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Contentious C

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Evansville Crimson Giant

Evansville Crimson Giant (8/11)



  1. So I've been on a strange bent lately of watching a new movie every day. I think I'm up to day 11 now, so it's going well so far. The post on the last page about Lucy and others as well as I, Robot include some of those things I watched. And I already talked about The New Mutants elsewhere. Here's a catch-up post: Hot Garbage The Snuff Film - this was pretty much what I expected. Oh, what, you're confused? I'm sorry, that's what I call Zack Snyder's Justice League. It's better than the theatrical version, in the way that pissing on your hands to avoid frostbite is better than wiping with your bare hand after you take a shit because there was nothing else to wipe with. They're both terrible but at least one serves a genuine purpose. I could say a lot more about how stupid this movie was, but I'd rather not get bogged down with it, because frankly this fucking movie isn't worth talking about to sufficiently explain how stupid it is. Haywire - why does this have a bunch of 70s music accompanying everything? Really? It's like Soderbergh had a bunch of recorded music left over from the Ocean's films and just recycled it. I mostly liked how Michael Fassbender got to have a fight scene with Gina Carano, because he's the one guy in the cast who's definitely had practice beating up women! Hey-o! It's actually not *bad* in a lot of respects, but it's too short, it's a dull plot, the "2 weeks earlier" blah-blah crap can fuck right off, and that AWFUL fight scene at the end with Ewan McGregor made me want to gouge my eyes out. Kinda too bad Carano turned out to be a lunatic, as well. Alien vs Predator Requiem - I was going to blame this one on Paul W.S. Anderson, but it turns out he was probably too busy making another piece-of-shit RE movie to direct this! But God it's so badly done. It's still introducing core characters 15+ minutes into a 90-minute movie, the action scenes are high-schoolish and often so dark you can't even tell what's happening, and the nuking of an American town is just what you do in these situations! Plus, the Preds who let all this happen (thanks to the ending of the prior movie, which I also watched but then realized I'd already seen) were the dumbest assholes in the galaxy. Scan your bodies next time! Acceptable Badlands - This is leaving HBO Max, but I saw Terrence Malick and figured, "Fuck it". It feels a lot like he tried to make his own Bonnie and Clyde and didn't really succeed. But, the visuals that you'd come to expect from him are on display even in this. He clearly had that eye from the start. And I usually can't stand Martin Sheen or his annoying kids, but this was one of the few times where I liked him. I could do without the narration, but this movie's almost 50 years old, so...whatever. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - I put off watching this for years because I was certain it was going to be completely stupid. Turns out it is, it's just the right sort of completely stupid. Thumbs-up. Girl with a Pearl Earring - this was close to being really good, as Scarlett is really great, and the interplay between her and Colin Firth works really well. But it feels like it's missing some character development with the mother-in-law and Tom Wilkinson's rapist/patron guy. They're just sort of there to push the plot forward, and despite some perfunctory discussions at dinners and things, their interactions are entirely filtered through Greit and Vermeer, which seems like a waste. But it's solid as period pieces go. Awesome Safety Last! - one of the first things that comes to mind as I'm trying to find something to watch is, "How short is this?" This is super-short and pretty remarkable. Harold Lloyd was apparently doing these stunts missing a couple of fingers due to an accident some years before, so it really makes what he's doing in this all the more amazing to watch. I haven't watched too many silent movies, but this might be the best one I have seen. Just sight gag after sight gag and a pretty crazy last 20 minutes. Lady Snowblood - Jesus. I'm just never going to be able to rewatch Kill Bill after this. Ever. In case you've noticed, I don't like narration, but here it works, as it feels like it elevates the events to something closer to a myth or a tall tale instead of just being some woman chopping up people. And some of the shots here, especially the little breathers Fujita throws in to space out the goriness, are pretty beautiful. And yet it's still unabashedly 70s in so many laugh-out-loud ways. Can't believe they didn't sue the fuck out of Tarantino. But, not the best movie I watched... Winner winner, chicken dinner Secrets & Lies - This is just a masterpiece. Usually something so forceful comes from someone writing it that way, but apparently Mike Leigh just gave everyone a character sketch and mostly had them improvise their characters (aside from things like the last couple of scenes, I would wager). Brenda Blethyn is beyond phenomenal - I could see someone criticizing her delivery, since her voice is definitely grating, but it's very much of a part of the character, someone who has no ability to process her own trauma and instead hangs herself up on other people's problems to avoid looking at her own. Marianne Jean-Baptiste is such a great foil for that: composed, collected, but just...simmering all the time. Plus there's Timothy Spall and Phyllis Logan, who you'd recognize from other, more commercially successful roles, who just blow you away by the end. The diner scene is fucking perfect. The barbecue scene is fucking perfect. The ending is fucking perfect. The only movie from the 90s I can honestly say is better than this is Pulp Fiction. That's it, that's the list.
  2. I like how ESPN's app has "Stephen A's top 5 Marvel movies" featured prominently right now. As if I'm going to read that, or care. Show me "Stephen A's top 5 times he ate his own poop accidentally (but not really accidentally)" and you'll get yourself a click, people.
  3. Should we call the spice "blood sugar", then?
  4. My only issue with 5x5 (which I'm just doing 3x a week right now, in case there was any confusion) is that it's the epitome of a boring workout. They're all great lifts and things that I do 100% of the time on the appropriate days when I've got a different split, but I usually have to change it up to stay with a routine. Part of that is my ectomorph body that wants to shed weight, but the larger part is the mental fatigue that gets me after a while. I mean, granted, I'm not really even doing 5x5s right now, since I've had to sub in Goblet Squats for under-the-bar, and I'm doing Lat Pulldowns instead of Pull-ups because I know I couldn't do more than 1 or 2 at the moment. So I'll probably work back to the proper lifts first, do those for at most a month, and then break it out into a different split. Some of the stuff I did at home was actually pretty intense and effective - one of the Athlean X videos I used a while ago was a pull-up/push-up only workout, which I switched to inverted rows since my apartment had no good doorways for a pull-up bar (maybe the next one will). That was only a 40-ish minute workout, but cranking out 100+ of each in that time frame felt pretty hardcore to me. A sick part of my brain is looking forward to getting back to a place where I can try it again. Speaking of Youtubers, who do you guys watch, if anyone? This time last year, I was pretty much watching every video by Buff Dudes, Ryan Humiston, and usually Jeremy Ethier. Jeff Nippard occasionally made the rotation, but he's got such a different body type from me that I felt like his routines wouldn't translate as well as others.
  5. What you did there, I see it. But, reverse lunges are probably better for your knees. I just started going back to an actual gym this week. The home workout bit got far too boring, and I quit by January. No working out of almost any kind between now and then, and I lost every single ounce of weight I gained! Sometimes I hate my body. Just doing 5x5s for a while, but I'm already recovered pretty well from yesterday - better than the first workout - so I wonder how long I'll stick with that before I break it back out to push/pull/legs (or more likely, a 5-day loop of upper/lower followed by push/pull/legs, since going to the gym 6x a week is too time-intensive and exhausting). Maybe 2 more full weeks and then change it up? Something like that.
  6. Hard to adapt Dune worse than what Lynch ended up with. Great director, but he was a long way out from doing Twin Peaks, and that was the best example of anything close to world-building that he did. I re-read the first book once I heard this was coming out. I remembered thinking 15+ years ago that it was the best sci-fi book I'd ever read. Re-reading it I was...not impressed. First, Herbert was TERRIBLE at writing villains. That second chapter of the book where Harkonnen goes straight into Mustache-Twirling Exposition Mode is one of the most painful fucking things in literature. We don't get to see much of him except him being exceptionally weird and eccentric, Rabban's worst atrocities happen in the past tense so there are essentially no real stakes to any of his actions, and the secondary villains - like the brother and sister pair who are the Emperor's assassins or whoever - are more nutty and twitchy than threatening. Second, Paul is pretty much the 20th-century exemplar of the Mary Sue trope, and maybe I'm just too old to tolerate that shit anymore. And finally, the dialogue throughout is far too stilted. It would have been a far better-written book had he left out most of the little mental asides, where he laboriously - and repetitively - explains what every character is thinking when they say something, and in their place, he could have written some dialogue that had those extra layers of nuance and complexity that are there to be teased out. These are pretty much the biggest challenges I see for adapting this. How do you effectively get this book, which was written far too deeply in the heads of its characters, out of that place and onto the screen in a believable way? I hope this script does it, and the bits from the trailer are promising, since it's got its share of light-hearted moments that the book was sorely lacking, and Dave Batista & Stellan Skarsgard are going to bring the goods for Beast & Harkonnen with whatever screen time they get.
  7. Can't say I get the hate for The New Mutants. It's not bad by any stretch. But even though I liked it, I also instantly thought, "I doubt I'll ever feel the need to watch that again" while the credits rolled. I think the casting is actually quite good and they had good chemistry together. I do agree that it's too short and too thin on developing everyone. It was only 90 minutes and could have had at least another 10 tacked on to flesh out everyone a bit more, particularly Dr. Reyes, who is far too generic. She either needed to be considerably more conniving or considerably more conflicted, not this flat. That's kind of a metaphor for the whole movie: felt like it didn't commit to one idea enough to be a better film.
  8. So for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I've been thinking about some old movie I watched a part of a long time ago and wanted to finally place it. I decided to ask THE ENTIRE INTERNET by putting it on r/tipofmytongue to see if someone knows what I'm talking about. But, on the off chance one of you recognizes it, I thought I'd include the link: https://www.reddit.com/r/tipofmytongue/comments/op5u42/tomtmovie1970s1980sa_hostage_situation_and_an/ Happy sleuthing!
  9. Nah, he'll acknowledge Kyrie Irving's ankle as such.
  10. I renewed my HBO Max for reasons, but now I'm watching Mare of Easttown and HOLY SHIT is this good. I suppose it could go to crap as shows do, but I'm looking forward to where it goes.
  11. I knew Covid was bad in Britain, but Jesus...
  12. Clint had a pretty good stretch with Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima all bunched together (the latter two are not really talked about enough as great movies), but that was 15 years ago. Frankly, I'd bet they're happy to throw that money at him if it just turns into Mules & Gran Torinos over and over. Something like American Sniper, which I guess I should watch one of these days, is just gravy. I also watched I, Robot, which...ugh. Wow, was this just the fucking worst. I haven't read the book, so I can't say how bastardized it is, though I do seem to recall a lot of flak thrown its way when it came out. But with or without that, this is just a bad movie. Mediocre CGI (even for 2004), dull-as-dishwater plot, poor casting. The last act really shows you how much better Marvel Studios is at this than everyone else, even if you think their third acts are predictable; you see something nowadays that's preposterous and over-the-top like Black Widow in its final act, and you think it's a ding on the movie. But then something like this from years before is just so much worse, so thoroughly unbelievable in practically every sense of the word, that you want to go back and give Black Widow the Citizen Kane clap, because clearly Marvel understood how to avoid these kinds of debacles all the way back to Iron Man. Will Smith is just sort of...Will-Smithing his way through this role, like he just wanted to pretend this was Men in Black 3: Robot Edition. Having said that, though, his one "hear the emotionally-damaged guy's backstory" bit still works well. It's just a shame he didn't do that believably for, you know, the other 110 minutes of the film. And it's not like he can't do that; I liked him in I Am Legend for that very reason. But, he's subpar, and pretty much everything they put around him is subpar, and had I remembered one critical detail, I would have known to expect exactly that, since this was co-written by Akiva "A Beautiful Mind looks more and more like a fluke all the time" Goldsman.
  13. I guess Holiday was the missing piece after all. Jesus. Suns don't deserve to win a title if they can't get one. Damn. Stop.
  14. More crap I watched that you don't care about: Lucy - well, this had some pretty things in it, and this is probably one of Scarlett's more compelling performances (thinking about it now, I'd put this behind Under the Skin and Lost in Translation, but not a whole lot else springs to mind as being obviously better), but of course I hate the premise because it's the laziest shit in the world. Plus, the rest of the movie is dreadful, like they didn't know what else to do to kill screen time, so Besson just said, "Fuck it" and decided to have a bunch of car chases and shootouts that delay the plot more than serve or advance it. I guess Besson has been chatting a lot with Shamalamadingdong about how to tell-not-show in the most insufferable way possible. "Yeah, well, I got Sarah Paulson to exposition all over my audience!" "I got Morgan Freeman, bitch!" "...Awww..." Moonlight and Valentino - here's another movie that got absolutely ripped by critics at the time and is just...totally average. Given the people in it (Whoopi Goldberg, pre-A-list Gwyneth Paltrow, Kathleen Turner at the end of her run), people probably expected something besides a movie this uneven. But it sort of deflates as it goes and doesn't really end up anywhere. There are 3 or 4 scenes that really work well, but they're not connected together enough to maintain any sense of momentum. It was adapted from a play, apparently, and you can definitely tell there are moments and transitions that would work on stage but fail in this format. Also, Jon Bon Jovi is in it, and I seem to recall him getting massively shit on at the time, but he's not that bad. There have definitely been far worse famous-person film debuts than this. But really I managed to get through it because Elizabeth Perkins is the main character, and I will probably always have a crush on her thanks to Big. The Mule - don't you love how Clint Eastwood keeps playing characters that are 10x more woke than he is? This has to be the single most absurd vector for a "Piece-of-shit dad learns to bond with his estranged family" story I've ever seen. This should've ended in about a dozen different ways that would have ranged from quick and shocking to so massively bloody and violent that Sam Peckinpah would've said, "Hang on, now..." but we get none of that. Just knock it off, Clint. You can be done. It's fine.
  15. TBF, the adolescent boy version of this is not any more pleasant, but yeah, had the same thought.
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