News & Events

What I’m watching: Rick & Morty (6), Reservation Dogs (2), Atlanta (4), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1)

What I just finished: What We Do in the Shadows (4), Shining Girls

What’s in the queue: The Bear (1), Reboot (1), The Patient, Documentary Now (4, or 53?)

What I’m eyeing: Welcome to Chippendales, But honestly, nothing is looking that good to me this fall.

 

What I’m reading: Ask the Parrot, by Richard Stark

What I just finished: Real Tigers, by Mick Herron

 

Honey, We Need to Talk About Fletch

I was in Germany when Confess, Fletch arrived in American theaters. It didn’t matter, though. I wouldn’t have been able to see it because Confess, Fletch only opened on 500 screens and in a short time dropped to 250. There will be a streaming premiere at the end of October on Showtime. Yuck.

I’d been looking forward to this movie and am surprised that it was handled so shabbily. There didn’t appear to be any advertising. Keeping the release of your movie a secret doesn’t help it get seen. Are studio comedies just dead or was something unique and, hopefully, not to be repeated, going on?

The late 2010’s gave us a series of underperforming comedies that audiences didn’t show up for. You could definitely make an argument that there’s a trend of rejecting this genre at the multiplex. On the other hand, I didn’t see most of those comedies because they looked mean and crass. I was probably the target audience, but the trailers for those movies all featured jokes that relied too much on sex, belittling people who are different, or the protagonists doing very dumb things that resulted in car crashes.

Confess, Fletch is something else. Based on the reviews, it’s very, very good!

Considering what a mystery nerd I’ve been for almost my entire life, I came to the Gregory McDonald books much later than I should have. I was in my thirties before I finally read one and was surprised to find far more substance than the 1985 Chevy Chase movie. I do love that film, but it’s more a vehicle for Chase’s improvisation than anything else. Those books are begging for a smart update with a little more depth and a star who excels at playing charismatic but wounded characters.

Reportedly, Jon Hamm gave back 60% of his Confess, Fletch salary to get three extra days of shooting. The creative team seems to have been very committed to the movie. The director has reported that the production company is paying him to write a sequel. Miramax is in no way obligated to make it, but it’s nice that they’ve asked for the script. Maybe they see it as a potential series that could have a streaming life, since nobody appeared to have much interest in releasing it in theaters. It’s hard to understand that mentality when one looks at the success of Knives Out, the sequel to which Netflix has decided to open in theaters before it hits streaming, but who knows.

 

 

In other news, I had a fantastic trip to Los Angeles back in August. After an appropriately red-meat dinner at Musso & Frank, I found Myrna Loy’s star on the street outside. She’s just a block down from Mary Astor. For some reason I never did any of these things when I went to grad school in L.A., but it was very fun for my first post-Covid outing.

Speaking of Covid, and it not being “post”, I was very worried about traveling to Germany in September. I’d skipped Bouchercon for that reason, which turned out to be smart since a bunch of people did get Covid there. My husband has wanted to visit Germany for some time, as he used to work in Munich at Radio Free Europe, so I decided to pack extra masks and a Paxlovid prescription and just go for it. (Yes, I realize that’s not most people’s definition of just going for it.)

It turns out to have been very lucky for me since one of our stops, The North Frisian Islands, has some very unique topography. The area floods with the tides, and even more so with big storms, leaving people’s homes isolated and unreachable. It’s a perfect setting for an Agatha-Christie style locked-door mystery.

But that’s for later. Now back to the novel I never finish that’s become a mystery and going to be finished soon.

Ironically, we managed to avoid Covid during our travels in Germany, but Jeff got pneumonia. It wasn’t too bad, and he’s already recovered, but, you know, Nora plans and God laughs.