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Everything posted by Russ

  1. I lost my log-in! I couldn't get my info! It was an honest re-registration! Also (on-topic) I want the top five to include A SEPARATION, MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW and THE LONELIEST PLANET. Make it happen, voters!
  2. Let me acknowledge, first and foremost, that in both concept and execution this whole thread is fraught with all sorts of peril and potential occasions for growing smaller, rather than larger, in understanding and sharing the love of God. I think Neal McDonough is awesome, and when he's in something I tend to see it. He and I: Last Great Day: simpatico mofos. Surely some p.r. person crafted that little moralistic treatise. And, surely, there are lots of good reasons why actors should decline roles. Nevertheless, if there's anyone who (1) read that statement and (2) saw Season 3 of Justified, or (2a) even just a few episodes of Season 3 of Justified, or (2b) even just that one scene in that one episode where Neal's coked-up naked self walks into a hotel bathroom to rape a teenage boy, well dot dot dot. Let's just say that if your mouth was filled with food or drink when you read the statement, it wouldn't be afterwards.
  3. I am voter #16. A member of Team Brood. Are my votes weighted based on my total post number? Now I'm wishing I could graft on the couple of thousand posts under "Russell Lucas" and the 2 or 3 posts attributed to "D.W. Murnau." Plus, that's not even counting all those years when I was Alan T. Willcox. What coulda been. What coulda been.
  4. Male film critic discovers there are cinema-related pleasures that do not involve imagining boning women. Film at eleven!
  5. Russ

    Spoiler Ethics

    Thanks for the clarification, Jeff, and I hope it didn't distract from what you were trying to discuss. Of course, if we were to be shopping for another distraction, I might add at this point that I've been lukewarm-to-negative regarding Patheos ever since it became everybody's one-stop-shop for Godtalk, and this is the sort of thing that makes me think my skepticism is warranted.
  6. Russ

    Spoiler Ethics

    Wow. Three days and four pages. This thread has raised many, many weighty questions. Chief among them is, "Why in the world is Barb Nicolosi still in Jeff's facebook feed?" Even if you determined you should remain facebook friends because there are strategic reasons for doing so, this is what the "hide all posts" feature is designed for. There can't be any surprise that Barb would react that way to that film's plot point, or that she'd speak about it as openly and scornfully as she could, with no regard for these "critic ethos" considerations. It's totally consistent with her approach to film as a medium. And, frankly, while that isn't my approach, she is what she is, and she doesn't pretend to be anything different. I'm bothered more by the recurrent need to criticize her when ignoring her would suffice. Other disheartening development: Christian had to shell out $100 for Euthanasia Date Night. He could have bought a whole year of Netflix Instant for that!
  7. Ha. I grew up in the middle of Pennsylvania, the part James Carville described as "Alabama in the middle," and my first exposure to Rocky Horror was in the summer of 1988, when the traveling pianist working in the lounge of the Holiday Inn where I waited tables told me to get a bunch of friends together and we watched a bootleg VHS copy with Japanese subs. Midnight screenings were a thing at Penn State at least as early as 1990, 'cause my sister took me to one. I haven't seen the film, but apparently there's a somewhat anachronistic reference to The Smiths being a just-discovered band by a presumably-cool kid.
  8. I love it. At the end of the day, Composite Bruce Wayne is Todd from SCRUBS. *Bat-five!*
  9. Russ

    Dr. Who

    We just finished the third season of the reboot last night-- the showdown with the Master. I'm wary of even acknowledging Christ figures in film and television unless they say something pretty significant. I can't tell you how moved I was by the sight of the Doctor, restored to life by the speaking of a single word, ascending to meet the world's foe, who was crumpled in fear and denial and imploring the Doctor not to speak the word he'd been threatening to say. And the Doctor comes, with no weapon but that word, and says the thing the Master least wants to hear: that he forgives him! I was gobsmacked, and so happy to have my kid sitting next to me.
  10. Russ

    Django Unchained

    Leary, it's as if you are living in my head. One of the books I bought my nine year-old for Christmas is Bad News for Outlaws, a picture book based on the life of Bass Reeves, a black deputy marshall who brought in myriads of wanted outlaws, while famously shooting almost none of them. The competing counter-narrative of a freed slave who brought in outlaws for pay really framed my viewing of the bounty-hunting portions of DJANGO UNCHAINED.
  11. Re: Stromboli, I have an import DVD that I'd be happy to send around, as well. I don't know why it's been in distribution limbo for so long. Apart from its amazing marriage-related insights, if you were captivated by the fishmongering in Leviathan, there's a fishing scene in Stromboli that must be seen to be believed. I think the second came in after the deadline. A little help, here? Ingrid Bergman, Ingrid Bergman. Let's go make a picture. On the island of Stromboli. Ingrid Bergman.
  12. Well, we can't all be plied with screeners and screening invites. Some of us have to, y'know, pay our own way. Kidding. I understand.
  13. I get it. Each man must work out his own Microsoft Money spreadsheet with fear and trembling. For me, going this route was a cost-saving measure, as I cut out pay TV and a DVR, as well as the couple of bucks I was spending at redbox each month. I went from $80-90 per month to $8. Oooh, look at that. Netflix streaming just added the horror anthology V/H/S.
  14. Russ

    Barbara (2012)

    Nice. The film is all about Barbara's body being conveyed from place to place. By bike. By the cloppity-clop of high heels on village roads. By bus. By train. By clandestine personal watercraft. It's also such an awesome vocation film. The cliche character on network TV who sucks at relationships but is great at their job has his/her nose bloodied by the model in this film. Doctors as healers, bedside sitters, lab equipment creators and, natch, lovers.
  15. I'm not sure I'm on all fours with your decision-making process, pal. At least sign up for a free trial month of Netflix streaming before you make a rash or unwise decision. I think you'll be pretty amazed at the amount of available content you can get for eight bucks a month. Plus, while Netflix doesn't put too many of the new mainstreamy DVD-released movies on their streaming service (you can't stream THE AVENGERS or CABIN IN THE WOODS, e.g.), they appear to put pretty much every arthouse/documentary new release right into the streaming service. I love the anticipation each week of seeing which arthouse new release is going to pop up.
  16. Russ

    Things kids say

    Just a few hours ago: My wife Ali: "Is daddy going to help you put together your Sponge Bob legos?" Our 2 3/4 year-old Daisy: "Yes...daddy...loves...legos." Daisy's got a working diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech, so a spontaneous and uncoached multi-word phrase is, like, the best thing ever.
  17. Yes, I've seen it, and it really is something. Curiously, it's almost the polar-opposite of OFFSIDE in strict accessibility terms. I showed OFFSIDE to my daughters two or three years ago, thinking the straightforward narrative made it a perfect entry-level world film. THIS IS NOT A FILM, while great, really works best with an implicit level of familiarity with Panahi's plight and the circumstances of the film's smuggling out of Iran.
  18. Russ


    This film is bananas. In a good way. I wanted to close the gap after seeing SISTER, and HOME is an interesting contrast to that film. Also, it's better than SISTER. The film tries out several different tones but never settles on one, which is an unexpected strength, as we're kept disoriented throughout. It never goes full-on absurdist farce. It never sells out fully to claustrophobic character study. It's a mishmash of interesting things, most of which are, as mentioned, bananas. There's a little bit of SAFE and a little bit of BUG. But it's never guilty of being rote, which is a real danger particularly in movies that trend toward the ridiculous. It's a good move that the government never shows up or the nature of the squatting/de facto taking is never explored. The crowning moment of spectacularity is this: near the end of the film, the mom calls out for dirty laundry. That's one of her domestic tics. She calls out for laundry, and the kids and dad give it to her off their bodies. Another tic is that the family-- or more properly the dad, the 20something daughter and the 9ish son-- has an ultra-comfortable stance regarding nudity. And it's not just typical Euro pro-nudieness. It's 20something girl bathing with her 9ish brother nudity. The family's only straitlaced member, the high school daughter who's characterized as being modest and a little uncomfortable with herself physically, is not a participant in the frequent nakedness. But near the end of the film, when mom calls out for dirty laundry, sensible daughter decides, spur of the moment, to get nakey. She stands before her mother in the altogether, fishing for affirmation. "How do I look?" says the daughter uncertainly. At this point, in art cinema and commodity cinema alike, there's a form of screeplay autotext that reflexively applies to make the mother say, with reassurance, some crap about how you're beautiful honey, or you be who you are and don't let anybody else, even us, tell you what you should be like. BUT THE MOM SAYS NOTHING. She just stares blankly at her daughter. Daughter turns to the brother, whom she adores and with whom she keeps company, in a last-ditch effort to preserve her self-esteem. "What do you think of me?" she asks with a little too much desperation. THE BOY SHRUGS AND LEAVES THE ROOM.
  19. X-man, they're ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED. This slope, it is not slippery. In addition, owing to a bit of non-clarity in the relevant exchange between Nica and Dato and Nica's ring-finger ring, some first-time viewers figured the couple was already married. I think the film is the same in every relevant way if their marriage takes place before or after the events portrayed in the film.
  20. I dunno, big guy. You can apply that hypothetical to all of their circumstances, can't you? Maybe this would have played out differently if they were already wed, and maybe this would have played out differently if they weren't in the remote Caucasus, where they're effectively forced to spend the many days following the events in each other's presence. For me, the connection is this: relationships and marriages continue, in large part, based on habits. Habits of speech and thought and fighting and forgiveness. All of that's on display in this film in uniquely stark terms. Here's something else: if you met this couple, would you counsel them to get married, knowing what you know about them? Flipping it around, I think the film could be a useful one to show another engaged couple prepared to embark on marriage. In short, I'm gonna nominate it, and we can hash out whether it's within the scope of our list as part of the process.
  21. Hilariously, we'll probably forget to nominate it.
  22. Yeah, but if the underlying purpose of paying special attention to films about marriage is to talk about how these films get at the nature of love and its preservation in a lifelong, committed relationship, then isn't this film one you want to have available as a talking point?
  23. I know. I tend to not like children's books that adults may "get" or enjoy more than children, but those two Klassen books are genius. I love how those two books respect the food chain, in contrast to most of the rest of the animal-personification genre. Plus, while you'd think THIS IS NOT MY HAT would just be a rehash, it's actually funnier than its predecessor. The disconnect between the narration and the action in the pictures never fails to get laughs out of my kid.
  24. Russ

    Holy Motors

    Because I know you wanted to watch this again:
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