The Random Thoughts Thread

Discuss anything you want.
Post Reply
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:49 pm

Torgo wrote:A Behind the Music documentary about Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes.
Behind the Music Voice-over Guy: "The story of a band who had it all...until an addiction to Death Sticks brought it all crashing down..."
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Torgo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:28 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Behind the Music Voice-over Guy: "The story of a band who had it all...until an addiction to Death Sticks brought it all crashing down..."
Elan Sleazebaggano in a dark room with a very deep voice: "Figrin had a problem. A huge problem. When I found out they were reduced to gigs on Mos Eisley, I cried. I cried so hard."
Last Great Movie Seen
From Beyond (Gordon, 1995)
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:29 pm

User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:09 pm

from what I recall of my teenage years I was a bit of a prick and there are plenty of stuff I still feel guilty about. but at least I wasn't that guy so maybe I feel a bit better about my teenage self.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:49 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
from what I recall of my teenage years I was a bit of a prick and there are plenty of stuff I still feel guilty about. but at least I wasn't that guy so maybe I feel a bit better about my teenage self.
When I was younger (meaning 16) and didn't know any better, I was a young Republican due to my overall social conservatism, as I was kind of a Christian fundamentalist at the time (at least, moreso than I am now), but I definitely grew out of that phase, so here's hoping the same thing happens to that little twerp there, eh?
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:53 am

Stu wrote:When I was younger (meaning 16) and didn't know any better, I was a young Republican due to my overall social conservatism, as I was kind of a Christian fundamentalist at the time (at least, moreso than I am now), but I definitely grew out of that phase, so here's hoping the same thing happens to that little twerp there, eh?
I was a Republican in my early years as well mainly because my parents were, and I pretty much just believed what they believed. However, as I started to grow up, I realized that my opinions aligned more with Democratic views. This also applies with religion as I was a Christian simply because my parents were. However, I haven't been really firm on a particular religion for quite some time.

As for the kid from the video, he still posts videos today. I haven't watched his recent videos, so I don't if he's still as idiotic as he was in that video, but I do know that he's still a Republican.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:58 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote: I was a Republican in my early years as well mainly because my parents were, and I pretty much just believed what they believed. However, as I started to grow up, I realized that my opinions aligned more with Democratic views. This also applies with religion as I was a Christian simply because my parents were. However, I haven't been really firm on a particular religion for quite some time.

As for the kid from the video, he still posts videos today. I haven't watched his recent videos, so I don't if he's still as idiotic as he was in that video, but I do know that he's still a Republican.
Fortunately, according to the polls, millenial membership in the Republican party is quite low at the moment (and understandably so), but their enthusiasm for the Democratic party on the whole is dropping quite sharply as well, so I'm happy that they're not just settling for the first neo-liberal politician on that side that just "isn't Trump". Now, if only the actual overall party would change faster to represent the people for once, already...
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:45 am

I imagine coming of age during the Iraq War, ascension of Fox News, '08 financial crisis, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party helped determine my future political leanings. though I dunno if that's good to have one's thoughts defined by the negative (i.e. what you oppose) than the positive (i.e. what you support).

because there have been plenty of times these last few years where I can almost feel my head ossifying in real-time.
User avatar
Slentert
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:23 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Slentert » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:54 am

I just hate it whenever someone posts "R.I.P. (this person)" and people react with "I'm sorry, who?" or "Never heard of him/her". I mean, you're already online, Google is free, show some fucking decency and look it up yourself.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15635
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:20 pm

I think it's worse for people to focus more on people after they're dead than when they're alive, and then double-down on their disregard for the individual as a living person deserving of decency by resorting to hackneyed statements that are further abbreviated, because apparently it's too difficult to write, "Rest in Peace" or, good heavens, think of something original that the person to be honored with is deserving of.

I would much prefer any one death to be a reminder to celebrate someone living, and in that way perhaps each person will be celebrated and acknowledged when they're alive instead of when they're dead. Think to yourself, if you've ever felt out-of-the-loop or lonely: Why is it that the only time in your life that your friends will all get together is when you die, or perhaps when you get married, but only the first time? The culture of celebrating people after they die is the ultimate celebration of procrastination.
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:27 pm

are you talking about mourning people we know in real life or famous people?
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:35 pm

Have currently started work in earnest on an epic new thread about the history of the New Hollywood movement...

:oops:
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:01 am

Stu wrote:Have currently started work in earnest on an epic new thread about the history of the New Hollywood movement...

:oops:
I can dig it.
User avatar
John Dumbear
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:58 pm
Location: Out in God's country

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by John Dumbear » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:34 am

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:are you talking about mourning people we know in real life or famous people?
It must be famous people. Nothing else comes close to a personal loss...duh

As far as famous people, the one I recall the most is Frank Zappa. He was my musical icon and was absolutely crushed by his death.
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:18 pm

Stu wrote:Have currently started work in earnest on an epic new thread about the history of the New Hollywood movement...

:oops:
Looks really good so far.
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:56 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:are you talking about mourning people we know in real life or famous people?
John Dumbear wrote:It must be famous people. Nothing else comes close to a personal loss...duh
yeah ignore my question, I think I misread LEAVES's post
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:19 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote: Looks really good so far.
Image
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:46 am

Just wanted to give a shoutout to Crypt TV. I've only heard of and been subscribed to their channel for about a month, but they're quickly becoming one of my favorite youtube channels. Basically, they produce about 3 short horror films every week. While this method can often lead to quantity over quality, I feel like most of what they do is really good to great. I feel like they have a bit of everything for all horror fans. I'll link a few of my favorite videos they've done.

SHI
One Please
Turned
DO NOT
Kinderfänger
Also, here's my favorite series they did: Look-See

I'm curious to hear what you guys have to say about them.
User avatar
Death Proof
Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 pm
Location: South Jersey

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Death Proof » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:15 pm

After 22 years I am stepping back into the wrestling ring. Going to try to squeeze a couple of decent matches out of this old, worn out body. Hoping maybe around November to do a match if all goes well.


I did some training with the guys 2 weeks ago and everything hurt for a week.


I need stronger drugs.
If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Torgo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:45 pm

Death Proof wrote:After 22 years I am stepping back into the wrestling ring. Going to try to squeeze a couple of decent matches out of this old, worn out body. Hoping maybe around November to do a match if all goes well.


I did some training with the guys 2 weeks ago and everything hurt for a week.


I need stronger drugs.
Best of luck! Don't get hurt too badly.
There's a movie that could be made about that...possibly starring Mickey Rourke.
Last Great Movie Seen
From Beyond (Gordon, 1995)
User avatar
Death Proof
Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 pm
Location: South Jersey

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Death Proof » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:38 pm

Torgo wrote:Best of luck! Don't get hurt too badly.
There's a movie that could be made about that...possibly starring Mickey Rourke.

Thanks - if I can make it out there with no sprains, breaks or concussions I'll be happy.

I actually wrote a screenplay a couple of months ago inspired by my character, although it was as if he'd been working for a large (WWE-sized) federation for a long time. It's sort of the opposite of The Wrestler, in that his life is changing, but it's for the positive. I really need to sit down and edit it... I sent it to a friend in Hollywood who liked it, but said it needed some work on the structure.

So... keeping busy. Mentally and physically.
If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me.
User avatar
Slentert
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:23 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Slentert » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:01 pm

So I've finally bought myself a blu-ray player, and a tv to go with it.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Torgo » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:37 pm

What is everyone's experience with Fathom Events?
We went to Rifftrax Live's Krull show last night and the satellite feed went down. It came back for about ten minutes, but then it went down again. Thankfully, we got a refund. According to Twitter, theaters across the U.S. had the same problem. A friend of ours had a similar experience with a Fathom Events screening she went to last Tuesday.
The only Fathom screenings I've gone to regularly are for RiffTrax Live, and until last night, I haven't had any problems. Hopefully, these are just freak occurrences.
Last Great Movie Seen
From Beyond (Gordon, 1995)
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:39 am

Apparently, our mother site just got rid of its "Want To See" function for users, as well as the ability to leave comments on films pre-release after Captain Marvel started getting swamped with negative remarks and ratings from trolls backlashing against Brie Larson's comments on diversity in press coverage for the film. Now, I don't care about that (it's probably for the best anyway, given the way trolls have abused the site before), but I do care about the fact that they seem to have also completely removed their listing of the overall critical average score for every single film on the site, which is (was) the far, far more accurate way to determine how much or little critics actually like a movie, which mean I'll have to start using Metacritic for that, which measures a much smaller collection of reviews than they do. I also care about the way this paragraph in they announced their announcement...
Over the past 18 months, we’ve made a number of updates at Rotten Tomatoes, all in an effort to streamline the site and provide users with a more enriched experience. These updates include the launch of a new visual identity (you don’t hate the red anymore, right?); the creation of new original editorial, video, and social content (check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram); and a revamped Tomatometer critics criteria that better reflects the current media landscape, increases inclusion, and more fully serves the global entertainment audience.
...of course, only mention they things they've added, and say nothing about how they abruptly deleted every single forum on the site a couple years with absolutely zero warning to us, wiping out almost 20 years worth of posts (some of them were good, even!); again, Rotten Tomatoes, feel free to fuck off forever.
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:38 pm

Actually, it's still possible to access the critical average rating by clicking the "More Info" button below the tomatometer. I'm not sure it was really necessary to change the layout but just wanted to point that out.
User avatar
John Dumbear
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:58 pm
Location: Out in God's country

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by John Dumbear » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:17 pm

I am a huge college basketball geek (My favorite sport). With "March Madness" right around the corner, I'd like to start a thread. But fear that I may be the sole contributor. :(
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:41 pm

John Dumbear wrote:I am a huge college basketball geek (My favorite sport). With "March Madness" right around the corner, I'd like to start a thread. But fear that I may be the sole contributor. :(
I'm being sincere when I say the last time I followed NCAA basketball, Shaq was at LSU. :D
User avatar
John Dumbear
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:58 pm
Location: Out in God's country

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by John Dumbear » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Captain Terror wrote: I'm being sincere when I say the last time I followed NCAA basketball, Shaq was at LSU. :D
Kind of what I thought. Early on, Duke looked like men among boys. Not now, and there isn't really a clear favorite. There's around ten that could be champs. I'll be watching alone in my empty man cave...
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:58 pm

John Dumbear wrote:
Kind of what I thought. Early on, Duke looked like men among boys. Not now, and there isn't really a clear favorite. There's around ten that could be champs. I'll be watching alone in my empty man cave...
Hey, don't let me rain on the parade, maybe someone else follows it. Just adding my two cents is all.

Also- Jesus I'm old! Just realized Shaq graduated in '92.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:04 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:Actually, it's still possible to access the critical average rating by clicking the "More Info" button below the tomatometer. I'm not sure it was really necessary to change the layout but just wanted to point that out.
Well, it's good that it's not gone completely, but it was still already listed in smaller text in the first place (making it harder to check it out anyway), and this just means I'll have to jump through another unnecessary hoop in order to view the average at all (and ensuring far less people on the whole will never see the average anyway, making for an even less educated public), so this move still counts against RT's favor in the end :D
User avatar
Popcorn Reviews
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:22 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:04 pm

Stu wrote:Well, it's good that it's not gone completely, but it was still already listed in smaller text in the first place (making it harder to check it out anyway), and this just means I'll have to jump through another unnecessary hoop in order to view the average at all (and ensuring far less people on the whole will never see the average anyway, making for an even less educated public), so this move still counts against RT's favor in the end :D
Very true.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:26 am

I've been thinking some about the overall concept of subtlety in film lately, and how, in my experience, most people in the serious cinephile community (at least, the ones that are serious enough to post in-depth discussions on film forums) tend to prefer a "less is more" approach when it comes to cinematic storytelling, seeing as how I've read far, FAR more criticism in my time directed at films for trying to hit us too hard over the collective head with super-obvious visual representations of themes, too much reliance on overly expository dialogue (as much as I love him otherwise, Nolan, anyone?), or characterizations that are far too broad, unrealistic, and dumbed down for ease of mass consumption, and I've certainly seen a lot more complaining about those flaws than I've seen criticism for filmmakers understating elements in their films, as that usually tends to be welcomed. And, to be fair, I'm generally of that same mind, as I usually prefer a "less is more" approach to film, one that's as subtle as possible while still retaining a maximum effective impact, but not all the time, since, as always, there are certain exceptions to that "rule", which I can see when comparing the various Statue Of Liberty shots in the first two Godfathers:

Image

Taking a look at the shot in "leave the gun, take the cannoli" scene the original film, I have to say that, while certainly not a bad piece of cinematography (did that film actually have any?), the contrast of the bloodiness of gangland execution in the midground with the ideals represented by Statue in the back still strikes me like the film is trying to be too "clever" about fitting in some visual irony, and the juxtaposition honestly feels somewhat amateur-ish to me. I feel like the shot would've worked better without the Statue, as you'd still have the contrast of the field of wheat swaying peacefully in the foreground (and behind the car as well), placed against a guy getting his brains blown out, and, while the shot certainly reinforces the film's theme of shining a light on the dark side of the American dream, it doesn't strike me as any more effective or appropriate than the much-derided "SuperJesus" shot in Man Of Steel, and it sticks out as the foremost representation of my main complaint with The Godfather feeling like it was trying to put on the skin of a "great" film, rather than letting that greatness occur more naturally. And the shot's not even that subtle anyway, as the camera lingers on it for far too long for anyone to not notice the Statue back there, so it strikes me as neither hot nor cold, but the proverbial "lukewarm", and it either should've been underplayed more (either by cutting it down, cutting it out completely, or reshooting or editing it so that the Statue isn't in the shot at the same time as the actual murder), or just gone all the way, so to speak, like the Statue shot in Part II:

Image

Of course, this shot isn't "subtle" in its symbolism at all, as, even before Vito walks into the shot, we can still see it in the window, looming larger even in reflection than it did in the original, and when Vito walks up and stares out, there's no keeping our eyes from being directed to what he's looking at as well, but, as a result of this up-frontness, it's far more evocative and memorable, with the sight of a young, innocent Vito, after having witnessed the violent murder of his mother (and having just barely escaped death himself) looking out and getting inspiration from the sight of Lady Liberty like so many other new immigrants of that time, but unlike them, this is contrasted with the chilling foreknowledge we possess from the original of what exactly he ended up doing with the freedom represented by that statue, partly as a result of his brush with death that we just witnessed, so it sets up his entire arc across both films pretty much perfectly. And, in doing this, Part II calls back to this visual motif of its predecessor, while still significantly improving upon it, and showing a way that Coppola had grown as a filmmaker between films. Anyway, what say you guys? Do you have any general thoughts on the overall subject of subtlety in cinematic style versus all-out maximalism, or any other specific examples of "more being more" in film?
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1605
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am
Location: parents' basement

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:58 pm

I’m trying to wrassle some thoughts on this and I might not have much more than “depends on the movie”, “depends on what they’re trying to say”, "depends on how much style they say it with". Dark Side of the American Dream is way more interesting to me than what Snyder thinks conflating his Superman with famously-non-violent Jesus is supposed to mean. other than making sacrifices is what heroes do(?).

I remember during the hunting scene in Walkabout, cutting to a butcher shop was a bit obvious but at least the ideas it invokes (the line between civilization and the wilderness, human nature, etc.) are good ones in my opinion so I’m easier on that kind of bluntness. better on-the-nose images than on-the-nose dialogue in any event.

uhh…. what’s a good example of a quintessential “less-is-more” movie for you?
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 1971
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:14 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:58 pm
I’m trying to wrassle some thoughts on this and I might not have much more than “depends on the movie”, “depends on what they’re trying to say”, "depends on how much style they say it with".
I'm with Oxnard on this, but also on trying to think of examples.

One recent example that I think fits was on Hereditary...
When the big twist in the middle occurs (the accident), Aster masterfully draws it out for I don't know how many minutes, as we see Peter stopping the car and hesitatingly asking Charlie if she was ok. But then we see the car driving on the house and him going to bed, as Aster keeps stretching the tension of what we know happened but are still not sure it happened? And then we hear Annie waking up and telling Steven he's buying something, you hear the door of the house, you hear the door of the car... it's an incredibly tense stretch, but just when you hear Annie screaming and crying, and you think Aster might be done with it, he cuts abruptly to Charlie's severed head in the dirt, eyes open, covered in ants... is it too much? maybe, but I won't deny the shock and impact it had on me, and ultimately that's one of the reasons I watch horror films: to be shocked and uncomfortable.
Again, perhaps a more restrained approach would've worked, but I really liked that punch-in-the-gut moment.

Hope that's an example that fits Rump's idea.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
DaMU
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:00 pm

This is a topic I think about quite a bit. Where I'm at right now is that I'm fine with blunt symbolism so long as it's true to theme. Because there's a lot of symbolism out there that, in my opinion, doesn't really track with the ideas of the story. A book like The Great Gatsby isn't subtle at all about the green light by the end, but it still works because it connects so truly to the ideas of the story. Meanwhile, a lot of superhero movies will offer up a shot or two of Christ imagery to add ballast to the idea of "self-sacrificing half-man half-god," but that doesn't connect to any larger idea, because the films aren't actually doing anything beyond that to make for an evocative thematic comparison (the brutish Randian hero solving problems through punching people has stretched out his arms... my God, the poetry). It's trifling and generally meaningless. (You can laugh at John Coffey have the initials JC in The Green Mile, because duh, but the book and movie aren't pat about the comparison.)
NOTE:
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.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:42 am

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:58 pm
I’m trying to wrassle some thoughts on this and I might not have much more than “depends on the movie”, “depends on what they’re trying to say”, "depends on how much style they say it with". Dark Side of the American Dream is way more interesting to me than what Snyder thinks conflating his Superman with famously-non-violent Jesus is supposed to mean. other than making sacrifices is what heroes do(?).

I remember during the hunting scene in Walkabout, cutting to a butcher shop was a bit obvious but at least the ideas it invokes (the line between civilization and the wilderness, human nature, etc.) are good ones in my opinion so I’m easier on that kind of bluntness. better on-the-nose images than on-the-nose dialogue in any event.

uhh…. what’s a good example of a quintessential “less-is-more” movie for you?
Of course, it does depend on the individual film and its style, and I do generally prefer the "less-is-more" approach, but I thought it would be interesting to do a little study of a case where the opposite is true, contrary to the general preferences of the overall film community. And of course, the symbolic imagery of The Godfather is still superior to Zack Snyder's rote, mindless, done-to-death "Superman = Jesus dur-hey" nonsense in Man Of Steel, and you can say the same for the flashback of young Clark wearing a red towel that was haphazardly threw in at the end, as if the film suddenly remembered that Superman is supposed to be inspiring, and that would make us forget about all the horrifying, 9/11 X 1,000 destruction porn he just helped cause, which was obviously directed by an Ayn Rand/Übermensch-worshipping sociopath. Still, the Statue shot in the first Godfather still feels somewhat labored to me in its usage of blunt, ironic symbolism, which extends to the rest of the film as well, including the "I believe in America" monologue, iconic as it may have become over the decades.

But yes, given a choice between the two, I'll usually prefer blunt imagery to dialogue, because the former is more the product of the invisible hand of the director, which is naturally afforded more freedom in expressing symbolism and themes in the context of a film, whereas putting overly loaded dialogue into the mouths of supposedly "real people" always feels incredibly unnatural, and sticks out like a sore thumb; it's like that moment in Terminator 2 (which for the most part, is a really good movie) where John Conner, who had been nothing more than an obnoxious, snotty little brat, suddenly gets all philosophical and spouts "We're not going to make it, are we?" in response to the sight of two kids play-shooting at each other with toy guns; say what now, kid?

As for a movie that's "less-is-more" in a stylistic sense, I guess one of the best examples I could give would be No Country For Old Men, where it feels like the Coens stepped as far back as they could from making us aware of their presence in directing the film, and just let us observe the story for ourselves, with no unnecessarily flashy shenanigans with the camera, and with a musical score that, at less than 15 minutes long, is as minimalist as possible (which allows the film's nerve-shredding eternal silences to really stand out), all of which just lets the film breath in its unending sense of tension. And, as for the opposite phenomonem, I suppose the best example I can think of for a "more is more" counterpoint would be the unapologetic, surreal bombast of Apocalypse Now (big surprise, I know).

But, speaking of No Country, and to bring back up the subject of undeniably on-the-nose, thematically-based dialogue, you could easily mention the "You can't stop what's comin'" monologue as an example, but for me, it's one of those rare cases where such writing works, since, even though I'm well aware of the grandiose themes being tackled through the obviously "written" nature of the scene's undeniably loaded dialogue, and I know that hardly any real person would talk in this manner, it's still just so evocative, well-executed, and ambitious, that I can't help but love it anyway. There's this fine tightrope between not going far enough with your themes and just being vague and undercooked, and going too far and becoming pretentious and overwrought in the process, and that scene is one of the best example I can think of for a movie getting the balance just right, y'know?
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:50 am

Thief wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:14 pm
I'm with Oxnard on this, but also on trying to think of examples.

One recent example that I think fits was on Hereditary...
When the big twist in the middle occurs (the accident), Aster masterfully draws it out for I don't know how many minutes, as we see Peter stopping the car and hesitatingly asking Charlie if she was ok. But then we see the car driving on the house and him going to bed, as Aster keeps stretching the tension of what we know happened but are still not sure it happened? And then we hear Annie waking up and telling Steven he's buying something, you hear the door of the house, you hear the door of the car... it's an incredibly tense stretch, but just when you hear Annie screaming and crying, and you think Aster might be done with it, he cuts abruptly to Charlie's severed head in the dirt, eyes open, covered in ants... is it too much? maybe, but I won't deny the shock and impact it had on me, and ultimately that's one of the reasons I watch horror films: to be shocked and uncomfortable.
Again, perhaps a more restrained approach would've worked, but I really liked that punch-in-the-gut moment.

Hope that's an example that fits Rump's idea.
Well, even speaking as a big detractor of that film, I actually didn't have any problem at all with the way that scene was directed, as it was one of the few examples in the film of Aster portraying "scary" stuff with an actual sense of discipline, stringing us along for a long time before suddenly hitting us with the full brunt of the image as abruptly as possible (although the scene where
Annie seems to see her recently-deceased mother standing in the shadows was the actual creepiest, seeing as how the image was one of the film's most subtle scary moments, plus, it had some ambiguity to it as to whether Annie saw her ghost or just imagined it due to her recent loss, seeing as how the same thing happened to me right after my cat died, when I kept thinking I saw her out of the corner of my eye because I was so used to her laying around the house, so it's plausible that the same thing could've happened to Annie
).

Still, I appreciated that Aster at least took some time to build up that moment, somewhat earning the horror of the scene, as it was the 2nd half of the film that I had a problem with, as that's when Aster completely abandoned any sense of restraint, and just threw demonic cults, ghostly possessions, and as many incohesive horror cliches as he could at us one after another, making the film go so over the top so often that it ultimately descended into being an unintentional comedy by the end, and ended up being one of the most problematic examples I can think of for a "more is less" type film.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25324
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:04 am

DaMU wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:00 pm
This is a topic I think about quite a bit. Where I'm at right now is that I'm fine with blunt symbolism so long as it's true to theme. Because there's a lot of symbolism out there that, in my opinion, doesn't really track with the ideas of the story. A book like The Great Gatsby isn't subtle at all about the green light by the end, but it still works because it connects so truly to the ideas of the story. Meanwhile, a lot of superhero movies will offer up a shot or two of Christ imagery to add ballast to the idea of "self-sacrificing half-man half-god," but that doesn't connect to any larger idea, because the films aren't actually doing anything beyond that to make for an evocative thematic comparison (the brutish Randian hero solving problems through punching people has stretched out his arms... my God, the poetry). It's trifling and generally meaningless. (You can laugh at John Coffey have the initials JC in The Green Mile, because duh, but the book and movie aren't pat about the comparison.)
Very true, and the Christ-like imagery in MoS is not only not developed beyond a few lazy visual echoes, but it actually contradicts Supes's overall characterization in the film, as not only does he not really sacrifice anything significant personally to save anyone (in fact, he lets his own father die because saving him would've meant revealing his powers to the world), but he often actively goes out of his way to make situations more dangerous for non-superpowered people, like when he throws one of Zod's soldiers into a traincar to blow it up (hope no one's hurt down there!). Say what you will about Superman Returns, but at least that film understood the character better than that.
Post Reply