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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Contagion World Class Imax

What a great movie to end the summer with. A huge cast telling a story about a virus that can kill in 72 hours. The story is told like an episode of "CSI", in that they show you what time, what day, how much time is left. It is a familiar story that has been told many times over but I don't think it spoiled my enjoyment of the movie. Jude Law and Matt Damon are excellent with good support from Gweneth Paltrow. Very good writing, and with Steve Soderburgh directing it can't miss being an enjoyable film for all.

On the Junkie Meter I would give it a solid 3 out 5 stars.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:26 am 
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Barbossa wrote:
On Blu-Ray, Star Wars:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


They all look great! - despite the weak scripts and directing. Currently watching Episode IV.


Watched the original trilogy on Blu-Ray
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

They all look and sound great. Jedi seems to have the most new tweaks. First noticable thing, the side sweep of Jabba's Palace's door to make it look bigger. Wicket's eyes blinking is another one, although the other Ewoks' eyes don't blink. Then I noticed R2 is CG when he gets blasted at the bunker and his systems are going berserk. And then of course you have Vader yelling "Nooooo". The one change I still don't get from the DVD release is putting Hayden in the ghost scene. It doesn't make sense. Both Ben and Yoda perished at a certain age and they appear as ghosts at that age, Anakin does not - doesn't make sense. Besides the tweaks, Jedi also looks good. Now I got a bunch of behind the scenes stuff to watch.

After watching all 6 movies in 3 days, I'm gonna rank them like this:
1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope
3. Return of the Jedi
4. Revenge of the Sith
5. Attack of the Clones
6. The Phantom Menace
I wonder if George will release the Ewok movies on Blu-Ray?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:31 am 
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Treasure Island (1950) ✰✰✰1/2 :
This film is a faithful tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel and a sensational start to Walt Disney's line of full live-action features. Robert Newton as Long John Silver carries the movie and is the archetypal Hollywood pirate. In contrast everything else seems weak in comparison to John Silver's performance. I especially didn't care for Bobby Driscoll's acting or the opening sequence. All together it didn't blow me out of the water, but shiver me timbers it was a good picture!

A Knight's Tale (2001) ✰✰✰ :
Have strong mixed feelings for this movie. I do not care for the 'classic' rock soundtrack at all. I get the modern/medieval approach, but the songs just tore you away from the movie and felt pasted into the scenes. The art direction was both interesting and horrendous. I hated every outfit that Jocelyn was wearing; her hair was a sight to behold. In spite of all that, the fun, ironic story and likeable cast made up for the weirdness of the film's style direction.

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The Sleeping Car (1990 / directed by: Douglas Curtis)

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It's definitely not your run-of-the-mill horror film. Unfortunately, nothing about it makes it great. It's jam-packed full of over-the-top sarcastic dialogue but never does it feel very clever or funny (Waxwork takes the lead in that department). Judie Aronson's not much of an actress and Jeff Conaway feels like he's coked out of his mind. The guy simply has no Off switch and is unbelievably annoying. Perhaps the film would be more enjoyable if it had ever been given a better-looking release; as it is, it's too dark and isn't very visually satisfying. The movie's boogeyman is not scary. The deaths are extraordinarily repetitive and intend to do for couch / bed springs what Evil Dead 2 did for vines. The music score does very little to make itself stand out. An aging - but still incredibly hot - David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) has a little charm. And a few references to other horror films are expected (Werewolf, naturally, and Friday the 13th being among those I actually remember). Some of the quirkiness works and Piranha's Kevin McCarthy is fun. The plot is wacked and the final half hour goes more than a little wonky. As a ghost movie, it's better than most though. It just needs to be more firm.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Probably going to be my last long review posted on here (I hope to get a site soon)...

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Looking at the cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is simply thrilling. With each new name, I became more and more excited by the prospect of this movie; even for the everyman, the cast is one to marvel over: Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Dobby the House-Elf, the Elephant Man, Orson Welles, the best part of Inception, the sadistic villain from Kick-Ass and the King of England himself. How can you not love merely a theoretical cast like that? How could this movie be nothing but sublime brilliance? How fantastic is it? I kept the third and final question in mind and the movie answered. Alas, it was neither the answer I was expecting nor the one I wanted.

The movie starts with John Hurt cautiously opening a door and peering out at the visitor waiting outside. As both the visitor and the viewer enters Hurt’s quarters, the viewer gets their first taste of the film’s look; I was a bit worried that the film had gathered some dust, or the projectionist had been so desperate to urinate that he did it on the film prints, hoping in vain that nobody would notice. 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson and based upon John le Carré’s book of the same name, has a most distinctive look. A dust-like substance is scattered over the screen, which displays dimly-lit corridors, unnerved yet exceedingly well-dressed M16 agents and an authentic-looking early 70’s Britain.

Hurt is the world-weary controller of M16, and is looking for a mole in cahoots with the Soviets. The mole, we learn, is “...right at the top of the circus”; and as is expected, it’s up to our protagonist to find out who this mole is. The protagonist is George Smiley (Gary Oldman): semi-retired, middle-aged, and like Hurt’s Control, world-weary, yet in a much more subtle way. Smiley and his loyal but nervous assistant, Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch), work together to work out who the elusive mole is; lengthening the movie’s running time are several in-depth flashbacks and a subplot involving Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong), a spy-turned-schoolteacher.

It’s hard to write what I think of this movie; nonetheless, I have no doubt that the performances in this movie are some of the finest I’ve seen in the cinema for years. Hurt is as superb as usual, his brow permantely creased and his expression sometimes forlorn; Mark Strong is equally superb, and he is able to balance his character’s inner pain yet fatherly warmth towards his schoolchildren wonderfully; the versatile Toby Jones’ portrayal of a raging Scottish agent is only briefly seen yet somewhat memorable; Cumberbatch is very good as Guillam, and the scene where he bursts in tears due to his frustration which he can no longer hold in is downplayed but unforgettable; Tom Hardy is excellent as Ricki Tarr, a spy cast out due to his failings who became infatuated with a missing Russian woman; and Oldman himself once again immerses almost magically into the role of Smiley. He makes Smiley his own in the most supremely subtle and dry of ways, but the critics have come to expect this of the actor who is both Commissioner Gordon and Count Dracula.

Yet despite this crème de la crème of British acting, if you will, I didn’t give a damn about the story and its various, loosely connected plot threads, and didn’t care where it was going. On the whole, the characters aren’t engaging and wholly forgettable, and the ending (referred to by some as a brilliant sequence) is predictable, abrupt, and I didn’t care about what happened to the secret villain, or his assassin, or the hero or his sidekick. I wouldn’t care if George Smiley became a millionaire by the end or was blown to bits.

The actors all do their best, but the disjointed script is horribly subpar, and to use a more over-the-top example, the late and great Orson Welles could appear in a horrible movie even if he did every acting trick in the book. Why? Because every good actor needs an equally good writer; it doesn’t matter if you’re Gary Oldman or even F Murray Abraham, if the script is bad, the story and characters just won’t click.

The anti-hero Smiley doesn’t get lines until about twenty minutes in, and the character itself only gets an ounce of depth due to Oldman portraying the character as someone who’s seen too much, and because of a moment unique and refreshing compared to the rest of the film where Smiley is shown to be a bit vicious.

The only characters I actually cared about were woefully minor characters: Connie Sachs (Kathy Burke), a retired researcher who yearns for the good old days and tells Smiley “if it’s bad, don’t come back” when she learns from him that there is a mole; and a bespectacled schoolboy on the plump side who is the customary ‘new kid’ at the school Jim Prideaux starts teaching at. The lonely schoolboy’s attempts at befriending Prideaux (which all come to a painfully bitter end that made me actually feel something, unlike the rest of the movie) are some of the few well-executed scenes in the entirety of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, assisted of course by the aforementioned brilliance of actor Mark Strong.

In all fairness, the cinematography is elegant and there is one shot which sticks in my mind, showing one of M16’s central agents going down in a lift which opens to reveal Guillam outside; it’s not only surprising but the staging of the scene is slightly surreal. Also, whilst not directly linked with the cinematography, there is a great yet disturbing set piece in the opening, showing a baby sucking its mother’s breast, yet the mother has been shot dead. The sets are occasionally very good, and the visuals are able to attain a suitable greyish atmosphere, but the effect wears off quickly. Despite the positives aspects of the movie’s more stylised areas, the music is exceedingly forgettable (I honestly can’t remember even a snippet of the score).

When the movie neared its end and the obvious ‘bad guy’ was revealed to be the villain before getting a dull comeuppance, I became more interested in the cinema’s ceiling lights. There was a point where I didn’t care that a supporting character had just been killed, as I was too busy learning the thrilling fact that the portion of the ceiling I could see had four rows of three when it came to the lights.

For once, I’ll agree with the casual cinemagoers. This is a boring movie. Maybe it’s because I watched it after a long day, maybe it’s because the cinema attendants were so lousy the time spent trying to get tickets and snacks was longer than the movie’s running time, or maybe (and most probably) the script by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan is simply foul. It’s a waste of time for all involved, and whilst moments of cinematic beauty try to creep in now and again, the script callously shoots them down and spits on their remains. Disappointing, dull and dreadfully written, this is one to be missed.

4/10.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Probably going to be my last long review posted on here (I hope to get a site soon)...

Have you tried Blogspot? I guess they want you to use your "Google Account" or your "YouTube Account" if you already have one but the place is pretty professional looking if you know how to use it right and a lot of people have one. That's the best place to post review-like articles for people to read. There are 2 links to thier site: www.blogger.com and www.blogspot.com . I have multiple blogs (all free) which I never use because I'm an extraordinarily lazy writer.

And, in case you want one of those free message boards of your very own where you can essentially do the exact same thing as you do here: http://www.proboards.com/signup . It's quick and easy and if you get anything like that set up, post your contact info in the Disney Memories thread you started, so that we can find you later.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:32 am 
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Lazario wrote:
Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Probably going to be my last long review posted on here (I hope to get a site soon)...

Have you tried Blogspot? I guess they want you to use your "Google Account" or your "YouTube Account" if you already have one but the place is pretty professional looking if you know how to use it right and a lot of people have one. That's the best place to post review-like articles for people to read. There are 2 links to thier site: www.blogger.com and www.blogspot.com . I have multiple blogs (all free) which I never use because I'm an extraordinarily lazy writer.

And, in case you want one of those free message boards of your very own where you can essentially do the exact same thing as you do here: http://www.proboards.com/signup . It's quick and easy and if you get anything like that set up, post your contact info in the Disney Memories thread you started, so that we can find you later.


Thanks for the information Lazario; do you know of any sites that could employ me and possibly pay me for reviews and articles (similar to Cracked's writers)?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:41 am 
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:lol:

No. (:wink:)

I'm the biggest bum on the planet, so I do everything I do for free. If you could produce your content for video- you could try Blip.com.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Haven't watched many films lately, but at least I can mention:

Beauty and the Beast the Disney version
I don't know how many times I've seen it before, but now I've seen it again I can only say: the movie has lost nothing of its appeal.

Always starring Richard Dryfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Audry Hepburn ( just a small part, but it's worth mentioning because it's the very last movie in which she starred) nice movie about a flying firefighter of forest fires (Dryfuss) who is killed when his plane explodes. In the afterlife he meets the angel Hap (Hepburn) who give him the assignment to help another pilot who is just learning to be a firefighter. However, he cannot let go of his grieving girlfriend (Holly Hunter) whom he still regards as 'his girl'. He has to learn to let her go and give her a new chance with the other guy.
The movie has several exciting scenes.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Grace (2009 / directed by: Paul Solet)

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Well... it's shot very well. The acting is so-so. Aside from that, it's pretty darn bad. Where to start? Jordan Ladd (of Cabin Fever and Embrace of the Vampire) is a weird woman. She lets her lame (and, frankly, irritating) husband and his nasty mother walk all over her, she doesn't enjoy making love, and she's obsessed with having a baby. So much so that, when she and her husband get into a car accident and he dies a bloody, gruesome death, the first words out of her mouth (to a stunned motorist who rushes to their aid) are "she isn't moving!" The next involve the guy calling her midwife Patricia to do anything to save the baby. Blah blah blah; dramatic hospital scene involving fighting doctors and the midwife swearing at people to keep them from inducing an early labor. Blah blah blah; the nasty mother is having a complete mental breakdown and talking to her husband as though he were the departed son. Blah blah blah; everybody's nuts, clearly- Ladd goes shopping for stuffed animals in a catatonic stupor while the nasty mother has freaky sex with her whipped husband, and HOLD UP a minute... : Patricia's a lesbian! And every bit as uncaring and unfeeling as Ladd- she's planning on running away from her natural childbirthing business for whatever reason and not telling her younger girlfriend, while girlfriend pokes us the audience none too subtly about Patricia having had a close, special bond with Ladd in the past. Whatever this movie's trying to say, it's doing a very poor job of communicating. Leaving me to fill in the blanks and what I'm coming up with is pretty insulting to the audience, possibly even pointlessly homophobic. In the meantime, it isn't interesting or scary. It's boring and toward the end it becomes special effect heavy and though the blood looks good, it tries to milk "EW!"s from really unconvincing special effects. Shot in closeup while the camera lingers. That doesn't look like the skin on an arm, people, it looks like a sponge.

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Last edited by Lazario on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Lazario wrote:
:lol:

No. (:wink:)

I'm the biggest bum on the planet, so I do everything I do for free. If you could produce your content for video- you could try Blip.com.


Ah well; never mind. On the bright side, I've created a Google blog! :party:

http://ofmoviesandmen.blogspot.com/

I'll later add this link to my signature and add the rest of the reviews I've already done.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Looks pretty good. Just need some pics.

:wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Lazario wrote:
Looks pretty good. Just need some pics.

:wink:


Lazario, do you know how I can change the address name? I was able to change the header/title to 'One Thousand and One Movie Nights', and I want to replace 'Of Movies and Men' with that. I would greatly appreciate your help, as always.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Sure can.

First you go to the Settings tab, which has about 9 tabs underneath that. Go to the 2nd one, Publishing. The first thing that'll be there is the address which you can change from there.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:10 am 
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Thanks again! :D

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:54 pm 
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El secreto de sus ojos (2009)

The winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, this drama-thriller-crimestory from Argentina, about a retired prosecutor who re-lives an old case that had never been solved when he tries to write a book about it, was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Especially the ending was surprising and chilling and made a lasting impression on me.


Tirza (2010)

Dutch film based on the novel of the same name. A middle-aged father travels to Africa to search his one-time favorite, but now estranged daughter who took off with her Moroccon boyfriend whom he doesn't trust. The dialogue is often grating, because they appear to have been taken straight from the novel, but great prose that works on paper often doesn't translate well to everyday conversation, so that made me cringe more than a few times, as well as overacting on the part of some actors. But what saves the movie is the beautiful relationship between this man and the little 9 year old African girl whom he meets when she's working the streets to make some money by keeping men "company". He doesn't take the offer, but she follows him whereever he goes and without knowing exactly why, he takes her with him. I thought this was way more interesting than the actual main plot (--or maybe this was supposed to be the main plot?).


Inception (2010)

What a great movie! Definitly one of those rare examples where a much-praised movie actually lives up to the hype. Believe the hype. Go see it.


Disney's Bolt (2008)

If I would ever have to name one Disney-movie that has not even one inch of 'Disney Essence' in it, it would be this lame, uninspired blatant rip-off of the DreamWorks-formula. The characters are bland (to put it in the nicest of terms), the story predictable, the jokes juvenile, the music is forgettable and basically, there's nothing in there for the adults among us. This is the kind of stuff I expect from a straight-to-dvd sequel.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:11 am 
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Megamind

I really enjoyed this movie for some reason. I had never seen it previously, because the commercials made it seem really inane. But I actually did like it, even if it was simplistic.

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The Pixar Story (2007)

This is one of the better documentaries of 2007, and it tells the story of how John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs came together to form Pixar. Lasseter was an animator at Disney, but loved working with other forms of animation. Ed Catmull was a computer genius who first turned Lasseter on to the beauty and creativity of Computer animation. The interviews and film clips of early tries at digital animation are very interesting, and the film moves at a brisk pace, making one wish to slow down just a little to enjoy what is happening on the screen. They don't get into the animated shorts as deeply as they do their first six movies, and the creation of Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California. At 87 minutes this is the perfect running time for a story like this, and there are so many cameos like Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson expressing their views at the 'death of 2-D animation' and what it held for their future. George Lucas is also featured talking about the days when Lasseter worked for him at Lucasfilm Studios and his contributions to 'Star Wars'. There is a short 12 minute "Pixar Story - the voyage continues" that has been shown on Starz several times, and I have managed to capture it on DVD-RW, hoping that it might get added to the Blu-ray of this documentary as an extra.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:27 pm 
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The Andromeda Strain (2008)

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Not a bad remake. I read the book a bunch of years ago and have the original in my Michael Crichton movie library. Of course some stuff was added/changed to make it relevant for the present day (the original came out in 1971). I was living in Kelowna when they were filming this in nearby Hedley - I think there was even a casting call, should've signed up to be an extra. I guess that was the only thing that took away from it - recognizing the filming locations, Hedley filling in for Peidmont. Also noticed a bunch of scenes were filmed in the Cache Creek area - this was the same area the Mexico scenes were filmed for last year's A-Team movie.


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Invitation to Hell (1984 / directed by: Wes Craven)

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Well, it's no Shocker, but... it's boring and lame. Guess that's to be expected of a made-for-tv movie. It's some kind of weird, throw-in-a-pot blend of The Stepford Wives, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and featuring several cameos from The Hills Have Eyes (blink for a second and you'll miss Michael Berryman as a red-shirted valet running up the stairs). Mater Tenebrarum in the red to your left is, I believe, the famous soap opera actress Susan Lucci who plays a kind of pre-Troll 2 psycho-witch demoness mixed with... Satan (??) who begins the film in what surely looks like a dream sequence where an out-of-control limo driver mows her down and she leaps right back up, Terminator-style, and roasts him like a marshmallow. I thought nohing else here could come close to cheese-clobbering that moment. I was wrong. How about none other than Punky Brewster's darling Soleil Moon Frye disemboweling her stuffed rabbit with a crowbar? Did I forget to mention she gives a Linda Blair impression? Oh, how I wish there was a clip of this on YouTube. If you want to see it - and you KNOW you do - you'll have to go here (it's still YouTube, so it's okay) and take the cursor to 1:13:27 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNfvLtfjfhY . Yes, I actually think the funniest piece of that sequence is the "No. Leave me alone. Put me down. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" part. Literally, if it weren't for Punky and The Never Ending Story's Barret Oliver, you'd swear this was the 70's. Joanna Cassidy (Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, The Tommyknockers) as the psycho, sex-crazed robotic wife and Nicholas Worth as a husky sheriff go even further over-the-top, especially the latter in one of the most ridiculous fight scenes I've ever witnessed. At best, what you have here is a funky anti-country club thing but if Craven (who can and has done a lot better than this in the socio-political message department) really wants us to hate the snobby, uptight, rich upper class elitists... he wouldn't have tied this story in with the Devil, who actually works to try including everyone "he" can whereas in reality we know how exclusive country clubs are.

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