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Everything posted by DanBuck

  1. DanBuck

    Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

    Okay saw PDL finally, and was sooooo ready to love it. But I just thought it was okay. I felt like it had interesting characters but never really developed or explored any of them. I like Anderson's films, and have always thought that his strength (unlike Payne and Jonez) is that his dispicable characters become friends because we get to know them so well. Three hours will do that for ya. But in 96 minutes I felt like I had just met this guy and all the sudden it was over. Perhaps Anderson has been criticized for his lengthy films and is overcompensating. But I wanted more. I walked away from the film thinking, it was going in good directions, but never got anywhere. I know a lot of you love this film - defend it. A lot of you have talked about a second viewing, and I'll have to give that a shot I suppose. But I would think even people who loved the film might have agreed that it would've been better had there been more of it.
  2. DanBuck

    The Shining (Kubrick)- a question

    A friend of mine asked me this morning a question about this film and I don't remember the film well enough to tell her the answer. At the VERY end of the film after all the bad stuff has gone down, l there is a long camera shot of the wall of photos in the inn. The camera zooms to one picture in particular that shows the entire staff of the inn in its hayday, and sitting in the front row is Jack Nicholson. But the picture is dated 1921. So... What does it mean that the picture shows HIS face? Is he a ghost? Is he reincarnated? Was he predestined to find this hotel to reunite with his earlier soul? What's the deal?
  3. DanBuck

    Cube (1997)

    IMDB listing. Saw this preview and it intrigued me. It's one of those ones that could REALLY suck, but if pulled of with even the slightest finesse, it may work. The premise is very interesting. Here's the trailer.
  4. DanBuck

    A Cowardly Daredevil

    As I try to put down my thoughts on this film I can't help but be struck by how ironic it is that a film entitled "daredevil" is in fact, so un-daring. I was truly disappointed by this film. And for those of you who require info on my comic background I was not a comic reader but here's where I fall (Loved: both X-men and Batman pt. I - was non-plussed by: Spiderman and Hated: All the other Batmans, the Shadow and now... Dardevil). What a truly horrible parade of cliche's. And not even playful acknowlegdement of cliche's ala Scream, but just blind wandering through rehashed images and ideas. Affleck was uninspired, Garner is eye candy and nothing more. The film makers didn't follow their own rules for reality (i.e. gunshots can be dodged without a problem, but a pipe organ deafens him) and the CGI was some of the worst I have seen. Everytime I saw some, I had trouble not laughing. The religious imagery was horribly sloppy, and the villian was truly uninspired. A real waste of an evening. It sent me to bed pissed off. And I hate that.
  5. DanBuck

    Favorite Christmas Recordings

    List Your Perfect Holiday Mix Stevie Wonder: That's What Christmas Means to Me Everyone's a Kid at Christmastime Silver Bells Someday at Christmas The Christmas Song with India Arie (looking for this one from a Gap commercial) Blues Traveller: Christmas Dave Matthews Band: Christmas Andy Williams: Happy Holidays Mary's Little Boy Child Sleigh Ride Some Children See Him Sheryl Crow: Blue Christmas Harry Connick, Jr.: I Pray on Christmas Christmas Dreaming Jack Johnson: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Barenaked Ladies: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (w/ Sarah McLachlan) Vince Giraldi: Skating Christmas Time
  6. Casablanca Some Like it Hot The Shootist Cool Hand Luke The Graduate An American in Paris McCabe and Mrs. Miller Touch of Evil Days of Heaven Some Like it Hot Marty Laurence of Arabia Blade Runner The Passion of the Christ
  7. What's a good gateway film? Cries and Whispers Winter Light Persona Other?
  8. DanBuck

    Finding Nemo

    Okay saw Nemo last night and I truly loved it. Here are some observations: 1. I find it interesting that for all of Lasseter's praise and Disney's championing of Miyazaki, they have storytelling styles that couldn't be more different. Nemo illustrates Pixar's STRICT adherence to a pardigmatic story structure. Their model is the circle. Every second of that film has some special relevance to a later momet in the story. From the memory loss of Marlin's companion, to the last minute ditch effort of Nemo's tank mates to rescue him by swimming down in the net. Everything is maticulously laid out. It is the anit-deus ex machina. It makes for a very... satisfying movie experience. Like a coloring book where the artist has stayed nicely within the lines. Yet, Miyzaki is celebrated for his divergence from this form. His imagination runs in a more linear pattern, this piece of action leades us to this, this decision leads to this. There are characters that aren't hugely important, there are plot twists that seem almost irrelevant by the end. It seems almost a roller coaster, but one where the passenger ends up in a different place than they got on. I truly loved Nemo, but watching it felt like watching a dance instead of a journey. And I'm not sure I'm saying one is better than the other. I don't have a lot of background in Eastern Literature, but I wonder if someone sees any hemispheral influences here. 2. Nemo has a couple patented Pixar elements: A mindless, humorous mass of characters (The Seagulls) were a strong throwback to the alien toys of Toy Story. 3. The "Journey with two unwilling friends" was also very Toy Story-ish. 4. The continual bouncing back and forth of two stories, practically like clockwork 10 minutes in the tank, 10 in the ocean, 7 minutes in tank, 7 in the ocean was again a sign of their rigid adherece to structure and similar to Toy Story 2. 5. With a few exceptions, humans never fair well in Pixar stories. 6. The opening short film would've been better if the female trinkets hadn't been De-Busted. 7. This film made me tear up a few times. Easily the deepest emotional depths Pixar has plumbed and they did it well. Not sappy, just meaningful. 8. Ellen D was friggin hysterical. 9. Loved the turtles.
  9. DanBuck

    The Thin Man (1934)

    So, I caught the first installment in this series and was downright floored. I LOVED the dialogue. I could've listened to the marital banter all night. So great! And here I was thinking that witty banter was invented by the Gilmore Girls. Anyway, the ending, I felt, was a bit frenzied. A fast talking reveal of all the facts that culminates in a villian and his demise before I'd even figured out who he was. Do they all end so abruptly and so "chattily"? Just curious. My wife enjoyed it too, which one should we hit next?
  10. DanBuck

    A Man For All Seasons

    Saw this for the first time last night and quite enjoyed it. I didn't have the Divine Encounter Robert Johnston describes he had, but I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed Paul Scoffield and John Hurt. Although I thought everyone else (with the exception of Orson Welles) was WAY over the top. Comically so at times. I couldn't believe I was seeing such rediculous acting amidst such greatness. Question: What exactly is the role of "Chancellor" as it is depicted in the film? Is there a comparable office in the states?
  11. Congrats on a great article in this month's Relevant Christian. Good stuff. Well written and some interesting info, not just some fan talking about his favorite episodes and quotes.
  12. DanBuck

    The Elephant Man

    I wanted to start a place for dicussion on this Top 100 film. And a place to rate it as well. :spoilers: I am always amused when I think of how successful (articstically) Lynch is when he's not being nutty as a fruitcake. This one and The Straight Story are both personal favorites. Symbols: I love Lynch's use of physical symbols in this film. The Cathedral - John Merrick can only see the tips of the church outside his window, but it inspires him to create an entire model of the building. Once he completes it with his signature, he goes to sleep (forever). The church is his identity, his dignity. Most of his glory is concealed, but even a small glimpse of it is enough for him to want to discover the man he is.The Picture of Mama: Merrick's picture of his mother appears whenever John is feeling good or bad about hismelf. As though her eyes are the eyes of God looking own in approval or disapproval.The "Brush Kit". A sign of his dignity given him by Treeves in the days when Treeves is really just making him a "high class freak". But this symbol and his dignity are indeed shattered once the "party" in his room occursMachines: Throughout the film, we hear are industrial clanks and clangs, which are appropriate to the time period, but the first patient we find Treeves treating is a machine accident. As the movie unfolds, we realize the director is leading us to see those who use others as mere machines, or a means to an end, as true monsters.Stars: Lunch loves stars to repesent infinity. They start and end this film and The Straight Story as well. It's as though he's reminding us that we are not seeing the whole picture, but merely a slice, carved out of an endless timeline.Genitals: The only unaffected part of Merrick is his genitals - He is still a man.Good use of dark and light here, as would be expected in a black and white film. Bites is seen whispering to "his treasure" but his face goes in shadow as he does. The dark is also used to keep the audience in the dark about the full appearance of Merrick until late in the film. I especially love the moment where all the doctors are getting a good look at the Elephant Man, and we're forced to settle for a sillouhette. This movie was a life-changer for me, both thematically and artistically. Glad to start the ball rolling on its further unpacking.
  13. SPOILERS Doyle, the detective, in his third visit to Jeffries (the visit at which he meets Lisa) before he leaves he mentions a phone call: "Oh the phone call, I hope you don't mind I gave them your number. The ??? post office, they called to say that the box was picked up by Mrs. Anna Thurwald." But I didn't see this phone call. Is it an editing problem? Was the call cut out? Anybody know?
  14. DanBuck

    The Hours

    Saw this one last night forthe first time, and while I could appreciate the performances (and Nicole was much more than a nose), I am struggling trying to piece together the thematic ideas of the film. That's fancy-pants critical lingo for, "I ain't sure I get it." The film's most obvious theme was the one directly connected to the title. Through Ed Harris' character and Virginia Woolf, I was able to gather that the film is an exploration of the cycle of joy and pain. That "the hours" must be relished which are happiness, and when they are over, the sadness is the completion of that happiness. I'm okay with that theme, its very C.S. Lewisian, but my wife and I couldn't help but notice there didn't seem to be any happiness in any of their lives, ever. Julia says to her mother's character "All your friends are sad." So, I had trouble believing that these people were ever really happy and here, in the winter of their lives were grasping at straws about what happiness might have been oh so long ago. Very sad. Secondly, I felt as though the film was bit of a big Pity Party for Girls. Virginia was trapped into her life by her insanity, Julianne Moore's character was trapped into domesticated life even though she probably preferred women, and Meryl's character was trapped by a love she had for a man who didn't requite. I tried to watch with an open mind, and I don't have trouble with feminist or even lesbian artistic expression (Ani DiFrancoi and the Indigo Girls are two of my leading poetic influences), but from somewhere inside me a voice was crying out "Wah, Wah, Wah, poor me. I'm a woman and the world is full of men that want to oppress me. And wouldn't it be a nice place if we could all be lesbians and eliminate testosterone from the world forever." I want to find more here, and most of all I want to see more clearly if I've missed strong thematic elements of this film. It kept me up most of the night because I thought, surely I must be missing something. Like I said, "Help!" PS - Does anybody ever want to be married to poor Riley?
  15. Upon my most recent visit to Netflix, I found this on my main welcome page... This is what comes of simultaneously boning up on foreign films, woody allen films, and Anime.
  16. I've notice the films I show now move nicely through the dawn of modern cinema... Welles, Hitchcock, A 50's comedy. But then there's a big jump to the 80's with The Elephant Man and On Golden Pond. So I want to fill in that 60's-70's gap. Some candidates. A Man for All Seasons In the Heat of the Night Guess Who's Coming to Dinner The Sting Birdman of Alcatraz One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest or others... ideas? Some profanity and violence is okay. But LOTS of profanity or nudity is not okay for this setting.
  17. DanBuck

    The Conversation (1974)

    I saw this film last night and quite liked it. A little side note introspection here is that I'm noticing a change in my own film appreciation. While I've long since looked at and assessed cinematography, acting, lighting, sound, etc, I've always been a fan first of the story. And any weaknesses or holes in plot were usually enough for me to strongly dislike the film. However, with this film I think I'm maturing past my narrative prejudices, because the story is not the strongest aspect of the film (although its good) and yet I still rather enjoyed it. First up, Hackman. Wow. I don't know what Coppola does but he can get performances out of actors that no one esle can. Hackman, for me, was always one of those actors who seemed like he had one character. Intense, witty and often grumpy. But here, he was a whole new man. And from the little commentary I listened to, Hackman claims he put his performance solidly in Copola's hands, trusting him on choices in ways he'd not done before for other directors (and I'm guessing since). I loved the pacing of this film. I loved the use of audio and music. I loved the repitition of the opening conversation. I wasn't crazy about the "party scene" and the "twist ending" was a little neglected in its treatment. The nature of what happened was left very ambiguous. And I liked the ending. As high and dry as it left us, I was satisfied, because the movie was so much more about Harry Caul than it was about the people whom he was "wire tapping." Interesting to see Harrison Ford here. I didn't realize he had another significant film (other than American Graffitti pre Star Wars.)
  18. For the record, I'm a big fan of the bit-by-bit release of the list. Thanks for doing this whole thing Prins.
  19. DanBuck

    Rock and Pop for Kids

    When I was six, I played the soundtrack to "Lady and the Tramp" and Sean Cassidy on my Fisher Price record player (which had my sister's name in brown crayon scrawled across the top). My six year old and my eight year old have MP3 players. I have no philosophy or strategy for guiding my children's tastes. I just want songs that they are likely to enjoy that are not about the Britney's sexual exploits. Mostly, I just want them to love music. So I'm looking for fun and pretty innocuous. Here's some of the stuff they have right now... Plain White Tees - 1,2,3,4 Panic at the Disco - Nine in the Afternoon Don't worry be happy -Bobby McFerrin Some Taylor Swift Some Jack Johnson A fair amount of Sam Cooke Gypsy Kings Jet Jamaroquai I know those are sort of all over the map. Many of them are influenced by what they hear on films or Rock Band. What do your kids listen to?
  20. Mirrormask was a near miss for me crow. And Almost Famous and Eternal Sunshine... That's it... I'm editing.
  21. DanBuck

    Most Important Director of the Aughts

    Joel & Ethan Coen - 25 Wes Anderson - 25 Michel Gondry - 10 Lars von Trier - 5 Robert Altman - 5 Richard Linklater - 5 Christopher Nolan - 5 Quentin Taratino - 5 Hayao Miyazaki - 5 Paul Thomas Anderson - 10 For now...
  22. DanBuck

    Your 2009 Mix

    I know a few of these are older than 2009, but they were new to me this year. Sue me. 1. Fleet of Hope - Indigo Girls 2. Paris - Paul Benton 3. Bulletproof - La Roux 4. Just Ain't Gonna Work Out - Mayer Hawthorne 5. Skinny Love - Bon Iver 6. Off I Go - Greg Laswell 7. Melody - Kate Earl 8. Corner - Allie Moss 9. Little Person - Jon Brion Guilty Pleasure 10. Whatcha Say - Jason DeRullo *Note: I have been a participant of this board for about 8 years. And I think this is my second post in the music forum. I lurk here quite a bit, but always feel in over my head.
  23. I'm certainly in better company in these parts, but... Forrest Gump.
  24. DanBuck

    Top Ten of the Decade

    Then you'd do better not to judge it. Meh. I discern, not judge. And I discern both not to see it and laugh when it ends up in someone's Top 20 list. Top 20 OF THE DECADE. James Bond. The two don't mix. Maybe Top 20 of the summer it came out. You don't need to see a James Bond film to know what is in it. I've probably seen 83% of them. Enough is enough already. For the record, "meh" is my favorite word of the aughts. And Enough is Enough sounds like a Bond title. For the record, I quite liked Casino Royale, even if the ending (epilogue) was WAY overcooked.