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Everything posted by Russ

  1. Yeah, it's really great. So, screening was probably half-full. Nice turnout, particularly on a cold night. But the couple who sat in front of me left halfway or so through the death metal scene, which seemed to me like a really illogical and senseless thing to do. You've already sat through a lot of wordless long takes, and you know the film's run time and when it would be over (Yeah, guy, I couldn't help but notice you dramatically checking your Indiglo watch.) And then the guy, when leaving, did a little dance move to the metal to make sure we all knew how cool he was.
  2. I'm going to read through the entirety of the existing board game threads here, but wanted to post a separate thread to try to get a specific recommendation or two or three for games I can give my daughter Virginia for Christmas. She's 11 and likes fantasy/sci-fi type things, like Dr. Who, Minecraft, The Hunger Games, superheroes, LOTR, mythology, etc. We've bought Catan and Ticket to Ride and enjoy those, but I tend to think of those as primarily strategy games, and I'd like to get something primarily creative that I can play with her. I'd love to find a RPG, or something that's like an RPG. If there's something out there that's better, though, I could go for that, too. It might well just be her and I playing it for a while, so it has to work reasonably well with just two people. She'll probably get her friend interested, so ideally it could also be played by two 11 year-olds without adult involvement. Dice are cool, but not essential. Any ideas?
  3. I thought I remembered the same thing, but then I figured it couldn't have been her because the sequence would be totally wrong, then. Still seems like such an easily fixable gaffe.
  4. Thanks, guys. Darren, I had pretty much exactly the same thought about RED ARMY, namely, that it won't lose anything when I click on it on Netflix in six months. What it has going for it is that it's the front-end feature before A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS. And there's something about the mere description of THE TRIBE that makes me nauseous.
  5. Don't suppose you caught either THE TRIBE or RED ARMY? I have a chance to see both or either in the next few days, and my non-enthusiasm for them has been checked a little by these awards, though I'd like a little of that personal human recommendation magic.
  6. To be frank, without recalling or perhaps ever knowing the particulars that motivated it, you make your decision to stop going to church sound an awful lot like Piper's rejection of Ames and Robinson's novels. Both seem like rash and somewhat immature responses to a personal grievance with the end result of leaving a fellowship that is imperfect and yet breathed upon by God. I can't pretend to understand what your church experience was like, but if you think the majority of us who go to church-- who feel that it is a place where the Divine is encountered-- are just "parsing verses," then I think you missed the point big-time, Piper-style.
  7. Ken's acquired some flouro green hair spikes and bodymod jewelry in the past twelve months, so you might not have recognized him.
  8. Thanks for your responses, Steve. I didn't mean to imply that the "seen it before" reaction was faint praise-- BH6 struck me sort of the way that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY did, in that both films feel familiar in lots of ways, but the quality of the characters and the depth of the storytelling in BH6 remind me that the difference between shopworn cliche and inventive genre takes is in the execution, more than anything. I just continue to be bugged (maybe in a way that doesn't flatter me) by the laziness of that scene at the Nerd School. One of the other things that's great about that sibling relationship, which I loved as much as you did, is the ways in which it illustrates the different types of intelligence. Hiro's a savant, but because genius comes fairly easily to him, he has to fight giving up too easily or giving in to ethical corner-cutting. Tadashi's also ridiculously talented, but it's a dogged, earned-everything-he's-achieved intelligence, as we see in that montage of Baymax trials and errors. I love how the whole movie is obviously an ode to intelligence and the freedom that intelligence, cultivated well and used wisely, can bring about, The Nerd School is pretty much Professor X's school, but the mutants are kids who work hard with creativity and intelligence. I had no idea it would become a superhero movie halfway through (I hadn't seen any of the ads) and when it did, I didn't mind much because I'd grown to like the characters and what they represented. I also dug the multi-ethnic composition, and probably because it hit sorta close to home. I took Virginia and the two friends from whom she's presently inseparable. She sees them both every day, even though redistricting put them in separate schools this year. The girl who's at a different school sees Gin every day over skype, where they plan their Minecraft strategies while playing together and live-commenting on ONCE UPON A TIME episodes Sunday nights. For all the supposed "triumph of geek culture," it's not like popular kid friends are plentiful when you're an eleven year-old girl and that's the stuff you like, and like feverishly. So, the message of finding your Nerd School probably spoke in dulcet tones to Gin and her friends. Aside: it's almost funny that the boys' parents are dead, or gone without explanation. It's funny because that's the true cliche, right? When I heard that detail, it almost makes me laugh out loud-- I hear in my head Will Arnett as Batman (DARKNESS. NO PARENTS.) There's really no reason for the boys not to have parents in this movie, apart from the fact that the superhero trope seemingly demands it. Well, I guess there is one reason: to deprive Hiro of present parents plays up the fantastic supportive environment Hiro's friends at nerd school offer him to try to work through his grief. The time the movie spends on encouraging Hiro to seek out sympathetic ears is substantial, unusual (for a movie of this type) and pretty awesome, particularly as we see the deleterious effects of him not taking the counsel of his friends. I actually think the motivations of the villain and the real-life impact of his "goal" are what set this apart from lots of other mostly-great kids' films. As much as I like WALL-E and UP, I'm bored halfway through both because the motivations of the villain are so simple and the necessary plot machinations are so rote. Here, while the final plot points are fairly easy to predict, I'm still engaged in the characters because the villain is just Hiro a few steps further down the route he aborted. Hiro's choice isn't really between academia or industry, but between the example of his brother or the professor. And while we all love a good revenge movie, far better to see what sort of monsters revenge makes us, and how it spoils everything. So in the end, the Hey, kids, that's why "But she started it!" doesn't cut it.
  9. Took my 11 year-old, Virginia, and her two close friends to see this on Saturday. Loved it, even while knowing there's not much of it I haven't seen elsewhere. Anyway, did I miss something as far as the narrative sequence goes, or was there something a little sloppy in the arrangement:
  10. Russ

    John Wick

    Funny Games (EURO) and Funny Games (US) The Thing is pretty distinctive in that it dies, transforms and assumes the head-form of Richard Dysart Cujo, obv.
  11. Russ

    John Wick

    CUT TO: Fandango application opened on electronic device. "Purchase tickets" box illuminated. *CLICK* Note: this wasn't funny enough for one thread. It's really not funny enough to be in two threads.
  12. Russ

    J-J-J-J-John Wick

    Ah. Sorry about that. Mods, feel free to (1) close this thread and (2) punch me in the junk.
  13. Russ

    J-J-J-J-John Wick

    CUT TO: Fandango application opened on electronic device. "Purchase tickets" box illuminated. *CLICK*
  14. Rented this movie this weekend (you just try finding a new redboxable movie you can watch with 17, 15 and 11 year-old girls!) and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't stay awake for the entire thing-- which isn't uncommon-- but I kept being woken up by Virginia laughing raucously, so that's a recommendation of sorts.
  15. Russ

    Things kids say

    There's a picture of a raccoon in a book I'm reading Daisy. --Daisy, have you ever seen a raccoon? --No. --Why not? --Because they're nocturnal. --What does that mean? --It means they only come out at night. And if you see one during the day then they have rabies.
  16. During the end of 1985 and the beginning of 1986 I usually wished that I looked like Ivan Drago. And on the days when I didn't wish I looked like Ivan Drago, I wished that I looked like Apollo Creed.
  17. Russ

    Left Behind (2014)

    TRISTAN! More importantly, let's figure out who among us is most adept at supercutting, and when this movie is available in a digital format-- pirated or legit-- let's all get together somewhere for a weekend hangout and cut together a really great Nic Cage film, focusing mainly on this, the bad remake of THE WICKER MAN and BAD LOOEY: PORT OF N.O.
  18. Anybody see this yet? After the fun of THE CONJURING, I'm pretty excited to see this with my two oldest, and would love to hear any critical reactions. EDITED TO ADD: Ah, I see this isn't directed by Wan, but only produced by him. I like Wan's genre aesthetic, so even though he's still got the perfunctory producer credit, this news makes me even more interested in hearing whether ANNABELLE is of the same species as INSIDIOUS and THE CONJURING.
  19. Russ

    Mulholland Drive

    I need to make sure I get across the state before January to see that exhibit. I know that Lynch was a student at PAFA and that his view of the 70s-era Philadelphia landscape contributed to ERASERHEAD's bleakness. Wonder whether that has been talked about at all in this homecoming of sorts.
  20. My DVR stopped recording right after young Louie blurted out to his science teacher that he stole the scales. What happened afterward?
  21. Russ


    Just ironically texted the streaming news to my oldest daughter Leah. Last June we had a night out and grabbed dinner and caught two movies I'd chosen for us-- LEVIATHAN and THE BLING RING. You know how each of us has a narrative to our own cinephilia and can identify the right movies we saw at the right time to get us to this point? Well, LEVIATHAN was the wrong movie for her at the wrong time. It was pure hubris on my part, I know now (and should have considered then). It's not entry-level cinema by any definition. She fell asleep somewhere in the first half and that was the best of all outcomes for both of us. It's sort of a running joke now.
  22. Anybody still watching this? Even without seeing the last piece, I feel confident in asserting that if The Elevator was a feature film comprised of all the episodes run together without another edit, it'd be both a very successful work of art and critically lauded in much the same way we laud the films Baumbach, Dunham and Woody Allen (70s and 80s output) make. Sure, the impact of these episodes is deepened by the character backstory that comes from familiarity with the other episodes, but it could work as a first exposure, too, to a guy trying to deal with the wreckage he's made of his life, trying desperately to help his kids through their own issues while holding out some undefined hope for companionship. I would hazard to guess that the frequent discourses on the unique ways in which men are sexually f'd-up created a significant gender gap in the show's viewership. They did in my house, for sure. Ali and I have been watching this run together, though. And what's so ironic is that, echoing the earlier episode "So Did the Fat Lady," Louie's semblance of an early-stage, relationship with an expiration date and no actual verbal communication is sorta working, and maybe so because, in part, the other moving parts have put off the sexual complications that always arise. But then Louie's basically browbeaten into making a move! Misery ensues.
  23. Super-jazzed to see this. At the same time, it remind me that there's still no way to see THE BANISHMENT, right?
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