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Michael Clayton: Ethan’s Review

Longtime listener/reader Ethan has been checking out some of the films up at the Toronto International Film Festival and he was kind enough to send us a a review of Michael Clayton.  I won’t waste any more time.  On to the reveiw!

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Ethan’s Score:  8.5/10

We’ve had plenty of legal thrillers in the last few years. They all seem to be decently made, but not original. Well acted, but not Oscar worthy. Entertaining, but not insightful. But Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton gives the genre a kick in the ass and manages to be original, feature Oscar-worthy performances and be insightful!

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An Open Letter to Warner Bros. RE: Sweeney Todd

Dear Warner Brothers,
There is a rumor circulating that you’re planning to trim your eagerly anticipated fall release, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, so that it may recieve a PG-13 rating. As you plan to release this lavish, gothic musical around Thanksgiving and want to reach the widest audience possible, it is understandable that you plan to edit down some of the gorier moments of this Tim Burton-directed film.

Yet, it must be said that one of the reasons I and so many like myself can’t wait to see this film is because it is an R-rated, darkly funny and grisly adaptation of the beloved musical. Truly, there won’t be anything else out there like it this holiday season and something like this will not only stand out but find it’s distinct audience. Unlike, say, “Beowolf”, which will likely prove to be too scary for children and not an obvious draw for adults, “Sweeney Todd” already HAS an audience ready to embrace it! The same teens who made the violent “300” a $200 million dollar hit, the same adults who have followed Burton’s career since ’85, the same audience members who flocked to “Hairspray” and “Dreamgirls”, and Johnny Depp’s considerable fan base (not to mention attendees attracted by the curiosity factor alone) will all be there opening night and will likely return throughout the holiday season.

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3:10 To Yuma: Barry’s Review

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Barry’s Score:  7/10

Before the lights went down and the film started, I turned to my friend and  fellow Screen Geek Dave and said, “I hope this one’s great.” His response:  “I just hope it’s a good western.” He has an excellent point. Following the  box office disaster of “The Alamo” and Brad Pitt’s Jesse James film getting  pushed back a whole year, things have not looked so good for one of the  oldest genres in Hollywood. The musical genre is back and flourishing (thanks to “Dreamgirls”, “Hairspray” and, likely, this fall’s “Sweeney Todd”), but the western genre has fallen on hard times, yet again. Funny, how the westerns and musicals were once the two most popular kinds of movies Hollywood turned out (the two most popular genres now? Sequels and Remakes, I suppose).

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Introducing the ScreenGeeks Mid-Week Film Snob

Have you ever had a film snob mock you for not having seen Fritz Lang’s M or Bergman’s Wild Strawberries?  Well, we’re here for you.  Instead of making fun of people for having not seen great film works, we will be taking this mid-week release as time to discuss great films, exactly what makes them great and why they’re worth checking out.  These discussions will range anywhere from 5-15 minutes, but we’ll try to keep them somewhat short.

This week, we talk about Preston Sturges’ Unfaithfully Yours.  If all you’ve seen is the crappy remake with Dudley Moore, you’ll definitely want to give this a listen.  You can check the full spcecs of the Criterion release on their official site.

Film Snob Episode 01

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SGR Episode 11- Please Remake This!

This week we talk about movies that actually should be made, and Dave makes a startling admission about Children of Men.  Hit the jump for show notes and news links.

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Halloween: Dave’s Review

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Dave’s Score:  3/10

If you had told me that Rob Zombie, master of the macabre in his music videos was going to make a Halloween movie that made the Care Bears look scary, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Unfortunately, while there is plenty of gore and boobs, there is a very distinct lack of horror.

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Halloween- The Legacy Of Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, Silver Shamrock And A William Shatner Mask

It remains to be seen whether Rob Zombie’s eagerly anticipated remake of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” will be worth the trouble, but there are a least two things we know Zombie got right. One- he has gone out of his way to make Michael Myers, a reliable but overly familar, now campy boogeyman, scary again, and two, he went backwards in the narrative, rather than attempt to piece together the events of “Halloween II”- “Halloween Ressurection”. Although the original is a hair dated and tame in comparison to the ultra-violent ripoffs it spawned, Carpenter’s richly suspenseful, atmospheric and smart first entry is the best. Yet, the sequels, while a mixed bunch, aren’t all bad. As a fan of this series, I can say the best of the further installments are stylish, clever and well crafted thrillers, while the worst ones, well…aren’t. Let’s take a look…

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SGR Episode 10

This week, we talk about boxing movies and the TV shows we want to see on DVD.  Show notes will actually be coming tomorrow.

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ScreenGeeks Radio Episode 09

This week, we talk about school movies along with DVD and theatrical releases.  Show notes will be coming tomorrow.

Our thanks to Josh Green from FirstShowing.net for joining us again.

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BODY SNATCHERS- “The Invasion”, Then and Now

by Barry Wurst

What I love and have always found seriously scary about every one of those Body Snatcher movies is that they tap into a fear that is both paranoid and hard to put into words.  In fact, the heroes of these movies usually have a hard time explaining exactly what is scaring them so much, but at the core of these films, a truly frightening premise that everyone alive can relate to is being exploited.  The notion that you may not truly know the people in your life, that they may different on the inside, changing in front of you, or entirely different from who you initially thought they were, is something anyone in a relationship or with long time friends can understand.  Yet, the overall premise of the Body Snatcher movies goes even deeper and is more expansive:  what if everyone in the world was the same, and you were the only one left with a difference of opinion? This is what scares me more than falling alseep and waking up as someone else.  Freedom of speech and expression of personal individuality are two of my favorite aspects about
life in general, and to take that away, in favor of being just like EVERYONE
ELSE…I find that frightening.

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