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E.Lerner last won the day on January 8

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  1. E.Lerner

    Episode 243 - The Peanut Butter Solution

    I wanted to return to this idea, because "imagination" ends up coming back in a big way at the end. We don't get a big reveal of what caused Michael's fright because it was entirely in his imagination. The Signore is also not against his own use of imagination, since all of his magic paintings are of imaginary landscapes. He needs to be coaxed into painting a real place — the burned out mansion — though what he encounters there is implied to be the same as Michael's fright, and thus a product of The Signore's imagination. Beyond the cape, wand-like brush, and the fact that he has demonstrated the ability to make his imagination come to life, Celine Dion's song makes it pretty explicit that The Signore is indeed a wizard. I think we need to read The Signore's prohibition against using imagination in his class as more of a _warning_, especially for Michael, in whom he may already sense this latent power. Michael is also painting a scene of The Signore's dog being engulfed in flames, something The Signore would be understandably upset about if he suspects Michael is also able to manifest such scenes from his imagination. Can we get Jason to weigh in whether The Peanut Butter Solution takes place in the Legion universe?
  2. E.Lerner

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    I noticed this and loved it. I get how retakes on that scene would have been particularly time-consuming and expensive, but there's those kind of flubs all over the movie. My favorite was when Ace obviously biffs the top of his flying motorcycle and gets twisted halfway around on the wires while executing his superhero dismount.
  3. E.Lerner

    Episode 238.5 — Prequel to 239

    No way — he owes them big time. Either he limps across the finish line and benefits from the lowered expectations, or more likely, realizes that a neat, satisfying ending is fundamentally at odds with the story he's been telling and retires in peace on top of a gigantic pile of money. Personally, the most authentic GOT ending is Martin unceremoniously dying of old age without providing any sort of resolution, and I genuinely hope that is his plan.
  4. I think there's a line in there that establishes that the people encased in the goo are just knocked out, since they go back and free the rest of them some time later. Valerian's combination-breathing-apparatus-and-minature-spider-robot-deployment-device certainly does suggest that these would otherwise be extremely cruel weapons, rather than a form of non-lethal crowd-control more in keeping with the Müleans' ultra-pacific vibe, but that speaks to the bigger problem Cameron H. is talking about. All of the technology is wonderfully imaginative and specific, but that specificity doesn't actually add up to a coherent idea. The biggest offender there was Big Market, which the gang alluded to. Everything being a hidden dimension is an extremely fun, interesting premise, and it's enhanced by the hand-held portal device — until all the rules immediately go out the window in terms of who can see and interact with what. There were a couple of instances where those wacky set-ups did pay off to me. The ridiculous and more-than-a-little-racist? big-butt-alien fashion-show being revealed to be an elaborate serving dish for Laureline's brains, complete with human-head-sized skull cracker was great. But the best was John-Goodman-the-Hutt's double-barrel pistol that is articulated so it can simultaneously point at two people who are sitting very close together. EDIT: I see Cam Bert is way ahead of me on this one.
  5. We're all in agreement that there was a Jessica Rabbit space-prostitute in this film, right?
  6. E.Lerner

    Episode 236 — The Great Wall (Live)

    Western audiences are probably most familiar with director Zhang Yimoufilms Hero and House of Flying Daggers — which also have super-colorful, hyper-kinetic wuxia fight scenes — but the bigger reference point might be his directing of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games' opening ceremony If you've never seen it, it's definitely worth a watch, especially as it features a similar holographic scroll powerpoint presentation! Those big set-pieces with thousands of ornately-costumed extras were definitely evocative of some of the more mind-blowing elements of those ceremonies. And they're also in keeping with some of the big themes of Chinese communitarian unity and sacrifice, versus western individualism and greed.
  7. 100% percent agree with Jason and June's delight with Data's running fart gag. So much of my enjoyment of that joke comes from it being Spiner, so the fact that they referred to him exclusively as "Data" really nailed it for me. I also think Spiner was channeling a particular TNG episode in his portrayal of Devlin Bowman. In The Most Toys, he's pitted against a sleazy, smarmy, somewhat dorky villain — Kivas Fajo, played by the great Saul Rubinek — who kidnaps people, fakes deaths, and otherwise plots and schemes to get his hands on the galaxy's rarest treasures.
  8. The implication is that the Masters of Disguise are essentially the Illuminati — capable of invisibly controlling world events. I think that's what they were going for with their iconography and quasi-magical abilities as well.
  9. Having worked in journalism, the difference between Wiseau and Breen really highlights the difference between what we called kooks and cranks. Especially working in science journalism, my colleagues and I would get hundreds of emails, letters, phone calls, DVDs, fully bound manuscripts, etc., from people who had made shocking discoveries that were poised to turn the world upside down if they could only get the word out. Like Wiseau and Breen, these men (and they were 99.9% men) all had an incredibly high opinion of their own intelligence and importance, coupled with a sub-amateur-level grasp of their subject matter of choice. Kooks, like Wiseau, have eccentric, disconnected-from-reality ideas, but also have a childlike enthusiasm for exploring them. Cranks, like Breen, are at war. Even if they aren't explicitly alleging a global conspiracy to suppress their findings and ideas, they are on a mission and need to know whether you're going to help them or stand in your way. Cranks are the ones that will actually show up at your office and ask why you haven't been returning their calls. That's why June's line about women being harmed in the making of this movie rang so true to me. The sex scenes in The Room were also gross and self-serving, but there is a sinister aspect to Breen that I just don't pick up from Wiseau.
  10. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does Boardroom Therapist actually share any information about Dylan with Emily? She's definitely the one who initiates the contact to tell him Dylan is not taking his medication. Ultimately, she ends up telling Boardroom Therapist about Dylan's hacking to keep the pills flowing, but I don't recall BT telling her anything about Dylan or his treatment. The Dylan/BT/Emily relationship is made more confusing by the fact that it seems like Dylan is refusing to take psychiatric medication (for obvious reasons), but Emily is apparently abusing the pain medication that was prescribed after Dylan's accident. I think that conflation adds more to the theory that this is broadly anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-psychiatry movie — anything that interferes with Breen's messianic brain is in league with the forces of corruption, fraud and hypocrisy.
  11. Regarding Dylan saying "I know it was you" after Emily commits suicide: My impression is that has to do with Emily telling the boardroom therapist about Dylan's research into the world's most secret secrets in exchange for drugs. Ultimately, her guilt about this betrayal is what leads her to kill herself. I think this is also why Dylan lies to boardroom-therapist about seeing close-talking-folding-chair therapist — boardroom-therapist is an agent of the government and corporations, whereas close-talking-folding-chair therapist seems to be aligned with the stone-spirit. The actors playing those therapists are Gloria Hoffman and John Henry Hoffman and have no other credits on IMDB. Seems like there may be some more research in order!
  12. Interesting that they got the ingredients right — Daniel laments the sorry conditions of the bar after not being able to find the Fernet Branca — but the preparation wrong. Drinks that are 100% spirits (ha!) should always be stirred. For those playing at home, a Hanky Panky is: 1.5oz Gin 1.5oz Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Fernet Branca Stirred and served up in a large coupe or martini glass, garnished with an expressed orange peel. It's a variant on the Martini's predecessor, the Martinez. There are a lot of different historic formulations but here's a good one: 2oz Gin .75oz Sweet Vermouth .25oz Luxardo Dash Angostura Bitters Also stirred and served up in a large coupe or martini glass, garnished with an expressed orange peel.
  13. E.Lerner

    Episode 227.5 - Minisode 227.5

    Watched it last night and think it would have made a genuinely good anime.
  14. E.Lerner

    Episode 222.5 - Minisode 222.5

    If Scott Aukerman is indeed the mystery guest for this studio episode, I hope Kulap is there as well so we can continue the discussion of 90's fashion from the Country Bears episode. Demi is, of course, timeless, but Douglas looks like a straight-up cartoon hobo for the entire film and is yet presented as an equally powerful sex magnet.
  15. E.Lerner

    Episode 222 - Unforgettable

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a particularly good one because it's about how people like Steve Mnuchin go on to literally destroy the world.