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  • 1999 - American Movie (documentary)

Questions I have

  • What's the benefit for the audience of a single long take? Is it just less jarring? How much of the hype of long takes is based on the difficulty of pulling them off?

My thoughts on various movies

Grand Budapest Hotel

  • There are some very funny lines. A bunch of them are from Gustav breaking with his showy character: "oh, fuck it", or "The rest of this shit is worthless junk"
  • Having Gustav steal the painting seems extremely out of character.
  • "You must never be a candy-ass"
  • This was a very pleasant movie. I can see myself getting tired of the style, but as a once-in-a-while experience it was nice. There's really nothing in it that amazed me, it was more just a collection of interesting characters and interesting visuals.


  • Overall
    • This movie is apparently the major inspiration for the tone / gameplay of the game "Hotline Miami", which is one of the best videogames I've played in years.
    • I watched this movie with kind of the same feeling as when I watched "Escape from New York", which was: "I'm watching the movie-version of a videogame I love". And I thought in that respect the film was a great success, because it was different enough from Hotline Miami to be interesting, but close enough to make me go, "Wow, it's cool to see that thing from the videogame in movie-form!".
    • The movie wasn't as bad as the impression I had gotten from skimming through it a year or two ago.
    • Overall I would say it was a well-made film that had an underlying concept / script that I didn't connect with.
  • It has some really good songs, and gives them airtime, where it's just the song and visuals. This ended up being one of the strengths of HM as well.
  • All the actors involved seemed good at playing the parts they had. The guy who plays Nino had at least one moment where I rolled my eyes. Gosling was good at playing the role he had; I'm just a little annoyed at some of the decisions the screenplay writer had the character make.
  • The movie as a whole has a kind of "quiet tension" atmosphere; there are a lot of quiet moments where someone has said something and there's a few beats until the other person responds, or someone sees something and there's a beat or two or three until they say something about it.
  • The visual of having Gosling in the mask looking through the window of the door to the pizza place was pretty striking / intimidating, and I can see how Jonatan Soderstrom may have been influenced by that. It reminded me at times of Halloween (the movie).
  • The script
    • I liked that they had a scene where it was explained why Nino had to try to kill Gosling, but Gosling does a bunch of things in this film that seemed like clearly-bad decisions, especially for someone who seems to be so professional / intelligent at the beginning of the film.
    • It's getting hard to believe that these kinds of crime dramas can take place in major US cities nowadays when forensics are so far advanced. For just one example, Gosling leaves his fingerprints all over the place.

The Terminator

  • t2 is basically the same as even has the same beginning (time travel, find clothes) and end (destroy the terminator in a factory), and the same "get chased by a Mack truck" idea. Having the protector be a terminator is a cool twist, though, and does allow for some cool new things to see on-screen.
  • a favorite part was when arnold walks into the club without paying, the bouncer comes up behind him and puts his hand on arnold's shoulder, and arnold just grabs the guy's hand and "crushes" it. IDK why but I felt like that conveyed arnold's immense strength in a way that the cliched action scenes couldn't. It tapped an experience that I'd personally had, something I could relate to, in a way that can't be done with "he got shot and is still standing!".
  • there were inconsistencies in the logic of arnold's character that I didn't like. For example, when it shows arnold killing the wrong sarah connor, it has him knock on the door when he should be able to just rip the chain and walk right in without waiting.
  • There were parts of the movie where I was thinking "Why don't they just do X?" or "Why isn't Sarah asking Kyle 'X'?". For example, when they're in the parking garage, even before the police arrive, I was wondering, "Why isn't Sarah asking Kyle why they don't just get protection from the police / military?".

American Graffiti

  • great movie
  • awesome songs / soundtrack
  • "Along with Easy Rider (1969), American Graffiti was one of the first films to eschew a traditional film score and successfully rely instead on synchronizing a series of popular hit songs with individual scenes."


  • Things I liked:
    • M was given more screen-time / a more-prominent role.
    • The movie felt slightly experimental: it didn't use the typical bond formula
  • Things I didn't like / imperfections:
    • M doesn't really do/say anything cool.
    • Bardem's accent made it hard for me to understand a few of his lines.
    • I hated the deus ex machinas, which seem to have actually become *fashionable* as audiences apparently don't generally notice them (eg they're extremely prevalent in Christopher Nolan's Joker movie). In this case it's the ridiculousness of how Bardem's character is able to create extremely-detailed plans years in advance that depend on other people taking very particular actions. Ex: his escape from the prison, the explosive he puts on the ceiling of the subway tunnel that then has the subway car moving down the tunnel at that very moment, and which depends on Bond finding him at that very moment. It requires a whole-other level of suspension-of-disbelief.
    • M seems fine in the last scene when Bardem is about to kill her, and then all of a sudden she dies in the next scene when she's talking to Bond. Considering she dies anyway, it would make more sense to have Bardem kill her directly.
    • Also, Bond throws a knife in Bardem's back, and Bardem doesn't shoot M or Bond when he has the chance.

The Hateful Eight

  • landscapes don't look that great (compared to kurosawa)
  • the written dialog feels unnatural
  • the performances don't feel natural (eg as a british actor would play it). The accents are bad.
  • kurt russell hasn't cuffed the woman he's leading to hang?? he just cuffs her to him, but he doesn't tie her hands otherwise. She should be tied up.
  • they throw around the term "nigger" in a highlighted way; it's like tickling the audience, going "oohhh, we're doing something naughty now!"
  • sam jackson takes out his most-prized possession right in front of a woman who has shown that she's totally unpredictable.
  • sam jackson throws snow in the woman's face after she spits on his most-prized possession. It just doesn't feel in-character.
  • when they get out of the carriage after punching the woman, and the driver calls to kurt russell, both their voices have echoes. If you've ever been in the woods when it's snowing, you know that the environment just eats up your voice. There would be no echo at all.
  • how did the hangman hear that someone in their party had a letter from lincoln?
  • why does the sheriff refer to sam jackson's character as "the nigger in the stable" when he already knows who he is?
  • Why does kurt russell's character tell the guy to dump the guns down the outhouse? Wouldn't people be fairly attached to the guns that they have purchased? It'd be like having someone's car crushed.
  • The OB guy makes such a big deal of going to the outhouse to dump out the guns...but even the worst blizzard shouldn't really be that bad, right? Unless you're trying to make your way through four feet of snow, which he wasn't. And how are these guys gonna take shits if not in the outhouse?
  • Everyone has really fancy coats / clothes.
  • The general is going from (presumably) Georgia to Wyoming just to help design a ceremonial gravestone for his son's unfound body?? That's a very long journey.
  • Sam Jackson immediately admits that the letter is fake?? A deus ex machina...
  • and then he goes over to the general and says "I shared a battlefield with this man", *immediately* after his credibility has been destroyed.
  • and the general goes from foaming-at-the-mouth racist to allowing sam jackson to sit with him because they shared a battlefield?? And they're having an intimate conversation??
  • The Sam Jackson murder of the general is totally unbelievable; Jackson is apparently operating from some sense of what is "legal", but the way the law worked back then was totally different from nowadays. There wasn't social media enforcement of the Constitution / federal law in isolated towns / cities.
  • And then the rebel / sheriff seems unfazed by what has just happened.
  • The "Woah! Woah! Woah!" response of the woman to having the guitar smashed seemed out of character.
  • Smashing the guitar seemed unrealistic (instruments are expensive), but I guess for a stylized movie like this it's par for the course.
  • Kurt's "Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah--shut up!" response seemed out of character.
  • Daisy taunting Kurt as he's realizing he's poisoned seems totally unbelievable, as he has a gun right in front of him.
  • Why doesn't Sam Jackson immediately shoot Daisy?
  • Sam Jackson gives a gun to a Confederate??? Minutes after shooting someone the guy admires greatly???
  • Sam Jackson's comment about the stew tasting like Minnie's stew sounds hard-to-believe.
  • Shooting everyone *inside* the cabin was a stupid thing to do, it could make such a mess of the cabin that it'd be impossible to clean it up in time.
  • There's a lot of people asking other people, "You know why?"
  • The Confederate general doesn't act very genteel.
  • The movie pulls a pseudo-pulp fiction with showing what happened earlier in the day, and having events overlap.
  • The movie keeps having more and more goop explode onto the woman.
  • When Daisy is taunting the confederate, how does she know Minnie is black?
  • Sam says "Who you be?"
  • Daisy says the rest of the 15 of her gang are going to the cabin once the snow melts, but that doesn't make any sense if the plan was for them to wait in Red Rock for Daisy to arrive.
  • It's not clear to me why Sam Jackson is allowing these gang members to live.
  • The confederate is talking to Daisy about making a deal, but it's clear he'll lose all bargaining power once her gang arrives. It's a situation where a deal can't be reached because there's no way to ensure it'll be enforced.
  • The confederate brings up the fact that Daisy watched him about to take a sip of the coffee, but it's obvious that she was just acting in her self-interest. The fact that she's acting in her self-interested doesn't make a deal impossible.
  • The Confederate does this little head twist like an urban black chick that's kind of annoying, but I guess it kind of builds a character.
  • Sam Jackson not immediately crawling for a gun after Maddox collapses feels unbelievable. At that point it's life-or-death.
  • Having them hang Daisy felt cartoonish.
  • The Lincoln letter isn't very profound, but I guess that makes sense since it's supposed to be a fake.
  • Finished the movie feeling like, "What was the point of that?" It wasn't exciting like Pulp Fiction

Star Wars

  • Fans Vs Disney Star Wars: The Current State Of Things
    • 4:53 - The characters felt too much like they were from Earth with their mannerisms.
    • 7:30 - Pumping out lots of movies is something new to Star Wars that it might not be suited for.
    • 8:00 - Star Wars had a single vision, whereas now it feels like a "clusterfuck"
    • 8:20 - Star Wars has gotten too political. He says a problem is that the new movies try to do it as one-liners or one-sceners instead of weaving the message throughout the plot.
    • 11:00 - The social justice stuff is too heavy handed. You have to trick the audience, get it under their radar.
    • 11:40 - Interesting point: Disney needs to figure out who they're trying to reach with the social justice stuff: is it preaching to the choir, or an attempt to reach people who would otherwise not be reached?
    • 13:00 - The way Disney is doing the social justice stuff is making each movie very tied to the time the movie came out. That will make the movies age less gracefully.
  • The moment that broke Star Wars forever
    • he says the hyperspace attack calls into question all of the tactics used
    • that reminded me that the fundamental problem with Star Wars is that it is based on a WW2 mindset of warfare, because the space battles are based on WW2 war movies. But now we are in the 21st century and warfare has evolved, and so a viewer will ask why these seemingly-advanced cultures can't use tactics and technology that we know can exist, like drone warfare.
  • Prequel idea
    • Shows Anakin's turn to the dark side, with only the original trilogy as canon.
    • The first movie follows Anakin and is similar to the original Godfather.
    • The second movie maybe follows Leia / Luke's mother. Or some new character. We want to continue seeing Anakin's shift but don't need a lot of screen time to show it.
    • The original film is about the formation of the friendship between Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, R2, and C-3PO.