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[Video Review and Essays] Web Reviews VII: The Youtube Awakens

Isator Levie

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Lindsay Ellis has a new video up, this one detailing a subject that she touched upon all the way back in her Phantom of the Opera retrospective that started her on the big video essay kick: the end of Hollywood movie musicals.

[video=youtube;b8o7LzGqc3E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8o7LzGqc3E[/video]
 

HDimagination

Building something out of Scrap
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It's the end of the month! Hope you weren't planning on leaving the house this Labor Day, because all our parasocial friends need to make rent and have fulfilled their Patreon contracts by providing us with literal hours of high-quality, vaguely leftist entertainment analysis.

First up it's Mikey with an uncharacteristically (for him) negative assessment of Infinity War:
[video=youtube_share;M7Skq8UtJpY]https://youtu.be/M7Skq8UtJpY[/video]
I liked that movie, so I want to disagree but I can't really find any purchase to argue with his points. In the end, I think I agree but just don't care about the issues he raises as much. Which I think is valid, but I'd feel incredibly boorish trying to defend a superhero beat 'em up to someone who has stronger sensitivities about abuse or trauma or just wanted a more fun time in what's been a particularly difficult period of time.

Where I do feel like Mikey missed something is that this isn't a complete movie, in a way even most planned series aren't. It won't stand alone even as much as The Empire Strikes Back did. I feel like I do about The Last Jedi, and I'd be surprised if Episode IX really moved the needle on that, whether it's brilliant or shockingly awful. In five years, we'll never talk about Infinity War by itself. All of these points will have to be considered in light of Avengers 4, for good or for ill.
Yeah, I mean, I loved all the action in Infinity war, but I won't deny that certain aspects of the plot made me quite discomforted, but I'm sure that was intentional. I think what they were trying to do was a villain-centric movie without making the the villain 'cool', which is a trap a lot of films fall into (see any batman movie). I'm not sure how sucessful they were with this. I hate to think what parts of this would be like for some-one who has actually been in an abusive relationship though.

Lindsay Ellis has a new video up, this one detailing a subject that she touched upon all the way back in her Phantom of the Opera retrospective that started her on the big video essay kick: the end of Hollywood movie musicals.

[video=youtube;b8o7LzGqc3E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8o7LzGqc3E[/video]
Mikey and Lindsay on the same day? *Checks Calendar*
 

Menocchio

Eccentric Thousandaire
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Lindsay Ellis has a new video up, this one detailing a subject that she touched upon all the way back in her Phantom of the Opera retrospective that started her on the big video essay kick: the end of Hollywood movie musicals
That's a more compelling cautionary tale about our current superhero-heavy diet than the tired one about westerns.
 

Dawgstar

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Yeah, I mean, I loved all the action in Infinity war, but I won't deny that certain aspects of the plot made me quite discomforted, but I'm sure that was intentional. I think what they were trying to do was a villain-centric movie without making the the villain 'cool', which is a trap a lot of films fall into (see any batman movie). I'm not sure how sucessful they were with this. I hate to think what parts of this would be like for some-one who has actually been in an abusive relationship though.
I think they were trying very hard for 'Thanos Was Right' to not show up on a t-shirt. Which is of course not to say people shouldn't feel uncomfortable about Thanos, but at the same time I think it was working as an intended.
 

Kreuzritter

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Y'know what we could use, A greek Myth themed dating sim. Red, give us the sales pitch, if you please...
[video=youtube;QGwZXCbHoWc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGwZXCbHoWc[/video]
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
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Huh. I disagreed with Mikey. Well it was bound to happen sooner or later I guess.

I mean, really, trying to count this as it's own movie is kind of a mistake. I think he was right when he described it as "a spectacle". The Avengers was "we're gonna make five movies work together!" This was "ALL DA MOVIES!!". The fact that we got anything like a plot out of that and not a 3 hour video game cut scene is kind of amazing on it's own. But...the people who think Thanos is right? Those same jackasses thought Darth Vader was right, and there is NOTHING in Star Wars to make you think the Empire are good guys.
 

evilmrhenry

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I think they were trying very hard for 'Thanos Was Right' to not show up on a t-shirt. Which is of course not to say people shouldn't feel uncomfortable about Thanos, but at the same time I think it was working as an intended.
I'm not sure they were attempting to avoid "Thanos Was Right". He cut to a few interviews where the creators explicitly stated that they were trying to make Thanos sympathetic, and at no point in the movie was there even an exchange like "Wait, would that help?" "No". If you want people to avoid saying "Thanos Was Right", you need to reject his philosophy within the movie.


Huh. I disagreed with Mikey. Well it was bound to happen sooner or later I guess.

I mean, really, trying to count this as it's own movie is kind of a mistake. I think he was right when he described it as "a spectacle". The Avengers was "we're gonna make five movies work together!" This was "ALL DA MOVIES!!". The fact that we got anything like a plot out of that and not a 3 hour video game cut scene is kind of amazing on it's own. But...the people who think Thanos is right? Those same jackasses thought Darth Vader was right, and there is NOTHING in Star Wars to make you think the Empire are good guys.
If we aren't supposed to consider this as a stand-alone movie, it really needed "Part 1" in the title. I hear you on being amazed we got an actual movie, though. (So many introductions. Look, just pick 6 characters, and say everyone else is getting Starbucks.)

(The bit in Star Wars that makes people root for the Empire is the use of knock-off nazi propaganda imagery. Those giant fields of stormtroopers in shiny uniforms give the illusion of power, which isn't the same as being right, but is still tempting.)
 

Dawgstar

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I'm not sure they were attempting to avoid "Thanos Was Right". He cut to a few interviews where the creators explicitly stated that they were trying to make Thanos sympathetic, and at no point in the movie was there even an exchange like "Wait, would that help?" "No". If you want people to avoid saying "Thanos Was Right", you need to reject his philosophy within the movie.
Being sympathetic to a person doesn't mean you agree with and/or endorse their philosophy. And why would you need to explicitly reject his philosophy in the movie? We don't need to be told wiping out half of life in the universe to save it is bad.
 

JustinCognito

Crepuscular
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Lindsay Ellis has a new video up, this one detailing a subject that she touched upon all the way back in her Phantom of the Opera retrospective that started her on the big video essay kick: the end of Hollywood movie musicals.

[video=youtube;b8o7LzGqc3E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8o7LzGqc3E[/video]
I kinda admire Lindsay's restraint, because around the time she talked about Kelly discussing how Hollywood buys musicals of the moment only to get them into theaters at a time when that moment has passed, I myself would've been like "I'M SURE HOLLYWOOD WOULD LEARN FROM THAT LESSON" and linked to the RENT review. This is why I'm not a content creator.
 

Isator Levie

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I'm not sure they were attempting to avoid "Thanos Was Right". He cut to a few interviews where the creators explicitly stated that they were trying to make Thanos sympathetic, and at no point in the movie was there even an exchange like "Wait, would that help?" "No". If you want people to avoid saying "Thanos Was Right", you need to reject his philosophy within the movie.
Err, there was that whole bit where Gamora was all "you're insane" and "you can't possibly know if your aspiration is something that would even function".

That being said, I find the assertion that a story can only make its points when it has characters explicitly state its themes to be a rather crude take on media consumption, particularly in film. A well crafted film can make its perspective on the position of various characters apparent solely through the angles at which they're shot on key moments.

I can't speak comprehensively to the intent of the filmmakers with regards to Thanos, but I will say that it's fallacious to equate their stated desire for him to be sympathetic with an idea that he's supposed to have a fair point. It's entirely possible to render a character as sympathetic at the same time as they're framed as being terrible and wrong.

I kinda admire Lindsay's restraint, because around the time she talked about Kelly discussing how Hollywood buys musicals of the moment only to get them into theaters at a time when that moment has passed, I myself would've been like "I'M SURE HOLLYWOOD WOULD LEARN FROM THAT LESSON" and linked to the RENT review. This is why I'm not a content creator.
You know, I don't really think that the film version of RENT was ever really intended to be a commercial mega hit, so much as being a story that its producers felt had a Message that was Important, and maybe thought that making it into a film would help it reach a wider audience.

I'm basing this perspective largely on the knowledge that Robert De Niro was an executive producer for the film (and possibly a financial backer, I'm unsure) with the desire to honour the memory of a friend that had died from AIDS.

Did the film even have very much of a theatrical release?

Anyway, here's the second part to Dan Olson's lukewarm defence of the Fifty Shades series.
[video=youtube;pjViIRWesQ0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjViIRWesQ0[/video]
 
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