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DannytheWall

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DannytheWall last won the day on October 19 2018

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About DannytheWall

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  1. DannytheWall

    Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

    LOL That's not the impression I got from Amy's comments. (please note the smiley)
  2. DannytheWall

    Sunset Boulevard

    I could have sworn there was a Simpsons reference with Mr Teeny (Krusty the Clown's chip sidekick) in a funeral scene, but maybe that's just so likely that I can imagine it. But I knew I could count on this board to remember the Tiny Toons version. Someone beat me to it I think there was a Pinky & The Brain reference as well. And speaking of animation, don't forget Cats Don't Dance. This is really an overlooked gem that got caught up in a bit of a speculator bubble in the late 90s and not many people know of it. There's a lot of classic Hollywood there, and the butler has a Sunset Blvd relationship to the main villain, who's def a Baby Jane type ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdP3Itc6_Es
  3. DannytheWall

    Sunset Boulevard

    YES. Also, add in a healthy layer of meta in that the "movie-ness" of the dialogue is coming from people who work in the movies. They mention a bit of this in the podcast, but it's worth a highlight in my book as there's lines between text, subtext, and metatext are so intertwined. Also, disclosure: I've always liked Double Indemnity well enough, but think it's overrated and I don't want it crowding into any discussion of something that makes my Top 5. :)
  4. DannytheWall

    Unforgiven

    Hmm. About a quarter into the movie, I'm realizing my memories of this film are way off. Then I have to take way too long to realize I somehow blended it in my mind together with 2010's True Grit. Which reminds me, I really like True Grit far better than this.
  5. DannytheWall

    The Searchers

    This one broke me. Whereas I've been able to experience nearly 90% of this podcast by enjoying a re-watch before listening, this one was a completely new and unfamiliar film. Unfortunately, it just failed on every level to capture any interest of mine. For the first time in a long, long time, I couldn't make it through in one sitting. I found myself on the phone, then preferring to wander for some chores, then trying to rewind, then resorting to watching in small chunks, then just skipping to the last 10 minutes. I really appreciate listening to the podcast and coming to the boards afterwards, as it allowed me to understand other views, but it's just going to be an academic understanding, nothing personal. And I'm going to be a week behind everything thanks to the slog of Searchers. I didn't think any film would be at the bottom of my personal rankings below Swing Time, but congratulations "Suck-ers," you made it.
  6. DannytheWall

    In The Heat Of The Night

    Looking back over my personal ranking (I add each film after a rewatch but before i listen to the podcast) it's clear to myself why some films are at the top, and why some are at the bottom. That middle part gets really messy, and this film found its way into the middle. Interestingly, I couldn't find any place for it except next to Bonnie and Clyde. In The Heat gets the edge, however, from my personal reaction to the movie, and it was a very emotional viewing experience. That's all I want to say about that. Without that emotional resonance, however, I doubt I would have placed the film so high. While watching it, I wondered if it could have been the True Detective of its day. Well, the first season I mean. That also speaks to how cinematic our television series are these days. Having no Simpsons' reference? I took to TVtropes.org which usually has a section that lists any homages, etc. There weren't any, although they do name a whole trope They Call Me Mister Tibbs. They also had some interesting trivia that didn't come up in the podcast, although without any references cited I'm not sure how to vet the information. for example, the site claims Endicott was supposed to be a sympathetic character in the novel, but was changed for the sceenplay, and similarly in the novel Tibbs was a polite and non-confrontational character. Another tidbit was that Steiger didn't want to have to chew gum all the time, but grew to like the way it helped him act. Anyway, the TvTropes page is here https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/InTheHeatOfTheNight It also pointed out something I didn't notice at the time, the "Feet-first Introduction," where the audience doesn't see Tibbs fully until ten minutes into the film. I wonder if this is important thematically or just a dramatic choice by the director. And maybe it happened off screen, but I sure hope Tibbs called his mother.
  7. DannytheWall

    A Clockwork Orange

    Just because a film has ULTRAVIOLENCE in it, doesn't mean the film is "about" ULTRAVIOLENCE. (I like writing it in all caps every time. ULTRA!!) In this case it isn't, because ultraviolence doesn't *do* anything in the movie except being there for its own sake. It exists in the world at the beginning of the movie, is a feature of the world throughout, and still exists in him at the end. If everything is ULTRA then it's a fancy way of saying that nothing is, and if that's the comment that Kubrick is making it's way too meta and frankly kinda pointless to be expressed in that way. It might be a product of its times, it pushed boundaries as much as it could, and filmmakers and audiences today are capable of much more, making "Orange" unsatisfying by comparison. Take a look at the commentary that other movies "about" ULTRAVIOLENCE that are arguably more successful-- Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, Tarantino's Django Unchained, Robert Rodriquez' Sin City or even Game of Thrones...
  8. DannytheWall

    A Clockwork Orange

    Someone somewhere said that it was meant to be a comedy? If so, well, that failed. And not because it's not funny or that people didn't laugh. Rather than seeing it as a comedy even in the philosophical sense, I'm thinking it's more of a... music video? It's more music video because there doesn't seem much of a narrative, or at least no purpose behind the narrative that's presented. Rather, the intent is more on creating a "theme", both in the sense of an emotional through-line (making the audience deliberately FEEL something) and in the sense of a message or moral (deliberately feeling something ABOUT something.) All the talk about the shock to the audience, the indictment of society and free will, etc. is testament to that. How many times did Paul and Amy say something like "the film wants you to..." or "the film makes you..." Kind of like a music video -- one that doesn't necessarily have a beginning-middle-end multiple-pointed storyline, but does provide images and sound that present something more singular. Although maybe it's more like a museum piece-- we are meant to stare at it on the wall in its entirety as you mull over a "theme" that is displayed. Hopefully you can blink. But that's also why it (and other "art-y" films) are unsatisfying to many, especially in its story. Because we prefer to see a narrative that results in something larger. Philosophically speaking, it's why we tell stories in the larger categories of tragedy and comedy. The twin face masks, one crying one laughing. Every story starts with something wrong with the world, an unsettled status quo, but by the story leading us through death (tragedy) or through coupling/marriage/birth (comedy), it restores to a new if not better status quo. "Orange" begins with the unsettledness, to be sure, but it's difficult to see any movement through death (does Alex even die to his old self? guess not) nor coupling/marriage (not at all) so what's the resolution, where is the redemption? We are left with a world unchanged and displaying themes we already agree with, so why wouldn't someone feel upset that it became a waste of time. The inner nihilist in us all is tapping his foot, prompting the movie, "and ...?!" (The Inner Nihilist was a sixth character in Pixar's Inside Out but you'll have to see the director's cut.) All of that to say, by failing to fit into the purposeful intentions of either comedy or tragedy, it falls into neither, making it just a one-note whine.
  9. DannytheWall

    A Clockwork Orange

    Tried to give the movie a chance by rewatching as much as I could. As much as like (or at least appreciate) 2001, i find it and pretty much any film by Kubrick to just be so overrated. He always struck me as producing the kind of overwrought, hyperpretenious movie that you'd find from a first year film student desperate to create capital-A "ART!" And I came to this conclusion when i was a first year film student and have yet to experience any thing different.
  10. DannytheWall

    Sophie’s Choice

    Well, there's always TVTropes to the rescue: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/SophiesChoice But, yeah, that's not a long list when compared to the vast majority of films. So maybe it's doing something right. (/end understatement mode)
  11. DannytheWall

    Sophie’s Choice

    Yes, I'm certainly not trying to judge the movie for what it is NOT, as any art should be judged by what it IS. By making the film subjective to Stingo's experience, however, the result is that it makes him a more "important" figure-- as others have pointed out quite nicely in previous posts, the story is about how Sophie impacts the Narrator, how Stingo becomes the one to carry the "message" of surviving into the world beyond the movie/story, etc. We can dig for days into the richness of the story and characters for days by just what's presented to us. But one of the ways to challenge the story and themes is to butt them up against their imagined opposites. Looking at A by considering Not-A. I wondered how the story and themes might change if Sophie was our subjective point of view. I don't think we'd need to have a linear A to B to C story, similarly the mystery of the titular choice could remain hidden until she shares it with someone. Maybe another contemporary challenge could be to rework Stingo as a female character. I guess I'm lamenting that we don't get to see from Sophie's POV because the film presented her as such a more compelling character than any others. But by that same token, if she were presented in a different way, would it have ended up less compelling?
  12. DannytheWall

    Sophie’s Choice

    So, then, is it an advantage or disadvantage that Sophie, arguably the central character, is only experienced by way of a first person (and male) narrator? I was really looking forward to a woman-centric film only to grumble in the first few minutes when I realized I was getting "Nick" from Great Gatsby. The service to the story is that it becomes a mystery and allows for some twists of narrative, but the disadvantage is that it really is quite trope-y. Sophie is very un-manic and un-pixie, but she essentially serves as manic pixie dream girl for both Nathan and Stingo.
  13. DannytheWall

    Sophie’s Choice

    well, I don't know what I was expecting, but that wasn't it. It was definitely an interesting film watching experience. It was much more captial-A "artistic" than I thought. I couldn't help but think how much like The Great Gatsby it was in set up-- the narrator, first-person, finding himself a somewhat passive wheel among a central trio. Also, it felt very "European cinema" in some ways. my biggest criticism kept echoing in my head throughout the film -- and strangely was echoed by Paul as well. I shouted "I KNOW!" when Paul said how "play-like" the movie was. To me, that's both a praise and a criticism. It makes for a rich experience of art, but notably more for the writing and acting, but lacks a "scale" (yes, aside from the very important flashbacks). This is certainly a personal preference, so I'm not arguing it's a bad movie. It's just that if I'm ranking it against other AFI grand-scale pictures, it by definition will be lower on the list. Although I did put All About Eve in my personal top 10. Go figure.
  14. DannytheWall

    Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

    I know we're not supposed to ask how characters go to the bathroom and stuff, but.. how did he go to the bathroom?! People can print and distribute newspapers, organize marches with neatly printed signs driven on the sides of busses, all between the time someone isn't going to the bathroom?
  15. DannytheWall

    Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

    You know, if Mr Smith Goes to Washington took place in the Scooby Doo universe, the crooked real estate developers would be exposed in a decidedly MUCH more entertaining manner.
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