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LEAVES wrote:
I would say there's a difference between appreciating something and claiming that it's something more than merely your preferences, something to which the word "best" or "greatest" would be more accurate. I do think that there are works of art that can be more meaningful or impactful than merely what one prefers - an easy example would be to step outside of the realm of aesthetics and say that a philosophically insightful film that influences culture in a meaningful way could be a "great" film even if you don't necessarily appreciate a lot about it. In this way "Best" takes on a meaning greater than mere "preference" or "favorite". The same could be true within an aesthetic context, but it's certainly a more difficult thing to parse. With Malick, the philosophical angle is obvious, so the opaque use of "best" implied the possibility of some unstated subtext. I think that's an interesting conversation... but not so much the "my favorite of what I've seen so far." In that way I care far less about whether or not you "back up your opinion", I'm more interested in that I "understand what you mean". Contrary to Ace's post, of course, but, well, again...

Well, sure. If a film is influential, I'm not going to ignore its influence. I'd factor that in if I were making a "Greatest Movies" list as that's good criteria to use. However, I'm also concerned with how their stories hold up as I feel like that's another important part of a film. For example, Pi is one of my favorite films, and it's not particularly influential. However, I feel like it should get recognition in "Greatest Movies" lists, because I found its plot to be amazing. I consider it to be a great film. As for another example, Man With a Movie Camera is another one of my favorites. That film is influential as it pioneered multiple camera techniques. However, even if nobody was influenced by it, I wouldn't consider it to be any less great as the camera techniques and the other things I liked about it would still be there. A lack of influence wouldn't affect those aspects.

Besides, some of my favorites (which I also consider to be great movies) can be hard to influence such as Persona and Russian Ark. Both of those films are really unique and ambitious, and it may be harder for a director to be influenced over them while compared to other movies. However, I'm not about to disregard their strengths which I love if I were making a "Greatest Movies" lists just because they aren't an influential as other movies whose stories I find less impressive.

Anyways, my bottom line is: Influence is a good thing to base a film's greatness on as long as you factor in other aspects for your criteria.

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Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:50 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
The Tree of Life is, currently, the best film of the 2010's.
I haven't seen nearly enough movies from the '10's (including The Tree Of Life :oops: ) to be confident in any choice I could make, but just off the top of my head, I think Drive would have to be my current #1 pick from this decade; do you like that one too, PR?

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:56 am
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Stu wrote:
I haven't seen nearly enough movies from the '10's (including The Tree Of Life :oops: ) to be confident in any choice I could make, but just off the top of my head, I think Drive would have to be my current #1 pick from this decade; do you like that one too, PR?

Yes. It's a great noir/crime film with great acting, great cinematography, and several memorable scenes. I also liked how the romance sub-plot wasn't cheesy. It's actually my 2nd favorite film of 2011. I highly recommend checking out The Tree of Life though.

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:14 am
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That's not an essay.


Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:33 am
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Ace wrote:
That's not an essay.

Sorry. Should I try and aim for 5,000 words instead?

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:33 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Well, sure. If a film is influential, I'm not going to ignore its influence. I'd factor that in if I were making a "Greatest Movies" list as that's good criteria to use. However, I'm also concerned with how their stories hold up as I feel like that's another important part of a film. For example, Pi is one of my favorite films, and it's not particularly influential. However, I feel like it should get recognition in "Greatest Movies" lists, because I found its plot to be amazing. I consider it to be a great film. As for another example, Man With a Movie Camera is another one of my favorites. That film is influential as it pioneered multiple camera techniques. However, even if nobody was influenced by it, I wouldn't consider it to be any less great as the camera techniques and the other things I liked about it would still be there. A lack of influence wouldn't affect those aspects.

Besides, some of my favorites (which I also consider to be great movies) can be hard to influence such as Persona and Russian Ark. Both of those films are really unique and ambitious, and it may be harder for a director to be influenced over them while compared to other movies. However, I'm not about to disregard their strengths which I love if I were making a "Greatest Movies" lists just because they aren't an influential as other movies whose stories I find less impressive.

Anyways, my bottom line is: Influence is a good thing to base a film's greatness on as long as you factor in other aspects for your criteria.
I don't want to confuse "meaningful or impactful" with "influential" - There are plenty of awful filmmakers whose awful films have inspired other awful filmmakers to copy or expand on their awfulness. In fact, I would say that film as a whole has contributed far more to a degradation of societal norms than the converse, and the impact of any one film or set of films that could be considered "great" is essentially meaningless against the damage, so any list of films that are "Great" for reasons other than the intensely personal is to me pretty pointless and depressing.

There is art that has impacted me, personally, in a meaningful way, and I would certainly think that it is worth talking about, and throwing around wild superlatives. But, really, the bottom line I guess I was getting at is that you didn't really have anything to say beyond preference, and that made me sad. :(

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:57 am
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LEAVES wrote:
I don't want to confuse "meaningful or impactful" with "influential" - There are plenty of awful filmmakers whose awful films have inspired other awful filmmakers to copy or expand on their awfulness. In fact, I would say that film as a whole has contributed far more to a degradation of societal norms than the converse, and the impact of any one film or set of films that could be considered "great" is essentially meaningless against the damage, so any list of films that are "Great" for reasons other than the intensely personal is to me pretty pointless and depressing.

There is art that has impacted me, personally, in a meaningful way, and I would certainly think that it is worth talking about, and throwing around wild superlatives. But, really, the bottom line I guess I was getting at is that you didn't really have anything to say beyond preference, and that made me sad. :(

I'll agree with the first part. Films celebrated for their influence should be influential in a good way. I don't want some trashy sci-fi channel shark movie to be celebrated for influencing other awful shark movies. If a movie has positive influence, however, that's a good thing. As for the 2nd part of your first paragraph, I don't think a film should be judged by its fanbase at all. It's not the director's fault that some of their fans insult people for liking/disliking it. Also, people insulting each other over a film shouldn't affect the quality of that film as they aren't going to change anything about it. It's still going to remain the way it is.

Anyways, I wouldn't say that The Tree of Life has influenced anything yet, so I don't know what else I could tell you about why I think it's great other than the reasons I already brought up for it. I feel like a film's story aspects can make it great if handled well enough (in the case of this film, I think they are).

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:39 am
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Ace wrote:
That's not an essay.
What about this?:

Image

:shifty:

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:56 pm
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:D he demands citations


Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:30 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I'll agree with the first part. Films celebrated for their influence should be influential in a good way. I don't want some trashy sci-fi channel shark movie to be celebrated for influencing other awful shark movies. If a movie has positive influence, however, that's a good thing. As for the 2nd part of your first paragraph, I don't think a film should be judged by its fanbase at all. It's not the director's fault that some of their fans insult people for liking/disliking it. Also, people insulting each other over a film shouldn't affect the quality of that film as they aren't going to change anything about it. It's still going to remain the way it is.

Anyways, I wouldn't say that The Tree of Life has influenced anything yet, so I don't know what else I could tell you about why I think it's great other than the reasons I already brought up for it. I feel like a film's story aspects can make it great if handled well enough (in the case of this film, I think they are).
You're saying that films should not be judged by their fans, but if their fans are good filmmakers and steal from it then the original film is now great for its positive influence? I can't agree.

The Tree of Life has certainly impacted individuals, and I imagine some deeply. That, I think, is something great. You can say that a film is great because it has well handled story aspects, but is that "greatness" actually anything great, when everyone can just say something is great? When Jim says that Transformers IV is great, does that make it equally great as The Tree of Life? If that film were stripped from your life, how deeply would you feel the void? How much less of a connection would you feel to your existence and to your fellow humans? Those are the great questions deserving of being called great, and not really that a film's story aspects are handled well. Make greatness great again.

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Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:44 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
You're saying that films should not be judged by their fans, but if their fans are good filmmakers and steal from it then the original film is now great for its positive influence? I can't agree.

The Tree of Life has certainly impacted individuals, and I imagine some deeply. That, I think, is something great. You can say that a film is great because it has well handled story aspects, but is that "greatness" actually anything great, when everyone can just say something is great? When Jim says that Transformers IV is great, does that make it equally great as The Tree of Life? If that film were stripped from your life, how deeply would you feel the void? How much less of a connection would you feel to your existence and to your fellow humans? Those are the great questions deserving of being called great, and not really that a film's story aspects are handled well. Make greatness great again.

I said that films shouldn't be judged by their fans in the way of them insulting others for enjoying/not enjoying it. I didn't use influence in my example.

I still think that a movie's story aspects can make something great. Your examples can make something great as well, but I don't see how they're significantly more accurate than mine. Your argument where you said "When Jim says that Transformers IV is great, does that make it equally great as The Tree of Life?" goes both ways. Someone could say that if Transformers IV was ripped from existence, they would deeply feel a void. Someone could say that Transformers IV has impacted them deeply. Someone could also say that without Transformers IV, they would have less of a connection to their existence and to other people. Anyways, if somebody says that Transformers IV is great, that doesn't make it objectively great. However, it does make it great to them as it's their opinion. To them, Transformers IV would be a great movie even though you and I may disagree. But again, this is how taste works. I'm not saying that The Tree of Life is objectively great.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:08 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
"When Jim says that Transformers IV is great, does that make it equally great as The Tree of Life?" goes both ways. Someone could say that if Transformers IV was ripped from existence, they would deeply feel a void. Someone could say that Transformers IV has impacted them deeply. Someone could also say that without Transformers IV, they would have less of a connection to their existence and to other people.
Yes, exactly. That would be fascinating to read, and a strong argument.
Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Anyways, if somebody says that Transformers IV is great, that doesn't make it objectively great. However, it does make it great to them as it's their opinion. To them, Transformers IV would be a great movie even though you and I may disagree. But again, this is how taste works. I'm not saying that The Tree of Life is objectively great.
Right, but we're talking about different things. You're talking about, "Can someone say something is great?" and I'm talking about, "Does it mean something if someone calls something great for poor reasons?" Attaching a word to something doesn't make it that word. Hence: "Make greatness great again." Kill the overstatement.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:14 am
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LEAVES wrote:
Yes, exactly. That would be fascinating to read, and a strong argument.
As long as it doesn't come from Armond White.
LEAVES wrote:
Right, but we're talking about different things. You're talking about, "Can someone say something is great?" and I'm talking about, "Does it mean something if someone calls something great for poor reasons?" Attaching a word to something doesn't make it that word. Hence: "Make greatness great again." Kill the overstatement.
What I got from your comment was that thinking something is great due to its story aspects isn't a particularly strong argument as people could use it for widely despised movies. You're saying it's better to talk about things such as how it impacted you as it's a more accurate measure for determining something's greatness. However, I disagreed with your argument, because I felt like your criticism to calling something great applies to what you said as well.

However, if you meant that instead, I'll respond to it as well. If somebody calls something great for poor reasons in your eyes, all that means is that it's not a great movie to you. However, to the other person, it would be a great movie. I don't see how that effects the validity of calling something great due to its story aspects just because not everyone will agree with someone's arguments.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:36 am
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I'm hesitant to chime in here, but what the hell....

I think what LEAVES is saying is that you calling something great has little to no meaning without accurately defining and stating evidence for said greatness. Perhaps he is saying that the signification of the word "great" is, of course, not the signified (the actual greatness, respectively (whatever the hell that is!)). Therefore, what LEAVES wants is dialectic, and perhaps polemic, espousing the criteria to which greatness may be achieved in cinema or any other art form. Greatness simply isn't just personal preference alone without the use of elements which may contribute to such praise.

Of course, the best discussions of film may be approached without the use of the word "great" and instead, discussion may delineate elements that contribute to the value of such a film and how it impacts personal and/or political/cultural constructs--film, of course, being a political and economic construct itself.

For example, as I was reading through this, I was reminded of Comolli & Narboni's essay "cinema/ideology/criticism," which outlines the harmonic use of utilizing film form and content to tackle ideological topics constructively.


Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:53 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
I'm hesitant to chime in here, but what the hell....

I think what LEAVES is saying is that you calling something great has little to no meaning without accurately defining and stating evidence for said greatness. Perhaps he is saying that the signification of the word "great" is, of course, not the signified (the actual greatness, respectively (whatever the hell that is!)). Therefore, what LEAVES wants is dialectic, and perhaps polemic, espousing the criteria to which greatness may be achieved in cinema or any other art form. Greatness simply isn't just personal preference alone without the use of elements which may contribute to such praise.

Of course, the best discussions of film may be approached without the use of the word "great" and instead, discussion may delineate elements that contribute to the value of such a film and how it impacts personal and/or political/cultural constructs--film, of course, being a political and economic construct itself.

For example, as I was reading through this, I was reminded of Comolli & Narboni's essay "cinema/ideology/criticism," which outlines the harmonic use of utilizing film form and content to tackle ideological topics constructively.

Well, I did acknowledge that influence/cultural impact can make something great. However, I also think that story aspects can make something great. There are influential films out there which I don't think are perfect. There are also movies I consider to be great that aren't influential. I'm not about to disregard the latter just because no other director's copied them. I prefer to use both factor's to determine how great something is as I feel like both are good measures.

However, like I said earlier, I can't think of anything which The Tree of Life has influenced. Also, I don't have the energy to research its impact right now. I'll see how it holds up in the future though.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:46 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Of course, the best discussions of film may be approached without the use of the word "great" and instead, discussion may delineate elements that contribute to the value of such a film and how it impacts personal and/or political/cultural constructs--film, of course, being a political and economic construct itself.
Yeah, I think the general idea is: What does anyone else gain from some random person just saying something is great, or the best? It's easy to say that something is the best, and submit an unconvincing explanation, and then all you've really done is underwhelmed everyone. I find it more interesting when someone speaks about a film, and you can understand exactly what they think and why they think it and probably find something new that you didn't see in the film, and through that you can understand why they have a meaningful connection to the film. And sometimes it will turn out that, overall, they don't like the film much - and this is significant. This is significant, because you can understand exactly how someone else feels, and understand the meaningful connection they have, but still not have even a shred of insight into the totality of their experience. Everything that you do know, though, is meaningful. If that person merely told you what film they thought was best, it would be far less interesting and meaningful, even though it would supposedly represent something far more interesting or meaningful.

It's like: While superlatives are supposed to indicate that there are meaningful thoughts to be heard, it doesn't mean anything in and of itself. And maybe there isn't anything meaningful to support that superlative, which makes the superlative both empty and a lie. I think the key thing I'm getting at is: I'm playing the grumpy old man card and wishing people would quit with all the grandstanding and spend some quiet time alone with their thoughts. /oldmanrant

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:57 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
Yeah, I think the general idea is: What does anyone else gain from some random person just saying something is great, or the best? It's easy to say that something is the best, and submit an unconvincing explanation, and then all you've really done is underwhelmed everyone. I find it more interesting when someone speaks about a film, and you can understand exactly what they think and why they think it and probably find something new that you didn't see in the film, and through that you can understand why they have a meaningful connection to the film. And sometimes it will turn out that, overall, they don't like the film much - and this is significant. This is significant, because you can understand exactly how someone else feels, and understand the meaningful connection they have, but still not have even a shred of insight into the totality of their experience. Everything that you do know, though, is meaningful. If that person merely told you what film they thought was best, it would be far less interesting and meaningful, even though it would supposedly represent something far more interesting or meaningful.

It's like: While superlatives are supposed to indicate that there are meaningful thoughts to be heard, it doesn't mean anything in and of itself. And maybe there isn't anything meaningful to support that superlative, which makes the superlative both empty and a lie. I think the key thing I'm getting at is: I'm playing the grumpy old man card and wishing people would quit with all the grandstanding and spend some quiet time alone with their thoughts. /oldmanrant

Yeah, but isn't that what I did when I backed up my opinion on why I think it's great? From my original comment, I provided you with an explanation to how I feel about it which means I also have a meaningful connection with the film. I can't think of any examples of how it influenced the movie business significantly, but if you also want to know how I'd feel if it was removed from existence (you brought this up earlier), I would be very disappointed and disheartened as it's one of my favorite films.

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Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:25 pm
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Popcorn Reviews fell into Leaves trap and has been swindled.


Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:59 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Yeah, but isn't that what I did when I backed up my opinion on why I think it's great? From my original comment, I provided you with an explanation to how I feel about it which means I also have a meaningful connection with the film. I can't think of any examples of how it influenced the movie business significantly, but if you also want to know how I'd feel if it was removed from existence (you brought this up earlier), I would be very disappointed and disheartened as it's one of my favorite films.
I guess I have yet to get any impression of your meaningful connection with the film. I think the strongest hint you may have given was with regard to the cinematography, but that strikes me as particularly peculiar since it's by and large a montage film, in stark contrast to 2001, and that would naturally lend itself more to the importance of editing and direction than cinematography (since the volume of shots is high, and thus their arrangement and selection is a huge part of the film, whereas each individual shot is far less so). If my question in the whole discussion has been, "What do you mean by these superlatives, and how are these superlatives supposed to convey your feelings accurately?" then I'm certainly not there.

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Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:59 am
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Ace wrote:
Popcorn Reviews fell into Leaves trap and has been swindled.
Swindled into having a discussion about the use of words when writing! Blast! How we have all suffered so!

What positive contribution have you made to the world recently, troll who is so obsessed with my every post?

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Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:01 am
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LEAVES wrote:
I guess I have yet to get any impression of your meaningful connection with the film. I think the strongest hint you may have given was with regard to the cinematography, but that strikes me as particularly peculiar since it's by and large a montage film, in stark contrast to 2001, and that would naturally lend itself more to the importance of editing and direction than cinematography (since the volume of shots is high, and thus their arrangement and selection is a huge part of the film, whereas each individual shot is far less so). If my question in the whole discussion has been, "What do you mean by these superlatives, and how are these superlatives supposed to convey your feelings accurately?" then I'm certainly not there.
I really don't know what else to tell you for why I love The Tree of Life except for what I already said on it. I explained why I like its story aspects. I would also feel a void if that film was removed from existence. I feel like this should be enough to let you know that I clearly connected with the film. Anyways, its editing and direction was impressive, sure. However, the reason I love the cinematography isn't because of how it's woven into the film as much as it's the fact that most of its shots were visually impressive with a great layout and some great lighting. Also, the universe sequence looked beautiful as well (it was actually made using practical effects). That stuck out the most to me in terms of its visual aspect. Therefore, my praise towards that aspect is more for its cinematography than its editing. Since this discussion has gone on for a while, I'll ask you: What are you specifically looking for from me which will convince you that I have a meaningful connection with this film?

Also, I have one final question: Is Ace really a troll or were you just joking around with him? Just curious.

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Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:37 am
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LEAVES wrote:
Swindled into having a discussion about the use of words when writing! Blast! How we have all suffered so!

What positive contribution have you made to the world recently, troll who is so obsessed with my every post?

The kid told you what thought about it. Yet you kept pressing him and pressing him. And he still said what he liked about it and yet that wasnt good for you and you kept pressing him and pressing him.


Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:42 am
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Since I've been going to the movies a lot more this year since moving to the city in December, and have seen and reviewed more than twice as many new releases so far this year as I did during the entirety of 2016, and since it seems Bad Guy may not do any more year-in-review threads (come back, BG!), I'm planning on probably doing one of my own sometime in January, with ranked entries, a dishonorable mention for my worst and most disappointing movies of the year, and some brand new thoughts on each film, thoughts that I didn't have room for in my original reviews. Would anyone here interested in checking that out?

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:07 am
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Stu wrote:
Since I've been going to the movies a lot more this year since moving to the city in December, and have seen and reviewed more than twice as many new releases so far this year as I did during the entirety of 2016, and since it seems Bad Guy may not do any more year-in-review threads (come back, BG!), I'm planning on probably doing one of my own sometime in January, with ranked entries, a dishonorable mention for my worst and most disappointing movies of the year, and some brand new thoughts on each film, thoughts that I didn't have room for in my original reviews. Would anyone here interested in checking that out?

I'd be interested in that. Would you also post it to RT as well as here?

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:51 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I'd be interested in that. Would you also post it to RT as well as here?
Sure; I'll post it on RT, Letterboxd, Facebook, everywhere.

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:20 am
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Stu wrote:
Sure; I'll post it on RT, Letterboxd, Facebook, everywhere.

Sweet. Looking forward to it. I'll cross my fingers that you give recognition to at least one of the shorts Neill Blomkamp made recently.

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:35 am
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Stu wrote:
Sure; I'll post it on RT, Letterboxd, Facebook, everywhere.

It will be known as "ubiqui-thread!"

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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sweet. Looking forward to it. I'll cross my fingers that you give recognition to at least one of the shorts Neill Blomkamp made recently.
I haven't seen them yet...

:oops:

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Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:37 am
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Stu wrote:
I haven't seen them yet...

:oops:

Here's links to them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjQ2t_yNHQs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm0V24IEHao
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKWB-MVJ4sQ

I decided that these 3 shorts are now my favorite thing that Blomkamp has done. After thinking more about District 9, I decided that it's below average and quite overrated. However, I feel like these shorts are much better. While you're at it, check out some of the shorter videos on their youtube channel.

Rakka - 8/10
Firebase - 7/10
Zygote - 8/10

_________________
"I don't like your jerk off name, I don't like your jerk off face, I don't like your jerk off behavior, and I don't like you...jerk off."

-The Big Lebowski (1998)


Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:26 am
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