What I Watched, What You Watched #47

It’s been a while since I did one of these What I Watched, What You Watched. That’s mostly because I was solely watching horror films, which were found in my 31 Days of Horror posts here, on Facebook, and on Twitter (I still have yet to reach a full 31 Days, but I did manage to get to 26, which is a vast improvement). I haven’t seen many new movies YET, but there will be some big reviews coming, especially because I have a screening for two Oscar contenders in the next week, and two others have premieres on Friday. In the meantime, I have two reviews scheduled for this week, including for The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which I just saw last night. I enjoyed it a lot, although it had its flaws. More on that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve watched a variety of things. I’m trying to see more Studio Ghibli films, so I watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, and enjoyed it immensely. I finally got around to finishing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which I’d had trouble with due to a very sloppy and very misogynistic first third. However, once it finds its groove, and really finds a balance in Steve Carell’s awe-inspiring performance, the film really becomes a sweet, charming take on the rom-com. In theaters, I had a chance to see The Room on the big screen for the third time (overall, I’ve probably seen it upwards of 20 times). It is still the most charmingly piss-poor movie I’ve ever seen, and I recommend it to all, especially with The Disaster Artist around the corner (I may have a retrospective on The Room coming up this week. Stay tuned). And I also finished The Thing, which I started on Halloween and then went out of town for. I thought it was a smart, sharp horror film, but to be honest, it’s not my favorite John Carpenter film. And I began what will be a month long binge on documentaries with The Reagan Show, a look into Reagan’s at-the-time unprecedented use of the media as a part of his presidency. There were some entertaining moments, but I was a little disappointed that the film lacked any sort of angle. It wasn’t really informational, and it didn’t really have a statement about that use of media and pop culture, so I came out wondering what the point of the whole thing was. It’s definitely not my favorite documentary of the year.

Television-wise, I’ve been mostly sticking to my usual shows. Modern Family’s been a little off this season, but The Middle and black-ish have been sharper than ever, not to mention Speechless and The Goldbergs. I really love what ABC has been doing in recent years. I also have been watching Saturday Night Live, which has been a little off all year (Alec Baldwin is already becoming stale, especially when compared to something like The President Show), but still can surprise us when they get an amazing host, like Tiffany Haddish last night. That performance was the kind of breakthrough that Melissa McCarthy had right after Bridesmaids, and if that means Haddish is our next big star, then I am all about it (she’s the best part of Girls Trip). I did, however, watch one new show this week: Nick Kroll’s Big Mouth. I’d been hearing a lot about it from friends and respected critics recently, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I won’t say it’s the best show I’ve ever seen, and I wish the humor had been just a bit sharper, but man, is it a great look at what it’s like going through puberty, for both boys and girls. Kroll’s work on that show is outstanding, as both Nick and as Maurice the Hormone Monster, but I really want to give kudos to Maya Rudolph as Connie the Hormone Monstress. Few scenes seem as prescient as when she demands young Jessi start calling her mother “Shannon.” It’s funny and realistic at the same time. It’s not quite as good, but it’ll fill the surrealistically autobiographical hole in my heart left by Man Seeking Woman. Oh, and outside of television and film, I just got back from a trip to Indianapolis with a college friend to see Billy Joel in concert. It was a truly wonderful experience, and Joel is still the master pianist and singer that made him stand out all those years ago. It was a night I’ll never forget.

What about you? Have you seen any good movies recently? Are you following along with the documentary scene that’s been going on? What about Big Mouth? Let me know in the comments!

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