Recent Movies I watched

photo credit: @glenncarstenspeters via Unsplash

I might have mentioned here or there that I am in a not-watching-many-movies-or-TV series phase in my life. It’s not that I don’t want to watch anything, but time is limited, Jon currently doesn’t have the interest or attention span to watch movies, so other things usually take precedence for me (like reading, blogging, or planning out my week). 

I did however watch a few movies on the multiple plane rides I was recently on. I thought this was the perfect time to just relax and enjoy a movie. There is nothing else to do on a plane (other than eat and try to sleep, and I also did some reading), so I guess I felt a movie was a worthwhile pastime while I was traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Here’s what I watched:

Barbie (2023) I hadn’t heard much about the movie so I didn’t really know what to expect. As Tierney eloquently commented when I first mentioned that I had seen the movie on the plane “I watched Barbie on a plane and I was glad that was where I saw it, i.e. not much else to do and free. It was good and parts were clever, but not a ‘must-see’ recommendation.” I think I felt the same about it. Ryan Gosling in the role of Ken was… odd for me. I don’t know, he didn’t look like himself (and I get that he was supposed to look like Ken, with bleached hair and a fake tan, but it irked me LOL). 

Past Lives (2023) – This was a recommendation from a lovely lady who was my seat neighbor on the second trip back home. I don’t think I would have picked out that movie by myself but I am so glad I watched it because of her recommendation. The story follows the lives of two South Korean childhood friends over the course of 24 years as they grow up together in South Korea and then get separated when the girl emigrates with her family to Canada. They reconnect twice years later and contemplate the nature of their childhood bond and what it means for their relationship in the present moment. 

It was very well done. You should read (or listen to) the review by Justin Chang on NPR, I loved this line because it perfectly sums it up “What makes past lives so moving is the grace that all three of these characters extend to one another in an awkward situation with no heroes or villains”. 

Half Nelson (2006) A movie with Ryan Gosling that I feel I had heard about but never watched. Gosling plays an inner-city middle school history teacher and basketball coach in Brooklyn. Though well-liked by his students and colleagues, he secretly spends his evenings hopping bars and getting high. One of his students catches him in a drug-induced haze and the two strike up an unlikely friendship. As Goseling struggles with his addiction, he also tries to act as a mentor to the girl, whose brother is serving time for dealing drugs.

The twist is that not only does the teacher help the student, but she helps him in return. It was a bit of a heart-breaking but ultimately sweet story and a great role for Ryan Gosling.

LOL – Last One Laughing is a comedy program that has been produced for Prime Video since 2021. It was adapted from a Japanese comedy reality show. The German version is moderated by Michael Herbig. In LOL: Last One Laughing, various comedians compete against each other in a fight for 50,000 euros in prize money for a good cause. Ten comedians stay in a living-room-style studio with hidden cameras for a few hours (usually six). During this time, they must try to make their opponents laugh in any way and by any means, while at the same time not reacting to their opponents’ attempts to make them laugh.

At the first laugh, the competitor is cautioned (yellow carded), while a second eliminates the player from the game (red carded). Eliminated players join the host in the observation room, but may return as an external challenger to the remaining contestants. It’s quite entertaining, especially if you’re familiar with the comedians and their comedy styles.

On my movies-to-watch list (movies I have heard about and am intrigued to watch):

  • The Holdovers (This sounds like a hilarious. heart-felt movie set in the past.)
  • Poor Things (Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in a black comedy, I wanna see that.)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (Say what you will about Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s a brilliant actor. I have yet to see a movie where he wasn’t outstanding.)
  • What happens later (I like Meg Ryan movies and I like David Duchovny. Not sure if they’re any good together (“Mulder” in a romantic comedy? Hmm.) but want to find out.)

My radar for movies is very narrow right now and I am probably missing a lot of outstanding movies, but this is where you come in, my friends. Which movies have you watched lately? Tell me one that I should add to my list as a must-see.

19 Comments

  1. Oh, I LOVED Ryan Gosling in Barbie. I thought the movie was really clever and had a lot of depth without calling attention to the depth.
    I think Past Lives was my favourite of the Oscar movies, the one I would have chosen to win – so bittersweet and natural and heartfelt. The Holdovers was also extremely good. Everyone said Leonardo di Caprio was too old to play the role he did in Killers of the Flower Moon, but it never even occurred to me because he was so convincing in the role.
    I saw one David Duchovny romance movie and he did NOT do it for me. I’m baffled that I’ve never heard of this one, because I was all about the Meg Ryan rom-coms.

    1. I think Past Lives was phenomenal.

  2. I am not really a movie person; less so now than before (as a teen, I LOVED movies). We mostly watch docuseries in our household (my husband and I watched the new Jonestown Massacre docuseries this weekend; so tragic and infuriating and horrible).

    The last movie I watched was Inside Out – Sunday – because I planned to take the kids to theatres today to see Inside Out 2…but my daughter has PNEUMONIA, so we’re shelving that idea. Sigh. But I did enjoy Inside Out. I’d never seen it before.
    I thought Oppenheimer was well done and deserved the buzz; I’ve still not see Barbie. My daughter watched it (on a plane) and declared it to be “okay.” It seems fairly divisive? Like you either love it or feel decidedly Meh about the whole thing?

    1. Once again we’re very similar, I think. I love documentaries and do what those more than movies right now (if I watch anything at all).

  3. I saw the Barbie movie on my recent vacation and really enjoyed it. I don’t typically watch a lot of movies, but I did go to one with a friend just last week and it was great – Thelma!

    1. Glad to hear I am not the only one who doesn’t watch a lot of movies… I used to, and it can be fun, but I often opt for other things.

  4. I cannot remember the last movie I watched, so I’m useless at this. I was mostly just shocked that you hadn’t heard much about Barbie because it was all I heard about everywhere for a while!!!

    1. Well, I am not surprised to hear that with all the books you’re reading at lightning speed!

  5. I never watch movies because they are just so long and I only watch about 30 min of tv/night. I should watch Barbie on one of my flights but tend to opt to read instead or listen to a podcast. We did watch killers of the flower moon but it took us like 6 nights to get through it since it’s soooo long. Ultimately I didn’t love it. Phil just watched Oppenheimer on his own and said it was far better. I do watch to watch the holdovers, though, and past lives sounds great, too!

    1. I can see how you’re in a phase of life where movies are too long of a time commitment and I don’t usually watch them over multiple nights.

  6. I asked about movies, funny ones, on my blog this week too. I rarely watch movies so while I know of the ones you saw, I haven’t seen them. In fact I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a movie…

    1. Surprised but happy to hear that there are more of us out there (people who don’t watch all the movies/series all the time). I feel so out of the loop sometimes LOL

  7. I don’t get a chance to see newer movies very often. Sometimes, I catch bits of older movies on TV. I saw Barbie on an airplane, too, and it was a fun way to pass the time. I didn’t get to see the ending – and yet, I don’t feel the need to find it and watch it. Good enough!

    1. I relate – I am often very late to the party of watching particular movies LOL

  8. I agree Brabie was an ok movie. I did watch it in the theaters and only because it was a big outing from my husbands agency and I was invited. And admittedly I wanted to understand the hype. The movie itself was ok. But the marketing of Matel… this is going down in the advertising best practices books for sure.

    I don’t really have a recommendation right now. I do watch a lot of movies but none is really standing out to be honest…

    1. So cool you got to go to a movie night with your husband’s agency… I mean, that was probably a fun event!

  9. I just watched a thriller with my kids. It is called Alone. It was terrifying and very good. My kids had to tell me more than once to stop talking to the screen, “she can’t hear you mom.” I am blown away at how many people aren’t really watching movies based on your comments. I am not really finding time for TV or movies right now. I do like documentaries but I get an eyeroll from my kids when I suggest that. I’m excited to tune in to watch the Olympics. I still require family friendly shows/movies so much of the time and the Olympics fits that bill. Oh, I saw the Barbie movie last summer with Mini and Curly. We were previewing it for the two newbie girls who wanted to see it. We thought it was OK. When other women were falling out of their seats laughing, Mini was like ARE WE BEING PRANKED? THIS ISN’T THAT FUNNY.

    1. Oh, thrillers… I don’t need that kind of anxiety-inducing content in my life (psst, I talk to the screen, too.)

  10. […] telling you recently that I am not watching a lot of movies right now, I did see a movie with my friend Susi last weekend, and I have to share it with you […]

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