Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Films That I Saw: January 2013

A new year has already begun and already, it’s time to start anew. Now that I’m able to keep track of everything I’ve seen thanks through Letterboxd. I can get the chance to find out what films I saw for the very first time not just for the month for the entirety of this year. The year definitely started off very well. Not only was I able to catch up on some 2012 releases but also get a chance to make some discoveries along the way.

Instead of comparing everything I had seen in the month prior, I feel like I should start the new year with not how many more films that I saw in the month before. This way, I can set standards for myself in terms of what to do for the rest of the year. For this month of January, I saw a total of 47 films. 29 first-timers and 18 re-watches. Not a bad way to start 2013. Notably as I used this new year to take part in the Blind Spot series as I began the series with Citizen Kane. Wow… now that is a film. Plus, it allowed me to check out more films by Orson Welles that I’ve grown and fell in love with. I have one more film that’s in DVR list to watch so I’m going to watch that one for next month. Until then, here are the 10 best first-timers that I saw this month… not counting Citizen Kane.

All films chosen for the Blind Spot series will be disqualified from all top-ten first-timers list.

1. Touch of Evil

2. Amour

3. Boy A

4. Zero Dark Thirty

5. The Lady from Shanghai

6. The Raid: Redemption

7. Bob le flambeur

8. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

9. F for Fake

10. The Impossible

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Three Stooges

The Farrelly Brothers used to be great when it came to comedies but then came a film called Shallow Hal and since then, they had never recovered the greatness they once had with films like Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, and Me, Myself, & Irene. This was a film I was hoping to never see since I feel like the Farelly Brothers haven’t really learned anything new. I finally saw it late one night and it was excruciating to watch. I love the Three Stooges but the actors they chose for the roles were not funny at all. It was too repetitive, too dumb, and just uninspiring. Even if the film had used the original casting of Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro, and Jim Carrey, it still wouldn’t work. Sure, there’s Kate Upton’s nice cleavage but why waste time watching that when it’s already in various web sites.

Footloose (2011 film)

I like the original 1984 with Kevin Bacon and Chris Penn though it is still a cheesy film. Remakes are something I tend to avoid but since this is directed by Craig Brewer who I do like. I decided to give the film a shot. It’s an OK remake though I feel the use of country and hip-hop weren’t very good as well as the remakes of the songs themselves. The leads weren’t very good either though there was one person in the film that I did like. Miles Teller in the Chris Penn role as he really puts his heart and soul into the performance and isn’t afraid to be funny. He is definitely someone to watch out for.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1

I despise all of the Twilight films I’ve seen so far. I find all of them to be very dumb with very lame performances. This film was on TV and I wondered how bad it was going to be. Wow… I can honestly say that so far, this is the best film of the franchise. Largely because of how bad it is. Taylor Launter attempting to emote had me laughing. All of the bad CGI including CGI baby and a lots of very unnecessary establishing location shots. If the film had gotten any campier, I think I would be able to enjoy it just for something that is so bad, it’s good. Unfortunately, the film takes itself way too seriously to even go into that route.

Glass Spider

I am a big David Bowie fan and I’m glad he’s coming back with a new record. I’m saddened that he might not tour though it’s obvious why. Yet, I would rather just have the new album. I saw this concert video on YouTube just to see what Bowie was doing in the second half of the 1980s which was creative nadir for him at the time. While I did like most of the set list that featured some obscurities, I felt the stage show was quite silly at times. It was Bowie trying to recreate elements of the old 1974 Diamond Dogs tour with new effects of the times. Yet, it felt a bit like watching Spinal Tap playing or something. I would only recommend it for Bowie fans though it’s obvious there will be mixed on opinions on the overall stage show.

The Wrath of the Titans

I wasn’t fond of the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans due to its silly visual effects and some very hammy performances. The sequel to that film is a million times worse. Not only does Sam Worthington sport an even worse haircut than in the first but he also fights more lame villains including Edgar Ramirez as his half-brother. Sure, it was fun to see Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson team up but they’re given pretty lame material to work with. Toby Kebbel was quite wasted as he ends up getting the worst comedy material while Rosamund Pike is also wasted since she doesn’t really get much to do but fight and look dirty.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Aliens

2. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

4. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

5. Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

6. The City of Lost Children

7. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

8. Back to the Future Part III

9. Airplane!

10. Valley Girl

Well, that is it for January. In February, aside from the next film in Blind Spots list that will include films relating to that film. There will be a lot I will cover for that month. I was supposed to have some new Robert Altman reviews coming but I got distracted as I will finally review some films of his that I’ve seen or haven’t seen that I have on my DVR. Also slated for February are a few 2012 films including those nominated for the Oscars as well as reviews of films by the Dardenne Brothers, Charles Burnett, Steven Soderbergh’s new film Side Effects, and some French films along with the next Auteurs piece on Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off.

© thevoid99 2013


Unknown said...

I might be the only one that likes the remake of Footloose more then the original. Dennis Quaid was not as batshit crazy as John Lithgow, and I liked that they put in different genres of music instead of just one.

Chris said...

After reading this, I realize I need to move Orson Welles' Touch of Evil to the top of my queue. Glad you loved it!

That new single from Bowie is pretty damn haunting. Look forward to the LP.

thevoid99 said...

@TheVern-There's moments in the remake that is watchable but it pales to the original which had more heart and better performances. Plus, the music was much better. I just really dislike today's hip-hop and country music. It's just fucking dumb.

@Chris-See that film, Orson Welles is just fucking awesome.

Lights Camera Reaction said...

What did you think to Airplane?

thevoid99 said...

@Lights Camera Reaction-It's one of the great comedies ever and what a spoof should be.