Requiem for MoviePass

moviepassphoto

This is no longer true. Sad face. Wait, there’s a sad face picture thing you can use instead of writing ‘sad face’? (Looking) Are you sure? (Still looking) I can’t find it.

The way I see things, it’s mostly my fault. I bought into Moviepass last September and proceeded to see 67 movies in the next 11 months. It would have been more, but I was traveling here and there, plus the state of Hollywood sometimes pushes even my limits of acceptable fare now and again. Moviepass got $104 of my moderately hard earned money up front and by my calculation the value of the tickets (to date) comes to approximately $940. I still have a couple months left on the deal, for whatever it will be worth, so the final tally is yet to be laid bare, but the glory days are gone, and as the saying goes, they ain’t coming back.

So, anyway, this is my apology for ruining Moviepass for the rest of you. Now we’re down to 3 movies a month, the selection of movies/showtimes is extremely limited, the app doesn’t work very well anymore and seemingly every week the deal gets a little worse.

Wait, I don’t like that one as much as the Robot Chicken one.

Skip ahead to the 2 minute mark.

Anyway, Moviepass in its current bastardized form is still a good deal if you live in a big city on a coast, which just goes to show what a shitshow the 10 buck all you can eat business model was from the start. Seriously, people at Moviepass, did you not understand that people who go to movies enjoy going to movies? And, really, what else am I going to do with my time? Contemplate eternity? Work?

Now it’s gone and dark days are ahead when I can no longer justify going to see the latest in the Purge franchise. In loving memory, here’s a list of the movies I functionally saw for the change in my couch cushions along with my quickie recollections on the quality of the feature presentation. And again, my apologies for ruining it for everyone.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Not good, exactly, but not awful. Meh, one might say. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Meh.

It

Fucking hell, I hated this movie. They changed stuff from the book to make it much, much worse and much, much more stupider. There’s a part two coming because it made boatloads of cash and fuck that movie.

Machete Kills

This movie is glorious, despite the queasiness of watching Mel Gibson be enjoyably evil in a Star Wars speeder. At least he’s legitimately evil in this, which feels appropriate, as opposed to that most recent Christmas family monstrosity sequel he did.

The Man with the Iron Fists

It’s exactly what it promises and the promise ain’t half bad.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Meh. I mean, Julianne Moore is pretty funny, and it has its hamburger moments, but still, meh.

Blade Runner 2045

It never finds its footing, the story doesn’t really work, and it looks incredible. Glad I saw it in the movie theater.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Solid movie.

Lucky

Zero plot and extremely engaging. Really liked it.

Thor: Ragnarok

Story and antagonist were perfunctory at best, but this was a very funny movie. I liked it so much I saw it twice back when Moviepass would let you see the same movie more than once.

Loving Vincent

More than its visual aesthetic, which is pretty engaging in and of itself. Really good movie.

Hostiles

Clunky and pretentious. What a waste of everyone’s time and talent.

Happy Death Day

A bizarre confection that never works but often threatens to. Could have been a lot worse, so you know, it has that going for it.

Marshall

Solid but unspectacular.

Jigsaw

This one was bad. Still way better horror movie than It. If I had to rank it amongst the Saw movies I’d say it is probably pretty much the same as all of the sequels but better than the original, which is another way of saying that I’ve seen all of the Saw movies despite none of them actually being good from beginning to end. What can you say? Mine has been a life…well, lived.

The Foreigner

Bleak and Jackie Chan was in full-on dour mode here, but Brosnan was great as the bad guy. I liked this quite a bit, but maybe that’s because my expectations were nil going in.

Thelma

So, so good. A great movie.

Coco

Okay movie by Pixar standards, good movie by any other. My wife fell asleep, so I got to tell her all the characters died in the end, which wasn’t entirely a lie, and that made it more fun at the end of the day. She still doesn’t know what happened in the movie and I refuse to tell her because otherwise she’ll think it’s okay to keep falling asleep in movies because I’ll be there to tell her what happens.

Ballad of Lefty Brown

Bill Pullman in grizzled veteran mode here. Solid movie, but it helps to have a soft spot for westerns.

Mudbound

Very engaging, but it didn’t really know how to wrap things up. Falls flat by the end.

The Disaster Artist

Not bad, but felt like it missed opportunities to be a much more interesting film.

All the Money in the World

Meh.

The Shape of Water

I liked it more than my sister, but it didn’t meet my expectations for a Guillermo Del Toro movie. Perfectly adequate though.

Darkest hour

Not bad.

Phantom Thread

Pretty good movie until the end, which was rushed and didn’t really work. In another downside, not the film’s fault, but still, now my wife refers to me as her grumpy tailor.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Better than it had any right to be, but keep those expectations low people.

Breadwinner

So, so good.

Call me by Your Name

Glacially paced and more impactful as a result when things do kick into gear.

2018 Oscar nominated Shorts

To shock nobody, the best of these did not win.

Lady Bird

Very good.

Black Panther

Painfully meh.

Early Man

Look, it’s not an insult to say this movie ain’t no Chicken Run. And yes, I know Mel Gibson does the voice of the rooster in that movie. Goddammit, why do people have to be awful and why do I have to know anything about them?

Annihilation

Blech. Story is crap, nothing really makes sense or connects. Looks great in stretches, but overall, pretty blech.

Game Night

Not too shabby.

I, Tonya

Excellent film.

Beirut

Great in spurts, not all that much when taken as a whole.

Isle of Dogs

Everything you’d expect and slightly disappointing for it.

Gemini

Not just bad, although it was bad, but boring.

A Quiet Place

It was okay. The big emotional beats mostly fell flat, but it was okay.

Rampage

This movie is a tonal disaster, it felt like the actors were performing in different films, but it somehow manages to be kinda fun. I don’t know how, because it’s not good, in any objective measure, but yeah, kinda fun. There’s a Pauline Kael line about movies so rarely being great that if you can’t enjoy trash there’s really no reason to be interested in film at all. That’s Rampage.

Solo

The most thoroughly blah movie you might ever see, but it’s so blah, it’s impossible to even be angry about anything in it. Makes you appreciate The Empire Strikes Back, so there’s that, I guess.

Deadpool 2

A little like watching an episode of Family Guy. If you get the reference, you might smile for a moment, but there’s nothing actually to any of this save for one glorious sequence in the middle.

Avengers: Infinity War

As good as it could possibly be, I suppose. But really, who gives a shit?

Revenge

The lead actress shares screen time with her ass in the first half of the movie, and the gonzo slapstick of the finale is, well, let’s just say, interesting. Taken overall this was pretty entertaining stuff.

Upgrade

Pretty good, all things considered.

Hotel Artemis

Meh.

The Gospel According to Andre

Meh.

Tag

Not particularly funny at any point and an obvious but still depressing descent into maudlin, saccharine horseshit by the third act. Seriously, character who is obviously suffering a terminal illness, just fucking die already and save us from the life lessons.

Ocean’s 8

Shockingly stupid. The requisite twist we know is coming in heist/con movies is so awful here it can’t be believed. I was embarrassed for everyone involved with the movie. Please God let the next of these take five extra minutes to work out a plotline/characters that makes some semblance of logical sense.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Ugh. You just wanna go to the movies sometimes, but yeah, you pay a price for it.

Incredibles 2

Good enough, I suppose, but familiar territory.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Painfully dumb and insulting with some finely choreographed action sequences. It stomps on the first movie, which was problematic in its own right, but still, why make a sequel with the same characters if you don’t want to continue the story? Oh, right, money.

Antman and the Wasp

Funny throughout, but the main antagonist’s progression is a tonal disconnect from the rest of the film’s bounciness.

Skyscraper

Not as bad as you might think. Not good, obviously, but still, take your tiny victories where you can.

Whitney

Engaging at times, but little below the surface.

The First Purge

Subtlety be damned, this wasn’t terrible.

Hereditary

Pretty good. Not sure the movie tracks, but whatever, Gabriel Byrne is always watchable.

The Equalizer 2

I actually liked a lot of this movie, which surprised me given how little this movie needs to exist, but it had no idea how to work its third act and holy fuck was the bad guy bad, and not in ways you want your bad guy to be bad, but in ways that make zero sense.

Leave No Trace

Engaging character stuff that neither slams you in the stomach with overwrought emotion nor lets you off the hook at the end.

McQueen

Handles the ending exceptionally well, always tough in documentaries where the subject’s life ends in suicide.

Mission Impossible Fallout

Meh. Look, nobody runs like Tom Cruise, but the plot in this movie is nonsensical, absurdly complicated and the run time grinds you down. Some fantastic set pieces, though.

Sorry to Bother You

Very, very funny in spots. Solid satire, clever story progression.

Blindspotting

Very funny and engaging, not sure the ending really worked for me.

Blackkklansman

One of Spike Lee’s best films. Handles the tonal shifts exceptionally well.

Slender Man

Borderline incompetent. We’re at the end of MoviePass at this point, and I just wanted to see a movie while I still could. Any movie. Literally anything. And this was my option. So you know, it was technically a movie, I guess, in that there were images on the screen and sound to accompany it.

The Meg

Not good, exactly, but it was both intentionally and unintentionally funny at various times throughout. That’s not easy to do. What the hell, let’s give it a thumbs up.

 

 

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