Author Topic: Film Flam  (Read 76200 times)

Faust

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #795 on: March 25, 2019, 07:44:48 am »
I wasn't so sure about US, didn't like it anywhere near as much as Get out.
I wont talk much about the plot which was an interesting idea and the movies strength (though may have some plot holes on anything other then cursory examination).

The crux of the problem for me was, every time they set up any suspense or tension, it is immediately deflated by a joke or a weird choice in music. I found this negatively effected the pacing for the film for me also which means while there was a lot going on, it still felt like it was dragging.

Cool concept, more ambitious then Get out, but a flawed execution. I still enjoyed it but I had higher expectations then what I got.
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Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #796 on: April 03, 2019, 01:32:54 am »
The crux of the problem for me was, every time they set up any suspense or tension, it is immediately deflated by a joke or a weird choice in music. I found this negatively effected the pacing for the film for me also which means while there was a lot going on, it still felt like it was dragging.
I'll agree with you about the odd joke inclusions, but I think the music choices served to amplify certain key themes, like the racial aspect of the film; the biggest "black people problems" are creepy home invading killers, full-stop. They fight for their lives, with tense music. The biggest "white people problems" are faulty boat motors, tense relationships, the fact that the backup generator is on, etc. They get to whine and complain, and even when they get covered in raspberry jam murdered, they get to listen to The Beach Boys the whole time.

The thing that I'm not sure if I like or not is the ending; on one hand, the revelation of it enhances some of the struggles, themes, and arcs we see with our main character. On the other hand, it flips everything we just got done watching on its head, and I don't know if I love that or hate that.
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

Prelate Diogenes Shandor

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #797 on: April 03, 2019, 05:53:38 am »
Plan 9 From Outer Space- A classic example of so-bad-it's-good. Also Bela Lugosi's last film.

the Jackass series- so lowbrow it somehow loops around becomes profound

Kung-Pow: Enter the Fist- A bizarre comedy about magic, kung-fu, space aliens, and a magical creature that lives in the protagonist's tongue

Big Trouble In Little China- Immigrants and a truck driver fight a ghostly polygamist gangster with strange powers who has brainwashed the fiancee of one of the protagonists

Space Zombie Bingo- A parody of Plan 9 that makes even less sense and has even lower production values than the real version

The Rocky Horror Picture Show- A bisexual space alien mad scientist tries to drive a wedge between two earth losers who want to use his phone.

The Dark Knight- The Joker actually makes some valid points in the hospital scene

Yellow Submarine- The Beatles travel through an undersea land that looks like an acid hallucination and has suspiciously little water to defeat a villain which is basically the RIAA

Totsuzen! Neko no Kuni Banipal Witt ("Catnapped!")- Two schoolchildren travel to an alternate dimension inhabited by talking cats, and which also looks like an acid hallucination, to retrieve their dog from an evil princess with balloon-related superpowers who has turned it into a giant monster as part of a scheme to take over the world

Evil Dead: The Musical- Vacationing college students are possessed and brutally murdered by singing demons

Blazing Saddles- A black lawman overcomes prejudice and racism in the old west

Monty Python and The Holy Grail- The knights of the round table quest to recover the holy grail but never find it. Sir Bedevere proves that the Earth is banana shaped. Merlin is a pyromaniac named Tim and Sir Lancelot is a homicidal maniac. It still makes more sense than The DaVinci Code.
Praise NHGH! For the tribulation of all sentient beings.

a plague on both your houses -Mercutio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrTGgpWmdZQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVWd7nPjJH8

It is an unfortunate fact that every man who seeks to disseminate knowledge must contend not only against ignorance itself, but against false instruction as well. No sooner do we deem ourselves free from a particularly gross superstition, than we are confronted by some enemy to learning who would plunge us back into the darkness -H.P.Lovecraft

He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster -Nietzsche

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q

You are a fluke of the universe, and whether you can hear it of not the universe is laughing behind your back -Deteriorata

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Faust

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #798 on: April 03, 2019, 08:04:09 am »
The crux of the problem for me was, every time they set up any suspense or tension, it is immediately deflated by a joke or a weird choice in music. I found this negatively effected the pacing for the film for me also which means while there was a lot going on, it still felt like it was dragging.
I'll agree with you about the odd joke inclusions, but I think the music choices served to amplify certain key themes, like the racial aspect of the film; the biggest "black people problems" are creepy home invading killers, full-stop. They fight for their lives, with tense music. The biggest "white people problems" are faulty boat motors, tense relationships, the fact that the backup generator is on, etc. They get to whine and complain, and even when they get covered in raspberry jam murdered, they get to listen to The Beach Boys the whole time.

The thing that I'm not sure if I like or not is the ending; on one hand, the revelation of it enhances some of the struggles, themes, and arcs we see with our main character. On the other hand, it flips everything we just got done watching on its head, and I don't know if I love that or hate that.

I get the purpose of the song choices, thematically, and it could work if they ramped up the tension during both the NWA and Beach boys scenes, but they kept deflating and restarting the tension  build up with the humour, and without the tension those two scenes come off as dumb violent murder montages, the only comparison I have for this is the scene from Shaun of the dead where they are killing zombies to Queen's Don't Stop Me Now.

[Spoilers]
I thought the ending was too heavily forecast, they did the set up at the very start and I went "oh she has been replaced by an evil spirit", nothing subsequently undid that for me. However the hands around America was an awesome set up and pay off. The more I think about it I really like the concepts of the film, but I don't think it is a very well executed horror film because the suspense and tension isn't there.
Narrator: In time you will know the tragic extent of my failings

May you find your worth in the waking world.

Fujikoma

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #799 on: April 03, 2019, 10:51:49 pm »
I went to watch "Us" because I never go watch movies, and I never celebrate my birthday, but because "Us" came out shortly after my birthday, I decided, damnit, this year, some things gonna change.

I get what you're saying, Faust. It wasn't as good as "Get Out"... what's remarkable, in my opinion, about Jordan Peele's horror films is, ok, this might sound off, but... it's one of the only horror films I've seen that doesn't use mental illness as some sort of plot schtik. There's nothing crazy about the weirdo nazis in "Get Out", they're just, evil, kind of like real life. I never had to suspend my disbelief because someone decided "crazy" was a good plot device. This may not seem like much, but in fact, it's critical.

Same can be said with "Us", sure, the "tethered" might be weirdo murderous fuckwads, but never is it implied that any of what happens can be magically explained away with mental illness. As someone who lives with mental illness, there's nothing fucking glorious about it, and statistically, this makes me much more likely to be the victim of violent crime (which, yeah, it's happened, and it wasn't pretty) than a perpetrator. Oh, but, pop culture ASSUMES you HAVE to be crazy to do bad things, after all, a lot of the stigma I've faced over the course of my life is clearly the result of well-thought logic and not, you know, freddy motherfucking krueger and a bunch of horrible, xenophobic apes hell bent on killing themselves with consumer goods... Wait...

But yeah, that was what I liked most about it, that I could go, get immersed in a horror flick, and not walk out feeling like someone took a dump in my shoe.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 10:57:01 pm by Fujikoma »

Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #800 on: April 03, 2019, 11:34:11 pm »
Same can be said with "Us", sure, the "tethered" might be weirdo murderous fuckwads, but never is it implied that any of what happens can be magically explained away with mental illness. As someone who lives with mental illness, there's nothing fucking glorious about it, and statistically, this makes me much more likely to be the victim of violent crime (which, yeah, it's happened, and it wasn't pretty) than a perpetrator.
I think that aspect is what I like most about Peele so far; he works with preexisting devices and character types (because Nothing Is Original), and he delivers something with them that looks like the average schlock of its subgenre on the surface, but develops into something greater than that. When put crudely, Us is about "ooo, spooky home invasion and evil murdery doppelgängers". But obviously, what we see is so much more than that; it's the duality of our lives and selves. It's our dark aspects not just haunting us, but actively hunting us down. It's a perversion of the American Dream. It's racial inequality. It's a "becoming the monster" type deal that somehow works better in my eyes than how most other works make that trope happen.

That aside, I guess what I want to say is I agree, I'm glad he didn't take the easy way out here and just go "Ooo, Adelaide has Spooky Brain Problems". Although, I do see mental disorder as a possible reference point of sorts; Adelaide is (ignoring the ending spoiler which upends this, but that wasn't totally reflected in her character until that point, so meh) obviously traumatized by her childhood boardwalk mirror-maze fun time and general fear of the Tethered, plus her daddy was a drunk and a smoker. Jason likely has ADD/ADHD/maybe mild autism(?), based on a few lines during the beach scene, obsession with his magic trick, etc (nothing is unintentional with Peele, of course). There might be more that I didn't notice, but those stuck out to me.

So yeah, good movie. I liked the "hands across America" chain of Tethered, but it almost made me disappointed in a way from then onward; it felt less personal when we realized "well shit, this isn't just a localized thing". When the white family Tethered showed up, I wondered for a second "maybe these are the same beings just taking a new form now that their old prey are out of reach for the time being", but then that turned out to be wrong. I still ultimately like that reveal, but now I just wonder how they made so many red suits, leather gloves, and scissors for everyone. Must've taken a lot of rabbit blood. :lulz:
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

Fujikoma

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #801 on: April 03, 2019, 11:38:33 pm »
The real shocker for me in "Us" was that the protagonists' dopplegangers were very clearly NOT trying to kill them, they were just playing. Nobody else got that kind of consideration.

EDIT: Also... shit, I had something to say and lost it in moments, not like I have much worth saying. But yeah, Peele manages to pull off something, ACTUALLY horrific without resorting to the same, tired, old tropes. It's something new. About the biggest bitch I have with his films is that he always puts in shit where I'm laughing my ass off and, it's obviously deadly serious about something, the "Fuck the Police" scene, was one of those.

EDIT: Also, the boy, there was something, up with him. I'm not going to play armchair psychiatrist, but when meeting his double he did so with a childlike sense of wonder completely absent of assumptions, despite all the evidence he should be worried. He's also the only one in the film besides the mom who understood the plot twist.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 11:45:30 pm by Fujikoma »

Fujikoma

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #802 on: April 03, 2019, 11:47:37 pm »
He was the one who pointed out the obvious, also, "It's us."

Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #803 on: April 03, 2019, 11:59:15 pm »
The real shocker for me in "Us" was that the protagonists' dopplegangers were very clearly NOT trying to kill them, they were just playing. Nobody else got that kind of consideration.
That's what was in the back of my mind when I said how Peele makes something new with old parts; I wasn't expecting that either. I saw four shady fuckers looking suave in a living room, light the fire, and handcuff a black lady...and then they're like "go play with my kid". I was expecting your usual torture, running, fight-or-flight type stuff, and we did get that while they were still in the vacation house, but then you just get to see two kids chilling in the closet with matches. Totally not what I expected, and I love it for that.
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

Fujikoma

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #804 on: April 04, 2019, 12:10:44 am »
It's impossible to discuss the characters further without serious spoilers. It was a good flick, not dumping on someone who saw it had room for improvement, it definitely did, all things do.

Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #805 on: April 29, 2019, 03:37:31 am »
Todd Berger's It's A Disaster is a 2013 dark comedy about 4 dysfunctional couples coping with their relationship issues, the awkwardness of weekly brunch, and the impending apocalypse caused by dirty bombs going off around the country. Lots of little moments of genuine human awkwardness (people fumbling with car keys in a reasonable scenario, the little quips that get inserted in actual conversations that usually get cut because dialogue needs to be streamlined to fit the plot), as well as some nice dark humor ("Are you making meth?" "No, that would take too long and require too many ingredients. This is more like a poor-man's ecstasy."), all tied together with dead bodies on the front porch, the director making a cameo in a hazmat suit, and an end-credits song by Hot Lava that is surprisingly catchy.
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

Prelate Diogenes Shandor

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #806 on: May 03, 2019, 05:06:53 pm »
Temple of Doom- A corrupt mob-affiliated archaeologist who is guilty of kidnapping, smuggling and corpse desecration has a change of heart and defeats a murderous cult by praying to Shiva

Army of Darkness- A one handed time traveler's attempts to return to the present bring him into conflict with demons and the undead
Praise NHGH! For the tribulation of all sentient beings.

a plague on both your houses -Mercutio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrTGgpWmdZQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVWd7nPjJH8

It is an unfortunate fact that every man who seeks to disseminate knowledge must contend not only against ignorance itself, but against false instruction as well. No sooner do we deem ourselves free from a particularly gross superstition, than we are confronted by some enemy to learning who would plunge us back into the darkness -H.P.Lovecraft

He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster -Nietzsche

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q

You are a fluke of the universe, and whether you can hear it of not the universe is laughing behind your back -Deteriorata

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Faust

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #807 on: May 28, 2019, 12:04:06 am »
Chernobyl is harrowing, but its some of the best TV I've seen in years.
Narrator: In time you will know the tragic extent of my failings

May you find your worth in the waking world.

Al Qədic

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #808 on: May 30, 2019, 01:10:26 am »
Just watched 2018's The Clovehitch Killer and I'm...both impressed and disappointed.  :kingmeh:

On one hand, it's shot well enough, acted nicely for the themes and locale, a fight scene isn't clogged with dramatic music, and they try (albeit unnecessarily in my opinion) to do some neat flashbacks and flashforwards for the sake of narrative. They even try to hint at things being a bit more sinister than they might seem; the 10 known victims + undocumented other victim makes 11, but there were 13 stolen driver's licenses in that box full of evidence that you helped daddy destroy, kid.

The overarching theme of insipid Christianity in rural Kentucky is a nice touch for the "oh lawd mah daddy's a murdrer" genre. The parents are just unstable enough to be believable; the mom exhibits the "sweetheart I need you to be good because mommy can't handle scrutiny and talking back". The dad uses very homely, down-to-earth, family-values language to talk people down, and actually makes a believable case (ignoring out-of-universe things like remaining run time and spoopy audio cues) for not being a murderer. The teen kid main character responds in "yes sir's", is a boy scout, has a closeted best friend who "thinks we should pray" for the vegan atheist/wiccan chick skulking out behind the church, and the little sister is just an innocent smol bab.

But this also brings out the tropes and decisions that I hate in stories and characters like these. Ooo, the weird girl isn't so bad after all. Ooo, spooky bondage, how depraved. There's lots of ideas of "he who fights monsters", especially as it relates to the "we're family" excuse. We get the line "I don't know who the killer is!" after the kid gets convinced that it's a different family member, only for that "reveal" to be given to weirdgirl in a separate conversation, and subsequently fall apart because by that point even they know that's bullshit.

There was an exchange early on where spooky mcweirdgirl goes "Your dad isn't the killer. Are you fucking serious? He's just kinky". I knew that that actually solidified him being the killer, but it got my hopes up...then the viewer gets blanketed with evidence left and right via a bunch of shady nonsense. The kid is refreshingly proactive for all of a minute, deciding to stalk dear ol dad with a rifle in tow to his next prospective victim's house. As organic as the house invasion felt, it was immediately ruined by two more pieces of crap; the "hero with a gun doesn't fucking fire it" (or load it!) dilemma, and an exchange that screamed "Zuko at the end of Avatar Book 2" :argh!:

The implications of the ending feel sequel-baity and dumb, and just...I get that there's some real-life basis here, but this already wasn't an original concept, why do there have to be murder dungeon blueprints, spooky sex magazines, and the state of Kentucky?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 01:22:02 am by Al Qədic »
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

Cain

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Re: Film Flam
« Reply #809 on: May 30, 2019, 06:19:06 pm »
Chernobyl is harrowing, but its some of the best TV I've seen in years.

It's some of the best, most well-researched TV in years.

I had a Russian writer explain to me what the poem used at the start of the second or third episode was about.  To not only know the poem, but its context well enough to then put it into this (very superifically distinct) context shows a showrunner that has taken their time to think about everything they are doing with this series.