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MARCH 2015 MOVIE THREAD

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I think what sets WHIPLASH apart from other demanding mentor stories is that there isn't anything inherently noble, or even necessary, about the goal the protagonist is suffering to achieve.

When you think about drill instructor movies (such as the two aforementioned movies), what's the drill instructor's goal? To develop soldiers fit to serve and weed out the unfit. Politics and philosophical debates aside, we as a society generally regard being a soldier as a noble pursuit. And so if a degree of suffering and even abuse is required to transform a person into the ideal of a soldier, we accept it.

In AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, the suffering is even positioned as necessary for the protagonist, as when Richard Gere famously says "I GOT NO PLACE ELSE TO GO!"

That's not really how it is in WHIPLASH. There is nothing inherently noble about being a jazz drummer, at least in the sense that it doesn't provide a tangible benefit to society in the way being a soldier or a fireman does. Nor is it a necessary goal for Andrew to achieve. Though Schaefer is set up as the top music school in the country and Fletcher's band as the best of the best there, it isn't a prerequisite to take Fletcher's abuse to have a career in jazz. And Andrew isn't exactly living on the streets with this gig as his One Chance to make it. He comes from a solidly middle class family of some means (tuition at a premier music school ain't cheap!). Andrew has other options in life.

This is pretty much a self-centered pursuit driven by Andrew's own ego. He suffers because he's decided that he has to suffer. He's as much his own enemy as Fletcher. That's what sets it apart, that ambiguity as to whether or not we should actually be cheering for Andrew to succeed.

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Elite level trolling by Tabe! :)

:)

I don't troll with my movies reviews. They may not be accurate to other people, their ratings may make no sense to people with an IQ over 3.7, but they are most definitely my legit opinions at the time I post them. No trolling involved :)

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To expand on my thoughts on the "throwaway" scenes with the girlfriend:

I say "throwaway" because the movie would lose nothing without them. The one scene where he breaks up with her is well-done and it definitely shows him being ruthless in his pursuit of his goals. But...the relationship is incredibly new at that point and no foundation has been laid to show that this relationship matters all that much to him. She's not particularly important to him yet. So you could delete all those scenes and not lose much/anything, IMHO.

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I feel like the girlfriend relationship is really important.  When the movie starts, he's going to movies with his dad and flirting with girls at the movie theater, just like a regular teenager.  When he gets in with the band, he uses his newfound confidence to ask her out.  As he becomes bolder and more believing in his own hype, he casts the girl aside, casually, because, as she puts it "I'm just a silly girl who doesn't know what she's doing and you're going to be a famous drummer."  The callous, again casual way he discards something that just weeks/months earlier was his be-all/end-all is a window into how all-consuming his goal to be a famous drummer has become and acts as a prelude to what happens when

he ultimately snaps and attacks Fletcher

 

The relationship with the girlfriend is crucial as a signpost along the way as to just how far he's gone off the deep end, really.  It's like a reminder of what's going on in the real world, and just how far divorced from that world Andrew has become.  The dinner's another example.  I mean, sure they were lauding the sports accomplishments, but no one put his accomplishments down until he acted like a dick about it.

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In one of the funnier instances of padding a shitty movie I've ever seen, try sitting through the final credits of LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS some time.  I didn't see the movie, and I didn't see all the credits.  But when I entered the room the t.v. was on and they were already at "Boom operator"...so pretty deep in, and I listened to the music a little and noticed they were happening very deliberately slowly, like two or three names and then cut away to some scenery and then a couple more names and then some more scenery.  I left the room and made a sandwich and when I came back in they were still going.  So I rewound to see how long they had been running since "Boom Operator" and it was 9 1/2 minutes.

 

Now you figure at that rate, it took them at least 3 minutes maybe to get to boom operator?  So, we're looking at maybe 12-13 minutes of credits...for LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS  They cycled through the annoying soundtrack like five times.

 

SUPERMAN: THE MOTION PICTURE was considered infamously absurd at 8 minutes.

 

So running time: 87 minutes.  Movie part: 74 minutes.

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Some of those comic book movies where I'm sitting in the theatre waiting for the post-credits scene sure feel like at least 8 minutes of credits.

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I was just reading this interview with Gemma Arterton in yesterday's paper. She said that Under the Skin was originally put together to have her be the star, but they couldn't get funding with her attached, and needed someone more famous. But that's OK, because she decided she doesn't want to be famous any more. After doing Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters she phoned her agent and said "Stop putting me in these shit movies". Paraphrasing, obviously.

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Great, now I'm thinking about Gemma Arterton walking around nude in that damn movie instead of ScarJo. Might be preferable, actually (though I still haven't seen the film and therefore Scarlet's goods. Yes, I know there is Google for that, but I'd rather just watch the movie). 

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The look of utter despair and horror in the eyes of Jeremy Renner in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is probably the only notable thing about that movie.

 

Now there is a man who wonders if getting to pay off his mortgage is worth such an indignity.

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Had a pretty great run of rewatching awesome movies on TV this lazy week.

 

Neighbors: This is good, silly fun.  Jerrod Carmichael would steal the entire movie, but then everything Ike Berinholtz does is just the best.

 

Hot Rod One of the great unheralded things about this movie is the fact they have a score.  Not just like random songs thrown together (Though there are a bunch of those) but this great sweeping score that they use to over-dramatize moments and make stuff that is just silly over-the-top hilarious.  Like Rod getting to his feet after being knocked unconscious (And witnessing a taco/grilled cheese fistfight and coming to uttering the word "Hoobastank") to watch the money pour in via donation, and there's this grand sweeping orchestral score as Chris Parnell talks about them hitting Rod's stepfather's "conveniently-priced surgery" and it just goes from silly to incredibly funny.  I also give this movie credit for coaxing Danny McBride back into acting (He was only planning on directing/writing) because he's just the best.

 

Mud: Man, 'Mud' is good.  I've probably watched large swathes of this movie over 10 times, while I've watched it in its entirety at least 5-6 times.  The only problem is if my brother or I watch it, we're gonna be talking like Arkansans for the rest of the day.  My brother called my mother "Snakewoman" after watching this, then when someone asked him something he said "I could give a good goddamn if you curl up next to her".  Also, one time at a party, a propos of nothing, my brother said "Put this beside your bed, snake won't cross a braided rope" and, of course, no one else had seen 'Mud' so it just made the two of us laugh.  But it was worth it.  Great score in this one, and a terrific cast: Matthew McConaughey (his favourite movie!), Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Sam Shepherd.

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You know, if they had taken the tangential connections to the first one out and called it something else, Grease 2 would be much more fondly remembered. I'll see myself out.

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I watched Shame. It was one of those films that had lots of long shots that, although they were beautifully composed, ultimately they told a story of a moment in which nothing happened and nobody said anything. And it had a false ending that would have worked as an ending, before actually ending on a scene that said 'nothing has been resolved or even slightly changed about any of these people'. The moral of the story appears to be that you shouldn't

go off and shag loads of gay lads and hookers, because if you do your emotionally vulnerable sister might attempt suicide and you'd feel slightly guilty for a bit. Although that means those of us who don't have sisters (or have sisters who aren't emotionally vulnerable) can shag as many gay lads and hookers as we want.

 

Also it tricked us into thinking she'd jumped in front of his train when actually she'd moderately sliced her wrists. So that was a surprise.

 

They should have had a scene where he kept putting ice packs on his nutsack, because otherwise it's unrealistic how he was able to shoot his load so frequently... unless Michael F. Assbender was miscast and the character was supposed to be 16 years old or something. Also, why was everyone in Hollywood freaking out over his nob size? Haven't they been to Europe?

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Anyone seen 71, the movie about the British soldier in belfast in 1971?

Playing in the 'local' art house this week.

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No, but it's at 98% on RT and I loved Starred Up so I'd say check it out.

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Anyone seen 71, the movie about the British soldier in belfast in 1971?

Playing in the 'local' art house this week.

 I actually saw this earlier today and thought it was great. There was a few parts where I wished it had some English subtitles since there are some very thick accents. Jack O'Connell was great and hopefully this movie finds an audience.

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Watched 13 Assassins again last night. I think I can watch that battle scene a hundred times and pick up something new from it. So satisfying. Still not 100% on what's going on with the forest demon, but it adds, not detracts. Hirayama must have taken out 50 dudes by himself. That dude needs to be in more movies because he just projects bad ass.

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I watched Shame. It was one of those films that had lots of long shots that, although they were beautifully composed, ultimately they told a story of a moment in which nothing happened and nobody said anything. And it had a false ending that would have worked as an ending, before actually ending on a scene that said 'nothing has been resolved or even slightly changed about any of these people'. The moral of the story appears to be that you shouldn't

go off and shag loads of gay lads and hookers, because if you do your emotionally vulnerable sister might attempt suicide and you'd feel slightly guilty for a bit. Although that means those of us who don't have sisters (or have sisters who aren't emotionally vulnerable) can shag as many gay lads and hookers as we want.

 

Also it tricked us into thinking she'd jumped in front of his train when actually she'd moderately sliced her wrists. So that was a surprise.

 

They should have had a scene where he kept putting ice packs on his nutsack, because otherwise it's unrealistic how he was able to shoot his load so frequently... unless Michael F. Assbender was miscast and the character was supposed to be 16 years old or something. Also, why was everyone in Hollywood freaking out over his nob size? Haven't they been to Europe?

 

This is one of the best breakdowns of Shame that I've seen. Nice work. I thought it was fucked up, but when you put it in that light, I guess it's not THAT fucked up.

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The problem was, it was set in New York, and the hero had one of those office jobs that the writer didn't understand, so his working life seemed to consist of wandering around the office and not saying things in meetings... but it's unclear what he actually does. So it came across like American Psycho-lite, only with a psychopath who doesn't actually kill people.

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Just watched this at the theater. It's somewhere between Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction, and Tales From The Crypt (the Amicus version). If you don't watch it you're seriously missing out. 

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That does look pretty good. Gonna keep an eye out for where I can see it.

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In preparation for Wrestlemania I just watched this instant classic:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur6XdaGNlTY

 

Truly a must-see for every wrestling fan. One of the dog's wrestling moves is pissing his opponent in the face and then choking him until he passes out. I've never seen that one before, I think.

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My favorite part is that it was clearly supposed to be called Russelmania, but they couldn't negotiate the obvious proprietary hurdles.

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Was it PWG that had to change the name of "Kurtrussellmania" to "Kurtrussellreunion?"

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