What I've Been Watching (Quarantine Edition, Week 11)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1947) (Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast) - Currently on TCM
- Listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, and RadioPublic
LANCE, Parts 1 and 2 - Currently on ESPN+
- see attached article: https://tj3duncan.wixsite.com/tj3duncan/post/lance-parts-1-and-2
OJ: Made in America (Parts 1-5) - Currently on ESPN+
- Since my sister is staying with me through quarantine, I decided to rewatch this Oscar winning documentary which became more ironic as we continued through each part. Part of my motivation for doing so was to revisit a significant piece of American culture during the 90s; a decade where I was too small a child to understand any of this yet was close enough to to have heard most of the summary details. Given what the past week has been like with our country seemingly burning after the George Floyd video and the protests nationwide, to see the racial relations play out in LA with the police murders, Rodney King, and then finally the verdict by the end of the series was a new experience even from the first time that I saw this. There are lessons to be learned here yet for sure because what is going on now seems like it is still the same problems that we had 20, 30, even 50 or 60 years ago, and that there needs to be action. Too many problem have stirred anger in our last decade only to be immediately forgotten by the ruling class once the conversation inevitably shifts. One OJ verdict that, in my opinion, didn't actually bring justice to anyone despite its justified conclusion, will not make any progress, and had no progressive impact past that point in time. Only through focused leadership and touching hearts, minds, and souls will anything change for the better, and we need strong leaders NOW.
Terms of Endearment (1983) - Currently on Showtime
- Another entry in my attempt to watch every Best Picture winner ever. This is the 68th of those movies I have now crossed off. The memory everyone seems to have of this movie is that of sadness, but I think there are several hints of optimism between the dour lines of tragedy here.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - Currently on HBO
- Like the last entry, this is another entry on my quest to have watched both the 1997 and 2008 AFI 100 lists. It was on the 1997 list and likely didn't come back for 2008 due to the remake in between. However, this was still a decent thriller of the time for 1962, and a good product of its era. I wasn't sure as I was watching why this movie made the list until about the last 45 minutes. The home stretch of this movie was a great thrill ride as well as a superbly villainous performance by Angela Lansbury. I cannot state how great she was in this movie. I do believe this movie will be lost to history due to the remake with Liev Schreiber and Denzel Washington as well as its disjointed plot (especially early on) and mediocre Frank Sinatra performance (if you want peak Sinatra, see From Here to Eternity), but there are still great elements to mine from this that are a great film study such as pacing, plot, twists, cinematography, and acting. Glad to have seen this.
My Weekly Shows:
Billions (Ep. 5.5) - Showtime
- It seems both Chuck and Wendy have both started to move on, while a major character could soon be on the chopping block here. This seemed to be a building episode (not unusual for episode 5 of a normal season of 12), but there are some major plot points being laid here. We are digging further into the foundations of Axe in his childhood while Wendy starts a new venture with Taylor. Meanwhile, there are several storylines in the works with many new characters this season that will hopefully bear fruit. Michael Prince was missing for the first time this season, but I don't think he's going to miss too many more episodes as he had become quite the formidable force for Axe.
Killing Eve (Ep. 3.8) Currently on AMC
- That last moment of the season was everything we were building towards. The recognition from both Eve and Villanelle that they are inevitably tied together, and that they can both finally recognize it. Villanelle has come very far to get to this point this season, but it seems like Eve's character is just a placeholder in the show. The most development in the show comes from everyone else, and it is the part where this season has clearly failed the most. I'm left with kind of an empty feeling at the end of that scene because of how little Eve has moved character-wise to get there. I will be willing to continue the show, whenever shows can start filming again, but they will need to fix that problem in short order or this show will lose me.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Patriot Act - with Hassan Minaj - Netflix