Patrick R

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Everything posted by Patrick R

  1. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Apparently I am a #FakeGamer because I just used this thread to bash the non-games of Assassin's Creed and Gears of War but I cannot stop playing Peggle. Right now I've been trying to top the high scores and get medals on the challenge boards, taking 30 minutes out of my day to do one or two as I listen to a podcast. Peggle is the best game I've played for this thread. I keep meaning to start a new game of Mass Effect, but Peggle.
  2. David Cronenberg's Dr. Mario is one of my favorite things that's happened on the podcast in a bit. I don't think it's happened in a while, but I hope whoever was doing those Idle Thumbs animations takes that on.
  3. I was picturing a podcast with less direction, but this is much better. Can't wait to listen.
  4. I Had A Random Thought...

    Sweet sweet back.
  5. Movie/TV recommendations

    My co-worker put Louis Malle's Atlantic City in his part of the employee recommendations section around the same time that TheLastBaron mentioned really liking it in the Demasters thread*, so I figured divine hands were at play and I checked it out. IT IS AMAZING. Absolutely beautiful character piece/crime film about an aging small-time hood (Burt Lancaster, unrecognizable if you only know him from the 50's and 60's) who stumbles into an opportunity to play the big shot in order to impress a young neighbor (Susan Sarandon) he's infatuated with. Really amazing achingly vulnerable humanity from all the characters (even ones who initially appear to be comic relief) without ever losing a light and entertaining tone. The line it straddles between real heartbreak and fairy tale whimsy is very impressive. *I'm assuming we are talking about the same Atlantic City.
  6. Film and TV Demasters

    Yeah, got it mixed up. From the review: "Unlike so many cases of revisionist colour timing, this one isn’t the same super-modern orange and teal, which is a relief all of its own. Instead, the image has been slightly desaturated and cooled. Browns and tans, including skin tones, are more homogenized, occasionally making previously warm sequences appear almost sepia. The 2007 release had a sickly green/yellow quality that faded the more searing reds (bar/restaurant interiors, in particular). The rescan has adjusted those reds, to appear more vivid and cleared out the pea soupiness. An unfortunate side-effect is that very littler green survived the cut at all (just check out Samuel L. Jackson’s once green, now magically green blue)." My friend wrote that review and has a tendency to go back and double check things with previous DVD and even VHS releases, so while you can't be 100% sure without checking the original film print, I believe him when he says the pants used to be green.
  7. Film and TV Demasters

    I don't have a great technical grasp of this sort of thing, but seeing film prints of movies shot on film is always illuminating for me. I think one should see films in the format they're intended, when possible. It drove me absolutely bonkers that JJ Abrams made such a big deal about shooting Force Awakens on film, this is on film, on celluloid, just like the original trilogy, film film film...and then that movie did not screen on 35mm prints ANYWHERE, as far as I can tell. I saw Inherent Vice (shot on 35mm) in a regular theater digitally and I saw it at an art theater on 35mm and it looked way better as the latter. Then I later saw it again as a 70mm blow-up as part of a 70mm festival, and while it looked good I still think the 35mm looked better. On the other hand, my local art theater (The Music Box) knows that seeing film prints has become very cool among cinephiles, and has taken to promoting 35mm screenings of movies that were originally shot digitally! I saw them show Mad Max: Fury Road in 35mm and it didn't look any better. They also did a midnight screening of Magic Mike XXL, which is one of the most digital-ass digital movies around. That 35mm prints of films such as this float around is interesting, but I can't anyone really benefitting from seeing them this way. On the flipside, I've seen interviews where Michael Mann complained that all the aesthetic and textures of his video films were ruined in 35mm prints and that that is a lot of the reason why people thought Public Enemies looked so ugly.
  8. I'll be very interested to see what you think of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I don't think it really works as a story but it is definitely a one of a kind movie.
  9. It doesn't fit perfectly, but I still think "She Killed In Ectasy" is my favorite because I love the idea of a 90's pop song about Jess Franco.
  10. I didn't rewatch AI this year, but my memory is that all the really compelling stuff is mostly in the first and last 20 minutes and all the Futuristic Oliver Twist/Pinocchio stuff in the middle is interminable and leans into all of Spielberg's worst tendencies. There's a lot of interesting writing about the dark portrait of humanity AI paints but I've always found the actual act of watching it to be a slog.
  11. Would love to hear more about this, honestly.
  12. Duel is a movie I liked alright in the past, but really fell in love with this year. I'm definitely going to do an episode on it for the next season of my podcast.
  13. To address your points in reverse order there is, I am terribly ashamed to admit, nothing definitive or objective about my power rankings. I'm a fraud. I am in fact extremely ambivalent about Temple of Doom (as the review I linked to earlier in the thread states) but nostalgia overwhelms me. That said, I think there are a lot of things about Temple of Doom besides childhood memories that impress me far more than anything in Jurassic Park that I also address there. I really like the characters of Grant, Malcolm and Sattler. I think the casting of those three is pretty perfect. But the way they're split up, and Malcolm is injured at the halfway(?) point, means that dynamic is relegated solely to the first half of the movie. The rest of the characters are fine, but don't strike me as unusually well-written for the kind of movie they're in. The CGI has aged very well, because Spielberg does such great work shooting it conservatively and keeping effects practical whenever possible. Since starting on a project to watch all the Harry Potter movies I can appreciate the CGI in Jurassic Park now more than ever because those movies are older and the effects look terrible. I only brought it up in my 2014 review (which I think you are referencing as it's the only place I've negatively spoke of the CGI here) because I had always been a "CGI has not progressed since Jurassic Park" person, and that was the first time I realized the dinosaurs could look better. It negatively affects my viewing experience only in certain shots of the raptor kitchen scene and the first big reveal. My misgivings with the Hammond character aren't because he's different than in the book. I just used the changes made to illustrate the choices Spielberg made with the character that I don't respond to. I absolutely agree that adaptations should be judged on their own merits. Also, I would like to say that it is always an awkward position to trash a movie that is not only near-universally beloved, but that you also like, just not nearly as much. But that's the bed I made, so I'll lie in it. But I'd rather talk about how War Horse is sort of misunderstood and way darker and more interesting than most people give it credit for. EDIT: My mistake! I re-read my Jurassic Park reviews and my 2016 one also cites an over-reliance on CGI. Can't recall much more than what I mentioned above, though.
  14. I thought you were implying audiences would reject Hammond if his character was such a monster, which is why I brought up Jurassic World's success. My mistake. There was a tendency in Spielberg's career (especially before he won Oscars for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan), both onscreen and in interviews, to always try to address critics who dismiss his work as kiddie fare. He was actually a very self-referential filmmaker in the earlier half of his career, and his movies would often make callbacks to his other films, to his career, to audience expectations of what a Spielberg movie is, etc. This is the form his desire to address critics would occasionally take and I think it's an irritating and misguided desire because you don't need to defend films like ET, Jaws, and Raiders in the first place. I think the flea circus scene plays more as Spielberg trying to justify how important his films are for audiences than anything else. It opens with a shot of all the Jurassic Park merchandise, and most of the scene's emotion is expended on Hammond nearly weeping talking about how beautiful the little kid pretending to see the fleas is. Sattler's reply shuts him down, but the scene ends almost immediately after and if his character actually has changed, it doesn't affect the story in any real way. I can definitely agree with you that his character arc is flat in the novel, but the change isn't really that compelling to me either. It just makes what would be a cliche monster movie baddie into a cliche Spielberg sentimental character. Considering my general problems with the film, I'd gladly opt for the former.
  15. I don't think that's inherently true. A lot of disaster movies have villains who are culpable for, if not the disaster event, than being unprepared for it. I feel like Jurassic World has several of these characters and while that movie is terrible (for different reasons) it was a massive success.
  16. Oh hey, my post got it's own thread. I see no need to belabor my feelings on Jurassic Park, but for anyone curious, I did write capsule reviews for the last two times I watched it in 2014 and last year. I've heard theories that all the hand-wringing over the science in it is actually Spielberg being ambivalent about introducing CGI to the world, knowing that big blockbuster film-making would be forever changed by it (and, many would say, for the worse). It's an interesting lens to watch the movie through but it holds no water historically, since Spielberg was already in the process of making Jurassic Park "the old-fashioned way" when he saw ILM's test footage. Either way, the way that Spielberg softened the character of John Hammond while simultaneously making him the clear director surrogate always makes me groan a bit.
  17. A Decade Ago: The Games of 2007 Thread

    Listening to the back catalog of the Bombcast (which started in 2008) reminds me that this was an era where people were still trying to make MMO's that competed with WOW. One 2007 game no one can play anymore is Tabula Rasa, a sci-fi shooter MMO from Ultima creator Richard Garriott. Here's the Thumbs talking about it being shut down at the start of 2009. Apparently there's an MMO based on the SyFy Channel series Defiance that plays very similarly? MMO's in practice are not things I enjoy playing, but as worlds and communities that are born, live for a couple years, and then die, I find them pretty interesting. Especially when it ends with a big narrative event like Tabula Rasa, to emphasize the apocalyptic feeling of the world ending. Glad people have captured games like this on video.

    And he did!
  19. I was coming in to say this. It was interesting at the end when you both heartily recommended it, because I didn't actually hear much positive response from you about the book. Other than your praise for it's prose at the end, most of the show seemed to be grappling with how surprisingly dark it was. Not that you're obligated to "review" the book in any way (it's not like Wuthering Heights needs it), but to me you came across as more ambivalent than you ultimately were.
  20. Still newer forum!

  21. Film and TV Demasters

    This is maybe not a conversation to have on a public forum but I could not for the life of me figure out how to download the Despecialized editions. But I figure Disney knows there's a lot of money to be made from a proper release of the original Star Wars films, and will do it eventually. Right? RIGHT!??! GROSS. SO GROSS.
  22. Film and TV Demasters

    One of the nice things about living where I do is there are two arthouse movie theaters that regularly screen 35mm prints. Seeing film prints has become an increasingly meaningful experience for me in a world where art is increasingly subject to post-release "fixing". The Chicago Film Society blog had a really interesting blog entry on film prints as artifacts of history (using the truly bizarre looking 35mm film print of a shot-on-Betamax horror film "Boardinghouse" that screened at the Music Box as a case subject) that I really enjoyed.
  23. Film and TV Demasters

    Not quite but almost the same thing is my complaint here about OJ: Made In America cropping archival footage to 16:9, which is the most aggravating thing a film I otherwise love has done in a while. And if you really wanna go down a rabbit hole you should follow home media review sites that will compare and contrast various home releases of old movies, trying to figure out who improperly framed or egregiously color corrected what. My friend Gabe Powers does blu-ray reviews and this review of Phantom of the Paradise is a good indicator of how far down the hole he's often willing to go. I don't have a great home video set-up (pretty small TV, no surround sound of any kind) nor a great set of eyes and ears to appreciate all the subtle differences, but I did spend 110 bucks on a Halloween blu ray box set in part because it was the only way to get the original mono soundtrack on the original Halloween. So, I am invested in this sort of thing to an extent. EDIT: Apparently people going back and futzing around with the colors of their old movies is such a widespread problem that even ardent film preservationists like Martin Scorsese are guilty. Check out this review of the new Goodfellas blu-ray for an example. Scroll down to the caps of Samuel L. Jackson to really see the difference: his pants used to be blue, they made them green!
  24. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    Are you asking when they became Italian and not Italian-American? Because there are plenty of Italians in New York. Pretty sure Super Mario 64 is when the voice started.
  25. Still newer forum!

    My toolbar looks like this. At some point it looked like this: I asked around the Slack and it seems like some people see the former, some see the latter. The former is pretty incomprehensible (the smiley face is italics, the landscape photo is strikethrough). As far as I can tell, I first saw this last night. Any idea what would cause this?