It’s been a hell of a week, folks, between the news cycle, the lack of options at the kinda-reopened theaters (if you’re going, please be safe), and a whole lotta controversy surrounding Netflix. It seems like not even pop culture can serve as an escape anymore. I know it didn’t serve as an escape when I had to review Cuties, the film that’s getting my fellow film critics death threats. My review went up earlier this week, so you can read my thoughts in more dissected detail there, but the long and short of it is it’s not the film you think it is, with a whole different set of accomplishments and flaws.
Thankfully, most of my week wasn’t as controversial or as stressful as the aforementioned French films. Some films were complete, innocent joys. For example, I kicked off my festival season with an early screening of Wolfwalkers, an Irish animated film that’s a pure delight. I’ll probably post a review soon, and then reshare it whenever Apple TV gets around to releasing it to the general public. I also watched The Secret: Dare To Dream, a romantic comedy based on the cult of the same name. It is…hoo boy, I’ll just leave that one for the review. Trust me, you won’t want to miss that one. Meanwhile, as for older films or second viewings of new releases, I chose to join my parents for The High Note, despite not really enjoying it the first time. I’m a little more lenient this time around, as my expectations had been properly tempered, but I don’t know. This one still just feels like a missed opportunity with phoned-in writing and acting. Slightly more enjoyable was the 1983 cult hit Valley Girl, which I wanted to like more, but the soundtrack is stellar and the performances from Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, and Elizabeth Daily are tubular (I’m sorry, you knew it was coming). Oh, and while I only revisit it every few years, I returned to one of my favorite comedies, Three Amigos!, as a means of ending my week on a high, happy note. That film is an underrated gem, let me tell you. There are few films out there as smart or as funny, and Chase, Martin, and Short make for a comedy dream team. Oh, and while I didn’t have a chance to finish any of them (they were rentals), I started Red Sun, The Big Red One, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, and the 1997 Insomnia. I’ll hold off proper reviews until the future, but I generally liked two of them, fell asleep during one of them, and found one to be a near-masterpiece. I won’t say which is which – you’ll have to see in upcoming articles.
On television, I’m continuing my 2020/Emmy Awards binge watch by winding down on three of my favorite comedies of the year. With Schitt’s Creek well into the rearview, I’ve needed a new form of relaxation binge watching. While neither necessarily matches up to Creek, I’ve found that in Dead To Me (I’m finally into Season 2, and am interested in how the series twists and turns) and my old familiar The Good Place. I’m not quite loving Season 4 the way I loved Seasons 2 or 3, but it’s still incredibly relaxing. Oh, and I’ve picked up Ramy again. It’s funny – the first few episodes of Season 2 are a big of a drag, but once Youssef and Mahershala Ali really get going, the show hits the ground running.
That wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! I hope you’re all staying healthy, physically and mentally, with all that’s going on. I hope to have a few more reviews up in the coming days, and maybe that long-promised Best of the Decade list – that’ll be the day, huh? In the meantime, comment below with your thoughts on what I’ve been watching, as well as your thoughts on what you’vebeen watching. See you soon!