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Week in Review: 4/5/15

Movies I Watched in the Last Week

1) Gone Girl - This is a solid thriller with excellent performances.  I just wish it wasn't as long as it was, but given the story they were trying to tell, it would have been hard to cut much more out of it.  That said, I do appreciate that they got to the mid-story reveal pretty quickly - it might have been downright intolerable if the first forty minutes moved as slowly as they did in the book.  Reading about it is one thing; watching it is another.

My Rating: 4 / 5

2) The Book of Life - This movie was clearly not meant for me.  I appreciated the character design, colors, and animation - it's a gorgeous film - but almost all of the dialogue and actual story components fell flat for me.  Also, I might have been disappointed that it was not actually an adaptation of Grim Fandango.

My Rating: 2.5 / 5

3) Captain America: The Winter Soldier - As much as I enjoyed this movie, it frustrated the hell out of me. The suspense doesn't last long enough, Black Widow's still mostly a snark bag, and it ends up being mostly hollow. Still, I appreciated that they tried some new things.  Definitely one of the better comic book movies and miles ahead of that awful Thor sequel.

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

4) Targets - This is an incredibly compelling film.  Made almost fifty years ago - back in a time when crimes supposedly didn't happen the way they do now (or at least that's the story they like to tell) - it portrays a gut-wrenching crime spree motivated by desires that are largely unknowable and beyond empathy.  It's mostly bloodless, but the film's refusal to cut away from its violence makes it effective even today.  This is definitely worth your time to seek out.

My Rating: 5 / 5

5) The Beautician and the Beast - Much more enjoyable than it has any right to be, despite the presence of no less than three - three - "talk to the hand" jokes.  Watching this in my 30s made me wonder: do y'all think that in 2050 people are going to be excited to make "callback" romantic comedies to the 1990s and 2000s the way we now do with period pieces in the 60s / 70s / 80s?  And when they do, what will be the defining characteristics?  Is it just going to be "ostensibly poor loudmouth woman teaches a powerful man with a heart of gold a lesson?"  Or will they have to use "talk to the hand" again?  The only reason we should ever dig "talk to the hand" out of its grave is to drag it behind a woodshed and bludgeon it mercilessly into non-existence.  Anyway, what was I talking about?  Oh, yeah, Fran Drescher.  She's alright.

My Rating: 3 / 5

Total: 5 Movies

Minutes I Spent Writing in the Last Week

1) Secondhand Souls - About 3 hours of revisions.

Total: 3 Hours

The Winner: Movies...

One downside to having a regularly-scheduled block of writing time: I always want to work on too much at once and get disappointed that I haven't done more.  But three hours in one week isn't so bad.  If I can just make sure I'm actually waking up on time, that'll probably double.