October 2017 Viewing Diary

11:55 (2016; d. Ari Issler, Ben Snyder)
A Marine returns from the war in Iraq and gets sucked back into the criminal element in his old neighborhood, even as his sister, his girlfriend, his niece, plead with him to avoid trouble. Some big goons are coming to get revenge for something he did before he left for the war. The goons will arrive on the 11:55 train from New York. So there’s a big time-clock on the whole thing (reminded me 3:10 to Yuma). It’s okay. Good cast: Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Rodriguez, John Leguizamo shows up as a fellow veteran, jittery with PTSD, a total mess. I love him.

Majorie Prime (2017; d. Michael Almereyda)
It took me a while to catch up with this (and I didn’t see it in its stage production.) In the film, you can still feel its theatrical origins. Not much work has been done to “open it up” (and I’m fine with that.) Marjorie is played by the great Lois Smith (who made her film debut in East of Eden, making a huge impression in her one scene with James Dean.) Marjorie is slipping into dementia and is now being taken care of by her adult daughter (Geena Davis) and her daughter’s husband (Tim Robbins). Jon Hamm plays Marjorie’s dead husband (when he was younger, of course). In the world of this story, you can now program your dead loved ones to come back and talk with you. The “primes” provide comfort, company, continuity of memory. Everyone is fantastic here, you can’t pull out one performance. Each actor is AMAZING. It’s a beautiful and very painful film about facing death, loss of memory, nothingness.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 2 “Are You There God, It’s Me, Dean Winchester” (2008; d. Philip Sgriccia)
Castiel at his creepy intimidating best. Having secret meetings with Dean in Dean’s subconscious.

The Florida Project (2017; d. Sean Baker)
One of the best films of the year. Wrote a little bit about it here.

Beatriz at Dinner (2017; d. Miguel Arteta)
I’m not sure if this came out, or when it’s coming out. It’s worth it to seek it out for Salma Hayek’s performance. What an amazing character she has created. Not a pleasant character – as a matter of fact, there are many MANY times when I squirmed in embarrassment for her … and that just made me ask myself, “Wait … why are you embarrassed? She’s just being herself.” These are great moments to have as an audience member. Uncomfortable. To those mostly younger people who judge works of art as “bad” because they make you uncomfortable … you are missing the whole point of art. She brings a heaviness, a WEIGHT, to the role, you can almost SEE the massive blanket of grief and depression. John Lithgow is terrific. Very smart commentary on class. Not perfect, but well worth checking out.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 3 “In the Beginning” (2008; d. Steve Boyum)
“I’m going to Hell.” [Beat.] “Again.” I’m still not quite sure what Castiel was talking about when he said “You have to stop it.” Didn’t he know all along Dean couldn’t stop it? You know what needs to stop, Castiel? You being cryptic and manipulative! Watching Mary and her own father make out is so MESSED UP. Thanks a LOT Supernatural.

Our Souls at Night (2017; d. Ritesh Batra)
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda reunited decades after Barefoot in the Park. They’re both old now. So I brought a weight of memories and associations to this that made it very emotional viewing. It’s a quiet film. The joy is in watching these two people deal with each other, listen, respond. She, in particular, is in a very good zone: she’s palpably open. (She always was, as an actress.) There’s one monologue in particular where she tells him a tragic story from her past … and I watched and thought, “THAT is why she is a great actress.” It’s not just the emotion that makes her great – emotion is a dime a dozen. What makes her a great actress is how in control she is of it – how the tears tremble in her eyes but don’t fall – how the character is invested in NOT crying, because she just needs to get the story out without falling apart. Only actors YEARN to show you their emotions, only actors REVEL in tears falling on their faces. Fonda works like hell to hold BACK the tears. It’s an amazing piece of acting.

Lady Bird (2017; d. Greta Gerwig)
Absolutely loved this movie. I wrote a short review of it that’ll be in the next issue of Film Comment.

Battle of the Sexes (2017; d. Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris)
An entertaining portrayal of the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Wrote a little bit about it here.

Gifted (2017; d. Marc Webb)
I understand the appeal of Chris Evans. In many ways, I share with his frenzied fan base they love they have. (Captain America Shmaptain Shamerica, I was like WHO IS THAT when I saw What’s Your Number? – I really like that film – and then, again, I was REALLY like WHO IS THAT???? when I saw Snowpiercer. Thoughts here. I didn’t even know it was the same guy.) Gifted is about a blue-collar uncle taking care of his “gifted” niece – and is a bit too fan service-y for my taste. Put a hunk with a small child. Cue Chris Evans fans sighing, “Awwwwwww…” But he’s very good and I like the pairing with Jenny Slate too. He’s funny enough and self-deprecating enough to keep up with her and that’s very attractive.

The Shape of Water (2017; d. Guillermo del Toro)
del Toro’s swoony erotic romantic monster movie, with some “twee” elements, espeicially in Sally Hawkins’ performance. It does walk the line a little bit. But this is not a realistic story. It is a fairy-tale/monster-movie, and so for me it was fine. Richard Jenkins, in particular, is wonderful here. Wrote a little bit about it.

Jasmine (2017; d. Dax Phelan)
A film about a Hong Kong businessman (Jason Tobin, who also co-wrote the script with Phelan), struggling in the aftermath of his wife’s murder. The film is really a genre film, a thriller … but those elements are overwhelmed by Tobin’s performance of a man destroyed by grief. Grief is the real focus of the film.

Thy Father’s Chair (2017; d. Àlex Lora, Antonio Tibaldi)
A very good documentary. Reviewed for Ebert.

A Ghost Story (2017; d. David Lowery)
Critics have raved about it since it first played in festivals early this year. Critics have written in their reviews sensitive meditations on grief and death and loss. It’s a “ghost story” featuring Casey Affleck literally dressed up in a white sheet with eye-holes cut out. Such an intriguing premise (and there are some stunning images throughout, truly haunting images). There are those who call it the best movie of the year. I am not saying they’re wrong. This is how they feel. But I am calling all this out because I saw it long after all the buzz ended, and my main thought after seeing it was: “…Really?” This happens sometimes. (It happened with the movie Her. I thought it was terrible, honestly.) And there’s a scene that everyone talked about: “Rooney Mara eating pie.” “Oh my God that pie scene … that scene was amazing … the best scene of the year … the scene is an instant classic …” My response: WHAT are you people TALKING about. I didn’t go into it primed to dislike it. It was the opposite, actually. I went in ready to love, ready to meditate on grief and loss with everyone else. Instead I was bored out of my mind.

Lucky (2017; d. John Carroll Lynch)
Harry Dean Stanton’s final film. And – beautifully – he’s the lead character. Wrote a little bit about it here. And here’s my tribute to Stanton.

Crown Heights (2017; d. Matt Ruskin)
I think Lakeith Stanfield is one of the best young actors working today. I met him at Ebertfest a couple of years ago, when Short Term 12 played, and he seemed to be identical to the character he played. The following year I saw him in Selma and he was completely unlike the character in Short Term 12, and he was wonderful, so I realized that Short Term 12 wasn’t just capturing his “essence” in almost documentary form. I realized that he was a gifted and versatile actor. I continue to be impressed with his work. He was wonderful in The Incredible Jessica James early this year. Crown Heights kicks it up a notch. He plays Colin Warner, the real-life guy incarcerated for 20 years for something he did not do. He’s good in it but there are a lot of problems. Lakeith is too young at this point to play a character spanning from late teenager to 40-something. Same with everybody else. Nobody visibly ages. It’s a problem and the film failed to address it – which is an issue since the film is really ABOUT time. This is an important story, and clearly a “vehicle” for Stanfield. He’s just too young for the role. Still: he’s one to watch. I love him.

It Comes at Night (2017; d. Trey Edward Shults)
Okay, so Trey Edward Shults exploded onto the scene with last year’s Krisha (a film I LOVED). But would that just be a one-off? Filmed in his family’s home in Houston, Krisha starred his actual family members. Nobody’s an actor. (It doesn’t matter. These people are all amazing.) But what would Shults do in another environment? Could what he did with Krisha – and the film has to be seen to be believed – I still cannot believe it’s a debut – translate when he’s working with professional actors, non-family-members, etc.? It Comes at Night is one of the best films of the year. It wouldn’t make it into my Top 10, but it would definitely be present in my Top 20. (I HATE LISTS AND RANKINGS and I am sorry to participate in them.) It Comes at Night is truly unnerving. One of the immediately noticeable things about Krisha was its bold visual style. Shults has no fear. He is not careful. He makes HUGE choices. (Witness the opening shot of Krisha. WHAT? Where do you get the NERVE to make that choice? I so admire his nerviness.) Shults continues his nerviness in It Comes at Night. The film LOOKS amazing. The acting is great. The premise is gripping. Shults has got it all. One of the best up-and-comers around.

The Lovers (2017; d. Azazel Jacobs)
Tracy Letts and Debra Winger star as a married couple bored out of their minds with their relationship, restless, prickly. They can’t BEAR each other. Both of them are having pretty involved affairs. Both are planning on leaving the marriage and moving in with the “lover.” But things aren’t all that simple. The way this all plays out is pretty hilarious – smart and unexpected. I love how the film does not shy away from the fact that these two characters are both total narcissists. Nobody’s an innocent “wronged party” here. They deserve each other. Beautiful acting.

Brad’s Status (2017; d. Mike White)
With Brad’s Status, Ben Stiller gives his SECOND great performance of the year (the first being in The Meyerowitz Stories). Brad’s Status made me cry no less than 3 times. I’ve always liked Ben Stiller (and I can honestly say I SAW HIM FIRST, because I was THERE for his Broadway debut as a teenager in John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves and I will NEVER forget the exhilaration of that performance. I even remember the BLOCKING. The woman who took me to the show is a long-time O’Malley family friend, a successful acting teacher with her own studio. She murmured to me at one point, “That kid is going to be a huge star.” You heard it here first!) But something really interesting is happening to Ben Stiller now that he’s middle-aged. He’s always been honest about his failings, his insecurities, how ridiculous men can be when they try to “seem cool.” But there’s a deepening of his understanding now, the loss is deeper, he’s able to tap into it, he doesn’t care about coming off well. He lets us SEE him. This is a wonderful film. A nice companion piece to Lady Bird.

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017; d. Macon Blair)
God, I loved this movie. This was the surprise of the month. I had to watch it, because of the Gotham Awards, and I fell in MAD DEEP LOVE within 5 minutes. I am so pleased that Melanie Lynskey was on our nominees list for Best Actress. It really is one of the best performances of the year. Wrote a little bit about it here.

Stronger (2017; d. David Gordon Green)
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jeff Bauman who lost both of his legs when the bomb went off at the Boston Marathon. I hesitated to watch this movie. But it’s terrific. He’s great, and I was particularly taken with Tatiana Sachs who plays his ex-girlfriend who then becomes his girlfriend again. I loved her. I am VERY snobby about Boston accents, since my entire family speaks with said accent … and Gyllenhaal played it off so beautifully that I forgot about it immediately. The performance is not The Accent. He does it well enough that you accept it and move on. I was surprised how much I loved this one.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017; d. Paul McGuigan)
I was surprised, too, how much I loved THIS one! Wrote a little bit about it here. I love Annette Bening but I went in trepidatious. I love Gloria Grahame more. This is a lovely and moving film about the final years in Gloria Grahame’s life, and the romance she had with a much younger actor (played gorgeously by Jamie Bell). Adored it.

Call Me By Your Name (2017; d. Luca Guadagnino)
A sensuous lust-fest, filled with juicy peaches and flickering sunlight and the contours of men’s bodies when they put on swimming trunks. It’s about the unbearable ache of teenage lust and yearning. Timothy Chalamet (who also has a bit role in Lady Bird, a completely different character) is one of the best young actors on the rise. It’s incredible what he pulls off here: being an adolescent and being able to be honest and open about virginal frustrations, horniness so huge you want to explode, and quivering insecurity when you’re in the presence of the man you want … Being able to do that WHILE you are at the age of the character – while you are IN that stage yourself – is nothing less than extraordinary. Loved this film. Wrote a little bit about it here.

Colossal (2017; d. Nacho Vigalondo)
I’ve had mixed feelings about Anne Hathaway in the past, mainly during the Les Miserables/Oscar season of her life. I think she’s more appropriate for light comedies (and unfortunately, Hollywood doesn’t really make those anymore.) The Devil Wears Prada was perfect for her. Then she starred in the one-woman show Grounded (written by my old pal George Brant), and I went and saw it when it played at the Public. She blew me away. So okay. I had a new respect for her. Colossal is SO MUCH FUN and it kind of came and went but I recommend it so highly! She plays an obnoxious girl whom nobody really likes – for obvious reasons – and she moves home to live in her old home-town. At the same time, a mysterious monster – as tall as a skyscraper – starts appearing on a nightly basis, threatening the city of Seoul. The whole world becomes gripped by the appearance of this huge monster. And then … the film goes in a direction you would never expect and I would never ever dream of spoiling. Hathaway is in fine form: she’s basically a screwball in this, and her scenes have a screwball-comedy zany rhythm. (There’s one moment where her phone rings, scaring the shit out of her and it’s so funny I had to rewind it 5 times.)

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 4 “Metamorphosis” (2008; d. Kim Manners)
Oh, Kim Manners. I miss you almost every day. What an artist!

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 5 “Monster Movie” (2008; d. Robert Singer)
This episode is pure pleasure. Culminating in Dean in lederhosen. I die laughing every time

Chappaquiddick (2017; d. John Curran)
This one hasn’t opened yet. What a brutal event. And this is a brutal movie. I guess I hadn’t remembered that it happened at the same time as Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, the space race having been jump-started to the top of the list of priorities by Ted Kennedy’s brother, then-President John F. Kennedy. Jason Clarke – whom I’ve always loved (“Everybody breaks, bro.” – Zero Dark Thirty) – has had a hell of a year: he is also EXCELLENT in Mudbound, a movie you all need to see when it comes out. He’s really great here as Ted Kennedy: totally convincing. It’s a bleak picture of rapacious political power in action. Heartlessness. Using people. Throwing them away. Awful.

Wonder Wheel (2017; d. Woody Allen)
I agree with most everything Dan Callahan says in his review of Allen’s latest. The great cinematographer Vittorio Storaro is unleashed, making this one of the most purely beautiful – in terms of visuals – films in Allen’s career. It’s magical what he does. But it’s hard to give a shit about any of this. It feels like a re-tread of so many other ideas (in particular the Tennessee Williams take-off – which Allen just did and far more successfully in Blue Jasmine). And listen, I love Kate Winslet. I think she gives an AWFUL performance here, and I don’t think she’s EVER been awful. Until now. Her Brooklyn accent is very bad (in general I think her American accents are unconvincing) … but the main problem is I never feel her actually entering into the character’s world. Maybe she was resisting the implications of the role (in a way that Blanchett – playing a similar Blanche-dubois-type in Blue Jasmine – did NOT.) I don’t know. It’s always good to see Justin Timberlake, especially in an old-timey lifeguard’s outfit, but this one feels pretty dead. Bafflingly so. But damn, it looks good.

Last Flag Flying (2017; d. Richard Linklater)
The “sequel” to Last Detail. I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I love these actors (Steve Carell, Larry Fishburne, Bryan Cranston), and watching them together is a true delight. On the other hand, there’s a stilted quality to it – a forced quality – and I’m not sure where the real source of the problem lies. I’m going to see it again. My friend Odie, who covered the New York Film Festival for Ebert, loved it, it was one of his favorites in the festival, and I trust his judgment. I need to give this one another look.

Blood on the Moon (1948; d. Robert Wise)
This was playing as part of the Mitchum Retrospective at Lincoln Center in October. If I had had more free time and unlimited funds I would have gone to see them all. I chose this one to see because 1. I’d never seen it and 2. it’s not readily available, hard to see otherwise. Also my friend Imogen Smith introduced the movie. So it was a fun night out. Robert Mitchum is one of my favorite actors and he is truly in top form here, in this pitch-black “Western noir,” so wet and so dark that my own feet started feeling cold and damp as I watched the damn movie. A very young Barbara Bel Geddes shows up, and she and Mitchum have some great scenes together. Robert Preston is amazing as a pure sociopath. And MITCHUM. Tall and lean and smart and tender and tough. He’s the absolute best.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 6 “Yellow Fever” (2008; d. Philip Sgriccia)
I am having a lot of fun re-watching the series. It’s a good stress reliever. I hadn’t realized how much I’d backed away from Supernatural re-watching during the disastrous Season 12. It was just too upsetting to go back and watch earlier seasons while it was falling off a cliff in its current form. But I’m back. This is a great episode. I love when Dean gets frightened by the cartoon. I laugh every time. And that final flash of yellow in Sam’s eyes … is an example of how the show works when it’s operating at full capacity. There’s the plot, but then there’s the emotional subtext – reality and then the symbols. We know the eyes don’t REALLY flash yellow. But Dean can’t forget the memory and it affects how he reacts to Sam. He cringes back into himself. He doesn’t share. This is SO good.

Supernatural, Season 13, Episode 1, “Lost and Found” (2017; d. Philip Sgriccia)
I watched with dread and trepidation. I was so BURNT by the horrible-ness of Season 12. I even asked myself, “Why are you putting yourself through this?” The Supernatural-ness of Supernatural has vanished. Have they wasted so much time, lost so much ground? An entire SEASON without “Supernatural-ness”? Is it even possible to recover? The premiere of Season 13 didn’t do much to dispel my fears. Once again, there was all this “hero” nonsense, as well as little to no actual interaction between the brothers. My heart sank. I miss those characters.

The Disaster Artist (2017; d. James Franco)
LOVED it. I wrote about it here.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 7 “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester” (2008; d. Charles Beeson)
I love that it’s the hip art teacher (“Just call me Don”) who is the witch. Perfect casting/conception. It’s been a while since I’ve re-watched entirely in order and so it’s kind of fun to watch the development of Castiel, to see how he starts to have “doubts”. Here is where I first picked up on it, at any rate. Dean does too. I miss Uriel. I miss scary eccentric angels (and demons) in general. Their casting choices now for angels and demons. UGH.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 8 “Wishful Thinking” (2008; d. Robert Singer)
This is one of my favorite Supernatural episodes. It’s got it all. Rapey wishes, pervy wishes, and … stuffed animal come to life wishes … all in one town. The first time I saw the teddy bear blow its brains out, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. And it still kills me. Beautifully constructed episode too: how a wishing well makes Sam and Dean confront (or not) their own “wishes,” all as Dean’s PTSD starts becoming less and less avoidable. It’s all beautifully put together.

The Meyerowitz Stories (2017; d. Noah Baumbach)
One of the best films of the year. I wrote about it here.

Mindhunter, Season 1, Episodes 1 – 10 (2017; d. David Fincher, Asif Kapadia, Tobias Lindholm, Andrew Douglas)
Slightly uneven at times, especially when the pair get sucked into local cases. However: I binge-watched the whole thing in one day. I could not stop. Jonathan Groff is doing GREAT work. The last time I saw him he looked like this:

Outside of the fascination of the period, and the development of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit (and these are deeply fascinating), Mindhunter is turning into something even more fascinating, something about masculinity, repression, sex, rage, misogyny. It’s working via stealth, though. It’s not hitting that nail too hard. I can’t wait for Season 2.

Mudbound (2017; d. Dee Rees)
One of the best films of the year. I hope you’re taking notes. Many of these haven’t opened yet. I wrote about Mudbound here. Great acting by this ensemble. My crush on Garrett Hedlund is now, frankly, out of control.

I, Tonya (2017; d. Craig Gillespie)
I thought it was terrific. Wrote a little bit about it here.

Good Time (2017; d. Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie)
Great GREAT movie. Robert Pattinson gives one of my favorite performances of the year (his second great performance this year, the first one being in Lost City of Z).

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 9 “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (2008; d. Charles Beeson)
This is peak Supernatural. They’re both so Alpha here that they’re basically SEAL commandos. Sewing up their own wounds, downing whiskey, popping their shoulders back in, and also … hot nasty sex in an abandoned building – as graphic as the show’s ever gotten. It’s all quite … manly. But in that Supernatural way, where “manliness” is so identical with softness/vulnerability – and where their strong rock-hard bodies are so fleshy and penetrable … that honestly you don’t even know which end is up anymore. And who cares which end is up. You can smell their sweat in this one, the acidic stench of blood, tang of whiskey … visceral. Jeez Louise. Thanks, Mr. Beeson.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 10 “Heaven and Hell” (2008; d. J. Miller Tobin)
Dean tries some angel food cake. I love that Tobin closes out the sex scene identically to the sex scene in Titanic.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 11 “Family Remains” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
It’s good to see Helen Slater. This past re-watch I was struck by just how many layers of family fucked-up-ness are going on here. There’s Sam and Dean. Then there’s the family moving into the house. (The son, by the way, was just the star of 13 Reasons Why.) They have two kids, and a dead older son. And then there’s the mother’s AWFUL brother, and the tension the brother causes – and how she kind of laughs it off when honestly, she should be saying, “Hey, DON’T TALK TO MY SON/HUSBAND like that.” Talk about toxic masculinity. THEN, there’s the messed-up family haunting the house, three generations worth. And at first it’s just a girl but then … there’s “her brother” too. Layers and layers and layers of incestuous awfulness. It’s funny: this is all so obvious to me now, but I didn’t really pick up on it first time through. This is why Supernatural is a good show.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 12 “Criss Angell Is a Douchebag” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
What a bizarre and fun episode. The title alone … Couldn’t they be sued for that? I like how “The Chief” looks totally scary and then says, in this totally nice polite voice, “Before we get started, what’s your Safe word?” To me, that undercuts the potential homophobic interpretation. Also I just love that the three old guy magicians are obviously three old queens, who take one look at Dean and try to have some fun at his expense. I don’t blame them.

Supernatural, Season 13, episode 2, “The Rising Son” (2017; d. Thomas J. Wright)
Miraculously, I started to “feel” the show again here. Yes, Mary and Lucifer in some Commando Alt-Universe is boring and stock and I will not forgive what they have done to Mary’s character and the lost possibilities she represents. But there was a lot that was good here: a focus on a crucial disagreement between the brothers (something lacking last year), a kooky hotel room, and some interesting ideas put on the table here in re: Sam and Dean as … foster parents. I felt the potential suddenly and I also just felt THEM again. Also: there was HUMOR again. As well as an interest in watching these two guys think, react. A focus on their FACES, in other words. Why the hell ELSE are we all watching? Here is where I began to feel hopeful, because I am a sucker.

Leah Remini, Season 2, episode 8 “The Greatest Good” (2017)
Remini continues to be one of the most courageous people around right now. I repeat: I cannot believe this show exists. I cannot believe how deep into it she is going. She’s going at it from all sides. I cry copious amounts of tears every episode. It is an enormous catharsis. At the end of the last episode, Remini started crying in the car, and Mike Rinder looked at her and said, “What the fuck were we part of?” I have been watching this organization for years. Almost 20 years now. To hear Mike Rinder say that – MIKE FREAKIN’ RINDER say that – the former shark-eyed public spokesman, feared and LOATHED by all … it’s like I can’t believe I’ve lived long enough to see this day come around. I almost have to pinch myself.I applaud the courage of everyone involved.

Maya Dardel (2017; d. Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak)
Starring the great Lena Olin. Well worth it. I reviewed for Ebert.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 13 “After School Special” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
How I wish Dylan Everett had been around for this episode! Granted he would have been 13 years old so that wouldn’t have worked. Nothing against the kid cast as young Dean. He just wasn’t quite right. Not his fault at all. The whole thing is worth it to see Dean, in “costume”, shouting at the poor gym class like a drill sergeant.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 14 “Sex and Violence” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)
If you really start to think about this episode in any in-depth way, you may very well start going: “WHAT??? How did they get AWAY with this?” It’s a love triangle between two siblings … and a male siren. So first off, there’s THAT. The siren literally injects liquid down the throats of his victims, mouth to mouth. He ejaculates into their mouths, people. Dean is prey, totally falls for the whole thing. On the flip side is Sam, having a fantastically sexually charged “relationship” with the hot ER doctor (a woman I love: if you start to think about HER for more than 5 seconds you start to go: “Wow. What the hell was going on with her?? …”) It’s all beautifully complex and inter-woven and fucked UP and erotic and gross. All at the same time. Thanks Supernatural!

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 15 “Death Takes a Holiday” (2009; d. Steve Boyum)
I still miss Pamela. One of my favorite smaller characters.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 16 “On the Head of a Pin” (2009; d. Mike Rohl)
Devastating every time I watch it. But thrilling too. Especially in terms of scene-work. The actors all have such tremendous scenes here. The stakes couldn’t be higher, the mood couldn’t be more intimate. I am not a Destiel person so I have no idea when it all started up for you guys but it’s really evident here. And the final scene … it’s some of Ackles’ best work in the show, period.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 17 “It’s a Terrible Life” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
And here comes Zachariah! This is kind of a silly episode but there are some subtle undertones I really like. First of all: that Dean clearly thinks Sam is hitting on him in the elevator. And their relationship in the alternate universe plays out where you just aren’t sure. Neither seem to have wives/girlfriends. Sam’s “intimacy” with Dean … his openness … is in a weird space for men, who just don’t deal with each other on that open level. It’s “not done.” But here … it is. And so we’re used to seeing them as brothers, but through the episode we are forced to back away from that and live in the weirdo space that they’re not, and that some of the interactions could very well be interpreted as flirting. Listen, it’s always about sex for me. I don’t think everyone is gay (I’m screwed if that were true), and I also don’t do Wincest, but I do think that sexual fluidity is the name of the game here and Supernatural plays with it constantly. They know EXACTLY what they’re doing, what buttons they’re pushing.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 18 “The Monster at the End of This Book” (2009; d. Mike Rohl)
So here’s my deal. (Newbies to SPN who haven’t gotten too far into it: STOP reading.) I love Chuck and it doesn’t work for me, going back and re-watching, to incorporate that this is God. It doesn’t add anything. In fact, it detracts. It makes SENSE, but it detracts. And so I am going to choose to ignore it. Or to somehow “spin” it that Chuck himself had no idea who he was. Otherwise, the performance somehow lessens in impact. The “retro” analysis doesn’t serve.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 19 “Jump the Shark” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
This is such a good episode for Dean freaking out that it may very well be the best. He is BESIDE HIMSELF. THROUGHOUT. Every moment is an AGONY for him. Every single second tortures his SOUL. He has no time to process. It’s an EXPLOSION of response. We rarely get to see him THIS out of control.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 20 “The Rapture” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)
An effective episode: it’s bold enough to make the case that religious rapture is also a kind of mental illness. Or at least it presents that way. Misha Collins as Jimmy – screaming up “You promised me” up at Castiel – broke my heart this last time through. Or it hit me on a deeper level somehow. I think his work is lovely here, especially when he starts crying because he can’t say the dinner prayer. His emotions are very very accessible to him – something I’ve said before – which makes his deadpan performance that much more remarkable. He’s a deeply emotional man who shows his emotions and appears to cry at the drop of a hat – without pushing, or trying. The emotions are just there for him. So LOOK at what he has to SUPPRESS to play Castiel.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 21 “When the Levee Breaks” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
Amazing thought-provoking work from all involved.

Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 22 “Lucifer Rising” (2009; d. Eric Kripke)
The first appearance of the “green room.” It’s so bizarre. Season 4 is so bizarre and intense.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 1 “Sympathy for the Devil” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
And so begins the season that is most mathematical in structure: mirror images, dark/evil, light/good, and the entirety of the season features each brother being stalked by an angel who yearns to rape them. Because yes, that’s normal. Dean spends the entire season afraid that Sam will leave himself open to penetration. And Dean – who is usually penetrable as hell – is suddenly impenetrable, and so his “suitor” has to change tacks many times, to basically get Dean to consent to the penetration. You guys. This is what the season is about. I mean, I’m just listing the plot but listen to what it sounds like. HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS? I love it.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 2 “Good God, Y’All” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
Like Season 9, like Season 6, Season 5 pushes the main relationship to a breaking point. I mean, here we are, it’s only episode 2, and they have this stunning “breakup scene” at the end. What a location.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 3 “Free to Be You and Me” (2009; d. J. Miller Tobin)
I’m not as big a fan of the “Bert and Ernie are gay” moment as others seem to be. For me, the real comic gold here is Misha Collins’ face during their initial interview with the cop. Intent, but CLUELESS. “St. Peter’s,” he says directly to Dean, staring intently. I am laughing out loud as I type this. It’s fun to see Dean off his game, having to improvise, having to pull more weight with someone who just doesn’t get it. Now SAM on the other hand … bussing tables … and that annoying boundary-less woman who refuses to take No for an answer. Women can be creeps, too! It’s amazing his patience. I would have been like, “Lady, I said No once. Don’t make me say it again.” I did like, though, that she was an addict and she sensed an “addict” in him too – it was her (awkward – inappropriate – pushy) way of reaching out.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 4 “The End” (2009; d. Steve Boyum)
One of the best episodes in the series and certainly Ackles’ best work. For me, there’s no contest. He’s playing his character and also his character 5 years in the future. And it’s tragic to see the changes wrought by those years. And you can tell which one is which. Instantly. He’s sooo good.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 5 “Fallen Idols” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
Sam being attacked by Gandhi is one of the dumbest and funniest things the show ever did.

Supernatural, Season 13, episode 3, “Patience” (2008; d. Robert Singer)
I’m feeling a groove in this season and my heart flames with tentative hope. It was a good episode! The focus was on the conflict between the brothers. It was familiar ground, but the argument is more intense since they’ve had it so many times. Incredible fight scene that closes it out. So. I’m hopeful. I also like Jack. And I was NOT on board with Jack from the end of Season 12. I like where they’re going with it.

One of Us (2017; d. Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)
A tremendously upsetting documentary from the makers of Jesus Camp, about people who leave the tight-knit Hasidic community in Brooklyn. The trauma is intense, these people leave with NOTHING, cut off from family, support, God. Many of them know nothing about the outside world. The women, in particular, have no skills. Ewing and Grady are two heroes of mine. Their films are so important. Streaming on Netflix now.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 6 “I Believe the Children Are Our Future” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)
The child actor in this is extraordinary. This episode has a moment that makes me roar no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 7 “The Curious Case of Dean Winchester” (2009; d. Robert Singer)
As goofy as this is – and it’s very goofy (“Sam, when you get to be our age …”), there’s some really dark stuff churning around in this episode: death, aging, suicide, loss. Bobby’s ferocious self-pity is extremely irritating and I love that they went this way with it: that capable strong Bobby, who has lost so much in his life, has finally HAD it with the loss of the use of his legs. It’s so upsetting when he gives up, when he caves to the weight of it. You want to shake him! Beautiful work from all involved. Plus this:

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 8 “Changing Channels” (2009; d. Charles Beeson)

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 9 “The Real Ghostbusters” (2009; d. James L. Conway)
Becky is SO AWFUL. I love Damien and Barnes and their whole journey – AND I love that Devin Ratray appeared in two amazing films in one year, Blue Ruin and Nebraska. Well-deserved. He’s great. And then there’s this … I just can’t.

Supernatural, Season 5, Episode 10 “Abandon All Hope” (2009; d. Philip Sgriccia)
Devastating episode. Jo and Ellen’s final moments get to me every time.

The Light of the Moon (2017; d. Jessica Thompson)
Very good. I reviewed for Ebert.

Princess Cyd (2017; d. Stephen Cone)
Opening tomorrow. Stephen Cone’s work is so good (see his Wise Kids and Henry Gamble’s Birthday PartyI reviewed for Ebert, and also interviewed Cone for Ebert.) I’ll be reviewing Princess Cyd for Ebert too.

Nashville (1975; d. Robert Altman)
Stone cold masterpiece.

The Company (2003; d. Robert Altman)
I saw this one in the movie theatre when it first came out (I saw all Altmans in the theatre) and loved it. It’s a dance movie – and a really good one. On this re-watch, I thought of Roger Ebert’s review, and Ebert’s revelation that this may very well have been the most purely autobiographical film Altman ever made, which is a very provoking take, and I like it a lot.

BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017; d. Robin Campillo)
I saw this on Halloween night. It is an absolutely devastating film. We were a WRECK. We were already a wreck because of the terrorist attack earlier that day. I knew this would be a tough film, but still wasn’t prepared. It’s as good as everyone is saying. Important history that is almost lost now, the FEELING of those years wiped out, a lost generation … How do middle-aged people pass on to the younger ones, who take things for granted, who are the beneficiaries of all of those fights, what the hell went down? This is a great historical document for that reason alone, but it’s also a beautifully made film. It THRUMS with the terrible urgency of those horrifying years. One of the best films of the year.

This entry was posted in Monthly Viewing Diary, Movies, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to October 2017 Viewing Diary

  1. Barb says:

    So happy to see this, and all the lovely gifs! I will come back when I’ve had a chance to really read it, but I (for some reason) feel the need to let you know that my library’s Geek Out! Supernatural is tomorrow. We are running a poll for an episode to watch, and right now “Changing Channels” is the runaway favorite! Runners up are “Mystery Spot” and “Baby” (we gave them 5 choices, excluding “French Mistake” and “Fan Fiction”, which we showed last year.)

    • sheila says:

      Barb – This sounds like so much fun!! Which ep won the poll in the end? Have a blast today!

      • Barb says:

        Thanks! It’s always nerve-wracking, trying to get ready for these things, not knowing how many are going to come, but we had about 65 last year, and hope it’ll be about the same this year.

        Changing Channels won, hands down. Which will be good, because the best, and most surprising, thing about last year’s event was watching the show on a big screen with an audience laughing along!

        • Lyrie says:

          Barb, that sounds amazing! I google Geek Out! but I didn’t find anything specifically in connection to libraries: is that something that happens in public libraries?

          I’d LOVE to watch the show with an audience. Although it’s so private for me that I can only watch episodes I’ve already seen – at least once, usually twice or more – with somebody else. Or even in the presence of somebody else in the room.

          • Barb says:

            Thanks, Lyrie! I think it went well. Lots of libraries do fandom events, but they mostly gear them towards teens. Which makes sense–we’ve had luck, though, with opening the party up to everyone, and we often get families coming in for them. We do about 4-5 per year, under the series name “Geek Out!” If you’re interested, here’s our FB page for the SPN event.

          • Aslan'sOwn says:

            Barb, that’s so cool! Our small local library has fan-themed events for teens like Dr. Who and Harry Potter. They did a steampunk night once too. I like your idea of having a fan night for all ages.

          • Lyrie says:

            Thanks Barb! So great!
            I’m thinking of organizing a Supernatural-based road trip – because why not. Maybe I’ll come say hi! :) It would be so fun to meet some of you.

          • sheila says:

            Barb – just checked out the FB page and absolutely love the photo you picked for the header. Perfect!!

        • sheila says:

          // watching the show on a big screen with an audience laughing along!

          Barb – that sounds like the best time ever.

  2. Lyrie says:

    // A Ghost Story […] bored out of my mind.//
    I thought I was the only one!

    //I miss Uriel.//
    So. Much. Although my very favourite is Zachariah – so petty.

    //Supernatural, Season 4, Episode 14 “Sex and Violence”//
    I cannot look at this gif without feeling I need to take a shower.

    // the entirety of the season features each brother being stalked by an angel who yearns to rape them. […]HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS? //
    It is really messed up, and really fascinating, and has it ever been told like this, and there are so many layers, and they still find the humour, and everyone in the team does such a great job. I’m currently watching another show that’s obsessed with rape, and ugh, I keep rolling my eyes to the back of my head, thinking how Supernatural is subtle with this stuff.

    • sheila says:

      Lyrie – you were bored by Ghost Story too? I’m so relieved. I mean, cool concept … I guess? But … there was nothing THERE on the screen. I admit to being slightly baffled by the praise – and not just praise – but “best movie of the year” praise.

      Zachariah is the best!! He was the forerunner of all the little corporate-intern angels that would come seasons later (yawn) – but back then it was a really funny concept. After Castiel – Uriel – Raphael – ferocious and frightening figures – comes this … Willy Loman middle manager. So great.

      In re: the other show you’re watching – what is it?

      Yeah – SPN is really REALLY subversive. I’m always amazed when I learn that there are people who DON’T see the show in this way – although probably at this point most fans do? I don’t know. I’m not really involved in the different fan factions. My “fan faction” are you all! :)

      and yeah, by having a show focused so much on penetration and boundaries and lack of consent … it’s amazing that they don’t “cross the line” more often. And the times they DID cross the line (Pizza Man.) – I basically chalk it up to: “Look, they’re in the business of pushing the envelope. Part of the deal is they’re gonna go too far sometimes. Kinda goes with the territory.” You know? For a show with so little actual sex on it – sex is the (implicit) air these characters breathe.

      I can’t even say that what they do on SPN is subtle – I mean, sirens ejaculating into their mouths, and etc. – but it’s done in a way where it works on those multiple levels – symbolic, real, metaphoric, mood, whatever … It’s not just skeevy. Although sometimes it IS skeevy.

      Whatever it is, I love it.

      • Lyrie says:

        // Lyrie – you were bored by Ghost Story too? //
        Out of my fricking mind!! And I go in to love stuff, I really want to. But I was so bored, that by the end I was actually angry. I ranted to the friend I went to see it with: “so one way to see this is that it’s the story of a guy so in love with himself he can’t let go OF HIS FUCKING SELF? For two hours? Fuck that shit.” Which, ok, might be slightly dishonest, but I was really annoyed. Too bad, cause it looks great, it also looks it wants to Reveal Shit about Life, but I just saw something empty and pretentious.

        // Zachariah is the best!! He was the forerunner of all the little corporate-intern angels //
        I know, that makes me so sad! It’s like low-fat whipped cream: don’t you know what is good and why it WORKS? It’s like the shitty version of Hell Crowley lived in for what feels like 5 seasons (I’m in at the end of season 10 in my rewatch, bored out of my mind by Hell, Rowena, the Farting Nuns, the Stynes and all that crap): the first time I saw the set, I thought “Fun! Crowley felt like having a faux-goth thing this week!” I thought it was a funny whim and that it would change, because he’s a guy who can teleport or kill someone by snapping his fingers, you know? It shows such lack of imagination. Boring angels, boring demons.

        // In re: the other show you’re watching – what is it?//
        Apparently I’m in a rant-y mood today, so I’ll refrain. But: Outlander. Have you watched? I started watching because I have a thing for Scotland, and so many people seemed to love the show. And… I don’t GET it! I’d LOVE to talk to someone about the acting, because… no, I’ll refrain. :)

        I agree with you re: sometimes you gonna to mess up a bit. Meg’s sexy torture scene? Ew. But I find it forgivable because of the nature of the show.
        And sure, they spitjaculate (copyright Jessie) in each other’s mouths and joke about making devil’s traps out of semen, but… If you want to see truly not subtle, watch Outlander. Ugh. And the way that show romanticizes rape! And feminists are raving about it, just because the main character is a loudmouth? Ugh.

        Sorry, I did rant a bit.

        // My “fan faction” are you all! :)//
        I know, me too! (Who needs the rest of the fandom when you have Jessie’s “we grind, Dean”?)

        • sheila says:

          // it’s the story of a guy so in love with himself he can’t let go OF HIS FUCKING SELF? For two hours? Fuck that shit.” //

          Oh my God this is brilliant and this is exactly what it is.

          Who the hell CARES? The more I think about it, the more baffled I am. When the Gotham Awards nominations came out – we were harassed (I mean, exaggeration … but still) on Twitter by one guy OUTraged that Ghost Story wasn’t more represented. He commented on my Twitter feed, on every judge’s Twitter feed, on the Twitter feed of the Gotham Awards themselves. He didn’t care about all the other worthy nominees – he just wanted it to be KNOWN that Ghost Story was the #1 film of the year and he was SO DISMAYED at its absence. I was like, “Duly noted. Please stop Tweeting at me.”

          I get that there are different tastes but when people react like THAT to a movie it’s … beyond a normal audience response, it’s something else – it’s angrier, more defensive (the same thing happened with “Her” where people were saying things like, “If you aren’t blown away by ‘Her,’ check your pulse.” I checked my pulse. Hm. I still seem to be a living sentient being and yet I hated that movie. HOW CAN THIS BE??)

          // I thought it was a funny whim and that it would change, because he’s a guy who can teleport or kill someone by snapping his fingers, you know? It shows such lack of imagination. Boring angels, boring demons. //

          I know. I just finished my re-watch of Season 5 – with the introduction of Crowley – and it’s been so much fun (and also sad) to watch this early “version” of him – God, he’s great. And then to think they sat him in a throne and made him bicker with Rowena for 22 straight episodes … hell, more … for 2 years. Like: WOW. WHY?

          “If it ain’t broke …”

          I get that SPN needs to break things. But what they did with Crowley – just stick him in a throne and then ignore him – for 2 years … makes no sense story-wise, character-wise, fan-service-wise, etc.

          I haven’t watched Outlander!

          // And feminists are raving about it, just because the main character is a loudmouth? //


          • Lyrie says:

            //He commented on my Twitter feed, on every judge’s Twitter feed, on the Twitter feed of the Gotham Awards themselves. //
            Oh, I noticed the dude! And it took so much strength not to make fun of him, honestly. “Yeah, the sheet is such a great actor, such depth! Great body language, too.”
            I’m sorry, I’m a bad person.

            // beyond a normal audience response, it’s something else – it’s angrier, more defensive//
            What the hell? There is ONE right way to react to a movie? It also leaves NO space whatsoever for an opinion to change? I find that worrying. My opinion on things often changes, – not necessarily dramatically, although that happens too, but it evolves. I saw Mad Max Fury Road in the theatre and was pretty bored. I re-watched recently, while doing something else, initially, and couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. What happened? I don’t know. Should I stay stuck on my first opinion?

            //to think they sat him in a throne and made him bicker with Rowena for 22 straight episodes … hell, more … for 2 years. Like: WOW. WHY?//
            So disappointing, too, because it could have become something interesting, having him become less terrifying. I recently re-watched the episode in S10 in which Dean and Crowley have that conversation about family, among other things. And Dean tells him: “yeah, you HAVE gone soft.” They’re both tired, it’s intimate, there’s a tacit acknowledgment of all the things they’ve been through together. Crowley was changing, he was listening, he was open to trying new things. And why have him go back to something tepid? He never became terrifying again. Mark Sheppard deserved better.

          • sheila says:

            // What happened? I don’t know. Should I stay stuck on my first opinion? //

            Ha. I know. But it’s a little different when you’re a film critic and you’re reviewing in real time. You have to have an opinion and you have to state it strongly. Sometimes first impressions are wrong. There are definitely movies I raved about in the 24 hours afterwards – when I had to write the review – where now I wish I had had just a little bit more time to percolate, watch it again, think it over. But that’s the deal. Your first opinion is forever. Of course you can say years later “I re-watched this and I would like to amend my first review” … but still, it’s a little bit different than, how you say, a “civilian’s” freedom in not having to come down hard either way.

            But yeah, I agree – these kinds of reactions (“If you don’t like this, you have no soul,” etc.) are totally silly. Even when I love something to the moon and back I would never say that. Just not my style.

            // They’re both tired, it’s intimate, there’s a tacit acknowledgment of all the things they’ve been through together. Crowley was changing, he was listening, he was open to trying new things //

            Interesting! Yeah! He’s such a great character.

            The more I think about it, the more I can see just how much damage Rowena has done to the fabric of the show. As a one-off, she would have been fine. But her presence – forced Crowley to be by her side – which then gave us two seasons of the treacherous “Macbeth court” in that stupid Hell set. and it wasn’t done well enough so that we could see how that relationship commented on Sam and Dean’s or whatever – it was completely ghettoized, like a whole separate show.

            I blame Rowena. And agree: Mark Sheppard deserved so much better!

          • sheila says:

            I’m re-watching now – and just started Season 6. I’ve watched Season 6 so many times that I’m thinking I might skip ahead – and do an 8, 9, 10 rewatch now. It’s been a while. and the Crowley stuff is really good, esp. in terms of the Mark and all of that.

          • Lyrie says:

            // it’s a little different when you’re a film critic and you’re reviewing in real time.//
            Of course! I was talking about us, civilians! :)
            I could NEVER do what you do for so many reasons, but mostly because I need so much time to process things. I’m slow. And I often discover what my opinion is by talking it through.

            //The more I think about it, the more I can see just how much damage Rowena has done to the fabric of the show.//
            Yes. Having just re-watch season 10, I totally agree. I’m sorry, but she does not FIT.

          • Helena says:

            Ack, Rowena. I just dug through some very old emails to locate my verdict on Rowena in Season 10, and it was ‘she sticks out like a chiffon bandage on a lumberjack’s thumb’.

          • sheila says:

            Lyrie – I definitely do better when I have time to process things. I am not an insta-reactor. This makes film festivals a huge leap for me – because the deadlines are instant. You have to walk out of a movie, write your review, file it, and move onto the next thing. It’s nuts.

          • sheila says:

            Yeah. Rowena.

            It took me a while to even notice the damage she was doing to the fabric of the show. What she was doing to Crowley – how she was isolating him – but also what her presence did to the entire concept of “magic”.

            Not good.

            It’s weird when they kill people off who clearly add to the story – and keep people around who clearly detract.

  3. Jessie says:

    thank you for this stroll through S4/5, really needed it this morning! What an incredible period for the show. So dark, sexy, intense, messed-up — and FUNNY. Oh, my heart. It’s so rich, there’s so much to talk about, but I will go with: Heyerdhal’s indelible work as Alistair, and how nasty it is, and how much trust those two actors had to have, and how a few pokes with knives and needles are forced to stand in for a whole wealth of unknowable terrible happenings.

    hahaha angel food cake!!

    If I didn’t know better about who was banging who your “I know what you did last Summer” paragraph would have my eyes popping….except that there are like three other episodes in this list where you’re like…this episode is about whether these brothers want to get it on….and that’s like…the marginally consensual ongoing eroticised relationship of the seasons….I mean….what is going on with this show sometimes…how did this happen….

    • sheila says:

      Jessie –

      Coming back to this thread now after a busy week.

      // how much trust those two actors had to have, and how a few pokes with knives and needles are forced to stand in for a whole wealth of unknowable terrible happenings. //

      I think of that every time I watch that horrifying scene. I could watch an entire documentary about the filming of that scene. It’s such a SICK scene – and so filled with their shared memories of what happened in the pit – stuff we never saw but it’s so in that room with the two of them you want to vomit. and the way Dean moves at first – carefully, slowly – it’s heartbreaking.

      // If I didn’t know better about who was banging who your “I know what you did last Summer” paragraph would have my eyes popping //

      hahahaha I just re-read and realized I left out the name “Ruby” – HA! Shows you the effect that episode has! It’s like … all the same relationship. and the more you think about it, the weirder it is.

      // I mean….what is going on with this show sometimes…how did this happen…. //


      Watching Season 4 and Season 5 in particular – I find myself thinking, “This … is so … messed UP … I can’t even believe this exists …”

      • Jessie says:

        I could watch an entire documentary about the filming of that scene. It’s such a SICK scene – and so filled with their shared memories of what happened in the pit – stuff we never saw but it’s so in that room with the two of them you want to vomit.
        Lot of SPN scenes I’d happily watch a documentary about and this one is close to the top of the list. Yes — how they conjure the presence of that knowledge — that awful intimacy — that they both know, completely — how many people in Dean’s life does he have no secrets with? And it’s a secret from us partly because there’s just no language for it in this context — and partly because to put it into language would render it almost banal — so it goes in the box of unspeakable things — just amazing stuff. The power of mystery.

        • sheila says:

          So well put.

          The intimacy of the abuser and the abused.

          and think of how many “revenge fantasy” films there are – where a victim comes back as an avenging angel and it’s all beautifully bloody and cathartic … This scene is that – sort of – at least that’s the structure – with all these other sickening layers added to it.

          There is NO catharsis.

  4. Audrey says:

    I can’t wait for your recap of The End, when it comes. Kripke said of Jensen’s performance something along the lines of it being Emmy-worthy, if Supernatural were the kind of show to win Emmies. I’m gonna be honest, though, my favorite part of The End is Jared’s first go as Lucifer. “I win, so I win.” CHILLS. There’s a clip of a convention somewhere where Jensen says he thinks it’s one of Jared’s best performances and calls him an asshole for “upstaging” all of Jensen’s hard work. So funny.

    I’m not a Wincest person either, but part of the fascination of Supernatural for me is the brothers’ relationship fulfilling so many roles for each other that siblings normally do not and should fulfill. I think that’s something you’ve pointed out, Sheila, that throughout their lives, they’ve played parental roles, partner roles, etc for each other. Their relationship is agonizingly dysfunctional and yet it’s the reason we tune in every week.

    Lucifer possessing Sam and Michael possessing Dean basically equals two brothers penetrating two brothers in order to have a fight that includes the line “no one dicks with Michael but me” …. Insanity.

    • sheila says:

      // “I win, so I win.” //

      I so completely agree. GREAT line reading. He’s so sure of himself (Lucifer is) that he doesn’t have to push or swagger. He says it almost … sorrowfully, kindly. Brilliant.

      // Lucifer possessing Sam and Michael possessing Dean basically equals two brothers penetrating two brothers in order to have a fight that includes the line “no one dicks with Michael but me” //

      I know! and there’s a line about “pain in my ass” that’s dwelled upon as well. This can’t be accidental. That scene in the graveyard … I can’t even keep up with all the layers of family/messed-up-ness – that’s going on.

  5. mutecypher says:

    I really enjoyed Colossal. The goofy premise, then Anne’s loser behavior, then the warmth of the hometown, then… Wow. It was very good.

    • sheila says:

      I so agree! It kind of came and went – very glad I caught up with it. I thought Sudeikis was great too!

      • sheila says:

        Did you see it in the theatre? I don’t even remember its release – but the early months of this year were completely bonkers on my end, so I wasn’t paying attention.

        • mutecypher says:

          I saw it in the theater on release. It was a second movie date (the first movie date was Personal Shopper). During lunch before the movie we had been discussing some very unpleasant sabotaging behavior of folks resisting treatment for alcoholism. Colossal was like the amped version of that discussion. That movie, again, just wow.

          One can just be blindsided by the anger and acidic resentment that decent-seeming folks have. The tone of the movie completely captured that.

          • sheila says:

            Wow, interesting.

            Yes, her drinking! Her blackout drinking and the fallout it caused – how she really hadn’t developed a personality. It was so CLEAR in that opening scene.

  6. Barb says:

    Regarding the gif for Rising Son–that promo scene showed up in my FB thread, and I watched it with the sound off because I didn’t want to be too spoiled. So I had no idea what the conversation was about, but watching Jack’s imitation, Dean’s annoyance, and Sam’s amusement–it was crystal clear what the scene really meant. I have high hopes for this season, not going to lie!

    • sheila says:

      Barb – I have very high hopes too. I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of episodes and felt like – oh, okay, this is the show I remember.

  7. Dax Phelan says:

    I appreciate the “Jasmine” mention.

    • Sheila says:

      Dax – wow, you’re welcome. I was so moved by the heavy atmosphere of persistent grief. He’s a wonderful actor. Loved the film.

      Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.