Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Films That I Saw: May 2014

The summer is finally here as the summer film season is also starting. Yet, it’s often the time for me where I tend to avoid the big time summer movies and try to go for something with some substance. At the same time, I can get the chance to watch films at home where I wanted to shake things up and do something different. My Cannes marathon this year was a bit disappointing only because there wasn’t much diversity in the movies I saw. Especially comparison to the marathons I had held in the previous few years as they all had something different to offer.

One film I revisited this month that wasn’t part of the marathon was Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession was a film I hadn’t seen in a long time as revisiting it made me a bit sad over what happened to both IFC and the Sundance Channel as they don’t show as much diverse films as they used to while they put commercials between films. That is a real turn-off for me as the channels I have in HBO, Showtime, Starz, and its sister channels do show some edgy films but some of it isn’t shown in its uncut form. Plus, I’ve been scaling back the number of films I’ve watched so that I wouldn’t burn myself out.

In the month of May, I saw a total of 39 films, 25 first-timers including one special wrestling event and 14 re-watches. Slightly down from last month though the number of first-timers I saw were the same as last month as the highlight of the month was definitely my Blind Spot assignment in Duck Soup. Here are the top 10 first-timers I saw in May of 2014: 

1. if....

2. The Cranes are Flying

3. The Story of Adele H.

4. The Third Man

5. The Tin Drum

6. A Man and A Woman

7. Boy Meets Girl

8. The Lost Weekend

9. Neighbors

10. The Mission

Monthly Mini-Reviews:

30 for 30 Soccer Stories: The Myth of Garrincha

30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Ceasefire Massacre

30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Mysteries of the Ritmet Trophy

30 for 30 Soccer Stories: Barbosa: The Man Who Made All of Brazil Cry

With the World Cup coming in less than two weeks, I decided to watch more shorts in relation to the 30 for 30 series from ESPN. The Myth of Garrincha is a heartbreaking story of a man who was considered to be the greatest player in all of Brazil before Pele arrived as it is a touching one of a man who rose high and then fell. Ceasefire Massacre is a chilling one about one of the most horrific incidents that occurred in small Northern Ireland town where a violent attack happened on people who were just watching a game that had Ireland play at the 1994 World Cup.

Brett Ratner’s documentary short Mysteries of the Ritmet Trophy is one of the best segments that I had ever seen thanks to Ratner’s approach in just using archival footage and narration to talk about one of the great soccer trophies ever and its disappearance as it’s considered the Holy Grail of trophies that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Barbosa: The Man Who Made All of Brazil Cry is a sobering story about the goalie who was a national hero until he became a pariah all because of a goal he missed against Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final is a fascinating one about how a man is blamed for trying to do something.

We’re the Millers

This is a film that doesn’t have a lot of original ideas yet it is actually pretty damn funny. I think Jennifer Aniston is at her best when she’s given material that allows her to make fun of herself and be funny as she and Jason Sudeikis are fun to watch as is Emma Roberts. Yet, the people that really made the film so enjoyable are Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as a vacationing couple as they’ve managed to steal the film from the main cast. The real star of the film is Will Poulter as the young kid who pretends to be Aniston and Sudeikis’ son as he stole the film from the two while doing a roaring rendition of TLC’s Waterfalls.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

2. Full Metal Jacket

3. Blow-Up

4. The Way, Way Back

5. The Witches

6. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

7. Ocean's 13

8. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

9. Fahrenheit 9/11

10. Tomorrow Never Dies

Well, that is all for May of 2014. In June, I will review some theatrical releases like The Immigrant, Ida, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and 22 Jump Street along with whatever else that comes across me. Along with some Auteurs-related films including a review of Jean Vigo’s L’Atlante as he is the next subject of the Auteurs series. There will be a diverse array of films including a few relating to my next Blind Spot assignment as well as a few re-watches of films like Trois Couleurs: Rouge and The Conformist. At the same time as I’m scaling back on my film-viewing, I will do some lists while spend much of my time watching the World Cup. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and if the U.S. gets eliminated very early in the Cup. That Kraut coach will get an old-school American ass-kicking for not picking Landon Donovan to lead the team.

© thevoid99 2014


Chris said...

I think I saw part of "The Witches" when I was young, I've never dared watch it again :)
Ace Ventura is Jim Carrey at his best, a shame he doesn't do movies like that anymore.
Enjoy the World Cup!

thevoid99 said...

I think you should see it again. It's amazing over what Nic Roeg was able to do to make it scary but also be accessible for children.

I don't thing Jim Carrey could do a thing like Ace Ventura again because it would feel forced and he needs to do something new.