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Showing posts from 2013

Four Kinds of Shuffle We Need on Netflix RIGHT NOW

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Netflix is one of the best things ever. I can't imagine how we ever lived without it. But there are a few things about it that still really piss me off. Firstly, the inability to organize your Netflix List. I have over a hundred things in my list. Why can't I personalize that list into folders like "Movies I've Seen but Want to See Again" or "Just TV Shows" or "Classics I Need to See?" It's really annoying.

The other really annoying lack-of feature is the inability to shuffle. People claim to love the total freedom of choosing what media they consume, but they're liars. We like a certainamount of choice. It's part of the reason I still enjoy Pandora and my cable subscription. Two minutes ago, I had no idea that I wanted to watch Ghostbusters II, but now I do. Why? Because it's on freaking TV. I therefore propose the four following Netflix Shuffle options.

1. Series Shuffle

Just a simple shuffle of an entire TV show. I love Parks…

Don't Blame Photoshop

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There's been this video floating around this week posted by the "President of the World" YouTube page and subsequently reposted by sites such as Upworthy, Huffington Post, and even George Takei (leader of the Internet). On their page, "President of the World" is described as "a character created to promote the voice of the People of the World via a global democracy." Considering the popularity of this video, I find the words "character" and "created" to be of particular interest.

The video portrays a model, a naturally attractive one at that, being photographed and then, in postproduction and Photoshop, being manipulated and airbrushed (it may not actually be Photoshop used in the video...the interface doesn't look the same). Her body is stretched, her neck elongated, her skin smoothed out, etc. By the end of the video the woman appears to be an almost entirely different person. Almost doll-like.


Anyway, for some reason, people…

Screw It, I'm on Team Affleck

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Now that the dust has settled over last month's big casting news that Ben Affleck, director and star of last year's best picture Argo, has been cast as the infamous caped crusader in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel followup, I feel inclined to share my own thoughts on said casting as they have evolved since the announcement. My initial reaction to the casting was, like that of many on Twitter, that of utter confusion. As I summarized on Facebook, my response went something like this:
1. Wait, seriously?
2. Really?
3. They saw Daredevil, right?
4. Wait, who am I kidding, nobody saw Daredevil, but they know Daredevil exists, right?
5. Ironically, he was a pretty great George Reeves.
6. Isn't he too famous? I mean, all previous Batmen have been famous, but none at Affleck's level. Even Clooney was just starting to take off when he took the role.
7. I'd kind of rather have Ben Affleck direct the movie and have Zack Snyder play Batman.
8. Huh, I wonder if this means that…

It's The Emmy's Arrested Development

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I'm going to try and keep this post brief because if I rant too much about the inaccurate buffoonery of award shows I won't only get anything else done today, but I might also pop a blood vessel.

Yesterday, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the 2013 Emmy nominations, only three of which were given to the new season of the Netflix quasi-original Arrested Development. Though the three nominations, including Jason Bateman for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, and Music Composition for a Series, were all very well deserved (particularly editing), I remain flabbergasted by the fact that that's it.

Jason Bateman is fantastic as always, but he was somewhat of a surprise when I first read his name. They picked the straight-man in one of the best ensemble casts ever put on television? Really? No love for Jessica Walter? Will Arnett? Michael Cera's brilliant awkwardness?

And don't get me started on guest sta…

Character Revelations and the Lack of Suspense

A couple weeks ago, filmmaker Joss Whedon, director of Marvel's The Avengers, revealed that two major comic book characters, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (admittedly two characters I know nothing about), will be added to the franchise sequel in 2015. He did so nonchalantly that many were taken aback by the news.

Revealing characters in a film before its release is nothing out of the ordinary, but certain directors have taken it upon themselves to keep the true identity of some characters, often a villain, a secret no matter what. Now to their credit, the reveal of this "true identity" is a plot point in their film. For most of the story, the protagonist thinks this person is someone else. From a writer's standpoint, you are attempting to put the audience in hero's shoes so that when they find out who this person is, you are supposed to be just as shocked as they are. But in the age of Internet fandom, the result is often anticlimactic as the twist is already pres…

Steven Soderbergh, Danny Boyle, and The State of Cinema

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I find it appropriate as my first post to share Steven Soderbergh's speech from this year's San Francisco International Film Festival on the State of Cinema. Though I don't fully agree with everything Soderbergh has to say, he brings up some very interesting points to consider.


The thesis of Soderbergh's speech centers on the distinction between "movies" and "cinema," stating that,  The simplest way that I can describe it is that a movie is something you see, and cinema is something that’s made…. Cinema is a specificity of vision. It’s an approach in which everything matters. It’s the polar opposite of generic or arbitrary and the result is as unique as a signature or a fingerprint. It isn’t made by a committee, and it isn’t made by a company, and it isn’t made by the audience. It means that if this filmmaker didn’t do it, it either wouldn’t exist at all, or it wouldn’t exist in anything like this form. But Soderbergh isn't the only filmmaker co…