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This comedy/drama written and directed by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges“) would be a fine sleeper hit if it didn’t win a bunch of Academy Awards. However, Frances McDormand, Mrs. Joel Coen, is, with Meryl Streep in “The Post,” a frontrunner for Best Actress. Conversely, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson are excellent too as Ozark small town cops who have outraged McDormand by not solving the kidnapping/rape/murder of her daughter.

This is the kind of movie, like “Shakespeare in Love,” “Crash”and “The Artist,” that would be better off in the long run if it didn’t win a whole bunch of Oscars. McDonagh doesn’t quite have control of the tone of his movie, and inserts a lot of both jokes and tragic incidents. If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.

Martin McDonagh’s older brother John Michael McDonagh is a fine screenwriter too (e.g., Brendan Gleeson in 2011′s “The Guard“‘; his 2016 comedy “War on Everyone” with Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Pena as crooked but lovable New Mexico cops isn’t bad either). Unlike the Coens and a lot of other modern frateurs, the McDonagh’s have a normal amount of sibling rivalry and thus don’t write together, although they share actors, such as the great elder Gleeson. Lately, they’ve been using the almost incomprehensible Caleb Landry Jones (similarly cast in “Get Out”) as a degenerate Southerner.

Like most of the better filmmakers of 2017, the McDonaghs are, by the standards of 2017, pretty far right wing. But this isn’t widely noticed. Critics think because it’s set in Missouri, “Ebbing” is a Ferguson Movie. But it’s really a Law and Order Movie.

Somebody should make a movie about two rivalrous Irish screenwriter brothers who are finally cajoled into writing a movie together in the mode of the Coens and all the other recent brother acts, disastrously.

It’s really not that easy to get along with your brother (e.g., see the recent hit animated children’s film “The Boss Baby,” now on Netflix.)

 
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  1. The Guard is good, but then it has Brendan Gleeson in it; I would watch him read the phone book. See him in Calvary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Brendan Gleeson is probably a Top 5 actor, along with Day-Lewis and DiCaprio, and then maybe Denzel, Joaquin, Christian, or a few others.

    His son Domnhall isn't bad either.

    , @JMcG
    I watched Calvary recently, on the recommendation of a commentator here. I could hardly bear it. I still don’t know what to think of it. It’s interesting to contemplate how movies such as that would be made under the Hayes Code. Could it be as effective psychologically? I don’t think Saving Private Ryan would be, but some others? I don’t know. Anyway Calvary has certainly stuck with me. It almost seems as if it was written in response to Father Ted, the highly irreverent BBC series that addressed the same subject matter.
    , @Neoconned
    Saw this last night at the Cinemark. Going back in a bit to give it a 2nd chance. Personally I thought it was quite average. And sorry Steve but we differ on this.

    The dialogue was clunky like this guy's previous endeavor "7 Psychopaths", and the story filled w caricatures & media and pop culture memes.

    I don't think this was quite up to snuff. I loved in Bruges but I think this guy loves American cinema but his true talent is in Europe.

    I also don't think he's that conservative. The constant references to police brutality, the parading of racial slurs and gay slurs to show how bigoted the cops are etc

    It stunk of a smug European hipster who gets his news & views of the USA from the MSM.

    And the ending SPOILER WARNING....


    So she & the burned redneck cop go to kill the military guy in Idaho even though the police chief(new one the black guy) said his DNA didn't match that of her daughter's killer? And he had a solid alibi....

    So they're going to kill him anyway...why? What's the point?

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  2. Lex says:

    Speaking of Law and Order – I recommend everyone to watch episode “A Murderer Among Us” (s03e07) from L&O: Criminal Intent. Absolutely insane take on anti-semitism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Goren explores the family's tragic history on both sides and struggles to find a link to the kneecap-murders of a string of Jewish men."

    There was a kneecap shooting in a synagogue parking lot at 6 am near me a few years ago. The newspapers initially played it up as an anti-semitic hate crime, but the victim kept refusing to name the shooter, so it became apparent it was an organized crime deal.

    , @J.Ross
    Insufferable as L&O is, they have a very objective episode in which Shomrim attempt to protect a pedophile rabbi. This objectivity probably comes from actually having to live with the awestruck sons-of-bitches.
    I tried to get into L&O, but foolishly did so after reading a string of "true crime" articles and police books. I recognized a pattern in the episodes I saw where they would take a real case, then change the details in a gratuitous way that gave completely wasteful sensationalism. The basis story would be crazy enough, and they would throw in a racism subplot or a perverse evil victim. Maybe what really threw me was having grown up with rerereruns of Dragnet on Nick At Night, which is something that every American should be exposed to, along with Walt Disney's explicitly propagandistic black and white teleplays.
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  3. @Jim Don Bob
    The Guard is good, but then it has Brendan Gleeson in it; I would watch him read the phone book. See him in Calvary.

    Brendan Gleeson is probably a Top 5 actor, along with Day-Lewis and DiCaprio, and then maybe Denzel, Joaquin, Christian, or a few others.

    His son Domnhall isn’t bad either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    I wonder if Irish actors and such have lost a friend with the fall of Harvey?
    Daniel Day-Lewis detested him,tho...bigly.Sad.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Brendan Gleeson was also excellent in Trespass Against Us (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trespass_Against_Us) which also had Michael Fassbender.

    Thanks to whoever recommended Michael Fassbender in Slow West. I liked it.

    One of the (few) advantages of paying high 4 figure property taxes is that the county library has most everything. And, you can reserve items online and they will bring them to your favorite branch and then email you. Nice.

    OTOH, the county recently decided to build an "Aquatics Center" for $50+ million with at least $1M in annual operating costs. Good thing I am a rich person.
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  4. @Lex
    Speaking of Law and Order - I recommend everyone to watch episode "A Murderer Among Us" (s03e07) from L&O: Criminal Intent. Absolutely insane take on anti-semitism.

    “Goren explores the family’s tragic history on both sides and struggles to find a link to the kneecap-murders of a string of Jewish men.”

    There was a kneecap shooting in a synagogue parking lot at 6 am near me a few years ago. The newspapers initially played it up as an anti-semitic hate crime, but the victim kept refusing to name the shooter, so it became apparent it was an organized crime deal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Kneecapping? Fenians without a doubt. Perhaps they think Jews are a sort of less-heretical Prod, what with their six-pointed star flag and all.
    Do they ever go for the full 6-pack?
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  5. guest says:

    I enjoyed In Bruges, once I got over the main character complaining the whole time. It really picks up when the Ralph Fiennes character shows up. I especially enjoyed this piece of gun dialogue:

    “An Uzi? I’m not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn’t come here to shoot twenty black ten year-olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person.”

    But his next movie, Seven Psychopaths, was unwatchable. Unless it got better after I turned it off ten minutes in.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    The Guard was cute and highly unwatchable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    Dangit, I meant rewatchable, not unwatchable.
    , @Neoconned
    Agree w you on both the director and Seven Psychopaths. Loved In Bruges.

    However this and 7P reminded me of like a European arthouse director trying to do a quintessential American movie but it just doesn't work because he doesn't know the "voice of Americans" and hence the clunky dialogue and weird plot elements.

    This movie was average....
    , @AnotherDad

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.
     
    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder--as i've always wondered--why anyone watches Tarantino's garbage. But people rave about it.
    , @Bob Smith of Suburbia
    Not obsessed with black people? 'In Bruges' had that whole racist dwarf subplot, which didn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It sure did make those 'ebil rayciss' look bad, though. His second movie, 'Seven Psychopaths', featured a WM/BF couple who went around lighting evil h'white racists on fire. His new one, I hear, has Sam Rockwell playing a cruel, stupid white racist cop who spouts racial epithets and who tortured a black suspect. And got away with it.

    He's obsessed with black people, if not in the same way QT is. Tarantino thinks black folks are totes cool; he wants us to enjoy his black characters. McDonagh, OTOH, wants to teach us all a lesson with his black characters. It's not hard to guess what that lesson is.
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  6. It is easy to get along with your brother(s) as ling as you are all a healthy distance away from each other and do not need to interact with each other during work.

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  7. guest says:
    @guest
    I enjoyed In Bruges, once I got over the main character complaining the whole time. It really picks up when the Ralph Fiennes character shows up. I especially enjoyed this piece of gun dialogue:

    "An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten year-olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person."

    But his next movie, Seven Psychopaths, was unwatchable. Unless it got better after I turned it off ten minutes in.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    The Guard was cute and highly unwatchable.

    Dangit, I meant rewatchable, not unwatchable.

    Read More
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  8. If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.

    Don’t I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela’s Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall’s eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    I guess Academy Awards have never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

     

    Such a thing does not exist. Fortunately.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Please allow me to be a wet blanket here: none of us should waste our time and breath, let alone money, on ANYTHING produced by the sick Hollywood studios. They need to go out of business, at the least.

    Think about who is in the voter pool for "THE Academy." Who gives a damn what they think about movies or anything else?

    We ought to be dissociating ourselves and our families from Hollywood and establishment culture as much as possible.
    , @Stan Adams

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.
     
    Citizen Kane lost to How Green Was My Valley. 2001: A Space Odyssey lost to Oliver! (yes, there's an exclamation mark in the title). Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People.

    The Oscars have always been a joke.
    , @njguy73

    I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford.
     

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.
     
    In the 1941 Awards, How Green Was My Valley beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture.

    And that might not even be among the worst 5 Best Picture snubs.
    , @Anonymous
    Valley beat Citizen Kane that year... Ironically this coincidence is probably the main source of new viewers for the former, which isn't among Ford's best IMO. It's not bad though. Without a conventional understanding of what qualities an Oscar-sweeping film should have, it's all flukey horse-race noise. Film history criticism would need to include unexpectedly non-nominated snubs for real Zeitgeist

    http://entertainment.time.com/2013/02/20/oscar-robbery-10-controversial-best-picture-races/slide/all/


    Further to that, consider that the Oscars define themselves against whatever actually sustains the industry economically. The current Top 20 R.O.I. list at The-Numbers.com contains only one "prestige" live-action film (The King's Speech, #20)
    http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/budgets/

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  9. @Intelligent Dasein

    If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.
     
    Don't I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela's Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall's eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    I guess Academy Awards have never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    Such a thing does not exist. Fortunately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    The value of Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I've been confronted with a lot of what others thought was art.
    , @Altai
    Particularly the longer the time between the present and the time of the award.

    This is why I find all film critics so nauseating. They all have these endless incessant rules for how things should be done without ever realising that the current 'rules' are just reactionary inversions of yesterdays 'rules' for the most part because everyone got sick of them and that the very idea that there is only a certain way to do things in art being insane. This is intensified with the current crop of YouTube film critics and commentators who are laughably homogeneous in their opinions, since all of them are the same types of people (Film school or humanities graduates with huge debt), are the same age and enjoy to dogpile in criticism of shared targets and now being more concerned with the business side of things than the artistic.
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  10. JoeBob says:

    I saw the movie when it opened and my thought was, “what did the people of Missouri ever do to the filmmaker to deserve this kind of treatment?” There didn’t seem to be anything right-wing about the movie at all. Standard portrayal of southern cops as people who have fascist haircuts, torture innocent black prisoners, and throw people they don’t like out second-floor windows with impunity.

    The blacks in the movie are all sensible, kind, long-suffering types, except for the compulsory black savior in the chief of police role, who brings wisdom and justice to this horrible racist backwater.

    The movie is mostly a string of hateful, ugly incidents and [SPOILER ALERT] doesn’t even resolve the main storyline of the murdered daughter.

    I went thinking it would be something like Fargo or No Country For Old Men or something. It’s not. It’s just an ugly, angry little piece of bile.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ferd
    I'm with JoeBob on the "ugly, angry little piece of bile."

    This thread is making me wonder how much political bias is in the eye of the beholder. I watched this movie last Friday with my wife at the campus theater in a college town and most of our fellow moviegoers were progressive retired professors with spouses.

    We thought the characters were grotesque caricatures and the movie could have been called "You hateful rural deplorables are so loathesome that we laugh at you." Any fringe character was virtuous and admirable. We were horrified to hear which things the retired profs were laughing at- it seemed as though they were tickled by having their biases confirmed.

    On the other hand, we both loved Wind River...
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  11. @Dieter Kief

    I guess Academy Awards have never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

     

    Such a thing does not exist. Fortunately.

    The value of Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve been confronted with a lot of what others thought was art.

    Read More
    • Agree: Autochthon
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  12. JMcG says:
    @Jim Don Bob
    The Guard is good, but then it has Brendan Gleeson in it; I would watch him read the phone book. See him in Calvary.

    I watched Calvary recently, on the recommendation of a commentator here. I could hardly bear it. I still don’t know what to think of it. It’s interesting to contemplate how movies such as that would be made under the Hayes Code. Could it be as effective psychologically? I don’t think Saving Private Ryan would be, but some others? I don’t know. Anyway Calvary has certainly stuck with me. It almost seems as if it was written in response to Father Ted, the highly irreverent BBC series that addressed the same subject matter.

    Read More
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  13. Neoconned says:
    @Jim Don Bob
    The Guard is good, but then it has Brendan Gleeson in it; I would watch him read the phone book. See him in Calvary.

    Saw this last night at the Cinemark. Going back in a bit to give it a 2nd chance. Personally I thought it was quite average. And sorry Steve but we differ on this.

    The dialogue was clunky like this guy’s previous endeavor “7 Psychopaths”, and the story filled w caricatures & media and pop culture memes.

    I don’t think this was quite up to snuff. I loved in Bruges but I think this guy loves American cinema but his true talent is in Europe.

    I also don’t think he’s that conservative. The constant references to police brutality, the parading of racial slurs and gay slurs to show how bigoted the cops are etc

    It stunk of a smug European hipster who gets his news & views of the USA from the MSM.

    And the ending SPOILER WARNING….

    So she & the burned redneck cop go to kill the military guy in Idaho even though the police chief(new one the black guy) said his DNA didn’t match that of her daughter’s killer? And he had a solid alibi….

    So they’re going to kill him anyway…why? What’s the point?

    Read More
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  14. Neoconned says:
    @guest
    I enjoyed In Bruges, once I got over the main character complaining the whole time. It really picks up when the Ralph Fiennes character shows up. I especially enjoyed this piece of gun dialogue:

    "An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten year-olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person."

    But his next movie, Seven Psychopaths, was unwatchable. Unless it got better after I turned it off ten minutes in.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    The Guard was cute and highly unwatchable.

    Agree w you on both the director and Seven Psychopaths. Loved In Bruges.

    However this and 7P reminded me of like a European arthouse director trying to do a quintessential American movie but it just doesn’t work because he doesn’t know the “voice of Americans” and hence the clunky dialogue and weird plot elements.

    This movie was average….

    Read More
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  15. Dumbo says:

    Oscars are not about artistic value. They are really for low-risk, middle-brow movies, which I guess reflect the taste of the Academia.

    Even the great directors got Oscars from their less risky films, if they got them at all. Hitchcock and Kubrick never got Oscars as Best Directors.

    Lots of Holocaust movies, though.

    Read More
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  16. @Intelligent Dasein

    If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.
     
    Don't I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela's Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall's eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    Please allow me to be a wet blanket here: none of us should waste our time and breath, let alone money, on ANYTHING produced by the sick Hollywood studios. They need to go out of business, at the least.

    Think about who is in the voter pool for “THE Academy.” Who gives a damn what they think about movies or anything else?

    We ought to be dissociating ourselves and our families from Hollywood and establishment culture as much as possible.

    Read More
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  17. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, “Three Billboards” is MUCH better than the three Oscar winners that you mentioned. For one, it’s really well-written, very complex. Although some of its jokes fall flat, its last hour is just tremendous. There is more humanity in five minutes of this movie than in all of “Crash” or “The Artist.”

    You are dead right, though, that this movie is best watched as a right-wing movie.

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  18. Anon7 says:

    OT: Drexel University Study: Could White Middle-Class Death Rates Have Swung the Last Election?

    On average, a 15.2 death increase per 100,000 middle-aged white people was tied to a 1 percent vote swing for the Republican presidential candidate in 2016, the study showed.

    Read More
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  19. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    OT – Any Alabamans here with some last minute takes on who will win Tuesday’s election?

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  20. Ha, it would like ‘The Sunshine Boys’ but Screenwriters. Does anyone here remember it?
    Ah, Matthau and Burns. They don’t make them anymore.
    Now, Amy Schumer and all foul-mouthed but excessively PC comedians are all the rage.

    Read More
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  21. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    OT: It looks like the California fires are going to be getting worse. The main problem is that a huge blaze has moved into the Los Padres National Forest, and that’s the part that’s growing. It’s really tough to stop fire in a place like that because of plentiful fuel and lack of natural fire breaks such as broad roads or rivers. If you look at a map, the geography in that region is bad. There are big valleys, creeks, and dirt roads, but they’re running mostly east to west instead of north to south like they need, so they’ll be useless for firebreaks. The fire is just going to get a lot bigger, and by the time it spreads in the forest north of Santa Barbara, it could be a massive firestorm 20-30 miles wide. If I were living in Santa Barbara, I’d be nervous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    California's attitude towards conservation is "Nature knows best." So it totally blew off any responsible land management because illegal aliens need free college.

    It also forgot Nature's answer to a build up is a hugely fucking destructive fire. The state also seems damn determined to learn nothing from this.
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  22. Beene says:

    Right-wing movie? I thought you would hate its political elements, if anything.

    For one, ALL the black people in the movie are good (the new police chief, McDormand’s friend, the guy who helps hang the sign). With one major exception, most of the white male characters are incompetent or uncaring, and, while he’s redeemed somewhat, Rockwell’s character is a violent racist who unfairly beat up a black guy he arrested, and others.

    I don’t see much right-wing about the film, other than, of course, McDormand wants her daughter’s rapist captured. Is that a law and order message?

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  23. Anonym says:

    Any movie about brother screenwriters collaborating would have the immense shoes to fill of Adaptation. Not saying it can’t be done.

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  24. I watched “Fargo” a couple of times before I really liked it, it is a good movie. McDormand was excellent in her role as the police chief but the casting was outstanding. I still don’t know if she had a one night stand with the Asian mentally unstable former classmate that she meet for a drink. I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn’t need to do that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn’t need to do that.
     
    Maybe she wants to do that.
    , @Danindc
    What would give you the idea she slept w the Asian dude? I never considered that a possibility.
    , @Jack D
    I hope it was a really old movie. McDormand (never a sex goddess even in her salad days) is now over 60, so I would pay extra NOT to see her nude. I'd be afraid that she would haunt my dreams and not in a good way.

    All that being said, she is a talented actress and for all I know a nice and good person, but not someone I really want to see without her clothes on, especially at her age now.
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  25. @Intelligent Dasein

    If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.
     
    Don't I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela's Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall's eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    Citizen Kane lost to How Green Was My Valley. 2001: A Space Odyssey lost to Oliver! (yes, there’s an exclamation mark in the title). Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People.

    The Oscars have always been a joke.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    If Wham! had come along sooner, maybe the could have scored Oliver! (it was musical adaptation of Oliver Twist, right?

    What's with the demand for shitty musical bastardisation of classic novels from the nineteenth century, anyhow? And why have the Russians been snubbed? I demand God Doesn't Exist, So Everything is Possible! be fast-tracked for production. It's a great opportunity for a number incorporating a zany prisyadka.

    I watched Charade last night and remembered plenty of wonderful films were made before the rot set in, and more will be some day again.
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  26. I guess writing movies is yet another job that native-born Americans just can’t do.

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  27. njguy73 says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.
     
    Don't I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela's Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall's eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    In the 1941 Awards, How Green Was My Valley beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture.

    And that might not even be among the worst 5 Best Picture snubs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My guess is that there was an even more influential film in 1941 than Citizen Kane: The Maltese Falcon.
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  28. @guest
    I enjoyed In Bruges, once I got over the main character complaining the whole time. It really picks up when the Ralph Fiennes character shows up. I especially enjoyed this piece of gun dialogue:

    "An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten year-olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person."

    But his next movie, Seven Psychopaths, was unwatchable. Unless it got better after I turned it off ten minutes in.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    The Guard was cute and highly unwatchable.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder–as i’ve always wondered–why anyone watches Tarantino’s garbage. But people rave about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    Tarantino's issue is that he's an eccentric auto didact.

    He was raised in the gutter but is actually insanely intelligent. He's just intelligent more so than EDUCATED.

    He lacks the rigor & sophistication of other more upper class writers.

    But the man has a taste for schlock and schtick nobody else in Hollywood does and is arguably the best dialogue writer, ever in terms of Hollywood.

    He said in his younger years he almost became a novelist rather than a director or maybe even a playwright. Tarantino for all his faults if he were younger and had come up in a richer background would have probably been a creative writing or drama professor....
    , @Dave Pinsen
    He had a few hit plays on Broadway in the '90s. I saw one, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which was quite good. He and his brother were on welfare when they started writing, IIRC.
    , @Rod1963
    I saw a couple of Tarantino's movies and won't ever watch them or any other thing he makes ever again. It's garbage and certainly not worth raving about. If I want westerns ,gangster films, bad remakes of Run Run Shaw movies I'll look elsewhere.

    His last two movies judging from the clips I've seen are sheer trash, murder porn.

    Compared to men like Peckinpah or Sergio Leone, he's a nothing burger.

    , @PiltdownMan
    I saw Martin McDonagh's play The Pillowman more than a decade ago. It's one of the best plays I've seen in this century. Really dark, though, as much of the Irish brothers' work tends to be, but very, very clever and unusually well put together.

    I won't give the plot away, but many women in the audience, including PiltdownWoman, were in tears.

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  29. @Steve Sailer
    Brendan Gleeson is probably a Top 5 actor, along with Day-Lewis and DiCaprio, and then maybe Denzel, Joaquin, Christian, or a few others.

    His son Domnhall isn't bad either.

    I wonder if Irish actors and such have lost a friend with the fall of Harvey?
    Daniel Day-Lewis detested him,tho…bigly.Sad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I'll be sorry when they come for Daniel Day-Lewis. I've heard several people who briefly met him rave about what a great guy he is.
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  30. Neoconned says:
    @AnotherDad

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.
     
    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder--as i've always wondered--why anyone watches Tarantino's garbage. But people rave about it.

    Tarantino’s issue is that he’s an eccentric auto didact.

    He was raised in the gutter but is actually insanely intelligent. He’s just intelligent more so than EDUCATED.

    He lacks the rigor & sophistication of other more upper class writers.

    But the man has a taste for schlock and schtick nobody else in Hollywood does and is arguably the best dialogue writer, ever in terms of Hollywood.

    He said in his younger years he almost became a novelist rather than a director or maybe even a playwright. Tarantino for all his faults if he were younger and had come up in a richer background would have probably been a creative writing or drama professor….

    Read More
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  31. PSR says:

    I have been anticipating some new film reviews from you. I have to say that on this one the first sentence makes no sense until you read the second paragraph.

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  32. Arclight says:

    As we get ready for the latest “Oscars So White” nonsense, a piece that points out that the ‘racists’ who don’t like to see minorities in US productions are found abroad (probably mostly Asians):

    https://theconversation.com/why-arent-hollywood-films-more-diverse-the-international-box-office-might-be-to-blame-86905

    It seems that the parts of American culture that are enjoyed by others are not the diverse elements we are assured by our media and politicians that make us better off.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
    The last Fast and the Furious movie grossed over a billion dollars in non-US markets. The last Tyler Perry movie did a little over a million while earning close to 50m in the US.

    The last Rocky movie starring Michael B Jordan "Creed" made over 100m in the US, 63m overseas. Before that Rocky 6 released in 2006 made 70m in the US and 85m overseas. The foreign total for Creed should have been higher given how much international markets have grown since then. But that could be a function of foreign audiences not knowing Michael Jordan at all.

    This could be also be a function of Will Smith not being all that active in the past few years and a proliferation of movies explicitly targeted to African-American audiences. In the late 90s and in the last decade the Fresh Prince was easily one of the biggest stars internationally.

    , @Pseudonymic Handle
    The chinese want to see chinese actors in movies. That's why every blockbuster now needs to have a chinese starlet in it if they want to have success in one of the biggest overseas markets. Plus, having chinese actors makes it more likely to be green lighted by the censors for distribution in china. Only 34 US movies/year are allowed in China in advantageous conditions.
    The chinese don't even want to see asian-american, taiwanese or japanese actors, just straight up chinese celebrities with big Weibo followings.
    Many korean pop stars and actors used to act in Chinese dramas and movies which was possible because all of them are dubbed. It's quite strange but chinese movies and dramas dub everybody, including chinese actors. Anyway, the koreans were kicked out of the very lucrative chinese entertainment market over a political spat involving the placement of THAAD missiles. Now the spat is winding down so korean stars may be let back in, but the rapidly developing chinese market is becoming increasingly dominated by chinese celebrities.
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  33. timothy says:

    Somebody should make a movie about two rivalrous Irish screenwriter brothers who are finally cajoled into writing a movie together in the mode of the Coens and all the other recent brother acts, disastrously.

    Could work, but you gotta be prepared for a lot of unfavorable comparisons to Adaptation.

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  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    If you stumbled upon this movie late at night on cable, you’d think it was well above average. If it won a lot of Academy Awards next March, however, you’d be pickier because your expectations were higher.
     
    Don't I know it. I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford. I absolutely loved The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and I figured that a 5-Oscar winner by the same director would have to be just about the greatest movie of all time.

    Well, the direction, of course, was excellent, but the story itself was Angela's Ashes-level pap. I left with the impression that I could do without whining Welshmen in my personal future. Also, one look into the young Roddy McDowall's eyes convinced me that he was the tragic bearer of some unfortunate emotional cross-wiring.

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

    Valley beat Citizen Kane that year… Ironically this coincidence is probably the main source of new viewers for the former, which isn’t among Ford’s best IMO. It’s not bad though. Without a conventional understanding of what qualities an Oscar-sweeping film should have, it’s all flukey horse-race noise. Film history criticism would need to include unexpectedly non-nominated snubs for real Zeitgeist

    http://entertainment.time.com/2013/02/20/oscar-robbery-10-controversial-best-picture-races/slide/all/

    Further to that, consider that the Oscars define themselves against whatever actually sustains the industry economically. The current Top 20 R.O.I. list at The-Numbers.com contains only one “prestige” live-action film (The King’s Speech, #20)

    http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/budgets/

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  35. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @AnotherDad

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.
     
    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder--as i've always wondered--why anyone watches Tarantino's garbage. But people rave about it.

    He had a few hit plays on Broadway in the ’90s. I saw one, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which was quite good. He and his brother were on welfare when they started writing, IIRC.

    Read More
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  36. @Arclight
    As we get ready for the latest "Oscars So White" nonsense, a piece that points out that the 'racists' who don't like to see minorities in US productions are found abroad (probably mostly Asians):

    https://theconversation.com/why-arent-hollywood-films-more-diverse-the-international-box-office-might-be-to-blame-86905

    It seems that the parts of American culture that are enjoyed by others are not the diverse elements we are assured by our media and politicians that make us better off.

    The last Fast and the Furious movie grossed over a billion dollars in non-US markets. The last Tyler Perry movie did a little over a million while earning close to 50m in the US.

    The last Rocky movie starring Michael B Jordan “Creed” made over 100m in the US, 63m overseas. Before that Rocky 6 released in 2006 made 70m in the US and 85m overseas. The foreign total for Creed should have been higher given how much international markets have grown since then. But that could be a function of foreign audiences not knowing Michael Jordan at all.

    This could be also be a function of Will Smith not being all that active in the past few years and a proliferation of movies explicitly targeted to African-American audiences. In the late 90s and in the last decade the Fresh Prince was easily one of the biggest stars internationally.

    Read More
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  37. @Buffalo Joe
    I watched "Fargo" a couple of times before I really liked it, it is a good movie. McDormand was excellent in her role as the police chief but the casting was outstanding. I still don't know if she had a one night stand with the Asian mentally unstable former classmate that she meet for a drink. I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn't need to do that.

    I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn’t need to do that.

    Maybe she wants to do that.

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  38. Karl says:

    > Somebody should make a movie about

    and here I was, thinking that iSteve, as a Sabra Californian, might be able to step up to the plate

    We’ll dispatch a few more New York Jews to you, iSteve, to get it done.

    Please have a tablefull of borscht and bagels ready for Mr Weinstein……

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  39. @Arclight
    As we get ready for the latest "Oscars So White" nonsense, a piece that points out that the 'racists' who don't like to see minorities in US productions are found abroad (probably mostly Asians):

    https://theconversation.com/why-arent-hollywood-films-more-diverse-the-international-box-office-might-be-to-blame-86905

    It seems that the parts of American culture that are enjoyed by others are not the diverse elements we are assured by our media and politicians that make us better off.

    The chinese want to see chinese actors in movies. That’s why every blockbuster now needs to have a chinese starlet in it if they want to have success in one of the biggest overseas markets. Plus, having chinese actors makes it more likely to be green lighted by the censors for distribution in china. Only 34 US movies/year are allowed in China in advantageous conditions.
    The chinese don’t even want to see asian-american, taiwanese or japanese actors, just straight up chinese celebrities with big Weibo followings.
    Many korean pop stars and actors used to act in Chinese dramas and movies which was possible because all of them are dubbed. It’s quite strange but chinese movies and dramas dub everybody, including chinese actors. Anyway, the koreans were kicked out of the very lucrative chinese entertainment market over a political spat involving the placement of THAAD missiles. Now the spat is winding down so korean stars may be let back in, but the rapidly developing chinese market is becoming increasingly dominated by chinese celebrities.

    Read More
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  40. Danindc says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    I watched "Fargo" a couple of times before I really liked it, it is a good movie. McDormand was excellent in her role as the police chief but the casting was outstanding. I still don't know if she had a one night stand with the Asian mentally unstable former classmate that she meet for a drink. I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn't need to do that.

    What would give you the idea she slept w the Asian dude? I never considered that a possibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Dan, next time you watch the movie, watch McDormand's facial expression when she finds out the Asian guy wasn't a recent widower. I think she gave him some sympathy sex.
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  41. @Steve Sailer
    Brendan Gleeson is probably a Top 5 actor, along with Day-Lewis and DiCaprio, and then maybe Denzel, Joaquin, Christian, or a few others.

    His son Domnhall isn't bad either.

    Brendan Gleeson was also excellent in Trespass Against Us (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trespass_Against_Us) which also had Michael Fassbender.

    Thanks to whoever recommended Michael Fassbender in Slow West. I liked it.

    One of the (few) advantages of paying high 4 figure property taxes is that the county library has most everything. And, you can reserve items online and they will bring them to your favorite branch and then email you. Nice.

    OTOH, the county recently decided to build an “Aquatics Center” for $50+ million with at least $1M in annual operating costs. Good thing I am a rich person.

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  42. I have never watched anything by Tarantino. His movies are violence porn with a pseudo-intelluctual cover.

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  43. I saw the film today, and it’s good. In the first half, it seems like it’s just going to be some liberal narrative schlock, but then it surprises you.

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  44. This post breaks the 1st Law of Copyediting: Never assume that your reader has read the title or any subtitles or subheadings.

    This is because the way that the eye scans matarial and the way the brain processes it often results in a reader not really taking in the titles and subheadings.

    In the age of the internet, there is the additional factor of SEO: You want all your keywords in the text as well as the title and subheadings.

    In addition, in traditional journalism the writer has nothing to do with anything outside the text, and in theory a piece down the line might get sloppily retitled or re-headed without noticing that it doesn’t make sense without the original title and headings.

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  45. Jack D says:

    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said “based on a true story” and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the “true story” tagline.

    It turns out “based on a true story” meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, “thousands” of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men – it COULD be true. We can’t prove that they aren’t. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the “based on a true story” tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Barnard
    I saw an ad for Wind River and figured it was going to be blame whitey propaganda to explain away the problems of reservation life. Thanks for the confirmation.
    , @Lugash
    Awful movie...

    Native Americans emoting like a bunch of hipsters, an oil well protected by way too many men with way too much firepower, ridiculous portrayal of the physics of a rifle bullet on the human body, etc. etc.

    About the only thing it did get right was the nightmare of law enforcement jurisdiction on a reservation. The writer/director is Taylor Sheridan of Siccario, which had similar themes but was much better.
    , @duncsbaby
    Rape on Indian reservations is a HUGE problem. Along with pretty much every other kind of violent crime. Of course the vast majority of the rapes are committed by Indian males. Maybe every now and then a rapacious white drifter might commit one, but of course in Hollywood the rape based on a true story is committed by white males. It would've been just as realistic showing a group of black males doing the raping.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Fake but accurate. It got Rigoberta Menchu a Nobel Peace prize. https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=40702
    , @Seth Largo
    After the mildly subversive Sicario and Hell or High Water, I was disappointed by Sheridan's latest effort. Well, I guess 2 out of 3 aint bad. It all hinges on his next film.
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  46. Jack D says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    I watched "Fargo" a couple of times before I really liked it, it is a good movie. McDormand was excellent in her role as the police chief but the casting was outstanding. I still don't know if she had a one night stand with the Asian mentally unstable former classmate that she meet for a drink. I watched part of a movie recently where McDormand had a nude scene, she doesn't need to do that.

    I hope it was a really old movie. McDormand (never a sex goddess even in her salad days) is now over 60, so I would pay extra NOT to see her nude. I’d be afraid that she would haunt my dreams and not in a good way.

    All that being said, she is a talented actress and for all I know a nice and good person, but not someone I really want to see without her clothes on, especially at her age now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JerryC
    It appears that the cinematic materpiece in question is Short Cuts (1993). Her nude scene is extremely brief and, in my opinion, neither particularly titillating nor traumatizing.
    , @Anonymous
    There's a few women even at an at a ridiculous age I'd like to see nude. Helen Mirren for one, there are a couple others just for curiosity value. I probably wouldn't find them titillating, but it would be.....interesting to see how the body ages.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Jack , someone cites a different movie, but Laurel Canyon, is recent and Frances is nude in a pool.
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  47. Barnard says:
    @Jack D
    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said "based on a true story" and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the "true story" tagline.

    It turns out "based on a true story" meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, "thousands" of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men - it COULD be true. We can't prove that they aren't. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the "based on a true story" tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    I saw an ad for Wind River and figured it was going to be blame whitey propaganda to explain away the problems of reservation life. Thanks for the confirmation.

    Read More
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  48. JerryC says:
    @Jack D
    I hope it was a really old movie. McDormand (never a sex goddess even in her salad days) is now over 60, so I would pay extra NOT to see her nude. I'd be afraid that she would haunt my dreams and not in a good way.

    All that being said, she is a talented actress and for all I know a nice and good person, but not someone I really want to see without her clothes on, especially at her age now.

    It appears that the cinematic materpiece in question is Short Cuts (1993). Her nude scene is extremely brief and, in my opinion, neither particularly titillating nor traumatizing.

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  49. Lagertha says:

    I found this movie to be so forced. So forced to be great; intense, winning..but it was so-so. Sort of ok, but not amazing. Boring is never cool or nuanced; nuanced to make it look cool for “everyday Americans.”

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  50. Rod1963 says:
    @AnotherDad

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.
     
    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder--as i've always wondered--why anyone watches Tarantino's garbage. But people rave about it.

    I saw a couple of Tarantino’s movies and won’t ever watch them or any other thing he makes ever again. It’s garbage and certainly not worth raving about. If I want westerns ,gangster films, bad remakes of Run Run Shaw movies I’ll look elsewhere.

    His last two movies judging from the clips I’ve seen are sheer trash, murder porn.

    Compared to men like Peckinpah or Sergio Leone, he’s a nothing burger.

    Read More
    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    I hope it was a really old movie. McDormand (never a sex goddess even in her salad days) is now over 60, so I would pay extra NOT to see her nude. I'd be afraid that she would haunt my dreams and not in a good way.

    All that being said, she is a talented actress and for all I know a nice and good person, but not someone I really want to see without her clothes on, especially at her age now.

    There’s a few women even at an at a ridiculous age I’d like to see nude. Helen Mirren for one, there are a couple others just for curiosity value. I probably wouldn’t find them titillating, but it would be…..interesting to see how the body ages.

    Read More
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  52. Impolitic says:

    I loathed In Bruges – I don’t think I’ve ever thought less of an iSteve-recommended movie – so I don’t think I’ll be watching this one.

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  53. Lugash says:
    @Jack D
    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said "based on a true story" and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the "true story" tagline.

    It turns out "based on a true story" meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, "thousands" of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men - it COULD be true. We can't prove that they aren't. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the "based on a true story" tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    Awful movie…

    Native Americans emoting like a bunch of hipsters, an oil well protected by way too many men with way too much firepower, ridiculous portrayal of the physics of a rifle bullet on the human body, etc. etc.

    About the only thing it did get right was the nightmare of law enforcement jurisdiction on a reservation. The writer/director is Taylor Sheridan of Siccario, which had similar themes but was much better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    Sicario was one of the better border movies to come out recently. The female SWAT member and her POC sidekick dragged the movie down horribly, however. The actress functioned as a POV and little else. Sicario stands out because of Del Toro, the last fifteen minutes of the movie, and the fact that most of the cinema about the border is in the vein of "Desierto". Fast and Furious 3 was more realistic than that agitprop.

    Personally, I'd be very interested to see Kathryn Bigelow's take on something like the BPA Brian Terry shooting. Or anything regarding the border, really.

    , @Jack Hanson
    Also, having worked law enforcement on a reservation (not as BIA Police tho), you're not kidding about what a car crash it is. Longmire's earlier seasons were accurate in how local LE can easily become someone's personal power fief and "sovereign people" becomes a magical force field against investigating corruption.

    Blacks are pikers with Mau Mau tactics compared to woke natives, who can mobilise colleges all over by inventing some BS story about oppression.

    , @Jack D
    The shootem' up scene was ridiculous and out of character with the rest of the movie. Apparently Tarantino has made ultraviolence obligatory in every film. Maybe in Iraq you'd have a squad of heavily armed ex-Seals guarding your oil well but in America? Still, I could have swallowed the ridiculousness if it had been portrayed as pure fiction. "True story" my ass.
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  54. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Speaking of the movies, Steve: This is probably not your cup of tea but maybe it is. I just watched “The Farthest”. It’s a documentary about the Voyager space probe program – those probes that carry golden discs with the information of what Earth looks like.

    It’s pretty good! It’s also a good reminder of just how great the NASA/Caltech space programs were 40 years ago. Naturally, most of it is just a whole bunch of people involved talking into the camera (with CGI and voice overs filling in the gaps). Naturally, all of them are old people. Pretty striking are the visuals of those people: for all intents and purposes, all white. The total in-your-face demonstration of the amazing demographic transformation of the country. No Hindus – none. Not even a single Chinese (I was quite surprised). Needless to say, no blacks and no recognizable Latinos or Arabs. In brief, an image of the top science/engineering talent completely different from today (today, it would be 40% Chinese with a dot-Indian bullshitter at the helm; see: Google and Microsoft). A fair representation of women – about 15-20%.

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  55. @AnotherDad

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.
     
    Funny. Sounds like the guy is worth a look. On the other hand you get through that list and wonder--as i've always wondered--why anyone watches Tarantino's garbage. But people rave about it.

    I saw Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman more than a decade ago. It’s one of the best plays I’ve seen in this century. Really dark, though, as much of the Irish brothers’ work tends to be, but very, very clever and unusually well put together.

    I won’t give the plot away, but many women in the audience, including PiltdownWoman, were in tears.

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  56. duncsbaby says:
    @Jack D
    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said "based on a true story" and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the "true story" tagline.

    It turns out "based on a true story" meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, "thousands" of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men - it COULD be true. We can't prove that they aren't. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the "based on a true story" tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    Rape on Indian reservations is a HUGE problem. Along with pretty much every other kind of violent crime. Of course the vast majority of the rapes are committed by Indian males. Maybe every now and then a rapacious white drifter might commit one, but of course in Hollywood the rape based on a true story is committed by white males. It would’ve been just as realistic showing a group of black males doing the raping.

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  57. @Lugash
    Awful movie...

    Native Americans emoting like a bunch of hipsters, an oil well protected by way too many men with way too much firepower, ridiculous portrayal of the physics of a rifle bullet on the human body, etc. etc.

    About the only thing it did get right was the nightmare of law enforcement jurisdiction on a reservation. The writer/director is Taylor Sheridan of Siccario, which had similar themes but was much better.

    Sicario was one of the better border movies to come out recently. The female SWAT member and her POC sidekick dragged the movie down horribly, however. The actress functioned as a POV and little else. Sicario stands out because of Del Toro, the last fifteen minutes of the movie, and the fact that most of the cinema about the border is in the vein of “Desierto”. Fast and Furious 3 was more realistic than that agitprop.

    Personally, I’d be very interested to see Kathryn Bigelow’s take on something like the BPA Brian Terry shooting. Or anything regarding the border, really.

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  58. @guest
    I enjoyed In Bruges, once I got over the main character complaining the whole time. It really picks up when the Ralph Fiennes character shows up. I especially enjoyed this piece of gun dialogue:

    "An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten year-olds in a drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person."

    But his next movie, Seven Psychopaths, was unwatchable. Unless it got better after I turned it off ten minutes in.

    McDonagh strikes me as what Tarantino would be if he were smarter, less childish, interested in something besides trashy pop culture, and unobsessed with black people.

    The Guard was cute and highly unwatchable.

    Not obsessed with black people? ‘In Bruges’ had that whole racist dwarf subplot, which didn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It sure did make those ‘ebil rayciss’ look bad, though. His second movie, ‘Seven Psychopaths’, featured a WM/BF couple who went around lighting evil h’white racists on fire. His new one, I hear, has Sam Rockwell playing a cruel, stupid white racist cop who spouts racial epithets and who tortured a black suspect. And got away with it.

    He’s obsessed with black people, if not in the same way QT is. Tarantino thinks black folks are totes cool; he wants us to enjoy his black characters. McDonagh, OTOH, wants to teach us all a lesson with his black characters. It’s not hard to guess what that lesson is.

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    • Replies: @guest
    You describe a possible obsession with whites being racist. (Or really just a recurring theme.) Not an obsession with black people. That's something else.
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  59. @Father O'Hara
    I wonder if Irish actors and such have lost a friend with the fall of Harvey?
    Daniel Day-Lewis detested him,tho...bigly.Sad.

    I’ll be sorry when they come for Daniel Day-Lewis. I’ve heard several people who briefly met him rave about what a great guy he is.

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  60. @njguy73

    I recently watched How Green Was My Valley, due in a large part to my deepening admiration for John Ford.
     

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.
     
    In the 1941 Awards, How Green Was My Valley beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture.

    And that might not even be among the worst 5 Best Picture snubs.

    My guess is that there was an even more influential film in 1941 than Citizen Kane: The Maltese Falcon.

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  61. @Anon
    OT: It looks like the California fires are going to be getting worse. The main problem is that a huge blaze has moved into the Los Padres National Forest, and that's the part that's growing. It's really tough to stop fire in a place like that because of plentiful fuel and lack of natural fire breaks such as broad roads or rivers. If you look at a map, the geography in that region is bad. There are big valleys, creeks, and dirt roads, but they're running mostly east to west instead of north to south like they need, so they'll be useless for firebreaks. The fire is just going to get a lot bigger, and by the time it spreads in the forest north of Santa Barbara, it could be a massive firestorm 20-30 miles wide. If I were living in Santa Barbara, I'd be nervous.

    California’s attitude towards conservation is “Nature knows best.” So it totally blew off any responsible land management because illegal aliens need free college.

    It also forgot Nature’s answer to a build up is a hugely fucking destructive fire. The state also seems damn determined to learn nothing from this.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke, Autochthon
    • Replies: @Jack D
    You can let nature do its thing as long as there are no people living there. As soon as you introduce humans into an area (and the expensive buildings they live in) then you are no longer living in a state of nature and you had better take active measures to limit the fuel load, etc. or else you are really asking for it. What's crazy in California (among other things) is that they turn steeply sloped wilderness where people should never have been living in the 1st place into super expensive real estate and then they pretend that it is still a wilderness. If these mountains were located anywhere but in expensive coastal California (or some ski area) no one in their right mind would build on them. Humans are supposed to live in valleys, not perched on the side of mountains.
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  62. @Lugash
    Awful movie...

    Native Americans emoting like a bunch of hipsters, an oil well protected by way too many men with way too much firepower, ridiculous portrayal of the physics of a rifle bullet on the human body, etc. etc.

    About the only thing it did get right was the nightmare of law enforcement jurisdiction on a reservation. The writer/director is Taylor Sheridan of Siccario, which had similar themes but was much better.

    Also, having worked law enforcement on a reservation (not as BIA Police tho), you’re not kidding about what a car crash it is. Longmire’s earlier seasons were accurate in how local LE can easily become someone’s personal power fief and “sovereign people” becomes a magical force field against investigating corruption.

    Blacks are pikers with Mau Mau tactics compared to woke natives, who can mobilise colleges all over by inventing some BS story about oppression.

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  63. I gathered from a TV commercial for the movie that it looked like nothing more than a long hateful screed against White America.

    There’s worse than zero chance I would pay money to see it. About zero chance I would even torrent it.

    Do yourselves a favor and spend ten minutes researching how to safely pirate movies. Then, pirate any movies you want to watch.

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  64. @Stan Adams

    I guess Academy Awards have never never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.
     
    Citizen Kane lost to How Green Was My Valley. 2001: A Space Odyssey lost to Oliver! (yes, there's an exclamation mark in the title). Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People.

    The Oscars have always been a joke.

    If Wham! had come along sooner, maybe the could have scored Oliver! (it was musical adaptation of Oliver Twist, right?

    What’s with the demand for shitty musical bastardisation of classic novels from the nineteenth century, anyhow? And why have the Russians been snubbed? I demand God Doesn’t Exist, So Everything is Possible! be fast-tracked for production. It’s a great opportunity for a number incorporating a zany prisyadka.

    I watched Charade last night and remembered plenty of wonderful films were made before the rot set in, and more will be some day again.

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  65. guest says:
    @Bob Smith of Suburbia
    Not obsessed with black people? 'In Bruges' had that whole racist dwarf subplot, which didn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It sure did make those 'ebil rayciss' look bad, though. His second movie, 'Seven Psychopaths', featured a WM/BF couple who went around lighting evil h'white racists on fire. His new one, I hear, has Sam Rockwell playing a cruel, stupid white racist cop who spouts racial epithets and who tortured a black suspect. And got away with it.

    He's obsessed with black people, if not in the same way QT is. Tarantino thinks black folks are totes cool; he wants us to enjoy his black characters. McDonagh, OTOH, wants to teach us all a lesson with his black characters. It's not hard to guess what that lesson is.

    You describe a possible obsession with whites being racist. (Or really just a recurring theme.) Not an obsession with black people. That’s something else.

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  66. Jack D says:
    @Lugash
    Awful movie...

    Native Americans emoting like a bunch of hipsters, an oil well protected by way too many men with way too much firepower, ridiculous portrayal of the physics of a rifle bullet on the human body, etc. etc.

    About the only thing it did get right was the nightmare of law enforcement jurisdiction on a reservation. The writer/director is Taylor Sheridan of Siccario, which had similar themes but was much better.

    The shootem’ up scene was ridiculous and out of character with the rest of the movie. Apparently Tarantino has made ultraviolence obligatory in every film. Maybe in Iraq you’d have a squad of heavily armed ex-Seals guarding your oil well but in America? Still, I could have swallowed the ridiculousness if it had been portrayed as pure fiction. “True story” my ass.

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  67. El_Nathan says:

    The thing that put me off this movie before the preview had even finished was the title. There’s no Ebbing, Missouri, but what there IS are about fifty or so eccentrically named small towns scattered throughout the state. They’ve got a Cuba, a Warsaw, a Versailles (pronounced Ver-sails, cause it’s Missouri), a Mexico, and a California. Anybody that knew anything about Missouri would set their crime drama in one of these interestingly named small towns, and not make up something stupid like “Ebbing.” Get it? Ebbing, like it’s receding away like the rest of middle fuckin’ America. Kill me.

    Now, Three Billboards Outside of Versailles, MO, or better yet, something that implies some action, like Five Dead Bodies in Versailles, MO THAT’S a movie I might be interested in.

    I was also going to say something about having seen two different previews with wildly contrasting tones, but it looks like that’s just the movie.

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  68. Jack D says:
    @Jack Hanson
    California's attitude towards conservation is "Nature knows best." So it totally blew off any responsible land management because illegal aliens need free college.

    It also forgot Nature's answer to a build up is a hugely fucking destructive fire. The state also seems damn determined to learn nothing from this.

    You can let nature do its thing as long as there are no people living there. As soon as you introduce humans into an area (and the expensive buildings they live in) then you are no longer living in a state of nature and you had better take active measures to limit the fuel load, etc. or else you are really asking for it. What’s crazy in California (among other things) is that they turn steeply sloped wilderness where people should never have been living in the 1st place into super expensive real estate and then they pretend that it is still a wilderness. If these mountains were located anywhere but in expensive coastal California (or some ski area) no one in their right mind would build on them. Humans are supposed to live in valleys, not perched on the side of mountains.

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  69. @Jack D
    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said "based on a true story" and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the "true story" tagline.

    It turns out "based on a true story" meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, "thousands" of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men - it COULD be true. We can't prove that they aren't. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the "based on a true story" tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    Fake but accurate. It got Rigoberta Menchu a Nobel Peace prize. https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=40702

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  70. @Jack D
    Recently I saw Wind River. The opening titles said "based on a true story" and then proceeded to show a horrific gang rape and murder of a young academically promising Indian girl by a depraved group of white men. I looked online to see when and where this horrible murder had occurred and who the promising Indian maiden was. The white rapists seemed too cartoonishly evil to be real, the Indian maiden was too TV commercial perfect. I thought, OK this is Hollywood license but there must have been some real story at the root of it given the "true story" tagline.

    It turns out "based on a true story" meant, in this case, that according to the screenwriter/director Sheridan, "thousands" of Indian women disappear and are never found, so they MIGHT be being raped and murdered by white men - it COULD be true. We can't prove that they aren't. What a bunch of horseshit. I instantly lost all respect for the movie. If you are going to film lurid fantasies about evil white men, at least have the decency not to lie and say that you are filming a true story. What % of the audience left the theater mislead by the "based on a true story" tagline into thinking that this really happened and never found out otherwise?

    After the mildly subversive Sicario and Hell or High Water, I was disappointed by Sheridan’s latest effort. Well, I guess 2 out of 3 aint bad. It all hinges on his next film.

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  71. @Steve Sailer
    "Goren explores the family's tragic history on both sides and struggles to find a link to the kneecap-murders of a string of Jewish men."

    There was a kneecap shooting in a synagogue parking lot at 6 am near me a few years ago. The newspapers initially played it up as an anti-semitic hate crime, but the victim kept refusing to name the shooter, so it became apparent it was an organized crime deal.

    Kneecapping? Fenians without a doubt. Perhaps they think Jews are a sort of less-heretical Prod, what with their six-pointed star flag and all.
    Do they ever go for the full 6-pack?

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  72. Altai says:
    @Dieter Kief

    I guess Academy Awards have never been a perfect indicator of artistic value.

     

    Such a thing does not exist. Fortunately.

    Particularly the longer the time between the present and the time of the award.

    This is why I find all film critics so nauseating. They all have these endless incessant rules for how things should be done without ever realising that the current ‘rules’ are just reactionary inversions of yesterdays ‘rules’ for the most part because everyone got sick of them and that the very idea that there is only a certain way to do things in art being insane. This is intensified with the current crop of YouTube film critics and commentators who are laughably homogeneous in their opinions, since all of them are the same types of people (Film school or humanities graduates with huge debt), are the same age and enjoy to dogpile in criticism of shared targets and now being more concerned with the business side of things than the artistic.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Since aesthetical judgement is so subjective, it makes sense to have a close look at the movie-critics one follows (=trusts).

    I like Peter Travers. In his best 10 movies of 2017 list, there are maybe four I’d give a try****. I have usually not that much use for our hosts favourites – unless they happen to be the favourites of Peter Travers as well – then I’m on alert! – Might well be, that this year Steve Sailer and Peter Travers have the same No. 1 – Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk!

    ****Travers' other three I find interesting:

    Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson

    A Ghost Story, David Lowery

    Three Billbords, Martin McDonagh

    (- - one more personal alert via choice of critics - -)

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  73. @Danindc
    What would give you the idea she slept w the Asian dude? I never considered that a possibility.

    Dan, next time you watch the movie, watch McDormand’s facial expression when she finds out the Asian guy wasn’t a recent widower. I think she gave him some sympathy sex.

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    • Replies: @Danindc
    Interesting. Sort of degrades the seemingly special relationship she had with her husband.
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  74. @Jack D
    I hope it was a really old movie. McDormand (never a sex goddess even in her salad days) is now over 60, so I would pay extra NOT to see her nude. I'd be afraid that she would haunt my dreams and not in a good way.

    All that being said, she is a talented actress and for all I know a nice and good person, but not someone I really want to see without her clothes on, especially at her age now.

    Jack , someone cites a different movie, but Laurel Canyon, is recent and Frances is nude in a pool.

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  75. ferd says:
    @JoeBob
    I saw the movie when it opened and my thought was, "what did the people of Missouri ever do to the filmmaker to deserve this kind of treatment?" There didn't seem to be anything right-wing about the movie at all. Standard portrayal of southern cops as people who have fascist haircuts, torture innocent black prisoners, and throw people they don't like out second-floor windows with impunity.

    The blacks in the movie are all sensible, kind, long-suffering types, except for the compulsory black savior in the chief of police role, who brings wisdom and justice to this horrible racist backwater.

    The movie is mostly a string of hateful, ugly incidents and [SPOILER ALERT] doesn't even resolve the main storyline of the murdered daughter.

    I went thinking it would be something like Fargo or No Country For Old Men or something. It's not. It's just an ugly, angry little piece of bile.

    I’m with JoeBob on the “ugly, angry little piece of bile.”

    This thread is making me wonder how much political bias is in the eye of the beholder. I watched this movie last Friday with my wife at the campus theater in a college town and most of our fellow moviegoers were progressive retired professors with spouses.

    We thought the characters were grotesque caricatures and the movie could have been called “You hateful rural deplorables are so loathesome that we laugh at you.” Any fringe character was virtuous and admirable. We were horrified to hear which things the retired profs were laughing at- it seemed as though they were tickled by having their biases confirmed.

    On the other hand, we both loved Wind River…

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  76. Danindc says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Dan, next time you watch the movie, watch McDormand's facial expression when she finds out the Asian guy wasn't a recent widower. I think she gave him some sympathy sex.

    Interesting. Sort of degrades the seemingly special relationship she had with her husband.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Dan, I totally agree, but watch the scene and tell me what you think. I could be in left field, but it's the feeling I got.
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  77. @Altai
    Particularly the longer the time between the present and the time of the award.

    This is why I find all film critics so nauseating. They all have these endless incessant rules for how things should be done without ever realising that the current 'rules' are just reactionary inversions of yesterdays 'rules' for the most part because everyone got sick of them and that the very idea that there is only a certain way to do things in art being insane. This is intensified with the current crop of YouTube film critics and commentators who are laughably homogeneous in their opinions, since all of them are the same types of people (Film school or humanities graduates with huge debt), are the same age and enjoy to dogpile in criticism of shared targets and now being more concerned with the business side of things than the artistic.

    Since aesthetical judgement is so subjective, it makes sense to have a close look at the movie-critics one follows (=trusts).

    I like Peter Travers. In his best 10 movies of 2017 list, there are maybe four I’d give a try****. I have usually not that much use for our hosts favourites – unless they happen to be the favourites of Peter Travers as well – then I’m on alert! – Might well be, that this year Steve Sailer and Peter Travers have the same No. 1 – Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk!

    ****Travers’ other three I find interesting:

    Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson

    A Ghost Story, David Lowery

    Three Billbords, Martin McDonagh

    (- – one more personal alert via choice of critics – -)

    Read More
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  78. @Danindc
    Interesting. Sort of degrades the seemingly special relationship she had with her husband.

    Dan, I totally agree, but watch the scene and tell me what you think. I could be in left field, but it’s the feeling I got.

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  79. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Lex
    Speaking of Law and Order - I recommend everyone to watch episode "A Murderer Among Us" (s03e07) from L&O: Criminal Intent. Absolutely insane take on anti-semitism.

    Insufferable as L&O is, they have a very objective episode in which Shomrim attempt to protect a pedophile rabbi. This objectivity probably comes from actually having to live with the awestruck sons-of-bitches.
    I tried to get into L&O, but foolishly did so after reading a string of “true crime” articles and police books. I recognized a pattern in the episodes I saw where they would take a real case, then change the details in a gratuitous way that gave completely wasteful sensationalism. The basis story would be crazy enough, and they would throw in a racism subplot or a perverse evil victim. Maybe what really threw me was having grown up with rerereruns of Dragnet on Nick At Night, which is something that every American should be exposed to, along with Walt Disney’s explicitly propagandistic black and white teleplays.

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    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Not obsessed with black people? ‘In Bruges’ had that whole racist dwarf subplot, which didn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It sure did make those ‘ebil rayciss’ look bad, though.
     
    Perhaps. But I do not believe that any real live person who saw the film, actually got that message from it. Nor is there any reason to think that was the message the director intended to impart. People see that scene as funny, not as "evidence of the pervasiveness of racism" or whatever.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe

    I have never watched anything by Tarantino. His movies are violence porn with a pseudo-intelluctual cover.
     
    How do you know?
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  80. @J.Ross
    Insufferable as L&O is, they have a very objective episode in which Shomrim attempt to protect a pedophile rabbi. This objectivity probably comes from actually having to live with the awestruck sons-of-bitches.
    I tried to get into L&O, but foolishly did so after reading a string of "true crime" articles and police books. I recognized a pattern in the episodes I saw where they would take a real case, then change the details in a gratuitous way that gave completely wasteful sensationalism. The basis story would be crazy enough, and they would throw in a racism subplot or a perverse evil victim. Maybe what really threw me was having grown up with rerereruns of Dragnet on Nick At Night, which is something that every American should be exposed to, along with Walt Disney's explicitly propagandistic black and white teleplays.

    Not obsessed with black people? ‘In Bruges’ had that whole racist dwarf subplot, which didn’t seem to have anything to do with the rest of the movie. It sure did make those ‘ebil rayciss’ look bad, though.

    Perhaps. But I do not believe that any real live person who saw the film, actually got that message from it. Nor is there any reason to think that was the message the director intended to impart. People see that scene as funny, not as “evidence of the pervasiveness of racism” or whatever.

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  81. @J.Ross
    Insufferable as L&O is, they have a very objective episode in which Shomrim attempt to protect a pedophile rabbi. This objectivity probably comes from actually having to live with the awestruck sons-of-bitches.
    I tried to get into L&O, but foolishly did so after reading a string of "true crime" articles and police books. I recognized a pattern in the episodes I saw where they would take a real case, then change the details in a gratuitous way that gave completely wasteful sensationalism. The basis story would be crazy enough, and they would throw in a racism subplot or a perverse evil victim. Maybe what really threw me was having grown up with rerereruns of Dragnet on Nick At Night, which is something that every American should be exposed to, along with Walt Disney's explicitly propagandistic black and white teleplays.

    I have never watched anything by Tarantino. His movies are violence porn with a pseudo-intelluctual cover.

    How do you know?

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