January was a productive start into the new year in terms of work and play. I got a lot of work done in January while also making time to watch some pretty good movies this month. Almost all the movies I watched in January I enjoyed, some more than others, but overall a very good month for movies I saw.
Knives Out (2019)
Knives Out was a movie I had been wanting to watch ever since I first saw the trailer. I’m a sucker for whodunit mysteries. It had been a while since a new one had been released, so I was more than ready to watched Knives Out and it didn’t disappoint a bit. Knives Out was a lot of fun and though I was unfortunately spoiled who the (kinda) killer was, it didn’t ruin the movie for me. It was still fun to watch while having some nice social commentary that I didn’t expect at all. But, it was a welcome surprise. The commentary along with the hilarious dialogue, great acting from the entirety of the outstanding cast makes Knives Out a must watch from 2019, if you haven’t checked it out yet. I highly recommend.
On the Waterfront (1954)
The first of the 4 Marlon Brando movies I watched in January and On the Waterfront may have been my favorite of all 4. Brando’s performance is truly remarkable and I once again loved the social commentary about class-ism. I really didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did. I figured I would enjoyed Brando’s performance, but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the movie as it’s own. So, I was relieved to find that I enjoyed this as much as I did. I even got chills during the “I Coulda Been a Contender”. I didn’t realize that speech happened in this movie, so it was a surprise when I heard it in the movie and it was such a great speech even better within context. On The Waterfront was indeed the great classic I had heard plenty of. I was so happy to see it meet my expectations, I recommend.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
A Streetcar Named Desire was the second Brando movie I saw in the month and I can proudly say that it not at all what I was expecting. To start, though Brando plays the raging psychopath quite well, he is not the star of the movie. That accolade belongs to Vivian Leigh, her performance is what makes the entire movie for me. Another thing I wasn’t expecting either was A Streetcar Named Desire to be such a complex story. It is layered with ton of issues I wasn’t expecting like, domestic abuse and mental health. The movie can be bleak and the ending is pretty dark. I didn’t see the movie going in any of these directions, but it made for an interesting movie to watch. The movie was hard to watch at times, mainly because of Brando’s character, but it is a classic for a reason I do recommend it.
Hustlers much like Knives Out I wanted to see ever since I first saw the trailer and it didn’t disappoint either again just like Knives Out. It was so nice to see an all female cast with an fascinating story to act in. The performances were fantastic all around, particularly from Jennifer Lopez herself. She not only acts brilliantly, she performs brilliantly. Her dancing to Fiona Apple’s Criminal may have been one of my favorite moments in film from 2019. I can praised it enough, I immediately had chills all over. Overall, I had a blast watching Hustlers. I can only hope that we get more female driven written movies with a female driven casts in 2020, because something tells me if they are at least halfway as good as Hustlers, they will be worth seeing. I recommend watching Hustlers, if you want to have a good time.
High Fidelity (2000)
Okay, so High Fidelity was the one movie I was alluding to earlier that I didn’t exactly enjoy. Let me make it clear that I didn’t hate this movie. It was entertaining and I was never bored with it, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The main character for instant is quite terrible. To be fair, I have seen many movies where the main character was a bad person and it does severe a purpose, but when all I’m doing while watching your movie is screaming at the main character for all his terrible actions and choices maybe your main character is too unlikable. I watched High Fidelity to prepare for the television show with Zoë Kravitz and I really hope her character isn’t this unlikable. I did like some things about High Fidelity like the music and some of supporting cast like Jack Black and Lisa Bonet. I just wish I liked High Fidelity as much as I liked the idea about it. Hopefully I enjoyed the television series more. I’m indifferent about High Fidelity, so I won’t recommend it or discourage anyone from watching it. Form your own opinion.
The Godfather (1972)
I did it. I watched The Godfather. It feels like a weight was lifted off of me when I typed that.
I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous to watch The Godfather. With it being known as the greatest movie of all time, how does that live up to anybody’s expectations? The Godfather is probably the first gangster crime movie I’ve ever seen if I’m remembering correctly. So The Godfather was me dipping my toes into a new genre for the first time and it was a good first intro. But I can’t say that I love The Godfather or that The Godfather is my new favorite movie of all time, because it’s not. I enjoyed it a lot. I see why many people believe it is the greatest movie of all time and why it’s a lot of people’s favorite movie of all time. It’s just not mine, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it because I did. I thought the acting was exceptional (with Brando giving one of the best performance ever with such a limited amount of time on screen) and the writing was wonderful. It’s just not my favorite movie of all time, I can recognize it being one of the best of all time. It’s just not going to end up being one of my favorites. Still, I do see myself rewatching it one day in the future after some years have passed and I’m a bit older to fully appreciate it. I think I may be the only person in the world who is only just now watching The Godfather for the first time, but if I’m not then you have to watch this movie it’s not an option, you are required by law to watch this movie. Okay not really, but yeah you have to watch it.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I took my own advice and watched House on Haunted Hill, because once again I like whodunit mysteries. House on Haunted Hill is one of the oldest whodunit mysteries I have ever seen and though it wasn’t one of the more flashy one I had seen, it was one of the more original I have seen. It holds up very nicely in my opinion. Some older horror movies tend to age terribly due to the more recent horror films, but House on Haunted Hill does indeed hold up especially with some of the scares. What sets House on Haunted Hill apart from other whodunit mysteries is the added element of ghosts is put inside the mix. So, basically it’s an older version of Clue, but with ghosts. Who doesn’t want to see that? I recommend it, and because it’s an older film, you can even check it out on YouTube like I did and it’s only an hour and 15 minutes long. Check it out!
Apocalypse Now (1979)
My fourth and final Marlon Brando movie I saw this month. But, once again Apocalypse Now is not Marlon Brando’s movie, it’s President Bartlet- I mean Martin Sheen’s. Like gangster movies, I rarely ever watch war movies. It’s not my favorite genre, but I did really enjoy Apocalypse Now. Way more than I expected to. I read the book Apocalypse Now is based on and it didn’t click with me. It was the same story told, but visually seeing it, made it work for me a lot better. I can’t say exactly what made me like Apocalypse Now as much as I did, maybe it was the story or maybe it was Martin Sheen’s performance (phenomenal). I don’t know, but I really enjoyed. I would say this is the best Marlon Brando movie, even though he is barely in it. My personal favorite like I mentioned before is On The Waterfront, but Apocalypse Now is the better overall movie. I recommend it, now I can’t wait to watch the documentary about the filming of the movie. I hear it’s quite doozy story.
Dear Basketball (2017)
I didn’t know much about Kobe Bryant, other than knowing him to be one of the greatest basketball players ever, and I knew him for his sexual assault allegations. Kobe was never an idol to me, but I know he was to so many others. I feel sorry for his family, friends, fans, the other passengers and their families. Regardless of the person, he may have been, this should have never happened. A tragedy is a tragedy. RIP.
Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour (2018)
I don’t have much to say about this, other than I loved this. I had a blast watching this and singing along with Taylor’s songs that I have listened to for years now. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend a Friday night watching a Taylor Swift stadium tour documentary. If you haven’t seen this already, then you probably never were.
Miss Americana (2020)
Okay, so I didn’t just spend my Friday night watching one Taylor Swift documentary, I spent my Friday night watching TWO Taylor Swift documentaries. Once again, I loved this, surprise surprise. I loved this so much that I even cried at several different points of the documentary. It was honest and personal look into the life of one of the biggest pop superstars in the world today. I know a lot people don’t like Taylor Swift for various reasons, but Miss Americana was a beautiful view into the life and of Taylor Swift that fans of her like myself will appreciate for many years to come. I recommend, but I’m bias.