The regular monthly excuse: life got away from me. Anyone who follows me on Twitter will have noticed that. Still, a mere 12 films to cover this month. Never fear: April looks like a busy film watching month already! On with the roundup:

1st: Starsky and Hutch: Not the old school variety, the Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn film. It’s a fun film. Mindless but entertaining. I’ve seen it a few times over the years but I always forget how much I enjoy it. I’m honestly not sure there’s much more to say about it than that really. Enjoy ‘Frat Pack’ films? This one will suit you.

2nd: Real Steel: Oh dear, oh dear. This was a free rental courtesy of a good friend. I switched it off within an hour or so. I expected some saccharine and Disney-ish style nature but not even the charm of Hugh Jackman could save it, or the allure of boxing robots. Just utterly dire. Given that I nearly saw this at the cinema (I expected mindless fun), I was pretty disappointed.

5th: The Lion King 2: Yeah, I know. I adore the first Lion King film. I was at the right age for it when it first came out and it’s always been an important part of my childhood. As it was on, I thought I’d see what the sequel was like. It’s not great. I know I’m an adult now so it’s not aimed at me but I still enjoy (far too) many animated films. This wasn’t really one of them. It’s loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, thus very, very predictable. There’s hardly any humour either which is a bit rubbish.

8th: How Do You Know?: Talking of limited humour: a Reese Witherspoon/Paul Rudd rom com! I think How Do You Know? bombed at the cinema. I went to see it at the cinema but then I’m willing to see most things at the cinema. I’m pretty sure no one else saw it though. It’s not very funny and Witherspoon in particular is immensely irritating. Give it a miss.

11th: Safe House (cinema): Deviating away from everyone else’s opinions, I’m not much of a fan of Denzel Washington. I like Ryan Reynolds though. Previously not in a ‘Ooh he’s attractive’ sort of way (although he’s certainly growing on me), there’s just something appealing about him and I reckon he could do well if he chose the right scripts. Safe House was nearly the right script. It’s not his usual role and he does well thanks to that. It’s not taxing by any means. The usual rogue CIA agent stuff really but it’s quite smart and a decent way of spending a couple of hours.

14th: Shame (cinema): A different kind of cinematic experience. Shame is grim, very grim. It’s also a fantastic example of Fassbender’s acting ability. He’s a real chameleon of an actor and deserves to go far. Carey Mulligan is great in it too but overshadowed a little. Seemingly a popular trend, Shame spends a lot of time focusing on knowing looks rather than guiding the viewer. This makes for a far more satisfying experience, reading between the lines. Do see it. Do expect misery.

16th: Tower Heist: I’m struggling to remember much to do with this film. I think it was ok but very formulaic. Great cast underused. That sounds familiar. The fact I remember so little probably says it all though!

20th: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (cinema), The Hangover: I didn’t expect to enjoy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I’m not a huge fan of British comedies and while I knew the cast would be great, I thought the script would be weak. Turns out I was wrong. It’s a great film. Very funny and sharp. Some great insights in there too.

I’ve said a lot about The Hangover before. It’s fun and one of the most enjoyable comedies I’ve seen in recent years. I’ve also said plenty about what I think of Bradley Cooper too which helps.

24th: The Lion King 1 1/2: Is it The Lion King 1 1/2 or The Lion King 3? Who knows. It’s still not as good as the first one but showing the film’s story from Timon and Pumbaa’s perspective is a nice idea. Kids will like it a lot more than the mediocre The Lion King 2.

27th: 21 Jump Street (cinema): What a surprise! I’ve never seen the TV series so didn’t really know what to expect. It’s a smart, slightly self referential film that shows off that Channing Tatum can do more than melodrama and Jonah Hill doesn’t have to play supporting roles all the time. Very funny.

30th: We Need To Talk About Kevin: Not funny by any means. We Need To Talk About Kevin starts slowly. It’s another film that uses knowing looks more than dialogue, especially for the first 30 minutes or so. Once it gets going though, it’s phenomenal. Tilda Swinton is absolutely amazing in it and the kids playing Kevin are also astonishingly good. It will genuinely put you off having children but it’ll fascinate you along the way. Analysing it afterwards demonstrates just how much depth there is too, and I really want to read the book soon. Film of my month by far.

Film Roundup – March 2012