We return today to our regularly scheduled programming, which unfortunately means I probably won’t be watching any more Natasha Lyonne movies for a long, long while. I spent most of this week hunched over a desk at the library, studying and writing essays, all while counting down the hours until I had the time to watch more movies. I mentioned in my last post that I’d seen too many movies and that I should consider taking a break; I guess you gotta be careful what you wish for. I still managed to see 4 movies, a TV show, and a practical joke being played on me on live TV while I watched helplessly. I have at least a little bit to say about all of them, so here they are:
Feb 24: Hush (Netflix)
This is an 81 minute movie with a 15 minute premise, and that’s being generous. A deaf woman has to fend off a killer while he tries to mess with her before actually doing any killing. 90% of the movie only involves those two characters, so the plot pretty much never gets a chance to budge. There are no thrills, no scares, nothing even remotely entertaining. The killer takes off his mask and explains himself about 20 minutes into the movie, which destroys any tension that could be gleaned from mystery. It doesn’t even suck in an interesting way, it sucks in the most boring way possible.
Feb 24: The Cursed Oscars (CTV)
I should have been prepared for this. Before the Oscars, I would have told you that I was prepared for this. I knew it was a frontrunner. I knew it had a very good chance of winning. I didn’t know, though. That doubt, that’s what got me through the rest of the ceremony. Bohemian Rhapsody won for editing (and as a result I lost $20 but that’s besides the point); I can take that because at least Green Book won’t win. BlacKkKlansman won best adapted screenplay; it wasn’t good but that’s fine, I suppose. Green Book won best original screenplay; you know what, I’ll allow it, that’s a pity award so they don’t have to give it best picture. I can take that sacrifice for the greater good.
You know what’s coming.
I lied to myself; convinced myself that the Academy isn’t that bad; look at the 2018 Oscar nominees!
Sure, they nominated some bad movies. We all make mistakes, right?
Driving Miss Daisy won, and history wouldn’t dare repeat itself, it’s too soon and so far away at the same time.
That movie came out in 1989 and had a dated view of race relations even then. Surely in 2019 we’ve progressed far, far further, right? Right? right?
I realise even as I’m writing this that that whole intro bit was just a way for me to avoid talking about Green Book winning Best Picture at the Oscars this year. God, even typing that was tough for me. If I wasn’t clear enough in my previous posts, I hate Green Book. It’s not only a laughably simplistic and inaccurate approach to serious race issues, but deep down, it’s an amateurish, poorly written movie that deserves not a single ounce of praise.
Nobody is happy about this, so I’m not gonna go on a rant and repeat what a lot of people have already said. What I will say is that this is it for me. The Oscars succeeded in gaining better viewership, but I’m sure they lost plenty of film lovers such as myself. They don’t deserve me, and I mean that in the least cocky way possible. They’ve shown that they care more about getting people to watch than they do about the awards themselves, and I won’t contribute to their delusion. RIP The Academy Awards, 1929-2019. You won’t be missed.
Feb 24: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Netflix)
I really needed to wind down after witnessing that dumpster fire that accidentally got televised. Popstar is exactly the kind of dumb bullshit I needed. It’s not even close to perfect, but it’s still a pretty hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt mockumentary. I feel like it should be mentioned that it has a 68 on Metacritic, meaning a movie in which Andy Samberg tucks his penis in between his legs and accidentally makes it look like he’s dickless in front of thousands of people is pretty much equally enjoyed by critics as a best picture winner. Does everything have to be related to Green Book? No, I just can’t keep it off my mind. Help.
Feb 27: 30 Rock (Amazon Prime Video)
Good god, this is a fantastic show. I finally finished all 7 seasons, and I adored all of them. The friendship between Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy has to be one of the best in TV history, with Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney close behind. Every recurring character is hilarious, in particular Chloe Grace Moretz as Donaghy’s teenage nemesis and Dean Winters as Liz’s idiot ex who never, ever seems to be able to go away. As much as I used to enjoy Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock is a better version of it in pretty much every respect. It’s peak Tina Fey, and there are few people funnier than peak Tina Fey. Next time you’re thinking about watching The Office all the way through for the thousandth time, go for 30 Rock instead, you’ll thank me later.
March 1: The Overnight (Amazon Prime Video)
As much as I recommend this movie, I would advise against watching it on a train with a bunch of people around. There are penises involved, with the occasional breast or two thrown in. It’s a strange little movie that never quite goes where you think it’s gonna go while always staying grounded and maintaining the mumblecore style. It left me with some interesting questions: how can a seemingly perfect marriage be so flawed? How far can confidence get you? Is Jason Schwartzman actually that hung, or is it just prosthetics? Was this movie written just as an excuse to show off Jason Schwartzman’s massive penis? There are no easy answers.
March 1: Tomb Raider (2018) (Crave)
This is a soulless movie, the worst kind of movie. There is no vision, there is no passion, there is no energy. Alicia Vikander is an incredibly boring actress who brings nothing to the table, but she played a great robot in Ex Machina, which makes a lot of sense. The movie also bases its plot loosely on the 2013 video game of the same name, which I played and enjoyed a whole lot. The game features a fun cast of characters, and does a great job of showing Lara’s progression from an everyday woman to a hardened survivor/mass murderer. The best supporting character in the game is a big dude named Jonas, who brings some much needed levity and heart to the dark story. The movie does away with all of this, leaving us with no emotional intrigue other than an incredibly boring and poorly written plot involving Lara’s father. This movie will bore people who haven’t played the game and anger people who have. Add it to the ever-growing list of god awful video game adaptations.
If I had to rate this week out of 10, it would be a 3. Sure, we had some big positives like 30 Rock and The Overnight, but my god, the rest of the week was an absolute shitshow. Add to that a slew of midterms that drained me of my humanity, and it doesn’t come close to the highs achieved during Julia Week. But this week I’m home in Toronto and ready to watch as many great movies as I possibly can. Oh, and this week’s shoutout goes to Christopher McQuarrie! I don’t really know why, it just does.