Okay, let's hear your recommendations. We saw ONCE--great, thumbs-up. Went to Ken Watanabe's MEMORIES OF TOMORROW. It was sappy and melodramatic, yet I was still affected. In terms of mystery/crime flicks, haven't seen many recently, other than Clint Eastwood's A PERFECT WORLD with Kevin Costner on DVD. Really good movie--best acting from Costner. Don't remember hearing about it when the movie first came out. Bad title. And as I mentioned in the last movie thread, finally saw BRICK and adored it. You have to listen to the director's commentary. Very informative.

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Did you see it? We rented it this past week. Didn't care for it. Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't have much range across his movies - always with the same deadpan expression (as in DONNIE DARKO and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW). Robert Downey Jr. was excellent, but not enough to make up for other shortcomings. The movie wasn't quite the mess that was SUMMER OF SAM, but the factual accuracy just didn't make up for the lack of suspense IMO.
I actually liked it, but I think I was unduly influenced by Robert Downey's performance. I'm a former journalist, and found his depiction of a star reporter hilarious. And also the scenes of San Francisco, East Bay, etc. The whole jurisdictional problem, although done before, was still of interest to me.

Saw DISTURBIA this week. It started off pretty promising, but fell apart for me in the second half.

The Korean monster movie, THE HOST, is saved for tonight. Yay! I'm looking forward to it.
We felt the same way about DISTURBIA. Especially the very end. Good grief!

We just rented HOT FUZZ. Gorier than I expected, a pretty funny send-up of the "Mystery!"-type stories as well as WICKER MAN (the original). Not as funny as I hoped - I felt the same way about SHAUN OF THE DEAD - but there were good moments.

I caught the tail end of A MIGHTY WIND recently, and laughed my butt off. I think that will be our next rental.
Yes, I was thinking of HOT FUZZ, but the video store was out of it.

We've been doing a lot of Asian films recently. INFERNAL AFFAIRS is probably the best Chinese suspense movie we've seen (Bruce Lee movies are in a separate category altogether). It was the basis for THE DEPARTED, which we are watching now for the second time. The acting, for the most part, is better in THE DEPARTED, but INFERNAL AFFAIRS is more streamlined and less violent, which is more effective in some ways.

THE HOST was quite a bizarre movie--the dysfunctional family was more dangerous than the monster. Saw a Korean chicklit/coming of age film, TAKE CARE OF MY CAT, as well. There are some similiar themes of urban angst, family disintegration. Made me wonder what's going on in Korea.

I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE is up for this weekend. What can I say? I'm a big Chris Rock fan.
I saw Stardust over the weekend. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the movie might be better than the book.
No kidding. It got very mixed reviews. Our SoCal MWA president is Neil Gaiman's attorney, so he went to the STARDUST premiere. I will definitely keep the movie in mind.
We just saw THE PRESTIGE. Nolan continues to mature as a writer/director. Explores similar themes as in FOLLOWING and MEMENTO, but in a totally different way. Not rehashed at all. I'd give it an 8 or maybe 9, though I'd need to see it again.
Oh yeah... THE PRESTIGE was fantastic. I think it deserves an 8 or 9 as well.
I do movie reviews here in Portland, on KBOO-FM (KBOO.FM online), and our show was this morning at 9 Pacific Time.
Cronenberg's Eastern Promises is one of the best films I've seen this year, with Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. The Russian mob in London. Savage, ruthless, violent, brilliant. My small contact with the mob world informs me that the Russians are feared and hated by the Mafia, the Asian gangs, and even the Colombians, who were the previously-most-feared group. This film shows why. Not for everyone: very violent.

The Hunting Party, with Richard Gere and Terrence Howard reminds us that some journalists still think of their calling as noble and a public service. This is about a group of TV reporters searching Bosnia for a war criminal, and is allegedly based in truth. Great work by all, good movie.

Neil Jordan's new movie, The Brave One, with Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard (again) didn't work for me. The acting is very good, the scenes between Foster and Howard are excellent, but the story is an update of the Charles Bronson vigilante movie, Death Wish. The ending is preposterous, and the direction flat. Why are we getting vigilante movies again, other than the recurring creative droughts in Hollywood? Is it the war, where we are truly impotent to make a difference?

Do we need another version of 3:10 to Yuma? Yup. Christian Bale, Russell Crowe and a reminder of the Western as a distillation of the themes of good and evil and personal responsibility that Americans are supposed to ponder as a nation. Good performances, especially by Ben Foster as Crowe's crazed and loyal henchman. Yup.

More anon.
Yes, I'm so looking forward to "3:10 to Yuma." I grew up on westerns, both good and bad, and I adore both kinds.

Here in L.A. there's been a lot of buzz on "Eastern Promises." I'm so impressed with Viggo Mortensen's work ethic. Apparently he totally immersed himself into his character.

I've been trying to cut back on money spent on bad movies, so this kind of feedback is so helpful. Thanks for joining us here on "It's Friday."
I am glad to hear Eastern Promises is good. I am very interesting in seeing it.
I'm glad to hear Eastern Promises is good-love me some Viggo. I'm also glad to hear the good review of The Hunting Party-it looked semi interesting from the ads, but Richard Gere films have that effect on me-I usually enjoy them more than I expect to.

I don't know what the deal is with Jodie Foster-she's either really on top of her game, or sinking to the bottom. I hated the vigilante theme when Bronson, really when anyone does it-having it be a 'strong' female character isn't going to impress me any more than the previous ones did.


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