Requiem for the American Dream- Noam Chomsky dropping science and backed by really, really great animation. If you need further evidence that money and greed are destroying our country, species and planet here you go. I recently saw a post where people were talking about how Chomsky was off the mark on a certain topic. I felt kind of bothered by that just because there’s really no one that you can one hundred percent agree with and now I have to add Chomsky to that list. Every great thinker has a peccadillo or belief that may irk you. Just take the good with the bad. When the boys you used to hate you date, I guess you best investigate.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK:
F8 of the Furious- Now you’ve truly got Statham in the mix. They just keep getting better. My only qualm is that these movies now focus on a set of characters and omit others as everyone in this franchise is valuable in their own right. The Rock was barely in the last one but he gets more time here which is a good thing but it’s also creating a rift in Fast and Furious Cinematic Universe (my phrasing). The cast has never been truly A-list actors but they all succeed together. That dynamic has changed with Dwayne Nelson, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron and will fuck things up most likely.
From a technical and passive viewing standpoint, the zombie car scene is fucking incredible. I will be sad if this series’ falters but one of its strengths is it keeps the same writer which allows for a cohesive but expanding universe. Plus, I think they are only doing two more but we have the expanded FFCU to look forward. Yep, I just wrote all those words. And meant them.
The Reaping- Mid 2000s drivel ripping off everything that came before it. ( I had to double check my notes to make sure that’s all I really wrote. Yep, that’s it)
One Good Thing: What’s Idris Elba doing here? Being great.
Watch Instead: Exorcist.
Mommy Dead and Dearest- I can’t possibly describe this weird onion but I will recommend it. I mean, I can describe it but it’s one of those movies best experienced blindly. Or go to IMDB. I shouldn’t have to do all this lifting for you.
We Are X- Japanese heavy metal is more like ballad rock apparently but this band was doing subversive things in the face of a restrictive society. It’s heavy for sure but more Poison than Slayer or Pantera. Warning: these guys are super emotional or at least they are very honest about their feelings (I’m not sure of the difference). The music is good and it’s a pretty in depth look at this famous-everywhere-but-America band.
Bright Lights-Watching this movie made me miss Carrie Fisher more but also Debbie Reynolds who was never on my radar. What a showwoman. Their relationship and friendship was special and that we lost both of them so fast was a blow to Hollywood, music and satire. On a dark note, the producers of this movie couldn’t have asked for better timing. Seriously, the only thing more profitable than having a star in your movie is having the star pass away after shooting has wrapped. Documentaries are 50% timing (the other 50% is someone leaving a lav mic on while peeing and admitting to murder) and having your subject pass away is simultaneously the best and worst thing that can happen.
Discovering Hamlet- Probably only for theater nerds, which I am not, but I enjoy the process of it. Or maybe it’s better for people like me who don’t know about what goes into stage performances. Plus, 30 year old Kenneth Branagh is dashing for lack of a better British-sounding word. Looking for Richard and Now in the Wings on a World Stage are similar films with larger productions and budgets if this is a topic you find interesting. I like the idea of theater; the costumes, the stage sets, the rehearsals, etc but I’ve never been drawn to watching much of it. That being said, I watched a production of Much Ado About Nothing when I was in high school and I loved that play for years after. Movie versions too.
Hidden Figures- Unsung heroes, civil rights and NASA. I’m in. Equal parts humor and conflict, this movie fails to have a true villain in the sense that we are used to but displays a more common and realistic one. Racism is not about a singular adversary (though some rise higher than others) but a slew of racist ideas that conspire to keep people from succeeding or changing their lives. The little dicks that run around this movie trying to keep these women in their place are probably more true to life (and dangerous) than a behind-the-curtain racial mastermind.