Movies

Vol. 20 – What I Watched… (Sept. 2019)

I had originally thought of lumping September and October together, but there have been enough films released and seen this month that we’re sticking with the monthly theme. Interestingly enough, the films that made it to this list were are home video releases. The theatrical releases for September are being saved for later this month as there wasn’t anything that piqued my interest.

As always, you can view all movies watched over on Letterboxd.

Onward then, with the September movies.

Best Movie Watched

Booksmart

Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Booksmart is that it doesn’t filter itself at all. It is unabashed in its emotions, its direction, and its purpose. Both leads are authentic and have great chemistry and the supporting cast (Jason Sudeikis’ principal is so good) helps round out this fantastic coming-of-age film directed by Olivia Wilde.

Runner-Up Movie

Shaft

Far better than what the critics made it out to be. Despite what would now be viewed as modern day toxic masculinity, Samuel L. Jackson is still charming as hell as John Shaft and it was great to see Richard Roundtree in the role that gave birth to this whole franchise.

A Few Honorable Mentions

Aladdin

Will Smith as the genie does take a while to get used to but eventually he slips into the role well. The story is the same retread of a creatively bankrupt studio, but the actors are charming and effective enough to make the film watchable.

Ma

Ma plods along through its story at an even pace and Olivia Spencer is as always fantastic to watch. The film ramps up in the final third with some nice twists although the final moments of the film left a bit to be desired (felt like a uncommitted opening to a possible sequel if the film did well at the box office). There is only one really good jump scare in this film. The rest of it is just a suspense film to see what Olivia is going to do the teens and why she’s doing it (easily the weakest part of the story).

Worst Movie Watched

Anna

This film is quintessential modern day Luc Besson – a few well-choreographed fight sequences, a well-shot car chase, a strikingly beautiful, slender heroine, and a mundane plot to drag her through to the end credits.

Anna starts off well enough but quickly becomes a convoluted mess with it’s multiple time shifts (5 years earlier, 3 years later, 3 years earlier, etc.) and a cast of characters that I never really cared about, including (sadly) Luke Evans and his ever-fluctuating Russian accent. If you’re in the mood for some Besson, skip this and stick with the classics like The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, etc.

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