If you’re like me, you’re finding it hard to concentrate at the moment. I pick up my phone to check a date to answer an email, and I find myself scrolling through Instagram five minutes later, having forgotten what I was meant to be doing in the first place.
I’m even finding it hard to concentrate on my entertainments! I can’t always focus to read, and if I try to watch anything that requires thinking, I end up drifting over to my computer to check the New York Times.
The only thing I can really get into seems to be movies with zero plot that are high on action. These are the films I love watching at the gym and no other time — but here I am, eagerly seeking them out to watch at home.
So here are my top five suggestions for movies to watch right now if, like me, you can’t concentrate for shit:
I’d never watched a John Wick movie before, but I knew the plot was straightforward. Man loves dog. Dog is killed. Man murders errybody in revenge.
Of course, I thought there was probably more to it than that. Turns out…there isn’t! That is the entire plot of the film and it’s glorious. It’s also $1.99 to rent on Amazon. I will be watching 2 and 3 soon, I’m sure. Please don’t tell me they get more any more complicated! I’m hoping that in #2, he gets revenge for the death of his pot-bellied pig, and that #3 features an alpaca. I need nothing more.
Anything Fast and/or Furious
These are gym favorites of mine, but now I’m gonna watch ’em at home. I know they *have* plots — sometimes quite complicated ones. And yet, despite having seen every one of this franchise while sweating on a treadmill, I couldn’t tell you a single one of them. Something something revenge? Something something drive fast? Something something drugs? It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is there is some car chasing, some fighting, and some fucking. Lots of hard stares coming from extremely well-lotioned men. I watch these films and I wonder when these violent criminals have time to moisturize. And do they smell like cocoa butter? I guess that’s the point. While I’m watching these, I’m not thinking of rocketing death rates or insufficient numbers of ventilators — I’m thinking about cocoa butter. Mmmm.
TBH, I have a general weakness for fighting robots. I am loud and proud that I LOVE THE ORIGINAL TRANSFORMERS movie. Pre-nutbag Shia LeBeouf is great, and his parents are adorable. There’s pathos — I cry every time Bumblebee gets tortured when ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS HELP THE HUMANS HURTING HIM. It’s like fucking Shakespeare. I’m not saying all the movies in that franchise are good (I’m looking at you, Dark of the Moon — why is that supermodel always squatting atop things?????), but some of them are pandemic-perfect. On that note, Pacific Rim is GLORIOUS. Idris Elba’s knock off St. Crispin’s Day Speech gives me chills, and not just because I’m once again thinking of #cocoabutter. Okay, mostly because it makes me think about cocoa butter. But it’s also a great. fucking. film.
I have no idea what these movies are called or when they were made, but there are some recent Godzilla films I’ve randomly come across in which Godzilla is a big, chonky boi I wanna cuddle like the plus-sized cuddlebunny he clearly was always meant to be. Apparently the Japanese think he’s been hitting too many American buffets, but I think this Godzilla is perfect. In fact, I’d slather him in… you guessed it!…. cocoa butter! And I guess these movies also have plots? I know humans occasionally talk during them. None of it makes sense. But then big fat Godzilla comes back onscreen, and makes it all better again.
One of the most jingo-istic, ridiculous, Amero-centric films made after the swinging Sixties, none of this film makes a lick of sense. It didn’t make sense when I saw it in the theater as a high school senior in 1996, and it doesn’t make any now. But it’s such a joyfully dumb film that now is the time for its resurrection. It’s also good perspective: being locked up in our homes in a city is a lot better than being wiped out by an alien beam of death-light. For a follow up, Armageddon suffices.
All of these films are plot-thin, loud, and full of action. Many make you think cocoa-butter thoughts. All of this make them perfect escapist fodder if you’re having trouble focusing.
Please lmk what you’re watching, if you have a delightfully distracting suggestion!
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Crossposted at https://nicolepeeler.substack.com.