Screen Time: January 2016


Welcome to the first edition of Screen Time for 2016, which is a round-up of the films and television shows I have seen on all types of screens over the preceding month split down into the following areas:

  • Highlights:  What has stood out for me this month.
  • Lowlights:  What has stood out for all the wrong reasons.
  • Cinema Screenings:  First time watches I have seen in the cinema.
  • Couch Screenings:  First time watches at home.
  • Rewatches:  Any rewatches, either in the cinema, at home or on the move.
  • TV Shows:  Any TV shows I’m currently bingeing on.
  • Score Sheet:  The tallies for the year, so far.

So without further ado, here is how January shook down.


January is arguably one of the most interesting months of the year for cinema in Australia, as this tends to be when studios look to release their serious Oscar contenders. This year has been no different, with Canberrans spoilt for choice with a number of best picture nominations all hitting our screens, as well as a couple of Australian films squeezed in for a change of pace.

January has also been a good month in regards to my 2016 Blogging Aims. I hit the planned five posts, which has included a couple of reviews. I feel I am settling into the new schedule, however this has no doubt been made easier due to some annual leave from the day job, therefore February will be the real test.

Cinematic highlights this month included the exquisite Carol, which has a shot at my top spot of 2015, and the incredibly confronting and constricting Room.   There was also the rare chance to see Newtown on screen in Skin Deep, a local Australian film, and also hear from the director, cast, producer and cinematographer in a Q & A.   It is quite rare that we in Canberra get these kinds of opportunities, so it was great to see so many people coming out to support this.

At home, I managed to tick of a few big ones from the watchlist with Citizen Kane, The Third Man & There Will Be Blood, which in the least shocking news all month, are all excellent. And after a difficult month personally, I took some comfort in revisiting the Before trilogy, which is as close to a cinematic hug that you can get.

The clear lowlight winner this month is the remake of Point Break, which also had the honour of being the first film I saw in 2016. Its horrible and is simply a collection of extreme sports clips, which wouldn’t look out of place in Radical Reels, stuck together with some of the worst dialogue I have heard for some time. Gone is the chemistry and spirit of the original which has been replaced with what is basically a Red Bull advert.

Here’s the tale of the tape for January:

Cinema Screenings (10)

  • Point Break
  • The Revenant
  • The Big Short
  • Carol
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Skin Deep
  • Goosebumps
  • Looking For Grace – #52FilmsByWomen (3)

Couch Screenings (9)

  • Manglehorn
  • Tangerine
  • Shelter
  • Citizen Kane
  • The Third Man
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl – #52FilmsByWomen (1)
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Sleeping With Other People – #52FilmsByWomen (2)
  • 99 Homes

Rematches (5)

  • Before Sunrise
  • Before Sunset
  • Before Midnight
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Sicario

TV Shows

  • Making of a Murderer – fascinating, but ultimately frustrating.
  • Veep Seasons 3 & 4 – This just gets better and better.
  • Freaks & Geeks – So good, how did it take me this long to watch this?


2016 Score Sheet

  • Cinema Screenings – 10
  • Couch Screenings – 9
  • Total (new films) – 19
  • Re-watches – 5
  • 2016 Total film count – 24

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