Monday, November 30, 2020

Films That I Saw: November 2020


We’re one more month away from what has been an extremely horrible year as nearly 13 million have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 268,000 people have died so far. A few weeks ago, my mother had a dinner party planned for herself and longtime family friends as they all hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I was wary about this dinner party and then just days before it was to happen. One of my mother’s friends got COVID and everything got cancelled but she’s doing fine now though I think not having the party was a good thing. It is a reminder of how hard reality can hit yet not everyone is still in the belief that bad things are coming. Even as the U.S. election is over with Joe Biden now set to become our next president but followers of Dookie Tank refuse to accept the results. I remember one weekend this month where me and my mother were going to the Barnes & Noble at Buckhead and on our way as we were about to drive past the governor’s mansion. Those dumbass MAGA supporters were there in protest and such as I wanted to give them the finger and tell them to go home, shut the fuck up, and fuck off.

Alas, that is our reality as on our way home having bought a few Xmas presents for ourselves and my nephew (who is getting really excited). There were a bunch of people at a new salon not wearing masks and having a good time as if nothing is happening just a block away from where my mother and I were living. The sheer sense of insanity and people just being stupid is something I’m dealing with just as I’m days away from turning 40. It’s a reality that I’m beginning to accept knowing that I hadn’t accomplished much of my life but I don’t really have a problem with that at all. Being an uncle to a boy and a young girl that is to come next year is actually fulfilling. Yes, I may not watch as many films as I want to or do ambitious things but it’s better than dealing with stupid people. Plus, I feel like I learned a lot more right now than I did in my teens and 20s. I will say that in my teens, I was taking a lot of things seriously as I was unsure about what to do.

In my 20s, I still had no idea what I wanted to do and thought I was going to know a lot about the world and fulfill these dreams that were unrealistic. By the time I entered my 30s, I realized I learned nothing at all and my 20s were disappointing. Having been through a lot in my 30s and dealing with a lot of things including death, depression, and disappointment. I’m about to come out of my 30s realizing that I shouldn’t take life so seriously but also hold on to those that you care about. Yes, my mom and my sister can be a pain in the ass at times but it’s better than dealing with them than ignorant assholes. Plus, age is nothing but a number though I think I’m mentally in my young 20s in my own emotional immaturity.
In the month of November, I saw a total of 22 films in 9 first-timers and 13 re-watches with one first-timer directed by a woman as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge. It’s an improvement of sorts from the last month though I will admit that this pandemic has stifled me immensely though I did get to see some good movies. The highlight of the month has definitely been my Blind Spot choice in Betty Blue. Here are my top 5 first-timers that I saw for November 2020:

1. Meshes of the Afternoon
2. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
3. Out of the Past
4. The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
5. Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment
Monthly Mini-Reviews

Tangled: Before Ever After
One of two films that I saw on Disney+ with my nephew who loves Tangled as that is now one of several of his favorite films is this mini-sequel of sorts that serves as a precursor to the short-lived TV series. It’s a short that play into Rapunzel adjusting to life as a princess with Eugene as she also deals with people from her father’s past who have a grudge towards him. It’s an entertaining short that does feature a few songs while it also does tell the story of Rapunzel and Eugene going on new adventures.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony

While I admit to having many issues with the institution and people who run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the fact that they continuously snub so many deserving acts that should be in there now. This year’s class was incredible as it featured managers Irving Azoff and Jon Landau whose work behind the scenes are important. The inductions for T. Rex, Whitney Houston, and the Notorious B.I.G. were handled with class with their family members accepting the award in their honor while members of the Doobie Brothers were able to have their say in the long overdue honor that they should’ve been given years ago. Then there’s two of my favorite acts whose induction I’m really happy for. First is Depeche Mode as they were inducted by Charlize Theron with comments from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top praising their work as I’m happy that they got in out of spite for the fact the people who run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had never given them a good review or any due as this was a big fuck you to Jann Wenner and his piece of shit magazine that should’ve died more than 30 years ago.

Finally, there’s Nine Inch Nails who were inducted by Iggy Pop with comments from Miley Cyrus, filmmaker David Fincher, producer Mark Ronson, Saul Williams, and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine about their legacy and contribution to popular music. Trent Reznor is the lone inductee who got to speak on behalf of his outfit as other members of the outfit who are inducted include Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin, Danny Lohner, and Chris Vrenna as they all were interviewed with Reznor as part of a discussion about the band’s legacy. Reznor also thanked the other members who weren’t inducted that include Charlie Clouser, Richard Patrick of Filter, Jeordie White, Aaron North, Josh Freese, Jerome Dillon, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, the late Jeff Ward, and the late James Wooley. This induction was special though it is a shame none of the living inductees were able to perform due to the pandemic as it would’ve made the whole event far more special.

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
An exclusive on Disney+ is probably the best thing the franchise has put out since The Last Jedi and it also makes fun of its own legacy. Featuring Kelly Marie Tran voicing her role as Rose Tico, the short plays into Rey trying to teach Finn while Poe tries to create the ultimate Life Day Party. Yet, Rey finds a crystal that would allow her to go back in time and hilarity ensues as it features a moody Darth Vader, Kylo Ren acting like a fanboy, and all sorts of funny things while it also take shots at some of the flaws of the film series that include Obi-Wan moaning about tax disputes. It is a joy to watch and something all Star Wars fans should see.

Suede-Live at Perivale

This 1999 documentary short film set during the release of the band’s fourth album Head Music is more of a promotional film for the new album as it explores the band making the new album as well as performing songs from that record. It’s something that fans would want to seek out as it play into the Britpop band not only continuing their dominance as one of the big four bands of the genre with Blur, Oasis, and Pulp but also proof that they were also trying something new and keep themselves fresh. Even though things behind the scenes at the time involving singer Brett Anderson’s drug use and keyboardist Neil Codling’s health issues were coming into play as the band would reveal many years later.

Top 10 Re-Watches

1. 24 Hour Party People
2. Elf
3. Bloodsport
4. Monsters University
5. Happy Gilmore
6. The First Wives Club
7. We Bought a Zoo
8. The Five-Year Engagement
9. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
10. Nacho Libre
That is all for November 2020. Next up, I will make a formal announcement about the 2021 Blind Spot Series as I have some of the films that I want to see purchased or available at the moment as well as trying to catch up on 2020 releases from my never-ending DVR list as well as films such as Mank and maybe upcoming films like Soul and Wonder Woman 1984. I will also watch my final Blind Spot entry in Abbas Kiarostami’s Koker Trilogy to finish the year.
Before I sign off, given the fact that so many people have died this year including most recently Alex Trebek of Jeopardy. There is one person close to my heart that meant a lot to my father as this was someone I watched growing up over the years and that is Diego Armando Maradona. People will say that Pele is the greatest footballer but I highly disagree despite his accomplishments. For me and for my dad, it was Maradona. The man was a god in the way he dribbled the ball with his feet, his speed, his approach to misdirection, his play-making, and the way he just scored goals. He was also human in how he dealt with setbacks but also didn’t take shit from anyone including FIFA as he refused to be their cabana boy like Pele. Maradona was a complicated figure but that is probably why he is so beloved because he wasn’t afraid to be human. For the people in Argentina and the people in Napoli, Italy, I’m sure this loss is immense. I also learned that he was Kobe Bryant’s favorite footballer which says a lot about two iconic figures in sport who mean a lot to everyone. Wherever they are, I hope Kobe and Maradona just have a laugh while Maradona is chatting with my dad about those goals. Gracias Diego, we will miss you.

© thevoid99 2020


Often Off Topic said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the Lego Holiday Special, it was so much fun! I love how it made fun of the sequels too. Definitely much better than the original Star Wars Holiday Special!

thevoid99 said...

Yeah, that original holiday special... I wish that ever existed because goddamn... that was one of the worst things I had ever seen in my life. Hours of bad variety TV I will never get back. People said the 70s were great but this? I would disagree.