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The Garden (2006)
It looked great, didn't it?
I totally agree with you about the production values. Some scenes were breathtaking, and the camera shots were very well done. Very interesting, visually. Nothing cheap or slipshod in the cinematography, that's for sure.
The movie needed a better story, or a more clear story, or maybe some exposition scenes (the four horsemen, for example) should have been earlier in the movie.
When you spend the first two-thirds of the movie wondering what's going on, it's easy to lose interest before you get it figured out.
10 stars for the directing, editing, cinematography; 5 for the plot. It's worth a rental.
The Sentinel (1977)
Christina Raines sounds just like Shelly Duvall
And she delivers her lines in the same monotone voice. When she DOES emphasize a word, it's the wrong one. I think her acting here is terrible, but everyone else in the film makes up for it. And maybe that's how she was directed. I haven't seen any of her other films. Maybe she was better in those.
Burgess Meredith, Ava Gardner, Eli Wallach, Chris Sarandon (with a silly moustache), and a very young Jerry Ohrbach make the film worth watching.
I'll bet New Yorkers groan at the cheap rent for those apartments. "I can't afford $500." "$400 is not excessive." Yeah, she should have been suspicious.
The Strange Woman (1946)
What happened to the rest of the story?
Just watched this today on TCM, and came here to see if I could find out the name of the book that it must have been based on, but I don't see anything.
The story reminded me of a saga from the 1940's, one of those 500-pagers, detailing a woman's rise and fall and (sometimes) redemption.
That's a weird title for a movie too -- "The Strange Woman". Are we supposed to think that Jenny is a psychopath? She ranged from caring and thoughtful to manipulative and unspeakably cruel, and in the final scene she was alternately murderous and penitent.
Where's the book? This is a great story, and there must be flesh on its bones somewhere! :)
Salem's Lot (2004)
Spoiler They should have just made a brand new movie, so much was changed. The only truly creepy part (for me) was Floyd Tibbets crawling through the ductwork in the jail.
Father Callahan did not kill Mike Burke. Larry Crockett was the one who was sleeping around, and he wasn't blackmailed, he was threatened with a gun. There was no little Barnes boy in the bathtub. Ben Mears didn't see Hubie hang himself. Susan Norton wasn't staked in Salem's Lot; it happened later, in Mexico. Mark Petrie didn't kill Father Callahan. Mike Burke wasn't a gay black man. Eva didn't marry Ed, or even love him. As far as I remember, Doctor Cody didn't sleep with anyone, least of all that trailer woman.
First the vampires are lightning fast, then they're slow-moving flesh-eating zombies. What happened, that Mark and Ben decided Father Callahan had turned evil? In the book, he drank Barlow's blood and left town.
The updates were unnecessary. It adds nothing to the story to have Ben Mears in Afghanistan and ratting out some Marines.
Why not just make a new movie? Or do a post-Salem's Lot movie, with Ben and Mark traveling the country staking vamps?