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  • 202 - "Cobbler"

    I absolutely loved the turn at the end with Kim and Jimmy. They did a great job of balancing humor and sadness.

    And Nacho is always enjoyable to watch.

    This has nothing to do with the episode, but over here in Japan, "Better Call Saul" is being released week by week on Netflix and it's weird seeing "Netflix original" popping up in the credits. I wonder if they bought the worldwide distribution rights for countries where there is no AMC. Adding to that "House of Cards" is not available on Netflix here as another distributor bought the rights before Netflix actually started operating in Japan. I'm sure most aren't interested in this kind of stuff, but I've kind of become a nut about distribution rights and crap, living overseas and trying to legally find all the content I want to see.
  • Make a Musical Noise Here

    I haven't heard the Lucinda Williams album yet, or the Sound Opinions, episode, but I am looking forward to it. I have limited exposure to her work, but I like a lot of the stuff I've heard and she is great in interviews. I'll sit down and give it a proper listen after I've made my mix. 

    @Travis, that's crazy that the tracks line up with their original placement. It sounds like you're on the same page as the producers of those albums. I'll let you know after I listen to it.

    @AntManBee That's awesome what you used to do with mixes. I've never actually made a mixtape before. I always did compilations and recorded songs I liked off the radio, but never anything to share with anyone else. It looks like I'm the amateur of the group here. 

    Oh, and I have to say, you guys are on a whole other level in terms of depth of musical knowledge. I've never heard a lot of the stuff you guys bring up here. But I'm eager to check a lot of it out. 

    I'm going way off on a tangent now, but I must admit that I led a pretty sheltered musical life for a long time both as a child and a teenager. As a kid my dad always had oldies on, so I grew up on Buddy Holly and stuff like that, which I liked quite a bit. My mom and stepdad were all about The Oakridge Boys, late-stage Neil Diamond, and a lot of music I found really boring. My brother and sister were into 80's stuff like Def Leopard. 

    Then in my teen years, when I was still a Christian, I was active in a youth group and was all about Christian metal, hardcore, punk, and ska. So missed out on a ton of great music growing up and only started catching up in my twenties, and now thirties. 

    Anyway, I guess it's never too late to start catching up, but my list definitely won't have the depth that you guys most certainly bring to the table. 
  • Make a Musical Noise Here

    Oh and @Travis , I forgot to mention that the only times I think I've had any problems with not being able to play a whole album on Apple music are a few soundtracks and "best of" compilations. I'm sure there's also artists that limit stuff, but for the most of the albums I've searched for have been entirely available. 
  • Official Direct Thread: The World's End

    Most people I know disagree with me, but I think "The World's End" is as good as, and in some ways, maybe even better than both "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz". Sure it's got all the Edgar Wright Style, clever foreshadowing, genre explorations, but I also that it's really thematically complex. It took me a few viewings to start seeing things beyond the obvious conformity angle, but there's a lot going on here with addiction, trying to re-capture the past, dealing with temptation, past abuse, etc. I also love how we start the film with the story that Gary King is telling through rose-colored glasses to the AA group. But then we essentially see that same night play out again, but with much more horrible outcomes for many of the characters.

    I also love the reversal of roles where Nick Frost is actually playing the responsible one from the outset and he's really great. Simon Pegg's Gary King is a total asshole, but I also find him to be a really fascinating character and the performance is fantastic. I know a few people that can't view this film as a comedy because that character hits a little too close to home for them in terms of someone they know.

    The whole cast is fantastic though (Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsen, Martin Freeman, and Rosamund Pike)

    Lastly, I know most people probably don't have the time or the desire, but one film critic that I really enjoy (Film Crit Hulk from Birth.Death.Movies) wrote a great essay analyzing the film and there are all kinds of interesting insights scattered throughout. I'd highly recommend giving it a read if you want to do a deep dive on this film. It's an epic essay that takes quite a while to get through. Some of it is just about addiction in general and there is a whole section on the film "Withnail and I", so if you just want to skip to the really relevant sections about the movie itself, then I'd skip ahead to Sections 7-9. I should also say that the whole essay is written in all-caps and can be difficult to read if you've never read any of his stuff before. The device is a bit of a gimmick and can be tough to get used to, but I never notice anymore.
  • Official Direct Thread: Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds has three of my very favorite Tarantino scenes; the opening scene, the basement tavern scene, and the strudel scene.

    I also love how big of a role language plays in this film. Of course you have the opening scene where the language shift is a key component of the story and character actions. But you've also got the brilliant commentary on accents and even little cultural differences like which fingers you use to count. It really makes you think about just how hard it would be to be a spy in another country and completely slip in under the radar. And then of course, there's the really funny commentary on Americans and dodgy accents and inability to speak another language. It's interesting, a lot of my friends hated Cristoph Waltz's line reading of "That's a bingo!", but I think that must be what it feels like to hear an actor not from your country try to speak in your language or speak using your accent. I definitely think that was intentionally.

    Lastly, I think it's really interesting how this movie shows the power of cinema. Of course, film literally saves the day. But you also get that interesting moment when Shosanna, who rightfully loathes Frederick throughout the film, sees him writ large on the big screen in the propaganda film and has some sense of compassion/empathy/sympathy (not really sure what emotion it is). This moment of hesitation on her part ends up getting her killed. I also think that Inglourious Basterds itself makes us feel a sense of compassion towards characters we would never otherwise feel compassion for (Frederick, Wilhelm, the guy who gets his head bashed in). These are all characters serving the Reich and yet they are so human, that I can't help but feel something for them.

    And the Basterds are the ones who are caricatures. Very interesting reversal in a film that's all about fantasy revenge on the Nazis. Lastly, I think the performances (Brad Pitt aside, though it doesn't bother me as much as it used to) are stellar. Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Daniel Bruhl, and the list goes on.