Hey guys. Long time no see. My apologies for being away from the site for so long; I’ve been working on a special project recently that I’m hoping I can tell you all about soon. Because of this project, I haven’t had a chance to see many films in theaters. I did manage to see Fahrenheit 451 and The Tale on HBO while house sitting, and I hope to have reviews up for those relatively soon. Until then, know that both films are unwatchable, but for very different reasons (one because it is so great, the other because it is so terrible). I also saw the Midwest premiere of Eighth Grade at the local film festival, including an interview with my favorite working comedian, Bo Burnham. That review is also forthcoming, but I can say I loved the film and it was wonderful to learn that Bo is a very kind person in real life.
At home, I started my quest to clear out the DVR by watching the first 2/3 (until the recording revealed a corruption) of Gabriel Over the White House, William Randolph Hearst’s plea for a presidential dictatorship. It’s a rather fascinating watch, although it plays closer to Reefer Madness than to something serious, but other than Walter Huston’s performance, it’s mostly kind of disgusting in it’s plea to Roosevelt to embrace fascism. Meanwhile, I watched two “classics” of the eighties and nineties, the thriller The Game and the Brat Pack comedy Weird Science. The Game is one of the last David Fincher films I have yet to see, and while I appreciate its Kafkaesque influence, I was left kind of cold by the film overall. As for Weird Science…well, it is what it is. I rather enjoyed it, but damn, is it an odd-ass movie. In terms of recent films, I finally got around to watching Red Sparrow, which features an interesting premise and is inarguably well-made, but it’s excessive nature and resorting to clichés was rather disappointing (overall, I’d say it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s worst performance, but at least it’s better than Joy). Luckily, not everything I watched was disappointing (other than Weird Science, of course). I also had the chance to see Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on the big screen, and while it is little more than a great episode of The Animated Series, it is still a master class of voice acting and storytelling. It’s worth the watch. Oh, and I started Insidious: The Last Key, but it was very late, and I was tired, and I got to the first jump scare before turning it off quickly and throwing the remote across the room. Oh well.
Television has been a little slow what with everything ending for the summer. I did manage to watch my first two episodes of Westworld – the first episode and the newest episode. I’m not entirely sure it’s my cup of tea, but I will watch Rinko Kikuchi in anything. I also watched the first half of the first episode of 13 Reasons Why, as well as scenes from a couple of “key” episodes, and concluded shortly thereafter that the new season is unwatchable and I would not bother. Oh, and if you want to listen to a great podcast on your way to work, Paul Scheer of The League and How Did This Get Made? has teamed up with Amy Nicholson of The Canon have created a podcast exploring the AFI Top 100. It’s a great listen (their episodes on Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz are excellent), and it’s a great way to encourage you to see more great films. Check it out.
That concludes this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. I’ll do my best to have more content up this week, including reviews and trailers (it’s a great week for both). Until then, let me know in the comments what you’ve watched this past week, and if you’ve been listening to anything great!