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Airplane movie reviews September 2023

Wherein I review movies that I’ll watch on an international flight that I would be unlikely watch at home [1]:


  • Renfield: The perfect role for Nic Cage’s hammy overacting. Maybe this is all of his recent ones. Dunno, generally have a very low tolerance for NC, but a friend recommended. It was okay.
  • The Covenant: Guy Ritchie knows how to make a movie. Jake G is an eminently watchable actor. Did not realize that his colonel was Zero Cool, which I guess is a huge tribute to his acting skills. The movie belongs to the unknown guy though. He was great. What’s with the deal of hiring remarkably non-Afghan actors to play the wives in these? See also in The Old Man [2].
  • Joy Ride: Recommended to me, but nope, couldn’t watch The Hangover/Bridesmaids again. See also superhero movies.
  • Bullet Train: This was okay when I ran out of everything else. I like Brad Pitt and some of the rest of the cast. Maybe the one guy would make a good Bond, but honestly I’d rather watch the woman that they had in the last movie. I tried to watch it again at home and the stupidity killed me. So this needs about six hours of sitting on a plane and three glasses of wine and a champagne to make it work.
  • Operation Fortune: Bad Guy Ritchie, bad Jason Statham. Always fun to watch whasshername be crazy and try to figure out how much of that is real
  • Emily the Criminal: Speaking of whasshername, good here. Some good moments. A real Primer vibe at the end. But so many ‘who would be that stupid’ moments. I guess a stupid person, but it’s difficult to have sympathy for someone who literally asks for it.
  • Nightmare Alley: The original was so much better. The book was so much better.
  • Babylon: The nudity was all pixelated out, so I decided to watch at home, not that I need nudity but it was super-annoying. Couldn’t get through it at home.
  • After Sun: This is the winner this year. This was amazing. Both actors were amazing. I can’t do coming of age movies [3]. This is not that, except that it kinda is but not how you’d think. I need/would like to watch this again but I’m not sure that I can. I’ve been recommending this strongly because I want someone else to watch it so that I can talk to them about it.
  • Licorice Pizza: Nope. Just nope. Creepy.
  • The Northman: Way better than I expected, in fact, really good. Might have to watch again on a big screen. Great cast. I really like the Viking dude who wasn’t a Skarsgard who I always get mixed up with the guy who’s not the Clive Owen Treadstone operative in the Bourne movies. Maybe because I’ll watch a movie with either of those guys who should both have more lead roles. For some reason, Vikings have been coming up in my reading over the last couple of years. I had read about three Viking-related books, and just finished Children of Elm and Ash. So given that I’m practically a Viking expert now, this tracked and was believable. Vikings were weird, man. How are we are ever going to think we might understand a Neanderthal when Vikings who are 49000 years closer to us were basically aliens?
  • Dr. Strange: Nope. Just nope. No more superhero movies.
  • It Ain’t Over – The Yogi Berra story: I’m not a sportsball fan anymore. I’d rather go do than watch or mythologize. And now that I can’t do much, there’s nothing left there anymore. I’ll watch a Tik-Tok of the women’s pole vault or a summary of the Vuelta. But Yogi seemed like a straight-up nice guy and stealth superstar with a mugs face. You can’t argue that he should have been out on that field with Hank Aaron. Johnny Bench? Pshaw. Fuck that right wing nut job.
  • Don’t Worry Darling: Well done, utterly predictable.
  • Nope: Maybe I should have watched this on a big screen in a dark room. It had some stunning imagery. I always wondered about those 50s TV monkeys… But utterly predictable plot.
  • Tully: Great cast, couldn’t finish it.
  • Weird – The Weird Al Story: Many LOLs. Didn’t expect to like it, and wouldn’t watch it again, but it was perfect for the airplane.


[1] If I’m interested I’ll usually save it for watching on a big screen with good sound.
[2] Breaking my rule of not watching until it’s ended. Where’s Season 2? Need that before Jeff Bridges dies. The two actors they have playing the young versions are chef’s kiss. [4]
[3] Shrinks, start your engines.
[4] Not starting The Bear, wishing I hadn’t started the copaganda version of Justified.