Recently Seen

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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:58 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:58 pm
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about people who say Batman the character is inherently less interesting. Give them some Dennis O'Neill, Frank Miller, Jeph Loeb, et al, and let them get educated.
Indeed. I’m especially fond of Morrison’s run and Snyder’s new 52 run, which all more or less focused explicitly on the mythology and personality of Batman and his impact on Gotham, the world and ultimately the universe. Never once did the thought “I wish they didn’t focus on him so much” ever cross my mind.
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DaMU
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:05 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:58 pm
Indeed. I’m especially fond of Morrison’s run and Snyder’s new 52 run, which all more or less focused explicitly on the mythology and personality of Batman and his impact on Gotham, the world and ultimately the universe. Never once did the thought “I wish they didn’t focus on him so much” ever cross my mind.
Dude, just checked, and my library has a lot of Morrison's Batman work as free e-media.

As the kids say, you love to see it. :up:
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:09 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:37 pm
I like Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight more than Boogie Nights up to Punch Drunk Love. Amazing debut
I haven't seen Punch Drunk Love, but I do like it more than Boogie Nights. I think it's my #3 PTA.
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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:23 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:05 pm
Dude, just checked, and my library has a lot of Morrison's Batman work as free e-media.

As the kids say, you love to see it. :up:
Awesome! Just remember to figure out the reading order first because it is COMPLICATED. One gets the since that Morrison’s office wall looks like a conspiracy theorist, with random strands of yarn forming an elaborate web of convolution.

But the convolution is the beautiful point of it all because Batman is the greatest detective.
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DaMU
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:31 pm

I mean, that kinda makes sense for Morrison. I read KidEternity and Nameless, and they felt like someone just straight-up published a dream journal with only the most token of efforts at clarifying/streamlining.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:13 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:31 pm
I mean, that kinda makes sense for Morrison. I read KidEternity and Nameless, and they felt like someone just straight-up published a dream journal with only the most token of efforts at clarifying/streamlining.
Most if not all of my Morrison reading has been DC character linked but I’m not surprised. I felt like he went too far with his New 52 Superman but his Batman run, All Star Superman and Arkham Asylum are all exceptional and off-beat. AA is the only one I wouldn’t describe as wonderfully convoluted.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:33 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:13 pm
Most if not all of my Morrison reading has been DC character linked but I’m not surprised. I felt like he went too far with his New 52 Superman but his Batman run, All Star Superman and Arkham Asylum are all exceptional and off-beat. AA is the only one I wouldn’t describe as wonderfully convoluted.
I've read All-Star and Arkham, agreed. My best recommendation for his non-DC stuff is We3, that's probably the best in terms of "This is a tight, clear story." It also has lovely crisp artwork from Quitely, who also did good work on Superman For All Seasons.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:43 am

Troop Zero - 7/10 - This was someone else's pick. It's on Amazon Prime and it turned out to be okay. It takes place in 1977 in Georgia (I think) and involves a little girl named Christmas Flint whose mother has died. Her dad is played by Jim Gaffigan which is part of the reason I didn't object too strenuously to watching it. It does have a decent cast with Viola Davis and Allison Janney among others. Anyway, Christmas is into space and extraterrestrial life and finds out that NASA will include the winner of a Girl Scout like talent show in the gold record that they're sending up with the first Voyager spacecraft. The rest of the movie involves her finding other supposed misfits to start her own troop. It's largely predictable but the cast is likable particularly the kids. You end up rooting for them against the customary mean girl troop. If you've got kids it makes for a good family movie.

Hickey & Boggs - 5/10 - This is a 70's private eye flick starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. This was also Culp's lone directing credit and he doesn't seem to do a very good job of it. The script is by Walter Hill and I'm not entirely sure if that was the reason this movie was such a letdown or if Culp screwed it up. I love 70's era crime and noir movies for their inherent grittiness but the pacing in this was off and the characters either complete ciphers or never clearly delineated. There's a lot of wasted talent here. Rosalind Cash and James Woods to name two. Potentially effective villains were squandered with ace stunt driver Bill Hickman (Bullitt and The Seven-Ups) as the lead heavy. They even had him in a souped up car but I guess the budget didn't allow for any car chases. I wanted to like this but it was such a meandering mess that it was impossible to get into it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:32 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:33 pm
I've read All-Star and Arkham, agreed. My best recommendation for his non-DC stuff is We3, that's probably the best in terms of "This is a tight, clear story." It also has lovely crisp artwork from Quitely, who also did good work on Superman For All Seasons.
Superman for All Seasons is amazing and I love the artwork, so you've got my attention. However, my wife bought me virtually all the Sandman Vols so if I read a comic before that, I may be ousted from my home. I'll add it to the list!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:30 am

Forgive me for hijacking, but the late 90's Superman Animated Series came in the mail today. So far so good. Watched the Batman AS years ago and Batman Beyond last year. Return of the Joker was very tits.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:36 am

topherH wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:30 am
Forgive me for hijacking, but the late 90's Superman Animated Series came in the mail today. So far so good. Watched the Batman AS years ago and Batman Beyond last year. Return of the Joker was very tits.
I'm one of the few that prefers STAS to BTAS. BTAS has better individual episodes but STAS has a greater sense of continuity and serialization that allows it to build to some really great arcs.

Justice League Unlimited s1 is the best season in the entire DCAU.
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topherH
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:56 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:36 am
I'm one of the few that prefers STAS to BTAS. BTAS has better individual episodes but STAS has a greater sense of continuity and serialization that allows it to build to some really great arcs.

Justice League Unlimited s1 is the best season in the entire DCAU.
Its fun for me because I'm some what of a Supes noob but I know some of his villains, but they've already introduced a few more. I did think about getting around to JL after I finish this series.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:15 am

topherH wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:56 am
Its fun for me because I'm some what of a Supes noob but I know some of his villains, but they've already introduced a few more. I did think about getting around to JL after I finish this series.
If you dig STAS, then it's mandatory. Despite the loss of Daly as a voice actor (a tragic blow for sure), JL directly continues and builds on numerous plot lines and arcs from STAS. Then JL:U ties all the DCAU together.

Basically, BTAS,BB, STAS, JL and JL:U are all mandatory cartoon viewing. Static Shock and Zeta Project are skippable.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:27 am

Why did no one warn me that Life Is Beautiful is essentially Michael Scott goes to Auschwitz?
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DaMU
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:54 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:27 am
Why did no one warn me that Life Is Beautiful is essentially Michael Scott goes to Auschwitz?
The accuracy.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:57 am

I had that Quitely thing wrong, he illustrated All-Star while Sale did For All Seasons. But All-Star also looks great, so not exactly a problem.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:14 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:57 am
I had that Quitely thing wrong, he illustrated All-Star while Sale did For All Seasons. But All-Star also looks great, so not exactly a problem.
The key thing is that it SOUNDED right enough that I didn't question it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:20 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:14 am
The key thing is that it SOUNDED right enough that I didn't question it.
That's exactly the kind of communication I endeavor to provide.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:10 am

While Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is barely distinguishable from the many underdog story movies Will Ferrell has starred in and/or produced, it has enough good stuff to make it worth watching.  I like how the movie pokes fun at and celebrates how theatrical Eurovision has become.  It features many former contestants, each of whom is thankfully in on the joke.  The movie gives the same treatment to Iceland's cultural traditions, the latter, which I will not spoil here, providing the movie's biggest laugh. Also, the way Rachel McAdams portrays Sigrid's fish out of water innocence and her talent as a singer - courtesy of Swedish Junior Eurovision contestant Molly Sandén - gives the movie much-welcomed honesty and charm. Dan Stevens is also very good and very self-effacingly funny as flamboyant Russian favorite Alexander.  His intentions are not as clear as those of favorites in other underdog movies like Germany's in Cool Runnings or Jean Girard's in Talladega Nights, but I ended up more satisfied with the character than not.  The movie is a tad overlong and has stretches where I found myself annoyed by the often-middling comedy and/or bored by its reliance on underdog clichés.  Even so, when it did make me laugh, I laughed hard, and any 2020 movie that not only does that, but also makes me feel closer to the rest of the world rather than apart from it has earned my respect.
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13th (DuVernay, 2016)
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Ergill
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:03 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:27 am
Why did no one warn me that Life Is Beautiful is essentially Michael Scott goes to Auschwitz?
I'm sure Bad Lieutenant would've.

To be fair, though, the Holocaust in Italy was far less intense than Auschwitz. To be less fair, that's on a scale of not-Auschwitz to Auschwitz.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:16 pm

Oh nooo someone mentioned Grant Morisson, uh oh. Lol, honestly, I think he isn’t the best. Impressive in his aspirations but ugh, not much in the way of WIT. His writing is so bland, so devoid of levity. His scripting too, for all the information he tries to convey his scripting is deviously simple. I love All Star Superman, We3, The Filth, and The Invisibles (aka that shit The Matrix copped)... but even then they aren’t up up there with my favourites. I must respect him as a ceremonial magician but still, no Alan Moore, will never come close. Humour, buddy, work on it. Maybe I should give Flex Mantello a try...
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:41 pm

Love Streams (1984) - 9/10

Of what I've seen from Cassavetes, I've noticed how the characters in his films are never "normal" in the traditional sense. They always range from slightly to very out of the ordinary and they each have a certain trait which separates them from the "normal" people who occupy the same scene as them, with their personalities often rubbing off on them and making them feel bizarre in the process, even. This usually leads to their interactions around those people to feel confusing, albeit intentionally so. In spite of this confusion, however, Cassavetes always finds ways to direct these characters in an appealing manner, so that he consistently manages to captivate me by this aspect. In this film, however, his handling of them feels, at times, more impenetrable than what I've seen from him prior. Given the knowledge of the backgrounds and the flaws of the two main characters, laughter doesn't seem like the appropriate response given the situation, so how else are we supposed to respond to their actions? Cassavetes complicates this question as it goes on with how the film grows increasingly bizarre in the latter portions, starting with Sarah bringing back multiple animals from a pet store, including two horses. Perhaps, this escalation is due to the behavior of Robert, who hardly spends any time around her throughout the film. Their encounters are short and their conversations are few and far between in that they only spend a couple brief, albeit tender moments with each other before Robert leaves to be around other people, leading Sarah to look for other people to be around herself. These scenes reinforce their disconnect and emotional distance from each other. Even when they finally spend time around each other in the last act, Cassavetes still conveys her alienation here since, instead of interacting with Robert, she quickly falls ill and retreats into her fantasies and dreams where she's surrounded instead by other members of her family, expanding upon their prior dynamic by showing how far it has progressed. The film eventually culminates with a bizarre image which seems to be caught between reality and a dream. Though it seems to resist interpretation, this image feels evocative regardless and begs the question "Is Robert too late?".
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:54 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:15 am
If you dig STAS, then it's mandatory. Despite the loss of Daly as a voice actor (a tragic blow for sure), JL directly continues and builds on numerous plot lines and arcs from STAS. Then JL:U ties all the DCAU together.

Basically, BTAS,BB, STAS, JL and JL:U are all mandatory cartoon viewing. Static Shock and Zeta Project are skippable.
I'll have to check it out
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
Deadpool |Miller, 2016| +
Z |Gavras, 1969| -
The Confession |Gavras, 1970| +
Missing |Gavras, 1982| +
The Revenant |Inarritu, 2015| +
The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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Charles
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:12 pm

Barb Wire, 1996 (B+)

It's an atrocious movie, and I loved it. First off, it opens on about 5 minutes of drenched titties with a sleazy guy yelling TAKE IT OFF, and then he receives a shoe in the face. Everything is bad and disjointed. The movie is terribly directed. All the elements of a dystopian sci-fi movie are there, but they're all presented one after the other, so the movie never actually creates any atmosphere. There's no consistent tone and it feels like it takes place in three different worlds. Pamela's performance is abysmal as well. She tries to sound sexy, but she reads every line like shes a in a cheap motel and doesn't want the people next door to hear. It's definitely worth seeing.

Also, it's a movie taking place in 2017/2019, after the second American Civil War, and it has this scene:

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by replican » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:40 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:41 pm
Love Streams (1984) - 9/10

Of what I've seen from Cassavetes, I've noticed how the characters in his films are never "normal" in the traditional sense. They always range from slightly to very out of the ordinary and they each have a certain trait which separates them from the "normal" people who occupy the same scene as them, with their personalities often rubbing off on them and making them feel bizarre in the process, even. This usually leads to their interactions around those people to feel confusing, albeit intentionally so. In spite of this confusion, however, Cassavetes always finds ways to direct these characters in an appealing manner, so that he never ceases to captivate me by this aspect. In this film, however, his handling of them feels, at times, more impenetrable than what I've seen from him prior. Given the knowledge of the backgrounds and the flaws of the two main characters, laughter doesn't seem like the appropriate response given the situation, so how else are we supposed to respond to their actions? Cassavetes complicates this question as it goes on with how the film grows increasingly bizarre in the latter portions, starting with Sarah bringing back multiple animals from a pet store, including two horses. Perhaps, this escalation is due to the behavior of Robert, who hardly spends any time around her throughout the film. Their encounters are short and their conversations are few and far between in that they only spend a couple brief, albeit tender moments with each other before Robert leaves to be around other people, leading Sarah to look for other people to be around herself. These scenes reinforce their disconnect and emotional distance from each other. Even when they finally spend time around each other in the last act, Cassavetes still conveys her alienation here since, instead of interacting with Robert, she quickly falls ill and retreats into her fantasies and dreams where she's surrounded instead by other members of her family, expanding upon their prior dynamic by showing how far it has progressed. The film eventually culminates with a bizarre image which seems to be caught between reality and a dream. Though it seems to resist interpretation, this image feels evocative regardless and begs the question "Is Robert too late?".
Do you think the lack of clarity about who is who, doing what and why is a purposeful thing on Cassavetes part? His unobtrusive style of shooting is by far my favorite of any director. It's the antithesis of the Bourne Identity in your face 1 second shots that's prevalent nowadays.

I remember watching Love Streams and enjoying it but not exactly sure about what was going on at any given moment. There's always a frenetic energy there though. Much like A Woman Under the Influence.

I really do love how Cassavetes shot his films. Has the similarities between Cassavetes and The Long Goodbye film style ever been mentioned? I'm not a technically savvy about these things but it's that stand back and just watch the actors and action play out gaze. No need to constantly cut for reaction shots. It feels like you're following the action and not being directed to observe via the shots.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:06 pm

replican wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:40 pm
Do you think the lack of clarity about who is who, doing what and why is a purposeful thing on Cassavetes part? His unobtrusive style of shooting is by far my favorite of any director. It's the antithesis of the Bourne Identity in your face 1 second shots that's prevalent nowadays.

I remember watching Love Streams and enjoying it but not exactly sure about what was going on at any given moment. There's always a frenetic energy there though. Much like A Woman Under the Influence.

I really do love how Cassavetes shot his films. Has the similarities between Cassavetes and The Long Goodbye film style ever been mentioned? I'm not a technically savvy about these things but it's that stand back and just watch the actors and action play out gaze. No need to constantly cut for reaction shots. It feels like you're following the action and not being directed to observe via the shots.
I'd say the lack of clarity here is purposeful. I've seen this in a few of his films, so far. Certain scenes throughout this film are easy to miss or be lost in. For instance, with Sarah's trip to Paris, very little of it is shown. It's represented solely by a couple scenes of Sarah struggling with her luggage. We don't see her doing much else there. I also thought this way with how Robert allowed several women he met at the nightclub to stay at his apartment. And, of course, I like how the bizarre elements in this film get more prevalent as they go on to the point that they become indescribable by the end. Lack of clarity doesn't always work for me, but I love how Cassavetes handles it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:43 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:03 pm
I'm sure Bad Lieutenant would've.

To be fair, though, the Holocaust in Italy was far less intense than Auschwitz. To be less fair, that's on a scale of not-Auschwitz to Auschwitz.
I knew BL hated Benigni... But he never said why...

However, the story Benigni based his on (Rubino Romeo Salmonì) was about an Italian Jew taken to Auschwitz and the movie is very vague about what concentration camp it's set (all the officers are German though) so it may very well be a scale of Auschwitz to Auschwitz, unless I missed something (possible due to eye aversion and cringing).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:36 pm

Thief wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:09 pm
I haven't seen Punch Drunk Love, but I do like it more than Boogie Nights. I think it's my #3 PTA.
One half of me finds it as one of the best movies ever, the other makes me think... mental illness exploitation. I dislike how Barry’s condition is undefined, like some cocktail of sorts which you are meant to piece together in your own sensibilities. It is very cruel, and I’m not quite sure what exactly it’s intent is beyond saying some sappy shit like “even the most broken can find love!”. Ultimately, it isn’t the best descriptor of someone with a mental illness, hence exploitation
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:34 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:43 pm
I knew BL hated Benigni... But he never said why...

However, the story Benigni based his on (Rubino Romeo Salmonì) was about an Italian Jew taken to Auschwitz and the movie is very vague about what concentration camp it's set (all the officers are German though) so it may very well be a scale of Auschwitz to Auschwitz, unless I missed something (possible due to eye aversion and cringing).
You mean to tell me you weren't won over by the film's message? How the physical mental and emotional suffering of concentration camp prisoners can be overcome by a few whimsical Dad games?

This is clearly a case of empowerment shaming.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:46 pm

U-571 - 6/10 - This was disappointing mostly because I thought the ratings were better. I had also seen bits of it and remembered it as being suspenseful enough. And there are parts that qualify but unfortunately it takes a while to get going and to get there you have to slog through some really cliched setups. It's mostly a waste of a good cast with a pre-"Matthew McConaughey" Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel and Bill Paxton. You can get a sense of how lazy the script is when Paxton gives a speech to McConaughey that more or less reveals what both their story arcs will be. Then there's some uninspired and generic music score to also warn you off along with pedestrian characters. If you want to watch a tense and entertaining (albeit mindlessly rah-rah) submarine flick then watch Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:00 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:34 pm
You mean to tell me you weren't won over by the film's message? How the physical mental and emotional suffering of concentration camp prisoners can be overcome by a few whimsical Dad games?

This is clearly a case of empowerment shaming.
I wasn't at first but when he decided to "translate" the German so that he could make it sound like he was explaining the rules of the "game" so that his kid could have a bunch of cute reaction shots, whilst ignoring that a room full of prisoners weren't learning the rules that would keep them alive, really drove the point home in a thoughtful way.

You're right, now that I think about it. The main takeaway wasn't "even annoying people ended up in the camps." It's not morally bankrupt and accidentally exploitative at all.

Thanks, Crummy. I see the light!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:47 pm

Is it a rule that, in movies, classroom chalkboards are always about presenting the theme? Off the top of the ol' dome:

Running theme in the Indy movies. In the first one, he points out one of the great dangers to archaeology is the impact of folklore, but by the end of the film he's learned to respect the supernatural truth of the Ark. In Last Crusade, Indy writes about the search for "fact not truth" but gains the latter as wisdom re: his father. Crystal Skull has him comment on exodus vs. migration (which ties into shifting/adjusting vs. departure, which makes some sense for a story about him considering the end of his life, his own departure, even though it's more half-baked).

In A Serious Man, Schrodinger's cat becomes an analogue for the film's dual reading as karmic and/or undirected and the tension involved in trying to make your peace with the unknowable core of the paradox.

In 13 Conversations About One Thing, Turturro comments on the irreversibility of entropy because he's hoping he won't retreat from his own changes (and the film as a whole covers the question of how to meaningfully change to better your happiness).

Annihilation has Portman discussing a tumor, which covers the film's interest in new (sometimes toxic) life emerging from old.

Knowing has Cage discussing an indeterminate/deterministic universe (although he mangles the idea by injecting notions of accident/purpose into the mix, both of which presuppose a larger intelligence).

I mean, it obviously makes sense: you have a teacher character, you want to show their status quo when you open the story, but you don't want to waste narrative real estate, so you add thematically relevant material to the scene (usually right before the bell rings too, so you can cut things off even more quickly, thank God, you can hear the writer screaming, "Can we please get to the fucking story?!".

Y'all have any other examples?

NOTE: To me, this is a very distinct idea from the "chalk talk," which is a scene where a chalkboard is used to orient characters directly on plot goals, i.e. Doc Brown explaining the alternate reality to Marty involves a chalkboard but is not like these scenes otherwise.
NOTE:
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:02 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:43 pm
I knew BL hated Benigni... But he never said why...
I can't imagine LiB not playing a role here.
ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:43 pm
However, the story Benigni based his on (Rubino Romeo Salmonì) was about an Italian Jew taken to Auschwitz and the movie is very vague about what concentration camp it's set (all the officers are German though) so it may very well be a scale of Auschwitz to Auschwitz, unless I missed something (possible due to eye aversion and cringing).
Yeah, but it's pretty obviously not Auschwitz from the geography to the sets to the American liberation. It seems like a made-up amalgam of the Italian camp he was housed in and a Nazi camp. Basically the Italian camp with a Nazi uniform draped over it to remind everyone this is a Holocaust movie (while doing a great deal cut back on the whole Holocaust thing).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:20 am

Ed Harris does some impressive chalkboard work in Apollo 13, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:25 am

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:20 am
Ed Harris does some impressive chalkboard work in Apollo 13, if I remember correctly.
The question is, is he theming all over the place, or is it plot-pertinent?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:44 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:25 am
The question is, is he theming all over the place, or is it plot-pertinent?
It's the scene where he's showing where Apollo 13 is after the explosion and what it will take to get them back to Earth. That's probably more plot than theme.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:00 am

Ergill wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:02 am
I can't imagine LiB not playing a role here.


Yeah, but it's pretty obviously not Auschwitz from the geography to the sets to the American liberation. It seems like a made-up amalgam of the Italian camp he was housed in and a Nazi camp. Basically the Italian camp with a Nazi uniform draped over it to remind everyone this is a Holocaust movie (while doing a great deal cut back on the whole Holocaust thing).
If only BL had been more specific in his hatred! If only I'd known WHY he hated Life is Beautiful. He could've done more! He could've done more!!!

I feel like the film demonstrated such a poor grasp of the Holocaust that I'm not willing to take anything off the table (though you're almost certainly right).

Having Germans run the camp (along with gas chambers) implies that it was itself the extermination camp and wouldn't be entirely dissimilar Auschwitz except in scope. Especially given that most Italian camps were transit camps to ship the Jews off to Auschwitz.

There are certainly some gaps in my knowledge of Italian concentration camps but that seems to be the norm. Given that the film used some pretty extreme jump cuts to minimize the transit they experienced, it feels so vague in it's time and place that I find it quite frustrating (among many other reasons). It felt like a half read children's book that struggled to explain the Holocaust was Benigni's actual inspiration and sole source of information.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:43 am

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is as wonderful as it's two leads: Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. They both get to show just how spectacular they are playing a new role in each vignette. Charming, funny, sexy and beautiful film.

Hands of Steel is the second worst Martino I've seen but it's very fun in that direct to VHS rip off way.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:23 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:00 am
If only BL had been more specific in his hatred! If only I'd known WHY he hated Life is Beautiful. He could've done more! He could've done more!!!
It's obviously an impenetrable mystery.
ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:00 am
I feel like the film demonstrated such a poor grasp of the Holocaust that I'm not willing to take anything off the table (though you're almost certainly right).

Having Germans run the camp (along with gas chambers) implies that it was itself the extermination camp and wouldn't be entirely dissimilar Auschwitz except in scope. Especially given that most Italian camps were transit camps to ship the Jews off to Auschwitz.

There are certainly some gaps in my knowledge of Italian concentration camps but that seems to be the norm. Given that the film used some pretty extreme jump cuts to minimize the transit they experienced, it feels so vague in it's time and place that I find it quite frustrating (among many other reasons). It felt like a half read children's book that struggled to explain the Holocaust was Benigni's actual inspiration and sole source of information.
I forget the gas chambers. I just remember the pile of bodies, which is an alright moment in an otherwise incredibly misguided movie. I don't know much about the Italian camps either, but since Benigni doesn't seem to know or care that much either, I guess we don't have to. It's very much a movieland concentration camp, imaginative bowling bumpers up, with Benigni as Marco Polo relating his travels there to Kublai Khan. My armchair judgment is that, since the Holocaust was far less severe in Italy (antisemitism existed and was part of state policy, but was enforced far less enthusiastically, and participation in The Final Solution paled next to Eastern Europe), there's probably a collective complacency with Italian goyim like Benigni.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Death Proof » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:13 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:47 pm
Is it a rule that, in movies, classroom chalkboards are always about presenting the theme? Off the top of the ol' dome:
Would the scene in Avengers: Endgame with Bruce Banner and the Ancient One count? I mean, she uses illusion/magic to illustrate a point but it's the same concept.
Ain't no grave gonna hold this body down
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:17 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:47 pm
Is it a rule that, in movies, classroom chalkboards are always about presenting the theme? Off the top of the ol' dome:
One of my favorites is The Departed. A diagram of headshots.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:31 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:15 am
If you dig STAS, then it's mandatory. Despite the loss of Daly as a voice actor (a tragic blow for sure), JL directly continues and builds on numerous plot lines and arcs from STAS. Then JL:U ties all the DCAU together.

Basically, BTAS,BB, STAS, JL and JL:U are all mandatory cartoon viewing. Static Shock and Zeta Project are skippable.
Honesty, the 3-episode pilot for JL is still better, easily, than anything the DCEU has done yet.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:35 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:31 am
Honesty, the 3-episode pilot for JL is still better, easily, than anything the DCEU has done yet.
Can't agree. I'm a big fan, but the last 5 episodes of Justice League Unlimited s1 (2 on IMDb for some reason) starting with Question Authority are simply brilliant.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:37 am

Ergill wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:23 am
It's obviously an impenetrable mystery.


I forget the gas chambers. I just remember the pile of bodies, which is an alright moment in an otherwise incredibly misguided movie. I don't know much about the Italian camps either, but since Benigni doesn't seem to know or care that much either, I guess we don't have to. It's very much a movieland concentration camp, imaginative bowling bumpers up, with Benigni as Marco Polo relating his travels there to Kublai Khan. My armchair judgment is that, since the Holocaust was far less severe in Italy (antisemitism existed and was part of state policy, but was enforced far less enthusiastically, and participation in The Final Solution paled next to Eastern Europe), there's probably a collective complacency with Italian goyim like Benigni.
The pile of bodies would have been effective had the film used a dream-like quality in any other scene but it only left me wondering why he randomly went with an impressionist painting of them.

But yeah. We're not too far apart on our appreciation of Benigni's myopia and tone deafness.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:38 am

Death Proof wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:13 am
Would the scene in Avengers: Endgame with Bruce Banner and the Ancient One count? I mean, she uses illusion/magic to illustrate a point but it's the same concept.
I'm not sure. Maybe? I just rewatched, and the talk between them seems more plot-based, but that's my read.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:39 am

Ergill wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:17 am
One of my favorites is The Departed. A diagram of headshots.
I don't remember this. Don't think I've watched the flick since 2006.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:45 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:39 am
I don't remember this. Don't think I've watched the flick since 2006.
Well, it's a thing. A thing I saw.

*a rainbow peels across the sky*
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:55 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:24 am
This reads a lot like someone who hasn’t read many Batman comics.
I haven't read any Batman comics, which is why I was solely commenting on his portrayal in the movies :P That being said, I think deferring to the comics helps prove my point about the films, as it's one that I've seen stated by other people time and time again (and it's a point I happen to agree with personally) when it comes to modern depictions of Batman in his films, regardless of who's writing, directing, or playing Bats. For example, during the Burton era, the consensus was that Keaton's Batman was consistently outshined by Nicholson's Joker or The Penguin/Catwoman, during Schumacher's movies, it was The Riddler/Two Face, in The Dark Knight, it was Ledger's Joker, etc.

Even in BvS, a movie where, despite all its other flaws, I've still seen a lot of people agreeing that Affleck's Batman was the best character in it, I still don't find myself thinking about him that much, because he's still the stern, super-serious straight man he's already been so many times before, and he was kind of the "best" character by default, considering how confused the portrayal of Cavill's Superman continued to be, how much of a non-entity Doomsday turned out to be, or how utterly bizaare and annoying Eisenberg's Lex Luthor was. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying saying that Batman is an inherently dull character, I'm just saying that, based on the history of him on film, I don't feel that the rate of cinematic return is as great with him as it is with a more colorful, well-portrayed Batvillain, so I'll have to believe that Batman is as compelling as his rogues when I actually see it.
wichares wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:28 am
My going through the four Batman films before it leaves Netflix continues...

Batman Returns (1992)

Burton's Batman films feel like an in-the-moment pastiche of pasting different parts of what he fancy for his own superhero films together. That handicaps the 1989 original when Nicholson distinguishes Joker as the only notable character for its darkly colorful, Gothic world, but work better here with all new major players being so distinctive in Batman's place, even Walken's relatively "subdued" character compared to the other two. Speaking of, bless DeVito and especially Pfeiffer both who make this one of the most psychosexual, openly horniest studio films ever.

It's still too random in thematic and plot's lurches and stops to be as emotionally involving as intended until the explosive finale. I feel like combining Penguin and Shreck (maybe eliminating the latter?) to give time to Pfeiffer, whose Catwoman feels almost criminally shortshrifted when she's both the most interesting thematic and character thread, might work out better.
I agree that eliminating one of the main antagonists in the film (either Penguin or Schreck) might have made the plot unfold smoother (along with toning down DeVito so he isn't so needlessly revolting, as I feel a lot more people would've enjoyed Returns if it wasn't for him), but like DaMU already said, I do still love how they all serve as reflections of various parts of Batman/Bruce's personality, furthering the main theme of duality that Waters focused on in his screenplay. Anyway, I'm surprised to see that you feel Catwoman's character was shortchanged in the film, seeing as how many people seem to agree that she was the best character in that film, and I was personally impressed by how complete an arc Returns managed to fit in her in such a busy film, whether she was on her own (like the first scene in her apartment, where the film bothered to take a few minutes to show the beaten-down reality of her everyday life), or with Bruce and her conflicted romance with him, or her burgeoning identity crisis between her two warring sides. Really, it felt like she was the real star of the film, and if a certain IMDB list is accurate, Catwoman actually got more screentime in Batman Returns than Batman did; kind of telling of Burton's priorities when it came to that movie, eh? :D
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:24 am

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:46 pm
U-571 - 6/10 - This was disappointing mostly because I thought the ratings were better. I had also seen bits of it and remembered it as being suspenseful enough. And there are parts that qualify but unfortunately it takes a while to get going and to get there you have to slog through some really cliched setups. It's mostly a waste of a good cast with a pre-"Matthew McConaughey" Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel and Bill Paxton. You can get a sense of how lazy the script is when Paxton gives a speech to McConaughey that more or less reveals what both their story arcs will be. Then there's some uninspired and generic music score to also warn you off along with pedestrian characters. If you want to watch a tense and entertaining (albeit mindlessly rah-rah) submarine flick then watch Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler.
How about The Hunt For Red October?:
Image

Invisible. Silent. Stolen.

It's disappointingly rare to find a Thriller that qualifies as being truly intelligent, and walks that fine tightrope between respecting our intelligence as viewers, while still also being visceral enough to give us that feeling of excitement surging up and down your spine, but, in my opinion, The Hunt For Red October is just such a film, a submarine thriller that really, uh... thrills, but in a way that I felt my IQ going up as I watched it, not down. Although, I can't really say that the film's fundamental intelligence comes as much of a shock, seeing as how it is directed by John McTiernan, a then-promising filmmaker who was building up a bit of a reputation as the thinking man's Action director, what with the way his previous film, the almost unparalleled-y influential Die Hard pretty much subverted the entire institution of the 80's actioner in the way it finally brought the genre back down to Earth, and even something as nakedly testosterone-laden as Predator still managed to swerve our expectations by starting off like a typical one-man army vehicle for Arnie, before scouring outer space for an opponent who finally gave The Austrian Oak some actual difficulty in defeating.

So, given this impressive track record, it's no surprise that McTiernan brought his crafty eye to the murky waters of ths submarine thriller, taking the cinematic skills he learned on his previous efforts and honing them to an even sharper point, as he immerses us deep in the world of political intrigue and military fetishization that Tom Clancy created with his novel, as almost every character is either an intelligence agent, a backstabbing politician, or member of the armed forces, spouting highly technical military lingo and hatching a scheme to outsmart the other side at every turn, which gives the film a sharpness that the rest of the Jack Ryan films, which generally feel like fairly anonymous action/thrillers, just never matched. Of course, the Cold War setting helps the film out, as the spector of nuclear holocaust always looms heavy whenever discussing that almost-conflict, but rarely has that threat felt as tangible in cinema as it has here, with many murky, majestic shots of hulking submarines gradually looming towards the camera, and a score that goes heavy on the melodramatic Russian choir singing, giving the whole affair this alien, apocalyptic mood that isn't easily shaken once it's over.

Character-wise, of course, petty concerns about his innaccurate accent aside, Sean Connery is essentially perfect in bringing the sort of gruff, commanding authority we've come to expect from him with Captain Ramius, while Alec Baldwin is easily the best onscreen Jack Ryan to date, as his performance is nothing but 100% authentic and believable as the brilliant but overwhelmed young analyst caught up in a situation WAY over his head, and the rest of the rich supporting cast brought to vivid life by the screenplay's relentlessly snappy, quotable dialogue. Plot-wise, McTiernan juggles the multiple story threads with swift efficiency, showing us what's proceeding on every front quickly and clearly, and maintaining a tight attention to detail with continuous updates on the general state of affairs in smart moments and details a sloppier filmmaker would inevitably neglect, such as giving every individual submarine its own unique lighting scheme, in order to help us immediately identify exactly where we are, no matter how fast the pace has us jumping around.

In this way, the film keeps a constant balance between keeping up with the plot while also not leaving the audience behind in its wake, and on the visual front, there's a strong sense of visual clarity and weight from the reliance on kinetic long takes and zoom-ins, aided tremendously by Jan De Bont's fluid, classy cinemtography, which helps emphasize important details, and also keeps choppy editing at bay; as the various subs ascend or descend, the camera tilts alongside them in a sort of a Dutch angle, which, along with the ever-present background noise of the pounding engines, really gets across the great power and terror inherent in these underwater machines. Overall, this is one extremely tight, intense thriller (the initial torpedo evasion scene is a miniature masterpieces of action & suspense), and is, as far as I'm concerned, McTiernan's finest hour; at the risk of going all Gene Shalit on y'all, this is one hunt you'll want to join, ASAP.

Favorite Moment:

Final Score: 9
DaMU wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:47 pm
Is it a rule that, in movies, classroom chalkboards are always about presenting the theme? Off the top of the ol' dome:

Running theme in the Indy movies. In the first one, he points out one of the great dangers to archaeology is the impact of folklore, but by the end of the film he's learned to respect the supernatural truth of the Ark. In Last Crusade, Indy writes about the search for "fact not truth" but gains the latter as wisdom re: his father. Crystal Skull has him comment on exodus vs. migration (which ties into shifting/adjusting vs. departure, which makes some sense for a story about him considering the end of his life, his own departure, even though it's more half-baked).

In A Serious Man, Schrodinger's cat becomes an analogue for the film's dual reading as karmic and/or undirected and the tension involved in trying to make your peace with the unknowable core of the paradox.

In 13 Conversations About One Thing, Turturro comments on the irreversibility of entropy because he's hoping he won't retreat from his own changes (and the film as a whole covers the question of how to meaningfully change to better your happiness).

Annihilation has Portman discussing a tumor, which covers the film's interest in new (sometimes toxic) life emerging from old.

Knowing has Cage discussing an indeterminate/deterministic universe (although he mangles the idea by injecting notions of accident/purpose into the mix, both of which presuppose a larger intelligence).

I mean, it obviously makes sense: you have a teacher character, you want to show their status quo when you open the story, but you don't want to waste narrative real estate, so you add thematically relevant material to the scene (usually right before the bell rings too, so you can cut things off even more quickly, thank God, you can hear the writer screaming, "Can we please get to the fucking story?!".

Y'all have any other examples?

NOTE: To me, this is a very distinct idea from the "chalk talk," which is a scene where a chalkboard is used to orient characters directly on plot goals, i.e. Doc Brown explaining the alternate reality to Marty involves a chalkboard but is not like these scenes otherwise.
Well, there was that one classroom scene (no, not the scary classroom scene) in Hereditary where Ari Aster delivers the movie's theme of fatalism with all the subtlety that you'd expect from that film (with a sledgehammer to the face, instead of the scapel that it needs). Also, as far as "chalk talks" go, there's a pretty funny gag in the time travel episode of a certain animated sitcom about the concept of chalkboard explanations itself:



:shifty:
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:31 am

How dare you link me to CinemaSins.

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