Movies Watched, May 2019

Still from “John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum”

Oof, June got away from me. It’s nearly over and I still haven’t written up the movies I watched back in May. Well, here it is, my list of all twenty-five.

Two of them I watched in theaters: “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” which, whatever, and “John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum,” which was more interesting, even if I didn’t like it very much. Here’s what I wrote in my review over at Letterboxd:

This is what usually happens: a film creates a compelling fantasy world and fans clamor for more. So sequels build that world out, they show more of its mechanics, its people, its history. But ‘John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum’ demonstrates one little acknowledged principle of escalated world building: the inevitable outcome is bureaucracy.

If nothing else, this latest chapter in the surprisingly successful Keanu Reeves franchise makes it clear how fan service can undermine everything that made that franchise interesting in the first place. “Parabellum” spends a distressing amount of time literally explicating the bureaucracy of the Wick-verse—pointlessly. The outcome is tedium so pervasive, even the fighting—the fighting is why you watch a John Wick movie in the first place!—left me bored. Read my whole review here.

The full list:

  1. John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” (2018) Genius comic brain in a Young Spalding Gray body.
  2. My Name Is Julia Ross” (1945) Proto-gaslighting.
  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) Rewatched, eagerly.
  4. The Lineup” (1958) Vicious little noir B-movie
  5. Unsane” (2018) Soderbergh working it out.
  6. Drive a Crooked Road” (1954) Formulaic even for noir, but executed with extraordinarily care.
  7. The Matrix” (1999) I used to think I’d never get tired of rewatching this, but that’s no longer true, turns out.
  8. The World’s End” (2013) Rewatched. Edgar Wright just can’t get out of his own way.
  9. Spy Kids” (2001) Oof.
  10. The Grinch” (2018) Rewatched. Quite sweet and pretty well done.
  11. Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) Rewatched. A sustained series of miracles captured on camera.
  12. John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum” (2019) Too much.
  13. Girlfriends” (1978) A lovely time capsule of singlehood in pre-Giuliani New York.
  14. Kaleidoscope” (1966) I watched this on TV as a kid! It seemed better then.
  15. Being There” (1979) Sadly prescient.
  16. Ronin” (1998) Rewatched. Holds up very well.
  17. Starman” (1984) What if E.T. we’re handsome? And boring.
  18. All the President’s Men” (1976) Rewatched. I could listen to just the sound effects endlessly.
  19. Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance” (1974) Kind of pointless.
  20. Three Outlaw Samurai” (1964) If you like samurai films, you’ll like this.
  21. Pokémon Detective Pikachu” (2019) The name says it all.
  22. Ant-Man” (2015) Rewatched. The best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  23. Stuart Little” (1999) Bizarre.
  24. Entertainment” (2015) Horrific.
  25. The Lives of Others” (2006) Rewatched. Labored but effective.

This is the latest roundup of my monthly movie consumption. You can also see what I watched in April, in March, in February, in January and a full list of everything I watched in 2018, in 2017 and in 2016. And, if you’re interested, you can follow along with my movie diary at