We’ve entered the final month of the year, when Christmas specials fill our TVs, award-worthy films fill our theaters, and asinine music fills our radios as we hope to hear that one song that doesn’t annoy us. As such, my viewing will both speed up and slow down in the coming weeks, based on how many great films are still left. As for this week, I only have one film eligible for review, which will be coming later this week. That film is Novitiate, which I appreciated, although I had several gripes. You can read more about that later.
I also saw two other films in theaters, one new and one older. The former was Thor: Ragnarok, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I want Taika Waititi to direct every film, and I want Jeff Goldblum in them as well. The latter was Dunkirk, my third time seeing the film, this time for its Oscar re-release. It still holds up, although that sound mixing still sounds like sh*t in IMAX. However, I was surprised to find my dad didn’t like it, as it seemed right up his alley. I guess that non-linear framing device was too smart for some people. C’est la vie. At home, I saw two new films. The first was Tulip Fever, the infamously shelved film made in 2014 and not released until now. If you wonder why, I suggest you see it. It is just a shockingly poor film all around. It may very well make my Bottom Ten later this year. The second was The Little Hours, which I thought had an interesting idea and an interesting take on The Decameron, but overall really had nothing to offer outside some funny scenes by Kate Micuuci, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Fred Armisen. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it (especially when Plaza is better in this year’s Ingrid Goes West). As for old films, I saw two films that I absolutely adored. The first was 1984’s The Killing Fields, which was a powerful docudrama, and featured great performances by John Malkovich and especially Haing S. Ngor. The other was the 1997 neo-Western Cop Land, which was recommended by the great critic Priscilla Page and ended up becoming one of my favorite films. The drama is great, the Western parallels are vivid, and Sylvester Stallone has rarely been better. It’s no wonder that James Mangold made 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and Logan – he loves Westerns. Oh, and I’ve started the documentary Last Men in Aleppo about the Syrian Civil War, and it is unsurprisingly wonderful. You should give it a watch.
On television, I didn’t watch that much, mainly because I was at work. I did see my necessary Christmas specials in Rudolph and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I really cannot get enough of either of them. And I did manage to catch the new South Park, which I wasn’t quite in love with, and Saturday Night Live, which I was (I will go to the ends of the earth and back for Saoirse Ronan). However, outside once these all wrap up, I’ll be focused on catching up on all sorts of things for my end-of-year Top Ten lists.
So what about you? Did you watch anything great this week? Is there anything you think I need to see before my Top Ten lists at the end of the year, on film, television, or musically? And did you read my first end of the year list yesterday about the Entertainers of the Year? Let me know in the comments, and get ready: my first Christmas list will be coming later this year!