I’ve always loved the movies. One of the greatest freedoms I gained with my driver’s license was being able to go to the movies whenever I wanted. Long before smartphones let us check showtimes online, I always had the week’s movie listings in my wallet, torn from the paper, so I knew what was playing when. Multiple viewings were the norm. During the free time-filled adulthood your early twenties bring, it wasn’t uncommon for me to see a movie I really loved six, seven, or even eight times in the theatre. Then the count really went up once I had it on DVD! I’ve had this idea for a new series for ages, to go back and rewatch the movies I loved most during my young adulthood and see how they feel now. This isn’t an analysis but an off the cuff stream of consciousness journey. What holds up? What makes me nostalgic? And what feels a bit cringy and uncomfortable now? While I considered many films to kick off this series, there was really only ever one choice. Released on 9 July 2004, I had just turned twenty-two when Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy hit theatres and it was love at first viewing.
Babylon : An Indictment of Empire and a Celebration of Cinema
So I saw Babylon last Sunday night. Twice. I saw the 6:25 show and then picked Kalie up and went right back for the 10:35 show. If Tinseltown had still been open after that, I’d’ve seen it a third time. I can’t tell you the last time I saw a movie and then went right back in to see it again just because I loved it. Sure, I’ve purchased multiple tickets in advance for “big” Marvel or Star Wars movies on opening weekend but to see a film back-to-back just because I fell in love with it? It’s been ages. Babylon’s three hours and nine minutes long, too, so with previews I was at the theatre for seven hours. And I loved it! Not a single second dragged and I saw so much more to appreciate my second time through. I’ve read a lot of wildly divided opinions on Babylon in articles and across social media – people seem to either adore it or think it’s the worst thing they’ve ever seen – and any film which is so polarizing intrigues me. Last night I caught the 8:25 show, and now with three viewings under my belt, I wanted to write a bit about why I love Babylon so much.
Note, spoilers for Babylon will follow but the film’s ending won’t be discussed.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call – Honoring the Ghostbusters Legacy
Making a sequel to Ghostbusters (1984) is tricky. Ghostbusters is one of few perfect movies. Everything about it works! It was one of my all-time favorite movies when I was five-years-old and it still is now at thirty-nine. Already a fan of the cartoon show, my world was forever changed when my uncle gave us a VHS tape on which he’d recorded a Ghostbusters movie with real people in it from HBO. I was a little thrown (at first) as they looked different and I am 99.99% sure it was what scarred me and made me scared of dogs all through my youth (as they constantly refer to the demonic forms of Zuul and Vinz Clortho as “dogs”) but none of that really mattered. It was love at first viewing and it’s the only movie from my youth I still watch multiple times a year. It spawned three sequels – Ghostbusters 2 (1989), Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016), and the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). One I loved! One disappointed me. And one was a straight up traumatic experience. With thoughts of Ghostbusters: Afterlife fresh in my mind, I felt it’d be fun to discuss which is which!
My MCU Gold Standard
I will be forever grateful for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to bringing so many of my favorite characters to life in such fun and faithful ways, it also served as my main connection to all the superheroes I loved as a child. During my seventeen year absence from reading comics, the MCU let me grab glimpses into the lives of all my favorite characters. It felt like coming home whenever I’d get to see Thor or Iron Man do their thing :). So no one was more surprised than I when my favorite film in the MCU became (and still is!) the one about a ragtag band of space misfits that I’d never even heard of before. That’s right Guardians of the Galaxy, I love you. And this is my proclamation of undying affection! Continue reading