My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 19

Slightly less film watching was done this week. I only had three days off work, and at least one of those was spent predominantly looking after the puppy, so I didn’t get quite as much done as I’d have liked. However, some catching up has been done, and there’s a few more green “Yes!” marks at the bottom of the page today than there were last week. The trick now is keeping it up, and I’m going to give it a good try, although my imminent future will require me to be watching a lot of films not connected with any of my lists for podcasting purposes, but for once in my life I have faith in myself. Here’s what I watched this week:

The Green Mile (1999)
The Louisiana stop on my USA Road Trip for French Toast Sunday, this was also a chance for me to watch a film I’ve loved for a really long time, but hadn’t seen for a while.
Lists: USA Road Trip, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301
Full review here.

Dante’s Peak (1997)
I like a good disaster movie, so I didn’t like this, but I liked it about as much as I did Volcano. For a big blockbuster destruction movie there wasn’t a great deal of action, as Pierce Brosnan and his team of volcano experts try to shut down a town near a volcano that’s showing signs of erupting, but the townsfolk and Brosnan’s boss don’t want to cause a fuss and shut the town down in case the town’s reputation suffers irreparably. So it’s basically Jaws meets Twister, but minus all the things that make those movies great.
Lists: TiVo Movies
Choose Life 5/10

Wuthering Heights (1939)
Nominated for me to watch by Kristen Lopez from Journeys in Classic Film.
Lists: TiVo Movies, Nominated Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)
Selected by Chip and Steve as one of the 1001 List’s “Bad” movies, I’m inclined to agree.
Lists: “Bad” Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Nominated for me to watch by Robert Zerbe from To The Escape Hatch.
Lists: Nominated Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

The Kingdom (1994)
I’m still pretty furious that this is on the 1001 Movies list despite being a damn TYV show. Regardless, I’ve crossed it off now.
Lists: “Bad” Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

Faeries (1999)
I finally watched the only Kate Winslet film I had to buy because I couldn’t find it anywhere else, and what do you know? It’s amongst the worst movies she’s ever done.
Lists: Kate Winslet Movies
Full review here.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Nominated for me to watch by Will Slater from Exploding Helicopter.
Lists: Nominated Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, 5-Star 500
Full review coming soon.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
I’d seen this before, but could recall nothing about it other than some elements of the final conclusion, so we gave this a punt to see if it was just as bad as we couldn’t remember. Turns out it was. I love the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, enjoy most of Dead Man’s Chest and will even happily watched At World’s End if there’s nothing else on (I love the bit with the crab, particularly its design), but I’ll never darken my door with On Stranger Tides again. It suffers from putting the better-in-a-supporting-role Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) front and centre, and forgetting to give him anyone interesting to interact with. That’s the key to the earlier films in my opinion; there’s stuff happening outside of the lead(s) that’s not only compelling, but often hilarious. I love Mackenzie Crook and Lee Arenberg as the two villainous pirate henchmen, but here they try to emulate that with the likes of Stephen Graham and Christopher Fairbank, two amazing actors, but they get jack squat to do. The love story between Sam Claflin’s stranded preacher and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey’s mermaid is insipid, unwarranted and goes nowhere, and whilst adding a female pirate (Penelope Cruz) for Sparrow to have a love/hate relationship sounds like it would work on paper, in reality there’s no spark, just a few swordfights and attempted set-pieces trying to rip off the earlier movies, but failing to muster any kind of charm or excitement. And speaking of things that work on paper but don’t in the film, I can’t think of anyone better to play dastardly uber-pirate Blackbeard than Ian McShane, so why not actually give him the opportunity to be a scenery-chewing pantomime baddie, instead of the rarely-seen and never-feared damp squib we get here. Rant over.
Lists: TiVo Movies
Choose Life 3/10

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Oh wait, no it’s not. I love Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. I also loved the first two Hobbit movies, and have never said a bad word about the relatively thin novel being split into three giant movies. That was until I saw this film. It’s not bad, it’s just nowhere near what it needs to be. This is supposed to be the culmination of all epic-ness; a dragon destroying a town, a battle between, um, five armies, death, warfare and destruction, all done by men, dwarves, orcs and the wonder that is elves in combat. So why was I bored? Why wasn’t it anywhere near as amazing as it should have been? The potential was there, but it was squandered. I saw this in the theatre on release, and had to buy it just to complete the collection (although it ruins my alphabetical Blu-Rays, wherein it should be places between An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, so my OCD is playing up), and I’d hoped I might have liked it more on the second viewing, but I think I actually liked it less. I still stand by my theory that they should have cut all the Necromancer nonsense that was only alluded to in the book and kept this to a tight two-film deal, but alas it was not to be. There is still some great fighting, particularly between Legolas vs Bolg and Thorin vs Azog, but it wasn’t enough to save the film. If you’re a fan of these movies it’ll be a Choose Film because you have to, but I don’t know if I’ll watch this again for some time. Such a pity.
Lists: None
Choose Life 7/10

Spring Breakers (2012)
Watched for the latest Movie of the Month for the Lambcast, the episode devoted to it will be posted soon, and I’ll be doing a full review before the end of the week as the pick for Florida in my USA Road Trip series.
Lists: USA Road Trip, LAMB’s Movie of the Month
Full review coming soon.

Paddington (2014)
It was the first to get a repeat viewing this year, and now it’s the first to get the three-peat before anything else has even been watched twice. We introduced by partner’s mother to it, and she predictably liked it as much as we do. I think too many repeat viewings in close proximity is making me wane on it a little, so I might steer clear for a few months at least, but it’s still a great deal of fun.
Lists: None
Choose Film 9/10

Posts you may have missed:
USA Road Trip: Louisiana: The Green Mile
FTS in the Movies: Round 18:
There’s still 3 points available if you can guess the Moderate image in this week’s game. You have until Wednesday.
Sling Blade
The Cloud-Capped Star
Bad Land: Road to Fury
The Kingdom
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Wuthering Heights

Goals Update
Aim: Watch all 61 saved TiVo films
Watched: 29
To go: 32
Should be on: 22
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 59 movies released in the UK in 2015
Watched: 9
To go: 50
Should be on: 12
On Track: No!

Aim: Review Kate Winslet’s remaining films
Reviewed: 1
To go: 2
Should be on: 1
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 12 “bad” films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 4
To go: 8
Should be on: 4
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 1 nominated film a week from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 18
To go: 34
Should be on: 19
On Track: No!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 31
To go: 46
Should be on: 27
On Track: Yes!

2 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 19

  1. Made some great progress on your goals. Blasting through your TiVO, too. Yup, the last 2 PotC movies are crap. I need to see Paddington. Waiting patiently for your Spring Breakers review.

    • Spring Breakers should be over at FTS tomorrow or Saturday, I’ll link to it on Monday. Make sure you watch Paddington. Don’t expect anything groundbreaking, just enjoy it for what it is.

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