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Friday, February 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (February 2019)

Having sold out at event screenings since December, They Shall Not Grow Old, which opens for a full run this week, is poised to become the only blockbuster this year that was filmed from 1914 to 1918, on location on the Western Front. Commissioned to make a movie for the centennial of the Armistice, using original footage, Peter Jackson has taken a mass of World War I archival clips from Britain’s Imperial War Museum and fashioned it into a brisk, absorbing and moving experience.

How he has done this is simultaneously novel and destined to earn the justifiable quibbling of purists. Although the film is book ended by black-and-white footage of men going off to war and then returning home, the battlefield sequences have been substantially doctored, with the ostensible goal of making them more immersive and appealing to modern audiences.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 01, 2019 at 05:24 AM | 653 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   101. McCoy Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5813137)
By the way, I watched The Predator the other day after watching the horrible Smallfoot, and let me just say they missed what made the first one so much fun. The comedy was distracting, too much revealing and showing instead of leaving it up to our imagination, too much absurdity, and I think the filmstock and the way they decided to shoot the film made it feel like a made for TV movie.
   102. Master of the Horse Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5813150)
   103. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 07, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5813151)
There is no universe where Smallfoot is horrible, the worst it could be is forgettable.
   104. Lassus Posted: February 07, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5813172)
In entertainment and art, forgettable is worse than horrible.
   105. McCoy Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5813247)
The songs were forgettable. The movie was horrible.
   106. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5813253)
   107. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5813256)
Speaking of trash entertainment...what would you say is your trashiest guilty pleasure? For me, I think it's this tv show that was on syndication in the early aughts called Sir Conan Doyle's The Lost World. I love that show way more than I should because it's completely idiotic. The writing is terrible, the acting is terrible, the effects are terrible...I love it. It's on Amazon Prime and I'm working through the entire series run for the 3rd time.
   108. McCoy Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5813266)
House MD or Scrubs though Scrubs has worn thin of late.
   109. Lassus Posted: February 07, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5813282)
Speaking of trash entertainment...what would you say is your trashiest guilty pleasure?

That is a good question. Barring awful reality television, I'd have to say the Burke novels of Andrew Vachss, which I would consider trashy, although they are lauded. I do like novelists such as Brad Thor and Ludlum, the wacky conspiracy/international espionage novels. The later DUNE novels by the kid and Kevin Anderson are amazingly trashy, and the fact that everyone hates them may actually increase my love for them. Some of them are great space opera. Ohhhhh for television it has to be BLACKLIST, but again, is it really that trashy to watch in awe as Spader devours every piece of set and scenery within 500 feet? Such fun.

My wife watches all reruns of SVU religiously, but I'm kind of over it. Mine would probably be CSI.
   110. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 07, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5813304)
I read all manner of garbage comic books on my iPhone—basically, whenever I’m in a spot where I have time to kill but no book on me, I’ll just open up the comiXology app and read something silly. (Or, if it’s late at night and I am in bed but don’t wish to bother my wife by turning on my reading lamp.)

I’m on “Letter 44” these days, which posits that the reason Bush went to war in Iraq was to boost defense spending at home because...we discovered an alien spaceship just off the surface of Jupiter and he wants us READY. But how will his successor respond to this news? You gotta swipe to the next page to find out!

But yeah...with the format, and with the haphazard way I read them...the dumber and simpler they are, the better!
   111. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 08, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5813817)
THE TEN MOST WATCHED MOVIES OF 2019 BY MY LETTERBOXD FRIENDS, SOME OF WHOM WENT TO SUNDANCE

1. Glass, 63
2. Velvet Buzzsaw, 49
3. Fyre, 45
4. Serenity, 26
5. Escape Room, 19
5. Fyre Fraud, 19
7. High Flying Bird, 14
8. Polar, 13
9. The Kid Who Would Be King, 11
9. The Farewell, 11
   112. JJ1986 Posted: February 08, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5813818)
I have not seen a 2019 movie yet, but I plan to watch High Flying Bird sometime this weekend.
   113. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 08, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5813819)
If Jack Reacher novels count as trash, it's them.

   114. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 08, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5813821)
Two half-hour comedies that I've been enjoying:

"Corporate" on Comedy Central
"I'm Sorry" on Tru

   115. Baldrick Posted: February 09, 2019 at 05:52 AM (#5813895)
Just finished Emma. I repeat my earlier comments on Austen. What a writer.

It was my second time with the book. The first time I read it was on a series of trains up and down the Italian peninsula, as I was backpacking through Europe in college. I enjoyed it then, but nowhere close to the delight it gave me this time. Elizabeth Bennet is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, but I think Emma is probably even better. Less lovable, but with faults that are even more interesting.

Now I want to watch Clueless.
   116. BrianBrianson Posted: February 09, 2019 at 07:06 AM (#5813897)
I found the first Ant-Man film incredibly tiresome and samey-samey with Iron Man, and Doctor Strange was a massive and formulaic disappointment for me.


Yeah, it's largely the same movie three times over, but I really like Dr. Strange because the big climatic battle was really clever and novel, so I left the theatre on a real high. Black Panther had some interesting characters and plot and such, but ending on a poorly justified CGI punchfest with the villain really degraded it. Maybe that's unfair, but the how I feel at the end of the whole shebang is a lot of how I end up judging.
   117. chisoxcollector Posted: February 09, 2019 at 08:38 AM (#5813903)
Witness is good. I rewatched it a while ago after not seeing for 20 years and it held up.
Frantic is meh
Mosquito Coast is pretty good in the beginning but his hyperness gets tiresome.
Presumed Innocent was okay, but I already knew the ending from the book
Regarding Henry is so treacle.


Thanks. It definitely sounds like the first four are worth watching, and I should replace Regarding Henry.

Speaking of trash entertainment...what would you say is your trashiest guilty pleasure?


Definitely the Fast and the Furious movies for me. I totally recognize that they are garbage, but I love them. Part 8 was the first one in the series that felt stale.

Now I want to watch Clueless.


Modern classic. Alicia Silverstone gives one of my favorite performances of all time.
   118. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 09, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5813941)
The Godfather is a great movie. The novel it's based on is a trash novel, but a really interesting one.
   119. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 09, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5813986)
The Godfather is a great movie. The novel it's based on is a trash novel, but a really interesting one.

I was really shocked how trashy the book was. They cut the whole bit about the bridesmaid's story and the gynecologist and Johnny Fontaine's story for the film and it didn't miss it at all.
   120. McCoy Posted: February 09, 2019 at 07:42 PM (#5814002)
Just watched mortal engines. Much better idea than script and execution.
   121. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 09, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5814016)
Morty Causa will be happy to hear this: I let my wife pick whatever movie she wanted for us tonight, and she picked Frank Capra’s Forbidden, starring one Barbara Stanwyck.
   122. Morty Causa Posted: February 10, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5814086)
Tell her I am. The Miracle Worker, another collaboration with Capra, is good.

I'm sure most here know by now that Albert Finney died. Actor/star with a fine body of work, both as star and as supporting player.
   123. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 10, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5814109)
Speaking of great novels ... for some reason, Netflixs has decided to re-create a "Das Boot" mini-series.

With Frenchies and 'Muricans and lesbians ... for some ####### reason.
   124. McCoy Posted: February 10, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5814111)
Hulu is showing it and it has already come out overseas on Sky and greenlit for a second season. Not a remake but a "sequel".
   125. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 10, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5814121)
Well, Ball Saxbury, that's even worse, Lothar Gunther Bucheim would be rolling in his bloody grave.

Although it sounds from Wiki like he was an #######, so #### him ...
   126. Tin Angel Posted: February 10, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5814141)
I watch close to a 100 movies per year, and very, very rarely stop part way through...but I turned Velvet Buzzsaw off 30 minutes in. Just awful, I cannot believe how much attention this film is getting.
   127. Master of the Horse Posted: February 10, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5814144)
Watched a BBC documentary about this guy Really fascinating. Only place you can find a non pirated copy is on Youtube if you want to check it out.
   128. Master of the Horse Posted: February 10, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5814148)
I am totally stealing the line early where his wife quotes him on how he copes with the injuries is that pain is temporary losing is permanent
   129. Master of the Horse Posted: February 10, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5814155)
One more spoiler: the rich have different closets than you and me (nod to F Scott)
   130. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 11, 2019 at 03:58 AM (#5814236)
Watched The Shape of Water over the weekend. Some fun elements and very pleasant cinematography, but otherwise appeared a weird amalgam of other, better movies. Might have helped if I hadn't watched it on DVD, but my folks, who loaned me the disc, don't appear to be able to tell the difference between SD and HD.
   131. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 11, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5814445)
Academy Unveils the 4 Oscars Categories to Be Presented During Commercial Breaks

In a break with tradition, the Oscars in four categories will be presented during commercial breaks when the 91st Oscars are broadcast by ABC on Feb. 24.

The affected categories are cinematography, film editing, live action short and the category of makeup and hairstyling.

Cutting the visual foundation award from the ceremony honoring a visual medium makes sense, if you think about it.
   132. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 11, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5814451)
@MarkHarrisNYC
By the way: How interesting that none of the categories consigned to commercial breaks happen to feature a nominee from Disney, the parent company of ABC.
   133. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5814497)
Paul Schrader Calls Bradley Cooper the Best Director of 2018

“Here’s why I believe Bradley Cooper is the best director of 2018. In 1987 I directed ‘Light of Day’ with Joan Jett. Joan and I put long and serious effort into transforming her from a live music performer into a film actress. We had some success but overall I felt we failed. Part of it was due to screen chemistry, part to script problems but as always responsibility falls to the director. I didn’t accomplish what needed to be done.

“I see the opposite journey in Cooper’s direction of Stefani Germanotta. He took Gaga’s stage and musical personality and broke them down to their composite parts. Then rebuilt them into a screen actress. He was gifted in this process by time, patience, insight but also by the benefit of being an actor himself. Being a director isn’t just about framing shots, moving the camera and selecting lenses. Sometimes it’s about looking into the eyes of a performer and seeing who they can be. Who they want to be.”
   134. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5814563)
A really nice, informative article on Alex Chilton, from The Ringer

The idyllic early years of Chilton’s life took place in that suburban house at 987 Robin Hood Lane. Sounds, myths seeped into his pores down there: Elvis played his older siblings’ high school auditorium, and, Chilton later recalled, “He happened to live not too far away and you often saw him driving down the street in a Cadillac.” Alex was the baby of the family, left to absorb the jazz music of his musician father and the rock ’n’ roll favored by his older brother Reid. But a tragedy caused him to grow up fast. In 1957, 17-year-old Reid drowned in the bathtub after having a seizure. Six-year-old Alex was with his mother when she discovered the body.

Then things got a little firecracker-wild. The family moved to a different part of town and took up a bohemian lifestyle. Alex’s mother opened a small art gallery on the first floor of their home, and local eccentrics got in the habit of stopping by, including the soon-to-be-famous photographer William Eggleston. In the Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me, producer Jim Dickinson (who’d later go on to work with Chilton, doing brilliant production work on Third) remembered that the first time he met Alex he was 11 or 12, running around on peyote that Eggleston had offered him. Dickinson remembered chuckling to himself, “This kid’s gonna have a unique life.”

   135. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5814566)
And here are a bunch of covers of Big Star's Thirteen some of which are pretty decent, though I don't think any of them are essential after the original ...
   136. McCoy Posted: February 12, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5814617)
Just cannonballs through the first two seasons of the good place. A very good and funny show.
   137. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 12, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5814669)
@alfonsocuaron
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
   138. Master of the Horse Posted: February 12, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5814671)
Finally saw all of the Oscars best picture nominees. In order of preference:

The Favourite
A Star is Born
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Roma
Vice

And I barely stayed awake for Green Book so really all I can share is that is easily the most boring movie ever for Viggo. Dude, what's up with THIS? And Bohemian Rhapsody was incoherent.
   139. McCoy Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5814697)
Hasn’t there been a few movies done in a single shot?
   140. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5814700)
Movies like "Birdman" are made to appear as one shot, but there is trickery involved.

There was some Woody Harrelson movie on Hulu last year ("Lost In London") that I think was done in one take. Probably some others as well.
   141. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5814701)
Hasn’t there been a few movies done in a single shot?


Silent House (2011) was. And some ... French? Russian? ... movie a few years before that. No doubt others.

   142. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5814703)
Huh. Has its own Wikipedia entry (Silent House turns out to have been edited to appear as one shot; I've been living a lie!).

Edit: Stupid ####### site proves unable once again to handle a Wikipedia URL as a link, for some idiotic reason. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_shot_(film)
   143. Baldrick Posted: February 12, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5814704)
Just finished Mansfield Park. It kind of blew me away. I don't think it's technically as perfect as P&P or Emma, which are just immaculately constructed wonders, but it's incredibly interesting. Raises much deeper questions about the nature of goodness, culpability, and the moral economy of the period.

Just have Northanger Abbey still to go of her novels, and I'm incredibly sad that there aren't a dozen more.
   144. Srul Itza Posted: February 12, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5814707)
Hasn’t there been a few movies done in a single shot?


Hitchock's Rope was not done in a single shot, per se, but it is done with one camera, the movie unfolds in real time, and when they had to change the reel they would pan to something stationery like someone's back, change the reel, and continue on. Other than the gimmick, it is pretty meh.
   145. Master of the Horse Posted: February 12, 2019 at 07:14 PM (#5814716)
Anyone else catch Verb the border collie in the agility contest? This is really amazing
   146. PreservedFish Posted: February 12, 2019 at 07:38 PM (#5814721)
The film Russian Ark uses a single shot. I don't know if that means it did not require editing.
   147. Master of the Horse Posted: February 12, 2019 at 07:51 PM (#5814726)
Error. Made Oscars comment but then saw someone already did.
   148. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:37 PM (#5814741)
The American Society of Cinematographers president Kees van Oostrum sent a letter to his 380 members in which he called the move "most unfortunate," adding, "We cannot quietly condone this decision without protest."

In his letter, van Oostrum argued, "We consider filmmaking to be a collaborative effort where the responsibilities of the director, cinematographer, editor and other crafts often intersect This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions."
   149. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5814743)
Danny Boyle’s new movie Yesterday has a pretty neat premise:

A young man named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) has turned his back to a possible career in music, even though Best Friend Ellie (Lily James) has tried to influence him to give it a chance, but after being hit by a bus after a worldwide power cut, he wakes up the following day finding out that he has lost two of his front teeth. Although, that's not the biggest shock. After being gifted a guitar and performing the classic song "Yesterday" by The Beatles, he finds that he is now in a world where the famous group, nor their songs ever existed. Jack takes this as a chance to start his own musical career by plagiarising the once known songs and becomes one of the most talented musicians of all time. While his newfound success has definitely impacted his life in some cases for the better, in other cases it causes the relationships he has built with his friends and family to crumble.
   150. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:55 PM (#5814755)
When I was around 10, I had an amazing song come to me in a dream. I was humming it for days, and later learned (via The Last Action Hero soundtrack) that it was Aerosmith's "Dream On"
   151. chisoxcollector Posted: February 13, 2019 at 07:00 AM (#5814784)
There was a German film a few years ago called Victoria that was shot in a single take. It was pretty good, too.
   152. McCoy Posted: February 13, 2019 at 07:52 AM (#5814788)
I believe one of my dreams at one point was to somehow travel back in time to back to being a teenager and making all of this era's big songs my own back then.

I've also wondered what it would be like to own a radio station in say 1958 and somehow being and to play current songs back then.
   153. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: February 13, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5814810)
The film Russian Ark uses a single shot.


That's the one I was thinking of above. Found the notion intriguing when I saw the trailer at the local art house, but not enough to actually pay money to see it.
   154. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5814817)
Silent House (2011) was. And some ... French? Russian? ... movie a few years before that. No doubt others.

Beaten to it by renaissance man PF on Russian Ark - I did see this in the city when it came out. I remember liking although not LOVING it, might be a fun re-watch.
   155. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5814821)
Anyone else catch Verb the border collie in the agility contest? This is really amazing.

I prefer Gabby the Pappillon, who apparently came in 2nd place.
   156. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 13, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5814834)
I believe one of my dreams at one point was to somehow travel back in time to back to being a teenager and making all of this era's big songs my own back then.

I've also wondered what it would be like to own a radio station in say 1958 and somehow being and to play current songs back then.


You have very modest goals for what to do with the power of time travel :-)

Could you at least kill Hitler, Lenin, and Mao first?
   157. Baldrick Posted: February 13, 2019 at 06:58 PM (#5815117)
Big story in the Times about Ryan Adams. I wish I could say I was surprised.
In interviews, seven women and more than a dozen associates described a pattern of manipulative behavior in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex. In some cases, they said, he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media. The accounts have been corroborated by family members or friends who were present at the time, as well as by correspondence from Adams reviewed by The New York Times.

“I never see pics of you anymore,” Adams wrote in November 2014, when he had just turned 40 and Ava was newly 16. “You were blowing my mind.” He had pet names for her body parts.
Days later, Adams expressed anxiety: “If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol,” he wrote.
   158. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 13, 2019 at 09:31 PM (#5815141)
Could you at least kill Hitler, Lenin, and Mao first?


Thorne Smith, of Topper fame, wrote "Night Life of the Gods," about a wacky inventor who learns to change flesh to stone and vice versa. He also neglects the good his skills might do, and instead embarks on a gin-soaked rampage through New York.
   159. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 14, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5815216)
On the 25th anniversary of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

My god I'm old. I remember falling in love with Slanted and Enchanted while I was going to JC in Salinas, CA. The next fall I was moving to Stockton to go to school and I naively thought Pavement would be the house band at some bar there and I'd get to see them all the time. Obviously they were in New York becoming famous while I was in Stockton wondering where the hell they were. They are right there with New Order and the Smiths as my favorite band, but they are the one I feel closest too since we are from the same trashy areas of California and their white boy, slacker California sensibility felt so familiar to me as a white boy, slacker Californian. I'd argue Malkmus' solo career has been remarkable, too. He's just a singular talent.
   160. jmurph Posted: February 14, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5815230)
Big story in the Times about Ryan Adams. I wish I could say I was surprised.

Yeah I felt the same way. I knew the Phoebe Bridgers song "Motion Sickness" was about him and... it's not exactly flattering.
   161. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 14, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5815244)
Could you at least kill Hitler, Lenin, and Mao first?
In my days as a literary magazine slush pile reader I read a story about someone who's granted the power to kill only one person from the past. He decides to kill Hegel, with the idea that by snuffing out the wellspring of teleological romanticism he is eliminating Bolshevism and Nazism in one fell swoop. The story then goes on to describe a petit bourgeois Stalin buying a painting from Hitler while on vacation in Vienna. The story read like a transcription of the stoned 3 AM ramblings of an undergraduate philosophy major (which I assume is what it actually was), but it was a different take on the time travel snuff story motif and is one of only a handful of the hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of slush pile stories I read that I actually remember.
   162. McCoy Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5815253)
Not really a fantasy but a thought experiment. What would it be like to experience music 50 years ahead of its time.
   163. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5815269)
What would it be like to experience music 50 years ahead of its time.
If I were alive in 1969 and was presented with pretty much any current Top 40 song, I'm gonna go with a combination of extremely disappointing and terrifying.
   164. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5815270)
What would it be like to experience music 50 years ahead of its time.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAgdd2VqLVc
   165. RoyalFlush Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5815271)
Big story in the Times about Ryan Adams. I wish I could say I was surprised.


Yeah, not surprising. I love Whiskeytown and several of his solo works, but his live shows (with the exception of one) have always left me lacking. He's got issues. He is ridiculously prolific when it comes to producing quality music, but there are a lot of stories out there about him. And he just comes off as an ass on stage sometimes.

Has anyone read "Waiting to Derail: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt-Country's Brilliant Wreck" - written by a Whiskeytown touring manager. It's on my list, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I've heard it's a good read.
   166. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5815272)
I'm gonna go with a combination of extremely disappointing and terrifying.


And we don't even have to go back in time!
   167. Baldrick Posted: February 14, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5815273)
In my days as a literary magazine slush pile reader I read a story about someone who's granted the power to kill only one person from the past. He decides to kill Hegel, with the idea that by snuffing out the wellspring of teleological romanticism he is eliminating Bolshevism and Nazism in one fell swoop. The story then goes on to describe a petit bourgeois Stalin buying a painting from Hitler while on vacation in Vienna. The story read like a transcription of the stoned 3 AM ramblings of an undergraduate philosophy major (which I assume is what it actually was), but it was a different take on the time travel snuff story motif and is one of only a handful of the hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of slush pile stories I read that I actually remember.

I mean, it would be a pretty major own of Marx if the entire scope of political history could be changed just by removing one guy's ideas from the mix.
   168. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 17, 2019 at 08:15 PM (#5816026)
   169. chisoxcollector Posted: February 17, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5816032)
I completed the 5 Harrison Ford films for my February Blindspotting Challenge. He was a very good choice, as I enjoyed all 5 films to varying degrees.

Witness and Presumed Innocent were both very good, and are exactly the kind of films I’m hoping to see during this challenge. Frantic was solid. Mosquito Coast was okay, though my enjoyment was tempered by just how unlikable Ford’s character was.

Lastly, I actually had a good time watching Regarding Henry, though I fully recognize how saccharine and awful it was. You know that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Ford is kind of pouty, and pointing out all of the places that hurt, so Karen Allen can kiss them? I feel like Mike Nichols told him to act like that for the whole movie.

My actor for March will be Robert De Niro. There are a few of his movies that I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen. The 5 movies will be:

Once Upon a Time in America
The King of Comedy
Mean Streets
Awakenings
A Bronx Tale

   170. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 17, 2019 at 11:35 PM (#5816035)
What, not "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle"?
   171. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 18, 2019 at 12:56 AM (#5816040)
Danny Boyle’s new movie Yesterday has a pretty neat premise:

A young man named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) has turned his back to a possible career in music, even though Best Friend Ellie (Lily James) has tried to influence him to give it a chance, but after being hit by a bus after a worldwide power cut, he wakes up the following day finding out that he has lost two of his front teeth. Although, that's not the biggest shock. After being gifted a guitar and performing the classic song "Yesterday" by The Beatles, he finds that he is now in a world where the famous group, nor their songs ever existed. Jack takes this as a chance to start his own musical career by plagiarising the once known songs and becomes one of the most talented musicians of all time. While his newfound success has definitely impacted his life in some cases for the better, in other cases it causes the relationships he has built with his friends and family to crumble.


Sounds like someone has seen the '90s British sitcom Goodnight, Sweetheart. In it, a man from then-present day London discovers a time portal that lets him travel back and forth between his time period and WW2 London during the Blitz. He sets up lives in both time periods, and when he's in WW2 London, his favorite thing to do is go down to the local pub (he's in love with the barmaid), and play Beatles songs on the piano, and claim to have written them...

Just finished Mansfield Park. It kind of blew me away. I don't think it's technically as perfect as P&P or Emma, which are just immaculately constructed wonders, but it's incredibly interesting. Raises much deeper questions about the nature of goodness, culpability, and the moral economy of the period.

Just have Northanger Abbey still to go of her novels, and I'm incredibly sad that there aren't a dozen more.



I've sometimes thought that if somehow I was gifted a time machine, I'd go to the future and find a brilliant doctor from a time when all diseases have been cured, and then take him or her to see Jane Austen...

   172. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 18, 2019 at 06:20 AM (#5816045)
Goodnight, Sweetheart


I wouldn't have thought there could be a Nicholas Lyndhurst britcom that lasted six series and that I've never heard of. I'll have to check it out.
   173. Lassus Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:58 AM (#5816047)
   174. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 18, 2019 at 08:30 AM (#5816048)
Once Upon a Time in America
The King of Comedy
Mean Streets
Awakenings
A Bronx Tale


Some people like Once Upon a Time, I didn't and it is quite long.
King of Comedy is really good. Jerry Lewis is great.
Mean Streets is good if rough.
Awakenings is kind of sappy.
Bronx Tale is good, but De Niro has small role. Chazz is great, but the actor playing the lead as a teen wasn't so good.

I take it you have already seen all the biggies. Bang the Drum Slowly is a good baseball one. Wag the Dog is a good comedy, but more for Dustin Hoffman.
   175. Lassus Posted: February 18, 2019 at 08:47 AM (#5816052)
Some people like Once Upon a Time, I didn't and it is quite long.

I absolutely loved the 3:45 version when I watched it a million years ago on VHS, but probably haven't watched it since I was 19. The shorter edit sucks.
   176. chisoxcollector Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5816059)
Some people like Once Upon a Time, I didn't and it is quite long.
King of Comedy is really good. Jerry Lewis is great.
Mean Streets is good if rough.
Awakenings is kind of sappy.
Bronx Tale is good, but De Niro has small role. Chazz is great, but the actor playing the lead as a teen wasn't so good.

I take it you have already seen all the biggies. Bang the Drum Slowly is a good baseball one. Wag the Dog is a good comedy, but more for Dustin Hoffman.


I’ve seen 30 De Niro films. I’ve seen all of the obvious classics (Godfather 2, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, Deer Hunter, Heat, etc. The five above are the 5 movies I haven’t seen that jumped out at me most when looking at his filmography.

I haven’t seen Bang the Drum Slowly, so maybe I’ll swap out either Awakenings or A Bronx Tale for it. I’m also considering Ronin. I think I’ve seen it, but remember absolutely nothing about it. The other three films are pretty much set in stone.

I saw Wag the Dog in theaters, and hated it. I was pretty young. I watched it again several years ago and enjoyed it.

I absolutely loved the 3:45 version when I watched it a million years ago on VHS, but probably haven't watched it since I was 19. The shorter edit sucks.


I’ll definitely be watching the longer version.
   177. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5816062)
I haven’t seen Bang the Drum Slowly, so maybe I’ll swap out either Awakenings or A Bronx Tale for it.

Awakenings is good, but very sweet. Based on Oliver Sacks. Both of those movies are not really De Niro movies, as he has smaller roles in both. Awakenings is a Robin Williams movie, Bronx Tale is Chazz. Although, De Niro directed Bronx Tale.
   178. chisoxcollector Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5816063)
Awakenings is good, but very sweet. Based on Oliver Sacks. Both of those movies are not really De Niro movies, as he has smaller roles in both. Awakenings is a Robin Williams movie, Bronx Tale is Chazz. Although, De Niro directed Bronx Tale.

They don’t necessarily need to be star vehicles for the chosen actor. I’m mostly using this challenge as a way to fill gaps in my film history. I could just as easily have grouped by year, or genre, or awards, or director, etc. I mean, I watched The Outsiders as part of my Tom Cruise month. He’s barely in that, but I’d always meant to watch it, and this project gave me an excuse. I would have to continue this project until 2065 before I got to C. Thomas Howell, lol.
   179. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 18, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5816067)
Come on Soul Man is great!! Wolverines!!

Actually he was pretty good in Southland. Really good police show that was cancelled too soon.
   180. Lassus Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5816080)
I was getting Bronx Tale mixed up with Last Exit to Brooklyn. The latter is more brutal than I'd imagine DeNiro could produce, as a director.
   181. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5816177)
I was getting Bronx Tale mixed up with Last Exit to Brooklyn.

Don't get them confused with King of Queens.
   182. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5816179)
Or Exit to Eden ...
   183. Howie Menckel Posted: February 18, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5816207)
I am hoping this is an UNpop culture:

Pants apparently optional on Air France flight

Lizzie Thompson
‏ @Lizzie_Thompson

The man in the seat across from me has taken HIS PANTS OFF for the flight and is just in his boxers. Flight attendants seem unconcerned. This is going to be a long flight @AirFranceFR #CDG to #LAX

.................

[one consolation: the Twitterati responses are stellar]
   184. chisoxcollector Posted: February 18, 2019 at 10:49 PM (#5816287)
I saw Alita: Battle Angel today. It is well worth seeing in a theater, on the biggest screen possible. The story is nothing special, but the visual spectacle is amazing. I saw it in Dolby Cinema 3D. One of the best 3D experiences I have ever had.
   185. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 18, 2019 at 11:41 PM (#5816291)
Alright, just watched the first 15 minutes of "The Expanse" and had to step away ... is there a reason to return?
   186. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 12:36 AM (#5816297)
Decided to move on and watch High Noon for thr the first time in a long time ...
   187. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:31 AM (#5816303)
Alright, just watched the first 15 minutes of "The Expanse" and had to step away ... is there a reason to return?


Absolutely, but the first season isn't the best intro. You've got some challenges with the production values, as ever, plus a cast that doesn't really gel right away. I think they also do a poor job framing the overall threat/'big bad' - to me it came off as more generic than in the books. There is some good stuff in season 1, particularly a very Game of Thrones vibe about which characters survive and which don't. But if you're not in the mood for a lower-budget, sci-fi GoT, then I would give it a pass.

I was really impressed by season 3. Most of the main characters actually get to share the screen for the first time (Avasarala/Bobby + the Roci crew), the secondary cast really get some fun stuff - Drummer especially - and it's just all ticking along in a nuBSG vibe. But that's a long way to trudge if you're not enjoying glowing blue space magic and Holden looking at flatscreens with a pained expression for a while.
   188. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:58 AM (#5816307)
Alright, just watched the first 15 minutes of "The Expanse" and had to step away ... is there a reason to return?

Amongst sci-fi people, I do not hold the prevailing opinion of the show. As a book reader, I was overwhelmingly excited by the prospect and then proportionally disappointed in the result. Perhaps while reading my brain created characters that didn't exist for anyone else, but almost no one was recognizable as being from the novels at all, in my opinion. Avasarala and Amos most painfully. I know the writers are involved, so my complaints seem more and more to simply be my own, but man, it was a bummer.

Reasons to watch:

1. Everyone else loves it, so my negative opinion seems solidly in the minority.

2. Support space opera sci-fi on screen. Maybe someday someone will do a good job with Reynolds, Hamilton, or Banks. Marvel eventually got it right, so I'm hopeful.

3. Bobbie Draper is well-cast and well-written.

4. Maybe it's a repeat of #2, but... spaceships!
   189. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5816308)
5. You really can't judge ANYTHING on the first 15 minutes, come on.
   190. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5816321)
that's what he said
   191. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5816326)
Alright, just watched the first 15 minutes of "The Expanse" and had to step away ... is there a reason to return?


So, I was serving on a ... let's say NSF grant review panel, and we'd already done all our reviews, just waiting for the program officers to debrief us. Anyhow, I put on some old curling matches to watch, you know, for fun. After an hour or so, someone suggests we watch The Expanse instead, because that person is dense.

Well, lights go down, we watch an hour's worth or such. Then, just as a fairly risque sex scene comes on, the program officers arrived to debrief us. They, uhm, felt this was not a good us of government equipment, nor our time while we were getting honorariums. Honoraria?
   192. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 19, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5816331)
We should discourage poor viewing habits.
   193. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: February 19, 2019 at 10:48 AM (#5816344)
   194. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5816348)
I enjoy The Expanse. I'll be interested to see what they do now that they have Amazon's endless piles of money to play with.
   195. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5816353)
Brian, do astronomers and other various outer space-related/adjacent jobs I wouldn't know the titles of generally like or consume sci-fi, or less so, in your experience?
   196. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5816445)
I think overall it's indeed very common, though it's not unusual to also find very high level sof hostility to badly done stuff (The Core, The Big Bang Theory, The Core, Armageddon, The Core, The Core, etc.), especially if it's trying to be realistic. I'd say it's a lot more common than a field population of people, if only because you're starting with people who're overwhelmingly technically inclined nerds. I never meet, say, a cousin of my wife who really likes SG-1, but I've known a fair few astronomers who do (even if it's obviously magic, not science driven*)

*Because actually science driven is a huge bar. The number of sci-fi movies with no objectionable bits of science realism is exceedingly small. Only Primer comes to mind. You need to suspect disbelief, grapple with the realities of storytelling. As long as the movie doesn't talk down to you with craziness (*The Core*), typically not that many people find it objectionable. You need to tell a story, right?
   197. Lassus Posted: February 19, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5816482)
Thanks. Scientists feel about "The Core" the way I feel about "Immortal Beloved", apparently.
   198. BrianBrianson Posted: February 19, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5816515)
Well, I do, anyhow. I certainly know scientists who get way angrier at The Big Bang Theory (which lurches from "not unreasonable in context" to "did you kill your scientific consultant for sleeping with you dog, and this is how you metaphorically #### on his grave"), for instance.
   199. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 19, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5816522)
I love bad science in entertainment, though I recognize it's probably bad for society as a whole. But I love terrible B movies and most of them wouldn't exist if anyone involved in them knew anything about actual science. Just put a guy in a white lab coat and say "molecule" or "evolution" damn it. Or my favorite Star Trek TNG phrase, "quantum subspace field." Where would Picard be without anomalies in the quantum subspace field, people?
   200. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 19, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5816534)
Last Exit to Brooklyn


I tried to read that once. God, what a horrible book. "Hey, let's do the nastiest #### we can to as many people as possible!" "Sounds like fun to me!"
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