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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.0.206
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 04:31 pm:   

In the most recent Entertainment Weekly (1/8/10) Stephen King does a list of "The Best Movies of 2009." They run from December to December, so it's slightly off as to what was exactly released (since he saw THE READER in 12/08, for example, it's on the list [at #5]).

I think one could sort of nod or shrug at his choices... but I must say, even a big-forgiver-of and admitted-lover-of remakes like I am, was surprised by (quoting now his entry entirely)...

"2. The Last House On The Left

"Easily the most brilliant remake of the decade [!], and not just because the 1972 original was such a crap-fest. This beautifully photographed - but hard to watch - movie is the standard by which all horror/suspense films should be judged [!]: The acting is superior (Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul is especially fine), the story makes sense, and, most importantly, Last House's moral compass points to true north. We don't want these creeps back for six or eight sequels; they are monsters, and we want them dead. This film is on par with The Silence of the Lambs." [!!!]

What the huh?!?... #2 best movie of the year?!... It wasn't a terrible movie, but hardly anything worth remembering, let alone... on par with Silence of the Lambs?!...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 04:37 pm:   

I'm almost as disturbed that he had 'The Reader' in his Top 5 !!

Worthy nonsense imho.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 04:38 pm:   

What did he pick as #1, Craig?

I think King was gone way overboard with his praise for Last House...however, the film is actually very good indeed until the final, final scene, which destroys the credibility carefully generated by what went before. Take away that single incredibely stupid scene, though, and you have a powerful, well acted shock machine.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.7.162
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 05:32 pm:   

I honestly can't remember the final scene, Zed....

#1 was THE HURT LOCKER

The others:

#10 - 2012
#9 - FANTASTIC MR. FOX
#8 - THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123
#7 - LAW ABIDING CITIZEN
#6 - DISTRICT 9
#4 - DISGRACE
#3 - THE ROAD
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 06:39 pm:   

To be fair, King admitted in Danse Macabre that his taste in movies is very personal, and questionable...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 06:49 pm:   

You can say that again!

'The White Ribbon' eclipses any other movie made last year for me.

Though I'm really looking forward to 'The Road' which I believe opens here next week.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 85.210.148.163
Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 09:52 pm:   

The last film I saw at the cinema was FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE... And no, I'm not that old. It was showing on a "classic movies" evening. Really rand on the big screen, and probably the most believeable Bond movie.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, January 08, 2010 - 03:42 pm:   

I'm bored so here goes... Top 10 films seen in the cinema last year:

10. Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona
9. Star Trek (XI)
8. District 9
7. Avatar
6. Watchmen
5. Let The Right One In
4. Inglourious Basterds
3. Moon
2. Antichrist
1. The White Ribbon

...and waste of money of the year goes to the truly atrocious 'Terminator Salvation'.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.225.213
Posted on Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 09:10 am:   

Hey Stephen (Walsh, but King too, if you're around, and everyone else): I just saw (now on dvd) THE HEADLESS WOMAN (LA MUJER SIN CABEZA) - an absolutely superb film, one of the best I've seen this year. It requires, nay demands, absolute attention, because it does not easily divulge its clues; the whole builds in quiet intensity, to what I found to be a super-subtle, but deeply disturbing close. I think I understand the film, at least. Now on my top 10 list of 2009 - actually, top 5 - but I've a number yet to see....
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 02:58 am:   

While I don't think King is smoking crack this year (well, how can I know? I've not read these), here are the 10 best books he's read all year ("which doesn't necessarily mean they were published this year," as King explains), in order up of their greatness (from Entertainment Weekly, 12/17/10):

10) CITY OF THIEVES, David Benioff (Note: he's the screenwriter who scored a talk-of-the-town spec sale some years back [$2 million+!] with his script STAY... which was an okay movie....)
9) THE HELP, Kathryn Stockett
8) SWAMPLANDIA!, Karen Russell
7) BLOOD'S A ROVER, James Ellroy
6) MATTERHORN, Karl Marlantes
5) LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER, John Irving
4) SAVAGES, Don Winslow
3) I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, Laura Lippman
2) FREEDOM, Jonathan Frazen
1) INFINITE JEST, David Foster Wallace (NOTE: Interesting to quote King's words here: "To my mind, there have been two great American novels in the past 50 years. Catch-22 is one; this is the other...." I'm ashamed to admit I've not read Heller's novel, though I've always meant to [not seen the film either] - so is it as good as King's praise?...)

All of the above - just fwiw.
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:42 am:   

Whenever I think about Heller's classic novel, I always think of this: CATCH-22 was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961, along with Richard Yates's brilliant REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. Neither one won. Walker Percy's forgettable (IMHO) THE MOVIEGOER took home the prize.

Frankly I liked CATCH-22 (haven't seen the movie either), but I didn't love it. As a Vonnegut fan, though, Craig, it may be right up your alley.

Re: King's list -- INFINITE JEST is an odd choice, especially as it was first published fifteen years ago. The book's one of those giant post-modern novels with mobius-strip plotlines and tons of footnotes. It's more work than it's worth, imo, but I do enjoy the late great Wallace's nonfiction.

That being said, I can't fault King for choosing an older novel, I guess, since I couldn't name ten books from the past twelve months I'd like to go on record as having loved. Not sure I could name three, actually.

Of the rest I've only read FREEDOM, which was good, but not as good as Franzen's earlier THE CORRECTIONS.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 05:59 am:   

Thanks, Chris. I do know Vonnegut often praised Heller and CATCH-22, and I think was good friends with the author as well.

I think the best "book" (not novel; and "best" itself a term that I must just go with for now, un-precisely defined) from the past 12 months I've read, was the collection THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES OF THE CENTURY, ed. by Tony Hillerman (2001). That's out of about 25 books I've read this year (wow... I read more than I thought I did!). Though the second best is rapidly becoming this omnibus horror story collection THE DARK DESCENT, ed. by David G. Hartwell, because every story I'm reading in it is, indeed, not just good, not just great... but phenomenally great....

The only person to really ask for such "best of" lists is, of course, our one and only Stevie. I hope he plans a collection of lists for us by January 1 (plenty of time to fit more in!) - including films, books (can we cull separately short-stories as well?), and television....
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 10:27 am:   

My 2010 "Best Ofs":

¡Film of the year: A Serbian Film

¡Book of the year: this one's a tie between Graham Joyce's The Silent Land and The Passage by Justin Cronin

¡TV show of the year: Dexter, as usual...


¡I can't really choose a record of the year as everything I've bought in 2010 has been stuff released a long time before that......
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 11:12 am:   

Film of the year: Inception.
Guilty delight film of the year: Altitude.
Book of the year: The Witnesses Are Gone.
TV Show: Boardwalk Empire
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 12:01 pm:   

Film of the year: Machete.
Guilty delight film of the year: Machete.
Book of the year: The Devils (three quarters through, and it's taken me the year).
TV Show: The Walking Dead.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.202.203
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 12:08 pm:   

All old, sadly -
Film;
Book; The Man Who Went Up in Smoke by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö
Story; Handcarved Coffins by Truman Capote
TV; Er...Poirot
Record; Keane, Perfect Symmetry.
Let-down of the year; Under the Dome by Stephen King.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 12:37 pm:   

Let-down of the year..good category, Tony. Mine would be The Walking Dead.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 12:52 pm:   

Horror film of the year: The Last Exorcism (and it's a spoof).
Sci-fi film of the year: Inception.
Fantasy film of the year: Centurion.
Thriller of the year: Machete.
Drama of the year: Another Year (also a pitch black comedy).
Comedy of the year: Machete.
Genre of the year: Comedy (for which it has been a golden one).
Let-down of the year: the dearth of new quality horror films.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.202.203
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 12:56 pm:   

You feel sad having them, don't you? I felt bad putting King there. It's sad because now when I see a King book it's like finding I have to repair a gutter on my house, not read something great.

I have to explain the Poirot; my missus LOVES Poirot. I used to hate it. But one day I found the lot on dvd for a tenner and got her them. Now, every Sunday, we and the kids make cheese on toast and sit down to watch it. Bugger me if it's not the cosiest, loveliest highlight of the entire week. The odd thing is that the kids actually like it too, and in fact are quite sad if it has to be cancelled.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 01:05 pm:   

Tony - did you read Lisey's Story. If you haven't, you should. It might restore your faith. A beautiful book, and one of his best.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.202.203
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 01:09 pm:   

Ack! I loved half of it. I actually really really liked Colorado Kid. I dunno, I do still read him but now come to him with a trepidation that brings me down a bit. It's like he's a zombie of himself (heck, maybe we all are after a certain age...).
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 01:14 pm:   

I give you Tony "upbeat" Lovell...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.202.203
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 01:25 pm:   

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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:30 pm:   

Tony, that is quite possibly the most beautiful story I have heard all year. And don't for a second feel guilty about enjoying a quality TV production from the days when that actually meant something. Not my cup of tea, I'll grant you, but my Mum loves it (and 'Inspector Morse' & 'Sherlock Holmes' [you know the one]) and for that reason I love them too, just like Norman Wisdom. Fill your boots man...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.77.197
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 03:43 pm:   

Yeah, but they've gone and remade Murder on the Orient Express for Xmas Day primetime ITV viewing. Just what the world needs, I think not.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 05:19 pm:   

Gosh, trying to remember the films one saw in one year.... I'd say maybe the best film I saw all year was, so far, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. Unless I saw TIDELAND this year... did I?... I think I did, way back at the beginning of the year... if so, holy f*ck, that was the best film I saw all year, hands down....

I guess "remade" is unfair, since this new one is going to be based on source material that's not another film, Christie's novel. But still - remake the greatest mystery film in the history of film?! Blasphemy!

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