Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Films That I Saw: April 2019

Another crazy and exhausting month April has been as it is what to expect when you have someone close to you dealing with cancer. Right now, my father is doing fine as the small tumor he has in his stomach is starting to dissolve after three chemotherapy sessions so far. It’s been rough as my father has been focusing on re-doing the entire backyard and all sorts of things while he is also demanding and hyperactive due to the medication. This is the kind of shit my mother and I are dealing with but we’re soldering on. I’m also helping them with other things and driving my mother to get certain foods he can eat. It’s exhausting but at least it serves a purpose. Yet, all of the schedules for the upcoming chemotherapy sessions for the next month is going to be demanding as there’s an hour/hour-and-a-half of tests and then five hours of chemotherapy. Then there will be one day where there will be another test as it’s going to take up much time.

All of this that is happening in my family has made me take a step back from what I love to do which is to write about films and such although I’ve been able to get certain things done even though I’ve barely started on my Auteurs piece on Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Of course usually around this time in late April/early May, I make an announcement for my annual Cannes Film Festival marathon. Well, there won’t be one this year. Mainly due to timing as I just don’t have the time and energy to do another one. Plus, I’ve been frustrated by the lack of older films that I wanted to see for the marathon as I felt it would be uneven so I’m going to cancel it for this year and try again for next year. Helping my family right now is more important as I also have some much bigger news to share in my family life. On April 12, 2019 at 1:21 AM, my nephew Nicholas Mateo Flores-Publicover has been born as I’ve got to see him about a week ago as he just looks adorable. My sister and her husband are doing fine as I’m just concerned about wanting to be there for this little kid.

In the month of April 2019, I saw a total of 26 films in 15 first-timers and 11 re-watches as it is the same number of films that I saw in the previous month. Three of the first-timers being directed or co-directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. One of the major highlights of the month has been my Blind Spot assignment in The Gleaners & I as it’s a film I think a lot of people should seek out. Here are my top 10 first-timers that I saw for April 2019:

1. Avengers: Endgame

2. Mississippi Grind

3. Magnet of Doom

4. The Passion of Anna

5. Ghost in the Shell

6. David Bowie: Finding Fame

7. Tully

8. Secrets of Women

9. Madeleine

10. Battle of the Sexes

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

This film was a surprise as I liked the first film as I thought it was an enjoyable musical as I also enjoyed this though not as much as the predecessor. Thankfully, Pierce Brosnan didn’t do any real singing other than a few lines of S.O.S. quietly which I think suits him vocally. Yet, it’s Amanda Seyfried and Lily James that made the film a joy to watch with the latter playing a younger version of Meryl Streep’s character as she is just full of energy and charisma. The film would later be stolen by an appearance from Cher where something unexpected happen for me when she sings Fernando where I became very emotional. I love that song but Cher just took it to a new level where I started to cry and be wowed by how she just sang the song as if it was her own but also in tribute to ABBA.


One of two episodes of 30 for 30 that I saw this month is about the legendary linebacker who was widely considered one of the greatest players of the game is also one of the most tragic stories ever told in sports. Junior Seau was a one-of-a-kind player that is rarely seen as someone who can do things defensively as well as be a real leader to a team as his time with the San Diego Chargers is legendary. Yet, there’s also a sadness of a man trying to please his father and help out his many relatives who live off of him but also a much darker story as someone who had unknowingly gain the effects of CTE as it would shape his behavior and persona. His death in May 2, 2012 of a suicide is a wake-up call to what is happening with these football players suffering from CTE so something has to be done and not let the death of Seau and many others be forgotten.

Fifty Shades Freed

The third and thankfully, the final film of one of the worst trilogies out there finally comes to an end although it seems like it’s a film that ran out of ideas. The previous film was horrendous beyond belief yet this one is just lazy. Christian and Anastasia get married, have kinky sex, she gets upset, he buys her things to prove his love to her, they have sex, they get mad, he buys her something, they have sex, and blah, blah, blah. The acting is just lame and bland where I feel like the actors are phoning it in at times as it’s just a real downer.

The Prince of Pennsylvania

The second of two episodes from 30 to 30 is about Team Foxcatcher that would later be dramatized in the 2014 film Foxcatcher as it’s more about the formation by John du Pont and how he recruited Mark Schultz and his older brother Dave later on. It is more of a study of obsession as du Pont came from a wealthy family as he was trying to make a name for himself only to succeed but in the worst ways. It features interviews with Mark Schultz, his parents, and other wrestlers as it explore du Pont’s mental descent into madness as he would do the unthinkable.

Top 10 Re-watches

1. Days of Heaven

2. The Hunt for Red October

3. The Cooler

4. No Way Out

5. Tour de Pharmacy

6. About a Boy

7. It's Kind of a Funny Story

8. October Sky

9. Roll Bounce

10. 50 First Dates

Well, that is it for April as I am unsure of what I will do for May other than work on the Auteurs piece on Boden/Fleck and then start on Kelly Reichardt. I’m also unsure on what my next Blind Spot is though I have a few options for the time being. As far as new releases, that I’m also unsure about though I do have a lot to check out in my never-ending DVR list. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2019


Chris said...

Sounds like a tough time for you. Family comes first.

Congratulations on your new nephew

Added David Bowie: Finding Fame to my list.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-It could be worse. Sure, I don't have the energy to watch as many films as I want to but it's not the end of the world.