Month in Review: August ’18

To encourage a bit more variety in my blogging posts and to help distance this site from the one of old, I’m installing this monthly post where I summarize the previous month’s activity in a wraparound that will hopefully give people the chance to go back and find stuff they might have missed, as well as keep them apprised of any changes or news that happened that month.

Why am I already posting another one of these things? I feel like I was just putting on my swim shorts and now you’re telling me I gotta change back to long pants? I didn’t even get to go in the pool! The end of summer is both bad and good for us Brits. Bad because winter means the same thing in every language and every dialect: it means shit weather is on the way. But it’s good because, well, to be completely open about this — given our delicate complexion, we tend to skip the tanning phase and go straight to burning, and this summer has been prime roasting season for Redcoats such as myself.

In keeping with this theme, let’s see what films have been burning up my screen this summer, and which elite few I managed to review on Thomas J for the month of August.


New Posts

New Releases: Three Identical Strangers; The Meg; Alpha

Other posts: 30 for 30: Mike and the Mad Dog


Recent Re-watches and Something “New”

Interstellar (review here) — this film stands taller and taller in the Christopher Nolan pantheon each time I go back to it. Three nights running, I volunteered myself back into space and away from everything I knew and loved. I still can’t quite get over the cheesiness of this notion of love transcending all dimensions — including time — yet the film overall has indeed improved. And the score for this movie is so hauntingly beautiful. I think that is my favorite part of the whole experience.

Jurassic World (review here) — consumed in two sittings over the course of two nights, I came to the realization that my initial review of this rig was a little on the harsh side. Ultimately I decided I can live with much of what Colin Trevorrow offered, especially visually. Barring a Bryce Dallas Awful here and a Chris Pratt there, more of this was enjoyable than I ever gave it credit for. The dinos more or less held up their end of the deal, but it was the human element that felt like a major missed opportunity. With the former it is a painful irony; the daughter of one of my favorite directors (Ron Howard) is simply an incompetent actor, perhaps more so than her character is an incompetent aunt. I understood the corporate angle they were going for here but man, talk about a lack of subtlety. Meanwhile, charming as Pratt is, he isn’t good enough to make raptor whispering not seem like the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard of. Jurassic World isn’t quite the abortion my review suggested it was, but combined with its far too tread-watery plot it just isn’t very good. Put another way, it isn’t enough to make me want to watch what comes after. At this point I am happy to keep my experiences limited to the “original trilogy.”

A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987-1995) — how I managed to let this brilliantly inventive sketch show get by me for so long I do not know. This might literally be the funniest and most bizarre thing I have ever watched. The show’s namesake stars Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are peanut butter and silly jelly together. Given my affinity for wordplay and obnoxiously colorful language, this show has really struck a chord with me. Here is a sampler for those curious, one of my favorite “bits:”


Around the Blogosphere

You’ve gotta check out who Keith (of Keith and the Movies) got to hang out with in Little Rock during Filmland 2018, a four-day event put together by the Arkansas Cinema Society featuring a variety of panels and screenings all working together to support local artists and their filmmaking passions. This sounded like a very exciting and enriching experience that I need to have for myself.

Horror-centric blog and a Thomas J favorite The Missing Reel has recently undergone a beautiful site overhaul, with Ryan securing a badass new graphic design courtesy of Jérémy Pailler. The site already looked good. Now it looks even better. Give it a look here!

An old friend of DSB/Thomas J returns, as Elina from the wonderfully named Films & Coke has come back after a long hiatus. If you’re new to her site, please do hop on over and check it out!


Ear bug of the moment: ‘All Eyes on You,’ St. Lucia
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6 thoughts on “Month in Review: August ’18

  1. I re-watched Alien: Covenant the other night and that movie still owns so hard. Still can’t believe the reception that one received. I loved it even more on the second viewing and I really I hope someone let’s Ridley Scott finish that trilogy.

    • I agree, that movie got smacked when it came out. I really enjoyed it — the coming to the realization that this planet is in fact inhabited by little monsters was one of the most adrenaline-spiking sequences I’ve sat through in awhile. I loved those initial attacks. So brutal! I’m also hopeful that there is more to come, and that it will be helmed by its original creator. Ridley Scott is kind of a genius.

      • That first encounter when they’re all fighting one of the neomorphs in the field and that dude gets his jaw literally ripped off by its tail was AMAZING.

        Thanks for the mention, btw, means a lot!

        • Yeah that sequence is about as good as anything the Alien franchise has offered in terms of pure intensity and blood loss lol. I was a big fan of the casting too actually. I’m an unapologetic fan of Danny McBride so seeing him in there got me pretty pumped.

          No problem man, anytime.

  2. Dude thanks so much for the mention. I can’t quite get that event out of my head. Oh, and I’m thrilled that Interstellar keeps moving up on your list. It was my favorite film that year and has held up with each repeat viewing. Jurassic World, not so much. Something about selling weaponized raptors being sold to terror groups. Look, I love loony stuff. But that’s too much regardless of Pratt’s charm (as you pointed out).

    • 100% agreed. Although if you can believe it, I am more willing to buy into the inevitability of the militarization of dinosaurs than I can this idea of a raptor trainer. Is weaponizing raptors an inane concept? Sure, sure it is. But so are so many of our current President’s real-world policies. Its almost like Vincent D’Onofrio’s military man was foreshadowing for this terrifying new political paradigm. But I guess I shouldn’t give the movie that much credit. 😉

      I had to link to your post because I am still geeking out over that on your behalf! Haha! Such a great opportunity for film lovers. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those kinds of moments where I live. Tribeca would be a real treat.

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