My Fortnight in Film, 2016 Weeks 41 & 42

Apologies for the lack of update last week, I hadn’t written any reviews and I was too engrossed in season 2 of The Wire to get anything else done. Now I’ve finished that season, so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to discuss it, spoiler-free of course.
wire-2Season two is essentially known as the “Docks” season, or the “Cannot Live Up To The Greatness Of Season One” season, but it also felt a lot like the “Setting Up Lots Of Elements And Putting Them In Place For The Future At The Expense Of The Season’s Overall Quality” season. Initially I didn’t much care for the entire docks side of the story, as it at least partially side-lined the more interesting and engaging characters and storylines from the previous season. Also, I felt it took too long to resolve how some characters ended up last time around, and get them into a position where they could interact with this season’s plot, and that come the climax the writers were so eager to get out of this season and onto the next one that they threw everything together in the last episode or two, cramming in as much as possible to get it over and done with, which I found very unsatisfying. Still, I liked the introduction of some of the new characters, like Beadie Russell (Amy Ryan, an actress I’ve been keeping an eye out for since she blew me away in Gone Baby Gone) and Frank Sabotka (Chris Bauer). And whilst this season wasn’t as good as the first, it was still very compelling, and I’ve heard season 3 is possibly even better than the first, although I might take a little break and watch a season of something else, just to space it out. Fortunately The Walking Dead starts again this week, and The Night Of is available streaming on Sky, and I’ve heard great things about that. Look for my thoughts on those soon. In the mean time, here’s what I watched this past two weeks:
Continue reading

Advertisements

2013: A Movie Odyssey (Year in Review Part 3)

This is the final instalment of my three-part review of 2013. Part 1 can be read here, in which I complain about the fifteen worst new films I saw last year, and part 2 can be read here, where I talk about the twenty films in the middle of the pack. Today it’s on to the big guns – the best of the year. So sit back (but not so far back that you can’t read the screen) and enjoy what I believe are the best new films I saw from the past 12 months. Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Top 10… Anticipated of 2013

Apologies for not posting this yesterday, we had an impromptu cinema trip to see Les Miserables during the time I’d anticipated sitting down and tapping this out.

2012 was a pretty good year for movies, and it looks like 2013 could be just as good, if not better. Here’s my pick of the films I’m looking forward to seeing most this year. There’s a few that have already been released in other countries, but haven’t made their way to England yet, but in my eye’s they still count as 2013’s films.

Honourable Mention
Wreck-It Ralph
I’ve been looking forward to this film for a long time, because I do love animated films that are skewed firmly at adults. It hasn’t helped that Wreck-It Ralph has been out in America for over 2 months now, and that I’ve been hearing no end about it on The Adam Carolla Show, as he apparently voices a donut in the film. I’ve heard good things about it, but I think quite a lot of the references may go over my head, as I’ve never been a massive gamer, especially when it comes to the more classic arcade games. Anything related to Crash Bandicoot, Pac-Man, Sonic, Mario, Grand Theft Auto or Portal should be pretty clear to me, but I don’t recognise most of the villains in the picture over here. Hopefully there’ll be plenty to keep me amused though.
UK release: 8 February 2013
Continue reading