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sycasey 2.0

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Everything posted by sycasey 2.0

  1. sycasey 2.0

    Sullivan's Travels

    Paul & Amy travel to 1941’s Preston Sturges Hollywood farce Sullivan’s Travels! They learn why the US government made Veronica Lake’s hairstyle illegal, praise the screenplay’s rapid-fire dialogue, and ask if this is actually Sturges’ best film or just his best known. Plus: More thoughts on the amazing career of Sidney Lumet. For Easy Rider week, who would you want to go on a motorcycle road trip with? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts.
  2. sycasey 2.0

    Sullivan's Travels

    I watched this once for Amy's old podcast The Canon and found it very enjoyable. Then I watched it again last weekend in advance of this episode and found it even MORE watchable and enjoyable. Between that and Amy/Paul's descriptions of loving every return to this film, I'm taking that as a sign that this movie just keeps getting better upon rewatch, like many Coen Brothers movies do. So I vote yes.
  3. sycasey 2.0

    Sullivan's Travels

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701191/
  4. sycasey 2.0

    236 - THE GREAT WALL (Live)

    I was going to bring up that Zhang Yimou directed this movie! To me it's also a little wild that people now know Zhang as the guy who directs big empty (albeit very colorful) spectacles like this. Hero and House of Flying Daggers are certainly better than this movie but also basically big spectacular action movies with fairly pro-China messages. If you look at his earlier work from the 90s, Zhang once made social dramas that are explicitly critical of China's authoritarianism and restrictions on individual liberty: Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, To Live, etc. These movies are straight up masterpieces, the kind that got him into trouble with the Chinese government but also got worldwide acclaim. To me it's pretty depressing that he's gone from being that guy to the guy who makes junk like The Great Wall. It's like if Martin Scorsese just gave in and started making Transformers movies or something.
  5. sycasey 2.0

    12 Angry Men

    Yeah, this isn't clearly intended as a fantasy like Star Wars is. There's no "a long time ago in a courtroom far far away" tagline. I think complaints about the realism are fair game (though IMO overrided by lots of other virtues).
  6. sycasey 2.0

    12 Angry Men

    One fair criticism is that this isn't really a good portrayal of what can actually happen in a jury room. Fonda's character definitely gets away with a lot that wouldn't be allowed (how did he manage to get a switchblade knife into a courtroom?). But I mostly forgive that for the sake of dramatic license. I also find it interesting how this movie seems really ahead of the curve on how aggressive police procedures can result in false convictions -- not necessarily out of any kind of far-reaching conspiracy, but just because the cops tend to be very biased in favor of thinking the guy they arrested is guilty and will pressure witnesses into testifying as much. Basically, to accept the theory proposed in the movie, you have to accept that witnesses like the woman and old man neighbors didn't really see the man they thought they saw, and that it's plausible that the defendant really didn't remember what movie he saw or what happened to his knife. Except, now we know that's totally possible! People make all kinds of false statements under police interrogation. The only fault in the movie's construction I can think of is that it never really offers up a plausible alternate reason the father was killed, other than that they lived in a rough neighborhood where violence was common. Maybe they could have mentioned that he had a lot of gambling debts or something.
  7. sycasey 2.0

    12 Angry Men

    This seems like a bit of a no-brainer for me. Seems like this is a movie that every American should see. I've argued against movies before that seem like they are just "filmed plays," but for this one I think Lumet displays such creative and interesting strategies for filming a single room without ever letting it feel stagy or uncinematic. It's really quite a feat. I notice a lot of modern masters using similar strategies when filming interior dialogue scenes: Spielberg, Tarantino, Fincher. They probably took a lot from this movie.
  8. sycasey 2.0

    12 Angry Men

  9. sycasey 2.0

    Rear Window

    Paul & Amy peer into 1957’s voyeuristic Hitchcock thriller Rear Window! They learn how the magnificent set was constructed, marvel at Jimmy Stewart’s portrayal of a man on the moral edge, and discuss why Grace Kelly is not a “Lisa.” Plus: Lane Moore, author of How To Be Alone, talks about how she deals with loneliness and isolation. Next week we are (actually) talking about 12 Angry Men – help defend a criminal character you think deserved a fairer trial! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts.
  10. sycasey 2.0

    Rear Window

    1. Rear Window 2. Psycho 3. Vertigo 4. North by Northwest Wouldn't take any of them off the list.
  11. sycasey 2.0

    Rear Window

    Definitely one of the best Simpsons parodies.
  12. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 235 - Underworld: Blood Wars LIVE!

    I have not watched an Underworld movie since seeing the first one in theaters in 2003. Like many of you, I also remember that movie being terrible and then also being baffled that they seem to have made 5 or 6 more of them. Not having caught up on any of the subsequent lore, Underworld: Blood Wars was pretty much unintelligible. I also don't recall a whole lot about the original movie, other than it had vampires fighting werewolves, only the movie does not explain for quite some time that the people it calls "Lycans" are actually werewolves. So when I heard the vampire characters talking about "lichens" I assumed their enemies were some kind of tree fungus.
  13. sycasey 2.0

    Upcoming Episodes

    Aw man, I just watched 12 Angry Men today! Then again, since I'm not going anywhere, I should also have time to rewatch Rear Window.
  14. sycasey 2.0

    Sunrise

    Oh yeah, as for the drunk pig, there is a Simpsons . . . EDIT: As an aside, it astounds me how many great, memorable jokes are in this 2 1/2 minute clip. -"Roll him up in a carpet and throw him off a bridge!" running gag. -Curly/straight -"Hell-ooo, that sounds like a pig fainting!" -Richard Nixon appearance -Wallet inspector I didn't realize how good we had it with 90s Simpsons.
  15. sycasey 2.0

    Sunrise

    Had never seen this one before, and like Paul I thought it was really great, stunningly inventive even by modern standards, and it's from the silent era! On a pure plot/story level it's probably nothing special, pretty simple really. But in terms of how it's told visually, about the best anyone could have done.
  16. sycasey 2.0

    Non-political alternative to HDTGM?

    Friend, assuming you are asking this question in good faith, I will say right now that there really isn't an alternative. Discussions of art and culture are inevitably going to intersect with politics, because you can't discuss the messages behind the media without revealing at least some your political orientation. I would suggest instead examining within yourself why you would expect to avoid "politics" in general or if it's really just a particular kind of politics that bothers you and why.
  17. sycasey 2.0

    M*A*S*H

    Technically this is a reference to the TV show, but hey, the song is in the movie too.
  18. sycasey 2.0

    M*A*S*H

    I love a lot of Altman stuff, including Nashville which is already on the list, along with McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Player, Short Cuts, and late-period stuff like The Company or Prairie Home Companion is also pretty solid. I've never really felt the love for MASH. It feels to me like the bad kind of Altman, overly shambling and rootless and not as funny as it ought to be. It feels like one of those "you had to be there" things, where if I had actually lived through the Vietnam War it might have really resonated as a necessarily irreverent counterpoint to the horrors of the time. To me it just feels like yet another frat comedy that happens to be in a wartime setting, and on that level the comedy doesn't work as well as something like Animal House (which I'm not a huge fan of either, but it has more great moments than this). And as was noted repeatedly in the podcast episode, the misogynistic treatment of Hot Lips has aged really poorly. I get it, they're trying to say she's too wedded to the establishment and that's why she's worthy of scorn (like the religious Robert Duvall character), but this is where the movie's lack of focus fails to really nail down that point and leaves too much else about it wide open for criticism. I don't think this movie would survive the next re-vote if the AFI ever does one.
  19. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    There also isn't necessarily a reason Baldwin's narration had to be in voice-over. You could still easily have him talk to the camera. It seems like they tried (for some reason) to make the movie play as straight naturalism and not magical realism, right up until the body swap occurs. Kind of baffling. I mean, John freaking Hughes did it, so it's not like audiences wouldn't have ever seen that before.
  20. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    Here's a clip from the Tony Awards performance. I haven't ever seen this play in full, but from this I can see why it would work much better on stage. The narration is a direct address to the audience, giving the whole story the feeling of a flashback/memory in the first place (which helps the weird story structure make more sense). In the movie the voice-over narration feels more real-time. It also helps that on stage you just have pieces of furniture placed to give a suggestion of the location, with lighting to only highlight the most important part of the stage and the rest sitting in a kind of blackness. The movie is very flatly lit with fully-dressed sets or locations, which hurts your focus on the characters. The quick, stilted line delivery plays as self-conscious comedy here, but feels terribly serious in the movie. Seems like the theater director didn't really understand how to make the magical realism translate to cinematic language. And yeah, Meg Ryan was probably wrong for the part. You need someone who suggests a kind of darkness or unhappiness from the beginning, not a bubbly persona like Ryan's.
  21. sycasey 2.0

    Parasite (special episode)

    Paul & Amy latch on to 2019’s Best Picture winning Korean class parable Parasite! They talk about overcoming the “one inch barrier of subtitles,” praise director Bong Joon Ho’s use of lines and vertical camera movement, and learn about Bong’s political awakening and how it inspired the film. Plus: Justin Chang (LA Times, NPR) tells us what the reaction to Parasite was like at Cannes. For M*A*S*H week, give Paul a M*A*S*H worthy nickname! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall
  22. sycasey 2.0

    Parasite (special episode)

    Tom Jones is one of the Best Picture winners I went back to watch and just scratched my head at how that won. Maybe you had to be there.
  23. sycasey 2.0

    Parasite (special episode)

    It really SHOULDN'T matter, I agree. I'm just acknowledging that given historical Oscar biases a movie like Roma has some things going against it beyond those of CTHD or Parasite.
  24. sycasey 2.0

    Parasite (special episode)

    Crouching Tiger is definitely the one that stands out to me. Roma is great but kind of esoteric: it's black & white, it's a Netflix movie -- hard to tell how popular it was. CTHD was a bonafide smash hit, the highest-grossing subtitled movie ever in the USA, and also a critical darling. Before Parasite that was the obvious time to award one, especially since the competition wasn't super strong.
  25. sycasey 2.0

    Episode #223: Space Jam LIVE!

    I was also surprised that no one else on the stage had heard of the NBA Jam video game. That game was MASSIVELY popular in arcades and spawned a lot of sequels and imitators. But then again, June also didn't know anything about Street Fighter so perhaps I should not be surprised.
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