Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Films That I Saw: April 2014

The summer film season is approaching as all of the big movies are coming yet I’m more of the kind of person who just want to watch films that don’t have a niche audience. The films I’m looking forward to are Boyhood, Only Lovers Left Alive, and anything that offers something different from the big comedies and blockbusters though there are films like X-Men: Days of Future Past that I am eager to see. At least the summer will give me the time to watch something else as one of the things I enjoy doing is organizing things and figure out what to watch.

Last month, I admitted my own sense of being overwhelmed in watching films as it does get tiring. I had films that I was supposed to see this month but there were other things that got in the way that I ended up not seeing anything. Sometimes, I tend to push myself to watch something and it ends up being more of a job which is something that I don’t want to do. Thankfully, I found the time to chill out and just make sure I can enjoy myself and do other things.

In the month of April, I saw a total of 43 films. 25-first-timers including one pay-per view event and 18 re-watches including one pay-per-view event. Slightly up from last month thanks in part to some of the films I re-watched which helped things in some respects. Especially as the highlight of month was in my Blind Spot film in Stop Making Sense. Here are the top 10 first-timers for April 2014:

1. Under the Skin

2. The Raid 2: Berandal

3. Day for Night

4. Daisies

5. Zero de conduite

6. Joe

7. The Hustler

8. The Remains of the Day

9. No

10. Young and Beautiful

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Lone Ranger

It’s not the great disaster that many people say it is yet it is still a bloated mess. It’s all over the place while Johnny Depp’s weirdo shtick has now worn thin. It’s a role that is just uninspiring to watch while I felt a bit sorry for Armie Hammer who tried to do something as the titular role but he is often a foil for Tonto. A lot of the visual effects and some of the action scenes were too much as it ranged from being very silly to just outrageous.

George & AJ

A Pixar short that I caught on YouTube as it relates to two minor characters in Up, this one was pretty damn funny. Sure, there were some continuity issues as it relates to the film but it was still a wonderful short as it plays to a lot of the silliness these two men encounter.

30 for 30: Judging Jewell

With the World Cup coming, I decided to watch a few 30 for 30 shorts and films in the hopes to do a future project based on the series. While this may have nothing to do with futbol (or soccer), this was still a fascinating short film about Richard Jewell who was suspected of the bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Though Jewell would prove to be innocent, there is a tragedy over what happened to him as he never got the credit for saving people’s lives and finding the bomb as his name should be in that wall at the Olympic park.

30 for 30: Maradona ‘86

One of the greatest players of futbol, Diego Maradona is a controversial figure. Especially in Britain who still hates him for his supposed handball that helped Argentina beat England at the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. Yet, it’s a film that I wished was longer as I had a great time watching it because I like Maradona and his sense of grace and footwork is one of the reasons why he’s one of my favorites. Sure, the guy cheated but he got away with it and gave Argentina a World Cup victory.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I’m not a fan of these new young adult adaptations as this film was pretty bad. Not only in the fact that I see people like Jared Harris, Lena Headey, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers be wasted with such bad material. It’s a film that is just extremely silly and takes itself way too seriously. I haven’t seen a lot of things Lily Collins has done but she’s not very good in this yet the worst thing in that film is that Jamie Campbell Bowers who is just so bland to watch.

30 for 30: The Opposition

Another short relating to futbol but a much more grim film, the short talks about the coup d’etat in Chile as it relates to the national team trying to get a spot in the World Cup. It was a strange short to watch considering as I had recently watched No that was also about Augusto Pinochet as it showcased the horror of what the players and coach had to deal with as well as the farce they were forced to play by FIFA as some who had survived that period are still haunted by what happened at the National Stadium. It’s a short that I widely recommend for those who are fans of futbol.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. The Godfather Pt. II

2. Badlands

3. The Shining

4. Before Midnight

5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

6. The Ten Commandments

7. Batman

8. Pacific Rim

9. Pitch Perfect

10. In Her Shoes

That is it for April. Coming in May is the Cannes Film Festival Marathon where I will make a special announcement probably later today or tomorrow about the films that I plan to watch for the marathon. New releases that I expect to review next month are Only Lovers Left Alive, Neighbors, and maybe Godzilla. Other films I plan to do are Auteurs-related subjects of films by Steven Soderbergh, Pedro Almodovar, Francois Truffaut, Terry Gilliam, and Leos Carax as well as the Auteurs piece on Carlos Reygadas. Other films I’m definitely going to do in May are a trio of films by Samuel Fuller.

Before I close this piece, there has been some sad news today as one of Britain’s great actors in Bob Hoskins sadly passed away today of pneumonia at the age of 71. He’s one of those actors that I grew up watching as I loved him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as I would later discover some of his iconic performances in films like Brazil, The Long Good Friday, and one of my Blind Spots from last year in Mona Lisa. There will never be another actor like him who can bring that sense of toughness with a mix of sensitivity and humor as he is the quintessential British actor. Thank you Bob for your work. We will miss you.

© thevoid99 2014


ruth said...

I can't wait to see X-Men: Days of Future Past in a few weeks, too! Wow, nice roundup of movies here, so you've seen Under The Skin already, I'm curious about that one, but I probably won't see it until it's out on rental. Sorry that you have to see Mortal Instruments, ahah.

thevoid99 said...

I would recommend seeing Under the Skin in the theaters as it's really nothing like it right now in film. It's got elements of Kubrick but there's things about that makes you think.

Dell said...

I'm jealous. I'm waiting for the day I can watch 43 movies in one month and complain I didn't get to watch enough, lol. Looking forward to your posts on Soderbergh and Almodovar.

thevoid99 said...

@Wendell Ottley-It's all about how one takes their time with something and see new films and old films. Soderbergh and Almodovar will both have their Auteurs pieces coming this fall.

s. said...

Still so jealous you got to see Under the Skin! Really can't wait for that one.

thevoid99 said...

@sati-See it in the big screen. It's really unlike anything out there in film.

Chris said...

"At least the summer will give me the time to watch something else" Indeed, me too! X-Men: DOFP and Interstellar are the two I'll definitely be watching in 2014, the other new blockbusters I'll only see if reviews are extraordinary.
You're the second person who's praised Day for Night this week, I need to watch that.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-Well, I've got some more Truffaut from the 70s and 80s to watch plus one more film from the 60s. Day for Night is one of his quintessential films as it's clear how good he is.