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Mike the Bike's PAID Viewing Choices (Jul - Sep 2011)
12:30P 01Oct11 Time to publish the new quarterly list. More choices (240) to pick from than the previous quarter, and more titles chosen (yay!). Since the weather has been great for bicycling, my Dvd time was dictated by "time" - if I wasn't hooked by 20 minutes, it was a reject. In the past, I've seen bad Dvds all the way through; now I've "freed" myself (or so it feels); I may have quit on films or docs too early, but I've read multiple reviews (the good and the bad) on the films beforehand, and if a critic has made good points against a film, I've probably taken that to heart. As before, don't take my word for any of the selections; cut and paste the "http" of the included review, and if that isn't enough, go to Rotten Tomatoes and read some of the other reviews. Whatever you do, remember that the titles below reflect my sensibilities; I'm proud of the list, but it's only that: a list. Enjoy! 10:30A 19Jul11 Looking at new dvd titles on Bookspace, I 'binged' "Big Jake" to see if Roger Ebert ever reviewed it. But I found something even better (IMHO). As you know, I go to the source (R.E.) for reviews you can view of my favorite film critic...and I found this --- http://www.jason-bailey.com/2011/01/commentary-roger-ebert-then-and-now.html --- Also, the article talks about this --- http://www.esquire.com/features/roger-ebert-0310 --- (P.S.: Click on the 'print' button to make for easier reading). Enjoy! Mike    Print this list Print this list
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3 backyards [videorecording]
#123(Aug.18)(2010)(41)(75)(67) --- Stephen Holden (New York Times) writes --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/movies/3-backyards-on-long-island-via-eric-mendelsohn.html?ref=movies --- Slow, langorous pacing, almost like an additional character. NYT CRITICS' PICK
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36th precinct [videorecording]
#84(Aug.4)(78)(100)(--)(2004) --- Lisa Nesselson (Variety) writes --- http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117925665?refcatid=31 --- Director/screenwriter Olivier Marchal puts you through a modern police procedural and wrings you out. Only criticism: the subtitles don't remain on the screen long enough.
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A time for drunken horses [videorecording]
#40(Jul.13)(2000)(91)(84)(100) --- Read the Ebert review --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20001027/REVIEWS/10270309 --- before seeing the film. A searing slice of life.
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Cover Art: A%20film%20unfinished%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
A film unfinished [videorecording] /
#223(Sep.24)(2010)(85)(97)(100)(doc) --- Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) writes at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/08/18/movies/18unfinished.html --- You think you've seen enough of the holocaust, the Warsaw ghetto - e.g. "The Pianist," "Schindler's List," Steven Spielberg's interviews with holocaust survivors - but this doc runs you in a different, fascinating direction. NYT CRITICS' PICK
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American graffiti [videorecording]
#30(Jul.10)(1973)(79)(97)(4/0) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19730811/REVIEWS/301010301 --- The new audio commentary (for the FACEBOOK(?) generation) by director George Lucas is echoed by Roger Ebert's 1973 review. This classic film gets a true "Special Edition" treatment. The "making of" documentary (1 1/4 hour), while somewhat repetitive of the audio commentary, is well worth the time to view it. NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Araya [videorecording]
#34(Jul.11)(1959)(93)(87)(71)(doc) --- Roger Ebert reviews the new MILESTONE theatrical release (HCL has purchased the DVD that followed) at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100113/REVIEWS/100119988 --- Be sure to view the documentary "Araya: The Film of Her Life" after seeing the film; the Pablo Neruda connection to Venezuelan director Margot Benacerraf is just one of many joys.
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Beetle queen conquers Tokyo [videorecording]
#124(Aug.19)(2009)(52)(90)(100)(doc) --- Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter) notes at --- http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/beetle-queen-conquers-tokyo-film-29582 --- A unique cultural obsession depicted in this documentary. 12 page booklet included.
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Breaking bad. The complete third season [videorecording]
#122(Aug.17)(2010)(89-Metascore)(9.6-User Score) --- James Poniewozik (TIME) writes at --- http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2010/03/19/tv-weekend-breaking-bads-white-hot-slow-burn/ --- Three in a row for Bryan Cranston - Emmys, that is. Best season yet (IMHO).
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Cover Art: Buried%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Buried [videorecording] /
#179(Sep.9)(63)(86)(68) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100922/REVIEWS/100929996 --- As the viewer, one relates completely to Ryan Reynolds; if you suffer from claustrophobia, you might want to take a pass.
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Cover Art: Cameraman%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%3A%20the%20life%20and%20work%20of%20Jack%20Cardiff%20%2F
Cameraman [videorecording] : the life and work of Jack Cardiff /
#229(Sep.25)(2010)(doc)(92)((96)(100) --- Wonderful review by Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) at --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/cameraman-the-life-and-work-of-jack-cardiff,1176261/critic-review.html --- where she writes: “Cameraman” should be required viewing for anyone interested in becoming more visually literate in an ever-more-media-drenched age." Bonus interview of Director Craig McCall and his 13 year project should be viewed first (IMHO). NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Cover Art: Cleopatra%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Cleopatra [videorecording] /
#227(Sep.25)(1934)(66)(88)(--) --- Mordaunt Hall (New York Times) writes at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A0DE5D8133CE23ABC4F52DFBE66838F629EDE --- Digitally remastered as part of the "Universal Backlot Series" with a wonderful commentary track; also, very informative bonus material.
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Cold weather [videorecording]
#130(Aug.24)(2010)(55)(75)(64) --- Roger Ebert's review at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110310/REVIEWS/110319995 --- Another small movie that fell below the radar; so real, no artifice
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Con artist [videorecording]
#129(Aug.24)(2009)(100)(100)(3/0)(doc) --- Stephen Holden (New York Times) writes at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/movies/12con.html --- Good follow-up doc on New York artists/photographers after Basquiat, Banksy, and Bill Cunningham treatments.
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Cool it [videorecording]
#133(Aug.25)(2010)(74)(50)(50)(doc) --- Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) writes --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/movies/12cool.html --- but a good counter essay by Nicolas Rapold (Village Voice) is at --- http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-11-10/film/enemy-of-climate-consensus-gets-a-soapbox-in-cool-it/ --- You've seen Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" - now take it a step further. NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Cover Art: Des%20hommes%20et%20des%20dieux%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%3D%20Of%20gods%20and%20men%20%2F
Des hommes et des dieux [videorecording] = Of gods and men /
#178(Sep.8)(2010)(76)(92)(96) --- Roger Ebert isn't pulled in as much --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110310/REVIEWS/110319994 --- as Colin Colvert (Star Tribune) is --- http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/118186634.html --- Roger makes a good case for unnecessary egotism, but was it a selfish act? Ah, faith...
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Discovering Hamlet [videorecording].
#58(Jul.18)(1999)(100)(--)(--)(doc) --- Nick Hartel (DVDtalk.com) gives a thorough review of the historical roots of this production (and recommends the supplements) at --- http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/46625/discovering-hamlet/ --- Less for Hamlet buffs than for Guthrie regulars for how the greatest play can get a new treatment. Fascinating throughout.
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Cover Art: Everything%20must%20go%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Everything must go [videorecording] /
#241(Sep.30)(2011)(56)(75)(83) --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110511/REVIEWS/110519992/-1/RSS --- Not for Will Ferrell fans who only want to see him as the comedian; great depth of character.
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Cover Art: Fly%20away%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Fly away [videorecording] /
#230(Sep.25)(2011)(58)(82)(86) --- Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/movies/fly-away-movie-review.html?partner=rss&emc=rss --- A meat grinder with points of joy; a dramatized look at everyday life with autism, rare, in my opinion. 4 page booklet with definitions/resources included.
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Cover Art: Hanna%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Hanna [videorecording] /
#238(Sep.30)(2011)(68)(71)(59) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://www.rogerebert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110406/REVIEWS/110409995/-1/RSS --- with a less enthusiastic article by Colin Covert (Star Tribune) at --- http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/119410464.html --- This fantasy/thriller avoided plot holes, advancing relentlessly to a great score. A grim Grimm tale (with humorous interludes). Oh, those Germans!
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Cover Art: Heartbeats%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%3D%20Les%20amours%20imaginaires%20%2F
Heartbeats [videorecording] = Les amours imaginaires /
#199(Sep.17)(2010)(68)(73)(69) --- Stephen Holden (New York Times) at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/movies/25heart.html?ref=movies --- Did you also enjoy "Jules & Jim"? Savor the extreme slo-mo umbrella scene; Colin Covert (Star Tribune) calls this film "not too deep but oh so pretty." And he notes the youth of the director: 21 years old. Wow! NYT CRITICS' PICK
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I clowns [videorecording] = The clowns
#20(Jul.7)(1970)(50)(66)(61) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19710707/REVIEWS/107070301/1023 --- Fellini is always of interest (IMHO); I would suggest viewing the 48 minute "Visual essay" (supplements) before seeing the film.
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Cover Art: I%27m%20not%20scared%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%3D%20Io%20non%20ho%20paura%20%2F
I'm not scared [videorecording] = Io non ho paura /
#158(Sep.03)(2003)(87)(90)(88) --- A wonderful Ebert essay at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040423/REVIEWS/404230304 --- I'd forgotten I'd seen this before; even better the second time around.
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Cover Art: Idiots%20%26%20angels%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Idiots & angels [videorecording] /
#231(Sep.27)(2008)(77)(100)(100)(animation) --- Stephen Holden (New York Times) writes at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/movies/06idiots.html?ref=movies --- Not at all what most people conceive of animation; also, nobody speaks. "...relentless..." NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Cover Art: Joueuse%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Joueuse [videorecording] /
#232(Sep27)(2009)(69)(68)(81)("Queen to Play") --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110504/REVIEWS/110509997/-1/RSS --- PASSION --- A very nice, understated "making of" extra(21:15). My suggestion: watch this before viewing the film. 8 page booklet (Q&A with director Caroline Bottaro and actress Sandrine Bonnaire ("Monsieur Hire," "Intimate Strangers").
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Kes [videorecording]
#60(Jul.19)(1969)(92)(100)(4/0) --- Roger Ebert provides historical context for director Ken Loach's career and fine, unknown film 'Kes' at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19730116/REVIEWS/301160301/1023 --- Great supplement: 'The Southbank show: "Ken Loach," a 1993 profile' (49') --- CRITERION
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Cover Art: Le%20mystere%20Picasso%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%3D%20The%20mystery%20of%20Picasso%20%2F
Le mystere Picasso [videorecording] = The mystery of Picasso /
#184(Sep.13)(77)(83)(60)(doc) --- A long take by Debi Lee Mandel (digitallyobsessed.com) at --- http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/displaylegacy.php?ID=4353 --- A French national treasure.
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Les Diaboliques [videorecording]
#52(Jul.15)(1954)(92)(97)(80) --- Roger Ebert's 1995 review of a new print --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950217/REVIEWS/502170302/1023 --- reminded me of Peter Falk's recent death, and the Columbo film connection. CRITERION includes a nice 20 page booklet on director Henri-Georges Clouzot's career. The "Selected-scene commentary" supplement is recommended viewing (after seeing the film). Ebert's review is helpful before seeing the film. Enjoy this classic!
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Les gout des autres [videorecording] = The taste of others
#28(Jul.9)(2000)(80)(100)(100) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20010309/REVIEWS/103090304 --- I love French films with "fully rounded characters." Intelligence all around.
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Cover Art: Marwencol%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Marwencol [videorecording] /
#196(Sep.16)(2010)(89)(98)(100)(doc) --- Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) writes --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/marwencol,1166847/critic-review.html --- NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Cover Art: Rabbit%20hole%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Rabbit hole [videorecording] /
#193(Sep.15)(2010)((70)(86)(88) --- Roger Ebert writes at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101222/REVIEWS/101229994 --- A well done (with bits of humor) pic about a senseless, grieving tragedy. Nicole Kidman fans will certainly enjoy.
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Rango [videorecording]
#132(Aug.24)(2011)(70)(88)(86)(Animation) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110302/REVIEWS/110309997 --- Referencing your past history of viewing sphaghetti westerns, this movie shows that it was not time wasted.
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Red white & blue [videorecording]
#36(Jul.12)(2010)(71)(86)(3/0) --- NYT CRITICS' PICK that Jeanette Catsoulis writes about at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/movies/08red.html?ref=movies --- Surely the most unsettling love story I've ever seen; a very tough film to watch. If you have any doubts whether this is a film for you, watch the "original festival trailer" first. Just saying...
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Cover Art: Small%20town%20murder%20songs%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Small town murder songs [videorecording] /
#160(Sep.03)(39)(79)(100) --- Stephen Holden (New York Times) writes at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/movies/ed-gass-donnellys-small-town-murder-songs-review.html?partner=rss&emc=rss --- Evidently audiences thought they would be getting a different type of murder mystery, but the top critics were unanimous. NYT CRITICS' PICK
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Cover Art: Soul%20kitchen%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Soul kitchen [videorecording] /
#231(Sep.25)(2009)(76)(74)(86) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100908/REVIEWS/100909983 --- An endearing mishmash by director Fatih Akin ("Head-On," "The Edge of Heaven").
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Source code [videorecording]
#99(Aug.13)(2011)(81)(91)(86) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110331/REVIEWS/110339997 --- Listen to the audio commentary, if only when the credits begin, with the director (Duncan Jones), writer (Ben Ripley), and lead actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), as the former two speculate on this non-linear story (do your past viewings include "Groundhog Day," "Rashomon," and "Sliding Doors?") and thoughtfully riff on the many possibilities of what might be next for the main characters. Fascinating stuff.
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The Adjustment Bureau [videorecording]
#68(Jul.23)(2011)(68)(72)(61) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110302/REVIEWS/110309994 --- but Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) on NPR has a less positive take.
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The duel [DVD]
#59(Jul.19)(2009)(64)(81)(75) --- Roger Ebert gives this only 2 stars --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100818/REVIEWS/100819988 --- but has a wonderful, historical take; Manohla Dargis (New York Times) has a more positive view at --- http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/movies/28anton.html --- NYT CRITICS' PICK
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The sacrifice [videorecording] ; Directed by Andrei Tarkosvky
#74(Jul.31)(1986)(92)(81)(3/1) --- Roger Ebert at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19861121/REVIEWS/611210304 --- Get ready to make your own sacrifice...
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The Snapper [videorecording]
#111(Aug.14)(1993)(84)(97)(100) --- Roger Ebert's take at --- http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19931217/REVIEWS/312170303 --- Ever since watching 'The Commitments,' I've been a Colm Meaney fan. Also, once again, we seem to be viewing real people (read Ebert's take on the nature of the Irish).
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Cover Art: The%20big%20C%2E%20The%20complete%20first%20season%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
The big C. The complete first season [videorecording] /
#201(Sep.18)(2010)(66-Metascore)(7.3-User Score)--- Review by Alessandra Stanley (New York Times) at --- http://tv.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/arts/television/16bigc.html?_r=1 --- Laura Linney is a national treasure.
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True blood. The complete third season [videorecording]
#16(Jul.5)(2010)(79-Metascore)(7.3-User Score) --- Heather Havrilesky (Salon.com) writes at --- http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/heather_havrilesky/2010/06/11/true_blood_season_three_depravity/index.html --- Talk about blood!
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Cover Art: Venus%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Venus [videorecording] /
#183)(Sep.13)(2006)(73)(89)(100) --- Stephanie Zacharek (Salon.com) writes at --- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489327/externalreviews --- (GO DOWN TO #8 & CLICK). His last film? Hardly.
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Cover Art: Wartorn%201861%2D2010%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Wartorn 1861-2010 [videorecording] /
#213(Sep.20)(2010)(82-Metascore)(tbd-User Score) --- Mike Hale (New York Times) reviews the HBO doc at --- http://tv.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/arts/television/11wartorn.html --- This doc is the one that will finally leave the public (and the military) with the knowledge that PTSD is real, and certainly not new.
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Cover Art: Winter%20in%20wartime%20%5Bvideorecording%5D%20%2F
Winter in wartime [videorecording] /
#190(Sep.14)(2008)(75)(74)(75) --- Dutch reviewer Boyd van Hoeij (Variety) at --- http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117939559?refcatid=31 ---
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