First Watch: October 2023

Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, M. Night Shyamalan, Disney, and Alexandra Pelosi.

First Watch: October 2023

Some thoughts on movies I watched for the first time last month, more or less in descending order of enjoyment or appreciation...

Killers of the Flower Moon

I'm definitely still processing this one and really feel like I need to see it again before I have a solid opinion on it. That said, I rewatched The Wolf of Wall Street* in anticipation of seeing this and have since rewatched Taxi Driver** – so between those and my strong recollections of Goodfellas and The Irishman (among others in Scorsese's filmography), I think it's certainly at least safe to say that KOTFM fits into his preoccupation with portraying the rot and corruption of American society in such a way that implicates the audience.

*I'd only seen it once, in theaters. Didn't much care for it then, but appreciated it much more 10 years on.

**I'm not even sure how many times I've seen this one and it's still towering.

Poison / The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

For my money, these are the two strongest of the 4 short films Wes Anderson adapted from Roald Dahl stories – so add me to what seems to be the consensus, I guess. All four are something of a collective formal experimentation and I just felt the subjects, characters, and casts of these two were able to sustain the style and scheme Anderson was going after.

Knock at the Cabin

I appreciate that M. Night Shyamalan is still basically relying on twists, but that the twists are now up front. It's like he's challenging an audience to either get on board or bail pretty much right away – which is probably a smart zag as it makes his premises seem less reliant on shock and more on atmosphere, character, and circumstance.


I think my almost 2 year old daughter sat still for longer stretches of this than anything else we've shown her – not that we've shown her much yet, really. But the lead is a bunny and she loves bunnies, so she was rapt. As for me, on the one hand, the DMV sloths are sublime, while on the other hand... COPAGANDA, much?

The Swan / The Rat Catcher

The other two Wes Anderson shorts adapted from Roald Dahl stories. Both were worth a watch if you're a completist or if the other two worked for you, but definitely start with those other ones first. These are all on Netflix, by the way.

The Insurrectionist Next Door

This popped up on Max and I just clicked and watched. It's actually the first of Alexandra Pelosi's documentaries I've ever watched – surely, they can't all be this bad, right?

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