what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by NSpan on Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:23 am

yeah. i personally dug it--but the whole thing was a mess. if the plot wasn't so low-stakes, i'd say they should've made it two separate movies

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by IPKI$$ on Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:40 am

The thing that I liked about it was that the action (at least to me) progressed the story. I felt it was very fluid. And I love the fact that the story was minimal...It was just a continuation of Casino Royale so we already knew what was going on, or at least the basics, and this was just the thickening of the plot. But overall I just really liked the old school connery bond feel to it.
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:03 am

To me at least, my feelings about the action are that the Bond's of old never used action to progress a storyline, really that always seems to me like a bit of a cop out when a lack of story can't move the set pieces along. It just seemed like they wanted to do a few cool action scenes and couldn't piece together a script which could link them all, so they just threw them all together. The old Bond's never resorted to such poor film making. Maybe the fact that I've not seen Casino Royale affected my judgement, but again, I don't believe any Bond movie should only work as a sequel. Each have got to be appreciated in their own right. TDK achieved this perfectly, providing a bridge from the first movie, but standing up as a singular piece of work in itself. QOS failed to do this.

Anyway, Over the weekend we watched There Will Be Blood, Shoot Em Up, Pineapple Express and The Wizard Of Oz.

This was my first viewing of There Will Be Blood, but it will unlikely be my last. I think I'll have to watch it a couple more times just so that I can comprehend the story enough to have an intelligent conversation. The movie is so much bigger than I expected it to be. There are so many layers and so many metaphors it was hard to nail them all in just one viewing. A few things were very apparent though. Daniel Day Lewis, I believe, must be probably the finest actor of our generation. I know he didn't win the recent actor polls and I don't even think he won his period, but man he should have. He is totally immense in this, and towers above everyone elses efforts. Paul Dano attempts to force a competitive foe to Lewis' Plainview, but despite a reasonably good performance, he doesn't even come close. Beyond that, I loved the cinematography, Ed Greenwood's score is superb (I especially liked his score to the oil fire scene) and the movie moves along at quite a pace despite its actual length. I've heard mention that the end scene could all be a dream sequence created by Plainview, but I don't think that fits with the rest of the story and believe it to be a fantastic culmination to the movie in which Plain is finally "finished". Truly superb, 9/10

Shoot 'Em Up was ok. Its attempts to create a spoof action movie succeeded in part, but was executed far better in Hot Fuzz. The leads all play their parts well, and there are some cool set pieces, but I just feel it could have been a lot funnier than it achieved. 6/10

Pineapple Express was pretty good too. The ending seemed completely out of place with the rest of the movie, however, and kind of ruined it for me. Up until then James Franco had been superb while Seth Rogen was consistent as his usual role. Certainly not the best Apatow production, though. 6.5/10

Finally, we got to see a new screening of a restored print of The Wizard Of Oz over the weekend. I don't need to tell anyone how brilliant a movie this is, but its restoration was well achieved and it was a joy to watch one of my childhood favourites on the big screen finally. A couple of things I did notice however, which I had not caught on to when I was a child. Firstly, the most evil Witch of them all was the Good Witch of the North. She portrayed herself as a good which, as in her name, when in actual fact she was downright evil. She could have taken Dorothy straight to the Wizard at the very start in her bubble instead of making her walk, she could have told her about the Wicked Witch Of The West fear of water, she could have told her the Wizard was a fraud. Yet no, she thought it'd be a good lesson for her to walk hundreds of miles to find a fake wizard, threaten her and her new friends (and dog's) lives and not give any warnings about when the Witch of the West would attack. She was watching them all along when they fall asleep and she wakes them up, she could have told them straight away to avoid the poisoned flowers, but no, she let them walk right into them. Bitch.

Secondly, I'd never noticed that the Wizard was a fraud in both Oz and Kansas. He was no wizard, but just a guy in a hot air balloon, while in Kansas he was a fake fortune teller who just snook a peek at Dorothy's photograph to tell him all he needed to know about her family. I'd never noticed this before. Anyway those were my thoughts on besides that an absolutely brilliant classic. 10/10

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by Buscemi on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:09 am

I thought Shoot 'Em Up was dumb and full of plot holes, with an too high budget for a film of its style (for example, they actually spent money to create CGI water in a toilet). Also, the director should stick to making crappy movies for video instead of making crappy movies for theatres.

And Surfer, that was Jonny Greenwood who did the music for There Will Be Blood. Had the score not been ruled ineligible at the Academy Awards, it probably would have won that category.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:15 am

Gah, I mixed up Ed O'Brien with Jonny Greenwood's name. Damn you Radiohead. As such a huge fan I am truly ashamed.... Why was it ineligible though?

And yes, Shoot Em Up was totally full of plotholes and was particularly dumb. But I believe that was the intention. It was an average attempt at spoofing action movies with all their failings. It was totally over the top and with some ridiculous action and dialogue, but I do feel it was intentional. To me though, it just didn't go as far as it could have done. It could have been much funnier than it was. And some of the CG was horrible, especially the baby CG.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by Buscemi on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:29 am

The Academy claimed that he adapted some 1920's-1930's folk music in the score. I don't know if Greenwood did or if anyone else noticed the similarities.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by leestu on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:00 am

Watched the doco Bukowski : Born Into This. For anyone who has read and appreciated any of his works this is a documentary worth watching. It is quite revealing with some very personal footage and really does seem to give you an understanding of the man. 8/10
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by numbersix_99 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:48 pm

Buscemi wrote:The Academy claimed that he adapted some 1920's-1930's folk music in the score. I don't know if Greenwood did or if anyone else noticed the similarities.


I think that's wrong. My understanding is that the Academy won't accept scores if they were released for some other purpose other than the film, and Greenwood had released that experimental music already.
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by Buscemi on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:06 pm

I actually got my source from Wikipedia and they are wrong a lot of the time. Just take it with a grain of salt. Laughing

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by becs on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:23 pm

Somewhere inbetween. It was disqualified because it included his own preexisting work, the song from the oil fire itself had been released on a sound track previously for a different movie.
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by numbersix_99 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:50 pm

Isn't the song from the oil fire not a Greenwood composition at all, but rather Arvo Part's Fratres (I'm talking about the scene the son goes deaf), and thus have no impact on the status of the soundtrack (just like a film containing a pop song bears no impact on the written score)?
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by becs on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:38 pm

I might be thinking of the wrong one, but regardless one of the songs from greenwood specifically was used on a prior soundtrack.
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:22 am

Last night I watched 1969, mainly for early showings of Robert Downey Jr, and to calm my obsession for Winona Ryder. It was quite a lacklustre movie, only watchable because of its stars, which I don't feel really gave me any further insight into the Vietnam war and its effects than what I already knew. The story was largely forgettable, and with some suspect direction and corny dialogue and score it was quite grating at times. However RDJ was a delight to watch, as was Ryder. Keifer Sutherland seemed to be just going through the motions with it though. Largely forgettable though. 4/10

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by NSpan on Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:12 pm

Adventureland: let's pretend for a moment that Kristen Stewart's character was played by someone who wasn't distractingly awful.. and let's also pretend that Jesse Eisenberg wasn't doing his best Michael Cera impression..




<pretend>


smattering your soundtrack with songs by the the Replacements and the Velvet Underground ("Pale Blue Eyes" was played twice for some reason) doesn't automatically make your film "hip"--finding a way to place the cover of Transformer into countless shots and scenes really didn't help.. name-dropping figures from literature and philosophy doesn't necessarily make your movie "smart".. and, finally, nostalgia doesn't transfer like the common cold.. no matter what a story might mean to you, simply describing it as nostalgic doesn't make it nostalgic for anybody else..

that said, fuck nostalgia in general.. was paying full-admission to Adventureland really that much different than shelling out money for Transformers?

i didn't particularly hate the movie.. hell, i didn't even particularly dislike the movie.. but i saw potential for it to be the anti-Juno (or the Anti-Nick and Norah, if you prefer), yet it repeatedly fell into the same trappings.. when a director or a writer is more concerned with convincing the audience that their movie is edgy, intelligent, and cool rather than actually supplying the content to back up any of the claims, you've got a problem..

maybe this trend in filmmaking can be traced back to Tarantino.. his early films were charming (yes, i just called Pulp Fiction "charming") because his characters could be talking about seemingly nothing while, in fact, a lot was going on.. (and, don't get me wrong, Tarantino doesn't always succeed in that.. his movies, especially Kill Bill and Death Proof, have plenty of throwaway scenes and, therefore, throwaway dialogue)... but somewhere along the way, people got a bit confused.. filmmakers and audiences alike.. suddenly esoteric references to pop-culture became admissible as authentic dialogue despite their context (or lack thereof).. people who got the references felt like they were "in" on something, and people who didn't--i suppose--pretended they did..

but Greg Mottola isn't Tarantino.. he's talented, but his craft is more about presentation than substance.. people have said the same about Tarantino, yet i think Adventureland's biggest fault is in that its whole is more than the sum of its parts.. not in a good way.. the details, for Tarantino, are what add up to the overall experience.. Mottola seems happy to gloss over the details in favor for a movie that, if you forget just enough of, you might look back upon fondly.. that same vague sense of nostalgia is inherent within even the story itself.. if we're gonna hear a tale of personal growth and young love, we might as well hear it firsthand.. and we might as well hear all of it.. this was more like the cliffnotes of one memorable summer.. (and, hell, let's not even get into the ending.. if it were merely a "memorable" summer, the glossy finish might make more sense.. this was clearly the protagonists' DEFINING summer.. go ahead and tell the whole story!).. to be more clear: this movie probably would've achieved more of what it was going for if it were longer.. the "slow" scenes were slow because i didn't give a shit about the characters.. you can't have a 107-minute directionless movie and expect the audience to fall in love with the protagonists.. at least not in this case.. at least not if you're Greg Mottola..

---mid-rant, post-script note artificially injected via the "edit" button:
by the by, without getting into a debate about Superbad, let me just point out that Mottola took a potentially hilarious script and burdened it down with a focus on bromantic dramedy--making it a lesser comedy than the likes of Hot Rod, which Akiva & Co. slapped together and ended up with a product 20x funnier..
---

and, just to put it out there, Mottola is no John Hughes either. a lot of people defended the movie by citing its misleading marketing campaign.. and, yes, its marketing campaign was very misleading.. but that truth doesn't make the content of the film any better or worse.. so, now that its been out for a while, let's just forget about that..

i've heard and read plenty of people say something along the lines of "it's less Apatow and more John Hughes"... but why? Hughes wrote light-hearted movies with relatively complex characters.. they weren't profound character studies, but his films were full of quirky and interesting people.. Adventureland, for the most part, is populated by people who are just quirky for quirkiness' sake.. more importantly, Hughes' films were FUN to watch.. even when they weren't laugh-per-minute funny, at least they were an enjoyable experience.. i felt that Mottola's "dramatic" scenes dragged like hell...

i suppose people who are suckers for angsty romances could find quite a bit to like about this movie--but let's not mistake that for good filmmaking..

all that said..... the movie had its moments, the soundtrack was solid (despite its obvious gimmickry), there were some good performances (Bill Hader steals the show once again), and you know what? as i finish this ridiculously overlong diatribe, i have to admit: the movie might've been worthy of all the debates..


</pretend>




HOLY SHIT. Kristen Stewart was distractingly awful.. and Jesse Eisenberg is evidently the poor man's Michael Cera.. and here i thought Michael Cera was the poor man's Michael Cera

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:33 pm

Wow, NSpan, you just kicked Adventureland in its ass...
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by geezer9687 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:08 pm

I still think it was just an average teen romance that was, for the most part, boring. Still trying to figure out why people were expecting something more than this...

And I really think that Jesse Eisenberg was actually playing the character of Michael Cera, and it was one of the most spot on performances ever.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by transformers2 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:17 am

State Of Play 7/10
Pretty Good Film. Overly Long and dragged a little bit but it was pretty entertaining and was well-acted.
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by NSpan on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:35 am

geezer9687 wrote:Still trying to figure out why people were expecting something more than this...
well, that's easy to answer.. Superbad was one of the biggest surprise hits (if not THE surprise hit) of 2007.. people were curious to see how the director would follow it up.. obviously, a lot of people assumed he would go for something even bigger and louder--and they were confused when they got something slower and quieter.. as i mentioned in my review/ramble, the marketing campaign certainly didn't do the audience any favors in that regard

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:58 am

I have a few comments on NSpan's ramblings:

Firstly, I don't believe Jesse Eisenberg was doing a Michael Cera impression, he was playing Jesse Eisenberg. He played the same character in The Squid And The Whale if I recall, and this was released before Cera's breakthrough role in Superbad. I suppose he have impersonated Cera's character in Arrested Development, but I find that unlikely. So I think it is more likely tgat Cera has been impersonating Eisenberg, or maybe they are the same person. They both have curly hair....

Secondly, if I was to make a coming of age movie which took influence from my own personal experiences, I'm pretty sure I would plaster my bedroom sets with posters of The Clash, The Pixies, Manic Street Preachers and The Velvet Underground. That is what I grew up on. Does that mean I'm just trying to appear 'hip'? Of course not, it's just another way of furnishing the set for the audience to get an idea of the character. Heck, of course The Replacements were going to feature in the soundtrack, 'Left Of The Dial' was THE alternative record of the early 80s.

Next, move on to the dialogue. Okay, it may be very 'throwaway' as you call it, but from what I remember, most of the dialogue I spoke of when I was younger was of similar value, the people I knew did use "esoteric references to pop-culture" and so it could become "admissible as authentic dialogue". I watched Linklater's Slacker the other day, a movie which from start to finish is a non stop reference to pop culture with little to no story at all, but it works fine. This could be said of most Linklater movies. And yes, Mottola may not be Tarantino, but there is a reason Tarantino is regarded as probably THE director of our generation. He changed the way movies were made, and not many have ever been able to match him.

Anyway, I found the movie an enjoyable, well executed coming of age story, with some great performances (Bill Hader, as you say, was the star of the show). It won't please everyone, and in this day and age every indie coming of age story is compared to one another, but I thought it worked. It's not the best ever, and doesn't even come close to what John Hughes achieved in the 80s, but it was a damn sight better than most other things out there at the moment.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by mfrendo on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:01 am

I agree with Surfer on this one. I actually liked it quite a bit. At the very least, it wasn't sappy.

Gotta say though, NSpan, even when I don't agree with your rants, they're still entertaining as all hell.

BTW, Surfer, what was "Left of the Dial". I own what I believe to be all the Replacements CD's, and that's not one that I know of...
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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:03 am

Anyway, we watched Irma La Douce last night. How is it that Billy Wilder isn't respected more than he is. Man, he must be one of the top 5 directors ever. I can't think of a movie I've watched of his that isn't a perfect 10. This was able to sit alongside his other, more well known comedies such as Some Like It Hot and The Apartment just as well. Maintaining the same cast as The Apartment, it's a great screwball comedy, and the main characters play off each other so well. Wilder knows how to work a script, and the screenplay which the movie was adapted from is very sharp. Shelley Winters and Jack Lemmon are hilarious, as is the guy who played the barman. The ending had a very Hitchcokian vibe to it, no doubt a nod to the master. An absolute joy to watch. 10/10

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:07 am

This is Left Of The Dial mfrendo, it's a record from Tim:



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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by NSpan on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:25 am

silversurfer19 wrote:Firstly, I don't believe Jesse Eisenberg was doing a Michael Cera impression, he was playing Jesse Eisenberg. He played the same character in The Squid And The Whale if I recall, and this was released before Cera's breakthrough role in Superbad.
a valid point, but that doesn't make the stutteringly anxious, shy and nerdy-but-"likable" protagonist that seems to populate more faux-indie movies than ever before any more enjoyable to watch... i'll probably catch some flak for this, but The Squid and the Whale might as well have been written by Diablo Cody

Secondly, if I was to make a coming of age movie which took influence from my own personal experiences, I'm pretty sure I would plaster my bedroom sets with posters of The Clash, The Pixies, Manic Street Preachers and The Velvet Underground. That is what I grew up on. Does that mean I'm just trying to appear 'hip'? Of course not, it's just another way of furnishing the set for the audience to get an idea of the character.
again, my similarly-aged-but-simpler-minded-friend, you miss the point.. i actually loved most of the music featured in the movie... it's when the director loses track of when it's appropriate to the story and the context--and when he's just reminding the audience "Hey, look! My movie is hip".. go ahead and COUNT the number of shots the cover of Transformer is featured.. even a heavy dose would've been excusable--seeing as Lou Reed is almost a plot point in himself.. but when the same image is placed somewhere in camera-view in nearly half the scenes (t-shirts, posters, albums, etc.), we're getting dangerously close to product placement.. just for fun, let's imagine that icon replaced with the mcdonalds logo.. suddenly Mottola is a fuckin corporate shill.. but, in reality, he's not selling cheeseburgers.. he's selling his own hipster brand of film--but a product nonetheless..

furthermore, playing "Pale Blue Eyes" (one of my all-time VU tracks, btw) non-diegetically TWICE in the same movie is inexcusable.. the song isn't shown as memorable to the characters in the film (they aren't shown listening to it and they never speak of it), so when Mottola plays it for the second time, he's just milking it.. he's saying, "hey audience, remember THIS song from 10 minutes ago? ahh, nostalgia!!"

Next, move on to the dialogue. Okay, it may be very 'throwaway' as you call it, but from what I remember, most of the dialogue I spoke of when I was younger was of similar value
dude, with all due respect, 99% of what you say nowadays is throwaway..

Anyway, I found the movie an enjoyable, well executed coming of age story, with some great performances (Bill Hader, as you say, was the star of the show). It won't please everyone, and in this day and age every indie coming of age story is compared to one another, but I thought it worked. It's not the best ever, and doesn't even come close to what John Hughes achieved in the 80s, but it was a damn sight better than most other things out there at the moment.
we might just be arguing for arguments' sake.. what you say here sounds pretty much like what i said in my review.. but, in my opinion, saying a movie is "better than most of the crap out there" doesn't necessarily mean it's any good

silversurfer19 wrote:This is Left Of The Dial mfrendo, it's a record from Tim:
i think he was confused because we Yanks usually don't refer to album-tracks or singles as "records".. we usually reserve that term for LPs

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by Buscemi on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:28 am

I hate Bill Hader. He seems like an obnoxious jerk from the Zach Braff School of Anti-Humor.

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

Post by silversurfer19 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:39 am

NSpan wrote:the stutteringly anxious, shy and nerdy-but-"likable" protagonist that seems to populate more faux-indie movies than ever before any more enjoyable to watch...

Haven't these characters always populated movies? I don't think this is just a recent thing.

go ahead and COUNT the number of shots the cover of Transformer is featured.. even a heavy dose would've been excusable--seeing as Lou Reed is almost a plot point in himself.. but when the same image is placed somewhere in camera-view in nearly half the scenes (t-shirts, posters, albums, etc.), we're getting dangerously close to product placement..

Maybe so, but again, if I was directing this movie, it would be smattered with images of The Clash, not because I'm trying to appear hip, but maybe because I really like them and maybe I'm trying to introduce an artist that maybe the target audience of the movie isn't aware of? Same can be said of the soundtrack.

furthermore, playing "Pale Blue Eyes" (one of my all-time VU tracks, btw) non-diegetically TWICE in the same movie is inexcusable.
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Doesn't this happen in a lot of movies. I'm pretty sure if I looked up a number of soundtracks from a variety of genres from a broad range of decades, we would find repeating songs in a movie soundtrack. And again, maybe he just loves this song?

dude, with all due respect, 99% of what you say nowadays is throwaway..

I'm surprised it's only 99%....

we might just be arguing for arguments' sake..

Probably so, I haven't had a good rant in a while.

but, in my opinion, saying a movie is "better than most of the crap out there" doesn't necessarily mean it's any good

Definitely not, and I haven't heralded the movie as the saviour of the coming age movie, but it definitely isn't bad.

i think he was confused because we Yanks usually don't refer to album-tracks or singles as "records".. we usually reserve that term for LPs

I suspected so, considering it is probably their most famous song, but I just thought I'd better make sure, as well as provide a shameless plug for one of my favourite bands. Maybe I'm pulling a Mottola....?

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Re: what are you watching RIGHT NOW.... or somewheres about close to "right now" PART 2

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