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Saturday, April 21, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)

The following is previously unseen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from the summer of 1984.

It was in this very room at Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, Minnesota that Prince created and committed to tape one of his most beloved and iconic compositions, which six years later would become a worldwide hit for Sinead O’Connor.

Prince’s original studio version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ is presented here for the first time.

Trial to see if there’s sufficient support to make this a thing.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 21, 2018 at 02:32 PM | 3812 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   2101. PreservedFish Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5676802)
To be clear, I adore many old movies. I don't find the foreignness of the past an insurmountable obstacle. But I do get McCoy's objections.

Here's something I wrote on OT:P last year:

I think comedy gets more easily one-upped by subsequent generations than do other forms of art. In literature, we can all agree that nobody today is going to beat Dante or Milton or Shakespeare at their game; nobody is trying to best Rembrandt at his, and subsequent painters always set new goals for themselves because they knew they wouldn't get anywhere operating within tradition; most accept that the Beatles and Dylan and Marvin Gaye or whoever established peaks that perhaps can be equalled but not surpassed.

But comedy? To watch Duck Soup is to step into a world of mostly outmoded humor, a cultural curiosity that it's difficult to connect with on a gut level.

It's my feeling that Mel Brooks renders Groucho Marx obsolete in a way that Virginia Woolf does not render Dickens obsolete...

The last time I watched Duck Soup, the only gag that made me laugh out loud was the routine with the mirror. (I think slapstick is somehow more impervious to the effect I noted #828, which is also why Chaplain and Keaton do and will continue to live on)

I don't think it's a bad film by any means, not in the slightest, but some of the gags are painfully dated. I bet a really studied comedy watcher could take some of those gags and chart the ways in which they were adapted, updated etc throughout the years.

Here's a random slice of Duck Soup: almost every joke falls really flat for me. But I can see that they might have been knee-slappers back in the day. In a way it feels like a foreign product, like it does watching a big Bollywood extravaganza. I can't really analyze which of these jokes are good and which aren't. I agree with Morty that it's a mark of an educated mind to attempt to (and succeed to) bridge these gaps. But it's not always easy.

Some of the Canterbury Tales are as funny as if they were written yesterday. Some are brutally boring.
   2102. McCoy Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5676807)
I think it is interesting that we view Shakespeare as the great playwright/author. He wasn't viewed that way in his own time and took until the end of the 18th century and into the 19th century that Shakespeare became the god that we would know him today in the field.
   2103. PreservedFish Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:38 PM (#5676811)
I was surprised to hear BDC describe Shakespeare as "not really that much better than his contemporaries, just more well-rounded." (Liberally paraphrased)
   2104. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5676820)
He wasn't viewed that way in his own time


He wasn't viewed as the Prometheus he is today, but when Shakespeare died he was at worst first among equals in his generation of dramatists. Not many dudes got folios of their works published back then, or saw their works continue to be performed after they were gone. It'd be like Spielberg becoming wildly popular throughout the centuries.
   2105. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5676846)
when Colossus successfully went two-to-two with him.


This is an auto-correct typo, yes? Or is there a whole section of the US that uses 2-to-2 instead of toe-to-toe?
   2106. cardsfanboy Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5676862)
This is an auto-correct typo, yes? Or is there a whole section of the US that uses 2-to-2 instead of toe-to-toe?


brain stupidity on my part, but we'll call it a typo to save face. :)
   2107. McCoy Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5676905)
Except if that is the case why do we know so little about him or if he really existed?
   2108. GGC Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5676920)
Good news, Primer. I've been working at a regional bank since 10/2014 and got a promotion to the job I originally applied for here almost four years ago. I don't know if you call that stubbornness, pigheadedness, or persistence, but I prefer the latter. I'm moving up from the trading desk to become a senior principal. This all sounds like Gordon Gekko, but I can assure you the pay grade is much lower. H & U probably knows what those positions are.
   2109. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:18 PM (#5676935)
Congratulations. I recently was 'allowed' to promote somebody on my team recently, it was probably two years overdue, sometimes bs like that interferes with what a manager wants to do. (also at a large reg bank) Of course don't sell yourself short. People have to persist and of course timing comes into play.
   2110. CrosbyBird Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5676936)
No offense but some of you are aholes and to be fair some of us are as well but as was already pointed out the format over in the lounge is atrocious.

I loved the Lounge but I can't deal with the interface. Too bad, because I miss it.
   2111. BDC Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5676948)
Congratulations on moving up, GGC!
   2112. CrosbyBird Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5676951)
I'll just throw it out there, but sometimes the highbrowness of a film has to do with the material it's adapted from. People are busy, they hear about a great book, never get a chance to read it, but when a film adaption comes out, they bring that sense of pre-approval with them to the theatre.

Apocalypse Now comes to mind, for a movie done well.

The Island of Doctor Moreau for a movie done... not so well.
   2113. CrosbyBird Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5676959)
You can buy cuckold.com for $319,000.

I prefer to let someone else buy it and then put my content on it for free.
   2114. BDC Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:49 PM (#5676973)
why do we know so little about him or if he really existed?

There are quite a few life records for Shakespeare. Partly this is because people looked for them so intently, but partly it's because he was of a social class that left a trace in legal documents and parish records. He definitely existed :)

We know very little about many early-modern artists and writers. I get the sense that a respectable amount is known about Shakespeare, relatively speaking: way less than about Montaigne, who wrote endlessly about himself, but more than about Vermeer.

As Anthony Kennedy says, Shakespeare was well-regarded by other writers and by critics (such as they were). He was a professional entertainer who liked to write catchy songs and bloody fight scenes and dick jokes, but he also had "highbrow" ambitions, as shown by his poems.
   2115. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:30 AM (#5677101)
Bach was all but forgotten 80 years after his death until Mendelssohn ripped his music from the jaws of history with three performances in Berlin of the St. Matthew's Passion.
   2116. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:30 AM (#5677103)
Primey for #2113.
   2117. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:32 AM (#5677104)
(and for some of them, it was better to go that way, than to make him gay)

First one who can name Kurt's girlfriend without looking wins a no-prize.
   2118. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:58 AM (#5677108)
First one who can name Kurt's girlfriend without looking wins a no-prize.


Darn it, I was close on the name, but not quite right.
   2119. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:19 AM (#5677111)
I've been out of the loop long enough that she was a way more minor character at that point, and the question probably isn't as difficult as it could be.
   2120. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:46 AM (#5677115)
The Island of Doctor Moreau for a movie done... not so well.


Yeah, but as bad movies go, there's plenty of good stuff ... well, at least entertaining stuff ...
   2121. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:50 AM (#5677117)
I'd rather see an interesting misfire than a just a boring, competent, "proper" film. The example I've been using the last few years is Chiraq vs. The Imitation Game. Chiraq was a mess, but it was an interesting mess. The Imitation Game was lazy, formulaic, prestige pap.
   2122. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5677120)
   2123. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5677135)
2089

I suggest you spend a weekend watching the Marx Bros. You may come away with a different point of view.

The thing of it is is that I've seen a lot of the old movies. As a kid up through my teenage years I watched a ton of movies from silent Chaplin/Keaton all the way up through mid 60's movies. Had samurai sundays, did the John Wayne movies on Saturdays, the James Bond marathons, the Errol Flynn swashbucklers, the Bible story craze, the noir era of Hollywood, WWII period films, slapstick, screwball, the serials, all of it. It was a widely available in the 80's and early 90's.

When I say these things about old movies I'm not saying them from a position of ignorance but of a person who has watched thousands of movies and knows what he likes and why.


Fair enough.
   2124. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5677136)
I think it can make quite a bit of difference if you can get introduced to old movies in a theater. As a weird kid in the 70's, I was lucky to have an old theater that did Saturday repertory only two bus rides away. They showed all the slapstick classics, screwballs, Ealing comedies, the early Pink Panther films. After a few years, the early Woody Allen movies were old and cheap enough to run them. I'm still weird and basically blind, but when I see any of these movies now I can always go back to that theater.


Thanks to art houses in Tempe (mostly) & Tucson, I was able to catch the likes of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original), Some Like It Hot & at least earlyish Woody Allens (can't remember which, other than Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex & maybe Love & Death) for the first time on the big screen.
   2125. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5677140)
Good news, Primer. I've been working at a regional bank since 10/2014 and got a promotion to the job I originally applied for here almost four years ago. I don't know if you call that stubbornness, pigheadedness, or persistence, but I prefer the latter. I'm moving up from the trading desk to become a senior principal. This all sounds like Gordon Gekko, but I can assure you the pay grade is much lower. H & U probably knows what those positions are.


Way to go. For me, after finally (11 years into my tenure here) being moved from hourly to salaried around a year ago, as of last month I'm finally making more than I was when I was fired as metro editor at the local daily back in 11/02. Woohoo.
   2126. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5677141)
Wouldn't really quibble much with the rankings other than I'd put all three prequels at the bottom. Very tough to rank Stars VII as it had a nice cushion buffering it up what with the terribleness of the prequels. We all just wanted a decent movie at that point and we got it. Wouldn't slag on RotJ as much as the writer does but I can also understand his view. I saw RotJ as a 6 year old he saw it as a 20 something year old. At the time it was in my wheelhouse and for him he had grown up and matured a bit and wanted something more which I guess is why he rates SW III so highly as compared to my view. But it is tough to say that RotJ is the third best movie, even as a kid I FF through most of the movie to get to the battle scenes. But is SW VII better? Is SW VIII? I don't know. I think Rogue One is probably better. I can tell you the basic plot of SW VII easily since it was a rehash of SW IV but even though SW VIII is the most recent one I've seen I have to struggle to remember what happened in that movie. I don't think these movies are the movies of this generation like the original were but I also don't know if that is possible anymore. Haven't seen Solo yet.
   2127. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5677142)
Way to go. For me, after finally (11 years into my tenure here) being moved from hourly to salaried around a year ago, as of last month I'm finally making more than I was when I was fired as metro editor at the local daily back in 11/02. Woohoo.



Nobody tell Gef about inflation.
   2128. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5677146)
Nobody tell Gef about inflation.


Sort of doesn't matter in that AFAIK no one at the newspaper has gotten a raise in something like a decade. (That's certainly true in Little Rock, which is a far larger & more successful publication.)
   2129. CrosbyBird Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5677269)
My rankings are:

Rogue One
The Last Jedi
Empire
ANH
TFA
Revenge of the Sith
ROTJ
The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones

I have not seen Solo yet.

My top three and bottom two are very close, as are ANH/TFA.
   2130. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5677279)
That's a very good list. I would put ROTJ above Revenge of the Sith, but neither is good enough to quibble over.
Attack of the Clones
Lucas made a movie that has a battle involving a couple of dozen people with lightsabers, some robots, Christopher Lee, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Samuel L Jackson. And the movie is extremely terrible, as is the scene in question. That's quite a feat.
   2131. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 22, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5677295)
Here's a random slice of Duck Soup: almost every joke falls really flat for me.

I always felt the Marx brothers were uneven. Groucho was usually funny, but I didn't like Chico and Harpo was ok. When they were doing the slapstick, it was pretty funny (football scene in Horse Feathers) but they threw a lot on the wall to see if it stuck.
   2132. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5677308)
I would say you could do that back then as the only other form of slapstick comedy was stuff like the Vaudeville circuit and the medium of film allowed for more possibilities. This is an argument for the old films being highbrow at this point because to enjoy them you have to educate yourself on the entertainment industry to truly appreciate and enjoy. Not saying you have to do that and even knowing that the film industry was in its infancy won't get me to watch a bunch of Marx Bros films nowadays.
   2133. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 22, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5677316)
I always felt the Marx brothers were uneven. Groucho was usually funny, but I didn't like Chico and Harpo was ok. When they were doing the slapstick, it was pretty funny (football scene in Horse Feathers) but they threw a lot on the wall to see if it stuck.

The best parts of the Marx Brothers movies was when Chico was conning Groucho, or when all three of them made everyone else the mark. But God, that piano playing and those harp solos.
   2134. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5677337)
I put CrosbyBird's list in my bottom ranking of lists for not spelling out the movie titles.

As far as the Star Wars ranking:

1. Star Wars - First of all, I hate when people call this film "A New Hope". It's a terrible title, and the film should just be called Star Wars. Secondly, I cannot conceivable put this cultural phenomenon anywhere other than first much in the same way I can't put anyone ahead of Babe Ruth. It's not even that it's better than all the ones that follow, it's just kinda unrankable.

2, 3, and 4 are so close they can probably be interchanged depending on mood, and I did so while making this list.

2. Rogue One - Stuck the landing better than any film in recent memory.
3. The Last Jedi - I really, really, really, REALLY want to put this one above Rogue one, but cannot. But I loved it.
4. Empire Strikes Back - Lots of people obviously place this one first, which it probably deserves.

decent gap

5. The Force Awakens - Fun, very well done, not exactly a groundbreaker but quite mercifully didn't suck. But very, very, very familiar.

big gap

6. Revenge of the Sith - Passable Jedi-ing and battles and villain-making.
7. Return of The Jedi - Meh

very large gap

8. Attack of the Clones - Crap

12 parsecs

9. The Phantom Menace - The biggest disappointment in science-fiction history, and possibly the history of cinema as a whole.
   2135. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5677354)
OK fine ...

Star Wars - I can't rationally evaluate the original. I have seen it well over 100 times and it is far and away the most significant single cultural event of my childhood. It gets no rating, but it does get all my unabashed love.

Empire Strikes Back - a great movie. When I first saw it I had a half eaten popcorn in my hands when the movie started and it was still sitting there untouched for the duration of the movie.

Rogue One - A very impressive movie. So very good. Somehow made the original Star Wars even better.

The Last Jedi - Solid movie. Had some flaws and some very good moments. Clearly below those above it. In theory the two below it could jump up and equal it, but I doubt i6t.

Revenge of the Sith & Return of The Jedi - I need to watch these movies again to decide which order they should be in. I would have rated Return above Revenge, but several people I trust keep telling me Revenge is better than I remember, so I will callit a tie awaiting a rewatch.

The Force Awakens - I am grateful it exists, but whenever I feel the slightest urge to re-watch it I think "Why not watch the movie it completely copies and is much better instead?". It is still an OK movie though, but heavily discounted because zero originality.

The Phantom Menace & Attack of the Clones - Neither is good. I am the only person in the universe that kind of likes Palpatine's plan, but on the other hand there is much eye candy in Attack. I think the set pieces in Attack are slightly better, but shockingly the dialogue is worse. Flip a coin.
   2136. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5677358)
Rankings:
1) Empire Strikes Back
2) A New Hope
3) The Last Jedi
4) Rogue One
5) Return of the Jedi
6) The Force Awakens
7) Getting hit by a pod-racer driven by a racist caricature.
8) Attack of the Clones
9) Revenge of the Sith
10) The Phantom Menace

Anyone who somehow puts any prequel above the bottom three should be forced to sit through them again. Return of the Jedi wasn't a great movie, but it had about a thousand times more pathos than anything from those abominations. It's a vastly superior film, and I really do not get the contrarian "Revenge of the Sith wasn't a total shitpile" stance. I mean, it's not quite as bad as The Phantom Menace, but for ##### sake, that's an extraordinarily low bar.

I have strong feelings about this.

ETA: After having finally read TFA, my rage has reached an incomprehensible level. David Edelstein's skull will serve as my toilet.
   2137. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5677362)
That's reasonable. I just remember hating Return of the Jedi when I saw it in the theater, and I remember thinking "this could be worse" about Revenge of the Sith. So.

That list has to be trollbait. There's really no other explanation.
   2138. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5677384)
I just remember hating Return of the Jedi when I saw it in the theater


The first half or so of Return is pretty darn good, and then ... well it doesn't end on much of a high note for me. Not to be all snobby, but Darth's turn just didn't feel earned so much as "hey the movie is near over, time to redeem myself."
   2139. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5677415)
I feel like Darth's turn was pretty well forecast from the end of Empire on. And, as I said above, it's still x1000 better than Anakin's turn to the dark side, which was basically "oh well, guess I'm a bad guy now, let me go murder the #### out of some children."
   2140. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5677425)
And, as I said above, it's still x1000 better than Anakin's turn to the dark side, which was basically "oh well, guess I'm a bad guy now, let me go murder the #### out of some children."
In fairness, they had to work with Hayden Christensen daily for 18 months to get him to where he could express that level of nuance.
   2141. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5677433)
I hate sand!
   2142. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5677440)
In fairness, they had to work with Hayden Christensen daily for 18 months to get him to where he could express that level of nuance.

He was pretty wooden in the role, but in fairness, he was pretty good as Stephen Glass in "Shattered Glass"
   2143. CrosbyBird Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5677477)
Return of the Jedi wasn't a great movie, but it had about a thousand times more pathos than anything from those abominations. It's a vastly superior film, and I really do not get the contrarian "Revenge of the Sith wasn't a total shitpile" stance. I mean, it's not quite as bad as The Phantom Menace, but for ##### sake, that's an extraordinarily low bar.

I've rewatched both in the last couple of years (specifically to consider this question) and I stand by ranking Sith over Return of the Jedi.

Fundamentally, your position on these two movies will depend on how damning you find the Ewoks. I think they are terrible enough (and given enough screen time) to place the movie below everything but Episode I and Episode II. In fact, I think they are worse than Jar Jar Binks, who has less total screen time in all three of the prequel trilogy movies than they do.

There are other criticisms, like the first part being almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the movie, way too much exposition, underuse of Han Solo, an overly busy ending sequence with the horrific Yub Nub song, and the ridiculous death of Boba Fett, but the Ewoks themselves (including the silliness of C-3P0 as a god-figure) are enough to put the movie very low on the list.
   2144. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5677488)
I grew up with the Ewoks. Can't see them as anything but lovable!
   2145. Lassus Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5677491)
an overly busy ending sequence with the horrific Yub Nub song

YOU MONSTER
   2146. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5677506)
but the Ewoks themselves (including the silliness of C-3P0 as a god-figure) are enough to put the movie very low on the list.


The greatest thing ever regarding the Ewoks is a friend has written several adventures in the Star Wars universe (Why yes, I am a geek) and in them the Ewoks are complete and total horror shows. They are like intelligent and cute looking Wolverines, except they cooperate in order to wreck their horror and devastation on others. We grew to truly fear those little bastards as they wracked up horrific body counts while eating their victims (usually when they were still alive and screaming).

It was the coolest re-purposing of a movie IP I have ever seen.
   2147. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5677523)
He was pretty wooden in the role, but in fairness, he was pretty good as Stephen Glass in "Shattered Glass"


I had a hard time believing it was the same actor.
   2148. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5677533)
EVERYONE was wooden in the prequels. Samuel L Jackson, of all people, was wooden! Natalie Portman was of soap opera quality. It was genuinely impressive how stiff the acting was, across the board. I don't know if Lucas can be blamed or if everyone was just daydreaming about all the money they were making, but something awful happened.
   2149. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5677534)
I grew up with the Ewoks. Can't see them as anything but lovable!

Yeah, I never saw or heard about the Ewok hate until the age of the internet and well into that as well. I think Phantom Menace poisoned a lot of things when it came out plus I think it doesn't hurt that a lot of people that enjoyed the original SW trilogy were entering their contrarian phase at right around that time as well.
   2150. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5677535)
EVERYONE was wooden in the prequels. Samuel L Jackson, of all people, was wooden!

That's green screens for you
   2151. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5677538)
That's green screens for you


And the direction of Mr. Lucas. The man is many things, but a great director of actors, not so much.
   2152. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5677539)
I think Phantom Menace poisoned a lot of things when it came out plus I think it doesn't hurt that a lot of people that enjoyed the original SW trilogy were entering their contrarian phase at right around that time as well.


It's either that, or you and I are experiencing the same Stockholm Syndrome that the millennials - who actually like the prequels - are.
   2153. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 22, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5677543)
The greatest thing ever regarding the Ewoks is a friend has written several adventures in the Star Wars universe (Why yes, I am a geek) and in them the Ewoks are complete and total horror shows. They are like intelligent and cute looking Wolverines, except they cooperate in order to wreck their horror and devastation on others. We grew to truly fear those little bastards as they wracked up horrific body counts while eating their victims (usually when they were still alive and screaming).

Like your friend, I firmly believe that the issue with Ewoks is execution, not the concept. It is maybe the one thing in Star Wars where the effects just weren't up to delivering the story. The prequels' digital effects or Clone Wars animation would have far better suited to properly tell that part of the story.

If you had a bunch of woodland savy, little ninja brown bears darting through their natural habit with razor sharp blades and arrows cutting down storm troopers it would have been both spectacular and believable. Unathletic short people in costumes and obviously fake weapons totally undercut the believability of this local guerrilla force taking it to the imperials.
   2154. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5677553)
I don't think it's an effects problem. They're just too cute. I think the Star Wars puppetry has held up really well in general. Digital effects can look dated very quickly.
   2155. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5677564)
I have horrible taste but my rankings goes

1. Star War.... All 9.

I guess if I had to break them down it would go (on a scale of ten)
1. Star Wars(9.9)
1a. Empire Strikes Back (9.9)
2. Return(9.5)
2a. Revenge(9.4)
2b. Last Jedi. (9.3)
3. Force Awakens(9.0)
3a. Rogue One(8.9)
4. Attack of the Clones (8.5)
4a. Phantom Menace..(8.2)


but to be honest, there hasn't been a Star Wars movie that I haven't been satisfied at the end of it, and willing to go and pay to see it again. And I'll still rewatch the Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but the 'love' scenes between Anakin and Padme is just horribly written. And the first thing me and my best friend said to each other when we came out of Phantom Menace was "Yippee!(?)"---that was painful enough to comment on the end. And we did comment that I'm surprised they went with that accent for Jar Jar. Beyond that, I liked Jar Jar as comic relief enough to get a T-shirt of him(well my brother bought it for me... I wore it a couple of times) and make "my tongue" jokes.

Solo looks to be good also...and then you'll have an Obi-Wan and a Lando movie...at some point in time they will have to branch off from the comfortable characters, and take a real chance by interesting a new character within the universe that isn't affiliated with the Skywalker clan. (The TV show is supposedly going to do that, but being set 7 years after Return, there is going to be a temptation to include some cameos or easter eggs.)


Edit: actually the more I think about it, the more I have to move Rogue one above the Force Awakens, there was just way too many flaws with the force awakens(basically it took the real trilogy and all the character arcs that were accomplished and erased them. And then a ridiculous weapon that makes Ewoks look totally legit in comparison. The last Jedi fixed many of the problems with the force awakens)
   2156. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 22, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5677565)
Like your friend, I firmly believe that the issue with Ewoks is execution, not the concept.

It was the concept. Little cute beings being vicious and destroying Imperial Guards with rocks and stones is silly.
   2157. McCoy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5677613)
Ninja Bears with arrows and Spears would have been believable against lasers, armored vehicles and armored soldiers?
   2158. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5677616)
Lean mean bears would have been more believable than cuddly bouncy bears, yes.
   2159. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5677619)
No-one has rated the "Star Wars Holiday Special".
   2160. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5677622)
Ninja Bears with arrows and Spears would have been believable against lasers, armored vehicles and armored soldiers?

In that environment, totally. That is exactly the kind of terrain where the imperial forces would be at their least effective and stealth and close quarter combat skills would be at a premium.

This is a universe where the best, most dangerous warriors rarely use range weapons. In Clone Wars, which is canon, they also showed indigenous troops overwhelm advanced fighting forces due to homefield advantage.
   2161. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5677623)
No-one has rated the "Star Wars Holiday Special".


Better than every Ben Stiller/Woody Allen movie ever made(except Mystery Men) but still not good.
   2162. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5677635)
Ninja Bears with arrows and Spears would have been believable against lasers, armored vehicles and armored soldiers?


Well, it depends. My friend ran them as vicious, strong, fast, and really clever with deadly traps in all directions. And the little monsters swarmed, so you could kill a bunch, but there were always more, hitting your armor in weak spots, dropping you in pits, poisoning you and so on.

I mean sure, I hated them when I first saw Return of the Jedi, everyone my age did. And yes, it was an obvious money grab for merchandising and so on. But small cute bears could have been horrible monsters, just not as shown in the movie.
   2163. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:12 PM (#5677646)
Yeah, they should have been a little nasty. Shoulda shown one of them biting into a dead stormtrooper and making a sweet teddy bear face with the blood running down his adorable cheeks.
   2164. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5677668)
Re: #2161--
The proposition that "Mystery Men" is better than any Woody Allen movie (since all Woody Allen movies are bad) is such a pungently false proposition that you shall forevermore be he who dealt it.
   2165. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5677670)
Re: #2161--
The proposition that "Mystery Men" is better than any Woody Allen movie (since all Woody Allen movies are bad) is such a pungently false proposition that you shall forevermore be he who dealt it.


I mentioned I have bad tastes...
   2166. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5677672)
Then my work here is done. Hi-yo, Thunderbolt! Let's ride to the supposedly no longer funny Marx Brothers!
   2167. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5677689)
Yeah I just passed right over that comment. CFB has long since proved himself entirely lacking in good taste. One can only assume that his reverence for "Mystery Men" is due to some allegiance to Smashmouth.
   2168. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5677729)
Yeah I just passed right over that comment. CFB has long since proved himself entirely lacking in good taste. One can only assume that his reverence for "Mystery Men" is due to some allegiance to Smashmouth.


Mostly it's just because I cannot stand Ben Stiller, and it's probably the only movie he has ever been in that hasn't made me throw up at the sheer stupidity of the movie and characters. And it only works because it created a universe where they weren't annoying. (and yes I don't like Zoolander, and meet the parents is one of the most painful hour and a half I have ever spent in my life. I would rather re-do 3 months of Marine Corps boot camp than watch that crap---and I just do not, for the life of me, get Woody Allen, a comedian/comedy movie, in which nobody would ever laugh at anything out loud....I seriously doubt that the funniest bits Woody Allen has ever done, all added up, would produce anywhere near the laugh of the three stooges short "Disorder in the Court." with the vast majority of the people on the planet that speak English and not New York. )
   2169. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5677747)
"Disorder in the Court" is absolutely great.

Woody Allen is absolutely great. Specifically, he is the greatest joke writer ever, was one of the greatest standups, wrote several great short pieces, and has directed eight or nine A+ films and several pretty good ones besides.

"Zoolander" would be a lame "Weekend Update" character bit at four minutes.

The only Ben Stiller films I've ever enjoyed were "Tropic Thunder" and "Madagascar," unless we count "Empire of the Sun" and "Anchorman," and we should not count "Empire of the Sun" and "Anchorman." That includes "Royal Tenenbaums" and a cameo in "The Trip," though I acknowledge that other people have really responded strongly to those.

In fact, it shocks me just how many Ben Stiller movies I have seen and not cared about or disliked; I've seen at least 15 (though only about half are legitimate "Ben Stiller movies").
   2170. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:09 PM (#5677776)
Like many contemporary comedians, Ben Stiller has two acting modes, the ridiculous arrogant idiot, and his opposite, the reserved neurotic serious type. The former can win some cheap forgettable laughs. The latter is hit-or-miss, but I've enjoyed him in several movies.

I thought "Flirting With Disaster" was hilarious when I was 15, but haven't seen it since. I laughed very, very hard at "Something about Mary" but I doubt it holds up well at all. The gross-out humor killed on first viewing.

I thought "Greenberg" was OK. I enjoyed "The Meyerowitz Stories."
   2171. BDC Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5677784)
You want to know my honest evaluation of the Star Wars movies? No? I’ll tell you anyway :-D

Star Wars is a clever and heartwarming picture, doing the same campy take on Buck Rodgers & Flash Gordon that the first Reeve Superman did for old comics/radio/TV.

The Empire Strikes Back is a pretty good film, taking that campy premise, deepening & darkening it.

And that was about all that was worth watching. I did think Rogue One was a decent, if highly formulaic, war movie set in that same universe. I’m not sure why one wanted to do that (the pathos of the film is somewhat nullified by its context in the hokey saga), but it had some ambitions.

I have not seen The Last Jedi or Solo. I guess I will some day. If they make new and interesting departures from formula, I will be pleasantly surprised & revise my assessment.
   2172. BDC Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5677788)
And I liked Ben Stiller’s appearance as himself on Extras, trying to go against type as a meaningful filmmaker but of course being an idiot.
   2173. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:26 PM (#5677791)
The only Ben Stiller films I've ever enjoyed were "Tropic Thunder"


oops, I forgot about Tropic Thunder which was genuinely funny---but Tom Cruise performance made that movie--- (and I actually don't hate Night at the Museum for what it was) my issue is that Bravo(or someone like that) did a top 100 list of comedies and 7 Stiller movies made the list and I didn't think any of them were particularly good, and I'm thinking people growing up nowadays think this is the height of comedy(and then of the older movies, only a few classics made the list, and pretty much every Woody Allen did)

Like many contemporary comedians, Ben Stiller has two acting modes, the ridiculous arrogant idiot, and his opposite, the reserved neurotic serious type. The former can win some cheap forgettable laughs. The latter is hit-or-miss, but I've enjoyed him in several movies.


I just find it painful to watch. In the 40 year old virgin, Steve Carrell feels like a real character. You watch Adam Sandler movies, and he feels like he's playing a caricature, but a relatable caricature, and even Will Ferrel does a better caricature type of character... the sad sack character that Ben Stiller plays is just painful to watch. He's stupid, reclusive, amoral, spineless and has no redeeming qualities, so there is no way to connect to that character to root for them. He works best in an ensemble, but people kept giving him money to be a lead....and you get dreck like Something about Mary and Meet the Parents. He works best being a caricature(Dodgeball) since he can't act to save his life. And isn't particularly funny except as a victim.
   2174. Greg K Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5677794)
A Ben Stiller discussion with no mention of Reality Bites?

I saw a bit of it recently and it hasn't aged great. But it has Winona Ryder...
   2175. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5677796)
But it has Winona Ryder...


My favorite actress of all time. It's the only name on my freebie list. (simply because my gf knew about my crush on her, long before we ever started even dating)
   2176. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5677807)
Woody Allen is by far my favorite filmmaker.
   2177. cardsfanboy Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5677812)
Woody Allen is by far my favorite filmmaker.


So he is on your freebie list? :)
   2178. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 23, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5677886)
Woody Allen's 12th-best movie is something like "Match Point" or "Bananas" or "Radio Days" or "Husbands and Wives."

His 20th-best movie would be something like "Bullets Over Broadway" or "Midnight in Paris" or "Play It Again, Sam."

It's a remarkable body of work, and a singular career. And it doesn't even include his pantheonic standup comedy or the best of his 1970s New Yorker-centric writing.
   2179. McCoy Posted: May 23, 2018 at 08:16 AM (#5677916)
That's great that they would be lean and mean but the Ewoks weren't going to take out TIE fighters, AT-AT Walkers, and AT-ST Walkers. The Vietcong were lean and mean and they got their butt kicked by the USA. Sure they set booby traps and harassed American troops but a)that war was lost politically and B)the Empire isn't trying a regime change on the moon of Endor they simply want to temporarily hold a piece of ground that houses the shield generator complex while they are building a mobile weapon system. The Empire would have no problem turning the entire planet besides the shield generator into a lake of fire.
   2180. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 23, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5677920)
But it has Winona Ryder...

My favorite actress of all time.

I don't think I've seen more than 2 or 3 of her movies at most, but if all she'd done in her career was her foulmouthed, chainsmoking cabdriver role in the opening skit in Night on Earth, her entire life would've been justified.
   2181. Lassus Posted: May 23, 2018 at 08:42 AM (#5677921)
Woody Allen's 12th-best movie is something like "Match Point" or "Bananas" or "Radio Days" or "Husbands and Wives."
His 20th-best movie would be something like "Bullets Over Broadway" or "Midnight in Paris" or "Play It Again, Sam."


Let's see what the Brits say: #12 is Manhattan Murder Mystery; Match Point #33, Bananas #22, Radio Days #18, Husbands & Wives #7.

#20 is Café Society; Bullets over Broadway #14, Midnight in Paris #23, Play it Again Sam is unlisted (most likely as it was directed by somebody else.)


And one more, Grierson & Leitch, for Yahoo (probably because Vulture wouldn't touch that one):

#12 - Sweet & Lowdown

Match Point - #24
Bananas - #17
Radio Days - #19
Husbands & Wives - #1

#20 - Interiors

Bullets Over Broadway - #11
Midnight in Paris #9
Play it Again, Sam - also unranked


   2182. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5677927)
Husbands & Wives - #1

Bingo. It's the only Woody Allen movie I'd ever want to watch again.
   2183. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5677932)
Ninja Bears with arrows and Spears would have been believable against lasers, armored vehicles and armored soldiers?
Hey, if you accept the Empire's aiming skills, anything is possible.
   2184. Lassus Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5677937)
Hey, if you accept the Empire's aiming skills, anything is possible.

I guess it would have been too meta for Finn to say something about how heavy the armor was or something, while trying to shoot somebody,
   2185. McCoy Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5677938)
The Empire can only not hit SAG members. They're aces on everyone else.
   2186. jmurph Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5677958)
Match Point #33

Glad to see this so low, I was baffled by the praise for this one when it came out. Scarlet Johannson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (especially) gave two of the worst performances in a supposedly good movie in memory.

Midnight in Paris #23

Yeah this one actually worked for me, I'd put it higher. The Rome one the following year or so (When in Rome? I have no idea what it's called, it's not worth looking up) was terrible outside of the scenery p0rn. Some of the scenes are so bad they felt like they were shot in one take.
   2187. PreservedFish Posted: May 23, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5677966)
Match Point ... got him his first Oscar nomination since the late 1990s, to the abject horror of most British critics. Kinder US reviews saw this London-set murder tale as a return to the scabrous morality play of Crimes and Misdemeanors, but it was one afflicted with a telling and insurmountable tone-deafness: fatal for what was purporting to be a satirical dissection of the English class system.


I liked this movie, but I can see that.

Woody's many explorations of class frequently come off as at least superficial, if not totally ham-fisted. Not sure why it became a major preoccupation of his - it consumes many of his more recent films. I would hope that in real life he's fairly comfortable in his stereotypical NYC Jewish intellectual milieu, but for some reason he keeps writing about the clash between blue collar lovables and noxious Ivory Towerists, and betraying a lot of anxiety about his place on the spectrum. It has a marvelous negative capability.
   2188. BDC Posted: May 23, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5677982)
Woody Allen got easier to invite to highbrow cocktail parties with the death of Philip Roth (no love lost between those two).

I am unsure what to make of Roth. I was a fan of his when I was a teenager, but liked him less with each passing decade. The Plot Against America, both atypical (counterfactual fiction) and typical for him (mostly about Philip Roth) may be the book of his I like best.
   2189. PreservedFish Posted: May 23, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5677997)
Right. 90% of Roth's work seems to be about class, in Newark, in the 50s. Good prose stylist, but I'm just not driven to keep returning for more of that. What would his stature be if the literary world didn't revolve around New York City? Portnoy's Complaint was a fun one to read in high school, though.
   2190. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 23, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5678026)
The Plot Against America, both atypical (counterfactual fiction) and typical for him (mostly about Philip Roth) may be the book of his I like best.


Only thing of his I've read, I'm pretty sure, though I gave American Pastoral a stab (made for a decent enough movie). Good novel, though the ending was a bit hurried.
   2191. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5678027)
Haven't seen anything of Woody Allen's since, I believe, Small Time Crooks (well, I did Hollywood Ending, but someone else directed that one), but at least up till then he was more likely to turn out something very entertaining than not ... his comedies, anyway. Haven't seen any of his non-comedic oeuvre.

Extremely funny writer, too, as Gonfalon alludes to. Much of Getting Even in particular is flat-out hysterical.
   2192. McCoy Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5678035)
I saw Blue Jasmine but that was because my GF wanted to see it. Did not know it was a Woody Allen film until just now. Saw Radio Days back in the day and liked it. Pretty sure I've seen at least parts of Bananas and Everything you always wanted to know about sex and probably a few scenes from some of his work in the 90's and that is about it. He was never really my cup of tea.
   2193. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5678048)
I'm surprised that the SW rankings here are similar to my own. (I'm not a SW person but they're often solid movies.) They have different goals from one another, so I'm partly grading on how well they did that thing - Rogue One might be more of a type of movie that I'm into than any other SW movie, but it wasn't as good at being that thing than was, say, Empire.

Empire, Rogue One, New Hope, Last Jedi, Return of the J, TFA, Attack, Phantom (never saw Revenge). The two Lucas prequels I saw were actively bad and The Force Awakens was as Mellow Mouse described and not really worth my time.

--

It's by no means a good movie, but I enjoyed large swaths of Mystery Men. The dude who directed it never did another feature film.
More Stiller, possibly hot takes: Tropic Thunder is overrated, ESPECIALLY Tom Cruise's part. The first Zoolander is very funny, despite itself. Dodgeball is wet trash. He's best in semi-serious roles - Royal Tenenbaums, for example.

--

The first Woody Allen I saw was What's Up Tigerlily? Talk about poisoning the well - I never gave him a fair shot from there. Important, sure, and some of his work is good but I can take or leave him. His standup is overrated.
   2194. Greg K Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5678064)
The first Woody Allen I saw was What's Up Tigerlily? Talk about poisoning the well - I never gave him a fair shot from there. Important, sure, and some of his work is good but I can take or leave him. His standup is overrated.

I was about to say I've seen that one too. But I was thinking of "What's New Pussycat" with Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers, and Woody Allen writing (but not directing).

Speaking of genres which seem foreign to later generations...it seems like there are a bunch of movies in the 1960s like that. They feel entirely unfamiliar to me. I imagine future generations will look on Judd Apatow movies the same way.
   2195. PreservedFish Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5678073)
What's New Pussycat is pretty fun, in my opinion. It's a mess but an enjoyable one. What's Up Tigerlilly just sucks.
   2196. chisoxcollector Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5678080)
I enjoyed "The Meyerowitz Stories."


I hate both Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler, and haven't liked Dustin Hoffman in years. And yet, Meyerowitz Stories was excellent. Adam Sandler was a revelation.

My Star Wars ranking:

1. Star Wars
2. Empire Strikes Back
3. Last Jedi
4. Force Awakens
5. Rogue One
6. Revenge of the Sith
7. Return of the Jedi
8. Phantom Menace
9. Attack of the Clones
   2197. Lassus Posted: May 23, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5678090)
Adam Sandler was a revelation.

I generally can't stand him either, but he was rather astonishing in 'Punch-Drunk Love' as well.
   2198. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 23, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5678096)
I really did not like the Meyerowitz Stories. It just felt like the paradigm of the white male prestige film. The daughter is given extremely short shrift compared to the brothers, and of course she has sexual assault in her backstory, and of course it's driven right past so the brothers can get into a fight with each other. Also, Adam Sandler is not a good actor.

Which is too bad, because I've liked other Noah Baumbach films.
   2199. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 23, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5678098)
I generally can't stand him either, but he was rather astonishing in 'Punch-Drunk Love' as well.
Agreed. Sandler, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey are three guys I almost never like in comedies but usually do in serious roles. It's kind of odd.
   2200. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 23, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5678112)
FLIP!
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