Monday, August 31, 2020

Films That I Saw: August 2020

Dear 2020,

Fuck you.

I’m sure that is what everyone had to say about this fucking shithole of a year. I mean wow. As if things couldn’t get bad enough, alas things get worse. Police become more unruly as they shoot and kill innocent African-Americans while a 17-year old white kid decides to kill a few protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin and is on Tucker Carlson who thought the kid did the right thing. All of which during coverage of national conventions for the Republican Party where everyone kisses Dookie Tank’s shit-stained ass. People ranging from those rich neighbors holding guns wanting to kill protestors to a once-revered college football legend in Georgia all say things about their president ignoring the fact that more than 185,000 people have died in this pandemic, unemployment has gone up, and everything else has gone to shit while people are dying to attend dumbass parties rented by Tik-Tok celebrities or at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis where they decide to go see fucking Smash Mouth.

The lack of real activity here has gotten to me as I’ve kind of lost the motivation to do anything as I’m spending much of my time taking care of my nephew with my mother as my sister has gone back to work while her husband just got a new job. I don’t have much time to watch anything and I’m often tired as I’m now feeling pain in my neck, my knees, and my back. I think some of it is mental as I’m wondering if this is a sign of me going back to the stages of depression which is something I hope not to endure again. Even as I learned that a few longtime family friends and relatives (not the leeches from my father’s side of the family nor do I care if they have COVID or not) had come into contact with COVID though I’m glad they’re doing OK.

In the month of August 2020, I saw a total of 27 films in 14 first-timers and 13 re-watches with 3 first-timers directed by women as part of my 52 Films by Women pledge. A solid month where the highlight of the month is my Blind Spot in Grave of the Fireflies. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw for August 2020:

1. Da Five Bloods

2. Leave No Trace

3. Insignificance

4. Underworld U.S.A.

5. Loop

6. Out

7. Wind

8. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

9. The Go-Go’s

10. Pay Day

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

This was actually really good and better than I thought it would be as I think a lot of it has to do with the involvement of David Leitch who is definitely becoming a top-tier mainstream filmmaker that doesn’t just do action sequences well but also knows when to break from the action in favor of telling a story. Starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham reprising their titular roles, it is a film about these two guys who are forced to team up to save the latter’s sister who is carrying a deadly virus that a man wants. Vanessa Kirby as Shaw’s sister and Idris Elba as the main antagonist in the terrorist Brixton Lore are solid as are the appearances of Helen Mirren as Shaw’s mother, Eiza Gonzalez as a former lover of Shaw, Eddie Marsan as a scientist, Cliff Curtis as Hobbs’ estranged older brother, and WWE star Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i as a brother of Hobbs. It’s a fun film that not only delivers on the action, suspense, and humor but also does give us characters we care about as I’ll be on board for the sequel as I’m waiting for Meryl Streep to join the franchise.


One of three short films from Pixar’s SparkShorts series that I watched on Disney+ is a short about a boy and his grandmother stuck inside a strange cave where everything around them is floating as they’re trying to gather scraps to create a rocket. It is a touching short film that explores the relationship between a boy and his grandmother as they struggle to get out of this mysterious cave with their ideas and face setbacks along the way.


The second of three shorts from SparkShorts is definitely the best of the three that I’ve seen so far as well as one of the best films of the year so far. It revolves around a talkative boy who is part of a canoeing project as his partner is an autistic girl whom he’s having a hard time communicating with. Yet, he does find a way as it relates to their surroundings as it is actually a touching and engaging short that does a lot to show how people can communicate and see things in a different way.


The third and final SparkShorts that I saw on Disney+ revolves around a young man who has moved into his new home with his partner but learns that his parents are coming as he hasn’t told them he’s gay. Then he becomes a dog for some strange reason as it adds to the adventure as it is a short film that manages to do a lot more about coming out as well as the idea of masculinity as it is told in a stylish manner.

The Castle

I had this recorded on my DVR (the cable box right now is not working for the time being) as I wanted to see this obscure 1997 TV movie by Michael Haneke that is based on this unfinished novel by Franz Kakfa. It is about this mapmaker who arrives in this strange village inside a castle as he is trying to get the permit to do his work but has to deal with all of this bureaucratic system to do his job as it’s a film where nothing really happens. It just goes on and on as I was disappointed and frustrated by the whole thing as I would say this is my least favorite film by Haneke so far.

The Go-Go’s

Premiering on ShowTime is a documentary film about the popular all-women’s rock band that emerged from the Los Angeles punk rock scene of the late 70s and eventually evolved into something more melodic and pop-driven as they would become one of the most successful bands of the early 1980s. Yet, they were also a band that was notorious for their own excesses and such as drummer Gina Schock talked about guitarist Charlotte Caffey’s drug use where it was so bad. Ozzy Osbourne of all people kicked her out of his dressing room in 1985 during the Rock in Rio music festival. All five key members plus various original members, the group’s former manager, Stewart Copeland of the Police, members of the Specials and Madness, and others talk about the band’s impact as well as questions into why they’re still not in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame which is a fucking sham.

Top 10 Re-watches

1. Rocco and His Brothers

2. A Fish Called Wanda

3. Little Women

4. Flags of Our Fathers

5. Stripes

6. Boomerang

7. The Princess and the Frog

8. Beverly Hills Ninja

9. My Week with Marilyn

10. Dream #7

Well, that is it for August as I’m not sure what I’m going to do at the moment other than the films I still have in my DVR as well as a few films that I have on DVD and in my laptop including the films of Kelly Reichardt. There are the films of A24 that I can watch on demand while I’m extremely doubtful that I will go back to the movie theaters to see any new films such as Tenet as I prefer to stay home and be safe. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and given these darkest of times. I’ll let the King of Pop and Spike Lee have the final word into what is being said all along.

© thevoid99 2020


Brittani Burnham said...

This year is an absolute trash fire.

I've been binging the Sopranos so much my movie watching has fallen way to the side. I need to watch more this month.

Often Off Topic said...

I remember at the end of March thinking well, at least we'll be back to normal by the end of summer. Oh how naive! I hope things start to look up for you soon.
Glad you enjoyed Hobbs & Shaw! I'm not fussed by the F&F movies but I had a lot of fun with that one.

SJHoneywell said...

I rewatched Stripes last year really didn't hold up for me. Some of the comedies of that era (Caddyshack, Ghostbusters) still work, but Stripes fell so flat for me for some reason.

Stay safe. Every day I can't believe that this is the world we fucking live in.

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-I don't blame you for not watching as many films as you're used to. I just don't have the time and energy to watch as many as I want to.

@Often Off Topic-Well, in this shithole of a country we live in. It's likely it will end around next summer.

@SJHoneywell-Same here, I hate the fact that there's stupid people living among us and just want to believe that nothing bad is happening. You know what, the world is overpopulated so let's just get rid of these assholes to save ourselves.

Katy said...

I don't even know where to begin comprehending 2020. It feels like every day is compacted with the most bizarre and worst news. You're definitely not alone with struggling to watch movies - I haven't done a lot this year, especially not blogging. The interest and excitement is just not there right now. I hope you take care of yourself and stay safe!

Paula said...

If any of you would like a recommendation for your 52 Films By Women pledge, try checking out Jane Campion's Holy Smoke! (the exclamation point is part of the title). It stars Kate Winslet, it's colorful, cool and funny and will take your mind off the daily grind.

thevoid99 said...

@Katy-I'm glad you choose to stay safe as well as it's just a horrible year. Just not really going anywhere (though I'm not really an outgoing person except to the movie theaters) really fucking sucks.

@Paula-I've seen Holy Smoke! as I have done a lot of films by Jane Campion as well as wrote an essay on her work.