Jump to content

sycasey 2.0

Members
  • Content count

    1250
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    31

Everything posted by sycasey 2.0

  1. sycasey 2.0

    Raging Bull

    On "Best of the Decade," I think I'm with one of the recent guests (was it Rian Johnson?) who said The Social Network is the film of the decade. Hard to argue with that, as it seems to have been stunningly prescient about where society was headed. Some of my other faves: Black Swan Mad Max Fury Road 12 Years a Slave 20th Century Women Lady Bird
  2. sycasey 2.0

    Raging Bull

    I voted for the movie to stay, but it was a closer call than I expected going in. This movie really is a tough sit, a lot of time spent with very unpleasant characters in a not particularly propulsive narrative. The only reason it works at all is probably the superlative craft at play: the direction, acting, photography, editing, sound design, etc. And I would also argue that the film clearly gives the impression that the filmmakers know it's about unpleasant people and want that to be the point you take away from it, as a way of subverting the usual heroic boxing movie narrative about an underdog coming back to win. Nope, this time the guy reaches the top fairly quickly, then slowly deteriorates because of his own psychological issues. This is usually what a lifetime of punching and getting punched for a living actually results in. I do agree with Paul & Amy that #4 seems too high a placement. Scorsese's other AFI 100 movies carry a lot more cultural cache and influence than this one IMO, as well-made as it is. I'd bump this one further down.
  3. sycasey 2.0

    Raging Bull

  4. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 227 - Double Dragon: LIVE!

    That's a grey area, since Pokemon is more than just a video game.
  5. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 227 - Double Dragon: LIVE!

    Jumanji: WTTJ is better than those, I say. That's the newer movie with The Rock, not the Robin Williams one. The first Resident Evil was pretty okay I guess.
  6. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 227 - Double Dragon: LIVE!

    So is it only possible to make a decent video game movie if you don't base it on a specific game? I'm thinking about Scott Pilgrim or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle here.
  7. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    Yeah, for me I bumped it down a half star on Letterboxd just because some of the humor now seems a little uncomfortable because of the accusations towards Allen. Of course that's not something that would have been a concern at the time, but it's just hard to avoid it now. I'd still vote for it to stay on the list, but the whole controversy definitely has had some negative impact on how I receive the work.
  8. sycasey 2.0

    Musical Mondays Week 80 The Greatest Showman

    Speak for yourself! I think this movie has a lot of songs that are very good in and of themselves and also don't fit with the story or world of the movie at all. It feels like a jukebox musical, only all the songs are originals. It's weird. Then again, maybe this was inevitable since the story just kind of lurches from plot point to plot point without providing much connective tissue at all. And yeah, the historical revisionism is kind of off-putting and in a number of cases seemingly unnecessary. You could still do a story about misfits finding themselves while also acknowledging Barnum's faults. Hamilton manages it. I theoretically understand why people are charmed by the musical numbers, but it didn't work for me.
  9. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 227 - Double Dragon: LIVE!

    I will also note that by Double Dragon III our heroes were apparently named Bimmy and Jimmy, thanks to yet another hilarious NES typo.
  10. sycasey 2.0

    Episode 227 - Double Dragon: LIVE!

    Abobo was such an iconic character that some guy remixed him into a new game with a bunch of other NES characters, and you can play it here: http://abobosbigadventure.com/fullgame.php
  11. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    If I didn't know about Woody Allen seemingly being hugely oblivious and completely lacking self-awareness in real life I wouldn't even question it, as to me the content of his movies shows a lot of self-awareness and self-criticism. Why else have the scene at the end of Annie Hall where Alvy writes a play about his relationship with Annie, completely changes the ending to have them get back together, then turns to the camera and explains why he did that? That's about as self-aware as it gets. I suppose he wouldn't be the first artist to show great insight in his work but completely lack it in his own personal life.
  12. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    I can't speak for everyone, but for myself: I don't think they went too hard on Allen, and I did like that the discussion was primarily confined to the movie itself and not the various controversies from Allen's personal life. As I noted, I wasn't going to lead with a discussion of that, but since someone else brought up the subject I figured I'd contribute as well. To me this isn't about saying they went too hard on Allen or even defending him, more about making sure the true facts are entered for discussion. I'm sure Amy and the podcast staff did their best, but her disclaimer contained some things that were not true, so I think it's worthwhile correcting them. A lot of that other stuff I brought up are things that I frequently see people getting wrong about Woody Allen so I figured I would preemptively get the real facts on record. I certainly don't think the real facts absolve Woody Allen in a moral sense. He deserves plenty of blame here. Yeah, these are definitely two different spins on the same topic, not unlike you might see in politics (Democrats have one spin on something, Republicans another). The truth is probably impossible to know, but personally I find Weide's conclusions more credible. Ronan Farrow was four years old at the time this was going on, so I very much doubt he really knew what was happening in 1991. His story seems to be from what his mother and other family members have told him in the years since. Weide is focused almost purely on what evidence we know is public, and IMO it makes sense that once the Yale psychiatric team came back with their determination that there was probably no abuse, that was game over for a criminal prosecution and concerns about the child's welfare in a trial were immaterial at that point. Farrow is correct that the prosecutor (Frank Maco) did use the term "probable cause" in saying he still thought Allen was guilty, but the underlying truth is that he didn't have a case. The state-ordered investigations turned up nothing. Personally? I lean towards the belief that Allen likely did not molest Dylan, but if course there is no way to be sure. If he is guilty of that then IMO that is reason to effectively "cancel" him as an artist going forward. For me, his relationship with Soon-Yi, though started under very icky circumstances, is not enough. They are consenting adults making their own choices. His dating of 16-year-olds at a time when that was actually fairly common practice in NYC is also not enough, though I may personally disapprove of it. Others may draw their own lines.
  13. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    Ronan clearly believes Dylan's story is true, but he was also four years old at the time so I don't think he has first-hand knowledge. Given what Moses and Soon-Yi say about Mia playing favorites with her kids, I don't think it's far-fetched to think that he was closer to his mother than they were and therefore more likely to take her side. And no, I am not defending Woody Allen's actions in starting an affair with Soon-Yi. Clearly morally wrong. I am just bothered by incorrect facts getting bandied about, and in this case I see a lot of them whenever the subject is raised in virtually any forum, including during Amy's disclaimer in the podcast episode. EDIT: In the interests of full accuracy, here's a slate of links on both sides of the question. I would encourage everyone to read everything. Dylan Farrow's direct accusation: https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/an-open-letter-from-dylan-farrow/ Ronan Farrow's opinion on the matter: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/my-father-woody-allen-danger-892572 A Maureen Orth column that got a lot of play: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2014/02/woody-allen-sex-abuse-10-facts Robert Weide (a Woody Allen biographer, and also the guy who directed Curb Your Enthusiasm) rebuts all of the above here: https://ronanfarrowletter.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/the-truth-about-woody-allen-part-i/ Moses Farrow's statements: http://mosesfarrow.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-son-speaks-out-by-moses-farrow.html Soon-Yi Previn interviewed: https://www.vulture.com/2018/09/soon-yi-previn-speaks.html
  14. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    Yeah, I didn't want to start this thread with a discussion of Woody Allen's personal life and the Farrows' accusations against him, but this is all true. Lots of people believe the "fact" that "Woody Allen married his own daughter," but that is not correct. To take it a step further, Woody, Mia, and Soon-Yi all agreed in separate statements that he had never been much of a father-figure to her and didn't have much to do with her until after she had left for college, when Mia suggested they should spend more time together and not be so distant (I'm sure she regrets that). Also, Woody never moved in to Mia's house; he always kept his own residence. All of this is confirmed on all sides. I think people can still certainly take moral exception to what Woody Allen DID do (start a secret affair with his girlfriend's adopted daughter), but we should be accurate about what happened. Finally, I know a lot of people are very certain that Woody Allen molested his daughter Dylan Farrow when she was 7 years old, but I would suggest reading what her older brother Moses Farrow has to say about that and how he was treated by Mia. I think you might not be so certain after that. I still understand wanting to avoid his work or feeling weird about watching it, but I think it's important to know everything that's out there for public consumption before forming an opinion.
  15. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

    This rewatch showed me how inventive the movie is, in a way I didn't expect. Someone on the Facebook group made a comment that Annie Hall basically does all of the same kind of cinematic inventiveness that you find in something like Pulp Fiction: a non-linear narrative, self-awareness, pop cultural references, even a spot of animation, etc. Only the tone and subject matter are very different. That's true. I think it's far too influential a movie to leave off the list, regardless of what one may feel about Woody Allen the person. Personally, I also find it profound in different ways as I get older (as Amy does). Now that I'm married with kids I don't find it as much an of-the-moment chronicle of single dating life, rather a wistful reminder of what that used to be like. Only, the movie has that depth in it too! It ends with Alvy reminiscing about his relationship with Annie, remembering the good times, remarking on how they don't last but they stay with you. Woody Allen the writer seems a lot more self-aware than Woody Allen the person.
  16. sycasey 2.0

    Annie Hall

  17. sycasey 2.0

    The Best Years Of Our Lives

    I wondered about that too. Seems like they're going for dramatic irony here, where the wealthier man is lower-ranked than the working-class guy, and they find their status reversed in civilian society. Just speculating here, but I wonder if things were different during the WW2 era with so many people needed for the war effort? Perhaps it was easier to get promoted even without a degree.
  18. sycasey 2.0

    The Best Years Of Our Lives

    I noted in the Deer Hunter thread that Hal Ashby's Coming Home is probably the other great example, but I think Best Years of Our Lives is better.
  19. sycasey 2.0

    The Best Years Of Our Lives

    How many folks had seen this before? I had vague memories of seeing it as a kid, but the only thing I recalled was the guy with hooks for hands.
  20. sycasey 2.0

    The Best Years Of Our Lives

    Well, I absolutely loved it and did not expect to. Though because of the pure number of minutes to cover, I did have to split my viewing over two nights, it didn't "feel" like a long movie and I was engaged with all of the character stories throughout. I really liked how it lacked heroes and villains and gave focus to the wives and daughters along with the soldiers themselves. The typical Hollywood love triangle has a refreshing feel when people aren't sneaking around lying to each other and mostly just come out and say how they feel. I would also disagree about the filmmaking. It's not flashy, but there are a number of interesting compositions using deep focus, where there is action in the foreground but your eye can drift to something in the background (like the scene where Homer is playing the piano with his hooks, but Fred is in the back breaking up with Peggy). Oh, who's the cinematographer? Gregg Toland, natch. Anyway, it's interesting that most of the criticism at the time was for this film being too communist-sympathizing. I note that most of the movies from the 1940s on this list carry similar slants: It's a Wonderful Life, The Grapes of Wrath, even Citizen Kane in parts . . . all take a pretty dim view of capitalism and private enterprise and in most cases call for a collectivist solution to those problems. You can really see that's where the country's mood was after the Great Depression and WW2 (and perhaps we're returning there again?).
  21. sycasey 2.0

    The Best Years Of Our Lives

    We need a poll! Should this movie stay on the list?
  22. sycasey 2.0

    The Lighthouse (2019)

    Yes, it's possible this could improve upon second viewing. Mulholland Dr. was like that for me (to invoke Lynch as Eggers seems to want to).
  23. sycasey 2.0

    Forrest Gump

    Sometimes. The feather is the clearest example. But as I note, I don't think the movie is consistent about it like the Coen Bros are.
  24. sycasey 2.0

    Forrest Gump

    I think that also doesn't quite track. Most Army recruits are not college grads.
  25. sycasey 2.0

    Forrest Gump

    I guess . . . except it wasn't fate? Forrest signed up for the Army. This is what I mean about the message being muddled in the particulars.
×