Man, this Oscar season has been a slog. With films only just coming out, and my lists needing some last minute adjustments, both good and bad, I haven’t had a chance to head out to the theater too much as of late. I did, however, see two films in theaters, from both 2018 and 2019. The first was the series of Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts, all of which I found myself enjoying (Bao and Animal Behaviour are the best). Meanwhile, for 2019 I saw Serenity, which I will be reviewing later this week, and…holy sh*t. It’s so good-bad, you guys. Be excited.
At home, I mostly spent my time wrapping up my Worst-Of 2018 list. This started with a viewing of Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which is…yeah, it’s not great, guys. And I don’t mean just in terms of filmmaking. It destroys the legacy of its predecessor by making a shoot-em-up jingoistic fan fiction. I mean, there’s a scene where Josh Brolin tortures and kills a group of Mexicans, looks directly at the camera and says, “Ugh, Mondays. Am I right?” Stick to the original and skip this drek. I followed it up with The Hurricane Heist, a very-serious heist film in which a hurricane literally has a face. Not a joke. It’s so bad, yeah kind of hilariously so. Might be worth a watch if you want a bad movie some Friday night. And then there’s Peter Rabbit, which…holy crap. I knew Peter Rabbit looked bad, but I didn’t expect it to be a spiritual sequel to Mike Myers’ The Cat In The Hat. But don’t think this has been an all-terrible period in my life. I did get a chance to see Mission: Impossible – Fallout again, which is an absolutely thrilling action film, and one of the best of the year. And I got 2/3 of the way through A Star Is Born, which I continue to enjoy more and more – that direction is no joke, people. If you didn’t know who directed it, I think you could easily be convinced it was an insightful, artistic up-and-comer, and not Bradley Cooper. Look for it on my Top Ten list, which it has a great chance of making.
On television, I haven’t really stepped outside of my comfort zone. Wednesday was dedicated to Modern Family (fine) and The Masked Singer (I’m on a role with both Tori Spelling and Ricki Lake), and Saturday was dedicated to Saturday Night Live (Halsey’s a fine host, but they gave her no material to work with in a “meh” episode). Like many other individuals, I was bored out of my skull by the Super Bowl, both by the game, the winner (great, another Pats victory), and the Halftime Show (Maroon 5 is the Shawshank Redemption of bands – everyone kind of likes it enough that it keeps appearing places it shouldn’t). For my artsier, Peak TV side, I watched You’re the Worst (good, not great) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (two terrific back-to-back episodes in my opinion, complete with Springsteen and La La Land parodies), as well as Black Monday, which is a fine show that I’m hoping I’ll like more as it goes on. And then there’s the Netflix shows. Like most critics, I have started Russian Doll. Unlike most critics, I wasn’t taken immediately (other than Natasha Lyonne’s terrific, terrific performance), but I’m hoping to grow into it. And then there’s Big Mouth: My Furry Valentine, a Valentine’s Day special that…I mean, look, if you’re not into Big Mouth by now, a) you’re very wrong; and b) you’re not gonna like this special. Take it or leave it. Oh, and I had a chance to go see the Michigan-Wisconsin basketball game yesterday, which was really a great watch (and I’m not even a big basketball fan).
That wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! Only two more weeks of Oscar stuff before we can get back to the trashy new films of January-March! In the meantime, if you have any thoughts on the films I discussed here, or if you saw a movie you just have to talk about, let me know in the comments! See you all next week!