Monday, August 15, 2011

Plugging Things

(the caption on the video references Transformers 3, but I'm not posting it as a commentary on that film, even though it blows; this is someone else's youtube post).

"Fox and the Hound," "94 Chapin," "Et Cetera," and "Baseball Bat" are all a lot of fun to listen to - I enjoy them immensely. I don't mean to kiss up to Brandon like this, but really, I'm kissing up to the whole band. And let's face it, he's not the reason why the songs are so great. Kidding. Again, sick bass lines.

Mad Men is a better show than Breaking Bad, John. Those aren't fighting words - it's just the opinion I've developed after re-watching the first two seasons of Mad Men on NWI. Having said that, I do love Breaking Bad and I'm not feeling as critical of the show as I was a few weeks ago. Also, feels like comparing these two AMC shows might be like comparing apples and oranges. Though the oranges and apples would both have to be dramatic ones. It's not like one needs to be considered better than the other. They're both great for what they accomplish. So maybe I take it all back.Maybe not.

I caught the first few episodes of Showtime's The Big C and I flat-out hate it. Laura Linney is the only redeemable aspect of the show. The characters, the actors, the writing - all a big thumbs down. And it has nothing to do with the tone of the show when it comes to cancer. I like that the show tries to put more of a positive spin on things. It's just the tone of everything else on the show that I hate. I don't recommend it.

John, It doesn't surprise me that you've fallen asleep while watching The Simpsons Season 10. Geez, listen to me, I'm such a stereotypically embittered fan. But the watching of The Simpsons is definitely something that I positively associate with sleep - it's something of a tradition for me around bedtime to put a Simpsons disc in, press the sleep button on the remote and watch an episode until I pass out. In a way, the show is like a teddy bear or a blankie to me.

But if we ever meet, John, and I hope we do, we'll definitely have to let you borrow seasons 1-9 of the show. I'd love to hear your perspective on those episodes.

The watching of Twilight Zone has resumed. I know you've haven't had the chance to watch any yet, but Jeff and I just finished season 3's "The Hunt."  It's happening.

And what about The Critic? This is directed at everyone (other than Jeff) - if you're a fan of the short-lived cartoon series about film critic Jay Sherman, you and I will always be pals. Not only was it a funny show (created by Simpsons writers/producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss), it features a ton of great movie parodies. One of my all-time favorite television shows. A shame it only lasted 23 episodes. If you haven't seen it, looks like there are some full episodes up on the youtube.


Netflix stuff - Saw Heat and I enjoyed it. Liked De Niro, Kilmer, and Pacino in it. Also loved it when assault rifles were used in the middle of a busy street. All right, that last bit was sarcasm, but the rest wasn't. John, you don't care for Jon Voight, but his mullet/'stache combo in this one is one for the ages.

Watched The Sweet Hereafter. It was a strange film and I honestly don't know where it stands with me yet. I know I liked it, but I'm not sure how much. Also seems to be one of those movies where the book might be better than the film. Just felt like that to me and that you'd get more details from the novel. But yeah, mostly I have a favorable impression of the film.

Watched Dead Man Walking. I don't know why I watched this - well, I do, but I don't know why I watched it when I did. Seems like something that should've been put on one of my many back-burners, but it came up on the queue and I watched it. I wouldn't throw all of it in the trash or anything, but a lot of it was pretty standard. A lot of what I liked about it would be considered spoilers. Oh hell, if you haven't seen probably won't. So I liked the fact that Sean Penn's character did commit the murders. He was the awful person he was accused of being the entire film and yet - he is still a human being who garners some sympathy. The execution of criminals isn't always black and white, but I think in the case of this film - it actually is that way (surprisingly and slightly unconventionally); Penn's character deserved death row and so the movie isn't really about innocence. I think it's nice too that Susan Sarandon's character did as Jesus would have done. I liked that she establishes a relationship with both Penn and the parents of the people he murdered.

I'm going to pull the plug on the 80s part of my current movie project (the one in which I watch movies that I missed from the 90s and 80s). I'll watch some 80s movies here and there that I haven't seen or that I haven't seen in a long while (E.T.), but after I finish up the 90s stuff that I want to watch, I'm moving on to the 60s, 50s, and 40s. Time to watch more classics and lesser known classics. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to take them. I definitely want to watch all of the Hitchcock movies I've yet to see. A top ten Hitchcock movies list awaits.

On gore, mostly I agree with Brandon. I think the only time that I do approve of it is when it is done in a comedic way, as he talked about. Evil Dead and the Rodriguez films that you cited were hilarious and I can enjoy them. Very cartoony indeed. And I can appreciate them because I know where the filmmakers are coming from. They are trying to entertain, even at the expense of grossing you out a little and making you uncomfortable with the sexual stuff. I think sex plays a large part in these films as well, not just violence.

And while the creators of Saw or Human Centipede might claim to be doing the same - I could never agree with them. I really don't know where those people are coming from...and definitely the audience is to blame as well because I don't necessarily know what they're getting out of it...especially to go back and see sequels.

I definitely DON'T condemn violence in film. Again, just watched Heat and I don't disapprove of the amount of bullets flying or of the number of people getting plugged. I can watch The Bride chop off Sophie's arm over and over and not feel as if I've been desensitized to violence because I know that it's just a movie. Movies get to show us the things that aren't approved of in society/the things that aren't physically possible. You could say the same things about Human Centipede, I guess, but when it really comes down to it - that shit is digusting and I see no reason for it to exist even in a fictional world. It disturbs me that some people's minds go to that place. But whatever, I'm not too hung up on it; it's very easy to ignore it, I find.

Should horror and gore films exist? Yes and yes. And they should exist without regulation. But there is a part of me, I guess, that would want more people to condemn movies like A Serbian Film and say, "We're not interested. Find something else to say."

On violence, I know I am getting mostly off-topic here, but I feel that people always make the case that television and movies have desensitized us and I completely disagree. I think humans are violent and it's always been that way. People used to watch hangings or gladiators fight to the death. Our world is a violent place.

And as it's true with most things - some people love to watch violence more than others. There's a market for everything because different people like different things.

I think I'm like Jeff in that I'd rather see a person die in a movie than an animal. Never fun to watch an animal harmed or killed, even if it's fake. I think people hate on PETA too much. Yeah they do some ridiculous things, but I don't understand how people can spend time ripping on them and ignore/or approve of what goes on at factory farms. Not to get all political and shit, but those places need to be outlawed, for realz. Oh, highly-opinionated're so much fun.

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