Monthly Recap: December 2019

First things first, Happy New Year guys! I wish you a year filled with health, joy and success and, as Joey Adams said, may all your trouble last as long as your New Year's resolutions. Unless you're one of those people who keep their New Year's resolutions.

And now let's get into the December Recap or: How I Got So Lazy I Barely Wrote a Review. Yes, I'm also stealing from movies now. If Tarantino does it and it's cool, why can't I? Because I'm not a white man with a foot fetish? Bitch, please. Anyways, the actual reason I didn't have time to write full reviews of pretty good movies is that I've been working on setting up my 2020 bullet journal like crazy — why buy a weekly planner when you can buy a blank notebook and make it from scratch?

I did watch a pretty good amount of movies though — thirteen — so grab a warm cup of tea, or coffee, or whiskey — I won't judge — and find out what I watched last month and how I felt about it.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Plot: Faded television actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry. Their failure is juxtaposed with the success of Rick's next-door neighbours, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha).

Although I'm yet to see all my most anticipated 2019 films, I highly doubt any of those will even come close to the level of disappointment Tarantino's latest film left me with. Not only OUATIH is a terrible addition to Tarantino's filmography, but it is also a terrible film. It was so bad that I was tempted to write a full review to roast it. I have so many questions. Like what the hell was Pacino doing in that role? What was Robbie thinking when she agreed to play Tate? Or what on earth did people who think she deserves an Oscar for her performance smoke before watching the film? Because she's barely in the film and when she's on-screen she comes off as a dumb blonde. Which brings me to another question, how does exactly this film paint a good picture of Sharon Tate? Because Robbie taking her shoes off and showing her dirty feet in the movies sure doesn't. Also, it is tremendously disrespectful towards Bruce Lee and his legacy. The only redeemable aspect is Brad Pitt. Not only he is hot as fuck — his shirtless scene on that top was probably the highlight of my 2019 — but he gives a terrific and humorous performance. He deserves to win all the awards for this. The only downside would be people referring to OUATIH as Oscar-winning film. That would be tragic.

Rating: 2

Hustlers (2019)

Plot: The new girl at the strip club, Destiny (Constance Wu) is taken under the wing of Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez), a veteran stripper and single mom whom Destiny idolises. As the late 2000s financial crash make their job harder, they team up with other strippers and come up with a scheme to steal from Wall Street bankers and wealthy men.

I almost didn't watch this because of the awful trailer but since the reviews were pretty good I eventually gave it a chance. I kind of wish I didn't because it was not good. While Jennifer Lopez is hot as fuck and can do things I, a 25-year-old woman, can't even imagine doing, the story engaged me only at the beginning, I didn't care for the characters because they were unlikeable. The performances are nothing special — Wu is pretty dreadful here and I truly hope people are joking when they say JLo deserves an Oscar for her performance.

Rating: 2

The Cat and the Moon (2019)

Plot: When his mother goes into rehab, teenager Nick (Alexx Wolff) comes to New York to stay with Cal (Michael Epps), a Jazz musician friend of his late father. Once in the city, he meets people and starts to explore.

I was quite interested in seeing this because is Wolff's directorial debut. Unfortunately, it is not a good one. This is a film about love and loss and yet the character of Nick is so unlikeable and arrogant, if you will, that I never felt empathy for him. Also, the pacing is dreadful, the dialogue flat and the plot pretty hollow. The only thing I liked was Wolff's performance as he does a very good job at delivering Nick's destructive behaviour.

Rating: 2

Klaus (2019) - Review

Marriage Story (2019) - Review

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

Plot: Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream to become a professional wrestler and strikes an unlikely friendship with Tyler (Shia Labeouf), a small-time outlaw on the run.

First of all, hats off to directors and writers Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz for bringing to the screen such a sweet, heartwarming story that sheds light on people with Down syndrome and provides insight on the struggle some go through, and giving Gottsagen a chance as he killed it, but the pacing was a bit of an issue for me as the film ended up being quite tedious. Also, I did not like the happy ending that I hoped would not come with the film.

Rating: 2 ½

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Plot: In 1970s Los Angeles, struggling artist Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) steals stories from hobos and creates the stand-up comedian character of the cocky Dolemite. The character leads him to underground success and, as the Blackspoitation film genre is exploding, Moore decides to bring Dolemite to the big screen.

How good can it possibly be a Netflix original starring Murphy? is what I kept saying when Dolemite Is My Name appeared on my Netflix homepage and I skipped it. Then I read many positive reviews, and I decided to watch. And boy it was worth it. Although I'm not the film's target as I am a white European woman, I had such a blast watching it. The film is very funny from start to finish, but there's also some well-balanced drama, and Eddie Murphy is terrific in the role. He brings so much charm, energy and humour and it's impossible not to root for the guy who's game is to fuck up motherfuckers. It also has this quote, "I'm so grateful for what you did for me, cause I'd never seen nobody that looks like me up there on that big screen.", which made me tear up.

Rating: 3 ½

Ad Astra (2019)

Plot: Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Brad Pitt is the only reason I gave Ad Astra a chance as I was afraid it'd be a bland space movie. And guess what? It was a bland space movie. Actually, I'm not even sure it was a space movie and it's all about McBride having daddy and abandonment issues. The characters are uninteresting and underdeveloped; even the lead, the reason why I couldn't care less about him. Not even Pitt's face was enough for me. The visuals are beautiful, I'll give the film that, but it's just a ridiculous mess. Period.

Rating: 1 ½

Noelle (2019)

Plot: When his father, Santa Claus, dies, it's up to Nick Kringle (Bill Hader) to take over the family business. However, he is not particularly good at being Santa, as he's constantly doing things like crashing the sleigh. So when his sister, Noelle (Anna Kendrick), suggests he takes the weekend off to relax a little before Christmas, Nick just disappears. It's up to Noelle to find her brother and save Christmas.

I'm not a Christmas person and the only reason I watched this is Bill Hader — who is barely in the film, by the way — so I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. It is a sweet, adorable, fun and feel-good Christmas flick, Anna Kendrick is just perfect to play Noelle as she is always so energetic, cheerful and lovable, and, although I saw it coming, I absolutely loved the ending. Don't trust those who tell you this is trying to change traditions or even ruin Christmas by giving women more importance. Fuck those people. Also, the baby reindeer is adorable.

Rating: 3 ½

The Farewell (2019)

Plot: Despite she moved to New York at a very young age, Billi (Awkwafina) is still very close to her grandmother (Shuzhen Zhao) who still lives in China. When the grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the relatives decide to keep it from her as Chinese people believe it's not the actual disease that kills you but the fear of death, Billi goes back to China for her cousin's impromptu, staged wedding.

I was really looking forward to seeing this because of the positive reviews I read and this is one of the few times the hype didn't ruin the film for me. While I think what they did to the grandmother was cruel as she had the right to know, the film does a fantastic job at showing aspects of Chinese culture we don't really get to see in movies, as well as taking us on a journey through modern China. As for Awkwafina, after her humorous performance in Crazy Rich Asians, she gives such a genuine, strong, and emotional performance. The script is not perfect as the characters could have used more development, but it has a nice balance of comedy and drama, and the jokes work pretty well even when translated.

Rating: 4

Long Shot (2019)

Plot: After resigning from his job, free-spirited journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) unexpectedly runs into Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), his former babysitter and childhood crush who is now one of the most influential women in the world. When she decides to make a run for the Presidency, she goes against the opinion of her trusted advisers and hires Fred as her speechwriter. 

Although I'm not a fan of romantic comedies, I love Seth Rogen's humour and have a massive crush on Charlize Theron so of course I watched this. And you know what? It's not really bad for a romantic comedy with raunchy humour as the script is actually pretty witty, and fun to watch. I'm still not sure how I felt about the ending — a part of me hated it, a part of me kind of loved it — but I love how Seth Rogen is the Vivian Ward of Long Shot and Charlize Theron its Edward Lewis. And the chemistry they share, oh god it's delightful.

Rating: 3 ½

Joker (2019)

Plot: In Gotham City, the mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) just wants to be accepted by others but is instead constantly disregarded and mistreated by society. After being brutally beaten and having his medication cut off, Athurt loses it and embraces a life of violence.

At first, I wasn't even the slightest interested in seeing Joker. But then the internet was so divisive about it — people either loved it or hated it — so I was curious to see how I'd feel about it. If you follow me on Letterboxd or Twitter you already know the answer, I hated, truly, deeply hated the film. The script is an absolute mess as nothing really makes sense, the alley scene is so meh I wonder why so many people lost their minds over it, and Phoenix, oh good lord he is irritating in this. I've never been a fan of his but here he reaches a whole new level of annoying. And why on earth did he starve himself for this role? Because I sure didn't see the reason why watching this trash.

Rating: 1

The Lighthouse (2019)

Plot: As the wavering cry of the foghorn fills the air and a creepy seagull keeps lurking around, two lighthouse keepers, former lumberjack Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), and elderly Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe), try to maintain their sanity on an isolated and mysterious New England island.

I didn't know anything about the film other than it was directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch) and starred Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. That was enough for me because I loved The Witch and I love both actors' works. Unfortunately, while the performances are downright terrific, the film didn't really work for me. Sure, the language is a bit of a problem — this is basically a foreign film but I should have seen it coming with Eggers — and the pacing is slow but my main issue with this was the characters as I didn't care about either. It was just uncomfortable to watch them. It was kinda tense but also kinda dull. Please don't block me for saying this.

Rating: 2


  1. Yes to Joker and OUATIH hate! Awful, awful movies. I am so glad you enjoyed Noelle! That movie was so adorable. and Long Shot is so underrated

    1. Oh god, they are terrible! What is wrong with people praising them?

  2. I still have to see The Farewell and Long Shot, they both sound great!

    As for Ad Astra, I feel this is the kind of movie that needs to be seen in the cinema to be appreciated. I really enjoyed myself seeing it on the big screen, and I don't think it would have had the same impact on me, watching it on my computer or TV.

  3. I still need to see so many of these movies. I can't make my end of the year lists before I watch them... I just can't.

    1. Same here. I see all these bloggers making their lists already and I'm like... I haven't even seen half of these movies.