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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

What I've Been Watching (Quarantine Edition, Week 5)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012) (Greatest Movie of All-Time Podcast) - Currently on Netflix

-Listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocketcasts, and RadioPublic

Ben-Hur (1959) - Currently on TCM

-When I initially watched this movie, I was so disappointed in how the story seemed to make Ben-Hur have the Forrest Gump of the Bible vibe. However, the rewatch I just did made me completely change my mind. The staging, costuming, set-pieces, and cinematography of this movie for 1959 is shockingly outstanding. The chariot race is one of the most famous in Hollywood history, and I can see why. Ben-Hur goes from dungeons to ship galleys, from Jerusalem to Rome, from a chariot race stadium to the foot of the cross, and it does so in such a seamless way. Great rewatch for any classic film lover.

Singin' in the Rain (1952) - Currently on TCM

-I love musicals, and this is one of my favorites. The choreography is sublime, the characters are lovable and classic, and the story is timeless. I'm going to love when we get to this for the podcast. Make 'em Laugh, Good Morning, and Singin' in the Rain are just mesmerizing songs to watch. This is one of the all-time great American classic IMO.

Sunset Boulevard (1954) - Currently on Amazon Prime

-One of the most classic films noir; this is another notch on the bedpost of the great Billy Wilder. With some of the most celebrated lines in movie history, this movie jumps between mystery, thriller, and horror so beautifully and gives us such great nuance on the layers of insanity that accompany Norma Desmond and her butler, Max. As Gillis dives further into the cloud of mystery, he is engulfed in a tragedy that he will never be able to pull out of. You will be gripped from the moment he turns on to that fateful driveway through the final scene.

The Naked Gun - Files from Police Squad (1988) - Currently on Netflix

-A now forgotten comedy for those under 40, this was a groundbreaking style of comedy by Zucker, Abraham, and Zucker that started with Airplane. As usual, they defy convention (in this case, the police procedural) to deliver guttural laughs that still hold up more than 30 years later. If you like irreverent comedies, this is highly suggested.

The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (1991) - Currently on Netflix

-Hilarious sequel. The plot really isn't the main part of this series; it's the small jokes and the inserts that you don't see coming or that you find on each subsequent viewing. Airplane! is more successful because it has a better overall plot than these which don't seem to know where to go, but the gags and physical humor in here still hold up well.

Fargo (1996) - Currently on Starz

-Famous classic black comedy thriller, this is the movie that really launched the Coen brothers to a new level. Winner of best original screenplay and best actress, it follows the true events of a Minnesota man who pays two bumbling criminals to kidnap his wife. While this isn't especially funny, it does have its moments, and it is a charming movie for me that I felt was a better version of the movie they eventually won Best Picture for: No Country for Old Men. Good new watch that I will rewatch for the podcast down the line.

Killing Eve (Eps. 1.1-1.3) AMC and Hulu

-Another show from the list of "I'm going to get to that sometime", and no better time to cross off that list than quarantine. Good start for me. I enjoy the two leads, and how they have started to play off of each other. There still seems like the show hasn't exactly started its thriller set yet despite the thrills of the pilot. I'll check back as I catch up.

Avenue 5 (Eps. 1.4-1.9) HBO

-What an absolute riot season 1 was. For a show of constant fuck-ups (both characters and situations), there are almost no characters that you hate. Most shows of severely flawed characters seem to come from such a place of self-loathing that it is distracting. Avenue 5 does not, and it makes the show silly and fun. I mean how can you not love a show that (*spoiler*) sees a dead pope's face in an aurora of shit?

My Weekly Shows:

Westworld (Ep. 3.5) HBO

-Yes, yes, yes. Westworld delivers again. The larger themes at play of mankind's paradoxical dependence on AI comes crashing into full view. Serac's motivations are finally revealed that makes you feel hatred and sympathy at the same time (a great key for any antagonist). However, I honestly don't know if Delores or Serac are protagonists at this point, and I still want to know how Bernard fits into all of this. That is going to be the major reveal of this season to me yet. Also, how are we getting shorted two episodes this season. Westworld please stay. I love you.

Black-ish (Ep. 6.21) ABC

-For being a sit-com, this show often shows a lot of emotional honesty and maturity that can be illuminating. Just as they did last week, the show explores another great topic of human connection: vulnerability, and then applies it to how if affects black men. Another strong showing for a show almost six full seasons in.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Ep. 7.12) NBC

-Great new episode. After the disappointment of last week, they returned another great writing episode. Gave us just enough Amy and Charles story to keep satiated, but the episode really shined with Jake and Holt as usual. The idea to kidnap Cheddar was golden, and Holt's reaction is priceless. Return to the brilliance of this season.

RUN (Ep. 1.1) HBO

-What a terrifically written pilot episode. Creates a lot of mysteries, gives you just enough to hook you into the larger story, and introduces you to all the central characters without giving too much away too early. Can't wait to see where this goes.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - HBO

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