Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Films That I Saw: September 2020

This year has worn me out mentally as so much bad shit happening here in America as more than 205,000 have died from COVID while a bunch of racist cops were found not guilty in killing Breonna Taylor as it’s just a bunch of fucking bullshit. Even as we’re about to go into debates and all of this shit as I’m just tired of politics and Dookie Tank in general. Even as I’ve been spending a lot of my time watching over my 18-month old nephew Mateo on weekdays with my mother as he’s just been a fucking tornado as he’s moving and biting me a lot. Yet, it’s all in good fun as I enjoy my time with him as I’m going to have more to deal with as I’m going to have a niece coming next March. Still, I worry about having to tell them all of the awful shit that they might have to go through when they’re older. I barely have time to watch anything on the weekends as I blame myself for not being active as I used to.

In the month of September 2020, I saw a total of 20 films in 10 first-timers and 10 re-watches as it’s definitely an underwhelming number for this month. However, there is a major highlight this month in my Blind Spot choice in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (review will come in a few days). Here are my top 5 first-timers that I saw for September 2020:

1. White Dog

2. Moana

3. Teorema

4. Le Amiche

5. Christopher Robin

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Suede: Love and Poison

A 1993 concert video that was released during a fruitful time for the seminal Britpop band is presented on YouTube in a newly-remastered presentation as it showcases the band’s performance at the Brixton Academy in late 1993. Featuring many of the songs from the band’s first album as well as B-sides from that period, it is the first of a series of concert performances the band is releasing on YouTube since, like many, they’re not able to tour at the moment. Still, this is a concert film that fans hold in high regard as it is the only concert film to feature the original line-up of vocalist Brett Anderson, guitarist Bernard Butler (who would leave during the making of the band’s second album), bassist Mat Osman, and drummer Simon Gilbert.

A constant staple right now on Disney+ that my nephew loves to watch is this film as I do think it is one of Disney Animation Studios’ great films so far. It is about the daughter of a Polynesian chief who finds a mysterious rock as she hopes to put it back and restore the heart of an ancient demigod to save her home. It’s a film that doesn’t just feature rich animation but also the music that is co-written by Lin Manuel-Miranda as it features a lot of great voice work from Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as the demigod Maui, Rachel House as the titular character’s grandmother, and Jemaine Clement as a crab who sings my favorite song in the film in Shiny as it sounds a lot like David Bowie.

Barely Lethal
While it’s not as bad as many claim to be, it is unfortunately not a film that is worth a lot of people despite some of the talent involved. It is about a teenage spy who becomes tired of becoming a spy in favor of wanting to be a normal teenage girl and live a social life. However, things go wrong while a rival spy tries to ruin her attempts at normalcy and an evil criminal also tries to create more chaos. Hailee Steinfeld is alright in the lead role with some nice supporting work from Samuel L. Jackson, Dove Cameron, and Sophie Turner but the script never brings enough suspense and the humor feels forced while Jessica Alba’s performance as the main villain is just horrible as she tries to be funny and menacing only to be neither.

Christopher Robin
In what is definitely Marc Forster’s best film since Stranger Than Fiction is this heartwarming tale about the famed character of the Winnie the Pooh stories as he is an adult that is having a hard time trying to be a responsible husband and father while trying to save the jobs of his fellow workers at a luggage factory. Ewan McGregor’s performance as the titular character hits all of the right notes as a man who had lost himself until he is reunited with Winnie the Pooh and the other creatures of the Hundred Acre Woods as it’s just a film filled with a lot of heart and depth. Even as it features a radiant Haley Atwell as Robin’s wife who would discover her husband’s childhood and see what had become of him as an adult. The visual effects presentation of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, and many others are amazing as it does add a lot of life to the film that is a worthy sequel to the animated films.

I am baffled to this day into why certain movies don’t get played at my multiplex but this film did for a weekend despite the fact that it didn’t do well commercially nor critically. This film about Joe Weider who would Muscle & Fitness magazine with his brother Ben and their obsession with bodybuilding is just fucking horrendous. Tyler Hoechlin’s performance as the young Joe is an example of bad acting at its worst where he just mumbles a lot and tries to play insecure while you have Kevin Durand as a rival magazine publisher that is just comically bad. Add Julianne Hough as Ben’s second wife Betty as I wonder who keeps casting her in films as she couldn’t act for shit while we get someone playing a young Arnold Schwarzenegger as it’s just comically horrendous for a film that tries to take itself way too seriously. Plus, it ignores a lot of factors about bodybuilding such as steroids and such. I’m going to have pro wrestling legend Bret Hart state his opinion about bodybuilding:

Nine Inch Nails-Live: Cold and Black and Infinite

Having attended this tour two years ago, the band was supposed to do another small tour in the U.S. this year to promote Ghosts V-VI but since the pandemic happened. The band instead allowed a group of fans to create a concert film available for free on YouTube showcasing their performance from a trio of shows in New Orleans. Shot in black-and-white, it is a performance that is quite intense as it features material from the band’s previous trilogy of recordings in Not the Actual Events, Add Violence, and Bad Witch as well as classic material from past albums. The five-piece line-up of Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, and Ilan Rubin is probably the strongest line-up the outfit has ever had as a live entity as well as the most dangerous in terms of its musicianship.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. The Descendants

2. Amy

3. Aladdin

4. Beauty and the Beast

5. Don Jon

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

7. Saved!

8. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

9. Team Thor

10. CB4

That is it for September as October will be largely dedicated to films relating to horror, suspense, and other weird shit with Brian de Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise being the next Blind Spot film I will watch. I made a list of the films that I hope to watch as that is something I’m going to focus mainly and then get back on board with everything else I have in my never-ending DVR list. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and hoping that everyone stays safe and not get into some awful shit.

© thevoid99 2020


SJHoneywell said...

I haven't seen a bunch of these and probably should (and hopefully will, as many are on that new list I've created). Phantom of the Paradise is likely on the docket for me in the coming month as well--it's been recommended to me a lot in the past, so I suppose I should finally get around to it. Same for White Dog, which I've considered a few times in the past but have never quite pulled the trigger on.

thevoid99 said...

Phantom of the Paradise is a film I've been wanting to see for years as it appeals to me as a fan of Brian de Palma. White Dog I'm glad I finally watched as I feel like it's the right film to watch in these dark times.

Often Off Topic said...

Disney+ is definitely money well spent with a toddler in the house! Congratulations to your family - I hope you're all keeping as well as you can be.

Jay said...

Delighted to see Saved! on there, it's one of my favourites.

thevoid99 said...

@Often Off Topic-Thank you. My sister and her husband are the ones who have Disney+ on their account as it's something that my mom and I are fortunately getting for free from their account. I love having it as I'm hoping to watch The Mandalorian in anticipation for season 2.

@Jay-I enjoy that film as well.