Saturday, February 29, 2020
Films That I Saw: February 2020
A plague is probably coming to the U.S. and well, I have to admit that for all of the shit that’s been happening. At least it’s not boring to say the least though it is scary that this new plague in the coronavirus might be coming as I thought my bronchitis was bad. Of course, our idiotic dumb-fuck of a dictator in El Pendejo thinks things will be fine as he sends his bitch Mike Pence to take charge of the whole thing. Yeah, like that will work. It’s just another bad thing that is happening in a world where there’s a lot of shit going on as here in the South. We’re still dealing with cold weather, awful winds, and rain as it would get warm and sunny for a bit but then it goes to shit once again. That is climate change and it fucking sucks.
The Oscars this year was pretty damn good as it was definitely one of the better ceremonies based on the ones I’ve seen over the years. Most notably for Parasite and Bong Joon-Ho winning four Oscars as that was a huge victory. It may have not been my choice for Best Picture (that was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) but to see this South Korean film not only win big but gain the support of so many people is just incredible. Even as the moment it won Best Picture and got the support of the people at the ceremony to give them their moment in the sun. I’m happy that Joon-Ho won as I showed the film to my mother who really liked it a lot as she showed the film to a longtime family friend of ours as she is now spreading the word. The fact that a film from South Korea that is about social classes and two families and presented in its original language without any dubbing is getting seen by all sorts of people to me is a huge victory. I’m now hoping to show my mother more films from South Korea though I’m not sure I would show her some of the films by Chan-wook Park.
In the month of February 2020, I saw a total of 28 films in 16 first-timers and 12 re-watches with three of the first-timers directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. The highlight of the month was definitely my Blind Spot assignment in I Am Cuba. Here are my top 10 first-timers that I saw for February 2020:
1. What Did Jack Do?
2. The Harder They Come
3. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
4. Diary of a Lost Girl
5. Hair Love
7. Lamp Life
8. Ali & Cavett: Tale of the Tapes
9. Pokemon Detective Pikachu
10. Wake Up
What Did Jack Do?
Now that my mother has access to Netflix as she watches a few things on her iPad, I was able to get the chance to see the short film as I love David Lynch and this short is just awesome. It’s merely a stop-gap for whatever Lynch is planning to do next as it is this stylish noir story involving a monkey named Jack as he’s interrogated by Lynch over something mysterious. It is a film that echoes a lot of Lynch’s early works in its surrealism and humor while it also has a touching quality that just adds to the absurdity.
The film that won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film was the right choice and certainly one of the highlights of the Oscar. Especially as it is a touching story about a girl trying to fix her hair with the help of her father as he is trying to figure out what to do. It is a touching short that is about the importance of an African-American girl’s hair and how she is trying to style it like her mother does. It also has some unique surprises that not only works but also packs the emotional punches in the right ways as it’s something a lot of people should see as it has all of the right touches for a good story.
Though it is largely an advertisement for Hewlett-Packard computers and other products, Olivia Wilde does manage to create a nice short based on it starring Margaret Qualley as it play into a woman waking up in a hospital and see the world but also people looking into their phones, tablets, and laptops instead of the wonders of their surroundings. Qualley’s performance really sells the short through her physicality as a performer as well as how she reacts to people or those she befriends. It is proof that Wilde does have a unique vision and knows how to tell a story.
An exclusive on Disney+ is this short film about Bo Peep and what happened to her after Andy’s mom sold her and before the events of Toy Story 4. It is actually a delightful short film thanks in part to Annie Pott’s voice performance as Bo Peep as she endures the life of being on a lamp and all of the different owners she had. There are these comical moments about Bo Peep’s sense of boredom but also how she broke out of the lamp and eventually find her own freedom as it is a short that I enjoyed watching with my 10 ½ month old nephew.
The Tigger Movie
Another film I saw on Disney+ mainly because my nephew Mateo was watching it, it’s a delightful animated feature-length film about Tigger trying to see if there’s others like him. Mateo loves anything related to Winnie the Pooh as he was into this film that he was watching on my mom’s tablet as I would watch it with him. It’s a nice little film that doesn’t demand a lot but we both grew to care for Tigger as he has to understand that what makes him Tigger is just him.
I do think India Eisley is a talented actress but this film doesn’t really do much with that as it is this strange yet undercooked suspense-drama about a teenage girl who feels extremely insecure until she looks into the mirror and sees an evil version of herself. There are moments that are interesting but some of the visual elements is largely style over substance with lots of low-lighting that is overkill while the drama is also overwrought. Even as Mira Sorvino is awfully wasted as Eisley’s mother while Jason Isaacs looks like he is sleep walking through his performance as Eisley’s plastic surgeon father.
Another short I saw on Disney+ is a Sparks Short series about a father and his baby boy as the latter for some reason can float in the air. It’s really about a father’s struggle to make his son normal even through childhood but the boy’s ability to just float in the air makes him unique. It is a touching that explores the love between a father and son and how a father has to accept his son’s special ability.
Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes
A sports documentary film from HBO Sports is about the relationship between boxing legend Muhammad Ali and TV talk show host Dick Cavett as Ali was a regular guest of Cavett’s show in the late 1960s and 1970s. The documentary talks about Ali’s time in the spotlight and his importance in sports and popular culture with Cavett talking about all of that but also his friendship with Ali. The film features footage of The Dick Cavett Show that Ali appeared in but also commentaries from historians and others including Reverend Al Sharpton about the show’s cultural importance. Notably as Cavett was one of the first talk show hosts to have black guests on his show with Ali being the regular as it also play into the many myths and legendary stories of Ali as well as some truth. It’s something sport fans should see as it showcases another side to the Greatest of All-Time.
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
This was actually a fun film largely because of Ryan Reynolds’ voice work as Pikachu though I don’t really consider myself a fan of Pokemon. It is a fun film about a young man trying to find out what happened to his father where he goes to a city where humans and Pokemons live among one another. Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton provide solid performances as the ones trying to find out what happened to the former’s father with some nice supporting work from Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe. It is a really good and adventurous film that has some nice suspense but also some fun moments.
Of Miracles and Men
From 30 to 30 and to coincide with the 40th anniversary of U.S.A. defeating the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid comes a film about that team from the Soviet Union. Told from their perspective, the documentary is a sobering film about the Red Army hockey team who were dominant for many years under the tutelage of Anatoli Tarasov whose unconventional ideas were considered innovative as he favored artistry and passion that produced great results and lots of accolades. It wasn’t until he got kicked out of the program in 1977 and replaced by Viktor Tikanov where the mentality changed as did the feeling of the players. It is an amazing film that feature interviews with those players including Boris Mikhailov who was asked by the film’s director if he saw the 2004 film Miracle as he said “why would I want to watch a film about my team losing?” Good point.
Top 10 Re-Watches:
2. Spider-Man: Far from Home
3. Addams Family Values
4. Romancing the Stone
5. First Man
7. Fast Five
8. Classic Albums: Primal Scream-Screamadelica
9. Classic Albums: Duran Duran-Rio
10. Overnight Delivery
Well, that is it for February. Next month as I’m nearly completion of the fourth part of the MCU is Cinema series as I hope to finish the rest in the next month or two. I also hope to see Onward and any other new release that might interest me. Aside from the next film in my Blind Spot series include films in my never-ending DVR list as I’m trying to watch some stuff from TCM that I haven’t gotten the chance to see to make room for the films that I want to see that’s on TV right now. Finally, I’d like to express my condolences to the family and friends of the legendary Kirk Douglas as he was a true cinematic giant that will be missed. Also to the friends and family of adult film actress Nikki Fritz who was often a joy to watch as she passed away a few days ago of cancer. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…
© thevoid99 2020