January 2016 Viewing Diary

“30 for 30” Chasing Tyson (2015; d. Steve Cantor)
I love the 30 for 30 series on ESPN but had never seen this one, the story of Evander Holyfield’s pursuit of Mike Tyson. I’ve got a Tyson thing. I loved James Toback’s movie. The only time I went to the David Letterman Show at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, Evander Holyfield was the guest. It was right after the curious incident of the ear-chomping. “Chasing Tyson” is really a portrait of Evander Holyfield, whose clear talent as a boxer, was always being measured against Tyson, so that the popular belief was that he wasn’t REALLY a champion, even when he won things fair and square. Tyson, as always, is a compelling figure for the camera.

The Sorrow and the Pity (1972; d. Marcel Ophüls)
I had never seen this 4-hour long documentary about the French resistance (or so-called resistance) during WWII. The interviews are so compelling you forget the length. When you listen to the people describe why they did what they did during the Vichy years, the complexity increases. Nothing is clear or black-and-white. People want to make themselves look good, too. So there is some unreliable narration going on. Incredibly riveting film.

While We’re Young (2014; d. Noah Baumbach)
I enjoyed it … somewhat, but something was off. Maybe it felt self-congratulatory. Or maybe it was defeatist, too. A middle-aged man settling into his own mediocrity. And maybe that’s the story. But something was “off.” Very good acting across the board.

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 12, “About a Boy” (2015; d. Serge Ladouceur)
A fave.

Supernatural, Season 8, Episode 11, “LARP and the Real Girl” (2013; d. Jeannot Szwarc)
Another fave.

Supernatural, Season 8, Episode 20, “Pac-Man Fever” (2013; d. Robert Singer)
A mini-masterpiece. I weep every time. And every time I watch, I feel I need to learn the lesson, which is woven into the story so elegantly (thank you, Robbie Thompson). What would happen if I just …. stopped playing the game? When she says, “See? You can’t stop either.” she could be talking to me.

The Conformist (1970; d. Bernardo Bertolucci)
I love this movie. I first saw it at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago and it really should be seen on the big screen, true of all of Bertolucci’s films.

The Face of Another (1967; d. Hiroshi Teshigahara)
My God, what a brilliant and disturbing film. Reminiscent of Joan Crawford in A Woman’s Face, where her appearance is transformed by plastic surgery … and also Dark Passage, with Humphrey Bogart in a similar position … but also monster-movies, where through the wonders of “science” monsters are created … The Face of Another features a frighteningly brilliant performance from Tatsuya Nakadai as the man with a disfigured fave who is given a lifelike mask by what amounts to a mad scientist (the mad scientist’s lab is genius in conception). The mask starts changing who the man is. He can’t control it. Nakadai’s performance is so revelatory because even though he, the actor, is not wearing a mask (we are meant to understand that his actual face IS the mask, that the character looked very different from this) – we BELIEVE that that is a mask. We BELIEVE that that face doesn’t quite “fit” him. This is all because of his acting. He’s the one who had to be in charge of that. No tricks. Unforgettable performance and film.

The Vow (2012; d. Michael Sucsy)
Everyone needs to have a little Channing Tatum in their lives on a semi-regular basis, and I am just counting the days until Hail, Caesar comes out.

A Very Murray Christmas (2015; d. Sofia Coppola)
The whole thing feels like a miracle to me. An homage to “Christmas specials” of days gone by, where a star – like Cher – or Dean Martin – sang songs, had guest stars, there were cheesy sets and little-Santa-elf Rockette dancers and it was all pleasing and silly and innocent. We don’t really go for “pleasing and silly and innocent” anymore. It’s our loss. Because it’s Bill Murray’s Christmas special, there’s that strain of sour melancholy in it … but I loved the conception (everyone trapped in a hotel during a blizzard), and when finally the actual Christmas special starts (near the end), and George Clooney and Miley Cyrus are swept onto the sound-stage in a little fake sleigh … I thought my heart would burst from the pleasure.

Like Someone in Love (2013; d. Abbas Kiarostami)
I had missed this one from Iranian art-house master Abbas Kiarostami. I had loved Certified Copy so much and had been looking forward to Like Someone in Love, especially when “word on the street” was that it was filmed in Tokyo with Japanese actors. The film features the classic staples of Kiarostami’s style (lots of people driving in cars, with reflections sweeping across the windows), and lots of “set-piece” scenes, where two people have a conversation before moving on. I was incredibly moved by the film, and I am so thankful to my friend Steve Boone for his Rogerebert.com review of it. Now THAT is film criticism. If I were in charge of the world, that piece would be anthologized.

Night and the City (1950; d. Jules Dassin)
It’s a nest of vipers. Everyone on the make. A classic femme fatale wouldn’t have a chance in this environment, because everyone is rotten to the core. Great atmosphere, great setting, great performances. Richard Widmark in high manic desperate mode.

Supernatural, Season 11, Episode 8, “Just My Imagination” (2015; d. Richard Speight Jr.)
Loved it. When air-guitar-guy hears the news of his dead girlfriend, and cries out, “SHE WAS MY GIRL” … it makes me love actors so much that I don’t know what to do with myself. He GOES for it. That was REAL. (And because it was so real, that’s why it’s funny.)

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 1, “Ladies Night” (2015; d. S.J. Clarkson)
I decided, what the hell, let me check this out. I got sucked in instantly. I LOVE her. I love Carrie Moss. (I also love Carrie Moss’ girlfriend whom Supernatural fans will recognize as the “chastity counselor” Dean banged in Season 9.) I love its interest in how trauma operates, what it can look like (and it ain’t pretty.) I can see why it’s being criticized for its racial issues (especially in the character of the drug-addict-next-door), and maybe it can course-correct. But so far, I love it.

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 2, “Crush Syndrome” (2015; d. S.J. Clarkson)
I also love how so much of it appears to be shot on location in New York. It gives it a gritty grubby vibe (it’s not Times Square New York, it’s East Village New York).

Criss Cross (1949; d. Robert Siodmak)
Burt Lancaster, Yvonne deCarlo and Dan Duryea. What more do you want out of life.

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 3, “It’s Called Whiskey” (2015; d. David Petrarca)
Jessica and Luke hook up. They bang ferociously, and she knocks her head on the headboard. He stops, and says he’s sorry. She scoffs, “I won’t break” and he says, “Yes. You will.” And goes gentler after that, moving her down a little bit so her head won’t bump against the headboard anymore. I haven’t stopped thinking about that moment. Because I say to people all the time variations of, “I won’t break.” But then I do. Or, if I don’t, then it is still POSSIBLE that I will break. I am not an unbreakable person: no one is. So maybe I need to stop saying that. This is why I say the show is so so smart about trauma. It makes you say stupid un-true shit to protect yourself.

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 4, “99 Friends” (2015; d. David Petrarca)
I also LOVE Rachael Taylor. Plus, the look/feel/mood of the show.

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 5, “The Sandwich Saved Me” (2015; d. Stephen Surjik)
And help me, now I am deeply DEEPLY in love with Wil Traval.

The Big Short (2015; d. Adam McKay)
I went to a SAG Foundation screening. I hadn’t seen it on the big screen. There was a QA afterwards with two of the actors, Adepero Oduye and John Magaro. Because it was a SAG event, the focus was on the acting (the audition process, the filming process), and the two were both so charming and smart. One question was what job gave them their SAG card. Oduye told a funny story about playing every black-woman-stereotype on a Law & Order SVU – “You know, she was a crackhead, unwed mother, in prison … and I LOVED playing it and I will always LOVE that role because I got into SAG with it.” They were both wonderful.

Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976; d. Paul Mazursky)
I had forgotten how much I love this movie.

Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 6, “You’re a Winner!” (2015; d. Stephen Surjik)
I’m in it for the long haul now.

Supernatural, Season 2, Episode 19, “Folsom Prison Blues” (2007; d. Mike Rohl)
A re-watch for what became an epic re-cap with an even more epic comments section (237 comments and counting.)

Sense and Sensibility (1995; d. Ang Lee)
Popped it in the day I heard about Alan Rickman’s death. I had spent the day writing the tribute for Rogerebert.com, and couldn’t let it go.

Pitch Perfect (2012; d. Jason Moore)
I adore this movie.

Room (2015; d. Lenny Abrahamson)
Watched with Jen and her Mum. They had never seen it before. Jen’s mother is a social worker, so we had an amazing discussion afterwards.

Supernatural, Season 2, Episode 20, “What Is and What Should Never Be” (2007; d. Eric Kripke)
In preparation for the next re-cap, which I’m just not sure when it will happen. But one of my favorite episodes in the entire history of the series.

Rams (2015; d. Grímur Hákonarson)
Incredible film. Discussed it here.

Used Cars (1980; d. Robert Zemeckis).
A brutal ruthless comedy that has the courage of its sleazy convictions. I reviewed here.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 1, “Sympathy for the Devil” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
I’m not sure what prompted the grand binge-watch festival that was January. I’m sure it was some mixture of malaise, bad weather, and procrastination. I’m starting up at the NY Times again, part-time, but that won’t start till February. Maybe I’m just living it up while I can.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 2, “Good God Y’All” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
See above.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 3, “Free to Be You and Me” (2009; d. J. Miller Tobin)
Wow, a lot has changed.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 4, “The End” (2009; d. Steve Boyum)
One of my favorite episodes in the series.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 5, “Fallen Idols” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
“Four score and seven years ago ….. I wore a funny hat.” And all of those legends about Jimmy Dean’s car: all true. There is something weird about the history of that car.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 6, “I Believe the Children Are Our Future” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)
That little child kills me.

Naz & Maalik (2015; d. Jay Dockendorf)
A movie about two gay Muslim Brooklyn kids. Reviewed for Rogerebert.com.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 7, “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
“Listen, Sam, when you get to be our age …” Lol.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 8, “Changing Channels” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)
Classic, not only in Supernatural-world, but in all of television history.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 9, “The Real Ghostbusters” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
I know some fans appear to feel that “Becky” is “making fun” of them. Well, if the shoe fits … But, in general, the episode is a celebration of the fans who thrill to this story and these characters. And I miss Chuck.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 10, “Abandon All Hope” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
Devastating. The way the “reapers” are shown standing silent through the street is just one example of how inventive the show used to be with portraying angels/demons. It’s so simply done, and so creepy. More of that, please, less Boy-Band-Rejects wearing suits and presenting Power Point lectures.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 11, “Sam Interrupted” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
No matter how hard I try, I find this episode personally upsetting. There are so many moments I love but I think the one that is most jarring is Sam fighting off the orderlies and then you see that no one is there. It’s terrifying.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 12, “Swap Meat” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
Poor Sam in that hoodie. And being allergic to gluten.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 13, “The Song Remains the Same” (2010; d. Steve Boyum)
I had forgotten how inventive Season 5 was. Maybe the most inventive in terms of its overall Arc. The vessels, Michael and Lucifer circling, saying Yes, what that will lead to, and etc. Very intricate, very well-conceived.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 14, “My Bloody Valentine” (2010; d. Mike Rohl)
I love when Dean looks at Cas, as Cupid is hugging Sam, and asks, “Are we fighting? Is this a fight?”

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 15, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (2010; d. John F. Showalter)
Welcome, Kim Rhodes! I love it when Bobby is given real backstory-episodes. The more you learn about him, the more tragic it is, and the more heroic he seems.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 17, “99 Problems” (2010; d. Charles Beeson)
Very creepy episode about humanity’s Jacobin/Robespierre-ian tendencies.

The 5th Wave (2016; d. J. Blakeson)
A not good film based on a very good book. My review.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 18, “Point of No Return” (2010; d. Charles Beeson)
“Your brother Adam. He’s in the cage. In Hell. With Lucifer.” Thanks for the reminder, adorable stage manager.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 19, “Hammer of the Gods” (2010; d. Rick Bota)
Yes, the ancient deities are a campy bore. But there are a lot of funny individual moments in this episode. I enjoy it.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 20, “The Devil You Know” (2010; d. Robert Singer)
The “entrance” of Death is the best thing the show has ever done. Period.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 21, “Swan Song” (2010; d. Steve Boyum)
The framing of the whole thing with the history of the Impala is so emotional.

Supernatural, Season 6 (except for “Clap Your Hands” and “French Mistake,” which I watch all the time.) The Arc is just as good as I remembered, although wiping Lisa and Ben’s memories still seems like it puts them at such risk. Like: they’re still in danger but now … they won’t know why. And how will they conceive of the fact that they lost a year of their lives? It’s dreadfully sad, the way it’s played, and Dean is a WRECK. He’s a wreck whenever he has to deal with them, he feels so guilty and protective and trapped and lost … It’s a new side of Dean. The worry he feels there doesn’t look like the worry he feels for Sam. It’s a different context, and it sort of drives home the point that normal relationships, and normal intimacy, is impossible with the hunter life.

Supernatural, Season 7 (except for “The Mentalists” – which, again, is a favorite and I watch all the time). Season 7 was not my favorite on first viewing. I didn’t find the Leviathan scary (maybe because the whole season is about what the Leviathans are PLANNING to do to human beings. They never actually start the Final Solution. Maybe there would have been more stress if we had actually seen human beings driven into feeding pens en masse, etc.) But the season not only held up better, as a whole, than I remembered, I saw a lot of new things, fresh things. It also doesn’t look as “bad” as I remembered. The main problem, as I see it, is in JAs and JPs skin-tones. Suddenly they are pink and fleshy, or (worse) orange. When they should be pale, or brown, freckled and flush. They had forgotten how to light these guys, and so they put on the makeup so they could light them both the same way. That’s the main issue. Plus, Season 7 brings us both Charlie and Garth. And Kevin, too.

Supernatural, Season 8 (except for “Man’s Best Friends with Benefits,” because I just can’t.)
Season 8 is also quite wonderful and unique. Not that I didn’t remember that, but I hadn’t watched the whole thing in succession since my first time through. I have my favorite episodes, but it’s good to put it all together and see how it hangs together. In a way, it feels like Season 8 is just one long preamble for Season 9, which focused mainly on the brothers’ relationship. The “trials” and Dean’s protection of Sam, and etc. etc. was the spark that lit the match that then exploded in Season 9. Also, Season 8 gives JA a chance to say, with dead seriousness, “What’s up, Doc?” And I almost explode with gratification that that exists now.

Season 9 (First three episodes, so far.)
I love so much the malaise and dread and interior-twistiness of season 9. They’re in their 30s now, and Season 9 feels like a very “adult” season. If Sam, in the first season, still seemed like a kid trying to come out from under the shadow of his big brother … now he’s a grown man, and he’s HAD IT. Such a destabilizing season.

Tumbledown (2014; d. Sean Mewshaw)
It opens this Friday. I’ll be reviewing for Rogerebert.com.

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23 Responses to January 2016 Viewing Diary

  1. Charles Sperling says:

    When Alan Rickman died, the first thing I thought of was his Colonel Brandon in “Sense and Sensibility.”

    His getting Marianne Dashwood seems the proper reward for his devotion and usefulness, as opposed to Colonel (Brandon must outrank him, even if both are Lieutenant Colonels) Dobbin’s union with Amelia Sedley Osborne in *Vanity Fair,* which Thackeray records in a decidedly downbeat manner:

    As they issued out of the custom-house precincts, Georgy broke out on them, with his telescope up to his eye, and a loud laugh of welcome; he danced round the couple and performed many facetious antics as he led them up to the house. Jos wasn’t up yet; Becky not visible (though she looked at them through the blinds). Georgy ran off to see about breakfast. Emmy, whose shawl and bonnet were off in the passage in the hands of Mrs. Payne, now went to undo the clasp of William’s cloak, and—we will, if you please, go with George, and look after breakfast for the Colonel. The vessel is in port. He has got the prize he has been trying for all his life. The bird has come in at last. There it is with its head on his shoulder, billing and cooing close up to his heart, with soft outstretched fluttering wings. This is what he has asked for every day and hour for eighteen years. This is what he pined after. Here it is—the summit, the end—the last page of the third volume. Good-bye, Colonel—God bless you, honest William!—Farewell, dear Amelia—Grow green again, tender little parasite, round the rugged old oak to which you cling!

    Marianne isn’t Elinor, but she’s certainly not a parasite!

    I’ve seen “Night and the City” at least twice (aren’t you being a little hard on Adam Dunne and Mary Bristol? They’re essentially decent folks, and not simply because worse individuals surround them) and think it’s terrific — but it’s not very faithful to Gerald Kersh’s source novel. (Kersh remarked that all the film took from it was four words.)

    If you can find it, I recommend Kersh’s *Thousand Deaths of Mr. Small* highly.

    “Rams” comes to Film Forum this week. I’m going to save your review for after I’ve seen it.

  2. Helena says:

    Love these roundups, Sheila.

    Re, The Face of Another, it’s a while since I watched this truly unsettling film, but can I just express my unabashed love for Tatsuya Nakadai, who could do, and did, just about anything, acting-wise, and is mercifully still with us. (Runs home and settles down to watch samurai movie collection.)

    • sheila says:

      Helena –

      // can I just express my unabashed love for Tatsuya Nakadai //

      He is an amazing actor – and this performance is one of the most extraordinary I’ve ever seen. It’s a great “madman” performance. And I couldn’t get over it: I was looking at his face, and I totally believed that it was a mask draped over his skin. He created this with no special effects – it was a matter of AFFECT – and he somehow made it seem like his eyes were peeping out from behind the “mask.”

      I just can’t get over how brilliant his performance was.

      Everyone was great.

  3. Re Night and the City–I was in London in 1974 and watched quite a bit of TV (I was working out of my apartment). One night the Beeb or ITV showed Night and the City. They cut out the Widmark/wheelchair scene because it was too violent. I’m guessing they wouldn’t cut it out now…

    • sheila says:

      Jincy – That Widmark/wheelchair scene is actually from Kiss of Death – I think it was Widmark’s debut? Can’t remember. It really is one of the most violent and awful scenes ever – it’s still shocking! Like: NO ONE is safe. Like Gloria Grahame getting a pot of hot coffee thrown in her face in The Big Heat – you don’t see it happen – but you hear her scream off-camera and – forget blood and guts and gore – it’s one of the most violent moments ever!!

  4. Melanie says:

    Cool that you’ve just had this marathon rewatch of SPN. I just watched Pac Man Fever today. It is beautiful and that hug is special. It’s interesting to me that djinn seem to figure so prominently in these episodes that reveal so much about the characters: What Is and…, Exile on Main St., and Pacific Man Fever. Is it the power to manipulate innermost desire, longing, fear? As you’ve said the djinn dream in WIAWSNB is the most revealing of Dean’s true nature even though it shows the story of his NOT life. In EMS it is the djinn who ultimately drive Dean back into the hunting life. Is it his longing or fear or both? And Pac Man Fever’s question, “What if I just stop playing the game?” (I honestly believe the show is bringing us back to this now in season 11 as a soften up for ending the show.) The djinn Bridgitte appears again in Caged Heat where she punctuates a series long dilemma of the Humane-ness of killing the monsters vs the monstrosity of chaining and torturing them. Would love to hear thoughts on djinn-theory.

    I’ve never seen all of The Vow, but listened to my 3 teen/early 20’s daughters discuss and agree (which rarely happens) that if you woke from a coma to find you were married to Channing Tatum and he was madly in love with you, good grief you just hit the jackpot, let the guy nurse you back to health. Ha ha. I never seem to be able to catch it all.

    As for Hail Caesar I can hardly wait! As the authority do you think there are any movies one should see in order to better appreciate the Hollywood humor? Maybe you should give us a crash course.

    When I heard of Alan Rickman’s death we had just watched the last 4 Harry Potters and even better, Galaxy Quest. I love GQ so much and AR makes it amazing. His character, the quintessential Shakespearian actor forced to play the pop TV role and always 2nd fiddle to the captain…just aaarrgggh. He was so serious, but soooo funny. He enriched everything I’ve ever seen him in and yes, his beautiful voice will continue to echo in my head.

    Finally, I am glad you are enjoying Jessica Jones. I thought you would. It’s not like the other super-shows out there.

    Thanks for sharing, Sheila

    • sheila says:

      // that if you woke from a coma to find you were married to Channing Tatum and he was madly in love with you, good grief you just hit the jackpot, let the guy nurse you back to health. //

      I am 100% with your daughters on that one. And not only does he look like Channing Tatum, but he is a bohemian free-spirit, who cares about art and living life to the fullest, a self-made man, with no family members who might be annoying or intrusive. It’s the perfect situation!!

      On a side note:

      When she brings him home to dinner with her parents, they ask him what he does, and he tells them he owns a little recording studio – and then goes on a monologue about his appreciation of Sam Phillips and Sun Records – hearing Channing Tatum say the word “slap-back” made me think I had died and gone to heaven.

      In re: djinns: Yeah, I think – like the vampire stories – the djinn stories provide all kinds of possibilities of psychological exploration. The vampire episodes are all about family, and how families operate, as well as loyalty – plus the strange addition of sex drive (and sex predation). It’s one big Oedipal mess. But the djinn episodes are the “dreamy” episodes. The alternate-life episodes. With characters who live such rigid lives that seem etched in stone from the moment they were born … those “other” lives have such potency. And it’s not happy-happy-fun – because those conceptions don’t really exist for these people. I’m interested that Charlie is thrust into a nightmare. Her nightmare is more prevalent in her conception of her life than any alternate-reality might, where her parents were still alive. So that’s an interesting twist on it. Negative/positive: these alternate lives exist – and in many ways, are more real than the real life you are actually having. And that often means madness. Because your own real life becomes actively unbearable. I’ll write more about that when I do the What Is and blah blah blah re-cap.

      In re: Hail Caesar: I know, I can’t wait!! It’ll be fun to discuss all of the Hollywood influences once I’ve seen it. The Coen Brothers already tried their hand at 1930s screwball (with a little bit of the Office Comedy Genre thrown in) with Hudsucker Proxy. Hail Caesar, judging at least from the trailer, is more expansive.

      My first thought is two great Busby Berkeley films from the early 1930s – which are about show business – in the same way Hail Caesar is about show business. The Gold Diggers of 1933 (one of my favorite films) and Footlight Parade. They feature wise-cracking no-nonsense show-girls, and scheming guys in wide-shouldered suits – but also good-pal nice-guys who wait in the wings for the girls to come to their senses. There are also huge musical numbers – that Busby Berkeley is mainly famous for. He would create these intricate geometric patterns with his 100s of dancers and then film them from the perspective of the ceiling. (If you already know all this, forgive me!!)

      Here’s one of my favorite Busby Berkeley numbers, the closing number of “Gold Diggers of 1933.” While the movie is about show business – you can feel the Depression banging on the doors of the theatre – and here, in this final number, Busby Berkeley lets it in. The problem of homeless WWI vets was a shameful situation (handled explicitly in another great film of the period called “Heroes for Sale”) – and this song is a cry to “remember the forgotten man.” It’s not meant to be a realistic musical number.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzMy7-7WV44

      And the opening number from “Gold Diggers” – is the opposite side of the same coin. (Coin being the operative word). A bunch of identical-looking chorus girls sing about the glories of money – all dressed up as coins. In the context of the terrible year 1933, this was the most cynical thing imaginable.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJOjTNuuEVw

      The other things I clocked in the trailer was Gene Kelly musicals – probably “On the Town” mostly, with its sailor motif – and then of course the big religious epics of a later period, the 1950s – The 10 Commandments, Spartacus and all the rest.

      I know that the Coen Brothers love their rat-a-tat slapstick dialogue – so you can’t go wrong with popping in His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby or The Lady Eve or any of the rest.

      I can’t wait to see it!!

      In re: Alan Rickman: Yes, he’s hilarious in GQ! He could do anything. In Truly Madly Deeply he’s so touching you melt into a puddle on the floor. Your heart aches. But then he could do the broad-est of slapstick too.

      I need to get back to Jessica Jones. I took a break because suddenly I had to binge-watch SPN again, but I’ll get back to it. I’m really intrigued by it!!

    • sheila says:

      Oh, and at least judging from the trailer:

      Some of the Esther Williams movies, too … the Coen Brothers clearly watched a lot of Busby Berkeley and Esther Williams for that big Scarlett Johannsen musical number where she’s dressed as a mermaid. Esther Williams was an honest to God mermaid herself.

      I’ve been meaning to go back and watch some of them anyway. She was such a sassy personality – her movies are unlike anything else – because they are tailored for her – her beauty (more gorgeous wet than dry), her glamorous and powerful swimming, her unique star power.

      • Melanie says:

        Thanks for this, Sheila. I may not get thru all of it before Friday night, but It will get me started in the right direction.

  5. Wren Collins says:

    Wow. I know it can be hard to stop when you get going going- three seasons in a month ain’t bad (when I started watching I was up to Season 8 within five weeks, which was ridiculous). I love Pac-Man Fever so much. There’s such a softness to it- those first scenes are some of the funniest most touching bunker scenes they’ve ever done. And it’s very revealing in re Dean as Mama Bear.
    Robbie Thompson is a GIFT.

    • sheila says:

      He really is.

      // when I started watching I was up to Season 8 within five weeks, which was ridiculous //

      hahaha I hear you. You watch so fast that you really have to go back and watch again, because your brain just can’t retain all of it.

  6. Lyrie says:

    The fact that you’re watching – and enjoying – Jessica Jones makes me so happy! I really love that show. That character is so great. I want to take my time and talk about it with you. But you write so much. I feel like I’m behind in every post I want to comment on!

    // I took a break because suddenly I had to binge-watch SPN again, //
    Ha, yeah, isn’t that strange how that happens? :)

    // Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 3, “Free to Be You and Me” (2009; d. J. Miller Tobin) //
    Season 4 and 5 are so special. My favourite bits of TV ever, up there with Deadwood and certain episodes of Angel. Free to Be You and Me is one of my personal favourite, for so many reasons. One of my favourite musical moments too, hands down. There is such an… intimacy? between Castiel and Dean. But it’s not easy, it’s unsettling, it’s forced but Dean accepts it somehow. But it’s not Sam. No one can replace Sam. It’s so heartbreaking, the brothers going their separate ways. And of course, there’s Sam, resisting, resisting. This idea of someone trying to force you to go back to an addiction is probably one of the worst nightmare of any addict. Just like when he ties himself up imploring Dean not to let him out because he knows otherwise he’ll relapse… So well written and well acted.

    I haven’t re-watched those episodes. I can’t. They’re too much, they break my soul. Speaking of which:

    // Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 10, “Abandon All Hope” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia) //
    The first time I watched it, I was a mess. The second time I re-watch the show, I knew about Kim Manners. Ellen’s “kick it in the ass?” I had to pause, because I was wailing so much. Uncontrollable. For a good 15 minutes. I’m crying a little right now just thinking about it.

    // The way the “reapers” are shown standing silent through the street is just one example of how inventive the show used to be with portraying angels/demons. It’s so simply done, and so creepy. //
    Right? RIGHT?! I miss that aspect of the show so, so much. No CGI, just creativity, powerful images, actors 100 per cent invested.

    Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 12, “Swap Meat” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
    “I would love to have the sex with you.”
    Sometimes I think about it, I want to say it so badly to people, but they wouldn’t understand. So I just picture that scene in my head. And laugh. Alone. (and people don’t understand.) (and then I don’t have the sex with anyone. Weirdo.)

    // Supernatural, Season 8 is also quite wonderful and unique.//
    The relationship is so different. And Dean is also so very different, but it’s so subtle. What a great hob JA did! And then, of course, there is Benny (aaah, Benny), and what he brings to Dean, how we discover something new. That first hug? I remember thinking the first time: “Who the HELL is that guy?” Such intimacy, openness, like we had never seen Dean before, not with Sam, not with a woman.
    Another moment that stands out in my memory: Sam shaking Benny’s hand, and Dean silently shaking his head. “No Sam, not him.” What? This is so great. Damn, I miss Benny. (broken record)

    • sheila says:

      // I want to take my time and talk about it with you. But you write so much. //

      hahaha I’m so sorry.

      I know – Jessica Jones!! I had to stop watching it because other things took up my time but I really look forward to getting back to it.

      In re: Free to Be You and Me: // One of my favourite musical moments too, hands down. // Okay, my memory is horrible. What’s the musical moment?

      and yes: Benny brought so much to the show.

      The show is more than its plot – my favorite thing about it. Benny serves an important purpose in the plot, for sure – and helps us fill in the Purgatory blanks. But his real purpose is emotional/thematic – and (of course) helps illuminate in a different way the relationship between the brothers. BUT he doesn’t just serve that one purpose – the way he might in a show that is not as well-written. Benny and Dean kind of took on a life of its own. Thrilling.

      • Lyrie says:

        // What’s the musical moment? //
        The montage on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man — Dean’s hunter life versus Sam’s normal life, ending with the camera going from the Impala’s empty passenger seat to Dean on “there is someone up above.” It’s not as spectacular as some other musical moments int the show (Death’s entrance, for instance… goosebumps!). But it’s such an efficient exposition scene, showing the new situation, saying what the characters won’t say, the lyrics giving so many layers to it, the music setting the perfect mood. I just love it.

        • sheila says:

          Lyrie – oh yes, I love that scene too! Perfect juxtaposition – they don’t do that montage stuff much on the show, but boy when they do, they knock it out.

  7. Lyrie says:

    Oh, and thanks, Urban Dictionary. “Apocalypse sex?” OK.

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