Podcast

Podcast: Reviewing 'Django Unchained' and Discussing the SAG and Golden Globe Nominations

We also discuss the drummed up controversy surrounding 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Rope of Silicon PodcastNominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes were released this week and Laremy and I have plenty to say about those as well as offer up our review of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.

In addition to that we talk about the drummed up controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty, answer your questions, Laremy teases his top ten of 2012, we play a little Over/Under, read from four new reviews of the podcast on iTunes (thank you!), play Buy or Sell and offer a new Watch This or Watch That segment.

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.

  • 00:00-00:11 - Introduction
  • 00:12-6:59 - Show notes, new reviews and a Facebook comment Brad wanted to read
  • 7:00-15:50 - Box Office Challenge (chart below) and a look back at the final results of the previous one
  • 15:51-27:42 - Django Unchained review (read mine here)
  • 27:43-29:30 - [Listener Question] Will Django Unchained go down as Tarantino's masterpiece? [Criterion10]
  • 29:31-34:25 - SAG and Golden Globe Nominations
  • 34:26-40:26 - Drummed up Zero Dark Thirty controversy
  • 40:27-42:34 - [Listener Question] Looking back, what, if anything, would you guys change about your 2011 top ten lists? For myself, I would now include The Adjustment Bureau, which I severely underrated upon first viewing, and remove The Artist. [Andrew13]
  • 42:35-47:09 - [Listener Question] What were your top five moves as kids growing up? [G-Man]
  • 47:10-49:46 - [Listener Question] A look at Silver Linings Playbook thanks to an error in the film found by Kevin Blumeyer.
  • 49:47-57:26 - [Listener Question] Now that the Choice nominations are here and the Golden Globe nominations just around the corner, I ask, how much effect do these nominations have on your Oscar predictions? And how do the winners affect it? [Xarnis]
  • 57:27-58:35 - [Listener Question] Can you guys give your thoughts on how Javier Bardem snags CC and SAG nominations for Skyfall when there were other candidates in better roles in better movies? I think he's a fantastic actor, but is this role really deserving? [Joe]
  • 58:36-1:00:33 - [Listener Question] if you had to choose one movie from 2012 to place in a time capsule to show future cultures, alien explorers, historians, etc. the typical example of filmmaking today, what would it be? [Joe]
  • 1:00:34-1:10:09 - Over / Under
    • 34.5 Brad's age [G-Man]
    • .5 Number of other "Laremy's" that have listened to the RoS podcast [G-Man]
    • 1.5 Years before a listener hears Brad's infamous voice (all we know about him at this point) in real life, snaps a candid pic, and sells it to TMZ [G-Man]
    • $300 million worldwide for Django Unchained [Criterion10]
    • 1.5 black people are nominated at the Oscars next month [MarlonWallace]
    • $160M opening for Man of Steel? [Kyle Coley]
    • 3.5 more Bourne movies (There are a total of 10 bourne books written by 2 authors and the Bourne Legacy movie storyline had nothing to with the Bourne Legacy book) [Nav]
    • B- review for Promised Land [JN Films]
    • A/B+ review for Zero Dark Thirty [JN Films] [Xarnis]
    • 5 Critics Choice wins for Lincoln [Xarnis]
    • 1.5 Oscar Nominations for Rust and Bone [Xarnis]
  • 1:10:10-1:10:34 - [Listener Question] If Heath Ledger was still alive and was in The Dark Knight Rises would the whole movie be different and why? [Kyle]
  • 1:10:35-1:12:39 - [Listener Question] Everyone was complaining about rebooting Spider-Man after 5 years, but Superman is getting the old reboot after just six. Do you think that this is mainly due to the fact that everyone hated Superman Returns, or because Nolan's names is on Man of Steel? Also, do you think if Nolan's name was on Amazing Spider-Man people would have been more kind in the months leading up to its release, but if a lesser creative team was on Man of Steel people would be more up in arms? [Baca]
  • 1:12:40-1:24:21 - Buy or Sell
    • The Hobbit wins the Best Visual Effects Oscar over Life of Pi
    • The Hobbit will break the top 10 highest grossing films of all time (Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, The Dark Knight Rises, POTC: Dead Man's Chest, Toy Story 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3)
    • Christopher Nolan never wins an Oscar
    • Christopher Nolan's lowest RT score at the end of his career will be 70%
    • Django Unchained does NOT receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
    • At some point, the Academy will go back to 5 Best Picture slots.
    • Oscars will stop being televised in the next 20 years
    • Warner decides to shelve screenings of The Hobbit parts 2 and 3 in HFR after the lukewarm/negative responses to it.
    • Films that are made looking at current events (Social Network, ZDT) are becoming/will become more popular than those looking at past events (King's Speech, Lincoln)
    • Man of Steel will get a Best Picture nom next year
    • Megan Fox will be in a movie that gets a B+ or higher rating by you guys
    • Either of the 2 next 'Hobbit' films will get a B+ or higher rating by you guys
    • Anne Hathaway doesn't win one of the big awards (Oscar, Globes, Critic's Choice or SAG) for her role in Les Mis
    • The second Hobbit movie will reviewed better.
    • The next Bond is better than Skyfall.
    • All 50 states will legalize same-sex marriage before marijuana.
  • 1:24:22-1:26:51 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:26:52-1:29:49 - #GoodComments
  • 1:29:50-1:34:32 - Watch This / Watch That - Actor vs. Actor [G-Man]
    • Tom Cruise vs. Tom Hanks
    • Jack Nicholson vs. Robert De Niro
    • Jodie Foster vs. Frances McDormand
  • 1:34:32-1:35:43 - Closing
  • 1:35:44-1:42:00 - Epilogue

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
Movie Date Budget Box-Office Current Total
The Master Sep 14 $35m $18.8m -$68.6m
Looper Sep 28 $30m $166.2m $91.2m
Taken 2 Oct 5 $45m $363m $250.5m
Cloud Atlas Oct 26 $100m $62.7m -$187.2m
Wreck-It Ralph Nov 2 $165m $216.3m -$196.1m
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Nov 16 $120m $753.3m $453.3m
Red Dawn Nov 21 $65m $38.2m -$124.2m
Life of Pi Nov 21 $120m $169m -$130.9m
Django Unchained Dec 25 $0
Les Miserables Dec 25 $61m $0
      $1.78b $87.9m
         
Brad's Picks
Movie Date Budget Box-Office Current Total
Resident Evil: Retribution Sep 14 $65m $221.8m $59.3m
Argo Oct 12 $44.5m $159.6m $48.3m
Paranormal Activity 4 Oct 19 $5m $140.6m $128.1m
Alex Cross Oct 19 $23m $25.6m -$31.8m
Flight Nov 2 $31m $91.7m $14.2m
Skyfall Nov 9 $200m $921m $421m
Lincoln Nov 9 $65m $99.7m -$62.7m
Anna Karenina Nov 16 $50m $21.5m -$103.4m
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Dec 14 $150m $11.2m -$363.8m
The Impossible Dec 21 $45m $56.4m -$56m
  $1.74b $53.1m
         

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.

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

    You said The Hobbit has to beat 1.05 Billion to break the top 10. I just wanted to say that it actually needs to break $2,782,275,172 (2.7 Billion) that Avatar made. And there is NO WAY The Hobbit is breaking Avatar's record.

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

    Yeah, it probably really sucks to be in Afghanistan after the Bush/Obama administrations decimated the place.

    Can I just say that I loved that Brad compared Django to TDK.

    Listener question: How did you grade each of Tarantino's films?

    Listener question: Why does Laremy say "Weinstine"? It's Weinstien. Idk, it just bothers me.

    Sorry for writing a lot but I think this is a conversation worth having:

    On ZDT controversy: Laremy asserts that Bigelow is only trying to tell the truth. Not having seen the film, I can only ask Brad & Laremy this question: Does Zero Dark Thirty, IN ANY WAY, show that INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH TORTURE lead to the assassination of Bin Laden? It's a yes or no answer and if the answer is yes, ZDT & its filmmakers are lying. Plain and simple. Former CIA director David Petraeus confirmed that torture didn't provide ANY useful information regarding the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. If the film shows that vital information WAS obtained from torture, the movie is pure propaganda. If the answer is no, then fine (but that would directly contradict what other critics have said).

    Laremy: "And she doesn't actually explicitly claim that torture caused a breakthrough. She actually shows that psychological warfare caused a breakthrough AFTER torture." Well, I would question your use of the word "explicitly." So, she does hint in that direction then? If the breakthrough immediately followed the torture, the film would clearly be saying that torture LEADS to breakthroughs. But it doesn't matter anyway because the fact is that NO VALUABLE information was obtained during torture or immediately after torture. So...

    Brad: "And that does happen in Zero Dark Thirty. They get a name based on torturing somebody." "You can beat the hell out of somebody and suddenly they give you a piece of information later which is what happens in the film." Well, there you go right there. You've just validated the criticism against the film. That is a lie. No valuable information came as result of torture. So Bigelow is clearly NOT telling the truth or taking a "journalistic" approach since the film relies on falsehoods.

    Laremy: "And I guess I would ask people what they thought was going to happen after the most prosperous and war-like nation on earth was attacked and 3000 people died. Like, there were no rules on September 12th. All of a sudden the gloves were off. Now I'm not saying that's right, and I wouldn't advocate that, and I think as a society we need to be better than that, but you could predict what was going to happen after that. Bad stuff was going to go down. Let's put it that way." That sounded almost like a justification to me but please clear up what you meant before I respond to this. Did you mean to say that we shouldn't complain about sadistic torture because we should've just expected it?

    Laremy: "Here's what you SHOULD take away from Zero Dark Thirty once you see it: it does not matter whether torture works or not. You're either a nation who tortures or you're not." Understood, but the problem with ZDT is that it apparently shows that torture does in fact work. This is a lie. As I said above. THAT'S the problem with the film. It reinforces the notion that torture leads to information. It would have been one thing if that was true in the case of Bin Laden, but it's NOT, and that's the issue. According to both you and Brad, the film presents falsehoods as facts. That's why the film should be criticized. It doesn't matter what it's lying about. That fact that it's presenting blatant lies as fact is troubling.

    "It doesn't matter if she shows it working or doesn't show it working." At the risk of sounding redundant, I'll say again: according to you and Brad, she shows it working. That is the problem.

    The fact that Brad and Laremy are insisting that controversy is cropping up just to make headlines is kinda disturbing because it's an attempt to completely invalidate and silence any criticisms against the film.

    Laremy: "She does the best job she could have of presenting facts." - In addition to what I've already said, it's been said several times that Boal was practically in bed with CIA agents. In reviewing the film, David Edelstien writes: "Boal fell in love with his CIA sources and embraced their perspective wholeheartedly." To me, objectivity flies out the window at that point. Also, Bigelow's pro-military bias is hardly disguised. She practically dedicated her Oscar to the US military. I just can't figure out why people keep insisting that this film is some sort of objective journalism in which only the facts are presented.

    Laremy: "When she shows how brutal it is, I think it helps you get there a little bit." Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a brutal torture scene immediately follow an emotionally manipulative sequence in which we hear cries and screams from 9/11? Having a torture scene immediately follow that is pretty curious.

    Buy/Sell:

    Pulp Fiction is better than Django Unchained

    Quentin Tarantino stops making films at age 60

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

      In fact just forget what I said. I just read Glenn Greenwald's new article (he's seen the film this time) and I could never hope to be as articulate as him:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/14/zero-dark-thirty-cia-propaganda

      I do hope that everyone who has seen the film (and is planning on seeing the film) read this piece and give it some serious thought.

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

        In addition to the Greenwald piece, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer (writer of "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals") wrote an article today condemning the film's falsifying of the facts:

        http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/12/torture-in-kathryn-bigelows-zero-dark-thirty.html

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

          From Mayer's article:

          “Zero Dark Thirty” endorses torture in several other subtle ways. At one point, the film’s chief C.I.A. interrogator claims, without being challenged, that “everyone breaks in the end,” adding, “it’s biology.” Maybe that’s what they think in Hollywood, but experts on the history of torture disagree. Indeed, many prisoners have been tortured to death without ever revealing secrets, while many others—including some of those who were brutalized during the Bush years—have fabricated disinformation while being tortured. Some of the disinformation provided under duress during those years, in fact, helped to lead the U.S. into the war in Iraq under false premises."

          "At another point in the film, an elderly detainee explains that he wants to coöperate with the U.S. because he “doesn’t want to be tortured again.” The clear implication is that brutalization brings breakthroughs. Other ways of getting intelligence, such as bribing sources with expensive race cars, are shown to work, too. But while those scenes last only a few minutes, the torture scenes seem to go on and on."

          "The filmmakers subtly put their thumb on the pro-torture scale, as Emily Bazelon put it, in another scene, too. A C.I.A. officer complains that there is no way for him to corroborate a lead on bin Laden’s whereabouts now that the detainees in Guantánamo all have lawyers. The suggestion is that if they are given due process rather than black eyes, there will be no way to get the necessary evidence. This is a canard, given that virtually all suspects in the American criminal-justice system have lawyers, yet their cases proceed smoothly and fairly every day."

          "those who have defended the brutalization of detainees have already begun embracing the film as evidence that they are right. Joe Scarborough, the conservative host of MSNBC’s show “Morning Joe,” said recently that the film’s narrative, “whether you find it repugnant or not,” shows that the C.I.A. program was effective and “led to the couriers, that led, eventually, years later, to the killing of Osama bin Laden.” My guess is that this is just the beginning, and that by the time millions of Americans have seen this movie, they will believe that, as Frank Bruni put it in a recent Times column, “No waterboarding, no bin Laden.”

          "in the very first minutes of “Zero Dark Thirty,” before its narrative begins to unspool, the audience is told that the story it is about to see is “based on first-hand accounts of actual events.” If there is an expectation of accuracy, it is set up by the filmmakers themselves. It seems they want it both ways: they want the thrill that comes from revealing what happened behind the scenes as history was being made and the creative license of fiction, which frees them from the responsibility to stick to the truth."

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

            You're still missing the fundamental point. Even if Bigelow's film was entitled WHY TORTURE WORKS - A MANIFESTO it would still be pointless to argue about it.

            Once you're saying "torture doesn't work" you're in a binary debate where there is another side. You don't think it's the right side, and nor do I, but some do.

            As such, the argument can't be about the effectiveness of torture, but rather the nation we want to be. If people want to be a nation that's pro-torture, then that's an argument worth having.

            As such, even if Bigelow fully endorsed torture, my take (which I said on the pod) is that argument misses the forest for the trees. The moral fiber of a nature isn't based upon effectiveness. It's based upon ideals.

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

              And as long as we're bringing additional sources to the party, here's a Slate writer who explains the whole issue better than I could:

              http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/12/zero_dark_thirty_and_torture_does_kathryn_bigelow_s_bin_laden_movie_make.single.html

              Lastly, I'd encourage you to see the film before picking any particular side. You could very well be vigorously arguing a point you won't end up believing.

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

                I'm pointing out falsehoods the filmmakers are passing off as facts. That's not an opinion.

                I will definitely read that article, but I am interested in reading your response to the Greenwald piece in particular.

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

                I just read the piece you linked to and it completely validates my thesis:

                "Why did Bigelow and Boal make the fraught decision to suggest that waterboarding was crucial to the capture of Bin Laden? Asked about the role torture plays in the movie, they have been somewhat disingenuous. “We’re trying to make the point that waterboarding and other harsh tactics were part of the C.I.A. program,” Boal told Filkins. Bigelow said “The film doesn’t have an agenda, and it doesn’t judge.” I think she’s fooling herself. Dick Cheney probably will like this movie, not because it completely vindicates his version of events—that torture was essential to the war on terror and President Obama was a naive fool to shut it down—but because you emerge from the movie feeling that torture did factor into Maya’s hunch that the courier would lead to Bin Laden."

                This is exactly what I said. Zero Dark Thirty IS in fact political and its filmmakers assert that waterboarding led to vital information that lead to Bin Laden. Your article only supports my point.

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

              But it's not about whether torture works or not. The issue is that Kathryn Bigelow asserts that vital information was obtained through torture which led to information regarding Bin Laden's whereabouts. That's a lie. Fact. It's not about taking a stance for or against torture. You're right, that's irrelevant. The thesis I'm working off of is that Zero Dark Thirty says "we got this piece of information through torture methods" when in reality, no such information was obtained. It's a lie that many Americans who don't know better will accept as fact.

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

                Fact: You have not seen the film.

                Fact: You are choosing who to believe in this situation (Greenwald) without any context.

                Fact: I have seen the movie.

                Fact: The thesis you are working off of is massively open to interpretation, based on seeing the movie.

                For the record, I won't be engaging anymore in this particular comment thread. Arguing with someone who hasn't seen the film pretty much goes against everything I believe in, especially because we've railed against this very phenomenon with RT commenters for years. It's simply not constructive.

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

                You completely avoid addressing any of the observations made by the people I quoted who HAVE seen the film. I would've expected more from you Laremy. You don't have to pay any attention to me or anything I've said. If you have a problem with me not having seen the film (even though I've only called attention to observations made by people who HAVE seen the film) and would rather not engage in a discussion about my thoughts, that's fine. But I see no reason why you wouldn't address points made by other commenters who've seen the film. I'm sorry, but that just seems like avoidance. I don't understand why me not having seen the film would prevent you from responding to Greenwald's comments. By the time I'll be able to view the film, the conversation will have long since been ended and no one will be interested in going back to it. Which seems very convenient for the films diehard defenders...

              • http://cinemmaconfessions.blogspot.com Gautam

                Though your effort to bring the points that you do is appreciable but it's unclear what are you unhappy with - ZDT showing torture, or using torture as means to elicit information or ZDT showing that it was torture which lead to elicitation of necessary information. From whatever I could gather, your problem is the latter most.

                Well, to it, I can only say [as Laremy said] - it doesn't matter. Even if Bigelow does show that torture was used to bring out the vital information, that doesn't in any way mean she is supporting the agenda "torture works". It's the naysayers like Greenwald who are interpreting it like the way they want to. For all you know, that's what she and Boal found in their research. Anyways, the point is it's difficult to make a film 100% accurate specially when it involves something like CIA. How can an inaccuracy in a film be taken as propaganda ? And if she wanted to make a propaganda film, she could have easily done so. At the end of everything, my feeling is there are people like Greenwald who while watching a film don't know where to draw the line. They take everything too seriously than it actually should.

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

                @Gautam:

                As I've stated above and below: "my problem with the film is not so much that it glorifies torture, but that it presents lies as fact. It says "as a result of waterboarding, we got information that led to the assassination of Bin Laden." That is my problem with the film."

                "Well, to it, I can only say [as Laremy said] - it doesn't matter. Even if Bigelow does show that torture was used to bring out the vital information, that doesn't in any way mean she is supporting the agenda "torture works" - But forget the "torture works" thing. That's not my thesis. I insist that if Zero Dark Thirty presents lies as facts, it's very troubling.

                "For all you know, that's what she and Boal found in their research." Hardline Republican's such as former CIA directors David Petraeus, Leon Panetta and Committee on Armed Services members John McCain & Carl Levin explicitly stated that NO USEFUL information concerning the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden was obtained through torture. Fact. Bigelow & Boal made the conscious decision to ignore this fact and create their own reality. This reality will be accepted as fact by most Americans who view the film. THAT is propaganda. THIS is my problem with Zero Dark Thirty.

              • http://cinemmaconfessions.blogspot.com Gautam

                I have two BIG issues with your argument.

                First. What you believe as FACT, is based on presumption that CIA directors are speaking the truth. Well, they have their own agendas and image to push through. I can't imagine a single intelligence agency not using torture as a means to elicit information. It just seems so improbable.

                Second. Even if for a moment we believe that they are speaking the truth, ZDT isn't the first film nor will it be last to not be 100% accurate. Ask yourself, do you have problems with all the films that doesn't portray the exact information as it is. And anyways, ZDT is not a documentary, there will be certain elements of fiction in it. Did you have the same issues with Argo too ? If one wants, people can even twist the climax of Argo and hold against it.

                Having said this, I still believe in my 1st argument. If you are not trusting Boal and Bigelow, you can't trust the words of CIA directors too for they have more to worry about their own image than Bigelow. So if anyone is trying to push through propoganda it's CIA directors and not the movie director.

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

                @Gautum:

                "What you believe as FACT, is based on presumption that CIA directors are speaking the truth. Well, they have their own agendas and image to push through."

                - First: John McCain & Carl Levin are NOT affiliated with the CIA.

                - Second: If there's anyone who should be in favor of torture, it's the CIA. So the fact that those two men made it a point to insist that torture produced no results is telling.

                "Even if for a moment we believe that they are speaking the truth, ZDT isn't the first film nor will it be last to not be 100% accurate. Ask yourself, do you have problems with all the films that doesn't portray the exact information as it is."

                - No, but Zero Dark Thirty and its filmmakers assert that they are ONLY presenting the facts without bias or agenda. The fact that they deliberately ignored facts is bothersome.

                - Yes. I do have a problem with political films that insist they are only based in unbiased fact while passing off lies as facts; lies that will be accepted as fact by millions of people based on the film.

                "And anyways, ZDT is not a documentary, there will be certain elements of fiction in it."

                - Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal have insisted (and continue to insist) that they took a "documentary" approach to the film and are providing a "boots on the ground" experience. In their eyes, Zero Dark Thirty is wholly objective and only sticks to the facts. When they are challenged on the facts, however, they revert back to the "it's only a movie" excuse.

                "Did you have the same issues with Argo too ?"

                - I had tremendous problems with Argo.

                "So if anyone is trying to push through propoganda it's CIA directors and not the movie director."

                - Well, this gets at another point. Bigelow & Boal got most of their information through sources provided by the CIA and the White House. They accepted the information they received as fact. If the CIA has an agenda of its own, Zero Dark Thirty is only a delivery device for the information the CIA would like the public to believe.

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

      Reading through all of your arguments, AS, I have a question for you. You love Inglorious Basterds. However, the Basterds in that movie kill and torture anyone they come across in order to get what they need, and considering how biased it was for America and against Germany, that can be qualified as glorifying war and torture. Why is it a problem for Zero Dark Thirty and not Inglorious Basterds?

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

        Valid question. But I don't think the comparison to ZDT is as clear cut as it seems. Here's why:

        "the Basterds in that movie kill and torture anyone they come across in order to get what they need" - First off, they DO NOT kill to obtain information. That's not their goal. It's a revenge thing. The idea is to brutalize EVERY Nazi they come across just because they are a Nazi. It's to avenge the innocent victims of the Hitler's Third Reich.

        "that can be qualified as glorifying war and torture." I don't know that it glorifies war necessarily. But you could definitely say it glorifies torture.

        I do not love Basterds because of the "torturing Nazis" angle. Eli Roth described the film as "Kosher porn" but I never it saw it that way. I didn't get pleasure, necessarily, from watching the Nazis being beaten to death. The pleasure came from QT's fantastic dialogue, his interesting characters and the excellent score (among other things). The Nazi revenge aspect never really did much for me.

        But that's irrelevant really, since you're asking me how I can give Basterds a pass without giving ZDT the same pass. There are several components to this response.

        First: By reading my above comments, you know that my problem with the film is not so much that it glorifies torture, but that it presents lies as fact. It says "as a result of waterboarding, we got information that led to the assassination of Bin Laden." That is my problem with the film. Basterds is not hindered by such a problem.

        To introduce Basterds as a valid comparison to ZDT, I think you'd have to make the case that Basterds as a political film with an agenda. So if you can, I'd be interested in hearing it.

        Lastly, ZDT has the power to influence the way people perceive history. Most people will go to see ZDT and accept the information it provides as fact on the basis that the film is "based on actual accounts." As I've established, the film relies on lies to get to where it needs to go. This is troubling. Inglourious Basterds rewrites history by having Adolf Hitler killed in a movie theater by fictional characters. The difference between Kathryn Bigelow & Quentin Tarantino is that Tarantino never claimed to be taking a "journalistic" approach to Basterds. He freely acknowledged that his film was pure fiction. But that's something Bigelow has NOT done. In fact, quite the opposite.

        • Travis

          I argue strictly as Devil's Advocate on this point. Although I ask after watching this video (that I don't agree with for anything except Devil's Advocate logic and begins on the previous part)

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iqrc8zMnK8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

          Also, they don't kill for information, but they do torture Diane Kruger for info in your favorite scene from the movie (I speak sarcastically)

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

            Which part of the video supports your point?

            Regarding Kruger: They do not torture her because she's a Nazi (which excludes her from the point you raised in your first comment).

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

              Actually, I said they torture and kill in order to get what they need. I never specified Nazis. And whichever part of the video discusses the idea of glorifying war and torture-I don't remember the exact minute

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

                "I said they torture and kill in order to get what they need."

                - Perhaps I misunderstood; wasn't the implication that they torture enemies of their country? Hence the American vs. German bias?

              • Travis

                My implication was more that they would torture and kill anyone who got in their way. The bias is more that the Basterds are heavily stressed as good guys vs. a purely evil Nazi Germany. I don't really planing continuing this line of thought though, as it was more of something to chew on as an alternate line of thought than a full on debate argument. Like I said, just playing Devil's Advocate

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

                Cool, but Kruger would not represent "Nazi Germany."

      • Nick

        Speaking as another fan of Inglourious Basterds... that's right, the Basterds do torture and murder people, and they do enjoy it. That doesn't mean, at all, that Tarantino glorifies their ideas; it's the whole point of the movie that the supposed "good guys" are actually dumb, sadistic killers, and if anything, their behavior should be condemned. I mean, it's right there in the title... they are inglorious bastards, plain and simple.

    • Nick

      So let me get this straight, you are just going to swallow anything the CIA officials "confirm" and argue in favor of their words so passionately? I'm not saying we should all be cynical and question their every single word, but to blindly believe the people who obviously have a lot of secrets to hide just seems naive to me. The fact is, we will never know if torture in fact helped to capture bin Laden, for a very simple reason: we weren't there.

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

        I addressed some of this in my last response to Gautam, but I'll say this:

        "to blindly believe the people who obviously have a lot of secrets to hide just seems naive to me."

        - This is ironic, since that is EXACTLY what Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal did. They accepted what the CIA and White House told them as fact. So if you're going to criticize me for believing what the CIA said, you'd have to also criticize ZDT's filmmakers as well. It's a double standard.

        • Nick

          Here's a new quote by Bigelow I just saw (Jessica Chastain posted it on her FB account):

          “There’s definitely a degree to which I wish the torture and interrogation techniques weren’t a part of this narrative, but they were a part of history. It was part of the research, and had I not included it I would not be telling the full story of this manhunt.”

          And yet another story that is a view of someone who has seen the film and is willing to describe scenes in detail to make an argument:

          http://www.france24.com/en/20121214-zero-dark-thirty-kathryn-bigelow

          Seems as fine to me as it could seem without me having seen the film myself. And until I - as well as everyone else - do that, there's not really much point to this whole discussion.

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

            From your article:

            "What has infuriated those who claim the film justifies the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used after 9/11 is the fact that the suspect eventually offers the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, in what ultimately turns out to be a crucial clue. Several activists, journalists, and politicians have cited CIA documentation stating that such methods were not, in fact, “a central component” in finding bin Laden.

            But “Zero Dark Thirty” also shows violence against prisoners eliciting false information"

            - Again, this just confirms that ZDT asserts that valuable information was obtained through torture. The writer of the article uses the fact that other torture scenes don't lead to information as a justification. That's irrelevant. The fact that torture is shown (even once) as leading to useable information regarding Bin Laden's whereabouts is a lie that contradicts the facts. A lie is a lie, whether they use it use it fifty times or only once.

            * The fundamental point here is that Zero Dark Thirty says "information that led to Bin Laden (even if it was just a small nugget) was obtained through torture." That is a lie. And in all of these comments, NO ONE has disputed this. So until someone does, I rest my case.

            • Nick

              As I said before, you are way too hell-bent on insisting that whatever the CIA officials told to the public is an absolute, ultimate and undisputable truth. If you believe Leon Panetta, why don't you believe Bigelow who claims, in the exact same manner, that torture was, in fact, used? I mean, it's known that she and Boal did a lot of research and only they know who were some of the people they communicated with and what kind of information they obtained. So why aren't her words trustworthy?

              I'll also add that to me, even if the film isn't 100% accurate, it will never be a flaw and in fact, it'll quickly become irrelevant. A film, regardless of how much it's tied to reality, is still a film, a work of fiction, and something that you respond to subjectively. All that matters is whether it works on its own terms, when separated from reality it's based on and from whatever its creators claim. I also believe that in the case of Zero Dark Thirty, not only will it not matter that lies might have been depicted as truth, it won't even matter if Bin Laden was, in fact, killed in May 2011 (something a lot of people doubt). A great film always revolves around a more personal theme/idea, and in the case of ZDT that seems to be obsession and what it costs people to hunt someone for a decade.

              Here's a good comparison: ZODIAC. Does it matter if Arthur Leigh Allen actually was the killer? I'm convinced that it doesn't; what matters is the characters' obsession with him, their willingness to believe in something they can't prove and how it affects their lives. The Zodiac killer is nothing more than a McGuffin. I'd be surprised if Osama bin Laden was anything more than a McGuffin in ZDT, as well. And if he's just a plot device, why should I care about whether or not some smaller plot details correspond with reality? Perhaps ZDT really takes its "journalistic" approach to an extreme extent where it's impossible to separate it from the reality it's based on and have it work, but I hope I will be able to take the film - as well as Bigelow's approach to the torture scenes - on its own terms. Neither Zodiac nor, to use another example, Argo were or should have been criticized for taking some creative license with their material despite the claims that they were "based on a true story", and so why should ZDT be?

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

                I feel like we're circling an airport here and I can only continue to restate my position so many times.

                "As I said before, you are way too hell-bent on insisting that whatever the CIA officials told to the public is an absolute, ultimate and undisputable truth."

                - John McCain & Carl Levin are NOT affiliated with the CIA.

                "If you believe Leon Panetta, why don't you believe Bigelow who claims, in the exact same manner, that torture was, in fact, used?"

                - Bigelow asserts that torture was used, which is true. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. Once again: the issue is that BIgelow & Boal claim that torture was used to successfully obtain information about Bin Laden's whereabouts. For the 1000th time: That is a lie.

                "I mean, it's known that she and Boal did a lot of research and only they know who were some of the people they communicated with and what kind of information they obtained. So why aren't her words trustworthy?"

                - Their primary sources were provided by the CIA & the White House. If you're going to call the CIA's motives into question, how can you not do the same for the filmmakers (who got their information from the CIA)?

                "A film, regardless of how much it's tied to reality, is still a film, a work of fiction, and something that you respond to subjectively."

                - Again, the filmmakers insist that they took a "journalistic" approach to the film and they would like you to believe that the film is unbiased fact.

                "I also believe that in the case of Zero Dark Thirty, not only will it not matter that lies might have been depicted as truth, it won't even matter if Bin Laden was, in fact, killed in May 2011 (something a lot of people doubt)."

                - Well, I'm sorry that you believe that it doesn't matter if the film plays fast and loose with the facts. It's a political film that passes off lies as fact. That is, by definition, propaganda, and it (unlike Zodiac) will shape the way Americans view their government and the way they perceive history. THAT IS VERY TROUBLING!

                "A great film always revolves around a more personal theme/idea, and in the case of ZDT that seems to be obsession and what it costs people to hunt someone for a decade."

                - This is not a conversation about whether Zero Dark Thirty is or is not a "great" film so I don't know why you've diverted from the topic at hand.

                The Zodiac comparison is meaningless in that Zodiac is not a political film pushing lies as facts that will alter Americans perception of history.

                I'll reprint what I said above:

                * The fundamental point here is that Zero Dark Thirty says "information that led to Bin Laden (even if it was just a small nugget) was obtained through torture." That is a lie. And in all of these comments, NO ONE has disputed this. So until someone does, I rest my case.

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

                Buy/Sell
                -AS sees a politically infused, recent, non-fiction movie and likes it.

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

                Buy... err, well, define "non-fiction." If The Ides of March qualifies, I thought it was GREAT.

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

                I knew you'd bring up Ides of March. Completely fiction though...

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

                Well, wouldn't "non-fiction" be a documentary?

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

                Then I should re-phrase as creative non-fiction. Or simply Based on True Life. I'm curious. Have you seen United 93 and what do you think of it?

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

                Well, that broadens the field a bit (although the "politically infused" part is a bit limiting). In terms of "recent" films? For the sake of argument, let's say...10 years is recent. I really liked Lord of War, Green Zone (I know, people love to piss on it but I'm a fan of Paul Greengrass), The Lives of Others, A Mighty Heart, Milk, Che, Munich, Good Night and Good Luck, The Good Shepherd... is that enough for ya?

                I saw United 93 way back when it came out and I barely remember it. I don't recall liking it much, though.

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

                By recent I meant films that display events in recent history. Hell, post 9/11. Funny that you're a fan of Greengrass but don't like United 93 much.

                Question: Would it be possible for you to approach a film about the killing of Bin Laden without reprehension?

              • http://cinemmaconfessions.blogspot.com Gautam

                @ Nick

                I exactly made the exactly same points that you do here, but it seems AS currently is on the pinnacle of moral high ground.

                First what he believes to be Truth is .... Truth. What he thinks to be a FACT is ... fact.

                In whomever he believes in [whether he is CIA or not doesn't matter] are always right.

                He believes the terrorists are some gentle human beings who can utter all the information without any form of forced means.

                In his eyes a film are the idealistic platform to convey truth and if a film doesn''t do so, he is shattered to the point of calling the film a propaganda. And the best bit, he can claim this without having seen the film.

                Sorry AS, we are normal, general film loving may be slightly flawed humans. We can't match up to your moral and idealistic values.

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

                @Gautam:

                Seriously dude? We were having a perfectly level-headed conversation and now you're resorting to the old sarcasm routine? Come on! Can't we just discuss something without it always becoming about "oh AS, he thinks he's always right. He's such a douche." Can't we just be adults and have a rational conversation without the vitriol? Do we have to play the "I'm right, you're wrong" game? Jesus Christ. I obviously dedicated a lot of time and thought to this discussion and the fact that you're just ending it with an personal insult is pretty frustrating.

                Couldn't you just respond to my last comment? Do you really have to go down this dead-end road? Or fine, if you're tired of talking about it, just say "I don't feel like discussing this any further." But honestly, when you just ignore my thoughtful responses and throw personal attacks directed at me instead, it's a little disheartening.

                It's not about "moral high-ground." I don't claim to be any better or smarter than anyone else. But to just dismiss my criticisms on the unfounded basis that I "think I'm better than everyone else" is annoying to say the least.

                "He believes the terrorists are some gentle human beings who can utter all the information without any form of forced means."

                - That is blatant slander and if this wasn't an internet discussion, you'd be liable.

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

                @Aleonardis:

                "By recent I meant films that display events in recent history. Hell, post 9/11. Funny that you're a fan of Greengrass but don't like United 93 much."

                - As I say, that is REALLY narrow and I probably couldn't come up with more than 4 or 5 movies that are "intensely political, based on a true story AND are set in the post 9/11 world."

                - Like I say, I don't remember much about it. If memory serves correct, he was working with non-actors and I think I remember the performances being kinda bad.

                "Question: Would it be possible for you to approach a film about the killing of Bin Laden without reprehension?"

                - I assume this is a direct response to the conversation above? If it is, I fear you've missed the point. Again, my only issue with Zero Dark Thirty is that it presents a lie as a fact. That is what I have a problem with. The key argument (and dismissal of my criticism) is that I have not seen the film. Which would have been valid. But even Brad Brevet, who saw the film, freely admits my thesis:

                Brad Brevet: "And that does happen in Zero Dark Thirty. They get a name based on torturing somebody." "You can beat the hell out of somebody and suddenly they give you a piece of information later which is what happens in the film."

                Brad makes my case for me. Do I need to see the film to criticize it for passing off facts as lies, when even Brad himself acknowledges this?

                "Would it be possible for you to approach a film about the killing of Bin Laden without reprehension?"

                As I've said many, many, many times above: When it comes to a political film like ZDT, which has the power to influence the way people think, how can you not criticize it for presenting a lie as a fact?

                If Bigelow & Boal had ONLY stuck to their research and did not show vital information being obtained through torture which led to the assassination of Bin Laden, I would not have posted a single comment on this page.

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

                @AS

                I was a little uninformed as I was going through this thread but I did some research just now and I think this an aspect of the film and an aspect of history that will never be cleared up.

                Leon Panetta has said that waterboarding led to information.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F28oatix8ac

                Other people have disavowed this. It's a back and forth yes and no. Nobody knows or wants to disclose the complete and total truth.

                What we do know for a fact is, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times and a nickname of a courier was obtained through this.

                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8488436/WikiLeaks-Osama-bin-Laden-killed-after-tip-offs-from-Guantanamo.html

                I mean, we can go back and forth all we want but it's a losing game seeing as there are no set in stone facts on this aspect of the film that we are so furiously debating.

                I hope you still see the film though. It will be awesome to actually talk about the film at length with first hand knowledge of how WE interpret it.

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

                You yourself admit that no one can ever no what happened. All we have to go on is what the supposed "authorities" have said.

                Bigelow & Boal are not concerned about this. They assert that vital information was obtained through torture that led to Bin Laden. Then, they have the gall to praise themselves as being "journalistic."

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

                Question: What happens if I see the film (and now I'm DEFINITELY seeing it opening day) and I end up standing by everything I had previously said? What happens then? I think you and I both know what will happen. Commenter after commenter will line up to dismiss my criticisms on the basis that "I was searching for things to criticize" and that "I went into the film WANTING to hate it." You see, it's a no win situation. No matter what happens, my opinions will be dismissed without question.

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

                "Bigelow and Boal are taking a journalistic approach to the film"

                This has become the catchall phrase when describing the film. In all forms of Journalism, we can never know what is completely true or what is completely false. We could look upon the tragedy yesterday. Journalistic reports, whether it be on CNN or Fox News or MSNBC or ABC ETC, were reporting falsehoods. They can only go and report what has been given to them.

                If what was given to Bigelow and Boal by sources close to this operation, was that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were implemented and were a factor in finding this nugget of info (nickname) leading to the courier then leading to the killing of Bin Laden, then they shouldn't report otherwise.

              • http://cinemmaconfessions.blogspot.com Gautam

                @ AS

                I was just showing you the mirror and obviously truth hurts. Just read through your comments again. You will know what I mean, You have been dismissive of everything, anyone has said just because you are holding a moral high ground that you and the people you believe in are always right. For me the discussion was long over. One can't keep on discussing when you have failed to acknowledge one simple fact that "NOBODY KNOWS WHO'S SPEAKING THE TRUTH" and instead kept on blowing the same trumpet throughout. Sorry, but I am not here to beat around the bush.

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

                "This has become the catchall phrase when describing the film."

                - Well, that's their fault isn't it.

                "In all forms of Journalism, we can never know what is completely true or what is completely false."

                - Yep, but cinema is NOT a form of journalism.

                "If what was given to Bigelow and Boal by sources close to this operation, was that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were implemented and were a factor in finding this nugget of info (nickname) leading to the courier then leading to the killing of Bin Laden, then they shouldn't report otherwise."

                - But we both know that their are contradictory reports on that subject. Panetta, on another occasion, agreed that no torture was used to obtain vital information that led to Bin Laden.

                Panetta:

                "Let me further point out that we first learned about the facilitator/courier’s nom de guerre from a detainee not in CIA custody in 2002. It is also important to note that some detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques attempted to provide false or misleading information about the facilitator/courier. These attempts to falsify the facilitator/courier’s role were alerting."

                "In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means."

                Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/exclusive-private-letter-from-cia-chief-undercuts-claim-torture-was-key-to-killing-bin-laden/2011/03/03/AFLFF04G_blog.html

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

                @Gautam:

                "anyone has said just because you are holding a moral high ground that you and the people you believe in are always right."

                - Unless you're able to back up your claims with quotes, I can't take anything you say seriously.

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

                "Yep, but cinema is NOT a form of journalism"

                -Exactly, and that's why it's not a documentary in the end but a film.

                I understand that there are contradictory statements out there that are at ends with what is on screen in ZDT. I found the Panetta interview where he says what Bigelow and Boal have "been told" and show in the film. He said this in an interview a couple days after the raid. I'm pretty sure that his was first word. For him to go back on his words and disregard his earlier statement is odd. Especially when he made this statement on television, while the statement you pull is from a private letter to John McCain.

                Like I said, we will never know the full truth. And if what was given to Bigelow and Boal was truth or not shouldn't be as scrutinized as much as it is right now. Morally, outside of the film and all of this, we know that torture is wrong. Just the fact that these suspects were tortured in the first place is deprave. Whether it led to info or not is what you are taking opposition to. The fact that we know for sure that this isn't a concrete fact, that aspect in the film should NOT be criticized as much as it is.

                As per your question, I won't personally victimize you. I'll question your judgement though. The same way I would question someone if they told me that 2001 is a bad film. Especially if the only thing you can take away from the film as a falsehood is this aspect we've been discussing at length. Because nobody knows if it is a falsehood or not. As for others, It's most likely because you are making judgements about the films authenticity or quality without seeing it. It doesn't bother me as much.

                The way you are right now towards this movie, I was towards Act of Valor earlier this year. I was completely against it's use of film as propaganda without even seeing the movie. I hated it in the end because of this reason, but I didn't let all my thoughts out about it until I talked about it after seeing the movie. That's why I didn't have a reason to indict you on your feeling towards Argo. I didn't have this pre-conceived notion of your expectations and worries of the film. I agree with your indictment of Argo but the film just didn't bother me as much as it did you. When you got into the huge thing about Homeland, you hadn't let your feeling out about it until you had finished the first season. You're definitely GIVING them the reason to not take your opinion on a certain thing seriously. The way your panned by everyone is wrong though.

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

                @Aleonardis:

                First I'll just say that I really enjoy our conversations and I think it's a damn shame that other commenters aren't able to remain as congenial and objective as you are.

                "but I didn't let all my thoughts out about it until I talked about it after seeing the movie."

                - I'm no idiot (despite what a select few might think). I know that the smartest (and safest) thing to do would have been to just wait until January 11th, see the film, and then comment on it. But understand this: the reason I brought up the criticism others addressed about the film was because January 11th is 26 days from now! While the discussion about ZDT is going on right now, we all know that in a month from now, no one will be talking about it. Unfortunately, we are not all as lucky a Mr. Brevet & Mr. Legel. We are the last to see the film, and by the time we do, the conversation has moved on and no one wants to go back re-hash old arguments. That is the unfortunate reality that prompted my comments, and I just wish someone would acknowledge it.

                If I had just watched Argo today, and wanted to discuss my problems with it, do you honestly think anyone would give a shit? No. Of course not. The response would be: "move on dude, it's over and done with." It would no longer be fresh in peoples minds.

                Having said that:

                "Exactly, and that's why it's not a documentary in the end but a film."

                - But don't you see, the filmmakers keep saying they took a journalistic approach....

                "And if what was given to Bigelow and Boal was truth or not shouldn't be as scrutinized as much as it is right now."

                - But WHY NOT? Again (and my god I'm tired of typing this..) If the filmmakers are passing off misinformation as fact, why shouldn't their feet be held to the fire?

                "Morally, outside of the film and all of this, we know that torture is wrong."

                - Please, that's not what the conversation is about.

                "The fact that we know for sure that this isn't a concrete fact, that aspect in the film should NOT be criticized as much as it is."

                - For the life of me I honestly don't understand this reasoning. If we know for sure, as you say, that this isn't a concrete fact, why would the filmmakers try to pass it off as concrete fact?

                "It's most likely because you are making judgements about the films authenticity or quality without seeing it."

                - Again, basing my comments off of statements made by those who have seen the film (including Brad Brevet). Also, I NEVER made a judgement about the films quality. NEVER!

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

                @AS

                The word approach after journalistic I think, is what makes me not get as up in arms about this as you are. A journalist can only go off of what is given to them. I don't sit and watch the news and take every word for truth. As far as truth in journalism goes it's near impossible to find ANY outlet that reports 100% fact. We as an audience will never know what is misinformation and what is actual information. So to keep on with this specific aspect of the film and labeling it as misinformation when there's no evidence outside of the film regarding that part in the film as fact or fiction at all is futile.

                If it happened adverse to the way it was portrayed in the film, I'm not going to indict the filmmakers. If it happened the way shown in the film, I'm not going to praise the filmmakers. Bigelow and Boal might know something we don't. If the US government is exclaiming something that's not true and telling us that torture did NOT produce this tip then it's the US government that should be taken to task. In fact, wouldn't you think that the CIA probably loves the fact that this controversy is out? I mean it helps to redirect the vitriol flung at them after the initial inference about this torture and put it on Bigelow and Boal. Making the CIA and the US Government the heroes. But I digress as I'm getting into conspiracy...

                In my opinion, you can't really trust either side. The same way you can't really trust ANY news outlet 100%. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to watch the news or keep myself informed at all. I just don't think anybody should be questioning the authenticity of a "fact" that is already unauthentic. Whether it be reported through print, radio, or TV.

                Again, I haven't seen the film. If I see it early, it'll probably be the 3rd of January... Still not any time soon. Either way, I think RoS and Brad, will keep the discussion alive, seeing as it REALLY gets us talking. Especially because we all will probably see it that weekend and Brad will pull out his shiny new toy, "You Saw Zero Dark Thirty, Now Give Us Your Review."

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    Question: Tarantino said he thinks Basterds and Django may end up being the first two parts of a trilogy. I'm assuming the comparison he's making is that they both tackle major points in history, so what events would you like to see him tackle next, if at all?

  • JN Films

    Listener question: If you had to take one film that was made after 2007 back to the 1920's to show to people (and be able to have stuff to play it on), what film would you choose? [JN Films]

    OVER/UNDER
    0.5 years till gun rights will have limitations [JN Films]
    10% that the Seahawks will win the Superbowl this year [JN Films]
    12 years till a film will win best picture that is about Unicorns? [JN Films]

  • JN Films

    OVER/UNDER (Fixed)
    850 Million Box Office for Man of Steel [JN Films]
    5 years till Chris Nolan wins a Oscar [JN Films]
    10 years till the Oscars get a new date [JN Films]
    2.5 more Tarantino films [JN Films]
    1.5 oscars for DiCaprio in his whole career [JN Films]
    50% that Dane DeHaan wins a Oscar ever [JN Films]
    3.5 years till a Chronicle sequel happens [JN Films]
    50% chance that The Avengers 2 will be better then The Avengers [JN Films]
    7 razzies for Twilight Breaking Wind Part 2 [JN Films]

  • http://cinemmaconfessions.blogspot.com Gautam

    Over/Under

    Naomi Watts wins an Oscar in next 3.5 years [ her upcoming films The Impossible, Diana, Queen of the Desert, Blonde] [Gautam]
    Quentin Tarantina wins the overdue Best Director Oscar in next 5 years. [Gautam]
    Zero Dark Thirty makes $ 50 million dollars at Domestic box office. [Gautam]
    8 of the Critics Choice nominated Best Pictures also end up being nominated at Oscars [Gautam]

  • jamie

    buy or sell:
    instead of water boarding, the US government will now just read the above posts to torture prisoners.

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

      Is the sarcasm really necessary?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/kieran/ Kieran Sturt

        Yes, very.

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

          Hmm.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/kieran/ Kieran Sturt

    Heard a lot of praise about particular sections in both Les Mis and Zero Dark Thirty, so with that in mind:
    Watch this/watch that: the first 60 minutes of Les Miserables or the last 40 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty?

    Also watch this/watch that: The Golden Globes or the Oscars?

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    I was going to tweet you last night about your home page, didn't seem right! I kept clicking the Home logo and was like huh! What!? About us!? Haha.

  • http://hypable.com Jeremy Baril

    Laremy, as a huge Golden State Warriors fan, I gotta point out they're 15-8 and just beat the Heat in Miami. Also, they're down their starting center. Boom.

  • Ben

    Ben says:
    Which director out there who usually makes smaller films would you like to see make a film on a much larger scale?

    Is there any director who doesn't write there own films you would like to see give it a try?

    When deciding you favorite screenplay of the year or working on predictions for the oscars, what do you look for in that script or what makes like that script so much?

    Watch this or watch that ( first film vs. last film)
    Resivour dogs vs diango unchained (QT)
    Sydney vs the master (PTA)
    Seven vs gwdt ( fincher) not counting alien 3
    Bottle rocket vs moonrise kingdom ( Wes A)
    Citizen Ruth vs the descendents ( Payne)
    Who's that knocking on my door vs Hugo ( Scorsese)
    Blood simple vs true grit (coen bros)
    Badlands vs tree of life ( malice)

  • John Doe Snow

    Rust and Bone hasn't been submitted as foreign language film guys, the over/under should be an under because only Marion Cotillard has a good shot at being nominated.

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

      Yeah, I thought The Intouchables was the French submission.

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

      You're right. Our mistake, keep forgetting only one film per country. It's amazing the Golden Globes actually get that right and the Oscars still can't figure it out.

  • Travis

    Listener Question: Do you think that Paul Thomas Anderson is at his best when he is writing/directing a scene for purely two male characters? I ask because looking at his last three films, the clear stand out moments are (slight spoilers) when Phillip Seymour Hoffman questions Joaquin Phoenix, when Paul Dano meets with DDL, and when Adam Sandler faces off with Hoffman.

    Would You Rather (or a Watch This/Watch That, depending on where you think it fits in):
    Watch-
    A movie directed by Michael Bay starring Keanu Reeves and Tyler Perry or a movie starring Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin directed by Rob Cohen

  • Trishana

    BET hasn't had quality programming for the longest time so of course they're not going to recognize different QUALITY films that showcases minority talent. I read an article called "Where are all the young black actors?" and it talked about the fact that people probably cannot name a black actor under 40. And I think this also ties into the NAACP Image Awards in which it may be difficult to even find quality movies with minority casts and they have to result to nominating Red Tails or a Tyler Perry movie.

    Questions: Why hasn't there been a young actor of color who is able to breakout into Hollywood and reach the notoriety of other talented or even mediocre young actors such as Jennifer Lawrence, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart and Liam Hemsworth etc? Is there any young black actor under 30 specifically that you would call the future Denzel Washington or Will Smith? (someone with the potential to gain the fame and praise of these actors)

    Do you think that Quvenzhané Wallis has a future in hollywood after her breakout role? Look at Gabby Sidibe since her role in Precious. She has not gotten critical recognition for a role since then. I know she was in Seven Psychopaths but I haven't really heard much about her performance.

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

      Michael B. Jordan from Chronicle deserves a serious Hollywood career...

    • Trishana

      Over/Under:
      10 years before a movie based on the Newton, Connecticut school shooting hits the big screen

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

    Great podcast guys, and great review of 'Django.' now im definitey looking forward to seeing it

    Listener Question:
    Have you guys ever thought of watching an older movie (one you haven't reviewed) and reviewing it on the podcast? It would be interesting to get your opinion on some older films. They could be classics, fairly recent films that you haven't reviewed, or obscure interesting films. I'm not sure how this would affect your work schedule, and the Movie Club is kind of similar, but it seems like an interesting idea

    Over/under
    12 years until a Documentary feature is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars [Xarnis]
    6 more Tarantino films before he retires [Xarnis]
    7 years until Jake Gyllenhaal wins an Oscar [Xarnis]
    15 years until Laremy sees a horror film that he likes [Xarnis]
    0.5 Oscar nominations for 'Promised Land' [Xarnis]
    11 years until a rap song, again, wins Best Song at the Oscars [Xarnis]

    Buy or Sell
    Django Unchained ends up as Tarantino's most mature film
    'The Silmarillion' (the Book detailing the history of Middle-Earth) is adapted for film
    'Hitchcock' receives no Oscar nominations
    Francis Ford Coppola makes another Best Picture winner
    The next 'Hobbit' films get consecutively better (if Buy, then: Buy or Sell 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars)
    Killing Them Softly makes Laremy's top 6 of the year
    'Searching For Sugar Man' wins Best Documentary at the Oscars

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HamzaZain/ Hamza Zain

    I missed a ton of podcasts in the middle portion, but has Laremy has done "Bradley's Got A Gun"?

    Buy or Sell:

    Ben Affleck gets an acting nomination for a film he directs [Hamza]
    Clint Eastwood makes another Best Picture worthy film like Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River [Hamza]

    Over/Under:

    1.5 years till Brad gives an A+ grade to a comedy. [Hamza]

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HamzaZain/ Hamza Zain

      Also, a question I forgot to put:

      You guys recently talked about Mark Duplass and Martin Freeman as very solid, range-y actors. Which other actors would you consider of the same caliber, but get as much recognition for it? For example, I think Chris Pratt fits well into the Mark Duplass mold. [Hamza]

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

    Over/Unders

    B grade for Jack Reacher
    $350 million worldwide for Jack Reacher
    70% RT for Les Miserables (currently at 73%)
    4 more films from Clint Eastwood (Can be either acting or directing. He's also 82 so he could be slowing down.

    Watch This or That: Christmas Edition

    It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street
    The Polar Express or A Christmas Carol (Robert Zemeckis version)
    Elf or Christmas Vacation
    Home Alone or A Christmas Story
    Scrooged or Bad Santa
    Love Actually or White Christmas
    Rocky IV or Die Hard
    Arthur Christmas or Prep and Landing (All 3 of them)
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman
    Santa Claus is Comin' to Town or The Year Without a Santa Claus

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

    Laremy: "I think there will be more Laremys in the future." Brad: "Well, we can hope not." Classy, Brad. :-)

    First of all: wow! What a discussion there, AS and the gang!

    If I remember correctly, when I did my calculations, some time ago, Brad was in the lead about $290 mil. (talking about the summer draft). It's impressive how many millions Laremy's movies made that far along in their run.

    On to the good stuff...

    Questions:
    - Out of curiosity, when you're attending a screening, do you get out of your seats as soon as the end credits start to roll or do you stick around till the very end?
    - A hypothetical. If you could somehow get yourself into the movie world, like in Last Action Hero, which fictional world would you choose? The only limitation is there has to be an element of danger, otherwise Laremy would just choose Couples Retreat and lie around, eating pizzas all day. Maybe something along the lines of Star Trek, LOTR, James Bond, etc.

    Over/Under:
    - 45% of commenters who start putting their name in brackets to improve their chances of getting read on the podcast
    - 25 years before a movie wins Best Picture, and is later regarded as a significantly lesser accomplishment that had little or no right to win, i.e. Crash [the colleague]
    - 16% Hollywood directors who have the right of "final cut" stipulated in their contracts [the colleague]
    - $220 mil. difference between the two of you in the fall draft; my money is still on Brad [the colleague]
    - 62% of podcast listeners are younger than Brad #OldMan [the colleague]

    Buy/Sell:
    - both of you will attend a screening of a movie in 2013 in which a phrase "crushing it", or some variation, will be uttered and you will remember this buy/sell

    Would You Rather:
    - watch a 48fps movie or watch a colorized movie
    - work as an actor under a director who is a perfectionist and likes to do many takes, or work as an actor under a director who is maybe not as good as the first one, but gets the job done really well with very few takes
    - watch three C/C- movies in a row, or one really long (say, 2:45h) F movie

    Watch This or Watch That (acting while directing, and vice versa):
    - Dances with Wolves or Open Range
    - The Man Without a Face or Braveheart
    - Lions for Lambs or The Company You Keep
    - The Town or Argo
    - Zoolander or Tropic Thunder
    - Rocky III or Rocky IV
    - Unforgiven or A Perfect World

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

      It was one for the ages.

  • Corbin

    Over/Unders:
    5 years until Laremy refinds his passion
    15 times Brad forgets to do a good research
    2 months until Gravity gets a release date
    $200 million worldwide for The Great Gatsby

    Buy or Sells
    Laremy will sing Gangnam Style
    Good Tweets ever becomes the most beloved podcast segment again
    Transformers 4 actually becomes Trans4mers
    A- from either of you for Iron Man 3

    • Corbin

      Just realized that Good Tweets became the most beloved podcast segment again in episode 125. Just discount that one please!

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

    With the recent mass shooting incident in Connecticut, do you think at some point in the future (if these kind of incidents keep escalating) part of the blame is going to go to Hollywood for portraying gun in violent way in pretty much every movie. How much do you think Hollywood has impacted gun use in America? Maybe sometimes these shooters get strategies and tactics from movies & TV shows. What would Hollywood's reaction be if it is blamed partly?

    P.S. Recently 3,00 iPad Mini's worth 1.5 million dollars were stolen from JFK like the movie scene from Goodfellas. So the idea that the thieves got was from a movie.

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

      That was a Listener Question..... [Nav]

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

      3,600 iPad mini's

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

    Buy / Sell

    Dicaprio never wins a best Actor Oscar (not supporting).

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

    over/under

    3.5 movies that both Brad and Laremy have in their top 10
    3.5 Golden Globe wins for Lincoln
    900 minutes total playing time for the best picture nominees combined
    B- grade from brad for Jack Reacher
    185 minutes for the extended version of Django Unchained

    buy/sell
    the next Tarantino film will be a historical movie again just like Bastards and Django
    when Laremy and Brad ever have an issue, Laremy will post a picture of Brad on the internet.
    The person who hacked the site was someone who hated brad because of a review.