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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:20 pm 
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This week, we blast those five tell-tale tones and experience the sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Plus, Ricky takes over Studio and asks Rhea and Cameron to devise a new project exploring different ways aliens make first contact with humans. Who will come out ahead and make everybody tons of money?

Wham Bam Pow Ep. 51 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:41 pm 
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The whole disucssion regarding the allegations brought against Bryan Singer was interesting to me. I think these media stories are always a bit layered and it's best not to form an immediate reaction to them. Like Cameron said, we live in a culture that is inundated with information almost daily. Just as many major news networks often report a story and then have to backtrack to fill in information gaps, I always assume the best practice is to let the story go for a while before trying to form an opinion. Because you can almost bet that a story like this will have details that emerge slowly and there will be various accounts of events.

Secondly, part of me wants to side with the victims and stand firm in the notion that I will not support someone's art output if they are found to be guilty of sexual assualt. That presents further problems, though. Because a movie like X-Men:DOFP is the effort of teams of people...not just Singer. And it's true that he's the director and the face of the creative side, but is it fair to all the actors, producers, screenwriters, costume designers, studios, production designers, effects crews, and composers if I decide to not see this movie based on one man's actions? I wouldn't feel comfortable punishing other hardworking individuals because of one person's past.

I don't feel there's anything wrong with supporting a movie you enjoy, even if someone attache to the project has a sordid history. By watching the new X-Men movie, I don't think anyone will (or should) make the assumption that I support sexual assualt. I think as long as you show up to the theater and enjoy the movie purely on its own merits, you can remove the artist from the art like Rhea said.

I'll use a football analogy. I've always been a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, so when it came to light that we were going to sign Michael Vick after his prison stint, needless to say I had conflicting feelings. I didn't want to support a man who was convicted of torturing animals. However, I wasn't going to stop watching the Eagles just because he was the QB of our team. If he helped us win, I can appreciate the sheer atheticism and talent of a guy without having to factor in his personal life. I don't know that I'd ever sit down for a beer with the guy, but I can cheer for his talent to help the team produce a win. Just like a football team, a movie can be greater than the sum of its parts.

*Side note: I think Vick has rehabilitated himself as an individual and made huge strides in showing his remorse. If someone like Tony Dungy signs off on him, that's good enough for me and to my mind, Vick showed growth and has proved he's in a better space now. I don't think he deserves his mistakes to be held over his head for the rest of his life, but I understand people have a hard time forgiving and he will always bear the consequences of his actions.*


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:36 am 
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I agree, I think it is possible to separate art from its artist, at least to a degree. It still exists in the world, but we can still discuss art and its merits as if the artist wasn't a bad person.

Humans have the strange ability (and maybe even the predisposition) to live in contradictions. I can love Ender's Game and even go watch the movie because I love that book and think it is truly great art. I don't agree with a lot of things Orson Scott Card says and believes, but it doesn't remove what that book/character/universe has given me over the years.

On the other hand, I am not homosexual, so it is not a personal struggle for me. I don't have an intense reaction to the author's reputation and beliefs so it gives me the freedom to compartmentalize that from his art. I do have an intense reaction to asian stereotypes which is why Sixteen Candles will always give me a terrible feeling. I am korean-american and I find the Long Duk Long character very offensive. That is my bias and I accept that I cannot see past it with ease.

Each person has their own biases and sensitive topics. I always try to temper my own and be aware of others. So I have no problem with any one who did not see or read Ender's Game because of its original author.

Let's just be nice and talk about it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:49 am 
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A favorite moment in this episode was this exchange:

CAMERON: That's a good choice. Because their music sounds the way James Spader me feel, if that makes any sense.

RICKY (with extreme enthusiasm): It doesn't!

It just made me happy.

Regarding 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', I remember seeing this as a little kid, and I sort of remember a lot of the things that people talk about with this movie -- the mashed potato sculpture, the spaceship -- but there's one moment that I don't think get mentioned a lot but which made a big impression on my pre-adolescent mind.

It's pretty early on -- Richard Dreyfuss is in a truck studying a map, and we're watching him from the front. It looks like there's another car behind him, except something's a little off -- there are four headlights instead of two. The viewer has just enough time to register that there's something weird before the lights start floating away from the ground, leaving the field of view vertically. In the meantime Dreyfuss is completely unaware that anything out of the ordinary is going on and continues to fiddle with his maps.

I really think this scene is done well, partly because of the dramatic irony, partly because of the way the scene is set up, and partly because of the implicit humor of the situation -- Dreyfuss thinks the space ship is a car also and distractedly waves at it to pass him right before it levitates and flies over him instead -- combined with the creepiness of the unknown.

I'm sure if I watch the movie again as an adult -- which I hope to do soon -- there will be lots of great moments, but for now this is my pick for BEST PART!


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 4:08 am 
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This was the first time I saw this movie and I did notice that Truck/UFO thing. There was a lot of good setup and suspense in the first part of this movie. The effect with all of the stuff flying around his car at the beginning was also pretty great.


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 4:09 am 
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klenske wrote:
Each person has their own biases and sensitive topics. I always try to temper my own and be aware of others. So I have no problem with any one who did not see or read Ender's Game because of its original author.

There are so many artists that would be offense to me that I usually only discard a work when the racism, biases or prejudices make it into the work. When I read Ender's Game, I had no idea that he was a Mormon, much less a homophobe. However, when I tried to re-read Lord of the Rings" recently the racism was so blatant that I just put it down.

Those are my biases and I am sticking to them.


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