Paranormal Activity

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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Jim Davis
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Paranormal Activity

Postby Jim Davis » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:22 am

I've heard some amazing things about this movie, and I can't wait to see it. It debuted at Slamdance in January, though there's no word yet on a national release. Pray it comes to a multiplex near you.
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"His plan therefore was not to refuse admission to the idea, but to keep it at bay until his mind was ready to receive it. Then let it in and pulverise it. Obliterate the bastard."--Samuel Beckett

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Postby Moderator » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:19 am

Yeow. Hadn't heard a word about it until just now. (Yes, that's my rock with the bed just beneath it, why?)

Can hardly wait to get home and watch that trailer on my Mac.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

rich

Postby rich » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:55 pm

Wait. Didn't this take place in the woods in NJ, or am I thinking of another hand-held video camera one hit wonder?

(Nevermind me, I saw FUNNY GAMES today so I'm cranky; though luckily I didn't pay for it so I'm not that cranky.)

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Postby Moderator » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:12 pm

Oh, F*** me. This reminds me -- now that I've seen the trailer (God love a Mac) -- of THE HAUNTING. You don't see anything, but it's truly frightening nonetheless.

I've recounted the story to others (hey Tally!), but given my experience at the Jerome Grand Hotel*, this cuts very cool-ey close to home!!!



(*My wife, Cris, smelled a very strong ether scent -- as did I after she pointed it out -- when we arrived, and later that night Cris was unable to sleep because of "all the rushing around, like an emergency ward" around us. Turned out, we were sleeping on the former Surgery Floor of the Jerome Hospital -- something we didn't find out until a month after staying there.True story, and "yeech!")
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Jim Davis
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Postby Jim Davis » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:16 pm

rich wrote:(Nevermind me, I saw FUNNY GAMES today so I'm cranky; though luckily I didn't pay for it so I'm not that cranky.)


Any riots? How many soft drinks and popcorn boxes hit the screen after the rewind sequence? (Says Jim, who saw the German original, of which the American version is a shot-for-shot replica.)
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"His plan therefore was not to refuse admission to the idea, but to keep it at bay until his mind was ready to receive it. Then let it in and pulverise it. Obliterate the bastard."--Samuel Beckett

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Postby markabaddon » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:59 am

OK Jim, I am home alone all day today, and that trailer fraked me the FUCK out. Thanks so much for that.

Barber, that is one eerie little story. You said that Cris heard rushing around did you hear any noises or was it just the smell?
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:19 pm

Barber farts, that's all I know.

Yea, it is a Blair Witch cop. Looks good though.

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Any more disses of Blair Witch and I will take out their liver as well.

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Postby Moderator » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:07 pm

markabaddon wrote:Barber, that is one eerie little story. You said that Cris heard rushing around did you hear any noises or was it just the smell?


All I caught was the smell of ether. Cris had a rough night and said she'd had trouble sleeping because every time she dozed off she had this sensation of things rushing about her, waking her up.

But it wasn't until a month later I was reading a book about Arizona hauntings that I found out about the floor being the surgical center -- and that people constantly noted the smell of surgical fluids and the difficulty sleeping because of the "activity". Yeah, the hotel plays up the haunted aspects of the area -- as does most of the town of Jerome -- but I doubt that runs to pumping ether into the rooms and invading ones dreams.

I'm not saying there are ghosts, but you have to admit it's a little creepy.
Last edited by Moderator on Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:15 pm

Weird things happen, we have no real answers. Better that we hope for something. Eternal darkness is scarier then any bump in the night.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:47 pm

Either I just picked up a psychic vibration or I just got horny.

I don't know the difference anymore.

Either way, scientifically, it's impossible to fear "eternal darkness" because you won't know when it's come.

It's the PROSPECT we fear.

Well, YOU do I don't.

At this point, I welcome it.

Join me.

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:58 pm

Not until I try Nigerian(*) food first. Join ME!!


(*) My sister tried it, and she says it tastes like food passed through a goat, then served with steamed orzo.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:07 pm

Duane...I was dragging FRANK'S carcass into Eternity, not YOURS.

'Sides, if you ate Nigerian I think you made it there ahead of all of us.

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Postby rich » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:56 am

Jim Davis wrote:Any riots? How many soft drinks and popcorn boxes hit the screen after the rewind sequence? (Says Jim, who saw the German original, of which the American version is a shot-for-shot replica.)


SPOILERS AND MORE SPOILERS SO IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE DON'T BOTHER READING EVEN THOUGH YOU SHOULDN'T SPEND YOUR MONEY ON THIS ONE ANYWAY 'CAUSE YOU'RE REALLY NOT MISSING ANYTHING.

There are some scenes in the flick that are just brilliant. I'm thinking in particular when one of the bad guys goes to the kitchen to grab a sandwich. The almost unendurable long single take of Naomi Watts struggling after the bad guys leave. Shit, that was what five minutes or more??

However, I need to have some point to the movie. I know violence is bad, and that it can strike anyone anytime anywhere, but I'm looking for some insight or something other than a filmmaker trying to insult me by having the character break the fourth wall to guilt me into being complicit in the destruction onscreen. Trust me, I would've called the cops.

I actually thought the rewind sequence was necessary and an integral part of what the filmmaker was saying about the audience expectations, but, again, there are better films out there that offer better insight into violence and our own complicitness in that violence.

And I must say one other thing while I'm pissed about the movie. I read that the director (name escapes me and I'm waaay too lazy to look it up) wanted to say something about "American" violence--like we have a corner on that market, but anyway...

The slap in the face that sets the whole thing in motion was bullshit. A blue blood wouldn't have hit the bad guy, and a regular American would've pushed the guy away at the least since the bad guy invaded personal space with a threat. Ok, so we've got Tim Roth as a pussy and bitchslapping another guy in the face, turning his back on the second bad guy.

Ok. I'm not really buying it, but I do understand we need to get to point A to point B. However, we've got two unarmed bad guys, and its obvious that these guys are fucked in the head, but no one, not Tim Roth, not Naomi Watts decides to take one of those golf clubs, and start doing the Mask of Zorro with it.

And that's my main problem with the flick. It wants to say something deep and profound about violence, but it reduces the family to puppets, doing only what the script tells them to do instead of actually reacting the way someone would when confronted with two (initially) unarmed men who don't look all that imposing.

To me, if you want to say something about American violence, how 'bout the consequences of what happens when the vicitim's try to go all Hollywood on the bad guys, as opposed to playing the "I'm trying to make a point about our passivity in the face of violence" in the film. Because unless you're a Buddhist monk, no one remains passive when their ten year-old son gets his head blown off.

By the way, I was the only one in the theater so there was no one to vent to, and the concession guys were all hanging out talking about Lost.

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Jim Davis
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Postby Jim Davis » Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:33 pm

Yeah, that was kind of my reaction to the original: extremely well-made, if bleak, but ultimately unnecessary and just as manipulative as any of the big Hollywood blockbusters it's supposedly critiquing. Michael Haneke, the director, made the original Funny Games early in his career, and the consensus seems to be that he's moved on from this kind of thing to make better films, so why he felt the need to go back and do a remake is beyond me. It seems to be nothing more than a massive "You've been pwned!" on the American moviegoing audience, and it's frankly amazing that a major studio bankrolled this. (By the way, you got off lucky--the film could've made you physically sick.)

Haneke's Cache and The Time of the Wolf are terrific, in any case.
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"His plan therefore was not to refuse admission to the idea, but to keep it at bay until his mind was ready to receive it. Then let it in and pulverise it. Obliterate the bastard."--Samuel Beckett

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Shocked by the Games

Postby kevinkirby » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:06 pm

Thanks for the reminder about Funny Games. WonderCon was handing out length-of-engagement passes and this one may not be in the theaters too long; it's easy to let one like this slip past without seeing it.

It looks pretty scary, too. Most people tend to forget the fact that seemingly ordinary, citizen psychos secretly murder somebody nearly every day. And that's in the US alone. Even now, somebody somewhere in America is being tortured to death in a basement or garage--maybe tied up to furniture, hobbled, or with broken/dismembered limb(s)--hoping desperately not to become one of the countless "missing" people who vanish daily without a trace, no age restiction required.

The true shock would be discovering the levels of collusion with authority; often the "de rigeur" element in our ongoing wave of human predation. A few years of schmoozing with the local bozos-in-uniform, or infiltrating some low level benevolence organization, and then there's typically no stopping the well-oiled machine.


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