I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Boy, I know I did. I’m sure you’ve seen my litany of reviews by this point, and while most of those happened to be films I’d watched a month or two ago, I did see Uncut Gems in the past week. You can read my review for it right here, but I can confirm that it is a film for which my esteem continues to grow, as Sandler and Fox’s performances and especially the Safdies’ direction stick with me to this day.
I also spent the last few weeks taking in second viewings of all sorts of awards contenders and 2019 favorites. Obviously this started with the official end of the MCU Marathon, with my parents finally taking in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It was relatively well-received, and I stand by my review of “Good, not great.” Afterwards, my parents celebrated the end of their enforced superhero saga with their first viewing of one of my favorites of the year, The Farewell. I’m pleased to report that Lulu Wang’s personal dramedy is still every bit as great as ever, and it was a big hit with my family. Oh, and with my brother visiting from college, I finally had the chance to get him watching all sorts of Oscar contenders and weird comedies. This means that I had second viewings of two contenders I’m lukewarm on, Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit (I was more impressed with both this time around, although all my issues were still there), as well as The Death of Dick Long, which I really enjoyed this time around. As for my brother, he really liked Marriage Story, thought Jojo was fine, but kinda square, and he laughed throughout the entirety of Dick Long.
And because the end of 2019 means the start of list season, I also spent some time watching some big films I missed throughout the year that could end up on one list or another. I finally had a chance to see the horror-comedy Ready Or Not, which I dug, but wasn’t as enamored with as everyone else. Meanwhile, the remake of Child’s Play really rubbed me the wrong way, because the human characters are so likable, and the new Chucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) is so sweet, the film almost wants you to root for the killer doll. I also finally saw the “nightmare” X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which…look, I won’t pretend this is a good movie. The script is downright awful. But the actual staging of the material, along with a lot of the performances are pretty average. I don’t think this film is a complete nightmare. Bad? Sure. Nightmare? Not at all. And because it’s Christmas, my family decided to break out the Disney+ and watch Noelle, which was…look, Anna Kendrick can do no wrong, but the film around her sure can.
And finally, as we leave the world of film, beyond my annual viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life, I’ve gotta tell ya, I watched John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch. And then I watched it again. And again and again and again. I have seen this insane little special about fifteen times now. And I love it more each time. Mulaney’s humor speaks directly to me, from the non-sequiters to the little kid humor to the strange fascination with both musicals and mortality. And when Jake Gyllenhaal and David Byrne show up? *Chef’s Kiss* If you haven’t watched this special by now, change that and put it on. It’ll be the best way to spend an hour tonight – or, as my father put it, “That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen that I never want to watch again.”
As for normal television, I mostly just jumped between classics and football. Of course this means animated specials like How The Grinch Stole Christmas (perfection) and The Year Without A Santa Claus (corny, but I love it to death), as well as the SNL Christmas Special. But it also meant parts of The Rose Bowl (when I wasn’t at work, of course), and the Michigan-Alabama game, which I could only watch live for the first half and must assume it ended at halftime. Yep, nothing happened after the first half of play. Oh, and the Clemson-Ohio State game was everything I wished it to be and more, right up to that very last, exciting play in the end zone. Can’t wait to watch Clemson get their asses kicked by LSU next week. I also spent my holidays watching Friends reruns (Chandler 4 Lyfe), as well as catching up on Watchmen. I will say I’m growing on this show more than I did in the first episode, but I’m still not as over the moon as so many of my colleagues in the industry are. I must be missing something they aren’t, or perhaps I’m just seeing the show for what it is. Who’s to say, really?
That wraps up this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched! It’s the last week before the Oscar nominations, so I’ll be spending this time catching up on the films I’ve missed and writing up articles and predictions, as well as Best of 2019 lists. In the meantime, you can comment below with what you’ve been watching, as well as what you think of the shows I’ve been watching. See you all next week!