[rant] Entertainment Rants

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Lemminkainen on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:34 am

nearly_takuan wrote:

"It is so nice that this episode passes the Bechdel Test." "I know."

This reminds me of a microplay which I wrote once. It went like this:

Woman: Does this play pass the Bechdel test?
Alison Bechdel: Yes.

FIN.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:56 am

The actual line was "it's so nice to finally have another woman to talk to". Which is an acknowledgement of a problem with Flash and Arrow but not a promise to actually do anything about it.




Previously, on Arrow: Ollie's life is literally saved by a Japanese family in Hong Kong; he repeatedly calls them Chinese despite their quiet corrections. They don't press the issue beyond that. This has so much truth in it, yet I worry it's too subtle for the people who actually need to see that happening.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by reboundstudent on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:17 pm

The Magicians by Lev Grossman had a blatant rip-off of Narnia under the guise of "de-constructing" its tropes, even introducing "Fillory" through an in-novel book series of four children protagonists (2 boys, 2 girls.) The 1st book (SPOILERS) casually tosses out the bombshell that the author of this series was a pedophile.

Third book opens with a quote from CS Lewis.

.... Are you freaking kidding me? Tell ya what, let me write a story in which a boy with a scar discovers he has magical ninja powers and goes to a special assassin's academy, just like his literary idol Terry Otter, to then discover the author of his favorite childhood story is a talentless hack who can't write and steals all of their story ideas from orphans. Then I'll open my sequel with Dumbledore's quote about adventure! Har har I am so very cutting and brilliant!
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:18 am

Is this a Rant or a Joy or a Random Thought? It's kind of all of them but I'm putting it here.

There are very, very few characters I've cared about anywhere near as much as I cared about Tadashi Hamada. Because he looks like me? I don't have a better explanation.

Ellie and Carl of Up do come close for me, so I suppose I can also give Disney/Pixar some credit for just being really good at efficiently making audiences invest in their characters. (I'm looking forward to Inside Out now.) But I can't help feeling like race was a significant piece of it, too.

It's actually kind of disturbing, partly because it highlights how rarely Japanese-American males get to be complete characters, but also because it reveals a lot about my own biases—

Spoilers for Big Hero 6:
that I can so readily and so completely empathize with, and then mourn a character in far less time than most other protagonists take to earn even a little of that kind of investment.

So, mixed feelings. Joy at finally getting to experience lacrimation in a movie theater. Guilt about the cognitive biases and emotional blockages that prevent me from doing the same for other races of characters. Annoyance that it took this long for something to end what now seems like a fairly extreme erasure. More annoyance that, while it was on my radar, I didn't expect it to make as much of a difference to me as it did. More guilt about the fact that there are still so many other groups that lack this kind of representation. Hope that there will be more to come.

I read blog posts and reviews and heard from friends and relatives about the film prior to seeing it (the only thing that mattered was thankfully not spoiled for me). I walked in expecting to be impressed. Holy shit, I was impressed.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:46 am

nearly_takuan wrote:(I'm looking forward to Inside Out now.)

Meh.
http://thesocialcomplex.tumblr.com/post/57878449629/more-height-stereotypes-in-childrens-movies

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:26 am

Oh, ew. Never mind, then. Somehow I missed that.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by InkAndComb on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:01 pm

Rant: I am tired of hearing about the Fifty Shades movie. I made my first attempt at reading some of this book and holy sh*t I'm done. Like, stick a fork in me and take me out of the oven, this book is terrible. I just finished reading a book that handled the idea of bdsm and D/s relationships much, MUCH better. I mean, the fact that the author straight up said she was taking a vanilla person and thrusting them into bdsm without a preference for it is pretty awful on its own, LET ALONE that she "doesn't really get it" and "people who like this are reading it for the love story, not the bdsm".

Eugh.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:06 am

This article is so true, and it makes me sad Sad 

I'll probably like some of the moves in those giant lists of sequels, and maybe even look forward to a few, but the totality of the situation is sad.

I found this bit funny, though: 

This summer, Disney announced The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4. They will be called Infinity War Part 1 and Infinity War Part 2. Suddenly, the stakes for Avengers 2 (which is merely called Age of Ultron) feel lower. How could they not, when we know the freaking Infinity Wars are coming?
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:55 pm

Just remember in Avengers 2 that this is Joss Whedon. Any character that you love who doesn't have a sequel in the lineup is subject to be killed suddenly and without warning. I feel like what we're really seeing is the much predicted media convergence. With streaming, TV ratings are at an all time low. Pay cable shows have an epic movie feel and big budget movies are copying the serialized format. Meanwhile, low budget movies are better positioned than ever to be breakout hits. Cult movies like Blade Runner and Nightbreed would be niche but insanely successful relative to their cost today.

I also feel like the author missed a big point by splitting movies into franchise money makers and movies that the producers dream of making. The Marvel series at least is both. Yes, Marvel movies are a huge interlocking franchise that makes the studio enough money to buy gold plated yachts to sink with blocks of platinum shot from their trebuchet (you know studio execs do this) but they're also the movies that the talent and the audience have wanted for years.

On the other side, Warner and its non-movie CEO are making movies to extend the brand for the sake of extending the brand and they're collapsing. I really got a whole tone from this article that's classic old Hollywood, that the public is too stupid to know a good movie when they see it, so they just pay for whatever tripe gets hyped. He forgets all the Daredevils and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Givers lying beside the road in smoldering heaps of franchises-that-weren't.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:31 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Just remember in Avengers 2 that this is Joss Whedon. Any character that you love who doesn't have a sequel in the lineup is subject to be killed suddenly and without warning. I feel like what we're really seeing is the much predicted media convergence. With streaming, TV ratings are at an all time low. Pay cable shows have an epic movie feel and big budget movies are copying the serialized format. Meanwhile, low budget movies are better positioned than ever to be breakout hits. Cult movies like Blade Runner and Nightbreed would be niche but insanely successful relative to their cost today.

I also feel like the author missed a big point by splitting movies into franchise money makers and movies that the producers dream of making. The Marvel series at least is both. Yes, Marvel movies are a huge interlocking franchise that makes the studio enough money to buy gold plated yachts to sink with blocks of platinum shot from their trebuchet (you know studio execs do this) but they're also the movies that the talent and the audience have wanted for years.

On the other side, Warner and its non-movie CEO are making movies to extend the brand for the sake of extending the brand and they're collapsing. I really got a whole tone from this article that's classic old Hollywood, that the public is too stupid to know a good movie when they see it, so they just pay for whatever tripe gets hyped. He forgets all the Daredevils and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Givers lying beside the road in smoldering heaps of franchises-that-weren't.

I agree he was a bit condescending. I don't necessarily have a problem with the Marvel (and now Star Wars and DC Comics) model, I just have a problem with there being nothing original to balance it out with.

Actually, it was less the comic-book movies that made me groan, but the "other sequels" list. Do we really need Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2? Ice Age 5? Avatar 2, 3, AND 4? Could better movies have been made by the same talent pool? Would they have made any less money?

I think what we're losing is the ambitious and original mid-to-high budget film. Unless your name is Christopher Nolan, no studio is going to give you a meaningful budget to do risky, experimental, original work.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:47 pm

I think Marvel's advance planning model is fairly new, but I think it's worth noting that we've previously had the equivalents to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Ice Age 5 and Avatar 2-4. When studios saw that people liked to watch Shirley Temple dancing or Errol Flynn swashbuckling or Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy antagonistically flirting, they tended to capitalize on it by making more movies with the same actors and very similar plots. They changed the characters' names and some of the details, but there wasn't vastly more original content. What people tend to think of when they criticize sequels is a fairly brief period around the 70s, but I'm not sure that's the natural state of film production.

I do think that the ambitious and original mid-to-high budget film is disappearing, though. I think television is a huge part of the problem. Movies are expensive, and I think we may see theaters leaning strongly toward films with special effects that look their best in that environment. It seems like a lot of the character-centered pieces are moving to TV.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:54 pm

I think that's more a matter of perspective than something genuinely true because the mega-franchises take up so much brain real estate. The last two years gave us Lucy, Snowpiercer, Europa Report, Ender's Game, Divergent, The Giver and Jupiter Ascending and that's just off the top of my head. Sure a lot of them are proto-franchises but there are plenty of original pieces, too.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by eselle28 on Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:I think that's more a matter of perspective than something genuinely true because the mega-franchises take up so much brain real estate. The last two years gave us Lucy, Snowpiercer, Europa Report, Ender's Game, Divergent, The Giver and Jupiter Ascending and that's just off the top of my head. Sure a lot of them are proto-franchises but there are plenty of original pieces, too.

Ah, that's fair, and the first two are particularly good examples because Lucy was a huge hit and Snowpiercer was a successful movie that probably could have been a huge hit if its distributor had supported it at release. I do think there will still be considerable migration of more experimental and character-focused pieces to television, though I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. It's possible that some of the conventions about the length of a piece for each of the mediums are simply outdated, and that there will be even ore of the convergence you mentioned earlier. I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the TV (or streaming exclusive) movie makes a comeback in the next few years. We're already seeing the return of the miniseries (which I'm grateful for, because there are too many shows that try to stretch 8 hours of story into 23 episodes).
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:19 am

**Spoilers for the recent Hunger Games movie**

This isn't a rant per se, but I don't think it deserved it's own thread, so whatever.

I just saw Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1. I thought it was an enjoyable movie, and it definitely gave an excellent portrayal what a revolution and civil war in a world with mass media and fire bombs would look like. That said -- and with the full disclosure that I haven't read the books (so, I don't know what's going to happen, don't spoil it!) -- I felt like the movie was grey vs. grey, even though I think I was supposed to feel like the movie was black vs. white (or dark grey vs. light grey, at least). At some points, I was actually somewhat sympathetic to the government's position. I think their points about law and order were valid (especially given that, IIRC, the districts were in prolonged civil war before Snow took over). I also initially took their point about peace, even though they are at least culpable for half the damages, but ultimately I don't think it's an argument in their favor as they didn't have to be so brutal. Also, while we're clearly supposed to sympathize more with the districts, the districts (in the movies, at least) seem to be relatively low-population rural ares (district 12 is only like 10,000 people, right?), while the population of the people in the capital seems to dwarf the districts' combined populations, and the capital's population seems to be pro-Snow and doing well under him economically. No sign of slums in the city, for instance.

Now, Snow is no ideal ruler. He's autocratic, sadistic, not interested in the well-being of people outside the capital, and overly brutal when he doesn't have to be (even to his own political detriment at times). At the same time, the rebel leader Coin didn't come off as that much better. Sure, she would probably be somewhat less brutal (though a rebel take over would potentially involve a persecution of a large amount of loyalist civilians), but she doesn't strike me as somebody trustworthy or as a competent peace-time administrator. Maybe that's just based on Moore's performance/direction, though.

Anyway, an enjoyable movie, but I'm not sure it made me feel the things it wanted me to feel.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by kath on Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:00 pm

I think that may be one of those "hazards of splitting one book into two movies" things - the payoffs / explanation / closure / non-closure for those things will come in the next movie, which leave them kind of hanging weirdly at the end of the first part. (Full disclosure: I haven't seen the movie yet)
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:39 am

I'm insanely disappointed by how bad The Interview turned out to be. All this hoo-ha over the movie and North Korean hackers trying to ban it...I was actually expecting a brilliant political satire before I remembered that Seth Rogen made this. And while Superbad is the ultimate teen sex comedy, and it's Rogen's masterpiece, he's really lost steam since then.

Seriously, it was a variation between either him or Franco making some racist ass Korean accent (literally saying "ching ching chong" at one point), the Korean actors acting like extras from a Godzilla ripoff, or something about dicks. For every clever idea, there were ten bad ones. It's a shame, because there's a lot that worked, and if not for the completely godawful screenplay and all the improv, this could've been a truly special film instead of a pop culture time capsule.

This is actually a film that desperately needs a serious remake. For once, a remake is needed.

But yeah, Ink, I was astounded to see a best-selling novel that openly encourages abusive relationships and rape. And that people are buying this book in droves. Seriously, people are just stupid, I chalk the success of it up to that. I'm praying that the movie flops, unless it goes Starship Troopers and makes a satire (shitty book, great movie)

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:19 am

I think Mockingjay was functioning as intended. Neither side in the books came out as all good, just better than the alternative. At the end of the day, you still have the Capital and the Anti-capital fighting for control of the districts, not really the districts fighting for their own independence, although whether or not that's a good idea either is its own debate.

That said, I saw the movie the day before the Ferguson verdict came in, went to bed and woke up to that. All I could think was that the people cheering on District 5 last night were the ones who would say with a straight face that the riots aren't justified the day after. I liked the movie precisely because it doesn't pull any punches about what armed revolution against a military superpower looks like. You always grasp the full weight of what both sides are doing. Without getting too spoilery, there's one thing in the book that District 13 does near the end that clearly defines them as no better than the Capital in tactics, if not in governance.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:20 am

Wow, Anakin is a total creeper, Nice Guy TM, and boundary pusher in Attack of the Clones. I didn't realize how bad he was acted and written until just now on rewatching the movie.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:51 am

The Wisp wrote:Wow, Anakin is a total creeper, Nice Guy TM, and boundary pusher in Attack of the Clones. I didn't realize how bad he was acted and written until just now on rewatching the movie.

I felt it made the whole collapse of his character into an 'evil' person a little more believable, if there's any silver-lining to be found of his characterisation in those movies. He already had skewed 'gotta be dat hero' views and that sort of spun into the this faux romantic personality full of arrogance as he grew older. It actually works in a really horrible way.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:10 pm

MapWater wrote:
The Wisp wrote:Wow, Anakin is a total creeper, Nice Guy TM, and boundary pusher in Attack of the Clones. I didn't realize how bad he was acted and written until just now on rewatching the movie.

I felt it made the whole collapse of his character into an 'evil' person a little more believable, if there's any silver-lining to be found of his characterisation in those movies. He already had skewed 'gotta be dat hero' views and that sort of spun into the this faux romantic personality full of arrogance as he grew older. It actually works in a really horrible way.

That's a good point, and I think they were going for that. That makes it less bad. Still, there wasn't enough charm in Anakin to make me believe that Padme would enter into a relationship with him even though it would be a "forbidden" relationship.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by OneTrueGuest on Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:06 pm

Totally agreeing with GJ there. The Wisp, it's actually really awesome that you got the grey vs grey thing in the first Mockingjay movie without having read the books because that's EXACTLY what the last book is about. And you are going to see what happens to make it even harder to choose sides in the second film. I really enjoyed the film, I actually think it vastly improved on the books (the inclusion of Effie as a major player in it was brilliant). And it really excites me that it is telling the story so effectively for those who aren't familiar with the source material.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by The Wisp on Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:28 am

Just saw the first episode of a series called "black mirror". Google the first episode summary, I don't understand what point the creators were trying to make. I felt like they were trying too hard.
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Jayce on Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:23 am

I know the internet is full of trolls, but twitch chat is just horrible. People are just spamming random stuff all the time. The insults people spam out goes by so quickly, the streamers probably didn't even see it haha. There's never a discussion on how the game is going.

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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by Werel on Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:54 pm

The Wisp wrote:Just saw the first episode of a series called "black mirror". Google the first episode summary, I don't understand what point the creators were trying to make. I felt like they were trying too hard.

Funny you should say that. I felt like that premise was explored so organically and perfectly I wanted to stand up and cheer. Plus, I think it's great to take speculative fiction to a place where the "what if" can be as simple as
Spoiler:
"what if the PM had to fuck a pig?"

But all the reviews saying "this appalling garbage should never have been aired" just enhance my enjoyment, so. Wink
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Re: [rant] Entertainment Rants

Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:06 pm

Based on what I've heard and read about it, I think they intended for it to explore ideas about peer pressure, leverage, media cycles, and gossip, among others. Not even necessarily making a point about any of them, since you might agree or sympathize more with the PM, the antagonist, or another creature in the story.

I find it abstractly intriguing in ways that are perhaps similar to Under the Skin, but also like that film, I think I have to pass on actually viewing it for now.
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