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PhilH

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About PhilH

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  1. PhilH

    Episode 84: RE-ANIMATOR

    Re-animator is a fun movie. There's no denying that. The story structure is also competent. However, I agree with Amy on this one. The films fails to distinguish itself beyond being entertaining. It's an unfaithful adaptation of the least Lovecraftian Lovecraft story, so it's not even special in that regard. It's historically and technologically unremarkable. I just don't think it's one of the greatest films of all time. I voted no. On Lovecraft and racism: Lovecraft was shockingly racist. He was a committed racist, above and beyond the cultural norms of the day. His personal letters and stories carry a strongly racist bent, both plainly stated and symbolically. This doesn't negate his contribution to the history of horror & science fiction, but it really can't be casually waved off as being a product of his time.
  2. PhilH

    Episode 77: SEVEN

    Yes. I really like Se7en. It had a strong influence on television and movies, even if a lot of what it influenced was mediocre. I was a little disappointed that the episode was so argumentative. Even if the hosts disagree, this one seemed particularly snippy. I enjoy the artistic vision, even if gross, and the strong characterization. Doe working Mills up to the final act of wrath is great to watch, even after knowing the outcome. I didn't find Doe's apartment that meaningless: the aspirin could be for the fact he removed his finger tips to avoid leaving finger prints and the crucifixes and journals clearly tied into the motivations for his crimes and general disgust for humanity. Edited for clarity and reduced rambling.
  3. PhilH

    Episode 76: MARATHON MAN

    TL;DR I agree with Amy and voted no. I’d never watched this film before last week, when I watched it for the podcast. It was fine to watch and it worked well enough, but I’ll probably never purposefully seek it out for another viewing. There were a few very good scenes in the movie, but they weren’t tied together well. Devin brought up a very good quote from Ebert’s review about this: “They do not add up to a plot that holds water. If holes in plots bother you, "Marathon Man" will be maddening.” I didn’t care for Hoffman’s Babe, who was an utterly passive protagonist who drifted through the movie reacting irrationally as events transpired. I also particularly disliked the final showdown where the villain tumbles down the stairs and is impaled on his own knife. Hearing about how it was changed from the source material made me like it even less. While I appreciate Devin’s stance at the end of the podcast, is the purpose of the Canon merely to recognize movies that are solid? If the purpose of the Canon podcast is to cultivate a list of important and influential films, I don’t see how this gets in. Marathon Man isn’t the best example of the work of anyone involved and doesn’t seem to be particularly innovative artistically, technically, or socially. One of the reasons I like The Canon is Devin & Amy usually explain why important films are meaningful and I just didn’t get that from watching Marathon Man or listening to the accompanying podcast. Looking at a list of films released in 1976, there are many excellent candidates for The Canon but I just don't see it here. Anyhow, I enjoyed this week's episode and look forward to next week's coverage of Se7en. PS- As far as the generational divide goes, I’m in my 30s and do not recall ever hearing the “Is it safe?” exchange as a pop culture reference.
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