“Dick Laurent is dead” bookends the film, spoken and heard by Bill Pullman.

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Pullman becomes Balthazar Getty for a while, long enough to get involved in a shady robbery of a rich guy leading to the rich guy’s accidental death. Not sure if the Mystery Man really exists or if Bill or Balthazar even exist, but one or all of them kill Dick “Mr. Eddy” Laurent.

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Below: Robert “Dick Laurent / Mr. Eddy” Loggia with Patricia “Renee/Alice” Arquette. This movie and Spider are sort of the opposite of That Obscure Object of Desire when it comes to casting the female lead. Then again, this movie is sort of the opposite of itself. And its own companion movie. Argh.

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Below you can just see Gary Busey running out of his house to see something that is never properly explained to us. Nothing is really explained. It’s a seductive movie though, more so than Mulholland Drive because the tone stays the same, always slow and dark and headachey, always barrelling down the highway towards an unknown fate with no hands on the wheel. Mulholland gives the appearance of control before yanking it away again, but Lost Highway stays lost the whole way through. I’m starting to prefer it overall. Or maybe I just never got to properly compare them because by the time Mulholland was easily viewable in theaters and on video, Lost Highway had been out of reach for years. Nice new DVD changes things.

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Small final role for Jack Nance (overplaying it) and small final role for Richard Pryor, as coworkers in Balthazar’s garage. Might turn out to be Robert Blake’s final role too, unless he has a post-murder-aquittal career comeback. He overplays his part to utter perfection. Marilyn Manson overplays his tiny part too. Pay more attention to Patricia Arquette next time you watch this instead of trying to figure out the whole wife-murder identity-crisis videotape-surveilance detective story.

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Below: Bill plummets down the Highway, possibly finally aware of who he is and what he’s done. He’s transforming again, but now that Balthazar is also a murderer, that might not help. Similar ending to Mulholland Drive, I guess… wake up, reality closing in (or giving chase). Wicked David Bowie song.

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Katy might have actually liked it. Except for the part where the guy gets his head split open.

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Still a fun movie, much better than it oughtta be, but not worth watching a whole bunch of times. Two kids are out on lake with dad, when one kid and dad are killed by a motorboat. The daughter survives and is given to nutty aunt, right? Nope, it was the son who survived, but nutty aunt gave him a girl’s name and turned him into a girl (not physically), causing him to be a twisted killer (see above photo) at summer camp. Lots of fun killing and neat makeup effects ensue.

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Katy would not have liked this at all.

Young parent Kate Winslet meets and has sex with young parent Patrick Wilson, even though Patrick is married to Jennifer Connelly and Kate is… well, married. Meanwhile Ronald, a convicted child molester (the motorcycle kid from the original Bad News Bears) is on the loose.

Ronald has a domineering mother, Kate feels disconnected from everything, Patrick spaces out watching skateboard kids, and Jennifer is pretty but doesn’t have much to do.

Katy didn’t like it!

Ugh.

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I thought I remembered this was a good movie. Bad 80’s music and bad 80’s hair and clothes and effects and acting and story and whatever. Even the bookend old-man-eating-razorblades story sucked.

Things I forgot: Angela’s not so bad until infected by demons, the black guy doesn’t die first (or even at all), the dialogue is terrible. There’s naked girls, though. The director later made Witchboard II and Pinocchio’s Revenge.

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Katy wouldn’t have liked it.

Katy didn’t see this one.

Fifth Bresson movie I’ve seen, and the one that tips the scales. I guess I like Bresson now. That’s so predictable of me.

IMDB says: “Michel takes up picking pockets as a hobby, and is arrested almost immediately, giving him the chance to reflect on the morality of crime. After his release, though, his mother dies, and he rejects the support of friends Jeanne and Jacques in favour of returning to pickpocketing (after taking lessons from an expert), because he realises that it’s the only way he can express himself.”

Good ending, with Michel in prison. A prequel to A Man Escaped? No, but I can dream. Felt really good to watch… but don’t know what to say. More later perhaps.

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I recognized Michael Rooker as monstrously morphing Grant Grant (the TV producer with the dirty handshake in Mallrats) but it took me forever to notice that good-cop lead actor Nathan Fillion was the guy from Serenity. Guess it might be time to watch those Firefly DVDs.

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Rooker gets an alien shot to the chest, impregnates a local girl with thousands of mind-controlling slugs, and morphs quickly into a room-sized ugly mess of alien. It’s up to Fillion, Rooker’s wife and a girl they pick up along the way to save the day. It’s a love story! Hilarious and wonderful throughout, gotta see again.

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Katy caught brief glimpses and seemed disturbed.

What is P-Net? Who or what is Lucy Monostone? How can a virus cause people to get bar codes on their eyeballs? How come some bar codes are black and some are red? What exactly went on with the detective’s wife and why? When was the detective changing personalities and why did it matter? Why do iMac computers appear prominently in every episode? And what exactly is the deal with the eyepatched snuff-film collector and what cult is he in and what does it have to do with anything else?

These are just some of the things I never figured out about this movie.

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Our MPD detective (above center) is both Amamiya Kazuhiko and Kobayashi Yosuke, and sometimes (?) also Nishizono Shinji. Played by Naoki Hosaka from Salaryman Kintaro. Not exactly a Miike regular, and in the interviews he said Miike barely spoke to him.

The police chief in this town is Sasayama (below, reading the source comic), played by Ren Osugi of at least ten other Miike films, six Kiyoshi Kurosawas, six Takeshi Kitanos, Twilight Samurai, and Uzumaki (he’s the dad who eats the spiral-rolls). Wow. Accordingly, he was my favorite actor in MPD Psycho.

Then we’ve got evil psychologist Isono Machi (Tomoko Nakajima of Parasite Eve), hilarious model-crafting young cop Manabe (Sadaharu Shiota), the detective’s wife Chizuko (Rieko Miura), eyepatch-bearing video collector Toguchi (Yoshinari Anan) and Sasayama’s wife or mistress or both, Mami[ko] (Fujiko, the slutty daughter in Visitor Q).

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Each episode has its own bizarre series of deaths – from a religious cult schoolgirl machine-gun killing to pregnant women’s babies being surgically replaced by telephones, to the ol’ skull-saw flower-in-the-brain (above) to spontaneous combustion. Each is somehow caused by ghostly killer Nishizono Shinji, who can pass from one person to the next through touch, telephone or internet. Everyone’s girlfriends and wives get killed, Machi turns bad, the whole police force turn their back on the cases and pretend Sasayama and Manabe don’t exist, we learn the terrible truth about Shinji and trans-gender rock star Lu-C Monostone (the terrible truth is probably not terribly important, but it’s summarized 17 minutes into the last episode if you want a refresher course later), the Gakuso Group and P-Net are mentioned from time to time, and all along, Kobayashi is turning into Amamiya and vice-versa but lead actor Naoki Hosaka’s face remains so blank that I can never tell when. Besides the iMacs, we get recurring scenes on a giant ferris wheel, black-and-white snippets of animation, regular appearances by the eyepatch guy, cool totally fake rain (sometimes glowing green, as seen below), and Lucy Monostone’s hit song “same blue sky in a strange new world”.

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I didn’t love the movie… didn’t even like it as much as I thought I would… but definitely not bad, worth watching. Makes for good rainy-day viewing. Would maybe like to see again and figure out the MPD side of things. Cheap, made-for-TV looking video lots of times, but Miike always manages to make the best of his low production values. The non-MPD cops’ scenes have a lot of humor, and Chief Sasayama ends up as a really well-defined character by the end, more so than anyone else.

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Katy didn’t watch this one. Katy would not have liked it.

Katy and I and fifty gay men enjoyed the new JC Mitchell movie. Two guys in a long term relationship, one of whom is a suicidal iMovie-filmmaker, open up by allowing a third guy into the relationship. Oh, and a neighbor is stalking the suicidal guy and wait, they go to a club called shortbus and recommend their family psychological counselor go too (even though she’s really bad at her job and doesn’t help them) and she has crazy nutty supersex with her bf but no orgasms and there’s an ex-mayor of New York and a runaway goth girl with a made-up name. Plot summary is useless really. It’s a party of a movie… sad and awful but mostly fun(ny) and exciting. Great singalong parade of a finale.

Not nearly the same kind of look and feel as Hedwig… not glossy or shiny or anything. Appropriate, though, since that kind of approach wouldn’t have worked. All the interweaving characters and stories run together very well. Not everyone gets a full story arc – some are more developed than others… and good, because everyone’s lives don’t work themselves out during the few-week timespan of a movie. Felt more real than Little Children, unfortunately.