Friday, August 31, 2018
Films That I Saw: August 2018
Summer is finally coming to an end and it’s been troubling to say the least in terms of the chaos that is happening here in America. While there has been some fortunate news relating to those associated with El Pendejo who are either in deep shit or those who just want to clear their conscience and do the right thing. It’s still not enough as I’m pretty sure we’re not close enough to impeachment. The world of politics here in America is a mess as both the left and right have not made me feel any safer or content. While I admit to say stupid things and not meaning to offend anyone. Lately, I find myself not wanting to apologize for calling it like I see it as I called a former staff member of the White House something that I saw fit knowing what kind of person she really is and what she will do to keep her name in the public eye.
Well, I got called out for that with accusations of being a misogynist and I just finally snapped and called that person a Nazi. The worst part about it is that it was at a Nine Inch Nails fan forum that I loved going to but it’s become a very toxic environment full of negativity and political correctness as I doubt I will ever go there again. I’ve been hearing stories lately about people not wanting to say something offensive but one mistake will trigger those who feel entitled to make that person feel like shit. If this is the idea of the way the world is going to be. Then count me out. I’m sick of having to keep up with what words to say and what words not to say. I know what can’t be said but the big question I have is this. What happens if we run out of words to not say? Are we end up going to call a banana something else?
This has been a bleak summer as far as all of the chaos that’s been going on as we’ve recently lost Aretha Franklin, Lindsay Kemp, and John McCain as I’m starting to feel like the idea of decency and morality is starting to get lost. I’m starting to realize that David Bowie is right about the 21st Century in being so disappointing. Even as I’m now starting to think about what’s going to happen soon as there’s some major changes in my family life that I will have some involvement in as I can't reveal anything else at this moment in order to protect the privacy of others. There’s an element of excitement but also a sense of fear about what this person will have to face. Even as there’s so much shit happening as I’ve been thinking about how crazy things are as there was another shooting in Florida and at all places, a video game tournament. Who are these people and why are they given access to guns so they can go to these places and kill innocent people? Why is there no gun control laws right now? Fuck the NRA.
In the month of August, I saw a total of 35 films in 23 first-timers and 12 re-watches as one of the first-timers was directed by a woman as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. An improvement of sorts from last month as I felt more relaxed as one of the highlights of the month was in my Blind Spot choice in Rebel Without a Cause. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for August 2018:
1. Le deuxieme souffle
3. Lola Montes
5. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
7. Le Petit Soldat
9. Roger Waters: The Wall
10. Patriots Day
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
One of the awful things about insomnia is having to watch certain things as I knew that this film was pretty bad and what I saw was everything I expected to be for all the wrong reasons. For a film that would such people like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Dennis Quaid, and Jonathan Pryce as you would expect them to give decent or good performances with bad material. Well, they weren’t given anything to do as it tried to be this massive action film with lots of visuals and such but it tries too hard to be a lot of things. Marlon Wayans’ role as the comic relief soldier is horrible and unnecessary while the visual effects are total shit. No wonder people crapped on this film.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
This was a film I was very skeptical about as I didn’t think it was going to be any good. Well, I was wrong. It was actually better than I thought though there were a few things that didn’t work such as Kevin Hart doing his usual shtick as well as the casting of Nick Jonas as a fifth player as he can’t act for shit. Fortunately, the premise that is set in a video game world does have some exciting moments that include a charismatic Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a hilarious Jack Black as a video game character that is actually portrayed by a girl. Yet, it is Karen Gillan who steals the show as an ass-kicking character that is portrayed by another girl who is insecure about herself as I will never hear Big Mountain’s cover of Baby I Love Your Way the same way ever again.
From 30 for 30 and director Peter Berg is a piece about the infamous 1988 trade involving Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers where he had won four Stanley Cups for the team to the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky does tell Berg what happened as well as the heartbreak he had in having to leave Edmonton which was his home for so many years to go to Los Angeles. The trade was a big deal with some accusing Gretzky’s wife Janet Jones for the reason he went to Los Angeles though things were actually complicated between the Oilers’ then-owner as it relates to money as it is one of the best entry of the 30 for 30 series.
Eric Clapton: The 1970s Review
From AXS TV which often shows some cool concerts and other things that relate to music as it is an alternative of sorts to the shit that is played on MTV Classics and MTV Live. This documentary from the channel is about Clapton’s career in the 1970s from the release of his first solo album to the 1978 album Backless showcases the struggles and triumphs of Clapton in that period that included the formation and disbanding of Derek and the Dominos as well as a solo career that’s gotten mixed reviews throughout the years. There isn’t anything new that had been told in other films including the recent documentary on Clapton in Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars as Clapton in that film does address the controversial things he said about immigration which the documentary in this film says he never apologized for. It’s something fans of Slowhand will want to see though Life in 12 Bars remains the better film.
This 1996 anthology film that features a segment by Denis Villeneuve was something I watched for the Auteurs piece on him as I can say that this is easily his weakest work. Though it’s not really his fault as his piece about a filmmaker being nervous to appear in an edgy talk show does have some funny moments. It’s just that the film as a whole is a total bore despite its premise that all involve an immigrant cab driver in Montreal. The other shorts aren’t interesting as there’s some parts of the film that are very amateurish and others that tried to be cool but never stick out.
The Girl on the Train
As a suspense-thriller with twists and turns, it's a very conventional film that is by-the-book and there's not enough intrigue despite its study on the effects of alcoholism. While the film does feature an incredible performance from Emily Blunt as a troubled alcoholic who believes she had witnessed a murder while dealing with blackouts and all sorts of shit. The film unfortunately falters in trying to get perspectives from the victim, her husband, her shrink, and others as it tries to be compelling with a lot of back stories. Yet, it never goes the extra mile to create more suspense even though there's good work from Alison Janney as a detective while others like Rebecca Ferguson, Lisa Kudrow, and Luke Evans are badly wasted. It has its moments but it's a film that just never does enough to make it worthwhile.
Top 10 Re-Watches:
1. The Virgin Suicides
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
5. Flirting with Disaster
7. The Nutty Professor
8. Good Ol' Freda
9. Fun with Dick and Jane
10. The Terminal
Well, that is it for August. Next month, I’m not really sure what new films I plan to watch theatrically as I have a hard time trying to find out what film is coming out. Other than some films in the never-ending DVR list as I hope to see some foreign films and some recent releases. The big profile for the next two months will be on Orson Welles in anticipation for the release of The Other Side of the Wind while I’m not sure what Blind Spot I will do next. Then there’s the stuff relating to NIN as I will be doing a concert review while the whole work on the band’s discography I’m expanding for the rest of the year as I’ve lately been working a lot slower. Then there’s my Favorite Film essay piece on Coming to America which I’m sad to say has been scrapped. It’s my fault that it didn’t turn out the way I hope it would be but I am still planning to do something for that film in celebration of its 30th Anniversary along with a few other films that are having an anniversary of sorts. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
© thevoid99 2018