Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by TheLastBaron

  1. I'm 3 out of 5 episodes through Eight Hours Don't Make a Day and I am totally in love with this.  The way it treats it's characters is just so great.  I didn't actually know anything about this before watching it other than it was a series about working class people by Fassbinder, but I totally expected it to be a lot more bleak and cynical.  It turns out that it's actually incredibly tender and funny.  Speaking of movies about working class families, I just re-watched Distant Voices, Still Lives which I saw for the first time probably a year ago and I might have liked it even more than when I saw it the first time, it's so good.  The movie just explores the life of a family in a way that isn't really following a narrative and isn't documentarian, but it definitely feels like it exists just to let you know that these were some people that existed and this was a place that existed, and these were some emotions that existed.  It sort of reminded me of the comic 'Here' by Richard McGuire in a very vague way in that it just takes you and puts you in a place and shows you a lot of different moments that happened.  It does some super cool stuff with how it plays with both sound and picture (which totally makes sense given the title).


    Also while we're talking HBO rec's I just need to mention Show Me a Hero because I feel like it wen't totally under the radar, at least of the people I encounter, and it was so good.  For me personally it's as good as anything David Simon has done, though The Wire is still The Wire.

  2. Man, Brief Encounter is lovely and beautiful and painful in all the right ways. I don't really know what else to say about it other than I want to start watching it again immediately so I can spend another hour living in a beautiful dream so I don't have to accept that that's all it will ever be. 

  3. In a couple weeks I will be seeing Late Spring as it is playing at SFMOMA and I'm pretty excited (also the next day one of my local indie theaters is playing a double feature of Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke).  I would recommend at some point possibly checking out Tokyo-Ga, a film by Wim Wenders that is basically a documentary on Ozu, but also kind of a movie about Wim Wenders being really into Ozu.  I know it's included as an extra in the Criterion release of Late Spring, but I don't know how easy it is to track it down on it's own (there's always the internet though).


    Last year I saw Funeral Parade of Roses when it was showing in theaters after being restored and I liked it.  It's a film about the underground gay culture in Tokyo in the 60's.  It's pretty experimental and kind of blurs the line between documentary and drama.  The trailer does a pretty good job portraying what the movie is like (everything in that including the interviews about making the film are from the movie).


    I also watched Black Rain a little while back and thought it was great.  It should probably be noted to avoid any confusion that there are two films called Black Rain that came out in 1989.  One is an American film starring Michael Douglas as a cop who goes to Osaka to take on the Yakuza and the other, the one I am referring to, is a Japanese film about the aftermath of Hiroshima.


    I've been meaning to watch The Eel for a while, originally it was on my radar just because it won the Palme d'Or, but it was also directed by Shohei Imamura who directed Black Rain.  Maybe this thread will get me to actually do it.  


    For a while I've wanted to watch more modern Japanese films as I've seen a fair amount of older ones, but as far as movies made in the 21st century go I don't think I've seen any live action ones besides horror stuff which I'm not into.  Sway is one that I've picked up and along with The Eel might actually get played soon, and then after that I Wish is on my radar.


  4. I liked the writing and the humor a lot. That doesn't mean I actually found it funny (though I did laugh out loud quite a few times), but like SAM said it makes the characters feel like real people which is something that Star Trek isn't that great at. They might make really dumb jokes, but so do the people I interact with in real life and I prefer that to everyone being a weird robot (I'm not talking about Data, I'm looking at you Gordie). As someone who loves episodes like Lower Decks and DS9 for all the crew-just-hanging-around stuff The Orville really hit on something that I dig. 


    While we're talking about not-Trek-but-basically-Trek stuff, has anyone watched the new Man From Earth movie? I'm very skeptical of how good it could possibly be, but I'm interested to hear opinions about it. 

  5. I just checked Letterboxd to see what movies I saw in 2017 and it's Split, The Lego Batman Movie, Baby Driver, The Disaster Artist, Alien Covenant, Killing of a Sacred Deer, Thor, Coco, and Star Wars.  Of those I liked Coco and Thor, and Star Wars I liked half of very much, though the highest I rated any of them was 4/5 stars for Coco and Thor.  Everything else I was middle of the road on except Alien, Split, and Killing of a Sacred Deer I hated.  That's nine 2017 movies, I guess ten if you count Mike Birbiglia's Netflix special (which I wouldn't) out of ~100 or so movies I watched total last year. 


    That also reminds me that I don't think I actually used my MoviePass in December, though since subscribing I've already saved enough money from seeing a few movies because tickets are so expensive here that I could go another couple months of paying for it without seeing anything and still be ahead.

  6. I guess I forgot to post here after finishing it a couple weeks back, but I watched all of The Orville and I really liked it.  Basically everything itsamoose said.  I'm interested to see what they do from here.  I've watched zero episodes of Discovery and have no interest in watching any, but The Orville is right up my alley and I like that both shows are doing different things and hopefully they can co-exist.  Also it's worth noting that I wasn't planning on even watching The Orville until my mom really wanted to watch it (I watched all of TNG/DS9/Voyager with her) and she as a 65 year old woman loved it.  

  7. I finally got around to watching Drugstore Cowboy which I'd been meaning to do for quite a while and it was very good.  I expected to like it since I really like Matt Dillon and Gus Van Sant when he's in form (which he definitely was here).  That being said I feel similar about it to how i feel about Requiem For A Dream (which for the record I like, but not as much as this) which is that after seeing Panic in Needle Park it feels like I'm watching a movie.  Drugstore Cowboy is definitely super grounded and nothing is over the top, but there are a lot of scenes where we either get some sort of shot of someone shooting up and it's accompanied by  some quick cuts and sounds effects (much like Requiem) and some sort of semi-abstract visuals, or some sort of image superimposed on the screen that has something trippy going on like hats spinning to accomplish the same sort of thing and personally I'm not a fan of that.  What I really like about The Panic in Needle Park, which remains the most bleak and harrowing movie about drug use I've ever seen, is how straight and raw it is with it's characters and story.  There's no extreme closeups in a series of quick cuts of spoons and needles and shapes and lights with sounds, it's just a couple people and everything feels super honest as a result.  That being said I still really liked Drugstore Cowboy and it's certainly much easier to watch than Panic.  Having watched the entire Cowboy Trilogy in this year I can safely say that Drugstore is a solid second place, ahead of Urban and behind Midnight.

  8. I saw The Killing of a Sacred Deer last night and I'm actually pretty confused about it because it somehow failed on a fundamental level for me.  I didn't expect to like it, I only even saw it because some people I know really wanted to see it so I went along and I haven't seen any of the guy's other films so I didn't really have any expectations.  It was really weird because I guess I was supposed to feel some sort of reaction to seeing things in the movie and I didn't really feel anything while watching it.  I'm generally not great with thrillers, I get nervous at basically anything (I literally couldn't watch the trailer for Polaroid which seems to be an incredibly stupid movie but even still I had to look away), but Sacred Deer has some thing going on where everything is super stilted and stiff and awkward, but that just made it so I didn't feel like I was watching people and so nothing had any sort of impact on me.  The people I saw it with afterwards were saying they found it super intense and hard to watch at points which I found interesting because coming out of it I thought it was supposed to be a black comedy sort of satirizing Haneke type movies and that the non-reaction I had to everything was intended, but I guess I was just so disconnected it didn't work for me.  There was probably also stuff that went way over my head, there were a lot of repeated motifs like every main character except I guess one smoking cigarettes, or some thing with french fries, but I didn't get if there was a point to it (which I guess sums up how I felt about the film overall). 


    I did like seeing Alicia Silverstone though even if it was only for a little bit.  Also it was the first movie movie I used my Moviepass for, another factor that motivated me to go see it.  It was pretty nice not paying $15 to see a movie.

  9. You still play as the survivors in VS though.  I really like L4D as a cooperative game more than a competitive game, but I feel like I got that out of versus.  When you're the survivors it's the same as playing co-op (I think?) and when you're the infected you have to coordinate your attack.  FWIW I played L4D1/2 with the same 3 friends so this is definitely coming from a different place than someone who jumps into a VS game solo.

  10. Why do people like 1 more than 2? I have a couple hundred hours in both, though it's been years since I've touched either, and I like 2 more because it fixed corner stacking and meele spam which I thought were pretty big problems in 1. I've literally only ever played versus though. 


    Edit: Also I really like the story/characters in 2, having Cutty from the Wire is probably a big part of that. 

  11. On 7/10/2015 at 2:42 PM, marblize said:

    does anyone else have Movie Pass? I'm on my two week free trial and used it for the first time a couple nights ago and will probably do MMXXL or Inside Out tonight. it seems like a pretty incredible deal, especially in NYC where it works at nearly every theater including ifc, bam, and nitehawk. the only bummer is you have to wait 24 hours between uses. so I saw Ex Machina on Wednesday at 10:50pm and was going to see the 7pm When Marnie Was There Thursday before I remembered this restriction. poop.


    edit: sorry for the ad

    It's probably worth bringing this up again due to the recent changes to Movie Pass.  Has anyone jumped on?  I'm super curious as it seems like it works at a lot of the art theaters here in the Bay Area (The Alamo Drafthouse, The Roxie, and the Pacific Film Archive being the big draws for me).  I'll probably just get it and try it for a month, but I'd be curious to know what anyone else thinks about it.

  12. 25 minutes ago, Gormongous said:


    Come to think of it, Star Trek has a nasty habit of trapping its most expressive actors behind emotionless characters: Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner, Rene Auberjonois, Tim Russ, Jeri Ryan...

    I actually think of Odo as a very emotional character, he just isn't a very emotive character (also I think Data is a very emotive character and I liked him, but in the episodes where Brent Spiner gets to play other characters I did definitely wish he got to do more).  I'm only on season 5 so I don't know how Odo ends up, but I was really into the stuff with him and Kira.  I think with a weaker actor he just isn't sympathetic at all and all his inner conflicts just aren't engaging, but Rene Auberjonois really makes the characterwork, for me at least.  

  13. 5 hours ago, SecretAsianMan said:

    I felt a certain sympathy for Kim if for no other fact than he was Asian. 

    I have a co-worker I talk to a lot about Star Trek, he's actually the one who got me to watch DS9 and Voyager after only ever watching TNG (and TOS) multiple times.  He's talked about how big of a deal it was for him (as a Chinese guy) just to have a Chinese guy in Star Trek finally in Voyager.


    Thanks for the episode list, I'm planning on just watching every episode, but I'll keep it handy so if there's an episode I'm really not digging I can see if there's a reason to stick around or if I'm safe skipping to the next one.

  14. 17 minutes ago, Ben X said:

    "very cinematic, very high production value, and grittier"

    I'd seen the trailer so I already knew that that was how they were approaching the show, but man that's basically the most off-putting way to pitch a Star Trek show to me.  I was hoping the movies meant they could have all their fun and action and lens flares in those and have the TV show stay modest and focused on interesting ideas instead of cinematic set-pieces.  Oh well, I guess I hope it does well because if it does the chances of me getting something new that I like are higher than if it flops and gets canned, but I will most likely not watch Discover at all.

  15. I've just started Voyager and it seems like it's much more of a hard sci-fi focused show than TNG and especially DS9.  I'm only 3-4 episodes in so I'm not sure if it'll stay like this, but so far every episode has had some sort of convoluted plot involving quantum singularities or subspace fractures or whatever and there hasn't be much focus on the characters.  I'm watching concurrently with DS9 so I don't mind having one be the show with the interesting characters and the other being the show with the Twilight Zone speculative fiction plots, but I'm sure the show will change as time goes on.  Also I love Robert Picardo. 

  16. 13 hours ago, Nappi said:

    One aspect might be that it tries so hard to be "bad" and it feels artificial to me. I can't explain it very well. 

    This is where I am (including having trouble articulating me feeling about it).  Like the original was a super over the top parody, but the new seasons have an additional layer of intentional self awareness that makes it harder for me to engage with them in the same way.  In the movie Coop is trying to be a goofy character from an old 80's summer camp movie, but in the new ones he's very much trying to be Michael Showalter in a wig playing a goofy character from a 2001 summer camp movie.  

  17. I watched 10 Years Later this past weekend and felt exactly the same about it as I did with First Day of Camp, which is to say I didn't like it.  WHAS the movie is something I absolute adore. On multiple occasions I've watched the movie and as soon as the credits ended just started the movie over again on the spot which puts it in exclusive company with Airplane! for me.  For some reason though these sequels just don't do anything for me. I'm not sure if it's that they're taking things too far or if it's the way they're messing with the characters, but for whatever reason the jokes just don't land the same way for me and while I've tried super hard to like both of these seasons I've just ended up really disappointed.  I was really looking forward to this new season too after reading that it was inspired by Singles and the Big Chill and I assumed that it was going to have a different tone than First Day of Camp and maybe be a little more serious with the characters and less over the top, but it felt the exact same as the last one to me.

  18. 8 hours ago, twmac said:


    Yeah, I really hated 'Baby', if they had replaced him with another actor I might have liked the whole film a bit more. You needed someone with the charisma of someone like Michael B Jordan to pull him off.

    I'm taking that example way to literally, but if you took Baby and replaced him with Wallace from The Wire the movie would be completely different for me.  They both play a good-hearted kid that falls on hard times and gets mixed up in some bad shit, but the difference is that for me Baby doesn't (and isn't meant to) fulfill the role of being a real person.  Baby for me was basically just like the cars in the film, he was there to get the movie from point A to point B and keep it engaging in-between.  He was somewhere between a very thin character and a vehicle, but he wasn't there as a human being. Having him be a shy awkward kid who spends all his time in his room making beats worked for that better for me than if he were more interesting or outgoing.  I didn't love the film though so I could be totally wrong!

  19. On 7/3/2017 at 11:31 PM, Ben X said:

    Baby Driver was cool and fun and exciting, but it had already left my thoughts by the time I got home.

    Man this sums up my experience watching this movie.  I had a good time watching it, can't imagine I'll watch it again anytime soon. 


    A year or two back I was listening to a podcast as it was coming out, Goodfellas Minute, where the hosts and their guests talk about Goodfellas one minute at a time, so an each episode is 10-15 minutes of people talking about a single minute of the film in order.  It works because there's so much going on between the actual film and the history of Henry Hill and the background and all the little details that come from someone like Scorsese.  Even the first minute which was just a black screen with the white titles scrolling by made for an interesting listen because they talked about the font and how Scorsese really liked the opening to Vertigo so he ended up just getting the same guy who did the Vertigo title sequence to do Goodfellas.  Listening to all 145 minutes of that podcast made me really appreciate how few movies there are that have so much going on that every individual minute of the film is interesting in it's own way.  Baby Driver is definitely a movie that you could dissect a minute at a time, easily.