Sunday, May 9, 2021

Doc Watch: The Last Blockbuster (2020)




Watched:  05/08/2021
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's


This one was kind of weird.  And this post is mostly about how much I hated Blockbuster and didn't care when it folded.

Look, by the time Blockbuster Video went out of business, I'd intentionally not gone of my own free will into a Blockbuster in 10 years and had pretty much broken with Blockbuster as far back as the mid 1990's.  

So, a feature length doc talking about the death of Blockbuster as some sort of tragedy that was just an accident but something we all loved?  I was pausing the movie and making Jamie listen to me as I debated the film's non-stop nostalgia and love of the corporate behemoth, which - starting in the summer of 1994, I saw as actually very bad for movies when I tried to rent Breakfast at Tiffany's and (a) the clerk had never heard of it, and (b) looked it up and explained to me they used to have it, but they got rid of it.  But they did have 45 copies of Pauly Shore in Son In Law.  Like, you don't have to be a snob to find that a little sad.

Neo-Noir Watch: The Grifters (1990)




Watched:  05/08/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Stephen Frears

Just in time for Mother's Day I finally (finally!) watched the 1990 film, The Grifters.

SPOILERS

Friday, May 7, 2021

Friday Night Watch Party - The Apple


We are going out on a high note!  By going for the lowest note.  Universally reviled, and from what I've seen, this looks truly, truly terrible - we're watching this sci-fi musical whatever it is.  

Anyway, this if the final Friday, so join us in the dark future of 1994 for a rock'n'roll fantasy that is sure to, uh... anyway.  It's a movie! 

Day:  05/07/2021
Time:  8:30 Central



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Trek/ Cattrall Watch: Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991)




Watched:  05/02/2021
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Nicholas Meyer

This is... my third favorite Trek movie?  Pretty remarkable for a movie that has very few ship-fetish shots and plays like a 3-part episode of the TV series.  But, man, it just works.  

I believe it was advertised as the final movie for the original crew from Star Trek before The Next Generation gang took over, but as an excitable 16 year old, I thought "nah, they just got their mojo back on this one.  They'll make more."*  

So, yeah, shocker, I am into a tight murder mystery set in space with the fate of the galaxy in the balance.  Throw in ship-to-ship combat, several rad supporting cast members beyond the usual crew, plus Sulu as Captain of his own ship (and, my god, had they just given Takei a spin-off series back then...), \more wildly over-the-top Klingons in the form of Plummer's Shakespeare spouting warrior, Chang (love everything about this character) -  and it's like Trek was just punching "Ryan will like this" buttons.  

And, of course, Kim Cattrall as Lt. Valeris.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Watch Party Watch: Teen Witch (1989)




Watched:  04/30/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1980's
Director:  I don't care


We're wrapping up our Friday Night Watch Parties this coming week, and maybe that's all for the best.  For - I may never top Teen Witch (1989) as an offering.  It's all downhill from here.  

It's one thing when people make a movie and try and it doesn't live up to expectations.  It's another when you can tell someone was pushing out garbage to take advantage of a place in the market and literally seemed to not care how the movie turned out.  And that's being generous, because the alternative with Teen Witch is to accept that adults made this film and this was their moonshot, and then we have to wonder: do you know how movies work?

Animation Watch: The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)


Watched:  05/01/2021
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Michael RiandaJeff Rowe 

I'm not going to bother writing this up.  Another terrific Lord & Miller produced animation with a terrific voice cast.  Hysterical, moving, gorgeously animated...  very glad this is out there.  

But I figure everyone with a Netflix account will have seen it, so just go nuts on your own on this one.

I don't have kids, and I got this one.  I imagine a lot of you parents were choking back some feelings watching this one.

International Watch: The Handmaiden (2016)




Watched:  05/02/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Chan-wook Park

Look, this movie is impossible to discuss without spoilers - so, look out

SPOILERS

Saturday, May 1, 2021

2010's Watch: Everybody Wants Some (2016)




Watched:  04/28/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Richard Linklater

I remember the trailers for Everybody Wants Some (2016) were almost confusing.  They made no argument for why anyone should get off their ass and get to the theater to see the movie - a film about a bunch of baseball players at the fictional East Texas State University, kind of screwing around, and...  

It seemed the ads almost counted on a knowledge of how Linklater's other movies worked, and counted on you wanting more with different characters.  But in 2016, an all-male cast of dudes acting like dudes seemed almost tone-deaf, and the population who would be nostalgic for the college years circa 1980 was mostly home watching Downton Abbey.  

Honestly, the first fifteen minutes or so - I wasn't sure I was on board.  It *is* an all-male cast being dudes.  I'd like to say college dudes are not that crass, but some sure are, and the things you let slide... 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Night Movie: Teen Witch




Announcement:  

We'll be wrapping up Signal Watch curated Friday films soon - at least in a "you can expect Ryan to organize this every week" mode.  I will do a movie this week and next week.  After that, in the future, we'll do it again from time to time, maybe even monthly, but not every week.  Certainly we'll be back for Christmas and Halloween.

Keep your eyes on twitter or this blog.

I genuinely appreciate the Friday night movie club and y'all trusting me to curate a collection of often terrible, terrible films.  Y'all have gotten me through a really, honestly, difficult year, and I can't thank you enough.  I hope it's helped.

As the world re-opens and things shift around a bit, I kinda need to reclaim my evening time - even Friday evenings.  (I used to go to the gym!  I used to leave the house! I think we can all envision a world where these things can happen again!)  

SO, let's try and go out with some high quality films.

THIS WEEK:

A movie that always makes me think "I bet Heather would unconvincingly defend this movie", it's Teen Witch!  

What if a sort of unpopular girl who was picked on by teachers found out she had amazing magical powers and DIDN'T use them to burn prom to the ground - but instead made her friend rap?  Casually bent the laws of time and space and obliterated free will in others?

That's THIS movie.

(see, how much will you really miss me doing this to you?)


Day:  Friday  04/30/2021
Time:  8:30 Central


Hey, it's Cloris Leachman's Birthday



She passed in January, and we were sad then, so let's turn it around and celebrate Cloris Leachman on her birthday!

I believe she would have been 95 today.