Not Just Books: March 2023

While we do love us some books, believe it not, we do have a life outside of reading. So to highlight our other pop culture interests, on the last Monday of each month, we each will highlight three other “happenings” from the last month. Big events on favorite TV shows, new movies we’ve watched, old movies we’ve “discovered,” etc. Pretty much whatever we found of particular interest outside of the book world during the last month. Share your own favorite things in the comments!

Serena’s Picks

Movie: “Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania”

I have mixed feelings about this movie. On one hand, I went to it the third weekend it was out, so I was well aware that it wasn’t being reviewed well and was generally underperforming. And, yeah, I can see why. But it’s also not as bad as I was expecting. There’s just no denying the strength Paul Rudd as an actor who you just like to watch. But even more impressive was Jonathan Majors’ villain, Kang the Conqueror. I had already seen Majors portray a variation on this character in the show “Loki” but we really got to see his strengths here. However, I was a bit disappointed with how his character was dealt with in the final bit of the movie. I also have to say that I’m getting a bit tired of the “brilliant teenage girl” character who, what do you know, also becomes a super hero. Look, I know that the typical hero characters are also very often similar men with similar histories. But the very fact that we want to add more diversity (of all sorts of the word) to the hero line up doesn’t mean we should just add another single note character, even if it’s different than the usual 20-something cocky man. Young women can come in all sorts, too, with different strengths! They don’t all have to be quippy science girls. It’s verging on the Marvel universe answering trope to the “manic pixie dream girl.” But anyway, that’s a super subjective recent pet peeve of mine, and not really a testament to the movie as a whole.

Netflix Movie: “Your Place or Mine”

I had just been noting (whining) to my husband the other day that I felt there was a distinct lack in the romantic comedy business. I grew up in the 80s/90s/ early 2000s when there was a real boom in this genre and I think I got kind of spoiled that that’s how it just always was. But honestly, before watching this movie, I can’t tell you the last new romcom movie I’ve seen! And this one really hit the spot. It hit a lot of the same notes I get when I read Emily Henry, particularly in this movie’s case, her book “People You Meet on Vacation.” I also have to say that I haven’t seen Aston Kutcher in anything for quite some time and I think he’s definitely one of those cases where he’s gotten better looking with age. Damn those men and their aging into even better looks!

Movie: “Titanic”

Technically, I saw this back in February but I wasn’t able to slot it into our post for that month. I love this movie and I will fight you over it. Especially all of the people my age who seem to have forgotten (willfully so) that they probably saw it in the theater three times when it originally came out. So for me it was a no brainer that I was going to take advantage of the one week that it was being re-released to the big screen for its 25th anniversary (one year late, technically, due to, what else, Covid). I also dragged my husband with me who had never seen the movie before and who was one of those individuals who was making it a point of pride never to see it at all. Well, I remember warning him early when we were dating that he probably wasn’t going to make it on that goal if we stayed together. And low and behold, I pulled the “Valentine’s Day” card and he ended up with his butt in a seat, not only watching the movie but paying for the privilege. Really not much else to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said a million times!

Kate’s Picks

Netflix Show: “You”

While the TV show version of my beloved “You” books has REALLY diverted from the literary threads and storylines, I’m not that mad about it. For one reason, it means that I get to be in suspense and on pins and needles regarding the mysteries and thrills that the show unravels. For another, Penn Badgley is such a good Joe, as he gets the darkness, intensity, and the black humor that comes with the character. We are at Season 4, split into two parts, and I’m still hooked. After killing his psychopath wife Love and trying to follow Marienne, who fled to Paris, Joe has found himself in London, with a new identity and a new job working as an English professor at a prestigious University. He finds himself drawn to Kate, a cold art gallery owner who runs with a posh, upper class circle of friends. After attending a party at a social club with Kate’s lover, Joe gets trashed, and when he wakes up in his apartment he finds Kate’s lover, dead, with no memory of what happened. Now he has to figure out if he killed the man. And if not, who did. Oh Joe. Still getting up to nonsense.

Film: “We Have A Ghost”

I really love Christopher Landon’s comedic and heartfelt horror movies. Whether it’s the “Happy Death Day” films or “Freaky”, I like the humor and heart that he brings to very well done slasher films. Enter “We Have A Ghost”, Landon’s newest film that is his usual quirky and emotional takes to a haunted house story. And David Harbour is in it as the ghost! When a family moves into a dilapidated old house, angsty teenager Kevin goes up to the attic to investigate a strange sound, and finds “Ernest”, a ghost in a bowling shirt who can’t speak and can’t remember who he is. Kevin wants to help Ernest, while his father sees dollar signs after a video of Ernest goes viral. But when more and more attention comes upon Ernest, a top secret government group takes notice, and wants to take Ernest back to a lab. David Harbour always delights, but I’ve loved Jahi Winston ever since he was on the criminally underrated (and cruelly cancelled) “Everything Sucks”, and their chemistry is fantastic. And yes, like with the “Happy Death Day” films, I totally cried.

Film: “Scream VI”

We slasher fans are so blessed in that the “Scream” franchise has basically been consistently pretty okay to great (yes, I would put “Scream 3” as pretty okay, sue me), and my Terror Tuesday friends and I were hoping that “Scream VI” would continue that trend. I’m very happy to report that it did, and our field trip excursion to the Alamo Drafthouse to see it on the big screen was the best way to experience it. A year after the events in “Scream 5”, Sam and Tara Carpenter have moved to New York City with the Meeks Martin twins, Tara wanting to move on to college and Sam wanting to protect her sister. But then a new Ghostface has started killing people, and is planting masks with the DNA of former Ghostface killers at the scene. Sam is the number one suspect thanks to Internet rumor, and the sisters and the twins team up with Gale Weathers and Kirby “Scream 4” Reed to figure out who is behind it this time. And while I’m sad that Neve Campbell wasn’t going to be compensated at the amount she should have been and declined to come back because of it, I’m also happy that poor Sidney Prescott just got to take a goddamn breather this time around. LEAVE SIDNEY ALONE! SHE’S BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH!!

2 thoughts on “Not Just Books: March 2023”

  1. love this
    Great blog post! I really enjoyed reading about your other pop culture interests from the past month. I’m curious, have you seen any other romantic comedies besides “Your Place or Mine” that you would recommend? Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you! Off the top of my head, I’m not coming up with much, honestly. I feel like it’s been kind of a dry patch as far as romcoms go, or maybe the kind I enjoy? I wasn’t a huge fan of Netflix’s “Persuasion,” but I know some people like it, so that might be one to check out! I’m definitely looking forward to “Queen Charlotte” on Netflix in May though! – S


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