Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Films That I Saw: March 2020

Well, this year absolutely, totally fucking sucks. I never thought I would see the day that a pandemic would emerge around the world and now that reality has happened and it really fucking sucks. I thought a lot about what my dad would’ve thought of this as the idea of him staying at home not doing anything. Not watching sports and not being able to go anywhere would really fuck him up as I’m glad he’s not around to live through this. Now I may not consider myself to be an out-going person as I don’t go out much except to the movie theaters, get groceries, buy a few things every now and then, and drive my mother to whatever she needs. Yet, having to be stuck at home with my mother even though we haven’t been infected with the coronavirus isn’t really that fun. The only time we go out is for groceries and stock up on supplies but that is really it. Other than that, we can’t really do anything and the worst part about is that I can’t see my nephew in person though my mother is fortunate to speak to my sister, her husband, and her grandson through her iPhone.

Being in quarantine with my mother hasn’t made things easy for the both of us as we’re bored and not really doing much other than do some cleaning around the house though Netflix has been a good distraction of sorts as we binge-watched the show Gentefied while my mom has been watching a lot of stuff on YouTube which she loves. For me, watching films hasn’t gotten any easier due to the fact that there’s a lot happening as the only other thing me and my mother watch is CNN and the local news on what is going on. So far here in Georgia, there’s been nearly 4000 cases with nearly 230 cases here in Cobb County. Things haven’t been good here in Georgia but around the country is really fucking bad and it’s hard to think about those who are dying as this country has more cases than anyone at over 180,000 cases with the state of New York at nearly 75,000 cases. I do think things aren’t going to get better and I’m not really surprised considering that we have our idiotic human septic-tank of a dictator who cares more about getting the economy going than saving lives as he insults governors, journalists, and others while not really giving a shit about what is going on.

It’s not just here that I’m looking on as I think about what is happening in Italy, Spain, and the rest of the world as this pandemic has really been a fucking kick in the balls. My mother talks to one of her friends who is stuck in Panama while her husband is stuck in Venezuela as they’re both in stay-at-home-orders while they have family in Spain and Italy who are also in quarantine. My mom would sometimes talk to friends/relatives late at night as we can’t really sleep considering what is going on as waking up in the early or mid-afternoon is starting to be regular. Things are getting bad as there’s no point in having anything happen. Sporting events, social gatherings, and all of that is not what should be done as we all need to distance ourselves and to try and get things better. I don’t see the point of just trying to get things back to normal at the moment as our moronic dictator wants to re-open everything by Easter as that is the day my nephew’s first birthday is going to happen but it’s very unlikely that things will get better as me and my mom won’t be there to celebrate as it really fucking sucks.

I’m doing whatever I can to just live and focus on writing as I’ve started on the fifth part of my MCU is Cinema series but I’ve now started to question about going forward with other projects as I’ve decided to push the Auteurs series on Kelly Reichardt until after I finished the MCU project. Then there’s the Cannes marathon as I cancelled it last year because of my dad and now I’m not sure if I want to do one this year as the festival has been postponed from somewhere around June or July but I don’t know if I want to do the marathon around that time. It wouldn’t feel right to do it at that that time and with the way things are. I don’t think doing a marathon would be the right thing. I’d rather just focus on being safe and stay home while working on my other projects.

In the month of March, I saw a total of 26 films in 10 first-timers and 16 re-watches with three of those first-timers being films directed by women as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. Considering the circumstances, it’s not bad as the highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot Series choice in A Place in the Sun. Here are the top 5 first-timers that I saw for March 2020:

1. At Eternity's Gate

2. Shallow Grave

3. Closely Watched Trains

4. Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache

5. Blinded by the Light

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Johnny English Strikes Again

If there’s one film franchise that I’m willing to defend despite the poor reviews and bad Rotten Tomatoes scores, it’s the Johnny English franchise. Why? It’s because it never takes itself seriously and it plays into the strengths of Rowan Atkinson and this film is no exception. In fact, it was really damn funny as it plays into English trying to understand the modern world of technology as a tech guru tries to get the world to go with his security system. With Emma Thompson as the British prime minister and Olga Kurylenko as a Russian spy trying to thwart English only to later team up with him, the film is just a whole lot of fun with Atkinson always finding a way to bring in the laughs as he is one of the finest comedy actors ever.

Women of Troy

From HBO Sports is a documentary about the USC Trojans women’s basketball team where they were the not just the crown jewel of college women’s basketball but also the pioneers who would help pave the way for future women players to become pro and become the prototype players of the WNBA. In the spotlight is Cheryl Miller as many said women’s basketball can be sum up into two periods, before and after Cheryl Miller as women’s basketball wasn’t taken seriously until the early 1980s when the first NCAA women’s tournament emerged with Louisiana Tech starting to show what can be done until the Trojans would arrive lead by Miller. After Miller came the Tennessee Lady Volunteers under the tutelage of the legendary Pat Summit as Miller never went pro though some of her teammates did and eventually play in the WNBA as it is something sports fans should see.

Blinded by the Light

From Gurinder Chadha comes a film that is way better than it should’ve been in this adaptation of Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir about the life of a young British-Pakistani man during the late 1980s amidst the era of Margaret Thatcher, unemployment, and the National Front as he would discover the music of Bruce Springsteen. I consider myself a casual admirer of Springsteen as I like some of his music but this film made love the music a lot more than ever. Notably as it play into the plight of this young student who feels lost in the small British town of Luton and how he was able to connect with Springsteen’s music in ways that he never expected. Viviek Kaira’s performance is full of heart as this young kid that wants to be a writer yet has to contend with his father’s traditional values and such as it also feature great supporting performances from Kulvinder Ghir as the father and Hayley Atwell as Kaira’s writing teacher who saw promise in his work. It’s a film that is inspirational and touching as the music really says a lot of what this young man is going through and what he would become as it is a real gem.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Having enjoyed both the original and David Fincher’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I was skeptical about this film since it’s not based on the original trilogy by its original writer. Still, I wanted to see it as it’s an alright film but too conventional for my taste. It does play into Lisbeth Salander becoming a vigilante until dark secrets from her past emerges in the form of her sister. Claire Foy is solid as Salander with Sylvia Hoeks being the major standout as Salander’s long-lost sister Camilla who is just chilling. There are some nice thrills though the casting of Sverrir Gudnason as Mikael Blomkvist is uninspiring.

Top 10 Re-Watches

1. Avengers: Endgame

2. Black Panther

3. Avengers: Infinity War

4. Thor: Ragnarok

5. Little Miss Sunshine

6. Arthur

7. Aquaman

8. Happy Death Day

9. Enemy at the Gates

10. Miami Vice

Well, that is it for March as other than my MCU project that I hope to continue and finish. I have no idea what I’m going to do other than watch films from my never-ending DVR list as it will include the Lone Wolf & Cub film series. I’m just going to stay home with my mother and be safe only to go out for groceries and supplies and that is it. This is a strange time as it’s not just me and my family that I’m concerned about but also many others as I hope everyone stays safe and be well. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2020


ThePunkTheory said...

I was not aware of the existence of Shallow Grave. But Ewan McGregor is in it, so I'll have to watch it!

Chris said...

Feel-good movies like Blinded by the Light is what we need right now with what's going on in the world. Nobody in my family is hospitalized thank goodness. Stay safe and thanks for your concern for others.