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The Power of The Dog


besleybean
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On 11/24/2021 at 5:12 AM, DistantView said:

I still have the cojones in terms of watching that stuff, but it's quickly waning, which makes me think that age (on my part anyway) is a factor.

 

10 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I primarily regard film as entertainment, and dark themes don't entertain me any more ... so I don't spend my meager funds on them


So that makes three of us.  I suspect this is part of the whole "young people are immortal" thing.  Even though most people in, say, their twenties are intellectually aware that bad things can happen, they don't *feel* that way.  So they can watch a scary / violent films as entertainment, in the same category as riding a roller coaster.  But once they have a few more decades under their belt, it hits closer to home, and it's not fun anymore.

(I'm not so keen on roller coasters any more, either.)

 

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On 11/25/2021 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm not so keen on roller coasters any more, either.

 

I never was crazy about rollercoasters, but yeah, even less so now.

I had a free pass to a theme park a couple years ago. My lord, most of the rides I saw there looked absolutely terrifying. All about height and speed. One was a) turbo-powered and b) completely in the dark. Several of the kids (and they were all kids, no adults) were sitting outside the amphitheater with white faces and/or throwing up. And no doubt planning to go on it again.

At any rate, I asked a friend if there were any "tame" rides I might enjoy, and she recommended some coaster or other. Now I know why they lock you in so tightly to those things. I swear, I was so terrified I would have ripped the bar off and jumped if I could have. The rational brain completely shut down, all I wanted was to escape. Horrible!

I did quite enjoy the log plume ride, though. The only ride in the place where the vehicle never got airborne. :D It was a blast.

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9 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I asked a friend if there were any "tame" rides I might enjoy, and she recommended some coaster or other. Now I know why they lock you in so tightly to those things. I swear, I was so terrified I would have ripped the bar off and jumped if I could have.

I used to love ferris wheels, until one time at a street carnival I noticed how much the thing was creaking and moaning.  And it occurred to me that they had to disassemble it every time they left a town, then re-assemble it at the next place.  And what if they lost a few bolts in the process?  Or simply forgot to install some pieces?

 

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I saw the trailer for this film and thought it looked really interesting but potentially disturbing. So I sent my best friend the link, she watched the whole movie and told me "you'll probably like it but don't watch it alone." Husband isn't interested so I'll have to wait until I get together with her (and we've worked off all the other films and series on our ever-growing "must watch together" list... :lol:)

Apropos rides and ferris wheels: I would never get on anything like that for myself, I have hight-freight and am not interested in wasting adrenaline. However, I am now a mom of an almost-five-year-old boy with a very different outlook on things and live in a place where practically the only accessible and family-friendly public entertainment is an annual fun fair. So... Let me just say I've had some interesting experiences lately. ("Mom, I'm getting scared! Make it stop!" / "I can't, love, once it's going round it'll continue going round until the ride is over. But there's nothing to be scared about, look, we can see the church steeple down there! And can you find our house?" / "Why are you trembling?" / "Because it's cold..." :lol:)

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7 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I am now a mom of an almost-five-year-old boy with a very different outlook on things and live in a place where practically the only accessible and family-friendly public entertainment is an annual fun fair. So... Let me just say I've had some interesting experiences lately.

That sort of thing gets to just about everyone eventually, I think.  I went with some friends to a street carnival.  She didn't want to go on any of the rides.  He wanted to go on all of them, but wanted some company.  So we compromised and went on only the rides that I (thought I was) comfortable with.  One of them was the Tilt-A-Whirl, where you're in a three-or-four-person seat that tilts and whirls as it moves around the center of the ride.  I had always thought of it as a reasonably tame ride -- but was not aware that the lap bar was also a control mechanism.  My friend wanted to whirl faster, so he kept pulling on the bar, and I was getting dizzy but I toughed it out.  When we got back to their apartment, he excused himself and headed for the bathroom.  She and I talked for a while, then got to wondering what was taking him so long.  She went to check, then reported that he was in there throwing up.  We were not overly sympathetic.

 

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Surprised BC was willing to put himself through the nicotine poisoning route again for a movie role . . .he went through the same thing during 'Scandal in Belgravia' filming, as I recall.  As far as I know, American film productions are required by law to use non-tobacco (herbal) cigarettes during filming. Health and safety.  Herbals are not without some side effects but they are not considered tobacco products and thus are permissible.

Having seen the trailer, my impression is that this is essentially a riff on "Brokeback Mountain" with young (underage?) Kodi Smit-McPhee in the Heath Ledger role as the initiate into the particular love between men.  There at least seems to be a homosexual undercurrent to 'Phil's' interactions with the boy, who he mocks mercilessly for being effeminate because he's secretly attracted to him.  I don't *know* for sure that this is the way it goes, but Jane Campion is known for treading the sexual edge in all her movies.  BC's current pictorial spread/lengthy interview in The Hollywood Reporter, entitled "The Age of Cumberbatch" shows Bendi decidedly playing around with a pansexual aura, to say the least.

I will be recusing myself from seeing this movie.  Not interested.  I did see Brokeback Mountain and thought it was a sad but ultimately touching love story.  I don't get the vibe of 'ultimately touching' or in any way life-affirming from this.

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Yeah I liked Brokeback, too.

This is a bit different and ultimately more challenging.

But a better film for that, I think.

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On 11/24/2021 at 2:35 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

You might want to skip Bambi, though.  And Dumbo.

 

I've been thinking about movie ratings recently, and it just occurred to me to wonder how those two would have been rated, if the systems had been in place earlier.  They were clearly intended to be kiddie flicks, but I can't imagine either one getting a "G" rating.

 

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On 11/28/2021 at 1:31 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I used to love ferris wheels, until one time at a street carnival I noticed how much the thing was creaking and moaning.  And it occurred to me that they had to disassemble it every time they left a town, then re-assemble it at the next place.  And what if they lost a few bolts in the process?  Or simply forgot to install some pieces?

 

Yeah, the creaking and moaning could potentially be really disturbing. About 20 years ago I drove from LA to Vegas with a couple of friends, and we rode the coaster at Circus Circus; I've been on exactly one coaster ride since then (about  6 years later) and never again will I ride one. The most recent one wasn't so bad, but the Circus Circus rattled, groaned, unnerved me, as well as leaving bruises on both shoulders because of jostling and no padding (on either my shoulders or the seat).

They go too fast, too high, and could easily crash and kill everyone - no thank you, and I guess that means we are all wimps now! 😩

 

On the topic of The Power of the Dog (and since I saw it last night)-

I liked it quite a bit overall. The subject matter is dark, difficult, and rather uncomfortable, but for whatever reason I tend to really appreciate those qualities in film, and TPOTD was no exception.

My brain enjoys pondering why humans do the things they do, and what situations (whether or not avoidable) could have led them to these actions, thoughts, behaviors, and tendencies. And then more largely and in a more general sense analyzing and breaking down human society in order to better see where problem areas lie. This one gave me a lot of meat to sink the neurons into. The strongest aspects for me were the performances of the leads, primarily Cumberbatch and Dunst. The final third of the movie was also pretty strong overall and led to a foreseeable, but well-done, finale. I wish the first 50% or so of the film had been a little smoother, or structured differently though. It took a little while to get going, and I enjoyed the chapter breaks, but they also isolated the sections of the film (and the characters themselves) into what seemed more like separate vignettes, rather than part of an integrated whole. It gave the first part a choppy feel imho (which also served to "interrupt" what otherwise could have been more gradual, building tension that fit the plot better). Other than that I liked it a lot overall. Benedict did an admirable job with the cigs too; he covered up that nausea impressively! (and the character composed of hostile intimidation and simmering volatility, combined with a sad repression and unfettered grime never looked so good... ❤️)

 

side note: anyone who liked 'Brokeback might also want to check out God's Own Country if you haven't seen that one. Again, similar content, but an altogether lighter story (though it has its moments) and with an actual happy ending.

 

 

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On 12/1/2021 at 11:31 AM, Hikari said:

I don't get the vibe of .... in any way life-affirming from this.

Yeah, I think that describes my reservations exactly. I feel crap enough about the human race already, I'm wary of something that might bring me down even more. Gah, when did I get so "sensitive"?  :smile: 

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I feel crap enough about the human race already, I'm wary of something that might bring me down even more. Gah, when did I get so "sensitive"?

My theory is that it's a simple case of living long enough to acquire empathy and such.  You know how little kids are just naturally self-centered, because they still need to learn more about themselves.  And then people in their teens and twenties are all "adults are soooo stoopid," simply because to them everything seems so obvious.  It takes a while to learn that the world is a pretty complicated place, so people can disagree without either one of them being ignorant or evil.  And then you begin to wonder what's gone wrong with the younger generation, whereas they're simply going through the same phases that you did.

 

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I think to be fair:

the film is set in brutal times and people lived very flimsy lives...

think of it as a historical piece, if it helps you cope.

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Thanks, Bev.  Not that I'm planning to actually watch whatever show we're talking about, but that's an excellent point.

An awful lot of people nowadays seem to think that history needs to be "improved" by showing things the way they "should" have been.  That's all well and good for a Renaissance Faire or a comedy, but (in my opinion) *not* for anything claiming to be even halfway historical.  I was disgusted to read recently that what had been called the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (for authors of childrens' books) has been renamed, because Ms. Wilder's books are now considered "racist" simply because some of the minor characters are racist, and even though the lead characters disagree with them.  At that rate, we'll forget all about the horrible things that happened in the past -- making us more likely to repeat them.  Better to learn from the past, I think.

P.S.:  Arcadia, Bev's comment here might also apply somewhat to your recent thoughts about The Rifleman in another thread.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is great: https://www.screendaily.com/features/the-power-of-the-dog-star-benedict-cumberbatch-on-his-darkest-film-role-so-far/5166104.article

I voluntarily lived out of a Chevy Van for about a year in the lat 90s so I can clearly envision what he must have felt like/been thinking when the sushi announcement came... lol.

Quote

Given Burbank works on the land, with cattle and horses, without much recourse to soap or water, Cumberbatch’s method approach to Phil extended to him not washing for up to six days at a time while filming, as well as asking the costume department not to clean his character’s clothes. “I did a little in Montana but really went for it in New Zealand. I felt fine with it in rehearsals, and then Jane said, ‘We’re all going out for sushi later.’ And I was like, ‘F***’s sake. I’ve got to walk through a restaurant and be served.’ You could feel the fumes coming off, and the clothes sticking to you.”

I've read a number of pieces about Benedict getting into character for this film, but this was a pretty good (short) read. Probably going to rewatch POTD in a month or so. Very good film...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, didn't like the movie that much. It could use a bit more "vigor" imo. I absolutely couldn't find any connection to any of the characters, they seemed so stiff and artificial to me. A good music would make the whole experience a bit better too, by matching those maginficent landscapes (I hate banjo, maybe that's the reason).
BUT
The story was a bit spoiled to me by a recension, so I was warned to look beyond the obvious. And still, as it finally clicked, the sound might have been heard outside. Hell, that was a surprise!

The rule of Hitschcock comes to mind - when there is a gun visible at the beginning, it's going to fire at the end. :D
Still the twist would be nicer if I actually cared for those characters.

ETA:

Spoiler

An afterthought: Do you think Peter also killed his father?

 

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Wow.

Amazing how we see things so differently.

I thought it was an amazing film...

seeing Louis Wain on Thursday!

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9 hours ago, J.P. said:

I absolutely couldn't find any connection to any of the characters

  

9 hours ago, J.P. said:

Still the twist would be nicer if I actually cared for those characters.

 

Haven't seen this film, but if I can't relate to at least one character in a film or a show, I just can't get into it, no matter how good it may be by other standards.  So that may be one more reason why I probably would not care for this one.

 

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That sounds odd to me...

I mean we can't all be everything, but surely we can still relate to/understand others?!

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I meant an emotional connection. I surely had no sympathy fo ANY of the characters. And not enough antypathy either.
It still works inside me on another level though. I keep wondering what else is different from what it seems to be.
Now I would call it a movie with a clever idea, but not appealing to me.

I might look after the book though.

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8 hours ago, besleybean said:

I mean we can't all be everything, but surely we can still relate to/understand others?!

In real life I can relate to most people that I meet, but there are a few that I can't -- or don't care to try!  The latter are mostly people that don't seem to give a damn about anybody but themselves, and if you don't agree with them on everything, and let them have their way all the time, then you're no good.  Emotional two-year-olds, I guess (though calling them that is a major insult to actual two-year-olds).

It's about the same on TV.  If I find that a show has no characters I can relate to, I don't keep watching it.  With movies, I can usually tell by the trailers.

 

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Oh, another thing - the dialogues often felt forced, not fitting the situations.
All that Bronco Henry talking, referring to the parents as the old ones, it all didn't fit, even with the characters. My impression was too often: "people don't talk like this".

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29 minutes ago, J.P. said:

All that Bronco Henry talking, referring to the parents as the old ones, it all didn't fit, even with the characters. My impression was too often: "people don't talk like this".

 

27 minutes ago, besleybean said:

It just seeemd fitting for the Western genre to me...


Writing dialog for Westerns is tricky!  On the one hand, you've got viewers who think everyone in the Old West talked in a sort of stilted way.  And on the other hand, you've got viewers who want people to talk in a more natural way.  I think both expectations are a bit misguided.  Obviously, language usage has changed in the past 140 years.  But I suspect that people didn't actually talk in the stilted style of the old novels, either.  A dialog writer's best bet is probably to use modern language but avoid slang.

However I did think the stilted dialog worked well in True Grit, as though the movie had actually been made back then.  It's the only John Wayne movie I've ever seen where he fit right in!

 

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