Friday, April 30, 2021

Films That I Saw: April 2021


Well, things are starting to get a bit normal again with more people going back to doing their thing although it still feels weird. Even though I got my first vaccination and will have my second on this coming Tuesday, I’m still trying to get myself back on track as I’m dealing with bits of insomnia and the need of just wanting to sleep. Things here in Atlanta are getting crazy including here in Smyrna where there was a shooting at Akers Mills nearby a restaurant all because of an argument at a parking lot and weeks earlier just around the corner a shooting in Cumberland Mall. Then about miles away at Buckhead at Lenox, a woman coming into her car is robbed as it’s become a regular thing as I haven’t been to Lenox Mall in nearly a year.

Fortunately, I am glad to just be at home and whenever Mateo and Adalina comes to the house. I have a good time as Mateo is two but full of energy and curiosity as he’s already starting to boss people around and such. Adalina is starting to notice me though she’s only more than a month old but seems to like me. That’s grounded me as I’m eager to get back to going to the movie theaters again while hopefully go to a Brave game as I hadn’t been to a game in a long time nor have I been to see an Atlanta United game as that’s something I hope to do as a way to pay tribute to my dad and show my nephew something he can be excited for.
In the month of April 2021, I saw a total of 20 films in 8 first-timers and 12 re-watches with four of those first-timers films/TV series directed by women as part of the 52 films by women pledge. One of those films proved to be the highlight of the month in my Blind Spot Series choice in Beau Travail. Here are my top 5 first-timers that I saw for April 2021:

1. The End of the Tour
2. Night Moves
3. First Cow
4. Zack Snyder's Justice League
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What Else I Watched:

While this documentary from HBO that features a new interview Tina Turner shot a few years before this film’s release doesn’t really tell audiences anything new about the Queen of Rock N’ Roll. However, it is still a fascinating and compelling documentary that chronicles Turner’s time from being part of the Ike and Tina Revue with her abusive ex-husband Ike Turner to her illustrious solo career that has her being a megastar during the 1980s. While the film does feature some insight from the people who were with her including a few archival audio and interviews from Turner including her deceased ex-husband. It only scratches the surface as it should be noted that Turner did a lot more in the 1990s and beyond though the film was made so that Turner can tell her story for the final time as it’s a story she’s pretty much tired of telling at this point.

Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil (last 2 episodes)
The four-part YouTube documentary special about Demi Lovato has the singer in the second half of the series not only talk about her struggle with recovery but also her return to the music scene. The film does showcase a woman who admits to be full of contradictions as she still likes to drink and smoke weed but there are also people including Sir Elton John who tells her that drinking and smoking in moderation doesn’t work at all. Still, the documentary does show Lovato trying to get herself back on track and clean up but also use her music to help her find herself again.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (episodes 3-6)
Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige has once again delivered with this series as the subsequent episodes as it features not just career-defining performances for both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in their respective works but also some amazing supporting work with its ensemble cast. Notably the appearances from Carl Lumbly as Isiah Bradley as his appearances as a super soldier that history chooses to neglect is heart-wrenching as director Kari Skogland and showrunner Malcolm Spellman create a show that does get people talking about racism, history, identity, globalization, and what it means to use power for the right reasons. The fifth episode is definitely the best one in the series where it wasn’t just about Sam Wilson wrestling with what to do with the shield but also in the role that he realizes he needs to play. Not just for himself but for the world as what chooses to do in the season finale is proof of why Steve Rogers chose him to be the next Captain America. While the season finale was a bit of a messy narrative with some major reveals that are a bit baffling as well as the motivations of Karli Morgenthau in the end. It does manage to at least provide a fitting end for many as well as make a big announcement for what is next which is going to be a fourth Captain America movie.
The show is a success not just because of its mixture of action, adventure, comedy, and drama but in also wanting to discuss major themes. Emily Van Camp and Wyatt Russell in their respective roles as Sharon Carter and John Walker are solid as is Erin Kellyman as Morgenthau. Yet, the real star of the supporting cast is Daniel Bruhl as Helmut Zemo where he’s just a villain that you just help but love. He’s charming, he’s got swag, and who knew he could dance. Plus, he’s humble enough to know when he’s out knowing he will fight another day. Bruhl and Lumbly both deserve some accolades yet the big cameo reveal in the fifth episode is the most unexpected casting ever. The casting directors for this show need to get a raise because how in the hell they got this person to appear not just the show but for the entire MCU. This is godlike casting and I love it.

Top 10 Re-watches:

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather Part II
3. Kill Bill Vol. 1
4. Manny & Lo
5. Rudy
6. Lethal Weapon 2
7. Hellboy
8. The Fast and the Furious
9. The Bronze
10. Wanderlust
Well, that is all for April. Next month, I will finally re-start work on my Auteurs piece on Kelly Reichardt as well as watch many films in my never-ending DVR list. Notably the A24 and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet as well as my Blind Spot choice as I now have access to almost every film in my Blind Spot series for the year. Before I leave, I want to express my condolences towards the family and friends of a few major individuals who passed away recently in actress Helen McCrory, songwriter Jim Steinman, Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers, and the rapper DMX as this is proof that some of the greats are leaving but they will be remembered for the joys they have given us. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2021

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