Week 35

Other people

Other People- Molly Shannon is dying of cancer so her gay improv actor son Jesse Plemons moves home to take care of her. It seems like a lot to deal with but Shannon keeps it pretty light and humorous while Plemons, who can fucking act, doesn’t really do much acting here. He just kind of exists and is believable which I guess is the mark of a good actor.  It’s sweet and odd and sad.

C7 A6



Embers- Imagine if Guy Pearce’s character in Memento was actually Patient Zero for an infectious disease that makes you lose your memory. If this memory loss was to spread across the world, what would that look like? Embers  gives us a glimpse of that plague in one undetermined city. Don’t watch this looking for plot or arc. There is one character who has a beginning and end story but the movie’s main focus (rightly so) are those wandering through a world with no memory and therefore no consequences, safety or guarantees. Who are we but our memories? This was not a pretty film but it was impactful and endearing.

C7 A5


Kill your darlings

The Circle

Kill Your Darlings/The Circle- I’m going to talk about these together and not because they need to be cross referenced (they don’t) but because until just now I forgot that I watched The Circle (which is different than Circle). I enjoy seeing child actors attempt to escape their beginnings. Again, Robert Pattinson is doing it (more on that later), Kristin Stewart is to some degree and Emma Watson is really trying but she just can’t find the vehicle. For as smart as she is and for as political as she has become her acumen with choosing roles falls somewhere between Pretty Girl Safe Bet and B-Movie. There’s a bit to consider here when comparing her to Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe. Namely, gender. There are probably less interesting or complex roles available for women and POCs. So Radcliffe, with gender and race on his side (with no financial concerns when facing box office failure) is free to pick the more challenging and risky roles. Understanding all that, Darlings shows a unique, albeit imperfect moment where American culture is shifting into the unknown and The Circle is a bland, highly imperfect film about the DANGERS OF TECHNOLOGY.

One Good Thing: The Circle shows the heads of Silicon Valley, who are typically displayed as your jeans-wearing billionaire friend, as the ruthless captains of industry they actually are.  Darlings is a soft recommend and The Circle is definitely not.

Watch Instead: Silicon Valley, The Net (joking(sort of)).

Kill Your Darlings: C6 A6

The Circle: C2 A4


Message from the king

Message from the King- Does anyone feel like watching Chadwick Boseman as an African coming to LA to find his sister, whip some ass and smolder all over the screen? Cuz I sure do. He is always great and even though he’s played James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, Black Panther and Jackie Robinson there’s still so many roles he could play. Malcolm X reboot? Easy. George Washington Carver? I’d check it. Hell, give him roles as white people. Boseman as Bill Gates? I would definitely watch that shit. This dude is just magnetic and I am on the down low stoked about Black Panther (down low only because I bitch about super hero movies all the time). This guy has zero major awards WTF.

C7 A6

Update: I watched Black Panther and sure enough Boseman was as great as ever but you know who stole the show? Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. These two got me trying to up my trapezoid game. They don’t even look human most times. Just all traps and smolder.


It 2017

It (2017)- Initially, I resisted this but how could I NOT see it? I watched the mini-series (piecemeal) on VHS almost every day in the summer of ’94. I wasn’t overly in to horror I was just drawn to it and still have fond memories of everyone involved. I was less excited for the reboot but happy I went. For all the hoopla about Bill Skarsgård’s clown, it was Finn Wolfhard’s Richie that made this movie. Combine that with being set in the 80s vs 50s (in the book) and an R-rating, you have the best junior shit talking this side of Stand By Me. Add in some realistic CGI (and some very unrealistic CGI too) and you have a funny, mixed bag of what the macabre Stephen King assumes childhood is like for mortals.

C7 A7



Partisan- This movie exists outside of time and place which can be a boon but because it has neither it also has no anchor to anything with which you can gauge what is happening. Vincent Cassell is a cult leader/polygamist who seems to have fathered a whole village of children and, along with the mothers, they stay secluded in a private village high in the cliffs. Weirder yet is that the children are trained to be assassins from a very young age. Other than a possible autistic boy and his mother being quietly excommunicated from the village in the middle of the night, not much happens other than a power struggle between the father and his eldest child. I think there’s something important about being vegan maybe but I was probably overthinking due to nothing else happening.

One Good Thing: Vincent Cassell has such an alien dome and way of speaking.

Watch Instead: No idea what could compare to this movie in tone and theme and also be better. I don’t know, you’re call. Watch Ocean’s 12 for more Cassell.

C6 A5



Beaches- Going into this I kind of knew what was up. It’s like Empire Strikes Back or The Sixth Sense. If you’re late to the game it’s probably already spoiled. Someone’s gonna die here but let’s see what happens for the 55 years before that. I always thought this movie was revered and it is but not by the critics. Like Michael Bay after him, Garry Marshall realized that to stay in the business all you have to do is make money and the critics be damned. I didn’t think this was that bad and it was fun to see actors younger than the age I’m accustomed to. It’s fine. Good music. What do you want? Beaches.

C6 A7



Their FinesttHE 

Their Finest- Movies about movies are interesting to me but only from a technical standpoint. Do they film the set they’re using to make the movie? Is it interesting to non-filmmakers to learn about the writing process of WWII propagandists? Maybe. The real draw here is watching a group of strangers come together to make a movie and seeing how the war affects their lives as civilians during that process. I’m conscious of my privileged western status when saying this, but seeing London under attack is effective imagery more so than forests of Bastogne or deserts of North Africa. I don’t understand true war so seeing European capitals under siege are the quickest way to make a point. That’s why they always blow up recognizable landmarks in alien invasion movies. So you know shit is real. Also, Bill Nighy. Fucking Bill Nighy.

C7 A6


Lucky Number.jpg

Lucky Number Slevin- There is a running, quippy, Pulp Fiction-esque humor that pervades most of this movie and only, thankfully, disappears in the third act. This is actually where everything ties together almost nicely but it’s a long slog of one liners and happenstance to get there. I miss Lucy Liu. I mean, I know she’s not dead or anything, but I miss how I used to feel about her. That part of me is dead apparently.

C6 A5

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