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Holiday Whorin'

For your between-holidays reading enjoyment:

- I play "Random Rules" with J.D. Cronise, singer and guitarist for The Sword.

- I help pick the Least Essential Albums of 2008.

- I choose the ten best movies of the year, in two parts.

Comments

( 14 SHOTS LICKED — LICK A SHOT )
rollick
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
Also in theory you should finally have a staff box for your comment-board posts now. So try that out, and if it doesn't work, tell me, because something's terribly wrong.
ludickid
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
Just tried it, and it looks like a regular comment -- no AVC logo or anything...
rollick
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Give it two minutes, refresh, and let me know. When you first post, it doesn't show up, and if you refresh immediately, the comment will disappear because it hasn't posted yet.
ludickid
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Still nothin'.

No rush, obviously. It's not gnawing at my soul or anything.
rollick
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
OMG IT SHOULD BE.
ludickid
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
I AM HIDING MY PAIN BENEATH THIS BREEZY FACADE
rollick
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Also, gah, I can't believe you're another "Wendy And Lucy" fan. I have a really strong antipathy toward that movie, and it just keeps getting stronger as people tell me how awesome it is. I feel like I'm looking at the naked emperor and listening to people praise his awesome suit.
ludickid
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
You're not the only one -- a Screengrab colleague of mine, whose tastes and mine are never identical but often similar, can't stand the thing. Me, I'm agog at people who can't see how moving and human it is; most of the criticisms I've read of it accuse it of things that I think it mostly avoids. (Another odd thing I noticed: I remember Scott Tobias' ratings of movies I loved being a lot lower than I expected, but I almost 100% agreed with his end-of-year ballot.)

Now let's you and me argue over In Bruges.
rollick
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
most of the criticisms I've read of it accuse it of things that I think it mostly avoids

Such as? My major problem with it is that I found it impossible to sympathize the main character, who is in a terrible situation entirely of her own making. It was the wrong decision to make the trip in the first place, to make it by car, and to steal. I'm capable of feeling a savage, agonized sympathy with people in awful situations if they're at least trying — "Dancer In The Dark" is one of the saddest, most poignant films I've ever seen — but I just couldn't get past the uncommunicative, unsympathetic, poor-decision-making, sullen lead character. I felt far more sympathy for the dog, and for the dog, it's pretty much a happy ending.

And why do you hate "In Bruges"? I was actually pretty surprised how many mainstream critics are embracing it on their end-of-year lists.
ludickid
Dec. 30th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's entirely of her own making -- it's not her fault she's not exceptionally bright and lacking in salable skills -- and she's certainly trying (she's attempting to get a better job, and she only steals because circumstances put her in a position where her unforgiving budget isn't enough to cover her expenses).

Beyond that, though, it's a hallmark of the Italian neo-realist school, of which I think Wendy and Lucy is a fine evocation -- that it can make you feel sympathy with people even if they're not that great. A lot of the characters in those films aren't exactly wonderful folks, and have a lot of the flaws you mention, but you still feel for them, because their character flaws aren't enough to make them 'deserve' their agony, and their suffering enforces their humanity.

As for In Bruges, I don't hate it at all -- I think it's fine for what it is, but what it is is just a slight, amusing little crime film. If it had come and gone without much comment, I'd never have given it a second look, but it's ended up getting so much praise that I went back and re-watched it, and thought "Really? For this?" It's not a bad movie, but I certainly don't think it remotely qualifies for best-of-the-year status.
eatsoylentgreen
Dec. 30th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
those best 10 movies are some good movies
bing_crosby
Dec. 30th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
did anyone really like In Bruges? oyyy.
mckennl
Dec. 31st, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Why do you think Slumdog Millionaire is overrated? I went into it with no expectations and it turned out to be not only great, but haunting. But then I am a sucker for anything which references Amitabh Bachchan and I am now calling TDO my chai-wallah, so my mileage etc.

I really liked the end credits and the way the hero suddenly got sexy during the musical number. And I keep seeing the Millionaire Host's sweaty face (in my nightmares). Did you know that Amitabh Bachchan was the first host of the real Indian Millionaire show? True fact.
ludickid
Jan. 5th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I thought it had some really great moments, but it was also a bit predictable, had a rattletrap plot, and went for fancy when it should have gone for affecting. Which, oddly enough, are the same problems that I had with the equally overrated Trainspotting.
( 14 SHOTS LICKED — LICK A SHOT )

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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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