Archive for March 12, 2017

Movies Since Last Post:  It Follows, Hidden Figures, Kong: Skull Island, Life of Brian, Central Intelligence

I don’t know if I’ll be posting every week, but I had an interesting movie week, and it’s 23 degrees outside, so I figured, what the Hell? Also, my memory isn’t that great, so if I don’t do it now, I may not remember what I wanted to say about them.

Weirdly enough, it took me two months to remember that I could watch movies on Netflix (I guess I thought it was just for cool shows). So, I started going through and adding movies to my queue, or whatever they call it now. I started with the creepy It Follows, which I remember hearing good things about when it was released in 2014. It was creepy, but a little disappointing when you think about how it really has no point and it kind of just ends. Similarly to Room and Sicario, which I watched earlier this year. Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of these movies seem to be ending just when I think the story is ramping up. I also think I chose this one because the running time was acceptable at 1 hour and 40 minutes. I’m starting to sound like my mother here, who basically dislikes any movie over 90 minutes, but I have a life, too, and so I don’t have a lot of spare time to commit to a movie that I think could possibly maybe be not all that horrible.

Although, speaking of spare time, I took a couple vacation days last week, so I ended up going to the movies (I also had a free pass that expired soon. Time and money are probably the two most important things to consider in this movie-watching year.) First, I saw Hidden Figures, which was enjoyable, and the performances Oscar-worthy, but I was not blown away. Maybe I’m just a grumpy, old bastard, but I felt like this movie was basically just like every other movie that depicts “How far we’ve come” as far as racism. Of course, the stories of these women needed to be told, and I love space exploration stories, I just wish that the most compelling part wasn’t Taraju P. Henson having to run a half-mile to the bathroom because her building didn’t have “colored restrooms.” What does that say about a movie when its most memorable aspect is a woman running to the bathroom?

The next day I saw Kong: Skull Island, in 3-D IMAX. Not real IMAX, but what they call Lie-MAX, because it was just on a big movie screen and probably wasn’t shown on one of those big projectors. I did experience a first here as the movie froze at one point, and we could hear it but the image was not moving. Naturally, I was the first person in the theater to get up and go tell the usher, because while I don’t know a lot about the science of movie projection, I do know that someone isn’t just sitting in that little booth watching the movie to see if something goes wrong. When it came back, it went right to where the sound was instead of going back to where it froze. Obviously, I missed some big story point while I was in the lobby, because one minute they were escaping the island, and the next Tom Hiddleston was saying, “We’re going to rescue Kong!” It could be argued that I could have asked for a refund or a free pass or something, but really, it was a King Kong movie, so I didn’t really see it for the story, anyway. Also, I’m not sure I would want to go back to that theater anytime soon, anyway. It seems as though the Loew’s Boston Common has definitely fallen upon hard times. They need some sort of Jon Taffer-esque Theater Rescue to come give it a make-over.

As a side note, I should also point out that I chose this movie with no knowledge that it featured Brie Larson. She was a major character and yet was not featured in any of the trailers or commercials. I guess we needed to hear Samuel L. Jackson scream a lot. Anyway, this marks the fourth Brie Larson movie this year. I’ll probably just watch the rest now just so I can say I did.

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Perhaps the most interesting movie-watching experience of the last week was Monty Python’s Life of Brian, on DVD. First of all, yes, I had never seen this movie. I’m pretty sure I had been lying about that for 25 years. I obviously had seen Holy Grail a million times, as well as a lot of their bits online over the years, but somehow, Life of Brian had eluded me.  And the interesting thing is that, unless I bought it used somewhere, or there was a special screening at a local movie house, it probably would have eluded me forever. Thankfully, Rachel had it on DVD, so I dug it out and put it in. And I know that putting a DVD in my Xbox is not all that interesting, but the very fact that it would have been really hard to see this movie otherwise is the interesting part. As a former video store jockey, I was surrounded by movies all the time, and I myself have a very large DVD collection (that mostly sits there nowadays), but at this point in human history, if you don’t already have a physical copy of a movie, it’s hard to justify buying one. Especially if you live in a one bedroom apartment with not much storage. I went on a little selling spree of some of my CD’s and DVD’s last year, just to make some room, and none of them sold for more than a few bucks, so I kind of gave that up. Point is, it’s just not really important to me to have a DVD collection anymore (and this is coming from a guy who has a comic book collection of well over 1000. I know. It makes little sense.) But the point is, without a DVD, it’s hard to find a movie like Life of Brian on any of the streaming services, so I guess there’s your justification right there. So, remember:

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So, having watched 18 movies in 2017 so far, with only two on DVD and 4 in theaters, I think it’s pretty obvious so far how people consume movies these days (and I guess, by people, I mean me.) But it’s pretty easy to stay home and watch movies when it’s this cold out. Let’s see what happens when things heat up around here.