I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Please bear with me

Hey friends,

As I mentioned in one of the comment threads somewhere, an enormous rent increase has forced me to move suddenly. I wish I was a monk who could just sweep up and glide over to the new place, but the truth is I have endless waves of books, CDs, movies, magazines, papers and random crap to sort and pack and move or figure out how to part with. It has consumed all my time and energy and soul. I hope to have something ready to post soon, but I’m not sure I will. I’m sorry to say these next two weeks or so I will have to be on semi-hiatus.

So thank you for your patience. I look forward to things being back to normal (or better).

P.S. I haven’t even seen MOTHER! yet, can you believe that shit

Me carrying my things to the new apartment. (Except I feel like a stepped-on marionette just from carrying boxes.)
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, September 18th, 2017 at 10:31 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog), Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

191 Responses to “Please bear with me”

  1. My condolences, Vern. My last move left me scarred, both emotionally and physically. It also made me extremely invested in downsizing my life. I can now get by with just my clothes, some cookware, and several thousand movies and books. You know, the basics.

  2. Jesus. Sorry to hear that.

  3. The Undefeated Gaul

    September 18th, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Good luck with the move, Vern! Hope the new place works out.

  4. Dun let any of them young’uns tell ya how you need to go digital with all your stuff!

  5. Ugh, I feel already triggered with flashbacks from my last move (which will be 10 years ago on halloween) just by reading this. Fingers crossed that yours will go over smooth. Take your time, man.

  6. I just got a new recliner and have a VCR, if you wanna crash in South Dakota

  7. Good luck with the move, Vern. I recently did some cleaning and gosh that stuff really just builds up on you, huh? I need to tell people to not give me things anymore.

  8. Moving is hard, but being forced to move is the worst. Landlords: fuck ’em. I’ll be here when you get back.

  9. Take your time, Vern. We’ll be here when you’re back. Good luck!

  10. Best of luck Vern, don’t worry I’ll hold down the fort while you’re gone. Outlaw Ren.

  11. Don’t worry, we will keep things lively until you get back.

  12. Sorry about this situation, Vern. Hang in there. Catch you on the flip side.

  13. Moving is the pits! Every time I do it, I swear the only way I’ll leave is when they drag my rotting carcass out. I had to do it again this last summer, but this time it comes with an expiration date because I’m living with a friend who is generous enough to let me do so cheaply so that I can save up and finally buy a house. She’s been burned by bad roommates in the past and I don’t think she found it amusing when I told her on move in day that I was never leaving and she’d have to call the sheriff to get me out. Good luck with yours, Vern!

  14. Wow, I couldn’t imagine having my life uprooted just like that, but of course I don’t live in the big city.

    Very sorry to hear that Vern but it does seem like it’s getting to the point where if you’re not a rich person then you simply can’t live in a city anymore from what I’ve heard.

  15. That sucks. Hope you settle into your new place soon. Make sure to keep your back straight and lift with your legs; you don’t want a fucked back on top of everything else.

  16. Moving indeed sucks. We’ll all be here when you get back Vern. Good luck.

  17. oh man, all the best Vern and good luck. i went through one of those extinction level moves recently that was so bad (the move itself was of course a nightmare but then the place we moved into was rife with serious problems and the landlord/owner was/is a fucking narcissistic psychopath) that my partner and i had to spend a few months apart in different parts of the country in the hopes of salvaging our relationship.

    take all the time you need, my friend. we’ll wait as long as is necessary.

  18. I feel for you, Vern. Same thing happened to me a few years ago. Take your time, we’ll be here when you get back.

  19. We should throw a kegger this weekend, to help make the time go faster. Who wants to host? Majestyk can bring some of his 70’s/80’s DVD-R’s (MIAMI CONNECTION would be a great kickstarter). If anyone’s got some 8mm 70’s porn, that would be welcome also…

  20. I’ve dreaded having to move again and fortunately been able to avoid it for 10 years. It’s a huge stress and distraction. Hope you’ve at least got a good moving company to help make things smoother.

  21. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, is that moving is much easier when you have some reliable friends helping you. Moving companies don’t give a shit. But friends will stay as long as they have to (if they don’t have to pick up their kids from school or stuff like that) and make sure that none of your shit breaks. Also you save a lot of money.

    Troy, I bring the hookers! 80s comedies taught me that at least one of us will fall in love with one of them and once their pimp shows up, a hi-la-ri-ous car chase will ensue!

  22. Oh I love German hookers CJ! I refuse to fall in love, however, as their pimps are relentless and brutal, and I usually wind up chained to a wall in the dingy basement of a pawn shop wearing a gimp suit. The trauma is too much.

  23. Congratulations on the move. I hope that you’ll be happy in your new place.

  24. Note to self: Ask hookers first if their pimp is an 80s college comedy pimp or 90s independent film pimp.

  25. Good luck with the move, Vern.

    Hope your new place has plenty of deer to feed and logs to chop.

  26. You have my commiserations; moving is always a pain in the ass.

  27. SO GLAD to see Vern’s life upended so that some bloodsucking landlord can skim more money.

    Good luck out there, Vern.

  28. Has anybody seen Mother? I can’t think of a more oft putting sounding movie in my life.

  29. I really appreciate the Corman-esque overconfidence of the marketing scheme, but it’s also setting me up for disappointment. If all this movie is is weird and pretentious and it doesn’t fuck me up in the head for life, it’s gonna be a real letdown.

  30. It just makes think of Glenn Danzig.

    Mother! if you wanna find hell with me!

  31. It’s the ‘F’ CinemaScore that’s got me the most excited about mother!.They should put that shit on the poster.

  32. Sternshein – i definitely did not say this about mother! in the HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION thread because i am all about positivity these days and am not wallowing in negativity at all — “mother! was great and definitely not a pretentious, self-important, heavy handed, staggeringly obvious, laughable, hollow, completely undisciplined, pompous, tedious, annoying, boring, pathetic, joyless, repetitious total and utter failure of an “”””””””art film”””””””” that gave me a literal headache because i was frowning and rolling my eyes so hard whilst watching it etc”

    i also definitely haven’t been telling people that mother! is the worst film of 2017 not titled KUSO or HOUNDS OF LOVE.

  33. Been a fan of Aronofsky since Pi and was all set to see it this weekend. Unfortunately last night I had the worst movie going experience of my life and after the run of bad experiences in theaters these last two months (minus CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and IT) I’m seriously considering if I don’t join the fuck-going-to-the-theater-and-just-wait-for-video-VOD club and just wait for video. Just two or four weeks ago I was still vehemently defending the theatre-going experience to someone who gave up on it and now I’m not sure that person was incorrect. I can honestly say I no longer enjoy going to the theatre anymore.

    Mix: After THE WITCH and ALIEN COVENANT I can say I greatly appreciate it when you do state which movies you do not care for because then there is a higher chance that it may be up my alley! No need to wollow in negativity (I’m fighting that battle myself! and decided to not post any negative reviews on my Letterboxd to mitigate that) but like you put there for MOTHER! (or didn’t put there wink*wink) that should be good.
    *This is all said with love mind you!

    Vern: Hope all is going well (as well as it can be at least) with the move

  34. geoffreyjar – i am more than happy to be used as a barometer my friend, and i’ll post more frequently if it helps anyone else realign their expectations for a filmical adventure they’re intending to have! also i hope that you and everyone else who sees mother! gets a big old kick out of it. i’ve got nothing but love for you guys and wouldn’t wish a negative movie experience on anyone let alone a bunch of righteous dudes like y’all motherfuckers.

    speaking of which, do you feel like elaborating on the horrible shit you had to endure last night or will it just dredge the whole ugly mess back up again?

  35. Lately it’s been the usual stuff all us cinephiles deal/bitch about: talkers/hecklers/stoner-nerds who think they are hilarious and scream out their reactions/comments (see also: the dreaded college-baiting BYOB screenings), babies-screaming, cell-phone usage, everyone should be more than sick of me talking about selfie-taker during T2 by now, damaged screens that the theater who keeps raising their prices won’t get fixed, etc.

    But last night…
    -Movie started over 25-minutes late
    -When the movie started playing it skipped to about 10-15 minutes into the movie
    -The upper screen sheet was never raised thus making us lose a third of the picture
    -The screen was recalibrated and then the subtitles were cropped off
    -Eventually the screen just blacked out
    -They were unable to give refunds (computer/user error) and after making us wait 20-30 minutes only vouchers were being offered

    Maybe worst of my life is an exaggeration but it’s up there and makes me not want to go anymore.

    That was at the big AMC. I WAS excited for next Friday’s 4K presentation of SUSPRIRA at a local theater and another local one is going to be playing NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in 4K (followed by DAWN OF THE DEAD). I was pumped for those but now I’m thinking of just skipping them. The fact that they are “old” movies makes it even riskier of getting an awful fucking crowd who like to heckle and laugh at it’s oldness “just like MST3K taught us!”

  36. I totally agree with MIXALOT. MOTHER! is awesome. One of the best of the year (along with HOUNDS OF LOVE). My kind of movie. It takes its time, finds its line, gathers momentum, and then ski jumps into craziness.

    I was kind of disappointed that nobody went to see A CURE FOR WELLNESS since I figured it meant I’d be waiting a long, long time for another R-rated mainstream American film willing to go to some unusual, loopy places. Turns out I only had to wait seven months.

    That said, I saw it without knowing anything about it other than the director and leads and without being exposed to whatever marketing hype Majestyk described. That’s probably the best way to see it. I’d guess there’s a 75-80% chance Majestyk just finds it to be a weird and pretentious letdown. I could see how it might be too much for normal, upstanding citizens but doubt it would blow the minds of hardcore genre fans.

  37. Jake – uh…

    but i loved A CURE FOR WELLNESS if that counts for anything??

  38. geoffreyjar – your last paragraph immediately made me think of this

    apologies in advance for inevitably fucking up the link

  39. anyway, i was trying to link to Edgar Wright’s commentary on the international trailer for Suspiria from Trailers from Hell

  40. I feel ya, Vern. My last time moving across the country, I had to deal with my thousands of CDs, tapes, records, books, magazines, BluRays, VHS, DVDs, and Laserdiscs. I ended up digitizing the music and movies that were rare, kept the BluRays, and pared my books back to the high points. Sold everything else en-masse at local stores.

    Since then, just buying books that I want to keep and BluRays that I love, buying zero magazines, subscribed to Google Music, and sticking with digital for everything else so I have to buy a new hard drive every year or so. Zero regrets. Eventually the things you own end up owning you.

    Good luck, my friend.

  41. Mix: Ha ha, I was hoping you were sending me something that would make me not want to give up on the experience of seeing it on the big screen for the first and maybe only time. Like del Toro even if I may have fallen out of love with their films as of late, I still dearly love hearing them talk about movies they love. Then he told his story of what did indeed sounded like SHOULD have been an incredible viewing experience…

    Think I might stay home after all…

    Jake: since you’re my blood-brother on A CURE FOR WELLNESS I will have to put MOTHER! much higher on my to-see list (when it comes out on home video)!

  42. geoffreyjar – i am loving so much that, out of all of the films this year that most folks wrote off as being a giant piece of shit and a waste of most everyone’s time, A CURE FOR WELLNESS seems to be the one that unified a bunch of us wayward rapscallions around here. i’ve seen it three times now and try to put it in front of people’s eyeballs any chance i get.

  43. been thinking about this – even though i hated mother! i absolutely adore ANTICHRIST and the two films share a shit load of structural, thematic and tonal similarities. make of that what you will i guess but as far as apt comparisons go i think that’s a pretty appropriate one.

  44. geoffreyjar – I went to a screening of the 4K SUSPIRIA last night, and the crowd was well-behaved. It was also the loudest theatre presentation I’ve ever seen of anything (including the second time I saw TRUE LIES and everyone around me was plugging their ears during the action scenes), so they didn’t have a chance to make sarcastic “this movie is old and partially dubbed lol” comments even if they’d wanted. But don’t miss seeing it on the big screen if you have a chance. It’s a pretty great experience. And try to get a middle seat; the newly discovered surround sound whispering effects are worth it.

  45. Mark: That’s very good to hear. My nephew, who never saw SUSPIRIA, still wants to go and me telling him he can just come over and watch the Blu-ray with me and that should suffice isn’t working (he still wants to go to the DEAD double-feature as well (he’s seen both those movies but he mostly wants to see NIGHT’s 4K restoration). So yeah he’s not backing down and looks like I may be going after all (guess I spoiled him this year by us getting to see ALIEN, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, and T2 on the big screen).

    For the the theater playing I usually sit in the balcony (except when they played KING KONG (OG 1933 one) I felt the need to be front row for that one) so I’ll try to be as middle as possible. It’s an old single screener that’s been around since the silent movie days (!) so it’s design isn’t typical of today’s theaters. Balcony has no middle seats but the ground floor has middle-ish seats.

    Anyways, with full sincerity, thank you for giving me a reason to hope again.

    Mix: Still got to see ANTICHRIST, from what you’re saying I should maybe wait and do a double-feature of that and MOTHER! (outside you not recommending MOTHER! of course). And yes… A CURE FOR WELLNESS is one of those (maybe) “cult” films that unifies people. I recommend it hard and even convinced a few to watch it (and they liked it). I hope it does form a cult-following and it gets the respect it deserves. I also hope Verbinski is able to bounce back from two bombs in a row AND he’s still able to share his crazy sensibilities with us/his heart stays in it. Like WELLNESS, I think down the line many are going to realize how unique he is/was.

  46. There’s a good and possibly even a great movie somewhere in CURE FOR WELLNESS, but it needed to lose about 40 minutes before that movie would be readily apparent. I enjoyed its craziness but it spends way, waaaaaay too much time on a completely pointless mystery plot which goes absolutely nowhere. SUSPIRIA is a brisk 98 minutes; ANTICHRIST is a grueling 108; WLLNESS’s 146 minutes for a standard evil hotel hokum plot is absolute fevered madness.

  47. That’s pretty much how I feel about MOTHER!, which I have had great fun thinking about after the fact but had almost no fun at all watching because it was so goddamn protracted. I honestly feel like that movie could have been 40 minutes long with absolutely no loss of meaning.

  48. i love the extremity of WELLNESS’s length for the sheer fact that it kept its cards held for so fucking long against all anticipated and rational and even reasonable expectations that there was something admirable about it. thirty minutes shorter and it would have just fallen into the cut as far as these genre exercises go. by stretching it out so fucking far it began to create its own weirdo ecosystem, at least as far as i enjoyed watching it anyway. i admired its commitment to a truly ridiculous bit. plus it riffed on all of its established conventions really interestingly throughout its runtime too. it didn’t just detour into genre tropes, it created entire short film asides within its on framework. who was its intended audience? i have no fucking clue. is it a great film or even a good one? i honestly haven’t figured that out. but i would not cut a second from that sonovabitch and i love it.

    mother! i had figured out pretty much within its first minute which meant that i spent the remaining 2+ hours just yawning and wanting it to end and watching its very obvious pieces fall into place. and all it did was present and then recycle the same themes and metaphors and allegories over and over again (which i know could be argued was the point) and then a bunch of stuff happened that wasn’t striking or unexpected or shocking to me in any way and that had no impact because everyone and everything in the film were just ciphers and abstractions so i didn’t care about any of it and then i got to go home. it was just such a joyless, smug, self-important hollow fucking movie. the way that a dust devil is hollow. it’d be easier to care about a footnote in a text book than anything that happened to or around or in spite of anyone in that fucking film.

    still liked it more than HOUNDS OF LOVE though.

  49. Yeah, deciphering the allegory early basically removed all of the suspense and shock for me, so none of the slow burn aspects worked for me at all and I got no visceral reaction from the climax whatsoever. Like you, I was just waiting for the pieces to fall into place. But I ended up feeling more fondly toward it afterward, when I forgot the doldrums and remembered the highlights, though I doubt I’ll ever watch it again. It’s interesting more than it is entertaining.

  50. Wish I could follow you there MIXALOT, but the problem for me is that too much of WELLNESS wasn’t really “stretching it out”, but just adding more extraneous moving parts, and usually not very interesting ones. It’s not a boring movie per se, in the sense that it leaps from one plot point to the next pretty quickly, but way too many are just boilerplate “go here and find a clue” side trips which don’t have interesting clues or add up to an interesting mystery. In fact, a lot of the most interesting things about the plot end up ignored (like, why bother brainwashing the old people, how exactly does that work, and why is DeHann able to shake it off so easy).

    Its atmospherics are on point, but it’s just way too damn plotty for its own good IMHO. For all its cool images and the ultimate craziness of it’s finale, most of its runtime is taken up by a disappointingly literal treasure hunt for a mystery which never really emerges. To compare it to SUSPIRIA, I would point out that Argento would never have bothered scripting –let alone shooting– half the exposition scenes (and the whole movie is half exposition scenes). He would have just cut right to the good stuff and trusted that the emotional logic would carry it through, and correctly bet that at the end no one was going to ask too many questions about the specific logistics of whatever was going on, which doesn’t make any sense anyway. I think WELLNESS would be enormously better served going in that direction, just parading a bunch of weirdness out and trusting that the audience would rather be wowed than lectured, particularly in a “mystery” this arbitrary.

    I’m glad I saw it and think it’s admirable in its ambition, but I wish it were better. It’s more an interesting curiosity than a good movie, but I’ll take what I can get.

    I still urge everyone to see it, of course.

  51. Mr.S: Yes, Verbinski’s biggest flaw is on full display in WELLNESS: his Michael Bay-like penchant for most of his movies being 30-40 minutes too long. Not sure why they and others insist on such mammoth run times. Misguided belief it makes them ‘epic’? Regardless I actually managed to be intrigued with were WELLNESS was going so it bother me that much for this one.

    Thus I can’t disagree with Mr. S’s views on WELLNESS but I side with Mix on by making it a more traditional movie for 90% of it’s time, it extenuates the nuttiness of the climax. I am intrigued by Mr. S’s notion of how it would be better served as a more Argento-style movie rather than an American-style movie. He is right about the mystery though, they just kind of forget about it. Oh well, sometimes we can’t choose what we enjoy.

  52. I guess I can kinda get behind the idea that WELLNESS is sort of a kooky joke on the essential cliche of the mystery-horror genre, where the protagonists spends the whole runtime running around rounding up arbitrary clues and laborious exposition, and then at the end it turns out the answer is crazy and involves magic and none of that was important. By spending the whole movie being laboriously fixated on clues which mostly turn out not to matter, it really pulls the rug out from under us when it goes full Hammer at the end. That’s kinda funny, I guess, but is it… good? 146 minutes is a reaaaal long time to draw out a shaggy dog joke. It’s definitely a movie I wanted to love, but I don’t think it quite got me there.

    But I’m convinced there’s a good (or at least a memorable) horror movie lurking in all that fat, though. Slice out 50 minutes of exposition, fake-outs, and arbitrary wheel-spinning, and you got yourself a sleek little bit of weirdness in the pure Italian mode: artistically irreproachable, narrative inexplicable, psychologically potent. Verbinski’s misjudgement was not in his genre goods, but in his foolish belief that they need to be explained. (or that the warranted explanation, let alone overt moralizing)

  53. have a feeling I’m gonna be alone on this one, but, did anyone else think A Cure For Wellness was a (maybe unconscious) metaphor for how much it sucked to direct the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies?

  54. Mr. S: As much as I like the movie I wouldn’t disagree with trimming it.

    psychic: I am intrigued… Please elaborate!

  55. don’t know how much I’ll be able to recall in detail, but mostly, it was how the main character starts off thinking the water is innocuous, then comes to see it a sinister force after he has a bad experience in it, and eventually is so phobic of it that any exposure to it is totally debilitating…. which, I’m guessing, is the way any director making even 1 movie (let alone 3) that’s set in the ocean is gonna feel about water by the end of the shoot. also, the utterly unnecessary “sinister corporation dupes a new go-getter into biting off way more than he can chew” plot architecture made me think of Disney’s relationship to the relatively minor-league filmmakers they bring on board to helm huge projects… and also how at the end he’s, like, free to do whatever he pleases now that he survived.

    i dunno, maybe it’s a reach, more of a psychoanalysis of a bizarre script than a 1:1 “x is a symbol for y” type deal, but it’s still the best interpretation i’ve got for an otherwise confounding film.

  56. I definitely wouldn’t want to see A CURE FOR WELLNESS: THE WEINSTEIN EDIT. Any movie that (a) keeps me guessing as to where it’s going for as long as it does, (b) consistently surprises me with how scenes play out*, and (c) looks as amazing as it does, can take as long and winding a route to the end as it wants. The reason I love INHERENT VICE is not because I care about figuring out the central mystery. I can’t even remember how it was resolved. I love it because the journey, with all its detours, is so entertaining.

    Though I don’t remember the clues you get in WELLNESS as being a complete waste of time. I seem to recall eventually being able to guess where it was heading thanks to the breadcrumbs they were dropping. It just took me a lot longer than most movies to catch up with.

    *I was grinning while watching that scene with her in the bar thinking this is exactly the scene that would be first on the cutting room floor with any other movie. I loved that part. I’m glad they went the “more is more” route.

  57. Anybody else here watching the Vietnam series on PBS?

  58. Jake – that scene in the bar was exactly what i was thinking of when i was talking about the way WELLNESS extended its detours and asides so indulgently that they became what were ostensibly self-contained short films. “set-pieces” just doesn’t seem to cut it as a descriptor. the longer that bar scene went on the wider my smile got. i just kept thinking “Gore Verbinski. the fucking balls on this guy.” i don’t think it’ll be too long before we start seeing serious retrospectives and reappraisals of his body of work start popping up. not that any of us need them to know that he’s awesome.

  59. Anyone else seen AMERICAN ASSASSIN? I liked it. I thought it was a solid movie and didn’t deserve the bad reviews. I have not read the books, though, and cannot speak to how it compares to those.

    The lead character was interesting and the kid playing him surprised me with how believable he was as a badass man on the edge. Michael Keaton was fantastic as always. The story was interesting with a couple of weak points, but overall good. The action was good, but maybe could’ve had a little more. Thank God, there was very little frantic planning and observing by people in control rooms. I liked it better than some of the recent movies of its ilk *cough* Bourne *cough*. Also, out of nowhere, Scott Atkins. Again not used to his full potential, but better it’s still nice to see him.

    I thought the weakest part was the villain. They said he was crazy, his plan was crazy, but we didn’t really see him as crazy except for one crazy eyed speech that came off more as desperate than crazy.

    I do wonder if today’s geopolitical environment might harm how people receive the movie. Right now might not be the time people embrace a hero who says screw the rules and orders, I want to kill who I want tho kill because they need killing.

  60. MIXALOT – Yeah, I could see his work getting reappraised down the line. I say THE WEATHER MAN should be first up. Probably my favorite of his, along with WELLNESS. I was surprised at the time how indifferent critics were to it. Seemed like it should have gotten AMERICAN BEAUTY level acclaim.

    onthewall2983 – I’m three episodes in to THE VIETNAM WAR and already the administration is talking about how unwinnable the war is, before it even begins in earnest. I’m hoping that’s just setting up a foil for a ragtag group of misfit soldiers who go over there and show up those slick bureaucrats by quickly ending the war and saving all the local orphanages from communism. If not, the next seven episodes are gonna be pretty bleak. If you know how it ends, don’t tell me.

  61. Verbinski should be at least this generation’s Robert Zemeckis, maybe even someone higher ranking. The finale of POTC 2 is one of the greatest high concept action scenes in movie history. It starts out with three different parties chasing and fighting each other in every direction on a small island, then followed by a giant monster with seemingly hundred tentacles attacking a ship and killing nearly everybody on it, and it never, I repeat: NEVER gets boring or confusing and is still exciting after the Xth re-watch.

    I still have to check out MEXICAN, WEATHER MAN and CURE, but if your worst movie is RANGO, you are definitely doing something right.

  62. Oof. Sorry about having your life disrupted like that, Vern. I hope things work out for you during the move and at your new place.

    I also don’t envy you having to write a review of MOTHER!. I think if I wrote one it would be 300 words long and every sentence would end in a question mark.

  63. I’m all for the Verbinski love but that bloated DEAD MAN’S CHEST finale is not a good defense. A very self indulgent and dry so called effects showcase with very generic setpiece setups. Which to be fair considering the piece of horseshit movie it was closing out I guess was appropriate. But that was a key reason why I never bothered with the 3rd and a huge exibit of evidence as to why PIRATES should’ve just been left off as a one movie concept.

  64. THE WEATHER MAN was dope though. A must see for any fan of Nic Cage which most of us here are. Probably his most underrated besides THE FAMILY MAN and WORLD TRADE CENTER.

  65. I think all the Pirates movies are boring.

  66. Man, I’ll never understand why it’s suddenly so hip to shit on the POTC series* (and Johnny Depp).

    *Note, I didn’t like part 4 that much either and haven’t seen part 5 yet, but if the original three aren’t great examples for “Shit that should never work, but totally does, not matter how excessive it gets”, I don’t know what they are. Praise Verbinski!

  67. Hip has nothing to do with it.

  68. THE WEATHER MAN is hilarious because Michael Caine plays a guy who won a Nobel Prize for literature and he just dotters around the film saying things like, “Did you know, that the right thing to do, and the easy thing to do, are not always the same thing.” He’s a genious.

  69. People were already pretty sick of latter-day Depp’s scarves-and-eyeliner schtick before he was revealed to be a drunken asshole wifebeater. It’s a little harder to see him getting paid dozens of millions of dollars for clowning around and talking in a funny accent now.

  70. I think you should took our opinion on face value instead of assuming we are a part of some cool movie hating clique. I think the first one works pretty good but two and especially three are really hard to sit through. I saw three at a special screening for my ex wife’s work and I thought they should have paid me by the hour to sit through that movie which feels like 5 hours long.

  71. I could not have foreseen this devolving into a POTC thread, but I’m jumping right in. The first one is a lot of fun, but at almost 2.5 hours, it overstays its welcome. Part 2 has become kind of a blur that I can’t differentiate from Part 1 beyond it being not as good. Part 3 is when the serious kind of disappeared up its own ass. To my surprise, I enjoyed Part 4. I thought it was a good, shrewd move to ditch Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, focus on Jack Sparrow, and bring in some new blood in Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz. I will give Part 5 a watch eventually, so we’ll see.

    Returning to Verbinski, I thought LONE RANGER was okay. It certainly had the same spirit of old time Saturday matinee swashbuckley fun to it, I thought Depp was Tonto was pretty brilliant (whitewashing be damned), and there were definitely some inspired sequences, but in the end it was too long, and I thought Depp’s Tonto and (less prominently) Helena Bonham Carter felt like they belonged in some other movie from the rest of it. The CURE FOR WELLNESS trailers didn’t do much to draw me in, and then the reviews were pretty underwhelming, so it’s hard for me to get too psyched here.

  72. “series,” not “serious.”

  73. All the best with the move Vern.

  74. Ever since the first Pirates movie, I’ve dutifully gone to the theater to watch the latest installment. I love the world of the films and how they revive the swashbuckling adventure serial. And it’s easy to forget now that Depp has been revealed to be an abusive alcoholic and that his character has been driven into the ground, but Jack Sparrow was a brilliant character invention in the first film.

    I still think the first movie is exactly what most summer blockbusters should aim for and what almost all of them fail to meet. But not a single follow up has been completely satisfying. They’re surprisingly uneven films. None of them are terrible, and each has a handful of moments and set pieces that are clever or even brilliant, but, man, are they a mess. When the fifth film starts, it’s legitimately terrible, and I thought we might be in for the first truly irredeemable Pirates movie. And then it unexpectedly gets really good in the middle before swinging back to terrible around the start of the third act. I think it would be easier if these movies were out and out awful. But they keep on stringing me along with a handful of great moments buried under sea of mediocrity.

  75. The consensus seems to be that the first was great and that all the sequels were marginal at best. As, God help us, 00s nostalgia is starting to be a thing there seems to be a gradual shift towards thinking that the first three were good and that the last two were poor, but we’re not quite there yet. I lean toward the young whippersnappers however. The first is absurdly overlong and, for all its joys, has most or all of the minuses of its initial progeny. The second is more of the same with some excellent set-pieces. The third I like mostly because it’s SO overblown and excessive that it actually becomes its chief appeal (to me, at least). The fourth feels like at some point they had the right idea of scaling it down to a B-Movie, but just couldn’t help themselves, and its ultimately stuck in a dull middle ground. And man is the fifth the kind of fifth that makes you start looking at THE LAST KNIGHT with a hint of sincere admiration. It is certainly an issue that Jack Sparrow is precisely the kind of character who tips the fresh/stale scales all the way in either direction.

  76. I liked the second two PIRATES movies for the same reason you guys claim to like CURE FOR WELLNESS… it’s just overstuffed to such a ridiculous, absurd degree that you can’t help but either get swept along in the fun or just plain burn out. I chose the former. It’s like they had a writer’s room and everyone was required to pitch a setpiece, and then they chose all the best ones and then looked at the budget and realized that it was endless, and just said “fuck it, let’s just use all of them.” It’s ungainly as hell, and not exactly “good” per se, but if you’re going to create something which is just mindless overkill, you might as well do it like POTC 2 and 3 do. EVERYTHING IS MORE EVERYTHING. I just wish the fat in WELLNESS had been as enjoyably ridiculous (I found most of it pretty underwhelming atmosphere porn, with just a sprinkling of the kind of off-the-wall colorful nuttiness which finally lands in the finale).

    I’ll give Verbinski this: comparing him to Zemeckis is not complete and total madness. They’re both absolute consummate craftsmen with a gift for making gorgeous, visually inventive films. It’s just that Zemekis mostly worked with good scripts, and Verbinski still never has. He’s usually a gifted enough film-maker to dodge that fact, but IMHO WELLNESS is where it finally caught up with him.

  77. The PIRATES movies never did much for me, but THE WEATHER MAN really struck a chord when it first landed. Apart from it being in my top 5 fave Cage performances OAT, it’s just such a great observation of a man who has lost touch with his soul and who is utterly clueless about how to deal with the world and especially the people around him. Verbinski’s choice of color palettes in TWM (see also THE RING and WELLNESS) – smothering greys, dense but crisp blues, are a big part of his visual appeal and draw me in to the mindscape of his adrift-at-sea (no pun intended for Pirates) protagonists like Dave Spritz and Lockhart (read: Locked Heart, obviously) in WELLNESS.

  78. I’m sorry to derail the general discussion and bring up something serious, but any thought on the collapse of Aint it Cool News and the allegations against Harry?

    Like I’m assuming most people here I have AICN to thank for introducing me to Vern, but of course I’ve moved beyond it, how many years has it been since Vern posted anything on that site?

    But it’s still shocking that both Quint and Capone have quit the site over the allegations.

  79. As if I needed another excuse not to visit AICN though it’s so weird considering it’s been a big part of my online presence since the mid 90s.

    I weep for “nerd culture” because what should be a fun thing is being ruined by mysogonist white douche bags.

  80. I started posting at AICN around 2006 or so. Without it, I’m not sure I would be here at Vern’s sight, so it has done some good in the world. But I’m genuinely shocked that it’s still around in 2017. And I can’t imagine that longtime contributors like Quint and Capone would bail only on an allegation. My guess is that they are fairly certain the accusation is legit.

  81. Yes, it’s pretty damning and I imagine this is probably the end for the sight.

  82. First!

    Definitely, AICN is how I got turned on to Vern. I enjoyed commenting there for a while, but at a certain point the puerile tendencies completely submerged any semblance of meaningful discourse. It became an utter cesspool of fanboy punsterism and one-up-man-ship. I’m grateful Vern had the integrity and strength of conviction to keep building and nurturing this anti-AICN of a discourse community.

    And then, w/ AICN, outside of Vern, the writing never was much to, um, write home about, so now whenever I log back it just reinforces that there’s nothing there for me and that my fondest memories of that place are Vern’s essays and antics.

    As for the allegations and ship-jumping and whatnot, I don’t have the God’s-eye facts, so I’ll not pass judgment. I hate to see people get hurt, period.

  83. I’ve always wondered how Vern got involved with AICN. Even back then, he seemed like such an outlier. He was the best writer at the sight, and it was his takes on direct to video action cinema that really made me appreciate what that genre had to offer. Before I started reading his AICN columns, I had got to the point in my movie watching where I was kind of passing over those kinds of movies. The behind the scenes pic of the day was fun, though. I think that was Quint.

  84. People keep posting on Twitter all these creepy Harry comments in his postings. For example, the one where he has a long paragraph being really excited that the cheerleader on Heroes will always be a virgin. I also remember his creepy review of Blade 2. Ugh what a douche.

  85. Don’t forget him comparing the visuals in SPEED RACER to “chocolate covered pussy juices”

  86. One of my dream movie projects has been for a long time a biopic about the rise and fall of AICN, but I never expected that the last act would take such a dark turn.

    Not sure how much all the regular contributors knew about it. Drew McWeeny twittered when the story broke, that he didn’t have real contact to Harry for years and he disappointed him a long time ago, Capone stressed out that he lives in Chicago. I’d love to imagine that Quint probably saw some asshole behaviour through the years, but never something that made him an accomplice because he kept quiet. (More in the “Ugh, my friend/boss made a shitty joke again. He can be such an asshole sometimes” and not “Oh shit, I saw him assault a woman, now I pretend like nothing happens”.) And Herc is an asshole anyway. Who cares about that motherfucker? If the topic wouldn’t be so serious, I would laugh that his golden god Joss Whedon AND his boss were outed as creeps.

    One thing that really annoys me, is Harry’s “Lalalala nothing happened” mode. I always admired his thick skin, that made him ignore and laugh off the horrible comments from Talkbackers, that he encountered over the last 20 years, but how he uses that power now, just makes him look worse.

  87. I was never a frequent talkbacker at AICN but I always visited and commented there occasionally over the last couple years. Its final throes these last couple days have been something to behold. As of this moment, all talkbacks are gone (as far as I know) and there has been a migration to a new site.

    The consensus seems to be that Harry – as seemingly innocent and loveable as he once was – deserves everything that is now happening to him. Between the Kickstarter fiasco, being a slob with bad hygiene (there are many stories and YES, I have personal experience with this, so I believe them), being an awful writer (his writing got worse over the years) apologizing for and loving terrible movies in sycophantic, childish style, not to mention all the recent, creepy allegations AND reports that he was actually kind of an asshole in person (unless you were famous) – it just got to be too much and the bough finally broke. I think the guy rode on sympathy for a long, long time.

    I bet some of these recent stories may be exaggerated. But I also think people are using this recent scandal as an excuse to finally leave, because of all the reasons I stated above. I don’t expect AICN to last much longer. Harry’s website got hits – and, therefore, money – from the people reading and participating in the talkbacks, where he was almost universally loathed. It was the Wild Wild West of movie forums. We will not look upon its like again.

  88. Also, good luck with the move, Vern. You’re a much better writer than Harry.

  89. I first read AICN back in ’97 cause it was the only place that cared about posting anything about JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES at the time. So by proxy I also got introduced to Vern through that site. I however haven’t regularly read it since about 2006 and never was a talkbacker so it outstayed it’s welcome to me many moons ago anyway. Still pretty bugged out to see it all crash down like this though.

  90. I honestly doubt anything we’re hearing is exaggerated. And there is almost certainly worse to come.

  91. I hope only the smart talkbackers that don’t know about Vern find his site. :)

  92. I am aware of the site but have never visited it regularly. From the sounds of it I am thankful for it.

  93. There is A LOT to discuss regarding the AiCN/Alamo/Faraci situation, however, I have as much interest in pounding out 5000+ words as anybody has in reading it; not much.

    I will say that one of the main reasons I continue to visit AiCN is, as stupid as it sounds, because it loads quickly, and that it’s homepage isn’t filled with 68 images like pretty much every other film site kicking around. Also, while it’s become rather infamous for posting stories a day or more later than everyone else, I actually prefer that to sites that act as a RSS feed for Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

    Everything else gets much, much more complicated. Other than the recent allegations don’t really effect my opinion of Knowles, seeing that it was pretty goddamn low to begin with. And that I’m actually happy for Quint and Capone. I think they know people will follow them where ever they end up landing. They’ve been carrying AiCN on their backs for a LONG time now.

  94. Okay, so, having read a little bit more about this unfolding situation, I’ll amend my previous comment. I’m now more comfortable passing judgment; seems like Harry Knowles has been a creeper. I hope this is a long-run positive hitting rock bottom experience for him, and, of course, I hope that this kind of behavior becomes less and less common and acceptable. Not cool, bro.

  95. I discovered AICN in the summer of 2007 and read it regularly until early 2010, the same year I discovered The AV Club and said goodbye to AICN for good.

    I have some good memories of the site, I liked how intensely, unashamedly geeky it was, I liked some of the odd usernames you would see like “Danny Glover’s Dickblood”, I liked how some people would post the exact same comment in the talkback every time like “well I’ll be pig fucked, now that’s cool news!” or “I just got off the phone with Kurt Russell”

    It had some interesting articles and reviews (most notably Vern’s) and like I said, I really did love the intensely geeky atmosphere, but at the same time a lot of the culture of the talkbacks irritated me, every movie went through the same cycle where members would either hate it or like it at first but after a week or two hate it, just a lot of cynicism and a typical “boy’s club” mentality of the internet at the time, I remember a lot of sexist jokes (particularly “Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a horse” jokes around the time of the Sex in the City movie)

    As for Harry himself I always thought he was a terrible writer, I’m still disappointed though to hear that he’s a creep.

  96. On one hand, I agree Harry seems like a creep. His aforementioned articles on Blade II and bustin’ Hayden Panettiere’s regenerating hymen on Heroes or whatever the fuck are gross and embarrassing. I also believe every woman’s claim of sexual assault or harassment should be taken seriously and investigated.*

    On the other hand, I’m not 100% comfortable with everyone damning him to hell based off of his website. I’ve never been comfortable with America’s new “guilty until proven innocent” approach that seems to have risen in the age of social media, and I don’t like that many articles on this situation point out how gross the comments are on AICN (and they’re undeniably gross) as if that’s some proof of his guilt. Yes I know he owns the site and has created this “boys club/locker room” atmosphere or whatever, but if we’re to judge people by the vileness of comment sections then we should arrest the owners of Youtube stat. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t like the fact that I could log on here with a female screenname and accuse Vern of rape or assault and within hours people will go “well, he DID write a whole book about noted sexual harasser Steven Seagal after all”. Or “Well, he WAS one of the only people to give a positive review to noted wife-beater Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger”. Or “well, there WAS a comment on a board one time (this one) that kinda looked like it was being rape-apologist (it’s not)”

    Other women have now come forward to accuse Harry of assault and harassment. Plenty of stories have now come out of him being a giant asshole and all around shitty person. I guess what I’m saying is I wish people would put more stock into that and less stock into his “work” (infantile writing and website).

    *I’ll be THAT guy and point out I do think it’s kinda strange that we’re told we should BELIEVE ALL WOMEN but when Bill Clinton gets accused of rape and Hilary gets accused of hushing/covering it up, the universal reaction was “that GOP-backed lyin’ bitch”. I mean, people are calling for Tim League’s head after his “hey let’s keep your accusations quiet so you don’t hurt our brand…cheers!” email (which is unforgivable if true); Hilary is accused of doing the exact same thing but we collectively put our head in the sand because we didn’t want it to be true and the guy she was running against is an asshole.

  97. Neal — With the caveat that false accusations of sexual assault are rare and that these accusations should always be investigated and treated seriously, I’ll always wait to see what else happens after a single accuser comes out. Once people started jumping ship from AICN, I was pretty certain the accuser was legit, and now that others have come forward, there’s no doubt.

    At the same time, I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re experiencing witch hunts. The problem is mostly that the legal system does not take these complaints seriously enough. The Bill Cosby case is absolutely baffling. As far as the other Bill, I doubt he would have received the Democratic nomination if he were running in 2012 rather than 1992. I don’t know much about the supposed rape allegation, but Clinton was likely a workplace harasser.

  98. While I do believe that the accusations against Harry might be true, given that the sources of the stories seem to be respected and believable members of that community, I am also a bit uncomfortable with the whole: “We knew it all along because of his reviews”. If we are going by that logic, the whole writing stuff of Adult Swim and Seth McFarlane must be sex offenders!

  99. I think it’s fair. There’s no telling what someone who could force writing that nonsensical and self-indulgent on an unsuspecting populace might be capable of.

    You know, guys, between the Austin fiasco, GamerGate, the Rick & Morty thing, and just having eyes and ears, I’m starting to think that my lifelong aversion to other people who like the sort of nerdy shit I like was completely justified. Somehow I just think it’s more important to learn how to treat people than it is to learn how to conjugate verbs in Klingon.

  100. Do I wanna know what “that Rick & Morty” thing is?

    Note: I dropped out of the show very early, when they made with the first few episodes their first “Isn’t if HILARIOUS that this guy got molested as a kid!?” joke.

  101. *within the first few…
    ** Isn’t IT…

  102. “Fans” of the show are harassing its female writers for the crime of writing while dickless.

    I watched the first two episodes and found Rick too offputting to enjoy.

  103. I never got Rick and Morty. Then again I’ve never been a fan of those type of “it’s very derivative of X and Y with the flavor of Z” mashup ideas that have become the entry point for so many hacks in show business.

    Not calling the R&M people hacks btw. I know nothing about them. Just stating that “it’s like Back to the Future on crack by way of Mike Judge” or whatever is never enough of a hook.

    I don’t really like parrots. Prefer something with it’s own dedicated voice and thoughts even if I do know that fundamentally no idea is ever truly original.

  104. There’s a thin line between influence and ripoff. A lot of current entertainment has unfortunately crossed over to the side of ripoff more often than not. One of the reasons I don’t really like the JJ Abrams’ of this world or their ilk.

  105. I get not enjoying Rick and Morty but I love it.

    I’m glad I just discuss it with my wife and not wherever these weirdos that harass the female writers talk about the show.

    BTW, we have all thought Harry was creepy but didn’t expect him to abuse women.

  106. I could see it growing on me, because I do think Dan Harmon has a unique worldview that he is unafraid to explore, challenge, and even refute to an obsessive and sometimes disquieting degree, and I’m sure the endless possibilities of sci-fi animation allow him ample opportunities to illustrate his own weird clash of post-modern detachment and beleaguered humanism. You guys just know how I am with TV. Grab me instantly or lose me forever. I didn’t laugh at those two episodes so I just didn’t go back. I’ve been told that certain episode are masterpieces that will change my mind, but I just haven’t gotten around to trying again. Knowing I’d be sharing the same umbrella with a bunch of sexist shitbirds doesn’t exactly make the prospect any more inviting.

  107. Also the art design of all modern animated television is hideous. Discuss.

  108. I’m actually a huge Rick and Morty fan, I think it’s a really sharp and clever show that found its voice early and has consistently been making bold and interesting choices.

    That having been said, its fanbase is absolute cancer. For a while, I genuinely thought some of the groups dedicated to the show were doing some sort of long-running parody of what an over-educated, emotionally stunted group of navel-gazing, self-pitying nerds with persecution complexes and zero life perspective would look like. But then it turns out that’s just who they are. What makes it even more ironic is that the show is about exactly such a person, but understands that it’s a bad thing. A lot of R&M fans don’t seem to realize that it’s a show about how utterly toxic they are, they just get that it seems overly brainy and edgy, which they equate with “deep.”

    In fact, I’d go a little further and say that this season, (much more than the first two) turns out to be even more specifically about how this sort of self-destructive egomaniacal smart person ruins everything. It feels to me like an almost painfully personal look into Dan Harmon coming to terms with the fact that, for all his cleverness, he’s just a bad person. The documentary HARMONTOWN about his life has exactly this sort of unsteadying effect; it’s a documentary that really wants to like its subject, but can’t quite ignore the fact that his own personal pain is spilling out into everyone else’s life and corroding everything he touches. And that it’s not cool, or edgy, or dark, it’s just kind of pathetic and selfish. No one who watched that film was surprised that he acrimoniously and publicly split with his wife about a year later. But it is kind of surprising to see R&M season 3 so directly addressing that fact, as Rick systematically ruins everyone’s life and drives them all away. In season 1, it was kind of funny how supergenius Rick was irresponsibly putting his grandkids in danger. By season 3, you can really see the detrimental effect it’s had on their lives, and it’s not really fun anymore, or anything they want to be part of. As I’d wager most of the people in Harmon’s life eventually found out, it can be invigorating to hang around someone so chaotic and intelligent… until the novelty wears off and it’s just exhausting and taxing and kind of sad. To it’s credit, the show has made this entire third season specifically to address this situation.

    What I’m saying is, maybe Dan Harmon read the comment sections and realized that the problem isn’t the world, it’s people (like me, and like him) who would enjoy a show like RICK AND MORTY.

  109. Not on ALL modern animated television (Disney cartoons look beautifully “normal”), but it’s weird that 99% of all cartoons “for adults” look like crap. It’s like the producers think: “Oh, it’s for stoners. Why bother?”

    Also the main reason why I quit RICK & MORTY early (the child molestation joke was more the last straw), was that the show tries too hard. Every episode has the most grotesque looking creatures, a million dicks and balls either in the background or on the creatures, every gag must be the most outrageous, every plot the biggest mindfuck, but almost nothing ever sticks. It’s basically the AMERICAN HORROR STORY of cartoons “for adults”.

  110. I wasn’t really talking about kids shows, but now that you mention it I don’t like the look of the new DUCK TALES. The line work is too thin and it makes the show look flat. That seems to be a common trend in adult-leaning cartoons.

  111. Yeah, I’m torn about the look of DUCK TALES too (Haven’t seen the show yet, so currently it’s the only problem I have.). From an artistic POV I would say: “Hey, that’s an interesting look, that isn’t too ugly and makes it stand out”, but from a viewer’s POV I say: “What’s up with that? Couldn’t they just make it look like a normal cartoon, dammit?”

  112. Mr. S: I REALLY related to HARMONTOWN. It played like a cautionary tale of the kind of well-meaning-but-ultimately-toxic monster I could easily turn into if I ever got the slightest bit of clout. Kind of makes me glad that I’m still wallowing in obscurity, where I can’t hurt anybody.

  113. The new DUCKTALES reminded me too much of QUACK PACK. I don’t think that’s what they’re aiming for but that’s what it feels like. You get THAT Donald and his nephews. It’s obnoxious. Also David Tennant is a great guy but I just don’t like his Scrooge voice at all.

    I don’t even know why they fucked with the designs in the first place. The original had fucking gorgeous designs all throughout. You’d think if they were really for the nostalgia they’d not fuck with that aspect too much. The animation itself is ok but the art style stinks. Looks too bland and cheap. DUCKTALES deserved better.

  114. Mr. M — I did too, buddy. And it wouldn’t even take clout to do it. I’ve alienated my fair share of people even being an utter nobody with absolutely no power whatsover. Like Harmon, I always thought my innate self-hatred and self-destructiveness were essentially benign problems, things that only harmed me, maybe even made me a little interesting. Heck, I’ll go further: I grew up Catholic, which means that there’s a certain kind of self-suffering which has a tinge of martyr-y appeal. Being a tortured, nihilistic, self-destructive soul had a certain cultural cache to it, and I leaned into it. It took me causing a lot of people a lot of hurt before I finally realized how incredibly selfish and toxic I was. For most of my life I think I really assumed trying to fix myself was vanity; in reality, letting myself bottom out was one of the most selfish things I ever did, and I didn’t even realize it until it was way too late.

    So now I’m trying to get better. And at least there’s not a documentary about me that I have to look back on and cringe. But man, it makes it basically impossible for me to interact with almost anyone in “nerd culture,” because I can just see the absolute worst of myself looking back. Not that I was ever harassing women online or anything; I tend to implode rather than explode, but these 4-Chan fucks who love RICK AND MORTY (or, especially, SOUTH PARK) and can’t see past their own self-loathing to the real-world harm they’re doing… jesus chirst, I could have been that. I was that, in my worst moments. And there are so many of them. People who don’t dwell in this subculture cannot possibly realize just how terrified about the future they need to be.

  115. Wait, were all the people who accidentally confused us on this sight actually correct and we are actually the same person?

  116. @neal2zod

    Of course another huge reason for the anger (at least as far as AICN talkbackers are concerned) is the way Hercules policed the forums, banning people left and right, and often for spurious reasons. It made an already-hostile environment even worse.

  117. It’s almost like the only thing preventing nerds from becoming just as bad as the bullies who tormented them was not having the power to do so.

  118. Mr M– nah, you make those sunglasses look way more happenin’ than I do. That’s usually how I tell the difference.

  119. Hey, I like QUACK PACK! The episode, where Donald is late to work and tells Daisy a story, that gets weirder and more bizarre with every minute, is more fun and a bigger mindfuck than anything I saw on RICK & MORTY!

    But yeah, that show really shouldn’t be the template for all Duck family cartoons.

  120. When you have shows living in the shadow of Mike Judge (who I otherwise think is a funny and smart guy) and SOUTH PARK, it seemed inevitable that all of the shows in their lineage of influence now are not really great aesthetically. Even BOB’S BURGERS and BOJACK HORSEMAN, which I think could be the best shows of the animated comedy genre since THE SIMPSONS itself, have that lo-fi quality to it. It seems there has always been a passive attitude in that regard to animated adult content.

    This reminds me that there was an animated short film that came out last year which I’m sure I talked up here before, BORROWED TIME. It was 100% drama, a Western, and hinges on something almost completely away from the usual animated fare. It made me think that now would be the perfect time for a dramatic animated film aimed purely at adults. The kids who watched TOY STORY when it first came out are all adults now, and considering the growing sensibilities of some of the shows we’re talking about, it wouldn’t be a stretch.

  121. But SOUTH PARK and BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD looked shitty, because they were originally produced with a low budget. There is simply no reason for a show like BOJACK HORSEMAN or RICK & MORTY to look like some YouTube asshole doodled something during his lunchbreak and never bothered to fix the designs.

  122. For what it’s worth I don’t think Judge has a great eye for animation like he has the brain for comedy. KING OF THE HILL was made at a more respectable budget but it wasn’t much of an improvement.

    My point is that those shows were influential enough to later generations, to the point that that level of quality in the visuals was acceptable just as long as the writing is good. And I’m okay with that, really. If you think about it, that issue is also reflected in live-action comedy too. But rather than looking bad, they just look completely dull. The only one that has any style that he can claim as his own is Wes Anderson.

  123. Damn good to read that I was never the only one here with serious self love issues that pushed everybody away. I wish you luck on the journey fellas cause I understand the pain and have used up too many crutches to run away from it.

    I’m still working on fixing that about myself. Really. I’ve been toxic towards myself since like 1995 and the worst part is I didn’t even see it till:

    1) I got laid off last week after a week for not fitting into a job I once could rock the shit out of.

    2) My oldest friend who’s been my ace for 23 yrs took me to task and really checked me about it today.

    I can’t afford therapy bills but I need to stop being so defensive to others about being a straight up asshole to myself. Maybe I should look into this Dan Harmon character after all.

  124. I always took the crudeness of Judge’s early work to be a means to an end type thing. Like I felt that if he could’ve made early B&B especially aesthetically more like DO AMERICA or the 2010s revival he would’ve.

  125. I think RICK AND MORTY is great, but it has the worst quality-of-show-to-shittiness-of-fanbase ratio I’ve ever seen. I don’t even want to discuss the show anymore because I don’t want to be associated with those toxic fuck-knuckles. I don’t know how anyone could complain about the animation; it wasn’t bad to start with and has taken a massive leap in quality over the last couple of seasons. Some of the more ambitious episodes deserve an Emmy for their animation work alone.

  126. Broddie: Good luck with your internal journey. I took it on and while I’m sure as hell not to the end yet (not even sure there is an end honestly) I’m hell of a lot better than I was just a year ago. For years I was unable to love myself so I threw myself into things that and attitude that I thought would bring happiness and instead it just lead me to be used and hate myself more when that happened I failed to live up to the high standards I had set for myself. A lot of self destructive behavior and ‘things not going my way’ had to happen before I could even start to realize how much I was poisoning myself and those around me. Yes ‘some’ of those people were hurting/using me in return but it doesn’t make it right how I reacted or decided to deal with the situation. I used to pride myself on the stuff I DIDN’T do as proof I was maybe a good person (stuff I was told to do/not do to be good according to society stuff) and it took me way too long to realize that doesn’t make you a good person and you can still be a toxic individual and also no one owes you jack shit (which I only understood on a very cursory level to find out).

    I’m way better than I was in that I’m not mad all the time and I can at least start liking myself somewhat and even that much has been enough to not make me so toxic. Still a failure in many things but I’m doing way better learning to appreciate the things I’m not failing hard at. If you ever manage to get a job with health care that helps pay for it, I do recommend therapy.

    Good luck and I hope you get out of your funk.

  127. I see RICK AND MORTY kind of like I saw THE SOPRANOS or BREAKING BAD or MAD MEN or whatever: if you thought the “hero” was a really cool guy, you’re totally “I can’t distinguish fantasy from reality” out of your gourd. It’s that simple.

    Still really like the show. I think most art is intrinsically incapable of being “blow your mind” profound (not a snob thing, just a limitation of the medium– great ideas are really hard to wring out and art doesn’t provide the space or opportunity to do that). But that show frequently goes straight when a lot of others swerve to avoid too much discomfort. Both for the viewer and probably for the writers as well.

    I don’t even think season 3 is really a comedy. The first episode was basically a pretty cool 20 minute action film. And honestly, the subsequent episodes have more in common with a movie like SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE than with shows like FAMILY GUY or SOUTH PARK.

  128. The 4th season of BOJACK HORSEMAN wasn’t as lol funny this season either, but I don’t think it suffered any less for it. It seemed like from the very beginning, people latched more onto the seriousness than the more goofy stuff. But this year finally felt when they leaned more into the pathos. There are times when that show has gone straight head-on into uncomfortable areas as well, though I think when R&M did it felt way more nakedly uncomfortable.

    Since we’re hovering around this topic for now, I want to throw a fun question out. Favorite SIMPSONS episode, and/or supporting character?

  129. You guys nailed it on the new DUCKTALES. It’s the type of basic that thinks it’s being idiosyncratic (predictably, so does most of the internet).

    Beyond the trendy flat-animation–somewhat comparable to the obvious change in visual texture that happened in the last Indiana Jones movie–it has the current comedy cliche of having WAAAAAYYY too much dialogue in it. The storyline on the recent episode about Dewey trying to learn about his mother gets completely lost amid all the characters never shutting the fuck up.

  130. Episode: El Viaje Mysterioso del Nuestro Homero

    Supporting character: Disco Stu or Comic Book Guy

  131. I don’t know if it’s my favourite, but The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show is the episode I quote most often.

    Troy McClure is my favourite supporting character, but that’s probably because he (tragically) went out on top and so his appeal hasn’t been ground into dust over several decades.

  132. A week ago, we’re offering commiserations to Vern on the pain of moving apartment; a few days ago, a pivot to Harry Knowles and AICN; now, a hard right turn into DUCK TALES and QUACK PACK.

    I approve of these comments.

  133. I really wanna see Vern’s reaction when he returns.

    “Oh, all those well wishes, how nice. Okay, Gore Verbinski. Ugh, Harry Knowles. Rick & Morty…Duck Tales? What’s Quack Pack. Oh well, business as usual on my websight.”

    In terms of Simpsons: I think Sideshow Mel is an underrated side character. His overdramatic pronounciation made me laugh more than once over the years. (Of course Krusty’s best sidekick will forever be Sideshow Raheem.)

  134. Well if we all would use the message board this woundnt be an issue lol

  135. You guys should give RICK AND MORTY a chance, it gets better and better.

  136. Favorite Simpsons episode has got to be “You Only Move Twice.” Consistently surprising and hilarious, and Albert Brooks is beyond great in it.

    But “El Viaje Mysterioso del Nuestro Homero” is a close second — hey Fred, we finally agree on something!

    Best supporting character? Gotta be Monty Burns. I know it’s not a deep cut, but it’s what I feel in my soul.

  137. geoffreyjar thank you. It’s gonna be a crazy trek but it really helps that I will have great people by my side on this journey.

  138. Is it bad that I don’t like EL VIAJE? I’ve never been a fan of character development episodes in this show, because they never were real characters. They were supposed to be one dimensional gag machines with the only purpose to make us laugh! Not to mention that even by the time this episode came out, “Homer and Marge have a fight but then learn that they really love each other after all” was an overused plot. (Same with “Bart went too far and now feels actually guilty”.)

  139. CJ: You clearly didn’t take enough acid in the 90s if you don’t like that episode.

    Favorite Simpsons character, eh? That’s a tough one. Willy? I’m a sucker for a comical Scottish accent. Moe? His propensity for reporting to violence as a first resort is always a treat. Dr. Nick? Every line is a zinger. Karl? Possibly the best deadpan on the show. Ralph? Too many highly applicable quotables to count.

    It’s too hard to choose, so I’m going with Bumblebee Man, who just makes me laugh. “Ay ay ay! Una candelabra precariosa!”

  140. Good luck with the relocation, Vern. Moving is one of my all-time least favorite things. Right up there with looking for a new job.

  141. Mr M, that might explain it. Despite my love for rave culture (especially in the 90s), being German and male, I am 100% anti-drugs (including legal ones like alcohol, tobacco or supposedly harmless ones like weed) and always have been. I’m not saying that I’m straight edge or live healthy (Definitely not!), but I never found the concept of being stoned, high or wasted appealing. The only experience I have was puffing once on a joint and getting drunk once on my friend’s 16th birthday (but even then I was the most sober one).

    Plus: I know how people act under the influence of drugs of different strenghts and I really don’t wanna be one of those people. (Unfortunately that also means that I was never able to pull the “Sorry, I was drunk/stoned” apology, whenever I did something stupid.)

    And to paraphrase Terry Gilliam: “I can do everything sober, what other people need drugs for.”

  142. Favorite character: probably Principal Skinner. Maybe Krusty. That’s a really hard question.
    Episode: eh… I’ll say “Streetcar Named Marge” The Randian daycare, Llewllyn Sinclair, musical parody. Gold.

  143. Best Bumblebee Man moment was when he was in some random American teen movie. “Hola Harmony! Que es el dealio?!?”

  144. “Bart On The Road” is my go-to answer. I like road movies, which this was kind of an homage to. The ridiculousness of the boys’ situation, and Homer ending up destroying part of a nuclear reactor to bring him home.

    I was pleased to see some Sunsphere references when Vern visited TN last year, too.

    I should have added favorite celebrity guest voice earlier, too. Mine is The Moody Blues.

  145. I hate to go back to this well but I was curious if anybody knows why Hercules has been the TV contributer since the beginning of tv contributions on AICN? I mean, he comes across as such a loser.

    Anyway, I haven’t watched the Simpsons regularly for like 15 years but the first episode that comes to mind is that 22 Short Stories about Springfield.

  146. CJ — I’d strongly push back on the idea that the characters were “supposed to be one dimensional gag machines with the only purpose to make us laugh!” I mean, the very fact that there are so many character-building episodes should nicely refute that. THE SIMPSONS’ commitment to taking its characters and their feelings seriously is one of the things which separates it from stuff like FAMILY GUY, where the characters really are one-dimensional by design. In fact, I think most fans would argue that its slow decline after about season 11 came in a large part as it became more abstract and absurd and started drifting away from the essential emotional reality which was at the heart of the show at its best. (In case you had any doubts as to Groening’s intents, FUTURAMA is even more earnest and invested in the characters.)

  147. “It’s basically the AMERICAN HORROR STORY of cartoons “for adults”.”

    This is an absolutely perfect description, but what’s weird is I hate AHS for this, yet love Rick and Morty for it. How bizarre?

    Anyway, you “guys” rule here. I’m glad that I can have civilized disagreements about movies that recognizes other opinions as different. (Even if you’re wrong. Just kidding). I’m thankful for the lack of toxicity here and a shared genuine love of all kinds of awesome film. We’re the film nerds! The ones who are doing it right. At least in my mind anyway.

    Alright, enough day drinking. Time to revisit Death Wish IV. (The Crackdown)

  148. ^ Enjoy that Cannon classic. Even if it’s no DEATH WISH 3 at least it’s not DEATH WISH V.

    Speaking of AMERICAN HORROR STORY anyone else keeping up with this season? It’s an absolutw riot. Every episode has packed at least 3 genuinely good laugh out loud moments and the BILLY ON THE STREET guy has surprised me as has Chaz Bono. They both got some serious acting chops and really manage to stand out in a season where Evan Peters is giving a career best peformance.

  149. I’ve only seen the first season of RICK & MORTY but it cracked my ass up, definitely a great show.

    And it’s always obvious to me from the start that Rick is not supposed to be a role model.

  150. Well, there are one-dimensional gag machines and one-dimensional gag machines. I agree that the average MacFarlane character can’t even be called a character. But even in its earliest season, whenever The Simpsons went to the moral of a story or pretended that anybody had learned an important lesson, it simply felt phony and more like a plot device, than something that was truly earned through the characterisation.

    But I agree on FUTURAMA. I guess that the show didn’t start as five minute filler segments really helped in the character department.

  151. In terms of celebrity guest voices on THE SIMPSONS: You know that “Celebrity plays himself as wacky caricature” is my least favourite comedy trope that doesn’t involve rape, but this show really knows how to do it right.Some guest appereances have been more inspired than others, but even the Lady Gaga episode, which was a low point in the series, made me laugh with one most most disliked celebrities ever.

  152. Way off topic but this new Open Mike Eagle is fucking incredible

  153. Agree with Mr S. The knife edge of early Simpsons’ satire came from the believability of this family as an actual family. I think that’s one reason why, though these other subsequent cartoons have been undeniably more edgy, they actually haven’t been more controversial than the Simpsons were. Family Guy might have offended some people, but I don’t think a sitting US president has ever publicly denounced the show (maybe that happened and I missed it). But that’s exactly what George HW Bush did when the Simpsons was in its infancy. I think because it used something kind of sacred like family as the entry point of their critique of the rot and stupidity of American society, it struck many people as being genuinely dangerous and not just an affront to good manners or good taste like South Park.

  154. I think the real reason why no other president ever said anything against FAMILY GUY, SOUTH PARK and Co, was

    a.) that by then, they had finally realized that just because something is an cartoon, it doesn’t mean it’s for the whole family
    and b.) THE SIMPSONS counted for its time as super edgy (“Gosh, there is a kid on TV that says “hell” and “Eat my shorts!”), but thanks to them and other edgy shows of that time like MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, the TV landscape is too cluttered with “edge”, to single one certain show out.

  155. Best celebrity SIMPSONS guest stars would have to be Johnny Cash in “El Viaje Mysterioso del Nuestro Homero,” with a close second being John Waters in “Homer’s Phobia” and everyone Albert Brooks ever played.

    I very much prefer guest stars to play actual characters rather than themselves, (See, Kirk Douglas as Chester J. Lampwick or Steve Martin as Ray Patterson) but I do have to admit, Ron Howard is pretty hilarious as himself.

    And of course, let’s not forget they got fuckin’ Thomas Pynchon on the show. Holy fuck.

  156. As dated as the Mel Gibson episode is in terms of content (Gibson is the most popular star in Hollywood, Anne Heche is still a lesbian, Robert Downey Jr has trouble with the cops…), Gibson really nails every single line.

  157. I actually kind of think The Simpsons wouldn’t have hit a nerve if the characters didn’t seem real. Even back in the 90s it was never as “edgy” as its reputation would have you believe.

    I was actually barred from watching The Simpsons when I was a kid, but I don’t think my parents had ever seen an episode. At one point I discovered my older sisters holed up in their room watching The Simpsons clandestinely. It was the episode where Krusty is framed by Sideshow Bob, but we don’t know that Sideshow Bob is behind it yet. Anyway, there’s a scene where Bart is in tears because his hero is in trouble. I was probably about seven at the time, and it weirdly moved me. And it was after watching that episode that I realized how full of shit all the news stories I had seen about how dangerous the Simpsons were, and, even more shocking, that sometimes my parents had no clue what they were talking about.

  158. CJ Holden – whenever i’m going through my home video collection and i come across PAYBACK i think of the related line in that Gibson SIMPSON’S episode and at the very least smile. which is no small thing on a shitty day.

    for whatever reason, my single favourite SIMPSON’S bit of all time is the quiet sigh that Skinner lets out before giving his “I’m a small man…” speech in THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. just such a perfect, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it character moment.

    also i see a lot of Skinner in Jerry from RN’F’NM.

  159. The Simpsons controversy seems weird today (my sixth grade teacher thought I was headed down a road of juvenile delinquency due to my obsession with the show), but it’s because, as RBatty says, it was clearly making such an impact. You can say this was partly due to the monoculture of the early ’90s (there’s too much media competing for our attention now), but another reason it was controversial and FAMILY GUY wasn’t is that you can’t plan a controversy and expect people to care. FG has way more deliberately “edgy” material than THE SIMPSONS, but it’s up to viewers whether something is controversial or not, and op-ed writers mostly didn’t take the bait.

  160. From my perspective, a lot of that controversy (I ran into it with a friend of my mother’s, but my folks were cool with it. My dad actually made a habit of writing down whatever Bart did on the chalkboard and would put it up at work) is run-off from MARRIED WITH CHILDREN being on the same, and at the time mostly unproven network. Fox was an outlaw channel to a degree at the time, so the bad taste in people’s mouth from that more established show (MWC started just around the time the shorts began to appear on THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW). The 80’s and 90’s were chalk-full of this moral outrage crap from WASPs, from the PMRC on down.

    Mr. S: I absolutely agree with you on famous actors playing characters. It worked as much the other way too, but I feel like there are a lot of guest spots that don’t get as much shine because of that. They were just so good at playing the character, you forget it’s them. One of my top favorites is James Earl Jones in the first Halloween episode. I have a lot of affinity for some of the earliest episodes because I watched them pretty close to when they originally aired, and that’s certainly one of them.

  161. Yeah, and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, THE SIMPSONS, and ROSEANNE all represented a threat to ’80s sitcom upperclass nuclear family norms. Conservatives saw this as societal breakdown.

  162. And they weren’t really wrong, were they? Not saying it’s a BAD thing but it’s actually true that the conservative social norms were going away.

    My parents banned me from watching THE SIMPSONS, the big point of contention for them was Ned Flanders, which they thought was mocking Christians, but ironically my grandparents were more TV heads than my parents so I saw a few episodes when staying with them, I also caught a few episodes later when I had a TV in my bedroom and was older.

    But unfortunately due to that my knowledge of THE SIMPSONS is way less than most people.

  163. They started to erode long before that. You go back to the 50’s, and suddenly young people had more a voice in the culture than ever before. With each passing decade, people’s mores gradually changed, whether it be towards sex, drugs, politics, race relations and all points in between. In the 60’s and 70’s you had films and music which spoke to the turbulent times. Television did this to a degree too, with ALL IN THE FAMILY and others taking on as many touchy subjects as a sitcom could.

    But you get into the 80’s, and a lot of those shows regressed as a sign of the conservatism the Reagan era ushered in. Even a show like Cosby’s, was basically a show with a formula straight from the 50’s, but with an all-black cast to offset people thinking of it as a regression. These shows we’ve mentioned so far kind of saw straight through them. THE SIMPSONS did at the least, which drew Bill’s ire. It even went as far as the White House, when George Bush Sr. made an off-hand remark about how more TV families should be like the Waltons as opposed to the Simpsons. The reply to that was something to the effect of, “they are like the Waltons, they’re waiting for a depression to end too”.

  164. The irony is that the Simpsons are a great nuclear family. The family manages to function as a unit despite the dysfunction of its members as individuals.

  165. I've been eating LSD and watching The Simpsons for two days--now is the time of The Simpsons--God Bless The Simpsons • r/television

    The Simpsons is the greatest comedy show ever made. The Simpsons is the story of all of us. When the martians come down and ask for Our History,...

    This says it all for me in that regard.

  166. I learned earlier that they will apparently continue to release THE SIMPSONS on DVD later this year, which is great, because whatever that website is that they want people to visit to watch episodes and listen to audio commentaries, it’s only available in the US and [well known argument about owning physical media].

  167. Wow that´s cool to hear. I thought they gave that up a long time ago. I only own up to season ten, I think.

  168. Wow that´s cool to hear. I thought they gave that up a long time ago. I only own up to season ten, I think.

  169. onthewall2983 – that’s what I was talking about, the 80s saw a big revival in conservative values but the 90s came along and conservatives could feel it slipping away.

    It’s never gone back since either, they tried again during the Dubya years but that only pissed people off and made America go even more left wing, now with Trump, if America manages to survive it, I expect us to be a full on socialist country post-Trump.

  170. Meanwhile right wingers have only gotten more and more extreme in response to all this change, now they are full on white power neo nazis, next, after Trump, in this hypothetical socialist America, I expect them to become American Taliban esque guerrillas hiding out in the Rockies or whatever and carrying out terrorist attacks against said socialist government.

  171. I mean, I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I expect America to break out in full on violent revolution if Trump wins a second term, for the traditional government to be overthrown and replaced by a new socialist democracy.

    But yeah, THE SIMPSONS, funny show.

  172. To change the topic for a bit AGAIN: Have you heard about Marilyn Manson? I hope he will be okay, but if he doesn’t survive, I can totally imagine him being super happy about the way he went out. Getting crushed by two giant stage prop guns during a concert is just perfectly ridiculous.

  173. In tangentially related news, the lawsuit against Vivendi from Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer over THIS IS SPINAL TAP has been allowed to continue.

  174. Mark Palermo: Well saw SUSPIRIA in 4K on the big screen last night. I took your advice and sat in the middle and you were right, seeing it on the big screen is a thing to behold and surround whispering effects are amazing that way. Unfortunately my audience was not well-behaved thus leading me even more to want to give up going to the theater unless someone else really wants to go. Not as bad as Edgar Wright talked about in that video Mix linked to but just about. It was the same crowd that goes to that theaters monthly ROCKY HORROR showing and just like the last late-night cult screening I went to at that theatre, the audience was a bunch of college people who were just there (to be an ass I’d say conditioned) to laugh at whatever movie they play. There was two particularly obnoxious scraggly-beard-sporting, shorts/horn-rimmed glasses/sandal-wearing motherfuckers who thought EVERYthing was hilarious. On one hand I’m thankful to have seen SUSPIRIA on the big screen but on the other this screening did nothing to convince me that my current cynical attitude towards theater going is a thing that doesn’t need to be saved (Mix: that awful screening I initially posted about was repeated a few days later as well! Do not think I’ll be attending anymore Fathom Events anytime soon, at least not there)*.
    *My nephew has a higher tolerance and still wants to go see NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in 4K/DAWN OF THE DEAD next month. I see no good coming of this.

    But anyways Mark, sincerely thank you for the advice of sitting in the middle and giving me hope!

    RE: cartoons: I really like RICKY & MORTY and BOJACK HORSEMAN. Those are two shows that hit me hard because I can relate to the lead characters and I can acknowledge that, that is a very, very bad thing. It’s laughable but both shows make me want to keep striving to be a better happier person.

    My favorite SIMPSONS episode is the Poochie one. Favorite celebrity guest star is probably Johnny Cash, I thought a lot of the celebrity cameos became obvious and lazy as the show went on.

    New DUCKTALES is only okay but is just a generic modern comedy cartoon. Definitely didn’t need the DUCKTALES “brand” (ugh) to be any different.

  175. It’s possible that my crowd was just better than usual because it played as part of a film festival, which gives people the sense that they need to be more cultured or something. I’m not sure if the “it’s funny because it’s old” filmgoers are a new phenomenon. I went to a screening of PSYCHO in the mid-90s, and they even turned up for that. Was the movie volume at least loud enough to drown them out somewhat?

  176. Someone must be a huge asshole to laugh at a movie just because it’s old.

  177. Oh when that Goblin score kicked in it was super-loud and everyone shut.the.fuck.up. I’d like to think it was because they were so awestruck but it’s probably because they knew no one would be able to hear them and thus couldn’t get the attention they were obviously after. Naturally when the Goblin score cut off, every thing was free game. Oh well.

    I’m not sure if it was because it was old or what. The two who started the whole audience going where obviously high and drunk (this wasn’t marketed as a BYOB screening but I saw many, many people bring in six packs of craft beer, balcony had a keg guy like the last one of these I decided to brave) because EVERYthing was hilarious to them. They particularly thought the head mistress and a sign (?) was the funniest damned thing on the planet. No lie, even with the sound as high as it was, it was sometimes hard to hear the headmistress because of their laughter and comments. The film festival crowd I would imagine is better and (to be a dick) more ‘cultured’ than the average crowd. I only went with the tried and true ‘younglings laughing because it’s old’ because it was a college crowd with a hipper than though attitude (I could tell due to listening to conversations while waiting in line/for the movie to start), and many of them were regulars for these things and attend the monthly ROCKY HORROR screening (confirmed via listening). Just know not go there during their admittedly awesome late night series that almost always has a great line up.

    I know that movie laughers and hecklers aren’t a new thing, I guess I’m just getting old and cranky *said with a laugh

  178. I just realized that the Great Vern Relocation of 2017 is probably going to affect this year’s Slasher Search and now I’m even madder at Vern’s landlord and the whole capitalist system.

  179. I’m convinced Vern has unpublished reviews of movies that would last the site for years in case of emergency.

  180. Whenever I complain about such things people at work inform me that’s actually a very good thing to get fucked over like this/that. “That’s just how capitalism works and it’s for the better!”

    Stern: You think if something were to happen we’ll have the Vern Vaults to take from?

  181. Vern will have more posthumous movie reviews than 2 Pac had songs.

  182. It’s impossible to pick a favorite Tom Petty song, but “I Won’t Back Down” seems to be the universal favorite. He himself has even said it’s the one song he’s written that’s the closest to who he is. When I graduated high school that was voted the graduation song. It embodies a kind of standard of being an American that, even in this divided age, a lot of people on both sides can see themselves in. It’s almost a musical reflection of the heroes we so often have idolized in movies. Not getting the girl and shooting the bad guy, but standing your ground and not giving the other side an inch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlTJrNJ5lA

  183. I spend too much time on here with you guys. Last night was the second time within a few years, that I dreamed of us as a community. This time Vern took us on a busride to a moviefestival and lots of senseless dreamshit happened. I woke up when I hooked up with a ginger waitress with googly eyes.

  184. I hate to tell you this, CJ, but all of that happened. You must have blacked out after we went to some seedy bar and drank bloody mary’s till the sun came up. The ginger waitress’ name was Mary, so of course we had some fun with that.

  185. You mean that biker bar that was called Titty Twister and we almost all of us got eaten by vampires? How could any of us forget

  186. You don’t understand. THE BAR WAS ON THE BUS! And Vern was following it on a go-kart, but that’s irrelevant. (Also once you start to tell what happened in a dream, it sounds made up and I hate it.)

    ON THE BUS!

  187. More sexual harassment allegations in the film geek community. This time with a Screen Junkies guy. They make the honest trailers thing.

  188. You know I dont feel guilty now for never supporting any of these assholes via website or youtube hits. My gut instinct never lets me down. Never assumed anything this sinister but something always felt off and disingenuous about communities like Screen Junkies. Makes me appreciate this place here even more.

  189. Wow, everybody who is known for acting like an asshole and/or a creep on the internet turns out to be one. That makes me wonder what Anita Sarkeesian has to hide.

  190. Well the earlier discussion on this thread inspired me to try the impossible, i.e. binge-watch the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Somewhere around the excruciating talkathon of Part 3, I determined this may be my most masochistic binge-watch yet (even moreso than the time I watched all the Crow sequels in a day). But lo and behold, i didn’t mind Part 4 (which I’ve seen before but couldn’t really remember) and maybe I’m a crazy person but I actually kinda loved Part 5.

    It’s too bad franchise fatigue pretty much killed POTC 5 at the (domestic) box office, because it’s probably the most accessible and easily enjoyable of this series. It has eye-popping visuals, fun cameos, some surprisingly great filmatism going on (I really want to see Kon-tiki, the other film by these directors now). It has another great villain with an incredible character design that should win a makeup or VFX Oscar if anyone remembers this movie existed come award season. Most importantly, it has a plot that is actually coherent and fairly easy to understand, which I don’t think you can say about any other movie in the series. It even wraps up dangling plots from the other movies, and still manages to run under 2 hours without credits(!), which is something I never thought I’d say about a POTC movie.

    This is also the only POTC movie that actually tries for emotions and pathos- i THINK Bloom and Knightley were supposed to be the beating heart of the first trilogy, but they surprisingly share very little screentime, especially in those last two movies. Verbinski seemed more preoccupied with his impenetrable plot, a confusing mythology, and letting Depp run wild, than actually caring about his love story or anything remotely relatable to the audience. Pirates 5 takes a page from The Force Awakens by going big with emotions and giving us a plucky young female character to lead us into this crazy world – and like Daisy Ridley, Kaya Scodelario hits it out of the park. She’s smart and charming and has great comic timing, and she’s a big reason why the big emotional scene at the end actually stirred my emotions for the first time in FIVE FUCKING MOVIES.

    So yeah, I think we’ll look back on these movies in 20 years kinda like the Transformerses – big, loud, expensive summer movies that were overlong and overstuffed, mass-marketed for maximum profitability but still kinda weird and off-putting enough that I’m kinda confused as to how general audiences (especially kids with short attention spans) like these movies. I’m not exactly glad they exist (except for the fifth one) but I’m glad I don’t hate them like I used to.

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