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sycasey 2.0

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sycasey 2.0 last won the day on April 22

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About sycasey 2.0

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  • Birthday 08/18/1980

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  1. sycasey 2.0

    Forums shutting down

    I'll miss the forums as a nice little corner of our world (and Facebook/Discord are not QUITE the same), but the writing was on the wall as participation declined so sharply. The Facebook group is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast/ There's a full Discord group here: https://discord.gg/8vStFpxW And also a specific channel on Paul's group here: https://discord.gg/pWedqFQn See y'all on the other side!
  2. sycasey 2.0

    Jurassic Park

    Love this movie and have seen it dozens of times, but it's a no vote for me. Paul's constant attempts to compare it to Jaws in the podcast episode actually turned me the other way. Sure, on some level you can argue that Jurassic Park has the more "perfect" plot. All of the character arcs are rounded off nicely and the film's core themes are all addressed clearly. That's the problem: Jurassic Park is too clean. Everything is spelled out for you right there on the surface. Jaws leaves space for you to ponder things and let your imagination run. So does Raiders of the Lost Ark. You don't judge movies by going down a checklist and seeing which one checks the most boxes. As a thrill-ride adventure it's great, one of the best, but the over-determined nature of it means it's not THE best.
  3. sycasey 2.0

    Jurassic Park

    Originally forgot the poll! Now up. Also: I've also always loved this whole bit:
  4. sycasey 2.0

    Jurassic Park

    Amy & Paul break out of 1993’s prehistoric creature feature Jurassic Park! They revisit the moment in film history when CGI was starting to break into the mainstream, learn how director Steven Spielberg decided to embrace realism in the film’s dino designs, and debate whether John Hammond gets a bad rap. Plus: An in-depth breakdown of Jurassic Park vs. Jaws. Next week Unspooled’s summer blockbuster series continues with Men In Black! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  5. sycasey 2.0

    Apollo 13

    Reposted from Facebook: Here's my thought on Ron Howard: he's a good director. Very competent at all of the technical aspects, casts well, gets good performances, etc. He also has no individual personal vision; that's why Amy wasn't able to do any auteurist reclamation of his canon. He executes the script and that's it. If the script is good, he can produce a good movie. To me Apollo 13 is on the high end of the Ron Howard approach: a story that is pretty gripping in its own right, for which Howard produces a suitably gripping movie. It doesn't have any poetry, though. It hits its marks and gets out of there. Spielberg would deliver some extra visual poetry. It's not all about it being a true story and that being hard to do as a "Hollywood" movie. Lawrence of Arabia is a "true story" and a big Hollywood production and poetic and stirring as all hell. The Right Stuff (the movie I wish this podcast episode was about) is about a similar subject and also a lot more poetic. That's because these movies aren't just about "telling the story," they're getting at some larger statement about humanity. The Right Stuff isn't just about the technical marvel of the Space Race (though it does have that too), it's also more broadly about humanity's capacity for exploration and discovery. Apollo 13 is just about what happened to the people on this space flight: no more, no less. Good movie, enjoyable movie, but it's a no. You can see where Howard's lack of a "poetic" instinct sticks out in that scene they play in the episode, where Lovell pauses as they ask him to depower the capsule and it dawns on him what this means. Great moment, as you understand along with him that this means he won't be walking on the moon. And then the dialogue comes in to put a button on it: "We just lost the moon." IMO a more poetic filmmaker would trust his visual filmmaking, realize that line is unnecessary, and cut it out. It's in these moments the movie falls a bit short of greatness.
  6. sycasey 2.0

    Apollo 13

    Amy & Paul come home to 1995’s space disaster docudrama Apollo 13! They ask if this is secretly a film about disappointment, spot a cameo by a legendary director, and discuss whether there’s a successor to Ron Howard among today’s generation of filmmakers. Plus: What’s the actual version of the film’s most famous quote? Next week Unspooled kicks off a new series on summer blockbusters! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  7. sycasey 2.0

    Upcoming Episodes

    On the Facebook poll, The Right Stuff did win. I guess that wasn't the right one.
  8. sycasey 2.0

    Aliens

    Well, on this board the vote was unanimous in favor of Alien. On the Facebook group, the vote was also strongly in favor of both movies. Paul and Amy aren't the only votes!
  9. sycasey 2.0

    Aliens

    It's a great action movie. Very rewatchable and entertaining. It fleshes out Ripley's character and the greater world of the Xenomorph in interesting ways, as a good sequel should, without also falling into the trap of just trying to remake the original as a lot of sequels do. A lot of the critics complain about how Aliens doesn't replicate the spare, existential dread of Alien, but honestly . . . it couldn't have done that and shouldn't have tried. Going back to try to destroy the aliens was the next logical move for a sequel. The encounter is naturally going to play out differently if the humans are prepared this time. I understand the criticisms of James Cameron too, in that his worldview tends to be pretty simplistic and binary, good guys over here and bad guys over there and that's it. But he should also get credit for executing this kind of narratively simplistic action movie about as well as anyone ever could, outside of Steven Spielberg. He plays you like a fiddle: long introduction to get you to invest, then growing tension and a big set-piece to release the pressure, then throttle back for more character or world-building until the next one ups the stakes even further, etc. The movie is really well-structured, with very little fat on the bone (at least in the original cut). I also think Cameron should get credit for SOME nuance here. The hoo-rah stuff gives way to sheer terror and the civilian Ripley taking the reins after the Marines get decimated in their first encounter. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the military-industrial complex. Hicks seems like the soldier who is least interested in proving how tough he is (and the one who trusts Ripley the most), so of course he's the one who survives. Another one of my big issues with other Cameron movies is that when he writes a non-robot villain character he just pushes them into cartoon territory (think Billy Zane in Titanic), but in Aliens there are at least some interesting facets and motivations to Burke. It's the one time he wrote a human villain who seems like a real person. All of that said, I voted against Aliens. I think the original Alien is better and a better representative for the series, and for this kind of Cameron action movie I'd probably tap one of the Terminator movies before this one, as much as I enjoy it.
  10. sycasey 2.0

    Aliens

    Paul & Amy invade 1986’s James Cameron space action classic Aliens! They learn what this film had in common with Platoon, ask why the aliens feel less threatening here than they did in the first film, and try not to call Ripley ‘badass.’ Plus: Do the deleted scenes that give more backstory to Ripley help or hurt her character? Next week Unspooled’s space series concludes with Apollo 13! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  11. sycasey 2.0

    Solaris

    This is still the only Tarkovsky film I've seen to date, and from various other listener comments I've seen (here and on Facebook), it seems like there might be better Tarkovsky candidates to be blasted off. I also do kind of see this as a package with 2001, and if that is already on the list (deservedly so) then I'm not sure we need this as well. Yes, it's different in several ways, but when it comes to "meditative, intellectual sci-fi" as a broad grouping I think Kubrick has the trophy there (and I'm sure Mr. Tarkovsky would despair at such an opinion). On the film itself: I like it, it's clearly very well-made, and it leaves you with a lot to ponder. This is my second time through it, and I still find myself not quite "vibing" with the pacing. Slow isn't necessarily bad (and it's also clearly intentional here), but if we're splitting hairs among great films then I have to admit that I get a bit bored in places while watching this movie. The film's virtues certainly override that problem, but it wouldn't be in my personal canon.
  12. sycasey 2.0

    Solaris

    Paul & Amy orbit 1972’s Russian outer space mood piece Solaris! They learn why director Andrei Tartovsky disdained nearly all American films, compare Solaris to the many movies it influenced, and decry the ‘explainer’ culture of modern film fandom. Plus: A dramatic reading of the trailer for the Solaris remake! Next week Unspooled’s space series continues with Aliens! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  13. sycasey 2.0

    Alien

    Very much this. The criticism of Aliens being a gung-ho rah-rah military film is such an unbelievably surface-level take. (Paul and Amy don't make this argument, but I hear it a lot.)
  14. sycasey 2.0

    Alien

    A fair amount of the criticism levied at Alien in this episode seemed to be on the "character development" level, and yes I can admit that on that level The Thing or Aliens might be stronger. That's not the whole of filmmaking, though, and Alien has both of them beaten on visual storytelling and design. It fully changed the game on that level.
  15. sycasey 2.0

    Alien

    Amy & Paul burst out of 1979’s sci-fi horror pioneer Alien! They learn about the film’s original darker ending, contrast it with another classic horror film Unspooled has covered, and ask whether today’s filmmakers have lost the visual imagination that made Alien feel so innovative. Plus, the eternal debate: Alien or Aliens? Next week Unspooled’s space series continues with Solaris (the 1972 original)! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall
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