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About davhahn

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  1. davhahn

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

    "Her womb was a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase." is probably my favorite comedic line in any script I've ever read/seen. And the shot of the camera zooming over the car, through the yard and up the ladder into Mrs. Arizona's screaming mouth is one of the greatest shots ever. For those two things alone this movie is Canon-worthy, but there is so much more. The script is so quotable ("I don't know... Yoda's and shit!"), the set pieces are nuts at times, but still grounded in character, the score is iconic (the music queue to the yodel at the main title makes me smile every time I see it) and although everyone is somewhat despicable I still appreciate the hopefulness at the end rather than the nihilism of something like Burn After Reading (which I do enjoy).
  2. I just worry this will turn into the Star Wars vs. Empire or Godfather I vs. II discussion all over again. Arguments for the one that came first vs. the one that was widely recognized and won all the awards (although I would argue that it got all the awards in recognition for the audacity of the complete trilogy at the time). This could have been a cool opportunity to try out another VS format: 3 way VS (FOTR vs TTT vs ROTK) or trilogy vs. trilogy (although I can't really think of a trilogy that hasn't already been somewhat covered in previous episodes that would rise to this level... maybe Captain America, but I don't really consider that a trilogy). Love listening to Joanna Robinson and David Chen though. Can't wait.
  3. davhahn


    I want this movie in the canon for all the reasons Devin articulated on the show, but I disagree with Dave that it has had a significant cinematic impact. All it could have done was thematically influence the movies that followed, but those themes are so broad that they surely would have organically found their way into the film lexicon over the last 34 years. As they talk about, the themes are mostly Shakespearean and existential. What is so unique about that? Just because they hadn't existed in a somewhat sci-fi setting (which I find slightly dubious in and of itself)? The idea that it had any impact on sci-fi space battles is absurd. Modern space battles involve ships zipping around each other like Top Gun in space or Star Wars, not lumbering tactical slogs like something out of The Hunt for Red October (which I appreciate very much). I also never really thought of it as a deconstruction of the square jawed 60s hero. That argument is a little more persuasive, but so sidelined by the over the top performances. Even if the story is trying to do that I never felt that Kirk felt it in a meaningful way. This is one of the first episodes where I can clearly see all sides of Devin's and Amy's arguments (and Dave's) and Amy's case for it not being necessarily a canon-level film has merit. But since there is no The Canon: TV podcast I have to put in my vote for a movie I love, but recognize as being corny, melodramatic, heavy handed and a lot of fun... almost as much as First Contact (but I know that will never get in).
  4. davhahn

    Episode 78: BOYZ N THE HOOD

    No, but not an all caps "NO" with an exclamation point. I liked this movie a little bit when I was 14 so nostalgia puts it right in the middle of my OK category. The cultural impact argument has been weighing on me recently. I get that it's relevant and that other better films stand on its trailblazing shoulders, but I find that to be more of a function of good PR than anything else. Ice Cube was huge and just having him in he movie at the time garnered some major press. Universal was pushing it like crazy. It was all over MTV. It was a touchstone movie for everyone in my high school for sure. Does that make it continually significant for all time? I'm not sure. Cultural impact is somewhat important, but it can be manipulated to some degree, so all we can really fall back on is the text itself. And the movie is not strong. It looks and feels like a 90s Fox TV melodrama. I'm not as scorched earth as Devin though. Seems to have been a little overly harsh, but on the main points I agree. I think Devin and Amy need to stop calling back to arguments each other made on earlier episodes. When it comes down to it, if either of them like or hate a movie on a sort of visceral level, they will defend that position with whatever they have available (script, production design, cinematography, amatuerism, etc). There is little consistency and it starts to make all of the conversations seem like personal gotcha takedowns rather than examinations of the film in question.
  5. davhahn

    Favorite and least favorite movies in The Canon

    Favorite IN: Oldboy Least Favorite IN: Working Girl (I still cannot believe this is included among a list of the all time great movies and not because it's bad, but just because it is pretty much the definition of mediocrity... there are a few other movies that got in that I don't enjoy or personally hate like Sex, Lies and Videotape or Antichrist, but I at least understand their significance and/or why others put them on pedestals... Working Girl has none of that) Favorite OUT: Close Encounters of the Third Kind - I will love that movie and its depiction of a shitty dad who abandons his family until the day I die. Romeo + Juliet is a close second... that movie is a masterpiece. Overjoyed that it didn't get IN: Jerry Maguire
  6. davhahn

    Episode 77: SEVEN

    Big yes from me. This is my favorite Fincher movie although I consider Zodiac to be his finest work though not as entertaining or rewatchable. After maybe 15 viewings of Seven I still love how effectively the filmmakers are playing against our understanding and expectations regarding these "types" of stories. It also may have created a look used by countless imitators, but they still never reach the visual highs that this movie does. I felt as frustrated as Devin listening to this commentary, but I understand Amy's intractability to a degree. When I don't like something I dig in on every single point during a conversation or debate, so I don't begrudge her that. I still don't agree in the least with any of her substantive (or nit-picky) points though. Interestingly, the movie is not as explicitly gory as even Silence of the Lambs. It is often dark and shadowy with gory details in the background or shot from a distance or even described to the viewer rather than shown. Gluttony is kind of gross, but it's dark and we really don't see much of it. Pride is innocuous. Greed is barely on screen and seen in overhead and then through photographs. Lust is never really shown only described. Envy is not shown at all. Wrath is shown from a helicopter and then from a POV looking up at Brad Pitt. The only really gruesome scene that we see in all of its glory is sloth. I feel like we are left to fill in the rest of the ugliness ourselves and we do. The title sequence also does a great job in preparing us for accepting those ideas. I feel like Amy just latched onto that ugliness and darkness and couldn't let it go. Hey, they can't all be Working Girl.
  7. davhahn

    Favorite and least favorite movies in The Canon

    Favorite: The Thing Least favorite: (tie) Working Girl, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Waltz with Bashir, Casino Royale - they are all fine, but the continual debasing of the Canon for such middling movies is going to bring it all crashing down (as if it really means that much anyway) Favorites that didn't make it: Romeo + Juliet (this has been the biggest travesty of a movie not making it so far in the Canon) Guardians of the Galaxy (only in relation to it not making it vs. Grand Budapest Hotel), The Goonies, Creed Movies that I'm glad did NOT make the cut: The Hurt Locker (again, it's ok, but I don't want these mediocre movies hanging around all the cool kids), Jerry Maguire, Broadcast News
  8. davhahn

    Suggestion: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    Brazil is the ultimate Gilliam film. The Fisher King is pretty high quality too. One of my favorite Robin Williams performances, where his manic persona actually makes sense.
  9. davhahn

    Suggestion: Rocky IV

    I would be for this if it was a VS episode pitting Rocky IV against some other ridiculous pro-USA 80s camp movie. Maybe the original Red Dawn, Top Gun or maybe War Games. Or my personal favorite: Spies Like Us. I like the idea of pitting movies from completely different genres against one another just because they share a spiritual connection.
  10. davhahn

    Episode 68 - Antichrist (w/ Michael Lerman)

    No. I don't think just because someone is "working through" their own misogyny in a transparent way (which I'm not even sure is actually the case) does not absolve him of that misogyny. I'm glad that Charlotte Gainsbourg is happy to go along, but it doesn't change the inherent ugliness at the center of this film. I'm not a Lars hater, but all of his movies keep me at a distance with their hatred for humanity and their darkness. He has always felt very sparse and robotic to me which is probably why Dogville works so well. It's form exists in that perfect space that overlaps with my feelings regarding the director. In the end he is "deep-seeming" without actually being deep and Antichrist is a perfect example of pushing a simple metaphor and making generalized assertions seem profound. The movie is well put together, has some gorgeous cinematography and interesting sound design. The story is hollow and nothing the characters do is believable to me, but that is the artifice that Von Trier brings to most of his films. I do agree however that just because he has made better films that that should not disqualify something like this film from inclusion in the Canon. That being said, when I watch something like Antichrist (or Fail Safe) I can't help but think of those other movies that have impressed me more. My favorite Von Trier film is the semi-documentary The Five Obstructions. An amazing work of filmmaking and tender friendship. I often can't believe he directed it because I feel like it goes against his purported worldview. It's quality may have a lot to do with the participation of Jorgen Leth.
  11. davhahn

    Episode 67 - Lolita

    No. This is Kubrick's least accomplished film and should not get in on name recognition alone. As was brought up on the podcast, the performances are great and I do like the look of the film sometimes, but narratively it has problems. I actually agree with all of the criticisms of the actual film that Devin and Amy discussed, but the show went off the rails regarding the adaptation. I think the quality of an adaptation can be a valid criticism in some respects, but it cannot ever be the entire reason for a complete takedown. Especially from Kubrick who showed zero interest in faithfully adapting any of the stories he used as inspiration for his films. Why is The Shining acceptable while Lolita is garbage? What about Red Alert, which was completely reworked tonally? I don't think the source material is sacrosanct in any adaptation to film. I'm often ok with writers and directors completely abandoning everything for the sake of their cinematic vision. Who cares? The book still exists. If you want to experience the story as Nabokov or Burgess or King or George or Hasford intended, then read the books. They still exist. The strangest part of the episode was that I think Devin and Amy actually agree with that idea, but just allowed their infatuation with the book (which is amazing) to color their otherwise valid criticism of the movie. It felt like I was listening to my 14 year-old sister go off on the inconsistencies between The Prisoner of Azkaban and Cuaron's adaptation. Devin's statement about A Clockwork Orange was also a little misguided. Kubrick initially read the US release of the book without the final chapter (which is awful anyway, talk about letting someone off the hook) and was inspired by that story to make the film. Only after that did he find out that the final chapter even existed (it was a part of the UK release of the book) and chose to proceed without it. I don't fault him in the least for sticking with the version that initially sparked his interest. If the final chapter had been a part of the book he read, then the movie may not even exist. Burgess even initially approved of the adaptation, but soured on it over time as he started to feel more and more jealous that Kubrick was getting all the praise and recognition for his story... it wasn't his story anymore. It was Kubrick's. Who cares what an author thinks of the adaptation anyway? Their opinion has some validity mainly because they want to protect and preserve the source material they created, but they are not filmmakers. I listen when they speak up mainly because it often pushes me to revisit that source material, but it has zero impact on my enjoyment or dislike for the film adaptation. I'd rather live in a world where Kubrick found the kernel he would like to explore in a text and then went his own way, otherwise we just get boring adaptations like the one from Adrian Lyne.