Monthly Recap: July 2019

How is it August already? I mean, it feels like yesterday when I almost fell asleep watching John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum in theatres — Keanu kept me awake, if you know what I mean — and yet it's been two months already. I guess time flies when you have a job you don't hate like and that gives you the chance to have interesting conversations with interesting people. Job aside, my passion for cooking is back which means I'm blessing my Instagram followers with pretty food photos — you're welcome — and apparently, I have a new crush. Okay, it's not new, but it's definitely a crush. I don't know how he feels about me but I see the potential. Also, my commitment to sleeping more is definitely going somewhere.

In terms of blogging, I sucked in July. I barely posted a thing other than the Thursday Movie Picks posts — I even managed to skip two out of four of those —, a couple of reviews and the Sandra Bullock appreciation post for her birthday which most of you ignored. 

As for the films I watched, the number is still 13 like in June. I do have an excuse this time though, I finally watched The Kominski Method which was brilliant and highly suggest to everyone, and rewatched season 1 and 2 of Stranger Things. And of course watched season 3. And boy, daddy Hopper...

Oh, here are the films I watched.

Hope Floats (1998)
Plot: When her best friend, Connie (Rosanna Arquette), tells her on television that she is having an affair with her husband (Michael Paré), Birdee Calver-Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) takes her daughter, Bernice (Mae Whitman), and goe back to her hometown of Smithville, Texas. Back in town, she must deal with old acquaintances from high school who can't help rubbing in her face that she isn't as perfect as she thought, and an old (boy)friend, Justine Matisse (Harry Connick Jr.). In the meantime, Bernice struggles to adjust at the new school. 

I was expecting yet another Sandra Bullock romantic film and boy I was wrong, as Hope Floats is much more than that. It's a film that deals with divorce, its effects both on the cheated and the couple's children, mother-daughter relationship, illnesses, specifically copying with Alzahimers, bullying, and of course there's also a romance. However, it touches all of its themes in such a shallow, rushed way and somehow manages to almost hit the two-hour mark. Also, Bernice is one of the most annoying kids I've ever seen on screen and the film is pretty boring. 

Stockholm (2018)
Plot: Stockholm, 1973. Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke) puts on a wig and sunglasses and makes his way into Kreditbanken. He does not want to rob the bank though, he wants his partner-in-crime, Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong), released from prison and takes hostages in the process. 

Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon is what kept coming to my mind as the plot to Stockholm unfolded. Unfortunately, Robert Budreau's film isn't nearly as compelling as Lumet's. Sure, there's plenty of humour throughout, mainly delivered by Ethan Hawke — I may be biased as I love him, but his joke delivery is just brilliant in this —, but overall the film feels dragged and it's occasionally boring. It's still quite fascinating to watch the bizarre origin of the Stockholm syndrome though. Also, you'll definitely fall in love with the kidnapper thanks to Hawke's charm. 

Steel Magnolias (1989)
Plot: A close-knit group of six Southern women — next-door girl Shelby (Julia Roberts), her mother M'Lynn (Sally Field), hairdresser Truvy (Dolly Parton), sarcastic spinster Ouisser (Shirley MacLaine), gossiping widow Clairee (Olympia Dukakis) and sky new girl Annelle (Daryl Hannah) — regularly meet at the local beauty parlour to share both their good and their bad moments. 

Although I first heart of Steel Magnolias from Reese Witherspoon's book Whiskey in a Teacup, it's because of The Kominski Method that I gave this film a chance. Too bad the only good part is Sally Field's emotional monologue toward the end. The characters are so shallow I didn't even care for any of them and yet Field was so emotionally powerful in that sequence that I felt her pain and cried. Julia Robert's performance is also strong as the young, stubborn Shelby, but unfortunately there isn't much more to enjoy in here. 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - Review

I Am Not an Easy Man // Je ne suis pas un homme facile (2018)
Plot: Misogynist womanizer Damien (Vincent Elber) is walking down the street with his friend, Christophe (Pierre Bénézit), when he bashed his head into a street sign. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a completely different world, a gender-flipped world where women are in power and fill all the roles men have in his world. 

I watched this French Netflix original with very low expectations so I was really surprised by how enjoyable the film was. It's a very interesting take on reversed-genre roles, the story, although it drags at places and rushes at others, is entertaining and there's plenty of humour. The romance between Damien and Alexandra (Marie-Sophie Ferdane), the former assistant of Christophe now a successful writer, isn't very convincing though. Oh I almost forgot, the closing credits song is addictive. It's The Sinner by Isaac Delusion. I swear, I can't get it out of my head. It sure doesn't help that I put it on my playlist. 

Elizabeth (1998)
Plot: Set in 1558 England, it follows the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First (Cate Blanchett), and focuses on the endless attempts of her counsel William Cecil (Geoffrey Rush) to marry her off, the Catholics' attempts to dethrone her, and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). 

Easily the most underwhelming film I've seen in July. Because of the Oscar nominations, I was expecting a great period film but it was just average. It is visually stunning — sets, costumes, make-up, it's all gorgeous — and the performances are terrific, specifically Blanchett and Fiennes's, and overall the film is engaging and compelling. However, it has way too many inaccuracies for a historical film, and too much time is wasted on showing Queen Elizabeth dance with Lord Robert, precious minutes that could have been used to focus a bit more on her struggles and intrigues. 

Love Potion No. 9 (1992)
Plot: Paul (Tate Donovan) is a single, nerdy biochemist who never misses a chance to hit on beautiful women but gets rejected every single time. Hoping to change his luck, he goes to a gipsy fortune teller (Anne Bancroft) and buys a love potion to become attractive. That's when he realises he's in love with Diane (Sandra Bullock), a nerdy fellow scientist. However, Diane too has taken the potion and Paul will have to fight many suitors to win Diane's affection.

Yet another romantic comedy I watched because of Sandra, Love Potion No. 9 is an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back. The film is beyond silly but the real problem is that it's also tremendously boring and unfunny. Donovan and Bullock are both believable as the two nerds though and Bullock's charm and grace make the film almost watchable. 

Malèna (2000)
Plot: On the day Italy enters World War II, two things happen to 12-year-old Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro): he gets a beautiful, new bike, and sees the town's most beautiful and sensual woman, Malèna (Monica Bellucci), for the first time. He soon becomes obsessed with her but, unlike every other man and boy in town, he is in love.  

Monica Bellucci starring in it should have been a warning but I let Giuseppe Tornatore — Cinema Paradiso — and Netflix's horrific storyline fool me. Although classified as an erotic film, this is nothing but Bellucci's ticket to success as she spends more time undressed that she does dressed. Also, we are forced to sit through countless scenes with Renato masturbating to her image. Also, the character of Malèna is so shallow and one-dimensional, it makes Renato no different from the other men. He's not in love with her, he's just in love with her body and objectifies her. And, although he was 16, Sulfaro looks very young which makes his scenes with Bellucci who is naked most of the time they share the screen feel inappropriate and very uncomfortable to watch. 

Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019)
Plot: Comedian Aziz Ansari talks about the sexual misconduct controversy he was involved in last year, white people who want to appear anti-racist, the sexual misconduct of R. Kelly and Michael Jackson, how times have changed thanks to the #MeToo movement, and his relationship with his grandmother.

Stand-up comedy isn't something I watch — this was my first — but I really like Ansari in Master of None and Spike Jonze directed it so I decided to spend the only free hour I had that Sunday to watch this and I couldn't have picked anything better. Ansari is absolutely hilarious but at the same time he delivers plenty of thought-provoking moments, and his remarks about living in the present, right now, to appreciate everything and everyone as much as you can while you still can, really spoke to me — I dinner at my grandma's with the rest of the family last Saturday and frankly I don't remember the last time I had such a nice time with those people.

Miss Congeniality (2002) | Rewatch
Plot: FBI agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock), is forced to go undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant when a terrorist group menace of bombing the event. The problem? She's never been in a beauty pageant. She doesn't even own a dress. She doesn't even own a brush.

The plot is pretty silly and the motive that drives the terrorist is so dumb, but the film is funny and entertaining, Sandra Bullock is sweet and charming as usual, her character, although I do own a brush and occasionally brush my hair, is so relatable and has always been, and I cannot help but root for Eric (Benjamin Bratt) and she. Yes, even though he's an asshole and falls for her only after her makeover. 

Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein (2019)
Plot: Upon finding a tape of a teleplay made by his late father, David Harbour Jr. (also played by David Harbour), named Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein, David Harbour delves into the history of his acting family and examines his father's legacy.

Wouldn't it be great if we paid Netflix and in return we got great originals? This time they decided to torture all David Harbour lovers with this 30-minute mockumentary that is so dry and unfunny, it felt like 3 hours. I shouldn't even be blaming Netflix though because, to my understanding, Harbour was free to do whatever he wanted and made this. Whatever this is. I'm not even sure what I watched, honestly.

About a Boy (2002) - Review

Reservoir Dogs (1992) - Review | Rewatch


  1. I'd watch actual 3hours of that David thing but we all know I am relentless :D And they can give him all my money, it's not like this was any worse than their dumb original films :P

  2. I sucked in July, too! I've barely been active on the blog but it was nice to make the most of the nice weather at least. I think I missed your Sandra Bullock post but I'm going to check it out now :D

    1. Yes to that! Nice weather in England is pretty rare (I was there for 21 days years ago and it rained for 2 weeks) so I don't blame you for not blogging much :)

  3. I was wondering if Aziz was going to mention that in his new special. I should probably watch that. You brought it way back with some of these 90's movies lol

  4. Nice reviews! Not gonna lie that Miss Congeniality is one of my favorites. lol It's one of Sandra's better "rom"-coms and Michael Caine is hilarious. Benjamin was pretty cute too. I'd skip the sequel - it's not as funny or good in general.

    1. I know... I watched Miss Congeniality way too many times but only watched the sequel once haha