What I Watched July 2019

Movies

Point Blank – A “buddy” action movie with Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo. It is fine. ***

Toy Story 4 – read review here.

Yesterday – read review here.

Late Night read review here.

Men in Black: International – read review here.

Spider-Man: Far From Home – read review here.

Stuber – read review here.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – read review here.

Megamind – This is a fairly solid Dreamworks movie from a decade or so ago. It is a superhero movie, where the Superman analogue uses a plot by the titular villain to fake his death and retire. Megamind has no idea how to deal with success and tries to create a new hero to fight. It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it is reasonably fun. ***1/2

Secret Obsession – A woman is attacked, but manages to escape with her life. Unfortunately, she has amnesia about what happened. She goes home with her husband, which builds to a thriller about who attacked her. It is fine, if nonsensical. **1/2

The Lion Kingread review here.

Jack of All Trades – A documentary about baseball cards, but also about one of the director reconnecting with his dad. It goes some interesting places, but it fails to really fully tell either story. ***

Peterloo – Maybe this would be different if I was more familiar with the historical event it is based on, but I didn’t much care for this. It is dry and, frankly, boring. I’m not asking for action or anything; I want characters that stand out in some way or more interesting dialogue. Its fine, I guess, but I didn’t much care for it. **1/2

Inglourious Basterds – I believe that this is Tarantino’s masterpiece. I guess most of his movies could be called masterpieces, but in my opinion this movie is his best. From that opening scene, where Hans Landa shows the viewer exactly who he is as he slowly closes the net around a French farmer and the Jewish family hiding under the floorboards, to the violent finale, this movie is impossible to look away from. *****

Under the Silver Lake – I hated this movie. It is a kind of paranoid mystery starring a 20 something Los Angeles douche. It just never did anything to get me to care about this creep or the mystery he was investigating. *1/2

Pulp Fiction – I went back to this movie after seeing Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood to see if it still holds up. It does. I think Tarantino has really improved as a filmmaker since this movie, but this is still a lot of fun to watch. *****

TV

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein – This is a perfect piece of entertainment. It is full on nonsense. David Harbour plays David Harbour III, as well as his father David Harbour, Jr. As the son he looks into what happened to his celebrated actor father, while watching a play his father produced for TV about Frankenstein. The play is weird, the dad is weird, David is surprised by literally everything, Alfred Molina shows up for some reason, and maybe there was a murder. I don’t know why Netflix made this 30 minutes of weirdness, but my only complaint is that it is only 30 minutes long.

Stranger Things 3 – I feel like a show I like this much should inspire more from me in a review. I loved season 3; it turned itself into a big 80’s action movie instead of the smaller scale sci-fi thriller the first season was. It is not unlike the transformation of Rambo after First Blood. Or maybe Alien to Aliens. It is still a fun synthesis of tons of 80’s classics that also manages to create some very interesting and compelling characters. It is a show that knows exactly what it is and executes that perfectly. This show is great.

Always Sunny 13 – This show has still got it. The struggles without a full season of Dennis are dealt with perfectly. I liked the remake episode on the plane. I liked Mindy Kaling as the equally awful but actually competent Dennis replacement. This show is just so good.

3 Below Part 2 – I’ve really been enjoying these Arcadia shows. This one feels kind of truncated, like it was supposed to run another season but had to ramp up to the end here. Still, I liked it a lot.

Daredevil S3 – I genuinely hated the second season of Daredevil. I guess The Punisher was fine, but all the Hand/Stick/Elektra/Ninja stuff fell completely flat. Luckily, all that crap is gone. Instead, we get all new crap. Okay, not really. Instead, we get mostly a retread of the first season. The first season was really good so that isn’t really a bad thing. It can’t quite recapture that magic, though. Mostly because to keep this plot going for the full 13 hours, a lot of characters have to be really stupid to keep Kingpin around and not in jail. It is fine.

Kakugurui XX – I can’t explain why I watched the first season of this, let alone a second. It is an anime set in a high school with all kinds of rituals set up around weird gambling games. The fly in the ointment is newcomer Yumeko, who loves to gamble, but only for the thrill of it. She doesn’t seem to care if she wins or loses. After her arrival last season, the Student Council President calls an election, which brings in a whole lot of poorly explained intrigue. Also, votes in the election are actually casino chips. The show is here just for weird gambles and Yumeko getting sexually aroused from the act of gambling.

The Boys – Seriously, I am writing a full post about his show. Not because it is the best or most interesting thing on TV, but because I have things to say about this. I guess it is worth watching.

Magnum PI S2 – So Magnum is back on Amazon Prime to stream, and I am going to try to get through it. I love this show; it uses its setting to work with a variety of tones and styles for mysteries. You get sun drenched but tonally dark noirs, thrillers building out of the characters’ Vietnam history, and jokey mysteries just messing around in the Hawaiian surf. The fact that it all feels of a piece is amazing, and a testament to the cast. This is just a really good show that should be even more well remembered than it is.

White Dragon – This could be called “Also, A White Guy was There.” No offense to John Simm, who is fine as the protagonist, but his character is completely unnecessary. He gets a message from his wife, who is later reported killed in Hong Kong. Once there, he learns that his wife had another family. He and her other husband reluctantly team up to find who killed their wife and why. It is a pretty bog standard thriller.

Costume Quest – Hey Costume Quest was fun little game, an RPG where changing Halloween costumes was akin to change class. This is a fun little cartoon, though since every day can’t be Halloween it kind of strains the premise a little bit. Still, it is fine.

One thought on “What I Watched July 2019

  1. With a seemingly endless bevy of choices for things to watch online, it can seem exhausting and anxiety-inducing to find the right thing. This is  What We re Watching, in which the SPIN staff zero in on a few items that are worth considering amongst all of the noise. For this month, we discuss programs featuring the Bodega Boys, an introspective bit of public family therapy, a controversial English dubbed anime, an Elena Ferrante adaptation, and more.

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