Category Archives: Pop Culture

All the Movies, week 5

I decided to change this feature to All the Movies, because I remembered I am ALSO paying $10 a month for Netflix. :-/

I watched Cult of Chucky on Netflix, which I LOVED. It’s the seventh installment of a horror franchise, and it is about a billion times better than it has any right to be. AND it looks like we may get another sequel and YES TO THAT. I also watched Little Evil, which is a Netflix original movie. It stars Adam Scott and is directed by Eli Craig, who directed Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, which is one of my favorite horror comedies. This isn’t that great but is still really fun. (Stepdad learns his new stepson may be the antichrist.)

As far as MoviePass goes, I’ve had it for a month today! I saw The Mountain Between Us with my friend Philip and Battle of the Sexes with Philip and our friend Julia (book club outing). I didn’t know much of that story so the movie was all new to me. I loved both movies but Battle of the Sexes was excellent. These are all the movies I’ve seen since I started using MoviePass. I don’t know why one poster isn’t showing up; it’s for Til Death Do We Part. 

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MoviePass, week four

I only went to the theater twice this week. 
I saw Til Death Do Us Part with Philip on Thursday (cheesy thrillers are our jam!) and it was everything I was expecting, down to the fact that I literally called jump scares before they happened. Movies like that are good for my soul. 

Saturday, I remembered that I ALSO pay for Netflix and watched Gerald’s Game! It was so good! Very dark and intense and I had to look away for one part. 

Sunday, I saw the remake of Flatliners. I will not say it’s an amazing movie, but it’s goofy fun and closer to a horror movie than its horror-adjacent source material. The cast is really good (especially Diego Luna and Ellen Page, but all five of the main characters were solid) and I liked Kiefer Sutherland’s role but I wish that he had somehow mentioned what happened when HE was a med student. (I don’t know how; that’s why I’m in the audience and not writing screenplays!)

Next week is Battle of the Sexes and maybe the new Blade Runner, if I manage to watch the original by then. 

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Reading

Watching a lot of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (A LOT.) I had missed it when it first came out and am about halfway through the series. I love it and am excited to be caught up (though much less excited to have to wait a year for new episodes). 
Watching movies. (In the past month, I’ve seen Unforgettable, The Circle, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Snatched.) Guardians of the Galaxy was easily the best but I enjoyed all of them. 

Hanging out with friends! (Hey, social life!)
Hanging out with my dog Sam!
Working (this has been a fascinating transition). I’m having fun learning new skills and a new routine. Sam is having less fun learning how to be independent again. 

TV (The Book)

Finished TV (The Book) by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz. I received a copy for review. 

This is exactly what you’d expect: a selection of the 100 best TV shows ever. (There is also a list in the back of shows that may be included once their runs are over.)

I’m going to admit that I am not a big TV watcher although (a) I am very passionate about what I do watch and that (b) almost literally all my favorites are listed here. (I may not watch much but I watch quality, damn it!)

I’m not sure I agree with everything (Mad Men not in the top five? THE SIMPSONS AS THE BEST SHOW EVER?!) but am willing to concede that they are experts and I am not willing to watch almost 30 years’ worth of the Simpsons to crack my knuckles and say that I KNEW it wasn’t the best. 

This will be an excellent present for both your TV-obsessed friend and for the person like me who really does mean to catch up on everything, once she gets some time. 

Recommended. 

Saw

Why I picked Saw: I’m a huge James Wan fan and I haven’t seen this in ages.  (He directed the original Saw, which is gross but is not anywhere near as gross as the latest ones got.)

Seen before? Yes

Would I watch again? Yes, but I think this is one of the movies that I can only take every few years or so.

This movie is incredibly claustrophobic.  (I actually saw on IMDB that James Wan deliberately set it up that way—there are no scenes outside.  Every scene is in a room, and there are no exterior shots.  We go from room to room to room.)

This is a horror movie, but it’s not really a slasher.  It’s more of a “What would you do if it meant that you would stay alive? Would you hurt someone? How much would you hurt yourself?”

It’s really unsettling and just…creepy.  And gross.

Caddyshack

Caddyshack is one of the AFI’s 100 funniest movies and is also one of its top 10 sports movies.

Seen before? No

Would I watch again? Maybe not the whole thing, but if I could just rewatch Bill Murray’s scenes, absolutely.

I’m not sure why Caddyshack, as a whole, gets so much love (one of the top 10 best sports movies? REALLY? But then, Jerry Maguire is #10, so maybe the point is that many sports movies are not stellar [I like Jerry Maguire, but it’s a sports movie like Pretty Woman is a prostitution movie]).  I would say 95% of Caddyshack is totally fine and 5% is actual genius.  Bill Murray’s Carl the Assistant Groundskeeper is easily the best part of the movie, and I wish he had been in it for more of the movie.

Hairspray

Why I picked Hairspray: I hadn’t seen the musical in a while and, again, I met John Waters yesterday.

Seen before? Yes

Would I watch again? Yes

I’m really weak on musicals and thought that I might as well brush up on some and watch some John Waters at the same time.  (I’m hoping to rewatch Cry-Baby sometime soon, too.)

I should rewatch the real Hairspray soon, too.

I love all the John Waters movies I’ve seen (which, for a pop culture fan living in Baltimore, is not as many as it should be) but I have a special fondness for this one.  It’s not my favorite, but it’s the one that probably speaks to me the most because it’s not only sweet and funny, but there’s also this major theme of social justice.  AND John Travolta does a pretty sweet Baltimore accent.

Serial Mom

Why I picked Serial Mom: I met John Waters recently.  ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS

Seen before? Yes

Would I watch again? YES

Serial Mom is easily my favorite of the John Waters movies I’ve seen.  It’s a very dark comedy, and it’s so fun.  It’s also very quotable.   I have hopes that it’ll be a Broadway musical soon (I think he’s working on Cry-Baby now, but c’mon, Serial Mom would be the best choice ever).

(And in case you are interested, John Waters is the nicest guy ever.)

The Boy

Why I picked The Boy: I was in the mood for a horror movie.

Seen before? No

Would I watch again? Probably.

I love scary movies, as you know, and ones centering around dolls and/or creepy children are some of my favorites so watching The Boy was an obvious choice.

In case you missed it, it’s about a woman who accepts a nannying position for a couple in England.  It’s a nice house, but it’s seriously in the middle of nowhere.  She arrives and learns that her charge is actually a doll that the family treats as if it’s alive.  Soooo parents are off on vacation and the nanny wastes no time in disregarding all the rules they’d left for her to follow…and, of course, the doll lets her know that no, actually that is NOT the way things work.

It’s not exactly a great movie (and I was not a fan of the ending) but it’s incredibly fun and there are a few genuinely good scares.

 

Hush

Why I picked Hush: I’d heard excellent things (and it turns out the people who did this also did Oculus!).  As a BTW, this is the Netflix movie centering around a masked man who terrorizes a deaf woman, NOT the Jessica Lange/Gwyneth Paltrow movie.

Seen before? No

Would I watch again? YES.

Okay, seriously, if you are into horror movies at all, you need to watch this one.  It’s so freaking scary, and also incredibly well-done.  It’s not as innovative as Oculus was, but the fact that the heroine is deaf made for an interesting twist, and the tension is high throughout.