The Secret Life of Pets

Fulfills 2018 Movie Challenge No. 26. WHAT’S THAT GIRL?: A movie with talking animals.
Progress: 2/26

pets poster

The animation in The Secret Life of Pets is great. It’s just a really pretty movie, and I was primed to like it with its love-letter-to-New-York opening. But it’s definitely a movie where the parts are better than the whole.  That said, the whole was still an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, if you’re just in a particular mood or have some kids to watch.

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This Is Us, season 2 so far

This Is Us is a confusing show. Not because it’s hard to follow — in fact it’s remarkably easy to follow given how the flashbacks jump around to various points in time. No, it’s confusing, because it doesn’t seem to know what story it wants to tell. This post contains spoilers through last week’s episode 2.11: The Fifth Wheel and the  promo for tonight’s 2.12.

thisisus promo
NBC image

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Jumanji: Welcome to everything you didn’t know you wanted

Fulfills 2018 Movie Challenge No 8. RIPPED FROM THE PAGES:  A movie based on a book.  Progress: 1/26

If you think of a list of movies recent and pending that didn’t need remade, rebooted or sequelized…well, Overboard might top it, but that’s a topic for another post.  Regardless, it’s a pretty safe bet that Jumanji would be on that list.

The 1996 Robin Williams classic holds a lot of nostalgia for my generation and just about anything with Williams leaves big shoes to fill. And while keeping Jumanji a board game would surely lead to the most rehashed of rehashed plots, making it randomly a video game is a risky move for fans of the original. Right?

Turns out, not so much.

jumanji
Chris Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in “Jumanji: Wecome to the Jungle.”

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The Leisure Time 2018 Movie Challenge

Happy New Year! May your 2018 be filled with good entertainment. I did so poorly on the 2017 challenge that I’m bringing most of it back this year, but there are five new categories replacing the ones I actually filled. I’ll list the old at the bottom, in case you want to make it a mega challenge.

The rules are simple: For each category listed, watch a movie you’ve never seen. Categories range from as simple as “A superhero movie” to as complicated as “the first movie by a director you’re really into right now.”

So, let’s warm up those VCRs, DVRs, disc players and streaming apps and get watching.

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2017 Media in Review: TV edition

I may not have kept up with movies or books in 2017, but I sure did watch some old TV. Still not as much as last year, when I watched 13 seasons worth, but given how much new TV I’ve crammed into this year, getting through 9 seasons is saying something. (Probably that I don’t get out much, but that’s okay.)

Without further ado:

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2017 Media in Review: Movie Edition

This wasn’t a great year for me in a lot of ways, but most relevant to this blog would be just how few movies I watched, the dismal progress I made in the 2017 movie challenge and the zero books read. I read a few fanfics — some even pretty long — but I didn’t finish a single book.

But, rather than wallowing over what wasn’t done, let’s celebrate what was! In 2017, I watched six movies at the theater (which is a big year for me!) and 11 at home. Those 17 movies are a 45 percent drop from the 31 I saw in 2016. Seven movies (31 percent) were repeats, and I guess that’s an improvement over last year’s 54 percent. Once again, I failed to keep up with the release year and genre, but maybe 2018 will be my year for the full-service media post.

So, let’s get to it! As always, films in italics were repeats, and this year, films with asterisks are also included with more detail in the 2017 Movie Challenge Final Tally.  Titles that are also links go to original reviews.

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