My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 25

Lego Jurassic World update! Still haven’t opened the cellophane! Adulthood sucks. On the plus side, in this past week I have gotten into a kayak and didn’t fall out, unlike last time when I discovered the Cambridge Canal should not be swum in (if anybody finds a pair of sunglasses in the Cambridge area that look like they’ve been in some questionably non-toxic water for a few years, y’all can go right ahead and keep them). Film-wise this week I’ve found myself focussing on new movies (and a movie that was less new than I’d initially realised) so at present I don’t think I’m quite going to hit my mid-year goals, seeing as I’d need to watch four movies and review 6 in the next 7 days, and I’ve got a fair amount of non-blogging stuff to do in that time as well. I’m not giving up, but I’m bracing myself for disappointment, which is basically how I go through life anyway. Here’s what I watched this week:

The Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Penguins
Earlier this year I was amongst the uproaring voices protesting The Lego Movie’s lack of a nomination for Best Animated Picture at the 2015 Oscars. Little did I know it wasn’t the only snub. The Penguins of Madagascar is amazing. I loved it. It’s probably the funniest film I’ve seen in a long time, and I’d say from an entertainment perspective at least it’s better than How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls and Big Hero 6 (more on that soon). I’ve still yet to see The Tale of Princess Kaguya or Song of the Sea (and to be honest I don’t have much of an inclination to see either of them), but I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Granted it’s a whole heap of silliness, with the penguins from the Madagascar movies heading out on their own adventure, trying to stop a maniacal cephalopod in the form of Dave the Octopus (as voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich) from kidnapping penguins from all over the world, all the while competing with the North Wind, a secret agent team comprised of other arctic creaturs and led by Benedict Cumberbatch’s arctic wolf, made all the more hilarious because Cumberbatch cannot say the word penguin. He says “pingwing,” and it’s never not funny.
Lists: None
Choose Film 8/10

Big Hero 6 (2014)
Hero
Speaking of the animated Oscars, I finally got around to seeing this year’s winner, which wasn’t released in the UK until January of this year. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away. The plot was largely predictable, I called a third act “twist” based on a casting decision, and I felt a lot of the supporting characters didn’t get a whole lot to do. This is very much the Baymax show, and he’s easily the best aspect of the film, with 30 Rock‘s Scott Adsit voicing him perfectly. I also enjoyed T.J. Miller as Fred, the more raucous member of the team, and he got some of the funnier moments too. The animation is perfect, but I felt at times the film was portraying sequences just to show it off, as primarily witnessed in the flight Baymax and Hiro (Ryan Potter) take around San Fransokyo (is this supposed to be set in the same world as The Man in the High Castle?) which seemed to go on for ages, and felt like it was just mimicking How to Train Your Dragon‘s flight sequences. Not a bad watch, but not even close to The Lego Movie. For shame, Oscars. For shame.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 7/10

Into the Woods (2014)
Woods
I don’t even know where to begin. It’s a bad sign when I regret not playing a drinking game whilst watching a movie. I can’t be the first to suggest it, but if you have some kind of strange desire to watch Into the Woods, do so by taking a drink every time someone says (or more likely sings) the phrase “into the woods.” If you want to kill yourself, also drink when they say/sing “wish”, “cow”, “hair”, “shoe”, “cape” and “FEST-i-VAL”. I’m genuinely puzzled by how James Corden starred in this film (he’s essentially the lead), as although he isn’t bad, he’s not of the same calibre as the rest of the cast, which includes Meryl Streep (fine, but not nomination-worthy), Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp (disturbingly rapey) and Emily Blunt, who steals the show in my book. I think I’ve gotten to the stage where I’ll see anything Blunt is in. Chris Pine is also hilarious as one of two buffoonish princes, who get a silly-yet-fun musical number too. Speaking of the music, it;s very Sondheim, with lots of tricksy word-play I’m sure he’s very proud of. I got very caught up in the argument-through-song that is the performance of “It’s Your Fault” but other than that it was all very repetitive, and circular, and silly. In the woods.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Life 5/10

In the Mood for Love (2000)
Stairs
In the Mood for Love was nominated for me to watch by Mette Kowalski from French Toast Sunday and the Across the Universe podcast.
Lists: Nominated Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire’s Top 301
Full review here.

Fight Club (1999)
Fight
Another 1999 movie I’ve crowbarred into the USA Road Trip in preparation for next week’s 1999 Movie Draft Lambcast episode. Unbelievably, I watched this with someone who had no idea what this film even was, let alone anything that happened in the final reel.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s Top 500, Empire’s Top 301, Total Film’s Top 100, FTS USA Road Trip
Review coming soon.

Posts you may have missed:
The Tree of Life
In the Mood for Love
USA Road Trip: Maine: The Iron Giant
FTS in the Movies: Round 24: There’s still the Moderate and Difficult images to guess from this week.
Burying the Ex
Favourite Scene Friday: Jurassic Park: Not from the front, but from the side:
Lambcast #274 2015 TV Special: Robert was joined by Shane, Tony, Bubbawheat and Lackey to each run through their top 3 elements of TV in 2015, be it shows that have been and gone, ones running right now or those still to come in the rest of the year. I let Robert do one TV show a year, and he repays me with a show full of Skype issues to edit, so I guess that’s fair.

Goals Update
Aim: Watch all 61 saved TiVo films
Watched: 37
To go: 24
Should be on: 29
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 59 movies released in the UK in 2015
Watched: 18
To go: 41
Should be on: 17
On Track: Yes!

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: 6
To go: 6
Should be on: 6
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 1 nominated film a week from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 21
To go: 31
Should be on: 25
On Track: No!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 39
To go: 36
Should be on: 36
On Track: Yes!

Still to go by the end of June (2 weeks):
To watch:
1 x Kate Winslet movie (probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
3 x Nominated movies (including Brazil and Madame De…)

To review:
1 x Kate Winslet movie (probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
5 x Nominated movies (including La Grande Illusion, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Brazil and Madame De…)

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