Your discussion about Dark City's comparably low budget reminded me of The Signal, a mostly unseen $2 million sci-fi thriller released earlier this year. The story is OK -- fine for genre fans -- but the movie looks incredibly good considering the budget.
I really liked The Signal. Especially how it turns early on and you're left guessing what is really going on, and then that isn't what it seems either. No one I know has seen or even heard of it, sadly enough.
I know what you mean, Patrick, about the absurdity of Comic-Con announcements and the schizophrenic reactions on Twitter. I don't care about leaked teasers, costume shots, and years-off release dates, but only because they tell me nothing about movies that aren't going to be out for ages. I will be excited for the things that look exciting when they are close to coming out. That said, I'd always rather see people excited about something than read snarky asides about other people's excitement. SDCC is nothing if not a place for enthusiasts to be irrationally excited about things they love. Let the nerds have their nerd party*.* I love nerd parties
Superior Podcast this week guys, there aren't many other places online to find such intelligent and thoughtful movie conversation. I love Dark City as well, and I too was inspired by Roger Ebert's commentary/support for this movie.Onto Patrick's comic-con rant. Re: Godzilla 2. They announced which monsters Godzila would fight in the sequel but what about Ford and Elle Brody? Will they be returning for the sequel? These amazing characters are what Godzilla (2014) was about, not Godzilla, RIGHT FILMMAKERS? What's with the mixed messages?
try listening to "film junk". there one of the longest running movie podcasts having been around now for 9 years with a new episode every week. 3 friends all with a love for film get together every week to discuss their thoughts and opinions. Very funny and informative.
Great podcast, guys! It's interesting how many movies lately actually owe a lot to Dark City, The Matrix, or The Truman Show. Recently, movies like Snowpiercer, Noah, Upstream Color, and even The Lego Movie all share this weird Gnostic philosophy, the idea that there's this false reality, fabricated by an imperfect creator, inhibiting our understanding of the "real" world. Fight Club did some of that, too. It's interesting to see story trends pop up like that every once in a while. Similar elements were also explored in True Detective (Which I regard as one LONG eight-hour movie). Have any of you ever seen The Nines? It's got some of the same sensibilities. Maybe there's something in the Zeitgeist.
I love The Nines.Why do you think all these movies deal with this same subject? Is it really just explaining the existence of God without using that word? Though The Nines is certainly more explicit about it.
I have not seen The Nines, Michael, but I noticed what you're saying about these movies as I was watching Snowpiercer. We see the same themes and questions a lot. I think we as people are always pulling at the seams to explore what makes us human and to theorize on our own existences. What is this world? Is there a better world outside of this one that we can get to if we achieve some sort of enlightenment? We've been wondering this forever and probably always will.
I don't know if the very same subject is being explored or that it is intentional, but not only do these films wonder about the existence of God, but that the "God" is imperfect and therefore the seemingly "perfect" creation, or the structure of our reality, is actually flawed in a pretty major way. It's a statement far from the "in God we Trust" view that is often attributed to the Almighty. Again, I don't think these movies are trying to be overly religious, but I find it fascinating that innately they're speaking to a lack of confidence in our institutions or our society, especially in something like The Lego Movie. I get that it's mostly about creativity, but to take it a step further, it still deals with a revelation that our existence is not what it's supposed to be.
Frequent listener, first time commenter.RE: Snowpiercer – I’m going to have to agree with Heath on this one. I heard (from several friends and this podcast) that Snowpiercer was a “masterpiece,” so my expectations were definitely set very high. I liked it. The further away from it I get, the more I like it. Not only did I not LOVE it, but there were parts I actively disliked. I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, so I’ll be vague, but it felt like an excess of slow motion in some of the action scenes, to the point that it made said scenes feel overwrought. And I concur with Health, Chris Evan’s impassioned monologue at the end made me roll my eyes. Everything was just. So. Sincere. That being said, I certainly appreciate the existence of unique, interesting movies. I liked the black humor throughout the film (Alison Pill and Tilda Swinton were great) and this was definitely a film that has something to say other than “it’s funny to watch people takes poos in a sink,” which I’m all for. Anyone who wants to be absolutely spoiler free should skip the next line, although again, I’ll be vague – Why was Chris Evens so upset by the protein bars, considering what his diet had been before? There are cultures today that eat those types of ingredients. What the hell did he think they were made of?RE: Dark City – I only saw this movie for the first time last year. The version I saw had the voice over in the beginning (which I think means it was the theatrical version?) but my husband, who was showing me the movie, explained it would give away too much of the plot and started the DVD after it. (*Note* In response to your question about the girl under the bed, she was there in the version I saw) This will sound embarrassingly plebian, but I tend to not like confusing movies. I’m not a total troglodyte, let me explain. I appreciate a film that has me asking questions and I think it’s great when everything comes together in an intelligent way at the end. For example, I loved The Constant Gardner. But I get annoyed by movies that feel as though they’re being deliberately confusing – I’m looking at you, David Lynch. So I’m probably the type of theatregoer the studio was thinking of when they insisted on having the opening voiceover. That being said, I had absolutely no trouble following the movie. In fact, living in a post-Shyamalan world made it easy for me to guess what was going on. I’m not saying I understood everything from the start, but I do think the average movie watcher (even long, long ago in the ‘90s) would be able to watch Dark City without all the opening hand holding.I think I would have liked the movie better if I saw it when it came out. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it; I did. But maybe it would have felt more original, more creative, if I hadn’t already watched over a decade and a half of special effects laden movies?Thanks for the podcasts! I listen to them at work – they make my job slightly more tolerable.
Needles! Great to meet you. Thanks for commenting.I totally get not being in love with Snowpiercer. I gushed about it because I love it, so I wanted to report that experience. But I know it's not going to hit everyone quite so hard.I think there's a response to the Chris-Evans'-reaction-to-bugs thing (JB's wife Jan has BRILLIANT thoughts on it), but I can't really get into it without being super spoilery. You're right -- it is a good alternative to what was previously being eaten. But some characters are so focused on their anger at the front of the train (as a way of pushing down their own self-loathing) that everything is viewed as an injustice.Thanks for clarifying on the girl under the bed scene. I really couldn't remember.I totally get thinking you might have liked Dark City more back in '98. It has been filtered down through pop culture in a lot of ways -- mostly indirectly -- and probably doesn't have the same impact now.Great to hear from you. Please stick with us and stay part of the conversation!
Needles! You are awesome and I love your comment. I appreciate you touching on the narration thing, too. So great to have you here on the site interacting. I'm with Patrick, please stick around.
Nice to meet you Needles. No illegal street drag racing now, ok? Re: Snowpiercer. (with spoilers)I had high expectations going in due to Patricks hype, and while I wasn’t as blown away by it than he was I was certainly impressed, I liked it a lot and it has improved with thought and time since. Re the bars. My main interpretation of the movie was with the/a biblical slant, where they are going from hell to wage war on heaven (Hurt = devil, Harris = God, Evans therefore = …antichrist?). So in that point of view the bars are mana from heaven. When its revealed that they are made from cockroaches and insects it pulls back the curtain on the gift and the god, even more than it had already been (due to a negative view on their creator already). It takes away the only redeeming feature of their god, as prior to then they were all very thankful for the bars.
Thanks for doing a podcast on Dark City. If you'd walked into a Video Vern's in early '99 you'd see that it was my top pick of 1998:-). I still enjoyed it when I watched it a couple years ago with my main complaint being the overly quick editing style. I would have liked some more lingering shots. You guys questioned the noir vibe without settling on much of an answer. I thought it was just a fun way to make the Sci Fi elements and twists that much more surprising.
I don't know if there is a firm answer on the noir aspect, but you're probably right that it's just a fun vibe to roll with. It seems to lend itself to the sci-fi aspects of the movie. For the record, I LOVE that noir look. There are certain settings in movies that I'd be totally okay living in. 1955 in Back to the Future is one. Dark City is another, even with the lack of sunshine. I mean, everything is pressed in on the sides, but hallways seem stretch on forever. It would be like living in Gotham City but without all the murdering psychopaths.
Yea! live in Hill Valley 1955, commute to Dark City and get a vacay house on Shell Beach.
"Yes Respect: The works and philosophies of Lord Jacob Rodney Cohen. A Retrospective in 48 parts "
You don't think that title is too short and vague?
Great podcast so far guys - Dark City is one of those movies I've been meaning to watch for years but have just never gotten around to. Stopped listening around 45 mins but I'll be back - I gather it's well worth the watch!Re SDCC/excitement all I can say is, I'm too old for this shit. It took a picture of Mark Hamill in a contractually obligated beard for me to start getting a tingling of excitement for a 2015 new fucking STAR WARS movie (seriously guys - the old gang back together? Fuck cynicism I'm going to look forward to it) - Avengers 3 or UNTITLED MARVEL PROJECT 2018 can kiss my ass!