June was a busy month movie-wise. I watched 14 films, all spanning different genres. Along with me continuing to watch an particular actor’s discography every month, and June being Pride month I also made a point to watch LGBTQIA+ films. And then there were all the movies in between.
Urban Legend (1998)
I don’t remember what spurred me to watch Urban Legend, except that I wanted to watch something fun and boy was this exactly that. Don’t get me wrong this film is heavily influenced by Scream and is nowhere near as good, but it’s enjoyable in its own right. The urban legend kills are an interesting gimmick that sets Urban Legend apart from other Scream clones that were produced right after Scream premiered. So although Urban Legend definitely piggybacks off of Scream’s success, it’s innovative enough to be known as more than a Scream ripoff. I recommend if you’re at all into horror/slasher movies especially the ones from the late 90s/00s.
The Normal Heart (2014)
The Normal Heart belongs firmly in the category of movies that are so freaking sad I am never ever watching them again. Still Alice is in that category, Old Yeller is another, the list goes on. After watching The Normal Heart all I could think was I’m so glad I watched it, but I don’t ever want to watch it again. It’s a movie about AIDS, I really wasn’t expecting anything less than heartbreaking. But I was not prepared for how much it would affect me. Seeing how AIDS was ignored by the mainstream public despite so many men dying from it is almost as terrifying as it is maddening. It’s insane to think this was only a few decades ago. Some things have changed, and some things have stayed the exact same. I recommend, but maybe have some tissues if you know what’s good for you.
D.E.B.S. is exactly my kind of movie. It’s a lesbian spy comedy movie with a mostly all women cast that’s also directed by a woman. This is everything I could ever possibly want from a movie. It ticks all the boxes I want from a movie. And the movie itself lived up to all my expectations. I’ll be honest I don’t think there was any way I wouldn’t like this. D.E.B.S. was a breath of fresh air. After a really depressing watch in The Normal Heart, it was really nice to watch an upbeat and funny movie like D.E.B.S. I had a smile the entire time I watching it and I left watching it so happy. It has flaws, but at the end of the day, I was overjoyed while watching D.E.B.S. And that was more than enough. I recommend if you’re at all interested in this.
The High Note (2020)
I was actually looking forward to The High Note when I first watched the trailer months ago. It looked like it could be a delightful movie. So I was overwhelmed when I watched The High Note. Maybe I had too high expectations or something, but I feel like this movie never fully gotten going. The trailer seems like it would be a fun adventure with Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson and that’s not really what this was. It was kinda bland, generic, and it didn’t have that energy I was looking for. I was hoping for the film to have more of a personality to it. It was really lackluster to me, unfortunately. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s lacking any sort of personality to make it it’s own. I don’t recommend it unless you are really interested in it yourself.
Pariah has one of the most impactful endings I have ever seen. The rest of the movie is pretty good too. Okay, but seriously Pariah is a poignant and moving film. It’s a coming of age movie that needs to be told and needs to be told more often. We don’t get enough of POC coming of age stories, but Pariah is a wonderful start. I hope we get more movies like this and I hope more people who need to see Pariah does. It’s such an important movie that deserves more attention than it has gotten. I recommend.
Strange Days (1995)
Strange Days is phenomenal in so many ways, but overall it’s just an incredible movie. There are several relevant themes like sexual assault, racism, technology, and more. Strange Days may have been made in 1995, but those themes make as relevant today if not more relevant now than then. Strange Days flopped when it first premiered, but I believed if this was created now it would be a huge hit. Seriously the social commentary it has about racism, police brutality, sexual assault, etc is as timely as ever. It’s a powerful film that I know I will watch for years to come because I have a feeling this is going to continue only age like fine wine. I highly recommend, seriously Strange Days is well worth a watch. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
Birds of Prey (2020)
I don’t typically watch DC Universe movies or read their comics (or comics in general). Well, except Wonder Woman and I did really enjoy so though why not check out Birds of Prey too? I had heard mixed reviews about Birds of Prey, but I always support female lead superhero movies. Now I know people who are so invested in this universe and have legitimate issues with this movie, but I don’t care deeply about any of that so I can proudly say I had a blast watching Birds of Prey. If I had read the comics and or seen Suicide Squad I probably would have issues with this movie too, but I didn’t and I don’t care to be upset with this fun movie. I took Birds of Prey at face value as a stand-alone movie and I had a great time watching it. I was always entertained and I would watch it again. I honestly feel like if most people just took things for what they were people would enjoy said things more. I recommend.
Pride was the most heartwarming movie I saw all month possibly all this year. Pride is another film that puts a smile on my face. It’s funny, sweet, and completely charming. But the movie isn’t all joyful, it also talks about homophobia, AIDS, and HIV, but the overall film itself is truly stunning. I don’t know if this makes sense, but Pride has a good heart. It made by people who care about the film’s message and it’s not made to pander to a certain audience. It knows the people who will love this movie will find it and cherish it. I’m glad to be one of those people myself. If you are at all interested in Pride, I recommend it.
All About Eve (1950)
My actor for the month of June was Bette Davis. I started out watching All About Eve. Not to get ahead of myself, but All About Eve was so clearly the best movie I saw this month it’s insane. I enjoyed most of all the movies I watched this month, but All About Eve was incredible. I adored this. I completely understand why All About Eve is hailed as an all-time classic. It’s a masterclass of film making. The actors are all on top of their game, but of course, the best performance comes from Bette Davis herself. She’s outstanding, her performance is remarkable. She steals every scene she is in which is a cool feat because the rest of the cast all play their parts beautifully themselves. Everyone is just great. And then the story is so well crafted. When people say “they don’t make movies like that anymore.” They’re talking about All About Eve. I loved this movie, I can’t wait to watch it again. Watch All About Eve! It’s not a recommendation, it’s a requirement.
The Letter (1940)
Unlike All About Eve, The Letter is not a masterpiece. It’s actually kinda the exact opposite of a masterpiece. It’s bad, but not dumpster fire bad. It was boring, offensive bad. The movie features racist stereotypes portraying the Asian characters as dishonest, scheming, and corrupted. Not good. Even if the film didn’t have that the film itself is quite boring after the opening scene (the only real good about it). Bette Davis does what she can, but this was not a film that deserved her talent. I do not recommend this movie.
Paris Is Burning (1990)
I don’t watch many documentaries, but Paris Is Burning is the one documentary that I have always needed to watch. And I’m so glad to report I finally sat down and watched this vital documentary. I honestly believe that Paris is Burning should be mandatory viewing in schools. That may seem extreme, but the fact is everyday transgender people, and other communities in the LGBTQ+ people are attacked and killed for being themselves. That is what is extreme and I’m not saying playing a documentary is going to stop that. But showing people at a young age this documentary is a great way for young people to empathize and understand people who are different from themselves. Paris Is Burning is an incredible documentary, you either come away learning something new that will stay with you or understand where a certain thing came from like shade for example. Please watch this documentary!
Now, Voyager (1942)
I am pleased to announce that Now, Voyager is much better than The Letter. Actually in fact I surprisingly really loved Now, Voyager. Though All About Eve was the best Bette Davis movie I watched this month, Now Voyager quickly became a personal favorite. I wasn’t expecting to love this movie as much as I did which is always a welcome surprise. Now Voyager especially for an older movie talks about mental illness and emotional abuse in a respectful way. I wasn’t expecting that or for it to be handled as well as it was. Also, there’s a romance and it’s great. It doesn’t come off as forced and it’s not treated as if he rescues her from her mental illness or abusive mother. She has to overcome the abuse her mother has done to her to accept love. It’s all handled wonderfully. I enjoyed Now Voyager quite a bit as you can see. I recommend even if you’re not into older movies, this might be an expectation.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Ah yes, the infamous What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Infamous because of the infamous real-life feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Their feud kinda overshadows the movie itself and it shouldn’t. The movie should be remembered for how weird it is. The story itself isn’t what’s weird, but the way it is executed is. And weird isn’t bad, just captivating to think about. I won’t spoil, but some of the events in the movie are so strange. It sure makes a very interesting first-time watch. I can say without a doubt that I have never seen a movie like this before and that’s nearly impossible to say nowadays because every movie has seemingly has been done for. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford completely transform themselves for these roles and you can feel the hatred they have for each other on-screen clearly. I think everyone should watch this movie because there’s nothing quite like it. I recommend it.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
The last movie I watched for June was the perfect way to close Pride month. I have been wanting to Portrait of a Lady on Fire since the trailer for it was first released and then all the gushing reviews it got by some film critics just pushed me to want to watch it more. I had to wait a little while longer than I expected, but I have finally seen it. It was well worth the wait. Portrait of a Lady on Fire isn’t your typical romance movie, it’s extremely tense. I was on the edge of seat the entire movie. The sound design is always overlooked by people (including myself), but Portrait of a Lady on Fire does not allow you to overlook its sound design. Seriously I felt as if I was watching a thriller with how tense some sequences in the film were. The romance itself is amazingly well crafted. It feels organic and never forced. It happens naturally and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. The movie itself is radiant, it’s one of the most stunning movies I have ever seen. And that ending just makes you want to scream whether in sadness, anger, or surprise. Like I stated before I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie, but that ending to it to another level. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a quiet romance movie and it’s bursting at the seams with tension enough to drive you mad. It’s an exceptional film and I hope I have convinced at least someone to watch because you should. It’s remarkable, watch it!