August was another month in the year that won’t just end. As we all continue to slide into more chaos, I watched some movies to distract myself. Let’s talk about them.
Work It (2020)
I normally skip the Netflix teen drama/comedy movies because they are never good and unlike the romantic comedies I love don’t bring me any joy. But I decided to give the new Netflix movie, Work It a try. Mainly because I like the two leads Sabrina Carpenter, Jordan Fischer, and the premise sounded like a modern-day Step Up. Much like other Netflix teen dramas, it’s nothing special and mostly forgettable. But it was fun enough and the leads were charming enough for it to be a decent enough watch. I also enjoyed the soundtrack which is always a plus. I still don’t recommend unless you’re really into these kinds of easy-going movies.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Continuing with my goal of watching more films by women directors I checked out two Keira Knightly lead movies this one. The first one being Bend It Like Beckham. I went in expecting the movie to basically be another teenage romantic comedy, but this was not that at all. The movie has some serious commentary on many issues I wasn’t expecting but appreciated nonetheless. Overall the films itself is a fine, enjoyable movie. Not a new favorite, but I’m glad to have had watched it. I recommend it if it has captured your attention at all.
Misbehavior, the second Keira Knightly lead movie I saw this month. Misbehavior is one of those movies you can’t believe is based on a true story unless you knew about it beforehand. I didn’t know much before I went into the movie, but I came out of it surprised I haven’t heard more about this crazy story before. More than anything I’m glad that Misbehavior was made purely so people including myself could learn more about this fascinating story. It’s one of the more interesting true story movies I’ve seen in some time with some very good performances by each of the cast members but especially by Gugu Mbatha-Raw who portrays the situation as complicated and multilayered as it is. I would love it if more people would see this movie to learn about this incredible story, so I highly recommend it.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox, my first Wes Anderson. I can’t think of a better movie to begin watching Anderson’s discography. As far as I’m concerned, Fantastic Mr. Fox has all his own quirks and charms that he has become known for. And just like many other people before me, I was charmed by Fantastic Mr. Fox. What can I say? I love heist movies. In July it was Spike Lee’s Inside Man, August was Fantastic Mr. Fox, I wonder what this heist movie this month will bring. Anyways, I was just pleasantly surprised by how delightful I was by Fantastic Mr. Fox. It actually managed to get some good laughs outta me and a smile by the end of it. And with how terrible this year has been that was well welcomed. If this at all sounds like something you would like to watch, don’t hesitate. It was a fantastic experience, I recommend it.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
My actor of the month for July was none other than Meryl Streep. The first film of hers I watched was Fantastic Fox, a delightful film that I wished featured more of her. Imagine my reaction when I watched Kramer vs. Kramer. Don’t get me wrong, the movie itself was amazing. Probably my favorite movie I watched all month, but I really would have loved to see more of Meryl and seeing her character on the path of rediscovering herself. Seeing more of her character and her motives would have pushed this into 5 stars for me. It was so close but needed more Meryl Streep to get there for me. But of what we got of her she was very good and the movie itself I loved. It’s one of those that you sit with and think about and keep coming back to. I can’t wait to revisit it for myself. I recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet for yourself.
The Departed (2006)
You know how I said Kramer vs Kramer was probably my favorite movie of all the movies I watched in August well The Departed gave it plenty of competition. If I didn’t already know about the shocking deaths near the end I would say this was my favorite movie of the month, but alas I did and that kinda hurt the emotional impact it left. Otherwise, this was everything had everything I wanted. Interesting plot, dynamic characters, fun dialogue, great twists, and brilliant performances by literally everyone. There’s no weak link in this movie, everyone plays their role perfectly. I’m glad I didn’t hold this off any longer. This may leap its way into being my favorite Scorsese film overtaking Shutter Island. I have to sit with it a little while before truly deciding, but either way, I really loved this movie. And everyone should check it out if you haven’t already.
I also checked out Chicago in August. I enjoyed it but I would be lying if I said everything worked for me. I loved the first act, the second act not so much, the third act was better but didn’t reach the heights of the first act. Well except for the very last scene getting to see Catherine Zeta-Jones and Reneé Zellweger performing together was magical. But I guess that Chicago kinda just peaked in its first act for me which isn’t bad, but it is strange when a movie peaks early on, and the rest of the movie doesn’t compete with the same heights it previously set. Then again, what could compete with Cell Block Tango? I genuinely got chills during that sequence that hasn’t happened in a movie in quite a while. So yeah, I enjoyed Chicago but as much as I was expecting to. I’ll probably like it better on rewatches now that I now know to expect from. I still recommend it even if you don’t like musicals. For Cell Block Tango it’s worth it alone.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After watching Captain Marvel for the first time in July, I decided I should probably finally watch Endgame. And I did. What I did not see coming was a few days after I had watched it to hear about one of it’s lead Chadwick Boseman passing away. Talk about some sick irony. In hindsight, his final MCU scene has to be one of the most powerful movie scenes I have ever seen. An extraordinary actor that will sorely be missed. RIP.
Spiderman: Far From Home (2019)
I don’t know maybe it was just the superhero fatigue after Endgame, but man did Far From Home not impress me. The villain is decent, the actors are all doing a fine job, but that’s all I really can say about it. Well okay, the cliffhanger is pretty good, but that just makes me look forward to the next movie not adding anything to the one I’m currently watching. Far From Home just feels so basic, no real risks or surprises. Nothing makes it stand out from the MCU movies or even any of the other Spiderman movies. It’s not bad by any means, but it isn’t anything special either. I’ll leave it up to you if it’s something you want to check out.
My third Meryl Streep movie, Doubt listened to what I wanted from Fantastic Mr. Fox and Kramer vs. Kramer and gave me more Meryl. In fact, Doubt was by far the best Meryl performance I saw all month. It’s probably one of her best period. I can’t say for certain because I haven’t seen all of her films, but if her performance in Doubt isn’t it then what the f*ck! Not a lot actually happens in Doubt, but Meryl is the movie’s anchor. Keeping the audience invested and hooked with a few performances is difficult I imagine but Doubt does it effortlessly. Not only does Meryl Streep gives an excellent performance, but so does Amy Adams, Viola Davis, and the last great Phillip Seymour Hoffman. If you want to see some of the greatest actresses do what they do best and one of the greatest actors do what he did best. I highly recommend Doubt, it’s a masterclass in acting.
My last movie for August was Adapation. And to be quite honest I don’t know what to make of Adaptaion. This was may have been the meta-est movie I have ever seen and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. Look I love meta in my movies, but there was so much meta in this movie it actually gave me a headache. I don’t think I can explain if I even tried. The performances are great by everyone including Meryl. But the meta nature kinda turned me off on it. What I did like about the movie was seeing the behind-the-scenes of adapting a book into a movie and the struggles that come with it. That was the most interesting part of the movie for me. I can’t either recommend or not recommend it. It’s simply a matter of personal taste.