I miss doing my weekly wrap-ups, but due to time constraints it’s unlikely I’ll always be able to do them to a decent schedule, so instead I’m going to try monthly ones. Let’s see how we get on. These will serve as updates for my resolutions, diaries of films I’ve watched with some short reviews where necessary, and links to what I’ve been getting up to. Here we go!
Review one film a week:
Kicking off to a terrible start, I only reviewed two films in January, Wonder Wheel and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. I did however see an additional three that need to be reviewed, and three that will probably need to be reviewed, which hopefully I’ll get to soon.
Watch one Blind Spot a month
This one I did! I watched Warrior in preparation for the Lambcast’s Sports Movie Draft, and it was really good. Great work from all the cast, terrific fighting sequences, and some genuinely emotional moments, if a little predictable. February’s Movie of the Month is Tombstone, so this will definitely be done for next month too.
Finish watching The Wire
Haven’t started yet, and I’ve now got less than three months until I head to Baltimore, so I need to get cracking on this sharpish!
Start watching Deadwood and Twin Peaks
These don’t have a chance until I’ve finished The Wire.
Read a book a month
Oh boy. Nope. I’d really hoped to read the last 300 pages of Moby Dick, a book I’ve been struggling with for like 8 months at this point, but I only managed 100. So, what I’m going to do is shelve it and read another book (Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile), and if I finish that one before the end of February I’ll delve back into Moby Dick, hoping that a break from it will help read it faster.
Updates to Life Vs Film and the LAMB
LVF remains unchanged, but I did do some behind-the-scenes stuff on the LAMB, mainly sorting out the Lambscores forums, which had gotten overrun and hadn’t been tidied up since 2013.
Real world improvements
So far this year I think I’ve just made the house worse, which will continue into February as my wife and I will be ripping out our kitchen in preparation for a shiny new one, so the next few months aren’t gonna be a lot of fun living-wise, but they’ll be worth it come late April, hopefully. Oh, also I finally became an organ donor, been meaning to for a long time, finally got around to it.
Run every other day
I very nearly did this. In fact, I’m going to say that I did. I went for a run on December 31st, so I took New Year’s Day off and went for my first run on January 2nd, and every other day since then I’ve been for a run, at least 3km (1.86 miles), with the occasional 5 or 6km thrown in on a weekend, and on January 6th I ran 12.86km (8 miles), mainly because I got lost. However, earlier this week I got struck by a horrendous cold. It hit me a little last Sunday, but I still went for a run on Monday morning with the dog, but by Tuesday I was all but incapacitated. I managed to drag myself out of bed and still cycled to work (it’s also been bitterly cold, we even had snow which is very rare for the south coast of England) but by Wednesday I was in no condition to run or cycle, as the cold had managed to knock out the hearing in my left ear, so I took the bus. Only problem was, I left a little late, so had to run to catch it, only about 0.7km (0.4 miles) but hey, a run is a run. I haven’t been for one since as I’m still really quite ill, but I hope to get back on it next week once my chest has had time to excise the mucus. Also, I love my Fitbit, it’s my best good running buddy, with the dog being a close second because he either doesn’t enjoy the run, or he loves it so much he bites me with appreciation whilst running.
I’m getting better at this. I was supposed to get up early this morning to watch a film, but instead I slept a little longer instead, so yay me. I think there was only one night last month that I stayed up super-late helping my wife with a project she had due, which is an improvement for me. I can still do better though, as I’m currently averaging around 5 hours sleep a night.
Yeeeeeeah! My first aim of 2019 was to no longer be considered “obese” on my BMI score, and to do that I had to lose around 3.5kg (half a stone) and, as of this morning, I’ve lost 3.7kg this year, so my BMI score is 29.9, I’m now just overweight, baby! How have I achieved this? Well the running has definitely helped, and I’ve introduced more healthy foods into my life. I tend to have a pot of grapes as an afternoon snack most days, instead of chocolate or a cereal bar, plus I’ve replaced some cereal bars with other healthier ones – the nakd range are pretty tasty, particularly the lemon drizzle, although they’re a little pricey. Also I’ve become an obsessive calorie counter, again with the Fitbit. I love it, because it tracks how many calories I’ve burned, and I top it up by logging everything I eat, so I can ensure that I eat considerably less than what I burn off. With the running, cycling and dog walking, plus my work has gotten pretty active recently due to a second factory a few minutes walk away, I’m burning quite a lot of calories so I’m still eating quite a bit more than other people seem to, but on days when I’ve tried to really limit my intake I’ve found myself very lethargic and grouchy, so I think I’ve established a decent balance. I’m average losing around 1kg a week, which I’m happy with and intend to keep up as long as possible. I’m super proud of myself about this, haven’t felt this good about myself in a long time.
We also visited some more National Trust places in January, taking the dogs for a walk down Studland Beach a couple of times, round Old Harry Rocks and up to Kingston Lacy. Plus, I’ve Marie Kondo’d the shit out of my sock drawer, thanks Netflix!
The Favourite (2018) – Technically a 2019 release in the UK. I loved it, loads of inventive swearing and general oddness, amazing acting, Olivia Colman deserves the Oscar and this is currently my pick for Best Picture.
Wonder Wheel (2017)
The Blues Brothers (1980) – There’s never a bad time to find this on TV.
Talk To Her (2002) – January’s Movie of the Month, it’s on the 1001 List so I should really review it soon.
Cool Runnings (1993) – Maybe the sports film I’ve seen the most. So much fun.
Finding Dory (2016) – Quickly becoming one of my wife’s favourite films, guarantees to make her happy. Otter cuddle party!
Red Sparrow (2018) – Better than expected (I’m not a Jennifer Lawrence fan) but still wouldn’t recommend. Not as smart as it thinks it is.
Encino Man (1992) – I appeared on the Movies, Films & Flix podcast with Mark Hofmeyer, who was appalled I’d never seen a Pauly Shore film. This was his pick and, given it’s supposed to be one of Shore’s better films, I’m certainly in no hurry to watch any others. Bad movie, but we had a great discussion that’ll be posting soon.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Gonna do a write-up on this soon.
The Music Box (1932) – Watched in preparation for Stan & Ollie, review on it’s way.
Way Out West (1937) – Same as above.
Stan & Ollie (2018) – Incredible performances that have been snubbed, and I;m also shocked the make-up didn’t get any recognition. Delightful little film that entertained me despite having seen very few Laurel & Hardy films.
Glass (2019) – Watched for a Lambcast. I didn’t hate it, in fact I approved of Shyamalan’s reaction to fan culture and studios not giving die hard movie fans exactly what they want, but it’s bittersweet in that he made a disappointing film about disappointing fans. It was never going to be popular, by definition it can’t be, which is a shame. McAvoy is just phenomenal again though.
Despicable Me (2010) – Still meh, still confuses me how Megamind didn’t get a sequel but this got two and a spin-off. Fucking minions.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – Still amazing, works just as well on a TV.
Jurassic Park (1993) – Never been happier than finishing a podcast and coming downstairs to find my wife just started watching this.
Isle of Dogs (2018) – Still my no.1 of 2018, though I feel a re-watch of Spider-Verse could change that.
BlacKkKlansman (2018) – Catching up on the Best Picture nominees. This is great, takes a very serious and severe story and adds comedic lightness to it in a masterful way. Adam Driver’s nomination is puzzling, given the other possible choices, but it’s not like he’s actually bad in it.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) – Gets better every time I watch it. Lady Proxima is gold.
Unsane (2018) – Gripping thriller with Claire Foy as a woman who thinks she is being stalked and accidentally commits herself for medical studying. I’d have preferred the debate of whether she’s seeing things or not to have been played out a little longer, but otherwise this was terrific.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – Nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Sure it hits every note in the music biopic playlist, but if this was the first ever film about a real life musician, it’d be a 5-star masterpiece. Expect a full write-up soon.
Roma (2018) – I didn’t get it. I’m sorry. It’s still in my head, and I’m hoping to write it down soon as there’s no way in hell this won’t be added to the 1001 List this year, but I don’t get the love. The first 75 minutes were a real slog to get though, and the remaining 60 just weren’t worth it.
Kong: Skull Island (2017) – Same as Solo, the more I watch, the more I like.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Lambcast Bonus Show: 2019 Box Office Draft
Lambcast #460 Best Films of 2018
Lambcast #461 Movie of the Month – Talk To Her
Lambcast #462 Most Anticipated Movies for 2019
Lambcast #463 Glass
Lambcast #464 Sports Movie Draft
Roll on February, let’s see what the next month brings!