At The Movies: Oscars Edition

The Academy Awards are next week. The nominations are listed below (with all proper departments included). Who ya got?

Also, what else did you see?

Best Picture:

“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“A Star Is Born”

Lead Actor:

Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Lead Actress:

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”


Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

Animated Feature:

“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Animated Short:

“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden, David Fine
“Bao,” Domee Shi
“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall
“One Small Step,” Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
“Weekends,” Trevor Jimenez

Adapted Screenplay:

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins
“A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

Original Screenplay:

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay


“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan
“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique

Best Documentary Feature:

“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short Film: 
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

Best Foreign Language Film:

“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Film Editing:

“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman
“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
“Vice,” Hank Corwin

Sound Editing:

“Black Panther,” Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Warhurst
“First Man,” Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“A Quiet Place,” Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl
“Roma,” Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay

Sound Mixing:

“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Star Is Born”

Production Design:

“Black Panther,” Hannah Beachler
“First Man,” Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
“Mary Poppins Returns,” John Myhre, Gordon Sim
“Roma,” Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez

Original Score:

“BlacKkKlansman,” Terence Blanchard
“Black Panther,” Ludwig Goransson
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Nicholas Britell
“Isle of Dogs,” Alexandre Desplat
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

Original Song:

“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Makeup and Hair:

“Mary Queen of Scots”

Costume Design:

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres
“Black Panther,” Ruth E. Carter
“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne

Visual Effects:

“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

116 thoughts on “At The Movies: Oscars Edition”

  1. I actually saw a number of things over Super Bowl Sunday.

    * Crazy Rich Asians - Pretty funny rom com that wouldn't have felt out of place in the mid-to-late 90's golden age of rom coms. Part of the fun was looking at some of the crazy locales and thinking "huh, that is a place that exists in the real world".

    * The Last Starship - Saw it in the DVD bin at the local dollar store and had to give it a try. My god, it is possibly the most convoluted movie I've ever seen. It juggles four or five storylines, trying desperately to cram as much worldbuilding as possible (it's literally still trying to explain things with about a half an hour remaining). And then... It just sort of ends with a sequel hook. Also, the only "starship" shows up during the opening credits for about twenty seconds. You could tell it was a total labor of love for the writer/director -- it's just a shame that he's uniquely horrible at both jobs.

    * FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened - I was only vaguely aware of the fact that something was happening at the Fyre festival. I'm not real active in social media, and don't follow any "influencers", so I never understood just what it was all about. This movie was eye opening and had an utterly hilarious level of schadenfreude throughout the whole thing. You can tell that some people feel like they come off looking good, but no, no one (except maybe the lady who ran the catering on the actual island) comes off looking even remotely sympathetic. It's kind of amazing.

    * Aquaman - Pretty good when it's not dealing with Atlantean politics. The action scenes hum and then **SKRRRTT** it's time to talk about Atlantean politics again. It's tiresome. I don't think the movie would work at all if Jason Momoa wasn't so effortlessly charming as bro-Aquaman.

    * Serenity - The Matthew McConaughey one. Wow, this one is a huge misfire. The twist is exactly as insane as you've heard. Some people say it ruins the movie, but really, there was only a skeleton of a movie to begin with, and the twist makes nonsense out of all of it. Worst movie I've seen in theaters in years.

    * Until the Light Takes Us - Black Metal documentary. I decided to watch this instead of going to sleep one night, because...I really don't know why. Anyway, the documentary itself is kind of a mess. It's poorly shot and doesn't have much cohesion. The only reason it works is the two "main characters" (and they are very much "characters"). Fenriz is the grumpy old guy who never really wanted the whole thing to take off, and Varg is the psychopath who is as creepy as he is interesting. The film gets a lot of mileage out of just letting them talk about what the heck they were doing in the early 90s. A lot of the other stuff just sort of passes time.

    1. The Black Metal documentary reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post for a while. Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast out on music. It’s pretty decent. Anyway there is one episode on death metal that is hilarious. And disturbing. Check it out and even if your interest wanes through the 42 minute episode (I wouldn’t blame you), stick around to the end, there is a huge payoff.

    2. Nibs, I love that you can review movies that you think were fairly terrible and still somehow sound quite chipper about the whole thing.

      1. Even a lot of bad movies are entertaining. My friend and I were laughing for a long time about the lunacy of The Last Starship, and even chatting about a dumb, bad movie like Serenity is more fun than a lot of other ways to pass the time.

    3. wait, what?! McConaughey has the temerity to sully the good name of Serenity???!!!!!

      THAT'S GORRAM UNACCEPTABLE! Gwai-gwai long duh dong! Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng!!!!!

    4. That Fyre fest doc on Netflix just tickled me pink. I love watching rich kids complain about 1st world problems, and this movie had a ton of that. The scenes of people behaving badly in the campground are proof enough that society can collapse with the drop of a hat.

      1. Yeah, it's pretty great. Like, I get where you'd be pissed if you paid thousands of dollars to party with Kylie Jenner and were instead handed a sandwich and pointed to a port-a-potty, but let's not kid ourselves, here.

        Knowing that the catering lady got a pretty successful GoFundMe page made in her name made the whole thing pretty guilt free schadenfreude.

    5. I mean, not that we're not supposed to suspend some disbelief for a flic like Aquaman, but come on -- all these undersea societies maintain their anonymity while even the most minor explosion (and there were several) would be picked up at more than one seismograph around the world.

  2. Counterpart just ended its second season, and unsurprisingly Starz did not pick it up for more episodes, despite the 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. They have done little to advertise it since its debut, and the numbers corresponded. Still, the storyline wrapped up pretty well with the season ender. The acting has been great all along, and there were a couple scenes in the last episode where I had to rewatch it when the scene had JK Simmons' character seamlessly walking past his double - no split screen there!

  3. We started three shows lately:

    Russian Doll: First episode is a slog, but then it picks up fast. Laugh out loud funny at times with some decent Groundhog Day intrigue. Written, directed, and starring women. We're close to finishing the first season.

    Sex Education: Amusing, charming. I like Asa Butterfield. Gillian Anderson is pretty good as his mom. Halfway through season 1 and want to keep watching.

    The Kominsky Method: Enjoyed the first episode, though I'm suspicious I'll really dig a show by Chuck Lorre starring Michael Douglas. I've always suspected Lorre is actually quite talented, but has learned that, at least for network television, playing to the lowest common denominator is better for the pocketbook. Hopefully with a Netflix show he can just be himself. If nothing else, Alan Arkin.

    1. Russian Doll: I finished it this past weekend. It was really good but I don't think it really hit its stride until the halfway point.

      Sex Education: Its another one that took a couple episodes to hit its stride. My wife tuned out after the first episode. It was basically soft core porn but the rest of it got more meaningful.

      Jack Ryan: I just finished this one. Watched on the treadmill. Perfect treadmill show. Lots of action. Decent storyline but predictable enough that I don't have to pay that much attention.

      Million Little Things: Network show about four friends. One commits suicide in the first episode and the friends try to piece things together. Fairly depressing but somewhat intriguing. I'm just afraid that the pacing will be too slow without a clear end since it is on network tv. I'd trust it more if it were streaming.

      1. Also finished Russian Doll this weekend. That was quite the roller coaster. I don't know the last time I watch a TV show that hit so many different notes. And yet, it seemed really cohesive, and each step felt natural. I want to know more.

        1. and...we just finished it. You're's like each episode was its own genre or something. Strangely satisfying. Lyonne has shown more range here than she has (or has been allowed) in the past.

          1. Lyonne has shown more range here...
            So you've never seen But I'm a Cheerleader? OK, I can barely remember it. It's nearly 20 years old.
            And I haven't watched her in Orange Is the New Black.

    2. Linds and I were thinking about Russian Doll, but were in the mood for a comedy, so we went with New Girl. I really can't tell whether I like New Girl, or whether I hate it.

      1. The first season of New Girl is unrecognizable* to the late seasons. The show reinvented itself a few times as it figured out the right voices for the characters.

        * I say this having not seen the first season since its air date and basing the opinion of reviews of the series as a whole when it ended.

        1. It seems pretty consistent to me. Maybe the jokes are easier because there's character history and arcs and no need to explain things.
          It's one of EAR's comfort shows, so I'm on maybe my third watching. Much less attention than I've paid in the past, but I laugh a lot.

        2. We're halfway through the third season. I really like this show. Those first half dozen episodes are rough, but the cast begins to gel, and it all works out pretty well.

  4. Olivia Colman was great as Queen Anne in The Favorite, but Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress??? I guess somebody decided that they couldn't nominate both Stone and Weisz for Best Actress (so, of course, they nominated both for Best Supporting Actress).

    We've seen Black Panther (really, really good; it kind of elevates the Marvel genre); BlacKkKlansman (some of Spike Lee's best work, outstanding performances); Bohemian Rhapsody (formulaic, grossly historically inaccurate, thin story, and fun as hell); The Favourite (oh, wow!), and A Star Is Born (great performance by Bradley Cooper, very, very good one by Lady Gaga, incredible turns by some of the supporting cast; I thought they got -->< -- this close to doing a sensitive and meaningful treatment of his mental illness, but fell short).

    Either BlacKkKlansman or The Favourite would be a worthy winner.

    In the Animated Feature category, we've only seen Incredibles 2 (awesome, in some ways better than the original) and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (very, very good). The Animated Short nominee, Bao was played before Incredibles 2. It was fantastic.

    If you have not seen the documentary short, A Night at the Garden, you can watch it here.

    1. My main problem with Black Panther (and one I have had with lots of comic book-inspired movies, especially Wonder Woman) is that at the end, they toss almost all of the character intrigue out of the way in order to have a couple of CGI blobs ram into each other for five minutes. Other than that, I loved it.

      1. is that at the end, they toss almost all of the character intrigue out of the way in order to have a couple of CGI blobs ram into each other for five minutes.

        Thank you. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who notices this.

      2. I felt like Black Panther did the CGI blobs better than most, though, because it didn't just end there, they still had a meaningful interaction after the CGI blobbing.

        1. I really liked the payoff (unlike Wonder Woman's), but the fight itself was extremely underwhelming. I was really hoping the movie was going to be more clever in how T'Challa overcame (ideally, without his demigod-like abilities).

          Wonder Woman will probably always be the worst, though.

          'Spoiler' SelectShow
  5. Sean signal:

    for some reason, I had to add <p> and </p> around paragraphs in the comment above to get paragraph breaks. Weird.

  6. Black Panther is the only nominee I've seen, so I got no input on the Oscars.

    I have been watching quite a good deal of movies lately because the bauble is old enough to start enjoying some of the movies I enjoy, so I bought a Star Wars box set of the originals (well, the Lucas effed up originals, anyway) that, for some reason, came with six discs. We watched episodes IV through VIII, all of which he loved. (VIII is the best.)

    We're starting to move into the Marvel universe now. I started him with the Guardians movies, since those are my top two Marvel flicks. His attention waned a bit during the first but he was way into the second one (baby groot helped). We haven't had much chance to watch any more yet, but I did just get all three Captain America movies so that'll be next.

    Both kids loved the Lego Movie, which we watched in preparation for the second one to come out. So we went to the 2 last weekend and it is phenomenal. Its got a good emotional pay off that was really helped by the five year gap and it was funny as hell. I'll be getting the BluRay as soon as its released.

    I convinced my wife to watch Hereditary last weekend as well. I don't think she liked it but I loved it. The slow decent of the movie was well done and the batshit final act was great. That said, I don't know that I'd watch it again because its a pretty stressful movie.

    I finally got around to watching John Wick Chapter 2 on Saturday and its better than the first. Keanu Reeves is a brilliant action star. Can't wait for Chapter 3.

    1. I was going to feel all superior, and then I realized that the only other Oscar Nominated movie I've seen this year, other than the visual effects, is A Quiet Place, for...uh...sound editing. So I guess I don't much of a leg to stand on.

    2. so I bought a Star Wars box set of the originals (well, the Lucas effed up originals, anyway)

      I have the Despecialized Editions for the original trilogy. Imagine fans spending thousands of hours stitching together the frames of the highest quality from all available sources. The highest quality versions are around 30 GB each but reducing to a DVD wouldn't lose anything if you want something in the mail.

      1. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea. I tried to download the despecialized versions but couldn't find any that worked.

    3. Hereditary is probably the most uncomfortable I have ever been in a theater, and that's saying something. I'm in agreement with you on not wanting to watch it again (that may change with time, a la Under the Skin, but we'll see). Did you ever watch The Witch?

      Actual Spoiler SelectShow
      1. I missed this, but yeah, I saw, and loved, The Witch. The atmosphere and the feeling of isolation they created was bang on, too. That is one I could watch again since, while not necessarily an easy watch, it wasn't nearly as stressful.

      2. Also, on Hereditary:

        'Spoiler' SelectShow
  7. Finished Season 3 of Daredevil. It is without a doubt the most intense drama I have watched since Breaking Bad. I had to stop and take breaks because of the intensity. So very very good. If you've watched season 1 and/or season 2, you should watch season 3. So good.

    We're one episode from done with Kimmy Schmidt. This last season, especially this last half, has been a real let down. I'm guessing a lot of the early writers went and got new jobs and they were left with a b-squad? I dunno. Ready for it to end, which is too bad given how great it was the first few seasons.

    Infinity War - Philosofette had never seen it, and surprisingly, had somehow avoided spoilers. It was better than I remembered, and the parts that drove me crazy weren't quite as awful on my rewatching as they were originally. Still not good, but... not as bad.

    Ant Man and the Wasp - Well, that was a let down. I mean, ultimately it was just fine, it just didn't live up to anything else from comic books recently.
    I'd put it solidly in Iron Man 2 territory.

    Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Some written material just doesn't translate, I suppose?

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - A cute little film. Probably could have been about 20 minutes shorter than it was, but I didn't mind too much. Some decent romance and intrigue, though not too much of either.

    I've also been working through Season 1 of Gotham, which has been way better than I anticipated.

    1. Agreed on the last half of the last season of Kimmy Schmidt, though it ends better than it starts. They went away from Titus for some reason.

      I enjoyed Hitchhiker's for what it was. Translating Douglas Adams to the screen is indeed really tough, but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

      1. I believe Douglas Adams has had a say in every HGotG version/media that's been released, so if people aren't happy with the end result, they should take it up with his ghost. I think one of the biggest complaints was the Pez-dispenser Zaphod, but it beats the old BBC series mannequin head.

        1. Having never read Hitchhiker's, so not knowing for sure, it felt like the movie was doing way too much to reference as many things as possible that were in the book. Which led to some really underdeveloped aspects and characters, many of whom needed far more time. And I'm sure Zaphod makes a lot more sense in the books, but he was just irritatingly undirected, and Sam Rockwell was... even more irritating.

          1. Zaphod's character was a pretty good match to the book*, it's just the physical aspect that seemed a cop out.

            *he had a third arm grafted on just so he could wave at the cameras while waterskiing

            1. But I'm guessing his motivation makes at least a little sense in the book? He was really all over the map on that in the movie.

      1. Oh yeah, that writing was on the wall. It was a good way to go out. I think things were starting to get thin in the other series anyway (though I could have gone for a final Luke Cage season. That story just isn't complete.).

    2. I liked how Ant Man & Wasp didn't require me to know anything else from the Marvel universe (barring the last scene, which worked in Infinity War).
      I mentioned it before, but I couldn't follow Infinity War because it required me to know everything else from the Marvel Universe (except maybe Ant Man & Wasp).
      I'm considering watching Lego Infinity War, hoping it explains things to me.

  8. I finally watched Cabin in the Woods. It was entertaining but not my type of movie. I really disliked the supernatural parts. I liked it a lot better when it seemed like there was a logical reason for what was going on.

    I did love the stoner kid.

    1. Cabin in the Woods is probably my favorite horror movie of ever. I loved the meta-ness of it and it was executed just right. Also:

      'Spoiler' SelectShow

      The stoner dude was great and if you liked him check out You Might be the Killer, which he is the main character, although nota stoner.

  9. Isle of Dogs,
    Wes Anderson (also did Grand Budapest Hotel) was unfortunately the only thing I've seen on the list.

    So Death of Stalin didn't make the list for Russian Dark Comedy, что?

    Other films I've seen in the last year or so:
    Ramen Heads (Shigeno) - quite good, documentary on the king of Ramen in Tokyo
    Death of Stalin (Iannucci) - power grab after Stalin kaks, feat. Buscemi as Nikita Kruschev
    The 15:17 To Paris (Eastwood) - train thriller
    Tomb Raider (Uthaug) - kinda like Lara meets Dragon Tattoo girl
    Isle of Dogs (Inugashima) - Nippon boss man tries to eliminate dogs - kid confuses things
    Adrift (Kormakur) - a lady is, well, adrift in her boat
    Loving Vincent (Kobiela) - first fully painted film
    Contratiempo (Oriol Paulo) - Spanish crime thriller with awesome ending

  10. The only category I really have any feelings about in this year's Oscars is Best Animated Picture, which the voters pretty much do not care about. Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are all incredibly good, and I'd be pretty thrilled if any of them won. I'm pretty sure that they will not, though.

    The Favourite: Absolutely loved it. It's beautifully shot, I howled with laughter and was into it the whole time. None of the nastiness that ruined The Lobster for me.

    Never Goin' Back: This is the best "stoner comedy" I've seen in years and years. Two high school dropouts scheme to get money to pay for a trip to the beach. Having a raunchy comedy carried by two women is pretty uncommon, but this is an absolutely spectacular film. The two leads have an amazing chemistry. The movie says a lot about the struggles of the working poor, and has some wonderful male friendship to boot. I love this film a lot, and I am pretty annoyed that A24/Lionsgate did not give this movie the Blu-ray release it so desperately deserves.

    Assassination Nation: The most pure 2018 experience one can get. The pull quote on the box is that it's like "Mean Girls meets The Purge" and that's correct but also sells the film short. Four girls in a town called Salem become public enemy number 1 when a ton of people in the town's personal information is posted online. The first act has a dreamlike quality, which leads into a Carpenter-esque thriller second half. It's an intense watch, but I cannot get it out of my head. The movie is not subtle at all, but I am fine with that in this case. It's really, really, really good and I'm annoyed that so many reviewers somehow missed the entire point.

    If Beale Street Could Talk: I'm incensed that this was not a Best Picture nominee. A beautiful, heartfelt film that I'm not sure I ever want to watch again. It wasn't as perfect as Moonlight, but it was great.

    First Reformed: This was a very powerful, intense watch. Ethan Hawke was brilliant. I'm annoyed I waited so long to watch it. The ending is wonderfully vague and I really look forward to watching this one again.

    Venom: "The movie had an Eminem song over the credits" is the most effective way to describe this film.

    A Simple Favor: It was good, but on paper I expected to like this a hell of a lot more. So, basically, a film directed by Paul Feig.

    The Meg: Jason Statham fights a giant shark. Your enjoyment of the film will be directly proportional to how amused that sentence makes you. It's basically a Troma movie with a huge budget.

    Russian Doll: Watched the first season of this, and like many of you really, really enjoyed it. I did it all in one sitting, and I'm definitely going to go through it again with J when we are in the right mood.

    1. So, basically, a film directed by Paul Feig.

      This is about how I feel about his stuff, as well. I heard from five or six people about how good Spy was, and I just did not see it. And don't get me started on the Ghostbusters remake.

        1. Agree. If you liked the original Ghostbusters no reason you shouldn't like the 2017 version. Basically the same story, same effects,

          1. I'm not one of the people that thinks that the original was some unimpeachable awesomeness or that all remakes are garbage. I just didn't laugh all that much and the story itself was really unengaging.

            I liked Hemsworth a lot, and anytime McKinnon was being goofy, it worked for me. McCarthy and Wiig just completely flopped, though (and I usually find Wiig works in just about anything). I got out of the theater and just sort of shrugged and moved on.

    1. Stupid HBO shows that'll never be on NetFlix.
      I was wondering if this was the Netflix show with an imaginary unicorn, but no.

    2. Finished up the first season of Barry. Pretty good. Great cast, the writing is good, but I'm not sure how long we're supposed to

      'Spoiler' SelectShow
  11. Along with everyone else, I watched the first three episodes of Russian Doll, the night it came out, I believe. Natasha Lyonne in a starring role? Sure I'll start that.
    I quite enjoyed it and have been waiting for the right opportunity to finish it.

    I watched all of Hi-Score Girl, a Netflix Anime. Young teen romantic story through video games of the mid 90s. So much of the story is about Street Fighter II.
    One of the best Anime series I've watched. So good. Emotionally resonant and the characters must me my age (±2 years).
    Zack, jump on this if you haven't. I tried to get HPR to watch it with me but he got bored and just wanted to play his video games.
    Right now, I can't remember how it ends though.

    Deadwind: a Finnish murder-mystery series on Netflix. Also quite enjoyed. Points for:
    Lead actress's hair is constantly messy but never a mess, some sort of lion's mane. (I've mentioned hairstyles for other shows.)
    Finland in November has only about 6 hours of daylight, and this was accurately reflected.
    All the bodies of water were frozen, lots of snow.
    Finnish is much more pleasant to listen to than to read. I don't remember liking the sound of it so much from Bordertown, of which I will soon be watching season 2.

    1983: a Polish alternate-history series on Netflix. Set in 2003, at the 20th anniversary of events that didn't happen that set Poland on its own course in the cold war.
    Per wikipedia, "set in an alternate timeline in which the fall of Polish communism never happened, and the Iron Curtain is still in place". Some historical points I did hear: U.S. President Gore, 9/11 still happened.
    Interesting imagining the Iron Curtain in the cellphones/internet/digital revolution age.
    First Polish show I've ever watched.

    I've been sick home from work the past two days and used that time to watch two series pretty much start to end:
    Kill la Kill, an insanely silly and equally serious story about a weird fascistic high school in Japan where high-tech clothing is used to rule. Then a girl with a high-tech outfit of her own joins to figure out who killed her father.
    I'd started it a few times, but the amount of skin and blood has kept me from turning it on when anyone else is around. Thanks for the recommendation (years ago), Zack. I wouldn't have started something showing this much near-nudity without a rec.
    Every new addition of a character or plot point is simultaneously too ridiculous and over-the-top while totally making sense in the bizarre universe created. The creators put some serious work into making everything work and fit together.
    After the ending, the next suggested series was Devilman: Crybaby, which makes so much sense (I watched that last year). Also equally silly and serious, but I'd recommend KlK over D:C for the additional humor. KlK lets up on the dark for humor. D:C is hard and dark and cold to the very end.
    I see this is the same studio that did Little Witch Academia. Makes sense.
    Also, the studio was formed from the people that did Gurren Lagann. I'd started that a few months ago... I should give it another try (if it's still on NetFlix).

    Collateral: a British Murder-mystery starring Carey Mulligan, the first time I've seen her in a real adult role (although her childish looks persist and she's talked down to a bit).
    Only 4 1-hour episodes. I liked.

    1. AMR, watching television on NetFlix :
      10. Are there already more than 50 hours available? Yes: goto 200. No: goto 20.

      20. Is it Anime? Yes: 30, No: 50
      30. Is it for young children? (e.g. Pokemon) Y: 200. No: 40.
      40. Is there a lot of backstory in other series with similar names and maybe some of them aren't on NetFlix? Y: 200. No: 190.

      50. Is it a mystery series? Y: 60. No: 100.
      60. Set in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand? Y: 190. No: 200

      100. Is it a nature documentary? Y: 110. No: 150.
      110. Is it made up with Discovery Channel-style false suspense and scene repetition? Y: 200. No: 210.

      150. Despite not being a nature documentary, mystery, or anime series, does it look really weird and unusual? Y: 160, No: 200
      160. Does it star Natasha Lyonne or Jonah Hill? Y: 190, No: 60.

      190. Is the title or screen image going to make my wife think I'm watching softcore after she's in bed? Y: 195. No: 210
      195. Despite looking like softcore from the title or image, does it look like it might be worth the effort to explain to my wife that it isn't? Y: 210, No: 200
      200. Find something else. Start again at 10.
      210. Watch it.

    2. I re-watched the end of Hi Score Girl... kind of a cliffhanger, so there'd better be a second season. I find the story arc of the "other girl", Hidaku, to be what really makes the story deep and affecting. Aesthetically, I'm fascinated by her blond eyelashes.

      Gun Gale Online. Anime series that's in the Sword Art Online universe, but stands alone well on its own (as I've only watched about an episode of SAO). Fun and positive about video games. I went through this short series quite quickly.

      The Dragon Prince, season 2. Cool to have this Canadian anime that I can share with my family. Perfect levels of dark, danger, Season 2 left me wanting a season 3 just as much as 1 left me wanting 2. At the same time, they're trying really obviously to make sure every possible marginalized group of people is included for a few scenes. Not sure who's left.

      Carmen Sandiego. Another fun series for the family. Teaches just a little bit of geography, which is a plus. Also: provided a good opportunity to show the kids Rockapella's theme from the 1990s and for me to show a few scenes from the final round of the same game show (with the map) to show the kids how frustrated I was watching it at home.
      "How can you not know where Chile is on a map of South America? That's Ecuador!" I, and many other serious competitors in the National Geographic Geography Bee, would have cleaned up on that show. (3rd place in MN, 1992.)

      1. Except sometimes on Carmen SanDiego the kid got 30 seconds to get 7 countries in Asia and even if they knew all the answers their little legs couldn't move fast enough

  12. Re: Oscars:
    Original Song:
    “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

    Do they still perform every nominated song? This would be the only thing I would tune in for.
    Reminds me, I still need to watch the second half of this movie.

    1. Second half of Buster Scruggs: I loved 2/3.
      "All Gold Canyon", with Tom Waits as a prospector: loved. Gorgeous scenery (despite the fact that the Owl was a Eurasian Eagle Owl and not a Great Horned: Thanks MBTA!).
      "The Gal Who Got Rattled": loved. Great story, really felt the ending. Reminded me of a few episodes of the mid-80s "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
      "The Mortal Remains": I didn't get it. Or maybe I did, but the point wasn't clear enough or twisty enough for me to be sure?

  13. Speaking of the Oscars, I watched A Star Is Born over the weekend. I really enjoyed it. Great performances all around (Gaga is as good as you've heard, and Bradley Cooper was great), even if I still don't quite get where all the love for "Shallow" comes from.

  14. I have never laughed so hard in my life. I woke up this morning and as I scrolled through the book of faces I stumbled across a video clip of Letterkenny.

    Canadian TV series that Hulu picked up. Never heard of it, but I am going to bing watch the crap out of that show.

      1. I have watched that episode a few times (due to getting other friends to watch the series). It is kind of a nice slam on social media as a whole. The bit about kids falling off bikes is one of the scenes that hooked me on the show.

  15. House of Cards Season 6 is as schlocky as advertised. I'm watching just to be a completist. Amazing how far this show has fallen over 6 seasons.

    1. Yeah, the wife and I tapped out halfway through the fourth season. Even at its high points, the show tended to disappear up its own scheming intestinal tract for chunks of episodes, and we finally hit a spot where we tried rewatching a couple of episodes and finally just said "you know, we could watch something else and come back to it..."

      Season two of that show was SO good, though.

    2. Man, the last three episodes were just ridiculously bad. Not even trashy fun. I wish the series had ended with ICO nuking D.C. Not that would've been an ending.

  16. Old guy rant:

    it seems like more and more shows are being named by 12 year olds. Schitt's Creek? Pen15? Haha, you were so creative in getting a bad word in front of everyone. Surprised, someone hasn't come up with a show called 59009 about the sexual hijinks of some teens in a small town.

    1. Pen15? I remember some club in middle school the kids said I could join but nothing ever happened...

      1. i remember multiple occasions where friends and i spent 10-15+ minutes working the rubes just so we could write PEN15 on their arm.

        totally worth it.

  17. So the Boy has been making me go to the MCU (is that the right acronym?) movies. We went to Captain Marvel last night. Entertaining. But I don't watch enough of these to know. Is it considered good? A game changer? Just so-so?

    1. I believe it has been deemed "not too bad" but the fanboys are up in arms. I'm a little worried she's ending up too powerful. The worst of the superhero battles are Hulk/Superman/Thor bashing their opponent across the landscape, and then getting back up and doing it again. And again. The best fights are Cappy (elevator), Black Widow, or (early) Batman where they have to use wit and whatever they can use around them to overcome their enemy.

      1. I could not care less about some man-children complaining about a woman being in the title role but yeah, she did seem awfully powerful at the end.

        1. There's a little more to it than that, but yeah it's bashing for bashing's sake. It was far more warranted in The Last Jedi because none of the characters' actions/motives made sense, regardless of the gender

    2. The Mrs and I thought it was really, really good. The Boy, who is in the biz, was less enamored. He had praise for her, but thought that the script was too formulaic and boring and did too little in exploring her amnesia/self-discovery in terms of character arc. Oh, and "shitty CGI fights" at the end.

      Meh. We were not bothered by the CGI at the end. Yes, she seems a bit over-powered.

      I think the growing consensus is that this was a middle-ish of the road MCU film. It has some strong feminist cred, which makes it very new, and some good buddy/road movie bits, but not the heft of the very best in the MCU titles.

    3. It was decent. I liked the chemistry that Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larsen had -- easily the best part of the movie, imo. Some of the musical cues were a little on the nose, and the whole "way overpowered" thing could end up being a problem in future movies (though I didn't really have a problem with it within the bounds of this particular movie).

      Middle of the road for me.

  18. I watched "The Bodyguard" on Netflix. Former British soldier with PTSD gets assigned to protect the Defense Secretary that sent him to the Middle East. Lots of action. Interesting premise. I think it was only 6 episodes.

    I'm watching season 2 of "Ozark." I know a lot of people like it. I think it is just ok.

    Started on "Friends From College." I made it two episodes. The first was ok. The second was so bad that I can't go any further.

    1. I liked "Bodyguard" quite a bit. From the preview, I thought it was going to go somewhere else, so I felt pleasantly surprised.

  19. Not quite sure if the boy is old enough, but we've been going through the MCU movies together all the same. Wondering if I should just skip Thor 2...

    1. He's probably old enough since I've been doing the same thing with my boy (5 years-old). That said, somehow Winter Soldier didn't hold his attention, though at least both Guardians movies did. I'm skipping both Thor 1 and 2, to be honest. Ragnarok is really all that's needed.

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