Cinecast Episode 190 – That is a Lot of Tussle

 

 
 
The question is simple. What is more terrifying: aliens descending upon the earth to scoop up its citizens and eat their brains or the ongoing global warming political and scientific brouhaha or the crazy devastation of laissez-faire economics. Maybe a better question would be, which of the three is more likely? Diving into the finer points of the enviro-doc, Cool It! proves interesting conversation fodder before throwing less intelligent insults and praise at what is essentially an 80-minute, SFX, demo reel in a (SPOILERS!) discussion of the Strause brothers’ Skyline. Kurt rambles rather incoherently on the style, tone and minutae of Charles Ferguson’s Wall St. melt-down doc Inside Job. Furthermore on the documentary front, Netflix.ca proves to be quite the treasure trove for old Errol Morris and other delights. South of the border, Andrew and Matt sort of take it easy on their DVD players this week. Tangents on the Harry Potter franchise, fanaticism and multiplex hordes (which take their sanity toll on a certain fellow working in the multiplex biz.) Then there are some interesting DVD and Blu-ray picks this week; including the restoration of Metropolis (Blu-ray) (unfortunately delayed for a week) and what sounds like even more of an amazing prospect is the documentary about a man with no arms and no legs jumping (so to speak) into the world of competitive mixed-martial arts which puts the peanut gallery in stitches vis-a-vis insensitive wise-ass remarks. Lastly, there is a call put out to the listener base to offer ideas for our 200th episode which should land somewhere in the early going-on of the new year!

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 
 

 
 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_190.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_190-alt.mp3

 


 
Full show notes are under the seats…


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IN-HOUSE BUSINESS:
Movie Club Podcast (official site)
200th Episode


MAIN REVIEWS:
Skyline (Marina’s review)
Cool It! (Rot’s review)


OTHER REVIEWS:
Inside Job (Rot’s review)


WHAT ELSE WE WATCHED:

Kurt
We Live in Public (Rot’s review) (Netflix)
Down Terrace (Kurt’s review) (Netflix)
Gates of Heaven (IMDb) (Netflix)

Andrew
Hausu (Bob’s review) (Netflix)
Tess (IMDb) (Netflix)
The Man Who Cried (IMDb) (Netflix)

Matt
Ip Man (IMDb) (Netflix)


DVD PICK #1:
        ANDREW:

The Kids Are Alright
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        KURT:

Night of the Hunter
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        MATT:

Metropia
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

DVD PICK #2:
        ANDREW:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        KURT:

Don’t Look Back
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        MATT:

A Fighting Chance
(IMDb)
(Netflix)


OTHER DVDs NOW AVAILABLE:
The Last Airbender
Avatar
The Night of the Hunter
(Criterion) [Blu-ray] Modern Times (Criterion) [Blu-ray] Mutiny on the Bounty [Blu-ray] The Extra Man [Blu-ray] Vengeance
RoboGeisha
Sherlock Jr. / Three Ages [Blu-ray] Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
The Polar Express [Blu-ray 3D] Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] IMAX: Space Station [Blu-ray 3D]


OTHER STUFF MENTIONED:
Ben Wheatley’s website
Poverty in the U.S. vs. other countries


NEXT WEEK:
Monsters
127 Hours
Heartless
Made in Dagenham
The Next Three Days
Harry Potter part 7


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

 

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Amusingly, on the tip of my tongue was that famous silent film actress Lillian Gish is in Night of the Hunter, and I poster her picture for Talk Amoungst Yourselves last Friday! Damn you, Brain, why don't you work for a change!

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

And she's fantastic in Night of the Hunter. I stopped by Barnes & Noble last night but they didn't have it – the guy said he'd checked for a few other people, too, but apparently they didn't get it in their shipment. AAAAARRRRGH.

Antho42
Guest

For episode 200, you'll can re-watch and review a film that you dislike but is love by another host.

Matt Gamble-The Prestige

Andrew- Ocean 12

Kurt- Cars; Red Dawn.

Bob Turnbull
Admin

A quick point: "Scientists don't like to be proven wrong" – a real scientist embraces peer review and wants others to find their mistakes – this only makes their research better in the end. Unfortunately, I know that the reality is that political pressure and funding make the landscape scientists work in to be something very different than the quest for pure knowledge. Still, any scientist worth his salt wants to know if he is wrong…

As for "House", well, you know where I stand Andrew…B-) It's funny that Kurt mentions it being "alien". My co-hort at the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow (Eric) mentioned that if an alien was told the concept of what a "movie" is, this is what he might make. Obayashi brings all his experimental techniques into a basic storyline and tries to tell a better story using visuals by creating an anything goes atmosphere. And boy does he ever succeed. Too bad you didn't enjoy it though…

Bob Turnbull
Admin

Oh man Antho…Don't start The Prestige argument again. Please. I was there for the last one and it weren't pretty.

Andrew actually revisited Ocean's Twelve awhile ago to give it another shot. It didn't work. It's one of my fave films of the decade and he and I hashed it out a bit in the comments. We've come to terms with each other's opinion…B-)

Mike Rot
Member

So how is the latest Girl Talk album, Andrew? Still haven't downloaded it yet.

Just to clarify, my point is not that Global Warming is no big deal, its that ranked in order of holy shit importance, its #3. For there to be any logical headway towards effective global warming policy, you need somewhat competent financial and political leadership, and it just not exist. The optimism of Cool It! is great, but before you get too excited, watch Inside Job and see where the money is actually going, no money, no technology, no dramatic change. I like what Ondi said on Jay's podcast that no one wants to put money into geo-engineering because it is so out there futuristic and potentially dangerous, but they don't fully understand that it is an 11th hour solution to have in your back pocket if nothing else can stop it. You need that R&D in place to have on standby.

Peak Oil and the trillions of dollars derivative bubble are closer than global warming.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Well put, Mike. Better than me paraphrasing you, indeed!

Mike Rot
Member

To make Andrew's head explode, America as viewed from the outside:

http://peakoil.com/bussiness/america%E2%80%94the-

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

That above article is put in the most BOMBASTIC language possible (not very good for debate), a more 'technical' approach to the current state of America (without perhaps being about that subject at all…) is Raj Patel's book "THE VALUE OF NOTHING" which kinda hits most of the above points, but with lots of research, footnoting and elaboration, and a friendlier tone of voice! You've got to love a 'we're all fucked' book written in a pleasant tone of voice with opening quote from Oscar Wilde! Nice.

http://www.amazon.com/Value-Nothing-Reshape-Redef

Mike Rot
Member

the article is not debate, its pure rhetoric. I just tend to agree with virtually everything said in it, irrespective of tone of voice. My opinions are not dependent on this article, I have done the legwork to come to the conclusions elsewhere, but sometimes something blunt and passionate is something useful to get a point across. Consider this the "I'm as Mad as Hell and I am not going to take it anymore!" monologue.

Bob Turnbull
Admin

But that's the thing Mike…There's is actually far too much of this non-debatable type screed out there right now – on both sides. Hey, it's the guy's opinion – fine. I even see the underlying points that could be made, but short of him feeling good by getting this off his chest, i don't see much more value in it.

It's actually (as far as I know as I haven't seen the film or read his books) pretty much the exact opposite of the approach of Bjorn Lomborg (central figure of "Cool It"). He agrees there is a problem, asks for calm, looks at the VERY complicated issues and suggests rational possible tactics.

I'm not saying people can't have angry rants. In this case, I just don't think he succeeds at all in getting a valid point across nor does it really allow for any interesting conversation.

rot
Guest

Well Bob, I will tell you the value, at least the value to me. In my life I have read a fair bit about the political socio-economic history and recent trends of the United States, and globalization as a byproduct of free market enthusiasm that came from that country. I have watched many documentaries, I have had many debates which relied on fact-checking minute aspects of statistics (discerning contextual value of methodology) and I have come to some pretty solid opinions on the topic over however long I have been thinking politically.

What I feel mostly is that the fullness of what is wrong right now rarely gets encapsulated in a way to propound how wrong everything is. You can watch a documentary on the lack of balance to worldwide fishing policies, and hear scary statistics about how quickly we are depleting those reserves, you can read a book or an article about how "a couple bad apples" pushed for deregulating derivatives, or even Enron as a case-study, you can examine the education system in the United States as a stand alone topic, or the ratio of Americans that are imprisoned relative to other countries, … you can compartmentalize a lot of aspects, and usually due to the effort to exact an argument, one aspect alone can fill a book, and who will read that book? Might not be the same person interested, or even aware of aspects outside of it that together evoke a pattern of negligence, or errors in judgment on a macro-scale.

You mentioned Cool It!, that's a good example of what I am talking about… if you were only interested in the global warming debate, and you watched that film, it would make you overly optimistic about our ability to resolve that issue, because the film does not address the broken state of the financial sector. It implies that given sound reason, governments will accept the logic and make adjustments. Watch Inside Job and show me where there is anything remotely ''reasonable" going on, it is about power, and institutionalizing power to the few at the expense of the many. So without a bigger picture, without seeing the dots connected, you get caught up in skirmishes that if you really hit the bullet points with rhetoric, the propounding of that effect may inspire a wake-up call, or reconsidering at least what you hold to be true.

Rhetoric has a place, and its getting a bad rap because so many people are using it now. There are styles of rhetoric, and they work differently for different people. I am not saying this guy's style of rhetoric is perfect (I wasn't grading him on that)… I am saying if you consider the effect of all these possibilities, then maybe that can make one start to reconsider, to persuade one to look into it. Even as a defense mechanism, to say "My America is not that!" and, god willing, if you have any interest in rational thought, you will look to the evidence of that position and not return with rhetoric of your own, unconsidered. Rhetoric is like an opening statement… its not the debate, it ought to stir emotions, get people activated.

Look at most of the largest threads here, they start with a bold statement, and then can get into fine details of sparring. That article is meant to agitate.

but start with what you can work with… what is the debt-ratio for someone in the Philippines with someone in U.S., do you factor debt into wealth? By country, where does the U.S. fit with respects to vacation days, and does this matter to you? Is it true that one-third of children born in the United States today will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives? Is that significantly more than elsewhere?

rot
Guest

and perhaps I don't say this enough, or its not clear… I actually have a lot of fondness for America the idea, which since the the late sixties has slowly eroded away into something a ghost of itself. I watched Virtual JFK this week misty-eyed over the lost potential of possibly the finest leader that ever lived. When you watch that sixties footage, what stands out is how much we have lost an ethical grounding in our discourse. It was taken for granted that the country would never do anything that would jeopardize the lives abroad as well as their own, and there was an underlying respect for the president, you can challenge him in Q&A and he was challenged (where did the press go?!?) but it just seems like a different universe… and not just in the U.S., Canadian politics are to a lesser degree about shouting and posturing and partisanship.

rot
Guest

not much of a graph without a source and dates and methodology, but if its right and its worse than Albania… yikes. On the whole health care thing, an anecdote from my life… a family member of mine went to the doctor a week and a half ago for pneumonia symptoms, since then he has gone for three tests and has a fourth on Monday with a diagnosis of stage 3a lung cancer. I know I hear again and again from conservative pundits on both side of the border about long wait times in Canada, and I have not experienced it nor have I heard it from anyone I know.

Kurt
Guest

Fair Enough. But Maternal Mortality is as good a stat as any to judge how a society is functioning (land of plenty and all that…) – The full article is here, it's actually British, outcrying how much the UK has fallen, the US is still way below them though…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/

And more thorough statistics here – http://www.who.int/whosis/mme_2005.pdf

rot
Guest

would be glad to go point by point, but for now, let's revel in the fact that France has a statutory minimum of 30 days for vacation and 10 days of public days off.

the U.S. DOESN'T HAVE A MANDATORY requirement for vacation days, but typically gives 15, according to Mercer and 10 days of public days off.

Russia has a statutory minimum of 28 days leave, plus 12 days for public holidays.

Britain has a statutory minimum of 28 days off, but only 8 public holidays.

Poland has a statutory miminum of 26 vacation days and 10 days for public holidays.

The Finnish have a statutory minimum of 30 days for vacation, plus 10 days of public holidays.

Denmark has a statutory minimum of 25 days for vacation and 9 days for public holidays.

South Korea has 19 minimum vacation days, but enjoys 15 days in public holidays.

Canada has the least number of overall days off with only 10 as its statutory minimum and 9 in public holidays. (We both suck in this regard, but in defense of Canada, at least ours is mandatory)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33431347/Which_Country_Get

rot
Guest

and not to brag, but I get 35 days off vacation, plus the 9 measly public holidays.

Bob Turnbull
Admin

Mike, I do agree that rhetoric has a place and that there are myriad ways of starting the conversation. I also know you weren't pointing to this guy as a shining example of the style, but that's what my response is based on…"Cool It" may be looking at its issues out of the full context of the world, but at least Lomberg is trying to look for solutions.

I dislike the "My country – right or wrong" attitude as much as anyone. You can love your country and still be constructively critical of it. That rant has nothing constructive about it. It's not an opening statement – it's the guy's full case, he has no Exhibit A, no witnesses, no cross-examination and he didn't bother to stay for the verdict.

Again, I agree that rhetoric can be a useful tool, but I've frankly had it. My threshold has long been passed. All I see most of it accomplishing these days is a "yer with us or agin us" dividing line. Yes, I get cranky about it…B-)

Fortunately, I know there are still people who are willing to engage in discussion (both to teach and to hopefully learn) and I know you're among them…B-)

Kurt
Guest

…You beat this man long enough and he'll tell you he started the Chicago fire.

<img src=&quotcomment image" alt="" />

That doesn't necessarily Make it Fucking So!

(That's what I heard when I read the last sentence!) ha! Chris Penn rules.

rot
Guest

you can get into a vicious circle if you convince yourself that

1) all third-party statistics are not to be trusted

2) your perception can be trusted

3) opinion-based articles that agree with your perception can be trusted

I believe that same 'gut' philosophy is why Bush held two terms and contributed to the near-financial ruin of our economies. statistics, when used in the right context, can bring a sense of proportion to opinions. What I look for is the best available knowledge (perception tempered by credibly sourced and relevant statistics)… its a rigor I admit this article has nothing of, and I say again that was not the point of it. Its point was to acknowledge that there is a pattern of decadence or decline in America that is comparatively unique. It was NOT that everyone is taking viagra, but that there is a pattern if not in one particular person consequtively then in the culture (by the very existence and usage of these products).

The American way, and Canada way as a close ally, has been to habitually squash the symptoms and ignore the root cause of problems. The paragraph where he talks about going from one drug to the next draws attention to this habit… its ingrained in the marketplace.

But we can look at hard numbers from reliable sources if you believed in them. 🙂

The U.S. is the greatest debtor nation in the world… the "wealth" you see around you is surface wealth, it would be like if I maxed out all my credit to buy a fancy house and car and told myself I am living the good life, and just pretended the bill wasn't coming in the mail. Canada is something like 12th which isn't that great either but of the OECD countries we are the least indebted I believe.

Henrik
Guest

This thread is pure deja vu.

I'm tired of waiting for the collapse. I'm beginning to think we might survive all this shit. Well, some of us.

I believe Andrews argument against America being in deep shit is that he and his closest are doing fine. How are you going to argue that with statistics?

Mike Rot
Member

South and North Korea edging towards war, every week a new bank bailout, the strain of which is affecting the IMF and consumer confidence, and the stock market, IEA finally admitting oil peaked in 2006, 'austerity measures' become the new norm, we have Spain and Italy and likely Britain to enter into the sovereign debt bread line, no available cash nor political will to migrate to a new energy paradigm because of the lobbyists and cronyism and short-term thinking… you have volatility of market at the exact time you require mass amount of capital to change course with energy policy, if that isn't a recipe for disaster I don't know what is.

But from Denmark, the world probably isn't so bad.

Henrik
Guest

The only problem this sounds exactly the same as what you said 2 years ago. Like I said, I've begun to lose faith in you.

Mike Rot
Member

two years ago?! I only got onto the peak oil hardline around this time last year (after seeing Collapse and then reading Ruppert's book). And when we talked, I think earlier this year I was standing by the predictions of those with expertise in the topic saying within 2-5 years something has got to give.

I know the International Energy Agency acknowledging that Peak Oil happened in 2006 after a decade of pretending it would never happen doesn't bring chills down your spine, even though appreciating what that institution is and does, it really, really should. Here again is the weakness of facts and statistics when trying to convince someone who prefers first-person empirical proof.

Henrik
Guest

Hey man, I don't doubt Peak Oil and whatnot is real, I'm just wondering wether we'll die from it.

I mean I was expecting riots in the streets and madness. Struggle for food etc. I haven't seen shit yet, so I'm bored with waiting. Even though it might only have been one year, it's still lost its luster. I have no interest in a disaster that hasn't happened!

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

THE RUNNING MAN, had it all right.

Mike Rot
Member

I suspect before any crunch is felt there will be resource wars of significant size, diplomacy is really on its last leg (the last G20 meeting they couldn't even agree enough to come up with a bullshit group statement of what they will do with the currency issue!). It also saves face, hide realities within war, stoke the us vs. them mentality. That's why stuff like North Korea shooting at South Korea, a month or so after Kim met with China, a couple weeks after currency diplomacy failed, feels more worrisome than what on the surface may seem like a jurisdictional spat. The Wikileaks cables that came out this week apparently get into some of the backroom talk of NK giving weapons to Iran… all the timing of this is odd.

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