Kevin Smith, foul-mouth? is ‘Avatar’ immoral? Penelope Cruz in ‘POTC 4’?, and more: leftover links

Every week my browser gets cluttered up with tabs for stuff that I stumble across and figure I might be able to use as a Question of the Day or a WTF Thought for the Day or grist for some other post. And inevitably, I end the week with most of that material unused. But there’s no reason to let this stuff go to waste: I can still share it with you, for your amusement, and start the new week with a clean slate.

Herewith this week’s leftover links, in no particular order:
Kevin Smith Rains F-Bombs on Mac Nerds

Avatar, the French New Wave and the morality of deep-focus (in 3-D)

The Red Carpet Campaign

VF Cover Creates Online Bonfire of Comments at Yahoo, Including a Threat

Old stars and new independents: A modest suggestion (Mashall Fine is suggesting pretty much what I predicted almost a year ago would happen in the next five years)

‘I’m Not Saying Your Mother’s a Whore’: How Fox News Censored Jon Stewart vs. Bill O’Reilly

Conan Who? NBC Disappears “The Tonight Show” From the Web

Why Pretty Woman is a funny Valentine

Rob Marshall brings one of the NINE to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4!!

UK cinema chains may boycott Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

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Ken Patterson
Sat, Feb 13, 2010 5:48pm

Heck, I could hove told you that Kevin Smith would drop f-bombs. I saw him a few years ago on a panel at Wonder Con in San Francisco. He was having fun because he had a ASL interpreter working the panel. To this day, I can still remember the sign for (as SNL played with the phrase) Cork Soaker.

Sat, Feb 13, 2010 6:18pm

They have a sign for that? lol

I’m feeling bait and switched. Is Avatar immoral? Turns out it’s about film technique.

UK will boycott “Alice”? Turns out to be over money and Disney waving it’s big old stick to get what it wants.

Sat, Feb 13, 2010 6:46pm

I just ended up spending five minutes or so examining the Avatar frames (?). I’ve seen the film (and loved it) but looking at those shots (especially the last one of Jake) wow – that’s some incredible CGI.

Sun, Feb 14, 2010 3:12am

I hope you guys don’t mind, but I’m going to use this topicless thread to test my ability to link my postings to my journal. This is only a test. I’m not after your money, but if it works, I might start logging in as Paulliver.

Sun, Feb 14, 2010 3:16am

Cool, it worked. Unfortunately, the postings are in reverse chronological order, which is a little surreal, since it means people would be reading my life’s story in reverse. I’ll have to see if I can play with it a little.

Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:22am

Airline seats are now so small that they’re uncomfortable for average weight people, especially on short haul flights, so whilst I can understand people being unhappy about sitting next to a larger person who encroaches on their seat, if the airlines made seats that would actually fit average people comfortably, there’d be no problem.

I’m 5 foot tall and my knees are less than an inch from the seat in front – I don’t know how tall manage it, and it’s not like a tall person can shrink for the benefit of the airline, is it?

Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:58am

I’m 6’1″, last time I flew I had to basically sit at attention the whole flight. Wasn’t fun, and that was just a 2 hour flight. I’m REALLY not looking forward to my flight out to Nevada in April, but at least it’s on JetBlue, they’re usually more comfortable.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Feb 15, 2010 12:01pm

Though he goes off on a film theory bender that takes up 2/3 of his post, Emerson makes a great point about Avatar and its not-so-revolutionary revolution in 3D. I’ve see him talk about about aesthetics and “morality”* in composition before, and I find it a fascinating topic. I think he’s right here – whatever the usual pros and cons of deep- versus shallow-focus, the background blurring does kill the “immersive” effect Cameron’s 3D is supposed to achieve. Emerson links to an early post of his, about the physical strain on the eyes 3D produces, that is also worth reading. I think he hits all the nails on the head there as well – the unnatural eye movement, the constant shifting of focus, the layers of 2D planes of distance.
My wife and I plunked out nearly $50 on two viewings of Avatar, looking for the revolution. What we came away with: a couple nifty effects, otherwise distracting, exhausting, and unnecessary. We talk about effects in service of the story, and vice versa. 3D is neither. It is an effect completely separate from story, that cannot enhance storytelling. All it can be is a distracting gimmick.

* That’s an interesting choice of terms, and as I understand it, one with history behind it. It took me a while, but I’ve finally figured out the context of film composition morality. I think it means being honest and playing fair with the audience. In that sense, using shallow-focus to blur out every image on the screen but the one the director wants the audience to look at could be considered “immoral”.

Constant Focus
Thu, Feb 25, 2010 7:19pm

I have looked at many sites on this subject and not come across a site such as yours which tells everyone everything that they need to know. I have bookmarked your site. Can anyone else suggest any other related topics that I can look for to find out further information?