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Ryan L

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About Ryan L

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  • Birthday 11/10/1991

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    Baltimore, MD
  1. Ryan L

    Episode 136 - The Best of 2017

    Not a comment in favor of or against any film in particular, but I hate that this is a 5-way versus because we’ll likely have a plurality winner for 2017 rather than a majority winner as we’ve had in every other poll. This should’ve been a traditional versus or a two-round poll. But then again, first-past-the-post voting is how we got into the mess of a year that was 2017...
  2. Did David Lynch direct the end of this episode? Those sounds were creepy.
  3. Ryan L

    Guest Suggest

    I listen to Doug Loves Movies, and I agree with Demi as a suggestion. I'd add Samm Levine, who has a pretty in depth knowledge and interested in cinematic history, and of course the Leonard Maltin. I'm not sure how good of a guest Doug Benson would actually be for The Canon, but he's certainly be an interesting one.
  4. Ryan L

    Homework: Fatal Attraction (1987)

    Reacting to the tease, now I'd really like to hear the other lost episodes.
  5. This was an underwhelming episode, sadly since I was really looking forward to it. I would've liked more talk about film form and technique but alas. At any rate, I'm going with Blue Velvet. I actually find it more representative of all of Lynch's work than Eraserhead. However, the best option would've been the Twin Peaks pilot.
  6. Ryan L

    Episode 104 - Female Trouble (w/ Jake Fogelnest)

    I *adore* John and my gut reaction hearing this was this week's episode was "Oh yes, we need all of his films in the Canon." I was similarly-to-Jake introduced to him at a very young age, maybe 9 years old, along with things like Rocky Horror Picture Show, MST3k, and Twin Peaks (I had a cool Baltimore mom), but then when listening that creeping feeling of small canon vs big canon came up in me and I wasn't sure if *this* Waters film is above the cut for his filmography in the Canon. He assuredly has more than one that should be in, but which ones? Like I saw Polyester a few weeks back at the Senator in Baltimore (with newly reproduced Odorama cards!) and although I loved it, I'm not certain I'd put it in the Canon either. It breaks my heart that such thoughts have crept into my mind! I'll have to do a re-watch of the movie this weekend but I think I lost my copy after a move. Perhaps I'll have to take a trip over to Atomic Books to pick up a copy. Who knows, maybe I'll run into John! (Also, for those who watched this and think these characters are too crass, ridiculous, or unbelievable: I assure you as somebody who grew up in Maryland and lives in Baltimore currently that every one of these characters still exists in this city. Whether in kitschy Hampden, out Eastern Ave, or in the art school Crustbelt, nothing in his films surprises me or seems too bizarre. Now next week with David Lynch, however...)
  7. I fully expect a review in the voting thread to read: "Eraserhead?? Fuck that shit! PABST BLUE VELVET!"
  8. I don't think trilogy vs trilogy would work for this one; I can't think of anything comparable or in the same genre niche. I think Captain America vs The Dark Knight would possibly be the only scenario for that.
  9. Ryan L

    Episode 101 - Shakespeare in Love (w/ David Ehrlich)

    I mused on how La La Land would be tied into this episode jokingly thinking it would be impossible, but somehow someway Amy managed to bring it up and have it be an even more dominate part of the discussion than last week when we had Chazelle film up for discussion. Were all these episodes recorded back-to-back? Is there a big bank of episodes waiting to be released? Or does Amy (who again, I'm a fan of) just have that much of an unbridled, inexplicable hatred towards this film that she can't not bring it up every episode?
  10. You know why The Two Towers isn't getting debated? It's the La La Land of the trilogy. I'm seriously intrigued by this episode, since it feels more like a classic Devin type than an Amy type of debate. I'm personally leaning towards Fellowship, but I think Return is an expertly crafted film that fully deserves all of its Oscars. Should be a fun one!
  11. Juno vs Whiplash; Or, Amy's weekly opportunity to bash La La Land Really though, she seems to have a serious beef with Damien Chazelle. She makes a side-dig at him of supposedly being a jazz drummer, she says all he can do is jazz movies (for worse he wrote the story for The Last Exorcism Part II, but for better he did re-writes for and was supposed to direct 10 Cloverfield Lane before Whiplash got the greenlight). It's getting to the level of how much Devin hated things with seemingly petty reasons. I can't wait for how she ties the Chazelle/La La Land hate into Shakespeare in Love. And it should be said that I'm an Amy fan and was almost always on her side during the Amy/Devin era (especially when he would take pot shots at her), so the concern/criticism comes from the heart.
  12. Ryan L

    Episode 99 - Sign o' the Times vs. Stop Making Sense

    Okay, that all being said, now for a comment on the topic of this episode! I've loved Stop Making Sense for so long and have been waiting on passionately for it to be discussed on the podcast. I have never seen Sign O' the Times before and I can't find it fully and legally to watch; I can see some of its component songs as videos, though. I really enjoy the filmmaking and style of the latter, but I honestly wasn't even aware of it until I saw it pop up in the title of this episode - and I consider myself a Prince fan. Maybe not a diehard, but certainly a fan. It's beautifully shot and I find it to be a superb concert film above near every other I've seen, but one of the things I found jarring was the use of dubs on Prince's vocals. It was distracting to say the least, especially when his mouth isn't near the mic and vocals come out. It feels like nitpicking, but if we're picking between these two which is the superior concert film, the sound's matching of the video is probably one of the more important aspects. To talk about Stop Making Sense a little bit as I decided to rewatch it again again while writing this post, I've always loved how the film shows the stage slowly being constructed around the band after the concert has already started and that even when the full core band is on stage of Byrne, Weymouth, Harrison, and Frantz that the stage is still being set up around them. There black curtain behind the band still hasn't even been closed yet so you still see the brick wall and ladders. There's even a point when one of the stagehands crosses between the band and the camera obstructing our view of the band momentarily. It's only after that 4th song - when the back-up singers and the additional percussionist join the stage, the non-permanent members of the band - that the curtain is finally pulled. Everything prior to this was just setting up the scene, setting up the full experience that this film really is about. The backdrop and lighting for the songs is minimalist - pre-curtain it's all general lighting, then the first few songs with the curtain are simple general lighting, then we get monotone non-moving lights for songs, The lighting then goes to an extreme of backlighting to allow for "This Must Be the Place" to feature the lamp's illumination, an illumination that brings us the projector imagery in this song. The near-darkness makes for some beautiful scenes during "Once in a Lifetime," for the fun strobe effect in "Genius of Love, for great playing with shadows in "Girlfriend Is Better." Prince's film is in sharp contrast with it's showy usage of lights and background. Allowing for stagehands to distract you from the band and even upstage the band by crossing in front of them on camera goes hand-in-hand with the band's drab wardrobe (all except drummer Frantz wear fairly grey-toned washed-out clothes that don't really grab your attention) and the decision to almost never show the audience until the very end all showcase the point of the film: it's about the music more than anything else and you as the film's viewer to judge the performance based on what you see and not how you see others react to it. Sorry Prince, but this has to be Stop Making Sense. Another note: I think it's interesting that we're potentially inaugurating Jonathan Demme into the Canon not due to one of his Oscar-nominated or -winning films like The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, or Rachel Getting Married but for the first of his concert films.
  13. Ryan L

    Episode 99 - Sign o' the Times vs. Stop Making Sense

    I'll add something regarding La La Land: just because somebody is a protagonist does not mean the audience should see them sympathetically or they're "right" about everything. The prime example in the film is, obviously, Sebastian. He's on a crusade to prove to everybody that traditional jazz is right and perfect just the way it is. But, as John Legend's Keith points out, jazz is about innovation and creativity. He basically tells Sebastian after the band practice that being stuck in the past and not evolving is exactly what's killing jazz. It's a conversation that happens to Sebastian earlier when he mentions the name of his proposed club to Mia - Chicken on a Stick - to which she suggests a different name. Sebastian is so set in his monotonous tunnel-vision life expertly shown off in our first moments with him: when he is in his 40-year-old car dressed in a 60-year-old fashion style continually rewinding and replaying over and over the same passage on the 20-year-old technology cassette tape. He simply will not allow for any change from his plan and simply won't consider any other ways out - which directly contrasts how he explains (or man-splains, to some) the beautiful freeform of jazz and why he loves it. Guess what happens when Sebastian eases up on these things and lets the other side win? Well, Keith's band is a massive hit and their music isn't bad at all. He has huge success with them and gets a fat pay check which is not only enough to support himself and Mia while she pursues her play but also enough for him to open Seb's (again, him caving in to others' ideas) at the end of the film. Sebastian is almost never right in this movie initially. He's condescending, stubborn, and hypocritical. The film so happens to follow his POV, but it doesn't tell us he's right in being the white savior of jazz. I mean, again, there's literally a scene in the film where Keith points out that Sebastian is wrong. Anybody who thinks the film is glorifying Sebastian wasn't really paying attention. Also, I fully enjoy that this is a romantic movie where the two protagonists don't end up together at the end. To paraphrase another poster's analysis, it's another one of those stars that they're reaching for but just can't grasp. I'm not saying this film is perfect (the script could've used improvement, whereas the photography and direction are superb), but I really don't understand the fiery hatred of the movie. It feels more out of a place of contrarianism to a successful film rather than real critique.
  14. Ryan L

    Movies for Moms

    My mom introduced me to Rocky Horror and John Waters films, so there's that...
  15. Ryan L

    Episode 94: THE KING OF COMEDY

    Saw this for the first time tonight. I felt the film was really slow until when Rupert visits Jerry at his golf house. (I wasn't even sure whether this scene was a dream or not from the beginning of it, which really confused me - this coming from a guy whose favorite film is Eternal Sunshine.) Right after is when they kidnap Jerry and the film really takes off. I honestly wasn't too engrossed with it until then. This is when I leaned in and realt started enjoying the film. I enjoyed the contrast between Rupert and Masha here in their fandom/stalker types. I did find the dinner scene pretty lacking and ending oddly - I mean, Masha was also the one who earlier wouldn't trust Jerry but now is cool to untie him? I loved how Jerry played the scene though, sitting there either not looking at her or keeping her eyes closed. It makes you think what you'd do in that circumstance. I think this role was perfect for DeNiro and wish he had done more like it. (If he has, send them my way.) I really enjoyed it and it's in my top few favorite Scorcese films (my favorite might actually be The Wolf), but I'm just not sold on it being canonical. A great film? Yes. Prescient? Definitely (although John Lennon's death had already happened). Influential? Not too sure on that one. I wouldn't cry foul if it got inducted since I loved it, but I'd more likely put it in the Cornucopia of Quality or a list of great hidden gem films than The Canon proper. I'll let it meddle in my mind and read more comments before voting though.