Week 26

to the bone.jpg

To the Bone- How has Keanu made it this far in acting? My answer is a he is a 50/25/25 actor. Some roles (Neo/John Wick/Ted/Constantine/Donny Barksdale) he embodies so well and trains so hard for (maybe not Ted) that he IS that character. The other 25% he is just playing “a guy”. Whether it’s Lake House Guy, Sweet November Guy or even Buddha Guy, it can come off as…bland. Here, he is playing Doctor Guy to Lili Collins character who is struggling with anorexia. The story falls flat in places where it wants to be moving, but ultimately it’s an informative and sometimes shocking portrayal of how different disorders can affect people and the way society views them or tries to fix them. (The other 25% of Keanu is when he just swings for the fences with some crazy accent or character (Devil’s Advocate, Dracula, Much Ado about Nothing).

One Good Thing: Lili Collins is moving and painful to watch.

Watch Instead: Short Term 12

C5 A6


Museum hours

Museum Hours- This was beautifully filmed in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Art Museum and surrounding areas. This part fiction, part documentary walks us through a burgeoning but possibly brief friendship between a woman traveling to see her friend in a coma and a museum security guard who once booked rocked bands in Europe. We follow them through different locales, their conversation overlapping with art histories and guided tours through Vienna’s sites. It’s a pretty movie but I’m not sure what I took away from the relationship. The art is meant to reflect the life I’m sure and it’s evident in several scenes where characters speak about footage the director has shot but is intended as a memory.

C7 A6



Mamma Mia- I referenced this in my West Side Story review, but this is the movie where I noticed the non-singing characters in song and dance numbers. They may sing at some point but while waiting their turn watch as their faces wildly gesticulate and emote. It is never ending entertainment but I digress. It’s unfortunate that movies need recognizable faces to sell movies or, in this case, sing songs. Meryl Streep performs admirably as always but Pierce Brosnan is struggling through these musical numbers just looking for someone to unload his Walther PPK on. He’s the Russell Crowe of Mamma Mia.

One Good Thing: ABBA makes you feel good.

Watch Instead: South Park: Bigger, Longer Uncut

C6 A7



Gymkata- I have no frame of reference for this movie. I can’t even really comprehend the plot. It’s  something along the lines of a U.S. gymnast is recruited to be a spy in a foreign country’s deadly and ill-defined “games” while utilizing conveniently placed gymnastic equipment. It’s ludicrous and only partially funny. Watch it? Maybe. I don’t regret it but your average movie goer will.




The Year of Living Dangerously- You may notice a shift in my movie watching variety at this point when I discovered that Turner Classic Movies is an option for me. It just never occurred to me and now I feel there’s a healthier balance of the classics and new films. I always kind of knew Year existed but was turned off by the title and romance novel cover when I saw it as a kid. What I didn’t know was Linda Hunt was cast as Billy Kwan because the director couldn’t find a man to play the part properly. It’s all kinds of weird what with the character being a little person and Chinese not a short white women from New Jersey but somehow it’s still effective.  I learned about this from Ben Mankiewicz, host of TMZ, who is now my spirit guide.

C7 A6



Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art- To me, personally, this movie was a revelation though not in a filmic sense. It’s your standard talking head documentary with a weird music video style intro that lasts way too long.  The story and subject matter were profound to me in a way that high concept art typically is not and I enjoyed it for the history alone not for any innovation on the filmmaker’s part.

C6 A6



The Manchurian Candidate- Years ago, when I watched the remake with Denzel Washington, it was after a chaotic evening of mushrooms and alcohol and my then girlfriend making out with another girl in a hot tub. I’ve wanted to revisit that movie several times but bad vibes had kept me from doing so. Said vibes does not extend to originals though so I gave the Sinatra version a shot. For the era the film was made in, there are some really forward and out-there thinking going on. This is a trippy movie for 1962 and Sinatra. That being said, the remake gets it right where this movie fails in the plot and character actions. It may be that I was not born until later but the motivations are much clearer and logical in the 2004 version. This is not bad by any means I just prefer the newer version, but will probably still never re-watch it (thanks, Mushrooms).

C7 A7


The last man on the moon

The Last Man on the Moon- I am obsessed with all things Space Program. Not in a names/dates kind of way but conceptually it’s an amazing feat and represent a period in our country’s history that we may not see recreated in this lifetime. It’s not just NASA but it was the country as a whole. Everything about it is iconic. If you’ve ever seen a documentary on the program, there’s not a lot of new information here. What it does well is focus in small detail on a single man who may not have the name recognition of Aldrin or Armstrong but like every other Apollo astronaut contributed greatly to space exploration. We usually see astronauts for a moment that happened to them and are rarely afforded a glimpse of these men as entire lives. It’s insightful and funny.

C7 A6




Delicatessen- Aliens 4 is underrated and too often maligned. The first 4 Alien movies were made by directors with very specific vision and style. Fincher was thrown into Alien 3 and was new at the time so his style is less evident but they were all unique experiments. Alien Resurrection gets shit on for being maybe too weird with the hybrid thing at the end but whatever it is, it’s different, and in this day and age I wish there was more Alien Resurrection and less Alien Covenant. That being said, one of that director’s earliest films was Delicatessen and everyone should see it. I obviously don’t want to talk about it as it’s difficult to summarize or encapsulate in a short span. Go watch. Mandatory.

C9 A6


My Scientology

My Scientology Movie- It takes balls to be an interviewer sometimes especially if you’re a Michael Moore type.  I am not a smiley person but for some reason uncomfortable situations cause me to almost giggle. Louis Theroux doesn’t crack a smile once in any of the awkward encounters he has here and I can barely watch. At this point, the Scientology reveals are less so but Theroux goes one step further and hires former ranking scientologists to train actors in recreating key moment in scientology’s history. It’s unnerving and weird and further evidence of the length scientology will go to harass and shame former members.

C7 A7



Phoenix Forgotten- More found footage about aliens.  This is based on true events and as a credit to the film I couldn’t tell you which one was real and which was faked.  The latter 3rd of the movie, when the supposed events took place, are pretty terrifying in what they don’t show. Like the similar movie Area 51 the effects probably didn’t come cheap. Yet another entry in a constantly growing pile of found footage but this one floats close to the top for its historical accuracy, allusions and technical production value.

C6 A5

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