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DannytheWall last won the day on October 19 2018

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  1. DannytheWall

    Episode 236.5 — Prequel to Episode 237

    I kept thinking that I saw this movie/listened to the podcast but something about kept nagging until I spent an extra 15 minutes poking around the web until I realized I was thinking about Jupiter Ascending with Mila Kunis/Channing Tatum. Ah well, Got nothing but time these outbreak days.
  2. DannytheWall

    Sullivan's Travels

    I didn't think Pluto was *that* funny.
  3. DannytheWall

    236 - THE GREAT WALL (Live)

    Yeah, the taotie is one of four legendary creatures often called The Four Fiends. So with all the talk of sequels, you got at least three more to build the Great Wall universe. The Hundun, a formless creature of chaos with six legs, four wings, and no face, although it's also been described as a large sack; Qiongqi, a cross between a hedgehog and large tiger that flies with giant wings; and the Taowu, a shaggy beast with a human head and long boar-like tusks. It's clear the moviemakers just wanted to use the Taotie in name only to refer to the alien dogs that act like hive-mind insect swarms, but for the record the mythological Taotie are creatures with a giant ram's body, tiger’s teeth and human face and hands, although its eyes are hidden under his armpits and has a baby’s voice. The Four Fiends are the evil counterparts for the Four Auspicious Beasts, one for each of the Four Courners of Heaven, aka the cardinal directions of East, West, North, South: the Blue Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger, and the Black Tortoise. I kept looking for ways that the movie might make the human characters stand-ins for one of the Auspicious Beasts in order to symbolize the mythological rivalry, but then I realized I was giving more thought to it than the filmmakers did so I stopped. Disclosure: not Chinese, just a folklore enthusiast. Disclosure II: not Chinese, but after living in Shanghai for five years, I've become *That Guy* who cringes every time every single person mispronounced Taotie. It should be "tao-tee-yay", but I'll forgive if you don't have a falling tone on the last syllable. I did look up "tao-t-a-i" that slant rhymes with "bow tie", and apparently "淘汰" could be read as "natural selection" or "elimination as in natural selection," so that fits!
  4. DannytheWall

    12 Angry Men

    No, it's shooting for verisimilitude. It's about how any person can make decisions when no one can't ever know what's the truth. That's divorced from its reputation or its use as an instructional "aid." I think such use would speak more of its popularity/influence and the fact that it's likely guaranteed to be encountered by Americans in public education as opposed to, say, Rashomon. But that's fine to disagree. I often approach film theory/art in a more abstract and representational versus presentational way, so I'm likely going to always push for that perspective.
  5. DannytheWall

    12 Angry Men

    Maybe in some alternate universe there exists the director's cut alternate ending, when Henry Ford's character walks out of the courtroom, and the camera pulls back through the eye of the REAL jury member and we learn that all along the 12 angry men were all inside the mind of the same man, Pixar's Inside Out-style. Whoa! 12 Angry Inceptions!
  6. DannytheWall

    12 Angry Men

    But neither are they clearly intending it to be a documentary or cinema verite. I'm guessing that it's partly due to its roots as a theatrical play, in that the story is allowed to be more representational/metaphoric. I'm buying into the more abstract representation than you all, and probably even Amy (who wondered in the podcast if it was meant to show "these men," "men" or "just human nature," to paraphrase.)
  7. DannytheWall

    12 Angry Men

    I think criticizing this film for how unlike an actual jury room this is would be like criticizing Star Wars for having audible laser fire in the vaccuum of space. It's not really the point. I'd argue too that having such broadly defined characters (and indeed not having any character names) raises this film to a level of archetype, something almost like a Greek tragedy. I wish Paul and Amy would have weighed in a bit more on the ending. Like how the filmmakers felt it so necessary to have Henry Ford's character say his name at the end. What purpose does this ending really serve? I continually wonder about this.
  8. DannytheWall

    Episode 235 - Underworld: Blood Wars LIVE!

    It's also because there's not much left to correct/offer after the show-- I thought it was funny, lively, and covered pretty much everything crazy about it. Not much more to do but laugh and nod in appreciation.
  9. DannytheWall

    Episode 235 - Underworld: Blood Wars LIVE!

    I do remember watching the original in theaters, but I was surprised to find out there were five of these things! Wow. That made me look up Wikipedia for the original movie's release date, and it was 2003?! I'm terrible at math, but that seems like seventeen years ago. That's when I looked up Kate Beckinsale. She was born in 1973?! I think we know who the true vampire is, and yes, June, it seems they do live among us!
  10. Maybe Space Jam has opened the door for more animated fare? Try these on for HDTGM size...
  11. DannytheWall

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    Okay, last thing. (Sorry, fell down a rabbit hole.) Prelude to a Kiss in 1992 wasn't only capitalizing on Meg Ryan stardom or the trend for rom-coms at the time. There seemed to be an equal trend of adapting plays into movies in the early/mid 90s. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (1990) A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin (1992) Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (1992) A Bronx Tale by Chazz Palminteri (1993) Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin (1993) Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon (1993) Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare (1993) Bar Girls by Lauran Hoffman (1994) The Madness of King George (1994) The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan (1994) American Buffalo by David Mamet (1996) Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill (1996) The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1996) Plus a SLEW of Shakespeare remakes-- from 10 Things I Hate About You, She's the Man, and even the Lion King to pretty much everything by Branaugh or Kevin Kline
  12. DannytheWall

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    You notice that too huh? This movie is a case study for the differences between stage and film as different mediums. That being said, I'm sure there is a director that could make it work. The movie is often described as a fairty tale or magical realism as you've noted. It would probably have to be with some more expressionistic style or willingness to break out of the traditional objective camera. Michel Gondry comes to mind (Eternal Sunshine/The Science of Sleep). Anyone else come to mind? Revisiting this movie made me dig out my notes of the play script. There's two quotes at the very beginning, before the Act One proper. The way I directed the play was to start with a thematic monologue featuring snippets of dialogue, especially the "who is this woman I married" kind. Leaning in to the flashback/memory structure you mention. Then we started in the Boyle home with the wedding prep and we see Rita and Peter in love, playful. Next, the wedding, the kiss, and the first part of the honeymoon-- the strangeness. Then Peter has another aside, which lets us flashback all the way to the beginning and their first meeting, falling in love, meeting the parents. We return to the second part of the honeymoon as the audience realizes with Peter that something isn't right. It's the height of tension on the beach when he's left alone and that's the end of Act 1. The rest of Act 2 plays out linearly. Another benefit to this was that the audience anticipated the Old Man's return, and there was suspence and surprise heightened accordingly. When we rehearsed, however, we focused first on the Peter and Rita relationships, with the actor for the Old Man sitting in so that he could mimic her movements and etc when swapped. Likewise, we devised scenes for the Old Man so the actor for Rita could observe him and add mannerisms.
  13. DannytheWall

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    LOL. I would have written my previous posts more academically if I knew they might be counted as online research. Unless... Oh. Never mind.
  14. DannytheWall

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    But that tracks with Rita's character. She's this bartender with X number of choices before her, but she chooses Molson. Like much of her life, she understands its possibilites and choices but at the same time rejects them. She is scared of life, cynical to the point of giving up, characterized by ennui. There's a fatalism in her that connects her to the Old Man. So I'd argue not Manic Pixie Dream Girl as much as Mopey Pixie Fatalist Girl. Not sure Meg Ryan nailed that. Was there another casting choice that would have been better? In the early 90s would that be Janine Garafalo, or is my sense of timing wrong? Maybe a revival these days would be with Aubrey Plaza?
  15. DannytheWall

    Episode 234 - Prelude To A Kiss

    I just finished the movie (haven’t listened to the episode yet), but this is 100% correct. It just doesn’t make sense to be told from his perspective. If the movie had fixed that, I think I might have really liked it. Yeah, not gonna lie. That does make a good fix. However, knowing more of the context helps understand why we see from Peter's point of view. Most people saw the play as a response to the AIDS crisis, which might have ravaged one's partner into someone unrecognizeable and frail. Makes the scene between Peter and the Old Man Rita trying to live life through board games more poignant. In the play, there's more opportunity to play with the body horror elements and existential threat that intrigued Paul and Jason. Plus, a fim version automatically emphasizes a different connection to the main character. For example, what is "narration/voice over" in a movie is actually a direct address to the audience as an "aside" and really connects the audience to Peter in a way a film simply cannot. That being said, the argument still stands-- why not have those same things with more prominent role for Rita?