Movie & TV Notes, July-December 2017

Brief notes on just about everything I watched from July to December, 2017. Read more reviews.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) – If two beings were to represent the extremities of the talent spectrum, George C. Scott would sit on one end and that shite Tiny Tim would sit on the other.

AZIZ ANSARI’S BURIED ALIVE (2013) – A good set. ‘Dating in the city’ isn’t really my genre, but a good set.

AZIZ ANSARI’S MADISON SQUARE (2015) – Too many crowd polls via clapping.

ARE YOU HERE – It’s as if Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler all filmed their scenes separately, reading from different scripts, and then the Mad Men guy just sorta edited together a movie on his laptop. Terrible soundtrack.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (season 3) – is not as good as seasons 1 and 2.


BAND OF THE HAND (1986) – Lord Of The Flies 2: Electric Boogaloo

BLACK MIRROR “SAN JUNIPERO” (s3) – I don’t love this show, and don’t keep up with it. But I read a great (unfortunately spoiler-laden) review of this episode so I watched it. It’s really good tee vee.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017) – An inversion of the original plot that coexists alongside the original plot. It’s an elegant graft. Really well done.

THE BODYGUARD (Sammo Hung) – If you like expressionless, out-of-breath, chubby, elderly protagonists, this film is for… you?

BOUNTY TRACKER (1993) I watched this Lorenzo Lamas movie? I think?

BURNING LOVE – Ken Marino A++. Season one is dead strong. Season two has moments. Season three loses its way.

CABIN IN THE WOODS – This was described to me as a movie I might like. Alas, this was not a movie I mightned have likened.

COMMANDO – I was really high when I watched this, so I thought it was hilarious and maybe fifteen minutes long, tops.

DAVE CHAPPELLE’S EQUANIMITY & THE BIRD REVELATION (2017) – Two solid sets on Netflix. Bill Cosby. O.J., eating his kids’ sandwiches.

DEATHGASM – Apparently, this is the second time I’ve tried watching this movie. I was like, “Oh, yeah! Nnnnnope.”

DRIVE HARD (2014) – Sometimes I’ll try a movie because there are cool cars on the poster. This is always – without exception – a bad idea. John Cusack wears sunglasses for the entire movie. The. Entire. Movie.

THE DRIVER (1978) – Borrrrrrrrred.

THE ELIMINATORS (1986) – A tank-man who seems like the star of the movie but uh oh spoiler alert I think he dies but the movie keeps going without him?

EMBERS (2015) – A lady and Jason Ritter’s icky goatee explore a post-apocalyptic world where memory loss somehow makes people incapable of recognizing super-obvious danger. A pretty girl lives underground. A fucked up dude is fucked up. Conceptually interesting character sketches and settings strung together by absolutely no plot whatsoever.

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK – Never saw this before, so I jumped at the chance to see it on the big screen. Got caught walking in a massive downpour. Spent the whole movie soaked, shivering in the air conditioning. Lots of World Trade Center references!

THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017) – What a great movie.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS – It only took two or three episodes to confirm that I would rather be paralyzed in a hospital bed than watch this show.

JUDAH FRIEDLANDER’S AMERICA… – A type of stand up you don’t see much anymore. I liked it.

GAME OF THRONES (s7) – I find zombies to be incredibly boring — zombie battles even moreso. As the army of the dead lumbers forward, eating more screen time, my interest wanes.

GONE BABY GONE – I’m guessing this is a faithful adaptation of a crime novel, which explains why I don’t like crime novels. Dropping Rs like you don’t know. Christ what a bad music scoah.

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF – I don’t know what season/series we watched and I don’t know what a ganache is or what proving is or what plaiting is. I had to google those words to spell them correctly and I still don’t know what they mean. It’s still a pretty good show. If my name was Paul Hollywood, I would pass judgment on people, too.

GROSSE POINT BLANK – A movie that blends enough genres that it becomes sort of genreless. In a good way. This movie would not have worked without the Cusacks.

HELLBOY – Bad actor at beginning, lame title sequence, bad cover of Red Right Hand. Generally okay.

HIDDEN FIGURES – Watched an illegal download and the last twenty minutes of the video file didn’t have any audio. So I guess crime doesn’t pay? Just kidding, it mostly does.

HOT BOT – The time, money, and talent funneled into the movie “Hot Bot” could have gone towards an educational video warning future filmmakers to not make shit as bad as “Hot Bot.”

I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE – First half: Great setup/ characters/ POV. Second half: Violent/ceased to care.

INCEPTION – Third time I’ve rewatched it. I still think it’s great, and I’m still completely lost by the time the snowmobiles show up.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – I considered this film to be merely boring, until I read reviews calling it subversive and great. That made me hate it.

IT (2017) – The casting is really good, Bev doubly so. The ‘80s update mostly works. The characters are underdeveloped, but i felt that way about the book, too (Mike and… uh… the other kid?). The story is understandably truncated, eliminating things I miss (Haystack, the fort in the Barrens, the giant bird) and things I don’t give a shit about (Werewolf). I got a little weepy over Georgie. I still hate horror movies. Stan! That kid’s name is Stan.

KEVIN HART’S I’M A LITTLE MAN – (2009) Damned funny.

KEANU (2016) – More kitty-cat, please.

LADY DYNAMITE (s2) – It got weirder, and the flash-forwards made me feel (literally) queasy.

LESS THAN ZERO – I don’t recall my freshman year of college looking anything like this.

NORM MacDONALD’S HITLER’S DOG… (2017) – Wait, I saw this already. How did I see this already? Oh, I think I watched a bootleg on YouTube last year. It’s good.

MANHORN – Julian Barrett is fat and bald and ready to see the truth with his robotic eye.

MASTERMINDS (2016) – One of those stories that suffers from being based on true events. Great wasted cast. Jason Sudeikis eating chicken skin is one of the few memorable moments.

METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER – One of the best worst music documentaries I’ve ever seen. Ugggggghhhhh.

OTHERLIFE (2017) – Watched almost fifteen minutes of this film, yet another clunker in a long disappointing line of Netflix science fiction I keep convincing myself is worth ‘checking out.’ It is not. Any of it.

PARTY DOWN – One of those shows I can watch and rewatch, probably for forever.

THE PRESTIGE – I saw this forever ago and forgot it all. Rewatching it, I sorta figured out the end pretty quick. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be surprised at the end, but I still liked the movie just fine.

RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR – A documentary about a New Jersey club I never went to. Too much about the booker, too much town history, not enough Jon Stewart. After Effects work: B+.

ROBOWAR (1988) – A Predator rip-off, except the alien is a robot wearing a motocross helmet.

THE SAINT (2016) – I made it almost ten minutes into this terrible-seeming thing.

SCHUMER, AMY – THE LEATHER SPECIAL – There were some funny jokes but I sort of realized I don’t like her very much.

SHAUN OF THE DEAD – You can’t go home again.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – Mark Hamill had thirty years to become a better actor. Thirty years. Saw this in the theater on opening night. Dude sitting next to me had a toy lightsaber and literally pumped his fist and said YESSSSS during a couple of key plot things. Grown man. A grown-ass man.

STATEN ISLAND SUMMER – Never have I witnessed such a waste of comedic talent.

STRANGER THINGS (s2) – Hamfisted nosedive.

TAKING EARTH (2017) – I get really triggered when someone writes a terrible plot with terrible dialogue and hires terrible actors and then gets a whole lot of money to turn their terrible, terrible idea into a terrible, terrible movie.

TENACIOUS D PICK OF DESTINY – A way better movie than I recall. I think on my original viewing, my love of the original HBO shorts collided with my general distaste for their big rock album and this got caught in the middle. Totally good.

TOAST OF LONDON (all three seasons) – I bet Matt Berry has fun making this show.

TRAVEL MAN – An enjoyable show I’m watching via random YouTube clips. I like Richard Ayoade quite a bit.

TROPIC THUNDER – My enjoyment of Ben Stiller has waned over the last couple decades, but this is a good dumb movie.

TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN (2017) – Sometimes with Lynch it’s hard to tell if the bad acting is an intentional affectation, or if I’m just watching bad acting. Drifted off after two episodes.

VALERIAN AND THE SOMETHING SOMETHING DOESN’T MATTER – I’d heard nothing but positive reviews about Dunkirk and Dark Tower had just came out, so naturally I went to the theater to see this thing, Valerian. Truly excruciating dialogue, dead-faced acting, and pretty cool designs, Valerian. I have never heard a main character’s name uttered onscreen so many times, Valerian. Long and boring, Valerian. Valerian!

THE VISITOR (1979) – A nice looking film with a decent cast. Evil little girl is suitably evil. Slow.

THE WARRIORS (1979) – I’d never seen this before. Man, I wish I could go back in time! No, not to 1979. Earlier this evening would suffice.

THE WIRE (Season 4) – The Season Where McNulty Smiles A Lot and Orders Seltzers.

YOGA HOSERS – When rich people convince themselves their offspring are talented but they are so, so wrong.

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