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Random Movie Thoughts Thread

Doctor Cringelord

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eh, I didn't really take either that way. I just remember 40 Year Old Virgin being funny but was not reading any overall morals into it. I don't really remember details at this point, I just took it all as a running joke and some guy looking for his own personal happiness.

For Good Will Hunting, I felt like it was just saying that obsessive behaviors that dominate your personality can make you pretty angry and unhappy, and there's something to be said about 'stupid things' like relationships even if they don't make sense to you. I don't necessarily think Minnie Driver was going to cure Will's problems. However, it was a big deal for him to do something "illogical" that involved him placing some trust in another person rather than being so stubbornly self-reliant and walled off relationally from others. This is why his relationship with Sean was so powerful, it was another relationship that he was treating as adversarial rather than as a chance at connection. yeah, Sean did obsess a bit over "intimacy" because he had such a powerful relationship with his wife and maybe that's the lens through which he viewed the world, but it doesn't mean he didn't have something that Will needed to hear.

The big moral for me wasn't that he went after Minnie Driver per se, it was that he took a risk that wasn't all just dependent on himself being the smartest or the most capable; it was way outside his comfort zone; it was something he wasn't naturally the best at. The relationship might not work out regardless, and that would be okay. The thing is that he took a RISK outside of his comfort zone and one that involved another human being.

Ben Affleck's buddy says as much: "“Every day, I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks and a few laughs, and it’s great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about 10 seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, ’cause I think maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.” He knows Will is just wasting his life and in a rut because he likes being a big fish in a tiny pond, when he could be so much more, partly because he's just so unhappy and angry all the time -- and his buddy needs to just get out into the world and take some chances to liberate himself from that.
I don't know. I just got the impression that The 40 Year Old Virgin was written by a couple of elder gen X guys who grew up in a world and time when it was still looked down upon to be a middle-aged man who prefers video games and collecting vintage toys to "normal people" stuff, and who themselves likely internalized that message. Middle-aged, into that stuff, AND single? The film treats it like the worst fate. Even when he finds his happiness and gets married at the end, it is noted by one of the main characters that he sold all of his toy collection off before getting hitched.

I believe this is one of the last old school comedies to be released before the whole nerd culture thing started to become mainstream and not seen solely as the domain of socially awkward men with acne--it feels like an 80s comedy's take on nerds, where nerds are almost always unfortunate losers who just need a confidence boost and to replace their glasses with contacts. Although I also have my issues with the commodification and saturation of nerd culture, but that's another discussion.
 

Totenkindly

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I believe this is one of the last old school comedies to be released before the whole nerd culture thing started to become mainstream and not seen solely as the domain of socially awkward men with acne--it feels like an 80s comedy's take on nerds, where nerds are almost always unfortunate losers who just need a confidence boost and to replace their glasses with contacts. Although I also have my issues with the commodification and saturation of nerd culture, but that's another discussion.
Damn TBBT. Damn that show to hell.
It was like a nerd comedy for non-nerds.

But you can't win. Either you're not mainstream and everyone thinks you're weird, or the mass market monster packages and sells you.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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Damn TBBT. Damn that show to hell.
It was like a nerd comedy for non-nerds.

But you can't win. Either you're not mainstream and everyone thinks you're weird, or the mass market monster packages and sells you.
One of the least funny sitcoms I have ever seen. I have never understood its popularity, or how it lasted for so many seasons. Every other "joke" is just a reference to Star Wars, Star Trek, or Dr Who (and not even clever "deep cut" references, just usually someone mentioning one of those franchises in a sentence written to make their character look as pathetic as possible), and if it isn't a reference, it usually involves a punchline at the expense of one of the four nerds. Those videos with the laugh track removed are cringe. It definitely felt like a show written by people who made fun of nerds and dorks growing up, then wondered why those nerds were socially awkward and tended to shy away from them and prefer the company of other nerdy kids. The worst is the character Stuart, the semi-regular who owns the comic store. We have a potentially positive archetype of a guy who took his passions and turned it into a business, but for most of the series he is just presented as a one-dimensional prop to show the audience what a stereotypical comic book fan is like (forever alone jokes at his character's expense, allusions that he's so nerdy and awkward even the regular nerds aren't crazy about him, et al)--plus, it's not even original, it's like they just modified Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons a little bit when writing Stuart. For that matter, Penny and other "non-nerd" characters tend to be presented as lacking any booksmarts whatsoever, and the nerds as lacking any street smarts. It really feels like a show from the 80s, but then maybe that's why it did so well, people ignored the bad writing because 80s movie references apparently make bad writing good

I would posit that the other end of the spectrum might be a show like Rick and Morty. Overrated as fuck, but at least the jokes feel like they were written by people with some actual knowledge of or passion for the material being referenced, adapted or lampooned. That's a show that is really a love letter to "nerds: and it also does a good job of presenting more than just the super genius sterotpye. Morty and Jerry are the nerdiest, dorkiest guys ever, and neither are written as default geniuses but rather the opposite. Morty is basically Napoleon Dynamite (a movie that feels like it was written by a former nerd and shows one of the more rounded, human portrayals of that archetype)
 
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Doctor Cringelord

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I like how each of the Xenomorphs in the original alien series have distinct personalities. The xeno in Alien is kind of curious but cautious and stealthy. The warriors in Aliens are fodder but the Queen is a mirror to Ripley—just another mother figure protecting young. The Runner from Alien 3 is a ball of rage, like a rabid pitbull
 

Totenkindly

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Seen about half an hour of Firestarter (2022) -- which coincidentally is a whole third of the film -- and it's pretty much just as meh as I thought.

Despite me not really wanting Efron cast in this film (as he doesn't really have the depth / internalized approach of book Andy nor the physical projection), the acting isn't bad, it's really a story/approach problem. It's basically been reenvisioned as a superhero movie and everything is obsessed with powers; I feel like I'm watching an episode of Runaways or something in terms of writing quality and approach.



This kind of shit is always the problem with translations of King's works to the screen, which is why his more subtle works might actually often succeed where flashier novels have not. The Shawshank Redemption had no real supernatural elements, it's just a human story. Even the Green Mile had very controlled expression of the supernatural. The Shining by Kubrick had such a strong directorial vision that it was its own thing. Doctor Sleep despite any flaws actually was pretty adept at hitting all the right emotional beats and also gave time to breathe in the Extended Cut. Stand By Me was yet another "non supernatural" story. It's kind of ironic that King is really good at making the supernatural stuff works on the page but primarily because his characters are always humanized and set up first; and so many of his adaptations fail because it's the people enamored with the crazy shit in his books that they jettison all the stuff that makes the material work.

I'll probably have more to say once I finish it.
 

DiscoBiscuit

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As a deep and abiding lover of movies I hate to say this, but movies and the movie industry these days is trash. The signal to noise ratio of worthwhile watching just isn't there. The only reason theaters still exist is for big budget turn your brain off schlock, with some exceptions. Films like DUNE and Mad Max Fury road come to mind as worthwhile ventures of that ilk. There are only a few directors I trust to make something worth my time. Denis Villenueve, Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow and David Fincher to name a few. Heard a few good things about Everything, everywhere all at once, might check it out. In a way this a casualty of my age. Im sure to a 7 - 18 year old boy movies are great these days. All explosions and CGI and bullshit. Anything not blowing up is usually trying to sell me on the moral righteousness of some crusade that got shoehorned into the movie more clumsily than a cerebral palsy patient on ice skates. Once you start seeing it, its impossible to unsee it.

Take this movie I just watched on Netflix for example about Operation Mincemeat in WWII. A film about the secret deceptions Britain undertakes to misdirect the Nazis allowing the allied landings in Sicily to occur without impossible casualties. At one point in the story, for the operation to succeed, they need to get a photograph of woman, whose picture will create a necessary fiction of a hypothetical girlfriend in the ongoing top secret plot. Mind you that this is one of the most secret operations Britain is running at the time below I assuming only deciphering the daily enigma codes. One of the officers running the show in this top secret operation goes to a secretary working there to ask if she or one of the other secretaries has a photo he can use. The secretary he asks offers her photo, but ON THE CONDITION THAT SHE GETS TO SIT AT THE TABLE WITH ALL THE DECISION MAKERS IN THE ONGOING TOP SECRET PLOT. The British basically helped invent modern espionage practices and would take operations security and information security very seriously. You mean to tell me that the kind officers running one of the most important clandestine operations in the entirety of WWII would throw out the window that this woman has no security clearances and no practical ability to make the operation more likely to succeed? She gets allowed into this secret plot that literally 10s of thousands of allied soldiers lives are depending on because she offered her fucking photo to the cause? Are you fucking kidding me? Like I get it, you need to have your girlboss character to subtly controvert to the gender norms of Britain in the 1940's (which she does throughout the fim) so that wine aunt will hit play and get Netflix some more of that sweet sweet watch time. But JESUS, could you not do that by undermining the singular premise the entire plot is operating under, namely secrecy. Not too mention the fact that she now expects to be one of the people not just involved but running the fucking show. I still watched the whole thing because I knew nothing about operation mincemeat and found the bones of the plot, when not being ripped from my immersion every 8 seconds, rather interesting. If you want to tell a female empowerment story then go do that. Im sure there are enough scripts floating around hollywood to do just that.

In a way though for how awesome all those CGI movies are for a young guy growing up, I actually feel sad for him. For every avengers he gets in his childhood that I didn't get. I got a FACE OFF that he didn't get. Remember when movies where fun, and didn't give a shit. Could you imagine this scene hitting screens today?


And like, I'm not arguing that FACE OFF should win any awards, it most certainly shouldn't, but shit used to be fun. And thats what seems so drained from the industry today is that sense of fun. Like every writer is laboring under this assumption that their little contribution to American cinema needs to make the world a better place first, and entertain the audience last. You get this sense that every scene has been focus group tested to within an inch of its life until correct number of Joss Whedon jokes per second has been reached. And thats how the whole thing feels, like factory made fast food without the guilty pleasure of the grease.

Good stuff still gets made, but would a little kid today raised to love superheroes, even recognize it if he saw it.
 

Totenkindly

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Damn. Finished Firestarter (2022). Literally laughed and yelled at the TV for the last 20-30 minutes. Jesus god, this script is one of the worst things I've ever seen in regards to an adaptation, and it's not even good for an original work. Like, did this guy ever pass eighth grade writing? It's not necessarily the actors (although Zac Efron was miscast somewhat), it's really the shit plotting and dialogue that just fucking kills this film in its squeaker 94 minute run-time.

Gloria Rueben who has been nominated for two Emmys and who was so great as Elliot's therapist on Mr. Robot has to deliver the shittiest, most generic villain lines I've ever heard in a film. Kurtwood Smith is maybe the best actor in the film as Wanless, and only gets some random three minute scene in the films middle -- he sells that shit as hard as he can, but the entire plot is misguided.

There's a scene with a cat that was supposed to be horrific and instead is ridiculous funny.

None of the character care when other characters die. If you know the story, you know who dies. But none of the characters seem to care as soon as they reach the next scene. Guess what? I didn't care either.

The ending is about as WTF awesome as the ending of the film "Hannibal" involving Ray Liotta, or of the book "Hannibal" where two famous characters end up as love interests.

Everything about this film was misguided and/or a hack job. Any decent scene that a moron could have made interesting ended up having NO tension or interest. Like, the director can't direct action. The scripter can't script emotion or even a basic plot that makes sense. The "Carrie" remake was definitely a lot better than this, despite being flawed.

There will never be a heart-felt great adaptation of this book, I think.

There was one really nice cinematic shot involving 10 seconds of staring up a stairwell. That is it, the rest were terrible -- the sets are non-descript and/or boring, the director keeps shooting people separately, you can't tell where people are in the scene, and so forth.

Also, I gotta say the last scene with Andy and Charlie in the book is heartbreaking; the last scene here is a total howler, it totally betrays the relationship in the book and also just made me burst out laughing hysterically at the audacity. Fuck this film.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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If Joker shook people up, imagine the shenanigans and chucklefuckery a film like taxi driver might arouse if it were filmed and released in the present.
 

Totenkindly

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I doubt Blazing Saddles could be successfully remade today.

Not that it needs to be remade; the original is just fine.
 

Totenkindly

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Didn't feel great and ended up just watching a lot of films yesterday.

Finished Firestarter (1984) -- been decades since I saw it. Ironically it's actually a really faithful adaptation of the book but ends up being flat because not everything works well on screen, which ended up making an average film. So the story beats are all there, but the film seems to be lacking zing and movement.

Saw that Arrow (?) is releasing a nice version of Wild Things (1998) which I never saw, so I watched it on Netlfix to see if it was worth a purchase. I don't think I'll buy it, but it's kind of a crazy fun trash film, with about 8-9 different curve balls thrown during its thriller/mystery run-time. By the end you are suspecting everyone and everything of some kind of twist. The tone is pretty consistent, performances are decent enough (even Denise Richards), and Bill Murray has as fun time as a semi-sleazy lawyer. Oh yeah -- and Kevin Bacon. the other leads are Matt Dillon and Neve Campbell.

Completed Circle, which I'd already seen. The whole film is a thought exercise (people in a blank room where one is getting killed every two minutes, trying to decide what is going on and who should die next), kind of like a hopped up Survivor, but I find it fascinating due to the various arguments ethical and otherwise that get used, and how this all eventually plays out.

Watched Abre Los Ojos (1997) with my eldest, he hadn't seen it before. Amenabar film, and he tend to also write his own music for at least some of his films. I always have loved this film despite a rough patch or two in it. Well directed and shot on a fairly low budget (I think about $2 million USD). Noriega is a hunk of an actor who in this film has to play as tormented and below average due to his accident and he shows a lot of depth in his performance, he's more than a pretty face.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I really liked Silver Linings Playbook.

It was also surreal seeing all these places I recognized and used to walk to.


Always loved this song, especially this version.
 

Hawk

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I thought Zombieland was kind of over the top and a so-so movie.

Gave it 4 or 5 years and another viewing or 2, and I think it started to grow on me...or I'm just getting old.

Or both.
:ROFLMAO:
 

Doctor Cringelord

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GOT ME THINKING OF CLASSIC ZOMBIE MOVIES SO I MADE A TOP TEN LIST. ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE, RANKED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. I dislike most films in this genre, so it was a pretty easy list. That represents maybe around half of the zombie films I find tolerable.

10. Zombie AKA Zombi 2
9. Re-animator
8. Day of the Dead
7. Night of the Creeps
6. Fulci's The Beyond
5. 28 Days Later
4. Shaun of the Dead
3. Night of the Living Dead (68 version)
2. Return of the Living Dead
1. Dawn of the Dead (78 version)

I would have included Evil Dead 2 but I always thought it was a stretch to consider that series to be about zombies. It's really more in the demonic possession subgenre of horror--the possessed deadites just happen to take on a more zombie-like appearance.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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My favorites of the slasher sub-genre (some are technically under the Victimized Tourist and Home Invasion sub-genres:

10. Motel Hell
9. The Strangers
8. Hostel
7. Child's Play (original)
6. Halloween II (81 version)
5. Happy Death Day
4. Friday the 13th part IV
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)
2. Wolf Creek
1. April Fool's Day (original)
 

Doctor Cringelord

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My favorites of the found footage horror sub-genre:

The Devil's Pass
V/H/S
V/H/S/2
Creep

As you can see I'm not a fan of found footage movies
 
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