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About Webslinger

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  1. Never thought I'd say "I'm so happy to see Tenet pass $50 million" before the pandemic kicked in, but that's 2020 for ya.
  2. As long as the Astros don't win it all, I'm good. Even all the trashcan shenanigans notwithstanding, I just can't stomach the idea of a sub-.500 team being a win away from the World Series, even in a year as weird as this.
  3. As surreal as it feels to be writing about an ambitious new Christopher Nolan action film in the midst of a pandemic that has otherwise halted the releases of almost all other big budget movies, I’m happy to report that I enjoyed Tenet thoroughly. As one would expect of a Nolan film, Tenet is an ambitious spectacle with excellent action sequences and an engaging storyline that requires more thought than most other popcorn flicks. On the technical side, it boasts some very impressively orchestrated action sequences that once again demonstrate Nolan’s mastery behind the camera. As annoyed as I have been with Nolan’s insistence on this film opening theatrically as soon as possible (and the ramifications its soft box office performance has already had over theatrical exhibition in the age of coronavirus), these impressively staged and scaled sequences truly do demand a theatrical viewing, and they go a long way toward making the movie as wildly entertaining as it is. If there is an area where Tenet falls short of Nolan’s past efforts, however, it is character development. It feels as if Nolan is replicating the same minimal characterization he did in Dunkirk, but while that decision worked for that film’s stripped-down approach that regarded its characters as broad thematic representatives in a relatively simple survival story, it leaves a little to be desired in a much longer film with a more complex story. That said, though the script does not develop its characters as fully as it could, the cast delivers uniformly solid performances that more than make up for any lack of depth on the page. John David Washington steps into the action hero role with such confidence and command that he makes it look easy and has no trouble carrying the film in front of the camera. Robert Pattinson makes for a fun sidekick, Elizabeth Debicki lends some heft to an underwritten role as the estranged wife of the villain, and Kenneth Branagh is in fine, understated form as said villain. The long running time moves at a quick clip, and though the material surrounding temporal paradoxes is not always as clear as it could be (as much as some viewers like to mock Ellen Page’s walking exposition in Inception, such a character would be helpful at times in this film), it is ultimately fairly easy to follow scene-to-scene. I suppose some viewers might come away from Tenet with a “that’s it?” mentality relative to Nolan’s greater successes (not to mention the “savior of cinema” angle it took on as the first huge release to hit screens after the March shutdown), but there’s more than enough to really savor in the film, and I ended up enjoying it thoroughly and look forward to taking it in again at some point. See it theatrically if you can (i.e. if you’re comfortable and it’s safe to do so in your area). B+ Stray Thoughts: - Damn, it's weird - yet also really nice? - to do the usual post-movie review and logging ritual I've mostly fallen out of since theaters first shut down in March. I penned a few mini-reviews for movies I watched at home, but I lost interest after a while. - I actually didn't have as many issues with the sound mixing as others did, but yes, there were still spots where I wish Nolan had placed more emphasis on dialogue rather than sounds happening around it. - I really wish I could have seen this in IMAX. I mean, I'm glad I got to see it in a theater at all, but I couldn't help but look at the 2.20:1 framing (which was letterboxed on a constant height screen set to 1.85:1) and wonder how great it would look in full-on IMAX.
  4. As I mentioned in the theater reopening thread, I finally ventured back out to a theater to check out Tenet this afternoon. It's a pretty solid movie. I'm a little disappointed to "only" call a Nolan film pretty solid, but that's what it is. I'm damn glad that I got to see it theatrically.
  5. I finally made it back to a theater for the first time in almost seven months. It's a place about 45-ish minutes from me that had re-opened for about a month in July with older movies, closed, and apparently re-opened over Labor Day weekend for Tenet's release. I would have been there a month ago to catch Tenet if I had known they were open, but they weren't listed on Tenet's official site since the theater doesn't do online ticketing; it just popped up under showtimes on a Google search I did on a whim a few days ago. And honestly, I'm definitely feeling like I lucked out. The place was a total ghost town and I can't see them holding out hope for a turnaround with No Time to Die having moved to April. I won't be surprised if they announce they're closing again at some point this week. But it was nice to go back to the movies again! It felt kinda surreal to be watching a new Christopher Nolan flick in the midst of a pandemic that has otherwise shut down the release of big movies, but it was a lot of fun to watch a big movie on a decent-size screen and with a nice sound system (even if the film itself makes some, uh, interesting choices with its sound mix). And it was just my parents and me in the auditorium, so there was no need to worry about other patrons (still left my mask on the whole time though - I'm so used to wearing it for work that it doesn't bother me anymore).
  6. Just finished rewatching The Social Network for its 10th anniversary. It ended up being my favorite movie of the entire 2010s and damn does it ever still slap.
  7. 2009 was such an exciting box office year. So many huge, shocking breakouts; it legit felt like there was at least one shockingly big opening weekend every single month.
  8. I would say "Nah," but I mentioned that I was feeling a big Cleveland run in an offline conversation a couple days ago, so I've resigned myself to not really being able to predict how all of this is gonna shake out. The big X-factor here is that nobody has played a team outside of their division or the corresponding one in the other league (sans spring training) in an entire year. I feel like that means anything can happen in an interdivision matchup.
  9. It wasn't a banner year for either of my teams (though the Mariners played better than I expected and showed they have some pieces for the future), but I'm quite happy that MLB made it through the full 60-game slate. The expanded playoffs, weird as they still feel (two sub-.500 teams!), should be fun.
  10. I rewatched The Town, Prisoners, and Goodfellas yesterday. I guess my mood was “films with amoral protagonists” for whatever reason.
  11. Yeah, there's a decidedly funereal tone to all my other liberal friends' social media feeds at the moment. Damn.
  12. Agreed. I mean, I kinda have to agree that regular season games are meaningful as a fan of a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs in almost two decades, but still.
  13. I'm bummed about how Tenet has fared, but I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. It's still not playing anywhere near where I am (nothing near me is open right now) and if it's going to post soft numbers, that doesn't really incentivize locations that haven't re-opened yet to do so. If the theaters in my area were to re-open, I don't think Tenet, New Mutants, and Unhinged would be a great trio for getting people excited for going back to the movies; Tenet would probably do decently for the circumstances, but the other two? Nah.
  14. I would say it’s a likelier case of the film itself having niche appeal. I can’t imagine anyone who goes in not having seen at least one of the Bill & Ted’s movies having much interest in the new one.
  15. My movie watching has gone way down since going back to work, but I got to watch Sunset Boulevard twice this week: once in prepping to show it to a class, then showing it to said class. It’s always occupied a weird place in my mind where it’s absolutely an all-timer, but I also always hold it against its fellow 1950 masterpiece All About Eve, which is in my all-time top five. The script is amazing and Gloria Swanson’s verbal and physical expressiveness as Norma Desmond is incredible. I’m also watching Burn After Reading for the first time since a re-watch on DVD over the Christmas/New Year’s break in ‘08. Only the Coen Brothers would follow something as dark and lyrical as No Country for Old Men with a goofy star-driven comedy.
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