Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Viewing: No idea
Directors: Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman
I feel like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) found its audience on home video that it didn't quite find at the theater, which makes me wonder how the coming sequel will do. I will say - I am delighted that the movie is finding the bigger audience it deserves and I'm still disappointed in Sony for failing to push the movie harder when it was coming out. Especially because - as much as I like the movie, it's just something to see on the big screen. I feel like a lot of people I've talked to who watched it on their screens aren't quite getting it because they aren't able to "see" the movie the same way and see how every frame and every detail is next level work.
Maybe when theaters re-open and there's nothing new to show, Sony can re-release S:ItSV. If they do, go see it on the biggest screen you can find.
At some point in the past year I mentioned wanting to show this movie to my dad, and he was just sort of confused (it happens. He was not expecting a Spidey rec.). But, man, this movie does such a phenomenal job of catching what it is to be in those early years of high school where you're figuring things out, and your parents are looking in from the outside as you come into yourself and find your people.
One of these days.
Anyway - in these days of challenge and change, I'm glad Jamie thought to put it on. Anyone can wear the mask.
Monday, May 18, 2020
Viewing: Unknown - maybe 4th?
Director: Sam Mendes
More ways to listen.
We talk a favorite of the entire Bond franchise - "Skyfall"! It's not just a perfect Adele song, it's also a movie! Daniel Craig and Dame Judith Dench protect Mother England and tangle with Javier Bardem! There's a komodo dragon! There's a mysterious island! There's a chase through tunnels! A jail cell with no toilet! Join Simon UK and Ryan as we sort through the film that was better than the films immediately before and after.
Bond Theme - Monty Norman
Skyfall - Adele
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
As it starred neither apes nor robots, I was never a watcher of the original 21 Jump Street when it was on TV. I knew roughly what it was about, but I don't believe I've ever seen an episode. Between this fact and the massive pile of comedy remakes that had been hitting since the mid-90's Brady Bunch revival, I was in no particular rush to see this movie.
But, then I learned it was a Lord & Miller movie and gave it a shot. All in all, an ideal Friday-night comedy with enough Lord & Miller stuff to make it really work. The cast is great (special shout out to Ellie Kemper) and there's a ton of really good stuff packed into 90 minutes, even with some pretty pat "high school kids sure are different now!" stuff that's a little hard to buy with only 7 years passed since our heroes supposedly graduated high school.
Pretty clearly there was a lot more shot, as a few things are referred to and it looks like some unused stuff wound up in the credits. Which makes me reflect on the assignment of Lord & Miller to the Solo Star Wars movie, and their eventual firing. What did Disney think they were getting, again?
Anyway, the movie is exactly what you think it is, maybe funnier than you'd guess.
Format: Amazon Streaming HBO
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Look, the secret life of boys on the verge of teenhood is hard to capture. The last time I remember thinking anyone got it was parts of Boyhood and Stand By Me. It's the last time you're friends with kids who you might not have all that much in common with before you hit middle and high school and become more yourself.
Good Boys (2019) doesn't avoid that idea, but it does show the potty mouthed, sheltered dopes boys are at around age 12, with confused ideas about masculinity, an overpowering need to demonstrate their worldiness and maturity, and one foot firmly on the side of kid-hood and one foot on the side of becoming a teen. In short, you're a @#$%ing mess.
I don't want to overthink what is a "well, this worked very well at least the first time, but maybe not so well on the second once the shock and surprise value is lowered" comedy, but this movie was, indeed, funny. And I can just imagine all the explaining parents and those on set had to do with the kids (if they did any at all) about half the things in the movie.
Anyway, writing about what is and is not funny and everyone's sense of humor is all over the place, but some of this felt very familiar, indeed, from a certain age (about 5th grade). A quick glance at Metacritic is pretty much a roadmap of how this movie just isn't going to land with everyone. Some seem to think it's just being outrageous and that's bad. Others seem to have a, shall we say, interestingly sociopathic idea of what *would* have been funny. I will say, regarding one flavor of complaint I read - it doesn't hurt to know that one of the laws of comedy is stupid repetition. Or, in fact, if you repeat something, it just gets funnier. Sort of the way that if you keep doing something, it just increases the comedy value.
But, that's the thing with comedies. I looked at Amazon to see what was on there, and, man, are there a lot of 90 minute movies out there that just look painful to watch. And a lot of it is - I have no idea what world the filmmakers are living in where they thought "yes, let's make this movie and, from coast to coast, a lot of people will find this hilarious". Like, sometimes you're just funny to your friends.
Anyhoo... this is a very Rated-R movie, so do not watch with the kids.
Monday, May 11, 2020
Format: Tweet-a-long on Amazon Prime
Director: Tonjia Atomic
I don't know. I don't know what I expected.
Somehow a return to "Manos"- The Hands of Fate, the 1966 zero-budget horror indie out of El Paso, TX, which had neither synced sound nor coherent narrative, and arrived in 2018'ish as a shot-on-video-but-not-great-video and featured simply too much dialog - was kinda just right.
Manos Returns (2018) features - and I want to get this out there, because I missed this prior to watching - the original actor who played The Master and the former little girl who played Debbie, now a grown lady-person still playing Debbie! Take that, David Lynch and your 25 years later!
Much like the original, I don't understand the movie or what it is trying to do. At times it seems like it wants to be a parody, and at other times, a straight sequel with some enhancements thanks to the power of video editing. There's genuinely more story to this movie, but with similar outcomes. And more red bras. Lots of red bras.
I dunno. I didn't *not* enjoy seeing the movie, and it is definitely a worthy successor to Manos, whatever that means. But, you know, beware something striving to be a sequel to Manos.
BTW - seeing this also told me there's a mini-market of Manos ancillary media being produced. Debbie is going on to make a TV series, there's a Rise of Torgo movie out there, too. And seemingly other things. Anyway, proceed with due caution.
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Jack Bennett
I forgot to write this up a month ago when I watched it. A really fun doc on a great movie, and with terrific participation from darn near everyone who was in it or worked on it. And, as always, Sigourney Weaver is the coolest.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming Tweet-a-Long
Director: Brendan Steere
It was amazing.
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Format: Hulu Streaming
Director: Olivia Wilde
I'd had a few trusted sources go to the mat for this one and been interested in seeing it when it was out, but... didn't. A few blunt points on the movie: in many ways, this movie is very, very familiar as a high school comedy about privileged kids and has a lot in common with movies that get routinely dismissed as dumb comedies.
But, sometimes it's about the execution.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Viewing: fourth. fifth? I don't know.
For Jamie's birthday she wanted to watch Avengers: Endgame (2019), one of her favorite recent movies - even if spring of 2019 now seems like it occurred several decades ago.
In a time when we're in lockdown, watching a movie about a group of people reeling in the face of loss, disaster, tragedy and personal failure that impacted a universe is a hell of a thing.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Jamie and Ryan delve into the multiverse of madness that is the 2016 Marvel entry, "Doctor Strange". It's no one's favorite Avengers film, but it's got some interesting stuff and absolutely pushes us forward toward what would become Infinity War. It's a hero who may be a bit of a jerk, but he's got some neat special FX.
Doctor Strange Main Theme - Michael Giacchino, Doctor Strange OST
Avengers Chronological Countdown
Friday, March 20, 2020
It's a neo-noir! Join JAL and Ryan as we delve into a modern mystery thriller full of twists and turns in the world of Hollywood-pointed Los Angeles! There's murder, suspects and a personal assistant on the run, languidly pursued by no less than John Cho! Join us as we talk the world and rules of noir and doing it without pointing out that you're doing noir!
Gemini - Keegan DeWitt, Gemini OST
Noir Watch Playlist:
Monday, March 16, 2020
One of my favorites from last year, I went ahead and picked this up on BluRay.
And, you know what, I think I continue to like this movie more every time I watch it.
Frozen 2 is a funny thing to like as a near 45 year old dude. I'm used to picking up an action figure or whatnot when I like an Avengers movie. Heck, I have an Ant-Man and The Wasp t-shirt. But, you know, as much as I don't care what cashiers think when I'm buying my usual dumb stuff, there's not much Frozen 2 stuff I thought would make sense for *me*. So, I bought the BluRay. And the extras are really excellent. So, heads-up if you have a chance to watch them. It's fascinating to see how story is developed at Disney these days.
But do feel free to point me at Frozen II plastic stuff I can own that is not, like, an Elsa wig or 12" doll.
Anyway, refer to my last write-up on this.
And, frankly, I find this scene amazing.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
We take a break from Bond to look at a sort of surreal spy adventure, also from Jolly Olde England! It's "Kingsman", the 2014 action adventure with some exciting stuff, a decidedly hard-R rating, a dash of "Moonraker" and how to climb the social ladder in London through grit, street smarts, parkour, and a penchant for looking good in a suit! Plus, Samuel L. Jackson chewing the scenery in a role he's about 35 years too old to play.
Manners Maketh the Man - Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson, Kingsman: The Secret Service OST
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Friday, February 14, 2020
Monday, January 27, 2020
PODCAST: "Captain America: Civil War" (2016) - Avengers Chronological Countdown 13 w/ Jamie and Ryan
We get to the dark middle chapter of the Avengers Chronological Countdown as Cap and Tony cannot agree on some paperwork, Bucky says a farewell to arms, a "Cats" understudy becomes a hero and Aunt May is suddenly way more interesting. It's "Captain America: Civil War"! and Jamie and Ryan are going to talk about it!
Captain America: Civil War, Main Theme - Henry Jackman, Captain America: Civil War OST
Complete Chronological Countdown:
Monday, January 20, 2020
Friday, January 10, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
This movie never states that it's based on real events - but once it's underway, it's very specific to the point where I finally had to check to see if the character portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in the film existed. Spoiler - He did!
But. Half of this movie is real and half is made up, and I am just, honestly, confused why they made this choice - except that I basically get the decision from an optics, casting and audience standpoint. The film swaps out one of the two people who made the real-life trip with a fictional female balloon pilot (Felicity Jones) who is overcoming serious and dramatic baggage tied to ballooning. All of which is made up. Even as she performs feats to save their lives that the real pilot was forced to do. But here, it's someone else.
But, again, the scientist in the film was real and really did go up in a balloon, but with a less-surprising male balloonist.
I honestly have no idea what I just watched, is what I guess I'm saying. I've read articles that are more reflective of my "yes, I understand why they did it, but..." perspective, and others that are really surprisingly blase about "facts" and "what occurred" and seem to think that's some old fashioned thinking and casually suggest if you are questioning the choice, you are both racist and sexist.
Look - I get that "based on a true story" movies change facts all the time, combine people into single characters, etc... - and, honestly, it's part of why I often avoid Hollywood's interpretation of history. But they generally don't swap out one of two main characters with a completely fictional person.
So - I have no idea what I just watched. It was okay. But I tend to think history is hard enough to get a grip on without making up fictional characters in their lives as seemingly major players. So, next time you ask me if I've seen a movie based on a true story and I kinda shrug and say "nope". You now know why.
I watched this just before Togo, which was also based on true events and changed quite a bit, but the basic facts were generally adhered to.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
This isn't a comprehensive list of what I watched in 2019. Like the movies list, it doesn't include all the partially watched Hallmark movies. It also doesn't include local and global news (some of us still watch the news). It doesn't include Seinfeld and The Nanny reruns. Nor shows I watched part of and gave up on. I may have even missed entire series in here. I don't really track TV watching or I'd probably have to have a moment of self-reflection. It doesn't include the hours and hours and hours of baseball, soccer, volleyball, and football I'll watch in a given year (with hundreds of hours of baseball to account for as I probably watched 60-70 games last year. Go Cubs!).
But when I sat down to think about what I'd watched, this was what came to mind:
Sunday, January 5, 2020
SimonUK and Ryan were already standing around the kitchen talking about "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", so they turned on a microphone and recorded themselves. What follows is a semi-incoherent conversation by two 40-something guys pondering the final installment of a decades-spanning storyline.
Fanfare and Prologue - John Williams, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker OST
Ewok Celebration - Meco, some 45 I had a as a kid