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 Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants 
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Stu wrote:
DaMU! Yes, this is the perfect thread for those, which I hope to keep seeing more of in the future; I'm always up for supporting a fellow forumer's creative projects. Keep 'em comin'!


Good to know!

Because here's another damn one.

How Roland Emmerich borrowed a visual from the 1953 Upshot-Knothole nuclear test footage - the footage you see at the beginning of Mad Max: Fury Road.


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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.


Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:29 am
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Look, we all want to watch the Avengers and X-Men fight, but this Disney-Fox merger still sucks

Like the author, I'm also conflicted on this potential acquisition; on the one hand, it would be nice to see the Marvelverse movies finally be made whole again and have all of the original comic characters back in the fold, especially the X-Men, and Disney/Marvel have obviously done a consistently quality job with their current movieverse, and I have no reason to think they wouldn't with the former-Fox heroes... but, on the other hand, like the writer said, it's fundamentally just even more BS corporate consolidation that puts even more power in the hands of one company that's already going mad with it, and in a creative sense, I can't imagine Disney's oversight of the X-Men would ever result in a film that's as good or challenging as Logan (and I don't just mean its R rating, though that's part of it). Granted, we had to wait through 17 years and too many inconsistent X-Men entries to get to that point, but the point is, we still got to it at some point. I just wish these superhero franchise owners could find a better balance between making consistently good films and taking risks, and giving good filmmakers the creative freedom they need to make more interesting takes on the genre, and I just don't think we're going to get much of the latter with this prospective acquisition, should it go through. I dunno, maybe I'll be proven wrong; I hope I will, at least.

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Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:25 am
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Newest boy: Gustave Dore in The Fountain:


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Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:40 am
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The best film scenes of 2017

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Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:23 am
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We need a Jewish action hero now more than ever

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Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:42 pm
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They were cathartic at the time, but I'm increasingly considering those Plinkett reviews of the Prequels as Ground Zero of the worst aspects of modern online film criticism. The fanboy entitlement, the I-know-better ramblings (despite no pedigree and only the most cursory understanding of hero journey tropes), the overemphasis on plausibility and plot logic, this unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger, and the race to the bottom for commodifying cynicism and disappointment.

Maybe the problem is that after watching maybe one video on YouTube about The Last Jedi, I'm getting a new prompt every day to watch some variant on "Why The Last Jedi Is the Worst Story Every Written."

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Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:20 am
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DaMU wrote:
They were cathartic at the time, but I'm increasingly considering those Plinkett reviews of the Prequels as Ground Zero of the worst aspects of modern online film criticism. The fanboy entitlement, the I-know-better ramblings (despite no pedigree and only the most cursory understanding of hero journey tropes), the overemphasis on plausibility and plot logic, this unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger, and the race to the bottom for commodifying cynicism and disappointment.
I'm still a big fan of RLM in general (Wheel Of The Worst, yo!), but I suppose what they did for their medium, armchair Youtube critics, what the MCU did for cinematic universes; the very thing that introduces or popularizes a certain trend is also the same thing that ruins that thing, as everything that tries to follow in its wake misunderstands what made that thing great in the first place, which is how we get junk like "Everything Wrong With ___" videos... *shudder*

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Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:05 pm
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Speaking of...


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Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:19 am
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Captain Oats wrote:
Speaking of...
I watched part of that vid a couple days ago, actually; good, good stuff. Anyway, on The AV Club, Tom Breihan just wrapped up his excellent, year-by-year chronicle of the last 50 years of Action movie history with A History Of Violence, a series that I, no kidding, followed for a full 2 years, and loved every single article (yes, even the one for The Octagon). Anyway, now that he's finished that, Tom's moved onto a new series chronicling the history of superhero films, starting with the first true modern entry in the genre, Richard Donner's Superman, from which he plans to proceed to Batman '89 next time, and I can't fucking wait!

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Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:15 pm
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Image

Talked to Guillermo del Toro about The Shape of Water, pitching movies, 'Make America Great Again', and what love is

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Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:36 am
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Captain Oats wrote:
Speaking of...



So this guy is nitpicking on CinemaSins nitpicking. mmm...kay.


Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:29 am
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My friend wrote a longish feature for The Weekly Standard on Louis CK and Woody Allen and reckoning with personal demons in your work. I'm biased but think it's a pretty solid addition to the conversation on sex, abuse, and art.


Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:45 am
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Great work here, Speng :fresh: I never reviewed The Shape Of Water, but that's just because I wasn't in the mood to write that day, not because I didn't like it... because I did. A lot. Like, so much that it's currently in my top 3 of 2017, and, if I don't get in the mood soon to review it just from memory, I'll definitely rent it and rewatch sometime in order to do so. It's just... such a good movie.

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Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:11 pm
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kgaard wrote:
My friend wrote a longish feature for The Weekly Standard on Louis CK and Woody Allen and reckoning with personal demons in your work. I'm biased but think it's a pretty solid addition to the conversation on sex, abuse, and art.


I read that. Quite interesting.


Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:37 pm
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http://reverseshot.org/features/2417/twin_peaks_one

In four parts.


Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:39 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:


:up:

part 3 has a pretty good passage for anyone concerned about the metoo movement becoming co-opted by Puritanism.

although I still remain sympathetic to anyone a bit weary of serious works featuring the brutalizing of women. (depiction =/= endorsement but still....)


Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:03 pm
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Netflix created a monster with its Cloverfield stunt, and Altered Carbon won’t be the last victim

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Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:32 pm
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Beautiful read, but spoilers, obviously.

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Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:59 am
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Stu, I know you read the AV Club so don't tell me you didn't see this.

https://aeon.co/essays/against-guilty-pleasures-adorno-on-the-crimes-of-pop-culture

I've been having conversations about the Black Panther movie with my stone-cold communist co-worker the last few days and some of this tracks with his pov..... I couldn't help but defend BP as a positive development (as noted in the article posted by Captain Oats) albeit within a capitalist system of making multi-million dollar movies selling special effects and sanitized violence. maybe without a clear picture of a perfect world or how to reach that perfect world, I was content to find the value in what progress has been made in the current system. even if that two hours of entertainment and mass-marketed ideas doesn't liberate its viewers from their pain completely, I just hoped that can be enough for today.

also I guess that's fine to state that what one defines as bad, cheap, simple art as a symptom of unfulfilled pleasure and not the cause. but then taking aim at popular movies and music is only getting at the margins.


Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:44 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Stu, I know you read the AV Club so don't tell me you didn't see this.

https://aeon.co/essays/against-guilty-pleasures-adorno-on-the-crimes-of-pop-culture

I've been having conversations about the Black Panther movie with my stone-cold communist co-worker the last few days and some of this tracks with his pov..... I couldn't help but defend BP as a positive development (as noted in the article posted by Captain Oats) albeit within a capitalist system of making multi-million dollar movies selling special effects and sanitized violence. maybe without a clear picture of a perfect world or how to reach that perfect world, I was content to find the value in what progress has been made in the current system. even if that two hours of entertainment and mass-marketed ideas doesn't liberate its viewers from their pain completely, I just hoped that can be enough for today.

also I guess that's fine to state that what one defines as bad, cheap, simple art as a symptom of unfulfilled pleasure and not the cause. but then taking aim at popular movies and music is only getting at the margins.
Yeah, I skimmed through it, and I suppose my answer to what I read of the writer's dilemma wouldn't be to disengage completely from popular culture, despite its obvious, recurring problems, but try to support those works that aim to balance entertainment and intelligent, thought-provoking content, and improve the culture that way as much as possible, but that's just me. Anyway, regarding Black Panther, MovieBob did an excellent video recently about how, while BP is fundamentally, at some level, another mass market product of a massive, multi-national entertainment corporation, what it represents for people of African descent in general still matters, as we can see in the enthusiastic online reactions to it, which are grassroots fan-driven, and not just another product of Disney's hype machine:


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Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:14 pm
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I imagine a lot of us are very used to the intermingling of "high" and "low" culture, especially with film which is somewhat populist already. I'm not gonna slight anyone who sees as much value in Dawn of the Dead as they do Two or Three Things I Know About Her.


Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:54 pm
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Do the wrong thing: 90 years, 90 movies that should have been nominated for Best Picture

Aw, The Third Man didn't get nominated in 1950...?

:(

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Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:13 am
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"Nic sort of exists in the Crank universe, just in real life."

Had a nice chat with Brian Taylor (of Neveldine/Taylor) about Mom and Dad, finding the humanity in horror, stars Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair, a potential third Crank, and what he loves about watching and making films: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/film/intervi ... ge-crank-3

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:59 am
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Summer movie season is over; welcome to summer movie YEAR

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Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:46 am
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12 great movies made from bad books

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Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:27 am
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pretty great video essay on what the heck happened with The Hobbit (in three parts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTRUQ-RKfUs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElPJr_tKkO4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi7t_g5QObs


Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:08 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Good stuff.
Lindsey Ellis's channel is one of my favorite on YouTube. Her Loose Cannon series, which examines various incarnations of famous characters from King Kong to X-Men's Mystique, is very entertaining and insightful.

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Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:38 pm
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Renegade Cut's analysis of The Assassination of Jesse James:


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Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:38 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
pretty great video essay on what the heck happened with The Hobbit (in three parts)
I'm on the second part of that series on The Hobbit, and it is indeed great; Lindsay Ellis is definitely one of the best video essayists currently active on Youtube (and fulfilling her potential so much more now than she was back in her "Nostalgia Chick" days), but my #1 at the moment still has to be MovieBob, whose best work so far has to be his impossibly epic, three part, 3 hour(!) long series on why Batman Vs. Superman was "Really That Bad":





Image

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Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:26 am
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From femme fatale to complex superhero: the evolution of Black Widow

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Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:32 am
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I've been reading Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov, and it's incredibly illuminating (re: his work, his philosophy and methods, and Soviet film production generally). It's mostly manifestos and articles about his films, responses to criticism, etc, but a few passages have really struck me for their poetic intensity. Thought I'd share them.

A fragment from the shooting log of The Eleventh Year (haven't seen the film, so not sure if this appears in some form)
Quote:
A trumpet sounds the signal. There is a pause. The workers disperse. Horsemen patrol the area of the explosions. A bell rings. A pause. Bells call slowly to each other. Tiny little men (seen from a distance) prepare to light the fuses. A fast ringing of bells. The men light the fuses and run to dugout shelters. An explosion. Another follows. A series of explosions, one after another. A fountain of rocks and sand. Fragments fly into the distance. . . over the rails, over rail-lorries, over a crane. They drum on the lorry beneath which we've taken shelter. They fly as far as an opened grave where a Scythian has lain asleep for the last two thousand years. Beside his skeleton lie a spear and bronze arrowheads, pierced to hold poison. A cracked earthenware cup. At the head of the grave are some sheep's bones and the skeleton of a war horse. The Scythian stares from his eye sockets, through the black holes of his skull. As though he's listening to the explosions. Over him are sky and clouds. Rails run right beside the grave. Along the rails, freight trains pass, and forty-ton cranes roll. Behind the rails are the scaffolding of a pump house under constructions, quarries, rail-lorries, and thousands of men armed with hammers and picks. The Scythian in his grave -- and the din of the new offensive.
The Scythian in his grave -- and cameraman Kaufman focusing in amazement on a silence of two thousand years.


Vertov on seeing through his neighbors' windows and spying on their clandestine activities
Quote:
I remember the widower who wept for two days when his wife died. Then on the third day he brought a girl in off the street, locked the door, turned on all the lights and stared at the naked girl for a long time, never touching her. I remember the girl's bewilderment, then her forwardness and attempts to arouse him, and the man's face and eyes -- distant, blank, as if the girl's body were out of focus, refracted in a prism, as though he were seeing many bodies swimming before his eyes. . . it was all very strange. The girl waited another minute, then dressed quietly and cautiously. She tiptoed out the door. I saw her leave by the street entrance below, glance up at his lighted window. . . In the morning when I left for work, through the window I saw him still sitting in the same position.


And this one just has intense implications. One of a series of vignettes about what constitutes kino-eye, and the degree of dedication needed to achieve it
Quote:
At a reconstructed cement plant in the city of Novorossiisk two men are in an aerial car suspended above the sea. A supervisor and a cameraman. Both have cameras and are filming. The trolley moves swiftly. The supervisor crawls out onto the side of the car for a better vantage point. A moment later he's knocked on the head by an iron girder. The cameraman turns around and sees his comrade, bloody and unconscious, clutching his equipment, half-dangling into the sea. He turns his camera around, films him, and only then comes to his aid. This, too, is the school of kino-eye.

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Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:55 am
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DaMU wrote:
unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger


There are lots of "chick" videos in the mix now too, especially in the Star Wars sucks genre.

It's very odd to see race and gender posited as an explanatory variable so often these days.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:51 am
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Loved this.

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Tue May 08, 2018 10:17 am
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that video sucked me down a Youtube wormhole. damn you, CineFix!

somewhat related: a piece on the recent spate of apocalyptic movies

https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/05/09/apocalypse-numb/

(of course those movies themselves don't really trade in Strangelove's pop nihilism)


Thu May 10, 2018 12:05 pm
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