fall film challenge update: september

September 27, 2018

okay. so first off... i've decided i'm going to attempt to watch fifty movies this time around because i've never managed to do the regular AND bonus round lists, and i want to see if i can do it. this means that i had to bump some movies off my original list. the gray areas are more immediate responses that i'd left in the facebook group.

one. tag. i LOVED this movie, yall. it was HILARIOUS. what made it awesome for me was knowing this was based on a true story. these guys have been playing tag FOREVER. once a year, just for the month of may, the game resumes. these guys had FUN making this movie, and it shows. i've watched this one twice.

two. still alice. this was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. julianne moore is amazing. my paternal grandparents suffered alzheimer's. i expect my father will do so as well. her portrayal is pretty spot on, and the supporting cast does a good job, as well. my only complaint is that i expected this one to make me cry, and it did not.

good movie. hard to watch, mostly because my paternal grandparents had alzheimer's, and i've always worried that my father, that i would struggle with it. the cast did a fine job. connection: julianne moore starred in benny and joon with johnny depp who was in black mass with bacon.

three. life itself. this one's my favorite on my list, so far. it's PACKED with conflict, yall, and the cast -- everyone of'm -- does a phenomenal job relaying how that conflict affects them. oscar isaac is INCREDIBLE. i've watched this one twice.

HOLY FUCK THIS WAS GOOD. definitely NOT a date movie, but DAMN dan fogelman knows how to write a script... someone on twitter said she'd walked out after the first forty minutes because it was excruciating... it's NOT an easy film to watch, and the beginning isn't great by any stretch... but the last forty minutes are EXCEPTIONAL. connection: oscar isaac starred in inside llewyn davis with john goodman who starred with bacon in patriots day.

four. the bookshop. this one packs a punch, too, and i didn't think that it would. to be honest, i was kind of bored through the first half, and then all the sudden there's this power -- a kind of quiet rage. i really hadn't expected that, and i love that something so simple could be THAT powerful.

slow, but surprisingly powerful. love bill nighy here. might be my favorite of his performances. love patricia clarkson. might be her best work, but my god her character’s repulsive and vindictive. connection: clarkson starred in playing by heart with jay mohr who starred with bacon in picture perfect.

five. destination wedding. keanu reeves and winona ryder had a damn fine time making this one, i think. their characters aren't very likable, and yet i loved them. i've watched this one three times.

this one made me laugh a lot. i had a feeling it would, and i'm glad it did. it's VERY focused on the two characters and dialogue HEAVY, which i didn't mind. they are unhappy people with biting wit, and it does get to be a bit much, but right about the time you think oh god... there's just enough sentiment, just enough goodness in them to get you to the end. i don't know that i would want to watch it again, and yet, i kind of miss their characters already. i think what i like best about it is that reeves and ryder looked very much like they enjoyed making this movie. connection: winona ryder starred in edward scissorhands with johnny depp who starred with bacon in black mass.

six. darkest hour. gary oldman. god, i love that man. and i have always admired winston churchill. this one was good. there's a couple of instances where the story's a bit overdramatic; there's a couple of instances of cinematography for the sake of a pretty picture. but it's good. yall should watch it.

i got a little teary-eyed in this one, which i hadn't expected. god love winston churchill. we need more men like him in the world. god love gary oldman for playing him so well. connection: oldman starred with bacon in murder in the first.

seven. the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society. i liked this one.

pretty film, pretty story. connection: mathew goode starred in watchmen with billy crudup, who starred with bacon in sleepers.

eight. sleeping with other people. NOT a fan of jason sudeikis, but i didn't mind him in this movie. liked the story well enough. it had some moments that i felt were pretty strong.

i figured i would like it, and i did (even though i'm not crazy about jason sudeikis), but it had some strong scenes, and that surprised me. i liked the characters. connection: amanda peet starred in playing by heart with jay mohr who starred with bacon in picture perfect.

nine. love, simon. this was good. i liked it. love jennifer garner and josh duhamel. i thought the cast did a pretty good job with this one.

liked this one. good stuff. connection: jennifer garner starred in thirteen going on thirty with judy greer who starred in love happens with jennifer aniston who starred in picture perfect with bacon.

ten. operation finale. hell of a story, this one. everyone should watch it.

AMAZING. WATCH THIS NOW. connection: melanie laurent starred in inglorious basterds with brad pitt who starred with bacon in sleepers. (oscar isaac is my hero.)

eleven. hired gun. this one made me not like billy joel very much, but it made me see alice cooper in a very positive way, which i appreciated. i enjoyed learning more about how the music industry works.

i decided to watch this because my dad was a musician in high school and college -- he played with the winters brothers -- and i sometimes wonder what life would've been like had he chosen to follow the musical path. this made me feel sorry for musicians, actually. i no longer like billy joel or richard patrick. jason newsted looks like an idiot. i saw neal schon, aaron lewis and mike mushok in the credits... would've been interesting to see their clips. loved seeing pink. loved listening to rudy sarzo, kenny aronoff and alice cooper talk. connection: jon bon jovi starred in new year's eve with robert deniro who starred in sleepers with bacon.

twelve. stronger. so i watched patriots day, which was a really good look at the first responders and law enforcement agencies who worked to save those affected by the boston bombers. i wanted to watch this one because it kind of focused on one person and how the event affected him and those close to him. it was difficult to watch, but the ending impressed me quite a bit.

hard to watch, but there's a moment toward the end that makes watching it SO worth doing. gyllenhaal starred in a dangerous woman with debra winger who starred in terms of endearment with jack nicholson who starred with bacon in a few good men.

thirteen. before i fall. i liked this one. good story. predictable, but good. interesting.

this one was a hard one for me to watch, and i pegged the ending. but i liked it. connection: jennifer beals starred in four rooms with marisa tomei who starred with bacon in crazy stupid love.

fourteen. how to make an american quilt. i wanted this one to be better. SO much better. i didn't much care for this one.

for such a STRONG cast and decent amount of conflict, this movie is WEAK. connection: samantha mathis starred in pump up the volume with christian slater who starred with bacon in murder in the first.

fifteen. outside providence. this one was alright. i wish alec baldwin had been in it more.

not bad. not one i'd want to watch again. connection: richard jenkins starred in eat pray love with julia roberts who starred with bacon in flatliners.

sixteen. the miracle season. meh. i didn't care much for this one, either.

so i'm the girl who looked at the main photo on imdb's site for this film and thought west, texas. like the volleyball team there came back to win a championship after the town suffered a tragedy. it's iowa city west... and they lost a player. it's a good story, but the execution's typical, predictable, formulaic schmaltz. i loved the credits. would've liked the film better if it had had as much heart as that player had. connection: helen hunt starred in as good as it gets with jack nicholson, who starred with bacon in a few good men.

seventeen. deadpool two. didn't like this one nearly as much as the first. not sure they should've made a second one, actually. all the things that made the first one so good were absent from the sequel.

agree with zosh (who said she thought it was funny, but she still preferred the first). connection: brad pitt starred with bacon in sleepers.

eighteen. unbroken: path to redemption. i picked this one because i watched the first part of this story last year and wanted to see the continuation of it. the sequel's MUCH more well-done than the original. but there's no reason why these two films couldn't have been one.

this watch MUCH better than the first one. but there should’ve been ONE movie telling the story, not two very drawn out halves.

nineteen. why him. meh. i thought i was going to love this one. i didn't. i did like megan mullaly in it, though.

the trailer CRACKED ME UP. the movie did not. i did love megan mullaly, though, and i've never cared much for her work before, so it was really nice that i could appreciate it here. it's funny. just not as funny as i wanted it to be. connection: james franco starred in alien covenant with billy crudup who starred with bacon in sleepers.

twenty. every day. this one SUCKED. it was such a STUPID, STUPID story. don't waste your time.

SO, SO, SO, VERY, VERY, VERY B A D. DO NOT watch this shit. connection: maria bello starred in coyote ugly with john goodman who starred with bacon in the patriot.


September 13, 2018

about a year ago, a friend invited me to join her book club. it's a great group of women, and i feel so blessed to be considered their friend, but since joining, i've read two of the books chosen, and one of them was my pick (also one i'd already read -- the language of flowers). the other was a man called ove. i eventually read a third, beach music, but not because of the book club so much as i needed a book for one of the categories of erin's book challenge (feel free to join... there are about six weeks left in this session, but she always welcomes latecomers, and she'll start another challenge in a couple of months... it's neat to flip through the albums and see what others have read). anyway. three books out of like twelve. that's not bad, but most of the girls have gotten in the habit of joking that i won't read it anyway...

we're reading beautiful boy this month. i'm on page forty-four. i'm reading it because i've chosen to watch the movie adaptation for the fall film challenge (we're only a couple of weeks in, and i, too, welcome latecomers... it's neat to flip through the albums and see what others have watched).

i've been more hopeless the past couple of months than i normally am. probably more than i've been in my life, actually. i'm not fighting as much, i'm becoming more and more merciless about the things i keep. gwyneth paltrow plays plath in the film sylvia. there's a line: i feel like there's nothing behind my eyes but air. i understand that line now. i understand how a person could feel that way. for most of my life i've felt like there's nothing behind mine but water. it doesn't feel like that anymore.

i started bible study this week. we're reading joshua. that name means the lord saves, by the way. or so my notes told me. i've gotten off to a good start, much better than i have in the past. yesterday and today, i spent the better part of an hour reading parts of proverbs, of my own accord, and the recommended reading from our notes: bits from genesis, psalms, romans...

and then i've taken my copy of beautiful boy and read while walking around my neighborhood.

off and on in the course of my life i've thought that i don't believe it's possible that a man could love me. i know why he should. i know i'm worth loving, even when i'm feeling my absolute worst, i know that in my heart. my head, though... the older i get, the more difficult it is for me to believe in that possibility. i've given up, actually. not because i want to, but because it's almost easier to live without the hope.

so i'm walking and reading and come across this passage on page thirty-two:

our first cautious date is at a friend's party on the upper east side. the fine young cannibals play on the music system, waiters circulate with trays of champagne and canapes, and then, though it is a sweltering night, i walk her the length of manhanttan to her downtown loft. it takes a couple hours, during which time we do not stop talking. whenever we come upon an all-night grocery, we get popsicles.
it's dawn when we say good night at her front door.

i stopped when i read that. stopped and read it again. and wished i could know what a date like that was like without having to read about it in a book. how sad is it that a forty-five-year-old woman only knows love from the books she reads and the people she sees?

before i fell into that well of despair, i made myself get moving again, reading and walking.

i want someone to see me the way ove's wife sees him, the way grant sees victoria. i want to know the man who can't help but stay and talk with me.

my friends are quick to suggest bumble. i've been on there. i can barely get a man to say hi. i don't want to meet my guy that way. it doesn't have to be anything fantastic. i don't need extraordinary. that's what books and movies are for.

i've prayed. i've gotten down on my knees and sobbed against my comforter and begged. 

the last gift my older brother gave me was at christmas: a bottle of ralph lauren's romance. i spray it and think of the day after he died when i was out running errands, getting things for the memorial service. i heard him say i'll find you someone. such a delusion, but i believed it.

which is worse? wanting love in your life and not getting it or wanting to live without it?