• Drunk Napoleon

    big dicked Johnny Saxby

    It’s always good to see more relatable figures in movies.

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      LOST, Season Two, Episode Eleven, “The Hunting Party”
      “You’re still on antibiotics.”
      “It’s a good thing I’m travelling with my doctor, then.”

      “Trail’s as straight as the interstate. Path of a man who knows where he’s going.”

      A mixture of the mediocre and the sublime. Jack’s flashbacks at this point suffer from repetition; the actual plot is the dissolving of Jack’s marriage, and the story is building up to Jack’s need to fix things, both of which we could already figure out. That said, Christian Shepard showing up is always a delight; I’ve figured out his appeal is less in a real, grounded character and more in being the anthropomorphic personification of daddy issues, and that sounded less obvious in my head. In this episode, he so perfectly captures the vague irritation that comes with a parent acting like they know you better than you do, and even worse maybe being right (and I think of last time, where them being right is comforting).

      On the flipside, we see Mr Friendly again! What we get is an extraordinary moment of ownage, as the Others demonstrate both their morality – they will hurt the survivors if they keep antagonising the Others – as well as the power they have to back it up. Friendly’s scruffiness work in ironic counterpoint to all of this, as we wonder exactly what the Others are capable of – are they literally magical? We also get one heart-stopping clue when Friendly refers to Alex – remember, Rousseau’s daughter is Alex. It’s a brilliant sequence that raises the stakes and sense of mystery enormously.

      There’s an extremely tiny and potent story within the episode, when Jin figures out Michael has gone out for Walt, and goes out to help as well, only to stop when Sun tells him to. Not only does Jin have to choose between his wife and the friendship he earned with Michael, in choosing his wife, he also chooses to accept his responsibility for the troubled years of their marriage as Sun opens up about her feelings; I swoon at how romantic it is.

      We get the first mention of Geronimo Jackson, a fake band that the writers made up and then pretended was actually a real and obscure band.

      NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1043 at this moment. I was shooting for a steady 1667 words a day, but I will accept a slower pace at this early groundwork stage, partly because I know the pace will pick up by itself, partly because this is already like five times further than I’ve ever gotten in NaNoWriMo before.

      • Did Charlie’s band ever appear on a double bill with Geronimo Jackson? Or The Folksmen? (I love when people create fake pop culture as just part of the story, just to add flavor and be silly.)

        • Drunk Napoleon

          Nah. Charlie explicitly says he’s never heard of them when he finds them. The backstory behind them was supposed to be they released one album that sold like four hundred copies and then broke up. Agreed on the fake pop culture thing.

      • GhostZ

        Oh, man, good luck with NaNoWriMo. (I may have gotten as far as 5,000 words once, in a particularly good year. Something about the idea of getting it done that quickly seems to kill my inspiration when you’d think it would help it.)

        • Drunk Napoleon

          I spent the past week stocking up on imagery, characters, and inciting actions, and so far that seems to have helped. They’re already starting to run away from me.

    • lgauge

      I watched a friend and myself get crushed at movie trivia because we’re both lacking in knowledge about horror movies and one of the other teams was really good. As two rational adults, we decided to blame our third friend who didn’t show up (whose potential ability to help in this case remains shrouded in mystery and therefore assured in our minds).

      • After the disappointingly rushed quiz at my local horror festival (it only had 13 questions, was over in about ten minutes, and at least half the questions required extremely in-depth knowledge of Hammer productions which is not a good ratio) I feel like I have a horror-trivia itch that has gone unscratched. Might spend the afternoon asking myself questions then trying to act surprised when I know the answers.

        • GhostZ

          If this is a challenge to sideline all my actual work today to construct a Solute-friendly horror quiz, I am not at all above accepting it.

          • IT IS NOW.

          • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

            hit me

          • The Ploughman

            As I have told glorbes and other in the past, you ask trivia, I will make an ass of myself trying to answer it.

    • Couple o’ festive rewatches:

      Paranorman – I remembered really enjoying this one, but not too much about it, so it was a fun one to revisit. Plenty of striking images and attention to detail, as usual for Laika, but this one has a story that connects with me a little more than their other films. It’s really funny, too.

      Trick ‘r Treat – just a lovely film to rewatch at this time of year, and it made up for not actually getting any REAL trick or treaters this year (I’m sure we got at least two last year!). I had forgotten how short it is – for a film with several interwoven stories to get it all over and done in 75 minutes is quite amazing, and probably part of why I love it so much. Not a wasted moment.

      • Jake Gittes

        The climactic confrontation with Agatha in ParaNorman made my jaw drop a little the first time I saw it with how raw and painful it was. You very rarely get something like that in mainstream animation these days. I’d say Coraline remains Laika’s best film overall, but that scene might be their high point as far as individual moments go.

        • It is surprisingly powerful! It’s quite an abrupt shift from the fairly goofy zombie action to that emotional confrontation, but they really pulled it off.

        • Miller

          That rawness is why Laika is so valuable, especially as Pixar becomes more polished.

        • pico

          Agreed 100%. Plus, something I was thinking about the other day: for all our debates about how our art tries (or avoids) reckoning with our historical past, Paranorman is one of the few films that tackles both ends of the equation: the terrible things that we may have in our history laid bare, and the way those terrible things get sanitized and commodified in the present, leaving the past wounds to fester underneath. Then it personalizes that dynamic by making it about one person’s specific pain, over centuries. It sounds so odd to lay something so heavy on a kid’s film, but I wish more of our art had this clearheaded a vision of how these issues can be discussed and (possibly?) reconciled.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      The Thing, first watch and goddamn its a masterpiece. A perfect horror film, playing on paranoia, fear of terrible biology (the dog scene is quite simply a nightmare because its so matter of fact in camera moves and technique, not really sensationalized and loud – this is what The Thing does and its horrible), and a simple truth: that we don’t know each other and all of our trust of human beings is based on the lie that we can. What the critics mistook as underwritten characters and pointless gore was an uber lean script and weird, terrifying body horror. Its funny to watch this after The Shield because both use the same Mamet rules to different ends. Odd too after The Hateful Eight to see how Tarantino used some of the ideas of The Thing to write a story of America and it comes down to the same ending – two men, one white and one black, who do not trust each other and can’t really know who the other person is, but are too exhausted to do anything about it, and they can’t come to trust but to a mutual respect. They’re both going to die soon anyway, locked in the truth that knowledge of others is impossible.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        Both The Shield and The Thing prove that smart characters make the story so much better. Also, they have equally iconic titles.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          The Fugitive too. Smart people can actively propel a story, and not like Sherlock esque “Oh I guess they read a book durrrrrr” smart, like “Can see what’s actually happening and can come up with strategies.”

          • GhostZ

            The most irritating smart characters are the ones who are smart in precisely the same ways the author is smart, and who demonstrate that intelligence only by sharing exactly the same references. This is not directly a Ready Player One dig, except it totally is.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I haven’t read Ready Player One but phew none of the critiques I’m hearing make me want to read or see it.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            Just look up a list of movies on Wikipedia for the same effect.

          • GhostZ

            The most damning criticism of it I’ve ever seen is actually a quote from Ernest Cline’s follow-up, Armada: “I nodded, not to agree, but just to show that I understood the reference.”

          • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

            https://i.imgur.com/XS5LK.gif

            Everything I’ve read about Ready Player One seems like it was designed to appeal to my sense of nostalgia, and little else, which already makes me resent it deeply even though I’ve never read or seen it.

          • clytie

            Add A Most Violent Year to the list. The plot’s of many (most?) crime movies rely on their characters always making the stupidest decision possible. In A Most Violent Year make the most reasonable ones/

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Someone in the Dissolve FB group aptly said that A Most Violent Year is a crime movie where the main character meets his biggest rivals in a restaurant and…asks them, politely, to stop fucking with him.

      • Belated Comebacker

        Another factor in “The Thing” (by John Carpenter, lest we confuse it with Hawks’ version), is how, during its release, the main extraterrestrial movie that was performing like gangbusters was…”E.T.” Therefore, you can see critics weren’t really up for playing ball with a more pessimistic movie at that time.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Blade Runner was also out so there was a big glut of sci-fi movies that year.

          • Belated Comebacker

            That also underperformed, didn’t it? I find the movies from the 80s (especially these sci-fi ones) fascinating to look back on, because many of them (if not all of them) that became cult hits were derided upon their initial release, only accumulating a following on home video, as any cult film worth its salt is wont to do.

          • Jake Gittes

            They both came out the same weekend exactly two weeks after E.T..
            http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=1982&wknd=26&p=.htm

          • Belated Comebacker

            Damn, “E.T.” made $58 million? That’s crazy, especially after looking at “Blade Runner’s” gross. Though I wonder how accurate that is, since it only matches the opening take.

          • Jake Gittes

            The total gross in that chart is the cume up to and including that weekend. In its entire run E.T. made $359m in original release, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time until Titanic. BR and The Thing made $27m and $19m respectively, not even enough to make the top 25 of that year.

          • Note: Blade Runner was also in its pissiest form with the irritated Harrison Ford voiceover.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Yeah, that’s an excellent point. Should’ve mentioned that “Blade Runner” had its own problems from the get-go, and is divisive because of how many different versions are out there.

            Contrast that with, say, “The Thing,” which pretty much works right out of the box.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            Wrath Of Khan and Tron also came out that summer. It was a glorious time for Starlog readers.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “Theirs was nice, and ours was mean.”
          – John Carpenter

      • Miller

        I was thinking of The Thing as corporate allegory the other day while perusing … certain websites. Taking the outstanding companion short story The Things as canon, the Thing infects but but does not immediately subsume a being, a host can infect others and even carry out Thing actions without being aware of it before full Thinging takes place. This explains some actions in the movie and how individuals may take different actions but ultimately wind up serving a single-minded and ruthless whole, having lost whatever made them individuals even as they retain their outer characteristics. I believe this metaphor speaks for itself.

      • Belated Comebacker

        A good follow-up to this masterpiece of a movie is this short story by Peter Watts. Equally chilling, showcasing the thing’s alien intelligence (CC: @drunknapoleon:disqus), while also creating a certain kind of…sympathy for what it was trying to accomplish.

        • Miller

          Yes! Just referred to that above, what a brilliant story.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Missed your reference to the short story below, but spot on observation on about the Thing as a corporation. Especially if you consider the terms of “buying out” a smaller company before merging it with the larger whole. And then they start eliminating redundancies.

            Not to mention the last line of the short story which also dovetails disturbingly easily with colonialist and corporate imagery. They’ll rape civilization/proper big-picture business practices into you. Whether you want it or not.

          • Miller

            Ha, yup. And that last line is outstanding structurally, the whole story has carefully built a certain empathy and then whammo.

        • Jake Gittes

          And as far as material from the POV of The Thing goes, don’t forget that time it was reimagined as a civilization-destroying smooth player with Frank Sinatra’s voice.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8faq5amdK30

          • Belated Comebacker

            Say what you will about it, at least the Thing knows style when it hears it.

      • Son of Griff

        Thanks for providing the missing piece in my HATEFUL EIGHT thesis, that the movie is a third voice in a conversation between Hawks and Carpenter.

    • GhostZ

      Masque of the Red Death: A strong candidate for the most deservedly Technicolor of all Technicolor movies. This is probably the cheapest movie I’ve seen from this period, and it’s impressive how Corman cobbles together a kind of headachey grandeur–both parts equally necessary–from gaudy costumes and endless amounts of gilt, and how the castle’s set design changes as we move into the single-color rooms, the ones that are actually reflective of Prospero himself. They lack the excesses of the outer rooms and are single-purpose, thorough, strange, and malicious, which is a nice touch. Everything about this party is obviously terrible aside from possibly saving you from the Red Death and/or a life in a perpetually foggy slagheap of a peasant village (albeit one populated prominently by the attractive and well-coiffed). And that total closed-door dismissal of Prospero’s aspirations, beginning to end, is great: campy Price vs. ruthlessly reserved Price, battle to the (red) death.

      • Miller

        “Everything about this party is obviously terrible aside from possibly saving you from the Red Death and/or a life in a perpetually foggy slagheap of a peasant village”

        Excellent point, and I believe that comes directly from Poe — this is an awful gathering of awful people who are willing — eager! — to revel in awfulness if it keeps them apart. So of course it is great fun to see that undone. I’m now wondering how this would stack up on a bill with This Is The End or It’s A Disaster.

    • Belated Comebacker

      Well, that was a semi-anticlimactic end to the Halloween season.

      Watched the first episode of Stranger Things 2, which was fine. Chuckled a little at Steve and Nancy(?) eating dinner with Barb’s parents, because it read to me as if the the Duffer Brothers were strong-armed into addressing her disappearance more directly. But they landed the emotional beat, which was nice. Overall, a good, slow-burner catching you up on the characters, but c’mon. You don’t hire Paul Reiser unless he’s gonna do a heel turn in the second act (or unless you subvert it).

      Then the really anticlimactic part arrived: Watched part of The Devil’s Backbone with a friend who had never seen it before. Turns out, he never did, as he passed out from too much spiked cider (ditto for me, too).

    • Delmars Whiskers

      Frankenstein, Bride Of Frankenstein, Son Of Frankenstein–I’ve been miserably sick for the last two days, but I managed to rouse myself from bed long enough to watch the original Karloff Klassics for Halloween. Maybe it’s just because I’ve seen the Whale films so often, but this time around I was particularly delighted with Rowland V. Lee’s less-loved Son Of, which I’d only seen once before. The plot is B-movie stuff–Lugosi’s Ygor uses Karloff’s monster to get revenge on the people who had him hanged–and it has almost zero continuity with the first two films, but it features amazing expressionist settings, tons of atmosphere and a delightfully unhinged performance by Basil Rathbone, who goes way over the top and then keeps climbing. Also, it, even more than the first two, seems to have been the clear inspiration for Young Frankenstein.

    • Miller

      Stranger Things, last two episodes — maybe it was being pretty buzzed by this point, but the last episode was quite good. Part of this was letting characters talk and interact with each other instead of move from A to B, relationships are what makes the show work — deeply rooted things like Hopper and Eleven (and boy did this show ever strike gold with Harbour and Brown) and newer tweaks like Steve and Dusty, this is easily the strength of the show and the reason to have it exist as TV instead of as the movies it’s ripping off. And the shift in rip-off from one set of 80s genre to another at the very end was more pleasurable to me even though I prefer the horror/sci-fi stuff in general – a certain song on the soundtrack helps enormously here. But that song has been used better and with more originality and that remains a problem with the show, as does its laziness and bloat in plotting (all the Dart stuff should’ve been cut, the exposure of the conspiracy made no fucking sense, especially with Reiser still running around) . At worst this is good junk food for Halloween but its best isn’t much better.

    • PCguy

      I was distractedly watching the end credits and listening to the muzak of POLTERGEIST 3 (1988) when the words “In memory of” scrolled by. Wait, what the fuck, the little girl from POLTERGEIST was sick and died during the making of this shitty sequel? I would not have watched this had I known that piece of information. It was a completely unanticipated shock. I understand the economic realities of film-making but it’s pretty fucking ghoulish to release this into theaters and expect audiences to munch popcorn while watching a dead girl.

      A tiny bit of trivia though: this was Laura Flynn Boyle’s first film appearance and she plays a character named Donna. It’s a mildly interesting thought experiment to imagine that Twin Peaks and POLTERGEIST are a part of the same fictional universe.

      • The Ploughman

        There’s conflicting stories as to whether the girl leaning on Tom Skerritt’s shoulder at the end of the movie is a sick Heather O’Rourke or a double. Similarly, there’s conflicting ideas as to whether she was “deathly ill” at any time during production or (as her family claims) her illness was only made deadly by a misdiagnosis of something that should not have been. Sad in any case.

    • I love clip shows on the biggest screens ever. It means I got to see bits of things like Carnival of Souls, Straitjacket, The Fury and the trippy Godzilla vs Hedorah on the big screen.

    • The Ploughman

      The Haunting in Connecticut
      A family moves into a former morgue/corpse desecrating operation in desperation to find a place to stay near their teenage son’s experimental cancer treatment facility. They find the place haunted by grisly specters and a full-size orchestra that continually delivers loud stings when they try to sleep or look in mirrors. The movie takes great, desperate pains to keep you from getting bored by delivering a grisly body and orchestra sting every five minutes, like clockwork. If the image isn’t scary enough for you it will cut to another one or up to twenty with free flashframes thrown in until you’re frightened. Lucky the teen wasn’t seeking treatment for epilepsy.

      This is some serious lack of confidence in the direction, like a comedian repeating a punchline over and over, desperately hoping to wring out a response.

      Split
      Shyamalan used to be opening weekend appointments for my wife and I, up through Lady in the Water, so as acknowledgement of that and curiosity about it’s “secret ending” I recently learned about, this got a spin. Mmph. Shyamalan’s weakness isn’t having bad ideas but rather not having anybody around anymore to point out which of his ideas are bad. A filmmaker once compared to Hitchcock and Spielberg now delivers films along the undistinguished lines of Mr. Brooks or The Cell. These film come to mind because, like Split, they’re decent and interesting twists on a genre film cross-cutting with really bad b-stories.

      Three teenage girls are kidnapped by a man named, at times, Kevin (James McAvoy) who turns out to have some form of split-personality disorder and presents these different personalities as entirely different people, some working together, some being repressed. These suspenseful scenes are cut with poorly written, poorly acted scenes where Kevin/Dennis/etc’s therapist drops exposition and more or less a guidebook to the rules of Kevin’s disorder (including the helpful tidbit that saying his full name creates a reaction). These scenes are like watching a clumsy bartender making a cocktail of ingredients that don’t work well together in service of a drink I don’t want. I don’t have a problem with creating a villain like Kevin, but I’d rather not have anecdotes from a half-dozen Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat-style cases to justify it. In more icky territory, I don’t automatically ding a film for including backstories of abuse, and the ultimate message here – being a survivor of trauma can be its own source of power – is a genuinely interesting and good one. But the film can’t keep its focus on the theme, and the more missteps it takes… I think it was Scott Tobias who described the inclusion of similarly sordid material in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake as “unearned” and the same word comes to mind here.

      Anya Taylor-Joy, playing a different sort of fear just as well here as in that forest-lady movie we keep talking about, sells Shyamalan’s lost point but she’s hampered by constant flashback scenes that are just as bad for the pace as the cuts to the therapist. Instead, McAvoy gets the attention here, I guess because he gets to pull off the party trick of portraying several sets of characteristics instead of one set. As with good Shyamalan, these tics and details coalesce into satisfying twists, but as with bad Shyamalan, the placement of these details (not to mention the dialog) is so obvious it distracts from the illusion that these are real people. Automatons are fascinating, but only when they resemble people.

      In the end it’s in service to setting up a showdown movie between McAvoy’s villain and Bruce Willis’s newly-minted hero from Unbreakable. Were Split on the same level as that movie, I’d be stoked as hell. Instead it just underlines the gulf between the quality of his work then and now. Shyamalan, like Brad Bird, was way ahead of the curve on comic book movies,
      absorbing and subverting tropes while others were trying to figure out how to make people interested in Thor. Split suggests there was a missed opportunity in a decade of original superheroes and villains by Shyamalan as a counterpoint to property-driven spectacles, but sadly that ship has sailed.

      • Belated Comebacker

        Great write-up of “Split” here, a movie I’ve been curious to check out, if only because I’m such a big fan of “Unbreakable.”

        Your critique of his work now versus his work at That Time is interesting, if only because a lot of critics have come around on him. When “The Happening” was released, Shyamalan was attempting to argue (wrongly, as it turned out) that this was supposed to be a “B movie,” in spite of its $48 million budget. Clearly, he’s managed to make actual b movies now, with titillation, exploitation of certain disorders, and suspense, though that may not be what everyone is looking for.

        • The Ploughman

          The problem with the “B movie” framing is that he’s demonstrated he has the chops and mindset for solid mainstream entertainment. Claiming he’s going for a “B movie” when he misses the bar at realistic dialog or compelling stories even name casts seems like a misunderstanding of what a B movie is. Adding really soft “exploitation” elements is ridiculous because he’s never straying outside of mainstream. I suspect he’s just averse to having somebody come in and give feedback on scripts, because if you cleaned out the clunky stuff, he’s still able to execute the scenes like a pro.

          • Belated Comebacker

            If nothing else, I probably agree most with what your last sentence says. Out of most of the Blumhouse productions (With the notable exception of “Get Out,” ‘cuz obviously), Shyamalan seems to nail blocking, framing, editing and the rest of the technical details of directing a movie. Still interested in “Glass,” (and may still try and track down “Split,” where we can then compare notes again.)

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Haunting In Connecticut I saw in high school with friends – I was insanely bored for the most part and just listened to Green Day the whole time.

        • The Ploughman

          Good call, and about 80% less noisy.

      • Miller

        I just can’t get over how stupid a title The Haunting In Connecticut is. It is specific enough to differentiate from The Haunting for legal purposes I suppose, but otherwise it’s ridiculously broad.

        “Hey, did you here about the haunting?”
        “Which one?”
        “The haunting in Connecticut!”
        “Oh yeah, that one!” — said no one ever. There’s a reason the Horror is in a tight locale like Amityville. Also, Connecticut is the least threatening, most boring state in the union, the only thing haunting it is terrible Sunday drivers on I-84. In conclusion, boo this movie.

        • The Ploughman

          It’s not just any haunting in Connecticut, it’s the haunting.

          • Miller

            Yes! Make it A haunting and you still have a Connecticut problem but you’re not making the ridiculous claim that there’s only one.

        • CineGain

          The title is soundly enough that it would be misrepresented as a sequel to The Haunting. The setting of The Haunting is centered in Massachusetts, an New England state. Connecticut is consider an New England state, so the filmmakers make the title sound like the sequel to the classic 1963 film, when it’s anything but that.

        • The title lets us know that this is an unofficial sequel to 1945’s Christmas in Connecticut, but with “Christmas Spirit” swapped out for “An Evil Spirit”. You know, the old Santa / Satan switcheroo.

          • Miller

            I would definitely watch Silent Night, Deadly Night 6: Hell Comes To Hartford

        • CineGain

          Delaware makes Connecticut looked like California. Unless you’re some banker what would be the main attraction to visit the state?

          • The Ploughman
          • Miller

            Delaware has the decency to be small and avoidable. Connecticut is just sitting there in the way of travel between New York and Massachusetts and has the Borgesian geography of being at least twice as big on the inside as it appears on the outside, at least based on travel time. Now that would be a horror movie, Connecticut as Cube.

          • The Ploughman

            Tbf to Connecticut as a potential horrorscape, the only time I’ve actively feared for my life in a motel was halfway between New York and Boston.

    • Defender Of The Dark Arts

      Night of the Living Dead (1968). It got me thinking about the 1990 remake. Then that got me thinking about a version of the 1990 remake where some guy re-edited the movie to insert himself into key scenes. I’m not sure if he was a producer or what. Does anyone remember this?

      • I thought this rang a bell, but I’m probably thinking of one of the other weirdo projects that exploited the original’s copyright status.

        That said, I’ve just stumbled upon this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2368716/

        • Defender Of The Dark Arts

          That’s it! So it wasn’t the 1990 version, it was the original with added b&w scenes. God it was awful. Definitely stick to the George Romero cut.

          • glorbes

            It really is a garbage version.

          • Defender Of The Dark Arts

            I feel bad for someone who stumbles on this version and thinks it’s the Night of the Living Dead everyone praises. That copyright snafu really messed things up for Romero and Co.

        • Defender Of The Dark Arts

          Someone on YouTube compiled the additional scenes from the 30th Anniversary cut. It’s even worse than I remember. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fq8SjkCcWo

      • Son of Griff

        Arnon Milchan has an additional appearence in a scene in the extended version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA that Leone explicitly stated that he deliberately cut.

    • The Narrator

      The Last of Sheila: A really fun, clever murder mystery (penned by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim!), as well as a(n unfortunately) timely commentary on Hollywood being full of fucked-up people who’ve done fucked-up things (by the end, we’re left to sympathize by default with basically Elia Kazan and Roman Polanski).

      • Son of Griff

        i’ve been cursed to miss this film whenever it emerges, and now— I’m not so sure.

    • glorbes

      Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 3 – It was okay. Sean Astin is amazingly cast as the character that he is.

    • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

      12 Rounds Dir. Renny Harlin

      Its almost fun to see this guy try to be Michael Man while being completely stunted by a sort of lame premise. Not much in the wake of a body count, but the amount of cars that GET FUCKED is amazing. Like a million cars, more than all Fast and Furious movies combined. Also the twist is something to behold, it comes out of nowhere while still totally being plausible (Plausible for a Renny Harlin movie that is).

      Geostorm Dir. Some guy who will never make another movie.

      Love the hack jokes, and for a while it seems that Director man might have a little ability at making stuff look good. About thirty five minutes in it becomes hopeless. All visual pleasures go away and several tapestries that no one could care about are introduced while i’m sitting down waiting, just WAITING for mother nature to destroy these punks. When we finally get to CGI world dissolving destruction its all shot from far away with zero excitement. You had one job movie. At least San Andrea’s maintains a good ratio of irredeemable tackiness to up close and personal world leveling.

      • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

        And the Magnificent Seven remake
        Which i think is much better than the general consensus.

      • Rosy Fingers

        Apparently Geostorm guy’s already made his next movie: it’s called BAD SAMARITAN, wherein a pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob. Which, sheesh, does not sound like a good idea.

        • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

          Yikes indeed. Sounds like a skip and a half.

    • Rosy Fingers

      I took the kid to see the new Thor movie, which, I don’t think it’s out in the US yet so no spoilers, but for me it’s probably the best Marvel movie yet. The kid also loved it. All I want from these movies is dumb, colourful fun – I don’t really care for the superheroics – and this movie benefits from just going full comedy. It’s very silly.

      Jeff Goldblum is wonderful, even moreso than usual. Taika Waititi’s character is a delight. Cate Blanchett is fine, although she’s mostly there for Thor to throw quips at. Tessa Thompson was solid as hell. But the set designs and visuals and character designs were the real star.

      • pico

        Even if it sucked from start to finish, I just want Waititi to make billions of dollars so he can do whatever he wants.

        • Rosy Fingers

          I think he’s pushing for a What We Do in the Shadows TV series, which could be fun. Also a stop motion animation called Bubbles about Michael Jackson’s chimp.

          • pico

            He’s still working on We’re Wolves, as well!

          • Jake Gittes

            There was news back in September that he’s set to direct this “WWII dramedy” next, with shooting set for spring. The man wants that Life Is Beautiful Oscar.

            https://worldoftaika.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/blcklist2012-jr.jpg

          • pico

            I… am speechless.

            My library is currently having its adult literacy students read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and it is execrable: I’m having trouble working with them with a straight face. Like, I haven’t seen the movie, but I remember some critics condemned it as offensive, and it’s certainly true of the book.

          • Jake Gittes

            I’ve seen the movie and it was pretty hopeless.

            I’m not sure Waititi is going to end up doing this, he hasn’t said a word about it on the Ragnarok press tour. But if he does, he’s gonna need all the good judgment in the world.

    • pico

      John Carpenter, live and in concert. I can only wish when I’m his age that I have the same amount of energy, charisma, and love for what I do. He was throwing devils horns with one hand and playing a gnarly synthesizer with the other to clips of Escape from New York…. I mean, what else can compete?

    • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

      World Series Game 6. Another frustrating emotional roller-coaster. In their three losses this series, the Astros have 1)stranded twelve runners, 2)given up five runs in the ninth in a tie game, and 3)stranded eight runners in three consecutive innings. This series would be over if the damn team could just put all its hits together at the same time. I’m trying to be optimistic for game 7 tonight, but my gut is telling me to worry. (I can’t say it’s also very hungry.) It is now our chance to either break the Sports Illustrated curse for good or fall victim to its cruelest jinx yet:

      https://cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/images/SI_Cover_62614.jpg

      (look at the date on that cover.)

      Also, note my baseball-appropriate username for tonight.

      Stranger Things 2, Episode 1. I feel pretty much the same about this one as I did the original: Like the characters a lot, find the 80s touchstones a fair bit on the nose, nostalgia-wise. (One of my biggest criticisms of the first series is that the music choices often seemed more like a “Hey, remember this song?” designed to appeal to as many people as possible, rather than something the characters would actually listen to.) Still, I’m in for another round of great performances, and I enjoy the hell out of this cast, including Sean Astin (finally, the lame dad-type he was born to play), Paul Reiser (more than one review has described him as channeling his Aliens performance), and Brett Gelman (who still surprises me in that he can go from ridiculous stuff like Eagleheart and Brett Gelman’s Dinner in America to things like this and Twin Peaks: The Return. I also just remembered that he was in the Mad Men series finale, which I take as evidence that Matthew Weiner was a fan of Go On).

      Knowing Me, Knowing You, episode 1. I’ve been listening to the Monkey Tennis Alan Partridge fan podcast, so I’ve been re-watching some of these lately. The ones on Seeso are edited, so I went back to watch from my own collection. (I mean, I gotta hear Alan call Roger Moore a towel thief.) This episode is pretty funny but probably most notable for being the most “normal” episode of a talk show (sorry, across the pond, which means in the UK, it’s called a “chat show”) that goes off the rails, compared to some of the things that happen in later episodes.

  • Drunk Napoleon

    A week or two ago, Conor had a “funniest movie quote past 1990” thread. In that spirit, What’s the second funniest TV quote, after this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFs_4MCkvFk

    It’s honestly the perfect joke, unable to be surpassed. It’s funny enough that Scudworth would think that’s a good topic to bring up at a dinner part, it’s hilarious that he’d word it that precise way, “fools and liberals!” is the perfect zigging-instead-of-zagging escalation, and of course the timing of the whole thing is perfect.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THN9mRB6WbU

      This entire scene, only a snippet. “When I was ten I snuck into the room where my mother was sleeping and I put a lemon in her mouth!”

      I’m excluding 30 Rock jokes because its just not fair.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        I’ve really gotta watch 30 Rock, because aside from memes I’ve seen, the only clip of it I’ve seen is Tracey saying “You bets be nice to me before I show you the back of my hand!” before showing us a note that says “Please be nice to me.”

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Its just the finest thing aside from some unfortunate “problematic” jokes that are kind of a given with 2005 I guess. 🙁 Still just can’t be topped.

          • Miller

            More than most shows that aren’t actual sketch comedy, 30 Rock’s humor is tied to going to places that offend or may age poorly. It’s in the show’s DNA and sometimes it fails, but it is also directly responsible for something like Bitch Hunter so for me it’s a more than fair trade off.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Yeah there are enough amazing jokes that I’m happy. One thing that helps is that all the characters aren’t really good people and the show they’re making is awful so there’s no self-righteousness to back them up.

        • Belated Comebacker

          Wait…no “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah?” Because that’s been very present in my world for some time, so it is baffling to hear someone who hasn’t heard of it.

      • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

        My most cited New Girl scene has to be this one. The way Nick melts down into “GAVE ME COOKIE GOT YOU COOKIE!” just kills me.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHuIgxB-tCw

    • Hard mode: nothing from The Simpsons.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        I say nothing from 30 Rock and The Simpsons because its just not fair to the other series.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          Hey, I started the whole thing with Clone High, a show that leaves me unable to breathe.

      • Departed Hunchback (errrr…)

        Or “Arrested Development?” Because that show is also a goldmine.

    • Usually something from NewsRadio is the correct answer here, with the current favorite from the attempt to craft a radio spot for the upcoming baseball season. When you hear the version with Phil Hartman’s impeccably pompous cadence only slightly altered by including only every third word, well, you don’t ever forget it: “Crack bat crowd roar summer baseball WNYX. Teeeeeam.”

      • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

        “I’m Bill McNeal. On crack. I like boys.”
        “Destroy that immediately.”

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      There are some Scrubs jokes from Dr. Cox that just kill it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjz-ngp_DYk

      • Dr. Cox/John C. McGinley was much like Kavanaugh/Forest Whitaker–there are elements of this character in all his other roles, but this was the only one that made full use of them.

        https://youtu.be/1rm5gRN9KDc

    • Miller

      *insert quote of Jon Benjamin yelling*

      • Belated Comebacker

        LAAAAANNNNNAAAAAA!

        • Miller

          JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN MY LIFE! Home Movies is a goldmine.

    • pico

      I mean, it’s the culmination of maybe my favorite half-hour of any sitcom ever, but I will never not laugh, not quote, and not adore this line:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG2KMkQLZmI

    • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

      I’d better not try to answer this, because even if I threw out The Simpsons, 30 Rock, and Arrested Development, I’d probably want to spend hours thinking of at least twenty-five to make sure I didn’t leave anything out.

  • Oh yeah, that’s the stuff, a quality Julius Fuck This Movie with the morning espresso.

    • GhostZ

      I kind of need this movie to inexplicably come out on VHS just so it can have an old-fashioned sequel cover that advertises it as Brokeback Mountain 2 with more sex, nudity, and animal skinnings, ideally with multiple exclamation points.

      • Marketing departments: we’re right here, just waiting to be blurbed.

    • Miller

      SOLUTE: MUD HUNKS’ FUCK SUCKS

      • The Ploughman

        Hunk’s Junk Sunk in Movie Flunk

  • Belated Comebacker

    ” some of these power bottoms are addicted to those big dicks no matter how big of a dick the guy attached to it actually is.”

    You can tell this is a good review of a not-so-good movie because I snorted at this line. Well done, Julius.

    • Weirdly, a lot of people are loving this movie. I most vehemently think that this movie is a nice corrective to Brokeback Mountain which was also a movie I fucking hated.

  • clytie

    Off-topic, but remember when I informed The Dissolve of the Brett Ratner casting method 3 years ago?

    http://thedissolve.com/news/3186-read-on-september-11s-essential-film-writing/#comment-1587867110

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      I am not surprised that Brett Ratner is a fucking creep sadly.

      • Belated Comebacker

        Jeremy Piven (possibly) as well, lest we forget.

    • I’m always pissed off when the Ratpac logo comes up. I need to research my movie productions better.

      • Also, I forgot about this, Ratpac is now, secretly, Ratpac Dune, a working combination of Brett Ratner and Steven Mnuchin (of Trump’s cabinet fame).

    • 1. I’m shocked, shocked I say, by Ratner’s behavior.

      2. The Michael Bay story is funny. Kinda hope it’s true.

      • clytie

        There are a surprising number of gossip items about rich and famous guys refusing to pay sex workers.

        • I’m always curious and fascinated by how much gossip there is. Somehow, I rarely hear any of it until news breaks (not even the Harvey Weinstein accusations!).

          • Son of Griff

            I’d heard the Weinstein rumors from an ex-Miramax employee from the early 200s. The grapevine for women in the company was to never be alone with him and to avoid all unnecessary contact in groups.

          • clytie

            I remember reading a mainstream celebrity magazine (like an Us Weekly or something) years ago that had an article about the so-called “Harvey Girls.” It never outright said that anything untoward went on with him and his “girls,” but it was very *wink* *wink* that it was pretty obvious.

            That’s how well-known it was.

          • clytie

            If you’re looking for recommendations, I like:
            The Superficial: http://www.thesuperficial.com/

            The Gossip Life (currently on hiatus):
            https://thegossiplife.com/

            AGC Blind Items has archived some of the best blinds going back 20+ years:
            http://agcwebpages.com/BLINDITEMS/MAINPAGE.html

            The Blind Gossip’s items seem to all be true as many come out publicly later.

            I lurk on Lipstick Alley:
            https://www.lipstickalley.com/

            And sometimes the Datalounge gossip threads:
            https://www.datalounge.com/

          • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

            My wife reads Blind Gossip. (Admittedly, I used to more as well– I have an endless fascination with the efforts celebrities have to put up to maintain a certain image, and how that contradicts with the truth– but I’ve just ran out of time these days.)

          • Been reading AGC all night, and it’s almost depressing how routine some many of them are: some celebrity is a cheating/doing drugs/in the closet. But some of them are JUICY. I can see why people become obsessed with this.

            I thought the Epstein news was open? He’s already a convicted sex offender, and I saw write-ups about him, Clinton, Trump et al, during the election. Though seeing Hawking and Pinker listed as potential clients had me laughing at my desk. Wouldn’t have picked them for Hollywood gossip.

          • clytie

            The older blinds are particularly fascinating because many of them have been proven true years after their were published.

            Even though everyone knows about Epstein, he was only ever convicted of a single solicitation of a minor charge, so anything else is still considered rumor.

            My vote for the strangest person who showed up on one of those manifests of people that flew of Epstein’s plane: Katie Couric. I’m not a fan of hers, but it’s just a name I never expected to see.

    • CineGain

      In the Los Angeles Times article, Ratner has stated that Robert Evans, James Toback, and Roman Polanski were “some of his closest friends.”

      Evidence BLOOM!

      • Son of Griff

        When Toback’s name came up, I remembered @anyaroses:disqus’s reference, and was wondering if the industry and trial attorneys were throwing someone’s name to the wolves in order to deflect from protect people who the industry still relies on to make a buck. If that was the damage control strategy, I’m glad to see that the strategy isn’t working.

    • CineGain

      I’m not one to speculate on other’s personal habits, but are there any filmmakers that you would be surprised if they were caught with sexual misconduct/rape?

      • The Ploughman

        Ron Howard.

        • Ploughman: “I’d never think Ron Howard was a deviant behind the scenes.”

          AD Narrator: “He was.”

          • The Ploughman

            Double-upvote.

      • clytie

        Ron Howard.

        Actually most of them. Most people, even famous people, aren’t squeaky clean, but they also aren’t sexually harassing every person they have power over

        • Son of Griff

          The film community has a corporate culture where the boundaries between social mingling, hierarchical power relationships, and workplace politics are increasingly crossed, making compartmentalization of professional and personal relationships difficult to maintain, particularly in the upper echelons. Add to this an ideology reinforcing the proposition that men’s natural state is to be controlling subjects and women objects of desire, and you create a perfect storm for sexual misconduct to occur.

          Howard, and Spielberg, I think, are pretty immune from these accusation because they seem to maintain a distance between family, friendships, and work.

      • You know who seems like a decent guy? Dustin Hoff…FUCK

        https://twitter.com/THR/status/925709776092368896

        • Son of Griff

          I’ve not heard of harassment on his part, per se, but his behavior towards people on set in general doesn’t make this a huge surprise.

          Correction: Susan George says on the documentary SAM PECKINPAH: MAN OF IRON, that Hoffman and the director dropped their pants in front of her during a production meeting on STRAW DOGS.

          • The Narrator

            Yeah, reading about how he treated Meryl Streep during Kramer vs. Kramer‘s production sort of prepared me for this.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Indeed Hoffman by all accounts is a jerk anyway.

    • PCguy

      I’ve seen some shit in my life but nothing quite like the picture I saw of one of Brett Ratner’s pool parties. I’m glad that I’m not on that particular wavelength.

  • 50 % OFF CRITERION OVER AT BARNES & NOBLES! GO SPEND ALL YOUR GODDAMNED MONEY NOW!

    (I will amble over to the B&N right near me and pick up Tarkovsky’s Stalker, which I have been meaning to get since it came out.)

  • BurgundySuit

    New month, new Year of the Month! This November, we’re looking at 1978!

    Potential music here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_in_music
    Movies here: https://letterboxd.com/films/year/1978/
    And books here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_in_literature

    November 2nd: scb2012: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    November 3rd: Anthony Pizzo: Animal House
    November 4th: Belated Comebacker: Piranha
    November 5th: Joseph J. Finn: Splinter of the a Mind’s Eye
    November 6th: Burgundysuit: Chartbusting
    November 7th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Autumn Sonata
    November 8th: Dixon Cashwell: Halloween
    November 9th: vomas: Shout
    November 10th: GIllianren: Tribute to Mary Blair
    November 12th: BurgundySuit: Dawn of the Dead
    November 12th: Pico79: Martin
    November 14th: John Bruni: John Prine’s Bruised Orange
    November 15th: Balthazar Bee: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    November 18th: Seth Carlson: The Swarm
    November 21st: The Ploughman: Gates of Heaven
    November 22nd: Alex Christian Lovendahl: I Wanna Hold Your Hand
    November 23rd: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: The Star Wars Holiday Special
    November 25th: Low Res Triangle: Fury
    November 26th: Beauty and the Beast
    November 29th: Bhammer100: The Stand

    No Date: Mr. Apollo: All You Need Is Cash
    No Date: Conor Malcolm Crockford: Coming Home

    • Jake Gittes

      Unfortunately in the end I couldn’t make October, but I still want to do this, so now I’d like to make my above-the-line debut with The Deer Hunter. I’ll let you know the date at the, uh, later date.

      • Son of Griff

        My bit on the Riefenstall doc isn’t making it either. I’ll be doing one in December, but I’m concentrating on film noir reviews this month, starting tomorrow.

    • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

      Damn, Animal House already gone.

      I did want to do a 1993 YOTM on Morphine’s Cure For Pain, but I ran out of time.

    • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

      I don’t think I have quite the chops for it, but someone needs to do Warren Zevon’s Excitable Boy.

      Honestly, the album I’m probably most suited to write about from this year is Van Halen.

      • Home Run Cohlchez 🌹

        Ooh, Outlandos d’Amour came out that year, too. Not sure if I’m familiar enough with the Police to write about their debut– and it’s not my favorite album of theirs– but I’ve gotten into them quite a bit this year.