The Random Thoughts Thread

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Melvin Butterworth
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:35 am

topherH wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:44 pm
Would you say The Simpsons or South Park has more quality seasons?
One would have to spend years watching these shows to really answer this question.

Too much content.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:16 am

topherH wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:44 pm
Would you say The Simpsons or South Park has more quality seasons?
South Park. Even in bad seasons South Park has a handful of good to great episodes. With The Simpsons bad seasons do not produce anything of quality.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:17 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:35 am
One would have to spend years watching these shows to really answer this question.

Too much content.
The best way to answer the question is if you were going to be given a random episode of either show and would HAVE to finish watching it regardless of whether or not you you were enjoying yourself, which one would you choose?

I'd play the percentages and take SP.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:09 am

For sheer number of quality seasons, based on my limited experience, I think South Park had a longer run of reliable entertainment, but I don't think South Park at its best could touch The Simpsons at its best, which carried (to me) a much more effective synthesis of sincerity, pop-culture homage, topicality, and just generally excellent storytelling for something like eight or nine seasons, which is really pretty incredible.
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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:00 am

DaMU wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:09 am
For sheer number of quality seasons, based on my limited experience, I think South Park had a longer run of reliable entertainment, but I don't think South Park at its best could touch The Simpsons at its best, which carried (to me) a much more effective synthesis of sincerity, pop-culture homage, topicality, and just generally excellent storytelling for something like eight or nine seasons, which is really pretty incredible.
I'd go with SP for 'topicality.'

Also, SP has always aimed to be more subversive whereas prime Simpsons leaned towards traditional Americana. Even in depicting the title family and Springfield as having its warts, the ethos always felt like the old school mentality of family construct is wholesome as is the larger community...the collective good of humanity.

SP is just as 'sincere' as The Simpsons was. It's a more cynical approach but still sincere in its portrayal of the families and town. At its best, SP gets to the truth of matters better than the Simpsons ever did. It's just that the show doesn't make you feel good about it always.

That being said, The Simpsons in its prime was the most engrossing television I ever watched. It might a factor of my age, I was my entering or in my teens around season 4. My memory of watching the show is that of being enveloped in the goings of the family and in Springfield.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:24 am

replican wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:00 am
Also, SP has always aimed to be more subversive whereas prime Simpsons leaned towards traditional Americana. Even in depicting the title family and Springfield as having its warts, the ethos always felt like the old school mentality of family construct is wholesome as is the larger community...the collective good of humanity.

SP is just as 'sincere' as The Simpsons was. It's a more cynical approach but still sincere in its portrayal of the families and town. At its best, SP gets to the truth of matters better than the Simpsons ever did. It's just that the show doesn't make you feel good about it always.
Eh, I don't know about all of that; it may be easy to forget now that The Simpsons has long been accepted as a mainstream cultural institution, but despite its incredible early popularity, it was actually fairly controversial with certain groups during its first few seasons, like with the teachers who felt Bart's smartassness would make him a bad role model for their students, and a lot of social Conservatives, even George H.W. himself, spoke out against the show at the time (meanwhile a couple of decades later, modern Republicans like Ted Cruz are doing terrible impressions of Mr. Burns in an attempt to relate to actual human beings through pop culture references). But, that was part of the whole point of the show at the time; outside of occasional exceptions like a certain "show about nothing" and a few others (like, ugh... Married With Children), 80's Sitcoms were dominated by a lot of sickeningly saccharine, family-friendly shows like Full House or The Cosby Show, while The Simpsons was openly, unapologetically satirical of American institutions through both its characters and its sense of humor, and it accomplished this through the "kid's medium" of animation to boot, which of course, made the show feel even more subversive as a result.

The core family was often blatantly dysfunctional, the public school teacher is a jaded chainsmoker who doesn't really care if her students get an education or not, the local police chief is an obese, grossly incompetent "pig", there's that moment in "Last Exit To Springfield" where everyone immediately erupts in laughter at the idea of a missing labor boss who wanted to clean up the union turning up alive and well, etc. And, while the show has done certain things to iron out the show's initial early edge like turning Barney from an alcoholic into... a coffee addict (ugh), and while it's never been as desperate to be "edgy" as Family Guy or South Park (which works in The Simpsons' favor anyway, even though I still enjoy both of those other shows, though not as much as their main inspiration), I doubt we would've gotten either of them, and in turn, episodes like "Scott Tenorman Must Die", without The Simpsons and "Homer's Enemy" being the first to start pushing that envelope, and, while Homer may not have fed the ground-up bodies of Frank Grimes's parent to him in that episode, the sight of everyone bursting out in laughter at his funeral when Homer falls asleep during the eulogy and tells Marge to "change the channel" is still one of the most darkly funny things I've witnessed in any show to date, animated or otherwise.

Anyway, for more on this topic, I have to recommend the excellent video essay below, which I unavoidably cribbed certain points from in my post:

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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:42 pm

I agree with Stu. I grew up watching The Simpsons and everybody was hitting at them pretty hard for how "subversive" and "controversial" they were.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Torgo » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:44 pm

So, Universal Soldier: yay or nay? It's on Hulu and I've heard its sequels are better than you'd think, but the lousy reviews have put me on the fence.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:31 pm

The first one has its charm and some pretty cool setpieces, but I was never that crazy about it. If you like other JCVD films from the time, you might enjoy it.

Never saw the non-JCVD sequels, but Regeneration and Day of Reckoning are pretty kick-ass. Weird, but kickass.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:33 pm

Torgo wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:44 pm
So, Universal Soldier: yay or nay? It's on Hulu and I've heard its sequels are better than you'd think, but the lousy reviews have put me on the fence.
As is so often the case, you can check out after the first instalment.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Torgo » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:46 am

Thanks for the feedback. The few JCVD movies I've watched made me realize why Bart Simpson says "and to a lesser extent, the Van Dammes" in the Radioactive Man episode. It sounds like this one won't change my mind.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:51 am

Bloodsport is the only necessary Van Damme movie. But that probably goes without saying
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:00 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:51 am
Bloodsport is the only necessary Van Damme movie. But that probably goes without saying
I'd tack Street Fighter: The Movie on that list, barely. I think it's necessary viewing to truly understand the 90s zeitgeist
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:52 am

I don't know how rigidly we're defining "essential" but Timecop is a lot of fun.

Also, I like Replicant and In Hell for his committed performances and the movies' willingness to trust in them. They're not as fun as Van Damme directed by a Hong Kong director (in this case Ringo Lam) might suggest, but especially with the latter that's kind of the point.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:54 am

Rock wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:52 am
I don't know how rigidly we're defining "essential" but Timecop is a lot of fun.

Also, I like Replicant and In Hell for his committed performances and the movies' willingness to trust in them. They're not as fun as Van Damme directed by a Hong Kong director (in this case Ringo Lam) might suggest, but especially with the latter that's kind of the point.
I think y'all are forgetting Cyborg.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:26 am

Y'all's lack of faith in JCVD disappoints me.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:45 pm

I'll take most Van Damme films over any Seagal film any day. Stuff like Bloodsport, Kickboxer, TimeCop, Sudden Death... even Double Impact or Lionheart, they're mostly fun and at least he has some level of charisma. I haven't seen much of his recent efforts beyond the Universal Soldier films we mentioned, but I think JCVD is a worthy watch, particularly to those familiar with the Van Damme craze of the 90s and its subsequent decline.

EDIT: I remembered The Expendables 2. He was the best thing on that film. Take from that what you may.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:34 pm

Thief wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:45 pm
I'll take most Van Damme films over any Seagal film any day. Stuff like Bloodsport, Kickboxer, TimeCop, Sudden Death... even Double Impact or Lionheart, they're mostly fun and at least he has some level of charisma. I haven't seen much of his recent efforts beyond the Universal Soldier films we mentioned, but I think JCVD is a worthy watch, particularly to those familiar with the Van Damme craze of the 90s and its subsequent decline.

EDIT: I remembered The Expendables 2. He was the best thing on that film. Take from that what you may.
Above the Law and Die Hard on a Battleship are the only two Seagal that are any good.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:49 pm

I think Seagal benefited from working with good directors early in his career, who not only made a couple entertaining movies but also made him seem like a much better actor than he really was. There's a swagger in his performances in those movies that dissipated as soon as he got to direct himself in On Deadly Ground (which is very entertaining, but not for the same reasons as those other movies).
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Charles » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:52 pm

On Seagal, this came out yesterday. Not only is he not a great actor, he's a fucking number in real life as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz2JyPgUmH4
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:53 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:34 pm
Above the Law and Die Hard on a Battleship are the only two Seagal that are any good.
The only one I remember clearly is Die Hard on a Battleship. The first 3 or 4 are a blur to me and I always get them mixed up. I also remember seeing films like On Deadly Ground and Under Siege 2 back then and thinking they were crap, even when I knew shit about movies.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:40 am

Speaking of random thoughts and Van Damme (and Wilford Brimley for that matter; rest in peace!), I highly recommend this video that The Nerdwriter just uploaded where he used Hard Target (of all films) of an example of how, instead of the relentlessly hyperactive, over-edited style of shooting action scenes that got big post-Bourne (a series that was a rare example of that style done right, IMO), or the method of shooting fights in as few takes as possible that some more recent Action movies have adopted in reaction to shaky cam, John Woo found the perfect middle ground between the two styles, utilizing both Peckinpah-style slow-mo and strategic editing to stretch out/repeat certain moments of action so we can appreciate them for longer, or using the edits to better highlight the force of the impacts in his scenes. It's real illustrative stuff, so check it out, yo:

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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:47 pm

I think Hard Target is my only blindspot from JCVD's early career. Never seen it.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:42 am

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:47 pm
I think Hard Target is my only blindspot from JCVD's early career. Never seen it.
Dude. Dude. Dude.
You have to see it, is what I'm saying.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:22 am

Listening to non-movie people talk about movies really grinds my gears. Much in the same way when bandwagon fans start cheering for a winning team that's nowhere near where they are from or live.

The lack of knowledge in how they critique a film is painfully obvious. If you aren't passionate enough about film to follow the great auteurs or perceptive enough to pickup on subtleties, ironies, etc. then I don't care to hear anything about a movie from the beyond 'it was great/ok/terrible.'
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:23 pm

replican wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:22 am
Listening to non-movie people talk about movies really grinds my gears. Much in the same way when bandwagon fans start cheering for a winning team that's nowhere near where they are from or live.

The lack of knowledge in how they critique a film is painfully obvious. If you aren't passionate enough about film to follow the great auteurs or perceptive enough to pickup on subtleties, ironies, etc. then I don't care to hear anything about a movie from the beyond 'it was great/ok/terrible.'
I don't really care if people pick on all the subtleties or not. If a film doesn't get the job on done on the surface of the text, then the movie doesn't work. The subtleties enhance what is already working.

What I can't stand is just garbage taste. No, The Purge is not deep. No, Transformers is not a great film series. No, most Bond films are not very good. No, the "family" themes in Fast and Furious are not amaze-balls.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:38 pm

"Taste" is a myth reserved for the Illuminati. I respect people who watch any old movie and is all "that was a good show, whatever" because they obviously haven't been sucked down this particular vortex. Opinions are nasty things, big respect for the path of least intellectually void resistance
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:43 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:38 pm
"Taste" is a myth reserved for the Illuminati. I respect people who watch any old movie and is all "that was a good show, whatever" because they obviously haven't been sucked down this particular vortex. Opinions are nasty things, big respect for the path of least intellectually void resistance
That's what people with shit taste usually say.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:46 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:43 pm
That's what people with shit taste usually say.
As if I'm not fine with what you, a single barely anonymous user in some internet hole in the ground, have to think about my inconsequential opinion towards next to nothing establishments in our overarching culture. I'm totally losing sleep over it
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:59 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:46 pm
As if I'm not fine with what you, a single barely anonymous user in some internet hole in the ground, have to think about my inconsequential opinion towards next to nothing establishments in our overarching culture. I'm totally losing sleep over it
That's the spirit! You have every right to like what you like. You have a limited right to have "wrong beliefs," in general. It's a wonderful thing. And most James Bond movies are still not all that great.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:03 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:59 pm
That's the spirit! You have every right to like what you like. You have a limited right to have "wrong beliefs," in general. It's a wonderful thing. And most James Bond movies are still not all that great.
It's like talking to a doctor who smokes in their office, it's kinda funny if you dig deep enough in the irony but mostly gross
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:04 am

The Nameless Two wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:03 am
It's like talking to a doctor who smokes in his office, it's kinda funny if you dig deep enough in the irony but mostly gross
If it is all just a matter of opinion, that's just like you're opinion, man.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:06 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:04 am
If it is all just a matter of opinion, that's just like you're opinion, man.
Are you happy with your drugs?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:49 am

The Nameless Two wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:06 am
Are you happy with your drugs?
I am high on life, Nameless. But 2020 is a bad trip.

If you think about it, there is no escape from taste any more than there is an escape from free will. Even if you genuinely believe that you're a puppet of the cosmos, you will still have to think, deliberate, and weigh options, all of which are taxing and demand your participation. Even if you officially don't believe in free will, you still have choices to make and those choices will be as real to you as they've ever been. Likewise, we can deny standards of beauty, refuse the critical consensus, and deny the idea that there really is any such thing as a "good" or "bad" movie, but you won't get five minutes into a film discussion tomorrow without sliding into aesthetic judgments that fit like a comfy pair of slippers. Regardless of whether you "officially" believe in good taste, you believe in good taste.

And the joy of aesthetic discussion is the intermingling of our subjectivities revealing intersubjectivities, allowing us to chart islands of agreement among fellow dreamers, shifting shorelines that nevertheless have general shapes we can identify. Even if there is not absolute timeless truth about art, there is still enough of a measure of objectivity that we can and do have meaningful discussions about various categories of art. Indeed, the fun largely lies in the challenge of this cartography. Only an absolutist throws up her hands in defeat and an abiding scepticism is fun for about fifteen minutes in college (until you realize that it is a nuclear move, a checkmate which end all conversation in places like this).
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:55 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:49 am
I am high on life, Nameless. But 2020 is a bad trip.

If you think about it, there is no escape from taste any more than there is an escape from free will. Even if you genuinely believe that you're a puppet of the cosmos, you will still have to think, deliberate, and weigh options, all of which are taxing and demand your participation. Even if you officially don't believe in free will, you still have choices to make and those choices will be as real to you as they've ever been. Likewise, we can deny standards of beauty, refuse the critical consensus, and deny the idea that there really is any such thing as a "good" or "bad" movie, but you won't get five minutes into a film discussion tomorrow without sliding into aesthetic judgments that fit like a comfy pair of slippers. Regardless of whether you "officially" believe in good taste, you believe in good taste.
Oh no, am I the drug peddler again? What is this "escape from taste and free will" bullshit? What kind of sheltered ass life do you lead? If I had freedom of taste I'd surely be long gone from these pastures, literally everything I do here is satire as a result of how ridiculous these notions are. Pissing into a sea of piss is what
And the joy of aesthetic discussion is the intermingling of our subjectivities revealing intersubjectivities, allowing us to chart islands of agreement among fellow dreamers, shifting shorelines that nevertheless have general shapes we can identify. Even if there is not absolute timeless truth about art, there is still enough of a measure of objectivity that we can and do have meaningful discussions about various categories of art. Indeed, the fun largely lies in the challenge of this cartography. Only an absolutist throws up her hands in defeat and an abiding scepticism is fun for about fifteen minutes in college (until you realize that it is a nuclear move, a checkmate which end all conversation in places like this).
Hey, I'm just in the business of being as comfortable around as many people as I can and, spoiler alert, there isn't much in the ways of these waters so if you want to flounder and dry up on this here beach that is your prerogative, not mine
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:58 am

*jams finger on nuclear launch code*
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:03 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:23 pm
I don't really care if people pick on all the subtleties or not. If a film doesn't get the job on done on the surface of the text, then the movie doesn't work. The subtleties enhance what is already working.

What I can't stand is just garbage taste. No, The Purge is not deep. No, Transformers is not a great film series. No, most Bond films are not very good. No, the "family" themes in Fast and Furious are not amaze-balls.
I'll keep with the sports analogy:

It's fine to appreciate a thunderous dunk during a basketball game. It's visceral. An easy to compute emotion. But me being an avid basketball fan, I see that there's so much more to this (hypothetical) play. While the beer chugging fan is jumping for joy at the spectacular display of atheticism, I take note of how the play developed, how his teammate set a pick for him to get open to drive down the lane, how another teammate fed him a precision pass, how there were decoys on the play, etc. I also take note of the fact that the defender was an awful player so the coach took advantage of that and set up the correct play.

So if I'm enjoying the game with someone, I'd much rather want to hear them be able to see what I'm seeing as well. The true beauty of the game and not just the end result payoff of a dunk. Who the hell can't appreciate that?

Same with movies. It's such a more enjoyable experience going into a Wes Anderson movie with someone that is familiar with his works, understands and appreciates on the same level as me. Or even they don't like him as much as I do, they at least are aware of what the attraction there is.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:12 am

replican wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:03 am
I'll keep with the sports analogy:

It's fine to appreciate a thunderous dunk during a basketball game. It's visceral. An easy to compute emotion. But me being an avid basketball fan, I see that there's so much more to this (hypothetical) play. While the beer chugging fan is jumping for joy at the spectacular display of atheticism, I take note of how the play developed, how his teammate set a pick for him to get open to drive down the lane, how another teammate fed him a precision pass, how there were decoys on the play, etc. I also take note of the fact that the defender was an awful player so the coach took advantage of that and set up the correct play.

So if I'm enjoying the game with someone, I'd much rather want to hear them be able to see what I'm seeing as well. The true beauty of the game and not just the end result payoff of a dunk. Who the hell can't appreciate that?

Same with movies. It's such a more enjoyable experience going into a Wes Anderson movie with someone that is familiar with his works, understands and appreciates on the same level as me. Or even they don't like him as much as I do, they at least are aware of what the attraction there is.
I can see what you're saying. But even Anderson has to put the ball in the net. All the globetrotter stylistic shenanigans in the world don't make up failing to tell an effective story.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:48 am

Casting is such an underrated aspect of film making. So many films get it wrong. It probably has to do with the fact that of all the departments, casting is where directors have the least control. I'm speaking of the big budget, major motion picture studios here.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:23 am

replican wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:48 am
Casting is such an underrated aspect of film making. So many films get it wrong. It probably has to do with the fact that of all the departments, casting is where directors have the least control. I'm speaking of the big budget, major motion picture studios here.
Sean Young was Scott's call in Blade Runner. No one else wanted her because she couldn't really act, but Scott saw that she had the right look for the film.

Depends on the era, the studio, the profile of the director, I guess.

So much of what makes a good film is just good luck. Directors are a part of the picture, but it is a weird collaborative/competitive process that either works out or doesn't.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:32 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:23 am
Sean Young was Scott's call in Blade Runner. No one else wanted her because she couldn't really act, but Scott saw that she had the right look for the film.

Depends on the era, the studio, the profile of the director, I guess.

So much of what makes a good film is just good luck. Directors are a part of the picture, but it is a weird collaborative/competitive process that either works out or doesn't.
There's a reason that you hear/read stories about a director REALLY wanting a particular actor for a part. The director had to make a huge deal about it.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:28 am

replican wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:32 am
There's a reason that you hear/read stories about a director REALLY wanting a particular actor for a part. The director had to make a huge deal about it.
Sure. Usually the blame for a bad film goes to meddling producers, but I wonder how many films have been saved by them? It's kind of easy to blame the producer as a "non-creative," a "money man," a penny-pincher, so they fall under the natural contempt of "artists" bleeding for their work (even though it is the veins of the producer's bank accounts that have been opened).
replican
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by replican » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:18 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:28 am
Sure. Usually the blame for a bad film goes to meddling producers, but I wonder how many films have been saved by them? It's kind of easy to blame the producer as a "non-creative," a "money man," a penny-pincher, so they fall under the natural contempt of "artists" bleeding for their work (even though it is the veins of the producer's bank accounts that have been opened).
From a making their money back perspective, sure, casting choices by producers overriding a director's choice I'm sure have saved films.

Off the top of my head though, and I'm not picking on him cause I think he's a decent actor in the right role, you switch Brad Pitt out with another actor, any good to superb actor, and you have a much better film in the majority of the ones he's been in.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm

replican wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:18 am
Off the top of my head though, and I'm not picking on him cause I think he's a decent actor in the right role, you switch Brad Pitt out with another actor, any good to superb actor, and you have a much better film in the majority of the ones he's been in.
Brad Pitt... Hmm... Pretty boy phase. Crazy guy phase. Laconic bad-ass phase. He seems to get locked in on one character for 5-7 years. Yeah, I am hard pressed to think of a film that absolutely needed Brad Pitt. Has he really carried any film? Maybe there are 2-3 roles that he really knocked out. You can say the same thing about St. Keanu Reeves, I think. The man can't act. His best role was Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Of course, there is a whole host of people who are bad actors who have kept finding work (e.g., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kate Mulgrew, Ben Affleck).

That stated, directors sometimes want shitty popular actors for their movies because they want people to buy tickets. And again, I think we overrate the contribution of directors to both good and bad films.
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MrCarmady
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:54 pm

Brad Pitt is excellent in roles which require humour and charisma (Basterds, Hollywood, Burn After Reading, Ocean's Eleven). Not everyone needs to be Daniel Day-Lewis. Schwarzenegger, likewise, fantastic actor with a very narrow range, can't think of a single actor in the world who would've done a better job in Commando, Total Recall, or Kindergarten Cop. Acting is about being right for the role, not fitting some platonic ideal of what acting is supposed to be.
PS. Pitt is also great in 12 Monkeys and his Fincher stuff so his range is wider than that.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:47 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:54 pm
Brad Pitt is excellent in roles which require humour and charisma (Basterds, Hollywood, Burn After Reading, Ocean's Eleven). Not everyone needs to be Daniel Day-Lewis. Schwarzenegger, likewise, fantastic actor with a very narrow range, can't think of a single actor in the world who would've done a better job in Commando, Total Recall, or Kindergarten Cop. Acting is about being right for the role, not fitting some platonic ideal of what acting is supposed to be.
PS. Pitt is also great in 12 Monkeys and his Fincher stuff so his range is wider than that.
I agree that Pitt's "crazy man" phase was his most interesting period.

Schwarzenegger is not a fantastic actor with a narrow range. He is a movie star, not an actor. Commando isn't a good movie, so I am not sure that it being incapable of being improved really says all that much. Total Recall could have been made without him. If they could make Robocop with Peter Weller, they could've made Total Recall without Arnold. That stated, if the year is 1989 and I am trying to make a big budget action movie, I will absolutely want Arnold, because he will get butts in seats.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:53 pm

You're right, Commando isn't a good movie, it's a phenomenal one. Action film in its most distilled form, just testosterone and one-liners. Being a movie star is one way in which you can prove you're a great actor, great actors captivate audiences and that's what Schwarzenegger always did, consistently. And that's after being the best bodybuilder in the world and before becoming one of the most famous and powerful politicians in America. Underestimating him is a fool's game.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:01 am

MrCarmady wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:53 pm
one of the most famous and powerful politicians in America.
*chuckles*
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MrCarmady
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:16 am

You don't think the Governor of California, the most populated state with the largest GDP, is one of the most powerful politicians in America?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:06 am

MrCarmady wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:16 am
You don't think the Governor of California, the most populated state with the largest GDP, is one of the most powerful politicians in America?
How many accomplishments of his tenure can you name?
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