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sycasey 2.0

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Posts posted by sycasey 2.0


  1. Man, I love Jurassic Park, but IMO the dopey "It's a UNIX system!" scene alone drops it below Jaws. I'll agree that it does have better effects and better-choreographed action, but in terms of story/character/dialogue I don't think it's close, Jaws wins hands down.

    I would keep every Spielberg on the list except Saving Private Ryan. Good movie, but there are enough war movies and this isn't so clearly better than the other ones.

    • Like 1

  2. 3 hours ago, Sharky86 said:

    Been waiting since the start of this podcast to hear about this movie!

    I think there's more depth to the mayor than Is often credited. He really does seem to act in what he feels is best for the town and not just selfishly. Like when Hooper wants to cut open the tiger shark, Vaughn  doesn't object as a means to cover it up, but out of decency. Or just before the 4th of July, when Brody and Hooper are arguing with him, he's not ignoring evidence, he asks to see the tooth and they don't have one. This is what copycats fail at and just have the mayor be a greedy SOB just for the hell of it. 

    I haven't read the book, but knowing that his motivation in the book is that he's trying to avoid getting in trouble with the mob . . . I'm glad the film changed that. It's more interesting that he's just getting pressure from the townspeople who don't want their local economy to crater. There's no outside evil preventing the beaches from closing, just the same kinds of issues we face today with COVID.

    Anyway, this seems like kind of a no-brainer for staying on the list. Clearly a super-important American film that is also very well-made and iconic.

    On the jaunty Williams score during the barrel chase scene, I will disagree with Paul and say that actually works well. It reflects a certain false confidence the three men are getting from thinking that getting a barrel attached to the shark will allow them to catch it. That confidence is quickly dashed as the shark pulls the barrel down with him.

    • Like 1

  3. 22 hours ago, RyanSz said:

    I'm guessing it was something made solely for a competition version of the game, as during the various tournaments like this in the early 90s and even now with various E-Sport leagues they have to include other ways for points to be doled out outside of who won the match. I know for the things like the Fortnite Pro-Am or charity events that use it, they give out points based on how high you placed in a match so if you suck ass one round it doesn't completely eliminate you from contention. So with the whistle, while it only warps your character forward levels, all the player would be doing in a competition is playing a much harder level for the same points his opponents are playing for at easier levels, so giving a point bonus for taking that chance with the whistle can either big a big bonus for a kid if they're also good at the harder levels, or can at least bolster their score if they are struggling on the harder levels they went to so they still have a chance at winning the match.

    Hmm, that would make sense. How Fred Savage knew from the crowd that the whistle led to a warp zone (when no one has seen SMB3 before) is another question.

    • Like 1

  4. On 6/22/2020 at 7:47 AM, grudlian. said:

    I was talking about this with a friend of mine yesterday. As a big fan of the NES, this movie is so unbelievably inaccurate. You'd think a movie that's a commercial for SMB3, they'd actually showcase it accurately.

    At one point the kid uses a warp whistle and that somehow boosts his score, but warps don't actually add points in the game.

    • Like 1

  5. 1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

    I liked the live version significantly more than this version. I can appreciate the movie to an extent. I like that it's kind of dirty looking in a way few movies are. The music is good. That's kind of it for me. The live version just pops in a way this doesn't.

    That's always been my impression of The Wiz as a movie. The energy of the live show didn't translate to the screen, for whatever reason.

    • Like 3

  6. I'd never seen this one (not sure why, it won all the Oscars and is a Capra classic, so I probably should have gotten to it by now), and had no trouble getting into the story right from the jump. I agree with Paul that the movie does a great job of setting up the characters so you understand them immediately, like within the few few minutes of them appearing on screen. Then after that the set pieces where they bump against each other and sometimes react in unexpected ways (like Colbert immediately going along with Gable's playacting for the cops in the hotel room) are creative and varied enough to hold you through to the end. Loved it!

    At certain points during the movie I would start to think, "Oh, that old cliche." And then I'd realize that it actually wasn't a cliche, this movie invented it and all the other rom-coms followed suit. Seems like a natural fit for the AFI list.


  7. Paul & Amy piggyback onto 1934’s Frank Capra romantic comedy It Happened One Night! They ask if this script fits the “screwball” mold, praise Claudette Colbert for subverting the cliches of the genre, and learn how Clark Gable inspired Bugs Bunny. Plus: which romantic comedies would Unspooled listeners add to the AFI list?

    Help make a campaign ad for (or against) the mayor in Jaws! 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. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf! 


  8. 18 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

    The only real ding I have against her journalistic skills is her not recognizing Long next to the cut out of her at Loveboree, but maybe this was actually to set up that she isn't all that great remembering faces--which would actually help explain why she isn't immediately able to recognize "Lobo" as Gus. 

    Being bad at remembering faces would seem to be a problem for a reporter though.


  9. 2 minutes ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

    This struck me as especially strange, since I've actually had jellyfish salad and it's very inoffensive tasting, mostly it's a delivery device for sauce or dressing. It'd be like vomiting over eating iceberg lettuce.

    And @Cameron H., I thought the EXACT same thing about Shakespearean comedies. I thought it was interesting since, reading Shakespeare and romance novels are such aesthetically different experiences, but this movie sort of merged the two. I'm not saying it was successful, but it was a neat idea.

    I know there is a LOT of the movie before Mr. Gute shows up as Lobo, but I think his sister's motivations would be better explained if we got more backstory on what his character was before his illness. Maybe even, for example, Shelly Long tries to hang a picture of her brother atop his Harley in the Andes mountains to remind him that, five years ago, he traveled from Alaska to South America on an epic multi-continent motorcycle/mountain-climbing trip just before he got sick. But now, he's in recovery and he shows no signs of that fearlessness and daring coming back. In fact, he's sinking deeper into depression than he ever was while sick, so Long is just desperate to make her brother well again and she sees this opportunity to contrive a romance as a way to force her brother into mental and physical health, even if they both have to "fake it until they make it," which does occur by the end anyway.

    I'm thinking about the comparison to Shakespearean comedies. I think there the big difference is that there's usually some kind of desperate circumstance that forces the subterfuge to happen. Like, Twelfth Night: woman is shipwrecked, penniless, and her brother is dead (she assumes). She needs some way to survive, so disguises herself as a boy in order to get a job. The increased stakes help the comic shenanigans play well, and also naturally make the audience sympathize with the lead. I haven't read any romance novels, but I assume similar increased stakes are typically there too?

    That level of desperation seems missing from Boyfriend School. The dude has already survived cancer, so what's with rushing him into the dating scene?


  10. 10 hours ago, HelloooNurse said:

    There was an odd background actor moment near the beginning at the romance novel convention. When Jaime Gertz is interviewing Shelly Long a woman walks in FRONT of the camera and past the two actresses wearing a scarf on her head that had a giant price tag still attached to it. I couldn’t take my eyes off the woman. How did no one on set catch that?!

    Hah, I noticed that too. But given that this is a convention where some people are dressing in costumes and whatnot, perhaps they're saying the scarf was actually purchased at the convention?


  11. Paul was a bit confused about the convenience store selling pre-made coolers full of ice, but given that they seem to be living in some kind of coastal Southern town (per IMDb the actual shooting location was Charleston, SC), it seems plausible to me that local merchants would have these kinds of things ready for vacationers looking to quickly pick up some ice on their way to the beach.


  12. On 6/20/2020 at 12:35 PM, Robert Denby said:

    Her husband seemed to be making Asian food. The dish that made Gertz sick was something with jellyfish. 

    I'll just say that the Asian cultural appropriation and/or Orientalism in this segment was a little bit "yikes."

    Par for the course in the 80s, though.

    tumblr_kzwatd5Zx81qbv8j2o1_500.jpg

    • Like 1

  13. 2 hours ago, pscudese said:

    I will say, for a cancer survivor he should not be eating all that microwave crap!

    Also was I wrong or didn't Shelly mention something that before he got sick he wasn't really taking care of himself?

    It's fine if she wants to check up on his health. She might be overbearing about it, but that's pretty normal.

    The obsession with his dating life is bizarre.


  14. 52 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

    Let's not discount Steve Guttenberg as also being a villain. How many stalkers and "nice guys" claim they fell in love at first sight and follow the person around?

    Steve seems genuinely charming in this movie once he gets healthy again but he still goes along with this plan. This isn't some spur of the moment choice. He puts on makeup and contacts and an accent. This is six months and exercise (which I guess he would have done anyway once he finished cancer treatment but still...). He isn't the mastermind, but he's still going along with the villainous plan.

    Oh yes, my theory is that this movie is just meant to reveal that everyone in a rom-com is actually insane. Shelley Long's plan is insane. Guttenberg is insane for going along with it and for becoming obsessed over a woman he has only briefly met. Jami Gertz is insane for ever again wanting to spend time with this man (who impersonated a biker Kiwi just to get in her pants) or his meddling sister.

    As for villainy, I'm not sure that a villain has to have evil intent. Some villains THINK that their plan is best for the world but are severely misguided. See: Magneto. Shelley Long is the Magneto of this movie.

    • Like 1

  15. 3 hours ago, pscudese said:

    Let's all just agree... Shelly Long's character is THE VILLAIN of this movie!

    Definitely, she's a persistent liar and manipulator. The whole first scene I'm wondering why she can't just get off her brother's back about dating . . . he literally just finished cancer treatments and you're hounding him like crazy! Maybe if she stopped talking about how terrible it is that he lives alone he wouldn't be so damn miserable.

    • Like 4

  16. I accidentally watched this instead of City Lights back when the podcast originally did that episode, watched again this week (thanks, HBO Max!).

    Man, I love this one. It's my favorite Chaplin out of what I've seen. The thing that really strikes me about it is how modern it feels. There are long stretches where you forget you're watching a silent film. Partially that's because of some of the "cheats" in it, like dialogue playing over a speaker, or Chaplin singing at the end, but it's also because the movie is so tight and creative with its visual storytelling and "flows" so well that you don't need dialogue to help you understand anything. As a thematic statement about the evils of capitalism it's also pretty brilliant and eternally relevant.

    Also, holy cow, Paulette Goddard. She's part of the reason this movie feels so modern; unlike a lot of other silent actresses, you feel like she could just be dropped straight into a modern movie and would not feel out of place. Her look and acting style are very contemporary. She's so energetic and magnetic, she almost steals the movie away from Chaplin. I loved him having a leading lady who was played as an equal. (I'll overlook the "underage" thing, since at that time I don't think an adult marrying a 17 year old would have been too unusual.)

    So yeah, keep it on the list! Should be higher!


  17. Paul & Amy crank through 1936’s mechanical Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times! They praise the film’s ever-escalating setpieces, learn why Joseph Goebbels banned it in Germany, and ponder how much the working world has really changed since the 30s. Plus: We hear your recommendations for other silent films to add to the list.

    For It Happened One Night week, what other romantic comedies do you want to see on the AFI list? 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. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf!


  18. I had never seen this movie before. I found it to be fine, but I don't understand why it's great enough to be in the Top 100. I wonder if growing up during the heyday of the clean, sanitized Western (the 40s and 50s) meant that any movie that even slightly tweaked the formula, like Shane or The Searchers, felt like a revelation. For me, having grown up entirely in a post-Wild Bunch world, pretty much every Western is dirty and morally compromised now. It's not unusual anymore for such stories to be presented that way, and to me Unforgiven seems like a more complete treatment of the same themes Shane addresses, leaving the older film looking a bit redundant on the list. I also agree with Paul's take that technically this film is not nearly as accomplished as John Ford's work was, so if we want an example of a more classical Western we should go with one of his.

    Glad I saw the movie, but it's a no. Also, yes, that kid is annoying as hell.

    • Like 1

  19. 16 hours ago, grudlian. said:

    I do think Deckard being a replicant or not is important to what story is here though.

    Yeah, I guess I'd put it this way: to me the question is important, but answering it really isn't. Much better to leave it as a question.

    • Like 2

  20. 14 minutes ago, Stewart M said:

    Anyone else find it odd that the hero of the movie is a cop whose only job is to execute (aka retire) people he determines are not actually people? Don’t mean to be political, but as I rewatching it during the riots it definitely stood out.

    There are . . . a lot of movies that cast cops as the heroes who do things like this. It's a widespread mass-media thing. That said, at least Blade Runner suggests that his cause might have been wrong.

    On this movie: I voted for it to stay, but when people make negative criticisms of the characters and/or narrative lacking depth I don't necessarily have a counter for it. That's partially because I once felt that way about the film too, the first time I saw it (and no, it wasn't the theatrical cut with the narration, it was the Director's Cut). At some point I saw it again on a projected screen and it clicked for me, but not specifically as a story, rather as a brilliant semi-abstract audio-visual experience. That's not something I can defend logically, just by saying that no other movie really FEELS like Blade Runner feels, with the kind of atmosphere (created by the music and visuals) that washes over you and makes you want to linger within the world it creates. That's why the original voice-over narration failed so badly, and also why I'm not really interested in answering the question of whether or not Deckard is a replicant: the greatness of the movie is in not knowing exactly what it means, rather it's in the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world and puzzle over the themes (how human are the replicants? Just as human? More human?). If someone tells you what to think then the fun and mystery are lost.

    Also, given the dearth of sci-fi/genre fare on the list I don't think I'd want to lose it. You can see why the visual approach of this film was so influential.

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