Movies 20-24

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Looking at my progress thus far, I think it’s safe to say I can get in about 200 movies this year. I’m not making any promises, but I’m curious to see where things land. I know I’ll watch more in the summer, when there’s less tv. Anyway, here’s what I watched this past week.

#20: Tiny Furniture – Alright, so I’ve been on a Lena Dunham kick lately. I’m constantly in denial about my status as a millennial, feeling that I’m not on the same page as “kids these days”. I looked it up, though, and LD and I are about the same age which is a sobering fact. She is so well-versed in depicting the aimlessness of “our generation”. In the film, she plays a character with more similarities to her real life than Hannah in Girls. It was nice to see some of the other actors from Girls playing distinctively different characters, as well. Oh, and there’s Merritt Weaver, who is always a pleasure. I kind of wish the audience got to see the aftermath of what happened in the final act, but I get it. We are as in the dark about her future as she is at the end of the film.

#21: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water – I’m a big kid and I love Spongebob. There, I said it. I used to watch the original SpongeBob Movie all the time. My excuse to see this one was using it with my students to study characters. It was a pretty big hit with the 10 to 12 year-olds and I was laughing with them at times. The trailer made it seem like the bulk of the movie was the CGI stuff, but they don’t get to dry land until more than halfway through. Once they did, the super hero versions of the characters were a lot easier to stomach than the 3-D models of their regular forms. I also loved that Sandy was just a squirrel. The first movie will always be my favorite, along with the classic first two seasons of the show, but I liked it enough.

#22: Frank – Why did it take me so long to watch this?! It’s been in my Netflix queue for probably a year now, but I would’ve watched it sooner had I known how great it is. If you haven’t seen it yet, but have heard all the rave reviews, I want to let you know they are all true. Micheal Fassbender’s performance makes you wonder if anyone else can be that affecting from inside a papier-mâché head. And, despite what Clara says, him describing his facial expressions is a really sweet running joke. As someone who ponders the correlation of the artist’s temperament and psychology way too much, I thought the film did a great job of depicting it in a different way. The music jokes were also great. “Someone’s thinking in C!”, and having a band with a name not even the band members can pronounce come to mind. This is a film that gets it and “I love your wall”.

#23: Tusk – Kevin Smith is really getting out there as he ages. In college, I watched Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy on a loop for a few months (that’s what most kids do, right?). I love these films, but I also loved the huge leap he took with Red State. Tusk is another one of those strange films that makes me wonder what goes on his head. It’s really two movies in one, which is good because I don’t think I could’ve handled much more of the walrus stuff. The opening is the kind of two guys talking stuff you’d expect from the writer/director. Justin Long is always fun to watch and it’s really funny when he calls everyone “the worst” while his character actually is the worst.  I could’ve stayed with those opening moments forever, but that’s not what this movie is about. I wouldn’t call it straight horror, but it is really uncomfortable to watch. Like, I don’t know if I can listen to “I Am the Walrus” the same way ever again. The second half of the story is full of off-beat humor surrounding some very dark content. I kept thinking “this is so Coen brothers”, then the movie name-drops The Big Lebowski and Smith sticks his tongue out at you from behind the camera. I’m still not sure how I felt about this one, but, while looking some stuff up, I saw that Clerks III and something called Mallbrats are in post-production. If those are anything like Clerks II, I would rather get more of Kevin Smith’s crazy side.

#24: San Andreas – It was on cable, so I watched it (after catching the tail end of Furious 7 for the 8th time). I just love how the Rock can be a real-life super hero and nobody questions it. I mean, he’s huge. How would you know if he can lift a car or not? I was knocking this movie when it first came out because disaster action movies are usually pretty terrible. This one was surprisingly entertaining, as well as super cheesy. Most marriages don’t make it through the loss of a child, but teaming up to save your other child pretty much guarantees reconciliation. I liked that they kept the science guy and the action guy as separate stories, avoiding those usual hilarious conversations that debate brain vs. brawn in a cheeky way that’s totally not annoying. Sorry. Anyway, it was nice to see some non-American actors from shows I enjoy – Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Constable Collins on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and Art Parkinson (Rickon from Game of Thrones).

Ok, now back to my Double XP weekend.

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