What I Watched, What You Watched #78

Welcome back, everyone! You may not have gone anywhere or done anything special this week, but I’m just settling in after a nice vacation. Because I’ve been gone, I haven’t had a chance to go to the movies very often. However, I did manage to see one film in theaters before I left, and I managed to see a new VOD film while I was gone. Those films were Leave No Trace and Most Likely To Murder, and while I don’t want to give away too much before my reviews, I will say I loved both films, with the former an emotional tour-du-force and the latter a very funny Hitchcock send-up. I would advise watching both if you get the chance.

While on vacation, I watched a few different movies I’d saved to my computer for the journey. I started with my third (that’s right, third) viewing of Cabin Boy this year alone, in order to introduce my brother to the absurdity. As I expected, he loved it as much as I do. This was followed with the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune, the Claus von Bulow story. Personally, I was hoping the film would be a little better, but the acting was great, and the script was strong, so I wasn’t too disappointed. Besides, I love a good courtroom thriller. Besides, nothing was as bad as the two other films I brought up with me. The first was the ridiculously, wonderfully terrible Zardoz, which felt like a 1970s coked-up fever dream. I can’t say I hated this film, nor can I say I loved it. It was too baffling to make heads or tails of. However, I’d take a million films like that over something as terrible as The Broadway Melody, the second Best Picture winner ever. The acting was awful, the dancing mediocre, the jokes unfunny, and it all builds up to a woman being assaulted as a “well, she deserved it” scenario. I hated everything about it. However, while I did have a string of misfortunes, a few films managed to defy my expectations. The first was last year’s American Made, which wasn’t anything special, and certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was entertaining enough, and I left it in a good mood. The second was The Cowboys, the 1972 John Wayne adventure. As with the former film, not everything about it is perfect – there’s certainly a few details that could have been rewritten. However, while I was expecting a film about how “this pussy generation needs to man up,” what I got instead was a film about how doing one’s duty changes with each generation, and how if adults give kids a chance to prove themselves, they may end up surprised. It’s a pleasant, boisterous film, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

As for television, I actually had a chance to sit down and watch a show in its entirety, and personally, I think I chose well. That show was Barry, Bill Hader’s HBO dramedy, and I absolutely devoured it. The show plays as a cross between BoJack Horseman and Breaking Bad, and across the board, every actor, writer, and director is at the top of their game. When you get the chance, make sure you check it out. It’s definitely worth it. And I also caught the back half of Six By Sondheim, the documentary on the beginning of composer Stephen Sondheim’s career, his relationship with Oscar Hammerstein II, and the six songs that defined him as an artist. It was an incredible look behind the curtain of show business, as well as a modest look at a modern-day genius.

That’s it for this week. I’m hoping to get out to the theaters again soon, what with both mainstream and independent cinema experiencing a modest boom, but it may be difficult, what with the current state of MoviePass (pretty much the reason I opted for month-to-month service). At the very least, I should be able to get a few reviews done for y’all. Until then, you can leave a comment with suggestions for what I can watch next, what films you’ve liked this week, and what you think of the films I’ve watched. See you all soon!

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