Saturday, March 9, 2013


I decided to go with the quote and response format in addressing your last post to me, Brando. Sorry for the delay.

"I'm not going to defend McFarlane outside of saying that perhaps it's more of a sign to look inward as a society if his jokes seemed distasteful and out of line."

Yeah, that's probably true...more people should look inward. Taking offense to Seth McFarlane's jokes is kinda silly, not laughing at them is the more appropriate response. It's not as if McFarlane is all that controversial (he's polarizing for different reasons). He did have that Lincoln assassination joke that people oooo'd at...that was pretty dumb to act as if it was "too soon." Another notable joke that night was about Chris Brown; any jokes about him are deserved, in my opinion.

"I have to say that this "rape joke" fad is infuriating. I hesitate to say that certain subject matter should be off limits for a comedian, but the fact remains that some things aren't funny and that when handed to the public can be extremely dangerous. Desensitization to something as serious and as rampant as this can a: hurt people and b: cause the lowest common denominator to feel a sense of approval when speaking about it. Whereas I don't think it's wise to blame it on one person, I tend to think that I've seen a change in shock value humor since Tosh and his fratboy army rolled into town. I'm sure there were plenty of racist, misogynist, and homophobic jokes bouncing around comedy clubs but all he seems to do is take stereotypes and sensitive subjects and make the most obviously unsuitable statement and then wait for closeted bigots to breathe a breath of relief that their ignorant/hateful feelings were suddenly substantiated by a popular public figure."

I had to copy that entire paragraph because every sentence was spot on. Well said; I couldn't agree more, my dude. Ever since the success of Chappelle's show, Comedy Central has been handing out TV shows to stand-up comics left and right (like Tosh and others like him). Jeff and I were talking about this earlier in the week, but if you look at Comedy Central's programming (aside from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), it's a pretty "bro-friendly" network. Apparently Spike, G4, and MTV aren't enough for them.

But all this talk made me think of something Aziz Ansari says at the beginning of his stand-up special DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS. He talks about how, even though they're asked not to, people will take pictures of him while they're filming his specials and it can be distracting. He acknowledges that some of the people in the audience are shitty people and even says, "If we met in any other context besides you paying me money to see me tell jokes, I'm sure there's some of you I would hate with a passion. No question about it, I really hate some of you a lot." He obviously says it a bit jocularly—the audience laughs it up instead of taking offense—but you can definitely sense some sincerity and truth in his words. There's probably plenty of overlap between Tosh fans and those who loved Aziz's character RAAAANDY in Judd Apatow's FUNNY PEOPLE. I would like to hear Tosh speak earnestly about his fans; is he proud of the fact that he makes creepy middle schoolers so happy? I mean, in no way is that a tall order—many of his fans could entertain themselves for hours equipped only with a pack of pornographic playing cards. I guess as long as he's getting paid, Tosh probably doesn't give a shit about who he connects with and reaches out to. Or even worse, there's no difference between him and the very worst of his fanbase.

Speaking of Tosh, here's a link to one of my favorite Onion articles:,28769/?ref=auto

"I can honestly say that I may have been an Affleck fan in high school, I remember liking REINDEER GAMES specifically..."

I wasn't a huge Ben Affleck fan in high school, but I did like him in MALLRATS and CHASING AMY. I haven't seen any of the movies you listed. I hear he was good in PHANTOMS. Yeah, J-Lo definitely hurt his career. I guess it was also movies like ARMAGEDDON and PEARL HARBOR; no one took his action hero status seriously because he was also dealing with this sort of heartthrob persona as well. It's always nice to see someone turn his or her career around. Channeling Mann and Eastwood has been very good for him. He's been making some of the better "standard Hollywood" films of the past few years. I hope he can keep it up and/or continue to improve as a filmmaker.

The indescribable movie magic you see in CASABLANCA is probably due to some key elements."

Werd, everything in CASABLANCA is in perfect sync isn't it? Curtiz was one hell of a talented guy; I need to see more of his work so I've added a lot of his stuff to my Netflix queue recently. I'm looking forward to seeing more of his films.

"He's [Scorsese] incapable of making an uninteresting film, because he's such a personal director with such a love for cinema."

Absolutely, we may feel let down by Scorcese from time to time; we might feel like THE DEPARTED or GANGS OF NEW YORK could've been a bit more precise...but I absolutely agree, every film he makes is interesting. I need to watch BRINGING OUT THE DEAD now that it's on instant watch; I still haven't seen it yet.

I don't know, was there anything specific that made you hate the film [AVATAR]? Honestly, did the hype contribute to your reaction? I'm just asking because I'll freely admit that certain films had zero chance of winning me over and I can see that this film seemed to have the same effect on many.

Good question. I don't know that the hype contributed to my reaction because I would argue that I am on board with the hype. Wasn't most of the positive talk surrounding AVATAR due to the 3-D? I admire that part about it, to an extent, and definitely admire James Cameron a bit for his work on creating the technology needed to make the film. Hats off to the guy for dedicating fifteen years of his life toward making it. When I went to the theater to see AVATAR, I don't recall going in with any sort of negative expectations. I think I expected to the story to be okay and for the 3-D to amazing. What I found after, as the closing credits rolled, was that the 3-D was amazing and the story was crap. It was recycled, yes, but as you pointed out, the dialogue was as annoying as ATTACK OF THE CLONES AND REVENGE OF THE SITH. I think I was going to concede a bit, as well, that the world Cameron created won me over or deserved points, but again, as I am reminded of those two George Lucas flops, it isn't enough for me for someone to just create a foreign planet and language. I need more.

I think that Haneke is mostly unsuccessful in his dealings with guilt, but only because he's always staring down with his white beard and robe. He's the angry god of his films, unfair, and cruel. 

Haha, I love your imagery with Haneke there. Yeah, AMOUR, as we know, is a bit of departure for him, but obviously there are moments when the story does seem unfair and cruel. Of course, it's grounded in the idea that life is unfair and cruel. Old age is a bitch. Part of the reason why AMOUR didn't make it higher on my top ten list is because the message of the film was something I was already fully aware of. Granted, I have never had to take care of someone in the way that Jean-Louis Trintignant has to take care of Emmanuelle Riva, but I think back to McCarey's MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW or even more recently, A SEPARATION, and those movies just offer so much more than Haneke's film.

Good talk buddy.

Yeah, boss, see you later today. I left work yesterday as the cleaning guy came in. When he told me to have a nice weekened, he called me boss. Does anyone else hate it when somebody you don't know calls you "boss"? Haha.

No comments:

Post a Comment