Conversation

In which Zach and Mike discuss 2017’s Wonder Woman.

Here’s a great video about the history and symbolism of Wonder Woman.

And here’s the “Born Sexy Yesterday” video Mike mentions during the episode.

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In this episode, Zach and Mike discuss their favorite romantic comedies.

Zach Recommends:

The Bombpops

Mike Recommends:

Samurai Jack

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In this episode, Zach and Mike discuss their favorite horror movies.

*Note: At the end of this episode we make some oblique references to further Halloween themed episodes. Unfortunately the audio on that episode turned out to be unusable so I will be unable to fulfill that promise. My apologies.

Zach Recommends:

Mike Recommends:

Invincible

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In this episode, Zach and I discuss good performances in bad movies and vice versa.

This one has been sitting on my hard drive for a while so some of the references to current events might be a tad outdated.

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Today we’re talking about a slew of new trailers that dropped last week. Also we’ll touch on the difference between US and foreign marketing of films. Lastly, we take a few minutes to discuss the big Indy 5 news that recently hit.

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Greetings everyone, so Avengers 2 dropped this past weekend and the reactions to it have been a little surprising. While the world hyped it up to be the second coming of Robot Jesus, the end result was a bit more flawed. Is it still worth your time despite this? Well Mike and I sat down to have a chat about just that. What follows is a transcription of our correspondence. It’s like a podcast for your eyes! Brace yourself guys, this is a long one. Also beware some minor spoilers.

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Zach: So Avengers? I’m curious to hear what you think, since I believe I might have a contrarian opinion on it. Not that I didn’t like, I actually liked it a lot, but I also had issues with it, and it’s kinda fascinating to me that I liked it despite all that. Especially considering our completely different backgrounds coming into this, as I have no prior Avengers knowledge, other than what I’ve seen from the first movie, and a couple of the other Marvel movies, whereas you’re coming from the background of much more known Marvel lore. So what did you think about Age of Ultron?

Mike: I think we might be a bit on the same page. I thought it had some pretty severe structural and storytelling issues, but much like the first one remained extremely entertaining in spite of all that. Probably mostly due to all that great casting work that’s been happening for the past decade.

I think, Loki aside, Marvel movies still have a problem, their biggest problem actually, with creating deep and interesting villains. I would posit that if it weren’t for James Spader’s really solid voice work, Ultron would be just another boring robot villain. Also, why is it necessary for him to make a slightly bigger yet mostly indistinguishable new body before the climax of the movie?

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Hey all. This will be a new semi-regular piece on Moving Pictures where Zach and I have a bit of back and forth about whatever topic has gotten stuck in our heads recently. This is a bit of a longer article than you’re probably used to on this site but I hope you all like it.

P.S. I don’t have a name for these recurring pieces yet so please feel free to give me some suggestions.

DARK KNIGHT RISES

Mike: Over complexity is something you and I have talked about a lot. It seems more and more I’m drawn towards movies with a concise, straight forward story but really interesting and well written characters.

Big budget and genre fair especially recently feels like it’s bogged down with over complicated, pace ruining plot points that don’t really add anything to the experience. What’s up with that?
Zach: I completely agree with your sentiment, so many filmmakers seem to not trust us to follow their plots without having a character stop, face the camera, and give us 5 minutes of bland exposition. It’s either they don’t trust us, or they write themselves into a plot that they think demands it. We don’t need it. We can typically follow what’s going on.
I recently saw Horns and almost groaned when I saw a similar scene set up, but then found myself elated when they didn’t do it. There was no exposition, no dumb pseudo-science techno-babble explanations, we didn’t need to know why Harry Potter was turning into a demon, we were along for the ride and we could piece it together from other dialogue and hints in the story.

I wish more writers and directors had the confidence to do that. I hate to blame current movies for everything, but this really does feel like a recent phenomenon. When did you first start noticing this trend?

M: It feels like the trend recently has been complexity = quality. What boggles my mind is that it’s happening in exactly the type of movies that you don’t want to be over-complicated. Big budget, event type fare that used to be a good excuse to turn your brain off for 90 -100 minutes and watch shit blow up has become bloated and almost unwatchable due to screenwriting by committee and just cramming plot into places where it doesn’t belong.

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