By: Henry J. Fromage –
A long July 4th weekend resulted in a some series TV binge-watching and an earnest, semi-successful attempt at multi-tasking (yes, I’m a week behind on these).
159. Too Old to Die Young
My rating has come up a beer after resting on 13 hours of neon-soaked, nihilistic typical Nicholas Windig Refn filmed entertainment. It’s very likely that nobody should have given him that much time to work nor ever will again, but I can guarantee you that you’ll watch no other show like it this year, and the highs of the show are high indeed. Three Beers.
160. Stranger Things Season 3
The kids are growing up, and I suppose so is the show (it’s noticeably gorier for one), but neon-soaked 80s nostalgia-baiting is still the name of the game, and it remains a good one. I’m not sure how many more times they can go to the well of “time to defeat another Upside Down monster”, but the point is the character work, and these kids are all great. Two Beers.
161. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Director Jon Watts has successfully put his own stamp on the Marvel formula, mixing in a lighter high school comedy tone that mostly works (although I’m not really buying these kids are 16… but I guess that allows for samey-sequels in perpetuity). Anyway, Jake Gyllenhaal is another win in the villain column for Marvel (I guess a teensy spoiler there for any reader who’s avoided all marketing but managed to read this), and the Tom Holland/Zendaya awkward teen romance is, as the kids say, ‘shippable?. Two Beers.
162. Her Smell
Alex Ross Perry and Elisabeth Moss continue their productive partnership (Queen of Earth) with this tale of a rocker bottoming out. It doesn’t feel like it should be 2.5 hours as it begins but Moss so magnetizes you that the film flies by. An acting tour de force. Two Beers.
This HBO miniseries is as fine an example of the form that exists. It’s only 5 hours or so long, but so thoroughly covers the Chernobyl disaster, it’s incredible effects, and its shameful causes, both political and human that you can’t tear your eyes away. Utterly riveting television, standing out in just about every possible facet of production. A Toast.