Department Of A Year (Almost) Of Seeing Movies
As I’ve probably/previously declared  in this space, I love seeing movies in a movie theater. Dramas are more dramatic, romances more heart-tugging, thrillers more suspenseful and comedies funnier in a large venue, surrounded by gasping and/or weeping and laughing strangers. Even the turkeys – is there any category of movie worse than an un-funny comedy? – are made worthwhile during the brief bonding moments when strangers turn to one another, make eye contact in a dark theater, point at the screen and exchange incredulous, Really? Someone thought that would work? looks.
This is the time of year for thoughtful or professional critics and amateur ass-snipers alike to trot out their, “best of 2018” lists. When it comes to judging movies I’m somewhere in the middle of those two categories. Nevertheless, here is my blog before me, with space to fill; thus, here is my list. Only it isn’t a best of, it’s an all of.
I have moiself’s own criteria for what made it on the list: virtually every (theatrical release) movie I saw. The following movies (listed in random order – not quite alphabetical and not quite by date seen) were all theatrical releases; some of them were late 2017 releases that didn’t make it to our neck of the theater woods until early 2018. The asterisk * denotes movies I’d intended to see in the theater but which were briefly released in our area, i.e., they played in a Portland theatre for a week (or even less) before disappearing and then reappearing on video and/or streaming.  Titles in bold are recommended, whether for artistic merit or sheer and mere entertainment value. Titles italicized are…well…not exactly recommended, but not also the worst use of two hours, as I essentially saw them for free (via the once cool but lately lame and much-maligned MoviePass  ).
-Pitch Perfect 3
-The Disaster Artist
-The Greatest Showman
-Call Me By Your Name
-The Florida Project
-Roman J. Israel
-7 days in Entebbe
-The Leisure Seeker
-A Wrinkle in Time
-Molly’s Game *
-I Feel Pretty
-All The Money in the World *
-Avengers: Infinity War
-A Quiet Place
-Life of the Party
-The Rider 
-Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
-The Artemis Hotel
-Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
-Sorry to Bother You
-Three Identical Strangers
-The Spy Who Dumped Me
-The Miseducation of Cameron Post
-Crazy Rich Asians
– A Simple Favor
– A Star is Born
-Bad Times at the El Royale
-Can You Ever Forgive Me?
-The Front Runner
–That Spiderman spiderverse thing 
* * *
Department Of There’s Just No Pleasing Some People
Dateline: December 23. MH and I are having the roasted veggie hash at our favorite breakfast place in Manzanita. The background music playing at the café is always eclectic, although on this day they are playing what appears to be a somewhat standard, Christmas-themed mix. I hear a version of “O Christmas Tree“– O Tannenbaum, sung in German, by Nat King Cole (a version hitherto unknown to moiself, but holy fucking phonetically pronounced lyric sheet, I must have heard it 50 times this Yule season!)
Then Oh Holy Night begins wafting over the café’s discretely hidden speakers. I sing along, adding my own lyrical substitutions to the first chorus, not loudly enough to annoy the other patrons  but so that MH can hear:
Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine…
Fall on your knees!
O skin your knees for Jesus!
‘Cause Christ loves your scabs…
MH eyes me across the table.
“Do you like my version?” I ask him.
“I don’t like either version,” he replies.
* * *
Department Of The Partridge  Of The Week
As per an earlier warning post, we will be hosting a different Partridge, every week, in our front yard’s festively lit pear tree. Can you guess this week’s guest Partridge?
* * *
May you (mostly) not regret paying for a movie ticket;
May you realize that life is short and you’ll get over the 45 minutes you wasted seeing that !#(? Spiderman movie;
May you always sing the alternative lyrics;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 I’m turning into my father, in the repeating-my-stories personality aspect.
 So if you want to get technical, like one of those ass-snipers, perhaps those movies don’t “count.”
 Which, supposedly, is revamping for 2019, so I’ll wait another month and give it a chance before cancelling my subscription.
 I want a movie like the based-on-a-true-story The Rider to get its own category. I’d recommend the movie because I think it was well done and shows a compelling if head-banging-against-the-wall-in-frustration-for-me-to-watch story. Translation: it is very difficult for me to just sit there and watch, for “entertainment” purposes, people do stupid things/make short-sighted or self-defeating life choices.
 Another movie meriting its own category – and one of the few I saw with MH this year – because although I want to not recommend it I didn’t see the entire movie. I left midway, telling MH that he was of course was welcome to stay, but I just didn’t care what happened to the “characters,” and also/mostly, I was aesthetically offended by what was on screen: I was tired of BEING SHOUTED AT WITH LOUD CONSTANTLY FLASHING AND CHANGING IMAGES AND QUICK CUTS as if I had the attention span of a five year old cocaine addict.
 Uh, yeah, that’s disputable.
 In our pear tree.