It’s Movie Season Shrimp Rolls & Moscow Mules

Movie season was one of my favorite traditions that I was happy to also say a complete goodbye to this year. It’s not that I didn’t love and don’t love going to the movies. I absolutely adore it, it was just the routine and way I was doing it for six summers was starting to feel stale.

Also it’s a pandemic and movie theaters are closed ya dope.

Anyway, last Thursday I settled in to watch The Old Guard and decided to make an approximation of what I’d have eaten before seeing the movie if it had been released in theaters and I’d met up with Kristi and Aless before.

That meant, basic sea food, fries and a simple vodka cocktails.

Shrimp Rolls

1/2 lb Easy Peal Shrimp

1 Cup Vegetable Broth

1 Tbl Mayonaise

1/4 Cup Cole Slaw Mix

Salt, Pepper & Old Bay to Taste

Brioche Hot Dog Roll

1 table spoon butter

Garlic Powder to Taste

Heat the broth to steam the shrimp, I use the instant pot steam setting for 3 minutes, but you can also boil the broth and steam for about 5.

Place the shrimp in the ice bucket to cool down and then peel.

Chop the shrimp into smaller pieces and combine with mayo, slaw mix and spices.

Melt the butter with the garlic and brush onto the roll, toast in toaster oven to medium.

Place shrimp salad on the toasted bun.

Enjoy!

Moscow Mule

1 Shot Vodka

Juice of 1 Lime

1 can or Bottle Ginger Beer

Take a large glass (or a copper mug if you’ve got one, I do not own one…oddly enough) and fill with ice.

Squeeze lime directly into the glass

Add Vodka

Add Ginger beer

The fries on this plate where frozen and baked in the toaster oven for 30 mintues.

Story Time

I mentioned back in Marvel and Margaritas that after we outgrew Lucy’s, Aless and I moved our movie night hangs to PJ Clark’s at Lincoln Center. When Kristi started joining us it made even more sense for us to stay there, Aless heading uptown, Kristi back to Connecticut and me to Jersey.

It shifted the way we ordered too. Seafood sandwiches, and steaks and vodka cocktails replaced the margaritas and tacos and tortas. I actually usually get a martini, and the Moscow Mule is Aless’s go to. But I wasn’t quite feeling up to the martini, which I’m still struggling with (I CANNOT get my vermouth balanced. I’m getting better.)

So on Thursday, I settled in to watch The Old Guard with this very nostalgic meal, and missed my friends but managed to feel normal for a little while, which was nice.

She’s Inside Of It, She Can’t See

Happy Movie Season 2020!

I’m kidding of course. There is no Movie Season 2020, something I decided last year, using Endgame and The Rise Of Skywalker as excellent signs that both big budget cinema and my particular obsession around it were moving on.

Plus I wanted to be more free and thoughtful with what I was reviewing and when. I still planned to go to the movies a whole lot.

Then you know, “The whole situation” (as my repressed preppy family calls it) occurred and I was suddenly really grateful I’d decided not to because it would have been another thing I needed to mourn and get all anxious over.

BUT, this past week, a new comic book movie, The Old Guard dropped on Netflix, so I decided to take Thursday night (my usual movie night), and recreate a home based Movie Season Evening. I made a shrimp roll (recipe will go up on Tuesday) and some moscow mules, and ate them while watching Cracked After Hours (to simulate the pop culture conversations of Aless, Kristi and I at PJ Clarke’s) while I waited for it do get dark outside enough to watch the movie theater style.

The Old Guard is really special. The idea is that some outside force, God maybe? has blessed a group of warriors across time with immortality. The are lead by Andromeda Schythia, played by Charlize Theron with the exact silent badassary she always applies to these roles. Throughout time they’ve fought as mercenaries against injustice.

When they find a new immortal, they also realize their lives are in danger by an evil medical corporation that wants to harness their power. It ends on an excellent sequel set up and I don’t want to spoil too much, because that’s part of the fun. The movie is quieter and more contemplative than I expected, which isn’t to say that the action is fabulous because it is, each set piece is perfect and brutal.

The cast is great, plenty diverse and it was just a whole lot of fun to tune in to a new movie for a change. I’ve been rewatching a lot, and not watching many movies. I miss the movies, but I was able to get something resembling it. I’ve also been doing Drive-In, with the family, which has been a whole different kind of fun. But something new.

They Don’t Care About People Like Me

There’s a moment at the end of Joker where I literally burst into uncontrollable giggles.

I was pretty sure going in I wasn’t going to enjoy the film. I hate when movies feel the need to apologize for what it is. And Joker feels like this Batman fellow sure is ridiculous and we’re sorry we have to reference him at all in this story about a murder clown, but AH, Superhero flicks are the only thing that get greenlighted anymore even though they aren’t real cinema.

Anyway, that moment is during the riot that’s being caused by Arthur Fleck, AKA Joker’s murder of talk show host Murray played by Robert DeNiro, we zoom in on a movie marquee, and it reads simply, “Zorro: The Gay Blade.” I glanced at my friend Margarita who was sitting beside me and we both shrugged and started laughing.

Sure enough, Bruce, Thomas and Martha Wayne emerged from the theater, and are forced by the crowds into an alley. One of the rioters follows them calls them out and shoots. The pearls go flying, Bruce weeps over the bodies of his parents.

Because heaven forbid we don’t see the Wayne’s die a millionth time.

Anyway, that’s just one thing about Joker which is a messy, unfocused, derivative flick, that think it’s deeper than it is, and has some showy acting that’s cool to watch but not enough to make it sing.

Believe the hype about Joaquin Phoenix here, he’s very good. The movie isn’t but his performance is quite impressive, eerie and off putting from jump, not a version of the character I’d ever come back for more from (I prefer my Joker on the zanier side of menacing) but interesting and stunning.

Amusingly the only scenes that I found remotely interesting were the ones that involved Bruce Wayne. Due to some plot stuff that barely matters because this is a garbage movie with a script that makes no sense at all, Arthur becomes convinced that Thomas Wayne is his father. (He also might be? But Unreliable Narrators abound in this flick. And not in a fun interesting Fight Club or Gatsby way.) So he shows up to Stately Wayne Manor, and does clown tricks at a baffled Bruce by the gate. (I think I said out loud, “Why doesn’t Bruce just punch him in the face?”) Eventually Alfred comes out (he is not identified as such, but he is a middle aged British man and protecting Bruce, so you know, Alfred.) and basically tells Fleck to take a hike and also that he’s a deranged weirdo. Arthur doesn’t like that at all, so he later stalks Thomas to a gala fundraiser to watch Modern Times which you should definitely watch instead of this movie because it is excellent. When Arthur confronts him, Thomas punches him in the face, which is of course, the start of a wonderful family tradition. (I don’t know of a specific instance, but I’m sure Damian and Helena have both punched Joker in the face several times.

Anyway, in summary, movie bad, Phoenix, pretty great in it, Batman parts, ridiculously hamfisted and deeply enjoyable if you are like me, and will take your Batman content wherever it is offered. (I was also the only person on planet earth who stopped watching Gotham because, “I would like this show to focus on preteen Bruce Wayne staring into the middle distance.”)

Rankings

  1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. Rocketman
  5. Detective Pikachu
  6. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  7. Downton Abbey
  8. Joker

Trailers:

My disappointment at Birds Of Prey not being here was quite large.

The Rise Of Skywalker: That John Williams music is basically an emotional grenade for me. My God, I can’t believe how soon this is coming up.

Doctor Sleep: I swear I’m going to read and review the book soon. The movie looks excellent though, and I love Ewan.

Richard Jewell: I remember the bombings (We were in Atlanta for the games) but I don’t remember any of this. (Being 9, I didn’t really follow the story, just was glad that my family didn’t get blown up.) This looks interesting though.

 

 

 

Why Do We Go On With It All?

So, I’ve been lax this movie season. But if you thought I wasn’t lazily sauntering towards Downton Abbey think again.

There’s no rush at Downton, where it feels like time has stopped. It’s been two years but nothing much has changed, Anna has a fab new hairdo, Tom’s lost some weight, but Daisy and Andy are still downstairs, Moseley and Shaw are still at vague flirting and Thomas is still cranky and Mary is still running things.

Of course everything gets upended when the King and Queen come to visit, and the usual beats are hit. Edith has a woe is me crisis of a minor personal variety (She’s pregnant! But Bertie is being asked to go on a Colonial Tour with The Prince of Wales to model good family man behavior. Me to my mom, “Well we know that didn’t work.”) Anna gets involved with some criminal activity. (No, Little Johnny Bates is not arrested for murder. More’s the pity. Then at least something would have happened.) Thomas Barrow befriends (and more?) the king’s valet, winds up arrested in a bar raid in York, and Tom and Mary foil a plot to assassinate the king. (Remember early Tom, back when he was joining Sien Fien and burning down Anglo-Irish castles? Now he’s ratting defecting British Intelligence officers out to the crown? The part of me that loves the slow silliness of British period pieces is thrilled, the part of me who’s family left Ireland around the time this particular one is set, uh, finds it hard to stomach.)

There’s plenty of the stuff that made Downton Abbey the show, fun here. (The clothes, Isobel and The Dowager Countess trading barbs, Carson and Mrs. Hughes doing their thing.) There’s just not enough of what made it great. I rewatched the series to get ready for this movie, and while it was always a big glossy soap opera it at least had something of a human heart. That heart is gone here, which makes the whole thing feel shallow and a bit silly.

It’s all damn pretty though. My god, Highclere Castle on the big screen is worth the whole endeavor, followed closely by some of the clothes. (Michelle Dockery dons a red leather coat that’s positively swoon worthy and the gown she wears to the royal ball is worth the price of admission.) But this isn’t a good movie. It wouldn’t even be a particularly good episode of the show. (For God’s sake man, Robert doesn’t even comment about how we’re living in a changing world and old chap, we must change with it! Not ONCE!)

Rankings:

  1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  2. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. Rocketman
  5. Detective Pikachu
  6. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  7. Downton Abbey

Trailers

What the hell is that fireman movie with Jon Cena, Keegan Michael Key and John Leguizamo and some kids? I love those three men and would like a GOOD movie with them please!

Harriet – I look forward to weeping profusely at this, which looks really wonderful. Even if I feel deeply attacked by a movie starring Cynthia Orivo and Leslie Odom Jr. that isn’t a musical.

Last Christmas – Shut up and take my money! Seriously I can’t with how adorable this movie looks. And I agree, she is most definitely going to be dead by the end. Or he’s a ghost or angel. There’s something supernatural going on with that one.

Dark Waters – We’re heading into the Oscar Pursuit Career Stage for Ruffalo and I am HERE.FOR.IT.

Ford V Ferrari – Christian Bale using his real accent! Matt Damon as a scheming smart guy! Race cars! Sciencing the shit out of things! I can’t wait to see this.

 

The Original Gods

I’m in the minority of people who actually really enjoyed Gareth Edward’s Godzilla, it’s not a good movie, but it’s a watchable one and the Godzilla parts are great. The human parts are terrible. Just terrible.

That trend continues in it’s sequel, the deeply silly compulsively fun Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.

Since Godzilla emerged from the sea in 2014, Monarch, the secret military group, has been hunting other “titans,” in hopes of studying and controlling them. Vera Farmiga plays their top scientist who has invented a doohickey that emits sonic freqeuncies that calm the beasts. She’s married to Kyle Chandler who is also a Godzilla scientist. Their son was killed in the 2014 attack and their daughter, Millie Bobby Brown, now follows her mom around learning all about Kaiju.

Charles Dance plays an eco terrorist who wants to destroy human kind with Kaiju, I think? Vera Farmiga’s team is made up of Ken Wattanabe, Bradley Witford, Thomas Middleditch and Zhang Zhiyi. Their military arm includes O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Anthony Ramos. Senator CCH Pounder wants to shut them down.

I am obsessed with this cast and they were in way too much of this movie. This is a movie about Godzilla and King Ghedera fighting. And also Mothra and Rodan fighting. I really don’t care about Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga’s marital problems when there is monster fighting to see.

The monster fighting is glorious. It’s also hella dumb. But in the best way. I haven’t watched Kong: Skull Island, but I understand it’s in the same vein.

Just, like, Americans are bad the people part of Godzilla, maybe we should stop trying and just watch the monsters fight now.

Rankings:

  1. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. Rocketman
  4. Detective Pikachu
  5. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

Trailers:

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: God, it looks good, I’m really really looking forward to it.

The Kitchen: *exhale* I hope they ALL GET ALL THE NOMINATIONS for that movie, it looks spectacular. (And I have every intention of reading the GN)

 

Because I Want To Get Better

Rocketman was billed as “A True Musical Fantasy” in all of it’s marketing. What was not highlighted nearly enough in that was musical. I went in expecting a rock and roll bio pic, in the vein of Ray and Walk The Line and yes, Bohemian Rhapsody. I think most people did.

Rocketman isn’t a rock and roll biopic. Well, technically it is. But it’s mostly a musical. Like a real deal, the characters can’t contain their emotions with dialog so they burst into song musical. It’s a musical that tells the life story of Elton John (well, the first half) with his songs, which is why it’s gotten miscategorized, but from about two minutes in, wehn Elton, in full devil drag, sits in a rehab circle and begins talking about his life, he visualizes preteen Reggie Dwight, and adult Elton and Young Reggie go through a verse of “The Bitch Is Back,” to introduce the stifling middle class suburb where he grew up, I realized, “Ohhhh, this is different.”

It’s different in a way that’s pretty well attuned to my taste. I’m a big Elton John fan, and even at their hackiest I love a rock bio (I think it comes from all those lazy Saturday mornings watching Behind The Music on VH1.) and I of course love musicals. (There were a couple of moments, especially the “Benny And Jets” orgy sequence where I was having trouble not thinking of the Fosse of it all.)

Rocketman is flawed, but even it’s flaws are hugely entertaining. Taran Edgerton is perfect, taking John from a wide eyed wunderkind to a sneering petulant spiraling superstar. It’s a powerhouse performance fueled less by physical resemblance than vocal and pure energy. Richard Madden plays John Reid as a kind of swoony devil on John’s shoulder, but it’s also great, because who could say no to anything let alone rock star decadence, when you have Richard Madden making bedroom eyes at you? (Also, it’s weird that Reid has been played on screen by both Petyr Baelish and Robb Stark in the past 2 years, yeah?) If Reid is John’s devil, then the movie casts Bernie Taupin as the voice of his better angels. Jamie Bell makes Taupin a stalwart figure, really the embodiment of the cinematic cowboys he idolized. It’s telling that the script has Bernie code switch between calling his friend “Reg” and “Elton,” and is the only one to do so. (He’s Reggie to his family for the most part, and Elton to Reid.)

The music numbers really make the whole thing worthwhile. “Honky Cat,” was probably my favorite, for it’s sheer MGM Musical on cocaine audacity, though I mentioned the Fosse feeling of “Benny And The Jets,” and Bernie finally walking away to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” is prettily done as well. I’m listening through the soundtrack now, and I’m not sure many of them work as standalone covers, but that’s not the point. (Also the only bio-pic soundtrack versions that I think do are Walk The Line, because Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were doing something very specific vocally there.)

Memory is also a major theme in this movie, and frankly I could write a whole other review just about the ways it deals with memory. I’m going to be thinking about and talking about this movie a lot I think.

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Rocketman
  3. Detective Pikachu

Trailers

21 Bridges: This movie looks so dumb. If I still had cable I’d probably watch it 1000 times on TNT or whatever.

MIB International: SO SOON.

Yesterday: I can’t wait for this. It really does look wholly delightful.

Downton Abbey: SADHFUIFSHGNIRNBHIVNHGIDLSJLFGHIUFHGNRFJNRI. I am so excited for Downton Abbey. It’s embarrassing. No one should be this excited for the fucking Downton Abbey movie, but I AM. I can live with a disappointing GOT finale, I’ll even survive if The Rise Of Skywalker flounders but if Downton Abbey isn’t FAN FREAKING TASTIC, I will be quite put out, and I may even go to the garden to cry silently and miss the dressing gong.

Your Pikachu Is Very Unusual

Detective Pikachu.jpg

Detective Pikachu is exactly the live action Pokémon movie I wanted when I was twelve.

Ok, back then I thought the Pokémon should be Muppets but otherwise, yeah.

Silly, interesting and surprisingly emotional, with clever use of the characters abilities, the movie really delivers. The character design alone gets this one pushed towards the top of the heap.

But luckily everything is clicking on this movie. The cast is wonderful. Justice Smith is adorable as Tim Goodman, a young man who has to find his missing father in the sprawling experimental Ryme City. (Where humans and Pokemon live together.)

He meets up with Lucy, played by Kathryn Newton, who is a spunky reporter who speaks really fast and has big blue eyes, and blonde high pony and wears rocking blazers. She basically stepped right out of an anime, and I adore her.

The main event though is Detective Pikachu himself, who is voiced delightfully by Ryan Reynolds. The damn thing is just so cute, and Reynolds tempers his usual style a bit to feel into that, and it’s something pretty special.

The mystery of Tim’s missing father is very fun and twisty in a family friendly way, and without spoilers turns out in the most Pokemon way possible. (THE POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THIS MOVIE.)

Truly good family movies are really rare and even more appreciated when they actually show up. This is a truly great family movie, and that’s saying something, this early in the season.

Rankings:

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Detective Pikachu

Trailers:

Blinded By The Light – Hooo, boy, that’s a movie that’s going to make me weep like crazy. I know I’d be pressing my luck trying to get my mother to the movies three times this year. (We’re trying for Rocket Man, I know I’ll get her to Downton Abbey and I think she’ll like this.) But I do think I need to push her on this one.

Angry Birds 2: NOOOOPPPE

Sonic The Hedgehog: I didn’t watch the trailer when it dropped a few weeks ago and everyone freaked. It looks, fine? I mean, kinda ugly and weird, but not like awful. I’m not going to see it.

The Addams Family: I want it to be good. I’m obsessed with the new character design for Wednesday.

My Spy: Is it a requirement for all wrestlers turning actors to make a dopey action comedy where they work with children? Like, when they leave the WWE, do the McMahon’s present them with a script saying that if the movie isn’t made within 5 years their souls will be reaped? (I’ve maybe been watching too much Supernatural.)

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters: I mean, I’m sure the Kaiju fights are awesome. And the “Over The Rainbow” trailer is mindblowingly cool. I just, cannot get myself psyched for this movie at all.

Movie Season 2018: Whatever It Takes

Hey All! So on Friday, it all begins. Aless, Kristi and I will be kicking off Movie Season 2019 with Avengers: Endgame, and I will be navigating through what may be the most climactic and traumatic movie season of them all. (Seriously folks, I’m trying very hard to not get anxiety over several big bad endings that have grounded this blog that are coming…something new will present itself, it always does, but it’s still hard.)

Anyway! Movie season! Let’s do this!

April 26:

Avengers: Endgame

So it ends. And begins. This blog started with The Avengers, you might recall, and I’m more than a little nervous about how this is going to turn out, and who’s going to come out the other side. We’ll have more to say on Saturday, but for now, I’m braced.

May 3:

The Long Shot

I like both Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen quite a bit. I’m sure this movie will be quite charming. If it weren’t for AMC A-List I probably wouldn’t make the effort to see it in theaters.

May 10:

Detective Pikachu

I’m looking forward to this. The Pokemon designs are cute, the cast seems game, and Ryan Reynolds is a delight most of the time.

The Hustle

GIVE ANNE HATHEWAY WHATEVER SHE WANTS. What did she do to you Hollywood? Oh right, turned 30, and was honestly proud of herself for nailing “I Dreamed A Dream.”

Tolkien

Any and all excuses to pick up The Hobbit again, honestly. It’s been a few years since I read it and I have a feeling this movie will do it.

May 17

John Wick 3

Keanu being great. I actually never saw 2, but I’ll remedy that before this comes out.

May 24

Aladdin

It doesn’t look great. I probably won’t rush to see it, but I’ll get to it.

Book Smart

Boy howdy, this looks fun! Girl Superbad is a good, good thing.

May 31

Godzilla: King Of Monsters

This cast is sooo good. But Americans are verry very bad at making Godzilla movies. But on the other hand Kyle Chandler and Bradley Whitford.

Rocket Man

I’m calling my shot on this one and thinking that this is going to hold the top spot for a long long time. (Oh no no no…) It looks fantastic, (and the brown dirt cowboy) and I love Elton John.

June 7

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Sophie Turner deserves better. Jean Grey deserves better. WE deserve better. Maybe it will actually be good, but nothing looks particularly promising about this movie.

Late Night

ON THE OTHER HAND. Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling in a comedy about how women need to make themselves “likable” in the public eye? Did I dream this movie up?

June 14

Men In Black

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson were great together in Ragnorok, and Men In Black is kind of an evergreen concept. I hope it’s good, because the original Men In Black is wonderful, the second one is dog poop, and the third one is OK.

Shaft

Shut yo mouth. Three Shafts in one movie. Excellent.

The Dead Don’t Die

Zombies. Yes please.

June 21

Toy Story 4

Shut up. You’re crying.

June 28

Yesterday

What a fun idea for a movie! If you woke up one day and were the only person who remembered The Beatles! What a delight!

July 5

Spider-Man: Far From Home

The final movie in Phase 3, apparently? I would watch Tom Holland’s take on Peter Parker pretty much infinity, plus I think Zendaya is going to have a bit more to do this time. So, should be fun.

July 19

The Lion King

I am not sure I will like this movie. I will certainly like certain performances of the songs. “Hakuna Matata” is going to kick many butts, as will “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”

July 26

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

I haven’t loved a Tarantino movie since Inglorious Basterds, but I’ll be damned if I’m missing his take on the Manson Murders. It’s surely going to be tasteless, bloody and goddamned fun. And the soundtrack, y’all, think of the soundtrack.

August 2

Hobbs & Shaw

It is a miracle that the presence of The Rock, Jason Statham and Idris Elba in a movie didn’t cause some kind of collapse in the sexy time continuum, but it didn’t and this movie is gonna be fun!

New Mutants

Maisie Williams deserves better. The X-Men deserve better. We deserve better.

August 9

Artemis Fowl & Where’d You Go Bernadette

I think I have to read both of these books. I know people that absolutely love them both.

August 16

Good Boys

MORE TEEN SEX COMEDY FUN! I’m so glad Blockers did well (and was funny) and is reminding people of the potential of this genre. We’re getting two this summer.

September 6

It: Chapter 2

This time, they’re grownups. It is way less fun.

September 13

The Goldfinch

Again, I need to read this. People fricking love this book…

September  20

Downton Abbey

I get my mom to the movies once a year. I know that this year it’s going to be for this. I can’t wait. I hope Edith is OK. I hope she has a baby.

Rambo V

I didn’t know this was happening. But it makes sense, when he needed to backing for it, Sly would have just been nominated for Creed.

September 27

Judy

Judy Garland biopic. I’m here for it. Lady lead an interesting life.

October 6

Joker

I’m withholding judgement. I’m sure it will be worth talking about no matter what. It certainly looks interesting.

October 11

Zombieland: Double Tap

YYYYAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

October 18

Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil

Man, the first movie let me down so bad. I doubt this will be better, but I mean, whatever. Good for Angelina, she seems to really like being Maleficent.

The Addams Family

The designs look FAB, and Oscar Isaac voicing Gomez is some straight genius, although, he could also play the part in real life.

November 1

Terminator: Dark Fate

*Sigh* At least Linda Hamilton is back this time. But I think we need to stop trying to make more Terminator movies work.

November 8

Doctor Sleep

It’s the sequel to The Shining, which rules. I haven’t read Doctor Sleep yet, but I will by November. Plus Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance all grown up. I can dig on that.

Sonic The Hedghog

I don’t actually care about the movie, but I’m glad Ben Scwartz gets to add another “90’s Blue Cartoon Character” to his list. (He’s Dewey on Ducktales and Leonardo on Ninja Turtles.)

November 15

Charlie’s Angels

I genuinely didn’t know this was happening, but again kinda an evergreen concept that will be at least watchable.

November 22

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Tom Hanks as Mr. Rodgers. You know, for when you’re feeling sad.

Frozen 2

They gave Anna a sword. THEY GAVE ANNA A SWORD. Also, Elsa testing her powers by freezing and running up waves. I will cry.

December 20

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

I was so stunned by the trailer. I love the subtitle. I think we’re going to be happy. I hope so. I’ve missed Star Wars, I cut a lot of it out of my life in the last year, kind of on purpose, and I want it back. I want it back now.

So that’s where we’re at. It’ll move around I’m sure, and as the Oscar Movies get their dates expand a bit!

Movie Season 2017 – Wrap Up

So, obviously, I didn’t see as many movies as I usually do in 2017. This was for A LOT of reasons. (I wasn’t interested in as many, I was trying not to spend money, I was travelling, my day job annihilated my mental health and extra energy.) (We’ll get into the next one at a later date) But I did make it to the Cineplex 15 times and generally liked everything I saw. Even the stuff that most people thought was abysmal. Anyway, let’s go through each ranking

Wonder Woman

I don’t know if this was my favorite movie of the year just because of the symbolism, but God, I loved it. I still love it. I’ve watched it at least 5 times (not the most times I’ve rewatched a movie on this list) and each time, I cry, I laugh, I clap, I swoon. Gal Gadot is wonderful. Chris Pine is wonderful and finally, finally a big screen female superhero was done right and a DC movie captured all the things I like about one of their characters.

The Big Sick

I was going back through movie seasons past and noticed something. There is ALWAYS a good romantic comedy high on my list. THIS GENRE WILL NOT GO SOFTLY INTO THAT DARK SUPER POWERED NIGHT! As I’ve said before, I hope that Emily and Kumail write more romantic comedies. Kumail has said that the actor who most inspires him is Hugh Grant. MAKE KUMAIL THE NEXT HUGH GRANT! Without all of the cheating on his super awesome wife with prostitutes stuff. Obviously.

Coco

Moving, visually stunning, smart, entertaining and culturally specific, Coco delivers on a whole other level than other recent Disney and Pixar stuff.

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

This. fricking. movie. I loved it, I think? I see it’s flaws. I get why people hated it. I did not love it the way I loved The Force Awakens, (case in point, I still haven’t seen it a second time around until this past Saturday, where as with TFA I ran out the next night for round 2.)

Battle Of The Sexes

Emma Stone is really good, and this movie is even better than she is. Sarah Silverman is really really good and that no one is talking about this performance for supporting actress is a travesty.

Dunkirk

I feel like I saw this movie a long time ago and I remember very little of it. I remember liking it though, so yay? 

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I. Love. This. Movie. It’s the one I’ve rewatched the most by the way (usually on planes. It was a Jet Blue selection for both Disney trips this fall…) and it gets better every time. When I considered doing a reranking, it was mostly to move this one up higher. I love it SO SO SO much.

Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2

Better than the first? Maybe. Certainly more emotional, and I actually prefer this soundtrack. (It has Fleetwood Mac!) Christ Pratt has probably never been better than he is in this movie.

The Greatest Showman

OH MY GOD I’M SO BORED!!!

Thor: Ragnarok

When I describe my reaction to this movie, I use the below quote:

Lester Bangs: How do you feel about Lou Reed?
William: I like the older stuff, but now he’s just trying to be Bowie. He should just be himself.

In this analogy, Thor: Ragnarok is Lou Reed, and Guardians of The Galaxy is Bowie. (Also that quote from Almost Famous.)

Justice League

In a world where Superhero movies have endless potential, we get this one…which is absolutely fine and solid, but should be much, much better.

King Arthur: Legend of The Sword

Man am I bummed out that this movie wasn’t a hit. In a BIG way. I liked it a lot.

The Dark Tower

All hail the Crimson King! I recently realized that the most annoying thing about this movie, is that they didn’t give them enough budget to license “Hey Jude.” “Hey Jude” should 100% be in this movie. (And at that, if you’re doing a mash up of the whole series instead of just  The Gunslinger EDDIE AND SUSANNAH NEED TO BE IN IT)

Cars 3

It’s weird that this landed so low, because I really, really liked it. Eh

Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

This movie is garbage. Do not watch this movie. It is bad. And not just because it turns out Johnny Depp is a terrible person. It’s a bad movie all on it’s own.

So that’s this year’s movie season! I hope everyone enjoyed their time of blockbusters and I wish you the happiest of New Years! Movie Season 2018 kicks off on May 4th with Avengers: Infinity War.

To lead up to that! I’m watching the entire MCU. Well, all the movies. Not the shows. We tried that, remember? Didn’t go well. One a week, quick hit rereviews. (With links to the older ones that I have reviewed. Going back to Avengers…) Between that and X-Files being back, the blog should be good and anchored for a while, which will keep us all from losing our grip without any Game Of Thrones this year!

Happy New Year, lots of love!

Let The Past Die

The Last Jedi

 

*SPOILERS FOR DAYS*

 

 

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Last Jedi is a strange movie. There’s no getting around that. It’s paced oddly. (Poorly in certain spots) It’s full of weird looking creatures and off center character beats, and more weirdo philosophy than the seven movies that preceded it combined.

It’s also Carrie Fisher’s best performance of the five that she’s in, a fitting goodbye to a legend that we all love, allows Mark Hamill to play the comedy that he’s excellent at, deepens both Kylo Ren and Rey, and executes a B-Plot with exactly 0 white guys. (Seriously, the B-Plot heist is centered around Poe, Finn, new character Rose, Leia, new character Vice Admiral Holdo, and a surprise appearance by Benicio Del Toro.)

I need to see the movie again before I really evaluate it. But I enjoyed it immensely, if only for it’s truly spectacular moments. (This is why I want to see it again. I felt similarly about Revenge Of The Sith, so I want to watch it a bit more calmly.) Rey and Kylo fighting off Snoke’s guards after Kylo assasinates him. The force connection between Rey and Kylo convincing each of them that the other can be turned. Luke’s final conversation with Yoda. (Who after 40+ years is finally fed up with the Skywalker boys and their shit) The Star Wars version of the battle of Helm’s Deep. (Just when you thought there was nothing left from Tolkien for this series to mine!) Holdo’s sacrifice. Leia using the force to survive in space. That final moment between Luke and Leia. Luke brushing his shoulder off after a barrage of bullets in the battle.

The plot is what it is. There’s a maguffin, there’s a confrontation, there is, truly the best saber battle we’ve seen yet. The performances are strong, the character beats mostly work. The themes discussed including legacy, corruption and hope are well explored. It’s way too long. There’s definitely fat that could be trimmed, but for the most part it’s worth it.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say. I’ve got plenty of family time to log this week, and talking Star Wars with my family is my favorite thing.

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Coco
  4. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  5. Battle Of The Sexes
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  8. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  9. Thor: Ragnarok
  10. Justice League
  11. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  12. The Dark Tower
  13. Cars 3
  14. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales