The Week That Was 31 September – 7 October

Welcome the the Week That Was where I take a look back at what I have watched over the last seven days.  Due to work and home pressures this week got off to a slow start but certainly picked up pace towards the end and saw me pass the 100 new movies mark for the year.  I still hope to hit 150 by the years end, CIFF will certainly help in this regard but I reckon I will still need to put in some solid screen time in November and December.

Talking of CIFF (The Canberra International Film Festival), I finally locked in my schedule and bought the tickets so there is no going back now.  As always there were some casualties along the way and you can read about my CIFF Casualties here.  I am hoping to do some CIFF related posts in the run up to the festival highlighting in a bit more detail the films I hope to watch.

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

Arbitrage  – Richard Gere stars in this solid thriller about a Hedge Fund manager whose life gets turned upside down by a car crash with unexpected consequences and the financial pressures of trying to save his company.  This was an impressive return to form for the Silver Fox (who appears to be getting younger) as well as Tim Roth who plays a cop investigating the car crash. Not quite as good as I expected but solid enough.  Won’t make the top ten of the year though.  ★★★

Couch Screenings

The Dictator – Sasha Baron Cohen’s latest ‘comedy’ about a Middle Eastern dictator who travels to New York to address the UN.  An offensive, unfunny and poorly judged film.  Cohen needs to look again at what he is doing as he is clearly on the wrong track at present. However once I realised that Anna Farris, who plays the female lead, was the voice from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs it made the film slightly more palatable, mainly as it reminded me how much fun Meatballs was. ★ 

Guns, Girls and Gambling – The girls over at Reel Insight recently ran a feature on is there an actor for which you will watch anything they are in?  Well for me it appears that it may be Christian Slater as that was the sole reason for renting this cheap Tarantino knock off about 5 Elvis impersonators who get caught up in a heist.  Not good at all, but better than The Dictator.  ★★

The Woman In Black – Or as it could be entitled Harry Potter meets Home Alone.  However Harry has clearly grown up and Daniel Radcliffe puts in a measured and mature performance in this tense hammer horror.  Considering that for a large part of the film it is just Radcliffe inside a house, this shows he can carry a film outside of the franchise.  Beware though, jumpy stuff in places.  ★★★

Marley – I needed to chill out a bit after The Woman In Black and Kevin Macdonald’s raw, honest and compelling documentary which deals more on the man rather than the music was just the tonic.  This is up there with Senna as one the best docs I have seen in recent years.  ★★★★

TV Shows

Breaking Bad – It was a good day on Monday when I found that Season 4 was on Bigpond  download.  10 episodes rattled off in a  week.  Already getting concerned where I will get my next fix from.  Truly excellent television.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 44
Couch Screenings – 58
 
Total (new films) – 102
 
Re-watches – 38
 
2012 Total film count – 140
 
How about you guys, seen anything good?

The Week That Was 22 – 29 July

So here we are at the end of another week and it is time to take a look back at what I have watched over the last 7 days.   It has been another seven film week which I am really pleased about.  If I keep up this pace I will pass 100 films for the year late next week.

Things have been a touch contagion like in the Malone household over recent weeks.  This week’s victim was my eldest daughter who came down with a middle ear and chest infection.  As far as I know she hasn’t had any contact with pigs or bats, so thanks to the wonders of antibiotics she is on the mend.  I had booked this week off work in order to have a bit of a surge of movie watching and blog writing, instead I ended playing a double role of Dr Daddy and chief projectionist for most of the week.  My main roles appeared to be ensuring a steady supply of medicinal chocolate treats and a continuous loop of Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks flicks for the patient.  Whist it wasn’t the week I had planned, I still had fun with my wee poorly lass.

Due to my new roles Monday’s “Looking Ahead” fell by the way side, so there will no looking back this week. Therefore we can jump right into the tale of the tape for the last week.   As always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

Take This Waltz – Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan and Luke Kirby star in this impressive drama which asks the question what happens when new things get old?  I was captivated by this film, which has stayed with me for a number of days and I am still turning things over in my mind.  Williams in particular is on top form, but can Hollywood please put her in a film where she can have a happy marriage?  Highly Recommended.

Magic Mike – I watched this right after Take This Waltz and boy was it a different viewing.  The auditorium was filled with, shall we say a slightly excitable and female heavy audience who screamed and wolf-whisltled every time Channing got his Tatum out. The trailer portrays this more as a light hearted tale but in reality Soderbergh has attempted to deliver a character led drama.  Unfortunately the film falls somewhere in-between the two, so not really satisfying either camp. Watch It.

The Dark Knight Rises –  I really enjoyed my second viewing of Nolan’s epic end to the Batman trilogy.  One thing that particularly impressed this time round was the films pacing.  It is a long movie coming in at 164 mins, however I never once looked at my watch, which for a second viewing of a long film is a true sign of quality. All Time Classic.

The Aristocats – Disney’s 1971 tale of a group of Parisian cats destined to inherit a fortune from their wealthy owner, who are dumped in the country by a jealous butler and forced to make their way back to Paris, aided by a Tom Cat.  Good fun and proof that Disney’s appeal is timeless.  My eldest really enjoyed it and it was quite the tonic. Watch It.

Brave – Second time round for Pixar’s latest faery tale, and as with all Pixar films it gets better with repeated viewings.  Nice dedication to Steve Jobs at the start of the credits which I missed first time round.  Highly Recommended. 

Couch Screenings

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – My daughters latest obsession and I cannot begin to guess the number of times that this film has been on this week.  Fun but instantly forgettable which may account for all the repeat viewings.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – I had heard lots of good things about Herzog’s documentary on the Chauvet Caves in Southern France which contain the oldest cave paintings known to man.  I personally find Herzogs style and voice a little irritating, so whilst I could appreciate the cave and it’s significance, I couldn’t wait to get out.

TV Shows

Olympics Opening Ceremony – Danny Boyle hits it out the Olympic Park with this innovative and groundbreaking opening ceremony which made me both proud to be British but also incredibly homesick.  Still can’t quite believe he subjected the Queen to The Sex Pistols and The Prodigy.  At times she did not look amused.

Breaking Bad – Almost zero progress this week as not really appropriate viewing for poorly little people.  Marooned on Ep 10, Season 3.  Really need another fix.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 30
Couch Screenings – 38
 
Total (new films) – 68
 
Re-watches – 26
 
2012 Total film count – 94
 
How about you guys, how’s your week been?

Cheers,

Will

The Week That Was 2 July – 8 July

So here we are at the end of another week and it is time to take a look back at what I have watched over the last 7 days.   Another reasonable week with 5 films ticked off but with only one trip to the cinema, however that was to see Ice Age 4: Continental Drift with the family, so not sure if that even counts.

On last Monday’s “Looking Ahead” I had planned to see Lockout, Ted, The Grey and Aliens.  So how did I do, well not too bad. I got in five films, but again not quite what I planned.   In fact the only one I actually watched on the list was The Grey.  Not quite sure what happened this week, just a case of bad planning on my part I guess.  However out of the five I did watch, three have made it onto my list of favourite films of 2012 (quick hint – one of them wasn’t Ice Age 4).

So here is the tale of the tape this week, as always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift –  I have not seen the previous Ice Age films but in reality that wasn’t really an issue.  We took our two little people (aged 2 and 5) to watch this and both had a good time.  The majority of the adults (including my wife) took the opportunity to grab a quick nap.  Pretty standard fare for Dreamworks these days, especially compared to last week’s Brave.  Watch it (with kids).

Couch Screenings

Like Crazy –  Second time round for this tale of transatlantic love which confirmed my origianl thought that this is one of the best films this year.  Highly Recommended.

Bright Lights Big City – A spur of the moment decision on instant watch.  I had fond memories of this late 80’s tale of a young writer (Michael J Fox) caught up in a world of cocaine, night clubs and parties whilst trying to come to terms with the death of his mother and a failed marriage.  After about 15 mins I found myself trying to remember what my fond memories were based on, as time clearly has not been kind. Michael J Fox now seems horribly miscast and gigantic plot holes seemed to have suddenly materialised. Kiefer Sutherland however remains good value.  All in all good for a quick trip down memory lane, but not much more.  Skip it.

The Grey – So much more than the Jaws with Paws that I was expecting.  A simply astonishing film of survival, hope and belief all set to a stunning backdrop that is a character in itself.  Liam Neeson’s understated performance ranks as on of the best of the year and not a kidnapping in sight. Highly Recommended.

Carnage – Hands down the funniest film I have seen in some time.  A short, sharp and truly dark comedy.  Polanksi back to his best.  Check out the full review here.  Highly Recommended.

TV Shows

Breaking Bad – Started up on season two.  Very pleased to see that seasons 2–4 are all 13 episodes of meth induced goodness, compared to the paltry seven from season one.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 23
Couch Screenings – 30
 
Total (new films) – 53
 
Re-watches – 21
 
2012 Total film count – 74
 
How about you guys, how’s your week been?

Cheers,

Will

The Week That Was 17 June – 24 June

Apologies for the slightly delayed “The Week That Was” post this week, I was struck down with a touch of food posioning yesterday so was some what distracted to say the least.   But I am pleased to report that I feeling better today, so back on on we go.

So on last Monday’s “Looking Ahead” I had planned to see The Way, Like Crazy, Martha Marcy May Marlenne and if I could get tickets, Ghostbusters.  So how did I do, well not too bad, I got in four films, but not quite what I planned.  I missed Like Crazy (but its ready to go in the queue) and couldn’t get to Ghostbusters as Mrs Malone called dibs on Friday night out.

So here is the tale of the tape this week, as always you can check out my full 2012 watch list here:-

Cinema Screenings

The Way – Father and son combination Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez combine in this wonderfully simply yet powerful and inspiring film.  Check out the full review here.  Highly recommended.

Brave – The new Pixar offering with a dash of Disney fairy dust.  A bold move by Pixar but one that pays of beautifully. A engrossing tale of a young scottish maiden determined to have a say in her own affairs.  I saw it with my two little girls who were captivated throughout and haven’t stopped talking about it since.  Highly recommended.

Couch Screenings

Martha Marcy May Marlene – I had managed to avoid all but one very short review of this impressive independent and indeed all of trailers, so I was pretty much going in blind.  Elisabeth Olson puts in a mighty performance of a young girl trying to come to terms with life in a cult.  I am saying no more than that accept…..Highly recommended.

Contagion – Steven Soderbergh’s dark tale of a bat and pig coming together which global ramifications.  Each time I watch this I feel a strong urge to wash my hands and lock the door.  Watch it.

TV Shows

Whilst I won’t be recording these in my yearly stats I have made a bit of an effort to try and get back in touch with some good TV again.  So I kicked off with season one of Breaking Bad, the story of a high school chemistry teacher who after being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer embarks on a new career of cooking the worlds best crystal meth in order to leave money behind for his family.  I am only halfway through season one, but just like a meth head, I am hooked already.

2012 Score Sheet

Cinema Screenings – 21
Couch Screenings – 26
 
Total (new films) – 47
 
Re-watches – 18
 
2012 Total film count – 65
 
How about you guys, how’s your week been?

Cheers,

Will