Media Bites – December 2018

We tried to sneak a bunch of movies into the holiday break to catch up on some that we hadn’t seen throughout the year. We didn’t succeed in watching our whole list, but we knocked out a great deal. That said, here’s my wrap up of some of the movies, television shows, music, and other media that I’ve consumed and thought was worth sharing for the month of December 2018.

I’ll have a Best of 2018 post up soon.

Movies

Green Book – I really enjoyed this movie. Both Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen gave great performances. The movie gives a view of what it was like for black people in the south during the Jim Crowe era – though reading about the film later it was criticized for not being closer to what it was truly like. Also reading about the story it seems that Don Shirley’s family was upset with some elements of the story. All of that aside, I think this was a great movie.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – This is a potential favorite movie of the year for me. The story was great, the animation was amazing – and the way they mixed animation styles based on the characters was beautiful. This story combines the origin of Miles Morales from Ultimate Spider-Man, mixes in a dash of Spider-Men, and a huge helping of the huge spider-comic event Spider-Verse from 2014. The story changes some elements of Miles’ origin story, but the changes make sense in the context of the story and don’t diverge from the books in any negative way.

Bumblebee – We really liked the first Transformers movie for what it was, but after that the series went into a downward spiral. Bumblebee was rated high on Rotten Tomatoes so I figured we should see it. The movie is a prequel to the original movie taking place 20 years before. It plays with the timeline a little, but I don’t think that matters for this series. The movie was okay, but it’s not really something you NEED to see.

Support the Girls – This was a movie off of Obama’s year end list, so we checked it out based on the trailer. The movie was interesting, but the trailer definitely sold it as a comedy which wasn’t what the movie was.

Eighth Grade – We meant to see this earlier this year, but life got in the way. This movie was very good, but I felt anxious the entire time – which I think was mostly the point. This poor girl is trying to find herself and her place in the world and watching her experience everything that comes with that while in middle school.

Side note: I can’t imagine being a teenager nowadays trying to define who you are with social media everywhere. Watching these kids in this movie interact fluff that people put on Instagram and elsewhere and try to compete with it was heartbreaking.

Searching – As soon as I saw the trailer I knew I was going to like this movie. It’s told in a very intuitive way – everything you see is through a computer screen. From FaceTime calls to live streams, to CCTV cameras, everything was through the screen. They got really creative with a few scenes to keep this theme going, but it all works. The movie had a good deal of mystery, and the ending was really good.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor – I grew up in the hood. The Neighborhood. I’ve been wanting to watch this movie for a while, but I’ve been avoiding it because of the feels and oh man did it bring the feels. I credit Mr. Rogers (and Sesame Street) with my love of seeing how things are made and how they work – both of which I also experienced as I grew older and worked on projects and jobs with my father. Here is an example from both Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street on the same topic – how crayons are made. They are both easily over 30 years old, but have stuck with me over the years. This doc really moved me.

RBG – A great documentary on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I knew she was a great proponent and leader of equal rights for women (and everyone) but had no idea the long history and everything that she did throughout her career. Definitely a great doc to check out.

Crazy Rich Asians – We didn’t see this one in the theater even though everyone told us to (it came out during the house hunting/moving/unpacking whirlwind). The story has been told a bunch before, but was updated nicely. Great cast, sets, and designs. This movie definitely wasn’t made for me, but it was still enjoyable.

TV

Patriot (Seasons 1 & 2) – I decided to watch this show after hearing about it on a podcast. It’s an odd comedy-drama that tells the story of an intelligence officer trying to ensure the outcome of the Iranian election so that they don’t gain nuclear capabilities. Both seasons tell the same continuous story, and every episode pushes the story forward. The show has a really great cast, too. It just has a terrible name.

Music

As a reminder, I’ve keeping both an Apple Music playlist and Spotify playlist updated that includes all of my favorite new songs from 2018.

Hi, I'm Mike. I'm From the Internet.