My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 30

I’ve been busy and stressing out a lot about work this week so there’s not all that much to report on my life in general, so instead here’s an update on what I’ve recently been watching TV-wise.
veep
I’m still introducing Aisha to The West Wing, and we’ve made it over halfway through Season 2 but I can sense she is starting to get a bit annoyed with some of the characters, or at least the high-pressure fast-paced world within which they live, due to the concentrated nature of our viewing, so I think we might take a break from it for a while. Maybe we’ll try a season of The Wire in between. In contrast I’ve recently worked my way through the entirety of Veep, all five seasons, and it makes an interesting comparison to The West Wing. In TWW, all the characters – at least the ones we follow week-by-week – are inherently good people, all trying to do what they believe to be best for the greater good and, for the most part, they’re all great at their jobs. In Veep, on the other hand, the main cast is comprised of detestable and incompetent fools spending every moment fighting for themselves at the cost of anyone and anything, and I think both shows are fantastic in their own way. I also appreciate in Veep how with each season they try to write in someone even more vulgar and foul-mouthed than they’ve had previously, with Season 5 introducing Jonah’s uncle, Jeff Kane, played by Peter MacNicol. He doesn’t have an awful lot of screen time, but pretty much everything he says is an insult towards Jonah (Timothy Simons), and that’s OK with me. In fact about half of everyone’s dialogue is insults to Jonah.
vice principals
After finishing Veep the other day I found myself at a loose end for half an hour, so tried the pilot of Vice Principals. I hadn’t been overly impressed with the trailer, and a prominent role (or in fact any role) for Danny McBride never works out, but the involvement of Walton Goggins showed some potential. Alas I failed to find any moment of the pilot entertaining, and Goggins, who seems to work best as an unhinged, unpredictable psychopath, is forced uncomfortably into a fey, almost straight-laced role he seems entirely wrong for, and instead of being on relatively equal pegging with McBride screen-time-wise Goggins seems very much in a supporting role, which is hugely disappointing to me. I won’t be continuing with this show.

Anyway enough about TV, let’s get to the movies!
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My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 28

So the world got overrun with Pokemon this week. I haven’t played Pokemon Go, nor do I intend to. I played Pokemon when I was a kid, enjoyed it, traded the cards for a while, even saw the first movie in the cinema (as part of a friend’s birthday, but I was into it and watched the TV show too) but I┬ábailed after I think Silver/Gold on the GameBoy Colour. I am however interested in the game and think it’s a novel and intriguing turn of events for the world of gaming and technology in general, and anything that encourages kids to get outside and exercise, potentially socialising with other like-minded individuals surely must be a good thing. A friend of mine has found it’s a great and so far effective way to spend quality outdoor time with his son. They’ll go for walks together in the evening, chatting as they catch pidgeys with one another. That’s great. Less so is the hordes of people tripping over one another to nab an elusive squirtle but hey, whatever makes them happy. And truth be told if I had more time and a phone that was currently capable of accessing the internet (my old phone just went and gave up on all online stuff, even Wifi, and my new phone doesn’t get activated for another 2 weeks) then there’s a chance I’d be all over this too. I think for a lot of people this’ll be a fad they’ll become tired after a few months, like a tamagotchi or gym membership, and for others it’s going to become a way of life. And to those people I say all power to you. Just please stop talking about it on Facebook. Here’s what I watched this week:
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Ghostbusters

This review has been written as part of Todd Liebenow’s 1984-a-thon for his site, Forgotten Films. Be sure to check out everyone else’s reviews!

After three parapsychologists are kicked out of their university, they set up shop as the Ghostbusters, an elite force who will assist in any supernatural goings-on that may be bothering you. When a portal appears in the refrigerator of a particularly attractive client, the guys have their work cut out for them in working out what is going on, and how they can stop it.Ghostbusters-Screencaps-ghostbusters-30131200-1920-1080
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Top 10… Movie Monsters

OK, so this week the scope is a little, um, monstrous? Sorry. I mean it’s quite wide. The term ‘monster’ could be applied to a lot of things (like some recent Top 10s, for instance), but I’m thinking more along the lines of actual creatures, so no real-world animals (be they normal or giant versions, so no King Kong), no humans, and also no other generic monsters that have been used enough to become worthy of their own list. This means no zombies, witches, vampires, werewolves, aliens, dinosaurs, dragons, ghosts or robots. Also nothing that was a person, but has become something else, like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. This puts Frankenstein’s monster in a difficult category, as technically it used to be several different people, so I left that one off. Sorry guys, but your times will all come. Next October, maybe. monsters_vs_aliens29Also, I’m limiting this to just one ‘monster’ per film (or franchise), just to prevent this being a Top 10 Monsters Inc. characters list. Oh, and cards-on-the-table time – despite having a deep appreciation for both creature features and stop-motion animation, I’ve never seen a Ray Harryhausen film. I’m fully aware that this is horrific (I’ve even got a book written by the guy about the history of animation) but as far as I know they aren’t shown quite as often in the UK as they are in the rest of the world. Yes, I’m ashamed. No, I don’t plan to do anything about it soon, but yes I’d like to. Some day.7th-voyage-of-sinbad-harryhausen2Another big omission may be Godzilla, but as I’ve only seen the Roland Emmerich version (which I admit is a guilty pleasure) then it really didn’t deserve a place here. The same can therefore be said of all the monsters Godzilla fights amongst his extensive catalogue, as I’ve not seen any of them either. Sorry, Mothra. So, creatures, critters, freaky beings from other dimensions. Let’s see what we’ve got.
godzilla-1998

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Top 10… Movies With Title Songs

This week’s movie of the week over at the Film Vituperatum is Cabaret. Now, I didn’t submit a review for this because I watched and reviewed it during the period of my blog that I call ‘Reviewing for the Sake of It’ in which it was more important to me to watch, or at least sit through, a playing of the film, and record the briefest of comments upon it, as then I could get to the part I was most looking forward to, crossing it from the 1001 List (or whichever list it came from). a little while ago I decided this was ridiculous and wasn’t benefiting anyone, at which point I decided to try and expand upon my reviews. I’ve made the intention to go back and re-review some of the films I’d not given enough respect to in the past, but there are some films I’d really not rather watch again, and amongst those is Cabaret. If you really want to, you can read my 130-word review here, but personally I wouldn’t recommend it. Anyway, I wanted to do a list that somehow ties in with the movie of the month (this won’t always be the case, but it seems to be working so far). My initial idea was to do my list of Top 10 Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen, in honour of Liza Minnelli’s cameo in Sex and the City 2 (second place, after Home Alone 4), but instead I opted for movies with songs in them of the same name as the film, as of course the film features Minnelli belting out the titular Cabaret.

Top 5… Bill Murray Films

It’s Bill Murray’s birthday! The guy is a prime contender for a future Film-Makers Career Review, but until I see all of his work, here’s my favourite of his films. Now, in my looking back at his career I noticed Murray has tended towards two kinds of roles, leads/major parts, or brief cameos, so I’ve made two lists to celebrate this fact:

5a. Caddyshack
I’m fairly sure the main reason this film is remembered as a comedy classic – by me at least – is because of Murray’s breakthrough role as the deranged gopher-hunting groundskeeper Carl Spackler. His scene in his shed, talking to the little clay models of squirrels and rabbits he intends to use to destroy the golf course terrorising rodent is just wonderful, even if the gopher himself looks like one of the worst puppets ever put on screen.

5b. Get Smart
OK, so the film is pretty terrible, but Murray’s cameo as the tree-dwelling lonely sad sack Agent 13 in this lacklustre spy reboot is one of the few watchable moments, and came as such a surprise to me when I watched the film that it almost made the experience worthwhile. Almost.

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