Judge John Hodgman Episode 74: The Split Screen Decision

Monte Belmonte
John Darnielle

This week, Raj brings a case against his girlfriend Surita. He alleges Surita, a filmmaker and film aficionado, constantly recommends classic and arthouse titles he, a movie layperson, finds horrible. Despite his lack of enjoyment, Surita persists in her artsy suggestions, and Raj is beginning to lose patience – he wants to watch movies and TV shows that entertain, and he claims Surita enjoys and is even inspired by many of his lowbrow suggestions. Is Surita right in her efforts to up Raj’s cultural ante, or should she lose the privilege of calling the shots? Only one man can decide.

Guest bailiff Monte Belmonte from WRSI The River joins us again this week, and special guest John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats sticks around to facilitate the distribution of JUSTICE.



I'd thought of another

I'd thought of another solution to this. It seems like they had a lot of re-watched movies--either he'd choose a movie he'd seen before, or she'd choose one she'd seen before. What if they called a moratorium on that? What if they only watched movies neither of them had seen before, so they get to decide together whether they like it or dislike it?


The outright and repeated dismissal of Crank 2's cinematic merit was somewhat disheartening and a glaring oversight.

Of all the films discussed in this episode it might be the only legitimate avant-garde masterpiece.

I am not joking.


I'm normally in the art house camp, but Crank 2 is a legitimately, 'shockingly' fun movie. Heartily recommended.

I agree!

I'm glad to echo this sentiment. I've heard that Crank was done to make money, and after it did, the filmmakers were told they could do whatever they wanted with Crank 2 -- and they did the craziest junk they could come up with. And it was fantastic. Also, it was scored by Mike Patton, which is always a plus.


From what I understand even the first one was deliberately intended by the people making it (not necessarily the people who paid for it) to be a parody and deconstruction of action films. Every bit of it is deliberately in bad taste, deliberately nonsensical, and deliberately stupid. The whole idea being to highlight just how terrible classic action flicks were, and why they were so much fun anyway.

It is kind of funny that the guy who named it as his favorite movie doesn't seem to realize this while lauding its lack of that sort of self awareness.

Filing Error

Your Honor,

As a former secretary (over 20 years experience) in a variety of fields (including medical, non-profit, insurance, banking, etc.) and as someone who received a perfect 100% on her filing exam (oh, how I wish I were making that up), I feel I must correct your ruling of the docket case regarding filing.

Items should be filed chronologically with most recent items on top. Reasons:

- There are fewer items to look through in order to find a recent item, saving time, and reducing wear and damage to the legacy documents.

- In offices, most filing systems make use of aluminum tabs inside of folders to keep documents neat and to ensure that they do not fall out of the folder when it is being moved. Filing the most recent document on top saves the clerk from removing all of the documents in order to place the newest one in the folder.

While I concede that the casual home office worker may employ the filing system of his or her choice, the petitioner was asking for a global ruling, and I therefore must stand with what has been the standard office procedure for decades, newer items on top.



Filing Error Ire

I must object to Andrea's amicus curae brief on prevailing filing standards. What Andrea accurately describes is an exception to the general rule. The use of metal-tabbed folders requires holes to be punched in some part of the document, usually the top. Where documents are created with such an expectation, the exception to the rule exists.

However, this exception should not inform the general rule that newest documents be filed in the back. The general rule exists so as to guide all those who do not fall within any reasonable exception, such as metal-tabbed folders or cigar boxes being kicked down a well.

May it please the court, oyez, oyez,

Mark...with a K.

JJHo -- Delicatessen

Just when I was thinking the couple should watch Delicatessen together, John D. mentioned Hotel Hell...which apparently has same plot as Delicatessen but is in English (and therefore 100 times less posh than Delicatessen, which is French). I loved this episode.