Film Roundup – November

November was a strange month. Fair amount of work on but I also spent much of it looking after my Mum who’s been pretty ill. Truthfully, it was a bit of a crap month. I’m glad it’s gone. While I still feel drained, I’m hoping my energy levels will be restored soon enough. Anyway, a TON of films were watched in November. I spent a lot of time working in front of the TV with my Mum, plus we subscribed to Sky Movies which gave us plenty of films to watch (even if a lot did seem to be films we already own).

Anyway, on with the write up. In all, I’m up to 231! A ridiculous number across a year.

1st: The Ides of March (cinema) – All was well at this time so a rare (for November) trip to the cinema. Great film. Probably nothing hugely special in the script department but Ryan Gosling’s performance ensured it was a cut above the rest. I’ve still not seen Drive. I can’t wait for the Blu-ray release next month. Political film fans: do go see this by the way. It might not be up to Aaron Sorkin levels but it’s still worth a watch.

2nd: Flatliners – Never seen this, always wanted to so I’m glad it was on TV. Good film. Creepy but good. Demonstrates how good Kevin Bacon can be too.

4th: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil – This was a total surprise! A good friend of mine mostly made me watch it as I was distinctly unsure about it. Loved it. Admittedly the first 30 minutes or so is vastly superior to the rest of it but it’s still very good. Those slasher films where the hillbillies chase after the innocent US teens? Think that but from the hillbillies’ perspective. Oh and they’re not the bad guys. Great stuff.

5th: X-Men First Class – Saw this at the cinema. Picked up the Blu-ray. Excellent film. Always been an X-Men fan thanks to a childhood of watching the Marvel Action Hour and tracking down comicbooks. It does a good job of explaining the origins even despite a little creative license that I can forgive it. Looking forward to the next film.

8th: Michael Clayton – I deprived this film a little, only watching it with one eye. It’s a film that you need to concentrate a little more than that. What I did pay attention to though was a great film. Good performance by George Clooney too.

11th: Bridesmaids – Saw this at the cinema and wasn’t convinced. Touted as a female Hangover, it’s really not. It’s too chick flickish and just not very funny really. While The Hangover made me think it looked excellent fun to be male, Bridesmaids just reminded me of the restrictions that women place on their own fun. Ultimately, while there are great individual turns from Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd, the film as a whole left me cold. My Mum liked it at the cinema but having rewatched it on DVD she was as unimpressed as me. To the point that I cancelled a pre-order I had for it for a Christmas!

12th: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger – My Mum’s choice as it was her birthday and she was ill. It’s not bad. Not one of Woody Allen’s bests by a long shot though. Little too samey compared to his other work.

13th: Iron Man (part) – Can’t resist this film and it happened to be on. Only watched about half of it. Loved every second as always. Love comic book heroes, love anything with Robert Downey Jr in. Perfect!

14th: Hot Fuzz – Finally got round to watching the Blu-ray of this that I got for my birthday in October. Great film. So many little nuances and cool in jokes to spot. While Shaun of the Dead is my favourite, Hot Fuzz is probably the superior one of the two.

16th: Get Him To The Greek, All About Steve, Lethal Weapon 3 (part), Airplane (part) – Yes, 4 films. Otherwise known as ‘We signed up to Sky Movies today’ day. Get Him To The Greek has been much maligned, probably because a lot of people can’t stand Russell Brand. I like him and I like this film. I think it’s actually quite sad in the end and sharply cynical.

While I’m on the ‘liking films others hate’ kick, All About Steve is the same. I really don’t get why it’s hated so much more than other inferior rom coms. It’s no masterpiece by a long shot but it’s fine. A lot worse films have been rewarded better reviews than All About Steve.

Lethal Weapon 3 has aged absolutely terribly. Switched it off disappointed.

Airplane is an utter classic comedy film. I know the script thanks to having watched it as a kid tons. If you haven’t seen it, you really, really must.

17th: The Joneses – Strange film. Difficult to label really. I think it’s widely regarded as a rom com. It’s really, really not. It’s quite a cynical look at consumerism and how everyone has to have what their neighbours have (hence the Joneses…keeping up with the…you get it). It’s certainly interesting.

18th: Dinner for Schmucks – Not a great film at all. Very easy to watch though. Steve Carrell is criminally underused. Nice turn by Chris O Dowd near the end in a very silly sequence.

19th: Valentine’s Day, Iron Man 2 – Talking of not great films but easy to watch, Valentine’s Day. Not a lot to say about it really. Iron Man 2 probably isn’t as good as the first Iron Man but it is good fun. So yeah, a day of fun but shallow.

20th: Sherlock Holmes, Date Night, Extract, The Invention of Lying – Can’t resist Sherlock Holmes or Robert Downey Jr. Good Sunday afternoon film too! Date Night is underrated on the silly but fun comedy front and a suitable partner to Sherlock Holmes style daringness. Stumbled across Extract and it looked good as it starred Jason Bateman and was written by the same guy as Office Space. It was ok. Nothing amazing. Shame really. The Invention of Lying is far from Ricky Gervais’ best work but it’s ok. Easy enough to watch. Clearly, the 20th was a day where easy to watch films were vital!

21st: The Informant – I don’t remember this particularly clearly thanks to doing half a dozen other things at the same time. Oops. I did watch this a while back though and remember liking it at least. So erm, yeah.

22nd: Killers, Grown Ups, Youth in Revolt, When Harry Met Sally (part) – Killers is not a great film. Ashton Kutcher, while easy on the eye, is not a great actor but he is likeable. The film is an entertaining enough proposition but don’t go out of your way to see it. Grown Ups is much the same. Mindless but entertaining at the time. Then you get to the end and realise you wasted two hours!

Youth in Revolt is a more interesting film. I can’t stand Michael Cera but he’s redeemed himself a bit thanks to me discovering Arrested Development and my love of Scott Pilgrim (the film NOT the character!). The first 30 minutes of Youth in Revolt is great then it falters a little. It’s still enjoyable but you can’t help but feel disappointed after such a great opening.

When Harry Met Sally regularly vies for the title of my favourite film of all time. The other film being Shaun of the Dead. I absolutely adore When Harry Met Sally. So quote worthy and sharply written. I caught it about 30 minutes in late that night and stayed up to watch it despite owning the DVD. If you’ve not seen it, you really, really should see it.

23rd: The A-Team, Burke & Hare – Bradley Cooper is in The A-Team. I don’t think I need to say any more than that as to my reasonings behind watching it! I’ve seen Burke & Hare before too. The accents are atrocious but again falls into the easy to watch camp. Can you tell the last week or so of November was the most tiring and the time in which I needed the easiest of films to watch?

24th: Hot Tub Time Machine, The Rum Diary (cinema) – Yup, another easy to watch film. Hot Tub Time Machine isn’t great but it’s fun. John Cusack is underused but when isn’t he these days? What happened to the Grosse Point Blank days?! Now, he’s hardly in anything good. Such a shame.

The Rum Diary was the first cinema visit since the start of the month which is ages compared to usual months! Johnny Depp plays his usual role but that’s no bad thing at all. It also feels a little long with the story losing its way somewhere in the middle. It’s worth a watch though. I really want to read the book now too.

25th: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (part) – Stumbled across this when I was planning to play a game instead. The fact that I ended up watching most of it is a testament to what a quality kids film it is. Did remind me of a child I know though! Must watch the whole film at some point.

26th: The Tailor of Panama (part) – I should probably scratch this off the list as I really didn’t pay proper attention to it despite watching over half of it (my definition for it making the list). Pierce Brosnan really can’t act and does an absolutely bizarre accent in this.

27th: Catch Me If You Can (part) – Yet another film I’ve seen before and one that Leonardo DiCaprio shines in, as always.

28th: Due Date – Stick this under the shallow Robert Downey Jr list of films I watch. I’m not coming out of this month’s roundup well, am I?

29th: Dream House (cinema), GI Joe (part), Rendition – Dream House sounded good. The cast was quite good. The trailer looked quite good too. On that note, don’t see the trailer before seeing the film. It spoils things. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a crap film. I can only assume that Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz signed up to do it just so they could spend some time together. It also gets absolutely ridiculous near the end. I like silly films. This one though is just pure ‘WTF went through your head you silly, silly writer?!’.

On a silly note, I switched GI Joe off 30 minutes in. It didn’t feel silly, it just felt boring. Boo.

Rendition was the highlight of the day. Often uncomfortable to watch, it’s a fascinating insight into a world that shouldn’t be real. Unfortunately as it’s based on a true story, it is, at least partially so.

Phew, that was a huge roundup. One month to go! Then I’m not quite sure what to do next. Whether to continue with this or not.

2 thoughts on “Film Roundup – November

  1. Dog Ear Discs

    Honestly, Get Him to the Greek, is so underrated. That film is chock full of funny moments and brilliant quotes. In fact anything that P.Diddy says in that film is gold.

    “I’m gonna put fur on the outside of my house. That shit’s gonna look like a fuckin’ werewolf!”

  2. Denisse

    I’m a huge Hunter S Thompson fan, but I was feeling very weary of this film since it has been shelved for almost a year now. I attended the world premiere, and I can report with absolute sincerity that if you loved HST’s work, this will not disappoint.

    The one problem many die hard fans of the book may have is with the character of Sanderson. In the book Paul Kemp and Sanderson represent the dueling persona’s of Hunter, one being a cutthroat athletic type, the other being the booze-hound anti-authoritarian. In this film, Johnny Depp plays more to the character being a young HST and combines the characteristics of both into Kemp. Some may have a problem with this, but the movie is stronger for it as you are only rooting for the protagonist while giving the story a strong antagonist, a necessity in filmmaking.

    In my eyes, this is Bruce Robinson’s best work on screen to date, Johnny Depp is absolutely awe-inspiringly believable as a very young and constrained Hunter, and the cast could not have been more dead on.

    Have a lovely day,

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