Aug 022014


July was a good month, but a quiet month. I only saw 23 films, but for the most part they were all pretty great. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy both blew me away for different reasons and proved that blockbusters don’t have to all be made from the same cookie-cutter. At home I crossed a couple of films off my must-see list and I rewatched a few 5 star flicks. My July monthly 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: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Still Life
These Final Hours
Guardians of the Galaxy
Begin Again



New at Home

Best viewing: Enemy

Devil’s Knot
Venus in Fur
A Many Splintered Thing
24 Exposures
The Immigrant




Best viewing: Nebraska

The Descendants
The Imposter
Major League
The Big Wedding
Eyes Wide Shut


Collateral, Nebraska, Eyes Wide Shut and The Imposter are all 5 star films for me. It’s so rewarding to watch these films again and again without my appreciating going down in any way. If anything I find more things to appreciate, details I missed and my enjoyment of the films only grows. Look, I know I reatched The Big Wedding but I actually like that film. I know it isn’t a good film, but it is an entertaining one. Dianne Keaton and Robert Di Niro are hilarious here – this is so much better than Di Niro in the Fockers series. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it and you’re in the mood for a light, funny rom-com, then give it a go. You might be surprised.

Devil’s Knot was awful in almost every way that a film can be awful. In a world where the Paradise Lost TrilogyWest of Memphis and books such as Echol’s own Life After Death exist, this bland, pointless, meandering, poorly made film really has no right existing. It’s so bad, don’t bother. If you’re interested in the story, watch the documentaries about the case and gain some real insight into the horrific injustice that occurred here.

Still Life was a film I appreciated but didn’t review. It centers around a government employee (played wonderfully by Eddie Marsan) whose job it is to locate families or friends of people who have died and are alone. This film is exceedingly gentle and pays incredible attention to the smallest details. Marsan’s character was so carefully crafted and the design of his home and office is a perfect reflection of the ordered, meticulous man that he is. It really is thought-provoking and I had to say I did look twice at those seeing the film alone. No one wants to end their life in that way.

Coming up in August? I think it’s going to be a quiet one. I’m so busy at work and I’m preparing for my trip to the Toronto International Film Festival!!!!!!!!!!!!! by not going out so much and trying to save some money.

2014 totals

Screenings: 89
New at Home: 68
Rewatches: 36

Total: 193

By Sam McCosh

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

  1. Wow, you liked Apes more than Guardians? Interesting call.
    (I feel they should have called the first one “Dawn” and this one “Rise”, incidentally.)

    • Yeah the names of the APES films don’t really make a whole lot of sense when you think about it. I’m not sure that i liked APES more, but I got more from it. I was incredibly moved by the story and I thought the technical achievement was just phenomenal. For hands down fun, GUARDIANS can’t be beat.

  2. 23 I consider a pretty good month, almost a film a day. I know some bloggers see a lot more.
    I love Collateral, in my top 100, I thought everything worked well in that film.
    Devil’s Knot sounds skippable. Paradise Lost Trilogy was great though.
    Enjoy the festival!

    • I rarely do one film a day because I like TV too much, but usually it’s 27-28 per month. Collateral is brilliant – it really is an intense ride. Thanks for your comment Chris! I’ll enjoy the fest for sure.

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