What have you been watching? (DVD or Films on TV)

Betamax and beyond

What have you been watching? (DVD or Films on TV)

Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:59 pm

Okay guys & gal, what are you renting and or buying on DVD at the moment.

Got any recommendations or warnings of films to avoid? Post them here if you wish.

Last week I rented "Final Cut" with Robin Williams, which in a nutshell had an extremely interesting premise, although not expertly executed it was still worth a watch for any fans of High Concept Sci Fi.

******SPOILERS**********
Basically people have memory chips put in their heads when they are still in the womb (As a gift from their parents), which records every moment seen through their eyes. When you die, you have a re-remembering, a film made from your own footage that is sort of like a Funeral. The Original footage from the Chip can only be viewed once dead and then there are strict guidelines as to who can view the footage, Robin Williams plays a Renowned Cutter (editor) who is haunted by a memory from his youth who gets a high profile Subject that will change his life forever...

Okay so the plot is a little bit obvious past the initial set up of this alternate universe, it has some good moments but also has some weak points. Jim Caviezel sports a funny beard which detracts from his performance, the story with Mira Sorvino seemed either pointless or ill-conceived. The cinematography by Tak Fujimoto is crisp but the overall feel of the look at times reminded me of both "Meet Joe Black" and "Simone" with overly long camera sequences that seem to be a little too sure of themselves, they add little to the viewers emotional investment.

6.5/10 for execution 9/10 for concept. Worth a rent IMHO.


Tonight I sat through The Interpreter directed by Sydney Pollack starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. Politically charged Thriller set around (I assume) a fictional Political situation in a fictional African Country and an Assassination plot which UN Interpreter Kidman stumbles across, Sean Penn plays the Secret Service agent assigned to the case. Run of the mill stuff that thinks it's more original than it is, it's two hours long and really drags throughout. Avoid.

4/10 because it looks nice.
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Re: What have you been watching

Postby Adam Balm on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:02 pm

John-Locke wrote:Robin Williams plays a Renowned Cutter (editor) who is haunted by a memory from his youth who gets a high profile Subject that will change his life forever...


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Or am I way off base here?
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Postby WinslowLeach on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:05 pm

One Hour Photo was pretty dumb. I mean I waited the whole movie for that lame ass ending? It was laughable.

Insominia with Robin was a better thriller.
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:06 pm

I've not seen one hour photo yet but I know the storyline, Final Cut is different. Williams plays a weirdo but not a badguy like I believe he does in One Hour Photo. As I say although the performances aren't particularly bad or anything it's the Concept and a few moments that are worth a look not the final execution of the Script.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:08 pm

One Hour Photo was pretty dumb. I mean I waited the whole movie for that lame ass ending? It was laughable.

Insomnia with Robin was a better thriller.

JL: In One Hour Photo he plays this guy whos obsessed with a family. It starts off ok, but the payoff is really a total dud.
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:09 pm

Well, having seen One Hour Photo I would guess that Final Cut is better. I'll keep my eyes open for it.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:17 pm

I liked the end of One Hour Photo.

******SPOLIERS*******

Ultimately he wasn't a killer, I expected him to be a total psychopath in the true sense of the word but he wasn't at all.
*******END*******

I enjoyed that film quite a lot some good acting and nicely obcerved script.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:20 pm

You dont do a film about an weird obsessed guy and then not have him do anything sick or violent at the end of the film. Thats one of the biggest no nos in thriller genre films. If youre going to do a thriller about an obsessed person, you better do something good at the end. I dont care if its the same old "death" cliche or not. One Hour Photo was just one big cinematic cocktease. I want some real thrills, not that wussy stuff.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:30 pm

This week I have mostly been watching:
Deadwood Season 1.
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Machinist.
Rewatching epsiodes of Lost for the numbers and clues.
Reading a 2nd time Espedair Street by Iain Banks.

Deadwood is fantastic. A proper deconstruction of the whole Western genre, a very intelligent script, fascinating plots, and Lovejoy as the the ruthless, brutal, but blackly humourous Al Swearengen.
I can't believe I didn't watch this sooner.

I have some Arabic pirate of Harry Potter and PoA, but I can still tell how much better the film looks and how Cuaron created a completely believable world not some vacous set like Colombus' always looked like.

The Machinist is much better than I thought but it was an obvious end. Still Bale was freaky and brilliant.

Lost is getting scarily addictive now I can't wait for season 2.

Espedair Street is a book about a reclusive Rock Star from Glasgow. He was the genius behind 70's prog band "Frozen Girl". It's a reflection of his life and how he became a wreck. By Iain Banks it's a work of a stunning imagination and fire. So so good. Buy it now.
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:33 pm

Okay enough on the One Hour Photo if you don't mind me saying, unless you want to write a small review. What have you guys been watching recently? We might find some at least above average films to watch amongst the sea of shit being released recently.

I saw Stander a couple of weeks ago, much better than I was expecting and I had heard it was good to start with. Reminded me of Chopper because it was a true story set in an English speaking country other than the UK or US, the look was similar and some was set in prison. It's nowhere near as dark and it's sense of humour not as twisted but it still felt similar. Basically a South African Cop changed by the events of a riot becomes a bank robber and goes on a long spree trying to numb the pain from his conscience.

Very Good, no real weaknesses, strong 7.5/10, Might be worth a purchase.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:36 pm

I've seen both One Hour Photo and The Final Cut. Photo is better by yards.

Locke's right that the premise for Final Cut is intriguing and there's some pretty fucked up stuff in there, but it's overall a pretty bland, boring movie.

I liked One Hour Photo, thought it was expertly crafted and pretty damn interesting. I thought the ending was fine, fitting, if not a little anti-climactic. Williams had more to work with in this one.

And Insomnia is better than both.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:40 pm

I saw Tatoo the other day, a german film about a two cops after a killer preying on the youth sub culture.
Pretty good film, really well acted and had some weird humour. Realy good endng too.

Anyone seen it?
Definitely worth a rent.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:41 pm

Sorry, but I had to do it

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Oh I forgot, What Im watching this week on DVD:

OldBoy
Sympathy For Mr Vengeance
Jerry Garcia: Live At Shoreline
Columbo: The Complete Third Season (started this last week)
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:42 pm

Watched Alexander, the Directors Cut because a friend had it and I was at their house...very, very bad. I wish I could elaborate but I got so drunk that I only remember pieces, but the pieces I remember were horrible.

I finally succumbed to my geeky nature and love for Halle Berry's tits and gave Catwoman a shot for free "On Demand". Thank God I didn't pay for it.

JL, per our conversation last week, I watched the Twin Peaks 2 hour pilot the other night. I'm excited to watch the rest of Season 1 over the next week or so. It's been far too long since I've seen it. I just wish fricking season 2 would come out on DVD!!!
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Postby lyra belacqua on Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:49 pm

John-Locke wrote:I saw Stander a couple of weeks ago, much better than I was expecting and I had heard it was good to start with. Reminded me of Chopper because it was a true story set in an English speaking country other than the UK or US, the look was similar and some was set in prison. Very Good, no real weaknesses, strong 7.5/10, Might be worth a purchase.


I just saw Stander a month or so ago and I also thought it was really rather good. And it reminded me of another movie, but until you brought up Chopper, I had totally forgot it. That's exactly what it reminded me of.

Seeing Tom Jane so good in Stander made me ignore all the warnings and check out The Punisher from the library (cuz I wouldn't have paid for it) and I liked it.

I just watched Dear Frankie and it was so sweet and much better than the plot would lead you to believe.
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Postby wonkabar on Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:53 pm

Yeah, Stander and The Machenist were the last two I rented....best pair in awhile. I've been wanting to get City of God for like the last three weeks, but it's always checked out (one copy only)
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Postby wonkabar on Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:57 pm

lyra belacqua wrote:.

Seeing Tom Jane so good in Stander made me ignore all the warnings and check out The Punisher from the library (cuz I wouldn't have paid for it) and I LIKED IT!.

Hey, I thought The Punisher was cool....sorry
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Postby Moriarty on Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:27 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:You dont do a film about an weird obsessed guy and then not have him do anything sick or violent at the end of the film. Thats one of the biggest no nos in thriller genre films. If youre going to do a thriller about an obsessed person, you better do something good at the end. I dont care if its the same old "death" cliche or not. One Hour Photo was just one big cinematic cocktease. I want some real thrills, not that wussy stuff.


That's an interesting take on it.

I thought what made Romanek's film worthwhile was that it WASN'T the same old stupid "psycho with a grudge" type film. Instead, it's just a portrait of a very sad, lonely, broken little man who has managed to establish an equilibrium for himself. He's not happy... but he's as stable as he's going to get. And then circumstances conspire to knock him out of his bubble, and he crumbles the rest of the way.

I don't think the film's a thriller at all. It's a character study. And I really liked the work Williams did in the film. I thought it was terribly sad at the end when all the pieces fall into place and you understand why he's always been obsessed with photographic images in the first place. He's an abuse survivor, not Freddy Kruger.

And as far as what I'm watching right now... well, I'll have the column up later tonight with a whole big fistful of stuff in it. Lots of older stuff, and a few catch-ups that I've missed at the theater like SAHARA.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:47 pm

I agree with Mori. Not because I have seen the film, but because I am a sycophantic douche bag.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:36 pm

WinslowLeach wrote: One Hour Photo was just one big cinematic cocktease. I want some real thrills, not that wussy stuff.


I don't think it was meant to be thrilling. I don't think it was meant to be a typical suspense film. I liked it. YMMV
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:49 pm

Watched "Stir of Echoes" last night. Enjoyed it. The extras were disappointing. Have got "Shalllow Grave" (I saw part of it on cable once) and "I Remember Me," a documentary about a filmmaker with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Last week we watched "Million Dollar Baby" which as I wrote elsewhere, was a vast disappointment. Eastwood was slumming on this one. Also "The Machinist." Once they started telling Bale about the photo it became clear what was happening, but I still didn't see the crucial event for what it turned out to be.

"Darkness" the weekend before that. Passable until the end, which is completely unmotivated. Why does this organization want this to happen? What do they think will result?

Coming up: "The Indian Runner," "Shaun of the Dead," "American Yakuza" (Nurse Noir's on a bit of a Viggo Mortensen craze), then "I, Claudius Disc 5," which deals with Charles Laughton's abortive attempt at the story, "American Pimp" and "Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer."

We might pick up something at a store along the way, especially if Nurse gets a hankering.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:50 pm

Moriarty wrote: He's an abuse survivor, not Freddy Kruger.


That's a very interesting take, Mori, but I didn't see it. Nursey and I both have experience with abuse survivors, but neither of us read that into William's performance.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:00 am

But he says it. He says to the police, that pictures were taken of him very young doing terrible things. You don't need to be a psychologist to get it.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:22 am

To return on topic slightly, I watched the first two episodes of the Curb Your Enthusiasm season 1 DVD, and I must say that I'm not too... enthusiastic about the show so far. Then again, I did only watch The Office last week and declared it the best television I had ever seen, so maybe I've just been spoiled.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:38 am

WinslowLeach wrote:I thought what made Romanek's film worthwhile was that it WASN'T the same old stupid "psycho with a grudge" type film. Instead, it's just a portrait of a very sad, lonely, broken little man who has managed to establish an equilibrium for himself. He's not happy... but he's as stable as he's going to get. And then circumstances conspire to knock him out of his bubble, and he crumbles the rest of the way.

I don't think the film's a thriller at all. It's a character study. And I really liked the work Williams did in the film. I thought it was terribly sad at the end when all the pieces fall into place and you understand why he's always been obsessed with photographic images in the first place. He's an abuse survivor, not Freddy Kruger.


It WAS set up as an obsessive person type thriller from the trailers even alot of the film was like that.

Mori, you have some good points there. You say it wasnt a "thriller" but a character study, and I can agree that it was part character study. It was part psychological thriller as well. Really, when you were watching it, you know you wanted the guy to do more than chase the people down and take PICTURES of them (BAH). It just wasnt a satisfying character study or thriller for me personally. Dont get me wrong, I love character studies with solid acting too (ex: Taxi Driver, Carlito's Way), but One Hour Photo was completely forgettable stuff imo.

The film sure looked nice visually tho! :)
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:53 am

DennisMM wrote:
WinslowLeach wrote: One Hour Photo was just one big cinematic cocktease. I want some real thrills, not that wussy stuff.


I don't think it was meant to be thrilling. I don't think it was meant to be a typical suspense film. I liked it. YMMV


Really? You really thought that all by yourself? Moriarty disagreeing with me had nothing to do with your decision? Cmon dude.

I respect Moris thoughts on movies too, but Im not gonna lick his boots everytime he has a different opinion of a film.
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Postby so sorry on Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:00 am

Johnny boy.
this past weekend I just watched Constantine, which i missed in the theaters.
my review is simple: not bad, not good. Right down the middle.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:19 am

exerpt of a review of One Hour Photo (from SPLICED Wire):

BEWARE! SPOILERS BELOW!!

"Minor authenticity problems in the screenplay arise from time to time, especially in terms of police procedure during the events that lead to Sy's arrest. Romanek also makes the mistake of not trusting himself and his star to make the audience identify with Sy. Just to be safe, he tries to garner some last-minute compassion with allusions to a screwed-up childhood. It's a gratuitous and unnecessary move.

But imperfections aside, this unusual psychological thriller remains uniquely gripping right up to its conclusion, which leaves you to decide for yourself if Sy's eventually disconcerting actions may have had a positive end result."

Ok, so Moriarty made his argument and thats another person who saw it more like I did.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:27 am

DennisMM wrote:"Darkness" the weekend before that. Passable until the end, which is completely unmotivated. Why does this organization want this to happen? What do they think will result?


I agree a with a you onna this one, eh? There was a so much that a the filmmakers, they just dinna explore inna terms of a what they had alla ready set up, no? I like a the movie uppa 'til the end, anna then it was a like, they just say "oops, the time, she is a up... let's end it, eh?"
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Postby DennisMM on Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:19 am

Adam Balm wrote:But he says it. He says to the police, that pictures were taken of him very young doing terrible things. You don't need to be a psychologist to get it.


Our memories are poor. At the time, I'm sure we got it. We just don't rememer it.

Thanks.
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Postby DennisMM on Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:21 am

WinslowLeach wrote:
DennisMM wrote:
WinslowLeach wrote: One Hour Photo was just one big cinematic cocktease. I want some real thrills, not that wussy stuff.


I don't think it was meant to be thrilling. I don't think it was meant to be a typical suspense film. I liked it. YMMV


Really? You really thought that all by yourself? Moriarty disagreeing with me had nothing to do with your decision? Cmon dude.

I respect Moris thoughts on movies too, but Im not gonna lick his boots everytime he has a different opinion of a film.


I lick no one's boot, except lyra's.

I probably like lots of films you do, with a noticeable exception I won't discuss. Does that make me your boot-licker if you mention them first? Hmm, does it? Better say, "No!" dammit! (Mike Nelson)
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:25 am

City of God and Suspect Zero, along with Sin City. Quite a veiwing experience I must say.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:32 am

City of God was incredible. One of my favorite movies the year it came out, possibly my number 1.
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:34 am

Poor Benny
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:37 am

You talkin' to me?!
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:07 am

There's nobody else here
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:24 am

I'm takin' you downtown, boy!
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:26 am

Pacino86845 wrote:You talkin' to me?!


I thought that was the other Italian guy from the Godfather. I guess that doesn't really narrow it down, does it.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:33 am

Man-in-the-Box wrote:
Pacino86845 wrote:You talkin' to me?!


I thought that was the other Italian guy from the Godfather. I guess that doesn't really narrow it down, does it.


You know what, Man-in-the-Box? Over the years, people been mixin' me up with that other Italian actor so often, that even I get confused sometimes. I tell you one thing though: that wonkabar provoke me one more time and we'll be fishin' him out the fuckin' Thames.
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Postby TonyWilson on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:33 am

Winslow, buddy I got to take you to task here.
One Hour Photo didn't confirm your expectations of what a "thriller" should be.
Not a reason to dislike it.
I get that you were dissapointed with the end. But really that's your fault for being annoyed about what you didn't see. If you take that film for what it is then it's really very good. Williams is excellent in it, especially when you find out why he's like this. It's very well observed and as I've said before the script is intelligent and subtle.

Calling the film a "cocktease" is like calling, the girl you talk to on the bus every morning who's funny and interesting but not up for sex with you, a cocktease.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:40 am

Calling the film a "cocktease" is like calling, the girl you talk to on the bus every morning who's funny and interesting but not up for sex with you, a cocktease.


You know that cocktease to? Man, if she wasn't so hot, I wouldn't even talk to her.
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:42 am

Should I bring my fuckn' tools?
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:47 am

Fight? Mom's gonna be pissed.
Should I bring my fuckn' tools?

Jerky Boys referance, or no?
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:50 am

That's right tough-guy
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Postby Pacino86845 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:59 am

wonkabar wrote:Should I bring my fuckn' tools?


Tools? You have tools?! Holy shit, nevermind then. I concede the, uh, fight to you.
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Postby Man-in-the-Box on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:04 am

I'll sell anything. I'll slam their fuckin' head on the car and say you're gonna buy this motherfucker or I'll break yer fuckin' head... I sell. Bring a tank in here, I'll sell the fuckin' thing.
I'm not with Cowbell, he's with me.
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:24 am

wonkabar wrote:City of God and Suspect Zero, along with Sin City. Quite a veiwing experience I must say.


If you like City of God I can make two suggestions for you.

City of Men, the 9 part TV series following the lives of some poor & rich kids living in Rio today, a lot of the actors from City of God are used, the main character is played by the same kid that played Little Dice. Each episode is about 35 minutes and feels like a self contained little film, enjoyable stuff.

Carandiru. The true story of a Brazilian Prison, hardcore, brutal and shocking. You have to see this film.

I didn't think Suspect Zero was brilliant but I didn't hate it, could have been a lot better considering the basic premise.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:35 am

In the past week I have been mostly watching the first 3 episodes of Lost, The Ladykillers (original), The League of Gentlemen Series 3, X-Factor and Big Wednesday.
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:38 am

TITG Tonights episode of Lost is the best out of the whole first series, maybe the finest hour (or 42 minutes) of TV ever, do not miss tonights episode.
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Postby TonyWilson on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:59 am

OOOh big words from JL there, I wouldnt sat it was the best of the season, certainly one fo the best but I like episodes 10 and 11 and 23, the one where Jin and Sun have the heart to heart.

Yeh it's fair to ay I can't pick a favourite. Epsiosde 4 will be the one that gets everybody in the UK talking though, it's going to be absilutley fucking huge after tonight.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
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