Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

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DaMU
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:29 pm

Stu wrote:DaMU! Yes, this is the perfect thread for those, which I hope to keep seeing more of in the future; I'm always up for supporting a fellow forumer's creative projects. Keep 'em comin'!
Good to know!

Because here's another damn one.

How Roland Emmerich borrowed a visual from the 1953 Upshot-Knothole nuclear test footage - the footage you see at the beginning of Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:25 am

Look, we all want to watch the Avengers and X-Men fight, but this Disney-Fox merger still sucks

Like the author, I'm also conflicted on this potential acquisition; on the one hand, it would be nice to see the Marvelverse movies finally be made whole again and have all of the original comic characters back in the fold, especially the X-Men, and Disney/Marvel have obviously done a consistently quality job with their current movieverse, and I have no reason to think they wouldn't with the former-Fox heroes... but, on the other hand, like the writer said, it's fundamentally just even more BS corporate consolidation that puts even more power in the hands of one company that's already going mad with it, and in a creative sense, I can't imagine Disney's oversight of the X-Men would ever result in a film that's as good or challenging as Logan (and I don't just mean its R rating, though that's part of it). Granted, we had to wait through 17 years and too many inconsistent X-Men entries to get to that point, but the point is, we still got to it at some point. I just wish these superhero franchise owners could find a better balance between making consistently good films and taking risks, and giving good filmmakers the creative freedom they need to make more interesting takes on the genre, and I just don't think we're going to get much of the latter with this prospective acquisition, should it go through. I dunno, maybe I'll be proven wrong; I hope I will, at least.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:40 pm

Newest boy: Gustave Dore in The Fountain:

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:23 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:42 am

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:20 pm

They were cathartic at the time, but I'm increasingly considering those Plinkett reviews of the Prequels as Ground Zero of the worst aspects of modern online film criticism. The fanboy entitlement, the I-know-better ramblings (despite no pedigree and only the most cursory understanding of hero journey tropes), the overemphasis on plausibility and plot logic, this unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger, and the race to the bottom for commodifying cynicism and disappointment.

Maybe the problem is that after watching maybe one video on YouTube about The Last Jedi, I'm getting a new prompt every day to watch some variant on "Why The Last Jedi Is the Worst Story Every Written."
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:05 am

DaMU wrote:They were cathartic at the time, but I'm increasingly considering those Plinkett reviews of the Prequels as Ground Zero of the worst aspects of modern online film criticism. The fanboy entitlement, the I-know-better ramblings (despite no pedigree and only the most cursory understanding of hero journey tropes), the overemphasis on plausibility and plot logic, this unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger, and the race to the bottom for commodifying cynicism and disappointment.
I'm still a big fan of RLM in general (Wheel Of The Worst, yo!), but I suppose what they did for their medium, armchair Youtube critics, what the MCU did for cinematic universes; the very thing that introduces or popularizes a certain trend is also the same thing that ruins that thing, as everything that tries to follow in its wake misunderstands what made that thing great in the first place, which is how we get junk like "Everything Wrong With ___" videos... *shudder*
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Captain Oats » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:19 pm

Speaking of...

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:15 am

Captain Oats wrote:Speaking of...
I watched part of that vid a couple days ago, actually; good, good stuff. Anyway, on The AV Club, Tom Breihan just wrapped up his excellent, year-by-year chronicle of the last 50 years of Action movie history with A History Of Violence, a series that I, no kidding, followed for a full 2 years, and loved every single article (yes, even the one for The Octagon). Anyway, now that he's finished that, Tom's moved onto a new series chronicling the history of superhero films, starting with the first true modern entry in the genre, Richard Donner's Superman, from which he plans to proceed to Batman '89 next time, and I can't fucking wait!
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by ski petrol » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:29 pm

Captain Oats wrote:Speaking of...

So this guy is nitpicking on CinemaSins nitpicking. mmm...kay.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by kgaard » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:45 am

My friend wrote a longish feature for The Weekly Standard on Louis CK and Woody Allen and reckoning with personal demons in your work. I'm biased but think it's a pretty solid addition to the conversation on sex, abuse, and art.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:11 am

Great work here, Speng :fresh: I never reviewed The Shape Of Water, but that's just because I wasn't in the mood to write that day, not because I didn't like it... because I did. A lot. Like, so much that it's currently in my top 3 of 2017, and, if I don't get in the mood soon to review it just from memory, I'll definitely rent it and rewatch sometime in order to do so. It's just... such a good movie.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by ski petrol » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:37 am

kgaard wrote:My friend wrote a longish feature for The Weekly Standard on Louis CK and Woody Allen and reckoning with personal demons in your work. I'm biased but think it's a pretty solid addition to the conversation on sex, abuse, and art.
I read that. Quite interesting.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:03 am

Eminence Grise wrote:http://reverseshot.org/features/2417/twin_peaks_one

In four parts.
:up:

part 3 has a pretty good passage for anyone concerned about the metoo movement becoming co-opted by Puritanism.

although I still remain sympathetic to anyone a bit weary of serious works featuring the brutalizing of women. (depiction =/= endorsement but still....)
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Captain Oats » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:59 pm

Beautiful read, but spoilers, obviously.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:44 pm

Stu, I know you read the AV Club so don't tell me you didn't see this.

https://aeon.co/essays/against-guilty-p ... op-culture

I've been having conversations about the Black Panther movie with my stone-cold communist co-worker the last few days and some of this tracks with his pov..... I couldn't help but defend BP as a positive development (as noted in the article posted by Captain Oats) albeit within a capitalist system of making multi-million dollar movies selling special effects and sanitized violence. maybe without a clear picture of a perfect world or how to reach that perfect world, I was content to find the value in what progress has been made in the current system. even if that two hours of entertainment and mass-marketed ideas doesn't liberate its viewers from their pain completely, I just hoped that can be enough for today.

also I guess that's fine to state that what one defines as bad, cheap, simple art as a symptom of unfulfilled pleasure and not the cause. but then taking aim at popular movies and music is only getting at the margins.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:14 am

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:Stu, I know you read the AV Club so don't tell me you didn't see this.

https://aeon.co/essays/against-guilty-p ... op-culture

I've been having conversations about the Black Panther movie with my stone-cold communist co-worker the last few days and some of this tracks with his pov..... I couldn't help but defend BP as a positive development (as noted in the article posted by Captain Oats) albeit within a capitalist system of making multi-million dollar movies selling special effects and sanitized violence. maybe without a clear picture of a perfect world or how to reach that perfect world, I was content to find the value in what progress has been made in the current system. even if that two hours of entertainment and mass-marketed ideas doesn't liberate its viewers from their pain completely, I just hoped that can be enough for today.

also I guess that's fine to state that what one defines as bad, cheap, simple art as a symptom of unfulfilled pleasure and not the cause. but then taking aim at popular movies and music is only getting at the margins.
Yeah, I skimmed through it, and I suppose my answer to what I read of the writer's dilemma wouldn't be to disengage completely from popular culture, despite its obvious, recurring problems, but try to support those works that aim to balance entertainment and intelligent, thought-provoking content, and improve the culture that way as much as possible, but that's just me. Anyway, regarding Black Panther, MovieBob did an excellent video recently about how, while BP is fundamentally, at some level, another mass market product of a massive, multi-national entertainment corporation, what it represents for people of African descent in general still matters, as we can see in the enthusiastic online reactions to it, which are grassroots fan-driven, and not just another product of Disney's hype machine:

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:54 am

I imagine a lot of us are very used to the intermingling of "high" and "low" culture, especially with film which is somewhat populist already. I'm not gonna slight anyone who sees as much value in Dawn of the Dead as they do Two or Three Things I Know About Her.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:13 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Captain Oats » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:59 pm

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"Nic sort of exists in the Crank universe, just in real life."

Had a nice chat with Brian Taylor (of Neveldine/Taylor) about Mom and Dad, finding the humanity in horror, stars Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair, a potential third Crank, and what he loves about watching and making films: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/film/intervi ... ge-crank-3
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:46 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:27 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:08 pm

pretty great video essay on what the heck happened with The Hobbit (in three parts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTRUQ-RKfUs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElPJr_tKkO4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi7t_g5QObs
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Torgo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:pretty great video essay on what the heck happened with The Hobbit (in three parts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTRUQ-RKfUs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElPJr_tKkO4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi7t_g5QObs
Good stuff.
Lindsey Ellis's channel is one of my favorite on YouTube. Her Loose Cannon series, which examines various incarnations of famous characters from King Kong to X-Men's Mystique, is very entertaining and insightful.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Torgo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm

Renegade Cut's analysis of The Assassination of Jesse James:

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:26 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:pretty great video essay on what the heck happened with The Hobbit (in three parts)
I'm on the second part of that series on The Hobbit, and it is indeed great; Lindsay Ellis is definitely one of the best video essayists currently active on Youtube (and fulfilling her potential so much more now than she was back in her "Nostalgia Chick" days), but my #1 at the moment still has to be MovieBob, whose best work so far has to be his impossibly epic, three part, 3 hour(!) long series on why Batman Vs. Superman was "Really That Bad":


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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:32 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Macrology » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:55 pm

I've been reading Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov, and it's incredibly illuminating (re: his work, his philosophy and methods, and Soviet film production generally). It's mostly manifestos and articles about his films, responses to criticism, etc, but a few passages have really struck me for their poetic intensity. Thought I'd share them.
A fragment from the shooting log of The Eleventh Year (haven't seen the film, so not sure if this appears in some form)
A trumpet sounds the signal. There is a pause. The workers disperse. Horsemen patrol the area of the explosions. A bell rings. A pause. Bells call slowly to each other. Tiny little men (seen from a distance) prepare to light the fuses. A fast ringing of bells. The men light the fuses and run to dugout shelters. An explosion. Another follows. A series of explosions, one after another. A fountain of rocks and sand. Fragments fly into the distance. . . over the rails, over rail-lorries, over a crane. They drum on the lorry beneath which we've taken shelter. They fly as far as an opened grave where a Scythian has lain asleep for the last two thousand years. Beside his skeleton lie a spear and bronze arrowheads, pierced to hold poison. A cracked earthenware cup. At the head of the grave are some sheep's bones and the skeleton of a war horse. The Scythian stares from his eye sockets, through the black holes of his skull. As though he's listening to the explosions. Over him are sky and clouds. Rails run right beside the grave. Along the rails, freight trains pass, and forty-ton cranes roll. Behind the rails are the scaffolding of a pump house under constructions, quarries, rail-lorries, and thousands of men armed with hammers and picks. The Scythian in his grave -- and the din of the new offensive.
The Scythian in his grave -- and cameraman Kaufman focusing in amazement on a silence of two thousand years.
Vertov on seeing through his neighbors' windows and spying on their clandestine activities
I remember the widower who wept for two days when his wife died. Then on the third day he brought a girl in off the street, locked the door, turned on all the lights and stared at the naked girl for a long time, never touching her. I remember the girl's bewilderment, then her forwardness and attempts to arouse him, and the man's face and eyes -- distant, blank, as if the girl's body were out of focus, refracted in a prism, as though he were seeing many bodies swimming before his eyes. . . it was all very strange. The girl waited another minute, then dressed quietly and cautiously. She tiptoed out the door. I saw her leave by the street entrance below, glance up at his lighted window. . . In the morning when I left for work, through the window I saw him still sitting in the same position.
And this one just has intense implications. One of a series of vignettes about what constitutes kino-eye, and the degree of dedication needed to achieve it
At a reconstructed cement plant in the city of Novorossiisk two men are in an aerial car suspended above the sea. A supervisor and a cameraman. Both have cameras and are filming. The trolley moves swiftly. The supervisor crawls out onto the side of the car for a better vantage point. A moment later he's knocked on the head by an iron girder. The cameraman turns around and sees his comrade, bloody and unconscious, clutching his equipment, half-dangling into the sea. He turns his camera around, films him, and only then comes to his aid. This, too, is the school of kino-eye.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:51 pm

DaMU wrote:unshakeable subsumed feeling of misdirected young white male anger
There are lots of "chick" videos in the mix now too, especially in the Star Wars sucks genre.

It's very odd to see race and gender posited as an explanatory variable so often these days.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Tue May 08, 2018 1:17 am



Loved this.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu May 10, 2018 3:05 am

that video sucked me down a Youtube wormhole. damn you, CineFix!

somewhat related: a piece on the recent spate of apocalyptic movies

https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/05/09 ... ypse-numb/

(of course those movies themselves don't really trade in Strangelove's pop nihilism)
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Mon May 28, 2018 1:44 am

Really enjoyed this essay from MovieBob on how Infinity War, flaws and all, is still notable for completely upsetting the moral order of the entire Marvel Universe:

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:13 am

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:49 am

somewhat timely: A Double Life: Immigrants on Film

https://www.filmcomment.com/article/a-d ... s-on-film/
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:49 pm

So this boy was a long time in the works, but it's done and I'm happy and think it's a rock-solid video essay, some real good YouTube content.

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:12 pm

Oh, that's great, DaMU! Hands down the clearest explanation I've seen.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:03 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:Oh, that's great, DaMU! Hands down the clearest explanation I've seen.
Thanks! :)
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:44 am

Image

Quality steal.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:42 pm

Certainly I have no idea to what you are referring.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:54 pm

I haven't seen Primer so I didn't watch that for fear of spoilers. Just wanted to acknowledge that it appears to be very well-done and I support anyone that chooses to make film-related essays that actually contribute to one's understanding of a film, as opposed to "look at all the plot holes I found". I'll look forward to more.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Jinnistan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:21 am

DaMU wrote:Certainly I have no idea to what you are referring.
I'm not suggesting that you have Ron Howard gassed in your attic or anything.
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Stu » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:48 pm

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:07 pm

aww #$%@, I don't want to read that but now I feel I gotta.

EDIT: :up:
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by DaMU » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:10 am

Excellent. Excellent excellent excellent.

Excellent.

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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:16 pm

That's really long, but worth reading. I'm not even that invested in the new SW films, but he's got a lot of interesting things to say about fandom and moviegoers in general. I especially liked chapter 5, regarding complaints about "logic". One of my pet peeves--
The truth is, this is not an uncommon attitude to see from some fans. They approach stories in terms of what would be most “logical” for one character to do in a story, and sometimes it isn’t even about what that character would do. They’ll approach it as “what would I, as an individual in that specific situation, do differently?” Which not only misunderstands the whole need for characters with different points of view within storytelling, but that getting into these nonsense-logic debates belies the deeper intent and functionality of storytelling itself.
It's the old "why did she run upstairs when there's a killer in the house?" complaint. I don't know. Why did my real-life friend run out of gas when his car has a functioning fuel gauge? People do dumb stuff, and running from a killer would no doubt impede one's decision-making abilities.
It’s the sort of thing that makes me want to pull back and ask people: what are you doing here? Why are you watching this movie? What do you actually want to see?
Preach!
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Re: Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants

Post by Rock » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:41 am

Thank god, he finally dropped the all-caps nonsense.
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