July was the month that I decided to take a step back from cinema. It’s not that I love movies any less, it’s just that after 4+ years of regularly attending screenings/festivals and writing about movies, I really need a break. I am still watching films, but only those films I really want to (no obligation viewings for me), but I am not really writing at the moment. I have to admit it’s kind of freeing, particularly considering how sub-par this blockbuster season has been. I suspect Spring and the increase of indies at the cinema might just get my writing juices flowing again. My round-up of my July viewing is after the jump.
Films viewed at the cinema are underlined. Films directed or co-directed by women are in green. Note: for the purpose of the 52 Films by Women pledge, I am only counting first-time views of films directed or co-directed by women, but I want to highlight all the films by women that I watch. Films are listed in the order they were viewed.
New to Me
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) – Yes, this was really the first-time I watched this film. It’s one of Andrew’s favourites, and he’s been bugging me for years to cross it off my list of shame. We watched the theatrical version, and for the most part I found it incredibly gripping. The section involving Kurtz and the temple lost me for a while, but I came back round in the end.
Independance Day: Resurgence (Roland Emmerich, 2016) – Took my Mum to see this as we’re massive disaster movie fans and we adored the first film. As expected this isn’t in the same league as 1996 Will Smith-led classic, but it’s intermittently entertaining, mostly when Jeff Goldblum is on-screen. As with most things in life, this film would have been better with more Goldblum.
Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016) – Sassy, fun and flirty – this was excellent.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972) – I didn’t connect with this film at all. I like a bit of slapstick and all, but it wasn’t enough to hold my interest. Sorry, the popularity of this one is lost on me.
Pineapple Express (David Gordon Green, 2008) – I honestly thought I had seen this film before, but about 15 minutes in it clicked that I hadn’t. This film is ridiculous, but Rogan and Franco’s comedic chemistry keeps the film rolling along, even when the film overstays its welcome.
Lolo (Julie Delpy, 2015) – The only #52FilmsByWomen film that I watched this month (shame on me). What an odd film. A son who loves his mother way too much plots to chase her new beau out of her life. Goes to some really odd and dark places.
Ghostbusters (Paul Feig, 2016) – This film is so good, and god it made me happy. Stuff all the petulant man children who hated the film before a single frame was filmed, you couldn’t have been more wrong. Smart, funny, and quietly providing some on-the-nose social commentary, Ghostbusters was such a great time at the cinema. This film wasn’t made for me and it wasn’t made for the whiny men children, it was made for a new generation, particularly young girls who don’t get to see heroes that look like them on the big screen very often.
Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater, 2016) – A very well-made dudebro college film, but a dudebro college film nonetheless. I understand this was quite autobiographical, and a filmmaker like Linklater has earned a pass, but wow – what an unnecessary film.
Mother’s Day (Garry Marshall, 2016) – I didn’t hate this, sue me. Oh, it’s cheesy and clichéd and extremely poorly written, but it was perfectly watchable Sunday fluff. Worth watching for Julia Roberts’ amazing (awful) wig.
The Ex (Jesse Peretz, 2006) – Largely forgettable.
Adventures in Babysitting (Chris Columbus, 1987) – Well this was fun. They sure don’t make family films like this anymore.
Nasty Baby (Sebastian Silva, 2015) – This film popped up on Stan (Australian streaming service) and I had to watch it. I missed this when it played the festivals last year, and I feel like people have been talking about it since. I liked the first 2/3 of the film and found the dynamic between the three leads very interesting, but the final 1/3 was absolutely absurd and I just couldn’t run with it. Magic Magic remains my favourite Silva film.
Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2015) – Absolutely stunning cinematography and a truly unique story made this a memorable watch. I found it a little tough going at times, but I am ultimately glad I watched it.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuarón, 2004) – It gets better every viewing. A masterpiece.
The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006) – The casting of this film is so on-point.
San Andreas (Brad Peyton, 2015) – Big, dumb, disaster movie fun. The Rock is so darn charismatic.
2016 Viewing totals:
New to me: 152
Total includes: 60 films at the cinema
42 films towards my 52 Films by Women pledge
Gilmore Girls – Season 1 – Season 3, Episode 18 – This show is balm for my soul.
Masterchef Australia – Really glad this has finished. I enjoyed it, but it’s kind of a viewing endurance test.
Blunt Talk – Pilot Episode – So odd. I have never seen Patrick Stewart quite like this. Will watch more before evaluating.