I was so excited to see that I’d finally caught up, only to realise I still had to review Border and It (2017). I have stuff to say about those movies, I can’t just write them in a couple minutes! I knew it was suspicious that I only had six reviews this week, but I didn’t question it. How wrong I was. Anyway, here are a few movies and a couple TV shows or something, you know what’s up.
August 30: The Peanut Butter Falcon (Theatre)
All you gotta do to make me see a movie is to let me know Shia LaBeouf is in it. He’s somehow constructed an incredible career following the abominable Transformers movies, and I couldn’t have more respect for the guy. How a man can go from child actor to blockbuster schlock to eating people to starring in and directing indie gems is beyond me. The Peanut Butter Falcon continues his flawless streak, giving us a feel-good story of a Down syndrome man going on a trek through the North Carolina marshes with Shia and Dakota Johnson as they try to find a legendary wrestling school. Zack Gottsagen, an actual Down syndrome dude, plays the eponymous Peanut Butter Falcon (the title of his wrestling alter ego) and has surprisingly fantastic comedic timing and charm. I’ve never been one for the feel-good tale – they more often than not bother the crap outta me with saccharin bullshit – but The Peanut Butter Falcon is so genuine that I can’t help but feel something. I hate it when movies make me feel good, dammit, give me more Oldboy so I can feel devastated and emotionally drained!
September 2: Rat Race (Netflix)
I watched Rat Race as a kid and remember loving it, but it had been forever since I’d even thought about the movie. When it showed up on Netflix, I had to know whether it holds up or not. Turns out, Rat Race is still hilarious. It’s bonkers in a way only the Zuckers (well, I guess just Jerry in this case) can be, and though it doesn’t fill every single second with jokes like Airplane! does, Rat Race sets up massive joke setpieces that work brilliantly. It’s stupid, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the incredibly rare kind of stupid I actually appreciate.
September 3: Archer Season 10 (Netflix)
There’s no reason Archer should still be on TV. Adam Reed said that he asked the network if he could make a serious season of Archer, and they said no. The result is that he kept making content he didn’t have his heart in. The passionlessness started with season 8, though that may be a bit unfair. Season 8 is bad, but it was effectively a long dedication to the late George Coe, the voice of Woodhouse, Archer’s butler. Season 9, though, is not only passionless, it’s completely devoid of humour. I swear to god, I didn’t crack a smile during a single episode of that atrocity. Needless to say, my expectations were as low as they could go for season 10.
I’d love to tell you that Adam Reed is back and willing to invest himself in Archer again, but it seems as though everyone but him is trying. The reason I’m willing to call season 10 the best of the Dreamland trilogy is due to how much work went into making this the most beautiful season yet. The animators brought their A-game while Adam Reed sat back and wrote an entire season on autopilot. There are admittedly some other good things to say: I like the return to the serialized, adventure-a-week formula, and the last couple episodes do some interesting things with Archer finally starting to wake up from his coma. Unfortunately, the egregious lack of anything funny is what makes season 10 just like the other two. Adam Reed’s drawn out rebellion against comedy is accomplishing nothing, and he should just end the show already. Ugh, I’ll see you guys back here next year to review season 11.
September 8: Midsommar Director’s Cut (Theatre)
Yeah, good movie.
Sept 10: Birds of Passage (Theatre)
I was excited for this movie last year yet I never got around to actually seeing it, but was finally given the opportunity to when it was pitched as something to review for my university’s weekly paper. That means I’ll be reviewing it a couple times, so go check out the McGill Tribune next week for a much more formal and detailed critique. All I’ll say here is that Birds of Passage is my favourite Shakespearean crime drama about a Colombian indigenous group during the mid to late 1900s of all time. It both exposes me to a culture completely unknown to me beforehand and gives me what I really want, political tensions and gritty war tragedy.
However, the event I attended was actually focused on the screening’s guest, a member of the indigenous group, the Wayuu, and how she feels about the film. She made it very clear that Birds of Passage does not represent the Wayuu people, and the events have been exaggerated or falsified to make for a more engaging story. So on the one hand, it’s a great movie, but on the other, I kinda have to acknowledge that it sucks in terms of proper representation of a group most people know nothing about. Am I allowed to say that I really liked it? Because I did? But don’t tell anyone, please…
Sept 11: Euphoria (Crave)
Euphoria is a silly, edgy, pornographic teen drama that thinks it’s way cooler than it is.
That’s what I said after having only watched the first episode a few months ago. But everyone kept telling me to keep going, and I eventually caved. Somehow, the second episode was so much better than the pilot that I ended up not just liking Euphoria but loving it, and that love never faltered throughout the rest of the season. It may appear shallow and unremarkable at first, but the characters become so much more nuanced than any other teen-focused drama. With the exception of Cassie, I felt as though every character changed and acted in a way that nobody else seems to be able to capture when making anything about high school. It’s certainly exaggerated, but driector/writer/creator Sam Levinson knows what high school is like and nails exactly how it feels to be there in 2019 (I’m assuming; it’s been a little while since I was in high school). The cast is perfect, the standouts being Zendaya, a drug addicted junior, and the terrifying Jacob Elordi, a psychopathic senior. It’s so close to being a perfect season, but the pilot and the Cassie/McKay storyline’s disappointingly clichéd conclusion keep it from being up there with Fargo, The Leftovers, and American Vandal’s first seasons. Absolutely worth a watch if you enjoy an average of approximately five penises per episode.
I swear, I’ll have reviews of Border and It (2017) come out over the course of the week, no need to wait till next weekend. They won’t be long, but they might infuriate you because I know a lot of you probably liked that god awful It (2017). In the meantime, go watch any of the shows I listed at the end of the Euphoria review. No, not the penis bit.
This week’s shoutout goes to the end of Kanye’s verse in the song The One on the 2012 album Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer, in which he says “Best way to describe my new whip -” and then makes the most hilarious car accelerating noise I’ve ever heard. “NYOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW”