Showing posts with label Pop Cultural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pop Cultural. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

2018 Oscar Nominations for best motion picture aren't the best of the best

2018 Oscar Noms seem to be heavily focused on movies that make obvious political statements rather than actual film greatness.

"Call Me by Your Name”

“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Of these, in my opinion based on seeing some of these films and also RT users' ratings, "Get Out", "The Post", "Phantom Thread" and "Darkest Hour" don't belong. Meanwhile, better movies get snubbed, like "Logan", "Blade Runner 2049" or "Baby Driver" (not withstanding Kevin Spacey's fall from grace).

"Get Out" is a good movie, but it's way overrated in the current environment. It's a by-the-numbers horror story that happens to include obvious social commentary. The movie isn't going to age well with time.

The fact that the horror genre is getting a pass this year at Oscars, while comic hero genre again gets a snub is particularly telling. "Logan" is a superior film to "Get Out" in most aspects. "Logan" also addresses racism, but it does so more cleverly (perhaps too subtly) than "Get Out" by a mile. Where "Get Out" is basically about cultural appropriation and first world problems, "Logan" addresses actual issues with the effects of institutionalized racism. "Logan" also has better acting, script, and overall direction. Additionally, "Logan" actually earns its ending, where "Get Out" just kinda ends. Even the alternate-ending for "Get Out" isn't great (but moderately better than the theatrical ending). About the only area where "Get Out" might be a bit better is with scene composition for *some* of the scenes. That's not enough to include it on the final list of ten instead of several other better films.

That said, "Wonder Woman", "ThorRagnarok", "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2" and other comic hero movies in 2017 aren't cinematic greats; not worthy of Oscar Noms for best motion picture. They are enjoyable and entertaining, but don't really stand above anything other than being slightly better than other films within their own theatrical universes.


Now that female characters are getting more attention in comic hero movies, I think some might be surprized to see me say "Wonder Woman" isn't a great overall movie. It's not. As far as comic hero origin movies go, it's average. It's great to see from where Wonder Woman comes, and her character does have a well-developed story arc. However, the villain is very weakly conceived; on par with the underdeveloped Marvel Cinematic Universe villains. Man of Steel and Batman V Superman primary villains are far more developed and central to the plot and story of their respective movies. Man of Steel is a better movie than Woman Women. (Batman V Superman, was also a good but not great movie which really would've been better served if broken up into a trilogy of three separate movies).


Another issue with the movies nominated for best motion picture is that most of them just aren't that popular. "Call Me by Your Name", "Darkest Hour", "Lady Bird", "Phantom Thread", "The Post", "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" are not going to earn even $50 million at the box office, with several of them unlikely to ever see $25 million. The whole idea of expanding the list of best motion picture nominations to possible ten was to include more popular movies in the most important category in order to help the Oscars attract more interest from potential viewers. It looks like they've given up on that idea in favor of other agendas. Oscars are irrelevant.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stereotypes from the early aughties (2000-2004) in America

  • No one had beards, unless they were from cultures that requirement them.
  • Cell phones only had digital readouts, and only had actual numeric 10-key pads. Although Treos come out in 2003 with full Internet, full QWERTY keypad, color touch screens, (pretty much iPhone 5's without the fancy hi-res screen; yes, Treo 300 in 2003 out featured iPhones being released in 2010). 
  • Terrorism was the boogie man for everything.  (Still is, actually.)
  • Texting was done with a special kind of pager with a QWERTY keypad or very clumsily on 10-key pad phones that happened to have texting function built-in. Traditional pagers still existed, but mostly used by drug dealers and doctors by this point.
  • No plaid, unless you lived in the mountains. No flashy patterns, either.
  • Low-rise jeans.
  • eBay was a thing back then.
  • Blockbuster stores were very popular...this is a few years before Netflix's first golden age.
  • There were still different types of gaming stores before Game Stop bought them all out.
  • Gearing up for war with Iraq. Blind patriotism was still rampant.
  • Simpsons reruns played in 1.5hr blocks on network TV.
  • Trend of kids bring dropped off and picked up at school every day by their parents had just started.
  • You had an option between Borders, Walden Books and Barnes & Noble for well stocked chain book stores.
  • Laptops were still kinda luxury items.
  • Kids enjoying Green Day had no idea that Green Day was a 90's band.

What do you remember?

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Radioactive, radioactive radio edit controversy


There's a bit of a controversy about a popular song right now called Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.  There's a lot of complaints by fans who bought the album about how the song quality on the album is inferior to what's been playing on the radio and in trailers for movies and on commercials for new TV series.  (Seriously, this song is everywhere right now.)  The complaints are pretty consistent by fans, not even haters.

Distortion was noticeable on digital format as well as CD. Very poor quality on car stereo really drives home the point.
Somehow, producer Alex da Kid thought that intentionally introducing that awful, cheap sounding distortion (several tracks, most notably beginning on 'Radioactive'), was somehow "artistic". What a stupid idea.
What's this about distortion?  The bass in the song Radioactive has been distorted to sound like subwoofers maxed out.  It's a rough and gravelly sound that doesn't sound good on good stereo systems (such as the stereo systems in the average car these days).  I got the CD, and I agree with the criticism.  It's OK, but not good.

Theres something called the radio edit version of the song, which I like, but it also seems like it's distorted too much too.