@dipset Every Frame a Painting was great, but they decided to end the channel a few years back. Tony and Taylor wrote a post-mortem for Medium if you're interested.
Posts made by naltmank
RE: That's News!
RE: Last movie you watched
I've been working from home for a while now (well before the pandemic started), but recently my job has become increasingly mindless so I've gotten in the habit of throwing a movie on in the background while I work. Oddly, this has made me more productive than I was before, since I don't take as many breaks to snack, wander around the house, go to the bathroom, etc. Anyway, here's a quick roundup on the movies I've been watching.
One of many movies that I had seen in bits and pieces many times, but never all the way through. This movie is as good as its reputation. Great performances and direction, but I think one thing that people often forget is how tight this movie is. Scorcese might be notorious for his bloated epics these days, but this movie clocks in at a speedy 2.5 hrs. I say speedy because I was so wrapped up in the rise and fall of Henry Hill that I legitimately did not even notice how quickly time was passing. God, this movie is good. A
What We Do in the Shadows
Another movie I'd seen in bits in pieces, this is one that I think might be better served by the "clip" format. There are some great bits in here, but overall the narrative through-line didn't keep me as invested as the other great Mockumentaries. That said, the comic timing of the entire cast is pretty damn perfect, and it's still absolutely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet. B+
The Usual Suspects
Here's a hottake for you: this is a fine movie that is made worse by its widely-revered ending. Spoilers for why:
The whole crux of the ending is that Kevin Spacey is making everything up, and it's supposed to be some great demonstration of his intellect and ability to use the environment to fabricate a story. The problem? It completely de-legitimizes everything you've seen before. It's a twist that exists only for the surprise, but makes rewatches completely pointless because you know that none of it is real. Kobayashi showing up in the car at the end only serves to make things more frustrating - why is he real, but nothing else is? Or are bits and pieces real, and we're just not privy to that information? Whereas The Sixth Sense's gobsmacking ending opens up future rewatches for closer examination, The Usual Suspects just makes the narrative an exercise in tolerating a sub-par noire-like told by a filmmaker and character that thinks he's smarter than he really is.
My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
Honestly don't think this is worth commenting on - movies based on anime movies are typically pretty dumb and mess with the mythology of the world, and this one is no different. It killed an afternoon (watched it on a rainy weekend) and kept me entertained well enough. Bonus points for pretty animation C+
Really beautiful movie filled with great performances and a mesmerizing sense of tone and pace. The movie deserves all of the praise it got for telling the story of the life of closeted gay man from such a unique and harrowing perspective, and it serves to highlight how the system fails the most vulnerable members of American society. That said, I didn't really connect with this movie the way so many others did. I can tell that it's quality, but for some reason it didn't resonate with me on a deeper emotional level like I was hoping it would. That's not an indictment of its quality, it's just something that kept me from loving it in the way that I expected to. A-
While technically not terribly impressive and fairly formulaic as a "JOURNALISM" movie, there's no denying how powerful this story is and how strong the performances are throughout. While Mark Ruffalo gets a lot of praise for his grandstanding moment near the end, Liev Schrieber, Michael Keaton, and especially Rachel McAdams deserve just as much praise for their subtle performances of professionals just trying to keep it together for the sake of their jobs. There's a scene in the middle where Rachel McAdams goes around trying to interview victims and priests that is worth a watch of the movie in and of itself. Just don't expect to feel good after you're done. B+
All the President's Men
Watching this so close to watching Spotlight probably unfairly colored my viewing of this movie. There's a reason this movie is so beloved - the acting is superb, the script is tight, the cinematography is iconic. That said, the storytelling is definitely dated. Characters jump jarringly from place to place, the plot moves forward in bits and pieces, and the main moments aren't given enough time to land or breathe. This is most jarring at the end, when the movie seems to be building towards its main climax and then... text on a typewriter, fade to credits. Compare that to the emotional wallop of Spotlight, and it definitely feels like a bit of a letdown. Still an incredibly influential movie that's worth watching B
I have no idea what the general reception is to this movie, but somehow I feel like it's underrated. Maybe it just hit me at the right time and the right place, maybe it's because I also come from a subjective and performative sport (diving), but I absolutely loved this movie. It definitely owes a lot to Scorcese, and at times it almost feels derivative, but it's made all the better for it in my opinion. The performances are both outsized and entirely appropriate, with Paul Walter Hauser standing out in particular as just an ace interpretation of Shawn Eckhardt. For the most part I think it does a good job at toeing the line between fact and fiction, but there were points when I felt like they went overboard with their interpretation of LaVona Harding; she was already an abusive mother, you don't need to make up much extra to make her that much more evil. Still can't help but love Janney, though. She's a pro. A-
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is a strange movie. Purportedly taking place in a high school in the 90s, the characters are almost entirely unbelievable as both teenagers and just plain old human beings. Overly precocious and precious, the movie somehow wants me to believe that high schoolers in the 90s would regularly put on and participate in full Rocky Horror performances, wax poetic about how the music from the old days was better, and then somehow not be able to identify "Heroes" by David Bowie. The performances are all over the place - Lerman goes from turning in one of the most overly precious performances in the movie to one of the most raw and realistic depictions of a mental breakdown I've ever seen. Ezra Miller is consistent and does the best job he can with an overly theatrical and temperamental character. Emma Watson does her best in a performance that I would call "definitely not a British teenager besides the fact that I just unironically said 'shag' and the director didn't make me redo the take." The most bizarre character is easily Mae Whitman, who plays a buddhist punk senior that gets straight As, a nearly perfect SAT score, is extremely world-weary, and... immediately thinks someone is her boyfriend after she kisses them? What?? Still, for as bizarre and unreal as the setting and characters are in this movie, it contains some of the most intense and realistic portrayals of anxiety and depression that I've ever seen, especially as they pertain to trauma and abuse. These themes are scattered throughout the movie, but come to fruition in a last act that made me go from wondering why people like this movie so much to wondering if this is one of the better teen movies in the last decade. I think it will definitely be triggering for some viewers (check out a wiki summary if you're not sure if this will be too difficult a watch), but if you're curious, you'll be treated to a fascinating exploration of mental illness that just happens to be trapped in a bizarro 90s version of a John Hughes movie that just happened to be made in 2012. B
RE: Experience using a VPN?
I've been using NordVPN with mixed results. Speed is terrible to bearable, never good, IMO. In general a lot of streaming services are getting smart about blocking commonly used servers, so I have to click around for 10-15 min sometimes trying to find one that will work. It's not ideal, but it's the only way I can watch Hulu right now so I just deal with it.
RE: That's News!
@bard91 I think it's a mix of a lot of things - some of it is what you said, some of it is passion, but I think people tend to forget how intense the Japanese work culture can be. I think Sakurai is going above and beyond what is expected even in that situation, but it's sort of like "giving it 110%" when the 100% marker is already like 150% what might be expected elsewhere.
RE: [Official] What are you playing?
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen. Supposedly one of the most influential JRPGs of all time. I like grinding, but this might be a bit too much for me. Resetting from level one each chapter is really killing the sense of progression. Just started chapter 3 (the merchant) and am struggling to find motivation to return to it. Anyone played this and know if it's worth me pushing further?