On and On and On

Random point the first: I really think I’ve used this post title before, but I don’t have enough gas in the tank to go back and confirm. So apologies if this repetition causes any confusion down the line.

Random point the second: The course was challenging and rewarding in all the best ways, but I need more processing time before knowing what insights I want to share here.

So I’m onto a much lighter topic tonight: the most recent film I watched, on the train ride down to NYC from Boston.

And that exceptionally high brow piece of cinema? Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

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Achieving the Impossible

I took a wee break from writing over the weekend. I got some upsetting personal news Friday afternoon and spent that evening in bed reading and playing Make the World Go Away in an endless mental loop.*

Then, Saturday I caught up on not one but two big film releases from 2018 I missed along the way: Mary Poppins Returns and Avengers: Infinity War. Since I saw Mary Poppins Returns early in the day, I’ll write about that one first. I’m assuming I’ll circle back to Infinity War at some point, though there is a certain ludicrosity to me taking on either of these blockbusters so far after the curve.

But that’s where we are. And I have enough thoughts popcorning in my brain about Mary Poppins Returns that I absolutely want to mull over that for a bit.

(Since this is going to more of a critical meditation than a straight-up review, there may be plot details/spoilers that get spilled below the jump. Be warned.)

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Dog, Boxing Glove, Diamond, Pistol

I’ll admit, after coming up with such a fun string of emojis for my last movie review, I played around with the notion of continuing to create emoji strings for this and subsequent ones. Ultimately, though, I’m just not quite that creative, and there’s no way I could sustain that over the long haul.

Having said that, the emoji string for the next film on the reviewing roster—Guy Ritchie’s Snatch—came pretty easily, so at least I was able to make this a running gag of sorts. (Perhaps a jogging one?)

Anyhow: Snatch. Guy Ritchie. I remember when Ritchie hit it big with this film and its predecessor, but these sort of British gangster flicks aren’t my bag, so I kept Ritchie in my roster of “filmmakers I’ve heard of but not seen” until the Robert Downey Jr.-led Sherlock Holmes. I will also admit to having a guilty-pleasure sort of fondness for 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

But honestly, I probably never would have gotten around to seeing either of Ritchie’s early hits had Snatch not come up on that 100 Movies Bucket List.

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100 Movies Bucket List

I mentioned how my 100 Books Bucket List poster is part of a trio decorating my office, including a similar scratch-off bucket list poster for movies. The methodology for choosing movies for this poster is as haphazard as with the books one, but there’s a smaller-enough canon of films—both those artistically revered and those that expressed their particular zeitgeist—that there’s a much closer overlap between the poster’s list of titles and the films I’ve actually seen.*

Since I started out way ahead in my movies tally, as compared to books and albums, I haven’t been paying all that much attention to this particular “bucket list.” Still, every month or two, I try to check the next new-to-me title out of the library in order to continue building my film knowledge. So, assuming that those titles will now-and-again bleed into me posting film reviews here on JALC, it seems worth capturing the list for posterity.

(I will admit in passing that this also works as a sneaky way for me to come up with another post during this stretch of time where I don’t seem to have much else worth writing about.)

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Clown Face, Knife, Horror Face, Thumbs Up

Watching Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of It wasn’t really on my plan for this week.

Some years ago, I gave up on Game of Thrones, but numerous conversations with different friends has convinced me to give it another chance. Since Season 8 is coming up soon, and I’m still back in Season 5, I thought one of my quiet hotel evenings this week would be a good time to log into HBOGo and start catching myself up.

Except, when I logged in Tuesday night, they had a feature card on content that would be leaving the app at the end of January, and I saw It on it.* Which got me thinking about how that sequel is coming out soon, too, so that meant it was another thing to catch myself up on.

So I did.

Caution ahead! Here be spoilers!

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A Reel Conundrum

I’m trying to decide whether I’m going to start adding film “reviews” to the content I create here on JALC. I learned a little bit about film analysis back in grad school: it wasn’t my core field, but I certainly had to have a side specialization in film/video/TV in order to do the lit/cultural studies hybrid work I most enjoyed.

So, even though I’m not even remotely deep enough in hubris to pretend to be the next Roger Ebert or anything like that, I do like to think I’d be able to come up with cogent film posts in a similar way to the posts I’ve been writing each time I finish a book.

But I’m sort of wrestling back and forth with whether this would be a valuable addition to JALC, or a version of mission creep.

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