“You like Pi? Stop being IRRATIONAL. HAW HAW HAW!”

Put down that electric drill, because Pi is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the poster or the movie title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean “Hollywood” Hunting.

Review in a Nutshell:  A harrowing tale of mathematics and madness, Pi juggles such diverse elements as cyberpunk and Jewish mysticism to make a taut psychological thriller.

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20 Responses

  1. After listening to this episode, i really should see this movie.

  2. I don’t think Paul ever talked about what he thought about Black Swan. I’d be interested to know because it was my favorite movie of 2010.

    Just FYI: In Salvador Dali’s work, ants represent death.

  3. I haven’t seen The Black Swan. It’s not the kind of film that generally interests me.

  4. It is funny, Gooberzilla views The Wrestler the same way that I view Requiem. Drug addicts, things go bad…shocker >_>

  5. Pi = Tetsou: The Iron Man + math

  6. The Wrestler made me want to kill myself it was so horribly depressing. I’m sure the fact that I was pregnant at the time and dealing with severe fluctuations of emotion didn’t help. I couldn’t even tell you if it was a good movie, I was sobbing uncontrollably by the end and just hoping he would die and on camera and put us both out of our misery…

    Also, I’m not a smart person, so black and white movies about math are also my idea of hell. It’s not so much the black and white, but math is my mortal enemy.

  7. I think The Wrestler is less depressing to me because almost all of the main character’s problems are his own fault. His relationship with his daughter sucks because he abandoned her as a child, because he couldn’t deal with the responsibilities of being a father. His body is broken by years of physical punishment and steroid abuse. The only problem he has that he didn’t create is the fact that he’s getting old, which happens to everybody regardless of their wishes. For me, that’s the kind of tragedy I identify with; the tragedy that comes from routinely making the wrong decisions, from screwing up and not learning your lesson. That’s a very human thing, and one of the reasons why I like The Wrestler even though it’s a bit of a downer.

  8. The soundtrack for this film is awesome.
    Following: $ 5, 000
    Pi: $ 60,000
    Tetsou: around the thousands
    Eraserhead: $10,000

    If done right, the grainy, high contrast black and white does make a micro budget film look amazing. On the microbudget scale, I still prefer 16 mm black and white over digital. At that scale, digital is very cheap looking.

    It will be awesome if they release a microbudget, black and white Batman film to direct to video done by a prominent filmmaker.

  9. To me, The Wrestler is depressing for exactly the reasons you don’t find it depressing Goob. Yeah, alot of this is his fault, but that’s where the tragedy lies. He is reaping what he has sown. The ravages of age he feels are the final part of it all. He didn’t ask to gte old, but he does anyway and its worse because of all the punishment he put his body through. As the ending shows though, he knows of nothing else so he’s content to die on his feet in the ring.

    I actually prefer stuff like the Wrestler and Black Swan to some of Aranovsky’s tripper worl like Pi and the Fountain.

  10. I’m almost convinced youre looking at my netflix queue, everytime I put something on there you end up reviewing it within at least 2 weeks

  11. I heard Black Swan is terrible!

  12. I thought Black Swan was interesting but the ballet stuff was putting me to sleep though. I did get a kick out of Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman. I would drink their bath water if given a chance, hand to god.

  13. I liked Black Swan. The only part I thought didn’t work was the scene with the painting talking to Natalie Portman

  14. I didn’t find the Wrestler that depressing. I liked the choice he made at the end. It fit his character so well. Now, is he technically committing suicide by choosing to wrestle? That I find kind of depressing.

  15. Paul, I’m glad you revised your initial impression about the merit of having a film be so open to interpretation. As an artist myself, I often find that what I create is a means of me working through my own anxieties and struggles. As such, I think it’s narrow minded to ask the artist to always have a finely defined explanation for what is going on. Sometimes we don’t; we’re still trying to work it out for ourselves. And then sometimes we know, but don’t want to force our own perspectives on the viewer, so we leave little bits out for the sake of mystery. Whatever the case may be, I enjoy a film that lets me think for myself and draw my own conclusion, allowing me to be a participant, and also allowing me to reflect on it, such as Pi has done. (I personally get tired of directors who tell me what to think.) So I appreciate that even though the film is in black and white, the meaning isn’t black and white.

  16. Steve,

    Yeah, my real problem is when ambiguity is used as a short-cut to create the illusion of depth without having to go through a lot of real effort in the screenwriting process. It’s clear that’s not what Aronofsky intended here, though, so I had to revise my position and admit I was off base.

  17. Not Pi especially, but I noticed a lot of the older reviews you used to go more in-depth with background info on the movies and weird facts about them, and in the recent ones a larger percentage of the movie is purely what you liked and disliked about them. I’m a long time listener and will keep listening, but I would like some more background on the movies and the making of them if you can. Keep it up! 🙂

  18. Julian,

    I don’t think that’s an accurate assessment of the work that I do here. Please understand, if I can’t find good information about the making of a movie, then I won’t have anything to relay to the audience in that regard. Many interesting films don’t have commentaries or useful background material on their DVDs, or the information about them on user-generated sights like IMDB or Wikipedia is sketchy at best.

    My opinions have always been central to this podcast, from the very first episode about House of 1000 Corpses. If I’m not going to internalize the experience of the film, there’s really no point in me reviewing it. That being said, I think there’s a lot more to the discussion than whether or not I liked something.

  19. It kind of looks like all of Aronofsky’s movies are about people who knowingly destroy themselves in pursuit of their goal. What happens in “pi” is that the guy realizes that self-destruction is his end no matter what, so he chooses a means of destruction that leaves him a chance for happiness afterwards.

    Multiple interpretations: I don’t think this is as possible as you guys say, because the kabbalists say flat-out that the true name of God sums to a 216-digit number, and that if you conduct the “talk to god” ceremony but don’t use the right number then bad stuff happens. I think there’s even a language callback, the kabbalists say something like “chaos will reign” and then later in the movie there’s a newpaper with a headline “chaos reigns”.

    And that leads to…

    X-Files: One thing to remember is that this movie was made right when “The X-Files” was HUGE. You can see its influences here, with the whole secret conspiracy, secret history of the world, the supernatural, “religion is based on truth”, that sort of thing.

  20. A bit of technical film trivia. Reversal film is film that comes out positive when it’s developed whereas normal film is negative from which a film print is made. In my first film classes we shot our films on 16mm reversal. It’s one of the cheaper films that you can buy so part of the reason it was used in Pi was almost certainly financially motivated.

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