My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 20 & 21

There’s a lot to catch you all up on this week, but given the proximity of the end of the month I’ll save it for the monthly round-up. Instead, let’s dive straight into what I’ve been watching recently:

Caravaggio (1986)
caravaggion bean
The Director of the Month over at the LAMB site is Derek Jarman, so I watched and wrote a piece on this film because it seemed fitting.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review here.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
tintin tompsons
A very enjoyable family film that gets far less credit and discussion than it should.
Lists: Steven Spielberg Movies
Full review coming soon.

Sedmikrasky (1966)
sedmikrasky
Still not sure what to make of this lunacy.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, “Bad” Movies
Full review coming soon.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
mutiny laughton
Absolutely terrific, one of the best films I’ve seen in a while.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review coming soon.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)
pride dance
My first introduction to the story of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve never read it or seen any other adaptation, but I want to watch Pride & Prejudice & Zombies at some point, and I feel a basic understanding of the overall plot would be beneficial for that viewing. The story went pretty much as expected without a lot of surprises, but the cast was almost entirely great. Particular highlights were Donald Sutherland and Tom Hollander, both of whom I’ll watch in pretty much anything. I wasn’t overly keen on Matthew MacFayden as Mr. Darcy, he seemed even drier and stiffer than the character called for, but Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett proved surprisingly watchable. Oh, and I loved that part of the film takes place in an area called Matlock, which we were staying very near to when we watched the film, and had no idea about this beforehand. I do enjoy when this happens.
Lists: None
Choose Film 7/10

Chariots of Fire (1981)
chariots of fire beach
Over-rated beyond belief.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500
Full review coming soon.

Skyline (2010)
skyline
A limited selection of DVDs on holiday and some ill-judged curiosity led to a double bill of Skyline and Sanctum, which proved predictably regrettable. Skyline is, in a word, bonkers. Imagine if Independence Day didn’t follow the military and government workers attempting to thwart an alien attack, but instead stuck with a bunch of self-entitled assholes holed up in a luxury condo, watching the proceedings from their vast, remote-controlled windows, but with an ending that defies incredulity in every possible way and you’d be close to this. It’s directed by the Strauss brothers, whose early careers in visual effects are put to decent use here, but this makes the fatal error of setting up what could be a far more interesting story in literally the last few seconds, and everything before that is either grating, boring or just plain bad.
Lists: None
Choose Life 3/10

Sanctum (2011)
sanctum
Imagine if Deep Blue Sea had no sharks and no Samuel L. Jackson or LL Cool J and you’ve got something close to Sanctum, which sees a bunch of cave-divers getting stuck diving in a cave when a big storm moves in and blocks their only easy way out. People die, others make stupid decisions, screw each other over and make everything worse for themselves in typical cheesy disaster movie fashion. It wasn’t entirely terrible, and I do enjoy a good small-number-of-people-trapped-trying-to-get-out film, but this didn’t bring a great deal of new elements to the party.
Lists: None
Choose Life 4/10

Dark Season (1991)
dark season
I was recently a guest on the TV Good Sleep Bad podcast (I’ll link to it in next week’s post) where we talked about a couple of cult TV shows, hence why I’ve not watched a lot of films in the past week. Dark Season may well get a full write-up given it stars a young Kate Winslet and I have quite a few thoughts on the matter. Most of those thoughts revolve around how utterly not-good the TV show is, how awful the wigs are and why everyone is wearing nothing but pastels.
Lists: None
Choose Life 4/10

Sapphire and Steel: Assignment 4 (1981)
sapphireandsteel
The other show we discussed was this, starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as a couple of personified minerals saving the world from fantastical beings such as this episode’s Man Without A Face, who can extract people out of photographs and send others into them. It’s unclear exactly why he’s doing this, or indeed how, unless it was somehow revealed during the long periods where not a whole lot seems to be going on. Bear in mind there’s only about 5 characters in this, spread over three sets, and the series is an hour and forty minutes, so not a lot happens to not a lot of people in not a lot of interesting places. I’ll compliment the show in terms of the atmosphere, which is often decidely creepy, and the visual of the Faceless Man, who kind of looks like he’s wearing a fencing mask made of flesh, but was creepy nonetheless.
Lists: None
Choose Life 5/10

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
apocalypse
The X-Men are back, and this time they’re up against the god-like Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) who can do pretty much everything having spent millennia absorbing the powers of other mutants, and now he wants to destroy the world. The latest X-Men film messes with timelines, lacks memorable set-pieces and introduces far too many characters to really now what to do with. There are some good new-comers – Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler was a highlight for me – but elsewhere the likes of Angel (Ben Hardy), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Phoenix (Sophie Turner) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) get very little to do or distinguish themselves from everything else. Fassbender is great as always as Magneto, and I always enjoy James McAvoy in pretty much anything, so no problems there, and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) remains fun, even if they don’t do a lot with him, but ultimately the plot isn’t great, and the final resolution is a huge disappointment given the almost monumental build-up.
Lists: 2016 Films
Choose Life 5/10

Raging Bull (1980)
raging bull
My blind spot pick for May, expect a review very soon, or I’ll miss the end of the month cut-off.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301, Total Film Top 100, Blind Spot Movies
Full review coming soon, very soon.

The Theory of Everything (2014)
theory
It’s on the 1001 List, so I need to review this, but I didn’t pay much attention on this viewing (it’s been on in the background whilst I compiled this post and some other laptop stuff) so I might hold off on the review until some other time. Aisha likes it and we own the Blu-Ray, so I’ll definitely see it again in the not overly too distant future.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Full review coming soon, maybe. We’ll see.

Posts you may have missed:
Labyrinth
Room
Caravaggio
Lambcast #321 Labyrinth MOTM: I was joined by Todd Liebenow, Nick Rehak, Kristen Lopez and Jeanette Ward to discuss May’s MOTM, Labyrinth.
Lambcast #322 LAMBPARDY!: Aaron Neuwirth attempted to defend his Lambpardy title against newcomers Mette Kowalski and Kellee Pratt.

Goals Update
Aim: Review 8 or 9 1001 List movies each month
Reviewed: 23
Should be on: 40
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 1 “Bad” movie each month
Reviewed: 3
Should be on: 5
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 1 “Blind Spot” movie each month
Reviewed: 4
Should be on: 5
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 2 “Film-Makers” movies each month
Reviewed: 6
Should be on: 10
On Track: No!

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2 thoughts on “My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 20 & 21

  1. I don’t know why but we all saw Skyline in theaters. Maybe it was at the time where we were going to see Thursday night releases on a regular basis. But yeah, that movie is so damn bad that it’s fun to watch in a group. That and Sanctum seem like a prime lazy day watch though.

    • I can imagine if I’d watched Skyline in a group, and the hours-long conversation that would have followed the insanity. Alas it wasn’t much of a lazy day, we were just looking for something to watch on our final evening when it was raining and we’d finished packing the suitcases.

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