Episode 576: Digging Up Dinosaur Bones with Alex Schmidt

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9 Responses

  1. TJ says:

    I always chafe a little when everyone refers to Tom Cruise’s character in Edge of Tomorrow as a “coward.” Dude was in a non-combat military role, ordered into certain death on the whim of a general who didn’t like him. And he’s scared and doesn’t want to do it, like pretty much any of us would feel, but we freely deride him as a coward. Guy was kind of a cocky jerk but was good at his normal job and didn’t deserve death. anyway…

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I think the implication is pretty clear that he relishes his non-combat status because of his cowardice, especially given his hypocrisy, encouraging people to join up and die in a war he won’t fight in.

      – David

  2. Aaron M says:

    Alex should check out World on a Wire (which was adapted from the same novel The Thirteenth Floor was): https://www.criterion.com/films/27742-world-on-a-wire

  3. TJ says:

    Fair enough re: hypocrisy, was forgetting that he’s a PR guy. I still don’t see anything wrong with non-combat people being comfortable in those roles (ie their strength is in that area rather than fighting) and whatever flaws Cruise has the general is still a dick and essentially a murderer. Maybe that’s really my issue, the “he had it coming” attitude people seem to take toward Cruise

  4. If you like A Hard Days Night, David, you should find The Beatles First US Visit, which is its direct cinematic inspiration, according to Richard Lester, I think. It is rarely mentioned in the context of Beatles films, and even more rarely brought up in the context of Maysles films, and for me, it’s the best of what I’ve seen from both of those lists. In Britain, it was presented on the telly as a sort of “Our boys went away, and here’s what they were up to” special. For America, the Beatles’ performances from the Sullivan shows were incorporated, replacing about 20 minutes of the documentary proper. That’s how I found it, trying to see the full Sullivan performances rather than the one clip of All My Loving which was the consistent representative of those shows. While I’ve never been able to see the preferred British version, the US one works rather well, even broken up with those micro-concerts.

    https://www.thebeatles.com/film/first-us-visit

    It follows them off the plane in February of 1964, through press conferences, into their hotel rooms, with them as they’re driven around, Paul seemingly obsessed with American radio, an early earbud in his ear most times as he listens to a transistor radio, they go to a party, they spend time on a train – sound familiar? Where A Hard Days Night was written to be two days in the life, the documentary covers three weeks in the life, but it plays out the same, except that it’s real, not scripted. That fact alone doesn’t make it interesting, it just is interesting, because the Maysles know how to present raw footage in a storied and observant way. I have yet to give A Hard Days Night another chance, because I saw it second, of the two, and after this it was a bit of a letdown, where knowing now how directly Hard Days follows the doc is probably going to improve it for me. Anyway, it’s been released on DVD, so check your local library or something. I think you’ll be fascinated.

  5. Alex says:

    You call it Ken Burns’ Prohibition doc; Ken Burns calls it “daddy’s new beach house.”

  6. FictionIsntReal says:

    Equilibrium is basically THX-1138 plus gun-kata. My understanding is that Drake Doremus’ recent Equals was basically Equilibrium without the guns.

    I watched The 13th Floor Recently, and it was terrible. Dark City & eXistenZ hold up better.

    • Caleb says:

      I’ve always felt Dark City moved too fast for any of the visuals to leave a lasting impact, and that ending is such a dull CGI battle – more reminiscent of a Marvel movie than anything else. Totally agree on eXistenZ though, that movie is fucking astounding! Some of Cronenberg’s best, gooiest, body horror visuals.

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