Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XI

Thursday, January 20, 2022

 We all could do with some joy right now.

I Think I'm Starting to Get Intellectual Property/Franchise Fatigue

Friday, January 14, 2022

Much has been made about franchise fatigue over the years. And I think I'm finally starting to feel it a bit. It's really just the average of how many of these movies are released in a year, and how many of them are bad, or even mediocre. Not mediocre in an "it was fine, I could watch it on cable on an afternoon" way, but in the "that was meh" kind of way. 


And we just keep getting more and more cause they are the movies that make money.


Now, consumers do inform these decisions, though. But when tickets and popcorn can add up to $30 for a single person, you're only gonna see a couple movies a year. So if you have to be picky, you're gonna choose to see the big special effects movie that looks better on a big screen and a crowd versus a smaller drama that you can wait to watch one it's available to stream. And that was before the pandemic made it even more of a decision to go to a movie, let alone a space with other people.


And it's not just choice that I'm getting tired of. It's the storytelling itself. Most of them follow the same formula with very few deviations. The only one I can think of that made different storytelling choices and switched it up was Birds of Prey, a movie I enjoyed quite a lot. 


All the fighting for the rights to intellectual property and older movies to be remade because it's a proven entity is taking all the risk of success or failure out of movies. It also turns fans of the old thing into righteous defenders so when a new take on a story or criticism of the original is an attack on the thing you love. And that's as far as I'm willing to go into the "Marvel movies are cinema" discourse.


I do like the Marvel movies, and this year was able to see Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in a theater safely with decent crowds. But I would have loved to see things like Passing and The Power of the Dog. Or even see people turn out for a different kind of blockbuster, a big musical like In the Heights or West Side Story


I just want more people to see the truly extraordinary films that are getting made, and the people who make them are able to make more and not have to join the superhero industrial complex in order to get a good paycheck and clout to greenlight their next smaller-budgeted project. A project those who live for superhero movies probably won't see.

Setting a More Attainable Reading Goal This Year

Saturday, January 8, 2022

In 2020, I set my reading goal at 20 books, and I read about 12. So, in 2021, I decided to set my reading goal at 10 books, which after the previous year seemed like a practical number. I read 3. And I couldn't understand why I wasn't reading so much, until my problem eventually seeped into my movie and television consumption. In December, I finally figured it out. The last couple years of the pandemic, I my brain just burned out and couldn't keep my attention on a story. But also in December, is when I started to turn a corner on this. I was actually able to sit through a movie. I even started a new book, The Mothers by Brit Bennett.


So, this year, I set my reading goal at 5 books. Perfectly attainable. If I reach it, I'd be pleased. If I pass it, I'll be jumping for joy. I've got The Mothers to keep chugging away at, and the new Taylor Jenkins Reid book, Malibu Rising, that I bought while in the midst of of my affliction. It has sat on my shelf untouched for the last few months, taunting me.


I have hope that I'll actually read it, and all the books I want this year. I just need to force myself back into it like I did with movies and tv. 

Sports Montages Make Me Cry

Thursday, January 6, 2022

 I don't know what it is about them. Edit it nicely, add a good score and I'm gone. Doesn't matter if it's an "emotional moments in sports" montage or Sportscenter's "Images of the Year". And now that another year has ended, that means more montages.


Is it the years spent watching sports movies, especially on tv day in school? (A day I am starting to miss more and more as an adult working in this world.)  Do I remember the emotion of the a lot of those moments? Or is it just the music they choose to score it?


Whatever it is, they get me every time. Maybe I should just stick to countdowns.

The Best TV I Watched in 2021

Monday, January 3, 2022

This was a great year for television, even the television I watched that I didn't fully enjoy and put on this list. I also had a problem where I could not process narrative, so that wasn't fun, so I ended up watching a lot of procedural tv to help me get through it, and it worked. But those shows did not make the list, and I chose them for that reason.


Here's the best television, whether it was new or new to me or a whole new season of a show I loved, that I watched this year. 

The Best Movies I Watched in 2021

Sunday, January 2, 2022

I did not watch a lot of movies this year, at least compared to years past. At least when it came to catching up on movies I had never seen before. But the pandemic messed with my brain a bit when it came to processing narrative, and I turned to television to help with that situation. 


So, here are the best movies I watched this year.

We're Never Gonna Get that Roaring Twenties Redux, Are We?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

At the beginning of 2020, everyone was hoping for another Roaring Twenties. And then the world changed two months into the decade. Now, in what will be year three of living in a pandemic, i don' think we're gonna get that Roaring Twenties Part Deux.


And in the summer of 2021, it felt like we were turning a corner. Especially with the vaccines available to all adults. Then the delta variant, just as I was getting used to being maskless outside. But we turned that corner and Broadway shows were coming back. And now with Omicron, all these shows being canceled feels like 2020 all over again.


I do have some informed hope that Omicron will be a short wave and not as deadly. Because, selfishly, I would like to see more Broadway shows, and my family has tickets for The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in April.


Hopefully, we get to a point when this is over and we can party. And there better be 20s themed parties that look like this.




Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol X

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

 We could always use some more joy. I love these clips, and I hope you do, too.

The Movie Musical is Back Baby!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

I finally saw the new adaptation of West Side Story, and this really caps off a great year for the movie musical. I mean, In the Heights, Tick Tick... Boom!, and West Side Story were tremendous. Even the, shall we say, less well received movies give me hope, like Cinderella, with Camila Cabello, and Dear Evan Hansen, which I have many thoughts about. After they were released there were no think pieces about the death of the movie musical. Everyone just moved onto the next movie musical.


Now there has been hate against movie musicals, that people just can't believe that people will break into song and dance. But people can suspend their disbelief for superheroes, and all the impossible things that happen in those movies, you can suspend your disbelief for a musical number. It's fun!


Also, you just can't get the emotional highs that you get in musicals that you can't get from other kinds of movies. From "96,000" to "Somewhere", and everything in between. And you don't get much better moments like Stephen Sondheim's voicemail to Jonathan Larson in Tick Tick... Boom! anywhere else.


Hopefully after the reception to both the good and the bad, studios will realize there is a market for the movie musical and greenlight more. Because I. Want. Them. All.






Can't. Compute. Narrative.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thanks to work and its long hours, when it came to watching television or movies, I needed things I didn't have to pay attention to, so my brain could wind down from the day and could get me to sleep. Attempting to process and follow a narrative would have sent my brain into overload. Which means I'm behind on Succession, Sex Lives of College Girls, and so many others that I'm forgetting because I'm just not plugged into what was on tv. Forget movies.


Now that job has ended, and I still can't process narrative. I'm assuming it's cause my brain hasn't adjusted back just yet. And I don't want to start a show or movie I'm looking forward to in fear of getting halfway through and turning it off, never going back and finishing it. Just letting it languish in my continue watching queue. 


I just need to find a low stakes piece of entertainment to get me back into the groove of paying attention to a story. Maybe it could lend to me picking up a book, too.

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