by Anthony King
I've been MIA for the past two weeks, and I'll share a little secret: I kind of loved not having to worry about watching, writing, or podcasting commitments. As much as I love movies, sometimes it feels like a job, and I don't want movies to feel like a job. More in a bit, but first, what I've been watching.Blue Beetle (2023). Most of you know I'm not the target audience for superhero movies, but of the ones I've seen I much prefer DC to Marvel (don't ask me why; maybe I've written about it in the past; I gotta be me). As I'm writing this I'm looking at Letterboxd and Rotten Tomatoes and realizing I need to change directions mid-paragraph. I was prepared to “defend” Blue Beetle but it looks as though it's not as hated as I assumed it would be. Now, is Blue Beetle a great movie? No. Is it a great superhero movie? No. Did Anthony hate it? No. Did Anthony love it? No. I found it to be very mid-level in the genre (considering I've only seen a dozen modern superhero movies). What I did love was the representation. A cast almost primarily consisting of non-white people that didn't seem forced or shoehorned in was refreshing. Recently there's been a spate of movies that attempt to rally a liberal crowd into shouting and praising the progressiveness of said movie. Most of them are either bad or disingenuous. Blue Beetle is neither. It's authentic while following the same old superhero mold, but there are some genuinely funny, exciting, and touching moments. I consider it a win for DC.
It's all about finding that balance. I used to write my columns on Wednesday nights. Well, dear reader, it's currently 1:45 on a Saturday afternoon. I've got a load of laundry in the dryer, one in the wash, trash that needs to be taken out, dishes in the sink, smelly boys that need baths, and we're leaving for a birthday party in 90 minutes. You know what I'm going to do tonight, though? I might watch Carlito's Way (1993) because ever since I got the newest release of it I look at it and all I can hear is Adam's impression of Al Pacino as Carlito. Or I've got Tar (2022) screaming at me to rewatch. There's also Day of the Locust (1975) from Arrow. The options are endless. And as I peruse said options I begin to feel overwhelmed. “Look at all these movies in my to watch pile! And what about everything streaming!”
In the past, as most of you know, I used a handy dandy spreadsheet to map out what I needed to watch and when. Now that I'm not podcasting every week, I haven't whipped out the ol' Excel in several months. I suppose what I'm getting at is that I'm feeling a little lost. For so long I've labeled myself as a “movie guy” (ew). I'd write about movies a couple times a week. I'd podcast about movies a couple times a week. I watched at least twice as many movies, most of the time THREE times as many movies, as there are days in the week. I didn't know how to talk about anything else but movies. But now that part of my brain (most of my brain) that was reserved solely for movie talk is shrinking. It's being overtaken with things like bread orders, staffing changes, scheduling kids' activities, lots of hockey stuff, combatting addiction.