Patrick R

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Everything posted by Patrick R

  1. If we're now in the business of merging threads and creating new ones maybe we should just slot in the veganism thread here and be done with it.
  2. Oh man, I forgot all about the Walmart stuff. The pendulum just keeps shifting directions! Has he ever done an about face on his fascist cop worship?
  3. "The greatest diamond of them all...democracy!" made me laugh really really hard.
  4. Movie/TV recommendations

    I love Un Chien Andalou but the only other Bunuel I've seen is Simon of the Desert, which I found to be kind of a bore. A director I keep meaning to check out more. I watched the Aubrey Plaza/Dave Franco/Alison Brie historical comedy The Little Hours last weekend, and while the trailer only emphasizes the "lol, olden times nuns saying fuck" aspect (and kind of spoils too many later plot points) I actually found it to be a hysterically funny and smart movie that basically transposes a college sex comedy to the 14th century and consistently makes great choices with it's tone and fluid anachronistic dialogue. That said, an aspect that I haven't really seen anyone mention and one that makes it hard to recommend is that Aubrey Plaza's character in this is an actual rapist, who commits two sexual assaults (one on a woman and one on a man) that are both played for laughs. In both scenes the initiation of the act couldn't be more violent or coercive but, in a choice that makes it way worse and insidious for me, both parties ultimately end up being into it. Hearing an audience crack up at Dave Franco being sexuallly assaulted at knifepoint was an awful experience, one made even worse because I think there's a lot about this movie that's good but maaaaaaan. That aspect fucking sucks. It claims it's based on The Decameron, but I'll leave it to someone like Gorm to suss out what that even means and how relevant it actually is.
  5. Life

    Thanks! It's called Number 12 Looks Just Like You and it's about lesbians talking about the Twilight Zone at 4 AM and coming to important life decisions. I don't know when it will be done as I don't have access to editing software (or rather, a computer capable of editing video) and will have to do all that at my friends' (the same friend who supplied all the equipment and technical expertise and the $15,000 camera and walked me through the whole process) so the editing schedule is up in the air. But the plan is to submit it to some festivals when it's done and because a lot of festivals still don't like programming stuff that's publicly available it probably won't be around for the general public for a while yet. That said, as soon as it's done I will post about it on the Plug My Shit thread and give a private Vimeo link to anyone who messages me.
  6. Life

    I just wrapped on a short film I wrote and directed! It was exhausting, probably moreso for my partner who was the lead actor and was given way too much dialogue to remember. I don't know when it will be edited and finished but making it was a real learning experience.
  7. On all matters, the Idle Thumbs Hive Mind advocates for ambivalence. It can be hard for me to track Dan's growth because I listen to a lot of back episodes of Giant Bombcast as a sort of non-offensive white noise when I don't want to emotionally engage with the world (the one show I know will almost never get political!), so I'll hear a modern Beastcast where he seems not so bad and contextualizes his dumb questions (questions that I, by the way, am also dumb enough to have) in a way that is fun and self-deprecating and even, goddammit, charming. But then I'll listen to an old Bombcast where he gets mad at anyone asserting any food could ever be better than Taco Bell. So part of my ambivalence towards Dan comes from that achronological approach of mine. But the college thing proved to me how easily he can still slip into Old Dan, starting a story with "I know now why this makes people mad, I don't want to get into it" but ending up cracking up and all the ways everything falls into his lap. And just knowing that potential to regress is there makes me want to not listen to the Beastcast. Anyway, it makes me super mad that Ben has been at GB West for months and they haven't managed to pull together one new Ranking of Fighters, which is one of my favorite series they do.
  8. Movie/TV recommendations

    If it's available in your region (it's not really in the states) I'd say Martin would be the one to check out. It's a low-budget regional art-house horror film about a young man who thinks he's (and may or may not be) a vampire but also it's very Cassavetes inspired movie about generation gaps and youthful bewilderment. Dawn of the Dead is of course a classic slice of comic book horror, not actually scary in any way but packed with great gore effects and satire on commercialism and greed. And Creepshow is an absolutely stylish and loving tribute to 50's horror comics, with great effects and wild garish pop-art design. The Crazies is like a low-budget warm-up for Dawn of the Dead (and proof that Romero didn't just master slow zombies but running ones as well) that's rougher around the edges but also a little nastier and a great commentary on the structural nightmare of Vietnam.
  9. Wow, if that's really what his book is like that's a far bigger piece of shit move than anything else. Like, kinda worth not consuming any more Giant Bomb stuff over.
  10. Every time I think I'm getting used to Dan he once again asserts himself as the smirking shitty face of privilege. Literally every story he has is about how he never worked hard for anything and things just fell into his lap. I bet his whole life hasn't actually been this way but the gleeful way he brags about his lack of hardship is fucking obnoxious and awful, even if it's not as bad as it once was. Sure, he now admits he understands why people get mad about his college story it doesn't stop him from breathlessly describing every way people went out of their way to make sure he'd never have to endure any effort, down to a total lack of student loans. He loves getting a rise out of people too much to care why the stories upset them in the first place. The fact that he won't eat vegetables seems very secondary to this for me.
  11. Johns Wick 1 & 2

    John Wick: Chapter Two is great. Everything you want from a sequel, it emphasizes what made the first film good (the world, the action, the art design) and it eliminates all the weaker stuff (generic revenge plot, generic Russian baddies). Best house of mirrors sequence in any movie ever. Still a bit too austere for my taste, but the idea of going into an action movie and being consistently surprised is basically unheard of these days and I ADORE the way the world of assassins slowly opens up, little by little, detail by detail, until the very end of the movie. Action is better this time around too. I think I was the only person here who liked the first one, which sounds crazy but if you hated the first movie I don't know if this one will change your mind. But if you thought the first film was promising but flawed, like I did, this is a great correction.
  12. Movie/TV recommendations

    I saw Stop Making Sense on the big screen again. It's my 3rd or 4th time and it is my favorite movie of all time because of the big screen experience, which involves (in Chicago at least) everyone getting out of their seats during Life During Wartime (about the midway point) and dancing in front of the screen and the aisles. It's the best concert film ever and feels like a concert experience and it's so much fun. I hurt myself dancing so much but it was way worth it. If Stop Making Sense ever comes to a rep theater near you (and with the recent death of it's director Jonathon Demme that's more likely now than ever) you should run, not walk, to go see it.
  13. Movie/TV recommendations

    A lot of people swear by Brian De Palma's stuff but I found that documentary was the ideal way to consume his work. All the tasty baroque cinematography without all the rock-dumb plots and characters. If you can look past the problematic nonsense (which runs rampant), movies like Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Phantom of the Paradise and Sisters are all worth watching. But I think Carrie is the only film of his where the material actually connects perfectly with his overblown style. Well, Phantom of the Paradise too, but I just feel nothing for any of the characters in that movie, it's just a dazzling rock opera. With Carrie I think the mythic structure and high school emotions dovetail perfectly with his approach in a way none of the other films do. But that doc was really good, with a calm and clean approach to it's subject without a lot of the bad stock footage and trashy dumb animated segments that litter a lot of talking head documentaries.
  14. I think I'd rather just tag my spoilers. Sorry.
  15. There's so much potential in 10 Cloverfield Lane and a lot of really good moments and choices, but I think it telegraphs all it's story beats way too hard to work at all as a thriller. Didn't see the first film because while I love the concept of found footage, basically no films that utilize it take the premise seriously.
  16. Movie/TV recommendations

    Life Is Sweet is a Mike Leigh movie that is utterly wonderful, sweet, hilarious, sad and touching. It starts off with the broad set-up of a quirky indie comedy and then, instead of furthering that plot, just contentedly fills in the details on all it's characters until it has created a rich and moving portrait of a family. Jim Broadbent and Alison Steadman are brilliant together as maybe my favorite movie parents of all time. I've seen a few other Leigh films but none of them balance pathos and humor like this. Strongest possible recommendation.
  17. I read the first four books as a kid, but haven't returned to them since. I never got into this film series because I thought the ones I saw (1 & 3) were kinda crappy. HOWEVER, I constantly felt culturally out of the loop with this series so I decided to watch the whole film series. Bad mistake. I think, without the connection to the books, these films are kinda shit. Here's my definitive ranking: 1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (3) <--- Only good one 2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (4) 3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. 1 (7) 4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. 2 (7) 5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1) 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6) 7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2) 8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (5) Here's my thoughts on each as I saw them: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Chris Columbus has basically no imagination to speak of, which actually makes him a perfect choice for the film. With a pre-destined smash, the last thing Warner Brothers needed was for someone with vision and ideas getting in the way of their massive global multimedia enterprise. In that way, Columbus' work here anticipates what blockbuster filmmaking would become in the 21st century: unadventurous, rote, and preoccupied with nostalgia to the point of lethargy. The same way you can feel Marvel movies hold for applause when introducing some key piece of mythology, the setpieces here are dreary because they were iconic before they were even shot. The downside to Columbus' lack of vision is that he's the director, and even if this film was never going to be anything but a series of foregone conclusions, we still need to watch what the director has directed. Unaccustomed to film-making on this scale, Chris Columbus is over-impressed with his access to so much CGI and one of the reasons it all looks so terrible now is because, again and again, Columbus is completely content to just point the camera at a blank space and hope what fills the screen later is wondrous and impressive. It rarely is. Which is a problem because the whole first hour and change is mostly just hitting the "MAGIC, LOOK AT HOW MAGICAL THIS MAGICAL WORLD IS, LOOKIT ALL THAT MAGIC" button over and over again. When the film finally settles into it's story things improve a great deal and you remember why these people and this world were appealing to you in the first place. Seemingly one-note characters get more depth and there even moments with some God's honest emotional weight to them (Harry realizing he has presents on Christmas and what he sees in the mirror of eriseD), which is more than you can say about any Marvel movie. Not sure why Harry Potter had to be super rich on top of being a star athlete and unerringly brave and kind and famous and lucky and beloved by his teachers, but between that, the greedy hook-nosed bankers and the sorting hat stuff there is some uncomfortable notes to the Harry Potter universe that I'm not down with. I would never ever send my hypothetical 11 year old child to a school that put a hat on their head and sorted them based on some half-assed interpretation of their personality. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - The primary actors have improved, and there's a little more darkness/weirdness between Dobby the self-harming elf, an endless sea of way-too-fast spiders, and Moaning Myrtle that is appreciated. On the other hand, most of my chief complaints remain, all exacerbated by the nearly three hour(?!?!?) run-time. 15 minutes longer than the first film, with only a fraction of the world-building required, Chamber of Secrets pulls off the not-so-neat trick of simultaneous slavish devotion to every beat of the book while still feeling incredibly arbitrarily plotted. And calling more attention to the Slytherin backstory just makes the sorted-by-personality housing situation of Hogwarts seem even crazier. "One of our houses is named after a Nazi. We put all the Nazi kids there. It's super evil. That's probably fine." All about Kenneth Branagh though. His performance is the only thing I've seen of his that implies his ability to play Poirot. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Some apologies are in order. I always dismissed the narrative that this was the good Harry Potter movie, and thought Cuarón's hand was all but undetectable. What I had never done, however, was watch this shortly after watching the first two movies. It's actually a world of difference. It opens exactly like Y Tu Mama Tambien (Harry playing with his wand under the covers wink wink nudge nudge and I can't say how jarring it was to see handheld camerawork in this context) before settling into a sort of Terry Gilliam pastiche. Unfortunately this aggressive visual wit somewhat dissipates once they arrive at Hogwarts and the story (and massive chunks of exposition) starts proper, but the film still benefits from Cuarón's touch there as well. The CGI benefits significantly from his muted color palate (and willingness to use practical effects and puppets when possible) and, even if all the classroom scenes are pure exposition, his interstitial moments around Hogwarts showing the changing of seasons give a good sense of the passage of time that helps the film breathe a bit. Of course, it helps that this is the most interesting story of the series (to the best of my memory) and the first one that has a properly exciting climax. And the principle actors have finally come into their own as actors. It's still a kid's movie and broader than any Cuarón film should be (even his previous kid's movie), but this mostly just works on it own merits. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Well, my love affair with Harry Potter didn't last long. Another overstuffed exposition fest, this one so full of incident they don't actually have time to attend classes. If Hogwarts had an ombudsman they would never ever stop waving red flags. Newell's direction feels particularly uninspired, even compared to Columbus, and while he commits largely the same sins they feel much more serious the fourth time around. We've spent nearly 8 hours in the wizarding world by the time this film starts, do we really need more moments where Harry Potter goes "Gee whiz, wow, a magical thing is happening"? There's a moment where Harry-fucking-sorcerer-adventurer-Potter walks into a tent that's larger on the inside than the outside and we're given a full 10 seconds to register his awe. YES. MAGIC. UNDERSTOOD. On the other hand, Pretty In Pink but with wizards is pretty much all I could ask for from a movie like this and even if the prom sequence comes and goes too quickly it is pretty great. And if Brendan Gleason can show up as a wacky side character and deliver some real outstanding work, well, I guess I can cut this some slack. And even if I stopped reading the books once the focus left the actual schooling in favor of Good Vs. Evil wizard wars, Ralph Fiennes' voice and the Voldemort make-up design is so good I'm kind of on board for what comes next, even if I'm positive I won't like it. Also, Moaning Myrtle takes a good long gawk at Harry Potter's penis and that's why this is PG-13. The MPAA didn't have the guts to put "dick-looking" on the rating description, but we all know what's going on. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - The first Harry Potter movie I've gone into not knowing how it ends. My parents bought this for me before a long road trip but I quit reading it before the vacation was over because I was starting to grow out of young adult fiction and it was such an angsty bummer. Still an angsty bummer! The War On Terror subtext of the previous films basically just becomes text, with this movie addressing government cover-ups, torture, and even No Child Left Behind. This movie is basically nothing but terrible things happening to Harry Potter, both directly and by process of turning Hogwarts, his source of warmth and love, into a sort of prison lead by Imelda Staunton playing the demonic counterpart to her angelic Vera Drake. The series continues to disappoint by showing that all people with bad qualities are bared out to be bad to their core: even mere grumpy groundskeepers are shown to be a card-carrying fascists given the opportunity. Sirius Black gives a speech that no one is all good or all bad, but none of these filmmakers believe it. They have too much exposition to rush through to risk any ambiguity. Doesn't help that David Yates delivers the absolute worst directing job of the series thus far. The film is loaded with the kind of cheap-looking CGI flying towards the screen that I associate with the 3D era (which I'm pretty sure this predates by a couple years) but the real problem is his basic film syntax. I lost count of times shots didn't edit together properly, the geography was incomprehensible, or one scene would become the next without any clarity. Chris Columbus was a hack, but he was a hack who at least had a basic understanding of how to tell a story on film. Yates' work here is so unbelievaby shoddy that I can't help but wonder if he was forced to cut this down (at 2 hours and 18 minutes it's the shortest Potter film yet) late into production. At any rate, knowing he helmed the rest of the series gives me no hope for the final installments. If I hadn't committed to watching this whole series and if I didn't really like the idea of Harry Potter being forced into a John Connor role I might throw in the towel right now. I refuse to watch Yates' Fantastic Beasts, though. You can't make me. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - I've already surrendered to the fact that the plots to these things will be arbitrary and impossible to follow, but this is exacerbated by the fact that Yates still has no clue how to tell a story. See Luna & Harry arriving at Hogwarts for the first time, the assault on the Weasley house, and the wand fight between Harry and Draco for just a few examples. At this point I almost wonder if, with the knowledge that everyone knows the story already, Yates decided to just go experimental and shoot every moment for maximum abstract beauty. It seems less likely than basic incompetence, but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, if only because I have to watch two more of these things and have started to look for silver linings. Also, I hope it's not important that I know what a Horcrux is going forward because all that shit made about as much sense as the Prophecy stuff the last movie. Most of this movie is just about romantic lust, and I am so on board with that, but it makes the ending that much more painful to endure. There's so much of what this series should have been (basic adolescent growing pains supercharged by fantasy adventure) in between the reheated Star Wars bullshit. Don't know if Harry and Ginny have had a single actual human interaction in this series before it's decided that they are True Loves, but whatever, everything in this series is arbitrary. This world's sense of right and wrong continues the simplistic "everyone who is bad is bad forever, from the very beginning" with Snape and little Voldemort joining the Shitheads Forever Club. Really, JK? Even George Lucas could visualize a tragic fall from grace. Weird that six movies in they started to show events happening outside of Potter's experience, but at this point I'll take anything to break the tedium. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 - Conventional wisdom always stated that these last two HP movies got nerfed because their bisection turned one full story into two incomplete stories. But I'll be honest: I watched 6 "full stories" before this one and they were all pretty terrible and arbitrary. At least HP:DH:P1:2010 gives the characters a little breathing room for once. And, with such a simple story that mostly takes place outdoors, Yates' tendency to value iconic imagery above all else finally serves the film a bit. Easily the best direction he's done up to this point. I think I like "kids at a boarding school have a magical adventure" Harry Potter (in theory, if rarely in practice) and I am OK with "young adults must go on grand quest to fight wizard Nazis" Harry Potter, but the awkward blending of the two in HP:OotP:2007 and HP:THBP:2009 really turned me off. Now, without having to pretend it's anything other than Star Wars-lite, Harry Potter is able to fulfill it's destiny: becoming a mediocre fantasy action multimedia corporate franchise machine. With no hints of the better more interesting story it could tell, I'm finally able to settle in and appreciate it on it's dubious charms. How about those CGI Watson and Radcliffes, getting all sexy and rubbing on each other. Way to earn your PG-13 for sensuality, Yates! Somewhere some impish animator has rendered a threesome of those two with CGI Peter Cushing. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 - On the one hand this is the Harry Potter Yates (and Warner Brothers) had clearly been itching to make since Pheonix, all fantasy epic posturing and prophecies and big battles. There's a lot of awkward nonsense in this series because these have needed to be big blockbuster tentpoles without corresponding storylines. This is just Star Warsin' it up, so it's all good. Well, good as as 21st century cynical Hollywood franchises ever are. On the other hand, this is where all the storylines I only half understood in the previous 7 movies all come together to wrap up, so every ten minutes I was completely baffled by a plot twist or character motivation or even spells that I didn't know of before. Mrs. Weaslely completely disintergrates Helena Bonham Carter's character in this and, as far as I can tell, it's the only time it appears. Why are all these evil wizards bothering with spells that don't completely disintergrate their enemies if that is an option? How are good guys in this series constantly walking away with cuts and broken bones if the option to DISINTERGRATE was always there? It's like the laser ninja that shows up in the final moments of American Ninja. So, as arbitrary and baffling as the plots to these films has always been to me, this is the one where it sincerely felt they were making up the script as they were going along except I know the exact opposite is true. Bizarre. Anyway, this series is dirt and I'm glad Daniel Radcliffe escaped it in one piece because I enjoy his work in What If more than all these other movies combined. I hope (completely naively, I know) he never gets dragged back into whatever future sequel series inevitably awaits us. --------------- So anyway, I'd assume most people like this series a lot more than I do, whether or not they read the books. I am curious how these films are viewed by fans and if I'm the only one who gets beleaguered by the onslaught of high-fantasy Proper Nouns this turns into and if to everyone else these plots are very easy to follow.
  18. Johns Wick 1 & 2

    I will admit it is just a movie. It is not a food or sculpture.
  19. Movie/TV recommendations

    Wow, that's very thoughtful, thank you I'll check it out. And timely as well because I've been thinking about going on a blaxploitation (or, at least, 70's black cinema) kick after watching Bill Duke talk about the forgotten CIA/Black Panther film The Spook Who Sat By The Door recently.
  20. Given it's group of rag-tag freaks with intensely lacivious not-quite sexual but nonetheless disquieting obsessions, I think the Yule Lads movie can only actually be directed by John Waters.
  21. So I deleted and re-subscribed to the feed and it didn't help. I can stream the podcasts from the app, but not download them. Commercial-ed version downloads fine for me, so I guess I'll stick with that feed for the time being until whatever it is resolves itself.
  22. I will try deleting and re-subscribing to the feed tonight and see if that does anything. But if you haven't heard it from anyone else, I'm gonna guess it's something on my end.
  23. I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but the last two episodes of IiT haven't been downloading properly for me. I use the ad-free feed on my iPhone's Podcasts app and every time I try to download them it goes through the whole progress circle before informing me there was an error and I couldn't download the file. Idle Thumbs still downloads fine, and I haven't tried the public feed with ads but I thought I'd throw this out there and see if anyone else has had this issue.
  24. Baby Driver (Boss Baby Successor)

    It just occurred to me that people who aren't Edgar Wright super fans might not have seen the music video Baby Driver is an expansion of: