Cinecast Episode 118 – In Fabulous 2D!

cinecast_promo.jpg Matt Gamble

Episode 118:
Where the Long Tail Ends returns as Kurt and Andrew dive into Seth Rogen’s latest, crimes in time and Matt and Andrew about life on the moon. A couple of little tiffs this episode. Don’t fuckin knock LOST! Yeah, should be interesting…

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:

Below the fold are the Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 118:

  • Sideways (Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church)/Opening: :00 – 1:23
  • Observe & Report: 1:23 – 40:37 (Warning **SPOILERS**)
  • Moon: 40:38 – 56:29
  • “LOST” fight: 56:31 – 58:34
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: 58:35 – 1:02:24
  • “on the road” (Bolt): 1:02:25 – 1:04:03
  • Timecrimes: 1:04:05 – 1:08:28
  • Vinyan fight: 1:08:29 – 1:17:44
  • More Mamet (Redbelt/State & Main): 1:17:44 – 1:20:20
  • The Battle of Shaker Heights/”Project Greenlinght”: 1:20:21 – 1:21:52
  • DVD picks: 1:21:53 – 1:34:49
  • Closing thoughts/: 1:34:50 – 1:35:51
  • Outro Music: 1:33:20 – 1:36:40
  • ???: 1:36:36 – 1:37:11

Closing bumper music provided by Neil Diamond (iTunes profile): “Forever in Blue Jeans”


Track Row Three:

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Observe & Report:

I Love a Man in Uniform
Correction: The detective in the closet is NOT Jody Hill. It’s Ben Best
Ronnie’s mom, Celia Weston:
Celia Weston

Red band trailer:


Moon:

Andrew’s review
RowThree hosted Quicktime trailer


Timecrimes:


Other recently watched titles:

Monsters vs. Aliens
Vinyan
Redbelt
State & Main
The Battle of Shaker Heights


On the road (with Andrew’s iPod):

Bolt:
smiles per mile: .06


DVD Pick(s) for Tuesday, April 14th:

Andrew:
Blu-Ray
The Last Kiss
The Last Kiss (Blu-ray)


.

Matt:
More
Still from More
see the short here


.

Kurt:
The Reader
The Reader
Andrew’s review


Other stuff:

Andrew and Kurt hate on JUNO (Cinecast)
Andrew takes John Campea to task on Juno (in which I am clearly the winner of that debate.


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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rot
Guest

I have to call bullshit on the raves for Observe and Report, especially any kind of esteemed association with Todd Solondz. If you really look at the movie, its very generic, very run-of-the-mill, and the only difference is that in each typical situation the writers consciously choose to go the extreme against good taste. Thats their schtick… same story you have seen time and time again, but when it comes to the punchline just amp it to eleven. It is all pretty obvious comedy, and unlike some of the Apatow films there is no heart to this film, its just a bunch of South Parkesque gags strung together.

I mean I laughed, but its the kind of laughing I feel is unearned, its the equivalent of being made to cry by overtly melodramatic and cliche devices.

rot
Guest

Ronnie's dream is pretty funny though.

Goon
Guest

"unlike some of the Apatow films there is no heart to this film"

Seems like a strange complaint for this particular film.

rot
Guest

except there are scenes in the film that aspire to have heart, try to crowbar in a love story, and its painful.

rot
Guest

I guess it depends on what constitutes a good comedy in your mind… if it need only make you laugh, than fine, I laughed with this film. As a kind of disposable film that is more a skit than a film, it works. But there is nothing to hold onto character-wise, no sublime writing, no visual stylization worth noting, its just a vehicle for laughs, existing for the moment and nothing else.

Kurt's reading into the film as a comment on anything just feels false to me. I think maybe there were aspirations of being more than a comedy, and being a satire, but it has no attention span for that, it only wants to set up the next joke. The film is the equivalent of a ball dispenser in a batting cage, shoot, reload, shoot, reload.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

"Kurt’s reading into the film as a comment on anything just feels false to me"

Really? I didn't even think that was subtle, I thought it was obvious enough to be a given even!

On the Solondz comparison, the intent there was to underscore how far the film will go to demonize and humiliate the characters, even the ones that you perhaps should conventionally feel sympathy for. However, Solondz does aim to ground things in the real world, this film is not aiming at that, so it is by no means a perfect comparison. Yet you can get the same feeling for the characters. Ronnie is not Machiavellian (such as say Aaron Eckhart in In The Company of Men or Your Friends and Neighbors, as in the films of Neil LaBute which are also scathing commentaries on American values and social mores, more along the lines of the ignorance and vulgarity often expressed in Solondz's pictures but without the 'reality.'

But as a heightened commentary on American self-image and whatnot, yea, I believe it is appropriate, obvious even.

rot
Guest

its a one-note story, you have a delusional main character whose delusions of grandeur keep impeding his best efforts to be loved. I don't see it as a purely American ideal, hell that is Quixote if you want to get subtextual, right down to the lady he needs to protect.

The film is more Adam Sandler man-child than anything else, and the whole idea that pushing the envelope on what is tasteful somehow distinguishes this film as something brave and new, I mean the Farrelly Brothers have been doing this for a decade now, its a simple practice: what are the taboos, exploit them. Observe and Report is not particularly new or inventive, and the examples you mention of what it 'borrows' from, i.e. Oldboy, again, that can't be new either, its just for the sake of the laugh, its disposable comedy.

Woody Harrelson giving an elderly woman head to pay for rent in Kingpin, is that not where this bar was broken? If anything Observe and Report feels a decade too late with this stuff.

Goon
Guest

"try to crowbar in a love story"

um… no? See Kurt and Gamble's comments in the podcast about her character. dead on.

Re: Gamble and Lost – there was a time period it was fair to say Losts writers had no idea what they were doing. But Gamble is currently arguing from ignorance about what is going on. The writers at this point absolutely DO know what they are doing, which is probably why the current season of Lost is the best to date. Even the stuff that didnt' make sense before has been expertly retoconned into something that is paying off in droves in both plot AND ideas.

Goon
Guest

I dont know if theres any such person here, but I love rubbing Lost's current awesomeness in the nose of the impatient doofuses who switched to Heroes and have been swallowing the biggest downturn in quality in a sci-fi show since Galactica 1980

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Rot: "except there are scenes in the film that aspire to have heart, try to crowbar in a love story, and its painful." —> This is of course the joke. This is the capital joke of the film is that you could even attempt to sympathize with this character, or that he even deserves love of any kind (other than his Mothers, which is OK).

As I said in the cinecast, the most tragic (or pathetic) character is the toast-a-bun girl who unconditionally loves Ronnie even in his cruelty towards her and lack of sanity, which (one would hope) that she could actually see! A myopia that is often associated with American and its self image vs. its world image. Consciously or unconsciously from the director/writer it seems plain.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Also, I don't know if we mentioned it. But the 'we need to be protected more from the protectors than the criminals' element is pretty strong here. A commentary on the 'rise-up' militia mentality in the US. Those guys often scare me in the same way that Ronnie is scary.

Goon
Guest

^The toast-a-bun girl and the commentary on her the more I think about it is sort of similar to the love interest in Freddy Got Fingered. Except FGF's subtle commentary and subversion of the love interest in other goofy comedies takes it to an even bigger extreme, she's in a wheelchair and literally a rocket scientist, and her sexual appetite is way over the top, aggressively forcing blowjobs and demanding her legs be whacked with bamboo…

maybe rot, since that love interest story is so typical that you just don't expect that a movie with Seth Rogen in it might be taking aim at conventions you see in other movies he may otherwise be in.

rot
Guest

I must have missed the joke, because there seemed to be a love story beginning middle and end and it was lame the entire way through. where exactly is the point made that Ronnie is not considered sympathetic by the love interest?

I don't find the America readings that well developed… its the lazy writing of, let him have a gun fetish and resolve things violently, that makes him symbolic of America. I think that has more to do with it being a play off of Taxi Driver, not America, or if about America, than indirectly through Taxi Driver. Jody said it started as the pitch, Taxi Driver in a mall. Thats what he did. And it hits a lot of the marks of Taxi Driver throughout, and is lazy that way as well.

and that you two think this has some lasting value, I just don't see it at all.

rot
Guest

do you glean subtext from Mad Magazine as well?

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Rot "where exactly is the point made that Ronnie is not considered sympathetic by the love interest"

Pretty much right from the first conversation he is attacking her both casually and cruelly. Yea she is deluded and may miss this, but therein lies one of the interesting things that the movie is doing.

I'll ignore the Mad Magazine comment. It's a cheap shot.

For the record, I think it is interesting FOR A STUDIO COMEDY. Taxi Driver this is not. But again, Scorcese had carte blanche to make that film in the 1970s. This is a multiplex comedy integrating these elements. I think context matters. O&R isn't a classic, but I bet it will be influential for the next little while, whether or not it makes money, people are going to appropriate this tone some time shortly down the road. (For better or worse)

Goon
Guest

^ I wish I had a rolleyes icon for that comment…

I think rot, you're being prejudgmental and writing things off as simple simply because of who is involved and by what the general perception of them is. FGF takes every manchild stereotype in comedy and messes with it. The biggest winks in the movie are the way the score is used (and its Mike Simpson scoring, who is no hack – they knew what they were doing). There are people who can recognize this and still think the movie isnt good, but don't make the error of failing to recognize it.

"where exactly is the point made that Ronnie is not considered sympathetic by the love interest?"

So I guess you consider Ronnie beating the crap out of her boss to be something normal and sympathy building? Is that typical to you? Did he literally have to burn off Patton Oswalt's face for you to get the point? Besides the hints that this girl is messed up, overall she's sympathetic, but that doesnt mean that relationship is somehow his redemption. that relationship gives a bunch of tests to Ronnie that could make him sympathetic, but he fails each time. some things are typical (him failing to realize whats there) but overall, unlike other romcoms there is no point where she turns on him and he has to win her back. She's completely with him and essentially approving every stupid thing he does. That's the subversion. She doesn't deserve him because she's not a horrible person per se, but she does deserve him if she fails to recognize what he is.

Goon
Guest

(rolleyes at 'mad magazine', not Kurts comment)

rot
Guest

actually, I meant the Mad Magazine remark, because that is exactly what this feels like, a segmenting of individual aspects of Taxi Driver and spoofing them, and just as you need to compress your jokes to each panel, the film is like that, joke after joke getting to some extreme and punctuated punchline to fill the panel, to get to the next point. Its a bunch of panels put together, its not a satisfying story at all, its about the payoffs.

as for the love story, you have to admit though, it IS a love story, beginning middle and end, it follows the arc, and in the end he gets the girl. This is what I don't understand with the objections to my notion that 1) it has a love story and 2) its lame.

the only difference from any other love story is both characters are quirky, and its not a healthy relationship… that doesn't negate the way they are thrust upon each other by the almighty writer… they still go through the motions. how many times has this scenario been done: guy wants hot chick but is friends with average chick, and in the end he recognizes that average chick is the girl he should be with.

yawn. you can frame it however you want, that is Not Another Teen Movie, except it is not spoofing it, it takes it seriously as a conceit.

rot
Guest

you are confusing formulas here, that she never wavers is not something I am challenging, in fact I am saying she never wavers, but in the scenario where man wants hot chick but recognizes average chick, that is precisely how it works. average chick tends to be just a faceless pawn in the story, some empty vessel waiting to be loved, and its the same here. so they make her extra pathetic, that is hardly straying from formula.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

The fact that it frames the 'spoof'(Rot's words) as a comedy, and then keeps the violence and the scary-crazy-ness, never goes for sympathy for the main character (I mean the check-boxes are there plotwise, but Rogen never give the performance to match the plot check-points (which is why I like his performance so much in this film). His own 'lack of arc' in the film, where the rest of the film sort of follows the arc even if Rogan's chracter isn't going to tag along, is really what I like about the movie. And yea, Goon's Freddie Got Fingered comparison fits here too.

I like movies that sort of tear at the 'usual' within the studio framework, and O&R certainly qualifies.

More than a mad magazine or sketch style. We certainly differ on that description, Rot.

Goon
Guest

"because that is exactly what this feels like, a segmenting of individual aspects of Taxi Driver and spoofing them"

Again, you're oversimplifying everything, and acting as if the character is named Bravis Tickle. I'm not calling this film some ultimate examination of insanity and delusion, far from it, but its not Mad Magazine or NATM and I'd say its pretty ignorant to talk about it in such terms.

I stand by saying you're being prejudgmental, if you have such strong opinions about shock comedies you're going to sit with your arms folded just waiting for the next "oh no they di'int!" moment.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

But Ronnie doesn't even want 'average' chick until she loses the wheelchair and fixes her hair. Which is kinda a sad and funny too. Even then, she is barely more than an accessory and one assumes that Ronnie would dump her again if something better came along. Maybe. But all of this his getting hypothetical.

rot
Guest

I have a lot of opinions about America, but for me to look at O&R and think it is a comment on America in any kind of pressing way, I might as well look at the Mad Magazine version of Taxi Driver and say the same thing.

or Kingpin for that matter, should I read into it as well? O&R is much more like Kingpin than Todd Solondz or Punchdrunk Love.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Goon, now you are pre-judging Rot. Oh what a circular world.

rot
Guest

I love Kingpin and like O&R on the level that they operate, I am challenging this notion it aspires for anything else than laughs, or that it really breaks boundaries that haven't already been broken long ago.

rot
Guest

the only differences is what taboos you break, date rape vs. cumshots.

that to me is individual jokes, not something to be lauded in any way outside of the laughter.

Goon
Guest

"I am challenging this notion it aspires for anything else than laughs"

You'd think that Hill, Best, and McBride going back to these unlikeable characters as the protagonists of their films would give you a clue that they're aiming to do or say something different, but you just look the other way so you don't have to give credit to a silly comedy for having something beyond laughs…

rot
Guest

"Again, you’re oversimplifying everything, and acting as if the character is named Bravis Tickle. I’m not calling this film some ultimate examination of insanity and delusion, far from it, but its not Mad Magazine or NATM and I’d say its pretty ignorant to talk about it in such terms."

Goon, you know as well as I do that Jody Hill had the idea as simply "Taxi Driver in a mall"… on the Creative Screenwriting podcast he says he had no intention of even making the film, it was just something he said when forced to come up with some project he would like to make… and then he got the go ahead when all he had was that pitch. He then, as part of his process, wrote a bunch of sketches and after the fact strung them together. There were also many many rewrites according to test screenings.

What results is a film made to deliver jokes hinging upon the conceit of Travis Bickle as a mall cop. You can say I don't get the higher significance of the film, but apparently either does Jody Hill.

rot
Guest

and not even unlikeable characters is novel, Christ Ricky Gervais has made a career of doing that for, what, six, seven years now?

What they are doing is not new.

rot
Guest

all that is different is the individual taboos they wish to overturn, and therefore all that is new is the jokes themselves. They haven't redefined comedy, they haven't made a commentary on society, they reused formulas to set up jokes.

Kurt
Guest

Here is another line of thinking. Contrast Seth Rogan's character in Observe & Report to Nick Frost's wannabe bobby in Hot Fuzz. Frost's character also has his image of what the idea police officer is (from action flicks), yet he still isn't as crazy and obsessive (or er, American) as Ronnie. Both are satirizing America in their own way.

Kurt
Guest

"and not even unlikeable characters is novel, Christ Ricky Gervais has made a career of doing that for, what, six, seven years now?"

And that is a Brit doing it in a different sort of way, than a bunch of Americans doing it in a Studio Slapstick/goofy type comedy.

rot
Guest

Than I turn your attention to the American version of The Office. If anything we are saturated with unlikeable leads as comedic foils and this comedy of discomfort. O&R is not leading, they are coasting on the trend.

rot
Guest

I have not seen Freddy Got Fingered but from what you said on the podcast my understanding is it is like performance art, like taking Andy Kaufmann and going even further, making it so uncomfortable to watch. but that it is not about the punchlines in that film, whereas O&R is entirely about the punchlines… it is a set of sketches, and the point is to laugh. You may feel uncomfortable laughing because the characters are not redeemable in their behaviour but O&R is not performance art, it is not the Haneke version of a horror film… it first and foremost wants to be funny.

had the Farrelly brothers, Ricky Gervais, Tom Green, never existed, maybe I would say O&R has broke boundaries and changed the way we look at comedy, but I know their lineage.

its a funny movie.

Kurt
Guest

I've not seen the US version of the Office. O&R felt fresh to me when I was watching it. I wanted to know where the film was going to go next, and it surprised me on more than one occasion. That is a damn fine start to calling it a good movie. Rogen's performance (which goes against the grain of his usual schtick) and the uneasy balance of things worked for me.

I've not seen Eastbound & Down or Foot Fist Way yet, so maybe that is why things felt fresh for me. I've not seen any other american attempts (other than the aforementioned Solondz & LaBute stuff) that I can think of that take mainstream and 'dark' or this crazy-violent in this way.

rot
Guest

I would add to the list the South Park phenomenon as well… I mean some of those scenes between Ronnie and her mother felt like they could have been animated segments of that show. South Park also broke down this notion of having some likeable factor, all taboos are challenged, everything is sacrificed to the almighty joke. This 'All in' mentality to comedy was fresh when South Park did it maybe.

think of the marionette sex scene in Team America, that oneupmanship is what O&R is imitating for example with its drug montage. Those boundaries were broke long ago.

rot
Guest

as for LOST.

its flawed but ambitious and for the most part it achieves things I have not seen achieved in any other science fiction/mystery story to date. I am halfway through BSG season 1 and thoroughly enjoying it but by contrast I really notice how grounded in familiar territory it is in comparison to what Lost is doing. BSG juggles three balls, Lost has got everything and a chainsaw in the mix and somehow each week keeps things flowing.

That said, BSG has better direction and acting I think than Lost, it has its modest story and it does it very very well. Lost has its big ass story and strains itself trying to hold it all, and sometimes direction and acting and minor plot points are sacrificed to keep it moving.

Rusty James
Guest

Gamble is such a little bitch. The did not ever fire their entire writing staff.

He talks a big game but when he's forced to actually defend himself he's got nothing. He's one of those people who freaked out in season 2 because of a few boring episodes and decided "LOST is the worst thing EVA!!!!!!!!"

rot
Guest

its funny because a lot of people jumped ship midway through the second season of Lost, and it is precisely the last half of that season where everything amps up and hasn't let up.

Matt Gamble
Guest

But Gamble is currently arguing from ignorance about what is going on. The writers at this point absolutely DO know what they are doing, which is probably why the current season of Lost is the best to date.

Oh I don't doubt this at all now. Brian K Vaughn is a fantastic writer, and I'm happy he and other comic book writers are getting both work and recognition for their work on Lost, and not many writers can ret-con the shit out of an aimless story like comic book writers can. Its pretty much a job requirement, and Vaughn can blend fantasy and reality like few writers today.

Gamble is such a little bitch. The did not ever fire their entire writing staff.

Yes they did. During the middle of Season 3 when they were bleeding viewers like no tomorrow. Biggest name they added was Brian K Vaughn, but the entire writing staff was fired and soon after the producers announced they had a set end date for the show. Vaughn is now a producer on the show, and is largely credited as the primary creative force for the show.

But yeah, they knew what they were going to do the whole time. I bet you think Greedo shot first too.

rot
Guest

here is the list of writers for Lost:

Series Writing credits

Damon Lindelof (95 episodes, 2004-2009)

J.J. Abrams (93 episodes, 2004-2009)

Jeffrey Lieber (93 episodes, 2004-2009)

Carlton Cuse (27 episodes, 2005-2009)

Adam Horowitz (17 episodes, 2005-2009)

Edward Kitsis (17 episodes, 2005-2009)

Elizabeth Sarnoff (14 episodes, 2005-2009)

Drew Goddard (9 episodes, 2005-2008)

Javier Grillo-Marxuach (7 episodes, 2004-2005)

Brian K. Vaughan (7 episodes, 2007-2009)

Leonard Dick (6 episodes, 2005-2006)

Christina M. Kim (6 episodes, 2006-2008)

David Fury (4 episodes, 2004-2005)

Steven Maeda (4 episodes, 2005-2006)

Jeff Pinkner (4 episodes, 2006-2007)

Jennifer Johnson (2 episodes, 2004-2005)

Craig Wright (2 episodes, 2005)

Greggory Nations (2 episodes, 2008-2009)

Kyle Pennington (2 episodes, 2008-2009)

Melinda Hsu (2 episodes, 2009)

Paul Zbyszewski (2 episodes, 2009)

none of the mainstays left, the only writers that left were like with any series, contract for an episode or two, and see ya.

there is a difference between the writers who are doing the gruntwork of getting story points into dramatic form and what Cuse and Lindelof do as the creators and writers of the mythology, and how it is supposed to play out.

Matt Gamble
Guest

decided “LOST is the worst thing EVA!!!!!!!!”

Actually I'd say Heroes is far worse. Took a decent premise and totally fucked the whole thing up by poorly ripping off well known comic arc after well known comic arc. Jeph Loeb is a douchenozzle. BTW, that idiot is largely responsible for the shitty second season of Lost, for which he was fired, except in Rusty's world.

I honestly don't think about Lost ever, but it is fun to bitch at Andrew about it, especially since it creates such and odd group of fevered supporters. When else will Goon, Rusty, Rot and Andrew team up to fight evil and injustice?

rot
Guest

you Gamble are our squid monster. Otherwise, the four of us takes turns battling each other.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Hah, exactly. I'll take my lumps on Lost. Andrew needs to be on the winning side at least one time, right?

Rusty James
Guest

@ But yeah, they knew what they were going to do the whole time.

You're out of your element since you haven't seen the show since season 2. As usual your way of making a point is childish and petulent. You offered nothing to substantiate your claim that they fired all their writers, you just repeated it louder.

Your point about their end game is completely pedantic anyways. What does it matter whether or not they're plan was in place in seasons 1 and 2. It's in place now, they've had it since season 3, and the show has benefitted ever since. But you wouldn't know cause you're too busy bitch squealing.

The question isn't "are they making it up as they go along" but rather "how detailed of a plan do they have for where they're going".

I think the rule they've always followed is that they don't introduce an element until they have a plan for it in the story. I think, begining in the midseason for season 2, they found they couldn't adequetly plan ahead without knowing how long the show would run. Consequently the show went through a meandering period until season 3 when they successfully negotiated for a series end date. That is completely consistent with both my experience watching the show and also the behind the scenes details that have come out. And these details completely vindicate Lindeloff and Cuse as responsible show runners who are doing everything in their control to make sure the show has a proper beginning, middle and end.

(spoilerish)

And I think season 3 shows that the writers had more of a plan than a lot of people give them credit for. They knew there was a story element they wanted to introduce (the Freighter) and they knew that doing so would initiate their end game. That's why they couldn't do it until they negotiatied for an end date.

Rusty James
Guest

@ BTW, that idiot is largely responsible for the shitty second season of Lost, for which he was fired, except in Rusty’s world.

More childish nonsense. You said they fired all of their writers.

Rusty James
Guest

@Rot, about BSG. It does have one of the strongest casts on TV. The first 2.5 season are great. But you'll see in the final seasons that they suffered from Ron Moore's lack of planning. In particular I have big problems with they're disasterous 4th season. The fifth and final season never quite manages a recovery.

rot
Guest

and the guy Gamble pinpoints is not listed on the IMDB as having any writing credit for Lost. curiouser and curiouser…

I would like to meld together the strengths of both BSG and Lost into one ultimate program.

Goon
Guest

"In particular I have big problems with they’re disasterous 4th season. The fifth and final season never quite manages a recovery."

There is no season 5. Season 4 was seperated by two parts, and the first season to go on dvd was 4.0 which maybe give you the impression of something else. the final season was 4.5

And even though there were some things I can nitpick at from the final season, as a whole it was anything but disastrous. It's my second favorite season (so long as the original miniseries doesnt count as S1 – i consider it outside of being called any "season").

Rusty James
Guest

Loeb worked as a supervising producer in series 2, replacing Javier Grillo-Marxuach. Usually someone in that position would also be submitting his own scripts, he for whatever reason didn't. He was probably working mostly in an advisory / planning capacity, working to shape the arc of the season. Loeb is well known as a super hero comic book writer.

I don't know why Gamble chose to lay the blame on his feet. It might have something to do with him taking a lot of shit for his work as one of Heroes's lead writers after that show fell out of favor. Although he was just as involved in their popular run, so I don't really get it but that's the popular consensus.

Like I said, Gamble's opinions are arbitrary and unsubstantiated. And when you call him out on it he just repeats them louder.

Rusty James
Guest

@ There is no season 5.

ugh. Everyone keeps telling me this. Why don't they understand I don't care.

Rusty James
Guest

I didn't call the final season disasterous. I called season 4 disasterous and I do think season 5 suffered from some of the choices they made.

Season 5 has it's ups and down. I keep trying to convince myself to like the finale… but it has some big problems. Boomer's resolution, the opera house, Angels, and their weird use of flashbacks, many of which don't seem to contribute much.

I think people are really forgiving of the finale because it throws in a long tear jerker ending.

I don't know how anyone can think it stands next to season 1 and 2; the first arc of season 3 which is some of the best stuff ever; or the miniseries which gets my eyes teared up in at least two scenes.

Kurt
Guest

@Rusty "an for it in the story. I think, begining in the midseason for season 2, they found they couldn’t adequetly plan ahead without knowing how long the show would run. Consequently the show went through a meandering period"

this sounds identical to the saggy middle of TWIN PEAKS, a show I love, but also can't ignore some glaring flaws and inadequacies when the show hit its nadir.

Goon
Guest

I have some issues with the finale, but I think some people were being extremely unreasonable

especially about the angels

how many times do they have to insist there were angels for people to swallow it? The hybrid saying Kara's work bringing them to the end was riding on the wings of an angel, Leoben's insistences (which is exactly why he freaked out when he turned out to be right) – i mean seriously, religion has always been a part of BSG and people just acted suddenly surprised when there were mystical explanations to things. People dont even set themselves up for this possibility, they get shocked that they're not getting some twist that upends everything they ever knew about the world.

And if that stuff bothers people, they're going to lose their crap when the smoke monster remains unexplained or is still Egyptian magic, when the numbers remain uncompletely addressed. hell i'm sure i'll even still be hearing about Libby and the damned Hurley Bird.

My only big issue with the finale was the final 3 minutes – it was too "get it? see! its a circle!", and yet even there I'm mad at the people who claim it was an 'evil robot montage' and that Moore wants you to be afraid of a roomba.

Goon
Guest

as for Heroes, even though overall season 1 is quite good, I always knew that show was destined to fall apart, and that it would never be able to deliver on the confrontations it promised. I laugh at the people I know who gave up on Lost for Heroes with their "But it gives you answers right away!" nonsense. losers.

Kurt
Guest

I love BSG Season 2 it is damn near perfect TV. Season 1 has some really wobbly episodes and Season 3 starts to meander off the show's bread and butter of Post 9/11 musings. Season three deserves much flack for the gawd-awful BOXING episode which is absolutely embarassing, and everything indicated towards more 'plot mechanics' and less social/thematic digression, and I just simply haven't got the will to pick up S4 and S4.5 (or I kinda agree with Rusty, Season 5, sheesh it was aired a year later.)

Matt Gamble
Guest

Your point about their end game is completely pedantic anyways. What does it matter whether or not they’re plan was in place in seasons 1 and 2.

Because my work day starts at 4am and ends at 1am? I'm not working with a lot of free time, and so a show that is blatantly stalling is a complete waste of my limited time.

I'm sorry that you find it offensive that I don't watch TV shows that pander to me.

I'm sorry for being better than you. 😀

Rusty James
Guest

Re: Lost vs Twin Peaks

The problems are similar but not identical. I think Twin Peaks' nadir wasn't due to a lack but rather Lynch losing interest in the project. It's well known that he never wanted to reveal the killer. And while that's a perfectly fine conciet for a film, would it really work for a show that runs several seasons? I think that shows that Lynch never really thought it through.

Two seasons was a good run for that show. And I completely agree that there's an almost unbearable middle stretch.

Lost's second season is herky jerky. Plot points are introduced and then just kind of fizzle out. I do think in retrospect however the season holds up better. It really is about John Locke's faith being tested (that's too vague to be a spoiler) and his ark is similar to that of Job's. Ironically the faith of the audience was being tested in the same way, "omg! Is it all just random, or is there a plan behind it all". No, I'm not saying it was the writers brilliant plan all along, I just think it's an interesting parrallel.

Rusty James
Guest

@ or I kinda agree with Rusty, Season 5, sheesh it was aired a year later

The very word "season" refers to a period of time. There's the 2008-2009 season of television. Sci-fi may as well claim the show is one episode, broadcast over 5 years.

Kurt, you will find in seasons 4 and 5 more of the things you hate.

And Goon. I loved BSG's religious elements. They work great as questions posed to the audience. Which is why my heart broke when Angels Six and Balter stood there and said "we're angels sent by god" and then preceded to smuggle dictate the meaning behind it all (SPOILER: They had to come together because they are the only two people in the universe who can walk a baby down a hallway).

I loved the ambiguous elements like Kera's send off. I hated the expositional elements. Such is my love / hate relationship with the final.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Because my work day starts at 4am and ends at 1am? I’m not working with a lot of free time, and so a show that is blatantly stalling is a complete waste of my limited time.

apparently you're job is trolling the internet.

Marina Antunes
Admin

Andrew was right. One comment about LOST in the show and the entire comments section is derailed. I thank the constant nagging for finally getting me on board with the show. It's pretty awesome (even with the WTF moment at the end of last week's episode).

On Observe & Report (I'm going to pull a Kurt here and talk about a movie I haven't seen), from the various reviews and the discussion here, I'm led to believe that much of the subtext that Kurt is getting at is nicely developed in Eastbound and Down. I've only seen the first 2 episodes and I can't help but laugh at Kenny Powers. He may not be a security guard at the local mall but his down & out former baseball star character is sad, pathetic and thoroughly unlikeable. It's strange because I don't like any of the characters in the show and I don't even find it particularly funny but I really want to finish the last 4 episodes.

Gamble made a Dexter comment off mic. I'm curious if it was in support of the show 'cause if it's not, I'm declaring hunting season on his ass.

Miley Cirus – we announced a "Slut Watch" during the April preview.

And "The Last Kiss"? Seriously? I hated that movie.

Marina Antunes
Admin

I admit I have a bit of hate for Braff who rubs me the wrong way. Didn't like him in Scrubbs and didn't like Garden State (though I love me some Peter Sarsgaard). It's been a while but I remember completely hating the ending of that movie – does it end with him sitting outside his wife's door or does the scene where he talks to her (or maybe it was his own) parents end the movie? I just remember thinking that there was no way in hell that I was about to feel sorry for the cheating sack of shit.

And now I want to know what the hell Gamble has against Dexter. I can understand the eye rolling at The Tudors which I'll gleefully admit is nothing more than period soap opera (and heck, even True Blood has vamp soap written all over it) but Dexter? That show is quality. Michael C. Hall is awesome (as is the rest of the cast).

Kurt
Guest

Dexter never lit any fires for me. I think it would have been immeasurably improved WITHOUT his bloody voice-over which cheapens a potentially subversive show.

I'm surprised Matt doesn't like it, given the comic book nature of a hero who is a serial killing vigilante by night, crime-fighter by day.

Goon
Guest

"Season three deserves much flack for the gawd-awful BOXING episode which is absolutely embarassing"

The extended version of that ep on the DVD is one of my favorite BSG episodes.

Kurt
Guest

UGH. Furthermore, I seem to remember a painful use of the "Slow-Clap" in season one. But these are minor gripes. When BSG is on (and I don't mean Baltar in the Bedroom!), the show really sizzles. Usually involving any thread with Mary MacDonnell or the military vs. civilian power struggle.

Goon
Guest

I got sick of Dexter midway through season 1. The voiceover isnt always bad, but he has so many ironic "witty" diatribes that all amount to "I KILL PEOPLE! WINK!" that it annoys me.

Also the supporting cast of that show is universally terrible and uninteresting.

Goon
Guest

"The very word “season” refers to a period of time. There’s the 2008-2009 season of television."

I don't give a fuck. They didn't retcon it into Season 4 part 2, it was planned that way all along, they just had to take a break because of the strike. Season 4. Thats what will be on the box.

All you're doing is creating confusion for the rest of the people who have no idea which season you're referring to.

So nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

rot
Guest

yeah I am starting to see what you were talking about before, Kurt, when you brought up BSG and saying you could care less about the mystery aspects, that it was the meaty issue episodes that you preferred. You said this on a podcast in reaction to Andrew saying the fans of Lost are consumed with the mystery and writing on and on about it (and Andrew wasn't kidding, Rusty, Ross, Andrew and I put all other threads to shame with a discussion last week on a particular 'issue' of Lost, it was exhausting) but…

with Lost you will care about the mystery, or at least, its the chief concern, unlike BSG. In BSG the mysteries seem like simple plot points concealed but to be shown later on, whereas Lost is a web of events that demand an inquisitive mind.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Rusty, Ross, Andrew and I put all other threads to shame with a discussion last week on a particular ‘issue’ of Lost,

That was totally epic! [electric guitars] LOST WINZ!

Goon
Guest

because of the two week punch of Adventureland and O&R, I decided to filter the dramedy romance and the DGG connection into a rewatch All the Real Girls today. Great choice.

Man, I liked ATRG the first time, but on rewatch it really got significantly better, from a 4/5 to a full 5/5, easy. It's definitely a movie that requires your full attention though, not because of detail but just for a full experience.

So that makes 2 DGG movies I significantly liked or loved more on second viewing. I was disappointed with Snow Angels first viewing, but now I'm definitely going to give that a rewatch when I can too… and of course finally get around to the other DGG films.

Has anyone watched the ATRG deleted scenes? Two notable McBride ones… one of which involves a date rape reference (timely) and the other has McBride riffing at his best trying to hit up his cousin for some lovin'.

El Gringo
Guest

If you're not Kurt, you're WRONG!

Kurt
Guest

El Gringo. You say that like it isn't totally obvious. 😉

Jay C.
Guest

Just a couple of points so far:

1. The version of Where is My Mind? featured in Observe and Report is a cover by a band called City Wolf. Also, I'm almost positive I'd heard that song used in a film previous to Fight Club. Although it was used perfectly in Fincher's film, I don't give him ownership of it.

2. The cop in the closet is not Jody Hill. It's Ben Best.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

#2 has been corrected was indeed corrected the show notes yesterday. We have mocked Gamble accordingly 😉

There is a Top list in there on songs that should be retired due to iconic use in a film.

Stuck in the Middle With You & Little Green Bag – Reservoir Dogs

Where is My Mind – Fight Club

Sussudio – American Psycho

Paper Planes – Pineapple Express (Trailer, anyway)

Perfect Day – Trainspotting

Singing in the Rain – A Clockwork Orange via the Gene Kelly movie.

Paint it Black – Full Metal Jacket

One is the Loneliest Number – Magnolia

Down in Mexico – Death Proof

Needle in the Hay – Royal Tenenbaums

Hurdy Gurdy Man – Zodiac

Bohemian Rhapsody – Waynes World

I'm sure there are more.

Rusty James
Guest

Jeremy Smith wrote a pretty thorough article last year for chud on songs that need to be retired.

Ridley Scott is a perpetual offender. The guy couldn't pick a musical selection to save his life.

Where do you stand on Watchmen's use of recognizable songs meant to recall other moments in film?

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I think it was in the Watchmen discussion, it works in that movie, because the aim is to be obviously iconic as reference points in history, so I didn't have any problem with Times They Are A Changin', Along the Watchtower, Luft Balloons was a pretty great choice, etc. However, Leonard Cohen on the Sex Scene was pretty embarrassing but then again everything about that scene is bad.

Oh and a few more:

You Sexy Thing – The Full Monty

Born to be Wild – Easy Rider

The End – Apocalypse Now

When The Man Comes Around – Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Rusty James
Guest

I give it a pass. I get what he's trying to do but I think its success is mixed at best. The worst are Leonard Cohen and Simon and Garfunkle.

Ross Miller
Guest

I know I'm a bit late chiming in, but here goes:

First of…. NO BASHING LOST!

Okay, now that that's off my chest.

I admit that there were some sagging periods in Lost, particularly in season 2 and the start of season 3. But that doesn't stop me from loving the show – those episodes where it "sagged" I ate right up, because I'm such a huge fan (It's about the only show I'll cheerlead blindly no matter what, btw). Whenever it slows down and doesn't give answers like people want (also – nae sayers make up your mind; either you want it mysterious with little answers or you want all the answers and little mystery… stop flipping back and forth, you can't have it both ways!), there's always the character development and just "being with the show" for whatever time it takes until the pace picks up and it gets moving again.

I definitely think that them securing a definitive end date helped the focus of the show – and those who say they don't have stuff in mind ahead of time is talking shit; just look at all the stuff that's was brought together so damn perectly in season 4 and continues to be in the outstanding current season 5. Since half way through season 3 onwards, the show has been knocking it out of the park pretty much consistently – it's THE BEST thing on television. Period. Fact. Get over it.

🙂

Also, Kurt you didn't like Dexter?! Holy shit! That show is fan-TASTIC. You guys don't like the voice-over?! That's one of THE key elements to what makes the show great – it's all about the "wink wink "I'm a serial killer"" thing, that's what the show is. I laughe every single time he delivers a sarcastic, observatonal comment via voice-over. Along with the serial killer stuff – it still manages to be a great drama, with the side stories of Deb, Batista and LaGuerta. The killing he does is simulteneously gruesome and yet strangely satirical – much like American Psycho in that way. (I just re-watched the three seasons so far in the space of 3 weeks… yeah, I find the time…). And I LOVE how each season is like it's own self contained thing, and yet leaves you wanting more (because of a certain story detail or whatever). Dexter is a breath of fresh air in the TV world.

As for Heroes, wow did that show lose it's way after Season 1. I thought the first season was amazing, and it showed potential to be an even BETTER show in subsequent seasons. But boy did the writer's strike fuck up the second season – and from then on the writers seemed to have been mysteriously captured and repalced by weaker, shittier versions of their former selves. I still watch the show, admittedly, but just out of habit and "just to see what happens." I love seeing when they throw in a new power, but the writing is pretty bad. Everything seems to happen just to show off, and is it just me or does the show feel awful "fake", if you know what I mean; like the world isn't believable, it all looks shiny and very obviously filmed with green-screens a lot of the time (it's very important, unless it's something extra-stylized like Sin City, to make it seem as real as possible).

and @rot and rusty,

If you're referring to the discussion of whether "you know who" will still be "you know what," then, yes, that WAS epic. Still basking in the victory of that one, ain't we, Rusty?:)

Kurt
Guest

Don't take the fanboy route on the lost thing guys. I merely point out that my lack of interest at this point with Lost is that indications of those who love it dig on the plot mechanics first and everything else second, that is generally not what floats my boat in a series that is going to take up a hundred hours of my time. I'll get there when the series is done.

ON the dexter thing, peppering it with ironic humour and wink wink voice over totally knocks out the transgressional nature of making a cable TV show with a serial killer as the star. Seems to me that they took a daring idea and softened it to get it marketable. I was pretty uninterested in it after 4 episodes, even though it certainly had its moments. Someone above said all the secondary characters were bland, and on this I can agree.

Ashley
Guest

On the Last Kiss:

http://videogum.com/archives/the-hunt-for-the-wor

I wish I could take credit for this.

Marina Antunes
Admin

@Ashley – WOW. That's pretty awesome. Best line in the entire thing: "Ooooh, I just got goosebumps! ON MY FUCKING EYES!"

And OMGDZ, I had no idea this was a Haggis screenplay. Maybe I rubbed it out of my mind. Or maybe that's why I hate this movie!

Rusty James
Guest

I hate when anyone calls me a fanboy.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

More aimed at Ross & Andrew, Rusty. 😉

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Well, Haggis had a hand in Casino Royale too.

But no. I'm not going near LAST KISS with a 10 foot pole.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Rusty: "I get what he’s trying to do but I think its success is mixed at best

Ah, Watchmen in a nutshell. Potential was there, there is greatness there, but yet the is awfulness too. But then we've been down this road before. Suffice it to say, it is one of 2009's odd beasts. Along with Observe & Report, it seems crazy out-of-the-blue violence/gore mixed with naked male members is the formula to making movies people are going to talk about A LOT in 2009.

Marina Antunes
Admin

@Kurt – As did a number of other writers. Can we agree that in a group where he is contributing to a pool of ideas/words he's acceptable but when he's on his own…that's another thing all together.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

From the Urban Dictionary:

Fanboy

1. A passionate fan of various elements of geek culture (e.g. sci-fi, comics, Star Wars, video games, anime, hobbits, Magic: the Gathering, etc.), but who lets his passion override social graces.

2. A person who is completely loyal to a game or company reguardless [sic] of if they suck or not.

3. An arrogant person who goes into an outburst every time something he likes is questioned.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Andrew – "But hey, if “The Last Kiss” is the worst movie you’ve ever seen, you need to get around a bit."

This is very likely true.

Rusty James
Guest

Comics can't possibly be geeky*, it's not a genre, its a medium. Is Alex Robinson's Tricky "geeky"? How 'bout Maus or Persepolis? James Strumm? Charles Burns? Seth? James Kolchalka? From Hell?

I think this rant has been brewing in me since the Watchmen Ad blitz. During which I think the nations film critics refered to me as a "rabid fanboy" in excess of 10 times.

Watchmen gets lumped in with fanboy stuff, and was a cause celebre for the fanboy culture but it doesn't really fit in the scene. True it's about Superheroes but it's clearly intended as some kind of epitaph for the genre. It's always been a cross over success, popular among non typical comic book readers and well regarded by literary critics. And it doesn't foster any OCD collector tendencies typical of fan boy types. There's no decades of back issues or action figurines (until the movie), no happy meal tie ins or spin off novels. It's just 12 issues of a comic book collected in a single volume.

Personally I wasn't responding to whether or not anyone watches LOST, I'm not one to tend towards evangalism. I was responding to Matt Gamble being allowed to spout off massive amounts of wrong, unchallenged, via this episode.

If he wants to be wrong he should do it here in comments where his complete lack of factual basis can be exposed.

*For the purposes of this comment I'm only talking about geeky in the fanboy sense. I don't mind being called geeky in general.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I think the nations film critics refered to me as a “rabid fanboy” in excess of 10 times.

10 is the largest number I know.

Rusty James
Guest

About that dudes worst list. I'll defend Black Dahlia. But it's really for DePalma fanatics only (we call ourselves depalmanattos).

rot
Guest

What Rusty is saying is we want Gamble's head, we will take it back to our camp all will be forgiven 🙂

Kurt
Guest

Not a fan of BD (although I am a DePalma fan for the most part), but I really, really dug the dinner sequence.

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Oh, yea, and I do adore Femme Fatale, even though a lot of folks crap on it. It's a highly rewatchable film.

ralph
Guest

i thought Black Dahlia sucked hard which was sad because it had such a good trailer.

ralph
Guest

The Last Kiss was good by the way. dare i say, even good.

Ashley
Guest

The Last Kiss may not be the worst movie of all time, but this guy's weekly reviews and quest to find said movie are funny as hell. You have to take what he says with a grain of salt, he's basically digging into movies he doesn't like, but he's so cynical about it, humour that is right up my alley. I laugh and enjoy even the entires for movies I have't seen.

About the "being white" comment: he makes similar remarks in several of his reviews, including Smart People with Ellen Page. It's stupid, but it's funny.

Ross Miller
Guest

@kurt,

On Dexter, I don't think they AT ALL softened it up to be mainstream, I think what they did was what always was in mind. Should they just be like Hostel or Ichi the Killer violent just for the sake of being the most 'out there' show?

However, remember, it's not on a widely available/watched channel (Shotime), and when they DID try to get it on ABC (I think it was) they said no because it "glorifies serial killing". To me it's pretty gruesome, certainly for a TV show (although not so much that it becomes unwatchable) – I just KNOW you're going to throw some obscure TV show that's ultra gruesome at me:P.

I don't know how you can think the supporting characters are bland? For me anyway, the show manages to make you actually care about them, as well as for a guy who's, when it comes down to it, a goddamn serial killer. The show is an interesting study of a guy who's, serial killer or not, very troubled, and how past events shape his life either directly or indirectly. It's dark, it's sarcastic, it's funny, it's uber-compelling, it leaves you wanting more every single episode, it's fun, and just a damn good show, damn it!:P I honestly thought Dexter would be adored around these parts. I recommend watching it again, finishing at least the first season.

And about the fanboy thing – doesn't those atrributes apply to everybody to some degree or another, particularly the third point? We all get a bit annoyed when someone doesn't like something you love, and sometimes express it with anger, or heaven forbid, actual swear words…

Your second point about a fanboy being someone who is loyal to something regardless if it sucks or not – that only applies if the thing at hand does, indeed, suck – Lost rules, so therefore it doesn't apply:)

Marina Antunes
Admin

DEXTER has certainly developed nicely as a show. Kurt – I don't think you gave it enough time; as Ross suggests, finish season 1 and I'd say it really kicks off in season 2. The supporting characters and the actors that play them have improved as the show has progressed (though they did kill off one of my faves) and the growing relationship between Dexter and Rita is throwing some interesting twists into the story.

I don't have any problems with the voice over and don't think it takes anything away from the show. I never really took Dexter as much more than simple entertainment (which in premise makes some statements about the vigilante, law enforcement, vigilantes). It's fun.

Rusty James
Guest

@ DEXTER has certainly developed nicely as a show. Kurt – I don’t think you gave it enough time

I took that bait with Six Feet Under. I just kept watching because people kept insisting it was worth it later on. I swear, the moment it got good was perpetually 5 episodes after where I'd seen up to. "It gets realy good in season 3!". Finally I just accepted that the shows popularity baffled me.

The offender in this category is Mad Men. Someone I know just insisted that if only I watch up to the middle of season 2 it'll all make sense.

Marina Antunes
Admin

@Rusty – I find that most of the TV shows I like have taken warming up to. The only I loved right out of the gate was Firefly (which sadly, I didn't discover until after it had been cancelled) and Six Feet Under which I watched religiously until the sad end.

At this point, DEXTER's supporting cast IS better. I liked season 1 well enough to follow through for season 2 but that's when things really got interesting and it's been great ever since.

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