Is it April already?
March was full of sick days and unexpected down time. Terrible for doing work, wonderful for watching as much Netflix as possible, and therefore, providing you with a rather dense and rich list of March Favorites. You're welcome.
Let's dive right into it then.
If you haven't seen season one, do it. If you have, get to season two immediately. Did you know it's just six easy-to-binge episodes, waiting for you to consume in one hazy sick day? I do believe this arrived at the very end of March, and I watched it all in a matter of 72 hours, making it very close to an April favorite, but not quite. If you're unfamiliar, this is a BBC/Netflix drama about a police sergeant, Catherine, played by the incredible Sarah Lancashire. If you like a good crime drama/thriller, this will do the trick. If you're simply interested in really great acting and a heart-wrenching story, it does that, too. I cannot say enough good things about it, but I will say perhaps its best quality is the strength of its women - which should come as no surprise, because Sally Wainwright is creator and writer (and a fellow playwright).
I waited a really long time to watch this, and within the first ten minutes of watching on my television, I regretted not seeing it in the theater. This is one of the most gorgeous films ever made. Period. How it missed out on Oscar nods for production design, visual effects, and costumes is beyond me. More surprising (though, not surprising, because when do I ever agree?) is that critics complained about a lack of story. Guillermo del Toro may have put style over substance in this case, but it hardly usurps his masterful storytelling - in fact, it only enhances it. How do you tell a Gothic horror story without an incredible sense of atmosphere? The house bleeds. IT BLEEDS. I loved this film in nearly every way, and I will proudly be adding the blu-ray to my collection.
On That Old Bitch Cable:
Still hate it, still watching it.
Another release that had mixed reviews that I didn't pay any attention to. I will watch Zach Galifinakis do anything, especially play a rollerblading rodeo clown, and I am even more inclined when Louis CK is producing. However, the best part is without a doubt Louie Anderson playing Galifinakis's mother. It's casting that's simultaneously ludicrous and believably banal. I don't know why it works, but it does. Also, remember this? Same Louie.
Even I'm not immune to this. It's delightfully campy and nobody's a good guy. And whatever kind of acting John Travolta is doing (including lack of facial expressions) should be greatly rewarded.
I see a lot of children's movies in theaters. Shaun the Sheep, Disney Princess movies, the absurd little minions, anything that offers the promise of stop motion, I'm there. So my boyfriend took off a little early from work so we could go see this one in the company of fifty or so children under the age of ten and their accompanying parents/guardians, most of whom spent the movie carting said children off for endless bathroom breaks - do you regret that quart-sized soda purchase now? Lest you think I'm complaining, know that this made the experience all the more authentic, as Disney films are best enjoyed with those they are intended for. And in the case of Zootopia, I think that's very firmly the parents. Yes, it's for kids. Yes, it's the kind of story with a moral. Do I think that kids need to be told about the harsh realities, complications, and immoralities of racial profiling? Sure, but not as much as their parents do.
I learned a lot in just over an hour, and I had a good time doing it. I thought about this one a lot after we saw it because it is genuinely complicated. But while I think the kids probably went home, thought about how everyone should be treated equally, and then took a nice nap, I suspected myself and the adults were having different thoughts. Ones that involved recent shootings, protests, and real world human rights violations - all of which were so adequately handled in this animated children's film, I didn't quite know where to start. Kudos to Disney for knowing how to entertain kids and educate grown-ups at the same time.
I actually think I saw this at the end of February, but since I didn't get to a February favorites, I'm including it in March favorites. The hype around this is real - but don't be like the teenagers in front of us who were expecting some kind of Saw-esque torture horror. This is slow-paced, psychological horror that draws equal bits from The Exorcist and The Crucible. It's also in old English, with no helpful subtitles. You've really got to pay attention, and that helps make The Witch an extra excruciating experience.
10 Cloverfield Lane
I couldn't ever get through the first Cloverfield because of its nausea-inducing POV camera. But thankfully, this sequel requires no knowledge of its predecessor (though I'd be curious to know if lovers of that film found it helpful in context with this one). It was fun, creepy, and unexpected. I honestly went because of this well cut trailer and its ironic use of my favorite Tiffany song (actually, Tommy James and the Shondells, but who can forget Tiffany's cover?!). John Goodman is the undeniable highlight. Along with that big bucket by the bathroom.
What were your March favorites?
Tell me what I'm missing! Leave all suggestions, recommendations, personal vendettas in the comments, please - I love 'em!
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