• Drunk Napoleon

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      LOST, Season Three, Episode Four, “Every Man For Himself”
      “What happened?”
      “WE happened.”

      “The only thing we put inside you was doubt.”

      Season one was held together by the hatch (eventually). Season two was held together by the button. Season three, at least so far, has no such idea holding it together; the closest we get is a reversal of the situation, with Jack imprisoned by Ben with no understanding of why – he unknowingly quotes what Ben said to Locke when he tells Juliet it looks like Ben is in charge, and she says the same thing that Locke did.

      Remembering what will happen, I understand why Ben is treating Jack the way he is, but I forget what the point of taking Sawyer and Kate was. I suppose it makes sense as a way to keep Jack in line; Ben’s actions make sense as a way to keep Sawyer in line.

      The show has now gone long enough that character beats have started to add up. If there’s any consistent part of Kate’s character, it’s her loyalty to the other survivors, and “Live together, die alone” feels genuinely meaningful; meanwhile, both Kate and Ben know Sawyer well enough to recognise what he actually is – Ben knows the emotional scars Sawyer has, and Kate can tell at this point when Sawyer is scared. Sawyer’s story has built into him being forced to admit to himself that he does care about other people.

      Ownage: Both Ben and Danny own the absolute piss out of Sawyer. Sawyer punches Ben right across the chops when he discovers the con.

      Book Club: Sawyer reads Of Mice And Men in prison, and quotes it on the island; Ben quotes it back to him.

      The Wolf Of Wall Street
      We are at the end of my Martin Scorsese runthrough, and we reach my favourite Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration and one of my all-time favourite Scorsese films, one that retroactively justifies even the ones I didn’t like all that much (except for Hugo). Up until now, DiCaprio didn’t feel fully necessary to Scorsese’s films beyond getting them made; he was fine in The Aviator but I feel someone else could have played Hughes and it would have been just as good, if not better. This is different, DiCaprio had to play Jordan Belfort, and if anyone else had played him, it would have been a lesser movie.

      It’d be easy to say, as I did for The Dapahted, that it’s a case of a sweaty actor playing a sweaty character, but it’s even more than that; Jordan feeds off and often reflects the emotions of people around him – whatever you’re feeling, he’ll start feeling ten times as hard (which is probably what made him a great salesman), I think that’s true of DiCaprio as well, and I think by now Scorsese gets how DiCaprio works so well that he and DiCaprio can modulate his performance together; in the first two thirds of the film, DiCaprio is practically drunk off enthusiasm and the energy of the cast around him (more on that in a second), while in the last hour as everything comes crashing down, he’s calmer, less energised, like the light has gone out, and this plays into Jordan’s character arc.

      I’ve seen the film criticised as “Jordan gets corrupted in the first half hour, then stays corrupted”, and that’s not really true; he does keep committing to his terrible lifestyle, but it means something a little different every time he does. When we meet Jordan at his youngest, he’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and gets corrupted by Matthew McConaughey; throughout the rest of it, we see over and over again that a) there is some sense of conscience that he’s choosing to ignore and b) hints of the person he could have become if he hadn’t gone into stockbroking (most notable is when he meets Aunt Emma – I have no idea who he could have been if she’d mentored him, but I want to see it). The arc of the film to me is what happens when someone with a strong emotional empathy (definitely not cognitive empathy) learns at a formative stage to feed off greed.

      The two stages of his development everyone remembers are him meeting McConaughey and the “sell me this pen” scene where he pulls in his entourage, but something I think people miss is the moment before “sell me this pen” where Jordan initially explains to his friends to see the greed in the world, and one of them responds “Well, what about the Buddhists and Amish?”, and he becomes confused and inarticulate before changing the subject. It’s funny that I’ve seen people condemn this film for not giving a clear moral statement, when it seems pretty clear to me: Jordan would not be ‘born’, initially successful with the penny stocks or longterm successful with the growth of his company if he didn’t have other greedy people to feed off.

      (In fact, because I’m pretty comfortable saying I would neither fall for nor become a Jordan, at points I was embarrassed to find myself feeling smugly superior to him in the exact way I imagine other, more morally righteous people are when they watch movies that tell them they’re right about things)

      Which brings me to Jonah Hill. He, like DiCaprio, is perfectly cast; this is a beautiful case where the history of both actors and the story being told line up perfectly. Hill brings his Apatowian sense of improv, and while Scorsese is very comfortable with improv, Hill brings a totally different sense of humour, meaning the movie is both polished and fresh. You put him next to DiCaprio, and the effect is much like when you were a kid and the kid who’d eat worms for attention teams up with a fast-thinking smartass; they feed off each other’s energy and just keep building and building and building (even in a movie about amoral people, diverse morality is needed). It’s almost like what the actor gets out of it is what the character gets out of it; DiCaprio/Jordan is injected with a crassness and grotesquerie (and he gets very grotesque) while Donnie/Hill gets discipline and prestige he could only dream of alone.

      In terms of sensation, this is the simplest Scorsese film yet; one sensation, maintained for three hours. Except that’s not actually true, that’s just how it feels and how you remember it – there are many peaks and valleys, Scorsese and Schoonmaker are just so good at controlling the pitch that you barely notice the shifts (although I notice they cheerfully make a lot of hard cuts piecing together dialogue from two clearly different takes).

      The question I can’t ignore is ‘what do we do with this information?’. Looking at it from a broader society scale, I honestly don’t know. People like Belfort are vile, but it’s not like you can take the greed out of people. On a smaller scale, I suppose it’s a matter of being careful what values you pass on to young people who look up to you; wallflower contrasts WoWS with Goodfellas in that he doesn’t read tradition or family into it, which I think is true when you look at the society he’s in (Jordan never sees himself as the latest in a long line of stockbrokers and is more concerned about the society he built himself*, to the point where we never really look outside this one company) but less so with Jordan as an individual, who is clearly carrying on the baton from McConaughey the whole film (aside from his general morality, the chest-beating comes back near the end).

      *Now there’s an idea. Jordan takes his mentor’s morality and builds an empire out of it, creating an entire culture, one he’s responsible for but never fully in control of, and that’s what’s compelling about him even when he’s at his most vile. ‘Not identifying with your culture and building a new one yourself’ is certainly something that feels relevant to the 2010’s – men and women felt disconnected from their culture, and created online feminist and MRA circles, with their own customs and ideas drawn from the past but not beholden to them (this is in no way a moral comparison), and it’s an idea way bigger than Jordan.

      (Hell, following the logic of the film, I can see it: when I was on Tumblr around 2013, there was a big purging of popular bloggers who turned out to be sexual predators, and I’ve been thinking for a while that maybe I happened to be on the ground floor of a cultural shift, and that 2017’s Hollywood purge is/was an extension of that as the public has grown in confidence (the whole experience has just been so familiar). Looking at it from a WoWS perspective, maybe 2017 is the feminist internet circle equivalent of the midpoint of the movie, where everything is looking up and nothing can stop us, and we’re just around the corner from Kyle Chandler showing up and coming back on everyone in some unexpected, explosive way. Of course, WoWS is just a film; this is real life and anything could happen. It’s just one way of looking at things.)

      Final Thoughts On Martin Scorsese
      When I started this, I noted that Scorsese had both a moral sensibility that could be picked up from film to film, and a thoroughly commercial instinct that made his movies easy to watch. Having run through his movies a second time, I can see that those ideas are intertwined; part of his moral sensibility is that good and evil are equally attractive, which leads him to be nonjudgemental towards people who choose evil, which means his films are open to complex moral interpretation, which means they entertain people of wide values, which means they survive political shifts over culture and time. On top of that, Scorsese’s skill is in conveying specific sensations, possibly the most apolitical and universal idea ever; I don’t need to be a a New Yorker to understand social anxiety, or Italian-American to understand bolognese.

      Final Ranking Of Martin Scorsese Movies I’ve Seen:
      Masterpiece Tier: Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Aviator, The Dapahted, The Wolf Of Wall Street
      Not For Me But I Get The Appeal: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation Of Christ, Casino
      Flawed But I Like It: Gangs Of New York
      No: Cape Fear, Hugo

      • lgauge

        I seem to remember that the Scorsese re-watch was just one part of a longer movie (re-)watching project? If so, what’s next?

        • Drunk Napoleon

          In the immediate sense, a John Sturges double bill of The Great Escape and Bad Day At Black Rock, then after that nine basically random films and two more marathons, James Cameron and John Carpenter.

          • lgauge

            Carpenter marathon should be interesting.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            Oh! According to my notes, I’ve also got a Kevin Smith marathon.

        • Son of Griff

          Peckinpah.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I really need to buy Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia on Blu-Ray for the new apartment.

          • Son of Griff

            I wonder how many people have ever said that.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            They all should, damn it, or they’re missing out on the magic of Warren Oates.

          • Son of Griff

            Even better idea, @drunknapoleon:disqus needs to get on a Warren Oates marathon.:

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Hell I haven’t seen enough of his work, maybe I should!

          • Son of Griff

            Besides the Peckinpah, don’t ignore the Hellman. COCKFIGHTER is pretty magnificent, buthis role as GT in TWO LANE BLACKTOP is memorably iconic.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            There’s a nod to Two Lane Blacktop in the opening of the MM series finale apparently, and I was thinking of writing a piece on it, so its up for consideration.

          • Son of Griff

            Existential 70s gear head is my favorite underrated genre.

          • Rosy Fingers

            “He’s got a face like 200 miles of country road
            Don’t go in there
            You’ll get lost”

            – The United States of Warren Oates

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6nvMaYdc7I

          • Drunk Napoleon

            Peckinpah’s first on the list once I finish the old favourites and start delving back into the new shit.

          • Son of Griff

            If you are not already that familiar with his work, I think you will really dig him.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            I’m aware of him, but the only film of his I’ve seen is Convoy.

          • Son of Griff

            CONVOY, sadly, indicates how the Peckinpah outlaw sensibility would be absorbed into mainstream, proto-Reagan blue collar romanticism. Even though he didn’t edit this (or apparently even physically direct most of it) it isn’t bad though, and the ambivalence in which the movie treats Borgnine’s villain displays some of the director’s personality.

            Several Peckinpah movies really fit into the interests and themes you are developing in your essays, and I envy you seeing THE WILD BUNCH, STRAW DOGS, PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, and BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA for the first time. I think he will hit you in the way that James Ellroy and Patrick O. Brian hit me in my late 20s– The artists who directly hit my sensibilities, tastes, and intellectual preoccupations at the time.

            Also, terrific observations on Wolf of Wall Street and summation of the Scorsese series. Your description of him as a director of sensations really captures his essence. I will think of this piece the next time I re-watch Wolf in particular.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            I was intrigued and flattered enough by your second paragraph that I ordered Straw Dogs and BMTHOAG on Blu-Ray (mainly because unlike the other two they’re not available on Google Play or Netflix). I’m thinking I’ll watch those four, and maybe end it with Convoy – something I loved about Mad Men was how it showed mainstream America incorporating the counterculture, and it might be interesting to see that play out in miniature.

            (And thank you)

          • Son of Griff

            You are welcome. I wouldn’t miss RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY either. It’s an earlier, and far gentler, treatment of the themes of friendship, professionalism, loyalty and the application of principles to a hostile world, but its meaning might be more apparent once you’ve seen these stakes played out in a much more intense fashion.

      • Since it’s Friday afternoon and I feel like I’ve already done enough work today:

        Great: Goodfellas, The King of Comedy, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street, Cape Fear
        Very Good, Liked It: After Hours, Bringing Out the Dead
        Very Good, Admired It: Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York
        Didn’t Quite Work For Me: Mean Streets, Shutter Island, Hugo, The Departed, Casino, Age of Innocence
        Genuine Dislike, Slight Bafflement at Status: Raging Bull

      • clytie

        My rankings:

        Great: The Age of Innocence, Goodfellas, The King of Comedy, The Last Temptation Of Christ, Mean Streets New York, New York (underrated masterpiece), Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Who’s That Knocking at My Door?

        Good: The Aviator, Boxcar Bertha, The Departed, The Last Waltz, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Casino, Cape Fear

        Okay: After Hours, Gangs Of New York, Hugo, Shutter Island

        Not seen: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Color of Money, Kundun, Silence

        • Delmars Whiskers

          Hell yes on New York, New York. Some of Scorsese’s most beautiful imagery (the couple dancing in the shadow of the train gets me every time), a Minnellian use of color and a really bitter tone–what’s not to love?

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        It’s DiCaprio’s best performance aside from Catch Me because it’s an actor being willing to do absolutely anything for the character, including some ridiculous physical comedy (he is laugh out loud funny in this movie).

        Also of note is that its arguably Scorsese’s visually ugliest film but that’s absolutely the point – these people and their world are fundamentally disgusting and wrong, and if you can’t get that from the tinted, high-definition look, from Donnie’s crassness, or from Jordan being willing to punch his wife repeatedly (the audience in the theater gasped in horror), then I don’t know what to do for you.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Masterpiece: Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Aviator, Taxi Driver
        Great To Very Good: Age of Innocence, Mean Streets, Cape Fear
        Good: Gangs of New York, Casino
        Eh: Hugo

        Have you seen The Age Of Innocence? Its a damn good movie on its own and also proof of how endlessly versatile Scorsese is.

      • Babalugats

        I don’t want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me

        what do we do with this information?

        We reinstitute stronger regulations on the financial sector, raise taxes on the super rich, and stop conflating wealth with wisdom. Stop voting for hedonistic half-wit billionaires. The Wolf Of Wall Street is Scorsese’s most (only?) political film. It’s trying to piss off the audience, and then refuses to give any catharsis. It’s puncturing an increasingly dangerous myth, both about the social and moral value of this class and industry, and about society’s capacity to provide justice.

      • Jake Gittes

        What the hell, I’ll join in:

        Among the very best ever made: Taxi Driver, Goodfellas
        Extremely good, arguably brilliant: The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Age of Innocence, Bringing Out the Dead, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence
        Quite good: Mean Streets, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Italianamerican, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Casino, The Aviator, The Departed
        Okay: The Color of Money, Cape Fear, Kundun, Gangs of New York
        Nope: Hugo

      • Babalugats

        Oh and;
        Greatest Movie Ever Made Tier:
        Raging Bull
        Masterpiece Tier:
        Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Departed, Mean Streets, The Wolf Of Wall Street
        Great Films Tier:
        Casino, The King Of Comedy, After Hours, Bringing Out The Dead, Life Lessons (off of New York Stories), Kundun, Shutter Island, The Last Temptation Of Christ, Silence
        Very Good Tier:
        Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Color Of Money, The Age Of Innocence
        Good Movie Tier:
        Gangs Of New York, Boxcar Bertha, The Aviator, Who’s That Knocking At My Door, Cape Fear
        Interesting Failure Tier:
        New York, New York
        Hugo Tier:
        Hugo

      • Son of Griff

        My overall take on Scorsese is a bit less ecstatic than many. With the exception of BOXCAR BERTHA and possibly THE COLOR OF MONEY, all of his films seem to exude a purpose and ambition, but his thematic focus seems evasive of the broader historical, moral, and political issues the material raises. I think that he often sacrifices dramatic rhythm for the sake of self expression, leaving his films, to one degree of another, a bit emotionally inert to me. On the other hand his movies are always interesting and worth pondering.

        GOODFELLAS is the least damaged to me, and his most successful epic. AFTERHOURS is his most successful integration of style and narrative drive. CASINO is a personal favorite (despite embodying all of his weaknesses), largely on the basis of how energetically it depicts old time gangsterism and Los Vegas. SHUTTER ISLAND is underrated, and THE KING OF COMEDY is totally unpleasant and nihilistic, probably the closest to Peckinpah he’ll ever get.

        • PCguy

          I’ll always remember my screening of SHUTTER ISLAND. On the drive home the three of us tried collectively to figure out the plot but each of us had slept through enough of the movie to render any chance of establishing a coherent narrative impossible.

          I think GOODFELLAS and TAXI DRIVER are Scorsese’s masterpieces but I’m mildly surprised to realize that I haven’t even seen half of his movies. He’s a perfectly acceptable director and I admire his style and erudition but I don’t actively seek out his films the way I do, say, a Schrader. Scorsese is so impeccably competent whereas Schrader is unafraid to push past his own limits even to the point of total failure. Scorsese allows his religion to control his artistic output, CAPE FEAR, while a decent movie, descends into allegorical monomania in the final act. Schrader is more willing to explore and explode his own religious beliefs–most notably in HARDCORE where he blasts away at the monolithic Calvinist creed that mankind is inherently sinful to the point where the film is left in ruins.

          I guess I got off topic there but the two directors share similar themes and characteristics and occupy adjacent niches in my mind.

          • Son of Griff

            Being raised of the church of John Knox, Scorsese’s Catholic hangups aren’t in my bailiwick. Frankly, the religious allusions in his films often strikes me as gratuitous symbolism. Schrader’s Calvinism strikes me as being more appropos for some of the more thematically expansive Scorsese movies relating to American history.

    • lgauge

      The Green Ray: Hurt by the hype.

      It’s a bit strange, I remember initially being apprehensive of Rohmer before watching my first film of his. Something to do with how the films and his style were described seemed a little out of my wheelhouse. Yet, after seeing a few of them, and especially after The Aviator’s Wife, I was more or less fully on board. That — combined with the status The Green Ray enjoys as his best film and just the amount to which many notable people love it so much — probably doomed this very enjoyable film to be a little disappointing. Though I also wasn’t quite prepared for the tone. There were many moments I loved, often due to a combination of great dialogue and some very inspired use of body language, and there was something very intriguing about the way Rohmer used the camera during several of the extended conversations, but the whole thing didn’t come together as powerfully as I had hoped. In particular, the structure didn’t completely work for me and the main character’s situation didn’t quite strike a chord for me emotionally. This film seems like another prime re-watch candidate some time down the road (joining an ever more frustratingly long list of other films with the same status); without all the hype and with re-adjusted expectations for what the film is, what it does and what it’s about.

      • lgauge

        By the way, I realize that I’m referencing a very small section of film fandom when I refer to this film that basically no one in the larger culture has seen as having “hype”, but for me that small section matters and it certainly affects my expectations for these types of films.

        • PCguy

          I would be skeptical about any critic that gets “hype” about a Rohmer film. Stick to Wikipedia for gems like this:

          “[THE GREEN RAY] was mostly praised by film critics, although Alain Robbe-Grillet wrote an unfavorable review and stated “I didn’t like it very much.”

          • lgauge

            Maybe that was the wrong word, but it was easier than “film regarded as being great inspiring the expectation that I will find it great”.

    • glorbes

      The Girl Who Knew Too Much AKA, The Evil Eye. This was amazing! The ending was stupid, but it was very stylish, and the black and white was gorgeous.

      • I think this is my favourite of the Bava films I’ve seen so far. It’s, like, really, really good-looking.

        • glorbes

          Me too. Danger Diabolik and Planet of the Vampires are great, but this one is just firing on all cylinders. There are some really “flashy in a good way” bits of direction, and the contrasts and shadows are stunning.

    • Planes, Trains and Automobiles – I may be geographically incapable of comprehending “Thanksgiving” but I can still rewatch a topical movie, dammit! This holds up pretty well, and the soundtrack is exactly the right kind of dated for me to love it, especially the many uses of that synth version of Red River Rock. Exciting thing I noticed this time around that I hadn’t spotted before: the (extremely odd) guy who drives them to the railway station is Dylan Baker!

      • glorbes

        Everyone’s agreed that this is John Hughes’s best film, right?

        • I think so. I still have absurd levels of nostalgic fondness for Weird Science, but I’m not going to argue that it’s actually… good.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          Hey, I think you’re forgetting a little something called Curly Sue.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Candy’s monologue in the car cinches it for me.

        • clytie

          My vote goes to The Breakfast Club, though I’ve never seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

        • Balthazar Bee

          Lately I’ve found the smugness of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — which would have been my previous pick — to be a bit off-putting, so I’d say yes. Probably something to do with the ever-growing distance I have from my own youth, when the godlike command he had over his universe impressed me, and his penchant for soliloquy didn’t come across as insufferable.

          Planes has so much damned heart, but more than that, it has the intelligence to know that heart only matters when it it allows for the nastiness of reality to creep in at the edges.

          I mean, I can’t be alone in experiencing hearty, cathartic sobs at the end, can I? Like every time I watch it? That’s normal right?

          Also, Silent Kevin Bacon in Physical Comedy Cameo!

      • Defense Against The Dark Arts

        “Her first baby came out sideways, she didn’t scream or nothin’.”

    • Delmars Whiskers

      She’s Gotta Have It–One episode in, and I’m all aboard. A little awkward at times–does anybody need the premise of Rashomon explained to them in 2017?–and a little too self-conscious even by Spike Lee standards, but the dreamy, swoony atmosphere is intoxicating. The cinematography is stunning, with particular attention payed to the gradations of (unclothed) black skin, and Cleo Anthony’s performance is hilarious. It’s possible his wonderfully self-obsessed Greer will deepen as a character as the series continues, but I kinda hope he stays magnificently shallow.

    • Thanksgiving traditions!

      “Turkeys Away” aka the WKRP Thansgiving episode, remains rather funny though if you aren’t a fan of the show, a lot of the set-up is probably a bit of a bore. What’s interesting is that the core of the episode takes place utterly unseen, making this show about a radio station even more of a radio play.

      The MST3K Turkey Day marathon is a great option because you can come and go and not miss anything important. The choices this year that I saw included a Roger Corman film and a godawful SF film made for WNET in NYC and starting Raul Julia! As ever, the humor holds up. There was also a nice treat in the form of the brief clip the new cast made last spring using the first scene of Stranger Things. That Netflix allowed Joel and the gang to run that is a good sign that maybe Netflix is going to bring the show back again at some point. I hope.

      And listened to Alice’s Restaurant. Someday i need to watch the film.

      • Delmars Whiskers

        But you can miss something important if you didn’t watch the Turkey Day marathon to the end: Netflix has officially renewed it for a new season!

        Also, yes, you should watch Alice’s Restaurant, but it’s, uh, a bit more downbeat than the song.

        • YAY! I was hoping they would announce yesterday.

          Probably will be a while till we get the films, but I can wait.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            I was getting a bit worried, since Netflix is usually a whole lot quicker to announce renewals, but I imagine they had to nail down some film rights first.

    • Bhammer100

      Braquo season 2

      I really enjoyed this season. It was very busy, with a lot of characters moving around the season’s chess board – alot of characters with their own motivations and desires. Alliances are set up and alliances are broken at a dizzying speed. People are double-crossed and triple-crossed. And a lot of people die. A lot.

    • pico

      Staying with my in-laws, so in the name of family harmony, I willingly went to see Justice League. It is not a good movie!

      Could write a whole essay on the opening credits alone: Snyder’s fascist imagery paired with stale jokes, basically bringing out the worst in both directors. All set to a 21-yr-old’s cover of Cohen’s “Everybody Knows”, replacing his gravely voice and growling synths with an immature voice and tinkling piano: it all signifies seriousness but doesn’t embody it. By the time we get to Amy Adams’ now obigatory op-ed voicever, we’re used to this secondhand signification: she spells out a bunch of the themes the movie doesn’t really explore as if they were major components all along. It’s catharsis in parenthesis.

      In fairness, it’s not like the Marvel movies don’t do these things sometimes, but they’re at least more entertaining. This was not. I mostly liked Ezra Miller’s take on the Flash, if overdone; but Momoa is a complete disaster, and Fisher’s basically a sentient growl.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        I looked up that cover and it’s bad. I don’t normally like that kindof thing as it is, but it just doesn’t remotely work; the voice and music sound like they don’t even relate.

        • pico

          They don’t, and that kinda makes it perfect for the movie.

          When did we start going down this road? Was it the choral Radiohead cover for The Social Network?

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Mad World in Donnie Darko baby, Mad World.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        “Snyder’s fascist imagery paired with stale jokes, basically bringing out the worst in both directors.” I suspect the more positive reviews were because people were watching the movie they WANTED it to be (fun superhero cinema) not what we got (an awkward hodge-podge).

        • pico

          I mean, I left the theater with less of a sour taste than Man of Steel (or the 20 minutes I saw of BvS before bailing), but I don’t know if that qualifies as “better.” Granted, I was also in the minority on Wonder Woman (didn’t love it, apart from some sequences in the middle), but it at least had a coherence of purpose that made it more watchable.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I watched Batman Versus Superman getting progressively drunker on sangria and then just being furious at its lumbering, glowering misunderstanding of the characters. I could admire its warped ambition but little else.

          • glorbes

            I was tolerant of that garbage movie until it passed the 90 minute mark, and then by the time the Doomsday shit started to happen, I had become hostile.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      When Harry Met Sally, a movie I’ve seen and enjoyed a dozen times over which I tried to watch with a slightly more critical eye. Probably my biggest issues is that the characters in description and status are insufferable (Bruno Kirby’s articles sound like pretentious nonsense though that may be intentional). Its a well paced movie though, which is something I have to admire even more now. 90 minutes long and it still develops every stretch of Harry and Sally’s relationship.

      Also showed fifteen minutes of the Star Wars Halloween Special to my little sister (who’s a fan of the Oedipal Skywalker Adventures) and we both marveled at how incompetent it is. Luke in that garish makeup crosses into Uncanny Valley territory.

      • Defense Against The Dark Arts

        There’s a Halloween Special too? Do all the aliens and monsters dress as humans for Halloween?

      • A. Square

        Has there ever been a greater gap between a filmmaker’s personal esteem and the actual quality of their filmography than Nora Ephron? She was such a universally beloved personage to seemingly everyone in and around Hollywood, yet everything she ever wrote or directed after this film is the epitome of tepid, actively insulting middlebrow tripe.

    • clytie

      Friends, as I do every Thanksgiving. “The One with the Rumor (aka. “The One with Brad Pitt”) is underrated.

    • Rosy Fingers

      Baby Sister (1983), in which Phoebe Cates gets on a bus to L.A., moves in with her sister and brother in law, who persistantly grooms her into a sexual relationship which is presented as a kind of love story?

      Okay, first of all, this is a sweaty movie. I don’t know why so many movies in the seventies and early eighties insisted on everybody sweating so much. Is there a theory on this? Maybe it’s supposed to be some kind of function of realism. The opening credits feature a song that goes “When it gets too hot you gotta cool down” and that melody recurs as a saxaphone riff throughout the movie. Many scenes begin with a shot of a spinning fan. And all the while everybody is sweaty wet the whole time.

      Anyway, Phoebe Cates moves in with her art gallery owner sister and doctor brother in law and he gives her a job at his medical practice. The movie spends a bunch of time establishing that the older sister is just TOO BUSY at her job, so of course doctor guy has to fuck her younger sister. They make sure to point out that Phoebe Cates is 19 years old, but come on. Phoebe Cates’ agent did a sterling job keeping her clothed in a movie that was clearly designed to strip her. So good job, Phoebe Cates’ agent.

      • Defense Against The Dark Arts

        My theory: all the unshaven body hair combined with clothes primarily made of wool and denim and the constant smoking made everyone hot and sweaty.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      I saw more stuff in the last few days than this, but I only had one new thing I had anything to say about, so I’m gonna post it before I forget.

      Stranger Things 2 through episode 3. This season seems to be getting off to a slow start, so it’s good we finally get somewhere at the end of this one. However, I hated, hated El’s moment of seeing Mike and Max together. Even if you think a girl that age raised in a lab without socialization would be instinctively capable of jealousy like that, everything that happened to set that moment up felt so contrived. I don’t like it when shows overtly manipulative me like that. The good news is, the performances are still outstanding, and the music choices seem more in-character than last season (Hopper’s choice of “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” being a good example). Also, Billy is a psycho and I hope he gets unceremoniously shot in the head, a la Cheese from The Wire.

      Also, a few Thanksgiving episodes from favorite shows, in this case Seinfeld (“The Mom and Pop Store”) and Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 (“It’s a Miracle…”)

  • I love pretty much everything about Futurama, even the bits that haven’t aged well, and even most of the revived later seasons (although I’ll admit they’re far less consistent), but I hated this when it came out, and when I optimistically revisited it a couple of years ago, I hated it even more. Just nothing about it feels right to me, and it seems determined to undercut a lot of the good thing about the first four series. I didn’t think any of the feature-length episodes worked particularly well, but this is the only one that genuinely felt like a slap in the face.

    (Sorry, excessive negativity, but nothing hurts like a beloved thing turned bad)

    • Drunk Napoleon

      I like the first two movies – the second one is my favourite of the four because I think it’s the one that works the best as a movie – but you basically describe my reaction to the third and especially forth ones.

      • I didn’t get around to rewatching the third and fourth ones when I started revisiting them, but I remember them being “basically fine, wish they weren’t so long”. Agreed on the second one though, it’s consistently funny and has the best premise for an actual feature-length story.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          The fourth one is where the seams for when it would be split up into episodes are most visible; the plot jars almost incoherently at points. The third has a neat premise but just kind of peters out.

    • Rosy Fingers

      I kinda enjoy the movie-length ones, even though they’re choppy compared to the 22 minute episodes. The only Futurama I hate is that Susan Boyle episode which was topical in the worst way, and also mean spirited.

  • glorbes

    “Bender! What’s wrong! Are you urinating again?”

  • glorbes

    Oh, I also think Barbados Slim is hilarious. He’s an Olympic Sex Champion!

    • Drunk Napoleon

      “He’s the only Jamaican to have Olympic medals in both limbo and sex!”

      One of my favourite lines from the movie.

  • I wasn’t very impressed with most of Bender’s Big Score. It had its moments, but it was not the same.

  • Defense Against The Dark Arts

    Futurama was the Rick and Morty for people who don’t think everything is fucked up and bullshit and the world is an uncaring void of despair.

    • Rosy Fingers

      And also for people who can’t handle everybody yelling all the goddamn time.

    • This isn’t my idea, but it’s important, I think, that the show is at its most cynical in its first few episodes, and then gets progressively more tender.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        Groening set a rule that the future was neither a utopia nor a dystopia, and I always liked that, mostly because it meant that the show could have twice the jokes.