A very happy anniversary, dear readers! Two years ago yesterday, the Sacred Wall went live, and I began giving you all updates on the news, predictions, and reviews of the pop culture scene. It’s been a wild ride, and one I hope will continue onwards for a good deal longer. To celebrate this milestone, I have a whole bunch of movies to write about this week. This will also include three reviews coming later this week: Ocean’s Eight, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Gotti. As a teaser, I will say one of those films is an enjoyable throwaway, one is bad with a few moments of brilliance, and one is a monumental achievement in terrible filmmaking. I’ll let you guess which is which.
While there are no reviews coming at the present time, I also went to see Solo: A Star Wars Story and Deadpool 2. Solo was an outright fine film, with a great performance from Donald Glover and a good performance from Alden Ehrenreich, but overall it’s nothing special (I probably liked about as much as Rogue One, which I believe I referred to as “a fan fiction endeavor”). Meanwhile, Deadpool 2 isn’t as good as the first one, but it’s a superhero movie about a guy whose powers are the ability to annoy people and which opens with Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and closes with Annie’s “Tomorrow.” Of course I’m f*cking onboard with this. Meanwhile, in order to gain traction/fully understand my current favorite film critic, Priscilla Page, I began a quest to finish her Top Ten Favorite Films list (I’ve already seen five). This meant watching Sneakers, a film I very much enjoyed as a quiet Tuesday night relaxer. It’s the perfect blend of intelligence, thrills, and comedy, and it’s definitely worth the watch. And if my weekend was dedicated to anything, it was musicals. On Friday, I watched The Greatest Showman for the third time, and it somehow still baffles me how enjoyable it is despite its inherent stupidity. On Saturday, I watched An American In Paris for the first time, and despite the awesome dancing (including the stunning 14-minute ballet to close the film) and my newfound love for Leslie Caron, the film itself felt like something of a dud. I guess I wish the film had remained a Hemingway-esque look at the relationships of starving artists in Paris instead of trying to force a romance between the chemistry-less Gene Kelly and Caron. And on Sunday, I went to the cinema to see West Side Story for what might be the thirteenth time. It’s a film that somehow impossibly gets better every time you see it, between the phenomenal acting, the flawless choreography, the greatest composition in American history, and a story that somehow feels just as timely (if not more so) than when the film was released. It’s just perfect. Oh, and speaking of perfect, I spent my Saturday evening enjoying the infamous four-hour “catastrophe” Heaven’s Gate. And it is a travesty how the studio betrayed that film in 1980, because it is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. It is the closest cousin to the Great American Novel we have seen as a culture, and it will be honored as such whenever I return to the Top 100 Greatest Films list.
As will likely be the case throughout most of this summer (or at least until I start watching more HBO and Netflix shows), I didn’t watch that much television this week. I did watch the Funhaus series Board As Hell online, because I’m a board game freak and thought it would be entertaining (it sometimes was). And in terms of podcasts, I cannot recommend Unspooled enough for the budding film lover. Their recent analysis of Titanic was a great throwback, filled with rich insight and funny banter (also: Fabriezio!). If you haven’t started listening yet, get on it now.
This concludes this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. Let me know in the comments what you’ve been watching, what you think I should go see in theaters, and as always, see you again next week!