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  1. That's a good point. The first two movies are much more Peter Pan-ish in their outlook: "don't bother growing up, at least not all the way, because the adult world sucks and is full of monsters and psychos and unfulfillable obligations. Stay childish." But The World's End has very little sympathy for that outlook, pointing out just how exhausting it could be to deal with a manchild like Gary King. (I think switching archetypes and having Frost play the got-it-together straight man and Pegg play the juvenile fuckup was a nice little touch of brilliance.) It closes the door on the Cornetto theme by noting that you can't really stay a kid together, that it's an inevitably toxic lifestyle which can't be permanently sustained. Even the climax is way more mature in the other films: Shaun basically had The Grownups run in and save our remaining heroes, Fuzz had a bunch of consequence-free violence which could've come right out of an original episode of G.I. Joe, but TW'sE ends with the kids trying (and failing) to win an argument of principles with their parents, and being metaphorically grounded as a result.
  2. Littlefinger has been oddly sidelined for the past couple of seasons, considering that he really was the driving force behind more of the plot's happenings than practically any other single character. Petyr Baelish was the mastermind behind the murder of Jon Arryn, might have had something to do with Robert's death too, betrayed Ned and put Joffrey on the throne, plotted to turn Renly and Stannis against each other to their mutual destruction, convinces the Tyrells to join the Lannisters and help win the battle of Blackwater, prevents Sansa's marriage to Loras, orchestrates the murder of Joffrey, kills Lysa, gains total control over young lord Robin, makes a pact with the Boltons via Sansa's marriage, and spills the beans about Lancel's affair with Cersei to the septons. He's the ruler of both Harrenhal and the Vale, and now arguably has Winterfell in his sights as well. That's a LOT of influence over huge chunks of the plot in Westeros, yet he's barely had anything to do and seemingly vanished out of the story for huge chunks of seasons 5 and 6.
  3. I know, right? Fucking great shit. GoT is one of the rare shows on television which can occasionally produce a truly unique action scene which doesn't feel like anything else we've seen before, and that long single-take of Jon was my favorite bit in the battle. Although the Spartan-ish pincer move that the Boltons did with the big wall of shields was a close second. Yeah, even though I knew it was coming, that irritated me. The rest of the battle was so much fun with the surprisingly specific focus on the strategy and tactics involved... and rather than come up with a unique finish to explain how Jon's side manages to turn the tide, they just went "eh, fuck it, someone runs in and they win". Somewhere, the soul of Rickon weeps quietly. But he pretty much spent the past six seasons being forgotten and then crying about it off-screen, so that fits.
  4. Much Ado is one of those films which I think was actively hurt by the behind-the-scenes marketing and gossip. "Joss shot the entire thing in ten minutes with a bunch of his friends in his living room!" does a vast, vast disservice to the unbelievable amount of care which the images were composed. Even aside from the entire Shakespearean and Whedonesque aspects, this is a visually gorgeous film, one of those sadly all-too-rare arguments that we should really have a lot more black-and-white movies still being made. And then the verse itself was handled with a casual competence that you almost never see in American productions of these plays, with even many of the verbal punchlines landing perfectly and everything being completely understandable without needing subtitles or holding a book of the play, as is sadly necessary all too often with this material. It's not just the best movie Joss has ever made (by a huge margin), it's easily the very best adaptation of Shakespeare into modern-day setting that I've ever seen. This was an INCREDIBLY well-made movie, from all artistic and technical aspects, and the way everyone just shrugged and went "fuckin' meh" at this dazzling little diamond of a masterpiece is absolutely infuriating to me. If this has been a Sundance premiere from some random nobody, everyone would be creaming their goddamn drawers about this exciting new talent. I think it was hurt by being compared to Zero Dark Thirty, coming so soon beforehand. ZDT felt like a properly-sober Best Picture candidate, while Argo was more of a Hollywood-ized lark. Ditto. I'm sure it'd be fine if I actually just paid attention, but "you've got to pay SO MUCH attention to this movie!" is not a marketing tool which sounds terribly enchanting at first glance.
  5. On this one: motherFUCK the critics, they were all a bunch of total goddamned idiots. Macgruber was brilliant and hilarious, the best parody of 80s-style action movies since Hot Shots Part Deux.
  6. I read the first one, and it was painfully awkward and clunky in its prose. The sort of bestseller which made me wonder how the hell that guy's books ever became popular in the first place. The most ridiculous part was where the Franka Potente character goes into an endless monologue, speaking about herself in a hypothetical third-person scenario... and keeps using the word HE as the pronoun describing herself. Just pure fucking incompetence. And using real-world terrorist Carlos The Jackal as the villain in a fictional spy thriller felt exploitative and unearned. As for the movies? They're pretty goddamned great. I agree that the second one is weaker than the other two (I never saw The Bourne Legacy: Tokyo Drift 3D, it seemed like a desperate attempt to slap the Bourne name on something completely unconnected), but all three of them are above-average action flicks in an era which sadly doesn't see very many of those. Hell, they even managed to do a shockingly good job with jittery handheld shaky-cam cinematography and epileptic strobe-light rapid cutting in the action scenes. Most of the time, that shit just gives me a headache and makes me curse the name of Michael Bay; but the Bourne flicks managed to keep things coherent. Even though it's moving very fast, it's still easy to see what's going on. Everything makes sense, you can tell where everyone is and what they're doing, and that's an incredibly rare thing among action flicks which are shot in this style. For topic of discussion: is this the best threequel or trilogy-ender ever? Ultimatum is in a pretty rarefied classification, since most franchises and trilogies tend to thoroughly drop the ball by the time they get to the third entry. Even the good ones tend to be like "okay, Return of the Jedi, Men in Black III, Godfather III, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Day of the Dead, Rocky III, Rambo 3, The Girl who Kicked a Hornet's Nest, Army of Darkness, The Dark Knight Returns, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Hatchet III, Shrek 3, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Predators, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Mission Impossible III, Son of Frankenstein, Tetsuo: The Bullet Man, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Ocean's Thirteen, Captain America: Civil War, Clear and Present Danger, Star Trek III, and Lethal Weapon 3 don't exactly suck, but they're still not as good as what came before". What other examples are there? I'm not sure if stuff like Goldfinger/Skyfall, LOTR: Return of the King, or HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban should count, since none of those were really intended as trilogy-enders (RotK is just the last act of one long preexisting story, and the others are merely Entry # 3 of much longer franchises). The only clear-cut examples I could think of Threequels Which Are Maybe The Very Best Part Of A Trilogy were Back to the Future 3, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The World's End, Three Colors: Red, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Return of the Living Dead 3, and Toy Story 3. Personally I'd include Iron Man 3 on that list, but I know I'm very much in the minority on that one. Maybe Revenge of the Sith would count, considering that it's so vastly superior to the preceeding two episodes.
  7. Which is just the strangest damn choice to make. Of all the things they've changed from the books, that one is the least sensical to me. Lady Stoneheart's mere existence is a hugely important deal; but with Beric still hanging around it's pretty safe to say the show is never gonna use her at all.
  8. That's EXACTLY what I was thinking, too. The actress was painfully blatant in mimicking Robert Patrick's body language. And while I actually did like the way Arya managed to win, that whole chase scene was just fucking terrible. It's inexcusable to ask us to buy Arya doing a Jason Bourne parkour chase after she'd been halfway disemboweled in the previous episode, every one of her wounds should've ripped wide open as soon as she made that first jump, let alone the next dozen. And it seemed kinda silly to end with that storyline, when the battle at Meereen was the biggest new storyline and they probably should have used Dany's return for the last scene. But hey, at least we got a scene's worth of Brondrick and Tarthslayer back together again.
  9. I could see his aesthetic kinda working on Jessica Jones. It's much more of a hang-out show with more talking than fisticuffs. Smith just isn't enough of an action director to do the heavy lifting when it comes to the quality of carnage that we now expect from something like Daredevil.
  10. Seems like an odd choice to turn into a show. Mallrats had probably the least-interesting protagonists of anything Smith has ever made; Quint, Brandi, and Rene were all damn'd boring people and Brodie was basically just a beta test run for Jason Lee's later, better work in the same vein. I'm not entirely sure if I'd want to spend ten episodes' worth of time with these guys. Maybe Kev has some ideas on how to make this work, I certainly hope so, but it still feels like one of those "...why the hell couldn't they have done this with Clerks instead?" missed opportunities.
  11. Not quite "universally", The Brown Bunny still has a 43% score over at RT and it was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. And even its biggest detractor upon its debut, Roger Ebert, said in his review that the blowjob scene itself didn't feel gratuitous or exploitive. It really seems to be good ol' Anglo-saxon prudishness at work, an attitude which seems to be the exclusively schizophrenic domain of American filmmaking. Doing real sex scenes never seemed to hurt the careers of those various French actresses from various Catherine Breillat films; then again; even Lars von Trier used pornstar body doubles for the unsimulated sex scenes in his recent films which involved Western actors.
  12. It is kind of a weird double standard. Pretend to suck a cock onscreen, and you can get nominated for an Oscar. Really suck a cock onscreen, and then for the rest of your career you're forever branded "that one chick who sucked a cock". Which is awfully weird when you consider how congratulatory Hollywood tends to be towards actors who do real things in movies: stars who really lost/gained massive weight to play a role, stars who really were suffering in extreme environmental conditions, stars who really do their own stunts, etc etc etc. Especially when you consider that R-rated movie scenes frequently have tits being sucked on with much gusto, yet apparently the groinular region is somehow considered to be made of 100% pure sin if you actually make visible contact with it.
  13. Tennessee has actually had a bunch of financial incentives for filmmakers to shoot there for a while now. They've been trying to attract a lot more business for long years, and been moderately successful. For one example, practically every major movie about prison in the last couple decades has been shot in the old state penitentiary there, stuff like The Green Mile and whatnot. It's no surprise that the state government might spend even more to keep a franchise show like Nashville from going under.
  14. Yeah, that was annoying too. "I'm just gonna have EVERYONE be an archer and rain death upon the enemy from afar" is an odd thing for the game to let you do. And once you gain enough points, pretty much everyone ends up having identical powers no matter what. Oh, and I should probably clarify: when I say my least favorite entry of the post-Nintendo franchise", I mean the mainstream entries in the series, not spinoffs or sequels (12 still beats crap like Dirge Of Cerberus and X-2) and not the MMO entries, which I've never played. ...jeez, after all that bitching, I feel like I should say something positive about the game. It's not awful, I've played much worse, but it's so bland and nothing-happening that hardly any positives stand out. Uh... it had really pretty lighting effects, I guess? Those shimmering lens-flaring crystal lamps were cool to look at. But when that's the best thing I've got to say about a FINAL FANTASY main series entry, yeesh, that ain't so good.
  15. Yeah. And especially in Braavos; in the books, that city has an entire class of foppish swordsmen who walk around all night looking for excuses to start a duel. Come on, guys, let's face it, that was really Arya getting really stabbed half to death. (Let's just ignore how she mysteriously survives the exact same wounds which killed Robb's wife at the wedding.)
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