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Contentious C

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  1. All this stuff you have to do just to *not* be a sneaky archer. Just gimme the bow already.
  2. 2 posts to get to B-movie actress discussion. I knew this was going to happen when I watched the movie; I watched it anyway.
  3. It's weird that NO and Philly are where they are and made this trade; I get wanting the extra 1st-rounder sooner rather than later, but it's odd that NO is in a position where Philly could screw them over TWICE in the same draft by picking 1 spot ahead of them both times. And you just traded with that team to give them the privilege of doing that. It'd be hilarious if that's exactly what Philly does and then tries to hold their picks up for ransom.
  4. The Last Detail has been on and off Criterion sometimes, so given the crossover between TCM & Criterion content, I'm not surprised it ended up on HBO, too. I watched about 15 minutes of it and never went back to it; gonna fix that eventually. But for now, I have things to say, and you have new things to completely ignore! Movies again, movies forever, movies for a thousand years, err, episodes, of movie watching dot com! Or something. It's Day 265 (and counting), Making That Criterion Channel Membership Work Edition. Hot Garbage Absolutely Anything - Was this Robin Williams' last movie, or close to it? Good God, what a shitty way to go out. I do wonder how much poorer some of these actors would be if they didn't do shitty movies. Kate Beckinsale would be living in a double-wide if she didn't make shitty movies. And I think I'm officially done with Simon Pegg being a person who has to exist where I can see him. Just go away. This has generally awful CGI for a 2015 film, a bunch of ideas that make it obvious that septuagenarians wrote & directed it, and its own miserable pile of unfunny jokes cut in with unfunny and racist jokes. Could have gone a million different directions with something like this, and instead of doing its own title, it does absolutely nothing. Really awful. Acceptable The Voyeurs - The first 5-10 minutes of this are terrible, and the last 5-10 minutes are so full of plot holes you could drive a truck through them, but in between it's a weird movie that becomes increasingly effective over time. Of course, it helps that the film spends more and more of its time focusing on Sydney Sweeney's character, who is the only one in the movie who's particularly believable. Justice Smith, for example, is someone I can't take seriously, since he has the voice of an overmedicated bear trying to talk while sucking soup through a straw in the corner of his mouth. I just can't, dude; please never be in anything I have to watch ever again. I don't think I'd recommend this, but it has some genuinely creepy, paranoiac sorts of moments that build and build by the time you get to the middle and through the big plot twist, before the ending kind of screws up everything. Eight - This is another movie I can't quite recommend, but it's certainly well-done, if more than a bit of a hammer blow of a film. The only important character in the film is a woman battling OCD and agoraphobia, and man, does this go hard at how debilitating those things are to her life. Not at all an easy watch, especially if you've ever known anyone like that, but it's a sight better than, say, As Good As It Gets with respect to being believable and sympathetic to the sufferer. I can't recall seeing the actress here in anything else, but it's an Australian film, and maybe she just hasn't made anything overseas yet. In terms of feel, this actually reminded me quite a lot of I'm Not Here, which had J.K. Simmons in it and which I thought was self-indulgent crap when I reviewed it several months ago. This is just as quiet and dialed-down, but it actually does something worthwhile with the tone it sets. The Cheat - I watched this 1931 pre-code movie tonight because it was short, but it's not a bad movie. By today's standards, it's just a dull episode of Law & Order, but it's a little darker and edgier for its time. The acting is pretty good throughout, probably the one real highlight of the whole thing, though most of the time I was watching it, it felt a bit like a very loose adaptation of The House of Mirth. It's kind of funny on some level that there's a bit where someone loses a bunch of money in a stock deal, too, as the Crash had just happened, so you wonder if that's in there just so it seems topical, or if it's an indication that the Crash didn't teach anyone a thing even back then. I'd guess probably the latter. The climax of the movie is pretty messed-up, so if you like older stuff and have nothing better to do for 70 minutes, this might surprise you. Posthumous - On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Dustin Hoffmans and James Caans of the world, for me at least, is Jack Huston. Given he easily stole each and every scene he was in in Boardwalk Empire while wearing a mask over half his face, I will watch just about anything he does. This is...just all right. It's a cute idea to some extent, and the way it gets played off at the end is actually relatively clever, not to mention it gleefully hammers home the notion that people who buy modern art don't have a damn clue what the art is about. I think my issue with it primarily comes from Brit Marling, who is kind of stiff and not as likable in this. She has pretty good chemistry with Huston, but when the two of them aren't on screen together and she has to do the heavy lifting, it doesn't really work well at all. But the rest is OK and it's not without its moments of charm and laughter. Awesome Kentucky Pride - One of my big blind spots: silent films. An even bigger, and maybe more embarrassing blind spot? Never watched a John Ford movie. Well, now I have, and this one is surprisingly good. You have to think this was something of a big influence on a few movies primarily or tangentially about horseracing, such as The Killing, for example. And while it has some fairly awful crap in it with respect to racist & ethnic portrayals, and the writing on the intercalary cards is schmaltzy as all get-out, the rest of this is really, really, really good. There's a fair bit of decent physical humor, which, hey, it's a silent movie: they leaned heavily on that. But it's the same sort of unexpected, offbeat stuff that maybe Kurosawa took to heart, since Ford was his favorite director. The story itself also puts the lie to the notion of men being unable to express their emotions, as a big chunk of the film revolves around a character's unwillingness to shoot a lame horse. And the plot, such as it is, is a nice redemption story of sorts, too. But if you do watch this, it is *silent* - there isn't even an after-the-fact score attached to the version streaming on Criterion. But it doesn't need it. The rest is quite good all on its own. Return of the Living Dead - Greatest B-movie ever made? I'm hardly the person to make that judgment, since I don't watch many of them, but... probably, right? Just funny as Hell, over-the-top in all the right ways, relentlessly satirical, and happily takes a place right next to Repo Man as a pointed criticism of Stupid American Life. Granted, this isn't nearly as good as Repo Man, but the tone is so familiar between the two that you couldn't mistake it. There are about 25 of you with better, more informed opinions about this movie, since you've watched it collectively about a bajillion times, but I can definitely go in for low-budget when it's got good enough writing that you forget how the special effects look.
  5. Why is it a "self-help" cult if you need so many other people to make it work?
  6. Oh my God how did you not know about that? I blame Canada.
  7. Hey, it's Monday; I wonder what movie-related things people are talking about today? Hmmm. HMMMMMMMMM. It's day 258 (and counting) of Some Crap I Do, Average McAverage & Sons Edition. Hot Garbage This Means War - Oh, Reese Witherspoon, here we are again. How did this woman become a tastemaker for America when she has this taste in scripts? Or do we just like our celebrities more when they demonstrate they're as clueless as we a---don't answer that. Anyway, the stunts are generally bad, the ending is telegraphed a mile away as soon as Abigail Spencer shows up in the film and kind of feels like the wrong ending, a major plot point involves someone being tracked by a piece of fabric from a custom suit (like you couldn't just use aliases! He's in the CI-fucking-A!), and there's more chemistry between Hardy & Pine than there is between either of them and Witherspoon. Unlike Legally Bland, this I believe did not achieve its objective of making money, so nice flop you guys have there. I feel bad for every guy who got dragged to a date on this. I feel bad for the women (or men, or whoever else) dragged them there, for that matter. Odd Thomas - I've been putting off watching this for a long, long time, because it's one of Anton Yelchin's last movies (maybe his last one), and I just *knew* there was no way a Dean Koontz adaptation was going to be any good. Yelchin wasn't a great actor, but he could do well with decent material and occasionally make chicken salad out of chicken shit, such as the Fright Night remake. But this...ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. If you are watching this just to leer at Addison Timlin, well...I can't actually fault you much for that, even though she's a terrible actress, because everything else about this is just as terrible as she is, so you have to get your interest where you can with this 90-minute turd. The CGI, the script, the bad-Syfy-Channel-director way it all looks, it's one big disaster. And yet somehow Willem Dafoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are both in this! What in the holy sandwich fuck is this?? They're the only thing close to a highlight, but their ability to, y'know, ACT only contrasts the utter awfulness of the remainder of this enterprise. If you had to take a shot every time there was Tedious Narration, you'd be dead inside of 10 minutes. Just no. Paranoid Park - This has got to be Gus Van Sant's worst movie. I almost couldn't believe it was him, except a lesser-known director probably wouldn't have been trusted to make something so confusing. There are some decent uses of sound editing to drive home some of what's going on in the film, where the music choices just drown out or actively overwhelm, and you get the sense of what he's going for pretty well with those moments, but it might be the only thing that consistently works here. And that one good thing feels all the more out of place because it just reminds you how much is missing otherwise: the actors aren't compelling, the script is basically non-existent, a lot of the dialogue that is relatively important is recorded at such a low volume you can miss it, and it plays around too much with your sense of time to give you enough of a reference point. After a while, it dawns on you that some of the flashbacks and whatnot that happen only happen as they do because to tell the story in chronological order would be worse, and that's not a good enough reason to jumble up everything. There's about 25% of a potentially very interesting movie here, dealing with some of the same things he's visited before, but I wonder what happened to the rest. Acceptable Death at a Funeral (2007) - I'm not sure why anyone has ever made a big deal about this, or had to feel particularly strongly about it compared to the remake (which, granted, I haven't seen). They'd have to get a lot wrong with the second one to be appreciably worse than this, because this isn't actually very good at all for the first half. All the jokes that truly land are in the last 30 minutes or so, and it's a bit of a long wind-up getting to those. Some of the Alan Tudyk stuff is good, but it feels like it goes on too long relative to the other characters. And Rupert Graves looks absolutely preposterous with Aging Guy Trying to Look Cool long hair. I think its shortness hurts it a bit, too, as even though part of the point of the movie is the notion of "how well can you truly know anyone?", it still would have served us well to see a little more about *why* the people were all wrong about the man in question. But, it's got its moments, and it's relatively well-done. But that's kind of all it is. Lions for Lambs - Oof. Lots of famous people here, lots of smoke, not a lot of fire. Unsurprisingly written by the same guy and released the same year as The Kingdom, because it's every bit as preachy. It's a little terrifying to think that not a whole lot changed in 15 years, though, and the worst-case scenario is still kind of what we got out of our war-mongering. I think the only sensible take I've ever read on stuff like this was in The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, where he pointed out that people in other countries don't see us as some kind of beacon on a hill and don't want our ideas force-fed to them, and our unwillingness to face that will always fail us. But this movie has maybe two or three compelling scenes and otherwise is a little too high-minded and heavy-handed to work. It feels a lot like 90 minutes of preaching to the choir, and the not-so-subtle suggestion that we've been brain-drained by things like casualties in Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan isn't really borne out by the numbers. We end up with the Josh Hawleys of the world because there are people just as awful as him who want to see that awfulness succeed. You get the government you deserve, and this film misses that point badly, even if it's otherwise decently put together. Deja Vu - I guess Tony Scott made one decent film a decade, and this was his 2000s entry. It might be the rare occasion where his obsession with stunts and kinetic chaos worked in his favor, as unlike the Pelham remake, it keeps things moving here. Hardly a great Denzel role by any means, but I was suitably impressed by his willingness to go full Dad Bod with how he looked in the movie. Considering his character and how lonely and screwed-up the guy is, it actually makes sense for once to do an action movie where you're not hitting the gym or PEDs like a crazy person. I kind of get the impression they cast Paula Patton because they wanted to cast Halle Berry but then she dropped out or said no, but it's probably the best thing Patton's ever done, not that I've seen her in much, and it's a surprisingly decent role for Val Kilmer, too, who turned in a few of these around that time. I'm not big on time-travel plots and even less so on happy-ending ones, but this is one of the less irksome takes on it, as it feels like the "loop" of the movie does close itself, so, eh. Not bad. I Heart Huckabees - I have put off watching this for the longest time because I've heard so much about it in both directions that I had no idea who to trust. Of course, had I looked into it more and realized David O. Russell co-wrote & directed, I wouldn't have been so worried. This feels like the rare instance where watching a director's later films first helps to inform the earlier ones; I think the absurdity and dark humor of American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook makes this all the more understandable, since this is in a similar vein, although considerably more abstracted and maybe a little too talky a lot of the time. But this may be my favorite Mark Wahlberg performance of all time, and I wish we got to see that guy more. Naomi Watts is pretty great in it, too, but when is she not? I have never liked Jason Schwartzmann and I still don't, and the only role of his where I consider him good casting is Rushmore, because he's supposed to be a huge creep, but this is the closest to Rushmore quality compared to everything else he's done. It's far from Russell's best work, but it makes the path he's walked a lot more obvious to have seen this. Nothing better than that this time! I need to quit watching bullshit!
  8. Having been in situations like that, I can undeniably say most people will pick the "stop hanging out" option, because they don't have the nerve to just ask people why things happen or the backbone to try to understand when someone has had enough of a dumb prick's bullshit.
  9. No, the worst thing that could happen to CODA is for it to be on Apple TV.
  10. You had one of those, too, huh? God that was insufferable.
  11. My workouts have still been garbage and my sleep has been even worse; that's what I get for getting hip-deep in Fallout New Vegas again. But, a brief aside. There's a relatively famous scientist who shares our wing of the building with us, a little old Japanese lady. And when I mean "little" and "old" I am talking, "lucky she survived catching COVID". Her last name starts with an O, and you'd swear the O stood for "osteoporosis". I don't have a lot of specific lab work to do anymore, so I'm only in for a few hours a day at most, but any time I see her, I have always been struck by the urge to just pick her up and lift her over my head! Well, now that I'm OHPing 120 and on the way upward, I can more than do that!
  12. Boston laying an ugly ass-whooping on Utah tonight. That'll be 10 out of the last 11 including a win over Memphis, too, and a virtual tie with Milwaukee for 2nd in the East. Their closing schedule is pretty brutal, though, with Indiana & Washington being the only non-playoff contenders in the last 8 - rematch with Memphis, and Chicago/Miami/Milwaukee in there, too. Could easily drop all the way back to 4 or even 5 without a couple of good wins out of that closing set. Gonna be interesting to see how the East shakes out. But hey, I get to laugh at Brooklyn no matter what.
  13. Just look for his last several posts. It's pretty obvious. Reminded me of someone I knew (whose real name I know but whose posting name I've forgotten) who pointed the 'fite me' bit at me one night in IRC in front of about 10 of us. Can't recall if it was on the DVD chat or the HWL; it could have been either one. "NAME AND ADDRESS" over and over again was his version of it; I honestly couldn't stop laughing then, though in retrospect it's probably the cringiest thing to happen *to* me on the webs.
  14. What happened to Omori anyway? Injuries? Just not over despite matches like this?
  15. Yeah, it's Monday, it's that time. Movies. I watched them. Not really terribly excited about it even though this was a decent batch for once; maybe I've let this go on too long, because we're now at Day 251 (and counting) of Some Movie Bullshit, Globetrotting Edition... Hot Garbage Legally Blonde - Yeah, no surprise this ends up where it ends up. I asked myself what the point of this was a couple of times - to break stereotypes? To reinforce stereotypes? And then I remembered, ah, of course: to make money. It did that. Just about everything else about this is dumb. I laughed a couple of times, but otherwise this is like someone took an Amy Heckerling movie and Xeroxed it about ten million times, then wrote a new title on it and said, "Good enough!" Should have called it Legally Bland. The Big Boss - Yes, this is, in fact, the first Bruce Lee movie I have ever watched; I had an Internet issue last week, and so I had to dip into the physical media options to keep the streak going. I don't know what I expected out of this, but I wasn't quite expecting it to be an exploitation movie, but it damn sure is that, all the way to the hilt. I think if you wanted to, you could make a pretty interesting Marxist read of this that would hold up well, so maybe for that reason alone, it deserves a little more credit, but I can't exactly say I was entertained by this, so here it stands. Most of the stunts aren't that great, even by the standards of the day, and there are just a few too many instances where you can see someone being beaten with a "stick" that clearly bends like a piece of rubber for me to do much more than groan at it. Eventually, it's like they caught on and leaned into the goofiness - see the bit where the bad guy gets knocked through the wall and makes a Looney Tunes outline - but, hey, pick one. Either be serious or be slapstick, but don't try pulling off both. Acceptable The Gold Diggers - I only watched this because Sally Potter directed it and...well, it barely squeaks into this category for a couple of scenes I really enjoyed. But I doubt I would recommend this to nearly anyone, since it's as arthouse as an arthouse movie gets - if your tolerance for that is extraordinarily high, then you might be OK with this. It's got a lot of anti-capitalist stuff to say, but the structuring of the film, split between two somewhat different women's perspectives, often derails the messaging that could otherwise be more effective. But the best parts are the drumming scene in the middle and a tapdancing section not long after that. The rest isn't always terribly engaging. Japanese Story - This could have been destined for Hot Garbage had it stayed on its initial boring story course of "two strangers start out hating each other but adversity forces them together" that's been done to death. However, it's got two things going for it: 1) Toni Collette, who is always wonderful, and 2) a HUGE left turn in the middle that totally alters its trajectory. Sometimes, there are moments where you think Collette is going for the Most Actress Academy Award with a scene or two, but let's face it, I'm not sure anyone does the kind of stuff she does here better (not saying what just to avoid spoilers, but if you're a fan of hers, you probably know already). There are a couple of really, really interesting shots in the middle that really hammer home the big event, but as good as they are, they just provide the wrong sort of contrast, making you wonder why the rest of the movie looked like something that would have been shot in the 80s while that one section is more inventive. The last 30+ minutes of this leave you with something to think about, but getting there is a bit of a chore, as this is a good example of the limits of how much one talented contributor can drag something to watchability. The Counterfeiters - This was pretty damn good, almost good enough to crack Awesome, but I'm just floored this won Best Foreign Film in 2007 when The Diving Bell & the Butterfly wasn't even nominated. Fucking travesty. The acting is solid, and the moral dilemma at the center is an unusual one, but the movie sometimes poorly-lit, to the point of not quite following what's going on in a couple of key scenes, and it's generally a little scratchy in appearance. Maybe that was the transfer talking, but it stands out for a movie that's only 15 years old. Once came out the same year and looks "bad" because it's supposed to be a slice-of-everyday-life kind of undertaking. This, on the other hand, has scenes in Monte Carlo and still looks a bit too dim and fuzzy even in those. I'm also kind of over Holocaust movies in general, so that probably doesn't help. But if you're not, this is very much worth a look. Awesome Amour - One of my bigger omissions from the 2010s watchlist, but I doubt it would have made my top 100 anyway. It's right there with a whole lot of other movies, though, that would be just off the back end, like Wildlife or Amazing Grace and some others. I think if this has a weakness, it's that the characters are not particularly likable people to begin with. They aren't bad people, but you don't really get a lot to work with early on in terms of seeing some real depth from them. Their lives are shown more by the intrusions of others than by the activities they themselves ever did. A lot of the development feels like it's backloaded to the last 45 minutes or so, but those 45 minutes are a fucking doozy. Emanuelle Riva does a ridiculously great job in this, and it adds to the list of times that Oscar Got It Wrong (sorry not sorry, J-Law). The quiet and simplicity of the film help to contrast how good it looks, as well as lulling you to sleep for the macabre, deterministic way the plot unfolds. I definitely prefer 45 Years to this, as a sort of deceptively darker partner about an elderly couple, but this is a pretty great movie, too. Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner A Separation - The single biggest omission from my 2010s watchlist, and yeah, if I looked at my list now, it would damn sure look a lot like the Vulture Best of list, but I can't help it if they were right about a lot of shit! They were certainly right about this. I'm not 100% certain it would be in my top 10, but I think I'd have a hard time leaving it out. I watched this and couldn't stop thinking of the full quote about history repeating itself, and if this film is the tragedy, then Parasite is the farce. But so many of the themes of these two movies are so similar and so well-done that it's difficult to avoid the comparison. Also, how many films lately could say they have an opening scene and an ending scene that are among the best in recent memory? This would certainly have a claim to both. I think the ending could annoy some people in the way Lost in Translation did, but wanting to "know" some particular detail misses the point for both films. The acting is basically perfect, the script is even better, considering how everyone in the movie manages to be right and wrong at the same time, and then you get to that devastating ending, and if you aren't floored by that point, you must be a cyborg or something.
  16. Whatever they do, if they don't have a line about how they all look different, only to have one Reed say, "What did you expect? That we'd all look the same except for goofy hairstyles?" then I'm not interested.
  17. Maybe the Steelers can get Jimmy as well as Mitch and they can change the team name to the Pittsburgh Failing Upwards.
  18. Saw The Swell Season the other night, and it was quite a show. Don't know that I've seen anything quite like it in terms of musicians appreciating their place. I'm too used to stories like you'd hear about, say, Coheed & Cambria, who are the epitome of "never meet your heroes." Of course, it was tempered a bit by looking up their Allmusic article afterwards, and realizing that Hansard was 36 & Irglova was 18 when they made Once, and they were dating at the time. Partly explains why the movie feels the way it does, but it also kind of makes the whole thing more than a bit squick. I really thought she was older. I think this also makes it reasonable to understand why she hasn't toured with them in a while and may not do so anymore. She's talented enough on her own, and why would you want to keep doing the same thing you were doing when you were 18 just because that's all a bunch of people remember about you, especially if it comes with as much baggage as that probably does? But really, they were good enough to see individually. I think her music might be trying a little too hard to be cerebral, but damn she can really sing, which the movie didn't showcase. And it's a good thing Hansard is a musician instead of a cult leader, because he'd be fucking dangerous as the latter with the way crowds respond to him.
  19. And now it's 4 teams. Also, if Aidan Hutchinson goes 1 with that absolutely godawful Bench Press showing at Michigan's pro day, then Jacksonville deserves to get relegated to, I don't know, a flag football league.
  20. If this were the 2002 version of the board instead of 2022 version of the board, we'd just think you were a socko account of his. That you signed up the day before he last visited is surely a coincidence! *looks around suspiciously to see if anyone buys that* Well, I'll show myself out, then...
  21. It's a little weird - a little - that Mayfield wasn't part of the trade. I mean, gotta think he's better than Davis fricking Mills, even if he is mediocre. But let's face it, that's the 1903738th most-weird thing about this entire saga. Also, @NoFistsJustFlips good thing you didn't put down that parlay.
  22. The Fallout thread has dropped off the main page and I'm too lazy to click back, so... Hey, New Vegas is a pretty good game! I played through most of this maybe 3 years ago, and once I got to the big assassination quest, I put it down, since I hadn't touched Lonesome Road at all and didn't want to breakneck to the end yet anyway. But I'm enjoying it again thus far. I think my biggest problem with it is one I just chose to mod around; I liked the fact that Fallout 3 lets you get massively OP, what with how easy it is to max out skills and attributes. So, I just figured the best thing to do was be a weenie and add the "Perk Every Level" mod. Plus, there are just so many more perks in FNV compared to 3 that I don't think I've ever *really* had a good opportunity to dig through them and see what I could do with some of the stuff. I also didn't realize this was the first game where you could move people around effectively; I think I spent so much time either alone or with Boone as my companion that I never noticed you could send everyone to hang out at the Lucky 38, like a bad game engine version of the advertisement for Gwent. I still mostly use Boone because he's an absolute unit, but at least this way I can still nab as many followers as possible and dither around with a few quests of theirs when it suits me. Cass' quest in particular was fun for that, since I broke into the Van Graff establishment and robbed them blind. Thanks for helping me murder Deathclaws and Lakelurks with that five-finger discount, Gloria! Haven't touched the DLCs yet (soon, I'm only 18 or 19 right now), but already looking forward to going back to Old World Blues & Dead Money.
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