August movies

Now that we’re almost halfway thru Sept, I should prolly finish talking about what I watched in August, yeah?

Free Guy – This is one of those movies where I left feeling happy, lighter than air. It was so cute and fun and original, I can’t help but smile when I hear it mentioned.

Don’t Breathe 2 – And on the other end of the joy spectrum, I don’t understand how this got a theatrical release. In order for a suspense to be truly effective, you either need to sympathize with your imperiled characters or really believe they’re in danger. I’m sorry, but just because our blind baddie from before has a daughter somehow, we’re supposta forget the truly awful stuff he did before and root for him? And also believe that he doesn’t always have the upper hand? It took me all of 2 minutes in to realize I didn’t care and didn’t wanna be there any more. So I took a nap instead.

Reminiscence – Reminiscence was a mess, but a very beautiful mess. It never quite settled on the genre blend it wanted, and the story didn’t always make sense. But I love where it ended up, going for a much more romantic spin than I expected or realized I was in the mood for. You just gotta sweep some of the mess under the rug and be sure not to revisit those memories.

The Night House – Really great on suspense, but very lacking in payoff. The mystery that was building was so juicy, and then it threw an ending out there that felt very unsatisfying and unworthy of the journey. Rebecca Hall was at the top of her game tho. She often comes off a bit standoffish in her work, but she played that as her strength in a way where being icy fit the character and gave her some real bite and depth. We just needed a better place to take her to.

The Protege – I enjoyed this much more than I expected. I’d pushed it back a week because it looked very basic, so I was willing to skip it if scheduling needed. And it was very basic. I adore Maggie Q and I want very much for her to have a mega action film or franchise, but this wasn’t quite enough heft or flash. The saving grace was her unexpectedly intense chemistry with Michael Keaton. He’s amazing in everything he does and the way the two played off each other was delicious. They just needed a more interesting film to channel that towards.

Candyman – Among the best I saw this summer. The creep factor was way up there, but the social issues it tried to highlight were equally present. This movie had A LOT to say and did so in a way that heightened the terror. Super impressed with director Nia DaCosta, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Also, right after I saw the film I stopped at H&M to shop for part of my Halloween costume, and was freaking the eff out riding down their mirror covered escalator. So yeah, well done Candyman crew.

Summer Recap

I liked the quick hit recap approach from last month, so I was waiting to build up a few more movies to warrant a post. Then they built up quickly, so I’ll hafta split it into multiples. The good news is that movies are still holding their release dates (except you Venom, gonna make me sit thru the exact same trailer for a whole other month) and the theaters are staying open here. My A-List has been getting a ton of use, and Alamo is hitting my bank account hard. All is right with the world. In that regard at least.

Stillwater – Realized that the timing of my return trip from Texas and the multiple releases that weekend were gonna be tricky to fit in. So instead of my usual afternoon at the movies, I hurried Mom thru dinner and dropped her off at home so I could run to a Thur night movie–that I hadn’t realized was two and a half hours long. This was a very solid and interesting drama, that I knew I’d immediately forget about days later (which I pretty much did). I also felt kinda guilty later about giving it my money since it’s pretty blatantly exploiting a real life story even if it claims to be fully original. So maybe best forgotten about after all.

The Green Knight – This one is gonna be a bit of a hot take because I know hardcore cinephiles have been drooling over this for months before its release. It wasn’t for me. Yes, it was absolutely gorgeous to look at, and the craft of it was stunning. I value story about most else, and that was way too slow for me (which makes sense when I realize it was the same director as A Ghost Story). My brain was in a very detailed and elaborate (cue Mariah) sweet sweet fantasy baby throughout the whole 2 hours, and yet I didn’t miss a single plot point. That’s a problem for me. Highlight of the day was that while I was waiting for my hot dog at concessions, I took one turn at the crane game. It was one of those sideways cranes that I don’t like, but I somehow managed to hook three Spider-men on that one turn. So I kept one and gave the other two to the little cousins.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – Saw this at Alamo a few days after I got back (and Eastern Promises a couple days before). The main reason I wanted to watch this there was because when Bond first moved its release date last year and we all thought they were being silly and paranoid, Alamo replaced it on its lineup with Austin Powers. Then Alamo (and everyone else closed). I forgot how absolutely hilarious this movie is (I typically prefer the second film), and how much I love being in an audience for a good comedy. The buzz of laughter was non-stop and it felt so good to soak it all in. Also forgot what a goddess Mindy Sterling is, and we need more of her. I would absolutely do a repeat viewing in a heartbeat.

The Suicide Squad – This was frustrating. While we know where I typically side on the Marvel vs DC debate, I was genuinely rooting for this film. James Gunn gave me hope. And I love some of what he did, but it was a bit of a mess. A lot of things felt like he was doing them just because he could, and the humor and violence felt forced as a result. But my biggest problem was the character development, or lack thereof–always a risk with a big ensemble film, esp when most characters are net new. Too much time was spent on peeps who didn’t hang around long, and not enough was spent on the ones that stay (could we have more Polka Dot Man backstory and a better explanation of his abilities, please). It was hard to feel a connection to them or even differentiate some of the similarly powered dudes (looking at you Elba and Cena). The one character that was done right was Ratcatcher 2 so of course she ended up being my favorite. That’s what happens when you properly invest the time and effort. I wish I could cherry pick which squad members we did focus on, and then have them introduced right.

Jungle Cruise – There was exactly one thing I wanted out of this movie and I got it: The Rock giving a very classic Jungle Cruise experience, full of puns I love from the ride and a few new ones. I got exactly that about twenty minutes into the film. I was happy, and didn’t need anything else besides that. Which is good because it was otherwise a fairly generic adventure. Fun and enjoyable, but it felt like an amalgam of every other family adventure film that came before–most of whom are also owned by the Mouse.

Donnie Darko – I just wanted to brag that I got to see this at Alamo.

Quick Recap

Welp. It’s been a month and a half since my last post, and I just haven’t had the motivation to get another one done. So many times, it’s been right there on my to do list, but then I just didn’t wanna. I’m not quite ready to let this whole thing go yet, but I haven’t missed the weekly hours I’d put into it. I guess from here on, I’ll just post when the spirit moves me, instead of strictly sticking to writing up every new release I see in theaters.

So why was I so moved now? Because I’m halfway thru a week in Texas, it’s 5 AM here, and I’ve been awake for an hour (after taking forever to fall asleep in the first place) and sleep is not coming. I blame the black tea latte I snuck in with me to see Snake Eyes. Was falling asleep all day despite getting 8 hours the night before and had a headache, so I thought a decent jolt of caffeine (which I typically avoid) was a good idea. I mean, it was a good idea at the time. Got me thru the day. Now I gotta get thru the night (and will likely be a zombie tomorrow).

I picked Black Widow as the movie I wanna fully write up (MCU obsession and all) but I should at least do a quick run thru of everything I’ve seen since last we met.

LOTR: ROTK – Did complete the full trilogy at Alamo over three weeks. That brings my total watch count up to 7/10/14. And my total spend for that last tour between tickets, food, and parking was well over 200. Making up for lost time at the movies I guess

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – Felt the exactly same way about this as the first. All the pieces are there for it to be hilarious, but it just falls flat. I did appreciate that Salma Hayek got a bigger role. Not because I cared about her character, but because I love Salma in general

The Sparks Brothers – I’m picky about what documentaries I’ll give my time to in theaters, but I was sold at Edgar Wright. Felt about it the same way I typically do for his movies. Thinking about it in tiny bits, it’s brilliant. Watching the whole thing, mostly kinda meh. I did end up downloading a greatest hits album of theirs. Oh and favorite running bit was the way he’d label his various guests (splitting Duran Duran, Weird Al as “professional accordionist”)

F9 – Saw this with my coworkers at a new Regal location that opened, and saw that they had a 4DX theater, so I went back again the following week. Not the best for a rewatch, but great for the auditorium effects. Definitely on the lower end of the F&F ranking. Felt very thrown together and incoherent, but still a lot of fun if you don’t try to use your brain much.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – Yo, it was the only thing playing nearby that I hadn’t seen yet and I had to get outta the house. I ended up sleeping thru half of it, so I’ll call that much a win.

The Forever Purge – Interesting concept, and prolly the most logical progression for the franchise, but it felt a bit lazy overall. Or specifically the violence felt lazy. Just a bunch of shooting and mayhem without any thoughtful choreography or much intent behind anything. Point and shoot, then run away and do it again.

Zola – I’m not sure that I cared much for this as entertainment, but I appreciated it as art, particularly in the storytelling. So interesting to me how it was put together, I just wish I had been more invested in the actual story itself

Black Widow – See next post

Space Jam: A New Legacy – Simultaneously the best movie ever and worst movie ever. But really more the latter. Had a lot of fun watching for their WB property cameos, but it felt too much like they knew it was a kids movie and therefore didn’t try too hard to make it palatable to us older kids. And Lebron was much better in Trainwreck.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – It did its job as far as the suspense. Oh man did it not let up. However, as an escape room concept, it was a little disappointing. The first movie was paced well enough with puzzles that I could try and solve as I watched. Here was less puzzles and more don’t-touch-things-they’ll-kill-you and find-the-thing=that’s-hidden.

Old – I’m still a sucker for a good Shyamalan movie. This was a decent one. I felt the main premise went on for too long (felt like it shoulda been a short). Was able to avoid spoilers for a couple days until I saw it, and the implications of the reveal still have me thinking.

Pig – I went in fairly cold, and did not understand what the movie I was watching really was. I had some idea in my head, but it wasn’t until doing my research after that I got that I had missed the point completely. It will warrant a rewatch.

Snake Eyes – Very light but totally watchable action fun. And I still pick Henry Golding for the next 007.

Quick Posts

Set it Off – This movie is from 1996, but it feels like it was shot yesterday. Four black women rage against the system that’s held them down. They’ve had family shot by police for no reason, lost jobs just because of who lives in their neighborhood, had children taken away under BS pretenses. Their answer? Rob some banks and watch the city burn. Loved Queen Latifah’s performance and just simply love Jada always. As a heist movie it’s okay, but as cultural commentary, it’s incendiary. And infuriating that we’re still in the exact same place today.

Whatever it Takes – This a mediocre at best teen comedy that gets lost in the shuffle of many from its era that are infinitely better. But what I hadn’t realized (mostly cause I’d forgotten everything about this movie) was that it was also part of the trend of modernized adaptations of classics. This one is Cyrano de Bergerac. With that context, it’s kinda cool, even if it’s otherwise not too exciting as written. What is kinda exciting is the cast. I bought it cause of James Franco. I didn’t realize that this was the film debut of Aaron Paul. If you ever saw that Juice Fruit commercial, it’s like that character got written into a movie. Sort of a long precursor to Jesse Pinkman without the nuance. Colin Hanks is here too!

Mirage – As of writing, I’ve only seen half of this movie. I was really tired and didn’t wanna fall asleep watching it. But this movie is so cool. It’s one of the ones on my poster and I found it on Netflix. It’s a Spanish film that plays out similar to Frequency. A lady in the present is communicating with a child in the 80s due to some technological phenomenon. She’s trying to save him from a horrible death, but in doing so upends her entire life. So now she’s gotta try to put it all back together. I’m digging it

Whip It – This movie always makes me wanna join the roller derby. I actually had sort of an opportunity a couple years ago. I knew someone in it, who tried recruiting me. She even offered to teach me when I told her I couldn’t skate. I chickened out thinking about how breakable I am, but I’d thought that if she brought it up again I might check it out. She never did. This movie is just such a fun display of girl power. I LOVE the attitude that everyone of them bring to the film (oh hi Zoe Bell!) that I just want to be them. And I really think I could be. Except I don’t skate

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I Am Sam – I think we found a movie that is too sweet for even a Disney kid. This movie is just drowning in saccharine, pushing you to root for a certain outcome that may not actually be the best one. One top of that, it was unnecessarily frenetic rivaling Uncut Gems with how anxiety inducing it was having people loudly talking over each other. I should love this movie. It’s a really good story with a fantastic cast, it just isn’t coherent.

Run Lola Run – On the flip side, here’s a movie where its frenetic pace was its greatest strength. This movie is so cool and stylish. Absolutely gorgeous to watch while it gets the blood pumping. I’d also recommend this as a gateway foreign film. I know that subtitles can be a struggle for some, but the dialog here is minimal. The visuals are what carry the story and what incredible visuals they are.

The Haunted Mansion – I only liked it because I’m a Disney kid and I’ve been on the haunted mansion ride countless times. I spent the whole movie looking for Easter eggs (or hidden Mickeys), identifying references to bits of the Disneyland attraction. Take that element out, and it’s kinda dull. To be fair, there aren’t a lot of kiddie horror movies, so it absolutely gets points for trying, but it’s not worth your time without the Disney knowledge

Seabiscuit – This is one that’d I’d put off for a long time because what do I care about horse racing? But it’s on the poster and it was two bucks at BookMonster. So I watched it, and enjoyed it in the moment, because everyone loves a good underdog sports movies. However, I’m sure I’ll quickly forget about it because, what do I care about horse racing?

Mr and Mrs Smith – This has to be one of the sexiest movies ever made. Palpable chemistry between two of the most gorgeous humans on the planet. But for me, the sexiness goes deeper than that. It’s in the playfulness of it all. The movie isn’t lewd or overtly talking about sex (for the most part). It’s the way they tease each other, stimulating each other’s minds more than each other’s, well you know. That’s what’s truly sexy to me.

Little Giants – This was a childhood favorite, and it explains so much about some of my screwier outlooks on life. I’ve always been a tomboy, but watching Icebox hit it off with itty bitty Devon Sawa made me really lean into that identity as a tween. Surely every pretty boy wants a girl who’s just one of the guys, yeah? That might not have quite worked out for me, but maybe it’s better that I was myself instead of trying to be one of the hottie type girls. Lord knows that would not have worked out well for me either.

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An American Pickle – This film has been polarizing. Mostly, Seth Rogen fans (of which I am adamantly one) loved it. I must be an anomaly because I didn’t really care for it. Mostly I found it a bit too surrealist for my taste and not funny enough. I think they took so many risks with the story (for better or worse) and not enough with the humor. Full marks for originality, but I just wanted more.

Bad Education – Allison Janney and Hugh Jackman are phenomenal, but they have much worthier showcases than this. The story is super interesting, but there’s not a lot of depth to it. It’s just more and more details piling on the same base. I wanted either more twists and turns or more interesting characters for them.

Sunshine Cleaning – Here’s a gem I hadn’t seen in a long time, and it might be one of Amy Adams’ strongest performances. Or at least one of the strongest that still leans into some of her Disney princess qualities (as much as I love her roles that don’t). I’m mostly just highlighting it because it was a sweet 90 minute distraction if that’s something you’re in the mood for.

Don’t Say a Word – I have a very specific memory associated with this film. This was one of the first DVD’s I ever owned, bought second hand at Blockbuster (it’s not even in a real case), and I was watching it on my laptop on the way to start college. My Daddy was sitting on the plane next to me, watching it over my shoulder via the subtitles. I offered to split my headphones, but he was perfectly content. As one of my first DVD’s I watched it many times back then, but it’s been ages since the last watch. What most struct me this time was Brittany Murphy. She is so phenomenal in this, and it made me so sad to watch and wonder what her career could have been. I learned right after watching that the actress who played the daughter also died young under tragic circumstances. Such a bummer that there’s a dark cloud over this movie because I still very much enjoy it. I don’t know that it’d hold its own in today’s cinema world, but I’m a sucker for the psychological mystery of it. And Brittany

Quick Posts

Rubber – My Reddit Secret Santa knocked it out of the park for Arbitrary Day this year. Among the gifts included were a poster checklist meticulously categorizing films and a copy of Rubber that I could then check off said list. This is a weird movie about a tire that starts killing people. Yes a tire. The film is wonderfully meta, which I love. Hell, it started with a whole monologue about how things happen in films for no good reason all the time. Except I think it leaned in too much on the meta, which slowed the pace of the story way down. I wanted more gore and more story. Just more really.

My Dinner with Herve – I will watch Peter Dinklage in anything, so watching this was a tragic delight. He stuck to a very distinct and recognizable character, while maintaining the emotional depth to keep from falling into caricature. It was a really interesting look at the life of Herve Villachaize, and the deep dive tribute he deserves.

Gaslight – We’ve all prolly heard the term “gaslight” recently, to mean a form of psychological abuse or control where a person insists that a lie is the truth leaving their victim questioning their sanity and reality. The term actually comes from this movie, where that’s the basic plot. Hubby tries to convince wife she’s going crazy, but he’s actually trying to keep her under his control. I was very much creeped out watching this. Even before he really escalated his behavior, I could see where he was taking it, and it’s a very real fear. I actually zoned out a good chunk of the movie because I couldn’t handle what was unfolding. It made me very uncomfortable, but in a good way.

Lady Snowblood – Unfortunately, I was very tired when I watched this, so I wasn’t awake for much of it. However, I didn’t need more than a few minutes to recognize what this was: the source of inspiration for Kill Bill. Tarantino practically stole the whole movie. The look and feel, the music style, the basic plot, various bits of imagery. I know KB well enough that I could identify everything that it took. Minimal internet research afterwards confirmed that this was the primary inspiration, to the point where QT would make the cast and crew watch this while working on KB. Kinda cool getting all that background on it, but IDK if it makes me think less of KB now that I see how much of it was borrowed (I don’t wanna say ripped off bc QT def put his own spin on it)

The Tale – Queue the Laura Dern song from this year’s spirit awards. She is a goddess and I adore her, and therefore I soaked in every single word and action of hers in this film with rapt attention. It’s an intense story and she tells it so well. Normally when I’m watching something at home, I’ll start scrolling IMDB trivia before the film is even over. I made a point not to do that because as desperately as I wanted to know what would happen, I wanted Laura to tell me the story her way. It’s difficult subject matter that may not be suitable for everyone, but it’s worth the discomfort if you can stomach it.

Quick Posts

I thought I had it in me to expand a few of these to full posts, but I’m feeling lazy. Not sure if I mentioned it yet, but I’m now back to a normal 5 day workweek, 2 day weekend schedule. I’m already freaking out on how I”ll get all my chill time, exercise, and chores into two days once movie trips and Disney are back in play, but that’s a problem for future Dawn (much much future Dawn by the looks of it ). Anyways, I thought I had it in me to make full posts outta some of these, but this morning I’m feeling lazy. I’m allowed to be lazy in a pandemic right?

A Man Apart – I’d brought this one up when talking about The Grinch. For the most part, it’s a pretty unremarkable and bland crime “thriller”. I was already struggling to get thru it. Then we get to the end bit, and Vin Diesel is supposta be somewhere in Latin America I think. Except, he was actually at Universal Studios. There’s a part on the tour where you stop in this Latin looking area (I forget its actual name) and they tell you about using water effects to create weather. Sprinklers turn on (I’ve been unfortunately positioned for that before) and then a flash flood rages out alongside you. Then they show you a clip from Big Fat Liar that uses that flood and we move on to The Good Place sets. That’s the exact spot where this was shot. Vin was walking down the flash flood path. Normally, I think it’s kinda cool when I recognize the Universal backlot in a film, but this time it was too much. The final strike against a terrible film.

Somewhere – I think this is the only Sophia Coppola film I really connect to, despite sincerely trying very very hard. I’d been contemplating putting this in the watch pile because I remembered enjoying it and little else, but I also seemed to recall it being rather simple. That simplicity serves it well. Elle Fanning, who I typically don’t care much for, is so sweet and engaging. Stephen Dorff turns a character who could be very unlikeable into someone you truly root for. It’s just a happy place of a movie, even if not all the characters are in a happy place.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – I prolly could stretch this into an entire post, but again laziness wins. I just wanted to give this film (we’re talking the 2005 Tim Burton) a quick defense. Yes, the first movie is the definitive one, but I like this because it’s overall more true to the book (except for the Wonka family backstory and the ending). There’s no fizzy lifting drink controversy, the Oompa Loompas have their original lyrics, squirrels not geese, and my favorite scene (the kids leaving the factory) is included. We’ll skip over the creepy Johnny Depp Wonka for now.

Big Fish – Speaking of book adaptations, this is one of two films where I can easily say that the movie is far superior (Forrest Gump being the other). All of the magic of the film comes from Tim Burton. The book is bland an dry and very boring, with none of the fantasy elements. While other Burton films are more quintessentially him, this one is the clearest showcase for how he can improve on a subject with his signature flair.

Housesitter – I was watching Father of the Bride the other day, which is a total comfort movie for me, and I realized that I didn’t have too much more from Steve Martin on the wall. I corrected that by getting a DVD 4 pack and this was the first I started with. I absolutely adore him and Goldie Hawn, but the movie didn’t work for me. Similar to my criticism of The Money Pit recently, it was just too implausible how deeper and deeper they kept digging themselves. I don’t like this kinda elaborate deception story because I just don’t buy it. Happy to see those two leads share the screen tho

Quick Posts

This past week was the most stressful and anxiety inducing I’ve had in this post-Covid world. There were a lot of unknowns and variables (a general source of anxiety for me), but by the end of the week everything fell into place. I physically felt relief (like literally, felt my chest loosen up and my body relax like it hadn’t in months) once it was all over. Still, not much mental capacity left for blogging this weekend. I wanted to just take the time to recharge before resuming my normal schedule (no more three day weekends) and finding out what my new normal is. Long story short, still speaking in vague terms, everything is looking okay and stable for now.

Arkansas – Last week’s rental from Alamo. Kinda unremarkable crime thriller. Vince Vaughn and Liam Hemsworth were great (I do love Vaughn’s turn towards dark and serious). Clark Duke looks too much like an ex I don’t wanna be reminded up, so that was offputting. Just predictable enough that the fresher storylines weren’t very impressive, but still engaging to watch. I think I’m gonna slow down on the rentals going forward tho. I’ve pretty much seen all the MUST movies, and the technology is still a little lacking. I still wanna support the theater tho, so I’ll try to figure out some alternatives.

But I’m a Cheerleader – Very long overdue first time watch, and I didn’t care for it. I recognize why it’s a cult classic, and I absolutely support that this film exists, especially when it was released during such a dearth of queer films (not that we’re doing all that much better). It was just too absurdist and ridiculous for my taste. Partly because that humor is not my style and partly because so much of the absurdity was rooted in truth, it was a little unnerving for me. Still, props for LGBTQ+ stories being told.

Birdman – You ever watch a movie and the only thought running thru your head is “This is AMAZING” on loop, over and over. I’ve seen this before (hell, three times in theaters), but it had been long enough that it was almost a new experience. The acting, the writing, the symbolism, the cinematography, the directing, all of it is truly truly a masterpiece.

The Crying Game – I wrote the other day about the documentary Disclosure, which focused on the portrayal of the transgender community in film, and I talked at length about how The Crying Game fit into that. I rewatched it the other day, with that new context, and it’s like a whole different movie from me. On previous views, I was just so excited to see LGBTQ+ represenation, I didn’t think about the bigger picture. Jaye Davidson gives such a moving performance, but this time it was even more heartbreaking. I was paying more attention to Dil’s story, and the way that she accepts so much abuse because she thinks it’s all she can get is devastating. Plus knowing the affect that this film had on Davidson and his reception and ultimate rejection in Hollywood, it hurts so much more watching him give everything to this role. He deserved better.

Airheads – I’ve been in need of really good laughs lately, and this movie provided. It’s one of those dumb comedies that’s actually much smarter than you’d expect. And I don’t even know which of our trio I love most. Fraser, Buscemi, and Sandler give such endearing performances, all a bit against type, I just can’t get enough.

Boiler Room – TIL (actually yesterday) that this is based on the same source material as Wolf of Wall Street. It just takes a different approach to it, sees it from a different angle. It has a little less bite tho, more like the stray dog of wall street. Ben Affleck steals the film, Giovanni Ribisi is fantastic, and I’m still undecided on if I either really like Vin Diesel or just can’t buy him. It’s worth checking out the alternate ending on the DVD extras too. The theatrical ending feels like proper closure, but the alternate is far less expected (albeit maybe too subtle in its execution). Still, a good choice for when I was in the mood for a talky and dark drama since my pile had way too much light fare in it (I’d taken the positivity rule so far, I was getting numb)

Quick Posts

Oh man, now I’m really wishing I had started this at the beginning of quarantine. So much easier to write and I’ve been watching upwards of 15 movies a week. Despite all that content, I’m still struggling to bring myself to post regularly. Anyways, what are some highlights from this week?

Jack Goes Boating – I was on a bit of a Philip Seymour Hoffman kick, grabbing any of his films that I didn’t know well. This one is his only directorial credit. It’s a sweet story of two relationships, one beginning and one ending. He and Amy Ryan are absolutely adorable, and this movie will make you fall in love with PSH like never before.

My Friend Dahmer – Last week’s Alamo rental. It’d been on my watchlist for a while (we know I love my serial killers, all the better if they’re IRL). I found it kinda bland. He did come off slightly better adjusted than you would expect given where his life would turn, by which I mostly mean he actually had friends. But there wasn’t anything particularly exciting. We Need To Talk About Kevin does the teenage psychopath thing much better, esp since this leaves off right as Dahmer goes in for his first kill

Happiness – I wouldn’t say that I like this movie. I very much like that it exists. It deals with some heavy subject matter, but in a way that’s not heavy and difficult to watch. Uncomfortable yes, but you’re not left wondering if it’s even worth living in a world where these things happen. I’ve said this before, but given how many movies I watch, I want something that ‘s different, that goes places other movies don’t. On that front, this movie wins.

Friday – I was having a socially distanced picnic with a couple friends last week, and one was giving the other shit for not having seen this movie. I sat there quietly because I hadn’t either. I picked up the 3 film set for 7 bucks. And watching it confirmed why I hadn’t seen it yet, but also why I’m absolutely supportive that this movie exists: it’s just not for me. But that’s cool, because it is for the Black community (who love and embrace this movie) and we need more of those. Not every movie should be for me. Diversity in film gives everyone a chance to be represented.

Love and Basketball – Continuing to catch up on classic Black films. This one I did very much enjoy. I’d avoided it before because I don’t do romances, and having “Love” in the title is a big stop sign for me. But I liked it because while the romance was the central storyline, it wasn’t what most drove the characters. No one was sitting around waiting for the love of their life. They were living for their passion (in this case basketball) and trying to see how the love fits in with it. I can dig it. I also just really like basketball. And I enjoyed watching Omar Epps in something other than House (which I’ve been rewatching lately).

All That Jazz – Mixed feelings. It’s Bob Fosse, so I should love it. And the musical numbers were fantastic (I particularly loved the mother/daughter one). The storyline from the theater’s perspective was interesting to me, getting to see behind the scenes of how producer types think. My problem was our lead character, the lothario director who was supposta be a stand in for Fosse. He was too much of a sleazy womanizer for my tastes, I could not get behind him. And I think that’s why I couldn’t maintain much interest in the film outside a few dance sequences.