Deadpool 2

A dilemma. How was I supposed to watch Deadpool 2 with Mom in town? I can get her to the movies sometimes, but I had no intention of making this one of those movies. She’d be praying thru the whole blasphemous film. Then a solution came to me, that also solved another problem. We wanted to make sure to have dinner with a friend of mine, so I scheduled it for Deadpool night. We’d do dinner, then put mom in an uber while we went off to the movie. I ran this plan by Mom. “Well, what movie is it? I could go with you guys” “Not this one; it’s all bad language and violence, and–” “Ay no, I’ll go home”

But yes, the Merc wit the Mouth is back!! And I was so excited for his triumphant return, to the point of stopping at every 7-11 I pass, trying to get the full set of Slurpee cups. I think I may have been too excited though, because I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed throughout. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I laughed louder and harder and more often than I ever do at films, yet something still felt like it was missing. I’m hoping that my possible second viewing next week evens the playing field.

There were moments I loved beyond any doubt. First off, so many throwbacks to the first film, many of them small and subtle. I had just rewatched the previous movie a few days before (I put it on when Mom went to church), so it was fresh. But really, I found the best part were the newbies. The Hunt for the Wilderpeople kid was a perfect addition to the film; the way he could play off Ryan and challenge him was right on point.

However, the real scene stealer for me was Domino (Zazie Beetz). I loved every damn thing about her, starting with her power of luck. I’ve found that with a lot of supers, no matter what their power, their fights look very similar. Hers is different. Much like why I love Doctor Strange, her style is more thought out and unexpected. Maybe she’s not doing as much of the thinking like Strange is, but the writers sure had to get those brains working to lay out her sequences, and it’s incredible. Plus mega bonus points for being a strong fierce woman (even more bonus points for diversity casting) who can more than hold her own against one of the largest personalities the silver screen has ever seen.

Ultimately I did really enjoy this movie, I just didn’t leave with the same level of excitement as I went in with. Still excited to see it again tho

Deadpool 2 – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

Terminal

Mom’s been in town, which really puts a damper on my movie plans. However, my therapist has been on me to join some MeetUp groups (apparently meeting people is a way to deal with social anxiety, whodda thunk), and when I found one nearby going to the movies, that felt like a good escape.

Terminal stars Margot Robbie as, um, uh, I actually don’t know how to describe this. That’s as far as I knew going in, and it took a while for the story to come together enough to figure out what was happening. She’s an assassin or something? Some role that fits well for psycopaths, and she’s trying to turn her competition against each other. Basically picture her Harley Quinn, and now imagine if Harley were more calculating that chaotic. Also, Mike Myers and Simon Pegg are somehow involved.

Some of the film really worked. The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous, with incredible colors and images that really popped. The performances, also incredible. Pegg and Robbie had some great back and forth banter (which is apparently what drew Pegg to the role) and it was wonderful seeing Myers on screen for the first time in a while. Oh and whoever did Robbie’s hair and makeup needs to be my best friend, because damn.

So then why didn’t it work? It was all style and trying-to-hard-to-be-capable-of-any-real-substance. It brought me back to John Dies at the End or Cosmopolis, two other films that are exquisite in their style, but offer nothing substantive other than confusion. Terminal at least did eventually tie things together into something that made some sense, but it took so long to get there, it wasn’t worth the journey. Better to just view some stills and maybe a few short clips than sit thru the whole thing.

Terminal – \m/ \m/

Adaptation

This one seems an anomaly to be included. It’s all about Nicholas Cage. I mean hell, he plays too characters. Yet somehow it’s Chris Cooper who pulled off a win that year (in supporting) to represent the film. Meryl had her supporting nod and Cage his lead nod.

Confession, I wasn’t paying the most attention. I had just started on this 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Now Music of the Heart was appropriate background entertainment for that, but Adaptation required more rapt focus. It took a while to figure it out.

Actually, it’s not about Nicholas Cage. It’s about Charlie Kauffman, the screenwriter. Kauffman was struggling to a adapt a novel into a screenplay, and instead came up with this screenplay about that struggle. Cage plays Kauffman and a fictional twin brother.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense watching it, but reflecting on it, it does all come together in a genius way. I don’t even know where to describe it, you have to experience it. Thankfully, we’re just focusing on Meryl for this blog so I don’t need to dig in too deep.

I think it’s another nominated-because-she’s-Meryl role. That and there’s a fun twist around her character that would have made her more memorable. I don’t know that performance wise there was anything other than the usual exciting skill she brings.

Music of the Heart

How did I completely forget about N Sync’s song from this movie?! As it played during the end credits, images of the music video and the boys in a school hallway with Gloria Estefan came flooding back.

But we’re not talking about N Sync, we’re talking about Meryl. Had this film come out a few years earlier, I’d have been all over it. I was raised on inspirational family films of the 90s. Except I was a freshman or soph in high school when this was released, so I was too cool for that (despite the N Sync connection).

This movie is def one of those where Meryl got nominated bc she’s Meryl. No other actress would have gotten this kinda attention. But of course she knocked it outta the park.

I actually rather enjoyed this movie. It wasn’t quite as sugary as I expected. Her character had some bite and some arc to her. We saw her establish her program and then fight to save it years later. That finale was so moving, watching the big performance play out. Teachers looking for a film to watch in class on your hangover days, consider this!

One True Thing

Wow this movie is so 90s. Normally, if I would say a statement like that it’d be drenched in nostalgia, but I’m not sure how much the 90s vibe is a good thing here. It’s making it difficult to take this seriously as an Oscar contender or a Meryl Streep film. It was the year where Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan and Roberto Benigni stole it from Edward Norton, so I guess the Academy was on crack that year.

Srsly tho, the costumes, the score, the cinematography, the title, the Renee Zellwegger. So so 90s.

Renee is a young professional who moves back home when Mama Meryl is diagnosed with cancer. I’m struggling to watch this, and I think it’s because of how demanding and calloused the dad (William Hurt) was about insisting that she do this. Something my parents were always so so good about is allowing me to live my life, and not allowing any of their issues to get in the way. Daddy never let on how sick he was at the end so that I wouldn’t worry. Mom has gotten as many of her affairs in order so she won’t be a burden later, and under no circumstances would want me to have to take sole care of her. This is something I appreciate more than I could possibly articulate, and seeing parents in this film that are doing the exact opposite breaks my heart.

I really don’t get this as a nominee. First off, Meryl is up for lead, but this is really Renee’s film. Second, this is not an Oscar caliber film. But Meryl is playing a sickly mother, which is often an awards bait-y type of role. We hadn’t seen her do that yet, and of course, the Academy recognizes her every time she does something different.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, this movie is set in the 80s? Did anyone tell the production design? Or the costumer? Did I mention I’m live blogging this entry (with a delayed posting).

Okay Meryl just had an epic monologue (even if the dialog is cliche) and the nomination is making more sense. Still surprises me though that they took this movie that seriously.

Bad Samaritan

Some movies need to be seen in a theater. Others are better suited for Netflix. This was more the latter, but seen in the format of the former.

An artsy Irish kid runs a scam with a friend of his where they valet cars and rush off to rob the car owner’s house while they are enjoying their dinner. Until one day when he robs the wrong dude’s house (the wrong dude played by David Tenant), and he finds a girl chained up in the office. Unable to help her in the moment, he flees the scene and calls the cops on the house. It then becomes a game of cat and mouse between him and the rich psycho a-hole.

The first act of the film was fantastic, exactly the kind of dark and disturbing story that I like and dripping with tension. Simultaneously not the best choice and the absolute best choice for someone with anxiety. But then, it just got really dumb. The FBI storyline was rushed and cheesy, the mindgames our serial dude was playing were just trying too hard to be intense, it just didn’t work. Had I been at home watching on Netflix, this is the point where I woulda started playing Rollercoaster Tycoon and zoning out.

I do love seeing Tenant play bad, but this role isn’t nearly as satisfying as his Kilgrave. This dude is not gonna be remembered among the greats like my boys Patrick, Norman, and Dexter.

Bad Samaritan – \m/ \m/ \n

The Bridges of Madison County

I believe seeing the promos for this movie back in the day were the first time I ever heard the name “Meryl Streep”. At the time, I simply thought this film looked like an old people’s romantic film, and nothing I’d be at all interested in. Watching it now, I certainly don’t think I could have appreciated it had I seen it any sooner.

No, this is not the sort of movie I go for, but I’m glad for having finally watched. It truly is beautiful, if you let yourself get lost in it. Okay, the framing with the adult children is rather cheesy, but the main story is stunning.

Whodda thunk that Clint Eastwood actually plays romantic lead rather well too, yeah? The chemistry between the two of them is palpable, and I see why this has become a classic romantic film. It’s certainly miles above any romcom from the same era, that’s for damn sure.

Overboard

I was entirely ready to skip this one. I hadn’t seen the original or any trailers for this one, and we all know I don’t do romcoms. But what I don’t do more than I don’t do romcoms is I don’t do going straight home on a Friday when there’s a movie I can watch. And no other movie had viable times (there was no way I’d stay awake thru anything that wasn’t immediately after work). I prayed this would be more com than rom.

In a gender swapping remake of the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell film, Eugenio Derbez is a bratty billionare, who spends his life partying on his party yacht. Anna Faris is a mother of three, working that many jobs to barely stay afloat. Derbez has an accident that leaves him with amnesia, so Faris convinces him that they’re married and sets him to work helping and providing for her family. Hilarity ensues.

It did take me a while to get with it. Derbez starts off completely unlikeable (I’ve never been a fan of his to begin with). The story is completely implausible and problematic. Plus I had a guard up because for everyone in the back I-DONT-DO-ROMCOMS! And yet,as the film went on, I was more and more into it.

Despite being a bit problematic, the intentions of the film felt very sincere. It was sweet and endearing and felt more like a family comedy than a romantic comedy. Now those I definitely do. I could tell everything that was gonna happen, but it didn’t really matter. I was enjoying being in their world. Pure escapism at its best.

Also, MAJOR points for Hispanic representation, and not only because I came around to Derbez over the course of the film. A good amount of the characters were Hispanic, and maybe a third of the dialog was in Spanish. The bilingual dialog made me feel like I was back home in Texas. I hope this movie plays huge in Hispanic communities. Representation matters.

Overboard – \m/ \m/ \m/

Tully

Diablo Cody is one of my favorite screenwriters. I will watch anything she does. Kind of a bummer that apparently not a lot of people felt the same way since the auditorium was pretty bare. Then again, this movie might not quite be for everyone.

Tully is a very real look at motherhood, following Charlize Theron as Marlo, an overworked mom who just gave birth to #3. She’s experiencing post-partum depression coupled with extreme exhaustion–subjects that aren’t often covered properly on film. At her wits end, Marlo hires night nanny Tully to help alleviate her workload. But Tully might be able to do more than just provide late night childcare.

If you’re a Cody fan, think of this more along the lines of Young Adult than Juno. Her phenomenal wit is on fully display, but only in small glimpses. This is not exactly a comedy. It’s much heavier than the trailer suggests. One of her triumphs with Young Adult was making you care about an unlikeable character. We have a similar feat as she makes you are about an extremely depressed individual that doesn’t even care about herself. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s a story that we need told.

Theron, of course, is amazing. Again, if you loved her Young Adult performance, you’ll love her here. She’s so nuanced and layered and makes Marlo feel like every mother out there, even if she can’t speak for them all.

It’s certainly a movie that made me think about things, moreso than being entertaining. While I don’t directly relate to it, I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who do, and this story is for them.

Tully – \m/ \m/ \m/

Postcards from the Edge

Now, we move into the 90’s which were far less generous with the awards than her other career decades. This is the first of only three (gasp!)

I actually really like this movie. It’s based off Carrie Fisher’s book which is a fictionalization of her life, focusing in on her struggles with addiction and relationship with her mother. I always like movies about Hollywood, and here it’s sort of just the background of the real story.

We’ve got sassy Meryl here, not a look we see often from here, and I love it. I want to see more of that side. She’s got a snappy comeback for everything, to deflect every possible situation or chance at emotion. It’s brilliantly written and expertly performed.