The Random Thoughts Thread

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Ergill
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Sat May 23, 2020 5:54 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:58 pm
Really enjoyed this - good mix of banter and insight, and a good length. I think a lot of podcasts try to hit that balance but fail, but I'm a bit of a neophyte when it comes to them in general.
Though I'm a Malick fan, I liked that two of them were Malick-skeptics, but not in the boring-ass way. Unfortunately FC Podcast tends to be a little too lowkey for my tastes these days.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 23, 2020 8:05 pm

Is Chris Nolan just a a better M. Knight Shyamalan?

Where Shyamalan was twist-obsessed, Nolan seems to be obsessed with complicated temporal structure. Here is the preview for his latest.



His films take us in and out of time, play time slow, play it fast, jumble up chronology and memory. I cannot help but think, "We only needed Memento that one time."
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Sat May 23, 2020 9:10 pm

Is the wife dead in this one?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat May 23, 2020 9:33 pm

Nolan is definitely overrated, but he's still produced some quality stuff throughout the years, so I'll likely be in the theaters for this one anyways.

Also, from what I've read, this film is over 3 hours long.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat May 23, 2020 9:34 pm

To answer Melvin's question, yeah, he's definitely better than Shyamalan.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Sat May 23, 2020 9:36 pm

I haven't seen Following, The Prestige, Interstellar, or the last Batman movie, and Memento is the only one I really like, but at this point I'd watch paint drying in the cinema.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat May 23, 2020 9:39 pm

Memento is my favorite of his films, followed by Dunkirk. I like Following quite a bit and Prestige has its moments, I guess. I don't think you're missing much with the other two though.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat May 23, 2020 10:16 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:36 pm
I haven't seen Following, The Prestige, Interstellar, or the last Batman movie, and Memento is the only one I really like, but at this point I'd watch paint drying in the cinema.
I think Prestige is worth the watch.

Nolan began to lose me with Inception which was a bit overlong, a bit overcomplicated, and a bit sappy. Interstellar only seemed to be another step in this direction.

He seems to be hung up on the idea of making his structure performative of his content and not just a conveyance for it. Memento is a brilliant example of this, but it seems like he has been chasing that first hight ever since, like Shyamalan trying to make another 6th Sense. When does your signature become your albatross?

Don't get me wrong, I generally like his stuff, but I am not super-pumped by this trailer promising a complicated temporal adventure where things go backwards.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat May 23, 2020 10:42 pm

Dunkirk is my favorite Nolan and just about the only time he trusted the audience to understand his complex narrative structure without an exposition dump.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Sat May 23, 2020 10:43 pm

I haven't disliked a film of Nolan's and have special love for Memento and Dunkirk and Inception, but some of them are more bloated / needlessly byzantine / maudlin than others.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by topherH » Sat May 23, 2020 11:17 pm

I really like The Prestige. If I had a choice of which Nolan movie to watch, it would be named The Prestige.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Sun May 24, 2020 1:18 am

The Prestige is good, but I can't get over how much he cuts during the close-up magic tricks. The worst time for him to indulge his cutting. It's like demanding multiple angles for a Nicholas Brothers dance.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sun May 24, 2020 4:07 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:36 pm
I haven't seen Following, The Prestige, Interstellar, or the last Batman movie, and Memento is the only one I really like, but at this point I'd watch paint drying in the cinema.
I still haven't seen Interstellar or Dunkirk, but I would strongly recommend Following and The Prestige. The former is impressive, considering it is a very low-budget debut, but on its own it is still a pretty sly psychological thriller. As for the latter, it is probably my 2nd favorite Nolan film and a very strong and rewatchable film. With the caveat of the ones I haven't seen, I'd say his Batman films are the weakest from his filmography.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sun May 24, 2020 4:10 pm

Very random question that came to my mind the other day... I was at the office's lounge room and the third Mummy film was on TV, and I was sorta wondering what the hell happened with Brendan Fraser? I mean, he seemed to be pretty hot during the 90s with his mostly comedic stuff, the first two Mummy films did pretty well to position him as an action star, and he had a couple of dramatic roles (like Gods and Monsters) under his belt that proved he had some of a range. But what he hell happened? Was he difficult to work with? Was it just bad choices?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Sun May 24, 2020 4:22 pm

Thief wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 4:10 pm
Very random question that came to my mind the other day... I was at the office's lounge room and the third Mummy film was on TV, and I was sorta wondering what the hell happened with Brendan Fraser? I mean, he seemed to be pretty hot during the 90s with his mostly comedic stuff, the first two Mummy films did pretty well to position him as an action star, and he had a couple of dramatic roles (like Gods and Monsters) under his belt that proved he had some of a range. But what he hell happened? Was he difficult to work with? Was it just bad choices?
https://www.gq.com/story/what-ever-happ ... dan-fraser
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sun May 24, 2020 7:50 pm

Thanks for sharing that. Good interview.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by topherH » Mon May 25, 2020 1:55 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 1:18 am
The Prestige is good, but I can't get over how much he cuts during the close-up magic tricks. The worst time for him to indulge his cutting. It's like demanding multiple angles for a Nicholas Brothers dance.
It's probably his best display of his strengths and limitations as a filmmaker.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:00 am

Thief wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 7:50 pm
Thanks for sharing that. Good interview.
Something interesting that comes at the very end--when he discusses the sexual assault--is how well he describes the uncertainty of not knowing if he'd been blacklisted. "Is it me or is it them?". It sounds like he's had a really rough time of it.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by topherH » Mon May 25, 2020 7:55 am

I feel like I need to have a talk with you guys/gals but I feel like your already wrapped up in your self limiting beliefs.
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Z |Gavras, 1969| -
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon May 25, 2020 8:34 am

Re-post from the Recently Seen thread about how the use of jittery handheld cam in the original Bourne trilogy never bothered me, and in fact, actually enhanced my enjoyment of those films; because, I view the use of shaky cam in them in very much the same way as I view it in something like the combat scenes in Saving Private Ryan, in that they're designed to give us a much more visceral, participatory, firsthand viewing experience, and make us feel like we're actually right there in the thick of it, and we don't need a stable medium shot of, say, a boat full of soldiers being gunned down to get a clear picture of what's going on physically, when we can get the same basic gist from a more kinetic close-up, as well as the additional sensation of feeling like we actually there fighting in the battle (a feeling we wouldn't get as much with a more traditionally "coherent" shooting style).

And, while some might say that I'm comparing apples to oranges, and that the point of an Action movie is to be able to see the action clearly, I think there's room for alternate styles in the genre, and while I usually think shaky cam is as obnoxious as the next person, there are still ways to get it right. And, while I love the action scenes in something like The Matrix, and wouldn't want to see them shot in style of the latter Bourne films, I feel that Greengrass made it work in scenes like the hand-to-hand fight in Supremacy, where I get more than enough of the general gist of what's happening in the fight, and who has the upper hand at which points, partly because this scene actually isn't edited all that much, as it's not like Greengrass was trying to just blindly throw gratuitous cuts at us like an hack in order to create the illusion of kinetic energy in the scene, unlike an actual bad example of a modern action scene, like the one in Taken 3 where it takes them something like 15 edits to show Liam Neeson doing something as simple as jumping over a fence:

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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 25, 2020 1:35 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:00 am
Something interesting that comes at the very end--when he discusses the sexual assault--is how well he describes the uncertainty of not knowing if he'd been blacklisted. "Is it me or is it them?". It sounds like he's had a really rough time of it.
Yeah, but he also seems to be fairly grounded about it. Maybe it has taken him all these 15 or so years... but at least I get a sense that he's coming to terms with things. The world of Hollywood is both ruthless and random, and I like this line the author writes...
Movie stardom is a phenomenon even movie stars can't reliably explain. Some executive or a director puts your face on a screen in a theater, and there's something about your features or the way your parents raised you or the decade you happened to arrive in Hollywood, some ineffable thing that goes beyond acting that you have no conscious control over, and millions of people respond to it.
The circumstances that lead to some people becoming stars and others don't, or some people suddenly falling out of grace, can be so random and so not-standard. I mean, some actors excel on their looks, but then you see others that are just as good-looking or maybe more that fail to hit it big. Some pick up films that look like sure hits and end up bombing, while others pick up films that nobody on God's Earth thought would make money and end up becoming superstars. It's weird.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:04 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 1:35 pm
The circumstances that lead to some people becoming stars and others don't, or some people suddenly falling out of grace, can be so random and so not-standard. I mean, some actors excel on their looks, but then you see others that are just as good-looking or maybe more that fail to hit it big. Some pick up films that look like sure hits and end up bombing, while others pick up films that nobody on God's Earth thought would make money and end up becoming superstars. It's weird.
Oh, I completely agree.

That's why I think that it would make you slightly crazy if you were a celebrity and something happened around the same time that you started to fall out of the A-list. Sometimes stars just . . . fade. People get tired of a person's vibe.

My point was that if you had a confrontation/negative interaction with a producer around the same time it could make you totally neurotic and paranoid.

The goofy charm that Fraser had in his earlier movies isn't something that I personally find as appealing when it stays the same into someone's 30s or 40s. He had that really good guest star run on Scrubs that I thought found the right mix of jokes and melancholy.

Honestly it's been so long since I've seen Gods and Monsters (the only serious work of his that I've seen in probably the last 20 years) that I can't solidly vouch for his acting skills or say what level of fame/success I think he "deserves". But setting his talent/celebrity aside, I can still feel bad for someone who has clearly gone through a rough patch.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 25, 2020 3:35 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:04 pm
Oh, I completely agree.

That's why I think that it would make you slightly crazy if you were a celebrity and something happened around the same time that you started to fall out of the A-list. Sometimes stars just . . . fade. People get tired of a person's vibe.

My point was that if you had a confrontation/negative interaction with a producer around the same time it could make you totally neurotic and paranoid.
Oh yeah, I totally agree. I didn't mean to put that in question with my point about the "randomness" of stardom, just adding to it. I definitely agree that something like that will probably keep you awake at night wondering "what if?"
Takoma1 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:04 pm
The goofy charm that Fraser had in his earlier movies isn't something that I personally find as appealing when it stays the same into someone's 30s or 40s. He had that really good guest star run on Scrubs that I thought found the right mix of jokes and melancholy.

Honestly it's been so long since I've seen Gods and Monsters (the only serious work of his that I've seen in probably the last 20 years) that I can't solidly vouch for his acting skills or say what level of fame/success I think he "deserves". But setting his talent/celebrity aside, I can still feel bad for someone who has clearly gone through a rough patch.
I've seen the first Mummy film a couple of times on cable and he's really good in it, but as far as his more serious roles, I'm on the same boat. I remember really, really liking Gods and Monsters, but it begs for a rewatch. I also remember seeing a drama/romcom film he made around the same time, Mrs. Winterbourne, where he had a dual role and being pretty good at it. Let's hope that he can continue to build himself up as a character/supporting actor.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:26 am

Is it just me or does Eric Weinstein look like Michael Meyers from Halloween?

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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:09 pm

A lot of cringe-inducing moments in there. Him invoking Kristallnacht over broken Starbucks windows ranks pretty high.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:40 pm

He looks like if Carrot Top got a desk job.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Hipster Thor » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am

I think The Prestige is Nolan's best film. The rest I do not find any impressive with 2 exceptions. I think Dunkirk is a feat from a technical perspective. I think Interstellar is his best film from an emotional perspective. Its the one film of his that I find to have real heart. Best soundtrack in that one too.

Appreciation for Interstellar I find to be a hot take.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:19 am

Interstellar is awesome, all I can say
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:33 am

Hipster Thor wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 am
I think The Prestige is Nolan's best film. The rest I do not find exceptional with 2 exceptions. I think Dunkirk is a feat from a technical perspective. I think Interstellar is his best film from an emotional perspective. Its the iy film of his that I find to have real heart. Best soundtrack in that one too.

Appreciation for Interstellat I find to be a hot take.
Prestige and Memento are my favorites. Dunkirk was impressive, though I don't feel an urge to revisit.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:54 am

I got pretty turned off by Memento despite having a profound respect of it's construct. I mean, the DVD is basically designed so that you can't get in, it's really cool for the time. The Prestige is the $ for me because I find it to be his most accessible, interesting spell. Dunkirk, can't be arsed
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Hipster Thor » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:50 am

I saw Memento for the first time in like 2010. Way beyond when it was groundbreaking and to me it felt like a high concept college film and amateurish. I feel the same way about Brick and Looper from Rian Johnson. Love Knives Out though.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:51 am

The Nameless One wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:54 am
I got pretty turned off by Memento despite having a profound respect of it's construct. I mean, the DVD is basically designed so that you can't get in, it's really cool for the time.
You're talking about the limited edition or whatever, a ridiculous and funny experiment (I own it). By way of it, I watched the the chronological edit, which is just a depressing experience. It was made to be watched how it was made.

Whatever the case, a tip of the hat to Stephen Tobolowsky.
The Nameless One wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:54 am
The Prestige is the $ for me because I find it to be his most accessible, interesting spell. Dunkirk, can't be arsed
Prestige has its faults, but it's a movie alright. I don't know what being arsed entails, but Dunkirk has style to spare and a lot of punch. I thought the cut-up timeframe was a little spotty, Nolan adding in some Nolan for the sake of Nolan, but all the same, it was a solid movie.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:57 am

Hipster Thor wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:50 am
I saw Memento for the first time in like 2010. Way beyond when it was groundbreaking and to me it felt like a high concept college film and amateurish. I feel the same way about Brick and Looper from Rian Johnson. Love Knives Out though.
Saw Memento in the theater and am all about it. I think it still holds up. I'm a fan of Brick and Looper though, so maybe you don't care for my opinion here. I think of those as less high concept though, and more clever, fun riffs on their genres. Memento actually manages to be an interesting commentary on noir and the whole idea of uncovering a mystery, finding the truth, being the hero.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Hipster Thor » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:02 am

Ergill wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:57 am
Saw Memento in the theater and am all about it. I think it still holds up. I'm a fan of Brick and Looper though, so maybe you don't care for my opinion here. I think of those as less high concept though, and more clever, fun riffs on their genres. Memento actually manages to be an interesting commentary on noir and the whole idea of uncovering a mystery, finding the truth, being the hero.
What you are saying here is exactly why I love Knives Out which I find deconstructs its target genre with far more maturity, nuance, and class than those other pictures.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:21 am

Hipster Thor wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:02 am
What you are saying here is exactly why I love Knives Out which I find deconstructs its target genre with far more maturity, nuance, and class than those other pictures.
I like Knives Out (only seen it once), but Memento is pretty real when it comes it to upending the noir and turning it inside out. Like, so much of noirs it's built on a friction between how events unfold for us versus the events themselves. Sherlock needs to walk us backward in time? Very well! It starts with the alleged conclusion, with everything having supposedly been solved, and then works its way back to the inciting incident, which is the same setting with a riff on the same alleged conclusion, revealing that context is always everything and if we're incapable or unwilling to deal with that context, well ... "Where were we then?". Just the whole notion of some many noirs, of uncovering the mystery, is wonderfully screwed by the notion of a guy who can't remember shit and a movie that works its way backward scene by scene. I'm a fan of Pinter, but I think it makes even a more ingenious use of the backwalking structure than Betrayal.
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