Cinecast Episode 107 – Curioser and Curioser

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Episode 107:
Benjamin Button, The Reader, Top 7 performances of 2008 and a clunky rehash of the year in general. DVD picks and more.
Thanks again for listening!

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Below the fold are the Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 107:

  • Intro music: :00 – 2:06
  • Opening crap: :24 – 6:32
  • Benjamin Button: 6:33 – 36:48
  • The Reader: 36:49 – 1:02:58
  • Top 7 Performances of 2008: 1:03:00 – 1:33:32
  • 2008 Year in Review: 1:33:33 – 2:05:36
  • DVD picks: 2:05:37 – 2:11:32
  • Closing stuff: 2:11:33 – 2:12:16
  • Outro Music:2:10:57 – 2:13:34

Bumper Music (with iTunes links) provided by:

The Monkees
“The Monkees”
AND
Mates of State
“Now”


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What we watched lately:


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

R3view


The Reader:

Andrew’s review


Top 7 Performances of 2008:

Andrew:
7) Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona/Elegy)
6) Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
5) Leonardo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road)
4) Stanley Townsend (Happy-Go-Lucky)
3) Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky)
2) Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)
1) Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married)

Kurt:
7) Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona/Elegy)
6) James Franco (Pineapple Express/Milk)
5) Stephen McHattie (Pontypool)
4) Chiwetel Ejiofor (Redbelt)
3) Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky)
2) Benecio Del Toro (Che)
1) Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

Kurt’s Character Actor Highlight over at Twitch (In reference to Michael Shannon, Stephen McHattie and Rinko Kikuchi portion of the conversation)

2008 Flashback:

Bad Movies:
War Inc.
Indiana Jones IV
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Untraceable (so bad we forgot to mention it!)

Comic Book Movies:
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II
Wanted
Iron Man

DIY/POV Movies:
Cloverfield
[*rec] Quarantine
Diary of the Dead
Rachel Getting Married
Son of Rambow
Be Kind, Rewind

Genre Pictures:
Doomsday
Time Crimes
Let the Right One In
Pontypool
The Strangers
The Big Man Japan
The Signal
Right at Your Door

Animated films:
Wall-E
Waltz with Bashir
The Sky Crawlers
Kung Fu Panda
Horton Hears a Who
Igor

Movies No one Saw:
Transsiberian
Blindness
Paranoid Park
Boarding Gate
Boy A
Savage Grace
Shotgun Stories
Frozen River
Tell No One
The Fall
Snow Angels

Comedies:
Tropic Thunder
Pineapple Exdpress
Step Brothers (Will Farrel, NOT Will Smith I misspoke)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Country Wedding
White Night Wedding

Other mentions:
My Blueberry Nights
Doomsday
Man on Wire
Ballast
Slumdog Millionaire
Australia
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Synecdoche, NY
Idiot & Angels
Speed Racer
JCVD
Funny Games
Cassandra’s Dream
In Bruges


DVD Pick(s) for Tuesday, December 30th:

Kurt:
Woman on the Beach
Woman on the Beach
Kurt’s Review

Blu-Ray
Serenity
Serenity DVD

Andrew:
Blu-Ray
Serenity
Serenity DVD


Comments or questions?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

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Peter
Guest

Just thought I'd let you know some news about Repo! Been playing the Bloor Cinema and we've been getting a ridiculously large number of people coming to the screenings. There's about 30 people who come to every show, sing all the songs while in line and are putting together a shadow cast. I don't have to tell you how hellish those screening are.

I can't fathom how people could be this obsessed with the film.

Goon
Guest

add 'the Visitor' to 'movies no one saw'

see it! Richard Jenkins!

kurt
Guest

Nothing, to me is more baffling than the cult of REPO, and I love Cult films. For me the only cult film with REPO in the tile is REPO MAN. The guy from Buffy is no HARRY DEAN STANTON!

Henrik
Guest

Comments on show notes (won't listen because I have seen so little of what is talked about): Has Andrew seen The Wrestler? Mickey Rourke is not on your list.

Also, Kurt your twitch thingy, I looked at. Can't be bothered to 'set up an account' to comment over there so here, Mads Mikkelsen a character actor? You're joking! And the icelandic guy was nowhere near a joyous counterpart to anything (least of all Nicolas Bro was is cast against type in Offscreen which I assume is the movie that makes you think of him as not joyous, as he usually plays the fat idiot) in Börn.

Jay C.
Guest

Not sure if anyone has read this yet; in regards to the comparisons between Benjamin Button and Gump, a blogger has laid out a pretty dead on summary of the similarities that was recently linked on Ebert's site. I'll copy and paste it below and follow it up with the link:

"A Curious Case (Name That Film Pt 2)

Name that film:

A white man is born fatherless in the south with birth defects that lead many to think he may never walk nor live a normal life. His saintly mother believes in his potential anyway. At a young age, the man learns to walk and sheds his exoskeleton of locomotive aids. Around this time, he also meets the love of his life, a vivacious girl who grows into a bold woman who parts ways with the man to have her own wild adventures. Meanwhile, the man reaches adulthood, and puts in a wartime stint in the U.S. military. During this stint, the man proves at first an indifferent asset, but during his one firefight, he turns out to be very valuable, saving the day singlehandedly, while also witnessing the death of one of his best friends. The man also spends much time on a small ocean vessel, serving alongside a rowdy, grizzled, hard-drinking man of the sea. This salty sailor serves as one of our man’s two best male friends; the other is a black man who first teaches our man the lessons of friendship before departing forever.

Our man wanders all around the world, his life brushing up against key historical moments of the 20th century. At some point he returns to his childhood home, and his mother dies. The man comes into considerable wealth through blind luck. Around this time, his lifelong love returns from her adventures, ready to commit to him. During their brief time together, they conceive a child. The couple part ways, due to the woman’s perceived inability to take care of the man. He does not raise the child through its early years but later makes an appearance in its life. The woman eventually dies in bed from illness. The man’s later years are hardly touched on, even though the movie has lavished much attention on his early and middle years.

The entire story dwells repeatedly on the theme of life’s uncertainty and, in contrast, on the notion of fate or coincidence. The film’s symbol for these themes is a small object seen hovering improbably in the air. A narrative frame scene punctuates the story, as does the main character’s drawling voice-over.

Acceptable Answers:

Forrest Gump; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.*

* Both movies were written by Eric Roth, a man who now owes me seventeen dollars."

Pretty dead on. Here's the link to that guys site: http://madeinhead.org

For me, Benjamin Button lacked something. Mainly, I think the problem is that the growing old backwards thing just isn't as different than growing old forwards. A character in the film sums it up perfectly by saying something along the lines of 'well all start off in diapers and end in diapers'.

Jay C.
Guest

I suppose I got caught up in the aging backwards thing a little too much. I think that was one of the issues I had. The others were well represented by Kurt on this episode. I just didn't feel anything from any of the characters. Although unlike Kurt, I will probably give this another shot at some point.

Goon
Guest

hey, I loved Button and I actually agree that theres a whole lot of Gump comparisons, and that Eric Roth is deserving of some ridicule, even though he's written some other stuff I know you liked Jay (ie. Munich).

Anyways, without getting into it because in another thread i went on and on about it, it was Fincher's handling of it and the spectre of death that surrounds the whole thing, and the loneliness and effect of growing up surrounded by it – basically, the differences you can point out when you seperate the Gump framework, that won me over. I've seen a couple movies that have probably bumped Button out of my top ten, but I still think it was pretty great, and I was someone walking in already expecting to be disappointed and waiting for the Gump to drag me down. So maybe my expectations played a role, but I think there was enough going on to earn it brownie points and differentiate the two.

I don't get the 'visiting 20th century landmarks' thing – I mean he sent some postcards and was in World War II, but I don't think Button had some ultimate American life the way Forrest did at all.

I saw some negative reviews eagerly anticipating a making of doc and that it would be better than the movie itself. I could see that, and if its true, then great.

Goon
Guest

"The novelty of him aging backwards means absolutely nothing to the story."

I was mocking it before the movie came out, but once I was in, it was in, and again, the visual of him going backwards didn't drag me out, it gave me some timing mechanism and added to the already thick feeling of death, despair and that he had such a short window to live as a normal human being.

Jay C.
Guest

"He had such a short window to live as a normal human being."

This is what doesn't work. As a 'child', he's old. As an elderly person, he's a child. What's the difference? The window in which he's 'normal' was pretty standard in my opinion.

Goon
Guest

Andrew basically has it, but

"This is what doesn’t work. As a ‘child’, he’s old. As an elderly person, he’s a child. What’s the difference?"

Did you grow up with all your friends around you dying? You don't think that would change your demeanor, world view? Button's not 'magic', but he's extremely serene, and I took it as more a result of his upbringing than any requirement of the script to fit in later.

And for what its worth, you get joke scenes of a 13 year old raisin fucking his brains out with whores.

Jay C.
Guest

"Did you grow up with all your friends around you dying? You don’t think that would change your demeanor, world view? "

What did the age of the people around him have to do with him aging in reverse? It was the environment he was brought up in. If he had been a 'normal' child in that environment, he still would've had his friends dying around him. If that woman had a child of her own at that point, the kid would grow up around 20 grandparents and still watch them all die. No difference. The only part his reverse aging played in that was the fact that he was dropped off on the door step. And yes, his childhood may have been different in that we didn't see him playing with kids very often, (although he did have a friend in Cate Blanchett's character for a good while) but I don't think this is anything that couldn't happen to a normal person. It's certainly not extraordinary circumstances.

Jonathan
Admin

His circumstances and life are very ordinary, he just happens to be an extraordinary person.

Jay C.
Guest

What was extraordinary about him?

Jonathan
Admin

Jay… come on.

ex⋅traor⋅di⋅nar⋅y

  1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established

I think physically aging backwards falls under that definition pretty easily.

Jay C.
Guest

Sorry, I misread your post. I thought you were saying the aging thing wasn't what was extraordinary, but rather who he was. I guess I assumed that's what you meant because I just spent the last couple of posts explaining why I didn't think his backwards aging was extraordinary. But I guess it looked cool, and that's enough for some.

Goon
Guest

"If he had been a ‘normal’ child in that environment, he still would’ve had his friends dying around him."

So? The idea is what a life of someone who starts out old would be, and so that's the answer they have, and it shapes their worldview. Sure some kid out there could grow up in that environment, but so what? At the same time he's not really allowed to have friends his own age, its not like its a singular thing either.

Goon
Guest

The 'normal kid in that environment' comparison also doesn't really work for me considering he like the other people there was expected to die at any moment.

Jay C.
Guest

Well the fact that he was expected to die at any moment didn't work for me, especially considering it was all summed up by a Gump-like, trailer bait catch phrase. 'They said I was gonna die soon but, maybe not.' I wonder at which point they realized he actually wasn't going to die and was reverse aging? You wouldn't really know because nobody seems to think it's strange.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I found the movies inability for the other characters (outside of Daisy) to really acknowledge the strangeness of that to be a bit baffling.

Goon
Guest

Well there's Daisy's mom and the fact that the vast majority of the movie he's able to hide it from people. I guess you guys (at least Jay) have been saying there's not really any difference between him aging forward or backward… but it's not so simple to me. For example his affair with Tilda Swinton: here she thinks she's dealing with someone 20+ years older, when really she's having an affair with someone around 20 years old, and that sort of 'secret' thing the audience is in on that happens over and over again the entire movie was something that held my interest. Would she have had the affair and gotten inspired back into swimming if she knew he was a kid? He's able to take off on his family when he reaches a certain age, but is sort of tragic, but could a regular human being who is getting dementia or some monstrous disfigurement be able to take off with another dad taking his place? probably not.

So with all these things criticized, its the little things that bug me and not any of these larger critiques. Example: Daisy's daughter didn't know her mom was the only american to go to Russia for bloopedyblahdancething. yet she teaches ballet – wouldn't that be in a brouchure or something? Most of my problems with the movie come from the future storytelling device, which on one hand allows Button to be more distant (People are complaining they didn't get inside this character or know him, but I actually think its MUCH better off this way) but on the other hand just opens the door for so many holes. I mean she's reading this diary and apparently it takes hours upon hours to get through the whole thing, much longer for her to read it to her mom than it takes for us to sit through in the theater. I suppose Button could have written some tome, but really? I doubt it.

Goon
Guest

I've noticed a lot of reviewers out there picking on the Gumpisms of Button forgive all the Gumpisms of Slumdog Millionaire. It has that similar storytelling framework of telling vignettes of the future which catch up and move forward at a pivotal climactic point, in place of 20th century landmarks you have the building of Mumbai and trying to cover every aspect of India, you have the same girl from childhood that he pines for his whole life, it has its own numerous one-liners. I definitely think Slumdog feels much more episodic and disjointed as it cuts from era to era with the people he meets in his life and that Button felt a lot more consistent.

So basically, I see Gump in a lot of both of those films, except the things that are easiest to dislike about Forrest Gump are so much more apparent and annoying to me in Slumdog. I will pull out the 'p' word 'pander' for it, and think its a prime example of what FilmJunk was talking about on the podcast a couple weeks ago, that sentimentality gets an easier pass from foreign films. And I still like Slumdog overall. Yet I think its the most overrated film of the year, bar none.

Indiewire's take

"A goofy picaresque to rival "Forrest Gump," "Slumdog Millionaire" has a similar power to please, shell-gaming the audience into emotionally investing in and celebrating its protagonist's dumb romanticism. Forrest's behavior was an expression of low IQ, but Jamal's stolen childhood doesn't really explain his simplicity — it's just the only facet he's given. Both Forrest and Jamal pine for the model-pretty playmates of their youths, their first love strong enough to sustain them through life's indignities. Boyle condescends to inserting a shot of Latika (Freida Pinto) whenever Jamal is at his lowest, a guiding light for us all to follow. Also orphaned as a young girl, Latika gets captured by a seemingly beneficent child-slave-herder, pimped out as a virginal belly-dancer, raped by Jamal's teenaged brother Salim (Madhur Mittal), and possessed by the gangster, but Jamal keeps aspiring to save her, undaunted by the plot's tedious insistence on keeping her literally captive. He wants nothing else; he's got nothing else. Knowing that she watches "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" as an escape from her hellish life, he goes on the show to communicate with her. Yes, he phones a friend.

In championing Forrest Gump's purity, Robert Zemeckis's film mocked both U.S. history and the complexities of adulthood, helping to fan the flames of American anti-intellectualism to a towering mid-Nineties blaze. Boyle's ode to dumb love and circumstance hasn't the same deliberation, but "Slumdog Millionaire" does manage to make bombastic offense. Jamal's success on the TV show makes him a hero to slumdogs everywhere (they gather around televisions in the cities and on the farms with that nostalgic fellow-feeling), but he doesn't care about being rich. He just wants to be with Latika. Quite instructive to the billions of poor people in the world foolishly aspiring to subsistence, let alone wealth. See that heartwarming montage of Jamal through the years, laughing despite the begging, stealing, and enslavement? He's postcolonial, post-material, totally adorable. Love is all Jamal needs. Love and a lobotomy."

http://www.indiewire.com/movies/2008/11/trivial_p

Goon
Guest

(I also think Slumdog is piggybacking off of a lot of City of God's greatness too. Man COG is light years beyond Slumdog in every aspect)

Kurt
Guest

@GOON: "I’ve noticed a lot of reviewers out there picking on the Gumpisms of Button forgive all the Gumpisms of Slumdog Millionaire."

Not I, I subtract full marks for both pictures with that particular tone. It does nothing for me and reduces the films. But I think a lot of people do like that type of then, and good on 'em for that. I think both films are inferior to something like CITY OF GOD, which I do think people will still be watching 20 years from now. Not so with either Slumdog or Button.

Kurt
Guest

"In championing Forrest Gump’s purity, Robert Zemeckis’s film mocked both U.S. history and the complexities of adulthood, helping to fan the flames of American anti-intellectualism to a towering mid-Nineties blaze. "

One of my basic fundamental problems with GUMP. Stupidity and chance with a great soundtrack doesn't not make good cinema.

Kurt
Guest

Curiously, Zemekis' Contact is the antithesis of Gump. And good on him. Also Used Cars while silly, is pretty sharp and savage at times. I want more of that please.

Goon
Guest

"Robert Zemeckis’s film mocked both U.S. history and the complexities of adulthood"

I agreed with this, but I simply don't care. I don't hold Gump up to be so incredibly amazing, but my defense of it all along is that its funny and the story is interesting and at the time at least unique from anything else I'd ever seen.

"helping to fan the flames of American anti-intellectualism to a towering mid-Nineties blaze"

I guess you could parse what 'helping' means, but if he's trying to put a cause-effect relationship on Gump and anti-intellectualism, that's ridiculous.

Henrik
Guest

"“Robert Zemeckis’s film mocked both U.S. history and the complexities of adulthood”"

It's a fucking comedy! Jim Carrey mocked adulthood in Dumb & Dumber too! I mean do you really think that Robert Zemeckis thinks boot camp consists of Bubba explaining shrimp dishes? Give me a fucking break with this Gump hatred, it's funny.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I know, I know. We've trawled this ground before, I don't quite accept it as a comedy, maybe its subtleties are lost on me as a satire/comedy.

p.s. I hate, hate, hate Dumb & Dumber too, albeit for different reasons.

Henrik
Guest

Subtleties? It's not satire either, it's just a comedic look at history. It's like fucking a Dr. Seuss story or something. Works for kids and adults alike.

Goon
Guest

I think I was like 13 when I saw Dumb and Dumber. It may be the only Jim Carrey 'wacky' movie I liked, and even there I prefer Jeff Daniels' performance. I smile every Halloween I see two people in the powder blue and orange suits. So other than that the only other Farrelly comedy I really really like is Kingpin.

I'm actually siding on Henrik on this. It's just this one goofy character poking his head into history. If its satire at all its no more deeper satire than Animaniacs or Hysteria, there's nothing to be 'lost' on you unless you're overthinking while watching it.

Goon
Guest

I'm picturing Kurt watching Gump drinking Dr. Pepper's and asking to pee and going "Yes, but what does it mean?" the same way Jack Skellington had to scientifically quantitate Christmas.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I love that scene with Jack Skellington. And I like Dr. Pepper.

Everyone I talked to took Gump as gospel, which sickened me. Perhaps I talked to the wrong people. I've probably devoted more time to the film than is worth the bother. I do like a lot of Zemekis' other films, in particular Romancing the Stone, War of the Roses, Contact, The Back to the Future Trilogy and Used Cars.

Goon
Guest

"Everyone I talked to took Gump as gospel, which sickened me. "

Oh dont get me wrong, there are people who did that, and I have stories that I won't even recount from people I know, its too embarrassing to even retell.

but I try to always keep Sloan's lyric in mind: "It's not the band I hate, its their fans" 😛

Jonathan
Admin

I also agree with Henrik 100% on Gump.

And I love Dumb & Dumber. I can get why somebody might find the humor stupid, because it is, but god almighty, how can you not crack up at moments like this?

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3g1KcOw7zas&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3g1KcOw7zas&hl=en&fs=1&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

And everything Jeff Daniels says and does is priceless. It's one of the few films I can pop in with friends on any given day and laugh throughout.

Henrik
Guest

I would like to see Contact but I was bored out of my mind when I watched Back to the future acouple of months ago.

Henrik
Guest

And with Forrest Gump, I have to be honest that people like my dad praised the film, because it showed the two sides of America, with Forrest being how they perceive themselves, and Jenny being the reality, and I can see how the movie might be going for something like this, but if that's the angle you take it's harder to defend it because you open up a can of worms that the film probably can't stand up to. If you just take it as a modern day clueless-guy-going-through obstacles ala Our Hospitality or something though, it's pretty great. There is also the whole Lieutenant Dan thing which goes for a bit of a serious tone here or there, but already in the introduction it's punctured with his forefathes all dying in all the wars. I mean that's funny.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Goon: I love that SLOAN lyric, and use it often.

Jonathan: I love Jeff Daniels, I really do, but nope, All I did was feel embarrassed for him. Even more than in THE BUTCHERS WIFE.

Henrik
Guest

Kurt, you're a snob and a pedagogue in all the worst ways.

Henrik
Guest

By the way, I don't know who Sloan is, but isn't that a pretty public domain phrase? Like I don't mind god, it's his fanclub and all that? I've never given credit for it, it is a truth though.

Jonathan
Admin

Maybe it's a generational thing. I can enjoy lowbrow when it is in the right hands.

Goon
Guest

Sloan are an alternative band from Halifax that are still kicking around, but had a specific heydey in the mid 90s.

"All I did was feel embarrassed for him."

I guess he was embarrassed all the way to the bank. I mean fuck, he got to show off his comic chops and hang with Jim Carrey, who was the biggest star in comedy at the time. There's nothing to be embarrassed about in that movie for him.

You can't triple stamp a double stamp!

http://jimcarreybobblehead.ytmnd.com/

Goon
Guest

Henrik, I didn't even take the Dan stuff too seriously, because its funny to me how much Forrest annoys the holy loving fuck out of him.

Henrik
Guest

Feel embarrased for Jeff Daniels all you want, how often do you get to hammer a snowball into a chicks face? Classic moment.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Glad you keep coming to my altar and Blackboard, henrik!

I like Lowbrow too. Big Trouble in Little China, Keystone Kops, and Undercover Brother all turn my crank, to use the parlance of our times.

Dumb and Dumber didn't do much for me. Trying too hard I guess. I simply found it boring. Aachi & Sipak, now there is a fuckin' lowbrow masterpiece. An action film about a world run on diarrhea.

Jonathan
Admin

The song that is playing during the snowball scene is such a classic too. I mean…

I need your loving more than money or air,

and if you don't love me baby that's not fair.

'Cause I'll be good to you in every way,

I'll give you loving baby everyday.

A loving that's good a loving that's all right.

A loving like an oven on the coldest night.

If you don't love me I'll kill myself.

rot
Guest

I am way behind on this thread so forgive me if I am repeating something already said but seeign as I am one of the people that gave Benjamin Button a partial pass I should probably speak up.

I know it seems like an excuse, but I do not think there is any room in this story for complex character development anoymore than A Princess Bride had any room or need of complex character development. You are imposing the Zodiac ideals of complexity onto something entirely different BY DESIGN. This is high concept, guy aging in reverse, and that more so than any character is the driving force for the message about getting the most out of your life while you have it, the fleeting reality of aging. You are right, Kurt, to compare this to The Fountain, it is another film that is lambasted by people about its weak characters, by it also was about ideas first, characters second. Both are very earnest about what they want to say, and if you cannot accept that, so be it, but that is their agendas and they shouldn't be criticized for films they never intended on being.

Benjamin is Fincher's time lapse photography subject, he stays fairly neutral character wise so that the emphasis is placed upon the act of aging, about the events that surround aging, and the device of aging in reverse just gets people thinking more intently about the process, and is complex enough without letting character override the story and make it an entire mess.

This notion that calling it a fairy tale is an excuse, is ridiculous, it is a fairy tale, fairy tales have certain ambitions, and those ambitions generally do not include overt character development or realism, they want to expediate an idea or moral, and that is what they do… you might as well criticize a haiku for not being prose.

As a fairy tale Benjamin Button is fairly satisfying and kept my interest. Did it need to be so blunt all the time about its themes? no, and those are justifiable faults to be considered, but I don't know, I found it pretty unoffensive, and at the very least visually stimulating.

Goon
Guest

"I do not think there is any room in this story for complex character development anoymore than A Princess Bride had any room or need of complex character development."

I entirely agree. If they had tried to treat him as a 'more real' fully fleshed out character, I think the whole concept would have crossed into pure ridiculousness.

"This notion that calling it a fairy tale is an excuse, is ridiculous"

Yes and no for me. I don't think it was a full on fairy tale, but if given the Donnie Darko "fear vs. love" polarity test, I would side with fairy tale.

I do think calling something a 'fairy tale' can be seen as a convenient excuse for a number of films though. A lazy arguer could might wield it as a cure-all against all criticism.

rot
Guest

Sure and I think a lot of the problems critics have is that BB blurs the distinction a bit, I mean as a fairy tale it is unusually restrained… its keeps to the formula of Princess Bride but rather than have castles and creatures it exaggerates things, and may seem too close to reality to start people raging against it for its lack of realism. But if you take the film for what it is trying to say, its about expediating the ideas, people are ciphers, the idea is the point.

I prefer realism, fairy tales are not really my thing but despite that I think Fincher did a pretty good job drawing me in.

rot
Guest

The way to approach BB is ask what is it trying to say, what mode of storytelling does it adhere in its attempt and how well considering that mode does it achieve it. As a fairy tale it is flawed, but its not the holy wreck that Kurt makes it out to be.

Andrew talked about having this feeling of the importance of living your life when leaving the film, and I had something of the same kind of feeling… was it profound, not really, but it did make me engage with the idea of aging in a satisfying way.

The Fountain deals with aging as well, or rather mortality and loss, and that to me is a far better film, far more ambitiuous, grasping at spiritual and emotional depths, whereas BB is satisfied with just mulling over the life cycle as emblematic of the potential we possess. BB is a conventional fairy tale, the Fountain is less restricted, not really a fairy tale but a poem.

Goon
Guest

"Andrew talked about having this feeling of the importance of living your life when leaving the film, and I had something of the same kind of feeling… was it profound, not really, but it did make me engage with the idea of aging in a satisfying way."

I had that feeling too. I had the same feeling after Synecdoche but it was a considerably deeper more bizarre feeling, and I felt separate from the world around me for about an hour. I saw it in downtown Toronto so going through Yonge/Dundas with that feeling was very strange, as if you were an alien observer.

Goon
Guest

There's not really any thread for this so I might as well throw it in here…

I've been watching Generation Kill, which comes from the creators of the Wire. Watching the first episode feels like it really lives up to the hype, but now that I'm a little further in I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish it.

It's not that the production isn't top notch, or doesn't feel realistic – the problem is that it does what it's trying to do probably a little too well. I mean I don't know what its really like to be among the marines, but after a while the constant razzing on each other over race, the homophobic insults, just get overwhelming.

And I don't mean that in a "This offends my liberal sensibilities!" way at all – there's plenty for conservatives to be upset about as well. Besides the fact that these people aren't the most upstanding moral men, they spout off some things that make the case for Iraq look stupid. So I don't think the show has a particular political band, like the Wire it's just trying to create some realistic experience and if that hurts one side or the other, to the creators its because that situation is supposed to.

So anyways, like a number of war movies the procedural stuff also isn't as interesting or dramatic as the lead up to the shit hitting the fan. So when certain characters get really annoying, and boy a couple of them sure do, you start getting the horror movie mindset hoping X person will die rather than hoping the team make it through.

So yeah, I don't know if thats a recommendation of the show or not. It's doing things right, but that 'right' thing is tough to sit through, and overly repetitive.

I commend the people who produced the DVD for stealing from the LOTR discs and having a map feature that draws their progress for you.

rot
Guest

Rusty reccomended the Corner miniseries which I watched over the holidays and it was awesome. If you want to prolong your Wire fix, that is where to go. Its like a season unto itself of Bubbles and the corner kids.

Rusty James
Guest

^^^^^^ cool

rot
Guest

Also its funny to watch the character actors of the Wire play out in an alternate reality, a lot of the cops are now the druggies. The woman who played Fran, why isn't this actress high profile, damn, she owned every scene.

Goon
Guest

I just realized the character in Generation Kill that is annoying the living fuck out of me to the point of near unwatchability is the same kid that played the annoying as fuck cousin in Season 2 of the Wire.

Yeah, he's way more annoying in GK. If I met the actor I don't know if I'd congratulate him or have to beat him to death with a blunt instrument.

Kurt
Guest

That kid is also playng the same role in Spike Lee's THE INSIDE MAN…

Goon
Guest

I just lucked out big time and got a used copy of the Corner from a local store. WOOT

Goon
Guest

I finished Generation Kill and now that its over I'd have to recommend it. The first and final episodes are the best ones, the second and third episodes are most annoying, and in between it doesn't necessarily build so much as you get more involved with whats going on..

and if you watch it also make sure to watch the additional feature with the real life versions of each character.

rot
Guest

definitely on my list of things to see

Kurt
Guest

Anyone seen Kelly Reichardt's (wendy&lucy) pre-OLDJOY film River of Grass?

http://glasseyepix.com/html/rog.html

Kurt
Guest

I love the description for it: "A drowsy, sun-drunk road movie in which a would-be Bonnie and Clyde never really commit a crime, fall in love, or even hit the road."

Kurt
Guest

(Reminds me of the loose structure/concept of Reservior Dogs and Bottle Rocket….

rot
Guest

I have seen Old Joy, its a slight film which I suspect Wendy and Lucy is as well. I liked it, didn't love it, but it was a treat to see Wil Oldham act, he was very good in it.

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