Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Films That I Saw: May 2022


When is this shit ever going to stop? 10 people are dead in Buffalo at a supermarket by some racist asshole. The next day, a shooting at a church in Laguna Beach, California over anti-Taiwanese sentiment. Weeks later, 19 kids and two teachers killed by an 18-year old who just had access to an AR-15 rifle in Uvalde, Texas. I can’t handle this shit. I’m sick of all of these people in power expressing their condolences and prayers for those that are dead while they collect money from an organization that makes money off of weapons. Greg Abbott, Don McLaughlin, Ted Cruz, and any fucking asshole who takes money from the NRA who had the power to prevent this from happening can go fuck themselves. How the fuck is it OK to get an AR-15 rifle without any background checks, documentation, and other things while it is illegal to have an abortion in Texas? Oh, and if you know someone in Texas who is getting an abortion out of the state and you rat them out to the government. You get $10,000 while that person who gets the abortion goes to jail as well as anyone else associated with that person. This is fucking bullshit.
America is supposed to be this country that is represent the best of the world. That is such fucking bullshit now. There was a picture from the New York Times that showcased how many shootings there have been from 1998-2019 in various developed countries. France had only 8 mass shootings during that period with Germany having 5, 4 in Canada, 3 in Finland, 2 in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland, and one each in Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Croatia, Slovakia, Norway, Lithuania, and the U.K. In the U.S. alone, there has been 101 mass shootings between 1998 and 2019. Why have those countries managed to prevent things like this and were willing enough to have gun reforms and all of these laws to protect people and this shithole of a country is unwilling to do so? This is a country that is absolutely fucked as people take sides and no one wins in this as we have people in power more concerned with holding power and taking money from organization than saving lives. I know there’s people saying that everyone should vote Democrat to get these Republicans out of power but will it really change anything? This is why I despise the idea of democracy. Socrates was right all along. It is bullshit.

This has been an insane month in news as there’s also the shit with the Johnny Depp-Amber Turd trial as I’m not a fan of either person but I do feel like Depp is the victim in this trial. There’s a lot of evidence over what happened in that toxic relationship that showed that Depp is indeed a victim of domestic abuse in the hands of Turd. She’s a terrible liar, a gold-digging cum-bucket, and an awful person who does have a history of abusing people in relationships. If the trial finds it in favor of Turd, it is another case of injustice as I’m more upset at the media coverage that tried to paint Depp as the abuser when it isn’t true as they would ignore facts and some of the reporting are from women who all have an agenda. The fact that they’re biased and are trying to make a feminist statement is proof of how blind they are and really are doing a disservice to abused women. The sad thing about all of this is that abused women are going to be fucked when it comes to the justice system and this defamation trouble is an example of people taking advantage of the system.
In the month of May 2022, I saw a total of 22 films in 14 first-timers and 8 re-watches with only one first-timer directed by a woman as part of the 52 films by women pledge. A solid month although my plans for the Cannes Film Festival marathon this year didn’t go as planned as I went with a smaller mini-marathon of five films this year due to the fact that I don’t have much time as I spend much of my day with my niece and nephew. Still, I would say it was a much better marathon than last year due to the quality of films I saw while I found this year’s festival to be underwhelming despite some buzz towards some films that I do want to see although I’m not really sure if I want to see the Palme d’Or winner in Triangle of Sadness. In fact, I think the films that didn’t win the top prize were far more interesting while I am happy to know that Crimes of the Future by David Cronenberg pissed off some people. A highlight of the month has been my Blind Spot film in Westfront 1918. Here are the top 10 first-timers that I saw in May 2022:

1. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
2. Oslo, August 31st
3. Climax
4. Good Time
5. Scenes with Beans
6. The Tell-Tale Heart
7. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
8. Four Roads
9. Brothers
10. The Square
Monthly Mini-Reviews/What I’ve Been Watching

Moon Knight (season finale)
This was an awesome finale not just because of the action and stakes but also in the performances from Oscar Isaac in the titular role but also in the exploration of his different identities with Ethan Hawke doing great work as the show’s villain. Yet, it is May Calamawy that really stood out as Layla El-Faouly who gets the chance to be her own super-heroine in the Scarlet Scarab and she fucking killed it. Even in a scene where she saves a group of women in a van and a young Egyptian girl ask if she’s an Egyptian superhero and Layla replies in Egyptian “I am”. That was a nice little moment but I would’ve loved to add an additional dialogue from that girl saying “about fuckin’ time”. I am definitely hoping a second season would come as this show was fun.

Hansel & Gretel

One of three short films by Robert Eggers that I saw that are all available on YouTube is a stylish take on the fairy tale that is shot in black-and-white as if it was a silent film. It is a film that is inventive despite the grainy presentation of it as it does have some elements of imagination.

The Tell-Tale Heart

The second short by Eggers is a more fully-realized short with an old man being portrayed by a puppet as it has this eerie suspense in how a servant deals with this dying old man who just becomes a burden. It is filled with unique imagery while it also has some suspense towards the end as it is a faithful take on the Edgar Allen Poe short story.


The third and final short from Eggers is an interpretation of the Cain and Abel story told in a more modern setting where two brothers go hunting as the younger brother is often abused by his older brother. It is a dark and violent short as it play into things that went wrong but also a sense of relief in the fact that the abuse is over.

Four Roads
One of two shorts from MUBI that I watched is from Alice Rohrwacher is this 8-minute short she made during the pandemic as it relates to her surroundings and the neighbors who live nearby. Each home that she visits feature interesting people that Rohrwacher has known as they all have a story to tell as it proves that during a time of social distancing. There was at least a way to connect and from afar from the elements of modern-day society as it is a true gem.

Burn Motherfucker, Burn!
A 2017 documentary film about the city of Los Angeles and its troubled history with the LAPD that would culminate with the 1992 riots following the Rodney King verdict in which four LAPD officers were found not guilty over beating King despite the video proof that King was beaten without resisting arrest. It is a harrowing documentary that shows exactly a lot of the corruption and racism within the LAPD but also tension that was happening between African-Americans and Korean-Americans in South Central as it is a haunting film to watch as well as the fact that not much has changed since the release of this film.

Scenes with Beans
Another short film that I saw on MUBI is a stop-motion animated short film from Hungary that is about a spaceship that travels through a galaxy and observes life on a planet inhabited by beans. It is an inventive film that is a must for anyone that loves stop-motion animation as it is also filled with lots of imagination.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (episodes 1 & 2)
Two episodes premiered on the same day and honestly, I want more. For all of the faults the prequels had, at least George Lucas tried to make them different and give us interesting characters though I still do love both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. This show that is about the titular character, a decade after the events of Revenge of the Sith, in which he has become a hermit and hasn’t used his powers to not attract attention. Still, there is a hunt for former Jedi warriors where Obi-Wan watches Luke Skywalker from afar yet he is asked by Bail Organa to retrieve Leia following an abduction. Whoever discovered Vivien Lyra Blair in the role of Leia should be given a massive pay raise as she is just so fun to watch as she definitely makes Leia the offspring of both Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amadala. Another standout is Moses Ingram as a Sith Inquisitor whose tactics to find Kenobi are effective while it is the ending of the second episode that is chilling as it involves an appearance from Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader.

Wrestling Match of the Month: Cyon vs. Joe Alonzo-NWA Powerrr

There’s a lot of things that happened in May in both AEW and New Japan as both companies are about to do a special show promoting both companies called Forbidden Door in the middle of June at the United Center in Chicago as it’s already sold out. While I have been unable to watch matches from the recent AEW Double or Nothing show in its entirety as well as matches in New Japan including a fatal four-way match between Juice Robinson, Jon Moxley, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Will Osprey for the IWGP U.S. Championship and a match between Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii. It was still a solid month in pro wrestling as there is good things happening outside of the two companies with Impact and Ring of Honor yet the NWA should be given some attention as well. Even as they’ve managed to survive the pandemic and continue to rebuild themselves since their unexpected revival in the late 2010s after a long period of drowning in obscurity since the closing of Jim Crockett Promotions in late 1988 when it was sold to Ted Turner who would rebrand that promotion as WCW.

This match between the masked Cyon and a young talent in Joe Alonzo seemed like a mismatch between a tall and powerful guy against a high-flyer. Yet, this match stood out in terms of not just the near-falls but also in the action between these two men. It was physical but also had action where it was about trying to out-smart the other. It was a mixture of the old-school wrestling that the NWA was known for but also something that is in tune with the current wrestling styles that AEW, Impact, New Japan, and other companies are known for. There are a lot of good things that the company has to offer as well as a lot of talent as there are former WWE stars who have managed to be successful there and reinvent themselves such as Chris Adonis, Fandango, and JTG while Matt Cardona is currently the NWA World Heavyweight Champion as it continues his new persona as the ultimate indie heel.

Top 8 Re-Watches

1. Dune
2. Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession
3. Loki
4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
5. Tootsie
6. Miami Connection
7. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
8. Chaplin
Well, that is all for May. Next month, it will be a return to regular-schedule programming of sorts based on my watch lists including whatever films on MUBI that I hope to watch including a few films that I didn’t get to watch for my Cannes marathon in time but will add it to the schedule. Other than the next Blind Spot film, I’m not sure what theatrical release I will watch though I am going to have more free time as the kids won’t be in the house as much this summer. Finally, I want to send my condolences to the families and friends of some notable figures that died this month such as Ray Liotta, Fred Ward, and Alan White of Yes. Then, there’s Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode who died the same day as White and Liotta as his sudden passing is a real shock as he is considered the glue that kept Depeche Mode going as they’re one of my all-time favorite bands. I honestly don’t see a future for Depeche Mode after Fletcher even though he’s known mainly for handling the business and playing whatever was needed though his role in the band is so much more as he will be missed. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off…

© thevoid99 2022


SJHoneywell said...

Good Time is such an underknown film.

I genuinely like what Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Elijah Wood, and Daniel Ratcliffe are doing with their careers. None of them ever needs to work again, so they're doing projects that they find interesting. We're getting things like Good Time and Personal Shopper as a result. We're also getting gonzo nuttiness like Come to Daddy and Swiss Army Man on the other side.

I have nothing but respect for that.

thevoid99 said...

@SJHoneywell-I agree. I like the fact that these actors would appear in some franchise and make lots of money and then use their fame to work with more interesting filmmakers. I'm going to see Kristen Stewart in Crimes of the Future this weekend as I heard that there might be a reunion with her and Robert Pattinson on a future David Cronenberg project and I would love to see that. I also love that Daniel Radcliffe is doing crazy shit and him playing Weird Al Yankovic in a bio-pic is going to be awesome as I'm also stoked that Evan Rachel Wood is going to play Madonna.

Birgit said...

You spoke clearly and eloquently about the shootings and thr abortion laws. Thankfully, we saw what happened in the U. S. And laws got changed here in Canada making it even more strict.
I watched the entire Hansel and Gretel film which was delightful and is in keeping with the original story. Live to see what he would do with Rapunzel
. You saw a lot of movies which is fun.

thevoid99 said...

@Birgit-At least you Canadians have your priorities in check. It makes me forgive you for some of Canada's awful exports like Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, and Justin Bieber. Plus, one of your own great wrestlers in Bret "the Hitman" Hart is among my top 5 all-time favorite pro wrestlers ever.

Eggers' next film will be a take on Nosferatu as I'm eager for what he would do with that film.

Ruth said...

I have been so swamped in May I barely see any movies! In fact, I finally just got around to doing a recap, ahah.

That's good that you saw a lot of movies last month, hopefully I'm more productive this Summer.

thevoid99 said...

@Ruth-I hope we all have a productive summer despite some of the shit that is happening right now.