Happy Easter and Passover, Sacred Wallers (we’ll work on the nickname)! I’m spending my day chilling at home, slowly realizing that there are no good films on, so I thought I’d go ahead and finish my What I Watched, What You Watched for the past couple weeks. I was at a wedding last Sunday, so I didn’t get a chance to post, but it wouldn’t have mattered too much: I’ve mostly spent the past few weeks working on a Marvel recap for you all. I did, however, manage to watch one new film, which I won’t be reviewing for a little while: Booksmart, Olivia Wilde’s teen comedy directorial debut. It’s too early to write a proper review for the film, but I’ll say this, to whet your appetites: Wilde is a shockingly capable director (if still balancing the editing of it all), and Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever are the stars of tomorrow.
As I mentioned, I spent these past two weeks revisiting (or visiting for the first time) all of the Marvel films for my upcoming ranking of the lot. These second watches include both Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger, each of which surprised me in their own way. I found the leanness and the performances in Iron Man to be impressive, while the plot itself was a bit more “meh.” As for The First Avenger, it is amazing how well that film holds up (sans the effects department), as it resembles the original Superman movie in its optimistic, hopeful look at goodness and the fight against evil. I found myself equally impressed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a film I’d seen parts of on TV and become disinterested in, only to be wowed by as a whole (the first twenty minutes are amongst the best in Marvel history). And I’m currently a part of the way through Thor: The Dark World and Ant-Man and The Wasp, the former of which is not as bad as I’d anticipated, while the latter is just slightly less interesting than the first (a film I greatly enjoyed). My viewings outside of Marvel were a bit…bleaker. There’s Elia Kazan’s A Face In The Crowd, the Andy Griffith starring media satire, which is well directed and especially well acted by the sinister Griffith. And then there’s Elephant, the dark, disquieting Gus Van Sant film that is impressive, but a bit too cold for my taste. Oh, and being the week of Easter and Passover, it’s not a Saturday night if I don’t watch ABC’s presentation of The Ten Commandments, a film I truly believe is one of the best films ever made, albeit a campy one.
On TV, I’ve mostly spent my time enjoying my first viewing of Deadwood, in order to prepare for the upcoming HBO movie. I honestly don’t know if I’m invested or not, but I can say that I’m fascinated by the dialogue and in love with Ian McShane’s performance as Al Swearengen. I’ve also made sure to keep up on three of my favorite shows of the year: Killing Eve, What We Do In The Shadows, and Barry. Eve had a strong premiere and a weaker second episode, and Shadows made the smart decision to introduce both the werewolves and Nick Kroll over the past few weeks, but it’s Barry that has my heart. This most recent NoHo Hank-heavy episode was pretty exciting. Fosse/Verdon had an outstanding debut episode, while the second featured a great Michelle Williams performance but was a bit weaker overall. And Saturday Night Live proved that Kit Harrington is a surprisingly capable host (Emma Stone was held back by a disinterested audience, although her gameness is never in question). I completed my True Detective season one watch-through (it was pretty good), and began watching Season Three (it’s fine). And because I’m a living human being, of course I watched Game of Thrones’ premiere on Sunday – it was only an ok episode, but there were several moments that made me gasp out loud.
That concludes this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. I hope you’re all caught up on Marvel, because this is Endgame week. I’ll try to have that Marvel write-up live this Wednesday or Thursday, and I have a review or two I hope to get up beforehand. Until then, feel free to comment below with what you’ve been watching, or what your favorite Marvel movie is (hopefully I don’t bash it on Wednesday). See you all real soon!