Monthly Recap: April 2021

I am actually considering not writing these recaps anymore because I just don't feel like writing anymore. 

The fact is that there really is nothing in my life worth talking about. I have no job, no social life, and I keep wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life, wasting it the way I am. I feel like I'm stuck in one of those time loop movies as I wake up and the day unfolds as it did the day before, and the day before that. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one feeling like this but it really sucks. 

I don't feel like doing anything for most of the day. I haven't done anything remotely creative in months, and I can't even bring myself to watch a movie or a TV series because browsing Amazon for things that I will never buy is more compelling than that. Not to mention the time I'm wasting researching the best face sunscreen as if my life depends on it the best ones are available in my shit country. And on top of that, I'm struggling with anxiety more than ever — it literally took me days to apply for a job because of it, a job that I won't even get but whatever. 


I finished reading the German version of Kafka's The Metamorphosis and, probably because German is the original language rather than a translation, but it read so much smoother than The Great Gatbsy. And, although I didn't understand most of it, it was so nice every now and then to understand entire sentences. And I also learnt some new words in the process. I was not a fan of Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall though. It was boring and predictable and was not compelled at all to read it. I finished it for the sake of finishing it — I will no longer read books recommended by Elisabeth Moss. Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day was also another mediocre read as, despite it being well-written, just doesn't have a compelling subject and I found it very tedious. I was really expecting to like it considering I enjoyed Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, on the other hand, was absolutely brilliant. I had some issues with this one too — it's hard to keep track of the characters, and I was not a fan of the Pontius Pilate parts, although integral to the story — but I loved how insanely crazy it is. And Mirra Ginsburg's edition is just wonderful — not only it reads very well, but the humour works too. I'm also halfway through Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, and just started reading Silvio Pellico's My Ten Years' Imprisonment

I watched the Indian Netflix original series Sacred Games and I loved every second of it. I was told it was great and yet it took me forever to check it out. Anyway, the story is compelling, I loved the characters of Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) and Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), I was very sad when a favourite of mine (Radhika Apte) died at the end of season 1, and it is very tense and suspenseful. I was quite impressed with the acting too — Luke Kenny was genuinely scary and threatening, and the score is beautiful and really builds the perfect atmosphere. Then I watched Ozark Season 1. It doesn't always make sense — I would NEVER cheat on Jason Bateman. What the fuck woman? Also, Petty... why the fuck did you break up with that fine man? — and the episodes are a bit long to my taste, but I've enjoyed it. I still haven't started season 2 because I'm having a hard time getting over Del's death. I did not see that coming and I had too big of a crush on him so I'm still mourning. And lastly, I checked out Netflix's docu-series Life in Color with David Attenborough and I absolutely loved it. It was so interesting to learn how animals see colours and how they use their different colour perception to survive. And I loved that the third and final episode shows the technology used to film this amazing new coloured world, and it was heartbreaking to see what we, human, are doing to our planet and the wonderful animals that live on it. If you like nature documentaries, I highly recommend this one. 

I continued my William Fichtner binge but I watched way less of his movies than I did in March. That is simply because there was so much else I wanted to see — and watching crappy films all the time is quite tiring. Anyway, this month's count is 24, and only 4 has Fichtner. Yeah, shame on me. 

The Game (1997) - Review


The Perfect Storm (2000)

Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

The plot is the reason I watched this film. Only by plot I mean William Fichtner showing off his biceps a lot. Sadly, actually, as expected, the plot Fichtner was pretty much the only good thing about the film. The story is kind of interesting at first but eventually gets boring, Mark Wahlberg is unsufferable, and most of the acting is pretty dreadful. I only felt sorry about Fichtner's character dying for obvious reasons. Rating: 2/5

The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)

Plot: A kindergarten teacher (Maggie Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with one of her students (Parker Sevak) whom she believes is a child prodigy, while using the child's poems for her poetry night class. 

I'm pretty sure I had read about this film on Brittani's blog but it's been so long I forgot what the film was even about. Anyway, fucked up and disturbing doesn't even come close to describe what the teacher does throughout the film. Anyway, the reason I didn't love it, despite the excellent acting, was that I wasn't really interested in the story. And I didn't like how she first uses the child to pretend she can write and then goes in the open and says the kid wrote them. Actually, I get it if her point was to fuck Gael Garcia Bernal. Rating: 2,5/5

Shiva Baby (2020) - Review


Zodiac (2007) - Review | Rewatch


Queen & Slim (2019)

Plot: On their way home from a first date, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are pulled over by a police officer. The situation escalates pretty fast and ends with Slim taking the officer's gun and killing him in self-defence. As the video of the incident goes viral and they become a symbol across the country, Queen and Slim try to make their way to Cuba. 

There were moments when I wasn't entirely invested and I was a bit bored, and I thought the film could have done without some of the cheesy bits, but overall it's a great film. It is heartbreaking from start to finish, and the characterization and acting make it very easy to see and understand what it's like to be black — or of colour — in America. Rating: 3,5/5

Seaspiracy (2021)

Plot: Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species - and uncovers alarming global corruption.

It took me a while to watch this documentary because people were saying you wouldn't want to eat fish anymore after this and I love fish. I eventually put together enough courage to venture into it and, while it is very compelling, and I was a bit disgusted and I've reduced my consumption of fish drastically ever since, the filmmaker edited some of the interviews and footages out of context to prove his point, which sadly only discredits the accurate parts. Rating: 3/5

Au revoir les enfants (1987)

Plot: A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student (Raphael Fejtö) arrives. He becomes the roommate of the top student (Gaspard Manesse) in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

I had a huge problem with this one. I get that it's Louis Malle's autobiographical film and hence he focused the story on himself but Jean Bonnet, the new student, is far more interesting, and the film would have been much more compelling and emotional if it was focused on him rather than on Quentin/Malle himself. Rating: 3/5

A Love Song for Latasha (2019)

Plot: The injustice surrounding the shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central Los Angeles store became a flashpoint for the city’s 1992 civil uprising.

I first heard of Latasha's story in the documentary LA 92, I believe, and it truly is a heartbreaking one. To be killed at some a young age, for nothing really, and to have the murdered punished with such a sentence is just preposterous. This short does a very good job at telling not only the story of her death but at showing the person Latasha was. However, the visuals and editing kind of ruins it in my opinion, and made it way less emotional than it should have been. Rating: 3/5

Warrior (2011)

Plot: The youngest son (Tom Hardy) of an alcoholic former boxer (Nick Nolte) returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother (Joel Edgerton), a high school teacher who goes back to fighting to save his house.

I am still amazed at how much I enjoyed this one. I'm not a huge fan of Gavin O'Connor's films and was excepting to feel the same about this. But, while the story is very predictable and it's very hard to understand what Hardy says without subtitles — seriously, fuck you Netflix —, it is very compelling, there's a character — the typical underdog — to root for, and it gets a little emotional as well. Rating: 3,5/5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.

Seven years ago, when the film was released, I mocked my brother like there was no tomorrow because he went to the movies to watch this, probably because of a crush on Megan Fox. But now it's totally okay for me to watch it because I have a crush on a middle-aged man who is even older than my father. That said, that middle-aged man, my William, is terrific in this film. Okay, maybe terrific isn't the right word but if you conder how shitty the film is and how good of a villain he delivers, well, it's the right word I guess. Also, there is so much of him in this film. Like, why haven't I watched this before?! It would have been definitely better if I could have skipped all the non-William parts though. Rating: 2/5

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Plot: The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

I'm pretty sure Dell said very positive things about this film because it ended on my watchlist and, despite all the years, I still had high expectations. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown. I didn't know anything about these rappers stories and it was interesting to see where they came from and what they went through and how much they struggled to become who they are, but overall I was bored by the film. And I kind of stopped cared at a certain point. Rating: 3/5

Two Distant Strangers (2020)

Plot: After a one-night stand, a young black man (Joey Bada$$) just wants to get home to his dog but he is killed by a white cop (Andrew Howard). He wakes up only to realise he is stuck in a loop and that, no matter what he does or says, the cop will always kill him. 

The acting is often cringey and the dialogue doesn't feel always natural, and it may not be subtle but this short film sure delivers a message that needs to be loud and clear. I know that some people are going to say that it makes look like all cops are bad, but what the filmmakers are trying to accomplish here is to show how many innocent black people are killed by cops only because of the colour of their skin. That's the message. And it is delivered in a heartbreaking way. Rating: 4,0/5

Little Joe (2019)

Plot: Alice (Emily Beecham), a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species that can make people happy. Against company policy, she takes one home as a gift for her teenage son (Kit Connor) and names it after him but soon starts fearing it.

This film has a very interesting concept but it is so damn slow and boring. Not to mention the high pitched score — really not ideal for someone who's been struggling with ear pain for the past month like I have. That said, the acting is good and the colours are just beautiful — I loved how Beecham's orange hair stands out in this, as well as her character's clothes, and, of course, Little Joe, the plant. Rating: 2/5

Mom (2017)

Plot: When the men who sexually assaulted and left for dead her step-daughter (Sajal Ali) are set free due to lack of evidence, Devaki (Shridevi) makes it her mission to find justice. 

I had a few issues with the cheesy bits spread throughout — as it was pointed out to me and as I thought though, they were needed to appeal to the Indian audience — and I agree that it might send the wrong message, however, this revenge story is compelling from start to finish, Shridevi gives a strong performance, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (my beloved Gaitonde) is great. Rating: 3,5/5

My Octopus Teacher (2020) - Review


Hail Satan? (2019)

Plot: A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple.

It's been so long since I read reviews about this documentary that I didn't even know what to expect. But I sure was not expecting this, whether it is that was going on here. I really couldn't tell whether these people were serious or maybe it was all a joke, some sort of comedy. I don't know. Anyway, the documentary itself wasn't very compelling and I got bored after a while. Rating: 2,5/5

Pearl Harbor (2001)

Plot: It follows two lifelong friends (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and a beautiful nurse (Kate Beckinsale) who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

I can't believe Michael Bay gave us the great Armageddon and Fichtner a huge role, and then four years later a shit like this and Fichtner a 5-second role playing Affleck's father. The only good thing about this movie is that Fichtner appears at the beginning and, was I not the type of person who has to finish everything, I could have stopped watching after 5 minutes. I watched huge parts of it while using Twitter, that's how bad this was. Rating: 1,5/5

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) | Rewatch

Plot: It follows three linear stories: Luke (Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stunt rider who supports his family through a life of crime, Avery (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious policeman who confronts his corrupt police department, and lastly, two troubled teenagers (Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan) who explore the aftermath of Luke and Avery's actions fifteen years later. 

I wanted to write a full review but I didn't love it so much for it to join my "Love at second sight" series, so here I am. Anyway, I can't believe how much I hated this film the first time. Reading that old review is really making me cringe because this film is just beautiful. The story is compelling from start to finish, the acting is great, it does a great job with its theme of revenge while also showing what it means to be a father and a son. And it even manages to get emotional. Rating: 4/5

The Rainmaker (1997)

Plot: A young, inexperienced Tennessee lawyer (Matt Damon) takes on a fraudulent insurance company when it refuses to pay treatment for a young man (Johnny Whitworth) with leukaemia.

It's based on John Grisham novel and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and yet I was surprised by how good it turned out to be. I was not a fan of the whole Claire Danes subplot — her husband beats her, and Damon helps her — only serves as a romance for Damon, but the courtroom drama definitely works. And Danny DeVito provides some good humour now and then to lighten up the tone a bit. Rating: 3,5/5

The Father (2020) - Review


The Piano (1993)

Plot: A mute pianist, Ada (Holly Hunter), moves from Scotland to New Zealand with her daughter (Anna Paquin) to live with her new husband (Sam Neill). But soon she becomes intrigued with her husband's Maori-friendly acquaintance (Harvey Keitel). 

It was recommended to me on Twitter when I asked for movies directed by women and not even in a million years I would have imagined something like this. I frankly don't understand how some people call it a feminist film since Ada is forced to choose the lesser of two evils/rapists, she gives up her art for a man, and is even betrayed by her daughter at some point. It had potential but the whole relationship kind of starting with rape just doesn't sit well with me. Rating: 2,5/5

Switchback (1997)

Plot: An FBI agent (Dennis Quaid) tries to catch a serial killer who kidnapped his son.

This one was off to a good start but, as it becomes obvious who the killer was, I became less and less interested. The acting is good though, and there are some glorious scenes involving Fichtner, and by glorious I mean him smiling. Young Jared Leto is also very eye-pleasing. Rating: 2,5/5

Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Plot: A Manhattan artist (Amanda Seyfried) relocates her young family to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley. As she settles into a new life, she begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home's history.

Amanda Seyfried is the only reason I watched Netflix's latest original and I can't say I was entirely disappointed since she is in the film a lot. But I just can't understand why her husband (James Norton) would cheat on her. I can look past (almost) all the shady things he's done, but cheating on this beautiful woman? What the fuck is wrong with you man? It also bothered me how they use Seyfried's character eating disorder as some sort of personality trait. Rating: 2/5

6 comments :

  1. Pearl Harbor is and will always be... THE WORST FILM EVER MADE!!!!! It's like a writing a history paper for school and you embellish the events and take away a lot of the facts to create something dramatic. Never in my life did I hate a film more than seeing this on TV.

    I feel you on the fact that you feel stuck as I've been dealing with that as well as it's a reason why I haven't put out a lot of material. I blame this pandemic. It fucked with our heads.

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    1. It truly has! It has completely drained me, and even something I love as much as writing feels like a chore. I wonder when/if we'll ever go back to our pre-pandemic selves.

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  2. Sonia, non devi abbatterti e non devi arrenderti. Sarà banale, ma abbiamo una vita sola e bisogna cercare di viverla il meglio possibile: dici che non fai nulla di creativo ma leggi Le Metamorfosi in tedesco... cosa che il 99% della popolazione non riesce a fare e nemmeno gli passa per la testa! Sei una ragazza brillante, intelligente e piena di interessi: prova a rendertene conto e tirati su! :) Ti garantisco che io faccio molto meno di te e certo non me ne vanto. La depressione è figlia del momento ed è un momento difficile per tutti, ma bisogna resistere. Prima di tutto per noi stessi. Un abbraccio!

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    1. Grazie mille per queste parole! Cerco di non buttarmi giù ma a volte è proprio difficile. Soprattutto con questa pandemia che non sembra dare segni di miglioramento.

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  3. Mi ritrovo in tutta la tua mancanza di voglia di fare e depressione strisciante, infatti il mio compagno non mi sopporta praticamente più.
    Certo, io lavoro (mai fermata, nemmeno in zona rossa, e lo smartworking questo sconosciuto), ma anche fare tutti i giorni lavoro - casa - letto - sveglia - lavoro - casa - letto sa molto di giorno della marmotta, e dal mio punto di vista invidio chi riesce a leggere tanto e vedere un sacco di film come te, visto che io non ho neppure tempo di fare quello ç_ç

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    1. Guarda, ho lavorato fino ad ottobre dello scorso anno, e tornerei al quel periodo volentieri. Preferirei di gran lunga lavorare e non avere tempo per guardare film invece del contrario haha.

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