Open Thread by John Cole| September 1, 20098:59 am| 102 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailEnjoy.
Did anyone else see “The Watchmen”? I had heard that people said it was unfilmable. It should have stayed that way. I thought it was so bad it actually made me angry. Anyone else see any awful films lately?
joe from Lowell
Not “lately,” but Rising Sun was so bad that I was actually grateful for the kids from Southeast shouting at the screen.
It’s, like, got all these Japanese people, OK? So, like, at the end, everyone starts kicking each other, OK? And Sean Connery can’t actually lift his foot above his knee, so they edited his fight scenes so that you’d see him start to pick up his foot, and then a Japanese guy flies backwards into a wall, and then you see Connery putting his foot back down.
Tell me about it. But the opening title sequence was pretty good . . . if only I had walked out of the theatre once the narrative actually started!
Public Enemies. Just awful! Such a disappointment . . . looks like Michael Mann is in that category of “filmmakers who made one or two films that were rather decent but shouldn’t be trusted with a camera in their hands anymore.” The sound mix and camera operation in Public Enemies was just tremendously awful – straight up amateurish. (looks up IMDb) Jeebus! Mann was actually the camera operator on Public Enemies! Holy crap!
OK, here’s a bit of open thread fun for everyone. I was lurking at a thread on SadlyNo where everyone was having fun with their user names and an anagram generator. I’m amazed at how funny some of the rearranged names/phrases are.
Here are some of my favorites for “vacuumslayer”
Creamy Uvulas (Should uvulas be creamy?)
Casual Rev Yum (A laid-back Sun Yung Moon type?)
Lama Curvy Use (Special kebabs?)
Uvula As Mercy (It has healing powers!)
Lave Ray Cum Us (Ummmmmmmm…something dirty)
La Ma Curvy Sue (I’m pretty sure she’s a fabulous lip-synching drag queen)
Cram Uvulas Ye (No, don’t!)
Cars Value Yum (And they said Cash for Clunkers wouldn’t work)
Saucy Veal Rum (YUM!)
I put this on an apparently dying earlier article, but its too delicious not to share.
It looks like Sanford appointed a homeschooling fundamentalist abstinence-only cretard to the state board of education who has an interesting side hobby – scribbling porn over at Literotica.
She’d gotten elected chair, and abruptly resigned yesterday after this came out. At South Carolina’s newpaper “The State”, she was given cover on her resignation, with no newspaper notice of the recent revelation of her little hobby.
@joe from Lowell: I remember finding that film unremarkable. I don’t remember it being that stupid. But…wow. I sure won’t be giving it a second viewing.
@SGEW: Yikes. A film with men that hot in it should NOT suck. That makes me sayud. :(
I accidentally flipped across “Independence Day” on the TV the other night. I think that still holds the title of “Stupidest Blockbuster Ever”.
Matt Schaub sprained his ankle? Really? 1 day after I drafted his sorry ass? Listen, Matthew — chuck the effin’ ball to Andre and let him run. Throw it to Slaton on the 5 yard line and watch him juke his way in. Quit trying to be superman and stop hurting your damn ankle.
Same thing happened to me. So now I have to rely on Joe Flacco? Jesus wept…
peach flavored shampoo
@Dave: We disagree vociferously on this point. It actually makes me tear up with goose bumps when he makes that “Today is our Independence Day” speech just prior to jumpin in the plane. And having Goldblum play the nerdy, skittish genius is casting perfection.
Interesting trivia tidbit: apparently the script for “Independence Day” was written over a single weekend. A three day weekend, but still!
@SGEW: Aw, crap. I love me some Johnny Depp, and I was so looking forward to this movie. Le sigh.
@vacuumslayer: My fave for me was Snarling Ram because I am an Aries. If I take out the MN, then I am Saran Girl.
If I use another of my online handles, the anagram I like is: Decadent Queer Slims (that’s me, hopefully!). I’m going to try my real name now!
Balloon Juice: “Jail Be Uncool” (explains Mr. Cole’s overwhelming fear of showering in prison).
My handle, alas, is too short for anagrams.
Anyone seen the new Tarantino film? I’m trying to convince some friends to go, but the response I got back was (no joke) “well the review in Newsweek was mixed”. Newsweek? Fuck Newsweek!
I keep envisioning Krauthammer as a guy who would get his rocks off on torture porn.
“Interesting trivia tidbit: apparently the script for “Independence Day” was written over a single weekend. A three day weekend, but still!”
It shows. :)
cole household goes galt = A Echoed Sellout Hogs Log
Damn you, vacuumslayer, I was going to clean house today!
I thought “Basterds” was really, really good. The set pieces are top-notch and the dialogue is good because the setting forces Tarantino to not do his usual pop-culture references every two minutes.
@Comrade Jake: No, but I heard a group of four people debate it at length. They were all Tarantino fans. Two of them LOVED it, and two thought it was just more of the same from Tarantino. The latter two liked it, but were not bowled over.
@Comrade Jake: Six of my coworkers (aged 20-51) have, separately, seen it. All loved it. One is going back tonight.
@Comrade Jake: My son went with his girlfriend and they both fell asleep. That was not the reaction that I expected after reading the reviews.
I am amused that yesterday’s NY Times crossword puzzle had the answers “Palin” and “also” quite near to one another.
@vacuumslayer: That movie sucked royally. Lately, most of the movies I have seen have been decent.
These are old, but I don’t get how people love David Lynch. His movies can be pretentious and borderline confusing. Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway. BLAH.
@ChrisB: Wonder if they snuck a joke through on a day many people don’t bother with.
Heard Betsy Mcheehee on the radio yesterday. Made my brain hurt.
For the Mad Men fans here – I thought Sunday night’s show was amazing and on reflection rather subversive. Don Draper, an amoral philandering fraud, has realized that he holds Republicans in contempt. This season is going to be really interesting.
@Michael: Dude. I’ve written porn for the internets. I know college professors who write porn for the internets. Other than the supposed cover up and purging, I don’t see the story. It’s like pointing at someone who’s supposed to be a good Christian woman and saying, “See her over there? She has SEX!” So what? Unless she’s a nun, who cares?
(And yes, I am aware the word internet does not have an s. I am aware of all internet traditions/malapropisms.)
Basterds is really, really good, but not on the level of Pulp Fiction. In other words, good, not great.
Having said that, the SS colonel guy gives a top notch performance. And the bar scene is amazing.
Do see it in the theater, though. Lots of subtitles that would be hard to follow on the TV.
Please remember to vote for Little Bitsy again!
I’ll be running PW ads daily thru Oct. but I know many of you don’t see the ads anymore, or choose to block them. We’re flooding the Cat Blogosphere with Bitsy propaganda today (See today’s Special Posting.
This is the woman who does all my PW ads, BTW.
I hate to say it, but those cat bloggers are even more lethal when it comes to stuffing ballot boxes than Juicers. Cat owners are maniacs.
Well this would have been great fodder for yesterday afternoon’s religion thread…
@Comrade Jake: Not a Tarantino fan here, but overall, I thought Basterds was good (occasionally brilliant), more than a bit sadistic, but for a change you can easily avert your eyes from the violence because none of it was really sprung on the audience as a surprise. (So if you don’t want to watch the many scalpings or the guy getting his head bashed in with a baseball bat, you don’t have to.) On the other hand, it’s the one film I’ve seen this summer that I’ve found myself thinking about a lot.
I liked this one… lot of good lines in it!
@Da Bomb: I really enjoyed Mullholland Dr.. The movie depicted what it’s like inside of my brain.
Best movie I’ve seen lately is Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. Granted, it’s the only movie I’ve seen lately, and it has three times the Snape….Yum….
@debit: I’m convinced that the country would be significantly less net-literate if not for pr0n.
@Laura W: Hey, watch that!!
@asiangrrlMN: But it could have used even more Snape.
@djork: Pulp Fiction broke up one of my relationships because the guy loved it, and I, well, let’s just say I didn’t. We’ll leave it at that.
@debit: This was my reaction, too, except for the rampant hypocrisy of these people. It only matters because they are pushing programs like “Abstinence Only” and memes like “Teh gays are immoral”, so they should be exposed for the big fat hypocrites they are. I don’t give a shit about their personal lives–until they use their positions in public office to push their twisted agendas, which they, themselves, don’t even follow.
Quentin Tarantino’s films generally annoy me, but I liked Basterds. The set pieces really are ingenious.
We saw and enjoyed Moon, although that has probably been and gone in the States. I note that in the bigger cities some theaters are still playing “In The Loop”, which is well worth going out of your way to see (“Fuckity bye-bye!”).
District 9 is released here on Friday. We have sneak preview tix for tomorrow. I will take my dramamine, as I hear there’s a lot of ShakyCam going on. I also hope they release Big Fan over here, because the review in last week’s NYT intrigued me.
In other news, I made a killer chicken stew with dumplings last night. I should make dumplings more often. Secret stew ingredient: just a smidge of Stilton.
The fundies do, that’s who! In fundie world, no one is supposed to know that a woman enjoys sex except her husband, and not always then either.
I also really liked Mulholland Drive. I haven’t seen Lost Highway or Inland Empire. I have a lot of catching up to do. I only finally saw Kill Bill Vol. 1 because the BBC ran it last night. It really as good as peopIe have been saying all these years. I want to see Inglorious Basterds before all my friends who might be interested have already seen it.
@jwb: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, but I have resigned myself that for some unfathomable reason, the movies are centered on the children instead of the adults. In fact, that was my biggest disappointment about HP5. It had a great chunk of Snape background that got glossed over.
Before the filming of the last movie, Alan Rickman hadn’t been secured for the film. No way I would have watched it if they switched to a different Snape. Happily, he has now been secured.
/drooling over Snape.
A lot of movies could be improved by adding moar Snape.
And good riddance to another fundie pushing stupid rules “for thee but not for me.” If only it were always that easy (cf. Sanford himself, Craig and Vitter.)
@bjacques: Yes. Yes. Yes. And, yes (to your Snape comment).
Oh, and yes to your comment on the hypocritical fundies, too. Really, I don’t care who’s bonking whom as long as it’s between consenting adults. I only care when said bonkers are telling me whom, how, where, when, and how many times a day I can bonk.
@MikeJ: After submitting my post I wondered whether I should have given a spoiler alert. Somehow, though, I don’t think the Balloon Juice crowd would have much trouble with the Monday puzzle.
How does Sanford justify accepting Maguire’s resignation without tendering his own? Can you say double standard, home-schooled children?
Politico bothers me. David Brooks bothers me. Combine the two and you get:
Playbook: ‘The Obama slide’?
Don’t know how many caught it, but there was a Truther explosion at the end of the Monday night open thread. They must have google alerts for 9/11 or something.
Shorter recent Krauthammer: stopping insurance companies from rationing health care will lead to rationing of health care.
@Dave: I haven’t seen the movie in at least 10 years. I remember enjoying it when it came out. My tastes have probably changed since then.
@asiangrrlMN: I couldn’t stand that movie. But I love movies like Amelie or The Cooler.
I just don’t like David Lynch. I just watched Frost/Nixon. It was pretty good.
I did go see District 9. That wasn’t too bad. It has a huge underlining racial and political theme to it. Not your typical sci-fi movie.
I plan on going to see 500 Days of Summer and THe Inglorious Basterds, sometime this weekend.
You actually finish articles that beging that way?
You have a much stronger stomach than I, Gunga Din.
@arguingwithsignposts: Mah eyes, dey started glazing over, and mah brains, dey went kaplooey, so I skipped the rest of the thread. Did anyone dispute the Truthers?
@asiangrrlMN: Decadent Queer Slims and Snarling Ram are about the best names ever.
@Keith G: LOL! Sellouts hogging log makes me think of all those closeted gay-bashers who are actually gay.
@Keith G: Yeah, and the Times stopped accepting comments on the column before 9 am (EDT) this morning—that’s about as early in the day as I’ve seen them do that. I must say the column is full of teh stoopid—even by Bobo’s standards.
@Da Bomb: Mulholland Drive was a complete mindfuck. I’m hot and cold on Lynch.
What does a Truther explosion look like? I’m imagining gore and shredded tape measures all over the place and one li’l lump o’ viscera with a word balloon extending from its guts saying, “But if you measure it this way…”
Hey, how bout Brave Sir George Will, who wants to bravely run away from Afghanistan now that there’s a Democrat in the White House?
I guess now that they can’t capitalize on it for political gain, the Republican national security pant pissers actually don’t give a fuck about national security.*
* Will is right, we should be retreating out of Afghanistan before the defeat grows too expensive, as well as all the other places teh Brown Peepul are kicking our asses, but the fact he inadvertantly gets it right here in no way detracts from Republican cowardice or duplicity. Run away… keep running!
@asiangrrlMN: I watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Coraline back to back. I can honestly say that Coraline is probably the most gorgeous movie I’ve ever seen in my life, so between the two I was just sort of overwhelmed with cinematic eye candy. Just gorgeous, gorgeous, moving stuff.
@Keith G: I don’t read Politico,escpecially if David Brooks shows up anywhere in the article. He’s an ass to highest denominator. And an uppity one at that.
@Da Bomb: Well, there you go because I have Amelie on my ten worst movies of all time. Different tastes and all that. I never saw Cooler.
@vacuumslayer: Thanks. I kinda liked your Creamy Uvulas myself.
@Da Bomb: I found District 9 almost too sad to enjoy, precisely because of what makes it atypical SciFi fare. (Although I think a lot of scifi fans could argue lots of scifi stuff is sociopolitical in nature.) Anyway, I just found the lead actor’s acting too damn good. When he would call his wife and beg her not to give up on him in that sweet vaguely-Scandinavian accent, I teared up.
Mike in NC
Best line from Inglorious Basterds was from Brad Pitt: “You know, fightin’ in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you’re fightin’ in a basement!”
@asiangrrlMN: You don’t like Amelie?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That makes me want to cry! Seriously, I love the movie, but I reckon life would be pretty boring if everyone had the same taste.
@Mike in NC: First Rule of Fight Club: Don’t talk about fighting in the basement.
Compelling response from Greenwald on the Klein Kerfluffle. Includes a few nice shout-outs to B-J.
General Winfield Stuck
From the idiot cheap seats. Rep. Bachmann.
Would you like some razor blades Michelle?
Now that cleek has a little more free time, maybe he could write a widget that would automatically re-spell so ci al ism for you, in various and sundry ways, so you won’t get stuck in moderation hell for forgetting for like the fourth time. And by you, of course, I mean me.
If Klein writes again, we will have officially jumped the shark on inside baseball flame wars, me thinks. I like Greenwald, but it is essence of Greenwald that says: This is a silly feud that is not of the public interest and I don’t want to be dragged down into it. And now, seven thousand more words on the subject and eleventy links.
@General Winfield Stuck: Hell. I will run to Cub (local supermarket) and buy her a six-pack if she wants.
@vacuumslayer: HATED it. But yes, different strokes for different folks. That way, more Amelie for the rest of you!
@asiangrrlMN: That’s just a crime. But true, definitely different tastes. Although I do enjoy the Harry Potter Movies. The Cooler is with William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, and Maria Bello. It’s pretty good.
But then again I like Eastern Promises and pretty much anything with Don Cheadle. He’s a great actor, pretty underrated. His best part was in Devil in a Blue Dress. I just saw that movie Traitor with him and Guy Pearce(another great underrated actor). Kept me interested.
@vacuumslayer: It was sad, especially at the end. I am sure they will probably make a sequel to it.
or howzabout Murder Pie!
@wasabi gasp: Well, that didn’t work out exactly as planned, but at least Murder Pie is okey dokey.
Ok, I’ve just discovered that David Arquette slept in a plexiglass box above Madison Square Garden to raise money for hunger awareness http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/07/10/2009-07-10_actor_with_a_cause_at_msg.html and is now partnering with The Cheesecake Factory on a hunger awareness campaign! http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS106643+31-Aug-2009+BW20090831 (bring in two cans of soup, and they’ll donate 10% of your check to a local food pantry — though I will confess that I suspect that in the Venn diagram of “Balloon Juice readers” and “Cheesecake Factory diners,” the circles don’t much overlap).
I’ve always kind of liked David Arquette and his “hell yeah I’m goofy!” approach. Now? Harnessing the goofy for the sake of the hungry? Dude. Now I like him even MOAR.
And it also turns out that this September is Hunger Awareness Month. Just thought you might want to be aware! http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/hunger-update/
What were you going for there? The symbol that was formerly of Prince, the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
@Dave Herman: Oh, now you know Klein will NOT be able to let that one go by. I love the way GG coolly eviscerates Klein in a dispassionate way.
I didn’t know aimai was the actual granddaughter of I. F. Stone. Hi-five again!
P.S. My list of worst movies I have ever seen (that are supposed to be good) include:
Star Wars (the first one back when it was the first one and is now the fourth one or whatever).
The English Patient
Leaving Las Vegas
Being John Malkovich (but only because of the last ten minutes. I really liked the rest of the movie).
Go ahead and wax apoplectic.
It would have been cool if while he was that symbol, someone called him the Once and Future Prince.
@asiangrrlMN: If it makes you fell less lonely, I wasn’t crazy about Amelie either. It might have worked if the characters had any, well, character, but they all, especially Amelie and her boy toy, came across as whimsical ciphers. IMO, anyway,
@jibeaux: I was trying to spell the unspeakable ism in l33t, but I ain’t l33t ’nuff.
Like the troll explosion mentioned in another thread, only uglier and with more righteousosity.
Is the anagram party still going on?
DUH. ASININE BUN. (Who’s stupider, me or that muffin?)
HUSBAND I: ENNUI. (Oh God, my ex was SO boring!)
But this is my favourite. It speaks to the ADHD side of me:
“UH . . . AND I . . . BUNNIES!”
Bill E Pilgrim
Ah, Amelie was light and silly no doubt, but one thing I can say is that is the best portrayal of Paris around, in many ways. The director was making a movie in LA and missing Paris terribly when he dreamt it up. And it shows.
Seen that way it might put it in a different perspective, or, it might not.
It’s actually sort of ruined, or helped to ruin, the areas where it was centered and where I lived years ago. I went to the Abbesses metro a year or two ago and thought “What the hell?” and was told that since the movie it’s become a movie tourist destination.
Greenwald’s takedown is likely excellent, but I have to confess that I only scanned. I did like the point he made about that damned JournoList. These are a lot of the same people who bitch about the secrecy of the bush admin. practicing their own form of secrecy.
“But they’re not public officials,” ppl will say. No, they’re not. But they frame the debate and set the agenda just as much as the politicians do. They shuttle back and forth between public and private jobs depending on the party in power.
In short, they should be held to the same damned high standard they claim to hold public officials to in terms of secrecy. That doesn’t extend to their private lives, because frankly I could give a hoot less about what they do in their bedrooms. But what they do when reporting on the public’s business? that’s fair game.
@asiangrrlMN: If this is the list of the worst movies you have ever seen, you must not watch many movies.
I mean, Pulp Fiction? Donnie Darko? Leaving Las Vegas? Star Wars?! Really? Now you’re just trolling.
I want to see the list of the best movies you’ve ever seen, just so I know what kind of litmus test we’re working with. $5 says at least two are made by Pixar or Dreamworks.
The least you could do is come out and bash The Matrix or, I don’t know, 40-year-old Virgin, just so we know you simply like being contrary.
And no one actually thought AI was any good once it hit theaters. That doesn’t even count.
@asiangrrlMN: Okay, I like Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, and Amelie of course.
Titanic was too long, I wanted the boat to sink already.
The English Patient is good to fall asleep to.
A.I. was just absolute crap. Stanley Kubrick is hot and cold for me.
Donnie Darko was okay. Kinda overrated.
Leaving Las Vegas was just too depressing, and I can’t have sympathy for someone who wants to drink themselves into their grave.
Being John Malkolvich wasn’t too bad.
I don’t have a top ten list off the top of my head, but I can think of several:
Eyes Wide Shut
I love how Klein calls Greenwald a “bully”. I mean, who’s got the bigger soapbox here, Joe?
@Zifnab: But the Matrix 2 and 3 were not all that great. They should have stop after the first one.
@asiangrrlMN: Leaving Las Vegas? Blasphemy!
That settles it, I’m so not ever gonna hook myself up to a whiskey drip I.V. and move into your place.
@Zifnab: Nope. Those were the worst movies in the context of movies I was expecting to be good. Have I seen worse movies? Yeah, sure, but they were movies I was expecting to be bad. Ok, I will take A.I. out of the running because you’re right that most people did not expect it to be that great when it actually hit the theatres.
To be fair, I expected to hate Titanic, and I did. I also didn’t want to see Pulp Fiction because I knew it wouldn’t be my kind of thing. The Matrix I enjoyed until the last five minutes. Didn’t see The 40-Year Old Virgin, so I can’t comment on that.
Shrug. Like I said, they are the worst movies I have seen in the context of all the hype. I didn’t even finish Donnie Darko because I hated it so much.
Oh, to be more fair, I saw most of the movies years after their releases.
To be even fairer (but no more balanced), I prefer foreign flicks to American-made ones.
@wasabi gasp: Damn. And I cleaned out the guest room for ya!
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
Bleg here. Global warming skeptics are infesting Drum’s blog (on http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/08/coming-war-over-climate). I’m challenging their tripe (and doing a job work, IMHO), but would appreciate reinforcements.
Whoa, that is an internet tradition which I recognize somewhat but of which I was otherwise unaware.
@asiangrrlMN: Ok, I’m going to join the party!
I agree with many of your choices, though I have nothing approaching objectivity re: the first two Star Wars movies, and the bombast of Titantic worked on me so well as to make me a blubbering idiot, so, can’t really judge that one either. And I will say that some of the films you listed (especially the three I mention here) REALLY need a big screen. So, if you saw them late, you didn’t see them as you should have. And yet: You may well have hated them anyway, AND been poorer for the experience!
Here is a short list of things I was supposed to love and really didn’t:
Spirited Away (actually fell asleep)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (turned it off and went to bed)
East of Eden (Steinbeck – brilliant! This book – desperately needed editing!)
LOTR (though I did love The Hobbit and am nuts about the movies)
I am a fool and a cretin, I know!
@Da Bomb: That was kinda the joke. Matrix 2 wouldn’t have been so bad if the original hadn’t been so good. And the 3rd Movie was just a train wreck.
Then you’re a bad person and you should feel bad.
@Zifnab: That was a joke about the original Matrix being so good, right? Right?
No one has mentioned Remains of the Day? That movie had me trying to make puppets out of lint from my seat cushions to try to pass the time, the way people in solitary confinement do after a while.
@joe from Lowell:
ah, the rudy ray moore school of fight cinematography.
I love this websit. I love John Cole, Vacuumslayer and the rest of you!
Okay. have to nominate 2001 Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Planet of the Apes, Romeo and Juliet – you know the Italian version – Francesco – help me out – hangs out in Positano. I really like Cheri – with Michelle Pfeiffer.
Okay. have to nominate 2001 Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Planet of the Apes, Romeo and Juliet – you know the Italian version – Francesco – help me out – hangs out in Positano. I really like Cheri – with Michelle Pfeiffer.
Alright people – please tell me if anyone hears me.