As the summer movie season comes to a close, it was a highly competitive month at the theaters for movie watching. Even with the ongoing drama of MoviePass, I was still able to take advantage and get in some excellent films this month. It may be a slow September coming up but then October ramps up for must watch flicks. Here’s how August shaped out in my mind.

Warning, this article will contain SPOILERS.

#1 – Crazy Rich Asians

I remember seeing the trailer, I initially brushed it off as another romantic comedy. After asking some friends and finding out it was one of the more anticipated book to movie adaptations, I decided to do some research. After learning about the movie’s history and not realizing it had been 25 years since the last Asian-American movie, Crazy Rich Asians shot up to the top of must watch movies this summer.

This movie really had a touch of everything. Falling for someone amazing, getting them to meet your parents, hoping said person would be good enough for the parents who by the way are crazy rich, partying like a rockstar, cheating relationships, mother/son and mother/daughter bonds, all of which are relatable no matter what nationality you are but there are a few bonus points if you grew up in a very traditional Asian household. This was an excellent romantic comedy that you were really rooting for Rachel to win over everyone and stay with Nick. I will admit, there were a few tears shed in the sold out theater I was viewing from everyone. If you haven’t had a chance to go watch Crazy Rich Asians, this slow September month will be your best chance. Go give it a shot, it’s a perfect date movie.

Personal Highlights

  • Gemma Chan playing Astrid… MY GOD SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! 
  • Astrid had some of the best lines in the movie. My favorite was, “God forbid we lose the ancient Chinese tradition of guilting your children.” That had me laughing more than I should have in that theater.
  • The movie made a point of highlighting the plentiful and beautiful food. There was a line that focused on Rachel being too skinny that went something like, “Please eat, you don’t want to be one of those starving Americans.”
  • There was a struggle between focused on family first versus chasing your passion. Eleanor made it very clear it was “family first” and that really grinds my gears. Sometimes family sucks, no matter how rich and successful they may become.
  • Seeing Kina Grannis making a cameo as the wedding singer and hearing her rendition of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” was a wonderful surprise. Hearing her voice really got me into Rachel’s mind and I couldn’t help but feel emotional at that scene.

9/10

#2 – Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade is the story of Kayla who is an introverted girl who is about to graduate eighth grade and the drama that she goes through before getting into the life of a high schooler. Because she didn’t have many friends, she ended up chronicling her year by uploading videos to Youtube which later became part of the voice over narrative as the movie unfolds. 

Some of the more common things I could relate to growing up were things like being invited to birthday parties and swim parties. Other events that were more modern and a big reality check were things like school shooting drills to researching videos online to find out what blowjobs are. I couldn’t believe that kids these days would have to deal with things like that.

I ultimately ended up liking the film and I was glad it was intended for more mature audiences. Although in my theater there were a bunch of kids around that eighth grade level that were enjoying the film despite the R rating.

Personal Highlights

  • “I give great blowjobs” was the line of the movie.
  • I really liked the kid named Gabe. He was the kid that wants to impress Kayla with random things like holding his breath under water to inviting here to chicken nugget dinner with a rainbow of dipping sauces.
  • The truth or dare scene brought the most drama. I played a lot of truth or dare as a teen but it never looked that bad. It was always in good fun but man that was a tough, uncomfortable scene.
  • I felt for the dad, he tried to be close with his daughter but he just ended up feeling awkward. I’m glad he was able to relate to her in the end.

8/10

#3 – Christopher Robin

As a continued story to Winnie the Pooh asking what would happen after Christopher Robin grew up and had a family, would he still be close to Pooh and friends from Hundred Acre Wood? The short answer to that was no. Christopher Robin grew up, felling love, had a family, and is stuck in a hard job that takes up all his time and doesn’t allow him to spend time with his daughter Madeline. Pooh wakes up to find that he runs out of honey and that his friends have gone missing. He thinks that Christopher Robin will be able to help, he goes through the magic door to London in hopes to bring him back to Hundred Acre Wood.

I grew up reading and watching a lot of Winnie the Pooh. As I heard they were going CG with him and his friends, I was hesitant. All the character models looked great but they weren’t as bright and colorful as the original designs in the books growing up. The characters personalities were still as iconic as ever and that was very well expected. Piglet was Piglet, Tigger was Tigger, Eeyore was Eeyore, and Pooh was of course Pooh. The voices of course stood out with the legendary Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and Brad Garrett being a perfect voice for Eeyore. Eeyore for me stole the movie with a bunch of great one liners that had a ton pf people laughing.

If you were a hardcore Winnie the Pooh fan growing up, watching this movie will bring back those memories and I recommend watching. Otherwise it is definitely a  Disney family movie that any kid can enjoy.

Personal Highlights

  • Christopher Robin: “You just can’t take a teddy bear from a grown man!” 
  • Eeyore: “Oh no, not the song…”
  • Pooh: “Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.”

8/10

#4 – BlackKklansman

The latest Spike Lee Joint does everything to satisfy the anticipation of BlackKklansman. Ron Stallworth is a black cop that wants be more than just fetching paperwork and gets sent to go undercover to a Black Panther meeting. Afterwards he gets transferred to intelligence office and runs into an ad for the Ku Klux Klan. He curiously gives them a call and impersonates a white person named Ron Stallworth which lands him a meeting with a Klan chapter president. The police chief decides that they should use another office, Flip, to be Ron Stallworth and infiltrate the Klan chapter and get some information. 

We now get to see how Flip, being Jewish, manages to blend into a klan meeting and how he deals with holding down his emotions to get the job done. Him and Ron grow closer as teammates as they fight a common enemy. 

After many of the shocking events that culminate to the “end” of the movie, it really felt like the story was coming to a nice happy ending for the good guys. We ending up watching the live footage from the Charlotesville riots from last year. It was a deflating reminder that racism is still around and that we have a lot of work to do to fight against those that support evil.

Personal Highlights

  • The Jew Lie Detector test was such a tense scene, really had me on edge.
  • The polaroid that Ron takes with David Duke had me in stitches, what guts Ron had at that time just to screw around with him.
  • Typical Spike Lee has inserted a nice dance scene at the club with the song “Too Late to Turn Back Now.” I couldn’t get the song out of my head for days, great choice.

8/10

#5 – Cowboy Bebop Knockin On Heaven’s Door

This one was a personal favorite of mine. Cowboy Bebop was one of the first anime series that I got on DVD back in the day and its immense popularity continues until this day. To celebrate Cowboy Bebop’s 20th anniversary, Alamo Drafthouse got to rerelease the movie, Knockin On Heaven’s Door, on the big screen.

Before the movie started, we got to see a little reunion interview with the english voice actors on the Bebop. Cowboy Bebop was known for having a stellar english dub and it was cool to see and hear the voice actors again.

The movie actually looked very beautiful even to this day on the big screen. One of the great one-off story top movies that fits well within the story and timeline of the main anime series. I may have seen this movie so much in the past, I was geeking out a bit seeing it for the first time in the theaters. If it ever comes back to theaters and you are an anime fan, you have to go watch it. I will have to find time to watch the whole series on blu-ray soon.

Personal Highlights

  • Hearing “Ask DNA” in the movie theater with the amazing speakers rocking our seats just put me in a happy mood. We also had a lot of people clapping and singing the theme, what a great moment.
  • Faye’s intro with “Cosmic Dare (Pretty With A Pistol)” was also another head bopper. 
  • “What Planet Is This?” is such a hype song and seeing the dogfights and planes flying to this was just beautiful. Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts music is timeless, just like Cowboy Bebop.

8/10

That wraps up my awesome August month of movie watching. September is pretty tight but I do have a top 3 I would like to check out.

Stay tuned for next months rankings! Go watch some movies!

– Allen

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