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Quasar Sniffer

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Everything posted by Quasar Sniffer

  1. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 46 Enchanted

    The most unbelievable aspect of this movie is that a woman from a magical fantasy land travels to New York and, by all accounts, spends a day and a night homeless in the Big Apple and falls in love with our world. Inconceivable. Really though, I am like Cam Bert in that I wasn't really feeling this one. While Amy Adams is an amazing beam of light, I just wasn't charmed by Giselle the way the rest of the... world was when this movie came out, not to mention the other characters in the movie. I also saw James Marsden and Idina Menzel as two people who have been trying their best all their lives, when it comes to career and relationships and in the context they know those things. Then get roped into this magical bullshit and end up losing their respective fiances. What about a movie where Prince Charming/Edward, whose nature is trying his best, learns there is more to love that familial responsibilities and fulfilling of political duty, and where Idina Menzel learns to bridge the gap between her and her fiance's daughter (which I never really understood)? You had these two characters so wrapped up in the practical concerns of their respective realities that they forgot how to best experience their relationships. There is room for real growth there. Maybe the chaos caused by Giselle in our world could help them both realize that, and Giselle could realize that sometimes True Love takes real work, and that Happily Ever After doesn't come automatically with marriage. Instead, Giselle believes in True Love just like she did at the beginning and now so does Patrick Dempsey, whom she met 36 hours ago. Yay?
  2. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 195.5 - Minisode 195.5

    College football and George W. Bush: the classiest partnership!
  3. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 195.5 - Minisode 195.5

    All honor and reverence to Dio, who will live forever in Metal, crapping on Gene Simmons' decrepit soul:
  4. Quasar Sniffer

    Singin’ In The Rain

    Hoooo boy, Scorsese is one of my all-time favorite directors, and my dad's family so New Jersey Italian American that he when to fucking elementary school with Ray Liotta. My dad's older sisters would bring them cookies and milk after school when they would come over and play. Goodfellas is in my blood! "I need some chocolate chip here, Tommy!"
  5. Quasar Sniffer

    Double Indemnity

    If you enjoy Laura (and you better or, really, what the hell are you doing here?), I encourage you to check out Where the Sidewalk Ends from 1950. It re-teams Otto Preminger, Gene Tierney, and Dana Andrews from Laura for another bit of noir deliciousness. It's not one of the Great Films the way, in my opinion, Laura is, but if you are a fan of the genre, and are enraptured by Gene Tierney, it's definitely worth checking out.
  6. Quasar Sniffer

    Singin’ In The Rain

    I also think that Singin' in the Rain is a really special movie in its near-universal appeal, no matter the viewer's age, gender, or level of cinephile. You can show anyone with enough attention span to watch movies at all and you have about a 90-95% likelihood that said viewer will enjoy it. That's quite an accomplishment. I don't think Titanic or Shawshank Redemption (our two previews "broad appeal" films) have an enjoyability quite so far-reaching.
  7. Quasar Sniffer

    Singin’ In The Rain

    While I love Singin' in the Rain with all my heart, I definitely don't think it's a perfect movie, and I would not put it in the Top 5 greatest films of all time. Well... frankly, I don't like ranking movies this good above or below each other. My Top 100 American Films would be arranged in chronological order because I just think choosing if Raging Bull is "better" or "worse" than Singin' in the Rain is a nonsensical choice thought up in the non-Euclidean geometry of R'lyeh. They are two distinctly different movies meant to illicit different reactions and geared towards different audiences. It's like asking If you prefer shirts or pants. We can have both, and it's better that we do. In that spirit, is Singin' in the Rain really so much better than, say, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or American in Paris? I really don't think so, but it's an arbitrary distinction anyway. For me, seeing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as part of the Musical Mondays club, it came as a complete surprise. I had no idea I would enjoy it so much, and enjoying it with a group of Wonderful Movie-Watchers like yourselves was an extra treat that made me enjoy it all the more. Singin' in the Rain comes with the same baggage as Citizen Kane, of being one of The Greats. Does it deserve to be on this list? I think it absolutely does. But it is not perfect, as others have said, with the Broadway Melody feeling rather overlong and out-of-place, despite its brilliance. I could watch the title number or "Make 'em Laugh" a thousand times and still love them though. Lastly, I would never deride anyone for loving Mamma Mia, but I do think it is rather unfair to criticize La La Land for a lack of originality in the same breath as praising a jukebox musical composed of songs from a single band.
  8. I took this as a sort of half-baked representation of phallic penetration. You know, because Ragnar is both man and woman, The Finger is the most purely masculine act he participates in, which is why his gang fears him so much. They are all, it seems, attracted to the feminine aspects of Ragnar, so when the masculine and penetrative aspect shows itself, they shrink away in fear (or get stabbed and die). What does all this amount to? Not much, because this film is bullshit.
  9. Treme was HBO, so they keep a real tight lid on its online presence, unfortunately. Your best bet would probably be to wait until Amazon does that "free streaming with Prime" thing they do every year or so with HBO Now.
  10. I know it's not Great Literature, but the book will always hold a special place in my heart. My Mom had ordered the book at the same time as her sister and her coworker had, so she thought she was going to have her own little impromptu book club, but both her Guernsey compatriots crapped out on her. So she was telling me about this, and I think I was just coming off of a difficult semester of going back to school and it not working out, so I needed something very non-studious to fill my brain. I said "I'LL READ IT WITH YOU!" and we were able to bond over this silly book and I ended up kind of loving it. And as much as I love Game of Thrones, I know Michiel Huisman from Treme, which he was fantastic in. I really feel that is a very underrated series. I'm not even that big a fan of jazz but I loved that show.
  11. In a shocking twist, Cameron H is smarter than the bozos who wrote this movie!
  12. Quasar Sniffer

    House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

    Nope. This movie is amazing and I love it.
  13. Quasar Sniffer

    Double Indemnity

    One really underrated film noir is an early Anthony Mann film from 1948 called Raw Deal. It's one of the first times a theremin was used as a method of scoring a movie, so it has this very bare, spooky soundscape to it. It also features a fantastic turn as a villain in Raymond Burr, who would go on to play Perry Mason on TV for... forever and become one of the most liked actors in America. Seeing him in a totally different context, much like Fred MacMurray before My Three Sons, is great. He's a malicious monster in this film and it's a wonder he didn't make a career out of playing gangster heavies.
  14. Quasar Sniffer

    Double Indemnity

    The use of the term film noir is pretty arbitrary anyway. Technically, the last real film noir was 1958's masterful Touch of Evil, because the circumstances that led to and influenced the genre were just as dependent on the time period in which they emerged (pre and post-WWII, Red Scare paranoia, unresolved issues from the Hays Code's effect on the extremely popular gangster films of the 1930s) as the content of the films. That environment, both generally and in that era of Hollywood, was changing at the end of the 50s, giving rise to a whole host of new trends and tastes. But in the 1970s, you had films like Chinatown and The Long Goodbye being referred to as film noir, even if they weren't strictly that, especially since being black and white is a pretty definite characteristic of the genre. The color palette of a film like Chinatown is essential to its mise-en-scene (holy shit film nerd talk!), so it's a pretty far cry from "real" noir in that sense. So to require a film to have plots concerning private eyes and vast criminal networks to be noirs I think is a pretty tall order. We'd basically be limited to Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, which are amaaaaazing, but if we exclude films like Double Indemnity from the genre, what are we even doing?
  15. How could you not get lost in those eyes? Ooph, I'm heating up. Not saying I wouldn't want to drown in Daniel Craig's baby blues (because I would!), but it makes me sad when people give Dalton the brush-off. He's pretty great!
  16. BOND NERD DEBATE! No way, Lazenby is clearly the WORST. He's just so dull and uninteresting in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a movie that is otherwise pretty great (Telly Savalas as Blofeld, Diana Rigg as Tracy Bond, possibly the best Bond Girl). My favorite moments of his performance in that movie is when Bond is supposed to be doing an accent of a heraldry expert and Lazenby is dubbed by another, better, actor. And I have watched the Hulu documentary about him, which only made me dislike him more. He just came across like a egomaniacal tool, while Bonds like Dalton and Moore are Unqualified Gentlemen. Speaking of Dalton, I really enjoy him as Bond. I think Moore had so solidly established a brand of his quip-heavy, arched eyebrow charm as James Bond, the franchise needed something drastically different. Timothy Dalton brought that, with his searing sexiness and undercurrent of rage. He's, in my opinion, the closest Bond to Fleming's novels and so I definitely enjoy his performances. Craig has that anger and bitterness too, but it's more on the surface, more unleashed than the quintessentially English Agent Dalton plays him as (even though the character is of Scottish heritage and Dalton is Welsh).
  17. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 45 Oliver & Company

    I BELIEVE this is just referring to the technique of overlaying animation cells with specific objects in them over set backgrounds. It's why sometimes, especially on quicker TV or shorts animation, you see different color or shading variations in stationary objects rather than characters. For example, if a character is going to pick up the second of five identical hot dogs, you will be able to see the one he or she is going to pick up because it will stand out, as the other objects were xeroxed on a different cell layer than the characters, the background, or the object that is being moved. This also made it easier for Disney (or any animation house) to stay stylistically consistent. Specifically, "line overlay" involves literally overlaying the lines on a separate cell on top of the background paintings/drawings, which were initially set down as basic colors and shapes. Additional cells of more and more details can be added as needed with each additional layer, which dissipates the cheaper look of xeroxed drawings.
  18. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 45 Oliver & Company

    I found myself thinking a lot about where this movie lands in Disney's history and in the history of animation. It was always going to suffer in reputation from, as stated earlier, being released in the same year as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and one year behind Little Mermaid. It was also released the same year as Land Before Time and one year before another group-of-down-on-their-luck-stray-pets-in-which-Dom DeLuise-plays-a-supporting-role movie, All Dogs God to Heaven. So even if this doesn't have the same tone or style as classic Disney, which Little Mermaid revitalized, it would still be in the shadow of those other, better remembered Don Bluth films. It's been too long since I've seen either Land Before Time or All Dogs Go to Heaven, so I would be remiss to compare the technical merits of the films now, but I know as a child I preferred those two to Oliver & Company. Plus, I hold Roger Rabbit to be a masterpiece and it is my favorite Zemeckis film (I KNOW WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY THAT THANK YOU). So animation is just in this very interesting transitional period, in which technology will soon allow for the achievements of both Roger Rabbit and Little Mermaid, not to mention we are right before the outstanding flood of TV animation with the likes of Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman the Animated Series, and right in the middle of the various Duck-related Disney shows. It was also a time when, I think, Disney was really struggling to hold onto its identity, as their golden age of animation had long since passed, as had their live-action kid friendly comedies like Mary Poppins or even The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. That would, of course, change the next year, as Little Mermaid would usher in a new golden age, only to be again revitalized by Pixar, and now when something like Coco or Incredibles 2 comes out, the studio slays all opponents at the box office, but that was just not the case for much of the 1970s and 1980s. I just find it fascinating, dudes and dames!
  19. Damn, I thought it was the title to John Oliver's new kid show...
  20. Quasar Sniffer

    King Kong

    I think you hit exactly why this film needs to be included. It really showed how movies could physically create totally fictional, fantastical realities for actual actors to interact with. It's exciting, it's thrilling, and it has this two-story ape engage with human actors as its own character. This certainly did not pre-date cartoons, but it does pre-date Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated feature, by four years, while only being six years after the first sound picture, The Jazz Singer. We are in brand new territory here, but the fundamentals of storytelling are still adhered to and valued, even if the love story is rather undercooked. From a personal standpoint, I love stop-motion, I find it fascinating to watch and I lament its demise in the wake of more efficient means of creating these kinds of characters. From King King to Ray Harryhausen to Nightmare Before Christmas to Studio Laika, I love that medium so much. So I see King Kong as a sort of progenitor of that whole field (even if the technique was not invented for the film). The racism IS deplorable in this movie, as is the troubling idea bandied around at the time (thanks to movements like "scientific racism") of Africans being more closely related to apes than other races. The very idea of a white woman being kidnapped by an ape from "Darkest Africa" is subconsciously mining that concept. There was a lot of and Eugenics going on in America and Europe at the time, and this movie struck such a chord with audiences that it might have been cultivating those cultural currents. Was it conscious of the filmmakers? I don't know. It doesn't seem malicious the way Birth of a Nation was. Do I wish it wasn't in the film? Undoubtedly. I think you could have a King Kong that functions as a metaphor for the destructiveness of Colonialism, about the dangers and evil that inevitably come when one culture arrives and imposes its values and morals on another. White people come, extract resources from a native culture, and bring back a violated version of it for their own benefit. It could be a Beauty and the Beast story where the real Beast is racism if done right, but the way the Skull Islanders are depicted, the 1933 Kong definitely does not reach those heights. I still think it belongs on the AFI list though.
  21. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 194 - Yes, Giorgio: LIVE!

    Honestly, I just thought it was the moment the movie truly stopped giving a shit. Like it turned to us and said, "haha, fuck you, Pamela's in this scene because the movie will be over quicker and I don't have the energy to explain why. Deal with it."
  22. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 44 Easter Parade

    One thing I found I really enjoyed was the slow-motion sequence with Astaire isolated from the normal-speed dancers. It was obviously a process shot, but I just thought it was so fun seeing this emerging technology being used and wondered at by the filmmakers. You know, like a little piece of cinema history. I don't know if this was the first time such slow motion effects were used, but it was still neat witnessing their emergence. Also, from IMDb: Fuuuuuck you, Reese.
  23. Quasar Sniffer

    Your Updated AFI List

    If we're talking lasting impact and universal acclaim, how about the 1978 Superman? It's still remembered as the pinnacle of Superman on screen, even the definitive version among comic book fans, who sometimes look for Christopher Reeve in the Superman comics I try to sell them.
  24. Quasar Sniffer

    The Shawshank Redemption

    I say list what you want. The whole list is so arbitrary anyway, from judging "importance" vs. "quality" or "universality" vs. "artistic merit," it's going to be a personal choice. Plus, this is supposed to be the best American films ever made, but Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David fucking Lean, is #5? I realize it was made by Columbia, but it's made by British people about an Englishman doing very English things in Arabia (i.e. killing non-English people). But does that mean, to be American, only American filmmakers can be involved? I would never say that! But so many David Lean movies just feel so quintessentially British that it feels weird to include this one, even if it is one of my absolute favorites. It's.... arbitrary is what I'm saying.