Into the Night 2

New on DVD and Blu-Ray

Not the most exciting week for home video releases, but there’s fun to be had, most notably with the wallflower-approved Into the Night, coming to Blu-Ray from Shout Factory just in time to cash in on everyone’s newfound case of Goldblum Fever (I dunno what their releases of the two Darkman sequels are cashing in on, though). There’s also Criterion’s release of the screwball classic The Philadelphia Story, two spaghetti westerns coming out from Kino, and the Warner Archive Collection upgrading the coming-of-age tale Summer of ’42. As for new titles, eh? There’s two good seasons of television, with The Crown and Westworld, the acclaimed Japanese body-swap drama Your Name, the semi-divisive social-media black comedy Ingrid Goes West, and Andrzej Wadja’s swan-song Afterimage. On a lower rung are the unfortunately disappointing The Glass Castle and the utterly abominable-looking Patti Cake$, the latest in the long line of shrink-wrapped Sundance crowdpleasers that fell flat on their face when shown to the outside world. And Cars 3 is in there somewhere too, I guess.

Afterimage (Film Movement)
Cars 3 (Disney)
The Crown: The Complete First Season (Sony)
Darkman II: The Return of Durant (Shout Factory)
Darkman III: Die Darkman Die (Shout Factory)
Death Rides a Horse (Kino)
The Glass Castle (Lionsgate)
Ingrid Goes West (Universal)
Into the Night (Shout Factory)
Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait (Cohen)
The Mercenary (Kino)
Patti Cake$ (Fox)
The Philadelphia Story (Criterion)
Summer of ’42 (Warner Archive Collection)
Westworld: Season One (Warner)
Your Name (FUNimation)

  • Belated Comebacker

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      LOST, Season Two, Episode Fifteen, “Maternity Leave”
      “Well, John, we don’t have a long-term plan for the button, but we keep pushing it.”

      “And if the alarm goes off, don’t tell him what it’s for.”
      “What is it for?”

      This episode, Claire has more literal flashbacks in that they’re memories that she’s specifically recalling at that moment, as opposed to the show’s flashbacks where the connection is more thematic and intuitive. It really contains all you need for a mythology adventure: a mystery, someone who wants to solve it, and a method for solving it – the sheer scope of the show gives it many tools to push the story forward, and in this case we get the surprise delight combo of Claire and Danielle.

      Ethan!!! William Mapother (incredible that that’s his actual name) is amazing in his performance, because his goal is always and forever to keep Claire calm, and we have absolutely no reason to trust anything he says; I am completely unable to get a read on him, which is at its most interesting when he tells Claire he’s going to miss her.

      The mythology takes a huge kick – there’s a strong industrial aesthetic over everything, including the medical procedures Claire is put through, which really revs my engines. Also, this is where we and Kate find the Others’ presentation of themselves as hillfolk is completely fake – she literally finds Friendly’s beard. If I ignore what I know will happen and rely on my gut reaction, I’d say the Others were manufacturing the process of childbirth for some specific reason, with pretenses towards naturalism a la “organic” foods, which, you know, not far off.

      Sawyer taking the guns has already paid off, as Kate turns to him to ask for one, and tries to get away with not explaining why; Sawyer is enough of an ass to demand to know why, and not enough to deny her the guns when he finds out.

      I never noticed until now, when Eko’s confession for the murder of two Others is immediately followed by Claire confessing to Aaron that she was going to give him up, how much confession factors into the show – and in fact, that moment I keep noticing of an episode climaxing with a character deciding how to move forward is almost always framed as a confession.

      Henry ends the episode having figured out Locke’s weakness, and targets his need to be considered Jack’s co-leader. As the conversation with the above quote reveals, Locke really isn’t a long-term thinker, which is probably his problem; he figures he’ll become the leader and then no problems will ever happen again, and this is probably what leads to his crises of faith.

      Book club: Locke gives Henry some Dostoyevsky to read, and they contrast Dostoyevsky with Hemingway (Henry prefers Hemingway). Sawyer reads Lancelot by Walker Percy, and I know nothing about that.

      Vice Principals, Season Two, Episode Eight, “Venetian Nights”
      (Ruck’s post hasn’t gone up on the Avocado so I’ll put my post here first)
      “The fuck is this, a spaceship on a ladder?”

      “God damn it, Willows, don’t start doing your job now!”

      “Sue?”

      “There’s no lime in here. Where’s the lime?”

      “Step down? That was you stepping down?”

      “God, it smells like him too.”

      “I was conquered by Lee Russell, yes, and I’m sorry.”

      “No one else say butt buddies, okay, it’s annoying!”

      “Gail, don’t make me feel self-conscious about my wounds, okay!”

      I’ll admit, I’ve been afraid that all our hopes for this show were just hopes, so it was nice to see everything just neatly come together this episode as everything Gamby has done, good and bad, has come back on him. He’s earned his relationship with Snodgrass, he’s earned his firing from the school, he’s earned his total victory over Russell. I’m sure the next episode will be nothing but good things happening to Gamby.

      The fight between them was like the chicken fights on Family Guy, except instead of being boring and irritating, it was awesome! Walton Goggins has gotten Russell down to a science, making every single movement as funny as possible, and that really paid off with every movement and expression on his face the whole fight; you had Gamby completely and totally dedicated to fucking up Russell, and Russel completely and totally dedicated to running away.

      NaNoWriMo Update: Don’t ask.

      • William Mapother, of course, chose to keep his last name, unlike his cousin Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.

      • Miller

        Russelł using the slip warning sandwich board as crocodile jaws: Genius. And while Gamby has owned much of his past he has yet to acknowledge Russell’s serial killer notebook assistance in forging his relationship with Snodgrass, something she is now primed to accept (because she’s seensimilar stuff in his storage locker) if it is raised by a certain jealous party.

      • The Narrator

        Not that everyone here’s thoughts didn’t make me interested in Vice Principals, but it took this to convince that I really need to watch this show.

        https://twitter.com/karenyhan/status/927587220214767616

        • Fine, I’ll go watch it.

          • Belated Comebacker

            I might add “Mindhunter” too, while you’re at it.

    • The Shout – rewatched for my Year of the Month article, which I’m working on today.

      The Good Place, chapters 10 and 11 – this show continues to be… pleasant. I’m not sure that’s enough to keep me interested for much longer.

      NaSoAlMo update: still struggling for lyrical ideas, but I did get together most of the structure for a second song last night, which is positive.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        The Good Place, chapters 10 and 11 – this show continues to be… pleasant. I’m not sure that’s enough to keep me interested for much longer.

        The first season is 13 episodes. Stay with it.

        • I’ve actually just watched the 12th episode, mistakenly believing it to be the season finale. My life is an emotional rollercoaster. I’ll definitely finish up the first season later but I dunno, it just hasn’t quite clicked with me.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            You really need to see the finale before you make your final decision. To say more might risk revealing the events therein.

          • I’d heard similar elsewhere, which made this episode NOT being the finale somewhat confusing! But yeah, I’ll give it a fair chance.

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            That said, it might well still not be for you– I certainly enjoyed season 1 enough as I was watching it. But Schur is telling a complete story here, and it needs its final chapter to be viewed before any final grades are handed out.

    • Belated Comebacker

      Finished up Stranger Things 2 about a week or so ago, and, uh, it was fine, I guess? I had some nitpicks Why did the Demo-dogs hunt down still-living Sean Astin to kill him, when there were plenty of other fresh, dead bodies to consume? Unless the Duffer Brothers were trying to mimic “Jurassic Park” through an extremely obscure reference (they prefer to hunt and kill than merely hunt to eat), it struck me as odd, but basically fine. If nothing else, the entire cast is game, and can pretty much do no wrong, with plenty of chemistry negating some of the more questionable aspects of this show. Sure, it’s pretty much an “Aliens” rip-off near the end, but I suppose there are worse sources to borrow from. Still though, found Eleven’s detour, while fun at the moment, eventually summed up to, “What if Eleven was in “The Warriors?” But Steve was fun, even if he doesn’t exactly come across as a great babysitter, since Max’s brother readily hands his ass to him.

      Mindhunter: Now we’re talking. Absolutely loved this series, which works as A) An excellent TV/streaming companion piece to “Zodiac,” and B) A more grounded, real-world analogue to “Hannibal.” The season finale is a masterful conclusion, demonstrating how an obsession with a dark subject matter can lead to an unraveling life, both in the personal and professional spheres. Loved Jonathan Groff as he went from earnest and bright, to someone who was a little too willing and eager to mimic the thought processes and behavior of the killers he was talking to, and watching the effect it had on him. Additionally, Holt McCallany plays such a great gentle giant here. More please.

      • Miller

        Bob catches the attention of a nearby Demodog when he makes noise. The DDs are hungry maul beasts in general so this one goes after him, and they’re networked into the Mindflayer as well, which is interested in killing everyone on general principle. This network lets the other DDs join the chase. Bob then alley-oops himself by mooning over Joyce like a god damn idiot instead of busting his ass out the door. Tasha had an interesting piece the other day about how Hopper generally makes poor decisions throughout the series and how the show’s gears grind to bring he and Joyce together, which means they need to grind up Bob, but while she makes some solid points she blames Bob’s death on Hopper and that holds no water — Bob did a noble thing and also several stupid things, the result is on him.

        EDIT: As for Steve yeah he got his ass kicked but he did his damnedest — the four dipshit kids just standing around watching and yelling during the ass-kicking was infuriating. Are you guys a team or what? Jump the guy! There was a lot of stupid stuff going on here.

        • Belated Comebacker

          Glad we’re on the same page with Steve. I think it mostly came out from irritation with the Internet (surprise!) and their adoration of Steve as the greatest babysitter ever. Clearly, the show was not exactly aiming for that interpretation, and it shows in this episode. But hey, Max got in good with setting her brother straight on boundaries, even though there’s that egregious scene with the Max’s step-father, perpetuating the abuse cycle, I guess? I don’t know, like you said, lots of stupid stuff in these last few episodes..

          ALSO: Mike was starting to grate on me, with his attitude toward Max. We get it, You’re not over Eleven. But, I just didn’t feel anything with his loss and how he was dealing with it. So I’m either a monster or that angle wasn’t effectively written.

          • Miller

            Mike is a massive chode the whole season. Crap writing.

    • Stranger Things: Will the Wise – We are most assuredly deep in the same exact sort of storytelling as last season, which I don’t mind as I enjoy this. But four episodes in, things feel a bit messy (and not just in a Cronenberg/Stephen King way). The narratives threads seem just a bit too messy. Fortunately, the cast continues to be good to excellent (especially the kids).

      Legends of Tomorrow: Zari – So apparently metahumans are being banned in the Arrowverse fairly soon, and then religion? OK, I get this is a time travel show and that they needed a reason for Zari to be added to the team, but this makes no sense. At least Zari (a very reworked version of a DC character with the terrible luck to be named Isis long before that word got ruined) is interesting so far.

      Star Trek: I, Mudd – On the short list for Trek episodes that aged terribly, mainly for its sexism but also for bad editing, sporadically bad acting, and the illogic of once more talking a computer into breaking with illogic. Oh, it has its moments, mainly from Shatner and Nimoy, but Mudd’s act does wear thin. (I haven’t seen what they did with him on Discovery, but it has to fix his never-should-have-been-funny treatment of his wife, I would guess.)

      • Belated Comebacker

        While this season of “Stranger Things” hasn’t pushed my buttons in the same way as Season 1 (or I’ve just gotten pickier), the actor who plays Will does such a good job here in this episode. Hopefully the character can move on from here.

    • Atomic Blonde – Better Bond movie than the last 3 Bond movies. Style to burn, though I’d have liked a synthy score than the pop songs. I loved how bleak the end was – all that hard work, and none of it ultimately mattered. I don’t know if the twists made sense, but I was so in the moment with them that I bought it. Having a dry sense of humor helped, too. Took itself just seriously enough, but not too. Fight scenes were nasty and brutal as promised.

      Between this, Haywire, and the upcoming Red Sparrow, there’s no real need for a Black Widow movie.* They’re likely better than what Marvel could do. Sorry, ScarJo.

      *ETA: “Need” is a bit harsh. I guess the urgency for a female superspy isn’t as there. But I’d personally rather a BW movie than another Avengers CGI-fest.

      • Belated Comebacker

        Been curious about seeing “Atomic Blonde,” since I did love the first two “John Wick” films, and at least one of the two directors was responsible for “Blonde.” Obviously the only (minor) hurdle for me is that “Blonde” takes place in a real-world setting, which might make the gymnastics and style hard to stomach. At least with “John Wick,” it’s clearly in its own universe, so the suspension of disbelief is easier for me.

        • It’s still closer to Bond than le Carre. The fall of the Berlin Wall is a key plot point, but it’s all hyperstylized. Lots of neon everywhere, the faux-single-take fights, hot sexy spies seducing each other.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Roadmap, etc…

            Cool! Thanks for summing up. Chances are this is a minor complaint, and I’ll be able to embrace it wholeheartedly. Plus Theron’s proven her bona fides in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” so I know she’s got the chops for more action.

        • Jake Gittes

          The bigger difference is not the real-world setting, but the fact that the John Wicks wisely make the setup for the ass-kicking as simple as possible, while Blonde has two hours’ worth of a twisty spy-thriller story that it expects you to care about. If you don’t (I personally didn’t, save for Sofia Boutella’s character) boy you’ll really feel every minute of those two hours.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Hoo boy. Yeah, this is another potential factor that could effect my interest in this movie. (And having binge-watched a whole bunch of Jackie Chan action scenes from his many movies on YouTube, maybe seeing “Blonde” fight scenes on YouTube is the way to go).

          • I didn’t mind some of that. I liked the frame story of her being debriefed by her handlers, and I didn’t quite follow how all the twists and reversals fit together, but I also didn’t concern myself with them too much. Felt beside the point.

            A more streamlined movie would’ve been better, probably. Say, she’s a burned spy trying to make it back to West Berlin? Or just focus on her escaping with the asset list? And drop the frame story to keep it on one timeline.

            I enjoyed AB for what it was, and would recommend it. But there’s unused potential there.

    • Miller

      Men in Black — a Marvel comics movie, apparently. Really interesting to watch in that light, and in general 20 years down the road and for the first time. A gulf of age has grown between the effects and the actors, what once probably seemed seemless is now moving closer to Roger Rabbit territory of clearly different worlds interacting. But that doesn’t hurt Roger Rabbit and it’s generally fine here, the movie’s cartoony tone makes it work. Smith is charismatic but mugs too much, Jones is deadpan excellence and D’Onofrio is clearly having a great time lurching around, he’s a ton of fun to watch and his deteriorating makeup is the best effect the movie has. Everything is over in under 100 minutes and shockingly, no lessons are learned and no real emotional growth is to be found. Discussions of Thor have looked at its emptiness, MIB is zippily empty and while it’s not filling it’s still fun.

      • Weird but true: MIB helped me get over my fear of aliens.

        • Miller

          They’re largely friendly and the bad one is in most respects not an alien, it’s a nasty version of a thing we already know. The beginning of the movie has some fun with “illegal aliens” that seems from another world itself these days. The whole movie is the anti-X-Files and in the sense of a genial and generous and competent government body getting the job done is a purer piece of Clinton-era fantasia than any of the retro 90s pieces that will come down the pike.

          • The Ploughman

            The obvious 90s-ness of the vibe I love. But I really wish it didn’t end on a Dennis Rodman joke.

          • Miller

            God, that joke was a Madeline of pop culture memory, I’d forgotten about how weird and prevalent Rodman of all people was. The most 90s thing of the movie for me was David Cross, who literally looks like he wandered over from a Mr. Show taping.

          • Yeah, it’s a far cry from ID4, which kept grade-school me awake for many nights.

            Apparently the comic is a lot nastier, more conspiratorial.

        • Belated Comebacker

          Fun fact for me: The villainess in MiB II was terrifying, with all of her tendrils and vines. That was creepy to me in a way squids and octopi still are (starfish as well). There’s just something so…indescribably alien in their biology that sets me off.

          • My advice: Don’t do Lovecraft or hentai.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Too late for option 1!
            And I’ve heard enough about hentai from friends to know I’m not about to explore that particular genre. (If I can get through life without seeing “Two Girls, One Cup,” I can get through life without that too).

      • The Ploughman

        “A person is smart. People are stupid, scared animals.” The theme of maturing into the reality of the world – hung on Jones’ brilliant choice to do world-weary and calm just as much as Smith gets to mug and give the “holy shit” reactions – is pretty subtle but it holds all the fun together.

        • Miller

          I was thinking on that line last night — true in some ways but pretty paternal and condescending. And also false in a major way — I think a person is smart but mostly for himself, selfish. People are stupid but I think the potential for them being smart — after a lot of stupidity is jettisoned — is a better ideal than hoping a smart guy will make the right calls in their interest. What I’m saying is, the aliens should form a union.

          • Alien
            Bargaining &
            Defense
            Union for
            Commerce &
            Transit

          • The Ploughman

            I think it’s more than a single person could be reasoned with, even on views they supposedly hold near and dear, but when there isn’t time to do that we all fall back into the position of the people around us, which is usually some form of RUUUUUUUUNNNNGODDAMMMMIIIIIIIIITTTT.

        • Belated Comebacker

          I also adored the “Did he say when,” line Jones delivers after hearing secondhand about the world ending. Such great comedy, played straight, and close to the vest.

          • The Ploughman

            It’s amusing seeing the routine of the Earth being constantly in jeopardy rub off onto Smith’s character.

            (onscreen message) MIB, DELIVER THE GALAXY OR EARTH WILL BE DESTROYED. SORRY.

            Jay: “Aw, that’s bullshit.”

      • Defense Against The Dark Arts

        You’ve never seen Men in Black? What are you, Amish? But seriously, are you Amish? Because I find that culture fascinating. RE: MIB, it’s weird to say but I find it captures the look and feel of summer in New York City better than some movies that don’t have an alien-bug-monster running around the city.

        • The Ploughman

          If only Miller hadn’t stumbled onto the AVC during Rumspringa, he’d be living a simple, blissful country life right now.

          • Miller

            I sent many a poor sufferer a quilt to cope with the CancerAIDS back in the day.

        • You might like this article, where they discuss some whys Amish people use religious loopholes: http://www.cracked.com/article_25111_5-hilariously-weird-ways-people-used-religious-loopholes.html

          • Son of Griff

            My brother hires Amish workmen to work on the vineyard he’s planting, and he regails us on the intricacies of working around the prohibitions, which are quite funny.

          • Sounds like a lot of the work-arounds Jewish people use on the Sabbath. Or how I’d argue with my Catholic family over whether fish are meat and if you can eat them while fasting in Lent.

        • Miller

          Ha! This was Mrs. Miller’s reaction as well. I was 15 when the movie came out and well into a snotty teen rejection of the popular and you don’t get more popular than a Will Smith movie. My sole experience with the MIB juggernaut was seeing the music video as a friend and I did regular “try to synch up REAL MUSIC to MTV” mashups with his basement TV and a boom box, as I recall this worked surprisingly well with Dead Kennedys’ “Kill The Poor.”

          • Defense Against The Dark Arts

            Speaking of rejecting the popular: I’ve never seen any of The Hangover movies.

      • Are you planning on watching the sequels? The second one doesn’t have too much going for it, but the third is bizarrely great, and not just for Josh Brolin’s feature-length Tommy Lee Jones impression.

        • Miller

          I do like Brolin…

        • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

          I was impressed from the little bit i saw on cable.

        • The Narrator

          The third also made Paul Thomas Anderson cry (and I’m convinced he cast Brolin as Bigfoot Bjornsen on the basis of his performance in that).

          • It’s surprisingly emotional! And I can totally believe that. I think they’re the two performances where I fully signed up to the Brolin fan club (our theme tune is a clever edit of Limp Bizkit’s iconic “Rollin'”)

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      Got started on The Good Place on a long bus trip and really enjoy it thus far. It’s Michael Schur’s best show, devoid of insufferable liberalism and its firmly rooted in ethical choice and Douglas Adams-esque sci fi absurdism, like Janet (although I guess its more fantastical than science fiction?) Just finished Episode 9. I brought up to a friend that I wanna know where the Good Place neighborhood is for like ex punks who don’t like galas and bougie shit but she said to keep watching and you’ll see what’s happening.

      • Miller

        Janet is the best, your comparison to Adams is making me realize she’s the anti-Marvin.

    • The Ploughman

      Vernon, Florida Errol Morris’s second film and his gift for getting gab is in full swing. The backstory here is that Morris originally wanted to profile residents who cut off their own limbs for insurance money, but they apparently threatened to kill him so he reworked his footage into this. The original idea had a more obvious hook where this one doesn’t immediately present a reason for stopping by and talking with the curious residents of Vernon. It resembles other Morris films, most notably Fast, Cheap and Out of Control with its themes of obsession (particularly in the form of a loquacious turkey hunter) and its subjects’ regard for animals. But the parts don’t gel like they do in that film and so while we’re treated to the best parts of conversations with people it would normally take a long time to get to (not to mention some great shots from DP Ned Burgess), the curiousity it provokes would be more satisfied by a trip to visit your own town’s eccentrics.

      Speaking of your own town, my wife and I spent the evening going over the views of our city council and school board candidates. It’s a lot more work than the national elections, where you can just pick out which one is aligned with the biggest pack of assholes and dutifully check the opposite box, but it’s refreshing to discuss things like downtown parking and the new police station rather than the vacuous “positions” national politicians take. It took us the better part of an hour to figure out what we wanted in a new school superintendent. Every national candidate can be boiled down to a checklist that can be absorbed in five minutes, and yet gets round-the-clock coverage.

      • Miller

        I need to go over my list of candidates. Good on you for taking the time.

      • pico

        Agreed on Vernon: it has a nice hangout vibe but feels like scenes in search of a movie.

        • The Ploughman

          It probably wasn’t worth Morris getting murdered by one-armed fraudsters just to get a more interesting topic… but I guess we’ll never know now, will we?

          • pico

            If his mentor can take a bullet and keep going with the interview, he can deal with a one-armed fraudster, sheesh.

        • clytie

          I grew up 30 miles from Vernon, FL.This is probably why I like it least of all Morris’ movies. I’ve hung out in that area enough for a lifetime.

          • The Ploughman

            I imagine your relationship with this film similar to mine with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (although I do like that movie).

    • Jake Gittes

      I Am Love and A Bigger Splash. Incredibly easy to tell that the same person directed these and Call Me by Your Name – all three are gorgeous, sensual, admiring of scenery and bodies and unhurriedly paced in essentially the same way, the crucial difference is that the first two ultimately don’t have nearly the emotional foundation or the focus (no matter how relaxed) of the third, and so they end up feeling a lot more disposable, which makes me a little worried about CMBYN ending up a happy accident in Guadagnino’s growing career. I Am Love starts out low-key and intriguing but gradually devolves into a melodrama in which the central relationship has no depth whatsoever; Tilda Swinton does speak some of the most convincing Russian I’ve heard from a Western actor, but that’s not a high bar to clear. I was enjoying A Bigger Splash a lot when it was just a hangout movie in no rush to go anywhere in particular, but didn’t find its eventual turn interesting or rewarding in any way. I’ll freely admit though that this scene is glorious, and it makes me think we should put together a list of the most unexpectedly great movie moments showing that a particular actor or actress has got MOVES.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=623d9vZqF-4

      • List of Unwelcome Movie Dance Scenes

        [list left intentionally blank]

        • Jake Gittes

          When I saw The Last Days of Disco and American Honey close to each other last year, it got me thinking that someone could just make a movie that’s nothing but people dancing for two hours and I’d be unreasonably excited for it.

          • Have you seen this?

          • Jake Gittes

            Whoa. Thank you for this.

          • You’re welcome! I loved it when I saw it a few years ago – have been meaning to revisit it ever since it surfaced online.

          • The Ploughman

            Love that movie.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Wow. That’s impressive. Presumably they had to nail the blocking, since what’s the point otherwise?

        • Miller

          *list subsequently filled with 80 percent of the ending/credit sequences from the past decade’s animated films*

      • The Narrator

        As great as I’m sure Call Me By Your Name is, I cannot believe it has any scene as great as that one (even the Armie Hammer-Timothee Chalamet dance scene isn’t quite the same). I was practically jumping off the walls when I got to that.

        • Jake Gittes

          Probably none that’s this immediately joyous (although a couple at least come close), but it more than compensates in other ways.

      • pico

        Tilda Swinton does speak some of the most convincing Russian I’ve heard from a Western actor

        For future reference, we’ll call this the Connery-Swinton scale. “On a scale from Sean Connery to Tilda Swinton, how good was this actor’s Russian?”

        Robin Williams didn’t have the best accent, but he did keep up his basic conversational Russian long after Moscow on the Hudson was finished. I’d be curious to hear Jon Bernthal speak, since he lived there a while.

        • Son of Griff

          Did Harrison Ford even ATTEMPT to speak the language in K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER?

          • pico

            Haven’t seen it! Lots of fondness for Connery’s “TEE PAH ROOSKY?” in Red October, though.

        • Jake Gittes

          I don’t like Eastern Promises but I thought Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel did a solid job with their Russian in that. Mind you, neither they nor Swinton would ever be mistaken for actual Russians, but of everyone I’ve seen/heard yet they come the closest. On the terrible side there’s Karl Urban in The Bourne Supremacy, who seemed to try but was completely unintelligible.

          Clearly I need to watch both Moscow on the Hudson and Red October stat.

          • pico

            One thing Viggo does pretty well is swallow his words like a native speaker. Most actors want to show off their chops, so they articulate too well, which only makes their deficiencies more glaring. Viggo mumbles like most Russians I know, heh.

            One of my favorites is Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg in the fourth Mission Impossible, when they’re trying to sneak into the Kremlin. Pegg’s Russian accent isn’t great, so Cruise says something like “Step aside and let me do all the talking!” and then proceeds to speak far, far worse than Pegg. It’s hilarious.

            Oh, and maybe the bottom of the scale should be set to Steven Seagal. Have you seen the videos of him speaking Russian? It’s almost become a meme: these big, would-be badass moments, but he can’t say блять properly (understandable: it’s a hard word for non-native speakers) but it comes out closer to билет, so you just try to imagine Seagal busting into rooms full of assassins and asking everyone for their tickets.

            O/T: I actually watched Guardians this weekend, if you can believe that. Or rather: “watched on fast-forward,” so I didn’t think it worth discussing here. Wow, is it even worse than I expected.

          • Jake Gittes

            Oh, and maybe the bottom of the scale should be set to Steven Seagal.

            I believe this applies to pretty much all areas of life. I haven’t seen any of that but it sounds hilarious.

            The блять thing gave me a flashback of watching Air Force One on VHS as a kid, where in one scene Gary Oldman gives that word everything he’s got. From what I remember it actually sounded pretty good?

            Took me a minute to understand what Guardians was supposed to be but Ohhhhhhhh. I’m so sorry. Never seen it myself though, I tend to avoid just about all these wannabe Russian blockbusters. Salyut-7 was passable recently, but even there that’s the best thing I can say about it.

          • pico

            I take it back, Connery is worse (at least Seagal is trying?), but … Enjoy!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9A5wNTsEH4#t=30s

          • pico

            Savage review:

            Существует легенда, что у “Защитников” есть сцена после титров. Но ее никто не видел, поскольку никому пока не удалось до нее досидеть.

            [There’s a legend that Guardians has a post-credits scene, but no one has seen it, because no one has managed to sit through the whole thing]

      • pico

        The king of actors dancing in otherwise not-dancing movies has to be Denis Lavant. It’d be enough to have him do either the “Modern Love” scene in Mauvais Sang or the “Rhythm of the Night” scene in Beau Travail, but both? The KING.

        • Jake Gittes

          I hope Oscar Isaac can challenge him, he got off to a promising start in Ex Machina.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      Slowly working my way through a long list of TV I’ve missed in the last week…

      Superstore, “Health Fund.” Jonah and Amy invent health insurance. Seems like the seeds are being planted for the new girl (Kelly) to be part of a love triangle with Amy and Jonah (who will, I imagine, be hilariously ridiculous if he ever is pushed to some kind of decision). Also: “Glenn’s penis… Glenn’s penis…”

      The Good Place, “Derek.” I don’t have a lot to say about this one other than that it’s really funny to hear Jason Mantzoukas say “Jason” over and over again. D’Arcy Carden continues to be a revelation, and Manny Jacinto brings such a great dumb-yet-profound performance to Jason. Also: “Has anyone ever told you what a drag you are?” “Everyone. Constantly.

      Great News, “Pool Show.” In which Chuck befriends Portia’s fiancé (Rashad Jennings) while he’s suspended from the NFL, and it’s hilarious. The Katie-Greg will-they-won’t-they is less interesting, but it does give us Greg attacking someone with a sandwich, and the fictional TV series Goose, “a sexy Mother Goose adaptation on the CW set in present-day Miami.” Not sure if that’s making more fun of Grimm / Once Upon a Time-type shows or Riverdale. (Probably “all of the above.”)

    • clytie

      Lion Well-made and genuinely touching. Plus, the Slumdog Millionaire sure did grow up purdy.

      https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7TKVqJz3l40hbnCU/giphy.gif

  • Miller

    I know the most recent version is on Shout but the earlier release of the third Darkman movie on Kino actually is called The Darkman, The.

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  • lowRes_Triangle_Of_+1_Charisma

    Anybody familiar with the Darkman sequels?