The Week (more like a month and a half) That Was 11 November – 31 December

As appears customary at the start of so many of my posts I must (again) apologise for the lack of updates recently.  Life has slowly overtaken me of late mainly due to my folks have arriving from the UK for an extended stay.  Whilst this has many upsides there are also two regrettable (and purely selfish on my part) downsides.  Firstly it has curtailed my at home viewing options to almost none and secondly left me precious little time to update my two blogs.

However, things have slowly levelled off recently as we have all got into something of a groove.  I have managed to get myself slightly more organised and streamlined which has meant the screening numbers have once again started on an upward curve.  This is timely as for a while there I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t make my 200 tally by the end of the year, but as it turned out I sailed by this total in mid December

So lets get into it then and here is the tale of the tape for the last month or so.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here. I have only included brief thoughts on new films rather than rewatches. (more…)

The Week That Was 29 October – 4 November

Welcome to The Week That Was where I take a look back at what I have watched over the last seven days. My apologies for the slight delay this week, I have been somewhat preoccupied with CIFF and a weekend wedding in the Hunter Valley.

Last week was my lightest week for some time with just the four films, but as they say, quality is better than quantity and there were some crackers.  Ok, so let’s get into it then, here is the tale of the tape for the week.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here.

Cinema Screenings

Grabbers – A craicing start to my CIFF as Tremors comes to Tipperary.  The Garda takes on the Bugs whilst raising a glass, but purely in self defence.  Huge amounts of fun.   ★★★★

Berberian Sound Studio – Toby Jones puts in a impressive performance as a sound engineer working on an Italian horror film who finds his reality blending with fiction. Not at all what I expected. Hard to watch and even harder to understand.  10 walk outs from the screening I was in.  I was almost one of them.  ★★

Couch Screenings

Cockneys vs Zombies  –  A sort of cockney Shaun of the Dead, but with Richard Priors from The Good Life.  Surbiton is not quite what it was.  A great example of horror comedy done right with a great Chas and Dave soundtrack.   ★★★

Primal Fear – Edward Norton sets the tone for future roles in this impressive debut performance alongside Richard Gere and Laura Linney all on the top of their game.  ★★★

TV Shows

Dexter Season Six  –  Finished off the season which just got better and better as it went along culminating with one of the best end of season finales I have seen.  Slightly concerned about the long wait now till season seven.  ★★★★

 

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 52
Couch Screenings – 67
 
Total (new films) – 119
 
Re-watches – 42
 
2012 Total film count – 161
 
How about you guys, seen anything good?

The Week That Was 21 – 28 October

Welcome to The Week That Was where I take a look back at what I have watched over the last seven days. A high quality week with four trips to the cinema which goes someway to making up for my slightly lacklustre attendance figure as off late.  This also meant that I hit another milestone as I ticked off cinema screening number 50 of the year. My goal at the start of the year was 52 new films at the cinema, essentially one a week, so I am well on course to achieving that.   Amongst all of this I also saw what I think could well be one of the best films of the year.

Ok, so let’s get into it then,  here is the tale of the tape for the week.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here.

Cinema Screenings

To Rome With Love   –   Woody takes in Rome for his latest stop on his European adventure, this time telling a comedic tale of living out one’s fantasies and dealing with the consequences.  This is Woody’s first comedy in a while and with it sees him returning to the screen in an acting role. A cracking script with plenty of laugh out loud moments, but possibly 10 mins or so too heavy.   ★★★

Argo – Ben Affleck delivers what could well be one of the best films of the year, in this incredibly tense drama of the real life experiences of six American diplomats in Tehran in the aftermath of the 1979 invasion of the American embassy.  Look out for this come award season. ★★★★★

Frankenweenie – I have never been a particularly big Tim Burton fan, but Frankenweenie is by far his most accessible and enjoyable film for years.  A dark tale of how far a young boy’s love for his dog goes.  A word of warning though if you thinking about taking young children to watch this there are dark elements here, especially in the second half.  ★★★

Dredd – Karl Urban snarls his way through 93 minutes of mega city one fun.  A significant improvement on the Stallone version, but still a little bland in places.  A bit of a combination of The Raid and New Jack City. ★★★

Couch Screenings

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest   –  Michael Rapaport (Dick Richie from True Romance) doc on the trials and tribulations of the end of the road for A Tribe Called Quest.  An honest and frank account of the politics within the group, which whilst watchable enough was not quite up to the quality of other docs of late. ★★

TV Shows

Dexter Season Six  –  Dexter’s back and on the prowl again.  After a bit of a dodgy opening couple of episodes Dexter and his Dark Passenger  have hit their stride and are once again cleaning up Miami’s streets.  Gone through 8 episodes in a week which can”t be a healthy pastime .  ★★★★

 

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 50
Couch Screenings – 65
 
Total (new films) – 115
 
Re-watches – 42
 
2012 Total film count – 157
 
How about you guys, seen anything good?

The Week That Was 14 -21 October

Welcome to The Week That Was where I take a look back at what I have watched over the last seven days. Another milestone hit this week as I passed movie number 150 for the year leaving me on target for 200 movies by years end.

Ok, so let’s get into it then,  here is the tale of the tape for the week.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here.

Cinema Screenings

Safety Not Guaranteed   – I have waited a long time for this indie tale of time travel and regret which has torn up the festival circuit over the last year and it was well worth it.  A hugely enjoyable film with a cracking performance by Audrey Plaza who finds herself clicking with Mark Duplass who likes tinkering with things in his shed.  Word of warning though, one screening probably won’t be enough.  ★★★★

Couch Screenings

Killer Elite  – Mark over at Marked Movies  and I are clearly in sync at the moment as we both wrote pretty damning reviews of this supposed thinking man’s action flick.  Check out my full review here and Mark’s here.  ★★

The Runaways – All teenagers suddenly grow up and want to be in a band, I just never expected that to happen to Dakota Fanning who teams up with Kirsten Stewart amongst others in this biopic of The Runaways, the group Joan Jett first started out in.  A bit like the Josie and Pussycats, just with a lot more drugs. Watchable enough, but it would certainly help matters if you knew the music before going in.   I didn’t so it was a little bit of a slog. ★★★

The Prestige  – Managed to tick off my one blind spot with Christopher Nolan.  A very divisive film with it tending to sit either at the top or bottom of peoples Best of Nolan lists.  However I think I am going to buck the trend and put it firmly in the middle.  Great performances all round and a really interesting story, once it gets going that is.   However due to the plot structure (which I will not go into at all) it is a film I suspect that will grow on me over future watches, so may well end up more towards the top.  ★★★★

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang –   Still great, but I did spend a lot of the film waiting for Geena Davies to turn up, until I realised that I was thinking of The Long Kiss Goodnight.  ★★★★

Hanna – Been meaning to revisit this for a long time.  Stands up incredibly well.   The kids steal it though, not only Saorise Ronan as Hanna, but also Jessica Barden as Sophie. A really decent compact and tight film, with a thumping Euro-Techno soundtrack and some very amusing Germans.  ★★★★

TV Shows

The Office Season Seven  – One of the few shows which has worked well being remade for a US audience and some would say has now surpassed Ricky Gervais’s original.  Not me though; its good but not that good.  ★★★★

 

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 46
Couch Screenings – 64
 
Total (new films) – 110
 
Re-watches – 42
 
2012 Total film count – 152
 
How about you guys, seen anything good?

The Week That Was 8 – 14 October

Welcome to The Week That Was where I take a look back at what I have watched over the last seven days.  Due to a work trip to Sydney and then hosting some visitors back here in Canberra it was a pretty light week and it wasn’t until the weekend that I finally found some time to sit down and catch up on some flicks. The weekend was pretty chilled though and I managed to get in 6 films including a second screening of Looper.

The big news this week was finally biting the bullet and buying myself a Blu Ray player.  Now this was a bit of a turnaround for me and you can read the background to it here, but I am really glad that I did.  My first Blu Ray was the 1975 classic Jaws, which just looked glorious in full high-definition, in particular the party scenes filmed at dusk on the beach.  The danger of transitioning to a new platform is the temptation to upgrade all your back catalogue.  I have had to lay down some strict rules in this regard which you can read here.

Ok, so let’s get into it then and here is the tale of the tape for the week.  As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here.

Cinema Screenings

Killing Them Softly  – Brad Pitt and Andrew Dominik re-team this time to tell the tale a mob enforcer hired to investigate who took down a local card game.  This was a gritty gangster flick with return to form performances from a stella supporting cast including Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins and Vincent Curtola.  Personally I found the constant political undertones a little too obvious, but the fiscally prudent interactions between Pitt and his mob-handler Jenkins more than made up for this.  Not as good as I expected but well worth a watch. ★★★

Looper – Second time round for this time travel tale with Bruce Willis and JGL which I think I enjoyed more than my first viewing.  So much so that it goes up a star. ★★★★★

Couch Screenings

Jaws – My favourite film of all time and Bruce looks even better in full high def goodness. ★★★★★

2 Days In New York – Julie Delphy continues her 2 Days of series, this time alongside the straight acting Chris Rock in his best role for years.  Delphy apparently wrote the role with Rock in mind and the chemistry between them is evident with echos of Ethan Hawke in Before Sunrise/Sunset.  Whilst a little stereotypical at times, an enjoyable romp but not one to stick in the memory too long.   ★★★

I Love You Phillip Morris – Jim Carrey again proves that he has proper acting chops in this engaging true life tale of Steven Russell, a gay man who comes out in his mid 40s and turns to crime to fund his extravagant lifestyle as he realises that being gay is really expensive.   Think Catch Me If You Can mixed with Priscilla Queen Of Desert. ★★★

Margin Call – Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons are the real highlights of this timely tale which, over a 24 hour period, follows key individuals of an investment bank at the start of the global financial crisis.   A touch TV movie like, but still really quite watchable.  I have no idea why Demi Moore was in it though.  ★★★

TV Shows

Breaking Bad – Finally finished off Season 4 so now the cold turkey really begins.  I am intrigued to see what they do in Season 5 (which will be the last) as come the end of this season it seemed to reach a natural conclusion.  To help me through the wait I have ordered Season 6 of Dexter from the UK.

Music 

Two albums purchased this week including The Sapphires Soundtrack, which due to it being unavailable in the UK iTunes store I actually bought on CD, which must be the first CD I have bought in close to five years.  After a couple of listens I am itching to see the film again on the big screen.  The second was the latest from Pink The Truth About Love, another raw and autobiographical album which paints a turbulent picture of life at home.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 45
Couch Screenings – 61
 
Total (new films) – 106
 
Re-watches – 40
 
2012 Total film count – 146
 
How about you guys, seen anything good?