Whatcha watchin’?

During the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020, my wife and I started a tradition of having a “date night at home” every Friday and watching a different movie. We alternate selections — she chooses one week, I choose the next. We’ve also tried to pick films that neither one of us has seen before.

Some of the movies we’ve selected from sources such as Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies” list, or from Paul Harris’ “Movies You Might Not Know.” Others, we’ve cribbed from the American Film Institute or British Film Institute websites. The more recent ones are based on reviews or trailers we found interesting.

Out of curiosity, I tried to pull a list of all of the movies we’ve watched via Amazon, Hulu and Netflix over the past two years.

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Well den, who did dun it?

This past weekend we watched two of the new batch of “whodunits” — “Glass Onion” with Daniel Craig, and “See How They Run” with Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan.

“Glass Onion” is a sequel of sorts to the 2019 surprise hit “Knives Out,” starring Craig as the “world’s greatest detective” (with a vaguely French Creole accent) Benoit Blanc. Netflix, which financed the film, released it into movie theaters for only a week before pulling it back and re-premiering it (is that a word?) on the streaming platform — an unusual move that apparently raised concerns in Hollywood that other studios will soon follow suit, hurting the already-struggling movie theater industry.

“Knives Out” kicked off a “mini-boom” in old-fashioned drawing room-type mysteries of the sort popularized by Agatha Christie novels in the 1930s and 1940s, and memorably spoofed in the ’70s and ’80s by films such as “Murder By Death” and “Clue.” “Glass Onion” both has its cake and eats it, skillfully walking the line between spoof and genuine locked-room mystery.

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Uncle Jay’s Movie Reviews: “Murder on the Orient Express”

We saw “Murder on the Orient Express” last night.

Capsule review: I had very low expectations, because the reviews have been mixed. It exceeded all of my hopes.

It is a very faithful adaptation of the original Agatha Christie novel — probably more faithful than the famous 1974 movie starring Albert Finney.

And the cinematography is wonderful.

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Movie review: “The Nice Guys”

During my day off yesterday, Denise and I saw “The Nice Guys.”

Capsule Review: Denise liked this a lot better than I did. Set in the late 1970s in Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling is a hapless private eye (think Richie Brockelman in “The Rockford Files”) who’s coerced into working with a tough guy enforcer played by Russell Crowe.

The reluctant duo is paid to find an aspiring porn film star who’s on the run from mobsters and a federal agent.

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