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D. Adam

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About D. Adam

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  • Occupation
    Grad student
  • Favorite movies
    In no order: Punch-Drunk Love, The Red Shoes, Miller's Crossing, Seven Samurai, Lawrence of Arabia, The Last Days of Disco, The Incredibles, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ordet, Army of Shadows
  • Favorite music
    Hipster stuff, sadly enough: Radiohead, Wilco, etc. Also some classical.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Mark Helprin, Marilynne Robinson, George R.R. Martin, probably some other stuff
  • Favorite visual art
    you know, I recently realized that there isn't a single Bruegel painting that doesn't leave my jaw on the floor
  1. I started writing something long, but didn't feel like it's appropriate for me to weigh in like that here. But I love you guys, I'm sad that the board isn't as active as it was (and that you're sad about it), and I'll try to post something somewhere else on the board later today (something specific, not just "something", though I feel like, as a general lurker, I'm part of the problem right now).
  2. I wanted The Black Stallion, my wife wanted Babette's Feast. Then we realized we had no Chaplin films in the house and settled on The Great Dictator. I'm second-guessing this decision now, since I love that movie but it's not a silent Chaplin.
  3. The only film that comes to mind without searching is Chariots of Fire, with Liddell's Isaiah 40 sermon around the 2/3rds point.
  4. The editing in the first teaser is much less frenetic, so hopefully that's indicative of the actual pacing of the film.
  5. Fury (1936) - the inciting event of the film takes place on October 26 (1936, judging from a calendar shown earlier in the film). Later, a tear-off calendar in a bar shows November 22.
  6. So how accessible would it be for someone who's only read the Underworld USA Trilogy? I listened to The Black Dahlia on audiobook, but don't remember that much of it.
  7. I'd be willing to trade my unopened Criterion copy of Paris, Texas on blu-ray (which is a great movie, but...let's just say I wouldn't leave Solaris unopened).
  8. I had high hopes for this based on some of the stuntwork I glimpsed in the trailer, but aside from a handful of creative set-pieces, it was a huge disappointment. More than that, it was exhausting to watch, mainly because there're very few pauses for anything like character development, and all but one of the best sequences are in the first half of the film. I like to think I have a soft spot for this kind of macho-violent stunt-focused action film (Hard-Boiled is one of my favorite anythings), but I was similarly disappointed/exhausted watching Ong Bak, another film sold mainly on its stuntwork and the physical prowess of its lead (and which, for all its silliness, has a better sense of structure and character). Just nothing in the film worth revisiting, even if I watch the trailer a few more times. That said, those few set-pieces have some great ideas in them. I think Gareth Huw Evans could make a truly great action film, but maybe only if he lets someone else write the screenplay.
  9. D. Adam

    Looper (2012)

    Another agreement here, Nick.
  10. D. Adam

    Looper (2012)

    There are two main timelines in the film with the potential for a third (as you posit, Rushmore). The first is the primary one where we spend most of our time and where young Joe is our main reference point. The second produces old Joe. Remember, he closes his loop as a young man and thus never meets Cid (or makes him the Rainmaker). And the third, of course, is a possible future without a Rainmaker. I think it's definitive in the film that Joe never "creates" the Rainmaker. There's a possibility he will, but that never comes to pass during the film. So what about the reference to the prosthetic jaw? This part bugged me, but then Rian Johnson recorded and posted a commentary track for the film. It's intended for in-theater listening (you can find it here) and is mostly concerned with the technical aspects of making the film, but some interesting nuggets about his intentions for some of the more discussed parts of the film are included as well. When he's discussing the diner scene (relevant part starts around 47:30), Johnson mentions that old Joe's memories are constantly changing as he influences past events. This includes the reference to the jaw, which only comes up in Joe's memories in the diner. According to Johnson, these memories are now a cloudy mixture of events that actually happened to him and events that will (or might) happen because of choices that have been made in the past. It's not really clear from just watching the film (even though that phenomenon is addressed several times), and that's a bit of a problem. But the rules of the film support that reading.
  11. No new films in the house, so probably more Fringe S1, if anything.
  12. D. Adam

    Looper (2012)

    I don't know why this wasn't brought up sooner, but there's a definitive answer to one of the board's time-travel logic questions in the film. I only just remembered (though the thread might have moved on by now). Major Spoilers: Joe couldn't have been responsible for creating the Rainmaker in any timeline that we see in the film, because he always closed his loop before. In old Joe's timeline, he killed his future self when he was younger. Whoever shot Cid in the jaw, then, couldn't have been Joe. The question for me is then: so why the parallel with the jaw?
  13. D. Adam


    Thanks for posting that trailer, Timothy. That's the first promotion for the film that showed the movie I'm hoping for and not the one I fear, which probably just means that it's a well-made trailer. Day Lewis's casting seems less of a gimick to me now, though.
  14. D. Adam

    Looper (2012)

    I guess any film that ends with would contain some amount of despair, no matter what the interpretation. Something to consider, though, is that... Obligatory Massive Spoiler Warning Joe doesn't become a monster...he is a monster to some extent, even from the beginning of the film. He's always solving his problems by shooting them. His first response is violence; his nature is betrayal. And when old Joe says, "She saves you", referring to his wife in the future and, unknowingly, to Emily Blunt's Sara, it's an indication that Joe never tried to change his own ways. He only stops using drugs because of someone else's intervention, and he never leaves his former life entirely. Even when he's trying to kill the Rainmaker, it's to bring his wife back to him (young Joe points out that he could save her life through other means, but that's not acceptable). So when he turns the gun on himself at the end, it's really the first time that 1) he's seen himself (and not just a possible future self) as the problem, and 2) that he's willing to sacrifice to change things for others, even without a benefit for himself (the nature of sacrifice, which has been alien to him). Tragically, it's too late for other measures. Besides, he's a gunman, and he's got a gun in his hand. Every problem looks shootable. I think there's even been a debate about this outside the film, along the lines of, "What should he shoot to solve the problem? Will just his hand do?" But remember when Cid misdirects Jesse in the house to allow Joe to escape? And then he chooses to suppress his powers at the end, even when it means risking his own life to do so? He's at least trying to solve problems without violence, which means there's hope for him. We don't see that with Joe. So the end can be seen as a mad dog putting itself down, which is indeed despairing. I like to see it, though, as a deeply flawed character attempting to do something right, and the fastest, most effective, and--this is key--only obvious-to-him way to do that is to sacrifice himself. Edit: Nick makes a really similar point above that I can get behind. He said better than I did what worked for me about the film's resolution. Heh. Yeah, that's kinda it's own thing, fun for some (like me) and really beside the point of the film. And you'd think after so many time-travel movies we'd have a faster way of dealing with it, some shorthand for the tropes. Maybe sometime in the future, a time-travel movie will come out and someone will post, "this movie uses closed-loop theory, which i disagree with. only the multiverse is plausible." and moderators would direct the conversation to the dedicated thread. Another edit: While I'm thinking of it, here are the two best parodies of Looper I've seen so far: a fake IMDB page and an unofficial Twitter feed.
  15. D. Adam

    Looper (2012)

    Maybe I should have said this sooner. I loved the film, maybe most of all for being so well-crafted. One of the reasons I don't really talk about films on this board is because I don't remember many details unless I've seen the film more than once. Looper has stuck in my memory, though. I appreciate it far more for its craft and as an action-drama than as a particularly deep sci-fi film, so the comparisons to Blade Runner (which I've seen once and didn't love) seem a bit baffling. A tiny bit. I can understand the strong reaction. I've responded to SDG on this a lot because of his reaction to plot details, and I actually remember (maybe) much of the plot. Please don't take this as anything too passionate or personal. I'm fine with the movie not working for you. I think this is something that all of Rian Johnson's films have struggled with, to some extent. As a screenwriter, he tends to come up with creative, original, and very complex worlds and characters, but then he seems reluctant to look too deeply into larger themes. Those themes are there, but not very well explored. That's made first viewings, for me, entirely dependent on how much I enjoyed individual scenes and the craft of the film, with depth uncovered on later viewings. I'm satisfied with the performances, the look of the film, the set pieces, but there's a lot of interesting issues raised by time travel, the nature of the violence in the context of society, the power and treachery of memory, whether a person can ever truly change, nature vs. nurture, etc. There's discussion of much of this (and more) on this thread already, but the film appears to use these issues to support the plot, rather than the other way 'round. Same thing with Brick and The Brothers Bloom (albeit with different issues). I don't remember Noah Segan's Kid Blue doing much with Cid. Are you referring to Garrett Dillahunt's character, Jesse? He's the one who comes to the house asking about the Joes. Or does Kid Blue try to shoot Cid when he finally shows up at the farm on the flying bike?
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