Having not written in a while, I’ve spent most of quarantine thinking about what I could get into the groove with. I didn’t want to get political, and I had too many other ideas for posts but then realized none of them would probably ever get read by anybody so I didn’t bother. The wife and I have been real productive around the house these past couple months, but we’ve also made time to watch stuff. However, reviewing these things all seemed so pretentious and douchey.
Then I was thinking about Robert Christgau. My brother put me on to Christgau a few years back and I love his style of reviewing: succinct, witty, insightful. I highly recommend checking out his website, as hilariously out-of-date as it may look. I’ve wasted a lot of time wasting a lot of words to talk about why I like or dislike something, and my attempts at writing during quarantine all fell into that same category.
Who gives a shit about my opinions on a random blog anyway? Probably nobody, but it’s still good to flex the writing muscles and putting thoughts down on useless media is an easy way to do it. To make it less pretentious and douchey, I decided to take a hint from Christgau’s Consumer Guide style and not spend more time than necessary on these things. I guess.
Here’s a bit of what we’ve watched recently:
The Irishman: I spent my college years watching De Niro and Scorsese movies nonstop with my friend Jeff. It was all the way back in 2010 or 2011 that we found out they were making The Irishman and for the remainder of the decade we talked about how awesome and epic it would be whenever it came out. Somehow it took me several months after its release to finally watch. Was it worth the wait? Meh. Pesci and Pacino were incredible, Scorsese still makes movies that look the way I want movies to look, but De Niro has truly lost the magic. Everybody else is acting in a movie and De Niro comes across as trying to act like a guy who used to be in gangster movies. Strong last hour, but the de-aging technology on Bobby D earlier in the film was abysmal and too distracting. He moved like a guy nearing 80 when he was supposed to be in his 40s. They should have just had somebody else portray young Frank. In terms of these Scorsese crime epics that span so many years, stick with Goodfellas and Casino.
Birds of Prey: Of course I’m not alone in saying I had no idea Birds of Prey had even been released. But when it dropped digitally at the end of March, I took my brother’s advice and watched it. Through the first 15-20 minutes, I thought he had pranked me. Then it got better. By the time we reached the big final battle I was loving it. A low-stakes story that isn’t about the fate of humanity, an R rating and legitimately good humor go a long way. Have not stopped thinking about this movie since watching it two months ago.
Aquaman: Since we watched Birds of Prey it only made sense to catch up on the DC movies I had not seen. Much love to my wife for putting up with Aquaman. We hated this movie. There is campy fun, and there’s just plain ol’ not good. This one is the latter. How many times is a conversation interrupted by a sudden explosion? Way too many. It should have leaned into the camp harder and not had Patrick Wilson in it. There are people who want to see 140 minutes of Jason Momoa acting like Jason Momoa. I’m not one of those people. I also can’t even swim. Yawn. Snore.
Shazam: I was completely wrong in my assumptions about Shazam. Assumed I’d hate it since the trailers looked really cheesy. My bad. Such a fun, charming, big hearted movie. Typing those words feels surreal. It was nice for the children. It isn’t a weighty story about heroes as gods or anything, just a breezy kids movie and I’m cool with it. I’d even go so far as to say it is the best DC movie – better than Wonder Woman.
Ozark: Recommended to me for years and we finally peeped it. Heather was all about it, I took a bit longer to come around. I enjoyed the first two seasons but if I had not seen them I don’t think my life would have changed at all. Season three was a corker and a half. Julia Garner’s Ruth was clearly the best character the whole time, but then Ward from Iron Fist showed up to challenge for the crown. His performance in “Fire Pink” is unforgettable. The last few episodes of the third season launched this show to that next level and the wait for more is going to hurt.
Tiger King: Like everybody else in the universe, we binged Tiger King. I loved it, Heather did not. Six episodes about white trash doing white trash shit is exactly what I needed in the early days of quarantine to make me laugh. If you haven’t watched it by this point, the memes are already dying down so it isn’t worth it. But for a couple weeks there, it was nice. Unless you find white trash absolutely hilarious, there is no reason to ever watch this series.