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Posts posted by chaplinatemyshoe


    No it's not.


    I mean...subjectively you're right. But objectively, we're talking about my opinion which is also subjective. I think the first Hobbit film is the best of those six. I like the cast, the stakes, the scope, the storytelling techniques more than anything in the LOTR trilogy. And then it sort of just becomes lesser LOTR as that trilogy goes on. But it's all the elements I disliked about the original trilogy sneaking in that bored me about the Hobbit movies.


    I'm just not a Tolkein fan. Don't like his vision. Don't like his view of the world. Don't like how sexless everything is. But I get that others do like him and his work, in this case adapted to the screen, and I try my best to appreciate what's there for me to like about those movies. And frankly, there's not a big gap between The Hobbit and LOTR for me, personally.


    I know it's popular to hate on The Hobbit because it feels dated, but honestly, LOTR feels dated as fuck to me to now. Its view of the world feels pretty goddamn basic.

  2. I'm voting Fellowship.


    These movies aren't really my thing. I tolerate them more than I do enjoy them. But I think Fellowship did a really good job of tapping into the cultural dread that permeated everything in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. I don't think it's a mistake that the franchise caught on when it did, and I'm kind of skeptical the franchise would have been met with the same larger fan fare or critical acclaim in almost any other time (as witnessed by the way everyone shrugged off The Hobbit which is in many ways equal to LOTR in quality of storytelling, scope, acting, etc).


    So as a cultural artifact of a specific time and place, I vote Fellowship. Because let's be real, the 900 endings in ROTK are completely intolerable unless you're emotionally invested in every single storyline. It is fan service of the highest wankery order.


    I take the premise of the show lightly, the main reason I listen to this podcast is for the intelligent discussion on interesting and classic movies. I ultimately don't care too much about what does and doesn't get "Canonised". But it is/was a fun spin for a movie based podcast to stand out from so many others.


    Yeah. My personal Canon is really different from the show's.


    Listening the podcast is more just an excuse to revisit movies worth watching then seeing all the great conversation the movie spurs, both in the podcast and on the forum.



    No, he still refers to them as allegations and resigns without any explicit ownership because the comment sections of his articles would be flooded "every single god-damn day". He's resigning because the allegations would be a distraction to BMD and Alamo Drafthouse (who I assumed forced him to resign). The problem here is that Devin is not someone you know. He's a guy who, yes, has a vast knowledge and understanding of cinema, but he's also a reprehensible human being (not even taking this incident into account) who has left websites like the Clintons left the White House and let his SJW agenda influence his work. He's responsible for the movement in film criticism where if you simply voice that you don't like something (whether it's because of quality or it just doesn't speak to you), then FUCK YOU you racist, homophobic misogynist.


    Love it when this kind of hypocrisy is exposed.


    I remember when I had my first beer too.

    • Like 8

  5. That being said, I'm 100% on-board with an Amy-led Canon, if she's up for it, but totally understand if not. To end on a positive note, check out Amy's Skillset podcast. It's fantastic.


    Skillset is good. What MTV has going on in their podcast network in general is pretty good. Really dig the mix of talent they have working over there.

  6. Glad to see them finally do a Dreamcatcher episode. So much in this movie to riff on, you could probably do two episodes on it alone. Plus, the Blake Harris piece on this one could be pretty goddamn beautiful.


    Now excuse me while I go to my memory warehouse to prepare for the coming glory of this episode.

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  7. I'm cool with a guest host format if Amy wants to keep doing the show. I think that probably makes the most sense while Devin sorts through whatever is going on in his personal life and they can make a more formal decision about his departure.


    Either way, I really enjoy listening to Amy talk about movies, so I'm cool listening to the show reformatted around just her.

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  8. Cannibal Holocaust is, in my opinion, a much better, more impactful exploitation film. Also, it does have the advent of found footage going for it.


    Cannibal Holocaust is a Mondo film. Mondo films had been around since the early 60s. If anything, the movie was at the tail end of that genre's run. So the whole argument for the movie being ahead of the curve on the found footage thing is really hollow to me.

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  9. So I voted no. The movie is not quite in my sweet spot enough to put it over the top into the Canon.


    That said, I enjoyed the re-watch, and I have to say this might have been the first time the discussion almost pushed my vote the other direction. You all made a lot of really great points and it was fun to hear you guys break the movie down in the context of the evil kid genre.


    I kind of wish this had been a versus episode with Mommie Dearest. While I like evil kid movies too, I think there's a ton of problematic projection going on in a lot of movies where adults are ascribing grown up motivations to kids whose brains really aren't developed enough to totally get what they're doing. And you see a lot of shitty abusive parents project their own anxieties upon what their kids are doing and use that as an excuse to inflict emotional and physical abuse. And I think Mommie Dearest serves as a similarly camp contrast to the evil kid story and provides an easy breezy point of comparison to something like The Bad Seed.


    All that is to say, I bet Joan Crawford really loved the fuck out of The Bad Seed.

  10. I sort of feel that the best of the year picks should be off limits. If it was too soon to put them in, it's too soon to kick them out

    I also think the indulgence picks should be off limits, both because they occurred so recently and because they were so personal. I'm for letting those wins stand fair and square (for another 100 episodes at least).


    That said, I think it would be good to have a film of which Amy was a stronger advocate against a film of which Devin was a stronger advocate. The ones that make the most sense to me would be Working Girl vs. Cannibal Holocaust, but there are certainly other films that could be looked at.


    Maybe...but last year was sort of an asterisk year because Fury Road would have probably easily have won if they hadn't put it up in a versus earlier in the year. Plus, Creed vs. Chi-raq...not sure what Devin and Amy were thinking in general. Both movies were fine, but it felt like they were both reaching a little bit with those choices. It's certainly possible, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where people are looking back on 2015 years from now and choosing those movies as defining the cinematic year.

  11. Art isn't created or consumed devoid of context, and anyone who claims otherwise is full of doodoo. Context is absolutely critical to understanding and appreciation. It's not the only contribution to this nebulous "merit" but it's a big chunk you can't take out.


    I disagree. Most of the shit we consider great now is considered great OUTSIDE of the context from which it was initially critiqued. Vertigo and Citizen Kane weren't really considered seminal works of cinematic genius by the vast majority of critics when they first came out. It was the reappraisal of both films on their own terms that subsequently created a push to re-evaluate. And then people started to study them in depth and really begin to appreciate them on their historical merit.


    But that both of those movies have been deemed important and influential is kind of revisionist to begin with since neither movie had much cultural or commercial impact upon its release. It was academics and fans of cinema who imbued those films with their value after the fact.


    I guess what I'm trying to say is that the historical argument doesn't work because a smart critic or academic can pretty much bend any movie to be more important in its context even if it was largely unremarkable in the actual context it was birthed from initially. And so I don't find most historical arguments to be particularly compelling. If I'm interested in a movie's history, I will likely seek it out from multiple sources. If I'm not, it's probably because I didn't find the movie compelling enough to put in the Canon to begin with.


    You see what I'm trying to get at here?

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  12. The Elmore Leonard adaptations starring Michael Keaton playing the same character face off extravaganza! I love both of these movies and think it would be awesome and mean to make us have to choose.


    Beyond that, Leonard's birthday is coming up on the 11th of October, so it's an appropriate time of year to be featuring movies based on his work.


    I eagerly (sadistically/masochistically) await a TNG reboot. With Jean-Luc Picard rebooted as a shaved-headed, muscly bad-ass with tattoos and an anti-authoritarian chip on his shoulder. I'll ignore it SOOOOO hard.


    They could cast Stephen Lang as Picard and some annoying kid I'll want him to beat up as Wesley.


    32, and you saw it in 1991? You were a baby. What sense could you have made of this reflective, Cold-War inspired piece? I saw it in theatres too. My first Trek film. I was 11. I don't/didn't remember anything. I was lost, I had no context for anything barring that Star Trek is a thing, and it existed. I saw it again many, many years later, and was mostly impressed by it. In that it was so clearly better than either Generations (a film I liked at the time, but have gradually come to understand as terrible) or First Contact (a film I DESPISED at the time, and have refused to re-watch since). VI is a mostly-solid movie, but it disappears up its own ass when it tries to be "deep". All the Shakespeare stuff is absolutely worthless, since it adds nothing to the movie. The idea of two rival factions conspiring to keep their long-simmering war going, because neither of them is comfortable with a peace they've never known, is absolutely brilliant, a PERFECT story for a Trek movie of the time. So...it mostly works. If you don't focus on the incredibly clunkiness with which the story is put together.


    The sentiment, the basic message, and the historical context, are all there, and they work for me. Basically, the story is brilliant, but the screenplay is clunky and obvious. Overall, an enjoyable movie, but you have to extend some dramatic allowances. It's not great, but at least it aspired to greatness, and, once, had a basic idea of how to get there. As a TNG episode - even a two-parter - I feel it coulda worked, but as a feature film, where all the stakes have to be heightened to a ridiculous degree, where the future of the UNIVERSE is ALWAYS on the line, whether or not the story calls for it, it just fell apart. Good stuff aplenty, good parts, good scenes, good work from the leading three. But not a great Trek film, by any means. Just a good one. Mostly.


    I'll still take it over any Trek film that followed it, though. Its ambition, its desired moral, is super-clear and very meaningful. And, to me, the most important part of Trek is the message, at least that it have one, that it cares. Too bad it surrendered as much as it did to action-movie tropey formula.


    I get that. And I'm not saying I would include it into the Canon because I consider it great or important. I would include it because I like it a lot and make people I like a lot watch it to understand my taste. And my taste is IV > VI > II. And that's not set in stone because I don't have to choose to save only one. I like all three and if any of them went up for a vote, I would vote it in.


    The lamest part of any argument Devin or Amy try to make for a movie's inclusion in the Canon (and I think Devin tends to make this argument WAY more than Amy) is when they try to attach objective historical merit to a movie. That shit's lame. I like subjectivity. I like people who can articulate their weird taste.


    As for the Shakespearean dialogue Plummer quotes, that's more about his character and not the story. He's making references and quotes that make sense to Chang in the moment. It's a character tic/quirk not a thematic arch. It's the same with Khan in Trek. I think sometimes people get so bogged down in what the villain is up to that they miss the obvious deal of what's going on with the characters we're generally intended to be relating to. But yeah, I get The Undiscovered Country has cheesy dialogue, but outside of The Voyage Home, it's hard to think of a Trek movie that has dialogue that snaps anyway. I've never really watched Trek movies or tv shows for the exact words characters say.


    You like VI more than II? How do you reconcile General Chang's flagrantly, inappropriate, unprofessionally gratutious Shakespeare-quoting? It almost kills the movie for me. Though it's still my fourth-favorite of the series, if only because the film has other characters.


    So General Chang gets a pass for me on the Shakespeare quoting front specifically because Christopher Plummer is arguably the greatest living Shakespearean actor who wasn't born in Britain. And my understanding is that Plummer had a lot of input into that character's development, look and dialogue. My guess is that if you hung out with Plummer, he would be quoting a ton of Shakespeare and Shaw at you because he's performed in a ton of Shakespeare and Shaw plays in Canada for decades.


    As for what I love about the movie, it's partially because of my age. I'm 32. It's the one I got to see in the theatre as a kid. The others, I first saw as a kid and then got the great opportunity to see on the big screen as an adult who was lucky enough to live in cities where such a thing was plausible (I first saw Khan back to back with Search for Spock at a double feature). But I also really love that the movie takes on something you don't see a lot of in movies: old people being bigots and having to change. Plus, it's clear everyone in the cast is fully engaged, likes the script and is really going for it. They have good material to work with, it's their last shot and I think they nail it.

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    I voted no (my long ass post is a few pages back) but this is the best argument for a yes that I've seen and your thematic description actually makes me want to re-evaluate it.


    And yeah, Star Trek (especially the movies and TNG era) is really heavy-handed with the rather obvious and basic literary references. Sherlock Holmes, Moby Dick, Shakespeare, etc.. not that those aren't great works (they are!) but they're just the most cliched idea of "grrrrreat LIT-reh-CHAHHHH".


    Self-indulgent TNG sidenote since we're talking about Trek anyway- why on earth didn't they just make Picard a Brit? Patrick Stewart is just SOOO British that the conceit that he was playing a Frenchman just always felt like a thing the writers should've dispensed with once he was cast.


    One of the reasons I really like those Trek movies is that they all deal pretty openly with aging. In Khan, it's about leaving your last semblance of youth and entering middle age and dealing with mortality. In Voyage Home, it's about gaining that second wind and realizing just cause you're older doesn't mean you don't have a shit ton left to contribute. And Undiscovered Country, you have a group of bigoted old people having to change the way they think about people they thought as being lesser in order for progress to occur.


    It's just hard to think of many sci-fi movies that actively incorporate the aging of its cast in its storytelling as effectively as Trek managed to. Most franchises stop working as actors grow old because movie studios don't really want to deal with aging out their IP. They want it to go on forever so they can keep making that money.



    As for the Picard thing, that's on Roddenberry. He wanted a French character and fought against Stewart's casting. I'm sure keeping the character's name and background was a compromise. But hey, at least we got Stewart and not that swarthy Midwesterner Roddenberry wanted.

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  17. So I grew up watching TNG and being into Star Trek movies (not necessarily the show as much as a kid). But I also grew up in a humanities family, and I kind of get where Amy's coming from being supremely unimpressed with Trek's literary references. Trek has always suffered from a bit of a high school reading list syndrome. That is to say, it's always felt like the writers of Trek were the kind of guys who read pretty much every piece of sci-fi and fantasy they could lay their hands on but their general knowledge of the popular literary canon was pretty much limited to whatever was assigned to them in their high school or first year college curriculum. So you get a lot of real basic classic works (although TNG had a deep cut Epic of Gilgamesh reference so kudos for that) that they lean REAL heavily on as if to say "hey look, this is serious stuff to be taken seriously, serious minded people who don't think sci-fi is serious" when they should probably be referencing guys like Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs if they're being honest with what inspired them to begin with.


    But then I also think Amy largely misinterprets the movie as being about revenge when it is pretty explicitly about mortality. It's not about Kirk vs Khan, but Kirk vs time. You get older. You have regrets. Your kids become strangers, and then your friends start dying. Even the conflict with Khan, which doesn't seem all that applicable to every day life on the face of it (most of us don't have arch enemies waiting in the shadows), reflects the way past actions can blindside you with their consequences way on down the line. And I think the movie is really kind of smart about exploring all these things in a way that most sci-fi adventure films really aren't because it's not often we get a honest to god middle aged person as a protagonist in that genre.


    I'm a soft yes on this one. I love Trek. I would put three Trek films in my personal canon, and this would be one of them. And my stance has always been to vote on the personal level for this thing. So I vote a soft yes (only soft because I like IV and VI a little more if I'm being honest).

    • Like 1