With Thanksgiving weekend coming up, I’m hopeful to sneak in a couple of movies over the holiday before everyone comes out for the shopping. Luckily, my state doesn’t allow for midnight openings on Black Friday so that employees actually get the full day off without having to rush into the night to open a store. That means I get a chance on Wednesday to see Knives Out and on Thursday something else that may catch my eye.
This week had me catching a couple of things at home that made it worthwhile. I had wanted to see Booksmart in theaters when it came out but the timing was bad. It was added to Hulu recently and that made my subscription pretty worthwhile so I was glad to take it in. The film by Olivia Wilde is one that got a lot of acclaim and it does earn it, though more in the back half than the front half. Some of that just left me cool to it in how it portrayed high school and the kinds of things the kids were up to since it was through my view unrealistic in presentation. There are plenty of awkward moments and the reveal of everyone being exceptional in the schools they’re attending just didn’t click with how the leads viewed the world, which is part of the point. But it leaned too hard into it. Thankfully, as it progressed and got into the cast a lot more and the humor found the right middle ground, it worked a lot of better. I know Beanie Feldstein gets a lot of the acclaim for her role as Molly but Kaitlyn Dever won the film for me across the board. I had liked her from Last Man Standing previously and a couple of film roles she had and she really got the chance to expand here. Hopefully she has a lot more coming up outside of TV where she can sink her teeth into some good character material.
A dip into the past with a DVD I’ve had for years and have seen before ended with Vampires. Originally out in 1998, it comes from John Carpenter based on John Steakley’s book Vampire$. It’s a fairly standard neo-western kind of piece that plays well under Carpenter’s hand but it also felt a bit phoned in at times. The music cues have been familiar within his movies for years for obvious reasons by at this point it just felt lazy. I had enjoyed it originally as a solid role for James Woods but as life has revealed so much about him it’s hard to watch some projects with him for reasons. He does excel here and makes for good screen presence. I had originally wanted to see this for Sheryl Lee as she never had the career many thought she might after Twin Peaks but she ambles through this film in a solid enough way. To my surprise, it’s Daniel Baldwin that kind of wins me over the most here as I repeatedly mistook him for Alec and loved the way he got down into the dirt for this project.