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Everything posted by NBooth

  1. Maybe this is the first movie in the Pilgrim's Progress Cinematic Universe.
  2. Well, this movie doesn't have the heart of the Raimi films, but it does have Michael Keaton giving his best-ever performance as a Birdman and Tom Holland being as charming and enthusiastic as in Civil War, so I'll call it even. My favorite part of the movie, actually, occurs toward the end and is a close facsimile of a scene in the first Spider-Man. Curiously, though, I couldn't help but notice how claustrophobic this movie feels compared to the Raimi flicks. Ironically, I think it's because this Spider-man is part of the MCU. As a result, where Raimi worked to anchor his movies in the texture of New York City and make them feel like they could be occurring in the real world, this movie is content with sticking Peter Parker into the plastic world of The Avengers. So, even though the action is bigger and the animation more lifelike, the movie feels generally closed-in. Similarly--and this is what I mean by "heart"--the characters don't seem to have the emotional vitality that Raimi gave them. Even when Peter should be upset, late in the movie, he seems merely a little piqued. Which, y'know, is very MCU. But it makes the movie poorer and less likely to stay in the memory. Still, though. It didn't make me mad (Civil War) or feel like it squandered its setup (Guardians 2), so it's generally a win. EDIT: Nothing in the movie is a patch on this, though:
  3. Wound up getting both of these plus Chimes at Midnight.
  4. This show is getting a second season and John Cho is coming aboard.
  5. IMDB link The write-up on this one sounds like something that would have gotten it on the ballot for the "Waking Up" list if it had come out earlier:
  6. I've been waiting for this. Looking to finally get Eraserhead to replace my current DVD. Other than that, I've been really wanting to check out some more Pasolini, so maybe I'll get really freaky and check out the Trilogy of Life boxset.
  7. The Nostalgia Critic made a preemptive non-review of this movie that at least one YouTuber has called "about 90% right." I'm sure anyone who bothered to watch more than one of these flicks could do the same thing, but still.
  8. I presume this is now titled Look & See. Nell Minow has a review.
  9. I don't find the wife too MPDG, but anyone who feels the need to offhandedly inform their spouse that they (the speaker) have a very distinct aesthetic is pretty intolerable. Liked the movie. Didn't love it. I actually don't think Paterson's relationship is healthy (none of the relationships in the movie are healthy, except with the dog, and that's gotten vexed by the end). The film is pretty down on marriage, all things considered, so it seems to me that Paterson's low-key dysfunctional relationship is par for the course. And it is dysfunctional; the wife isn't just someone who is enthusiastic about a lot of things. She's someone who can't seem to settle on any one thing (baking! No, inventing recipes! No, being a country music star!) without really being good at any of it. Paterson hardly seems to enjoy being with her--he eats lunch and then stays out late at his favorite bar (the only place, note, where he really seems to manage more than a wry smile). This movie is a lot of things, but a celebration of marriage it isn't. I did love the look of the movie. It's beautiful, and some of the poetry sequences are put together so nicely that I was almost able to ignore the poetry itself, which is middling at best. I could watch Adam Driver walk around empathizing with people all day, and some of the best sequences are precisely that: him just staring and listening to the people around him. Those are also the moments where the movie comes closest to replicating the power of the Williams poem. Williams may be most associated with stuff like "This is Just to Say" and "The Red Wheelbarrow," but PATERSON--the epic poem--is another thing entirely: a collection of observations and stories and clippings (including, iirc, a letter from Alan Ginsberg) that attempts to take in the scope of Paterson, NJ's history (it's intended as a rebuke to poets like Eliot, who fled away from America and tried to build an American poetry out of the scraps of European culture). PATERSON--the poem--includes violent murders and dry history right alongside any sort of Red Wheelbarrowism, and the scenes where Paterson, the character, listens to people offhandedly discussing anarchists actually does replicate a bit of what Williams seems to be getting at. I'm curious about the choice of a Japanese poet at the end; in PATERSON (the poem) there's actually a reference to Li Bai, the Chinese poet who drowned in a lake attempting to embrace the moon (legendarily; it makes a little more sense when you remember that Li Bai is one of the great Chinese poets of solitary drinking. Li Bai is, of course, the Rihaku of Pound's Cathay--a Chinese poet with a Japanese name, coming to Pound through the mediation of Ernest Fenollosa and various Japanese scholars). So the influence of Eastern poetry on Modernism would be something that could play intertextually here, but I'm not exactly sure how. Also interested in the idea of the movie as a contemplation of process. It's very mechanically structured so that the days of the week follow a particular pattern, only occasionally broken by flashes of mild excitement. Bus routes are themselves repetitive. The wife decorates in black and white circles. And the movie ends with Paterson beginning again at the work he has been doing all week. Lives of quite desperation, indeed, but also the idea that the thing itself is a thing worth doing, no matter if it ends up coming to nothing (the wife's endless hobbies, and the fact that she's never good at them or finished decorating her house, might play in there as well). There's something to be said there.
  10. NBooth

    The Handmaiden

    Colin's [excellent] review, linked above, covers some of this: (I'm adopting the term "highbrow trash" into my critical lexicon, btw) This comparison of entwined bodies and entwined plots gets at something like what I mentioned above. There's also this--the erotic must be separated from the sexual; the former deals in suggestiveness while the latter deals in mechanics. The way the plot unfolds in The Handmaiden relies on suggestion and deferral--plot points are introduced and then come back with the minimum of emphasis, so that the realization of their importance evokes a sudden, unexpected, and intense pleasure. The obvious point of contrast here is the pornographic library owned by the uncle; there is nothing erotic about it, there is even a revolt against eroticism. Witness: soon after the nature of the library is revealed, the uncle auctions off a book whose sole "flaw" is a missing woodcut. In order to sell the book, he is obliged to stage the missing piece--to make explicit what has become unreadable. Or, more properly, to make the mechanics explicit (it's staged with a mechanical dummy, for that matter!). The way Park handles the sex is different in its emphasis on what isn't said--both in that there exists a gap between each person's knowledge of the other and because that precise gap constitutes the soul of the erotic. There's an excess of desire that goes beyond the mechanics we see on screen, just as there's an excess of significance that goes beyond the plot-points contained in the narrative. That excess is seen both in that we go over the same plot twice, from different viewpoints, and in that the same sex scene is played out twice, from almost entirely new angles and with different subjectivities. Neither telling/showing can contain this excess, and so the movie duplicates itself. Contrast, again, to the uncle's pornographic library, where duplication is unnecessary because all that needs to be said is said.
  11. NBooth

    The Handmaiden

    There's something to be said i/r/t this movie about the erotics of plot, but I'm not quite sure what, yet. But I think the plotting here *is* erotic in a way that the plot in, say, a Nolan film isn't.
  12. NBooth

    The Handmaiden

    "Cold and blue and strangely beautiful." This is my...second Park movie, after Thirst. And somehow I didn't notice or forgot how wicked his sense of humor is. Like, not just rapidly-alternating darkness and light; the darkness is shot through with a very perverse laughter, and I laughed in a way similar to the way I responded to Gone Girl. This is a much better movie than Gone Girl, mind, but it's got a similar sort of wink to it. And part of that wink, in both cases, is related to the sheer joy of telling a story that actually is willing to go there--and I don't mean the sex scenes. The construction here is really lovely, too--the way story elements play off of each other or crop up in unexpected ways. I've got to think on it some more, but there's a definite thumbs-up from me.
  13. NBooth

    Baby Driver (2017)

    I really dig this movie. The opening sequence, featuring the titular Baby grooving to music in the middle of an action sequence, wipes the floor with the Groot scene in GotG2. Even better is the similarly musical coffee run that comes next. All of the actors do well (Hamm really should be a bigger star) but Elgort is particularly charming in an unexpectedly physical performance. So, yeah. It's good.
  14. Now streaming on Netflix US. Meanwhile, here's an interview with David Poland:
  15. I really like the Fincher movie, but didnt care for the original and never saw the rest of the trilogy.
  16. Quick thought: how much stuff do we see in this episode from various versions of the Biblical Apocalypse? The demonfrog is an obvious one, and it seems that there's some footage of locusts in the bomb sequence. What happens to Dark Dale after the NIN performance *could* bear resemblance to some versions of antichrist. Is there more? Are Lynch and Frost drawing on Revelation in this episode, and what does that do to our reading of the series?
  17. One of the things Frost attempts to do in The Secret History of Twin Peaks is tie the town into larger historical trends going all the way back to Lewis and Clark. Which is interesting to me for reasons related to my research: insofar as the small town functions as a model of America, the attempt to tie it outward to world-historical events helps to underline the ways in which America is itself implicated in that history. More to the point: the prosperity and idyllic nature of the mythological 1950s small town occurs in the shadow of Hiroshima (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stages its best sequence in this same recognition). Since Lynch's small towns are typically time-displaced 1950s small towns, it makes sense that he would see them an inextricably linked to the Bomb. Actually, it occurs to me that in this way Lynch and Frost are subtly different from their obvious spiritual kin (Kings Row, Peyton Place, etc) in that their insistence that the idyllic facade hides rot and corruption isn't just about repression (as in Kings Row) or sexual, racial, and social inequality (as in Peyton Place); it's about the very fabric of post-War America itself. Post-war prosperity is founded on the murder of innocents and that murder continues to be replicated as a constant return to the original sacrifice (garmonbozia is the food of the Lodge-dwellers: pain and sorrow). Laura herself comes to function as a sacrificial victim (the latest of many). This makes for a more interesting critique of the idealized '50s than we normally get, since what Lynch is saying is not that the '50s were too controlling or repressive, and therefore that their purportedly idyllic world was an oppressive perfection (see Pleasantville) but that they were never perfect because they always were watered by the blood of the innocent.
  18. "Michael Nyqvist, Swedish actor who starred in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ dies at 56"
  19. I actually feel a little sorry for people who haven't seen this season. Btw, I listen to several podcasts about this show and "Diane" is by far the best.
  20. This is Lynch's magnum opus. I started grinning about fifteen minutes into tonight's episode and didn't stop until the end. Just...beautiful and odd and offputting and wonderful. Thank God for Lynch and Frost and thank God for Showtime.
  21. NBooth

    World War Z sequel

    Confirmed. Copy/paste what I said above, but maybe change the typo.
  22. I don't have a clear idea of Howard's style, either. Based on Willow, I think he could do a pretty good Han Solo movie--if he was in on it from the ground floor. With three weeks left in filming, I have no idea how Howard could even attempt to put a distinctive stamp on the movie.
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