Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Films That I Saw: August 2014

Summer is finally coming to an end and based on what I’ve read so far, the summer film season was the worst in eight years. Frankly, I’m kind of happy about that as I was glad to avoid many of the films that didn’t live up to the hype or the ones that made a lot of money but were really fucking crap. I’m just relieved it’s over though there were some films I did miss out due to financial reasons while there is another big reason that is happening right now. That is that my local multiplex is being renovated as it is temporarily closed for the time being as I think it has to due to the fact that a couple of miles nearby is where the new Atlanta Braves stadium is being built.

It was an alright summer despite the fact that I had to change cable providers because of money and I lost a lot of the films that I had been slated to watch but I’m over it now. The one thing I’m still not over is Robin Williams’ passing which I’m sure still stings as it did force me to not just write a tribute but also watch some of his films and a few re-watches. I felt a certain obligation to do so since he made the world laugh and cry. I know he will be missed and I’m glad there are communities not just in film but also in comedy and gaming that really care about the guy.

In the month of August, I saw a total of 40 films, 24 first-timers and 16 re-watches which includes a WWE pay-per-view and an old concert from 20 years ago. Definitely an improvement over last month though my Blind Spot choice in Satantango was without question the most challenging film that I had ever seen as it took more than a week to watch. Here are the top 10 first-timers I saw in the month of August 2014:

1. Boyhood

2. The Silence

3. The Fisher King

4. Pola X

5. The Ballad of Narayama

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

7. Naqoyqatsi

8. Rush

9. The Idle Class

10. David Bowie: Five Years

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Internship

Shawn Levy is among the list of filmmakers I really dislike as I think of him as an overrated and mediocre filmmaker who makes very bland comedies that never delivers. This one is no exception other than the fact that it’s a really a feature-length commercial for Google starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson where the two just essentially play lazier versions of their personas that looks more worn out and tired. What is very surprising about this film is how hard it tries to be funny and engaging but ends up being very boring where someone like Rose Byrne is being wasted while Max Minghella ends up overacting his role as the antagonist as it’s just a terrible film.

Nature Boy Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection

While Ric Flair is now being seen as a joke due to his recent appearances on WWE TV programs, there is no question that he is one of the greatest of all-time as he was a 16-time world champion who not only talked the talk but also walked it with style and profile. This documentary made just after he lost his retirement match to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV which showcased his career and why he is so beloved by everyone as there is no question that he is still the Man as his 16-title reigns as the World Champion in the NWA, WCW, and the WWE mean way more than the 15-time reigns that John Cena has had so far.

Kick-Ass 2

I enjoyed the hell out of Kick-Ass when it came out in 2010 but the sequel under a different director was very disappointing. Not only because it was uneven in its story but it was also for the fact that I didn’t really care about the titular character Aaron Taylor-Johnson is very bland in this film. Another thing that I didn’t like about it wasn’t how silly the violence but also Jim Carrey whose performance as this crazed war veteran turned vigilante was one of his worst where it wasn’t funny nor compelling. The only person that really kept the film from being a disaster was Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl as her character would be the one who would go into some serious growth as she was the only one that I actually cared about as she would endure the cruelty of high school and the conflict of trying to live a normal life and being a heroine.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Deliverance

2. 8 Mile

3. Mrs. Doubtfire

4. The World's End

5. Lethal Weapon

6. Dr. No

7. South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut

8. Private Parts

9. Shanghai Noon

10. American Hustle

Well, that is all for August and the summer as I have no clue on what theatrical release I’m going to cover other than The Equalizer which I’m obligated to do for Cinema Axis. However, I am planning to do a diverse array of films by Samuel Fuller, Paul Schrader, Gregg Araki, and some Auteurs-related films by a few filmmakers including Terry Gilliam’s new film The Zero Theorem and a couple of films by Pedro Almodovar who will be my profile for September. Until then, I hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend.

© thevoid99 2014


ruth said...

I rewatched quite a few movies this month as well Steven. And yeah, I'm still not over Robin Williams’ passing either, it's just so so sad.

Looking forward to what September brings!

Chris said...

So sad about Robin Williams, at least we still have his films to appreciate.
Was it easier to follow the intricate ending of American Hustle on rewatch?
Boyhood looks like a film I'd enjoy, seeing that soon.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-I hope September is a better month as this was a blah summer aside from the World Cup.

@Chris-It became easier to see how things unfolded in the rewatch for American Hustle where I think it's one of the film's successful moments. I hope you check out Boyhood.