January is God’s way of saying, “I got nothing,”.
It’s a month in which people trash their resolutions, pen resignation letters that never see the light of day, and sign up for overpriced online dating sites in spite of the fact Craigslist is free. For yours truly, I like to keep it simple. I use the cavernous din of thirty one days to binge watch. TV shows, documentaries, movies, and that Live PD show I’ve been checking out . . . on demand. (I know it defeats the purpose, but that’s what the fast forward button is for).
My latest menu offerings consist of Boardwalk Empire- in which my interest has waned sufficiently that I’m pretty sure I ain’t making it through the entire five seasons. Hemlock Grove on Netflix is another story. I switched out Stranger Things a couple episodes into Season 2 for this Eli Roth joint, and I’m hooked. As for docs, An Apology for Elephants, The Cheshire Murders and David Bowie: The Last Five Years are worth a look if you ain’t down with the winter blues.
As far as movies go, I’m not married to a particular genre, so my cinematic grab bag consists of amazing thrill rides, guilty pleasures and the “I’m two hours closer to death,” forgettable. Shit if that doesn’t describe my love life as well, but whatevs. Since misery loves company, Imma deal up a quick shot review on the last five movies I’ve seen. Four cable flicks and one theater going experience.
Apologies to Siskel and Ebert ahead of time . . .
The Circle- My quick thoughts? Meh. Tom Hanks’s amalgamated characterization of a fictional mogul (Bezos/Gates/Jobs) was effective if not standout through no fault of his own. Emma Watson played the role of damsel in George Orwell’s court with the requisite naivete. Her disillusionment as per her ‘dream job’ doesn’t follow the predictable path in that there are no high speed car chases or heroic rescues, and for that I guess I am thankful. Methinks The Circle oversimplified things, but when you only got a couple hours to tell a tale like this, it happens.
Logan- Thanks to the OG for this one. We’re used to our superheroes being snarky (Tony Stark), sexy (Bruce Wayne) beasts (Thor). So what of the inevitable? Yanno . . the sands of the hour glass? What happens when these mythological characters are no longer young and beautiful? What happens when mortality taps on their shoulder and lets ’em know their time is coming to an end? This was that story, and I was digging it.
Count me ALL IN on the Halloween reboot set to hit theaters this October. I know, I know . . . the entertainment world is beating the ever loving shit out of the reboot. Original story lines have become damn near impossible to come by anymore. But . . . here’s a reboot I never get tired of. You got Nick Castle reprising his role as Michael Myers, forty years later, instantly becoming my newest hero. You got the master John Carpenter acting as a creative consigliere. And you got Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode. When asked how writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride plan on explaining Laurie Strode’s return after Myers threw her off a building in Resurrection, Carpenter had a brilliant response. “It picks up after the first one and it pretends that none of the others were made,”. Works for me!
Keeping up with the Joneses- This is one of those movies I put on when I’m working on stuff and I need some background noise. The only reason I chose this flick over busy working to my favorite lines in Pulp Fiction is because Gal Gadot was in it. Which is why I’m giving the film four stars out of five. Because Gal Gadot was in it. Which is why I am never going to be mistaken for a movie critic.
Hacksaw Ridge- Quite simply, brilliant. This is a story about standing behind your convictions in the face of blistering opposition and not giving an inch. It’s a love story, a war story and a true story. The battle scenes are grotesquely real and the acting is superb all the way around. And Vince Vaughn can be serious, and he’s actually very good at it. Who knew?
The Shape of Water- A stylized monster movie with an old time feel AND Michael Shannon doing his thing? Sold! It wasn’t del Toro’s best, but so what? His magical ability to create fictional worlds we can step inside of makes him one of the best in the business. And Shannon is perhaps the most intense human being to ever grace the silver screen. He’s the Russell Westbrook of movies in that he is always going a hundred miles an hour.
I’ve reconsidered that apology I made to Siskel and Ebert earlier. Because while I may have vandalized the art of cinematic review, it’s not like I’m the only one doing it these days. And besides, those dudes don’t need no stinking apologies. They’re in a much better place, where January ain’t no thing, every seat is an aisle seat and Lauren Bacall is letting that glorious purr out to play every night.