Open Thread for June 17, 2011

“Green Lantern,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” and Anthony Wiener’s resignation. What a great week, America!

In deepest thought…

With utmost fluency…

No terrible Hollywood tentpole shall escape our scrutiny!

That’s right, folks. The Green Lantern movie has finally landed, and surprise: critics hated it! Like, “22% on Rotten Tomatoes” hated it! According to The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis,

Green Lantern is bad.

Way to underthink it, Manohla. Gosh.

Can you folks do better? I suspect a lot of folks in the OTI-verse will still see this in spite of the bad reviews, so let us know if it’s any good, if it’s all an allegory for the War on Terror, if Blake Lively can act, and if Ryan Reynolds’ CGI costume is the best thing to happen to special effects since Avatar.

Well, at least now Alec Baldwin can be Mayor of New York.

In other news, Anthony Weiner finally withdrew from gave up on the notion of holding onto his House seat in the wake of the Twitter scandal and resigned. Our long national nightmare is finally over; let the healing begin. But please don’t stop with the dick jokes. At this point, they’re a major part of our GDP.

Hah! A Recession joke! The only thing better than a dick joke.

Comment of the Week: Thanks to Brian for doing the heavy lifting on Overthinking Super 8‘s zombie film-within-a-film and suburban setting:

Given [this previous OTI article on zombies and urban flight], I think Super 8 is sub-textually about oil scarcity changing the face of suburbia main points being 1. The zombies and urban flight article. 2. The monster uses tons of engines from cars to make his *water powered* space ship. 3. Every time the alien takes someone a car is a main part of the scene- a. being filled with gas b. a cherry picker truck fixing power lines c. right after Alice’s dad crashes. d. alien takes all engines out of entire car lot.

Sharp observations, Brian. You win…2 tickets to see Green Lantern! What’s that? You hear it sucks? Well, in that case, how about tickets to the other movie opening this weekend: Mr. Popper’s Penguins?

You’re welcome.

10 Comments on “Open Thread for June 17, 2011”

    • Brian #

      I know it’s a shopworn controversial issue on here but this video really captures the, I think it was Belinkie’s, idea of “earnesty”-liking something ironically and earnestly. Earnesty is contended by the notion that there is no liking something ironically and saying your appreciation is ironic is just a cover for insecurity, fear of shame and being outcast by the “cool” kids. I agree it’s a cover, but the feeling of being on the edge of liking something fully but not being quite secure to go all the way with it is a very real feeling, and the video is all about moving towards that security and overcoming the fear of shame and the glory you’ll feel from being honest with yourself, I guess it’s about sex too.

      The obvious 80’s z-grade production value creates atmosphere of struggling with limited means- equivalent to limited emotional security, but she’s making the most of the set and limited production she can to fullest extent possible- and since this is Lady Gaga we know this a deliberate choice as she can afford and has done huge budget productions. The sax solo is cheesy by today’s standards but Gaga dances hardcore to it by herself even though she looks foolish, and this is really where the transition from earnesty to earnest happens, as she’s doing it for herself, there’s a notable absence of her dance troupe because she’s not dancing to fit in synchronization with a large group. The solo goes on for a bit, and when it’s finishes it’s kinda funny because you realize how kinda outta nowhere it was but feel safe in enjoying it nonetheless.

      I probably wouldn’t have read the dancing this way if it weren’t for the movie “Stay Hungry” starring Jeff Bridges and Arnold Schwarzenegger, there’s a scene where Schwarzenegger (in his Golden Globe winning debut as a fiddle playing body builder) takes Bridges (soul searching WASP) to a real hillbilly hoe down (like real real, not staged, its kinda documentary at this part) in the deep country and gets him drunk on moonshine, Bridges then does a stupid drunken gig in front of the real hillbillies and looks like a total jackass, kicks -I think truly accidentally- a bass player’s cello, and it’s a really long uncomfortable take that slowly zooms in on him while blissfully dances away. It’s a crazy ass cool movie.


      • Brian #

        FUMBLE! Wow, talk about a goof. The concept is “Earony” combining earnest and irony. Maybe not even spelled right there either, the OTI search engine is down so I can’t find it.


  1. Gab #

    More shenanigans from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week: The Best Picture category will now RANGE from 5-10; and there is still no category for Best Stunt Coordinator, despite numerous attempts for one to be created.

    I’m surprised Weiner pulling out like that (heh) got mentioned at all- it’s political, after all. Still, I’ll be abridged (or as close to that as I can try- I’ll number it to try and reign it in). But basically, the whole thing is a crock. Not that he did it, but that he’s resigning. Anyhoo, 1) I guess I’m irked mostly because you can’t even blame this on how American society is so puritan and anti-sex, so anything having to do with penii means the end of a carreer- because it’s not. If that were the case, tons of other politicians would have resigned in the past, or wouldn’t have have kept their careers. 2) I’m further irked by the stupid Democrats. For a party that has absolutely no guts when it comes to policy and agendas, the Democrats are one bloodthirsty pack of wolves when a fellow Democrat makes a dick move (heh). Republicans let their own get away with actual intercourse on the public dime- all he did was send some naughty electronic files. 3) And, of course, there’s the fact that he didn’t even do anything illegal, technically speaking. So he sent some naughty files and texts, okay. Yeah, he lied about it, but I don’t even think the lie is resignation-worthy, not in light of some of the flat-out illegal crap his colleagues have gotten away with over the years. I’m not saying I think it’s awesome that he did what he did- I think it’s messed up he’s resigning over it when much worse has gone unpunished. ::end rant::


    • I Said What What #

      As with so many similar scandals, what killed Weiner wasn’t the crime, it was the cover-up, and what that revealed about his character. Sure, it’s bad for his private life that he was sexting with women other than his wife. But once he slipped up, and all cheaters eventually slip up, his first response was to lie and deny.

      We are not compartmentalized people. Our response to danger in one type of situation is likely to be similar to our response to it in a different situation. It’s why playing sports is considered to strengthen character. Learning the values of teamwork, discipline and sacrifice in the artificial constructs of a made-up game improve us as human beings, and we carry over those lessons into other areas of our lives.

      And we as citizens and voters should not want politicians who lie, evade, and deny, when they are caught doing something. Power corrupts, and it’s with good reason that we should be cynical about the motives of anyone who seeks it. Fear of being caught is a powerful weapon, and it is imperative that we keep that weapon as sharp as possible. We can’t expect to catch every single crook, or to have sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of every crook we catch, which is why we need to heavily punish those who obstruct justice. As anyone who has ever been the parent of a three-year-old will attest to.


      • Gab #

        That’s a very sound and solid argument. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone the lie. Like I said, I don’t think what he did was okay at all. What bothers me about this is he lied about sexting and then resigned, while others have lied about ILLEGAL things and stuff that ended up being actual ethics violations in relation to the law and the official rules of Congress, and those people did NOT resign and/or were not forced out. And I wouldn’t call his lying about it an obstruction of justice, but rather a bad (both story-wise and ethically speaking) lie to cover up a stupid mistake. Contrast that to, say, a senator that claims there is no connection with Company X when it gets a government contract, when, in fact, this senator’s brother-in-law is the CEO of Company X all along. I know I’m at risk of coming across as being a moral relativist, for while I don’t *want* my politicians to lie, I’m far less upset about a lie regarding naughty texts and pictures than I would be a lie about kickbacks and bribes. My point is, I find it somewhat unjust that a “crime” like Weiner’s resulted in SO much outrage and demands for resignation, while one like that hypothetical senator I just made up wouldn’t. So my feeling is that since other Congressmembers have remained in office for less, why should he give up his seat? Sure, one could say he’s setting the good example and taking the high road, but this is Washington, for crying out loud, and for every Congressmember that would make the right choice, there are ten more that wouldn’t. So there’s no point in telling him to get out, especially since his party is so weak. There are bigger, far more corrupt fish to fry, and it’s shameful that the media focuses so much on this kind of scandal and ignores ones about buying off votes or taking kick-backs, etc. And I’m about to go off on a diatribe/tangent about the failures of the media and such, so I’ll stop now.


    • Gab #

      I think both that and Green Lantern provide examples of how “the people” will still consume the crap out of mediocre products. That could be a weekly column or segment anywhere, This Week In Mediocrity with its own subdivisions like “Franchise Fail” and “Misuse of (Source) Material” and the like.

      (Although, I’ve heard it argued that Green Lantern isn’t so terrible in its own right, but it’s just so different from and not as awesome as X-Men: First Class that it comes across as bad. I haven’t seen it yet, myself, but maybe if considered on its own, it will impress me.)


  2. Trevor #

    Our society is remarkably sex-obsessed for being so puritanical; it’s like the idea of a guy named “Weiner” who just happens to get caught in a sex scandal brings out the thirteen-year-old boy in all of us, tittering over his name. Maybe one day we’ll be more sexually open, more willing to admit that 1.) sex happens, 2.) it happens a lot, 3.) it’s fun, and 4.) people who jump on the barricades of any sex scandal tend to fall off into their own within six months to a year.


  3. I Said What What #

    I thought Green Lantern suffered from the same fundamental problem as the early Harry Potter films. The backstory of the fictional universe is so rich that several films could be made just of the exposition. They know they need to satisfy the hardcore fans, while at the same time not confusing people who have never read a comic book in their life. Two hours just isn’t enough time to do both. The Lord of the Rings movies, and the later Harry Potter movies, got three hours to play with and could balance the two audiences. Green Lantern didn’t, and so I think it shortchanged both.

    Also, there’s a long unnecessary pause in the middle that kills the pacing dead.


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