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Posts posted by DannytheWall

  1. On 6/8/2019 at 2:15 AM, JaguarScribbles said:



    Although the only other non-Country Bear we see was working the car wash waving down customers after drying their car. So, hmmm. 

    By the way, the Disney wiki lists the Country Bear Hall in Pendleton, Tennessee. Since Ted the Bear is crashing at Elton John's place, it could be any of his two homes that are in the US-- Atlanta or Los Angeles. The four-day time frame makes the LA home difficult to believe (in a movie of talking bears) so I'll assume it's Atlanta. Still weird that Beary can RUN HOME but take a bus to and from the Country Bear Hall.  


    My observation was about the all-signing diner, which obviously is just too trippy to put into words. But really, why did Beary freak out when the police arrived there? He didn't have any reason to think they were looking for him. I'm thinking there must have been some REALLY dark scenes in the director's cut that we're missing. 

    The real movie I want to see was the animated version that features the Bears versus aliens bent on dominating the world through mind control. That sounds like a WAY better movie. 

    And for how old are the Bears, there's not that many clues from their time as a band. They presumably formed before 1972 (the date of the Disneyland attraction), had Rolling Stone interviews in 1983 and broke up in 1991 according to the movie. The 1972 date makes sense if the movie takes place in 2002, but Christopher Walken says they ruined him 30 years ago, which would be earlier than '72, wouldn't it? In any event, according to bearlife.org, a bear's life span is about 20-30 years, so proportionately, these Country Bears are pushing 80 in human years. So just picture Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney instead of anthropormophic bears. Likewise, even tho Beary is in fourth grade, in bear-years, that's like 20 or something.

    Was the whole "protecting the grass" thing a Willie Nelson reference? 

    If anyone like tabletop roleplaying games, check out Honey Heist, a one-page storytelling game. https://www.docdroid.net/KJzmn5k/honey-heist-by-grant-howitt.pdfwhich clearly points out that there should have been MORE hats on bears. 

    • Like 3

  2. Making my way slowly through the backlog. 

    For some reason I always mix up the plotlines of Chinatown and On the Waterfront. Probably because I binged so much classic film when I was younger. Rewatching again this time and I was "oh, yeah!" several times. Which is weird because they are so different.

    As a person with an animated heart, I was hoping there would be a token mention of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, not only for the similar plot structure and its pseudo-real-world connections, but because the trolley company that is featured in Roger Rabbit is called "Cloverfield," an Easter Egg for the proposed title of the mythical third film of the Gittes trilogy after The Two Jakes. If Chinatown gets taken off the AFT list (unlikely!) maybe we can replace it with Roger Rabbit :)

  3. Paul mentioned something about how this film might work on the stage, and I totally had multiple thoughts along those lines when re-watching the film this time. As a drama teacher and amateur player, I've been more conscious of this lately. I can see so many ways to emphasize the themes, tension, etc by staging it. That being said, one of the reasons I place this movie so high on my personal AFI ranking is that the setting plays such a crucial role. It could have been pushed more, cinematically, perhaps, but there is a lot of specific attention given to personifying the mountain while also placing the camera in medium and close shots to lend intimacy to the characters. Ultimately, it would lose a lot if transferring to the stage, whereas some other films, like say Sophie's Choice, wouldn't have such a problem.   

  4. On 4/18/2019 at 11:47 PM, bleary said:

    I might not chime in too much on this film since I'm probably going to be more down on it than everyone else, but I'm halfway through the podcast and Amy and Paul's interpretation of parts of it baffles me.

    For one thing, they're talking about how the movie is about greed, and about how Dobbs not taking all of McCormick's money doesn't seem to make sense.  Well, the answer is that the film isn't really about greed. 


    Making my way through the movies/podcasts after a long break. (Not by choice, just Life. I don't know how all y'all have time to watch so many movies. It's impressive and I'm jealous :)

    The above comment is SO right, and I have to feel disappointed in the hosts as well. This film has long been one of my favorites, probably because when I was young I thought I stumbled onto some mysterious subtext like I was prophet with sudden epiphany, ready to grab others by the collar and shout with wild eyes "don't you get it?! It's NOT about the treasure at all!"   

    It's about selfishness, not greed. About individualism versus community. Dobbs is so consumed by being an individual, and proudly so, that he can't even look others in the eye when asking for help. He slowly builds a community but is consumed and ultimately destroyed by protecting his Self. The key turning point is when Dobbs demands that the gold be split three ways. There is no turning back from that point, which creates the atmosphere of ever-growing existential dread.

    And it's community that "saves" our other heroes in the end. As problematic as it might be in our 2019 perspective, essentially the others give up on the gold and choose instead to find fulfillment in others. Hobson returns to a community of locals, and Bob "returns" to a farm and family.   

    I guess what's doubly disappointing is that the theme of the dangers of individualism is very resonant for our political times these days. It's important not to miss such stuff in our art.  


  5. 14 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

    As far as agency, I think Snow shows plenty. But she’s also a little girl whose primary attribute is kindness. 

    I'm listening to the podcast tomorrow. Did they also bring up the fact that Snow is canonically 14-years old as well? If not, sorry for the mic drop! It's past midnight in my part of the world and I'm going to bed 😛 

    • Like 1

  6. 23 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

    And I've heard from new parents who sit their kids in front of things like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and they get legitimately bored. So the animation style is no longer something that is considered a marvel enough to makeup for the lack of a good well-rounded movie.

    Y'all I'm realizing I may not like Snow White at all lololol.

    Yup. That's why I said this movie is a hard sell for 2019 audiences. And it's not just for plot and character problems. Those things are just part of the aesthetic of the times, the same kind of aesthetic of color, light, editing, etc. So no fault for disliking it at all. I'm certainly arguing more because there are bits that I do like, and generally how much I like the medium itself. No fault to what started the conversation; I generally don't like discussions that JUST center on "should it List?" and would prefer to see it as an opportunity to talk about the films in general as they come up. 

    29 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

    but I remember my feelings about it so well. I truly thought Snow White had no agency or characterization or even wants besides just wanting to marry the Prince she just met. I'm not trying to talk solely just about female representation here, but purely just the representation of the main character of this story. The Queen ends up being a far more interesting character, as do the dwarfs, and Snow White is a passive character that does NOTHING for herself and it's so boring to watch her. So I just completely disagree and I have major doubt that this is Snow's story.

    Well, to be fair the dwarfs don't really have any agency, either. They come home from work and all this stuff's already done for them. They do a song, I guess? Then they come to Snow White's rescue (too late), and to fight the Queen, but nope, it's bad weather and gravity that does her in. They put Snow on a bier, I guess? The only one actually doing any agency things here is the Queen.

    Maybe she just needs a Maleficient-style makeover. After all, we don't actually see a body. :) Snow White 2: The Re-Appling 

  7. 8 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

    In terms of Disney, though, Snow White's story concludes at the end of this film and there's really nothing drawing you to then go further into the Disney catalog based on this alone. I find having a place holder movie to represent better movies made by the same company simply because it was the first of its kind to rather defeat the purpose of this list entirely.

    My reading of A. A. Ghost's post what less that it was meant to draw you into to watch more of the catalogue of movies, but it was representational of what the catalogue could offer. 

    That being said, there's enough going on with Snow White in terms of technical achievements, story structure or tropes, and craft-like stuff like that which could certainly draw people into watching more of the same catalogue. Animation as a medium itself benefits from its legacy, and any number of animated films that still have an "ending" can draw people in to watch other films in the oeuvre.  That's certainly happened to me as a little kid.  

    • Like 1

  8. 7 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

    The other idea I think Snow White does encompass (and maybe perfectly?) for the AFI list is that it represents "all Disney." I personally think that a few other early ones are better too, and even closer to "great", but Snow White may be the best representation of Disney as a genre. It's a stand-in for all the great Disney movies at once. And I think to some extent that's what puts this on the list.

    That's a very interesting idea! I'd love to dig into that "what's a stand-in" a bit more. Snow White might indeed be a contender. I do wonder how much, however, it presumes that it must have a princess in order to be something quintessential. Because if that's so, and I get to consider all of Disney's animated films to date, I might say that Beauty and the Beast would take that title. 

    What's more interesting is to consider if we really need a princess to be a stand-in. After all, Disney's last animated film was Jungle Book in the late 60s, meaning there was only three Disney princess at all in that 30 year period -- Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. The "mythos" of capital-D Disney was really part of the re-invention of the company in the late 80s with Michael Eisner and the so-called Disney Renaissance that banked heavily on what would be corporate synergy and branding and any number of other corporate buzzwords. 

    Walt Disney himself would likely consider films like Fantastia, Dumbo, and Bambi as much more worthy of what should be contenders (in that he's often gone on record as these are his favorite films) for representational "stand ins," and I'll probably stick with those myself. 

    • Like 1

  9. I love animation, especially hand-drawn, so I'm happy that there's at least one for discussion in this list :)

    That said, I know Snow White out of all of them is a hard sell for audiences in 2019. Not the least of which is the dated style of acting  with such a heavily rotoscoped performances by the human actors. It's probably my predilection, but the film only really comes alive with the relatively more freeform and cartoony dwarfs, which of course have all the personality and charm.

    As for the debate whether it's legacy should be a strong (if not sole) criteria for inclusion in the list, it's the same for any of the "old" movies. It was certainly a selling point for City Lights if it arguably set the standard for rom coms ever after. I think there's enough to make Snow White a worthy inclusion on its own merits, although certainly I can rattle off any number that would be more sophisticated technically as well as story wise. 

    And I fully admit that rewatching this film makes me yearn to watch Enchanted  :)    


    • Like 3

  10. So much to add to what's being said, but always late to the game LOL

    Just to add to the "why him" and presumption of motives for Mrs Robinson, I'd offer something regarding recent psychological studies regarding predatory behavior. These find that perpetrators are driven less by sexual attraction and more by the power dynamics. That tracks in Mrs Robinson's case, fictional as it is, in that she is/has been trapped into her marriage (and really, the whole "old world" the film is indicting) and finding some semblance of control by manipulating and maintaining the relationship with Benjamin. (Tangent- at least once later calling him Benjy as a diminutive)  The one time she can't control him starts as Benjamin demands a conversation, and that's the tipping point. In the last act, she tries the same tactics, with calling the police, the story of rape, etc., but Benjamin has overcome this. 

    The theme of control defines Benjamin too, from the first shot of him on the belt, literally drifting through life at the pool, and then the (really terrible!) pursuit of Elaine. In fact, it's all about control. The only (?) reason that he wants Elaine is precisely *because* she is wrong, because she is the one thing that she's been told he *can't* have. All other aspects of his life don't seem to really be a choice, not even something like a career. The true choice is in not choosing, or better yet rejecting the false choices.  I guess Elaine kind of does that too, at the end.   


    • Like 3

  11. On 2/9/2019 at 11:16 PM, Cameron H. said:

    I think everyone can agree that some superhero movies are better than others.

    LOL  That's not the impression I got from Amy's comments. ;)

    (please note the smiley) 

    • Like 1

  12. 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 ... 



  13. On 1/25/2019 at 5:11 AM, bleary said:

    I agree, I think it's a fantastic script, and Amy and Paul glossed over the dialogue here when they spent some time praising it in Double Indemnity, which I'm much less a fan of.  Double Indemnity has some great lines, but I always thought they were too written, and no one would actually talk that way.  In Sunset Blvd, the witty repartee seems more believable to me.


    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. :) 

  14. 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. :)  

  15. 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.    

  16. 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. 

    • Like 2

  17. 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...     

    • Like 1

  18. 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.  


    • Like 1

  19. 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.  

    • Like 3

  20. 3 hours ago, bleary said:

    I think this is the right answer, that Stingo is necessary to the film as a POV character through which the story is told.  But I still think the character falls into an unfortunate middle ground, where too much time is spent on him for how uninteresting he is.  I'd be more okay with the character as a blank slate if he didn't demand so much time.


    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?  

    • Like 2

  21. 19 hours ago, bleary said:


    For me, the movie is interesting in studying Sophie's character, and, as Cameron H. put it, how can she move on after surviving what she did.  The way that question is posed and answered in the film, mostly through Meryl's Hall of Fame performance, is why I ultimately come down on the side that this does belong on the list.  

    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.  

    • Like 1

  22. 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.