Monday, January 20, 2014

Houma Movie Club, Phase 2

So a few weeks ago, my friends and I started a project to watch movies on Netflix, then get together to chat about them later. We used to all live together in an awful city named Houma, but we all got out. Provisionally.

Anyway, we tried to cover both Solomon Kane and Troll Hunter on a live GoogleHangoutYouPlusTubeOnAirWebCastimon and that went...

We talked it out and decided that the first three weeks--despite scheduling issues--were pretty fun times and we should do more.

Our candidates for the next four weeks are below. The poll on the right that's been up since before I finally did my Dark Knight Rises review is going to be replaced by the one for these four movies and it'll be up 'til Friday. Unless all four of us vote by Wednesday morning (giving each of us Wednesday and Thursday to watch it) we probably won't be discussing a movie this week. Alternatively, we could punt Terry's option this week since he didn't get one for the last go-round.

Zombie Hunter (2013, 93 minutes)
Bad stuff, zombies, Rev Danny Trejo, and some females all set to a dubstep soundtrack. That's not quite from the back of the VHS  box, but it's close. Now, I'm not saying this movie was released on VHS because it's the only format to do it justice, I'm just saying it's likely.

Last Stand (2013, 107 minutes)
I haven't checked but I don't have to. Every article about this movie started with the words "He's back." It's Arnold Schwarzenegger's first leading role since his time as governor of California. It also has Johnny Noxville, Forest Whitaker, and Greendale's own Luis Guzmán. Schwarzenegger plays a small-town cop trying to keep an escaped cartel leader from getting back to Mexico.

The Road (2009, 111 minutes)
The Road is a much, much better film than any of the other ones we've had here. Movies we choose generally meet three criterion: they're on Netflix, they're fairly recent, and it's a movie we'd all go see together. It's a classic "pick two." Movies that hit Netflix right after they're in theaters don't tend to be very good. Recent, good movies off Netflix are hard to find at a price-point that works for everyone. Then, we'll have good movies on Netflix that have been around for a while. That last pick is unusual (remembering that at only three movies in "usual" is still vaguely defined), but still cool. The Road, like Children of Men, is a movie I want to see but have a hard time prioritizing.

P.S.It stars Vigo Mortensen as a member of a human race where everyone is in a queue to die, but no one knows what their number is (in that respect, it's also like Children of Men or a Japanese game show).

Grabbers (2013, 94 minutes)
My choice is surprisingly not the 109 minute Children of Men nor the 123 minute Only Lovers Left Alive (which apparently isn't even hitting theaters 'til later this month). It's Grabbers, where Irish people have to fight aliens by drinking. I imagine it's kinda like Dreamcatcher, where the alien fungus susceptible to the cold invades New England in the winter. But seriously, I wanted Star Drunk to be a bit less pretentious and The World's End isn't on Netflix yet so Grabbers.

Folks were also talking about format. Because of the time delay we've experienced working through Google, it's hard for us to speak without tripping over each other. In fact, I've kept the circle so small for just that reason. We can stand six people roleplaying together, but when we're chatting in a context that is 100% talking to each other, the time delay in the Google hangouts is a bitch. I think most of us were unhappy with it as we talked over each other and having some structure would be helpful.

I tried to see what kind of format some other movie club shows on You Tube adopted and watched Philip DeFranco's movie club, but I only learned that it was shit and awful. So...we've got a baseline of "don't actually talk about the movie and then roll clips of viewers saying inane things."

SourceFedNERD was a little better, but a good chunk of it is a movie review where they focus on technical information. The audience should either be folks who've already seen the movie or who are showing up for the discussion. I do get the fan base interaction because that's one legitimate way to define "movie club." 

An alternative is to use a recording/chatting option which doesn't have that lag. I'm looking into Twitch TV a bit, though it seems to be made for games (if channeling Evolve through Twitch and reviewing a movie while playing Civ IV together is more efficient than using Google services, I'll be all upons). Vimeo didn't seem to have much information on that. I haven't looked into DailyMotion yet.

We could also just collect the audio. Josh and I made audio files of the (otherwise unrecorded) chat we finally got around to doing. I think Derek may have too. I know Terry didn't, but if he's the only one missing, we can get by with replacing the silence where his dialog goes with Chewbacca sounds and make a Wookie Reviews Podcast.

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