Let's talk Coens and the Coens Extended Universe.


and Darkman


Am I the only human being on the planet that thought Fargo season 2 was terrible?

edit: ah yes, my list…

Still good tier:

Barton Fink
Blood Simple
Miller’s Crossing
The Big Lebowski
Burn After Reading
True Grit

Undergoing reevaluation tier:

Raising Arizona
A Serious Man
Inside Llewyn Davis
No Country for Old Men
The Man Who Wasn’t There

O Brother, Where Art Thou? tier:

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Crap tier:

The Ladykillers
Intolerable Cruelty

Haven’t seen Hudsucker Proxy or the new one.


Miller’s Crossing is the Most Rewatchable Movie of All Time


What did you dislike about it?


I really want to see the new one and it’s not being released here at all. I guess the price we pay in TW for getting to see blockbusters a day or two before everyone else.


For a while I really thought I was the only one, but I’m happy to find there’s at least one negative review floating around online, and he seems to hit most of the notes I would. http://blogs.indiewire.com/criticwire/fargos-season-2-strains-for-significance-20151012

Some selections:

Like several of the show’s characters, young Lou is a Vietnam veteran, which is true to the period, but after you’ve had a Vietnam vet contemplate the lifeless eyes of a corpse, you don’t need someone else suggesting that he and his fellow soldiers “brought the war home with you.”

To this I would add the part where one of the actresses trots out the cliche about the 70’s being the “hangover from the 60’s”, which is kind of weird to say during the 70’s. That same character goes on to liken one of the gangsters as not being “like the shark in that movie, you know–we need a bigger boat?” Along with a ton of other hamhanded period references that are totally unassimilated by any real knowledge or experience of the 70’s.

Nick Offerman’s conspiracy nut remarks, “First Watergate, now this?” No: First Watergate, then the Ford administration, then the Carter administration, then this.

It seemed like what you would get if you asked a 16 year old today to set a story in 90’s. A character spills something on her dress, “Hey, don’t let that stain, MONICA LEWINSKY!”

And also like the guy says, it’s totally derivative of other postmodern dreck like Breaking Bad and True Detective; it cribs some stuff from other movies (and not just the Coen bros.) that borders on plagiarism. There’s a particularly egregious example that I can’t remember. Fargo 2 is actually the reason why I ranked No Country so low on my list. I used to love that movie, but now I feel queasy about its minor fantasy/comic book elements. That’s something only a really scathing parody is capable of. I guess there’s no better parody than sincerely bad homage.

And to drop in a note about the crass abuse of Camus, not that he’s some great untouchable philosopher, but they really just used him to lend thematic weight to their paper thin script, did nothing with it at all, and having appropriated him, turned his whole philosophy into a convenient strawman to be predictably unwound by the homespun life-affirming wisdom of the dying housewife/mom character. That kind of smug moralistic anti-intellectualism really makes my stomach churn. Never mind that Camus’s French nihilism (she sneers, calls him a “frenchman”) is nowhere near as grotesque or as heartless as the idiotic bloodletting that ensues in Fargo 2. How American to beam an affirmation of life from a giant pile of corpses.

And this is leaving behind all the ludicrous plot twists, shit that goes nowhere, the stupid fairy tale book nonsense at the end, the meretricious overlong final confrontation between Dunst and the boring cop guy in the police car (that makes a total mockery of the final conversation in the Fargo movie.) It just shamelessly bats away one false note after another.

I could go on and on.


fargo s2 was pretty good



fun fact, Alfred Korzybski is the wacko quasi cult leader responsible for basically every dumb idea that permeated sci fi from the 40s to the 60s: Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, Herbert’s Dune, AE Van Vogt’s everything, discordianism, the Illuminatus! trilogy, some of PKD’s gnostic tendencies, William S Burroughs’ DE, L Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and eventual scientology, etc.


On topic, E-Prime is basically the ultimate, “But that’s just, like, your opinion, man”


if those were the dumb ideas then what were the good ones?


Arthur C Clarke’s Stapledon-esque cosmic optimism/pessimism, The genuine strangeness of Cordwainer Smith, James Tiptree Jr.'s subversive feminism

NB when I’m calling general semantics dumb in this context, I say that with some affection, as I find it genuinely charming that someone’s pet pseudo-scientific theory underpinned an entire genre for twenty+ years and eventually formed the basis of a cult and a parody of cults (two parodies of cults if we’re counting DE as well).




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Wow, this Expanded Universe sure is going places!


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I had no idea this was coming.
So it exists in a universe with mutants but without any X-men? I guess they’re dropping pretty much everything that defined the original character except the most concise, context-less description possible. Looks like they might even have a British actor playing an American, based on a character raised in the UK?

I guess I’ll give it a shot as its own thing. Presumably something kept the idea from being cast aside as so many other comic franchise plans have.

Still, would rather have a third season of Dominion. Which was not, I should make clear, a good show.


wait what does this have to do with the coen brothers