Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

STAC, you don't need to apologize or back down from you opinions because we disagree and/or feel differently. The debate doesn't have to end with someone "winning", it's about sharing viewpoints.

One thing that's sticking out to me is that hasn't been discussed is the whole culture in comedy for roasting, and part of Troma is that they roast everybody. Just like how Don Rickles made a career as a comedian who roasted the audience. You bought a ticket, you go to the show, and he's gonna find you in the crowd and make fun of you. You get embarrassed and/or you laugh along. Then he picks another person from the audience and the spotlight is off of you, and then you get to breathe easy and the next person gets made fun of while you laugh at them.

Except instead of rich people that can afford a ticket to the Vegas Strip, the spotlight was directed towards the punks and weirdos and, yes, people of various races and different sexualities. While there are people who might get offended by a joke directed at them, for a whole generation it was refreshing to see people like themselves get to be in on the joke and take their licks along with everyone else. It was a form of representation, where punks and freaks and weirdos and nerds and queer people were the characters. Not only that, but a lot of them traveled to the studio to get jobs with them, and became actors and writers and producers.

There's two different discussions happening at once here. I'm about to watch Return to Class of Nuke 'Em High. My hopes aren't high. I'm not expecting it to be good. Plenty of others here are voting for Cursed because it's the better movie. That's one discussion.

Troma as a cultural landmark of American independent filmmaking, and Kaufman being a large part of that legacy, is an entirely different discussion, worth discussing for sure, but you're still pigeonholing decades of a company and a filmmaker behind it on a weekend of five movies, of which he wrote three, two of which are waaaay past the "hey day" of the company and individual's career.

There are plenty of Troma movies I hate, too! One of the worst films I've ever seen is Troma distributed Die You Zombie Bastards! But Troma also gave us Cannibal! The Musical, Def By Temptation, Killer Condom, and a bunch of other notable movies that wouldn't have been distributed otherwise. And Kaufman has a big history of finding these filmmakers himself and personally meeting them and giving them the reality that they aren't gonna hit the big time, but they'll at least get their movies seen.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 22:59 on Apr 6, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Troma may be a cultural landmark worth celebrating, but that status sure as hell has nothing to do with this particular movie, and that's what we're voting on.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



TrixRabbi posted:

tbf Gunn apologized for stuff he said on Twitter cause he wanted to keep making big budget studio films, though some of the pedophilia jokes he made were for sure a step too far. He didn't apologize for his past professional work. The Suicide Squad trailer though seems to reflect he's still got that sense of humor, the Dick Island conversation in particular is very much of his roots.
I think there's a big difference between like general "bag of dicks" or "fart" jokes and pedophile jokes. I don't care that Kaufman has a running gag about huffing farts. Its not funny but I'm not offended. But racism and transphobia and mass shooting jokes are different. I'm willing to give Gunn the benefit of the doubt that he's matured enough that he now sees that and has more awareness of the victims of some of those jokes. Kaufman doesn't appear to (and Gunn isn't that much older now than Kaufman was when they made Tromeo and Juliet).

MacheteZombie posted:

Someone (CelticPredator I think) pointed out Kaufman has a cameo in the Squad movie so I doubt there's any love lost between the two.
Maybe but Guardians 2 happened before his controversy/firing/apology/rehiring. So who knows? And really there's probably some "Troma" people who love him and some who hate him.

Franchescanado posted:

There's two different discussions happening at once here. I'm about to watch Return to Class of Nuke 'Em High. My hopes aren't high. I'm not expecting it to be good. Plenty of others here are voting for Cursed because it's the better movie. That's one discussion.

Troma as a cultural landmark of American independent filmmaking, and Kaufman being a large part of that legacy, is an entirely different discussion, worth discussing for sure, but you're still pigeonholing decades of a company and a filmmaker behind it on a weekend of five movies, of which he wrote three, two of which are waaaay past the "hey day" of the company and individual's career.
That's fair and again, I wish I hadn't done the marathon because its just put me in a dour place and really hardened me. Then again I would have at least watched Part 1 and most of my anger comes from there. So yeah, while its true there's 2 conversations here and I'm partially responsible for that it also just feels impossible to separate as a bunch of people have said they're voting for Kaufman/Troma despite Return to Nuke Em High. And certainly I'm a champion of Wes Craven, not Cursed. So you know... what can you do?

For whatever its worth I've seen Toxic Avenger recently and I don't feel like it changes my opinion much. Maybe back then Kaufman's targets were more focused and had a point but he always had an edge, dropped a bunch of n bombs in that film, and seemed to enjoy offending and pushing the boundaries and that's aged badly.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Apr 6, 2021

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




Franchescanado posted:

One thing that's sticking out to me is that hasn't been discussed is the whole culture in comedy for roasting, and part of Troma is that they roast everybody. Just like how Don Rickles made a career as a comedian who roasted the audience. You bought a ticket, you go to the show, and he's gonna find you in the crowd and make fun of you. You get embarrassed and/or you laugh along. Then he picks another person from the audience and the spotlight is off of you, and then you get to breathe easy and the next person gets made fun of while you laugh at them.

Except instead of rich people that can afford a ticket to the Vegas Strip, the spotlight was directed towards the punks and weirdos and, yes, people of various races and different sexualities. While there are people who might get offended by a joke directed at them, for a whole generation it was refreshing to see people like themselves get to be in on the joke and take their licks along with everyone else. It was a form of representation, where punks and freaks and weirdos and nerds and queer people were the characters. Not only that, but a lot of them traveled to the studio to get jobs with them, and became actors and writers and producers.

Yeah I keep coming back to the point that I canít just assume these groups donít want to see jokes about themselves that I may personally find offensive on their behave. Would they see me ďsparringĒ them from that patronizing? Especially when itís Troma and not a multi-million dollar Hollywood film appropriating or mocking marginalized groups? I donít have the answer to this.

All I have is the context the Troma is not at all mainstream, is mostly viewed by those who are already considered ďalternativeĒ by most of society, and seem to have the intention to preserve the right to do whatever you want on film more than the intention to purposely denigrate those that make up their audience. Thatís where I give them the benefit of the doubt but thatís just me, others with more perspective may certainly feel different.

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




As somebody who probably saw their *first* Troma film the other night, I have to admit that I felt the kinship of an artist *over* the threats of a cruel culture directed at me. When it was framed as anarchist art in a post above, that settled the association that I felt with it. Itís a movie my family branches with money would be horrified by, and one thatíd have made a enjoyable film to watch on a thrifted/dumpstered portable dvd player in a squat one evening. In a house you have to always keep context in mind, outside those spaces though it shapes reality.

Iím sure there are actually good examples of Troma films, whereas this is a mix of things, but as someone closer to people like those described on 4chan (because I often cannot avoid fascists), this movie is a flawed (thatís being *generous*) antidote to that kind of negative energy, for me. If someone growing up watching Troma became a fascist or a fascist thought it spoke to them, itíd be the sum of an ill society causing it, not a movie.

I think Debbie said that this kind of movie was the sort that made her want to make movies, and for me at least I felt similarly in that there was *room* made for voices here. Not to compare it to a movie itís not up against, but maybe to explain my vote logic here, In Scouts those voices were roundly stomped in the face, and the film pauses for you to clap in triumph.

Many normalized evils walk across movie screens every day and no one bats an eye unless thereís someone who feels the pain to point it out. A lot of movies which get votes from me are ones that, otherwise, I probably would never bother to see or recommend to another person. The fact that this is constructed competitively makes thinking clearly about any of this really frustrating. Thatís not a complaint, so much as I get through most of a post before realizing this format doesnít suit me well and my points end up all over the place.

Peacoffee fucked around with this message at 23:38 on Apr 6, 2021

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Thatís a great post Peacoffee!

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



For whatever its worth I don't mean this to be some kind of backdoor defense of Scouts. I understand the difference between this and Scouts. Scouts was a benign kind of misogyny that can fly under the surface and seem ok which is a big problem I myself had to be talked into how bad it was and I'm embarrassed and ashamed by that. That Landon's gay and that kind of thing probably didn't even come from his own sexual feelings but just his idea of what's funny or ok in society probably says a lot. And certainly that's a more persuasive problem in film and society.

Kaufman on the other hand is a provocateur saying things overtly outrageous and offensive for reaction. That's a different thing and I respect if you find that first a much bigger problem. I wouldn't really disagree. But I also just fund this kind of thing a big problem too and I think when some teenager is yelling slurs into a video game or some poster is trying to come up with the most offensive thing they can think of it comes from the same kind of place Kaufman's coming from. And I think that kind of thing is its own problem.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Who are the people Kaufman is trying to offend, is the question. It's not the punks and guttertrash, who he identifies with, it's the conservatives and the parental control freaks and organized society. I think that's why the bigoted jokes -- and they don't always succeed, I will readily admit -- don't come across as bad as they would in another context. Because it's almost more like Fran was saying, a roast that the "misfits" of society can identify with and embrace. The world of Tromaville reflects a depravity in our society, and to see that depravity and cruelty blown to these exaggerated proportions, and again knowing that 80% of the characters in a given film are going to be melted into goo, can be cathartic in some sense. It's not perfect and in many ways an outdated approach to these subjects, but they still carry some of that anti-authoritarian charm.

You said you felt Troma was constantly punching down. But what position is Troma starting in, really?

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





Franchescanado posted:

Thatís a great post Peacoffee!

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

The Corridor of Uncertainty



MacheteZombie posted:

If it was Tromeo and Juliet I'd have voted for it. This nuke em high was barely a movie, even if made with a lot of love. I wasn't offended by much in the movie, but I found huge chunks just as boring as chunks of Cursed, just more vulgar.

Cursed had a cast I loved and made me laugh more than nuke em.

This is where I am too. I thought volume 1 was a lot of fun and showcased exactly what Troma fans have led me to expect from their films. Vol 2 was leftovers off the cutting room floor that actively made stuff from volume 1 worse. My main example would be the sex scene between the two leads. Yeah in volume 1 there's clearly an intent to get some tits on the screen but the music and the editing and the placement in the story made it a sweet moment where two girls who I was rooting for, who had been awkwardly flirting with each other for the whole film, finally got together. In vol 2 they reused most of the footage in a pointless flashback and it was cut like a scene from porn for dudes.

e: oh yeah and volume 2 went on general release in 2019 and features, as god, Ron Jeremy, a man who at that time was the subject of 20+ credible accusations of rape and sexual assault. How punk.

Tarnop fucked around with this message at 10:42 on Apr 7, 2021

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Cursed vs Return To... Return to Nuke 'Em High: Vol. 2

Return To... Return to Nuke 'Em High: Vol. 2

I'll go on record that ultimately I think Nuke 'Em High: Vol. 2 is funny. Not every joke lands, but enough do, and they really got me: the incel with the Prince Albert falling dick-and-rear end-first into the face of one of the main villains, the mutant duck showing up to rescue the mutant duck baby, the character actor playing the mutant duck wincing every time he gets touched after he's been cooked, the final heroic rally where the two main characters are naming off changes they will bring to the school and some random extra saying "And getting rid of the core curriculum!", etc. I even thought the final Joe Fleishaker cameo was funny and touching, since it's clearly an opportunity to get him into the movie before he passed away. I genuinely love the "Hot Topic Hipster" zombie goth glee club and would have enjoyed more musical moments from them. One thing no one mentioned in this thread (I inferred it was discussed in discord, maybe?) that I feel is important to the discussion about the film, and contextualizes where the film is "punching", or how the film should be judged as an object of morality: ultimately this is a film about a same-sex couple fighting for their right to adopt and raise a child and the Establishment (in this case, school, local government owned by corporations, and a media controlled by both) trying to weaponize their sexuality against them with shame. This is resolved by the gay couple standing up to the Establishment without shame, confronting their parents about who they are, and taking down the people bullying them. They are then accepted as leaders by a community who embraces them and their child.

Tarnop posted:

e: oh yeah and volume 2 went on general release in 2019 and features, as god, Ron Jeremy, a man who at that time was the subject of 20+ credible accusations of rape and sexual assault. How punk.

This did put a bad taste in my mouth. I think the other joke that has been discussed here is the joke where a character has a broom shoved in their rear end so hard that it rips their dick off. As the penis is attached, text says BRUCE, then when it is removed it changes to CAITLYN. I won't argue the joke is in good taste, but I will remind everyone that Caitlyn Jenner was and is an avid Trump supporter, is a staunch Republican, and "allegedly" committed vehicular manslaughter in 2015 and never faced any criminal charges despite people being gravely injured and/or dead from her negligence. It's not good to equate gender re-assignment to having a dick ripped off. Caitlyn Jenner is a piece of poo poo, and while that may not justify the joke, she's a piece of poo poo.

I agree with people saying that the film lacks a lot of cohesion, but I was left impressed with Kaufman's ability to use his sense of humor to duct tape together the narrative in interesting ways. It's very "Troma" in the best way. The flashbacks to the original Nuke 'Em with Kaufman's wigged head being superimposed was a funny fix. So while the narrative thread is all over the place, the major themes following the main characters are still there. I think the complaints against the film actually prepared me to enjoy it better than intended, because I was able to just take each scene or joke as it came and didn't worry about an overall cohesive piece. When it did stick it's landing (with one foot and a lot of wobbling to maintain balance), I was pleasantly surprised.

Deb told me in discord that all the aspects I liked about this film is presented better in Vol. 1. And Sean Baker, of Tangerine and The Florida Project, one of the most interesting directors working today, reviewed both on Letterboxd and recommends Vol. 1 as well.

So even if Troma doesn't win this round overall, it still won a personal victory, and showed me that the studio is still capable of evocative, energetic, bizarre filmmaking. I had fun with it.


Cursed has a lot of problems.

I'm not a fan of Robert McLachlan's cinematography. Wes Craven isn't known for being a visual director, necessarily. While he manages to come up with evocative imagery, it's often filmed in a very mundane, perfunctory way. He puts all his trust in the DP. McLachlan was hot off of Final Destination and The One, so it's an interesting choice for him to be paired with Craven, but he indulged the worst aspects of his style with Cursed. I do like how LA looks in this film, though. It's a nice time capsule of what LA looks like in the early 00's, which is already 15+ years gone.

As much as I like Ricci and Eisenberg as the main characters, the film is hugely compromised by Joshua Jackson as Jake, Ricci's boyfriend. It's an important role, because he needs to be incredibly charming, but instead he's cold, withdrawn to the point of coming off as numb, and it makes so much of the film not work so well. He's not likeable, there's zero chemistry between him and Ricci, so the entire third act hinging on our perception of him is basically a failure. It made me think of Skeet Ulrich's Billy in Scream, who wins over the audience with his allure but still has a frightening look in his eyes that could be threatening. It's the same trope that Williamson likes, but it fails here. So when we get to the reveal, the 2nd reveal, the 3rd reveal, none of it works because Jake is a shallow character with zero appeal.

Bo's homophobia as a defense mechanism to being closeted is another strange relic here. I was in middle/high school in this era, so the authenticity makes me wince. I feel like Williamson and Craven had the right intention here with diffusing homophobia by making the character gay, and then having them become a friend and would-be hero. I think this gets compromised by Eisenberg's Jimmy twice: the "fairies can fly" line sucks and is as bad as anything Bo has said, especially when in retrospect Bo is supposed to be gay. We also spend a bit too long with Jimmy being scared by Bo's coming out. I feel like if the moment were played less for laughs and they just allowed a sincere moment of awkwardness with Jimmy reassuring Bo it's okay to be gay while also trying to make him understand he's not, that the overall turn we are supposed to have for Bo would be stronger. Eisenberg just plays the scene a little too hammy. There is something genuinely funny about a person coming out to someone that they think is gay and the other person correcting them with "No no...I'm just a werewolf," and the coming-out person thinks it's a weird analogy/defense mechanism. Sometimes sincerity is more funny, cuz it's human.

There are 15 credited hair stylists for this, a movie about creatures covered in hair, and not a single one of them realized Jesse Eisenberg's "cool" hair was embarrassingly distracting. Merribelle Anderson is credited as Key Hair Stylist, so I'm blaming her. Despite being key hair stylist on The Avengers and other Marvel movies as well as 50+ other major credits, she couldn't make his hair work here? For shame, Merribelle. I rarely think of an actors hair, and you've got me thinking about Eisenberg's for over an hour! It looked like a wig for most of the film, and it was driving me crazy.


This is one of the harder votes for me. Cursed is compromised, but it's a fun nostalgic time capsule. When it hits it's tonal groove of horror comedy, it works really well. Take a look at my avatar. I'm a werewolf guy, and we didn't get many good werewolf flicks in the 00's. This one is lead by Wes Craven, a very hit-and-miss director who is always interesting even if he's not entertaining.

Nuke 'Em, however, may be way more compromised, but it's also terribly creative, unique, and funny. It may not have Weinstein money behind it, but it also doesn't have Weinstein meddling or Weinstein stink on it either. It does have actual messages and intention behind the creative control. And, for all the discussion these past few pages has been directed towards Kaufman as a director, I found him to be such a loveable loser with most jokes being self-effacing. There's a funny joke with his real-life wife and filmmaking partner Pat Swinney Kaufman where she directly confronts him for being outlandish and vulgar without merit, where he agrees with her, and then ultimately ignores her because he pursues what he thinks is funniest. It felt almost like he was directly addressing the criticisms from the last few pages, and still chooses the joke where he gets a giant cum shot to the eye. What a guy.

I think this is ultimately going to boil down to a simple question for me: Which one would I rewatch? Which one would I show to friends for a fun time?


Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 13:16 on Apr 7, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its Wednesday and that means time for your friendly reminder that you can Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST Apr 9th (or when I wake up). That gives you a couple of nights and like 42 hours to watch any movies you missed? Math. I think Deb as planning to re-stream Mama and Spirited Away tonight. You've got some time left before the next round. But don't forget to vote.

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




Tarnop posted:

e: oh yeah and volume 2 went on general release in 2019 and features, as god, Ron Jeremy, a man who at that time was the subject of 20+ credible accusations of rape and sexual assault. How punk.

Nobody is saying Troma is ďpunkĒ because they give jobs to Ron Jeremy, you do know who produced Cursed right?

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I think we should be careful about boiling down every matchup to a contest of which production was more compromised by one thing or another because if you look hard enough you're probably going to be able to find something about most films.

Like, if every Weinstein company production is going to be an automatic loser than we probably should've just weeded those out from the beginning and not allowed them into the tournament.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Isn't it kind of possible and even likely that Troma might have been "punk" 40 years ago but now they're just old dudes who still think Ron Jeremy is cool?

WeaponX
Jul 28, 2008




STAC Goat posted:

Isn't it kind of possible and even likely that Troma might have been "punk" 40 years ago but now they're just old dudes who still think Ron Jeremy is cool?

Sure but Iím less concerned about what Lloyd Kaufman thinks is cool today and more appreciative that he gives his money and resources to many DIY projects- like a film in 2016 literally described as ďa queer body horror punk musicalĒ. Thatís not 40 years ago.

Again Iím not trying to defend Tromaís lovely behavior- almost every production company is full of evil fucks doing evil things. Iím just trying to point out why some people may still appreciate Tromaís existence in the film world.

WeaponX fucked around with this message at 14:07 on Apr 7, 2021

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

Isn't it kind of possible and even likely that Troma might have been "punk" 40 years ago but now they're just old dudes who still think Ron Jeremy is cool?

I think it's less "Ron Jeremy is cool" and moreso "What's the most antithetical interpretation of God I have available: a rodential schlubby adult film star known for a huge cock, who I can show smoking a huge bong". Pre-allegations, Jeremy did star in Troma films before, like Terror Firmer, so his inclusion is kinda like Mark Torgl's cameo.

I do think it's funny that one of the first jokes is Kaufman himself saying "Who better to tackle these themes and ideas than an out of touch 70 year old white man?"

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 14:18 on Apr 7, 2021

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

The Corridor of Uncertainty



WeaponX posted:

Sure but I’m less concerned about what Lloyd Kaufman thinks is cool today and more appreciative that he gives his money and resources to many DIY projects- like a film in 2016 literally described as “a queer body horror punk musical”. That’s not 40 years ago.

Again I’m not trying to defend Troma’s lovely behavior- almost every production company is full of evil fucks doing evil things. I’m just trying to point out why some people may still appreciate Troma’s existence in the film world.

And if this was about who runs the best production company then that might be relevant, but it's actually about which is the least bad of two lovely films

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



It's clear Nuke 'Em High is the more thought provoking and interesting to unpack of the two, at the least.

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

The Corridor of Uncertainty



Basebf555 posted:

I think we should be careful about boiling down every matchup to a contest of which production was more compromised by one thing or another because if you look hard enough you're probably going to be able to find something about most films.

Like, if every Weinstein company production is going to be an automatic loser than we probably should've just weeded those out from the beginning and not allowed them into the tournament.

I agree, but no one is defending Cursed on the basis that all its faults can be waved away due to the great social good its production company has done. If the good things Troma has done are on the table then so are the bad.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007





Franchescanado posted:

We also spend a bit too long with Jimmy being scared by Bo's coming out. I feel like if the moment were played less for laughs and they just allowed a sincere moment of awkwardness with Jimmy reassuring Bo it's okay to be gay while also trying to make him understand he's not, that the overall turn we are supposed to have for Bo would be stronger. Eisenberg just plays the scene a little too hammy. There is something genuinely funny about a person coming out to someone that they think is gay and the other person correcting them with "No no...I'm just a werewolf," and the coming-out person thinks it's a weird analogy/defense mechanism. Sometimes sincerity is more funny, cuz it's human.

I didn't read Eisenberg as being scared of Bo's coming out, more of an "OK whatever I got my own poo poo going on" impatience.

I do agree that a more sincere reconciliation of their rivalry/friendship would have made the scene much better.

We do get werewolfdog out of the scene though and while the cg isn't the best, it's a great concept.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Tarnop posted:

I agree, but no one is defending Cursed on the basis that all its faults can be waved away due to the great social good its production company has done. If the good things Troma has done are on the table then so are the bad.

No one's examining or debating Wes Craven's reputation or intent as a filmmaker, so there's no reputation being examined and needing defending. If someone brought that up, like over the depiction of Bo for example, then I'd have added my perspective to that argument as well.


MacheteZombie posted:

I didn't read Eisenberg as being scared of Bo's coming out, more of an "OK whatever I got my own poo poo going on" impatience.

I do agree that a more sincere reconciliation of their rivalry/friendship would have made the scene much better.

We do get werewolfdog out of the scene though and while the cg isn't the best, it's a great concept.

You're right, "scared" is a bad descriptor. He's pre-occupied, and being flustered with the added stress of his bully now trying to ask him out.

Weredog was an unexpected turn, and I'm surprised that didn't end with the dog getting killed.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Apr 7, 2021

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

The Corridor of Uncertainty



Franchescanado posted:

I think it's less "Ron Jeremy is cool" and moreso "What's the most antithetical interpretation of God I have available: a rodential schlubby adult film star known for a huge cock, who I can show smoking a huge bong". Pre-allegations, Jeremy did star in Troma films before, like Terror Firmer, so his inclusion is kinda like Mark Torgl's cameo.

The lineage is even more straightforward. He has a cameo in Nuke 'Em High 3

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



My girlfriend recently found out that if you send Lloyd Kaufman an 11x9 envelope, he'll send you back a free autograph, so now we have an autographed Toxic Avenger poster for our bathroom.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





MacheteZombie posted:

I didn't read Eisenberg as being scared of Bo's coming out, more of an "OK whatever I got my own poo poo going on" impatience.

I do agree that a more sincere reconciliation of their rivalry/friendship would have made the scene much better.

We do get werewolfdog out of the scene though and while the cg isn't the best, it's a great concept.

I definitely read it as him being scared. True, he's also preoccupied with the situation with the dog, but backing away as if cornered is a purposeful choice. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the film is homophobic, but that scene certainly handles the content from the POV of a scared straight Male.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I'd have to rewatch it to be sure but it just kind of came off as how I think most would react if someone tried to kiss them unwanted. He's not a friend and he's got some big stuff happening so like, he's not really the person to be coming out to ideally.

The repeated slurs and homophobia in their rivalry seemed more uncomfortable to me, but also sadly common for the time.

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





There are other ways to handle the scene. American Beauty for instance handles the same situation a lot more gracefully by having the straight character softly recognise the situation, and react with empathy rather than kneejerk disgust. I will say though that the larger issue is the assumption that gay people are predatory, and will attempt to kiss you the second they admit to having an attraction. If I were to rewrite the scene, I'd replace the kiss with the gay character reaching out for Eisenberg's hand, to which he'd slowly pat it like a friend, and explain that he's straight, but very flattered, and also a dog is going to kill us in a second, so we should run. It could be very cute, and make the blossoming friendship more resonant, instead it's just more trading in fears.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I didn't read it as "gays are predatory". Maybe "guys are predatory." Like he's kinda doing that thing the Scouts were badly advised to do. Just going for it. I don't think we'd think anything of it if he tried to kiss a girl and she slapped him or something. I think its just written as a comedic misunderstanding but it being a gay guy coming out complicates it with other potential readings and biases and the previous homophobic barbs between them doesn't do much for building benefit of the doubt. I dunno. I love Wes obviously, but I also hate Williamson but it reads as kind of innocently misguided to me.

I guess the issue is mostly that the gay guy coming out is just kind of a random sidekick character so the film doesn't really have time for his story. Which is unfortunate in the big picture. But that film production is also such a mess who knows how that character was conceived, written, or filmed? Or what round of rewrites/refilmings he even existed in?

edit: There's also that he's Eissenberg's bully, not his friend. So that's an added level of unexpected/weird to react to. Of course this is all the case because its written to be the case so its definitely at least a clumsily written if not outright bad mess. But thats kind of the movie.

STAC Goat fucked around with this message at 22:53 on Apr 7, 2021

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





There's a lot to unpack here, and I don't think I'm going to do it justice. The difference between "gays are predatory" and "guys are predatory" is that only one of these is a harmful trope targeting a vulnerable minority group. A couple of days ago Virginia became the 12th state to ban gay/trans panic as a defense for murder. These are depressingly relevant issues and placing them in the same camp as a woman slapping away a sexually aggressive man is a deeply troubling road to walk down, whether consciously or not.

My suggestion for improving the scene, and why the same suggestion wouldn't work if one of the couples were a woman, is that it respects that in both instances the straight man is holding all the power, legally, politically, and socially. When a woman slaps away a straight man she is doing so, often, in fear of her life, and at the risk of her life. When a straight man slaps away a gay man, he does so often whilst in possession of the legal ability to kill this person and with the physical power to carry out that death sentence. It's also worth noting that coming out and exploring your sexuality is often a deeply vulnerable and personal moment that requires a sensitive hand, unlike a straight dude just being horny and deciding to take what he wants.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


Oh hey I'm going to suddenly burst in like an awkward Kool-Aid Man to share my movie thoughts, but first I want to say I agree with Debbie Does Dagon's thoughts on how the scene on the front porch in Cursed should have played out.

7. (Debbie Does Dagonís Family Friendly) Hayao Miyazakiís Spirited Away vs. 10. (Kangraís Team Sister Act) Andy Muschiettiís Mama

Mama

I liked the premise and really wanted to enjoy this more than I did.

To be sure, there are a few bits that I thought were nice. For example, the scene shot from the hallway where Lilly is playing with Mama, Victoria knows, and Annabel almost walks in. Then thereís the improbably huge and spooky archives room.

Otherwise, it takes itself too seriously and is a bit too predictable. Also, there are too many jump scares. I donít care for jump scares because they always get me and then I feel really foolish. Why can't there just be dread and grossness instead? Lastly, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is older than me but playing a character younger and way handsomer than me so I just feel very aggrieved by this whole situation.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away isn't my favorite Miyazaki, but it's almost certainly the best one. It's full of wonder and magic and is way better than Mama.


2. Wes Cravenís Cursed vs. 15. Lloyd Kaufmanís Return toÖ Return to Nuke íEm High AKA Vol. 2

Cursed

If it werenít for all of the big names in the cast, I would think this was some kind of meta nostalgic TV movie of the week. Itís like horror comfort food for people who liked Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In fact, I swear the the exterior shots are at Sunnydale High, unless this is just what high schools look like in southern California. Anyway, this doesn't mean it's terrible. I liked Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just thought Cursed was fine but ultimately forgettable.

Return toÖ Return to Nuke íEm High AKA Vol. 2

Return toÖ Return to Nuke íEm High AKA Vol. 2 really lacks the goofy, low-budget absurdist charm of Troma movies I grew up with, like Toxic Avenger or Sergeant Kabukiman. Instead, to me, it feels like a movie made by someone who had other Troma movies described to them, which doesn't actually make any sense because it's the same writer and director.

To be fair, "Take that, you stupid tire!" did make me laugh.

R.I.P. Lemmy

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





twernt posted:

Oh hey I'm going to suddenly burst in like an awkward Kool-Aid Man to share my movie thoughts, but first I want to say I agree with Debbie Does Dagon's thoughts on how the scene on the front porch in Cursed should have played out.



And great catch! They used Torrance High School in Cursed, which is the same location they used for Sunnydale High in Buffy.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I respect your opinions and perspective, Deb, and mine as a straight dude obviously lack the full proper perspective or depth. I still didn't read that scene as him being disgusted or slapping or anything that harsh. I imagine I would have reacted similarly if someone I wasn't attracted to, didn't even like or know well, who had actually been cruel and physically violent to me tried to kiss me randomly. But of course these are written characters not people and the criticism isn't really about the characters' choices but the writing. So I totally respect and understand why it carries more weight and depth than I perceive or possibly Craven and Williamson intended. But its an important conversation we should all listen to and shut up more and I apologize for not doing the latter but promise I do the former.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Mama Having seen the early screen test videos of Mama, I expected a very different movie and a very different Mama Ė something more akin to 2019ís The Ritual, or to No-Face in Spirited Away. Instead I got the woman in the picture from IT. Which could have been fine if the movie had been as fun as IT, but it was almost as unfun as IT2! Which makes me wonder what made IT work in the first place, since all 3 movies employ a very similar style of scare that I now see to be Andy Muschiettiís. Maybe it was Stephen King, maybe it was Cary Joji Fukunaga? Maybe it was simply having a story to move along instead of stretching out a movie by repeating the same scare over and over?
Either way I can pretty plainly say Muschiettiís style isnít working for me at all, and I appreciate Del Toro more since this is yet another movie aping his sensibilities without getting it to work. So Iíll quickly focus on the positives instead of harping on what I didnít like: I liked the flashback scene (hilariously shot like an old movie to indicate its age), Jessica Chastain is very pretty and the movie features two very good dogs. Iíd rate id way below Cursed when it comes to generic horror.

Spirited Away My favourite movie as a kid was The Last Unicorn, an offbeat, scary and, in retrospect, incredibly janky Rankin Bass joint (would have been a good addition to child friendly horror). In many ways Spirited Away felt like a high quality version of Last Unicorn, but that would diminish just how good Spirited Away is. Itís so much more. Maybe itís even a bit too much? I wouldnít exactly want to leave out anything from this wonderful movie, but there were parts towards the end where I could feel my exhaustion. Probably more a problem with seeing Mama first, but I prefer the small scale, low stakes, quick adventure with Totoro. But Iím nitpicking. I donít think I need much to say here, they even blink for Christís sake!
Easy Miyazaki win.

Leaning towards Cursed again, Nukem High was just too over the top.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

I think a large part of IT Part 1's success is due to Jeong Jeong-hun's cinematography, and maybe Cary Joji Fukunaga's writing credit. Also IT Part 1 had three art directors, and none of them returned for Part 2.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I voted for Spirited Away because I was actually pleasantly surprised by how scary it was. Like, not scary for adult me but putting myself in the shoes of a kid I imagine some of the stuff in the movie would be pretty intense. That was really the only question I had going in, I knew it was going to be better than Mama on a bunch of levels.

I like how Miyazaki makes the human protagonists look fairly standard and almost boring, because they then interact with all of these fantastical exaggerated things and it really drives home that "down the rabbit hole" feeling. I have HBO Max and there's more Miyazaki on there, what are the next few most obvious options?

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Basebf555 posted:

I voted for Spirited Away because I was actually pleasantly surprised by how scary it was. Like, not scary for adult me but putting myself in the shoes of a kid I imagine some of the stuff in the movie would be pretty intense. That was really the only question I had going in, I knew it was going to be better than Mama on a bunch of levels.

I like how Miyazaki makes the human protagonists look fairly standard and almost boring, because they then interact with all of these fantastical exaggerated things and it really drives home that "down the rabbit hole" feeling. I have HBO Max and there's more Miyazaki on there, what are the next few most obvious options?

Castle In The Sky is an amazing adventure film that gets really harrowing and intense. Sky Pirates, Floating Islands in the sky, ancient magic robots. It's great.
Nausicaa is also a super intense adventure film that's really dark, and kind of has some scary beats as well. Giant insects!
Princess Mononoke is more heavily inspired by Shintoism.

Those three were huge influences on The Legend of Zelda series.

Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro are a little more relaxed, tonally, and are very warm and comforting films. Much smaller in scope, but still wonderfully inventive.

Howl's Moving Castle I think is the closest to Spirited Away, with how weird and horror-ish it gets.

You genuinely can't go wrong with any of them, although I still haven't seen Ponyo, The Wind Rises, or Porco Rosso.

edit: One thing that you mention that I think gets ignored for how "feel good" Miyazaki movies are: they are scary. What made Walt Disney movies so popular for it's first few decades wasn't only the novelty of the animation and the unique look of Disney's in house art direction, but how complex, scary and sad the stories were. Early Disney movies provided a safe and entertaining space for kids to feel deep emotions. Snow White is scary, harrowing, and depressing. But it also provided kids a context for their fears, and then gave way for parents and children to discuss those heavy ideas and help them grow. It's a trend that's really suffered and kind if disappeared in the late 90's because someone in Hollywood decided kids should be shielded from dark subject matters.

Miyazaki, however, continues that trend with his films, even the lightest ones like Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, the latter of which gets into some really existential ideas of personal identity, your place in your community, your belief in your talents/goals in life, friendship and trust, kindness towards and from strangers.

Spirited Away is pretty hosed up in interesting ways. Having your parents turned into pig monsters, being indentured to a witch, the giant slime monster, being followed by a ghost. And yet it's all served towards the world and characters and the protagonist's growth.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 13:58 on Apr 8, 2021

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Franchescanado posted:

I think a large part of IT Part 1's success is due to Jeong Jeong-hun's cinematography, and maybe Cary Joji Fukunaga's writing credit. Also IT Part 1 had three art directors, and none of them returned for Part 2.

Also the kids are just more interesting than the adults in the original story. And stuff like Skarsgard's Pennywise are going to have more impression the first time around than the second, especially when played against kids.

Its been said a million times but it was an obvious mistake to split the narratives and I look forward to the fan edit that probably already exists.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Franchescanado posted:

Castle In The Sky is an amazing adventure film that gets really harrowing and intense. Sky Pirates, Floating Islands in the sky, ancient magic robots. It's great.
Nausicaa is also a super intense adventure film that's really dark, and kind of has some scary beats as well. Giant insects!
Princess Mononoke is more heavily inspired by Shintoism.

Ooooh thanks, these all sound like an amazing way to spend a wake and bake Saturday morning.

I've heard a lot of good things about Princess Mononoke but not a whole lot about the other two.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

I'm a fool for waiting on this, but here's a fun thing about Spirited Away!

Most of you probably felt the unconventional narrative of the story but didn't have an idea of why the whole thing feels very weird and "non-Hollywood".

The answer is because the film, like most Miyazaki films and Studio Ghibli films (but not all), does not use a three-act structure, or a Campbellian Hero's Journey, or a Circle Structure. It uses a poetic structure called Kishōtenketsu.

Kishōtenketsu is a four act structure that emphasizes character and world instead of action-oriented or conflict-oriented plot. The idea behind it is that the character and the setting are enough to have a complete story without artificial conflict, and learning about both over the course of the story is the story.

It works a little like this:



Ki: (Introduce) Introduction to the characters and introduction of the world that they will inhabit over the course of the story. The characters can be mundane or wildly absurd, and the setting can be mundane or wildly absurd. The idea is to give us a foundation for which the rest of the story will escalate through changes and growth.

Shō : (Establish) This is where you start to dig into who the characters are, revealing detail about them, about their relationship with each other, and their relationship to the world they live in. This is where the we are given enough of the characters to care about them.

Ten: (Revelation/Complication) This is where complications for the characters are revealed. This can be new characters introduced, which change the dynamics between other characters. It can be a personal crisis experienced by the protagonist, like a lack of faith, fear, feelings of inadequacy, or guilt. They could have experienced failure, or great fear, or betrayal. It can be another character experiencing a crisis and needing help. The major idea is that it's a turning point, a climax, or where the narrative twists.

Ketsu: (Reconciliation) This is the conclusion and reconciliations of the complications the characters encountered, with the characters having grown and influenced the world.

This structure originated in China, but has been adapted by Japanese and Korean storytellers. It's a really interesting narrative structure, and it's one that's been getting used more often by writers, especially in literature and game design.

There can still be conflict within this structure, but the conflict isn't usually adversarial or protagonist vs antagonist, and more personal character conflicts. The plot isn't structured around a conflict, like, say, trying to destroy a ring while a war begins, or blowing up a death star, or traveling back in time to collect gems for a glove before a purple man can.

Basebf555 posted:

Ooooh thanks, these all sound like an amazing way to spend a wake and bake Saturday morning.

I've heard a lot of good things about Princess Mononoke but not a whole lot about the other two.

All of them are good for wake and bake morning movies, honestly.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 14:43 on Apr 8, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


Franchescanado posted:

I'm a fool for waiting on this, but here's a fun thing about Spirited Away!

Most of you probably felt the unconventional narrative of the story but didn't have an idea of why the whole thing feels very weird and "non-Hollywood".

The answer is because the film, like most Miyazaki films and Studio Ghibli films (but not all), does not use a three-act structure, or a Campbellian Hero's Journey, or a Circle Structure. It uses a poetic structure called Kishōtenketsu.

Kishōtenketsu is a four act structure that emphasizes character and world instead of action-oriented or conflict-oriented plot. The idea behind it is that the character and the setting are enough to have a complete story without artificial conflict, and learning about both over the course of the story is the story.

Thank you for sharing! It's super interesting and explains a lot.

My Neighbor Totoro is my favorite Miyazaki and I've never been able to articulate how or why the act structure is different.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply