The Best Things I Saw This Week

The Peanut Butter Falcon

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In what plays more like a Mark Twain epic than an indie movie, The Peanut Butter Falcon is making a case for the best movie I’ve seen this year. What it lacks in budget and visual effects compared to a movie like Avengers: Endgame it makes up for in heart. Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz direct a movie so heartwarming and full of hope. I can’t think of the last time I felt so good for having watched a movie. 

Shia Labeouf returns to the screen and delivers a tour de force performance as Tyler, the North Carolina crab fisherman on the LAM. LaBeouf is as good as hell. He plays tough and tumble backwoods kid, and then in a scene later is quiet. He is charming in some scenes, others he is strong. He acts a teacher to his travel companion, and sees the light in him. In a late night conversation he tells his fellow traveler, “You’re a good guy. It’s in your heart. You can’t help it, you’re a hero.” LaBeouf is soft and gives hope to our main character on his mission.

Which brings me to Zack Gottsagan. What a performance. Gottsagan suffers from Down Syndrome and refused to let that stop his dream of being an actor. He plays the main character of the story. Zack, also his name in the film, breaks out of the nursing home where he lives to escape to a wrestling camp. On the road he runs into Tyler (LaBeouf) and the two make their way through the North Carolina swamps. It plays like O Brother, Where Art Thou? For the soul.

I loved this movie, and I felt very good watching it. 


Lover

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In her 7th studio album, Taylor Swift solidifies her songwriting ability. Taylor Swift knows how to write catchy songs. She knows how to package an album./ She knows how to tell a story. Today’s music landscape is peppered with very emotional, sometimes depressing pop songs by the new wave of pop stars. (i.e. Billie Eillish and Halsey) That type of pop has populated the day and Swift’s latest album shows she will not go quietly. The recently released albums from Swift’s “class” of pop star (i.e. Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran) struggled to find their usually reserved place on the top of the Billboard charts. Taylor Swift’s Lover proves that she was undoubtedly the best in her class, if she is not in a class all on her own. 

Listening to this album walking through a city makes the album feel less like a stand alone record and more like a soundtrack to a movie. This could be the cast album to a musical about a perfectly American high school girl finding her London, well, lover. These are love songs and they are happy and sappy. It feels like instead of writing up the downsides of romance (breakups and longing for someone) Swift is very much intoxicated with her new relationship and plans to stay that way forever. Lover makes falling in love seem fun. 

The album isn’t without its flaws. At 18 songs long, Lover clocks in at about six songs too long. It’s 2019 folks, let’s keep inside 50 minutes, there’s a lot of shit out there to listen to. Of those 18 songs, all of the best ones are front-loaded onto the record, so what starts out as guns blazing ends up, unlike Swift’s career, going gently into that good night. 

Play the first half of the album, drink some wine, and find someone to share both with. 


Tell me what you loved this week. Happy #MillenialFriday