Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Films That I Saw: February 2015




Thank goodness the Oscar season was over as I’ve kind of felt it was underwhelming and not very diverse. Plus, the choice of winners were predictable as it was the big reason why I decided to skip it this year and why I didn’t finish my predictions list. I usually get excited during that time but this year I wasn’t as there were a lot of great films that I felt got overlooked along with performances which made the whole thing feel dull. I’m not surprised by its poor ratings this year which I think was a factor into how uninspiring it was as they really need to do better next year.

Thank you Ring of Honor for getting me excited all over again about wrestling as a six-man tag match between ACH, Cedric Alexander, and Matt Sydal (formerly known as WWE superstar Evan Bourne) vs. AJ Styles and the Young Bucks, representing the Bullet Club, was without question one of the best matches I had ever seen in years. It is wrestling at its purest form as I was happy to see Albert del Rio be in Ring of Honor where he looks happier there as it’s reported he’s also got a thing at Lucha Underground where he won’t need the WWE anymore. There was a recent article I read about a month ago about this growing renaissance that is emerging in professional wrestling as it relates to what is going on outside of the WWE and, to a lesser extent, TNA as it relates to wrestling fans wanting something different and more simpler where it’s less about entertainment and more about wrestling.

It’s something that Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, and New Japan has been offering to American audiences as they just want to give them their monies worth. That’s all that it needs to be as it’s helped maintain this growing detachment between myself and the WWE as I’m definitely not looking forward to this year’s WrestleMania. The one match I might see is Sting vs. Triple H but that’s it. All of this frustration with the WWE and their ideas has given me an idea of fantasy booking as it relates to not just how out of touch Vince McMahon is but also how WWE wants to perceive itself as sports entertainment rather than pro wrestling which adds to this growing disconnect between itself and real wrestling fans. I like to call myself a wrestling fan. Not a member of the fucking WWE Universe.


I don’t want to call the WWE wrestlers Superstars or Divas as I think it’s fucking stupid. To the WWE, wrestling is a dirty word as I have an idea about this growing disconnect where a group of wrestlers decide to form an anti-sports entertainment faction where their sole mission is to oust Vince and the Authority from the WWE. It’s not just about saving the WWE from becoming even worse than it already is but also the idea of what happens if the WWE is gone for good as it might say something about the future of professional wrestling in America. I have come up with a lot of ideas for this storyline as it’s not just inspired by the New World Order faction in WCW but it’s about something much more than just taking over a company. It’s about the future of the WWE as I don’t think wrestling fans are interested in seeing John Cena be the WWE champion for the 40th time.

Now back to the world of films as in the month of February, I saw a total of 35 films in 20 first-timers and 15 re-watches. Slightly down from last month but reasonable though I took some time into watching these films as I decided to not watch films every day. The highlight of the month was obviously my Blind Spot assignment in Singin' in the Rain as it was the best film I saw in February and in the year so far. Here are my top 10 first-timers for February 2015:




1. Patton



2. My Life as a Dog



3. Senna



4. The Earrings of Madame de...



5. Tess



6. I Killed My Mother



7. Citizenfour



8. Sweet Smell of Success



9. Ben-Hur



10. Belle



Monthly Mini-Reviews

Divergent



This film was on HBO for some time as I decided to see what the fuss was about. It’s alright as I do like Shailene Woodley as she does play an excellent character. It’s just that it’s a film that it feels very typical of the trend of most young adult novel adaptations in terms of its sense of adventure and chaos though it still has some unique moments. Especially with Kate Winslet in the role of the antagonist while it does have some unique ideas on dystopia and individuality. It’s good for what it is though it just feels familiar in comparison to other films like The Hunger Games series.

Austenland



I’m not a fan of Jerusha and Jared Hess as I’m one of those that didn’t like Napoleon Dynamite while I absolutely loathed Gentleman Broncos as I think it’s one of the stupidest films ever made. This film however, as it’s the directorial debut of Jerusha, is actually quite charming as it definitely has something for Jane Austen fans. The highlight of the film is Keri Russell as this hardcore Jane Austen fan who travels to Britain to give in towards her idea of what life would be like in the world of Austen as it doesn’t exactly go well. It’s quite funny as it plays into reality vs. fiction over what is expected as Russell’s character is looking for love. It’s a harmless film but a fun one.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Unforgiven



2. Die Hard



3. Moulin Rouge!



4. Natural Born Killers



5. Atonement



6. Commando



7. The Place Beyond the Pines



8. Idiocracy



9. About a Boy



10. That Thing You Do!



Well, that is all for February. Next month, I’m going to be watching a lot of French films as my focus will be on the works of Eric Rohmer and Louis Malle along with Auteurs-related pieces by Xavier Dolan and Bong-joon Ho as well as the next Auteurs subject in Julian Schnabel. The only theatrical release that I’m likely to do is The Gunman as there’s not much happening at this point for March while I’m going to re-start work on The Story of Film series as I hope to complete it before May as I’ve gotten a tentative line-up for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival marathon that will happen in May. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2015

6 comments:

Luke said...

The podcast between Austin & Vince on Austin's show really shows how far gone McMahon has gone. More than that, the writing team is just awful nowadays. Too many cooks in the kitchen. People were pretty vocal about this during Royal Rumble 2015. It's also why I don't even bother watching RAW. A show I use to love during the attitude era and well on through 2004/2005.

Also, I look forward to your posts about The Story of Film. I am on episode 8. It's nice to have a documentary that takes its time and goes in depth on several filmmakers around the world as opposed to a 90 minute documentary that covers the basics.

Chris said...

I agree the oscars were predictable. The only big surprise I guess was animated feature. Which films did you feel were overlooked?

I know you are a fan of the films of Michael Cimino, did you notice his first interview in 13 years:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/deer-hunter-directors-first-interview-773132

Wendell Ottley said...

I've seen most of your top 10 rewatches. You have some great films, there. Still need to see most of your first timers. Looking forward to them. The WWE, lol. There's never been anything "real" about it even back to early 80s when i was a fan. I just think they keep increasing the soap opera and salacious aspects of it to where it takes over the telecasts. However, i gave up on it so many years ago, I'm just guessing at this point.

thevoid99 said...

@Luke-I stopped watching RAW 2 weeks after Brock Lesnar won the WWE title as it was as I wanted to see how long can I not watch it. I recently saw bits of it last Monday and I'm glad to know that there was a reason why I stopped watching it. It's shit. Vince is looking for writers that don't know shit about wrestling. The man is a fucking moron and he should be killed. I've finished 5 episodes of that series so far as I want to finish it before May.

@Chris-I felt films like Gone Girl, Under the Skin, and The Lego Movie should've gotten more attention but I think they were too weird for the Academy. I did read that Cimino piece. I really hope the man makes one more film and gets another chance. He just got a bad rap.

@Wendell Ottley-It's actually much worse now and believe me, you will feel stupid from watching it. There's no consistency to the storylines. This person is a face the first week and then a heel the second week. It's a fucking mess. It's more about entertainment rather than competition yet the booking of matches have become uninspiring which is why fans are getting angry right now.

Ruth said...

I'm glad award season is done too, now we can all move on!

Awesome rewatches, lots of my faves on there, esp Moulin Rouge! Hey, glad that you saw Belle AND Austenland. You already know how I feel about Belle [LOVED it], but Austenland is more of a guilty pleasure. It's downright hilarious, and as a fan of period drama I enjoyed it immensely.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-I had low expectations about Austenland yet it was quite entertaining. It's obvious Jerusha is a far more talented filmmaker than her husband and seems to work better with another woman who wrote the film with her.