(45 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Just picked up Tetris Effect on a whim and I'm in trouble. This thing is enthralling.


(225 replies, posted in Off Topic)

The only thing better than tongue-in-cheek 80s lesbian honky-tonk

is the same band doing an utterly ethereal cover of "Sweet Jane."


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

A composer owing me a life-debt could come in handy. wink I'll let you know if I get lucky!


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

They only sell em at the venue, and once they're gone they're gone, but they might still have some left over! If you'd not be averse to using a middleperson I can check to see if they still have any when I'm there tomorrow and pick one up for you if so.


(2,091 replies, posted in Off Topic)


looks around


kinda didn't love it

It's good, of course! In my top 20 of the year, no question. The photography and sound mix are legitimately breathtaking. I swear to god this will be the last movie for a while where I mention I'm glad Netflix put it in theatres, but seriously, this demands to be seen big—Cuaron shot on the Alexa 65 and the clarity and depth of field are fucking insane.

But it left me cold emotionally, which I feel guilty even typing because God knows Cuaron is one of my favorite directors and everyone else seems to be head over heels for it. Were it a first-time feature I'd probably be knocked on my ass, and the photography, again because I can't emphasize it enough, is stunning. Just didn't do it for me feelings-wise in the way Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien, or Gravity have.


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Likewise re: work, but I'd absolutely love that! I'm game to hammer something out if you are.


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Teague wrote:

"Show-nothing marketing campaigns for tell-nothing movies."

Orson Welles applauds you from the stars.

EDIT: This compliment now seems inadvertently self-serving after I think about it for five seconds but I'll let it stand because fuck yeah punchup.


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

^ What makes that especially perverse is that the model is designed to simultaneously make people paranoid of spoilers without having anything that's actually worth spoiling. Marvel spoilers below if anyone cares:

No one should go into an MCU film expecting anything of any significance to actually happen. That's not a bug, it's a feature—they have to keep the characters the same so that they can spend another ten films building up to the next cocktease that's supposed to change things forever but then actually doesn't. Even Infinity War, which is supposed to be the movie where everything changes, has as its "big spoiler" that half the cast gets killed off—the half that's already signed for announced sequels.

So they simultaneously have show-nothing marketing campaigns and do-nothing movies, but because the marketing is so spoiler-wary it tricks you into thinking something important will happen when of course nothing ever will.


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

And that's not helped by the fact that it seems like movie theatres always end up using the character one-sheets rather than the full, "official" poster, because of course the teaser posters get released first so they're what end up getting bought first. When The Force Awakens came out most of the theatres near me were still using just the SW logo on a black and white starfield rather than the full, colorful poster, because that's what they were given first. (That's probably a whole separate discussion right there, fear of spoilers straying too far into the opposite direction and resulting in deliberate non-hooks in advertising.)


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Yeah, even outside of blockbusters it's a problem. Lazily Photoshopping stills is just *so easy*. I think the most recent poster like the old-style ones you describe, where even if I hadn't seen and loved the film I'd have the art stuck in my head for all time, is . . . Inherent Vice ? From four years ago now?


I'll never understand why the studio doesn't hire one of the thousands of fan artists who do killer posters and just have them draw/paint something. They're millennials posting their art online for free, paying them couldn't possibly be more expensive than having someone Photoshop six different Avengers onto a generic backdrop.


(69 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Local revival theatre does their own posters for every series and have made some absolutely spectacular ones; they also sell prints, so I've got the Nicolas Cage double feature and the Majesty in Monochrome slate hanging on my wall. (The Indy triple feature is one of the few they've just taken from another source rather than creating an original artwork, but it's cool anyway so I threw it in.)


Solid Dick
Don't let the inflammatory opening paragraph, which states that Iron Man is the most evil movie ever made, turn you off. Jack Graham goes on to rigorously explicate his thesis, eviscerating the MCU's uneasy relationship with war profiteering and capitalism.

Hbomberguy's Sherlock Rant
Again, ignore his inflammatory title. Very thorough analysis of Sherlock specifically and Steve Moffat's worst tendencies as a filmmaker in general, one that made me feel a bit better about my relative distaste for the show post-pilot.

Fake Friends: Parasocial Relationships
Shannon usually talks about film and TV, and while this series is more broad in scope it's firmly rooted in media and celebrity culture so I think it fits. As someone who constantly has to remind myself to rein in my parasocial affections, this one is an uncomfortable but necessary watch.

J. K. Rowling and the Cauldron of Discourse

Again, this one applies a bit more broadly than just film, but since the Fantastic Beasts movies are ramping up all Rowling's worst writerly/political tendencies as discussed in this essay, I hope you'll allow it.

Sustaining Stupidity: Why CinemaSins Is Terrible
Plothole criticism is a cancer.

Stop Laughing at Old Movies, You Fucking Hipsters
I once left a 70mm screening of Vertigo unsettled and irritated after the entire audience decided that Jimmy Stewart's gaslighting of Kim Novak in the final act was hilarious, so this speaks to me on a deep, deep level.


(225 replies, posted in Off Topic)

This is another haunting one, if you've got a free hour:

Northern Star: On Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, and Laura Palmer

A survivor of incest and abuse shares what the character of Laura Palmer represents for her and others, especially in light of Twin Peaks: The Return.

Lindsay Ellis' Hobbit Retrospective
I'm only posting part 1 of 3, but you HAVE to watch the whole thing. It gradually shifts from an analysis of where the films went wrong to a full-on investigative journalism piece covering how their production actively wrecked the New Zealand film industry.

The Great Recession: American Movie Acting Today

Analysis of how the Method gradually fell by the wayside for today's current style of understated millennial performances.

Christopher Nolan and the Cruelty of Time
It's a bit of a crapshoot whether FilmCritHulk will write a great piece or something lazy and overwritten these days. This is the former, a perfect encapsulation of Nolan's obsessions as an artist.

Aleph Null's review of The Master
Completely changed how I view one of my favorite films, and doubles as a damning critique of the search for universal themes in art.

Will post some more once I'm not limited to typing forum code on my phone keyboard :p


(225 replies, posted in Off Topic)

It's the holiday season, which means it's time for listening to liturgical music in an effort to dredge up the ol' religious feelings. (Flippancy aside, these pieces and others like them are about the closest I'll ever get to believing in something divine again.)

Okay, there's enough of us left—I'll fly out to do AOTC, Tom can take ROTS, etc. There's a precedent set now, as long as we keep visiting you guys have to keep doing the show tongue


(2,091 replies, posted in Off Topic)


Didn't log this the day I saw it, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Dearly hope it's not the Coens' last movie, but it feels like if it were it would be totally fitting. Each of the six segments seems to serve as commentary on a different facet of their career, and more than ever the brothers seem to be actively engaging the critics who claim there's nothing more to them but cruelty. Not that there aren't plenty of moments of cruelty in the movie, mind—some of them slapstick, some of them crushing—but that's not anything projected onto the world by the Coens. That's just the world, like it or not.

Delbonnel's photography is gorgeous—it's the Coens' first movie shot on digital, and while at some points it can get a bit plasticky the colors and landscapes are awe-inspiring. (Caught it at a local theatre, where Netflix allowed it to play, and am very glad I did.) And Burwell's score is as masterly as ever; he might be the most underappreciated film composer we've got working.

Ranking their films has been a meme passing around film Twitter as of late, so I'll do it seriously here just 'cuz (save for Intolerable Cruelty, which I've yet to see). Apart from The Ladykillers and to a lesser extent The Hudsucker Proxy, they've yet to make a bad movie, and have made at least 11 truly great ones. Helluva batting average.

1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. True Grit
3. The Big Lebowski
4. Miller's Crossing
5. No Country for Old Men
6. Burn After Reading
7. Fargo
8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
9. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
10. A Serious Man
11. Barton Fink
12. The Man Who Wasn't There
13. Hail, Caesar!
14. Raising Arizona
15. Blood Simple
16. The Hudsucker Proxy
17. The Ladykillers

I'm most of the way through my umpteenth Princess Bride re-read in honor of the man, and it's kind of astounding how ferocious he was willing to be in whittling his own book down to a screenplay. Don't get me wrong, the heart of the book is still there on the screen, and lots of scenes are, if not word-for-word, basically just tightened-up versions of their book selves. But so much awesome exposition and backstory from the book is condensed into single images or brief exchanges of dialogue in the film. A whole action sequence—Humperdinck's Zoo of Death, which is amazing and which Goldman clearly relished setting up and writing in the book—is just dumped. Perhaps most impressively, the whole fucking point of the book got canned—the narrator, "Bill Goldman," leaves constant notes throughout the text letting you know that he's cut a couple dozen pages of S. Morgenstern's text here because they didn't go anywhere, or trimmed this scene because of boring bits, etc. It's such a convincing bit of trickery that I spent weeks searching for the unabridged Morgenstern Princess Bride after I read the book for the first time, before I finally realized I'd been had.

And because Goldman recognized there was no way to make it work onscreen, he just entirely ditched it.

There's no way in hell I'd be that honest and brave were I given the opportunity to adapt my own work for the screen. I'm sure most novelists would say the same—in fact, it's usually terrible when a prose author tries their hand at their own screenplay (*coughRowlingcough*). The integrity Goldman had to kill every one of his darlings in order to make the best Princess Bride movie possible is just so admirable.


(613 replies, posted in Creations)

I have a friend who's attempting to get into Shakespeare; to help him out, I'm drawing up these tongue-in-cheek "program notes" for various film adaptations and having way too much fun with it. Here's the first complete one, for Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.






(19 replies, posted in Off Topic)

For starters, here's the Wikipedia article. Read it in shame. tongue


(19 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Do you like true stories? WWII dramas? Con artists? Journalism? Satire? Actual fake news conspiracies? My friend's debut novel is for you.

The tl;dr version: fictionalized depiction of a real anti-Nazi underground newspaper whose leaders were captured by Germany and told they had to turn their paper pro-Nazi or be executed. They complied, took the money the Nazis gave them for the task, and instead invested all of it in an insane scheme to start up a second newspaper and turn it into an anti-Nazi publication that would be distributed throughout Belgium.

Tl;dr-er: a group of dissidents and resistance members decide to die for the sake of an anti-Nazi joke.

Tl;dr-est: Ocean's Eleven in Nazi-occupied Europe, but true.

I read the thing as it was being written and can verify, it is great. Most important, it's now available for preorder! Scroll down on this page to find the Amazon link.


(2 replies, posted in Pitches, Fixes, and Rewrites)

The pitch: Amadeus, but instead of Mozart and Salieri, it's Kanye and Taylor.

With the VMAs incident as its linchpin, follows the tortured genius and the hungry young popstar through their careers as their images become increasingly entwined, each one feeding off their hatred for the other even as it gradually destroys his/her image.

Okay, so that plays like a joke, but I genuinely think it'd make for a fascinating movie. Kanye and Taylor really do need each other. Kanye had already changed the face of rap prior to the VMAs incident, but he wasn't Kanye until he used the immense public backlash to "I'mma let you finish" to completely shed his former persona, transforming into a ball of jaw-dropping talent and staggering insecurity and in the process producing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, since hailed as the Sgt. Pepper of rap. Taylor, meanwhile, had also encountered decent success, but it was the zeitgeist of having Kanye West shove her away from the microphone that pushed her into the superstardom that she would never lose.

The whole thing happened all over again, in much more bizarre form, with the increasingly convoluted series of backstabs that unfolded in 2016–2018. Kanye and Taylor make up. Kanye releases The Life of Pablo, which includes the infamous lyric about possibly banging Taylor now that he's "made that bitch famous." Taylor cries outrage and wins Album of the Year. Kanye is dragged for being a heel, ensuring his name stays in the spotlight for the expanded release of TLOP. Then Kim jumps into the mix with audio evidence that proves Taylor has been slandering Kanye and actually signed off on that lyric. Then Taylor releases an absolutely baffling attempt at course-correction with "Look What You Made Me Do," a paranoid screed of a song that attempts to lean into her bad-girl image while falling on its face. THEN Kanye goes full Trump stan, burning pretty much all the bridges he had left but also blowing his name up once again, and Taylor, who's previously been apolitical to the point of refusing to condemn neo-Nazi fans of hers, suddenly decides to endorse Democratic candidates.


These two terrible, terrible people will never be rid of each other, and now that they seem to have embraced that truth and started to escalate things, it's only going to get weirder. We can argue about who's the better artist or the better person (personally, love Kanye's music and think he's a dangerous idiot, hate Taylor's music and think she's a sociopath), but at the end of the day you can't have one or the other. You've gotta take both.

So, movie. A fragmented tale of musical sadomasochism, genius and jealousy, and the last genuine Celebrity Feud in an age that's given less and less to pop-cultural monoliths.

Kinda want to write the thing.


(108 replies, posted in Episodes)

This is fair, it's probably forty minutes at most. tongue


(108 replies, posted in Episodes)

Well, R1 reveres the Original Trilogy in a really shallow way. It's literally trying to reanimate its corpse in its use of CG Tarkin and Leia, and that same superficial appeal to the "spirit" of the old films is there in everything from the shitty in-jokes like Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan showing up on Jedha to the scene of Darth Vader being badass that was shoehorned into the movie for no reason other than the screams opening night. Hell, the very premise is an attempt to fix a perceived "plot hole" in the OT to make it more impervious to criticism. And I'll be honest, the sugar high worked for a while for me. The more eyerolling fanservice I was never on board with, but the final battle was so cool on a surface level that I let it buoy my opinion of the entire movie for a long time.

TLJ is the inverse of that, which is precisely why it made so many people mad. It loves and respects the OT, but not on the superficial "Wouldn't it be awesome if this character did something awesome they way they used to?" way that R1 does. Luke explicitly lampshades this with disgust: "How did you think this was going to end? I take out my laser sword and fight the entire First Order?" TLJ (and, I maintain, TFA) is about reaching deeper behind the glaze of childhood wonder and trying to develop a mature perspective on the heroes we love, their gigantic flaws and all. TFA balanced that with a lot of gee-whiz excitement, which made it go down easier--TLJ took a more drastic approach, which is why I and a lot of people initially had a mixed reaction. But the more I revisit it the more I love it for that. Meanwhile, a lot of the people who hate it because it doesn't love the OT in the same way they do just stamp their feet and idolize Rogue One because it doesn't require much in the way of examining their hero worship--it's just two hours of awesome things happeing because wouldn't that be cool?