Today marks the beginning of a new segment here at I’m Right Reviews: What’s Joey Seen Lately? This series will follow me, Joey, as I give a brief review of every movie I’ve seen during the week. I’m really excited to be introducing this entirely new idea, but I’m also a little nervous, so please try to be patient. Anyway, 6 movies were witnessed by me this week, and I have a small amount to say about each and every one of them, so voila:
Mar 9: Hereditary (Netflix)
Hereditary is the best horror movie of all time. I saw it for the first time with my friend Duncan in theatres, and we spent a lot of time afterwards just discussing, trying to piece everything together and figure out what all the symbolism means. This time, since I knew what was gonna happen, I had a chance to appreciate just how much of an accomplishment Hereditary really is, both narratively and technically. Every single shot has a distinct sense of purpose, which makes it impossible to look away despite some unthinkably gruesome visuals. Toni Collette is at her absolute best, and the ex-Naked Brothers Band member is remarkably good considering how much I hate his brother. Ari Aster has cemented himself as a genius after only a single feature length movie, and I cannot wait for Midsommar to blow me away.
Mar 10: Paris, Texas (random streaming site)
This is the 3rd movie I’ve seen for a class rather than my own enjoyment, but unlike my class discussion, I will not spend an entire hour determining what is meant by a single, inconsequential line said by a character who shows up for less than a minute and rants about the world ending.
Paris, Texas might be the slowest movie I’ve ever seen. That being said, I thought it was pretty darn good. The story is one that could have been told in half an hour, but instead takes an approach that emphasizes atmosphere and lengthy, heavy emotional moments over plot progression, extending the runtime to over two hours. There’s a clear vision apparent throughout the film, which is a feature I respect immensely and will almost always give credit for. It’s worth watching if you’re in the mood for watching people do nothing in the desert for a long-ass time.
Mar 10: Thunder Road (Amazon Prime Video)
Thunder Road is depressing, Thunder Road is hilarious, Thunder Road is nearly perfect. The movie hinges entirely on Jim Cummings’ incredible performance, though his fantastic writing and directing don’t hurt either. The movie begins with a 12 minute long eulogy given by Jim at his mother’s funeral, and that scene is a masterpiece all by itself. The rest of the film follows Jim as he tries to be a cop, father, and ex-husband, and it all comes together brilliantly.
Mar 11: The Dark Knight Rises (Netflix)
“Now is not the time for fear. That comes later.” “Fire rises.” “Ah, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!” “Let the games begin.” Everything Bane says is insanely cool. I don’t care about the silly plot contrivances, everything about this movie is awesome. Wait, I take that back, everything except Christian Bale’s attempt at a Batman voice is awesome.
Mar 12: Captain Marvel (Theatre)
I went in with some low expectations. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the movie, much of it related to Brie Larson and her strange rant about feminism, which made me think critics would be terrified to criticize, yet it got surprisingly mediocre reviews. If critics don’t love a Marvel movie, it’s a safe bet to say that I’ll hate it. So do I hate Captain Marvel? No, I can’t say I hate it. I hate certain aspects of it, and I have very few positive things to say, but as a whole, I found it simply…bad. Not appalling, not horrendous, not my usual slightly exaggerated hatred, just a hefty amount of disdain.
Now that I’ve told you I don’t hate Captain Marvel, let’s talk about all the things I hate about Captain Marvel. First and foremost, I hated Brie Larson. She is unprecedentedly terrible, especially considering I thought she was fantastic in Room and genuinely funny in 21 Jump Street. Larson has no freaking clue what movie she’s in. She doesn’t understand how to play a superhero, and fumbles the tone of the Marvel Universe at every opportunity she gets. Some people are blaming her god awful performance on bad directing and writing, and while that might be partially true, it doesn’t really explain why nearly every line she said either bored me, annoyed me, or baffled me. What I will blame on writing, however, is how pathetic the character of Captain Marvel herself is. There’s startlingly little attempt at making her have any kind of personality or emotional diversity, something that Marvel movies excel at more often than not. Samuel L Jackson is also there, and even he is brought down by Brie Larson, making their scenes forced and awkward.
The plot of the movie is simple and nothing much happens in over 2 hours. If you’ve seen the mediocre Black Mirror episode “Men Against Fire”, you’ve seen a better and more depressing version of Captain Marvel. Prequelitis is also an issue here: there’s a MacGuffin present that is also the main MacGuffin of The Avengers, meaning I know exactly where it ends up at the end of the movie, draining what little potential tension the movie has.
If you’ve read my Black Panther review (which you shouldn’t, it’s way too long and not very good), you know I have a big problem with the way the Marvel movies go about comedy. Captain Marvel does a great job of pinpointing exactly what makes it so poor, so I applaud it for that. Marvel movies break a simple rule of filmmaking: make every scene count. In many MCU entries and especially Captain Marvel, the movie grinds to a halt in order to have a “funny” scene, rather than attempting to weave a joke or two directly into more vital scenes. It results in a strange, jerky pace that never succeeded in making me laugh, and only made me think the movie should have been a half-hour shorter.
So what did I like? I’m not exactly sure? The main Skrull dude was fun, and had a much more believable and sympathetic emotional motivation than anyone else. It’s visually… fine? I’m not a fan of big CGI fests, and this is certainly one of those, but maybe seeing it in 3D Ultra AVX (bigger screen, louder audio) made it more enjoyable. I honestly can’t put my finger on why I hated nearly every individual part, yet can’t say I despised it overall. Still, I highly recommend skipping Captain Marvel, and I’m extremely bothered by the fact that I’m gonna have to see her again in Endgame.
Mar 12: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Theatre)
Yeah, Vic and I stayed after Captain Marvel to see Spiderverse for free, so sue me. Narc. I already saw it in theatres during Christmas, so I don’t feel like I cheated anyone. Regardless, Spiderverse is awesome, and I was happy to see it a second time. The animation is beautiful, and the rest ain’t too bad either. It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s sweet, and it was the perfect way for us to cleanse ourselves after Captain Marvel damn near bored us to death. As far as Marvel movies go, this one is right below Spider-Man: Homecoming for me. I think I like Spider-Man a bunch. Not sure how I feel about that.
It’s not often we get a 5:1 ratio of good movies to bad movies, so this week cannot be taken for granted. And shame on you, Captain Marvel, for holding us back from having the first perfect week. Well, there’s always next time. In fact, next week could be amazing since we have another theme: Kubrick Week! I’ve never seen a Kubrick movie, so next week I’ll be trying to watch as many as I possibly can. Will I like them? Will I hate them? Will I somehow become even more pretentious than I already am? Find out next time on What’s Joey Seen Lately!
No shoutout. We don’t do shoutouts here. This is What’s Joey Seen Lately, not amateur hour.