I’ve written over the years about what TV shows I was watching but I’ve never written about what movies I’ve seen recently. That probably because I generally prefer TV to movies. In the old days TV was the short form and movies were the long form but that’s switched now. TV shows can tell a story for a whole season. I like the long form that’s told in short bursts.

I don’t like to binge TV so I watch a twenty or forty minute episodes and that’s enough for one day for me. I’ll watch another episode the next day. Even though the stories are shorter in order to watch a whole movie I have to have two hours to sit and watch it. That’s often too long. These days I watch some movies “Old Man Style.” That means I watch them for twenty minutes and then go do something else. I’ll watch the whole movie in twenty minute increments. Not all of them but some.

Clockwatchers – This started my spree of watching Jill Sprecher directed movies. This one is a late 1990s classic in my mind. I first saw it in 1997 or 1998 and loved it from the beginning. Its the story of four temps working a meaningless job in an office. It’s described as a dark comedy but I’m not sure if that’s accurate. It’s more a “Slice of Life” movie to me except that the life it slices is a harsh look at modern existence. I haven’t seen it in many years but I still like it a lot.

Palm Springs – This one is a new Netflix Andy Samberg movie about a guy caught in a time loop. I enjoyed it. It was funny and a little bit frightening too. That’s common in this genre. Plus it got me on a little bit of a time loop movie kick.

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing – Another Jill Sprecher movie. Not as good as “Clockwatchers.” It’s a movie with three intersecting stories as a bunch of people go about their lives with various levels of success while living in NYC. I think the “One Thing” in the title is death. Or maybe life and death. There is a lot of pondering of existence going on.

The King of Staten Island – A Judd Apatow movie staring Pete Davidson about a guy who is having a hard time growing up. His fireman father died on 9-11 and he never quite knew how to deal with that. He smokes a lot of pot and is kind of aimless. It was okay. I like this genre of movies with people talking it out and finding themselves but this one was a little off. I wanted it to be better. It was middle of the road for me.

IP Man 4: The Finale – A random (to me) martial arts movie that I stumbled on. This is the fourth installment and I haven’t seen any of the first three but it didn’t matter. IP Man was Bruce Lee’s teacher (in Hong Kong) and in this movie he travels to the USA (maybe SF I don’t really remember) and gets into some conflict with the local Chinese and the local army base. It was a fun martial arts movie.

21 Bridges – The late Chadwick Boseman (he was still alive when I watched this) stars in this thriller about NYC cops trying to chase down some thieves who killed some officers. But are things really as they appear? Probably not. A fun action movie that was a tight hour and forty minutes. With such long movies these days sometimes I really appreciate the fast moving ones.

Damsels in Distress – I’m a Whit Stillman fan and I only first watched this 2012 movie in 2019. But this is the third time I’ve watched it since then. I really like it. It’s the story of a group of young women going to college and trying to make the world and their world a better place. It doesn’t have great reviews but I find it endlessly amusing. I describe it as “Whit Stillman’s ‘Animal House’.” I don’t know if that means anything to anyone else but it does to me.

The Old Guard – A Netflix Action movie staring Charlize Theron. It was okay. It was well made but I didn’t find any of the characters involving enough. They were the least fun group of immortals ever. But it wasn’t terrible. Just another middle of the road movie.

Extraction – A Netflix action movie starring Chris Hemsworth. It rate it a bit higher than “The Old Guard” but not by a lot. It was another well crafted action movie and Hemsworth was likable. Worth a watch.

Thin Ice – A third Jill Sprecher movie on this list. I had forgotten I had already seen this one. I liked it better than “13 Conversations” but of course it’s not as good as the classic “Clockwatchers.” It’s the story of a low level con where things get out of control quickly. It’s middle of the road for most of the movie but then the ending sticks the landing. It’s made better by its ending which is a good thing.

Guns Akimbo – a 2019 Daniel Radcliffe action movie. This might be the first Radcliffe movie I’ve ever watched. It was okay. It’s about a real life game (kind of “Running Man”-ish) where people hunt and kill each other. Daniel Radcliffe is on the run and has to try and survive. Again it’s a solidly crafted action movie that isn’t great but is fun.

Cabin in the Woods – I’ve been meaning to watch this Joss Whedon horror movie since it came out in 2011 and it took me until 2020 to finally watch it. I liked it. I’m not a horror movie fan but this was fun.

Knives Out – A quirky detective whodunnit with a huge all-star cast this one is a throw back to the era of mystery movies. It’s well acted and full of snappy dialog. I generally like this genre but this one loses some points with me for keeping going with a misdirect long after we all knew it was a misdirect. Other than that I liked it.

Edge of Tomorrow – I watched this 2014 Tom Cruise movie because I read that it was a time loop movie. It’s the story of a future soldier fighting aliens who have invaded Earth and he’s stuck in a time loop of his first battle. It’s well done and I enjoyed it. It also lead me to the Japanese graphic novel “All You Need Is Kill” that is was based on. As much as I liked the movie I liked the comic book even better, Good stuff all around.

Corner Gas The Movie – In the last year I watched all of the episodes of the Canadian TV show “Corner Gas.” Turns out in 2014 they made a movie too. It was not much different than the TV show except it was longer than the usual twenty minute episode. It was good but I think I like the 20 minute episodes better.

Vivarium – A 2019 movie that’s part horror and part mystery it’s the story of two ordinary people trapped in this weird city. It looks like an ordinary town but it’s not. They’re the only ones there and they can’t escape. Then they’re handed a child to raise. I like it but it’s not a lot of fun. It’s an hour and forty minutes of weirdness without a happy ending. That’s up my alley but not everyone’s.

The Killer Elite – A 1975 Sam Peckinpah action movie that probably would pass muster with today’s action movie fans. It didn’t really pass muster with critics back in 1975 either but it was okay. It stars James Caan and Robert Duvall and really could use some more interesting stuff happening in it. There are only so many scenes of Caan rehabbing a busted knee that a person can take.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – The movie I just finished watching this afternoon. It’s based on a series of French graphic novels that I’m only passingly familiar with. The plot was no great shakes but the visuals were great. It really hits you with a lot of cool stuff on screen that keeps your attention. It’s an action movie that takes place in the future and there are a lot of aliens, spaceships, and imagination. All the different cultures and equipment are well visualized. Much more so than your average movie. Check it out.