Patrick R

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Patrick R

  1. Jeff Goldblum

    Jeff Goldblum used to be one of my favorite character actors and I feel like the past couple years of Goldblum memes have made me never really want to see him in movies again. Being so nakedly over-exposed to his thing makes it feel way less spontaneous and endearing.
  2. I finally just changed the title of this thread to what I always read it as in my head.
  3. Pretty sure Amistad is the worst Steven Spielberg movie. I would gladly debate anyone that disreputable clunkers like Crystal Skull, Lost World and even The BFG (awful!) are better. They play coy with when they do and don't subtitle the Africans, so they never get to be the protagonists, just plot devices. It's super gross and cynical. Part of Spielberg's agreement with Alice Walker that allowed him to adapt The Color Purple was that the crew had to be at least 50% black, and he's talked about how vital that was to make the film better. Clearly didn't happen again this time.
  4. The Asian Film Thread

    Come Drink With Me is an utterly gorgeous wuxia film from legendary director King Hu. He's known for other martial arts films like A Touch of Zen and Dragon Inn and is famous for mixing arthouse influences into the martial arts genre. The story isn't unique (lone warrior, revenge, bandits, old grudges between former colleagues) but his earnest and patient approach definitely is. Hu paces Come Drink With Me like no one had ever made a revenge film before and gives the story time to actually meditate on the themes instead of just using them as an excuse for righteous violence. And the way he composes these deep frames with multiple planes of movement and orchestrate's them with the camera's movement is absolutely incredible. Basically every dolly shot in this movie is the best you've ever seen. I can't wait to see his other films. Here's Ang Lee talking about King Hu: I've included a clip from Tropical Malady above because no trailer ever does the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul justice. His films are all about the pace and the slow steady accumulation of emotion and symbols. Tropical Malady is a diptych film. The first part is about a love affair between a small-town boy and a soldier. The second part is a folktale of a soldier being stalked by the ghost of a tiger demon in the jungle. What makes the film so beguiling is that it's not readily apparent what the two parts have to do with each other. My current working theory is that the second story is the internal emotional journey of the first story, with the glancing over-too-soon romance being represented by the soldier and tiger stalking each other in the woods. But it's not a super neat metaphor, I don't think it'd have the same power if it was. The final shot of this movie will stay with me forever.
  5. Dark Souls(Demon's Souls successor)

    How is the DLC integrated into the main game? I've held off because I'm worried I'll spend money and then never find the additional areas.
  6. Filmmaking

    That seems rational. It's also worth noting that, as you can see from the rough cut, we didn't move the camera that much and not having to coordinate many complicated dollies or pans sped up the shooting process as well, especially when it came to lighting. I had read somewhere (or maybe heard on a commentary track) from a director who talked about working with two actors and one of them tended to give the best performance in their first take while the other actor tended to give their best performance in later takes, so when we did rehearsals I looked out for that. Sure enough, the actor who played Beth was freshest and most natural on her first run-through (and then started to flatten out, doing the same thing in later takes) while the actor who played Laura tended to get more relaxed and focused as they did it more and more. So when it came time to shoot I usually ended up starting with Beth's close-up, then the two-shot, then Laura's close-up.
  7. Filmmaking

    It is a montage-heavy script, but on the plus side a lot of it takes place in an office and you can probably get away with mostly natural lighting there. And inserts always go much quicker than stuff with dialogue. I didn't storyboard but here's the shot list for my first day of shooting for Number 12: This was the night we shot without Olivia, the actor who plays Beth, and basically covered the first 4 or so minutes of the finished film. It took about 4 hours (9 PM to 1 AM) and had no dialogue. Some things took longer than they should (we spent about an hour sneaking up on wild rabbits trying to film them) and it also included us walking about 3 miles around the neighborhood getting to the different locations. It was just a two person crew (me and my friend) with very little sound recording so that made things go quicker. Most of the outdoor stuff I tried to get a couple takes of each shot to increase chances that there wouldn't be too many cars and pedestrians in the background because I wanted it to seem like 3AM even though we were shooting at 11PM. I don't have the shot list for the 2nd night of shooting because I hand-wrote that one but it was about 16 set-ups, all in the apartment, mostly with the actors staying put on a couch, and it took 7.5 hours. Things slowed down for the actual bits with the actors talking to each other because you had to do coverage (which mostly boiled down to two close-ups and a two-shot), multiple takes, give the actors the breathing room to get in character, etc. Onscreen it ended up being about 9 straight minutes of dialogue and massive speeches and the only reason we got through it in that time at all is because the lighting was extremely simple (one light plus the flicker of a TV with the brightness all the way up*) and the actors had their lines down very well**. Also, again, having a really small crew helped with speed, even if it hindered in other ways***. Your script is very ambitious in a lot of ways but there's less talking and that will make things go a little quicker. If you can figure out the shots you don't need an actor at all you can do all those in a row with less crew. But also it's a very ambitious script especially for your start so again, I'd say maybe consider cranking out an easier simpler short over a weekend so you get a feel for it and how long everything takes. *There are flicker boxes that simulate TV light but I'm told they're very intense and often can feel a little too strobey and David Lynch for naturalistic scenes. The A-B looping feature on your DVD player and futzing around with the TV settings can achieve a more natural and random TV flicker. And my actors told me having something on TV for them to actually watch was helpful. **Stage actors have good endurance and can memorize a shitload of dialogue! My friend, who likes to cast non-actors, was impressed and said you generally can't trust non-actors to deliver more than a couple sentences per take. The downside is that stage actors don't really think about continuity and don't match their actions from take to take. Once I picked out the takes I thought had the best acting a lot of the editing process has become trying to edit around the ways they don't match-up at all. On that note I wish we had shot a couple of inserts of objects around the room, a sort of emergency way of linking two disparate shots. That's how we ended up using cutaways to what's playing on TV. ***There's a couple shots in Number 12 that drive me crazy because I think I put the camera in the absolute wrong spot (actors should not deliver long impassioned speeches in profile!) but because there were only two of us we spent all our energy worrying about boom shadow and focus and usable audio and other technical stuff that I didn't have the wherewithal as a director to notice my actors were turning their heads too far to the side.
  8. I'm sure they did this because it was to their benefit so congratulations to that but given Valve's track record of swallowing people up who you never hear from again, uh, I hope In the Valley of Gods is not their last game.
  9. Filmmaking

    I now have a start to finish rough cut of my short up on Vimeo and I'm looking for feedback. It's still got a lot of work to do (particularly with the sound, as you may notice from the silent first three minutes) but it's complete enough.
  10. "I feel I could win the lottery. Most things I want have just happened, I bet I could make that happen." - Dan, an inch away from an epiphany before running 100 mph in the other direction
  11. Dark Souls(Demon's Souls successor)

    Anyone else spend 2 hours completely lost in Duke's Archive? I have a bad sense of direction in general (in games and real life) and have gotten turned around a bit at other points in the game but this one was completely infuriating. Thank God every single aspect of this game has been documented via 90 second How-To YouTube videos.
  12. Since last time I posted here I've discovered that the 74 minute TV cut of Duel has played a limited number of times on TV in Europe, so it actually is possible that's what you've seen. Though as far as I know that's not available on video in any region. Updated my list to include The Post, a movie I found massively disappointing. Really cliched and without even the base level story of investigative journalism (the Pentagon papers are literally dropped into the lap of the Washington Post with no work on their part) that makes these kinds of movies so exciting. Between this, The BFG and Ready Player One (which I haven't yet seen but looks awful) most of my interest in Spielberg's late career has gone out the window.
  13. Movie/TV recommendations

    If you've ever been curious about 1950's Hollywood sci-fi but have been afraid it'd be too creaky and old fashioned (and in most cases that'd be correct) The Thing From Another World is still an amazing movie with a casual wit and very little of the squareness you'd get from something like Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers or The Day the Earth Stood Still. It really holds up and is worth a watch. And it's different enough from John Carpenter's remake that you won't constantly be comparing the two in your head: the tone, story and monster are all almost completely different. Also it has one of the most insane fire stunts I've ever seen in my life. IT LOOKS SO IRRESPONSIBLY DANGEROUS.
  14. Missions that made you quit

    If you mean this level yes, absolutely. On the other hand I feel like in that era almost every game had some level (usually 3 or 4) that felt utterly unfair and insurmountable that you never saw past. Or maybe that was just because I was 6 and terrible at games. EDIT: Watching this video, though, I am totally blown away by how it simulates amazing speeds. It looks like at the top and bottom of the screen sprites are just rapid swapping places while the pink membrane background in the middle scrolls by slightly slower. No wonder that game no one could get past the third level of was so popular, it looks great.
  15. Movie/TV recommendations

    I've watched a fair amount of ambient Love while in the room as my partner watched it and I didn't get a "Woody Allen schtick" from Paul Rust at all. Like, he has glasses and is neurotic, but it felt like a way different kind of character from what Allen would usually play. Allen's characters are usually defined by their misery and unwillingness to compromise whereas Rust just felt a little socially awkward and insecure AKA half of all comedy protagonists.
  16. The Asian Film Thread

    I'm on a Yasuzô Masumura kick! Let's take the three I've seen chronologically! Not that this clip is a great representation of Giants and Toys (1958) (sorry, no trailer on YouTube), a mostly non-musical satire of consumerism and western influences in the post WW2 Japan business world, but it does at least demonstrate the wild abandon of the Japanese new-wave director to put a sequence like this in an otherwise non-musical film. The material is pretty familiar with anyone who's seen Frank Tashlin comedies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? or The Girl Can't Help It, a sort of light and frothy romp through the world of scheming business men, models, and corporate culture. The difference is that, this being the Japanese new-wave, this is way more political, more sexual, and more formally daring. I've read that Masumura was way more critical of Japan's economic boom than most his peers and that certainly applies here. The problem is that it's a comedy in a language I don't speak. I almost never go in for foreign comedies because it's almost impossible for me to judge whether dialogue and performances are actually funny. The language barrier creates enough distance that most humor beyond physical and conceptual is totally lost on me and I actually get anxious thinking about what, if any, jokes I am missing due to these imperceptible nuances. I wonder if anyone else has this problem. (This trailer is pretty NSFW, but no actual nudity) Manji (1964) starts off as the sort of forbidden erotic lesbian romance that's the basis of a great many sexploitation films (though it arrives at the scenario in an especially clever and horny way) only to quickly devolve into a mad nightmare of sexual desire and angst. Masumura's not one to tell stories about dispassionate characters and everyone in this film is basically driven insane by their need to fuck each other in increasingly elaborate and baroque arrangements of threesomes, foursomes, love contracts, and kinky ritualistic pill taking. Somewhere in the hothouse melodrama is a story of navigating uncontrollable romantic needs with a straight and monogamous world outside the relationship and a series of twisted power struggles within it. It's basically The Phantom Thread but way less predictable and flat. Masumura's use of the 2.35 : 1 aspect ratio is especially striking as characters are basically never centered in the frame, always pushed out to the sides with dominating objects and bodies in the foreground. It's a genuinely great movie that takes what could be a sleazy premise and makes it way smarter and more complicated than you'd expect. A really great discovery for me. (This trailer is NSFW) Blind Beast (1969), on the other hand, is just sleaze. It's a beautiful looking and totally wild piece of sleaze, but the sort of meaning I was able to pull from Manji completely eluded me here. The scenario is risible from the start: a blind man, driven insane by his disability (it's basically presented to be as monstrous as possible), becomes a masseuse as a way to grope women and use his memories of their nude bodies to inspire his insane sculpture, including massive walls full of disembodied female parts (everything from legs and breasts to eyes and ears) but eventually he needs more and kidnaps a famous glamour model to be his muse. There's a particularly memorable moment where he begs her to let him use her body so he can create a new noble artform expressly for the blind to elevate the disabled everywhere...while groping the 15 inch nipple of the giant nude woman statue they've both climbed on top of as a wall of giant boob sculptures hangs in the background. It's a pretty blunt and hilarious refutation of the bullshit that is the artist/muse fantasy (he's clearly just a horny psychopath, not an artist), but the movie doesn't really follow through on this thought. Instead it gets bogged down in the mechanics of her imprisonment and escape attempts for a while, only for her to eventually fall in love with him and into a downward spiral of sex and sadism that ends in gory death and dismemberment. The primary set of the blind man's art studio is incredible and I'm the sort of guy who can appreciate crazy films for their own sake, but I don't think there's much of interest for those who aren't already horror/cult film enthusiasts. Still, between this and Manji there's a definite trend in Masumura's films towards self-destructive sexual frenzy and sadism that makes me intrigued to check out more. ------------ Speaking of sexual frenzy and sadism, Takashi Miike! I watched Imprint, the episode of the early 00's Showtime series Masters of Horror that was directed Takashi Miike. It's basically an hour long short film (or is that just a short feature?) and infamous for being the one episode of the horror series, sold to audiences on it's no-holds barred intensity, that Showtime refused to air. For context, a previous episode of Masters of Horror featured a rat with a man's face killing a screaming baby by tearing it's throat out. Gruesome violence was basically a mandatory part of every show. But Imprint is easily takes the cake and features all the depravity and extreme violence you'd associate with Takashi Miike films like Ichi the Killer and Audition and packs it into a mere hour. It might be the most extreme thing he's done. Reportedly it was the abortion material that upset the network but you could take basically any 10 minute chunk and find something that a premium cable network could reasonably balk at. The one that made me turn away was the needles-in-the-gums torture. Dental stuff freaks me out. That said, I really respond well to Miike when he's working under the time constraints of anthology horror (The Box, his segment of anthology horror film Three...Extremes, is easily one of his best movies and one of the more memorable results of the J-Horror boom) and Imprint is no exception. There's something about the combination of his deliberate pacing, his unblinking eye towards depravity and his off-beat storytelling that really works in the more reigned in format where he can't go off on endless digressions. This is the only episode of Masters of Horror I'd call genuinely scary but if you don't have a stomach for sick shit then stay far away. The only big knock I have against it is that, even though it's a Japanese production that takes place in Japan, it's completely in English and has a lot of clear non-English speakers delivering their lines phonetically. There's a way to tell the story with a minimum of subtitles but Showtime must have demanded it feature no foreign language at all and it's really awkward as a result. Here's hoping the next Asian film I watch is a nice one, like Quill or something.
  17. The Good Place

    That's definitely one of the chief appeals of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as well.
  18. Missions that made you quit

    The remote control helicopter mission in San Andreas was impossible on PS2, though I did manage it later with mouse and keyboard on PC by turning my hands into weird claws trying to manipulate 8 or so keys at once. As someone who basically never beats games, I suppose almost every game I play has a moment like this (usually it's just "I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing next"), but that was a big one.
  19. Jeff Goldblum

    This made me really mad and I can't figure out why.
  20. This article about MLB The Show '18 Robert Zacny wrote is A-MAZ-ING. A real rollercoaster ride.
  21. The Good Place

    I am curious if anyone has gone back and rewatched the first season knowing where it ends up and seeing if that changes how individual scenes or episodes play in subtle ways? Maybe I'd like it more with that knowledge layered on top.
  22. The Good Place

    I finished season 1 and BIG SEASON 1 FINALE SPOILERS
  23. The Asian Film Thread

    I always associate Kiki with Spirited Away, rather than Totoro. The self-reliance time-to-grow-up thing. On the other hand I don't think much of Totoro at all and can hardly remember what happens in it outside of giant mutating trees and cat buses.
  24. Filmmaking

    So we've uploaded a very rough work in progress of my short to Vimeo so I can watch it and make some editing notes. If anyone wants to see it, it's about 3/4 edited abruptly ending about 3 minutes before the actual end. Interested in feedback, especially since I've been hearing my dialogue for so long it's all kind of beginning to lose it's meaning. Send me a private message if you're interested and I'll send you the link and password.
  25. Movie/TV recommendations

    For the record, I wasn't using "hard" and "soft" sci-fi as value judgments, just as (ultimately meaningless, due to my misuse) distinctions in approach and intent.