Tag Archives: movies

Movies: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

I, like many, have mixed feelings about Quentin Tarantino. I mostly don’t like his movies, though that may be because I mostly don’t like him. I find him sexist and gratuitous, and the fact that he’s so smug and pleased with himself about these things is a massive turn off. It’s fine. He doesn’t need me to like him, and he clearly has an audience that revels in his bad attitude. And I will say that I’ve enjoyed, if not all of any one of his movies, parts of a few of them?

So. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood re-imagines what might have happened if the Manson Family had picked a neighboring target rather than Sharon Tate and her friends. But that’s pretty much beside the point in this movie. The real story is of washed-up actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt stand-in Cliff (Brad Pitt). Never mind that these guys look nothing alike, mind. Maybe that’s supposed to be funny?

The film meanders through, er… I’m not even sure what. It’s not a cohesive story, more like loosely stitched events. Rick being turned down for a role and having to make spaghetti westerns. Cliff picking up hitchhikers and dropping them at Spahn Ranch. And we follow Sharon Tate around a little bit for no apparent reason except, I suppose, to establish her as the neighbor. And then the whole Manson Family thing and… ::shrug::

It’s not a bad movie. In fact, for me it’s one of Tarantino’s most tolerable. Which probably isn’t saying much. Maybe because I like Brad Pitt, and he’s very Brad in this. Still, there’s no reason this film needed to be nearly as long as it is (running time: 2 hours 41 minutes). A lot of this is Tarantino indulging himself, but that’s pretty much all his movies anyway. He’d be first to tell you he makes movies for him, not for viewers. He doesn’t much care what anyone else thinks.

Well, that’s one way to approach the industry, I guess. Must be nice to be an old, white guy that people hand money to and don’t hold you accountable if you lose any of it making your hack movies.

I can say OUaTiH deserves the production Oscar it won. That much was well done, and Leo and Brad are fun to watch, even if the movie doesn’t give them a whole lot to do. Well, I guess there was enough for Brad to do to win him Actor in a Supporting Role, and I can’t begrudge him that either. He does a fine job, and seems to be having fun at the same time. No one said you had to be miserable to win an Oscar, right? If anything, it seems harder to win for an upbeat role than a serious, dramatic one. So good on him.

So is the movie worth watching? Eh. It’s almost the kind of thing you can have playing in the background while you cook or something. It simply does not require your full attention to follow. But it’s a bit of fun. I’m not sorry I saw it.

Movies: Marriage Story

As a rule, I don’t typically love Noah Baumbach films. And I can’t say I love this one, either. Only that I tolerated it better than most others of its kind.

The movie is pretty much what every clip you’ve seen suggests: Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson play Charlie and Nicole respectively, an artistic couple (he’s a director for theatre productions and she’s an actress) going through a separation that falls into a messy divorce. At the center of their many issues is their son Henry. Nicole takes Henry to LA, where her family lives and where she’s shooting a television pilot. Charlie believes they’ve agreed that they will all live in NYC together once the pilot is done. But free from Charlie’s decisions, Nicole begins to make different plans for herself… and Henry. Mean-spiritedness ensues.

If you enjoy watching people do and say terrible things to one another, this is the movie for you.

Which isn’t to say… Well, “enjoy” is the wrong word. I could have gone my life without watching this movie and probably wouldn’t have felt like I’d missed anything. But I’m not sorry I watched it? That’s maybe the best I can say for it? That, and that parts of it are likely to stick with me over time. Which is, at least in part, the point of art: to make an impression.

I’ll admit I haven’t actually seen many of Baumbach’s movies (the ones he’s directed, I mean). I do recall liking The Meyerowitz Stories, but I really did not like The Squid and the Whale, and I never even made it through all of Margot at the Wedding. Baumbach was once described to me as “Wes Anderson without the whimsy,” and that seems about right. I do love Wes Anderson, but it’s the whimsy that makes me happy. Meyerowitz came closest in a Royal Tenenbaums kind of way. There is, between the two (and yes, I am aware of the work they’ve done together), a real fixation on creative genius, public perception, and family hierarchy (which I suppose is “private perception”?). Marriage Story doesn’t quite go there because it’s so caught up in the drama of a dissolving relationship, but it touches on it—Charlie’s “genius” and how Nicole’s mother adores him, and the fight over who boosted whose career. I do find such themes interesting, but the lack of depth to them here makes them, and the movie, slightly less so. For me. Great performances, though, and Laura Dern definitely earned all her praise. In short, I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this one, but I wouldn’t warn people away from it either.

Movies: Parasite (2019)

I actually found this movie difficult to watch. Not because it’s bad; it’s far from that! But because it is so tense and anxiety inducing. At least for me. I don’t mind a good thriller, but whew. This film had me in knots.

I went in knowing very little except that I’d heard Parasite starts as one kind of film and ends up as another. And of course I’d heard it’s incredible (and therefore nominated for so many awards, having already gathered a fair amount of hardware—”hardware” being the industry term for award statuettes). I won’t be able to see all the nominated pictures, but I’m trying to get through at least a few, so last night I watched this one.

A non-spoiler sketch of the plot: a poor Korean family is given a lead by a friend that allows them to insinuate themselves into a wealthy family’s household. The poor son goes to tutor the rich daughter, the poor daughter becomes an art therapist for the rich son… Pretty soon the whole poor family is employed by the rich one, the latter none the wiser that their entire staff is related.

And then things go sideways.

That’s all I’m going to say about it. The movie is clever and intense, well written and well acted. It’s solid, is what I’m saying. Deserves all the accolades it’s received. And still I had the hardest time sitting through it because I was squirming so hard.

Worth a watch? Absolutely, if you can stand the mounting tension.

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

Okay, so I’ve had some time to sort of mull this whole thing over, and while my feelings are still complicated, I do at least have some overall thoughts about those last three Star Wars movies. Keep in mind that this is all purely subjective. In fact, this post is as much for myself as anyone, as writing helps me suss my thoughts.

I really enjoyed The Force Awakens. Yes, I knew as I watched it that it was pretty much, beat for beat, a retread of Episode IV. But I didn’t care. At the time, I was so excited to have a new Star Wars movie—one that was so much better than those prequels (which I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch again since seeing them in the cinema)—that I was probably primed to like it no matter what. But I loved the new characters, the dynamics that were being built. We took our kids to it, and at the final scene my daughter (who was seven) asked, “Who is that?” And with tears in my eyes, I said, “That’s Luke Skywalker, baby.” So, yeah, I was all in. I saw the film three times in the cinema and have rewatched it several times at home.

Sure, later on I had to wonder at Rey’s sudden ability to beat Kylo. I pretty much had the idea she had to be Luke’s daughter, ferried away to keep her safe or something, and I know I’m not the only one to lean that way. But whatever. I was open to whatever was to come next.

I had more complicated feelings about The Last Jedi. There was a lot I liked about it (mostly Kylo/Rey stuff) and just as much that I didn’t (the moments of humor felt misplaced to me). I was a bit confused by Luke’s final stand or whatever, not sure why he had to die except that mentor characters always have to die, I guess. I had no problem with the introduction of Rose and still don’t entirely understand the ire people have toward her, or toward the movie as a whole, except for misogyny and racism in general? I’ll admit that after the first viewing, I didn’t think I liked this movie, either, though I couldn’t immediately say why. However, I also saw this one three times in the cinema, and came to like it more and more. It is, for me, about on par with TFA, or I may even like it slightly more simply because it definitely feels more original.

Ah, but then The Rise of Skywalker happened. And I just… can’t. I can’t with this movie. I think what I can’t get over is the return of Palpatine. The groundwork wasn’t laid for it, so it feels just so improbable. And the sending out of a message? And the idea that Snoke “worked for” Palpatine or some such? None of it makes sense. The killing and immediate resurrection of main characters cheapens everything. It doesn’t feel like there are any stakes because Rey has already managed to defeat Kylo many times, and characters don’t stay dead, so… ??? Do I like that Kylo is redeemed? The fangirl in me adores the character of Kylo Ren. He’s easily the most interesting, most developed character in these films because he’s the only one given deep-seated conflict. Yes, he behaves like an angry emo child. But that’s at least interesting. And I’m a Reylo fangirl, so…

And yet. Here’s where we get into the world of fandom vs. canon. Let me just say I studied fandom psychology as an undergrad. But that was in a pre-social media world (yes, I’m that old). Fans didn’t really have a hope to influence creators because they didn’t have that kind of access to filmmakers. So wish fulfillment for fans came in the form of fan fiction. And that was fine. We all understood that we could make up our own stories and enjoy the characters in our own ways and the creators could do what they were going to do, which we may or may not love, but we didn’t really get too upset about because we had our own outlets for rewriting things the way we wanted. But now fans feel entitled, it seems, to certain outcomes. And they do get angry when things don’t go they way they want. Fans want to write the scripts. And that’s just ridiculous.

But it does seem to me that creators do sometimes give in to that pressure. So I feel like Kylo’s (Ben’s, if you prefer) redemption and that Reylo kiss was definitely a bow to fans. I swooned, of course, but was it the best direction for the story? I do have some doubts about that. (I think it would have been more coherent to follow Ben Solo/Kylo Ren as the main character of these films, probably because I do still find him to have the most interesting arc, but that’s just me, and didn’t we just talk about fans trying to steer the ship?)

For me TROS ruined things. I was all in until this film. I can forgive a lot, but this one just had too many problems for me. The sudden excising of Rose’s character, the insertion of random other females as if to be sure the Finn/Poe fans didn’t get their way—it just felt too disjointed from what came before. It felt, as I’ve said previously, like Abrams and Johnson were in a tug-of-war instead of building on each other’s works to create a cohesive whole. If you tell two architects to build a building that consists of three wings—Architect 1 gets wings 1 and 3 and Architect 2 does the middle bit—but don’t give them more guidance than that, the final structure might not end up looking quite right. Particularly if Architect 1 had stuff he expected wing 2 to have but Architect 2 does his own thing? They need to work together for the design to mesh.

I only saw TROS once in the cinema. I know I probably need to see it at least one more time to resolve some of my feelings about it. I mean, I think I could at least sit through it again, which is more than I can say about the prequels. But at the end of the day, the sequel trilogy was, for me, a game of diminishing returns. I enjoyed the first, most of the second, and almost none of the third.

So much of today’s biggest series start strong and founder because no one has a big picture vision, or if they do, they allow outside influences to alter it and therefore undermine what’s being built. We need showrunners/creators that don’t just have a great idea but also have the ability to follow through (or the willingness to delegate rather than control issues). And while fans have a right to their opinions, I don’t think they should demand that things go a certain way to satisfy their particular desires. Yes, even though you think you could do it better or your idea is the best. That’s what fan fiction is for. Leave the creators alone.

Movies: Joker

Decided to go ahead and watch this one, and I can see what all the buzz is about. Joaquin Phoenix does a stellar job overall, though I have minor quibbles. So many people love the score, too, and I think it’s quite good, but I also found it a bit distracting? Then again, this isn’t my usual kind of movie, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask.

For those even farther behind than I am in these things, Joker is a movie about, well, the Batman character’s origins, I guess. Phoenix plays Arthur Flack, a hapless clown-for-hire with dreams of being a standup comedian. Arthur is a bit… shy of a full quotient of IQ points, I guess? He has a mental illness that can cause him to begin laughing uncontrollably during moments of intense stress. And he also has a habit of daydreaming and not always knowing the difference between those daydreams and reality. In all, he’s portrayed as someone childlike and well intentioned who has been dealt a poor hand in life. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who wants to see it but hasn’t.

Honestly, I found the first part of this movie kind of boring. It’s all very artsy and atmospheric, but it took a while for anything interesting to happen (in my opinion). Once things did get rolling, though, I mostly enjoyed it.

I will say I find it crazy annoying that every movie even tangentially related to Batman has to do the killing-Bruce’s-parents thing, though. We all know the story, we’ve seen it hundreds of times, and in this movie it just wasn’t necessary at all. It added nothing, nor did it give the Waynes’ deaths any new twist. So boo to that.

Anyway, I’m sure Phoenix will win the Academy Award because, hey, a movie that kinda sorta talks about how the system fails those with mental illness, plus a lead who not only lost lots of weight for the role but also plays someone mentally ill? That’s a done deal, isn’t it? Look, I know I sound snarky, and I kind of am. I haven’t seen all the contenders, so I can’t really say if Phoenix deserves to win. But I know what the Academy tends to like. This role ticks a lot of their boxes, and Phoenix does well in it.

Overall, I’m glad I saw it, if only to see what all the hype has been about. The movie is lovely to look at and interesting, but it reminds me of a glossy magazine ad for cologne or something. Artsy but a bit opaque in what it’s really trying to get at. Which is funny since at the same time I felt a bit beat over the head by the underlying social commentary. Well, those ads often have a pungent sample in them, too, don’t they? This isn’t to say Joker is a bad movie or has no merit or whatever. But for me there was a lot more style to it than substance.

Movies: Knives Out

Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Screenplay by: Rian Johnson
Lionsgate, 2019
PG-13; 130 minutes
4.75 stars (out of 5)

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This being movie #1 of 2020. (I’m hoping to keep count.)

I have long been a fan of cozy mysteries in the Agatha Christie vein. So of course when I saw the trailers for this one, I had to see it. No one makes movies like this anymore; more often this kind of content goes to the stage, if it gets produced at all. (Certainly, there are still many mystery books published.) Anyway, after being disappointed by J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars, it seemed fitting in a way to go enjoy something by Rian Johnson. (Yes, I did like Last Jedi.)

Knives Out is a fun take on the genre. The viewers are fed the building blocks of the crime early on, and a fair part of the film is about watching the murderer attempt to elude Daniel Craig’s Southern-gentleman detective. But of course there is the standard twist. I saw it coming—I would guess many mystery readers will put it all together fairly swiftly—but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the film for me. There is a lot of humor and a lot of charm on show here.

Being from the South myself, I had many friends warn me that Craig’s Southern accent was terrible. Maybe they oversold it because it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. Overwrought, sure, but I suspect some of that is on purpose as much of the film is somewhat exaggerated, as is common in the genre. Can I also just mention how glad I am to see Don Johnson getting work these days? Between this and Watchmen, he’s suddenly everywhere, and in great form. My guess is that casting agents are capitalizing on us 80s’ kids’ nostalgia by bringing back actors from our childhoods. Well, huzzah! Makes me plenty happy. (I was actually a bit too young for Miami Vice, but my parents were weirdly permissive in letting me watch it with them. I probably didn’t understand half of what I saw and heard.)

Anyway, without giving too much away, Knives Out is about the abrupt death of a famous mystery novelist, and the swarm of his greedy family. The death is at first ruled a suicide, but then a detective (Craig) is anonymously hired to look into it. Things are complicated by the fact that the writer left all his money to his personal nurse (de Armas, managing incredibly well considering she’s on screen for almost the entire movie). Suspense tempered by humor ensues.

In all, I do recommend this one for fans of a fun murder mystery. It’s a bit too easy to figure out (which is why I shaved a wee bit off the rating), but it’s a good time anyway.

Movies: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Screenplay by: Rian Johnson
Lionsgate, 2019
PG-13; 130 minutes
4.75 stars (out of 5)

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There will be spoilers. I usually try to avoid them, but I don’t think there’s any way to talk about this movie without spoiling some of it, so if you don’t want to know anything prior to viewing, read this after you’ve seen the film.

Imagine there was an address that only two or three GPS systems in the world knew how to get to. Yeah, that’s what this movie starts out being about. Of course, that’s just the McGuffin. Basically, it becomes clear that Emperor Palpatine is still alive and hiding on a planet that only a few of these Sith WayfindersTM can locate. So Rey, Poe, and Finn must go find one so they can find Palpatine and, er, end him, I guess. Before he can raise a new, Final Order and become emperor of the known universe.

Palpatine, meanwhile, has sent Kylo Ren to find and kill Rey because she’s so powerful, etc. etc.

On paper it… seems to work? But then things begin to muddy as Abrams attempts to retcon the things Rian Johnson did in Last Jedi that he would have done differently. Rey’s parentage is finally revealed to be not “nobody.” And Luke (as a Force ghost) chides Rey for nearly throwing away her lightsaber, saying, “A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect,” which seems to be a direct rebuke to Johnson having Luke toss said weapon over his shoulder in the last film. Yeah, okay, but the lack of consistency between the last film and this one leaves a viewer’s head spinning. Luke behaves one way in one film and completely differently in the next. Rey is a nobody and then she’s not. Instead of going with the flow, Episodes VII-IX feel like the tug-of-war Kylo and Rey engage in when fighting over a transport ship.

What it says, really, is that one person and one vision should have been in charge throughout. Lucas’ singular vision in Episodes IV-VI meant they were at the very least consistent in tone, if sometimes contrary in small ways. Barring being able to have the same person at the helm for each film, each subsequent writer/director should have taken the baton and run, ideally toward the same finish line, rather than hieing off in random directions.

I didn’t dislike this movie. At least, I don’t think I did? There is no star rating because I’m still trying to suss everything I’ve seen and how I really feel. There were a number of moving moments that gave me chills and just as many that felt nonsensical to me. There is a lot of fan service, some of which I enjoyed and some of which felt shoehorned in to me. But movies—and especially something as big as Star Wars, something that has spanned multiple generations and has avid, ravenous fans—are so subjective. The things I liked will be things others hate, and the things that bothered me will be things others have no problem with. From “who shot first” to now, there will always be debate and dissension.

I will probably need to see the movie one or two more times to figure out whether I actually like it. I loved The Force Awakens from the start and still do. I had mixed feelings about Last Jedi but came to enjoy it more after multiple viewings (though a few of my reservations remain). This one? I really don’t know whether I’ll come to like it more or less over time. Or if it will always be that I like some of it, but not all of it, not nearly. My niggles about Last Jedi felt small compared to my divergent feelings here, so I can’t really foresee how my heart will eventually settle.

I was only a year old when Episode IV came out. It wasn’t until much later that I used to watch Empire Strikes Back on the VCR… a lot. And sometimes Return of the Jedi, though not as often. My best friend, however, was hugely into Star Wars. She and her mother both loved Rise of Skywalker, so maybe I’m just not a big enough fan to embrace everything that’s going on in this film? Then again, I hesitate to compare fans and suggest that some are “truer” than others. There is no wrong or right way to enjoy something, is there?

And if you don’t fully enjoy something, are you less of a fan? I don’t think so. I think discernment, and thoughtfulness, are not bad things. This isn’t a “with me or against me” situation. If you don’t love something 100% that doesn’t make you a “hater.” As the Force shows, there is light and dark in everyone; it’s how you wield it that matters.

I may, after one or two more viewings, or even after some more thought and discussion, revisit this review. I may even be able to decide on a star rating. Until then… may the Force be with you, and with us all.


Fan fiction note: How many people are going to write a story in which Ben impregnates Rey with that last little bit of life force? Like, an extra life in there maybe? For all we know that’s how Anakin happened…

Movies: Jumanji: The Next Level

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina
Directed by: Jake Kasdan
Screenplay by: Jake Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg from the book by Chris Van Allsburg
Sony 2019
PG-13; 123 minutes
4.5 stars (out of 5)

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As far as entertainment goes, this one is entertaining. What more could anyone want really? Except to have an excuse to look at Dwayne Johnson for a couple hours? (Or Karen Gillan if that’s more your thing.)

The story this time around begins as our friends from the previous film, now all off in college, are planning to meet back home for the holiday break. Except Spencer is reluctant. He and Martha are on a “break” and he’s feeling like a loser compared to… her Instagram feed, I guess? Wanting the confidence he felt when being Bravestone in the Jumanji game, Spencer makes the questionable decision to go back in. (Because he apparently went and took the console from the school and secreted it in his basement.)

Of course, the game is broken, so… when his friends go looking for him, it grabs Spencer’s Grandpa Eddie (Danny DeVito) and Eddie’s friend Milo (Danny Glover). The humor then becomes derived from trying to a. find Spencer in the game and b. get two old men through a video game.

I suppose the true fun in watching these movies is watch actors trying to act against type by pretending to be very different personalities. Sometimes it gets a little too close to impersonation (Johnson’s DeVito has some sketchy moments), but overall the entertainment value is consistently present.

While I still enjoyed the first one more, I think that’s surely because it was so surprisingly delightful. Once expectations are set, it’s always more difficult to meet them. I also found the premise for this one—that is, Spencer’s reason for wanting to go back into the game—flimsy at best. Although in the first few minutes of the film we do see that he’s having a hard time in general (lame job, mean boss, it rains on him and his suitcase handle breaks)… The movie fails to earn its catalyst. It’s actually the friendship between Eddie and Milo that begets touching moments, and those are totally merited.

Overall, another fun installment that leaves the door wide open for more to come.

Movies: X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Ugh. Why did I even?

Where to begin? The terrible script? That’s where most movies begin, but this one had so many reshoots that who knows what the original script even looked like? What remains, however, is just awful. It’s rote. Predictable. The two main plots don’t mesh, even though they are supposed to actually be part of the same story. The villains have zero character development. None of the actors appear to want to be there at all. (Probably because of reshoots.)… Just… ugh.

The story: Jean Grey gets sent to Xavier’s school after losing her parents in a car accident (that it seems she probably caused thanks to being incapable of controlling her powers). Years later, she and some of the other X-students go save a shuttle flight in distress and Jean gets hammered by weird space radiation or something, which enhances her powers. Once again she struggles to control them. Then [spoilers follow] she finds out Xavier lied about her father being dead and implanted false memories so she wouldn’t know she wasn’t wanted. She goes to see her dad, she fights with some of her classmates, she goes to see Magneto, he sends her away… Basically, her chaos is threatening the fragile acceptance the mutants have received from the government and the world at large. Soon they’re being put in containment camps, etc.

Meanwhile, some aliens who really like that radiation or nebula or whatever has taken up residence inside Jean are following her and trying to convince her to… join them? Here’s the chief problem with this side of the plot: despite the main alien lady (played by Jessica Chastain) being a walking exposition bot, we really are given nothing about these aliens and what they’re really after. The whole point of them is to be the difficult decision Jean needs to make about whether to use her powers for good or ill.

What’s really a bummer is that this could have been a good movie. If the actors had appeared at all invested, if the characters had been developed, and especially if the themes had been more than skimmed over. There’s potential here to explore things like internment camps, and the question of when lies are less harmful than the truth, and misuse of power, and difficult choices. But nothing in this movie is more than surface and show. And it’s not particularly good show, so it can’t quite skate by on just that.

I remember X-Men: The Last Stand being pretty awful, too. So maybe it’s time to stop trying to tell this story on screen. Or, more broadly, maybe it’s time to invest more in character and personal conflict rather than constantly relying on bland spectacle.

Movies: All Things Must Pass

This is a documentary about Tower Records. Are you old enough to know what Tower Records was (and still is in Japan)? I didn’t really know what it was until I went to college at UT Austin; there was a big Tower Records on “The Drag.”

The documentary does a good job of organizing the information. It talks to all the key players, including the late Russ Solomon, founder of Tower. Former employees sing the praises of the Tower Records “lifestyle.” The film takes us through the expansion… And then kind of rushes the collapse. It hesitates to criticize Solomon, instead blaming digital media and someone they hired to help them who apparently made decisions they say tanked the company. Former employees talk about having to be laid off from their 30+ year careers… tears in their eyes… and yet they still consider Russ Solomon to be (present tense, since Solomon was alive at the time of filming) some kind of godlike king. Which is just kind of weird to me? Almost cultish? Or maybe they’re just reliving their glory days, what they consider to be the best days of their lives?

Look, I had a job at a small family-owned shop when I was in college. (In fact, it was on The Drag.) And it was the best job I’ve ever had and am ever likely to have. Yes, even as a writer, I can say that. Because going to that job every day was like going to hang out with friends and family. The work was incidental. I never had a dread of going to work. I never thought, I wish I didn’t have to. I looked forward to it! So I can totally understand where these Tower Records folks are coming from.

But though the employees were hurt by Tower’s fate, Solomon wasn’t much. He still had stores in Japan, was still making money. And this is more or less skated over by the film.

I just… I had mixed feelings about this film. It’s really designed to praise Russ Solomon and Tower Records and say very little contrary to, “Wasn’t it great?” It’s a lot of nostalgia but not much else. It’s really well made, but the content is flimsy.