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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
That shot feels so natural that it doesn't really call attention to itself (unlike all those auteurs going for the new world record for a "oner").


There's a tossed-off oner at the beginning of this film too, with Wade going down his stack, which does such a good job of world-building that the spoken exposition feels redundant - a vestige of the first-person narration of the book (which I haven't read).

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Some of the scenes seemed a little too busy. There's that Lucas-type obsession with cramming as much shit as you can in every shot, which is arguably justified because the whole film is an Easter Egg hunt, but at moments this left me cold, because it underlined (for me) the unreality of it all.


The first chase and Big Battle at the end felt this way to me, although I think that was very much the point with the first chase - to overwhelm - so that the follow-up chase feels very different and smooth and almost satiric...

where we see the robotic clockwork that creates the chaos up above.


As for the Big Battle, it was just too much happening for my eyes, although I did love...

whenever a bunch of people would die and Spielberg would cut back to the IOI room and you see a huge swath of user stations turn red. For some reason, that visual device didn't get old to me. Chucky cutting through a row of them, or MechaGodzilla falling on top of them. God help me, a Sixer yelling "It's fucking Chucky!" and then watching 20 of them go red made me laugh.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:34 am
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Ready Player One - 8/10


The good:

It looked like I imagine it looking, based on the book.
Loved trying to spot all the Easter Eggs and characters.
Loved the race, including the "special" cars like Christine, the Mach 5, The Batmobile, The A-Team van and others
Loved the Shining sequence
Loved the final assault on the fortress, Mechagodzilla, the Gundam, Chucky, the Iron Giant, Battletoads, TMNT, etc.
For some reason the shot of Halo soldiers in real life and VR made me a-flutter. Love that shot.


The bad:

As a 35-year D & D player, I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I was that the Tomb of Horrors wasn't the first puzzle. They threw a reference to it on Aech's van with the face decal on the back door.
They completely ignore Wade in school and create some sort of resistance, including Artemis
I really wanted to see the WarGames "mini-game" but using The Shining instead was still pretty clutch.
Lack of Simon Pegg - Ogden Morrow had a more significant role in the book, and every movie should have more Pegg.
Completely eliminating Wade getting himself locked up by IOI to hack their system and instead rushing the sequence (plus the painful deus ex machina of coincidentally finding Sorrento's password)


That being said, I would gladly watch this again. It was still a fun movie with pop culture that's right up my alley. And I can't wait to see when the Blu-Ray comes out and people start analyzing every scene for characters, easter eggs, etc.

I'm going to re-read the book again as well.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:41 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

Instead of "hot chick does not know she's beautiful becuz glasses" trope, we get something new
"hot chick does not know she's beautiful becuz birthmark."


For a Spielberg film, this is weak.

For the shit that passes as cinema these days, it's passable. Hurrah?




Blame the author for the birthmark, not the director.

And as far as Spielberg movies go, this is the first one I've seen from him in years that I enjoyed. I'm guessing you didn't grow up in the 80's, which probably would have helped your appreciation of the film.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:44 am
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DaMU wrote:

There's a tossed-off oner at the beginning of this film too, with Wade going down his stack, which does such a good job of world-building that the spoken exposition feels redundant - a vestige of the first-person narration of the book (which I haven't read).



The first chase and Big Battle at the end felt this way to me, although I think that was very much the point with the first chase - to overwhelm - so that the follow-up chase feels very different and smooth and almost satiric...

where we see the robotic clockwork that creates the chaos up above.


As for the Big Battle, it was just too much happening for my eyes, although I did love...

whenever a bunch of people would die and Spielberg would cut back to the IOI room and you see a huge swath of user stations turn red. For some reason, that visual device didn't get old to me. Chucky cutting through a row of them, or MechaGodzilla falling on top of them. God help me, a Sixer yelling "It's fucking Chucky!" and then watching 20 of them go red made me laugh.


Yeah, there are some great little bits.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:46 am
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DaMU wrote:
I mean, the guy who idolized Kubrick sort of honors him by placing a big stretch of this film in the Overlook, but he aesthetically turns it into what feels like Ghostbusters 2016, with the ax-flinging banshees and zombie dance in the green-gassed ballroom. They lampshade that by saying Halliday was inserting other stuff into The Shining, and if he built the Overlook as part of a game, I guess it's fair that he gamify its tropes. But it still felt so out of place and so over the top (the blood elevator releases a full-blown river of blood now?). There's also something annoyingly predictable (and maybe racist? maybe not?) about the film's coded Tough Black Best Friend pratfalling his way in terror from one horror beat to the other. But also the sequence carries some of the same panache and transitional fluidity of Spielberg's TinTin, which was a film I really dug.




My Tough Black Best Friend doesn't like horror movies, either.

I rather thought the point was to see how bad shit would happen to a character that never saw the movie, albeit in a slapstick way, and in that sense it delivered. Then we got to see what would happen to noob scrubs (IOI) who weren't tough enough to survive and that delivered as well.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:49 am
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Torgo wrote:

One of the highlights of the book was when Aitch revealed her true identity. Like the movie, the book hinted that nobody could be like what their avatars suggest, but it was still a shock when Aitch revealed that she was not only a woman, but also black. In addition to getting rid of that stereotyping, how could the filmmakers have handled this without pushing any buttons? I don't know. Like the Ancient One controversy from Doctor Strange, it seems like a no-win situation.


Also a lesbian, IIRC.

I don't see the issue. A black woman isn't allowed to mascarade as a male cyber-orc? I play female characters in D & D roughly 50% of the time. Is there a problem with that?

And the Ancient One controversy has nothing to do with RPO. That was an Asian character being whitened for two reasons: 1. Being of Tibetan origin, the producers didn't want to risk China not showing the film. (dick move on their part - no argument there. Fuck China if they can't handle it) 2. The comic version of the Ancient One was very stereotypical Asian and while they certainly wouldn't have gone full-on Breakfast at Tiffany's if they made him/her Asian, there was some concern over presenting a stereotyped character. (flimsy explanation)

Ready Player One has always had Aech and his black female lesbian identity. If they hadn't made Aech a black woman in the movie people would be rioting, and rightly so.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:01 am
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Death Proof wrote:
Then we got to see what would happen to noob scrubs (IOI) who weren't tough enough to survive and that delivered as well.


That was a fantastic blow when Spielberg shows that wide shot

of the sixers all freaking the fuck out and dying loudly.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:16 am
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Death Proof wrote:
Also a lesbian, IIRC.

I don't see the issue. A black woman isn't allowed to mascarade as a male cyber-orc? I play female characters in D & D roughly 50% of the time. Is there a problem with that?

And the Ancient One controversy has nothing to do with RPO. That was an Asian character being whitened for two reasons: 1. Being of Tibetan origin, the producers didn't want to risk China not showing the film. (dick move on their part - no argument there. Fuck China if they can't handle it) 2. The comic version of the Ancient One was very stereotypical Asian and while they certainly wouldn't have gone full-on Breakfast at Tiffany's if they made him/her Asian, there was some concern over presenting a stereotyped character. (flimsy explanation)

Ready Player One has always had Aech and his black female lesbian identity. If they hadn't made Aech a black woman in the movie people would be rioting, and rightly so.

I have no problem with Aitch being a black lesbian in real life. I was wondering out loud if the movie could have maintained his real-life identity like the book did without being accused of racism. After all, in the book, all we know about Aitch until the big reveal is that he is a male orc. Sorry for the confusion.

Aitch is sort of a stereotypical "tough black best friend" character in the Oasis like DaMU said, but if they had cast someone of a different race to voice Aitch, it could have opened the same can of worms we had with the Ancient One.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:37 am
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I loved Ready Player One. The first race seemed like something out of Split/Secon/Burnout. And man I'm glad they kept the Shining segment out of the trailers. That was the highlight right there. You can tell they used original footage cuz the film Grain was ever present.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:57 am
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Ace wrote:
I loved Ready Player One. The first race seemed like something out of Split/Secon/Burnout. And man I'm glad they kept the Shining segment out of the trailers. That was the highlight right there. You can tell they used original footage cuz the film Grain was ever present.

I'm glad you mentioned the Shining segment in a broad topic thread without spoilers because you're glad it was kept out of trailers.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:36 am
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Also... you can simulate film grain.

Unless that was irony.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:59 am
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I am glad. Very glad.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:00 am
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DaMU wrote:
Also... you can simulate film grain.

Unless that was irony.

Doesn't Spielberg use 35mm process for all his projects?


Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:06 am
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Ace wrote:
Doesn't Spielberg use 35mm process for all his projects?


He shoots on 35mm, but the films still go through a digital intermediate stage where the film is fed into a computer and a 1:1 digital file is created so it can be more seamlessly integrated with CGI as well as allow for fine-tuned color grading. But even were that not the case, Kaminski would still have ways of producing a "film grain" look with actual film stock.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:34 am
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DaMU wrote:
Also... you can simulate film grain.

Unless that was irony.


Irony can also be simulated under veiled literality.

I liked The Shining stuff, because it drew the narrative into another narrative, however imperfectly. It wasn't just crap you'd seen elsewhere, but the main narrative getting caught in the orbit of another narrative and our characters getting a gravity assist from it by walking the the tightrope just right. I hear the book did more of this stuff.


Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:48 am
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DaMU wrote:

That was a fantastic blow when Spielberg shows that wide shot

of the sixers all freaking the fuck out and dying loudly.


:up:

One of my favorite parts.

Also the squad of Halo soldiers, Fuckin' Chucky, and a motherfucking Gundam beating the hell out of Mechagodzilla.

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Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:04 pm
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Shoot First, Die Later was one of the better poliziotteschi flicks I've seen. Still below the Castellari's but above Killer Cop and Live Like A Cop Die Like a Man (though that wins best title). This one succeeds by having an overtly corrupt cop as it's lead, which keeps it away from the Michael Winner-esque fascist morality that's prevalent in the sub genre. It had two really good car chases too.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:02 am
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Erik the Conqueror

Thought it would be dumb, instead I kind of loved it. Lush colors, compelling and breakneck plotting, and some really well-staged action/violence.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:36 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Erik the Conqueror

Thought it would be dumb, instead I kind of loved it. Lush colors, compelling and breakneck plotting, and some really well-staged action/violence.

I own it but found out that it was a response film to The Vikings, which I do not own so that put a damper on my watching it. Sounds like Bava and I'm getting back into the Italian groove so I may take the plunge with your rec.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:58 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Shoot First, Die Later was one of the better poliziotteschi flicks I've seen. Still below the Castellari's but above Killer Cop and Live Like A Cop Die Like a Man (though that wins best title). This one succeeds by having an overtly corrupt cop as it's lead, which keeps it away from the Michael Winner-esque fascist morality that's prevalent in the sub genre. It had two really good car chases too.

Which Castellaris are you referring to? I love the chase scene in The Heroin Busters (and the rest of the movie is groovy too), but that's the only one I've seen.

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:29 am
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Rock wrote:
Which Castellaris are you referring to? I love the chase scene in The Heroin Busters (and the rest of the movie is groovy too), but that's the only one I've seen.

Heroin Busters, the Big Racket and Street Law. Street Law is easily my favorite but I think HB has the best climax. TBR is like a mix of the two and isn't quite as good but still has some awesome stuff, like an early car accident that I still can't quite figure out how they did safely (which I can't really assume).


Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:33 am
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Death Proof wrote:



Blame the author for the birthmark, not the director.

Well, in the book it was a big, defining deal to her where she feels deformed and completely hides behind her avatar to be the person she feels this deformity does not allow her to be. Not aware if the film captures this since I haven't seen it and have about 1/10 interest in doing so.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:26 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I'm glad you mentioned the Shining segment in a broad topic thread without spoilers because you're glad it was kept out of trailers.

Hahahahaha!
Yep, that's now one more thing I know about the movie than I did before and won't be surprised by if I see it.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:29 pm
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A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is the brainchild of writer and director, John Krasinski, who you probably remember from the American remake of The Office and a few other movies that will never matter, but brother, this movie matters. No joke. Not exaggerating. A Quiet Place is probably the best horror movie I have seen in many years. I’m trying to think of a time that a movie caused my heart to race as much as this one did, and I can’t think of a single one. This, my friends, could very well be the horror movie of our age.

Or, maybe not, what the hell do I know?

A Quiet Place takes place in the country following a worldwide invasion by monsters who cannot see, but they can hear very well and, if they hear you, they are going to kill you to death so quickly and so mercilessly that you die without even realizing how fucked you are.

We are introduced to a family living a new way of life as quietly as they can. They speak in sign language, they walk barefoot on paths of sand, and every moment, they strive to make as little noise as possible to survive another day and that's really all they're doing... surviving. It's not life, it's day by day with them and they know it. The decay of hope is deep and palpable.

Rather than showing the invasion from the beginning, like a typical zombie or alien invasion movie, A Quiet Place picks up almost three months after the fall of civilization. In the first ten minutes, we're introduced to characters, the rules for this new world are set up, and the consequences of breaking the rules are made known. It's effective and efficient and because this isn't a movie about an invastion... as I said, this is a movie about survival and adaptation. There are no bombastic action sequences, explosions, or special effects sequences that cost millions of dollars. This movie is methodical, intense, and thrilling at every turn.

As strange as it sounds, this movie is incredibly uncomfortable to sit through and I don’t mean that as a complaint, I just mean that this movie is like watching your family tiptoe around a field that is covered in land mines. That's what these characters feel like... A Quite Place makes you care for them and what they're going through. These people are traumatized and holding on to the one thing they can never let go of: each other. Every single step, every single move, brings them closer and closer to disaster and there is absolutely nothing that you, them, or anyone else can do to stop it. It's goddamn oppressive.

All you can do is watch, and wait.

It almost seems like every single story element in this movie is set to explode in the characters faces. Every single thing has the potential of ending them at any moment and it is so nerve-wracking. This movie is like a tightly-wound spring that could pop at any moment and shred your face. The inevitability of doom is so heavy that you honestly believe that any one of them could be picked off at the slightest mistake.

Folks, I cannot remember a movie that masterfully played with tension and expectation as well as this movie does. It could be that it ingeniously draws you into its world by actually causing you to experience the silence that it’s characters experience. The movie is so dialogue lite that it’s almost like it’s told in vignettes without sound. Even with the quiet of voice, the movie wisely avoids sweeping scores instead forcing you to swim in the hush as well.

It’s amazing to me how uncomfortable and tense that a quiet theater full of people can become.

But, this movie is simply outstanding. All of the actors are on point, including the children who managed to act without saying a word. There are some adults they can’t do that, but these kids pull it off with such ease that it feels so natural at every turn. You buy that they are kids trying to be brave, being cowardly, or being angry and scared. It just makes you love them more.

The direction by Krasinski is tight and well-thought-out, establishing that before mentioned tension that I was telling you about earlier. The story, the thing laughably called a screenplay which I assume was mostly describing what was happening rather than actual dialogue, is smart and clever.

More than anything, A Quiet Place is such a special movie. It’s clever, original, and takes a strange premise and runs with it creating something that we haven’t seen before. It’s highly entertaining, it fills you with all kinds of anxieties, and it will have you clenching your sphincter longer then you thought you could clench it. I have never been this worked up over a nail before.

I know that it is insane to say this in April, but I would not be the smallest bit surprised if A Quiet Place is not the best movie of 2018.

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:10 pm
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A Quite Place? :P
But yes I want to see it.


Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:44 pm
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Ace wrote:
A Quite Place? :P
But yes I want to see it.


My spelling gets stupid when I'm tired, but I wanted to write down my thoughts about it as soon as I could.

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Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:48 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I own it but found out that it was a response film to The Vikings, which I do not own so that put a damper on my watching it. Sounds like Bava and I'm getting back into the Italian groove so I may take the plunge with your rec.


I've seen both, and I liked Erik the Conqueror a lot more than The Vikings and don't feel that the latter is in any way a prerequisite for watching/enjoying the former. It's good Bava.


Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:29 am
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I thought you meant Erik The Viking for a second....


Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:44 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Shoot First, Die Later was one of the better poliziotteschi flicks I've seen. Still below the Castellari's but above Killer Cop and Live Like A Cop Die Like a Man (though that wins best title). This one succeeds by having an overtly corrupt cop as it's lead, which keeps it away from the Michael Winner-esque fascist morality that's prevalent in the sub genre. It had two really good car chases too.


I'm terrible at remembering the names of these movies, but I think that my favourite of the poliziotteschi films was something called Emergency Squad. Or maybe that was a terrible one. They all have such similar titles, with all the same actors, plus similar covers, and yet the quality varies so wildly that I always hesitate to recommend any in case it is one of the really bad ones. I also think Revolver with Oliver Reed was pretty good. Or maybe it was pretty terrible. *shrugs*


Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:47 am
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The Italian Connection is my favourite from the handful I've seen. Sweaty scumbag Mario Adorf becomes not just the hero the genre needs, but the one it deserves. Or the other way around. He's equally sweaty either way.

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Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:53 am
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has anybody else seen O.J.: Made in America? I've been rewatching bits of it off of ESPN.com recently. the doc itself is produced and edited very very very well, doing justice to the story's scope. and man, what a heavy fucking story. to bring together so many contentious strains of American culture (race, celebrity, sports fandom, tabloid media, domestic violence, law enforcement, legal justice, double consciousness, "the underdog", etc) and then to watch them all explode at once.... it's very hard to shake off.

though I don't doubt that if I had been in my 20's at the time of the trial, I'd be dismissing my peers for following something so tawdry. "this isn't news, what about healthcare, what about Bosnia, etc"


Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:04 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
has anybody else seen O.J.: Made in America? I've been rewatching bits of it off of ESPN.com recently. the doc itself is produced and edited very very very well, doing justice to the story's scope. and man, what a heavy fucking story. to bring together so many contentious strains of American culture (race, celebrity, sports fandom, tabloid media, domestic violence, law enforcement, legal justice, double consciousness, "the underdog", etc) and then to watch them all explode at once.... it's very hard to shake off.

though I don't doubt that if I had been in my 20's at the time of the trial, I'd be dismissing my peers for following something so tawdry. "this isn't news, what about healthcare, what about Bosnia, etc"


Hulu had it split in three parts of three hours each. I started watching it and saw probably the first part, but for some reason, the length of each part kinda threw me off. I know it makes no sense, but I would've preferred if they had it split in six 1-hour parts.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:06 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
has anybody else seen O.J.: Made in America? I've been rewatching bits of it off of ESPN.com recently. the doc itself is produced and edited very very very well, doing justice to the story's scope. and man, what a heavy fucking story. to bring together so many contentious strains of American culture (race, celebrity, sports fandom, tabloid media, domestic violence, law enforcement, legal justice, double consciousness, "the underdog", etc) and then to watch them all explode at once.... it's very hard to shake off.

though I don't doubt that if I had been in my 20's at the time of the trial, I'd be dismissing my peers for following something so tawdry. "this isn't news, what about healthcare, what about Bosnia, etc"

Stellar piece of work. The intercutting between OJ's ascendance and the crumbling race relations in LA is the "This is fine" dog of late twentieth century America. Hard to beat the surreal final episode, too, though clearly it could've been mined for so much more. This American Life has a show on Juiced that sticks its fingers in some of those dark, sticky crannies.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:11 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
has anybody else seen O.J.: Made in America?

I haven't had access to it (for free anyway). But one night back when it was originally airing I was in a burger joint that had it playing on a TV and I was riveted. Sat there for a good hour after my burger was done, just because I couldn't tear myself away. Been looking forward to seeing it for real ever since.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:27 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I'm terrible at remembering the names of these movies, but I think that my favourite of the poliziotteschi films was something called Emergency Squad. Or maybe that was a terrible one. They all have such similar titles, with all the same actors, plus similar covers, and yet the quality varies so wildly that I always hesitate to recommend any in case it is one of the really bad ones. I also think Revolver with Oliver Reed was pretty good. Or maybe it was pretty terrible. *shrugs*

This is absurd. Clearly those with Franco Nero or Fabio Testi are far superior to those without Nero or Testi. That is my metric and it does me no wrong.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:53 am
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Thief wrote:

Hulu had it split in three parts of three hours each. I started watching it and saw probably the first part, but for some reason, the length of each part kinda threw me off. I know it makes no sense, but I would've preferred if they had it split in six 1-hour parts.


ESPN has it in five 1.5-hour parts if that helps.

also fun movie fact for those who haven't watched: OJ had campaigned for the lead role in Ragtime. if that helps give an idea of how he may have once seen himself ('cause he is one hard-as-hell guy to pin down I tell ya).


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:58 am
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You Were Never Really Here - 8/10

This is a pretty brutal movie, not necessarily because of the violence it depicts (director Lynne Ramsay often eschews showing us the carnage in favor of revealing its aftermath) but because of the toll it takes on the main character. We're introduced to Joaquin Phoenix's Joe in the middle of one of his several attempts at suicide, and things only get bleaker for him from there. Imagine Drive if that movie were more interested in investigating why the main character's well of violence runs so deep.

Ramsay doles out snippets of Joe's backstory in her typical kaleidoscopic fashion. We see in fits and starts how a formative trauma and ugly experiences waging war in the Middle East have shaped Joe into a deeply emotionally troubled avenger for downtrodden and abused women, a sort of private eye/hit man/vigilante for hire. The plot involves Joe's assigned rescue of a politician's underage daughter from a ring of wealthy pedophiles, but the real intrigue is in seeing how the escalating pressures of the story begin affecting Joe's already fragile mental state. Ramsay as always is terrifically effective using montage and sound design to establish a particular mood or mental state, and Joe's is one of the most uncomfortable that she has evoked. Even the routine stuff, like the normally pedestrian sweeping establishing shots of a city, are accomplished in a more thoughtful, creative way that puts you in the street-level state of mind of its main character.

My only quibble is with an overly convenient bit of circumstance at the climax, one that works out far too easily in Joe's immediate favor. But because the movie has been so punishing to him prior to that, and also because the movie makes clear that Joe's more troubling mental problems will not be resolved so simply, perhaps that's forgivable, especially for the cumulative impression it leaves of Joe's frantic condition. Stepping out of the theater onto the same streets that Ramsay filmed, I was literally hearing and seeing things in a different, not at all pleasant, way. Kudos should also go to Jonny Greenwood who, right on the heels of Phantom Thread, is on some kind of tear in the film score department. The score alternative between pounding percussiveness and an electronic lilt that itself complements the contrast between the explosive violence and quiet menace of the story along with Joe's manic and depressive states. And it goes without saying that a huge amount of what works here is carried on Phoenix's shoulders, given the intimacy of the movie's portrayal of a very sick man. Phoenix is physically much bulkier than he was for the frail Freddie Quell of The Master, but they're both performances that convey tremendous pain in the characters' past and how they're trying to funnel that torment into what they see as a noble cause, though maybe we in the audience know better.

All around, it's pretty harrowing viewing, but also damn effective filmmaking. And at a fleet 90 minutes, there isn't a shred of fat on this movie, even though you get to know the main character far more intimately than many movies accomplish at nearly twice that length.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:45 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
This is absurd. Clearly those with Franco Nero or Fabio Testi are far superior to those without Nero or Testi. That is my metric and it does me no wrong.


Overlooking Thomas Milian is not acceptable.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:51 am
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BL wrote:
You Were Never Really Here - 8/10

All around, it's pretty harrowing viewing, but also damn effective filmmaking. And at a fleet 90 minutes, there isn't a shred of fat on this movie, even though you get to know the main character far more intimately than many movies accomplish at nearly twice that length.


I read a review of this one a few days ago that really put it on my radar.

The only thing giving me pause was the context of
him trying to rescue a girl from sex trafficking. I'm a little burned out on violence/sexual violence towards women and girls in film. And I'm not just talking about graphically what is seen on screen, I'm talking about just the theme in general.


crumbsroom wrote:

Overlooking Thomas Milian is not acceptable.


I'll just pop in here to say that Django Kill . . . If You Live, Shoot!, starring Milian is in my top five westerns ever.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:57 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I'll just pop in here to say that Django Kill . . . If You Live, Shoot!, starring Milian is in my top five westerns ever.


Just rewatched that this past Thursday. I wouldn't rank it quite as highly as you, but it sure is special


Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:09 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I read a review of this one a few days ago that really put it on my radar.

The only thing giving me pause was the context of
him trying to rescue a girl from sex trafficking. I'm a little burned out on violence/sexual violence towards women and girls in film. And I'm not just talking about graphically what is seen on screen, I'm talking about just the theme in general.
My trepidation around that topic, particularly because it involves politicians, was in the whole QAnon nonsense that's floating around the web and how it might feed into that. But what I think distinguishes it from other movies that have broached the subject of sex trafficking is that
the central male character of Joe is deeply traumatized both by his firsthand experience of domestic violence and by his witnessing the consequences of the sex trade, and this trauma is expressed in ways that are both horrible and virtuous. Because of that, I think Joe's pursuit of sex traffickers is justified in character terms both because it's thoroughly ingrained in how he sees the world but also because it doesn't result in him being some simplistically valorous do-gooder taking on the most despicable villains a movie can offer. I can understand concerns about using sex trafficking as a backdrop while focusing on a male character's issues, but I think part of why it works is the knowledge that we're experiencing a man's reaction to the trafficking of female bodies through a female director's lens. There were times when I felt like it was specifically a feminist response to Taxi Driver, and there's no way to strip that story from the sex trade.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 am
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BL wrote:
My trepidation around that topic, particularly because it involves politicians, was in the whole QAnon nonsense that's floating around the web and how it might feed into that. But what I think distinguishes it from other movies that have broached the subject of sex trafficking is that
the central male character of Joe is deeply traumatized both by his firsthand experience of domestic violence and by his witnessing the consequences of the sex trade, and this trauma is expressed in ways that are both horrible and virtuous. Because of that, I think Joe's pursuit of sex traffickers is justified in character terms both because it's thoroughly ingrained in how he sees the world but also because it doesn't result in him being some simplistically valorous do-gooder taking on the most despicable villains a movie can offer. I can understand concerns about using sex trafficking as a backdrop while focusing on a male character's issues, but I think part of why it works is the knowledge that we're experiencing a man's reaction to the trafficking of female bodies through a female director's lens. There were times when I felt like it was specifically a feminist response to Taxi Driver, and there's no way to strip that story from the sex trade.


Everything I've read about the movie makes it sound like, for lack of a better word, a responsible representation of this kind of violence. But the theme itself (and the portrayal of sexual violence towards women) is exhausting and upsetting for me, regardless of context. And with the real-life stories of the last year piled on top of the multiple examples of it on TV and film, I'm not really receptive to any of it right now, no matter how responsibly or respectfully portrayed. I do have it bookmarked for later. I don't have a problem with what it sounds like the film is doing--my issue is entirely with how I anticipate reacting to it and me being slightly disappointed that I'm not in the headspace right now where I could enjoy what sounds like a well-crafted film that's worth seeing.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:43 am
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Ready Player One - just a piss-poor, corporate, paint-by-numbers/10

I want my 2 hours back.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:56 am
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Wooley wrote:
Ready Player One - just a piss-poor, corporate, paint-by-numbers/10

I want my 2 hours back.


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Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:58 pm
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Death Proof wrote:

Image

It is what it is. I thought it was just another poor movie, missing virtually everything that I think makes a good movie. I was angry at the film for taking my time.
It basically goes Exposition Dump -> Exhausting Action Sequence -> Exposition Dump -> CGI Wonder-sequence -> Left-field character leap to further plot -> Exposition Dump -> Series of absurdly logic-defying plot-devices to rush "story" to climax (which will include several Exposition Dumps to explain astonishingly senseless plot) -> Exhausting Action Sequence -> Spielberg-trademarked "touching and uplifting" Denouement -> Credits.
Or should I have spoiler-tagged that?


Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:22 am
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McDonagh Scoreboard:

IN BRUGES - A-
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS - B-
THREE BILLBOARDS - C+

PSYCHOPATHS might've played better had I seen it after BRUGES instead of after BILLBOARDS. My misgivings can be summed up by the exchange where Walken complains that Farrell's script doesn't have interesting female characters, and it's played as a punchline. Ha ha. Good joke. We could've created interesting female characters, but instead let's lampshade the fact that women here exist to be killed or put on pedestals. Or both. What wit. Cleverness abounds.

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Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:46 am
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DaMU wrote:
McDonagh Scoreboard:

IN BRUGES - A-
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS - B-
THREE BILLBOARDS - C+

PSYCHOPATHS might've played better had I seen it after BRUGES instead of after BILLBOARDS. My misgivings can be summed up by the exchange where Walken complains that Farrell's script doesn't have interesting female characters, and it's played as a punchline. Ha ha. Good joke. We could've created interesting female characters, but instead let's lampshade the fact that women here exist to be killed or put on pedestals. Or both. What wit. Cleverness abounds.


That was clever. The film is a not too subtle work of metafiction capturing Martin's frustration with this own short comings as an artist. He wants to make something resonant, human and dramatic but he can't escape his propensity for psychopaths and women victims. He highlights his own failures in that sequence and asks himself to do better. Which he did by creating Three Billboards.


Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:02 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The film is a not too subtle work of metafiction capturing Martin's frustration with this own short comings as an artist. He wants to make something resonant, human and dramatic but he can't escape his propensity for psychopaths and women victims. He highlights his own failures in that sequence and asks himself to do better.


Obviously it's meta, obviously it's meant to reflect McDonagh's own hangups with him as a writer. But I'm not interested in him turning to the camera and saying, "My bad" after an hour-plus of shitty treatment of female characters. It doesn't feel heartfelt. It feels like a virtue-signaling mea culpa. If he didn't want to write shoddy female characters, he could've just not written shoddy female characters. It's really hard to not read this through the lens of how he similarly has white people talking about the treatment of black people in Three Billboards without ever actually allowing black people the opportunity to be three-dimensional characters.

In short, this is all I can think of right now:


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Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:40 am
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DaMU wrote:

Obviously it's meta, obviously it's meant to reflect McDonagh's own hangups with him as a writer. But I'm not interested in him turning to the camera and saying, "My bad" after an hour-plus of shitty treatment of female characters. It doesn't feel heartfelt. It feels like a virtue-signaling mea culpa. If he didn't want to write shoddy female characters, he could've just not written shoddy female characters. It's really hard to not read this through the lens of how he similarly has white people talking about the treatment of black people in Three Billboards without ever actually allowing black people the opportunity to be three-dimensional characters.

In short, this is all I can think of right now:



If he didn't have the female characters, the film would cease to be metafictional self criticism. It would just be critical of the character Marty as a writer and not McDonaugh criticising his body of work. Given that the entire film's thematic force is pushing in the direction of finding a way to retire that style of writing, I don't see how removing women would make it better. He also included copious amounts of horrible, brutal murderers and relishes in the extreme violence, which he also has criticized. He has to commit the crime to critique it or the self satirization fails.

He set Three Billboards in a rural community and is criticising the malaise and apathy in those communities. Racism comes with that out of authenticity and juxtaposition of their plights used as justification for abuses while the protagonists ignore or outright mistreat them seems rather intentional. They "matter" but they don't matter the way a dead white girl does in the eyes of the characters. It seems fitting, giving that the film is a compassionate yet scathing indictment of the post 9/11 American mindset.


Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:30 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
If he didn't have the female characters, the film would cease to be metafictional self criticism. It would just be critical of the character Marty as a writer and not McDonaugh criticising his body of work. Given that the entire film's thematic force is pushing in the direction of finding a way to retire that style of writing, I don't see how removing women would make it better. He also included copious amounts of horrible, brutal murderers and relishes in the extreme violence, which he also has criticized. He has to commit the crime to critique it or the self satirization fails.


I didn't say don't write women. I said don't write shoddy women. My point was that he should just write more interesting and dimensional women. I'm not interested in McDonagh as a satirist, especially if he can only be one by intentionally committing errors so as to helpfully point out that he should know better. That doesn't strike me as good faith, that strikes me as indulgence wearing a mask of self-effacement.

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Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:57 am
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