First Amendment Protection

Since our extra-successful weekend errand running finished up so quickly, I decided to use some of that time watching movies, as well as the reading I’ve already mentioned enjoying. And, with last holiday weekend signaling the end of May, I decided to start my film selections by taking a quick look at the HBO list to see what movies are about to drop off of rotation, in case I wanted to see any of them before I lose my chance. (You may recall that’s how I started doing film reviews on here in the first place.)

There was only one movie that jumped out at me form the “departing May 31st” list, but it was a film well worth seeing: Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

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Cool Rider

It all started innocently enough. They’ve been doing work on the floor above us in our office building, and yesterday’s noise involved stuff bouncing on the floor(1), and bouncing at regular enough intervals, that one of my co-workers posted on our Slack channel:

You’d think our upstairs neighbors would have invited us to the opening of their new bowling alley.

Which then prompted me—as a child of my generation—to ask:

Does anyone here remember Grease 2? “We’re gonna sco-o-ore tonight!”

And just like that, I’d ear-wormed myself.

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Nothing to Prove

Why yes, Virginia, I did enjoy Captain Marvel yesterday.

Now, there’s no need for me to do a full-on review: there’s enough examples of that out in the wilds of the Internet. In case you need them, here’s some recommended links:

  • Peter Travers’s review in Rolling Stone
  • Owen Gleiberman’s review for Variety
  • Alex Abad-Santos’s coverage in Vox about sexist responses to the film, in the larger context of similar buffoonery around Star Wars: The Last Jedi and other genre flicks

Instead, I’m going to focus on one small moment, recounted in as spoiler-free a fashion as I can manage.

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To Infinity and Beyond

The hubs and I bought our tickets today to go see Captain Marvel this coming weekend. That got me thinking: I never got around to posting my thoughts and responses to my (incredibly belated) viewing of Avengers: Infinity War.

Certainly, there’s no objective need for me to add to the discourse here. The money has been made, the ink has been spilled, the spoilers have been spoiled. Let’s face it: once you see Thanos and his gauntlet as an Ash Wednesday meme on Facebook, you get the sense that there really isn’t anything new that can be said about this particular piece of cultural juggernaut.

Said by you, though, George. (10 years later and I still wrestle with this crap. Sigh.)

So this won’t be any attempt at a comprehensive “film review.” Instead there’s just one thematic thread that I want to riff on.

(Obviously, if you are one of the maybe two people left on the internet who haven’t seen or read about the film and its shock ending, know that there be spoilers below the jump.)

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February Recap and Looking Ahead

So, with the end of another month, time to milk another post out of the ongoing process of monitoring my progress on all these reading challenges. (One, two, three.) As with January, I’m going to do a small snapshot report on where I stand in regards to my initial reading plan, and where there’s been changes.

And, in light of the new diagnosis and research project I have going on, I’m also going to be putting some thought into a change of direction for the rest of 2019.

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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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