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action52

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action52 last won the day on September 9 2013

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  1. So Naomi claims that Adam said he got the wedding CD idea from that Carmen and Dave TV special. Adam says he doesn't remember saying anything like that. Scott says that if someone says they remember something and the other person says they don't, he usually believes the person who remembers something over the person who doesn't. But I think there's a good chance that Adam is the one remembering correctly. It's actually fairly common for people to remember things that didn't happen. Sometimes if we have two memories that are linked in our mind, our brains will conflate them and make a new memory that adds something to one of the memories based on the other one. This is what is happening in what they call the "Mandela effect." We have overlapping memories that make our brains misremember things in the same ways. The crazy thing is that the memories our brain creates this way will seem just as vivid and "real" as the memories we actually experienced. Often even when presented with proof that the memory is false, it is hard to believe that we could be wrong. But stuff like this happens a lot. To take a completely hypothetical example that is unrelated to this show, let's say there were two men who remembered a certain TV commercial from their youth. THen when they were older, The Simpsons did a parody version of the same commercial. It is actually quite possible that their brain would conflate the two, so that they remember something from the animated parody version happening in the original live action version. In fact the brain could even create memories of seeing it happen in the original commercial. they probably still wouldn't believe it because their memory of seeing it in the live action commercial is so vivid. But the fact is that it didn't happen. Anyway I think this might be similar to the totally made up hypothetical I made just now. Adam probably mentioned wanting to make the CD soon after the show came out, and seeing the idea on TV was fresh on her mind, so her brain conflated the two and created a memory of Adam saying he got the idea from the Carmen and Dave TV wedding. Just like those two imaginary guys I mentioned.
  2. action52

    Episode 163 - Zodiac vs. Shaun of the Dead vs. Magnolia

    This was a tough one for me. Shaun of the Dead is my favorite movie. Magnolia has the best performances. But Zodiac is the best movie of the three. I don't often use the terms "masterpiece" or "perfect movie" but I would apply both to Zodiac. The structure, the pacing, the cinematography... everything is firing on all cylinders. That basement scene is so great thematically, although I agree the scene where he murders them in daylight is even scarier... fills me with dread just thinking about it. I also think it was the most influential, because while Shaun of the Dead may have helped bring a new wave of zombie movies, that's something that has always come and gone and it doesn't seem like the movies that followed went for what really makes the movie great--the way it mixes both horror and comedy and does both so well. But the obsession with true crime stories that continues to this day has its roots in Zodiac. Before that all we had was junky, tabloidy stuff like America's Most Wanted. But this movie ushered in a totally new approach of really trying to capture the drama and tension rather than just going big and broad. Those are very good movies but Zodiac is better.
  3. action52

    Titanic

    This movie exhibits Cameron doing what he's really brilliant at: movie magic. Cameron is an absolute genius at making movies that sweep you up and take you for a beautiful ride. When I saw this movie in the theater, I was captivated. It was a event. Because I really felt like I was sitting in the Titanic. Like I was right there, smelling the wood and the sea and the new paint along with them. And the way all the little side characters grab at you and make their moments count... I felt that even more. It made the ship feel alive, like the people were really there. It's not even that I didn't notice the flaws--bad dialogue, characters that were one dimensional stereotypes, ridiculously on-the-nose one liners, cliche predictable love story, and oh my GOD that line about the Picasso painting is horrible... I noticed pretty much all of those things the first time around, but I was just so charmed and grateful to be transported into this world that I remember noticing flaws but thinking to myself, "you know what? I'm still into it." Even though I hated Celine Dion at the time, when that song started at the end I was like "I'm still cool with this, still gonna keep crying." When I got out, I talked to my dad and sister who went with me and we were in a daze at the amazing thing we'd just experienced. I told my girlfriend we had to see it, but for some reason she had decided it was one pop culture phenomenon she was going to miss. Finally, I convinced her to see it on video. But when I watched it in grainy analog on the tiny TV we had, during the day with lots of background noise from outside... it didn't have that magic. I didn't feel like I was transported anywhere, and the cheesy or silly parts stood out even more. My girlfriend turned and asked, "Why did you and everybody say it was so great?" And I said "I don't know." But I do know, now that I think about it. It was that magic. I always thought that was a lot of the reason for the backlash. That gap between seeing it at the theater and seeing it on video was too much. I think that's also why the world went so crazy over Avatar then forgot it six months later. Recently I saw Titanic again on a nice big screen HD TV, in a dark room, in blu-ray, and remembered again why I loved it so much. A lot of the magic came back. Though I don't know if I'll ever be captivated like I was 20 years ago. I do know, though, that however crazy his ideas may be, I'm never gonna bet against James Cameron.
  4. action52

    New Adventures in Hi-Fi

    I logged in for the first time in months just to like this.
  5. action52

    Episode 505 - Grass-Fed Bits

    Where's Brett Gelman?
  6. Wow, I wasn't expecting to see THIS negative a reaction. It's like you're trying to prove them right about how everyone dismisses and dehumanizes rural America. It is possible to humanize and understand them without condoning them. The fact of the matter is that rural America has been getting screwed. Every downturn in the economy has hit them the hardest, and the recovery always benefits them less than most of America. All over America industries collapsed in the late 70s and early 80s, and when they did come back it was in fewer places and hiring fewer people. Then we had Wal-Mart leeching off of them for decades, slowly choking out local businesses and lowering GDP by bringing wages down. And when recessions came in the 90s it just killed the rest of those local economies, leaving towns as decaying shells of empty storefronts and houses, and more people moving to trailer parks. Then the real estate crash of 2008 which, once again, urban areas have recovered from but not rural ones. They used to be quite a cultural force. Even in the 70s there were lots of shows and movies centering on them. But in the 80s culture gradually moved away from them. In the 90s and 2000s they had stuff like Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy but it was less and less mainstream. Niche programming for "those people" mocked by the rest of pop culture. I'm not denying that there are good reasons to criticize them. The homophobia and racism are real. But maybe we should try to be less self-righteous. Because they are right about one thing: the democrats will not help them. And I think even the conservatives are starting to wake up that the republicans ain't helping them either. That's why Trump appeals. They're not getting help anyway, so at least they'll go with the guy who tells them what they want to hear and makes them feel good. It's how con artists and cults work. They find the desperate people and prey on them. But in the end I don't know what to do. I think the future will be that almost no one lives in rural areas. Just a tiny number of people watching and maintaining the largely automated agricultural equipment. The times, they are a-changin'. And they better start swimming or they'll sink like a stone. I don't know if empathy will help anything. They aren't giving it to other people, and they aren't asking for it either. But I think it means a lot to admit that if we had been born and raised in the same bubble that they were, we would probably think a lot like them. And that our not sharing their bigotry isn't the result of us being smarter or better than they are, but rather us growing up around different people. This podcast isn't asking you to agree with them, or excuse them, or say that they aren't totally wrong in supporting Trump who would be a terrible president. They're just asking you to open up your mind enough to see things from their point of view and see them as human beings. But most of you seem unwilling to even try that.
  7. action52

    Episode 83: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE

    Film Crit Hulk was very persuasive but this is still a soft "no" for me. This is a movie that has lots of things I like in it. The problem is that none of them are really developed enough. The idea of a witch existing in a relatively modern world is an interesting one, but the movie is very vague about what role they play in society. People seem to know what she is, and no one is surprised by her. They act like maybe it's an old-fashioned thing... but considering how no one even treats Kiki, a witch, as particularly unusual makes it weird that there aren't ANY witches in that town. You'd think people would at least be more suprised if they hadn't seen one in years. And the idea of a 13 year-old living on her own should be crazy in 20th century Europe. We certainly don't see that in any of the other teenagers. But everyone just accepts it as normal. And then she gets there and it seems like this story of her surviving independent in a harsh, new world... except almost immediately she just is given a place to live by some random person. Who kind of seems like a mother figure, but the movie doesn't show them engaging in much more than friendly banter. The fact that this is all taking place in some kind of a vague, dream Europe that doesn't seem to be any particular country, doesn't help. By itself this isn't bad, but taken with everything else it makes it harder to see this as a real world that Kiki's living in. And this movie suffers from the stakes not being high enough. Not that we needed some sort of high-stakes action scene or adventure inserted in as artificial high stakes. Actually, they kind of did do this but at least it was short and fit in fairly naturally with the story. If this were a Pixar movie, they probably would have taken it much further and it would have made the movie a lot worse. They probably would have made the Hindenberg scene into this big, death-defying action sequence where everyone was constantly in mortal peril and Kiki just barely saves the day at the last minute. So at least Miyazaki knew that making this too big would have been jarring and taken away from the movie as a whole. But those aren't the stakes I'm tlaking about. The emotional stakes aren't high enough. We never see Kiki really hurt by anyone, or really opening up and making herself vulnerable to anyone. The movie doesn't make us feel that she's forming close relationships with the people around her, or that she's really hurting deep inside. Is Kiki friends with that boy in the glasses? Does she have a crush on him? And does she really want to be friends with those other girls she sees? Also the woman she stays with, who is sort of motherly... does Kiki see her as a mother? If Kiki opened up to her maybe we would feel more that they had a really strong love between them, but the movie really doesn't give us much. I mean, tdo they even hug? Seems like Kiki would be desperate for someone to just hold her and make her feel secure as she cries at how scared or insecure she feels. Or maybe she feels indebted to her because she got so much help with no real way to repay it, and maybe scared of disappoining her (as well as all the people who had faith in her) if her delivery service fails. There are just so many emotional avenues that you'd think would be issues for Kiki considering her situation, but the movie never pusrsues any of them. That said, though, the part of this movie that work work really great. There are so many little moments that are shot and drawn beautifully, with so much subtlety. The way the movie portrays flying is fantastic--it makes me wish I could fly on a broomstick more than all the Harry Potter movies put together. The conversation with the old grandmother is so pleasant, and it works so well to contrast the snotty, ungrateful grandchild. I really feel Kiki's pain in that moment. The artwork is beautiful, and I find myself really liking all the characters (even that annoying boy with the glasses). The moment in the end where the cat comes back, but doesn't talk, manages to be happy and sad in a way that is beautiful and rings true with the theme of the movie. If the movie had just done a better job of pulling things together, and making me feel emotionally invested, it would be a Slam Dunk. (When I say Slam Dunk I am of course referencing the popular basketball manga/anime, which it's too bad that nobody noticed when Devin said it) So I do like this movie a lot, and I won't mind it getting into the canon even if I don't think it deserves to. Actually, I might even be happier if it does. If nothing else, Film Crit Hulk has made me feel like a stubborn, pedantic fuddy duddy for voting no.
  8. action52

    POLL: Is Devin a Racist?

    Devin may be a little racist, but not enough that he should really worry about it. If only because when you look at all the many, many things wrong with Devin, it's no big deal. "Racism" is at most a tiny sliver of the "what's fucked up about Devin" pie.
  9. action52

    Episode 82: THEY LIVE

    Also a soft no. I appreciate that the film is intelligent and prescient in many ways, and that it had an impact on our culture (although I think Devin overstates it). I also agree that it is a fun movie, and I do like it a lot. But I also find the movie immature and reductionist, or else outright dangerous--because the whole thing is very much like a schizophrenic delusion that turns out to be real. I think if this movie did a little more to make it ambiguous whether he really sees these ghouls, or questioned the idea that murdering them all is the best solution, that would bump the movie up to a definite "yes" in my book. But it turns out to be just another movie where the male protagonist has a problem, and immediately guns are the solution, and as is always the case in these kinds of movies, they work great. It's a very black and white, us vs. them approach that has zero nuance. And the solution is to just go around killing them. It is a clever movie that makes a lot of good points, but the overall take on them is kind of shallow and hamfisted. I get that this is because it's a fun, action-filled B movie but I'm only going to go so far in calling the movie intelligent or deep. I also think Amy had very valid criticisms of Roddy Piper's performance. It's not even that he's bad. If he were over the top terrible but giving a heartfelt performance this would be a better movie. But instead he gives this performance that's kind of okay in most places, but really lacking in energy or feeling. I guess it might have been intentional, considering his name was "Nada"... in which case I think it was a poor choice. He didn't have to make the character that much of a blank slate. He didn't have to be boring. Devin's point about them "not being actors back then" was complete bullshit. If you ever watch wrestling promos from the 80s, where they are talking into the camera about how they're going to beat the crap out of each other, that is them acting--and really hamming it up. I wish Roddy Piper had put half as much energy and enthusiasm into his performance in this movie as he did into those wrestling promos.
  10. Well, Devin and Amy have made it clear they don't want to do this. Thank you for listening and considering it!
  11. action52

    Episode 856 - Not Knowing Prince Shreds

    I always figured one of the main reasons Prince doesn't get recognized as a great guitarist is because when white people make lists of the best guitarists of all time, they put Jimi Hendrix at the top and think "OK, we're good," so now they don't have to bother going outside of their regular cultural radar.
  12. Just an idea I have. The reason I think it's important, is that this is supposed to be ultimately up to the audience to decide. But if Devin and Amy pick two movies, neither of which are canon-worthy, it means that one of them has to get in by default. Theoretically they could use it to get a movie they like but know most people wouldn't vote in favor of by pitting it against a title nobody likes. I am not saying they have done this. I think in all the versus episodes, the movie that won was one that probably would have gotten into the canon anyway. But I think it's a good idea to have a "neither" option, mostly as insurance. If Devin and Amy are doing their jobs right, "never" won't even come close to winning. But this will weed out any bad movies if we do have versus episodes with no good option in the future. Even if this poll comes out strongly in favor of a "neither" option I only intend it as a suggestion. I fully respect it if they decide they don't want to add a "neither" option, no matter what the reason. EDIT: Amy and Devin have said on the podcast that they won't do this. I'm going to let the poll stand, but anybody reading this months or years from now: just so you know, a "neither" option will not be added regardless of people's opinions.
  13. action52

    The Yellow Scarf

    The sexism comes in when it's used to dismiss her as being petty and focusing on small details. This is a common thing aimed at women, the idea that they are fickle and allow their judgement to be clouded by emotional reaction. I don't think it was sexist in its original context, but the way Devin uses it to dismiss her arguments kind of goes there sometimes. It was funny at the time and there was a lot of truth to it, but I don't want to see it coming back every time their arguments get heated.
  14. action52

    Episode 78: BOYZ N THE HOOD

    That would have been a really good one.
  15. action52

    Episode 78: BOYZ N THE HOOD

    The last few episodes had left me sympathizing with Devin and down on Amy for being so stubborn. But this week it's like Devin was just determined to undermine all that goodwill I had. His criticisms were valid but he was WAY overly harsh. The film is rough and unpolished but it has a really good message and brings to life a world that mainstream movies just didn't cover. It's not a great movie but it's not nearly as terrible as Devin makes it out to be. Devin came out sounding downright petty. It's hard not to see this as him somehow getting "back" at Amy for the last episode, especially because he kept bringing it up. Soft yes, based mostly on cultural and cinematic influence. This was THE movie that brought "the hood" to the mainstream and opened the door for all those movies in the 90s, like Menace II Society to Friday and even up to Training Day.
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