What I Watched, What You Watched #40

This was a shorter week for film watching. I’ve exhausted most of my bad movies to watch for my Worst Of list, and we’re in a lull movie-wise as the summer blockbusters come to an end and the Oscar season kicks off. However, while things have a tendency to slip through the cracks during this time of year, there is one film I saw this week that I want to stress that you all see. Kyle Mooney’s Brigsby Bear is an absolute triumph, one of the best of the year, and while my review isn’t done just yet, I hope you all go and see it.

At home, I finally finished xXx, and good lord, it’s amazing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s bad, but it’s the type of fun-bad you can throw on at any point and just enjoy. I love films like that. What I don’t like are films like Ghost In The Shell, which was simultaneously boring and dumb, which is a lethal combination. Although I can’t say anything bad about Beat Takeshi – that man is an international treasure, and that movie is at its best whenever he’s onscreen. As for newer films, I also got a chance to watch The Boss Baby, which was…god, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s something else, that’s for sure. I think it’s the new Bee Movie, a film that is somehow just as bad as you imagined and yet kind of good as well, living in its naturally incredible story and then lowering itself with terrible puns. I will say I enjoyed the juxtaposition between Tobey Maguire’s lackadaisical narration and Alec Baldwin’s all-out dedication. It’s sort of fascinating to watch.

As for older stuff, I stuck to a healthy combination of older films and artsier fare. This started with the 2008 film The Wrestler, which I truly loved. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are both phenomenal in it, and the film operates on a higher plane of existence. Of course, it’s pretty dark, which meant I had to follow it up with some comedy. This came in the form of Arsenic and Old Lace, which is a very funny film. I’m not sure there’s anybody that was as talented at so many forms of comedy as Cary Grant, and I now believe he is one of the greatest actors to ever live. On the recommendation of a family member, I watched the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, which I enjoyed as both a native of Detroit and a fan of that style of folk music. If you’re looking for a light, breezy documentary to throw on at night, I’d say it would be your best bet. Last night, I caught The Manchurian Candidate on TV for a second time, and while I’m still not a fan of Frank Sinatra’s performance in it, I still think it’s an incredible film, and Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury get better every time you see it. And I spent most of my weekend with a painfully French double feature of Caché and A Prophet. I didn’t wholeheartedly love Caché, but I respected what Michael Haneke was doing, and there were certain aspects I truly loved. At the very least, the fact I made it through without turning off shows me that I’m starting to get the bad taste of the god-awful Amour out of my mouth. As for A Prophet, I thought it was a little too long, but it was a tense, well-made crime drama, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes prison or gangster films.

As a lot of my week was spent writing, I didn’t have a lot of time for television viewing this week. As always, I did manage to catch the new Rick and Morty, which was their best episode this season – although I’m always onboard for Rick blacking out and proving that The Avengers are vile, selfish, useless beings. I also noticed that Sundance TV has started showing Transparent, and I watched the first five or so episodes of Season 1. From what I viewed, my opinion is that Transparent is indeed one of the best shows on television right now, but the fact they are trying to pass it off as a comedy is a travesty. If it’s a comedy, then so is Breaking Bad. Oh, and if you haven’t watched the Vice special on Charlottesville yet, you should really get on that. It’s top-notch reporting and documentary filmmaking, and they did it all in about three days. That’s impressive.

I will be going on vacation tomorrow night, meaning posts and reviews will be fairly limited for the next week. In the meantime, you can comment about what you’ve watched this past week, and I’ll see you all when I get back!

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