Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Films That I Saw: July 2013

The second half of the year has already begun and things are quite heating up as far as film-watching is concerned but there’s also a bit of burn-out. Notably as I’ve been spending the summer watching some Woody Allen films as I’m starting to get a little fatigued. Hopefully by the time I finish the Auteurs series on Allen, I’ll get a bit of a break. Yet, something else has been happening that’s been distracting me a bit from the world of film and it’s getting me very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very excited.

For anyone that’s been following my now revived music blog in The Void-Go-Round. There’s been a lot of activity in relation to Nine Inch Nails as the band just started touring again and have been premiering some new songs from their forthcoming new album Hesitation Marks that’s coming in September. Recently, I wrote a review of the band’s first single Down In It in which I hope will be the first of many new NIN reviews to come as I have more than a decade’s worth of material that I wrote related to the band as they are my all-time favorite act including a five-part retrospective series, a beginner’s guide to the band, and concert reviews. Just go to The Void-Go-Round for more of what’s to come though it will take some time for me to get into doing a series of mini-reviews relating to other new releases.

In the month of July, I saw a total of 40 films, 28 first-timers and 12 re-watches. Up from last month though some of the first-timers were some surprises and things that I didn’t expect to watch as it was unplanned but managed to be great surprises. The highlight of the month was obviously my blind-spot assignment in Stagecoach.

Here are the top 10 First-Timers I saw for July 2013:

1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

2. High Noon

3. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

4. American Gigolo

5. Husbands and Wives

6. The Way, Way Back

7. Cave of Forgotten Dreams

8. Radio Days

9. Pacific Rim

10. Only God Forgives

Monthly Mini-Reviews:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

I like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series. I think they’re just very good films that explores the world of growing up and the awkwardness of adolescents. While this film is sort of a step-down from the second one, it is still quite fun and charming. Notably as it explores the complex relationship between father and son as Greg Heffley has to deal with the big differences he has with his dad. The thing that made the film so enjoyable for me is Devon Bostick as Greg’s older brother Rodrick as he provides a lot of funny moments including a much-needed butchering of Justin Bieber’s Baby by turning into a crazy-ass metal song.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I’m an admitted history buff and when it comes to films about historical events and such. I get very antsy if things aren’t told exactly as they are though Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds was a notable exception because it wasn’t relying on historical facts. The concept of this film was interesting. Abraham Lincoln being an aspiring politician by day and killing vampires at night. Unfortunately, it’s a concept that works on paper as the execution of the film is quite poor due to its over-stylized visual and action that is just quite poor. Not to mention that many of the actors in the film aren’t given great material to work with leaving someone like Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Lincoln feel wasted and look horrible in bad aging makeup.

WWE: The Attitude Era

For me as a longtime wrestling fan, the Attitude Era of 1997 to 2001 was the greatest period in World Wrestling Entertainment. It was a time where the violence was a bit extreme. It was OK to be sexually provocative and be very crude and funny all at the same time. It was just a very fun time during the Monday Night Wars where the WWE decided to step up their game and give the audience something different though it wasn’t for little kids. Still, that didn’t stop fathers to take their sons to see that kind of show where they can enjoy watching women wearing skimpy clothes or flash their tits. While there’s moments in the documentary that does get overlooked and skim around some of the stories, it is still a very fun one to watch.

For All Mankind: The Life and Career of Mick Foley

Another WWE documentary that was made revolved around one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time in Mick Foley. Whether it’s in characters like Cactus Jack, Dude Love, or Mankind, Foley is definitely a true champion in wrestling whether it’s through barbed wire matches, Japanese hardcore death matches, or the big dive he took at Hell in a Cell back in 1998. He gives the people moments they will never forget. Though the documentary doesn’t cover his period in TNA in the late 2000s (like anyone gives a shit about TNA), it does cover a vast period of his career from his time in WCW to his glory years in the WWE as it includes some comments from peers like Triple H and the Rock to younger stars like the Miz, CM Punk, and Sheamus.

30 for 30: Fernando Nation

I’ve only seen bits of the various docs on the 30 for 30 series from ESPN as I ended up catching the entirety one of its best episodes about the career of Fernando Valenzuela. Here’s this young, pudgy 20-year old kid from a village in the middle of Mexico who is discovered by a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers and then becomes a superstar in his rookie year. It’s a truly brilliant documentary about this man who wasn’t just a hero for the Mexican-American community and how much he meant for them. He is a truly inspirational story of how someone can be so famous yet remain humble about it as Valenzuela is still beloved by Dodgers fans and is likely to be a first-place pick for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Back to the Future

2. Pleasantville

3. Blazing Saddles

4. Mighty Aphrodite

5. Twins

6. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

7. Everyone Says I Love You

8. Klitschko

9. Kindergarten Cop

10. Kingpin

That’s it for July. Next month, the final leg of the Woody Allen will emerge as I will hopefully release the next two and final parts of the Auteurs series on Allen as well as a review of his new film Blue Jasmine. Along with other theatrical releases like Fruitvale Station, The World’s End, and whatever art house release that’s out there. There will also be a few art-house films out there as well as a few anthology films while after I finish the Woody Allen stuff. I’ll be taking a brief break from blogging for a while. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off.

© thevoid99 2013


TheVern said...

Damn you do watch a lot of different movies. I would have never pegged You as a fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I look forward to your review of Blue Jasmine when you see it.

Chris said...

Anyone who watched a lot of Woody Allen would get burn-out, so that's understandable you feel that way.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I'm not sure if it's western, or adventure, either way, it works. Walter Huston's wonderful character reminds me of Walter Brennan's equally fun character in Rio Bravo & Red River.

thevoid99 said...

@The Vern-There's something appealing to rooting for the wimps in those film series. Plus, it's funny because of Rodrick.

@Chris-I want to say that The Treasure of Sierra Madre is a western but it's kind of not. Still, it's a fucking great film.