Last year, I made a note of every film we’d watched throughout the year and shared them in a post at the end of December. It seemed to be fairly well received and it also helped us review a year through a different medium.
So I decided to do it again. Except this time, due to the entire year being quite a gargantuan task, I intended to compile a post quarterly. And then we got to April…then the end of April…and I realised I’d missed my fraction window!
So instead, I’m hoping this is the first of a trilogy – because every good film comes in threes, right?! (Please don’t start giving me examples of when this hasn’t worked – there are far too many!)
Although this last month has been light on celluloid entertainment, we have still maintained an average of just over one a week, with 21 in total.
But what were they?
We may only live a ten minute walk from a cinema but it’s far too cold to be venturing outside in January, so a movie night on the sofa always seems like a good plan!
We kicked off the year of films with a heartwarming tale based on true-life events. Eddie the Eagle, featuring Hugh Jackman with Taron Egerton in the lead role, chronicles the unlikely rise of Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper. Delightfully cheesy in parts, it had me cheering him along just as I remember doing with the real Eddie when I was a child. Everyone loves an underdog – and Egerton immortalises him perfectly.
Inferno was the next offering – now whilst I was a huge fan of Da Vinci Code, this didn’t quite do it for me (neither did Angels and Demons). Still, it was watchable and it does always fuel my desire to investigate more puzzles and ciphers!
Still saddened by the death of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, we also saw the fantastic documentary Bright Lights about their lives – two such funny ladies and a pleasure to see a little inside their daily routines, despite the stories being tinged with heartache.
Girl on the Train was highly anticipated but was a dull let-down if I’m honest. Dreary and predictable, I didn’t think it deserved the hype I’d heard about it. So we cheered ourselves up with an ‘old’ classic and a bit of Firefly goodness in the guise of Serenity!
Finally, we saw out the first month of the year with Don’t Think Twice – a ‘dramedy’ about an struggling improv group. Featuring Gillian Jacobs (who I’ve decided peaked in Community), it was average at best. Although some of the skits were quite funny.
Okay, so full disclosure. The 21 films seen so far should really say 20.1. Because Jason Bourne was so boring, we fell asleep after 20 minutes!
The bad start was more than made up for by Hacksaw Ridge, the true life tale of Desmond T Doss, who refused to bear arms in WW2 and then managed to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa without firing a shot. I love war films and having accounts from the real life veterans in the credits was a nice touch that had me welling up.
Doctor Strange, the only Marvel film we’ve not managed to see on the big screen, was all kinds of magical. I know there are some who have pulled the story apart but when I’m in the mood for this type of film, throw in a few cool effects and some slow-mo martial arts fight scenes and I’m easily pleased. And come on, Cumberbatch, Mikklesen AND Swinton (who is sooo weird she’s boomeranged back to cool!) #TildaforDrWho
Midnight Special was a surprise hit for me. Getting over the fact I can’t stand Kirsten Dunst, this odd, sci-fi adventure was reminiscent of those in the genre from the 80s and tapped into my nostalgia that Stranger Things had helped to keep maintained last year.
We ended the month with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson charming his way into everyone’s heart, whether he’s animated or flexing his immaculate flesh! Disney was on form with Moana and the comedy duo of Kevin Hart and Dwayne in Central Intelligence worked well, despite being nothing new.
Venturing outside the confines of Hogwarts, we travelled across the Pond for Fantastic Beasts. Now, I’ll fully admit I was not on board with known entities (such as Muggles) being given trans-Atlantic terms but I actually loved it…and as with real vocabulary, it was fun to hear the differences. Oh, and Nifflers are mint!
It was then time to…well, I’ll not spoil it, in case you’ve yet to see it. But let’s just say that Logan, and the chemistry between Jackman and Stewart, was brilliant and had all the feels…
The good start to this month’s viewings was continued in Sing Street. Another title I would have passed by if choosing was left to me, this quirky coming-of-age film, set in 1980s Dublin, has a nostalgic feel and takes on the music of the era nicely. Plus, every Game of Thrones fan needs to see Littlefinger getting his groove on!
And then we took a leap of faith…with Assassin’s Creed. Oh, I so wish we hadn’t. The machinations made little sense, even to someone who has played the game and even a bare-chested Fassbender could not redeem it.
Nocturnal Animals, however, brought us back on track. A moody, often disturbing, murder mystery on the surface, it served as an analogy for more than that for the central characters (played brilliantly by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.) A slow-burner that’s definitely worth a watch.
To round off the month, we watched Passengers, which despite its bad press, we enjoyed. As long as you’re not expecting an action movie, it was a sweet love-story borne out of dire circumstances, just played on a different stage. Pratt and Lawrence do seem to work well together on-screen, but I was disappointed with the ending. I would have taken it in another direction but perhaps my idea would have been too predictable and twee.
Strangely, it seems April is the month we start to drop off the film feasting radar. We watched exactly the same low number of films this time last year. A whole three!
However, 66% of them were excellent with all of them being very enjoyable. Captain Fantastic started us off, with Viggo Mortensen raising his family off-grid until a tragedy pushes them back into society. Funny, thoughtful and very much about ‘power to the people’!
Dipping our toe tentatively back into the world of M. Night Shyamalan, Split was just amazing. I don’t know whether it was the superb performance by James McAvoy, the overall creepy plot or just the fact that psychology and mental health issues have always been immensely interesting to me. I was proud to say once again that I had been an M. Night fan!
Finally, having never seen the original, I had nothing to compare it to, but The Magnificent Seven was a good old, traditional Western, in my book. Okay yes, it bordered on being unnecessarily long but Chris Pratt had great swagger as a gun-toting tough guy and I feel Denzel Washington could deliver the ingredients on a cereal packet and the world would take notice!
So that’s our round up so far – such a long post, sorry! (Aren’t you glad it’s a trilogy?!)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any you’ve seen / want to watch and should you have any stellar recommendations for us, I’m all ears!
Image Credits: imdb.com and bitmoji app