Five Cool Things and The Last Jedi Trailer

This week's cool things include Italian horror, Brian De Palma horror, feminist horror, and a Jedi.
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Hi, remember me?  I’m your local writer who talks about new releases and cool things each week.  Except for the last couple of weeks when I’ve been absent.  A big thanks to Gordon for filling in.  I won’t bore you with the details except to say it's been crazy in my real life with work, a busted computer and, well, memory lapses.  Let's just say this Tuesday came and I actually thought I’d written a Pick of the Week until I realized that Baby Driver was out and I hadn’t mentioned it.  Then I looked it up and I hadn’t actually mentioned anything!  But by that point the day was over.  Anyways, here we are or here I am, and I’ve got some cool things to talk about.

The Handmaid’s Tale

A few weeks back I mentioned I had just started this Hulu series based upon the Margaret Atwood novel.  After watching about two episodes, I was so fascinated by the story that I started reading the book.  I’ve been keeping up with them both.  I’d read a couple of chapters and watch an episode, watch an episode and then read for awhile.

When I’d read I kept wondering how I’d feel about the book were I not watching the show simultaneously. It is such a visual story and I’m such a visual learner that I don’t know if the book would have the same impact without the show.  I’m thinking mainly of the Ceremony, which is described very well in the book but actually seeing it really packs a wallop.

It doesn’t really matter, this is the way I chose to consume this story.  I've now finished both. I'm not sure which I liked better.  Definitely, the book is fantastic.  Really got under my skin and will stay with me a long while.

Don’t Torture a Duckling

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Arrow Video is really helping me with my Italian horror collection.  I’ve grabbed so many great (and not-so-great) films in that genre from them.  My latest is from Lucio Fulci, a man who usually grinds out ultra violent gore-fests, but this time he went for something a little more meaningful.  It sorta works.  While the film is not the best Italian horror I’ve seen, Arrow Video’s presentation more than makes up for it.  You can read my full review here.

Detective Montalbano

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Speaking of the Italians, this is a fun little crime drama from the land of pasta and red sauce.  I recently caught up with (and reviewed) Season 11.  Like a lot of foreign TV crime shows, Detective Montalbano's seasons consist of two to four episodes a piece but each one is more like a feature-length film which means this cast had made 30 different films over the years.  You can feel it in the performances, especially that of Luca Zingaretti as the titular detective who feels quite natural in the character's skin.  It's not a great show, but a good one to watch after a hard day.

Carrie

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Continuing my Brian De Palma education I returned to the first one I’d ever seen.  Based on Stephen King’s very first novel, Carrie stars Sissy Spacek as an awkward teen who develops psychic powers and goes to the prom with William Katt only to get doused in pig’s blood, but gets her revenge by killing everyone.

It’s got all of De Palma’s trademarks and holds up remarkably well.  It's got sex and blood, split screens, and a bright color palette.  It's no longer my favorite De Palma but it's still great fun.

The Goonies

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Our dryer broke this past weekend.  We needed to do laundry pretty desperately so I invited ourselves over to Mom’s for dinner, laundry, and a movie.  Was hoping my daughter was old enough to enjoy this classic from my own childhood, but I think she needs a few more years.  She was mostly bored while me and the rest of the family enjoyed ourselves.  I suppose all people have a fondness for the movies they grow up with.  I’m just privileged enough that the movies I grew up with were produced by Steven Spielberg.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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