Media, Technology, and Education
Movie/TV Review

May 2020 Movies

A Secret Love ☆☆☆☆☆

A documentary telling the story of Pat and Terry, two women who began to live with each other as romantic partners in the 1940s. They kept their lesbian relationship secret from their families who remarkably seemed surprised when they came out in the 2000s. Terry played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s which is an interesting although not central fact. The central story is about love in the face of aging (and years of homophobia). So important that this story has been documented.

On Netflix Party with Ann, Pat, and Al

Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail ☆☆☆☆☆

I hadn’t seen this movie in a number of years but I found just as funny as ever. It’s so silly in places and it’s so smart in places. Sometimes it’s smart and silly all at once. It holds up remarkably well and provided a much-needed laugh.

On Netflix Party with Ann, Pat, and Al

Soylent Green ☆☆☆☆

My movie buddies and I have made lists of movies that we want to share with each other for watching online. Soylent Green was on my list because I loved it as a kid. I still remember the shock I felt when the big (now much-parodied) secret was revealed. The movie was made in 1973 based on a 1966 novel and so some of its vision of life in 2022 (when the action of the movie takes place) is quite off. Despite that, there are a couple of moments related to food that I absolutely love. And I always find it interesting that mid-1970s vision of the future always included doors that slide into the wall at the touch of a hand. The acting is pretty bad in parts (particularly Charlton Heston). Despite these flaws, the movie is compelling.

On Amazon Prime with just myself

How to Build a Girl ☆☆☆☆☆

Based on a novel by Caitlin Moran, this movie stars Beanie Feldstein, who starred in another high school girl coming of age movie recently (Booksmart). Feldstein’s character in How to Build a Girl starts out as naive as her Booksmart character but her writing aspirations lead her to wrangle a job writing for a music magazine similar to Rolling Stone. She revels in the debauchery around her until she comes to her senses. It reminded me of Almost Famous but is far funnier. In fact, it is laugh out loud funny and mostly really sweet. My favorite part of the movie was Feldstein’s character’s bedroom wall covered with her intellectual heroes like the Bronte sisters, Sylvia Plath, and Sigmund Freud. The cameos on that wall allowed for some really funny banter.

On Amazon Prime with Pat and Al

Life After Death ☆☆☆☆☆

Two seasons of six half-hour episodes each. Ricky Gervais created and wrote this series. He stars as Tony, a reporter for a small, human-interest newspaper. Tony has lost his wife, the love of his life, to cancer. In the first season, he is full of anger and despair and it is moving and humanizing, The second season ups the ante as Tony moves to accpetance with a lingering sadness which sometimes veers toward despair. This is even sadder to watch. Be prepared to cry. A lot. But it’s so good.

On Netflix by myself

The Young Offenders ☆☆☆☆

Very funny Irish movie about two dim-witted fifteen year olds who decide to make something of their lives by traveling to Cork to find bags of abandoned cocaine. The humor is a bit slap-sticky at times but the movie is funny enough in other ways that it doesn’t matter. And the two main characters are so likeable.

On Netflix Party with Ann, Pat, and Al

Gold Digger ☆☆☆

If this six episode series had stopped after five episodes, I would have given it five stars. The first five episodes are intriguing and full of realistic family drama. The last episode is a huge melodramatic let-down. Even if I had known about the disappointing ending, I would still have watched the series because Julie Ormond is wonderful as a 60-year-old newly divorced woman who falls in love with a much younger man.

On Acorn TV by myself

Article written by:

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.

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