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  1. Can I just note that I hate the 'biddies?' They're assholes, unfunny, and bigoted, and I keep waiting for them to learn something, and they never do. They're just assholes. Oh me too on "I Do! I Do!" Sigh. It's good to be a theatre nerd! I hated that too. Not even fricking phone call? The excuse better be good, because she KNEW how worried Sheila was, and she DOUBLE PROMISED to be there. Gah. Ruth is exactly that person who is your friend until they get a boyfriend and then act all surprised when your feelings are hurt that they disappeared for 3 months, etc. I can't handwave that easily. I grew up in the middle of it, and my aunt's first partner Joe (my "uncle" for a decade -- he was bi) died of AIDS. I was a kid, and it was terrible. Not just seeing him die, but people picketing the hospital and being assholes. Telling him and some of our closest friends they would burn in hell for being gay. I'm glad they're addressing AIDS. It was part of the time. You can't imagine it unless you've seen it. It was almost as crazy as... now. I loved Sheila's speech and performance, although I was so mad at Ruth I could barely see straight. I love Tex and can buy that he's enlightened and kind. I grew up in backwoods states on and off (mostly Florida and Texas) and I can promise, there are still some really good non-homophobes there even if the cliche is that they're all bigoted cretins. (And agreed, I love me some Toby Huss! I loved Bos so much on "Halt and Catch Fire...") I thought the Ruth/Sam scene was actually really good (and I hate the entire ship). But they gave in, there were some surprisingly big sparks there, and yet we also saw INSTANTLY why they are doomed as a couple. But I'll disagree -- I thought Ruth's scene was lovely and well-acted. And that everyone else thought so too. This was my take too, exactly. I think this is very well put. Ruth doesn't know how she feels about anything or anyone. But she's so lonely and searching that she is willing to grab any port, any person, anything, that will make her feel better and more real. As someone from the theatre/production world whose closest friends are actors, this isn't quite fair. Plenty of amazing actors never get a big break. Plenty of superb actors audition and audition and never get their moment. So... (just sayin') I agree -- I felt this was what we were shown, too. Rhonda definitely seemed to have realized some hard truths about himself during that scene (which was both touching and hot, kudos to all). This is how I've felt about them all along. Then add in the cliches and icky age differences and, like, massive difference in drug use... This. Yes, some states have certain, er, conservative majorities or stereotypes but I know firsthand that they are not all there is. There are plenty of liberal, kind, supportive people in those states like Tex. I thought she looked amazing -- like a beautiful woman her actual age, and with an amazing body she had worked hard to maintain. So I think speculation like that is perhaps a bit unfair and harsh. It certainly looked believable to me that it was truly her in that costume. (Note: Also, several aspects were different colors -- for instance, she had on stockings, so her legs were different shades, etc.) Really well said, and I agree with all of what you and Danny noted. She's looking for happiness in places that won't provide it because she's ignoring her actual self. From the beginning, Ruth has always focused on everyone else. Her brain is totally begging her at this point to stop, listen, and consider other options.
  2. I love the show. I just wish I wasn't always making that pained "Thor-reacts-to-Banner" face through every episode at least once. Can I just complain about this fricking tired trope? That trope that wow, a person wrote their first script and WOW it was amazing and WOW they get multiple offers? I've been a part-time screenwriter for 20 years and that shit is more like lightning from the sky, not typical. But it's a Hollywood staple and I hate it. The idea that Sam's daughter was so brilliant she instantly has multiple offers just frustrates me so much. This. I love me some Toby Huss and he is such a good actor. But goddamn it, GLOW, he's decades older than Betty Gilpin! I mean, WTF show? How are we breaking boundaries when these are the core relationships for the two's main female characters? Sigh. I love everything about Debbie/Tex except that she is young enough again (AGAIN) to be his daughter. Meanwhile, lovely job by Alison -- and kudos. Beautifully directed. Me too also. Thanks for this. Everything you said, 1000%. I just don't get why this openly feminist show has these weird, openly patriarchal, leanings. Please watch "Halt and Catch Fire" and you will understand. It's an amazing show. Season 1 has highs and lows -- it's uneven if lovely -- but from Season 2 onward each season is just a jewel and is amazing, and very feminist and female-forward, and (best of all) all the characters grow and evolve, and it is just gorgeous. Toby played one of my favorite characters on the show (Bos) and the show is worth watching just for him. But there is so much else to love. It's still on Netflix, so -- please watch. A beautiful, overlooked show that ended its run on almost all top-10 lists for TV that year.
  3. I thought this was a really good, moving episode -- it had so many layers and nuances, and I especially loved Ruth and Debbie's newfound return to friendship. I also found Debbie's body issues and eating disorder very realistic and sad, and would imagine that it had a lot of meaning for Betty Gilpin, who has written about her own body issues and experiences. Which was why I loved Ruth's monologue to Debbie about what a gorgeous body she has, and how sexy she is. It's too bad she couldn't really hear Ruth or see the truth for herself.
  4. Thanks so much, I so appreciate it. Hardest pet loss of my life (but it was worth it, and he was an awesome, hilarious, very loving little guy).
  5. What was interesting to me was the insistence on painting the protagonist as a saint. It felt like Laura had almost TOO MUCH access to the family (same with Jolie), to where, God forbid we show him in a bad light. It's a failure to me as a biography although I'm glad I read it. I appreciate this. It just struck me at a very bad time. I lost a much-loved cat, Frodo, a few months earlier, and a sweeter animal never existed on this planet. He was a cat, ("only a cat," many would say) but he was funny, sweet, affectionate, loyal, and the best pet ever. Colbert (and Jackson) openly admitting "well, if you want love, dogs are better," just made me do a massive "fuck you" post that was in retrospect unfair. I cared for Frodo from his first day on earth (bottle-feeding him as a 1-day-old kitten), and despite 13 years of seizures and meds, Frodo showed unlimited mildness and patience with all sorts of medical stuff during his life and he never blamed me, never held a grudge, always walked across my desk or couch within minutes with love. His last gesture in life, in my favorite chair at home, was to raise his head to caress my cheek with mine. Purring all the while. And then he died. So I think part of me was horrified at this and viewed it as a sacrilege. And yes, I think Jackson does not understand cats emotionally as much as he thinks he does, given that he basically notes that they are blase and react biologically (and less emotionally than dogs). Just, gross to me. And yes, I love dogs (and cats etc). 1. I posted my post on Jackson on a bad day. I was a total jerk. I tried to edit the post (and still cannot do so), so apologize. I'm still kind of cringing that it's out there. See above, but I lost a beloved cat recently (I'd had Frodo since I rescued him day one, along with littermate Batty, and bottle-fed him, so the idea that he can't show 'real love' grosses me out). I badly summarized the interview, and I sound like Jackson is Hitler or something, and seriously, obviously, stuff was going on with me. So apologies, the guy seems lovely and I'm sorry, I didn't mean to trash him as a phony for a few talk show comments. It was a bad week in a really bad few months. Not that that's okay. 2. But -- still -- Jackson's quotes from this interview to me don't paint him as a passionate cat advocate. He comes off as almost apologetic. And I normally love Colbert but would cheerfully throw him off a metaphorical cliff here: COLBERT: Do you think cats are capable of loving us? JACKSON: Of course they are. COLBERT: Don't say "of course they are." They don't betray a lot of emotion. I had two cats, and I -- liked my cats. Er, I loved my cats. But I didn't always get it back from them. I always get it back from my dog. JACKSON: Which is why I have dogs. That's exactly it. (AUDIENCE CHEERS) ME: EDITORIAL COMMENT: THIS IS WHERE I CHECK OUT as a cat owner. The media's foremost "cat expert" has just admitted he turns to dogs when he needs love and affection. WTF. COLBERT: So you take care of cats but you live with dogs. JACKSON: You need that payoff, right? I don't mind that concept of someone coming up and saying, hey, you love me a lot. But then there's sort of that zen love, the "not attached to the outcome" love... the sort of "temporary love," and that's cats. I mean, they definitely put out love, we just don't recognize it a lot of times. We recognize dogs. ME: AGAIN, I hate this. How is he so tone-deaf? The subtext here is that cats love you temporarily, in spite of themselves, but hey, if you want love, turn to a dog, man (and I LOVE DOGS, just to note). Again, I hate this so much. COLBERT: Okay, you have said, and let me make sure I've got this right, "Cats are in touch with what lies beyond the tangible." Because it really just looks like they're staring into space. (LAUGHTER) COLBERT: What do you mean, like, cats can perceive the spiritual realm? JACKSON: Absolutely. No, I totally think that animals in general are in touch with an energetic place that we just either take for granted, we don't pay attention to it, our minds are too fast... COLBERT: You mean like, the dog whistles they can hear that we can't... or do you mean spirit realm? JACKSON: Totally spirit realm. Absolutely spirit realm. And if you've ever seen your cat just... stare at a wall... ME: Colbert laughs and they banter further on it. But the point is basically, hey, cats can't love you as much as dogs, but they are fascinating. JACKSON: But I honestly feel like they have the ability to -- not the ability, they just have the -- the presence, the presence of mind -- to be still and observe in a way that we just don't. COLBERT: Okay, so let's get some cats out here, let's get some cats out here... (TINY KITTENS are given out and (SURPRISE) are terrified and scared and not "loving" and "adorable" in a huge studio setting. Colbert is not happy visibly and seems prickly at the entire scenario -- unusual for him.) (KITTEN CUTENESS ENSUES) (COLBERT IS OPENLY UNCOMFORTABLE WITH KITTEN AND MISSES DOGS. JACKSON IS SUPPORTIVE AND SYMPATHIZES) So apologies -- I read more into the interview than I should -- I had my cat Frodo put to sleep not long before and it upset me and I personalized it. I still find it really brutal on cats -- the entire interview hinges (per Stephen, who I normally love) on the idea that cats are inferior and unemotional, and Jackson goes along with that. And as a cat owner who has had deeply loved and mourned cats who would have jumped down a dragon's mouth for me (no, really), this interview still hits me in a really bad place. Jackson's statements can certainly open a dialogue that cats don't care as much as dogs in their capacity to love, and yeah, I freaking hate it. Some ARE just as open. Others simply show love differently. Anyway, I deserved to be called out, and no, Jackson Galaxy is not the Antichrist. Thanks for bearing with me, all. Apologies to you and Jackson. But he still caved here. He wasn't an advocate for cats. He was an apologist who basically said, "Cats are not really truly loving, like dogs, and yeah, we aren't always sure how they feel." So shoot me.
  6. I hate the change in Sam/Ruth since S2. Now everything seems to hinge on that ship versus the ensemble and I hate that so much. Agreed. Honestly, I used to ship Bash and Carmen a bit. I still ship them as friends, and loved this scene. He's treated her badly and (gah). I agree. That broke my heart, and with lots of nuance too. I loved that nothing was simple. BOS! "Halt and Catch Fire" is one of my favorite all-time shows ever. And he was breathtaking. So people, please check it out. Sniffle. I loved it so much. Perfect show that was better and better season to season, ending on a spectacular final season. Wait, but Sam has already shown he is STILL the hookers and blow guy, and he's still downing every substance he can. Him bringing Ruth into his world (in a PG way) to me doesn't excuse him, it just makes him seem like a gateway asshole. Meanwhile, I just can't on the age issue. Here's an idea for a "feminist show" -- how about they sidestep it entirely? Why does Ruth's boyfriend have to be such a nonentity wet rag compared to Sam? I'm so tired of it. Mark Maron is 55 and looks late 50s. Alison Brie is 37 and looks 30. Sure, it's legal. Sure, it's commonplace in media but should it be the norm? Yet it is. Yet if the ages were reversed, people would be acting like it was this huge deal. I hate everything about it and always will. Mark Maron is a talented actor. He also looks older than his character, which, fine. But meanwhile, we already have posters talking about how weird beautiful Geena Davis looks. Society is not equal on these issues, unfortunately. Women always pay more. THIS!! Here, it's supposed to be seen as subtly comforting, as if she's "changing/improving" him (I hate this trope so goddamn much) so because of his heart of gold, he's worth it. Gag me. Those were some of my favorite parts of the episode, and beautifully presented. Same with Debbie being both a queen bitch and yet heartbreaking over leaving her child right before his first steps. I'm enjoying S3 but I'm still living in constant frustration at the show's palpable framing of Ruth/Sam as a thing. It's just so tired to me in every single way. And it just feels unearned. I would love this if it was a friendship. Love it. But instead I'm back two episodes in with Alison Brie doing her best to act wide puppy-dog eyes at Mark Maron and I just don't see how this does anything but harm the show's core. It is every single trope the show has tried to circumvent. Gah. I'm still watching but I hate that I can't enjoy it the way I did in S1 when I never ever imagined Ruth would fall for Sam, and now each episode is ruined for me a bit because I just live in fear of them acting on something I find boring, cliched, and so tired plotwise.
  7. All I'm doing is begging, begging, seriously, begging, the show to rethink this implied ship/pairing because it just grosses me out so much. I like Sam so much as a character. As a partner for Ruth? Oh, God, no. And worst of all, it's a story I've seen a million times. At least. Given that this is a show that is all about empowering women and focusing on them, do they have to hook Ruth up with Sam the sleazebag producer (no matter how wonderfully or poignantly acted he is)? The guy who's doing every substance known to man, who is disastrous on relationships, who's decades older than she is? I get that Ruth is sad and somewhat adrift (and Brie is killing the performance, as always). But I'm so begging her to go a different direction here than "now has a predictable and badly timed fling with the sweet loser who put the gang together and will 100% inevitably betray her and break her heart." Just... Haven't we seen that story already? I'm just so, so tired of it. The moment they said "Challenger," I froze, and spent the next several minutes just mentally going, "Ruth, shut up, Ruth, stop talking, Ruth, look at the screen," etc. So painful. Especially with Debbie so focused that we could see (in some beautiful acting from Gilpin) exactly what was happening. Perfectly put. And this was very quietly poignant and well-done. I liked the rehearsal and especially some of the symbolism, like poor Ruth just hung up there like laundry on the zipline, in stasis, between two points. She got older. I think Geena looks pretty amazing—but I also think she's recovering from some bad plastic surgery decisions of about 5 years ago. Luckily, it appears to have been more temporary (fillers and stuff) because, to me, she looks far more natural and less plastic here than she did then (and it appeared to go away pretty quickly -- she's looked far more natural the past few years. I'm always hesitant to judge actresses for choosing plastic surgery, even though it's painful to see what some of them choose over simply looking older (Daryl Hannah in "Sense8" is still probably the most painful for me). I mean, I hate it, but I also understand it, because they're in a no-win situation in a brutal industry. The nice irony is, Geena has also done a ton of stuff to try to even the playing field for women in and out of Hollywood, and I thought she looked gorgeous here. Either way, it's nice to see her again onscreen and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the character (I hope she's not cartoonishly evil).
  8. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and finale, and was happy for Daniel while agreeing that Minju's collection was far riskier and more daring. I loved it. However -- I just don't understand why nobody ever seemed to address the fact that the majority of Minju's works reduce the body shape to that of a giant prancing egg. I mean, as art, her wedding dress was AMAZING. I loved it and you could see its effect on the audience. As theatre. But who would want to get married in that, really? It's not a matter of clothing different body types. You have no body wearing that thing. You are a sphere of white netting. I just didn't get it. I appreciate that runway shows are always going to be avant garde, and that the real clothes trickle down from there. But I just do not see how Minju's work will translate. I loved 3-4 of her looks this season, and she seems wonderful as a person, I just don't see how that stuff translates to actual "I must wear this/Instagram this" fashion. Meanwhile, I absolutely wish Daniel well. I think he'll be very successful. He's attractive, charming, talented, and articulate. And selfless enough to help Minju overcome a technical hurdle even as his competitor. And for me, this was far better than MAKING THE CUT on Amazon (although I will always love my darling Tim Gunn). I'd definitely watch a S2.
  9. I honestly liked this. Sure, it's not perfect, but I will always love Tim Gunn, and I do think he has a sweet, believable rapport with Heidi. Tim to me doesn't seem to have changed at all -- he's informed, smart, but always kind. I love the use of seamstresses, and I also love the challenge that these designers have to communicate what they want in writing, and clearly. I think it adds to the show's attempt to bring us artists who will also helm successful brands, which is why I'm also enjoying the conversations with the judges. I agree with those who wish we could see more feedback and judging, though -- I hate that we don't see feedback on as many designs as we used to on Project Runway. But I'm in. This world is insane and stressful right now, so Tim Gunn being funny and kind while people make pretty clothes? I'm in.
  10. I hope you enjoyed it! I loved it so, so much. And I agree on Unbroken (especially hearing whispers during and after that his personality never changed -- the rogue before imprisonment used all his tricks to survive --and I don't blame him, except that he allowed them to aggrandize himself). Not to be downer, but my opinion of Jackson plummeted when he admitted on Colbert that (1) he doesn't actually like cats, (2) he doesn't personally own cats and (3) he finds them tedious to manage. I mean, come on. Way to tank a career, there, Jackson. I fucking hate him now. It's just such a huge lie. He's the "cat guy" and owns ZERO CATS.
  11. I'm confused. We get a full-body shot of Yen regardless of how Geralt sees her. It's still massively objectifying.
  12. Oh, I absolutely agree with this. Lloyd is still resistant to the idea that people can be, really, this freaking good and kind. I don't think Lloyd capitulates fully until Fred confronts him in the cafe, and yet (in one of my favorite scenes in movies ever), he doesn't push him at all. He simply asks him to spend a single minute focusing on love (no matter how imperfect the person who helped to shape him). It's incredible. All that silence. All those people in their imperfection and humanity, silent too. And then Fred meets OUR eyes. And breaks the fourth wall for several seconds. Simply to look us in the eye and to dare us to think of all the people who loved us into being. And to, in turn, appreciate ourselves and our own journeys and how we are still here, despite whatever we went through. And the sequence ends with this held gaze from Rhys as Lloyd, and a small sigh. And that's it. We can see that he's changed. He's let go of his anger. I loved it so much. Rhys is always so subtle and here, yet again, he said so much with a small moment. And then Fred just goes right on eating his salad, thanking Lloyd. He doesn't push. And this blew me away. This one minute of film. It was so artistically risky and weird and brave, and... kind. I probably would have liked the movie anyway—which I did, obviously, but this was the sequence that knocked out the last of my cynicism (and, apparently, Lloyd's). It's interesting because reading Tom's articles after watching the movie made me even more of a fan of the movie. You can see Tom's goodness but also his blatant despair at profiling some truly awful people, time after time, all these celebrities who don't even bother to hide their awfulness. And, to his credit, he didn't sugarcoat his reactions. He wrote what he felt. So no wonder he met Mister Rogers and simply waited for the shoe to drop, for the revelation of abuse, or evil, or nastiness, etc. He couldn't believe someone like Fred existed. And that's heartbreaking. And even more so today. Which was why this was the movie I didn't even know I needed. But oh, looking at America and our world today, I absolutely really did need it. Too bad Mister Rogers was not immortal, even if he deserved to be.
  13. @Spartan Girl, here, I would agree with @rmontro (quoted below for reference). I didn't think it was a dark or unhappy moment. I felt instead that it was a gorgeous, understated reminder that Fred Rogers was a human being. He got those low notes just like all of us. He was a real person. He had a temper. He had disappointments. He got cranky and irritable. He got sad. He had his own shit to deal with. But he was able to compartmentalize, to address, and to handle those things and to keep his kindness and empathy to the forefront: Sigh. All of this! In case it helps, I went back and reviewed this scene (and even transcribed moments below), and Lloyd does not ever, ever, raise his voice or yell at Mister Rogers. He shows discomfort when the questions turn back on him, and he eventually chooses to walk out of the interview, but he is pretty civil about it. He does not yell or do anything except end the interview as politely and quickly as he can. It's also visible that he's in pain and that Rogers is totally okay with Lloyd's reactions. Further: We have already met Daniel in the film, and in fact in several subtle moments, the film has implied that Lloyd feels much like Daniel (Daniel even stands in for Lloyd in a few dream sequences). Lloyd is hurting and can't bring himself to talk. Anyway, in the scene you mention, it goes as follows (MILD SPOILERS): Rogers: And here is Daniel, Striped Tiger. Now, sometimes, Daniel is too shy to talk, but... (he dons the puppet and faces him, speaking softly) but that's okay, Daniel. Daniel faces Lloyd and waves at him. Rogers: Have you met Daniel? Lloyd: Um, not officially, no. Daniel faces Rogers, and they nod at each other. Daniel looks shy, then faces Lloyd, filling his view. All we can see next is Daniel, shy and furry and sweet. As if he is a real person interviewing Lloyd. And we see him from Lloyd's perspective. Somehow Daniel seems alive and real here. Daniel (softly voiced by Rogers): I'd like to meet Old Rabbit. Lloyd (quietly): I don't want to talk about Old Rabbit, I've got to say. Rogers (Daniel faces back to him): Well, maybe Lloyd doesn't feel like talking today, Daniel. Daniel covers his face with his paws, sadly, as if empathizing with Lloyd. Rogers: And that's okay. Lloyd: Can you put the puppet down, Fred? Rogers smiles, then quietly takes off the Daniel puppet, and gently lays him with the other puppets in his suitcase. (Clipped) Lloyd and Rogers then talk about Fred's sons, and why he returned to making the show. Lloyd: I can't imagine that it was easy, growing up with you as a father. Rogers (pausing) : Until recently, my oldest never told people about me. He's very private. And that's okay. And my youngest son, he genuinely tested me. But eventually, we found our way. And now I'm very proud of both of them. But you are right, Lloyd, it couldn't have been easy on them. Thank you. Thank you, for that perspective. Lloyd (sighs): You're welcome. Rogers: Is that not the answer you were hoping for? Being a parent does not mean being a perfect parent? You might be experiencing some of that now, with your son. And I've been thinking a lot about you and your father. Did you work out your disagreement? Lloyd (quietly, to himself): This is ridiculous. Lloyd sighs, then gets up suddenly. He grabs his notes and prepares to exit. Rogers: Lloyd, where are you going? Lloyd (quietly, but tersely): We're -- we're done. Thanks. Been a real pleasure. He leaves. Rogers (quietly, but not upset): Mercy. I think this scene is really important, and of course it's the penultimate scene to the one that changes Lloyd's life and POV for good (the cafe scene). As such, I do not think he remotely upsets or scares Rogers here -- Fred knows he's pushing Lloyd on a painful subject, and he is prepared for any reaction. He is not angry or hurt, he's simply accepting. He shows surprise at Lloyd's exit ("Mercy.") but no real upset or betrayal. He knows Lloyd is wounded and that healing is difficult. I've spent way too much time on this, but I'm a geek, and I wanted to speak back since I felt you recapped the scene in a way that wasn't really accurate. If you go back, Lloyd never yells at Fred. And Fred knows that (and understands that Lloyd's anger and pain isn't directed at him, in any case). Lloyd had to readjust his perceptions of the world (I've read many of Tom Junod's articles, and one thing that comes through is that he had to interview celebrities while they did some incredibly crappy, unpleasant, entitled things (the Kevin Spacey interview is an example of this -- of someone who behaved with total un-self-awareness at just how awful he was being, even if this still doesn't justify Tom's outing of Kevin in his article, from my POV). Rogers must have looked like a myth to him. Nobody could be that good or truly kind. The irony is, another very close friend of mine shocked me this past weekend by admitting she never watched Mister Rogers because she could not bring herself to believe people were really that good and kind. I mean, ouch. She promised me she'd watch the movie, now that she can actually believe that yes, this was such a good, good human being.
  14. I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I'd seen the superb documentary last year or so and, like many, wasn't sure what was left to be said. It had already given us Fred Rogers at his best. A gift of Mister Rogers for the ages. However, I was shocked to the core by this film. I loved it, and did not expect to. And I feel like it was a viable, thoughtful answer to the question posed by so many after that documentary: Why make this film? For me, this film's answer is simple: Because it doesn't give us an image of Fred Rogers suspended in space, the saintly man we loved and which the documentary confirmed was exactly who he seemed to be. Instead, the film went for something gorgeous and weird and difficult (at least, to me): It was about how Fred influenced others. Everyone else. The documentary had already told us who Fred was. This movie was about something else. In this case, one angry, frustrated, scared reporter, a guy named Lloyd, who is loosely based on Tom Junod, who of course ended up publishing that Esquire cover story on Mister Rogers that was so lovely and raw and real after a lot of life and work upheaval, and whose interview led to a lifelong friendship with this man who seemed almost too kind, and good, and loving to be real. And this movie devastated me. Because it puts us in the shoes of the "other," of Lloyd, of the person hurt by the world, bewildered by its pain, and confused by how any of this is okay. He doesn't believe in Mister Rogers and his goodness. He doesn't believe anyone can be that good. And no wonder (his story is really tragic). I was okay with the movie early on, although Lloyd worried and scared me. He was so angry (and he was played by my darling Matthew Rhys, who is seriously the best actor I have ever seen, after his work on "The Americans"). Then about the middle of the film, something happens and it is amazing. Lloyd begins to change and grow and forgive. And what spurs this on isn't some saintly gesture, but Rogers being Rogers. He listens. He responds. He reminds Lloyd that we all have our childhood selves inside. And then he sees Lloyd's childhood self, and he is kind to him. He talks to him. He listens. He also allows silence as an acceptable reaction. He simply waits Lloyd out, encourages him to feel and see, and offers comfort. The best part about the second half of this film for me was that it included so many moments of silence and quiet communication. There is so much joy and sweetness in the second half, so much acceptance of what it means to be human, alive, and mortal. The movie also touchingly uses the sets and characters and puppets of Mister Rogers's world to bridge worlds, and to let us see into the hearts of others, including (most of all) Lloyd, who isn't really an angry reporter. He is Daniel, the scared little tiger-puppet, still too hurt to talk openly. I was hugely moved -- not by the big Oscar-bait scenes, but by the little ones. The 60 seconds of silence in the cafe, etc. Rogers's relationships with his wonderful wonderful wife and staff. His ability to cut through the bullshit and never be shocked by anything he was told, and how he could then offer the comfort nobody imagined was possible. I cried many times in this film (which I watched again the same weekend), but the best part is, I cried at emotional moments that weren't sad. Just poignant and moving. The cast is predictably wonderful, all of them, especially Hanks, Rhys, Cooper, Blanchard, Colantoni, and so many others. Every part is cast with real care and attention. And Hanks is superb. What he accomplishes here is so difficult and so subtle. I'll try to describe it with examples: Like... when I saw the trailer for "Judy," I was blown away by Renee Zellwegger as Garland. But when I saw the movie, it was all just too much. I didn't like the movie and (worse) thought she overplayed it to an almost comical degree. So, so much twitching! So much angst! Just too much. Conversely, when I saw the trailer for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," I cringed. Hanks wasn't really Mister Rogers enough in the ads. He seemed too quiet, like he was sleepwalking through it, maybe not working hard enough. He just looked like Tom Hanks wearing a costume, sleepwalking through a paycheck as Mister Rogers. Then I saw the movie, and—in a direct reverse of "Judy," I instantly saw—in the film—what Hanks was doing with his performance. It doesn't translate well in tiny bursts, which is why the trailer didn't work for me (and perhaps others). But what Hanks does accomplish is so much more than an impersonation. He is Mister Rogers from Minute One. And it's believable. It's warm, delicate, slow, and quiet. He transforms himself physically to a long tall beanpole with grey hair. He speaks slowly and softly. In short, Hanks is not just trying to act a fake Mister Rogers. He is trying to bring him to actual life, and in his own way. For me, it's a gorgeous, understated but very technical performance. He lets the silence and pauses speak for him. It's lovely. So anyway. I loved the movie, loved its presentation of Mister Rogers (those two final low-note chords as the light fades!), and loved the story they told. I loved the combination of gritty real life and Mister Rogers's world, those sweet little cities and neighborhoods like toys. Then the wonderful credits where we see the technicians behind the adorable little neighborhoods and cities in motion! And how Daniel Striped Tiger was Lloyd's secret soul and self, someone who could not speak his anger because he was in so much pain. Anyway. The movie moved me so much, and I'm still thinking about it 4 days later. Ultimately, it is about the necessity for kindness, and how that should be our default setting... even if it isn't. Sigh. I am so grateful it was made, and feel it is a rare film that people will discover and that it will give them something precious when they do. These are tough times. We need more people like Fred Rogers. This movie reminds us that we can all take action to be empathetic and open and quiet and forgiving... if we allow ourselves to do so. I get why people didn't love this universally, but I understood Lloyd and was happy I met him. And very very happy that he (cough, Tom IRL) met Fred.
  15. I just recently decided to pickup the season where I left off, and have been surprised by how happy I am with it. No, it's not perfect, but honestly so far among the highs and lows, this season has felt riskier and freer to me -- sure, there have been lows, but the highs have been higher for me. It's been kind of exhilarating. I have always loved Sela, and I love that she has been so free IRL with critiquing those whose first comments about her are about her looks (or on how "she still looks good" -- for which she once rightfully reamed out the James Bond people, who actually dared to send a casting call for a "Sela Ward type" -- gah). It's such a commentary on Hollywood. Not that it matters, but she looks freaking amazing (and more power to her), but beyond that she gave Juliet so much fragility, intelligence and humanity. I felt so bad for Juliet, who obviously loved a man she realized was... not there at all. Hollow. Don't get me started. I loved "Thirtysomething," and loved much of "Once and Again," but I still cringe about I've oddly enjoyed S2 more than S1 in a lot of ways. It feels riskier and freer to me. S1 felt like it was tightly plotted but I disliked the outcome of that tight plot, especially the depressing reveal of just how much was 'programmed.' Here, I feel like so many characters and struggles have opened up the worldbuilding. And given the acting talent, of course, everyone's just nailed it. Agreed. This bothers me too, but then again it's always been a core weakness with the show for me -- presenting itself as fluent in gamer lore and language, but time and again conflating gamer behavior with real-life behavior, and especially in assuming that gamers will always go dark. Which, no. Statistics overwhelmingly show the opposite. I play a ton of BioWare RPGs, blog on gaming, and am friendly with several gaming companies, and let's just say that dark/renegade choices are about 30% of the norm. The "moral/good" ("paragon") choices are the overwhelming majority. They always are. Statistics also show that gamers struggle to mix it up and choose 'renegade' or dark choices even on replays because they want to do the right thing even in a virtual environment. So no, "Westworld" writers, yes, I'm speaking to you -- most people are not actually rapists and murderers at heart. Despite what the show would have us believe. Add to that the idea that in "Westworld," if a person goes there, they will actually have to carry out the deed firsthand -- to rape a helpless, struggling victim, to kill someone and feel their blood flow. Nope. I'll never buy it as a major attraction (do I think a tiny percentage would go for this? Sure. But wouldn't screening eliminate most?). Regardless, it's the show's fatal weakness for me, always will be. The bigger industry based on this show wouldn't be "Westworld" but the therapist specializing in treating those after they leave. I mean, come on. ("Honey! Had a great time, went and committed some rapes and murders, but now here I am again and I feel amazing and not tortured or traumatized by my own darkness etc.!") Bullshit. I feel the same way about poor Clem. And she's so beautiful and sad, and has gotten so few moments. I hope they give her more to do, I really do. Sarafyan is wonderful and deserves the chance to play an actual character at some point here dammit. I've felt the same way for a few decades now. He's a terrific actor who is ridiculously beautiful. He can play comedy or tragedy, and dammit, he even sings divinely. I don't know why he's not a bigger star. I agree with this and was disappointed from a story standpoint. If she loved her daughter enough to share a secret, darn it, she should have rallied and stayed alive to love and BE there for her daughter, and to protect her. I understand Juliet was in pain, but I've lost family members to suicide and onscreen versions always make me want to yell at their characters (STAY HERE, FIGHT HARDER). Because that was the start of the story she was trying to tell her dad but he didn't let her finish. He had no idea how it ended because he didn't let her tell him so. I loved all of this and agree 1000%. I so hope you're right about both (I'm unspoiled and just catching up). And ditto on Marsden, of course. See my comment earlier -- I don't know why he's not a huge star, seriously. This plot point is so fragile to me that I have to comment on it. I always do. It's not immortality if YOU still die. At best, sure, the bodies can 'host' a personality/brain upload, but me as ME will still die and experience death and darkness, an end of life and awareness. That's it. So what if a robot with my brain keeps going? Why do I care? Gah. This bothers me so much because it's such a frequent trope and makes no sense. These richies won't be immortal. They'll still die. At best, pale uploads will continue to exist but THEY will be gone. I would be fine with the paradox except that the show seems to think it's a believable option and I just don't see how for anyone above average intelligence. "Dollhouse" has the same approach in Season 2 and I found it just as stupid there. I will not be immortal if I, myself, die. I won't care if some android or person is still running around with my thoughts up to the last moment. It's still death for the actual me 1.0, sheesh. Yeah, but since this comment also addressed Harris vs. Sela Ward (please correct me if I have this wrong), Sela Ward can't win this contest. Either she allows herself to get older naturally, wrinkles and all, with people reacting in horror at her aging -- note the total lack of response to ED HARRIS's natural aging over all these threads, while also noting how many have commented positively not on Sela's character, but in a kind of relief that she is still beautiful. It's a great example of how women are judged versus men, and really sad to me. Sela's a wonderful actress and deserves better than "she still looks good."
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