Week 5: ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (1979)

Overview

Welcome to Week 5…. ish of the 52-Week Movie Challenge (Look all I am saying is please don’t count the days between these posts). This week’s challenge was to choose an early film of a famous actor. For a little bit of fun, I put the choice of actor to a vote on our Facebook page and, unsurprisingly, Meryl Streep (aka The GOAT) won in landslide fashion. With the issue of which actor squared away, I only had one decision left: The Film. For me this was easy. Kramer vs. Kramer has long been on my list despite the fact that I had zero prior knowledge of the plot or who was involved. Do you ever have that happen? Where there’s something you want to do or see and you have no idea why but still the urge persists? Just me? Okay, I digress. Anywho, I chose Kramer vs. Kramer and you can read my full thoughts (beware spoilers) below.

Film Details

Winner of five Academy Awards, Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 drama based on the Avery Coman novel of the same name. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, the film tells the story of Ted (Hoffman) and Joanna Kramer (Streep), a couple who suddenly find themselves on the brink of divorce and a lengthy and nasty custody battle over their seven-year-old son Billy (Justin Henry). Both Meryl Streep (Best Supporting Actress) and Dustin Hoffman (Best Actor) took home Oscars for their performances.

Thoughts

I feel the need to add a caveat at the beginning of this review because it is as if someone built a movie specifically for me. You know by now that I am an absolute sucker for a human story. In my opinion, nothing beats real human relationships. The depth and complexity of human relationships juxtaposed against the simplicity and routineness of everyday life is among the most beautiful narrative tools that exist. When used effectively, I believe it creates cinematic moments that are more emotionally impactful than anything outside of this genre can achieve. So, Kramer vs. Kramer already had a leg up in my book based on its subject matter alone. That said, this movie does a lot really really well. So let’s dive into it.

The first signal that Kramer vs. Kramer is in a different league comes in the first 10 minutes. In the first few moments, it is clear that this film has mastered the art of context. I cannot overstress how important context is in screenwriting. With any given scene, writers are tasked with telling their audiences just enough, not too much not too little. If they tell their audience too much (especially with dialogue), they ruin the authenticity and potentially eliminate the effectiveness of a certain plot device. If they tell them too little, they leave the audience confused and risk them losing interest altogether. Writers must trust the audience to infer (or sometimes even guess) plot points to protect the narrative. It’s an abstract concept and one that I am admittedly struggling to explain, but the best films in the drama category have mastered the art of context and Kramer vs. Kramer no different. Let’s look at an example:

Believe it or not, this is the first scene we get with Ted and Joanna. It happens within the first 10 minutes of the film. Talk about a barnburner! But look at what the writers and director have done here. We know nothing about these characters at this point other than Joanna is a mother (as evidenced by her opening scene putting Billy to bed) and Ted works at an agency of some sort. But what do we learn? We learn that Ted is a chronic workaholic, that Joanna is a career homemaker, that they have a history of arguments like this, that Ted is forgetful, that Joanna has ambitions, and on and on and on. Now, how do we learn all of this? Is it explicitly said? NO! It is implied, and masterfully so. See, these people already know each other very well. So realistically, they are not going to say all of those statements I listed above. Instead, the writers have trusted us, the audience, to infer some of the details in their relationship while keeping the authenticity of the dialogue intact. Kramer vs. Kramer is chock-full of scenes just like the one above, which keeps the movie rock-solid in terms of its realism. But it is not the only way area in which the film excels.

Somewhat surprisingly, Kramer vs. Kramer is also superb thematically. The reason I say “surprisingly” is that realism and themes don’t often naturally coincide. It is much easier to drive home central themes in more avant garde films due to the creative control you have over the delivery of those themes. In dramas like Kramer vs. Kramer, however, it can be difficult to layer in powerful themes without risking the realism of the film. This exact challenge is why a lot of films in the genre tend to be more like portrait pics in nature. But Kramer vs. Kramer tackles a lot of heavy themes. Most notably, the gender role themes are especially prominent and seemingly ahead of their time. In fact, Marriage Story (2019) just came out last year and deals with very similar themes about gender roles. Now, Marriage Story‘s gender role themes are a bit more implicit but it has been FORTY YEARS after all. Needless to say, I was impressed to see a movie from 1979 forcing people to ask themselves questions like “why are women just expected to want to be moms” and “why are men automatically assumed to worse parents?” Historical context is everything in this instance.

That said, I did find it slightly irresponsible to paint a woman and mother as the antagonist in a film at a time when gender equality was even farther away than it is now. That’s not to say that father’s rights weren’t (and still are) an issue. I’m just saying there were perhaps bigger fish to fry at that time. But maybe my biases are showing. Maybe the only reason I think Joanna was an antagonist is that I am a husband and a father and she abandons her role as a wife and a mother. I’m not sure. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Finally, my favorite part of Kramer vs. Kramer is how beautifully it captures parenthood. To be clear once more, the film does not beautify parenthood but rather shows it in all its beauty. These parents are far from perfect. They have angry outbursts in front of their child, they forget him at school, and they even put their needs above their son’s at times. But they love their kid more than anything. As someone with two little boys, this imperfect but perfect depiction of parenthood really hit home and I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry multiple times watching this movie. It even had a scene where Ted ran his bleeding son into an ER to get stitches, something I had to do earlier this year. Again, this movie was practically made for me.

Overall

I was floored by how much I liked this movie. In many ways, it is very similar to Marriage Story from late last year but I would say that Kramer vs. Kramer ran so Marriage Story could soar. Both movies are fantastic and both earn whopping Kernel Scores from me. I cannot recommend this movie enough!

Kernel Score: 9.5/10

Next Week

We are getting in the swing of things now! Looking ahead, Week 6’s challenge is to watch a movie “With Subtitles.” If you are anything like me, every movie is a movie with subtitles (#Captions4Lyfe), but for the purposes of this exercise, I decided to choose a foreign film. Over the next week, watch the Indian epic Baahubali: The Beginning with me and come back here this time next week for the next edition of the 52-Week Movie Challenge Blog. Thanks for reading!

-Cam

 

Week 4: ‘Babe’ (1995)

Overview

Not to be forgotten under the enormous shadow of #hamilfilm, we are in week 4 of the 52-Week Movie Challenge. Okay, but in all seriousness, I did sort of forget about it with all of the #hamilfilm content we’ve been putting out. I joked on this week’s pod that I will indeed watch all 52 movies for this challenge, I may just do it over 70 weeks. But that doesn’t mean that I am not stoked about this week. In all honesty, this was the challenge I was most dreading in the early going: “A film starring an animal.” I mean, that prompt doesn’t exactly conjure up images of great films right away. And let the record show that I threw all of us, myself included, a soft ball by choosing an absolute gem of a film in ‘Babe.’ I could’ve just as easily chosen an ‘Airbud’ sequel or ‘Snow Dogs,’ but I am not that cruel. I’ve got a caffeinated beverage and the background of my 8-week old son cooing and laughing at me as I sing him songs from “Hamilton,” so I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s get to it.

Film Details

Based on the 1983 children’s novel by Dick King-Smith titled The Sheep-Pig, ‘Babe’ tells the story of a young pig who is won by a sheep farmer during a “Guess the Weight” challenge at the local fair. Farmer Hogget’s initial plan was to roast the pig for Christmas dinner, but his fondness for Babe softens his heart and causes him to spare the pig. Under the guidance of Fly, a female border collie and matriarch of the Hogget animals, Babe learns the ropes of sheep herding (shepherding?). Using his kind demeanor to build relationships with the sheep and earn respect from both Fly and her mate, Rex, Babe is able to become one of the greatest “Sheep Dogs” in the country and earns a perfect score for Farmer Hogget at the world Sheep Dog challenge.

Thoughts

If you’ll indulge me, I am going to start this review with a personal note. In fact, this is my blog so I am not even sure why I am asking for your permission in the first place (MUAHAHAHA). There are two reasons why I chose ‘Babe’ for week 4. The first is that, again, it is just difficult to find a film that you could stomach in this category. The second reason, is that this movie means so much to me. I loved this movie as a child. LOVED. IT. I watched it constantly. When I was younger, I had some respiratory issues that landed me in many an uncomfortable medical situation. Finger pricks, IVs, blood work, you get the picture. Through all of that, movies were a comfort, this movie more than most. I can specifically remember being 7-years-old and in the midst of a week-long hospital stay for pneumonia. It must’ve been late because my mom was folded up in one of those terrible hospital chairs asleep but I had woken up for some reason. I would’ve probably felt completely alone at that moment if it had not been for ‘Babe.’ I suspect that is why my mom put it on before catching a quick nap in between vitals checks. I was scared and uncomfortable, but ‘Babe’ was there. And it wasn’t the first time or the last time that this movie was there for me in my time of need.

In many ways, hearing the overture and watching the opening credits roll, felt like reacquainting with an old friend. I felt guilty for not staying in touch as much as I should, but it took just a few moments to pick back up where we left off. And this time, I had my two-year-old son with me, which made the experience all the richer. To prove that I am a true OG, check out this sick dvd two-pack.

All of that said, I want to be very clear: ‘Babe’ is an incredible film. You may not remember but it was actually nominated for Best Picture at the 1995 Academy Awards. What I find amazing about that is that film was trending more cynical in the mid- to late-90s. So, for a film as wholesome and quaint as this one to capture the attention of fans and critics alike is really quite remarkable.

But when you really start to analyze the movie, it makes sense. First of all, I cannot imagine that directing a cast of animals as diverse and wide ranging as this one is an easy task. And they have these animals working OVERTIME. Not to mention, the effects they use to make the animals appear to speak holds up much better than I would’ve ever thought.

From a storytelling perspective, ‘Babe’ is the definition of “short, sweet, and to the point.” At a runtime of 92 minutes, this movie is expertly paced without losing any depth. I mean, the scene where they dig into Rex’s backstory is a perfect example of this. All in, it takes maybe 3 minutes and it deepens our understanding of Rex so much. That’s efficient!

The themes in ‘Babe,’ while familiar and not particularly groundbreaking are sharp and effective. The score is unique and memorable. The voice acting is excellent and the production design is beautifully coordinated.

Overall

If you hadn’t seen ‘Babe’ before embarking on this movie challenge, I hope you agree with me that you are better for seeing it. If there is a purer movie that’s as effective, I don’t know it. I am thankful for the movie challenge as it was nice to be reintroduced to this film. I certainly plan on making it a part of my children’s lives in hopes that it has a similar effect on them.

Kernel Score: 9.2/10

Next Week

Our next challenge is “An Early Film of an Actor.” I legitimately can’t decide so I am taking Kirk’s advice and putting it to a vote. Keep an eye on PFB social media pages for more details. Thanks for reading!

-Cam

 

Eurovision Song Contest Review, Hamilton Parody, Schoolyard Pick of 4th of July Stuff

In just a few days, our living rooms will become “The Room Where it Happens,” so the PFB guys took this opportunity to pay homage to their favorite musical with their brand new song parody, “It’s Almost Time for Hamilfilm.” Cam and Kirk then keep the musical energy flowing with their movie review of ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.’ Finally, the boys wrap the show with their Schoolyard Pick of 4th of July stuff. You won’t want to miss this American musical masterpiece!

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Week 3: ‘Rocky’ (1976)

Overview

Welcome to Week 3 of the 52-Week Movie Challenge. Or, as I like to call it, Week 3 and half, since I keep missing my self-imposed deadlines. Anyway, this week’s challenge was to watch a “Low Budget, Big Box Office” Film. So, I chose the granddaddy of them all, ‘Rocky.’ This film had a production budget of $1 million and grossed in the neighborhood of $225 Million in the box office. Talk about a good investment!

It has been a long time since I’ve seen ‘Rocky’ and I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever watched it straight through in one sitting. I was excited for the chance to revisit this multi-generational phenomenon and find out what it was that captivated audiences around the country back in 1976.

Film Details

DAH Duh duhduhduh duhduhduh duhduhduh

DAH DAH duhduhduh duhduhDAH duhduhduh

I honestly considered just phonetically writing the full “Theme from Rocky” and nothing more for this week’s blog but that actually seemed harder than the alternative. I’ll spare you the nonsense this week.

‘Rocky’ is a 1976 film written by and starring Sylvester Stallone (that’s ambitious). The film follows 30-year-old Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa who, as his semi-professional boxing career seems to be coming to a close, is randomly selected to fight the greatest fighter in the world, Apollo Creed. Over the last 40+ years, ‘Rocky’ has become synonymous with the city of Philadelphia and an unquestionable symbol of the American spirit. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t able to sing their version of the famous fanfare from ‘Rocky’ on command. Needless to say, I was anxious to get another look at ‘Rocky’ with my critic cap on to get a better sense of why this film, and its subsequent sequels and spin-offs, still live deep within the heart of American pop culture.

Thoughts

Though ‘Rocky’ is the youngest of our challenge movies so far, weighing in at 44 years old, it is still far from “modern.” Pair that with the low production budget and you wind up with a movie that has some good aspects and some bad. We’ll start with the bad so we can end on an up note!

The “Bad”

This movie is unmercifully low-budget. From the very first scene, you can feel a difference in the sound mixing that leaves you with an empty, almost erie feeling as you watch. In some scenes, you can see the camera visibly shaking during certain shots and at times it is too severe to ignore. The screenplay is predictable and sometimes painful when it comes to the more dialogue-heavy scenes. Though, for a screenplay that was reportedly written in three days (!!), you could do much much worse. Even still, at times I found myself mentally checking out because the current scene was a bit melodramatic or not relevant to the overall plot.

Additionally, and this could probably be said with just about any 40-year-old movie, some scenes did not age well. Particularly the nature of Rocky’s first few encounters with Adrian (Talia Shires), which can only really be described as stalkerish. And this includes their first date where Rocky simply will not take “no” for an answer and all but forces Adrian to kiss him. Luckily, things between them smooth out and seem to become much more consensual for the remainder of the film but I was definitely squirming in my seat through a good portion of their scenes.

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The “Good”

What ‘Rocky’ lacks in budget and production value, it makes up for in heart. If you listen to the podcast, you know I love a passion project, and this more a passion project than anything else. Stallone clearly pours everything he has into this character. The scene where he is laying in bed with Adrian the night before the fight talking about how he just wants to “go the distance” against Creed as the camera slowly zooms in, is goosebump-inducing magic. I felt as pumped up in that moment as I did during ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’ when Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) gave his famous “But it is not this day” speech.

My favorite scene in the whole film comes somewhere around the halfway mark. Upon hearing the news that Rocky will get a chance to be a world champion, the local boxing trainer, Mickey, visits Rocky at his home. Earlier in the week, Mickey told Rocky he was washed up and gave his locker away to a younger boxer who, in Mickey’s words, “is a contender.” Insulted by the hypocrisy of Mickey, Rocky tells him off. He screams, punches the walls, and orders Mickey to leave immediately, a command that Mickey reluctantly obeys. But then something magical happens. As Mickey descends the stairs leading to Rocky’s apparent with his head hanging, Rocky appears to have a realization. Without a word, Rocky follows Mickey outside, grabs him by the shoulder, says a few inaudible words to him, and shakes his hand before returning the same way he came.

It is a subtle moment but easily the most powerful in the entire film. In that moment, I believe the realization Rocky had was that he and Mickey are the same person. They are both past their prime and chasing their dream at all costs. For Mickey, reaching out to Rocky was an act of desperation. Mickey knew he wouldn’t get another chance at his dream and that Rocky is the closest he’ll ever come to training a boxer for a big fight. Rocky understands this and, in a much deeper sense, understands that dreams are hard to come by in Philadelphia’s inner city, so he agrees at that moment to put their differences aside. In that one scene, there is a socioeconomic message that far exceeds any of the other themes or messages in the film. A message that you don’t have to tear others down (no matter how much they deserve it) to be successful.

Scenes like this are everything for this movie. It is what makes this movie withstand the test of time, even though technically it is not the most well-made film. And again, this movie brings back a theme from last week, which is that simpler is oftentimes better in film. I love a layered and complex story but a simple story can be much more effective if executed properly.

Overall

If it was unclear to me before, it is clear now why ‘Rocky’ has been woven into the fabric of American pop culture. There is, perhaps, no movie that is more American than ‘Rocky’ top to bottom. I wouldn’t say that this movie is my favorite by any means, and I am not sure I would even go as far as to call it great. But I understand why ‘Rocky’ means so much to so many and why it will continue to be one of the most revered movies of all time.

Kernel Score: 7.1/10

Next Week

Our next challenge is “A Movie Starring an Animal.” Selfishly, I am choosing one of my favorite films of all time, ‘Babe.’ If you have not seen this movie, you are in for a real treat. If you have seen it, give it a rewatch and join in on the conversation this time next week. Thanks for reading!

-Cam

 

Da 5 Bloods Review, The King of Staten Island Review, Schoolyard Pick of Things You Could Be Declared the King of

We are back and coming your way with a right-left combo of two of the most interesting directors in the biz. This episode features our film review of the latest Spike Lee joint ‘Da 5 Bloods’ AND Judd Apatow’s latest ‘The King of Staten Island.’ We also get you prepped for theater (theatre?) reopenings with the latest on Warner Bros. new release dates. Finally, and as always, we wrap the show with our Schoolyard Pick which this week is “Things You Could Be Declared the King of.”

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Week 2: ‘Casablanca’ (1942)

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Overview

Ahh, week 2. Hits ya like a ton of bricks, doesn’t it? Like that second day of your New Year’s Resolution to work out every day when you realize you’ve made an enormous mistake. But that’s okay! You’re here! And I am extremely happy that you are. This week’s film is ‘Casablanca.’ For whatever reason, this is one of the films that you sort of have to see if you want to call yourself a cinephile, and it was one that I hadn’t seen before this week. Let’s get to it! 

Film Details

Filmed and set during the beginning of World War II, ‘Casablanca’ tells the story of an American named Rick Blaine (portrayed by Humphrey Bogart) who, after spending some time in France, fled to French Morrocco to escape the German occupation and start his own club. His newfound city, Casablanca, has become a hub to refugees fleeing war-torn areas in hopes of obtaining transit papers and catching a boat to the U.S. Rick, the somewhat jaded, host unto himself, finds himself in possession of some Letters of Transit, which to him have nothing more than monetary value. That is until his former lover Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) arrive in Casablanca fleeing the Germans, which leaves Rick in a pickle.

Thoughts

If you are like me anytime you dust off a really old movie, you have to mentally prepare yourself for a very different experience. Is this movie going to hold up? Or will it be one of those movies that were great for the time and sort of lives on based on name recognition alone? That especially applies when you go back as far as the 1940s. For example, I loved ‘Citizen Kane’ and I still very much feel that it holds up, whereas ‘The Maltese Falcon’ felt like a movie from a bygone era. Anyway, I often find myself in that frame of mind when I watch older movies and I think that is important to be aware of if I hope to give an honest review.

With ‘Casablanca,’ you know within the first 10 minutes that you have stumbled into something rather magnificent. The film starts with a short narrated montage to set the stage for the story. It’s well-written and takes a potentially complicated setup and smooths it out so everyone feels comfortable. From that point really until the end of the film (which is a crisp 102 minutes by the way), you are hit with plot point after plot point with very little filler. It’s very refreshing! In fact, I really tried to let myself relax and just enjoy the narrative without worrying too much about themes because it is so well-crafted. It’s a perfect example that a story doesn’t have to be complicated to be complex. You can use a story that is easy to follow and still build excellent, deep characters with rich, human emotions along the way.

And frankly, it’s the humanness of this movie that caught me off-guard. I have seen Humphrey Bogart in a few films before this (‘The Maltese Falcon’ and ‘The Big Sleep’ most memorably) and I was never really impressed. He was always typecast as the carefree, nonchalant but amazing detective type with that signature nasally voice and I was really expecting to get that Bogart once again. And don’t get me wrong, you’ll still recognize Bogie. But his performance this time around is something much more real and his chemistry with Ingrid Bergman is unbelievably powerful.

Additionally, the screenwriting is excellent, even outside of all of the famous quotes. Each joke and jab lands and still earns a snicker nearly 80 years later, which is insanely impressive when you think about it. Not to mention the film has stylish cinematography, excellent set design, and everything else that you would expect a film of this clout to have.

And, just like ‘Casablanca’ itself, my review is simple. There’s so much to love about this movie and very, very little to pick at. I could obviously sit here and gush about ‘Casablanca’ for 1000 more words but I won’t do that to you. After all, it is only week 2. Don’t want to push it too hard. 

All told, ‘Casablanca’ is the kind of movie that reminds you why cinema is so awesome. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and still one of a kind. I find it so cool to watch iconic movies and to immediately recognize parts of the movie that have inspired some of my favorites. Hopefully, you had a similar experience. There is a reason this movie is one that you have to see and I’m certainly glad I now have.

Kernel Score: 9.7/10

On to week 3’s challenge which is a “Low Budget, Big Box Office” movie. Even though, we have technically checked this box with ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ there is no double-dipping in the 52-week Movie Challenge. If you are gonna go, go all out. And the movie I have selected for us is…. ‘Rocky!’ It’s been a super long time since I’ve seen this movie and it is always the first to come to mind when you think of low-budget smash hits. So, please watch ‘Rocky’ this week and come by next week for another post that I think we can all agree…. is going to be a knockout (I’ll see myself out).

In all seriousness, thanks for reading/watching. I’ll see you next week!

-Cam

 

Opinion: HBO’s “Watchmen” is the series we need right now

The following blog does not contain spoilers for HBO’s “Watchmen.” So, feel free to read and enjoy whether you’ve seen it or not. 

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Flashing red and blue lights.

A short siren chirp.

A routine traffic stop.

One man white, the other black.

One man armed, the other not.

If you’re like most people in our country right now, you’re probably sick to your stomach because you know exactly where I’m going with this. But what if I said you didn’t? What if, this time, the suspect was white and the cop was black? What if, this time, it was the cop who was unarmed? What would you think? And then, what if I went on to tell you that, despite those facts, the altercation ended the same way as you originally thought, with an unarmed black man dead at the hands of a racist white man? Would it discourage you? Would it make you feel hopeless? Like nothing we do will keep black people from being senselessly murdered in this country? I’m not sure. I can’t say. What I can say for certain is that the scenario presented above made you think. It may have even caused you to self-reflect.

Thankfully, the scenario above is not a news story that you missed. It’s not even a story from our reality. It’s a scenario presented in the first episode of HBO’s “Watchmen,” from showrunner Damon Lindelof (“Lost,” “The Leftovers”). Watchmen is a sequel to Alan Moore’s 1986 comic masterpiece of the same name and, much like its predecessor, it acts as a stark social commentary on the time in which it was created. Though instead of criticizing the war-happy U.S. of the 70s and 80s, it focuses on racial inequality. HBO’s “Watchmen” aired in 2019, the same year in which the show takes place albeit in a reality both similar and unfamiliar in comparison to ours. If you’ve listened to our podcast, you’ve undoubtedly heard me sing the praises of this show for the better part of the last 6 months. But I am watching it through for a second time and not just because of its exquisite narrative, inspiring performances by Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Tim Blake Nelson, and pulse-pounding score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. No, this time I watching for the scenes just like the one outlined above. The scenes that make me think.

Thinking is good because thinking inspires action. And if there is one thing we are in desperate need of right now, it is action. Because we must eliminate wide-spread racism AND systemic racism in our country. To be clear, I’m not talking about just the confederate flag-waving, n-word saying, George Zimmerman brand of racism. I’m also talking about the subconscious, passive racism. The kind that causes white people like me to walk on the other side of the street when we see a black man walking toward us, to move into less diverse neighborhoods, and to mostly hang out with people who look like us. It takes deep, introspective thoughts to eliminate that kind of racism. And it takes a show like “Watchmen” to inspire those thoughts.

See, movies like ‘Selma,’ ‘Malcolm X,’ and ‘The Help’ (which are all good by their own merit and please don’t think I am knocking them at all) while they are excellent representations of the harsh realities of the Civil Rights Movement, they do not require us to think or reflect. We are taught about those events in school. We are even taught how to feel about those events. So, they act as unconditioned stimuli, eliciting a response but not one that requires any real thought or genuine feeling. It may make the more flamboyant racists living among us to cringe but for the passive, subconscious type that I talked about earlier, we need a different kind of stimulus. Something like a whistle or a dog clicker, something that makes us snap out of it or think “how do I feel about that? and what does that say about me?” “Watchmen” has an unending supply of those dog clicker moments.

For that reason, “Watchmen” is exactly the show we need right now. I’d love to go deeper into my analysis of the rich themes and immaculate storytelling, but I can’t risk spoiling the show and its effect. So, I’ll leave you with this. Watch “Watchmen.” You’ll be better for it.

– Cam