Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Films That I Saw: May 2017

Summer is coming as I’m sort of getting ready to get back into the world of Twin Peaks which was something I did a couple of years ago but got a little burned out by the end of 2015. Now that it’s on Showtime, I can get a chance to re-watch the episodes I saw in my own pace and catch up with the rest of the series before I decide to watch the new show as I’m trying very hard to avoid spoilers. It’s something I hope to finish as I want to watch the episodes of the second season I missed out on as well as re-watch Fire Walk with Me and then do The Missing Pieces before I go full-on towards the new series. That’s really the only thing I plan on doing in the summer as well as re-do and finish Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film series and then just focus entirely on the Blind Spot Series and other films as I’ve now found an alternative to get recent films I missed out on in the past few years nearby in my local library.

I have been paying attention to what is going on in the world as it is really fucked up as our idiot president has been making a mess of things and it looks like another Watergate is happening. If there’s an impeachment trial happening, then I’m getting a lawn chair and watch it up close. I will say that is has been entertaining and it has made Saturday Night Live fun to watch again. Yet, nothing could overshadow what happened this month in Manchester where 23 people including children of all things were killed by some asshole suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert. I don’t give a fuck what ISIS wants to stand for but if it involves killing children at a fucking pop concert of all places. Then that is something I don’t want to be a part of and what they did is nothing more than fucking cowardice. There’s parents whose children aren’t coming home or kids who have experienced something they shouldn’t have seen. This shouldn’t happen and let’s hope it never happens again.

In the month of May, I saw a total of 41 films in 28 first-timers and 13 re-watches. Definitely the busiest month I’ve had so far due to the Cannes Film Festival marathon which was a lot of fun to do. One of the highlights this month has certainly been my Blind Spot assignment in The Big Red One. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw for May 2017:

1. The Handmaiden

2. Our Little Sister

3. Picnic at Hanging Rock

4. Harakiri

5. Sicario

6. Umberto D.

7. Fantastic Planet

8. Ballad of a Soldier

9. The Nice Guys

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Dragon Blade

I do like Jackie Chan as I also like Adrien Brody and John Cusack. Sadly, this isn’t a film people should remember them for as it’s about a Chinese general and his army who are border guards as they’re accused of treason where they team up with a Roman general to protect a blind boy from his evil older brother. It’s got some nice action with Chan doing what he does best as he has some great moments with Cusack but the script doesn’t have enough tension while the kid who plays the little blind boy is terrible. Have Brody hamming it up as the villain and a bunch of Chinese actors not given much to do as it’s just overblown with not enough substance.

The House of Steinbrenner

The first of three segments of the 30 for 30 series that I saw this month, this documentary is about the often controversial George Steinbrenner and the transition of giving power to his children in which they would build a new Yankee stadium for the fans. It’s a fascinating portrait of one of the most polarizing figures in sports as George Steinbrenner is still an important figure in baseball as well as what he’s done for the Yankee fans despite some of the bad seasons. Even as his heirs would give fans pieces of the old stadium so they can have a piece of history rather than let that old stadium be obsolete.

The Devil’s Double

Lee Tamahori’s story about Saddam Hussein’s son Uday and the man who would be his double is definitely something I caught by surprise. It is a fascinating film I hope to see again as it is shown from the perspective of this man who has to pretend to be one of the most horrific human beings to walk the face of the Earth. Dominic Cooper does amazing work in playing Uday and his troubled double where he exudes all of the repulsive qualities of Uday in the way he deals with people as well as things that are obscene with this double having to watch this very up close.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore can be an overbearing presence as he tends to put himself in front of the camera and make an ass of himself. However, he does make a compelling case about America’s obsession with capitalism and how it’s managed to create such chaos in the country as people who would die as corporations would make money off of them. Especially as it shows a real distortion of what this country was supposed to be as well as what many in politics and Wall Street will do to make money out of anyone. One of the most compelling scenes in the film is a clip Michael Moore showed of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to do just months before his death as it relates to the rights of every American in being able to have affordable health care, a right to have a job, and all of the things that would help this country. Something that is lost and based on what is happening now. That is never going to happen as the piece of shit Il Duce will suck you dry and sell you off for a buck.

Rand University

The 2nd episode of the 30 for 30 series that I saw revolves around Randy Moss and his home environment in Charleston, West Virginia as a place where he first gained fame and infamy. It’s a film about this small remote town in America that explores where Moss came from as it’s narrated by Michael K. Williams who showcases some of the racial divide in this small town as well as Moss’ struggle to stay out of the law. The only gripe about this film is that it’s not long enough as it also has some great interviews with some of Moss’ friends from that small town.

Weepah Way for Now

AJ and Aly Michalka are an interesting duo but this film is fucking shit. It’s really just absolutely self-indulgent about two young women dealing with the fact that they’re leaving their house as well as becoming estranged from their father who cheated on their mother with a young woman. Much of it told by Saoirse Ronan who doesn’t even appear in the film as this other sister as it is really a bad vanity project that has very little substance other than its location and photography.


Wes Craven is a great filmmaker who has had highs and lows yet this film isn’t one of his best as it tried to be scary and interesting. Even as it boasts a talented cast such as Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, and Judy Greer, it’s a film that is a real letdown. The werewolves in the film aren’t that scary as well as the attempts to be funny feels forced as it’s not Craven’s fault due to the fact that it was interfered and re-cut by the goddamn Weinstein brothers.

Now You See Me 2

The first film is definitely a fun film about magic and magicians but this film is not fun at all. While Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Ruffalo, and Woody Harrelson do their best to keep things lively and fun. It’s the material in the film that isn’t very good yet it is Jon M. Chu’s direction that ruins the whole film as he really doesn’t know how to cut nor create anything that is exciting. There’s so much that Chu does that really doesn’t carry any kind of tension or suspense while he utilizes a lot of CGI for some big sequences that fall very flat.

Bernie & Ernie

The third and final segment of the 30 for 30 series that I watched is about the friendship between Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld who were the duo to watch in the late 1970s when they played for the University of Tennessee. Both lived in the streets of New York City as they would also play together as part of the New York Knicks during the 1980s as Grunfeld was the one person who could help the very introverted King who struggled with fame as well as the fact that he came from a very unloving family. Featuring an appearance from filmmaker Spike Lee who grew in the same area that King did, it’s a film that is about friendship and what it does to help to people in the glare of the spotlight.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. 24 Hour Party People

2. Major League

3. The Incredibles

4. Romancing the Stone

5. The Impossible

6. Rabbit Hole

7. To Catch a Thief

8. Bloodsport

9. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

10. Kickboxer

Well, that is all for May. Next month, I hope to see new theatrical releases such as Wonder Woman and The Beguiled as the latter is the one that I want to see the most. Aside from Twin Peaks, there’s several films from the never-ending DVR list that I hope to see as well as films that I discovered are available at my local library as it’s going to give me the chance to catch up on films I missed out on in the past few years. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and I want to say farewell to one of my favorite individuals in the world in Sir Roger Moore who means a lot to myself and to my mother who grew up watching him as Simon Templar in The Saint and remains her favorite James Bond. Godspeed 007… 

© thevoid99 2017


Chris said...

Sad news about Roger Moore, he was MY Bond growing up. That terrorist attack at the concert is a tragedy.

I do the same by using the library to find films both old and new, though the discs occasionally are scratched/unplayable which sucks.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-Same here. He was my first Bond as well and will so be missed.

What happened in Manchester is just repulsive and really a cowardice act.

I usually check the discs in the library if they're playable though sometimes they could damaged beyond repair such as that one time I tried to watch Grave of the Fireflies but it didn't work and I showed the library about the damages of the disc.

Anonymous said...

Man, you had an eventful month watching movies. Mine pales in comparison to your varied picks.

thevoid99 said...

@vinnieh-Well, it was Cannes month. My favorite month of the year.