Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Films That I Saw: July 2014

Well, this has been an interesting summer as the World Cup finally came to an end. It was certainly a great World Cup as I think teams like Colombia and Costa Rica definitely proved themselves to be serious threats as I’m glad some of their players will be getting the chance to play clubs in Europe for a good amount of money. Yet, I think what people will remember most about the World Cup is the now infamous semi-final game between Brazil and Germany where the Germans essentially pummeled Brazil 7-1 with five goals in the first half. I was in shock over what I was seeing as I was forced to reflect on how Brazil had been playing the World Cup for the entire tournament. The reality was that they were coasting by throughout the tournament but once Neymar got injured and Thiago Silva got suspended. Reality once again seeped in as Brazil played like morons with no clue on how to play the Germans. Even though I was rooting for Brazil, I have to give the Germans a lot of credit for the way they had played the entire tournament as they were an efficient machine.

At the same time, they were a team that played with class and they could’ve just celebrated after that win against Brazil. Instead, they just comforted the Brazilian players which I thought was a great gesture of sportsmanship and character which I think was one of the reasons why they won the World Cup. I have to give them props for displaying that sense of class and character as they deserved to win the Cup as they did play a good finals against Argentina. While I don’t think Lionel Messi deserves the Golden Ball as I think there were other players that deserved it. At least it was good to see James Rodriguez of Colombia to get the Golden Boot as well as that massive payday he’s going to have as he is going to Real Madrid.

Now that the Cup is over, I was able to go back to film-watching but there had been things that is now going to change as it is really more about financial reasons. July is usually the month where I would have the money to buy a lot of Criterion DVDs that were on sale but I only managed to get a few because of my financial situation. There were also other things came into play where I reluctantly made the decision to switch providers as I’m no longer on Dish Network in favor of the more financially stable AT&T U-verse. The bad news is that I have lost a lot of films that I had recorded that I was going to watch but I eventually got over it since some of them will be playing again in the coming months. With the exception of my Auteur-related films and my Blind Spot series, it means whatever films that I was supposed to watch for this year will change for the most part although I don’t think it will be too drastic.

In the month of July, I saw a total of 36 films in 22 first-timers and 14 re-watches. Slightly up from last month but less first-timers than last month though it was pretty good as one of the highlights this month was my Blind Spot assignment in The Maltese Falcon. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw in July 2014:

1. The Night of the Hunter

2. Snowpiercer

3. Life Itself

4. Shampoo

5. Frozen

6. Bonjour Tristesse

7. King of the Hill

8. Midnight Cowboy

9. The Last Picture Show

10. Little Big Man

Monthly Mini-Reviews:

Justice League: Doom

This had been on one of the Cinemax channels for a while as I ended watching it since it featured the usual characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and all of those DC comic heroes. Yet, it’s a film that is very intriguing in the way one person bands all of the villains of the Justice League to work together to destroy them. Especially as it plays to Batman’s plans about what happens if one of the members of the Justice League has gone rogue as it’s definitely a film that fans of these heroes should see.

30 for 30: The Two Escobars

With the Colombian national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup ended their run on a successful manner by reaching the quarterfinals. This was a film that talked the two men who brought pride to Colombia in Andre Escobar and the reputed drug lord Pablo Escobar (no relations) as Escobar put a lot of money into the clubs in Colombia that would eventually create a national team that many said could’ve been very successful at the 1994 World Cup. Instead, many circumstances leading to violence and politics would led to the death of these two men as it’s a very haunting documentary.

30 for 30: White, Blue and White

The last of the Soccer Stories section of the 30 for 30 series, this one focused on two of Argentina’s great players in Osvaldo Cesar Ardiles and Ricardo Villa as they were part of the 1978 Argentine national team that won the World Cup as they would later be signed to the Tottenham Spurs in England where they were idols. Yet, the film mostly focuses on how Ardiles was a man of two countries as he was caught in the middle during the Falklands War as he and Villa would make a visit to the island over those that got lost in that conflict as it’s a very sobering documentary.

30 for 30: The U

This one is certainly a lot of fun all because the Miami Hurricanes were truly one of the greatest college football teams ever in the 1980s and early 1990s. They were considered to be the bad boys of college football but they were the team that made Miami proud as well as ease up on some of the racial and social conflicts of the late 70s and early 80s where one of the key coaches in Jimmy Johnson was part of that winning team. Featuring interviews with some of its great players plus rap star Luther Campbell, it’s a fun documentary about a team that walked the walk and talked the talk. After all, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was part of the 1991 championship team and it is there where he became one of the greatest talkers in professional wrestling.

30 for 30: You Don’t Know Bo

Fuck Deion Sanders. Fuck his stupid Jheri-curl look and his lame rap songs. Bo was the one who managed to play both baseball and football and do it naturally. The guy was someone that could do anything as it clear that everything he did was considered legendary and mythical. Yet, the documentary revealed that for all of Bo Jackson’s accomplishments. He remains a very humble guy that just wanted to play and also destroy aspects of his myth while being proud of his accomplishments as Bo is a real class-act that needs to be in the Hall of Fame for both baseball and football.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Gravity

2. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

3. The Doom Generation

4. Heaven's Gate

5. Blue Jasmine

6. La Luna

7. Independence Day

8. A Knight’s Tale

9. Legally Blonde

10. Fun with Dick & Jane

Well, that is it for July 2014. Next month, I’ll do an array of films that will be very diverse from the likes of Paul Schrader, Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, and several others plus finish up on a few trilogies by Gregg Araki, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Ingmar Bergman, and Godfrey Reggio as well as Auteur-related films by Steven Soderbergh, Francois Truffaut, Terry Gilliam, Pedro Almodovar, and Leos Carax. For theatrical releases, I hope to do Boyhood and Magic in the Moonlight along with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s all I can think of at the time being. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2014


Chris said...

Goldie Hawn looks so youthful in that image from Shampoo, I almost forget she was once young.

Sorry to hear about your financial challenges, hopefully you still get to do most of the things you want in the upcoming months.

thevoid99 said...

Yeah, losing some of the movies I had saved up for years was a big loss but I hope to start all over again and do other things. Besides, some of them are available online and I hope to get some of them in the next Criterion sale.