I can’t believe I’m ending the month on such a godawful pun.
31. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.
Tom runs nearly all the way through this film.
Therefore this film is everything I wanted it to be .
Who you calling a drama queen?
30. Overboard (2018)
After a spoiled, wealthy yacht owner is thrown overboard and loses his memory, a mistreated employee convinces him that he is her working-class husband.
This week has been a bit….tricky. Time is tight and emotions are high. If I had a choice I would make a duvet fort and binge watch Queer Eye until the Fab 5 manifested in my room to make it all better. But we soldier on. Day 30, people! I had intended to watch something slightly more highbrow, but my brain can’t cope. So I watched Overboard instead.
Is it better than the original? Debateable. There’s a distinct lack of 80s Kurt Russell (woof). But it’s by no means the worst film I’ve watched this month: sweet enough, cute casting, some callbacks to the original that made me go ‘hmm’ in an appreciative way (you know, like people do when they’re watching Shakespeare and they understand a clever line).
You could do worse. Don’t get me wrong, you could do a shit ton better, but you won’t feel grubby after this.
But I’m never going to to get Al Pacino
29. Manglehorn (2014)
Left heartbroken by the woman he loved and lost many years ago, Manglehorn, an eccentric small-town locksmith, tries to start his life over again with the help of a new friend.
One for the die-hards, I think.
This was difficult to watch, really weird production choices and a scattered, faux-profound story.
If turning 40 means you get to stop doing stuff you don’t want to do, then I’m calling time on Al Pacino.
You know as well as I do if this was a cartoon featuring anthropomorphic dogs, I’d bloody love it.
28. About Time (2013)
At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
Quite why I’m friends with so many Richard Curtis fans is beyond me.
I watched this with friends who are somehow able to see past his weak, sexist writing, past his objectionable men and his poorly-drawn women. They take no issue with the laziness of his humour. And they don’t mind that his plot lines are paper thin yet also contain yawning gaps in logic.
They honestly loved it. I sneered, mostly inwardly, because I have a blackened turnip where my heart should be.
Love a good ballad. Just the other day was chair dancing to Space’s excellent Ballad of Tom Jones.
27. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.
Well this has some moments of pure gold in it.
I sometimes feel like I’m not clever enough for the Coen Brothers, like, I like their films but I often feel like I’m missing something. I don’t gravitate naturally towards them, which I think is a mistake, because actually, Joel and Ethan Coen are the 2 exact people that Hollywood needs. Their films are quirky, always original, and despite my misgivings, accessible. Plus they work with some really, really great actors, who are never not a joy to watch on screen.
Buster Scruggs could actually be a perfect introduction to them: 6 shortish segments starting with Tim Blake Nelson putting a smile on your face and ending with Tyne Daly having a fit of the vapours. (I love Tyne Daly. My sister always made me be Mary-Beth when we played Cagney and Lacey and it was only when I got older that I realised she was the amazing one all along).
My favourite story was a piece of Tom Waits gold. He’s a lovely actor to watch, even with virtually no dialogue, as is the case here. Close second was Liam Neeson getting as far from Geriaction movies as possible (there’s hope for him yet). These are… morality tales I guess? Definitely a wonderful study of human nature.
This may not be to everyone’s taste, but is definitely worth a watch. It’s one of the most original things you’ll see in a long time.
I’ve never read Jane Eyre, can I interest you in some lively discourse about Stephen King?
26. Jane Eyre (2011)
A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he’s hiding a terrible secret.
I’ve written before that I’m appallingly poorly read – Yes, I did actually utter the above sentence this evening. So I will leave the commentary about this version of Jane Eyre to my friend A:
FFS, what are they doing? This is all wrong. And Michael Fassbender is not Mr Rochester.
All I can add to the conversation is that a lot of it was filmed at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire which is a lovely spot to visit if you find yourself in the Peak District (also, bring back Peak Practice).
So much political history this last two days it’s almost as if I didn’t sleep through my entire American Politics elective at school.
25. Milk (2008)
The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.
This was really very good. Well made with solid performances (I don’t know why I’m always surprised when James Franco isn’t shit) and kept my attention throughout (A bigger feat than it sounds).
I’m honestly not sure Sean Penn deserved an Oscar though. He was really good, don’t get me wrong, but it totally smacked of the Academy desperately trying to prove how ok it is with gay people. You can’t be openly gay in Hollywood and play a straight role, allegedly, but to be straight and play gay they will fling awards at you left, right and centre.
Anyway, I won’t get on my soapbox about it (however tempting).
Good biopic, solid efforts all round.
Ah, Richard Nixon. Simpler times.
24. All the Presidents Men (1976)
“The Washington Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Looking at the US today, I never thought we’d look back at George W Bush as some kind of mental titan, I mean I’m not saying that he was a totally amazing president, but, well, you know.
The saddest thing about All the Presidents Men is that I feel up until, say November 2016, Nixon was held up as an example of the worst person a US President could be. In comparison to what is currently sitting in the White House, he was a fricking saint.
Absorbing film though. You need to concentrate and a little bit of extra knowledge about the situation wouldn’t go amiss (I had to keep going to wiki) so in that sense it’s a bit dated. The final scene/shot is superb. Really bold.
Also, mid-70s Redford and Hoffman…. there’s a fantasy threesome right there.
I hated improv at college. I was really not good at it.
23. Don’t Think Twice (2016)
When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group – all best friends – start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.
Ehhhhhhhhhh not really sure about this one. It’s not bad bad but it’s got such unlikable characters it’s not massively enjoyable to watch: a group of friends who can’t be happy for their successful friend (and he’s a bit of a nob at that).
I know, I can’t believe I’d never seen it either.
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
I don’t know how I got to 40 and never seen a Marilyn Monroe film either. I mean, I’ve seen more sword and sorcery than is surely advisable.
Anyway, this was glorious. Possibly most perfect ending in cinema history.