Hahaha…what a sh*tshow May was. What a sh*tshow this year has been. Anyways… here are the movies that helped keep me sane (as best they could) during May.
Eagle Eye (2008)
I caught Eagle Eye on television sometime early this month. It’s a fine thriller. A little goofy and hokey as the plot moves along, but it’s always entertaining. Basically, you know what you are in for from a movie you never heard of that is getting played on television every few hours. You are not expecting a masterpiece (at least you shouldn’t be) or anything, but something entertaining that you can waste a few hours watching. Eagle Eye is a perfect fun option if you are looking for something that meets those criteria. If you aren’t, then this movie isn’t for you.
Funny Face (1957)
Funny Face was a surprisingly wholesome film. I mean once you get over the noticeable age difference between the two leads. Once I got over that, I could help but be charmed by Funny Face. It’s an adorable film thanks in part because of Audrey Hepburn who’s at her best here. Fred Astaire is also very good here even if I didn’t always like his character. Funny Face is a beautiful movie to look at and a great musical to listen to. Overall, I recommend Funny Face, it’s an endearing movie to watch.
To Die For (1995)
While I was watching To Die For, I couldn’t help but wonder why it’s gone so unknown. To Die For is an underrated thriller with a brilliant performance by Nicole Kidman. Sure it has a basic premise of a Lifetime movie but under the direction of Gus Van Sant and performances by the main cast elevate the movie from its simplistic premise. The movie manages to be both dark and funny. It’s a brilliant dark comedy that more people deserve to watch. I recommend if you haven’t check out To Die For yet.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
My actor of the month of May was Paul Newman and I began my dive into his discography with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I had always heard about the movie and its title, but outside of that I really had no clue what the movie was about. I went in with no expectations and yet they were still blown away. I loved Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Whether it be because of the performances from Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives. Or the nuance of the storytelling. The movie had to abide by Hays code, so references of homosexuality had to be restricted. But that just opens the door up to plenty of gay subtext. I think I actually love how much the movie has to restrict itself because it says so much more by what it doesn’t explicitly say. I really wasn’t expecting to love the movie as much as I did. I may be a bit bias, but I think everyone should watch Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I highly recommend it.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dog Day Afternoon is a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for a while now. I had come across it after reading about the true story that inspired it and I knew I would want to watch it. The real-life story along with having Al Pacino playing the main character made Dog Day Afternoon high on my list of movies to watch. I’m glad to report that it met all my expectations and more. Pacino gives one of his best performances ever. Of course, I haven’t seen all of them, but there’s no doubt that his performance in Dog Day Afternoon isn’t up there. He and the rest of the cast exceptionally play their roles. They do their real-life counterparts justice. The movie itself does the true story justice. Even if you don’t know the true story behind the movie it’s worth watching. Actually not knowing the true story may enhance your viewing of the film. Dog Day Afternoon is definitely worth watching. I recommend it.
Last Night (2010)
Last Night is a low-key quiet romance movie that proposes the question: what’s worst, emotional cheating or physically? It does this by using both members of a married couple being tempted by a respective old flame and a new one. It’s a really interesting character study that I was fascinated by watching. I loved seeing if either husband and wife would cross over that invisible line of infidelity. All four main characters give great performances, but Keira Knightley in particular shines the most. It was really nice seeing her play something other than period piece character. Her character is the most out of all the characters that we feel for and want more insight to. More than anything else I like that all the characters are complex. They aren’t one dimensional at all, we understand what they are thinking even if we don’t agree with their actions. Last Night is an under-appreciated film that more people should take note of. If you like in-depth character studies, I recommend seeking out Last Night.
I Married a Witch (1942)
This has to be the oldest screwball comedy I have seen yet. But even with age, I Married a Witch is a fantastic screwball comedy. All the comedy landed for me. I seriously haven’t laughed watching a movie like I laughed watching this one in a long time. It’s a short light breezy comedy. It clocks at only an hour and 14 minutes. It’s a very short film, but long enough to leave behind an impact. I recommend it if you are looking for something light and funny to watch these days. And plus you’ll get to watch Veronica Lake in all her beautiful glory. That alone should get you to want to watch I Married a Witch.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Cool Hand Luke was the second Paul Newman movie I watched in May. This was probably my least favorite of the four I watched, but Cool Hand Luke was still very good with a great performance by Paul Newman. It’s just I’m not a fan of movies set in prisons with the sole exception being The Shawshank Redemption. I just don’t think there’s a lot of new ground you can do with a prison drama anymore. The Shawshank Redemption just about covered everything and is one of the best movies ever. Cool Hand Luke is similar to it in the way the protagonists help inspire their fellow inmates because of their positive attitudes. Cool Hand Luke does set itself apart from other prison dramas with some unique moments like the iconic 50 eggs scene and of course that ending that I won’t spoil. It just didn’t cover anything I haven’t already seen from prison dramas. Still, if you’re into them, I would recommend it.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
I watched Catch Me If You Can on a whim. I wanted to watch a movie that was fun and I got recommend this and yep it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I loved Catch Me If You Can, absolutely adored it. I’m not even sure what about it that resonated so much with me. Of course, the performances are terrific, I would expect nothing less from Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, and Amy Adams. But more so than them, I loved the story. Catch Me If You Can is based on a true story and that just about flabbergast me. Obviously, some of the things in the movie are dramatized for the movie, but still, this is one of those movies where you would believe that this stuff could only happen in movies, not in real life. The schemes are larger than life and are fun to watch in action. Along with that is an emotional layer added to the core of the film that I appreciated. Also, I have to add that Catch Me If You Can has one of my favorite tropes in it. The chosen family trope, I loved that trope and its full force near the end of the movie. Anyways, I’m fangirling now. I loved this movie, and I think you would too. I recommend it.
Ready or Not (2019)
Ready or Not came out of nowhere last year it seems. There was a lot of hype and buzz for it when it premiered. I love horror movies so I knew I would eventually check it out. I decided to wait for the hype to die down before I could watch it because typically movies with a huge amount of hype don’t live up to expectations that people created from the hype that surrounded it. And I’m so glad I waited and went in with no expectations at all because I loved being surprised at just how much I loved Ready or Not. I read some reviews after I finally watched Ready or Not and some people felt let down after all the initial buzz of the film. I can see that, I think Ready or Not could suffer if you come in with such high expectations from all the praise it received. It’s not changing the horror genre now. But, Ready or Not is a lot of fun. I love my comedy laced horror movies like Scream and The Cabin In The Woods and Ready or Not was no different. I recommend Ready or Not, but don’t come in with such high expectations. It’s better to watch it without expecting anything from it.
In & Out (1997)
I had heard about In & Out and I was intrigued by its premise. It’s loosely based off Tom Hanks outing his High School Drama teacher during his acceptance speech for Philadelphia. So it was unofficially on my radar then I see it’s playing on television and so obviously I’m going to watch it. I’m glad that I did because otherwise, I have no clue when or if I would ever have seen it. In & Out is a delightful hilarious little movie clocking in at only 90 minutes. I wasn’t expecting how much I would laugh while watching the movie. I laughed some much I think I had a permanent smile on my face while watching it. The movie has a lot of funny moments from all the actors involved especially leading man Kevin Kline who is just brilliant here. Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillion, and the late Debbie Reynolds are all also fantastic here. In & Out is a great comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should the viewer. It’s dated in some aspects of LBGTQ+, but I forgive it because it’s just so endearing I can’t help but like it. It’s Pride month, so if you’re looking for an LBGTQ movie that ends happily to watch, I recommend In & Out.
The Hustler (1961)
My third Paul Newman movie of the month. I wasn’t expecting much from The Hustler, I mean it’s a sports movie about pool. There’s not a lot to go on from that, but they manage to make a movie about Paul Newman being a pool player into a two-hour film so there had to be more than meets the eye and indeed it was. The Hustler is more so a character study than it is a sports movie. We go on a journey with protagonist Eddie, seeing him struggle with his own inner self and eventually others. The Hustler started with being a sports movie then turned into a more interesting character study. Once that switch in the movie happened I quickly became invested in seeing what would happen next with Eddie. Newman is great here, but I believe the star of the film is actually is Piper Laurie. I loved her performance and was constantly impressed with her. Newman and Laurie are the two that make the movie for me. It feels like it begins and ends with them. If you’re at all into fascinating character studies, then I recommend checking out The Hustler.
The Verdict (1982)
My last movie of the month was Paul Newman’s The Verdict. The Verdict and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof have tied for my favorite Paul Newman movie at least for now. I really can’t choose between the two. I loved both of them for their respective plots and characters. The Verdict though gave me a constant feeling of dread. I got so invested in the courtroom case it’s was hard to watch it get bulldozed by the justice system repeatedly. Newman is undoubtedly at his best here in my opinion. I feel like he was really invested in the role and the film as a whole and wanted to make a point to make the audience just as invested in it as well. And if so, then job well done because I was so heavily invested that I let out an audible sigh at the conclusion of the film. The Verdict is just an extremely well crafted and well-written film. Do yourself a favor and watch it especially if you like courtroom drama and even if you don’t, this one may be the one that changes your tune. I recommend it.
What did you watch in May? Have you seen any of the movies listed above, if you did what did you think of them? Comment below.