Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Joel Schumacher is a fucking fantastic director who gets a bad rap because he didn't take the batman franchise seriously. The guy's made a half dozen of my favorite flicks. I never understood why film nerds give him so much shit over a couple of batman movies. Sure, he made The Number 23 and Trespass (I've never seen them, but apparently they're both awful?), but he made 8mm, Phonebooth, The Client, Falling Down, Tigerland, The Lost Boys and fucking Flatliners. And he may have helped direct the smash hit "The Wiz" (He wrote it! SOMEONE WROTE THAT!!!)

I mean, seriously, he's earned at least a couple of shitty batman movies. Hell, I've heard a lot of people say that Batman Forever isn't really that bad. A guilty pleasure of a flick, yeah? Not for me, but it takes all kinds.

So yeah, the world needs to get over the couple of crap movies he's made. So he can't make a good flick that's targeting teenagers. The guy's fucking 90 or something. Cut the guy some slack.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Wow, Phonebooth and Falling Down were made by him? I loved both.

Sébastien Fraud
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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Death Proof is a thousand times better than Planet Terror.

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

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I love them both equally, in their own style. smile

Sébastien Fraud
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"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

We are living in the best time in history for movie lovers, bar none.*

Handicapping for Sturgeon's Law, ever-evolving technology is allowing filmmakers across the spectrum to conceive and create more engaging, imaginative films than ever before, and opening up new avenues for them to distribute them. Costs of production are dropping and the studio stranglehold on distribution is largely broken.

Add to that the fact that pretty much every worthwhile film made up to this point is at our fingertips -- most of them immediately available on demand, many in higher quality than anyone ever saw them even in their own time -- and it's hard to feel nostalgic for any "good old days" or Golden Ages.

(*Not the best time to WORK in movies, but that's something else.)

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31

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Here's an opinion that actually got someone to yell at me:

My Cousin Vinny is a truly great movie, and Marisa Tomei deserved her Oscar.

Okay, okay, I'll go ahead and walk back that Marisa assertion now. Forget the Oscar. But she was perfect in the role (those who feel her performance was way over-the-top unrealistic: I've got some cousins in Staten Island I'd like to introduce you to). I'd absolutely put it on the Perfect Movie shelf. The typecasting of Joe Pesci is more than made up for by the fucking-brilliant casting of Fred Gwynn as the ornery judge. (It's also a great example of a textbook Hollywood script in which the devices are just really well executed — the ticking clock, the ways stakes get raised, the third-act reversal — it all works the way it's supposed to.)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

The greatest actor of the 70's by a clear margin was John Cazale.  Their is not another actor in history who can make the claim that every movie they were ever in was nominated for Best Picture.  This is not a coincidence.  He was attracted to strong material, other actors were attracted to working with him, and he made everyone step their fucking game up.  Pound for Pound, he may be the greatest actor ever.

Eddie Doty

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Darth Praxus wrote:
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.

To clarify, I do not belief that the end message is nihilism, or that it doesn't have some sort of hopefulness to it. Also, as I mentioned, it is a technically well done film.

However, the nihilism of the characters, not the film's ultimate theme, is what is the disconnect for me. To me, The Narrator (Edward Norton) is unsympathetic, and childish. I feel little connection to him and only understand his plight in the sense that I sometimes hate my job and can't sleep.

I can see how it can can resonate with many people, but it isn't for me and I hardly see it as the almost cult classic it has become.

God loves you!

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Zarban wrote:

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.

Yes, I think you're definitely right in terms of where the harshness of my reaction is coming from, but I'm not entirely persuaded that I'm wrong about that (not that I have to be, of course).  In other words, I'm maybe not willing to let the toys (and perhaps by extension the film) off the hook so easily. 

I'm not sure I can quite put this coherently, but while the universe the toys are in is a child's universe, the toys are themselves not 'children' within that universe, in the sense of being inexperienced, needing guidance, or not being full participants in that universe.  From their point of view, their universe has rules, and that includes a "higher power" that ministers to their deepest emotional needs as beings in that universe -- toys that desperately want and need to be played with -- which they have a great deal of experience with.  So this is different from, say, replicants in Blade Runner.  Replicants are, in an emotional sense, precisely children in an adult's universe.  So I think it's fairer to see the toys more as adults within the context of that, and therefore expect at least the 'hero' toy to have a more 'experienced' or 'mature' reaction.  (We of course all know from Contaigon, The Towering Inferno, every-war-movie-ever-made that adults don't always, and maybe often don't, react maturely or rationally, but in a mainstream drama Our Hero is supposed to.) 

The other point too is that I think Woody's faith is universe-internally irrational, given the reactions/apparent knowledge displayed by the other toys.  And therefore it's intellectually dishonest of the film to support it (if it indeed does that).  So in addition to the fact that, as far as they know, Andy himself (or someone with Andy's approval) has put them in a box marked "Garage Sale" or "Daycare Center" or whatever, the other toys know something's up/have heard rumors about kids who put their toys aside, etc. etc.  So clearly it's not that the issue is unknown, or incomprehensible or anything. 

Floating around here also I think is the difference between sympathy and empathy.  We can sympathize with the replicants (and their emotional/psychological plight), but we don't empathize with them in the sense that they're not an audience substitute.  We understand what they don't understand and why they don't understand.  But to the extent that the intention is that the children empathize with the toys, and Woody specifically, the film's message regarding the inciting incident of the drama seems to be "just have blind faith, contradicted by virtually all known experience given the changed circumstances."  It's exactly what people complain about with respect to Prometheus, and it's not a message I'd want my children to take away from a film.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I made any sense, or actually said anything different there, but I think this is all really interesting.  It does seem like something unusual is going on with these films.  Or it could just be me.

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.

Pretty sure I've said this somewhere before, but whatevs. The UK version of The Office is not a good show. It's just not funny. The US version lost a lot of steam by the end, but at its peak it was heads and shoulders above its predecessor.

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

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I agree. Office UK is just too mean-spirited, and David Brent is actively nasty. Michael's insecurities may have made him nasty sometimes, but at his core he was a decent person. David never was.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I was smiling and nodding at Doc Sub's post, until I realized he said the UK version was no good.  I first read it as USsmile

It's true that Brent was an unsympathetic character, but he also repeatedly brought disaster upon himself as a result.   It's also worth noting that the UK Office only ran for six episodes, and then another six, by design.  Basil Fawlty probably would have become unbearable after a hundred episodes, too. 

This is someone's cue to say that Fawlty Towers is overrated.   I teed it up nicely for you...

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

And if you do and genuinely mean it I shall hunt you down and destroy you. Just putting that out there.

I don't think the UK Office is too mean-spirited. David Brent does find some sort of redemption in the final episode (the second Christmas special) when he finds a woman who likes him for who he is. And him telling Finchy to 'fuck off' was a great piece of TV. He was sticking up for the woman and it was a side to Brent we hadn't seen before. Plus, he finally gets his co-workers to genuinely laugh at a joke of his, it was a lovely ending. Sod that Tim and Dawn kiss scene, Brent's ending was more satisfying for me.

Last edited by Jimmy B (2013-10-12 20:35:14)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

That's all true. Maybe if the UK Office had run for 100 episodes it would have done something as good as "Dinner Party" or "Scott's Tots" or "Broke" or "Safety Training." But it didn't. So the US version will always have two dozen or so all-time classic episodes that the UK version doesn't.

Last edited by Doctor Submarine (2013-10-12 20:48:32)

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

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I'm glad it didn't, it knew not to outstay its welcome.

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41

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Ah man, I still adore The Office UK. But I can see why you guys don't. When you stop and look at him, David Brent is a really fucked-up human being.

SPOILER Show
I still wince rather than laugh when he shows up to a blind date, finds that the woman is overweight (but no more so than he) and shows visible disgust. I think because the woman looks like such a sweet person, the moment almost plays as the opposite of comedy. It's just depressing and fucked-up. We realize that the reason the woman looks so nervous about this date is probably because she's had to put up with people like David her whole life. Which is, I fully admit, not funny.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I can stand the US version of the Office at a rate of about 1 episode every 3 years. And I tried watching the UK version once, I think I got about 10 minutes inbefore I was like KNOPEBYETHEN.

If the US version didn't have Michael I think I'd probably enjoy most of it, but as it is, trying to watch it, is like being forced to spend the weekend at your one really really annoying, but weirdly popular at school, half cousins house, the one that just found out about the "I'm not touching you" game that morning and does it CONSTANTLY, and who's mom just stands in the background going "Oh now that's cute." As she takes pictures and puts them on the fridge as your blood slowly boils because you can't punch him in the gut because then YOU'RE the dick you punched the popular kid.

I think my metaphor started to get a little confused there... but I think it get's my feelings across.

TL;DR...not a fan. Probably the reason I have a reactionary flight response for Steve Carrell despite the other stuff I do like him in.

But like I said, if it weren't for Michael there's stuff I do like. John Krasinski and Jenna Fisher are consistently the best parts about it...oddly they are also the straight men, so take that for what it's worth.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-10-12 22:12:53)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Rob wrote:

Ah man, I still adore The Office UK. But I can see why you guys don't. When you stop and look at him, David Brent is a really fucked-up human being.

SPOILER Show
I still wince rather than laugh when he shows up to a blind date, finds that the woman is overweight (but no more so than he) and shows visible disgust. I think because the woman looks like such a sweet person, the moment almost plays as the opposite of comedy. It's just depressing and fucked-up. We realize that the reason the woman looks so nervous about this date is probably because she's had to put up with people like David her whole life. Which is, I fully admit, not funny.

Yeah, see, the whole show is that scene, to me. Just that kind of ugliness over and over. Not fun, even in a "so uncomfortable it's funny" way.

Doctor Submarine wrote:

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.

Out of curiosity I started watching THE INNKEEPERS this evening.

Yeah, no. I pulled the ripcord after about 10 minutes of the two jagoff protagonists having inane conversations about nothing. I assume there are ghosts and I wish them success in dismembering these hipster fucks.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

If we're talking about TV, here's one:

I consider myself a big Joss Whedon fan, and a solid fan of Buffy, and I can't stand the "Once More With Feeling" episode - the musical from Season 6.

I guess I gotta give him props for trying it, and for not using it on a throwaway episode (it's an absolutely key episode in that season's arc), but, as a writer of musicals, he's an excellent television director.  Actually, the stuff is not bad, just horribly, horribly unnecessary.  Bland, journeyman-level writing that sounds like it came from whichever hack wrote the latest high-concept Broadway show. 

And it's doubly infuriating, because, in my opinion (though not everyone's, as we've seen), he's an excellent writer.  Earlier on in the season, Buffy makes a key revelation to Spike, and makes him swear not to tell the others, and it's an almost unbearably moving scene.  So, I'm thinking, "man, when the rest of the gang find out, this is going to be one of the greatest TV moments ever", and it turns out that the rest of the gang find out via a number that sounds like it was dropped from "Alzheimer's: The Musical". 

Unbelievably disappointing (and a large part of what's still keeping me from seeing Dr Horrible).

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.

sellew wrote:

Unbelievably disappointing (and a large part of what's still keeping me from seeing Dr Horrible).

Dude. Okay. I haven't seen any Buffy, least of all the musical episode. But I am here to tell you, please for the love of all the gods, let nothing get in your way of moving in a direct line towards the nearest copy of Dr Horrible. Seriously.

If you won't do it for yourself, just do it for me. Please.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Zarban wrote:

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.

Totally agree with this. I hate this movie. Even in an attempt to re-watch it for the WAYDM commentary, I gave up after about an hour in to it.

The story of Jack and Rose (mostly, Rose) just doesn't work for me, at all. I can see that there is a solid structure underneath, but the heart of the movie is dead on arrival. Under ordinary circumstances, I would just be meh, but the one thing that has always pissed me off about this movie was when old Rose throws that damnned necklace overboard at the end.

Just thinking about it now has got me a bit annoyed.

I mean, in the beginning, the guys were only interested in finding the necklace. The old woman wanted to teach them that there was much more valuable things that were lost that day by telling them her story. Unfortunately, I think her story sucks, but the Bill Paxton character seemed convinced. Now having learned his lesson (and facing financial ruin) why on Earth does she not give him the fucking necklace at the end? She totally got what she wanted, a chance to tell her story, relive her memories in a place very important to her, and impress upon a younger generation the significance of the tragedy. Those men were the only ones who were able to give that to her and all they wanted was the necklace. Seeing as how the necklace itself had no value to her, I'm bewildered as to why she decided to fuck them over by throwing it in sea rather than rewarding them for listening to her.

Honestly, I sat in the theater feeling like it was a big "fuck you" to me as an audience member. I know it wasn't intentional and there are definitely other movies that are far, far worse than Titanic, but I still think that is one of the worst endings to a movie I've ever seen. Notting Hill is probably the only movie whose ending enrages me more.

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

I really debated about posting this, at fear of shattering what little credibility I might have around here. But it's 3 in the morning and I just got home from an awesome night of improv and movie making and I'm in a good mood, so fuck it.

(This opinion and defense of, is pretty much limited to the big tent-poley blockbustery movies, keep that in mind)



I don't care about Visual Effects. I just don't. Anyone who walks up to me and tells me I NEED to see this movie because the visual effects are AMAZING is more likely to send me into a fit of annoyance than actually drive me to see the movie. Huge visual effects have become a known quantity, there is nothing spectacular or amazing about having a really cool looking (Insert name of ANYTHING you can think of here). Literally, NOTHING. It has become a matter of money, if you have the money, they will make a model, texture, animate and comp it, and it will look fucking awesome.

Filmmakers are gifted with an endless landscape, they can create anything, do anything, make anything they want, with absolutely zero restrictions. Photoreal army of blue 14ft tall aliens in a completely CG jungle planet? Done. New York destroyed by 150 ft tall robots fighting 200ft tall monsters? Done. A fully expressive and entirely empathetic shriveled human creature? Done. (And those are SINGLE SCENES in whole movies of THOSE scenes) There is nothing they could draw, design, or write that could not be done.

So why the fuck should I care anymore? Why on earth would I get excited to see another photoreal thing slamming into another photoreal thing while flying through a really cool environment that explodes around them? There's 10 of those movies coming out this weekend, and the visual effects will ALL be AMAZING.

"But wait a minute BDA, aren't you that asshole that defends Avatar because it's so cool?"

Yes rhetorical question voice, I am. But not because of the VFX. The world of Pandora is absolutely fascinating, it's intricate, detailed and entirely fantastical. It shows me things I've never seen before, it takes me somewhere I will never get to go, somewhere that doesn't exist, but with every fiber of my being I wish did. The world of Avatar is AMAZING, it's beautiful. And yes, it's because of the Visual Effects that I get to go to Pandora, but Cameron has the exact same resources as EVERY OTHER filmmaker out there (Remember my coda at the start: who are making these sorts of movies), and he made THIS with it, something majestic and unique (Stop your sniggering, I'm talking about the world of Avatar), while, what is everyone else making? More skyscrapers being destroyed, more giant robots, more superheroes throwing cars at peoples heads, more...moreness. The same thing over and over again with a new label. And you expect me to get excited because they look good??

If you haven't guessed this whole line of thought was brought on by the buzz of Gravity going on right now. I'm not gonna talk about Gravity itself as I've yet to see it and my early inability to give a shit about it has been swayed a bit by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to it, so I am going to hold any thoughts til I see it. But what does relate to this is how the movie keeps being sold to me by friends and acquaintances and just generally being talked about. I've seen a million comments about how spectacular the visual effects are, how astounding the technical achievements of this movie are, as if that's the end all and be all of a movies worth. Granted, I have heard people tell me how beautiful it is, or how breathtaking the experience of being in the situation is, which is more than I can say for most movies I'm talking about with this opinion.

But here's the thing, Visual Effects has reached a point where anything can exist, any fever dream creature of the maddest man can be made reality, a slightly new technique or a refinement of something previous might have to be invented but at the end of the day it's far from impossible.

"But BDA, Gravity took like 5 years to make and they had to invent a bunch of new stuff to make it."

Yep. And it's there, looking amazing isn't it? It didn't fall on it's face or wind up looking like Toddlers First 3D Package, they made it. (Again, not a great example for my general argument because what Gravity is showing us is actually pretty awesome and unique and a solid win in my books for use of vfx (Even if from what I hear it has less live action plates than Wall-E...sorry, right, haven't seen it, not judging, back to point); but Gravity is what started all this, so here we are)

So when you tell me I NEED to see this movie because the vfx are AMAZING, and you point me at Transformers 16, or Star Trek 5: The Ghost of Not Khan, I don't care, I can't care, when someone gets handed a blank cheque and is told to "Go have fun" and they go buy themselves their usual at the greasy spoon diner around the corner with it, I find it really hard to give a damn.

PPS: On reading this through I realize I sound kinda anti-"the filmmakers making the splosion movies", which I'm not really. I get why these movies keep getting made, powers way over their heads and such, all those things we've spent 4 years talking about. This is more of a general rant against the idea of visual effects in and off themselves as the end all selling point of a movie, and why I will hold movies like Avatar over other so-called orgies of visual spectacular.

PPS: There's also possibly a point to be made that movies like Avatar and Gravity push the envelope of what is generally considered the box VFX sits in, so when they push out and make it work they are lauded as these incredible feats of visual effects prowess, despite using primarily the same techniques as every other VFX film out there just with a bigger idea behind it. I don't know, I'm still thinking a lot about this, and I'm sure my opinion will roll around a bit as I try to figure out where to land on all this. But for the moment, here it is.

PPPS: I have no idea if this qualifies under "Controversial Film Opinion" as Teague intended, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot, and am pretty sure isn't exactly a popular idea, if the internet and my friends are anything to go by, so I wanted to get it out there.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-10-13 10:37:53)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

Sorry BDA I can tell you poured your heart and soul into that but I don't think I've met anyone who works in VFX who doesn't think along those lines  big_smile

Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

That's fair enough, and honestly I wouldn't expect anything less. One of the down sides of hanging out on place where so many other VFXers are I suppose. But even then, I still hear the idea of "The visual effects are so amazing you need to see this thing" or "well the visual effects are great so just turn your brain off and enjoy the pretty pictures" being thrown around on here a lot too and it just kinda hits right in a weird place that I can't identify.

Either way, read this as an unpopular opinion among most people who aren't vfx/film people then - shrugs-

It was still good to just get it out of my head, and it's been a while since I went on a good rant, so it was fun to write tongue

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-10-13 11:00:13)

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Re: Defend your most controversial film opinion.

BigDamnArtist wrote:

PPS: There's also possibly a point to be made that movies like Avatar and Gravity push the envelope of what is generally considered the box VFX sits in, so when they push out and make it work they are lauded as these incredible feats of visual effects prowess, despite using primarily the same techniques as every other VFX film out there just with a bigger idea behind it.

It's only 7pm here, so I feel entirely justified in yet again replying to someone else's very good post, and here I am agreeing again.


VFX matter very, very little to me. In all likelihood, I'm only going to notice them if I'm already enjoying everything else the movie has to offer; if I'm not enjoying it, the VFX bring me no subsequent joy. It's all just a lot of sound and fury signifying a ridiculous budget wasted on film I will never watch again.

I don't have to deal with all of the hype for Gravity, but I also haven't heard very much praise for anything other than the VFX, which makes it unlikely I will ever see this movie.

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