jumping out of windows and springing bakc to life like a cartoon character. he's never really as sentimental as chaplin but his physical comedy is unsurpassed.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 12:17 PM   #6
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Here's my Netflix list, with films rated from one to five stars:

Andy Warhol: The Complete Picture, 2002 ****
Walking Tall, 2004 ***
Super Size Me, 2004 ***
Fahrenheit 9/11, 2004 ***
Road to Perdition, 2002 ***** (Gorgeous cinematography)
The Bourne Identity, 2002 ****
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, 2004 ***
Da Ali G Show: Season 1: Disc 2, 2003 *****
Bonus Material: Star Wars Trilogy, 2004 **
How to Draw a Bunny, 2002 **** (Documentary about the artist Ray Johnson)
Athens, GA: Inside Out, 1987 ****
Da Ali G Show: Season 1: Disc 1, 2003 *****
Girl with a Pearl Earring, 2003 ***
Orange County, 2002 **
X2: X-Men United, 2003 ***
Trekkies, 1999 * (I cannot stand this movie)
Soul Plane, 2004 **
Kill Bill: Vol. 2, 2004 **
Alien: Collector's Edition, 1979 ****
Aliens: Collector's Edition, 1986 ***
Wonderland, 2003 ****
Dogtown and Z-Boys, 2002 *** (Documentary about 70's skateboarding)
I Don't Know Jack, 2002 *** (Documentary about the "star" of Eraserhead)
Live Forever, 2003 **** (Documentary about BritPop)
Reign of Fire, 2002 ***
Speedo: POV, 2003 *** (Documentary about a demolition driver- Ed "Speedo" Jagr)
The Ladykillers, 2004 ***
Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, 2001 *** (documentary about Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy- the guy has a Masters degree!)
Eurotrip, 2004 **** (Stupid- yes. But it still cracked me up.)
Spider-Man, 2002 ***
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood: Disc 2, 1995 **** (documentary about early European cinema)
Insomnia, 2002 **** (Really well made.)
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, 1993 ****
Lost in Translation, 2003 ***
Project Greenlight: Season 2: Disc 2, 2002 ***
Project Greenlight: Season 2: Disc 1, 2002 ***
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood: Disc 1, 1995 ****
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: On Tip Toe, 2000 ***
MASH: Season 1: Disc 2, 1972 ****
The Station Agent, 2003 ****
One Day in September, 1999 ****
The Work of Director Chris Cunningham, 2003 ****
The Work of Director Spike Jonze, 2003 ****
Malibu's Most Wanted, 2003 *****
Donnie Darko, 2001 ***
The Rundown, 2003 ***
Undercover Brother, 2002 ***
Visions of Light, 1993 **** (documentary about some of the great cinematographers)
Sonic Youth: Corporate Ghost: The Videos 1990-2002, 2004 ****
Starsky & Hutch, 2004 **
The Work of Director Michel Gondry, 2003 ****
Waking Life, 2001 ***
American Splendor, 2003 ****
About a Boy, 2002 ***
Old School, 2003 ***
Catch Me If You Can, 2002 ***
Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns, 2003 *** (documentary about They Might Be Giants)
American Movie, 1999 ***** (Awesome documentary about a low budget filmmaker)
Cabin Fever, 2003 **
Superchunk: Crowding Up Your Visual Field, 2004 ****
Shane McGowan: If I Should Fall From Grace, 2003 **** (Documentary about lead singer of the Pogues)
MASH: Season 1: Disc 1, 1972 ****
Jeepers Creepers, 2001 **
Hellboy, 2004 ***
Friday After Next, 2002 ****
The Devil's Backbone, 2001 **
The Ring, 2002 *****
Barbershop, 2002 ***
Barbershop 2: Back in Business, 2004 ***
Darkness Falls, 2003 ***
Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 2003 ***
Identity, 2003 ****
Chappelle's Show: Season 1: Disc 2, 2003 *****
Chappelle's Show: Season 1: Disc 1, 2003 *****
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, 2003***
Slacker, 1991 ****
Bonus Material: Slacker, 1991 ****
Hidalgo, 2004 ***
Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius, 1999 ****
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Old October 15th, 2004, 01:26 PM   #7
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Yi, you seem really knowledgeable in film studies. That's cool. I produced a show called, "Lights, Camera...Action!" about 2 years ago that ended up making the rounds on public access. (couldn't get it sold) Anyway, the show had local filmmakers talking about their films etc. I wanted to do a similar show called, "The Film Boutique" that had all kinds of topics on each show. In my treatment for the show I have a two part series on the "Silent Film Era".

If I get the project going I'll need to bring you on-board for that show. I do plan to do it, but it's a time thing. Obviously now IFC would be the place to get it sold..and I am not up on their policy for buying programming.

Brack, very cool list! I'm adding a few of your pics to my Netflix. The "Leni Riefenstahl" for sure, I was wondering if they had something on her. They need to make a film about her, and I wonder who would play her. Nicole Kidman would be my choice...she's gotten some interesting roles lately. Also, it seems like you like newer films? What is your favorite newer film?

I am going to see "Team America" tonight! Anyone know where I can rent Eraserhead by the way?? It's the David Lynch film, and Netflix doesn't carry it.

Christopher C. Murphy
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Old October 15th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #8
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Thanks Chris. I'm really surprised Netflix doesn't have Eraserhead. Also, after looking at your list I'm adding City of God (heard great things about it), 8MM (my brother recently recommended it and now I see you give it a go), and Marathon Man (haven't seen it in a long time but it was great!) As far as recent movies at the theatres I can't think of any that stand out. They were all pretty much iffy to bad. The last flick I went to see was Forgotten- that is one bad movie. As far as newer releases that I've seen on DVD Road To Perdition blew me away. The story was just good but the look wa incredible- there were scenes that have really stayed with me. But I see you didn't like it that much.
These are some of the films I have in my Queue that I'm waiting to see:
Faust by Jan Svankmajer (I was hoping this would get sent out today)
Light Keeps Me Company (Documentary about Ingmar Bergman's cameraman Sven Nykvist)
The Name of the Rose (Although it bombed in the US I really liked it)
Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (This is an absolutely insane flick from 1922, it also includes an alternate version from 1968 with a running voiceover by William Burroughs!)
The Triplets of Belleville (Have heard great things about this unique animated flick)
There are more but those are the upcoming ones. I love the variety that Netflix gives you access to. And for someone like myself who enjoys documentaries it has been great.
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Old October 15th, 2004, 11:01 PM   #9
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i know it's one more service you have to pay for but for rare/hard to obtain titles like eraserhead you can get it here: between and there is practically no DVD under the sun you can't rent. the only bad part is... they have to be DVD! VHS is too cumbersome.

yesh in the last meeting we had you told me about that show. but i dunno if i'm gonna be of any help cause my primary knowledge only comes from one book, "Short History of Movies" By Gerald Mast and Bruce Kawin 8th edition. there is a list of movies on the back of it and after i read a chapter/section on movies i watch the films they describe in the book. thus far i'm pretty happy with this type of learning... but if you get in deeper topics than what i've read in the books i'm sure there are tons of other 'film historians' that can better chronicle the histories of this and that in the silent film era.

as for leni, have you see triumph of the will? i have queued up under german expressionists. i've heard many great things about it. we shall see why =). have you seen it?

brack, for a second there i thought you were talking about F.W. Murnau's 1926 Faust. it's really good, sheck it out =).

netflix is awesome for having different titles but i'm especially grateful they actually have HUGE and vast library of silent era films. blockbuster, walmart and other online DVD rental places only carry the 'popular' titles. netflix is THE most defnitive places to rent DVDs online. i hope they never die... though their stocks took a 40% dive and price is lowered to compete with the crowded market now.
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