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Erkki

I had a random thought about movies

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The only time it really jumped out at me was in Kill Bill Vol 2, where Bill suddenly has this entire theory about Clark Kent being Superman's alter ego instead of vice versa. That really struck me as off-character, that suddenly this dude we hardly know turns out to be a major comic book nerd. It's so specific that it needed to be set up more in the beginning to sell it.

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Haha, yeah it got more awkward in later films like Kill Bill and Death Proof. The most awkward is the Silver Surfer dialogue he added to Crimson Tide when he did punch-up on it.

 

 

 

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I had some random thoughts about average ratings on different sites.

 

On Letterboxd, a movie that is for me good, but unremarkable, usually might have a distribution of ratings like this:

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A movie like this can have close to 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though. Here's the same movie there:

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Basically Rotten Tomatoes seems to be favouring "safe", average movies. A movie that no critic dislikes, but everyone thinks that it's rather fresh than rotten, even if it's not great, can achieve a 95% or 100% rating. I guess this can actually be good, and it worked for me for a while, but I do think it can be elevating some movies undeservedly compared to others.

 

On another note, the movie these are taken from is not really "safe" in all ways though - it's "Paris 5:59 - Theo & Hugo" and has a hardcore gay orgy in it. And it has some good cinematography, but on the average it didn't seem anything to remember for ages. Yet, I'm kind of glad to have seen it, and if I had just gone by the Letterboxd rating - I would have filtered it out (generally I go for >3.6). But it was just about to expire on Mubi.com and so I decided to see it after checking RT.

 

On the other hand, a movie like Phantom Thread, probably overall less interesting for me.

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Letterboxd seems to have a bias for some very new movies... They can take the top easily, but start falling down slowly. But then again I thought RT also has a bias for newness, when checking the top lists last year.

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The tomato meter isn't comparable to Letterboxd, because it's just a percentage of reviews that were positive. If you want to compare the tomatometer to Letterboxd you have to decide what star rating counts as "positive" and then figure out which percentage of ratings are at or above that.

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I saw Orson Welles' Othello and the blackface is really offputting. In general this movie seems to have some rather weird cinematography, which doesn't seem to follow any established film language. And the dialogue is impossible to understand. I turned on Spanish subtitles for help (English were not available). Still, there's something in it, so I gave it a 3/5, but it's the first time I see what's behind saying that Welles remained an amateur. The composition of some shots and the super low camera angles make very little sense. Yet, I see some similarities to Chimes at Midnight, which is one of my favourite movies. But I think Chimes was much more polished even if it probably had a lower budget.

 

Also since this was on Mubi related to it's Cannes win, I see that Cannes has actually always favoured not-so-great movies from certain names, it's not just a recent thing. I haven't been following the flak Cannes has been getting, but it does seem deserved if they are favoring certain big name male directors, over women for example.

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Nope, but that blackface seems even worse than Orson's black&white one.

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What is it with late Orson Welles films and sound? Mr. Arkadin is an ADR nightmare.

 

The answer of course is money/foreign film practices.

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And for an Othello blackface triple, here's Anthony Hopkins, with an afro wig that bounces around through the whole play (plus Bob Hoskins as Iago!)

 

 

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I just got tickets for 33 movies at PÖFF, and this means I’m going to watch 33 movies in cinemas during the next two and a half weeks, starting tomorrow. It’s a similar number of movies for the third year in a row, but I think this is the last time I’m going to do it at such a scale. It’s a bit overwhelming to make a plan to see this many movies. This time I mostly did it out of habit and because I was gifted a pass that gave me 30 free tickets that I can only use for myself.

 

I deliberately chose movies that would not be in cinemas after the festival, so it’s going to be a hit and miss probably. I think I also chose very different movies than on previous years, because I’ve seen a lot and I don’t want to necessarily see something similar to what I’ve seen before. That’s why I think that next year I will even not have a lot to choose from that won’t remind me of something else.

 

Also, on my mind lately is how to get back to watching higher quality movies, rather than a wide variety of different movies. Mubi has been great for me but it seems to be endless mediocrity lately.

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30 movies in two weeks, that's about two films a day, right? That's doable, I'd say. I could never watch more than that, I'd get a terrible headache and be sapped of my will before the second movie was through. (Marathons I avoid for that reason.)

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Yeah, about two a day. So far it's been good mostly, today I gave up on Tumbbad, was too tired to see a third session, but now I see that it's getting some good ratings, so maybe it was a mistake... Anyway it seemed really overacted and a bit dumb in the 10 minutes I saw.

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Apparently the Oracle of Bacon lost access to IMDB https://oracleofbacon.org/

" While at the University of Virginia, Brett Tjaden created the Oracle of Bacon,[14] a computer program that uses information on some 800,000 people from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). The algorithm calculates "how good a center"[15] an individual IMDb personality is, i.e. a weighted average of the degree of separation of all the people that link to that particular person. The site returns an average personality number, e.g. for Clint Eastwood, it returns an average "Clint Eastwood Number." From there the Oracle site posits "The Center of the Hollywood Universe" as being the person with the lowest average personality number. Kevin Bacon, as it turns out, is not the "Center of the Hollywood Universe" (i.e. the most linkable actor). In fact, Bacon does not even make the top 100 list of average personality numbers.[16] While he is not the most linkable actor, this still signifies being a better center than more than 99% of the people who have ever appeared in a film. Since each actor's average personality number can change with each new film made, the center can and does shift. "Centers" have included Rod Steiger, Donald Sutherland, Eric Roberts, Dennis Hopper and Harvey Keitel. "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon

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I randomly happened to see two pieces within a couple of days that used "Fade to white" to mean the same thing. One was an episode in High Maintenance and the other was The Passion of Anna by Bergman.

 

It seemed to mean the character who was on the screen before the fade would die soon.

 

Didn't know this was a thing, have you noticed it any other works?

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The only one I could think of immediately was at the end of Lost season 5 (which fits quite well with this pattern even though it also has a more specific 'tabula rasa' type implication too). But here's a supercut video with some other examples:

 

Films used (in order of appearance):

 

Spoiler

The Fountain
Looper
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Black Swan
Thelma and Louise
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Brideshead Revisited
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Man Who Wasn't There
Vantage Point
Flight
Requiem for a Dream
The Tree of Life
The Hunger Games
Solaris (1972)
Sunshine (2007)
Prometheus
Vanilla Sky
Desperado
Eraserhead
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Machinist
All is Lost
Layer Cake
The Sixth Sense
Cube
Born on the Fourth of July
Total Recall
Titanic

 

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I had a dream last night that I was visiting Campo Santo studios and spent the majority of the time talking to Jake about the Harry Potter movies.  Except in this reality Harry Potter was more like Mission Impossible and starred Tom Cruise.  They were basically magical spies.  Instead of elaborate face masks, they used magic spells; instead of gun battles they were throwing fireballs; instead of overly complicated technical stunts they had... overly complicated technical stunts with CGI.  I think I might enjoy that movie more than either series.

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After 4, Mission Impossible should have become a series of crossovers - Harry Potter, Men In Black, Jurassic Park...

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