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Postby Milk » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:07 am

when i go back to my hometown i'm always surprised my brother says hi to everyone we pass on the street (who he doesn't necessarily know). Which is usually about 2 people but still. also to all cashier or store employees anywhere we may stop but that's mostly because he actually knows all of them. Thing though is i lived there 22 years and i barely knew anyone. But i guess as a kid or teen these things don't matter to you and i lived the last 5 years there as a hermit.
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:09 am

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

I hate this movie. I recognize that it's a landmark achievement in filmmaking but I hate this fucking movie and it is worthless to me.

The main reason I hate this movie is because I hate Tex Avery cartoons. None of that shit is funny to me. It is profoundly depressing that people find humor in stupid pointless violence and sexism and speech impediments. There's no wit to any of it, it's just slapstick of the absolute lowest order, and the idea that "Toon Town" would be populated solely by the worst, stupidest, most annoying cartoons on earth makes me think Judge Doom should have fucking won and burned the whole place to the ground.

Melt Roger Rabbit's fucking face off, the world will be a better place for it.

1/10
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:15 am

Other reasons I hate this movie:

-- Tonally it's all over the place but the register stays locked in the key of Ugly. Everything in this movie except Dolores is ugly. Toon Town is ugly as fuck, it's all radioactive yellow and sickly pink and the design aesthetic is garbage. The real world is ugly too though, it's all back lots and dingy offices and run-down bars. There isn't a single beautiful space in this film.

-- The end sequence with Christopher Lloyd's cartoon eyes imperfectly superimposed over his real face is absolute nightmare fuel. It was nightmare fuel when I was 10 and it's nightmare fuel when I'm 36. The way the borders fuzz out at the edges and the cartoon eyes jump across his face is just pure Lovecraftian wrongness, it's one of the worst things I've ever seen.

-- I hate both of the main characters and get absolutely zero enjoyment out of being forced to watch them for almost two hours. fuuuuuck that.
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Postby aububs » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:09 am

nice.

I like WFRR, but nice.
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Postby Milk » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:29 am

Merciel wrote:
-- The end sequence with Christopher Lloyd's cartoon eyes imperfectly superimposed over his real face is absolute nightmare fuel. It was nightmare fuel when I was 10



I like this movie but definitely this. I was more like 12 when i first saw it though but still stuck with me and its still one of the first thing i think about when i think of this film.
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Postby tgk » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:15 am

Yeah i've always been repulsed by roger rabbit and it's shittier knock off cool world

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Postby Bartatua » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:19 am

Milk wrote:when i go back to my hometown i'm always surprised my brother says hi to everyone we pass on the street (who he doesn't necessarily know). Which is usually about 2 people but still. also to all cashier or store employees anywhere we may stop but that's mostly because he actually knows all of them. Thing though is i lived there 22 years and i barely knew anyone. But i guess as a kid or teen these things don't matter to you and i lived the last 5 years there as a hermit.


enjoyable out of context post
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Postby reversemigraine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:43 am

Bob Hoskins is fantastic in everything, and I think I appreciated WFRR more as I started getting into Chinatown, Chandler, LA Confidential, etc., but these days I can't watch it without wondering who exactly it's for. There was a period there from the mid-'80s to early '90s where young directors and production designers were absolutely enamored with old sci-fi and animation kitch -- think Tim Burton, Oingo Boingo, etc. -- and WFRR feels almost like it's intended for that audience more than anything else.

It's been remarked upon a lot, but it is kinda funny that Pizzolatto's pitch for True Detective Season 2 was basically the Cloverleaf scheme from WFRR. The streetcar conspiracy was a real thing, and it's kinda funny that a comedic homage to Marlowe and Chinatown turned out to be the one film that fictionalized all of that. Regardless of quality, it kinda has to be taken more seriously as a part of the LA private detective genre in film than, say, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.
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Postby traced out » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:53 am

you hate bugs bunny and daffy duck?
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:26 pm

traced out wrote:you hate bugs bunny and daffy duck?


yes

somewhat less than the rest of the gang, because they occasionally do things other than drop anvils and fall off cliffs, but if I had to lose Bugs and Daffy in exchange for also deleting Sylvester and Tweety and Speedy Gonzalez and all the rest of those idiot creations, I absolutely would make that trade without blinking an eye
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:39 pm

reversemigraine wrote:these days I can't watch it without wondering who exactly it's for.


Yeah, I wondered about this too.

It's not really a kids' movie. There isn't anything fun or funny in it, and to the extent that familiar cartoons pop up, they do so in a way that (for me at least) poisoned them and ruined whatever scant enjoyment there was to be had in them. Tweety turns out to be a sadistic, homicidal lunatic. Bugs grins about giving a fake parachute to a guy who didn't do anything even in cartoon logic to deserve it, besides asking him for help. The cute baby's a foul-mouthed lecherous old man.

It wouldn't have been that hard to have those cartoons pop up in helpful roles, but no, we have to see them casually be awful because... that's funny? Yeah okay.

The noir stuff didn't really work for me either. We've watched enough noir now for me to get all the references, but one of the core dynamics in classic noir is the glamour adjacent to the hero's grittier circumstances. There are usually a couple of lavishly dressed women decked out in jewels and couture, a couple of amazing mansions or clubhouses (usually to point up how rich and corrupt the adversary is), a couple of guys in pricey suits or tuxes to sneer at Our Hero, etc. There's always a keen and cutting sense that the whole world isn't run-down and grimy, but (a) that wealth is corrupt and corrupting; and (b) it's up to the outsider to see through that facade and ensure justice that the villain can otherwise skate past.

Roger Rabbit has none of that, which is part (but only part!) of why it's so ugly.

But it also doesn't work as a noir because what even are the stakes? We know Toon Town is fake. We know highways are real. Eddie Valiant is fighting against a future that already happened and for a past that never was. Which isn't funny, it just makes him a pointless dope. And because the cartoons never take anything seriously, nothing that happens to them is serious either. There's no gravitas to anything, and there's no humor in the parody (I'm not even sure it is a parody; the movie seems to be playing it pretty straight, even when Eddie's recounting the tragic death of his brother via cartoon-dropped piano), so what you have is the shell of a noir with some weird-ass goopy nonsense inside where its heart and muscle should be.

What a garbage waste of time this movie is.
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Postby traced out » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:47 pm

i can understand finding all the racism in looney tunes repulsive in this day and age, but it's weird to me hating all of it because of how omnipresent the style is in any cartoon from the last 70 years. the slapstick, and moreover the visual humor and choreography was pretty much the generational standard for decades

(i also hated roger rabbit as a kid because of how grimey it looked)
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:54 pm

I dunno, it was just never funny to me. I still don't like slapstick generally. Why a pie in the face is funny to people is just a complete mystery and always has been.
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Postby reversemigraine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:54 pm

It's weird to think that there were multiple Roger Rabbit / Baby Herman shorts that played before Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Dick Tracy and a few other movies in the years immediately after WFRR.
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Postby goofjan grievens » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:58 pm

Baby Herman is a revolting character.
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Postby high bias » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:05 pm

reversemigraine wrote:these days I can't watch it without wondering who exactly it's for.


yeah i watched this a few weeks ago before moving to la (lol), and this was my first thought. i loved that aspect of it though, since nowadays it seems like every big budget film is focus-grouped to death etc. and this is a huge movie that basically exists in a kind of bizarre no-man's land between a weird kids movie and a slightly trashy neo-noir spoof. i mean i liked the movie as a kid (including the scary stuff), so i think it does works on that level.
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Postby worrywort » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:03 pm

(this is an earnest answer post; i recognize it might sound jerky in a tone other than what i intended)

what do you guys mean by "who it's for"? it was a near-universally acclaimed smash hit combining animation and detective story, the most immediately captivating film format with perhaps the single most durable, broadly appealing genre in all of storytelling. plus people are fundamentally entertained by mashups, and WFRR promised (and delivered) mashups galore. none of this stuff is niche.
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Postby reversemigraine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:36 pm

I mean, in part I mean that there's no modern audience for it. Its brand of adult content is exactly the kind of stuff that Disney goes out of its way to avoid in family-friendly movies (murder, sexual blackmail, guns), its cast is older and schlubbier than any you'll see in a modern children's movie, and the nostalgia it traffics in (Disney and Warner Bros. animation, the golden age of Hollywood studios, and hard-boiled PI tropes) are indeed niche subjects and far less embedded in the culture for many adults and almost all kids today, compared to audiences 30 years ago.

So yeah, it's not entirely fair to ask, "Who's it for?" in the context of the late Eighties, but I also don't see it being a smash today.
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Postby Milk » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:13 pm

i know i liked it a lot when i was 12 and saw it when it came out on vhs. But the judge scared me....not that at 12 id' have admitted to it.
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:46 pm

worrywort wrote:what do you guys mean by "who it's for"? it was a near-universally acclaimed smash hit combining animation and detective story, the most immediately captivating film format with perhaps the single most durable, broadly appealing genre in all of storytelling. plus people are fundamentally entertained by mashups, and WFRR promised (and delivered) mashups galore. none of this stuff is niche.


I think high bias nailed it in saying that WFRR doesn't feel focus grouped.

Yeah, sure, it turned out to be a smash hit, but I don't think anyone honestly knew going in that would happen. It's a very strange movie with no obvious built-in audience. Flip the coin again and maybe it turns out to be a massive bomb.

And I think reversemigraine is right that it couldn't really exist outside that cultural moment in the late '80s (see also: Eisner pulled the plug on a sequel after investing considerable money into it, and current Disney leadership has less than zero interest in revisiting that decision), but it's still pretty weird even within that cultural context.
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Postby Merciel » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:47 pm

Also I can't decide if we should do Dick Tracy or not (it's like WFRR in that my recollection is hating it at the time, and I suspect that reaction's going to stay the same), but if we do it we should probably do it in pretty close proximity to this thing for comparison purposes.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:21 am

Merciel wrote:
worrywort wrote:what do you guys mean by "who it's for"? it was a near-universally acclaimed smash hit combining animation and detective story, the most immediately captivating film format with perhaps the single most durable, broadly appealing genre in all of storytelling. plus people are fundamentally entertained by mashups, and WFRR promised (and delivered) mashups galore. none of this stuff is niche.


I think high bias nailed it in saying that WFRR doesn't feel focus grouped.

Yeah, sure, it turned out to be a smash hit, but I don't think anyone honestly knew going in that would happen. It's a very strange movie with no obvious built-in audience. Flip the coin again and maybe it turns out to be a massive bomb.

It was a joint venture between Disney and Steven Spielberg, who went to the trouble of licensing all of the most expensive cartoon characters in the world; the first movie Robert Zemeckis directed after Back to the Future; and, at the time, the most expensive animated film ever made. I think they were pretty confident that it was going to be a hit.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:23 am

Anyway I thought it was pretty good, though I don't think it would've hurt anything if they'd made Roger Rabbit 20% less annoying.
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Postby Merciel » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:26 am

It's not like big-budget collaborations don't fail as often as they succeed, but anyway I'm not that interested in litigating whether the makers of WFRR knew they'd have a hit on their hands or were crossing their fingers and frantically hoping for the best, because either way what they actually put out was a real crummy movie.

It's possible I might look more kindly on it by comparison if I watched Cool World, but "a movie that's a crummier version of Roger Rabbit" might be the actual worst tagline I could imagine existing in this universe.
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Postby Merciel » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:46 am

Aladdin (1992)

Gilbert Gottfried + Robin Williams in full-on manic LIKE ME!! mode sounds like a recipe for a completely unbearable pile of shit, but Disney's Aladdin is fantastic. It harnesses the things those two did well (and I say this as someone so fiercly allergic to their shticks that I'd forgotten there was anything either of them did well) and mostly keeps them reined in enough that the annoying parts aren't overwhelming. Also, it helps a bunch that Iago spends a lot of time getting punched in the face.

Disney really had an amazing run from Little Mermaid --> Beauty and the Beast (original version, not version with crummy bonus song inserted) --> Aladdin --> Lion King. If it weren't for Rescuers Down Under, which nobody remembers anyway, it would be the best winning streak of any studio ever. They owe so much to Alan Menken it's ridiculous.

It's funny in retrospect that people complained about Aladdin and Jasmine having white features, because to me at least it looks like they clearly do not. Aladdin has very thick eyebrows and Jasmine's nose is not a white girl nose, and even if you rendered them as ink drawings on plain white paper it would be evident that they aren't white people. Furthermore, and this isn't a comment on the movie so much as the regression of our dumbshit country, but can you imagine the reception that a Disney movie where the heroes (but never the villains!) regularly exclaim "Praise Allah!" would get today?

In 1992 that didn't go nearly far enough to make anybody happy. In 2017 it would get caterwauling and boycott threats from a sea of rancid idiots in MAGA hats. Fifteen years, and we've backslid that much.

Aladdin and Jasmine have the biggest gap between spoken voices and singing voices of any major characters I've seen so far on this project. It's not even close.

I was sad when I read on Wikipedia that the guy who voiced Abu the monkey (he also did the tiger) never got to meet Robin Williams or the guy who voiced Aladdin. It took three years to make this movie and he never got to meet either of them once.

10/10
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:13 am

I know the SNES version has its defenders but the fact is it just has too much purple in it. There's just purple everywhere and that's not the color I want to see when I'm a 9-year-old wasting my afternoon, because it looks like a dead afternoon. The Genesis version, when it needs something like purple, sensibly uses more of a periwinkle color, which reminds me of dreams. Also it doesn't have that fucking lava level with the carpet.

As for the movie, Robin Williams keeps it out of the top tier. Ironically it arguably makes sense for his character, but you can't watch this movie now without seeing Hercules, The Emperor's New Groove, Family Guy, late-era Simpsons, the whole 20 years of pop culture ruined by pop culture. Also the songs are a step down from Beauty and the Beast (which was already a big step down from The Little Mermaid), and the way the sultan voids the entire plot at the end feels... kind of... insulting...

On the plus side it looks way better than any Disney movie that preceded it, notwithstanding a couple of fairly shitty CG sequences. And everything else about it is good, even Gilbert Gottfried.

Anyway if any character is white it's the sultan, he is just the dad from Beauty and the Beast with a beard.
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Postby Spoilt Victorian Child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:28 am

Now that I think about it I guess he's also the prince's dad in Cinderella and... also the prince's dad in Sleeping Beauty.
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Postby universe » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:34 am

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Postby Milk » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:50 am

Merciel wrote:[b]In 1992 that didn't go nearly far enough to make anybody happy. In 2017 it would get caterwauling and boycott threats from a sea of rancid idiots in MAGA hats. Fifteen years, and we've backslid that much.



25 years. Though the argument could be made it would have been the same in 2007 as it is today. Perhaps actually even worse.
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Postby aububs » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:00 am

I watched Aladdin fairly recently with my kid.

I consulted my archives and I gave it 5/10.
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