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bartist
Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
I'd recommend skipping the Netflix prequel series "Ratched," though it has a worthy ensemble (Sarah Paulson, Corey Stoll, Cynthia Nixon) -- the plotting is over-the-top macabre and grisly and the characters pretty cartoonish with lots of scenery chewing. The photography is gorgeous, but often oversaturated, as if to amplify every mood and wring out every bit of emotion you bring to it. The opening theme is, rather unsubtly, "Danse Macabre," with a montage that makes sure you get that all things grotesque await you. More annoying is the device of having 1940s characters use late 20th century profanity, as if the writers are afraid we just won't get authentic forties cursing. Worse, there's just something so preposterous about the whole narrative that it's very hard to take any of the horrific events seriously and be properly appalled.

Random obs:

Vince D'Onofrio, who I'm starting to view as a menace to civilization on a par with melting polar caps, plays the governor of California. It's 1947. So that would be Earl Warren. I don't think so.

This is not really a prequel or origin story to the Nurse Ratched of Ken Kesey's novel. You can't pretend that it is and still have the novel, or adapted movie, make sense.

Please, stop killing Corey Stoll in opening seasons.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:06 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
Just watched Ghostbusters for the first time.
Not sure why this was a hit. It's not really funny, the storyline is kind of silly with paranormal problems cropping up and being resolved for no reason, the bad guy is an EPA investigator, and the special effects are rather cheesy. I have no idea why they hire on a black guy more than halfway through -- uh, cause it's NYC. I remember the song was a huge hit you couldn't avoid back in the day. My only guess is that it was a real cultural lull during the Reagan first term.

The odd thing is I perceived a Woody Allen vibe throughout. Maybe partly due to it being in NYC, but Bill Murray makes irreverent quips throughout, Rick Moranis somewhat acts (and looks, with the glasses and short stature) like Woody in the Sleeper when he gets possessed, I even got a Diane Keaton vibe from Sigourney Weaver, before she becomes possessed.

I kind of liked Moranis' idiot routine; and Annie Potts as their blase very NY secretary -- both fairly minor characters. is this a film folks still rewatch and fondly remember?

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bartist
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:29 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
So, did you wonder when people would say stuff like "I've been slimed" or "don't cross the streams"? I wasn't aware of many people who hadn't seen the movie. My generation saw it in theaters, as young adults, then owned videos that our children watched. We thought it was fun, SNL meets Woody Allen, with a droll concept of science trying to tame the supernatural and make it as routine as termite control. I have a memory of being at friend's houses who had pianos, or in music stores, and doing a trill at the top of the keyboard, quoting Bill Murray's line, "spooks hate that. " Recently at the Elba forum, I think I referenced Rick Moranis's role in regard to a news item about him being assaulted in NYC. Didn't occur to me someone wouldn't get the reference. Now I'm wondering how many others never saw the movie, which I'd assumed was a pretty universal movie experience.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Here's the post on Moranis....

Quote:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/oct/02/rick-moranis-punched-in-the-street-in-random-attack

The suspect list includes Gozer the Destructor and Zuul the Gatekeeper.

I'm glad he's okay.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
There's actually plenty of mainstream films I haven't seen from the 70's and 80's. Such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Michael Douglas Indiana Jones knockoffs. Plus the Terminator films. I really meant to pick all of those up before the Dvd shops shut down, but I didn't and they are shut down. Not a big concern, but I thought I might as well buy those sets and catch up.

Really I got into movies via art films and international cinema, and never went to the cinema much at all. Really I became a fairly well-versed cinephile only from 1997-2017 due to and during the Golden Age of Pirate Dvd's in China.
If not for the cheap and abundant dvd, I wouldn't have watched a zillion films nor joined this and another film forum to chat about films.

Now that every Dvd shop is closed, I'm into rewatching my bazillion dvd's.
Actually I need to get a new dvd player, as the one I'm using now doesn't have an smart pause (relocating you to where you stopped) and I don't have the remote control anymore as this was my old, old player, so if I stop watching a movie i have to restart it form the beginning. Also, if the film starts with Chinese audio or subtitles on, I can't change it. I can watch with the Chinese subtitles on, but not a whole film dubbed in Chinese.

However stores stopped selling dvd players a couple years ago, so I need to buy one online, ad that means form a Chinese website all in Chinese, so that takes some effort. But once I get a new dvd player, I'll ramp up my viewings which have been pretty light this year.

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knox
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1219 Location: St. Louis
You've managed to steer your whole life around lowbrow American culture. I bet there's a fair number who wish they coukd have done that. Interesting that stores don't sell dvd players there. You csn still get one here, at a Walmart or Best Buy store. The Indy films are fun, I'd rec them more than the Jedi junk or the Michael Douglas ones.
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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
I've tried. I've never seen a Porky's or Ernest film or Bill & Ted. Though I did watch the first American Pie film.

Funny thing is I must have bought that Ghostbsuters Dvd around 204 I'd guess.
It has this weird Superbit cover that was a thing only for a few short years around then.

I also tossed in Space Jam yesterday, which I've never seen and also must have bought over a dozen years ago. Unfortunately it starts off with the character playing Michael Jordan's father speaking Chinese, so I didn't watch it, not being able to change the language setting.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
There might be some physical stores selling dvd players, if I hunted around.
But the Carrefours, Tescos and Walmarts where I used to buy them don't.
Store selection has definitely slumped due to the onslaught of online commerce.

Online buying is huge in China. Delivery is almost always free.
I get all my cat food and large water jugs delivered.
Would get more stuff delivered if all the sites weren't Chinese language only.

Since we have a locked gate leading to the street, delivery isn't as convenient as it could be. I've given the water guys a gate key, so the water jugs get left outside my apartment door. But other delivery guys call and you have to open the gate, or tell them to leave it in the nearby alley delivery pile-up if you're not home.


I usually try to get a player that has some English on its remote control, just for the comfort factor, but you learn button positioning, and its not hard to read simple Chinese as well.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
I think China is more dedicated to online buying than the US.
But I could be wrong.

In Shanghai, most people pay for everything using their phone.
The last 3 years, I've rarely used cash and a credit card even less.
I might use cash once or twice a year, a credit card maybe once.

Actually paying by phone at a scanning distance has been a nice advantage during the Rona Virus. No contact, nothing changing hands.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8827 Location: Shanghai
I popped in the Matrix dvd and quickly realized that I'd never seen it. I sort of assumed I had. But right off nothing was familiar and going in I thought Neo was the girl, not the guy.

I like the simple way the agents are portrayed. Calm and ruthless.
The bendy way they can dodge bullets. It's kind of a wow, when Neo hits the next level and can suddenly see everything digitally -- he finally is able to detect the matrix all around him -- and control the world within it.

It's funny that for all its futuristic hi-tech, the film has a lot of chases on foot and telephone booths are important gateways.
The Blue & Red pill choice became famous, but in the film the scene is key but short and somewhat subdued. It's more a standout idea than a standout scene.

Anyway, this is a fun vibrant film. The special effects a world beyond Ghostbusters. I hope I have the sequel around here somewhere (but I don't think so).

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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:01 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20566 Location: New York City
So happy to see that someone else besides me is not enchanted with "Ghostbusters." I always thought it was kinda fun and nothing more. As for "The Matrix," I've never been able to get past the first ten minutes, and I've tried more than once. An instant sleeping pill.

But I love Keanu Reeves, mostly because of "Always Be My Maybe." Best cameo performance EVER. Watch it on Netflix. The whole movie is fun, but Reeves is far more than that.
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Syd
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:10 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12652 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
knox wrote:
You've managed to steer your whole life around lowbrow American culture. I bet there's a fair number who wish they coukd have done that. Interesting that stores don't sell dvd players there. You csn still get one here, at a Walmart or Best Buy store. The Indy films are fun, I'd rec them more than the Jedi junk or the Michael Douglas ones.


At least the first and third Indiana Jones films. I found the second a trial. The Michael Douglas films are worth watching for Kathleen Turner, who is actually the star and a major sex symbol who could act.

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bartist
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
billyweeds wrote:
So happy to see that someone else besides me is not enchanted with "Ghostbusters." I always thought it was kinda fun and nothing more. As for "The Matrix," I've never been able to get past the first ten minutes, and I've tried more than once. An instant sleeping pill.

But I love Keanu Reeves, mostly because of "Always Be My Maybe." Best cameo performance EVER. Watch it on Netflix. The whole movie is fun, but Reeves is far more than that.


It's safe to say that one needs to watch more than ten minutes of The Matrix to make any judgment. A lot of good sci-fi rests on "world building," where you need a while to create a time and a society that's new to the viewer or reader.

I wonder how many classic books I would never have read, and greatly enjoyed, if I'd read ten pages and put it back on the shelf, "nope, not for me."

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bartist
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6652 Location: Black Hills
Did anyone see "Ratched" btw? My misery wouldn't mind company.

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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20566 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
billyweeds wrote:
So happy to see that someone else besides me is not enchanted with "Ghostbusters." I always thought it was kinda fun and nothing more. As for "The Matrix," I've never been able to get past the first ten minutes, and I've tried more than once. An instant sleeping pill.

But I love Keanu Reeves, mostly because of "Always Be My Maybe." Best cameo performance EVER. Watch it on Netflix. The whole movie is fun, but Reeves is far more than that.


It's safe to say that one needs to watch more than ten minutes of The Matrix to make any judgment. A lot of good sci-fi rests on "world building," where you need a while to create a time and a society that's new to the viewer or reader.

I wonder how many classic books I would never have read, and greatly enjoyed, if I'd read ten pages and put it back on the shelf, "nope, not for me."


bartist--I was exaggerating. Saw a lot more than ten minutes, but 60 minutes more didn't change the opinion I formed in the first ten. As for classic books, I've never been able to crack "War and Peace" or "Crime and Punishment" or "Inherent Vice" or "Gravity's Rainbow." Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Snarko, snarkas, skarkat.
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