Wednesday 6 December 2023
I've really fallen off the movie watching pace this year. It looks like I'll only see maybe 140 new-to-me films in 2023, my lowest total since 2016. Let that be a lesson: When you work too hard, there's not enough time to sit on your ass and watch movies. Time to reinvestigate my priorities.
112/2278. Man Hunt (1941)
Walter Pigeon is hunted across England by Nazis because he thought about assassinating Hitler. It gets pretty brutal; the Nazis do not play fair. And to think: This movie was made in America in 1941! (Director Fritz Lang had escaped Nazi Germany, so he had some first-hand experience and an axe to grind, and grind it he did.) The call to action at the end is a bit much, but thumbs up otherwise.
113/2279. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)
I've played in my share of Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, and I can attest that this movie gets it all right: wisecracking, well-intentioned but marginally competent (and greedy) heroes make for a crackling good time. It made me want to get together with friends and start a new campaign.
114/2280. The Flash (2023)
I covered the key aspects of this piece of trash back in September. To reiterate: it's bad; don't watch it. (On my first attempt, I made it to the 8 minute mark before I couldn't take it anymore and had to bail. A friend convinced me to try again, starting at 1 hour, when Michael Keaton arrives. I did as he said, and I was left with bile in my mouth as I watched Keaton parody himself for a big paycheck. Poor guy. Maybe Birdman was more autobiographical than I would have previously believed. The real sin here: never remind your audience they could be watching other, better movies.)
115/2281. Summer of '42 (1971)
What I didn't like about this enjoyably bittersweet coming-of-age story was the dialogue between the three friends. I was that age once, and I'm sure my friends and A) had a much better grasp of sex B) didn't sound like egghead playwrights. Very distracting in what was otherwise a very naturalistic setting.
"In '42, we were thirsty... for love."
116/2282. A Zest for Death: A Hannah Swensen Mystery (2023)
I'm glad that Hallmark has resumed their Hannah "The Baker" Swensen mystery series. I enjoy them in large part because I enjoy using their established formulas to resolve which of the newly introduced characters has to be the murderer, no matter how improbable the story would want you to think it is. In other words: dumb puzzle movie make Walter feel smart. Hooray!
More to come.
Monday 4 December 2023
Happy 7th birthday, Audrey!
Sorry, I don't have an "after" photo. You'll just have to imagine a white plate licked clean.
Saturday 2 December 2023
On the bright side, it's kind of comforting to lose an SEC Championship game to Alabama again. In changing times, it's reassuring to have a familiar rock to crash your ship upon.
Thursday 30 November 2023
Sunday 26 November 2023
"Since October, 100 emergency calls have come in, Conroy said, with 81 of those involving vehicles crashing into an animal or a dead deer in the roadway. There were seven incidents of deer caught on a fence, eight responses to calls on injured deer and one incident of two deer fighting, the chief said."
Obviously, that begs the question: who, exactly, were those two deer fighting?
Friday 24 November 2023
107/2273. The Boys in the Band (1970)
First of all, this movie perfectly demonstrates why I hate parties. Stick around long enough with a bunch of drunks, and shit always goes bad. That said, it's a very well performed play. I don't generally enjoy dramas where the protagonist is an asshole, but here the descent into self-destruction is gradual (but well telegraphed), and, perhaps more importantly, the protagonist is very soundly called out (and punished) for his bad behavior. I enjoyed it.
108/2274. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamera (2003)
This autobiographical documentary of McNamera imparts important lessons about the former Secretary of Defense's philosophy and experiences while still tiptoeing around the topic of how much responsibility he had in the quagmire that became the Vietnam War, largely because he refuses to directly entertain the question. He wants you to respect the man, even if you dislike him. In fact, that's Lesson #1: "Empathize with your enemy."
109/2275. BS High (2023)
Another documentary, this time about the man behind the fraudulent Bishop Sycamore High School that played prep football on ESPN. Some things are just wrong.
110/2276. Cocaine Bear (2023)
Yeah, the bear murders people while high on cocaine, but aren't the real monsters humans? Loved it.
111/2277. Two O'Clock Courage (1945)
Tom Conway plays a man with amnesia who might be a murderer in this noir that's not embarrassed to lean into genre cliches. The short runtime is a real asset, keeping it tight and suspenseful, even if I still don't know what exactly "two o'clock courage" is.
More to come.