Hello, hello!! I’m posting my end-of-the-month recap a bit early this month as I’m taking a week-long hiatus. My hubby and I flying to L.A. tomorrow until Labor Day, woot! We got tickets to see John Williams conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic – Maestro of the Movies at the Hollywood Bowl. I could hardly contain my excitement as I absolutely LOVE his scores. I’m giddy just thinking of seeing the orchestra play some of my favorites, which I’ve listed in this post… plus I’ve never been to this historic outdoor amphitheater, so it’ll be a fun Friday night!
Ok, now on to the movie report… I’ve actually seen more films that I thought I would, so I’m quite happy about that!
NEW TO ME MOVIES
As I haven’t finished packing, I’m not going to rate those I haven’t reviewed, but I’m just going to link those that I have written about.
I have to admit I was curious to check this out largely because of the UK setting (didn’t I tell you I’m an Anglophile?) and that I like Brendan Gleeson… plus it’s got James Norton who I wish had more screen time. To be honest, I’m not too fond of watching Diane Keaton for some reason and this movie did not change my mind. I think it’s ok, a bit too predictable and their romance lacks serious spark.
Free Guy (2021)
The Suicide Squad (2021)
Green Lantern (2011)
After watching Free Guy and seeing interviews of Ryan Reynolds, I realized I haven’t watched his first superhero movie. Well, it is as terrible as what people have said, no wonder Reynolds himself continue to make fun of it, ahah. Hey at least he got to meet the love of his life Blake Lively who’s just so gorgeous in, well anything. The movie is not only dumb but also really ugly to look at, those garish green is really the color of neon vomit, blech!
Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar (2021)
I don’t know what came over me that I decided to watch this head-scratcher of a movie! Yikes!! File this under ‘what in the world did I just watch?’ It is as bizarre as everyone has made it out to be, and not exactly in a good way… I was either confused or cringing the entire time. Jamie Dornan must have a predilection for weird movies as he did this practically back to back after Wild Mountain Thyme.
I was hoping to watch this during the Adam Driver marathon last month but the movie didn’t arrive in time. My friend who still has a Netflix DVD subscription lent it to me and despite this movie not being pleasant to watch, I’m glad I finally watched it. It’s quite amusing too that there’s a baby involved here as I had just seen Annette last month… but this time it’s an actual baby instead of a puppet, ahah. Driver is as immensely watchable as ever even being mostly in sad/forlorn/angry state, but I don’t think I’d ever want to watch it again.
The Girl In The Book* (2015)
I was looking for films directed by women and came across this one on Prime Video. I only knew Emily VanCamp from MCU, but she’s quite good here as an aspiring writer who’s haunted by her past when a famous author appeared in her life again. The late Swedish actor Mikael Nyqvist played the author… there were some disturbing scenes but fortunately it was shot with the female gaze that it didn’t feel sexually exploitative.
The Souvenir* (2019)
I had been wanting to see this for ages, so it’s disappointing that it turns out pretty dull. I think the coming-of-age premise is intriguing, but the too-slow pace feels tedious and self-indulgent. Plus I just can’t connect with the central character (played by Honor Swinton Byrne) at all. I did like Tom Burke here and am amused to see Honor’s mom Tilda Swinton as her mother, but overall it’s a total bore.
Love & Basketball* (2000)
Ahhh… finally I got to see this terrific rom-com written & directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood! Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps have such a lovely chemistry AND they look believable as basketball players! I love that it’s more than just romance as both characters pursue their passion and shows that women can play ball just as good as men! There’s so much to appreciate here that I just might write a full review on it one day. So yeah, I enjoyed this one immensely, in fact I’m still kicking myself why it took me so long to finally see this.
The Lost Leonardo documentary (2021)
Out Kind Of Traitor* (2016)
I’m always up for seeing a spy thriller based on John le Carré’s novel, especially one directed by a woman. Susanna White directed my favorite Jane Eyre adaptation (2006) and she did an excellent job here as well. Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris play a couple who somehow got involved in a Russian oligarch’s defection plans, played by Stellan Skarsgård. It’s a pretty solid thriller with some genuine mystery and suspense, so I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of le Carré’s work.
The last film I watched this month ends up being quite an emotional one. Can’t believe 9/11 happened nearly 20 years ago… and watching some of the scenes unfold still took my breath away. Sara Colangelo directed this with a sensitive but deft touch, which tells the story of attorney Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) who’s appointed by Congress to lead the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. It’s definitely one of Keaton’s best, most controlled performance, with Stanley Tucci and Amy Ryan lending some memorable turns as well. The title is perfect for this thought-provoking film which might be tough to watch for some who are personally affected by the tragedy.
Movies indicated with * (asterisk) indicates those directed by women. I’m happy to report that I managed to see SEVEN female-directed films, woo hoo!! I’m hopeful I can actually complete the 52 Films By Women challenge by the end of the year.
The Pursuit of Love* (2021)
I love period dramas and especially those set in England! I like the cast (Lily James, Emily Beecham, Dominic West) and it’s directed by Emily Mortimer. A romantic comedy-drama about love and friendship set in Europe before WWII, it’s well-acted and pretty entertaining overall, but I find it uneven and not as emotional as I had hoped. The set pieces are nice to look at, but I don’t think it’ll stick in my mind for too long.
Ted Lasso 2 (2021)
Movies that Made Us: Pretty Woman(2021)
Movies that Made Us: Forrest Gump (2021)
Charlie’s Angels – Fallen Angel ep (1979)
Bless you TUBI! They actually have the entire Charlie’s Angels series on there. I had been wanting to watch the Fallen Angel episode with my eternal crush Timothy Dalton! The series is SO dated and kind of silly, but I LOVE seeing Dalton as a millionaire playboy/jewel thief Damian Roth who’s romancing Farrah Fawcett. They even referred Damian as James-Bondian, which is interesting given that Cubby Broccoli had wanted him to play Bond for years before Dalton finally agreed.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) + The Living Daylights (1987)
I was feeling rather indulgent that I decided to rewatch movies starring my new and old crush, ahah. I guess I have a thing for tall, dark, handsome actors who can make anger/sadness look sexy 😉
I actually find Adam Driver hilarious as Kylo Ren initially, but he’s such a charismatic actor and immensely watchable in pretty much anything.
As for The Living Daylights, well it remains one of my all time favorite Bond films, though it’s a bit eerie to watch those scenes in Afghanistan, and seeing the Mujahideen as his ally. In any case, I still think Timothy Dalton is my favorite 007 who I wish had done a 3rd or even 4th Bond film!
AUGUST MOVIE OF THE MONTH
I’ve posted my full review of this powerful and deeply moving film that feature actual deaf actors in prominent roles. I can’t recommend this enough and it’s available to stream on AppleTV.
14 thoughts on “August 2021 Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month”
For me, the film of the month is You Were Never Really Here by Lynne Ramsay and starring Joaquin Phoenix as that was just this slow-burn thriller that was brutal but engrossing to watch.
Barb & Star Go to Vista del Mar was fucking insane but I loved it. It is so fucked up and I was baffled by what I saw but couldn’t help but enjoy it because it is so off the fucking wall.
Green Lantern was shit and it’s still shit. I’m just glad Ryan Reynolds found something else in Deadpool.
Hello! Just got back from vacation 😊Yeah I have heard great things about You Were Never Really Here which everyone said was brutal… I don’t know if I could handle it to be honest.
Green Lantern was almost unwatchable!! Sheesh what the heck was that?? Even Martin Campbell realized it was terrible, ahah. Did you see Shang-Chi yet?
I’m about to post my review of Shang-Chi. Another thing that annoys me about Green Lantern is how the hell could Ryan Reynolds could downgrade from Scar-Jo 3:16 to Blake Lively?
omg Hungry Hearts. I hated that. The things I watch for Adam Driver.
Hungry Hearts was tough to watch because of the wife, can’t stand her character!! But Adam made it watchable for me.
Have fun in LA, I would love see John Williams performs live too! I was planning to go to CA this week, San Diego, but my girlfriend came down with Covid. So we cancelled and will probably go there in December. She’s still recovering from it, she got it pretty bad.
I think I only saw two new movies last month, The Suicide Squad and Sweet Girl. I rewatched a bunch of films I recently purchased on 4K Blu-ray: The Indiana Jones films, Last Action Hero and Jurassic Park. I’ll probably do a rewatch of the Bond films before No Time To Die opens.
Ahh, Green Lantern. Probably the only big super hero film that I still don’t ever want to see. Lol! The film that pretty much destroy Martin Campbell’s career as a big budget director. Here’s a man that rebooted the Bond franchise twice but after Green Lantern, he never was able to make another big budget film.
Hey Ted! Hopefully you get to see John Williams one day. Sorry about your gf, hope she recovers fully soon.
I might rewatch Craig’s Bond films before the new one too, esp Spectre since I didn’t like that one much on first watch.
Poor Martin Campbell, he’s a good director but well he made the last Protege movie which was a pretty big budget I believe, but surely not as big as a superhero movie.
Holy cow, I totally forgot that Martin Campbell directed the recent Protege film. Not sure how much that one cost but he struggled to get hired after Green Lantern failed so miserably at the box office. He directed TV shows for a few years before getting back to direct feature films again. I still remember the hype surrounding Green Lantern before it went into production. Warner Bros. thought it’s going to be a massive hit and start another franchise for them. The film came out in the middle of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. I think things went south fast after the first trailer debut and people just hated it. I knew then that I never want to see it. Lol!
Yeah he directed The Protege and though I had issues with it overall it was pretty entertaining. I can see why he had a hard time finding work after such a massive dud, critically AND financially.
Wow, it came out during the Dark Knight trilogy??!! Wow what a difference two DC superhero adaptation could be… interesting that both Nolan and Campbell are Brits. Yeah no need to see it Ted, don’t waste your time. I still haven’t seen Aquaman, even now that it’s free on Disney+ 🤣🤣🤣
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Oh, I hated Hungry Hearts so much. Not the movie itself but it was such an upsetting story and that was before I became a parent!
Green Lantern was…yeah. A disaster. I loved it at the time and honestly, it’s probably a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine but it brought Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively together so it can’t be all bad.
Enjoy your week away ❤
Yeah, I can’t imagine anyone enjoying Hungry Hearts. Even diehard Adam Driver fans probably tolerated it just for him.
I think seeing Green Lantern for the first time after Reynolds found success elsewhere is more amusing to me, but the movie itself is so awful!!
Thanks!! Vacation is always over way too fast! 😆
What a mixed bag for you, Ruth!
Green Lantern – “neon vomit” – accurate!
You’re doing better than me in watching films directed by women. You really have to hunt for them, don’t you? I think I’m only on eight, and that’s for the whole year.
Hope you had a lovely holiday. It certainly looked like it!
Yeah, definitely a mixed bag, LOL. I just can’t believe how terrible Green Lantern is, and the movie is just so ugly looking.
Hey there are still plenty of time to catch up to see more female-directed movies but yeah, you really do have to seek them out. Thankfully there are slowly more of them out there though.
Yes I did have a wonderful holiday, though now I’m jealous of you going to Bath!