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Posts posted by sycasey

  1. Totally. My hope is that it gives us a version of Cap and his howling commandos that we didn't really get enough of in First Avenger.


    But then again, the Suicide Squad trailers made it look like it might be fun and irreverent like Guardians of the Galaxy. Not so much.


    Suicide Squad, though, seemed like it was clearly intended to be something else at first and then someone decided on a late course correction. Here's hoping Wonder Woman is a more cohesive thing.

    • Like 2

  2. Great point sycasey. But you don't hire Gerard Butler and deny the audience a view of his glory by going into his POV. lol though they could have at least taken the Doom/Karl Urban route of going into his POV for just a climactic fight scene near the end. I'm guessing Hardcore Henry is the best movie to even attempt a full length POV and it was a disaster of a film. (No matter how much I love Sharlto Copley)


    Probably you can't comment to a strict first-person perspective for the whole movie, but for action scenes you certainly can, or at least for significant chunks of them. Maybe the best example of how to use a fixed-perspective camera to enhance action scenes comes from Alfonso Cuaron, in movies that aren't really even trying to evoke video games (Children of Men, Gravity).

  3. It seems to me that the biggest fundamental flaw with Gamer is this: It seems to be trying to serve as an indictment of the kind of sleazy douchebag guys who would think it would be really cool to be able to control another human being, making him kill other people, or forcing women to do degrading sexual things. Yet, the style of the film, with all its violence, gratuitous nudity, even the obnoxious soundtrack, makes it the kind of movie that appeals to that exact kind of douchebag!


    Very true. The thing that disappointed me about the filmmaking style is this:


    The most obvious inspiration for this film is video games, and specifically first-person shooter games (Doom, Halo, Call of Duty, etc.). But the style of this film doesn't evoke those at all! Rather than committing as much as possible to a fixed perspective, which would call for a lot of single long takes, it's all chopped up in the editing, throwing action shots at you willy-nilly. There are virtually no shots taken from the perspective of Gerard Butler's character. The movie doesn't even come close to replicating the experience of playing that kind of game, which makes you wonder what the heck the point was supposed to be.

    • Like 1

  4. Took me a while to finish the podcast, but getting back to the movie at hand . . .


    There are a lot of theories being passed around here, trying to make sense of the world that Gamer presents to us. Most of these attempts at making sense have failed. You all are right: this movie doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Michael C. Hall's character would spend so much time and energy to choreograph a dance sequence that accomplishes nothing. It doesn't make sense that Gerard Butler and other people are seemingly able to walk into and out of the gaming area without being presented with any obstacles. None of the setup of this "video game with live humans" seems to track at all with the real world as we know it. Even scenes supposedly taking place outside of the "Society" and "Slayers" games seem nearly indistinguishable from those taking place inside of them.


    Lazy or incompetent filmmaking? Maybe. But what if there is another answer? I posit to you: maybe we never left the game. Everything in the movie is still part of the game. Who is controlling it? We'll never know. We never took the red pill. We're still in the Matrix. The audience will never know what is real. And so Neveldine & Taylor have delivered a commentary on modern society, implicating all of us in this deadly game.


    Boom. Mind blown.



    • Like 4

  5. I'd like to take this moment to express my appreciation for the Canon as well. It is by far my favorite podcast and the only one that I listen to every single week. I think what I love the most about it is that it covers so much ground in terms of the films they discuss. It seems like a lot of other podcasts keep the discussion limited to one type or genre of film, but not the Canon. They'll go from a 1980s horror/exploitation movie, to a 1950s melodrama, to an agreed-upon classic and talk about all of them with the same amount of knowledge and enthusiasm.


    Yes, this is the thing I'll really miss if The Canon doesn't come back. I haven't found another show that covers this wide a breadth of film history, with the kind of in-depth analysis the two critics gave. Most other film podcasts tend to stick with a narrower band (just new releases, or just horror flicks, or just older films).

    • Like 4

  6. Jessica McKenna mentions in this episode how she was so bizarrely unattracted to Tim Olyphant, I too thought he looked really different. I guess the dark dye job and overall sleazy personality probably had a lot to do with it. But also, did anyone think he looked bizarrely like Marco Rubio? In fact, when he first shows up my first thought was, "wow, who's that actor who looks like Marco Rubio?" I couldn't even recognize Olyphant and I'm really familiar with his work.


    It's definitely the haircut that does it. His normal look is to have it either swept up and back or spiked:




    When it's matted down he just looks like a serial killer:



  7. Totally in agreement here. I didn't expect that all or any of the characters would make it through the movie alive, however, the fact that these powers that could make them unique, memorable, or mildly useful, don't ever have that effect, doesn't quite make the cut as a good character flaw.


    Also agreeing with the issue of them apparently not honing their skills or learning how to keep their powers on the low-down. When they first get the powers as kids, they are accidentally reading each others minds. Yet when Beaver is on the toilet, he's looking for a sign that Jonesy is still looking for the tape. I would think that having telepathy would be quite useful there, even if Jonesy is still unable to get back to the cabin in time to assist Beaver. It just would make more sense. The use of and effectiveness of their powers is way too sporadic for their 20 years of possible experience.


    Even beyond this, the whole idea of "anyone can die at any time!" doesn't square with the theme the author is seemingly trying to deliver, which is that this group of guys were brought together and given powers because there is something they were "meant" to do. There is a strong theme of destiny here, which indicates that the deaths (if they happen) should be purposeful and not random.


    So when at least half the group winds up having a "destiny" of doing fuck-all to help defeat the alien menace, the audience might feel a little cheated and wonder why we wasted so much time with these characters.

    • Like 5

  8. I also enjoyed the fact that Duddits decided to dress himself in full Boston Red Sox regalia in going off to defeat Mr. Grey. I have to assume this was something Donnie Walhberg insisted on doing, perhaps as a kind of good luck charm for his favorite baseball team.


    When the Red Sox finally broke their curse and won the World Series the following year, I'd like to imagine that Donnie raised his fists and let out a hearty "I Duddits!"

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  9. So here is the biggest thing that bugs me about this movie:


    By the end it's alluded to (maybe even outright stated) that the whole point of the "dreamcatcher" metaphor was that Duddits had brought these boys together and given them powers, so that they could eventually save the world. The five of them bonded together were like the dreamcatcher that hung in their cabin, able to capture the nightmare presented by Mr. Grey.


    Here's my question: WERE they, though? How useful were any of these four other guys? Jason Lee dies before he uses any of his powers to stop the monster, so he's useless. Timothy Olyphant only uses his power to point Mr. Grey to the reservoir, and then he's also killed, so that's not much help either. Damian Lewis' contribution is to get possessed by Mr. Grey and provide him with a convenient vehicle for escaping the forest, which means everyone probably would have been better off without him ever coming into contact with the aliens. Sure, he is able to hide out in his "mind palace" and avoid death, but in the end did that actually stop Mr. Grey from doing anything? Doesn't seem like it. Thomas Jane does more to help the cause than anyone else, since he uses his telepathic connection to find Duddits and bring him to Grey's location . . .and even he doesn't do THAT much work, because Tom Sizemore does all the driving, and then Duddits does the actual dirty work!


    Duddits, next time cut out the middlemen, call a cab, and just go kill the bad guy yourself. As a bonus, you'd have spared your buddies their untimely deaths and/or crippling injuries.

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  10. Thanks for the words, Amy. While I sincerely hope that you can find another partner to continue the podcast with (it's a great, unique format and I don't think there's anything else out there that can match it), I understand if you can't.


    Best wishes to both you and Devin.

  11. I usually am amused when they go after people that are accused of sexual abuse, but now I see the whole thing as sad and that maybe I should think twice about misery as entertainment.


    How the accused responds is a big part of this. Devin didn't put up a fight, just resigned from his positions and that was that. It's harder to feel much glee at the man's fall when he just steps down and accepts it.


    At some point (it's probably too soon right now) I'd like to read or hear Devin's thoughts on this whole thing. NOT because I want to diminish the victim's story, but because I'm curious and looking to understand it on all sides: Does he really not remember the incident? Does he believe it anyway because he knows he's gotten up to bad behavior before? Was he trying to better himself or had this kind of thing continued to the present day? Was his public dedication to feminist issues a way of compensating?

    • Like 6

  12. Man it's crazy hearing A Face in the Crowd where D&A are discussing personal legacies; separating artist from art. Listening to it right now has created the weirdest vibe.


    I was in the middle of listening to it as I learned about the sexual assault allegation. It was surreal.



    Yeah, I can't really understand what he would have against outside of some tweets he has regarding getting annoyed about seeing Letterboxd reviews on his Twitter.



    I think that was pretty much the whole reason. He sometimes remarked that the people who were most annoying to him on "Film Twitter" typically had Letterboxd accounts (which at this point -- for a film buff -- is basically like having a Facebook account, but I'm not sure he knew that).


    It's a bit like his reasoning for disliking anime . . . because people with anime avatars tended to be annoying on Twitter. Yeah, I didn't get it either.

  14. A lot of the "bad stories" about Devin seem to be from his days in New York and/or at CHUD, whereas his current friendlier circle seems to be L.A. and/or BMD-based. Right now I'm thinking this might be a story about a guy who tried to do better after moving to a new city but couldn't outrun his past.

    We'll see. There could be more stories about to emerge.

    (This isn't to say we should feel sorrier for Devin than for the victim here. Of course not. But if the above is true, then Devin's story is a bit more interesting/nuanced than him just being a monster and a hypocrite. And the fact that his last Canon podcast might be A Face in the Crowd is . . . incredibly ironic.)

    • Like 6


    Well, sarcasm would be a pretty bad reaction to an accusation like that. I read Devin's response as sincere.


    When people say they've been assaulted, that always has to be taken seriously. Most people would not make such an accusation falsely because 1. it can easily feel very personal, revealing, even embarrassing, and 2. you're likely to get negative attention from it. As a culture we've got to handle accusations of sexual assault carefully, and not shame people who speak up. It's not only about the alleged incident, but about other people who have received abuse feeling that it's safe for them to speak up if they want to.


    All that said, we shouldn't 100% jump to conclusions. And we haven't heard anything from Devin other than his tweet. That's why, per P. Cheesesteak's question above, I feel it's premature and disrespectful to Devin to start tossing around names of prospective replacements.


    I want to add that The Canon is my favorite podcast of the past year, I enjoy it a lot and I wish the best for the people who make it.


    Yeah, this is the trouble with this kind of accusation. You have to respect the fact that the victim (or alleged victim) is willing to come forward and start from the perspective of believing her.


    But at the same time, the Twitter pile-on that happens at the slightest shred of evidence also inevitably becomes very unseemly (and this is not necessarily absolving Devin, who has been known to participate in such pile-ons). You start seeing comments like "I always knew he was a terrible person" and "Anyone who supported him is also guilty" -- which, come on. There are a lot of people who probably wouldn't have known anything about it. The other impulse is to throw out anything that person has been involved with, and I think I'd like to still acknowledge the value The Canon and Birth.Movies.Death have brought even if it does turn out that Devin is a bad person. The reality is probably more nuanced than that anyway (Devin is a person who has done good things and bad things in his life).

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  16. Now that y'all mention it, I noticed Devin also hasn't tweeted since earlier yesterday (and it looks like he usually tweets a lot). Also it seems Birth.Movies.Death hasn't updated since yesterday as well.


    The other BMD folks are pretty silent on Twitter too. I'm thinking there are a lot of talks going on behind the scenes right now.


    Read my mind! (because of course you did)


    I liked it, maybe even loved it, but...I had some issues with it. Primarily, I kept falling asleep. However, the problem may be mine, since I was watching it at like 3:00 AM everyday because that's when my son wakes up to be fed. Since I set my alarm for 5:00 anyway, I've just been getting up at that time. After an episode or two, I would find myself nodding off. I thought it was just because of the time, but a couple days ago, I had some time in the afternoon to watch, and I still almost fell asleep! I mean, that could all be related--I don't know. Was it kind of boring or am I just over tired? I will definitely be watching it again though!


    I haven't watched this show yet, but I do feel like all of the Netflix Marvel shows have had major pacing problems. They really need to think about shortening the seasons to 10 episodes or fewer, because they all seem to run out of plot somewhere along the way.

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  18. I settled on a No vote. I don't think it quite clears the bar.


    But if I'm being completely honest, part of this choice was because the voting was close to 50/50 with the "No" side trailing slightly, so I felt like evening it up a bit. This seems like the film that should perfectly split the vote.