What I Watched April 2016

Movies

Best in Show – Great Movie. Funny every time. I don’t know how much I actually have to say about this. Watch it if you haven’t. *****

Chef – John Favreau is very hit or miss for me. Chef is one of his hits. It isn’t especially great, but it is amusing and heartfelt and just all around enjoyable. Charming. ****

Zootopia – read review here. ****

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – I stumbled on this on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. It is a period comedy starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, both of whom are excellent as two very different women. Adams plays a performer who accidently hires McDormand as a personal assistant to help her juggle her three boyfriends as she waffles trying to choose one. It is marvelously funny and often touching. ****

The Jungle Book – read review here **1/2

The Huntsman Winter’s War – read review here ***

47 Ronin – This should be a lot of silly fun, and at times it is, but it frequently takes itself way too seriously for a movie that climaxes with Keanu Reeves sword fighting a CGI dragon. There are times when it seems it wants to break out into something genuinely fun and enjoyable, but pulls back, trying instead to be some somber epic that falls flat. **

The Assassin – Beautiful, evocative and a bit vague The Assassin is something special. I don’t know how much I actually enjoyed it, though. It is impossible to argue with how beautifully this movie is shot. Every frame has something wonderful to show. But it is also quite slow and sparse in it storytelling. It is definitely worth watching, especially If you don’t go in expecting a martial arts movie, which this only barely is.****

The World’s End – I was going to link to my previous review of this film and write about how it improves on even how much I enjoyed it the first time each time I see it. That is how I found out that I never wrote a review for The World’s End, so that is going to have to change and soon. I think this is my favorite of Edgar Wright’s films. It is layered and smart and just so much fun. *****

Old School – This was a favorite of mine from the end of my time in high school and early days in college. I still like it, but I don’t love it like I used to. It has a bunch of great scenes, but it doesn’t quite hold together as well as it might. It is no Animal House, or even a Wedding Crashers, but it has its moments. ***

TV

Outlander S1 – I rewatched a few episodes of this in anticipation of the second season. This is an excellent show, at times beautiful and others brutal, but always with thought and purpose.

Trailer Park Boys S10 – I was really disappointed in this season of Trailer Park Boys. It just kind of muddled along. After a pair of really enjoyable seasons on Netflix, this one just seemed lacking, especially the extended guest appearances by various weed aficionados. It still had its moments and the characters are great, but it feels like a case of diminishing returns.

Bob’s Burgers S5 – This show rises in my esteem every time I watch it. I liked the first couple of seasons, but I have really fallen in love with it over the last few. Going back to the early stuff, it seems more thought out than how haphazard it felt upon first watching it. Season 5, though, is great. There are numerous stand out episodes and musical numbers, the probably being Hawk & Chick, which manages to be both hilarious and touching like few shows can. This might yet eclipse Loren Bouchard’s other great show, Home Movies.

The Ranch S1 – The Ranch isn’t good, but there is something comfortingly bad about it. Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson have some great chemistry. They were funny together on That 70’s Show and they are good on this. Sam Elliot is always a delight. It is too bad that most of the show is unable to get away from cliché or a small set of marginally funny jokes. I could live without seeing any more of this, but the odds are good I’ll wind up watching more if Netflix makes it.

Documentary Now! – Some former SNL guys do riffs on famous documentaries. Most of them are hilarious. And short. It is easy to get through these 6 great mockumentaries and each one has its own stuff to offer. I sure hope there are more coming.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt S2 – I loved the first season of this show, and that level of quality is there in flashes during the second, but it doesn’t quite maintain it as well. A lot of that is the more scattered nature of this season. The characters aren’t as tightly tied together, with Kimmy being the only thing to bring most of them together. Still, this show has plenty going for it. Tina Fey’s appearances as a spiraling out of control therapist are funny and sad, with her forcing Kimmy to accept that she can’t help everyone even as she loses control. Letting Tituss actually have a romance seems somehow important as well. I liked this season, but it isn’t quite as perfect as the first.

Outlander S2 – The first season was great, and the first 4 episodes of the second are just as good. This season has moved a lot faster so far, not needing to spend the time introducing everyone and everything. It has also streamlined what was a meandering half of one of the weaker books in this series. It has still nailed all of the important points, and maintained great moments for all of the main characters. I am hoping to get to see more of Fergus as things go along, but I am already disappointed about how little Roger and Brianna we seem likely to get. Still, this is one of the best shows on TV.

Superhero Shows – Once the CW shows end later this month I will have something about all the various superhero show seasons. Most of them are going along quite nicely, though April was mostly a skip month for Arrow and Flash. Hopefully, all three of the CW shows can go out with as well as Supergirl did in it (hopefully not only) first season.

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2 thoughts on “What I Watched April 2016

  1. I’ve been watching Outlander in preparation for the second season. I read the first book in the series awhile ago and really enjoyed it, as long as it was. The show I find a little harder to watch due to its brutality. There’s no show quite like it. I’ve heard that the second season is excellent, glad to hear it’s a little faster paced too! I’m excited to start it soon.

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