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Nick Alexander

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  1. Besides the premise? I've watched a half-dozen episodes of the first season, and they were very funny, and they had great heart. But ultimately I concurred that, like your disenchantment with the Disney film "Frozen", there were no positive male archetypes on the show. I get that life is complicated, and that most families, no matter their makeup, strive to be as loving and nurturing as they can be. That's not enough for me to make it a go-to series. And from a comedy perspective, I saw the strings. I saw the story set-ups and knew where the jokes were going. It became predictable.
  2. While there were no Genesis Planet toys, there were generic Star Trek toys, whose brand stayed alive because of the superior quality of ST2, of which the Genesis planet sequence played a unique role. And it is a stretch, but that's the Peter Guber in me talking about how it's all about business.
  3. >I don't know if I'd go *that* far (i.e. "from the very beginning") Two of John Lasseter's earliest jobs were for movies that were tied in with a brand (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), or a brand within a brand (Young Sherlock Holmes, for Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment). Not to mention the influence of Steve Jobs, branding wizard.
  4. I happen to disagree; Pixar, from the very beginning, has been driven by the dual prongs of both story AND merchandising. My son's Buzz and Woody dolls are testament to this. The only Pixar whose merchandising was greatly underwhelming, was Ratatouille. Just as Disney has had merchandising flops over the years (Hunchback, anyone?). Certainly, for Pixar, they will (at least mostly) work a film and work over it slavishly in pre-production until the story is solid. But I will contend there is a toy manufacturer representative who is in the loop. (Oh, and Cars 3 is in the production pipeline).
  5. Not sure if I can get behind Downton Abbey as family fare; even outside its pilot episode's subplot that deals with mature themes, the whole series would put teenagers to sleep. Neither for Big Bang Theory or Modern Family, although I enjoy the former very much. I believe that network television has given up on shows for the whole family. They have entire channels for children, then tweens, then teens, then adults.
  6. Jeffrey, Not to needle you, but I fear you have a contradiction in your review of Inside Out. Perhaps you can provide some clarity. Taking the emotion sadness, you mention your disdain over franchises and merchandizing of movies today. You infer that films like Inside Out are the anecdote. And yet, Inside Out already has their merchandizing units all lined up. The six central mental characters (including BB) are already making themselves available in stuffed-doll form, or children's picture books, or Subway-sandwich bags. As to whether this will have a sequel or not, (it is likely), please note that you also directly call for a sequel to Inside Out. Thereby defining a franchise. So... how can one have disdain for franchises and merchandizing of movies and yet allow for IO's merchandizing and franchises?
  7. The only current shows that I watch and enjoy are Shark Tank and The Profit. I find both shows extremely valuable, from a business-mindset perspective, but they need to be tempered with a reminder that the love of money is the root of all evil. And there are tense scenes with bleeped-out cuss-words in the latter show. ETA: come to think of it, the closest you can get to family programming are the Netflix-bingeworthy "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood", but even these have their moments.
  8. The movie's long running-time and tepid response all but distinguished my interest in seeing this movie. But it was Father's Day weekend, and this was the highest rated on imDB film dealing with fatherhood that I hadn't seen yet. So my wife and I rented it and watched it over three nights (we're early-risers; we can't do epic-length movies like we used to). And we have a collective "Quesque c'est... wha?" over the results. Have beautiful scenes ever been screened so sterile? Has plot mechanisms ever been so confusing? Have a reliance in emotions ever been doused with midi-chloridians? Some good scenes, but if you're gonna spend the entire net-worth of a third-world country to craft entertainment, it should be a thousand times more rousing than this.
  9. My boy had to go visit the restroom and I missed two minutes of the movie, which included this moment. Should I get my money back?
  10. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced this screenplay to be engineered to all but guarantee genuine catharsis. By treating "sadness" as a real character, one whom the audience sees being ostracized over the course of the film, it becomes rewarding when sadness proves to be the right emotion to handle certain affairs--you secretly root for her to prove her worth. And yet, in the process of her actually proving her worth, you accept sadness, even tears, as the most comforting, correct, natural response.
  11. Took the twins for their eighth birthday party this morning. Mom and Dad, we loved it. It was extremely well-thought out, lots of surprises, jokes that resonate... and was an emotional rollercoaster. I teared up twice in the middle of the film, fighting hard to keep it all in. Then during the last montage I burst out bawling in laughter. A great set of jokes, this. Matthew and Holly... they liked it. It was a confusing plot for them, and, contrary to what all of anybody has been saying, they found a lot more of it scary. Forget about that clown. Every time a they were quite unnerved, unsure how to process it. We will buy the Blu-Ray, and we have encouraged the kids that this was a film that we will definitely re-visit, during specific milestones in their lives, maybe when that "pooberty" light goes on. After all, after they turn twelve, ETA: I am openly wondering if they animated at least one sequence similar to the rotoscoping (i.e. Bakshi, Zemeckis). This one scene with a number of
  12. Thanks PTC. Got it. Innocent question that happens to be a double-entendre. Three's Company humor. The writers must've fought for that line, and then fought for its inclusion in the trailer.
  13. Okay, I read the wiki entry. ThankyouIthink. But being that what it may, considering who says the line, does it make sense that it is said at all? Would the girl's emotions be familiar with that term? Considering that , would this girl understand such double-meanings of culture-induced terms? I've not even seen it yet, and the rating has dropped a half-star. Speaking of children in multi-cultural environments... I was once both a resident of both San Francisco AND lower Manhattan in my formative years. Once worked in Chelsea, next door to a bar with a rainbow flag above it. And my best friend from jr high had since come out after then. Surely I can't be the only child with no interest in this subculture...
  14. >I believe the exchange features one person asking, "Are there any bears in San Francisco?" and the other person saying, "I saw a really hairy guy, he looked like a bear." It's the "San Francisco" bit that makes the joke. This exchange is in the trailers. But that said, my gaydar has always been terminally cloudy. I can't say I get the joke. ETA: I've not seen it yet; tickets already purchased for my twins' birthday party this Saturday. And: I'm not sure if I want to get the joke.
  15. I just got my copy of the Raiders Adaptation. I've not seen any of it yet, got it based off of what I've read. I plan to watch it soon. My kids are currently of the age where they are, in my opinion, a few years below the age of watching the original Raiders. I think they're one year away from watching specific episodes of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (currently on Netflix). I can only wonder how screwed up they will be if THIS would be their entry into watching the Raiders film, and not the 1981 film. Should I tempt fate? (Said by one who didn't initially like _Singin' In the Rain_ coz I saw the Broadway musical first).
  16. I saw Calvary last night, and of all the troubling aspects of the film, this was the biggest head-scratcher. And I'm surprised it took four pages and however-many-months to get to the meat of this question. So I'm grateful that you tackled it, Steve. Reasonable. Personally, I'm still figuring this movie out. By being anecdotal, it was concerned with different stories, different scenes with varied character-archetypes. There was the general thrust of the narrative, but you could be very easily lost within its intricacies. Back to what JO wrote a few pages back: I almost don't think this is entirely fair. Hear me out. Suppose a priest reads the paper and comes across another story of a fallen priest, being accused of some heinous crime. Suppose this priest is not familiar with this priest in general, nor the victim, nor any of the congregants. The only person he knows is the bishop, the same boss as this other priest was. How is he to respond? Realistically? So he didn't tear up, like he did with his canine pet. But he knew his dog, he doesn't know this priest. Perhaps if he did know his priest, or knew the victim, he would cry, even gush oceans of tears. Whether an individual person cries or is stoic in regards to a series of events that are not in his community, not in his parish, what actions could this priest do? Can he testify in court? No. Can he take donations and give to the victims? Perhaps. But there are hundreds of thousands of needy organizations that are in dire need of funds. Maybe his heart is towards the malnourished in Central Africa, for example. Would not diverting funds to the victims be taking away from those who are hungry? Could he have prevented this from happening? I can't see how. You can't prevent something from happening if you don't know if it's happening to begin with. Can he go to the bishop and start a movement to put safeguards into place that prevent this from happening in the future? As a Catholic who has twice undergone the current VIRTUS training required for lay ministers, I can only hope that they have similar precautions in place in Ireland. But it's also very old news to me. Who's to say that he hasn't asked his parishioners to undergo similar training? ETA: Suppose, for the sake of argument, that this good priest actually did do some positive things, all affecting different parishes and communities, all affecting positive changes at the hierarchical level. These positive steps could still remain unknown to the killer/victim. Wouldn't the end result be the same? Frankly, this is all rather facile. Hey, I don't live in Ferguson, or Baltimore, don't know any cops, but apparently I am now racist because I'm a white male. Apparently I am racist because I, somehow, allowed Michael Brown to get shot. And to that I say, Baloney. I am not responsible for the actions, personally or societally, of the heinous/tragic mistreatments that were caused by a very few, in areas far away from me. There's simply a point where you can only look at these newspaper tragedies and realize that, whether you look at these stories impersonally with sadness, or cry out the Mississippi river, these tragedies happen and will continue to happen outside of who you are or what you have done. Added Postscript: If I am wrong, then please answer the question, what would you suppose the priest could have done in that situtation? And if you answer "pray," I would say, "who's to say that the priest didn't do just that?"
  17. I think the first movie I saw him in (not that I have any memory of it) was Escape From Witch Mountain. But the first movie I saw him in, which stuck, was Spielberg's 1941.
  18. [RAGE]: WHAT?!? THIS ISN'T TRUE TO SCIENTIFIC FACTS!? [sADNESS]: I feel for this Missing Surprise Character. [FEAR]: What if the movie isn't that good?!? [JOY]: Hey guys! Think of the positive reviews from Cannes! [DISGUST]: Cannes? Didn't they promote weird movies? Yuck.
  19. Q for Pete Doctor: Does "Surprise" make its way into the film? I've heard there were six general emotions, and the movie listed five. Is that revelation a .. surprise? (Of course, you can probably answer that). My kids are going to see this on their birthday. They cannot wait. Hearing the buzz from Cannes, I can't wait either.
  20. Secondly, why also did Fletcher... Other than those two issues, I liked the film quite a bit. 1) 2) 1) 2) I heard it said When the river is running high You get to higher ground Or you die. - Amy Grant
  21. Saw it last night. I mostly liked it, but two things irked me. It is established that Fletcher is interested in excellence at all costs, especially when it comes to public performance, or when it comes to these competitions. Over and again he reminds his students that he does not want to blow a competition and will do whatever it takes to have excellence. We can also agree that his approach to pursuing such, is beyond abusive. With that established, why did Fletcher ... Secondly, why also did Fletcher... Other than those two issues, I liked the film quite a bit.
  22. Definite maybe. The Rock is the surest bet one can have for a movie star nowadays, and he has a genial self-effacing quality that lets us in on the joke. Plus, it can reintroduce wire-fu (dated now, but not introduced then) to the masses. Isn't the time difference between the orig and the release date for this one... the same for the difference between the orig and Carpenter's 1982 remake of the "don't remake that! It will be a disaster!" The Thing?
  23. Nick Alexander

    Tootsie

    My wife and I rewatched this on Sunday, for our anniversary. The Vanity Fair cover of some famous person came a few days later. All coincidence. The story has been rummaging through my brain, and I think I came across a discovery of the film that has eluded most reviewers, insistent on getting to the plot. But the screenplay is airtight, and it is entirely thought-provoking in the manner of looking at it in a new light. Here's my thesis, feel free to tell me that I'm off my rocker: ~~ Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of the id, the ego, and the superego. The id always wants to feed itself; the ego looks at this in light of reality, and the superego superimposes upon both in light of morality. There are only two others who know of Michael Dorsey/Dustin Hoffman's secret, his agent (Sydney Pollock) and his roommate (Bill Murray). All three are variations of this theme. Dustin Hoffman represents the id. He wants to achieve greatness in his acting. He wants this, even if there are times where he feels he cannot compromise with a theater director. He knows he has something to say, and he wants to say it to the world. Sydney Pollock represents the ego. The harsh reality. "No one will hire you." "Nobody wants to pay twenty dollars to watch people living next to chemical waste! They can see that in New Jersey." "I'm begging you, get some therapy." Bill Murray [!] represents (perhaps the only time in his illustrious career) the superego, the voice of morality: "I'm afraid we're getting into a weird area here." "I'm afraid you're going to burn in hell for this." "You slut." He is the one who is writing the aforementioned play, with a desire to tell a story that he is passionate about. ~~ There are three other important male cast members, who aren't aware of Michael Dorsey's deception (and discover the ruse at the same time), they represent different aspects of Michael Dorsey that he desires to shun away from. Dabney Coleman plays a cad who mistreats castmember Julie (Jessica Lange), that Dorsey is attracted to. He represents the worst of men in terms of how they mistreat women; but the tables are turned on Michael Dorsey when Coleman repeats, nearly line-for-line, his reasoning for doing so, and it's exactly the same line of thought that Dorsey explained to Bill Murray earlier. George Gaynes plays a "has-been" actor who has played on the soap opera for twenty years, ("were you ever famous?" "No." "Then how can you have been a has-been?"). He represents Michael Dorsey, supposing he never achieves his goal for greatness, at the end of his life. Gaynes is an actor who is attracted to Dorothy Michaels, representing someone who is still unattainable. Charles During plays the father of Julie, a simple man who has no priority over reaching greatness; he had been content with his simple life, but when his wife passed away, he had felt an increasing loneliness. He sees in Dorothy Michaels a chance to respark a new romantic adventure in his later years. ~~ After this, we have three important female roles, and Geena Davis. Julie (Jessica Lange): she represents an equal to Michael Dorsey, a successful actress in her own right, on the soap. Plus, she represents motherhood, and she is single. She learns from Dorothy Michaels how to stand up for herself against cads (like Dabney Coleman). Sandy (Terri Garr): she represents an understudy to Michael Dorsey, an actress who hasn't quite found success yet. She is not right for Michael, because the relationship isn't of equals; he has no feelings for her, but finds himself in a relationship with her due to farcical elements. But when they break up, she shows a strength that demonstrates her own commitment to the craft, despite personal hurts. Rita (Doris Belack): she represents the authority to Dorothy Michaels, the producer on the soap, the one who sees in "her" a voice that could mirror her own. She's the one who gives "D.M." "her" big break, and she allows "her" to continue working, despite the continued breaking from dialogue. As for Geena Davis, she represents the female anatomy; this is the one area that "Dorothy Michaels" is simply unable to mimic. In two brief, but effective scenes, she demonstrates the difference of physicality between the two. ~~ With the cast in place, the story goes beyond one in which (as Sydney Pollock reminded) "a man becomes a better man by experiencing life as a woman." As I see it, it represents an individual's desire for greatness, from shutting the world out to learning to discover that greatness in light of others, with a laser-focus on relating to the opposite gender. How'd I do?
  24. Resurrecting this thread, since Joseph Campbell got its own chapter in the book I'm currently reading about Star Wars. Lucas read Campbell before he began his drafts on the 1977 film (this was in 1973-74), but he didn't meet his idol until after completing Return of the Jedi. Campbell had not seen any of the movies when they met. Lucas and him hit it off, ultimately inviting him up to the newly completed Skywalker Ranch. It was there that, supposedly, the very first movie marathon occurred, as Campbell desired to see all three movies in one day. If I'm not mistaken, the Bill Moyers documentary "Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth" was filmed there. 40 hours of footage were taken, edited down to 6. The special DVD release has an interview with Lucas too. For some reason I always confused Joseph Campbell with Joseph Conrad. Being that Lucas was somewhat associated with the making of _Apocolypse Now_, it's easy to see why.
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