Discussion in 'General Chit-chat' started by infernovia, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Bod

    Bod Active Member

    Another bad science moment that made me cringe was when they tried to explain how a couple of dots on a cave wall is actually a map to a specific point in the galaxy. Like, seriously? It was just a couple of dots on a cave wall. That's totally impossible. Why didn't they just say something like, "There is a very large mathematical number found in all of these ancient cave paintings, and there happens to be exactly one solar system at that light year distance from our own sun." That would seem at least remotely plausible to me, whereas, "These dots are a star map" seems absurdly ridiculous.

    It feels like they didn't consult any scientists at all when making the movie, which is really unfortunate.
  2. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen Prometheus yet, but likely will very soon.

    Saw MiB3. Better than 2 -- and Will Smith actually looked like he wanted to be in this one, unlike 2 -- but still fails to capture the surprise "Will Smith being himself and Tommy Lee Jones being himself" chemistry from the first. Kinda bleh.
  3. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Prometheus was not-quite-but-really-close-to-being-total garbage. Gonna make a blog post about it in the coming days and then shamelessly plug it here.

    Watch Superman vs. The Elite instead, which is flawed but almost infinitely superior.
  4. CWheezy

    CWheezy Well-Known Member

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is the best movie I have seen this year, and perhaps the best movie I have ever seen.

    Historically accurate and laugh out loud funny, 10/10
  5. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Watched the usual suspects. Not great but enjoyable.
  6. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

  7. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Sorta predictable. Felt a bit....dated just in style and presentation. The plot is...convoluted, but it didn't bother me. That said it's still a fun story and enjoyable movie. The acting is decent and the plot was "fun". By no means the perfect movie but I really enjoyed it.
    specs likes this.
  8. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not Eji but I have a similar opinion. It was a reasonably fun heist/crime movie with one OMGTWIST at the end. For some the OMGTWIST is what makes the movie, but for me it's still just a reasonably fun movie. I think the movie had to make some sacrifices in terms of narrative structure and characterization just to have the OMGTWIST. This makes the movie more clever than emotionally involving (at least to me).

    I saw Jeff, Who Lives At Home last night. This, along with Cyrus (also by the Duplass brothers), is sort of my intro into the "mumblecore" movement of cinema. It's not straight mumblecore (the actors are too good, ha), but the films definitely feel different from typical American cinema. In general, I was impressed by how both movies started with pathetic and obnoxious characters, then developed them to the point where they were actually likeable and "real." You feel like these guys that were borderline cartoon characters at the beginning are now human, which is an impressive feat.

    Reading this thread, it seems that there's not much of a market here for the quirky indie comedies (I sadfaced at one star for Little Miss Sunshine). So I don't know how much I'd recommend it to people here, who seem to go for the more cerebral mindfuck stuff and/or action movies. I'll second the recommendation on the first page for Mind Game, though. I'd say it's probably the best anime I've seen (and I've seen a lot).
    rozencrantz and specs like this.
  9. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I just stumbled upon this on Hulu the other day: The Man from Nowhere

    Was a very enjoyable action movie in the style of Bourne or Taken with a pretty solid plot and great locale (at least to me). Though the translation isn't AAA, it's good enough to not detract from watching it. Probably has some of the most visceral fight scenes I've seen since Eastern Promises.

    At the same time I really enjoyed the story as well. It's always a little hard to tell in translations, but I thought they did a good job of getting personality into all of the characters and even the cliche ones still came off as enjoyable characters. It's not a super deep movie or anything, but the characters still felt interesting more so than what you see from Hollywood most of the time. Even some of the bad guys felt interesting and varied in how they did things. Plus not every detail is explained to death.


    One thing about Usual Suspects is it is dated now a bit I suppose. I feel like the twist and other aspects of the story have been borrowed by some newer films which makes it feel less unique now. Still a fun heist movie though.

    I like quirky indie comedies, just don't get to see a lot of them. In Little Miss Sunshine I think I laughed non-stop from the moment the horn goes to when they finally stop the car at the pageant.
  10. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Don't lump the rest of us in with infernovia's insane reviews... the market around here in general is fine. I guess my personal opinion is just that in the last few years I've had less and less time to commit to watching films, and comedies tend to be the genre that I give up as a result.

    I've found that a sufficiently good movie of any type throws in good laughs. But the average comedy kind of sacrifices itself to a ludicrous plot to fit in a few extra funny moments. That and I tend to watch movies alone, which lends itself more to the internal thinking than the communal laughing aspects.

    If anime's back on subject, I've been watching Mirai Nikki ("Future Diary") recently. I haven't gotten this caught up in an anime for years. Most anime shows really have an issue with moving way too slowly, and the story doesn't actually justify all the episodes they produce. This one is quite the opposite, not on the level confusing, but always keeps things moving, such that you sort of have to connect the dots between each episode. And just good pacing, maybe at final analysis I'll decide I've overestimated it, but they really mastered the cliffhanger end to every single episode, I just can't stop pushing through it. It does have a few problems with completely ludicrous scenes (my favorite is an extended sequence about preventing a group of 20+ evil dogs from getting inside a greenhouse by the 3 characters inside running around and pushing outwards on the glass... I can forgive them for just sacrificing realism for some more stylistic animation, though). Also be warned it's crazy dark... like maybe on the level of Higurashi once it gets going.
  11. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Re: The Usual Suspects: thanks for elaborating on the criticism. I felt the film was quite novel at the time, setting up the big twist in such a way that when it happens, it all makes sense. Soze's character, despite not being known as that for the majority of his screentime, was such a great menacing presence.

    Re: quirky indie comedies: The Fantastic Mr. Fox is my favorite both Wes Anderson and quirky indie comedy-esque film. Neither Anderson nor that genre has produced much that's compelled me. I watched The Royal Tenenbaums mostly with disgust, wondering why it was getting any praise at all; the humor felt so lacking of both joy and the dark family humor Anderson clearly aimed for. Little Miss Sunshine had some great performances and did the "messed up family" thing way better, though I still only really liked its absolutely fitting ending.

    Re: anime: anime sucks. That said, lately I've been obsessed with various Dragon Ball Z fights and other small clips, like Vegeta being a goofy dad shaving his mustache.

    Re: non-anime, non-movie: The Legend of Korra's first season came to a close beautifully and I highly recommend watching all 12 episodes.
  12. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    The Royal Tenenbaums is amazing, I love that film. I wouldn't exactly call it hilarious... but the acting is spot-on, as is the imagery.
  13. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    I suggest Ip Man if you liked Man From Nowhere. I also suggest Chaser, it's a lot slower, but it has nice camera work and is pretty violent. It takes a while for you to sink into it though, give it time. Since you watched Eastern Promises, I am assuming you are ok with that.

    Since Claytus pretty much called me out, I am not really for quirky indie stuff, but I am definitely not that into mindfucks which tend to be generally weak and lacking. Usually it's epics of one kind or another that I mostly go for. I do watch low budget stuff (although I never go out and actively try to find them), and if I find something interesting I will recommend them.

    I hope it's better than the manga, which was super convoluted for not much gain.
  14. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that most anime sucks. But like most art forms, the top 10% is worth checking out.

    But that's not what this post is about. Here is the list you've all been waiting for: the quirky indie comedy tier list (my personal opinion, ofc).

    S: Garden State, High Fidelity, 50/50
    A: Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Royal Tenenbaums, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Kids are Alright, Lost in Translation, In Bruges, Midnight in Paris (and the other obvious Woody Allen movies)
    B: (500) Days of Summer, Clerks, Sideways, Sunshine Cleaning, Cyrus, Jeff who Lives at Home, The Savages, Submarine, Junebug, Happy Go Lucky, About Schmidt, Dazed and Confused, Broken Flowers
    F: Who am I kidding I like everything in this genre

    I'm missing a lot here, obviously, but that's everything I can remember off the top of my head.
  15. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    lol, I really didn't think you would classify High Fidelity or ESoSM as a quirky indie comedy. Definitely thought you were talking about stuff like Clerks or w/e.
  16. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah classification is kind of tough sometimes (also 50/50 might be too mainstream). My rule was if I had to think about it for >5 seconds, it was in, ha.
  17. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Haven't read it, but it's probably identical. Definitely convoluted, but I wouldn't go so far as to say anything didn't make sense. It's mostly just carried on the strength of the characters anyway... and all they really even need is Gasai Yuno to make it compelling.

    *EDIT*: I decided to think a bit more about why I think that last sentence above is true, and I think I realized why, and realized it's kind of relevant to stuff we've discussed. I think the big success of Mirai Nikki is that Gasai Yuno is the unstoppable, heroic, force-of-nature character that you get in The Hulk, Tyler Durden, Dexter, etc... any number of others I could name. But with all of those before-mentioned characters, they're respective films/shows/whatever are sort of telling you that the character is "bad", but then you really end up cheering for them anyway, and just waiting for the awesome things they do. Mirai Nikki never falls into that trap, no matter how much it becomes understood that Yuno is the only one who can save the day, or great her action scenes are, you are never allowed to forget tha she is absolutely fruit-loops insane. So, when they create the tension of the main characters sitting around thinking "We need Yuno's help, but we can't ask because this cannot possibly end well if we do...", you're actually right there with them in terms of the tension and anxiety, instead of all those other examples were you secretly just wish the main characters would get out of the way and let the smashing commence.

    This movie is also amazing.
    Xom likes this.
  18. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Ip Man is also on Hulu and will be watched when I have time. Thanks!
  19. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    Ip Man is fantastic. That scene with the 10 bags of rice gives me goosebumps just thinking of it.

    I've lost track... Infernovia mentioned epics; did Metropolis get mentioned? The new footage adds a lot to the climax of the film, but the 2003 "Restored Authorized" version is really good if you don't want scenes in badly damaged 16mm inserted randomly through the movie.

    For quirky indie comedies, I submit The Taste of Tea (Cha no Aji). That movie treads pretty close to perfection, sometimes. However, there is close to zero plot, it just follows the characters around as they do stuff.
  20. CWheezy

    CWheezy Well-Known Member

    I hate 3d movies, they make everything look strangely flat, and give me a headache
  21. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to second specs' recommendation for Avatar: Legend of Korra (thanks for letting me know it was out!). I thought sequels to mainstream works were supposed to be hard or something, but Korra is so good, it doesn't even look like it's trying.
    specs likes this.
  22. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Saw Ip Man, was interesting and I enjoyed it (especially the semi-historical nature of it). Was a little too patriotic though.
  23. -Y-

    -Y- Well-Known Member

    I'd agree that Avatar Legend of Korra is definitely different. Still the last two episode felt rushed. And the way main villain dies is rather anti-climactic manner. However all said, Legend of Korra is friggen awesome, I do like its fast pace, but a few (like 2-3 ) filler episodes that explain the setting would be awesome.
  24. LoneKnight

    LoneKnight Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the last 2 episodes were REALLY rushed, this series really should have gone for a full season. That'd at least give time to properly introduce all the new tech (the original avatar kinda did this), and tell the story of what happened to all the old guys.
  25. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Re: Korra. Saying here what I said on SRK about it:

    Also on the topic of Korra, the ending was absolutely suitable. Amon being a fraud, the ultimate resolution; everything jived with how the rest of the season progressed and the various themes established. Nothing felt rushed, to me anyway.

    Re: Movies in general.

    New goal in my ever-prevalent quest to become a screenwriter: watch 2 movies a week. Going to post random thoughts here, because Movies.
  26. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    I think the biggest flaw with Korra's ending was the (black spoiler text!) Aang Ex Machina. I kind of thought that the problem was going to be something that Korra worked to overcome in the next season. The creators clearly wanted this to be self-contained, though, so had to cheat a bit. As a result it doesn't feel that Korra deserved to be the avatar in the same way Aang did.

    Funny that specs should start trying to watch a movie a week. I got roped into a "movie challenge" list on facebook (link), and ended up getting 71/100. Some of the movies in that list were my absolute favorites though, so I decided that I would just watch every movie on the list (about one a week). The main advantage of watching a list like this instead of a critic top 100 is that from the 71 movies I have seen, these seem to be actually entertaining (less Seven Samurai, more Amelie). I don't have any aspirations of becoming a critic, but I do enjoy reviews and might follow along with specs' initiative.

    The first I hadn't seen was American Beauty. I can't deny Kevin Spacey's performance. He's pretty much perfect, and probably deserved the Oscar. I think he sometimes comes across as a cynical, too-smart-for-you guy, but here his character feels very human and likeable. At the same time, Spacey's trademark deadpan delivery of his lines is as great as ever. Annette Bening is much less effective. I loved her in The Kids Are Alright, so it's kind of strange to see her flagrantly overacting here. Chris Cooper is great (what else is new?), but has a small and thankless role.

    The screenplay is witty and plays to Spacey's strengths, but is less compelling without him. To be honest, I think the movie has become kind of dated. Homosexuality, the death of the American Dream, and the moral decay of suburbia were already becoming less edgy when this was made. But the treatment of these themes seems almost basic today, and has been explored better in more recent films. Probably the movie was designed to be shocking when it came out. Marijuana! Gays! Marital troubles! by not being shocked by the relatively tame treatment of these, I think I miss out on much of the film's power. The result is an entertaining movie when Spacey is around, but a boring one without. As far as literary value goes, I think the familiar themes are more powerfully presented in a film like Revolutionary Road. American Beauty feels like a prototype.
    specs and infernovia like this.
  27. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Various thoughts-
    Watched Mind Game. Not a fan. It was....ok, but ultimately boring. While unique and in some ways very artistically well done, I can't say that makes it actually good, when I was bored with the fairly standard philosophical stuff going on, and the sorta meh "coincidences." I dunno. It just felt like it assumed it was going to be deep, so that gave it an excuse to not be interesting or well paced.

    On Mirai Nikki- the anime is actually slightly better than the manga(a few scenario changes so they're a little less wtf) but the plot is identical. I enjoyed it. As mentioned Yuno is sorta the penultimate example of her type of character. The complete embodiment of that specific style of crazy, and it's fun to watch. That said it's not great by any means, but you rarely get average TV shows that are. My best friend has watched like, more than half the anime that's come out in the past 6 years and shoots me stuff I should watch every now and again, and I have to say for all its silliness I did enjoy their commitment to darkness. Further the way i see it the ending's kinda brilliant. You can just stop watching/reading after a certain point and it's still a totally legit, albeit slightly different, ending which, if intentional, is kinda a neat way to appease everyone.
  28. -Y-

    -Y- Well-Known Member

    It's the right sentiment, but wrong action. If you want to be a film critic, watch a movie per day. If you are going to be a screenwriter write scripts.
    specs likes this.
  29. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    I have been. For years. And reading them. And re-writing. And all that.

    What I haven't been doing enough of is actually watching movies.
  30. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    Can I pick your brain about that more? I don't often run into articulate people who disliked it, but I know that there are legitimate reasons for disliking it. What was the "fairly standard philosophical stuff," was it the whole "live life to the fullest" thing? Also what are the coincidences you're talking about? Like the set-up at the beginning?

    I find it interesting that you don't even mention the humor. I saw it as trying to be funny more than it was trying to be deep, but maybe I'm missing something. It's pretty low-brow humor so I totally get if that turned you off, did it?
  31. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    I absolutely disagree. If you want to be a screenwriter, you need to know what works and what doesn't. Watching as many movies as possible and trying to deconstruct them is probably the absolute best thing you can do (and watch as many bad movies as good movies... it's easier to learn what not to do). There's way too many crappy screenwriters out there turning out more crappy movies each year because they skipped this step.

    What? Seven Samurai is soooooo much more entertaining than Amelie. I will take the drama of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation affecting an entire town over a movie where *absolutely nothing happens* any day.

    Another film I absolutely love. I see what you're saying above, but I don't actually think it's as dated as you seem to think. If anything "marijuana" and "gays" have become increasingly more part of the forefront of our culture these days since the movie came out. And the economic fallout recently has taken "death of the American Dream" from a weird philosophical discussion to an actual literal truth. I think you're making the common mistake of saying the film doesn't resonate in general, just because it doesn't resonate with you, probably because you're not personally struggling with those issues.
    rozencrantz likes this.
  32. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Seven Samurai: I looked up the movie after your post, and realized that the actual running time is 2 hrs 21 minutes. I think the version I watched was some horrible director’s cut thing (I think the running time was maybe 4 hours?). IIRC correctly the entire first hour could be summed up by the word “rice.” Obviously this isn’t even close to a fair shake, and I should probably rewatch it when I get to it on the list.

    That said, my “actually entertaining” comparison is the fact that critics, like you, seem to prefer drama over light-hearted fare (yeah there are definitely outliers, like Charlie Chaplin). Amelie is a movie that made me smile pretty much the entire time. I value that just as much as a heartfelt drama, even if most people don’t. Furthermore, critics value historical contribution, whereas historical contribution has 0 effect on my personal entertainment. I would rather watch a movie that stole from an old movie, and was a more entertaining film, than the original old movie used as a template. Give me Flash Duel over En Garde any day.

    Re: Re: American Beauty. When I talked about “the death of the American Dream," what I really meant was people at a bad spot on the hedonic treadmill. After acquiring all this stuff, they ceased to be stimulated by even more stuff and were miserable, in spite of their house or car or whatever. IMO, the economic crisis actually makes this ennui less relevant. People who haven’t worked in a year are getting jobs in cubicles. At the height of America’s economic power in 1999, a cubicle job would have been derided as dehumanizing and whatever whatever. Nowadays, it’s pretty awesome to just have a job at all. Maybe if they work it for 10 years, they can get the house or car they’ve always wanted. Ha.

    And yeah, I don’t think it’s controversial to say homosexuality is becoming more and more a part of our culture, and less some subversive thing that shocks us. Currently people are shocked that they want to marry and have kids; 10 years ago they were shocked by 2 men simply living together (like in American Beauty). Same with marijuana - people who smoke it just aren’t demonized in the same way that they used to be. It’s no longer even illegal to carry around small amounts in some states.

    That said, I fully acknowledge that someone who was shocked by American Beauty would have a much different experience. Notice the wording I used: by not being shocked by the film’s relatively tame treatment, I think I miss out on a lot of the film’s power. I do wonder who on this forum would find American Beauty truly shocking, though.
  33. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    3 hours, 27 minutes is the proper running time. The original US release was cut to 2 hours, 21 minutes because it was thought US audiences couldn't handle it in it's entirety (which is probably true, it has a very japanese sensibility that doesn't necessarily translate well). I honestly don't think I've seen the longer version myself, though. *EDIT*: Maybe that's a lie, it's definitely always seemed like an unusually long film, I'm gonna have to look up which version I own sometime.

    Amelie is kind of a weird example, because I feel like when it actually first came out, I went to see it, and enjoyed it. And since then some friends were so taken by it that they all bought copies, and have forced me to sit through it a few more times. I honestly can't figure what's enjoyable about it anymore. She kind of jerks people around a lot for no good reason, but then the film pretends it's all okay by not showing you any actual fallout. And yeah.... nothing happens.

    I think there's more to this, particularly that there's almost 0 examples of one of the actual masterpieces of film being outdone by something later. I mean, I could probably name 10 films that copy from the plot of Seven Samurai, and they're all basically subpar (although often still quite good). It's a much more useful thing to talk about when the original film is not quite at that level. Like, I think Nolan's version of Insomnia might be better, and would take The Departed over Infernal Affairs.

    I guess this is my problem, I don't think it needed to be shocking. Like, I watched it a while ago, but not actually when it came out either. I'm not someone who finds drugs or anything else they bring up to be a big deal. The film's point was merely that someone people do. The actions of the neighbor's father at the end are totally relatable whether you personally have an issue with homosexuality or not. It's just a good film whether you happened to have a visceral reaction or not, you're not missing anything.

    Like, the entire attitude is just weird to me. Why do you have to analyze who the audience is. Who cares? You should like or dislike the film based on your own reaction to it. Not on whether some hypothetical person may or may not have reacted differently. Especially when you seem to admit that this particular hypothetical person may not even actually exist, which makes it pretty hard for the filmmakers to have been catering to them.
  34. Wobberjacky

    Wobberjacky Well-Known Member

    Where have you been all my life? Too bad you're already married.

    Although why Lost in Translation not S tier? I thought that movie was amazing.

    Brave was okay. Average for a Pixar movie. Which makes it above average to good in general then, I guess? Anyone else seen it?
  35. Lemmingrad

    Lemmingrad Well-Known Member

    Seen Brave. Basically my friend and I had nothing really to say about it, but considering no complaints, we took it as we liked it. They certainly hid the main conflict really well from the advertising, so it actually surprised me despite it playing out like a typical fairy tale.

    We also stuck around to the after credits joke.

    Edit- @american beauty, reminds me of reading an article of how Rent used to be very shocking, but now that the aids scare is gone, it doesn't have nowhere the same impact years later.
  36. Wobberjacky

    Wobberjacky Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Brave was odd. They really outdid themselves with the visuals this time, but there was poorer characterization than I would expect from Pixar and the predictable, "children's movie" moments were a bit gag-inducing.

    Rent certainly isn't as shocking anymore, no. Don't you think it still has plenty of impact though? It's still a pretty good melodrama.
  37. Lemmingrad

    Lemmingrad Well-Known Member

    Can't say too much on Rent, having not seen it myself, just remembering reading an article discussing how relevant it is now (somehow they thought the fact that Team America reduced it to a joke was a statement to how low it's gotten) compared to when it first came out, and all the awards it got then.
  38. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Amelie: I think it is a bad metric to rate movies according to how tedious they are after you watch them 8 times. If you really enjoy a movie the first time, but enjoy it less the second, it doesn't somehow make your first viewing less valid. This is maybe one of the reasons that simple lighthearted comedies get labeled as "shallow" even if, to me, they provide just as powerful an experience as a drama. Something can be disposable AND good.

    American Beauty: When my opinion is different from the majority opinion, I like to think about why. I think it's usually an interesting question. Granted, often it's a very difficult question, and so it's tempting to give up and say stuff like "enjoyment is subjective." But even attempting to answer it can help bring out truths about your experience. Now, maybe my explanation of why I said "meh" to a film that won tons of Oscars and has good critical standing is wrong. But even if it is, I don't feel bad for at least trying.

    Brave: I watched it in theaters cuz 3d (yeah call me unsophisticated). I think it is only "average" if you rate Cars and Cars 2 as so terrible that they bring down the entire average of Pixar's library. Besides Cars 1+2, I can't think of a Pixar film I liked less than Brave. Which is a really negative way of framing a reasonably enjoyable movie, heh. It's hard to pin down anything wrong about it, other than that it failed to fill me with a sense of wonder. Garcia should definitely watch it though. Bearsbearsbears.
  39. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    The "shocking" metric doesn't work any better for Rent than it does for American Beauty. I mean, especially so because it's just a retelling of Les Miserables. Is Les Miserables somehow less popular or memorable today because people are less likely to die of tuberculosis? Obviously not.

    I still think it's just missing the point completely, these overt elements are pretty much completely irrelevant to the quality of the work in question. Rent is a love story that isn't really about aids at all, the same way American Beauty is... well, it's harder to describe what it actually is... but it's certainly not about marijuana, I'm sure about that part.

    I absolutely disagree. For several reasons, 1) It's a really old film, and I wasn't so interested in film back in the day. So I honestly believe part of why I originally thought it was okay was that I wasn't actually paying any attention. 2) There are a million simple lighthearted comedies that *actually hold up to repeated viewings*... Princess Bride, Dr. Strangelove, Spaceballs, Monty Python and the holy grail, Paper moon. There's no good reason to settle here. (Also... I've only seen it maybe 2.5 times at most...)

    I still think your opinion isn't that different, first of all. It is widely considered to have been somewhat overpraised when it first came out (and honestly the oscars are kind of a terrible metric anyway...). Also, I really don't think it is as difficult a question as people think it is. The general opinion of a film is usually based on the critical response, and the critical response is usually weighted against stuff that came out around the same time, not film history in general, so it's still not really a great ranking system down the line. And more importantly, you don't have to make up some fake target audience that doesn't include you to somehow clarify differing opinions... you mostly just need to ask someone and compare notes.

    For example, I think your "death of the American Dream" description is pretty spot-on (after you explained it... usually "the American Dream" means something slightly different to me). I think some of the other stuff you said is not even close to a good interpretation. Wikipedia shows the director has said the main theme of the film is "Imprisonment", which is pretty damn solid word for the movie. Taken in that light, the use of homosexuality and drugs aren't meant to be a reflection on american values or a means of shocking the audience at all. They were chosen merely because the social pressures on LGBT people and the problems of addiction can both entrap people in the exact same way that Spacey's character seems trapped in-between a boring job and a loveless marriage.
  40. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    OK fair enough on Amelie. The clarification helps.

    THAT SAID. Let's say I agree with you on which lighthearted comedies are the most rewatchable (Strangelove is lighthearted?!?!?). And then I responded with a list of the most rewatchable dramas (Citizen Kane, Godfather, etc.) that we also happened to agree on. Would you rank their rewatchability as equal?
  41. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    The humor was....meh. I can't think of any one moment or line i'd point out as hilarious, and the rest was just kinda okish humor, although i know i'm not a huge fan of most of the humor they were shooting for. A lot of it seemed confusing. Like am I supposed to be laughing at this and I'm just not the target audience, or is it trying to be deep?

    The life to the fullest thing was mostly what I meant by philosophy, and the coincidences refers to the fact that basically the older yakuza member(the non soccer player) doesn't know that the businessman he's sharking/hunting with his friend, is actually the business man who stole his girl years ago. Further that same yakuza's father is the guy who's been trapped in the whale. For so long. It's....interesting(and NOT expressly stated at all.) but just sorta....there. Like hey cool look everythings connected and choices matter and don't do things you'll regret and blah blah blah.

    It also felt REALLY odd, and probably purposely done, that the first half of the movie is basically schizophrenic in style and execution. Both plot and art is sorta hard to nail down. Then whale happens and it gets a lot more consistent except when they do the art/sex scenes which again shoot to a more stylized approach.

    Oddly enough if i had to compare it to any one other movie as for feel, it'd probably be Tron. NOT by any means the best movie ever, but unique and interesting enough to probably be worth seeing once. Even if it's in TOTALLY different ways. I can certainly say thought that I was pretty much bored through most of Mind Game, even though on some level it was interesting. Like being stuck in a class on a subject you enjoy but would rather take apart on your own time than be forced to sit through for 2 hours.
  42. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    I'm always a little worried how many people think a movie with that many poop-jokes is trying to be deep.
  43. -Y-

    -Y- Well-Known Member

    My point was if you need to write screenplays, write screenplays. In order to do you'll implicitly do things all the above mentioned. For example you want to screenwrite... Ok, lets write a script or two. How do you do it? Let's look at some scripts... That doesn't look bad... Let me try. Oh, it sucks. Maybe I should read more. Yup, my scripts are better, but still. Let's look at other movies.. etc.

    All I am saying is analysis without synthesis is pointless. If you watch more movies than scripts you write then you are not preparing for screenwriting.
  44. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member
    Good analysis of drama, and why it works the way it does. Also you could probably put this word for word on the LA Noire storytelling.
    Good stuff between TV series and a movie.
    If you have any friends that are anal about actors. Also, difference between theater acting and movie acting.
    vivafringe and specs like this.
  45. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Great articles! I wonder how Hulk would respond to Young Adult, for which the "error" he talks about in the John Carter piece is done completely on purpose. The audience spends a lot of time hating the Charleze Theron character, and then a Big Reveal puts the entire purpose of the film into context. By Hulk's model the film should fail to resonate with its audience. But RottenTomatoes, the same metric he used to condemn Carter, gives Young Adult 80%. So at first it would seem like a bug in his model.

    Part of the problem is that he is using the wrong metric. A better measure of whether a film resonates with "the audience" is the actual audience %. At 51%, Young Adult actually does WORSE than Carter (64%) by this measure. But there is something else going on here. Young Adult actually wants you to dislike the character; in Hulk's terms, our surrogate is basically every other character in the movie. Then, when the reveal happens, our dislike is used against us. The cliche is that the opposite of love is apathy, not hatred. And I think the idea applies here. I can recall many films in which a big reveal was used for the villain of the show, to excellent dramatic effect. And to a large extent, Theron's character IS the villain.
  46. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Bloody Sunday (not to be confused with Sunday, Bloody Sunday)

    This week was the week of fake coincidences. In my minireview of American Beauty, I mentioned it was similar to Revolutionary Road. Turns out they were both directed by the same guy: Sam Mendes. And yesterday, when I watched Bloody Sunday (a movie about the massacre of Irish protesters during a peaceful march), I remember thinking that the movie was similar in style to United 93 (about the plane hijacked on 9/11 that crashed into the ground). Turns out these two movies were directed by the same guy too (Paul Greengrass).

    The fact that United 93 exists at all makes Bloody Sunday somewhat more difficult to recommend. United 93 is a perfection of the style Greengrass used in Bloody Sunday, so if you haven’t seen either, you should really go and watch United 93. However, I enjoyed both, with the caveat that Bloody Sunday failed the wife test (she was asleep at minute 30 or so).

    For those that haven’t seen either, the movies’ goal is “you are there.” This means employing techniques that a lot of people find annoying, but that I have no automatic problem with: shaky cam, intentionally confusing editing, and grainy picture.

    Most films get you emotionally involved by having you resonate with the characters. But “you are there” is a way to shortcut that. If you actually think it is *you* that is getting shot at, or is in a crashing plane, then you automatically empathize with the people on the camera. You are one of them, after all!

    In both cases, the payoff is the devastating emotional punch that comes from watching a tragedy from the inside. They are also both somewhat historically informative, but Greengrass is happy to fill in the gaps where there isn’t enough data (I’m OK with this!). In a sense, making the film about real life and not some fictional thing is just another technique to achieve “you are there.”

    Bloody Sunday has some issues that United 93 doesn’t have. When it cuts to a new scene, it fades out the sound and picture instead of just changing. Probably this was done to make the jumps from group to group less jarring, but the net effect is hugely negative. As a viewer, it gave me the impression that I was falling asleep and then abruptly waking up, which actually made things more disorienting. It also brought to my attention that I was watching a movie, which is of course the worst possible result for “you are there.” Additionally, there is a fairly lengthy set up that comes before the actual march starts (which is why it failed the wife test).

    That said, when the guns start firing, it’s still a harrowing experience. And unlike United 93 (which has no aftermath), some of the most poignant scenes actually happen after the shooting. One of the best scenes involves a debriefing with a conflicted soldier, who is asked whether he thinks the shootings were justified. The silent moments of hesitation are deafening.

    As such, they’re both excellent films that hit you hard. It’s just that United 93 is as a whole a superior film, and should be watched first (seriously though, watch them both!)
  47. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Anyone seen Spiderman? I'm hearing more negatives than positives through the rumor mill. Seems like it's unnecessarily dark (I mean, as opposed to spiderman comics often being humorous) and kind of a rote retelling of spiderman's origin to the point that nothing suprising ever happens. The trailers kind of looked good, but now I'm considering skipping it.

    Also curious if anyone's seen Margaret. Heard some really positive things, but it seems not easy to get ahold of. Not sure if I should just give up, or put it on my list of things to check up on once in a while.

    How can a film about fluoridized water as a russian brainwashing mechanism be anything but light-hearted? (To be honest, I got that list by pulling up imdb's top 100 comedies, and pulling off a random handful that I happen to like)

    For your actual question, though.... who cares? I think I've said a couple times before that I think overall rankings are mostly dumb and not useful. I'll gladly talk about the merits of one film, or compare two given films, but I think making a ranked list just drains all the nuance out. As for rewatchability specifically.... it's almost not something I care about. There's too many films out there, so there are only a few reasons I'd ever watch something more than twice, all other things being equal. Of course, things often aren't equal... I'll rewatch a film again to show it to someone who hasn't seen it... I'll rewatch a film because it's on TV and I'm feeling lazy... And a few films that I liked enough to own, I'll rewatch every once in a while because I'm travelling or the internet's out or something, and so why not.

    I don't really consider re-watchability to be a metric in and of itself, though. I mean, a film being good basically implies it's worth rewatching for some reason. How do you seperate those into distinct categories?
  48. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Well-Known Member

    I thought Spiderman was pretty great, but I'm not familiar with Spiderman much at all (the first two Tobey Maguire movies + random saturday morning cartoons).
  49. Jady

    Jady New Member

    Yeah, I do agree. Spiderman was so good, even lots of things changed though
  50. deluks917

    deluks917 Yomi League 1 Champion

    New spiderman had some problem but I thought it was a really great superhero movie. Much better than the toby trio.
    specs likes this.

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