Film roundup – February
Rather belatedly (I’ve been meaning to write this all week), my film roundup of February. Rather impressively, I watched 25 films in February. That’s only one less than in January despite there being 3 less days in the month. Clearly I love films, or possibly I need to get out more. I suspect a mixture of the two. Anyway ramblings time!
2nd: The Fighter (cinema), Sex and the City 2 – Quite a leap in quality there. The Fighter was the start of the ‘Must see as many Oscar nominated films as possible before the ceremony’ drive. I’ve never watched a boxing film before. I’m not overly keen on the sport admittedly. While I can understand why people love it, I tend to feel a little uncomfortable watching a bout. So I’ve never seen Rocky nor Raging Bull. I’d quite like to see Raging Bull sometime, less so Rocky. Anyway, I’ve got nothing to compare The Fighter to but I loved it. It’s more of a tale of families than the sport anyway. Christian Bale is positively mesmerising from the moment the film starts. Mark Wahlberg is also surprisingly good too with a very understated performance. Melissa Leo is the dark horse – stunning turn by her. Great stuff.
Sex and the City 2 was my Mum’s choice. While she’s a very intelligent woman and a fan of many great films, she’s got a soft spot for Sex and the City akin to the soft spot I have for Robert Downey Jr and Bradley Cooper. The sequel to the OK original film is terrible. Really diabolical stuff. It’s offensive to pretty much everyone, especially women as they should demand better. Shame as I quite liked the TV series in a guilty pleasure kind of way. Now though, I just want to slap the women very hard.
5th: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings, Only You – I’ve never seen the Lord of the Rings films. Yeah, sorry about that. I like playing games with elves and stuff, not so bothered about films nor books. People react oddly when I say I’ve never seen the LoTR trilogy though so I picked it up for £4 on DVD. The first one is OK. I wouldn’t choose to see it over other films but it was fine. I’m keen to see the other two although I’ve yet to get round to it.
Only You was a no brainer when it was on TV. A romantic comedy with Robert Downey Jr? Easy choice. It’s very sweet too. A little predictable but with a nice twist in there, but very enjoyable. Didn’t actually find RDJ overly attractive in it though. I think he looked too young for my liking which is quite funny really considering he was only about 28 at the time so not much older than me.
6th: The Odd Couple – Classic Matthau/Lemmon comedy. Truly brilliant stuff. Poignant too. Not really much else to say here. If you’ve never seen it before, get to it immediately. If you’ve seen it before, see it again anyway.
7th: Dead Poets Society – Amazing film. So sad and frustrating too. But great. Nice to be reminded that Robin Williams could act once upon a time.
8th: Corpse Bride – This was OK. Not as great as I expected. Too many songs too. Decent enough film to pass the time in an afternoon at least.
9th: How Do You Know? (cinema) – Mindless rom com with Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon. That probably sums it up really. I was in the mood to forget stuff at the cinema and this worked well.
10th: Dodgeball – Another easy film but one of my favourites. It’s often my go to film when I want something silly but great fun. How can you not love a film that has the line ‘If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball’? One of the few films that genuinely makes me laugh out loud frequently.
12th: Star Wars, The Town – Ohhh Star Wars. I’m not a big Star Wars fan – I was a Trekkie as a kid – but I did enjoy the Star Wars trilogy. I’ve not watched them in years but they’re still very watchable. Amazing how dodgy the acting is in the first one but I’ll forgive them. Then that evening I watched The Town. I was really looking forward to this having missed it at the cinema. It was…..good. But it didn’t feel any better than many other heist/bank robber type films. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I just guess I expected more, or maybe I just hyped it up too much in my head.
14th: The Empire Strikes Back – It makes sense that the next film to watch was The Empire Strikes Back. Offering slightly better acting and much more stable backdrops, it was very enjoyable.
15th: Wet Hot American Summer – Er yeah. Let me explain this one. It’s not porn for one thing. It’s a diabolical spoof of a 1980s Summer camp film. It stars David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Frasier) and features Bradley Cooper. Bet you’ve realised why I ended up watching this. It was ridiculous. Not awful but close. Only cost me £2 at least.
16th: Paul (cinema), Wedding Crashers – Ahh Paul. Love Simon Pegg’s work. It was excellent. Not quite as sharp as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz and Edgar Wright was sorely missed, but it was still great fun. Some great geeky references to be seen too. I picked up Wedding Crashers for £2 as I like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson films. Much like Dodgeball, it’s not clever but it is good fun. It also features Bradley Cooper but much like the RDJ/Only You thing, he’s too young and I can safely say I watched Wedding Crashers because it’s fun rather than for shallow reasons.
17th: Something’s Gotta Give – Another rom com? Must be one of those months. Jack Nicholson and Diana Keaton do what they do best. Smart and funny.
18th: Old School – And another easy but fun film. Another one I bought for £2 too (I went on a cheap DVD buying spree). The worst part about easy films like these? It’s hard to know what to say when blogging about them.
23th: Black Swan (cinema), New York I Love You – Hurrah, some intelligent films again! I really liked Black Swan despite having a non-existent interest in Ballet. Natalie Portman was good although I wonder if she won the Oscar more for hard work than acting ability (that’s no bad thing though). Interestingly my Mum wasn’t so keen as she felt most of the elements of the film had been done before and she’s got a point. It led to a nice discussion about whether Black Swan just brought all this to the mainstream rather than revolutionised. I think it was a similar case for Inception too but I’ll leave those thoughts to later in the month.
New York I Love You is one of those films that always seem to happen in New York. It’s a series of short stories, each directed by someone different, and all loosely linked to one another. Quite clever and smart. A thinking person’s rom com I guess.
24th: The Social Network – Having finally picked up my pre-order, it was about time I watched it again! Excellent film. Fantastic dialogue and great acting by Eisenberg, Garfield and Timberlake. Marco Fiori sums it up very well in his blog.
25th: Winter’s Bone – Another Oscar nominated film. Just in time for the ceremony. True Grit, 127 Hours and The Kids Are All Right are going to have to wait for DVD releases sadly. I thought Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant in it. I wasn’t so keen on the rest of it. It was very monotone in its approach which would have been fine if it had something interesting to say. I didn’t really feel that it did though. I struggled through it never really caring about any of the characters. Shame really.
26th: Despicable Me, Due Date – A sillier day of film viewing than previous days. Despicable Me was a particular delight. I really didn’t expect it to be quite so much fun and quite so humorous. I’ll definitely have to buy it at some point. It’s worth more than just a rental. I bought Due Date what with the RDJ fandom. Not as good as The Hangover but still a good film to watch when you need cheering up. Even in a battered, sociopathic sort of way, RDJ is a delight to stare at on the screen. Perhaps I should be worried that I find him much more attractive like this than as a smooth talker in Only You.
27th: Broadcast News – I watched this expecting an entirely different film. I mixed it up with Switching Channels. Fortunately Broadcast News is a great film so that made up for the confusion!
28th: Inception – Having spent much of my time watching the Oscars muttering how Inception should have won more (funnily enough, it won the same number as The Social Network and only one less than The King’s Speech. It was refreshing to see a year where no one film dominated), I thought I’d best actually watch it. It’s not my favourite Nolan film funnily enough – I prefer The Prestige – but it is great. It’s a combination of lots of little (and some big) things. A clever script, great acting, fantastic visual effects expertly done and a musical score that occasionally chills you to your bones. That music will be remembered for years I’ve no doubt. And did you know that the foghorn type warning noise is actually the Edith Piaf song that wakes them up (Non, je ne regrette rien), slowed down hugely? Amazing.
Still, looking back at the month, I’m going to have to watch some more intelligent films in March.