Ben Adams, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Jordan Stokes overthink board game movie adaptations and the Keanu Reeves revenge thriller John Wick.[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/mwrather/otip330.mp3]
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- “Five Board Games That Would Make Better Movies Than Michael Bay’s ‘Ouija'”
- Sad Keanu
- Chevrolet Chevelle
- Mark Lee’s dog, Harper Lee (who was not harmed in the making of this podcast):
Here’s a conundrum: I wish I haven’t listen to this podcast because listening to it made me want to see the movie, which I’d probably skip if not for spoilers in podcast.
Anyway, woo, Keanu!
I didn’t know Pete spoke Russian, that’s an old language choice for a American. Unless you’re a spy, then let me first to apologize for blowing your cover. To continue your point of “Eastern Europeans speak ill when they are happy”, one of our favorite cheers for times when alcohol is being consumed is “na pohybel”. That could be roughly translated as “To Our Doom”/”We’re going to perish”.
PS. Oh, for the F-word. John Wick is opening in Poland December 5th!
Oh, I don’t “speak” Russian. I took Russian in college for two years. It was becuase I planned to study drama and playwriting — my plan heading into college was to learn Russian to study and perform the plays of Anton Chekhov, then study abroad at a theater conservatory in Russia (I think the program I was hoping to apply to was in Yakutsk), with the hopes of breaking through to some new style of post-naturalism or the like.
This felt like destiny to me. I had long associated myself with Russia and Eastern Europe — people often asked me if I was Russian, I played some Russians and other Eastern Europeans in school plays, I wrote my big European History term paper in High School on the evolution of Polish art and culture in response to the ongoing threat and reality of Russian and German invasion (a lot of it was just explaining who Marshall Pilsudski was — as he’s not a historical figure Americans generally learn about). I identified with the X-Man Colossus — whose name is also Peter, and who prides himself on endurance (I was a distance runner), and who is very protective of his little sister (and I have 4 of those).
So it felt like it was meant to be. My excitement over it was a bit contagious — even though I ultimately failed, I did manage to talk at least one or two other people into it who ended up getting really involved in Eastern European humanitarianism and politics, and I think my general energy and attitude, especially the first year, was pretty helpful to a lot of other people who otherwise would have been driven out by how dreary in general the class was (taught in the “Slavic Dungeon” — the labyrinthine, windowless basement of Yale’s Hall of Graduate Studies).
My whole plan and sense of destiny ran into three big roadblocks:
– When my parents asked me about my plan and I told them, they strictly forbade me from going to Russia. This was my freshman year in 1999, when Putin first took over, and I think they were scared. They probablty had good reason to be scared, but at the same time, this was kind of a dream-crush, and I probably shouldn’t have let them just say no.
– I had studied Latin in middle school and high school, which meant I had the expectation that you get up to reading major literature fairly quickly. But the Russian I learned in college was mostly practical and conversational, and it turns out that Russian literature can be pretty advanced in terms of how it employs the language (who knew?). After two years I was nowhere near able to understand Chekhov.
– Because, as you mentioned, studying Russian isn’t very popular in the U.S., when I got to my 2nd year, literally every other person in my class had either been born and grown up in Russia, the Ukraine or Serbia, or had already spent significant time living in Russia or Eastern Europe.
The fact that these people were the ones taking level 2 intermediate Russian blows my mind. Maybe they were just trying to fill their language requirements? Probably.
At any rate, in my second year, since I had been forbidden from actually going to Russia, and my whole plan was in shambles, so I had no idea why I was doing any of this anymore, and everybody else in the class was impossibly better at the language than I was, I got really disillusioned and frustrated. The level of my performance in class dropped (Russian is really hard for English speakers with only a Romance language background — I needed to be studying hours a day to keep up, and I plainly wasn’t), and I ended up getting a really bad grade one semester and then dropping the class.
I still feel betrayed by the whole series of events — by my family, by the college, and by my teachers, none of whom ever really seemed to care where I was coming from wanting to study Russian since it was a different choice than what people with my background usually make.
Most of all blame myself, and every once in a while I tell myself I’m going to bust out my old books or a Rosetta Stone and learn again, because a lot of that information is still in there somewhere, and at least I’d get _something_ out of the whole thing.
But then I remember how hard and pointless it all seemed (once the words got over 3 syllables spoken at a Muscovite pace — which is basically the Puerto Rican of Russian — even if I technically knew the words on paper I found it nearly impossible to tell them apart from hearing them).
I should have just taken Italian. Dante would have been fine, and I could go to the opera, and maybe I would have gotten to go on a nice trip or something.
Although my level of Russian is fairly useful for action movies. That’s the one place where it helps.
I took Russian with the intention of diplomatic work. There’s great potential for economic and political cooperation – real cooperation for the benefit of everyone. But when I saw that the most ardent people learning Russian was for the intelligence branch of the government, and how the political (and student) climate had no room for anyone that was rational (or god forbid “positive”) towards Russia, I became disheartened. The focus was on antagonism – it being a more profitable and easy enterprise for the upper echelons. I decided to drop it.
But it’s directed me in another way. If I can’t build bridges, then maybe I should start working on building the foundations on this side so a bridge could be built in the future. Less militaristic, more educated, more democratic, etc, etc.
Thank you for sharing that story, fenzel. I’m a little sleep deprived and worried about my ability to string together words at the moment so I will just say that I relate and I appreciate your candor.
Not much related but just wanted to make sure everyone knows the awesome fact that Alfie “Theon Greyjoy” Allen is Lily Allen’s younger brother hilariously depicted in puppet form in the video for the aptly titled song Alfie: http://youtube.com/watch?v=13TXPdCVxds
I can’t decide if it’s hilarious or sad that he has been basically typecast as a disappointing son/brother, both in his acting roles and as an actual person depicted as a puppet. I guess that’s a sign that it’s both.
I just wanted to say I really like the way it goes without introducing the panel first. For some reason I just enjoy the anticipation and suspense throughout the Question of the Week, not knowing who the next person to answer it will be or how many Overthinkers are with us this time. (Fortunately I listened to this week’s episode on iTunes, rather than on the website as I sometimes do, so I had not already seen the list of participants in the show notes.) If Mr. Wrather prefers to start off with the intros (perhaps as a form of recognition, akin to the opening credits of a movie or TV show?) then so be it, but I kind of hope he will go back to doing it this way at least occasionally, too.
Sigh. The given car was a Charger. The Hellcat is the Challenger. The Tahoe is also the vehicle of choice for government.
Finally saw it. Just wanted to say it seems unlikely that Chevy paid for product placement on that Tahoe related scene, because
The Tahoe’s airbags do not deploy in a collision Chevy would very much want them to.