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Contentious C

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About Contentious C

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  1. Ray Winstone is the biggest star not assigned a role by IMDb, so by the Jeff Daniels rule, he's probably TM.
  2. I bet Killing Eve would like to have their kitchen staredown in a quaint-but-swanky foreign apartment back.
  3. Gotta say I love the Heineken commercial where the dude screws up holiday dinner but his father-in-law clinks his beer because he'd rather have burgers. It's too bad they don't spend money making their beer taste like anything except piss.
  4. Ronde Barber may want to get checked for head trauma. He just said, "a good block by Ereck Flowers" a minute ago, and we know that didn't happen...
  5. Seems like the shark-rocket should be on the Cream City jersey.
  6. Or maybe Nicole Kidman just kinda sucks. In The Killing of a Sacred Deer, she flubs a scientific term *SO BADLY*. Any enzyme often ends in -ase, pronounced "aze". She said "transaminases" (trans-am-in-azes) like 'trans-a-men-a-seas', because it was apparently too difficult to look it the fuck up first. I didn't even recognize it, except for the subtitling that made it quite obvious what the intent was.
  7. Not really, because it seemed like the doors they open with Agent Carter could have really played into either SHIELD or Dr. Strange, and then of course it went nowhere. The show itself is fine, but it, like every other TV show they did at the time, feels like a missed opportunity now.
  8. Endgame has no business being nominated for Best Picture when it was not remotely in the same ballpark as Infinity War (which didn't and shouldn't have won). And yeah, Best Actor is going to be a ridiculous scrum that screws over probably 40% of the nominees (and possibly some of the people who don't get nominations). Pitt will definitely be in the Supporting group if he gets nominated, but, as good as he was, he'd have no business winning if Dafoe is also there. I suppose I'll have to watch Marriage Story & Rocketman at some point, but, after seeing The Lighthouse yesterday, I'm actually pulling for Pattinson to win (Jesus fuck I never thought that'd be a sentence I'd say). If Hanks wins another, I'm probably going to find me a place that lets you smash up cars for like a dollar a swing and take a good 40 whacks. Why bio-pic actors win so many awards is totally beyond me; as often as not (Ray, Capote), it's mimicry rather than acting. Fuck that. I'll take someone like DiCaprio doing the bizarro-world version of his own career arc that he did in Once Upon a Time any day of the week over someone who watched some tape.
  9. Saw The Lighthouse today. Holy fucking shit. This won't get an Oscar nod. It will get several. Pattinson or Dafoe (or both, if Dafoe is fine being shunted into Supporting) would be worthy winners in their own right, but the thing that really sets up the whole film as well as anything else is the score and sound design. Probably the most on-edge I've been from a score since I saw There Will Be Blood in theaters (which somehow wasn't nominated for Best Score that year). It's to the point that the soundtrack is effectively a third character in the film. Everything is crazy; nothing holds up to scrutiny; everything could be supernatural or ominous, or it could be sheer madness. Less than 2 hours, but it throws so much at you that it feels so much longer, longer in the sense of understanding how easy it would be to lose your grip on sanity and never come back. I really dug the crap out of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote when I saw that in April; this was probably better.
  10. For whatever reason, probably because of who directed it, Near Dark is on the Criterion Channel, so I watched that. "Transfusions save you" has to be the single stupidest plot point in the history of vampire movies. And I've seen a greater-than-one number of the Twilight films. But man, Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen could do no wrong with this sort of material. I feel like Cameron probably lifted the tanker truck scene for something in T2, because it looked awfully familiar and that seems like the sort of bullshit he'd have pulled. I also feel like Charmaine Harris probably ripped off everything else about it for the stuff that eventually became True Blood (or the people who adapted it did the ripping-off). I was disappointed Adrian Pasdar didn't eviscerate and eat Troy Evans, until it became evident that was going to be a running theme. Not a bad movie, but, well, if it hadn't popped up where it did, I likely wouldn't have bothered, and I'd skip ever getting it if Criterion made it a release.
  11. Since now I know the latest Sleater-Kinney album isn't going to be it, I will throw Jade Bird (self-titled) into the ring.
  12. The center already hasn't held. When Sleater-Kinney announced a new album this year, I felt pretty excited. After some reviews came in and made it sound potentially polarizing, I waited until seeing them live to pick up The Center Won't Hold. They played basically the whole album at the show, and, at least live, it was fairly good, but clearly not on the same level as their prior releases. Having listened to the album itself now a couple of times, all I can say is, wow, what a disappointment. Is this what a musical mid-life crisis sounds like? I'm not really sure what could have been done to avoid this, but there are any number of things wrong with the album. First, and perhaps most egregious, Janet Weiss' drumming, typically the stuff of legend, sounds practically neutered, which is a shitty, shitty choice to make (and likely had something to do with her quitting the band). Additionally, Corin Tucker never gets much of a chance to really belt out any songs here; she has fewer tracks overall than Carrie Brownstein, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, except that it means the band effectively sidelined their two strongest weapons, Corin's voice being the other one. It's hard to say if this is a product of Tucker being in a couple of other bands that drew away her attention, and maybe some of her better songs, or if they were all complicit in this decision. I recall Wesley Morris from Grantland leveling a criticism at The Woods that the album was a misstep because "ten other bands could do the same thing". I disagree with that assessment, largely because Weiss and Tucker never sounded bigger than they did on that album. This album seems to be an indicator of what would happen if those two aren't equal contributors, and the producer *is* actually interested in making them sound like everyone else. It'd be easy to lay all the blame on St. Vincent/Annie Clark, but she has other problems to answer for. Namely, the track arrangement and overall feel of the album is just an utter mess. There's one stretch towards the middle - "Can I Go On", "Restless", "Ruins" - that features 3 pretty good songs, if each one is heard in a vacuum. But, "Can I Go On" summons the bubblegummy days of "Little Babies" or "Oh!"; while "Restless" sounds like it belonged on the prior (outstanding) album, No Cities to Love; and "Ruins" drags itself through the same sludge that encapsulates this album's opening track. And yet, here these three songs are, one right after the other, as jarring as they could possibly be. Sleater-Kinney's stuff has often been something of an icepick to the eardrum, intentionally aggressive and challenging and uncompromising, but it's the kind you love and ask for more of, not one that makes you think they'd never walked into a recording studio before, or that they asked one of Tucker's kids to determine the track order (actually, I bet her kids could have done a better job). Or, maybe the biggest thing St. Vincent did wrong was to try to coat these songs with some veneer of new-wavey dance pop, like they were still worth the time to listen to them. They're not. The title track starts out great and unwinds into a John Mayer-like repetition that numbs you into not giving a shit; "Love" needs to time-travel and find the 80s John Hughes movie soundtrack it belongs to; and "Bad Dance" is just a waste of time. The biggest issue, when it comes right down to it is that this is the weakest batch of songs they've ever released, and it's not even that close. Even their debut album from 20+ years ago, borderline-unlistenable as it is, featured a couple of people who knew they had something to say and just didn't know how to say it yet. A good producer would have heard these songs and told them, "What the fuck is this? You're a better band; go back, cut the dead weight, keep 5 of these, and do it again." But, I suppose even they saw this coming: the chorus of "Hey Darling" said so. The only thing that comes from fame is mediocrity.
  13. Carnival Row is just a really entertaining show, somehow. Orlando Bloom, widely regarded as the worst actor in the history of actors and worst things, is somehow entirely serviceable. Cara Delevingne will never win an Oscar, but she tends to just make things subtly better, not that the material required that of her, since it's well-executed and well-realized. Supporting cast is a good mix of familiar faces and newcomers who pull their weight. I had no expectation this would be any good, but now I really want another season of it.
  14. I'm trying to read The Dark Tower. It's going as well as every other attempt to read a King book as an adult.
  15. Who the Hell is doing the voice-over for the Apple privacy commercial that's been airing during the World Series? It's someone famous. I just cannot quite place the voice... And literally after hitting to post, I realized it's Rooney Mara. Duh. Oh well, now it's merely annoying for the usual reasons.
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