After seeing how close I had come by October, I knew that I’d definitely get 200 movies in by the end of 2021 unless something truly went awry.
So then came the next thought… could I do it by the end of November?
And that led me on a film spree where I averaged about a movie per day, so let’s get the heck into it already!
Let’s get that low score out of the way right off. Ghostbusters Afterlife is a movie I wanted to write a whole article’s worth of review on, but then just… didn’t. I didn’t want to spend 1000+ words on vitriol.
This movie has the same effect on me that the MCU has on folks like Ridley Scott: I hated it, and I worry it’s going to irrevocably break all of cinema for the next several years. That’s big feelings, sure, but Afterlife became one of the very few movies that, as I watched it, I was just angry at its existence.
It’s the safest, most risk-averse movie made in a long time. I’ll forgive, or at least appreciate, a movie for swinging big and missing. Afterlife was barely a bunt. It just stood at the plate and took an intentional walk. It’s… I’m out of… I don’t know anything else about baseball.
It’s just… it’s Ghostbusters 1? But like… again? Zuul! Gozer! Crossing streams! Keymaster! Gatekeeper! It’s the EXACT SAME STORY. Did this movie forget what the difference between a sequel and a remake are? The biggest risk it took was making a ghost who was exactly like Slimer in every way, but not calling him Slimer. Which is to say, it took no risk at all.
I’ve heard people say The Force Awakens was just Star Wars all over again, but at least they didn’t literally fight Grand Moff Tarkin and Vader again. They didn’t win by shooting pew-pews into an exhaust port.
(I mean, they might have, I never saw TFA)
I eagerly await the next several years of movies that do the same thing. A Princess Bride sequel where they fight Prince Humperdink and The Sicilian and the 6-Fingered Man. And has the exact same lines of dialogue they already know people mark for. Why not? Ghostbusters Afterlife worked!
Also, the movie is joyless as hell. Imagine not laughing once at a Ghostbusters flick. Even the 2016 iteration–which I’m not here to defend, don’t worry; it was bad, too–made me LAUGH.
And that is my abbreviated but impassioned rant about Ghostbusters Afterlife and how angry it made me. It’s weird; I’m by no means the kind of person that cares if people feel differently about entertainment than I do. I’m very much a “that’s cool! You like what you like and that’s great” guy. But I hear people praising Afterlife, and it makes me worried about the future of blockbusters.
ANYWAY! Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk on Ghostbusters, I suppose. I’m sure you loved it. Everyone else did. It’s fine. It’s FINE. I’m fine. It’s just… it’s Midsommar all over again where I feel like I saw a different version of the movie than so many others did. I’ve heard people say Afterlife made them cry! What about this soulless cash grab gave anyone ANY emotion?
Aside from one other flick this stretch, everything else graded out at LEAST above average, so let’s talk about Matrix Revolutions, that other dud. This is actually the second time I’ve watched that this year because friends wanted to do Matrix Mania in advance of the next one. It’s… not great. But I do like it better than Reloaded. Revolutions is a better Star Wars movie than a Matrix movie.
A whole bunch of entries clocked in at Above Average (3/5). We had Red Notice (harmless, stupid-but-fun, short enough to be inoffensive, even if it completely wasted The Rock’s potential). Attack On Titan (live action iteration, and I’m not gonna blow smoke here: this movie is TERRIBLE. Low quality. Bad acting. But the third act is so batshit crazy that I did laugh, and I can see the value in that). Wayne’s World (parts of this feel dated as hell–a fucking GREY POUPON JOKE, anyone?–but the stuff that works really works, and it is surprisingly clever and meta for its era). Bone Tomahawk (a really good atmosphere movie which could really, REALLY stood to have cut twenty-plus minutes from the tedious second act. But Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson are both stars).
That’s… a lot of different ways to get 3 out of 5, I guess. Bone Tomahawk and Attack On Titan are basically antonyms as far as filmmaking goes. And Wayne’s World is brave, but sometimes falls short, whereas Red Notice doesn’t try anything outside of its own kiddie pool.
Only one 3.5 this time, with Seth Rogen, Zack Efron, and Rose Byrne starring in Neighbors, a mostly funny, occasionally awkward-on-purpose comedy that just had those moments where the protagonists are too stupid to cheer for. Big bonus here? I’m not sure I’d ever heard Rose Byrne’s accent before, and I’m kind of in love with it.
Another bunch-up at the 4/5’s! Long Shot (hey, it’s Seth Rogen again, and his chemistry with Charlize Theron here is ridiculously great). Evil Dead 2 (Seen it before, obviously, but felt like finishing up some Evil Dead after seeing the remake earlier. A one-man-show, but a great one). Best In Show (to wash the mediocre taste of A Mighty Wind away, I went back to Christopher Guest’s better mockumentary).
Why do not enough people admit that Aliens is VASTLY superior to Alien? Alien is a good science fiction horror flick. Aliens is a TREMENDOUS sci-fi/horror/action work of art. I’m not trashing Alien–without it, we would never have had Aliens, after all–but its sequel bettered it in literally every way.
And then we have the 5/5’s. Three of them, but I’d seen two of them before, so it’s kind of cheating. It took me less than two months to rewatch Your Name because I felt like I had to share it with my wife. It’s still perfect.
Army of Darkness is another flick that, like Aliens, surpassed its predecessor in every way, although I know that is a divisive opinion. Evil Dead 2 is great, but Army perfected the Ash character and made him into what we all think about when we imagine him in our head. Also, it’s just glorious one-liner after glorious one-liner. If you miss the more pure horror aspects and less sheer goofiness of ED2, I appreciate that! But I’ll take AoD every day.
By the same people behind Your Name, we got Weathering With You, and while not quite AS good as Your Name, it’s still a stellar, powerful story. And the animation is beyond belief. I’ve now got to seek out everything else that Makoto Shinkai has done.
Hey wait, this doesn’t actually count as reading, BUT I did some decorating of a corner wall in my house this past Thanksgiving Eve!
The discerning eye will notice a pattern to that display, and it is “Jubilee book – Variant Art book – Jubilee book – Variant Art book”.
I have a bunch more Variant Art covers I want to put up somewhere, but I haven’t found the space yet. We’ll figure it out!
For Black Friday, I visited one of my favorite comic shops (Phantom Of The Attic in Monroeville, PA – visit them if you are in my neck of the woods for some reason!).
After some digging–and relearning the alphabet (I kept looking AFTER WoNder Woman for WoLverine because I am someone who truly deserve my degree in English)–I picked up several old early-mid 1990’s Wolverine books from the Larry Hama era.
These are all books I owned in my youth, but… no longer have due to circumstances. My wife off-handedly said I should re-buy all the comics I used to own, and it turns out my wife does not understand how much money we actually have. But I DID go purchase these to start getting through them!
The impetus for these specific purchases being, of course, the return of Hama to Wolverine in the current X-Men Legends arc.
Two episodes into Hawkeye, the MCU show I predicted would be best of the recent batch, and… it’s good. I’m really enjoying it, but I feel like… it’s moving too slowly? Or not that at all because what do I expect to have happened after TWO episodes that had to introduce Kate Bishop? I don’t know. I haven’t been let down! I think I am just so excited to see how it wraps up that I am annoyed at waiting is all.
So THE REASON I BOUGHT A SWITCH has finally happened!
I might have gotten one eventually regardless, but wild speculation on my part of a remake of my favorite Pokemon Generation was what got me to buy Nintendo’s new console back when it was new, and here they are!
I’ve been playing slowly to really savor how much I loved Sinnoh–also, since Pokemon Home isn’t compatible with BD/SP yet (What? Why?), I’m not that interested in the post-game aspects. As of this writing, I just got my third badge and am about 8 hours in, give or take.
You know what I’ve never done? Cared about Contests. I’mma figure those out. Gotta make poffins!
And that’s it for November, holy crap! I’m at 197 movies on the year (but I HAVE cracked 200 viewings since I saw Matrix Revolutions, Your Name, and Jason X all twice).
Does that count?
I feel like that counts.
Not that I won’t break 200 legitimately anyway. But I feel like Letterboxd is holding me back.
Until next time… take care!