Things I Noticed Last Week – 6.8.2015

Another busy week for me, but I did get around to a lot of things. I’m writing this coming down to crunch time and Edmond will yell at me if I don’t meet his deadlines so here it is for this week.

1. I saw a film this week I think everyone who reads this will enjoy. It’s not a “Best Picture” type film, nor is it a big budget action film, it’s purely enjoyable cinema.

That film: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl.

The film is about three high schoolers faced with something someone their age should never be faced with: the prospects of death. Not the death everyone deals with, like older relatives or neighbors. No, this is one of their peers.

When Rachel (Olivia Cooke) is diagnosed with cancer, Greg (Thomas Mann) is mostly unfazed. At the prodding of his mother Greg strikes up a reluctant friendship with Rachel and he realizes more about himself than he ever imagined.

Greg a loner is incapable of accepting friendship. Even Earl (RJ Cyler), who views Greg as a friend and constantly puts up with his callous attitude towards such relationships, is relegated to the title of “business partner.” Assuming he has it all figured out, Rachel proves he has no idea and their unlikely relationship arguably changes his live’s path forever.

This is film is full of what you would assume are cliches, but as soon as the get to the intersection of “Stuff I’ve Seen Boulevard” and “Really This Again Avenue” they take a sharp left onto “What Just Happened Lane.” It’s a film about friendship in the most unadulterated terms. There is definitely love here, but not romantic love. It’s about learning to let your guard down and accept others into your life. To stop having all the answers and start asking questions.

From top to bottom this one was perfectly cast. Mann who you might have seen in Fun Size, Cooke from Bates Motel, along with relative newcomer Cyler, all prove incredibly adept as young performance across a range of emotions throughout. If that weren’t enough, they’re backed by Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, and John Bernthal.

If there is one non-blockbuster film to see this summer it is this one. You might just learn something yourself.

2. Netflix launched Sense8 this week from The Wachowskis (The Matrix). I’m only a couple of episodes in and there is LOT going on. I’m going to reserve final judgement for now because I’m intrigued enough to keep watching, but befuddled enough to not know really what is going on. The show revolves around 8 people who all for some reason can sense things going on in one another’s lives, while living all over the world and not knowing each other. So far nothing has been revealed about why this happens or what caused it but Daryl Hannah and Naveen Andrews seem to know why, they just aren’t telling… yet.

What might be most impressive is this truly is a worldly show. They have actors of all different races, genders, and sexuality. Unlike most shows, it does not appear, a white man is really the savior of the group and everyone else just follows his lead. So far this appears to be one of the truest ensemble casts I have ever seen. It’s sad this is something described as “impressive” but until we start getting more diversity across the board, kudos to The Wachowskis.

3. HBO Go just added Idiocracy to their movies section. If you haven’t seen it you should. It’s one of the best pieces of satire I’ve ever seen and a call to raise the bar on the value we place on intellect.

4. A teaser for Shaknado 3 was released. The first one was a lot of B-movie fun. Then they pressed their luck with a second one, and I didn’t hate it. But a third? Really? Can’t we leave well enough alone sometimes? I just hope if they’re going to keep doing them they keep raising the ridiculous bar with every sequel.

Sorry if I disappointed you or The Management Again this week. Hopefully life will slow down soon. Thank you for reading and see you next week!