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Posts posted by gene_shallot

  1. Oh hai, The Canon forum. Long time no see! I was one of the goobers who suggested The Room for debate early on in the podcast, so I really wanted to chime in. The appeal of so-bad-it's-good movies like The Room - but especially The Room - is that they're funny. And I don't just mean that it's inept - a bad film is merely boring, lazy, or careless.


    Science breaks humor down as: expectation -> tension -> expectation fulfilled, but in an unexpected way. The Room is the cinematic equivalent. As lifelong consumers of media, we have an innate sense what a film should be. The Room twists our preconceptions to the core - dialogue, motivation, continuity. The very structure of what a single scene should be. Our notions for a film are resolved, but twisted in ways we'd never expect.


    Intentional or not, the result is as entertaining and engaging as any comedy - and baby, The Room is top tier. They say good comedy is timing, and The Room is a perfect storm where all expectations are tweaked just right. It's the Richard Pryor of 'bad' movies. And I think that's what sets The Room apart. In its own way, The Room is just as fascinating a portal into the mind of Tommy Wiseau as Kubrick's films' are into his (or your favorite _x_ director). The growing cult of fans, the crazy making-of story, plus the walking enigma that is Tommy Wiseau are just icing on the cake. I have to vote 'yes'.

  2. Z's been on my to-watch list forever, so this was a great excuse to finally check it out. And boy howdy. Great film. Great enough to where I'd vote it in just on that alone. Even if we're talking Cold War-era political thrillers, I found it more arresting and more of a gut-punch than Three Days of the Condor, so easy 'yes' vote for me.


    After the ending crawl, I was thinking "I really liked it, but some parts seemed a little far-fetched". Then I googled it and learned that was pretty much how it went down. Mind blown. Made me think how many other injustices and abuses of power have gone down throughout history, but sadly didn't have people with the power to bring it to light or to document it (like the case here), and have been lost & forgotten. Reminded me of The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence documentaries, about a genocide in Indonesia not well known outside of the country. Depressing & potentially shattering-your-faith-in-humanity, but well worth watching.


    On a different note, so should we be pronouncing Z as "Zeta"? Is this like a Lost City of Z situation? (gah, I'm off to watch videos of kittens or something)

  3. White privilege/cultural appropriation was one of the backlash-y criticisms for Lost in Translation, as I recall.

    Ah interesting, I think I've heard similar about The Beguiled (although that may be more about casting & adaptation choices). Wonder if they'll mention any of that in the episode.


    The correct answer is The Virgin Suicides. It's still her masterpiece and very Canon worthy.

    Really need to get off my butt and finally watch it.

  4. Ha, fun episode. Big yes on Raising Arizona, my absolute favorite Coen bros movie! Lebowski is great and has the bigger cultural impact on its side (and both Burn After Reading and Hail, Caesar are underrated), but I gotta give the edge to Arizona for the tightness of script and vision. That, and it just makes me laugh more. All this, assuming there's only room for one Coen comedy - I'm a fan of a "big" Canon though, so I'm all in either way.


    Also, permit me an indulgent shout-out to a podcast I've here plugged before - Blank Check with Griffin & David - who's latest episode: Christopher Nolan's "Memento", guest stars none other than Amy Nicholson! That's right, the daughter of Jack Nicholson herself. Listen, won't you? Or not. But I mean... it's a pretty fun podcast.

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  5. It may also be that because of the rotating series of guests, it's harder for the discussion to get as in-depth as it did with two professional critics who were more familiar with each other's styles of argument. In older episodes with guests, the guest was often given the opportunity to stay "above the fray" and remain friendly while Devin and Amy went at each other.

    I also assumed this was the main factor. The nature of hosting and being pro about it (which I think Amy is) entails being considerate to guests & letting them have their say. Even in the old episodes I think this was noticeably true, and as the trusty co-hosts Devin & Amy could always bounce off each other as necessary.


    The great thing about Amy & Devin's dynamic is they're smart, knowledgeable, and opinionated - AND because they're good friends, they're free to call each other out and be as blunt or pointed as necessary, no harm no foul. Understandably it'd be hard to find a guest who checks all those boxes. Maybe Armond White was closest because he doesn't care whose toes he steps on (I mean, he is a professional toe-stepper).

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  6. Prior to the episode, I knew of John Waters more than I knew his work - I'd only seen Serial Mom, Hairspray, that episode of The Simpsons, and apparently a ridiculously edited down version of Pink Flamingos, I'm realizing after listening to the podcast (Wait, THAT happened?? But I don't rememb- then they did WHAT??!) I guess that mentally fortified me for Female Trouble, which seemed downright quaint in comparison. Incestuous oral sex is merely suggested this time, I mean what's the big deal?


    The movie is hilarious as advertised and hard to take my eyes off of - Waters really has an eye for casting. Interestingly meta too - "bad taste" art about artists who exploit someone to make "bad taste" art (Dasher even sports an unconventional 'stache). I even dug the theme song. Y'all made a very strong case for Water's inclusion in the pop culture canon but should Female Trouble, specifically, make into the film Canon? I maybe didn't vomit, but I did throw up in my mouth a little. I guess that's a 'yes'.

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  7. "See here, I'm looking for Khaleesi and his boys. Tell me where to find them or I'll beat your head off!" *and scene*


    Hadn't seen this (or even heard of it) before, so I appreciate Pat Healey's choosing it. But I agree with Amy the romance doesn't work - Dixon has more chemistry with the cafe owner than Gene Tierney. If dames weren't de rigueur, the whole subplot would almost be superfluous. I'm glad I watched it and it does feel unjustly forgotten - Preminger brings a lot to the table and the supporting cast, in particular, were the MVP's for me. A very solid noir that doesn't quite reach Canon-status.


    Also, is the lowest # of responses for an episode? I'm assuming due to the obscurity of the selection...

  8. An interesting thing about the LOTR trilogy is that they were filmed at nearly the same time with nearly the same crew, so perhaps there is a little less to talk about than, say, the Star Wars or Alien franchises? If so, it's natural the conversation would gravitate towards which one had the best scenes or the most memorable quotes/dankest memes.


    Still though, not sure I agree the trilogy should've been considered as a single unit, but more on a technicality. Aside from the myriad story differences between the two, the films are crammed into a traditional 3-act-kinda-sorta structure with their own storylines and arcs, to the extent possible from the source material. Even though the books were intended as a single piece of media, the films weren't.


    I went with Fellowship for reasons already mentioned in the homework thread (RIP Two Towers). Despite loving RotK's Smeagol opening, the creepiness of the army of the dead cave scene, and the Gandalf/Pippin mid-battle interlude, there was a lot more for me to love in FotR. Fellowship also had the tougher task of the two in establishing this world, the character dynamics, and the stakes, and all convincingly & propulsively enough to carry through two more very long movies.

  9. Nerd cards revoked from DAVID and AMY!


    For an epic series that gets picked to shreds by Feminist critics (rightly so, there's maybe a half dozen female characters and that's including Shelob) it pains me to hear no one stick up for the one goosebumpseverytime moment from the third movie: Eowyn's battle with the Witch King Angmar. This moment of a woman kicking ass COMES DIRECTLY FROM TOLKIEN! Examine your cynical heart AMY, turns out JRR was a brilliant complicated guy capable of brilliant complicated writing. Sure the dialogue was punched up, but the action is directly from the book. Why is it so laughable that Tolkien, Boyens, Jackson, or Walsh would reference Macbeth in the final encounter with the WITCH KING?


    Obviously Joanna, whose Feminerd cred is undeniable, went mum in support of her film. Another unfortunate causality of the VS. format...would have appreciated her spirited defense of the scene.

    A scathing critique from Jizzyballz69.

  10. Yay, Pat Healy! and Jake Fogelnest next week! Cheap Thrills really is great. There's weirdly a lot of films recently with a similar dark, 'what would YOU do?'-type premise (on Netflix, for example), but Cheap Thrills is easily the best.


    And Amy, no "La La Land sucks" reference? I was sure it'd be worked into every episode, all leading up to Devin's surprise return where he triumphantly nominates for the Canon... La La Land! Ah well.

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  11. It's a perfectly fine film, just not quite sold that it needs to be in the Canon. I literally hadn't thought of it once since I first saw it. Outside of Oscar trivia, no one talks about it (aside from David Erlich apparently)... and for a movie whose greatest strength is that it's a "middlebrow crowd pleaser", that's bad. Regardless of what you think of them, American Beauty, Forrest Gump, and The Shawshank Redemption at least make more sense for inclusion. Shakespeare in Love doesn't. I voted no.

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  12. Just wanted to also chime in my disappointment at the lack of The Two Towers. Not that parts 1 & 3 are chopped liver, but T2T boasts richer, more fluid, and just more fun character dynamics than Fellowship. The building of suspense, pacing, and execution of Helm's Deep is so perfect, it virtually eclipses RotK's Battle of the Pelennor Fields (despite the latter being the 'bigger' of the two) - not nothing, given the huge chunk of film each make up.


    Andy Serkis' breakout as Gollum/Smeagol (basically putting mo-cap performances on the map) alone makes it worthy of inclusion into the Canon.

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  13. Christ, David Ehlrich can be infuriating sometimes (...)

    Can't agree more. Don't mean to step on any toes here - Erlich seems to have a healthy following these days - but his charm is a little lost on me. He seems a little too eager to play the hip contrarian, or just be flat-out dismissive. I think it's a tonal thing, where he comes across as posturing sometimes. Maybe I've got him all wrong, who knows. Just not my tempo.


    But agreed, this should be a fun one. I don't think he'll hold back.


    PS: for any La La Land lovers, this may be another bumpy ride. Coincidentally, David guested on another podcast I like - Blank Check with Griffin & David* - where he alluded to recording this episode and mentioned the further bashing upon that movie with Amy.


    * If you enjoy semi-comedic cinema podcasts, I highly recommend Blank Check. They deep-dive into filmographies of directors who, after a major hit, got to make any project they wanted - so the likes of Shyamalan, The Wachowskis, Cameron Crowe, etc. Hosted by Griffin Newman (ie. Arthur on Amazon's The Tick, and a bunch of other stuff) and David Sims (film critic for The Atlantic, formerly of The AV Club). Good stuff.**


    ** On the David Erlich episode he expounds on why Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was one of his favorite movies of that year. That was not good stuff.

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  14. In the spirit of this episode's guest, I'll be contrarian and say Armond certainly didn't match my mental image of him (ie. a bitter and cantankerous grump). Separating his appearance here from all else he's written - I thought it was a surprisingly fun conversation!


    Didn't really catch a "mansplain-y" vibe; seemed like polite back & forth with some gentle disagreement, though I guess it's Amy's perspective that really matters. Seems like Armond's got a precise, academic way about him, but does that qualify as "quasi-intellectual"? The concepts and arguments were sound, even if I didn't always agree.


    But dismissive?? YES, and that's a huge turn off for me with critics - and not just singling out Armond, there's quite a few out there. Even if I agreed La La Land isn't a strong musical, it's not like there aren't other reasons to appreciate a movie. To assume it only got acclaim because audiences lack "erudition" is arrogant. You can convey disagreement without being an asshole about it. As if internet comment sections weren't bad enough... (not anyone here though, y'all are the bee's knees)


    Anyways, haven't been able to find Sign o' the Times yet - surprised so many voters here have - but Stop Making Sense is indeed incredible. Abstaining for now.

  15. YES I'm on board for The Neverending Story. Mortality, existential dread, a child's possible descent into madness... what's not to love?


    Ghostbusters is tough for me because it does hit me right in the nostalgia feels, what with this and the cartoon, the videogames, the Ecto Coolers, everything. Upon rewatch, I mostly enjoyed the performances and that unique mix of horror and comedy, which few films have successfully duplicated (although is it heresy if I think Ghostbusters II was funnier? It's a flawed film, but damn does it have its moments).


    Ultimately Bill Murray does take the movie over and, looking back at his career, this is the kind of performance he could do in his sleep. Add in the other issues Amy & Paul discussed, and I had to go soft 'no' on this one.


    And may I just say what an awesomely pleasant and thoughtful discussion it was, even with the disagreement? Loved it, and Paul was an excellent guest. I was already a fan of his from HDTGM? and Human Giant back in the day, which I guess doesn't hurt.


    Top 5 Bill Murray: Groundhog Day, Rushmore, Scrooged, Lost in Translation, Kingpin (honorable mention: Coffee & Cigarettes)

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  16. In the spirit of NickPerkins, next week is Sign o' the Times (AKA Sign "" the Times) vs Stop Making Sense as per Amy's tweet.


    Stop Making Sense is available for digital rental at your purveyor of choice.


    Unfortunately Sign o' the Times seems to only be available for purchase on the Canadian iTunes store(?!) and out of print on physical media. Legally available, that is. *wink wink nudge nudge say no more*

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  17. It is too bad; apparently it's a 100% Earwolf-driven thing, and pretty shady how it was communicated (which is, not at all) to listeners and the podcasts. If they had given everyone notice there'd probably be little controversy.


    For the love of Jeebus, don't delete past episodes you haven't listened to and don't let your subscriptions expire.

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  18. Thanks for compiling these!


    Letterboxd is really a great way to track what you're watching and remember things you want to watch - I always kept forgetting, specially if they were older or more obscure titles.

    Agreed! I've always liked Letterboxd for that reason. It's great if you're ever in that situation where someone's like "seen anything good lately?", and you're thinking "oh there was that one thing a couple months ago... what was it again?" (or maybe that's just me)


    Plus reviews and silly themed lists, or ranking your fave movies/directors/cinematographers/key grips.


    v v v incidentally, mine has always been hiding down here v v v

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