(repost) Movies with my Mother: Rogue One

rogue_one_2016_intl_original_film_art_f_1200x(Reposted from a time at which the prospect of further degradation to Star Wars still stung.)

“Where is the girl?”
“I dunno.”
“There was a girl. There was! She got out of bed and then what?”
“I dunno.”

“Is this the same guy?”
“I dunno.”
“Why do you think I brought you in here?!”

“What? To the people who were rescuing her?”

“This thing makes my teeth go on edge.”
“It’s stupid.”

“Is that her mother?”

“Whhhat!? The father?”
“That’s what they want him to do?”

“Where they going?”
“Which is?”
“Some planet.”
“It must be where they have the Death Star, or, uh, the Alliance people. Somewhere with all these stupid names.”

“I don’t understand what’s going on.”
“You said you looked at it.”
“I skipped.”
“What is going on here?”
“I think he’s a fanatic.”
“Was that a defector?”
“He’s going to kill the guy.”
“Bcause he’s a fanatic.”

“He’s still alive?”
“NO, he’s long dead, he’s CGI.”
“They’ve got his voice wrong.”
“Whhhat, he’s fake? He’s really fake?”
“They got his voice so wrong.”
“I’m amazed he’s even there.”

“Is this CGI too?”
“Everything is CGI.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Even the people.”

“Why are they having that out?”
“The pilot.”
“The pilot who defected. I thought the Alliance had him.”
“No, they’re the Alliance splinter group fanatics.” *{Educated guess.}

“Who was he really going to if he wasn’t going to them?”
“I dunno.”
“Why don’t you watch the movie, instead of typing, so you can tell me?”

“Who is he?”
“He’s Donnie Yen.”
“Never heard of him.”
“You don’t watch enough kung fu movies.”
“He’s Chinese? He is not Chinese.”
“He is Chinese!”
“Look at him, he is not Chinese.”
“He is not Chinese.”
“Him, there, is not Chinese?”
“Not him, there, him, this guy, here.”

“See, kung fu guy.”

“You know what the Imperium would have done if they had known she was a hostage? They’d have gone and rescued her and messed up the alliance cell that was holding her. Or killed her.”

“Wait a minute, everybody’s listening.”
“So everybody hears it?”
“So it’s not a secret message.”

“He’s lying?”
“I dunno.”


“What’d he say?”
“She’s afraid he’s going to kill her father.”
“Oh, well we know that.”

“What’s this?”
“I dunno.”

“Where did all these folk come from?”
“I dunno. I dunno! The tape skipped!”

“What!? What happened?! How! How did she find him just like that? They gon’ get her!”

“Did he kill him by any chance?”
“No, the rebels killed him, I think. The airstrike killed him.”

“Ok, tell me what’s happened when I come back.”

“Jyn realized that Cassian was planning to kill her father, and she accused him, and he’s denying it….but he admitted that he was going to, and she got mad, and he says she’s a hypocrite for only just now caring about the rebellion now that her father’s dead; and he’s a soldier who has to follow orders.”

“Oh, oh, oh, it’s the bit with Darth Vader come quick. Oh, well, the first bit with Darth Vader.”
“He’s CGI, too?”
“No, he’s real.”
“Is he going to look ugly or something?”
“No, he looks like Darth Vader.”
“He has the thing on his head.”

“Duhnnnn duhhhhh duh na na nah….I didn’t say that.”

“Is he going to kill this man? Why would he need to kill him?”

[“I deserve”]
“Uh oh.”

“He killing him? Why’s he doing that?”
“Cause he’s….I dunno. He’s very annoying.”

“Tsch! That’s what Rogue One is? Tehee.”


“Who? Who are they talking about?”
“Oh. Waitaminute.”

“Ok, they say this half of the movie is a lot better than the other half.”

“Oh my gosh, they coming there?….That’s not them. Uh oh.”

“That was an Unnecessary Combat Roll.
“It was?”

“What are they doing?”
“Setting bombs.”
“Wherever they want.”

“Where were they going before?”

“Uh oh! Look!”
“What, what happened?”
“Oh. Them things.”


[carnival claws for the files, really?]

“What is it with this guy and his cloak?!”
“I do not know.”

“He’s dead? Why wasn’t The Force with him on the way back?”

“Heh. The Force is not with him. Heh. Sorry.”


“Who are these? Rebels? Uh oh. Oh my.”

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – DVD Commentary by professional critics

Reposted from Movies With My Mother (and cousin), because it made me laugh.


“What do we wanna watch?”
“You want subs?”
“Uh…ok. Let’s watch Japanese Macbeth.”
“What are we watching?”
“Japanese Macbeth. Black and white Japanese Macbeth.”

[We watched: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword]

“Let it be known that I am not the one who selected this movie. She did.”
“I did!”
“She wanted to watch it.”
“I wanted to watch it!”
“…You really do want to watch it?”

” It says, ‘For centuries’…”
“Wow that font is terrible.”

“It’s an elephant.”
“See, I told you. It’s like Lord of the Rings.
“Is that an elephant? What is an elephant doing there? Is it in India?”
“It’s a new version.”
“…Is it a musical?”

“That poor horse.”

“What is going on!? None of you are answering me!”
“They’re having a battle and Arthur’s father is going to get killed.”
“Who are they? Why are his eyes red? What are the elephants doing? What is he going to–Oh my gosh!”

“He’s about to murder his family.”
“He’s going to murder the family and become evil king, except Arthur is going to escape and come back later.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, did I just spoil it for you?”
“And he becomes KING.”

“Why did he kill her!?”
“I dunno?”
“What was the point of him killing her?”
“I dunno!”
“There was no point, how come he killed her!?”
“I dunno! There’s no subtitles!”

“Can we get subtitles?”
“You can get subtitles in English, you know.”
“We don’t have subtitles.”
“Shush! What are they doing now?”
“Killing each other.”

“An arrow killed her. That’s the arrow sound.”
“Who SENT the arrow?”
“The evil–” “–Jude Law. Jude Law sent the arrow.”
“Because he’s CRAZY!”

“Remember, you’re the one who wanted to see this.”
“I DID.”
“Past tense?”

“Moses moment…Who are they?”
“He’s been adopted by prostitutes who drew him out of the Nile.”

“Why’d he take his shirt off?”
“You don’t do that when you’re upset?”

“What’s this?”
“That don’t look like no sinkhole.”
“It’s the sword.”

“This is England?”
“It’s always England.”
“Why were there elephants in England?”

“It’s a bowl of spaghetti!”
“It’s a siren. I think he’s consulting the siren….OH MY GOODNESS!”
“What is the price?”
“Killing someone he loves.”

“What is going on?”
“They’re hiding a Resistance guy.”
“Why is there a Resistance?”
“Because the bad guy is king, there has to be a Resistance so the good guy can lead it!”
“He’s leading it?”
“Not yet. He has to be king before he can lead it, and before he can become king he has to lead it.”
“He’ll pull the sword from the stone, too, watch.”

“The guy hiding, was that the guy they took out?”
“No, the guy–which guy? That guy?”
“The guy who was bleeding, not the guy they took out.”
“The guy who was bleeding is the other guy. What guy are we talking about?”
“Pause it.”

“I can’t tell when they’re going to have bad stuff! I have to cover my eyes!”

“Ze Vikings!”

“Why do you care if the people love you?”
“Because, if you leave your castle, they’ll shoot you.”

“Weren’t the Vikings later anyway?”
“No, they were always up there. Because they’re Nordic.”
“No, this is like 400 AD, right? Didn’t the Vikings only get started like later? Like, they were really all over the place at 900, 1000 AD, I think.”
“They were there in the movie with Kiera Knightly.”
“They were forest creatures!”

“That looks like one of the creatures from–”
Lord of the Rings!”
“It’s just a DOG!”

“Whoops, no need to kill him, he dead.”

“Oh look, it can’t. Oh….it can.”

[to the music] “Kaw kaw kaw kaw kaw!”

“Waitaminute, they haven’t killed him yet?”
“They put him in prison.”
“With food and water?”
“Just water.”
“And shackles!”

“He’s monologuing! Why is he monologuing! Kill him!”

[The Mother of Skaith]: “Gwenivere is a witch?”
“Gwenivere is a witch?”
“Gwenivere is a witch?”
“Gwenivere is not a witch.”

“He’s going bald.”
“He is.”
“Wasn’t he young just a little while ago?”
“He is old!”

“They’re going to throw him down a well?”
“They’re going to throw him off the tower. It’ll be great.”

“Is that in the book? All the animals going crazy?”

“What? Why!”
“It’s the only way out!”
“Ohmygosh! They jumped off the cliff!”
“Do you need a hug?”

“Of course she’s Romanian or Slavic.”
“They don’t grow goodlooking actresses in England.”
“…It’s their teeth.”

“They reached the Robin Hood lair now.”
“And now they’re boiling eggs.”

“…it’s called Percocet, dude.”

“You guys shush up.”

“I’m waiting for the Princess Bride quicksand.”

“It’s Lord of the Rings.”
“No it isn’t. Lord of the Rings was GOOD.”
“Did you see all the Hobbits?”
“The Hobbits were bad. Lord of the Rings was good.”

“Witch! Witch! Just say Witch!”
“What is ‘mage’?”
“It’s the trendy stylish way to say magician. Witch just sounds better. And more accurate! It’s Celtic!”

“Why is he fighting the Grim Reaper?”

“Wow his dad got tore uuup!”

“OH MY GOODNESS IS HIS DAD THE STONE?…he just pulled the sword out his father’s back. Think it severed the spine?”

“Look! Elephants!”

“WHAT. They would NEVER say that. You–you–you know what you have here! This is not realistic!”
“The giant elephants didn’t tip you off?”
“Even if it’s a remake, you still have to be, be faithful to the source. Even in 4th Century England!”

“He’s gonna kill the daughter.”
“Of course he is.”

“The soundtrack is really mediocre.”
“Mediocre, and unfitting.”

“So he wanted to be a mage, but he’s not naturally, so he had to buy the right.”

“Oo! He’s a good villain when he’s not monologuing.”

“That’s Chinese.”

“This is a British movie, with a European cast, with a black guy and a Slavic actress….and a Chinese guy…and they all have American names.”

“They need to shoot the messenger.”

“Very considerate of the tower to collapse on itself, like that.”
“Yeah. It’s very Lord of the Rings….”
“Now all they need to have is the Eagles show up.”
“They have an eagle! She has it!”
“But it’s not giant.”
“It’s big…”

“Please remember, you were the one who wanted to watch this.”
“I did. Past tense.”

Readlist: Who knows….

solomon-kane-2009-movie-posterSo because I recently rediscovered the joys of kitschy space-western anime, I haven’t been watching any. Instead, courtesy of youtuber Raz0rFist’s The Shadowcast podcast, I’ve been reading:

– Walter B. Gibson / Maxwell Grant – The Shadow 007 – The Silent Seven

– The Shadow 008 – The Black Master

– The Shadow 009 – Mobsmen on the Spot

– Jane Austen – Lady Susan

I also attempted watching the 2009 Solomon Kane movie, but my thoughts on the first (sigh) ten minutes are, summed verbatim:

This movie stupid, yo.

TLDR: Just because a couple of youtube yahoos liked it, doesn’t mean it’s actually good.

– Hey, remember when they would actually film things on outdoor sets with extras dressed in costumes, instead of everything being just computer generated? Good times, good times….
– Interestingly nasty moment where Solomon (that is James Purefoy under there, yes?) toys with a guy before stabbing him in the throat, but hey it looked cool.
– Oh, I wonder if those ominous open-mouthed portal things that all the expendable extras just walked directly up to have any kind of ominous significance.
– Oh, wow, you’re not even trying to make it subtle, movie.
– Solomon Kane would NEVER say “I am the only devil here.” That’s something the villain would say. At the OUTERMOST OUTSIDE chance, you could have a young wastrel of a pre-avenging Puritan SK in the ragged band, but no. Failure to fundamentally understand your character.
– Ding! Hero turns the tables, easily, after the twelfth–not the eleventh–hour. After the ladder has already passed equilibrium, after the bombs have exploded, after the villain has actually, by fair and obvious evidence, WON. The heroes can only succeed by having the narrative cheat in their favor. Heroes do not win by their own effort, their own skill, or strength. Heroes suck, heroism doesn’t exist, fuck you for trying. Fuck you right back, Hollywood. This is why I don’t buy movies, and this is why I watch 1970s anime instead of your 2021 big budget flops.
– Subtlety? What’s subtlety?
– Okay, what the hell. Why is Solomon Kane, PURITAN AVENGER, doing in a CATHOLIC MONASTERY. Movie, I wanted to like you.

DNF Movie Review – Occupation: Rainfall (2020)

Operation-Rainfall-600x873 TLDR: it starts of really quite well, and then it lost me about thirty minutes in, just about when the plot killed any good will I had towards an action-heavy, low-cringe opening.


The blurb–and the opening voiceover narration–tells me that this movie is set two years after an alien invasion struck Earth in two waves, first by a drone bombardment from orbit, then by actual invasion. The invasion was thwarted, as these tend to be, by a “handful” of brave men and women rather than, y’know, the combined might of the world’s militaries; but the second wave is proving harder to deal with.

Right off the bat, this movie gets on my right side, because it gets straight into the business of us watching a handful of “brave men and women” fighting aliens…like, right into it, and it’s got things I like, like air support, and helicopters, and radio chatter, and lasers, and less than seven minutes in someone says the mission is a go, which is always fun. (pause here to note that someone, presumably our hero, flips off an alien with a grenade pull-ring on his finger. HAH.) With one very brief exception, there has been no exposition so far and actually, as of ten minutes, no cringe.

But that may change. Oh, and it’s also set in Australia.

There are also some aliens who don’t want the war to continue, and are helping, supplying, or fighting with the humans. They aren’t very well regarded by the humans who have lost friends and family members to, y’know, alien warfare.

There is also a hot Asian chick and a slightly less hot Australian chick who flies a fighter jet. Both of them show rather more cleavage than is professional in an apocalyptic military situation. I mean….are uniform dress codes really going to go that far downhill after the apocalypse? The guys aren’t going around shirtless. They seem to be in decent order. Odd and also, come to think of it, universal in the lower class of post-apocalyptic movie. Terminator (the good one) did not have this–the soldier girl was wearing pretty much an identical uniform to Kyle. Hm. Mad Max (the second one) didn’t have this, either. The Warrior Woman wore the same kind of cobbled-up hockey pads as the guys. Uh…The Blood of Heroes (that movie with Rutger Hauer, you know. The one I haven’t actually watched yet)–that one didn’t have excess cleavage, either, but it was about professional touring athletes, not soldiers. Well, semi-pro. Well. Kinda.


So! At the briefing, the squadron leader guy (who is less handsome than the flipping-off-aliens guy and therefore less a) important, b) heroic) is in favor of evacuating Sydney along with all civilians. Some older guy with an indescribable accent points out that they’re still finding civilians. Also, something something, send a ground recon, any volunteers? (Hot Soldier Guy volunteers. I have a feeling he prepared for this role by watching Black Rifle Coffee Company videos, because he’s got that exact attitude and beard.) The other person going along is one of the alien defectors, and they’re riding space horses. What, were regular horses too expensive to film? Were ATVs too expensive to film? Sheesh.

Y’know, now I want to see a movie with the heroes riding tactical side-by-sides into battle.

Black Coffee Soldier Guy continues to act with consummate unprofessionalism towards his alien ally, but never mind, the evac is beginning and jets go vroom and doors go slam, and it’s actually very exciting until it stops happening one brief montage later, hmph. The unprofessionalism continues when the civilian Grays–females and juveniles–are also left behind/refused to be let on the transports, despite Hot Asian Chick speaking up for them.

Anyway, Sydney goes boom.

OK, honestly, I’m bored at this point and don’t really know or like any of the characters except Gary the Alien (Lawrence Makoare, AKA Lurtz, Gothmog, and the Witch King of Angmar). Not that they’re poorly written!–everyone so far is pretty distinct. But they are unlikable.

This movie needed to strip down, go bare-bones on the plot, go small-scale. Take us minute-by-minute on the evacuation. Go house to house rescuing the civilians. Show our heroes going down to the last bullet. Or something like that. That’s how it kind of started out, and being down at the ground level is an interesting and new perspective on an alien invasion (Battle: Los Angeles the only other example I personally could name), without pretending that your heroes are going to make a massive difference in the outcome of the war all on their own–but acknowledging that they can make a difference by saving some lives right here, right now. A ragtag band of brave men and women successfully getting a convoy of refugees out of a warzone? That’s interesting. Saving the entire world and winning the war at one cunning stroke? Dude…it’s been done before and it was boring and unconvincing every single time after the first.

Yeah, and at this point I wandered off.

WandaVision S01E07 – Breaking the Fourth Wall

Well, here we go. It’s 7:30 a.m., I’ve got a big mug of heated chocolate flavored beverage, and I kind of wander how salty I’m going to get. Is this episode 7 of 8 or 7 of 9?

The Previously On recaps the previous episode, and then we open up to Wanda in bed (alone), intercut with a reality-show confessional style talking-straight-to-the-camera segments, and straight-up flashbacks. Tommy and Billy helpfully dart in to provide extra drama, uh, we mean exposition. Their game controllers keep changing types, and then vanished completely.

WandaVille reality is glitching in a serious way at this point, and no amount of hiding under the blankets is going to help that. Additionally, the red twin reports that it’s really noisy inside his head. Wanda ignores this in favor of a “quarantine-style staycation” day. Heh. But then her almond milk keeps glitching into different types and bottles. Wanda ignores this, too.

Back outside in the S.W.O.R.D. “temporary retreat,” (eight miles further out) we get our daily dose of jackbooted types doing important jackbooted things, like setting up tents and bustling around in black minivans. Director Hayward and his slightly-brown female minion make it known to the audience that they’re going to “launch today.” Oh noes! Anyway.

Vision, meanwhile, has woken up over by the ex-S.W.O.R.D. base now turned circus…and is promptly told a) good job for being in makeup alread, b) he’s late for practice with the escape artist….Darcy. Pwah.

Back at home, questions are being asked. Such as: where’s Dad?…why did Uncle P say he’d been dead? (Where is Uncle P?) Also, if he’s not our uncle, who is he, Mom? Wanda has a miniature breakdown at this point, admitting that she has no answers and is beginning to leave that everything is meaningless. It’s Agnes and Mephisto, isn’t it.

AND THEN AGNES COMES BREEZING IN. Riiiiiiiiiight. She drags the twins off to allow Wanda some alone time, despite their reluctance. Red twin, who seems to be the only one allowed a personality, wants to stay and take care of his mother, but he gets hustled out the door. The house glitches some more, but Wanda un-glitches it and then keeps repeating to her invisible psychologist-slash-the-audience that she’s fine. Fine. Fine.

Back with our most diverse and least likeable leads, it turns out that, SURPRISE SUPRISE WAIT FOR IT OH NO HOW COULD HE WHAT A SHOCK, Hayward was trying to reanimate Vision from the get-go. (In contravention to Vision’s own legal living will, BTW.) Of course, it wasn’t working until Wanda actually made her deal with the devil or whatever else she was doing.

The actual tragedy of this situation is that my hot chocolate has all gone away.

People. “Weapons” aren’t this really terrible, mystical thing that needs a high-level government lab and white-coated scientists to manufacture. A weapon is a rock. A weapon is a sharpened screwdriver. A weapon is half a ton of fertilizer and some other stuff. A weapon is person with a book and a vision and the ability to force other people to see themselves as expendable. Fuck you. Stop pretending that weapons R&D is a catch-all bogeyman and get a fucking grip.

Oh gods. So.

Monica and Agent Woo meet up with Monica’s engineer friend who just so happened to be able to provide her with a twenty-ton neutron, photon, peon, and moron-shielded mobile shelter to re-enter the barrier, in secret, without Hayward knowing about it.

It’s some army Colonel, in uniform. What the everliving hell. Explain to me how you were exactly able to commandeer this really expensive and important piece of MILITARY EQUIPMENT without Hayward’s approval? Without Hayward’s knowledge? How…wha…???? People, when your cartoon reality show has better internal logic than your “real world” events, that is BAD WRITING.

The Colonel is a woman of color, but that’s really just a cherry on the top.

OH WOW HA NO IT ISN’T. SHE CAME AS A FAVOR TO MONICA BECAUSE SHE KNEW MONICA’S MOTHER. Golly. I’m imagining S.W.O.R.D 2.0, under Monica, being run as a gal-pals network. And I’m imagining how, while this is going to be written as The Best Thing Ever, having all these Stronk Women in charge!, what I’m thinking is what is going to happen when these completely unprofessional and incompetent widgets get mad at each other for refusing to share makeup tips or one department buys out all the Warm Beige concealer.

Do I hate women characters? Fuck no. I just hate having to watch unlikeable, incompetent, condescending, personality-less womannequins who are IN CHARGE because everyone else is sooooooo much worse. Explain to me why I should like watching a show where everyone is merely a different shade of unlikable and incompetent?

Back at the circus, Vision is trying to break through to Darcy and finally does. Explain to me why he didn’t start with the de-brainwashing zap? They get interrupted by a guy in striped tights, who attempts to grab Darcy but soon finds what REALLY happens when you try to chain down a strong woman. But what makes this scene really, really, really terrible is watching Darcy waddle-run away afterwards. What the fuck. That’s not even a girly-girl run, it’s an old-lady-in-long-skirts-who-just-stole-the-last-piece-of-pie run. What. Why was that shot even left in the show? It makes no sen…whatever, nothing matters. Never mind.

Back over at Wanda, the house glitches some more. She admits she doesn’t know what’s going on and how to fix it. Aand now we hear a voice answering her! “Do you think this is maybe what you deserve?” Wanda freaks out, because the…audience? isn’t supposed to answer back. It might be worth pointing out that the voice asking that question is  male.

And then there’s another one of those ads. It’s for Nexus, the medication which can solve your existential ennui by anchoring you to reality. Or A reality. (So….like inferior dried frog pills, then?) Side effects might include demonic possession.

Meanwhile, Agnes and the boys are on her couch. Red Twin (why is only one of them allowed to speak?) says he likes it there with Senor Scratchy…because it’s quiet in her house. And so is Agnes. Agnes starts paying a lot more attention to Green Twin at this point, because she’s not going to be the one who tells the ten-year-olds with magical powers that their mother is insane.

Monica, meanwhile, is getting suited up. I’d mock the show’s efforts to paint her as a trailblazing astronaut-equivalent, but at this point what I really want is for this damn episode to go back to Wanda. And Vision. The main characters. The ones who have personality, motivations, desires, and conflicts. The people I actually care what happens to. Oh, and Agnes, because Agnes is interestingly wacky even when she’s going to turn out to be the villain.

OH MY GOD, WOO SAYS “GODSPEED, CAPTAIN.” Goddamnit, she is not trailblazing in unknown frontiers, she is not that special, and she is not freaking interesting! If you wanted to make her any of those things, you should have started by letting her be any of those things. Incidentally, whatever did happen to the guy S.W.O.R.D. sent in through the sewers in the first episode?

So Monica takes off in the rover (at quite a clip, one might add), only to crash right into the barrier and stick. Agent Woo recognizes that the rover is being re-written, and radios Monica to get out. She jumps clear (somehow losing her helmet?), as the rover gets ejected….as a jacked-up pickup.

Monica then (sans helmet) walks through the barrier on her own instead. Because, as the voiceover helpfully informs us, she’s is the most powerful person they know. Also, her eyes have turned blue and she’s seeing energy fields. She ditches her suit (AFTER ALL THE TIME THEY SPENT CLICK-CLACKING YOU INTO IT, THAT WAS KIND OF FAST) and takes off running. I’d also like to point out two things at this point: a) her under-suit is bicolored, kinda like a superhero costume (hmmmmmmmmm), b) it’s not really a flattering costume.

We cut back to Vision and Darcy. Darcy is providing unhelpful and unusuable exposition regarding Vision’s death. They keep running into random red lights, road crews, etc. Vision tells the audience he feels Wanda is trying to keep him away from home….and he’s not amused. You keep that spine, boy. It’s all that you’ve got going for you.

Vision wants to know what he is now, after his physical body was killed. Darcy, being a scientist with a STEM degree and lots of important, plot-relevant science skills, provides a very unhelpful affirmation of their love storyline. And Vision finally, also, breaks with the TV-style plot and decides to head out on his own, to go do what needs to be done.

Monica crashes into the WandaVision residence and immediately gets ejected….except that Monica manages to get through to Wanda that it is HAYWARD’s fault, HAYWARD has done this, HAYWARD has manipulated her into becoming THE VILLAIN, HAYWARD is going to burn down the town, ARE YOU READING ME WANDA, THIS IS HAYWARD’S FAULT OVER.

I can’t do this anymore. That’s it. I’m done with this show.

Anyhow, yeah, Agatha Harkness. Whatever.

The Last Jedi – With My Mother (repost review)

VERY LONG POST WITH MANY IMAGES BELOW. If you stick around long enough you’ll spot the exact moment I lost the will to live…

“What’s this? Who is this?”

“What’s he talking about?”

“Stop. Stop. What is going on?”
“Yknow I promised I wouldn’t say anything.”
“Don’t do that, I want to know what’s happening! What’s happening?…He came to destroy the ship? The big ship? He thinks he can? How?”
“This is Star Wars. A tiny little ship is much more powerful than a big ship.”
“It is?”
“It is in this movie.”
“…what about the Armada! Heh heh!”
[The Mother of Skaith has no idea]

“What’s he supposed to be doing?! The little thing! What IS he doing?…Oh, he’s fixing something?”
“Yes. And then he headbutted it. That fixed it.”

“What’s he trying to do?”
“They’re going to bomb them now.”

“The dreadnaught is their big ship?”
“Are they on that ship?”
“Are they on that ship that they’re targeting?”
“Are who on that ship?”
“The people.”
“What people…?”

“What? What’d she do? Is she a traitor?”
“What is she doing!? What’s happening RIDERS!”
[Bujold Did It Better]

“What’s going on? What’s she doing?”
“Ok. Remember the remote control? I explained about the remote control? She fell down the ladder and it’s at the top of the ladder and she’s lying there kicking it to drop it down and get to push the button instead of GETTING BACK UP THE LADDER TO PUSH IT.”

“…maybe she couldn’t get to it.”
“Ok, ok, ok.”

“Why are you looking at me? I know him. I saw this in the last one. What!”
“Did you see it?”
“See what? He took it and left.”
“Oh, you didn’t see it. Let me rewind it.”
“I’m looking….I’m looking….he threw it away! What? I just saw it! Why would he do that?”

“Who do the other houses belong to?”
“….they’re fish nuns who….they’re fish nuns.”

“Oh, and those are the porgs!…you don’t care.”
“They look like li’l birds to me.”

“Doesn’t it look like he’s wearing a bathrobe?” [It really does, though. That’s the same knot I tie on mine.]
“Yeah. I don’t like to look at him though.”
“Oh, did you know that the guy playing him played Gollum?”
“…Gollum was a little thing.”
“No, but he did the motions for the CGI.”
[unimpressed] “Oh.”

“Stop looking at me. Watch the movie.”

“What’s this? Same girl? And she’s just following him?

“What is that?…Oh gross!”

“…Don’t look at me.”

“What’s that? He don’t know either?”
“Do you remember the part in Empire Strikes Back where Luke is being trained and he goes into the cave and he sees Darth Vader in the cave and he fights him and it’s the darkness in himself?”
“I think so.”
“This is the same thing. Only she’s going to see more of herself than he does because she’s special.”

“…what is the boy going to do? The evil boy…Kylo Ren.”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you not know?”

“Is he trying to redeem himself?”
“What’s he trying to do?”
“He’s trying to kill his mother.”
“He wants to be evil.”
“He’s already evil!”
“According to his master, he’s not evil enough.”

“What is this boy’s name?”

“Does he kill her?”
“Oh, just watch.”
“He kills her?…She didn’t die? What? I don’t understand! I thought the thing was blown up? She’s coming back to life?”
“Oh, she’s flying into the burned-up ship…do not look at me, please.”

“He come there to kill her himself?”

[Admiral PurpleHair]

“Is that the sort of thing you do to your subordinate? Is it? Is it? IS IT?”
“To that sort of subordinate!”
“To just mock and harangue him?”
“She told him to follow orders.”
“What orders? She had no orders. Do you do that to your subordinates? To anyone! Anyone! In front of everyone!”
“There were no other people around.”
“They were right in the middle of everyone! That is not the thing to do!”
“Watch the movie.”

“She looks like she’s not a—she looks like she’s not loyal, anyway.”
“She’s a hero.”
“…She’s a hero.”

“He isn’t a part of the army! She can’t do that!”
“She’s just doing what she thinks—“
“She doesn’t have any reason to do this!”
“It’s just a movie.”
“She’s in the rest of the movie, too. She’s in the rest of the movie…..oh God…I didn’t actually watch it past the sea cow milk part, I…I…I didn’t know it was this bad…”

[insultingly stupid, insultingly condescending, insultingly awful scene of the insultingly horrible message from the pseudo-Yoda goggle alien woman. Why is this scene so stupid? Why? Is it because it’s an infodump used to obviously set up a new plot point? Is it because it has no connection to anything else other than to contrive a new situation? Is it because it uses the stupid and egregious modern cliché of tee-hee, enemies so silly, I talk to you while I deal with them with one hand? Is it because she does backflips while remaining in range of the camera? Is it because it brings up and dismisses past characters in a contrived fashion? Is it because it makes people want to gouge their own eyes out? IS IT A PLAN BY DISNEY TO FORCE PEOPLE TO BUY THOSE STUPID GOGGLES IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEIR EYES FROM THIS HORRIBLE FATE? IS IT? IS IT? IS IT?]

“Ha! Who’s the master codebreaker? Is it Luke?”
“Well, who is it? Is it Rey?”
“It’s no one.”
“It can’t be no one. Who is it?”
“It’s a guy they pick up in jail after going to the place and getting thrown in jail.”
“It has to be someone she’s talking about. He’s someone important. You’ll see.”
[The Mother of Skaith has never heard of clever filmmakers subverting audience expectations. Oh, just you wait.]

“He came? He’s there?”
“No. They have a Force link.”



“Stop it. I didn’t hear what she said. He put himself away from the Force?”
“He said, he’s only felt this kind of power before—because these people are more powerful than him, or Darth Vader, or Anakin, anyone else, because they’re new people, they’re more powerful than he’s ever felt before.”
“Yes, yes, after that. What did he say at the end?”
“He’s only felt this kind of raw power once before with Ben. The evil boy. Kylo Ren.”

“She lyin’?”

“The worst people. See? You get it? You get it? You get it? You get it? Because they’re rich. You get it yet?”
“See? He’s complaining about traffic. Because he’s rich. You got it yet?”
“Just play the movie.”

“See, see, they’re bad people. Because they’re beating up the dog-ponies. And the little slave boys.”
[This scene is SO ON THE NOSE IT HURTS.]
“They are bad people because they sell weapons! Not because they are rich!”
“Y’know…why does it have to be weapons? Weapons are good! Guns are good! They shouldn’t be—you know what, why isn’t Finn and them there buying weapons themselves?”
“Why are you shouting?”
“They should be buying weapons! Even from the rich evil weapons dealers. Because they’re down to one ship and they lost all their bombers, they should be buying new ships. Why aren’t they buying new ships! That actually makes sense!”
“You are shouting for no reason.”
“They should be buying new ships.”
“Be quiet!”

“Why does he have to have his head covered all the time?”

“He’s lying.”
“He is?”
“Yeah, he’s lying.”

“That’s a good line, there. ‘You didn’t fail Kylo, Kylo failed you. And I won’t.’”

“I told you, she don’t know what she’s doing. She looks like she’s a traitor.”
“Oh, she’s not a traitor, she’s a hero.”
She’s a hero.
“She doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

“See, this is the guy. They get him instead of the master code breaker. Because they don’t need a master code breaker, they can just use a guy th…”
[I FUCKING GIVE UP. Why. Why. Why. Why. Redrum REDRUM REDRUM.]

“It’s a cowsheep?”
“It’s a ponydog.”
“Looks like a cowsheep.”
“It’s got pony ears.”

“Why is the child there?”

[Then they stampede the kangaroopigcows through the casino. This scene is so egregious even the Mother of Skaith wondered what was up.]

“Where are they going?”
“They’re goi…they’…they….they’re going to run into a ship. It’s going to be sitting there with the ramp down and they’re going to run right up it.”

“Oh, what happened? What did she do to the animal?”
“She took its saddle off.”
“And then she said, now it’s worth it? Now that is too much….”


“I don’t believe that. What? How? How could that be? That would make Luke evil!”

“Why is she listening to him, anyway?”
“Because he didn’t have a shirt on.”
[The Mother of Skaith: eyerolls]

“Don’t shake his hand….he might squeeze it. This boy squeezed my hand the other day and I’m not shaking hands any more.”

“ ‘Did you’—what?”
“Create Kylo Ren.”
“What? How? How could Luke Skywalker create Kylo Ren?”
“Because he snuck into his room and tried to murder him with a lightsaber.”
“But why would Luke do that? That don’t make no sense.”

“…his master didn’t fail him? How could he…”

“Uh uh! Lookie here! Look at that!”

[“At least you’re stealing from the bad guys and helping the good.” Well, at least Finn isn’t, like, losing any IQ points to make him say things like this. He’s been this stupid the entire movie.]

“Tell me she’s not a traitor.”
“She’s a hero.”
“I didn’t ask you that.”
“She’s a hero….she’s a hero.”

[Yeah, perfect. Tell him that, Chewie. What have they done to you, Chewie?]

[The master code breaker hacks by typing really really fast and has little code beads in his sleeves. I wrote this same exact fucking scene when i was ten years old and hacking was this mystical thing smart people (who were also criminals) did. I was not at the time, a professional scriptwriter employed by a major motion picture studio.]

“Where is she going? Back to their base?”
“No, she’s going to go turn Kylo back to the Light Side.”
“Are you serious?”

“Now what’s happening?”
“Ok, they went and got the master code breaker–”
“I know that, what’s happening?”
“Ok, so they got those uniforms from…somewhere—and they put a garbage can over the little rolly robot so it only looks like a garbage can, except that the evil little robot over there is going to spot them.”

“What’d he say?”
“He said she’ll turn.”
“What? She’ll turn? Will she turn?”
“No. Of course not.”
“So he’s lying. Or he thinks he’s lying.”

“He saw who her parents were?”

“Sooo, how did he capture her?”
“She went to him. She had Chewie launch her in the escape pod and she went to him.”
“Because she thinks she can turn him.”
“She have sense?”
“She’s a heroine.”
“All by herself she had this idea?”
“She’s a STUPID heroine.”

“Why did he go with them in the first place? How did they find him? He was in a bar or something, wasn’t he?”
“He was in jail.”
“Why was he in jail?”
“They didn’t ask.”
“But why was he in jail after all, the First Order put him in jail. OR he was a plant or something.”
“They didn’t ask! We never find out.”
“There has to be a reason.”
“There isn’t a reason.”
“There has to be a reason. You just watch it and you’ll find out.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Ok, so, you see, Mom, the people who made this movie did this on purpose. They want to do things that are unexpected, like, unexpected, and this is one of them.”
“No. That is not what you do. Even if it is unexpected, it still has to make sense.”
“That’s one of your expectations that they were subverting.”
“…it has to make sense.”

“Why’d she do that! She not have any sense either?”
“Oh, that’s another thing they want to subvert.”

“She really looks old. Older than her mother.”
“Cocaine is really bad for you.”

“Why don’t they call him Luke? They should say Luke, not just Skywalker.”

“Waitaminute, wait, hang on, where did the fire come from? Wait, wait, wait, I’m going back to find out where the fire came from.”
“All that sparking. All that sparking, something caught on fire.”
“Oh, there it is. See, there.”
“But wait, wait, wait, why is the wall made out of cloth? Look, you can see where it connects to the floor!”
“Stop shouting.”
“I’m not shouting. Why is the wall made out of cloth? Just one layer of cloth? What?”

“You know, he was right, she still had a stupid idea with the transports, that they would not be safe. The place may be safe but it’s not safe.”

“The place is falling appart.”
“Yeah, but that’s because it’s made out of cloth.”

“Quick, turn around, the other guy’s dying!”

“Tell her to give him the thing, the saber, and she can go. He can stay there.”

“Can those transports do diving, you know, like the ships do? They just go straight?”

“What’s she going to do?”

“Ok, what is she doing? Is she being…is she just…”

“Ahhh! Give her the thing, boy! Come on! Oh, they’re fighting for it.”

“Who is this woman? Who is this woman?”
“She’s the female stormtrooper leader.”
“Oh, there’s a female stormtrooper leader. Ok.”

“What’s she doing?”

“She’s going to crash into the big ship.”
“Oh, ok.”

“Who’s that?”
“The same female stormtrooper leader.”

“What is this? Ahaha! It’s the little thingy!”

“So what happened with the two of them? I don’t understand what happened with them with the lightsaber. Why did he want it?”
“…I dunno. Just cause she was trying to grab it back, maybe.”
[Why did Kylo want the saber? Shouldn’t he be letting the past die?]

“What’d he say?”
“The Supreme Leader is dead, Long Live the Supreme Leader.”

[The reason that you do not generally send women, especially pregnant or elderly ones, into battle. 1) if you send a pregnant woman out, she will be physically unfit for the duty. 2), if you lose her, you also lose the baby. And no one wants to lose babies. If you send an elderly woman out, she will be generally physically unfit for the duty, and it also looks bloody stupid. Poor Carrie Fisher was obviously having trouble moving in that ball gown.]

“He…petted it. Did you see that? He was petting it.”

“What cannon?”
“The battering-ram cannon.”
“I didn’t see the canon.”
“They haven’t brought it out yet.”

“What’d he say?”
“He said, all fighters go after the Falcon. Which is really stupid because then they…arrrghhhhh.”

“He gonna die?’
“Oh, watch this.”
“What’s he doing?”
“He’s going to dive right into the middle of it and blow it up.”
“Blow what up, the thing?”

“What happened there? What happened there? What happened there? Somebody knocked him out before he hit it? She did? Did she die? Did she die?”
“We’re not sure. She might be back for the sequel.”

“Noo, they just don’t trust you anymore.”

“What is that, who? Luke? Where’d he come out of? Out of thin air?”

“What’s this?”
“The stupid girl.”
“What girl?”
“The girl that knocked him aside.”

[And if your membership is majority female, but your leadership is a charismatic male, to whom, even better/worse, your wise aged female specifically cedes leadership…what does that say?]

“What did she say?”
“Lifting rocks.”
“What’s lifting rocks?”
“She’s going to go lift the rocks.”
“So they can get away?”

[Why couldn’t this scene have been awesome? It could have been awesome. Damn you Hollywood.]

“What? What’s happening there?”
“He’s not really there.”
“What. How could he not be there?”

“Who is this child? Who is this child?”

“It’s to show that their story has spread and they are an inspiration to the masses, but only the lowest of the low. Everyone else can just buzz off and die.”
[…come to think of it, it’s a pretty damn direct communist parallel, there. THE OPPRESSED MASSES versus THE DECADENT ELITE. God damn you, Hollywood.]

“Oh, so what is your overall opinion of the movie?”
“There is this new Avengers movie. Wakanda. Everyone’s talking about it on Facebook. They say we’re going to Wakanda.”
“Yeah, good riddance to them. But this movie, what did you think of it?”
“I want to see the new Avengers movie. Wakanda. Or Thor. Is there a new Thor movie?”

Urban Demolition Watchlist

Agent of Chaos – Norman Spinrad
Unreadable tripe. I feel slightly bad about leaving my review of this book at those two words. What if the author is still alive or has lawyers who are? What if someone, somewhere, is Googling this book in desperate search of an overview of its contents, its plot, it’s theme? (Highly unlikely, unless this is somehow on a required reading list somewhere on Earth). What if someone has completed it and is searching for informed analyses and opinions? What if The World Needs My Elucidation on this book?
Rated: It’s unreadable tripe.

A Special Lady – 201?
It’s a gangster movie where the boss is trying to go clean for the sake of his son inheriting the business, whilst his business rivals are hard at work to prevent this at all levels of the enterprise (so to speak), and his dirty-jobs man resents the fact that he’s no longer invited to the boss’s parties, not to mention that some snotty teenager is going to get all the benefit of his hard work. The protagonist, however, is the organization’s third ranker, the Madam and head of a sexpionage business–and also the kid’s mother. And there’s a corrupt DA who starts off being blackmailed by the, uh, heroine, but who turns the tables and manages to bring down an entire criminal organization without once acting like a good or even halfway decent guy, which takes some doing.
And there’s a storming-the-building scene carried out with a double-barreled shotgun, which is kind of a first. Most heroes who storm the building have sense enough to carry guns that fire more than two shots at a time. There is also a fight scene with a power saw–which, quibbles aside, actually could have worked very well as an action scene if it had been a one-on-one or one-on-a-couple instead of a one-against-many. Koreans just don’t seem to be able to do action scenes very well, at least in comparison to the Hong Kong or Chinese movies of similar stature.
The performances are good and the story is largely solid, if you overlook the main antagonists having fairly weak overall motivations. And everybody is quite good-looking, which is one of the nicer things about Asian cinema. If you’re going to be watching people for an hour or two, they might as well be pleasant to look at.
Rated: No one likes it when mom and dad are fighting, especially when shotguns are involved.

Ulysses – 1954 version with Kirk Douglas
It’s not very good either, unfortunately. Sword-and-sandals movies either have to be exquisitely well-made and outside-the-bounds epic, or complete cheeseball camp; there’s really no in-between. This one lacked the budget and execution to make it an epic, and it took itself far too seriously (not to mention, wasn’t poorly dubbed over a bunch of Italian actors) to be campy fun.
Rated: The 1990s TV version was somehow much better.

The Assassin – 2015
Artsy. Boring.

Assassins – 1995
So if you like crazy-eyed villains with Latin accents, short heroes who slur, and red-headed heroines with cats, lots of gunplay, and the classic a&b stories of: hitmen who are trying to retire but find that the organization is now out to get them and the young second-best gun wants to be the first-best gun, give it a look-see. This movie might have no intelligence, but it also has no condescension, no insults for the audience, and solid filmmaking.
Rated: ai yi yi

The Specialist – 1994
It’s got revenge and big booms, no, no, easy there, I mean explosions. No, no, put down that rolled up newspaper, please, we’re civilized people here? I mean explosive explosions. But yes, we’ve got Sharon Stone and we’ve paid for the second-tier package that includes Sharon Stone’s legs and Sharon Stone’s boobs. Well, okay, it was the cut-rate package, so it’s only a little of her boobs. But we put in extra legs to make up for it. Look, fishnets! Are you not entertained? OK, ok, fine, fine, fine. We’ve also got the full Stallone package. No, no, no, not like that, it’s rated R, not X. Technically we’ve got everthing except the full Stallone package, haha, PUT THE ROLLED UP NEWSPAPER DOWN PLEASE.
Rated: BOOM

Tango & Cash – 199?
Okay, fine, fine, no problem. We can take HER shirt off, too.

Artemis Fowl 2020: Movie Reaction (yeah, no. it sucks.)





Having a reporter describe himself and the multiple voiceovers we are getting as “a media frenzy” is really lazy.

OH HEY I KNOW THAT PLACE, it’s that sea…nation…station place thingy. It also has nothing to do with MI6, since it’s privately owned. See, I knew that.

McGuffin interrogation. Mcguffin interrogation. Mcguffin. Mcguffin. Mcguffin. To be honest, I’m also listening to music and surfing reddit, so the dialogue isn’t bothering me as much as it might, which it would, because it’s also lazy and boring.

Fundamentally changing your main character in the first scene he’s in isn’t necessarily a bad sign, right? (the casting director’s name popped up over the surfing scene. Coincidentally, I’m sure.)

The voiceover describing Artemis might have worked, if it was then competently followed up by a scene in which Artemis, for example, showcased his ruthlessness, criminal chops, and intelligence in a plot-relevant way. Such as forcing a fairy into betraying sacred secrets for his own benefit. Instead…ARTEMIS ANALYZES HIS THERAPIST’S CHAIR AND DEDUCES IT IS A FAKE.

Oh, and Artemis’s mother is dead. You know, Artemis’ mother, who is an important and highly sympathetic character in the book who provides Artemis with his first shot at redemption and morality. I mean, seriously!

OH THIS PAINFUL. This is painful. It really hurts. It’s only been about ten minutes, too.


Butler. Why. WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????????????????????? OK. OK. Break it down.
1) Racebending. He’s Eurasian and lives in Ireland. Eh, I always had Dwayne Johnson in my head. A black guy could do it, sure, if he looked the part.
2) But here’s the actual disrespect. I mean: why just casually completely reverse the way the character is named and referred to? In the book, Butler is Butler. We only find out his first name in the third book when he’s at the point of dying and wants to say goodbye to Artemis. Here, it’s “Don’t call him Butler, call him Dom. Or Domovoi. If you call him Butler, he’ll snap you in half.” Why? It’s just such a small thing, just…why? WHY?!!?!?!?
3) Anyhow, he doesn’t look the part. Butler should have a sculpted, lean but powerful build. Like, uh, Dwayne Johnson. Instead, he’s bulky and, frankly, looks slow and heavy.
4) The white hair plus blue eyes just looks dumb.
5) Butler gives Artemis orders. NO.

ARTEMIS SCREAMING THAT HIS FATHER IS NOT A CRIMINAL?! Artemis Fowl. Artemis Fowl of the Irish criminal dynasty whose fortunes were reduced by their run-in with the Russian Mafia. Artemis Fowl of the kidnapping fairies for ransom fame.

Butler introduces Artemis to the supernatural/relics. Together with some of the most on-the-nose expository dialogue I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear, not to mention Artemis’ instant emotional 180. Man, that was poorly-done.

Oh, wait, there’s more of that Mulch Diggums narration.

Mulch Diggums is a giant dwarf. ?! !? !! ?? No, literally. He says, he is a “GIANT DWARF.” Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

He’s a giant dwarf who tries to be humorous but really, really, really, REALLY REALLY REALLY ISN’T.

I’ll admit it. I’m skipping pretty hard at this point.

Judi Dench. Well, ok, I’ll be honest here. She’s doing her Judi Dench best and it could have worked decently. The problem is the movie, the script, the situations, and the characters.

Is that supposed to be Juliet? So you took a quirky, amusing character with a distinctive personality and made her…non-distinct, non-amusing, personality-less…and black with poofy hair. Why? I mean, it’s hard to come up with interesting characters BUT ALL THE WORK WAS ALREADY DONE FOR YOU! I MEAN, SERIOUSLY!

Foaly. WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY FOALY? Why does he look totally and utterly…gay? He shouldn’t look gay. He should look like a nerd. He should look like a four-legged underwear-wearing basement dweller who drinks Mountain Dew and eats Doritos, only he’s in a superhyperultrafuturistic computer den instead surrounded by serious professionals. He’s wearing a skirt!? He’s got long hair and a side cut? Why isn’t he wearing his tinfoil hat? Where’s his personality?
NO. OW. OW. Owhhhhowhow.
OK, that’s it. That’s seriously it. I officially cannot stand this any more. Ow.


a woobie will not suffice

“So they just had a leak of the possible plot for the new Star Wars movie.”
“I do not want to hear about new Star Wars movies. Star Wars is dead to me.”
“They’re not sure it’s entirely true, of course, but there were leaks like it just before the other movies and they turned out to be true, too.”
“Not interested!”
“Everybody’s reacting the same way, anyhow. Except the people who didn’t like The Last Jedi. They’re just pointing and laughing.”
“Why do you have to ruin my whole evening?”
“It ruined MY evening when I heard about it and now I have to share the pain.”
“…You really don’t.”
“Palpatine is coming back.”
“And Rey is his granddaughter.”
“And Kylo is trying to get ahold of her so he can make the we can rule together pitch. Again. Except that she beats him. Again.”
“But that’s just like The Return of the Jedi! How many times–no, wait, Palpatine? The old Emperor?! He’s dead! They killed him! Why is he coming back?!”
“Oh, he’s been hanging out in the Unknown Regions and he has AN ENTIRE GIANT FLEET OF STAR DESTROYERS WITH DEATH STAR LASERS MOUNTED ON THEM.”
“No. No, I just do not believe you. Ok?”
“It’s in the trailer.”
“Oh, and all of the Skywalkers die, and Rey inherits everybody’s lightsabers and puts them together to make a NEW lightsaber, and it’s GOLDEN.”
“You know, this doesn’t bother me. I don’t care about any Star Wars movies that George Lucas and his people didn’t make. Why do you torture yourself like this? Let it go.”
“My hate keeps me warm!”
“Get a blanket.”