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Hazel

What films have you seen recently?

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Huge CSI Vegas fan here too - I love Grissom's team, especially Greg. I buy all the boxsets and in fact have just has Season 6 Vol 2 delivered this morning. I don't watch any of the other series.

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I love Homicide: Life On The Street (sadly, it ended after 7 seasons in 1999, but I have the box sets and really think it is a fantastic show). Rescue Me, with Denis Leary is also great, and Oz (another show, which is sadly no more).

The Shield is another one I enjoy, and The Wire. I don't tend to watch them when they're on - I get the box sets and then watch a few episodes at a time.

I'm a fan of the box sets too. On TV they blast into the ads and have no respect for the closing titles. I'd rather wait and buy them on DVD. I just got the first season of Homicide delivered (I love that there are seven series to keep me going!), and have the first two or three seasons of Oz waiting to be rewatched.

 

By far the best though is The Wire. I'm loving it. Strangely I watched the second one first and am now watching the first. But there's Deadwood lined up on the TBV pile, and Boomtown, and Empire Falls, and Hill Street Blues, and Hamish MacBeth, and Third Watch, and many, many more.

 

But I can't watch TV any more. The Sopranos has just finished in the States and I can't watch an imported show, pick up a magazine or click a link (avoid salon.com!!!). Episode nine starts Thursday night.

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I'm a fan of the box sets too. On TV they blast into the ads and have no respect for the closing titles. I'd rather wait and buy them on DVD. I just got the first season of Homicide delivered (I love that there are seven series to keep me going!), and have the first two or three seasons of Oz waiting to be rewatched.

 

By far the best though is The Wire. I'm loving it. Strangely I watched the second one first and am now watching the first. But there's Deadwood lined up on the TBV pile, and Boomtown, and Empire Falls, and Hill Street Blues, and Hamish MacBeth, and Third Watch, and many, many more.

 

But I can't watch TV any more. The Sopranos has just finished in the States and I can't watch an imported show, pick up a magazine or click a link (avoid salon.com!!!). Episode nine starts Thursday night.

 

Boomtown is brilliant! I have the box set of the first series, but unfortunately it was cancelled 6 episodes into the second series, and as hard as I have tried, I am unable to find those 6 episodes anywhere.

 

I have the first couple of seasons of Hill Street Blues as well, but haven't had chance to sit down with them yet.

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I have been watching What about Brian on E4, which is two episodes into its second series after a short 5 episode 1st series. The Brian of the title is the only one of a group of seven friends that is single, the other six are three couples, one of which includes his sister and another his best friend Alex. Alex is engaged to Marjorie. The twist, or at least the main twist, is that Brian has been in love with Marjorie just as long as Alex. Result is some slightly trashy bittersweet drama, but with a good helping of humour. This weeks episode (repeated Sunday) was the wedding day, complete with the obligatory "will she, wont she?" drama. I'm enjoying it, gives me something to watch other than cricket, speedway and motor racing now that Battlestar Galactica has finished for this year.

 

I also took out a subscription to Setanta on Sky, which gives me two NASCAR races a week. Perhaps strangely, considering they are typically 3-4 hour, 500 mile long races where all they do is turn left, it's the most exciting motor racing I've seen in over 20 years of watching just about every type, from small club stuff at my local circuit through to saloons like the BTCC to formula 1.

 

Watched two films for the first time in the last few weeks, Miami Vice, which I'd rate as awful. The way the nighttime sequences are shot is superb (Mann has always done this well IMO) but the rest of the film is just silly, less believable than say a Bond film, I didn't like any of the characters and the only actor I liked was Gong Li. So not very good really :D .The other was Million dollar baby, which I thought was excellent. I really wasn't expecting to like it given the premise - grizzled old coach reluctantly takes on would be fighter, reluctantly as it is a woman - however the story does not follow the predictable path and the leads all give believable performances. Loved it.

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Miami Vice was truly horrendous. Million Dollar Baby was excellent - I bubbled like a newborn over that film.

 

Recently, I have seen -

 

The Prestige - great Victorian/magician film, with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. As a Christopher Nolan film the time-line is confusing, but the period is beautifully evoked and there are loads of satisfying twists.

 

The Black Dahlia - Definitely a contender for the worst film ever made, never mind worst adaptation from a book. Do not see this under any circumstances. It is a shocking film that ends up as a dreadful parody of a film noir. The performances (Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johannson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart) are truly awful and at some point all the characters seem to acknowledge the badness of this film in their performance, and they just struggle to get to the end. I was horrified to see the wonderful Fiona Shaw in this. When is someone going to arrest Brian De Palma for crimes against film?

 

Perfume - A stunning lesson in how to adapt a well-loved book with style, precision and love. Ben Wishart plays Grenouille to perfection and the film captures the aromas, and the dreaminess of this book wonderfully. Highly recommended.

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The Prestige - great Victorian/magician film, with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. As a Christopher Nolan film the time-line is confusing, but the period is beautifully evoked and there are loads of satisfying twists.

Mmmm. I watched that a month or so back and certainly enjoyed it. It was an involving and fairly complex film which did indeed bring the era satisfyingly alive. Without giving anything away it ends up as a rather curious mixture of the real - in terms of the mechanics of spectacular magical tricks - and the fantastical. I think it just about pulls off the combination, but it's strange, certainly. As you say, Hazel, plenty of good twists. I'd definitely recommend it.

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The Departed - I was so looking forwrd to this film and desperately wanted to love it. What's not to love? Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Marky Mark, Scorsese, mobsters...but it was really quite awful. The main problems with it are -

 

1 - Marky Mark's character is so over the top, so hammy, and so aggressive for no apparent or given reason, that it was actually embarrassing to watch.

2 - Jack is not terrifying at all. For some big mob guy, he was distinctly lacking in menace - so it made it pretty hard to believe that he was such an important mobster.

3 - Some plot devices, (including a letter - without giving anything away), are strangely left hanging and while we know the end result, there is no satisfying tie-up of these things. It was all a bit rushed.

4 - The film as a whole is so lacking in any Scorsese menace that it came off as a comedy - and not a black one either. It was like Carry On Mobguys. It is so flimsy and lacking - it's hard to believe it is a Scorsese film.

 

On the plus side - Leo is great as always, I just wish he had said no to this one. Maybe Blood Diamond will redeem his choices...

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Last night I finally got round to watching Hot Fuzz, and I almost wish I didn't. How can this be from the same people that brought us the wonderful Shaun of the Dead? I laughed a few times, I must admit, especially at Nick Frost's antics, but on the whole it was far too desperate an attempt at being 'amusing'. There was no natural comedy about it. I am really disappointed.

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Regarding The Prestige - I really, really want to see this. Christian Bale is an excellent actor, and I loved Memento, which was a Christopher Nolan film.

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Last night I finally got round to watching Hot Fuzz, and I almost wish I didn't. How can this be from the same people that brought us the wonderful Shaun of the Dead? I laughed a few times, I must admit, especially at Nick Frost's antics, but on the whole it was far too desperate an attempt at being 'amusing'. There was no natural comedy about it. I am really disappointed.

Oh dear! I was really looking forward to that, being a huge Shaun fan too! :(

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Regarding The Prestige - I really, really want to see this. Christian Bale is an excellent actor, and I loved Memento, which was a Christopher Nolan film.

 

It's well worth seeing Ruth, I really enjoyed it.

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Oh dear! I was really looking forward to that, being a huge Shaun fan too! :(

 

Sorry David, I was really disappointed by it, and the huge number of famous actors was more than a little distracting. The major plus of it though was the fantastic Paddy Considine.

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This was a really good Italian film based on a true story. It starts off with three teenage friends and then in their 20s they take on the Mafia and set up their own regime in Rome. It is set in the 60s and 70s and is thoroughly absorbing. You find yourself liking these characters, knowing that you shouldn't as they do terrible things. Kim Rossi Stuart stands out as Ice - in love, but cold as his nickname.

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I watched Sin City last night...I love that film! *sigh*

 

humour, blood, heartache, pain and Marv! :D

 

One of the best comic book adaption films I've ever seen!

 

(the way they filmed it was the same way they wanted to film The Crow!...shame they didn't do it..it would have been awesome!)

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I watched Sin City last night...I love that film! *sigh*

 

humour, blood, heartache, pain and Marv! :D

 

One of the best comic book adaption films I've ever seen!

I agree, Revony. A superbly stylish film that's visually spectacular. Imaginative and original, it's the sort of film that I could easily watch a number of times.

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Another Sin City fan here - it really is a stunning piece of work. I loved it. If only all comic book adaptations were treated so well...

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A fun Sin City drinking game:

 

Drink every time someone gets hit in the groin. You won't be disappointed. :D

 

(PS: I think 300 is a contender for top comic book film.)

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A fun Sin City drinking game:

 

Drink every time someone gets hit in the groin. You won't be disappointed. :D

Ah! That game's for Sin City?!

 

Well that explains it.

 

I'd been playing that with Pride and Prejudice and it was indeed very disappointing...

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Ah! That game's for Sin City?!

 

Well that explains it.

 

I'd been playing that with Pride and Prejudice and it was indeed very disappointing...

The game for that is to drink every time women giggle behind their hands, I think. ;)

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(PS: I think 300 is a contender for top comic book film.)

 

Yes, that well may be - I loved that as well.

 

I watched Notes On A Scandal last night and by god it was brilliant. Judi Dench absolutely embodied the odious Barbara and terrified the life out of me. Bill Nighy was fabulous as Sheba's "cuckold" of a husband and his rage when he finds out what has been going on was so believable. Cate Blanchett as said Sheba was adequate. I am not a huge fan of hers normally, and she didn't blow me away or anything in this. I think, rather, she was just outdone by 2 outstanding actors. Completely overshadowed. I can think of a few actresses that would have done a better job of Sheba and been able to hold their own with the powerful Nighy and Dench combination.

 

The young boy playing Stephen Connelly, was so good I can't decide if he was acting really well or just being the teenage boy that he was.

 

This is an example of a novel making a worthy transition to the big screen. It really was spellbinding to watch. Highly recommended.

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