At the movies: Jordan Peele's Get Out is a well-constructed horror-thriller (and pun not intended, black comedy) with fine attention to detail, exampled of which I can't mention because they would spoil the "solution". One you know that solution, rewatching the film will make you questions the motive behind every innocuous moment and line. Definitely some rewatch value there. What has entranced critics, I think, is that the film is about the black experience, and specifically about the anxiety a black person might feel around white liberals who don't consider themselves racist, but nevertheless act differently and overcompensate around black people. Add to that a concern with being "black enough"present in the work of Key & Peele and you might start to discern Get Out's complexity. Not one of those horror flicks who should shut your brain down for. Worth every penny.
DVDs: I've been an improv player, referee, teacher and organizer for 30 years, but it's not something you see a lot of in media. That's why I was excited for Don't Think Twice, Mike Birbiglia's attempt at "The Big Chill" featuring a troupe of improvisers. Now, when it comes to the plot itself, it's not going to win any awards for originality. They're going to close the theater down and one of the gang has made it big and inflamed some jealousies, that's some well-trodden ground. But as far as getting the dynamics of an improv team right, it shines. Obviously, I watched it with fellow improvisers, and at one point one of them said "Why am I watching this? I live it!" One the things best captured is that improv isn't just a way of making art, it's also a way of life, a philosophy each of the characters must struggle with and either embrace or betray. Very true to life, and give or take the characters' grandiose ambitions in the film (which would only ring true in big markets), I would recommend this to people in my life who wonder what it's all about. The DVD includes some deleted improv moments and a few short featurettes about the characters, world and making of the film.
Oscar Party: I didn't do it on purpose, but I wont the annual Oscar Pool again, and so I promise to watch and review even the worst offerings in the box, as I do every year. When I say I didn't do it on purpose, it's that I usually do a lot of research and put my best foot forward, but after winning the past two years, I wanted to give others a shot at the loot, and test my gut instincts. Still won, tough actually in a tie with fellow Super-Bloggers Legionnaire Shotgun (I got a better answer on the tie breaker). So what did I get? These 13 DVDs: The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, The Cobbler, For Your Consideration, The Raven, I, Frankenstein, Spring Breakers, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Fat Albert (worst of the worst), Shrek, Don Juan DeMarco, Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, Ender's Game, and The King and I. It's not all bad, but there are a couple in there I would not otherwise watch on principle alone!