It’s been about a year since I’ve done a “movies I watched last month” post… so here’s another!
Overall, not that great of a month of movie watching… all films were either average or below average. I don’t think I watched anything I’d consider above average this month. My favorite of the month would probably be C’mon C’mon, despite its flaws.
I guess this 2022 film is supposed to be a drama / comedy about some misfit teens trying to form a successful metal band. Unfortunately none of the characters are likable, the music is crap, and the attempt at humor is dumb. I didn’t like it.
A 2019 faith-based film based on a true story about a teenager who falls through ice, is unable to breath for something like 15 minutes, is presumed dead, but miraculously goes on to make a full recovery. Definitely an interesting story, but like most overtly faith-based films, it tends to the overly-cheesy side quite a bit, which can be really annoying.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
I went to see this recent release in theaters just to see it in 3D, especially since Disney won’t release 3D Blu-rays in the US anymore. It was a waste of money though, the movie was awful. I don’t even quite remember what the bland story was about, it was so utterly forgettable.
This 2021 film features Joaquin Phoenix as a guy who’s tasked with looking after his eccentric nephew Jesse for a season, made harder because he’s in the midst of a media project involving traveling around to interview young people about what the future will be like. In proper drama movie fashion, both he and his nephew have some emotional baggage to go through. Phoenix’s character is still dealing with his own mother’s death, while his nephew is coping with having a father who has mental health issues. Together they joke, they fight, they apologize, they learn, they grow, the end.
I thought it was both good and really annoying at the same time. A lot of the attempts to be artsy and profound just felt too forced to me. Jesse’s character felt way too scripted and unnatural. (Great young actor though.) Still, the pacing and the characters’ emotional arcs worked pretty well, and there’s perhaps some food for thought amidst the forest of navel-gazing. So overall I didn’t find it as profound as it seemed to try to be, but it was an engaging effort nonetheless. Overall, worth a watch.
This 2021 comedy-horror-whodunit film based on a video game is about a group of eccentric characters who get stuck together during a blizzard and begin dying mysteriously because one of them is a werewolf. The plot is ridiculous, but the film doesn’t try to take itself seriously, so it’s enjoyable, if nothing special.
Stir of Echoes
I had seen pieces of this 1999 film on TV, but I’d never seen it all the way through (that I remember, at least). It’s about a guy who has his psychic sixth sense released after being hypnotized and he slowly pieces together the grim fate of a girl who had gone missing years before. A fun little thriller.
I know I saw this 2003 film before, but as I rewatched it, I remembered nothing except the ending. The twists and turns are fun, but the characters are cardboard and the attempts at making any sort of meaningful emotional statements fall flat, leaving the ending feeling empty.
The subject of this 2022 documentary is interesting: phone GPS data shows a number of people (“mules”) making suspicious drives to various ballot drop boxes, providing some rather hard evidence of widespread election fraud, enough to change the election’s outcome. Not that it will change anyone’s mind about the last presidential election; people who really believe Biden won fairly probably aren’t going to honestly consider evidence to the contrary.
Nor will they shell out money to have their minds confronted, which is why this documentary, like most political documentaries, feels more like a grift. I agree with documentary’s concerns of election security, but the subject of this film could fit in a short article. The documentary itself mainly consists of a few interviews with some infographics inserted here and there. It’s unfortunately just not worth its price. Perhaps the subject of 2020 election fraud is still too contentious for a decent and more comprehensive film to be made on the subject.
This 2021 film chronicles the true story of “Operation Mincemeat”, a covert World War II plot involving having a dead body wash up on the shore of Spain with fake secret documents detailing the allies’ plans to attack Greece in order to trick those evil Nazis. It’s certainly a compelling ploy to make a movie out of, but unfortunately the film is bloated with some personal drama that just does nothing but slow it down and make it boring.
There’s a 1956 movie about the same operation called The Man Who Never Was. Supposedly it’s better. It’s been on my to-watch list for years, but I still haven’t seen it.
This 2003 thriller is about a number of guests who get stranded at a motel during a storm and then start getting murdered! Who could the murderer be? It starts out compelling, but gets a bit too ridiculous for me by the end. (RIP Ray Liotta, who died a week after I watched this.)
Don’t Breathe 2
In this 2021 sequel to the action horror movie Don’t Breathe, the villain becomes the central character as he tries to redeem himself by saving his young ward from kidnappers. Kind of a weird premise, turning the repugnant character from the first film into someone we’re supposed to be rooting for. I’m not sure I could quite buy it. Overall, a bit ‘meh’ for me.
In this 2018 film, a nurse runs a hospital for criminals in a futuristic dystopia. One night, the criminals get all criminally with each other, and chaos ensues! The plot was all over the place, the characters lacked any depth and I didn’t care about any of them. Another ‘meh’!
I finally watched this 2003 semi-true story about the underdog racehorse who won a bunch of races. But the real thing he won was the friends along the way. A bit predictable and generic as far as dramas go, but it works decently enough. Released as Seascone in England! (Because they use wrong words!)
This 2022 sci-fi action movie is based on the “hollow moon” conspiracy theory, which posits that the moon is actually an alien-made structure, and the movie is just about as dumb as that sounds. Actually, it’s dumber than that. I can’t even go into how dumb it is. And I thought The Martian was pretty dumb. But that at least had plausible science. This was just dumb. Reminds me of Mitchell and Webb’s lazy writers skit.
This foreign 1963 horror film is really a collection of three shorter films. The first is about a woman who gets disturbing phone calls from someone promising to kill her. The second is about a man who stays with a family with an evil vampire in it. And the third is about a vengeful ghost who likes jewelry. It’s quite a cheesy film with its ridiculously awful 60s special effects, but its enjoyable nonetheless, as long as you don’t expect anything too special.
I mainly watched it for the second story about the vampire. I’ve recently been reading a book of old vampire stories, and one of them was The Curse of the Vourdalak by Alexis Tolstoy, so I was curious to see a film adaption of that. Of course, the film adaptation presented in this film wasn’t nearly as good as what my imagination could conjure, and they simplified it quite a bit. There’s another film based on the story, the 1972 film The Night of the Devils, which is on my to-watch list.
Roald Dahl’s The Witches
I guess the author’s name is part of the official title for some reason? To make sure people know it’s relatively kid friendly? This 2020 film is an adaptation of Dahl’s book of the same name about a couple of kids who get transformed into mice by evil witches and then must stop the witches from turning all the children in the world into mice. I read the book as a child and hated it and never read anything by Dahl again, mainly because of its stupid ending. And guess what? This film keeps that stupid ending! Other than the ending, the film was OK. Nothing special though, not really much in the way of theme, just a plot-based kid-friendly thriller. The humor and pacing were at least better than the 1990 adaptation, but the 1990 one had a better ending, as they did the intelligent thing and changed it from the book.
This 2021 horror film takes place in the 80s in England, when they were dealing with the “video nasties”, uncensored home-made VHS’s that were being distributed featuring, I suppose, nasty stuff. (Not to worry, this film doesn’t feature anything more nasty than a typical modern R-rated horror film.) The film is about a censor who has the power to officially ban films from distribution. But a particular horror film reminds her of her past and makes her think she can track down her sister who disappeared when she was a child. Horror ensues! Actually, nothing at all interesting ensues. The story is boring and drawn out and goes nowhere. This is really more of an “artsy” horror film for those who might appreciate its nostalgic aesthetic. If you’re interested in an actual story, look elsewhere.