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Everything posted by Russ

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. My DVR stopped recording right after young Louie blurted out to his science teacher that he stole the scales. What happened afterward?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Super-jazzed to see this. At the same time, it remind me that there's still no way to see THE BANISHMENT, right?
  9. Cool, Stef. Totally without knowing, I checked Howard's film out of the library the same day you posted the above. I was watching GRAVITY with my daughter Virginia, and she said, "Boy, that cured me of ever wanting to be an astronaut." I told her I had no idea she wanted to be an astronaut, and she told me every kid wants to be an astronaut. We talked a little about the space shuttle program's problems and the disasters, and I realized I don't know much at all about the space program to talk with her. Thought I'd revisit Howard's film myself, and with her this time for a look at a real near-miss. Looks like I'll check out that documentary you mentioned, too. Thanks for the recommendation.
  10. I'm in total agreement. I was imagining all of the sorts of imaginative things they could have done with a computer-consciousness army. Maybe some sort of Zola-Modok hybrid or something. But the screenwriters weren't interested in the film going that way. They just wanted to get back to the bulletfire. Incidentally, I wasn't going to reply to this topic further, but my wife wanted me to add more thoughts.
  11. Yeah, the tombstone reads "The path of the righteous man..." Steven, she's always been a fan of classical mythology, and we spent lots of time reading the D'Aulere (sp?) Greek and Norse books, so the Thor-world was tailor-made to her sweet spot, and she overlooks a lot of the clunkiness of those movies. She likes what Hiddleston does with Loki, and I'm with her. Plus, Eccleston's presence meant the film would be graded on the curve, much in the same way that I imagine Karen Gillan being in Guardians of the Galaxy means I'll be seeing that, too. It doesn't matter if they're unrecognizable, I think she assumed Fury was really dead, especially since you see him lying there without any vitals. Me, I was hoping.
  12. I also like how Evans plays the character--they get some nice usage out of the recurring gags of Rogers catching up with all that he's missed--but I didn't like the film much. I took my ten year-old, Virginia, who loves the Marvel movies pretty unreservedly, and she got pretty exasperated when it was revealed that the film coulda been subtitled NICK FURY'S NOT DEAD HE'S SURELY ALIVE. Unlike THOR: THE DARK WORLD, she didn't tell me in the lobby afterward that she wanted to get the DVD upon its release (thankfully, she backed off that one, too). The Fury tombstone in-gag was simultaneously cute and awful. I can't decide which.
  13. You've encouraged me to pull out my DVD copy and see if I react to it now the same way I did a couple of years ago. As to your analogy, are those the only two options? I know there are others. I've driven my car with smeared birdwaste on the windshield at eye-level, and quitting driving isn't an option. And I still mind it. I'm gonna keep driving, keep noticing it and keep hoping for cleansing. I don't think the film invites us to capitulate to the ugliness that we can push out and into our spouse and kids. That was part of the appeal, to be honest. Something about those Wes Anderson films-- the overmanicured mise-en-scene, the ironic dialogue, Jason Schwartzman-- makes the emotional beats of his films stand out a bit too much sometimes, like the way the suicide attempt in Tenenbaums seems so abruptly serious in a misplaced way that it has to be set to montage.
  14. No and no. We watch the show with our teen daughters, and we all agree that this season has been even more rudderless and frustrating than the previous seasons, which were not high points in television drama their own selves.
  15. Wait-- DEADWOOD? Terrible in that? JUSTIFIED is sort of a comfort show for me, I guess. I like the weird Dixie Mafia subculture the show created from Leonard's novels, and the show's writers and runner get Leonard's tone and black humor so thoroughly that it's entertaining solely as an exercise in adaptation, but the show's not really adding up to anything that transcends superior pulp.
  16. This is the Hollywood franchise that excites me most at present. Sure, so much of the basic plot points are simple dystopia beats that have been covered elsewhere lots of times, but Catniss's compulsion to act ethically in an unethical and stacked-deck wasteland makes for compelling viewing. The new movie is pretty great.
  17. Russ


    I am going to need a few days to get out from under a few things, but I will be back to add more to my tweet. And I do think the film comes down solidly on the side of Coogan/unbelief, and I am as sensitive and attentive as they come, if I do say so myself. "F$%@ sides, man. What we need is solidarity!"
  18. Ali and I are rewatching the UP films, this time with my oldest daughter Leah and her nine year-old sister, Virginia. We're halfway through 28, and will probably get through 35 and 42 this weekend. My favorite local arthouse theater is showing MARNIE Sunday night, so I'm hoping to talk Leah into seeing it with me.
  19. You wanna know how excited I am about this show? Excited enough that I'm setting aside a forty-two year-old bias against fantasy fiction and buying that mass-market paperback box set amazon is selling for less than $20.
  21. Russ

    Barbara (2012)

    Nick, I feel kinda bad mentioning that Barbara just returned to Pittsburgh last Friday for another one-week run. I saw it twice locally last November, when it ran the first time, and am seriously considering taking it in again tomorrow or Thursday. Don't suppose you have any frequent-flier miles? Anodos, jumping on Jeffrey's suggestion, you also might as well see her other film with Petzold, Jerichow. It's not the equal of Barbara or Yella, but a really good film in its own right. Also, Nina is Hossome. I attribute her hyponotoriety to the fact that she hasn't made arthouse films that have gotten wide attention apart from her Petzold films. I think she's done some Euro genre films, too; my library has a French film where she's part of a clique of vampires.
  22. How strict are those dudes in defining "industry professionals" and "writers?" I'm guessing a FestivalScope log-in isn't going to show up on bugmenot anytime soon.
  23. After some recent hate-watching (House of Cards, The Walking Dead), it's nice to be back in the company of a series where I'm really sad when the ending credits hit the screen. I devoured the first season in a four-day period bookended by a weekend-- the sort of binge made nearly-impossible by work/family circumstances-- and went out and bought the second season, which I'm four episodes through. Maybe the remaining six episodes depart from this model, but I really like the way in which the battle scenes have been elided thus far, whether that was an aesthetic or budgetary decision. We've got collective battle-ennui at this point, which is part of the reason watching THE HOBBIT is such a slog, and the thought of two more of those films is less-than-enthralling.
  24. Russ

    Dr. Who

    Before her mom and sisters prevailed on her to aspire to a more age-appropriate party, my nearly three-year-old daughter, Daisy, was saying that she wanted a birthday cake with a "Dalek made out of icing on top." In other Lucas Family Dr. Who Fandom news, my nine-year old thinks that David Tennant is the greatest actor the world has ever seen. She just watched the BBC version of Hamlet where he plays the young prince, and I heard her trying to talk him up to a friend she knew wasn't a Who fan by playing up how awesome he was in the role of Barty Crouch, Jr. Plus, she frowns every time Matt Smith's name comes up on the opening credits.
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