Film Roundup – March

28 films in March? Blimey, that’s a lot.

It’s worth pointing out one major thing. We had the Sky film channels for the month as a treat which instantly meant more films to watch. It also gave me the dilemma of how to count films that I’d only seen half of (thanks to channel hopping while working mostly). I decided to count films that I’d seen at least half of, anything that I only saw 30 minutes or so I didn’t count. To be fair, all the films that I saw half of, I’ve seen before anyway.

Oh and as you might be able to guess, multi tasking played an important part here. Films I’ve seen before are useful while I’m working. I reckon half of the films each month are ones that I’m doing something else while watching.

2nd: No Strings Attached (cinema) – Yeah, there wasn’t really anything on at the cinema and me and my Mum don’t like to miss out on an Orange Wednesday as it’s our mother/daughter sort of day. So came the romantic comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It was fun. Very predictable and nothing amazing by any means but it made for an enjoyable couple of hours. Good popcorn cinema.

5th: Red – Saw this at the cinema when it was out last year. Fancied seeing it again so rented it. A bit like No Strings Attached, it’s nothing amazing but it’s fun. John Malkovich is entertainingly mental, Bruce Willis is cool as ever and Helen Mirren dispenses with her typecasting and looks like she’s having a terrific time.

6th: Bronson – Wanted to see this since it came out. I’d sort of mentally pegged Tom Hardy as one to watch, even before everyone else noticed him in Inception. He’s amazing in Bronson. It’s a grim film but fascinating. Really hope that great things become of Tom Hardy and I suspect they might well do.

7th: Schindler’s List (just me), Return of the Jedi – I’m not sure where to begin with Schindler’s List. It was the first time I saw it. I’ve wanted to for years. Me and my Dad were going to watch it together (he’d seen it before when I was too young) and sadly we never got the chance. So I decided now was the time for me to see it. I can’t think of the right word to describe it. It’s not fantastic. It is but that sounds so cheery. So wrong. An intense film and one that I wouldn’t want to revisit for a while to come but one that everyone really, really needs to see. While I knew much of the atrocities that occured (my Dad was a History lecturer, the house is full of books on the subject), seeing it like that, even though it’s just a representation of what happened, really brings it home. Oh and Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are astonishing in it.

Return of the Jedi, in contrast, is fun and frivolous. That’s about all that needs to be said really.

8th: The Fortune Cookie (half of it), The Royal Tenenbaums, Couples Retreat (half) – The Fortune Cookie is a great little Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau film. They’re such a great pairing. Sharp script and very enjoyable. The Royal Tenenbaums is a film that I forget just how good it is until I watch it. Love Wes Anderson’s work. I watched Couples Retreat in bed so admittedly I was half asleep. I’ve seen it a few times for some bizarre reason despite it really not being very good. I’ll blame tiredness for why I watched it yet again.

9th: The Adjustment Bureau (cinema) – I liked this. I’m not much of a fan of Matt Damon (don’t ask me why, it’s a completely irrational thing) but again, there wasn’t much on at the cinema. It’s an interesting romantic science fiction type thing. No doubt full of plot holes but it’s enough fun that you don’t really care about picking out the flaws. Instead you get carried away by the momentum of the film.

10th: My Cousin Vinny – Not seen this in years and it was on Sky something or other. Love Joe Pesci in it. It also reminded me that I really must watch Goodfellas soon. I’ve owned it on Blu-ray for over a year and still not got round to it!

12th: The Hangover (part of it), The Kids Are All Right – Love The Hangover. I own it but it seems to be on Sky every other minute so it’s hard to resist. It’s a film that I often watch to cheer myself up or just when I fancy something that I know will be enjoyable. The Kids Are All Right is a film that I wanted to see at the cinema but missed (stupid cinema only putting films like that on for a week). Very glad I had the chance to see it on DVD. Smart little film. I’m glad I didn’t know a huge amount about it besides the basic concept as it made it much more interesting.

13th: Taken – Taken is a bit of a guilty pleasure. I remember when it came out. At the cinema, I saw the trailer and thought ‘Ugh this looks grim’. Then when it came out on DVD, I was working at Blockbuster and demand for it was huge. It was forever sold out with a wave of people still after renting it once more. My workmates were all raving about it and not a bad word was said about it amongst the outspoken customers. So I gave it a try. I loved it.

It’s so very easy to watch and Liam Neeson is consistently great and very watcheable. Taken is ridiculously paranoid and xenophobic but it’s immensely entertaining. It also knows exactly when to stop. So many action films feel like they have to tie everything up neatly at the end or they have to throw in a romantic sub plot. Taken doesn’t bother with that. Liam Neeson’s got a mission, he does it, the end. Nothing else gets in the way. Awesome stuff.

15th: Green Zone – I was keen to see this at the cinema and on DVD. I think I took it home from work once but never got round to seeing it. When I actually saw it though, I was disappointed. It was an interesting concept but I’ve seen similar done before and also done better. Shame.

16th: Hall Pass (cinema) – This was pretty bad. I’d seen the best joke on Graham Norton a few days earlier courtesy of Stephen Merchant. That joke didn’t even have the decency to be on until AFTER the film had finished and halfway through the credits. Ugh. I’ve seen worse but not much worse.

20th: Unknown (cinema) – An escape route from a difficult day (my Dad’s birthday) provided us with the immensely watcheable Liam Neeson once more. Really liked Unknown. Great story and, well, I don’t want to say more than that. It’s good to know only the basics here.

21st: The Happening – GUILTY PLEASURE ALERT. The Happening is AWFUL. So awful that it’s great. The script is abysmal and Mark Wahlberg spends half the time saying his lines looking utterly baffled like he’s still not sure why on earth he signed up for it. But it’s awesomely bad. Love it.

22nd: He’s Just Not That Into You (half) – Another guilty pleasure? Yes. I was still feeling raw after my Dad’s birthday. Bradley Cooper helps. Even if he does play a bit of an idiot in this one. Cliched but fun. Rom coms are one of the relatively few girly things I love.

23rd: The Pink Panther 2 (half), All About Steve, Limitless (cinema) – I’m not sure how I ended up seeing The Pink Panther 2. I blame an awkward piece of work that meant I was desperate for distractions. Cue me watching over an hour of The Pink Panther 2 by choice. I’d ordinarily choose a Peter Sellers Pink Panther over the Steve Martin ones any day. All About Steve is another Bradley Cooper guilty pleasure. Despite the overwhelmingly bad reviews, I liked it. The beauty of everyone has an opinion and all that I guess!

Limitless was another Bradley Cooper film but it didn’t feel like a guilty pleasure. It was pretty good. Interesting tale and I reckon he commanded the screen quite well. As friends will tell me though, I’m not to be trusted when Bradley Cooper or Robert Downey Jr are concerned however.

24th: The Paper – Remember last month how I saw Broadcast News when I was actually expecting Switching Channels? I got confused again and ended up seeing The Paper expecting Switching Channels. D’oh. OK film but nothing great. I’ve since bought Switching Channels for £3 off Amazon, not seen it yet though. After all this, I bet it’s a terrible disappointment.

26th: The Day After Tomorrow – Picked it up for £5 on Blu-ray in Tesco. It’s not worth that. It’s really quite bad. What a waste of £5, plus it’s wrecked my relatively flawless (in my opinion of course) Blu-ray collection.

27th: Superman (half) – Time hasn’t been kind to this film 🙁 It made me sad instead. I’m clinging to the memories of those happy days of watching it on a Saturday afternoon. The nostalgia’s lovely.

29th: 300 (half), Anchorman – I really hated what I saw of 300. That’s about all I can be bothered to say on it. Anchorman I saw for the second time. I was unimpressed the first time round a few years ago. I enjoyed it more but I still don’t quite get why friends of mine think it’s the greatest film ever. It’s got some great sequences but then other bits fall flat on their face. Some fantastic one liners though.

30th: Battle: Los Angeles (cinema) – There wasn’t much on at the cinema. When I say much, I mean nothing bar a showing of Submarine that was on too late. Battle: Los Angeles is extremely cliched rubbish with the kind of lines of dialogue that you think ‘Did they really just say that?!’ but it passed the time once more. I do want to know why no one in the film can just say yes or no to a question though, it always has to be the ‘witty’ one liners instead. Groan.

31st: Snatch – A bit like Anchorman, everyone I know raves about this film and I didn’t get it the first time round. I still don’t. It’s enjoyable enough but Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels feels much tighter to me.

Clearly this was a month where I had entirely different opinions than many of my peers!

One Thought to “Film Roundup – March”

  1. Crikey, you’ve been busy. Watched anchorman for the first time tonight, was funny, but wouldnt day the best comedy ever.

    I could comment on all your films (Ive see the majority). You only ever really watch Schindlers list once, it’s tough to watch but a remarkable film.

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