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Air Bud
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(Originally posted on: 01-25-08 06:35:32 PM)
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Okay, so if you've been around INTL for a while, you've probably seen me attempt these "film festivals" before with very little response from people, but I'm going to give it another shot. If it fails, oh well. If it succeeds, fantastic! Either way, I'm doing this whether you like it or not. Don't want to participate? Don't. However, if you do, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover some great films.

Before I go into this installments theme and featured films, let me first set a few ground rules for this. Much of which, if you're familiar with the old INTL film festivals, will just be essentially a rehash.

  1. The intention of this film festival is to expose people to films that they may or may not have seen and to stimulate discussion on this otherwise dull and somewhat uneventful subforum.
  2. You may at any time suggest a movie (or a theme) for the following month; however, failure to participate in the film discussions will immediately put your suggestion in the back of the line.
  3. If you are having trouble finding a copy of the films listed here, do not make a request in this thread for someone to post a bootleg or illegal copy of the film, you will be banned. I highly suggest subscribing to Netflix, it is easily the best way to get copies of any kind of movies, whether they be mainstream of obscure.
  4. I have included several links to other various sites that feature reviews, discussions, and spoilers pertaining to the film. Feel free to utilize those links to help stimulate the discussions here. Do not plagiarize, however. There's nothing beneficial in that.
  5. I can't think of anything else... check back later for edits.


So anyway, with that said, the theme for this installment is based loosely around the movie, Cloverfield. I say loosely, because not all of these movies are exactly similar to Cloverfield, but have a certain characteristic that are reminiscent of it. All of these movies were shot as documentaries, birds-eye view, but are all essentially fake productions.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078935/
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10 (7,874 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/cannibal_holocaust/
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57% Fresh
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cannibal-Holocaust-Luca-Barbareschi/dp/B000C4BBXY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1201297848&sr=8-1
Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Cannibal_Holocaust/70005444
Directed by: Ruggero Deodato
Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen
Language: English
MPAA Rating: X (original 1984 rating)
IMDb Plot Summary: In the beginning of this film we meet a documentary team of three young men and a young woman. They are heading for the south-American jungle to search for real cannibals. After a while the crew is reported missing and a rescue team is send from the US. This team gets in touch with an amazon tribe called the Tree-people. The tree-people gives them the only remains of the first crew - the film rolls containing the material this crew shot during their search for real cannibals. Back in the US we get to see these films. We now get to see exactly what happened to the first crew.
Fun Fact: After premiering in Milan, the film was confiscated by authorities and the director, Ruggero Deodato, was arrested and charged with obscenity, which later turned into murder charges. Facing life in prison, he had to contact the actors who played the murdered film crew and present them alive and well before the murder charges were dropped.

Man Bites Dog (1992)

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103905/
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 (8,573 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/man_bites_dog/
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88% Fresh
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Bites-Dog-Criterion-Collection/dp/B00006FMCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1201313343&sr=1-1
Netflix: http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Man_Bites_Dog/60024122
Directed by: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel
Starring: Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert
Language: French
MPAA Rating: NC-17
IMDb Plot Summary/Outline: A camera crew follows a serial killer/thief around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly he begins involving the camera crew in his activities, and they begin wondering if what they're doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival's brother sends a threatening letter.

Blair Witch Project (1999)

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/
IMDb Rating: 6.1/10 (61,989 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blair_witch_project/
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84% Fresh
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blair-Witch-Project-Heather-Donahue/dp/B00001QGUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1201313806&sr=1-1
Netflix: hhttp://www.netflix.com/Movie/The_Blair_Witch_Project/18957965
Directed by: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez
Starring: Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams
Language: English
MPAA Rating: R
IMDb Plot Summary: Three film students travel to Maryland to make a student film about a local urban legend... The Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike to find the Blair Witch, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video was found in the woods. The footage was compiled and made into a movie. The Blair Witch Project.
Fun Fact: This film was in the Guinness Book Of World Records for "Top Budget:Box Office Ratio" (for a mainstream feature film). The film cost $22,000 to make and made back $240.5 million, a ratio of $1 spent for every $10,931 made.


So that's it. In the spirit of constructive criticisms, don't just bash a film without giving a valid reason for disliking it. On the same token, don't just say, "yo i liked dat movie" without telling us why you liked it.

Hopefully this topic will stay current and people will respond to it. If this goes decently, I'll make another thread either from suggestions or my own ideas in a month or two.
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Reply 1 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-26-08 12:42:42 PM)
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I guess I'll start things going, here's my review of Blair Witch Project.


I first saw Blair Witch Project in the summer of 1999 when it was still in limited release. There was still a substantial amount of buzz around it as one of the scariest horror films of all time and well, it piqued my interest. At that point in time, viral advertising on the Internet and a fake documentary on the Sci-Fi channel had complemented the legend of the Blair Witch and the reality of the film crew actually being missing and presumed dead for five years to add to the illusion of this film being authentic. Now, of course, that illusion of authenticity has been shattered into a million pieces, however, at the time of the release of The Blair Witch Project, it was incredibly effective and led to an incredible first viewing that left an impression on me of this film that will remain for a long time.

I consider myself a fan of the horror genre and frankly, Blair Witch Project is one of the most terrifying horror films I've seen to date. It may not have gore and a bunch of computer graphics effects and a psychotic killer who forces people into moral dilemmas such as digging a key out of some comatose man's intestines so they can remove a bear trap from their own head lest their head explode! Exciting! It doesn't have loud noises at the precise moment someone walks around a corner to make everyone in the audience flinch out of mere reflex. I guess if you like horror films that are just gory, murderous, shock-fests where everything is neatly resolved (or left wide open for a sequel) at the end, this probably isn't for you as there's none of this to be found. The most gore you see is some bloody teeth wrapped in a cloth midway through, and well, there was a sequel, but not by the original creators, so it doesn't count.

Blair Witch Project is about fear and an overwhelming sense of despair at being lost, hunted, and marked for death and the range of emotions and psychosis the human mind goes through while trying to not only survive, but cope with an impending sense of death with no immediate reprieve. Instead of just merely being lost, hunted, and marked for death by a strong iconic image of a crazed killer wearing a hockey mask with an obvious weakness, we don't get to see what we're being hunted by and are unable to draw any conclusions as to how to outwit it. In this way, our imaginations have to fill in the gaps and make assumptions that quickly spiral out of control, crippling us to act on anything but a decaying survival instinct. In this way, I feel the film is an incredibly effective horror film, because it doesn't rely on superhuman villainy, shocking moral dilemmas, knee-jerk reflex, or pure over-the-top bloody gore to drive the horror, it relies on what your own imagination can conjure up if you allow it.
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Reply 2 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-26-08 05:14:36 PM)
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I'll try to see one or two of these movies by mid-February, so this is a placeholder post in support of the idea and will later be edited to include any reviews for the current theme.

I'm kind of interested in that Man Bites Dog, largely because of the title. Does it include subtitles or am I going to have to watch the scenes over and over so I can catch all the words?
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Reply 3 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-27-08 11:19:51 AM)
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Cannibal Holocaust has a great story and premise.
I saw it recently and it has a lot more to offer than just the gore and animal killing controversy, which I've read as being it's only point of interest.

Blair Witch is really effective, I didn't want to see it at first, I knew what is was about and that it was not real, but it's effect doesn't rest on that.
Quote:
it relies on what your own imagination can conjure up if you allow it.
Yeah, it gives you subtle, but tremendous incidents that direct that imagination to somewhere so terrible....



It's been a while since I've seen Man Bites Dog, I'll watch that one again soon. It's a queasy film to watch, it begins as a light-hearted farce that rots away into something dead serious.  The ending is similar to the Blair Witch, too.  
Quote:
I'm kind of interested in that Man Bites Dog, largely because of the title. Does it include subtitles or am I going to have to watch the scenes over and over so I can catch all the words?
The (Criterion) dvd has subtitles.


LOOK is an upcoming film that relates to these too, I think. It tells a series of intertwining stories through surveillance cameras.
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Reply 4 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-29-08 05:36:32 PM)
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I've never seen Blair Witch, though I really wanted to when it first came out. Since then I've heard all about it and saw the ending. I also hear that the camera is sooooo terrible and annoying. I'm really not sure I'd like the movie. I mean, it seems like the only good quality of it is putting yourself in the person's place and feeling helpless and hunted. And I understanding this correctly? I'm not really sure that I'd enjoy that kind of movie too much.

Anyone else have any other thoughts on it, and would I still like the movie knowing it's completely fake and the ending, and that the camera would probably annoy the shit out of me?
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Reply 5 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-29-08 05:46:39 PM)
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Of the three, the only I've seen is Man Bites Dog, which I thought was excellent. As Pixies noted, the way it goes from farce to serious so elegantly is marvelous. It's been a few years since I've seen it, so it's tough to say much more about it other than I really liked it.

I'll try to watch the other two (I'll put them on my netflix list), but I don't know if I'll have time to watch any movies at all in then next couple weeks.
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Reply 6 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-29-08 09:56:01 PM)
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Quoted from wheezy:
Anyone else have any other thoughts on it, and would I still like the movie knowing it's completely fake and the ending, and that the camera would probably annoy the shit out of me?
Knowing that it's fake won't ruin it for you, neither will knowing the ending. Either good or bad, really. However, the camera, don't get me wrong, is terribly annoying, even when I watch it nowadays. Despite it being annoying, I believe that it is the most effective way to present the film. Any other method of presentation would've made it incredibly boring and stale.

I'd say just find some time to watch it where you can actually give it your full attention (it's only 90 minutes) and try to look beyond the camera motion sickness annoyance and tell us what you thought. Even if you don't like it, I'd like to hear why.
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Reply 7 of 10 (Originally posted on: 01-30-08 08:42:59 AM)
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Quoted from Sandamnit:
Quoted from wheezy:
Anyone else have any other thoughts on it, and would I still like the movie knowing it's completely fake and the ending, and that the camera would probably annoy the shit out of me?
Knowing that it's fake won't ruin it for you, neither will knowing the ending. Either good or bad, really. However, the camera, don't get me wrong, is terribly annoying, even when I watch it nowadays. Despite it being annoying, I believe that it is the most effective way to present the film. Any other method of presentation would've made it incredibly boring and stale.

I'd say just find some time to watch it where you can actually give it your full attention (it's only 90 minutes) and try to look beyond the camera motion sickness annoyance and tell us what you thought. Even if you don't like it, I'd like to hear why.


Alright, I'll give it a shot sometime. Unfortunately, I almost never watch movies up at school, so it probably won't be any time soon. =/
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Reply 8 of 10 (Originally posted on: 02-15-08 01:59:18 PM)
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I watched the Blair Witch Project this afternoon, and it didn't really make much of an impression on me at all. I didn't really find it good or terrible, and I didn't find it even slightly scary. I thought it was pretty bland, really. Perhaps that was because there were absolutely no surprises at all in it for me; I knew approximately how it ended up and everything else was easy to guess. Takes a bit of the suspense out of it.

The way they shot and marketed it is clever, but it seems to me that if someone is entirely removed from the marketing and surrounding hype, the movie is pretty mediocre and nothing very special.

I also found the characters so profoundly annoying (they're all babbling, incompetent idiots) that I was somewhat rooting for their deaths.
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This reply was last edited on 02-15-08 02:04:38 PM by emtilt.
emtilt

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Reply 9 of 10 (Originally posted on: 02-23-08 01:45:28 PM)
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I just saw Cannibal Holocaust, and what a frustrating movie it is! It had the potential to be an absolutely wonderful film, and, as it stands, the second half is still brilliant film making. Unfortunately, it is somewhat undermined as a whole by the ridiculous portrayals of the natives in the first half of the film. If they hadn't been portrayed as so stupid, monkey-like, and non-functional the film would have had tremendously more impact. His comparison, which implies modern industrial society has a savage side, unfortunately relies on there being a standard of savagery (the 'real' savages). Of course, if you take the film as merely a critique of media sensationalism with no broader interpretations, you can somewhat explain that away by saying that the ridiculous portrayal of natives is, in fact, an implication of the viewer's willingness to give in to that sensationalism. I tend to prefer a more general interpretation, though, so I think it would have been much more effective had that portrayal been altered.

It's very clear that this film was a big influence on The Blair Witch Project. It also might be worth comparing Cannibal Holocaust to Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

EDIT: It's also worth noting that the animal mutilation scenes were real, and that's probably a bit excessive for a movie.
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This reply was last edited on 02-23-08 02:00:38 PM by emtilt.
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Reply 10 of 10 (Originally posted on: 02-24-08 01:39:30 PM)
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Quoted from emtilt:
EDIT: It's also worth noting that the animal mutilation scenes were real, and that's probably a bit excessive for a movie.
Well, it's been said that Deodato now regrets the animal killings and he's supposedly currently working on a remake of the original that won't feature actual animals being killed.

As far as the actual animal killings, the rumor is that the animals that were killed were then given to the natives featured in the film and eaten, so that acted as a justification of the filming of the animal deaths. They merely just rationalized it as "hey may as well film it, save us some expenses."

Oddly enough, speaking of Heart of Darkness, a similar thing is also the case for the end of Apocalypse Now, where there is an actual animal filmed being killed, but it was done by means of a native ritual sacrifice, so it was viewed as fine to do by Coppola.
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