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Week in Review: 4/9/17

Movies I Watched in the Last Week

1) Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - I have to admit, I was a little skeptical going in that I'd like this one.  Despite being a fan of The Lonely Island since their first episode of "The 'Bu," I had a suspicion that Popstar would be a middle-of-the-road, uneven movie like Hot Rod.  I was wrong.  Popstar is a fully-polished movie that sustains laughs the whole way through.  It is prime Lonely Island, the culmination of all their comedic practice from the last decade and easily the best thing they've made to date.

My Rating: 5 / 5

2) Sausage Party - Fuck this piece of shit garbage movie.  It's fitting I watched it the same night as Popstar - both are crude, profane comedies that make liberal use of shock moments, but one of them actually has jokes in it.

My Rating: 0 / 5

3) The Nice Guys - I loved, loved, loved this movie.  Right now it's my pick for "best movie I watched in 2017."  This is prime Shane Black - witty, snappy dialogue, punchy pace, darkly comic moments, gravitas out of nowhere.  It's that rare action comedy where the action and comedy are both hitting equally hard.  I want to stay in this world - I want five sequels.  It's a tragedy it didn't do better at the box office, and if you haven't seen it yet, you owe it to yourself and to the gods of quality filmmaking to go watch it now.  (Doubly so if you never saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, in which case, what's wrong with you?)

My Rating: 5 / 5

4) Beauty and the Beast (2017) - This took me entirely by surprise.  I was never a huge fan of the animated BatB from the '90s - I recognized its good qualities, but considered it "not for me" and was kind of indifferent.  And for the first five or ten minutes, I thought the live action version would just be more of the same.  But pretty soon after the opening number, I found myself completely captivated.

BatB '17 is almost like a final draft to BatB '91.  All the background details, characters, and logistics of the universe that were glossed over in the animated version were given full room to roam and breathe here.  The stakes are more dire, the romance is more believable, and the jokes are funnier.  I absolutely won't say that the animated version is a bad movie - it has definitely attained "classic" status by this point.  But where I would simply say that I "respect" the animated version, I will say that I adore the live action remake.  It's that rare 140-minute movie that feels like 100 minutes.

My Rating: 5 / 5

Total: 4 Movies

Minutes I Spent Writing in the Last Week

1) There's Something Strange About Mr. Brickwell - About 2 hours of story planning and 2 hours writing the first draft.  Current draft length: About 20,000 words.

Total: 4 Hours

The Winner: A Tie.

It's been a strange week.  One of extremes.  I don't think I've had such dramatic mood shifts between movies I watched back-to-back in a long time.