Re-watched Watchmen

Watched Watchmen from

In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

I really think this movie was an excellent adaptation of the comic, true to the spirit of the comic genre while translating it to a new medium. It swapped in a more meaningful ending than the book and cut the unnecessary story-within-a-story pirate comic. The fight scenes are a fantastic translation of comics into video media, slowing down and nearly pausing on moments in the fight, and emphasizing the force and power of the hits. It’s blatantly gruesome in parts, and the sex scene is gratuitously long and hilariously self-mocking (the music, the flame thrower going off when she comes 🀣). Though it’s been years since I read the graphic novel, there are panels and lines it directly quotes — I recall fans being mad about the changes when it was released but this was clearly storyboarded by someone who loved the comic.

We own the DVD but no DVD player — so now we also own a digital copy on Amazon πŸ€·β€β™€οΈΒ  The DVD must be an extended cut because there were a few missing scenes in the streaming version — a little disorienting when I was expecting them, but fine without.

Science Fiction

Re-watched Dune

Watched Dune: Part One from

A noble family becomes embroiled in a war for control over the galaxy’s most valuable asset while its heir becomes troubled by visions of a dark future.

I thought I’d want to split this into two nights, but two and a half hours went faster than I recalled.

The Emperor plotline makes very little sense, unless it’s meant to serve as a warning to all the other houses.

I don’t think they pulled off a cohesive culture for the Atreides: they drew from multiple cultures, but pulled directly from them rather than integrating them — a Japanese tree inside their home on Caladan, Spanish bullfighting, Scottish bagpipes. To me, that felt worse than just adapting elements into something unified, but it could be intentional to remind us the Atreides are colonizers, or I suppose the filmmakers could be accused of cultural appropriation if they changed things? I think they’re more successful in creating the technology: tools like thumpers and the compass thing feel real, the projector technology is cool, and the way thopters fly seems to have been thought through.

Jessica is a badass, and I hope she gets more of a chance to use her power and skills in part two.

I’m still not sold on Gurney’s character. The intensity of the training scene is fantastic — and then there are weird moments insufficient to give him character, like awkwardly joking with his lord, then flipping his shit any time anyone else disrespects or even approaches him. My husband said he’s meant to be a bard but all his guitar scenes were removed. It’s also a shame he’s not given an on screen death — I wonder if it got cut. Or maybe he lives and I’ve forgotten in the twenty years since I read the book πŸ˜‚

Some scenes in this movie are great, while others make me go huh, why did they keep that.

The Harkonnen sudden focus on exterminating the Fremen people feels like it comes out of nowhere.


Re-watched Dune – November 2022

Re-watched Dune – July 2022

Watched Dune – October 2021

Science Fiction

Watched Tron: Legacy

Watched Tron from

The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.

Neither my husband or I had ever seen the original Tron so we didn’t go into this with any nostalgia. It was fine, about what I expected πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ


Watched Murder on the Orient Express

Watched Murder on the Orient Express from

When a murder occurs on the train on which he's travelling, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Science Fiction

Re-watched Dune

Watched Dune: Part One from

A noble family becomes embroiled in a war for control over the galaxy's most valuable asset while its heir becomes troubled by visions of a dark future.

Previously watched:

July 2022

October 2021


Visual storytelling / world building just fantastic. Very artsy for an action movie. He uses the hauntingly large spaces to good psychological effect — nowhere for the characters to hide.

What is Leto’s bull? Being honorable and going to Arrakis even though he knows it’s a trap? Thinking he can do anything better than the bad guys when he’s still a colonizer? That he still doesn’t listen to his sense of danger (or doesn’t have enough of one), just in a different way than his father? I also don’t get his last line.

Good night, the volume on this is terrible for home audiences. We were constantly cranking it to hear the story, then lowering it for dramatically overwhelming music. They needed another mix for streaming than studio audiences.


Re-watched Pride & Prejudice

Watched Pride & Prejudice from

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

I’ve seen this version three or four times, and I’m still not 100% sold on Keira Knightley as Elizabeth. Some scenes work well, and others she seems quite flighty and giggly. Honestly there was too much giggling without context/ out of nowhere from all the daughters, especially the first half.

I really like the proposal scene. She immediately regrets what she’s said but she’s too proud to take it back.

There was more arty-ness than I recalled to portray time passing. The ball scene cuts from character to character as it pans through different rooms — I feel like the acting or writing there is a bit overdone?

The ending is a little unsatisfying. He proclaims his love — she doesn’t even smile, and tells him his hands are cold. They touch foreheads and don’t kiss. She gives her speech of love to her father instead, and when she goes out to celebrate with Darcy the camera stays with the father for a joke line. She vaguely hints at an apology to him, but doesn’t truly admit her faults. And she never declares her love to him. (I read the book so long ago I don’t recall the ending at all and wouldn’t be surprised given when it was written if it was even less satisfying πŸ˜‰ But that’s the point of a modern adaptation: to match the sensibility of the day and tell the story in a way to be satisfying to a contemporary audience.)

Fantasy Romance

Re-watched Tangled

Watched Tangled from

The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.

Disney does story structure well. Quite a lengthy introduction to the two love interests before their meetcute around 20 minutes in, but does a good job setting up their external quests. The 50% everything changes beat ties the plot and emotional journey together nicely, his admission of a secret prompting her to share one that then offers a solution to their conundrum. Talk about an all is lost moment SPOILERS he legit *dies* and she thinks she’s lost her powers and her abusive kidnapper who she nevertheless has feelings for has just died also — and then she magically mysteriously brings him back to life (with love?).

(Ugh I can see when this stuff works in other people’s stories, why is it so hard to reverse engineer and apply to mine? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­)

Disney can also be good at humor, when they don’t fall back on body shaming — mime interrupting a chase scene good, mocking a guy who wants true love for his appearance bad. Also they cannot handle not vibing the villain as an oversexualized contrast to the pure innocent heroine, with heavy eye makeup and low cut top in a rich red on the mother and no makeup and a lavender dress on the golden haired princess. Is it just me or is the villain also coded Jewish? 😬 (OK not just me 😬😬😬)

The abusive mother is almost too painful to watch, I fast forwarded through her where I could.

Sigh, they cannot resist those traditional gender roles — irritates me every time that it ends with him teasing her that she asked him to marry her, but then admits he asked her after she complains. Maybe they wouldn’t put that in today? πŸ˜’

I bought this a while back digitally on Amazon and hot damn that video quality is bad. Did I not spring for hi def or are they cheaping out on their hosting, because that was dithered and fuzzy.

Horror Romance

Re-watched Sleepy Hollow

Watched Sleepy Hollow from

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.

This movie is so fucking great.

Tim Burton is phenomenal at creating mood — he even uses the opening credits to build mood and plant questions to entice the audience as the hero journeys through moody forests to the scene of the crime, the sky gray and cloudy just as winter days are here, the light weak and pale even during the day. He didn’t have to show that journey, but it builds our anticipation for what is to come. Love the desaturated look for the whole movie, the way he twists the idyllic to become sinister. The design of the evil tree is fantastic, and the costuming is great. I love the callback to the original Frankenstein movie in the climax.

The movie doesn’t take itself seriously, reveling in ridiculous fake gore humor, and casting Christopher Walken in a role where he mostly doesn’t have a head, and when he does his only line is a growl, delivered through teeth “filed to points.”

The plot nails its beats — I have had my head in a beat sheet for the last three weeks and in delight watching a master storyteller showcase the key beats. One quibble with the plot motivations: the magistrate didn’t have a reason to give him a tip.

I like that they pulled in the original story element of Ichabod being a coward while giving him depth of character and a commitment to overcome his fears and dislike of blood. It feels uncommon for a cowardly character to nevertheless be the hero of the story. The visual symbol of his beliefs — the spinning cardinal disc — is used brilliantly to complement his story arc. I find this character much more compelling than Jack Sparrow, though of course this weirdo artsy horror movie with the “beta” hero isn’t going to be the role that sticks in the collective consciousness πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

A few quibbles: I would have appreciated Ricci’s character to get one more scene, or at least a few more lines, at the climax. TechnicallyΒ it doesn’t fail the Bechdel Test, but not by much.

Comics Fantasy

Watched The Batman

Watched The Batman from

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.

I liked Robert Pattinson’s rendition of Batman a lot. This version feels like a real Batman could become — a traumatized, reclusive orphan obsessed with justice and vengeance, who dedicates all his resources to his obsession. Desperate to feel in control and empowered, he turns his time and money and energy to direct action when other courses would likely be more effective. He looks wan and sickly — a man who doesn’t see the sun, who sleeps too little, who pushes himself too hard and cares little for his body. His hair falls lank over his face — this is no playboy. Driven by emotion, he doesn’t take time to think or plan, but dives headlong into danger heedlessly. A risk taker who relies heavily on intimidation — he walks with swagger, radiating aggression, boots falling heavy.

I appreciate the nod to his detective origins. I also like the struggles he must face as the mystery unravels.

Visually this looked great. The vibe of the film is dark and gritty, even in the daylight scenes — this is a grim and dangerous city, dirty, treeless, lit by too few outdated sodium lampposts. There’s a cool fight scene lit by the strobe of gunfire. Bruce’s home is dripping with gothic ornamentation.

Selena and Gordon seemed well-cast. I love that Selena keeps trashing on rich people to his face.

Humor Music

Watched Bill and Ted Face the Music

Watched Bill & Ted Face the Music from

Once told they'd save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

Wow, I feel like they don’t make a lot of hour and a half movies anymore but that was the right length.

Goofy and nonsensical, you know exactly what you’re getting.