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Old 09.22.2017, 07:25 AM   #21541
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The Forest

A good/interesting idea with some genuinely creepy moments, but the whole thing's cheapened somewhat by too many jump scares.
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Old 09.22.2017, 07:59 AM   #21542
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!

hm, i wonder how the wire looks in retrospective. i'd like to rewatch it soon. classic? or masterpiece? (my money is on masterpiece)

I liked The Wire but it never hit me the way I hoped it would. After the 2nd season (my favourite) it seemed to get a little too preachy.I got the idea in season 1. I respect these are big issues in the US and the Wire is maybe the 1st time they've been given serious exposure within a semi-mainstream drama but purely as drama, I wouldn't put it in the same league as something like The Sopranos. I get the feeling The Wire is celebrated more for what it said than how it said it. Still a zillion times better than Treme, though.
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Old 09.22.2017, 08:19 AM   #21543
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after many tv-only weeks finally had a chance to see a couple of movies recently:

MIKE LEIGH'S "ALL OR NOTHING" (2002)

 


most of this movie looks exactly as drab as that still above, and while at the beginning you may wonder what's wrong with your tv later you realize the asthetic of it favors realism over cinematographic gloss. it's almost like home video, but with more skillful camera work, for a portrayal of... social realism? or something. it's depressing as fuck for most of the 2 or so hours and makes you wonder why people have to be so miserable, but it's also highly watchable because of the interesting characters, and the little stories that develop between them, and how great the cast works together. i won't discuss the end here, but overall i liked the movie a lot.

"COCO CHANEL AND IGOR STRAVINSKY" (2009)

 


in many ways the opposite of the one above, this one relies on a lot of beauty shots and great looking sets and musical interludes and elegant sexy scenes to conceal the fact that there's very little story stretched over a lot of ground here.

rather than dramatically this works almost through allusion to once again refry the old myth of genius feeding off everyone else, but this time oh, it's two geniuses who devour each other (or something). but it doesn't look at it critically or really through characters, but more through imagery and sound, and overall feels like this was meant to be the audiovisual demonstration of something you were supposed to already know? it was not unwatchable, but it felt like a flop.
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Old 09.22.2017, 08:33 AM   #21544
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
I liked The Wire but it never hit me the way I hoped it would. After the 2nd season (my favourite) it seemed to get a little too preachy.I got the idea in season 1. I respect these are big issues in the US and the Wire is maybe the 1st time they've been given serious exposure within a semi-mainstream drama but purely as drama, I wouldn't put it in the same league as something like The Sopranos. I get the feeling The Wire is celebrated more for what it said than how it said it. Still a zillion times better than Treme, though.
well yes as a drama sopranos had a central character with a very long arc so there was a person to follow. and the other characters too had their individual arcs. so it allowed for more and better... drama.

the wire had characters coming in and out but nobody was central because indeed "the issues" were the object. you're right that it said things that needed to be said and it was celebrated for it, but i also see it as a development in that it broke the american/hollywood convention of "the hero" (or antihero) as the center of the universe-- the cult of the individual at the core of american ideology.

the wire rather focused on social relations, and that maybe made it look preachy, but i didn't see it that way. they were trying to portray... social forces, not individuals, so it's a matter of focus. and sure enough, the individual gets swept away by forces they can't control in spite of their heroic efforts and delusions (or antiheroic superpowers). a bit of a return to pre-stalin soviet cinema in a way.

i've said this before but i think lukács would have loved the wire. and for that to me it's the better show, because it really defies hollywood narrative conventions beyond pure style changes, and it shows "the real" better than the red pill of morpheus-- the wire is ideological and critical in a way no other show is, except maybe for breaking bad, which uses individual antihero dramatics as a device to tear american capitalism and family values a new asshole.
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Old 09.22.2017, 09:20 AM   #21545
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
well yes as a drama sopranos had a central character with a very long arc so there was a person to follow. and the other characters too had their individual arcs. so it allowed for more and better... drama.

the wire had characters coming in and out but nobody was central so in a way "the issues" were the object. you're right that it said things that needed to be said and it was celebrated for it, but i also see it as a development in that it broke the american/hollywood convention of "the hero" (or antihero) as the center of the universe-- the cult of the individual at the core of american ideology.

the wire rather focused on social relations, and that maybe made it look preachy, but i didn't see it that way. they were trying to portray... social forces, not individuals, so it's a matter of focus. and sure enough, the individual gets swept away by forces they can't control in spite of their heroic delusions or antiheroic superpowers. a bit of a return to pre-stalin soviet cinema in a way.

i've said this before but i think lukács would have loved the wire. and for that to me it's the better show, because it really defies hollywood narrative conventions beyond pure style changes, and it shows "the real" better than the red pill of morpheus-- the wire is ideological and critical in a way no other show is, except maybe for breaking bad, which uses individual antihero dramatics as a device to tear american capitalism and family values a new asshole.

 


Haha, yeah, I know Family Guy is the enemy. But what you said made me think of this.

I have STILL not seen the Wire in its entirety. Not even close, actually. I watched a few when it was still new. I remember thinking Baltimore was the “protagonist” and different social systems and institutions in the city were kind of the “antagonists,” but honestly... I didn’t watch enough to really know shit, and I think the main reason I bothered at all was because Tom Waits did the theme song for the second (right?) season... so... yeah, I should probably watch it.

My gut reaction is to say Sopranos is a better drama, but I watched every season of Sopranos and followed those assholes for eight years. Hah.

Speaking strictly of things I know, I’d have to place Breaking Bad above Sopranos. I think part of this is due to my own hang-ups about violent sexuality and über masculinity. Sopranos was an uncomfortable viewing experience for me for many reasons, but one of them was the way Tony and other main characters treated women (Carmela was my favorite character by leaps and bounds). Breaking Bad presented an entirely different kind of make anti-hero, one inspired by desperation and survival and so on. Borderline asexual, so none of that over physical mistreatment of women was really taking place. Again that’s a personal hang-up of mine, and maybe I’m just super fucked up.

But I think Breaking Bad was informed by the Sopranos, and took a similar model and applied it to a completely different situation. An Everyman, everyfamily situation. And I think it was a few levels above Sopranos in terms of writing, cinematography, artistic and ambitious storytelling, and possibly acting as well.

Plus, Breaking Bad has a central protagonist who was actually relatable. Not talking about Walter. I’m talking about Jesse. Jesse was the “hero” and Walter was the villain of that story. I know morality is so pre-2000s, but it’s still helpful when constructing a narrative that resonates with people.
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Old 09.22.2017, 09:57 AM   #21546
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I get the feeling The Wire was popular mainly with people who, to a large degree, shared David Simon's politics, whereas I'd say anyone could watch The Sopranos and find something (or someone) they could resonate with.

My favourite character was also Carmela, but I also loved uncle Junior. God knows what that says about me.
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Old 09.22.2017, 11:20 AM   #21547
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hey, guys

there's a tv thread. All that being said, my favorite character was Johnny Sacramoni
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Old 09.22.2017, 11:22 AM   #21548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
I get the feeling The Wire was popular mainly with people who, to a large degree, shared David Simon's politics, whereas I'd say anyone could watch The Sopranos and find something (or someone) they could resonate with.

My favourite character was also Carmela, but I also loved uncle Junior. God knows what that says about me.

i think the wire is popular with people who want more out of tv than just entertainment. people who like nature shows or historical documentaries and things like that--no doubt. it was able to blend highly addictive entertainment with incisive sociological observations. it was interesting and illuminating maybe like a ken burns documentary, but way more exciting.

when i used the word ideological i meant it as examining the assumptions that make up everyday life, and are a little like the air we breathe-- in america things like "freedom" and "democracy" and "free enterprise" and "individual responsiblity" and "equality before the law" and so forth are essential to everyday life. (i think at this point though people know that equality before the law is a huge myth and money buys the best lawyers, but the others myths still stand.)

i didn't mean ideological as trying to advance a political program, the way for example aaron sorkin does. that's more like indoctrination. just meant it as questioning the dominant ideology.

but yes, the wire actually taught me things about the world-- or put ideas together that i had only as vague intuitions. and yes some of it resonated with my experiences-- i've had real interactions with high ranking bureaucrats whose firm belief was that their job was that of juking the stats--one even said so to me in a job interview. and yes i've seen generations upon generations of idealists trying to make a difference only to end up bitter and empty handed.

i'm not a communist in the least, i'm not even sure i'd qualify as a leftist, but i find lukács's ideas on realism in the novel interesting. he followed the marxist notion that the social is the reality we inhabit and worked in literature to show that a certain type of novel portrayed this reality best (e.g. balzac, who was actually a royalist) as opposed to, say, romantics or surrealists.

one doesn't have to be a marxist to see how artificially placing everything on the individual limits art. looking at the social isn't the exclusive province of marxists. but it's rarely the province of american entertainment, which is always about the struggles of "the hero"-- and this hero cult gets tiring.

the universed is crisscrossed by huge, impersonal forces, from gravity to collective stupidity, and it's refreshing to have a mass entertainment that deals with those forces one every decade or so, just like it's great to have shows about astronomy or those richard attenborough documentaries. something that illuminates reality with the light of intelligence beyond our everyday habits of thought. even if that reality is not pleasant. which reminds me i need to catch the new ken burns documentary on vietnam.

(sopranos too dealt with themes beyond the individual-- things like family systems and dysfunction being handed down from one generation to the next-- but it ultimately all revolved about the individual tony soprano and his inability to change. what can i learn from it? "avoid the baddies, they can't be fixed." and i do. really enjoyed the show though. just didn't learn anything from it. my favorite character... hm... silvio! also furio. also junior was hilarious yeah.)
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Old 09.22.2017, 01:25 PM   #21549
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I'm not making any big claims, just that I've found most people I know who watched (and stuck with) The Wire tended to be quite firmly in the left-liberal/progressive camp. Also, while most fans of the Wire that I've met seemed to at least quite like The Sopranos, I know a few quite hardcore Sopranos fans who really can't stand The Wire.
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Old 09.22.2017, 02:22 PM   #21550
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i was the one making big claims though--about the place of the wire in the "tv as great literature" camp, and i'll stand by those.

but yes, about ideological preferences, i suppose there is a divide.

the wire if anything shows that most if not all problems in life *cannot* be solved by a cowboy with a gun--which is another of those nasty fantasies that inform american ideology. so much of hollywood was built around that. just shoot the right people! and all will be well. fans of ronnie raygun cleaning up cities and shooting drug dealers (just say no!) will be disappointed here.

the wire takes a tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity that is more often found in left/liberal types. no easy answers to difficult problems in it. no happy endings. no real endings, even-- just cycle upon cycle of repetition.

it makes you think and it gives you headaches.

fans of cop shows that wrap crimes neatly at the conclusion with the triumph of good over evil, like so many copshows that reinforce the notion that all is well with the world except for a few "bad apples" will hate the wire.

so... you're probably right there. the wire breaks a lot of conventions people are accustomed to. yes, there will be boos from the audience. "you mean they worked so hard... for nothing??"

as for fans of sopranos i imagine the base to be broader, sure, and the reasons to like it more varied, including "wrong reasons" like the glorification of wealth and violence and power. back in the early 2000 you had business types going "badabing, badaboom" at the office. sure. it was a big deal. huge ratings. unlike the wire, which struggled.

sopranos is a great drama, but it makes fewer demands, and stays within the confines of what drama does--- except for putting an antihero at the center of it, which admittedly was huge at the time. without it we wouldnt have had breaking bad or mad men.
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Old 09.22.2017, 02:32 PM   #21551
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rewatching Dark Knight Rises with the wife who had not seen it but is a big Hardy fanatic. halfway through. and will finish it tonght. I recently rewatched the one with ledger, and while the Joker scenes and plot were awesome, the harvey dent shit was lame.

I really am enjoying this one a lot more than when I first saw it. At the time I had not read the Bane storyline in the comics so I found the movie a bit lame, but I am digging it now. plus, between Julie Newmar and Anne Hathaway that really brings my Catwoman sexual obsession full circle. oh yeahhhh.......
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Old 09.22.2017, 10:20 PM   #21552
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rewatching Dark Knight Rises with the wife who had not seen it but is a big Hardy fanatic. halfway through. and will finish it tonght. I recently rewatched the one with ledger, and while the Joker scenes and plot were awesome, the harvey dent shit was lame.

I really am enjoying this one a lot more than when I first saw it. At the time I had not read the Bane storyline in the comics so I found the movie a bit lame, but I am digging it now. plus, between Julie Newmar and Anne Hathaway that really brings my Catwoman sexual obsession full circle. oh yeahhhh.......

Dark Knight is a better picture but Dark Knight Rises ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

Best mainstream film trilogy ever, probably.
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Old 09.23.2017, 09:46 AM   #21553
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Dark Knight is a better picture but Dark Knight Rises ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

Best mainstream film trilogy ever, probably.
where's the family guy batman meme!
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Old 09.23.2017, 04:01 PM   #21554
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where's the family guy batman meme!

Don’t think there is one. But there should be.
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Old 09.23.2017, 04:06 PM   #21555
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Maybe there is a Family Guy Batman thing...

 
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Old 09.24.2017, 11:49 AM   #21556
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just watched for the first time ever THE TRUMAN SHOW

 


i purposefully avoided it during its heyday somewhere in the late 90s

i see as its ancestors both "the prisoner" (the 60s tv show) and "pleasantville" and obvious reality shows like that mtv one i can't recall the name.

but i think that, more interestingly, it probably begat "the matrix" -- not in its ideas which are as old as the human ape ("what's real?" "is there another world?") but in probably making it possible for hollywood executives to greenlight such a story. or... i don't know. only 1 year apart? but it feels to me like 2 different eras.

i didn't know that truman show had been directed by peter weir. if i had, i probably would have watched it earlier. o well! looks like i missed out ha ha. tuff titties. caught up eventually. also the writer of this directed gattaca? hmmm...
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Old 09.24.2017, 12:35 PM   #21557
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just watched for the first time ever THE TRUMAN SHOW

 


i purposefully avoided it during its heyday somewhere in the late 90s

i see as its ancestors both "the prisoner" (the 60s tv show) and "pleasantville" and obvious reality shows like that mtv one i can't recall the name.

but i think that, more interestingly, it probably begat "the matrix" -- not in its ideas which are as old as the human ape ("what's real?" "is there another world?") but in probably making it possible for hollywood executives to greenlight such a story. or... i don't know. only 1 year apart? but it feels to me like 2 different eras.

i didn't know that truman show had been directed by peter weir. if i had, i probably would have watched it earlier. o well! looks like i missed out ha ha. tuff titties. caught up eventually. also the writer of this directed gattaca? hmmm...


Gattaca has been called the most underrated science fiction film of all time. I forget by whom. Some website. Anyway, I’ve never seen Gattaca, but I kinda doubt this is true.

Truman Show is a good movie. You might be onto something with the Matrix comparison. Remember too that Blair Witch Project came out around this time, so the “meta-narrative” was starting to seep into film on a mainstream level.

I didn’t know it was directed by Peter Weir either. Why didn’t I know that?

Truman Show was up for Best Picture. Just sayin’. I retain trivial shit.

ETA: OH MY GOD THIS IS WHY I RECOGNIZE STAN BEEMAN FROM “THE AMERICANS”!!!
Noah Emmerich was in the Truman Show! Shit! I’ve been puzzling about this for WEEKS.

I Googled the Peter Weir thing, and BAM! the question that’s been tickling the back of my brain was just answered. Jesus, Slambang, get out of my subconscious or whatever!
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Old 09.24.2017, 01:09 PM   #21558
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YES. THIS MORNING I WAS LIKE: AGENT BEEMAN UNDERCOVER LYING BASTARD!!!

true about the meta stuff. all so meta now. later we had inception, etc.

it's a gen-xer thing i think.

at least as far as obsessions go. holy mountain did it first with the zoom out showing the crew. but it wasn't a norm then.

gattaca was alright. i liked it. i didn't think it was O MAMA DIS GREAT DIS BESTEST MOOBY YESS. no. it was a nice movie. sort of pkdickish. well done, well shot, good actors, a little sad, just right for its time even with ethan hawke and uma while they were married (see, very gen-xer). as for underrated dont know anyone who said it was bad?

anyway checkit if you wanna. it's pretty, pretty good...

"of all time." lol.
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Old 09.24.2017, 01:58 PM   #21559
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forgot to say, last night rewatched MANHATTAN, which i had not seen in ages.

first i thought it was older than annie hall, but no--it came right after. it's just that it's shot in black and white that makes it look older.

and it's a pretty great movie! BUT-- this time i could not get over the creepy aspect of a 42 year old dating a high school kid. i kept detaching from the story repeatedly because of it, and thinking "this is so fucking wrong."

so yes like ebert says it's not a love story, it's a story of loss and dysfunctional relationships, sure, and it's great black and white cinematography and those scenes with gershwin were fantastc, and little mariel heming way was great in it, but seeing how she was actually 18 at the time and woody allen slobbering over her in a horse carriage it was a bit gag-worthy.

i wanted to like it more but it was like a harsh staticky noise or worse, like a needle skipping on a scratched vinyl record and you're like "this is a great tune!" and then "akkkkhhhhhhh, my ears!"

 


ewwww! creeptastic!

but otherwise a really good movie about neurotic intellectuals/pseudointellectuals in new york at its cultural peak
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Old 09.24.2017, 05:07 PM   #21560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
forgot to say, last night rewatched MANHATTAN, which i had not seen in ages.

first i thought it was older than annie hall, but no--it came right after. it's just that it's shot in black and white that makes it look older.

and it's a pretty great movie! BUT-- this time i could not get over the creepy aspect of a 42 year old dating a high school kid. i kept detaching from the story repeatedly because of it, and thinking "this is so fucking wrong."

so yes like ebert says it's not a love story, it's a story of loss and dysfunctional relationships, sure, and it's great black and white cinematography and those scenes with gershwin were fantastc, and little mariel heming way was great in it, but seeing how she was actually 18 at the time and woody allen slobbering over her in a horse carriage it was a bit gag-worthy.

i wanted to like it more but it was like a harsh staticky noise or worse, like a needle skipping on a scratched vinyl record and you're like "this is a great tune!" and then "akkkkhhhhhhh, my ears!"

 


ewwww! creeptastic!

but otherwise a really good movie about neurotic intellectuals/pseudointellectuals in new york at its cultural peak

All true, all true.

Still, “Manhattan” is a great film. It really is. It’s defintiely super fucked up, and nobody should EVER act like it’s not. Woody is fucked up. But it’s a great movie from several different angles. Acting, cinematography, screenwriting, MUSIC OH MY GOD!! It’s just one of those movies.

It’s not even his best. “Annie Hall” is his best, in my dumb opinion, but I dig “Manhattan” big time. Used to have a huge framed poster from the movie in my first apartment.
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