We’re approaching the tail end of the year, and things are really heating up. The films are all great, the awards start getting handed out, and everything starts getting busy. I saw two films for review this week, one of which is already online. That’s the review for The Disaster Artist, which I very much loved. The other film I saw was Coco, for which the review should be written by tomorrow. I will say that I was mixed for the first two thirds, but that final third is something else.
At home, I tried rounding out my bottom ten by watching The Dark Tower, and I’ve gotta say: yes, it’s pretty bad, but it’s definitely not the worst movie I’ve seen all year. Quite frankly, it’s more boring and nonsensical than bad. I still wouldn’t recommend it, though. On the other end of the spectrum, I also watched the documentary 11/8/16. It’s a well-made doc, but it’s a bit frustrating, because all it did was remind me of how much I hated all of humanity during the election. Most of the characters, with the exception of three terrible human beings, were understandable, and even a bit likable, but I think I would have had much less anxiety watching it if it had just focused on Anthony Ray Hinton, a man exonerated after 30 years on death row who keeps his political views to himself, provides kind, sagely wisdom for the viewer, and just seems excited to be voting again for the first time in 30 years. He’s a true shining beacon for us all. In preparing my Top Ten list, I saw the critical darlings Good Time and Ingrid Goes West. Good Time has been faring the best at early awards shows, but while I found it an entertaining film, I felt it was more hype than anything else. On the other end of the spectrum, Ingrid Goes West is the first worthwhile millennial satire, playing like this generation’s Reality Bites, and Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen are absolutely wonderful. I also made my brother start Brigsby Bear, although he had to go to work before we could finish it. I will say based on the first half, that film still holds up wonderfully, and should be able to go the distance and make my Top Ten. Oh, and as a follow-up to The Disaster Artist, I had my family watch The Room, the first time for half of them. The uninitiated were horrified, but I still say it’s an experience like no other, and worth the viewing.
I didn’t watch much on television this week, due to the Thanksgiving rush. I did end up finishing Big Little Lies, and while the finale was pretty strong, and featured some great acting on Shailene Woodley’s part, I still thought the show was nothing more than a glorified soap. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t just fast forward to all of the Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern scenes, because hot damn, watching those two intentionally overact is a godsend. I also watched an episode of the Packers Life series, because Stephen Thompson of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour was the subject. It’s a nice reprieve if you a) like football or b) like Pop Culture Happy Hour. Oh, and speaking of football, I watched a lot of football, from college to the pros. As I’m a U of M fan and I root for the Lions on Thanksgiving, I was heartbroken twice, especially because both taunted me with the promise of a comeback. Oh well, that’s the way these things go.
What about you? Did you watch anything great this holiday season? Did you pick up any great sales at Black Friday? Let me know in the comments!