How’d it go? – August 2021

I genuinely started writing this in August, and now it’s near the end of December and I’m five months behind! As such this post will just be short reviews of the films I saw in August, with my original post opening left in because I’ve already written it. The next few months – which I’m hoping to write before the end of the year but let’s not get our collective hopes up – will also just be film reviews, and I’ll tidy everything else up in an end-of-year wrap up post like usual. Apologies for the lack of activity here recently, it’s been a busy few months!

August is my birthday month, and saw me turn a frankly unbelievable 34. How I’ve made it this far is truly astonishing. For my birthday my wife and I went to London for the weekend under the ruse of going out for dinner, visiting some markets and having a general weekend away, but really so that we could buy a new sofa. I won’t go into it. Anyway, we had a mostly nice time (it’s easy to forget just how uncomfortably busy and crowded London can be, especially after over a year of mostly not going anywhere with anyone), and whilst in the queue for the Lego shop, in which my wife treated me to an R2D2 that’s currently presiding over the lounge, I spotted British comedian James Acaster a few spots ahead of me in the queue. If you don’t know James Acaster, get thee to Youtube and enjoy the next few days of content you’ll find, I can particularly recommend his cabbage-related escapades, check out his food-related podcast Off Menu and also cast your mind back to my Taskmaster contestant rankings, in which he achieved the silver medal just below Sally Phillips. Needless to say, I’m a fan, but he was clearly with family and so I didn’t bother him. Also I couldn’t foresee that conversation going very well, given that I was standing in the queue for the Lego store on my own 34th birthday, about to have my wife buy me what many believe to be a child’s toy of a robot from a child’s film. He also left the queue before going into the shop, so there was no chance of accidentally brushing past him and a faux “Oh, hey, you’re James Acaster! I love your podcast! Be my best friend etc.” Anyway, now I’ve been in or by the same shop as two contestants from season 7 of Taskmaster, after I spotted Rhod Gilbert in a second hand book shop in Hay-on-Wye. Kerri Godliman, Jessica Knappett and Phil Wang, I’m coming for you to complete the set!
As I’m monumentally behind on these posts there’ll be no updates on anything other than films this month, other than to say I still haven’t finished the Bill Bryson book, I very foolishly decided to fit a half marathon in at the end of July with Bournemouth Parkrun in the middle of it, which brought my shin splints back and put me out of running action once again, from which I’m still in recovery. I’ve been less grumpy this time, tried to eat more fruit, but also discovered (invented?) flights of cheese sandwiches. We had an abundance of cheese in our fridge (don’t ask) and I’ve been having four or five small cheese sandwiches, all different cheeses, some with chutneys, for lunch most days. Turns out I don’t hate all blue cheeses like I used to, and Sainsbury’s do a particularly creamy gorgonzola. You can all guess what that means health-wise, so let’s get into the films, shall we?

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2020 Year in Review

Another year is over, and for this I’m sure we’re all grateful. I’ll go into more detail with how 2020 treated me personally in a future post, but for now it’s time for the annual listing of every new release I watched this year, from worst to best. It’s a shorter list than previous years at just 39 new releases (as always, bear in mind these are UK releases, so there’s a fair few films many of you would consider 2019 films on here), so I’ve also listed some shorts/TV specials, and listed my top 10 new-to-me, non-2020 films at the bottom too.

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Mid-2020 Update

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 isn’t exactly going to plan. It’s not been a stellar year for anyone, and listing off the many and numerous trials that either have been or are still testing the world at large isn’t going to do anyone any good. Suffice to say I’ve found myself home a lot recently, not that the activity on Life vs Film would have led you to such a conclusion. It turns out that being stuck inside for almost three months with nothing but a bunch of streaming services and a decent sized DVD collection still isn’t enough to actually make me watch and review more films. In fact, compared to this time last year I’ve only reviewed a third as many! How is that even possible? So what have I been doing? Good question, and to answer it let’s run through my 2020 goals at this roughly half-way point through the year: Continue reading

Top 10… New-To-Me Movies in 2013

I may not have seen many films in 2013, but I did see some new ones that weren’t released last year. This post is dedicated to those films, and here’s the top 10 new-to-me non-2013-released movies:

Honourable mention: Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect gets the honourable mention slot mainly because I didn’t expect much from it, but it really surprised me. The premise comes off as Glee: The Movie; Beca (Anna Kendrick) starts at university and joins The Bellas, an all-girl acapella group, who enter a singing competition against their all-male rivals, The Treblemakers, but she finds The Bellas’ more traditional stylings need some serious updating if they have any chance of winning, but all thoughts of the TV show (which I admit I don’t hate, mainly because of their affinity for Journey) are soon disspelled after the first bout of projectile vomitting, and once we meet Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy. Some of the characters are basic stereotypes – the bitchy one, the slutty one, the crazy one – but the musical performances are all great – particularly Beca’s cup song, and the riff-off – and damn if this film wasn’t funny, especially the world-ending gravitas given to the line “I’ve got nodes.”. Continue reading