September was not the Martian wasteland at the cinema that the photo above might suggest. In fact, September saw me add three films to my favourite of the year list. Aside from these, there were a couple of well executed genre pieces, some underground film festival weirdness, rewarding rewatches, and a film so bad the director refuses to put his name to it. My round-up of the 24 films I viewed in September 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
Best viewing: The Martian
Ricki and the Flash
All the Time in the World
Prison System 4614
Jesus Town, USA
New at Home
Best viewing: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Men, Women & Children
The Green Hornet
Best viewing: Jurassic Park
Along Came Polly
The Breakfast Club
Father of the Bride Part 2
The Bourne Ultimatum
Considering I am a week late with this round-up, I am going to keep the comments brief. I absolutely adored The Martian. I went in knowing nothing – seriously, I didn’t even know the basic premise. This film grabbed me from the get go and held me throughout in its funny & smart embrace. I’ll be talking about it on a podcast I love very soon, so stay tuned for further thoughts.
Ricki and the Flash was another film that I expected nothing of and just loved. It was so joyous, so fun, and so very well shot. Jonathan Demme directed the greatest concert film ever made, so it’s no surprise that the musical sequences and interactions between the musicians are crafted so well – the framing is so well thought out and editing is used sparingly. This will be a soundtrack on high rotation in my household for a while.
Finally at the cinemas, I was surprised by The Gift, Australian actor Joel Edgerton’s directorial début. It is an incredibly well-executed genre film. Edgerton is great as the creepy werido, while it’s refreshing to see Jason Bateman in a dramatic role, and it turns out he’s quite good at playing an asshole. The film has some fun little twists and enough jump scares to give you a little rattle, without relying on them to keep you interested. The house most of the film is set in was so well-chosen – floor to ceiling windows + greenery/isolation = unease.
At home I saw one of the worst films of 2015, the direct-to-DVD effort of director Stephen Green (**cough** David O Russell **cough**), Accidental Love. No wonder he didn’t want to be associated with the film, it is a hot, hot mess. It actually has no redeeming features, and that is very hard for me to say about a film which stars Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m going to assume this sounded better when they pitched it, because I cannot even begin to understand how this ever sounded like a viable film. Watch it for it for the cringe factor alone.
My best rewatch in September was Jurassic Park, my first viewing of the film in at least a decade. It made me realise 3 things – 1) Hot damn I missed so much of the sexy Jeff Goldblum stuff when I was younger (sure didn’t miss it this time around); 2) Those kids were actually going to die; there wasn’t any pussyfooting around the peril; and 3) Jurassic World doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same neighbourhood as this film. That film is such a soulless piece of money-grabbing.
Coming up in October? There’s a few big releases this month like Bridge of Spies and Crimson Peak, and I very much look forward to finally seeing The Lobster.
2015 viewing totals
New at Home: 79
Due to not having the internet for most of the month and going on holiday, I barely watched any TV in September. It has to be the first month in a long time that I didn’t watch an entire season of the show.
During September I watched episodes from the following shows
Mr Robot – Season 1
Parenthood –Season 4 & 5
Bojack Horseman – Season 1
Mr Robot is one of the most visually engaging and innovative shows I have seen in a while. To be honest, I find the story a little hard to follow, but I love the hell out of the show’s look and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes.