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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #4551
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I thoroughly enjoyed his Hypernormalisation, so I'll give it a go, thanks.

    It's still on BBC iPlayer. Did not watch his Bitter Lake yet.

  2. #4552
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Watched the remaining 3 episodes for this season of the Walking Dead. Pretty good overall. A few shock deaths that I did not see coming. I just don't get where all the guns went though.

    When they were up against Sanctuary they had sniper rifles, machine guns, the works. And now barely anyone has even a pistol. What the. If they had those, the whisperers would be long gone. Grrr. They need to mobilize and take em all out already.

  3. #4553
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Just got back from the movies. Watched "Us".

    All the reviews I saw for this movie were saying that this was as good, or slightly less better than "Get Out". Giving it 8 out 10's etc. I disagree.

    This movie would have made for a good season of Stranger Things from all the talk towards the end about government experiments, leading to duplicates of everyone being made, kept underground. The experiments break out and want to kill their top side duplicate, to take their place. Right. I went in thinking family under siege from a bunch of people who look like them. Sure it's that. But then it goes full on invasion, with what appeared to be the complete extermination of practically everyone. Considering that the duplicates all only equipped themselves with scissors, and were easy enough to defeat when people actually fought back against them, how in the hell did everyone besides the family die. People would have fought back with guns, police would have shown up, the military would have shown up. But in this that didn't happen. What the fuck. That makes zero sense.

    The only thing that did make sense, was the revelation at the end of the swap that occurred when the mother character was a kid. That made perfect sense.


    There were some funny bits, like Get Out has kinda. But yeah, this is more a movie that leaves you thinking about all the stuff that makes no sense, and I was not super impressed by it all, unlike the far superior experience I got from Get Out. I've watched this once, and that was enough for me.

    5/10 for me.

    Should you watch this? It's worth a watch, but just one watch. Where as Get Out is great even on repeat viewings. The whole thing kept making me think of a mash up between the old TV show "Sliders" and Stranger Things mixed together. Or even Event Horizon with it's hell dimension dopplegangers.

    And if the mother character was a doppleganger the whole time, does that make her son's doppleganger a double doppleganger, since he had his own upside down doppleganger?

  4. #4554
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Dude, it's a metaphor. Don't take it so literally. Think about it in light of the prison system, capitalist supply chains, etc. and then it will click. Us = US(A). It isn't meant to operate with real world logic, because that's not the point of the movie. It would indeed be a bad movie if that was really what it was trying to do, but it's not.

  5. #4555
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Well your welcome to love it. My experience was not that. All things are subjective based on the viewer. And this viewer was not a huge fan of it, though it has some good bits.

    What's home alone? What's Micro Machines? Lol. That got the biggest laugh out of me.

  6. #4556
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Alright, but you missed the point of the film entirely. I didn't say I loved it necessarily, and I don't ultimately care what your opinion on it is, but at least try engaging with it on its own terms.
    Last edited by froghawk; 6th Apr 2019 at 13:36.

  7. #4557
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I don't agree at all. I never got that impression. Everyone see's a movie from different angles. And to me it was a meh movie for the reasons stated.

    It's like how many at the time viewed the original Planet of the Apes, as really being about black oppression in the US. That's great and all, but me viewing it, I never made that correlation. Same with "Us". Even with you saying all that, I just don't see that in the movie. So Peele failed in that regard, if that was the intent. And my wife who watched it with me, never made that correlation either. We just sat there going "What the fuck is going on?" for the majority of it. You'll likely see similar opinions from others who never grew up in the US. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

    It's all part of the movie watching experience, whether you like it or not. We all see the world differently. And one "truth" even shared among multiple people will differ as we all come with different perspectives, which makes that truth different based on how each individual see's the world. So based on my perspective the movie wasn't about what your saying at all.

    I'll note also, that even looking up interviews with the movies director (Jordan Peele), he doesn't mention any of what your saying at all:
    Link to one where he talks about the ending. Which matches up quite a bit to my impression.

    Thirdly, part of what makes movie watching so good is in how we all interpret movies differently. I interpret it as I've detailed above, and you interpret it your way. Neither's right or wrong. That's the movie watching experience. Interpretation. If we were all supposed to only interpret movies one way, that would be boring as hell. Same goes for the reading of books, video games etc etc.
    Last edited by icemann; 6th Apr 2019 at 13:54.

  8. #4558
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I'm fairly sure Us is meant to be looked at in a certain way, the same way Get Out's commentary on racism was meant to be interpreted a certain way. You're not wrong in that everyone's entitled to their opinions, but if you miss the context of the entire movie and then complain about not getting it, that's like buying spaghetti and then complaining about its limited utility as a pipe cleaner.

  9. #4559
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    ^Exactly.

    You may be right that it's difficult to get this film if you're not American, but that's not a valid reason to write it off. For instance, I didn't entirely get Shin Godzilla because I'm not immersed enough in Japanese culture, but I was still able to appreciate elements of the metaphor and see that it was a great film. Of course art is subjective, but these films were written with a very specific intention to make a clear statement about the societies they come from, and ignoring that is a refusal to actually engage with the work. It's one thing to criticize a film while understanding what the work was trying to convey, but it's another thing entirely to write something off without making an effort to understand the context surrounding it - that's willful ignorance.

    Here's how I read Us (and yes, this lines up perfectly with what Peele said in the above interview): The film is about a black family that is striving for a rich white lifestyle. The husband, Gabe, is in a consumer arms race with his richer white friend, and even though he can't really compete, he's going to try his damndest. Participating in capitalism and consumerism has a very large cost, however, and this film focuses on the human cost. The dopplegangers are a way of demonstrating the unseen cost of every action we take in Western society - that's why their actions were tied to the people above. The privileged people above act and the people below pay for it in a way that's entirely out of their control. That's also why they were wearing prison jumpsuits - because prisoners are involved in manufacturing a lot of the crap we buy and get close to no compensation for it. The scissors were their way of literally cutting the ties with the people harming them and removing themselves from that system - it was symbolic for them taking back power. The film is presented from the perspective of one of the privileged people, demonstrating how the potential rise of the underclass is seen as a massive threat by the rich. The twist ending then reveals that the 'hero' of the film was actually from the underclass and was only able to escape her fate by putting an innocent person in her old position, which represents the way that it's impossible for anyone to rise in class without harming others. Every action taken by any character in the film caused a great deal of harm, seen or unseen. Essentially, 'there is no ethics under capitalism' - there are no heroes in this film since heroes can't possibly exist in this system. His use of a black family in this role criticizes the idea that black people should liberate themselves by getting money and becoming part of the rat race, rather than embracing a socialist ideology that would prevent their situation in America from occurring to begin with.
    Last edited by froghawk; 6th Apr 2019 at 17:13.

  10. #4560
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    So essentially your saying, watch this movie with an American viewpoint or bugger off.

    Wow the movie makes so much sense to me now. Wow. I'll never look at films the same way again. Will always make sure that I'm only going in, watching a movie as the director intended rather than going on my own viewpoint. Thank you.

    And even having read all that. It's still an average movie. Get out was far superior.

  11. #4561
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Get out.
    Last edited by froghawk; 7th Apr 2019 at 01:31.

  12. #4562
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    What we're saying is if you try to understand a movie's context, it brings a level of clarity that sharpens your viewpoint. It's not the kind of movie that tells a story about something broad and universal, but about something very specific in the here and the now. Your dismissal reads as someone who didn't understand that specificity, which isn't useful.

    What froghawk - and by extension, me - is saying is that you're welcome to like or hate it on its own terms, which would be a more compelling viewpoint than simply writing it off because it didn't make sense to you.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 7th Apr 2019 at 03:13.

  13. #4563
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Frog you may have editted your post, but too late. Already been read. Unlike you I'm not going to make this personal, just because I don't agree with someone. So you may completely disagree with everything I've said on TTLG, well sorry but I could care less. Time to eat some concrete mate. I have no other words for you.

  14. #4564
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'm happy to try and see things differently on a film, to see how others may view it as that can often lead to seeing movies in new ways. When you said your initial response to my post, I sat and looked back on the movie I'd watched not that long earlier, compared it with what you said and then stated my response to that. As even after reading your response, then looking back on what I'd watched I just didn't see that in the movie. If you look back on my response, that's what exactly I did.

    1. The prison system thing, sure possibly. But I don't live in America, so I'm not going to see that context as we hear next to nothing about the prison system of the US over here. Racist cops shooting blacks? That we hear about often over here, but not about the prison system. And many outside the U.S will have that same knowledge base going in. So we wont view the movie in that way. If that's the movie going over our heads, sure whatever fine. I don't see it in that way. I'm not completely disregarding what your saying. I was just saying that based on my background, views on the world etc etc that watching the movie my experience watching the movie was as above. My wife's experience was nearly identical to mine and she comes from a completely different background to myself.

    2. Capitalism which to me = The pursuit of capital gain for a corporation, but a Google reference check refers to it as:

    an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

    Where was that in the movie? I saw zero corporate stuff in it at all. From memory the dopplegangers came about due to government experiments, which is not corporate. Beyond that I don't recall anything of corporations at all in the movie. Zero. Your welcome to explain there, but from what I recall I don't remember anything corporate at all in there.

    As for your comment about not having done my homework. The entire point of this thread is peoples experiences watching movies and TV shows. Often having done little to no reading or watching of content on it, besides trailer and review videos as often reading up too much leads to major spoilers prior to watching said medium. For myself it's the same. And I do the same for all movies I go into for the fresh experience. Then I come here and talk about that experience. Not to get validation of any kind from anyone. Just telling of my experience with it. That's the point of this thread. Perhaps that bit has gone over your head. Sure for the in depth review of content, that analysis would definitely be needed, of researching up on director commentary, makings of the movie, intended messages etc. But that's not the point of this thread (in the initial post on a movie/tv show anyway). That would be more in a separate thread completely dedicated to said medium (whether it be TV show or movie). For this thread, it's just our experiences going in to watch something. Maybe we've read up on it prior, maybe we haven't. All of our opinions are valid, whether we got the "intended" message or not. For me going into the movie, the most I knew about the movie was from the trailer video and from 2 reviews I'd watched for it (Angry Joe and Film Fury). I posted immediately after getting home from watching the movie so hadn't read up on it at all.

    "I was not trying to offend - that was meant to be stated in a humorous way"

    You said (and I don't have your post to cross reference so I'm recalling from memory here) that a lot of what I've said on TTLG has been terrible. I don't see how that could be read humorously.

    [edit]
    And just noting that this was a reply to another post of Frog's that has now been deleted by the look of it.
    Last edited by icemann; 7th Apr 2019 at 12:21.

  15. #4565
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I thought better of trying to debate this further with you since you'd already told me to eat concrete - figured I was beating a dead horse. But I appreciate that you've given a thoughtful reply, and I'll admit that surprised me. I apologize if my humor was a bit mean-spirited and uncalled for in that instance.

    I'll concede that the film's message probably isn't accessible to those without knowledge of the American political system. I actually greatly appreciated that it was a bit less on the nose than Get Out and required a bit more thought on the viewer's part, but I suppose that does mean its message will be lost on a lot of people who don't necessarily have that knowledge going in. On the other hand, some with that knowledge have accused the film of being too ham-fisted with its commentary and even pandering to the critics who praised Get Out's social point, so it's all a matter of perspective.

    At this point, you're basically asking me to explain how the whole American economy works, which is a bit outside of the scope of this thread, as you've said, and would take a good long while. But essentially, the important part is that American capitalism can only exist with cheap labor - so while slavery may have been abolished, American corporations are still using prison labor, overseas labor, H-2B visas, and more to avoid properly compensating workers. As a result, most manufacturing jobs in America have disappeared. As for the government/corporate distinction, it's not very clear over here since the government is strongly influenced by corporate lobbyists. Prisons are also frequently privately owned and provide the state with quotas to meet so that they're sufficiently filled and profitable. If you want to get more up to speed on the public/private aspect of modern America, read up on neoliberalism.

    The prison system is also intimately linked to policing here, and there's a documentary on that on Netflix called 'The 13th'. I haven't seen it yet and thus can't really vouch for it, but I know it goes into that issue in depth. There's another recent film called Sorry to Bother You which touches on the same themes in a much more direct way and is honestly a better film than Us and one of the best films I've ever seen, period. I highly recommend that everyone watch it, and I think it may also elucidate some of this for you.
    Last edited by froghawk; 7th Apr 2019 at 13:12.

  16. #4566
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I apologize for my eat concrete comment. That one may be lost in translation, as I think it has a completely different meaning in the U.S than over here in Aus. Over here, the full line is "eat some concrete and harden up", where as in the U.S if I recall correctly (from what I've heard of the movie "Malcolm X") it refers to something else entirely. Either way I was offended by your earlier comment saying my posts were terrible, and it was a direct response to that. Either way was out of line. My bad there.

    Funnily enough, if you jump back several pages I watched "Sorry to bother you" earlier on a few months ago. That movie made zero sense to me as well. Originally I thought (from watching the trailer) that it was about call center work, and how using a different voice can improve your sales average. Then I watched it, and yeah it's not about that at all. I'm not actually sure what in the hell that movie was about, I was completely lost. Wife again - same experience. Well maybe it's somewhat about doing what you know is right, rather than doing what gets you rich. Plus about the suffering of the majority to benefit the few. I really hated that movie, but again this likely comes down to not having the U.S background, so perspective difference. The movies rated quite highly with many people, so meh I dunno. In the case of that movie though, I get what you mean about capitalism. With that it's much more clear.

    As for knowledge of the U.S prison system: My only knowledge of it is from The Shawshank Redemption, and an old Clint Eastwood movie about escaping Alcatraz. So I'd equate that to zero knowledge of how it actually is .

    For another movie that many adore, where as I completely hated - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind. I HATED that movie. Where as so many people love it. I don't get it (the people that love it, not the movie itself). For that one, I got what was going on. Made complete sense, but I just hated it. Each to their own I guess.
    Last edited by icemann; 7th Apr 2019 at 14:09.

  17. #4567
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is actually another good example of a movie with layered meanings, the "actual meaning" and the "meaning most people get taking it at face value". It's "actually" about dealing with a partner that has borderline personality disorder, but that's almost impossible to understand unless you have personal experience with it. On that level, it has a lot of meaning because people who have gone through that experience are searching for some kind of explanation of what they've just been through, and the movie delivers on that, and in a way that's immediately recognizable for what it is (because it's been such a consuming part of their day-to-day life at that point that it's impossible to miss).

    Taking it at face value (guy dealing with a girlfriend that's moved on for reasons he doesn't get & the role of memory in that situation), it's not nearly as impactful, but it still works. And I think that's the sense that you & most people understandably got, which is fine; but I could understand why someone might not really get why it's such a big deal, since it's honestly kind of overbearing or overly-self-important for a (neuro)typical kind of relationship bust. But for dealing with BPD, you need what the movie does because you're dealing with someone that literally turns into another person that doesn't recognize you before your eyes, and it's just as insane as that sounds, and the movie captures that insanity pretty well.

    All that said, I don't think that's why most people adore it in the way you're talking about, since I don't think they understand the BPD connection either. I think they adore it because they have romantic ideas about love and loss and the cyberpunk angle draws them in. On those grounds, I could see how someone being more critical minded would think they're making too much of it from that angle too... Actually I think I'm just restating what I just said above.

  18. #4568
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Goddamn it, icemann, it's almost like you're an anti-barometer for things I like. You absorb movies only in the most literal fashion possible, which is... a lifestyle choice, I guess. Maybe you're the Drax to everyone's Star Lord.

    At the risk of mansplaining to a man, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is loved by people because it deconstructs the process of falling in love. It depicts a relationship that's doomed to fail because both people make the same mistake: falling in love with the idea of someone instead of the flawed reality of who they really are*. A person's first relationship usually ends up like that. The memory erasure process is a comment on how we tend to do this over and over again (and the movie makes this literal by having them fall in love again because they don't remember their first relationship) until we or something else or someone else breaks the cycle. If you're into poetry, you immediately know where that wonderfully screwy metaphor came from**, because the poem the title quotes has a line in the quoted stanza that goes, 'The world forgetting, by the world forgot.'

    And that's just the core idea. There's a few other spinning plates the movie keeps in the air at the same time, and it does this while being a science-fiction romantic dramedy. It's a very well-crafted script, with some very talented people bringing it to life. There's a wealth of depth and emotional honesty that radiates off the screen, and that is why a lot of people (me included) love it.


    *as dema mentioned, it could be argued that Winslet's character has BPD; the movie doesn't specifically call it out, but you can see what it does over the course of the relationship
    **and even if you're not; the movie is smart enough to have a scene that quotes the poem for those not familiar with it
    Last edited by Sulphur; 7th Apr 2019 at 14:43.

  19. #4569
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The overall impression I'm getting is that icemann hates art cinema and surrealism and likes stuff like Zack Snyder films, which is the exact opposite of my taste. And that's fine, but I'm not sure we're going to get anywhere in a discussion or debate if there's that little overlap.

  20. #4570
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Is this a bad time to point out Planet of the Apes was written by a French man? LOL. You guys really take things too seriously at times.

  21. #4571
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Weird. I should completely get it then (not being sarcastic), as my wife suffers from severe depression and anxiety to the point that she's someone else entirely when she's like that. Which often goes on for weeks. And yet I never made that connection. Interesting.

    For some movies I can switch that serious side of my brain off. I love "The Room" and "Sharknado" for example, in a "So bad it's good" type way. And I can switch my brain off for action movies, but not for these others. Especially thrillers, horrors (unless there is a fantasy element to it) and sci-fi. I can be a bit like that nerdy horror movie rules guy from "Scream" with some movies. Not to the point of yelling, but if say movie 1 introduced a rule to the bad guy, then I'm going to expect that in the later sequels. I was bitching left, right and center during "Freddy vs Jason" and yet I still loved that one. Meh. And Twin Peaks season 3 made no sense at all to me during lots of bits, but I really enjoyed that regardless. Though I think in the case of that one, it making no sense was the intention (to provide more new questions than answers).

    On Zack Snyder:

    * Looks up his filmography on Wikipedia*

    Of the films he's done. Dawn of the Dead (2001) was pretty good, but the original was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better. 300 was good. Liked that. Man of Steel was ok, but the Christopher Reeve originals were far superior. Suicide Squad was half half. Wonder Woman was excellent. The rest of his films I didn't like. Of the music videos he directed, only the Dionne Farris song "I Know", love that song.

    Last edited by icemann; 7th Apr 2019 at 16:01.

  22. #4572
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Man, I HATED 300 to no end. Way too much toxic masculinity for me.

    But on the other hand, season 3 was my favorite season of Twin Peaks, so it turns out you do like some of my surreal favorites after all
    And of course I enjoy The Room and Freddy v Jason for entirely different reasons.
    But yeah I don't think not being able to shut your brain off is a bad thing - it just becomes troublesome if it gets too literalist with certain works rather than looking for a metaphorical angle, or just gets in the way of some good fun.

  23. #4573
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    likes stuff like Zack Snyder films
    This is the biggest insult I've ever read on the Internet. In all my 29 years of being on it.

    PS. I also love Spotless Mind. It's in my top 20 of favorite films. (Although there might be 50 movies in my top 20. It's hard to pick only 20). I didn't get the impression that Winslet had any mental disorders. Luckily. If I would have picked that up, I would not have liked the movie. Movies where "everything was a dream !!" suck. So do movies where stuff is explained by "(s)he's just CRAZY !!". (Yes, I understand the movie was not about "why" she acted the way she did. But still).

    The reason I loved it is different from the 2 reasons mentioned so far. I think that is what good movies do. They make people think. Make them reflect. Make them speculate. Make them remember. And everybody will have a different experience.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 7th Apr 2019 at 19:01.

  24. #4574
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    To be honest, I think the writers either in the original design or in the editing process made ESotSpotless Mind more universal and abstract, so I was overplaying that hand myself. I didn't really notice a BPD or mental illness connection either until I started reading it in so BPD-related forums (that's for another story!) I'll say they made it more universal to its credit. It works better when it's talking about how romance works on an emotional and cognitive level generally. But if you do have that experience, then it has a special meaning that really connects. I think that's a good way to put most of the things we're talking about.

    This is reminding me of the chats about movies I used to have when I was teaching in Thailand with another teacher there, Catie. She was much, much worse than icemann on this (who I don't think is even so bad) and would get livid whenever I gave my theories about movies. The funniest one I remember was Inception. She wanted to ask the students what did they think the meaning of Inception was, what their theory was, and then she asked me. My answer was of course the whole thing was an extended metaphor about the movie-making process itself. Cobb is the director (Nolan himself); Ariadne the writer (plots are like mazes; hide the plot holes), Saito the investors, Eames the producer, Fischer the audience (an emotional connection is best to getting their money), the actor is the actor ... They're concocting & playing a dream world the audience escapes to to get their money for the investors. And then I told her when Leo was asked what's the biggest influence on the movie he said 8, which of course clinched it as that's a movie about making a movie.

    She got so upset and at every turn was saying "No!! No, no no!!! It has nothing to do with that! No, I mean, what do you think... At the end, when the top is still spinning... Is he still in a dream or not?? That's the meaning of the movie. What's your theory?" It almost took me aback how literal she was being, and all I could think to reply was "oh, uh, I don't know. It was left deliberately ambiguous. Maybe there is no truth there." which made her even more mad. Lol, for some reason I found the whole thing really funny. I could go scene by scene and explain almost every line of dialog in line with my theory, but she took it at the most surface level possible that it was impossible for me to go into detail before she'd insist it was irrelevant and try to end discussion about it.
    Last edited by demagogue; 7th Apr 2019 at 22:33. Reason: Spoil tagging it just in case

  25. #4575
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I gotta say, I'm curious - what did she think Inception was about, then? I enjoyed it as a heist caper and an imperfect puzzlebox about the nature of reality/human emotion, and while I never felt the extended movie-making metaphor gelled completely back when you spoke about it (in the original thread back in the day IIRC), there's definitely a scaffolding of meta-intent in its construction.

    @froghawk - since you like surreal stories, you might enjoy Atlanta if you haven't seen it yet. While it's a show that doesn't chase one specific target, it's very much a product of current-day fears refracted through a satirical lens. I thought it was dark, funny, terrifying, and one of the best shows of the last few years.

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