What I Watched, What You Watched #20

I was out of town last week seeing some friends back at my old college, so I didn’t get a chance to write a “What I Watched, What You Watched.” So I guess that means a double issue this week. I’ve only reviewed one film, Manchester by the Sea, which you can read here. However, that didn’t stop me from seeing things at home and in theaters, and from finally reaching 200 films for the year, just in time for issue #20!

It occurred to me that as of two weeks ago, I had only seen one and a half Denzel Washington films (they’re Philadelphia and Flight, if you’re wondering). So I decided to start with his supposedly best performance in Malcolm X. Overall, I thought there was a little bit that could have been cut, but Spike Lee is certainly a talented director, and Washington is remarkable in it. When I was back at school, and I was too tired to go to a bar, I ended up seeing a late night showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As a Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t get into Eddie Redmayne as the lead. And those last fifteen minutes are god-awful. However, it was still a well-made movie. And at least it wasn’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Truth be told, there were a lot of self-aware moments that could have helped make the movie enjoyable. But a series of missteps and bad decisions doomed the film to be one of the worst of the year. Speaking of movies that couldn’t save themselves from their own bad decisions, I’m about halfway through Think Like a Man as I’m writing this. Critics I agree with actually like this movie, so I was hoping I would too. Unfortunately, lazy writing, bad editing, too much Steve Harvey and not enough Kevin Hart make this unbearable. It gets a little bit better as it goes on, but man are those first thirty minutes bad. Luckily, I also had a chance to lighten things up with The Neon Demon. That’s an odd thing to say, considering how dark and bizarre this film is. However, I really enjoyed what Nicholas Winding Refn was going for with this, it’s gorgeous to look at, and while it isn’t anywhere near as great as Drive, it’s still a fun little horror movie.

I also began trying to complete a list of documentaries for the year. I started this by watching Netflix’s two big films of the year, Audrie and Daisy and Amanda Knox. I’ll be offering up more thoughts in a longer article in the next week or so, but I’ll say that I liked both, but Knox is very much the better film.

I’ve caught bits of things on TV the past two weeks, but work has kept me from watching anything specific. I will say ABC Family/Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas is frequently on TV in my house. I think that’s the type of thing that might be able to inform a list…hmmm…

Anyway, what about you? Watch anything good in the past two weeks? Saving up for La La Land this Friday, or another award darling? Let me know in the comments!

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