Saturday, January 4, 2020
Signal Watch 2019 Subjective Opinion Movie Awards - 2019! (The Mellies!)
We've already shared the breakdown of all the movies we watched last year, so now it's time to talk about some of our favorite things and to drag some movies we maybe didn't like all that much.
We don't just talk about movies that came out in 2019, we try to talk about all the "new to me" movies we saw, and maybe a special selection or three of movies we'd seen before, but which deserve special mention.
The Mellies are nominated by and voted upon by the only opinion that matters: mine. They are also not reflective of the panoply of films released in any given year - because I may watch a lot of movies, but I don't have that kind of time. And, honestly, I'm just not that interested in a whole lot of what comes out.
Friday, January 3, 2020
Signal Watch: Movies By the Numbers - 2019 edition
Well, 2019 was certainly a year that we mostly lived through. As years go, I'm not giving it very high marks, but I did watch a lot of movies. Which, boys and girls, is not so much an achievement as a thing which occurred.
In 2019, I watched 204 movies (click that link to see the spreadsheet). This is likely a lifetime high, and I don't really know how or why that happened, because 204 is a good 20 more movies than last year.
I also wrote a post or recorded a podcast for, I think, every movie I watched in 2019.
This 204 number includes movies I saw more than once. Example: I saw Avengers: Endgame three times this year, so it is counted thrice.
The figure does not include partially watched films, half-watched Hallmark Christmas movies, or matter that I watched on TV that some people might consider a film, but I happen to not consider a film.
As always, I may have missed a movie or two. It happens. The data is accumulated from the blog - so if I forgot to post on a movie, it is not reflected here. Also, dates watched on a movie reflect the date upon which I completed a movie, as I watch many movies broken up over 2-3 viewings.
Now, into the nitty-gritty.
Dog Watch: Togo (2019)
Disney Watch: Frozen II (2019)
Format: Alamo Slaughter Lane
Not to be overly dramatic, but after seeing Frozen II (2019) the first time, I knew I'd need to watch it again before I'd do my usual posting.
The reviews were kind of lukewarm, so going in, I had my expectations set for "it'll be okay", and so... when the movie ended and I was having all the reactions I deeply *want* to have after seeing a movie, I'll admit that I kinda-sorta didn't trust my own reaction and figured it would fade after a day of thinking about (or forgetting about) the movie.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Documentary Watch: Ernie and Joe - Crisis Cops (2019)
Format: HBO Streaming
A while back our own PaulT - who does many things in the film and TV industry - worked on a documentary called Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops (2019). I believe he was a/ the sound mixer on the film, which - in documentary land - is no small feat. Especially when you're talking police situations, moving cars, and open classrooms. So, hats off to Paul.
The movie is currently streaming on HBO, and, if you get a chance, give it some time. The movie follows two police officers from the San Antonio Police Department's Mental Health Unit at work and in their lives.
Noir Watch: This Gun For Hire (1942)
Noir Watch: Criss Cross (1949)
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Eddie Muller introduced Criss Cross (1949) as an exemplar of noir and an underrated movie, and he's absolutely right. I'd seen this movie a while back, and it's absolutely stuck with me - so when it made the programming list for Noir Alley, I was thrilled to watch it again.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Happy New Year, Every Buddy
Here's to a year where, hopefully, we all learned something, even if it was a hard-earned or hard-fought lesson. Here's to a year where the shadows seemed to grow darker, and where we found light, it shone brighter. Here's to knowing what the coming year can bring, and not being on our heels this time when it comes.
Every night has a morning, and the sun always comes up.
Let's get our game faces on and be those lights shining brighter.
Let's extend a hand and help others to their feet. Let's stand between those who are looking to strike and those who can't raise their hands. Let's do it because we know the right thing to do, even when it's hard.
I have a lot of improvements I want to make in 2020. Now, we're gonna try and make this work.
May we all be the people we want to be in 2020.
Monday, December 30, 2019
Disney Watch: Tangled (2010)
I don't know that I need to write up Tangled (2010). But here's what I think:
This movie is a letter of permission for some young women to realize that maybe their relationship with their parents is kinda toxic.
By that I do not mean that all young women have a toxic relationship with their moms, but dang... there is a reason that this movie ends with a young woman cutting off her girlish long locks as she severs her relationship with the woman who has been gaslighting her and filling her head with bad ideas for her entire life. And I think we've all sorta known that young woman who went to college, realized maybe the world was not the place she'd been taught, and wound up shaving their head by second semester.
There is some phenomenal character animation in this movie in the classic Disney tradition - I mean, Maximus is a frikkin' delight - and I really enjoy the number by all the tough-guys singing about their dreams. The new stuff was in the effects - sure - but the movement and camera work in the movie is kinda breathtaking when you watch Rapunzel zipping around like Spider-Man on her own hair. They really make the space inside the tower work, as well as in the construction-site sequence.
But, yeah, this movie is going to hold up for a very, very long time as it works with timeless themes, for both Rapunzel and Flynn, and the animation may look marginally dated by Frozen II standards, but I'll argue the Disney styling will keep it fresh for decades.
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Bette Watch: Dark Victory (1939)
Format: Criterion Channel
Look, it's possible Bette Davis is one of 5 or so finest actors to have graced the screen, at least in Hollywood films. Yeah, she is "of the era" on some things, but - man, even in not-great films she's a power house, and then in something that plays to her range and strengths?
PODCAST! "Four Rooms" (1995) - Holidays 2019 NYE Finale w/ AmyC and Ryan
Format: Amazon Streaming
Decade: So, so 1990's
Prepping for New Year's Eve, AmyC and Ryan return to the indie film scene of the 1990's when Tarantino could do no wrong and Miramax was the hottest game in movies. But what if they decided to Voltron their talent into a single, unimpeachably delightful and quirky movie made up of four separate segments by four separate auteurs? It'd be great, right? ...right?
Vertigogo - Combustible Edison, Four Rooms OST
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