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State of the Blog – August 2017

The minimally observant among you have probably noticed that Plot and Theme has been pretty dark over the last couple of weeks.  The explanation is simple:  I have just uprooted from the Midwest (Wisconsin) back down to the Grand Old South (North Carolina), and the recent past has thoroughly involved all things box-related.  Now, the new home is up-and-running, only about 25% still in boxes, and I can start to wildly attempt to catch up on my review, essays, and other pieces here.  Fortunately/unfortunately, August new releases look proper terrible, so I should have plenty of time.

Because though it was hard to write too much with everything encased in cardboard, it was still easy to drop everything and go see some flicks.  As such, the following films from July are still in the chamber, just waiting to be written up:  The Beguiled, Okja, War for Planet of the Apes, and Dunkirk.  Expect the four to fly out over the next couple of weeks, along with my A Clockwork Orange piece, which is currently being written.

I’m also keen on seeing a couple movie that are already out:  Atomic Blonde and A Ghost Story.  Hopefully I get down to my new local sinny and give these two a viddy, because there isn’t going to be a lot to look forward to for the rest of August.

For some reason, August rivals the January/February non-Oscar bait lineup as the absolute dregs of releases.  Every now and then you’ll get a sleeper hit to come out in August (the first Guardians of the Galaxy comes to mind), but mostly August feels like a breather between Summer blockbuster season and Fall prestige pics.  Thus, our attention goes to Indies (where it probably should be anyways).

Detroit, directed by Katherine Bigelow and starring John Boyega, absolutely jumps to the top of the list.  The dramatization of a specific incident that occurred during the 1967 Detroit Riot should allow Bigelow to espouse on themes both current and historical, and the critics are already eating it up.  This post is being written three days before the release of The Dark Tower, and the review embargo is still in effect, it is going to be absolutely terrible or Sony wouldn’t be hiding it so soon to the release.  Instead, we’ll have to delve deeper into the Indies to get some quality:  Good Time and Patty Cake$.  Both festival darlings, the former is a dingy crime-drama from Cannes starring Robert Pattinson and the latter is a story about a small-town white trash woman who wants to be a rapper.  Weird stories, perhaps, but interesting nonetheless.

Hopefully, August will be a wonderful catch-up month as we settle into our new lives in North Carolina, and maybe I’ll get to see some surprises in the cinema as well.

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Derek Jacobs

Chicago,IL 60606

A website

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