Broadcast of a National Theater Live event (so a movie of a live play). I liked the television series that is based on this one woman show. But I sometimes found it difficult to watch because the main character made such terrible choices over and over again. The first season of the show is based directly on the play and the second season is a sequel. I liked the second season better than the first. So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. It was far better than the TV show. I think because the play conveys the same events (with the same reveal) in an hour and a half as the show does in 12 episodes, the bad choices don’t feel so repetitive. My main takeaway from the TV show is the Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character is an awful, unlikable person. My main takeaway from the play is that the character made one very bad choice with terrible consequences that she is running away from which causes her to make additional bad choices. It all feels sad in a way that I didn’t get from the TV show.
At the Capital Center for the Arts with Ann, Pat, and Al
The Lighthouse ☆☆☆☆☆
Wow. This movie tells a bizarre but fascinating story about two men in a lighthouse. Willem Defoe and Robert Pattinson are outstanding as the two men and could both win Oscars for their performances. The movie is dramatic and violent but also slyly funny and kind of sad. It plays with time and reality. It references classic horror movies and Greek mythology. We all loved it. But I find it challenging to identify people that I would recommend it to because of how bizarre and different it is. I think a lot of people would hate it.
At the Hooksett Cinemagic with Ann, Pat, and Al
Ford vs. Ferrari ☆☆☆
Matt Damon and Christian Bale portray two real life characters, Carroll Shelby and Jim Miles, who built race cars in the 1960s. The story is interesting and well-acted although I think the movie tries a bit too hard to show the rambunctiousness of the two men. That’s one reason I didn’t give the movie more stars. The results of most of the races are not in question and yet I couldn’t help but get invested in who was going to win. I would not have predicted the ending of the last Le Mans race, however, which just proves that truth is often stranger than fiction. The biggest reason I only gave this movie 3 stars was an extended scene in which Miles’ wife drives like crazy as a motivation technique for Miles to tell her something that he was keeping from her. The scene was excruciatingly bad and out of place. I’m guessing something like this happened in real life but the movie didn’t set it up properly for it to make sense.
At the Lincoln Barnz with Ann
Knives Out ☆☆☆☆☆
I loved this movie. I think it is nearly flawless. The only flaw has to do with a vomiting plot point that is absolutely necessary but which lingers too much on how gross vomiting is. Everything else is brilliant. The cast is amazing–Jamie Leigh Curtis, Don Johnson, Daniel Craig, (the hilarious) Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, and most especially, a relative newcomer as the star, Ana de Armas. The plot is twisty and unpredictable, the characters are distinct and interesting, the dialog is hilarious and surprisingly literary, and the dark humor is both dark and humorous. Just perfect. The plot centers on the investigation of the suicide of a well-known, wealthy crime writer. His family has come together the night before his suicide and we learn that each has been given some piece of news that might make them a suspect in his murder (if he was murdered rather than committing suicide). Enter Benoit Blanc (played brilliantly by Craig). He has been hired anonymously to investigate the death. To say more than this would ruin the plot for others.
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.