My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 27

What’s the point in doing something if it’s not a challenge? Where’s the difficulty in completing something you’re already on track for? Why do I insist on making life more difficult for myself?

Last week I celebrated finally catching up with all my aims for 2015’s mid-year point, albeit a little more than a day late, so seeing as I’m all caught up it seems stupid fair to add another goal to that mission of mine (not forgetting the October-centric HitchcOctober celebration too). I’ve mentioned my USA Road Trip series I write for French Toast Sunday on a semi-regular basis, wherein I’m travelling across America by reviewing a film set in each state, and I’ve decided that this is a mission I’m going to finish this year, so I’ve added it to the list down below. My main motivation for finishing the project is because the film I intend to finish on can also be found on the lists of “Bad” movies nominated by Chip and Steve, as well as one of the Nominated Movies from one of my blogging friends, so I kind of need to finish it this year just to make that all happen in sync. Oh, and an update for anyone who is interested, which I’m guessing is not too many of you, but I’ve nom opened and begun playing Lego Jurassic World. I’m up to the T-Rex breaking out of the paddock in JP1, and so far I’ve loved all of it. You start any game with me playing as Robert Muldoon and you’ve got a fan. Plus, Ellie’s special ability is watering plants, because she’s a paleobotanist, and Alan can build dinosaur skeletons with trampolines in them. Genius. Here’s what I watched this week:

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
I treated myself to a Blu-Ray for achieving my goals, and I made a wise decision. I’d been a little wary about the trailers for Matthew Vaughn’s spin on the spy genre, which looked great but centred around a character who could have become very annoying in minimal time, being amongst the sort of car-jacking, constantly-swearing ragamuffin louts I do my best to avoid in everyday life, but Vaughn wisely made Eggsy (Taron Egerton) a more sympathetic character by surrounding him with a bunch of tossers like is Mum’s new boyfriend and his mates, plus some upper-class silver spoon twits in the Kingsman training sequences. This is a really fun movie with a lot of decent set pieces and amazingly shot fight scenes. Samuel L. Jackson’s lisping villain was a bit too silly even for this film, but there was more than enough greatness elsewhere to make up for it. Also, I’d like a pyramid of puppies, please.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 8/10

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
Nominated by Todd Liebenow from Forgotten Films, the Forgotten Filmcast and the Walt Sent Me podcast.
Lists: Nominated Movies, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

Whiplash (2014)
I’d heard a lot of great things about Whiplash, released in the UK in January this year, and they were pretty much all true. J K Simmons is phenomenal as the music teacher/drill sergeant who gives Miles Teller’s wannabe drumming legend a shot in his orchestra, only for Teller’s character to learn that being the best won’t be easy. Apparently Simmons is only doing the same things he did back on Oz, but having never seen that prison show (which, judging by the cast and setting, I’ll like immensely), I found his performance to be fully deserving of that Best Supporting Actor. Plus, Simmons is a terrific character actor who has been solidly putting in the performances for decades, and I’m overjoyed to see hiw finally getting some mainstream recognition. Teller is good too, but Simmons overshadows everything and everyone around him. As for the film, every time it felt like it was going to lag a little it sparked up with a desperate race-against-time dash to make a performance, or another furious R. Lee Ermey-style outburst from Simmons. And the final twenty minutes absolutely blew me away. This most definitely would have made my top 10, probably even 5, from 2014 had it been released in time, but as it is I’m confident it’ll rank high in my films of 2015 list. Oh, and the lighting is very impressive too. It somehow really added to Simmons’ performance, highlighting the lines of his face when he was furious, but softening for his lighter moments. Good job.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 9/10

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
This month’s Movie of the Month winner over at the Lambcast, Grosse Pointe Blank’s dedicated podcast episode comes out soon, and I’ll have a full review to go along with it then.
Lists: Empire’s Top 500, Empire’s Top 301
Full review coming soon.

The Kid with a Bike (2011)
My first dalliance with the Dardenne  brothers doesn’t find me longing to watch any of their other work. I’ll be reviewing this Belgian bore-fest soon, and it won’t be positively.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, “Bad” Movies
Full review coming soon.

Posts you may have missed:
Across the Universe #47 Road Trip Movies
: The Chicks with Accents (Mette, Nikhat and Sofia, all former Lambcast guests) graciously invited me onto their podcast to talk about our favourite road trip movies, to go along with my USA Road Trip feature over at French Toast Sunday. I of course managed to redirect the conversation towards Jurassic Park as much as possible and, as always, I politely informed everyone, but mainly Sofia, that their taste in movies was incorrect. My Own Private Idaho? Pfeh.
USA Road Trip: Delaware: Fight Club
FTS in the Movies, Round 26
: The Difficult image, along with the actor behind my face, are still unguessed, leaving 10 points on the table! You have until Wednesday to guess what they are.
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
Lambcast #276: 1999 Movie Draft
: The draft shows are my favourite kinds of shows to do on the Lambcast, because of the sheer volume of films we discuss. The 1999 Movie Draft was no exception, with Robert, Dylan, Nolahn, Matt and myself all competing to assemble the greatest team of films from 1999. Obviously mine is the best.
1999 Draft Vote
: And you can go and vote for my clearly superior team here.

Goals Update
Aim: Watch all 61 saved TiVo films
Watched: 37
To go: 24
Should be on: 32
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Watch 59 movies released in the UK in 2015
Watched: 21
To go: 38
Should be on: 20
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review Kate Winslet’s remaining films
Reviewed: 2
To go: 1
Should be on: 2
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: 27
To go: 25
Should be on: 27
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 45
To go: 30
Should be on: 39
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Finish FTS USA Road Trip
Reviewed: 1
To go: 15
Should be on: 1
On Track: Yes!

2 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 27

  1. Damn you are a busy guy. I have never played a Lego video game on a movie are they really that fun like the Lego Movie was. I still think that A kid with a Bike is a buddy action movie where by the book and former alcoholic Bike has to team up with an uncontrollable rookie named Kid. WHo may have an even more dangerous past then Bike

    • That’s make a far better movie than Kid with a Bike turned out to be, Vern you should write your ideas to the Dardennes brothers.

      The Lego games are a lot of fun, yes. They play with the movies a lot, add in loads of easter eggs and background comedy, and with Jurassic World they’ve got most of the original dialogue from the films, which is great.

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