What I Watched, What You Watched #105

There’s nothing like the post-Oscar season high for settling in and relaxing. I’ve watched so many movies and TV shows over the past two weeks, and I’ve never been more at peace. Still, the show must go on, and I’ve had to watch a few films for review. I already reviewed The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I will be reviewing Fighting With My Family later this week (I also enjoyed it a great deal). Oh, and I started watching the Fyre Festival documentaries for an upcoming article, and my God am I in love. I’ve finished Fyre Fraud already, and I’m about two-thirds of the way through Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, and man, there’s just so much material there. I can’t wait for you to read my thoughts.

At home, I watched a variety of films, including Oscar contenders, great performances by the nominees, and so on. I watched all of the Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts, and can confirm that End Game should have won (Period. End of Sentence is fine, but wasn’t as cleanly put together). I went to the theaters to see Capernaum, which was the perfect end cap on a year of terrific foreign language films. While it dragged a bit in the middle, the film is still a powerful testament that will get you to laugh, cheer, boo, and shout as a means of getting the emotions out. I also watched two films in order to write about the Best Supporting Actress contenders: The Constant Gardener and Secondary Effects. I liked The Constant Gardener well enough, although I wish I had been sucked into the mystery and the tension of it all more than I had been. As for Secondary Effects, it is from a very, very unique subset of Mexican cinema that I don’t have much experience in. Therefore, a lot of the decisions were incredibly strange to me. And yet, I loved it. I loved its weirdness, and its cross between satire, soap opera, and Amelié, and if you can get your hands on a copy, I would definitely check it out. However, the best film I saw this entire two-week period was far and away Minding The Gap, a film that sets out to talk about high school friends who skateboard and eventually morphs (intelligently, thanks to filmmaker Bing Liu) into a treatise on domestic abuse, escape from problems from home, and the ways men interact, both healthily and toxically. It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, and it is absolutely worth a watch (it’s on Hulu, if you’re looking).

On TV, obviously I tuned in for the Oscars, just like most of the country. My thoughts are already well documented, but I thought it was a well-organized, enjoyable show. I also spent my time watching a whole lotta TV. I’m still sticking with Black Monday and I Am The Night, even though I’m not feeling either show (I appreciate what they’re going for). I’m also watching Miracle Workers, which disappointed me a bit on its second episode, but I can’t get enough of Steve Buscemi’s performance. You’re the Worst has been great, what with the Friend-Couple episode and the creepily hilarious Call Me By Your Name spoof. And I recently started Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which I’m very mixed on – the clutter lover in me is horrified at the thought of people throwing things away, but the nihilist in me loves watching couples almost break up over cleaning. If I didn’t mention this already, I finished Russian Doll, which I really, really liked (Natasha Lyonne is a knockout). And I watched a few straggler episodes of shows I don’t watch: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Crashing. For Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I watched both the recent Broken Penis episode, which I liked more in concept than in execution (although Melissa Fumero gives a great performance) and last year’s “Active Shooter,” which was a much better episode, conceptually and in execution. As for Crashing, I had never watched Pete Holmes’ semi-autobiographical comedian sitcom before, and I’m not sure if I will again. But I will say that “MC, Middle, Headliner” is an incredible episode, in terms of acting and execution. It raises some interesting questions surrounding political correctness in comedy, the “right” way to tackle jokes, and the experiences of male and female comics in the industry. It’s well worth the watch. Oh, and I watched John Mulaney’s episode of Saturday Night Live, which was as great as we were all hoping it would be.

Well, that wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I start off 2019’s new releases and finish off the final fifteen Best Picture winners I have to watch. Until then, you can comment below on the films I watched, or let me know what films you’ve been watching. See you all next week!

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