April, May & June 2016 Films in Review

9:31 am

April, May and June 2016 films in review

Films, glorious films. Things I don't watch enough of. I look at this list and cannot believe I only managed this amount in three months, but I've <insert excuse here>. I thought I would briefly summarise my experiences with these films in ascending order of enjoyment. I guess in a way it was successful in the way that only one of the films truly didn't give me any joy, and lived up to its name. Speaking of...

Trainwreck - 2 stars - I was disappointed I didn't enjoy this more, but I feel it could've been written a lot better and a lot more concisely. The jokes felt too long and drawn out, so even though I enjoyed everyone's performances, they dragged and left me feeling bored. If you want to experience Amy Schumer at her best, watch her show Inside Amy Schumer. A lot more funny with quick sketches and topical subjects.

Grease Live - 3 stars - Yes, I enjoyed this immensely but only three stars due to the fact most of that enjoyment probably hinges on my love for the film. I thought the casting was very well done and the cinematography of the whole production as a live, constantly-moving performance was pretty spectacular. It's on Netflix if you wish to watch it, and I would recommend you do if you're a fan of the original movie.

The Lobster - 3.5 stars - Dark, disturbing, and weirdly funny. This is the story of a man living in a world where single folk are given 45 days to find a mate or they are turned into the animal of their choice. With unique performances from Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, and John C. Reilley, this film scratched somewhere in my brain that really got me thinking. Admittedly I enjoyed the first half of the film that sets up this world a lot more than the second half and the aftermath, but still a creative watch and one I'm still thinking about today. Also still undecided about what animal I would be.

Ponyo - 3.5 stars - As you would expect from a Studio Ghibli film, this was adorable, colourful, and charming. A young boy finds a goldfish that turns into a girl. That's the basic premise and, as Hayao Miyazaki has shown time and time again, such a simple story can work so well. This was far from my favourite SG film but I loved it nonetheless. It still gave me that feeling all of their other films do.

Blue Jasmine - 4 stars - #1 Babe Cate Blanchett plays Jasmine, a heavily self-medicated socialite, who moves in with her sister in San Francisco after her husband goes to jail. Another very well-cast film with brilliant performances that is let down by how stereotypically Woody Allen it feels.

Make Happy - 4 stars - Here's the good stuff. Bo Burnham's second stand-up, now on Netflix. I've been a fan of Bo's work for...about seven years now so every time he releases something new it's an exciting day. Although a similar set-up to his previous stand-up, what., and with equally catchy songs, the mood is a lot darker and more inward-looking. He's clearly going through some stuff and isn't afraid to share it with his audience.

The Princess Bride - 4 stars - Yes, I had never seen this film before. I know. Cult classic. 'As you wish'. I get it. I get it now. Don't hassle me. I'm planning on writing a whole post about this film and comparisons with the book which I read before watching. There we can gush.

Bill Cunningham New York - 4 stars - After putting off watching this film for years, unfortunately Bill Cunningham's death prompted me to finally give it a go. What a wonderfully kind and inspiring man. I love documentaries about people who work in journalism and fashion (The September Issue is the best thing since sliced bread), and this was such a pleasing one, devoid of snark or drama.

Birdman - 4.5 stars - I'm almost aggravated by how much I enjoyed this as I was so sure that it wasn't going to be my thing and was massively over-rated. I will now hang my head in shame. This film was spectacular. It follows the story of a superhero movie star looking to make his break onto Broadway by adapting and starring in a Raymond Carver piece, haunted by his past marriage, his daughter fresh from rehab, and the stigma of 'moviestardom'. The cinematography was unbelievable (the film is shot as if one smooth take), with outstanding performances from Emma Stone, Zach Galifanakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Edward Norton. I now understand why critics went mad for it.

Captain America: Civil War - unrated - The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which I will need to watch again before making a call, star-wise. I liked it, I didn't like it, it wasn't what I expected, it didn't blow me away, but it surprised me. Source material, blah blah. I'm waiting for September's DVD release date. One thing I can say for sure: Spider-Man and Black Panther are the only superheroes I want to see anything from right now.

M x

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