Jump to content

DannytheWall

Members
  • Content count

    132
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

Everything posted by DannytheWall

  1. I meant to ask this as we have ten films remaining to be covered. I just *know* some of them may crack our personal top ten re-ranking, which is likely why Amy and Paul are pacing themselves. In the meantime, what does your personal re-ranking look like? I've been using Letterboxd.com to track things as I watch them and before I listen to the podcast. I have no other criteria other than "was that a satisfying cinematic experience for me?" My current top ten: Raiders of the Lost Ark Rear Window Sunset Boulevard Citizen Kane Star Wars The Wizard of Oz E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial King Kong Snow White and the Seven Dwarves All About Eve My BOTTOM ten currently rank as: 81 The Shawshank Redemption 82 Easy Rider 83 All the President's Men 84 Goodfellas 85 Platoon 86 Gone with the Wind 87 Swing Time 89 The Deer Hunter 90 M.A.S.H. I have to keep reminding myself that a Bottom Tenner doesn't mean it's a "bad movie" but it just doesn't rank high top of a "best films of all time" list. If you want to peek into my psyche more fully the full list is https://boxd.it/1XIKK What makes your top-of-the-list, and by what criteria?
  2. DannytheWall

    What's your rankings in this "home stretch?"

    LOL Your comments made me wonder and I double-checked myself. And I found that Gone With The Wind and Swing Time are side-by-side in my bottom ten. Oh jeez. Philadelphia Story ends up at 73 for me, and Bringing Up Baby at 60. In retrospect those might be a bit high, especially the latter, but that's the kind of surprises I've found for myself in the way I've made my list. The "delight" factor may be contributing more greatly, as I add the film to my list right after I rewatch or watch for the first time and before I listen to the podcast. Bringing Up Baby was a first for me, and I was delighted enough to place it above, say, Rocky and On the Waterfront, but below African Queen and, weirdly, Ben Hur for some reason. I don't know. At some point it's just trying to fill square holes and all you got is varyingly roundish pegs.
  3. DannytheWall

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    It definitely sounds like a Bible verse. Matthew 7:20 says "By their fruits you shall know them," in which fruits is often translated/connotated as "deeds." So "heroes are what heroes do." Doesn't answer how this shows up in the movie, unless you want to get really psychoanalytical. After all, the movie heroes try REALLY HARD to prove themselves as heroes. The line about "heroes in the 80s" is LITERALLY repeated twice. Like the actual footage is repeated. There's some kind of trauma the movie is working through, or to put another way, the movie is an attempt to answer some implicit question of their existential being, something that can only be answered by doing ACTIONS and by doing them in the most ACTION-Y way possible. Of course, that doesn't answer the resulting tautology in that it's defining doing heroism because you're being a hero, rendering it essentially meaningless, but maybe that's why Ace Hunter wears a headband so his brain doesn't explode.
  4. DannytheWall

    What's your rankings in this "home stretch?"

    Yeah that's a big part of it. But also for it's basic blandness. I'm not one to be enraptured by dancing usually, so if that's it's strongest parts, it's doubly weakened. A teacher once told me that audiences can tolerate a lot of things, but "boring" is simply not one of them. Actually, I made that up, but it sounds like something a teacher would have once told me. To bring it back to the other films, my personal rankings will always place a premium on something that I can't find a better term for so I just call it "delight." That factor always gives an edge, so my top ten is filled with things like Raiders and Star Wars and King Kong. Does that mean that something like Treasure of Sierra Madre or All About Eve has "delight?" Uhm, kind of? That feeling probably Venn diagrams with things like intrigue, thrill, fascination, or any provoked resonant response. Things that are far away from that are going to be those intensely personal dramas or things more distant from me or documentary-like. I can enjoy them and their artistry, and even appreciate what they're trying to say, but I'm making a personal list so I'm gonna boot a bunch of "deserving" ones to the bottom and they're just going to have to like it.
  5. DannytheWall

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    Could someone with more math skills than I have talk about the physics of how much force a jet-propelled motorcycle would need to catch up to an airplane during its takeoff? Hypothesis: A lot.
  6. DannytheWall

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    Paul mentioned the use of Introvision which was touted as an innovative filmmaking process at the time. He made it sound a bit like the old technique of front screen projection or its contemporary equivalent with what people are doing these days with The Mandalorian, where actors physically stand in front of unreal environments in real time and the camera captures everything at once. It's a bit different than that. Introvision was still a film composite process, where a separate background was filmed, the actors performed in a blank environment, and the two shots were then merged. What makes Intravision different than blue or green screen chroma key at the time was that this composite could happen in-camera, as opposed to requiring extra processing in a film lab. The FX people could create a matte painting (like the giant hanger in Megaforce headquarters) or model sets (like the power plant explosions in the beginning of the movie) and have that as footage inside the Intravision camera. When actors moved about a blank stage (black as opposed to blue or green screen) the director/DP could see the superimposed image when filming, and could also have a finished FX shot as a daily rather than having to wait for post production to see it. It seems like the company really tried to push itself as a game-changer, but it never really caught on the way it hoped. They received a special plaque award from the Academy for Science and Technical Acheivement in 1988, but the company returned it with a terse "thanks but no thanks, come back when we can be considered for an actual statuette." Things didn't improve in 1994, when the company's president Tom Naud quite publically derided the Academy for passing over Introvision for consideration of its contribution to The Fugitive's effects (particularly its famous train wreck.) Yelling about bias against your effects house is a strange way to lead into a pivot as a production company, producing its own slate of films, but that was its next step, although its films never went anywhere. Still, Introvision managed to be a little company that could until it couldn't. 1999 brought a combination of woes through union and guild strikes, a recession, and Naud's health issues that led the company to close and turn its facilities over to the somewhat prosaically named Quixote Studios. The demo reel from the beginnings of company popped up here:
  7. DannytheWall

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    Hey, all, I’m worried about Megaforce. Does it have a charismatic leader, bordering on being an object of worship by the group? Ace Hunter, check. Does it have a process of indoctrination that includes some kind of thought reform? Ace Hunter talks about year-long intensive training to be able to think like “one man.” Does it require you to leave your family and take on a new identity under the guise of freedom and equality but leads to exploitation of its group members? Hunter, Dallas, and etc. sure aren’t their real names. And they're one and all ready to ride into very dubious battlefield tactics. I think Megaforce might be a cult.
  8. DannytheWall

    What's your rankings in this "home stretch?"

    seems like it's easier for people to agree what belongs on the bottom of the list than what belongs at the top LOL
  9. DannytheWall

    Bridge On The River Kwai

    Thank you! That was what I was shouting at the podcast, but they couldn't hear me. I wonder if the tyrannical director is a feature of Hollywood that isn't as present anymore. It fueled and was then propigated by the Auteur Theory, I'm sure, but doesn't seem how we define it these days. Are there any directors who have emerged in the past 40 years or so (using Speilberg as the timeline) that match a chariacature of the volitile "artiste" director?
  10. DannytheWall

    Goodfellas

    Maybe Goodfellas was already spoiled for me because of the Goodfeathers segments on Animaniacs.
  11. DannytheWall

    Goodfellas

    I enjoyed listening to the episode - I think it will be one of Unspooled's best. Not because anyone "won" an argument or anthing, but it was an actual discussion about how two people see a film. Amy's ideas about the casting was something I never considered before, and I can kind of see it. Not that I necessarily agree with it. Actually, I'm of two minds. Wasn't it Roger Altman who said that 90% of the director's creative work is in casting? It's a part of the palette the director can use to paint the film how he/she wants to. It *could* have lent something completely different to some of those key scenes. Not only that, but for a film that's meant to be autobiographical and therefore ostensibly more "real," a better air of authenticity such as with age ranges would help. That being said, Scorcese certainly wanted a "performance" on his palette rather than shades of "true to the age range." And we can't argue that the performances aren't great. (Also, this argument wasn't the "hill" Amy wanted to die on anyway, so it's not a key point or anything. I'd just like to add that this is the kind of criticism that is faulting a film for what it it *isn't*, which I never really put too much stock into.) I kept waiting for some more substantial criticism but it never really came. I don't like this movie. I tried a rewatch before the podcast episode, but it still never clicked. I watched it as a young person and didn't get why it was so praised. Rewatched as a more serious film student years later and said "Oh!" but yeah still didn't get it. It's a fine movie, not saying it's bad. Just overrated. For sake of context, I don't like gangster films in general. If that discredits my p.o.v., that's ok. I'll own up to that. I did enjoy Godfather 1 (and 2 even moreso) as those seemed to invoke something larger, more epic or akin to a tale of a dynasty. Goodfellas and others of its ilk are always so mundane, trying to normalize but deify the lifestyle, to delight in it and condemn it at the same time, ultimately rendering it pointless. Goodfellas in particular has no arc for its character. Granted, it's more nonfiction and documentary in its roots, but essentially the character Henry Hill is the same at the beginning and at the end. He and by extention the viewers don't actually learn anything. Noboby is truly challenged or conflicted, or if they are, they don't really do anything/can't do anything about it. I rarely like narration as a device, and here it just feels so random. Take that plus the breaking of the fourth wall at the end and the whole thing basically boils down to your old granduncle trying to tell the same story of his glory days for no reason whether you want to listen or not. Great, thanks, uncle Hill. Got it. Sure, tell me again about cooking sauce in prison, yeah.
  12. DannytheWall

    Goodfellas

    Did the end of the podcast get cut off?
  13. DannytheWall

    Episode 238.5 — Prequel to 239

    Def a love-hate relationship with Harry Potter. Didn't care at all for the first book, turned around and loved the richness as it build in the second and third, only to be disappointed and apathetic by the end. One of the key disappointments was the whole SPEW thing. Here is a character (a strong female protagonist) clearly aiming to do something heroic and fight a true injustice against an impoverished indentured class, only to have it be so dismissed on every level by the characters and the author herself. I understand that implicitly an American is going to read into these class-ish issues differently than a British person, but it's Just. So. Glaring. If being anti-establishment in this manner is going to make me a Slytherin, then damn straight I'm going to wear those color with pride. In related news, for a different writing project, I set out looking at strange conspiracy theories. Apparently there is a real conspiracy theory out there that JK Rowling doesn't exist. That would explain a lot, though.
  14. DannytheWall

    Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout The Ages

    I tried rewatching this one for the podcast, but it was still hard to do in one setting. I had to space it out over three days. Thanks, D.W. Jeez. Just to share my experience in case anyone wants to try it out -- to make silent movies more watchable, I usually do two things. One-- I change the frame rate to slightly slower than 100%, like .9 or .8. Often, this smooths the action to a more natural degree. Not all silent movies are the same or transferred the same to modern video, but very often the frame rate for early movies is "off" from the regular video rate we are used to. It takes some playing sometimes to find the right fit, but it's so much more pleasant to watch. Second, I always have the habit of playing my own soundtrack over silent movies. My rationale being-- they often used then-contemporary music to accompany the visuals, so why can't I do the same? It *always* engages me much more into the movie; somehow I'm able to pay attention better. Sometimes I deliberately create a playlist of a variety/range of music instrumentals, electronica, etc. This time, I just set a random Danny Elfman soundtrack mix in the background. It was eerie how much of it actually matched without me ever having to adjust it. I especially liked the Mars Attacks layered onto the celebration in Babylon, right after the theme from Spider-Man was over the seige by Cyrus. Sometimes is was a bit too surreal/melodramatic, like Beetlejuice's theme over the racecar versus train moment. The last few minutes of the film was set to Sally's theme from Nightmare Before Christmas, which was suspenceful and poignant when needed at the saved hanging, and mournful and sad over the scenes of war. And the song ended right as "The End" played. Synchronistic!
  15. DannytheWall

    Episode 238 — Bloodshot (w/ Adam Scott)

    One more thing that's been bugging me, or at least one thing that I was really disappointed in, and that's the tropes with the POC being so token. Once again, the only black actor has to fill multiple checklists -- the sidekick, the techie, the hapless funnyman. He is *literally* sidelined into his own room for pretty much any scene he is in-- was he even scheduled with other actors for more than one day? Come on, 2020, we're supposed to be better at this by now.
  16. DannytheWall

    Episode 238 — Bloodshot (w/ Adam Scott)

    I know you're joking, but I love "Shreadnaught." LOL. But you need all caps to really get the effect, like **SHREADNAUGHT!!!** (best if read in a Steve Austin voice) All of those are awesome Closer to home, what about the code names for the other characters in the movies? Forklift Arms just doesn't have the same ring to it. Instead how about: DEATHARMS or KILLGRIP or STRIKEFIST or to keep the theme BLOODSTRIKE (wait, is there a Bloodstrike? Sounds like there should be a Bloodstrike already.) Really, tho, is there any better name here than Cameron's Shreadnaught? The Eye Guy I can't even remember, but if he had a codename like DEADAIM or EYEPIERCE or KILLGAZE I would most definitely remember. It's all about branding, right?! So might as well go with BLOODHAWK in this case. KT is more difficult because *of course* a woman should only have passive if not solely defensive powers. AIRSTRIKE seems a given, but maybe WINDKILL or DEATHWIND. Leaning into the gas-based attacks we could easily have BLOODSMOKE. I would suggest Bloodshot, Bloodstrike, Bloodhawk, and Bloodsmoke all join in a Right Stuff-slo mo walk under the team name BLOOD BROTHERS, but even for me that's a bridge too far.
  17. DannytheWall

    Episode 238 — Bloodshot (w/ Adam Scott)

    Did I miss something? Because my question is, did Ray Garrison ever get called Bloodshot at all during the movie? Is it a codename for the process or some other thing? Would anyone who comes into this movie and doesn't know that it comes from a comic book called "Bloodshot" know what the movie title was referring to? And what kind of name is Bloodshot? Because his blood is ... shot with nannites? Because he ... shoots people with guns and they bleed? I kid 'cause I love. I was a comic book fan in the 90s. This was coming from same era when a very common satire was to make a compound word for a hero name taking something randomly from column A and column B. After all, this was the decade that gave us names like Hellboy, Witchblade, Shadowhawk, Shatterstar, Ripclaw, Bloodwynd, etc etc. And, yes, even Deadpool.
  18. DannytheWall

    Episode 238 — Bloodshot (w/ Adam Scott)

    I picked up on what you thought, too. The lines in the sunset scene goes something like Bloodshot saying "It's like a dream" and the woman agrees by saying "It is." Don't do that to me, movie! The "ending" I think the hosts were confused about was about the nature of Vin's character at the end, which Runcible gave a good take on, above. I half-picture some kind of deleted scene with KT and Wiggins using a vacuum cleaner or waving around a big magnet that is picking up nannites like they're those fuzzy black iron filaments we played with as a kid. Scoop 'em all up and plug them into something and wait for them to rebuild Ray Garrison somehow, despite basic physics. I mean, we've been ignoring the laws of conservation of mass for an hour and 40 minutes anyway, so why not here too? But then I get thinking, really, if they had to re-build Bloodshot from scratch, where are they getting all the raw material and capital and infrastructure to take what was once a skyscraper and duplicate it into a RV trailer.
  19. DannytheWall

    Cabaret

    I enjoy rewatching films for this podcast just as much as discovering or getting a chance to see ones that are new for me. I realized I barely remembered it from the first time I saw it, which was as a young adult and years before having chances to see/work with the stage version multiple times. For personal and professional reasons, I got to see this film in SUCH a new way this time and for that I'm grateful to the podcast. As for it's place on the list, I think at a first glance it's easy to overlook, and that there's enough there once you start digging. On one had, to be representative of a filmed musical, I'd say it's not "spectacle" enough like West Side Story, but I doubt any filmed musical could ever match Sound of Music's iconic status (regardless of that film's quality.) So I would say bump off Singin' in the Rain, although I appreciate Singin's place in Hollywood history, it's just a bit too simplisitc and less innovative in its time as Cabaret.
  20. DannytheWall

    Episode 237.5 — Prequel to 238

    I can attest it's more #1 than #2 by that criteria. I saw the film in theaters as its international release was in February before any lockdown here in Kuala Lumpur. I paid about 15RM which is about US$4.50. I would say it was worth that price. 20 US$? Woof. I often don't watch the movies they do for the show, moreso because simply Time is a factor, but I can say it *does* enhance the podcast if you do. And Bloodshot is sure to have some *great* HDTGM moments, though. As my friend said, quote, "well, it's .... very Vin Diesel-y." I hope they can wait until the rental prices kick in.
  21. For this and the other ideas, it's best if you think about this whole movie as being a story told by an eight year-old. "And then Valerian gets these googles that let him see the market. And he has to put his hand in the box so he can move around in it. And his gun is in the box so he can use it in the market, too. After walking around a bit he finds the fat alien trading for the creature who can poop out hundreds of marbles that are actually these energy batteries if he eats just one, and the alien guy uses this gun on the traders and it splits in two so it could blast both of them but Valerian is behind him but invisible because of the box tech thing ...." So basically it's a Reverse-Princess-Bride scenario, and what's really missing is cutting to the bedroom where the boy is telling his grandfather what's happening.
  22. DannytheWall

    Easy Rider

    How about Ferris Bueller's Day Off? It probably doesn't win by being a comedy, but it has the themes of dissafectedness and it quite existential in its own way.
  23. DannytheWall

    Easy Rider

    I'm definitely on record as never having liked the movie, although my stance has softened a bit recently. There's a fine line between being personally expressive through art and being self-indulgent. I called these films "student film-ish" and, yes, that was even when I was a film student. I suppose I had my own self-indulgences at the time, admittedly. That being said, there is something inherently counterculture and subversive with this movie. Now that I'm a film teacher, I recognize its power, and that it still resonates with many young people, particularly those on the cusp of transitioning into the "adult world." It's like a glimpse into something that is almost taboo in a way because adults would never share this stuff except amongst themselves. For some young people, there's a secret thrill, like it might be the first time someone showed you how to smoke a joint. When was the first time you saw you parents do something that shattered your childhood notions that they were perfect? If there is a word for that, that's what the tone of this film is. But I would still vote it off the list and rank it near the bottom on my personal version of the 100.
  24. For some reason I missed that in the scene, but I did catch in the credits "Jessica Rabbit Creature", so yes. You're definitely right.
  25. There's probably some way to combine Avatar and the Nav'i with the Valerian universe, but also another --- Men in Black. After all, maybe the reason that those pearls are full of energy is that there are tiny universes inside each one. Does this mean that it's possible our own universe is the result of some alien poop? Actually, that might explain a lot.
×