Monthly Recap: February 2020

I cannot but open this monthly recap with the wonderful news of Italy finally having primacy in Europe and, if Italians continue to act like dickheads, we are probably going to out to South Korea and maybe even China. What am I talking about? The Coronavirus, ladies and gentlemen. February's hot news. The thing everyone talks about. The thing everyone is shitless scared about. I kid you not people here are losing their minds here. They are emptying supermarkets, buying kilos of pasta like the apocalypse is coming, and that's exactly how this country looks now. Empty roads, empty bars, empty cinemas — the latter are even closed in the north of the country. It feels like being in a disaster movie, the actual disaster being people's stupidity.

At least Italians have something to talk and complain about other than the unusual February weather. Or that shitshow Sanremo keeps being. Or the Academy giving Best Actor to Phoenix among the other shitty things they did this year, specifically homaging Midsommar in the beautiful opening number but snubbing it when it came to at least nominate Florence Pugh for Best Actress. Actually, forget that, most Italians don't give a shit about the Oscars. They were actually happy Phoenix won and were pissed Joker didn't win Best Picture.

In other (romantic) news, I got flowers for Valentine’s Day — unfortunately, from someone I’m not the least attracted to — and a heart-shaped chocolate — still from someone I’m indifferent about. Also, one other guy told me he likes me and I’ve been kind of ignoring him ever since. Sorry guys but I’m still waiting for Daniel Ricciardo to notice me.

Which brings me to what I binge-watched these past two days, season 2 of Netflix’s documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive. It did have some weak moments but it was so interesting throughout and has some very entertaining bits, especially when Ricciardo and Guenther Steiner are on screen. If you want to read my very professional comments, here’s my Twitter thread. I also continued my Orange Is The New Black rewatch — one season and then I will finally see the final season — and I’m now looking forward to Monday to see My Brilliant Friend’s season 2 finale.

And when I wasn’t too busy watching all that, working out or working (trying not to murder people in the process), I watched some films, eleven (one more than January, just saying), and reviewed only two because they either weren’t that good for a full review or I couldn’t write enough about them — in other words, I was too lazy and busy to write them.

Porco Rosso (1992)

Plot: In 1930s Italy, a World War I veteran pilot turned by a curse into a pig, Porco Rosso, makes a living by rescuing those kidnapped by air pirates. His biggest challenge yet arrives when his rival Donald Curtis shows up.

Netflix added many Studio Ghibli films on February 1 and Porco Rosso was the one I was looking forward to the most because of the great things I'd read about it. Unfortunately, the film didn't meet my expectations. While it's not a terrible film, it wasn't always the most compelling and engaging of films.

Rating: 3


Little Women (2019)

Plot:  Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) reflects back and forth on her life while telling the story of her sisters and her.

I guess Greta Gerwig really isn’t my type because, while I liked it, I didn’t love her adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel. It is a compelling and very well made film but for some reason I didn’t feel much — I did feel Ronan’s quote “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they've got ambition, and they've got talent, as well as just beauty. I'm so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for.” though. I could relate so much it hurt. I did enjoy the performances, especially, to my surprise, Timothée Chalamet’s who gives easily his best performance — that door scene was his finest acting in my opinion —, and I loved, absolutely loved the different palette of colours the past and present have — I can’t help but wonder what those people confused by the storyline watched. Probably not this version. Or maybe they are fucking blind.

Rating: 4


Pain and Glory [Dolor y gloria] (2019)

Plot: A once-successful filmmaker who now lives a lonely life and is plagued by health issues, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) reflects on the choices he has made while recalling his youth.

The only reason I didn't write a full review for Pedro Almodovar's latest film is that I simply couldn't find the words to write one. It's been almost a month since I saw this and I still haven't found the words for it. It arguably is a terrific film that draws many parallels between Mallo and Almodovar himself. It is a deeply moving and emotional but also funny film with a brilliant performance from Banderas.

Rating: 4½


Judy (2019)

Plot: It follows Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) during the last year of her life when she relocated her stage career to Britain.

It's not like I was expecting such a film but be funny and entertaining in a mainstream way but I certainly hoped it would be in a more of a dark way. Which of course was not the case. This is a film that was made purely to show off Zellweger's acting skills, and it did an excellent job at that, although there were performances that deserved that Oscar way more. It's not bad, it just isn't that compelling and for a biography you would expect a more dimensional leading character.

Rating: 3


Harriet (2019)

Plot: It tells the story of Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), an African-American woman who managed to escape from slavery and made her life's mission to help others gain their freedom as a conductor of the Underground Railroad.

I'm white and European so I don't know a lot about African-American history other than some of the atrocities black people had to endure. I certainly was not aware of Harriet Tubman's story. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all the film did for me. Erivo gives a strong performance, as expected, but the film is so cheesy and it doesn't feel like it pays the right homage to this real-life heroine. And it has some very odd musical choices.

Rating: 3


Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Plot: American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

It's not the most historically accurate film ever made — it's not a documentary after all — but it sure is an entertaining ride from start to finish. Mangold has such a way to show the tracks, the cars and the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari that really draws you in. The performances are great, especially from Bale who deserved an Oscar for punchin Damon in the face alone, and Jon Bernthal is hot in that suit.

Rating: 3½


Knives Out (2019)

Plot: When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate and get to the bottom of the apparent suicide. 

Rian Johnson, ladies and gentlemen. The man sure knows how to prove all the haters wrong. The writing is absolutely brilliant as the story takes many surprising twists and turns, the dialogue has some very smart lines and the characters are quite memorable. The cast is also excellent — Chris Evans as hot as ever — and I can't wait to see what Johnson will bring in the sequel.
Rating: 4

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020) — Review


The Artist (2011) — Review


There’s No Place Like Home [A casa tutti bene] (2018)

Plot: A big family reunite to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Alba (Stefania Sandrelli) and Pietro (Ivano Marescotti) in their villa on an island. When a storm forces them to stay on the island longer than anticipated, they begin to clash.

Having loved Gabriele Muccino's The Pursuit of Happiness and Seven Pounds, I decided to give this one a chance. Boy, I was wrong. While it's off to a good start as it has an interesting idea, Muccino throws away all the potential with development. It is an hour and forty-five minutes of overused clichés and over-the-top acting. There are some interesting storylines though and overall it flows quite well.

Rating: 3


Horse Girl (2020)

Plot: Sarah (Alison Brie), a socially isolated woman who loves arts and crafts, horses and has an unhealthy obsession with a sci-fi crime TV show, soon begin to struggle to distinguish her dreams from reality. 

It's films like this one that really makes me consider cancelling my Netflix subscription. This film is a terrible nightmare almost from start to finish. It's not that compelling, it has a terrible ending — it's not like the rest of the writing is good though — and it's very fucked up. Alison Brie is good though. 

Rating: 1½

10 comments :

  1. Ah the corona virus... we have had one case here in Estonia and he/she is not Estonian so we're still sort of not scared of it. Some people are, I kind of feel strange about since I have an actual cold not the virus atm so it's like.. i cough and everyone looks at me like I'm the plague. But we still joke about it and it's not national crisis mode just yet. Probably won't be either.

    I feel like I watched so many movies in February and quite many of them good. Also saw Little Women and liked it. The time line didn't confuse me, it just took away some of the emotional impact in a way.

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    1. I sneezed in public yesterday and everyone looked at me. I know that feeling 😅

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  2. Netflix films are a bit hit or miss. As much as I wanted to watch Horse Girl for Alison Brie, it's also by Jeff Baena and I wasn't a fan of his last film. Pain and Glory is on my watch list. I've been wanting to watch Almodovar's complete filmography, maybe this is the year that I'll accomplish it (or at least check a few films off the list).

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    1. I haven't seen much from Baena. I guess I would have stayed away from the movie if I had.

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  3. You liked Little Women... YAY!!!! Our dumb-fuck dictator is convinced that the coronavirus is a hoax made up by liberals and the Democrats while he put his bitch Mike Pence in charge of the whole thing. In other words... WE'RE FUCKED!

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    1. I'm wondering who that dumb-fuck is. Just kidding.

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  4. I hope this whole virus thing ends soon and you'll be all right! It's so insane how all of the sudden there were so many cases in Italy

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    1. I think they only reason why there are so many cases here is because we are actually testing people as opposed to other countries who simply don't.

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  5. I'd heard things were bad in Italy right now but goodness, that sounds awful. Really hope things improve soon!
    I'm so glad you liked Knives Out, I can't stop raving about that movie!
    Horse Girl sounds absolutely wild - I've read such mixed reviews and I'm really tempted to try it.

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    1. I hope that too!

      I'd stay away from Horse Girl if I were you lol

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