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NFBisms

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1-Jun-2015
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23-Apr-2021
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Post
#1415142
Topic
<strong>The Expanse</strong> - <em>2015-???? TV Series</em>
Time

Back half of season 3 and all of Season 4 is probably my favorite Expanse “era.” While I do think it wasn’t nearly as tight as its preceding seasons, I really really liked the system-shifting-to-a-new-status-quo perspectives we took on. So even if Ilus’ characters didn’t do much for me, I was still engaged and fascinated by its implications on the other subplots. The way every sociopolitical element intersected painted my favorite picture of this world. It felt like The Expanse universe at its most “real” and complete.

Post
#1414402
Topic
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Time

The beauty of the sitcom stuff though is that it was primed to be different every week! I feel like we were robbed of some of the more proper parroting of the 70’s, 80/90’s, 00’s, and 10’s because it had to share the runtimes with a completely different, less interesting show. Two thirds of the stuff they do on the SWORD side is just recap what’s happening on the other side, which just feels patronizing. But then it also mitigates itself by being chock full of fake science mumbo-jumbo they don’t expect anyone to make sense of anyway. Not to mention they’re just staring at monitors half the time.

It leaves the “real” stuff - Wanda’s grief, how she’s running from it - feeling secondary to the generic Good vs Evil sci-fi blockbuster. The first two episodes teased a very different trajectory than that - a more personal story wrapped in an unsettling mystery. It’s not that I dislike Monica, Darcy, and Jimmy - but their plot literally takes away from that show.

And now we’re all set up for some good old Marvel superhero beat downs in the finale - which is fine - but far from what I had hoped the show could have been.

Post
#1414108
Topic
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Time

I just wish it were more confident in itself.

I’m not a huge fan of how they had to take an entire third of the show out to hit us over the head with Outside The Hex exposition from [lame] characters spouting faux-science at computer monitors. It’s just relatively uninteresting. Monica Rambeau and her team are the typical weak, generic blockbuster stuff that I could do without.

We should have stayed exclusively with the sitcom stuff and slowly discovered what was off through Vision. How it all came to be didn’t even have to be as convoluted or fleshed out as it ended up being, especially when the important parts of it are really just Wanda’s emotions and psyche.

I commend that they even did something like this in the first place, but those ambitions are held back by trying to cater to all attention spans. This could have been really good, and not just mildly interesting.

Post
#1411906
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

SparkySywer said:
How would you measure whether or not any of these things were good or bad? You’d need some set of standard, but those set of standards can’t be objective. You can’t prove what blocking should have been used, or how long a take should have been.

It’s the is-ought distinction (Hume’s guillotine), you can’t prove what ought to be solely based on what is. You can only make claims about what should and shouldn’t be based on some set of standards, which are subjective.

Every attempt to define an objective set of standards, or prove whether some art is objectively good or bad, falls short. A movie can be objectively artistically complex, or objectively popular, or objectively influential, or objectively a box office hit, or objectively thrilling, but none of these are inherently, objectively good.

Especially because a lot of the time, people want different things out of movies. Sometimes the same person wants different things at different times.

Sometimes people want schlock BS popcorn movies with cringe dialog. Sometimes people want pretentious arthouse kino from 1729. You really can’t prove either of them wrong.

You nailed it! Conversations [sic: arguments] about whether or not a movie is “good” are so incredibly boring too.

It’s hilarious and sad to me how people on the internet, like in this thread, only ever become friendly and civil when another party agrees with them, and then they can pat each other on the back for being so “objectively right” together. Imagine if discourse was actually about sharing our different interpretations and engagements on the same film with one another.

Post
#1405212
Topic
If you need to B*tch about something... this is the place
Time

Idk, it’s just odd to me that you feel you can make such a broad statement. Now more than ever, is a vast multitude of sounds and influences becoming popular at the same times. There’s more access to music than ever before that I’d even say that there’s no such thing as a Mainstream. At the very least, musical trends in the way they have manifested before have fallen off in favor of diversity. BTS isn’t massive for the same reason the Eilish siblings are, or Ed Sheeran, or the Weeknd. All the One Direction boys have very different musical careers and niches.

Not that you have to like all of it - I certainly don’t and am just trying to use identifiable examples - but there’s less commonalities between all the music that gets radio time than there was in, like, 2008. Our generation were the ones who said We Were In The Wrong Generation then, and now we’re the audience being catered to and actually making the music for the charts.

It also looks like you’d absolutely enjoy way more rap music than like the 10 songs you listen to. You clearly just don’t reach out of your comfort zone enough. At least enough to realize what you really dislike is Trap and/or Mumble Rap

Post
#1405177
Topic
If you need to B*tch about something... this is the place
Time

Modern mainstream music is absolutely not just hip hop. There are more genres and broad access to them than ever before. And ironically, the aural synthwave aesthetic from the 80s has come back into vogue in pop with the likes of The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, Bleachers, 5SOS, etc. And it’s not like Daft Punk has become any less relevant.

The idea that hip hop has some sort of monopoly on popular music nowadays is laughable to me. Especially when you’ve got the whitest bread Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, or Taylor Swift topping charts. If anything, things have dominantly gotten very alternative. Even the rap scene has trended in that direction with production moving with the influence of Ludwig Gorranson’s Gambino work.

Hip hop as a whole isn’t even inherently bad. I’m sure there’s stuff within that vast umbrella that you could probably like.

Post
#1405071
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

I entirely object to this trend in popular film discourse where there’s this objective, correct way to tell and pace a story, or that being able to please as many people as broadly as possible is what gives any film its value. There’s always this invocation of Basic Storytelling Conventions™ as a gauge of something’s “objective” success, and while there’s truth to a lot of techniques under that umbrella, media is still wholly subjective. The fake-concession of opinions with the classic “Well you have to admit…” makes me want to die.

What’s really happening is that we can always point to something we have liked or preferred, and compare, but we also have to recognize that those preferences aren’t a universal standard. They can’t be, when we haven’t seen or experienced every piece of media in and out of our comfort zones. Because a lot of the time one film will work for completely different reasons than another. Sure, like I’ve mentioned, there is overlap across many films’ endearing qualities and effective techniques, but that pervasiveness isn’t proof of their required inclusion across all media. You’ll probably find all our Personal Rubrics are different.

The faux-academicism that then comes from pointing at Campbell’s Hero’s Journey or other Basic Storytelling Conventions™ is fascinating to me, because whether or not some realize it, it doubles down in demonstrating willful ignorance. We learn these very specifically in the earliest parts of academia - “basic” in that they’re guides meant for students dipping their toes into analysis and writing for the first time. It’s a useful framework that teaches us how to break down a story, not necessarily a concrete one that should be reused eternally. Much less used to validate judgements or justify “objectivity” in emotional responses. They’re meant to be broken once you’re comfortable enough to do so, when you’ve found a voice.

So when The Last Jedi does something you don’t quite appreciate or enjoy, that’s totally fine. I enjoy reading people like Nev’s breakdowns of why TLJ didn’t land for certain audiences, or had pieces that didn’t entirely function for them as intended. Why some ideologically disagree with TLJ’s message. Analysis and discourse works to verbalize our subjective understandings and interpretations of the work.

I just can’t abide how much film discourse, on reddit or otherwise, has manifested this culture where we don’t engage like that anymore. Instead of trying to find a personal understanding within our opinion of a film, so many people seek to prove Why It Wasn’t Good. Or Why It Was. And not that those can’t be healthy discussions - exchanging different feelings - but it never is that. People simply aren’t engaging with the work. It’s always some other bullshit scapegoat, political or public, than within the work itself. “RJ is a pretentious hack” “KK is forcing feminism” “Subvert Expectations” “Here’s What I Would Have Done”. With a dash of whichever Basic Storytelling Convention™ of the week works in the argument’s favor.

“Let’s agree to disagree” should be the default implicit assumption to the I Like vs I Don’t discussions, not the end of one. And unless it is about the production of a film, discussions should be grounded in our personal engagement with it.

Post
#1404771
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

Wanderer_ said:

NFBisms said:

I swear if no one said “subvert expectations” before this movie came out, no one would think the movie was actively trying to do that. It at the very least wouldn’t be The Buzzword for TLJ criticism. Take everything in the film at face value - not in conversation about director’s intent - and there’s not a whole lot about it that plays with conventions as much as people like to say it does.

Pulling the rug out from under people only to pull it back in is the kind of pretentious thing the film gets accused of. I don’t see how that would fix the issues people are dead set on wanting it to have.**

**not that the film doesn’t have real problems

That is absolutely not true, and it can be demonstrated.

i’m glad you proved me wrong. you did it you’re so smart and truly understand storytelling !

Your premise relies on the ideas (1) that TFA even had concrete themes and characters to adhere to (not vague questions and teasing), (2) that everyone has the same expectations, (3) that tropes/archetypes should only play out one way, lest you have a renegade film. You repeat yourself with the same reaching, subjective talking points like three times in this post, too.

In fact it sacrifices narrative and character development in order to do so.

Give me a break

Post
#1403596
Topic
Revenge of the Sith (The New Canon Cut) [DRAFT AVAILABLE]
Time

fwiw It’s only unfinished in that it became a messy experimental canvas for me. If I were to continue working on it, it would only entail walking back changes I’ve made on the most recent cut, not make new ones or work on accomplishing the goals of the edit “better.”

There was probably one point in the past where the edit was “finished” to my liking, save for a high quality export. But I really messed up those Vegas project files with how spontaneous the process ended up being. It’s kind of a nightmare to sort through for me now. I’m severely lacking in the free time. Part of me knows that the editor I am now wouldn’t be able to resist just redoing everything from the ground up; more neat and organized, in HD, etc.

That said, here’s what I would do from the current version:

  • Revert back to original color grading. I was grasping at making it feel as filmic as I remember it being as a lad. But it only adds to how fanedit-y the thing feels, esp. with the audio additions. Most people are fine with how ROTS looks. Apparently.
  • Remove at least 15% of the audio additions.
  • Adjust audio levels for certain added dialogue. There are previews in this thread that sound better than they do in the file.
  • Export in 1080p, 5.1 ch audio mix.

But the likelihood of me getting around to it is really low to be honest. I’m sorry.

Post
#1402626
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A complete series edit inspired by the Mandalorian [RELEASED: 2/5 seasons + 3 bonus episodes]
Time

Maybe my tolerance for this sort of thing is just super high, but I do miss the “Snips and Skyguy” exchange in ep 1. I get that some people have a cringe reflex, or would rather like Ahsoka than not at first, but I think there is value in having Ahsoka act smug and petulant at this point in her character arc.

Its absence kind of messes with the progression between her and Anakin in the episode. The bickering establishes why they aren’t getting along as well as they should be, so without it, she just comes off as a harmlessly enthusiastic girl that Anakin is being a dick to for no reason. By the time she is firing back, it’s because she’s had enough of his shit. But I just think Anakin needs to see a lot of himself in her for the whole “You’ll make it as mine” moment to work. She needs to be a headache, but one he understands being. It’s a perfect line robbed of its weight here.

idk, it was just really noticeable to me how harmless and inoffensive Ahsoka was. It didn’t jive with important character moments and dialogue in the episode.


Pretty much everything else I’d have to say about the episodes I saw has been said. I think these are really well done overall! My only real technical (if even) gripe is that it’s noticeable to me when we’re coming into a scene from the titles with the music already halfway through a track. Maybe it’s something you plan to polish, but I wouldn’t mind if you rescored the beginning of those moments.

Post
#1401913
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

I swear if no one said “subvert expectations” before this movie came out, no one would think the movie was actively trying to do that. It at the very least wouldn’t be The Buzzword for TLJ criticism. Take everything in the film at face value - not in conversation about director’s intent - and there’s not a whole lot about it that plays with conventions as much as people like to say it does.

Pulling the rug out from under people only to pull it back in is the kind of pretentious thing the film gets accused of. I don’t see how that would fix the issues people are dead set on wanting it to have.**

**not that the film doesn’t have real problems

Post
#1398047
Topic
<strong>The Clone Wars</strong> (2008 animated tv series) - a general discussion thread
Time

Was Satine not portrayed somewhat negatively, as naive and in over her head? Obi-Wan is The Good Guy and he never actually resolves his debate with Satine other than the “we’ll agree to disagree” thing. And then she dies in spite of all her efforts and Star Wars at this point has been pretty pro-warrior Mando, even adapting her terrorist sister as A Good Guy in live action.

Mandalore’s neutrality and pacifism causes a lot of problems for our heroes, that I’d say it wasn’t trying to make Satine’s goal The Good Side. Basically: Nice thoughts, but it doesn’t work. Which is a whole political can of worms, but lines up pretty neatly with the kids show themes of Fighting For What’s Right.

Post
#1396920
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

Rian saved Luke Skywalker from being a boring generic superhero in my eyes. The whole zen monk vibe he had in RotJ felt somewhat disingenuous to the initial character anyway (Mando helped me realize this), and to see that contrast adapted into a philosophical struggle in TLJ was really interesting and more satisfying storytelling than Force God fan wank.

The kid didn’t want anything but a dad, his friends, and a sweet piloting gig, especially when thrust with the Jedi responsibilities he didn’t really understand. In the end, his human heart and love for his dad beat The Empire, not his powers or sick saber moves. He certainly didn’t have to follow in Obi-Wan and Yoda’s footsteps. Badass Jedi Knight? Nah, just a good son.

Luke dealing with the expectation that he was more than any of those things is perfect meta commentary on how so many people thought or wanted it to be otherwise. “Like my father before me” is more important than the “I am a Jedi” part and I’m glad Rian found that soul from a character so muddled by pop culture.

Post
#1395730
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

StarkillerAG said:

Geez, I don’t know how you can simultaneously consider Rogue One the best Star Wars thing ever, while also considering Mando season 2 the worst Star Wars thing ever. I thought they were very similar, and from what I’ve seen there is heavy overlap between the fans of both.

For one thing, the dialogue in Rogue One is at least more naturalistic than the shallow pulp exchanges of Mando. The characters discuss ideas, thoughts, and emote complex feelings. There’s an actual attempt at interpersonal and ideological drama. It may be what gives Rogue One its “boring” wrap, but I think Mando is so completely in the opposite direction (save for bits of Chapter 15) wherein every other character either exposits plot or one lines their way through paper thin Rule Of Cool sequences.

Not similar at all IMO. Fundamentally different approaches to storytelling. Mando relies on the shape of a story with us having to assume at least half the substantive story beats, whereas Rogue One (perhaps to the detriment of broadly entertaining pacing) fills out the more minute details of its story elements. Mando is dumb, Rogue One thinks it’s smarter than it is.

Post
#1394894
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

StarkillerAG said:
So you’re saying something like the original Star Trek? I’m not really sure if that would be a good idea. I tend to find television formulas to be tiring, especially when they’re of the “threat of the week” variety.

Firefly or Cowboy Bebop if anything, although those might be big asks quality wise. Which is essentially my point; I’m disappointed that Star Wars isn’t allowed to go there (those comparisons aren’t even that amazing) because SW “pulpy fun” and “it’s perfect for what it is.” Idk. Why can’t this Star Wars show be written as well?

I’m not even thinking about it in terms of a hard P&F formula. Like, literally, every episode could be different. In the same way we got a western in Chapter 9 and shades of jidaigeki in Chapter Whatever The One Ahsoka Was In, this show could have adopted a different style and structure every vignette. All these announced spin offs could have just existed as their own episodes within this show. Maybe then they wouldn’t have felt like half-baked teases or backdoor pilots.

Episodic != formulaic. At least, it doesn’t have to.

jedi_bendu said:
I love Ezra too. I never minded him at all seasons 1 and 2 like some people, but I think the incredibly emotional decision he had to make and his sacrifice to liberate his home planet in the Rebels finale will strengthen his character even more going forward.

He’s like Ahsoka, Dave Filoni and his band of writers wrote both Ahsoka and Ezra as young characters who actually act their age and are in some ways annoying, but who mature and become better people as their stories progressed.

I genuinely don’t get what’s so bad about Ezra. He has a pretty well-realized arc. It’s inoffensively solid.

No, more than that, I honestly think he has the most developed and nuanced journey from normal person to Jedi of the entire franchise. And he’s still pretty characteristically doofy after it all, unlike Luke who becomes this zen monk figure out of almost nowhere. He’s by far the most human Jedi we’ve had. I think he’s a good character.

That said, I’m ready to turn on him the minute Filoni decides to milk him as hard as he milked Ahsoka.

Post
#1394821
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

See, I’m of a completely different mind about it. I think the show could’ve just not had a story.

Grogu and Din traveling to different pockets of the galaxy doing random stuff and growing together along the way, would have been better than what we got IMO. The little adventures they did have ended up being so half baked and bare bones because of the obligation to get somewhere. It only got in the way of fleshing out how interesting the vignettes could be.

It’s not sidetracking if there is no track, and it leaves you with an entire galaxy as a canvas to explore. Din and Grogu just along for the ride. I genuinely think the show would have been better served focusing less on those two and more on the “guest world” or character of an episode. Make it the Cobb Vanth Show, Greef Carga Show, Egg Lady Show, or Mayfeld Show for the episode(s) they’re in. Flesh those characters and their dilemmas out - invest us in them more than the Mando and Baby Yoda. The duo then comes out of an episode having learned or changed by interacting with them.

As it was, it felt like we were just passing through sidequests to exchange favors. But I’d rather we took on the perspective of those being passed by. It’s not like Din and Grogu wouldn’t be in every episode for us to gather an identifiable thread.

Post
#1394686
Topic
<strong>The Mandalorian</strong> - a general discussion thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

The last bit was just off to be honest. Like, does Din not want to discuss things with this stranger a little more? Why is Luke seemingly uninterested in letting Grogu’s ostensible guardian know a little more about the situation going forward? I mean, meeting Ahsoka and sorting things out from there took a while (a whole day), and that didn’t even pan out.

But then Luke rolls up and the pacing at which things happen is Mando going “i guess i have no choice” like a self aware bit in a Dan Harmon show. Maybe if no one else was in the room it would have played slightly better the exact same way, but it just felt so obvious they couldn’t really “use” Luke. And in the context of everything else, so rushed. No questions, just bye Grogu. The helmet scene is only good in isolation from everything around it.