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Friday, April 07, 2006 

Movie Time

It’s Friday. And as always, on Fridays I am inundated with friends, customers and readers asking me what movies are worth the rental fee for the weekend. So, for all of you who have 2€ in your pocket and a couple of hours of free time this weekend, here is a list of movies that will keep you from threatening to sue directors for reckless endangerment of your sanity and fraudulent waste of your time.

Banlieue 13/Ghetto 13
Don’t hate it because it’s French. If you’ve run out of Jackie Chan movies to watch and are looking for some great acrobatic stunts, rent this one. It’s non-stop action from start to finish with not one, but two French actors from the Jackie Chan School of Stunts.

King Kong
Great visual effects and Jurassic Park bugs and dinosaurs to keep you and your (older) kids frozen in their seats. I don’t know why King Kong himself didn’t get a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Too much gorilla for Hollywood to handle I guess or they were too afraid of what might happen if he didn’t win.

Lord of War
Inside the world of your friendly neighbourhood arms dealer as he travels the globe procuring weapons for anyone with cash. From tin pot dictators to drug lords, Nicolas Cage racks up the cash while Interpol is always one step behind.

Paradise Now
Filmed in Palestine, director Hany Abu Assad, relates the story of two suicide bombers. He lets their lives tell the story leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions . You’ll have to turn on the subtitles though as it’s filmed in Arabic.

Many people debated whether or not it was worth the Best Picture Oscar but it’s definitely worth a rental. It’s not as hard-hitting as American History X (an excellent movie on the subject of racism) but it shows how racism infects every single group of people … even those who have been subject to racism themselves.

Hotel Rwanda
A powerful, disturbing and moving film based on the experiences of a Rwandan hotel manager during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Don Cheadle is at his finest here. An average man transformed by the horror around him and is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of Tutsis.

Looking for a lost Civil War battleship takes Matthew McConnaughey to West Africa where he meets UN doctor, Penelope Cruz.

Will Smith gives dating tips for men in desperate need of them.

National Treasure
A treasure hunt taking you from the White House to the Liberty Bell to Antarctica. Just imagine if Greece made a film like this...what a treasure hunt that would be!

You’re on your own here. I watched The Grudge with both hands over my eyes and people laugh at me so what can I possibly tell you about what constitutes a good thriller?

Nice! Recommendations are good.

I have been wanting to see Hotel Rwanda forever but Thanos is kinda meh about it. I guess it is the type of movie you really have to be in the mood for.

I'm done renting foreign movies here in Greece. We rented Crimson Rivers a couple of weekends ago, and fully addicted, we rented Crimson Rivers 2. No English subtitles. I was going to try it with the Greek, but such a movie would have dialogue that would be too difficult. Sex and the City I can do with Greek subs, this, no. This is the second foreign film we have rented without English subs, so I am too haunted by the disappointment that ensues when we come home with a movie I really want to watch without the subs I need.

Now I'm thinking about buying Crimson Rivers 2 from amazon just because I NEED to see it. The first one totally hooked me.

Not a laughing matter. I think The Grudge was one of the scariest movies I have ever watched. There is something about those Japanese remakes by US studios that scare the crap out of me. As far as I remember, the only scary movies that have had an effect on me the last decade or so were the remake of The Ring (for months after, I could not go to the kitchen for a glass of water at night, because I had to go past the living room and the TV - yes, the image of the little girl crawling out of the TV was stuck in my head) and the remake of The Grudge. Particularly in The Grudge, the little kid in the elevator scene still annoys me.

Mel...My husband was kinda "meh" (love this expression) too but I forced him to watch it with me because Lord knows, I've watched enough of his science fiction movies...and he ended up really liking the movie. Maybe Thanos will too but even if he still refuses, rent it on your own while he's pulling his all nighters at the hospital. It really is worth it.
As for watching movies without english subtitles, I was like that too when I first moved here but I swear to God I'd still be illiterate in Greek if I didn't have Greek subtitles. I'm seeing all kinds of great foreign movies in Spanish, French and even Arabic that I normally wouldn't watch because of my aversion to subtitles. If you liked Crimson Rivers, you'll love 36 Quai des Orfevres (Βρομικος Κοσμος) starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu. Who knew the French had it in them to make such great action movies? LOL

Kosta...Hi there! Haven't seen you here in awhile. I'm so glad you were scared watching the Grudge too. That noise it made. That hair. I still shudder thinking about it.

I'll have to look for that one SeaWitch. Greek subtitles have helped me with my learning Greek quite a bit, but if dialogue is complicated, it gets a bit too frustrating. Plus I'm slow and drive my husband crazy asking him to pause it every other scene.

The Grudge was really well done for scary effect. I was scared all the way through, except the "reveal" didn't impress me much, or make me feel particularly scared. I've heard the original version is even scarier. The Ring was the same way, they made it scary, but the story was really lame in the end. I guess I am asking too much of my horror movies.

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