Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Films That I Saw: July 2012

July was quite busy although my health issues has made me feel tired as I’m going to slow things down by watching 3-4 films a week depending on what they are. Therefore, it’s likely that the number of new films that I’ve seen in July is down in comparison to June. I’m just trying to take things one film at a time and pace myself. Still, I think it’s been a pretty decent month as far as my film-viewing has been concerned.

For July, I saw a total of 44 films. 19 Re-watches. 24 first-timers. Here are the list of the 10 best first-times I saw in July:

1. Kes

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Help

While it’s obvious why it got a Best Picture nominated, it’s a film that is really imperfect and heavy-handed. Despite the strong performances from Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, and Octavia Spencer along with notable supporting work from Alison Janney and Sissy Spacek. It’s a film that goes on for a little too long while a lot of the drama is overdone at times. Emma Stone is alright but when it comes to heavy dramatic moments, she’s not very good at it. One of the worst things about the film is Bryce Dallas Howard whose over the top performance really overstays its welcome and it comes off as more as a caricature than an actual character. One of 2011’s most overrated films.

The Big Year

This could’ve been more than just a decent movie because the premise is very interesting. Three different men trying to break a record to see who can spot the most bird species in the span of a year. The stuff about the birds was interesting but it’s a very uneven film once the personal lives of these characters are presented and it drags the pace of it. The one character that really is badly written is Owen Wilson’s who comes off as a very unsympathetic guy who is so obsessed with breaking his own record that he is willing to skip his wife’s appointment all because of a bird he wants to see. It’s a moment that tries to make Wilson’s character not seem like a total douche but it’s handled so poorly.

Synth Britannia & Live Aid: Against All Odds

Two BBC documentaries about the music world has peaked my interest. The first about the world of synth-pop reveled into its origins and how it re-shaped the musical landscape of the 1980s despite the dismissive attitude of critics during that time. The second documentary about Live Aid is a two-part series on how it developed and how it almost never happened due to egos and other issues. Even a last-minute cancellation from U2 nearly happened as U2 later decide to go back and give out one of the event’s great performances. A must-see for any fan of popular music.


The short from Alex of And So It Begins… is truly a stunner. Filled with gorgeous visuals and a captivating performance from Catherine Warner. This short is definitely a must-see for its exploration of grief and guilt as well as the way it’s told without much dialogue. Plus, it’s got a killer soundtrack.


3. Pulp Fiction

6. Die Hard

8. Galaxy Quest

9. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

10. Angus

Well, that’s it for July. The Bond marathon will continue with another Sean Connery film, three more Roger Moore movies, and the two films starring Timothy Dalton. For the next Auteurs profile on Andrei Tarkovsky, his films will be seen and reviewed for the month as I hopefully will also do a few films by Jim Sheridan as well as various other features for the time being. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2012


Anonymous said...

Hey I've been a fan of your website for a while. I just awarded you the Liebster Blog Award. If you want to continue it you can check it out here: http://areservationatdorsia.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/liebster-award-blog-a-thon/

Chris said...

I'm impressed you saw so many considering you're not feeling your best at the moment, Steven.

I agree with you about Earrings, as I wrote today, I thought a couple scenes were a little too long toward the end, but other than that, very powerful. In fact the Cloud Atlas trailer and The Art of Flight soundtrack are also using other recent M83 tracks, so Alex is in good company ( :

As a music fan, the docs "Synth Britannia" Live Aid: Against All Odds" sound interesting, thanks for sharing info!

If you like rare birds(The Big Year review) Pelican Blood (2010) is an underrated British drama about young birdwatchers and worth a look(but I should warn you, that you need to be in the right mood because main character is depressing) Made no 22 of my top 30 films of 2010.

Jim Sheridan...look forward to a future In the Name of the Father review!

thevoid99 said...

@areservationatdorsia-Thank you. As much as I would like to participate, I've decided I won't do it for the time being due to illness.

@Chris-M83 is one of my favorite bands ever since "Don't Save Us from the Flames".

The films of Jim Sheridan I'm going to do are just In America which I've seen and The Field. In the Name of the Father isn't in my queue right now so that will have to wait while I'm unsure if I want to do Dream House based on the negative reviews.

Unknown said...

Wow, your slowed down pace is still more impressive than my regular one. I haven't been able to average one film a day since December.

thevoid99 said...

@Bonjour-Thanks. I think this month will be down even more as I was supposed to watch something today but I feel too tired at the moment. Who knows? Maybe I'll be taking a break.

Chip Lary said...

I used to re-watch a lot more movies, but since I started actively working my way through a couple of lists I've cut way back on re-watches while raising my first time movies. At some point I'm going to have to take a week or two and go through the movies I've bought and haven't watched again yet.

thevoid99 said...

@Chip-Re-watches I think are a good thing. You can get a chance to see a film you haven't seen a while or just relax on a film you've seen a bunch of times and not think about anything.

That's what I think I'll be doing for a while watching some other things on the side like the Tarkovsky films.

Alex Withrow said...

Wow man, you had a fantastic viewing month for films!

And my god, to see my flick up there with some many greats (and to read your kind words about it)... thanks for that man. It means a lot to me. Really glad you dug the movie and the tunes. M83 rocks!!

thevoid99 said...

@Alex-You're welcome man. Had to spread the word about Earrings. It's really damn good.