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grudlian.

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Everything posted by grudlian.

  1. I just watched this for the first time last month. It was interesting.
  2. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    You might want to add Hale County This Morning, This Evening to your list. I watched it this weekend and it has some superficial similarities to Killer Of Sheep which I know you like. It's a documentary about lower income black families, doesn't have a strong plot. There are still some powerful moments and has some great visual shots. I also finally saw Minding The Gap and I'll echo what everyone has been saying about how great it is. I think it's airing on PBS tonight. So, check your local listings.
  3. When Great Wall came out, Matt Damon got a lot of shit for this Chinese movie being whitewashed. I remember articles at the time saying that getting any big American Hollywood star to be in a Chinese movie for Chinese audiences kind of legitimized the movie to a degree. It wasn't that Matt Damon injected himself into this; it's that Chinese audiences thought that was cool. I'm not sure American audiences have a cultural equivalent. Stunt casting an international star in an American movie typically only works for international audiences or for 1% of Americans.
  4. Not to necessarily defend this movie or John Cusack's performance, but I think I can at least explain it. They mention in the show the movie made $121 million but it only made $74 thousand in the US. So, I speculate this movie was never meant to be seen outside of China. Part of that means that there's simply cultural stuff that doesn't translate to Americans. Chinese audiences might simply want a different experience than what we're looking for. Anyone who has dug deep into foreign film has probably run into a movie that was a smash in its home country but simply doesn't work in the US due to different expectations (I'm sure Cam Bert can give us examples of Japanese movies). So, does anyone know how this did critically in China? Was this Chinese Transformers 2 or Chinese Mad Max Fury Road? But a movie never being seen outside of China might explain John Cusack's lazy performance and accent. There are lots of celebrities who do commercials or bad movies in foreign countries because it's easy money that doesn't ruin their reputation in Hollywood. I know I can't pick up accents in a foreign language and I suspect Chinese audiences can't tell a Chicago accent from what Italian accent Cusack could have put on. So, no real need to do an accent if no one in the intended audience will even notice.
  5. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    This makes sense. They Shall Not Grow Old only played four times over two different days (I think).
  6. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    I wonder how they define "commercial" because They Shall Not Grow Old had what I would call a commercial release. It was open to the public and cost money.
  7. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    I think Burning just got put on Amazon for streaming. Im going to try and watch it soon. I think I'm going to just sign up for a free trial of Hulu to watching Minding The Gap. So, if anyone knows any Hulu exclusives I should watch, I'm all ears.
  8. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    Yeah, I'm not sure how Oscars decide that stuff. I know it has to play in LA (or maybe NYC) for some shows but I think it has to be a normal release in those cities? I really hope it isn't forgotten for the next Oscars. I know releases early in the year can be a kiss of death for awards shows.
  9. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    Three of my favorites from 2018 that haven't been and probably won't be discussed in Unspooled are Skate Kitchen, Blindspotting, and They Shall Not Grow Old. I'm kind of curious how they determined best reviewed movies according to Metacritic. I assumed it was based on the Metacritic score but First Reformed has a lower score than several movies on this list. So, I'm not sure why it's the best reviewed. Also, They Shall Not Grow Old is higher rated than anything in this episode but I assume it's incredibly limited release is why it didn't get mentioned.
  10. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    Also Green Book over Sorry To Bother You.
  11. grudlian.

    Best of 2018: Critics' Picks

    While I think production company and majority financing is probably the main consideration, I think The Favourite being in English probably meant they didn't consider it not being American. The original AFI list included a few very obviously English movies that were not American. So there's some precedence to that imperialism. I'm kind of surprised Amy thought so low of Blackkklansman. Generally, I agree with her (and agree with a lot of her complaints with this movie about its tone) but I liked the movie a lot. I thought the ending switching back and forth between stories is kind of standard montage technique going back 100 years in film. I think what limits it from being seriously considered from an AFI type list is being verly limited to this time period. I think the story and themes of racism are timeless but making a point to include specific references to 2017/8 America will make it seem very dated soon (ugh, I hope).
  12. grudlian.

    Episode 206 - Little Italy

    According to film ratings, it is "Rated R for some sexual references" I don't recall anything remotely explicit. So, there must have been a particularly prudish MPAA employee watching this one.
  13. Next month is quickly approaching and that means a new HDTGM Classics. Vote for when you want to watch cinematic masterpiece: The Wicker Man.
  14. grudlian.

    Live Shows Not Yet Posted

    I think Little Italy was recorded mid-October or November. They mention it getting released "weeks ago" and "this year". There was something else that really put it into that period for me. So, they are definitely working through a stockpile.
  15. grudlian.

    Musical Mondays Week 59 Passing Strange

    I think Lee did quite a lot with this. Yes, the material and performances are excellent. But Lee was able to get cameras really close and intimate to capitalize on that energy. But I never saw a camera in any of the shots. Even when they had a camera right in someone's face, in a wide shot, I didn't see the camera filming the extreme close up from earlier. I think that's great filming and editing. The planning on filming this must have been pretty deep. I've seen filmed plays that basically have 2-3 cameras filming wide shots from a couple angles. I would have liked the content of Passing Strange if it were just a single camera on a wide shot but Lee was able to get us in on the action.
  16. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    There's a quote "no one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans"
  17. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    Critics rate superhero movies (well, not the DC ones) very well. If you look at Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, the MCU have great scores. Even if critics are tired of the over abundance of superhero movies, they are still rating them as individual works. I really agree with Tom Heidecker's take on how to view a film. I think Roger Ebert expressed similar sentiments for film criticism. "Does the movie accomplish what it set out to do?" But, to expand that, does that mean a movie is suddenly part of the conversation for the canon of films? For example, I loved Crazy Rich Asians. It's a perfect romantic comedy. It belongs in the canon of romantic comedies. But does it belong in the top 100 American movies of all time? I don't know. I kind of disagree with what I think the AFI did of making sure every genre is included. There's a difference, in my mind, between "the best American movies" and "the best representation of what American movies are". For the former idea, I wouldn't consider Crazy Rich Asians. For the latter, where I'm compiling a budget style of genres, I would.
  18. grudlian.

    HDTGM Classics: The Wicker Man

    Of all the HDTGM movies, I Know Who Killed Me may honestly be the most confusing. At no point did I understand almost anything that was happening.
  19. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    Yeah, I always hate when a movie I dislike kind of aligns with a cultural thing I support. It was really rough having problems with Wonder Woman because I'd get some judgmental side eye like I'm an MRA red pill jerk. So, if someone asked if I saw it, I'd start with five minutes of genuine, enthusiastic fawning before demurely saying "maybe the third act is kind of weak..." EDIT: And I'm sure it was especially hard with Last Jedi because many of the people who dislike it are very toxic and I wouldn't want to be lumped in with them. Like making that one actress quit acting, rating it hundreds of times on Rotten Tomatoes just to lower its score, starting petitions for the "real" version to get released. Ok, please get a life.
  20. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    For sure this. If Taylor Anne's argument is that people shouldn't exclude movies based on popularity, then I've definitely been presenting a different argument. That's my bad. I've been arguing about my personal belief on the merit of the movies. As a annoying teenager, I might have done so, but 2019 grudlian would never say a movie doesn't deserve a place because it was popular. Amy and Paul even bring this up in the episode. The majority of this list is made up of big, hit movies. It's not a compilation of obscure critical darlings the public missed. But, idk, maybe it's because we're in the thick of the superhero genre and I'm being a pretentious ass snob who'll reassess everything in 20 years to find I was wrong. Because I honestly don't think in a fictional universe where the AFI made a list in 1978, they'd include Star Wars on the list let alone at #13. I do want to address your last point about dismissing people's opinions. I've definitely had it happen elsewhere and in real life. People will completely dismiss and invalidate my opinion because I don't like something. I've had people accuse me of elitism for disliking Jurassic World 2 and the defense boils down to "you're too cool for dinosaurs fighting?????? just turn off your brain!!!!!!" There are moments I've deserved being put in my place as a snob. Then something like that happens and I think it's not always fair that having an unpopular opinion immediately puts you in that camp.
  21. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    I think expectations is probably part of it. Generally, I avoid trailers, reviews, spoilers, etc. So, I don't go into them hyped or with conscious expectations. I know I come across as hating the MCU or superhero movies which isn't the case (except Thor 2 is loathesome trash). I generally like them. I just don't love them. Part of that is I do think a lot of them, as you said, feel very similar. Even as they try to branch out to different genres in phase 2, they still feel extremely similar to me. In a vacuum, that probably doesn't hurt them individually. If I hadn't seen every MCU movie, I could jump into almost anyone and go, "Yeah, that was pretty fun." But seeing all of them makes it a bit tiring for me and it makes them feel weightless. I've rewatched a handful of the MCU movies and they never hold up to a second viewing for me (although I have not watched Black Panther a second time and I think that will probably hold up better than most). And I think truly great movies need to do that. My real, biggest issue I think is that the MCU tries to be everything for everybody. They want to be fun, and funny, and have character moments and be serious and have action. By trying to do everything and cramming too much story and too many characters into one movie, it feels a bit like a wash. It's eating your cake and having it too. They butt jokes right up against emotional character beats that I feel undercuts it. Give me an opportunity to breathe in some of these moments more. When I get those opportunities to sit in a moment and relish what it's doing, I FUCKING LOVE IT (for example, that long shot on Cap's face at Peggy Carter's funeral where you know he's made up his mind is probably my favorite scene in the entire MCU). But outside of a very self serving post that's just a list of "here's some scenes I don't like and why I don't like them", that's basically it I guess: either focus on doing fewer things or make every movie 3+ hours to fully tell all the stories you're trying to tell. I get why people like superhero movies. I'm not trying to stop people from liking them (and again, I generally do). I don't think people like them because duh...things 'splode and go boom, bread and circuses for the sheeple. There is a lot to like in them. They are just 80%-90% there and that missing 10-20% just kills it for me.
  22. grudlian.

    Episode 206 - Little Italy

    It played in the only Italy that matters.
  23. grudlian.

    HDTGM Classics: The Wicker Man

    I'm down for it since my D&D group cancelled for the night. I also haven't seen I Know Who Killed Me.
  24. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    "I'm fine with Falcon or Black Panther being in the Avengers. They just can't have their own movies. On an unrelated note, I have similar thoughts on Wonder Woman. In this essay, I shall..." I really appreciate Bradley Cooper rubbing his dick on Louis CK's head in that one scene now.
  25. grudlian.

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    Your thoughts on Vice are the same as mine. Bale's performance is 90% makeup and costume. I'd give the movie a nomination for that but nothing else (maybe Adams for supporting actress).
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