Tag Archives: movie lists

i can’t even blame jeff

18 Jan

I’ll just go ahead and say it: This was my most pathetic year of movie watching yet.

Eight? Eight movies? That’s all I watched?

What the shit was I doing with my time?

No, really, can someone tell me? My memory of 2018 is hazy at best at this point. (A defense mechanism, as trying to process all that went on last year in one fell swoop would most likely make my brain and heart and toes throw themselves up and declare defeat.)

I could maybe squeeze it to nine movies, if I count all the partials of Netflix/Hallmark holiday movies I watched. I don’t think I finished a single one, gripped instead by the exciting world of sleep that drew me in, drew me away from whatever PR rep/caterer/event planner was falling in love on the screen with the high school boyfriend who got away/prince in disguise/hotshot business man. But seeing as how they’ve all melded together in my mind into one giant super holiday movie (now THERE is an idea for a screenplay!) I’m not sure I should.

And unlike last year, when it was completely and utterly Jeff Bezos’ fault that I didn’t watch very many movies, the fault is all mine this year. In my defense, though I watched only a few movies, the movies I did watch were quality movies and quite spectacular: Lady Bird, Molly’s Game, Black Panther. I watched some simply terrific movies this year.

So at least there’s that.

Movies I Watched + 3 takeaways from each

January 1, 2018-December 31, 2018

 

  • 1. Black Panther*–1. Black Panther has, by far, the best superpowers of any superhero. 2. “I thought you meant Coachella, or Disneyland.” 3. Golden spears and pet rhinos would make the world a better place.
  • 2. Lean on Me*–1. Morgan Freeman and Robert Guillaume. Does it get any better? No. 2. I think we can all agree that the 1989 version of the song Lean on Me is FAR inferior to the Bill Withers version. 3. Charmain! Oh, Laaaance.
  • 3. Sing!*–1. Johnny the Gorilla singing I’m Still Standing is the best. The best! 2. A pig in sequined spandex and a German accent? Yes, please. 3. I really can’t stand that singing mouse. Sorry, Seth, McFarlande.
  • 4. Molly’s Game*–1. Aaron Sorkin, you’ve done it again.Thank you for being talented. 2. Apparently the character played by Michael Cera is supposed to be, in real life, Tobey Maguire? And Tobey Maguire is apparently a complete dick in real life. 3. Idris Elba is in this movie, which I didn’t realize and which I love and also he works for Gage Whitney, which WELL PLAYED, MR. SORKIN. (And if you don’t know what that means then you clearly need to watch the West Wing another few times.)
  • 5. All the Queen’s Horses*–1. I would LOVE to hear Rita’s take on all of this. 2. Who the hell keeps 300 horses? 300 HORSES. That’s just…a lot of horses. How do you keep them all straight? 3. It’s still astounding to me that the city of Dixon never noticed that such large sums of money were going missing.
  • 6. The Secret Life of Pets*–1. You know, even cartoon movies about animals in potential danger make me a little anxious, and are hard to watch. 2. I had to do a LOOOOT of IMDBing to find out the voices behind the characters for this one. Though Kevin Hart, surprisingly, I got right off the bat. 3. This movie made me want to take my dog with me everywhere all the time. More than I do already. Because I’m That Person, and I’m fine with that.
  • 7. Lady Bird*–1. Laurie Metcalf is the newest person to be added to my Fantasy Dinner Party that includes Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Kristen Bell, and Reese Witherspoon (and John Goodman and Tom Hanks, if I decide to make it a co-ed dinner party). 2. I used to wonder why parents would get all uptight about their kid going far away to college or moving to a city far away, but I get it now. You spend so many years raising this person that you love more than life itself, and then they want to leave and there’s a risk that they might never come back and it’s heartbreaking to think about. 3. Yup. That’s 2002.
  • 8. Crazy Rich Asians*–1. This was much like and yet nothing like the book. 2. I would not mind going on a free shopping spree on a private island. 3. The long-lost dad thing makes sense in the book, but makes absolutely no sense here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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jeff bezos doesn’t want me to watch movies; or, the 2017 mcpolish movie list

29 Jan

I think the best word to describe my movie watching in 2017 would be “anemic.”

I had some substantial meals in there—The Last Jedi, the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, for example. But when a list of only 11 contains almost a third of Netflix and Lifetime holiday movies* (yes, they count), there are clearly some essential movie vitamins and minerals missing here.

I can make you all sorts of promises that I’m going to up my movie game in 2018, but almost a month into the year and it’s not looking likely. There’s hope, of course, as there are a quite a few movies out currently that I want to see.

But let’s be real—getting out to a movie, while I love going, requires carful coordination these days, thanks to Baby McSwedolishan not being old enough to A) attend R-rated movies, 2) not being old enough to watch himself, and III) his general lack of sleeping through movies like he did as an infant. Also, he hogs the popcorn, so going to the movies with him these days is just not enjoyable.

You know what, though? I don’t want to be one of those moms who blames her lack of social life and movie cultural knowledge on her kids. And if I’m really being real, Baby McSwedolishan is not to blame. Jeff Bezos is.

I love Amazon as much as the next person who has fallen under their dreamy 2-day delivery spell—despite that they are often lying liars who lie about when a package was delivered, and yes, I will call customer service every damn time this happens—but they have played an enormous role in my lack of movie watching. Where they could be a huge boon to my movie consumption they are more often a hindrance—either Prime doesn’t have the movies I want to watch, or they do, but I can’t rent it, I have to buy it for $15.

For God’s sake, Bezos, get it together. Why would I want to buy a movie I’ve never seen?

Sure, I’d pay the same to see a movie I’ve never seen in a movie theatre. But for the cost of a movie ticket, I also get surround sound, recliner chairs, and a screen the size of my house. You know what watching a movie at my own home doesn’t include? Surround sound or a screen the size of my house. It does sometimes include a recliner chair, I’ll give you that.

So no, I don’t want to pay the same amount to watch a movie online as I do to watch a movie in a theatre, simple as that.

I guess we’ll see what 2018 will bring by way of movie watching, though neither my bar nor my hopes of busting this year’s number are set terribly high. Jeff Bezos, you can change that. Be a helper, not a hater, Bezos.

In the meantime, and in at least an effort to queue up some worthwhile films, do you have any suggestions for movies I should see, dear Interwebers?

*And it’s safe to say that that number is actually higher, because I know there are other holiday films I watched throughout the season that I forgot to write down though does it really matter because let’s be honest after awhile they all blend together anyway.

Movies I Watched + 3 takeaways from each

January 1, 2016-December 31, 2017

  • Joy*–1. Robert DeNiro and Isabella Rosselini are in this movie? I had no idea!; 2. Jesus Christmas, Robert DeNiro and Isabella Rosselini’s characters are awful people in this movie; 3. I should watch more QVC.
  • Hidden Figures*–1. God, I love Octavia Spencer; 2. I want to watch this movie 100 times; 3. Why don’t people dress up more for work today? They really should, it adds an air of elegance.
  • Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth 1995 version)*–1. Holy Mother of God, I don’t know who is more annoying, Mrs. Bennet or Lydia Bennet; 2. I’ve always liked Colin Firth, but I understand now how he came to be the hunk that he is; 3. Lydia is played by the woman who plays Saffy in Ab Fab, and I like her MUCH better as Saffy.
  • Becoming Warren Buffett*–1. Warren Buffett essentially had two wives at the same time; 2. I find his friendship with Bill Gates kind of brodorable; 3. Warren Buffett seems like a relatively happy, normal guy for being a billionaire, but I also get the sense that he can be a real asshole and crabby sometimes.
  • Legal Eagles*–1. There’s something very jarring about 80s movies, like half the plotlines never get fleshed out, or maybe some of the key elements get left on the cutting room floor; 2. Robert Redford is goofy in this movie, but it works; 3. Seriously, what is up with Daryl Hannah? She is the most emotionless actress I’ve ever seen.
  • Wonder Woman*–1. So good. SO GOOD! 2. Is the guy who played Steve supposed to be like a new, young Matt Damon? Because he kind of looks like a new, young Matt Damon. 3. I think there should be a Wonder Woman 2.)
  • A Christmas Prince–1.Yes, Netflix holiday movies totally count. 2. So many plot holes. So many. 3. But who doesn’t love a good cheesy holiday film?
  • Naughty & Nice–1. I quite like Haylie Duff. 2. Why are all these cheesy holiday films suddenly casting wooden, expressionless male leads? 3. Again with the plot holes.
  • A Christmas Note–1. Meadow! From the Sopranos! Now in Holiday movies! 2. Wait, the husband isn’t dead? 3. Sisters forever!
  • The Vietnam War (Ken Burns & Lynn Novick)*–1. This was incredibly hard to watch at times. 2. All 20 hours were worth it. 3. The lies from the government were/are absolutely astounding. Like, mind-blowingly inconceivable and terrible.
  • The Last Jedi*–1. I love BB8. By far my favorite character. 2. I keep calling this movie Return of the Jedi in my head, which is obviously not correct. 3. How did I not catch on to the whole “Luke using the Force” thing when Kylo Ren was trying to blow him up? Well played, movie people. Well played.)

*Denotes recommended movie

 

a year of movies: year one

25 Jan

I’m not a big movie watcher, not nearly as I am a big book reader. But I like movies, so I’m not entirely sure why it is I don’t watch many. Last year I decided to watch more movies (and documentaries), so I did.

At least I think I did.

Honestly, I have no idea, really, because it was the first year I was keeping track.
But I definitely made a concerted effort to watch more movies, both at home and in the theatre, and I don’t regret it. Some are years, decades old that I never got around to seeing, some are new, all come with three thoughts/takeaways I had while watching.

What movies should I add to my To Watch list, Interwebers?

Movies I Watched + 3 takeaways from each

January 1, 2016-December 31, 2016

  1. Dallas Buyers Club*–1. Holy shit, is everyone scrawny in this movie. 2. I had no idea Jennifer Garner was in this film. 3. This movie was a lot longer than I thought–I’m not complaining, it was a good movie, just seemed very long.
  2. Seven Years in Tibet–1. Brad Pitt’s Austrian accent is just awful. 2. The fact that the Dalai Lama depicted in this movie is the same one who is still alive today blew my mind (it’s not hard to do). 3. I wonder if the Dalai Lama has seen this movie (since he’s such a big fan of movies) and what he thinks of it.
  3. Jurassic World–1. BD Wong! That’s two movies in a row with BD wong! 2. There is no way in hell that Clare could run around the whole g-d park and be chased by dinosaurs in those goddamn heels. WTF? She’d have been eaten within five minutes. 3. I know they’re fake, but the field of dying brontosauruses really broke my heart. I can’t even stand to think about it. Sad. Really sad. They are my favorite dinosaur.
  4. The Professional*–1. Gary Oldman plays creepy and crazy really, really well. 2. I like Natalie Portman better as a child actress, even though she has some Lolita-like moments in this flick. 3. I have never been as sad to see a hitman die as I was when Leon was taken out.
  5. American Experience: Murder of a President*–1. James Garfield was quite a dashing man in his youth. 2. It is fascinating to be reminded that there was a time when cleaning surgical devices and general medical equipment was not the norm, and it makes me want to shout at the television, “Just clean the wound, you daft doctor!” even though I know that will help no one. 3. Charles Guiteau was part of the Oneida community, but could never grasp the rules. So there’s that.
  6. Kung Fu Panda 3*–1. The more you gain, the less you have. 2. There really IS no reason to eat only one dumpling at a time. 3. Cartoon pandas remind me of my dog, and I have no idea why. Might be the “sad eyes,” like Puss in Boots, but in black and white.
  7. The Godfather*–1. A surprising lack of cursing in this movie. I must be jaded from today’s foul-mouthed movies that I find this so intriguing. 2. Oh, Talia Shire. Sheesh, dial it back a notch, your hysterics are not terribly believable. 3. This storyline was not what I was expecting at all.
  8. Trumbo*–1. Is it just me, or does Bryan Cranston’s voice in this movie sound like he could be auditioning for a Wurther’s Original commercial? 2. Diane Lane gets more beautiful with every year. 3. John Goodman. John Goodman! And of course his scene with the baseball bat will be what I will remember about this movie always.
  9. The Jungle Book* (The Jon Favreau live action film, not the Disney cartoon)–1. Why aren’t there any lions in the jungle? 2. After watching Idris Elba as Stringer Bell for so many seasons on The Wire, it’s a bit disconcerting to hear him speaking in his natural British accent. 3. Christopher Walken was a perfect choice to voice King Louie, and while I liked Bill Murray as Baloo, his rendition of “Bear Necessities” had nothing on Phil Harris’.
  10. Spotlight*–1. Stanley Tucci. Stanley Tucci! I feel about him the same way I feel about John Goodman: He makes every movie better. 2. I always find it fascinating when movie people can make such an intriguing, engaging movie out of something (working for a newspaper, even if you are an investigative reporter) that is not terribly interesting in real life. 3. The level of scandal in the Church is astounding, and disgusting, and who the hell is so drunk on power that it gets as deep and as far up as this one did? It’s revolting.
  11. Sisters–1. Tina Fey who talks like an irresponsible party girl is not terribly believable and feels like an over-drawn out SNL skit. 2. Dianne Wiest and James Brolin make this movie. 3. Maya Rudolph’s dancing outside while the dance routine to Informer is happening is phenomenal.
  12. Dope*–1. The soundtrack in this movie is everything. 2. I love Forrest Whitaker, even though you never see him. 3. There is a reason people no longer wear flat-tops and jean jacket vests. And that is because they are unflattering on everyone.
  13. Get Shorty*–1. Gene Hackman! I love Gene Hackman. I’d forgotten he was in this movie. 2. You know, I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of John Travolta movies, besides Grease, so to see him acting in something else is quite intriguing. He has a quiet way about him, of sorts, doesn’t he? 3. Holy crap–you can really tell how dated this movie is by the style of “Cadillac of Minivans.”
  14. Mad Max–Fury Road–1. About 95% of this movie seems to be one big atomic car chase. 2. There’s not so much dialogue as there is a lot of grunting. 3. I don’t think I need to see any more Max Max movies.
  15. The Infiltrator*–1. I was worried that this movie would be super violent or some such; thankfully, it’s not. 2. Bryan Cranston! Again! It’s like the Year of Bryan Cranston movies for me. Not that I’m complaining. 3. Oh, Benjamin Bratt. I do feel bad for you and your wife in this movie. I’m so sorry you’re a drug overlord.
  16. A Beautiful Mind*–1. Every time there was a shot of Russell Crowe’s character that was pulled back from him a little, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, he looks short and dumpy.” 2. So many ‘00 actors in this! Anthony Rapp! That guy from Dazed and Confused! Paul Bettany! It’s like a blast from the turn-of-the-century past! 3. The whole thing about Paul Bettany being an imaginary friend kind of blew my mind. Ed Harris? Yes, I could see that. But Paul Bettany I was not suspecting, and I was all, “WHOA.”
  17. Straight Outta Compton*–1. They got some really good lookalike actors for the roles of the NWA members. 2. I’m always fascinated by this time in music, because the rise of gangsta rap was around the same time as the rise of alternative/grunge/Seattle music scene. 3. How was this only nominated for best original screenplay?
  18. Wall Street–1. I can understand why Michael Douglas won the Academy Award for this movie, unless you are talking about the last 10 minutes, which fit with the rest of the movie not at all. (Seriously? Beating Charlie Sheen up in the middle of an open field in Central Park? Whatever.) 2. It’s always strange for me to see Martin Sheen in roles other than President Bartlet. 3. Daryl Hannah has the most expressionless face I’ve ever seen.
  19. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief*– 1. That Scientology shit is fucked up. 2. I can see how people might get sucked into the beginnings of it–self-help stuff is always catchy and provocative to people who are searching for something in their lives (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). 3. I share a birthdate with L. Ron Hubbard, which I find mildly disturbing.
  20. My Friend Rockefeller–1. The word for “hoity-toity” in German is “itsy-pitsy.” 2. The directors make it seem like this con artist was intimately involved with the Rockefeller family, but he’s really not. Just tells people his last name is Rockefeller, and people believed him, and there’s not much into it beyond that. Disappointing. 3. Meh. So this guy was a con artist and probably killed a couple of people. Overall not as compelling of a documentary as I wanted it to be.
  21. Great Performances: Hamilton’s America*–1. I learned more about American history watching this making of the musical than I think I learned in all of my history classes combined. 2. Before watching this, I was lukewarm on seeing the show, but now I would jump at the chance and sell one of the cats for a ticket. 3. I love the guy who plays Thomas Jefferson, and (what I saw of) his portrayal of him in the show.
  22. Trolls*–1. WTF were the screenwriters on when they wrote this movie, seriously? 2. I will never hear the song “The Sound of Silence” the same again. 3. One of my favorite things about animated movies is identifying the voices, but for why was Gwen Stefani given such high billing when she has all of like one line?
  23. The Great Outdoors*–1. I miss you, John Candy. 2. I wish they still made Jeep Wagoneers. 3. Remember when you could say the word “shit” in a movie, and it could still be rated PG?
  24. August: Osage County–1. Jesus Christmas this movie is depressing. I seem to remember the trailers making it out to be humorous. It’s not. 2. Meryl Streep is the greatest actress of all time, isn’t she? She really is. 3. Who knew Benedict Cumberbatch was in this movie?!

 

*recommended