Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Films That I Saw: April 2015

Well, the summer film season is going to start as I’m already making plans for the summer film season as it will relate to a few things that I won’t divulge on until the end of May. This month was kind of tough financially though I was able to see a couple of films theatrically while spending most of my time at home. Largely due to the fact due to a few things going on at home as I would spend my time watching films but it’s been kind of a struggle lately. I think it’s a bit of burn out as it does become a chore at times to watch films which is why I suddenly I decided to work on re-watches and documentaries for a while just to pass the time and not overwhelm myself. It’s managed to be helpful as I needed to turn my brain off every once in a while and relax.

One of the projects I plan on doing for the summer relates to a recent event in the world of cinema as it involved the teaser trailer for one of the new films that is going to come out this year. While there’s a lot of other trailers coming for other summer releases this year and next year, there was one that brought out the fan boy in me. Once I heard those words…. “Chewie… we’re home” as it showed Han Solo and Chewbacca inside the Millennium Falcon. I bounced out of my chair and screamed like a girl while I was in tears. I was glad to know that I wasn’t the only one based on the many reaction trailers that I saw. I grew up on Star Wars although I’m not a hardcore fan. I was a casual devotee who also hated the prequels and what George Lucas did to the original films. Seeing that new teaser made realize that the Force is coming back to the light side after a period of darkness.

In the month of April, I saw a total of 39 films in 23 first-timers and 16 re-watches. Slightly down from last month but still not a bad turn-out as one of the highlights of the month was my Blind Spot assignment in Sullivan's Travels. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw for April 2015:

1. Laurence Anyways

2. Mother

3. La Belle et la Bete

4. It Follows

5. Clouds of Sils Maria

6. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

7. Joy Division

8. Lacombe, Lucien

9. Barking Dogs Never Bite

10. Edge of Tomorrow

Monthly Mini-Reviews


I do like Melissa McCarthy and I think she’s a much better actress than what she’s been doing lately as this film is an example of how her big slob persona is really a detriment to her worth as an actress. It’s a film that isn’t very funny at all where McCarthy plays a character that is just endlessly pathetic as she doesn’t give a reason to root for her while Susan Sarandon is sort of wasted in the role as her grandmother. It’s a film with a lot of talent but a poor script and hi-jinks that is never funny. It is really fucking awful.

Grudge Match

This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be as it turned out to be pretty good. Robert de Niro was pretty funny as a selfish old fart while Sylvester Stallone is actually excellent as the more humble fighter. It’s got a good cast and a worthwhile premise though the one thing the film didn’t need is Kevin Hart. He’s not funny. My dad doesn’t think he’s funny at all either. We think of as nothing more than a whiny little child who got famous for screaming like a child. Thank goodness for Alan Arkin who provides some of the funniest one-liners while I also got a kick in seeing de Niro make LL Cool J his bitch which is appropriate since LL is a bitch.

Dean Smith: A Portrait of Greatness

For anyone that has followed North Carolina’s college basketball program knows how special Dean Smith is not just for the college and its state but also for the game itself. He was a man that really not only brought a lot of class and unconventional strategy to the game but he would also be a key figure that also helped desegregate basketball in North Carolina during the era of the Civil Rights movement. If it wasn’t for this man, the world wouldn’t know about this young kid from Wilmington, North Carolina named Mike who appears in the film along with rival in Duke’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski. It’s a must-see for anyone that loves college basketball as well as sports.

Frank Sinatra: All or Nothing at All

The second documentary this year that is directed by Alex Gibney is something that music fans must see as it plays into the life and career of Frank Sinatra through some of his best songs. It’s a film that features a lot of footage of Sinatra’s career as it’s told in two parts as it relates to his first retirement concert in the early 1970s. The first part is his beginnings and rise to stardom as well as his decline and comeback when he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity. The second part plays into the period with the Rat Pack and the final years of his life as both parts of the film features various audio interviews with those who knew him from the past and present as it’s a very rich documentary film.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. American Splendor

2. 21 Grams

3. Working Girl

4. Gattaca

5. X-Men: Days of Future Past

6. Murmur of the Heart

7. 22 Jump Street

8. Wishful Drinking

9. Rookie of the Year

10. Tough Guys

Well, that is all for April. Tomorrow, I will make an official announcement about my upcoming Cannes Film Festival marathon which will occur from May 13 to the 24th. Along with Auteurs pieces on Bong Joon-ho and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, there will be reviews of theatrical releases like Ex-Machina, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Mad Max: Fury Road as well as some other films. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off.

© thevoid99 2015


Anonymous said...

That #1 ;-)

Ruth said...

Very nice Steven! I didn't rewatch many movie, just one that rewatched a dozen times due to an intense crush :P

Can't wait to watch Going Clear, but May is gonna be a busy month!

thevoid99 said...

@Fisti-I knew you would happy about it. In fact, I think you'll have more reason to be happy today as well with the news I'm going to unveil.

@ruth-Oh, May will be busy as I'm going to do a lot of film watching.

Chris said...

I too didn't care for the prequels, they should freeze George Lucas in carbonite, and let other filmmakers control the next Star Wars films

Great to see Laurence Anyways so high, it's in my top 10 of the decade so far. I'll be seeing It Follows over the summer.
Frank Sinatra: All or Nothing at All looks interesting, will add to my watchlist.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-Exactly. Lucas has ruined a lot of things. Next thing you know, he'll add more things into the films and probably put Justin Bieber into the film just to piss all of us off. What a dick. I need about 10 more films to fill in my 150 best films of the past 15 years list as it's still a work-in-progress.

Lights Camera Reaction said...

I remember being somewhat excited for Tammy when it was first announced. Glad I gave it a miss in the end haha.

thevoid99 said...

@Lights Camera Reaction-I like Melissa McCarthy yet I feel like she's playing into a character that is going to get old very fast as she needs to do different things rather than let Hollywood tell her what to do.