Not Every Movie Has to be the Best Movie Ever

Sunday, July 7, 2024
I think the sentiment that every movie has to be 4/4, 5/5, or in the 90% range on the tomato meter to be worthy. Honestly, I think we see a lot of this discourse with the superhero franchises and the delusion of the stans about the real quality of the MCU and DCEU films, and that has spread to film discourse at large. Not every film needs to be defended to the death that it's great or shouted down for being bad.

Three-star films are still films people should see. People should even see bad movies, cause it's good for the film going diet, you might even find a good-bad movie, or a bad movie that you just can't stop thinking about. 

I also think this is a function of people misunderstanding how to actually read and use Rotten Tomatoes and Letterboxd. Those platforms are not meant to be the critical end all be all. I use Rotten Tomatoes rarely, but when I do,  I really scroll down to the critic's reviews and clink the links to take me to the full review on whatever site they write for, and then I spend more time on that site clicking around, or at least until I hit a paywall. I might even decide it's a site that's worth subscribing to. It really is a good starting place to find critics whose work you want to follow. Letterbox is a good way to log films you've watched, much like Goodreads for novels. Those two sites are not a place for critical discourse. It's a place to talk about things between peers, much like you would in real life. A written word of mouth, which is how movies can build momentum at the box office and gain more traction with audiences. Unless the review on Letterboxd are a professional film critic's, I don't think they should be given the same weight as a published review. Speaking of which, it's also a good place to follow your favorite critics as well, and see what they're watching and rewatching, get a real idea of their taste in film. 

Both of these sentiments I think are bad for movies across the board. If you expect movies to be 5/5 all of the time, and you build up this hype you can only be disappointed when a movie is only good or great, and angry when movies are bad. And it can lead to a frustration and an unwillingness to give a new film a chance. A healthy discourse and a healthy film industry means that the good, bad, and great films are made, released in theaters, given a chance to find an audience (and make money), and have people talk about them. 

After the Madness of March, I’m Going to Try to Watch More Women’s Sports

Monday, April 15, 2024

 The WNBA draft is upon us, after an electric and record breaking Women’s March Madness. This was the first year I really paid attention to the tournament, after only watching last year’s championship. I watched as much of this year as I could, watched both Final Four games. I didn’t end up watching the final because I had tickets to the final performance of Spamalot on Broadway. I contain multitudes.

The Best Movies I Watched in 2023

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

I had a lot of time on my hands thanks to the dual strikes this year. So, I ended up having a lot of time to watch movies, especially movies that I had managed to miss up until this year.  

Here's what I watched. Check me out on Letterboxd.

The Allure of the Days of Analog

Tuesday, September 5, 2023
I miss the days before tech took over our lives. I know I only got to experience the tail end of that time, but I keep running the thought experiment in my head. 

What really started it was when streamers decided that they were just gonna remove their own movies and television shows from their platforms, and just not release completed projects. (Justice for Batgirl!) That got me interested in building up my DVD collection, and now I've got a Google Doc two pages long of suggested titles I wish I had the disposable income to purchase every single one of. A lot of them from the Criterion Collection. It also had me rediscovering network tv, and actually watching it as it airs, or at least the magic of the DVR if I missed the original airtime. 

But it's also things like picking up an issue of a magazine, watching the news on tv. And when I'm finding articles online, I go directly to publication's sites and not just scrolling Twitter and looking at links the people I follow share. I'm also trying to read more books, but that's been a separate battle. 

It's missing the water cooler, where no one was watching things on their own schedule and we were all participating in a lot of the same conversations about it. And just flicking channels and catching a movie or watching a marathon all day while you do chores or work. The simpler times. 

So, while the studios still won't come to reality and give the WGA and SAG-AFTRA what they want and need, I will keep looking at the way I watch art and read about it. 

My Style Crisis is Never Ending

Monday, June 5, 2023
It's been about a year since I first noticed my inability to buy new pieces for my wardrobe. At the time I didn't worry about it because all I was really wearing day in and day out were jeans and a t-shirt. Working on a cold and dusty soundstage all day didn't really want to wear things I cared about getting filthy. But, doing that for over a year has really ruined my personal style.

I don't know what it is anymore. I go into stores and nothing grabs me. I try things on and they don't feel right. I try to put an outfit together with I have and inevitably go back to the staples in my closet. 

One thing I haven't brought myself to do is a closet purge. Just get rid of the stuff I don't really wear anymore. I could probably take them to H&M and take advantage of their clothes recycling program and get my good human points for the day. Also, I think there's some sort of discount you can use at the store if you bring in your clothes, so that's a plus.

My hope with the purge is that I can figure out my personal style and figure out what I have that fits it and I can get rid of what doesn't. It's just, I have this fear that if I do it, it won't solve my problem of actually buying clothes. I go and try things on and they don't feel right, and I don't know how to work past it that's not just continuing to try things on, and it's really ruining my enjoyment of shopping.

I could shop like no other. I used to be able to spend hours at the mall, just browsing and trying things on. My mom and sister are not shoppers. They are more in and out of the store kind of people, so the fact that I'm becoming more and more like that is annoying. 

Obviously, one of the other things hampering the actual purchasing is money. Building a whole new wardrobe is expensive, so whenever I do figure things out, I won't be rebuilding all in one go. It'll be spread out over time. I take donations. Kidding, of course.

Can the Sabrina the Teenage Witch opening credits be my life? That always looked like fun!

They Could've Just Made a Whole New Mermaid Movie

Friday, June 2, 2023

I do not like the Disney live action remakes. The only one that really added to the original and felt like there was true artistic merit in its creation was Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella. The others have largely been overstuffed retreads of the original films, with what they added not bring anything interesting to the table, ultimately giving us movies with no life. And while The Little Mermaid is a retread, it has life and it's fun. But, the details they added to flesh out the story, while they worked, I thought they were too interesting for this movie. Ultimately, I wished they scrapped The Little Mermaid and just made a brand new mermaid movie.

The new details that were added were little allusions to Prince Eric being someone who washed up on shore as a baby and taken in by the King and Queen, the death of Ariel's mother at the hand of a human, and the history of animosity between the surface world and under the sea. That could be the basis of a really interesting fantasy movie, and you can still keep the Ariel and Eric star-crossed lovers thing to add in some romance. Romeo & Juliet, but with a mermaid!

And honestly, that makes me hate these live action remakes even more. They had the seeds of a new story buried inside the shell of something they had done before. Disney can make original movies, but it seems like they're just too scared of them not making money so they're pumping out surefire box office hits, and sacrificing quality art in the process.

Readjusting My Sleeping Pattern is Going Great (Sarcastically)

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

 For the last couple years, my start time for work has been 5:30-6:00 am, for 10-12 hour days. Yeah. So that has altered my sleep cycle. I started going to be at 8:30-9:00 pm so my brain can turn off at night since sometimes it takes a while to do that. But now, I am currently out of work, and I can finally have the sleep schedule of a normal person. 

The hard part is actually making that adjustment. My first plan of attack was to stay up as late as I can to force my body to not wake up automatically at 4:30 am. It did not work. I just got even less sleep. That sucked. It was like morning the of the living dead when I would wake up. Compounded by me not being immediately active like I usually would be that early in the morning. Not even doing my morning routine as normal would get rid of the tired feeling that made my limbs feel like lead. Cause I’m not leaving my place before sunrise unless I have to because, one: safety first, and two: nothing is really open for me to go. So I just lay in bed, which makes it worse. At midday, once I shake off the dead, I go walk for an hour in the park. Get some outdoors and fresh air, see some nature. Sometimes I'm too tired to walk for the full hour I force myself to and just find a bench. It's not exercise, but it's still outdoors, so I'll take it.

It also didn't help that the first two weeks of trying to do this, it's been raining. Now, a light drizzle where you can still be comfortably outside. No, it'd been afternoons of down pouring rain. Soaked to your socks, umbrella pretty much only keeping your head dry, rain. Great weather to venture into the outdoors in. 

In my third week of unemployment, I think I've recalibrated. I'm now waking up at about 8:00 am and going to be at 11, and I feel normal. If I had this sleep schedule during the broadcast television season, I could have watched all those shows live instead of playing never ending catch up like I'm doing now. (P.S. #paywriters) The sun is out, the weather isn't unbearably hot yet, and I am going out into the world like a functioning human.

I Hate Writing Cover Letters

Thursday, March 9, 2023

 What is the point of cover letters in applying for jobs anymore? What am I going to write that is going to be substantially different than the hundreds of others that the hiring manager or robots are reading? 

I'm a hard worker who shows up every day and works hard. I am very well organized and a great multitasker. I have a lot of experience with [insert skill here]. I know how to use Microsoft Office and Google Suites. I look forward to being part of your team and learning from everyone. 

Obviously you fluff it up, and maybe tell a personal anecdote. But, unless you're asking for something specific to be written, it feels like you'd be getting variations on a theme.

There's also the issue that I hate writing about myself. I can give thoughts and opinions on stuff, which I hope I've demonstrated throughout this blog. Give me movies, television, music, whatever, I will talk about it. But puffing myself and my skills up I just can't do. It feels weird and gross and blegh. Because I am all these things. But how do you write that without sounding like everybody else?

Normally at the end of something like this there's an answer, but I don't have an answer for this. So, yeah. I'm just gonna do my best and grin and bear it.

I'm So Over Filter Face

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Filter face needs to stop. 

I don't think I need to explain filter face because every time I've dropped this descriptor to people, they understand, but I think I'll do it anyway. Filter face is when a person gets work done to make it look they're in an Instagram filter. If you need a visual aid, just go watch most reality shows, and you'll be able to spot it. I would recommend Love Island, for reference. 

What I keep imagining is what happens to your face as you age with all of that work done to it. Faces are supposed to change as you age, not stay frozen at 25. Age gives you character, and that makes me think of character actors. Actors who show up in supporting roles and steal the show because they don't look as glamorous of the leads. And how strange would it be to see those glamorous leads who've had work done in a period piece? That's not very historically accurate. 

Now this isn't to diminish plastic surgery as a specialty, because there are countless examples of plastic surgery being used to save and/or better lives. There's a story my dad tells about a company picnic years ago where the 19 year-old assistant got hit by a car and was left with a huge gash on her face, and at the ER, he told the doctors there to get a plastic surgeon to sew up her face so she wouldn't have a nasty scar. 

I just think we are losing the "unconventional" beauty with all these cosmetic procedures taking over the images we see every day. 

With Streaming in Chaos, I'm Gonna Check Out Broadcast Network Television

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Streaming is in chaos. Shows are getting canceled and disappearing, and all of it for tax write offs, so sustainable business model this is not. It feels like in the next couple years, all of the streaming stuff is gonna collapse, I'm looking at the older modes of movies and television. Mainly, watching movies in theaters and buying DVDs, and network television.

The network sitcom is making a comeback, spearheaded by Abbott Elementary. I also love American Auto and Grand Crew. And because Night Court is back, I'm gonna start that and the original series. I've also heard nothing but good things about Home Economics. So I've got comedies lined up. It's the dramas that are gonna be interesting finds. I don't really know what's happening with that, so suggestions would be much appreciated. Though I did see a trailer for the new Milo Ventimiglia show, The Company You Keep, coming soon, and that looks very fun, so I'll probably tune into that.

I know people don't really care about network television anymore. It was cable, then premium cable, and now streaming where all the "quality" television is. But, as we've seen with Abbott, if you make a quality show, people will show up for it. And networks should learn from that success and put the effort in. Linear television doesn't have to die, life just needs to be put into it, on both the networks' and the audiences' parts.

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