Download Film Junk Podcast for Nov. 19th, 2006

On this week’s podcast Chian joins us as we discuss the madness of O.J., The Thing remake and Arnold’s possible reteam with James Cameron. We also count down our top 5 inspirational nerd movies, Sean reviews Casino Royale, and we dissect trailers from The Simpsons Movie, Zodiac and Fred Claus. Download below and seek inner peace my child.

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  • Henrik

    I totally don’t appreciate the Good Will Hunting bashing… First of all, it’s been done. It’s like Good Will Hunting is the new Titanic when it comes to smarmy jokes. Second of all, it’s a fucking great movie.

    It’s probably one of the most believeable love stories I have ever seen, and the father/son stuff is pulled off very well. It reminded of things like Platoon in that it is a story about a boy born by two fathers, coming to terms with himself etc. It sounds corny as fuck – hence all the smarmy jokes – but it’s a great movie. And Matt Damon isn’t really a nerd in it. Last week you applauded something for portraying nerds not as complete stereotypes, and this week you bash Good Will Hunting. Geez.

  • Who’s bashing? It was #3 on my top 5 list, I didn’t name it just to get a laugh. It is an awesome movie.

  • Henrik

    Hm. I guess it was just the… Matt Damon plays a nerd and this movie made me tear up… Jeg seemed a little smarmy is all.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m a little defensive on the movie.

  • Goon

    i’m one of the Bad Santa haters. Really, nothing funny happens, to me it really is entirely based on swearing. I loathe it, and I love swearing. Big Lebowski is overuse of swearing done in a funny way, Bad Santa is not.

    the funny thing i noticed from the show though is that sometime ago (i forgot about what movie it was about) you made fun of someone who put “the” in front of a title of a movie that didnt have a “the”.

    as in… “I really liked The Talladega Nights” – well, you did it with Wedding Crashers :P

  • Pwned!

    Bad Santa for me was all about the kid. Billy Bob’s act can get to be a little too much at times, but that kid was freaking awesome.

  • thesnowleopard

    I didn’t like Good Will Hunting at all. In fact it one of the worst movies I have seen. It is just a Hollywood calling card for Matt & Ben. Not a single genuine scene in it. Matt as a maths genius? Please! An utterly contrived, fraudulent movie.

  • Henrik

    Surprise. Another person saying that Good Will Hunting is just a demo reel.

    It’s just such a convincing argument… It has everything to do with the content, the intent and the craftsmanship of the movie. It does not at all ignore everybody involved with the movie, except for those two people.

    I’m glad that you seem to believe that Matt Damon can not be a math genius though. I guess the movie would have been less contrived and fraudulent, if he had worn glasses and been a wimp. Because that’s the real world.

  • thesnowleopard

    Matt & Ben wrote the script and starred in it. They ARE the content. Any filmmaker could have directed this. It is hardly noted for being a Gus Van Sant movie.

    I fully appreciate it is a well-crafted movie, but I just didn’t buy a moment of it. I am surprised you are surprised. I have yet to meet someone who agrees with my opinion.

    Show me a maths genius like Matt Damon and I’ll show you a wimpy Casanova who wears glasses.

  • Henrik

    I don’t agree that any filmmaker could have directed it. For me the strongest part of the movie is the relationship between Matt Damon and Stellan Skarsgard & Robin Williams.
    Stellan Skarsgard gets forgotten alot but I think his performance in the movie is very strong, and his character feels very real. The relationship between him and Matt Damon in the movie reminds me of an “Amadeus”-type of emotional situation. If you begin to think of it, not as a movie written by two hot young actors who won an oscar and went on to become movie stars, it offers alot of things to think about.

    Robin Williams is pretty excellent in it as well. Some of his lines are a little pretentious and reaks of written dialogue, but again I think that there is something there. There is something to it, and I really enjoyed the battle between him and Will, especially in their early scenes. I didn’t think Matt Damon was stereotypical in the movie, to be honest I actually felt it hit pretty close to home.

    Anyway, if you insist on just seeing it as a demo reel, that’s your choice. I really think the movie gets trashed alot because of the actors’ careers, and especially Ben Affleck is pretty universally hated.

    As for your last comment… It’s ridiculous. Math-skill doesn’t require glasses, whereas being a Casanova requires good looks.

  • thesnowleopard

    What I am saying is if you can find a maths genius who has good looks, an easy charm and quit wit, then I will find you a casonova or movie star who is plain, dull and slow-witted. My assertion is that we would both fail. Or it is at least extremely unlikely we would succeed. That is what I meant by my last comment.

    Matt Damon posses all the wrong qualities for the character he is playing so I don’t think it is realistic and so his story of a young math genuis who has lost his way in life doesn’t ring true. Ben, Robin and Stellan are all OK, but it is Will’s story.

    A math genuis doesn’t have to be a wimpy guy with glasses for the film to work for me. I would prefer to see someone like Ryan Gosling in that kind of role.

  • “What I am saying is if you can find a maths genius who has good looks, an easy charm and quit wit, then I will find you a casonova or movie star who is plain, dull and slow-witted. My assertion is that we would both fail.”

    I dont think it would be difficult to find a movie star who is plain, dull and slow-witted. have you ever seen a Kirsten Dunst interview? does Paris Hilton count?

    likewise, i’ve known some genius people who were typically good looking. hell, look up Harvard physicist Lisa Randall. Even now at 44 she’s looking pretty good. You’re judging the movie based on character appareances that are ultimately based on your own prejudices of what smart or dumb people are supposed to look like. Hollywood will always be an exaggeration of what real people look like, but to suggest Matt Damon couldnt be some secret genius with numbers, well thats a pretty shitty excuse.

  • thesnowleopard

    I also said it would be extremely unlikely, therefore not impossible. I am sure there are many exceptions, but stereotypes exist because an essential truth lies within them.

    Of course I am judging the film based on my own experiences and view of the world, what else can I do? But they are not prejudices. We all bring our own values and ideas and preconceptions when we watch a movie.

    I am not saying I am right. It is just my opinion. I still maintain that Matt Damon was miscast in the role. If you disagree, fine, but don’t tell me it’s a “shitty excuse”. I can only record the way a film affected me as honestly as I can.

  • Henrik

    But we are trying to open your eyes, and tell you that if you look around in the real world, sometimes smart people are NOT ugly. Sometimes smart people even go to the gym, not because they feel bad about themselves, but because they know it gives them better odds of having sex with women, and they like sex.

    You are putting the entire movie down, because you don’t think it’s realistic that somebody who doesn’t look like Stephen Hawking is smart in it. And while it’s not exactly a new argument, it’s still a shame.

  • thesnowleopard

    I don’t need an education on the real world. People are complex and come in all shapes and sizes – agreed – but across a whole population we are all grouped into a certain cultural or social niche or “type”, whether we like it or not.

    If someone said to me we are casting for a troubled maths genius, I would not go looking for Matt Damon, any more than I would go looking for Brad Pitt to play a homeless man or Tom Cruise to play a coal miner. Casting is more than just fitting an actor’s ‘look’ to a stereotype. It is about verisimilitude, that is, the appearance of truth that makes a character real.

    It only takes a subtle change in the casting to affect the whole feel of a movie, and for me it made Good Will Hunting seem really phony.

    I do not expect someone who looks like Stephen Hawking to fit this role (and who’s to say he should be categorised as ‘ugly’ anyway?). Like I said before, Ryan Gosling would have worked for me in the role. If you had cast Matt Damon as a ex-drug addict teacher in Half Nelson, I would be making the same criticism.