Author Topic: The Top 100 Club (Sept 2015 - May 2017)  (Read 325193 times)

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3290 on: April 29, 2017, 01:44:29 AM »
Is that issue in the spoiler a law problem or a system problem? I remember the film but not the legal minutia of why that particular thing happened, but my impression was that it was a failure of the judge, and emotional cultural norms, that led to that decision and not problems with the cold hard law on the books.

I'm not saying there aren't legal issues involved, or things that had/have no need to be reformed, I just don't think the laws that would be passed after viewing the doc would address those issues. My problem isn't the emotional aspect, it's the narrow focus. Laws should be tailored for the good of every case, not for the specifics of any particular case, or group of cases. Judges should look at the specifics of a particular case when interpreting the law. They are two distinct things. If I recalled the facts better I could probably argue that the legal loopholes and judicial preconceptions that allowed this to happen are the result of previous reactions to other misapplications of justice.

Sandy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3291 on: April 29, 2017, 02:19:06 AM »
Don't want to interrupt, but need to post this so I can go to bed. :)



American Beauty



Feel your way
Like the day beforeÖ

Such a long, long time to be gone
And a short time to be there


-- ďBox of RainĒ from the Grateful Deadís American Beauty album

Iím trying to figure out Lesterís arc. At the beginning of this story, heís beaten down and imprisoned by his life, but then in a slow-mo moment, heís instantly inspired; like a light switch turning on, and from then on, everything changes. The inspiration is white hot, yet an illusion, but yet again, it doesnít really matter if itís real or imagined, because itís the tool which excavates him out of his quagmire and into self-exploration.

Figments of fantasy are not to be discounted, or underappreciated. When has a song, a book, a dream, a film, or a person been the catalyst for knocking us out of a rut and onto a new course? Donít knock the knocking power of fantasizing!... But I digress.

So, Lesterís supposedly making his way towards his apparition, but in actuality, heís been unfolding and disengaging from his stagnant position and moving towards himself; not even fully realizing it, until he has arrived. There is nothing more beautiful than a moment like this, even if it is, but a moment.



alright, carry on!


« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 02:21:20 AM by Sandy »

Junior

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3292 on: April 29, 2017, 02:24:53 AM »
Is that issue in the spoiler a law problem or a system problem? I remember the film but not the legal minutia of why that particular thing happened, but my impression was that it was a failure of the judge, and emotional cultural norms, that led to that decision and not problems with the cold hard law on the books.

I'm not saying there aren't legal issues involved, or things that had/have no need to be reformed, I just don't think the laws that would be passed after viewing the doc would address those issues. My problem isn't the emotional aspect, it's the narrow focus. Laws should be tailored for the good of every case, not for the specifics of any particular case, or group of cases. Judges should look at the specifics of a particular case when interpreting the law. They are two distinct things. If I recalled the facts better I could probably argue that the legal loopholes and judicial preconceptions that allowed this to happen are the result of previous reactions to other misapplications of justice.

Both? The law is the system, right? To some degree? There's one obvious law that I think did get pissed which would have suspected murderers not eligible for bail and on a fast track for return to the location of the crime for the trial to happen. All of this happened because she was let loose with nary a cent paid of her bail. That's a problem. I'm pretty sure they changed the law on that part before the movie was released and it was mentioned at the end. Pretty sure.
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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3293 on: April 29, 2017, 02:57:33 AM »
No, the law is part of the system but they are not the same thing. There are laws on the books which are not enforced, or enforced with discretion (sometimes this is done well, sometimes prejudicially). Conversely, sometimes the system skirts the law, or ignores it. The system is the actual day to day actions of people who interpret and apply the law.

Yeah the law was changed, here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=4159053&File=24
 (b) where the detention is necessary for the protection or safety of the public, including any victim of or witness to the offence, or minor children of the accused, having regard to all the circumstances including any substantial likelihood that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal offence or interfere with the administration of justice; and

That underlined part, that's the entirety of what was changed. It's a meaningless change. Is a minor child not a member of the public? The law already allowed the judge to detain her, and this change would not have changed what the judge was able to do. The problem is a judge who felt that in this particular case there was not a "substantial likelihood that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal offence" The problem is a cultural one that views women and mothers in a different light than men, and a personal judgement one where the judge made a mistake (whether an honest one or one based on personal biases I don't know). The problem was never the law, because the law allowed for all the required remedies and precautions.


There are two possible consequences "If everybody watched this laws will be passed" either you get feelgood worthless amendments like the above that change nothing about the root problem, or you get draconian laws that take away judicial discretion. Neither of these is particularly valuable to society, though I'm happier that that the result was the former rather than the latter.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 03:00:37 AM by PeacefulAnarchy »

Junior

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3294 on: April 29, 2017, 03:19:52 AM »
I agree that there's a social component that you call out there about how we think about custody and women criminals. I don't have any particular background and nor do I have any real attachment to this argument, but is there not any way that this change to the law would accomplish any good?

Additionally, do you think that everybody watching this film (which obviously won't happen and is, again, not my main argument of the review) might achieve your way to actually have our society change? Do you think that movies have that power?
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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3295 on: April 29, 2017, 04:27:59 AM »
Quote
is there not any way that this change to the law would accomplish any good?
In regards to the particular issues of this particular case? No, I don't think so. I don't think the issues (from what I remember) were really legal issues. The tools were there to prevent it, they didn't work. But the tools were appropriate, and it's a sad fact of the reality of the justice system that sometimes it fails by being too cautious, and frankly I think that's much preferable to the alternative. The only types of changes that would have made a difference would have been things that remove judicial discretion, and enforce penalties on the accuse before conviction. Those types of changes for the most part do not benefit the justice system as a whole.

To take a different example. The parole system allows convicted people to be set free early if they meet certain conditions. This is a generally very positive thing. But there are surely bad people who slip through the cracks. If someone made a documentary about a paroled killer who murdered someone while on parole it would make your blood boil. But what would the solution really be? To add some more conditions to an already burdened system that would maybe possibly have stopped this killer but would have also burdened many more people who are rehabilitated? The whole system is a balancing act, and every extra bit on either side of the scale affects thousands or millions of people.

I'm not saying laws couldn't or shouldn't be changed, but a fundamental aspect of our justice system is that sometimes the guilty go free so that we do not have innocent people in jail (and already our system skews towards putting innocent people in jail anyway because of systemic issues). An individual case where a guilty person goes free can not, on its own, foster positive change, because the only change it can foster is to make the system harsher and less willing to consider mitigating circumstances or doubt. If there is a pattern of certain types of guilty people going free, then that may be an issue to address, but not on the basis of an individual case.

Additionally, do you think that everybody watching this film (which obviously won't happen and is, again, not my main argument of the review) might achieve your way to actually have our society change? Do you think that movies have that power?
No :( Movies can show, but the viewer must be receptive, and I'm currently in a cynical mood about society's ability to be receptive to issues and respond to them in constructive, rather than destructive or dismissive ways.

Bondo

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3296 on: April 29, 2017, 09:27:14 AM »
I tend to take a skeptical view of changing laws in response to individual incidents for the reasons PA is citing. In terms of parole (or the related sentence commutation), politicians are constantly getting hit over the head with individual incidents where someone they had a hand in freeing did something bad, which makes them politically cautious at the cost of many people who wouldn't cause a problem. The only way to prevent all bad things from happening is a totalitarian regime, which is itself a bad thing. Still, don't let a parent accused of domestic homicide retain custody seems like a pretty safe reaction. I mean, we take kids away from parents for a lot of reasons that seem less perilous. For me the film ultimately didn't lodge itself in my top 100 for its political/legal ramifications but for its emotional potency.

smirnoff

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3297 on: April 29, 2017, 05:20:08 PM »
Shortbus

A pretty wholesome and funny experience really. The story revolves around a sex therapist.... sorry a "couples councillor" that's never had an orgasm. While that's more of an outright contradiction than a 40 year old virgin, the film isn't any harder on the character for it. Oh she endures a similar light ribbing upon first divulging her secret... there's a scene very reminiscent to when Andy is playing poker with his co-workers and attempts to describe the sex he's never had. The description is so awkward and unorthodox it causes everyone who hears it to exchange incredulous looks. But thereafter it's nothing but well-intended support and advice, however strange.

Shortbus is the warmer of the two films though. And less crude, I think on account of not being a pure comedy. Sofia, the pre-orgasmic protagonist, is surrounded by a loving community that reminded me of warmth of Lars and the Real Girl. She's welcomed into this rather magical, nonjudgmental oasis somewhere in the basement of an otherwise cold city. Gathered there are the openly oddball. I'm not being heteronormative, there's a guy there dressed as a doughnut. I call it magical because it's hard to imagine a place this uniformly populated with nice people. But who am I to say it doesn't exist. For the purposes of this movie it was a fun place to hang out.

There was one periphery story that didn't take for me... I don't think I understood what was at stake or why exactly. There was another story that was resolved but I feel like they skipped over how it happened and everything just worked itself out in the final montage. That said, I didn't dislike either story or the characters in it, I just don't think I got the full effect of them.

Ultimately it was a good experience. The film engaged me from a lot of different angles. It had a unique atmosphere and style but didn't stop to admire itself, which I appreciated. The subject matter was interesting and was explored as perhaps it ought to be explored.... unblinkingly. My emotional reaction was modest, which limits the experience to being a good one. But good is still good. I imagine your emotional reaction must have been much stronger Bondo?



The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I think the first 5 to 10 minutes were the best for me. It was a fantastic start, with the big music and wonderful animation. You're flying all over the city and up and down the cathedral. It had me sucked in immediately. It's been a long LONG time since I've watched a classically animated Disney film, but I don't remember ever seeing one that looked this good. Maybe 15th century Paris is just especially well suited to task. Honestly, that first part of the film was 10/10.

As the film wore on, and the novelty of the introduction gave way to telling the story, I found my attention began to wander. I was drawn back in now and then by an particularly good song or sequence, but it didn't hold. The sequences with comedic intentions were probably where it lost me the most, being mostly slapstick. But this is typical of the Disney classics for me... they've never won me over on humour.

Most of my complaints are general like that and not specific to this film.

It was easy to pity the characters due to their being oppressed or lonely, but did I love them? Experiencing their victories and defeats was not very emotionally powerful for me unfortunately. I've tried to work out why in my head and don't have a clear answer. Some films do it for you in that way, some don't.

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3298 on: April 29, 2017, 05:42:35 PM »
Nitpick: the laughter from the audience on Moretz's talk show appearance was absurdly exaggerated.
Yeah, that was really strange, it was the kind of thing you'd expect in a dream sequence with how obviously fake it sounded and felt totally out of tone with the rest of the film. Unless adding laugh tracks to interviews is a thing now? Not a big deal but it made for and awkward intro to Moretz' character.

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) 8/10
Moretz, by the way, outshines Stewart as the best supporting actress in the film. Stewart is fine in this, but despite all the screen time she never takes control of her character and makes it anything more than a foil for Binoche. As the film gets meta contrasting the "real" story with the play at the centre of it, this holds it back since the play as discussed is about two women with different kinds of power using each other, but in Stewart vs Binoche, Stewart, even when her lines say otherwise, always feels subservient. Moretz gets much less to do, but completes her version of the arc with a lot more agency and spark and bite. Which brings us to the heart of the film, an exploration on aging and self perception (particularly in women). These are interesting themes to me and I found the film's exploration worthwhile. The layered nature of the discussions works well, and the setting allows for certain interactions that wouldn't be possible otherwise, with good back and forth dialogue and characters that are sympathetic but never emotionally charged so one can focus on the ideas and let the story flow as it will. That's also what holds the film back for me personally, though. The characterizations, in particular the upper class slant, were a bit distancing, and it all felt a bit too much like an intellectual exercise that never quite gathers the energy to break through the barrier created by its artificiality. Still good enough to a worthwhile experience, but not quite an impacting one.

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: The Top 100 Club
« Reply #3299 on: April 29, 2017, 10:51:22 PM »
Skallamann (2011)

I had forgotten this was a musical. I wish it weren't, it's a style of musical I really don't like and while it's not badly done I find the artificiality to completely undermine the content. It's a decent premise and, singing and dancing aside, there's a certain charm to how it's done, although I do think it's kind of weird that when the premise is acceptance the entire thing is about reducing the object of acceptance to a single trait, making them an object rather than a person. Like, if this weren't about baldness but a source of more prominent discrimination (as it is implied baldness is in the world of the film) it would be really messed up. It makes me feel like a grinch to make petty criticisms of the film because it didn't enthuse me the way it clearly enthuses others :( It's not bad, just not really for me.

Plan on at least one more, hopefully whatever my next pick will work out better.

 

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