Screen Time: March 2016

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Welcome to the March edition of Screen Time for 2016, which covers and documents 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 March shook down.

Highlights

This was one of my quieter months in a long time for film watching, with just the 11 films seen, a total which some of my fellow bloggers get through in the average week.  Some significant family issues and the need to prioritise my time have been the main culprit, which were also the reasons for my first fully missed week of the year so far. As usual I have a notebook full of scribblings but I need to carve out both the time and I think more importantly at the moment, the head space, to spend more quality time at the keyboard.

For those who know me, they will understand why my routine feels out of sorts at the moment.  However, through this difficult period I have been reminded of the embracing nature of cinema and how it can temporarily shield you from whatever trials you are currently facing.  Getting off the couch, turning off my phone and heading into the dark to let the screen and score envelop my senses, has been mentally medicinal this month.

Anyway, this is off to an even more depressing start than Batman v Superman (more on that to come), so let’s get back to matters at hand.

Victoria

This has been a month of extremes, with the overwhelming highlight being Victoria, a film I have been chasing for months now and finally got the chance to catch up on. Shot entirely in one take, over the course of one night in Berlin, Victoria is not only an extraordinary feat of movie making, but is also one of the more immersive story telling experiences I have had for some time.  I will not say any more, as the less you know the better, but even though I saw it in March, I doubt I will see a better film this year.

As a family we headed to Zootopia which was simply a delight and proof that Disney may once again be on the rise and at present are out performing Pixar.  For very different reasons, fun was also had dropping into 10 Cloverfield Lane and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, with hopefully more on both in the coming weeks.  I managed to get one review up this month, the impressive Mississippi Grind, in which Ben Mendelsohn is his usual shambolic good self.

No doubt affected by current family issues, I also wrote about my first ever cinematic experiences. Check it out here.

Lowlights

The clear winner here was the woeful Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  As I tweeted, Wonder Woman was the impressive shining light in this otherwise torrid, incomprehensible and turgid mess of a film. Short cuts, narrative overload and questionable motivations are just the start of the problems, though these are underscored by a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of these two so-called superHEROS.  There are some positives, with Ben Affleck showing potential to be one of the best on-screen depictions of Batman we have seen and his interactions with Jeremy Irons as Alfred the Butler were superb.  While the critical consensus has been poor, other more positive views are available and I offer one from Tim over at Beer Movie which is well worth a read.

Worryingly, there were also a number of young children in my screening, which considering its M rating here in Australia is allowed, but unadvisable.  While the relentlessly dark tone of the film is not suitable for children, it also runs the wider risk of putting them off cinema for life. This is not one for our Friday Night Film Club.

Here’s the tale of the tape for March:

Cinema Screenings (5)

  • Triple 9
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  • Zootopia
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Couch Screenings (5)

Rewatches (1)

  • Steve Jobs

TV Shows

  • Freaks and Geeks
  • House of Cards Season 4
  • Love Season 1

2016 Score Sheet

  • Cinema Screening – 20
  • Couch Screenings – 17
  • Total (new films) – 38
  • Re-watches – 9
  • 2016 Total film count – 47
  • #52FilmsByWomen – 6

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