Friday, November 30, 2018

Films That I Saw: November 2018

Now about a month away from the end of another year and it’s been crazy to say the least. This month has been no exception with all of these wildfires happening in California and our dictator still in denial or just too ignorant over the concept of climate change and global warming. Here in Georgia, the election here turned out to be a mess as I knew it was going to happen as the governor’s race ended up having a lot of controversy with one of its candidates eventually conceding but not happy as it’s been revealed that a lot of the voting machines were either weren’t working or weren’t being sent. That is democracy. It doesn’t matter who you vote for as it can get bought or changed proving that you vote doesn’t fucking matter in whatever environment you’re in. I’m sure it would matter in some places as I do see semblances of hope in states like New York but you’re not going to get that here in the South as it’s still the meet the new boss, same as the old boss mentality.

This month has been trying as well as sad as the passing of people like Stan Lee, William Goldman, Nicholas Roeg, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Stephen Hillenburg has definitely been a big loss. Five men who were just artists and created art no matter in what form it has been. Goldman was probably one of the best screenwriters ever as I’m sure there’s people that will quote something from The Princess Bride. Hillenburg gave the world SpongeBob SquarePants as it was a cartoon that was so weird yet it managed to appeal to all sorts of people from kids to even adults. Bertolucci and Roeg helped change the idea of what cinema could be as they also proved to be an inspiration for all kinds of filmmakers. Then there’s Stan Lee who created a world that could never be matched as it wasn’t just comic books he created but also gave people heroes that they can connect with. Heroes who didn’t just have these powers but also had something human about them. These are five men who will be missed and they should be thanked for making the world a very interesting place to be in.

In the month of November, I saw a total of 31 films in 20 first-timers and 11 re-watches with two of the first-timers directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. A decrease from last month but still solid due to the numerous films I saw this month as one of the highlights this month has been Wim Wenders’ Road Trilogy as part of the Blind Spot Series for this year. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for November 2018:

1. Widows

2. Suspiria

3. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

4. The American Friend

5. They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

6. Funny Games (2007)

7. The Other Side of the Wind

8. The Year of Living Dangerously

9. Boxcar Bertha

10. Filming Othello

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Billionaire Boys Club

This was terrible. A remake of TV movie made in 1987 starring Judd Nelson who appears in this film as Ansel Elgort’s father. It’s a film about a bunch of guys in the 1980s who would create a Ponzi scheme as they get rich but also get themselves into a lot of shit involving drugs, women, murder, and other kinds of shit. While it features some solid work from Nelson, Taron Egerton, Cary Elwes as Andy Warhol, and Bokeem Woodbine. It’s a film that is style over substance with Elgort being a very bland lead while the film also features Kevin Spacey in what might be one of his last performances that the world will see from him for a while as he overacts and never brings anything new in a film that is dull from start to finish.

Red Sparrow

From Francis Lawrence comes a film that had the look and the premise of an interesting thriller but that is as far as it can go. It has a nice look and some solid performances from Charlotte Rampling and Jeremy Irons as they were probably there to collect paychecks and show everyone how it’s done. Yet, the film rest largely on Jennifer Lawrence as a ballerina who helps her uncle in doing a job for money where she is later trained to be a spy and capture an American spy in Russia. It’s a film that doesn’t have a lot of twists and the suspense is underwhelming while Lawrence’s performance is just terrible while she sports one of the worst Russian accents ever.

Bridget Jones’ Baby

I will admit to having a soft spot for the Bridget Jones movies despite my opinion on Renee Zelwegger as she’s hit and miss. Yet, she is really good in this film as it is about the titular character reaching her 40s and trying to figure out what to do next in her life after breaking up with Mark Darcy. Yet, a reunion with Darcy and a tryst with an American billionaire would lead to questions as it is a heartwarming and funny film that play into a woman reaching the next phase of her life but also wanting to be ensured that she’ll never be lonely again.

Pacific Rim Uprising

I would be interested in this film if it had any direct involvement from Guillermo del Toro as I was fond of the original film. Yet, the sequel not only doesn’t feature any real involvement from del Toro as it’s a film that is more of a typical blockbuster film with no real heart. It was good seeing Rinko Kikuchi and Burn Gorman reprise their roles along with Charlie Day yet despite the performances of John Boyega, Jing Tian, and Cailee Spaeny. It’s just a dull while it has some lame twists and a bland performance from Scott Eastwood as Boyega’s former partner.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. Frances Ha

2. Inside Out

3. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

4. Analyze This

5. Taken

6. Born on the 4th of July

7. Monsters University

8. You’ve Got Mail

9. Analyze That

10. Necessary Roughness

Well, that is it for November. Next month will be focused mainly on 2018 releases as well as recent films and others that is on the never-ending DVR list along with theatrical releases like The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and maybe Aquaman. The Auteurs piece on Orson Welles will be published in December as it will be the last Auteurs piece for the year as it’s definitely one of the most challenging pieces I’ve written as I’m nearly half-done and might split it into two parts. Along with the final film in the Blind Spot Series in Satyajit Ray’s The Hero, I will make the announcement of the 2019 Blind Spot Series as well as plans for 2019 as I’m going to push the Auteurs piece on David Lean for next year. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off… And go Atlanta United! Bring that MLS Cup home!

© thevoid99 2018


Brittani Burnham said...

I'm psyched for The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Into the Spider-Verse as well! Can't wait for those. Hopefully my theater gets the first two.

Chris said...

Didn’t know about Goldman Very sad. At least these legends are leaving behind a great body of work that will last.

I didn’t enjoy the rapid editing in The Other Side of the Wind. But I admire the ambition of the project and perseverance to finally get the film made.

Happy to see Inside Out get some praise! One of the best of the decade.

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-Same here. I don't think I can drive an hour or so to see these movies unless it's something by Sofia, QT, Lars, or Malick although that's becoming more impossible these days for me.

@Chris-I didn't mind the editing of Welles' final film as I saw some of the early clips of what Welles was trying to do which made sense as it played into the dizziness of the party. Inside Out is definitely going to be in a future list of the best films of the 2010s as I'm planning to do a list in a few years.