What I Watched, What You Watched #139

We’re reaching the end of the year, folks! And between my other job and the condensed Oscar season, I haven’t been doing a very good job following through on A Sacred Wall Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. However, I won’t let that keep us down, as I have a whole litany of reviews and lists planned for later this week. And I’ve even managed to get some more viewing done! I’ve seen two films scheduled for review later this week, both from Netflix: Marriage Story and The Two Popes. Both are imperfect films, but impeccably acted, emotionally rich, and handled by a competent filmmaker. I’ll have some more thoughts going forward.

At home, I’ve been watching some earlier releases to complete my Worst Of/Best Of lists in a few weeks. My plans to watch Dora and the Lost City of Gold for my Worst list backfired, as the self-aware, bizarre-o take on the children’s cartoon turned out to be one of the greatest delights of the year. In fact, I’m considering writing a rave for it later this week. We’ll see. I also watched The Death of Dick Long, a film praised by one of my favorite critics as one of the best of 2019. I disagree, although I was certainly entertained. It’s a film that tries, has a few solid laughs, and then decides to coast on the insane twist coming halfway through the film (not exactly a bad thing). I’m probably watching this one with my brother shortly, just to get his take on things. Oh, and I had the opportunity to see a late-night showing of the original Black Christmas last night. I’ll tell you this much about it: while it’s not better than Halloween, it is quite good, there are a few insanely creepy sequences, and Margot Kidder deserved an Oscar for his performance here. Hopefully the remake is just as entertaining (I’ll be seeing it later this week).

On TV, I’m trying to get all wrapped up on my Best Of 2019 list with some of the bigger shows out there. I’ve started Watchmen, which I already have a lot of thoughts on. It’s expertly crafted, and Regina King is phenomenal. But…I can’t shake the feeling that it’s “What if black people were the cops and beating up suspected terrorists?” angle feels a little too close to the controversial and cancelled Confederacy TV series. I’m much more invested in The Mandalorian, which I went from liking to loving in just a few short episodes. And by far my favorite late-breaking show so far has to be Unbelievable, which somehow combines the sleuthing and detective work that people claim to like in Law and Order: SVU with actually cathartic, intelligent performances and warm, honest writing. It’s a real triumph and despite having read the articles the show’s based on and knowing exactly how it ends, I still find myself binging each and every episode. Oh, and obviously I’m still watching Saturday Night Live – I’m a little mixed on the Scarlett Johansson episode, but the Jennifer Lopez episode was great fun, if only because J. Lo was willing to appear in all their weirdest, funniest sketches.

That wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! I’ll be back next week with more thoughts on what I’ve been watching – presumably with more Christmas in my step. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you think of the films and shows I’ve been watching, as well as what you’ve been watching. See you next week!

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