How is it February already? January arrived in a swirl of fireworks and summer heat. Holidays were had, jobs were resumed and life settled into its rhythm. My rhythm this year seems to be variety – I only watched 16 films, but I also watched a bunch of TV (which I have started listing in the round-up for the first time), got a PS4 and listened to a good 24-30 hours worth of podcasts. I’ve been really slack with writing, so that’s something I’m going to work on for February. My January 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.
Best viewing: Selma
The Secret World of Arrietty
Keep on Keepin’ On
New at Home
Best viewing: Still Alice
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Ocean’s Eleven (1960)
Magic in the Moonlight
The Maze Runner
Louise C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theatre
Best viewing: Ponyo
The Cat Returns
I started the year off with a viewing of The Secret World of Arrietty at ACMI in Melbourne. What a delight! I don’t think it has as much heart or gumption as many of the other Ghibli films, but it is beautifully animated and a lot of fun. Selma was the film this month. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and still haven’t been able to find the right words to write something – I want to do this one justice. I was so blown away by this film – I was actually on the verge of tears for about 2/3 of it, that’s something really rare for me. It’s such a well-made, powerful film that manages to avoid most of the biopic clichés and pitfalls. See it, please see it.
The Maze Runner was a film that my parents really enjoyed at the cinema, so (with low expectations) I gave it a look. Hey, it’s nothing amazing (see what I did there?), but it’s a really solid YA dystopian action-drama with some rather impressive CGI and a story that’s quite intriguing. It is certainly much better than Divergent, which it shares many characteristics and qualities with. Another new release I quite enjoyed was The Interview. Sure there’s about 100 more dick jokes than there needs to be, but it definitely passed the Kermode laugh test.
I have a list of 12 films I am going to try to watch for the first time this year. I’m not calling it a blind spot list, because that’s too much pressure. The one for this month was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You know, I get why people love it, but it’s really not for me. Her character is quite insufferable, isn’t she? I know we’re supposed to feel sympathetic towards her, but I found it hard to be anything more than irritated.
Coming up in February? Some big films I am really excited for. Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, Top Five, Jupiter Ascending and Rosewater just to name a few.
2015 Film Viewing Totals
New at Home: 13
Louie – Seasons 1-3
Maron – Seasons 1-2
The Missing – Season 1
The West Wing – Season 6
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – Seasons 1-3
Bored to Death – Season 1
Currently airing seasons: Broadchurch (S2), The Good Wife (S6), Brooklyn 99 (S2), Togetherness (S1), Parks and Recreation (S7).
The biggest surprise for this month was how great Louie was. It took 5 episodes of season 1 until I got it, but from then I was hooked. He makes me feel better about my life and my issues, because I figure they’re nowhere as bad as his (on the show). Bored to Death was another surprise as I hadn’t even heard of the show until we were given it by our friend Chris for Chrismas. It’s really silly and funny and has great performances, particularly from Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis.
I am so happy that Parks and Rec is finishing on a high note. The episodes have been great and I’d go as far to say that one episode in particular would probably rank in the top 10 of the entire series. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye though….