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The magnificent Andersons
September 19, 2012 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Paul Thomas 'The Master' Anderson or Paul WS 'Resident Evil 5' Anderson... who's the best? There's only one way to find out... ask Armond White
posted by fearfulsymmetry (56 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
White's opinions, assuming they're honestly held, are his just punishment.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:23 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul, man, come on, the jig is up. Look at Iain Banks! He wanted to write both literary fiction and science fiction and just pens the latter under "Iain M. Banks." He's not all trying to pretend to be two wholly different people. You're the worst-kept secret in Hollywood.
posted by griphus at 11:24 AM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


The 'WS' stands for 'Wes.'
posted by shakespeherian at 11:26 AM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Paul W.S. Anderson's The Master: Retribution
posted by Egg Shen at 11:31 AM on September 19, 2012


ask Armond White

Oh god... You almost don't have to.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on September 19, 2012


Death Race is a bonafide cinema classic worth all other the works of either Anderson combined, mind.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2012


(Also, kudos on the post title. A+)
posted by griphus at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Here's a more persuasive defense of W.S. from Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.

I kind of think he is the best director of bad movies working today.
posted by eugenen at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


White's opinions, assuming they're honestly held

I LOLed. I think Armond White must have a hole in his cheek by now, considering how much time his tongue spends there. He kind of reminds me of a joke Twitter account or film criticism's equivalent of Colbert or something at this point; he spends all his time in character as this lunatic film buff called "Armond White," never breaking for a minute, even though he obviously knows better than the performance would imply. What's more interesting is how often he seems to manage to troll people in a good, productive sense, considering the kind of denunciation he tends to inspire — once he's done with the sniping about style and matching hyperbole with hyper-erbole, the Film Drunk guy actually has to produce some of his ideas about film, and criticism, and what they're for, in order to show him up.
posted by RogerB at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wish we really were in the anti-religious era that White thinks Res Evil is fighting back against - one rule of films these days seems to be that woo is always right, and anyone denying the woo is a cynical double dealing asshole.
posted by Artw at 12:10 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember listening to the director's commentary on AvP (don't judge me) where Paul WS said he watched Aliens nearly every day... not appeared to have learned much.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:24 PM on September 19, 2012


Armond White on Twitter
Fake Armond White on Twitter

Can you tell the difference? Is there a difference?
posted by Rashomon at 12:28 PM on September 19, 2012


Armond White on Twitter

"W.S. means he's the "way superior" Anderson."

O... M... G...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:32 PM on September 19, 2012


If he really wanted to troll us it'd be Snyder he was going to bat for.

/fully expecting peice on how Man of Steel is second only to Superman Returns as the best Superman movie.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on September 19, 2012


If he really wanted to troll us it'd be Snyder he was going to bat for.

Well he didn't really like Sucker Punch - "bloody without menstrual awareness."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:39 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm vaguely shocked by that.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on September 19, 2012


Armond White is one of the most brilliant and insane critics out there, singlehandedly taking on the entire bullshit consensus appraisal of 'art' in film. I hardly ever agree with him, but gawd bless him.
posted by naju at 1:05 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've spent the last couple of decades doing my best to pretend that Armond White doesn't exist. You people aren't helping.
posted by languagehat at 1:05 PM on September 19, 2012


If he did not exist my theory was he could be easily simulated by inverting all commonly held opinions - the Suckerpunch review seems to go against that.
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2012


every sufficiently divergent opinion actually is confirmation of the consensus, because [of] irony, which is still useful in challenging the common and the powerful.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:09 PM on September 19, 2012


I'm less interested in critics being able to tell me whether a movie is "good" or "bad" than in their ability to teach me something about film while they discuss the movie at hand. And on this level, Mr. White fails badly. I do, however, learn a lot about Mr. White.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:24 PM on September 19, 2012


FYI: "Armond White" is an anagram of "Remand Troll"

(if you don't know how to spell or do anagrams quite right...which seems appropriate in this case.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:49 PM on September 19, 2012


my theory was he could be easily simulated by inverting all commonly held opinions - the Suckerpunch review seems to go against that.

Inversion or complication, one's as good as another. I don't think "lack of menstrual consciousness" was the top complaint about Sucker Punch.

Basically, Armond likes dumb B-movies, not because they’re simple and exciting and unpretentious (a totally valid reason to like B-movies), but because they’re like empty vessels he can fill with his own pretensions and symbolism and allegory. And he hates films that feel like the filmmaker did it first. Charlatan! A true artist must respect the vanity of the critic!

Love it!
posted by anazgnos at 2:56 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


No lie that new Resident Evil picture looks to be one hell of a good time.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:37 PM on September 19, 2012


Review
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on September 19, 2012


We're all Charlie Brown, Armond White is Lucy, and The Very Concept of Sanity is the football.

I admire the fact that Armond White exists. He's not exactly a subtle troll, but you know what? I could happily read a whole book of his crap. That's more than I could say for most "better" critics.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:26 PM on September 19, 2012


I've been meaning to put a post about Armond together. isi reviews are like a nice little insanity cookie every Thursday.
posted by vrakatar at 5:54 PM on September 19, 2012


FYI: "Armond White" is an anagram of "Remand Troll"

(if you don't know how to spell or do anagrams quite right...which seems appropriate in this case.)


Oh, man. "Armond White" is, like, the best bunch of letters ever. There's all kinds of cuckoo bananas hiding out in there. To wit:

Armond White: A Poem

(To be hastily stuffed into that horrible crack between the Bukowski and the Burroughs)

Hi, wart demon,
Iron meth wad,
Warden to him
With no dream.

Admireth now
Maiden (worth
More than wid-
Ow), and hermit:

Dim heart won,
Warmed, hit on.
I draw on them
Who aren't dim.

And I, the worm,
Rideth woman.
Damn it, whore,
I'm wet; hard-on.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:39 PM on September 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


That's beautiful Sys Req. It's like the Resident Evil of poetry
posted by Chipmazing at 8:46 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It kind of rains frogs at the end, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 PM on September 19, 2012


I randomly skipped to this line:
"It’s inevitable that Paul Thomas Anderson’s artistic ambitions should be unavoidably juxtaposed to Paul W.S, Anderson’s artistic success. "
And then I stopped reading.
posted by DZack at 6:29 AM on September 20, 2012


In their latest the Red Letter Media guys review Resident Evil: Retribution after watching all four of the previous films back to back, which apparently broke their brains.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:04 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


looking for a transcript of that "Red Letter" thing but then
I want Rich Evans' laughter to be downloadable as a 24h looped MP3 file. I'll make it the soundtrack to my life.

oh. it's one of those.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:31 PM on September 22, 2012


Our man Armond on the Raiders' movies... of course Crystal Skull is better than original!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:48 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh The Last Crusade was a masterpiece!

Harrison Ford’s Indy finds his best ally in his dad (Sean Connery, evoking the crowd-pleasing ingenuity of the James Bond series that was the forerunner to this action-cycle) and then the All-American adventurer bumps into his perfect foil (Adolf Hitler signing his autograph—in the book that represents Indy’s family legacy).

Well, the Hitler bit WAS good. All thirty seconds of it.
posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soooo...anyone want to talk about The Master?
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2012


me
posted by shakespeherian at 12:58 PM on October 5, 2012


It's rare a movie can make me feel THAT uncomfortable for THAT length of time. Usually the "it's okay it's just actors" kicks in but MAN CLOSE UP ALL THE TIME HE'S IN THE FUCKING ROOM WITH YOU GET AWAY- kept that from happening
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on October 5, 2012


Kind of a beautiful mess if you ask me — would've been a better film if it'd lived up to the fictional-version-of-Scientology advance billing, but its real investment was in the pathological, animalistic slavishness of Quell, a man who'd have served any master, which makes it impossible to see the more human complexity of the Master and his cult, or to guess what his doctrines might offer to anyone else. Odd that both of the central performances could be so magnetic and yet not serve the movie as well as a lesser one might've (particularly from Phoenix, who I got the sense had dragged the movie off course by sheer force of will). Also, Greenwood's score was amazingly good.

"it's okay it's just actors"

The woman sitting next to me in the theater visibly shuddered and muttered "Oh, Jesus!" every time someone drank one of Quell's cocktails.
posted by RogerB at 1:05 PM on October 5, 2012


which makes it impossible to see the more human complexity of the Master and his cult, or to guess what his doctrines might offer to anyone else

Oh no that wasn't a problem at all, it was 100% dealt with by the sequence of expressions on Laura Dern's face when she asks Dodd about the change he made in the book from 'remember' to 'imagine,' she spells out the entire infatuation with an idea transfigured into belief in a person and then shattered by that person's own hollowness in like two seconds and I love her so much.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2012


I loved that moment too, but it was just like you say — a two-second interlude cut from another movie (which was the movie I would've rather seen).
posted by RogerB at 1:10 PM on October 5, 2012


Laura Dern is nine feet tall. This movie is nothing but these amazing little scenes that do SO MUCH heavy lifting with so little.

Freddie serves Dodd, Dodd is totally controlled by his wife/mother and Dodd and Freddie are like awful Venture Brothers versions of Boy Adventurers all grown up.

Best detail, Dodd's baggy clothing.
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on October 5, 2012


Raise your hand if you assumed they where going to kill each other.
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on October 5, 2012


I'd love to get you on a slow boat to China.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:13 PM on October 5, 2012


oh man you could feel the audience just starting to back away from the movie en mass at that point.
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on October 5, 2012


Like Who is the movie's protagonist and what do they want?

(the only time I was taken out of the movie for confusing reasons and not cause I DON'T WANT TO WATCH THIS PERSON ANYMORE I AM VERY UNCOMFORTABLE was when he turned up in England, I hadn't pinged the previous scene as being a dream so I didn't know why everyone was so surprised he showed up.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 PM on October 5, 2012


The Master And Michealmass
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM on October 5, 2012


Raise your hand if you assumed they where going to kill each other.

I JUST

TWO GUNS

SHOVELS

COME ON I CAN'T

JUST SOMEONE PLEASE

AGH
posted by griphus at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2012


Like Who is the movie's protagonist and what do they want?

Freddie wants some way to get away from himself and noxious terrible booze is only helping so much and the idea of being a Part Of A Thing helps a little more, especially being Dodd's Special Boy is even more helpful. Dodd incorrectly thinks Freddie likes the ideas of The Cause-- or at least that he can convince him to like the ideas-- and this incorrect notion makes Dodd feel that he's a success. When he eventually figures out that Freddie's just lost, he's no good to him anymore (Freddie tells Dodd he came to England to 'take pictures' or something, rather than because He Needs Him Specifically).
posted by shakespeherian at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2012


CHECKOV'S MACHETE HACKING INTO A COCONUT RIGHT NEXT TO A DRUNK MAN'S HAND.
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2012


Also HI THERE MAJOR PEDOPHILIA MOTIF I WAS NOT EXPECTING YOU PLEASE COME IN I WASN'T GROSSED OUT ENOUGH
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2012


Um, are you guys liveblogging the movie or something?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:32 PM on October 5, 2012


NO BUT SHOUTING IS FUN
posted by shakespeherian at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2012


WAY TO GIVE A HANDJOB THERE PRINCESS GISELLE
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on October 5, 2012


Disappointment over The Cause is why she went into paleobotany in the first place.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:39 PM on October 5, 2012


I was wondering what drove the director of The Old Mill to start a cult.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 PM on October 7, 2012


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