📺 Movies/TV Watched, Apr 2024

My thoughts on the shows and movies I watched in April of 2024:

Wonka (2023)

⭐⭐1/2

They tried copying the Paddington 2 blueprint and failed. It’s not very funny and has zero good original songs, but I guess it’s a fine movie. Kids would probably like it.


The Green Knight (2021)

⭐⭐⭐

Looks great. Fun and weird mythology. But the movie doesn’t do or say much of anything.


Curb Your Enthusiasm, final season (2000–2024)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

A funny final season that ended in a meta and not-as-funny way. I think the “Never Wait for Seconds!” episode in season 9 would have made for a better finale.


Gone with the Wind (1939)

⭐⭐

Vivien Leigh is fantastic, and the movie is beautifully shot, but the depiction of an idyllic pre-Civil War South is absurd. The movie is monumental and worth watching, even if the premise is a total farce.


The Gilded Age, seasons 1 and 2 (2022– )

⭐⭐⭐1/2

A low-stakes, feel-good show about high-class society in post-Civil War New York. It touches on but doesn’t dig deeply into the societal issues at the time. Judging by the lead actress, it’s safe to conclude that acting ability is not genetic.

📺 Movies/TV Watched, Mar 2024

My thoughts on the movies and TV shows I watched in March of 2024:

Apollo 13

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Everybody knows the iconic “Houston, we have a problem” line, but my favorite line from the movie comes from Ed Harris. “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.” So damn good.


Dune 2

⭐⭐⭐1/2

The one major flaw with the Dune films is that Paul is too damn boring. Nevertheless, it’s visually stunning and well worth seeing on a big screen.


Dark

⭐⭐

Just because it’s complicated, it doesn’t mean it’s profound. The knot is tedious. The revelations are uninteresting. Everyone is related to everyone.


Chinatown

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A smart and cocky protagonist. Iconic lines. Stunning twists. A gut punch of an ending. Just a perfect film.


Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Not as good as the first film but still a treat. I hope the third installment brings back the supervillains.


Everything Everywhere All at Once

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

A wonderfully touching movie. The humor is odd, but it somehow works. Jamie Lee Curtis won an Oscar for her role, but she didn’t even have the best supporting actress performance in the movie.


The Other Guys

⭐⭐

Some funny bits, but overall long and not good. Wahlberg is a bad actor.


Death at a Funeral (2007)

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

This is the original British version directed by the inimitable Frank Oz. Classic British humor. The payoffs are so so good.

📺 Movies/TV Watched, Feb 2024

Some of the movies and TV I watched in February of 2024:

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024)

⭐⭐⭐

Two idiot spies fall in love, stubbornly refuse to communicate, then fall out of love. Funny moments. Great guest appearances. It would have rated much higher but it failed to stick the landing.


M (1931)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s remarkable how well-made this movie is for something from 1931. Love me some Peter Lorre.


Scream 4 (2011)

⭐⭐

The movie completely falls apart in the third act. Emma Roberts deserved a Razzie nomination for her performance.


The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Funny, vulgar, cringe, and mighty influential. The Larry Sanders Show paved the way for shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, and The West Wing (see: the walk-and-talk). I think it gets overlooked because it truly was before its time and none of the characters are particularly good people (which is part of its genius).


True Detective: Night Country (2024)

⭐⭐

For a minute, I thought they might be going somewhere interesting. The more you think about the ending, the less sense it makes. Oh well.


Aliens (1986)

⭐⭐⭐1/2

I think it’s a rule in Alien movies that characters have to make the dumbest decisions possible. I hope real Marines aren’t so annoying and terrible at following orders. The film fails to match the twists and iconic moments that made its prequel great. However, Sigourney Weaver is as amazing as ever.


Apocalypto (2006)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Apocalypto is a bit underrated (being overshadowed by the anti-Semitic comments of its creator). It’s not historically accurate, which is too bad, but give the film credit for its casting decisions and use of indigenous languages.

📺 Movies/TV Watched, Jan 2024

Some of the movies and TV I watched in January of 2024:

Midsommar (2019)

⭐⭐⭐

Hereditary traumatized me, so I was preparing for the worst with Midsommar. It didn’t live up to my lofty expectations. The shocking moments didn’t land like Hereditary.


The Boys (2019– )

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I finally caught up on the first three seasons. The show is (unfortunately) a much more plausible depiction of a world in which superhumans exist than anything Marvel or DC makes.


Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

⭐⭐⭐1/2

This is an entertaining and smart film. They know exactly how much information the audience needs to stay engaged with each repeated day. Tom Cruise is the action star of his generation.


Fargo (2014–2024), season 5

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Season 3 was not good, and I didn’t even try to watch season 4 because of the bad reviews. Season 5 is a return to form. I love how they took elements from the movie (i.e. the kidnapping) and turned everything on its head. Juno Temple is amazing.


Fargo (1996)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve watched this now classic a handful of times. Top to bottom, a perfect film.


Saltburn (2023)

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

I love this movie and am disappointed by its lack of representation at the Oscars. What a wild ride. Beautifully shot. Some shocking scenes, but never out of character. Barry Keoghan is a star (of course that was already obvious to anyone who has seen Banshees of Inisherin).


Rome (2005–2007)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Season 2 is rushed due to the show’s early cancellation, but they pull it off well. By the show’s end, the writers pulled back on Vorenus and Pullo being total assholes, which was much needed. Antony is fantastic throughout. Octavian needed to be fleshed out more, but I imagine the abrupt cancellation put a damper on those plans.

🔪 Notes from Watching the First Two Seasons of The Bear

(spoilers ahead)

This show is going to inspire a generation of chefs.

How often do cooks get trapped in walk-ins? Television leads me to believe it happens all the time. If a walk-in appears in a show, you can guarantee someone will get stuck in there at some point.

The character of Sydney gets a lot of hate, some deserved and some not. If you try to mention the flaws in the Sydney character, people will point out Richie and Carm’s flaws and ask why you aren’t talking about them. The difference is that when Richie and Carm are being shitty (which is often) we are told they are being shitty by other characters. Their shittiness is constantly reinforced by the consequences they face for their actions. That’s not the case when Sydney is being shitty. When Sydney literally stabbed her coworker, she suffered zero consequences. The incident is even referred to in the passive voice. It’s not “Sydney stabbed Richie,” but Richie “was stabbed.” As if Sydney had nothing to do with it.

The show has a little bit of a Ted Lasso problem. Everyone loves each other and they’re all best friends. Characters can be jerks, but you know they will eventually realize they’re being jerks, apologize, and kiss and make up with the other characters. Sometimes you just don’t like people, and they don’t like you. Especially coworkers.

Character arcs are too sudden and linear. Richie and Tina go from rude and disrespectful to kind and wise seemingly overnight. It’s heartwarming but abrupt.

If this show was made 15 years ago, Claire would be played by Zooey Deschanel.

The “Fishes” episode is a masterpiece and nails the dysfunctional family Christmas gathering dynamic.

The first 45 seconds of “New Noise” is my new hype song.

The number of times “yes, chef,” “behind,” and “corner” have been uttered in home kitchens across the United States has gone up 10000% since this show started airing.

📺 Stuff I Watched 2023

📺 Stuff I Watched 2023

Below is a list of the stuff I have watched in 2023, so far. Everything is organized in reverse chronological order. When I finish a show or movie, it gets added to the top of the list. Five stars is the highest rating, one is the lowest.

TitleFormatSeasonRatingNotes
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)movie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The sci-fi movie.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)movie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A timeless classic.
Barbie (2023)movie⭐⭐I appreciate the message(s), but after a strong start, the movie fell flat for me.
Charade (1963)movie⭐⭐⭐Very Hitchcockian, but not the same.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)movie⭐⭐⭐⭐A fantastic, harrowing sequel.
Father Brown (2013— )seriesvarious⭐⭐⭐My new favorite comfort show. It's a cozy mystery series featuring a crime-solving priest from the Cotswolds.
Barbarian (2022)movieI don't understand the positive reviews. The monster is laughable, and the decisions by the protagonist(s) are infuriating. I know this movie is supposed to have deeper meaning, but it just does not work.
A Haunting in Venice (2023)movie⭐⭐⭐Saw it in a theater. Easily the best of the Kenneth Branagh Poirot movies.
The Blob (1958)movie⭐⭐⭐A slow-moving, amorphous blob can only be so scary. Otherwise enjoyable.
Pet Sematary (1989)movie⭐⭐Laughably bad direction and acting. Wasted potential.
Cat People (1942)movie⭐⭐⭐⭐They did the Cat Woman dirty. Featured on Ebert's great films list.
What We Do in the Shadowsseriesfive⭐⭐⭐⭐A big improvement over the past two seasons.
Persona (1966)movie⭐⭐⭐⭐How do you evaluate something you aren't meant to understand?
Little Big Leaguemovie⭐⭐Honestly has some funny moments.
Fargoseriesthree⭐⭐Disappointing.
TwistermovieTerrifying as a kid. Laughably awful as an adult.
Fargoseriestwo⭐⭐⭐⭐Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst steal the show.
Fire of Lovemovie⭐⭐⭐⭐A documentary following the lives and deaths of a volcanologist couple.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)movie⭐⭐
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusademovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch. I prefer it to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Funnier. Better one liners.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arkmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch.
The Bearseriestwo⭐⭐⭐⭐See my notes on the show here.
LightyearmovieThis movie doesn't need to exist.
Eastern Promisesmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐Viggo and Cronenberg make a great duo. I wish the Anna character wasn't written as such a fool.
Blue Velvetmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐What a wild ride.
The Bridge on the River Kwaimovie⭐⭐⭐⭐
Andorseriesone⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent show.
The Dropoutmini series⭐⭐⭐Seyfried kills it as Holmes.
I Love Lucyseries⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Lucille Ball was a master of physical comedy.
Back to the Future IImovie⭐⭐⭐Rewatch.
Back to the Futuremovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch.
I Think You Should Leaveseriesthree⭐⭐Weaker than previous seasons.
Realitymovie⭐⭐⭐I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this.
Successionseriesfour (final)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A worthy ending to an all-time great show.
The 39 Stepsmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐Another Hitchcock.
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fogmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐A silent film made by Alfred Hitchcock.
Michael Claytonmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch. A personal favorite.
Super Mario Brosmovie⭐⭐Saw it in theaters. Exceeded my low expectations.
The Gooniesmovie⭐⭐⭐Rewatch.
Rockymovie⭐⭐⭐
Down PeriscopemovieIt was free on YouTube and I like Frasier.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdainmovie⭐⭐A good chunk of this documentary is spent pinning blame for Bourdain's suicide.
Seven Kings Must DiemovieShould have ended it at the series finale.
The Banshees of Inisherinmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wonder Boysmovie⭐⭐⭐
Ted Lassoseriesthree⭐⭐Just couldn't get into the new season.
Se7enmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch. Haven't seen it in years. Holds up even better than I thought.
The Last of Usseriesone⭐⭐⭐
Cunk on Earthseriesone⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Absolutely hilarious.
Spotlightmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch. I can watch this movie over and over again.
Before Sunrisemovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rewatch. An all-time classic.
La La Landmovie⭐⭐⭐⭐
Casablancamovie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐You were dumped, Rick. Get over it.
The Staircase (2022)mini series⭐⭐
Guillermo del Toro's Pinnochiomovie⭐⭐⭐Wonderful craftsmanship.
The Pale Blue Eyemovie⭐⭐
His Dark Materialsseriesthree (final)⭐⭐⭐Underrated series.
The Menumovie⭐⭐⭐⭐Morbid and hilarious.