Confession time: November was a wild month. My husband and I moved into a new house, and I seem to have caught just about every virus floating around the past couple weeks. I had grand plans to write lots of blogs about all the new stuff coming out and to go see some movies in theaters over the long holiday weekend.
Alas, none of that happened. So instead of individual posts for each of these movies and TV series, you’re getting a round-up of quick thoughts instead. While these movies and shows very much deserve their own in-depth, individual posts, sometimes life intervenes, and a short blurb is better than no article at all, eh?
I’m so sad I never got around to writing up a full blog review about this movie because I really, really loved it. It was a big-budget, epic blockbuster that also managed to feel incredibly personal and emotional. It did a great job paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, while also passing the torch on to Letitia Wright, who is carrying on the legacy of the Black Panther by donning the suit as his younger sister, Shuri. I loved the introduction of Namor and the influence of Mesoamerican culture woven into his backstory, and I’m excited to see more of him in the MCU. This one will definitely end up on my best of the year list.
Andor is some of the most mature, thoughtful, and serious storytelling we’ve seen in my favorite galaxy long ago and far, far away. The writing, acting, and cinematography are all top-notch. And yet…I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’ve had some trouble connecting with this series emotionally. My favorite thing about Star Wars is the Jedi vs. Sith dynamic, and while I recognize that it’s important for Star Wars to explore other corners of the universe, I’m always a little sad when the Force isn’t prominently featured (or even mentioned at all). I think that Andor is a series I’ll grow closer to over time, especially once the second season comes out and we get to see more of the story. This is definitely more of a slow burn than the high-intensity Rogue One, and I feel like subsequent rewatches of this show will be rewarded. Funnily, as much as I love Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the most compelling part of this series is the always-amazing Stellan Skarsgård as Rebel agent Luthen Rael and Genevieve O’Reilly as secret Rebel sympathizer Senator Mon Mothma. I especially love the theory that Luthen is an ex-Jedi.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Earlier this year, I mentioned this as one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, and then it never came to my local theater. I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for an opportunity to watch it, and my hold request at my local library FINALLY came in, and this movie turned out to be just as delightful as I’d hoped. There’s nothing outwardly groundbreaking about this period piece featuring a middle-aged woman who works as a cleaner in London and saves her money to buy a Dior dress. Yet it is thoroughly charming and heartwarming, and this movie was just what I needed to cheer me up when I was sick. This will be another end-of-year favorite as well!
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
I love both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and a quirky, holiday-themed special on Disney+ starring these characters felt like it was destined for perfection. I watched the special earlier this week, and it was…well…fine. I enjoyed it for what it was, and it got a few chuckles out of me. But it didn’t wow me as much as I was hoping it would. It felt strangely low budget for a Disney+ production (especially compared to the Halloween special, Werewolf by Night, which absolutely blew me away). I kind of hated the musical selection in this special, although that’s probably on me, since (as my husband frequently but lovingly reminds me) I have rubbish musical taste. I didn’t regret the time I spent watching it, but if I’m going to look for holiday fun on Disney+ in the future, I’ll likely be returning to the Lego Star Wars holiday special or the Hawkeye series instead.