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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)

The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It’s a difficult leap to make—embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia—but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas’s off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 626 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   301. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5794697)
Great pop bands from the days of yore? Material Issue. The Bluebells. Dramarama. Loads of others, of course.

They specialized in postpunk, but in 1981 Alternative TV decided to make a pop album, & they succeeded in spades with Strange Kicks.
   302. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5794698)
Oh, that looks cool Master of the Horse. Added it to my Amazon wish list.

   303. Master of the Horse Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5794703)
302--Cool. I think it's a great gift for anyone seriously into rock and roll and wants to understand it from a different perspective than just hearing it
   304. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5794711)
I really like Death Cab. The album Plans was terrific. The voice can get a little grating.
   305. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5794714)
So, Savages - Adore Life. Not bad, though I like their first album much more than this one.

Next: Animals As Leaders - The Madness of Many - have listened to this one before. Instrumental hard rock/metal. Two 8-string guitar players and a drummer. Have seen them live. Great show with an energetic mosh pit.
   306. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 06, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5794728)
Go Outside is a great song for kids. (Not a knock!) I put it on my daughter's first MP3 player...
If I can't sleep, I play Beach House's Bloom.
I also prefer The Great Divide (Semisonic), now that you mention it. (Truthfully, I haven't listened to him in a few years, tho)
Don't have stats for the year handy but the last five albums I listened to were by: El-P, Melody's Echo Chamber (thanks whoever suggested her here!), Spoon, Brendan Benson, and MF Doom.
   307. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5794732)
Melody's Echo Chamber is really good! MF Doom is probably my favorite rapper.

My last 5:

Mac Demarco
Temples (not of Mayonnaise)
The Clientele
The Good Rats
Marshall Crenshaw
   308. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5794774)
   309. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5794785)
I was thinking about the twee rock thing. I don't have a problem with the most self-consciously twee bands. Like this. What I usually dislike, though, are the indie bands that trend towards preciousness. I'm thinking about Band of Horses, the Shins, the Decembrists, Fleet Foxes, Death Cab for Cutie, that sort of thing. Literate, wistful, sensitive ... I feel like more often than not, that music just falls flat for me.


Death Cab for Cutie is probably my favorite American rock act of all time, with the possible exception of CCR. (Note I used the word favorite there, not "best" or "greatest" - there is a difference.) I wrote this many years ago, but it still explains why I love them so much - it's the melodies, which I find incredibly good, and the details in the lyrics. I don't know if I relate to the lyrics of any song more than I do "The Sound of Settling". (It probably should be mentioned that I loved the band from their first cassette tape, and was going to see their shows when their first album came out, so I'd count as a long time fan.):

"Singer Ben Gibbard doesn’t have the most powerful voice in the world, which he often disguises by double-tracking, but his songs are exquisite. Carefully crafted and beautifully arranged, they combine memorable guitar patterns with soaring melodies that do u-turns at every opportunity, yet still sound “right.” Gibbard’s lyrics often present the middle of stories; they’re beautifully realized portraits of events whose meanings seem fuzzy and unclear. For a band who relies so heavily on guitars for texture, DCFC uses less solos than just about anyone; best of all, it’s beautifully restrained, aware of the greatest secret of rock music, one that countless bands have never understood - that holding back is as interesting as letting go."
   310. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5794789)
Six or so years back, I got to listen to a lot of new (to me) music on a flight to Ireland (Aer Lingus had an incredibly diverse playlist). I remember particularly liking The Decembrists, Vampire Weekend, Jimmy Eat World. I think that was also the first time I heard The King of Limbs. Which is not my favorite Radiohead album (or close to it) but it was good to get to listen to it straight through. Actually listened to it twice. I think the only other time I listen to a whole album nowadays is if I'm alone in the car for an hour or more.

The music selections on any other airline I've ever been on have been pretty crappy in comparison. Some country, a few pop stars, couple of eighties hair bands...
   311. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 06, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5794792)
Death Cab for Cutie is probably my favorite American rock act of all time
So, they rank on your overall list at whatever number is one more than the number of female-fronted Japanese rock bands that have ever existed? :)
   312. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5794794)
So, they rank on your overall list at whatever number is one more than the number of female-fronted Japanese rock bands that have ever existed? :)


Something like that. :-)
   313. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 05:25 PM (#5794809)

"Singer Ben Gibbard doesn’t have the most powerful voice in the world, which he often disguises by double-tracking, but his songs are exquisite. Carefully crafted and beautifully arranged, they combine memorable guitar patterns with soaring melodies that do u-turns at every opportunity, yet still sound “right.” Gibbard’s lyrics often present the middle of stories; they’re beautifully realized portraits of events whose meanings seem fuzzy and unclear. For a band who relies so heavily on guitars for texture, DCFC uses less solos than just about anyone; best of all, it’s beautifully restrained, aware of the greatest secret of rock music, one that countless bands have never understood - that holding back is as interesting as letting go."


Agree about the guitar texture/tones. His parts always fit the songs. Also, Ben is a big Mariner fan and analytics enthusiast!
   314. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: December 06, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5794817)
Speaking of brilliant pop, Pete Shelley has died at 63. Shocking. I met him after Buzzcocks gigs at the Metro in Chicago in '99 & the Cotton Club in Atlanta about 3 years after that.

MES in January, Shelley in December -- helluva year for Manchester musical legends. Morrissey had better watch his step.
   315. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 06, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5794820)
I don’t pretend to know anything about Ben Gibbard’s music, but I am certain I’ve never heard a better opening lyric than his “I’m thinking it’s a sign / That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images / And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned.”
   316. Baldrick Posted: December 06, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5794821)
Some contributions:
"You look like a perfect fit for a girl in need of a tourniquet"
"Well, she was an American girl, raised on promises"
"Look me in the eye, then tell me that I’m satisfied"
   317. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5794825)
All three of Baldrick's in 316 are great. I'm partial to this one, especially in how it fits in with the music...

"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream" she said
"The one that makes me laugh" she said
And threw her arms around my neck

   318. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2018 at 07:10 PM (#5794839)
Speaking of brilliant pop, Pete Shelley has died at 63. Shocking.

Time passes, and death levels all.

Being from squaresville, I first knew of Pete Shelley was as the act that opens the SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL soundtrack.
   319. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5794844)
God, I feel terrible about it now, almost guilty, but I spent a good 30 minutes listening to Death Cab songs online after reading #309 and others in the thread and reassessing; and I can say definitively that I stand behind my earlier #272.
   320. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5794846)
God, I feel terrible about it now, almost guilty, but I spent a good 30 minutes listening to Death Cab songs online after reading #309 and others in the thread and reassessing; and I can say definitively that I stand behind my earlier #272.


Which is fine. I know that they don't appeal to everyone.
   321. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5794851)
Hey, I can't figure out why Death Cab is better known than Redd Kross, so I feel you.


In other pop culture news, I'm happy Top Chef is starting again tonight. I'll be baking cookies.
   322. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: December 06, 2018 at 07:35 PM (#5794852)
I first knew of Pete Shelley was as the act that opens the SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL soundtrack.


Which I of course own (on cassette) because of the two March Violets tracks. Looks like their Stones cover has never appeared anywhere else.

(Why, yes, I do harbor goth tendencies.)
   323. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 07:14 AM (#5794903)
My wife's sister dragged her to the Death Cab concert here in Atlanta last month. Her post concert review was "you owe me" to her sister.
   324. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 07:25 AM (#5794904)
Edible garden box


Thought this was a pretty cool banquet idea. A garden box full of chocolate cake, oreos, and graham crackers with strawberries, madeleines, and sweet cakes to make strawberry shortcakes.

   325. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 07:29 AM (#5794906)
double post
   326. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5794925)
Because everyone is super-excited in this thread for these, here is the AVENGERS: ENDGAME trailer.
   327. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5794934)
Because everyone is super-excited in this thread for these, here is the AVENGERS: ENDGAME trailer.

Is there any running count of exactly how many super-hero movies there have been in the last couple of decades? I don't think I've seen one since Danny DeVito was the Penguin.
   328. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5794950)
That was 2.5 minutes I'll never get back.
   329. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5794953)
Is there any running count of exactly how many super-hero movies there have been in the last couple of decades? I don't think I've seen one since Danny DeVito was the Penguin.

I sometimes see a post on facebook that lists the roster of Marvel movies scheduled over the next 4 years, accompanied by celebrations of how fun the next few years will be. It just seems exhausting to me. Though I guess the thought of watching all the Sharpe TV Movies in a row might sound exhausting to most people...so perhaps it is in the eye of the beholder.
   330. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5794957)
Here's even LESS information about something else coming in April: GOT Season 8.
   331. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5794960)
I actually watched all 16 shows of Bean's Sharpe along with the Fantastic Four's Hornblower shows. Sharpe definitely has a bit of the ST:TNG 90's production vibe about it. Brian Cox makes an appearance and does well. Wouldn't mind n HBO or A&E picking them up and redoing them.
   332. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5794961)
Is there any running count of exactly how many super-hero movies there have been in the last couple of decades?
I don't think so - we need the computing technology to progress a little more before we can process that large a number.
   333. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5794964)
On a sidenote we're looking to do another barrel buy and distillery tour next year. We're thinking about going to Woodford. Don't mind the tour and visit but not crazy about getting another barrel. Still have over 200 bottles of Knob Creek and Maker's Mark from the previous barrel buys.
   334. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5794966)
I remember in high school I once ruined a date my brother was on by refusing to give up the downstairs TV room until Sharpe was done.

Netflix is keeping Cornwell's Dane/Saxon series alive for a while. It's trying a bit too hard to be Vikings and Game of Thrones at the same time. I'd be curious to see a re-imagining of Sharpe. He's usually far enough removed from the corridors of power tell a smaller story.
   335. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5794969)
along with the Fantastic Four's Hornblower shows.

Are you referring to the Ioan Gruffud Hornblowers? I thought those were quite good. Very true to the books. Though they only really cover the first two novels. I wish they had finished the series.

PS: I have no idea who is in the Fantastic Four, or who plays them.
   336. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5794972)
Ioan played Reed Richards in the mid 2000's films. Those were the ones with The Commish as The Thing.
   337. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5794973)
I'd love to see an adaptation of the Flashman series (I think Malcolm McDowell was in a Flashman movie in the 70s).

It would be a bit delicate having such a politically incorrect hero of British imperialism in the present climate. I tend to think you'd have to lean harder on the satire of the British Empire rather than the various non-British peoples, but it could be great.
   338. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5794975)
Well, I know (for some stupid reason) that the next two Marvel movies will bring that total to 22 since 2008's Iron Man.

That doesn't include any of the Batman movies since 1989, the various Superman movies since about 1978, a bunch of Spider-Man stuff starting with Tobey Maguire, or any of the X-Men or Fantastic Four series, of which I've sat through none.

Or Deadpool, Sky High, the Mask, Hancock, the Incredibles, Lego Batman, Mystery Men, Watchmen, DarkMan, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins...

Then there's stuff like Men In Black, John Wick... Or, never mind.
   339. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5794977)
Constantine, the one done by the 300/Sin City guy that absolutely bombed. Actually liked Constantine and will usually check it out if I catch it on TV.
   340. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5794979)
So I watched the Bohemian Rhapsody movie earlier this week. My wife wanted to see it. It was entertaining enough, I suppose, despite having all the usual biopic problems in spades - clunky expository dialogue, story told as a bunch of Obviously Symbolic Turning Points, cartoonish antagonist characters (Mike Myers), etc.

I wasn't particularly familiar with the story of Queen, so afterwards I did a little Googling, and it turns out that a lot of the movie was just entirely wrong in major ways. Notably, the way the band was formed and the timing of Freddie Mercury finding out about his HIV diagnosis, to pick two examples. I know this is common in Hollywood biopics, of course, but I guess I wonder how it became so accepted in movies as opposed to other media. We wouldn't think that it would be OK for a biographical book to just make sh*t up, would we? I don't get the sense that the reaction would be "yeah, it's totally fake, but it's more entertaining that way, so yay."
   341. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5794980)
PS: I have no idea who is in the Fantastic Four, or who plays them.
John, Paul, George and Ringo?
   342. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5794981)
Don't forget the best Superhero movie of the past generation, Super.

There will never be a greater sidekick than Boltie: "You tell everyone you know! That anytime some stupid ####### bastard wants to commit some gay ass crime that Crimson Bolt and Boltie are gonna be there to crush their little ####### evil heads in!"
   343. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5794985)
"You look like a perfect fit for a girl in need of a tourniquet"

She's maybe the reigning queen of bummer lyrics (I mean that as a compliment!). This, from Little Bombs, always kills me:
Life just kind of empties out
Less a deluge than a drought
Less a giant mushroom cloud
Than an unexploded shell
   344. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5794988)
I wasn't particularly familiar with the story of Queen, so afterwards I did a little Googling, and it turns out that a lot of the movie was just entirely wrong in major ways. Notably, the way the band was formed and the timing of Freddie Mercury finding out about his HIV diagnosis, to pick two examples. I know this is common in Hollywood biopics, of course, but I guess I wonder how it became so accepted in movies as opposed to other media. We wouldn't think that it would be OK for a biographical book to just make sh*t up, would we? I don't get the sense that the reaction would be "yeah, it's totally fake, but it's more entertaining that way, so yay."

I think authors are aware they can get away with less, but historical fiction novels will often have a note at the end explaining/justifying some massaging of the chronology; combining a couple historical figures into one character for the sake of clarity; or making some speculative leaps in the gaps of the historical record to better fit the story. But certainly, I get the sense that authors feel like their readers will hold them to account on that stuff more than film audiences. I suppose the difference might be in the audience - if you're reading historical fiction than the assumption may be that you're more interested in the actual history, and are a stickler for that, than an audience that goes to see a movie.

I wonder if the same dynamic applies in plays vs. books?

EDIT: I realize I may have misunderstood your point. If you mean biography as in a non-fiction piece of history - then yeah, I definitely think you can get away with manipulating history to fit your story. A historian and a film-maker have two different goals (unless you're Robert Rosenstone).
   345. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5794989)
but I am certain I’ve never heard a better opening lyric than his “I’m thinking it’s a sign / That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images / And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned.”

One of my favorite openers:

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody's gonna go to school today
She's going to make them stay at home
And daddy doesn't understand it
He always said she was as good as gold
And he can see no reason
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be sure
   346. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5794994)
re 340. I believe the surviving members of the band had a lot of control over story content and it appears that had a bit of an axe to grind. I think the producers wanted to make a movie about a gay man in the swinging 70's through the AIDS era that would sell a ton of merchandise and had to accept some of the demands of the surviving members of the band to get their music. Not that they would have been historically accurate as I'm sure they would have played fast and loose with his life as well if left to their own devices.
   347. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5795002)
A historian and a film-maker have two different goals
Primarily, the filmmaker (in this case) needs to recoup $100M, at a minimum. Books generally don't have that expectation.
   348. PreservedFish Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5795008)
I'd love to see an adaptation of the Flashman series (I think Malcolm McDowell was in a Flashman movie in the 70s).

It would be a bit delicate having such a politically incorrect hero of British imperialism in the present climate. I tend to think you'd have to lean harder on the satire of the British Empire rather than the various non-British peoples, but it could be great.


Huge fan of the books here. But I think it would be tough to pull off as a movie, and tough to sell. That's a satire of a historical period that 94% of the viewing public can't really put a name to, although there's probably a vague idea that British people used to run around in pith helmets and shoot tigers and ride rickshaws and so on.
   349. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5795011)
Primarily, the filmmaker (in this case) needs to recoup $100M, at a minimum. Books generally don't have that expectation.
True. I just wonder why it's become so accepted that the only way to do that is to shoehorn the band story into a standard "protagonist overcomes adversity" Hollywood plot. It's like they think there's only one type of story people will buy.
   350. PreservedFish Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5795015)
It's like they think there's only one type of story people will buy.


Hollywood producers can be incredibly conservative, and a biopic like this was almost certainly put together by committee. There's no artist here arguing for his vision.
   351. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5795018)
to shoehorn the band story into a standard "protagonist overcomes adversity" Hollywood plot

I may be misunderstanding your point here. They're shoehorning Queen into a movie about Freddie Mercury?
   352. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5795019)
A Flashman movie would be about as successful as the Mortdecai movie. Nobody who reads the books thinks it demands to be a movie. The humor only works on the page and it depends on the narrator's voice and playing with his unreliability as a narrator. To see him interacting with other humans in real time and how those others react to him would be to loathe the whole thing.

Now, they did make a movie in the 70s out of "Royal Flash", the book that is basically The Prisoner Of Zenda and therefore well suited to be a movie. That was at the peak of when they were making that sort of thing (meaning all three of "movies with antihero protagonists", "big-budget movies that are basically comedic farces", and "adventures set in Victorian times"). Maybe they could do that again.
   353. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5795020)
Its either the Victorian era or the Bush Wars period of British history. I think most people are vaguely aware of the Victorian era and I think only movie buff viewers are aware of the Bush Wars era. I doubt too many moviegoers nowadays remember Rorke's Drift and the film Zulu.
   354. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5795021)
They're shoehorning Queen into a movie about Freddie Mercury?
No, they shoehorned the story of Queen/Freddie Mercury into a standard plot line of a fictional movie, and ended up with something that had little to do with the actual story of the band.
   355. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5795022)
Ah. I figured I had misunderstood, got it.
   356. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5795023)
Its either the Victorian era or the Bush War period of British history. I think most people are vaguely aware of the Victorian era and I think only movie buff viewers are aware of the Bush War era. I doubt too many moviegoers nowadays remember Rorke's Drift and the film Zulu.

Maybe you could update the story!

Flashman becomes an accidental hero fighting the Taliban; happens to be vacationing at a Crimean resort town in 2014; and joins a French mercenary group in Niger a couple years later.
   357. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5795024)
You got to make him an American this time around.
   358. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5795026)
I think only movie buff viewers are aware of the Bush War era.
15 years later, we're still living in the Bush War era here in the U.S. We're well aware of it.
   359. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5795028)
the Bush War era

but enough about Carrie Bradshaw
   360. PreservedFish Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5795030)
Flashman becomes an accidental hero fighting the Taliban


This could be big with the burqa fetishists.
   361. Greg K Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5795032)
You got to make him an American this time around.

Oh yeah, that was my intention. I originally had a section of him being a bully in some military academy state-side.

Off the top of my head I can't think of what the equivalent of the Tom Brown's Schooldays villain he'd be playing in 21st century American imagination.
   362. The Good Face Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5795033)
Constantine, the one done by the 300/Sin City guy that absolutely bombed. Actually liked Constantine and will usually check it out if I catch it on TV.


I liked that movie. Keanu Reeves doing his patented Dull Surprise, a youngish Rachel Weisz still looking great, and Peter Stormare devouring the scenery as SATAN. Good times. Who is the young Keanu Reeves right now? Does such a person even exist?
   363. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5795034)
I guess the modernized story would work if he was played by Danny McBride or something. But then why call it "Flashman"? It's a weird name to begin with and would be weirder if his name was "Greg Flashman" and he was born in Ohio in 1976. Don't even call it an adaptation. This is reminding me of the Billy Bob Thornton "School for Scoundrels" adaptation that might have been a success if it didn't have the awkward and anachronistic title "School for Scoundrels".
   364. PreservedFish Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5795037)
I think you gotta stick with British thing. It adds a layer of silliness and distance. His racism and sexism is more acceptable. Austin Powers in Afghanistan. He could almost - like Austin Powers - seem to belong to an earlier era, so that his old ideas are repeatedly scandalizing everyone he comes across, but his skills and good luck make him indispensable.
   365. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5795042)
and Peter Stormare devouring the scenery as SATAN

Did you see Pacino as Satan in Devil's Advocate? (with Keanu!) It was a masterclass in overacting. He swallowed entire sets whole. It was amazing.
   366. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5795072)
It was a masterclass in overacting.

Then what was Scent of a Woman or Any Given Sunday or really any of Pacino's movies in the last 15 years?
   367. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5795074)
Then what was Scent of a Woman or Any Given Sunday or really any of Pacino's movies in the last 15 years?

It's been a long time since Pacino was watchable. DeNiro too.
   368. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5795079)
Then what was Scent of a Woman or Any Given Sunday or really any of Pacino's movies in the last 15 years?

Godfather III came out in 1990, so it's at least 28 years.
   369. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5795083)
De Niro wasn't bad in The Intern, Silver Linings Playbook and I guess that is about it in the last 15 years.

Is Donnie Brasco Pacino's last good non over the top performance?
   370. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5795085)
Jesus, what a joyless crowd all ya'll are. Donnie Brasco (coke noted), Insomnia, Angels in America, Merchant of Venice were all good. He did not sleepwalk his way through Paterno. He coasts far, FAR less than DeNiro.
   371. jmurph Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5795087)
Ahh yes, the joys of the Godfather III and Any Given Sunday.
   372. Master of the Horse Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5795088)
Anyone here watch The Deuce? Lot of Donnie Brasco-Johnny Depp in James Franco I thought. And thumbs up on the natural nudity where the women are real unlike the juiced females on like The Sopranos.
   373. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5795089)
Watched the 1st season, haven't gotten around to the 2nd yet. Hasn't really had a TON of outside buzz. Be curious if it picks up steam attention-wise with the third season, allegedly its last.
   374. reech Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5795092)
Pacino was great in "Jack and Jill"- mainly, because he was playing "himself".
   375. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5795095)
Anyone here watch The Deuce? Lot of Donnie Brasco-Johnny Depp in James Franco I thought. And thumbs up on the natural nudity where the women are real unlike the juiced females on like The Sopranos.

For the most part the girls that got naked in The Sopranos were supposed to be strippers and high end call girls and mistresses. Was cannonballing through the show earlier this year and the strippers at the Bada Bing kind of looked like your typical aged NJ strippers. Nobody besides Adriana really looked like Hollywood goddesses and even she had a decidedly NJ vibe to her look.

In terms of the The Deuce I think Maggie is carrying a lot of water in that argument.
   376. BrianBrianson Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5795099)
Don't worry everyone, I'll sit through the superhero movies for you. For all of you.

Unless they have Superman, then forget it.
   377. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5795107)
I think it is more like unless Zack Snyder is involved.
   378. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: December 07, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5795110)
Holy cow, Sea of Love was 29 years ago... I'm old.
   379. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 07, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5795119)
Who is the young Keanu Reeves right now?


Zac Efron.

My wife binged a bunch of Marvel movies when she was on maternity leave earlier this year. They're not exactly my thing, but I did especially like "Dr. Strange".

   380. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5795147)
365- As Kenneth Branagh said about his performance in the Jack Ryan movie: “I swam through the river of ham.”
   381. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5795158)
It's been a long time since Pacino was watchable. DeNiro too.


I'm a big fan of their mob films, but I am dreading the release of The Irishman. Very long-in-the-tooth director and performers, and a heavy reliance on CGI trickery.
   382. BrianBrianson Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5795161)
I think it is more like unless Zack Snyder is involved.


No, Watchmen is good.
   383. McCoy Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5795162)
Ugh. You're dead to me. That's probably his most unwatchable film.
   384. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5795174)
but I am dreading the release of The Irishman.

I liked the Kill the Irishman, if you're looking for a mob film you probably haven't seen.
   385. BrianBrianson Posted: December 07, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5795179)
Well, my son is always telling me "You, you old man. You die." I'll get over it.
   386. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 08, 2018 at 09:57 PM (#5795447)
A question about behavior in restaurants (casual restaurants, not a fancy one to make clear). There are a lot of places around here that specialize in pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. I've never tried it, and I'd like to do so. If I went to a pho restaurant for lunch, would it be appropriate to tell the server that this was my first time, and ask for a recommendation, or should I just keep that fact to myself, not admit that I'm clueless, and choose something at random?
   387. Greg K Posted: December 08, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5795451)
A question about behavior in restaurants (casual restaurants, not a fancy one to make clear). There are a lot of places around here that specialize in pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. I've never tried it, and I'd like to do so. If I went to a pho restaurant for lunch, would it be appropriate to tell the server that this was my first time, and ask for a recommendation, or should I just keep that fact to myself, not admit that I'm clueless, and choose something at random?

Luckily pho's pretty basic (despite the fact that a lot of pho places give you about 50 different options under "pho"). Essentially they are just variations on what kind of beef you want in your soup (rare, well-done, tripe, tendon etc.)

If it's your first time I'd go with the basic (rare and well-done beef - sometimes they might say "steak"). A lot of the adjustments you can do yourself (various oils and hot sauces should be at your table for you to toss in as you like).

There's not much to eating it. I tend to just eat the noddles with the sticks, and use the spoon to slurp up the broth. Alternate between the two as you whittle it all down. Some people like to twirl up a bit of noodle onto the spoon and eat it that way...but that just slows down how fast it gets in your face. Don't be afraid to slurp! Manners have no place in a pho restaurant.

I should add as a note, this experience is largely drawn from the Pho places in Scarborough (with its very large Asian population). It's very much a loud, workman's lunch type of environment.
   388. McCoy Posted: December 08, 2018 at 10:18 PM (#5795452)
You should always communicate to your server that you are unfamiliar with the menu and need guidance. Just keep in mind a few things. Know what you like and be realistic. If you don't like seafood or lamb or sesame seeds or whatever communicate that. Don't tell the server that you want an adventure if you aren't really up for that. So for pho you could say something like, "I've never had this before so what do you recommend for me? And by the way I like beef and I'm not big on seafood." As Greg said Pho is pretty simple but in more complicated items like say a sushi place you can ask for more instructions and details. Now obviously if it is balls to the walls crazy busy inside the place you might not get the most patient and kind of server. So pick your spots.
   389. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 08, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5795454)
I'd actually go with Pho Ga … chicken pho, since beef for pho often comes rare in thin slices that will cook in the hot broth.

For some that can be off putting at first.
   390. McCoy Posted: December 08, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5795458)
Anyone have any experience with the Ecobee4 smart thermostat. I've been spending some money this month turning my home into a smart home and I'm thinking about doing the thermostat as well. Does it add any value? I've done the smart door lock, some smart bulbs, and a security camera system so far.
   391. PreservedFish Posted: December 09, 2018 at 12:00 AM (#5795464)
If I went to a pho restaurant for lunch, would it be appropriate to tell the server that this was my first time, and ask for a recommendation, or should I just keep that fact to myself, not admit that I'm clueless, and choose something at random?


You can totally ask. In my experience, the servers at Asian restaurants with primarily Asian clienteles tend to love to make recommendations. Often they'll even dissuade white folks from ordering stuff that the waiter suspects they will not enjoy, and steer them towards the handful of dishes that other white folks keep ordering again and again.

Also, pho is pretty easy. Usually you just need to choose one of various meat combinations, some of which many beginners find gross, such as tendon and tripe. Just pick the combination that sounds most appealing to you.
   392. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 09, 2018 at 12:14 AM (#5795466)
If you don't like seafood or lamb or sesame seeds or whatever communicate that.
Well, just make sure PF isn’t within earshot first.
   393. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 09, 2018 at 12:51 AM (#5795467)
Thanks very much for the responses - much appreciated. Looks like it's OK to ask for a recommendation, so I'll do that.
   394. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 09, 2018 at 01:13 AM (#5795468)
Let us know how you like the pho - I have a feeling you will be happy you tried it. Curiosity is a good thing.
   395. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: December 09, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5795475)
Let us know how you like the pho - I have a feeling you will be happy you tried it. Curiosity is a good thing.


Pho is pretty innocuous (but delicious) stuff unless you choose the more adventurous proteins, Pho Ga is basically Vietnamese chicken noodle soup ... different type of noodles and Asian-spiced broth (coriander, star anise, ginger, etc), but same concept.

It's 44 degrees and rainy here in Charleston, wish I had a big bowl of pho in front of me right now ...
   396. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: December 09, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5795483)
"Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said I'd like to smash every tooth in your head."

Bigmouth Strikes Again--The Smiths
   397. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 09, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5795522)
I saw the extended, Director’s Cut of Jingle All the Way last night.

It turns out that the reason they cut those seven scenes is because they were all spectacularly unfunny. (The movie itself remains one of my favorites; I see it every Christmas.)
   398. Master of the Horse Posted: December 09, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5795574)
A director's cut of Jingle all the way is a way of saying the 21st century is not all progress
   399. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: December 10, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5795867)
I saw Kelly Reichardt’s latest, CERTAIN WOMEN, last night.

* The Michelle Williams story: Aw yeah the spiritual emptiness of rapacious 21st century capitalism is totally my jam.

* The Kristen Stewart story: Aw yeah understated, melancholy unrequited love stories are my jam.

* The Laura Dern story: It’s cute that Kelly let her 8-year-old daughter write one of the stories, that was very sweet. Sucks for the actors who had to deliver those stupid and painfully obvious lines though.
   400. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5795870)
Kelly let her 8-year-old daughter write one of the stories


For reals?
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