My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 7

If Spielberg’s vision for War of the Worlds ever comes true, I know what my role would be. I don’t think I’d be amongst the masses incinerated in the early onslaught (chances are I’d be inside, not knowing what was going on until at least days later), but I’d probably get caught in one of those big cage things on the tripods. Don’t worry though, because I’d be the guy who first infects the aliens with the common cold. Consider me the sacrifice that saves humanity. I’m fine with that. You see, somehow, we’re only 7 weeks into the year and I’m already on my third cold. Third! What the heck happened to my immune system? Also, Aisha watched War of the Worlds last night (I only caught glimpses, so it doesn’t feature in this post as an official watch), and bloody hell is Tim Robbins creepy in that film. Here’s what I watched this week.

Obvious Child (2014)
obvious-child-movie-jenny-slate
I spent this week catching up on a lot of films from 2014 that I’d missed first time around, starting off with this indie from first time director Gillian Robespierre, starring comedian Jenny Slate. I’d heard good things in general from the likes of The Matinee and Across the Universe, but nothing specific about the film, and unfortunately I don’t get the hype. It wasn’t bad, it just did nothing for me. The film follows Donna, a pretty terrible stand-up comedian who only seems to get gigs because her friend is the compère, who gets dumped by her boyfriend (in the seediest looking public toilet this side of Trainspotting) and will soon be losing her job in a small book shop. On the rebound from her relationship she has a one-night stand with a nice guy called Max (Jake Lacy), which results in an unwanted pregnancy, which she immediately decides to have aborted, but must wait a few weeks until she is biologically ready to have the procedure. Despite being less than 90 minutes long I felt this dragged a great deal (there’s one scene where we watch Donna falling asleep, and it was a real struggle not doing the same myself), and if I hadn’t heard this described elsewhere as a comedy I’ve have thought it to be a standard drama, because I don’t think I laughed once. That being said, I found the closing scene to be very touching in a simple, relatable way, so at least it finished with a smile.
Lists: None
Choose Life 5/10

What We Did On Our Holiday (2014)
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Your ability to tolerate of What We Did On Our Holiday will be similar to your ability to tolerate the inane, nonsensical ramblings of young children who are unfamiliar with the concept of logic, which for me is limited at best. Made by the creative team behind the UK TV series Outnumbered, a semi-scripted sitcom where the adults (Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner) are perpetually overwhelmed by their three children, this follows a similar format but switches out the small-screen actors for the bigger names of David Tennant and Rosamund Pike, throws in a failing marriage and adds Billy Connolly’s dying grandfather and Ben Miller’s overbearing uncle to the mix. It’s harmless, family friendly fare, but if I hadn’t had my laptop I’d have been bored silly.
Lists: None
Choose Life 4/10

Boyhood (2014)
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Richard Linklater’s multiple-Oscar-nominee and probable multiple-Oscar-winner hasn’t been released long enough to make it onto any of the lists I’m going through yet, but it’s almost a certainty that it’ll be added to the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die come this October, so I’ll be writing a review shortly to pre-emptively cross this off my list. I’m publicly not a fan of much of Linklater’s work, and this did very little to sway my opinion, so it’s imperative that I review it now so I don’t have to watch it again. It saddens me to think that this is the favourite to pick up Best Picture come Sunday.
Lists:
 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (probably)
Review coming soon.

What If (2014)
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Valentine’s Day happened this past week (hopefully you’re not just learning this now, if so I feel you may be in trouble if you have a significant other) so what better way to celebrate than with a romantic comedy? I really like both Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, so the two of them sharing the screen together was a real treat. They play people who would be an excellent match if one of them wasn’t already in a serious relationship, so they decide to be friends, and things get a bit complicated along the way. Despite liking most of the film (particularly the obligatory outlandish best friend character of Adam Driver), it felt really long at times, but in fact was about 100 minutes. It didn’t go anywhere unexpected, but that’s not what you go into these movies for. I don’t hate romcoms, and I felt this was one of the better ones I’ve seen in recent years. I just wish they’d stuck with the original title of The F Word.
Lists:
 None
Choose Film 7/10

Gone Girl (2014)
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I think this has a shot at being added to the 1001 List later this year too, so again I’m planning a review (also I’m reviewing all of David Fincher’s movies anyway). I still didn’t outright love it, because there’s a few issues with the adaptation of the story, but there’s more than enough greatness here to make this a hearty recommendation. Also, it followed What If in our Valentine’s double bill, which was just perfect if you ask me.
Lists:
 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (probably)
Review coming soon.

Bad Timing (1980)
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I occasionally write reviews for Blueprint: Review, whenever site manager David receives screeners to films I want to see (rarely) or are on one of the lists I’m going through (slightly more regularly). Invariably I just stick my hand up and yell “Me! I’ll take it!” without actually checking if I think I’ll like it or not, of if I’ll be able to write a decent review (I like to at least try and up my game a little when writing for other people’s sites, although usually to mixed results). Bad Timing, which I should have reviewed about a week ago and will hopefully finish writing about tomorrow (sorry David), is by Nicolas Roeg, a director who is a long way from being considered one of my favourites, but it’s on the Empire 5-Star 500 list, so I’d have to get to it eventually. All I need to do now is work out how the heck to review a film I’m pretty sure I didn’t understand. Wish me luck.
Lists: Empire 5-Star 500
Review coming soon.

Luther (2011)
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Series 2, Episode 3, 4: We finished off series 2 of Luther with a cracking double-bill in which the eponymous detective must deal with a mob boss (Pam Ferris!) and her little shit of a grandson making trouble for Luther and the girl in his charge, whilst also ascertain why an anonymous guy is causing havoc seemingly at random and with no recognisable motive. This show just gets better and better, and I’m marvelling at my own restraint for not having dug into series 3 yet. It’s sat on my bookcase, just waiting for me to watch an episode tomorrow.

Posts you may have missed:
There Will Be Blood
The Master
Inherent Vice
Predestination
Splendor in the Grass
Drinking Game: Shaun of the Dead
Lambcast #256 The Goonies Movie of the Month: I was joined by my co-host Robert, Nick, Pat and Will to discuss The Goonies, one of Robert’s favourite movies, which was a first time watch for myself and Nick. I still need to write my review of this (as you’ll see from the update below, I’m remaining behind on pretty much all fronts) so expect that soon. In the meantime, this was a really fun show, and it features my favourite of my own rants, ever. Yep, I just tooted my own horn. Deal with it.

Goals Update
Aim: Cross off all saved TiVo films
Watched: 7
To go: 54
Should be on: 8
On Track: No!

Aim: See 25 films in the cinema
Watched: 4
To go: 21
Should be on: 3
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review Kate Winslet’s remaining films
Reviewed: 0
To go: 3
Should be on: 0
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 12 “bad” films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 1
To go: 11
Should be on: 2
On Track: No!

Aim: Watch 1 nominated film a week from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 2
To go: 50
Should be on: 7
On Track: No!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 8
To go: 67
Should be on: 10
On Track: No!

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