Recently Watched, Jan 2020

Interested in a few microreviews of movies and TV shows I’ve watched recently? Too bad, you’re getting them anyway.

BLACK DYNAMITE: A blaxpoitation movie that is less a parody and more an homage, and just as funny now as it was ten years ago. There are many great bits to this movie, but my favorite? Donuts don’t wear alligator shoes:

THE WIDOW: A fairly bleak thriller about a woman who believes her husband died in a plane crash until she sees him on news footage, so it’s off to the Congo to solve the mystery. I liked this fairly well. The Congo made for an interesting setting, and Kate Beckinsale is quite good as a determined woman who’s gone through some trauma and is trying to keep her shit together long enough to find her husband. An eight episode, limited series on Amazon was a good format for this type of show. I wish more filmmakers would go this route.

CASABLANCA: Just a fucking classic. I’ll say no more, except that I just now remembered I need to see if I own copies of THE BIG SLEEP and THE MALTESE FALCON.

RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD: What an ugly, miserable film. The John Rambo of this film is so far removed from the tragic figure of the first film, that I sincerely wonder what Sylvester Stallone was thinking when he wrote the script. I’m so mad I sat through the whole thing.

KNIVES OUT: An old school whodunnit in the vein of CLUE that’s clever, funny, and brilliantly casted. Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc is wonderful, but Chris Evans steals his scenes as a sort of anti-Steve Rogers. This and READY OR NOT were my favorite movies from 2019.

V: The original miniseries from 1983 about alien Visitors who one day show up all over the world in big shiny ships. Instead of pulling an INDEPENDENCE DAY, the Visitors want to help humanity by stealing our jorbs resources, and eating our small rodents. More than a little cheesy now, yes, but it is still a surprisingly effective allegory for Nazi-occupied Europe. Also it stars Marc Fucking Singer, so now I’m ready to watch THE BEASTMASTER again.

6 UNDERGROUND: A Michael Bay-directed, Ryan Reynolds-starring, Netflix original (??) that was frenetic and incoherent, and just unwatchably dumb, and I turned it off after ten minutes.

UNDERWATER: ALIEN, but set on the ocean floor. The plot made little sense, but Shit Starts Getting Real within the first five minutes, which was an interesting approach to take. Worth watching when it eventually hits Netflix/Amazon/etc.

ELEMENTARY: We’ve been watching this pretty much nonstop since September and we’re now somewhere in the middle of the fifth season. I’ve seen it before — except for the last season — but Jess hasn’t. The platonic chemistry between Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu is everything. Easily my favorite filmed adaptation of Sherlock Holmes

THE GOOD LIAR: A twisty, witty thriller with Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Helen Mirren as the leads? Count me in. This was quite good.

Recently Watched, Jan 2020

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