Month Long Film Challenge: The Reviews

Last year in June, I watched a new movie every day of the entire month. This year I’d like to reprise that same challenge for the month of July. It was pretty good last year, I only managed to miss a few days worth of movies.

Seems simple enough, amended some rules to change up the movie list.

For reference, here was last year’s list.

**One Amendment**
I realized the phrase “South American” didn’t include Mexican features so a better way of putting that is “Latin American” features. I changed my rules list to better describe the movies I meant I wanted to watch.

WATCH RULES

  • 50/50 Comedies and Dramas; slot sub-genres as best as possible to comedy/drama guidelines
  • Can slot in 2 documentaries
  • At least 2 Latin American films
  • At least 5 any foreign language films
  • At least 7 films by a female director or by a female writer
  • A minimum of 15 shorts can slot in for 1 movie, music videos don’t count
  • No rewatching movies!

JULY MOVIE REVIEWS

The following one line reviews will be as spoiler free as possible. I can’t say for certainty that they will be 100% spoiler free and I will not take responsibility for it.

Here we go…

—–

1. Madam X (1994) – Directed by Deepak Shivdasani Starring RekhaMohsin Khan, and Shakti Kapoor 

Check List: Foreign Language (Hindi), Action/Drama

Moon Rating: The craziest, harshest cuts. Probably where modern pop stars get their wardrobe ideas, including MIA. Madam X refers to herself as the express train of death so like watch it?!

—–

2. Girls Trip (2017) – Directed by Malcom D. Lee, Starring Regina HallQueen LatifahJada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish 

Check List: Comedy, POC Cast, Female Written by Erica Rivinoja & Kenya Barris

Moon Rating: Endearing comedy about women, raunchy as heck, would watch again. Haddish is a treasure and would like a sequel. I would like to see the Flossy Posse again.

—–

3. Brigsby Bear (2017) – Directed by Dave McCary, Starring Kyle Mooney, Mark Hamill, Ryan Simpkins, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

Check List: Drama, Unintentional Dark Comedy

Moon Rating: Utterly mesmerizing. If you had any ambition to make a movie, this film lets you know you could so long as you did it for yourself first.

—–

4. 8 Mile (2002) – Directed by Scott Silver, Starring Marshall Mathers, Mehki Phifer, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy

Check List: Drama, Slightly Biographic, Movie About Music

Moon Rating: A strange trip that feels surreal if you were a fan of Slim Shady long before this non-biopic biopic.

—–

5. Gook (2017) – Directed by Justin Chon, Starring Simone BakerJustin ChonCurtiss Cook Jr., David So

Check List: Drama, Indie, New Black and White, POC cast

Moon Rating: Tense, beautiful story telling, fully realized characters, needs more female characters but was quite the ride. pls watch

—–

6. Maximum Overdrive (1986) – Directed by Stephen King, Starring Emilio EstevezPat HingleLaura Harrington 

Check List: Horror, Satire, Cocaine Fuelled mess

Moon Rating: OMIGOD OMIGOD WHY?! How… who financed this? These are some hard edits in this. EMILIOOOOOO!!!!

—–

7. Ant-man and the Wasp (2018) – Directed by Peyton Reed, Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Pena

Check List: Comedy, Action, Comic Book, In Theatres

Moon Rating: Probably the funniest Marvel movie, very tightly written, must love Paul Ruddisms.

—–

8. The Double (2013) – Directed by Richard Ayoade, Starring Jesse EisenbergMia WasikowskaWallace Shawn 

Check List: Drama, Based on a Book, Intrigue, Indie

Moon Rating: You might feel a bit lost at first but it was all intentional because by the end the puzzle completes itself. Highly mesmerising, might make you hate your desk job a lot.

—–

9. Set It Up (2018) – Directed by Claire Scanlon, Starring Zoey DeutchGlen PowellLucy Liu, Taye Diggs

Check List: Rom Com, Netflix Made, Written by a Woman (Katie Silberman), Directed by a Woman

Moon Rating: A well thought out comedy, a wonder revival of the romantic comedy genre, worth watching.

—–

10. The Wailing (2016) – Directed by Hong-jin Na, Starring Jun KunimuraJung-min HwangDo-won Kwak, Hwan-hee Kim

Check List: Horror, Suspense, Drama, Korean

Moon Rating: Twisted, scary, haunting, a strange ride but worth it. Expect possible nightmares.

—–

11. Bulworth (1998) – Directed by Warren Beatty, Starring Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Oliver Platt

Check List: Comedy, Political Satire

Moon Rating: Clunky but highly needed for today’s political landscape as everything in the movie is happening right now. Strangely. That or just watch Idiocracy. What a double bill.

—–

12. War on Everyone (2016) – Directed by John Michael McDonagh, Starring Alexander SkarsgårdMichael Peña, Tessa Thompson, Theo James

Check List: Action, Dark Comedy, Retro Detective Roots

Moon Rating: This movie wishes it was a Shane Black adventure BUT IT NOT and was not very good. Ever wanted to see a retro detective movie done not very good? This movie. How did it get this cast idfk…

—–

13. Belko Experiment (2016) – Directed by James Gunn, Starring  John Gallagher Jr.Tony GoldwynAdria Arjona, Melonie Diaz, John C. McGinley

Check List: Horror, Thriller, Human Experiement

Moon Rating: An interesting situation, gory, bloody, and worth a watch.

—–

14. Seoul Searching (2015) – Directed by Benson Lee, Starring Justin ChonJessika VanIn-Pyo Cha, Teo Yon, Esteban Ahn, Rosalina Lee 

Check List: 80s Teen Comedy, Modern Retro, Throwback

Moon Rating: A messy baby but worth the perspective and recent history of Korea.

—–

15. The Big Chill (1983) – Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, Starring Tom Berenger, Glenn CloseJeff Goldblum, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, JoBeth Williams

Check List: Drama, A Highly Referenced/Spoken About Movie

Moon Rating: Less baby boomer than you’d think, more progressive than you think, YUNG JEFF GOLDBLUM, YUNG GLEN CLOSE, AND MF YUNG KEVIN KLINE WTFFFFF

—–

16. Neruda (2016) – Directed by Guillermo Calderón, Starring Gael García BernalLuis GneccoMercedes Morán

Check List: Drama, Biographical, Chase Movie, Chilean/Argentinian Feature

Moon Rating: Beautiful, utterly stunning frames, one of the softest spoken movies I’ve seen. There’s fucking gorgeous POETRY.

—–

17. Fist Fight (2017) – Directed by Richie Keen, Starring  Ice CubeCharlie DayTracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks

Check List: Comedy, High School Antics

Moon Rating: It’s okay, good for a few laughs, best scene might be Charlie Day’s character doing the Big Sean number with onscreen daughter played by Alexa Nisenson.

—–

18. 40 Below and Falling (2015) – Directed by Dylan Pierce, Starring  Jewel StaiteCindy BusbyShawn Roberts, Mark Meer

omg… no. NO. JUST DON’T.

18. Wanderlust (2013) – Directed by David Wain, Starring Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn

Check List: Comedy, Quarter Life Crisis, A Wain Movie

Moon Rating: Funny, strange, and very much in the vain of a Wain movie. If you liked Wet Hot American Summer, you’ll probably like this.

—–

19. Columbus (2017) – Directed by Kogonada, Starring John ChoHaley Lu RichardsonParker Posey

Check List: Drama, Quiet Wave, Meditative

Moon Rating: The reviews are true, this movie will make you give a shit about architecture. Also, how can I get cool enough to smoke with John Cho and talk architecture???

—–

20. Snowden (2016) – Directed by Oliver Stone, Starring Joseph Gordon-LevittShailene WoodleyMelissa Leo

Check List: Drama, Dramatization, Biopic-ish, Whistleblower Series

Moon Rating: A very Oliver Stone’d movie, interesting to see how the days leading to Snowden rabbiting across to Moscow went. More interesting since the subjects of the movie are alive, not very old, and apart of the process.

—–

21. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010) – Directed by Zack Snyder, Starring Jim SturgessHugo WeavingDavid Wenham

Check List: Animated, Dramatic, Fantasy, Owls

Moon Rating: This movie is strange, filled with the beginnings of Snyder’s isms, possibly worth it to see great feather animation dynamics. DID I MENTION THIS IS PRE MAN OF STEEL SNYDER? omg it weird but i mean watch it…

—–

22. The Similars (2015) – Directed by Issac Ezban, Starring Gustavo Sánchez ParraCatalina Salas, Carmen BeatoFernando Becerril, Humberto Busto, Cassandra Ciangherotti, María Elena Olivares, Santiago Torres

Check List: Horror Suspense/Sci-Fi, Mexican, Nostalgia Filmmaking

Moon Rating: Twlight Zone feels. Deadpan suggest this movie to your friends. You’ll figure it out.

—–

23. Logan Lucky (2017) – Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Starring Channing TatumAdam DriverDaniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Farrah Mackenzie

Check List: Comedy, Heist, Written by a Female (Rebecca Blunt)

Moon Rating: Slick, funny, every nook and cranny stuffed with character acting. Watch this if you miss Soderberghisms.

—–

24. Mascots (2016) – Directed by Christopher Guest, Starring Zach WoodsSarah Baker , Chris O’Dowd, Tom Bennett, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock

Check List: Comedy, Dry, Subgenre Competition Story

Moon Rating: It’s so Guestiant, tons of dialogue word plays, FRED WILLARD.

—–

25. Lone Wolf & Cub: Baby Cart on the River Styx (1972) – Directed by Kenji Misumi, Starring Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Akiji Kobayashi, Akihiro Tomikawa

Check List: Foreign Film (Japanese), Drama, Period Piece, Samurai Movie, Apart of a Series

Moon Rating: The baby is on the demon road and is hard af. Don’t doubt the kid.

—–

26. Kingsmen: The Golden Circle (2017) – Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Starring Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Hanna Alström, Sophie Cookson, Pedro Pascal, Halle Berry

Check List: Action, Comedy, Co-Written by a Woman (Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn)

Moon Rating: It’s interesting. The action shots are frequent and fun. They really want that trilogy hey… This is also the second movie to highly feature John Denver’s Country Roads.

—–

27. My Life as a Zucchini (2016) – Directed by Claude Barras, Starring Erick Abbate, Ness Krell, Romy Beckman, Nick Offerman, Barry Mitchell, Clara Young, Finn Robbins, Olivia Bucknor, Amy Sedaris, Susanne Blakeslee, Will Forte, Ellen Page

Check List: Animated, Drama, French, Stop Motion, Co-Written by a Woman (Céline Sciamma, Claude Barra,s Germano Zullo, Morgan Navarro)

Moon Rating: Movie is about orphans and child psychology, lots of amazing little performances and beautifully animated.  

—–

28. Coco (2017) – Directed by Lee UnkrichAdrian Molina, Starring Anthony GonzalezGael García BernalBenjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor

Check List: Animated, Music Based Story, Family

Moon Rating: I don’t know why I slept so hard on this for so long but damn its a great story. An interestingly intricate story for those who have big families. IT’S GORGEOUS! Sad the album is not longer.

—–

29. The Square (2017) – Directed by Ruben Östlund, Starring Claes BangElisabeth MossDominic West, Christopher Læssø, Terry Notary

Check List: Foreign, Dark Comedy, About the Arts, Swedish

Moon Rating: At one point the main character Christian yells “The Tesla of Justice!”, they skewer modern art whilst asking the viewer to see their world through modern art references. A strange journey. Notery gets to re-up on his King Kong animalling.

—–

30. Tangerine (2015) – Directed by Sean Baker, Starring Kitana Kiki RodriguezMya TaylorKarren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan

Check List: Drama, Christmas Movie, Shot Entirely on an iPhone

Moon Rating: A day in WeHo with two bffs on Christmas Eve, they take you through their ups and downs in a day. Lots of drama, all new ways of speech, a fucking trip and worth your time. Still thinking about it.

—–

CONCLUSION

Let’s see my final count…

  1. Madam X
  2. Girls Trip
  3. Brigsby Bear
  4. 8 Mile
  5. Gook
  6. Maximum Overdrive
  7. Ant-Man and The Wasp
  8. The Double
  9. Set It Up
  10. The Wailing
  11. Bulworth
  12. War On Everyone
  13. Belko Experiment
  14. Seoul Searching
  15. The Big Chill
  16. Neruda
  17. Fist Fight
  18. Wanderlust
  19. Columbus
  20. Snowden
  21. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
  22. The Similars
  23. Logan Lucky
  24. Mascots
  25. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart on the River Styx
  26. Kingsmen: The Golden Circle
  27. My Life as a Zucchini
  28. Coco
  29. The Square
  30. Tangerine

 

THE DIVIDE
Comedy: IIIII IIIII II
Drama: IIIII IIIII IIIII III

THE SPECIFICS
Foreign: IIIII/5
Latin American: II/2
Female Directer or Written: IIIII/7

Well damn.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I missed a few days but managed to catch up with one movie off
  • I didn’t hit a few ratios and goals like 50/50 comedy and dramas or enough female directed and/or written film
  • I really thought I could watch a short everyday of this month and I never did, I just watched youtube videos like a chump
  • I’m glad to have fit in some Latin American films, they’re different and hoping to get a few more in this year
  • Kinda sad I didn’t take advantage of the documentary rule I put in specifically for getting bored
  • Only one of these movies was shot black and white and that movie is Gook
  • A total of 5 movies specifically set in California
  • 3 animated movies consumed
  • 2 movies with female leads, my bad
  • Only one movie fail; 40 Below and Falling, I tried but its just so bad so I stopped watching it after probably 25 minutes
  • Big Surprises: Brigsby Bear, Gook, The Wailing, The Big Chill, Neruda, Columbus, The Square
  • Meh Awards: Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, Fist Fight, War On Everyone, Snowden
  • Strangest Trip Award: The Double, The Square
  • WTFUCK AWARD?!: Bulworth because Warren Beatty WROTE THOSE BARS
  • What to watch RIGHT NOW?!: Tangerine, that’s a trip and real fucking trip
  • Worst of the Bunch: War On Everyone, it very bad

 

Always weird to see what you end up liking or disliking, how a movie marketing reads and how the movie actually is like. I am still thinking about Tangerine and Brigsby Bear. Surprised by The Big Chill. You gotta get a list together and just try it, even if you watch movies everyday. Get a list of movies that you always wanted to watch but you keep putting off, get it together and do it.

Alright, time to go. Do the challenge, don’t chicken out.

Advertisements