Movies Talk

I resent the Homer Simpson comparison–not because I’m not doing a lot of sitting around, but because I’m not getting paid wife+mortgage+2 cars+3 kids+1 dog+1 cat money to do it

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meanwhile you live above a bowling alley and beneath another bowling alley?

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Skimmed some stuff on JustWatch and by golly there is a lot of trash out there. Streaming docs in particular are somehow even more of a swamp than narrative features. Given the criteria (watching at work, not too slow, suitable for video)

narrative:

  • Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  • Little Women (1994)
  • every Ghibli movie appears to be on Canadian Netflix
    • watch Princess Kaguya
  • My Octopus Teacher* (don’t know what this is, but if I were at work looking for low-commitment stuff to distract me I’d check this out based on the title)
  • The General
  • Jigarthanda DoubleX
  • Out of the Past
  • The Godfather (brief “upper body nudity” at one point, cover the screen)
  • No Country for Old Men (brief surgical gore)
  • Citizen Kane
  • Hard Boiled* (is this too hard-boiled aka violent or sexually explicit?)
  • Vampire’s Kiss
  • The Man from Earth*
  • The Spectacular Now*
  • Johnny Mnemonic*
  • Drive
  • It Follows
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (bad rec, you will fall asleep)

docs:

  • The Road Forward* (IMDb scores are worthless obviously but this was curiously the only doc between Canadian Netflix and Amazon with a score over 9)
  • Koyaanisqatsi (sort of a shame not to play this as loudly as possible)
  • The Last Waltz* (is it silly to watch a music doc given the volume restriction?)
  • Amazing Grace* (ditto)

*haven’t seen these myself, tell me how they are lol

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Gaagaagiins Work Watch Movie Review Revue

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

I haven’t watched a Marvel movie since I watched like 3/4s of Infinity War and I haven’t watched a Spiderman movie since Spiderman was Tobey Maguire.

For the record I didn’t choose to put this one on.

Overall I’d say that this Marvel shit really sucks, man. I hate how self aware it acts, like it’s all smug to know who Lizard Guy or Thunder Guy is.

Even worse is when it demonstrates that it knows what memes are. When Goblin Guy says “I’m something of a scientist myself” I could punch a wall (not actually but you know what I mean). It’s the worst kind of writing punch-up possible.

All that being said, Tom Holland is a pretty pitch perfect Peter Parker. And it’s always a great time seeing Willem Dafoe.

I’m still watching it but I can’t imagine my opinion wavering.

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Oh, thank goodness, there’s a youth in acute distress in the middle of the night, it’s just what @yeso wanted (also we don’t have to watch a Marvel movie anymore)

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(also don’t worry the kiddo is fine)

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I maintain a list of movies my partner and I watch, and we rate them separately. Here’s every movie we averaged 4 out of 5 or above on that are also available on one of your mentioned streaming services in Canada:

5 - Alien (1979) - Disney+
5 - Citizen Kane (1941) - Prime
5 - Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - Prime
5 - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) - Netflix
5 - Shirkers (2018) - Netflix
5 - The Running Man (1987) - Netflix
4.5 - Coherence (2013) - Prime
4.5 - I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) - Netflix
4.5 - Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986) - Netflix
4.5 - My Neighbor Totoro (1988) - Netflix
4 - Anatomy of a Fall (2023) - Prime
4 - Asteroid City (2023) - Prime
4 - Fist of Fury (1972) - Prime
4 - Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022) - Netflix
4 - Hackers (1995) - Prime
4 - Isle of Dogs (2018) - Disney+
4 - Johnny Mnemonic (1995) - Netflix, Prime
4 - Robocop (1987) - Prime
4 - The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Disney+
4 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Disney+

Now, I’ll say a lot of these are at least a little NSFW - some more than others. Robocop is a definite no-no, Rocky Horror has some nudity. Some of them have like unsettling scenes or gratuitous violence (The Running Man), but also it has been a while for many of them so I can’t say with 100% confidence. I didn’t bother vetting for obvious picks or anything. Seems like all of the Wes Anderson movies we liked are available, you’d probably know whether you wanted to watch those or not. Same for the Studio Ghibli stuff.

A couple which I would point you to are Shirkers (2018) and Coherence (2013). Shirkers is a sort of human-interest documentary that I found really engaging. Coherence is a low-budget surreal thriller, pretty breezy and with a bit of violence but mostly implied or quite tame.

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Not exactly something you can do at work, but Studio Ghibli Fest just started. Nausicaa and Castle in the Sky are going to be in theaters in the next few days. Definitely worth watching those movies on the big screen.

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watched the Dune part 2 they really struggled with dialogue didn’t they. Such famous Dune lines as “hey, what are you guys laughing about?” And “it’s been a while since you had one of those nightmares.”

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I was quite excited for Dune 2, saw it in IMAX. I thought it was weaker than the first movie, felt like it struggled with pacing and communicating how much time had passed between events. Still very cool to look at and I’m glad I saw it at the theatre, but left feeling quite underwhelmed tbh. Spent the rest of the day in art galleries and had a much better time.

The last few movies I’ve watched have all fallen into a similar pattern essentially by accident, which is they were fairly big budget, critically poorly received and surprisingly not that bad. Nothing amazing but eminently watchable imo.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) Totally bonkers, and really funny in places. The plot barely holds together, it's mostly just quickfire gags but a lot of them landed for me. Has a great cast too.
The Jackal (1998) FBI agent Sidney Poitier working with Irish-accented IRA prisoner Richard Gere to foil elite assassin Bruce Willis. I didn't really know what to expect from this, but it was weirdly low intensity in a way that I didn't hate. You mostly just follow Bruce Willis around as he makes arrangements for his utterly ridiculous plan. The story beats are quite predictable but it tends to veer slightly off at the last moment, just as you think you know exactly what's gonna happen.
Doomsday (2008) The setup here is a deadly infection broke out in Scotland, so they just walled them off and left them to die. Years later the infection reappears, and it seems some people are still alive in Scotland! So, a team led by a badass, brooding Lara Croft-like character are sent in to find a cure.

This one is really silly, doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has pretty good, gory special effects and decent action scenes. Ridiculous over-the-top characters, a surprising diversity of settings. Had a good time with it.

Pandorum (2009) A guy wakes up on from stasis with memory loss, on a giant cargo ship cruising through space. There's nobody else around except one other crew member who wakes up not long after. The ship is enormous, and initially it feels like it is gonna be a really creepy and atmospheric Alien-like movie.

Sadly, it doesn’t quite deliver on that initial promise, but I was able to get over that and enjoy what followed. Less Alien and more Aliens. Really liked the visuals and special effects here, some decent performances too. There are a few annoying tropes this one leans into, but overall liked this more than I expected.

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Gaagaagiins Work Watch Movie Review Revue

Maybe the first hour or so of Im Westen nichts Neues a.k.a. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Someone else put this on, but I was glad to watch it, until we got called away to do other things.

Whoever put it on put on the English dub, which is such a coworker thing to do (I’m just kidding, my coworkers are pretty great).

Seemed pretty good, maybe not all that compelling just from the first hour, although I might have been only half paying attention when things were starting to develop.

I might have to partake in it at home where I can put it on my nice TV and have the sound up good and I can give it my undivided attention. I am a sucker for war movies; one must indulge their inner white boomer dad sometimes.

My 20 year old coworker (who was a student at the school just before they got hired, which I think is so cool of them, shouts out to them) said them and their brother like to watch war movies together, and I was going to ask them if they’ve ever watched Come and See, which I imagine would blow their mind.

If anyone has seen All Quiet on the Western Front and thinks it sucks, do let me know, so I can just choose to not bother to come back to it.

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As mentioned last time, there’s gonna be some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes as to how I show movies on Wonderville’s Twitch, in the form of FORT90 FILM CLUB [IN EXILE] Yes, it’s a reference to the Spectacle’s Twitch effort.

Anyhow, last week I kicked things off with the motion picture that made Bruce Lee a household name, so this time it’s the movie that put Stephen Chow on the map (in the US to be precise)…

Also last week, I showed BOILING POINT, a movie that included baseball but didn’t quite center on the game, so filling that same exact spot this time it’s…

Third up to bat is an actual baseball movie, one that happens to be directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura, aka one of the absolute best Japanese filmmakers that you have never heard of…

Afterwards is film by a Japanese filmmaker that you’ve no doubt heard of, Seijun Suzuki, tho kid you not, this might be better than both Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter…

Last but not least will be a real test of my live censor bar-wielding skills (which has proven to be a low-key popular part of my movie streams)…

So this is how showing movies is gonna work; at around 7:50-ish PM EST, the Wonderville Twitch will go live as usual. Then around 8, the channel will transport everyone who has tuned in (via the raid function) over to the-former-but-now-the-mainline FORT90 FILM CLUB account…

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“i must kill… the queen”

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Gaagaagiins Work Watch Movie Review Revue

Live Blog Edition

The Departed a.k.a. Da Depahted (2006)

Summary
  • I first watched this not long after it was released, surely rented from Blockbuster. I remember thinking it was good but not really following a lot of it, as a stupid teen from NW Ontario who knew little of the world. I would reckon the appeal was in watching Jack Nicholson chew scenery. There’s some of that already! So off to a strong start.
  • from that awkward era of when movies full of straight white people used the f slur and said the N Word. And there’s a lot even in the first bit! It’s not good, but, hey, it’s not inaccurate for Bawst’n cops, I guess? They probably still say it this much
  • Flogging Molly confirmed
  • it’s fucking weird to see all of these Recognizable White Dudes in this movie that later turned to anemic pseudo comedic acting. Were they lining up to say the N Word? Wahlberg probably was. Or maybe he didn’t need an excuse in 2006
  • “How do you do fellow criminals”
  • some of the patter in this movie sucks real bad. So far especially the Wahlberg patter. Maybe not a coincidence
  • gotta say, this film moves at a nice clip.
  • oh fuck. K. Maybe this is why I thought this movie was confusing, but only after Googling this movie just now am I realizing that both Leonardo DiCaprio AND Matt Damon are in this movie. I thought this was one guy! I do not know if I’m gonna be able to tell them apart in between scene transitions reliably lol. We’ll see
  • Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Jackie!
  • okay. Leo is the deep undercover cop, who is not related to Jack Nicholson, and Matt Damon is the dork ass cop who isn’t undercover or whatever. Right??
  • Jackie guessed the plot against him like ten minutes in.
  • Jackie is chewing scenery as foretold
  • I’m still not entirely sure what the hell is going on in this movie. Just kinda like a, sequence of brutal crimes, to some effect.
  • Matt Damon is from Massachusetts, is this accent authentic?
  • Hmm. I think my earlier comment about this movie having snappy pacing and this movie being kind of confusing might be related. Is this one of those boomer dad movies that people liked cause there’s lots of violence and bad words and white dudes saying slurs? I was just thinking that, maybe it’s based on a book, in a way where it seems like it’s proceeding according to a narrative structure that exists but is not being communicated especially well via the medium of film. I dunno. It’s weird. I ain’t seen any other Scorseses to my knowledge. Are they all kinda like this? I saw Goodfellas about as long ago as I watched this and I remember nothing about it beyond that we started it halfway in because it was on one of those funny double sided DVDs , and it took me and my buddy a while to figure it out.
  • I’m starting to think that the violence is supposed to be funny?
  • not all of the patter is bad,I think it was just Wahlberg because he’s a scumbag
  • maybe this movie would have been more fun if I didn’t figure out Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon were both in this movie
  • I think my issue with this movie is that it moves at such a brisk pace, I never have any idea how much time is passing in between scenes, or even if any of this is being sequenced chronologically.
  • Cell Phone
  • this shit with the drug deal is corny as fuck. Goofy ass movie
  • ooooh okay. I think I am starting to get this. The dorky Matt Damon cop is Jackie’s nephew or whatever, and he’s the mole. Then Leo edgy cop is the deep undercover guy who’s actually a cop. Is that the deal here. Why the fuck is Matt Damon doing this? Does he get lotsa money?
  • only Jackie feels like he really understood that this movie is kinda goofy.
  • here’s the level of faith I have in this movie: I feel like 65% sure the credits are gonna hit with a redux of I’m Shipping Up to Boston
  • Jackie with a baddie on each arm didn’t do it quite like Pacino did in The Devil’s Advocate, but the sprinkling of the coke with the wind chimes was pretty choice
  • yeah idk my friends, this movie seems like a convoluted excuse to get some white boys together to say slurs. It’s not not entertaining, but boy, wasn’t this critically acclaimed…? I can’t take the seriously for a lot of reasons. These white boys be goofy
  • what was Scorsese’s 2010s classic?
  • I bet Infernal Affairs is better
  • Jackie is jerkin off and gruntin in the porno theatre, I repeat, Jackie is jerkin off and gruntin in the porno theatre. Part he was born to play and he went about it like that
  • I’m back to not being sure who is Leo and who is Matt. Is Leo jerkin off in the porno theatre? I guess he is
  • has any shot aged worse than the blurry low frame slo mo shot? There was one in The Fellowship of the Ring or The Twin Towers and when I was recently rewatching those I laughed out loud at it
  • oh no, Matt Damon knifed some nice young man!
  • imagine Jack Nicholson saying “Jeeeeeesus Christ … you got a girlfriend?” to you. While wearing a thin black vertical stripe on white suit jacket and a nice magenta shirt. Then he imitates a rat eating cheese later in the scene. Then later he misquotes “heavy is the head that wears the crown” as “heavy lies the crown.” Jackie boy
  • in 2006 you could speak on a cell phone on the subway in Boston. To be knowledge, this is still not the case in Toronto, for stupid corporate narc ass reasons. Last I knew they had Wi-Fi on the subway platforms but still no cell signal anywhere.
  • lmao ok with the guy they threw off the roof you can’t tell me this isn’t secretly a comedy. This is downright slapstick. Goofy ass movie
  • I later remembered that I have also seen Taxi Driver. Weird goofy movie from my hazy memories.
  • Does Marty take his own movies seriously or what
  • Jackie Hornie, hehe
    • Boston accent * get da fuck ahta hee-ah (etc.) one of the best tertiary characters in this movie is everyone’s bad Boston accent
  • here’s an interesting twist to make an alternate ending to That Depahted: it actually was the same guy all along
  • how can Leo call back a Restricted number? I sure hope Cinemasins caught that one
  • it’s not the credits, but, Shipping Up To Boston redux confirmed
  • even if I can now pretty reliably tell Leo and Matt apart, I still can’t figure out who knows what and why. Not a lot of this movie is communicated very legibly. Maybe that’s a consequence of it being a remake of Infernal Affairs after all.
  • ah ha. I see. It’s the actual deep undercover cop who ends up trying to cover the big crime guy, and it’s the actual mole who ends up turning on the big crime guy, semi purposefully?
  • lmao, Jackie’s heather gray Tee that says IRISH. That’s a funny touch right there
  • love that this is from the era of MIDI ringtones. Amplifies the goofiness. These motherfuckers are using ringtones and texting like it’s a 2004 K-drama.
  • how does or did anyone take Matt Damon seriously? He’s such a fuckin dorkwad. Kind of an inspired casting here. He’s so annoying
  • I don’t really care about the tense ending here that much. What does it matter if Leo figured out Matt Damon is the mole? I kinda wish this movie was over. It was fun while it lasted. It’s back to not making much sense.
  • ooooh my god. Leo dropping the homophobic slur one last time in the last like ten minutes of this fuckin movie. 2006 was a different time.
  • noooooo no why does this last scene have to be on the roof of a skyscraper. I hate this
  • the stakes here feel needlessly elevated but at least the white boys are screaming at each other
  • it’s a good old Hollywood bloodbath. I didn’t see that first headshot coming but I did see that third headshot coming! Nice last little bit of slapstick.
  • the bagpipers sounded like they were doing a bit of Nimrod by Elgar. Suitable tribute to a dead cop
  • damn. I didn’t see Wahlberg winning the game here. That sucks

Overall rating: 6 dead cops out of a possible 10

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Netflix recommended I watch Blackkklansmen which seems like a rare Netflix algorithm W

Certified coworker moment: someone put on The Office perilously close to 4am

The Wolf of Wallstreet came out in 2013, I haven’t seen it but it seems pretty popular based on all the memes! The Irishman was 2019, I really liked that one. The de-aging stuff was weird but otherwise a solid (and very long) movie.

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Gaagaagiins Work Watch Movie Review Revue

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Not my choice but not a bad one. I watched the other three before.

All of these movies have been a lot of the same–decent to good action, pretty good fight choreography, corny as hell and usually in a good way.

I also can’t believe this shit is almost three hours. That’s too long for this kind of thing.

Still. Delicious corn.

Actually, I wrote the above before watching the last hour or so, when this movie went from being good to fantastic. Wow, that Hotline Miami sequence just doubles down on how John Wick is a videogame and Keanu is a tool assisted speedbot. Hell yeah. I love dumb action movies.

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Managed to get into the page at last, so I’m going to recommend some great movies:

  • Evil does not exist: Hamaguchi doing an eerie, slow-paced drama movie that is very vivid but also very sparse in color. It takes its time and manages to delve this story in a unique way, which is to have looong scenes in cars, travellings, big scenarios open and wild. It feels very naturalistic, in more than one sense, but it also delves into the human façade (even if I feel it’s kind of less interesting in some areas, but it’s one of the most beautiful films he’s done).
  • Election: Probably one of the best screenwritten films regarding thrillers. Fast-paced, concise, abrupt, violent and feisty as hell. A really funny one, at times. I’ll watch the second part soon.
  • Spring in autumn: The best Chinese film I’ve seen, and a really melodramatic one. Man, this is going to be one of the best films about the Chinese cultural revolution once there’s a really good digital copy out.
  • Elizabethtown: A really nice surprise as a US comedy that constantly changes and it’s not telling you where to laugh and where to be filled with emotion. It is funny to see that this is a movie in which I saw Orlando Bloom was… good? Very good, even at times?
  • Hand Rolled Cigarette: Great Hongkonese thriller that is on Netflix. Weaker than it seems, but it is nicely tied up and touches a lot of immigration and racism in a way that I like quite more, which is the kind of gritty, Soi Cheang-esque style of film. The climax truly pays it off.
  • About Thirty: An Argentinian comedy that touches upon the pandemic and the extremely dysfunctional ways of the country. I feel like they are the ones that have inherited the US comedy 90s and 2000s and managed to make it better at some point.
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I finally got around to watching First Cow:

That’s 3 hits from 3 movies directed by Kelly Reichardt that I’ve seen. The other two being Certain Women and Wendy and Lucy. I’ve decided that I need to go watch everything she’s made.