Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Films That I Saw: November 2016

What is there to say? I’ve been through some pretty bad years. The years growing up into my teens and deal with the bullshit that is middle school and high school. 9/11. Dropping out of college after five-six years of nothing to show for. Losing my youngest sister at 23 in 2009 that would be followed a year later with me going through a year-long depression. A couple of years later, I would check myself into a psychiatric hospital for a few days as I’m still paying off that debt. Those were some tough years as there’s been some good times and bad times but 2016. I know it’s a month away from being finished but I wish it was over now because this is pretty much the worst year I’ve been through. Not on a personal level but it’s been a fucking bummer considering what has been happening. Just as this month started off good when the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after a long 100-year drought in what I think is one of the best baseball games I had ever seen. It goes into shit.

Now the future is more uncertain as it’s going to be in the hands of… there’s so many things I want to say. I want to say the most offensive thing that I can think of but it wouldn’t be enough to describe how much I’m not happy with the result of the Presidential election as my sister and her husband aren’t happy about it either. There’s longtime family friends of my parents who are supporters of this man as I’m no longer their friends and as far as I’m concerned. They can fuck off. As if that wasn’t bad enough, more fucking deaths happened in Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones, Fidel Castro, Florence Henderson, and just recently, the 70-plus people who are part of the Chapecoense football team from Brazil whose plane just crashed in Colombia. I’m also hearing things about the Dakota pipeline where protesters are being assaulted while a high school teacher told African-American students that the future president will send them back to Africa. Honestly, I don’t know what to say as this year is just fucking shit. I’ll leave it to John Oliver and everyone else to pretty much state the year that is 2016.

In the month of November, I saw a total of 36 films in 25 first-timers and 11 re-watches. Slightly down from last month but saw a damn good number of first-timers as the highlight of the month is my Blind Spot film in Roman Holiday. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw for November 2016:

1. Carol

2. 13th

3. Arrival

4. 45 Years

5. De Palma

6. The Getaway

7. Cop Car

8. Big Hero 6

9. Deadpool

10. The Good Dinosaur

Monthly Mini-Reviews

This is What They Want

In the first of five documentary pieces of the 30 for 30 series that I’ve watched, the first part is about Jimmy Connors and the unexpected comeback he had at the 1991 U.S. Open where he reached the semifinals. It is a fascinating piece about one of the most popular and controversial figures in tennis who made the sport more accessible to the public as his performance at the 1991 U.S. Open was unexpected with the people rooting for him.

Muhammad and Larry

From Albert Maysles is another documentary of the 30 for 30 series as it is about the 1980 fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes where Ali came out retirement to fight Holmes. The footage shot by the Maysles brothers doesn’t just reveal Ali’s attempt to try and get back in the game but also the reality that was being faced as he was definitely past his prime. It is kind of a heartbreaking film to watch as Larry Holmes appeared in the film through old footage and new footage as someone that remains humble as he had some regrets about fighting a man he idolized as well as the fact that fight was made all because of money.

The Boy Next Door

I do like erotic thrillers but I think they were best made in the 1980s as this was quite tame and lacking in any substance. Sure, Jennifer Lopez looks good it was nice to see her in a sex scene despite not showing much compared to the other naked chick in the film. It’s just very formulaic and lacking any real kind of suspense as Ryan Guzman is just bad in this while John Corbett and Kristin Chenoweth are just wasted. It’s a bad movie and nothing that I would expect from someone like Rob Cohen who is just a bad director.

The 5th Wave

Another of those lame young-adult adaptations that has little to no substance as this film is no different with a few exception due to the performances of Chloe Grace Moretz and Maika Monroe. It’s about a series of catastrophic events in which teenagers find themselves having to fight aliens who have taken over planet Earth. Moretz’s character is someone who sees what is really happening as she goes on a journey to find her little brother as it has a twist that is quite obvious as it never holds up.

No Mas

The third film that I saw from the 30 for 30 series is one of the best as it’s about the rivalry between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran for the welterweight world title. Yet, the film is more about the second fight in which it was a rematch with Duran as the champion as it is still quite controversial all because Duran quit the fight in the eighth round. The film features interviews with Leonard and Duran as well as supermodel Christie Brinkley who was a photographer during the fight and the training as well as Mike Tyson who gives his own views on those fights as well as why Duran quit.

The U Part 2

The sequel to the popular The U documentary focuses on the University of Miami rebuilding itself in the mid-1990s under the guidance of coach Butch Davis who would set a template for his replacement in Larry Coker who would bring the university a fifth national title in an undefeated season in 2001. Yet, a year later and another undefeated season that would lead to another shot at the national title would end on a bad call during overtime and the team goes into a freefall in many ways. Notably as it involves some scandal due to a booster as well as reveal some things that the NCAA did to the university which was really unfair.

Four Falls of Buffalo

In the early 90s, there was no team that was as good as the Buffalo Bills who would spend from 1990 to 1993 going to the Super Bowl four times but never win one. The fifth 30 for 30 doc that I saw is about that team and how special they are as they were a team that really played well but it is a shame they never got to win the Super Bowl. Still, that doesn’t take away anything they accomplished in those four years as well as play along with the fact that they were close in winning a Super Bowl.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Se7en

2. Wadjda

3. Thirteen

4. A propos de Nice

5. Charlie Wilson’s War

6. The Game

7. Panic Room

8. You Don’t Know Bo

9. The Beach

10. The Game Plan

Well, that is it for November as there isn’t much that is going to happen in December other than my final Blind Spot assignment for the year as well as the last Auteurs piece of the year on Sam Peckinpah. Along with some recent films and hopefully new ones, the list of what is coming next year will happen as well as some announcements on what I plan to do next year as I’m going to scale back a bit. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off….

© thevoid99 2016


Chris said...

Sorry to hear you've had some bad years. Life can be tough. Someone once advised me to ALWAYS start by think about the positives, before I think about the negatives. A way to block negative thoughts. That technique doesn't always work for me, but it can make us constantly focus on the good things. L Cohen died yes, but look on the bright side, we got a new album and have his discography forever. Arrival impressed me too, I think it probably will be in my top 10 of the year

thevoid99 said...

I wish I could be positive but I'm too much of a realist. Plus, I'm just going to escape myself from that dark world of reality and just focus on cinema. Just shroud myself and not think about the bullshit that is happening around the world but I would glimpse to see how bad things are and hope there's some good out there.

ruth said...

Hey Steven, I hope 2017 will be a better year for you man. I know it's easier to say than done but hopefully there are still some positive aspect of this year, all things considered.

Great recap. Glad you saw and loved Roman Holiday. And we're definitely in agreement about Arrival!

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-I want to be optimistic about 2017 but considering what is going to happen. I don't think I could be optimistic at all.