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So far, this is the best thread title of the year.

13

Comments

  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    And yes, I was happy with most of the winners too. I enjoyed a lot of the nominees this year.
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    We had such colossal winds on Friday that D.C. was shut down, so I had a free day. We watched Three Billboards. I finished it thinking it was really great.

    But then I made the mistake of reading this: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/17-more-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri

    They aren't wrong. Still like the movie, but yeah.. had some problems.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    edited March 5
    I like a good withering takedown as much as the next person, but I'm comfortable saying they are wrong. I'm absolutely sympathetic to people who, given the current political climate in the US (particularly the part of the US where the film is set), would have rather seen a film focused on the dynamic between policing and race.

    I get how setting it in the American south made people long to see it take on racism and making it in 2017 made people want it to examine gender in the South, but that's not why it's set there... the American south is also an ideal setting for a story about flawed/problematic people who butt heads but also accept each other for what they are.

    This was the thing I liked best about the film: how it portrayed the weird way that people can sort of grudgingly accept each other in small southern towns, even as they maintain all of their various grudges and prejudices. Dickson was a racist but he still wanted his black boss to think he was doing a good job. Mildred hated the PD for failing to catch her daughter's killer, but still had kindness for Willoughby when he spat up blood. The real estate agent was horrified to find out his new roommate at the hospital was the man who put him there, but he still gave him orange juice so he'd be more comfortable. Willoughby resented Mildred's crusade and it egged him on to an earlier death... but he was still sorry he let her down and wanted to do what he could to help her. And on and on.

    These are complicated characters and not only does the film not try to pin them down to simple good/bad status, but for the most part the characters don't do that to themselves or each other either.

    I knew it was going to be a different movie than I expected when Mildred gave Willoughby her nonsensical suggestions for next steps in his investigation. In a lazy redemption film, she's basically a better cop than he is and has been doing some digging, here is what he can do next, she's got the key to the investigation, why didn't you do X or Y (obvious logical things), etc. and he responds by covering his ass or being indifferent. But in this film, all she has is hurt and flailing and it doesn't help his investigation at all, though he would dearly love it if she had something that would.

    Much of the criticism I've seen is about unearned redemption arcs.

    These are not good people and they have not been redeemed. Mildred puts her son through emotional hell, fire-bombs a police station, essentially humiliates the kindest man in town (Peter Dinklage), and uses the n-word out of apparent habit. Dixon is a dangerously racist yokel cop who is marginally less awful at the end of the movie than he was at the beginning. As the credits roll, those two are hitting the road to commit (maybe) a vigilante murder-by-proxy. That's ... not an uplifting moment. It's a howl from the darkness.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    I just read American War recently and while part of me felt it was a copout that it dealt with a new Civil War without making race a factor, I also understood that anything about racism has to be ABOUT RACISM and it would have swallowed up his larger goals about making the Middle East's fragmented, faction-driven chaos relatable to Americans.

    I feel kinda the same way about Three Billboards. I get why people would want it to be about racism and/or gender, times being as they are. But that's asking for a different movie, not evaluating the one we were given on its own terms.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    Kind of a bummer that the #MeToo #Time'sUp Oscars still managed to give awards to Gary Oldman and Kobe Bryant though.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    I haven't seen a single oscar movie yet. Not even Get Out, which I have downloaded. I found the time to finish Black Mirror, and I've started Ken Burn's Vietnam doc. I haven't had much time to watch anything on my own.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    I am reading a bio of Philip K. Dick written by a guy called Émannuel Carrère, a french author I like. I've been reading Dick since I was a teen. I never realized how much of a crackpot the guy was.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    The new Breeders is record is fun. It sounds like the follow-up to Last Splash I always expected but never got.
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    I think there were some Oneida fans here. If you haven't heard, John (Kid Millions) was in a serious car crash a couple days ago. He will recover but will not be able to play drums for a long time. So completely unfair. He was gaining a lot of respect in academic music circles with his Man Forever projects and Oneida just dropped a brilliant new record it was about to tour. Positive mind atoms and all that.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    That's a bummer. Just awful him getting sidelined while he had so much to contribute. PMAs indeed.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    Bummer about John! I'm a big Oneida fan (I pretty much have everything they've put out). The Kid is one of my all time favourite drummers. The man's a machine!

    Positive mind atoms going his way!
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    I'm making a playlist for my 4 yo niece who has fallen in love with the upright bass.

    Any songs or artists you'd recommend where the bass is featured?
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    This song is about a street fight, but I don't think that will register with a four year-old, the slang is so dated:

  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    edited March 7
    Two old rockabilly songs that I think are kid appropriate, and have cool slap bass in them:



  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    Oh, and this one, for the lulz...

  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    Thanks yall! Digging that Jack Earls.
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    Jeff, I liked what you wrote about Three Billboards.

    Like I said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I think some of the criticism was overblown but some was worth considering.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    Got our tickets to see A Wrinkle in Time tomorrow. Reviews are mixed but the book is very special to me and to Simon so here's hoping.
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    I will be looking to you for a review. My fam is on the fence. Also all big fans of the book but slightly put off by the Disneyish trailer.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    That is terrific and I am stealing that.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    So what is everyone, etc. etc.
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    Practicing up for Come The Freak On VII (Florida's Crappitystock). I'm playing in 4 of the 5 bands, soooooo... lots of practicing.

  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    That sounds fun.

    Not actually related but I will tack this on: have I ever told y'all I have a recurring nightmare where one of you fine people (it varies which) invites me to join your band and I gratefully accept, only to be humiliated when I show up and remember that I cannot play an instrument?
  • captqitncaptqitn Posts: 1,584
    Ha. I have similar dreams all the time. I know how to play but I have never played the songs on the setlist before and we go on in 15 seconds.
  • matthewmatthew Posts: 222
    I'm pretty burnt out when it comes to Hollywood. Over the past four or five years there has been a steep decline in the number of movies I watch, particularly American ones. A big part of this is the fact that there are so few actors that I enjoy watching anymore. It's gotten to the point that I feel a visceral repulsion when I see movie posters on the sides of bus shelters that feature either the faces or names of A-list American actors. I'm never all that impressed by the films that rise to the top, but the phoney progressive politics of Hollywood have lead me to lose all interest in watching their mediocre fare. I'm not even that curious about what was even nominated anymore.
  • Jurf_WurburJurf_Wurbur Posts: 2,648
    A Wrinkle in Time is a bit of a mixed bag. It unfortunately smooths out some of the grating weirdness of the Murry family and it rushes through the setup. But, it also resists the urge to try and make it a four quadrant, appeals to everybody kind of thing, staying squarely aimed at bright nine to twelve year olds just as the book was. It also hangs tightly onto the book's text not subtext, morals said out loud kind of feel. I'd give it a B- but have seen reviews I didn't think were unfair give it a C- or even a D+. The visuals are very CGI but still imaginative and pleasingly elemental in a way that echoed the book's feel for me.

    Most of you can skip it, but it's still worth seeing if you have kids in its target demo or just love the book. Maybe not in the theater, but eventually.

    Ava Duvernay is a talented director and she seems to have absolutely made the film she wanted to make. I'm a longtime proponent of the idea that misfires by talented people are still better and more enjoyable than most things by a wide margin. So take my review on that context.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    I've finished grading mid-terms! Huzzah for me! Th in-laws are coming for dinner tomorrow. Other than that, I have nothing.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    edited March 10
    I'm not bothered by the mediocrity of american cinema, nor by the progressiveness, phoney or otherwise, of Hollywood actors. I never gave a shit about the political opinions of actors, except when the actors become politicians.

    What bothers me is that american cinema (and american culture, generally) is in almost every screen around here and that it crowds out other stuff. Mind you, that hasn't stopped me form enjoying the good stuff that comes out of the US. But I wish it was less hegemonic.
  • LefunesteLefuneste Posts: 3,569
    edited March 10
    Have you noticed that if Il Douche manages to tie his shoelaces, it's a victory? I mean, If if Obummer had walked into the press room one day and said that he was going to meet with the North Korean leader with no "preconditions" or no pre-negotiated concessions, I'm sure the press would be going "Experts say naive Obama is Rocket Man's little bitch". But since it's president shit-fer-brains, they're all "Trump secures diplomatic coup".

    I'm quite certain the North Koreans are quite happy they may get this kind of a meeting. And if it happens (a big if), it will be not because of Trump's bellicose bullshit, but because Trump's an idiot, and the North Koreans know it.
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