As we enter the final three months of 2018, it’s a time most begin looking to cinema’s future: what Oscar contenders will come out, what fall hits will come out, and so on. However, as I do not have festival credentials (yet), I decided to spend my week looking backwards, and catching up on the films of the year I’d fallen behind on. At least one of these will result in a review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which I hope to have posted soon. Spoiler alert: it’s dorky and cheesy and I loved it.
Actually, a good portion of my week was dedicated to female-driven films, and it actually made for a fairly pleasant week after a month of depressing “art” (half of which is actually good). The first was Book Club, aka the Four Aging Actresses Read Fifty Shades Movie. Look, I won’t lie to you: it’s literally just a Hallmark Movie where the characters talk like Sex and the City. However, there’s something inherently enjoyable in its goofiness. And yes, all of the actresses are good. Honestly you could do worse. Ditto for I Feel Pretty, which may be one of my guiltiest guilty pleasures yet. Amy Schumer gives the film her all, and there’s something sweet and refreshing about the way she portrays it – she takes a fairly problematic story and makes it nearly inspiring. Again, if you just need a quiet film to pass the time on Friday night, this might be the film for you. And then there’s Steven Soderbergh’s iPhone horror film Unsane. I won’t lie to you – I wanted to like this one more than I did. Soderbergh is one of our greatest directors, and the film just didn’t have the juice to finish the job. However, it’s still quite artfully made, and kudos to Claire Foy for a remarkable performance.
Later in the week, I decided to watch Terrence Malick’s breakout hit Badlands before it left Filmstruck. While I wasn’t as enamored as those who consider it one of the greatest films of all time, I was onboard with its intelligence and depth fairly early on, and I loved what Martin Sheen pulled off in his performance – and not to mention the cinematography and editing. True genre fans and cinephiles definitely want to give this one a watch. And speaking of cinephilic treats, my friend and I used Rabb.it to host my second and his first viewing of Phantom Thread. I’m glad to see that he’s loving it as much as I did the first time – and I’m even happier to note that the film has truly enveloped my soul. I’m beginning to wonder if I made a mistake leaving it off my Top Ten list last year. Hell, I may have to remember its artistry when I make my Best of the Decade list in a year and a half. If you haven’t seen it yet, get on it. And of course, I had to close out my week toasting the King, heading Eastbound and Down with a Coors in hand with a little Smokey and the Bandit. I first saw this classic three years ago, and I remember liking it. This time, I loved it. Everything worked for me, from the editing to the acting to the music to the general f*ck-you-itevness of the Powers That Be. It’s a funny, fun film, and it’s a shame that we’ve lost such a star. I may have to rent his final film (released earlier this year) to toast Burt later this week.
Oh, and I’m happy to report that due to a combination of time and actual content, I’m finally back to watching regular television. I’m happy to report that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back on the air, and I’m even happier to report that it’s funny! It’s a great episode to watch again and again, although be warned about the true terror of Sex Doll Dennis. I also finally started watching GLOW season 2, which is exactly the type of content I am here for. Everyone finally has a handle on their characters, the writing is finally perfected, and everything feels exactly as it should be. And I am pleased to say that football is back, both NCAA and NFL. College was a bit boring yesterday, although I do have three takeaways: my Wolverines are looking strong, Michigan State hilariously lost, and as much as I like Clemson, Texas A&M got screwed (that was a touchdown). Meanwhile, the NFL had a strong opening, although if anyone’s wondering why ratings are down, I can confirm it has nothing to do with protests one way or the other – it’s the fact that they cut off games before the end, like they did to Cleveland–Pittsburgh right at the beginning of overtime. F*ck you, CBS.
That’s it for this week’s What I Watched, What You Watched. I hope to get in a few more beginning-of-year films this week, as well as a few of the recent bad ones to flesh out my list a bit more. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you think of the films I watched last week, as well as what you’ve been watching. Until next time!