Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Films That I Saw: January 2018

Well, 2018 started off interestingly but not in a surprising way as it was business as usual in politics while it acknowledged something I’m sure every sensible person in America already knows. Yes, the President of the United States of America is racist as he refers to countries such as Haiti and El Salvador as well as countries in Africa as “shitholes”. This is just the series of a lot of continuous things that I’m sure is making everyone out there feel dumb as I’m also sure that there’s a sense of fatigue in dealing with Dumb Man who continues to cater to the lowest common denominator. There’s also things relating to this wave of sexual assault revelations in sports, politics, and entertainment as I’m glad that Larry Nassar is going to prison for what he did to those gymnasts. Yet, I’m wary about all of these movements where it might go wrong where a man could be accused of something extremely serious only to be proven innocent. Plus, I’m not sure what to believe although there were people such as Scott Baio that have been outted as he is someone I’m not surprised about as he is real self-righteous piece of shit.

In the month of January, I saw a total of 38 films in 20 first-timers and 18 re-watches as it’s a good way to start the New Year. Six of these films that are first-timers is part of a pledge I’m taking in part of in the 52 Films by Women series where the objective is to watch one film by a woman once a week. Yet, I decided to go into my own pace as there’s so much that I’m doing as there’s a list of what I have seen so far from women directors that include one of my Blind Spots in Lina Wertmuller’s Swept Away as it’s one of the month’s big highlights. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw on January 2018:

1. Stories We Tell

2. Phantom Thread

3. Gallipoli

4. Certain Women

5. I, Tonya

6. Sugar

7. Marriage Italian Style

8. Much Ado About Nothing

9. The Edge of Seventeen

10. Lion

Monthly Mini-Reviews

It’s a Boy Girl Thing

While the actors were obviously too old to play high school students, the film was decent enough to be funny and entertaining. It’s about these two high school students who are neighbors as the guy is a jock with a slob family that includes Sharon Osbourne as his mother while the girl is a brain with so many perfect things as she is eager to go to an Ivy League school. When they attend a museum, things go wrong where they switch bodies and a lot of hijinks ensue as it’s just a harmless film with a lot of clich├ęs but still fun.

Good Cop, Baby Cop

I have never seen this short that Adam McKay did for Funny or Die that starred his then two-year old daughter Pearl where she plays a cop who makes Will Ferrell grovel into confessing his crimes. It’s a very funny short film that is just a joy to watch though I’m saddened that Pearl chose to retire with only two performances but those are two acting performances that no one could match in terms of greatness.

The Priest’s Wife

From Dino Risi comes a wonderful romantic comedy starring Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren where the latter is a singer who is angry about her lover being married as she wants to commit suicide. In calling a help hotline, she converses with a priest whom she meets and falls for as the priest finds himself falling for her. It’s a film that is fun to watch as I had intended to write a full review until I learned the version I saw on TCM was a dubbed version Risi filmed for American audiences as there’s another version which is Italian as I think it is the intended version that Risi wanted. I’d rather see that version though the English-language version is still good.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Once Upon a Time in America

2. Saving Private Ryan

3. Coming to America

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

5. Hellboy II: The Golden Army

6. David Bowie: The Last Five Years

7. The Landlord

8. The Lego Batman Movie

9. George Michael: Freedom

10. Nature Boy

Well, that is it for January. In February, I hope to see The Shape of Water as well as start 2018 properly with Black Panther. Along with various films from the last year as well as films that had been nominated for Oscars in the past, I hope to do films that are diverse based on my never-ending DVR list as well as more films by women and African-American filmmakers. My upcoming Auteurs piece on Adam McKay is 2/3s finished as I’m doing work on it and then get ready for the piece on Taika Waiti for March. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2018

1 comment:

Chris said...

Stories we Tell I included in the honorable mentions of my top 20 documentaries of the 2010s so far. While I felt director Sarah Polley had more of an emotional interest in the story than I did, it was still an interesting family chronicle. I wondered if her late mother would have approved that these private details are revealed to a worldwide audience. I know I wouldn't do this to my parents, after they died, no matter how interesting their life. But that’s just me, Sarah Polley is free to do as she wishes and her family gave her permittance to go ahead. A unique doc because of her personal angle and how close she is to those she interviews.