Topic: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Do it. Do itttttt.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Crap, I cannot think of anything... I like the idea of a thread though.


EDIT: OK, how about this feeling I've had for a while: Hans Zimmer is the worst thing to happen to film music in recent years.

He has done alot of great and moving work in the past, and glimpses of good work recently. But also recently, his dense orchestrations, repeating, epic ostinatos and thick mixes as heard in movies like The Dark Knight, Inception, Man Of Steel, have seen his soundtracks move in the direction of substituting intelligence and subtlety, and replacing it with nothing short of a repetitive, increasingly derivative, aureal assault. There simply isn't room for anything intelligent or interesting to compete with the onslaught of string and brass chords. Everything is structured in easily digested 4/4 meter with no rhythmic flair whatsoever. It's radio pop, now also in soundtrack form.

Now if it was just Zimmer though I'd be OK with it. But a consequence of this general style/approach still being sought after by studios and alot of moviegoers is that almost every major blockbuster is required to include elements of it. As a music lover and hobby composer I'm sick of it.

As much good music Zimmer has made over the years, a big part of me wishes he wouldn't have taken the mainstream soundtrack world with as much storm as he did.

Last edited by TechNoir (2013-10-10 18:30:26)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

The Big Lebowski isn't the greatest film ever made. In fact, I have disliked every Coen Brothers film that I've seen, and think they are overrated.

Now I recognise (with the wisdom that my age should bring) that part of my dislike is a habitual reaction to a school friend who was a film snob - he thought they were brilliant and would get very psuedo-analytical about why - but in my defence, The Big Lebowski isn't terribly funny, rips off other better films (including North by Northwest), features the awful John Turturro, and seems to amble along without any real story or message.

Maybe I should watch it again... so I can better defend my opinion. wink

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

It's a lightly revised repeat from the introduction thread, but maybe not too many people saw it there [and, Zarban, you may want to make the point you made there again]:

[warning: long post] 

I think the Toy Story films (particularly Toy Story 3) are wildly inappropriate for children thematically, intellectually utterly dishonest and generally contemptible. 

Basically, though I'm sure the makers of the films didn't actually do this, it's as if the people at Pixar got together and said "You know what the world needs?  Let's remake Ingmar Bergman's Winter Light, but, you know, for kids."  That is to say, although I don't go in for the whole postmodern "anything can mean anything" horseshit, I don't think it's a stretch to see the Toy Story films (taking the toys as our protagonists) as basically being about the question "What should you do when the person that is the entire center of your world suddenly stops loving you for no reason?"

First, I think it's monstrous to even suggest to children that this could happen and to pitch the issue deliberately in a way they could understand (on the assumption that toys = children and Andy = parents).  I certainly have to be in the right mood to want to see a film with that theme (where toys = people and Andy = spouse/partner/God/what have you).  Yes of course there is a tradition of dealing with more adult themes in children's literature, say about loss (the sudden death of one's parents is a children's literature trope) or feeling like your parents don't understand you (ditto), but this is really very different.  This is about how somebody loved and cared for you, and then overnight, for no reason that you are capable of understanding, they just stopped.  Nothing happened to them; they just stopped loving you.  Now, at least as far as we know, we don't have a generation of traumatized children/young adults because of the Toy Story films, so obviously people don't read the films that way, but that aspect of the films made me really angry.

What then made me even angrier is the (range of) answers to that question that the films, particularly in the third one, seem to suggest or propose.  With one brief (and deeply ironic) exception, I don't think that any of the characters react to what is effectively an existential/spiritual crisis in a way that is healthy or appropriate or a way that I would want my kids to emulate.

You've got Rex the dinosaur, whose reaction is just to become suicidally depressed, "let's all just throw ourselves into the trash, there's nothing left to live for now, etc."  It is sort of not treated seriously iirc, but that is not in any way to the film's credit.  Then, in Toy Story 3, you've got the Lots-o-Huggin' Bear, whose reaction is to become psychopathically violent and anti-social, though again the film doesn't particularly approve of this reaction.

But most irksome is Woody's reaction, particularly as it seems like the reaction that we're asked most clearly to empathize or agree with.  It's basically "Jesus will save us".  I apologize if that shorthand offends anyone, but what I mean is the persistence of an utterly blind and literally irrational faith in some higher power, irrational in the sense that there is overwhelming manifest, palpable, perceivable, 'theory-internal' evidence utterly to the contrary. 

Andy, unlike God, emphatically does not move in mysterious ways, and Woody's continued 'faith' in Andy (after, say, they've been given away to the daycare center) is therefore even more contemptible than Noomi Rapace's in Prometheus.  The answer to why Andy is going to save them is the same:  "It's what I choose to believe."  And it's just as dishonest and reprehensible then at the end of Toy Story 3 when Woody's faith is seen to be justified (when Andy takes the toys over to a new child to play with).  Of course, that doesn't in any way solve the actual metaphysical problem either -- what do they do when the new child tires of them? 

As I say, it's all profoundly ironic on a personal level, but the only reaction I find remotely praiseworthy is from the army men, in Toy Story 3 I think.  They say "listen, it's been fun, but it's come to an end, as we knew it would, and we're off to make new lives for ourselves, standing on our own psychological two feet and without worrying about whether there's somebody there to look after us".  If my children ever find themselves in a similar position (which they probably will at some point in their lives about something), that's how I hope they'll react.  But that scene is like two seconds long, and clearly not intended as the film's definitive resolution of the issue.

Anyway, that's the gist of it.  At least as far as I can tell, my kids haven't been scarred, and there hasn't been any kind of generalized outrage that the films are too adult (unlike, say, the controversy about the prologue in Up), but I really don't think the Toy Story movies are thematically appropriate for children.  A series of well-executed, emotionally resonant kids films about existential/spiritual crisis doesn't strike me as a good idea.  And I in general despise the various ways we're invited to react to that crisis.

Last edited by sellew (2013-10-10 20:18:05)

For the next hour, everything in this post is strictly based on the available facts.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/43c4f794a0da502f3cca6f6d3060af89/tumblr_mhbd0p0IJW1rcl260o1_400.gif

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I don't think Toy Story is chasing an existential crisis.  All of the crises in all three movies simply have to do with aging/life changes.

TS1:  Getting a baby brother.
TS2: Puberty.
TS3: Moving away or staying with your family.

Eddie Doty

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Eddie wrote:

I don't think TOy Story is chasing an existential crisis.  All of the crisis in all three movies simply have to do with aging/life changes.

TS1:  Getting a baby brother
TS2: Puberty
TS3: Moving away or staying with your family.

Yeah, that's basically the point that Zarban made in the little bit of back-and-forth in the introduction thread -- that, interestingly, the film manages to get us the audience to identify with a minor character really, Andy, rather than the "obvious" protagonists of the film, the toys.  The crises you mention are really Andy's crises.  The toys' crisis I think is the existential one. 

However, like I say, I don't claim that this was necessarily something conscious on anybody's part, since no human being I've ever encountered sees the films this way.  It was just my weird reading of it.  But when I came out of Toy Story 3 (the first one I saw, with my daughter who was 5 at the time) I was literally shaking with rage.  I have never hated a film with a blind, burning passion the way I hated TS3 when I first saw it.

Last edited by sellew (2013-10-10 21:47:05)

For the next hour, everything in this post is strictly based on the available facts.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Ti West is an awful, awful filmmaker who has no idea how to make a good horror movie (and never has.) His fans mistake "tension-building" for tedious narratives that have no build whatsoever. He's never made anything worth watching.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I didn't think hating Glee was unpopular, but if it is, I'll chime in and say that Glee is some of the worst, most unwatchable garbage I've ever seen in my life.

As far as mainstream unpopular....hmmm.

Whedon is massively over-rated. There I said it. Almost everything he writes, outside of some of Buffy and most of Firefly, is written like a sitcom. It's near-constant bland jokes and safe references, the kind of stuff you would expect a laugh-track to run over. Characters being constantly snarky != good writing, and it just irritates the shit out of me. He really is a poor-man's Shane Black, with the distinction being that Shane Black brings a dark edge to his material, there's an under-current of anger and personality that comes through in his writing, whereas Whedon just goes for the safe vanilla version of everything. Is he terrible? No, not by a long shot, but this internet hero-worship really needs to stop.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I thought Lone Ranger was pretty good. At least as good as the average of the Pirates trilogy. It had some funny gags, spectacle, great VFX, fancy camerawork, and an occasional serious tone. It didn't deserve it's 'biggest bomb since Carter' tag. Why has Prometheus got DOUBLE the Rotten Tomato meter score that Lone Ranger has? Nature is out of balance.

And just like that...

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Here's one: Marvel Studios is doing one of the most revolutionary things in film history, and no one's paying attention because they're comic book movies. There has NEVER been a franchise like the Avengers.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Doctor Submarine wrote:

Here's one: Marvel Studios is doing one of the most revolutionary things in film history, and no one's paying attention because they're comic book movies. There has NEVER been a franchise like the Avengers.

No one's paying attention? Avengers is top of the biggest grossing non-James Cameron movies in history.

And just like that...

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Yeah, the entire movie industry is trying to duplicate The Avengers formula.  Including the studio that made The Avengers - Disney didn't just randomly decide to buy Star Wars.

These days we should be grateful that a film like Gravity gets made at all.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I don't know how much defending it actually needs simply because I've heard no discussion about it.  Mothman Prophecies is in my top 10 favorite films.  I like it both in content and in style.  Almost every scene transitions into the next so it feels almost like there hasn't been any editing done.  I'm not prone to jump scares and don't really react to scary or overly gory movies but for some reason this movie actually gave me goosebumps.  My wife loves it too and most friends that I've shown it to have reacted favorably but I've heard no widespread discussion.  It's so under the radar that there isn't even a blu-ray in production yet.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Trey wrote:

Yeah, the entire movie industry is trying to duplicate The Avengers formula.

Fox got there first when they crossed the Aliens and Predators streams.  lol

And just like that...

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

sellew wrote:
Eddie wrote:

I don't think TOy Story is chasing an existential crisis.  All of the crisis in all three movies simply have to do with aging/life changes.

TS1:  Getting a baby brother
TS2: Puberty
TS3: Moving away or staying with your family.

Yeah, that's basically the point that Zarban made in the little bit of back-and-forth in the introduction thread -- that, interestingly, the film manages to get us the audience to identify with a minor character really, Andy, rather than the "obvious" protagonists of the film, the toys.  The crises you mention are really Andy's crises.  The toys' crisis I think is the existential one. 

However, like I say, I don't claim that this was necessarily something conscious on anybody's part, since no human being I've ever encountered sees the films this way.  It was just my weird reading of it.  But when I came out of Toy Story 3 (the first one I saw, with my daughter who was 5 at the time) I was literally shaking with rage.  I have never hated a film with a blind, burning passion the way I hated TS3 when I first saw it.

I think the first film especially explores a child's fear of abandonment (children empathize with the toys, of course; but Buzz is essentially a new baby brother) and ultimately says "Don't worry. You will always be loved, even if you aren't getting all the attention you would like." Adults, meanwhile, recognize themselves in Andy, for whom the theme is "We don't stop loving our toys/friends just because we don't play/hang out with them anymore."

Your problem, I suppose, stems from your judging the toys as if they were rational adults reacting to the universe, a reading which was meant to be invalidated by the childish nature of the toys.

I kind of had your response to ParaNorman. The girl was accused of being a dangerous witch and... turned out to be a dangerous witch. Where was the miscarriage of justice? What lesson should I take away? "Accept and tolerate dangerous psychotics"?

I think the film is TRYING to say that she only became psychotic as a result of the mistreatment she received upon being falsely accused of DOING evil (as opposed to BEING a witch), which supports the idea of tolerating people for what they ARE and judging them only for what they DO.

Last edited by Zarban (2013-10-11 15:51:55)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I hate Titanic. I mean really hate it.

The romance is just awful, cloying, unrealistic, cliched claptrap. And it's stuck on top of a real-life tragedy.

There's even a bunch of bullshit about a fancy necklace and an evil fiance. And in the end the old Rose, who rejected her fiance because she found courage in her shipboard romance and lived a life modest want instead of wealth, reveals that she never even sold the stupid necklace--stolen from the evil fiance, not a gift from her true love/unwashed, homeless gambler of a back-seat lover. And she throws the damn thing in the ocean like that has any goddamn significance.

Besides, who takes a 100-year-old woman on a ship to the north Atlantic ocean in the first place? It's idiotic.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I thought the older version of Rose was going to spit over the side of the ship when she walked to the railing instead of the necklace showing up again.  That would have been way better.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I lolled.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I do not like "Fight Club."

I understand while many may like it, and the construction of the movie is fine. But, the nihilism of the film and the almost cardboard feeling of the characters I get makes it difficult to connect with them. When the end twist is revealed, it actually pulls me out of the movie because I sit there and analyze when his split happen, how that impacted his life, and why in the thunder hasn't he been arrested yet!

Then things blow up and I'm left going, "What?"

Doesn't work for me.

God loves you!

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I saw fight club at the right age, and adored and identified with the nihilism.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

bullet3 wrote:

Is he terrible? No, not by a long shot, but this internet hero-worship really needs to stop.

No it doesn't. If people genuinely feel that way about him, who cares? The sun still shines, the world still turns, life goes on.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

fireproof78 wrote:

the nihilism of the film

But the thing is, as explored in the WAYDM commentary, the movie really is not ultimately nihilistic. It's an optimistic look at a hopeful secular philosophy and humanity.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I'll actually sorta agree with fireproof to an extent. I enjoy the movie fine, the vibe, music, manic-energy is a lot of fun, but I think it's the kind of movie you love when you're 15-22, and after that you kinda grow out of it. It's just trying too hard and is super in your face.

Put another way, Fight Club feels like the work of a talented angry adolescent lashing out, and Zodiac is the work of a restrained master filmmaker, and I'm really glad Fincher moved in that direction.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Super Mario Bros is not a horrible movie.

I actually liked the whole "alternative universe that's populated by evolved lizards" plot line. Admittedly, it may not have been the best execution. Considering that the film is based on a game that features an Italian stereotype who kills turtles, befriends mushroom people, and smashes floating bricks with his head, it could have been worse.

Additionally, I thought Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper were good in their roles given what they had to work with.

What we got was a sloppy film but not entirely horrible one. I still hold the belief that, like Hook, had there been another rewrite we might have gotten something in the realms of Hellboy or Fifth Element.

Last edited by dj_bakerman (2013-10-11 21:26:25)

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