Also, does this thread title need to become ‘2019 edition’?
2018 still lives in our hearts.
Or in my case, in my throat… quite literally… I’m still carrying that fucking bug/flu/shit from 2018… Leave me alone you stupid awful year!!!
I’ve started to watch “Grimm” again, which I dropped somewhere in season 4 back then.
This mainly shows that I’m running out of fodder in my streaming providers. Don’t feel ready for Walking Dead yet, and have finished pretty much everything else.
But I always felt that I’d go back again to that show at some point. It’s still entertaining enough to watch how it all plays out, even though I’m a bit annoyed with one particular storyline in season 4.
I’ve been sick all week (all year!), too sick to even play video games and have nothing to read, so cue lots of Netflix.
One show I’ve really got into is Kim’s Convenience, a Canadian sitcom about a first generation Korean immigrant couple who run a cornershop, their estranged son and student daughter. The first episode had me worried, as it waded into LGBT issues with abandon, but it ended up being slightly sweet and more nuanced than you might expect.
While looking up the cast, I was amused to see that the actors who play the parents were scientists together in an episode of Dark Matter. I’ll have to go back and check that out.
Classified documents, transcripts and personal letters reveal the trouble and reasons behind the deal that kept the UK a nuclear power after WW2.
Like a lot of drama documentary, the facts are more dramatic than any drama, even though the actors reading the words of people like MacMillan and Eisenhower are all reliable faces you’ve seen in many TV shows and movies over the years.
Bird Box - I’m not generally a horror fan but after hearing some of the hype on this, we decided to give it a shot. I was very impressed. The cast was incredible. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Bullock. Malkovich and a few of the newer faces like Moonlight’s Travante Rhodes, Lil Rey Howery (who I can’t quite place) and oh yes Machine Gun Kelly. The story lays itself out in a series of flashbacks that works everything up to the current time. I love how the audience is able to discover each new thing or rule for this world with the characters and not through some weird exposition dump. Many times you’d seen that thing before without completely understanding what had happened. This sort of film rarely has a satisfying ending as usually when they show the big bad, it’s always disappointing. This movie gets around that by never truly showing you what the thing is which really worked for me. There is another nice twist at the end that I liked and wrapped things up nicely. I highly recommend it.
As someone who’s not a Coen fan usually, I didn’t have high expectations for the Fargo series but wife loved it and was happy to have a rewatch - I enjoyed the first season well enough, but the second and third were way better.
The second is probably my favourite (Dunst is brilliant in it, and the 70s aesthetic appeals to me), but only just ahead of S3. Great performances throughout all 3 seasons.
We finished the Beatles Anthology series; it holds up despite the aspect ratio (and the 1995 outfits); Ringo probably comes out of it best, seeming like a real sweetheart. It’s front loaded with, for me, too much time spent on “Red album” Beatles, with a real rushing over White Album and Abbey Road. They also misrepresent Let It Be for some reason, not mentioning that it was shelved and only released after the band had split, and instead treating it as if it was a finished album from before Abbey Road.
Watched Isle of Dogs after seeing it on a few end of year lists - I’m not usually a Wes Anderson fan but wife is, and we both love dogs so expected something quite lovely - we were both disappointed in this. Pretty dull, not really funny or exciting.
The following evening we watched Paddington (I wasn’t a fan of the TV show) and we both really loved it - a tight film, well paced, great animation, with a heartwarming anti-Brexit message. Very British humour too.
Now get on to Paddington 2.
Not as good as the first, but still a whole ocean of fun.
I also didn’t realize until the end that the score for Bird Box was by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Here are the latest 5 movies in my chronological rewatch of every film I own a physical copy of (which I will likely never finish because I’m too slow with it):
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This movie is not terrible, and the tone is gentle and sweet enough, but I’ve seen it more than I really care to thanks to the kids. It’s no real revelation that the books are better (they are some of the best books ever written), but the fact that Disney tried to expand upon the books rather than simply adapt them is worth one million barfs. Their original gopher character is an abomination, and it should be said: the Disney version of Tigger is worse than Jar Jar Binks.
Star Wars: A New Hope
I obsessed over this franchise as a kid like everyone else my age, but unlike most people, this affection didn’t transition into adulthood in any real way. In fact, I could even get behind the notion that each installment in the franchise has been worse than the one before, in increments that are sometimes great and sometimes small—a long marathon of attrition. So that makes this installment, Star Wars, still my favorite, the only one you can still simply call “Star Wars” and people know what you mean. If you can force yourself to forget everything you know of later films, the mythology they hint at here is still better in your imagination than anything they actual show you in the ten future films, with little details like “short range fighters” and “marching single file to hide their numbers” adding spice to the stew. How did they think to include stuff like that? The mystery trumps the endless churn of new content for me, and the film is sturdy enough that I can still put everything else out of my head when I watch it (and watching it after stuff like Logan’s Run is a good reminder of how groundbreaking it was at the time).
This movie is like an album in which the opening track is by far the best; in my memory, I always underrate how great the opening sequence is and overrate the rest. On this viewing I realized how influenced Wes Anderson was by it when he made Grand Budapest Hotel, which was probably the most interesting thing about it. Dope soundtrack though.
Days of Heaven
I’ve seen this movie 4 or 5 times now and always completely forget what the plot is, which speaks to how this movie is more of a mood than a story. Anyway, the plot is pretty good, and if it were foregrounded a bit more then it would be the kind of thing people would refer to as still timely. Instead, its legacy is that this is the film that gets every director compared to Malick whenever they linger on nature for more than 3 seconds, the same way every director who shows even a slightest bit of suspense is called “Hitchcockian.”
The murder and chase portion of the film is masterfully done but never what I remember (and with good reason, as it represents less of the movie than people think). I’m way more in tune with the first two thirds, which evocatively depict the sensation that something is “off,” that there is a break between what is normal and what is abnormal, and bad things are about to happen. This is one of my favorite movies, and I think represents the moment of the late 70s America well—neglected mental health facilities, the isolation and lack of empathy in the suburbs, the sense that a great rift is opening up and something terrible is just around the corner.
I finally watched The Lovely Bones, which is a really terrible film. It looks nice in places, but the entire thing is all over the place, and none of the characters ever feel like real people. I love Stanley Tucci, but he’s terrible in this, and it’s ridiculous that he was nominated for an Oscar.
Mark Wahlberg is awful too, and every scene with Susan Sarandon had me begging the movie to end, but as it’s a Peter Jackson movie, it goes on far too long. One of the worst movies I’ve seen in ages.
I think Roger Ebert’s review sums it up nicely: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-lovely-bones-2010
The Lovely Bones is a deplorable film with this message: If you’re a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to.
If you were expecting anything conventional, that was your first mistake. And second. Anderson is known for quirky. If that’s not usually your style, it’s not surprising you didn’t like it.
Channel 4 are showing a surprise new episode of Black Mirror tonight - a story about technology firms conspiring with rogue politicians and political strategists to change the course of UK democracy. Benedict Cumberbatch is pretty good in it.
(In other words, I’m quite enjoying Brexit: The Uncivil War.)
I’ve no problem with quirky or unconventional (there wasn’t anything really unconventional about this story, by the way) - I appreciate he has a distinct aesthetic and uses music really well, but I’ve never loved any of his films, probably enjoying The Darjeeling Limited most of the four I’ve seen.
Wife’s a big fan of his work, with The Royal Tenenbaums one of her top films.
My TV would not survive 90 minutes of Cumberbatch playing a treasonous, irresponsible, arrogant dirtbag who thinks he’s accountable to no one, including Parliament.
It’s all still a bit raw, but it makes for good drama.
Too raw for me. Maybe when this over and the karma’s caught up with the Bastard Brexiteers, but for right now? No.