My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 10

Dammit, I suck at posting reviews lately, sorry everyone. I shouldn’t have watched Pulp Fiction, that’s the problem, I’m having real difficulty in getting my thoughts down on that one. Everyone has already discussed it, so I’ve got very little to add, and I also can’t quite fully put into words why I don’t seem to love it as much as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie and will most certainly be awarded a “Choose Film” badge, but I’m not at all compelled to re-watch it again any time soon, unless I leave the review so long that I’d feel bad doing a write-up based on my notes alone. The fact that I’d be willing to re-watch it for the sake of a review should be proof that it’s not terrible, unlike such films as Silver Linings Playbook, which I still keep meaning to review despite having watched it about 10 months ago. Why everyone loves that movie, I really do not know. Anyway, here’s what I watched this week:

The Wicker Man (1973)
This month’s Movie of the Month over at the LAMB is the original The Wicker Man, which rather annoyingly I’ve already reviewed. I liked it more this time around (now my third viewing) but my favourite aspect remains that the name of its star is Edward Woodward, aka the most fun actor name to say, ever. Second place goes to Bingbing Fan.
Lists: None. (Already crossed off: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301)
Choose Film 8/10
Old review here.

Naked Lunch (1991)
I really wanted to like this month’s “Bad” movie choice, and there were a lot of elements I approved of, but overall it’s a mess.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, “Bad” Movies
Full review here.

Robin Hood (2010)
robin hood
This week’s Lambcast is on three adaptations of Robin Hood, so get ready to read about these exploits. And of the three, this is easily the worst. The problem is it’s a bloody mess. There’s too much going on in too many different places to too many different people, and everyone and everywhere looks the bloody same. There’s a decent cast including actors I like – Mark Addy, Kevin Durand, William Hurt, Max von Sydow, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac – but the whole thing feels very unfocussed, and it’s not even clear that it’s an origin story until just before the closing credits. Very strange. And I know when it was released there was some contention over Russell Crowe’s accent, but I’ve got no qualms given the one in the next film…
Lists: None
Choose Life 5/10

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
robin hood prince of thieves
The only Robin Hood adaptation I’d seen, other than the Disney animation which sadly we’re not covering. It had been some time since I’d last seen this in its entirety, and I’d forgotten how boring many of the stretches are. Basically it’s only worth watching for the climactic set-piece of storming the castle, and for every single second Alan Rickman is on screen as the Sheriff of Nottingham. He is utterly wonderful here, and is sued far too sparingly. Kevin Costner, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to sound English, and is unapologetically dull, all the time. As indeed is Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian. And there is no way a script as negatively-racially-focussed as this would get made today. Morgan Freeman’s chaa=racter is essentially a walking slur magnet.
Lists: None
Choose Film 6/10

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
adventures of robin hood
Ah, here we go, this is more like it. At last a Robin Hood film that’s under two hours and doesn’t feel like it’s more than three. This will be March’s Blind Spot pick for me (and is the main reason we’re doing a podcast on Robin Hood films). You cane xpect a full review soon, once my retinas have recovered from Robin Hood’s bright green tunic.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Blind Spot Movies
Full review coming soon.

Posts you may have missed:
Naked Lunch
Favourite Scene Friday: Midnight Run: The Litmus Configuration: For this month’s Favourite Scene Friday over at To The Escape Hatch I looked at my favourite underrated 80s buddy road trip movie, Midnight Run, specifically the scene in which Charles Grodin’s mob-accountant-on-the-run needs to con some fast cash out of a bartender. It’s wonderful.
Lambcast #311: The Wicker Man MOTM: I was joined by Tony Cogan, Will Slater and Rebecca Sharp to discuss the LAMB’s latest Movie of the Month, the original Wicker Man.

Goals Update
Aim: Review 8 or 9 1001 List movies each month
Reviewed: 13
Should be on: 19
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 1 “Bad” movie each month
Reviewed: 3
Should be on: 2
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review 1 “Blind Spot” movie each month
Reviewed: 2
Should be on: 3
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 2 “Film-Makers” movies each month
Reviewed: 4
Should be on: 5
On Track: No!

6 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 10

  1. You may be the only film critic I know that didn’t love Pulp Fiction. That is the main movie that got me fully interested in movies as more then just entertainiment. Very curious to read your thoughts on that one.

  2. Looking forward to your thoughts on Pulp Fiction. That should be interesting given what you’ve shared here. Your summation of the latest of the Robin Hood movies is perfect. The 1938 version is just fun. Never got around to Costner’s version.

  3. How did you do a Robin Hood retrospective and not include the Disney version (one of my favorites) or Men in Tights? I have seen both of those movies countless time, but none of the ones you guys watched. Not sure you’ve convinced me to add them to my netflix queue either.

    • I wanted to look at both of those versions (I love the Disney one, got it on DVD, but have never seen Men in Tights and want to) but we wanted to keep it to just 3 movies. I had to see the ’38 version for the 1001 List anyway (that one is definitely worth your time, it’s a lot of fun), the ’91 version was the impetus behind the show after Rickman’s death, and Kristen practically begged me to do the 2010 one, because Oscar Isaac. You don’t really need to see either of those, but if you pick one then go with Costner. That at least has some early 90s entertainment value.

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