My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 38

What’s that saying about the best laid plans? Oh yeah, don’t bother making any. As much as I love my partner, I do appreciate the time I get to spend when she’s away. If that sounds mean then it isn’t meant to, she and I have discussed before that’s it’s nice to have an evening or a day to yourself once in a while, and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s been a long time since she was elsewhere for a couple of days, but this past weekend she was in London on business, so I found myself with a free couple of days to do whatever I liked, so I set out to make a plan. I scheduled three podcasts (my own, guest hosting one and being a regular guest on another) and a whole heap of movies to watch, planning to catch up on and cross off some of the more difficult films I needed to watch this year, and which Aisha definitely wouldn’t want to see. Needless to say, everything went to pot and I got very little done that I’d intended to.

Friday night went perfectly. After work I walked Murphy, dropped Aisha off at the train station, ran a couple of errands and headed home for dinner and a couple of movies in preparation for podcast #2 on Saturday, with casts 1 and 3 not covering specific movies so minimal preparation was required. Saturday, however, was far less successful. Murphy’s morning walk showed signs that he might not have been feeling all that well, but normally he gets over these things pretty quickly. Not so much this time, with a scrabbling at the door mid-podcast resulting in a couple of messy gifts from him littering the house, including one on a windowsill and halfway up the curtains, which I genuinely cannot fathom the logistics of how that happened. He’s fine now, but more time was given to cleaning up after him and making sure he was OK than had been planned. Additionally, my parents decided to invite themselves around on Sunday for a couple of hours, meaning a portion of my Saturday had to be given over to making the house and garden more presentable. Long story short, instead of watching a three-hour-plus movie and editing podcast #1 I only watched about 30 minutes of said film and didn’t even open the podcast file. Rats.

Sunday saw me watching a little more of the movie, but not getting beyond the two hour mark, with last minute tidy-ups occurring before my parents arrived, and their couple-of-hours visit evolving into half a day, with them leaving just before podcast #3 began, halfway through which Aisha arrived back home (with gifts of fudge and brownies, so she was even more of a welcome sight than expected). Before the weekend I’d planned to watch three films from the “Bad” movies list, two from my USA Road Trip, one 2015 movie and at least one “Nominated” movie, with options here and there from the TiVo list, but all I managed was two thirds of a USA Road Trip movie. I don’t think I’m going to get another free weekend for the rest of the year, so I’m a little annoyed at pretty much everything.

Also, with my celebrating of HitchcOctober just round the corner, the UK LAMB meet-up in a couple of weeks, a week spent visiting Aisha’s parents and an upcoming John Carpenter retrospective for the Lambcast, it’s looking like my goals are going to have to suffer, so I need to prioritise what I really want to get done. The TiVo list can take an easy back seat. The 1001 goal of 75 movies will probably sort itself out. Kate Winslet is done and the 2015 movies are ones I van more easily convince Aisha to watch for the most part. The choice really sits between the USA Road Trip, Bad Movies list and the Nominated films. I’m looking at the Road Trip as a priority, as I’d like to finish that off this year and enter 2016 with a new project for French Toast Sunday, which I’ve yet to decide upon. Numbers-wise it’ll be easier to do the Bad movies than the Nominated ones, so I think that’s what I’ll aim for. Ideally I’ll get it all done, but that’ll most likely require a week or so off work, and I’ve got no holiday left to book. I’m not that distraught, because after all these are self-imposed deadlines, but it’s a shame it looks like I’ll be throwing in the towel before the end of the year. Maybe I’ll have a movie marathon around Christmas. Here’s the very few films I watched this week:

Dial M For Murder (Year)
The podcast I was a guest on (the episode of which will be publishing soon) was FilmWhys, hosted by Bubbawheat from Flights, Tights and Movie Nights and Channel: Superhero. I’m amongst a prestigious group of three-time guests (four if you count my appearance on one of his mini FilmWhys Extra shows), and it’s a great show in which Bubbawheat is introduced to a classic film he hasn’t seen but his guest is passionate about, and in return he introduces his guest to a superhero film they’ve never seen before. The classic I love this time is Dial M For Murder (previously I’ve shown him 12 Angry Men and Titanic), which is one of the few Hitchcock films I’ve still got to review, my review of which will be posted sometime in October, which holy crap is just a week or so away. I’ve got eight films to watch in total, and even with so few I’ve literally no idea when I’ll get them all watched. I’ll link to the FilmWhys show on next week’s Monday update.
Lists: Alfred Hitchcock Movies
Full review coming some time in October.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension (1984)
The superhero film Bubbawheat introduced me to (or rather, the one I requested he introduce me to, as he hadn’t seen it either) is this 1984 sci-fi hodge-podge. It’s a film I’ve been curious about for a while, mainly because of the title and the cast, which features Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Clancy Brown, some of my favourite character actors. Previously Bubbawheat has introduced me to Superman and Dick Tracy, and I think it’s fair to say this is the least coherent of those three. I’m still not entirely sure what the plot was, but I did enjoy the film. It’s mostly utter nonsense, with Peter Weller playing the eponymous neuro-surgeon/particle physicist/samurai/rock star as the least charismatic person alive, whilst surrounded by some of the most bizarre characters on film. I felt like the film-makers set out to make something that would garner almost immediate cult status, such as an entire band drawing weaponry simultaneously at a moment’s notice, Jeff Goldblum’s ludicrous costume and a random unexplained watermelon. I can’t imagine I’ll be going back to it any time soon, but it was definitely an experience.
Lists: None
Choose Film 6/10

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2015
Aisha didn’t see this in the cinema with me, so now it’s available On Demand we watched it and, within about 20 minutes, I was asleep. We rewound (do we still call it rewinding? Should it be something like back-skipping?) this evening and watched it from the start, and I still enjoyed it. It’s by no means as good as the first one, which still had that shiny originality to it, finally seeing all these characters working together, but it’s still a real treat to see more of that world. I particularly enjoy what is done with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and how much work is put in to make us think the plot is taking him one way but throws another character in that direction instead. There’s maybe a little too much going on, so some areas feel under-explained and some characters come off as bizarre cameos due to their proposed future involvement (Andy Serkis, I’m talking to you), but I still approve of this movie.
Lists: None (already crossed off from 2015 Movies)
Choose Film 8/10

The Birth of a Nation (1915)
This is the 3+ hour silent film I’ve yet to finish. So far I can’t say I’m enjoying it all that much, which given the extreme racism shouldn’t be much of a surprise. I’ve got an hour left to go, so expect a full review sometime in the next week. I get the feeling it’s only going to get worse.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, USA Road Trip
Full review coming soon.

Posts you may have missed:
All the President’s Men
FTS Word Around the Campfire: Your Favourite Movie Quote
Lambcast #287 Roll Your Own Top 5
– Whilst I was unable to attend this podcast, I still edited and posted the thing. Will Slater took my regular place as host alongside guests Nick Rehak, Mette Kowalski, JD Duran and newcomer Darren Lucas, who each listed a movie-related Top 5 list of their choosing. It sounds like a fun show, and I’m annoyed to have missed it, not least because I’d have argues with pretty much everyone on one topic or another.

Goals Update
Aim: Watch all 61 saved TiVo films
Watched: 43
To go: 18
Should be on: 45
On Track: No!

Aim: Watch 59 movies released in the UK in 2015
Watched: 37
To go: 22
Should be on: 34
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review Kate Winslet’s remaining films
Reviewed: 3
To go: 0
Should be on: 2

Aim: Watch 12 “bad” films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 8
To go: 4
Should be on: 9
On Track: No!

Aim: Watch 1 nominated film a week from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 34
To go: 18
Should be on: 38
On Track: No!

Aim: Cross off 75 films from the 1001 List
Reviewed: 60
To go: 15
Should be on: 55
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Finish French Toast Sunday Road Trip series
Reviewed: 7
To go: 9
Should be on: 8
On Track: No!

6 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 38

  1. I did not enjoy Birth of a Nation either. Beyond being incredibly offensive, it’s also incredibly slow. I found the second half faster paced though if it’s any compensation. Although the second half is when it really gets offensive.

    I enjoyed Buckaroo Banzai more than you though. It is all over the place, but I just went with it and enjoyed myself enough to give it a 4/5.

  2. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Acting School 101 – October 2021 – John Lithgow

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