Podcast: New DVDs and Blu-rays, 2013 DGA Nominations and More On 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Django'

Plus some trailer talk concerning 'Pacific Rim' and 'Man of Steel'

Rope of Silicon PodcastIt's Tuesday, and you know what that means, time for a new RopeofSilicon Podcast with Brad and Laremy. Today we discuss the new DVD and Blu-ray releases, Brad describes his time watching the trailers for Pacific Rim and Man of Steel, the Directors Guild nominations are out, Laremy watched The Queen of Versaille, we continue talking about Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained plus your questions, Over/Unders and Buy or Sell segments.

For some reason I felt this episode was a little more random than normal, but hopefully that just keeps you guessing. Hope you enjoy!

As always, I have broken down this episode on a minute-by-minute basis if you would like to skip ahead and below I have featured the information on how to download the podcast, find us on iTunes or merely just listen in your browser.

  • 00:00-2:58 - Introduction
  • 2:59-5:09 - Laremy watched The Queen of Versaille
  • 5:10-11:28 - [Listener Question] What are your favorite "West Wing" episodes/moments? [David G]
  • 11:29-19:46 - Brad saw the trailers for Pacific Rim and Man of Steel
  • 19:47-23:54 - Talking Zero Dark Thirty trailer... again
  • 23:55-29:22 - Box Office Challenge Update (chart below)
  • 29:23-39:38 - Talking mroe Zero Dark Thirty... again
  • 39:39-48:26 - New DVDs and Blu-rays
  • 48:27-49:33 - [Listener Question] I talked to a friend who also listens to The Podcast and she said that Films that are nominated for Best Picture should be the basis for what is Cinematic Art. Do you agree or disagree? [Xarnis]
  • 49:34-1:00:43 - [Listener Question] I was listening to NPR and the hosts were talking about Django Unchained. They said that a black filmmaker/writer would not have been able to make this film. So I decided to delve more into that issue. If you look at a lot of the popular/critically successful movies about black people during slavery (Glory, The Color Purple, Amistad and now Django etc.), the directors have been white. I also read an article on salon.com and I will post the question the author of the article wrote: Could a black director have made "Django"? "Django" in this case represents a general slave revenge or black empowerment movie. What if a black director/writer had made "Django"? Do you think the film would've have been perceived differently by the masses and critics? The author of the article related this issue back to white privilege and I thought it was very thought provoking. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on this. [Trishana]
  • 1:00:44-1:14:13 - Over / Under
    • 5.5 - Number of categories where Brad predicts all the Oscar nominations correctly [G-Man]
    • 10 - Years until a legit techno dance or workout song wins an Oscar (last snub I can recall was the Mortal Kombat theme in 95) [G-Man]
    • B- Brad's grade for 'Gangster Squad' [the colleague]
    • 16 minutes, length of your conversation about Academy nominations on Friday's podcast [the colleague]
    • 50 years before IMAX becomes the default/normal way of viewing movies in theaters. [Nav]
    • $20 million opening weekend for The Last Stand. [Stephen]
    • 2.5 - Oscar wins for Jennifer Lawrence in her career [Andrew J.S.]
    • 90 - times Laremy says the word 'penultimate' on the podcast. For the record I'm also a fan of the word. [Bob Phelan]
    • 75 percent of the Oscar members are also AARP members [JN Films]
    • 10 years till you guys become academy members [JN Films]
    • 15 years until you're a member of the National Society of Film Critics [Laremy]
    • 50 percent chance that a undeserving movie gets nominated for best picture (i.e. Skyfall, The Hobbit, Etc.) [JN Films]
    • 45 percent on RT for 'A Good Day to Die Hard' [Xarnis]
    • A Cinemascore for 'Zero Dark Thirty' [Xarnis]
  • 1:14:14-1:15:41 - 2013 Directors Guild Nominations
  • 1:15:42-1:23:10 - Buy or Sell
    • Drake sues Laremy for using "YOLO" as part of his sign-off.
    • 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' wins the people's choice award
    • With the poularity of 'Django Unchained,' Tarantino makes another Western film
    • 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' gets an Adapted Screenplay nod
    • Brad reads a comic book in 2013
    • Francis Ford Coppolla makes another film that is nominated for Best Picture
    • Moonrise Kingdom causes an upset when it scores a Best Director nomination [AS]
    • Tom Hooper does NOT get a Best Director nomination [AS]
    • Each new Tarantino film makes more money than the previous one [AS]
    • Spike Lee's Oldboy remake becomes his new masterpiece.
    • Brad will plunk down his own hard-earned money to see Top Gun 3D in it's six day run in IMAX Theaters on February 8th.
    • 'Gangster Squad' theater shooting scene will be included on a home video release, or even reinstated in a movie, and promoted as an "alternative cut" or something along those lines [the colleague]
    • 'The Dark Knight Rises' will be nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars; 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' were both nominated [the colleague]
  • 1:23:11-1:24:37 - Laremy is getting a new license
  • 1:24:38-1:26:42 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:26:43-1:28:41 - Random bits
  • 1:28:42-1:31:00 - Closing

Finally, I do have one quick request. If you could give us a review on iTunes it would be greatly appreciated.

You can listen below, on Stitcher, download the audio by right-clicking here and saving it to your computer or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It's up to you.

NOTE: Apple's iTunes randomly checks for updated episodes, so sometimes the latest episode may not be immediately available in iTunes.

You can find Laremy's writing here on RopeofSilicon.com and also at Film.com and on Twitter at @Laremy.

Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft
Brad vs. Laremy

Laremy's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
The MasterSep 14$35m$18.9m-$68.5m
LooperSep 28$30m$166.5m$91.5m
Taken 2Oct 5$45m$366.8m$254.3m
Cloud AtlasOct 26$100m$65.9m-$184m
Wreck-It RalphNov 2$165m$311.2m-$101.2m
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2Nov 16$120m$813.8m$513.8m
Red DawnNov 21$65m$43.8m-$118.6m
Life of PiNov 21$120m$391.8m$91.8m
Django UnchainedDec 25$100m$106.2m-$143.7m
Les MiserablesDec 25$61m$170.6m$18.1m
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Resident Evil: RetributionSep 14$65m$221.8m$59.3m
ArgoOct 12$44.5m$166.1m$54.8m
Paranormal Activity 4Oct 19$5m$140.7m$128.2m
Alex CrossOct 19$23m$32.8m-$24.6m
FlightNov 2$31m$97m$19.5m
SkyfallNov 9$200m$1.023b$523.2m
LincolnNov 9$65m$144m-$18.4m
Anna KareninaNov 16$50m$35.6m-$89.3m
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyDec 14$150m$824.8m$449.8m
The ImpossibleDec 21$45m$71m-$41.4m

The Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft competition involved both Brad and Laremy "drafting" ten films each in hopes of scoring the largest net total by taking a film's worldwide gross subtracting two-and-a-half-times the reported budget. The film must be released between the months of September-December 2012. The draft took place on August 28 during the RopeofSilicon Podcast which you can listen to right here.

Listed above is all the most recent data as of this post. Budgetary information is not necessarily accurate and will most likely not be accurate until closer to or after each film's release.

  • High Hanging Fruit

    Houston we have a problem. As a high hanging fruit it takes a lot for me to be bothered to make a comment of any kind so an I tunes review is kinda a big deal. Unfortunately I hail from England (top-o-the morning squire) and as such the UK version of I Tunes only has 7 reviews listed. I bet you can't see them over in fancy America either. I did try Brad

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Ha ha, we are quite fancy here in America. However, we definitely appreciate the effort and we appreciate you as a listener. Thanks for helping us out!

  • Susan

    Wait...Mortal Kombat's song was snubbed? I think that is debatable.

    An action movie question.
    What "genre" or era produced better movies in your mind; the mid-80s pumped up time of Stallone/Willis/Arnold or the modern superhero genre, going back as far as 98s Blade?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      I was listening to the Mortal Kombat theme during my cardio (listen to it quite frequently during workouts), which led to the motivation for the question.

      While it's not a "good' movie in a traditional sense, it's one I watched a ton of times back in the late 90s growing up and will always have some fun watching.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Snicket/ Justin

    "I though the point of the show was just us complaining about stuff."

    "..................." (Brad's long pause after the G.I Joe tweet.


    I'm looking forward to Friday, the break down of the Oscar noms will be entertaining.


    2.5 Oscar noms that are "surprising" [Justin]

    2.5 Oscar noms that Brad rolls his eyes at [Justin]

    1.5 People who comment on the Oscar noms news article that complain about Avengers or Batman not being nominated. [Justin]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Snicket/ Justin

    Oh crap, I forgot...John C. Riley Security Guard returns! This is an omen 2013 is going to kick ass!

    Related Buy/Sell

    John C. Riley Security Guard wears a t-shit with a picture of himself on it on the weekends [Justin]

    John C. Riley Security Guard once worked in the secret service but retired because the job "Used to be about the perks...but not anymore" [Justin]

    John C. Riley Security Guard will make Laremy cry after he tries to stand up for himself for playing on his nook before a screening [Justin]

    John C. Riley Security Guard like Brad, considers Breathless to be his favorite film of all time [Justin]

  • Trishana

    I just want to say that I love you guys. But I have to disagree with your answers to my question. The argument that was made in the salon.com article was that the movie would be marketed to black people and be deemed a "black film". Which I agree. The movie would be marketed towards black people not a mass audience. I think you guys are wrong personally on the Django issue. Maybe because I'm black I see it differently. Racism still does matter in hollywood whether you'd like to believe it doesn't. You guys may not think you're biased but everyone has subconscious biases. There's an article called Still Chained: Django, Tarantino and the Exploitation of Black History. I think it articulates my point better than I can.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Hmmmm, it seems to me we weren't answering the question, or didn't read it, the way it was meant to be read. When you asked, "Could a black director have made Django?" I think we both sort of approached it as saying, "Why not?" Having read the article you referenced (anyone else that wants to read it can find it here) I now see your point to a greater degree (particularly the final two paragraphs) and no, we didn't give the question the weight it deserved.

      I also have to say, had Spike Lee been as eloquent as Osayande is in his article the conversation surrounding Django Unchained would have been a thousand times different. That article is fantastic. I'm going to shoot it over to Laremy to read and we'll discuss it further on Friday because I do think there is something to be discussed, though I can't say I agree with Osayande entirely, especially on his characterization of Django Unchained and his displeasure over it concerning historical accuracy, but instead of trying to type out all my thoughts here I promise we'll get into this on Friday.

      Thanks for your follow-up and referencing that article.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Elijah/ Elijah

      Thanks Trishana for the article, I wasn't a huge fan of the film for different reasons but it's important to think about how Django Unchained will be looked at 10-20 years down the line. On the other hand the issues of changing history and prejudice being sugar coated by Tarantino's fantasy elements made Inglourious Basterds for me all the more special. Due to my Jewish roots I really rooted for the heroes as they bludgeoned their way through Nazis, which is really telling of human nature and how desperately we want to punish the evil men of history. Tarantino wants to punish the slave owners of the 1800's, but in order to do that you can't shy away from the fantasy aspect of it all... Some writer other than me can explain this better, but it's late so bare with me.

      It's hard for me to choose sides between Osayande and Tarantino because the article makes some strong valid points. But I'm a fan of Tarantino's work, and the theme at the center of most of his films are characters who wish to escape their past in the hopes of redemption. In his earlier work Tarantino had protagonists who either had the power to escape their tortured history by way of murder. Now in my opinion Tarantino's "revenge trilogy" seems to be projecting a message of white guilt, which I personally think is important in the scheme of cinema. It shows the contemporary white man trying to outrun this horrible history that has forever tinged what it means to be a "white man".

      Can't flesh this argument out anymore because thinking of film theory hurts my head. Anyway regardless of what I think it's a great talking point, can't wait to hear the discussion.

  • JN Films

    20 years till you guys give a movie about unicorns a B or higher rating [JN Films]
    7 more acting noms for Brad Pitt before he's done [JN Films]
    1.5 more Oscar Wins of Matt Damon before he's done [JN Films]
    B+ rating or higher for Side Effects by you guys [JN Films]
    50% chance that Man of Steel exceeds your expectations [JN Films]
    45% chance that Hans Zimmer gets a score nom for Man of Steel [JN Films]
    7 years till Jude Law wins a Oscar [JN Films]
    75% that Andrew Niccol never makes another good movie ever again [JN Films]

  • tim

    Pretty much every writer I've read that would know has raved about the extended footage they've seen from Pac Rim, so maybe you shouldn't be so dismissive.

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    Brad, Lionsgate probably didn't send you Dredd because you said you didn't want to see it if it was anything like The Raid! ;)

    Saw Zero Dark Thirty this week, my 2nd/3rd fave film of 2012 and I hope it wins Best Picture (I don't think Lincoln has it wrapped up but it's definitely the clear front runner)

    Sounds like you guys didn't like The Gangster Squad which is a shame, I really dug some of the unique cinematography, the awesome score and of course Ryan Gosling who's performance is super again (a scene or two reminded me of his role as the Driver in Drive). Will be keen for your thoughts as to why you didn't like it in your full review! *Just got up to the part where you talked about all the bullets. Awww, I had so much fun with it!

    I'm really worried The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is going to get a nomination, won't do any over/unders etc because we will know by Friday but just got such a strong (and terrible) feeling! Agreed on Life of Pi, so sick of hearing praise for that one.

    • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

      Also was wondering why you didn't post the Razzie nominations, but fully approve of not giving them publicity. Such a joke of an awards, if they did them right I wouldn't mind but as you mentioned on Twitter, it's all on perceived levels of awfulness and they probably didn't even see half the films they nominated. So frustrating. Twilight was a really decent film, would be in my upper half let alone bottom 5.

  • JN Films

    Viewer Question:
    If TDKR came out last year, would it get a lot more recognition? (Best Picture, supporting actor and actress, etc.) [JN Films]

  • http://kaisaccofilm.tumblr.com/ Kai Sacco

    Buy / Sell

    Quentin Tarantino will entertain the idea of introducing his own line of film stock so that he, and other enthusiasts, may continue shooting movies on film when Kodak inevitably goes under [Kai Sacco]

  • https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxTWgAV7uRaSQTBocGQ4Qzgtdm8 RagingTaxiDriver
  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JoshP./ Josh P.

    Listener Question:

    If you saw a film that supported a thesis you were against, do you think you could still enjoy it for its artistic merits? For example, if you were an atheist, do you think you would be able to enjoy a film that pushed a religious agenda if you felt the story was well developed, the characters had strong motivations and the direction was executed well? [Josh P.]


    3 more Gosling/Refn collaborations [Josh P.]
    1.5 more Pixar films until they win Best Animated Feature [Josh P.]
    3.5 movies with James Franco in 2013
    7 years until Harvey Weinstein personally wins an Oscar (his first and only award was for Shakespeare in Love in 1999) [Josh P.]

    Buy or Sell

    Steven Spielberg will ever be nominated for a Razzie [Josh P.]
    Martin Scorsese will win a second Best Director Oscar [Josh P.]
    Another Pixar alumnus will direct a live action film [Josh P.]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Since I just started listening to the podcast in the latter half of last year, i have to ask: Who is John C. Reilly Security Guard?

    By the time this podcast is out, so will the Acadamey Award nominations. What nominations are you the most happy with?

    2.5 Oscar wins for 'Zero Dark Thirty' [Xarnis]
    55% Chance 'Argo' wins Best Picture [Xarnis]
    70% on RT for 'The Great Gatsby'

    Buy or Sell
    Brad and Laremy take a picture of themselves at Cannes [Xarnis]
    'Man of Steel' will be considered the best Superman film upon its release. [Xarnis]
    'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is better than the original [Xarnis]
    Brad gets his own Letterboxd account

  • http://shloggshorrorblog.blogspot.com/ Shloggs

    My complaints with Django have nothing to do with the race issues surrounding it (that Tarantino clearly gleefully revels in exploiting), but more the fact that it is a sloppy, unnecessary, painfully repetitive movie. It's a tonal mistake IMO to portray the harsh, despicable realities of slavery and the mindset that allowed it to flourish and then juxtapose it with gratuitous, violence that is played for laughs. Tarantino, like King Schulze, simply can't help himself, preferring to instead drown everybody in ridiculous fake blood from gigantic squibs when he has the opportunity to show the full range of violence's effect. The message of the film is, it's bad here, but totally justified and hilarious/cool when employed as revenge. This has been the setup and payoff for his last five films now and I think I've had enough.

    I loved Inglorious Basterds, but perhaps that would have also rankled me if he focused on concentration camp atrocities, then cut back to Brad Pitt being a goofball with a silly accent. Also, Basterds was streamlined and had a clarity of intent. Django is a rambling mess that suffers from poor editing (yes I know why) and is easily 40 minutes too long.

    Maybe I'm just getting older and more crotchety, but the celebration of vengeance seems irresponsible and outdated, especially when it's dependent on the abused becoming as vicious and heartless as the abusers they visit it upon.

    If Tarantino truly was a genre film maker, I might find it easier to excuse. But he's not. He's as mainstream as a film maker can be, look at how much money his films make. He's become as critically and financially reliable an institution as Spielberg, more so even. Everybody goes and sees his films regardless of the genre and they become part of the national conversation.

    arantino had a real opportunity to make something important with Django and passed it up to give us yet another easy revenge film. Easy to make and easy to get an audience hooting for in the theater.

    There's the kernel of an extremely thoughtful film to be found in the relationship between Sam Jackson and Leo Dicaprio. That was fascinating stuff, I wish it would have been explored fully and not just a stopgap on the way to more pointless digressions and endless shootouts.

    I liked some of the cinematography and the performances were all great and of course the music was a treat. It just felt like a retread and a colossal waste of time to me. I love Waltz, but Schulze isn't even a character. Landa had shading and was a complex, interesting monster whereas Schulz is just some fantastic killer with no backstory, inexplicably and unnecessarily verbose in a foreign tongue. He was like a coked up hitman with a pocket thesaurus. I throw around a lot of words when I write, but that's because it's static on the page or computer screen. Tarantino has all the faculties of film at his expense, he shouldn't need to wallow in this florid, pointless dialogue to such a padded extent.

    I love the podcast and have been a faithful listener for some time. Please don't take my dissent and turn it into a good comment! I swear I did a good research!
    I just wanted to make sure there was an opposing view of the film forwarded somewhere amidst the internet-wide maelstrom of accolades.


  • Jeff

    Appreciate your continued assault on commenters denigrating Zero Dark Thirty for reasons that are essentially not applicable and not appropriate. People who haven't seen the movie are criticizing it as a means to validate and push their own agendas and beliefs.

    Everyone just needs to get on board that the only agendas and beliefs to be pushed around here are Buy 'n' Large's.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      Not so.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks


    Avatar 2 worldwide gross will be more than Avatar 1 which made $2.78 billion [Nav]


    2.9 Billion worldwide for Avatar 2 (Avatar 1 made 2.78 Billion) [Nav]

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Wahoo/ Wahoo

    Techy Question:

    A very large selection of 4k Ultra HDTV's are being introduced at CES this year by nearly all TV manufacturers.

    Their is no current UHDTV source material from any local US based TV, cable, premium channel. There is media available (physical or downloadable or streaming) for any movie. There isn't even anything being talked about being developed in this format for TV programs or Movies anytime in the near future.

    There technically is little to no advantage in watching a standard HDTV (1080p) source on a UHDTV.

    So Why is there such an emphasis on this technology from all these manufacturers?

    I am confused.


    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Wahoo/ Wahoo

      correction: "There is NO media available (physical or downloadable or streaming) for any movie."

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Snicket/ Justin

      If I may propose an answer...

      CES has always been about "Look what's coming!" Not, "Look what's here now!". So showing off all these 4K models has more to do with raising consumer awareness than pushing it as the standard. I don't know anybody who is ready to drop $25,000 on a 4K TV that supports next to no real 4K content.

      Remember HDTV models were shown long before HDTV had any sort of foothold on the market. This 4K tech for home media is still a looong ways off.

      For example, a current blu-ray disc can hold up to 50 GB of data. But a true 4K film can be upwards of 10 Terabytes (yes, you read that correctly). So unless we can figure out a way for a disc to hold more than 10 TB of data, 4K in your home is not happening.

      Forget about streaming, even if you had cutting edge fiber being pumped into your home you still are nowhere near close to having enough speed to stream a 4K movie. It would probably take days to even download it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Wahoo/ Wahoo

    Brad - Wahoo here (formally jjensen9971) - The specific review I was looking for in your pod casts was for The Perks of being a wallflower. Did you review this on a podcast?

  • Susan

    Watch This or That - Oscar Controversy Edition
    - Concept is simple; recent Oscar winning splits where Best Picture didn't line up with Best Director
    2005 - Crash vs Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee won)
    2002 - Chicago vs The Pianist (Polanski won)
    2000 - Gladiator vs Traffic (Soderbergh won)
    1998 - Shakespeare in Love vs Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg won)
    1989 - Driving Miss Daisy vs Born on the 4th of July (Stone won and Beresford wasn't even nominated for Director)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Chas_UK/ Chas_UK

    Listener Question

    - The BAFTAs have a unique category in the Rising Star Award which is an award to an up-and-coming actor/actress where the nominations are selected by BAFTA members but the winner is selected by a public vote. I believe this was introduced to engage a younger audience in the awards and I wanted to ask whether you think the Oscars should adopt a similar award to engage a younger audience also? Do you think the Oscars would ever include awards which were voted for by the public in an attempt to encourage audience participation and interest?

    I personally think its a really great award and by having BAFTA members select the nominees, there is a high degree of quality in my opinion even if the eventual winner tends to simply be whoever is the most popular with young girls haha.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    *I feel guilty about writing a post THIS long so this will serve as my final statement on Zero Dark Thirty*

    On ZDT:

    Note: Let the record show that Brad made assertions about my critique of the film without having read it.

    Laremy on first question: "Their job is to keep oil flowing, keep the sea lanes open and work for US interests regardless of other countries interests; and if you don't believe that, you're naive."

    - Well Laremy, at least 2 people answered "yes" to that first question so there are a lot of "naive" people are out there that you don't seem to be aware of.

    Laremy: "What AS is saying here, is that it's a positive view of the US military that it shows that we're just out there protecting you and me. I don't think it shows that at all."

    - Um, almost every major CIA agent in film, at one point or another, asserts that they are "trying to protect the homeland." So I really don't know where you're coming from on that. Look at your response to question one. Nowhere in the film, even for a fleeting instance, does anyone ever suggest they their goals or motivations are half as sketchy as your assertion that "their job is to keep oil flowing, keep the sea lanes open and work for US interests regardless of other countries interests." You can sit there and say "well, that's just the movie you wanted to see" all day, but it doesn't change the fact that when only one perspective is offered throughout the entire film, it's completely biased.

    "I think it shows we invaded a sovereign nation, we killed a private citizen without 100% knowledge that he was a terrorist and we pretty much did what we wanted."

    - Again, if the film showed what you claim it does (which I could easily debate), the thesis is that "while we may have done some pretty sadistic and morally indefensible shit to get bin Laden, ultimately, at the end of the day, our motivations (to "avenge 9/11" and "protect the homeland") were noble. The means? Questionable and open to debate. But the motivations? Understandable and noble." It's this thesis that I take issue with.

    "I'm a huge fan of the US military, I'm happy someone projecting power because I live in a nice house and get food and am a happy camper."

    - 2 things:

    1: That's a pretty disturbing admission. If I'm hearing you correctly, you're essentially saying that you're totally down with imperialism as long as you live in a nice house. Wow. I don't know many hardcore Republicans who would even admit THAT! And quite frankly, I don't know what to say to that. At least Bush came up with bullshit propaganda to justify it but man... I mean, I guess I could give you credit for at least being blunt and to-the-point, but that's still pretty disturbing.

    2. The only alternative way to read that comment is question what you meant by "power." If you wouldn't call what the US military does in the name of "defending democracy" "imperialism," than I guess we can only agree to disagree.

    "We're looking out for ourselves just like everyone else is. If everyone else had this military they'd do the exact same thing."

    2 things:

    1. If you mean the US military is operating in the interests of the American people when you say "We're looking out for ourselves" than I could only call YOU naive. You think the government gives two shits about the fact that Laremy is living in a nice house?

    2. Funny that you think there's an equivalency between Americans and "everyone else." Yeah, human nature is human nature, but not every country has the same imperialistic desires as the US. Interesting that Sweden isn't drone bombing 17 year-old girls in Afghanistan. And believe me, if they wanted to acquire those weapons, they could. It's a question of values. Americans value capital above all else. But you're misinformed if you think every government on earth shares this obsession. Ever heard of Socialism? Oh and by the way, the whole "human nature" argument only goes so far. There were numerous indigenous communities who managed to coexist for hundreds of years without wiping each other out in the name of power and wealth.... and then the Europeans landed....

    Laremy: "If we need to install a dictator, we're happy to do that. If it doesn't work out, we're happy to throw them away and murder them. At any given time, what's the best thing for the US...

    Brad: "Which is what you should do!"

    - Wow. And I think that's what I'm getting at. You've got a pretty fucked up worldview and that's why it's easy for you to enjoy ZDT. You've just said as much... I'm sorry, but I still can't get over the outrageous statements you two just flippantly make...

    "That's their job. That's what their paid to do."

    - And that's supposed to be an explanation? How about "wow, that's messed up. Maybe we should stop paying public officials and the military to invade foreign territory and rape it of its resources?" Believe me, I'm no idealist. I'm about as cynical as they come. But to just act like you're totally cool with that and go along with it is kinda shocking. At least most Americans convince themselves that their "doing the right thing." It sounds like you guys are going "we know we're doing some pretty evil shit, but that's fine with us as long as I get to live in my nice house."

    "He's saying ZDT is a ra ra film."

    - Nope. That implies that I think ZDT shoves it in your face. I never said that. It's very subtle and quiet in its message; which is why it's so effective.

    Brad: "I don't know what he wants to be shown then."

    - I don't WANT to be shown anything. What I DON'T want to be shown, is a film that says (however subtly) that the CIA and the US military at least THINK their acting in the American people's best interests. Because I perceive that to be a lie. It's not about what I want to be shown; it's about what I don't want to be shown. Brad keeps insisting that I want some damning indictment of the CIA instead (and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to the idea ;), but I'm not looking for anything. Trust me, there are plenty of books I could read that back up my own worldview, so it's not about "wanting" to see something and then not getting it.

    "And it's so you can have gas that's a certain price, and you can have the interstates that deliver food to you every day, and that you can walk around and own a gun and enjoy yourself. That's why that goes on. Directly to make your life better."

    - Where to begin? Again, I can only laugh at the assertion that imperialism is the only way a civilization can live comfortably and enjoy themselves. Look at Castro's Cuba. No imperialism there, and despite all the propaganda the US government has created to demonize Cuba, the standard of living is much higher there than it is here.

    * They have a higher life expectancy than we do.
    * The infant mortality rate is lower.
    * They have a higher primary education completion rate than we do.
    * Their CO2 emissions per captia is dramatically lower than ours.
    * Energy use per captia? No comparison.
    * Military expenditure? Ha. Doesn't come close.

    So please, don't feed me that nonsense about American exceptionalism.

    Laremy on question three: "No. That's a completely asinine 6-yearold argument. I don't know who would argue that."

    "That's distilled to the lowest common denominator of American society." - Well, Aleonardis answered "yes" sooo.... way to throw him under the bus...

    Brad: "You are now bringing up things that are not in the movie which is not a fair argument to make."

    - Again Brad, you're missing the point. I'm not criticizing ZDT for NOT including something. In fact, that's one of the things I liked about The Hurt Locker. It was, for the most part, apolitical. But I'm sorry, ZDT is not. Believe me, I wish it was.

    * At the 37:40 mark, Brad brings up the torture controversy, which I didn't discuss at all in my review so I'm not going to address it. That was never a part of my criticisms so I don't know why Brad decided to include it.

    Brad: "He's also been reading (referring to me) what other people have said and it's the other people that have been so loud that have bothered me more than... cause he's just reading them and getting his opinion like somebody said this and it's in print so at some point you're going to believe it."

    - This has been Brad's main dismissal of my arguments and so I'd just like to say that 99% of the articles I've read take issue with the way torture is depicted in the film. Again, I DO NOT address this subject in my review.

    As my final statement I will reiterate that I never said ZDT was "waving the flag." It's far more subtle than that.

    • http://www.film.com/author/laremy-legel Laremy Legel

      **ZD30 SPOILERS**
      This will also be my last statement on ZD30.

      *I am aware of naive people, though I'm not sure how that augments your take. If everyone is naive, then you're good to go? Very weak, and a very clear attempt to make the conversation about "something else," which in this case is "other people". You're not other people AS, so do better. All human progress is based on people trying to do better, so you'd be in good company.

      *Sure, some people believe they are protecting the homeland. People believe all sorts of things, the whole world round, and these attempts to rationalize get us through the day. Does that make them true? Plenty of bad and good people have all sorts of reasons to justify. The guy who invented synthetic nitrogen, which allowed for artificial fertilizer, which allowed for the human population to boom, also invented Zyclon, which was later used to gas his people. The world is not a clean or simple place, despite your attempts to label everything. And frankly, for you to talk about characters in a movie, and their motivation, which you're gathering from ten minute scenes, is a real stretch. All movies are portraits. They only have two hours to work with. Yes, the perspective is biased, just as yours is, just as mine is. Humans are flawed. Join us!

      *I don't claim our motivations are moral. They are simply our motivations. Power has a goal: to retain power. Sometimes nice things come out of that, like the Internet we're talking on (DARPA) and sometimes they don't, as when 200,000 people die in a bombing. You'd like to live in a world where you can 1) Call out Bigelow for only telling one side while 2) Not admitting the world is a flawed place. You want to complain about how things are, but you're just someone seeing a film in a big air conditioned theater. Your right to criticize all of this came from oceans of blood. Your time to consider this came from us eradicating an indigenous population. The fact that you feel you don't have to cede that life is complicated and there aren't always easy takeaways is bewildering. The fact that you never consider you could be wrong weakens you. I think I'm probably wrong all the time, I live my life with an intellectual curiosity. I always empathize wherever possible. It's not as sturdy as always being right, but it allows one to learn and adapt at a much higher level.

      *If the which "scene" showed us killing a woman and making children cower in a corner is propaganda, and I truly wonder what you think the other "side" is showing their people to motivate them to strap a bomb to themselves. I guarantee it's not five percent as nuanced as what Bigelow shows. The fact that you somehow want her to finesse the entire actuality of the mid-east and US history out of a film is, again, preposterous.

      *I'm not down with imperialism, I'm simply aware of the real world. I'm not Republican, but I have voted for both parties). I do charity work, and I give money to plenty of causes. I adopted a rescue puppy, and I took in an exchange student to learn more about the world. I've traveled to a few dozen countries, read every day, and generally try to treat others as I want to be treated. If that's not good enough for you, well, it's a bummer, but I'll recover. The idea that you'd prefer propaganda (Bush) to truth is abhorrent. And if you're truly disturbed by my words, do me a favor and stop listening. I'd like your life to be happy and productive, and I don't want or need to be an impediment to that. Get out there and do your thing, leaving B&L in the dust, I salute your efforts.

      *Sure, the government doesn't care about one person, me, but again - talk about a semantic and shoddy assertion. They do care about the population at large, which is about all one can expect. If I was captured by pirates they'd care about me (win) and if I went missing in Iran they'd probably throw out a few strongly worded press releases. The U.S. "defends" U.S. interest, and what those interests are, long-term, is up to us. My fear is that if we elect President AS the economy comes to a screeching halt as you don't seem to think projecting power is important. You also seem to think I'm personally advocating for our foreign policy, which could not be farther from the truth. I'm simply saying we are where we are, and anyone who doesn't inform themselves of the facts doesn't have much right to complain. Power structures seek to stabilize themselves. This, again, is the real world, it's cruel and beautiful at the same time, though you seem to be unable to hold opposing views of any given theory.

      *Americans value self-determination above all else. You're allowed to fail miserably here, and you're allowed to thrive. No culture is the same, but to call one "better" misses the larger point. There is no "better" there is only what is, and what could be. You taking shots at everyone gets us precisely zero percent further towards a better world. Complain all you want, but you're still living under the protection of an occasionally non-benevolent force, and you reap the benefits of U.S. foreign policy.

      *I'm glad you brought up the indigenous populations. They weren't all peaceful, c'mon fella. They killed each other en masse too. Do you think the Mohawks were cold chilling throughout precolonial-history? Indian tribes were wiped out, by each other, but lacked the overall tech level for one culture to gain true dominance. Their stasis wasn't based on some harmonious outlook, but by the limitations of the tech. This idea that Native Americans were all holding hands and singing "cumbaya" gets back to your overall take of "U.S. bad, other ways good". The native americans eventually lost due to superior tech (Read Gun, Germs, and Steel) just as Islam lost out to the Portuguese figuring out a sea route to spices, just as WW2 Germany lost out to a coalition of nations. If any of those things fall differently, we're not here talking about this. Everything informs everything, and you can't simply cherry pick and choose the things you're comfortable with.

      *It's easy for me to enjoy ZD30 because it's a good movie. I should note that the majority of people are with me, and as such, if you truly value democracy, you should be entirely comfortable with the notion that my take is pretty solid. The people have spoken. Also, if you ever use the phrase "you've got a pretty fucked up worldview" re: me again I will block you on twitter and work to have you kicked directly off this board. I think Brad would do that for me, as we generally look out for each other. That's not a threat, that's an exercise of power so I can live in a world that makes my life easier. It's not ideal to be on the other side of that, even when the stakes couldn't be lower. Do better than ad hominem attacks, I'm fully confident you can.

      *I'm not co-signing anything, and you have no idea of my views based on a podcast. I voted for the guy to get us out of wars, and my house isn't all that nice. I like it, but only because of the lives being led inside it.

      *Yes, let's all rally against subtle films. In this manner we can enjoy the obtuse simplicity of Transformers.

      *The CIA and US military do think they are acting America's interest. Why would they do their job otherwise? Just like you think you're acting in the best interest of AS to type 10,000 words on ZD30. People like to have an ethos. It's comforting. Yeah, you could read books to back up your worldview. Go to town, that's basically what everyone does anyway. You haven't moved two percent off your original argument, and that's also what everyone does anyway. I'm over here admitting our flaws, both my own and the government, all while you're pointing out flaws. Well, congrats, you certainly taught us what was what. I hope it helps you.

      *Castro's Cuba is a joke.They rank right above Tunisia in yearly wages. You've again cherry picked some great metrics, but there's no chance you'll be moving to Cuba anytime soon. The idea that the standard of living is higher there is, perhaps, the worst argument you've trotted out. According to the Human Development Index, which is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life, the US ranks fourth, behind Norway, Australia, and The Netherlands. We're easily the most prosperous "large" country on Earth. Cuba ranks 51st, and that's with not having to have a military because we'd never let a foreign power that close to our shores. That is really poorly done on your part, and I hope you actually take some time to reflect on just how incorrect that assertion was, because otherwise I fear you're completely lost.

      *The Hurt Locker was about war being a drug. I wouldn't call that a slam-dunk in terms of human rights.

      Anyway, that's it. I don't know anything about you, and likely never will, but I'd appreciate it if you'd relent with the personal attacks and judgmental vibe. Fear and loathing are the tools of those who want to watch the world burn, where true understanding and compassion are difficult but vital goals to strive for. If those ideals make me a monster, well, you get out there and form a counter-monster to battle with. The world will keep right on ticking.

      If you'll excuse me, I've already taken way too much time to write this, vaya con dios.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        I'm sure you're aware that I could debate you on every one of those points, so I'll just forgo that and respond to the assertions you made about me, personally:

        It sounds like you took most offense to my comment about your worldview. Understand, I responding directly to the comments you made on the podcast. If I misinterpreted the comments you made on the podcast, that's fine. I wholeheartedly apologize if I misread you. If the assertions I made regarding those quotations in my response were not reflective of your feelings, no problem. Good to have that cleared up.

        "I am aware of naive people, though I'm not sure how that augments your take."

        - You balked at the notion that anyone would believe that, and I pointed out that there are definitely people who do. That's all I was trying to accomplish with that.

        "The world is not a clean or simple place, despite your attempts to label everything."

        - It's rather unfortunate if you think I have such a simplistic view of the world.

        "Yes, the perspective is biased"

        - Boom. Case closed. That's the only admission I was seeking. As far as I'm concerned, the conversation regarding ZDT has officially just been ended with that.

        "The fact that you feel you don't have to cede that life is complicated and there aren't always easy takeaways is bewildering. The fact that you never consider you could be wrong weakens you."

        - Again, blatantly untrue.

        "The fact that you somehow want her to finesse the entire actuality of the mid-east and US history out of a film is, again, preposterous."

        - A gross exaggeration to say the least.

        "I'm not down with imperialism, I'm simply aware of the real world."

        - It was never a question of whether you were or weren't aware of the real world. You said (and correct me if I'm misinterpreting this) that you supported the tactics used by the government, because you felt it meant your life would be more comfortable. It was the support that I took issue with (again, if I'm wrong in saying you support the US's tactics, please correct me).

        "The idea that you'd prefer propaganda (Bush) to truth is abhorrent."

        - lol, you obviously completely misread my comment. I said that at least others try to pretend that their motivations are noble. I certainly never said that I preferred propaganda to truth (and you obviously know that I don't, since that's one of my main criticisms of ZDT).

        "And if you're truly disturbed by my words, do me a favor and stop listening. I'd like your life to be happy and productive, and I don't want or need to be an impediment to that. Get out there and do your thing, leaving B&L in the dust, I salute your efforts."

        - All right, that's enough. That's so over the top. I was disturb by the specific comments you made (the ones I quoted). I'm obviously a fan of both you and Brad (as I've listened to EVERY B&L podcast without exception and been a regular commenter on RoS for nearly a year). I respect both of your opinions and comments but I took specific issue with those statements you made. To completely blast me and suggest I just "get lost" because of this particular argument is discouraging to say to the least.

        "This, again, is the real world, it's cruel and beautiful at the same time, though you seem to be unable to hold opposing views of any given theory."

        - Once again, blatantly untrue. Do I recognize what the US does and why? Obviously. Do I support them? Not in a million years. If me starving to death would ensure that no more innocent civilians died at the hands of the US, you'd better believe me when I say that I'd do in an instant.

        "Americans value self-determination above all else."

        - An opinion, not a fact.

        "I'd appreciate it if you'd relent with the personal attacks and judgmental vibe."

        - You insinuated that you had adapted at "a much higher level" and said "I fear you're completely lost." Hmm.

        Despite the personal insults hurled back and forth, I remain a big fan of both RoS and the B&L podcast. I appreciate your perspective and while I do not always agree with your opinions, I always find them interesting.

        • http://www.film.com/author/laremy-legel Laremy Legel

          Okay, but how hard did I win that Cuba argument?

          No, only kidding, stick around if you like the discourse, don't get lost, I just in general want the best for folks and didn't want to be a part of something you hated.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

            ...throwing coal on the fire Laremy... I could've easily responded to the Cuba argument, but as I said, I was only going to address the assumptions you made about me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I made judgement call that you were less than interested in going back and forth with this argument all day long. So I decided to make my response more direct...but if you'd like to circle the airport, you know I'm game...

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              For the preservation of the comment section I will just give Laremy your email address and you two can continue this elsewhere if necessary.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Wahoo/ Wahoo

    Listener Question:

    - I know several people that when watching a movie at home, they have their phone or tablet in their hand at all times. They are returning texts, commenting on Facebook, tweeting, playing words with friends.

    I have made an agreement that whatever the movie is that they we "Watching" during their secondary phone/tablet interaction, they actually did not see it. AKA it doesn't count. Their opinion of the film doesn't count in my book as they actually did NOT watch the film.

    I have been told that I am old fashion and to "get with the times" and that it is "normal"

    I refuse to move from my position.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • Justin Golding

    Considering that both of you love The West Wing, what do you believe is missing from the Newsroom? It seemed like that was the show last year everyone wanted to love but ended up hating. Also, this could extend to Studio 60 if either of you have ever seen it.

    Buy or Sell:
    Kevin Smith actually makes Hit Somebody
    Zach Snyder directs Justice League of America
    Kathryn Bigalow's next film is not about the military
    Pacific Rim is a financial failure

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

    RagingTaxiDriver posted a link to the rules for Academy membership. Given the rules, Roger Ebert could be a member in the writing branch. He has two screenwriting credits, according to IMDB and his friendship with Werner Herzog for example has been well documented, so that's at least one sponsor.


    --I was listening to The Film Talk podcast and the host Jett Loe supposed that Walton Goggins' character in 'Django' was gay. With the recent controversy over Javier Bardem in 'Skyfall,' I was wondering if you guys agree with that. Loe pointed to the scene where Tarantino literally has Goggin's face sandwiched in between Jamie Foxx's crotch. It isn't the first time that Goggins has played a gay character, check 'Red Dirt' (2000) and according to Goggins' IMDB page, his favorite author is W. Somerset Maugham, an acclaimed gay British author.

    --What do you think of Goggins as an actor? Have you seen his TV shows 'The Shield' or 'Justified'? If not, I highly recommend both.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JonSullivan/ Jon Sullivan

    Over/Under: 6 months until AS moves to Cuba. (too soon?)

    Listener Question: In your opinion, which group of voters is more inept: Academy voters or the Baseball Writers Association of America? The BBWAA didn't elect a single person to the Hall of Fame this year, but the Academy *did* nominate 'War Horse' and 'The Kids are All Right' for Best Picture in the past two years.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      At this rate? Under.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man


    In reaction to the Nike store experience, what's up with Laremy always saying he doesn't like interacting with people? Wouldn't guess it from the podcast. If I ever see you in a bar, Laremy, I'm sitting next to you, buying you a beer and we're gonna chat it up (you can have a Diet Coke if you already reached your carb limit for the day). If I ever see Brad at a bar, I'm snapping a pic and auctioning it off to ROS readers.

    Do you think Affleck and Bigelow care much they didn't get nominated for Director, given that both are pretty well-established and considered solid at this point? Can they both be happy enough their movie got nominated for Best Picture?

    Over / Under:

    2 - Number of words Laremy uses on the average podcast that listeners need to look up the mean in on Dictionary.com #StrongVocab

    Buy / Sell:

    - Brad or Laremy would host the Oscars for free if asked (expenses paid)
    - People will stop going to 3D movies and the studios will then stop making them

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Elijah/ Elijah

    Ok Brad I have a couple Buy/sells and a question, but since the nominations were announced 5.5 hours after my birthday any mention would be lovely. :-)


    * By the Oscar ceremony in 2016, a 3D best picture winner will finally be named. Keep in mind how freakishly close Avatar and Hugo got to winning.

    * Django wins nothing

    * Best picture/director split.

    * No movie gets more than 3 wins (last time this happened 7 years ago in 2006 with Crash)

    * No matter who wins best picture everyone will be angry for one reason or another.

    * Beasts of the Southern Wild picks up steam and wins one award. (crossing my fingers!)


    -Also as a side note the director category was so brutal that it actually lingered with me all day, which is incredible considering the Oscars aren't known for their ballsiness. Chopping some of those frontrunners down to make room for Silver Linings and Beasts (haven't seen Amour) was a breathe of freash air, although ZDT is my second favorite of the year so it's a bummer to see it omitted.

    On the other hand this can also be the first time since Driving Miss Daisy the best picture winner isn't nominated for director. What are the chances of that happening at this rate?