Friday — May 27th, 2022: Well well well, another fantastic week in the books! [READ MORE]


Red Rocket


๐ŸŽ™️ EPISODE 460: 05.05.22

I will be thinking about this movie a lot. I can just feel it. While on the surface, and certainly the majority of its buzz has revolved around its being an anti-morality tale to some degree. But I think there are far more interesting and deeper themes re AMERICA and the AMERICAN DREAM and I think there might be something brewing here with Sean Baker's work on the whole. (Now, granted, I say this from the perspective of an idiot who's only seen The Florida Project once and Baker's other five films a total of big fat zero times. But even just skimming their taglines, I feel like he's trying to say something about the experience of living in this totally fucked up and insane country.)
Red Rocket is a period piece. Shot during the pandemic, the backdrop for this feature is 2016. This is important and notable, and the action is consistently peppered with TV footage from the lead-up to that year's Presidential Election (AKA Hillary vs. Trump). We watch this now with full knowledge of the outcome and it's meant to feel strange and surreal even as we all know exactly what happened. But its exactly the casualness of how this is employed which made it so powerful. Nobody says a word about politics; its just noise in the background. Looking back at it now, that feels right. It feels like that year was a turning point for culture. Everyone (most everyone) was happy to let that nonsense wash over them. Call it ignorance or apathy if you want, but for most people it's just living. Now everyone is expected to have chosen a side, to have that choice dictate a much larger part of their life than it probably should or otherwise would. Things appear much worse now than they did a half decade ago, and (pandemic aside) that might be true. But what's even MORER TRUER is how we allow the noise to affect us. I'm going to hate that I wrote this sentence in about five minutes, but — and hear me out — What if that was the REAL VIRUS the whole time? Just waiting to break free all along, finally unleashed?

**five minutes pass**

Hi. This is President Joe Biden, and I'm sorry to say that Movie Jeff has died due to embarrassment from that previous statement. But thankfully we were able to zombify him and he seems mostly all there, Jack. He wants to discuss *NSYNC now. OK, Jack. Take it away...

This film is bookended by two different versions of the hit *NSYNC song "Bye Bye Bye" and in between we get a topless cover version from our co-lead Suzanna Son in the role of Strawberry. The first version is the classic recorded version by the boy band and final version is a warped, partially back-masked one as Simon Rex hallucinates seeing a red bikini-clad Strawberry before making this facial expression...

I really liked The Florida Project but I also recall feeling ill after watching it. I felt sick for the kids in that movie and how sad it all was. I think I actively tried not to think about it and only now I realize that was probably the point. Sean Baker might be a genius and I need to watch and rewatch his filmography ASAP. Because I'm ready to think about it now. All of it.


Red Rocket is a 2021 American dark comedy drama film directed by Sean Baker from a screenplay co-written with Chris Bergoch. It stars Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, and Suzanna Son. The plot follows a porn star (Rex) who returns to his hometown and begins a relationship with an adolescent girl (Son). The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d'Or. It was released on July 14, 2021.


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