Movie Recommendations and Discussion

Yeah - re: a lot of this stuff, and Amanda’s points, I had my friend with me who’s read all the books, and would tell me things about the Bene Gesserit plan — after the film, when I was asking a few questions.

I wasn’t as bewildered as Amanda felt, but there is stuff that perhaps needs to be elaborated upon more that cannot be perceived by the people making it. I thought that was the fate of the Harry Potter films. Increasingly, they only made sense to people who’d read the books. I hadn’t read a single book and after I saw the fourth film, I had nothing but complaints of the kind Amanda just made about Dune. That drove me to read the books. And I don’t view that as something anyone should do for the films.

Still, look at some really broad points of both the new Dune movies. Why and how do the personal shields work? How and when did that come in? That is just never explained. Ironically, the only place I encountered an explanation (before asking my friend, re: books) is in the crappy mega-prologue of the three hour unnofficial version of Lynch’s Dune, in which a guy with an American sportscaster vibe tells you a mountain of pre-exposition over cartoon stills!



…I have never heard of this. Is it this? It seems to fit the description except, ironically, it says nothing about shields:

I kinda love it though. “Hey guys, we need a picture to illustrate the majesty of the Spacing Guild – one of the most powerful organizations in the universe, made up of hideously-mutated individuals who can use their spice-enhanced cognition to instantly transport great spaceships from one end of the galaxy to another. Remember, we just need a still drawing, so the only limit is your imagination!”

“Great job! OK, now we need one to illustrate how the spice melange is harvested from the surface of Arrakis, always at risk of drawing the attention of an angry sandworm. What have you got?”


That’s the one. That was prepared for a TV syndication and cable showing of the film, put at the head of a longer version of the film with no input from Lynch, who disowned that version.

Yes, looking again, it doesn’t mention shields explicitly, but it does begin with all that history about rebellion against machines and development of the mind which isn’t mentioned in any of the films. And that eventually leads through the shield history. e.g. This info from a Dune fandom wiki: By the time of Muad’dib, when thinking machines had long ceased to be a threat, the shield had been adopted for use in personal defense. These shields were form-fitting energy fields which permitted penetration only by objects that moved below a pre-set velocit…

which in turn explained why everyone’s fighting with knives, which I don’t think I ever questioned in the Lynch film. It was just cool fighting.



I’ve been on a Guy Ritchie rampage recently. We started out with the new series of The Gentlemen on Netflix, which I earlier noted that I considered the first half to be a sit-com style story which, like most of his films, all comes together in the end with a more story-focused, classic series approach.

After that, we went and watched Snatch & Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. I also watched Snatch again yesterday on a whim. To be honest, I think they are my tied second-favourite film ever (first being the Goonies, of course!).

Then we watched the original, movie The Gentlemen, which, confusingly, is also Guy Ritchie. Why call two of your works The Gentlemen, especially considering the nature of both works being similar (but completely different)? Anyway, I thought it was nice, worth watching but not his best. I didn’t mind at all that the start was very slow, because a good amount of stuff was still happening. It just didn’t quite catch my interest as much as the others.

(EDIT: I don’t think this part was necessary. You won’t understand what I mean, but that’s okay.)


Then the picture submitted looks like AI was also told “But also must serve as the concept art for an entrance facade to a low-budget theme park ride based on Dune. Don’t forget a sign in English!”

The second one is also funny that they need to write “spice harvester” on their equipment…lest they…forget what it does? “It can be a cubist building, there’s no such thing as perspective in space!” :rofl:

“Surely, this flag will keep away the sand worms!”


OK I also recently saw Dune 2 in theaters.

Overall I wasn’t particularly moved, but came here to say: I really appreciated the moment during the sequence on Geidi Prime (the whole sequence is shot very low saturation, basically black and white), when they set off the Harkonnen version of fireworks, and they’re sort of like fireworks but they’re these sad, miserable black ink blobs. It struck me as very funny (while in keeping with the Harkonnen characterization). Whoever designed those deserves the visual effects oscar.


(Not a movie but a series on Amazon Prime - but very binge-able as a long movie)

I probably don’t need to recommend Fallout as everyone online is raving about it, but I don’t think they could have done a better job adapting a game to cinematic narrative.

If you’ve been under a radioactive rock, it’s based on the post-apocalyptic RPG game series by Bethesda. It is cartoonishly ultra-violent, darkly hilarious, plot-twisty, extremely character driven, and manages to be both tragic and poignantly-hopeful and inspiring all at once. It’s set as retro-futurism - in the Fallout universe allegedly the explanation is semi-conductors were never invented so you’ve got amazing technology but via vacuum tubes. The social mores never progressed past the 1950s although the war event is set around 2077 - there’s a cheery Leave it to Beaver optimism and '57 Chevy design aesthetic amid the gory hilarious chaos.

Some of the best details are that if you’ve played the game, you can almost tell how each main character is rolled in S.P.E.C.I.A.L. : Lucy is balanced and always takes the [Speech] option in attempt to avoid conflict (often failing hilariously). Maximus took all his points out of Luck and put them into Endurance, and The Ghoul is…well, he took the cannibalism perk and has crazy accuracy.

Some of the ridiculous gore is hand waved in that there are stimpacks that can revive someone from bleeding out to perfectly fine within seconds. The gore is realistic and disturbing, and the ways people deal with it can be even moreso and darkly hilarious, replicating V.A.T.S. slow-motion quasi-turn-based but non-stop combat from the game. The other fun aesthetic is the period music. In the games you could tune in a radio station (which only has access to 50s music that was available at the nuke-point) and many of the battle sequences are set to ironic music - just as in the games where your Pip-Boy radio station would keep playing while you were fighting and slow-motion blood and limbs were flying everywhere.

The show is set in the Fallout universe but is not telling any game story, and the creators of the show and game state the events are canon and they throw a bunch of huge but smart curveballs into the lore if you’ve played the games.

Not for kids or the squeamish, this is fantasy SF with western elements made by the Westworld creators in close conjunction with the game design team. I’ve heard reviews call it “engrossing as Game of Thrones but more fun” and also comparable to the “junk pile futurism” of Star Wars with regard to its universe-building.

A second season is already in production.

I will give one Trigger Warning specifically regarding dogs:

The first minute of episode 2 shows a government lab which is training dogs, and there’s a scene where they are throwing newborn underweight puppies into an incinerator. You see a toss and a flash of fire as the camera pans away but it’s not focused on - you know what’s happening and hear it. This can be skipped if you start episode 2 after the first 40 seconds - you won’t miss anything else plot critical. This is to set up a scene where a scientist rescues one of the underweight dogs and it becomes a principal character in the show as every Fallout game includes a dog companion. This featured dog has hunting instincts and does participate in combat and experiences violence and abuse as does every character, but is always healed and survives as a plot-critical NPC.

There is also a scene where characters pass a vendor with a sign hawking both “dog meat” and “iguana meat” but you only see what is likely cooked iguana on a skewer briefly.

A baby deer also is dragged away as cannon fodder as a prelude to introduce one of the mutated creatures in the show.



I watched The House (2022 Netflix stop-motion film) yesterday. It’s an interesting experience. Essentially, it’s three totally unrelated movies (except for the titular house) with dark or interesting twists. Not a dark comedy, as Netflix says - no humour here.

The first was certainly my favourite. The tension didn’t fully properly build up well, but it was interesting and had some interesting scenes. I liked Thomas’s development and the part with him in the roof. Overall, this part is recommended watching.

The second part was … interesting. To sum it up, very boring and no plot, but saved with an ending that truly made me shiver horribly. Watch if you aren’t afraid of bugs, and if you have a spare 30 minutes and are not impatient. The ending is worth waiting for. Oh, and that really really weird scene … you’ll know what I mean if you’ve watched it.

The third part had beautiful scenery, but otherwise utterly dull and a little annoying. It didn’t work very well and with an unworthy ending. Not worth watching unless you are studying stop-motion cinematography/imagery.

Overall, an interesting experiment that didn’t quite pull it off.


If you’re a fan of stop-motion, watch Mary and Max. I think it is more aligned with the dark comedy you expected from the Netflix film. Regardless, it is excellent.


I just streamed it last night. I didn’t LOVE it-- I felt there were a lot of missed opportunities there, like I kept feeling like we’d encounter more of the red-masked nuns, and see more of the gross and exhausting toil of doing all the work and caring for all the old nuns, and see a little more of the religious fervor one would expect in a convent. And maybe a little more explanation of why they specifically wanted her and why her genetics were so interesting to them. Was this cloning? Why would her karyotype be of interest in that case? Or did they actually want her genetics, in which case how would the resulting baby be Jesus reborn? Or was it the antichrist? Why would that be if they’re using DNA from a nail from the cross? You could’ve driven a train through the scientific plot holes there.

But. Sidney Sweeney was absolutely amazing. And I loved the constant drumbeat of commentary on the grossness of religious control of women’s bodies and voices, and the weird fetishizing of virginal motherhood. Timely. And that ending! Wowza. I imagine that will upset some people.


Thanks for sharing! I’m a bit of a movie buff myself, so I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations. “Triangle” sounds intriguing, especially since you suggest watching it without knowing too much beforehand. I’ll add it to my list! If you’re into horror thrillers, you might also enjoy “The Others” or “Get Out.”


Duuude, Fall Guy is actually super good. It’s a funny spoof that reminds me heavily of the Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The problem is, it could either have been a really good or really really really bad movie, as classic action movies are (I think of The Lost City for the bad side).

Luckily, this one is worth it 1000%!


Watched a couple of movies on the weekend. Obviously late to the discussion with both of these, but I usually ride the movie wave about a year behind. (It’s too expensive to see movies in the theatres these days.)

Oppenheimer - Very well made, but slightly overrated. A shit tonne of two-dimensional characters. It had one gear throughout the entire movie, and tried to keep you on the edge of your seat… but the edge can only support my fat ass comfortably for so long. Apparently, 3 hours is beyond my edge sitting limit. Still, I enjoyed it. However, I don’t know why the director felt the need to show sex scenes in a historical drama. 7/10

The Holdovers - This was a really great drama, with just the right amount of humour. The levity worked perfectly to let the movie breathe. Great dialog. Giamatti was brilliant. It was very endearing and ended on a bittersweet note that’s kind of rare to see in movies. 8/10


I have seen and really liked both of those. The Others is a great modern-ish example of chilly gothic period slow-burn horror without cheap jump scares and a really devious plot. Get Out is an amazing example of contemporary horror that plucks at real world topical anxieties.

I love all of Jordan Peele’s movies: Us is a uniquely weird home-invasion doppelgänger tale, and Nope is a genre-spanning cosmic horror that incorporates some of the best adventure/nature-horror of Jaws and alien invasion movies and westerns with gorgeous IMAX cinematography.


I agree with your views on Oppenheimer. The music was great, the cinematography could be very good at times, but there was so much… nothingness. Cilian Murphy may have been acting the same way as Oppenheimer really did, but it doesn’t look right anyway - a bit too stiff. Robert Downey Jr’s character was really good though.

It also felt like they jumped over the events in Japan without any tact, as if they were unimportant. That may have been purposeful to show he was out of control of the bomb, but what about television? Watching a news reporter talk about the horrors? And then a little too much of the trials…


I really liked Oppenheimer. I wouldn’t go to ‘loved’, but I did think it was terrific, which I can say about films I loved and ones I didn’t. I didn’t find the characters two-dimensional. I thought Cillian was great, and it was certainly a way of him acting I hadn’t seen before without seeming mannered. I don’t remember the sex scenes as much as Florence Pugh sitting around topless, which does speak to the basic quality of taking you out of the movie that certain sex or nude scenes can have.

To me, the boldest and best thing about the film is the approach to editing. Christopher Nolan is doing something I don’t think anybody else is doing, which is beginning the film in exactly the same editing space as the whole film. Normally a film will build up something like this over time, but the cutting forwards and backwards and out and in in time, that’s happening in the first few minutes, is the same editing that’s going on three hours later with roughly the same intensity.

This is kind of unforgiving, but on the other hand, this is where the three hours works. It gives the viewer time to absorb how it’s working. Because honestly, most films that started with as much cutting back and forth as this one, I’d end up saying they were a mess or didn’t need to do that in the first place. So I think the editing is a pretty sophisticated new execution of his much-vaunted obsession with time.

Still, I’m in no hurry to see it again. Three hours.



Hm, my experience of the film overall was, it showed he had a very strange relationship with what he was doing. He loved the details and the physics, but was divorced from the reality, except maybe as a one-line sentence (millions will die) – the sentence horrified him, but it was just a sentence. He never connected to the reality of it. The film’s nature is of his experience, so I think that’s why it doesn’t show the kind of thing you mentioned. Doing so would have meant him connecting with the thing he always avoided.



I adore his… what should I call it… sensibility. His style. I thought Get Out was just about perfect, the end of Us was a train wreck, and I thought Nope was more silly than scary, but all of them have a feel that I love. Great characters, unexpected plot twists, and he gets great actors and gets great performances out of them. I suspect pretty much everybody wants to work with him now. I think his comedy background serves him really well in horror, because of the timing thing they have in common, and because there’s a fine line between the scary and the ridiculous.


Yeah, Nope (ha!) kinda didn’t pull it all together for me, but I loved the lead actor’s super-reticent performance/character.

If you want to see a film Jordan Peele thinks is scary, try Lake Mungo. I watched this a couple of weeks ago (it’s an Australian semi-doco/found footage horror) and it certainly has a chilling feel.



Lake Mungo is very disturbing. Great “docu-horror” which is rare.