Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Movie Alphabet Vol. 2

Mette of the Mettel Ray blog has just turned 7 as she is celebrating this anniversary by doing another blog-a-thon as it is similar to the one she did five years ago which I participated in with this entry five years ago. Now it’s again to do another one as she has some rules similar to the one five years ago:

1. List your favourite actors, actresses, movies or directors from # to z

2. I allow a little wiggle room: you may list two under one letter* because it is vol 2 after all! *in that case, the choices have to be from different categories – actor/director, actress/movie, etc.*

3. If you participated last time, don’t look at your first movie alphabet before vol 2 is ready

4. Comparisons in between your new alphabet and the previous one are highly encouraged

5. Post your Movie Alphabet Vol 2 by the 31st of May, link back to this post and let me know here in the comments or over at twitter @MettelRay (and use the hashtag mettelrayse7en)

6. Use one of the banners below in your post or create your own!

7. Most importantly, have a ton of fun!

That is pretty easy to follow as here we go again:

#-24 Hour Party People

Michael Winterbottom’s ingenious and off-the-wall film about the Manchester music scene of the late 1970s to the early 1990s revolving around the founding of Factory Records and the club known as the Hacienda.

A-Agnes Varda

The Godmother of the French New Wave and one of the most influential filmmakers in the world who is about to retire.

B-Brie Larson

One of the finest actresses working today thanks to such films as Short Term 12 and Room as well as becoming a superhero for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Marvel.

C-The Criterion Collection

The place where the DVD/Blu-Rays still matter in this age of streaming of digital devices as they don’t offer some of the finest films out there but also extra content that is just too insatiable to ignore.

D-David Fincher

Hollywood’s dark prince who is definitely one of the finest filmmakers working today as we film buffs are anxious for what he does next (as long as it’s not World War Z 2).

E-Ellen Page & Evan Rachel Wood

2 of the finest actresses working today who both don’t define themselves sexually nor are willing to take on very conventional projects as they’re part of my exclusive club of actresses known as the Bullet Club.

F-Federico Fellini

One of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th Century whose work are hallmarks for world cinema with such films as La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, La Strada, Amarcord, and Nights of Cabiria.

G-Gal Gadot

A very beautiful woman who can kick some ass thanks to her work in Fast & Furious franchise yet is about to become a mega-star in her role as Wonder Woman.

H-Heaven’s Gate

A film that is flawed but certainly grand as its exploration into the dark aspects of American history is told with such richness by the late Michael Cimino.


Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending yet enthralling epic that explore the world of the mind as it features an ensemble cast for the ages in Leonardo diCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Tom Berenger, Cillian Murphy, the late Pete Postlethwaite, and Michael Caine.

J-Jacques Tati

Another of the finest filmmakers of the 20th Century with such classics as Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Mon Oncle, Playtime, and Trafic as they were told with such wit about the fallacies of modernism.

K-The Killing

Stanley Kubrick's breakthrough feature is definitely one of the finest heist movies ever made as it also explore what can go right and what can go wrong as it's got some gorgeous visuals and an incredible cast led by Sterling Hayden.

L-Let the Right One In

Tomas Alfredson’s incredible vampire film that really brought the world some bite back into moody and whiny vampires as it remains one of the finest films of the 21st Century so far.

M-The Mirror

Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1975 film is certainly one of the most challenging and abstract films of 20th Century as it doesn’t have much of a plot. Yet, it remains a monumental achievement in cinema as it would provide the template for many ideas in cinema for years to come in abstract, non-conventional filmmaking.

N-Nicholas Winding Refn

One of the coolest filmmakers working today as well as one of the most controversial who is definitely taking Lars von Trier’s crown as Denmark’s enfant terrible thanks in part to such films as the Pusher trilogy, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive, and The Neon Demon.

O-Olivia Thirlby

Definitely one of the most underrated actresses working today as someone who is need of some mainstream exposure as her performances in films such as Snow Angels, Juno, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and Nobody Walks prove that she is phenomenal as she’s also part of my personal collective of great actresses in the Bullet Club.

P-Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro’s crowning achievement is truly one of the great films of the 21st Century in the way it combine fantasy, horror, and drama with such beauty as it is really the new standard bearer of what fantasy films should be.

Q-The Queen

Stephen Frears’ portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in how she dealt with the death of Princess Diana and the need to speak out is truly an amazing film thanks in part to Helen Mirren as well as a great supporting performance from Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.

R-Roman Holiday

From William Wyler comes one of the definitive romantic films ever as it’s very funny but also quite tender as it features incredible performances from Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn with the latter playing a princess who wants to see Rome as just a regular woman who would fall for this journalist.

S-Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final film is undoubtedly one of the most depraved, repulsive, and down-right fucked up films ever made. If you can survive people being tortured, beaten, and being forced to eat shit. Then you got some fucking balls.

T-This is Spinal Tap


U-Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi film is probably one of the scariest and most chilling films of the 21st Century so far as it features some amazing technical achievements as well as an eerie yet evocative performance from Scarlett Johansson.

V-Viva Las Vegas

One of the better films that the King of Rock N’ Roll Elvis Presley starred in as it’s a fun movie with lots of cool tunes, racing, and most of all, Ann-Margaret.

W-Withnail & I

A classic British comedy about two unemployed actors who like to drink and fuck things up as they accidentally go on holiday and get themselves in trouble.

X-Xavier Dolan

One of the recent up-and-coming filmmakers who has been making a lot of wave in the past decade as he’s not even in his 30s yet films such as Laurence Anyways, Tom at the Farm, and Mommy are already considered some of the best films of the 21st Century so far.

Y-Yi Yi

Edward Yang’s final film is certainly one of the most touching of the 21st Century as it begins with a wedding and ends with a funeral as it follows the year in the life of a Taiwanese family dealing with all sorts of things that is often common with real life.


Costas-Garvas’ 1969 political drama is a terrifying film that follows the assassination of a political activist as its aftermath is more interesting where a magistrate tries to find out the truth.

© thevoid99 2017

Films That I Saw: May 2017

Summer is coming as I’m sort of getting ready to get back into the world of Twin Peaks which was something I did a couple of years ago but got a little burned out by the end of 2015. Now that it’s on Showtime, I can get a chance to re-watch the episodes I saw in my own pace and catch up with the rest of the series before I decide to watch the new show as I’m trying very hard to avoid spoilers. It’s something I hope to finish as I want to watch the episodes of the second season I missed out on as well as re-watch Fire Walk with Me and then do The Missing Pieces before I go full-on towards the new series. That’s really the only thing I plan on doing in the summer as well as re-do and finish Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film series and then just focus entirely on the Blind Spot Series and other films as I’ve now found an alternative to get recent films I missed out on in the past few years nearby in my local library.

I have been paying attention to what is going on in the world as it is really fucked up as our idiot president has been making a mess of things and it looks like another Watergate is happening. If there’s an impeachment trial happening, then I’m getting a lawn chair and watch it up close. I will say that is has been entertaining and it has made Saturday Night Live fun to watch again. Yet, nothing could overshadow what happened this month in Manchester where 23 people including children of all things were killed by some asshole suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert. I don’t give a fuck what ISIS wants to stand for but if it involves killing children at a fucking pop concert of all places. Then that is something I don’t want to be a part of and what they did is nothing more than fucking cowardice. There’s parents whose children aren’t coming home or kids who have experienced something they shouldn’t have seen. This shouldn’t happen and let’s hope it never happens again.

In the month of May, I saw a total of 41 films in 28 first-timers and 13 re-watches. Definitely the busiest month I’ve had so far due to the Cannes Film Festival marathon which was a lot of fun to do. One of the highlights this month has certainly been my Blind Spot assignment in The Big Red One. Here are the top 10 First-Timers that I saw for May 2017:

1. The Handmaiden

2. Our Little Sister

3. Picnic at Hanging Rock

4. Harakiri

5. Sicario

6. Umberto D.

7. Fantastic Planet

8. Ballad of a Soldier

9. The Nice Guys

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Monthly Mini-Reviews

Dragon Blade

I do like Jackie Chan as I also like Adrien Brody and John Cusack. Sadly, this isn’t a film people should remember them for as it’s about a Chinese general and his army who are border guards as they’re accused of treason where they team up with a Roman general to protect a blind boy from his evil older brother. It’s got some nice action with Chan doing what he does best as he has some great moments with Cusack but the script doesn’t have enough tension while the kid who plays the little blind boy is terrible. Have Brody hamming it up as the villain and a bunch of Chinese actors not given much to do as it’s just overblown with not enough substance.

The House of Steinbrenner

The first of three segments of the 30 for 30 series that I saw this month, this documentary is about the often controversial George Steinbrenner and the transition of giving power to his children in which they would build a new Yankee stadium for the fans. It’s a fascinating portrait of one of the most polarizing figures in sports as George Steinbrenner is still an important figure in baseball as well as what he’s done for the Yankee fans despite some of the bad seasons. Even as his heirs would give fans pieces of the old stadium so they can have a piece of history rather than let that old stadium be obsolete.

The Devil’s Double

Lee Tamahori’s story about Saddam Hussein’s son Uday and the man who would be his double is definitely something I caught by surprise. It is a fascinating film I hope to see again as it is shown from the perspective of this man who has to pretend to be one of the most horrific human beings to walk the face of the Earth. Dominic Cooper does amazing work in playing Uday and his troubled double where he exudes all of the repulsive qualities of Uday in the way he deals with people as well as things that are obscene with this double having to watch this very up close.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Michael Moore can be an overbearing presence as he tends to put himself in front of the camera and make an ass of himself. However, he does make a compelling case about America’s obsession with capitalism and how it’s managed to create such chaos in the country as people who would die as corporations would make money off of them. Especially as it shows a real distortion of what this country was supposed to be as well as what many in politics and Wall Street will do to make money out of anyone. One of the most compelling scenes in the film is a clip Michael Moore showed of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to do just months before his death as it relates to the rights of every American in being able to have affordable health care, a right to have a job, and all of the things that would help this country. Something that is lost and based on what is happening now. That is never going to happen as the piece of shit Il Duce will suck you dry and sell you off for a buck.

Rand University

The 2nd episode of the 30 for 30 series that I saw revolves around Randy Moss and his home environment in Charleston, West Virginia as a place where he first gained fame and infamy. It’s a film about this small remote town in America that explores where Moss came from as it’s narrated by Michael K. Williams who showcases some of the racial divide in this small town as well as Moss’ struggle to stay out of the law. The only gripe about this film is that it’s not long enough as it also has some great interviews with some of Moss’ friends from that small town.

Weepah Way for Now

AJ and Aly Michalka are an interesting duo but this film is fucking shit. It’s really just absolutely self-indulgent about two young women dealing with the fact that they’re leaving their house as well as becoming estranged from their father who cheated on their mother with a young woman. Much of it told by Saoirse Ronan who doesn’t even appear in the film as this other sister as it is really a bad vanity project that has very little substance other than its location and photography.


Wes Craven is a great filmmaker who has had highs and lows yet this film isn’t one of his best as it tried to be scary and interesting. Even as it boasts a talented cast such as Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, and Judy Greer, it’s a film that is a real letdown. The werewolves in the film aren’t that scary as well as the attempts to be funny feels forced as it’s not Craven’s fault due to the fact that it was interfered and re-cut by the goddamn Weinstein brothers.

Now You See Me 2

The first film is definitely a fun film about magic and magicians but this film is not fun at all. While Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Ruffalo, and Woody Harrelson do their best to keep things lively and fun. It’s the material in the film that isn’t very good yet it is Jon M. Chu’s direction that ruins the whole film as he really doesn’t know how to cut nor create anything that is exciting. There’s so much that Chu does that really doesn’t carry any kind of tension or suspense while he utilizes a lot of CGI for some big sequences that fall very flat.

Bernie & Ernie

The third and final segment of the 30 for 30 series that I watched is about the friendship between Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld who were the duo to watch in the late 1970s when they played for the University of Tennessee. Both lived in the streets of New York City as they would also play together as part of the New York Knicks during the 1980s as Grunfeld was the one person who could help the very introverted King who struggled with fame as well as the fact that he came from a very unloving family. Featuring an appearance from filmmaker Spike Lee who grew in the same area that King did, it’s a film that is about friendship and what it does to help to people in the glare of the spotlight.

Top 10 Re-Watches:

1. 24 Hour Party People

2. Major League

3. The Incredibles

4. Romancing the Stone

5. The Impossible

6. Rabbit Hole

7. To Catch a Thief

8. Bloodsport

9. Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

10. Kickboxer

Well, that is all for May. Next month, I hope to see new theatrical releases such as Wonder Woman and The Beguiled as the latter is the one that I want to see the most. Aside from Twin Peaks, there’s several films from the never-ending DVR list that I hope to see as well as films that I discovered are available at my local library as it’s going to give me the chance to catch up on films I missed out on in the past few years. Until then, this is thevoid99 signing off and I want to say farewell to one of my favorite individuals in the world in Sir Roger Moore who means a lot to myself and to my mother who grew up watching him as Simon Templar in The Saint and remains her favorite James Bond. Godspeed 007… 

© thevoid99 2017