My apologies for a lack of What I Watched, What You Watched segments the past few weeks. I had a scheduled trip and a funeral on back-to-back Sundays, and couldn’t get the feature up in time to meet either deadline. Nevertheless, we’re back now, with three weeks of movies to watch. And while I haven’t seen many movies in the past few weeks due to other commitments, I did make the movies I saw count.
I started this extended period with a double header of two summer blockbusters that I happened to miss: Don’t Breathe and Star Trek Beyond. I found Don’t Breathe a well-made horror movie, but too disturbing for my own tastes, and I don’t think I could recommend it in good conscience. Meanwhile, Star Trek was not as good as the first movie, and never fully captured my interests, but it was better than Star Trek Into Darkness, and I appreciated it for what it was. In theatres, I saw two excellent Oscar nominees in The Salesman and I Am Not Your Negro. I still plan on reviewing both of these, so I don’t want to give too much away, but know that I think highly of both films. I spent my Valentine’s Day alone, so I decided to pop in a cheesy romantic comedy to bide my time. The result was Notting Hill, and my review? Ehh. You could do worse. I laughed, I cried, I had a time of it. I’ve also been working on an incredibly challenging Listicle-which I hope to have up later today-that required me to watch Glory, Revolutionary Road, and Eastern Promises. I thought all three were fine, if not great, but featured strong performances. If you want me to break it down for you, I liked Revolutionary Road the best, thought Glory had the best performance (that Denzel sure can act), and thought Eastern Promises had one of the best fight sequences of all time in the Bathhouse Scene. And then I saw Rock Dog. My review is coming, and it will not be pleasant. It’s telling when you tell the bartender at the theatre that you’re seeing Rock Dog and she gives you a double Long Island for the price of one.
Oh, and I also got to enjoy the fun of watching all 15 of the nominated short films at the Oscars. I’m not sure if I’d ever do this again, because God, are these shorts depressing. However, it was nice to know I saw all of them, and there were some excellent selections this year (except for Silent Nights, which I really hated), so I don’t think I could say I regret it. At any rate, it gave me the chance to say I only missed about eight of the nominees this year, and that’s an accomplishment I’m proud of. I’ll hit all of them next year-you can take that to the bank.
I also managed to catch parts of several Oscar screeners, just in the hopes that I could check off more nominees. Fire at Sea still sits in my iTunes queue, but I did manage to see parts of A Man Called Ove, Toni Erdmann, and Life, Animated. Erdmann is a very good film, Ove is enjoyable but predictable, and Life, Animated is absolutely heartwarming. I would recommend all three easily.
Television isn’t that much different than the norm. Saturday Night Live is off, meaning I’ve had my Saturday nights free for sleep and TCM marathons. Meanwhile, black-ish, Modern Family, and The Middle have been putting up solid work, and nothing has entertained me as much as It’s Always Sunny and Man Seeking Woman, which have both been exceptional so far this year. And when those aren’t on, I always have my Bachelor to keep me entertained.
I’ve also started reading again, thanks to a solid Phillip Roth book. After reading the back cover in the bookstore, I bought The Plot Against America on a whim and have struggled to put it down ever since. Roth’s writing is intelligent and entertaining, while also horrifically foreboding and prescient. It’s an alternative history book that reads as allegory, but an allegory that people continue to miss. I won’t spoil anything about it, I’ll just advise you go pick it up before it inevitably gets turned into a movie or miniseries in the next four years.
With the Oscar race calming down and my professional life beginning to balance itself out, things should resume a more balanced rate going forward. I have some Listicles lined up to blow you all away, I have several reviews I’ll be able to write, I have some updates that I may have missed in February, and then we have three great movies for review coming out on top of Peak TV in the miniseries Feud. Keep reading and watching, and leave your updates in the comments!