Advice Column #11 (10/11/13)

I’d really like to see a truly scary, yet beautifully put together movie with psychological elements and plausibility, but maybe some surrealism as well. Something like Eyes Without a Face or Suspiria. Where the fear is more from the vibe than from the definable foe and allures me so that I can’t look away from it even while it’s unsettling. — Chloe P.

Editor’s Note (12/4/14): We no longer answer movie questions through our advice column. We answer them in the mailbag segment of our podcast. Send them to and we will answer on the show!
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Life of Pi: An Allegory, or rather, a ‘Tell-egory’

(Still taken from the wonderful site

Life of Pi (2012)
Directed by Ang Lee
Screenplay by David Magee
127 min.

Disclaimer: No, I haven’t read the book, and I understand full well that there are probably differences between the book and the movie, and that I would possibly ‘understand’ more about the story the movie tries to tell if I’d read the book.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

I could not talk about the Oscar winner for Visual Effects without first bitching about its visual effects, but I’ll try to keep it short, as my thoughts on VFX have already been made clear enough. Basically, the CG in Life of Pi is certainly impressive, no doubt. More than once, I went back and paused on frames to gawk at the insane level of detail they crammed into the animals, which are animated with eye-popping fluidity. They may be too fluid, however, because I found myself slipping in the uncanny valley here and there—the most jarring moments being when footage of an actual tiger is juxtaposed with a CG tiger in quick succession. By and large though, the omnipresence of CG animals isn’t too bothersome. It’s integrated into the physical set well enough that it usually feels like it’s really there.
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A Smug Film Bonus Post About the 2013 Oscars


Cody’s Oscar Thoughts:

I hate the god damn Oscars. Basically, for all the same reasons everyone hates the Oscars, so I don’t need to get into all that here. However, I still watch every year, because the tree of disgust for Hollywood must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots. (I think Thomas Jefferson said that.)

Of what’s nominated, basically, Joaquin should win Best Actor (his acting in The Master is as good as acting can possibly get) Michael Haneke should win Best Director (I haven’t seen Amour yet, but the man can do no wrong, and fuck the Academy for snubbing The White Ribbon for Best Foreign Film a few years back) Amour should win Best Picture (because fuck you again) and Emmanuelle Riva should win best actress. (I’m sure she’s great in Amour. She’s a great actress. Léon Morin, Priest is like the greatest thing ever.)
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