Catching Up With Hollywood

There’s a guy in Canada who’s never really been exposed to much pop media(movies, music, books). He’s laid up now from a car accident, so he is going through all the culture he missed out on over the years. He started a great blog to review everything as he goes: Some Wonderful Kind of Noise. I suggest starting at the beginning, with his Star Wars posts.

Inspired by him, last week I knocked movies off my to-watch list left and right. It was great. Here’s what I watched:

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Classic character-light fantasy. Ridiculously small amount of dialogue, with the story told through visuals and music. I read somewhere the main character only says five words to his love interest in the whole two-plus hours.

I can’t say this is a mind-blowing film, but I’m glad to have finally seen it.

“Conan! What is best in life?”

“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

Once Upon a Time in the West

Earlier this summer, I watched Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, so now I think I’ve fully rounded out my spaghetti western experience. They were all great, even if this one didn’t have Clint Eastwood chewing a cigar through the whole thing.

The Blues Brothers

How have I gotten to be thirty years old without watching this? I remember my dad renting it once when I was a kid, but he turned it off at the first F-bomb. In any case, the whole film was fantastic. Feels like something that’ll be a personal cult classic, in the same vein as The Jerk. Also, a Pandora station seeded with “The Blues Brothers” is just all kinds of awesome.

In Bruges

Two assassins hiding out in Bruges, Belgium. Incredibly dark comedy, which manages to keep up both the darkness and the humor all through it — mostly avoids First Law of Tragicomedies. Plus you get Voldemort, Professor Moody, and Fleur Delacour.


This is a film about an old car tire named Robert, who wakes up one morning to go on a killing spree. Cue crushed scorpions and exploding rabbits (and people). My first exposure, I think, to absurdist media. Can’t say whether I liked it or not, but it was fascinating either way. Worth watching just for the intro monologue.

Big Trouble in Little China

Kurt Russell is a truck driver who gets involved in fighting an ancient Chinese demigod in San Francisco’s Little China neighborhood. Wuxia-style wire fighting, 80s hair, and effects straight out of Labyrinth or The Princess Bride. What’s not to love?

What movies are on your to-watch list? Any classics you just want to have seen so you can understand references to them? Or just a film someone mentioned on Fallon as inspiring their work?

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