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FictionIsntReal

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  1. FictionIsntReal

    Forums shutting down

    Damn it.
  2. FictionIsntReal

    Jurassic Park

    Jaws should have JP's spot out in space. Ian Malcolm is Crichton's mouthpiece, whereas Spielberg identifies too much with Hammond to make him a villain. The whole premise of the film still depends on Malcolm being proven right about the unanticipated consequences of what Hammond has done, but Spielberg thinks doing it would nevertheless be awesome. I don't think it was Mackie's character in The Banker who had those accusations, but instead his son. Movies in the 70s really were better. Spielberg's Jaws helped kick off the transition to broader blockbuster movies, which for the most part aren't as good.
  3. FictionIsntReal

    Jurassic Park

    I haven't listened to this episode yet, but since there wasn't a forum post for the previous one setting up the summer blockbuster series, I will comment here: The idea that Jurassic Park was more important than Jaws seems completely wrong. Summer blockbusters were already an existing tradition by the 90s. Amy is right that the first Mission: Impossible, with De Palma, is the best. It was a De Palma movie rather than a James Bond knockoff in which a supervillain is trying to blow up the world. In the most recent M:I... there was a supervillain trying to blow up the world. The obvious reason that Die Hard came out in the summer rather than Christmas is because it's a summer action movie, not a Christmas movie. Same goes for other films written by Shane Black and with Christmas inserted in irrelevantly like Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang & the Nice Guys (none of which were released around Christmas).
  4. FictionIsntReal

    Upcoming Episodes

    Next week is Jurassic Park.
  5. FictionIsntReal

    Apollo 13

    Like I said, I would have voted for The Right Stuff instead if the poll had taken place on this forum.
  6. FictionIsntReal

    Upcoming Episodes

    Apollo 13 was chosen over the Right Stuff. I would have voted the other way, if voting was on this forum rather than some social media platform.
  7. FictionIsntReal

    Aliens

    I already explained why I rank Alien about Aliens in the previous thread, so I won't repeat myself. Cameron wanted to adapt Jurassic Park, and his version would have been an R-rated horror movie. After Spielberg got the rights and did his version, Cameron ultimately concluded his original conception wasn't as good. Crichton was essentially re-using his Westworld idea (which in turn was a sort of proto-Terminator) when he wrote Jurassic Park. As you note, a movie actually inspired by Aliens is Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, which began as a script titled "Bug Hunt on Planet 9" (taking the phrase "bug hunt" from this movie) and was only tied to the Heinlein novel later (which Verhoeven didn't read because he disliked the early chapters). Ridley Scott may be a colder filmmaker than Cameron (hence his recurring interest in androids), but he's also more varied. Cameron spent years exploring the ocean while Scott kept up a pace of a movie nearly every year... and the only sequels he's made are Prometheus & Alien: Covenant. Scott can afford to make some very different films which can be quite hit or miss because he's not constantly trying to double the budget of his last film and invent a new filmmaking technology.
  8. FictionIsntReal

    Solaris

    The first Tarkovsky movies I saw were Stalker, and later this. Neither really worked for me (nor did The Mirror). His period pieces like Andrei Rublev & Ivan's Childhood were much better. After hearing that the earlier TV movie adaptation was more faithful to the book, I watched that but it just removed the material on Earth. Later I read the book and can't quite understand Stanislaw Lem's distaste for the movie. Basically everything there is in the book, alongside unfilmable chapters of "solaristics". Paul seems intent on proving me wrong, since Lem's whole point was about the possibility of communicating with something as alien as Solaris, and Paul clearly got the opposite message from the film. I thought it was clear enough that the entity herself came to the realization that she was a mere construct rather than a real person and thus chose to permanently eradicate herself, so there's no aspirational message about how to treat such constructs. Solaris doesn't care about her (or "its") inner experience, and just kept creating constructs because that's what it does. A better example of a pretentious arthouse director who derides film is Peter Greenaway, who says painting is a much older form and directors should look toward that rather than imitating other movies. I don't think Cameron is like Tarkovsky OR Kubrick. The original Terminator is still a great film (which is arguably more indebted to Carpenter & Crichton), so I respect Tarkovsky's verdict on it.
  9. FictionIsntReal

    Alien

    Amy's previous movie podcast, The Canon, already did Alien vs Aliens. The former (rightly) won. James Cameron's sequel to Alien was akin to the sequel script he wrote for First Blood: dumber & action-ized. The characters in Alien resemble real people just doing their job, they don't spout catch-phrases. I will acknowledge it's not an especially fun/enjoyable movie. It's a horror movie with an unstoppable rape-metaphor at the center of it, and committing to that means it's bleak. Carpenter's version of The Thing was able to borrow from this film, but it's still its own thing which has spawned all manner of offshoots & imitators. And that much of that is due to the set design isn't a mark against the film, because it's not as if that doesn't count. To me one of the great things about the original is that it's NOT obvious that Ripley is going to be the one to survive to the end. They're all potential victims, with none appearing to have any "plot armor". MAD Magazine makes fun of every big movie. The James Bond series has gone on for much longer than Alien. Marvel could as well, but with multiple films per year that would be more demanding. The pace might slow down over time.
  10. FictionIsntReal

    Contact

    This movie was pretty good, but not nearly good enough to go to space. Not only is it not as good as 2001 (or Zemeckis' best movies), I might even put Interstellar above it. It is a somewhat atypical and arguably more realistic space movie because it actually does involve a government bureaucracy screwing over the protagonist, but that's not enough to make it a good movie. I think Amy is right that the walk-back at the end doesn't make sense given her experience, and I think it can only be understood as Sagan speaking instead of her.
  11. FictionIsntReal

    A Trip to the Moon

    My understanding was that there was a consensus around Alice Guy-Blache's "The Cabbage Fairy" being the first fictional film. That was still minimal, with a length like that of Lumiere shorts and with no intertitles. I don't buy the film as a critique of imperialism. I think it's just fun, like his other films. From what I've read, his political cartoons were caricatures of Boulanger, and Melies himself summed up Boulanger as a man who wanted to replace the republic with a dictatorship (I've seen a number of his caricatures in a paper by Matthew Solomon and none of them were about colonialism). Boulanger was not a "hard right-wing" guy, but instead someone who got a lot of support from both left* & right. His foreign policy was focused on revanchism against Germany for the Franco-Prussian war rather than colonialism (which continued under both left & right wing French governments). His political career actually began with the support of Georges Clemenceau, who was opposed to colonization (Clemenceau's split with him and the divisions within the Radicals were not over colonialism). Clemenceau actually regarded colonization as a distraction from revenge against Germany, which was Boulanger's main priority. It was also not the case that French colonies would have had slaves in 1902, as slavery was abolished in the colonies in 1848. *Particularly, former Communards. "Aliens" is the crowd-pleasing movie where humans get to kill the aliens while delivering one-liners. "Alien" is the real deal: an unstoppable rape metaphor kills basically everyone, leaving only one survivor (who is not singled out for "final girl" status at the beginning) barely surviving. This is much like how James Cameron dumbed down First Blood when writing Rambo as a sequel. Normally I like to watch a number of your scheduled movies in advance. Since you are not doing that now (even though you're no longer rolling a 100 sided die), I will not have watched Galaxy Quest by next week. I figure since I never watched Star Trek regularly it would mostly be lost on me anyway.
  12. FictionIsntReal

    Hoop Dreams

    I don't think there's anything "micro" about the aggression of a highly paid basketball coach.
  13. FictionIsntReal

    Upcoming Episodes

    Next week is Georges Méliès' "A Trip to the Moon", followed by a series of other space movies.
  14. FictionIsntReal

    2021 Oscar Special

    Mank seems the most Oscar-baity of the Best Picture nominees. It's not a BAD movie, but it's not great either. Fincher's film does try to make Mank more sympathetic to the left/Sinclair than we have any evidence of him being, BUT he also mocks his brother Joe (who actually worked on the anti-Sinclair campaign!) for his unionization efforts. I second the recommendation of Sound of Metal as not just a bummer. I also wasn't that into Meek's Cutoff, but I really like River of Grass and Wendy & Lucy. First Cow isn't as good as those two, but I liked it more than Meek's Cutoff or Old Joy. It's depressing to think of Aaron Sorkin as "our Shakespeare", but fortunately the thought can't be taken seriously. The Coen brothers are better writers with more range. The "doing it in front of real people" bit is why that Jackass Bad Grandpa movie really deserved the Oscar for best makeup/hairstyling. I know Paul said this after I wrote this note down, but it bears repeating anyway. However, as far as I'm aware Maria Bakalova didn't have to look like an old grandma.
  15. FictionIsntReal

    A League of Their Own

    I found it odd the hosts described this as a "reversal" of their normal pattern, since Amy is a professional film critic and seems to watch movies more than Paul. In fact, when Unspooled began I remember them discussing how he hadn't seen many of the films on the AFI list. It's been many years since I saw this, but from what I do recall it's not quite space capsule worthy. For a recent movie about female friendship which pointedly avoids making anything melodramatic I can point to Dan Sallitt's "Fourteen".
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