Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrhhhhhh – gasp – aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgghh! Life has gotten away from me recently, but I still want to keep writing these things. I have thoughts on movies, dammit, and how will I know what order to write my Best of 2017 films into (but never actually get around to posting) if I don’t have these handy reminders? Thoughts this week/fortnight/month/eternity [delete as appropriate] will be brief as dammit I just want to post this fucker and move on with my life, alright? Sheesh.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
This has been the most painful one to not get my thoughts down on. I loved this movie. Seeing The Lego Batman Movie in the cinema was one of the single most enjoyable film-related experiences I’ve had in recent memory. The jokes come thick and fast, covering all aspects of Batman mythology, rewarding viewers for being Batman fans, but providing enough areas to garner interest for further research and reading afterwards. The voice cast is fantastic, especially the ensemble assembled for the villains, and the main actors are perfect as well. I thought Will Arnett’s Lego Batman might become annoying when used too much, but he remained hilarious throughout, whilst Michael Cera’s Robin, Zack Galifianakis’ Joker and Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred were all perfect. I cannot wait to own this and watch it again and again in the hope of catching more details. I had doubts that this would work in the same way The Lego Movie did a few years ago, in which it sets up a world but then reveals further possibilities beyond it and explores the entertainment value of them, but The Lego Batman Movie uses that idea without taking the exact same route. I’ve still only seen it once (this has been the closest I’ve ever come to seeing a film more than once in the cinema) but there’s a chance this might just be my favourite superhero film ever. It’s easily the best film of 2017 so far.
Lists: 2017 Movies
Choose Film 10/10
T2 Trainspotting (2017)
The original Trainspotting film (more on this later) is one of the films I watched a great deal growing up, and the primary reason (along with Requiem For A Dream) that I’ve never even touched any kind of illegal drug in my life. It means a great deal to me and, whilst I wasn’t exactly begging for a sequel, when one came along I was eager to watch it. I didn’t expect it to be better than the first film or even come close to it quality-wise, so I wasn’t all that disappointed when it turned out to be just generally OK. It catches up with the surviving players from the first film twenty years on, and everyone is pretty much where you’d expect. Renton (Ewan McGregor) fled to Amsterdam, but after time starts to catch up with him he heads back home to attempt to reconcile with the mates he screwed over two decades earlier. Spud (Ewen Bremner) remains a down-on-his-luck simpleton, unable to hold down a job or a relationship since coming clean, whilst Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), now going by Simon, runs an inherited unsuccessful pub as well as a blackmail ring. Most predictably Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is justifiably in prison, but escapes after his parole is denied and, upon hearing that Renton has come home, sets out on the war path for vengeance. It’s not a groundbreaking film in any way, but if you’re a fan of the original then this is a pleasant reunion, catching you up to where everyone is now. There are some cracking scenes, with the one in the toilet cubicles being a particular highlight, and any time Bremner or Carlyle are on screen I find myself having so much fun, but this is for fans seeking nostalgia only, in my opinion.
Lists: 2017 Movies
Choose Film 7/10
Like I said earlier, I loved this growing up, and it still held up. It’s on a bunch of other lists, so I’m hoping to write a full review soon. It’ll be positive, no doubt about that.
Lists: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Empire’s 5-Star 500, Empire Top 500, Empire Top 301, Total Film Top 100
Full review coming soon.
I appeared as a guest on Todd’s podcast, the Forgotten Filmcast, for the third time, and in this instance we discussed the 1986 John Cleese-starring Clockwise, in which he plays the principal of a working class comprehensive school, and has been chosen to chair the annual Headmasters’ Conference, the first time the honour has been bestowed upon a non-private school. Cleese’s Brian Stimpson is obsessed with punctuality, but due to a misunderstanding with a train conductor he boards the wrong train, realising just before it leaves the station, but ends up missing both trains and leaving his speech on one heading the wrong way. Stimpson must then find alternative means of transport, utilising the car of one of his students (Sharon Maiden) and eventually an old friend of his (Penelope Wilton). Meanwhile his wife (Alison Steadman) thinks her husband is up to no good and follows him, towing along the three old women she is taking out for a drive, and one of Stimpson’s colleagues Mr. Jolly (Stephen Moore) heads along too, for his own highly immoral reasons. It’s a madcap comedy that works surprisingly well given how unknown it is, with Cleese on top Basil Fawlty-esque form, and the supporting cast is full of know-the-face British TV actors. By no means essential viewing, but a lot of fun if you’re able to track it down.
Choose Film 7/10
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)
Utterly abysmal. One of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s never funny, drags on despite being barely over 90 minutes long, and is full of disappointing performances from all involved. A complete waste of time.
Lists: 2016 Movies
Choose Life 2/10
Posts you may have missed:
Forgotten Filmcast #85 – Clockwise
Hannah and Her Sisters
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
To The Escape Hatch – Favorite Scene Friday: Up – Taking Off
Lambcast #360: Best Picture Winners Draft I was joined by Nick Rehak, Rebecca Sharp, Howard Casner and Sean Homrig to compete in creating the best team of movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture. The poll is now over, but it’s still a good, fun show, and even if I do say so myself, my introduction was worth the listen alone.
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