Mid-February Movie Rodeo Roundup Jamboree Wonder Festival

This year I’ve decided to get as much as I can out of my AMC monthly pass. To break even I have to use it to see an average of one and a half movies a month. So far this year I’ve averaged seeing about 2.6 movies a week in total, with about two a week at AMC, so I’m ahead of the game for now.

Here are those movies in order of viewing, and some probably dumb comments about them that I’ll be paraphrasing from my letterboxd comments. Assume I liked the movie unless I say otherwise.


Wonka box

Surprisingly fun. We get to find out how Wonka learned the value of slave labor. Bonus: It’s part of the current Stealth Musical trend!


Ferrari bar

Somehow managed (with the exception of one horrific scene) to make the racing scenes the least interesting part of the movie. Adam Driver is fine, but Penelope Cruz says more in fifteen seconds with her eyes than Adam Driver does in five minutes of talking.

The Iron Giant

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How to make me cry at a movie:

  1. Hire Vin Diesel.
  2. Only use his voice.
  3. Have him slowly say three syllables.

In Guardians of the Galaxy the syllables are “We are Groot.” In this, the syllables are “SU-PER-MAN.”

American Fiction

American Fiction block

I wish I could write bestselling novels as a joke.

All Of Us Strangers

Probably the best depressing yet uplifting family drama romantic ghost story full of steamy sex I’ve ever seen. Probably.

The Book of Clarence

This movie couldn’t pick a lane. Sometimes it was The Life of Brian, sometimes it was The Last Temptation of Christ. Very watchable, great performances, but jarringly uneven.

32 Sounds

32 Sounds block

It looks like a documentary about sound, but it’s secretly a completely different thing. Unlike The Book of Clarence, the tonal shift in 32 Sounds absolutely works. See it if you get the chance.

The Zone of Interest

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Crushing. A haunting look at the hideous banality of evil.

Godzilla Minus One Minus Color

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Much to my surprise, Godzilla Minus One was one of my favorite movies of 2023. This version is edited to remove the color- not just be desaturating, but adjusting individual brightness & contrast of colors in each scene. Some of it works better than the original, but for the most part I thought the color version worked better. Still great, but not as great.


Argylle bar

This movie was dumb fun. It’s not great, it makes no sense, and if you like spy movies you’ll probably guess all the twists, but after a week with The Zone of Interest it was exactly the stupid fun movie I needed.

Anatomy of a Fall

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…and back to the serious stuff. Excellent performances in a mostly-realistic presentation of an investigation (even though the solution is much more obvious than the movie wants us to believe). BONUS MAESTRO LINK: Featured role for Snoop!

Killers of the Flower Moon

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If you need a man to play an evil dullard, you can’t go wrong with Leonardo DiCaprio. And like Penelope Cruz in Ferrari, Lily Gladstone is brilliant at communicating without dialogue.

The Beekeeper

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Things I rarely like:

  • Action movies
  • Jason Statham movies
  • Movies with heroes that are always right

That said: I loved this movie. Nothing but wild nonsense. HE PROTECTS THE HIVE!


Maestro bar

I loved the stylized first half, but grew less interested as the film became more grounded (Katherine felt the opposite). Bradley Cooper is very good, but Carey Mulligan outshines him. Hmm- that’s three movies where I thought the female costar outperformed the male lead. Maybe there’s a message in there somewhere.

This was the last of the Best Picture nominees I hadn’t seen. This is the first time in 25 years I’ve watched all of them.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 1

This one’s just for the comic book nerds (like me). It uses The Flash (not last year’s nightmare model) as a focal point, and it’s fun if you know the characters, but regular humans would probably get distracted by character overload and zone out. Plus, the animation style reminds me of the Venture Bros, which automatically dropped my ability to take this seriously by at least 28 percent.

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2023)

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…and Sometimes, I Think About Dying (2019)

Sometimes, I think About Dying

I saw the full-length movie with Daisy Ridley first, then came home and watched the original twelve minute short. The basic story is the same, but the viewer’s way into the mind of Fran (the main character) is very different. The movie has the luxury of more time, so it can let us discover her feelings slowly through abstract images and dreams; the short doesn’t have the same time for subtlety, so we get narration. I liked the movie more, but that could easily be because I watched it first.

I should probably do this more often with fewer films so people don’t wander off mid-post.

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