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Posts posted by D.W.

  1. The Poppy thing started as a really interesting and sorta creepy series of videos about the "character" and then it just turned out that it was all marketing for her music and it instantly became a lot less cool.

  2. John Wick: A well-paced revenge tale that hits all of the simplest, but most effective beats, building to its climax as the title character topples increasingly larger dominoes in his way.  Enjoyed.

    John Wick 2: Mystery is boring - let's EXPLAIN things. It feels like that's most of what this movie is, explaining things, then explaining them again, then showing you the thing it just explained in case you somehow missed it because we need a franchise, goddammit.  Ruby Rose has nothing to do but tries her best.  Ups the gun fetishism while making the fights feel like more of the same.  You are also now asked to buy in to the premise that 75% of the world's population is apparently part of the assassin's club.  Like, there are so many of them and they kill so many people in public that you wonder why they even bother being secret.  Thinking about this movie now with the context of 3 makes more sense, but still doesn't do enough to justify its runtime.  It exists to be the bridge between two better movies.

    John Wick 3: I liked this movie quite a bit but this did not need to be two and a half hours.  A good editor could have killed 45 minutes of this thing. I guess that's just going to be a standard in the post-MCU world.  You could have cut out an entire sequence (and its featured actress) and not missed much of anything.  Asia Kate Dillon is a magnetic presence and adds a lot to the film by doing very little.  The first fight scene alone is better than all of John Wick 2 combined, relying more on creative choreography than video game corridor shooting.  Eventually the movie loses its way and goes back to that and the contrast is staggering.  Every punch and kick has 5 times the impact of a shotgun blast in the same film but it seems to be significantly more interested in the latter. 

    My main takeaway is that Keanu Reeves is content to make John Wick movies for the rest of his life, and he deserves to be happy, so there's that at least.

  3. I've been watching a lot of movies as a way to keep my brain busy and stay away from distracting/unhealthy stuff, so I have a lot from the past week or so.

    The Imposter - A documentary detailing the story of Frédéric Bourdin, a French con-man that was somehow able to convince a Texas family that he was their missing son.  It's unique in the way it allows Bourdin himself to narrate a lot of the story, which offers an interesting perspective but also trusts a lot of the details to a notorious liar.  It certainly tries to paint him in an oddly sympathetic light at times, but as the case unfolds, you get the sense that there are even worse people involved in the boy's disappearance.  A fascinating watch and highly recommended.  The whole thing is on Youtube.

    The Exam - A low-budget indy thriller.  Eight job applicants are put together in a room and have to figure out what their shadowy employer-to-be wants them to do.  I'm a sucker for films like this that only use one location and depend on the script and performances to carry the plot.  Sort of like 12 Angry Men meets Cube, even if not as sharply written as the former or as visually interesting as the latter.  The premise mostly works, though you can shoot a lot of holes in the ending.  Stars the criminally underrated Pollyanna McIntosh and Luke Mably, who should forever be known as the British Tom Hardy.

    Punisher: War Zone - Can't be touched for pure entertainment and re-watchablity.  It's far from flawless, though better than it honestly had any right to be given a rookie director who came in with no interest or knowledge in the character and a lot of meddling from a studio that didn't seem to understand what they were doing.  There's also the whole part where Frank Castle, mass murderer, teases quitting forever because he let one innocent die in the crossfire.  But still, Frank kills a parkour dude with a rocket launcher.  There's a decapitation within the first 3 minutes.  It's worth seeking out the episode of "How Did This Get Made" that has Patton Oswalt and director Lexi Alexander talking about the film and the argument it makes for allowing a competent open-minded outsider to make adaptations of fanboy media.  Marvel will never do the Punisher anywhere near this well again.

    The Disaster Artist - I fucking hated this.  I've never cringed this many times watching a movie before (think of the ground that covers).  I barely got to the part in where they actually start filming The Room before I tapped out.  I kept waiting for it to get funny or interesting or... anything.  I'm sure this is a much more fascinating book, but as a movie, I have to wonder why they thought the story of Tommy Wiseau (feat others) was one worth telling, as a viewing of The Room itself paints a picture of Wiseau as a man almost charming in his incompetence, missing every vital component to success outside of money.  He's been smart enough to coast by since then on the perception that he's just Silly Foreign Man that doesn't understand how the world works and lean into the idea that we're laughing with him instead of at him. The Disaster Artist instead paints what I imagine is the more accurate picture; that Tommy Wiseau is just a rich asshole that pretty much gets away with being a petulant child and treating everyone around him like shit because he's a rich asshole. Greg Sestero doesn't come out of it looking too much better, as the vapid Ken doll tag-along that sadly realizes that he isn't talented enough to get by on his own so he'll use his friendship with Wiseau to get as far as he can.  Both would be fine characters if they didn't exist in a movie where we were supposed to root for them.  I'm convinced that this won awards because of the fascination people have with Wiseau and Franco's understanding that people will toss accolades at any mediocre actor that takes a role as someone disabled.

    Black Panther - It's a Marvel movie, in both the best and worst ways.  Overly long but still somehow rushed, held up by a talented cast forcing life into undercooked characters.  Killmonger almost feels wasted, like he should have been saved for later down the line.  His screen time is nowhere near relative to the performance and the motivations of the character.  M'Baku could have been enough bad guy on his own in a film that remained completely isolated to Wakanda, then living on to serve the same role here in a sequel.  That said, it'd still put it near the top of the Marvel movies I've seen (like 10 of them).  It's a beautiful film set in a universe that you want to learn more about and with a hero that's easy to root for.  It doesn't take much.

    Dredd - Passes the incredibly low bar of blowing the previous Judge Dredd film out of the water.  Conceptually interesting in terms of setting and visuals but suffers from too often falling back on monotonous gunplay.  Olivia Thirlby has to carry most of the film on her own since it (rightfully) has little interest in developing Dredd himself.  I think she kills it and I'm surprised she's not a bigger star.  She's gorgeous and can act.  Conversely, Lena Headey doesn't have fuck-all to do and meets an unsatisfying end, which really soured what had been a pretty fun romp up to that point.  I'd like to see the same crew give Dredd another shot.

    Best in Show - A decent effort that really shows the flaws in the Christopher Guest formula.  This Is Spinal Tap worked almost in spite of itself as a 90 minute retelling of the same joke over and over, anchored by the fact that it was a really good joke.  Here the majority of the cast wanders aimlessly with even less to do as the film hopes to get by on the one-sentence pitch that each of their characters have to cling to.  It suffers from being somehow equally too over-the-top and too understated. Parker Posey and Eugene Levy are the only sources of real laughs for most of the film, then Fred Willard tries to drag the audience through the finale kicking and screaming.  Didn't hate my time with it but couldn't help but be disappointed.

  4. On 10/19/2018 at 3:36 PM, The Master said:

    Thanks to Hulu I think I'm gonna give NXT a try. Is there anyone I should be paying attention to?

    I tried to apply this a lot when I did my TEW booking videos, but NXT has always been really good at putting forth the idea that everyone is good at something and that everyone on the card has a purpose.  The weekly show is basic almost to a fault, but it makes the Takeovers that much better since they use simple, logical booking.  I'd almost recommend going back to around the Nakamura era and starting from there, since you'll see the best of a lot of guys that are being wasted on the main roster now, and you'll also get context for all of the current Ciampa/Gargano stuff.

    NXT and the Mae Young tournament are literally the only WWE thing I watch anymore.  The rest of my wrestling time is spent on UK and Japanese women's feds, which are amazing.

  5. So.. this is incredibly weird for me and I'm ashamed I'm even doing this, but, here we go.

    I'm moving back to Baltimore and I've started a GoFundMe to ask for help. The details of the situation are in the link.  

    As for how this affects my online stuff - I don't know yet.  It may continue with slight delay, it may end entirely.  If it does, I'll close the Patreon and get people refunds if they ask for them.  I honestly won't know the whole situation until I've moved.  

  6. To clarify, I'm not going to stick a knife in the thing tomorrow.  There were times in the past that I wanted to stop doing the show completely for much more serious reasons.  I actually quit like, three times before but I came back so quickly no one noticed.  Other times when I wanted to stop and just kept going because I had this dumb perception that it was the only thing James and I consistently got to do together and that he'd have no reason to be friends with me anymore if we stopped. 

    As I get older, it's become apparent to me just how much of our lives we've devoted to this thing.  I came up with the idea for the Tirades Wiki back when I was still living in Maryland and that was SIX years ago.  That's a lot of time I've spent on the show, well, frankly, not working on other things in my life that I probably should have.  I've also had to consider how badly my desire is to ineloquently curse at movies into the rest of my 30s.  I can absolutely put "10 years of audio editing" experience on a job application now (and just did a couple days ago), but I don't know if I'd actually want any prospective employers to actually hear that work, especially the older shows.

    If I get the job I want, I have to stop the blog, the Youtube, and yes, I'll have to also stop doing the one remaining thing I still contribute to this site.

  7. Hey, so I don't ask this, but I've run into a couple folks upset that I'm playing a gay dating sim on my channel and they're dislike bombing it already.  It's not a ton, but it's enough that it'll hurt my views pretty much from the start.

    So if you can do me and favor and up-thumb this to counter-act that a bit, I'd appreciate it.  Don't even have to watch the video.


  8. 7 minutes ago, The Master said:

    Something I've wondered since I was a kid: how come an inverted atomic drop is not considered a shot to the balls, and therefore a DQ?

    It's supposed to be a spinal compression, just like the normal atomic drop, so the belief is that they're hitting their tailbone.

    It really depends on who is selling it, but most of the time it just looks bad.  There's a reason you never see that move anymore.

  9. On 7/4/2017 at 4:00 AM, The Master said:

    In kayfabe: How the fuck is Hulk Hogan a face? Never mind the dirty back-rakes and eye-pokes, he is a whiny asshole. Sure, yeah, the ref messed up the final call of World War 3 '95, but instead of accepting his loss with grace -- like everyone else did, face and heel alike -- he pantomimes how he was screwed over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again like a punk, thus overshadowing Randy Savage's win.

    Beyond not getting how his character is a face, the man is a dick; he keeps stepping in front of the camera every single time Savage is meant to be in focus. It's fucking infuriating.



    Start at about 1:18:40 for a detailed breakdown of how awful of a babyface Hogan is.

  10. 13 minutes ago, Professor said:


    Have you read the revised and expanded edition?  Been debating getting the audiobook.

    I got the audio book of the expanded version for free, but I can't really do audio books, so I'll be looking to get another hardcover.