Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Films That I Saw: September 2014

The fall film season has begun as the excitement that has occurred at the Toronto Film Festival has feeling pretty good about the films that are coming as well the ones to avoid. I want to thank my fellow writers at Cinema Axis as well as the people at The Film Experience for their coverage as well as the Dissolve. It’s definitely kept me interested as I’ve been busy watching films but also taking the time to slow things down as film-watching can get a bit overwhelming. The one downside of this month was the fact that I didn’t see any new films in the theaters as my multiplex is going through some serious renovations and I didn’t have the money to go anywhere to see other films as many of them that were coming out didn’t interest me.

One thing that I’m now starting to withdraw myself at this point is World Wrestling Entertainment. Having been a fan for more than twenty years, I find myself becoming disillusioned and frustrated with its current product. To think after SummerSlam this year, there was going to be a bit of change with Brock Lesnar being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion as he’s this guy with a UFC background that didn’t need to show up every time. That gave me a bit of excitement as I enjoyed seeing Lesnar destroy John Cena. A week after Lesnar’s victory on Monday Night RAW, things became bad again where Cena not only returned but he decided to not sell the beatings he took from Lesnar where he interrupted a legend’s panel featuring Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan about the upcoming rematch where it was essentially Hogan sucking Cena’s cock.

A week later, things got really bad as I had to endure another awful RAW which involved Cena trying to bullshit everyone about how he’s going to beat Lesnar’s ass and the Bella twins bickering at each other plus a guy in a bunny suit wrestling. The week before was a shame on you at the WWE but that week was shame on me for watching this. A week later, I decided not to watch knowing that I can read the results after the show and I realized I had made the right decision. During this new withdrawal period, it seems perfectly clear of how bad things are as I just stopped watching the show and learning that people are now leaving the arenas during the show just goes to show how bad things are in the WWE.

It also kind of scares me to think that with a roster full of very talented guys like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and Dolph Ziggler will never get the chance to be the top guy all because of some fruity-pebble cunt whose ideology of hustle, loyalty, respect, and to never give up has become tired and pointless. There are those who want him to turn heel but to me, he’s already a heel for the fact that he always remains on top and whatever new star that emerges. He will come in and bury them to the point that they barely show up on TV or become a fucking laughing stock. At the same time, knowing the fact that Vince McMahon keeps changing his mind about what to do with the show and his special events is an indication that he is someone who has lost his fucking mind and needs to either fucking die or be forced out of the company he created. Triple H may know what to do but he can’t do it by himself as his wife isn’t really that smart when it comes to the business as the only real option he has is his brother-in-law Shane McMahon who hasn’t been involved in the WWE for a few years because he got tired of dealing with his old man.

OK, that is enough ranting for now as it might explain why I haven’t been writing in my wrestling blog as also the lack of interest has forced me to stop my WrestleMania marathon. Now let’s get back to the world of film. In the month of September, I saw a total of 37 films in 16 re-watches and 21 first-timers. Slightly down from last month but still a good amount of films as the highlight of that month was definitely my Blind Spot assignment in Playtime. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw in September 2014:

1. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

2. Contempt

3. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

4. Overlord

5. Russian Ark

6. Wadjda

7. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

8. Pickup on South Street

9. The Man Who Loved Women

10. The Zero Theorem

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story

I watched this on the night it aired because WWE RAW was sucking ass as I was just merely interested to see how bad it is. Since I knew this was based on Dustin Diamond’s own bullshit novel. It was a TV movie I knew was going to be bad as I had very low expectations and I wasn’t surprised by how it low it would be. I would say though that at least it was funny for all of the wrong reasons from the casting to all sorts of inaccuracies that occur.

OMG! Vol. 2 The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History

Considering how bad the WWE product is, I needed something from the world of wrestling to entertain me. This countdown was entertaining for the fact that it showcased some of things in WCW that put the company out of business. Let’s see, there’s the pinata on a pole match, Hacksaw Jim Duggan shaving his beard and cutting his hair to become a Canadian, the Judy Bagwell on a pole match, the 49ers match where the WCW belt fell out of a box, and all sorts of idiotic shit. Oh, and there’s THE YETI!!!!!

Ender’s Game

Well, this was pretty uninspiring with the exception of Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley. I just found the whole film to be very boring as it was just one of those bad YA film adaptations that never really went anywhere. I like Asa Butterfeld but he looks confused during the entire film as if he wonders “what the fuck am I doing here?” It’s pretty bad and just plain boring though it’s not bad enough to be any worst films of all-time list.

Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS

I love INXS as I know their story fairly well through Behind the Music and other documentaries about the band. This made-for-TV 2-part movie though was OK only because the music was good and it featured some topless women. It did have a nice narrative and some decent performances but the guy who played Michael Hutchence overacted his performance while the guy they hired to play Bono was terrible. I would only half-heartedly recommend it for INXS fans because of the music but that’s pretty much it.

Deep Purple: California Jam ‘74

Just out of boredom, I decided to watch Deep Purple’s legendary concert at California Jam in 1974 where it was one of the first performances to feature the Mach III line-up of vocalist David Coverdale, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord, and drummer Ian Paice. It’s pretty much one of the band’s great performances which featured one of its defining moments where Blackmore decides to blow up the stage and cause all sorts of trouble which made the band very popular in America though Blackmore would leave the group later that year to form Rainbow.

Breaking the Huddle: The Intergration of College Football

I’m a sucker for HBO sports documentaries as this one is something that I think every fan of football should see. It is a documentary that explores the long struggle with African-Americans to play in the American South where college football was all white during the 1950s. It also showed that there were some in the white community like the legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant who was someone that wanted to integrate his team. The film featured great narration from Liev Schreiber as well as interviews with many players and individuals involved in the Civil Rights Movement as it’s a must-see for football fans.

The Food Guide to Love

This was a pretty decent film about an Irish food critic who falls for a Spanish cook as it explores the critic dealing with his commitment issues as well as why he became a food critic. I only watched it because Leonor Watling was in the film as she was pretty good as the Spanish cook who had bad luck in choosing the wrong guys. It’s a worth a shot for anyone that is into food porn.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Lost in Translation

2. Three Colors: Red

3. Dead Poets Society

4. The Motorcycle Diaries

5. Commando

6. Executive Decision

7. Licence to Kill

8. The Horse Whisperer

9. GoldenEye

10. Lethal Weapon 3

Well, that is it for September. Next month as I will do my Auteurs piece on Terry Gilliam where I’ll watch Tideland and a few of his shorts. I will spend most of the time watching a bunch of horror films, thrillers, and all sorts of weird stuff from Brian de Palma, John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock, and William Friedkin. Among the new films I will do will be White Bird in a Blizzard, The Equalizer, Gone Girl, Birdman, and Maps to the Stars. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2014


Dell said...

Lord, do I hate wrestling. Stopped watching it back in the mid-80s, but I'll spare you the full rant. Glad you got to see some quality movies, though. I particularly want to see a couple of docs you mentioned: Hearts of Darkness and Breaking the Huddle. Both subjects fascinate me to no end. And yeah, Ender's Game was all sorts of pointless. Good post.

thevoid99 said...

What stopped you from watching it in the mid-80s? Hulk Hogan?

Believe me, the WWE is in serious trouble as fans are just disgusted with the product. That picture of the bunny beating Heath Slater is just an example of how bad it is.

Chris said...

I'm with you that Heart of Darkness documentary was a fascinating watch, and I guess a lesson or two for other filmmakers.
Ender's Game movie was a shadow of the superior book, such a shame.

Dell said...

"What stopped you from watching it in the mid-80s? Hulk Hogan?"

Not really. Up until that time, I was under the impression that it was real competition. When I found out otherwise, I was completely done with it.

thevoid99 said...

@Wendell Ottley-It was always pre-determined in who should win or lose. Unfortunately as of now, the wrong people are winning. The WWE Universe last week was forced to see John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the 800th time. That's just among the many problems the WWE has.

ruth said...

Hey, cool that you managed to catch some Bond flicks along w/ your arthouse ones, Steven :) Oh The Food Guide to Love sounds pretty sweet, might give that one a shot.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-I saw it in one of my HBO channels which is fun to watch if you're into cooking and some romance.