What I've Been Watching (Quarantine Edition, Week 4)
In the Heat of the Night (1967) (Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast) - Currently on Amazon Prime
-Listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, and RadioPublic
Good Will Hunting (1997) - Currently on Showtime
-One of my favorite movies of all-time. This is such an engaging and emotionally deep and honest movie about loss, talent, love, and friendship. There are so many wonderful moments packed in a film that is famous for winning Matt Damon and Ben Affleck an Oscar for their script. However, for me, this film is defined by what is Robin Williams' best performance of his career. A great watch for anyone going through transition, needing guidance through adolescence, or simply needing a reminder to notice the small intricacies of relationships.
The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) - Personal Collection
-I watched these movies as part of a marathon viewing live tweet session. I'm thinking of doing more each weekend. So, follow on twitter (@tj3duncan). Most of my big thoughts on these movies are already up online, but I just want to say that these were highly influential action movies of the mid-2000s. I was really disappointed when Jason Bourne (2015) was really not anywhere close to the original trilogy, and I doubt there will ever be more of these. That being said, these movies were made for $60, 80, and 130 million, and had a lot of good stunt work and choreography for being "low-budget". I think Netflix or Amazon or whatever needs to look at decent spy thriller novels to potentially adapt because I think the market is still there for these.
The Breakfast Club (1985) - Currently on Starz
-Probably the most famous John Hughes movie, this is the quintessential teen identity movie. Five kids forced into Saturday detention realize that they all have their crosses to bear, and really don't have to be saddled into the expectations that are given to them so that they can forge their own paths. While many parts of this movie don't age well (the casual way in which we get conversations about guns in school pre-Columbine, suicide isn't as serious as it should be, and having sex with your therapist is used as a punchline), there is still a golden concept for this movie to get remade in some way. It also still has a lot to say for the emotional resonance of this film some 35 years later.
Frost/Nixon (2008) - Currently on Starz
-A wonderful expose on how politics is defined in the current media environment that was nominated for Best Picture in 2008. While this doesn't take place with out current social media age, there is still a lot to grab from this movie. Ron Howard does a masterful job at showing the elegant dance and fight between a desperate media host and the once most powerful man in the world who needs to beat the other to win back what they have seemingly lost. Most of the movie plays out like a great sports movie even though it is a series of news interviews, but, unlike most sports movies, this doesn't simply end when one side has won. Howard brilliantly shows how the outcome of this project came to define each man going forward for the next few decades of their lives. As I often say, perception derives reality, and this movie proves it. Without getting too into the commentary of current politics, there are a lot of lines to be drawn to the current political situation here from this fun and engaging rewatch.
American Graffiti (1973) - Currently on Showtime
-George Lucas' first major feature film that set him up both professionally and financially to be able to create both technical cinema marvels like Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light and Magic as well as the seed money for the biggest part of his career, Star Wars. Also produced by Francis Ford Coppola and nominated for Best Picture in 1973, this coming of age tale sets four friends on different paths during the course of one night at one of the most crossroads times in adolescence; post-graduation. With starring performances by Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford, it is an often forgotten classic of cinema that hasn't seemed to age, and a movie that clearly serves as the basic structure for a comedy classic of my generation, Super-Bad.
Homeland (Eps. 2.6-2.8) Showtime
-I didn't binge this much more this week because my attention turned to rewatching a lot of classic movies. However, this second season is upping the stakes by the second, and everything seems to be imploding for both Carrie and Brody. I still have five episodes left for the season, and I have literally no idea how this is going to play out other than it seems like it is just the beginning of bad for both of them yet.
My Weekly Shows:
Westworld (Ep. 3.3) HBO
-Thank God that this show is delivering on its promise yet again. We have yet to get some of the best set pieces that I'm sure are coming, but the reveals in this episode are wonderful yet again. Moreover, it gives us plenty to look forward to yet this season. I just hope that this isn't the last we've seen of Ed Harris. He is such a good actor, and a wonderful character to the soul of this show.
Black-ish (Ep. 6.20) ABC
-Honestly, the best part of this show in recent years has been the marriage commentary between Dre and Bow. I still marvel and have tons of respect for the narrative line they used to end Season 4. It is still one of the ballsiest things I've seen in modern network TV. This week, they created one narrative only to pull the rug out (rather neatly I might add) at the last second and give us some sage relationship/marriage advice yet again. Well done.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Ep. 7.10) NBC
-One of the episodes every fan of this show looks forward to each season is the continuing escapade of the Halloween Heist. Often it is a series of misfortunes, laughs, and sleight of hand only to give us a satisfying reveal in the end. I know I have been really high on this show this season as well as in recent episodes. So it is unfortunate that this ValloEaster Heist was the most disappointing of the season and the worst of the Halloween Heist series. Most of it focused on the stupid and petty bickering between Holt and Jake that seemed forced while giving Amy alleged credit for it, and then was undone by the most underwhelming reveal in the heist series. I'm hoping we get back to the best parts of this season next week.