2022 films and stuff

As I noted in November, I didn’t post my 2021 films for some reason and I still don’t remember why but here they are.  Shang-Chi was pretty great.

Did I do anything this year? Did I go anywhere? I feel like I did visit Walsingham but don’t remember anything about it – oh, I remember now. I actually went on holiday to Ipswich and then drove to visit Walsingham on one of the days I was there and that’s why I don’t remember staying in Walsingham.

I also attended one of the London e-prix and had the great idea of staying the night before in a hotel nearby because lol I am not waking up early to get there. That was also about the time I fell on my car and smacked my shin so hard on the doorframe that it got infected and I had the exciting opportunity to “enjoy” two different rounds of antibiotics. It’s still not the right colour, but that’ll get better in time.

I saw Daði Freyr at the Roundhouse, an event that I bought the ticket for over a year in advance thinking “the whole pandemic stuff will be gone by then” and it’s not really but it turns out that I’m one of those people for whom wearing a mask tight against my face for hours isn’t a hardship (even though I wear glasses and now that I’ve got a pair with the arms that curl round my ears rather than being straight, I’m less likely to have them just fall off my face). Sort of related – I’m pondering going to see Måneskin next year but am extremely ambivalent about the O2 Arena AND it’ll be when I have a week off and maybe I will want to go somewhere that week.  We’ll see. Maybe if there are tickets still on sale closer to the time, I’ll decide then.

Anyway, onto the new films I saw in 2022, from least favourite to most favourite as is customary:

  • The Middle Ages -I saw two films set during the pandemic lockdown season and this was the worst. It seemed like an interesting idea at the time I put it on my “to watch” list but it just wasn’t fun.
  • Our Lady of the Chinese Shop – I am, obviously, a big fan of Catholic-adjacent tat and this film is named for that. Felt like it wasn’t finished.
  • Blind Yellow Sunshine – Knowing something about the Rime of the Ancient Mariner improves this, but since I knew nothing while I was watching – at least it was short.
  • Roary – it says something that 6 minutes of the MGM lion just… roaring was better than the first 3 films on this list.
  • The Estate – Unfunny. Which is a shame because the cast were doing their best.
  • Crows Are White – The director/main character’s wife is a literal saint and must super love him to put up with his shenanigans.
  • Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power – Interesting documentary, but weird that the director’s films are irreproachable masterpieces and all other female filmmakers’ work is infected by the male gaze.
  • Inside the Mind of a Cat – I’m not a cat person, but it was interesting to see all the cat people and was a frothy light hour or so of viewing when that was what I needed.
  • Geographies of Solitude – Turns out documentaries about scientists doing research in remote places is a thing I enjoy.  The sporadic bits of film processed on the island with bits of the island added a good contrast of texture.
  • The Blue Rose of Forgetfulness – I liked some of the individual works more than others but thinking about them now I don’t know that I can remember any but Alcestis.
  • God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines – I didn’t know anything about the history of techno music so this was educational. I can recognise the nerding out about synthesizers in musicians I know now.
  • See How They Run – I think maybe this film was trying to capture that Knives Out vibe but just doesn’t manage it because they were reading from the “how to Wes Anderson” instruction manual.
  • Unicorn Wars – Did I see this just because it was teddy bears going to war? Yes.
  • My Robot Brother – I feel like I’m getting closer to the top 10 because I’m starting to get to films that was actually “good” rather than just “I watched them.” Has kind of the feel of those educational TV series we used to watch at school like “Through The Dragon’s Eye” if that had been turned into a film solely for entertainment.
  • Staging Death – 8 minutes of Udo Kier’s death scenes cut together. The highlight is recognising all the ones you’ve already seen.
  • After Sherman – This was another film telling a part of the director’s personal experience and this one has the extreme benefit of not having a deeply frustrating director that sabotages his own life.
  • Jill, Uncredited – Anthony Ing manages to weave a story out of a selection of clips of the thousands of Jill Goldston’s appearances as an extra in film and TV which really illustrates just how many productions she was a part of to make that possible (and there were many appearances that just didn’t make the cut on top of these). Jill was at the screening I saw and it was a delight to hear just how much she loved being part of these films and had the best experiences doing them.
  • The Wonder – Not sure about the framing device, but this was a good watch.
  • Corsage – I discovered that a whole bunch of films was made recently about Empress Elisabeth of Austria and I want to check them out.  It works better if you know a bit more about the real Elisabeth.
  • Thor: Love and Thunder – I did think when I saw this film that it would be higher up the list and yes, it is good and enjoyable (even when you’re familiar with the comics so there’s less surprise). I think it’s a combo of “this film could have been better” and “I saw a number of satisfying films this year.”
  • Living – This was great. I saw Aimee Lou Wood in Uncle Vanya and she was a delight in that and she’s great here too.
  • Into The Ice – This is the other scientists doing research in remote places film I saw and seeing all of the giant holes in the ice was just wild and mindblowing.
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom – Documentary about the New York music scene in the early 2000s and yes I was only there for Interpol, whose first album is the only CD I ever wore out, but it was fascinating to hear about the other bands too. Was weirdly like someone did a time-travel to shoot the early 00s footage, but obviously they just recorded video at the time and it’s wild to think that in 10-20 years there could be something like this built out of band’s insta/tiktok videos.
  • Hidden Letters – I knew some stuff about Nushu already so hearing from some of the women who have kept this language alive was interesting and touching. “Loved” that moment where some man asked how they could make Nushu, a language that had survived in secret for hundreds and hundreds of years, continue to survive without commercialising it in the cheapest possible way and only saw that as an option.
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – I am so glad that loads of people have now seen this because I have been waiting for months, MONTHS, to hear about people’s enjoyment of this film. This takes the thing I love about Columbo and Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple and Poirot (i.e. helping the little guy obtain justice and sticking it to the man) and just SLAPS IT RIGHT DOWN ON SILLY OLD MILES BRON’S FACE. The thing I took away from seeing this in a cinema was that I was surrounded by people who did not know who Yo-Yo Ma is and that was in my top 3 cameos in the film. Re-watching it now that it’s out on Netflix has only improved it because I can spot the things I didn’t spot on the first viewing AND I have the benefit of seeing things that other people who know stuff have picked up on. Knives Out was my 2nd favourite film of 2019 and it’s deeply satisfying that this one was so enjoyable.

Inactivity

I realised about half-way through this year that I didn’t post my films of 2021 but I don’t remember why I didn’t get to it.

Anyway. I’m a sporadic blogger, but I am here.

2020 films and stuff

A lot of things happened in 2020, but mostly they happened to other people because I didn’t leave the house for most of the year.

And like, I don’t really have anything to say here about those things.

Anyway, on to the customary look back at the new films I saw in 2020 from least liked to most liked. I didn’t step foot in a cinema all year1, so I’m not entirely sure how I ended up seeing a good 10-15 more new films than usual – especially since I had a hard time sitting down and watching anything much over an hour long – and somehow I ended up watching like 100 films in total which seems… excessive. In previous years, I’ve said something about each film – that’s not happening today lol.

  • Genus Pan – This and the next film were just SO boring. This is the kind of thing I end up seeing when there’s a global pandemic and the film festival I normally go to moves online removing the logistic obstacles that needing to get a train across town to another cinema puts in my way.
  • Striding Into The Wind
  • Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal – Turns out I don’t enjoy interactive films
  • The Yalta Conference Online – In some ways, doing the Yalta Conference as a Zoom meeting was a good idea. In other ways, it was not.
  • Motorcycle Drive By
  • David Byrne’s American Utopia – Maybe this was overhyped? Maybe I’m just not that into David Byrne’s music?
  • The Light Side
  • Summer Shade
  • 180 Degree Rule
  • I Am Patrick: The Patron Saint of Ireland
  • Possessor – Everything I heard about this one beforehand was like “oooh scary horror, oooh body horror” (I guess because Brandon Cronenberg did it) but like… it’s just a science fiction film. It’s not scary horror.
  • Delia Derbyshire: The Myths And Legendary Tapes
  • Shadow Country
  • Sound for the Future
  • Identifying Features
  • The Real Right Stuff
  • Mulan – I still don’t get why so many of the animated Disney films get remade as live action (well, I mean, I DO, it’s for the money BUT STILL). This was… same old, same old I guess.
  • Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb
  • My Octopus Teacher
  • The Disciple – This was really good. I feel like a lot of good films seem to be way down the list but it’s just that I saw a lot of new films this year.
  • Wildfire
  • The Old Guard
  • Cicada
  • African Apocalypse
  • Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic – Does an hour-long Netflix comedy special count as a film? Well, I guess. It’s in the films section after all.
  • Jude – This is a film about someone I know and tbh I don’t know whether I can really categorise it in with all the others very well because it’s valuable to me AS a film about this person and it’s not there to be entertainment.
  • One Man and His Shoes
  • The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Herself
  • The Reason I Jump
  • Time
  • John Was Trying to Contact Aliens
  • Soul – I wanted to go and see Soul as part of LFF but it was one of the in-person-at-the-cinema-only ones, which obviously was ridiculous because of the global pandemic, but then it eventually came to Disney Plus so here we are.
  • Undine – I kind of knew the folklore so I figured I knew what would happen, and then stuff happened and it didn’t seem like that but then you get to the end of the film and you realise that exactly what was supposed to happen did happen.
  • Mogul Mowgli – This was a big m o o d from start to finish.

    “They ever ask you, “Where you from?” Like, “Where you really from?” The question seems simple, but the answer’s kinda long”

  • Stray – I don’t know what I expected when I got a ticket to see a film about stray dogs in Turkey – certainly not a film that’s told at dog-height, but it works and it was great.
  • Wolfwalkers – We all know that the villain has always been Oliver Cromwell. The art in this was fantastic,
  • Enola Holmes – I am here for a whole franchise of this. CHURN THEM OUT. I will watch them. Forever lol at Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes.
  • The Painter and the Thief – This kind of reminds me of the film Dancer, which was about Sergei Polunin, in that clearly they start making the film and don’t really have any idea of where the story will end up and then it ends up being amazing.
  • Never Gonna Snow Again – Funny but also kind of sad.
  • Another Round – Yes, the last like 5-10 minutes are fantastic, but I think they’re only so good because you’ve just watched the whole film before that part and you need to, to kind of get that release.
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – I LOVE Eurovision and this was great and the best part is how we never actually find out who won that context because that is not the point – much in the same way that with real Eurovision, it’s not really winning that’s the point for me.
  • Rising Phoenix – This was a really good look at a few Paralympic athletes from various backgrounds. I really hope that the Games can go ahead this year if there is a safe-as-possible way to do so, but at the same time WILL it be possible?
  • Uncle Vanya – Ok, yes, this is the filmed version of a play that I did actually go to see in person, in the theatre, about a week before my workplace sent us all to work from home and maybe 10 days before the entire country did her first lockdown. I’m not convinced that all of the changes they made (mostly way the monologues played out, but how would I have it differently???) were all good choices, but when I watched this on TV, I still felt exactly as I had when I’d finished watching in the theatre. Would this play leave me as emotionally wrung out at the end in any other year? Maybe not, but maybe so. The set was even more beautiful in person, and I’m not sure that the film really captures that. Incredible 2020 vibes.

While I didn’t get to go to the cinema last year, I did manage to go to two gigs back in February – Dave Hause at the Union Chapel which was FANTASTIC and Asgeir at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, which was also delightful. Bedouin Soundclash was supposed to happen in May, but got pushed back to February 2021 and of course, it’s now been cancelled. I’m not sure that they’ll tour again so I’m glad I saw them when I could. The Star Wars concert that I was supposed to attend in March, was also cancelled, but I guess someone is always going to put on a Star Wars concert at the Royal Albert Hall, so that one will come around again one day.

1.I was going to say “weirdly,” but look, we all know what’s going on this year so it’s not weird at all.

2019 Films and stuff

As usual, a rundown of the new films I saw this year – from least liked to most liked.

  • Ghost Dance – this was a short that I saw alongside The Deathless Woman and like… I just don’t get it. It’s not something I would have chosen to watch (I was there to see the main film) so I guess that’s why it’s at the least liked spot on the list.
  • Color Out of Space – I guess I was expecting something more horror? I’m not that keen on horror but I thought I’d give weird-horror a try and like this wasn’t even that weird.
  • Little Joe -  This was ok and did the “a bit unsettling” thing well but also it was a bit boring.
  • Guest of Honour – This was ok also.
  • Faustina: Love and Mercy – My Mum wanted to see this so I got tickets for us both. It’s kind of billed as a docudrama and I guess I was expecting more of a narrative of the life of St Faustina. It’s more maybe a quarter about St Faustina, a third about Blessed Fr Michael Sopocko trying to get the cause of Divine Mercy really going and then the rest is about Divine Mercy and works that current sisters do.
  • The Deathless Woman – So the director of this film was talking about it when I saw it and she mentioned how it’s kind of like how you might present a documentary as a theatrical production, which was an interesting approach. I was aware that there is had been a lot of persecution of the Roma during the Second World War and that now there is a lot of anti-Roma (and Traveller) sentiment and action, but I hadn’t really realised that the violence they experience was at this level.
  • The King  – I mean, I don’t know that this needed to be made? It’s a fairly standard King of England goes to war with France kind of thing. The funniest part was how one of the filmmakers at the screening I saw talked about how they’d really boosted the parts for women and haha they really have not.
  • To Live To Sing – So Chinese opera is not everyone’s cup of tea but I like that sort of thing and this was a really touching story about the head of an opera troop’s struggle to keep the group together and their art alive.
  • Abominable  – I am saw this and really wanted to eat buns but I had to dash off to see another film and didn’t have time.
  • Tell Me Who I Am  – I didn’t know anything about this going in other than one brother had totally lost his memory and his twin brother knew everything and I think if you are going to see it, maybe find out what happened to the two brothers in advance.
  • Judy & Punch – All of the things that happen in a Punch & Judy show are in like the first half and there is a thing that happens and everyone laughed and then realised, wait, these are not puppets.
  • Mr Jones – I guess we know Stalin was terrible, but the news hadn’t quite gotten out in 1933.
  • Western Stars – This is just Springsteen playing the music from his album and then doing some talky-musing bits in between. It was ok and the msuic was nice.
  • Jojo Rabbit – As much as imaginary friend Hitler was amusing for a while, I don’t know that he was necessary for the whole film but I guess he was in the book?
  • Le Mans ’66 – Everywhere else (everywhere North American maybe) this film is called Ford Vs Ferrari like no one knows anything about what happens at Le Mans or…who knows really. I guess this is better for people who aren’t big racing fans, but I did enjoy it.
  • Synchronic – This was my 10th most liked film of the year which I wasn’t expecting. I feel like perhaps a lot of people may have found this to be better than they thought it was going to be. It handles the time travel in a new, interesting way and Anthony Mackie is really great in this.
  • The Red Sea Diving Resort – I knew a little about the stuff that happens in this film, but not really the extent of what went on. It’s also nice to see Chris Evans in a not-Captain-America role.
  • The Two Popes – I saw this at LFF where I sat between a priest and an old dude who shushed the priest for eating crisps towards the beginning of the film.  Is The Two Popes  entirely factual? No. Does it give an accurate portrayal of the personalities of Popes Benedict and Francis? Hard to say. Is it enjoyable anyway? Yes. The main thing is that it really reminds us that these two men are human, like the rest of us.
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home – What even happened in this film? Oh yeah, Peter Parker travelled around Europe and stuff. There have been a lot of Spider-Man films over the years. This was fun.
  • Avengers: Endgame – Pretty much 6th most liked film on the list because of my extreme fondness for Captain America and the Winter Soldier. Not sure that it really ended this era of Marvel films in a way that totally made sense (although yeah, it did cement my opinion that Tony Stark is terrible – which considering that everyone who makes these films seems to adore him, probably says something). Interested to see where things go next. Kind of not into having to get Disney plus to do so. Maybe if I wait long enough it’ll all just be on regular freeview tv.
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – JJ Abrams did an extremely JJ Abrams thing in this film and that was kind of rubbish. I still think that he used Star Trek as a stepping stone to get to Star Wars, which ok, fair enough if you’re a big fan of Star Wars. At the same time, I think he’s stuck on his nostalgia for the original trilogy and maybe that leads to some weird decisions (plus, while I get that Carrie Fisher passing away did make plotting this tricky, it’s not well written). Despite all of this, I still love Star Wars and the performances from all the actors. Would have liked MORE droid stuff.
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu – For a really long time, I didn’t think this was a real film and then it showed up at the cinema and it was great. Really great.
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – So I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a Keanu Reeves film that I did not enjoy. Sure there are a few that I’m not going to see because of the premise of the films, but I’ve watched nearly everything else probably and there is not a single dud. John Wick is great. The universe that has been created is fascinating and I’m excited to see the next film to see what happens next.
  • Knives Out – There are more films with Chris Evans than I was expecting tbh. This was everything I love about watching Miss Marple and Poirot over and over and over but new and hilarious.
  • Captain Marvel – I think where maybe Endgame and Infinity War falter is that they are straight up superhero films. They’re not like, a particular type of film that happens to have superheroes in. Captain Marvel is one of those late 80s/early 90s action movie films where Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford might have played the hero and won the day, except way better because it has Carol Danvers and is in SPACE and like I saw this waaaay back in the first quarter of 2019 and it’s still at the top of my list. This is the film that, having considered and compared all the other new films I saw in 2019, still came out in front.

Anyway my ratings etc are all over here on Letterboxd and starting my yearly rating list at the beginning of the year and just adding to it throughout, rearranging as I go, continues to be one of the best ideas I have ever had.

I know this is titled 2019 Films and stuff but it’s 2020 now and I don’t remember what the “and stuff” was going to be, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Happy New Year!

2018 Films, mostly.

It’s not quite the end of the year just yet1, but I have decided that it is highly unlikely I am going to leave the house and make the five minute journey to my local multiplex. My film logging widget tells me that I saw fewer films in total this year than I did last year and from looking at last year’s films in review blog and my letterboxd list of 2018 films, I also saw fewer new films. Was it just that there were fewer films that took my fancy released? Could I just not be bothered to go out and see them? I know there were a few that I thought “well, I’ll just wait for them to be on TV” that I can’t even remember the titles of now.

I nearly said that there wasn’t a Star Wars film out in 2018 but I guess Solo counts as one of those, so it’s not even that. I could really do with a new Star Trek film – although Discovery is coming back in the new year and I am p excited for that.

Anyway, onward – from least liked to most liked. Once again, “least liked” doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad but I think I did watch more films I felt kind of indifferent about this year:

  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night – This film was really long and didn’t seem to go anywhere. Sure the 3D 50 minute long single shot take is a technical achievement but like… what was the point. I guess the first section was just too vague and I didn’t care about the main character.
  • In Fabric – Parts of this film were entertaining but then other bits induced too much second-hand embarrassment.
  • The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man – I don’t know that I’m really that interested in Bill Murray’s hijinks, but it was nice to hear from people who had such good experiences and to its credit, this film is only 70 minutes long and doesn’t try to pad itself out with pointless filler.
  • Aquarela – Ok so this film is about water and only that. Glaciers, frozen lakes, waterfalls, oceans, hurricanes etc. all to an industrial classical soundtrack. The director said that it was supposed to showcase the immensity of water on our planet but it had been a long day and the water noises along with metal-cello accompaniment were really relaxing and I might have drifted off once or twice2.
  • The Quake – I didn’t see The Wave, to which this is a sequel to, but I don’t think I really needed to. Most disaster movies that I’ve seen tend to be all action, which is fine. This film has action, sure, but most of the drama comes from within the characters’ regular lives and their reactions to the disaster of the previous film. Which is a nice change.
  • Ash Is Purest White – I spent 20 minutes trying to remember which of the films on the list had the ballroom dancers in and it was this one. Anyway, Ash Is Purest White kind of starts off as a gangster film, but then actually follows the life of the “gangster’s moll” character who is far more interesting than anyone else.
  • Arctic – I actually had this one just above Aquarela but then I started thinking about it and had to move it up the list a bit. Mads Mikkelsen is exceptional in this.
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story – This was OK. I kind of want to rate it lower but maybe that’s because I kind of expected more from a film about Han Solo and on the whole it was fine. Unnecessary maybe, but fine. I would probably have preferred a Chewie film.
  • A Family Tour – There’s a lot here that I recognise in my own family, although of course, none of us currently live in exile from China or have suffered the kind of injustices that the main character here has. Although saying that, thinking about the race riots in Malaysia in the late 60s, I do wonder if I am wrong about that one.
  • Duplicate – This film is called “Jonathan” in a bunch of places but I guess it must have got renamed to Duplicate. Did not go in the direction I had thought it would at all, mostly because I had no clue where the story would go from the start (but in a good way).
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – This is the only Adam Driver film I saw this year, although in a sense it was like 3 Adam Driver films in one, so I guess I’ve probably equalled last years Adam Driver film total.
  • Happy as Lazzaro – I didn’t really know what to expect from this film and it turned out to be kind of a meditation on sainthood. Also, did not expect the direction the second half took at all, which was great.
  • Outlaw King – I enjoy historical films with loads of violence, what can I say?
  • Deadpool 2 – Also contemporary films with loads of violence. I feel like this wasn’t as enjoyable as the first one.
  • Out of Blue – I guess I would compare this one to last year’s Small Town Crime, only the main character in that was a mess and Patricia Clarkson’s detective is not really.
  • The Hummingbird Project – This was way more heart-warming than I thought a film about putting in a fibre optic cable across America would be and I am glad of it. And SALMA HAYEK plays a great villain.
  • Assassination Nation – I really enjoyed this although I think it was trying to position itself as something more controversial than it was. Also another film with loads of violence. Basically, 80% of films I watch have violence in them I guess.
  • Widows – This was so so good and deeply satisfying. Also, there is a cute dog.
  • A Wrinkle in Time – I saw this so long ago, but I guess it says something that a film from right near the beginning of the year stuck in my memory and maintained its position in my chart – I often find that more recent films chart a bit higher sometimes because I remember them more. I’ve not read the book but I don’t think that’s a problem. This is a really beautiful film but wow Charles Wallace is annoying.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? – I picked this film because I really enjoyed seeing Melissa McCarthy in Spy and the title sounded interesting. It turned out to be one of the best films I’ve seen this year – both funny and unexpectedly touching.
  • The Favourite – Rachel Weisz is awesome. Her name is Rachel, so of course. Olivia Coleman and Emma Stone are also excellent, though they are not Rachels. Their performances made the characters seem real – even though they are real people that existed, the distance of time renders them as “just” characters in a story. Anyway, this was great and funny and moving and I really enjoyed it.
  • I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story – I was never a boyband fangirl myself. I just didn’t get the appeal, but I have been a fan of other things and it was a DELIGHT to watch this and feel those feels and see other people feeling those feels. Not only does this documentary tell the stories of a range of different fangirls, but it also follows the changes in their fandom and what their love of their particular boyband has enabled them to achieve. And it takes all of their fangirling and love and out-there antics and takes it all seriously. Everyone should see this.
  • Little Forest – This is a film where a young woman spends a lot of time cooking for herself and for her friends, eating the nice food she has cooked and hanging out with a puppy and I think this is the gentle film that the world needs right now.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising – In contrast, I don’t think the world needed this particular Pacific Rim film (perhaps del Toro’s version would have been different) and yeah, there is one element of the story that is CLEARLY RIDICULOUS and UNCALLED FOR. That said, I enjoyed the story and the robots and John Boyega is a national treasure.
  • Avengers: Infinity War – I am here for Captain America 5eva. And most of the rest of them too.
  • Ocean’s Eight – This is literally the only Ocean’s film I have seen in a cinema rather than just waiting for it to be on the telly and that was an excellent decision. Sandra Bullock is my perennial fave and she and her team are just so good at all of it. Richard Armitage is there being awful in the best way. The only thing that could have been better would be if they had just put someone else in as the insurance fraud investigator.
  • Black Panther – It feels like Black Panther came out a million years ago but it was literally only like eleven months. Everything about this film was just right and I loved T’Challa and Shuri and her being the genius little sister.

And that’s it for the new films I saw in 2018. I feel like I would have liked to go to more gigs, but sometimes I’m just not interested in the people who are touring here. I visited Norfolk on holiday and that was great. I ate a great many delicious things. 2018 was okay.

1.  Well, I started writing this 3 days ago.
2. It had been a long day.

A thing that makes me LOL about the Superman news/non-news

I’m not sure that it really makes any difference who plays Superman, since compared to the steady churn of the MCU out put, there are barely any DCEU films. Anyway, I keep seeing articles like this that mention:

With Henry Cavill reportedly parting ways with the DC Universe, there is currently a large cape to fill and no shortage of strapping, symmetrical-faced lads to fill it.

Henry Cavill, the person whose face I enjoy looking at primarily for his partial heterochromia and because I am heartened to see that he still has teeth stereotypically common to my fellow residents of the British Isles.

Of course Clark Kent can’t go down to the orthodontist to get his teeth fixed.

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene

Romeo & Juliet at the Union Chapel
On Saturday, I went to see Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet at the Union Chapel, with a live choir. Basically that meant that there was about half an hour’s performance of some of the songs from a choir before the film along with some dude saying various quotes from throughout the play. Then they did a song at the end and some guy in the audience then proposed to his girlfriend, she said yes, we all clapped and the choir did another song, dedicated to the couple.
I don’t really get why someone would pick Romeo + Juliet as a prelude to popping the question, as so many people die and namely the “happy couple.” I am sure it was probably a nice evening for them so that must add context.
Romeo + Juliet was great though. I first saw it when I was about 12 and I didn’t really get probably about half of the language used, but it’s like watching Chinese historical dramas – you don’t know what anyone is really saying, but they are doing the right faces. I guess it probably helped that I studied the play at school afterwards and I’ve learnt a bit more about Shakespeare and that since then. Watching now, over 20 years after the film was released, and looking at 20 years ago Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes was kind of weird. I guess when I first saw it, the actors were like 5-10 years older than me and I was just watching stuff happening to people. Watching now, looking at 21 year old Leonardo and 17 year old Claire Danes, from the viewpoint of someone now in their thirties and like… they are really dramatic children. I know in Zeffirelli’s version, Romeo and Juliet are played by even younger actors – but they’re not in a relatable modern setting. I’m sure I must have written an essay about this in school, but man those kids needed some responsible adults in their lives who didn’t enable their nonsense.

It wouldn’t be quite so entertaining a play though.

What else? I think that’s all I have.

Films in 2017 and stuff

I figure it’s time for my annual round up of the new films I saw this year as it’s getting towards the end of the year and, having taken a look at what’s on offer for the next couple of weeks at my local cinema, I don’t think I’ll be adding to the list. You never know though, so maybe I’ll reserve the right to revise this review closer to the end of the year.

I’m going to start with the “and stuff” of the title – my favourite band, AFI, released a new album this year (and once again did not tour in the UK) and, of course, it is awesome. Davey Havok released an album with his sideproject, Dreamcar, and that was pretty good too. The stand-out albums for me aren’t either of these albums (as much as I love them). No, the two albums that have been on repeat in my car all year (pretty much) are Dave Hause’s “Bury Me in Philly” and Maxïmo Park’s “Risk to Exist” – and Maxïmo Park’s album sat in its shrink-wrap for like two weeks before I even opened it (I opened it AS SOON AS I GOT HOME from seeing them live and hearing all the really great new songs). Continue reading “Films in 2017 and stuff”

Films in 2016: Rated

New films I saw this year, in reverse order of how much I enjoyed them (basically, the last film in this list was amazeface) as kept track of throughout the year on Letterboxd.

  • Dad’s Army – This was terrible. The only good part was Mrs Mainwaring.
  • Anthropoid – I can barely remember this film. I imagine it must have much like any other film based on events from WW2. I think there…was a romance? I wasn’t very interested in it if there was.
  • The Girl on the Train – I’d not read the book before I saw this ( and I’ve still not seen it) but it was entertaining enough, if fairly predictable.
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey – It was nice. I had a terrible cold during LFF so it was quite handy that I didn’t have to think too much when watching this.
  • Interchange – I didn’t entirely know what I expected when I decided that I would see a film that involved vampirism in Malaysia – certainly not anything to do with indigenous Malay tribal people. I did like that the characters switched between languages – which of course is common in Malaysia, but I don’t usually get to see it on-screen.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  – I enjoyed it. Unsure about Lex Luthor, but I’m quite interested in seeing the next film.
  • Dancer – When this film was being made, no one involved in the film had any idea how it would turn out – as they were just following the life of Sergei Polunin. I’m glad I wasn’t making the film or, for that matter, pursued ballet beyond the age of five.
  • Jason Bourne – My Mum really loves Jason Bourne and Matt Damon to the extent that we joke that he is her new boyfriend.
  • Chi-raq  – I will watch nearly anything based on ancient Greek plays so of course I was going to see this.
  • White Colour Black – Interesting look at being part of two distinct cultures, although I’m not sure thaat I could relate much to the main character Leke even though I’m mixed-race too but that’s mostly because I’m not a hedonistic, sought-after photographer.
  • Ghostbusters – Fun and very much in the same spirit as the previous Ghostbuster films. lol.
  • The Secret Scripture – Mum and I went to see this and Dancer on the same day as this year she was interested in going to see some LFF films (although she still thinks going to see as many as I do is a bit out there) and this was the film she was most interested in. As we got towards the end of the film, you could kind of see what was coming but that was more a nice rounding off rather than being boringly predictable.
  • Star Trek Beyond – I love Star Trek with all my heart and this film was a relief after the film that we do not talk about. Fun, lots of exciting action and Karl Urban is the greatest of us.
  • Deadpool – I also love Deadpool, but not as much as I love Star Trek and this film was still slightly more enjoyable than Star Trek Beyond though probably because of the incredible amounts of violence.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I have too many feelings about this film. It’s a solid war movie.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Probably not as good as Winter Soldier, but still super enjoyable. I still don’t like spending time with Tony Stark but RDJ continues to play him well. I will never understand how Chris Evans fit in that tiny car. Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson are forever a delight together.
  • Arrival – This film was astounding when I saw it back in October, was still astounding when I saw it again in November and remains so as I think about it now. I think this year really needed this film. V satisfying.