Wednesday, January 1, 2020

FTM 520: THE UNDERRATED, THE OVERRATED, & THE UGLY (2019)

Patrick and JB run down their annual lists of the movies they want more people to see and the movies they just didn't get.



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12 comments:

  1. For me the structure of Little Women added to the more autobiographal feeling of Lousia May Alcott's story and the conversations with Tracy Lett's publisher reinforces that. It makes the movie very Meta. Alcott never married but has to marry off Jo.It's a way of Gerwig having her cake and eating it too.

    Spoilers kinda -

    Fredrick Bhaer for me is a pure story construction and was never real. Just like the final shot of every one happy is fantasy of Jo's story. But that is my reading of the movie. But I loved the movie, like really loved so I could be giving it more leeway. And I haven't read the book in years. Which, I need to re-read.

    And a wonderful podcast as usual. You've added a couple movies to my list I now want to catch up on.

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  2. Avengement & Ready or Not need to been seen by more people.

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  3. I saw The Dead Don't Die on a Friday morning. It was me and 4 other people in the theater. The movie starts and after about 15 mins 2 people walk out. 5 mins after that the other 2 walk out. I'm the only one left in the entire theater. Sadly, I also walked out of The Dead Don't Die before it ended. It's on my ugly list as well.

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  4. My take on the Little Women structure - curious if JB buys any of this!

    #1, making lemonade from lemons regarding Beth's illness. I haven't read the novel, but in the 1994 version (which I like a lot!), her getting sick, getting well and getting sick again kinda makes it feel like time is repeating for no purpose. Folding the timelines puts the two illnesses close together and invites us to compare the two moments in Jo's life, what's similar, what's different, why Beth is so important to her, etc.

    #2: shifting the emphasis of the narrative. When we're following in linear time it's easy to get caught up in the unfolding romantic storylines: who will end up with who, etc. Starting in the middle means we already know how at least some of this stuff turns out, so we're not watching the "early" scenes wondering what will happen. For me, it seemed like an attempt to shift away from a 19th century narrative mode focused on the womens' relationships with outside parties, and instead emphasize the relationships within the family, with those bonds being the real "point." This is highlighted by all the scenes with Tracy Letts - Gerwig is telling us which aspects of this story she thinks are most important and which are add-ons to make a sellable book/movie.

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  5. I think you’re on to something, Dr. Casino! Both your comments and those of Lindsay above make me like the film a little more. BTW: Dr. Casino should be the title of the new James Bond movie.

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  6. I don't want to seem combative and I love the show, but it is absolutely WILD to me to hear Ad Astra listed among the ugly. I can understand not liking the movie, but there is so much that is well done in that movie that even if the "sad space dad" plot didn't resonate, the rest is good enough to keep it out of that category. It just missed cracking a spot on my Top 10.

    Also, I don't have a strong argument for why I wouldn't classify Aladdin as ugly, but I wouldn't put it there either. I think it is the best of Disney's life action adaptations of their animated movies, which is the very definition of damning with faint praise. Honestly, though, I would rate right alongside Alita, a movie that is for sure on my Overrated list, as an utterly forgettable CGI would be blockbuster.

    I do agree that Ready or Not was excellent and more people should see it. I would also point to a couple of Netflix releases as underrated: The Breaker Upperers and See You Yesterday.

    The Breaker Upperers is a New Zealand comedy where a couple of women run a business "helping" people break up with their partners. Its a lot of fun.

    See You Yesterday is about some high school kids build a time machine. Things go bad. It does have a Michael J Fox cameo, but mostly tells an interesting and original time travel story.

    I also kind of want to call out The Goldfinch as underrated, kind of in the same vein as JB's take on Cats. The movie isn't good, but its not as bad as the reviews said it was. You can kind of see the adaptation of the book (which I have not read) fail as the movie goes along. It plays like someone jumbled up three different puzzles and then tried to put them all together into one. Individually, most of the scenes are good, though. I thought it was an interesting failure.

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  7. Can The Farewell be truly listed as underrated if it shows up on Obama's best of list?

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  8. JB shit on 2 movies in my top 10, LITTLE WOMEN and AD ASTRA lol/crying emoji! But seriously, LITTLE WOMEN could easily be my number one of the year. So well written, acted and directed. And AD ASTRA has the best cinematography and production design of the year. I love how cold and weird it was too like Patrick. But I do agree that THE DEAD DON'T DIE wasn't very good unfortunately. Thanks guys. Love your year end pods.

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  9. The key to watching the new Little Women is making sure to have the '94 version ready to rock when you get home. And hell, why not learn How To Make An American Quilt? It's Saturday!

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  10. can't believe he pulled the "my book presupposes, maybe he didnt?" All I kept thinking is "what tiny percent of the audience will get this hilarious joke."

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