Finally Watched It: “Hail Satan?” (2019)

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In this documentary, The Satanic Church goes toe to toe with various government boards in order to promote Satanism as a counterpoint to religion seeping into politics.

This doesn’t play about with the hypocrisy of religion in politics when a minority religion seeks to be represented. Every time the Satanic Church said “Hey, we’d love to put up our monument too!” in every case, the choice was made to not display anything.

But if you’re expecting something that’s all gung ho against religion, you won’t find it here. This is surprisingly fair-minded; even when the Satanists had to wear fucking bulletproof vests to protect themselves in public due to death threats. It makes me wonder they don’t have the support of other minority religions but that wasn’t the point of the documentary. I’d recommend this if you’re interested in contemporary politics.

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Finally Watched It: “Tower”

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Using a combination of rotoscope animation, real testimony, and historical footage, this documentary goes into harrowing detail about the day a gunman opened fire from a clocktower on the University of Texas campus on August 1st, 1966.

I don’t pretend to be a hard ass so I have no problem admitting I openly wept several times during this film. The parts that are reenactment are so well done, you would hardly know it wasn’t as real as the life video spliced into it. The narrative centers on Claire Wilson, who was 8 months pregnant when she was shot and the continuing barrage made it so nobody could get to her and she lay in the hot Texas sun for hours unable to move. We hear also about a child who was injured, a woman who did only watch from inside, the police officers who finally killed the shooter along with help from a civilian. This even ends with interviews from actual survivors.

Even how the news was relayed around town and summed up afterwards was just brilliant. Even though even to my 80’s baby mind, it was frustrating to see communication break down so quickly as opposed to now when every one has a phone in their pocket. Absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it.

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The Return of Finally Watched It: “The Public”

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When I heard there was a movie about librarians coming out, you KNOW I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. But the only places it was playing on the big screen were too far away and it took forEVER for the film to get a distributor. But we finally managed to get a copy on DVD and I sat down to watch it with my kid.

As far as depictions of our jobs go, this is pretty spot on. We get our fair share of strange questions, drunks, homeless people, and yes, even the naked ones. I will give this movie all the praise in the world for the acting as well; all very awesome.

However, the way it ended was very Hollywood. I cannot imagine a sit-in by the homeless and mentally ill resulting in the police raiding the building assuming the librarian is crazy and holding people hostage would end with singing in the real world. But I’d much rather that ending because reality is horrible enough.

I completely got how this movie portrayed the media and politicians twisting information before it reaches viewers and this is sadly also very true. Happens all the time. Overall, I thought this was amazing and I can’t wait to watch it again.

MAKE SOME NOISE!

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Finally Watched It: “House” (1977)

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Having seen this movie mentioned dozens of times on crazy movie lists, I finally had the chance to check it out.

We have our set up of a bunch of high school girls (I have nicknamed them The Sailor Scouts) all go to this old woman’s house and of course, shenanigans ensue. Typical right? Hoooooo boy, ladies and gentlemen, this movie I have to come right out and say is either the scariest funny movie I’ve seen or the funniest scary movie I’ve ever seen. Everything feels otherworldly and off kilter even when things are “normal.”

When it starts, all the main characters are so damn happy and go lucky all you can think is “well, hey there, Cannon Fodder. I’m sure nothing will go wrong here.” But even as old as this movie is, gods is it refreshing to have a cast we actually root for instead of a collection of unlikable assholes you WANT to die. You actually feel for the characters as they go through all this horrific shit; all done with effects that are creepy in some parts, and ‘pause the movie because you’re laughing so hard’ parts. If done with skill, I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie remade with updated effects! As it is, I’m half tempted to watch it a few times just because it was so much fun. This movie BEGS to be watched with a bunch of friends and booze if you got it.

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Finally Watched It: Whiplash (2014)

 

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“A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.” is an tragically simplistic way to describe the ride that is this movie. In yet another instance of people flipping out that I’d never even heard of this movie, I finally grabbed this from my library and I was floored.

Despite the main character being a total dick, I absolutely love this movie. I found it hypnotic in a way and I’m not even that into Jazz music. If you’re sensitive about long stretches of racial and homophobic slurs and taunts, you may want to avoid this movie but it’s amazing and worth putting up with it if such things turn you off.

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Finally Watched It: Ringu

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As if this even needs a summary, this is the original Japanese movie about a woman who is investigating a cursed videotape that kills you a week after you’ve watched it.

This movie is damn creepy. It may not have aged very well in some ways but, yikes. There were plenty of moments that freaked me out. And it certainly made me feel old because heck, who has video tapes anymore?

Now that I’ve seen the original, I actually find the remake to be on par with it. They’re both creepy, both have this great tone and lingering uneasiness. I can’t say definitively one is better than the other. I like them both. It’s a shame it took me so long to get to watch this one.

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Finally Watched It: Felidae (1994)

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This movie tells the story of a cat named Francis investigating a string of cat murders in his new neighborhood.

This movie absolutely has a “what the fuck just happened” sort of vibe. The animation style is wonderful and the entire thing is a testament to how animated stories can and SHOULD be used to tell stories to children AND adults. There’s graphic murder, sex, blood, and a fucking CULT. But its all cats!

This is a short watch, only about an hour and twenty minutes and is a German movie; even though I watched it with the English dub and found the voice acting to be pretty good. It reminded me of The Great Mouse Detective. It is also based on a book, which is on my list of things to read, and even though it’s demented and kinda predictable, it’s a cool movie! Just don’t let your kids watch it. It’s more adult than Watership Down and has just as much nightmare fuel.

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Finally Watched It: Handmaid’s Tale Season One

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In a dystopian future, any fertile woman is trained to be a handmaid and bear children for the upper classes of America.

Before anyone asks, yes I have read the book. And like the book, this pissed me off more than I thought it would.

The show is good. I like the way the story is told by showing you the present and then how our characters came to be where they are. The acting is top notch; basically all the stuff the critics have been saying is spot on so it’s hard to find new things to talk about.

For me, I had a special connection to the music. I think the songs chosen are a great mix of genres and fit with the show. I can see myself buying the soundtrack.

I do have to say though, this is not something I think I can re-watch. What you’re seeing is so rage inducing or heart breaking; I don’t want to watch it more than once despite binging the season like an addict and immediately running to the internet after to find information about the next season. I love it but I hate it.

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Finally Watched It: “Class”

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I’m a fan of Dr. Who so obviously, this spinoff piqued my interest. Centering around a group of high school students dealing with some very Whovian misadventures, this series is fun to watch, well written, and decently acted. I like the characters and the stories are fun but there’s something about it that makes it cool but not as cool as Dr. Who.

Speaking as a fan, I say give this show a shot since I am glad I watched it. For me, I felt it was a better use of my time to wait till a few episodes had passed and watch a few all at once while I was working out or something. I didn’t feel that driving NEED to plunk down for the premiere of each one as it airs. Would I be down for a second season? Absolutely. I can see real potential in this show.

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Finally Watched It: “13 Reasons Why”

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Everyone and their mother was telling me to watch this so I took a deep breath and dove in.

This series is about teenager Clay Jensen, who receives 13 audiotapes from his friend and not so secret crush, Hannah Baker, after she killed herself. I have read reviews before writing this – good and bad – and here’s my take on it. I found this series intensely compelling and triggering for me in the same turn. Having grappled with depression, suicide, and bullying in the past; I could identify with a lot of what Hannah was going through. I have heard that this series glorifies suicide and makes Hannah out to be some tortured special princess because she killed herself and selfish for taking out so much time and effort to make those tapes in the first place. To that I say; you missed the point.

To write her off as selfish for making the tapes is on the same level of dismissive as the people who disrespected and ignored her feelings to put her in this situation in the first place. “Oh, she just wants attention.” Well, DUH she wants attention! She wanted help and people failed her! And how many people sadly take Hannah’s path and leave people asking why? The whole point of the show is to SHOW WHY. It’s like Juno: if she doesn’t do this, there is no show.

As for glorifying suicide? To me, the entire show just ached with the loss of this girl. The gnawing sadness of Hannah’s death doesn’t seem beautiful to me. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve seen plenty of manga and anime that have the same kind of thing (Suicide Island, for one) and tackling this subject is never going to be pretty or easy. It’s like movies about rape; you’re not going to make any one comfortable or happy and they shouldn’t be (take Irreversible for example… But I refuse to watch it for the graphic scene because I can’t take it). I will freely admit, I flinched at Hannah’s final scene and turned away. I just couldn’t…

That being said, I do have a couple complaints. How many fucking adults with no brain cells are around this girl!? Kids are kids; sometimes they just don’t wanna say or can’t say what they feel may be going on but if all of a sudden my kid lopped off all her hair, I would have some damn questions! Along that same vein, what gypsy did Hannah piss off to have so many terrible things to go wrong so fast!? (That’s a Thinner reference for those who don’t get it…) It may sound insensitive of me but WOW. It’s like they used the character of Hannah to bullet point every single bad thing that could possibly happen to a Caucasian teenage girl in America. What I would have liked to see is SOME of these things addressed and if the show got another season, have ANOTHER girl (or boy) have other things addressed. There don’t always have to be 13 tapes, there could be journal entries, blog posts, paintings, songs; all sorts of ways a kid could express their reasons why. Hell, I say throw an adult in there, too. If there will be multiple seasons of this, there are so many ways this concept can be explored.

All in all, I’m not sorry I watched it but it took an entire Thomas Sanders playlist to cheer me up in order to sleep well. It’s the kind of thing that, as a parent, all I wanted to do was hug my baby close to me. But to say I wasn’t triggered would be a lie. It touched off feelings I battle with every day but I guess it’s best to face those feelings head on and deal with them. And if the show can do that? It must be doing something right.

And if you disagree with me? Remember, this is my OPINION. If you feel motivated to reply, try to do so with some tact and politeness.

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