Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2017.6

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special (2017) — 5/10
This was not a very strong effort. No zingers. Nothing daring. Nothing new. Not even a particularly good delivery. It wasn’t offensive—but I can’t remember single joke from the show.
Ari Shaffir: Double Negative (2016) — 5/10
This was not a very strong effort. No zingers. Nothing daring. Nothing new. Not even a particularly good delivery. It wasn’t offensive—but I can’t remember single joke from the show.
War Machine (2017) — 6/10
This movie stars Brad Pitt as four-star general Glenn McMahon. Glenn’s life is based on real-life general Stanley McChrystal. Pitt’s performance is decent, but nothing to write home about. This is relatively standard fare about the futility of war and the stupidity and politics that drive the major U.S. invasions.
Sebastian Maniscalco: Aren’t You Embarassed? (2014) — 8/10
I’d never seen nor heard of Maniscalco before. He had some original material related to his family. What he did, he did pretty well.
Defenders (2017) — 8/10
This was better than I expected it to be: this was the series that brings together Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil. The plot continues to draw the threads of the individual series together, with the shadowy Hand organization slowly coming into focus. Various factions of the Hand are revealed and the Defenders fight together for the first time.
13th (2016) — 8/10
This is a decent documentary about black civil rights in the U.S. It complements Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow quite well, for those without the stamina or inclination to read their way through that.
Kathleen Madigan: Bothering Jesus — 9/10
Madigan’s onstage persona is a wise-cracking, world-weary, hard-drinking souther belle. She’s very funny. Her stories are from a time in America that speaks to me: growing up in the 70s and 80s.
Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan — 9/10
Madigan’s onstage persona is a wise-cracking, world-weary, hard-drinking souther belle. She’s very funny. Her stories are from a time in America that speaks to me: growing up in the 70s and 80s.
The Standups (2017) — 8/10
This is a series of six half-hour episodes, each with a different comedian. The quality overall was quite good. I liked Nate Bargatze and Deon Cole the best, but Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder and Beth Stelling were also good, if a bit derivative. Fortune Feimster was OK, but I wouldn’t watch her again.
Big Mouth — 8/10
This is an animated series starring Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein and Maya Rudolph as three teenagers hitting puberty and sorting out its world-shaking impact with the help of the Hormone Monster and the Hormone Monstress. The writing is quite good and pretty funny. There aren’t a lot of new jokes, of course, but it’s well-done.
Marc Maron: Too Real — 9/10
Maron has been a stand-up comedian for decades. He’s honed his craft to a fine point and is at various times funny, insightful, cynical and wistful. Recommended.
Christina P: Mother Inferior (2017) — 8/10
Another standup special from Netflix. Also very entertaining with fresh material. Made me laugh out loud a few times.
Jerry Before Seinfeld (2017) — 9/10
Seinfeld is still a very good standup comedian. His material was a bit dated, but he also was doing the first material he ever did, just to prove that it can hold up if delivered well. He proved it. I thought this was a very good special.
The Good Place (2017) — 8/10
This series stars Kristen Bell as a not-very-nice woman who dies unexpectedly and is sent to what she thinks is the Good Place. Ted Danson is the demon running the whole show. Jameela Janil is Tahani the egocentric British socialite, D’Arcy Carden is Janet the super-intelligent AI, Manny Jacinto is Jason Mendoza the moronic Floridian DJ and William Jackson Harper is Chidi Anagonye, a nearly overwhelmingly boring ethics professor.
The Expanse: S02 (2017) — 8/10
The second season follows the unwinding story of the Mars/Earth confrontation as well as the evolution of the Protomolecule, its origins and its powers.
The Americans: S04 (2016) — 7/10
Paige is slowly pulled into the fold, although she’s still shockingly annoying.
The Bad Batch (2017) — 5/10
The best thing about this movie is Jason Momoa, who plays the leader of a desert cult in a no-man’s-land reserved for the worst of the worst—the bad batch.
Jack Whitehall: At Large (2017) — 8/10
Jack is a British comedian with a very bombastic style and some original material. Recommended.
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (2017) — 9/10
Oswalt is much funnier after his wife died than after his child was born. He controls himself on praising Hillary and keeps the other bashing in a fair and very funny place.
Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire (1974) — 6/10
This is a (rock)umentary following Leonard Cohen and his band on tour in the 70s. He comes off as a bit of a prima donna, though he’s probably just exhausted. He regularly leaves the stage for hours, only to return later to finish the show, rarely with enthusiasm. Leonard seems to have been more of a studio musician, just judging by how stressful touring seems to be for him.