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Everything posted by Muthsarah

  1. Muthsarah

    Episode 112 - Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)

    So...I should have voted before properly thinking it over...until the 11th hour? Oh well. Even though I'd like to think of myself as the potential John McCain of this thread, I'm not too despondent that my vote didn't keep the film out. We'll probably never see Gold Diggers or 42nd Street here (which, to stress, are more solid films, even if they don't necessarily hit the highest of high notes as Footlight Parade), so long as one is here, hopefully some people are turned onto the genre. Also, I didn't realize that ALL THREE films came out in 1933. Busby Berkeley deserves to be in The Canon for nothing other than that. How do you make THREE of the most canon-worthy, decade-defining musical extravaganzas, in the SAME calendar year?! All while sticking it to the Hays Code. That's New Hollywood/underground/punk rock $#!+. But with granny appeal too. Dude's a legend. I don't care if he was a drunk. I wanna have eight drinks with him. (Hopefully we wouldn't kill anyone afterwards).
  2. Muthsarah

    Episode 112 - Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)

    Mmmm....nah. It's just not the definitive Busby Berkeley MOVIE, even if it may have the most iconic of his scenes. Near miss, but there are better films of this type.
  3. Muthsarah

    Homework - Footlight Parade (1933)

    Really don't know what to think of this one going in. Are we picking a "Best of 30s Hollywood"? Even though none of them are my very favorites, the splashy musicals probably define the whole decade in film better than anything else. And for best of the splashy 30s musicals, yeah, it's this, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and whatever your favorite Astaire and Rogers film is (I'd have to go with Top Hat). The first two also probably had both Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. But this one has Cagney too. There SHOULD be a 30s musical in The Canon, probably two (one Berkeley, one Astaire/Rogers). Simpsons references them, the Coens have referenced them multiple times. They're still known. They were the height of extravagance and escapism at a time when moviegoers relied on them far more than we did. And when you could buy two hours of glamour for a mere nickel.
  4. Lost in Translation is, overall, the more pleasurable visceral experience. But it has "concernful" parts that do make me feel kinda bad while watching it. Marie Antoinette is occasionally distracting, but it really strikes at my sweet spot when it doubles-down on the historicaly-accurate filmed-on-location gorgeousness. I want to vote for them both. They're both wonderful films. But...ultimately, Lost in Translation left the bigger impact, even on re-watching. I won't say it's necessarily the better film, but it's the one that hits hardest, and is thus the more impressive. I love film as escapism above everything else, and Sofia Coppola has already made two masterpieces in that genre. But one delivers the full Sofia Coppola experience a little more than the other, and is thus a little better as an example of what's she's done so well. It's very close, but I gotta go with Lost in Translation. And, as penance, I will buy a Blu-Ray of Marie Antoinette. It's too good for mere streaming. These are both HIGHLY dreamy films.
  5. I've seen Lost in Translation at least three times, and Marie Antoinette twice. The latter has a rough road to climb to catch up to even the shallow exuberance of the former. I suspect the use of late-20th-century pop music was meant to put the viewer into the inner world of Marie and her friends, but it only served to alienate me. I know Baroque/Classical music, and I love it. It was always a huge disconnect to me. I think I would have preferred a movie that didn't lean on ANY music to tell its story. Then again, I adore "Barry Lyndon",and its 18th-century score worked perfectly well for me in its setting. Just a heads-up that I'm probably kinda-sorta-biased based on a very deliberate artistic choice. Yeah, LiT is the easy favorite. And it'll take a hell of an argument to turn my head around on this issue. Not that "Marie Antoinette" isn't a quality picture, but - for all of LiT's controversey (disclaimer I R the whiteness) I found it irresistable. The latter...I had to fight with, constantly, to qualify both my knowledge of the actual subject (I've read up on Marie and Louis and the grandpa Louis and company) and on the very real disconnect I had viewing a music video two centuries removed. Kinda got in the way, it did, whereas the more modern movie didn't have any sort of problem, so I could drink in its visuals and soundtrack without any distraction. It makes a difference in the viewing. It makes a BIG difference. "Marie Antoinette" is a bold, remarkable historical bio-drama. But which film is the more notable watch? Which leaves the bigger impression?
  6. Muthsarah

    Episode 110 - Z (w/ Richard Lawson)

    I suspect Amy's gonna go with another weeks-old one-of-two-results recordings, but all the same, I'm ever optimistic she'll throw in an in improv something. I'd love to hear her response to this here particular vote. Jinx. I cast my vote (no points to Gryffindor for how I voted) after seeing the film for the first time. I had nothing to add to others' comments. Just enjoyed the hell out of it. 1969 was such wonderful year for movies and for pop culture, I wish I had been alive then to have some sort of personal context. Never NEVER woulda seen "Z" without this show.
  7. Muthsarah

    Episode 109 - Raising Arizona (w/ Ira Madison III)

    I said it a week ago, this is one of the easiest votes I've ever had here. POSSIBLY my favorite comedy of the 80s. Certainly one of my favorite Coens (along with Barton Fink, and Miller's Crossing was pretty damn good too, so how's that for a run?). I feel bad that Ira Whatshisname III didn't care for it, but I know what it's like to feel underwhelmed by a supposed classic. Ira's Raising Arizona is my Trading Places, I guess. This film just feels so perfect from beginning to end. There's absolutely nothing in it I don't like. It's pure cinematic joy. And if you don't agree, well, it's a comedy. That's how it goes. You like it or you don't, and there's really nothing to argue over.
  8. Muthsarah

    Homework: Raising Arizona (1987)

    This will be the easiest, earliest "Yes" vote I have ever made here. The Coens are my second-favorite filmmaker(s), after only Wes Anderson. And Raising Arizona is my second-favorite film of theirs (after Barton Fink), but easily the most enjoyable film they've made. I could see putting it at #1. It's super-close. I'm voting now. I'll vote again in a week, for the record. But I'm also voting now. No way I'm not voting for this. Had I been here back in the when, I woulda voted 100% for Grand Budapest, the only other more-obvious pre-vote I can think of. This is - possibly even including a Barton Fink episode - my mostest of mostfully prejudicial votes.
  9. Juno didn't "fail" to get an abortion. She chose not to, even though she initially chose to. Pro-choice means you accept the woman's decision, however she chooses. And yeah, she makes a rather impulsive, kinda-stupid choice to choose Vanessa and Mark via the Penny Saver ad, but it was Mark's decision to put the ad in such an...unorthodox source to begin with. Because he didn't really want anyone to bite. But Juno, also probably very much in doubt, and very likely also deeply ignorant of what she was doing, ending up biting on the almost "ironic" ad. Her father, her step-mother, and, to some extent, Vanessa, all ended up trying to educate her on the full ramifications of what she was doing (without ever forcing her), even if Mark - who was never on-board with the adoption-thing - eventually bailed. I don't think it's a film everyone has to understand. It's all about a teenage girl making a momentous decision at a time of her life when she isn't prepared to deal with it, and the people who care about her. As she confessed to her own father: "I don't know what kind of girl I am". She's still figuring it all out herself. The audience sees the events of the film mostly through her eyes. She's better off with Paulie, rather than being a mother. She's still a kid herself. She could have taken the route of getting an abortion and just trying to forget about the whole matter, but she chose to see it through, to a natural (if not the most traditional) conclusion: Vanessa raises the child as her own, Juno goes back to being a kid, a little older and much wiser. But still a kid. Hence why she and Paulie are still a good pairing by the end. She remains the more emotionally-developed of the two, but she's just not ready to be a responsible adult (and not ready to be a mother). Paulie loves her, and she loves Paulie. Her father and stepmother are still watching over her. Vanessa (and her child) are still potentially in her life. That's the best thing for her at this point, whatever the future holds for her.
  10. Muthsarah

    Can we get some Kurosawa films please

    If this wouldn't be too controversial/heretical, howsabout: Yojimbo vs For a Fistful of Dollars Seven Samurai vs. The Magnificent Seven (the former would win) Throne of Blood vs Macbeth (Welles or Polanski) I really, REAAALLLY wanna see a Japanese film put up for The Canon, and I suggested a few off-the-beaten-path films last year (not surprised they weren't picked up, I know Kurosawa, Miike, or possibly Ozu are more likely to lead off than Mizoguchi, Shindo or Nakahira), but if we start off with Kurosawa, I think the best way to approach it is as Western film fans approaching the most "Western" Japanese filmmaker as the inspiration/reflection of other Western stories. Why start with Rashomon? Or even (another film I adore) High and Low? It's Kurosawa. What makes Kurosawa Kurosawa? That he's considered the most Western-inspired Japanese filmmaker of his day. Put one of his films in context with the Western films he was inspired by or (very, very) clearly inspired (/were ripped off). Go for broke. If you're gonna do Kurosawa, go all out. Get two guests, get a lively discussion going. He was my gateway Japanese filmmaker, and I suspect he was for many others. But don't just treat him like another foreign director. Give him a proper episode, based around his unique position in the Japanese cinematic pantheon. Put him immediately in context with Western cinema, in some way. EDIT: Upon reflection, I'd be 100% OK with High and Low Or Ikiru being a stand-alone. It'd be potentially fascinating to hear a deeply-knowledgable guest tackle the Western view on post-war Japan and Japanese cinema, if they really know what they're talking about. I recall having a lot of fun listening to the Criterion commentaries on these films (and on Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, though I'm not such a huge fan of those films, or The Bad Sleep Well). I'm probably biased in that I find that particular era to be fascinating, and I HIGHLY recommend the films and commentaries to anyone reading this who has any interest whatsoever in post-war Japan, but as I feel Kurosawa is probably the biggest "in" for Western filmlovers, I feel having someone being able to put a film into its historical and cultural context is invaluable in being able to appreciate these films as not just stories, but reflections on a real, vanished world. If Amy could get a real authority in to put up/recommend/talk about an early Kurosawa, I'd be in heaven.
  11. I voted Fellowship anyway. Whatever I feel about the trilogy these days, the experience of seeing that film for the first time was pretty damn magical. Not perfect, but better than I imagined it could have reasonably turned out given how much I had soured on big-budget films during the late 90s (seriously, how many truly GOOD blockbusters came out between Jurassic Park and Spiderman?) and how afraid I was of another cinematic train wreck. Even the parts of the film that I don't like I understand, not least because I realize I'm in the minority opinion on them, and I won't deny the film's appeal to the masses. I think it's for the best that Tolkien is no longer niche, and that classic fantasy is now deemed "worthy" of mainstream attention. Even if Hollywood still hasn't satisfactorily followed up on that (which, perhaps, should be another feather in the series' hat). I think it's entirely appropriate to vote FotR into The Canon, even if I don't particularly want to watch it ever again. Like the LotR "saga" itself, it started out magnificently, and I can't imagine the last 15+ years of pop culture without it.
  12. Muthsarah

    An American in Paris vs. Singin' in the Rain

    You're right. We don't need to keep giving Amy reasons to bring that movie back up. We'll have to put this off until she calms down.
  13. This post is for me. Me fifteen years ago, especially. It's OK to feel impressed by a work of art, even if you don't give a $#!+ about it. Just because a movie series is big, or maybe-unarguably important, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you if you are completely removed from it in any emotional way and don't ever want to experience it again, even if you paid $50 for it back during Dubya's first term and have barely thought about it since let alone touched it. Just because every third person out there your age seemed to love and worship it, that doesn't mean it's worth putting on a pedestal, or feeling remotely bad about yourself for feeling "left out" of the continuing love. A movie is just a story, there are a million stories out there, and it's fine if - despite all your anticipation and fleeting enjoyment - it didn't in any way hold up for you, even for a single year. There will be more stories. Ones you'll be giddy to re-visit once or twice every year for the rest of this presidency and the next (beyond that, nothing is promised). Most of them have already been made, so the past remains a rich vein to mine. You hoped, wanted, briefly believed, that this was one for the ages. Maybe it is. But that doesn't mean it has to be for you, and it doesn't mean you have to enjoy it...when you clearly can't even imagine re-visiting it, no matter how good certain specific scenes felt at the time. Life is short. You can skip a ten-hour movie series if you don't enjoy it. Spend that time doing anything else that makes you happy, and just leave this one behind, without feeling bad about yourself. You're forgiven for thinking otherwise in your ignorance, but regardless of your feelings on the books, this movie series was never actually for you. That's why you don't enjoy it. And I would have picked The Two Towers anyway (not least because I could never get through even the theatrical cut of RotK on home video). Paced way better than Return, more technically-precise than Fellowship, actually has a sort-of-ending, has a ton of memorable scenes. And I actually saw it before I just collapsed under the pressure of trying to like this series I wanted to love but just couldn't. I still have fond memories of TTT, and I'll always enjoy the soundtrack, but, even though I read the books as a child, I just couldn't get into these over-blown, over-wrought, yet still somehow really formulaic and artificial-feeling adaptations. Coming on the heels of the Star Wars Prequels was probably a big stroke of luck, as it couldn't help but impress after that crap. But it just doesn't tell its story in a satisfying way. I couldn't possibly vote for a movie I've been dead-set against re-watching for over a decade, especially when the only part I cared anything about wasn't even included (not that I would have voted for it anyway, as it's one big movie, not a trilogy of stand-alones). I'll stop. This is too long as it is. Also, past self: Discover the films of Wes Anderson now. You'll want to get into them as soon as you can. You won't regret it. Spend your time in a unique and (mostly) happy world that will invigorate your creative juices instead of drain them.
  14. Muthsarah

    An American in Paris vs. Singin' in the Rain

    Singing in the Rain would probably beat out any musical barring possibly West Side Story. I can't help but think back on the Annie Hall vs Manhattan episode, where I think "neither" got more write-in votes than Manhattan. I wonder if American in Paris vs On the Town would be more competitive. Paris has one truly outstanding sequence (maybe two) and a single comic relief character, while Town focuses on a fast pace and constant use of comedy from everyone involved. Singing in the Rain basically combines the strengths of both - a better song selection than Paris, the comedy of Town, and more show-stoppers than either of them. Though I'd still take the grand ballet from Paris over anything in any other musical.
  15. Muthsarah

    Maltese Falcon vs The Big Sleep

    Firstoff: Anything, anybody that would put "Mona Lisa" and/or "The Long Good Friday" up for The Canon would be a saint in my eyes. I could happily die after such an episode airs. As for a return to film noir, I dunno if a versus is the best idea. I wanna sell the genre on the young'uns, y'know. Maybe two at a time would work, but that tends to lead to a competitive episode, tearing the other down. "The Maltese Falcon" could stand on its own, as could "The Big Sleep", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", or possibly other films that don't have Bogart in them. But as he was in so many of the best, it would feel contrived/obtuse to avoid him entirely. Besides, "Double Indemnity" got in and "The Long Weekend" didn't, so we at least have a discriminating jury. Nothing would beat Chinatown head-up, so if you wanna cover it (a great intro to both noir and New Hollywood), just do an ep on that one. There'd be so much to talk about, all of it positive. It should be fun and probably instructive. But don't put it up against anything before or since, it wouldn't be fair. While I'm here, just put Casablanca up awready. Sure, it'd be the closest thing to a 100% ever, but use the moment, Amy, to pick who you feel is the BEST person to talk about the film. I worry that the younger generations only know the film by reputation, and A) don't sit down and actually watch it and B ) can't appreciate all the period references it sprinkles for lack of historical perspective. So if we're gonna do Casablanca, please get a very eloquent expert. It's a lock to get in, just think of the entertainment value of the episode, that's all that would matter.
  16. Muthsarah

    Homework: The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Return of the King

    I saw the first two in theatres. Had a good time. I think I even saw them both twice each. Can't recall, but it feels "right". Bought FotR:EE on DVD as soon as it came out. Watched the first half. Never came back to it. Nevertheless, I persisted. Bought TTT:EE on DVD as soon as it came out. Took off the plastic. Never watched a single minute of it. Never saw RotK in theatres. Never saw it anywhere. Didn't care. Such an EXHAUSTING series. The mere thought of sitting down and watching these overbearing over-dramatic and yet oft-stupid adaptations of an old-school uber-dramatic epic fantasy work.... Exhaustion. That's all I can say. I was nonetheless impressed with both FotR and TTT in theatres. And the EE bits of FotR that I saw were really....impressive. Also. But it remains exhausting work to even THINK of seeing these films. I both wanted more levity, and HATED the levity they did throw in (OMG, Pippin/Merry made a poop joke, ROFL!, Dwarf-tossing is HIGH-larious!). Not to be a total dipshit elitist contrarian, but....I'd honestly pick TTT out of all the movies, if I were to pick one. When Gandalf and company showed up at the height of the siege of Helm's Deep/The Hornburg, THAT was emotionally riveting, and I felt wonderful watching it, far more than I ever did with the rest of the series. Except for Lothlorien. Because that was GORgeous. But TTT also had a beautiful Hardanger violin solo associated with Rohan. And some beautiful shots of Arwen striding along her barely-castle parapets or whatever. Honestly, it's all surface stuff, what I've kept with me. None of the meat. Like they completely failed to tell an engaging story, but at least the aesthetics are cool, right? But it would still be stupid to even try to put one above another, because you literally CAN'T just pick one. It's the whole series or none. It's a solid trilogy, a three-parter of ONE story. I'll listen. But I won't vote. Because if I can't bother to watch two DVD-sets I've owned for over a decade yet have maybe 1/4-seen, why should I buy/see the last one? Or even (re)-watch what I've been so long avoiding? I hate to say it, because the behind-the-scenes stuff in this film series is fascinating, but....these films are no fun to actually watch. So....why should I spend 10-11 hours watching them? I just can't even. If there's a "Neither" option this week...I'll take it. Even if I haven't seen RotK. How else to express/explain a decade's worth of indifference? I just don't think the series...works as entertainment. The number of films I've seen 3+ times over the last five years alone, and yet I never once (re)-visited this one? That's gotta speak to something.
  17. I remember liking the DVD extras on the FotR and TTT DVDs that I own a lot more than the movie themselves... ...which is a story in itself... ...but whatever. I ended up liking the behind-the-scenes stuff more than the movies themselves, even though I liked the first two movies plenty well, the FIRST time I saw them. And only then. A behind-the-scenes documentary of ANY film...put up for The Canon. Very interesting. How would i vote the LotR movies themselves? I would abstain, even though I've seen them all. I felt...impressed. But I just don't enjoy them. Can't get over the changes. Yeah, I know the books, and I knew them pre-2002. I'm a one-a-them nerd. Whatevs. But the DVD supplementals made me feel all kindsa good that the films themselves didn't. I won't say I'd vote the documentaries over the films. For one thing, the films aren't remotely re-watchable, at least in my experience. But then again, their imitators have made royal asses of themselves trying to copy the formula (Alice in Wonderland.....REAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLY???!!!!!!). Which at least speaks for their influence, which lasted for YEARS. They are a one/three-off, but they cast a long shadow. For whatever they made of the text, a once-thought-of unfilmable work, they made into a proper blockbuster series, and so doing, they inspired Hollywood to hurt itself trying to copy it. So negative legacy, maybe, but, from what I hear, a generation-defining work? And The Hobbit sucked, both parts I saw. Couldn't even follow up on them. And sure, the Star Wars rip-offs sucked too, but.......Star Wars is still endlessly re-watchable. I guess is all it boils down to. Basically, I'm open to giving a LotR behind-the-scenes doc a totally fair shake. But are they seriously only DVD extras, or do they exist as a thing? Because if they ain't no thing, they just don't count. A 2-3 hour doc about making one of the biggest, most complicated film series ever? Awesome. But I've seen the docs on the first two movies. More watchable than the films themselves, but they ain't exactly a thing. So unless there's a version ready-to-watch...they're just supplemental. Not a full-on thing that can be considered a work for the ages.
  18. This is a thing? Like a stand-alone documentary? Not just a LotR DVD supplementary material...thing? I'm Googling this, and I'm just finding some hour long videos, not like a real documentary film. Links?
  19. Muthsarah

    Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

    vs Coming to America. I think it's Eddie's best comedy ever, as well as one of the best from anyone in the decade. It's also from his "later" Golden Age period, after all the fame had gone to his head. But my God, what a production! Beverly Hills Cop was red-hot Eddie being dropped into a rejected Stallone movie and re-molding it on the fly. But Coming to America is his movie from the start, a perfect showcase for his talents, and those of a wonderful ensemble cast. Arsenio Hall would have stolen the whole film out from under him, had Eddie not been playing at least four characters. Also, Amazon's streaming it. I'm aware The Canon is currently threatening to get too 80s again. Which I never mind. But whenever Amy feels it's safe, I'd ADORE this matchup.
  20. Muthsarah

    Homework: Ghostbusters

    I don't think it's a requirement that a film be "culturally important" to be nominated. But the typical Canon nominee (barring versus) is either: 1. A widely-known (if not always widely seen) film that feels like a shoe-in for a "classic", but let's take a closer look at it and see if it's really such a slam-dunk after all 2. A cult film that has flown under the radar for decades and/or isn't considered "classic" by the hoity-toity awards set, but should be re-considered as a classic by other means Otherwise, I don't know what there is to debate (which is the central point of the show, not the induction or rejection). Of course Star Wars or Psycho or Casablanca get in. And of course Bio Dome or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 or....some regrettable film from the 1940s that I can't think of right now...should be kept out. Who's suggesting otherwise? In considering whether a film should get in, everything matters. Quality, influence over the years, how it represents a specific time/genre, or even how it represents a single iconic person in pop culture.
  21. Muthsarah

    Homework: Ghostbusters

    Has Galaxy Quest had any greater cultural impact than just being a movie a surprisingly large and broad group of people love? As an o....semi-old-school Trekkie, I wonder if it helped to pave the way for the mainstream success of the J.J. Abrams films by selling "Trek" to the normies. c.2009: Person A: Hey, wanna see the new Star Trek? Person B: Sure! Galaxy Quest is one of my favorite movies.
  22. Muthsarah

    Episode 98 - Ghostbusters

    I can't be remotely objective about this film. It's my favorite comedy of the 80s, it's the best of the snob vs slob movies (the dean, Peck, the concierge, the people at the restaurant, pitch-perfect 80s snobs) and if it's not my favorite film of 1984 - the year of Amadeus and The Terminator - it's Top Three. I HAVE to vote for it. Sometimes it's just that simple. I'm not going to try to think my way out of this.
  23. Muthsarah

    I want the show back

    Someone here a couple months ago turned me on to the Now Playing podcast. That's been getting me through my Canon withdrawl quite well. I'll just re-tweet it: http://www.nowplayingpodcast.com/ Big archive (click "Archives" to start). Well edited. Lotta "genre" films. If you're hurting for easy-to-listen-to movie discussion podcasts, I highly recommend it.
  24. Muthsarah

    The Canon Is On Hiatus

    Sorry to piggyback on what feels like a pre-locked "sticky" thread, but what would be a good place to check in on for updates as to when The Canon would be coming back? And, if you don't mind, is this planned to be a short-term hiatus, or a long-term? I'm a big Amy fan, I'll happily stick around so long as she's still here to keep the show going. Though I understand there may be reasons she (and others) may not want to rush the podcast back into service until a certain period of time has passed (however long that is). I feel very bad about all this. The Canon has been one of my favorite podcasts this past year (I...honestly don't remember when I came in, maybe....Battle Royale???). I won't criticize any decision made leading up to this hiatus. I understand it's a very messy business that's far bigger than, and which has nothing to do with, any of us fans. FWIW, I'd love to know if there's a way I could check up on the podcast's status without obsessively spamming the Earwolf site everyday. I will miss the show very much during this hiatus. But I hope not to completely lose contact with the hosts. I'll check out Amy's other podcast, but I'll be always thinking of The Canon, hoping for it to return when it's ready.
  25. I would cling onto Blade Runner harder than any of the others. Maybe I'm an art/production direction whore. Blade Runner, more than any of the other three, produced a world I would want to visit (not live it, this is dyspotia, after all). The rest are just the worst kind of dystopia-type thingees. Yeah, even E.T. Freaky as hell to a little kid. Nightmare fuel. Maybe it won't matter any more. But, FWIW, Blade Runner's always at the top of MY Canon. I'd take "The Thing" vs. "E.T", FWIW.