Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SickBed Movie Marathon

I don't wish for more time to watch TV anymore, because the only way I ever get it is by being sick. Unfortunately, I've had a lot of time for TV this week: sinus infection. Gah!

So here's my sickbed viewing marathon these past few days. I decided I'd watch some things I'd been meaning to watch and hadn't gotten around to yet. I'm an impatient patient, so it's good to be sick in the 21st century, the age of streaming services and digital content!

I started with John Wick. Great fun and perfect for my mood (I hate being sick and would really like to blow some things up instead of blowing my nose). John Wick was a very satisfying flick and more fuel for my theory that Keanu Reeves does his best work when he doesn't talk too much. He's so good at the physical: body and face work. Though, he did pleasantly surprise me with one great angry explosive speech.

The fight scenes were creative and fun to watch. The whole secret society angle of hit-people and other dangerous folk was intriguing, with all the layers of loyalties and betrayal. Adrianne Palicki was a nice surprise for me, as she's not an actress I've been aware before The Orville, and this role as Ms. Perkins is nothing like her Kelly on that show.

I always love the reluctant hero (or antihero) story line, where a person had turned their back on a life and gets pulled back in. It's not a story with a lot of surprises, but it hits every expected beat well.

I was still in the mood for blowing things up after that, so I tried Red 2. I enjoyed the first movie
some years ago, and considered this one worth seeing if only for Helen Mirren. I can take or leave Bruce Willis doing another Bruce Willis type guy, and John Malcovich's character doesn't seem to know if he's the philosophical backbone, or the comic relief. Sometimes he felt more like Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies than anything else.

But Helen Mirren's Victoria is one of my favorite characters ever. So the movie did not disappoint in that regard. Helen killed in evening wear and army fatigues with equal efficiency and panache, and even as dressed as a lunatic who believed she was the queen. In fact, I'd argue it's worth the whole thing just to see her shooting out both windows of a careening car and then sitting smugly while it all blows up behind them. When I daydream about having movies made of my books, I always cast Helen Mirren.

The movie overall wasn't quite as much fun as the first one, but I guess we'd already done the "coming out of retirement" gig, so this wasn't a bad way to go, and Anthony Hopkins was a delight. I think I'd probably be more critical of it if I felt better, but I'm looking for popcorn, and popcorn is what I got. :-)

After that, I'd had enough explosions for a while. So, I decided to watch Pan's Labyrinth (which turned out to still have some explosions, but they weren't teh point).

I'd heard a lot about Pan's Labyrinth, and most of the things I'd heard panned out (ha!). The puppetry was beautiful and creepy as heck. If all the labyrinth stuff was in this little girl's imagination, as the story certainly leaves room for, she was a child of darkness for sure.

But then again, what other kind of child could she have been given all the tragedy and sadness she'd experienced already? The story doesn't give her age, but I'd guess her at about 11 years old, and she'd already lost her father, seen her mother hook up with a dangerous guy, seen her mother suffer through a life-threatening pregnancy, lived in the scary household of said dangerous guy, connected with members of the resistance, and then seen her mother die.

The other Del Toro movie I remember well is Shape of Water, and there are some similarities in feel between the two films, including the fantasy happy ending representation of what came for our tragic heroine after death.

Definitely on the darker side of fairy tale, bringing to mind other movies like Legend and Labyrinth. So much ambiguity all the time. I couldn't tell whether I should be hoping she'd do what the labyrinthian creatures told her or that she'd discover their lies in time, because it definitely seemed like they were dodgy and playing right into what she wanted to hear. (Which makes sense if they only exist in her imagination). That deep ambiguity was woven through every scene in the real world and the fantasy one and is the main emotion the story evoked in me.

Quite good. I'll watch it again sometime when I don't have a fever.

So, there's the view from my sickbed today. Here's hoping it's a while before I have this much time for movies again!


  1. Hope you feel better soon, Samantha! Trying to get in sick days as a teacher is a challenge.

    1. It definitely is…and I wouldn't need so many if I weren't a teacher. Kids are sent to school sick to infect the rest of us all the time. Little biological weapons these guys!

  2. Hope you feel better soon.
    I need to watch Red 2. I really liked the first one.