Good Watch: Doctor Sleep #movie #horror#GoodWatch #QuarantineLife @DoctorSleepFilm @HBOMax

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I do not like most horror movies. Doctor Sleep was the kind of horror movie I like. There were no obviously stupid moves made by the characters, which means two things: 1) the writing was uncharacteristically tight; and 2) I wound up rooting for the good guys. When people do stupid things in movies, I always think to myself, “Well, I’m glad you’re going to die, dumb ass.” The movie serves as a sequel to 1980’s the Shining. In that story, a father, mother, and son were staying in a remote Colorado hotel during the off-season. Spirits were awakened and possessed the father, who tried to kill them both. Snowed in from the customary weather, the mother and son were left with few options, so they had to fight back. Doctor Sleep is the story of SPOILER ALERT the son, who survived along with his mother, and now faces a completely different threat. While he could continue to keep himself hidden, he connects with another like him — a young girl — and feels compelled to help her as someone once helped him (and still does).

As a sequel to the Shining, it also tugged on the nostalgia heartstrings quite a bit, which may mean nothing to you. I saw the Shining in the theater when I was 12 years old. That was a fantastic movie, and Doctor Sleep did a great job of lining up with the Shining while still carving out its own path. For what it’s worth, its scores on Rotton Tomatoes are 77% from the critics (who don’t matter to me; well, usually), and 89% from the audience. These aren’t as good as the 85%/93% the Shining received, but close enough for you to consider it.

Doctor Sleep is currently streaming on HBO. As always, YMMV.

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Good Watch: Horns #movie #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife @SabrinaAnnLynn @imheathergraham @Netflix

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Horns is a movie from 2013, and I’m shocked that I had never even heard of it before Netflix notified me that it was on their service. I was missing out.

Daniel Radcliffe plays a boy wizard … no, that’s not right. He plays a boyfriends suspected of having murdered his religious girlfriend. The entire town and the news media (always blame the media!) assume he’s guilty. As the emotional walls come closing in, he wakes up in the morning with a pair of horns sticking out of his head. (Side note: It’s clear that we’re supposed to assume they’re devil’s horns, but as a sporadic D&D player, I saw them as satyr horns.) Once he has horns, most (not all) people in close proximity begin to confess their inner immorality and negative feelings, often acting them out. On the other hand, some people can’t even see the horns. In some ways, this made it easier to unravel the mystery, but in some ways it made it harder.

The ending is a bit heavy-handed, but a scene leading up to that ending is heart-wrenching. I don’t handle death in movies particularly well, but that actually draws me to those movies because, as strange as this sounds, I’m not afraid of my fears. The reason why is something I’d never share publicly and have only once shared privately (I’ll be damned if that wasn’t a huge mistake), though I suspect someone who grew up with me understands it. The point is that there’s really no reason to believe anyone would enjoy the movie as much as I, and that appears to be the case.

This is one of those movies where I get hooked from the beginning, wanting to know how it’s going to unfold. As always, YMMV.

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Favorite Watch: The Finale of Aqua Teen Hunger Force @DanaSnyder @DaveWillis2 @hbomax #ATHF #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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I finished re-watching the entire series, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, on Monday. This is one of my favorite shows, but I saw only a couple of episodes of the last three seasons. In 2015, Adult Swim president Mike Lazzo made the decision to end ATHF, stating he “was ready to move on from it.” I completely understand why. They were weak seasons. I didn’t like the final final ending, but that’s no surprise. It’s hard for me not to laugh at the characters; with 11- to 12-minute episodes, story could never be the focus of the show. Nevertheless, I found myself watching it for the sake of watching it.

There’s no way those last couple of seasons could spoil one of my favorite shows, but the show had clearly run its course.

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Okay Watch: He Never Died @henryrollins @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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This movie has been sitting in my Netflix queue for years, but until the pandemic, I never bothered to watch it. This movie is weird. Henry Rollins plays an cannibalistic immortal (I’ll leave it at that) with the personality of a lump of clay. (This isn’t a slam on Mr. Rollins; it’s by design.) He gets involved with a waitress, his estranged daughter, and the mob. All three of those come together in a finale that doesn’t give us closure, instead relying on a reveal of his identity as the major source of dramatic release. This is a weird one, probably worth my two hours, but just barely.

As always, YMMV.

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Good Watch: White Lines @laurajhaddock @martamilans @TomRhysHarries @DanielMays9 @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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White Lines is the story of a search for answers. As the characters find their answers, it opens old wounds and creates new ones.

Twenty years prior, the older brother of Zoe Collins (Laura J. Haddock) was murdered and dumped in deserted land, and now she’s ensnared in a web of drugs, assaults, and other assorted crimes. The first episode was uneven, but once you’ve got the basic premise explained, it picks up. At times, I was squirming in my seat. Episode 8 is a killer in that regard.

White Lines also stars Marta Milans of whom I’ve become a fan of late, Nuno Lopes, a perfectly-cast Daniel Mays (Tivik!), and Tom Rhys Harries as the long-deceased Axel Collins. The only thing I don’t like about the show is that characters often speak in Spanish (it takes place in Spain), so I can’t take my eyes off the screen for a second (at those times). However, I blame myself for having never learned Spanish. I’d say I deserve that pain in the ass.

Season 1 is on Netflix. As always, YMMV.

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Favorite Watch: Aqua Teen Hunger Force @DanaSnyder @DaveWillis2 @hbomax #ATHF #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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With HBO Max going live, you must have known it was only a matter of time before I started re-watching this series. My license plate tag is Frylock. After a 24-year absence from Dungeons and Dragons, the first character I created was Frylock, the half-elf warmage/rogue. I’ve recreated Frylock in 4th and 5th Edition. My blog is … well, you knew that. Too bad Carey Means isn’t on Twitter.

And as much as I like series with 30-minute episodes, one with 12- to 13-minute episodes is even easier to watch. I can watch one or two before I leave for work in the morning.

As always, YMMV, but if you don’t like this show, you’re objectively wrong. You might as well say you hate Star Trek, you dipshit.

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Good Watch: #Hush @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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The premise: A deaf and mute writer (played by Kate Siegel) lives in a home in the woods. She enjoys the isolation over her former life in the city. A man in a mask arrives threatening to kill her. Hush is less than 90 minutes long, so it’s no surprise that on 25 minutes in, you see the killer’s face. There’s no time to spare. 93/73

Her disability didn’t seem to play an important role in the movie other than to add a bit of color to the story. This had me thinking: What it would be like if the movie had absolutely no audio? The protagonist is deaf, and we’re supposed to step inside her shoes and feel her fear. What better way to relate to her than to experience the events from her true perspective?

Overall, the cast is good, but the writing fell flat, and I felt like they ran out of things to say, which would explain its 82-minute runtime (includes credits). We’re never given the killer’s motivation, but he’s so incompetent it appears he doesn’t want to win. Fortunately for him, everyone was incompetent, making all the wrong moves at almost every step. Perhaps that was necessary, as the slightest bit of competence would have cut the movie length to 15 minutes. The killer is played by John Gallagher, Jr., who I’ve always liked, but he’s never played an intimidating character as far as I know. There’s good reason for that. I wasn’t at all intimidated despite the neck tattoo, which was obviously a cheap attempt to buff him. At least the character he played was self-aware in this regard.

I don’t understand why it received such good scores on Rotten Tomatoes (93 from the critics and 73 from the audience), but I seem to be alone on this one. What do I know?

It wasn’t clever, original, or scary, which is all it tried to be, but in the time it took you to read this post, you could have watched the movie. As always, YMMV, and cats don’t give a shit.

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Good Watch: #Fractured @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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Sam Worthington has done a few movies for Netflix. I haven’t enjoyed any of them until now. This one I did. Worthington plays a man on a Thanksgiving road trip with his wife and daughter. There’s an incident, and he has to rush his daughter to the hospital. He’s told only one of them may go back with the daughter during treatment, and he defers to his wife. After a brief nap, he wakes up and asks for a status report. The doctors and staff say that his wife and daughter were never there. Then the real story begins.

This didn’t end the way I was expecting, and while a bit of a strain on logic, it was a refreshing change of pace. As always, YMMV.

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Good Watch: Circle @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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It’s hard to discuss this movie without engaging in spoilers. It’s a cast of mostly unknown actors (I vaguely recognized a couple of them) who are standing in a room. They realize that every minute or so, they must vote on which one of them is to be killed. There’s no way of knowing how many will have to die for the sick game to end, nor is there anything more than conjecture as to how they got there and who put them there.

I shouldn’t have liked this movie because it requires far too great a leap in logic. But I did. I certainly didn’t like the ending. It was trite and answered no question. Everything is left to interpretation.

But for some reason, I liked it. As always, YMMV.

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Great Watch: The I.T. Crowd @BigBoyler @RichardAyoade @porksmith @ITCrowdSupport @netflix #GoodWatch #QuarantineLife

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The I.T. Crowd is four-series, British sitcom that aired from 2009-2010, and then concluded with a single episode in 2013. After the first couple of episodes, my first thought was that it was a perfect blend of humor that did and didn’t translate well to American audiences. By the first episode of series 2, I was laughing out loud nearly constantly. Seriously; it’s that funny. It’s one of those shows that spends the first series/season getting to know the characters, and then once they’re established, lets them go nuts.

It’s also an easy watch. Each episode is less than 25-minutes long, and each series is only 6 episodes, so the entire show is less than 13 hours long (the finale is 48 minutes). You could hammer out the entire show in a weekend if you’re so inclined.

As an attorney, I find it funny that, despite America’s deep history of free speech, we can’t say, “fuck,” on TV. England is hardly totalitarian, but their laws tend to be less tolerant of speech in general. However, when it comes to silly things, England just doesn’t care, so it seems they have less a need for protections like ours. I’m not sure if my observation is on target, but that’s how it seems to me.

As always, YMMV.

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