72 Comments


  1. Nicole says:

    No Gamble again?

  2. Voncaster says:

    WTF. Letterboxd makes you pay to use lists? It seems like there are much better ways to monetize the site than that. Ridiculous.

  3. JapeMan says:

    No video feed?

  4. antho42 says:

    Maybe you went to a hip High School, Andrew James, but my high school encouraged vanilla music, such as Linkin Park or pop hits, or safe classic stuff, such Metallica and The Beatles. There were not that many hipsters around.

    What is kind of funny is that The Smiths had a huge following with the more “Chicano” Mexican students. Weird. This association put me off from listen to their music, for a while.

    • Andrew James says:

      I would never be able to pinpoint my school as listening to one type of music. We were somewhat eclectic – sure mostly middle to upper-middle class white kids from the burbs, but the music ranged from hip-hop to metal to classical to the jazz freaks to pop.

      I was in a band and we played mostly what was popular at the time: Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, Smashing Pumps, Spin Doctors, Jane’s Addiction, STP, Radiohead, Black Crowes, Gin Blossoms. And people seemed to really dig on that stuff. The Seattle sound was very popular at the time.

      Still, I think people prided themselves on listening to different things. A huge swathe of us listened to “The Samples” or “Freddy Jones Bad” or “Phish” and thought we were cool for liking different stuff that isn’t on the radio. Basically, if you sought out different stuff, you were not thought of as an outcast, but more like someone of interest: “What are you listening to? That sounds good!” as opposed to, “what kid of shit is that!? Why aren’t you listening to Janet Jackson?”

  5. antho42 says:

    And I agree with Kurt: We yanks do put lots of emphasis on our high school phase. Prom is treated like one the most important moments in someone’s life.

    From my experience, except for maybe Japan (although that’s a different story), the world does not give a toss about the high school experience.

    • Andrew James says:

      I agree that’s probably true about function in high school being important and these being “The important years” or whatever, but I think we were talking about different things. I was talking about the issues these kids are facing in their teen years. It doesn’t matter how old you are, beating women and getting hooked on drugs and suicidal tendencies are really serious issues and need to be treated in one form or another. In fact, I’d argue that some of these issues tackled in “Perks/Wallflower” are possibly more important to high school kids because it will affect who they are as people; psychologically and possibly physically.

      So to say to someone who just had a friend commit suicide or someone who was molested that it doesn’t really matter that much because you’re only in high school and everything will get better later is ludicrous – and kind of sickening. For the record, I don’t think that is what Kurt was talking about at all. Like I said, I think we were kind of talking about two different things.

      Watched “The Breakfast Club” last night and the issues those kids are dealing with are fairly serious and WILL affect who they are as adults. So to brush it all off as just “bullshit high school drama” is doing a HUGE disservice to our youth.

      That said, with Perks/Wallflower – it is kind of bullshit in the way in which it is handled. The issues are serious, but the storytelling is preposterous.

  6. ultimolee says:

    @Andrew Letterboxd changed their mind on the 20 film limit lists after a big out cry from pretty much everyone on the site.

    Here’s the 500 comment thread
    http://letterboxd.com/mr_dulac/list/letterboxd-pro-whos-in/

    If you Ctrl + f Matthew Buchanan it’s all explained.

  7. Bob says:

    @Andrew I can see your point regarding Letterboxd, though you kind of sounded a bit like a junkie whose dealer just told him the free hits are gone, time to pay up. Your example of IMDB sealed that, as you said you and Kurt would HAVE to pay in the scenario you provided. But why would you HAVE to pay? You said it, because you need that information. If you can find it cheaper and more conveniently elsewhere, you’ll do it.

    I think Letterboxd will figure this out as they go. There are HUGE opportunities for them to make use of the data their collecting, and it doesn’t have to translate to more ads on the site. I would guess the studios would be interested in some of that data. How about indie filmmakers who want to promote their latest film in front of an audience who is more likely to enjoy it? There are a lot of ways for Letterboxd to make money. I’m thankful they went with this route, paying for the service, but I expect them to continue to iterate and evolve it.

  8. Sean Kelly says:

    I’m assuming you’re talking about “In the House, In a Heartbeat,” which is a track from John Murphy’s score from 28 Days Later

    The theme HAS been reused in Kick-Ass, which was also scored by John Murphy.

    Also, the version of Comfortably Numb used in THE DEPARTED is a live version by John Waters and Van Morrison.

    • Sean Kelly says:

      Also, the David Bowie song from Inglourious Basterds is called “Cat People” and was written for the film of the same name.

    • Markus Krenn says:

      Speaking of, im still waiting for someone to use Floyd’s Wish you were here in a good context.
      The coverversion in Dogtown Boys didn’t do it for me.

      • Andrew James says:

        I should’ve mentioned how PERFECTLY Pink Floyd was used in Cafe de Flore. There’s a case where the movie used (very special music to me) to better the movie in my estimation.

        Pitch Perfect took “Don’t You Forget About Me” (maybe my favorite 80s pop song) and integrated it into the final medley and I thought it was awesome.

    • Andrew James says:

      That’s the song I was talking about indeed. It was used in countless movies and trailers, video games and even some commercials for about 5 years after 28 Days Later. Maybe it was used before that, but this is the first I heard it.

  9. Markus Krenn says:

    I gave Pitch Perfect a 4/5 on Letterboxd. Not because it’s a good movie by any means, but i enjoyed the heck out of it.
    By any means i shouldn’t have, but it pushed alot of buttons for me.
    And the puke angel was hilarious.

  10. Arnold Schizopolis says:

    Regarding the new Star Wars movies, forget about JJ Abrams’ lens flare. My biggest concern about JJ as director is that he has to shoot and edit Star Wars classically. So no more slow-mo shots edited to dramatic music, no spinning camera moves, no fast moving crane shots, no POV, etc. Has JJ ever shot a film without relying on these fancy techniques? Will he change Star Wars and use techniques that were never used in episodes 1 thru 6?

    I always thought filmmakers like Ang Lee, Joe Wright or even PT Anderson would’ve been perfect directors for a Star Wars movie. Lucas’ hero was Kurosawa and these directors can shoot epic and classic. Other than JJ, the short list of directors were Jon Favreau, Matthew Vaughan and I think Ben Affleck. WTF??

    • Andrew James says:

      Ooo! Ang Lee. Good call. I would lobby for an Ang Lee Star Wars for sure. Joe Wright would be cool too.

      Shit, Sam Mendes showed us what he can do with Bond, maybe a Sam Mendes SW movie.

  11. Sean Kelly says:

    Kurt, as someone who has read THE GREEN MILE, it was NOT released Chapter by Chapter. It was released as five multi-chapter novellas, which are still labeled in the full novel.

    • antho42 says:

      They tend to do that in Asian countries. Most of Murakami’s novels were released as multi-novellas in Japan.

    • Andrew James says:

      I remember just waiting until all the volumes were out and read them all at once on a road trip.

      I actually kind of liked holding the smaller little paperbacks – they were easy to manipulate and carry around.

  12. Sean Kelly says:

    Episode 300 – Do a live commentary of the movie 300. :P

  13. Goon says:

    I think Andrew is emotionally tone-deaf on Perks, but oh well. Kurt in the other hand is a jerk if he’s going to generally snub his nose at people his age who can relate to high-school age oriented films… extend that to children’s films as well? Just because you can’t empathasize and emotionally connect to characters going through such self centred and confused times doesn’t give you the right to judge others here. Its people who can do this that are making art that helps people get over themselves, grow up, and/or enjoy those times with as little unnecessary drama as possible. This sstuff also allows others to relive and address old wounds to give them better perspective to move forward and live less bitter lives, let go and forgive.

    Extending that even younger your attitude is essentially a middle finger to a Jim Henson young at heart type. If you’re gonna look down at people who can enjoy an uplifting youth centric work, well, shame on you man. That’s awful.

    • Kurt says:

      No. I’m snubbing my nose on the glorification of the High-School experience in American culture, equating that it is THE-MOST-IMPORTANT time in your life.

      It’s not.

      I can relate to inner child, romance for the wonder years and all that, or, really, emotionally significant moments at any age (I’m a big fan of both Paul Cox’s Innocence, and Michael Haneke’s Amour, both focus on Septuagenarians) as equally as something like Stand By Me or Welcome to the Dollhouse.)

      • Matt Gamble says:

        To the main character of the film, it kind of is.

        BTW, a big reason why the High School experience is so glorified in American culture is that for roughly the past 100 years every generation has had huge amounts of kids being shipped off to be killed in a war at the age of 18. So yeah, High School is kind of a big deal.

      • Markus Krenn says:

        No love for “Dear Wendy” in that regard?

  14. Goon says:

    You should revisit what you said about your “ludicrous” peers on the show. You may not have intended perhaps but what you actually stated came across as highly offensive

  15. Goon says:

    “I have no problem with something like Perks of Being a Wallflower speaking to its age group, but someone in our age group watching that is ludicrous.”

    This is the sentence I’m calling out here.

    • Kurt says:

      Guilty on that one.

    • Matt Gamble says:

      I’d say the bigger offense is Kurt’s flippant dismissal of the It Get’s Better Project just so he could go on some ridiculous ageist rant.

      • Kurt says:

        Not sure where you are coming from on this, Gamble.

        I thought I was praising that campaign, and damning the ‘importance’ that American culture places on ‘The Highschool Experience’(tm)

        • Matt Gamble says:

          You didn’t offer a single word of praise for it. You only claimed it was sad that it even had to exist and then you went straight into “I have no problem with something like Perks of Being a Wallflower speaking to its age group, but someone in our age group watching that is ludicrous.”

          Christ dude, you basically inferred that people who like Breakfast Club are causing teenagers to commit suicide.

          Put the glass of wine down and think before you rant.

          • Kurt says:

            There is more nuance and context than that. I’m merely sorry that you’re interpretation of my words was not my precise intent.

            • Matt Gamble says:

              I’m sure in your alcohol infused brain there was, but in the show there wasn’t.

              Seriosuly dude, Goon is right to call you out on this because you were being a huge dick, all because you didn’t like a movie THAT YOU HAVEN’T EVEN WATCHED.

            • Kurt says:

              I wasn’t talking about the film. I was talking about my reaction to American over-valuing of the high-school experience. I actually kinda want to see Perks of Being A Wallflower, it’s just not too high on my list.

            • Matt Gamble says:

              Try not to be too ludicrous while watching it. I know it will be a challenge.

            • Goon says:

              The man repented. I’ve let it go.

              We still love you, Russell Crowe Jr. (The kids can call you CroweJu)

  16. Sean Kelly says:

    I do agree with Kurt that, as long as there are collectors (like myself), there should still be a market for physical media for the foreseeable future. Heck, just look at how well vinyl records are doing right now.

    I have mixed feelings about the digital distribution of movies. On one hand, services like Netflix and CinemaNow have limited my need to actually RENT a physical copy of a film (though I still do if it isn’t available digitally). On the other hand, I believe that it is incredibly impersonal to OWN a digital copy of a movie. A few months ago, I got my DVD copy of Halloween signed by John Carpenter himself. That’s not something you can do with a file on a hard drive.

    Then there’s the iffy longevity of digital files. I do admit that services, like iTunes, have improved in this regard. In the past, you were only able to download a, DRM-protected, file from iTunes a single time. Now iTunes has gotten rid of DRM and, if you subscribe to their iTunes Match service, you can re-download any of your purchases (as long as it’s still available in the store). Still, it could get annoying when (not if) your computer hard drive crashes and you lose your entire digital movie collection.

    Also, the actual ownership gets iffy when it comes to digital. It’s easy to say that you own a disc copy of a film, but you can’t really claim the same ownership about a digital file on your hard drive. In fact, apparently the fine print (that nobody read) states that you only purchased a licence for the film and, once you die, you relinquish ownership. I believe there have been real cases of companies taking digital files back (or so I’ve heard on the technology podcasts I listen to).

    Bottom line, I still plan to buy physical media as long as stores still sell them.

    • Andrew James says:

      I think there are many people like you and Kurt and Jay and Frank, etc. etc. But I think that number is dropping. Rapidly. I was one of the biggest CD collectors I know and then one day I realized… why? They look cool in a dorm room. In my living room, it’s a hideous mess.

      But more importantly, it’s about the money for me. Why would I pay $25 for a Blu-ray when I can just see it on Netflix (along with a million other titles) for ten bucks? Sure it’s cool to have the extra features (which are mostly available on YouTube and other places at this point), but again, I don’t care enough to shell out the extra twenty bucks for it anymore.

      Also now, with my Red Box membership, I can go get pretty much any mainstream new release movie I want to see on Blu-ray just up the street.

      I don’t begrudge anyone for having a physical collection at all. It all comes down to the simple fact that i just don’t care anymore. And I think the number of people not giving a shit is growing. Does anyone actually buy CDs anymore? Hipsters love vinyl and they do alright, but I think for the most part, that’s all going away. – and anyone in the US that actually downloads music from iTunes or wherever still baffle me. Why pay $15 for ONE album when you can spend ten bucks a month and have almost everything at your fingertips (at home and mobile) from Spotify?

      • Sean Kelly says:

        I still buy CDs, but not at the frequency I used to.

        (Also, how many times do I have to say that Spotify is not available in Canada)

        • antho42 says:

          I am guessing the decline of the relevance of physical media is bad for the industry as a whole. It might explain the disappearance of the medium, budget films, that people like Kurt crave for.

          • Kurt says:

            Sadly, this is all too true. Studios simply cannot depend on the DVD cash-cow to make room for these types of noirs, thrillers and dramas anymore. Still Killer Joe and The Paperboy still got made. Hopefully there are a few more years of the $25M movie.

          • Andrew James says:

            Not sure this is entirely true. Look at something like Indieflix. It’s all too full of budget films and film makers who never would’ve seen the light of day without digial media and distribution.

            Also, 2012 was chock full of “budget flicks:”
            The Imposter, Magic Mike, Beast of Southern Wild, Killer Joe, Haywire, Premium Rush, The Raid, Dredd, Seven Psychopaths, Savages, Savages, Project X, Bernie, God Bless America, Lockout, The Grey, Goon, Dark Horse…

            I don’t think these types of films are going anywhere for a while.

            • Kurt says:

              This makes me happy. Almost as happy as you typing “SAVAGES” twice. That film is somewhat unfairly maligned.

            • antho42 says:

              The Impostor, Magic Mike, Beast of Southern Wildd, The Raid, Project X, Bernie, God Bless America, and etc all cost less than 10 million dollars.

              A mid-budget film refers to a film that falls around 30-70 million dollar range, at least for Hollywood standards.

              Nowadays, you get a lot of blockbusters or a lot of small budget (15 million or less) films.

            • antho42 says:

              In other words, you ain’t no longer seeing Master and Commander-type films (although that film had a blockbuster budget, point still stands, nevertheless).

            • Matthew Fabb says:

              Yet unfortunately, no one wants to give Guillermo del Toro & Neil Gaiman $10 to $15 million to make a Death: The High Cost of Living movie. That said, it is more complicated than most since Warner Brothers owns the rights, since they own DC and a deal needs to be made with them. Still, I really want to see this movie but it seems to be constantly stuck in development hell always coming so close to getting funding before everything falls apart.

            • Matt Gamble says:

              I’d rather see a Good Omens movie.

              Also Kurt, if Savages is a good movie than Scott Pilgrim exists entirely in his mind.

            • Matthew Fabb says:

              Good Omens could be a great movie, but requires a bit more of a budget. Going way back, I think at one point they were talking of getting the budget down to $65 million and raised quite a bit of funding but was just a few million short.

              I’m interested in Death: The High Cost of Living movie mainly because it is something that Neil Gaiman wants to direct himself after working on the script for a very long time. It sounds like the script as changed quite a bit from the original comic, becoming something new that works better as a film than a comic. I want to see what that is like. Meanwhile Neil Gaiman’s short films have been interesting and with Guillermo del Toro available for advice and guidance on directing (also Neil Gaiman shadowed Guillermo del Toro for a few weeks while making Hellboy 2) I think it could be quite interesting.

              Meanwhile last I heard Good Omens was going to be adapted for television. That Terry Pratchett had set up his own production company and that Good Omens was going to be one of the first projects.

        • Andrew James says:

          That’s why I said “anyone in the US”.

      • antho42 says:

        “and anyone in the US that actually downloads music from iTunes or wherever still baffle me.”
        Well, for some people, they like supporting artists. I do not go to concerts or buy merchandize, so the only way I can support an artist is by buying their product.

          • antho42 says:

            Having said that, in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, many artists lived poor, bohemian lifestyles. Maybe we are heading on that direction again, except for the video game community (I think).

            I just hope good art will still be produce. I am skeptical with film, though; it is just too expensive. I do foresee the death of film in my lifetime.

        • Andrew James says:

          Artists are supported by online radio and Spotify.

          • antho42 says:

            Andrew, for the artist, they pretty much get peanuts with Spotify.
            “According to recent data, most major label artists see nothing from their Spotify streams.”:
            http://i.huffpost.com/gen/709860/thumbs/o-MUSIC-ARTISTS-MAKE-ONLINE-570.jpg?4

            Pretty much, concerts, merchandizing, licensing, and sponsorship revenue are the only ways that artist can be make money now.

            However, when it comes to these categories, it favors old established acts or the few elite, contemporary commercial artists (e.g., Kanye West, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Nickelback). Indie artists are not making that much money. Gone are the days of the 90′s. It is what it is.

            The good news is that, just like with writing, for the most part, it is not that expensive to create it. So music and writing will still be produce, regardless if their is not that much money available for it; it will just be a time consuming hobby. The same cannot be said about feature length films, though. Once cinema dies (if it does happen), I do not think films are going to survive.

            • Andrew James says:

              Yeah that’s very true. Which is sad. But on the other hand, it’s nice to see record companies going the way of the wind. They’ll probably always be around making big money off established acts, but all of these indie bands “making peanuts” would not even be making peanuts in the 90′s. Aside from a very select, lucky few, no one would have even heard of them. They’d play local gigs on a Wednesday night if they were lucky and there would be 15 people there. Maybe some groupie would buy a t-shirt.

              Now they have the opportunity to play for the world at the consumer’s whim. Most of the bands at something like Coachella or Lollapalooza would never be there in the first place if it weren’t for internet (rdio, Spotify, Pandora) and word of mouth.

            • antho42 says:

              Maybe, but the definition of indie has change, has not it? Almost everybody now is indie, unless they manage to join the elite club.

              Everybody is living in a bubble, especially in the indie world. Most people do not know who the heck Metric and The Nationals are, even though they are in the top echelon of the indie world. The same was not true in the 1990′s. Gone are the days of Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Blur, and etc.

              You still get some mass breakthroughs, though.

            • Matthew Fabb says:

              Bands these days do have more of a chance to grab a wider audience with the web, but if they are only playing local shows, having that niche audience world wide doesn’t help if no one is buying their album.

              As a Canadian I don’t have access to Spotify, but I’m still one who sets up playlists of albums, rather than individual songs. So I’m still one to buy albums, generally digitally if possible and generally I go to the band’s website to see how it is possible to buy it directly from them as possible, so that they get as much revenue as possible.

            • Andrew James says:

              Just so it’s clear, Spotify is not like Pandora. You grab full albums OR individual songs and make playlists. It’s just like the iTunes interface except that you have access to just about anything ever recorded rather than just what you actually own. In fact they have multiple skews for most albums, so they’ll have the original album release plus all the remastered version, the bonus editions, and even Spotify exclusive editions. It’s the greatest thing to happen to music consumption since the ipod.

              I’ve been using it recently to listen to a lot of great stand-up stuff. If they ever get to the point where they have audio books, well then, it will pretty much be the greatest invention ever made.

            • Andrew James says:

              And I DO applaud anyone who buys their albums directly from the artist. I have to admit it’s rare that I do this. I bought the Band of Horses latest directly from them as well as the latest Nicole Atkins.

              But I go to a lot of shows and feel like they get my money that way. (“A lot” = about one every three months :)

    • Rick Vance says:

      I am both I have a big shelf of comics and a tablet. What I read on what device depends on the product.

      Movies is something completely different in this day in age for one simple reason, bandwidth!

      If I were to stream everything I watched off Netflix instead of just buying them for 20-8 dollars it would probably run me more from the Canadian Internet plans than it would to just buy what I want.

  17. Matt Gamble says:

    When you buy a film you only own the license to play it within your own home. Playing it in public is illegal, even if it is your copy of the film.

  18. Kurt says:

    A good piece on House of Cards’ use of breaking of the 4th Wall: https://medium.com/house-of-cards/b54a60143519

  19. Sean Kelly says:

    Interesting facts about House of Cards (learned from a tech podcast of all things):
    - #1 on Netflix
    - Netflix ordered two seasons from the very start
    - Netflix ONLY has North American (and British) rights for the show (which is actually owned by Kevin Spacey’s production company TriggerStreet).
    - Will be shown on regular TV in other countries (and a DVD release is not out of question).

    • Matthew Fabb says:

      I knew about it being the most popular Netflix show that they have ever had, but I didn’t know the other points. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sean Kelly says:

      CORRECTION: Netflix operates in 40 countries and has the rights for House of Cards in those countries.

      However, it will also be on “normal” TV channels in some countries (for instance, it will be on Canal+ in France).

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