Three sentence movie reviews: The Good Place, Season 1

The writing sparkled in this 13-episode first-season comedy. While Bell and Danson brought their usual top-of-the-line performances, I also greatly enjoyed William Jackson Harper as Chidi, Jameela Jamil as Tahani, D’Arcy Carden as Janet and Manny Jacinto as Jason Mendoza.  In short, great cast and great acting, plus funny premise and sharp writing equals quality TV viewing.

Cost: monthly Netflix charge
Where watched: at home, with Matt.

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Three sentence movie review: King Kong

This movie excels in how lifelike King Kong is; the way his eyes were animated, I believed he was a huge creature.  I didn’t not enjoy it, however, as it is the kind of conquering-with-violence tale that hurts my heart to watch.* Sadly, this movie had the largest number of Black people I will probably see while watching my Scratch-off 100 Essential Movies; they  all played “primitives.”

Cost: free
Where watched: at home

*Me: Sweetheart, if you encountered a dinosaur that had long been thought was extinct, what would your first reaction be?”
Matt: Um, I guess document it?”
Me: I know, right?

It also made no sense, Mr. Kong fighting all those dinosaurs.  Doesn’t he regularly encounter them on Skull Island?  It’s not a very big island.  They would have all killed each other if they fight like that all the time.

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Do you want to scratch your movie poster itch? Get the scratch off poster here.

(Pssst.  Citzen Kane spoiler alert! Things will be revealed in the Citizen Kane picture below. Be warned.)

Not only did I not enjoy the movie, the picture was wrong when I scratched it off.  Even before watching the film, I could have told the artist those were biplanes, not helicopters.  What’s the drama in a hovering helicopter?

This was predictable, but nice.
I need to find a decent scratcher.  The butter knife I’m using takes off a layer of shine along with the silver part.  I have a great one store in my Christmas stocking, but that’s at my aunt’s house.

Three sentence movie reviews: Dick

This was an enjoyable bit of fluff, that would have been a greater amount of fun before we found out who Deep Throat was.* This is a great example of Williams and Dunst bringing their all, even to the least of their roles.  Dan Hedaya was also good as Nixon.**

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*Another marker of my nerd life: I often wondered if I would still be alive when the identity of Deep Throat was revealed.  Happily, I am!  That was a very exciting day.
**Potential task for when I have too much time on my hands: make a list of every actor I’ve ever seen portray Nixon.

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Three sentence movie reviews: 13 Reasons Why

There are 13 reasons why this was hard to watch, and also engrossing.  Dylan Minette and Katherine Langford were a lot of the reason the series was so well done, as both made for very sympathetic characters.  Due to the content, and what I felt was a very realistic way young women are treated, I could only watch one episode per day, which gave me a lot of time to think about what was going on, and I felt an absence when the season was done.

Cost: steamed on Netflix ($7.99/month)
Where watched: at home

An aside: the quantity of tattoos on underage teenagers? Felt unrealistic.
Another aside: Christian Navarro, as Tony, the character that sometimes verged into the “magical Negro” (in his case, magical Puerto Rican) territory, had amazing eyes.

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Three sentence movie reviews: The Florida Project

I found this to be brilliantly filmed, making a welfare hotel in Florida look gorgeous. It also seemed quite realistic, with compelling performances.  I got caught up in the unfortunate life of Mooney, and overall did not enjoy the film because I was worried about her fate, and the fate of so many other children who come from similar circumstances.

Cost: $3.00
Where watched: Laurelhurst with S. North

Three sentence movie reviews: City Lights

This is a classic movie in a way that means I watched it, struggled to stay awake and spent a lot of time contemplating that weird period of film where movies could have sound, but chose to keep going in the silent film direction.*  Charlie Chaplin did his good Charlie Chaplin things, which probably felt fun and fresh at the time, but which does not feel fun and fresh to me because I have seen clips and imitations of Mr. Chaplin all of my life. Overall, a not-torturous movie to have watched, and another classic under my belt.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*One plus: the score right there, with the film, so one doesn’t run into the random classical music added to The General, which I experienced earlier this month.

Here are the scratch-offs for this film and two others I’ve already seen:

Do you want to scratch your movie poster itch? Get the scratch off poster here.

Three sentence movie reviews: Call Me by Your Name

A good portion of the film is slow, but in that way that one doesn’t mind, due to summer in Italy being spectacular.  Timothee Chalamet’s performance is incredible, one to look back on as the years pass. I appreciated his depiction of the uncertainty and bravado of adolescent love.

Cost: free due to gift card.
Where watched: Regal Fox Tower with S. North

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Three sentence movie reviews: Intolerance

Do you know what D.W. Griffith is in favor of, aside from white supremacy? Fun!*  If you’ve got three hours, this is an exercise in marveling at immense sets and hordes of extras, and if you have a scratch-off movie poster, you will have the reward of seeing what that grasping hand changes into.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home

*In the modern story, it is clearly very bad that social reformers outlaw dancing at cafes, drinking at saloons, and also prostitution.** Griffith was getting a half-side-eye with his overwrought portrayal of women social reformers, until I got the title card that said something to the effect of “women who have ceased to become attractive to their husbands turn to interfering in other people’s lives.”  From that point on, I was full side-eye.  I get that some parts of the social movements run by women in the early twentieth century went too far.  Prohibition is a good example.  But the temperance movement was partially fueled by the fact that alcoholic men could easily wreck havoc on their families and there was no recourse for the women or children involved.  The reforms of the early twentieth century improved a lot of lives, and were run by women with no political power.  That’s impressive.

**And that part bugged me, too.  We’re supposed to be sad that women can’t prostitute themselves anymore?  Given the long, lingering shots of men drooling over the prostitutes as they were escorted from the brothel, this was a terrible, terrible turn.

Here’s our scratch off  for this movie and the two others I’ve already seen.  That Snow White one is one of my favorites. poster from:

Do you want to scratch your movie poster itch? Get the scratch off poster here.

Three Sentence Movie Reviews: Mudbound

Great performances all around, though I especially enjoyed the pairing of Garrett Hudland & Jason Mitchell, especially in contrast to the relationship between Jason Clarke and Rob Morgan.* It was apparent from the midway point things weren’t going in a good direction, and from that point, the movie dragged.  Still, it’s an unpleasant story that hasn’t been told enough, and I appreciate Dee Rees for the film, and also for pushing the ending to the point she did.**

Cost: streamed via Netflix
Where watched: at home

*Carey Mulligan brought it, as she always does, and Mary J. Blige was excellent too.
**I see I’ve got some Dee Rees to catch up on.

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