Archive for July, 2017

Movies Since Last Post: 

Slumdog Millionaire
Bull Durham
The Shallows
Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
Sound City
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Baby Driver
The Matrix
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

It’s been almost a month since my last post, and I only watched 10 movies in that time. Granted, there was a holiday in there, but I’m not making excuses. I’m at 86 movies, but I really need to be better. The very fact that I watched Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates will tell you that fatigue is setting in.

I will say, however, that with the exception of Mike and Dave, and possibly The Shallows, this selection does focus more on quality over quantity, and mostly because of Baby Driver. If you haven’t seen (or heard of) it, then I recommend you go and check it out now. Out of the 86 movies I’ve watched in 2017, it probably tops the list as the most entertaining. But also, if you’re a fan of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, or music in general, check out Sound City. It’s another of those documentaries that you’ve probably never heard of, about the studio that recorded so many great albums of the late-70’s and early-80’s, and81F01HtwEML._SY445_ then had a comeback in the early 90’s, so if you like these kinds stories about how famous people got to be famous, or good music became great, go find that one.

However, despite the fact that there were some good movies in this crop (including Bull Durham. How did I never watch that? I must not be a baseball fan!), there was also a whole lot of “meh.” This is something that I haven’t experienced a lot of in my movie-watching history. I usually find movies really good, or really bad (or sometimes so bad, they’re good!) There was definitely a time when I would have watched The Shallows, which is 90 minutes of Blake Lively not getting eaten by a giant shark, and just thought it was the stupidest movie ever made (and certainly the ending was totally ridiculous), but in 2017, I watched it and sort of shrugged. And for a movie like that, a shrug should be taken as a compliment.

It seems that, in this year of movies, one unforeseen side effect is building up a tolerance to these “meh” movies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some moves are still bad (and I’m looking at you, Baywatch), but a lot of the movies I’ve watched this year, and especially the more recent ones (Ex Machina, Children of Men, both of those Planet of the Apes movies), have left me feeling not much of anything. I will say that they allowed me to add another movie to the tally, so at least that was a plus, but overall, that’s really all it was. In fact, when I looked back at my Google sheet, I couldn’t remember watching a couple of them until I read the little notes I made. Now I’m really glad I made those. Originally they were supposed to be so I could talk about how I watched it, but now it’s mostly because most of these movies aren’t very memorable.

I used to be very judgmental (I know. Can you believe it?) about the customers in the video store, and even the people wandering up to the ticket counter when I worked in the theater, who would come in with no idea what they wanted and just decide on any old movie, and the movie theater only had two screens. How can you decide to actually journey to a theater that’s only giving you two options and still not know what you were seeing? (Seriously, people walked up to the counter and asked, “Which one is better?”) I judged those people because they were essentially gambling with their time that they were going to see something good. I know there are several factors when deciding on a movie to watch (For example, my parents will literally watch any movie that happens to be playing at the theater they happen to be nearest when they finish lunch.), but, in my opinion, the chances that you are going to see something really enjoyable at that point are way less than 50-50. Probably more like a 20-1 shot. I used to chide my brother a little bit, because, as the father of twins, he didn’t have the opportunity to see a lot of movies that he wanted to see, and when those opportunities came along, he wouldn’t always make the best choices. But he would usually enjoy them on some level, and I didn’t really get why.

But that was me, The Movie Guy. Because I worked in L.A. for a very brief period, and I’ve done a lot of reading and taken a few classes on the business of Hollywood, I thought I knew enough to judge these numbskulls on why a movie was good or bad. Now, after watching 86 movies, and some of them holding my nose, I understand those people a little better. They don’t care. These people just want to let go of life for a bit and do something. My brother just wanted to do something, so who cares if the movie sucked? I don’t judge these people anymore. In fact, I envy them. But mostly, I get them. I look at it like this; I could go to a hockey game and not care a bit about who wins, but there will probably be a lot of people at that game who do. Most people probably don’t care about movies the way I don’t care about hockey, so who am I to judge them?

So when I say that I am seeing a lot of “meh” movies, yeah, it probably means that they weren’t very memorable, or not made very well, or just generally not very interesting, but also they weren’t Baywatch, so that’s at least something.


Maybe movies should be like the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” That’s all we can hope for. Anything else is just gravy.

Before I go, if you’re interested in any of my other writings, you can check out the fully collected trade paperback of Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century, at here, and you can read issue #1 in its entirety for free at