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Everything posted by Russ

  1. Which of these have you played, Jason? I need a new board game to play with my kids.
  2. I like both THE INCREDIBLES and BABIES as films. On the Netflix five-star rating scale, I'd give the former three stars and the latter four. I had a ton of fun, in particular, watching BABIES with my wife and kids. Yet, in the context of voting for this list, I punched them both in the face with 1s and moved on to meatier fare. I don't know how everyone else evaluated films for this list, but my approach was unavoidably subjectively self-centered. This 41 year-old upper middle class white guy from the American suburbs, staring down twenty years of marriage this May, with four daughters in tow, asks himself, "Which films speak to me, in my present circumstances, deepest and truest about the mysteries and challenges of this sacrament?" Sometimes the simplest statements are the best, and sometimes they're just the simplest. THE INCREDIBLES has those moments where the kids are concerned for the survival of their parents' marriage, but they strike me as computer-generated sentiment. By contrast, I'm always moved by the way in which the kids and Mrs. Bailey circle the wagons when they learn of the roots of George's despair. I gave Capra's film a 5. But BABIES was discarded because it didn't seem to me to say anything in particular with regard to marriage, and did not spend any significant time on the marriages, qua marriages, of the parents. It just didn't fit my criteria. And if merely showing the fruit of a happy, blessed marriage was enough to qualify, I would have youtubed my accumulated baby video footage from 1997-2003 and nominated it.
  3. From http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/michael_haneke_art_doesn%E2%80%99t_offer_answers_only_questions/
  4. And I guess that's where we get stuck; I can't figure out why you don't think THE LONELIEST PLANET isn't a marriage film, and you can't figure out why I don't think BABIES is a marriage film. The majority of the voting members figured neither of them were.
  5. Let me retract my last post; it's cool that this is being argued now. It means that this means something to us. Steve, I do think that question looms large. I think it's the penumbra which hangs over the entire second half of the movie. A really spectacular couple undergoes the sort of stressor that few people will ever have to endure, and each of them then asks, in their own taciturn way, whether the other is really someone they can love forever. She doubts whether he'd lay down his life for her, or whether he'd know how to apologize his way out of a paper bag. He doubts whether she truly knows him, and whether she understands that this was an anomaly. Forgiveness is, of course, what they need, but it has to be asked for, and each couple has their own altar, their own habits and their own inertia.
  6. Sorry, Peter. Your opportunity to challenge my provisional ballot has expired. The die is cast.
  7. Wait, why are we arguing about a movie that didn't make the list? I don't get it. I love Loktev's film, and for me it has all the same things on its mind as the great marriage movies that did make the list, but I get that not every movie was going to make the list.
  8. Stef, what do you think of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing?"
  9. If somebody out there wanted either/both CHLOE or DON'T LOOK NOW, I'd happily take another assignment.
  10. And yet... *sad faces* I'll take CHLOE and DON'T LOOK NOW.
  11. I think we should rework the weighting scale to take into account quality of posts as opposed to quantity. Each poster will be ranked somewhere on a scale of 0 (non-substantive) to 10 (Stef Loy). Rankings will be done by a Committee which meets weekly by way of Skype sessions in which each Committee participant wears a mask and utilizes voice-disguising tech. The Committee will assign Quality Ranks to each poster after 100 posts, then revisiting the ranking at 1000 posts and on every thousand post anniversary thereafter and adjusting accordingly. I will be petitioning the Committee to overlook my previous 25 posts. Unless, of course, I am on the Committee.
  12. Deadwood reunion! I had no idea this was even a thing until you posted the trailer. I guess John Hawkes is making hay while the sun's shining.
  13. Russ

    Dr. Who

    That out-of-character last sequence of the episode-- a bunch of stills of various public statuary, by way of warning, accompanied by stentorian music-- was so unnervingly awesome.
  14. Russ

    Dr. Who

    Ha. Virginia, our 9 year-old, did the same thing for me last weekend. She covered a butter box with blue construction paper and decorated it accordingly. Our 2 year-old doesn't watch much and Virginia has developed a somewhat iron stomach for most moderate scariness as a result of having older sisters who like scary movies. She's seen THE BIRDS and the Harry Potter and LOTR movies, so while there are still things she won't watch-- THE WOMAN IN BLACK, for example-- she's OK with the level of scariness in DR. WHO. One of our favorite episodes-- Blink-- was probably the scariest one we've seen. We've watched that one twice.
  15. Hmm. Voting ends in three days. 998 posts to get to 2000. ...nahhhh.
  16. That tells me that the people who shop at indie bookstores don't want people to know they're reading S&M for Mommies, so they load them onto an e-reader. I think it's a sound strategy.
  17. To Darren's excellent point, I agree. Frankly, I think we need to be watching more Ozu, as well. He should have made many, many more appearances among the nominees. Regarding Brakhage, Wedlock House would have been my first choice. Mike, I'll re-send the e-mail with the vote scale.
  18. I stole three or four dirt bike magazines from a Uni-Mart when I was 13. Was convinced my soul was forfeit until I was safely away from capture. (So glad this is over now.)
  19. Russ


    No clue. Maybe just reinforcement of Meier's wholesale rejection of cheap resolution.
  20. Russ


    Ali and I saw this on New Year's Day and took along our nine year-old. Ali and I loved it, and our daughter, while a bit bored, sat dutifully. I suppose that was an odd choice, but I recall my mom dragging me along to see Gandhi with her and her girlfriends when I wasn't much older than that, and wanted to share the love. The theater where they'd put Lincoln had awful speakers, and the dialogue was tough to make out. Bad news for such a dialogue-heavy movie. I complained to the manager and they adjusted it, but it wasn't great. Fast forward to this week. I shared with our daughter that Lincoln had been nominated for a ton of Oscars. She replied, "Not for sound, I hope."
  21. Russ

    American Idol

    What did you think? My oldest daughters became fans of the show three years ago (and went to the touring show the year Scotty won), watched it less compulsively last year and didn't watch last night at all, as my oldest is snowed under with play practice and homework.
  22. Let me guess: you have to buy a three-day ticket even though you can see everything you want to see in a day.
  23. We've really enjoyed it, but we'd readily acknowledge that it needs to end. It hasn't overstayed it's welcome, but Walter needs to pay his bills.
  24. How many issues are out now beyond the collected six? I could do with a little less of Vaughan's grafting of contemporary colloquialisms and ironic poses into the dialogue, but the world they've created in just the six issues I've read-- with the trade union of assassins, the magic and the broad cast of characters-- is exactly the sort of broad, imaginative escapism that I got out of Star Wars when I was a kid. The art really is amazing. In particular, I love the Stalk, Prince Robot IV, the Lying Cat and Izabel. I loved Y: The Last Man up until they go to Hong Kong. When he tried to explain the cause of the viral catastrophe, the whole thing fell apart for me. I loved the "conventional" style of the art in Y (and it fit the tone of that series well), but the art in Saga is a significant upgrade.
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