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Saturday, June 01, 2019

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

The 2018-19 TV season is history, so here’s [Deadline’s] annual list of summer premiere dates for new series and new seasons of returning shows. It covers hundreds of broadcast, cable and streaming series bowing from mid-May through August in various dayparts.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 01, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 888 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   601. jmurph Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5851024)
What business exists to service me then?

Libraries, man! Library ebooks have been around for years.

Alternatively, Amazon, of course.

(for the flip)
   602. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5851029)
And is more than twice as much. People can make time, and do, to save money for other things.

Not for a commuter. The bus would cost $15 a day, or ~$330 a month. A Metro North monthly from White Plains is $278, $248 from Yonkers.

If you're not a commuter, the difference is only $9.75 per trip off peak, vs. $7.50.

   603. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5851031)
Excellent! I (non-snarkily) am not sure of the connection between this and the quoted post.


I am thinking a start-up trying to replace all the services, locations, etc. of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is going to cost far, far more than what Hamilton County taxpayers are currently paying, so, I guess i am just agreeing with you. :-)

I was kind of surprised that tax passed (i do not remember how I voted on it), as Hamilton County property taxes are much higher than any of the surrounding counties. Gotta keep paying for that Bengals stadium to keep our suck-ass NFL team around... (as a sweetener to help get the sales tax increase passed to build the Bengals and Reds stadiums, Hamilton County put in a property tax rebate that was supposed to last for as long as we keep paying for these stadiums. Most of that rebate has been cut).
   604. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5851032)
And it's a bit silly to accuse the MCU of being ephemeral, when it's been dragging us to theatres for 10 years and shows no sign of slowing down.


Yes - "the MCU." Not the individual films themselves, which may as well not exist to many, after their initial release, once they've been assimilated into the amorphous universe-building blob of "the MCU." This is, of course, what Disney/Marvel are counting on. The films aren't made to last, nor are they really even made for the purpose of art, which is completely incidental. They're made to soak up as much cash as possible as quickly as possible and strengthen some bigger Brand, so that more tie-in films can be made to soak up even more cash, and so on and so forth. THAT is unusual. At least when sequels and franchising used to occur, it was, in a sense, organic: this film was hugely popular, let's make more of them. The runaway success of the LotR trilogy, followed by Harry Potter, obviously changed that, so that franchising is now The Point from day one of any production meeting.
   605. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5851034)
The films aren't made to last, nor are they really even made for the purpose of art, which is completely incidental. They're made to soak up as much cash as possible as quickly as possible and strengthen some bigger Brand, so that more tie-in films can be made to soak up even more cash, and so on and so forth. THAT is unusual.

I'm pretty sure this isn't actually unusual. (And, while I suppose I could be pegged as a shill and a Stockholm-Syndrome naive puppet to popular culture, I would also disagree that pure mercenary cynicism as the root cause of these films is accurate.)
   606. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5851035)
Well, certainly not that A film is made to soak up cash, no. It's that a series of twenty of them, all tied together, would be. I suppose you could argue for something like the James Bond films, but those were an outlier that really didn't have any analog otherwise. Now you've got executives trying to make things like the Universal Monsters universe.
   607. jmurph Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5851037)
I am thinking a start-up trying to replace all the services, locations, etc. of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is going to cost far, far more than what Hamilton County taxpayers are currently paying, so, I guess i am just agreeing with you. :-)

Got it Well in that case, I obviously support your agreeing with me!
   608. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5851038)
Hollywood has always had a nakedly avaricious side, and there has always been a conflict between art and profit.

I agree with Alex that the conception and rollout of the MCU films - whereby smaller films build hype for bigger ones, for example - was both new and absolutely brilliant.
   609. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5851041)
The reality of being passionate about film for most involves acknowledging that film, due to the massive production costs, is more beholden to commerce than any other artistic medium. But the franchise MinMax approach to filmmaking by studios in recent years has really exacerbated the issue, so that anything that isn't either frivolously cheap or a huge tentpole film sees its odds of even being made drastically lessened.
   610. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5851042)
Now you've got executives trying to make things like the Universal Monsters universe.


I hope they give A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen another shot. I don't know if the world wants it, but I enjoy a good Victorian action romp.
   611. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5851043)
You could ignore everything made with a budget over $100,000 or so and never run out of great things to watch.
   612. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5851045)
I agree with Alex that the conception and rollout of the MCU films - whereby smaller films build hype for bigger ones, for example - was both new and absolutely brilliant.


Oh, yeah...whatever artistic bones I have to pick with the Marvel gameplan, from a commercial standpoint, the approach is fascinating. Hell, the ephemeral nature of the films isn't accidental - it's essential, because outside of the die-hards, who has seen every film in the MCU? The status quo can never be too radically altered by anything that doesn't happen in the Avengers films, because you need people who didn't see Thor 2: Dark World or whatever the hell to still know what's going on enough to not care about what they might have missed.
   613. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5851050)
Maybe in your 'hood, but 'round here libraries ain't open at 4 am.
   614. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5851051)
I hope they give A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen another shot.

Be a great HBO series. Not really right for a movie.
   615. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5851052)
Maybe in your 'hood, but 'round here libraries ain't open at 4 am.


This is my bone to pick with society at large - the lack of public spaces for night owls like me. Unless your interests lie with drinking, gambling, or going to strip clubs. (Ed. Note: I enjoy all of those things on occasion.) There's the occasional twee-gentrification bookstore that has a bar and is open late - one of them here in KC, Our Daily Nada, is one of my favorite businesses - but the options are greatly limited.
   616. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5851054)
The status quo can never be too radically altered by anything that doesn't happen in the Avengers films, because you need people who didn't see Thor 2: Dark World or whatever the hell to still know what's going on enough to not care about what they might have missed.


This isn't really right, they can fix that in two lines of exposition (and there've been a few bits where it's been obvious to us 'die-hards' that they're doing it, but 10 seconds later its over.) Michael Douglas hadn't seen Captain America:Civil War, and needed a big of exposition to film Ant Man and the Wasp, but it was no big deal to fill in the background.

And, of course, part of the what the MCU has done is shown us that audiences aren't complete morons, and can pretty reasonably fill in back story unless a specific detail is absolutely critical.
   617. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5851055)
Be a great HBO series. Not really right for a movie.

I meant an MCU thing. You get a new 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a new Jekyll/Hyde, new Dracula, etc, and then occasional megamovies that have them all together at once, saving the world. I mean, we don't need any of these things, and I'd only watch if they were really good, but if they're gonna try and make new MCUs, this seems as good a place to start as any.
   618. jmurph Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5851056)
Maybe in your 'hood, but 'round here libraries ain't open at 4 am.

But this is the point of that twitter thread and of what I'm trying to tell you: libraries, for years, have made ebooks available online. For free. Nearly 100% of my reading over the last 4 years has been kindle books checked out from my library's website (I click check out, then the download link, and it sends me to an Amazon site where I complete the process and select which device I want the book sent to).
   619. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5851058)
Crime & Punishment & Fitness


I just wanted to give this a shout out, since it is truly excellent.

Also the MCU is not nearly as empty and ephemeral as some here suggest. It is a series of stand alone movies (with a few obvious exceptions which tie things together) which all fit in a huge arc. There are many new and reoccurring characters at all levels (stars all the way to cameos) and overall the quality (relative to other blockbusters) has been crazy high.

There is a reason they make buckets and buckets of money and it is not just lowest common denominator.

Are they great art? Meh, whatever. They are solid movies and pretty much always worth watching at least once (for those of us that like that sort of thing) and if you don't want it they are really easy to avoid - no tricksy marketing here, you know what you are getting.
   620. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5851061)
617- They tried it already sorta. The 2017 Mummy movie included the Shocking Twist that one of the supporting characters (played by an A-lister) was actually......Dr Henry Jekyll!!!
   621. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5851065)
Crime & Punishment & Fitness


I just wanted to give this a shout out, since it is truly excellent.


Mouse! Are you going to be in Indy in August again this year?
   622. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5851066)
617- They tried it already sorta. The 2017 Mummy movie included the Shocking Twist that one of the supporting characters (played by an A-lister) was actually......Dr Henry Jekyll!!!


Nice, that's the kind of silliness I want to see. Was there a Jekyll movie that already got shelved?
   623. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5851068)
Yeah, they had a whole Thing planned that got scrapped when everyone hated The Mummy.
   624. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5851069)
Oh well, they tried.
   625. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5851071)
I just wanted to give this a shout out, since it is truly excellent.

Also the MCU is not nearly as empty and ephemeral as some here suggest. It is a series of stand alone movies (with a few obvious exceptions which tie things together) which all fit in a huge arc. There are many new and reoccurring characters at all levels (stars all the way to cameos) and overall the quality (relative to other blockbusters) has been crazy high.


Well, if the bar for ephemerality (is that a word) is cleared by "being a movie," "telling a story," and "having characters," the Marvel films are indeed lasting cultural touchstones.
   626. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5851073)
I think it's obviously far too soon to decide how ephemeral the Marvel films are or aren't. I am doubtful that these films will be much loved a generation from now, but I could be wrong.

What I wonder is when we'll start hearing about them re-booting the entire thing. Yeah, that's right, just making more or less the same movies all over again with new celebrities. You know they wanna.
   627. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5851075)
Well, if the bar for ephemerality (is that a word) is cleared by "being a movie," "telling a story," and "having characters," the Marvel films are indeed lasting cultural touchstones.


Well the MCU doesn't have the cultural touchstone status of Die Hard, but that is a mighty mountain to climb. Still I think it does plenty well.

Which is more of a cultural touchstone, The Avengers or War Horse? (Edit: Chosen as a comparison, because both movies are 2012. Edit #2 - War Horse was 2011, 2012 Oscars. My bad.)

Serious question, because War Horse was nominated for Best Picture and yet today it has approximately zero cultural footprint. I saw both and even enjoyed both, so I am not throwing shade on War Horse(Well I thought it overrated at the time, but it wasn't terrible or anything).

Note: Don August, I will indeed be in Indy again this year. I think I am up for another DG trip down south on Sunday on August 4th.
   628. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5851076)
Note: Don August, I will indeed be in Indy again this year. I think I am up for another DG trip down south on Sunday on August 4th.


Cool. Mt. Airy this time?
   629. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5851077)
Cool. Mt. Airy this time?


Sure. I will email you when we get closer to finalize. Looking forward to it!
   630. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5851079)
Well, the Oscars suck too, so there's that. :)

I actually don't really hold the MCU in contempt, in a vacuum. They're mostly whatever. I've seen worse, I've certainly seen much better. They wouldn't draw my scorn at all if they weren't nearer than ever to the only game in town.
   631. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5851080)
But this is the point of that twitter thread and of what I'm trying to tell you: libraries, for years, have made ebooks available online. For free. Nearly 100% of my reading over the last 4 years has been kindle books checked out from my library's website (I click check out, then the download link, and it sends me to an Amazon site where I complete the process and select which device I want the book sent to).


How are we from 3D printers turning ebooks into readable books? I suppose I could buy a ~$10k? copy machine that'd do that for me, but having a drone that delivers it to me for ($2.99)? ... seems like a more practical option. Especially if you're living in a big city with an apartment that's only 25 square metres ....
   632. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5851082)
What I wonder is when we'll start hearing about them re-booting the entire thing.

TBF, haven't the comics been doing this since forever, really? I find the Marvel movies to be pretty disposable diversions but I don't underestimate the power of nostalgia. All the young people consuming these Marvel movies now are going to remember them in the same golden glow I remember Star Wars or the king fu movies USA Network used to show on Sundays or The Muppets or The Billy Ball A's or whatever I was investing time and emotion in then.
   633. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5851084)
How are we from 3D printers turning ebooks into readable books?

I remember hearing about print on demand books back in 1990 but it hasn't seemed to have gone anywhere for some reason. The professor in my communications seminar envisioned a vending machine where you could pick the book you wanted and it would print the book for you right then and there. He imagined each machine would be able to print an almost unlimited number of titles. It seems like we're closer to having a book with re-writable digital pages than we are to that. Personally, I often don't know what books I want until I'm in a bookstore and browsing so I hope that experience never goes away.
   634. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5851086)
remember them in the same golden glow I remember Star Wars

Thankfully George Lucas has thoroughly destroyed that glow for me.
   635. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5851087)
I find the Marvel movies to be pretty disposable diversions but I don't underestimate the power of nostalgia. All the young people consuming these Marvel movies now are going to remember them in the same golden glow I remember Star Wars

This is exactly what I'm wondering about, and why the "Twitter isn't talking about the Avengers anymore, why is modern entertainment so disposable?!?" thing is dumb.
   636. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5851091)
A handful of places have a full print-on-demand system called an Espresso Book Machine that can turn a generic Archive.org or Google Books or other reasonably standard PDF into a paper book. I have some obscure 18th and 19th century antiquarian titles that I had printed at the one in the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge. (EDIT: I also have a pair of Kelly Link stories that I think were printed on it.) It's kind of cool, a huge photocopier-ish thing that smells like the interior of a printer's shop. Harvard Book Store has had their Espresso Book Machine since about 2005, I think.

Apparently the Cincinnati Public Library (mentioned above) has one.

P.S. The Harvard Book Store is a book store in Harvard Square, not Harvard's book store. If that matters.
   637. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5851094)
TBF, haven't the comics been doing this since forever, really?


The comics do both re-booting and mantle passing. Given that we've got a new Captain America, I suspect we'll see a lot of mantle-passing before actual re-booting comes up (apart from X-Men, of course, who'll get rebooted in phase 5, I think).
   638. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5851097)
Thankfully George Lucas has thoroughly destroyed that glow for me.

Good thing he can't do a 1981 A's prequel, then.
   639. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5851100)
I’m with 635, it’s dumb and pointless to speculate about future trends in the world of entertainment. Like, unless you have a time machine, what’s the point ya dinguses?!?!?
   640. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5851102)
I don't want to bring back the whole quantifying music thing, but I couldn't help notice an article in this not-very-statistical statistical publication I get that just popped up today, involving using data science to evaluate the "sentimentality" of lyrics. I can only link to the abstract (which is just a couple of sentences long). It's not actually evaluating the quality of the lyrics just the emotional content. I only skimmed it, but have serious doubts about the approach (and the point) of the work.

Needless to say, not peer reviewed, and for what it's worth, the author is a business analytics coordinator for Pfizer (though he specifically states he is writing in a "personal capacity" so they are not trying to determine the appropriate dosage of Celine Dion to administer to mental patients.

Another article from a year ago from the same publication also tried to quantify the "metalness" of words based on heavy metal lyrics. It linked to this blog post. Apparently the most metal word in the English language is "burn" (makes sense) and the least metal word is..."particularly".
   641. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5851106)
I actually don't really hold the MCU in contempt, in a vacuum. They're mostly whatever. I've seen worse, I've certainly seen much better. They wouldn't draw my scorn at all if they weren't nearer than ever to the only game in town.

You’re being far too kind...
   642. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5851108)
the appropriate dosage of Celine Dion to administer to mental patients.


Are they trying to make the patients better or worse?
   643. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5851114)
You’re being far too kind...

Speed Racer, a bold indie emotional cinephile powerhouse free from Capitalist concentration on franchising and marketing.
In 2008, under its Americanized title, Speed Racer, Mach GoGoGo was republished in its entirety in the United States by Digital Manga Publishing and was released as a box set to commemorate the franchise's 40th anniversary, as well as serving as a tie-in with the 2008 film.

A game based on the movie was created for the Wii, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 platforms. Stars Emile Hirsch (Speed), Christina Ricci (Trixie) and Matthew Fox (Racer X) reprise their roles.
   644. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5851116)
“You say the Marvel movies are bad, but then earlier you said a completely different movie was good. Um, hypocrisy, much?”
   645. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5851123)
I've wanted an excuse to use the local espresso book machine since I first heard of it years ago. Very cool machine.
--
I'm of the school that libraries are amazing, provide a great ROI, and could greatly expand their services in order to better serve their communities. No, I can't speak to this all that intelligently.
--
Mt. Airy? Like, in NC? (I've spent a handful of long weekends roughly in that area - like Beech Mountain - but not in Mt. Airy itself.)
--
This is on a maybe now-dead topic but:
I've rambled before about how I came to appreciate music relatively late, like in college. (At which point I became a student radio DJ in order to determine what I liked and put together, accordingly, bizarro playlists. Anyway, I was very lyric heavy in terms of what I liked at that time - words were something I understood far more than any nascent curiosities about things like melody and rhythm. As it came to click and I turned into someone who spent a lot of his discretionary income on music, my priorities changed.
I dunno, this doesn't seem that that out of the vein of what said up-thread.
   646. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5851124)
You’re being far too kind...


Probably. My friend occasionally refers to me as a movie whore. I just ####### love movies. Or as this tweet states beautifully:

Mike Ginn
Why must a movie be “good” ? Is it not enough to sit somewhere dark and see a beautiful face, huge?
   647. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5851127)
I remember one summer when it was hot and I didn't have air conditioning that it really didn't matter what was playing in the cheap movie theater, sitting in a cool dark room was worth the money.
   648. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5851128)
Anyone who touts Speed Racer as great cinema - while allowed to like what they want - really shouldn't criticize anyone else's taste. Or honestly any movie, because someone, somewhere loves it.
   649. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5851130)
Speed Racer is totally bonkers and shouldn't according to the operating logic of the marketplace exist, and should be cherished for that alone. How the F did that movie get made?
   650. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5851134)
“You say the Marvel movies are bad, but then earlier you said a completely different movie was good.

Manga are comics, genius.
   651. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5851148)
The previous time the Walchowskis made movies that were totally bonkers by the standard of the day, they made like two billion dollars. So, they got a lot of rope.
   652. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5851164)
You know what? I've never seen it. I remember being impressed by the visuals in the previews, but after it flopped I lost interest.
   653. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5851194)
I’ve seen Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers, Doctor Strange, Black Panther in full, and caught about an hour of Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. None were even a little bit good: dull and predictable throughout, ensconced in their ugly and unyielding sameness of form and tone, and above all they are mean, dealing in the snark- and irony- based humor of post-Seinfeld American television, to disguise their fascistic obsession with violence and “redemption.”
   654. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5851200)
And to be clear, that basically describes all Hollywood movies from this era. They’re lazy, stupid products designed almost exclusively to make money; any shred of individuality or creativity or soul that can’t be marketed is scrapped. The Marvel movies aren’t unusual in this regard at all; to paraphrase Resnais, a Marvel movie is made the same way a Transformers movie is made.
   655. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5851202)
Speed Racer isn't exactly good, but it probably flopped because it tried some interesting stuff but kinda failed, and probably took a terrible example to try it on. Trying to live action anime is interesting, and the visuals are often interesting. But they make it harder to follow the story (which is probably part of why it flopped), and the story sucked (which is probably part of why it flopped). The unconventionalness might've limited the actors (who all do fine, but rather unremarkable jobs).
   656. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5851206)
C'mon Davo, you can make your Take hotter.

And really, the Transformers movies are bad, but they're full of individuality. A 10 second clip of any Transformers movie will make it readily apparent it's a Michael Bay film, so for good or for ill (for ill), his individuality is shining through.

Okay, so it's a Warm Take. It trolled me a little. But I do pretty much read 653/654 as "Now that we've figured out how to make really good movies, we're not making as many risky movies that'll probably turn out terrible". It's not unique to movies - a lot of art has come to the point where we can basically paint perfectly, so artists are continuously churning out art that's different with total disregard for whether it's good. It works for high art because you can appeal to pretentiousness and you only need a few fools. But you can't make three billion dollars that way.
   657. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5851208)
@FilmUpdates
Zendaya’s Drake-produced HBO series #Euphoria is already garnering controversy for scenes featuring erect penises, overdoses and an extended locker room scene that reportedly features up to “30 penises”. “[The show will make] 13 Reasons Why look like an after-school special.”
   658. Lassus Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5851210)
In fairness, Doctor Strange is probably heretical.
   659. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5851215)
They all to a T perpetuate the myth of redemptive violence. Which would be forgivable if they weren’t so ugly and dull!
   660. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5851227)
The BABADOOK director’s new film THE NIGHTINGALE has started making the festival circuit, and there are (reportedly) tons and tons of walk-outs due to its violent content:
One angry viewer was heard shouting "I'm not watching this, she's already been raped twice." as she exited the Sydney theater.
   661. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5851228)
They're all very punching-heavy. Though, Dr. Strange at least does not resolve the conflict with punching, though there is a lot of punching.

But ugly and dull seem like cheap and probably impossible to justify shots. I think it's pretty untenable to argue movies that drive people out in droves to get excited over the visuals and find out what's going to happen are ugly or dull.

Though a lot of people went to see The Graduate.
   662. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 07:48 PM (#5851255)
@DeusExCinema
Alright class, we’re going to go over this one more time and if you don’t get it we’re just going to have to move on.

It’s World War Zee
but The Lost City of Zed

Got it?

OK, next we’re going to talk about why Who Framed Roger Rabbit doesn’t take a question mark...

My favorite WTF movie title punctuation oddity has gotta be 2014 Best Picture winner Birdman or.
   663. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 12, 2019 at 09:01 PM (#5851266)
@MZS
Has anybody asked Jim Jarmusch if there’s a reason why the useless right wing ####### in his zombie movie is named Frank Miller?
   664. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:31 AM (#5851300)
Speed Racer is totally bonkers and shouldn't according to the operating logic of the marketplace exist, and should be cherished for that alone. How the F did that movie get made?


How did a long-existing, recognizable franchise, with a two-second Post-It premise ("cars go vrrooom"), get licensed for a film adaptation amid dozens and dozens of such licensed pre-sold adaptations, to be directed by the "Matrix" guys and produced by the "Lethal Weapon" guy, in the immediate wake of four "Fast and Furious" movies and Pixar's "Cars" (et al), and in a CGI style that was readily transferable to non-English markets at a time when that was a dominant consideration in Hollywood, impossibly beat the system and carve out a spot in the operating logic of the marketplace? Is that the question?
   665. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:44 AM (#5851302)
I feel like the "in a CGI style that was readily transferable" part of your equation is doing a lot of lifting, there. There is nothing really like Speed Racer, visually - at least not live-action, which is what makes it so wild and sui generis. That's very specifically what impresses me about it. And while it may be a "recognizable" franchise, who in 2009 cared about a cartoon that had one season while the Beatles were still together, let alone cared enough to make executives think, sure, let's drop $120 million on this.* Point about the glut of car films well taken, though.

*I'd like to know where that ranked it, upon release, among the most expensive films ever made, but $200+ is no longer unusual, and apparently one of the ####### PotC movies cost just shy of $400 (!!!) million. Yeeeeesh.
   666. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:26 AM (#5851304)
A tweet I saw yesterday from someone who presumably worked on the first 'Men in Black' movie stated that the studio is still claiming that the original remains in the red, yet the fourth in the franchise is being released this month. Movie economics make little sense, at the very least on the level of detail available to the average punter.

I highly doubt the MCU is going to prove to be ephemeral. Much like the Harry Potter movies (which I found wildly variable in quality), there's a generation of movie-goers who can mark their transition from childhood to late-teenager-dom by the cadence of those releases. That'll be enough, with the quality - which I think has generally been high in context - a secondary factor. One of my brothers is a decade younger than me, and watching his pop-culture movie-going experiences transition from early Pixar to Lord of the Rings to Star Wars prequels to Harry Potter to the MCU has been interesting. Also, the failed and faded franchises along the way - remember when the Narnia stories started being remade by Disney? Golden Compass? The (Brendan Fraser-led) Mummy? Underworld?

I do want to try Speed Racer, though. The only things I really believe I know about it are that it's visually spectacular and . . . Roger Allam is in it?
   667. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2019 at 07:34 AM (#5851309)
It also has a monkey. Take that, hegemony!
   668. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2019 at 07:52 AM (#5851311)
Calling Captain America: First Avenger mean is a sad and desperate bit of trolling. There are problems with it as a movie, but mean ain't one of them. But then again, consider the source.
   669. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:56 AM (#5851322)
After much consideration and soul-searching I have embarked on an epic reading project: Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive, which is unfinished but projected to be 10 books, each of which will surely be 1,000+ pages. I ordered the first one and was shocked by the size of this book - it's 1,000 pages but the book is actually a large format for a paperback and so it may well be more like 1,300 pages of words. Looking it up now, it's 425,000 words, so the first book is the same length as the entire LOTR saga, roughly the same size as the Count of Monte Cristo, which is probably the longest book I've ever read. I read 75% of War and Peace but didn't finish, even though I enjoyed it, for reasons not related to the book itself.

As I've noted here before, the only major fantasy works I've ever consumed have been the LOTR books/movies and Thrones, the TV show. When I was a kid I had a brief nerdy phase around 7th grade where I would read books about dragons and wizards but that went away pretty quick. But for a while I've been seeking a fantasy thing. I tried the Gormenghast Trilogy last year but abandoned after a couple hundred pages, because the world was too small. I wanted to immerse myself into a detailed, expansive alternate universe. I read some of the original Conan stories too, and really enjoyed them.

So far, so good. I read 150 pages of The Way of Kings yesterday. Breezed through them. The prose quality is just what it should be, not polished enough to slow you down, but good enough that it's not distracting or off-putting. Most of what I read is much more dense and it takes me longer to churn through that many pages. The world is big and everything about it seems very internally consistent - even the details of the magic system, the monetary system, etc. Having read only 1.5% of the saga so far, I only have the barest understanding of the world and have no idea what the overarching plot will look like.

Also, the cow equivalents of this alternate universe are crustaceans. People hitch their wagons to giant crabs.
   670. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5851327)
Also, the cow equivalents of this alternate universe are crustaceans. People hitch their wagons to giant crabs.


Do the wagons have their wheels oriented to move laterally?
   671. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5851343)
Since I know he's been a topic of conversation around here before ... Truly Batshit: The Secret History of ‘Vampire’s Kiss,’ the Craziest Nicolas Cage Movie of All Time

A sample:

Another source of friction was Cage’s dislike of Beals, who’d been cast as the vampire woman a day before shooting. “He hated the idea of Jennifer,” says Shulman. “He just didn’t think she provided proper motivation—creatively, sexually, in any way.” Cage had wanted that role to go to his girlfriend, 19-year-old Patricia Arquette, but Bierman refused. Another young actress got the part, but dropped out right before filming because her fiancé threatened to break up with her if she made love to Cage on screen. When Beals took the role, Cage treated her so coldly that Shulman had to call Beals’s agent and make excuses (“Nicolas is in character”).

Cage eventually warmed up to Beals, but his methods remained bizarre. “To get turned on, Nic asked to have hot yogurt poured over his toes while he was doing a love scene with Jennifer,” Shulman recalls. Nobody could comprehend why yogurt got Cage aroused, but the crew obliged. “If you look at the shot, you don’t see his feet,” Shulman says.
   672. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5851359)
A Green Bay radio station has bleeped the word “Vikings” from Lizzo’s song “Truth Hurts.” Cowards!!!
   673. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5851494)
I feel like the "in a CGI style that was readily transferable" part of your equation is doing a lot of lifting, there. There is nothing really like Speed Racer, visually - at least not live-action, which is what makes it so wild and sui generis. That's very specifically what impresses me about it.

All I'm saying is that studios are eager to make CGI action movies that can be interchangeably watched by Americans and Chinese and Brazilians and Germans, regardless of whether those CGI effects are innovative and successful (e.g. The Matrix) or innovative and not so successful (e.g. Speed Racer).


And while it may be a "recognizable" franchise, who in 2009 cared about a cartoon that had one season while the Beatles were still together, let alone cared enough to make executives think, sure, let's drop $120 million on this.*

The original episodes ran on MTV, Cartoon Network and Boomerang for much of the 1990s and 2000s, and a U.S. reboot series was also broadcast. There were also Speed Racer toys in the years before the movie, and then many more toys in conjunction with the movie, along with a second U.S. reboot TV show. The theme to "Speed Racer" was being used in unrelated advertising decades after the show's run. About four different "Speed Racer" video games were released in the 1990s. The franchise was more widely identifiable to the general moviegoing public than, say, the one-book "Watchmen" ($130 million budget). There were also some other 1960s properties with limited cultural pertinence being revived and blown up into movies at the same time as "Speed Racer"s production, such as "Get Smart" and "Underdog."

Even if it turned out weird and off-center, a big screen "Speed Racer" ticked a lot of normal and obvious "green light" boxes.
   674. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5851496)
   675. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5851499)
Fun Shooty fact: Speed Racer is the first tv show I have a memory of watching. I'm sure I saw many tc shows before Speed Racer, but that's the first one I can remember.
   676. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5851501)
   677. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5851520)
First tv show I can remember watching: the Garfield / US Acres pairing on Saturday mornings.

I think compared to most I watched very little tv in my youth (those are the only two Saturday morning cartoons I can remember). My parents were farmers, so the weekends weren’t really for sleeping in, they were for helping with chores.
   678. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 13, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5851540)
Speaking of the first TV show I can remember watching . . . New Looney Tunes, anyone?
   679. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5851544)
Blumhouse Horror Remake 'Black Christmas' to Star Imogen Poots

But also: directed by mumblecore it-girl Sophia Takal!
   680. DEFCON: jive Posted: June 13, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5851550)
New Looney Tunes: "dull and predictable throughout, ensconced in their ugly and unyielding sameness of form and tone, and above all they are mean, dealing in the snark- and irony- based humor of post-Seinfeld American television, to disguise their fascistic obsession with violence and “redemption.” "

I mean, I really want to see these, and I wish there was an easier way to watch classic Looney Tunes, but the linked cartoon doesn't even rise to the level of homage or parody, it's pretending that Chuck Jones is still alive making these things. I guess I wish someone had the guts to update the formula a little, although I can't blame Warner for playing it safe.
   681. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5851555)
I guess I respect Imogen Poots for just going ahead and leaning into it when I assume she had every opportunity to start using a stage name. Unless maybe that is her stage name, in which case, awesome.
   682. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5851563)
I just finished reading Jillian by Halle Butler. An awesomely funny book. Every single character is a ####### #######, so at times it was painful to read. I'd close the book, think for a bit and start laughing. So then I'd read some more.

I'm also reading Iain Banks' Surface Detail, from the "Culture" series. It's one of his later books--he may have already been dealing with the cancer that ultimately killed him--and he is not exactly shy about letting the reader know what he thinks of religion. Which is, for me, one of the best things about it.
   683. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5851566)
682- He loves it and wants his readers to share that love???? (*crosses fingers*)
   684. Cropper Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5851569)
So far, so good. I read 150 pages of The Way of Kings yesterday. Breezed through them. The prose quality is just what it should be, not polished enough to slow you down, but good enough that it's not distracting or off-putting.


Brandon Sanderson is nothing if not consistent. If you liked the first 150 pages, you'll probably like the next 10,000. The fact that he's not a prose-master is the most frequently raised criticism of him, so if you're OK with that, you should be good to go. The other somewhat common criticism is his complete avoidance of profanity and anything remotely sexual. Comes across somewhat juvenile to some.
   685. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5851577)
He has described several articles of clothing as "form-fitting." Is that not enough to set your loins ablaze?
   686. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5851580)
I guess I respect Imogen Poots for just going ahead and leaning into it when I assume she had every opportunity to start using a stage name. Unless maybe that is her stage name, in which case, awesome.


She could have used her middle name, but no, stuck with "Imogen Poots". Of course her middle name is "Gay".
   687. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:08 PM (#5851584)
"The other somewhat common criticism is his complete avoidance of profanity..."

Why would people criticize that? I don't use profanity in my own life except on extreme occasions (I was driving with a friend who has known me for 25 years, and a car moved into our lane and almost drove us off the road. I uttered a mild profanity, and she said it was the first time she'd ever heard me swear.) I'm pretty sure I've never written a swear word, except as a direct quote of someone else's words, with asterisks added. It's no big thing, but it would never occur to me use a profanity while writing. It would make me feel uncomfortable. Jane Austen wrote perfectly well while avoiding those words...
   688. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5851586)
The other somewhat common criticism is his complete avoidance of profanity and anything remotely sexual. Comes across somewhat juvenile to some.
Funnily enough, those same people would probably say it's juvenile to use profanity and overt sex to sell a book.
   689. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5851589)
Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris has a scene where our three heroes (young men on military leave in Europe) are getting drunk at a nightclub, dancing with provocatively dressed young women, and when one of them gets razzed by his buddy he fires back “Hey, shut the heck up, Alex!”

It’s the sort of hilariously tone-deaf line of dialogue that would make you think the film was made by a senile nonagenarian.

....That’s one. But in general, I think if we’re talking about good books/movies you shouldn’t notice the absence of profanity or other vulgarities. I mean, the first ~50 years of Hollywood movies had no curse words or nudity, it’s not like you notice their absence in a Hawks movie or whatever.
   690. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:53 PM (#5851591)
The reviews I’m seeing for this newest Shaft movie are in the “not just bad, but likely the worst movie of the year” territory.
   691. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5851592)
When HBO's The Pacific came out, the Onion AV Club had a weekly TV review of the series and a surprising number of comments, while generally being very satisfied with the show, took exception to the amount of profanity used within, claiming it was overblown, or that enlisted men might have been so profane, but not the officers.

The irony, of course, is that Robert Leckie (one the three main characters in the show) included the following paragraph in his memoir:

“Always there was the word. Always there was that four-letter ugly sound that men in uniform have expanded into the single substance of the linguistic world. It was a handle, a hyphen, a hyperbole; verb, noun, modifier; yes, even conjunction. It described food, fatigue, metaphysics. It stood for everything and meant nothing; an insulting word, it was never used to insult; crudely descriptive of the sexual act, it was never used to describe it; base, it meant the best; ugly, it modified beauty; it was the name and the nomenclature of the voice of emptiness, but one heard it from chaplains and captains, from Pfc.’s and Ph.D.’s — until, finally, one could only surmise that if a visitor unacquainted with English were to overhear our conversations he would, in the way of the Higher Criticism, demonstrate by measurement and numerical incidence that this little word must assuredly be the thing for which we were fighting.”
― Robert Leckie, Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific


Paul Fussell's "Wartime" includes an entire chapter more or less devoted to the same point.
   692. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:57 PM (#5851593)
I found the excessive profanity in Deadwood extremely distracting, for example, because it felt like an anachronism. I don't need the citizens of a fantastical world with crab-cows and magical swords and so on to be saying \"############\" and \"##########." Perhaps some invented profanity would be welcome, although that seems like it might be tough to do without sounding totally ridiculous. In this book so far, people will yell things like "STORMBRINGER!" which I think is the local equivalent of "JESUS CHRIST!" Also, I don't know what a stormbringer is yet, no spoilers yo.
   693. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5851598)
I found the excessive profanity in Deadwood extremely distracting, for example, because it felt like an anachronism.


In some cases, you are right, hooplehead.
   694. Cropper Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5851611)
"The other somewhat common criticism is his complete avoidance of profanity..."

Why would people criticize that?


To clarify a bit, it's not necessarily just the avoidance of profanity, it's the substitution of made-up curse words. Huge storms are a defining characteristic of this world. People will use the word storm as a catch-all substitute for profanity. Anger will result in an outburst of "Storm it!", frustration in a "That storming woman!". It's just a bit corny.

   695. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:17 PM (#5851612)
@SeanRMoorhead
I like that Lolita and Vertigo, two stories about emotionally stunted men struggling in vain to mould women into the images of their lost loves, have a point of geographic intersection in the Mission Dolores. ("Good name for a book," Humbert says.)
   696. Omineca Greg Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:25 PM (#5851615)
To clarify a bit, it's not necessarily just the avoidance of profanity, it's the substitution of made-up curse words. Huge storms are a defining characteristic of this world. People will use the word storm as a catch-all substitute for profanity. Anger will result in an outburst of "Storm it!", frustration in a "That storming woman!". It's just a bit corny.

As I recall, the Smurfs did that too.

Belgians have a weird sense of propriety.
   697. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:42 PM (#5851621)
The theme to "Speed Racer" was being used in unrelated advertising decades after the show's run.

I must report that over the end credits of the film they play a remix of it rapped by Ali Dee and the Deekompressors.
   698. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: June 13, 2019 at 08:44 PM (#5851622)
   699. Lassus Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5851685)
I'm also reading Iain Banks' Surface Detail, from the "Culture" series. It's one of his later books--he may have already been dealing with the cancer that ultimately killed him--and he is not exactly shy about letting the reader know what he thinks of religion. Which is, for me, one of the best things about it.

Surface Detail was very good, maybe one of the best. I'm not sure his depiction of (digital) Hell can ever be equalled (although it's possible that's what I'll be reading when I get into Stephenson's latest). Maybe I'll do a ranking of my Iain M. Banks novels. His death was so heartbreaking. Maybe worse than Adams.
   700. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5851696)
To clarify a bit, it's not necessarily just the avoidance of profanity, it's the substitution of made-up curse words. Huge storms are a defining characteristic of this world. People will use the word storm as a catch-all substitute for profanity. Anger will result in an outburst of "Storm it!", frustration in a "That storming woman!". It's just a bit corny.


Thanks, that makes sense in that context.
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