My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 18

These past few weeks I’ve been getting seriously behind on all my targets for the year. Then last week we got a puppy and it looked like everything would just get worse. Then this week happened. Oh what a glorious week it has been! You see, I pulled the short straw of puppy ownership by taking the first week off work to look after little Murphy but, it turns out, the little fella likes to sleep a whole darn lot. Yes there’s been far more urine on various floor-like surfaces than usual, and yes there are teeth and claw marks in my arms, hands and soul, but I’ve spent a great deal of these past few days sat in front of my television, my laptop or both. And then on top of that the week ends with a three-day weekend (after my one day in work, tagging my partner in for a little light poop-a-scooping), during which my partner takes Murphy up to see her folks, leaving me with the house to myself and those aforementioned screens. Hence, I got a lot done. How much? Well why don’t you take a glance southwards and find out. Here’s what I watched this week:

Ben-Hur (1959)
Nominated for me to watch by DJ Valentine from Simplistic Reviews.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301, Nominated Movies, TiVo Movies
Full review here.

Tango & Cash (1989)
Prison escape movie? Check. Two great action icons in the forms of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell? Check. Kurt Russell’s luxurious hair? Checkety-check. Anything resembling a gripping, cohesive narrative or reason to watch this at all? No. This was semi-watched in the background during one of Murphy’s court-mandated play sessions, but even then I was bored. I love prison escape movies, yet this was garbage. Stallone and Russell had no chemistry, they had exactly the same character except Stallone dressed more smartly, and frankly the whole thing was forgettable. Jack Palance was decent as the villain though. I mainly watched this so I could listen to the episode of How Did This Get Made? devoted to it, which I shall be listening to tomorrow and, hopefully, will be better than the film.
Lists: TiVo Movies
Choose Life 4/10

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Also watched in the background whilst playing with Murphy, I’d been curious about this film ever since it got picked in a draft episode of the Lambcast last year, devoted to movies from 1984. It was fun, but far from essential, and some of the antics pulled off by the heroes range from shameful to appalling, crossing through offensive and illegal along the way. There’s one scene in which one of the main characters puts on a costume to pretend to be a girl’s boyfriend in order to have sex with her. Had she not enjoyed the experience, he’d have been arrested for rape, and probably stoned to death (they still stoned people in the 80s, right?). I enjoyed Timothy Busfield (Poindexter), a guy I’ve appreciated in The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, John Goodman is always a treat and the great James Cromwell plays Anthony Edwards’ dad, and is credited under the name Jamie Cromwell.
Lists: TiVo Movies
Choose Life 6/10

Face/Off (1997)
Another film I watched for an upcoming How Did This Get Made? podcast episode.
Lists: Empire’s 5-Star 500
Full review here.

Andrei Rublev (1969)
Nominated for me to watch by Joel Burman.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301, Nominated Movies, Bad Movies
Full review here.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Annex - Bogart, Humphrey (Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The)_01
Nominated for me to watch by T Sorenson from T Sorenson 1001 Movie Blog.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Nominated Movies
Full review here.

Wake in Fright (1971)
Nominated for me to watch by Lindsay Street from French Toast Sunday.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Nominated Movies
Full review here.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
19 mononoke 1
Nominated for me to watch by Bubbawheat from Flights, Tights and Movie Nights.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301, Nominated Movies
Full review here.

A Star is Born (1954)
Nominated for me to watch by Kristen Lopez from Journeys in Classic Film.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Nominated Movies
Full review here.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
I loved the first Avengers movie. I’ve also enjoyed most of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly Iron Mans 1 and 3, so I was looking forward to this one, which promised more action from the superhero team, going up against the created-for-good-but-came-out-evil Ultron, as voiced by James Spader, as well as siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen). I loved the film, not quite as much as the first one (origin stories always sit better with me), but there was still a great big grin plastered across my face for most of it. A lot of the first film’s issues were dealt with – Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in particular has a great deal to do here, and his lack of apparent super-abilities is highlighted and commented upon – and I don’t share the opinion many others do that this was over-stuffed with too many characters and too much going on. It could have maybe used a little more time to flesh out some of them – the likes of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) don’t necessarily have an awful lot to do, but I’ve said before that they have their own films, this is for the team, and I think it worked. We recorded a Lambcast episode on it too, which you can listen to here, and I’d recommend it.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 8/10

Bad Land: Road to Fury (2014)
Watched for Blueprint: Review, and because Michael Shannon is in it.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Full review here.
Choose Life 5/10

Automata (2014)
When I applied for the Bad Land: Road to Fury disc to review, I also got sent this one. I needed something on in the background whilst I did some podcast archiving so I stuck this on. It sees Antonio Banderas as an insurance checker for a company that provides A.I. robots, looking into whether the company needs to pay out on any potentially malfunctioning robots. However, some of the bots have been breaking their protocol by repairing and upgrading themselves, which causes his company to become concerned that Banderas is in league with them when he gets caught up with a band of four suck bots who drag him out into the desert. The plot gets too complicated for its own good, and the fact that Banderas is an innocent in the whole thing but is blamed for being some kind of traitor to mankind sounds Hitchcockian but came off as just frustrating. I liked some of the robot designs, but the main one – a sex bot – looked too basic and awkward. Not a bad film, just utterly unremarkable.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Life 4/10

Posts you may have missed:
FTS Around the Campfire: Characters We Most Identify With
FTS in the Movies: Round 17:
There’s still up to 10 points available if you can guess the (particularly tricky) Difficult image and the actor behind my face in this week’s game. You have until Wednesday.
Favourite Scene Friday: Magnolia: Just a little respect
Bad Land: Road to Fury

Andrei Rublev
A Star is Born
Princess Mononoke
Wake in Fright
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Lambcast #267 Superhero Movie Draft: I love when we do draft movies on the Lambcast, where myself and some other guests compete to form the best team of movies or actors, based on a certain theme. As we live in the time of the superhero movie, it seemed right to do a Superhero Movie Draft. I competed against Nick Rehak, Joel Burman, DJ Valentine and Bubbawheat. Listen to the show, then head here to go vote for my team.
Lambcast #268 Avengers: Age of Ultron: I was super-efficient yesterday and managed to prepare for, record, edit and post the latest Lambcast show all in the space of an evening, because that’s how I spend my Sunday nights. I was joined by Kristen Lopez, Bubbawheat, Brendan Cassidy and Matthew Stewart to dig into the latest Avengers movie, so check out the show.

Goals Update
As you can see, I’ve still got a lot of red going on. However, I’ve got most of this coming week off work too, and I’m making it a mission to have all but one of these lit up as green by this time next week. There’s not much hope for the 2015 Movies one just yet, although we’re getting close to the time when not only are there loads of films in the cinema I want to see (Jurassic World, Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible, Mad Max, Terminator Genisys) but also some of those released earlier in the year will be hitting DVD and On-Demand pretty soon too. For now, I’ll be focussing on the Nominated Films, “Bad” Movies and the works of Kate Winslet.

Aim: Watch all 61 saved TiVo films
Watched: 26
To go: 35
Should be on: 21
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 59 movies released in the UK in 2015
Watched: 9
To go: 50
Should be on: 11
On Track: No!

Aim: Review Kate Winslet’s remaining films
Reviewed: 0
To go: 3
Should be on: 1
On Track: No!

Aim: Watch 12 “bad” films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 2
To go: 10
Should be on: 4
On Track: No!

Aim: Watch 1 nominated film a week from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 16
To go: 36
Should be on: 18
On Track: No!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 27
To go: 48
Should be on: 26
On Track: Yes!

11 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 18

  1. You’re up to 2 greens!!! Yay!!! Seriously, though you saw some good stuff. The Treasure of Sierra Madre is excellent. I used to love Revenge of the Nerds back in the 80s, but yeah it definitely fits that time frame. I had dumb fun with Tango & Cash. I like Ben Hur. Princess Mononoke is one I need to revisit. I wasn’t thrilled with it the first time like I was with Spirited Away, but felt like it deserves a rewatch.

  2. Yay someone else that liked Avengers 2! I’m getting bored of defending it and people are finding too many flaws that make sense so I was almost starting to change my mind about it.

    • It has flaws, but I had a big dumb grin on my face for pretty much the entire thing. It did what it set out to do, which was entertain me and make me excited for the next one. If you don’t like people picking at it, maybe avoid this week’s Lambcast…

      • My thoughts exactly. Maybe I shouldn’t listen whilst doing bowls then – I might disrupt play with my grumbling 🙂

        Darren and I discussed it on our much delayed return to the Blueprint: Review podcast. He liked it, but not as much as me and had a few problems with it.

    • That’s what this week is for. I’ve got two “Bad” discs on the way, one already here, one saved on my DVR and a few on YouTube, don’t you worry.

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