Erm, OK, so despite January dragging on like an absolute bastard the 31st crept up on me quite unexpectedly.
I haven’t watched 31 new films. I’ve watched 24.
I still think that’s a pretty good achievement though – my shame at not having seen certain classics is diminishing year by year.
I’ve discovered a few gems, I’ve watched some shite, I had some thoughts that I scribbled down as well…
- Robot and Frank has an awesome soundtrack by Francis and the Lights. Seek it out immediately.
- Bananas had a surprise Sylvester Stallone! This made me so happy.
- I still haven’t seen The Great Escape. Can anyone tell me whether my life will be significantly enriched by watching it?
- It’s about time they started re-running Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Bidi bidi.
- There’s a note about Dirty Dancing in my pad. I don’t quite know why I wrote DIRTY DANCING!! in massive capitals (I suspect I’d had wine) but I firmly believe that if you didn’t like Dirty Dancing then we can’t be friends. Sorry.
- They should make more films with puppies in them.
Till next year!!
Yes yes, Nice is a dreadful word. I’ll make an exception for Gosling though.
24. The Nice Guys (2016)
In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star. Hilarity ensues.
Shane Black’s another clever bugger. So, yes, he wrote Lethal Weapon, and yeah, he did Iron Man 3, but he also wrote the far superior Monster Squad (including the classic line ‘Wolfman’s got NARDS!!’). I read a review that said The Nice Guys is the ‘Shane Black-iest of all Shane Black’s films’ and I know what the reviewer meant. It’s very similar to his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that came out a few years back: buddy movie, crime caper, very clever dialogue – you’re so swept up in enjoying it all that you haven’t really got a clue what’s going on. Seriously, I watched it like a day ago and couldn’t really coherently tell you what it’s about.
Great casting though. Russell Crowe isn’t a particular favourite of mine (except for LA Confidential, he was superb in that) but he’s good in this. Gosling is, as ever, heaven (although he maybe felt a little too young for the role). 9/10 (Gets an extra mark for having Gil Gerard in it. I miss Buck Rogers more than I can say).
OK, so January is going on forever. The world has gone mad. My house is constantly full of people who talk through movies. I’m not going to make it to 31 movies.
23. City Lights (1931)
With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically. Hilarity ensues.
So, context. It’s late January. Everything is awful. Properly awful. I’ve just got back from a weekend up North and am already having a panic attack about work tomorrow. Time to go old school.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Chaplin movie before and I’m not sure why… I’ve seen bits of his films, and the Attenborough biopic, but nothing the whole way through.
And what a treat. Funny, poignant, like a hug from your favourite old relative who smells of lavender and pinches your cheek before giving you a Werthers. 8/10.
Am I a sociopath, or just a film wanker?
22. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media. Hilarity ensues.
When I was growing up my parents would pretty much let me watch anything. We’d watch films with them on video that were massively inappropriate (I saw Police Academy when I was 8, for gods sake) but weirdly, there were certain things they’d draw a line on.
I’m still not sure if I wasn’t allowed to watch Natural Born Killers when it came out because of the controversies surrounding it or because my mum really hates Oliver Stone, but either way, ‘it wasn’t coming into the house’. Other things that never came into the house included Eastenders (dad), Parsnips (dad) and The Films of Richard Gere (mum). Whatever. This passed me by. I read Tarantino’s original script when I went to college but never saw the film.
But what a film. It’s demented, horrible, violent, trippy and also outstanding. Visionary. It’s scary when you laugh at people being killed. I like to think it’s because of the film student thing and not because I have some deep-seated emotional issues that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to keep pets. 7/10.