Saturday, December 31, 2016

Films That I Saw: December 2016

With the year drawing to a close and the Xmas holidays being alright despite having a bad stomach virus that forced me to sit on a toilet for about a few days. Not a very good way to lose weight. For now, I’m just trying to look ahead and think about what to do to start the new year.

In the month of December, I saw a total of 28 films in 18 first-timers and 10 re-watches which a disappointing way to end a year which pretty much sucked. The best film I definitely saw this month was my Blind Spot choice in Das Boot. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw for December 2016:

1. Cross of Iron

2. Nocturnal Animals

3. Junebug

4. Manchester by the Sea

5. O.J. Made in America

6. Believeland

7. Elway to Marino

8. Doc and Darryl

9. The Killer Elite

10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Elway to Marino

The first of three films that I saw as part of the 30 for 30 documentary series is an interesting piece about the 1983 NFL draft in which six quarterbacks that include Jim Kelly, John Elway, and Dan Marino were among the six that would be drafted. The three men tell their story and the fates of these drafts as well as what was happening at the time in those drafts including those who would be picked instead of the six quarterbacks and their own fates as it is largely told by Martin Demoff who was an agent for both Elway and Marino at the time of the draft. Especially from his notes of the day of the draft and his own interpretations of what could’ve happened on that day.

The Water Diviner

This was actually a pretty good film. Flawed but definitely has its moments as Russell Crowe proves to have some potential as a filmmaker while delivering a damn good performance as a man trying to find his sons by traveling from Australia to Turkey in the aftermath of World War I. The narrative is a bit of a mess but Crowe makes up for it with some superb imagery as well as a couple of excellent supporting performances from Olga Kurylenko and Yilmaz Erdogan.

Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special

Ever wondered why birds fly south for the wintertime? Well, Donald Duck learns that the hard way in this hilarious Xmas animated special from Disney Animation. Rather than go south for the winter, Donald decides to spend Xmas with Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto during the cold and snowy winter just to see what Xmas is like in that time. Well, it turned out to be a bad idea as it’s just a fun little short featuring all sorts of Disney characters we all know and love.

I Saw the Light

I haven’t heard much of the music of Hank Williams though I do find his story to be interesting though I had heard about this film and why it was poorly received. I finally saw it for myself and well, it’s a fucking mess. Tom Hiddleston is good as Hank Williams with Elizabeth Olsen also being good as his wife. It’s just that the script doesn’t give them enough to do while the narrative is the real reason why the film sucks. It is often told from other people’s perspective as if it wants to be a documentary but also a dramatization as the two styles don’t mesh and it takes the audience out of the film as Hank Williams’ story deserves so much better.


While I’m happy the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series, I do feel bad for the Cleveland Indians although I do hope they get another chance to try and finally win the World Series next year. The second of three segments of the 30 for 30 series is about the city of Cleveland and why it has struggled to win championships for so many years as it’s told from locals, athletes, and a few celebrities including Arsenio Hall who reveal the struggle in being a Cleveland fan whether it’s for the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavaliers as try to matter for the fans. Fortunately, the Cavaliers were finally able to bring a championship to the city after Lebron James finally made his return to the city a few years earlier after a stint playing for the Miami Heat as he realized that championships really matter when it’s at your home city.

Doc and Darryl

No team was as brash or as the true definition of bad boys than the New York Mets in the 1980s as they were led by pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden and outfielder Darryl Strawberry. They were the ultimate bad boys who had a lot of talent but were also susceptible to the excess of the 1980s as the two men finally tell their story of highs and lows as well as some form of redemption. Even as the two would meet together and tell their stories about their struggles as well as the fact that they’re still trying to keep it together. It’s a fascinating piece of the 30 for 30 series which is co-directed by Judd Apatow in definitely his best work since The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Mulholland Dr.

2. McCabe & Mrs. Miller

3. The New World

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas

5. The Filth and the Fury

6. The Impostors

7. Popeye the Sailor Man Meets Ali Baba & His 40 Thieves

8. Popeye the Sailor Man Meets Sinbad the Sailor

9. Greedy Humpty Dumpty

10. Small Fry

That is all for December. Coming up next will be a year-end reflection piece while January 2017 will mark a year of new beginnings and hopefully some theatrical releases that I was unfortunately able to see. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2016

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