MoviePass Adventures: Month 19

MoviePass still keeps going along (and funny enough had a person at a theater tell me this month “Use it while you can”) so here’s this month’s viewings (not counting what I saw on AMC A-List: Breakthrough (two times), Penguins, Avengers:  Endgame, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu)

1.) The Best of Enemies

Based on the true story of two people who were polar opposites living in Durham, North Carolina in the 1970s:  C.P Ellis, a local KKK president and Ann Atwater, an organizer within the local black community.  When the issue of school integration came to the forefront in Durham the two were put together on a committee to work through potential solutions.  Through this, there developed a friendship and the film shows how their lives (and the lives of the people in Durham are changed).  It is a very powerful film.  I thought the performances were tremendous and loved the cinematography work.  I hope this film is recognized with awards come award season.

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 62

(Number of unique films seen overall: 60)

(Number of films seen with AMC A-List: 27)

(Number of unique films seen with AMC A-List: 24)

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MoviePass Adventures: Month 18

I keep wondering at times whether MoviePass will keep working whether on it’s own end or do like they did a couple months ago and pretty much never have a film for me to see.  But it’s still working (barely) so here’s what I saw this month (not counting what I saw on AMC A-List: Five Feet Apart, Dumbo, Shazam!)

1.) Wonder Park

This fun animated film is the story of June, a young girl who through her imagination and mom’s encouragement designs “Wonderland” a theme park with wild and zany rides, wondrous characters and full of wonder an joy.  But then June later finds out the park she dreamt up has gotten into disrepair and it’s up to her and the animals of the park to try and bring back the hope and wonder of the park.  I loved this film.  It’s a very heartfelt story with laughs and feels and tells a great story for all ages.  I would put it in my favorite animated films of the decade hands down

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 61

(Number of unique films seen overall: 59)

(Number of films seen with AMC A-List: 24)

(Number of unique films seen with AMC A-List: 22)

Hope for Redemption: Thoughts on Star Wars Episode IX Trailer

Everyone that know me knows I’m a huge Star Wars fan.  I have been one since I could ever remember (aka a really long time).  I loved the films, the novels, the comics, the video games, the toys, everything.  I know the original trilogy by heart.  I went and saw the prequel trilogy films opening night (well at least I and II while I was in college).

Fast forward to the sequel trilogy.  I was super excited about The Force Awakens.  I went and saw it like 5 times in the theater.  Then came The Last Jedi…The most divisive Star Wars film and one of the most divisive blockbuster films ever.  I remember the seeing first trailer and having reservations about the film.  I thought “Oh it’ll be fine.”  Then I saw the film opening night.  And my reservations were warranted.  It…was not a good film.  Objectively and subjectively.  It was not good as a Star Wars film.  It was not good as the middle arc of a trilogy.  It was…bad.  To this day it is the only Star Wars film that I have only seen once and have zero desire to ever see it again.

On top of that was all the noise that developed from it.  You had a group of fans that were angry and hateful about it on one side.  On the other side there were a group of fans (as well as some media and people that work at Lucasfilm) that demanded that you love the film or you were racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc.  It left people like me who were in the middle of all this feeling not wanted by a fandom.

So in the past year or so my excitement for Star Wars waned tremendously.  I became apathetic to Star Wars.  I did go see Solo and it was fine.  And I was planning on seeing Episode IX when it came out in December but I wasn’t getting my hopes up.

Then the trailer dropped today.  That trailer.  It gives me hope.  Hope that the things done in The Last Jedi will be fixed.  Hope that the entire Skywalker saga will end on a good note, one that honors the characters of this fictional universe.  Now I don’t think The Rise of Skywalker can fully repair the damage done by The Last Jedi but I think it can go a long ways to fix the major problems.  But above all I hope that the extremes on both sides that screamed the loudest following The Last Jedi will put down their arms and come together to enjoy a film together, one that (hopefully) honors the story that George Lucas created.

MoviePass Adventures: Month 17

It feels like with MoviePass that it’s always a hit or miss as to whether there will be films to see with it.  This was a month that at least was a hit.  Here’s the list (not counting what I saw with AMC A-List: Apollo 11)

1.) The Upside

A remake of a film based on a true story, it is about the friendship of Philip and Dell, a quadriplegic and his life auxiliary.  Two people from two very different backgrounds that become great friends.  Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston are very enjoyable and Nicole Kidman stole the show with her performance.  It was an enjoyable film.

2.) Fighting With My Family

This film is based on the true story of the journey of pro wrestler Paige growing up in a wrestling family in England all the way to being a WWE superstar and Divas’ Champion.  I really enjoyed the film.  It was enjoyable film regardless if you’re a pro wrestling fan or not.  They made some changes here and there to her journey (but I understand why they made those changes for dramatic effect).  But overall it was a fun film.

 

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 60

(Number of unique films seen overall: 58)

(Number of films seen with AMC A-List: 21)

(Number of unique films seen with AMC A-List: 19)

MoviePass Adventures: Month 16

After a month of not seeing a film with MoviePass, I was able to use it again.  So here’s the list (not including what I saw on AMC A-List which included They Shall Not Grow Old and Alita:  Battle Angel)

1.) Stan & Ollie

This is a biopic of sorts as it tells the later life of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as they are on a theater tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.  I really enjoyed it.  I thought both Coogan and Reilly captured Laurel and Hardy really well and tells a part of their life that I don’t know if that many people know about.  It is worth checking out.

 

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 58

(Number of unique films seen overall: 56)

(Number of films seen with AMC A-List: 20)

(Number of unique films seen with AMC A-List: 18)

MoviePass Adventures: Month 15

So here we are.  The first time in my time with MoviePass and I saw how many films with the service? Zero.  That’s right zero.  Between their scheduling of what select movies were available and their app not working right when there was a film I wanted to see, I saw zero films with the service.  Now, given that I’ve seen a lot of films with the service I will be kind and give it another month.  If they keep this up, I will have to cancel.  They will give me no choice.  However, I did see through AMC A-List these films in the last month: Mary Poppins Returns, Welcome to Marwen, Bumblebee, Aquaman, A Dog’s Way Home

Total films seen overall with MoviePass: 57

(Number of unique films seen overall: 55)

(Number of films seen with AMC A-List: 18)

(Number of unique films seen with AMC A-List: 16)

2018 Year in Review

2018…the year is finally coming to the end.  This has been one of the toughest years for me.  I would say right there with 2013 with the level of toughness it’s been.  But by God’s grace I have made it to the end of the year.

Final reading list for 2018:

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller

Replant: How Did a Dying Church Can Grow Again by Mark DeVine & Darrin Patrick

Transformational Discipleship:  How People Really Grow by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley & Philip Nation

Street Gang:  The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis

The Stark Truth:  The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History by Jayson Stark

Here We Stand:  Enduring Truth and the Reformation of the Church edited by Michael A. G. Haykin

I Will:  Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom S. Rainer

This is the 14th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:

2005: 19

2006: 20

2007: 18

2008: 22

2009: 29

2010: 24

2011: 15

2012: 14

2013: 9

2014: 7

2015: 13

2016: 12

2017: 12

2018:  7

Here is what I learned in 2018:

1) Show love and grace to everyone.  You never know who is hurting and could use the support.  Even more so when you’re hurting love others.  It is helpful in healing.

2) Take it one day at a time.  Literally take things one day at a time.  Sometimes that’s all you can do to make it through the day.

This is a unusually short year in review.  Like I said, this was a very tough year for me.  I hope that 2019 will be a better year than 2018.  That is my prayer for me and for you