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ScottMorris

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Everything posted by ScottMorris

  1. ScottMorris

    Letterboxd Links

    I did not know what Letterboxd was but apparently I've been using my Facebook as one for awhile. I feel bad for all the innocents I've forced to look at my walls of text prattling on about Cat People, now.
  2. Weirdly, I think I'd be fine with bonkers, impossible-choice barely-related Versus' if we're talking movies getting *into* the Canon, but booting out of? Just can't do it, even as a conversation-starter. It's the difference between picking your weapon for a gladiator battle and being asked which limb you want chopped off for one. It's just no fun this way.
  3. Whatever the show's future is I'm probably going to refuse to participate in this because it's ridiculous (assuming it isn't a troll before the reveal of the "real" Knockout), and now all my concerns about Re-Animator being booted out seem quaint. FWIW I guess on the basis of hard objectivity I'd have to go with The Thing as the *AHEM* least essential, but that's also my favorite movie, and as this is not Saw and my life is not on the line if I don't play ball, yeah, no, not participating.
  4. ScottMorris

    Future of the Show?

    I feel like all we can do is wait and see what happens, how Devin/BMD responds officially (if at all), but unless the woman comes out and says she was lying* his entire public persona is stained pretty irrevocably at the very least, in terms of consequences, and the show certainly couldn't go on as is without, like, a Very Special Episode or something, considering how much Devin and Amy are specifically, personally wrapped up in its appeal. I can't imagine the silence continues, being that Devin is what I guess you'd call a big figure in the film journalism world. *And I'm certainly not saying she's lying, just that that'd be about the only salve for this situation, though I guess YMMV depending on whatever he ends up saying and the extent of forgiveness and personal growth and all that.
  5. ScottMorris

    Knock Out Poll (Unofficial!)

    I honestly think that Texas Chainsaw Massacre is too...traditionally-good, to represent exploitation film, anyway. The craft and tension-building is too well-done. Something like The Last House on the Left, which like Cannibal Holocaust is kinda goofy and amateurish, but still very visceral and powerful, would be closer to the mark, I think. That's not to say we need to be rid of Cannibal Holocaust, mind. I'm very much for it remaining. Though it'd be funny if it got booted out and the next week Devin brings out the great Umberto Lenzi head-to-head.
  6. ScottMorris

    Episode 96: THE BAD SEED

    The more I think on it, the more I'm inclined to lean no, as well. This is one of those movies you're gonna come across if you have any interest in genre, anyway, so I don't think it needs to be enshrined as Canon, given how unsatisfying it's rendered by the ending. I mean, if the girl had lived and the mom had failed and died, or the mom succeeded in killing her beloved daughter, I could go either way, but this wishy-washy thematically-inappropriate happy-ending bullshit is a real downer. Which other killer kid movies could make contenders, though? My personal favorite would be Jaume Collet-Serra's Orphan, which...I could maybe muster an argument for Canon? But maybe it's a bit too recent for all that. The most obvious contender would be The Omen, I guess, but that's another movie where I have a real problem with the ending.
  7. ScottMorris

    Episode 96: THE BAD SEED

    I'm not sure where I land, here. I really enjoy this movie, I think it'd be a good addition to The Canon, for the most part, but there's one big sticking point for me--that goddamned ending. I hate this ending. Completely undermines the creepiness, and is structurally awkward at that, given that it plays out as though the film ends and then another coupe minutes is added on. And I realize that it's very much tacked on to appease censors, which makes it difficult. It doesn't seem like there's been an "alternate" or "real" version released, so this all comes down to the question of how much the viewer should engage with a film--ie, is it okay to just turn a movie off and pretend it ended correctly if some bullshit got added on? I dunno if I can do that. And this ending *really* does undermine the film in a pretty deep way, I'd say. I kinda want to see what some others think.
  8. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    At least twenty-thousand people listen to every one of these, I wonder why relatively-few ever end up voting.
  9. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Yeah, it's mostly this I'm referring to. The comment about Amy as well. But in general a lot of these threads have one or two people, sometimes a lot more, saying less-than-civil things.
  10. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Personal attacks on Devin and Amy always make me uncomfortable. I don't really agree with one of them's style of criticism, and the other's manner of argumentation, but I feel like that's part of the package deal with this podcast. If these were two perfectly empirical, eminently polite critics, it wouldn't be much to listen to, and they don't seem to have problems with one another that ever extend beyond the heat of the debate. I also feel like Devin gonna Devin, in terms of pointing out what he thinks are crummy opinions. That said, it seems like he mostly takes issue with the question of what genre this is, and how it fits in said genre, and whether this even matters when considering its possible inclusion, that's raged throughout the comments. Now, I'm one of those people who will argue rather definitively that, say, Star Wars, is not a science fiction film. As for this, I'm inclined to say that it's a hybrid, a sci-fi drama/thriller. I don't think it uses the sci-fi to particularly good effect, but I think the question of Project Genesis, and the presence of however-clumsily-executed matters of ethics as they pertain to Starfleet and Genesis, gives it a sufficiently sci-fi leaning to place it within the genre. But I also don't think that matters terribly much here, honestly. The two biggest questions you have to ask about a Canon film are "how good is it?", and "how important is it?", and these apply to genre only selectively, I think. My own argument for Wrath's noninclusion is primarily based around not thinking it's good or specifically-influential enough, whatever exact type of film it is, and secondarily, not quite representative enough of Star Trek, if you allow that that point even matters.
  11. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Heyheyheyheyhey now, DeForest Kelley sells the best damn ham this nation has ever seen, and we will not besmirch him by questioning it. The best evidence that Bones never seeming too ridiculous in Kelley's hands is a minor miracle is Karl Urban. Saw Star Trek Beyond recently, and, yknow, solid movie, and I got used to Urban by the end, but speaking the way Bones does just doesn't sound right out of anybody but Kelley's mouth.
  12. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    This is interesting because it was something of a running joke on TOS that Scotty had a habit of getting into brawls and shenanigans on shore leave, but someone not terribly familiar with Star Trek probably would just assume that Scotty had picked up the clap or something. Can be interpreted either way, I think.
  13. ScottMorris

    Homework: The Bad Seed (1956)

    This is one of the quintessential "broken by ONE single element" films, for me, but what that element is is something of a spoiler so I won't discuss it.
  14. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    I agree, but picking which one would be a helluva task. The Hallows' put together? Sorcerer's Stone? Often-said-to-be-peak Prisoner of Azkaban? Arguing about the entire damn thing, now that'd be interesting. It's difficult to deny that Harry Potter has to enter one way or another, but asking future Canonologists to watch all 20 or so hours, whether they give a damn about the story? Potentially a dealbreaker for a lot of people. But does any one installment encapsulate the series enough on its own to warrant singular induction? I'd be inclined to stump for Sorcerer's for posterity and delight or Azkaban for damned-goodness, or else, hell with it, all of em, myself.
  15. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    I think the most convincing theoretical argument for Khan I've heard is what Dave said about it being an early example of a dressing-down/deconstruction of a franchise from within a franchise, though I don't think Wrath really executes that well enough for it to change my mind. There's some interesting stuff in the film paying lip service to the role/ethics of Starfleet and Kirk's capability*, but it doesn't really go anywhere with any of it, and certainly nowhere in a compelling way. It's just sorta like, "well, stuff happened, we gotta take care of this, here's a throwaway scene with Kirk's shitty kid to wrap this up". *Incidentally, this movie is super unfair to Kirk. The idea that Kirk would let an unknown-status vessel approach, shields down, is ridiculous, and it's equally ridiculous that he'd ignore the advice of a Vulcan to put them up, and doubly ridiculous that Spock of all people would shush said Vulcan. I mean, the smart way for that scene to play out would be if SOMEBODY from Khan's ship had hailed and let Kirk's guard down, then he would look competent enough but justifiably unsure of said competence. I also don't think Kirk would be so quick to trust Chekov and Terrell, after being told of the mind control bugs. Kirk was always getting in people's faces about his distrust and wariness, back in the day. It's instinctual, for him. I dunno if this is a pet peeve I have and should be willing to ignore for narrative purposes, but Kirk's characterization in this always rubs me the wrong way.
  16. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    I'm not ignoring the context, I just don't think it matters here. If this was the Cultural Canon, then I'd be arguing for Star Trek as a show to be in, I'd be arguing for "Call of Cthulhu", not Re-Animator, etc etc. This is about film, which films have influenced what's to come, which films represent pinnacles of trends (which Wrath does not), which films stand on their own as great works of art. I don't think Wrath accomplishes any of this, the Star Trek phenomenon as a whole does. Like, for me, this is like arguing the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie that came out before the show belongs in entirely because the show became such as phenomenon. If anything, there's a stronger argument for that, being that it's a predecessor rather than an offshoot. I realize a lot of people think Wrath of Khan is a great film in its own right, and I can respect that, and I think the context of Trek as a cultural force should be considered, but not as the be-all-end-all. Cultural influence is important but it's only one factor, and I think should mostly center around the influence of the film specifically. I don't think pretty-good offshoots of titan cultural brands from other mediums have a place in the Canon of great films.
  17. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    See, I can't agree with this. I think putting Wrath of Khan into The Canon as a representative of Trek does a disservice to The Canon and to films and even to Star Trek. After all, this isn't the cultural Canon or the sci-fi Canon or even the nerd Canon, it's the film Canon. I don't think someone needs to or even should watch The Wrath of Khan to understand Trek. I disagree with Devin and Dave that this is Trek made accessible, I think it's Trek made a bit more dry and ponderous and slow, and if someone sees this first I think they'll have the wrong idea about what makes TOS so great, it certainly did for me. I was taken aback by how electric and fun and colorful and sexy the original series is. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this film might be in-part responsible for why Star Trek has a reputation as a bit stodgy and unengaging. Again, I like it well enough, but I can't see a reason to put it in The Canon.
  18. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Alright, I'm seeing that it's only 3 minutes longer. Probably doesn't make too much of a difference, then
  19. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Also, I haven't seen the Director's Cut. Improvement? I feel sorta bad about voting no, without seeing a possibly superior version, especially given that my argument is that the movie feels awkward and incomplete, something DCs often remedy.
  20. ScottMorris

    Episode 95: STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

    Alright, this is difficult for me, but...I don't think Wrath of Khan is Canon-worthy. Look, I love Star Trek--I would probably argue for TOS as the greatest television show of all time, and it's certainly my favorite. I even like this movie, it's a good movie, a fine treat for Trek fans. But frankly, it has an incredibly clumsy script. A lot of the thematics and through-lines and ideas--Kirk getting old, Kirk's son and relationship with Carol Marcus, Spock's death, the Enterprise being manned by inexperienced cadets, the no-win scenario, Khan's grievance with Kirk being fairly legitimate--feel contrived and disconnected, or just unresolved. I mean, Spock's death is foreshadowed only in that one scene where Spock just recites what he's going to say at the end, somewhat stiltedly. And the fact that he isn't "really" dead is so heavily telegraphed that the drama and impact of the scene is severely diminished, I think. As for Kirk getting old, that entire arc is premised on the audience buying that Kirk would accept promotion in the first place--and given that he doesn't seem to get any real satisfaction, and the viewer isn't given an indication that he is particularly needed as an Admiral, well, I don't buy it. And while the scene of Kirk saying he feels young is great in a vacuum, like every other great scene in this movie, there's no substantive connective tissue to make it truly impactful. As for the no-win scenario, again, the big deal the movie makes about Kirk never facing such a situation also falls flat for me, as I've seen several old episodes of Star Trek that had the Enterprise seemingly on the brink of doom, and Kirk acting only out of a desire to try and accomplish his mission as best he could before said doom. And no, I don't think it's unfair to cite the show--this movie assumes a certain familiarity with TOS, elsewise it would treat Khan less like a character everyone will immediately recognize, and wouldn't lean so heavily on Star Trek iconography for emotional responses (though the Enterprise takeoff sequence really is wonderful). And I don't think the film not fully separating from the show is a problem, but if this film is essentially a companion-piece and addendum to TOS, all of its thematic concerns should feel consistent with it, and I'm sorry, but I don't feel that they do. I know I'm just listing and dealing with each separate issue, but I think that's appropriate for this movie, it feels sort of disconnected and episodic...honestly, it feels like a TV pilot, like it's introducing new elements and conflicts and ideas, removing some old ones, and bridging to a nonexistent fourth Trek season. Hell, Kirk even goes through a similar arc as Captain Pike in "The Cage". I don't want to be a bummer...I enjoy the movie, the effects are great, tons of quotable lines, but it doesn't have the thematic or dramatic heft to put it over the top (also, it must be said, Kirk's son sucks and doesn't really have a place in the movie). I just don't think the movie does anything especially interesting or ambitious with Khan, or Genesis, or a lot of its scattered, unfocused concerns, and the primary thematic stuff reiterated over and over again, as I've said, I don't think works. So...yeah, I have to go "no". I'm not sure that the Canon absolutely "needs" a Trek movie, being that Trek's cultural import has little to do with any of the films--and yes, I recognized that this film helped revitalize the franchise, but I don't think you need to watch it to understand that--and I just don't think it's great enough to get in on its own merits. Kills me, but that's how I feel.
  21. ScottMorris

    Knock-Out Suggestions

    If I'm being honest, I think The Canon is at its most interesting when doing versus episodes. Some movies are so obviously going to get in that, while of course the film actually getting into the Canon is something of a gimmicky afterthought next to the actual discussion, it still takes away a bit of the drama. And once something's been eliminated in this fashion, all the more difficult to get it back in, and if it loses again, boom, done. I mean, Empire Strikes Back, never gonna be in the Canon (thanks Elijah Wood). I think that's nifty. Unfortunate, but nifty. But yeah, once a film's been voted in, I don't think it should be expelled unless another worthy film be given a shot at redemption. Whether that film is The Fly, or Road Warrior, something ought find its way in. It'd be funny if it were Road Warrior, that was sort of Amy's Re-Animator moment, springing Fury Road on the versus at the height of its fervor. Yknow, speaking of The Fly, a Vincent Price movie needs to be discussed before too long. Heh, a Vincent Price versus would be fun. One of the Castles vs one of the Cormans. And here's a wild idea, if The Canon went meta and did the original Fly vs The Thing from Another World. Excellent opportunity to discuss the ways sci-fi and horror progressed and comingled and cross-pollinated after the 50s heyday of such films.
  22. ScottMorris

    Knock-Out Suggestions

    If I had my way, I would scorch The Usual Suspects from every list of essential films, but I'm gonna stick to my guns and say that I think what's in ought be in. Though if perhaps we were replacing a movie with an old Vs loser, instead, that could be a compromise I could work with. I could even deal with losing Re-Animator (though, yknow, preferably something else) if it meant Road Warrior getting in.
  23. ScottMorris

    Knock-Out Suggestions

    I don't see why we need to tabulate percentages and determine whether horror has overstepped its genre bounds. The Canon hasn't exactly gotten into the deep cuts of horror, yet, mostly been slam-dunk 'duh's. I don't think we need to shave off the horror simply because this podcast happens to be hosted in part by a horror buff who wants to give plenty of them a chance. Guarantee if this thing was hosted by a couple of Film Twitter jerks they might have just let Nosferatu in by now, at best. Now, if The Ring ever gets in, then we can talk about a low bar. I guess there's an argument to be had with Re-Animator, maybe, but then, Devin and Amy have always been open that they would lord their power over The Canon at all times, and do as they please to manipulate it, so calling in the fanboy cavalry for what was openly an indulgence pick (which I happen to agree belongs in The Canon), eh? All is fair, yknow. I wanna see some hard data that all those sudden sign-ons for Re-Animator ended up dead-weather Canon listeners, anyway, if a good many stuck around for other votes then I figure there's no foul. I suspect the indulgence picks will be off-limits, anyway. But other than that, I don't see what there is to complain about, the Canon listenership chose for every single damn one of those horror movies, and they chose "yes". I wouldn't want a Canon without a healthy dose of the rough stuff, and if this Canon has a unifying "theme" it's the co-mingling of low and high cinema, arthouse and genre, breaking the demarcations and recognizing what is simply good, essential film, with neither pretension nor pandering. That's the Canon I envision.
  24. ScottMorris

    Knock-Out Suggestions

    I'm kind of against this move. There are some movies I think oughtn't be in, but I feel like this is just gonna end up being used to 'class up' The Canon and remove something that doesn't look as 'nice' or prestigious next to the film school curriculum inductees. I would much rather give some more of the old Vs losers a chance to get in.
  25. ScottMorris

    Episode 93: THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

    Beyond Thunderdome is one of the most weirdly-bisected movies ever made. A solid forty minutes of fairly serious Mad Max goodness, before going completely off the rails with all that godawful lost boys crap. Similar issue that The Devil's Rejects has, where Rob Zombie suddenly tries to humanize these evil bastards by having them act nothing like they ever did before. Tonal whiplash. Which may be the point, granted, but I don't think it works.
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