Movies are a great form of escapism even in the best of times.

49. (1703.) Black Panther (2018)
I admit it: I didn't love it, mainly because it was far too familiar. It's functionally a thin retread of the first Iron Man film in African masks. I think Marvel movies have become a brand I can live without (at least until the Fantastic Four yet another reboot).

50. (1704.) Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
Speaking of familiar, the latest Jay and Silent Bob knows it's just revisiting old material, and it leans in, essentially parodying itself. I found it delightful, but I'm a sucker for that sort of metatextural comedy, especially in service to a film franchise I have really enjoyed.

51. (1705.) Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache (2018)
This documentary of the first significant female movie director spends a great deal of time investigating why her contemporaries remain world famous but she slipped through the cracks of history. In two words, it looks a lot like jealousy and misogyny.

52. (1706.) After Office Hours (1935)
Clark Gable stars in this romantic comedy/murder mystery mash-up. In other words, it's the Great Depression equivalent of a Lifetime Mysteries movie.

53. (1707.) The New Gladiators (1984)
If The Running Man had been made in Italy and taken place in the Colosseum you'd have this, originally released in Italian as I guerrieri dell'anno 2072! There aren't a whole bunch of nice things to say about it, but sometimes that's the fun. (You know, The Running Man was made 3 years after this, so maybe The New Gladiators deserves credit as a rough rough draft.)

54. (1708.) The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Some humble, naive son of immigrants named Lew Gerig was apparently a pretty good stickball player in the 1920s until he got old, lost his coordination, and stopped playing. Sometime fiction is stranger than truth.

More to come.

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To be continued...


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