Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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26 Responses

  1. Will Truman says:

    I was all excited to see someone else complaining about CG, but then I saw that there complaint was what it was doing to live action movies. My complaint is what it’s done to animated stuff. CG is awesome, but seriously, not everything needs to be CG.

    I, too, have soured on movies in general. I haven’t much to add about that that hasn’t been said a million times before. TV has just ruined me to the constraints of 90-150 minutes. Even a good movie, I think “What could they have done with a 13 episode season?!”Report

    • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

      You know, I haven’t so much soured on movies as decided that if all I’m going to get is a quick burst of dopamine, I might as well just watch movies that give me a quick burst of dopamine. So when I watch movies, then tend to have a lot of explosions.

      Occasionally though, I’ll stumble across a movie that provides a much more lasting and layered experience, and that’s enough to sustain me through the times when explosions just don’t seem like enough.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Holy Motors might be a good choice for something more layered – there’s a lot there to chew on and it’s very open to interpretation. I saw it with a friend who is a photographer, very visual-brain guy and he was pulling very different things from the film than I was. I am hoping to have the time to see it again at some point. It’s a rare movie that I want to see more than once – even movies I really like, I usually don’t feel there’s any more to be gotten from an additional two-hour time investment.

        Relatedly, I always get really, really mad about time wasted on bad movies. I have bought plenty (plenty) of records that I spun once or twice, decided they weren’t for me, and rid myself of, and I never really get upset about the time or money I wasted on them.

        But a movie that I didn’t like? I am OFFENDED that I spent time on it. So I read lots of reviews, and get opinions from people I trust, before I will commit to seeing a movie. I have to be pretty sure going in that I will probably not hate it.

        With records & books, I will take chances based on impulse, and not be too upset if they don’t pan out – hey, it was an experience, it was worth a shot.

        But movies? I want my time and my 5 dollars back, you sonofabitch.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

        So when I watch movies, then tend to have a lot of explosions.

        Actually, now that you mention it, same here. I watched Red Eye again a while back. It’s not a smart movie, but it’s fun and it’s blissfully short and to the point.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        I also want to re-watch Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain again, which I haven’t seen since college. I don’t know if it’s just the similarity in names and the fact they are both kinda bats**t, but I am wondering if there are any intended thematic linkages or homages there.

        Unfortunately, me taking the time to watch two mindbending movies (that I have already seen) anytime soon is probably pretty unlikely.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Glyph, I’m definitely going to check it out.

        Since I watch 99% of the movies I see at home, I feel less angry about wasted time because, if a movie’s not doing it for me but isn’t bad enough for me to bail altogether, I’ll find myself doing other stuff anyway, and the time is rarely completely wasted. In fact, a pretty good measure of how good a movie is, to me, is how many other things I do while watching it. The less multitasking, the better the movie.

        Now if I pay for a movie and sit in a theater for 2 hours and it sucks? That pisses me off.Report

      • trumwill in reply to Chris says:

        I saw Hangover 2 in a theatre. I am still mad about that.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        For a while there, I was only watching movies that had Redeeming Artistic Value. Like, if I were being interviewed by Terry Gross and she asked me what movies I’d seen recently, I’d want to be able to say “Oh, Into the Wild, of course. Wasn’t Don Cheadle great in Talk to Me?” or similar.

        Thankfully, I rediscovered the joys of shit blowing up. Life is too short.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        @jaybird – Oh, s**t gets blown up in this movie all right. That s**t is YOUR MIND.

        Look, I’m not trying to talk you out of eating cheeseburgers; a good cheeseburger is a thing of beauty, and sometimes it’s all that will do.

        But life is indeed too short, to eat nothing but cheeseburgers. Try that new Thai joint down the street once in a while.

        How’s this? Last night I read someone at AVClub describing the movie as “French Quantum Leap”, with all that that description implies.

        Interested now?Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        OK, Quantum Leap is the second greatest television show of all time, after Northern Exposure and just ahead of News Radio. If this is the French Quantum Leap, then the Francophile in me may have to go home and watch it now.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        I’m an admitted Anglophile, which constitutionally prevents me from ever being a Francophile.

        But the French have made some good movies, and Paris is beautiful (and delicious).

        And of course there are things like this:


      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        “French Quantum Leap”

        So it’s Quantum Leap only everybody is mean to each other?

        There is not enough weed.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Everybody is mean to each other? You must be watching different French movies than I do. Are you sure it isn’t French wrestling?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        Dude, that was the basic plot of French films in the 90’s. (That and “here’s some sad people who are sad for very good reasons”.)

        Now, I’m not saying that I’d rather have “Failure to Launch”. Lord no. (shudder)

        But why pay money to wince? I wince every day for free.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        I was watching Jeunet, and Besson films I guess.

        And Microcosmos!

        Whatever you were watching, it wasn’t this.

        This is more like the Davids (Lynch and Cronenberg).Report

      • Rufus F. in reply to Chris says:

        I had sort of given up on Terrence Malick after The Thin Red Line, which I really disliked. Then I saw The Tree of Life and was utterly captivated by it. At least half the audience walked out during the film. I don’t know if it’s me or not. I know what you mean about dreams. Interestingly, I just read that Stanley Kubrick was a huge fan of Eraserhead and would screen it for people at his home. It sort of makes sense because that’s about as close to a troubling dream as any I’ve seen on film.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        Thin Red Line had some moments, but I mostly was very,very bored. I didn’t see Tree of Life, I should add that to my queue.

        And yeah, Eraserhead is definitely a dream film. About parenthood anxiety.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

      Speaking of 13-ep seasons, have you finished Hannibal yet?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:


      What do you feel is lost with CG animation relative to the traditional stuff? Most of the “traditional stuff” was being done with computers for a while now. “The Iron Giant” was a big deal because it was the first hand drawn movie in a long time.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

        I don’t mind the use of computers at all, especially if they make animation more affordable. But the aesthetics are different. And aesthetics matter a lot in movies and TV shows.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        Iron Giant utilized CGI also, for the robot in particular (though much of the film was indeed traditionally hand-drawn).

        Also, Iron Giant was awesome.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Kazzy says:

        Will, I’ve noticed that in anime. I’m watching a well-regarded show right now, Last Exile, but I’ve been struggling with it because of the abrupt difference between the hand work and the CG. The show is very stylistic – the art is one of its main attractions – and either the CG or hand-drawn style would have been impressive on its own, but together they just don’t mesh.

        My hunch is this – with hand animation, color variance is easy but a high frame rate is expensive. With CG, a high frame rate is easy but natural coloring is expensive. People in the animation industry get so excited by the density and clarity of CG that they don’t even notice how much it lacks in the one area that hand animation is so strong.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    There are two things movie does better than TV, bothe because of bigger budgets:

    1. Employ the biggest stars.
    2. Portray enormous spectacle.

    Which is why the paradigmatic movie nowadays is Tom Cruise (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) being Tom Cruise while a lot of shit blows up.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I’m pretty sure Tom Cruise is just a reasonable facsimile of Tom Cruise at this point.

      But if the explosion itself isn’t the thing, TV can do plenty of good visuals now. Starting at least with Twin Peaks‘s attempt to bring film techniques to television, and moving on to the frequently visually-stunning Breaking Bad and Hannibal, that’s plenty of spectacle for me.Report