Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


IR171: Contact, Zeldas & Boyhoods

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Moviebob: Leave Michael Bay Alone

Seriously. Like hating on the Star Wars prequels, it's just tiresome, folks. This is put up here for the last few minutes alone. The fact is, the pigs love their slop.

10 Weirdest Movie 4th Wall Moments

A great list. Spoiler: Don’t read the comments. People apparently think this is a list of the best 4th wall breaks, not the “weirdest.” Ferris Bueller and friggin Fight Club aren’t “weird.” It’s weird when you’re watching a movie and, out of nowhere, it breaks the 4th wall then acts like it didn’t happen. THAT’s weird.

100 Favorite Film Stats

An interesting collection of stats from the Hollywood Reporters 100 Favorite Film List. I’m not sure what the deal with that list, some of it seemed “off” for some reason (notably that older, pre 1960s movies were rare to find and nary a foreign film to be seen except Seven Samurai and Amelie).

Life Itself AMA:

A few highlights from Chaz Ebert and Steve James about Roger. I agree that there’s no question Roger would have loved Gravity, Her and Nebraska. Those are so his type of films.

TFH: The Big Clock w/Joe Dante

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Hit by a Bus: The Supercut

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Why Did We Blow On Nintendo Games

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Sequelitis - A Link to the Past / Ocarina of Time

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DP/30 Richard Linklater interview

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A wonderfully long interview with a guy who's newest film might just be his Magnum Opus. At least on ambition alone as I have yet to see it.

Richard Linklater is one of my all time favorite filmmakers. He just runs the gamut of film styles, but you know when you see it, it's certainly him. Even his lesser-films are still damn good. Well, maybe except The Newton Boys. Yeah, that one wasn't all that great, but I'll admit I also haven't seen it in a long while. But I know put up against Slacker or the Before trilogy or, even recently, Bernie (on Netflix, go watch that now), it's just a lesser movie.

Linklater is always, even after all these years, still pushing things forward. Slacker gave birth to a new era of filmmakers, Dazed and Confused seemed to define an entire generation and is still the quentessential film about the 1970s that wasn't made in the 1970s, the Before series captures relationships like no other in a very earnest yet grounded way, and even something like School of Rock still is rooted in smart writing and filmmaking.

How to Fix the Horror Movie Genre

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Look, either be constructive, or be comedic. Don't try to be both because you undermine both angles in the end.

As much as I would like to agree with this guy, and the video is worth a watch as there are a few good points, at the same time he kind of contradicts himself. For example, he says “don’t use jump scares” then tells you to watch The Shining and Alien which utilized jump scares (Alien with the cliche “cat jump” famously and The Shining with flash cuts of “visions” which are inserted to be jump scares).

Also, I kind of say to this what I say to people who bemoan how “awful this year is in movies” (which they say every year, I wrote a blog on this last year) - if you say that, then you’re simply watching the wrong movies. #10 is the worst on this list, though. You want Ti West or Ben Wheatley to stop? Fuck you, dude. How about more legit things like “stop overusing found footage” or “understand audio usage to create tension” or something?

Also, any horror movie fan worth their weight knows you can’t throw all horror movies into the same pit. Hell, movie fans know that. I'd argue that the horror genre is as creative and versatile as its ever been thanks to more open mindedness of an audience to watch smaller movies through digital distribution, at least since the 70s. This guy is seriously too into his own rhetoric.

T-Shirts of the Week

The 10 Best Changes George Lucas Did the Star Wars

Yes, there's some weird/awful changes in the Special Editions, but let's not overlook the good things too (as well as the things Lucas previously fixed in the re-release of the movie in 1981, something people seem to forget). As for the special edition: The fixed lightsabers and sound, the damn sandcrawler are a couple of my favorites, and a few things I liked that aren't on this list:

1) Seeing the Wampa in Empire Strikes Back. It's just a quick insert shot, but to actually see what they couldn't do originally worked.

2) The windows on Cloud City. Small, easy to overlook, but Cloud City seemed the type of place that's all about the view, and here it is in a few shots of Leia/Lando and company running through the corridors where the windows actually have something intersting to see in them. Director Kershner was a major proponent of this because he couldn't do it in the original film. He really wanted to show the beauty of the city but simply couldn't.

3) Luke and Biggs' scene put back in towards the end of a New Hope.

4) More Sarlac. You can't commplain about more tentacles. The more tentacles the better, I always say.

5) Now give me my ultimate cuts that keeps all the good things, removes the bad, maybe even add in those deleted scenes like Luke putting his lightsaber together at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. That would have been an awesome, suspense building moment to the reveal that it's him.

That Shot in Contact

A little quick article about an amazing shot in a damn amazing movie. Robert Zemeckis never gets enough credit as someone so technically proficient in his work, and Contact is easily one of his best films on that level. If you haven't seen it in a while, do yourself a favor and do so. The way he sets a scene of just simple conversation (he and Spielberg masters of this), the tension he's able to build, the choice of shots and when to cut or not cut. The thematic elements at play that, for better or worse, blend philosophy, theology and science all into one. It's a damn good movie, and this is one damn good shot.

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