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y goober of a girlfriend has lampooned me! Not only did she completely mock my entry about my new truck, but she did a parody of the video.

My only two "creative" video endeavors have been the subject of parody, now; ed_aims having apparently set a precedent last summer.


The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
A deft blend of court-room drama with horror. Even if you're not typically a fan of the horror genre, you can appreciate this film. It isn't gory, nor does it utilize mind-boggling CG effects. The scariness lies in the story and in the performance by Jennifer Carpenter. It is beautifully shot, well-directed, and full of strong performances.

Saw (2004) & Saw II (2005)
I watched these two movies back to back this week. The first film is awesome for a variety of reasons, the two principal ones being the relative talent and what I call the "wtf? factor". The first film features the acting talents of Cary Elwes and Danny Glover, while the second film relies on a brooding and boring Donnie Whalberg. But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that in the first film, you have no idea what is going-on from the opening sequence, and you're immediately drawn in and kept constantly guessing as the story unfolds, even until the very end. In the second movie, the magic is gone because you know the trick. While there are still some surprises in the second movie, it doesn't have that edge-of-your-seat quality like the first. That said, these are very much genre films. Whereas The Exorcism of Emily Rose has the capacity to appeal to a broader audience, these movies will only be of interest to you if you're a fan of the genre, especially the highly-stylized horror films of the last decade.

Benny and Joon (1993)
This has been a movie I've wanted to see for a long time but never had the opportunity until now. Seeing it now is probably more interesting because it is chock-full of people whose stars were just starting to rise but were virtual unknowns at the time, like William H. Macy and Julianne Moore. It also features good lead and character work from the likes of Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masternson, Aidan Quinn, CCH Pounder, Dan Hedaya, and Oliver Platt. It's a multi-faceted love story, all centered around Joon (Masterson), a mentally-ill woman who is the sister of Benny (Quinn). Depp is Sam, a quirky and loveable outsider who falls in love with Joon much to dismay of her brother. The various plot-lines resolve themselves neatly and predictably as you would expect in any date-movie, which is all this is. It's better than most, but not great.

Boogie Nights (1997)
Julianne Moore and William H. Macy would team-up with the other Whalberg kid, Mark, for Paul Thomas Anderson's astonishing film about the golden era of the porn industry. From the first sequence of this movie, you know you're in for a treat, with its amazing, continuous opening shot. With an ensemble cast which also features strong performances from Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Burt Reynolds, Boogie Nights is simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
This movie tries too hard to be a Tim Burton knock-off at times, but is entertaining and fun none-the-less. The voice-over narration is often clever but, while the larger-than-life character of self-important actor Count Olaf deserves a certain amount of over-the-top acting, Jim Carrey's scenery chewing antics become a bit tedious after a while.

Corpse Bride (2005)
Burton's latest stop-animation endeavor is commendable on many artistic levels. The set and models are gorgeous and the dark humor is great, but ultimately it's lacking in character development. You just don't care or become attached to anyone because you're not given enough to sympathize or relate to them in any way.

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ell I guess it depends on how you define "really gory". They are not as gory as, say, Evil Dead. It is not as gory as The Cell or Thirteen Ghosts.

But there is a good deal of blood and just a little bit of guts. To their credit, they shy away from showing it ALL, but I'm not sure it's a sense of moderation or side-effect of a relatively low budget.

OK. I'm sorry, but I have to put my two cents in.

Benny and Joon is a wonderful movie! Definately one to be seen not only on date night, but also to purchase. Johnny Depp always puts in 150% to his acting roles which is nothing less that what you'd expect to see from him. The story line is a "typical" fall in love story, but there's just something about this movie that makes it better than a "typical" love story.

Have you read the Lemony Snicket books that preceded the movie? If you haven't, then the movie would seem a bit over the top or tedious after a while. That is actually how the books are written, though. I thought the movie was very well done. It followed the books very closely, but was also done in a fashion where if you had never read the books, you could see the movie and easily understand everything. It was also done in a fashion that if you didn't see any future movies (this movie was only the first three or four books, I can't remember exactly), then you had enough "closure" to not be kept hanging forever.

love Johnny Depp, and his work in this film is commendable as are the performances of everyone else in the movie. Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, and better than most in the genre of date-movie.
I don't know that I'd go as far as to say it's worth purchasing unless you're a huge fan of Depp. Then again, I think everyone should own Better
Off Dead

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i want my two dollars

here are so many great quotes from that movie. I think my favorite is, "Gee, Ricky, sorry your mom blew up."

or maybe "It's a damn shame when people be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that!"

h, and no, I haven't read the Lemony Snicket books. I dunno, I try not to fall into the trap of comparing a movie with the book if I've read it, so I don't think it would influence my opinion that Jim Carrey's over-the-top-ed-ish-ness was tedious. They're different mediums with their own benefits and limitations. I try to think of films as being based on novels or as adaptations and that, ultimately, they have to work and stand on their own. :)

If Soop ever had time to read...I have every single copy of the Lemony Snicket books. :^)

I've never seen Benny and Joon. :^(

Well, if you'd like, I can ... ummm ... "copy" the Benny and Joon dvd. I got it on eBay for a buck last year. :-) And I love the Lemony Snicket books. It started getting annoying that he would explain stuff all the time, but otherwise I love the books. We have them here too. :-)

Angra's "Temple Of Shadows".

I loved Benny and Joon and Lemony Snicket and I totally agree with your review of Corpse Bride.

That first picture is a crack up!

Lemony Snicket was way better than Nightmare Before Christmas, if you ask me. Tim Burton always manages to look hokey somehow, but Unfortunate Events was entirely dark and creepy. And the end credits were the best ever.

And for anyone tempted to try it, irons to make halfway decent grilled cheese sammiches. :)

Corpse Bride was disappointing on one additional level. Danny Elfman (I hope that's right) practically reused tunes from Nightmare Before Christmas. As in I was watching CB, humming along, and starting singing a NBC song. Tsk-tsk. It was interesting visually but I'd much rather watch NBC.

:O Nobody told me Cary was in Saw! If this movie isn't too gory, it's just become a must-see for me :D

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