Jun 012014

episode VI

Well this month I did it, I finally watched the original Star Wars trilogy. I’ve always been “the film geek who hasn’t watched Star Wars”, it was kind of my thing. When I saw the promotion for seeing the original trilogy back-to-back on the big screen for only $25, I thought the time had come to do it. For the first two weeks of May I exclusively watched films at the cinema and as a result my overall viewing for May only clocks in at 25 films. May 2014 film round-up is after the jump.

Screenings: refers to anything I have seen at the cinema/on the big screen.
New at home: encompasses new-to-me, first-time viewings on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD/Screeners
Rewatches: are [obviously] things I’ve seen before , which I’m viewing again at home
Best viewing: my favourite viewing in each of the categories listed above

Apart from the ‘Best Viewing’, films are listed in the order they were viewed in. Films reviewed this month are linked – click to read the review.




Best viewing: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Episode IV
Star Wars: Episode V
Bad Neighbours
Fading Gigalo
The Trip to Italy
Godzilla (IMAX 3D)
X-Men: Days of Future Past
My Sweet Pepper Land
Sunshine on Leith
A Million Ways to Die in the West



New at Home

Best viewing: The Possibilities are Endless

Ne me quitte pas
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
At Berkeley
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
Palo Alto
Night Moves
The Great Museum
National Gallery
Planet of the Apes 




Wayne’s World


May was a rather average month at the cinema. I saw a lot of good films, but only a couple that got me really excited. The highlight at the cinema was easily the Star Wars trilogy on May 4th. For a start it was such a fun environment to watch the films in. I was surrounded by people who adored these movies and were so excited to see them at the cinema. People dressed up, they cheered and booed and appropriate moments, and I even had some fantastic film friends (Geek of Oz and Jabba) who came and chatted with me between the films to see how I was going. It was really such a wonderful experience. I’m going to write something after the film festival about how it was seeing the films for the first time at my age, so I hope you’ll pop back and check that out.

I’ve been lucky enough to watch some films in advance of Sydney Film Festival (which is 4 sleeps away!!!!) for the purpose of reviewing. I selected a bunch of documentaries as I didn’t have time to fit many of those in my schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed National Gallery and At Berkeley from Frederick Wiseman and I’m pretty sure between National Gallery and The Great Museum, I have reached the peak of what I will ever know about art restoration. It was a music documentary/bio-pic about Scottish musician Edwyn Collins and his experience of having a stroke which was the biggest surprise. The film was a real sensory experience – so layered and filled with incredible music, visuals and one hell of a story. I highly recommend you add The Possibilities are Endless to your ‘to watch’ list.

I also crossed off a couple of classic films thanks to some late night channel surfing. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan I really did not get. I think you had to have some affinity with the tv show or at least knowledge of the world before viewing it, because for large parts I was lost. I found Khan’s chest to be so distracting – is that thing real? It was pretty horrific. Right at the end of the month I caught Planet of the Apes which I absolutely adored. It is a little dated in some ways, but the main narrative is still relevant today. I also had no idea about the ending, so can you imagine how shocked I was?! What an iconic film.

Coming up in June? Sydney Film Festival!! I could not be more excited to dive into the fest. Since I’ll be working throughout I will only be seeing 25-30 films, but over 10 days this is still a decent amount. I’m most looking forward to Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Tom at the Farm and The Disappearance of Elenor Rigby: Her and Him. Expect the viewing total for June to be the highest for the year. I’ll review, tweet, letterboxd and facebook the festival as much as I can, so prepare for 10 days of festival saturation. Oh, I’m also heading to see Under the Skin which I’ve been looking forward to (with some anxiety – it looks scary) for a while.


2014 totals

Screenings: 47
New at Home: 56
Rewatches: 26

Total: 129
By Sam McCosh

  4 Responses to “Monthly Film Round-up: May 2014”

  1. You didn’t just rate Jedi over Empire did you… Rookie mistake. 🙂

    • I enjoyed it more – so this is more about my enjoyment than how I rank them. I’ve heard from almost everyone that they like V the best.

      • I’m with you Sam. When I first watched them as a child Jedi was my favourite too. I think it’s underrated because it really does formulate a very satisfying, epic three pronged climax for the whole saga. Whenever I try to rank them now I can’t choose between them as they each bring something to the table: Hope sets it all up and is the most self-contained, Empire has the key plot twists and drama, and Jedi the big finish grand action. I’d probably only rate each film individually as 3 or 3.5 stars, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

        Parts 1 to 3 are just rubbish though.

        • You’ve summed it up well Steve. I think after sitting through two films and learning all about the world and it’s inhabitants, Jedi is very rewarding. It feels like you’ve finally got an in to what’s going on and the stakes feel much higher. I think Jedi would be a 4 if I had to rate it, but they’re kind of unrateable really.

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