Episode 574: Presidents on Film

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11 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    My favorite depiction of a president comes from Transformers 3: Can’t Remember the Subtitle, where JFK is featured in the first five minutes. He is played by archival footage, CGI, and a flesh-and-blood actor in this short span. Why? Because fuck you that’s why.

  2. If Tyler is right, and it sounds like he’s definitely onto something, then in 2019, look for a lot of movies about Hitler. I’m not being glib. He’s wasn’t our president, and I think it’s one of the very few negative comparisons with Trump that is off the mark, but it’s a favorite one to make, and he makes for a juicy role, the performance of which almost guarantees the praise of “bold” when the nominations are being read.

    Regarding Blade Runner, the notion that more advanced replicant models, Rachel & Deckard, let’s say, would not have a lifespan limitation was sewn into the first film, both versions – or more accurately, both types of versions, narrated and not. 2049 deliberately did not come down on a side of the Deckard question, and casting a 74 year old Ford wasn’t something they saw as creating an issue with that.

    Also, I’m with you on pre-film messages, even the one before Greatest Showman, maybe especially so, for exactly the reason David gave, and that comedian Tyler cited. I’m the guy that wrote about film and digital resolutions in the comments section for a TCM review episode of BP, and I don’t see movies in theaters because they register to my eyes as hazy. I’m 100% with David that I’d rather see an otherwise perfect DCP than a washed out, overbright, pink print, rare though that is for me, but I’d rather see a new-ish 35mm print of new movies than either 2K or 4K projected, especially when I now have 4K at home, and actual 4K movies just look amazing. The phrase “See it the way it was meant to be seen” now means, to me, at home on my pretty cheap, but still much better looking, system. My eyes will be dazzled rather than mildly annoyed, the environmental distraction level is in my control, and if more than one person watches my blu-ray, I’ll have saved money, and possibly still given more to the film makers.

    My message to film producers and exhibitors would be simple. Want me to see your movies in theaters, the way they were meant to be seen? Then make that the way they’re best to be seen, and that’s not decided by a director’s intent, but by the quality of the experience. In the early 2010s we let ourselves get used to a downgrade in image quality. I’m happy for those who just don’t notice, but I’m not in that lucky group, so my in theater viewing has dropped from nearly 100 a year to 1 or 2, after each of which I recommit to stop doing that to myself, and to the films I’m trying to enjoy.

    Once theaters respond to the improvements at home – and movie theaters are historically only reactive – and upgrade to 8K or higher, which will finally exceed the resolution of 35mm film, and will come with upgrades in pixel technology, we actually will have a better image in movie theaters than we did with film, probably much better. It will be sharper, regardless of the darkness of the scene (darker scenes required grainier film stocks – digital doesn’t), and the color availability will probably surpass Technicolor, even in vibrance.

    It’s that, not recliners, nor the approval of a director and actor, which will restore movie theaters to their former status. Image should be the first priority anyway, not treated like “It don’t hurt the story none,” as a video store customer once said of pan-and-scan. We’re there to see something. Don’t put a high limit on how well we may see it.

  3. Ryan says:

    Yeah, I love that there’s no definitive answer on whether or not Deckard is a replicant.

  4. Ryan says:

    I really really wanted to hear in detail how and why Tyler Jedi mind tricked to other boys into fighting, and what the fallout was. That’s some diabolical shit for an eighth grader to pull.
    The Breaking Bad dream thing annoys me every time you guys bring it up. How could Gilligan have addressed this during the show when there’s no way he could have anticipated anyone coming up with such an off the wall interpretation in the first place? I mean, you could literally say that about any show that ever existed. “It was a dream” is so cheap and so dumb, I can see why Gilligan felt compelled to defend his show. To me, that’s very different than Chase saying that Tony didn’t die, which was clearly left ambiguous intentionally.

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I guess what gets me about the BREAKING BAD thing is that it seems as though Gilligan, rather than consider why some viewers would consider the finale a dream (which, in my opinion, has to do with everything wrapping up too neatly, Walter being somewhat redeemed, yet also escaping prison through a noble last stand), he chose instead to simply slap it down. When I say that he should’ve made it clear that it wasn’t a dream, I’m being sort of facetious. There is no way he could have anticipated that people would interpret it that way, especially if that’s not how he meant it.
      But, for whatever reason, some people saw it as such fan wish fulfillment that they thought it was genuinely too good to be true. Upon hearing this, he could’ve just said, “Huh. What an odd interpretation. Fascinating.” Instead, he said, “No no no! You don’t get to interpret it how you want!” As David and I have said countless times, once an artist releases his work into the world, it’s no longer his.


      • Ryan says:

        So the interpretation is really just criticism that things went too easily for Walter in the end? I can see that. I even agree that they did. I’d prefer people just say that, though, rather than spin such a fantastical analysis that goes against the established tone of the series, which never once featured a fantasy or dream sequence. Also, Skyler shares with Walt events that happened to her in the previous episode, so for this theory to be true, he would also need to be clairvoyant.

        • Battleship Pretension says:

          Oh, I’m sure there are some people that sincerely thought that the final episode was an “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” situation in which Walter, still in New Hampshire, fantasizes about what he wishes would happen as he eventually dies of cancer or (as some have put forth) freezes to death. My personal criticism is that things are wrapped up too neatly. But I just think that’s flawed writing, as opposed to a conscious effort by Gilligan to suggest something bigger is happening. But because things work out so well, I can understand why some people thought that it was just a bit of delirious wishful thinking for Walter.

  5. Matt Stokes says:

    I was wondering about introductions to trailers by the actors or directors. “The Big Sick,” “Chips,” and “Captain Underpants” all come to mind. And usually the introduction is just, “Hey, you’re about to watch our trailer!” I feel like this is a recent trend (if it can even be considered a trend), although I guess Alfred Hitchcock introduces the “Psycho” trailer.

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