123 thoughts on “Third Monday Movie Day”

    1. Like I said, it's not like I have a lot of recent SNL skits to compare to, but that's one of the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
      I loved how simple the premise was... One idea, executed perfectly.

  1. Wife and I have caught up to the rest of civilization in GOT! It's like we're real people! Now what?

    Have watched a few episodes of Supergirl as family TV option...it's...fine.

    Watched another two episodes of BoJack Horseman while folding laundry. Should I stick with it?

    1. BoJack Horseman is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, but if you’ve seen a handful of episodes and you’re asking that question, I’m not sure how to answer. Peak is seasons two and three (I’m still just halfway through four, but it doesn’t hit the same notes yet).

        1. I guess we are always in perpetual laundry mode at our house. Seems like we do 2-3 loads every day. Wife and I will fold a load together in about 5 minutes. So, we are never really doing a bunch of loads at one time. We used to do so (or she used to do so), but I found if I help more often, and we knock it out before the piles get too large, my marriage is a much happier one.

          1. Depending on contents and basket size, I'll mindlessly fold a basket of laundry in one 20-some minute episode.
            I have small people in my house. You can fit a LOT of small clothing articles in a big washing machine.
            Plus a lot of right-side-outing for small people clothes.

  2. I feel like I've seen a ton.

    Thor - Was awesome. Everything as advertised. I was worried they'd spend too much time setting up other films, but I think they spent exactly the right amount of time. Tons of comedy, but nothing sacrificed for the sake thereof.

    St. Vincent - This was a very good little film. I really enjoyed it, and Murray was excellent. The kid totally carried his weight too. That's not always what you get with movies with kids, right?

    Glow - Finished the first season of the Netflix series about a women's wrestling program from the '80's. It was fantastic. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but make-you-take-notice-and-appreciate funny. Some great commentary, and people you really root for. I highly recommend.

    Young Frankenstein - Because Halloween tradition. Kenneth Mars, who played Inspector Kemp, was also Otto on Malcolm in the Middle and voice King Triton in The Little Mermaid. That was neat to me.

    Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later - If you enjoyed the movie or the First Day Of Camp series, you'll enjoy this. Not quite as brilliant as either of those, but still excellent. So much stupidity. I feel like really good stupid humor is one of the hardest things to pull off, and I love it so much.

    Little Evil - A decent horror/comedy mash up on Netflix. Pretty entertaining, if not entirely predictable.

    Stranger Things: Season 2 - I'm like exactly half way right now (half way through episode 5 of 9). I still love this show. And they're doing a much better job with the boys this season, actually giving them all different roles and identities. Less fleshing out of the world probably helps them flesh out the characters?

    1. Totally agree on Stranger Things 2 so far. I'm liking it a lot more this season (I found the first season had a lot of potential, but never totally lived up to it). It helps that basically every one of their child stars is a pretty damned good actor. We're about as far in as you are, we're just trying to find time to finish it up.

        1. We just got word from the grandparents not to purchase those Science Museum hoodies.

          We might have an extra adult small if anyone is interested. Once I got through, I figured I'd buy the max. It turns out none of the nieces or nephews watch it.

  3. Thor: Ragnarok -- little heavy on the humor, but entertaining. I'm a big Taiki Waititi fan in what little I've seen his work. He was the best part of What We Do in the Shadows

    Mrs. Runner is into the Outlander series big time.

    Star Trek: Discovery was pretty good, all things considered. The Klingons were the weakest part of the season one story arch.
    The Orville also wasn't totally bad, all things considered. The Macfarlane "humor" really drags things down, but the stories have been good, although not really original. I've noticed Frakes and Favreau listed as a couple of directors.

  4. Thor: Ragnarok is very funny. Chris Hemsworth is a gifted comedic actor (being one of the precisely two good things about the Ghostbusters reboot*), and the script leans into just the right kind of absurdity. It does make up for the fact that very little actually HAPPENS in the movie. It's just that there's so much goofy dialog and fun stuff happening on the screen that I didn't care at all. I had a lot of fun with it.

    'Spoiler' SelectShow

    * the other was Kate McKinnon, duh

    The Hitman's Bodyguard is so very boring and weirdly misguided, and it doesn't feel like it should be. Ryan Reynolds is in paycheck mode, and Samuel L. Jackson seems to realize that he's got a pretty stupid movie on his hands, but has fun with it, anyway. The tone was just all over the place, though.

    Good heavens, the Walking Dead has been terrible so far this season.

    We're eagerly awaiting the last season of Bates Motel to hit Netflix. The first couple of seasons were...okay, but 3 and 4 really found their footing. Vera Farmiga was already a favorite, but she plays Norma Bates pretty much spot on.

    1. 'RE: Your Critique of Thor's plot' SelectShow
      1. Episode four was the first halfway watchable episode of the season. Up until that point, nearly every episode (particularly episode 2) has been a jumbled mess of "where is this happening? what are the protagonists trying to do? and did they succeed??"

        1. 'Spoiler' SelectShow
        2. Episode four was the first halfway watchable episode...

          I hope so. We watched two and three last night, and after both we were like, "....what!?! That's it? .... But nothing happened!" and throughout, exactly your comment, "Where is this happening?"
          -also-

          'Spoiler' SelectShow
          1. To each his own. I am more than willing to enjoy Shakespeare, even though they've been remaking those things for hundreds of years.

            This wasn't Shakespeare. But McCarthy, McKinnon and Hemsworth all brought original interpretations to their roles, IMO.

        1. Eh, I don't know. I have a Melissa McCarthy aversion at this point, and this movie was just lacking that something that made the first great. I didn't hate it (again, McKinnon and Hemsworth were funny), but I'll go with Rhu_ru's word, it just felt "lame". Other than those two, the jokes really never landed, and it kind of reminded me of the Robocop reboot.

              1. I found it pointless.
                The other live-action remakes have been a bit of re-works, which either failed horribly (Maleficent and the Alices; I may be minority opinions here), or succeeded wildly (Cinderella, Jungle Book). This one is neither of those. Did they use the exact same script?

                1. I thought it was a harmless diversion. It's been a really long time since I've seen the animated version, but my impression on watching is that Gaston seems more villainous in the live-action take. I heard some complaints about the singing, but I'm generally not as much of a critic when it comes to that. (See also: La La Land, where I thought the singing and dancing was adequate to the storytelling and it was really a much, much better movie than I had expected based on the general premise of a musical involving an actor and a musician in Hollywood.)

    2. Good heavens, the Walking Dead has been terrible so far this season.

      Ugh. We just finished binging the last season, and there were large swaths of it that we could have fast forwarded through. I imagine the all out war against Negan is going to be played out too slowly for my tastes. I'll watch it while I fold laundry.

      1. Things are going on, but I wouldn’t say that things are actually happening, if you feel me. Episodes 2 and 3 were a mishmash of flying bullets that bored me senseless, as nobody important seemed to be in any danger. The fourth episode had a storyline payoff, but it was Walking Dead all over, where the emotional resonance came from a character being stripped of the only thing that makes him special and reduced to being just another grunt. Which they had already done this season with Morgan.

  5. Blade Runner: The Final Cut - (no H. Ford voiceover, a satisfying, but apparently not "happy" ending, and yes, a unicorn) - It had been so long since watching this that I remembered only the premise and the book it was based on. I really want to see the 2049 sequel in theater, so I sought this one out. Couldn't find it for free on-demand and didn't want to rent it for $3 if I could buy it at Target for $5... so I bought it. What an excellent movie! No flying cars or androids yet, and the 'future' isn't so dark as Scott presented it, but still an interesting story, outstanding special effects and awesome performances.

    Baby Driver - This is something I probably wouldn't have looked at without y'alls recommendations. It was fun, fast paced and the plot was compelling (though unbelievable) enough to stay engaged. I thought the use of the soundtrack was unexpectedly great and the actors seemed to really enjoy themselves.

    A Monster Calls - a boy whose mother is dying is visited by a yew tree monster who helps him learn to deal with his grief and fear ... it was great. Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones (Rogue One's Jyn) and youngster Lewis MacDougall, with Liam Neeson voicing the monster.

      1. I thought 2049 was visually and sonically stunning. Unfortunately the the story bogged down a bit, imho. I was worried about how Ford's character would be used but they pulled it off.

        ST2 was fun with dome good selfie-deprecating humor tossed in as well.

        Starting season 3 of Deadwood tonight as bike riding entertainment.

          1. The physics aren't my problem- the "farming" depicted in the beginning is. Seriously, they were running a combine through a field of green corn.
            If a film can't accurately depict how corn is actually grown and harvested, why would I believe they got anything else right?

              1. Heh, sure. Maybe making compressed fiber cubes out of it, or something even more exotic!

                I don't know who they had advising them about farming or what their concept was supposed to be, but that poorly-executed beginning soured me so quickly on the overall premise that I haven't ever finished the movie.

  6. I watched some weird ones on Netflix lately. I can't remember most right now, but:
    The Ornithologist: Portuguese, with subtitles. Bizarre, insane, mostly wordless tale of a man on a trip through the woods on kayak that gets lots and turns into some sort of artistic allegory of St. Anthony of Padua (apparently). I didn't understand that much, but maybe it was supposed to be impressionistic as well. It has stuck with me. So, so different than anything else I've watched... I wonder if any Matthew Barney films will ever get to NetFlix. The lead kindof looks like Jason Stratham.
    It's unrated but would be "R" for the nudity and brief but graphic sex and violence.

    EAR got sick and binged on Stranger Things 1 (I had watched it when it was new), then slowed down so I could watch season 2 with her. She had to remind me of some of the backstory. We both really dig it. I made her not skip the opening or closing credits.

      1. Maybe The Ornithologist threads a better line between traditional narrative and pure symbolism.
        I don't know if I recommend the movie, but I would like more people to see it, particularly as it's on Netflix. Here's a professional review.

        As for Barney, All I know of his work is a few stills. I was thinking more Drawing Restraint 9, but then, I like the soundtrack.
        Bonnie "Prince" Billy singing a letter from a Japanese fisherman to Gen. MacArthur with Björk's scoring and a chorus of children? More please.

        Looking for the correct spelling of "MacArthur" sent me down a rabbit hole that ended here:

  7. I am finally getting through Breaking Bad. Most of the way through season 3, so over halfway home.

    Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry has a formula and he sticks to it. And I like it.

  8. I have been watching loads of Star Trek lately. Finished Voyager, also started and finished Enterprise, while also slowly re-watching the original series. Some thoughts:

    !!! Spoiler-ish stuff ahead -- not officially spoilering since all these shows have been off the air for at least a decade -- you had your chance 🙂

    - The quality in the original series is highly, highly variable. Some episodes are pretty good television ("City on the Edge of Forever", for instance) but some are really awful. I just saw "The Alternative Factor," for instance, and it has no redeeming qualities. Absolutely zero redeeming qualities. It's also interesting being able to watch episodes more closely together--it's obvious at the beginning of the series they were sort of making shit up as they went along and there's not much consistency even in the characters from episode to episode. Part of this was (apparently) Roddenberry's desire to do it as an anthology show, but I think it would have been more effective if they'd had a little bit more consistency (not even continuity really) from show to show.

    - Voyager, especially when compared to the original series, is not as bad as I think it's reputation suggests. The problem is that it has a premise that the writers were really not prepared to commit to. It was actually kind of a double-premise--one aspect was being stranded away from home and the other was having the Starfleet and Maquis crews trying to get along. It's such a heavy place to start from that when they did the one-off anthology-type episodes, it just seemed totally wrong. IMO, they weren't prepared to be writing characters and stories across dozens of episodes. Some of the characters get decent development (it helps if you are sleeping with one of the producers, for instance) but others are just kind of left to whither on the vine. Even despite that, there are some pretty good Trek episodes in there, especially Season 4 onward (basically ditching Kes, making Neelix's role way more minor, and emphasizing Seven of Nine and the doctor a lot more.) For the most part, I think the acting is actually pretty good by TV standards of the day, it's just that the writing was so inconsistent. Also, it helps if you don't take the show too seriously all the time.

    Related to that, I think one of the reasons that novel-to-TV adaptations are doing pretty well these days is that even if you modify fairly key components to a novel in order to get it on TV, you are at least starting from something that's been pretty well thought out from beginning to end. Reading some of the background on how the different Star Trek series were produced, they didn't even know what stories they were going to do for that season when they started the season, or sometimes would write a cliffhanger season finale not even knowing how they would resolve it the next season. I think you can kind of get away with that in, say, The Next Generation, because you can kind of assume that off-screen between episodes, they're all resting up, getting repairs, or whatever so that you at least eliminate a few points of suspended disbelief before you get started with needing to suspend disbelief for episode-specific things.

    - Enterprise I generally had a lot more issues with, at least through the first three seasons. For one, the theme song was just godawful. I get what they were trying to do with the message, but the song itself is just bad. But I can get over that, mostly. The whole temporal cold war arc was completely ridiculous--even for time travel!--and it seemed completely incongruous with the idea of doing a Star Trek prequel that you would--right off the bat even!--introduce characters from the future. It's kind of sad when you have to really just not consider any logical ramifications of what the implications of the time travel might be for the shows to make any real sense. Most of the characters on the ship itself were not particularly strong (I did like the doctor quite a bit, though), and Archer as captain doesn't really exhibit a ton of great leadership qualities, IMO. (Too much shouting, generally being irritated, not enough soliciting advice from his crew, etc.) The third-season Xindi arc--I guess at least they sort of took a chance here and there was some continuity and I didn't completely hate it all the way through, but it still seemed really incongruous with the idea of it being a prequel show. Like, you could have done from the last episode of the second season through the first episode of the fourth season as a totally non-Trek show and it wouldn't have lost or gained anything. Why do a prequel if you are just going to go off on a tangent?

    But I actually really liked the fourth season, especially if you take out the first two episodes and the final episode (which is really more of the worse Next Generation episode ever than it is an Enterprise finale.) They turned the show over to Manny Coto and he ran it like you would have expected from the premise--he generally stays within characters/species that are solidly placed in the Star Trek universe, and does a good job of not leaning too heavily on the (relatively weak) main cast and doing a better job of incorporating the guest stars to advance the plots, and starts to tell more of a story about how the Federation was founded. Which, I can understand why that might not be your cup of tea, but that seems like the obvious thing to do if you're going to brand a show as a prequel to a really well-known franchise. Had the show started off that way, I think it would have gotten a lot stronger following.

    1. I'd be curious what your thoughts are of Discovery. In spite of the weak Klingon stories, and Lt. Saru being more annoying than engaging, they're doing a good job of doing some funky stuff while not tromping on canon. I think the season ender is driving the stories continuing in that direction.

      1. I haven't seen it yet. I am a bit irritated with the whole CBS Access thing. If I am just interested in one show, then it's probably more economical to just buy that show, whether it is digital or blu ray. I'm willing to be a bit patient but I do plan on watching it at some point.

        Generally speaking, I am willing to forgive minor-to-moderate canon violations if it's in service of otherwise interesting/good/worthwhile storytelling. I was a bit disappointed when I heard that it was a prequel series (one of the draws for me in Star Trek in the first place was that it was a show about the future), but in theory they can tell somewhat more intricate stories when they have a universe of characters that might not need as much character exposition.

          1. Yeah, that was nice, and I think they did a better job with the longer story arcs and consistent character development. Also, I think they did a pretty good job with the non-Starfleet characters on that show. I really loved Garak's character and the Ferengi were pretty solid in general. As with any 26-episode-per-season show, there were some filler episodes that we could have done without.

            Watching the original series, I keep wondering what it would have been like today. Had it been an HBO series today, on for 10 episodes per season, the first season could have been something like:

            Charlie X -- puberty is harder with superhuman powers
            The Naked Time -- alien virus intoxicates everyone
            The Enemy Within -- AlphaKirk vs. BetaKirk
            What are Little Girls Made Of? -- Kirk keeps us from being replaced by androids
            Dagger of the Mind -- Kirk saves us from mind control/torture device
            Balance of Terror -- Submarines in space with the Romulans
            Space Seed -- Khan
            Devil in the Dark -- Strange new life
            Errand of Mercy -- Advanced non-corporeal being scold humans and Klingons for fighting
            The City on the Edge of Forever -- Kirk prevents drugged-up McCoy from losing WWII

            A lineup like that would generally save the series from some of the repetitive elements of the first season. For instance, overly powerful species/characters (Charlie X, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Corbomite Maneuver, The Menagerie, Squire of Gothos, and Arena), and Kirk defeats the evil computer/machine (What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Dagger of the Mind, Return of the Archons, Taste of Armageddon). Even time travel is arguably overused, with Tomorrow is Yesterday, City of the Edge of Forever, and The Alternative Factor (main villains are time travelers.) And if you knew those were your 10 episodes you could maybe fine tune the characters a bit so they are more consistent. Take a few of the next best episodes and it would make a good start for the second season.

              1. For sure there are other good episodes--you could fill multiple 10-episode seasons with good episodes. I was only looking at season one since I just started season two--I think I've seen most episodes in syndication but not all of them and it's been a while. Plus the image quality is much better than I saw them the first time around.

                My main point was just that the current Netflix/HBO/whoever (I'm not sure who started it) trend of 10-episode seasons seems like a good one. If you applied it to some older shows, allowed them some variability in episode length, cut out the really bad stories, and focused more of the budget into fewer episodes, you could get some pretty good results. 26 (or more!) episodes per year is just a ton of content and it's a lot to ask anyone to really be consistent over that many episodes in that short a time period.

                1. Actually, one of the funniest parts of re-watching old Star Trek episodes is Kirk's stunt doubles. It probably wasn't so obvious on my old, small, fuzzy TVs, but in HD it's hilariously obvious at times.

  9. Last night, I started Stong Girl Bong-Soon via Netflix.
    A Korean comedy/drama/superhero series with some pretty broad notes, but I found it, at least episode 1, to be quite charming and funny.

    I am curious how they fit 68-minute episodes into the TV schedule.

    1. Episode 2 and the first part of Episode 3 aren't let-downs. I'll be finishing the season, probably quickly.
      A lot of the humor is in the facial reactions and in the discongruence between Bong-Soon's size and cuteness vs. her strength. She's the shortest adult among the main cast and she wears oversized sweaters and coats.
      Overall, she's a bit of an adult child, like Spongebob. She's clearly a young adult (having had at least some college) but is aimless and unemployed and lives with her parents and wants to play video games, maybe design them. Other than needing to find a job or husband (and not be in school), she could be anywhere from 14 to 35.

  10. Went to Dunkirk at the discount there, and I'm glad I saw it there rather than at home, but it still didn't wow me as much as I hoped.

    Caught up to the final season of The Sopranos, and it's hilarious how obvious which episodes were written by Matthew Wiener after having watched all of Mad Men.

    I've just about finished the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and it's perfectly cromulent with some very anything songs. Oh, and Bojack is still very good, and I loved the addition of Andre Braugher has Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz. Braugher is an American treasure.

  11. Another one I remembered:
    Chappie (via Netflix). Imagine the guy who did District 9 remaking Short Circuit with an R-Rating, set in South Africa and starring Die Antwoord.
    Yes, it's as good as that sounds. Big, Big thumbs up.
    YMMV... I don't know how much I would have liked it had I not previously watched all of the Die Antwoord music videos on YouTube. I know my dad would have no tolerance for their clowning and impenetrable patois.
    I'll admit that I lost a lot of the dialogue due to lingo and accent. Nonetheless, I think I'd like it less with the captions on.

    1. I wish Die Antwoord didn't have such long intros to their videos... I want to listen here at work without putting the images on my screen.
      But I have to fast-forward through all the skits or be subject to sounds that make no sense without visuals.

  12. Our last two trips to the theater were for Princess Bride and Casablanca, but we'll be hitting new releases over the holidays. We did binge the new season of Stranger Things last weekend and we're in the middle of Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later right now. We've been Walking Dead fans for a long time, but I'm starting to find it a little tedious now, they need to find that show's finish line and start running toward it.

      1. I'll let you know if I make it. Complicated with 9 adults, 7 kids, and varying interests. I do have my wife and sister on board so it just depends on having someone else taking tge 11 year old boys to Thor.

        1. I ended up going to Thor. Lady Bird wasn't playing at that theater.

          I agree with everyone else on Thor. Very entertaining. I feel like Marvel has figured out how to make their movies fun lately. Less soap opera-y.

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