Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 52674 times)
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BorisBartenov
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« Reply #3855 on: March 29, 2008, 11:00:09 AM »

While I'm here, a practical question about renting movies....

I'm quitting Netflix, whose service has really declined out here in the heartland, long wait times, and thinking about getting a broadband line at home in order to download movies.  Does anyone know how limited selection is for downloadable films, if you can pay as you go, one film at a time -- or generally have any experience with this?
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madupont
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« Reply #3856 on: March 29, 2008, 12:25:06 PM »

jbottle,re:#3870

Manohla Dargis has already slammed "21",in an opening sentence: “21,” a feature-length bore about some smarty-pants who take Vegas for a ride."

I was willing to risk it. For the sake of Spacey. (Maybe because I can remember when "Flatliners" were all newcomers just starting out in the movies. You've got to start somewhere, in order for one or two admirable young actors with a particular quirk to catch your attention.)

Dargis has been known to be wrong before, down-grading a film. People generally come out to view someone they haven't seen recently and of whom they are really fond. In Spacey's case, because he is otherwise occupied with running one of the greatest theatres in the world. Which was his own idea. Shrewd guy.  Get control of a cultural icon and book it with your own advanced taste; which is more than can be said for the cultural level of Washington,D.C.'s "show-case".  The fans liked Spacey in London, so he just moved on them and they were pleased as punch.

Since they were recently holding auditions for younger actors at the Old Vic, I wouldn't be surprised if "21" was his option to offer contracts.

By the way, any of you old-timers from the prior nytimes venue ever figured out whether Manohla Dargis is a man or, a woman? I can recall when it was the bane of  the Review-posters to presume how to address him or her for reviewing a movie as categorically from a male or a female point of view.  He or she would never give them the satisfaction  of finding out and being sure they knew what they were talking about.                     
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ponderosa
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« Reply #3857 on: March 29, 2008, 04:20:28 PM »

Came across this today. The winner of the '89 Animation Short. Balance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJWT3p7uM6Y
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jbottle
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« Reply #3858 on: March 30, 2008, 05:53:54 PM »

MD never had 20/20, but I liked her style.  The ride the MIT guys ("smarty pants") took is a male fantasy come true.  You are smart at math and can count cards and you play the game in Vegas with the best odds (even if you can only do the mathmatically-correct play, nevermind counting "paint" on a plus minus system and allotting your bets accordingly...) 

See, I didn't read the review, but from what you say, she's not a gambler, and I myself should've accounted for the appeal of gambling particularly Texas Hold 'Em to the average college male, as some of the superstars in that professional "sports" field, the "young guns," have won millions without working a day job.  Which, as the spectre of time-consuming employment looms, is the general idea.  I'm not saying the movie is good, but in "A Beautiful Mind" I took it for granted that the guy had a beautiful mind and no social skills, the "quirky professor" extreme to the point of brilliance.  Can't tie his shoes, but talks about patterns of bird flight and calculus.  Suuuuuure, maaaaaan.  But this is "A Beautiful Mind" meets "The Big Squeeze," see...it looks like it should've been better cast, nice time to be a college-looking actor and catch that part, because the smell of money in the wasteland, you just pulled a "White Noise," my brother, whoever you are, and parlay, and play, and don't intend to stay...

So, it looks like the studio was smart to release the film during "Spring Break" when a lot of kids simply go home and go to the movies, life is not one long wet t-shirt party as I was forced to abruptly confront in the the mid to late 1990's...but I digress, I'll read the Darghis review, and I think she's not a bad looking chick but don't know which way she swings, but I always thought she was kinda funny if often wrong, and I thought the same about Janet Maslin.  I always had mixed feelings about the mixed-metaphor black guy that lasted a couple of years, Elvis Mitchell, he had a way of capturing absurdity at times, and at times being a really bad writer so in love with his prosaic flight and unedited, that it became tiresome, and fast.

But if you don't like to "play the ponies," aren't a wagerer or interested or experienced in the thrill of "gaming," then there is no way you could fairly review "21," plus if you're a chick, as I expect she is, it's kind of a guy thing, taking Vegas for 10LARGE LEGALLY, because the games boil down to math, and MIT does too, but in the pre-dawn chaos of a Vegas morning they all look like used-car salesmen from Dallas or Minneapolis, still hoping for that perfect score...

Good on "21," nobody called that, and every other new release tanked, I could go back and square who between me and the guru were more or less accurate, more or less, but I've got lesser important things to do if you know what I mean.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008, 06:01:33 PM by jbottle » Logged
madupont
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« Reply #3859 on: March 31, 2008, 12:54:18 AM »

I like a little roulette, or at least I did when I was about seven which is when I was taught how to, forgot  really, I would suppose it is the money and focusing kinetic energy.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3860 on: March 31, 2008, 10:46:35 AM »

The odds aren't good comparatively with other games, but if you are hammered you can sit at the end opposite the wheel (and then only if you get the center of the short side of the rectangle seat) and consistently "bet the middle," I can't stress the importance of intoxication here, while querilous onlookers look at you as if you are a potentially hostile madman on speed, weed, and vodka, which you may or may not be, after the third or fourth "COME ON, MIDDLE!!" (heavy southern accent), they will either join and live free, or die on the sides.  Plainly said you can play the center row without picking numbers or furiously putting different colored chips (per player) all over the board, equally foolhardy.  What the MIDDLE MAN does, is take a break from 1 min. hands of $25 blackjack and sit in the middle to give the roulette crowd (and his dime) some comic relief.  It's the best Roulette system in a row, and on sheer will and a prayer to Paula Wagner it's possible (when energy is focused) to "hit the middle" over and over. 

Note: The above is not to be construed nor misconstrued as gaming advice.  Please consult the casino that is ripping you off for "literature" as to the various games they offer to screw you out of your hard or hardly earned monies.  Only bet what you can afford to borrow from your brother-in-law(s) or favourite Aunt.  Remember to order premium beer (you will gain the respect and admiration of the international player) as you are not paying for it after you tip your waitress $25 before you sit down and tell her you are going to need one every ten minutes, if it's not too much trouble, sweetie (again with the southern thing), but yeah Blackjack is the only semi-free lunch but you have to have a bankroll going in so that you are not fishing Benjamins out of your pocket to prolong the agony, etc.  Note:  (Were there gaming advice in this notice of non-gaming advice, it is solely the responsibility of the New York Times and their disaffected non-affiliates.)
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harrie
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« Reply #3861 on: March 31, 2008, 11:09:29 AM »

You know, jbottle, I'm not a big fan of gambling, but you make it sound really fun.
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BorisBartenov
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« Reply #3862 on: March 31, 2008, 12:06:00 PM »

I just started PD James novel, Children of Men.  Her version of Theo sure doesn't seem like Clive Owen at all.  It's probably as well as I saw the film first, without the book in my head at all.  James writes well and the greater detail that the novel provides, regarding the dystopia, is fascinating stuff.

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"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
madupont
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« Reply #3863 on: March 31, 2008, 12:07:51 PM »

harrie, this came up because of the movie,"21" (in more ways than one) starring Kevin Spacey


I've brought something else along that I'd mentioned to jbottle
which I'd found in the Anne Rice links
re: all that Angelina Jolie hot weather Brad Pitt architectural rehousing New Orleans when I wanted to show him a sample of the "Shot-gun style house" most New Orleaneans remember.

http://www.oakalleyplantation.com/about/movies+filmed+here/

Used for both Louis' plantation in Interview with a Vampire, and as the plantation of Phillipe in The Feast of all Saints.
http://www.oakalleyplantation.com/
http://www.oakalleyplantation.com/bed+breakfast/1+bedroom+cottages/cottages+5a+5b/

Whether the cottages shown are one,two, or more, several bedrooms, notice the Shotgun has no closed door- ways ever.
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madupont
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« Reply #3864 on: March 31, 2008, 12:15:47 PM »

I just started PD James novel, Children of Men.  Her version of Theo sure doesn't seem like Clive Owen at all.  It's probably as well as I saw the film first, without the book in my head at all.  James writes well and the greater detail that the novel provides, regarding the dystopia, is fascinating stuff.




I started reading her "mysteries" in the early 1990s. She usually includes within the plot some other major social issue for the UK, and the world generally, that she wants to get off her chest. The one that came up for me was what she had to say about living with nuclear reactors.

I haven't seen, Children of Men, as yet.   Clive Owen doesn't even seem like Clive Owen most of the time, such as, "Closer".

I'll admit, there is a new kind of "man" out there in this era who is not interesting for a woman from my generation; there's presently a large cultural generational divide.
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BorisBartenov
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« Reply #3865 on: March 31, 2008, 12:56:51 PM »

"Clive Owen doesn't even seem like Clive Owen most of the time..."

 Cheesy
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jbottle
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« Reply #3866 on: March 31, 2008, 06:26:28 PM »

Harrie:  If you are in the position to gamble, on a cruise, or there is something in AC (like the recently cancelled Van Halen concert that I was planning to attend), or a trip to Vegas (plan carefully, see good shows, stay no more than 3 days), gambling can be really fun, but defeating if you don't go in knowing you're going to lose $500-1000 and accepting that fact.

Not to be sexist, but I find that women more than men find gambling to be a stupid way to spend money while men don't understand why women like shoes so much.  You might not be that type, but think of it as buying ten pairs of shoes or heels on a spending spree. 

And with blackjack, if you go in with your bankroll divided in thirds if you plan to sit down for three sessions goes roughly like this (and the mathmatically correct plays are easy to intuit with a little reading, there are maybe seven vexing hands where you need to remember a rule, and if you can do that you've reduced your odds down to 52-48 house advantage, not bad...):  If you had $750 to blow, sit at the $10 table and give the dealer $250 bucks, and if he gives you some $25's in addition to tens, then you can ask to "color down" and he will give you 10 chips, and "color up" if you want to leave the table and he will give you 2 $100 chips if you've gotten bored so you're not carrrying too much around.

My only rule:  If I get a bad feeling about a dealer or other players, or lose three or four hands in a row I go to a different table.

Also, if you sit all the way to the dealer's left near the shoe, if possible you get fresh cards and don't have to do all the "you took my king hitting 13 against a dealer six, you moron...," etc.

Also, the 10/250 ratio gives you twenty five hands to lose in a row, and you won't (I wouldn't lose four on principle), but you can sit and play without digging into your purse/wallet like an amateur, and see if you can't put a few hands together.  Doubling-down against dealer weak hands is where the easy money is made and if you get up you can up your basis bet from 10-15-25, which means a fifty dollar hand on a double-down and have a reasonable chance of winning a couple hundred bucks, and when frustrated go to the roulette table and "play the middle," roulette is completely idiotic, which is why I go by and put $20 on black for the hell of it and walk away, or "play some funky theory like 'the middle'," utterly baseless, equally preposterous to every other bet on the table, but yeah, if you know you will likely lose and allot the amount and are decided to not be mad at yourself if you lose you'll have fun, but I can't stress the importance of having enough of a bankroll to let the averages turn in your favor (they will, you just have to play enough hands to be around).  In other words, if you play $10 Blackjack with $100 to start with you will last 15 min. if you are lucky, but with $250, just because of the number of hands you are allowed, you're in an okay position to take beats and keep playing without thinking about money.

Sorry to bore the rest of you with blackjack boilerplate, but hell I like the game.
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harrie
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« Reply #3867 on: March 31, 2008, 08:42:16 PM »

Sorry to bore the rest of you with blackjack boilerplate, but hell I like the game.

Not at all, jbottle, I like the game too, and will play it all day long as long as no money is involved.  I guess I fall into the shoe girl category, except cross out "shoes" and insert "horse blankets and office supplies."   I did go to AC once as arm candy, when I was young enough and cute enough to be arm candy; but I had more fun people watching (playing the "Connected - Yes or No?" game, "admiring" various hairdos, etc.) than actually gambling. (If I knew I'd win, I'd gamble more. But then it wouldn't be gambling.)

All that being said, and to get back to movies, when 21 hits cable, I'll probably watch it because it has...not suspense-y stuff, but strategy stuff, and I seem to like that in flicks a lot of the time.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3868 on: March 31, 2008, 08:51:29 PM »

NAT

What kind of name is 'Chance'?

CHANCE BOUDREAUX

Mah mama tuukwahn.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3869 on: March 31, 2008, 11:10:18 PM »

Good interview of Mr. Van Damme in "The Onion" a couple of weeks ago.

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