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Thread: 28 Film Discussion Threads Later

  1. #70501
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    C and I watched Class Action Park last night. It had been on our radar for a while. About 20 minutes in she sits up and says, "I think I went there as a kid! I think my dad brought me there!!" She texted her dad and he confirmed that they had been there 2 times when she was young. She talked about how there were at least two times when she was legitimately scared for her life on those water rides. She also confirmed one of the more dangerous things at the park, the concrete Alpine Slide, a ride on which at least one person was killed, was the thing she loved the most. 8/10 because it was a pretty fascinating look at the park.

  2. #70502
    not to be taken seriously Skitch's Avatar
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    Is that available to stream anywhere? Or just rent?
    When I was a young boy
    My father took me into the city
    To see a marching band
    He said, "Son, when you grow up
    Would you be the savior of the broken
    The beaten and the damned?"

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  3. #70503
    The Pan Scar's Avatar
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    Is that on HBO Max?
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  4. #70504
    Just going for a drive DFA1979's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I don't think that's what he's saying.
    I'll let him tell me.
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  5. #70505
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    C and I watched Class Action Park last night. It had been on our radar for a while. About 20 minutes in she sits up and says, "I think I went there as a kid! I think my dad brought me there!!" She texted her dad and he confirmed that they had been there 2 times when she was young. She talked about how there were at least two times when she was legitimately scared for her life on those water rides. She also confirmed one of the more dangerous things at the park, the concrete Alpine Slide, a ride on which at least one person was killed, was the thing she loved the most. 8/10 because it was a pretty fascinating look at the park.
    People forget Disney kinda had a similar park called River Country. It didn't have the looped water slides or anything, but it had the concrete water slide drop into a lagoon that was super dangerous.


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  6. #70506
    The Pan Scar's Avatar
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    Class Action Park is on HBO Max.
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  7. #70507
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Scar (view post)
    Is that on HBO Max?
    Yarp.

  8. #70508
    The Pan Scar's Avatar
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    Just paused it. My eyes are bulging out of my skull at the ‘ball in the ball’. Having a solid Calculus Based Physics background is making this horrifyingly awesome, ‘cause I know my crazy younger self would do this shit.
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  9. #70509
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    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    Yarp.
    Swan!
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  10. #70510
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Putting aside blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films, since as has already been noted, blockbusters have always been long
    Eh, not always; of course, there have been long top-grossers since at least the 1910's, but the length of the average blockbuster's runtime is still a cycle, one that varies depending on what period you're looking at. For example, if we look at the Classical period in the middle of its "bigger is better" mentality from 1956-66, the shortest #1 from that period was West Side Story, at "only" about 2 & 1/2 hours (with many of the other top-grossers being significantly longer), but when the late 60's brought about the transition to the New Hollywood era, we starting seeing much more standard runtimes. And, while there were still exceptions, even The Godfather becoming the highest-grosser of all time wasn't enough to inspire a major movement back towards extended lengths for the next 30-ish years, and it really wasn't until the 2nd half of the 90's, with the likes of ID4, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, etc, that we saw a more consistent return to 2+ hour runtimes, for better or worse.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 02-14-2021 at 08:20 AM.

  11. #70511
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Has anyone here watched the extended cut of Margaret? Any thoughts? Unfortunately, I just re-watched the short version a second time - even though both are available to me. I have no idea why adjectives like frustrating and troubled are used when discussing this film. For me, it's easily one of the greatest of this century.
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  12. #70512
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    It matters in the context of the current discussion about LOTR and Jackson's influence on blockbuster filmmaking, which didn't exist as we understand it when some of these old-time movies were made.

    I think the obvious differences, other than the ones you pointed out, involve intent and presentation. All those historical melodramas strived for some measure of authenticity along with their spectacle, and even though may have contained massive set pieces, those set pieces didn't drive the story.

    Compare that to the Marvel universe, where the script is written to meet the needs of the set pieces, not the other way around.

    [...]

    The Academy has always had a bit of a hard-on for technologically ambitious movies. (Hence the eventual nod towards LOTR.)

    People forget "The Exorcist" and "Star Wars" were nominated for Best Picture, or that something as currently trivial as Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy" received 7 nominations and won 3 awards.

    See also various forgettable craptaculars like "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "Forrest Gump." If something makes a lot of money, Hollywood lets shit slide if a movie has any technical ambition at all.
    I'm having a hard time reconciling the first part of this post with the second, since they seem to imply two irreconcilable positions: the first part that contemporary blockbusters privilege spectacle over story in a way that earlier blockbusters didn't; the second that Hollywood has always made films which privilege spectacle over story (e.g., the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s) and some of them won industry awards for their technical virtuosity. I believe it was Janet Staiger in The Classical Hollywood Cinema who points outs that Hollywood producers have used spectacle as a form of product differentiation since the 1910s ("with a cast of thousands of extras"), and since Hollywood prides itself on its technical know-how as a marker of professionalism, it's unsurprising that technically complicated films would win industry awards. In short, Hollywood's own conception of a quality film is incoherent ("It's all about telling a good story... but also, you gotta give the people spectacle"), and has been since the beginning. I would say that one difference between the earlier blockbusters and those being made today is that spectacle used to mean historical accuracy in costumes and settings, whereas now it means "world-building."
    Just because...
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  13. #70513
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    Eh, not always; of course, there have been long top-grossers since at least the 1910's, but the length of the average blockbuster's runtime is still a cycle, one that varies depending on what period you're looking at. For example, if we look at the Classical period in the middle of its "bigger is better" mentality from 1956-66, the shortest #1 from that period was West Side Story, at "only" about 2 & 1/2 hours (with many of the other top-grossers being significantly longer), but when the late 60's brought about the transition to the New Hollywood era, we starting seeing much more standard runtimes. And, while there were still exceptions, even The Godfather becoming the highest-grosser of all time wasn't enough to inspire a major movement back towards extended lengths for the next 30-ish years, and it really wasn't until the 2nd half of the 90's, with the likes of ID4, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, etc, that we saw a more consistent return to 2+ hour runtimes, for better or worse.
    I haven't conducted a Barry Salt-style statistical analysis of average run times, but the important point here is that blockbusters are, by definition, longer than an average film of the same period, their length being in itself a form of product differentiation. If contemporary blockbusters are longer than those produced in the New Hollywood era (although The Godfather Part II and Heaven's Gate are just shy of three and a half hours), that's perhaps in part because the average contemporary feature is now much longer than in the 1970s.

    Incidentally, I just happened to stumble upon an article claiming that only two studio films of the 2010s exceeded three hours (The Wolf of Wall Street and Avengers: Endgame; presumably The Irishman doesn't count because it was distributed by Netflix).
    Just because...
    Beautiful City (Asghar Farhadi, 2004) warm
    Our Neighbour, Miss Yae (Shimazu Yasujiro, 1934) mild
    The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach, 2017) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Purity by Jonathan Franzen


    The (New) World

  14. #70514
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I haven't conducted a Barry Salt-style statistical analysis of average run times, but the important point here is that blockbusters are, by definition, longer than an average film of the same period, their length being in itself a form of product differentiation.
    Again, that depends on the time you're looking at, if this writer's research is anything to go on, since you can see that there are years where the average length of the most popular 10-30 films (the black/blue lines) are actually both lower than the overall average (the purple line), as seen in certain points during the early 70's/late 80's, even though the latter was well past the New Hollywood heyday:

    Last edited by StuSmallz; 02-15-2021 at 07:00 AM.

  15. #70515
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I'm having a hard time reconciling the first part of this post with the second, since they seem to imply two irreconcilable positions: the first part that contemporary blockbusters privilege spectacle over story in a way that earlier blockbusters didn't; the second that Hollywood has always made films which privilege spectacle over story (e.g., the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s) and some of them won industry awards for their technical virtuosity. I believe it was Janet Staiger in The Classical Hollywood Cinema who points outs that Hollywood producers have used spectacle as a form of product differentiation since the 1910s ("with a cast of thousands of extras"), and since Hollywood prides itself on its technical know-how as a marker of professionalism, it's unsurprising that technically complicated films would win industry awards. In short, Hollywood's own conception of a quality film is incoherent ("It's all about telling a good story... but also, you gotta give the people spectacle"), and has been since the beginning. I would say that one difference between the earlier blockbusters and those being made today is that spectacle used to mean historical accuracy in costumes and settings, whereas now it means "world-building."
    I will agree you on this point, though, since there's nothing inherently superior about the kind of spectacle that Hollywood specialized in back in the day versus now; the former would utilize thousands of faceless background extras for a massive battle scene, and the latter would accomplish the same basic thing with a bunch of CGI, but neither method makes me actually care about the individuals involved in those battles. It all comes down to how you focus the story in the smaller moments; you can do it well, whether it be in Lawrence Of Arabia or (like I mentioned) in LOTR, or you can do it poorly, like with Cleopatra or Justice League, and you can end up with empty spectacle or cinematic greatness just as easily either way.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 02-15-2021 at 07:24 AM.

  16. #70516
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I'm having a hard time reconciling the first part of this post with the second, since they seem to imply two irreconcilable positions
    Well, I'm following you, ya know?

    the first part that contemporary blockbusters privilege spectacle over story in a way that earlier blockbusters didn't; the second that Hollywood has always made films which privilege spectacle over story (e.g., the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s) and some of them won industry awards for their technical virtuosity.
    It's more like the intent is the same, but the approach is different.

    Whereas decades ago an action climax might derive naturally from the story, nowadays the set pieces are written first, with the rest of the movie then stitched together with half assed motivations and exposition.

    James Toback talked about this waaaay back in 2013, in an interview I wish I could find now. But basically he pointed out that if 4-5 set pieces take 20 minutes apiece, that doesn't leave much time for anything else. Maybe you have an hour? Maybe less? Characters, plot, subplot, themes, and story are all squeezed into a very small frame.

    This is why so many superhero movies have such flat characters and narratives, playing like the Cliffs Notes versions of comic books. It's also why I think we're comparing apples to oranges. Epic films of yesteryear might have had similar runtimes to some Marvel movies, but the scope, ambition, and intent are completely different.

    To put another spin on it: It took Warren Beatty 10 or 15 years to get the money for "Reds." Do you think anyone was that passionate about something like "Ant Man 2"? No, of course not, because "Ant Man 2" was made to meet the demands of the schedule, which was created to placate DISN shareholders, and announced on an earnings call meant to ensure Wall Street that Disney will absolutely make its Q3 2018 estimates.

    Like, for example, "Cleopatra" might have been pure Hollywood folly and excess, and it might have bombed and almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox, but it wasn't created to serve the larger needs of Fox's Sword and Sandal Cinematic universe, and nobody viewed it as just another notch in the franchise bedpost.

    since Hollywood prides itself on its technical know-how as a marker of professionalism, it's unsurprising that technically complicated films would win industry awards.
    Right, so why this?

    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    The most expensive and profitable films now are effects-heavy science fiction and fantasy films, and they've become increasingly prestigious over the last two decades, as evidenced by the Oscar nominations for films like The Dark Knight, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Joker. In other words, the industry's conception of what constitutes quality filmmaking has begun to shift from lavish historical dramas about white people on a boat and chatty rom-coms about Jewish neurotics hooking up with blonde shiksas to comic book movies and low-budget indies about gay black men.
    Part of the reason why genre films get more noms now is because there's more of them and less of everything else. If the mid-budget drama still existed in any meaningful sense at the box office, the Academy would be blowing off the Superfriends in larger numbers.

  17. #70517
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    there's nothing inherently superior about the kind of spectacle that Hollywood specialized in back in the day versus now
    I realize this is a matter of personal preference, but I do think watching legions of scantily-clad chorus girls forming shifting geometric patterns in time to music is inherently superior to watching vast computer-generated armies duking it out for hours.
    Just because...
    Beautiful City (Asghar Farhadi, 2004) warm
    Our Neighbour, Miss Yae (Shimazu Yasujiro, 1934) mild
    The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach, 2017) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Purity by Jonathan Franzen


    The (New) World

  18. #70518
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    Again, that depends on the time you're looking at, if this writer's research is anything to go on, since you can see that there are years where the average length of the most popular 10-30 films (the black/blue lines) are actually both lower than the overall average (the purple line), as seen in certain points during the early 70's/late 80's, even though the latter was well past the New Hollywood heyday:

    Of course, commercially successful isn't the same thing as a blockbuster. Love Story, Tootsie, and When Harry Met Sally made lots of money at the box office but I wouldn't call them blockbusters in that they lack expensive production values.
    Just because...
    Beautiful City (Asghar Farhadi, 2004) warm
    Our Neighbour, Miss Yae (Shimazu Yasujiro, 1934) mild
    The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach, 2017) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Purity by Jonathan Franzen


    The (New) World

  19. #70519
    Sunrise, Sunset Wryan's Avatar
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    Holy shit Shadow in the Cloud is so fuckin good. It's absolutely ludicrous and absurd, a total riot while being credibly tense at almost every moment. Fantastic lower-budget single-set creature feature pulp actioner. Makes outrageous use of its limited spaces and game cast. Stunning stuff packed into just 75 minutes!

    If you like the Shatner Twilight Zone episode and love the moment in Executive Decision when Steven Seagal gets sucked the fuck outta the plane, you owe it to yourself to find and watch this asap. And don't watch a trailer first.

    In fact, I'll do you one better. Here: []
    Last edited by Wryan; 02-16-2021 at 03:12 AM.
    "How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and forgot how to drive?"

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  20. #70520
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    It's more like the intent is the same, but the approach is different.

    Whereas decades ago an action climax might derive naturally from the story, nowadays the set pieces are written first, with the rest of the movie then stitched together with half assed motivations and exposition.

    James Toback talked about this waaaay back in 2013, in an interview I wish I could find now. But basically he pointed out that if 4-5 set pieces take 20 minutes apiece, that doesn't leave much time for anything else. Maybe you have an hour? Maybe less? Characters, plot, subplot, themes, and story are all squeezed into a very small frame.

    This is why so many superhero movies have such flat characters and narratives, playing like the Cliffs Notes versions of comic books. It's also why I think we're comparing apples to oranges. Epic films of yesteryear might have had similar runtimes to some Marvel movies, but the scope, ambition, and intent are completely different.

    To put another spin on it: It took Warren Beatty 10 or 15 years to get the money for "Reds." Do you think anyone was that passionate about something like "Ant Man 2"? No, of course not, because "Ant Man 2" was made to meet the demands of the schedule, which was created to placate DISN shareholders, and announced on an earnings call meant to ensure Wall Street that Disney will absolutely make its Q3 2018 estimates.

    Like, for example, "Cleopatra" might have been pure Hollywood folly and excess, and it might have bombed and almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox, but it wasn't created to serve the larger needs of Fox's Sword and Sandal Cinematic universe, and nobody viewed it as just another notch in the franchise bedpost.
    Although I don't disagree with anything you're saying, I think it's a bit limiting to understand the relationship between spectacle and story as necessarily antagonistic. It certainly can be (Jackie Chan's Police Story strikes me as a good example of a film where plot is subordinated to spectacle), but I can also think of cases where the two alternate without conflicting (again, the Busby Berkeley musicals of the '30s seem exemplary in this regard) and of cases where story and spectacle are mutually enhancing: In Titanic we don't care about the boat sinking; we care about the characters on the boat. Moreover, to suggest that contemporary super-hero movies privilege spectacle over story gives these films too much credit, since they don't do spectacle well either. Nobody working in Hollywood today can stage and shoot an action sequence anywhere near as well as Jackie Chan could in the '80s.
    Just because...
    Beautiful City (Asghar Farhadi, 2004) warm
    Our Neighbour, Miss Yae (Shimazu Yasujiro, 1934) mild
    The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach, 2017) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Purity by Jonathan Franzen


    The (New) World

  21. #70521
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Well, my tour of the "Dirty" Harry Callahan movies is complete. I've watched The Dead Pool. I'd say all the sequels are about the same quality. Each of them entertaining, but nothing that I'd go crazy about. Magnum Force is probably the strongest, story-wise, even though they all have a certain level of ridiculousness to them. 7/10. Consider me surprised to see Jim Carrey as the first victim in the movie.

  22. #70522
    Just going for a drive DFA1979's Avatar
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    The Dead Pool is awful although Jim Carrey was great in it. Also how Harry defeats the villain is awesome and hilarious.
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  23. #70523
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    Also how Harry defeats the villain is awesome and hilarious.
    This is true. I had a good laugh at that. What didn't you like about it? How was it different from the prior 4?

  24. #70524
    Just going for a drive DFA1979's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    This is true. I had a good laugh at that. What didn't you like about it? How was it different from the prior 4?
    I found it to be a parody of the other flicks. The toy car bomb is pretty cheesy.
    Blog!

    Now, here I go again, I see
    The crystal vision
    I keep my visions to myself
    It's only me, who wants to
    Wrap around your dreams and
    Have you any dreams you'd like to sell
    Dreams of loneliness

  25. #70525
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    The toy car bomb is pretty cheesy.
    That's completely fair. That was probably the silliest part of the movie. I couldn't tell whether they were actually trying to make it silly or if they were trying to make it suspenseful.

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