My movie calendar is probably way off, but it feels like 2019 is finally beginning at the movies. Oscars season ended almost two weeks ago and Captain Marvel represents the first big blockbuster release of the year. (Sorry, Alita: Battle Angel.) So there’s finally reason to be excited.
Plenty of other films have been released since Jan. 1, and I still need to catch up on a few of them. But it’s also time to write some movie reviews again. I’ve really fallen off during the past few months because I didn’t have an outlet — forgetting that I’ll always have this blog.
So I did write up a review for Captain Marvel, which you can read here. If you’d like an audio version, we also recorded some back-and-forth reaction for the Amusement Park Podcast. I’m hoping this helps me scrape off some rust and gets me back into regularly writing about movies again. More on that with some fun news after the first of this week’s links.
This might be one of my more anti-social tendencies, but I enjoy going to the movies by myself. Mark Serrels planted his flag for solo moviegoing, calling it one of “life’s secret pleasures” in a piece for CNET, so I figured I’d share my feelings on the topic too.
Most people I know — and I presume most people you know — have a big hang-up about it, like going alone says something about you socially. Or maybe they just don’t like being by themselves in that kind of environment.
I totally understand. That was something I needed to get over too. And I feel the same way on a Friday or Saturday night, when it’s all couples at the theater. It feels awkward, especially if I’m unfortunate enough to be seated between two couples or groups. Most of my solo moviegoing is done during the day, and I imagine that’s the case for the majority of people who see a movie alone.
I’ve been following a lot more people on Twitter recently, largely to try and get more views in my timeline. That’s increased the noise on my TweetDeck, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing as much stuff as I wanted to while trying to keep my follower count lean.
No, I haven’t been adding more conservative political views or anything like that. Most of the follows have been culture writers, especially people who either work in the comic book industry or cover it, to try and learn as much as I can for The Amusement Park Podcast or my own writing.
Along the way, I’ve noticed a few writers linking to their Muck Rack page, a database for journalists and public relations professionals. (I think it was Meg Downey, writing for DC Universe, who first got my attention.)
This reminded me that I created a Muck Rack page for myself a couple years ago. I had actually forgotten! I’m even a verified journalist there! My avatar was a photo of baseball player Munenori Kawasaki wearing a Cubs cap, which means I posted it in 2016. So I figured it was time to wipe off the cobwebs and update that thing.
During the past couple of years, I’ve looked to the past to try and make the present happier. Getting back in touch with the things that once brought me joy could bring joy once again. Maybe that’s a form of regression. Maybe it’s a futile attempt to reminisce about simpler, more care-free times.
This has been on my mind for quite a while, but Meghan Daum’s recent essay on Medium got me thinking about it more. At 47, two years after her marriage ended, Daum is living much like she did as a 27-year-old. Is that always who she was, deep down, even when she tried to follow the path — career, marriage, etc. — to which we all aspire?
Maybe Rust Cohle was right. Time is a flat circle.
We usually save something inspirational for the end of these (not a) newsletters. But Steven Soderbergh has been doing quite a bit of press for the release of his new film, High Flying Bird, on Netflix. (I hope to post a review this coming week.) And in one interview, he responded to his 2001 Academy Award acceptance speech being used by Oscar telecast producers as an example for the ideal acknowledgement for winners.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s the speech Soderbergh gave upon winning the Academy Award for Best Director. (Traffic was the film that earned him the honor.)
Succinct and to the point. It’s definitely a good example for other Oscar winners to follow. Here’s the key passage, the one which really spoke to me and so many others:
“I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music — anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. I think this world would be unlivable without art, and I thank you.”
Maybe this is a hedge, but I’m more of a New England Patriots admirer than a fan. I’ve read a few books on Bill Belichick during the past few years because I’m intrigued by how he’s been able to maintain such success in a NFL that turns over so frequently. And Tom Brady is a Michigan man who was never appreciated as much in Ann Arbor as he should’ve been.
Also, a good friend of mine recently moved to New England and is saturated with Red Sox and Patriots talk, as you might imagine. I tend to follow the sports teams wherever she lives, if for no other reason than feeding her watercooler conversation topics.
So I suppose I’m rooting for the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII. I’d have no problem with the Rams winning, and it would sort of be revenge for the Pats beating the then-St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI (2002). But I’ve always liked to see excellence rewarded, even if it doesn’t make for the most compelling sports story or rooting interest.
During one of my local radio appearances on WISE Sports Radio here in Asheville, I said on the air that the Patriots would win, 31-20. (And I’ll be sitting in as a co-host this Friday for the second consecutive week.) So I should stick to that. But I do have this feeling that the Rams’ fearsome defensive tackles, Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, could disrupt Tom Brady. It might be closer than I predicted.
Am I already falling behind on 2019? (Falling into old bad habits is more like it.) I’ve been pretty good with eating less (and better), reading more, and keeping up with TV shows. I’ve been obsessive about doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, though I still can’t get past that Wednesday hurdle. (The mini puzzles on the app, however, are totally addictive brain candy.)
But my resolve to write more can’t slide, man. So Overzealous Recycling is back after a week’s absence. Did you even notice?
Mahershala Ali as this week’s featured image seemed only appropriate. He’s starring in Season 3 of True Detective, which thus far promises to be a return to form for Nic Pizzolatto and his bizarre crime anthology. Ali also earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Green Book (a movie I inexplicably still haven’t seen yet) and looks like a strong favorite to be a repeat winner in that category. He’s also in Alita: Battle Angel, coming out in a few weeks. It’s already a good year for him.