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Stu wrote:
I think it was possible to make a good Watchmen movie

Nah. Take a look at some of the original screenplays, pre-Snyder.

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Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:03 am
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Rogue One

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Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:08 am
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I like the Watchmen movie, but it's basically an animated version of the comic except without the comic's specific print context so important for its self-awareness and humor to make any sense. We're left with the tragic, poe-faced side of Watchmen, and little of its panel-by-panel irony. Still, it's an ambitious film, packs a punch, and has several lively, well-realized scenes.


Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:42 am
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And the Ultimate Cut includes the Tales of the Black Freighter spliced into. I've never seen it. But even Snyder says he prefers the Director's cut and not the regular cut or Ultimate cut.


Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:45 am
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Captain Oats wrote:
I felt that, while Rogue One's characterizations weren't amazing or anything, they were still more than good enough to sustain that aspect of the film, and at least on par with Force Awakens in that regard, if not slightly superior even. Combine that with its creative, immersive use of the huge Star Wars universe (which was definitely better than Abrams'-typically lacking in context storytelling), and its grittier, war movie-style vibe, and I feel that the SW Anthology films are off to a rather promising start.

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:51 pm
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Am I the only one who loves American Honey? It reminded me of why I loved Red Road -- the visceral music and close-ups, the pattern of tension and relief. Maybe the shortest 160 minutes ever. So good.

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Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:20 pm
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Post Casino Royale (Campbell, '06)

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The name's Bond... James Bond.

The Bond series has seen more than its share of ups & downs over the years, but Martin Campbell's Casino Royale is certainly one of its finest moments; having already resurrected the iconic franchise once before with Goldeneye, and coming after one of the series' lowest nadirs in Die Another Day, Campbell dispenses with the overreliance on plasticy CGI & gadget-fueled gimmickry that hampered that entry, and instead focuses on sharp, intelligent writing and insightful characterizations, balanced out with a ton of intense, mostly-practical action and stunts, giving you all you could ask for in any Bond, resulting in what is, currently, my absolute favorite entry in the entire 50+ year series.

It does this by utilizing franchise newcomer Daniel Craig to his full potential, distinguishing him from the other interpretations of Bond by emphasizing the icier, more brutal side of the character, having him straight-up execute a terrorist when he's unable to take him into custody, suddenly abandoning an easy lay when it interferes with business, and showing us just how he became a "00" agent in the first place (hint: it has to do with killing people). Not to imply that Craig's interpretation has no sense of humanity, as that side of him is slowly but surely drawn out in the 2nd half of the film by Eva Green's Vesper Lynd, a British Treasury agent tasked with keeping an eye on Bond. Vesper's great beauty belies her equally impressive intellect, as she doesn't instantly fall in lust with James like so many other Bond girls, but rather, dismisses him as a reckless misogynist in their first conversation, as he returns the favor. Their acidic exchanges add a lot to the film, as they develop a trial-by-fire romance gradually, naturally, and when Bond is ready to leave everything he has in the world for her, we believe that he would, at least, for this one woman; wouldn't you?

Besides Green, Mr. Hannibal himself, Mads Mikkelsen, puts in another memorable performance as Le Chiffre, a financier of international terrorism, who, despite a grotesque physical deformity, isn't a classically intimidating Bond baddie, but rather, a refreshingly vunerable, down-to-Earth one, as he sees multiple schemes of his foiled, is directly threatened by some of his disgruntled "lenders" at one point, and his desperation to win a high-stakes poker game by any means neccessary is sweatily palpable throughout. Le Chiffre also helps Royale address the reality of a post-9/11 world in a palatable way for a "popcorn film", by having him be a funder of global terror, but not in a fanatical, ideological manner, but rather, in a cold, purely greed-driven way, having him keep one foot in the real world while still working as a villian within Bond's.

Finally, the action in Royale is uniformly outstanding throughout, beginning with a brutal, fight to the death filmed in black & white, and then proceeding with a chaotic, dizzying parkour chase that absolutely refuses to stop (in a good way), an intense car chase on the active fucking runway of an airport, and an inventive climax that takes place in a building slowly sinking into a Venice canal. The stuntmen really went all out for this one, and it shows, pretty much bringing the Bond franchise the closest it's ever gotten to being a pure Action film, without the film sacrificing any of the signature espionage thrills that have always called this series home. Despite an ever-so-slightly problematic 3rd act and a slightly overlong runtime, Casino Royale is highly suave, stylish, intelligent entertainment, and, as it ends with Craig's reciting of "Bond, James Bond", there is absolutely no doubt that he's fully assumed the mantle of the legendary character, and then some.
Final Score: 9

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Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:26 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Am I the only one who loves American Honey? It reminded me of why I loved Red Road -- the visceral music and close-ups, the pattern of tension and relief. Maybe the shortest 160 minutes ever. So good.


You're not alone; fantastic movie. Top five of the year for me. :)


Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:33 pm
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Derninan! :heart:

Derninan wrote:
Top five of the year for me.
Same!

I haven't watched many films lately. But, when I do, I feel so alone. I miss discussion more than the movies.

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Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:40 am
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Barry
The Son of Joseph

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Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:59 am
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Post The Killer (Woo, '89)

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-You're an unusual cop.
-Well, you're an unusual killer.


The Killer is generally considered one of John Woo's most influential & iconic efforts, and, after rewatching it recently, it isn't hard to see why; in addition to its incredibly bloody & kinetic action scenes, the whole affair positively bleeds style, as doves fly, sunglasses are worn indoors, and about half of it seems to play out in that beautifully violent, loving style of slow motion that is such a signature of Woo's. If I were to rate it purely based on its action & direction, it would get a perfect score, easy. However, action movie or not, the plot, themes, and dialogue all still factor into my overall appraisal of the film, and, like pretty much everything else this director has done, the writing side of The Killer can hardly said to be revelatory. Still, for how inconsistent he is at the "tell" side of storytelling, Woo is definitely better at the "show", resulting in a film that, despite its flaws, is nonetheless still my favorite of his to date, and one of the most influential action movies of the past 25+ years, easy.

The Killer achieves all of this by being a more personal, drama-focused action movie than most, due to the torturous relationships between Jeffrey, the film's titual hitman, and Sydney, his Triad "manager", the central, tragic romance that blossoms between Jeffrey and Jenny, the beautiful, innocent nightclub singer he accidentally blinds at the onset of the film, and of course, the often uneasy, unlikely friendship that develops between the killer and the policeman Inspector Li, as they grow to admire the honorable natures they have in common, and go to war with the mob boss who's literally gunning for them, taking on his veritable army of thugs in some of the biggest, bloodiest shootouts in the history of cinema. The (admittedly) melodramatic emotional atmosphere within The Killer helps to keep all the action from just feeling like mindless, empty slaughter, and allows the somewhat generic "cops 'n crooks" elements of the plot, the just-passable dialogue and familiar themes, and the extremely one-dimensional characterizations of the antagonists to matter less in the overall scheme of things, in light of all the things that the film gets right.

Besides the dramatic elements, The Killer also has a rather bombastic, memorable visual style, whether it be the copious amount of over-the-top religious symbolism, the extremely soft, vaseline-on-the-camera-lens lighting, or the slow motion moments that have a surreal, dreamlike feel when used outside of the action, but take on a brutally beautiful tone during the endless shootouts, stretching out the bloodletting in a way that never feels gratuitous, but rather, help us better appreciate just how much a master of action Woo was when he was at his peak. Pretty much nothing in this movie could be called "subtle", and in another film, any one element from this would just seem absurd, but in The Killer, the consistently heightened, operatic nature of the whole affair just elevates it, and make it a pretty damn exciting, engaging, and important chapter in action movie history in the end.
Final Score: 8.5

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Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:46 pm
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I'm still writing movie reviews, but I don't want to post them in here for the time being, since it would mean double-posting lengthy reviews and possibly monopolizing the thread, so if anyone here wants to keep checking out my writing, I'm putting a link to my Letterboxd account in my signature, and updating it with links to my most recent reviews... if you're interested.

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Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:25 pm
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This thread barely stays active, don't see anything wrong with posting your reviews here.

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Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:40 pm
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I know, but it'd still just feel too... awkward, if I ended up making the majority of the posts in this thread.

:oops:

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Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:34 am
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Stu wrote:
I know, but it'd still just feel too... awkward, if I ended up making the majority of the posts in this thread.

:oops:

I believe what Ms. Izzy means is that by contributing to this thread with your reviews, you may perhaps incite others to share their views or comment on your writing, which may enliven a relatively torpid thread. Even the tiniest of flames can start a fire. Share with us.


Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:46 am
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Yes. I can review your reviews.


Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:12 am
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Post Jackie Brown (Tarantino, '97)

Fine, then:

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I've flown seven million miles. I've been waiting on people almost 20 years. The best job I could get was the worst job you can get in this industry. I make $16,000 a year, with retirement benefits that ain't worth a damn. And with this arrest hanging over my head, I'm scared; if I lose my job I gotta start all over again, but I got nothing to start over with. I'll be stuck with whatever I can get. And that shit is scarier than anything.

The soulfully retro strains of Bobby Womack's classic "Across 110th Street" begin as we fade in on a middle-aged flight attendent riding a mobile walkway, calmly, confidently gliding over the ground; this is Jackie Brown, the star of one of Quentin Tarantino's most underrated works, and quite, possibly my favorite film from him period. But, the elephant in the room here is the much more, let's say, "understated" reception that Brown recieved in comparison to its legendary predecessor, and, while I do have to say that I respect and understand that reception, I'm also still a really big fan of this movie. After all, no matter how you feel about the movie as a whole, you still have to respect how Tarantino followed up his most popular work, one of the most iconic films all time with a very relaxed, mature, low-key con artist movie with his lowest body count to date, and a lot of the running time spent just hanging out with, and getting to know, the various characters in it.

It's no wonder that Brown failed to set the world on fire the same way that Pulp did, but all of these elements are exactly why I like it as much as I do; it would've been extremely easy for this film to have been pretty dull, considering how slow, long, and reliant on character development it is, but Tarantino pulls it all off with ease, showing confidence in the relaxed manner in which everything happens, really taking the time necessary to establish the characters and their individual personalities, especially the central characters of Jackie & Max Cherry. Pam Grier is Jackie, and far from being a gimmicky stunt, her casting adds an essential weight to the role, as we see a woman known for being a badass Blaxploitation legend now playing a struggling, world-weary flight attendent, caught in a money trafficking scheme between her murderous "boss" and the Feds looking to lock her up, as she knows she'll quite possibly end up in jail or a grave when it's all said and done, but still finds an unexpected new lease on a life under all the pressure in the end.

And, as Max, Robert Forster is another blast-from-the-past bit of casting, as a weary, past his prime bail bondsman who never found his soulmate, but who finds a new reason to live as soon as he meets Jackie, in what is probably my favorite cinematic "love at first sight" moments ever put to film. The two form an instant, unbreakable bond as two kindred souls who know all too well what it's like to be alone, but who have finally found someone who knows exactly how the other feels, as their love blossoms stronger and stronger as the film winds on. As Max, who is too set in his ways to really change anything, watches Jackie walk away as the movie ends, "Across 110th Street" takes on an entirely different tone, not triumphant and inspiring like before, but rather, sad and bittersweet as the credits begin to roll.

And all that isn't even writing in detail about the main antagonist of the film, Samuel L. Jackson's Ordell Robbie, a small-time, self-admittedly ignorant gunrunner with delusions of being someone, something more important, or his shy buddie Louis (portrayed by Robert De Niro), a recently-released, long-time ex-con having a hard time readjusting to life on the outside, or Bridget Fonda's Melanie, a prepetually lazy, hanger-on stoner/surfer chick with aspirations of ripping off Ordell, or Michael Keaton's fastidious but quirky ATF agent, or... like I said, it's a very, very character-driven film. However, that's exactly why I like it so much; for me, the ultimate appeal of Tarantino's work is (was?) his sharp knack for developing rich characters, not just having them be static, over-the-top cariactures like he's done so often lately, but having them grow and develop as real human beings as the movie goes on. In that regard, Jackie Brown is uniformly outstanding, and if it doesn't end up becoming my #1 favorite thing from him, then it's still damned near the top of his work, that's for sure.
Final Score: 9

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Letterboxd


Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:25 am
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To be honest, I don't see this thread as being any more "torpid" than any of the others. It's a slow-moving message board, guys.


Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:20 pm
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Beau wrote:
To be honest, I don't see this thread as being any more "torpid" than any of the others. It's a slow-moving message board, guys.
Speak for yourself. I made 14 posts last year. "Blistering" seems more appropriate to describe the pace I've been posting. I'll slow down to no more than one per month.

January: Done.

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Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:51 am
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Beau wrote:
To be honest, I don't see this thread as being any more "torpid" than any of the others. It's a slow-moving message board, guys.

I have plans to respond to some of your and Maiden's posts from last year, next month or in March.

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Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:10 am
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On that topic, I should post here more often. I watch lots of films, and I have plenty to say about them. I guess I slowed down because posting activity slowed down and, like Stu, I didn't want to post too much.

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Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:15 am
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I'll try to post more, too. Starting now!

Francofonia was not what I was expecting. Instead of a virtual tour of the Louvre, it's the story of its preservation during WWII. The skype episode is pretty strange, but I like the dreamlike mirror shots. We see surprisingly little art, though, and what there is is bizarrely self-reflexive:

Image

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Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:58 am
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If it'll help, I can post about how I don't even really watch movies anymore

But I'm glad someone still does

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Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:29 pm
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
But I'm glad someone still does
Do you read about films if someone posts about them? 'Cause I just want to know I have a reader or two. And googlebot doesn't seem to come around as much anymore. :P

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Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:12 pm
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Also, I miss your thread.

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Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:14 pm
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
If it'll help, I can post about how I don't even really watch movies anymore

But I'm glad someone still does

Actually, discussing the limitations of film is something I'm very interested in, and something that often does not get discussed. Cinephilia, it seems, tends to be overly occupied with the positive and not the negative within its own discourse. Of course, this is above and beyond simply criticizing "poorly made" films, and instead exploring the function of observation and its concomitants.


Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:00 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Do you read about films if someone posts about them? 'Cause I just want to know I have a reader or two. And googlebot doesn't seem to come around as much anymore. :P

I still read your posts!
Shieldmaiden wrote:
Also, I miss your thread.

I wish I could sit down and watch films, but my free time (indoors) is typically spent watching good TV or playing competitive games with friends

In a lot of ways, I feel TV is more rewarding these days, because it combines the visual and aural pleasures of film with the superior storytelling of the novel.

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Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:09 am
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The Expanse season 1 (SyFy, via Amazon Prime Video)
Oh, this was a treat. Loved every minute of it. Kept pondering whether this could really be SyFy produced material? Best thing I've ever seen from that network.

And then the final shot went all Sharkando on us, and made me question whether it will be worth my time to watch season 2 if it finds its way to APV.


Death Race 2050 (2017) via Netflix
Hmm. Not a sequel, but a remake. Very bizarre. Didn't seem to have the same bite as the 1975 original.

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Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:31 am
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
I still read your posts!
:heart:

Quote:
In a lot of ways, I feel TV is more rewarding these days, because it combines the visual and aural pleasures of film with the superior storytelling of the novel.
I can kind of see that. The problem is I'm still totally in love with movies!

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Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:33 am
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I swear I'll get into reading this. Do you take notes when you watch films?


Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:39 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
:heart:

I can kind of see that. The problem is I'm still totally in love with movies!


Same here. I've been watching more TV lately, but a TV show has to be extremely compelling to sustain my attention. Part of the reason I love films so much is the economy of storytelling at work in them (as one sees in short stories or novellas). There are things one can only accomplish with the structure and duration of a TV show, but they more often run the risk of turning prosaic, and they have a stylistic monotony I find grating.


That said, I finally decided to watch Æon Flux (the original, animated series), and christ, what a great show! Poetic vignettes, entirely eschewing a coherent narrative. It's something I've always longed for -- an avant-garde action series. There are action films that veer toward an arthouse sensibility (Hanna and Mad Max: Fury Road are recent examples), but nothing blatantly experimental. Æon Flux is remarkable because it does away with narrative and retains only the trappings of genre (in this case, the sci-fi spy thriller): mysterious missions, codes that have no meaning, the transformation of action sequences into vivid and surreal visual spectacles.

The series loses some of its unusual intensity in season 3, with the introduction of dialogue and full-length episodes with narratives (albeit inexplicable ones). It's still good, just not as distinctive.
I also love that the character Æon Flux dies at the end of all the early episodes. That's something I've always wanted to see in a show since I watched Cowboy Bebop back in high school; the first three episodes I saw all appeared to end with characters dying, and coming back to life in later episodes without explanation. It's used as a gag with Kenny in South Park, but I've always wanted to see it used earnestly, and Æon Flux does exactly that, to fascinating effect.

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Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:46 pm
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It's a debate I keep having with myself. So right now myself and I are not on speaking terms. He's on the couch surfing Netflix while I'm reading on the bed. Sometimes he lets me watch something. Like on Saturday he gave me the laptop so I could see The Act of Killing. But that was so depressing I walked away and agreed he could spend the rest of the month finishing Sense8.

The other day I was like, "Yo, the problem with TV is structure. You can't do structure when you can't know how many damn seasons you're gonna have to tell your story. I like movies because they're like music. You can create meaning through structure!" And, from the couch, he yelled at me. He was all like, "Whatever, dude. Your damn movies have to condense everything that happens to the characters. There's no breathing room. Every scene is like super relevant and important, and that's not what life is about. Life is an old lady being mechanically conveyed down a flight of stairs for about 20 hours in Better Call Saul." And I could only mutter, "Sure, but TV can't do nearly abstract mood pieces, like Upstream Color or New Rose Hotel, because they have episodes to fill and they have to do it through plot." I didn't think he'd heard me, but then he laughed and went, "The fuck they can't. Look at Macrology's post above you! An avant-garde action series, he says!" So I just shut up and kept reading Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy. But when he went to sleep I whispered, "Yeah, but Macrology also said the third season turned all conventional on him. You see, it's always a matter of time with TV. Always a matter of time. So I win. Screw you. Haha. Structure."


Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:51 pm
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That was a rollercoaster of intellect and emotion.

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Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:34 pm
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Beau wrote:
But when he went to sleep I whispered, "Yeah, but Macrology also said the third season turned all conventional on him. You see, it's always a matter of time with TV. Always a matter of time. So I win. Screw you. Haha. Structure."
Haha, beautiful! And, yes, exactly!

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:10 am
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If you want abstract TV, it's hard to get much more abstract than Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, etc.

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Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:02 am
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Joss Whedon wrote:
I swear I'll get into reading this. Do you take notes when you watch films?
Yeah; my current writing technique is, I watch the movie on my big tablet, while taking quick notes as needed on my little tablet, and once the movie's over, I'll save the notes in my draft posts folder on this site (unless I feel inspired enough to just go ahead and finish writing the review right then and there). Then I'll go back to the draft when I'm in the mood to write something, and try to write a coherent review from start to finish, integrating the rough draft notes and using them as inspiration as needed. Sometimes, I'll end up barely needing to glance at the notes as I'll just write a fresh review purely from my memory of the film (to the point where I hardly put any of the notes in the final review, ha), but other times, they're a HUGE help in getting my writing kickstarted again if I've stalled.

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Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:50 am
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Beau wrote:
I And I could only mutter, "Sure, but TV can't do nearly abstract mood pieces, like Upstream Color or New Rose Hotel, because they have episodes to fill and they have to do it through plot."


I've seen episodes of Mr. Robot and The Knick, for instance, that have been every bit as effective as mood pieces as Upstream Color and New Rose Hotel, and no more (or particularly less) constrained by plot as they.

Also, it's more common in this contemporary 'renaissance' era of TV for seasons to be conceived as complete narratives from their inception.

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Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:14 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:

I've seen episodes of Mr. Robot and The Knick, for instance, that have been every bit as effective as mood pieces as Upstream Color and New Rose Hotel, and no more (or particularly less) constrained by plot as they.

Also, it's more common in this contemporary 'renaissance' era of TV for seasons to be conceived as complete narratives from their inception.


Don't give myself ideas, Izzy.


Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:30 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
I've seen episodes of Mr. Robot and The Knick, for instance, that have been every bit as effective as mood pieces

There was an episode of Bojack Horseman in the third season (Fish Out of Water) that qualifies, as well

And I just found out it was actually rated #1 in TIME Magazine's Top 10 TV episodes of 2016... can't say I'm surprised

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Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:42 am
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
There was an episode of Bojack Horseman in the third season (Fish Out of Water) that qualifies, as well

And I just found out it was actually rated #1 in TIME Magazine's Top 10 TV episodes of 2016... can't say I'm surprised


Yeah, and if you want to go way out there, Adult Swim has produced some full-on avant garde series (e.g. Xavier: Renegade Angel). Their shows don't belong to the self-serious high art abstract mood piece variety, but still they've done a lot of interesting experimental comedy over the years, even if their brand of surrealism caters to audiences in certain altered states (but I'm not convinced that someone like Lynch doesn't though, and Kubrick is on record as being aware of such an audience for 2001, see "The Ultimate Trip" tagline).

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Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:28 am
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Stu wrote:
I was watching the EE of that one, and the new bits of footage either didn't improve the overall experience, or fit in like a sore thumb (like the new stuff with Hollis Mason); Snyder thinks that just being mostly faithful to a famous source work will automatically make up for his deficiencies and make his "adaptation" of it good, instead of focusing on making the general story work out in a cinematic context. I think it was possible to make a good Watchmen movie, but Zack was just never the right man for the job.


I think Snyder nailed it. His sole good movie.

I always see two crowds. Either Snyder was too faithful and failed to do cinema justice, or wasn't faithful enough and failed to do the comic justice (either because of Snyder's own limitations/mistakes or the inherent limitations of the medium that make it such that Watchmen is an "unadaptable" book). I find both crowds as (typically) imposing a strict criterion of success seen almost nowhere else in the case of book-to-movie adaptations.

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Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:39 am
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I enjoyed the initial theatrical version. I liked the slavishness to the novel. I understand why they had to change the ending because they thought it wouldn't "work" but I feel had this been made in a post MCU world the ORIGINAL ending would have worked and been possibly accepted. Now the EE I liked just because the small touches enhanced on things I already liked and wanted more of. Also the movie did touch up on one of the big things that I felt was missing from the comic which was Nite Owl's reaction to Rorschach's death. I felt that that was just brushed aside in the comics to give Dan and Laurie some closure to their storyline. But I felt that arc had already peaked with the prison outbreak.
I feel that the TV talk now about how it's a much better medium for long form storytelling and just some general storytelling would fit Watchmen well. A proper 10-13 episode series to actually flesh out the universe and book would be more appropriate today.


Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:53 am
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I do think Watchmen would have benefited from being shot on digital. There's just a bit too much grain for my tastes. This is a general problem I have with Snyder. I don't get his obsession with grain. It's like his zoom lens choices in Man of Steel. It just reeks of inauthenticity.

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Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:56 am
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Ace wrote:
I enjoyed the initial theatrical version. I liked the slavishness to the novel. I understand why they had to change the ending because they thought it wouldn't "work" but I feel had this been made in a post MCU world the ORIGINAL ending would have worked and been possibly accepted.


It's not just that it wouldn't work. That's one claim, or potential defense. But that it just works differently. The cinematic ending has a some serious thematic punch, that while not "better" than the novel, offers a compelling alternative for audiences to chew on. We can have our cake and eat it too. The point is that: the ending of Watchmen (the film) works.

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Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:00 am
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Izzy Black wrote:

It's not just that it wouldn't work. That's one claim, or potential defense. But that it just works differently. The cinematic ending has a some serious thematic punch, that while not "better" than the novel, offers a compelling alternative for audiences to chew on. We can have our cake and eat it too. The point is that: the ending of Watchmen (the film) works.

Yeah I get that it works given the "religious" implications of the film ending. But the comic ending would have hit...I want to say harder and more out of left field for general viewers. But I did like the ending. Although I feel like Snyder should have framed Adrian more positively and always shadowed him as a potential villain.



Izzy Black wrote:
I do think Watchmen would have benefited from being shot on digital. There's just a bit too much grain for my tastes. This is a general problem I have with Snyder. I don't get his obsession with grain. It's like his zoom lens choices in Man of Steel. It just reeks of inauthenticity.

JJ Abrams always does this perfectly I think. I always love his use of it in his movies.


Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:25 am
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But as for religious thematic imagery/storytelling Snyder went all out for it in Man of Steel. And touched further upon it in BvS. I feel like Snyder could craft a good movie if he had better scripts or if he actually felt he didn't need to pad out his. Like look at the trailers for his movies. Or the clips. They make for some compelling video. But when you put it together with everything else it sort of loses it's luster.


Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:36 am
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If we're talking about the ridiculous tree thing from the Watchmen comic, which I thought was widely considered the worst thing about it, then, yes, I'm glad they ditched that thing. Snyder's alternative is far better and makes a lot more sense.

As for the TV debate, I don't really disagree with any of the counterpoints. Joking aside, I do go back and forth on this. Anything film can do, TV can do as well. There's really no reason it can't, because it's using most of the same tools. So whatever differences they have pertain to how they're produced and consumed, which usually affects the content but doesn't necessarily have to. It's not like most movies aren't affected by similar constraints anyway. And since we're throwing examples of avant-garde-mood-pieces-or-not-but-still-aesthetically-adventurous-TV-shows into the ring, I'd also add Serial Experiments Lain. I do feel, however, that some TV shows would benefit from the restraint and focus films must have to fit everything into two hours, since, even when they're not meant to be seen in their entirety, and even if individual episodes push the envelope, I do feel many shows eventually exhaust themselves. But then I suppose you could say countless films would also benefit from stretching out their narratives or styles across a whole season.

None of this matters, though, because in our streamable future, TV shows aren't on TV anymore and films are consumed like TV shows, so the harsh boundaries between them are disappearing, at least in terms of how we approach them, day in and day out.


Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:09 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:

I think Snyder nailed it. His sole good movie.

I always see two crowds. Either Snyder was too faithful and failed to do cinema justice, or wasn't faithful enough and failed to do the comic justice (either because of Snyder's own limitations/mistakes or the inherent limitations of the medium that make it such that Watchmen is an "unadaptable" book). I find both crowds as (typically) imposing a strict criterion of success seen almost nowhere else in the case of book-to-movie adaptations.
I don't really like any of the Snyder movies I've seen so far, but then again, I never saw his Dawn Of The Dead, which is his best-reviewed work to date (at a whopping 75% Tomatometer, ha), so I guess that's a bit of a blindspot for me.

Anyway, while there are a couple of moments in Watchmen that I feel are either not faithful enough to the comic, or a little too faithful (the endless, unnecessary flashbacks away from The Comedian's funeral is a first and foremost example of the latter), the movie's faithfulness or lack thereof to the comic isn't the biggest flaw for me; rather, it's Snyder's insistence on constantly going "big" with his directoral style, whether it's called for or not, and his resulting inability to tone down the scale of his storytelling, which prevents us from developing a more intimate understanding of the characters, and makes the movie so ineffective at the demythologization of superheroes that made the comic so iconic. The NerdWriter made a video that, although it's mostly about his problems with Batman Vs. Superman specifically, he still does a terrific job of illustrating my complaints about Watchmen:



Ace wrote:
But as for religious thematic imagery/storytelling Snyder went all out for it in Man of Steel.
I AM JESUS I AM JESUS I AM JESUS...

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Beau wrote:
If we're talking about the ridiculous tree thing from the Watchmen comic, which I thought was widely considered the worst thing about it, then, yes, I'm glad they ditched that thing. Snyder's alternative is far better and makes a lot more sense.
I'm afraid I don't remember any tree thing from the comic... you aren't talking about
the giant squid Ozymandias created, are you?

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Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:16 am
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Perfect example of something from movies making the transition to TV. Fargo. I would dare say that the 2 seasons trump the movie.


Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:08 am
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Ace wrote:
Perfect example of something from movies making the transition to TV. Fargo. I would dare say that the 2 seasons trump the movie.
Dat tracking shot shootout in S1...

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Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:40 am
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