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Megan Watches Movies


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Megan Watches Movies

 

That's it, that's all I'm doing. I have AMC A-List and nobody to talk about at least half the movies I see. I try to see a new movie at least once a week and I'll progressively rank them. In the meantime I'll go through all the other movies that I've seen the past like 18 months. Whatever is on my Letterboxd and just other movies that I like.

 

This is almost just for myself. But if anybody else wants to comment feel free. Unless it is marked Spoilers Unmarked (default for anything that's been out for at least 4 months and likely out of theaters) all spoilers will be marked so don't be too afraid for movies. Also if a movie is based on a real person, then I probably won't be using spoilers too much. E.g. it isn't a spoiler that Patrizia Reggiani hires a hitman to kill Maurizio Gucci.

 

1. The Northman (April 24, 2022)

2. The Lost City (May 8, 2022)

3. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (May 6, 2022)

4. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (April 15, 2022)

 

Upcoming movies that I've seen:

Everything Everywhere All At Once

X

Scream 5

You Won't Be Alone

The Batman

The Worst Person in the World

Nightmare Alley

Cyrano

Drive My Car

Licorice Pizza

Parallel Mothers

Encanto

House of Gucci

Titane

Dune

Crush

Edited by totes4totes
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The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021, seen April 15th 2022)

 

I grew up a large part in Missouri and as somebody who was never really religious but always surrounded by a pretty intense Evangelism that was really popularized by Jim and Tammy Faye, this movie had been on my radar since it was released. However, I never really felt the urge to watch it because I'd rather watch the original documentary that the movie is based on and I'm also not a huge fan of biopics. So despite the fact that it's a subject and a movie that I was rather sure that I'd likely enjoy even if I didn't think it was great, I hadn't really sought out to watch it.

 

That is until I was presented with a list of movies that I could watch on a plane. Yesterday, I had a 2.5 hour plane ride and what fits neatly into that span was the just over 2hr The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Turns out, it was kind of the perfect movie to see on a plane. Because you see if I'd been watching it at home I'd be googling the entire time despite the fact that I knew pretty much all the plot beats by heart (Jim and Tammy Faye met in college, they dropped out and became traveling preachers, they eventually catch the eye of Pat Robertson's CBN, they spin-off to form PTL, fraud/embezzlement, Jim raping a woman, the fall of PTL, the rise of Jerry Falwell, the resurgence of Tammy Faye). I guess if you didn't know all that then The Eyes of Tammy Faye might teach you something new. If you did know all that you might wonder "why didn't the movie go in harder on its subjects" especially since most are dead (Tammy Faye, Jim Falwell Sr.) or largely disgraced (Jim Bakker). And when I say harder I don't necessarily mean meaner, especially when it comes to Tammy Faye.

 

The movie's summary will say that it focuses on the rise, fall, and redemption of Tammy Faye but so much of it ignores how Tammy Faye's redemption was how she was embraced, particularly in her later life, as a queer icon. The movie references this of course; first in a passing rebuttal to Jerry Falwell about how she loves all people no matter their sexuality and then second in perhaps the movie's most powerful scene where Tammy interviews AIDS patient Steve Pieters, but a movie about the redemption doesn't seem too interested in post-PTL, post-Jim Bakker Tammy Faye. And while it may be the point in the movie (and in real life) where Jerry Falwell decides to take down the Bakkers, it doesn't even offer that there may have been more backlash for Tammy Faye from an intensely homophobic branch of Christianity. And with the movie you'd think her "redeeming" moment is when she went to visit Jim Bakker in prison and he tells her that she deserves to the Oral Roberts concert. Not the embrace she got from the gay community. An embrace of her that lead her to tell Larry King that when she was in her darkest moments that it was "gay people that came to [her] rescue." Beyond that, the movie is afraid to really give any criticism to Tammy Faye. If she has any problems it's being too trusting of her husband Jim Bakker. Hell, the movie is so afraid to really say anything about Tammy Faye beyond being the naive wife of the conniving Jim Bakker that it doesn't even show that she ended up marrying Heritage USA developer Roe Messner (and just barely alludes to their flirting in a couple moments) despite the fact that he is a character in the movie and their budding relationship was certainly one factor behind Tammy Faye's divorce. Tammy Faye was a complicated person full of apparent contradictions and the movie does not do enough to portray her fully.

 

Beyond its treatment of its titular subject, the movie chooses to go too soft on other characters as well. It avoids ever saying the word "rape" despite the fact that Jim Bakker's (and Fletcher's) rape of Jessica Hahn paid of with PTL funds was one of the major scandals which lead to the downfall of PTL. The movie almost treats this event with the same levity as Tammy Faye's (consensual) act of infidelity with her record producer. The end of the movie sees Tammy Faye visiting Jim Bakker in prison and it almost seems to redeem him. He's a man who granted Tammy Faye her divorce but still wears his wedding ring, he once again recognizes her talent and urges Tammy Faye to perform at Oral Roberts, he comes to terms with the fact that the Prosperity Gospel which he gave rise to and brought to massive popularity (to the extent that we are still dealing with today with how it has weaved itself into Republican politics) essentially told economically disadvantaged people that God didn't love them and that's why they were poor. It ends before we see Jim Bakker remarry and turn back to televangelism and while he isn't espousing the Prosperity Gospel he's still shilling and conning selling overpriced buckets of freeze dried food to survive the impending Apocalypse. That in 2020 the man was selling colloidal silver as a COVID-19 treatment during the height of the pandemic.

 

And while the movie clearly posits Jerry Falwell as an evil man, his evil seems to be the fact that he's homophobic and that without a thought brought down and replaced the Bakkers with himself for the outreach of the PTL network. And while it shows (because it's hard to ignore) Jerry Falwell's role in bringing Evangelical and Fundametalist Christians to the GOP, it doesn't reckon with this. Or the fact that he was against public schools and secular education (leading to Liberty University). And it certainly doesn't reckon with the fact that this political drive was just as much racism and antisemitism as it was homophobia and being against the left wing agenda. 

 

Watching The Eyes of Tammy Faye it's hard to see why this movie felt it was necessary or that it would add anything to the known Tammy Faye canon. Again, if you don't know anything about Tammy Faye and are watching this movie because Jessica Chastain got awards buzz (and eventually an Academy Award for the role) I suppose you will be entertained. But to people who already knew the Tammy Faye and PTL story, it's hard not to walk away a bit disappointed that the movie didn't seem interested in actually saying anything about its subjects. Tammy Faye is a complex character, and Jessica Chastain certainly does admirably, but it's hard to say that this is a necessary movie as is, especially because it could have said so much more.

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Ooh looking forward to this thread :yes:. Great writeup I agree with most of it. Going into the movie I had pretty much base knowledge on Tammy Faye, Jim Bakker, etc. I thought it was entertaining enough, but the problem with a lot of these bland biopics is, as you eloquently said, it pretty much scratches at the surface of these characters without digging deeper. Tammy Faye could be a more interesting character if you hold her more accountable instead of just worshipping her as a gay rights advocate and a hero. Yes Tammy Faye was a great ally to the gay community and that can be praised, but she also sat silently by while her husband committed atrocities. I think filmmakers are too afraid to make stories about real people, who are generally good, and pissing them or their families off. If you're not prepared to go there as a filmmaker, then don't make a film about real people.

 

I almost think the movie would've been better if it was just about some fictional preacher's wife who went on to be some advocate for the gay community. I mean it's not like the movie told you anything new about Tammy Faye's story that you can't easily find. Since, as I said, I didn't know a lot about her I learned a lot through the movie, but it's not like anything I needed to know.

 

Looking forward to some of the other movies listed. I've seen maybe half of them so far. I'm dying to see Everything Everywhere already, unfortunately I haven't had much time. Hoping to go sometime this week or next.

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On 4/17/2022 at 4:21 AM, totes4totes said:

Everything Everywhere All At Once

X

Scream 5

You Won't Be Alone

The Batman

The Worst Person in the World

Nightmare Alley

Cyrano

Drive My Car

Licorice Pizza

Parallel Mothers

Encanto

House of Gucci

Titane

Dune

I'm so far behind on this list

 

Only Parallel Mothers and House of Gucci. The first was great and the other was meh but I'm excited to see your thoughts

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On 4/19/2022 at 3:07 PM, .Rei said:

I'm so far behind on this list

 

Only Parallel Mothers and House of Gucci. The first was great and the other was meh but I'm excited to see your thoughts

you are lucky because the next one I am doing is House of Gucci

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On 4/19/2022 at 11:20 AM, Alex95 said:

I think filmmakers are too afraid to make stories about real people, who are generally good, and pissing them or their families off. If you're not prepared to go there as a filmmaker, then don't make a film about real people.

Absolutely agree 100%

 

If you aren't ready to tackle difficult subjects like as you said Tammy Faye sitting by while her husband committed atrocities and being complicit as a bystander then don't make a movie about Tammy Faye!!!!!!

 

Go the Aline route where it's basically "This is the Celine Dion biopic but it's not Celine Dion so" (I presume, I've not actually seen it...my next plane movie :haha:)

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The Northman (2022, Seen April 24th 2022)

 

I was going to do House of Gucci next, but I just saw The Northman and wanted to talk about it.The Northman is not a movie that I would normally see, in fact if it hadn't been directed by Robert Eggers I probably would not have seen it at all. But as the director of two movies I have loved (The Witch and The Lighthouse) I decided to give it a shot. Nothing against historical epics as a genre, they are just as what my mom describes as a "dad movie" (my parents also saw The Northman this past weekend). I joke that if I wanted to know about history I would read a book instead. But The Northman is much more than your typical historical epic.

 

First off, it's bloody. It's bloody and violent and the movie is actually at its most normal when it's in a scene like the gif above of when a tribe of vikings slaughters a village to sell people into slavery. But in this often violent tale of vengeance, it's interwoven with what makes The Northman more than just a tale of the trailer tagline "I will avenge my father, I will save my mother, I will kill Fjölnir." And when it leans in to Norse mythology, it ascends to being more than just an Aleksandr Skarsgård flavored Hamlet. (Though a Viking Hamlet is also in itself interesting). It's the magic in this movie that makes it weirder than your typical historical epics that makes it unique. It's Amleth in the hut barking with his father while high on hallucinogens or the interactions with the various witches and sorcerers (which is reminiscent of another Shakespeare tragedy - Macbeth). Those are the parts that I found most interesting in this movie, not necessarily it's violence. Although, it could still be more violent.

 

The acting is great and I fully expect to see a nomination for Skarsgard at years end with presumably Nicole Kidman's great turn as Gudrún because if she can get a nomination for a middling performance in Being the Ricardos, then she certainly deserves one for a much better performance here. I'd also be excited to see if Claes Bang can get a nomination for his turn as Fjölnir as well. It's probably too early to start predicting these things, but I cannot really imagine a better showcase for a singular actor releasing this year than Skarsgard in this movie. The movie is further bolstered by an underrated performances by Anna Taylor-Joy and Ethan Hawke.

 

I won't go in to it too much more because I don't want to really spoil anything. (Although, the beats of this story are familiar enough that I doubt you'll be too surprised by anything even though I tried not to say anything of plot importance). But it's a movie that overall shows off the directorial talents of Eggers while being elevated by its acting. Which is about all you can ask for in a historical epic to keep me interested.

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The Lost City (Released 2022, Seen 2022)

 

I saw The Lost City last weekend and it was the perfect movie to see on Mother's Day. I didn't see it with my mom (who was out of town) but I saw it with a lot of moms and a lot of partners and children going with the moms. If you wanted to see this movie in theaters that was the perfect chance because that is the perfect audience. Moms love Sandra Bullock and they also love Channing Tatum. I talked to my mom after this movie and she said she wanted to watch it because it looked funny, Channing Tatum is hot, and Sandra Bullock is good in Miss Congeniality. And if you are that, you are the audience for this movie. Otherwise, you have can totally just stream it at home. I probably will when it inevitably comes to Paramount+ and watch it with like an alcoholic seltzer and some friends while we gossip about all the stuff we hate in life.

 

I truly enjoyed myself watching this movie though! It's not trying to be deep other than the typical Rom-Com/Rom-Action movie is trying to be. A like "let yourself love other people after your spouse dies" story. It's fairly predictable. But Tatum, Bullock, as well as co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Da'Vine Joy Randolph sell the comedy both the physical and the actual dialogue. Sandra Bullock is kind of perfect in these "serious lady" roles and Channing Tatum plays the perfect himbo. Even Brad Pitt in his cameo is funnier than I thought he would be.

 

This is a chill movie to watch, especially if you can watch it with a subscription service you already pay for. Watch it with the mom and mom figures in your life.

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8 hours ago, totes4totes said:

thumb_E3B20734-5135-4952-99B3-89793069AB

The Lost City (Released 2022, Seen 2022)

 

I saw The Lost City last weekend and it was the perfect movie to see on Mother's Day. I didn't see it with my mom (who was out of town) but I saw it with a lot of moms and a lot of partners and children going with the moms. If you wanted to see this movie in theaters that was the perfect chance because that is the perfect audience. Moms love Sandra Bullock and they also love Channing Tatum. I talked to my mom after this movie and she said she wanted to watch it because it looked funny, Channing Tatum is hot, and Sandra Bullock is good in Miss Congeniality. And if you are that, you are the audience for this movie. Otherwise, you have can totally just stream it at home. I probably will when it inevitably comes to Paramount+ and watch it with like an alcoholic seltzer and some friends while we gossip about all the stuff we hate in life.

 

I truly enjoyed myself watching this movie though! It's not trying to be deep other than the typical Rom-Com/Rom-Action movie is trying to be. A like "let yourself love other people after your spouse dies" story. It's fairly predictable. But Tatum, Bullock, as well as co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Da'Vine Joy Randolph sell the comedy both the physical and the actual dialogue. Sandra Bullock is kind of perfect in these "serious lady" roles and Channing Tatum plays the perfect himbo. Even Brad Pitt in his cameo is funnier than I thought he would be.

 

This is a chill movie to watch, especially if you can watch it with a subscription service you already pay for. Watch it with the mom and mom figures in your life.

 

I liked it too and I watched it on my mom's birthday. 🙂

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12 hours ago, Starry_Night said:

 

I liked it too and I watched it on my mom's birthday. 🙂

That's also a GREAT time to see it. I am hoping that next time I visit my mom I can have her watch it with me. :haha:

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On 5/13/2022 at 1:22 PM, totes4totes said:

That's also a GREAT time to see it. I am hoping that next time I visit my mom I can have her watch it with me. :haha:

 

Yep and I hope your mom likes it too. :)

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Released 2022, Seen 2022)

 

I actually saw this movie a couple days before The Lost City but it was way easier to write my fluff feelings on The Lost City than it was to write about my feelings on this movie. Not that I really had complicated feelings about this movie, it's just a little bit more to write about.

 

Anyway, I saw this movie in nearly an empty theater and it probably would have been more fun if I was the only person in the theater or if I had waited for this to be streaming and watched it with a bunch of my friends. It is not nearly as fun when there's one other person in the theater that you do not know and therefore you cannot make all the jokes you want out loud. The BURDEN I had to bear. So anyway, what I am saying is that I saw this under suboptimal conditions and that when it streams this is a great movie to watch with Nic Cage fans or people ambivalent about Nic Cage but still want a fun movie.

 

And it's a lot of fun. The trailer teases the friendship between Pedro Pascal's character of a Nic Cage Superfan and Nic Cage becoming BFFs and in a lot of ways I wish that had been the whole movie. I think it would have just been as much if not more fun to watch Nic Cage find his way back to being a movie star by chilling with Pedro Pascal without the CIA/Drug Lord subplot. And I think that's because Pedro Pascal plays his character with such earnest-ness that every scene he is in becomes his scene.

 

It's overall a fun and enjoyable movie, but I was overall left wondering what it could have been if it didn't feel the need to shove an action subplot into it.

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