Film Roundup – December

Apologies for the delay in this. Enjoying an extended Christmas/New Year break plus the other blog entries of late meant that I kept never getting round to this. Still, better late than never, eh? A solid 20 for the month to round off the year.

1st: Life As We Know It – Not a good start to the month! This was dire. Starring Katherine Heigl (I think) and Josh something or other (I care so little about the film that I can’t be bothered to look the film up on IMDb). It’s a sort of rom com where two people who hate each other end up in close proximity because they’re godparents of a baby who is orphaned. I can’t actually remember if they ever get together. I’ve got a low tolerance level for rom coms (as people will have seen over the past year of roundups) but this was awful. Avoid!

4th: Arthur Christmas (cinema) – The first cinema trip of the month was much more successful. Arthur Christmas is wonderful. It captures the spirit of Christmas and Father Christmas really well, while still throwing in plenty of clever humour too. It’s definitely got the potential to be a Christmas classic.

5th: The Hangover 2 – Ahh the Bradley Cooper effect. I saw this twice at the cinema. Sorry about that. It’s my fault when there’s a third film. Having seen this on Blu-ray, I’ve been reminded that yes it’s really not as good as the first one. The first Hangover is a film I watch when I need cheering up. This one will be reserved for much rarer occasions.

6th: 50/50 (cinema) – So, I quite liked this. That’s clear from my earlier entry in which I declared it my film of the year. It’s brilliant. It’s equally funny as it is sad. Joseph Gordon Levitt truly deserves to be a star after this. It’s the kind of film (and performance) that sticks with you for a while afterwards.

8th: Did You Hear About The Morgans – Back to the frivolous. It was on TV while I was doing some work. Good film to watch in the background. Nothing challenging of course. Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker play the exact same roles that they always do (I’m not convinced SJP can do anything else so it’s lucky she can do the role so well!) and it’s very predictable but it’s an enjoyable romp.

10th: Tangled, Tropic Thunder, Knight and Day, Super 8 – I can’t remember what happened on this date but I’m guessing I didn’t go out or do much else other than watch films. Admittedly, I turned Tangled off halfway through. It was a tad too girly, even for a Disney film, for me. So I switched to Tropic Thunder which is always brilliant. Robert Downey Jr is unrecognisable and Ben Stiller plays a Tom Cruise style role perfectly. Even Jack Black isn’t irritating in it! Or at least he’s meant to be so it’s not so annoying.

Knight and Day is another easy film and a great example of what Tom Cruise does so well. He can’t act exactly. He can only ever play ‘Tom Cruise, likeable action star’ but a bit like SJP, that’s fine because he does it so well! Proper screen presence and real movie star quality.

I was keen to see Super 8 at the cinema but didn’t get the chance. I’m glad I waited till it came out on DVD and I rented it. It felt very underwhelming. The only bit I thought was great was while the credits were rolling. Not a patch on The Goonies!

13th: 500 Days of Summer – One of my favourites of recent years and another film that demonstrates how good Joseph Gordon Levitt is. The tagline for this film gets it spot on: It’s not a love story, it’s a story about love. Sad in places and funny too, it’s something that anyone who’s been in love can empathise with. A great summing up of a relationship really!

14th: Kick Ass (part) – Only caught half of this but as I’ve seen it before, I’m counting it. I still reckon it’s a bit overrated but I enjoy it nonetheless. Mark Strong is what makes the difference and the brief time that Nicholas Cage is in it.

18th: Superbad – I’ve never seen Superbad before. Plenty of people at my old workplace raved about it. It’s not bad but it wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be. Interesting and worth the watch but not as raucously funny as I expected.

19th: She’s Out Of My League – I can hardly remember this. I suspect that says it all really.

20th: Love Actually – It’s Christmas which means the iffy showing of Love Actually! The reason why it’s iffy? Over here in this older blog entry. I watched it while wrapping my Mum’s Christmas presents. It was quite nice despite the problems.

23rd: Shrek – Another film that I watched while wrapping presents, this time the plethora of children we have to buy presents for. I like Shrek. Shrek 2 is my favourite but the first is still pretty good. I spotted some references that I missed for some reason last time round so that was fun! Not quite as amazing as the Toy Story series but I’d argue a tad funnier.

25th: Elf – I’ve never seen Elf before. People raved about it a lot so I thought I’d see it! It’s pretty good. I can see why others love it so. Captures the spirit of the season nicely and has some very funny moments.

27th: Fred Claus – Another Christmassy film. Fred Claus isn’t great though. Vince Vaughn does the same old role that he always does. It wears thin a little. Nice idea for a film though and sort of ties in with the Arthur Christmas theme really. You’d never watch it outside of Christmas though and I’ll probably never see it again either.

29th: Sherlock Holmes 2 (cinema) – I’ve been looking forward to this since the moment I limped out of the cinema after seeing the first one. The film didn’t cause the limp by the way, I was still on crutches at the time. The second one isn’t as good as the first. I felt a bit disappointed. It’s Moriarty’s fault. He’s just not psychotic enough to me, nor as unhinged as he should have been. Mark Strong in the first film had fantastic screen presence, equal to Robert Downey Jr’s, plus he was downright fearsome. Moriarty does not. It all feels a bit limp compared to the fantastic chemistry that Downey Jr and Jude Law clearly have. Real shame. It is good, just not as good.

31st: The Three Musketeers, Footloose – The Three Musketeers was the 1993 version with Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland. I used to love it as a kid. I was an idiot. It’s pretty dire.

On a dire note, I’d never seen Footloose before until this day. I stumbled into it as it was showing on Film 4. I kept watching but I’m not sure why. It was awful! So very cheesy, badly acted and the music was pretty bad too. I get it, dancing is a metaphor for sex. There really is no need to overplay it and act like dancing is the most important thing ever. Still, it made me keep watching so it must have done something right. How embarrassing!