Monday, December 31, 2018

The Year-End Reflections of 2018

Wow, we’re still here. It’s been a crazy year to say the least but also one that is just as messy as the year before in these times of uncertainty with everyone choosing sides. Whether it’s conservative or liberal, alt-right or extreme-leftist, political correctness and social justice, and all sorts of shit. In all honesty, I’m tired of these labels and I don’t want to choose sides. I found myself more and more on the outs with those who have become extremely sensitive about certain issues to the point that I officially left a fan forum for one of my favorite bands all because there’s a bunch of assholes who have become self-righteous and hypocritical about people who don’t stand by certain standards society have as I now see them for what they’ve become. It’s dangerous and extreme to the point that it takes away certain freedoms of individuals who want to think more for themselves and see reason as that is starting to fall by the wayside.

School shootings, immigration issues, racial violence, witch hunts, violent disagreements, and all of these has made 2018 a pretty insane year. Even as it is clear that people are starting to lose their minds where this recent season of South Park definitely reflects all of the problems that is happening. I think this scene from its season finale says it all about all of the bullshit that’s been happening.

Thankfully, there has been some kind of escape from all of the terrors of the world but also helped me keep my feet on the ground and still be aware of what is happening. It’s not just through music, television, and Internet clips that’s been helpful but mainly film. Cinema is the art form that I seem to get more and more with each passing year as it often says something about who we are or what we strive to be whether it’s trying to be artistic or not say anything other than just entertain. In the year of 2018, I saw a total of 414 films in 241 first-timers and 173 re-watches. Not bad as it is down from last year but still a solid number. Of the 38 first-timers that I saw were films directed by women though it’s 14 short from the 52 Films by Women pledge that I wanted to do as I hope to try again next year. Theatrically, I saw 15 feature films plus a short film as it is a slight improvement from last year as I think I did a good job while one of the highlights this year has been my Blind Spot assignments for the year as here is my final ranking of the 2018 Blind Spot Series:

1. L'Argent

2. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

3. Fat Girl

4. Black Girl

5. Don't Look Now

6. Wim Wenders’ Road Trilogy (Alice in the CitiesWrong MoveKings of the Road)

7. Nayak

8. The Emigrants/The New Land

9. Swept Away... by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August

10. The Best Years of Our Lives

11. All Quiet on the Western Front

12. Rebel Without a Cause

2018 is a year of discoveries as I’ve managed to discover so many incredible films. Here’s a list of the 50 best pre-2010 first-timers that I saw in 2018:

1. Thief

2. Tampopo

3. Babette's Feast

4. A Taste of Honey

5. Lola Montes

6. Tokyo Drifter

7. Il Posto

8. From Here to Eternity

9. Le deuxieme souffle

10. The American Friend

11. Antonia's Line

12. Gallipoli

13. Polytechnique

14. Funny Games

15. The Tree of Wooden Clogs

16. Dersu Uzala

17. My Brother's Wedding

18. The Thief of Bagdad

19. Brewster McCloud

20. Le Notte Bianche

21. Downfall

22. The French Lieutenant's Woman

23. The Producers

24. A Special Day

25. Dont Look Back

26. The Go-Between

27. Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer

28. I Fidanzati

29. Kapo

30. Bitter Moon

31. Marriage Italian Style

32. Thieves Like Us

33. L'Auberge Espagnole

34. Sugar

35. Affliction

36. Cheyenne Autumn

37. Immortal Love

38. No Direction Home

39. The Year of Living Dangerously

40. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

41. Husbands

42. Maelstrom

43. The Missouri Breaks

44. Two Lovers

45. Ginger and Fred

46. Le Petit Soldat

47. The Immortal Story

48. Great Expectations

49. Faust

50. The Invisible Man

2018 was a pretty good for year for me personally through not just film discoveries but also in a couple of events such as seeing Nine Inch Nails for the fifth time by attending the second of two shows they did at the Fox Theatre as well as the Atlanta United in their second year winning the MLS Cup giving this city its first championship in 23 years. I’ve also become more interested in what New Japan Pro Wrestling is offering while I’m also looking forward to All Elite Wrestling from Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks in the hopes that it can give wrestling fans the alternative it needs from the bullshit that is WWE. Until then, this is thevoid99 wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

© thevoid99 2018

Films That I Saw: December 2018

The year is close to an end as things as usual are going to shit all because our dumbass fuck-head dictator wants $5 billion for his piece of shit wall. Yet, the government is saying “fuck you” and as a result. The government is in shutdown mode once again and it looks it will go on through the New Year. Why waste billions of dollars on a piece of shit wall that is going to torn down soon when that money can be put into something useful to help people? Yet, we’re living in dark times where El Douche is more concerned about people making fun of him on Saturday Night Live rather than what is right for the country.

In the month of December 2018, I saw a total of 41 films 24 first-timers and 17 re-watches. Not a bad way to end the year as I only saw one new film by a woman this month as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. One of the highlights this month has been my final Blind Spot assignment for the year in Satyajit Ray’s Nayak. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for December 2018:

1. Moonlight

2. Coco

3. A Fantastic Woman

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

5. Game Night

6. Patti Cake$

7. Vox Lux

8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

9. Blockers

10. Sister Street Fighter

Monthly Mini-Reviews

The Last Days of Knight

One of 2 new episodes of 30 for 30 that I watched this month where the first one I saw was about the rise and fall of Bobby Knight. The coach of Indiana University and its Hoosiers basketball team, Knight was considered the king of college basketball but his sociopathic behavior in the way he treated his players has made him controversial as well as his outbursts during games. Yet, the episode is about the fall where Knight’s abuse of players including the incident where he choked Neil Reed that was captured on video as it ended his tenure with the university. For a man that seemed to be this face of college basketball coaching, he is really nothing more than a psychopathic asshole as this documentary is one of the best entries from 30 for 30.


One of a few documentaries I saw on Showtime is about a major incident in the porno film industry in the late 1990s that nearly killed the whole thing. It involved porn actor Mark Wallice who had been infected with AIDS in the mid-late 1990s and kept it a secret where he ended up infecting a number of actresses including Tricia Devereaux. It’s an uneven yet gripping documentary about what was happening in the industry and the changes it had to make in order to survive. Featuring interviews with Deveraux, Ron Jeremy, many others, and Wallice himself, it’s a documentary that is eerie to watch while it does deserve credit for the fact that Wallice is a piece of shit who ruined the lives and careers of many people who shouldn’t have been affected by his ignorance.

Still on the Run: The Jeff Beck Story

Jeff Beck is definitely one of the world’s greatest guitar players out there as he’s still making music that is enjoyable while remains one of the few artists out there that is being true to himself. It’s a film that play into the man’s life and career as well as his refusal to compromise himself while just also wanting to be a musician who uses his spare time to fix up old cars. Featuring interviews with Rod Stewart, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Jan Hammer, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Brian May of Queen, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and many others who played with him. It’s an entertaining and enjoyable film for anyone that loves Jeff Beck.

42 to 1

The second entry of 30 for 30 that I watched involved what is possibly the greatest upset in the history of sports. The idea that someone like Buster Douglas would win a boxing match against the undefeated and seemingly invincible boxing champion Mike Tyson was a total longshot. Douglas is interviewed in the documentary as he returns to Tokyo to talk about that moment as well as the struggles he endured including his mother’s death weeks before the fight. The fact that he was a 42 to 1 shot is amazing as I’m sure whoever bet on Douglas that night must’ve won a lot of money.

A Bad Moms Christmas

While this may not be in the list of great Christmas films, it is still a fun-ass film as the sequel to the 2016 film is just hilarious. Yes, it does repeat some of the same antics that Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Kristen Bell does but it is in the fun of the Christmas spirit as they also have to deal with their mothers. The trio of Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines just add some drama but also some moments that are funny as it’s just an enjoyable film that never takes itself seriously.

6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park

A documentary short about Trey Parker and Matt Stone having six days to create a new episode of South Park that would become HumancentiPad show that these men had to following a promotional tour for their hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. Featuring an appearance from actor Bill Hader who was a contributor to the show of the time, it’s a fascinating documentary that showcase what a bunch of people had to do to create an episode in such a short amount of time as well as wanting to see what they can do to piss people off. It’s a reason that show why South Park is still going strong while being a show that still has relevance to the times that we’re living in.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

A documentary film on YouTube that I’ve been watching sporadically for a few months is on the life and career of Orson Welles. It’s a documentary that play into many aspects of his life though not much about some of his 1960s work is touched upon as it’s one of the few gripes that I had on the film. Still, it showcases some rare footage and such about Welles and his life including some of the unfinished and unreleased work he did in his lifetime as it’s something fans of Welles must see.


This was a pretty bad film. It’s a disaster movie based on a video game that has Dwayne Johnson trying to save his gigantic ape friend after the ape encountered some formula from a destroyed space station that makes him big. While it does feature some fine performances from Johnson, Naomie Harris, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it’s just dumb as fuck. Especially with Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy as the main villains who are never interesting to watch except for their deaths.

G.G. Allin: All in the Family

For anyone who is aware of the personalities in shock rock ranging from Alice Cooper, Raven, Mayhem, Marilyn Manson, and other personalities in heavy metal or the pariah that is Chris Brown. There is one person in popular music that makes them all look like kindergartners although he is way more fucked up than everyone. For anyone that has never heard of G.G. Allin, get ready to be grossed out. This man is probably one of the most obscene, sickest, and most violent performers that ever lived as this documentary is about the punk rock performer in all of his depravity while it focuses on his older brother trying to keep the man’s legacy going by reforming the band and hiring a new singer to sing those songs no matter how much their mother thinks the music sucks. It’s an uneven film but it has its moments although I’m sure the world is relieved that G.G. Allin isn’t alive as he’s been dead for 25 years. Yet, if he was still alive. Every one wouldn’t just be offended and appalled but probably wouldn’t survive as he is an extreme that will never be seen the likes of ever again.

All I See is You

Well, this was definitely one of the worst films I had ever seen in my life and coming from someone who used to make good movies like Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction. I’m sure some wondered what happened to Marc Forster and well, it turns out that those films he did in the 2000s were flukes because this film is fucking shit. It’s about a blind woman in Bangkok who is given surgery to improve her sight as she could see for the first time but would also see faults in her marriage as her husband becomes upset of her independence. It’s just a horrible film with Forster doing his worst imitations of the works of Terrence Malick and Andrei Tarkovsky while it features characters who are terrible that includes Blake Lively in one of the worst film performances I had ever seen in my life.

Always at the Carlyle

For anyone that’s been to New York City or lives in the city I’m sure know about the Carlyle which is often considered to be the best hotel in the city. A documentary I saw on the one of the channels from Starz! Is about the hotel’s history and the people who stayed there as it’s a place that only the elite can stay. The stories it has about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mick Jagger, Elaine Stricht, Jack Nicholson, and many others show that it’s a place of class and elegance that always strives to be the best. It’s a place that the only a select few celebrities, musicians, and dignitaries can stay while it revolves around the visit from Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales along with these stories about the rooms at it feature interviews from many including the late Anthony Bourdain.


This was a film that I wasn’t sure about seeing on TV as I thought it would probably be some decent comedy. Well, it ended up being much better than that as it’s about a trio of parents who learn their daughters all made a pact to lose their virginity during senior prom night as they try to stop them. It is fun and wild while it also feature some amazing performances from its ensemble cast including John Cena who does things I wouldn’t have expected as I think he has a good career in comedy films once he decides to retire from sports entertainment. I hope to do a full review of this film within the next few months as it’s one of 2018’s best films.

Top 10 Re-watches:

1. Monty Python's Life of Brian

2. Inception

3. Solaris

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas

5. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

6. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

7. Changeling

8. Toy Story That Time Forgot

9. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

10. How to Play Football

That is all for December. To kick off the New Year, I hope to watch some 2018 releases like Vice, The Favourite, Mary, Queen of Scots, and other recent films like Roma and Under the Silver Lake which I have in my laptop. Other than a Blind Spot, there’s several films from my never-ending DVR list that I hope to catch up on including some recent films. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2018