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 Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0 
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Apex Predator wrote:
They're slightly less bad than the boy from The Babadook (who thankfully got less annoying when he started to focus on saving his mom than screaming).


The boy from The Babadook was challenging, but not annoying because he was real. The kids from Jurassic World were teenagers as written for the screen and there was nothing compelling or noteworthy about them.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:27 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

The boy from The Babadook was challenging, but not annoying because he was real. The kids from Jurassic World were teenagers as written for the screen and there was nothing compelling or noteworthy about them.


He was challenging, sure, but once he got his good scream done, he started to win me over as the plot started to turn on its second half.

The kids kinda bothered me at first, with the teen being more "typical" and the pre-teen being more gentler. But as the teen started to get into the park and away from the phone, he slowly started to win me over some as well.

The scale should also serve a reminder that I found nothing worse than the kids from War of the Worlds. If the aliens had gotten 'em, I may well would have cheered.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:46 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

The difference I see is that when it's a man, he usually already has kids and is neglecting them. (This is sometimes also the case with female characters who are mothers).

But Claire doesn't even have children. By contrast, none of the male characters (most of whom seem to prioritize their work to different degrees) get the same message that they should be raising families instead. No one is calling Chris Pratt in the middle of raptor training to ask him when he's going to settle down and start making babies. And the one woman in the movie who IS planning to begin a life (the assistant who is getting married) is rewarded with an incredibly frightening and cruel death seemingly as retribution for being slightly neglectful of the children (who should be old enough to look after themselves)--or maybe she was being punished because one of the things we learn is that she won't "let" her fiance have a bachelor party. So what are you trying to say, movie?!

It doesn't help that the children who are supposed to be awakening her maternal instincts are incredibly obnoxious.

And something that is particular to women is that they have to constantly fight the stigma that they will run off and get pregnant. It can make it a lot harder to get promotions or be put into leadership positions. If you are going to have a family in the traditional sense of the wife bearing one or several children, then sometimes women DO have to make a choice between children and a career (or at least make that choice for the near future). I know a few women who have decided not to have children (my peer group is largely in their late 20s-mid-30s), and it's because they want to continue to push forward in their careers and cannot feasibly take the time to be pregnant/caring for a newborn. Seeing a movie chastise someone for making that choice is disheartening, especially since it isn't a choice that many women make lightly.

Believe me I understand and sympathize with all this, at this point about half my friends are adult women occupying various points in the career/life continuum. I just felt that in this movie it was not much different from, say, Scrooged, where the admonishment is not for not wanting to be a daddy or a mommy, but for putting the success of ones' career above all other concerns. In Scrooged, it is also a child who kinda melts him down as well, but it doesn't mean he has to go make babies, nor did I feel that JW said BDH had to. Just that she needed to consider her priorities in life and whether career at the expense of all else is what any good persona really wants.


Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:37 pm
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Wooley wrote:
In Scrooged, it is also a child who kinda melts him down as well, but it doesn't mean he has to go make babies, nor did I feel that JW said BDH had to. Just that she needed to consider her priorities in life and whether career at the expense of all else is what any good persona really wants.


I'm thinking specifically of this exchange:

Mom: You'll see when you have kids.
Claire: If I have kids.
Mom: WHEN you have kids. Trust me, it's worth it.

(In my theater, this triggered a woman sitting near me to mutter "The fuck?!" and many eyerolls and sighs from other women nearby).

This was one of several points where it seemed like the movie wasn't just giving the usual "family before career" priorities speech, but actually saying that Claire should want kids.

Also: no offense, but nephews are so not a priority. Like, no. Parents have obligations to their children, but I do not have an obligation to the children of my siblings unless I choose to do so. Plus, Claire is very young (in her early/mid-30s), so the idea that she's pushing hard in her career isn't outrageous.

It's one thing to teach someone this lesson if they truly lack empathy or have become totally detached from their humanity. But Claire's character doesn't come across as some sort of corporate sociopath. She didn't seem like a character who needed emotional intervention. She has her priority, and it is her career. Just because her priority isn't building a family doesn't mean that her priority is misplaced.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:13 am
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Down to the last 40 minutes or so on this. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it's alright.

Also, there may be some issues about gender politics in this one.

Plus,

There's a bit of a twist that has kinda floored me. A little.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:41 am
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Oh, and Takoma, although I agree with 90-95 percent of what you're saying, I will take issue with the obligation towards the nephews part.

The set up for JW is that the kids are on vacation and she's supposed to be watching them. It's like visiting a grandma or something where you do this once, maybe twice per year. I think the film sets that part up fine.

But will agree with the whole women shouldn't have to be guilted to choose family/relationships over work. Maybe her priorities could be better, but she's not as bad a person as the film tries to make her be at times.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:45 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I'm thinking specifically of this exchange:

Mom: You'll see when you have kids.
Claire: If I have kids.
Mom: WHEN you have kids. Trust me, it's worth it.


(In my theater, this triggered a woman sitting near me to mutter "The fuck?!" and many eyerolls and sighs from other women nearby).

This was one of several points where it seemed like the movie wasn't just giving the usual "family before career" priorities speech, but actually saying that Claire should want kids.

Also: no offense, but nephews are so not a priority. Like, no. Parents have obligations to their children, but I do not have an obligation to the children of my siblings unless I choose to do so. Plus, Claire is very young (in her early/mid-30s), so the idea that she's pushing hard in her career isn't outrageous.

It's one thing to teach someone this lesson if they truly lack empathy or have become totally detached from their humanity. But Claire's character doesn't come across as some sort of corporate sociopath. She didn't seem like a character who needed emotional intervention. She has her priority, and it is her career. Just because her priority isn't building a family doesn't mean that her priority is misplaced.


Well, I can only say this and you can take it as you will:
I get the bolded exchange EXACTLY from my friends and coworkers. So often and for so long that I am constantly avoiding conversations at work and socially that might possibly give someone a chance to say this to me. When I got to 30 and then 35 and then 40 (gasp!) people continued to freak out, perhaps even more each time, like they just knew better than me all the time that my life could never be complete if I didn't settle down and have a family. Even at 45 years old, they are STILL giving it to me. Exactly.
I don't really understand your point about nephews. I certainly don't think pushing hard in ones' career is "outrageous", but I do think that leaving everything else behind is bad for people and bad for society, as much as Bezos would like us to believe otherwise. I am constantly pushing my trainees to maintain their work/life balance in their late 20s and early 30s, despite our profession being hardwired to believe that the rest of ones' life should only be running quietly in the background of our careers, which should be our lives. That's no way to live.
And I really did think they were trying to set up Claire as someone who had lost track of all priorities in life other than career. Maybe they didn't do a good enough job to convince you, but that was how I read it, oh, here is someone they are ham-handedly showing as the "my career is all that matters and people who feel otherwise are not to be taken seriously" person. If anything, I thought they were intentionally going for a feminist subversion of that same trope by placing a woman in the role that is usually (as you pointed out earlier) a man in films. Perhaps I was giving them too much credit.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:27 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
Oh, and Takoma, although I agree with 90-95 percent of what you're saying, I will take issue with the obligation towards the nephews part.

The set up for JW is that the kids are on vacation and she's supposed to be watching them. It's like visiting a grandma or something where you do this once, maybe twice per year. I think the film sets that part up fine.


I get that she should be supervising them more and taking care of them. I totally agree there. But the idea that those two boys would somehow awaken someone's maternal instinct is laughable. I'm arguing that she doesn't have to have some deep emotional obligation to them. In terms of supervising, she is definitely neglectful, and that part is pretty generic "adult choosing work over children" trope.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:28 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
Oh, and Takoma, although I agree with 90-95 percent of what you're saying, I will take issue with the obligation towards the nephews part.

The set up for JW is that the kids are on vacation and she's supposed to be watching them. It's like visiting a grandma or something where you do this once, maybe twice per year. I think the film sets that part up fine.

But will agree with the whole women shouldn't have to be guilted to choose family/relationships over work. Maybe her priorities could be better, but she's not as bad a person as the film tries to make her be at times.

Ok, this clarifies the "nephews" part.
Perhaps, as I said, I gave the film too much credit on this front, but as you say, the movie tries to make this out to be her shortcoming and we have already all agreed that this is a trope we have seen men play out in movies many, many times. Which is why I thought the movie was actually trying to do something positive by making this a life-journey for a female character for a change.

Edit: Perhaps I should add that I thought the movie was pretty dumb and that I did think, as I said earlier, that her character was handled poorly, but more in a shitty "that's enough character development, let's see some fucking dinosaurs" kinda way than in giving the female character short shrift. I don't think we know anything about Pratt's character other than that he is a charismatic doofus. Which, of course, they didn't even have to write for him, since that's why people cast him in things.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:30 pm
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Wooley, if I can interject for a second, I think that the imploration carries a little more umph when it;s directed at someone with the biological capacity for delivering the said children (as well as the implied obligation to raise and care for them), and this is all compounded in the typical disinclination for women to pursue a career at all.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:32 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Wooley, if I can interject for a second, I think that the imploration carries a little more umph when it;s directed at someone with the biological capacity for delivering the said children (as well as the implied obligation to raise and care for them), and this is all compounded in the typical disinclination for women to pursue a career at all.

I do see where that could be imposed on this movie. I get, completely, what the implication could be, and we've seen lots of material in popular culture that was guilty of this, I just don't think it was in this case. However lamely they handled these characters, I saw that potential pitfall and I didn't think they fell in it. She doesn't reach some point where she decides to stop being a career woman and just go be a stay-at-home mommy. I think it's clear in her character development that that will never be who she is. But perhaps she learned through the experiences of the movie that there is more to life than just career. It's a weak arc because we've seen it a million times and it's not well-executed because, again, the producers gave fuck-all about real character development in this thing, but I don't think it was a maladjusted arc. As I tried to say above, I thought they avoided the dangerous "a career woman is an ice-queen" trope by giving her a journey and a lesson-learned. But I don't expect to see her become a soccer-mom in the sequel.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:38 pm
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I should probably admit that I haven't seen Jurassic World, and have just been going on the topic as discussed.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:42 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Well, I can only say this and you can take it as you will:
I get the bolded exchange EXACTLY from my friends and coworkers.

I certainly don't think pushing hard in ones' career is "outrageous", but I do think that leaving everything else behind is bad for people and bad for society, as much as Bezos would like us to believe otherwise. I am constantly pushing my trainees to maintain their work/life balance in their late 20s and early 30s, despite our profession being hardwired to believe that the rest of ones' life should only be running quietly in the background of our careers, which should be our lives. That's no way to live.


The difference, though, is the impact that having children has on women, which is often very disproportionate. I had two co-workers have children this year, one male and one female. The female co-worker had a lot of very physically uncomfortable days and then had to miss about a month and a half of work. The male co-worker missed a few half days and then like 3-4 days around the birth. There's a physical impact (one that trickles into the workplace) on women having children that mostly isn't there for men (and that's even setting aside the increased risk of death for pregnant women through either medical reasons or partner violence). And it's not just confined to the pregnancy. One friend of mine has been struggling because the space set aside for her to pump breast milk keeps being taken over by a male colleague who has decided he should be allowed to use the room to meditate when the mood strikes him. Another friend was told that because she was going on maternity leave she was expected to meet her quotas--ie do the normal amount of work in half the time. So the pressure might be on both men and women, but I honestly think you're asking more of women when you apply that pressure.

As for being career driven--for some people their career is their life and I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that. Society should be able to make space for people who don't want to prioritize "home"/family life. I think it's wrong to impose values on others, especially if someone having different values/priorities isn't harming anyone. The reason I brought up the nephews is that it's important that Claire doesn't already have kids. She hasn't had children and then decided to prioritize something else over them. She's made a choice that is independent of her sister's choice to have kids, and it's annoying to see narratives assume that someone who has made such a choice is just misguided or has lost their connection to a "real" life.

EDIT:

Wooley wrote:
I don't think we know anything about Pratt's character other than that he is a charismatic doofus.


But this is partly why it's annoying. Her character is put through this clunky arc while he's just allowed to ride motorcycles around and make meaningful eye contact with raptors. There's plenty of character work to be done with a character who trusts technology/procedures working with someone who trusts his instincts. Boom. Done.

Also, usually the character who is totally focused on career at least has skills to fall back on. We often see that with the military or assassin or whatever trope. But she doesn't bring a whole lot to the table, so it's like she "gave up" having a family but isn't actually very good at dealing with dinosaurs either.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:47 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

The difference, though, is the impact that having children has on women, which is often very disproportionate. I had two co-workers have children this year, one male and one female. The female co-worker had a lot of very physically uncomfortable days and then had to miss about a month and a half of work. The male co-worker missed a few half days and then like 3-4 days around the birth. There's a physical impact (one that trickles into the workplace) on women having children that mostly isn't there for men (and that's even setting aside the increased risk of death for pregnant women through either medical reasons or partner violence). And it's not just confined to the pregnancy. One friend of mine has been struggling because the space set aside for her to pump breast milk keeps being taken over by a male colleague who has decided he should be allowed to use the room to meditate when the mood strikes him. Another friend was told that because she was going on maternity leave she was expected to meet her quotas--ie do the normal amount of work in half the time. So the pressure might be on both men and women, but I honestly think you're asking more of women when you apply that pressure.

As for being career driven--for some people their career is their life and I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with that. Society should be able to make space for people who don't want to prioritize "home"/family life. I think it's wrong to impose values on others, especially if someone having different values/priorities isn't harming anyone. The reason I brought up the nephews is that it's important that Claire doesn't already have kids. She hasn't had children and then decided to prioritize something else over them. She's made a choice that is independent of her sister's choice to have kids, and it's annoying to see narratives assume that someone who has made such a choice is just misguided or has lost their connection to a "real" life.

EDIT:



But this is partly why it's annoying. Her character is put through this clunky arc while he's just allowed to ride motorcycles around and make meaningful eye contact with raptors. There's plenty of character work to be done with a character who trusts technology/procedures working with someone who trusts his instincts. Boom. Done.

Also, usually the character who is totally focused on career at least has skills to fall back on. We often see that with the military or assassin or whatever trope. But she doesn't bring a whole lot to the table, so it's like she "gave up" having a family but isn't actually very good at dealing with dinosaurs either.

I definitely understand and sympathize with all of your first paragraph, but are you saying that women should actually be discouraged more from having children because it has a larger impact on them or just that being constantly pestered that my life is not whole because I didn't have a family is different for me than for a woman because I don't have to carry a baby? I'm not sure how the latter would make sense in the context of this conversation.
The part about the space and the mediation guy is absurd, though, someone should just kick him in the nuts. I find it impossible to believe that he's not just being an asshole on purpose. Can't believe their employer lets him get away with that, I'd have his ass meditating at home.
As for the career driven, not prioritizing family part, we agree to a degree at least. I don't prioritize family. It's not for me and it's my fucking choice. Work/life balance is not about EITHER working OR having a family, it is about not letting your work take over your life completely and block your ability to have any perspective on anything else. Again, I lecture on this as part of my job. And balance is balance, if you have assessed your life with a clear mind and know that your career holds more value to you than most other things combined, that is actually balance. But so many people get lost in or obsessed with their careers (especially when their careers, like mine, try to demand that of you) and never honestly assess whether or not there is more to life than just that. And I thought that's what they were doing with Claire.
I'm sensitive to this issue for a number of reasons, one because I've spent my career fighting people who have tried to force me to make my life entirely about my career, two because I lost my wife to this as she decided after we were already married that her career was more important to us than our marriage, the possibility of having a family, or anything else for that matter, and three because I lecture trainees every other month on avoiding getting "lost in your career" and finding work/life balance. Even if, for you, work/life balance means almost all work (to address your point that there should be room for people who feel that way), and I do teach what the pathway is to get there if that is what my trainees decide they want, it is critical to your happiness that you fine what is honestly your balance.
Now, if they had said Claire had fully assessed all options in her life and knew to her core that she didn't want anything else, that would be one thing, but that's not the arc they chose for that character because it would make her unsympathetic to general audiences and that is, actually, a much deeper story to tell which doesn't really fit in a movie about dinosaur attacks. Which is why my point is that I don't think they were making a point that career women should want to have families, but rather giving broad-stroke, one-coat motivations and arcs to the characters.
Which brings me to your point about Pratt. It sounds like you're actually complaining that the female character was given a character arc, lame as it may be it is probably the only one in the movie, and the male character was given nothing but being a man-child. I agree that that is lazy fucking writing and filmmaking, but it doesn't really sound sexist. Unless, your point is that the man-child gets to be the hero while the responsible woman has some learning to do. That's actually a fair point out of context, but I guess in the situation of the movie, whoever is not the dinosaur wrangler is gonna be the sidekick. In this case the only way to fix it would be to have cast Pratt's part with a woman. Which is fine with me, but is obviously not the box-office choice they made.
One more thing, as I re-read your post. I think an interesting point that you allude to but maybe don't openly state is that, within this movie, Claire's choices are perhaps EITHER career OR family, whereas Pratt's choices are kinda whatever the hell his goofy ass wants. That is certainly food for thought. But again, perhaps deeper than giant-dinosaur movie was looking to go.


Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:26 pm
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Quote:
I definitely understand and sympathize with all of your first paragraph, but are you saying that women should actually be discouraged more from having children because it has a larger impact on them or just that being constantly pestered that my life is not whole because I didn't have a family is different for me than for a woman because I don't have to carry a baby?


I'm just saying that in my opinion it is asking more of women when they are pestered about having children because it comes with more of a change to their lives than men. No matter how involved a man is in his wife's pregnancy, he isn't the one who has to face the possibility of dying or other serious medical complications, permanent changes to his body (ask any woman who has had a child why she might not want to jump rope), or face the same degree of judgement about the ability to be a professional that comes with bearing a child.


Quote:
Now, if they had said Claire had fully assessed all options in her life and knew to her core that she didn't want anything else, that would be one thing, but that's not the arc they chose for that character because it would make her unsympathetic to general audiences and that is, actually, a much deeper story to tell which doesn't really fit in a movie about dinosaur attacks. Which is why my point is that I don't think they were making a point that career women should want to have families, but rather giving broad-stroke, one-coat motivations and arcs to the characters.

One more thing, as I re-read your post. I think an interesting point that you allude to but maybe don't openly state is that, within this movie, Claire's choices are perhaps EITHER career OR family, whereas Pratt's choices are kinda whatever the hell his goofy ass wants. That is certainly food for thought. But again, perhaps deeper than giant-dinosaur movie was looking to go.


This is actually the heart of what I am saying. My basic problem with the movie was not sexism per se, but lazy, shallow writing that embraces some pretty sexist tropes. "Can women have a career and a family?!" is a question on the cover of every other women's magazine, but not often something that is asked about men. I actually felt like all of the characters were poorly developed. Honestly, I'd rather Claire's character have no character arc than have such a dumb, reductive one. At one point Claire does do something (like shoots down a dino or something?) and immediately the two boys are like "We want to go with HIM!" and point to Pratt's character.

You don't need deep character arcs to make a good action movie. If I had my way the film would eliminate the nephews altogether and develop a triangle of conflict between Claire, Pratt's character, and the evil whoever trying to militarize the dinos. I'm typing "Pratt's character" because I literally don't remember his name. I only know she's called Claire because of other posts in this thread. The movie's worst crime is that it's forgettable and the only things I really remember are (1) how much I hated every suggestion that Claire should be more into having a family and (2) the unnecessarily cruel, protracted death of the assistant.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:52 am
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His name is Owen, guys. Jeez, you're acting that World is as generic as Jurassic Park 3.

Anyways,

Dedh Ishqiya (2014)

Considering this was a Bollywood entry, I was expecting that there would be singing and dancing along with the plot of love and lies.

Not quite what I got.

There were two relatively big song and dance numbers (one I have to assume was post-credits) as well as a older lady who learns how to dance again and a thief that sings about poetry in an attempt to woo her.

But we need to start at the beginning. A jewelry robbery goes wrong and Uncle Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) is able to steal a necklace before being thwarted. At an agreed rendezvous, his nephew Babban (Arshad Warsi) is tasked with an unenviable choice by the jeweler: either retrieve the necklace or get his uncle back to face the music.

With his head on the line, Babban finds that his uncle is participating at a poetry contest and heads there. Once they meet again, Khalujaan who is pretending to be royalty is starting to win over widow Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit) with both his words and actions. There's a decent give and take between both Uncle Khalu and his nephew as well as rival suitor Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz) who isn't above getting a group of thugs to get the upper hand.

While there, Babban starts to fall for Begum's maid Muniya (Huma Qureshi). But perhaps love is blinding the would-be thieves?

There are some good laughs in this such as a Mexican standoff that ends in part when one of the gunholders has to pee after holding their positions for the entire night. There's some decent action sequences such as the climax that takes place in a train station. And there's at least one surprise in the plot.

Also, for those interested, this film surprised me in its nonchalantness when it came to matters involving LGBT characters. Yay for progress!

But several things bugged me. Most notably, the violence that occurs in a regular basis between Babban's character and Muniya's. He starts to win her over by pulling a knife on her after she catches him searching through a vault. This leads to a session of lovemaking. No, film, no!

Later, when he's betrayed, he smacks her. Nothing like having the "good" guy resort to violence when he can't get his way. He does get a comeuppance of sorts, but still...

Two more issues might be sheer overlength (this film probably could have been tightened by a good half hour) and some of the shifts in tone do come across as being jarring.

Overall, I guess it was alright. But just so.

Unlike Singham and Om Shanti Om, I can't in good consciousness give this a recommendation.

Next: First time in a while?


Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:31 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
His name is Owen, guys. Jeez, you're acting that World is as generic as Jurassic Park 3.


I've only seen the original Jurassic Park.

I'm not exaggerating for comic effect: I really found Jurassic World to be pretty blah. It was very much everything I don't like about modern blockbusters. It was hugely disappointing and I have zero interest in the sequel.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:42 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I've only seen the original Jurassic Park.

I'm not exaggerating for comic effect: I really found Jurassic World to be pretty blah. It was very much everything I don't like about modern blockbusters. It was hugely disappointing and I have zero interest in the sequel.


Fair enough. I've seen all four so far and I'd place this right around with The Lost World in a fairly distant second place.

Just be grateful that you've never seen a Transformers film. That, to me, is the worst kind of blockbuster film.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:01 am
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I think all of the Jurassic films are entertaining, to varying degrees. At worst, they're dumb, but I haven't find any of them to be cringe-inducingly bad.

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Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:22 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

1. I'm just saying that in my opinion it is asking more of women when they are pestered about having children because it comes with more of a change to their lives than men. No matter how involved a man is in his wife's pregnancy, he isn't the one who has to face the possibility of dying or other serious medical complications, permanent changes to his body (ask any woman who has had a child why she might not want to jump rope), or face the same degree of judgement about the ability to be a professional that comes with bearing a child.




2. This is actually the heart of what I am saying. My basic problem with the movie was not sexism per se, but lazy, shallow writing that embraces some pretty sexist tropes. "Can women have a career and a family?!" is a question on the cover of every other women's magazine, but not often something that is asked about men. I actually felt like all of the characters were poorly developed. Honestly, I'd rather Claire's character have no character arc than have such a dumb, reductive one. At one point Claire does do something (like shoots down a dino or something?) and immediately the two boys are like "We want to go with HIM!" and point to Pratt's character.

You don't need deep character arcs to make a good action movie. If I had my way the film would eliminate the nephews altogether and develop a triangle of conflict between Claire, Pratt's character, and the evil whoever trying to militarize the dinos. I'm typing "Pratt's character" because I literally don't remember his name. I only know she's called Claire because of other posts in this thread. The movie's worst crime is that it's forgettable and the only things I really remember are (1) how much I hated every suggestion that Claire should be more into having a family and (2) the unnecessarily cruel, protracted death of the assistant.

1. Ok, I definitely get that, I just wasn't quite drawing that that's what you meant. I couldn't (and wouldn't) possibly argue with that. I was just saying that I was thinking of it entirely in the context of what we were saying about the movie's position, which, again, was never looking that deeply into things. But clearly that is true.

2. Gotcha. Yeah, I don't think our feelings on this are very far apart, really. I think originally maybe I was also just trying to soften the blow a bit. I know from my very close friends just how disheartening and defeating it can seem sometimes dealing with the inherent slant in society away from agency for women, often in large and obvious ways, but 10x as much in subtler ways. I obviously don't suffer directly from it, but it makes me howling fucking mad for my friends who who do. And sometimes they feel like it's literally everything. Like everything is against them. I (obviously) can't imagine how it must feel.


Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:49 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
His name is Owen, guys. Jeez, you're acting that World is as generic as Jurassic Park 3.


Heh. She's totally right, though, I didn't remember either. That character relies entirely on Pratt's goofy charm. There is no writing at all for that character, he is just "generic goofy-charm guy".


Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:50 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:

Fair enough. I've seen all four so far and I'd place this right around with The Lost World in a fairly distant second place.

Just be grateful that you've never seen a Transformers film. That, to me, is the worst kind of blockbuster film.


It's funny that you say this, I have never seen a Transformers film. Because they all looked like the worst kind of blockbuster. The inexplicable kind. When I saw the trailers for the first I thought, "Oh no, that looks so pitifully awful, no one is gonna go see this, they're gonna lose their shirts." And like 5 sequels and countless attempts to recreate it later...


Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:53 pm
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I saw the first Transformer movie, because sometimes you send other people out to rent a movie and . . . you end up watching Transformers. It was big and loud and dumb in a way that I'm sure some people really like but I just find empty and annoying.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:59 am
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I've never seen a Transformer movie either (or even a trailer for a Transformer movie, I don't think, so I barely even have any notion of what they even look like) but I also haven't intentionally been dodging them, like many others seem to do. I have nothing against watching them, just like I really don't have anything against all of the Superhero movies I haven't seen (ie. most of them). But I just know that at best I would give it a passable shrug of approval, and at worst would absolutely fucking hate it. I can live with the idea of hating something, but the notion that I am unlikely to find anything there that I could legitimately be excited about, kind of kills the buzz to even bother.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:51 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
I can live with the idea of hating something, but the notion that I am unlikely to find anything there that I could legitimately be excited about, kind of kills the buzz to even bother.


It's not even enjoyably hateable. It's like taking a bath in tepid water--no warm cozy heat, no "I'm alive!!" shock of cold. Just . . . nothing. Much like Jurassic World I remember almost nothing about it.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:01 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

It's not even enjoyably hateable. It's like taking a bath in tepid water--no warm cozy heat, no "I'm alive!!" shock of cold. Just . . . nothing. Much like Jurassic World I remember almost nothing about it.


I entirely believe that. The only times I truly hate movies is when they are 'tepid'. And I probably would really hate Transformers for this very reason, considering what I have heard of it. But because I do like a handful of Bay films, I wouldn't deliberate turn my back on them if they were offered.

I have more apprehension towards Jurassic World. I am almost certain that would do nothing for me. That I would hate it. But because I have zero reason to ever watch that (I don't even know who directed it, and I don't remotely like the original JP) I probably would leave the room if someone ever put that one on for me.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:07 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I entirely believe that. The only times I truly hate movies is when they are 'tepid'. And I probably would really hate Transformers for this very reason, considering what I have heard of it. But because I do like a handful of Bay films, I wouldn't deliberate turn my back on them if they were offered.

I have more apprehension towards Jurassic World. I am almost certain that would do nothing for me. That I would hate it. But because I have zero reason to ever watch that (I don't even know who directed it, and I don't remotely like the original JP) I probably would leave the room if someone ever put that one on for me.


I've never felt whatever it is that makes some people really enjoy Bay's films or styles. I've read several posts and/or short thinkpieces and I understand the argument, but it does not translate for me when actually watching the films. The whole film felt dull to me, all the more every time it tried to artificially get the adrenaline going with another explosion. Maybe my 8 year old self would have loved it.

Jurassic World was such a disappointment. I (and the person with whom I saw it) was actually excited by the trailers. I really like quite a few of the secondary cast members. Within about 20 minutes it was clear it was not going to be the film I wanted it to be. But then even with downgraded expectations it didn't deliver. "The dinosaurs will look good!" Eh, they were okay. "Chris Pratt is really funny!" Eh, the performance was like 85% natural charisma and almost no character.

And here's a random complaint: Chris Pratt had on (or looked like he had on) SO MUCH MAKE-UP! Was his makeup applied with a trowel?


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:52 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I entirely believe that. The only times I truly hate movies is when they are 'tepid'. And I probably would really hate Transformers for this very reason, considering what I have heard of it. But because I do like a handful of Bay films, I wouldn't deliberate turn my back on them if they were offered.

I have more apprehension towards Jurassic World. I am almost certain that would do nothing for me. That I would hate it. But because I have zero reason to ever watch that (I don't even know who directed it, and I don't remotely like the original JP) I probably would leave the room if someone ever put that one on for me.


I liked a handful of Bay films, too (The Rock, the first Bad Boys, Armageddon). I started to turn with the Bad Boys sequel and I was done with the first Transformers film. Saw maybe 20 minutes of part 2 and I hated the film. Could not stand it. Saw Part 4 on Prime (Hulu?) one day when I skipped class due to rain downpours. It wasn't worth it. The guy who had somehow crafted passable, fun action films with some character had sold out to the explosions and bombast (and the American flag/military. Why hasn't Trump contacted him for a position yet?)

Colin Trevorrow who directed this (as well as Safety Not Guaranteed and The Book of Henry) at his best did give little moments that reminded you of the sense of awe and wonder in the first film (such as when the kids enter the closed off section of the park on their little gyroscopes). But too much of it was blunted by the sheer sense of bombast and scale (as well as a very messy script), proving you can't go home again.

Now Takoma, I think you brought up Kidnap (the Bollywood film, not the Halle Berry picture) and hinted that there were some problematic elements in that film. What were they?


Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:29 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Now Takoma, I think you brought up Kidnap (the Bollywood film, not the Halle Berry picture) and hinted that there were some problematic elements in that film. What were they?


Aside from the generally troubling element of a woman (moderate but super obvious spoilers)
falling in love with a man who kidnaps her and holds her hostage
, there's one scene where the woman who has been kidnapped tries to escape and after bringing her back to the house the kidnapper
basically acts like he's about to rape her, holding her down on a couch and climbing on top of her, then getting off of her and saying "Remember, there are things worse than death."


It's a weird element, because the rest of the movie (even when it goes for melodrama) has a much lighter tone. But that one part was almost a deal-breaker for me.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:12 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Aside from the generally troubling element of a woman (moderate but super obvious spoilers)
falling in love with a man who kidnaps her and holds her hostage
, there's one scene where the woman who has been kidnapped tries to escape and after bringing her back to the house the kidnapper
basically acts like he's about to rape her, holding her down on a couch and climbing on top of her, then getting off of her and saying "Remember, there are things worse than death."


It's a weird element, because the rest of the movie (even when it goes for melodrama) has a much lighter tone. But that one part was almost a deal-breaker for me.


Yeah, that would have caused me to switch it off. Might have made an exception for the halfway rule for that.

My tentative plan for this weekend.

Friday:
The Boy
Coco

Saturday:
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Moonlight

Sunday:
Voice of My Father
Ghostbusters

If I have time:
Us and Them
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead


Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:49 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I've never felt whatever it is that makes some people really enjoy Bay's films or styles. I've read several posts and/or short thinkpieces and I understand the argument, but it does not translate for me when actually watching the films. The whole film felt dull to me, all the more every time it tried to artificially get the adrenaline going with another explosion. Maybe my 8 year old self would have loved it.

Jurassic World was such a disappointment. I (and the person with whom I saw it) was actually excited by the trailers. I really like quite a few of the secondary cast members. Within about 20 minutes it was clear it was not going to be the film I wanted it to be. But then even with downgraded expectations it didn't deliver. "The dinosaurs will look good!" Eh, they were okay. "Chris Pratt is really funny!" Eh, the performance was like 85% natural charisma and almost no character.

And here's a random complaint: Chris Pratt had on (or looked like he had on) SO MUCH MAKE-UP! Was his makeup applied with a trowel?

All of this is accurate (except I don't remember about the makeup).
The difference for me is that Jurassic World was no "disappointment" because I felt that it had earned no expectations whatsoever when it arrived in theaters. It was clearly just an attempt at spectacle and even the actors were just along to put a blockbuster on their CV. It promised nothing but that giant aquatic dinosaur in the trailer (which they're doing again in the new one, although that moment looks pretty awesome). It did not even hint that it might be a good movie, even a good spectacle-movie. And it wasn't. It met my expectations almost exactly and my only irritation over the experience was that it made so much money it guaranteed not only more of it, but more LIKE it, more and more studios trying to copy it and more and more theaters flooded with garbage.


Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:18 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

My tentative plan for this weekend.

Friday:
The Boy
Coco

Saturday:
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Moonlight

Sunday:
Voice of My Father
Ghostbusters

If I have time:
Us and Them
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

YES!!!


Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:21 am
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Wooley wrote:
The difference for me is that Jurassic World was no "disappointment" because I felt that it had earned no expectations whatsoever when it arrived in theaters.


I hoped it would be dumb fun. And it was one, but not the other.


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It promised nothing but that giant aquatic dinosaur in the trailer (which they're doing again in the new one, although that moment looks pretty awesome).


Ha! I was watching the Iceland/Argentina match this morning and they played the trailer and when the dinosaur emerges through the wave behind the surfer I was like "HELL YES MUST SEE THIS MOVIE!!!" followed immediately by the more rational side of my brain being like "No! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me".


Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:36 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I hoped it would be dumb fun. And it was one, but not the other.




Ha! I was watching the Iceland/Argentina match this morning and they played the trailer and when the dinosaur emerges through the wave behind the surfer I was like "HELL YES MUST SEE THIS MOVIE!!!" followed immediately by the more rational side of my brain being like "No! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me".

Yup, but hey, what's it really cost me, like $12 and 2 hours, if I sit the whole thing out. I've given up more for less. Shit, I saw Twister and Godzilla (1998) in the theater. I paid to see a flying cow and a lizard the size of a skyscraper. And I got them.


Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:39 am
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Wooley wrote:

Yup, but hey, what's it really cost me, like $12 and 2 hours, if I sit the whole thing out. I've given up more for less. Shit, I saw Twister and Godzilla (1998) in the theater. I paid to see a flying cow and a lizard the size of a skyscraper. And I got them.


Well, it did work as dumb fun for me. Problem is that 1990s dumb fun actually bothered to develop their characters such as the girl who got fascinated by tornadoes at a young age growing up to be a storm chaser and the Frenchman who just wanted a good cup of joe in New York in the middle of a monster attack.

2010s dumb fun is all about incorporating the latest must see technology and throwing in some obvious cameos. Oh, hi, Jimmy Fallon. Would you agree to look like a fool in a science lab so we can squeeze you in Jurassic World? Then maybe after that, Syfy would need a few minutes of your time to shoot a cameo for Sharknado 6: We Give Up.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:00 am
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And we add to our totals for June with:

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946):

Top notch film noir with sizzling chemistry between leads John Garfield and Lana Turner (who seemingly has those long legs that Andy Grammer sings about). Almost everyone is evil, but they are people with goals you can relate to such as Turner's desire to be someone. Excellent use of white, black and shadows.

Top of its class, with only Laura (maybe) being a bit better.

I wrote more about it in Thief's thread, but it appears that June's search for best of its class is probably over.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:05 am
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What did you sign me up for, Takoma?


Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:30 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
What did you sign me up for, Takoma?


Ha--are you watching Kidnap?

EDIT: Ooh! Or are you watching The Boy?!


Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:03 pm
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The Boy. Sadly, I couldn't finish it. But I'm starting to work my way through the film.

Othello (1951)

I really don't need to spend a long time on the plot. Basically, evil confidant plants seeds of doubt in the mind of a war leader/ruler about his woman's fidelity.

This was a Palm D'Or winner, although for the life of me, I don't get why. Either the academy was fond of Orson Welles and/or Shakespeare.

This took three years to film which did allow for a few good moments. Such as snippets of dialogue from Welles, Suzanne Cloutier, and Micheal Mac Liammoir. The scenery that keeps the film from being stage bound. Some interesting camera angles.

But problems remain. Basically cutting the play in half takes out the subtlety needed to let Iago's character breathe. The film with so many characters at times (ahem, the post-war feast) gets confusing. Welles lets some scenes run so long that it kinda loses the point. And some angles feels like it's too artistic for art's sake.

Oh, and Welles is in brownface as the titular character.

The film ranked as a giant eh for me.

Next: My updated gameplan for July.


Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:30 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
The Boy. Sadly, I couldn't finish it. But I'm starting to work my way through the film.

Othello (1951)


While it's not the best movie ever, I'm surprised you could walk away from The Boy. It really had me hooked.

As for Othellp, when I was 15 I saw a race-reversed stage production starring Sir Patrick Stewart. It was really good, though Shakespeare sexuality is a lot for a teenager (you're like "I don't know what they're saying, but that one actor is humping the air!"). The stage production also starred Ron Canada, which to my nerd cred/shame I recognized as also having appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It's not my favorite of his plays, so having read it and seen the stage play, I've never been moved to seek out a film version.


Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:56 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

While it's not the best movie ever, I'm surprised you could walk away from The Boy. It really had me hooked.

As for Othellp, when I was 15 I saw a race-reversed stage production starring Sir Patrick Stewart. It was really good, though Shakespeare sexuality is a lot for a teenager (you're like "I don't know what they're saying, but that one actor is humping the air!"). The stage production also starred Ron Canada, which to my nerd cred/shame I recognized as also having appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It's not my favorite of his plays, so having read it and seen the stage play, I've never been moved to seek out a film version.


Working my way through it=Continuing to catch it in bits and pieces

My July Goals:
Finish The Boy

Watch the following:
Marie Antoinette (Period Drama, Woman Director)
Moonlight (Drama, Made for Less than $5 million)
The Tribe (Silent from Foreign Country, Eastern Europe film)
Girls Trip (Female Protagonist, NAACP Best Picture winner)
Mary Kom (Sports film, Bollywood...with the lead from Quantico!)
Meshes of the Afternoon (Experimental)
Voice of My Father (Parenthood)
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch (Swedish film)
Girlhood (French Language film)
Bianca come il latte, rossa come il sangue (Italian language film)
Strictly Ballroom (Debut film from director you like)
The Thin Man Goes Home (Pre-1970 comedy)
All is Lost (Sentence/Fragment in title)
Dark (direct to DVD)
Blue Caprice (Color in title)
Murder My Sweet (Film Noir)
Hachi (Film about Animal)
David Lynch: The Art Life (Criterion)
Aqui Entre Nos (Spanish Language film)
Godfather Part 2 (Film over 170 minutes long)

Catch up on some POV documentaries
Serena?

Godfather Part 2 is the one re-watch I'm having.


Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:07 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Strictly Ballroom (Debut film from director you like)

All is Lost (Sentence/Fragment in title)

Blue Caprice (Color in title)


Strictly Ballroom wasn't quite as fun as I'd hoped it would be. I really liked All is Lost (and I really love small cast films). I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on Blue Caprice. I was home in DC on a break when some of the killings were happening, and I had mixed feelings about some of the liberties the film took with the real story.


Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:25 am
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I agree about All Is Lost. It was pretty good.

Some recs...

A period drama film: Sense & Sensibility (1995)
A film about parenthood: A Better Life (2011)
A French language film: Holy Motors (2012) or Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991), both from Leo Carax, both excellent in very, very different ways
A Spanish language film: Abre los Ojos (1997), Angel (2007)

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Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:45 am
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Thief wrote:
I agree about All Is Lost. It was pretty good.

Some recs...

A period drama film: Sense & Sensibility (1995)
A film about parenthood: A Better Life (2011)
A French language film: Holy Motors (2012) or Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991), both from Leo Carax, both excellent in very, very different ways
A Spanish language film: Abre los Ojos (1997), Angel (2007)


Then All is Lost is a lock.

I perused your recommendations. Most, if not all, are on channels/sites I don't subscribe to. I do appreciate the help, though.

Marie Antoinette made sense when I thought about it. It's directed by Sofia Coppola (directed by a woman) and it's based about the life of the monarch (period drama).

I've been wanting to see Girlhood for a while now, thanks in part to Mark Kermode's enthusiastic praise for it. Although he can be wrong at times (I know of at least one person who couldn't stand The Falling), his hit/miss ratio tends to work for me.

My first film I looked at for the Spanish language hit a bit close to home considering the subject matter and the heat of the button. So I chose a silly comedy about a father who just decides to skip work to send a message to his dysfunctional family.

The Italian language one reminds me some of The Fault of Our Stars.

I may play with a couple of these if something better happens (straight to DVD, color, and Spanish are all vulnerable), but it's mainly locked, and in some cases, downloaded. Looking forward to some good films this month.

I might have to find a way to catch more 2018 films, though. It's July and I've only seen one (and that is questionable based on where it was released).


Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:17 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Strictly Ballroom wasn't quite as fun as I'd hoped it would be. I really liked All is Lost (and I really love small cast films). I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on Blue Caprice. I was home in DC on a break when some of the killings were happening, and I had mixed feelings about some of the liberties the film took with the real story.


Not really a lot of options as far as debut films go (I think either Sundance or Filmstruck has a lot of them). I like Baz Luhrman's flights of fancy and it's relatively short.

I'm willing to play around with films with interesting stories and this man versus nature tale could hit the spot.

I do remember the killings too, but I was hundreds of miles away. I might allow a certain amount of slack due to story/character things, but I just hope that it's true to the spirit of what happened. Trying to be more careful after seeing all those errors in The Imitation Game.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:21 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Not really a lot of options as far as debut films go (I think either Sundance or Filmstruck has a lot of them). I like Baz Luhrman's flights of fancy and it's relatively short.

I'm willing to play around with films with interesting stories and this man versus nature tale could hit the spot.

I do remember the killings too, but I was hundreds of miles away. I might allow a certain amount of slack due to story/character things, but I just hope that it's true to the spirit of what happened. Trying to be more careful after seeing all those errors in The Imitation Game.


I hear you on the debut films limitations. I had a hard time finding some to recommend. Ballroom isn't BAD, it's just not as good as I would have hoped.

My issue with Blue Caprice is that it wants to focus almost purely on the twisted "family loyalty" dynamic that developed between the adult and the teenager. Fine. But it changes the ages and circumstances of some of the victims (such as including a horrific sequence involving pregnant women) seemingly to make the violence more impactful. I don't understand that choice--it's all horrific.


Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:13 am
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Ideally, I wouldn't have minded it if Following had come back to the 'Flix, but nah.

Anyway I kick things off with...a film that meets zero criteria? Yep.

K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend (1981)

I've been watching a lot of the old school Doctor Whos in the past month or so. I think I can't decide between Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee as the best one.

One companion (traveler) that both had in common is Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), a reporter with a scoop for finding herself in trouble. K-9 (voice of John Leeson) is a robot dog with a brain for a computer who proved to be a later companion during the Baker years. Combine the two of them in a mystery series and watch the money print itself thought the BBC executives. Although it did do pretty well with the first airing, a change in programmers lead to this being a busted pilot.

37 years later, I would get a chance to see this. What did I think of it?

The early techno music that repeats the words K-9 is a bit of a bumpy start. As is the insistence that we must shoehorn a second intelligent being in the form of university student Brendan.

The 50 minute film plays like a Father Brown Mystery that moves kinda slowly as per usual nobody believes Sarah Jane when she insists there is a cult of witches, but thanks to the smart canine, they find their way to the climax where things finally take a bravura turn as lasers get fired and a sacrifice is prevented.

Not as bad as I presume the Star Wars Holiday Special would be, but it wouldn't have made for a good series.

NEXT: What is it that I just watched?


Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:37 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Not as bad as I presume the Star Wars Holiday Special would be, but it wouldn't have made for a good series.


Yeah, I don't think that K-9 is really a character who can pair effectively with a human lead, no matter how good.

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NEXT: What is it that I just watched?


The answer had better be The Boy.


Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:34 am
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Sometime tomorrow, I'm going to dive in deep into Classic Dr. Who and catch up on some titles that I've seen.

Covered this time will be:
Meshes of the Afternoon
Singing with Angry Bird
The Boy


Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:34 am
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Doctor Who Deep Dive:

They had a marathon of classic Dr. Who on Twitch this summer. I missed most of William Hartnell (First Doctor) but he gave me an impression of Dumbledore from what I saw of him.*

*Do keep in mind that a lot of adventures of Hartnell and Patrick Troughton are missing episodes. One of Troughton's episodes felt like a cross between a PowerPoint slide and an audio play. Imagine Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, only you know, kind of good.

The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) wasn't always the brightest (I remember that he was tricked into placing his hands into a trap once), but he served as a hero frequently and it also included the first companion I remember. Jamie, him of the young Mick Jagger look and the kilts (which would later be remembered in Starz's series Outlander) who was all about acting first and thinking about it later on. Although this outlook might occasionally cost the Doctor a victory or two.

The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) reminded me of James Bond with its gadgets and action oriented sequences. But he seemed to treat women better than Connery did. Due to storyline reasons, this Doctor was exiled to Earth where he worked frequently with UNIT and its leader Brigadeer Lethbridge-Stewart. He mixed an ability to keep conversations going with the occasional Ikea*

*It's unclear whether he shouted Ikea or Aikida when striking and/or throwing his enemies. But it was mainly used in a defensive/let's get out of danger situations rather than flat out starting fights.

Although he had his issues with UNIT and other high ranking authorities, he tended to treat companions such as Jo and reporter Sarah Jane with concern and respect.

The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is probably the most recognizable and among the most beloved. He grapples with thorny ethical dilemmas (Do I have the right?) while continuing to befriend the human race through his various companions including Sarah Jane, the more aggressive Leela, the robotic companion K-9, Time Lords Romana 1 & 2, the annoying prodigy Adric*, the alien aristocrat Nyssa, and flight attendant Tegan.

*Some would argue that Adric is the Wesley Crusher of Dr. Who. They would be wrong. I don't remember a single time Wesley tried to kill his companions or the people he was trying to protect. It's arguable whether Adric is more annoying than Brendan from K-9 and Company.

The Fifth Doctor (Tom Davison) was younger, more athletic (he fancied himself a cricket player), but lacked the personality that 4 had. He also was the one who kept a celery stalk in his pocket which served as a warning device like a canary in a coal mine. He had to deal with tragedy, turmoil, and new companions aplenty. Not only did he have Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan to keep track with, but his various adventures also introduced him to the self-protective Vislor Turlough, the shape shifting robot Kamelion, and the spoiled American Peri.

The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) originally was meant to be a darker incarnation of The Doctor despite his, ahem, colorful jacket and hammy demeanor.* Although he was prone to quoting poetry and prose, he also tried to strangle Peri in the first episode! Eventually, the relationship somewhat recovered and he moved on to health nut (and frequent screamer) Mel. But his penchant for violence drew controversy. After a season long trial, which he won naturally, he was quietly jettisoned.

*Reportedly, Baker wanted a black leather jacket in his portrayal. Eventually the original plans of his character got to see the light of day in Christopher Eccleston's portrayal of The Doctor.

The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) kept the hamminess of 6, but displayed parts of a darker personality such as an episode where he mentally attacked his companion. Mel would shriek in a while longer, but she would be replaced by teenager Ace who liked explosives and hid a dark past in Perivale. They had a mostly charming doctor/professor and student relationship before the series would go on an extended hiatus. But unlike the last few doctors, he eschewed violence in favor of talking situations out.

Now that history is done, it's time for the good stuff/awards:

Doctors:

Best Doctor: 3/4 in a tie, natch.

Worst Doctor: 6

Underrated Doctor: 7

Companions:

Best Companion: Sarah Jane Smith

Worst Companion: Adric. Although he did have a memorable ending...

Underrated Companion: Vislor Turlough. Once you get past the allusions to another sci-fi oriented book series, he had a full character arc and his character took on a more dramatic Dr. Smith from Lost in Space.

Stories (can't fairly rank serials from the first two so we start with three):

Third Doctor

Best: Carnival of Monsters. But I should have to put my hand inside! Memorable, colorful characters and the 3rd doctor at his most snarky.

Runner Up: The Sea Devils. Memorable villains and an exchange with the Master leading to Ikeas, fencing, and dagger throwing.

Worst: Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The idea with various time warps is kinda fun, but the Dollar Store dino costumes and continuous sabotages on the Doctor's weapons is not.

Fourth Doctor

Best: Genesis of the Daleks. Who goes very dark as we learn of their Nazi-like nature. Baker debates whether he has the right to kill off a species. We meet the Daleks' creator Davros. Excellent TV.

Runners-up: Pyramids of Mars (memorable villain), City of Death (John Cleese! Douglas Adams!), Seeds of Doom (Basically, it's The Thing)

Worst: Meglos. Evil cacti? A 12 sided die being at the center? LOL

Fifth Doctor

Best: The Caves of Androzani. Yeah, it's his last but thanks to the return of Robert Holmes as writer, a memorable villain in Sharaz Jek, and perhaps the most touching ending, it's among the series's best.

Runner-up: Mawdryn Undead. The return of the Brigadier (two of them), time travel, tampering with science, and the introduction of Turlough (and the Black Guardian).

Worst: The Awakening. A Civil War re-enactment, a 17th century boy who pops up out of nowhere and is never seen again, a gargoyle who is behind it all. Oh, and white boxes.

Runner-up: Time Flight. Where we quickly forget that the previous episode ends poignantly and go millions of years back in time. Kinda callous and dull in equal measure.

Sixth Doctor

Best: Mindwarp. Because Brian freaking Blessed is in this one chewing up all the scenery as per usual. And a touching ending.

If they didn't try to retcon it two serials later.


Worst: The Twin Dilemma. Because no Doctor should try to choke his companion. Even if she fails to guess who wrote a poem. Oh, and they try to gaslight it even if she calls him on it several times later on. Also the combination of math prodigies and alien plots prove to be a dull mix, whether they like it or not.

Seventh Doctor

Best: Happiness Patrol. An insane mix of attack against Margaret Thatcher and Paranoia, once you get past the childish creature known as Kandiman, there's some meaty satire at work. And some decent blues.

Runner Up: Ghost Light. Although the dialogue can be a bit on the dense side, this take on Darwinism, evolution, and aliens is pretty involving.

Worst: Paradise Towers. Despite being built on the same story that led to Tom Hiddleston's High Rise, this bizarro combination of the Hitler-esque Chief Caretaker, Kangs, robot cleaners, evil old ladies, and Pex, a self-styled Arnold/Stallone clone who looks like he could barely beat Turlough in a brawl, just doesn't gel. Also, Red Kangs are the Best.


Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:12 am
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