Film Roundup – October 2012

Hey there, October’s list of films. During this month, I managed to watch 19 films. Not bad at all. The cold Winter months must be creeping in if I’ve found that much spare time! Juggling the fun of WoW: Mists of Pandaria works well with film watching, too, although I still managed to find the time to go to the cinema six times!

2nd: Looper – So, Looper was interesting. I was really excited to see it and it didn’t quite live up to expectations. Film of the year? Not even close. An overly simplistic ending and a sense that it wanted to be smarter than it actually was, let it down. Still enjoyed it, though, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as always, was fantastic.

7th: Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Yes, you read that correctly. I have a soft spot for the Alvin and The Chipmunks movies, more so the first one than the second. This one is quite terrible. The films don’t need much of a story to succeed but this one dispenses with any story and just throws some cheesy musical numbers at you, instead.

9th: Taken 2 – It was my birthday and, well, this was the best film out that day. I loved the first Taken. The sequel isn’t anywhere near as good but it’s enjoyable enough. Trying to add too much of a story is its main problem and, of course, reusing a story that can only really work once. Liam Neeson is suitably badass, though.

10th: American Evil – It hasn’t been a great run for films so far. American Evil is dire, as well as misadvertised. Basically, I watched it due to the presence of Bradley Cooper and having seen all his other films. He’s only actually in it for 10 minutes and I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of his character was anyway, as there was just no need. Following the tales of abuse to Native Americans by the Catholic Church, it also isn’t really a horror film, despite what the name and the DVD’s box suggests. Interesting and important story, told badly.

11th: The Campaign, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Another cinema visit! The Campaign was quite a surprise. I’d taken the week off, it was pouring with rain, the cinema seemed the only option. The Campaign looked quite dire and stupid, but I was desperate. Turns out it was much better than the trailer suggested. Quite a smart satire on the political process in the US too, if you look for it.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Daniel Craig one) was a birthday present. I’ve seen it before but it’s a great film. Always a fan of David Fincher’s work and this one is suitably dark. If it wasn’t for the terrible editing, I’d probably enjoy the book just as much.

12th: 2 Days in New York – A Woody Allen style film starring Chris Rock? Yup. This one’s a surprise delight that I suspect no one has heard of because it’s such an unusual mix. New Yorker, Chris Rock is married to a French woman whose insane family come to visit. It’s a little farcical but it also offers some very sharp dialogue, akin to Woody Allen’s work.

13th: The Sentinel – Luckily, I only paid 99p for it. Expecting a fun action romp with Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, as they work on opposite sides to determine if there’s someone out to kill the President, this turned out to be pretty dull and forgettable. Switched it off halfway through.

18th: On The Road – I wasn’t initially keen to see this, thanks to the presence of the whiney emo girl from Twilight. Glad I did though as she wasn’t particularly prominent. I’ve not read Kerouac’s novel, but the film has encouraged me to do so. It shows the 1940s in a fascinating light and there are some great performances from the relatively unknown cast. I’m going to delegate further thoughts to Marco Fiori, as he says it so much better in his blog post that partly inspired me to go see it.

19th: Rango – So, Rango was weird. Very weird. Think a kid’s film mixed with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and you’re not far off. Yes, that kind of weird. I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. I liked the first half but felt my attention to it waning as it went on.

20th: Casino Royale – I’ve written about Casino Royale before, a few blog posts down. Have a read of that. I love it.

23rd: Jurassic Park – Do I need to say any more? We all know Jurassic Park is a classic and I was lucky enough to get it on Blu-ray for my birthday. Brilliant Saturday afternoon film. 🙂

25th: Quantum of Solace – In preparation for Skyfall. Quantum of Solace isn’t terrible but it’s nowhere near as good as Casino Royale. Lacking a convincing bad guy and any interesting dialogue, and it’s all a bit lacklustre.

26th: Skyfall (cinema) – Skyfall is the exact opposite of Quantum of Solace. It’s brilliant. One of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen all year. Does everything just right. Stands up to repeated watches too as I saw it a second time a few weeks later.

27th: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Prometheus – The start of an Indiana Jones marathon(ish). I adore Raiders of the Lost Ark. Such a fantastic adventure film and one I have many fond memories of as a child. I remember my parents always used to make me look away at the face melting bit as I was a sensitive kid. It is pretty gruesome, admittedly! Harrison Ford is one of those few stars that I refuse to accept he’s ageing. In my head, he’s always going to be Indy and that age. Also, one of my first childhood crushes!

Prometheus is a flawed film but I do enjoy it. The last third is a bit rubbish and suffers some plotholes and way too much action, but the first two thirds is great. Love slow burning proper sci-fi rather than action films in space and this one very nearly achieves that.

28th: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Lost World – Another Indy film! And sadly the last, for now. It turns out the box for The Last Crusade contained a second copy of the Temple of Doom for some reason, despite having been bought sealed. Bah! The Temple of Doom is nearly as good as the first Indy but not quite. Love Shortround though!

The Lost World was to make up for lack of The Last Crusade. It’s not as good as Jurassic Park but it is rather fun. Fond memories abound too as, when I was a kid, I saw it at the cinema with family friends and it was a great day out. When I was a kid, it was quite unusual for me to go to the cinema very often so it was a distinctive trip. 🙂

30th: To Rome With Love (cinema) – I didn’t like this. I saw it as my Mum wanted to see it and she’s a huge Woody Allen fan. This is a weak Woody Allen film. Decent cast, quite poorly done and very shallow. Give it a miss.