[What Did Jaci Think? Late November]

Not so much viewing happened in this two weeks, thanks to traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, plus trying to cram as much FilmStruck in as I could before it closed on the 29th (don’t forget to sign up for the Criterion Channel if that’s your jam and it should be; also WatchTCM recently added Chromecast support to the app, which is what will get me through these dark times.) Just three features, so let’s get to it!

So, the thing about Creed is I never saw any of the Rocky movies. I just dig me some Michael B Jordan, both with and without Ryan Coogler, so here we are, seeing Creed II on its Thursday night opening. While I didn’t find it as compelling as the first installment, I still liked it a lot because it’s a movie about tough guys being secretly soft. There’s still a lot of boxing, obviously, but the heart of the drama is really in Adonis’s and Rocky’s relationships with their families, and I’m a sucker for that.

Border was one of those viewing experiences I don’t have very often, where I have no idea where we’re going, I think I know what’s happening but I’m wrong, and I don’t know what I think about it at all in the end. Except that monster babies are still my favorite babies and also between this and Let the Right One In I would love to read something smart on gender in the work of John Ajvide Lindqvist, thank you very much in advance.

Finally, while it was of course great to see the performance footage in Maria by Callas, the conceit of an in-her-own-words documentary meant that as more of an outsider to her story, I was missing a lot of context. It was a frustrating watch.