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Posts posted by CarlosFerreira

  1. Right, here's me looking for trouble: I watched this recently, and found it more than a little overrated. Maybe it's the fact that everyone and their dog have copied and plagiarised it, but it felt terribly predictable, not to mention dated. I don't think it has aged tremendously well, unlike some of Friedkin's older works.


    I shall now duck for cover.

  2. I'd like to suggest Robbie Collin, film critic for The Telegraph (in the UK). Robbie is a very interesting critic, and would probably choose something weird and wonderful as its suggested film. Well worth putting up with a Skype call for.

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  3. I am so pleased the Canon is back! Boy, I have missed this.


    I think Ghostbusters is very uneven. On the good side, Sigourney Weaver is astonishingly good, giving a powerhouse performance as the only character in the movie with whom a human being could actually identify. Her and the EPA guy, of course.


    But I cannot ignore the fact that the Ghostbusters are not a team - it's Bill Murray, two half-characters and then poor old Ernie Hudson trying to hang on to the edges of the frame by the skin of his teeth. Every character apart from Bill Murray is so thinly written, they are almost see-through. I know nothing about those three other guys.


    Also, the film is fun, but it does not have the 'family friendliness' of something like Back to the Future. The ghostblow scene is worrying, the attack on Sigourney Weaver is downright alarming (I have seen enough hentai, etc...), and there's enough bad language there to assure I won't necessarily want to watch it with a child. Or my parents for that matter!


    Overall, I think Ghostbusters is an imperfect, uneven film. There are some good gags, some good acting, very good pace, but it suffers from poor writing, shoddily developed characters and some rather dubious moments in a PG-rated film.


    I think in the end this is a film whose merits depend almost exclusively on the status it has accrued over time. Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that. But is it Canon-worthy? I voted no.

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  4. For what it's worth, a word for the person who pointed out Devin's alleged actions. It cannot be easy to come out and point a finger at a man who has accrued a good and powerful rep over the years since the alleged event. I am using the word 'alleged' very deliberately, as there doesn't seem to have been a definite investigation and/or admission of guilt; but I also cannot see why someone would come out and shame a well-known film critic.


    Also, a word for Amy and the rest of the people working with Devin; it must be really difficult for them to see what's been happening.


    Whatever happens,

    I'd like Amy and a cohost (whoever it will be) to continue the show.



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  5. Damn, The Motion Picture has a bad rap around here. It is a slow burn sure but its pure sci fi on a scale we rarely ever see, and its undeniably Star Trek. Not to mention some of the most incredible visuals in the genre and a fantastic soundtrack. I appreciate the way it's a polar opposite to Khan while also being the soil that Kirk's story takes root in for WoK.


    Agreed. It's an interesting and ambitious film, and deserves much better than the constant dissing. I suspect if it wasn't a Star Trek film people would be referring to it as a hidden gem.

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  6. That's interesting. I have to confess I watched it recently, and it left me cold. The attempt at comedy doesn't work for me, and I didn't find it especially compelling. But I would be more than happy to be proved wrong - an episode discussing it would be very welcome.

  7. ...and that it was a brief and expensive trend that audiences eventually tired of due to market oversaturation, ever-inflating and unsustainable budgets, and a dearth of quality source material. Not unlike, say, the boom in musicals during the 1940s, led by MGM's popular and elaborate productions (the Marvel of their day, perhaps).


    The only thing I currently find more dull than the prospect of anticipating Important Capeman 4: The Pandering is the endless cultural soul searching that surrounds this franchise bloat. If I'm sick of superheroes, I'm even more sick of talking about them. I realize that art reflects life and these films are the lens through which our current timezzz..... ZZZZZzzzzzzz......


    Plus, I am not sure superhero movies dominate the culture that much. I know there are a bunch of them out every year and all, and the box office figures show their importance, but arguably nostalgia is the driving force in cinema these days; see the amount of 'long range sequels' we're getting.


    But yes, Spider-Man 2 vs TDK would be a great episode.


    Deer Hunter is one of the quintessential Vietnam movies, how can you ignore it?


    Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.


    My point is I don't know if The Deer Hunter won't appeal to the exact same people who have Scarface posters on their bedroom walls. De Niro at his peak, Christopher Walken, obvious paralels to First Blood (to me at least)...


    ...but then again, I am not sure those people could put up with a painfully realistic 45min wedding scene in a 3h movie. I honestly don't know.

  9. My mom loves Thelma and Louise


    Your mom rocks.


    My mom would probably pick any Tom Hanks movie, so allow me to nominate Big on her behalf. I am sure she'd also mention Ryan's Daughter and Dirty Dancing.


    I remember watching The Bridges of Madison County with her and we both cried our eyes out. Not sure she remembers it, but I'll always associate that film with her. I'll just leave that there.

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  10. Great idea, and great suggestions. Here are a few more:


    - The Seven Samurai vs Ran would break my heart. Maybe something more marginal, like an early Kurosaway? Say Stray Dog?

    - Last year's wonderful Brooklyn is a slam dunk. I know, there's the Canon's version of the five-seconds rule to obey...

    - Holy Motors is almost too good to ignore.

    - Chungking Express is a half-forgotten gem, well in need of recognition.

    - It's almost unbelievable that Glengarry Glen Ross has not been mentioned yet.

    - I don't know if in the end it isn't an example of what we are trying to avoid in this thread, but The Deer Hunter reeks of inevitability.

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  11. I love that Amy gives these kinds of movie a hard time. They need to be challenged because the "geeky" movies that transcend their genre are the ones that really deserve extra recognition. It's vital to have someone that isn't steeped in the fandom so that they can approach it more objectively. I think that's a critical test for these kinds of movies, and as a huge genre fan I'm constantly thinking about how these films play for someone that comes in cold because those are the ones you can share with the most people.


    Hear, hear.


    It's exactly that sort of quality film criticism - from both Amy and Devin - that makes The Canon some of the best film criticism available in any format. You know that even if they tackled Citizen Kane they'd give it a hard time.

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  12. I'm really on the fence with this one. I'm not a Trek guy. In fact, this is the first Star Trek anything I've seen that wasn't from Abrams. I will say that Devin and Dave were totally right about this being an easy film for non-Trek people to get into. The history of the series is there, but it doesn't overwhelm the film and alienate outsiders. I liked the film, but I just didn't connect with it much beyond that, and while I fully recognize Treks historical and cultural significance, like Amy, I question whether the films should get much credit for that significance.


    I think I'm a soft no on this one, but I won't fault anyone for voting yes. And if nothing else, watching Khan might be the push I need to dive deeper into the Star Trek universe.


    I couldn't have said it any better, but allow me to elaborate further.


    As a non-Trekkie, I felt that Wrath of Kahn was a good introduction to this Universe. I felt welcome, and will be coming back for sure. So, is it Canon? Well, as Amy rightly put it - it's fine.


    The whole thing ticks along nicely, I get the story arcs and character motivations for the Enterprise crew, and I am on board for the big discussions. The whole Kobayashi Maru parable is great, and makes a lot of sense to me. The fact that Kirk essentially did not understand it, but Spock did, is a wonderful aspect of the story. That's pretty cool. The big emotional consequence of Spock's actions registers, impacts and delivers.


    As for Kahn and his motivations, I am less convinced. His arc feels contrived - I was half-expecting some kind of flashback with him and his wife having a picnic in a green field, under a tree, with a kid running in the foreground. It was that cheesy. The key moment should be when his second in command suggests they've won, so should move on, but Kahn decides to press on and overreaches. But this comes and goes, and it all sort of gets jumbled. Kahn's subsequent defeat, and his role in the deaths of his crew, ends up being kind of damp. Again, something that Amy said.


    And then there's the subplot with David. What was that all about? I swear I watched the film 2 days before I listened to the podcast, and by then I had forgotten all about the David subplot. I get the argument that it's happening on the edges of the main thrust of the story, but isn't that poor storytelling? I'd have preferred it if that part of the story ended up on the editing room floor, to give Kahn some more space.


    Because of these issues, the end felt like baloney to me. Why would Kirk be feeling young? His best friend died to save him and the ship from Kirk's past errors; Kahn and his crew are goners as well; the detonation they were trying to avoid ended up happening anyway. Is Kirk that much of an adrenaline junkie that this series of disasters reinvigorated him? Has he not learned anything from the Kobayashi Maru story?


    Now, don't misunderstand me. As a coincidence I have watched two of Wrath of Kahn's contemporaries in the last few months: Flash Gordon and Krull. Both are terrible - horrible visuals, incomprehensive storytelling, insufferable characters made worse by wooden acting. The Wrath of Kahn may be cheap, a little muddled and poorly edited (in my opinion), but it's a masterpiece compared to what used to pass as SFF back in the early eighties. And this is not an attempt at damning with faint praise.


    So, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. It's a good film. It's fine. But it's a soft from me.



    Not at all. And be thankful because the first one is a slog.


    I've heard the blu-ray transfer on this is bad. Too dark or something. Anyone have any info about that?


    Having never seen any of the films, I bought a DVD boxset yesterday. 10 movies, £15 - bargain. In my version Douglas Trumbull is credited in special effects, which probably accounts for the 2001-lite look.


    So I watched the first film yesterday and I was really surprised. Robert Wise and Gene Roddenberry somehow managed to make a 2-hour existentialist art house movie, discussing religion and evolution, out of a 70s soap opera. Who'd have thought? I quite liked it.


    Looking forward to KHAAAAANNN! tonight, which I hear is a completely different proposition.

  14. First Blood went up against Rocky, which is a travesty because they're both very strong films. First Blood is every bit as important as The Deer Hunter, maybe even more relevant today -- I think the John Rambo of that film is more tragic and relatable now in the wake of the massive US deployment in the Middle East, as well as Columbine and the media fascination with shooters and domestic terrorists.


    I have recently watched Rocky and First Blood back-to-back. One of them is a compelling character-driven drama, a perfectly-directed and edited piece, with a sharp socio-political message; the other is Rocky.


    No offence to either the Amy/Devin or anyone who voted for Rocky, but First Blood is by far the superior film, goofy ending and all. As a result, I would like to see it considered for a second vote, as we had in episode 50. As to a possible de-canonization, would it be worth it? I doubt it.

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    ...and kudos for resisting the temptation for throwing Cruise and Moore into bed during/after a long night of working together on the case.


    Correct. It reminded me of Amy and Devin discussing how Tom Cruise is actually a relatively asexual screen presence.

  16. And we have a new entrant! Finally watched High or High Water yesterday, and it's great. A story for the ages, great visuals and wonderful music...


    ...in a world where there are no women. Strange.


    It is a very good film, though.

  17. The film that launched a thousand Internet memes! Stop me if you've heard this one:


    Tom Cruise is a maverick US Navy officer, who on the outside is cocky and always goes his own way, but inside is permanently haunted by the memory of his father, a late and much-revered Navy officer himself, to whom his apparently-slacker son cannot hold a candle. Tom is surrounded by a competent, professional woman and a trustworthy friend, both of whom know that he can do better. When a tragedy happens, Tom will suffer a Road to Damascus-type conversion, and become the exceptional officer he has had the potential to be all along...


    ...except there is no camp singing on this one. Instead, what we have is Aaron Sorkin's writing tearing down the walls of silence and telling us what we actually think - and then dismantling that as well. Cruise plays Tom Cruise, which is always nice, and Kevin Bacon plays Kevin Bacon, which again is always fine. Jack Nicholson turns up in three scenes and chews the scenery so badly, the Academy gave him an Oscar just to make sure he didn't do the same with the red carpet. But it's actually Kevin Pollak and Demi Moore who steal the show, playing a weird double act as Tom's conscience throughout the movie.


    I also feel that this is a film that has a lot to say about what we expect from our society these days, and which addressed the role of the State like few mainstream films have bothered (dared?) since 9/11. And all of it in a popcorn-friendly, Saturday-night-at-the-movies sort of way.


    As I write this, I am painfully aware that we have just had another Rob Reiner film discussed in the podcast, but I would very much like to hear Davin and Amy's take on A Few Good Men.

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  18. I haven't been all that much to the cinema this year, and certainly have not seen anything that shades last year's Ex-Machina, Fury Road or even Inside Out. 2015 was fantastic for mainstream-ish quality cinema.


    That said, two films have stood out for me so far. I thought High-Rise was fantastic, and a fine addition to the canon of alt-Brit films (see also: Dead Man's Shoes, 28 Days Later, The Sightseers). It is extremely stylish and designed to within an inch of its life, to the point that at times I wondered if I was watching a Kubrick film. The cold deliberateness in everyone's performances just underlines the Kubrick comparison. And yes, Luke Evans steals the show.


    The second was Zootropolis (is it Zootopia in the US?). If back in January you had told me that an animated buddy-cop movie with 3 directors, 6 writers and a further 2 screenwriters was going to be one of my favourite movies of the year I would have laughed you out of the room. But in fact it is one of the most coherent films I have seen in ages. Yes, the message is not so much ladled as poured in like concrete, but I had no problem with that whatsoever. Shame the theme song was not up there with the best.


    I am very much looking forward to Hell and High Water, hopefully will watch it this weekend.

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  19. Bigelow was already put up, with The Hurt Locker, but didn't make it in.


    Most of the films you've listed, I've never seen. Including American Psycho, which I have heard so much about over the years (for all the talk of satire, it still feels so toxic, I'm certain I'd hate it), but not until now did I hear it was directed by a woman!


    !!! <----- Seriously!



    American Psycho is a masterpiece. It could have been a sleazy, toxic film, but it's not. I remember watching it very much against my will, being blown away by it, and then discovering it had been directed by a woman - and that made all sense.


    The Winter's Bone is also brilliant. A tough movie, in which it is for the women to keep things going, by hook or by crook. The violence, when it comes, feels very naturalistic. It's the real anti-revenge film.

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  20. Having not heard the entire back catalogue, my favourite so far is American Beauty. Made me want to re-watch a film I had written off years ago.


    Honourable mention to Oh Brother, Where Art Thou too. I loved the fact they were both so into the film they were almost talking over each other.

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