Monthly Recap: September 2020

Remember when I bragged about my 2020 going wonderfully? Well, September really tried hard and succeeded in messing that up. 

I'm not talking about Bayern breaking their undefeated steak after 24 games — although I cannot help but blame the board for not signing new players —, but about my car stressing the shit out of me for a couple of weeks — it was losing both oil and water but the mechanic couldn't understand where they were leaking from — and me being sick for a couple of weeks, the most defeating symptoms being lightheadedness and dizziness — it could have been COVID but I don't want to waste money for the test —, all the while working between 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, and getting insulted by a drunk for just doing my job — hence me having yet another breakdown at work. Something else work-related happened but I'm not allowed to talk about it yet. And I've also been stressing because I bought two cases for my phone, spent almost €50, and they haven't arrived yet. No wonder my period is more than two weeks late. No, I'm not pregnant. Unless the Holy Spirit impregnated me. 

The good news is that I did a 30-day doodle challenge on my journal and I'm very happy with the result, I'm making progress with German, and I treated myself with an expensive bottle of Cabernet and it was just lovely — a bit astringent at first but so sweet and aromatic after, and full-bodied. I hate that I love red wine but red wine doesn't love me back though. Half a glass and everything was spinning. 

Book-wise, I finally finished James Joyce's Ulysses and what a struggle that was! I wasn't a fan at all of the central part and really, really struggled to read that. Not to mention how much that chapter without punctation annoyed me. If you are one of those people who always write without punctuation, you should read this book as it'll make you realise how difficult it is to read it. Overall though the book wasn't bad and I really liked that Joyce himself realised how shitty men are. I also read Anne Frank's Diary and it was truly heartbreaking. It is a very simple book but equally effective, and it made me tear up more than once. I also read Ian Fleming's Dr. No which was just as dreadful as the previous five James Bond novel. This one only got interesting when Julius No was introduced which unfortunately only happens towards the end. And I'm also halfway through Little Women and Roberto Saviano's Gomorra. 

TV-wise, I'm almost done with Arrested Development — that show has become such a drag ever since Netflix bought the rights. No matter how much I love Jason Bateman and Alia Shawkat, I'm really struggling to even get through a single episode in one sitting. And I finally started Bates Motel — I wasn't a fan of the first couple of episodes but it's getting better with each episode. Also, hello new crush on Vera Farmiga. 

As you can imagine, all that didn't leave a lot of time to movie-watching and, in fact, I only watched 9 in September. 

American Beauty (1999) | Rewatch

Plot: Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a self-declared loser who embraces his failure as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. Upon meeting his daughter's friend (Mena Suvari), he becomes infatuated with her and decides to turn his life around. In the meantime, his daughter (Thora Birch) seems to fall in love with the strange boy next door (Wes Bentley), and his wife (Annette Bening) struggles to create the person of success to further her career in the real estate business.

I'm not going to lie. I saw American Beauty many years ago and I wasn't a huge fan of it. I rewatched because it's considered a great film and I wanted to see how I'd feel about it now that I'm an adult. And I still didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, it's a well-made and well-acted film but I just don't find the story very compelling and I always lose interest. And to rewatch the film now with all that happened with Spacey is rather disturbing and disgusting. Rating: 3/5

I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

Plot: Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake's mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world.

I was really looking forward to this Netflix original because it's directed and written by Charlie Kaufman. Unfortunately, you can add it to the pile of shit that happened in September. As soon as the film ended I didn't even know how I felt, to be honest. Because it's all very predictable but at the same time it also kind of isn't, and the performances are great. I wanted to rewatch it before rating it but after thinking about it for some hours I realised it's one of those movies not worth rewatching. Rating: 2,5/5

An American Pickle (2020)

Plot: Immigrant Herschel Greenbaum (Seth Rogen) just wants to build a bright future for his beloved family. Unfortunately, one day, while working at the pickle factory job, he falls into a vat of brine, the factory closes for good, and he stays there for 100 years. The brine has preserved him perfectly and when he wakes up in present-day Brooklyn, he connects with his only surviving relative, his great-grandson Ben (Seth Rogen). 

I knew absolutely nothing about the film when I decided to watch it other than it having Seth Rogen so of course I was expecting a dumb film. And that's exactly the type of film this is. It's a light and funnish comedy with two characters, Herschel and Ben, that are both likeable and unlikeable. And it gets surprisingly emotional. Rating: 3/5

Cuties [Mignonnes] (2020) - Review

Coming to American (1988) - Review

The Devil All the Time (2020) - Review

Mulan (2020)

Plot: A young rebellious Chinese woman, Mulan (Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a male warrior to take her father's place in the upcoming war. 

The original Mulan was my favourite film as a kid. I watched it so many times I even ruined the VHS tape. It comes without saying that I didn't want Disney to make the live-action version because they always suck. And guess what? This one too is dreadful. The visuals are beautiful but that's it. The film doesn't have anything else to offer. It's beyond boring, filled with continuity mistakes or whatever, and doesn't make any sense whatsoever. At least they didn't ruin Mushu. Rating: 1,5/5

Unpregnant (2020)

Plot: 17-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) discovers she is pregnant and, in order to not hijack her future, she asks her former friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) who accidentally found out about the pregnancy and drives a car, to drive her from Missouri to New Mexico to get an abortion. 

I've heard both positive and negative things about the film so I watched it with neutral feelings. I wanted to like it because the leading actresses are amazing, and have such great chemistry, and also the film is directed by a woman and co-written by women but unfortunately it doesn't bring anything new to the table. I did love, however, how POC and LGBTQ+ characters were all nice people, while the straight white ones were the creepy people. Rating: 2,5/5

Miami Vice (2006)

Plot: When an informer is killed by an international gang of drug dealers, Detectives James "Sonny" Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are assigned to work undercover for the FBI. But soon their personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined. 

This is a film I've been meaning to watch for the longest time because of Colin Farrell but kept putting off because of the length. While I loved some Farrell after all I went through in the previous couple of weeks, the film itself was so hard to watch. It was long and so not compelling. I kept losing focus over and over and almost gave up. It was quite a dreadful experience. Rating: 2/5


  1. I love American Beauty, aside from that film, I think we're pretty much the same on all the other views/grades you gave. I haven't seen Mulan yet, but I watched a youtube breakdown of it and even though I was excited for a different take on the story, I don't think I'm going to like what they did with Mulan.

    1. If you are a fan of the original please avoid it. Rewatch that instead. It is so much better.

  2. My interest in Mulan waned when I realized they were altering the Disney story a lot. I'm glad I didn't pay to watch it. I really liked American Beauty at the time (mostly for Annette Bening) but I don't have any desire to rewatch it, mostly because of Kevin Spacey. Just seeing his face now makes my skin crawl.

    1. Yeah, I would not recommend anyone to (re)watch it. It wouldn't bother me to rewatch The Usual Suspect or Seven but, given the character he plays here... it physically made me sick. I was on the verge of vomiting every time he was on screen.

  3. You'll love Miami Vice upon rewatch. It is like that for almost everyone who watches it, I didn't like it upon first viewing either

    1. The problem is that I'm not sure hot Colin is enough to make me rewatch it.