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Posts posted by Plankton

  1. Hmm. To my mind,

    Toby pushing Sweeney in the oven right after Sweeney pushes Mrs. Lovett would be awkwardly repetitive, or worse, comic, in the film. The changed ending with Toby slitting Sweeney's throat was an example of the old "Live by the sword die by the sword" device, and also showed that this isn't the end of the horrible depravity afoot in London; Toby becomes a "little Sweeney" himself in killing Sweeney like that.

  2. My review.

    My apologies if it sounds far too glib or over-praising. I'd just really given up hope that Burton would ever make a really good film again (and I'm new to reviewing!)

    I'm surprised at your reaction, Anders, because I got almost the exact opposite impression; Burton certainly has had a tendency to revel in evil in the past (*coughcoughBatmancoughcough*), but I think with Sweeney he's finally decided to show a bit of restraint.

    Yes, I realize this sounds outrageously ironic when I'm talking about the bloodiest musical in history. :P

  3. I like a combination of grades and stars, which would be something like this:

    A+/ 5.0/5

    A/ 4.5/5

    A/ 4.0/5

    A- 4.0/5

    B+/ 4.0/5

    B+/ 3.5/5

    B/ 3.5/5

    B/ 3.0/5

    B-/ 3.0/5

    C+/ 2.5/5

    C/ 2.0/5

    C-/ 2.0/5

    C-/ 1.5/5

    D/ 1.0/5

    F/ 0.0/5

    I find it tackles the "high B/low B" problem nicely.

  4. I'd also like to say that I read the book some time ago, and thought it was excellent. I've since seen several of the films on Jeffrey's discussion lists, and recommended it whenever I've had the chance.

    In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I'm the one who lent it to Supes, who, BTW, is waiting until he's finished the book to lay out his questions.

    Yo, and welcome to the board, Superdude!

  5. Thanks. I'll probably see A Midwinter's Tale when I've got the time.

    SDG, I had looked at the USCCB film site before for Serpico, but I really would like something more, y'know, comprehensive. I mean, what does "graphic" signify? Graphic violence? Graphic sexuality? Or just graphically corrupt people? Does "L" signify really graphic content, or just that the film is just plain disturbing?

  6. OK, so I've got these two films -- Serpico and A Midwinter's Tale -- and I'd like to know their *ahem* content before viewing them. Don't get me wrong. I'm just a bit sensitive to some kinds of... content in film, and I like to know what I'm in for.

    But unfortunately, I can't find any kind of "content guide" for either of these films. Imdb told me A Midwinter's Tale was rated R for language, but nothing about Serpico. The content site RottenTomatoes links to doesn't list either of them, and neither does Screenit.

    Someone help me out.

  7. Could someone please tell me what possessed the Canadian Film Rating People (whatever the official name is) to give the same rating (14A -- somewhere between the MPAA's R and PG-13) to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Saving Private Ryan, and Hawks' The Big Sleep?

    And then The Hills Have Eyes 2 gets away with 18A (roughly the equivalent of the MPAA's R), while Fargo, Life of Brian, and The Silence of the Lambs are stamped with R (= NC-17).

    I've tried researching the Canadian Rating System, but nowhere I've looked seems to explain this sort of thing.

  8. Where's Overstreet? He started all this, then never submits.
    On a book-signing tour...?

    Yes. I can see how proving me to be an acronymic dumbbell would be a great deal of fun and entertaniment.

    Ooh, yes, it's entertanied me greatly.

    Can I post a brilliant but only slightly on-topic quote I found? It's a "discussion question", BTW.

    Do you feel that people who insist upon referring to themselves as "doctor" simply becasue they Ph.D. degrees, which are about as rare as air molecules, tend to be self-important weenies? Does that make you want to puke, or what? Explain.

    --Dave Barry, Dave Barry Slept Here

    Sorry, but I'm too lazy to resurrect that Baehr vs. CT thread, to which, I'm sure, this post would be more suited.

    But seriously, let's have that new FR**.

  9. How about you try it with Harry Potter, or some other blasphemous abomination? Or go in the opposite direction -- let's do a wholesome film promoting American values, with strong Christian content. Like Narnia, or Facing the Giants. Or virtually anything from Walden Media.

    BTW, did we ever establish whether or not the Rotten Bananas were real? 'Cause if they are, we really need some kind of "Rotten" awards in response.

  10. OK.


    I can't guarantee that when I watch nudity in a film, it won't turn me on. I also can't guarantee that some depiction of evisceration in a film won't give me barbaric pleasure. But generally, both things aren't images that I take pleasure in, on any level.


    So, what about Schindler's List? Is the sexuality in that film morally acceptable? Can't it be both artistically useful and morally acceptable to observe simulated sex when the purpose is to show some kind of distortion? When it's a married man and woman (married to each other) getting it on up there in the way that God intended it, then I agree, that's out of place, both artistically and morally. But can't the inherent distortion of a third party observing the act be used to emphasize a distortion in the relationship between the characters engaged in the act (they aren't married, they're having serious problems that prohibit them from coming together in any way but purely physical, etc.)?

    Of course, this issue occurs apart from nudity.

    My thoughts on nudity: If you can do it without falling into temptation (as some can), then proceed... with caution.

    My thoughts on sex: When what's being portrayed is pure and lovely in the sense that God intended, in the context of the story, then I can't see how it could serve a useful purpose. Portrayals of sex show us flaws and conflicts with or relating to the characters, as the inherent distortion of viewing the act entails. I think there's a big difference in viewing simulated and real sex; in the one, you're just watching two naked people roll around, an activity that REPRESENTS sex. In the other, it's the real deal, something that we don't have a right to observe.

    I don't really have any more to say. Sorry.

    BTW: nardis, you mentioned a few days (years?) back you appreciated my post. Thanks. It's good to know when one's post is appreciated. :)

  11. Er... I'm back. Hi.

    Just one really off-topic response to something I picked up.

    I don't feel like I need to watch Saving Private Ryan to understand what traumatic horror the troops of WWII experienced.

    Yeah, it's easy to think that until you see the film.

    Anyway, back to sex and nudity.

    IM and Joel, you've got some good points. But I notice that you both are in the habit of saying that all men react to female nudity more or less the same way, at least on some level. BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE. I, for example, realized long ago that images just don't do it for me. I mean it. They're just not that tempting (incidentally, I have a far harder time with images of scantily-clad but not fully nude figures). Schindler's List was the first time I had ever seen nudity in a film, and as I said, temptation didn't really enter the equation. It made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable, as I have said, but that's quite a bit different.

    And I say that erotic writing can be just as tempting as erotic imagery (or I've found it to be, anyway; am I just aberrant?). So then we can't just set aside Song of Solomon (a beautiful celebration of love and sexuality as it was meant to be, but still an opportunity for temptation), or any explicit description of sexuality, even it is intended to be non-erotic.

    And I would argue that I am not part of a very small minority that is the exception to the general rule that all guys immediately experience serious temptation when confronted with female nudity. It would appear there are many posters on this board who can back me up.

    To be sure, nudity has been wrongly used many, many times in film, and is often gratuitous. But the same goes with virtually any component of a film, such as violence and language, or even sentimentality, stylism, etc. The fact that something has been WRONGLY used does not mean that it in itself is WRONG.

    I also tend to agree with SDG's views on the subject. The sexual act is private. When it is exhibited to third parties, it becomes distorted. Of course, I would argue that that is often the film's intent, to show us distorted sexuality. Thus, the simulation of an inherently distorted and disordered sex act can serve a good purpose.

    To be sure, if you have a problem with temptation in this regard, stay away from nudity. I would give similar advice to a recovering alchoholic, that is, to stay away from drinking in film. Same with drug addicts and portrayals of drug use, or former murderer etc. and extreme violence.

    But if you can concede there are men who can observe female nudity without experiencing temptation (sure it affects us; what in a film doesn't?), surely you can admit that nudity can serve a good purpose in film?

    As to your Scriptural arguments that nudity=shame, I tend to think these verses refer to nakedness rather than nudity per se; that is, the state of being unclothed and fully exposed symbolically representing our sins uncovered before God. And even if they didn't, are we then to say that all portrayals of shame in film are unnecessary?

    I realize you probably won't read this post, much less respond, but at least others can use it to further the discussion.

  12. I've never been able to quite find out what makes contemporary film look so different from older films. I mean, if you watch a film from the '60s and compare it with any film released today, you can see there's a significant difference in the picture; I can't really describe it; it's almost like films today look really "clean", whereas older films have a much more down-to-earth look and feel.

    What is it? Digital colour correction? Advances in lighting? Different shooting process? Someone help me out.

    I've put this in the "Filmmakers" section because I thought those involved in the art would be the most likely to know the answer.

  13. Say, Joel, have you seen The Mission? I mean, sure, there wasn't any full-frontal nudity in it, but still...

    Nudity CAN be portrayed in a non-erotically-stimulative (is that a real word?) way.

    I watched Schindler's List when I was 15. No joke. Never once did I find the nudity tempting. Never. I found it genuinely unsettling, to be sure, but then the whole movie was.

    The general exhortation in Scripture is to flee temptation, not flee nudity. If, for someone, nudity automatically triggers temptation, then they should probably stay away from nudity. But I don't have that problem, and certainly many other (male) viewers don't.

    And obviously, if (read: since) there CAN be portrayals of real nudity (something objective) apart from temptation (something subjective), then it can serve good purposes, as in Schindler's List.

    I certainly don't LIKE seeing nudity in films, but then again, I don't really like seeing people shot in the head in films. I think it's sometimes good for me to see things that I don't like seeing in films.

    I find it hard to believe that the male gaze is ever anything less than predatory. No matter how hard we try to fight our basic instincts they are seldom very far below the surface, bubbling away, reminding us of our fallen state. I can't help but think of that speech Billy Crystal gives in "When Harry Met Sally" about men wanting to "nail" any woman they find attractive. Perhaps things are less intense for the marrieds, but I rather think that Harry speaks for all of us.
    Er, I guess I've already denied all that.

    I also think that the cinema reflects this male gaze. It defines women by their bodies and presents sex as a commodity. Few actresses survive in the movie industry for long if they refuse to unbutton.

    No no no no no. Hasty generalization fallacy. And where did you get this info about actresses?

  14. You could do it in a Star Wars kind of way, just make the first two books prequels if the movie is successful.

    And only if Paul Giamatti plays Ransom.

    And if one could hire the effects crew from The Fountain.

    AUGH!!! NOOOOOO!!!

    Sorry. I just had a horrific vision of Hyoi as a Jar Jar-like character. :shudder:

    My thinking is that Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra simply wouldn't work well as films. The SFX could overwhelm the story in each case. That Hideous Strength, on the other hand, is much more... ah, what's the word? Visceral, perhaps? It seems to me that, if properly done, it would make the transition to film quite well.

    Whoops. Have I derailed a thread again? :D When I can change the title under my avatar, I'll make it "Thread Derailer".

  15. Ken is not banned, but he has stated his intention to discontinue posting here;

    Does all this have something to do with the in-post ad "scandal", or the voting on the Into Great Silence thread?

    *sigh* A&F without Ken. Only a few weeks (OK, more like a month) ago we were hailing him as King of A&F for his Rant film thread.

  16. I mean, think of someone trying to adapt the space trilogy to the silver screen. Especially Perelandra!

    True. But to me, the space trilogy seems like something really obvious to make into a film. Screwtape, not so much. It seems to me that sometimes those books that just seem unadaptable (is that a real word) make the best adaptations.

    It'll take me some time to think of specifics.

    BTW, I'm of the mind that only That Hideous Strength would be any good as a film. It could stand alone well; one doesn't really need to read the first two books to understand it, after all.

  17. The book doesn't exactly cry out for cinematic treatment, or even dramatic treatment.
    Which is exactly why it could be such a great film.

    No, no, it has to be a comedy. A dark, wicked comedy.

    Yes, but *sigh* it won't be. I predict another turn in his grave for C.S. Lewis...

    This is one of those films that I think would be nigh impossible to "get right" (though if one DID "get it right", it would be superb). And, well, with Walden Media in on the game, I think the chances of "getting it right" are pretty slim.

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