What I Watched, What You Watched #115

As we officially enter the summer movie season, I’m doing my best to keep up-to-speed on both the big-budget blockbusters (even if they fail) and the small indie films. This week, I managed to head out to the theatres twice, taking in one of each for upcoming reviews. I had an early screening of Men In Black: International, the review of which will be coming sometime early this week. However, I will say right here and right now it isn’t quite as bad as people will lead you to believe. It’s essentially a dumb actioner, but it’s a well-made dumb actioner. I also had a chance to take in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, a film I had heard great things for and knew very little. I’m still trying to articulate all my words on it, but I really enjoyed this film, and cannot recommend it highly enough.

At home, I mostly spent my time trying to articulate my thoughts on a variety of topics (a late-night tweet turned into a scathing rebuke to that awful lady from When They See Us), which took up time from a movie I was going to watch that night). I did manage to finally finish Dragged Across Concrete, which really raised some interesting themes surrounding human morality, police brutality, and modern-day race issues (things I would not have expected from a film starring Mel Gibson in the year 2019), even if I’m not 100% sold on the final product. And I finally started putting my Criterion Channel to good use (before the classic noir expires) by starting My Name Is Julia Ross, a pretty solid (and surprisingly short!) classic noir involving a woman told she isn’t who she thinks she is while being held captive. It’s a pretty novel, and daring, concept for the mid 1940s, and it is impeccably made, drawing from classic Gothic traditions. If you have a chance, I would check it out.

At home on TV, the bulk of my major viewings came on Sunday night. That’s when I had a classic wine-soaked double feature that kicked off with the 73rd Tony Awards. In my opinion, it was a fine show with worthy winners, but honestly only felt truly exciting in a handful of moments (Ali Stroker! Choir Boy! Hadestown! Audra McDonald curb-stomping Laura Linney!). After the Tonys ended, I tuned into Big Little Lies, a show I’d watched the first season to and found myself pretty disappointed in (I loved when Reese and Dern out-pettied each other, never cared for the melodramatic Nicole and Skårsgard stuff, even though I loved the way it thematically fit the show). However, Season Two has fixed most, if not all, of my problems with the first season. The melodrama is better rolled into the soapiness of the production, it is mostly about great actresses trying to out-act each other, and for good measure, Meryl Streep has shown up to scream and passive-aggressively chew on every single scene. It’s marvelous to watch. Outside of those two, I mostly watched a lot of game shows (I tend to do that in the summer). Press Your Luck is back with Elizabeth Banks, and it confirmed itself to be my favorite game show once again due to its unique twist: this time, the randomness of life can f*ck a person out of a million dollars in the form of an obnoxious, Belushi-esque demon named The Whammy. Card Sharks with Joel McHale is fine, but I realized how much I detest High Card, Low Card within twelve seconds of this inane premise. And Rooster Teeth’s Murder Room scratches a true-crime itch in a way I didn’t expect it to scratch (it’s like a real-life interactive Encyclopedia Brown).

Well, that wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! I have a road trip coming up at the end of this week, meaning I should be able to have a movie marathon on my way down and back. More titles and reviews are coming, so stay tuned! In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you’ve been watching, and what you think of the films and shows I watched. See you all next time!

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