What movie did you watch?

Terminator 2, because why not?

Also, the sfx still hold up and the story is still fun, and also still a bit mindless and silly.

Oh, man, I love this exchange! There’s nothing like a good “Who’s on first?” with folks who don’t have an obsessive catalogue of actors’ names stored in their heads like I do. : )

After the shark movie I needed some haute cuisine, so I revisited an old French favorite: Holy Motors, a movie about the beauty of the performance.

At least I think that’s the idea. I haven’t formulated any really deep thoughts on this, because I didn’t feel it needed any. The first time I saw it, I was so happy from what I had just seen, that that felt like the point of the movie to me.

It was originally recommended to me by a good friend that I always looked up to, and it was her favorite movie, so I knew that if she was really taken by it, it had to be something special. And it is.

You could write a lot about the unconstrained genius of Denis Lavant - blessed, as he is, by one of the greatest faces ever given to a human being - but I invite you to watch the movie and see for yourself. It’s a unique experience.

If you aren’t gonna watch it, then I invite you to watch this scene instead:

As someone who grew up on metal and punk (and Sesame Street) I love a good verbal count. In this case I believe it’s “Trois, deux, MERDE!” which means “Three, two, SHIT!” - Simple and effective!

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) - This is an alternate world post-WWII LA where gremlins, werewolves, and zombies are real and just about everybody uses a little magic to get by - everyone except hard-boiled P.I. Harry Phillip Lovecraft as brought to life by Fred Ward. He’s just been hired by Amos Hackshaw, local wizard extraordinaire, to retrieve his stolen grimoire The Necronomicon.

This was an HBO original movie directed by Martin Campbell and while it had a modest $6 million budget, it doesn’t look too bad even now. Some of the sets look a little chintzy and there are some spotty latex monsters, but it’s played fairly tongue-in-cheek so the goofiness is kind of endearing. You get Julianne Moore as a femme fatale, David Warner as the aforementioned wizard, and Clancy Brown as the city’s gangster, all of them hamming it up to an appropriately amusing level.

It also has a couple of bits that have not aged well. In one, Lovecraft punches a trans person just to reveal that he knows she’s trans. (Yikes!) In another scene, Lovecraft looks on while a bunch of Black dudes being used as zombie slave labor clumsily build a house, which is bad enough, but the only other Black characters in the movie are his landlord and lawyer, both coded to be voodoo magic users. (Double yikes!)

Not a bad watch overall, but for the unfortunate 90’s-era humor.

Mrs Kub and I finished all the Thin Man movies finally. Interestingly enough, they (esp. Nick) goes on the wagon in later movies generally.

I have to think that the first movie coming out so soon after Prohibition ended was a factor in that initial setup. They were all fun, mostly for Nick, Nora and Asta (as well as a young Dean Stockwell as Nick Jr.!)

I remember seeing “Cast a Deadly Spell” around the time it came out. I was sort of interested in Cthulhu mythos stuff at the time, so I thought it was pretty great. I watched it again a few years ago, and yeah, it’s fairly cheesy (dancing gargoyle, anyone?)

Anyway, I think even at the time I felt it was sort of a reaction to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Instead of “hard boiled L.A. detective who doesn’t work with toons”, it’s “hard boiled L.A. detective who doesn’t use magic”. There may be other examples of this sub-genre, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

Watched Terminator 3, because why not.

Coming off the back of T2, the differences are curious. John Connor is basically the side kick, the real lead is a female, and the unstoppable Terminator is also a female.

There are a few throwbacks/easter eggs, and the start is solid, but the middle sags.

The ending though, well, I liked it. The film sets up this imminent defeat of Skynet by going for the hyper core or whatever, which turns out not to exist. The Terminator (friendly) fulfils his mission by getting Connor and Brewster to this bunker, and Connor is reluctantly and unpreparedly thrust into a leadership role.

It is fairly depressing, and definitely not a “happy” ending, but it felt somehow quite appropriate, albeit fairly nihilistic.

I saw Cast a Deadly Spell for the first time just a year or two ago, and I kind of felt let down by the worldbuilding and the characterization of the main character. If he didn’t want to use magic, fine, but why not? Was his need to be a contrarian, the stick-in-the-mud that is fine to zig while everyone else zags, enough to outweigh the obvious advantages of magic that everyone else was taking advantage of? He wasn’t like an anti-magic guy in the Arcanum sense/abjurer in the D&D 5e sense. He didn’t have a tragic backstory where his using magic once made him lose something or someone precious to him. He didn’t gain any sense of drama by dramatically using magic at a crucial moment. Maybe I missed something at the ending, but was Harry, uh, Lovecraft thinking that he’d be fine holding on to the Necronomicon… and that was the payoff for his disinterest in magic?

It was probably better than Bright, though.

I think there’s more room for urban fantasy movies like this without heading into sparkly vampire society stories. Especially with film noir as a genre being about how to take shortcuts to get power then get ground into dust by your own hubris, which is how magic is presented here. Not my favorite movie but I’m glad they took a crack at it.

That’s funny, because I would have sworn there was a reason he didn’t use magic (along the lines of “toons killed my brother” from Roger Rabbit), but I certainly can’t remember what it was, so I’m sure you’re right.

It has a sequel btw. Which I haven’t been able to find.

Even weirder is they they have a scene where the landlord/voodoo priestess gives Harry a Chekov’s Magic Bracelet of Protection, but it does nothing and there’s no pay off. It’s never mentioned again.

“Hardboiled detective that doesn’t use magic” sounds like it could be a good plot for a shadowrun movie.

Sounds like the edit excised some important stuff!


I.S.S. (2023) - This movie had a modest $13 million budget but still bombed at the box office and it’s pretty easy to see why. It’s boring and dumb. Astronauts and cosmonauts onboard the ISS both get secret messages from their respective governments to take over the station and kill the other side because the countries go to war against each other. Luckily both crews have one person that’s fairly neutral, one person that wants to kill everybody, and one that wants to work together. How will this all turn out? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Ha-ha at me, I saw a movie that was clearly made for 16 year old boys.

That happens to be my approximate mental age however, and there were parts of Boy Kills World that I enjoyed, but ultimately it’s just not a very good movie.

Watching it, I was sure it had to be based on some dopey comic book, so they’d been forced into keeping a bunch of dumb plot stuff in order to stick with the source material. I was surprised to learn afterwards that they came up with the whole thing themselves.

There are just so many other, similar, better movies that you could watch instead, although I don’t feel ill-served by having watched an ultra-ripped, deafmute version of Bill Skarsgård kicking some ass. Or Jessica Rothe, for that matter.

It does get pretty criminal at times, like getting Sharlto Copley and not doing anything with him. As a Copley fan, I just can’t wrap my head around that.

There were quite a few performances that I liked here, they just all deserved to be in a better movie.

I don’t know, this sounds very authentically Lovecraftian to me. He was a pretty terrible human being.

Even so, I’m intrigued by this summary. It’s going on the list!

Ha ha, me and @MelesMeles saw Boy Kills World. I’m totally gay for Bill Skarsgard, so that’s my excuse. I didn’t even mind that he didn’t talk! Just let me gaze upon that Platonic ideal of humanity’s most perfect cheekbones and lips! I was more fussed by the fact that he only ever wore cargo shorts and – for some reason – a life vest. Who the fuck thought up that costume?

Speaking of, why would you put everyone’s favorite La La Land roommate under a goddamn football helmet? Cute little Jessica Rothe’s midriff is certainly a sight to behold, but enough with this Mandalorian bullshit; you hired the actor, dummies, get her face onscreen!

I think it’s one of those projects that could have been a comic book – excuse me, graphic novel – or a low-budget indie movie, depending on which way the financial winds blew. But they managed to scrape together enough producer funding to get a movie underway, so here we are. But I had the same reaction to the credits as you; I kept waiting for “Based on a graphic novel by Joe Blojarski” or something.

God. Right? I mean, he’s Sharlto Fucking Copley. They got a little mileage out of him, but he belonged front-and-center, not as a sub-boss. The moment he left the movie, so too did much of its oxygen. : (

I did like the mild twist about the main villain, and Brett Gelman is always fun. I also think there might have been a borderline racist gag in here that I will sheepishly admit I laughed at. Was the joke that Boy couldn’t read the black man’s lips because Boy hadn’t seen a man with large lips before? Or – and this is my attempt at a racially neutral interpretation – were they implying the beard was somehow an issue? At any rate, even though it might have been borderline tasteless, I thought that gag was pretty funny.

So I guess this is what Bill Skarsgard was doing instead of playing Feyd-Rautha…NOT THAT I’M STILL ANGRY ABOUT THAT DUMBASS AUSTIN BUTLER DUDE

Haha, yeah, I’m totally with you. Even if you didn’t like anything else that was happening, Skarsgård was always enjoyable to watch.

Now you got me doubting it, but I don’t think it’s the lips. I thought the joke was that he had never been exposed to black people before, so given the dialect, Isaiah Mustafa was moving his lips in a way that he had no reference for.

He also has a fine beard with a strong mustache that covers his upper lip, so that could also be the problem.

I saw it as a racial joke, but I didn’t think it was at Isaiah Mustafa’s expense.

Yeah, I really enjoyed him. It was also great to see Famke Janssen again. Bill Skarsgård is no one to sneeze at, but I don’t think there has ever been a more perfectly formed human being than her.

The one that fell through for me was Andrew Koji (Bosho) because I didn’t feel like he was insane enough for the part. His character called for some disturbing, manic energy that he just didn’t have.

I didn’t get the sense that he was a bad actor, he just seemed too gentle and composed for the role.

Doh, okay, I’m dumb. So it’s a dialect thing and not any sort of physiognomy thing. That makes sense. I mean, it’s still the same joke, but I think you understood it better. : )

I was glad they weren’t as one-note with her as I expected! But, yes, very glad to see her again and I really liked what they did.

After seeing how Boy Kills World passed on everything it could do with a Sharlto Copley performance, I wanted some proper Copley, so I found the movie Ted K, which is indeed about you-know-who.

It feels a little funny to say this about one of the most famous terrorists of the 1990s, but Ted Kaczinsky was way too boring to carry a movie.

It takes roughly half an hour to establish that - in case you didn’t know - the Unabomber was unstable, tormented, lonely and hateful, but then the movie keeps meandering on the subject for another hour and a half, with little else to add, and it ultimately becomes a study in just how tedious a portrait of a dull person can get.

There’s time for the obligatory masturbation scene that I definitely knew was coming (no pun intended) and there’s also time for an explicit ass-washing scene, because this is a fricken two hour movie that is already played out a quarter of the way through.

Sharlto Copley is good, of course, but the character of Ted Kaczinsky is as intriguing as a pile of snow, and I don’t think the movie knows it.

It was fine for the first 30 minutes, and in spite of its lack of content, there is a lot of good technique in this. I think it would’ve made a great short film.

(it says on the poster that “Sharlto Copley is the Unabomber” which I think is amusing because that’s a pretty wild accusation)

I also found this little piece of trivia after watching it:

Early in his imprisonment, Kaczynski befriended Ramzi Yousef and Timothy McVeigh, the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, respectively; they discussed religion and politics and formed a friendship which lasted until McVeigh’s execution in 2001.

Now that’s material for a movie. Those guys must’ve had some pretty explosive exchanges.

(Sorry, I’ll go throw myself in a dumpster now)

For me the value of Ted K was watching Sharlto Copley channel Kaczinsky’s inchaote and unfocused frustration, growing into seething rage, alternating with his calm readings from Kaczinsky’s actual writings. It’s the portrait of an intelligent maniac who ran away and hid from any help he could have gotten, while still determined to somehow lash out.

But, yes, it’s definitely slow and aimless!

I bet Kaczinski would be pretty surprised to find out!