Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 1/2/23 — 1/8/23


And so the first week of 2023 comes to a close!

The Oscar nominations are due to be announced on Tuesday, January 24th, which means that I have a lot of movies to watch over the next two weeks.  Can I make it?  I’m going to do my best!  As you can see by looking below, I’ve already gotten started.  Without further ado, here’s my week in review!

Films I Watched:

  1. Angola, Do You Hear Me?: Voices From the Plantation Prison (2022)
  2. Attack From Space (1965)
  3. Elephant Whisperers (2022)
  4. Emily the Criminal (2022)
  5. Empire Records (1995)
  6. The Flying Sailor (2022)
  7. Future Tense (1990)
  8. The Garbage Man (2022)
  9. The Gathering (1998)
  10. Gold Through the Fire (1987)
  11. Her Majesty’s Queue (2022)
  12. Holding Moses (2022)
  13. The Ice Merchants (2022)
  14. Joe Buffalo (2022)
  15. The Martha Mitchell Effect (2022)
  16. Nuisance Bear (2022)
  17. Prey of the Jaguar (1996)
  18. Primal Fear (1996)
  19. The Runner (2022)
  20. The Running Man (1987)
  21. Save Ralph (2022)
  22. She Said (2022)
  23. Shock Waves (1977)
  24. Steakhouse (2022)
  25. Stranger at the Gate (2022)
  26. Strikers (2022)
  27. What Made Sammy Speed (1959)
  28. Without Reservation (1989)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Abbott Elementary
  2. The Circle
  3. Hell’s Kitchen
  4. Law & Order
  5. Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street
  6. Night Flight
  7. Tough as nails
  8. Twilight Zone

Books I Read:

  1. Divine Assassin (1985) by Bob Reiss
  2. Palo Alto (2010) by James Franco

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Adi Ulmansky
  3. Armin van Buuren
  4. Baustelle
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Calvin Harris
  7. Camila Cabello
  8. David Bowie
  9. Dillon Francis
  10. DJ Snake
  11. Emma Bunton
  12. Fiona Apple
  13. Geri Halliwell
  14. Lorde
  15. Nat and Alex Wolff
  16. Moby
  17. PJ Harvey
  18. The Plasmatics
  19. Selena Gomez
  20. Tiesto
  21. Yvonne Elliman

Live Tweets:

  1. Prey of the Jaguar
  2. Primal Fear
  3. The Running Man
  4. Shock Waves

Awards Season:

  1. Columbus Film Critics Association Nominations
  2. Austin Film Critics Association Nominations
  3. Music City Film Critics Association Nominations
  4. North Carolina Film Critics Association Winners
  5. Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Winners
  6. DiscussingFilm Critics Awards Winners
  7. San Diego Film Critics Society Nominations
  8. Columbus Film Critics Association Winners
  9. Set Decorators Society of America Nominations
  10. Alliance of Women Film Journalists Winners
  11. National Society of Film Critics Winners
  12. Georgia Film Critics Association Nominations
  13. San Diego Film Critics Society Winners
  14. Hawaii Film Critics Society Nominations
  15. San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Nominations
  16. Critics Association of Central Florida Winners
  17. Toronto Film Critics Association Winners

Trailers:

  1. Evil Dead Rise
  2. Plane
  3. Renfield
  4. Emily

News From Last Week:

  1. Actor Earl Boen Dies at 81
  2. Author Russell Banks dies at 82
  3. Author Fay Weldon Dies at 91
  4. Cinematographer Owen Roizman Dies at 86
  5. Canadian Filmmaker Michael Snow Dies At 94
  6. Producer James D. Brubaker Dies at 85
  7. Tony-winning director Frank Galati Dies at 79
  8. Actor Adam Rich dies at 54
  9. Jeremy Renner celebrates 52nd birthday in the hospital after snowplow accident
  10. ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Takes Down ‘Jurassic World’ as Seventh-Highest Grossing Film in History With $1.7 Billion

Links From Last Week:

  1. Armond White’s Better Than List For 2022
  2. Celebrating The Holidays – At The White House! Here’s Our White House Holiday Party Tour!

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared Weird Tales, Four Men and a Dame, The Imperial Orgy, Spicy Stories, Come Easy-Go Easy, A Peak in Darien, and Silk Stocking Stories!
  2. Erin shared the covers of Wings Comics!
  3. Jeff reviewed McBain, Prey of the Jaguar, and Lost Heroes!
  4. Jeff shared a music video from Earth, Wind, and Fire!
  5. I reviewed Quarantined, She Said, Without Reservation, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Running Man, Gold Through the Fire, The Gathering, Coach, Consider It All Joy, Emily the Criminal, Divine Assassin, Forever and a Day, Deadline, Seven Days Away, and Wrong Place!
  6. I reviewed Hang Time, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, City Guys, One World, and California Dreams!
  7. I shared my week in television, an amv, and a blast from the past!
  8. I paid tribute to Sergio Leone and Oscar Micheaux!
  9. I shared a scene from Once Upon A Time In America!
  10. I shared music videos from David Bowie, The Plasmatics, Baustelle, Calvin Harris, Jeremy Renner, and John Travolta!

More From Us:

  1. At SyFyDesigns, I shared Happy Rex Manning Day, One Thing I’ve Noticed, I Survived The Power Surge of ’23, 5th Day of 2023 and My Back Hurts, Have You Met The Galactic Council, For Every Day There Is Something From Louis Wain, and Interventions!
  2. At my music site, I shared songs from Emma Bunton, Fiona Apple, Lorde, Geri Halliwell, Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez, and PJ Harvey!
  3. On my dream journal, I shared Last Night’s Dream About My Neighbors, No Dreams for Tuesday, and Last Night’s Reality Show Dream!
  4. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared Damar Hamlin, A New Speaker?, Bolton?, Stabenow Retires, Speaker McCarthy, Good News, and Today’s Prompt!
  5. At her photography site, Erin shared Backyard, Raining, Rain, Lawnmower, Coke, Action Squirrel, and My Shy Friend In Black And White!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

O Canada! Aftersun win in Toronto!


Love you, Canada!

The Toronto Film Critics Association has named their picks for the best of 2023!

And here they are:

Best Film
Winner: ​AFTERSUN

Best Director
Winner: ​Charlotte Wells – AFTERSUN

Best Screenplay
Winner: ​THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

Best Actress
Winner: ​Cate Blanchett in TÁR

Best Actor
Winner: ​Paul Mescal in AFTERSUN

Best First Feature
Winner: ​AFTERSUN

Best Documentary
Winner: ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: ​SAINT OMER

Best Animated Feature
Winner: TURNING RED

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Keke Palmer in NOPE

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Ke Huy Quan in EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Retro Television Reviews: Quarantined (dir by Leo Penn)


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past! On Sundays, I will be reviewing the made-for-television movies that used to be a primetime mainstay. Today’s film is 1970’s Quarantined! It can be viewed on YouTube!

The John C. Bedford Clinic sits atop a cliff overlooking the ocean.  Though it may be a small hospital, it’s also widely respected.  The clinic was started by John Bedford (John Dehner) and the majority of its employees are related to him.  His three sons — Larry (Gary Collins), Bud (Gordon Pinset), and Tom (Dan Ferrone) — are all doctors and they all work at the clinic.  Bud’s wife, Margaret (Susan Howard), is a psychologist and she also works at the clinic, encouraging the older patients not to give up hope in their twilight years.  John Bedford is a stern taskmaster and his youngest son, Tom, resents always having his father and his older brothers staring over his shoulder.  John and Larry explain that they are simply treating Tom the way that they would treat any new doctor.  Tom isn’t so sure.

When the Bedfords aren’t hanging out in the tasteful ranch house that sits next to the clinic, they’re checking on their patients.  As Quarantined opens, they’ve got quite a few to deal with.  The most famous is Ginny Pepper (Sharon Farrell), a film star who has come to the clinic because she’s been suffering from back pain.  Larry quickly diagnoses her as suffering from kidney failure and announces that she’s going to need to get an immediate transplant.  Ginny is not happy to hear that and spends most of her time trying to make both Larry and Nurse Nelson (Virginia Gregg) miserable.  Of course, it eventually turns out that Ginny’s not so bad.

Meanwhile, Margaret attempts to cheer up a dying old man named Mr. Berryman (Sam Jaffe) and an eccentric man named Wilbur Mott (Wally Cox) hangs out in the hospital hallway.  Martha (Terry Moore) and Lloyd Atkinson (Madison Arnold) are at the hospital to visit their son, Jimmy (Mitch Vogel).  Unfortunately, while in Jimmy’s hospital room, Lloyd suddenly collapses and subsequently dies.  John takes one look at Lloyd and announces that Lloyd might have Cholera and, as a result, no one can leave or enter the hospital until the test results come back.

In other words, the John C. Bedford Clinic is …. QUARANTINED!

If you’re thinking this sounds a little bit dull …. well, you’re not wrong.  Quarantined has a 73-minute running time and a large cast but it really does just feel like an episode of a not particularly interesting medical drama.  It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that this movie was actually meant to serve as a pilot for a show that would have followed day-to-day life at the clinic.  Each member of the Bedford family is given a hint of characterization, just enough to suggest what type of situations they would get involved in on a weekly basis.  Larry was the straight shooter who was dedicated to saving lives.  Bud was the well-meaning middle child while Margaret was the one who encouraged the men to talk about their feelings.  Tom was the idealistic but impulsive youngest child.  John was the wise patriarch.  They’re all kind of boring.

The same can be said of Quarantined as a movie.  As directed by Leo “Father of Sean” Penn, the movie promises a lot of drama but it never really delivers and there’s something rather annoying about how casually John announces that no one is allowed to leave the clinic.  He even calls the police and has them set up road blocks around the clinic.  On the one hand, John is doing the right thing.  No one wants a cholera epidemic.  On the other hand, everyone’s so quick to accept that idea of John being a benign dictator that …. well, one can only imagine what a pain in the ass the Bedfords would have been during the COVID era.

As far as I know, there was never a TV show about the Bedford family and their clinic on a cliff.  Personally, I’m okay with that.  

AMV Of The Day: Space Oddity (Cowboy Bebop)


In memory of David Bowie, on what would have been his birthday, here’s an AMV of the Day.

Anime: Cowboy Bebop

Song: Space Oddity (performed by David Bowie)

Creator: Gabriel Jimenez (please subscribe to this creator’s channel)

Past AMVs of the Day

Catching Up With The Films of 2022: She Said (dir by Maria Schrader)


To put it lightly, I had mixed feelings about She Said.

On the one hand, the downfall of Harvey Weinstein is an important story and it’s one that should never be forgotten.  It wasn’t that long ago that Weinstein was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.  Many of the people who now regularly talk about how much they hated him had no problem working for him, taking his money, and thanking him whenever they won an award.  She Said focuses on the work of the two New York Times reporters, Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan), who wrote the initial article that detailed the allegations against Weinstein.  (Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker piece was published shortly afterwards.)  The film is not only about the article but it’s also about women working together and supporting each other.  Kazan and Mulligan both do a good job of portraying Jodi and Megan, bringing some nuance to a script that is full of dialogue that is occasionally a bit too on-the-nose.

On the other hand, it’s hard not to feel that She Said lets a lot of people off the hook.  While Jodi does originally pitch her story as dealing with systemic sexism, there’s actually very little examination of how the system enabled a monster like Harvey Weinstein.  Mention is made of Weinstein having powerful friends but few of those friends are called out by name and there’s very little discussion about how Weinstein used his money to become a player in Washington as well as Hollywood.  It leads to some odd narrative choices.  For instance, both Jodi and Megan are shocked to discover that Harvey is being represented by prominent feminist attorney Lisa Bloom, the daughter of Gloria Allred.  Jodi later talks about an off-screen conversation that she had with Bloom, in which Bloom tried to use a number of personal, political, and professional appeals to convince Jodi to drop the story.  It sounds like an interesting conversation but why don’t we get to see it?  Would it have cast Bloom in too negative of a light?  The film’s approach leaves it open to such accusations.  Indeed, it’s hard not to be reminded of the way that Rose McGowan was shunned when she (correctly) pointed out that a lot of the people celebrating Weinstein’s downfall were the same people who spent years ignoring what was an open secret in Hollywood.  The film tells us that Harvey Weinstein is a monster but we already know that.  What the film does not tell us is how he came to power and why he was protected for decades.

Thematically, She Said attempts to be a celebration of journalism, in the style of recent films like The Post, Truth, and Spotlight.  Like those films, it shares the same flat visual style.  There’s nothing particularly cinematic about it which is unfortunate as, with everyone already knowing how the story ends, She Said could have used some stylistic flair.  To a certain extent, I can understand the logic.  The emphasis is supposed to be on the reporters doing the hard work of getting the story and all of the recent films about journalism take a straight-ahead, by-the-numbers approach.  The problem with using this approach for She Said is that it leads to a lot of static, poorly framed shots of people talking on the phone, sitting at their desks, and staring at computer screens.  It may be a realistic depiction of modern journalism but it’s not particularly compelling to watch.  If anything, the film’s depiction of clean offices, supportive co-workers, and fair-minded editors makes the film feel like a testimonial about how The New York Times is the best workplace in America.  As opposed to the reporters in Spotlight, one never feels that Jodi and Megan are in danger of losing their jobs.  Unlike The Post or Shattered Glass, there’s no conversations about how the media establishment is often guilty of initially enabling the same behavior that it later condemns.  The New York Times never feels alive in the way that The New Republic did in Shattered Glass.  There’s not even a moment that’s as ludicrously over-the-top as the scene in Truth where Cate Blanchett argues that she shouldn’t be criticized for producing an obviously false story because it could have, in theory, been true.  Instead, She Said is very respectable and very dignified and a little too safe.  There’s not much going on beneath the surface. 

The film drops a lot of famous names.  Ashley Judd plays herself while Gwyneth Paltrow provides her voice for a scene in which she calls Jodi and says that Harvey has shown up at her house.  (Again, this is a scene that would probably have been more effective if we had seen it happen as opposed to just hearing about it.)  Lena Dunham is given a shout-out as someone who (off-screen) called and offered to help.  Someone casually mentions that Martin Scorsese hates Harvey Weinstein.  And yet, the film’s most powerful moments come when Jodi and Megan talk to the women who weren’t famous but who were still traumatized and victimized by Harvey Weinstein.  Samantha Morton and Jennifer Ehle play two former Miramax employees, both of whom eventually tell their stories to Jodi and Megan.  Morton and Ehle both give heart-felt performances and, during their scenes, She Said finds its reason for existing.  The performances of Samantha Morton and Jennifer Ehle both capture the real-life damage caused by men like Harvey Weinstein and the systems that enable them.

In the end, She Said is a film that I wanted to like more than I did.  It tells a compelling story in the least compelling way possible and, unlike Kitty Green’s The Assistant, it lets far too many people off the hook.

 

Music Video of the Day: I’m Afraid of Americans by David Bowie (1997, dir by Dom & Nic)


Today would have been David Bowie’s 76th birthday so it only feels appropriate that our music video of the day should come from him.  In I’m Afraid of Americans, Bowie is pursued through New York City by Trent Reznor.

This is a song that has been interpreted and re-interpreted several times through the years.  Bowie himself indicated that the song wasn’t anti-American as much as it was about America’s cultural and commercial dominance over much of the world.  Of course, more recently, other critics have insisted in finding a message about the current state of American politics in the song’s lyrics, despite the fact that Bowie died before the start of our current political era.  Myself, when I watched the video, I immediately thought of the paranoia that many felt and some still feel about COVID, with Bowie representing the wealthy city dweller who finds himself fleeing from anyone who he fears might be unvaccinated or infected.  Like all great songs and videos, I’m Afraid of Americans can mean a host of different things depending on when you watch or listen to it.

Enjoy!