Cinecast Episode 276 – Give ’em an F!

It is festival time in Minneapolis and Turkey time in Canada and nobody bothered to go see Frankenweenie. Gamble joins us to moan about how thin the premise of Taken 2 is stretched, and Kurt recommends the Ron Fricke Baraka sequel Samsara, but neither have too much to say about either film. More time is spent on Homework grading this week, and the grading gets a little harsh at times. The Watch List covers Mean Girls, The Hole, Morgan Spurlock, James McTeigue and Bill O’Reilly. All of this put together equals less than two hours; so wherever you are, stand up and give us a hand for brevity!

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_12/episode_276.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…



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IN-HOUSE BUSINESS:
– Andrew on Film Jive Podcast (Looper)
Site design tweaks
RowThree mobile app
Flyway Film Fest


MAIN REVIEWS:
Taken 2
Samsara | (Kurt’s kids review)


GRADING HOMEWORK: (GPA spreadsheet – FALL 2012)

Sean Kelly (LetterBoxd): Peter O’Toole in Phantoms
Courtney Small: William Hurt in A History of Violence
Thomas Wishloff: Max Schreck Nosferatu
Mark Lorig: Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
Nat Almirall (LetterBoxd:) Telly Savalas in Horror Express
Rick Vance: Tsutomu Yamazaki in High and Low
Lennart Andersson: Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
Antho42: Tony Leung in Chungking Express
Ryan McNeil: Matt Damon in Saving Private Ryan


THE WATCH LIST:

Kurt
50 Documentaries to Watch Before You Die

Andrew
Mean Girls
V for Vendetta

Matt
– “The Rumble in the Air Conditioned Auditorium”
The Hole


HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT:
send us your best example of NON-SCARY movie that is set (or partially set) at Halloween = listen to show for details.

DUE: Tuesday, October 16th by 5pm EST


OTHER STUFF MENTIONED:
awesome halloween costume
Sound Unseen Film Festival
Twin Cities Film Festival
Bunuel at WTLTE


NEXT WEEK:
Argo
Seven Psychopaths
Gambit


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

FOLLOW US:
Andrew: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd | Pinterest
Kurt: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd
Matt: Twitter | LetterBoxd | Where the Long Tail Ends
RowThree: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd | Pinterest

 

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

It’s a shame that the time code notes don’t show on the new iPhone podcast app. Makes it harder to skip the Taken 2 review until I catch up with the film on the weekend. (jotting down timecodes)

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

BTW, I saw Frankenweenie yesterday and loved it.

Voncaster
Guest

Frankenweenie is certainly Burton’s strongest work in years. I loved it as well.

Its odd that this is his strongest work and years and it will probably be the least viewed. The power of Depp or color films I guess.

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

So, I saw Taken 2 today and returned to the podcast to hear Matt Gamble trash the film.

He isn’t totally wrong and I do find it a more generic action film that doesn’t have the same charm as the original, however I think I probably liked it better than him.

Gamble was WAY off in saying that an hour passes before the plot kicks into gear. The first act of the film is paced nearly exactly the same as the last film (and pretty much follows the same formula) and only about half and hour (maybe 40 minutes) passes before the action starts.

Maggie Grace definitely has a much larger role in this film and in fact dominates most of the second act. She is now 29 and is no longer that convincing as an 18-19 year old (it was already a stretch four years ago). While she was the innocent victim in the last film, now she spends an entire sequence wearing nothing but a bathing suit and open shirt. 😛

Overall, it was a lesser film than the last one, but I still found it decent.

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

I should also that there are not one, but two, songs in the film that are also in DRIVE. Don’t know if that was intentional or not.

antho42
Guest

Luc Besson gets a lifetime pass for the original Nikita and León.

Rick Vance
Guest

High & Low was Yamazaki’s debut role so there wasn’t that inbuilt association with Kurosawa yet.

Love the one for next week as I have the perfect film.

Antho42
Guest

The graphic novel V for Vendetta is pure shit. As glossy as the film is, it is way better than the novel and Zack Snyder’s Watchmen.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Epic Disagree.

Antho42
Guest

Speaking of glossyness, Zack Snyder is one of the Hollywood’s worst offenders; I fucking hate his style. Except for the opening credits, almost every single stylistic choice is inappropriate towards the themes of the story. It is so bad, I question whether Snyder fully understood the thematic richness of the source material.

Andrew James
Admin

Epic disagree on your disagree.

Watchmen is a complete shitty mess that is boring and makes no sense.

V for Vendetta at the very least is entertaining. On the more depthful side, V has a lot of great moments within. Particularly the scene in which Portman is captured.

I haven’t read the graphic novel and never will, so I can’t comment on that part.

Rick Vance
Guest

I have a feeling Kurt’s disagreement is with the Comic vs. Film (hopefully)

Also why you gotta add that ‘never will’.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I’ve not read the V comic but did watch the film upon its theatrical release. I’ve read both Watchmen comic and seen the film.

Watchmen certainly is weird due to its glossy cinematography and need to make things ‘cool’ more than ‘dour-satirical’ as did the novel, but I’ve come to quite appreciate what Snyder accomplished in terms of telling that story, and creating that world, particularly the Dr.Manhattan thread.

V is simply poorly directed, the stars are giving solid performances in V that the director has no clue how to put in context of the filmmaking. I can somewhat agree that V has several great moments that fail ever to add up to any kind of good film.

Rick Vance
Guest

I haven’t been able to go back to the Watchmen film because of how much it just works better in comics combined with how much they absolutely ruin most of the characters, also the huge mofit from Manhattan chapter was completely stripped from the movie.

Also the mystery is nonexistent.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Well, I’d argue that Snyder nailed The Comedian (and his unique brand of violence), Rorschach, Night Owl, Dr. Manhattan and the Manhattan/Spectre Romance.

The Ozymandias thread didn’t translate to the screen as elegantly, and Snyder is obsessed with making the fights look ‘comic-book-violent-cool’ instead of sad-and-desperate.

The opening credits sequence is AMAZING (admittedly not directed by Snyder, but still…)

The Antarctic stuff falls into the failure to properly translate Ozy’s thread/ambition/etc. in a tone that works.

But.

(and here is the thing I actually argue the most about the film…)

The removal of the Squid for and replacement of the fear of MANHATTAN is actually the ‘don’t cross the streams’ moment of the Watchmen Movie that the comic book doesn’t quite pull together for me, and that is the one REALLY Big change the film makes, and it’s a total keeper. I love handling the story this way.

Nat Almirall
Guest

Regarding Watchmen, I’m pretty much in total agreement with Kurt (despite the fact that he has apparently been whipped into tearful submission by Gamble’s cavernous stink-bomb of a rat vagina); if you think of films as a bell curve, with the highs and lows on either side and the okay stuff is the bulk in between them, Watchman is pretty much the complete opposite, that is, almost everything is either really good or really bad and practically nothing is so-so.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I like how Nat blames me when it was Kurt was who originally suggested the tough grade. Quit your crying, crybaby!

Nat Almirall
Guest

I like how Gamble’s trolling comments at 2:00 am

Goon
Guest

Mark me down as pro-Watchmen, and always have been. And agree that it’s completely in the ‘awesome or shit’ zone. And yet…. I’ve seen it enough times that I wouldn’t trade the Hallelujah sex scene fro something else.

The Director’s Cut and Extended Cut feel like a mini series and is the best way to watch it. The supplemental Under the Hood and Black Freighter stuff is some of my favorite supplemental mythbuilding material.

Antho42
Guest

Not only is it glossy, I also found Watchmen to be very boring. It is still better than Iron Man 1 and 2, and X3, though.

Voncaster
Guest

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and tastes.

But I personally find that any Alan Moore graphic novel is worth reading. V for Vendetta, Watchman and the Killing Joke are probably his best known and best liked works. Mainstream western comic book writing doesn’t get much better than Moore.

Matt Gamble
Guest

*cough* From Hell *cough*

Robert Reineke
Guest

Yeah, I think From Hell is Alan Moore’s best work. The adaptation is a travesty. It may almost work as a generic Jack the Ripper movie, but it has nothing to do with Alan Moore.

Hollywood consistently tried to take Moore’s work and make it glossy and cool and that represents a major misunderstanding of what he’s aiming for. Particularly since Moore generally only aims to make the sex cool, not the violence. Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen all suffer from that excess. Constantine, which is only kinda sorta Moore’s, seems the only one that maybe pulls it off since it goes for a bunch of religious iconography which works even if it’s not what Moore would have intended. Or Garth Ennis since it’s mostly an adaptation of Dangerous Habits.

Voncaster
Guest

My favorite Alan Moore work is Lost Girls. Moore has always dealt with sex in his work and I think Lost Girls explores that theme more deeply than any of his other works. I really like Melinda Gebbie’s artwork as well.

From Hell is superbly researched and constructed, but its not a book I frequently re-read. The murders in From Hell are particularly gruesome. I think there is a whole chapter dedicated to mutilating a body. Dark stuff.

Rick Vance
Guest

Didn’t we have this conversation some time during the summer I seem to remember it.

The V for Vendetta movie strips the the most key aspects of the spirit of the story out of it for the pap Hollywood blockbuster ending. The only thing it has going for it is Hugo Weaving.

Antho42
Guest

Are there no Spanish speakers in Minnesota? Matt Gamble, it is “Luis Bunuel,” not “Louie Bunuel.”

Robert Reineke
Guest

Apparently Andrew isn’t getting / is blocking my emails as this is the second week in a row my homework didn’t show up. I submitted Elsa Lanchester in Bride of Frankenstein since it’s rare that the title character doesn’t show up until the end. With the caveat that I realize Elsa portrays Mary Shelley in the prologue.

Andrew James
Admin

Yeah I am definitely not getting your emails. I got your submission for the master homework, but nothing since then. Maybe try my “official” email address:

ajames AT gmail

Jonathan
Guest

Bummer, sorry Robert. I always enjoy your contributions here.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Apparently I was identified as Spam, but we got it straightened out now.

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

Regarding PHANTOMS, I first saw the second half of it one night when I was channel surfing and found that I liked it. I finally got to watch the whole thing a few months ago when it popped up on Netflix and its become a bit of a cult favourite of mine.

I’ve tried a few times to find a DVD copy, but it’s sadly one of those films that stores don’t really keep in stock.

Schizopolis
Guest

I should’ve wrote in for this homework. Steve McQueen was top-billed in The Towering Inferno. The fire starts at around 30 mins into the film. But McQueen as the Fire Chief doesn’t show up until the 45 minute mark!! The best part of his intro is when he first meets the architect (Paul Newman) outside of the burning skyscraper and McQueen epically snubs him.

I would’ve had a slam dunk!! lol And my two all-time favorite movie stars in too.

Rick Vance
Guest

I gotta unpack this stuff away from Nat & Matt bickering

“Well, I’d argue that Snyder nailed The Comedian (and his unique brand of violence), Rorschach, Night Owl, Dr. Manhattan and the Manhattan/Spectre Romance.”

The Ozymandias thread didn’t translate to the screen as elegantly, and Snyder is obsessed with making the fights look ‘comic-book-violent-cool’ instead of sad-and-desperate.

The opening credits sequence is AMAZING (admittedly not directed by Snyder, but still…)

The Antarctic stuff falls into the failure to properly translate Ozy’s thread/ambition/etc. in a tone that works.

But.

(and here is the thing I actually argue the most about the film…)

The removal of the Squid for and replacement of the fear of MANHATTAN is actually the ‘don’t cross the streams’ moment of the Watchmen Movie that the comic book doesn’t quite pull together for me, and that is the one REALLY Big change the film makes, and it’s a total
keeper. I love handling the story this way.”

You have managed to hit the three things that are completely wrong with the movie.

1. The plot
2. The Gloss
3. The Characters

1. The changing of the ending scene because of how the comic is structured ends up breaking the entire plot of the story on its knee to a point where it no longer makes sense. Edward Blake is murdered because he notices something crazy going on on this island and suspecting danger infiltrates it. He finds out about the plan and sees the monstrosity they are creating (this isn’t just inference the beast is under a tarp in one of the issues). The realization of the plan breaks his mind tips him over the edge so he goes to Moloch, who was on the cancer list, who is being monitored by Adrian because of this. Blake reveals what he knows so Adrian kills him which starts the plot.

In the movie there is no island, because we see that Adrian is working with Jon in supposedly creating free energy, so there is nothing out of place for Blake to see which means the plot shouldn’t even begin in the movie.

The Squid ties into other things also part of it is supposed to be a shock and to dumbfound the reader in the way that chapter opens with the huge open pages of destruction (that the movie also sanitizes with a Blue CGI explosion which is fucking bullshit in a rated R movie) that are anathema to the tight grid of the rest of the comic.

2. The Zach Snyder of the action sequences and the gloss also contributes to ripping the seams that are supposed to be tying this story together. I can show this in one scene.

The opening 5 minute crazy knife / gun fight between Adrian and Edward(who is over the hump of prime and drunk) features them being smashed through stone countertops, punching through walls and generally being more acrobatic than people their age should be. The very same movie wants us to believe not 20 minutes later that a younger Edward Blake is surprised by a pregnant lady with a beer bottle, I call bullshit.

3. My large beef with the characters is that the movie and the entire team working on it missed the key moment when Rorschach snaps.

Also Adrian being painted as the Evil Gay blowing up a one line possibility from the comic is troublesome, as is the made up scene for the movie where he threatens champions of industry in a “GUESS WHO IS THE VILLAIN SCENE”

The other characters are decent but either underutilized (Jefferey Dean Morgan), terrible (Malin Akerman), not given enough to do (Billy Crudup) and Dan who is the bland straight man which Wilson does well until that scream near the end.

Then you pile on the gloss and the on the nose / completely out of place musical choices and you have pile of mess which doesn’t work as a movie let alone as a comparison to a truly great story.

Which isn’t even getting me started on a lot of the comic things that are lost in translation or the 4 hour Ultimate bullshit cut.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I’ve not seen the 4 hour cut of the film, so I am just talking about the 2h37 Theatrical version.

But let me address how I see you points.

1) The Comedian’s reaction to Molloch. Before Blake was acting as a government spook and assassin killing off individuals and engineering governments. If he found out that Ozymandias was radiation poising people (part of the reason he goes to Molloch to confess?) in a bid to create an engineered ‘controlled’ WW3 then I can easily see that freaking him out more than genetically engineering a huge squid. So I don’t see the issue here.

In terms of ‘sanitizing’ the destruction of NY, well, the film certainly plays with the Stalin notion that a single death is tragic but a holocaust is a statistic…Certainly the film has no issues with gore and blood in scenes like the serial killer and the little girls corpse being fought over by the dogs, or Manhattan’s attempt at crime-fighting resulting in bloody gangster carcasses or the ugliness of The Comedian whenever he snaps and just starts killing people (the Keane Mob scene)

2) I agree with the violence should have been kept to the human scale and yea, the opening scene would benefit by being quick and right to the ‘tossed out the window’ without the ‘smash the appartment to bits action sequence. Also the Spectre/Owl alley fight and Prison Break corridor fight – they should have left out the speed ramping and made the actually fighting be done without wire-work or crazy acrobatics. All the violence should be gritty instead of slick. I AGREE. This is the chief flaw of the filmmaking in Watchmen, but the actual fights/violence is actually only a very small part of the film, so I can look past it and enjoy the world-building and characters which are pretty good. (Edward Blake with the beer bottle? He was drunk, over-confident with the war being won, and just wanting the Vietnamese girl to go away, easy to under-estimate that…no issue there, it’s part of the story and later sets up his behavior to Ms. Jupiter)

3) I’m not sure there is a concrete argument here, more your own vagaries with tone in individual scenes. If I recall correctly, most of the music choices are directly taken from the comic where the lyrics are right in the panels (At least the Simon & Garfunkel and the Jimi Hendrix stuff is…Not sure about the Leonard Cohen). Of course I adore the Dylan opening credit sequence that gets much of the between-the-chapters exposition out of the way in 3 very evocative minutes of montage.

Considering the AVENGERS coming out this summer, and re-watching WATCHMEN recently, I’m much, much more a fan of the Snyder film than the Whedon one, this is as much a function that the Watchmen story is 1000x more interesting and compelling, as it is the actual filmmaking…

Nat Almirall
Guest

0. Sorry, didn’t mean to get caught in a Gamble Hole, where logic, taste, and comprehension are raped to Jodie Fosterian levels. (Damn, it really is an endless cycle!)

1. In the movie Adrian says that Blake and the US government were keeping tabs on him and that Blake figured it out, went to Moloch, and was hence killed.

I’m also with Kurt that Adrian’s scheme in the movie is superior; in the book the destructive force is derived from the mind of a psychic, which is Stephen King’d in as a plot device. The whole comic hinges on the fact that Dr. Manhattan is supposed to be the only person in the world who has supernatural powers, and now, just for the sake of convenience, there’s psychics, too?

Similarly, if Adrian’s monitoring everything, why didn’t he just kill Blake when Blake got to the island? Was Adrian not monitoring the island as well? You’re telling me that he’s going to spy on everything that even slightly figures into his plan except the single most important place?

And, most importantly, the movie ending neatly ties in the work that both Manhattan and Adrian are working on, keeping the focus on two major characters instead of whipping up this whole sideplot with the island. It also provides a reason for Manhattan to leave the planet

2. I agree with you on the fight scenes, and I’d much rather see a slow old man fight a middle-aged man than another martial-arts fest.

3. Not a fan of the scream either, but a lot of the criticisms with the characters you bring up seem more based on inconsistencies with the comic.

Rick Vance
Guest

Adrian would have preferred to just not have killed Blake I would bet so he was waiting to see how he would process the information, Blake being an amoral sociopath may have not broken down, but he did so now the blabbing had begun.

When my complains skew too closely to the comic it is because they kept A from the book but not B that is heavily referenced from A. So there is a disconnect.

That opening fight scene is a great example of that because they fight for a large chunk of time and do some brutal things to each other yet at the end of it all Blake has to show for it is the same bloody lip he has in the comic.

Or with Rorschach who is the best example the line “Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach.” and all the other single shot references to the dogs are direct references to the fact that the minute that Walter went over the deep end wasn’t when he chained that guy to the post Mad Max style and let him burn to death it was when he brought the cleaver down onto the dogs face because the dogs were innocent and just following their master. A is there the payoff isn’t so I can’t square it in my mind when I watch the movie.

Also there are other things that make the book more science fiction than just Dr. Manhattan that allows me to buy psychics, Moloch’s entire character is part of it, as is the other crazy albeit technological changes the world has gone through in terms of eugenics and material processing and food processing (4 Drumstick chicken in a single panel), that I buy it, also when it is the “World’s Smartest Man” doing it it lends credence to it.

The other major problem with the movies ending is actually detailed in the book, in Chapter 4 the Dr. Manhattan chapter at the back in the scientists examination of Manhattan and his effects (if you didn’t read the text stuff I suggest going back). He talks about how after the bloody struggle Russia went through in WW2 the country had developed a mindset that rather than be the subject of someone they would rather just start Nuclear War (mutually assured destruction), which is part of the reason the Alien had to be so Alien so it wasn’t seen as something that had been the fault of the United States like Dr. Manhattan blowing up would have been. The Alien is other to an extent that makes the world have to come to grips with it.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Not to shut down the conversation too much, but many of these details are rather irrelevant if you consider the film its own entity, a way of adapting the book, rather than being too slavish (And the film is a weird mix of slavish recreation of panels visually (ala Sin City) as well as wholesale stylistic changes (the glossy superhero fights which are at odds with the mater) , etc. etc.

In terms of Rorscach’s development over the story, all things considered in a ‘Big Team’ movie (Note the Watchman Movie pre-dates The Avengers movie by several years) they get Rors’ psyche, motivation and deep principles really well articulated. I’ve got zero issue with how this is handled in the film…

But this is why I love the Manhattan engineered as the enemy, because Dr. Manhattan is basically a metaphor for Nuclear age (it’s a neat trick that he is both a character used by politicians (Nixon, etc.) as a metaphor in the story, as well as a metaphor outsides the story to the reader…) And that threat can be independent of people (i.e. do guns kill people or people kill people?, and thus the peace based on a lie at the end of the film is also an allegory of perestroika dis-armament that happened under Gorbachev’s watch in Russia)

Thus not making it a squid/alien plot to unite the world, it is far more directly associated with the nuclear threat that is the focus of the entire story to begin with…

Antho42
Guest

I do not have a problem with the ending. All the problems I have with the film are “the wholesale stylistic changes (the glossy superhero fights which are at odds with the mater). ”

No, that does not mean that the film has to be faithful to the source material — but if an adaptation strays away from the source material, at least do something interesting. Like I said earlier in the thread, except for the opening credits, I pretty much do not like any of Snyder’s original, stylistic decisions.

Rick Vance
Guest

The squid was all about circumventing the threats of the day with something so massive that all those smaller threats would fall by the wayside.

Also sure to one man they may be nitpicks but if this year has taught us anything that enough of them chipping away at the film can cause it to topple.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Furthermore, WATCHMEN’s ending, that of the completion of Ozymandias’ plotting, and the complicity of the costumed heroes which allows for the stand-down of aggression, a total falsehood, is notably the connective tissue between THE DARK KNIGHT and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. There, the lie of Harvey Dent (and incrimination of Batman) form the basis of a temporary peace in Gotham. The Watchman ends on the final shot of Rorschach’s diary, The Dark Knight rises opens with Commissioner Gordon reading/failing-to-complete a note which contains the truth, in the end, it is Bane that outs things.

Both films concern the hearts and fears of the people of New York City (ok, Gotham), and both tackle large sociopolitical issues of our times.

It’s an interesting connection…

Antho42
Guest

Rowthree should have its own “Defend the Undefendable” film series.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I call Sucker Punch.

Antho42
Guest

I will like to hear/read Goon’s defense of X3. I might re-watch it to see if it is indeed not as bad I remembered it to be.

Goon
Guest

I like X3 for a number of reasons

1) I like everything X-Men, I just do and thus can’t be trusted. I even like Wolverine.

2) If you choose to ignore 1, I would say that it’s because X3 just keeps moving, it has a lot of pieces in play, I know all of them through X-knowledge even if/when the movie isn’t filling them in. I’m happy with X-Men movies juggling a zillion characters.

3) I think it’s just plain fun. Shit blows up, there’s one liners, important characters die, other characters develop further from the previous films in ways I am a fan of. And the film is absolutely full of ‘movie moments’ that are memorable highlights of the series that invite me back to watch it, whereas a ‘better’ film may not have that hook. And finally, the X-Men themes never went away, the X-Men movies are about stuff, unlike The Avengers, which, as much better as Avengers is, isn’t really about anything. Maybe comic book fans don’t care if they’re about anything. I do.

Ultimately, I would actually say I’m better on defense of X3 when it’s being attacked than I am as a straight up supporter. Among most of the people I know (IRL) they are hung up on Cyclops and Xavier dying and they just shut down everything else. They’re hung up on Nightcrawler being gone and Angel only being in it for a minute. They act like Brett Ratner fundamentally changed the series, when the story and everything under the surface – same players. Ratner to me is a jobber and he actually did a fair impersonation of what Singer brought to the series.

———-

by the way, this idea out there that X-Men 3 is absolutely loathed by the general public… is just plain false. 6.8 on the IMDB. For comparisons sake, The Limey is a 7.1 – apples and oranges of course, but just to make it clear that perception is everything. Here’s a better one, Superman II has a strong reputation. It’s a 6.7 on IMDB.

The Internet and fanboys have their go-to’s to pick on and bully concensus about, and X3 is one of them. Revenge of the Sith is a 7.7, 0.1 behind Lost in Translation. Crystal Skull is a 6.4, Spider-Man 3 is a 6.3. The supposedly divisive Prometheus is a 7.3.

The point with all these numbers is simply that message boards and communities push a illusion of concensus that doesn’t match reality.

Nat Almirall
Guest

Pretty much with Kurt again — “When my complains skew too closely to the comic it is because they kept A from the book but not B that is heavily referenced from A. So there is a disconnect.”

That’s a good way of looking at it, but I don’t think your points fit within that.

If they had a close-up of Blake’s face where it was mangled to Hell and back then later showed it with only a bloody lip, then I think you’d be right. However, I don’t think there is any such shot, so you’re basically saying that the fight is unrealistic, which I think we’ve already agreed on.

With Rorschach, that’s a really good find, and I never noticed that connection before in the book, but even still, the movie has its own callback to it with the “Dogs get put down” line. It’s different from the book, granted, but the movie does have its own reference to it.

I forget whether Moloch had actual superpowers, but I don’t believe so. Likewise, I believe the technological advances cited were all results of Dr. Manhattan’s existence, so there’s at least an explanation for them.

As for the Russia thing, you’re using supplemental material that appears in the book to criticize something that’s not referenced in the movie.

Rick Vance
Guest

The back matter in Watchmen isn’t supplemental and that piece is called Living in the Shadow of Manhattan hence the connection to the end of the movie.

Robert Reineke
Guest

I agree that the back matter isn’t supplemental.

OTOH, isn’t Snyder, with the benefit of hindsight, allowed to say that the Soviets weren’t a bunch of suicidal dead-enders? The fact that the Soviet Union collapsed only about 2 years after the completion of Watchmen should be relevant when evaluating the story. The Cold War didn’t need a psychic squid to come to an end and that perhaps even further shows the hubris of Veidt, a man who wanted to end it on his terms in one bold move.

Robert Reineke
Guest

It occurs to me that Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, and even Christopher Reeve in Superman would have been a good submission for the homework assignment.

Cody Lang
Guest

Thanks for mentioning my feature on WTLTE. Great show as always. I especially liked when Andrew said “that guy sucks” (referring to Steven Summers). Made me laugh at loud.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Happy to Cody, I know James was as big a fan of it as I was. Shame we had so many posts going up the past couple of weeks which knocked it off the front page so quickly.

Cody Lang
Guest

Haha, that’s fine. It’s there if people want to check it out. Robert’s articles are really interesting as well. Reading his features makes me want to buy a Kurosawa box set now.

Robert Reineke
Guest

I’m happy to see the Bunuel feature starting up as well. He’s been a director that I’ve wanted to see more of as the little I’ve seen, Veridiana and The Exterminating Angel, knocked my socks off. More content is always good.

Cody Lang
Guest

Yeah, he’s done a lot of shorter features so I should be able to get through those pretty quick. I was able to see Belle de Jour in the cinema six months which was pretty cool. Have you seen any Kurosawa films on the big screen Robert?

Robert Reineke
Guest

Yeah, I’ve managed to see Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Dersu Uzala, Ran, and Dreams on the big screen. There’s a bunch more, but unfortunately home video has kind of killed the repertory theater. Maybe something like Tugg will bring it back.

One of the things that’s been most satisfying was uncovering some terrific films that simply don’t get the press of Kurosawa’s masterpieces. No Regrets for Our Youth and One Wonderful Sunday really jumped out as underappreciated gems.

Rick Vance
Guest

Should also point out the other major difference between the V For Vendetta comic & film is that the movie ends in a joyous parade of all the people wearing the masks as buildings are destroyed and seems to paint V as a heroic figure.

Where the end of the comic is a much smaller affair that reaffirms that there was no good or evil in the book just competing ideals for a better tomorrow.

Andrew James
Admin

I like that ending better. I’m still probably not going to read the comic. The ending of the movie is by far its weakest moment.

Antho42
Guest

Despite being perceived as a “dumb down” adaptation, it is ironic that the trend of wearing V’s masks (Guy Fawkes) to protesting rallies has more to do with the film than the graphic novel.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Yeah, the book has one of the major characters walk off into the darkness, literally. It’s certainly not the “yay, democracy” ending of the film.

That said, I do think the film was trying to get at something in that a bunch of the people wearing the masks that overthrow the regime turn out to be dead/victims of the regime in the film. Perhaps it’s making a comment on ghosts/memories inspiring revolution, that no one dies in vain.

Cody Lang
Guest

Not to nitpick on Kurt again, but I believe Lucas and Coppola produced Kagemusha not Ran. Also, I read an interview with Scorsese and he mentioned that he was trying to a do similar thing with Fellini.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

You are right. It was Kagemusha. OOOPS. I was wrong on that.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Actually, I think they did both. Kagemusha was certainly the first one, and Ran was dependant on it being successful.

Cody Lang
Guest

I’m sure Ran was dependent upon Kagemusha’s success. But, it was produced by three japanese producers along with Serge Silberman, a frequent collaborator with Bunuel. I also read that Ran had the biggest budget for Japanese upon its release (12 million).

Matt Gamble
Guest

Was Silberman who headed up the French financing for Ran? I know money was kind of coming from everywhere.

Brittany
Guest

Maybe Kurt will finally check out The Town since Argo is coming out this week 😉

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