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24 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    I haven’t seen THE LAKE HOUSE, but the Korean drama it was based on (IL MARE) is worth checking out.

  2. TRUTH TELLER says:

    1. John Constantine is objectively a better character than Keanu’s interpretation, that’s not purism, it’s not like Black Heimdall where it has no effect whatsoever on the character, it was a fundamental destruction of anything associated with the personality, like Judge Dredd as Sylvester Stallone, or something along those lines. Also it’s a batshit movie and was never gonna be a big thing to stand the test of time or anything but FFCs Dracula would have been better without Keanu

    2. Sopranos was good, but it wasn’t top-tier, The Wire definitely was. Game of Thrones isn’t top-tier either, but no one ever said it was brilliant, it’s the dragons-n-naked-butts hour. You want an overrated show, look at Girls, GoT is like a tiny speck of overrated in comparison

    3. Lost was always lame, everything lindelof does is like cargo-culting an actual smart plot, going the motions and elements of things he’s seen in smart plots without actually being able to do it

    4. David is right that most indie movies are stinky bourgeois liberal tripe and marketing campaigns have no soul to steal

    5. I think there may be something to Lady in the Water revisionism. Everyone bashed it because they said Shyamalan wrote himself in as like Jesus, but if you watch carefully, he’s just an important figure that writes something that’s gonna change the word, it could be something like Das Kapital, but it could be something like Mein Kampf. There’s total unsubtle botches there like the movie critic talking to the wolf but it’s not horrible

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      1. It’s fine with me that John Constantine is a better character in the book than the movie. I just don’t think fans of the book should go into the movie expecting that they are definitely going to be seeing the same character. The movie and the book are different things.

      2. The Sopranos is the Michael Jordan of television. The whole game is different and better because of it. The Wire is a very respectable standalone achievement.

      3. This gives me the impression that you, like a lot of people who watched Lost, were drawn in mostly by the plot/mystery. I don’t think you’re wrong but I think my experience of the show was more fulfilling because I mostly treated the on-island stuff as a collection of allegories for the characters’ inner journey. Therefore, consistency in that part of the story wasn’t a concern for me. I admit that, had it been, I would have felt more let down.

      – David

    • alex says:

      1. Objectively better? Show me your empirical results and your measurement apparatus! I’m a fan of both Hellblazer and the movie, and (like most anyone) I like the comic series much better. With that said though, I enjoyed the hell out of the movie walking into it with no real expectations. Sure, the character is done better in the series, but they have arc upon arc to build upon rather just a two hours. I agree though, that other actors could have handled the character better than Keanu though.

      2. I think a lot of people consider Game of Thrones as top-tier television — maybe not movie/television critics though. It’s definitely a well written show, plenty of spectacle, and great performances, but it’s missing a philosophy. There’s no real ideological threads that help the series transcends its genre roots. Salman Rushdie called The Wire and Game of Thrones “well-produced trashed” and even though I love those shows, I feel that I can agree. When the aliens finally come to earth and ask about great art in television, The Wire and Game of Thrones won’t be the box-sets that I transmit to them through my head-telepathic radio.

      3. The jury is still out on Lost in regards to critical opinion it seems. Its defenders will defend it usually with major caveats (that differ from critic to critic). Like Twin Peaks, I think everyone can say they saw something amazing, but they can’t exactly say just what.

      Bonus. Kick Ass is another movie in league with District 9, I Am Legend, et al. that has weird third act issues. I loved Kick Ass as a realistic, gritty portrayal of super heros in the modern world. I absolutely hated when it became a farce/cartoon with jetpacks, gattling guns, human-sized microwaves, and bazookas. Kick Ass 2 looks like it jumps straight to the third act, skipping any kind of reality that the audience might have felt like existed in the first half of Kick Ass. Fuck, what a frustrating movie.

  3. Aaron says:

    On more listening: THE SPECTACULAR NOW is excellent. And you guys MUST see RABBIT HOLE.

  4. Darrell Ron Tuffs says:

    Very good episode.

    Have you ever spoken about individual character studies on the show? Films like “Taxi Driver” or “There Will Be Blood”, looking at the psychology of a troubled individual? I would love to hear a discussion on that.

  5. Guy who left a comment says:

    Hey, guys. It’s the “douchebag” here. I think it’s hilarious that one person got you so bent out of shape that you had to mention me three weeks in a row now. What’s sad, though, is that you couldn’t even grasp my criticism. Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension this week instead of watching movies. If you go back and read my original comment, you’ll find that my point was that your level of contempt for such a trivial thing was the problem, not simply the fact that you repeat that story ad nauseam.

    It’s ironic that you can’t take criticism better considering what your podcast is all about. I guess it’s easier to dish it out than take it, eh? Please don’t ever try to make a film. You’ll get all kinds of criticism for your work. You babies don’t have the stomach to handle it, trust me. Stick to your safe little world where you can live under the delusion that everyone loves you (except for one douchebag) and that your show is nothing but amazing each week.

    I’ll let you get back to work now. Don’t let that HTML code get you down (gosh darn you boys have it rough). Maybe I’ll see you some day at Barnes and Nobles (see what I did there? Hilarious, right?) and we can chat in person.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      Hey, douchebag,

      What I find hilarious is that you’re still listening. Though I imagine your tiny ego gets a boost every time I make reference to you. That would make me want to cry if I gave even half a damn about you.

      I won’t ever try to make a film. I don’t want to. That’s why I’m a critic. But when you make a film and it inevitably stinks because of what an idiot you are, I hope you won’t waste your time with pathetic individual attacks on every single critic.

      You may see me at Barnes & Nobles but I won’t see you. You know why? Because you know me. My name is David Bax, as I say each and every week on the podcast. My picture is on the website. I stand behind the things I say. Unless you’re wearing a nametag that says Scared Wimp Who Left a Comment on the Website of My Heroes, Battleship Pretension, I won’t be able to tell you apart from any other simpering dork.

      – David

      • Guy who left a comment says:

        What I find hilarious is that you think I have ANYTHING to do with movies. I’m just some loser from Michigan who listens to movie podcasts. The fact that you jumped to the conclusions that you did based on nothing tells me a lot, though.

        I actually defend critics all the time. I think the smarts ones have an important role in the business (notice I said the smart ones). I also usually enjoy their podcasts. I think that’s because most of them stick to talking about movies. The good ones don’t delve into their personal lives and trivial events from said lives. They realize that only raging narcissists do that. The best ones also don’t take themselves very seriously.

        If you want my name, address, a picture, and my social security number, just send me an email, I’ll gladly give it to you. I’ll also gladly look you up if I’m ever in your neck of the woods (although I have no burning desire to visit the land of narcissistic assholes, I must admit). You wouldn’t want that, though. You’d find out the hard way that I’m no “simpering dork.” If you think your fellow critic, Faraci, got his ass kicked at Fantastic Fest…..

        • Battleship Pretension says:

          I guess the words “trust me” made me think you knew what you were talking about. In the context of everything else you’ve ever said here, I probably should have known better.

          Do you think the nagging, insecure voices in your head will stop if you beat me up?

          – David

          • Guy who left a comment says:

            I don’t know – let me ask my psychiatrist. Oh wait, I don’t have one. Why not, you ask? Maybe it’s because when I grew up I learned how to deal with my emotions on my own like a big boy does.

            How’s that going for you, anyway? Making any progress? I’m dying to know. Really. Weekly updates please!

          • Battleship Pretension says:

            Odd, I could have sworn I’d mentioned it on the show but, yes, I’ve been in therapy for a little over a year now and it’s going great! I’m much happier and I’m no longer obsessively tortured by what people do or don’t say on their podcasts.

            Thank you so much for asking! I recommend it!

            – David

          • Guy who left a comment says:

            That’s great news. I’ve heard that therapy is expensive, though. Money must be tight. Fixing your podcast will be much cheaper luckily. Less than $20 in fact!


          • alex says:

            “Maybe it’s because when I grew up I learned how to deal with my emotions on my own like a big boy does.”

            Good thing you did, or else you might go on the internet and start flame wars, hurl condescending insults, suggest physical violence to complete strangers, and listen to a podcast you don’t like in the hopes that someone might acknowledge your existence.

          • Guy who left a comment says:

            Alex, I’m just playing the role in which I was cast. Davey wanted a douchebag, so I gave him one. I’m nothing if not flexible.

            One would think that someone who writes and talks as much as Davey does would be able to muster something better than the 3rd grade insult of douchebag, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering the fact that he thinks adding the letter “s” to the end of business names is hilarious. I can’t wait to hear what he hits me with this week. I’ve got my money on buttwipe, though.

            The funny thing is that this whole interaction could have been avoided if he would have just taken a valid criticism to heart instead of calling a listener childish names and crying about it on his show like a two year old. Again, though, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  6. Battleship Pretension says:

    Hey, fellas. Tyler here. I just got back from Disneyland. What did I miss?


    • Thants says:

      It’s a shame that when an argument like that distracts us from what we should really be here to do. Which is give David a hard time for what he said about The Wire.

  7. Duncan says:

    I disagree with the premise that Game of Thrones doesn’t have anything insightful or intelligent to say (beyond its medieval melodrama plot). However, I think its ideas speak more to sociology than psychology, which seems to be what David categorizes as “great drama”. It would also explain why he lumps The Wire into the same quality strata (something most GOT fans would take as a huge compliment).

    While it might be set in a fantastical world, the shows ideas about how power is constructed and enforced (through symbols, rituals, etc.); the metanarratives communities abide by (be they religious, military, or feudal); the notion of subjective history and perspective (e.g. divergent accounts of the rebellion); and of the course the (rather Deadwood) theme of chaos being suppressed beneath the veneer of social convention, are all explored through the TV show. More importantly, however, there exploration is not hamfisted or expository. I think the most obvious they are is when Varys delivers his riddle in season 2 regarding power.

    I absolutely understand David’s dislike of the show’s format, since the show is (like The Wire) more of a ten-hour movie, than a series of self-contained, thematically satisfying episodes. Nevertheless, I think its a cop-out to dismiss the entire show is shallow entertainment.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I will agree that I have personal biases against Game of Thrones’ (and The Wire’s) modes of storytelling, which I feel are often antithetical to the way that television is designed to be consumed.

      I may also prefer psychology to sociology but that doesn’t mean I’m completely unresponsive to the latter. As both you and I mentioned, I loved Deadwood, which I think did both quite well.

      I will reiterate my point that Game of Thrones is, in my opinion, a very good show. I simply decry the fact that it is praised over other, better current shows like Hannibal (psychology again!) or that it can be mentioned in the same breath as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Sopranos, which I believe to be the two greatest successes in the television format.

      – David

      • Duncan says:

        Well, think about it. Game of Thrones is doing something new and incredibly bold with its one hour a week. Regardless of whether you like it or not, you have to admit, there has never been anything else like it. Its scope and ambition is enormous, and for the most part, it is pulling it off.

        Whereas Hannibal is treading a pretty worn-out genre. As well made as it is, the show is drawing on ideas and themes that have been explored in a hundred other cop dramas, both on TV and film. From what little I’ve seen of the show (3 episodes), the characters leave very little impression on me, and seem almost stereotypical in their depictions. Jack in particular had no personality, beyond the vague characteristic of being “psychologically tortured”. And Hannibal was almost comical in his creepiness, minus Anthony Hopkins’ charm. I’m sure it gets better, but I don’t think the first three episodes are particularly revolutionary (which you have to be if you’re making yet another cop drama).

  8. Caleb says:

    So, yeah… Good episode guys! Missed Fadem, but the scheduling conflicts are understood.

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