Jump to content

David Smedberg

Member
  • Content Count

    1,190
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by David Smedberg

  1. Interesting to note that this movie is now more highly rated on IMDb than Inglorious Basterds, is the highest ranked film released in 2016, and is overall ranked #90 of all time. 

    I saw it last night, finally. I was inspired and moved. It made me think, "What small beans are my problems!" when compared to what these men had to face going over that ridge.

    Of all the Gibson movies I've seen (bracketing The Man without a Face, which doesn't contain any violence that I can recall), I found I could tolerate the violence the best. The car crash scene at the beginning, with its frank, unpretentious shot of the protruding bone, did a good job of setting up the frank, unpretentious tone of much of the battle violence. But I did have to look away occasionally. I was glad I didn't buy popcorn.

    The whole movie, not just the approach to violence, was unpretentious. One particular scene, where Dawes loses a man he'd recently come to befriend, impressed me especially.

     

  2. I thought I'd resurrect this thread one more time, since the duo I mentioned here has since managed to springboard themselves all the way to the #1 spot in the Billboard rankings:

     

    http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6576138/twenty-one-pilots-first-no-1-album-billboard-200

     

    Their latest album, Blurryface, is not my favorite of their albums but contains the same elements that made them so addictive to me--the subtle complexities, the willingness to challenge me as a listener to listen more closely, and the hard-won hopefulness.

     

    Anyone else catching on to Twenty One Pilots now that they've fought their way out of being "Regional at Best"? :)

  3. Christian posted in the "What You are Watching this Weekend" thread about his plans to see this film this weekend. I saw it too with him and Victor. I didn't see a topic, "Ahem" me If needed. smile.png

     

    Sorceror has a reputation on this forum (I think for a while a still from the film was Ba'al T'Shuvah's avatar?), and it lived up to the reputation-I was on the edge of my seat. However, afterwards I wasn't sure I liked its aftertaste.

     

    It was calculated for effect, but the effects were often disparate and unearned. Consider the explosion that drives the rest of film (the act of terrorism in Columbia). We see in great detail the people being burned, and then later their charred corpses as impetus to mob violence. These scenes were effective in abstract, but as a part of a whole they don't seem to have added anything. After all, the people of the village were hardly humanized before or after. The closest thing was their turn as comic relief in the scene where they each successively fail to test drive the truck. Ultimately, their gruesome deaths in the explosion were seen, exploited and then forgotten.

     

    That kind of exploitation seems to me to almost make a fetish of death, and the movie as a whole  doesn't have much of an understanding of life--ie of the reasons these men fight to live. The one person who really has a life (Victor, the Parisian) has it through his spouse, so it's his single-minded goal to get back to her. That leaves his story roughly on par with run-of-the-mill B-movie fare. It's not surprising, I think, that Friedkin resorts to his only real sour note when the American mobster is left on his own in the desert--his hallucinations are heavy-handed and lack the same cinematic grace as most of what came before.

     

    When I was talking with Christian afterwards, I told him that the only other movie I'd seen which kept me as riveted on the survival story was The Great Escape. In the end, I think I appreciate that movie's accomplishments in terms of character development and patience more now that I've seen Sorceror.

  4. It's interesting (and I am working on figuring out what that "interesting" means-- I'm vacillating between "dismayed" and "intrigued") how musicals and animation are apparently comedies by default. Seriously, I absolutely LOVE Ratatouille and Fiddler on the Roof, but neither is a comedy, despite comedic scenes.

     

    I am dismayed by the lack of British films beyond Life of Brian. (Right? Am I missing some?)

  5. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is on sale at Steam for 18 more hours. I've heard rumors that it's one sale for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 as well-I'm not sure how to check that.

     

    I just finished playing, and it is a great game. Not perfect, but great. Emotionally resonant in ways that only the player can understand--my wife was watching me play and I was explaining to her what I was doing--in the sense of what buttons I was pushing on the controller--so that she would understand the meaning of what was taking place on screen. Highly, highly recommended.
     

    Game reviewer "TotalBiscuit" has it exactly right.

  6. I'm watching movies I haven't seen before to see if they are worth nominating, so last night Mrs. Schmed and I sat down to watch Clockwise, starring John Cleese. I've since nominated it, because

     

    [A] it is a clear fit with the list (it is framed by the singing of the hymn "He Who Would Valiant Be"), and yet it contains no heavy-handed moral. It is concerned with the comic comeuppance of this particular man, and the fact that he is a straight-laced Christian man makes it all the more delicious.

     

    upon (only) 12 hours reflection, it seems to me to be brilliantly acted, and generally well-made enough to be worth consideration.

     

    (PS It's available from multiple streaming sources. I watched it on Netflix and unfortunately it seemed to change aspect ratios every few seconds, it was quite a distraction. I'm interested to hear if anyone else has a similar or dissimilar experience.)

  7. To me, calling a movie "cinematic" is like calling water "aquatic." The adjective is already there in the noun.

     

    Can't melodies be more or less melodic? Literature more or less literary? Paintings more or less painterly? Poems more or less poetic? Prose more or less prosaic? Etc.

    No. A melody cannot be comparatively more melodic than another, although a piece of music can (since melody is one ingredient in music).

     

    More directly to the point, I think we probably say a movie is "cinematic" when we really mean it is visually spectacular. I'd vastly prefer to vote on a "Top 25 Most Visually Spectacular" list thant "Top 25 Most Cinematic" list. smile.png

     

    Default acknowledgement, I am not Tyler and yet here I am answering the question you posed for him.

    how_rude.jpg

  8. To me, calling a movie "cinematic" is like calling water "aquatic." The adjective is already there in the noun.

    Exactly right.

     

    I'm currently thinking I'd vote for best films about spiritual or existential malaise... and I'd hope we can find some films that (per Nick's nomination) inspire positive action to resolve said malaise smile.png

  9. I loved the scene where Parker talks the guy out of the panic attack. I am of 2 minds about the fight which lasted most in my memory, the brutal fight in the hotel room involving the balcony. That was GRUESOME, but it was also pretty memorable. I didn't care for Jennifer Lopez's character or the scenes with her (except the scene which also included his SO--girlfriend? wife? I forget).

     

    Oh, and for Pete's sake, do they ever show him change the license plate off of any of his stolen cars? It felt stupid that he never got apprehended for all those thefts.

  10. That's OK, David. You're welcome to come after me. I re-read, reworded, knowing I might come across in a less than charitable.way.

     

    I don't have problem with Dreher struggling with the pope's pronouncements if that's what his system of faith calls him to do. My problem is that he couldn't figure out by his own reading an interpretation what the correct view on sexuality might be.

    Not my intent to come after you. Your terms slavish and pathetic were blood-raising terms.

     

    Rod Dreher is a friend of a friend... rather than get deeper into his personal muck, let me speak from my own. Ironically, knowing what is right and wrong can be the wrong way to consider the struggle. Knowing what my religious duty is can be the crux of my obedience... since I am a very religious person--in a sense that is abstracted from the truth or falsity of the religious claims. I've reflected to myself that if there were no true religion, I'd probably be sorely tempted to invent one, since I crave that sense of belonging that comes with communal worship.

     

    Thus, for me, hearing my religious leaders preach the need for repentance has been key to my actually repenting, much more so than contemplating it in a solitary way (even though I had no illusions that I needed to!). That's true because then I know that this moral duty is also my religious duty, and that makes it both more critical and somewhat easier. I don't know that it would be true to say, "I can't do it alone," but it would be unlikely that I could.

     

    I don't know if in your eyes I am just digging myself deeper into the Pit of Pathetic-ness (John Bunyan should totally have used that one). I don't think I'm describing anything unique to Catholicism or anything that is foreign to you (in case it sounded like I did think that).

  11. The Pope has no bearing on my life or spiritual growth. None. I think Catholics and Orthodox folks have a hard time with such blunt sayings, but I'm a Protestant.

    No problem yet... 

    *keeps reading*

     

    That said, to read Rod Dreher's post is to marvel at just how pathetic the lives of so many Catholics are. ... to read Dreher's post is to marvel at the worst of Catholicism: A guy who just couldn't "walk the walk" unless the Pope was clearing the way and giving him public pointers and signposts.

    tumblr_mgyfysdQE61s410g9o1_r1_500.gif

     

    Because when I think about people who are struggling to "walk the walk", I definitely don't have a problem with them admitting they need support from other people, who can be father figures here on earth... (Pope, like papa.) Sure, the sin itself is pathetic (being there myself, I feel these words deeply), but I don't think that's what you meant.

     

    /not commenting on Dreher. Not commenting on Dreher. Backing out slowly...

  12. I am a big-time sweater as well, and as Greg says perhaps the best thing is to wear dark clothes. I also wear the Underarmour underwear that doesn't hang on to moisture. Otherwise, you'd be surprised what a few minutes in the men's room (luckily I've got a unisex one which has a lock on the outer door) can do for hair and face.

  13. This is an interesting concept, but poorly executed in more ways than just those you've named. "I find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the wrong things..." is considered a self-righteous statement, and yet "I don’t talk about my sins or struggles" is a self-righteous action. Seem to me "I find it hard" is an admission of struggle, so admitting you struggle is at once Christ-like and self-righteous?

  14. FWIW, I think

    1. The spoiler warning is appreciated until the movie has been out on DVD for a few weeks, since seeing movies in the theater is becoming prohibitively expensive, especially in my area.
    2. That said, I think it might suck the fun out of threads to demand spoiler warnings for such a long time... It's probably better for us slowpokes to stay out of threads full of spoilers.

    So.... two minds. One man. (Nothing unusual here.)

  15. By the way. The Theif and the Cobbler is worth renting. It is most definately flawed, seeing as some of it was finished by hacks (and the story was altered) after it was taken from Williams. But it also boasts some of the most incredibly beautiful hand drawn animation known to man. I kid you not.

    Or you could watch the "Recobbled" version and miss out on the ridiculous, jarring musical numbers. :)

    http://www.vmresource.com/thief/workprint.html

  16. Nick, I'm on record that I didn't like the film, but I don't think it can be called stupid. And if you try and type out a reply that says you disagree, I'll bite off your fingers.

  17. It finally got a digital rerelase at GOG, but I have so many games from them already I haven't even touched yet, I'm waiting to pick up that one.

    I am in the same boat w/r/t GOG... and Steam sale games as well. I keep bookmarking games I want to buy but shouldn't because I haven't even finished "Beneath a Steel Sky" and "The Cave" yet.

  18. I am torn because I do not have much free time right now to spend playing video games, but I really want to experience this one. It looks really fascinating, and I love when games tackle themes that are difficult to discuss (like racism and the dark side of American history). Then again, PC Gamer's review indicates that the plot is an unholy mess:

    http://www.pcgamer.c...nfinite-review/

    When I finished BioShock Infinite – don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything – I was dumbfounded. I wanted to tell someone what I thought, but for a moment I had absolutely no idea. I’d experienced a kind of excited panic, then total delight, then momentary confusion, and then a rush of extraordinary sights, powerful scenes and sudden twists that left me struggling to keep up.

    It’s a spectacular ending. It’s just a shame it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Infinite is wonderful. Every single person who can play it, should play it. It’s a fascinating and gruesomely fun adventure in a genuinely unique, magnificent place. But the plot really does jump the shark. It jumps a lot of sharks. It jumps BioShark Infinisharks. That’s not uncommon in cinematic first-person shooters, but I mention it now because the game’s mysteries are such a big part of its appeal.

    Of note to Arts and Faith readers in particular: There is an interesting interview at Gamespot with Ken Levine, the game's creative director, where he discusses the religious aspects of the game. Levine says he isn't religious himself, and the religion portrayed in the game apparently takes significant criticism. But he says one of the artists working on the game threatened to resign when he saw a scene that he thought crossed the line into offensiveness, and that the game was actually re-written to take that artist's concerns into account--which I thought was good! since they could have said, "Good riddance, we are pushing our artistic vision here."

    The interview is in video form, the discussion of religion begins at about the 5-minute mark here:

    http://www.gamespot....finite-6404521/

  19. By far my favorite RSS reader is the "NewsRob" app, which is an Android exclusive. Mariano, the app's creator, has assured us it will continue to work, although it's not guaranteed it will sync using an alternative API like the one Feedly has planned.

×
×
  • Create New...