Movies Watched in July 2020

July delivered movie-wise, it has failed in every other way. I only watched 8 movies in July, but the 8 movies I watched varied from pretty good to terrific. And that sounds like a win to me.

Jaws (1975)

Yes, it’s true before the Fourth of July 2020, I had never seen Jaws before. Well, I thought it was finally the best time to check out this classic due to the holiday. And I was correct it was the perfect time to begin to watch Jaws more than one way actually. Not only is Jaws a great Fourth of July movie it’s also a perfect parallel to our current political crisis involving the handling of COVID-19. I was going into Jaws looking for a classic shark movie and I did end up getting that, but I also got a classic shark movie with an unexpected timely message. The movie itself is a classic for a reason, it builds real tension without having to show the shark very much. The characters are for the most part likable and interesting. And that ending is incredible. I’m glad I’m finally got around to watching Jaws. I recommend if you haven’t seen it already or haven’t seen in a while, seriously the shark could be a metaphor for COVID-19.

Training Day (2001)

My actor of the month was Denzel Washington. I pretty much knew exactly what films of his I wanted to watch immediately. Training Day was the first to pop into my head. It was a no-brainer. Training Day is one of the first movies I think of when I think of Denzel Washington despite never watching it. It only made sense that I checked it out. Watching Training Day was like being on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and feelings. The movie didn’t intentionally grab me. I would even say some of the dialogue turned me off on the movie. But I got over it once the movie really got going and it never stopped after that. I love what it has to say about police corruption. I always appreciated a great movie that can deliver a message effortlessly. Training Day though not an easy film to watch (almost unbearable levels of tension) it is truly worth a watch. I recommend.

His Girl Friday (1940)

This is the first movie I can remember actually giving me a headache. That’s not a joke, I seriously got a headache after watching this movie. If you haven’t seen His Girl Friday, the film is known as one of the first fast-talking in movies and TV. That now, in my opinion, has been perfected by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls & The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) & Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network). In fact, according to IMDB, the normal rate of verbal dialogue is estimated in most films is around 90 words a minute. In His Girl Friday, the delivery has been clocked at 240 words a minute. That’s a lot of talking and a lot of people talking over each other. It doesn’t necessarily make for easy viewing. The movie itself is witty and charming, but that’s all I really got from it. I have enjoyed better screwball comedies that have stuck with me more than I think His Girl Friday will. If you’re into older movies, then you’re probably like it. I just think they’re better ones out there.

Inside Man (2006)

My favorite Denzel Washington movie I saw this month. Inside Man is just pure chaotic fun. I knew I would probably enjoy this because Inside Man is a heist movie. And I haven’t seen a bad heist movie yet and Inside Man keeps that streak going. With so many heist movies out there it’s hard to do them with any sort of a fresh concept, but Inside Man is exactly that. The heist is intriguing and actually seems plausible (not that I would try it). Unraveling the plan and learning more about the heist piece by piece as the characters outside of it made the movie an even more compelling film to watch. And I adored the ending, it pulled everything together in a satisfying way. If you haven’t seen Inside Man already, I recommend giving a watch. It’s a fun way to pass two hours.

Malcom X (1991)

Malcolm X according to my Letterboxd, is officially the longest movie I have ever seen. Malcolm X clocks in at 202 minutes long, the only thing even close to that is Titanic at 194 minutes long. That’s because Malcolm X has a lot to say about the titular man. I thought going into the film that it would focus on Malcolm X and his beliefs. What I didn’t expect was a Scorsese’s Goodfellas structured story that chronicles the man before he became Malcolm X and the leader he becomes once he takes on the X moniker. I thought it was an interesting choice and it did make the film a more cohesive enjoyable watch. Spike Lee manages to make a well-informed biopic of Malcolm X while keeping his own distinct style of the directing. Denzel Washington is phenomenal, he pretty much disappears into the role of Malcolm X. The movie only works if Malcolm works and Denzel knocks it out of park portraying Malcolm. So although Malcolm X is a 202-minute long movie it is a terrific movie that is well worth a watch. One day carve some time out of your day and watch Malcolm X. It’s a film that I think everyone should have the chance to watch at least once in their lives. I recommend.

Philadelphia (1993)

My last Denzel Washington film of the month was Philadelphia. Why did I save the saddest film of the bunch for last? I’m not quite sure. Philadelphia like Training Day is not an easy watch though for completely different reasons. Training Day was marked by unbearable tension, Philadelphia on the other hand is marked by unbearable sadness. Seeing Tom Hanks succumb to AIDS is not a fun experience to watch. Speaking of Tom Hanks, he is fantastic in the film as well as Denzel. It’s their chemistry and talent that elevates the movie in my opinion. With any lesser talent, Philadelphia wouldn’t be nearly as well regarded as it is. Philadelphia isn’t a movie I would say I enjoyed, it’s too heartbreaking to say that. Philadelphia is, however, a movie I respect, I respect it bringing the AIDS epidemic into the public’s eye and I respect it for not sugar coating what having AIDS is like. It’s a heartbreaking film, but more than a necessary one. I recommend.

Captain Marvel (2019)

I’m slightly behind on the most recent superhero movies (yes, that includes Endgame), but I finally decided to finally begin to catch up. I did so by finally watching Captain Marvel. I went into Captain Marvel with low expectations because I had heard mixed reviews about the film. I think that helped with watching the film because I pleasantly enjoyed it. It has issues, it’s not a perfect Marvel film (not even close to one), but for what it is I enjoyed it. Captain Marvel gets bogged down due to the origin story of the titular superhero. But that doesn’t ruin the movie for me, it has enough going for it outside of that to be enjoyed. The classic fish out of water tale, the 90s nostalgia, and the trademark Marvel comedy. I had a good time watching Captain Marvel which may be due to my lower expectations, either way, I enjoyed it. I recommend it if you still haven’t seen it before.

Yes, God, Yes (2020)

Continuing making it a habit of watching films directed by women, I checked out Yes, God, Yes. A classic coming of age story focusing on the sexual discovery of teenage girl under a Catholic school setting. I found Yes, God, Yes as awkward as it was funny. I never went to Catholic school, but the movie is relatable enough that you can probably relate to without having the exact same experience as the main character. The movie tells a universal tale about growing up, religion, and finding yourself. We follow one specific experience with our main character, but I honestly believe there’s something in here that everyone can relate to. The movie finds humor in realistic everyday situations. The movie is a simple story but a hilarious and charming one at that. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Yes, God, Yes. I recommend it’s low-key the best movie I have seen that has come out this year. It’s a low bar, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

What movies have you seen this past month? Comment down below.

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