The GardenDespatches from The Satyrs’ Forest

Stuff i watched recently, Maypril edition

A montage of the undermentioned films
  • Tombstone (1993). I have this pathological aversion to westerns, so i wasn’t expecting much — but once i turned off the part of me that was waiting for Richard Pryor to show up i realised that this the “’em” in “they just don’t make ’em like they used ta”: just a solid, well-made flick, regardless of my thoughts on the genre! I cried manly man tears at the end. 7/10.

  • The Thirteenth Floor, everyone’s fourth favourite film about a simulated world from 1999. I found it surprisingly interesting whenever it didn’t remind me too much of The Matrix, and a bit pathetic whenever it did. (Don’t try to do action, simulated world movie from 1999. You’ll never measure up.) 6/10.

    As a bonus, since nobody cares about this movie, you can just watch it on Youtube if you want.

  • Little Shop of Horors (1986). My pick for family movie night. Utterly charming from leaf to toe — the best example since Gremlins 2 of a film where you can see the craft that went into making every frame. Incredible effects, wonderful music, magnetic comedic performances from the whole cast… 10/10!

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), the impromptu double feature to the above. My brain has been completely frazzled by watching this. I went from loving it to hating it to complete bafflement to examining it like a scientist would a new species of frog. This film may very well have invented homosexuality. Defies numerical rating/10.

  • Late Night with the Devil (2023). Always nice to see David Dastmalchian, even if it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before — 6/10.

  • The Fall Guy (2024). Ryan Gosling’s a brilliant comedic actor, but him and some great setpieces struggle to save this film from a shoddy script and baffling editing choices. The jokes aren’t funny, the dialogue scenes linger for far too long, half the stuff from the trailer is gone from the movie… the whole thing desperately needs a trimming down to a tight ninety minutes. 4/10.

  • Eurovision 2024. Bullet-pointed, as per tradition:
    • I went in totally blind this year, having missed the semi-finals while building a new PC. Oops!
    • Sweden appear to have trapped the Backstreet Boys in the Matrix.
    • There is no country named the Netherlands and never has been. Doesn’t exist. Not real. We begin bombing in five minutes.
    • Big fan of Spain’s bizarre campy cougar energy, even if the audience and juries weren’t!
    • Estonia are frankly embarrassing.
    • Completely maxed out my scorecard for Ireland, who have sent in Xanthe-bait of the highest order. Yes… hahaha… yes!!!
    • Greece’s song is the most annoying thing since Crazy Frog and it baffles me how highly it scored.
    • I think the UK is just cursed at this point. We send a legitimate star with the world’s gayest performance (admittedly more in the “getting sucked off in a dingy bathroom” way than the “campy drag queen” way) and not a single point from the audience?
    • God bless Finland. I usually hate it when acts try deliberately to be funny but i died laughing at a pantsless man in a censored Windows 95 T-shirt emerging from an egg while pyrotechnics go off.
    • Switzerland have taken Sam Ryder’s mantle as this year’s designated golden retriever… a great performance from someone who’s clearly happy beyond words to be there. A deserving winner if there ever was one.
    • Croatia’s catchy pirate dance is great but i cannot forgive that abominable stage name. I don’t care how many records you sell; there is no excuse to call yourself Baby Lasagna. Go back to the drawing board. Now.
  • T2 Trainspotting (2017). Mama’s pick for family movie night. I wasn’t so hot on the idea going in… and then it was, to my surprise, pretty great! It uses the idea of the legacy sequel to its advantage — it’s a film about nostalgia, the good and bad of it all. It really does feel like you’re catching up with these characters twenty years later, all wondering where their lives have gone. Some beautiful shots, too — a film from 2017 that bothered hiring a gaffer?? What a concept! 8/10.

  • 127 Hours (2010), continuing the Danny Boyle theme. Probably the best film a film about a guy whose hand is stuck next to a rock could ever be, it convinced me of the occasional merit of a good biopic over a documentary — this would not and could not work if you only had access to the original crummy camera footage and talking-head interviews. Also perhaps the only movie in history to contain an inflatable Scooby-Doo jumpscare. I was going to give it an 8, but then they played Sigur Rós in the triumphant ending scene, so sod it, it’s a 9/10.

  • Chris Chibnall is dead and Doctor Who is alive! I thought Ncuti Gatwa was playing the role too young at first, but the season proper has me totally convinced. His Doctor, the first Doctor to Fuck™, has this infectious energy and zest for life that’s totally new to the character, and a great rapoport with his companion — even when the new series is bad, it’s unhinged in a fun way, rather than the forgettable doldrums of the Chibnall era.

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