Media, Technology, and Education
Movie/TV Review

August 2020 Movies

Y Tu Mama Tambien ☆☆☆

I saw this movie when it came out in 2001 and really liked it. I remembered some key details but clearly forgot others. I think the scene near the end of the movie between the 3 characters, especially the two boys (played by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna), made me forget what an adolescent boy fantasy much of it is. I still liked the glimpses of class and politics that are on the periphery of the movie although this time around I found the voice over a little ham-handed. Still, I think it’s unusual for a movie about teenage boys and their idiocy to end with an acknowledgement of forbidden feelings and that, along with the glimpses of Mexican life, make me glad I saw the movie again.

On Netflix with Ann, Pat, and Al

An Easy Girl ☆☆

Not much to say about this movie. It focuses on Naima, a 16 year old girl who lives in Cannes, France. Her cousin comes to visit from Paris. They meet two wealthy men on a boat. One is an ass. The other seems decent. But just not a believable narrative. Some of the class stuff is interesting.

On Netflix with Ann, Pat, and Al

Duck Butter ☆

Why are so many lesbian characters in movies so weird? The only reason I got through this entire movie was because I really wanted to see how the train wreck ended.

On Netflix by myself

The Last Dance ☆☆☆

A 10 episode documentary series focused on the 1998 Chicago Bulls who were competing for their second three-peat and who knew the team would be broken up for the following season. If the series had been 3 episodes shorter, I would have rated it higher. There was a lot of interesting stuff about all of the contributors to the team but, of course, much of the series is focused on Michael Jordan. The narrative is non-linear which was all right but got to be a bit tiresome. By the end of the series, I was really sick of Michael being emotionally exhausted but still pulling through to play an amazing game. I think the tiresome part was how serious everyone was about the game, as though the game itself was life and death. Maybe at another time I wouldn’t have been annoyed by this. But in the middle of a pandemic, it was hard to believe that the murder of Jordan’s father is given the same weight as winning that sixth championship. Worth watching.

On Netflix by myself

The Feels ☆☆☆

The plot involves the sharing of secrets among a group of friends who have gathered for the bachelorette party of a lesbian couple, Andi and Lu. The movie was fine. Not particularly memorable.

On Netflix by myself

The Half of It ☆☆☆☆

A retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story but queer and in high school. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and it was entirely because of Leah Lewis’s portrayal of Ellie Chou, an introverted but talented high school senior. She is an actress to watch out for.

On Netflix by myself

Roma ☆☆☆☆

I knew that Alfonso Cuaron wrote, directed, produced, and edited this movie loosely based on his childhood. I knew that it was in black and white. And I knew that it was nominated for 10 Academy Awards although it didn’t win best picture. But there was something about the way that people talked about it that made me wary. It tells the story of a wealthy Mexican family living in Mexico City in 1971. Presumably, it is told from the the viewpoint of one of the boys but it is really the story of their maid, Cleo. It has been called “meditative” by some which means it is slow moving. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, it was too long. If I had rated the movie at the hour mark, I probably would have given it one or two stars. But the events in the last 45 minutes (maybe less–I wasn’t paying attention to the time) redeemed the movie and made it worth the early bits.

On Netflix with Pat and Al

Handsome Devil ☆☆☆☆

Enjoyable movie about an Irish high school outcast who gets a new roommate–the hunky new rugby star. The movie defies stereotypes in ways that were refreshing. And the main characters were lovely.

On Netflix with Pat and Al

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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