8/31/2007

He Say You Blade Runner

Posted in Side Topics at 10:57 am by Stephen

If you’ve listened to the show much, you know that I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott’s brilliant 1982 film Blade Runner. The movie was one of the first DVDs released, and last year saw a slight update to that disc with a better transfer. But fans of the film know that this was the movie which started the whole idea of the “director’s cut” on home video, and the fact that there has only been one version available on DVD has been a real sticking point to many of us who love the medium’s ability to give us multiple versions of our favorite films. That’s all about to change.

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8/31/2007

Blooper: Hurt One Hair

Posted in Bloopers at 5:00 am by Sam

The worst kind of blooper is the kind that doesn’t get noticed until editing time. Well, not counting the ones that get noticed for the first time after publication by a listener.

But here’s a situation where I messed up, then recovered with a second mistake that got by us. I didn’t notice until it was time to edit. Sometimes mistakes like this can be covered in editing, and sometimes they can’t. Sometimes a sound or syllable can be removed from an undesired word, and the remaining neutral vowel sound can cover for the missing word. Sometimes a missing word is spoken elsewhere and can be pasted in. Sometimes a word or a line can be recorded anew and spliced in. Other times, no matter what one does along those lines, the vocal inflection is all wrong, and there’s nothing to do but leave the error in.

Here is an example of that sort of problem, from Episode 48’s Pitch segment. The hero of the story is apparently a staunch anti-masochist.

 
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8/30/2007

Vintage: Technical Progress In 1927

Posted in Vintage at 5:00 am by Sam

Technology progresses at such a breakneck rate, one can look back at the state of the art of a mere ten years ago and bask in nostalgia. Eighty years ago, it was a different world. Here’s an article recapping the technological progress made in 1927 relating to the advancement of film.

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8/28/2007

All Movie Talk, Episode 48

Posted in Episodes at 8:38 am by Sam

Show contents, with start times:

  • Director Spotlight: John Ford (2:21)
  • Trivia Question: First Batman Actor (23:00)
  • Top 6: Unfairly Maligned Films (23:45)
  • Pitch: BOOOOOOOOOOOOM (47:36)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (62:38)

Press the Play button below to listen to the podcast, or the Download link to save it. Here’s how you can download new episodes automatically.

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8/28/2007

Top 6: Unfairly Maligned Films

Posted in Top 6 at 8:37 am by Sam

Sometimes a movie hits society at the wrong time or in the wrong way and inspires a tide of negativity that isn’t deserved. We all have different ideas about what movie was underrated or over-attacked, of course, and that makes this an especially subjective topic for Episode 48’s Top 6 segment. But we each came up with six movies that we feel are, in whole or in part, unfairly attacked.

For the most part, we tried to be more concrete with our lists than in our Controversial Take segments. We didn’t just want to come up with any old random movie we like that everybody else hates. We wanted to come up with movies that have accrued very specific unfair criticisms. In a sense, we’re talking more about the criticisms than the movies. Of course, that line is blurry, and we crossed it here and there.

What do you think everybody else is dead wrong about?

As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.

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8/26/2007

Thoughts on Three Recent Movies

Posted in Reviews at 2:13 pm by Stephen

I’ve been watching a lot of movies this summer, but I haven’t quite had a chance to comment on all of them. Below the jump are my jumbled thoughts on three recent flicks I’ve seen: Superbad, The Simpsons Movie, and Lucky You.

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8/24/2007

Blooper: Mute

Posted in Bloopers at 5:00 am by Sam

Stephen and I have terrible trouble with the mute button. We mute ourselves when the other is talking, to cut down on the amount of white noise that needs to be edited out later, but we’re always toggling it the wrong way by mistake. One of us will get done talking, and then the other will promptly mute himself before speaking.

This was greatly worsened when Stephen upgraded to Vista, and the mute button on his headset stopped lighting up when muted. (That is, the headset has an LED on the mute button…I’m not saying it smokes in the bathroom during breaks.) So, without a visual indication of when he’s muted and when not, it’s all the trickier to keep that toggle straight.

Here’s a typical example of what happens a lot during recording sessions. This particular one happened during the recording of Episode 45’s Alfred Hitchcock segment.

 
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8/23/2007

Queasicam

Posted in Links at 4:21 pm by Sam

I recall exactly how long I’ve been disgusted with the practice of quick cuts and jerky hand-held shots. The Rock annoyed me with it first, though I liked the movie. Armageddon annoyed me with it most, and I hated it. There are sequences in Armageddon where the narrative of the action is quite important, yet completely indecipherable.

Since then, things have gotten worse, as other directors have jumped on the bandwagon, many of them perhaps because they come from music video backgrounds, where fast cutting is part of the form. Television shows do it, too.

The practice itself can be employed well, as in Saving Private Ryan or Moulin Rouge. But more often I find the way it is used no better than outright incompetence. In the hands of a lesser cinematographer or director, it’s like giving a violin to a three year old and turning him loose. Excruciating.

David Bordwell is more diplomatic and thoughtful on the subject than I am. It’s a wonderful read. Check out his post on the Queasicam here.


8/21/2007

All Movie Talk, Episode 47

Posted in Episodes at 5:00 am by Sam

Show contents, with start times:

  • Top 6: Directorial Swan Songs (1:31)
  • Trivia Question: 11111 (26:05)
  • Film Buff’s Dictionary: Aperture (27:08)
  • Series Spotlight: Tarzan (31:31)
  • Industry Trend: History of Editing, Part 2 (42:33)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (58:40)

Press the Play button below to listen to the podcast, or the Download link to save it. Here’s how you can download new episodes automatically.

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8/21/2007

Top 6: Directorial Swan Songs

Posted in Top 6 at 4:59 am by Sam

Directing is a young man’s game, so say many older directors. It’s a gross generality riddled with exceptions, yet, at the same time, it does seem that a great many of the great directors blossom early, then peter out over time. So it is remarkable, usually, when a director’s very last movie is a great movie, ranking up with his or her best work. Our Top 6 list for Episode 47 is about our favorite directorial swan songs: the last movies of great directors.

What are your favorites?

As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.

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