Jan 022017
 

I spent a lot of this month catching up on a few 2016 releases I had missed, and making sure I caught all the essential theatrical releases in December. The result was surprising: only a few of these viewings left an impression on me. I remember last year seeing The Revenant, The Big Short, Carol and Spotlight in December. This year Jackie, Your Name and The Edge of Seventeen stood out, but I still have a number of the Oscar candidates to see – Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea, Hidden Figures, Silence, Lion and Fences. At this point last year I had seen all eventual Best Picture nominees save for Room. 

The absolute highlight of this month’s viewing was the tremendous Westworld. I was hooked after one episode, and for me this is a demonstration of the rarely-met potentials of TV. Layers upon layers of interconnected story arcs and thought-provoking ideas that utilise the 10+ hours. The intrigue is never relinquished here – the twists are shocking – and the writing, acting and production values are all exceptional.

2017 goals = unknown. With a baby on the way, I have no idea what kind of time I can dedicate to movies, TV, books and games. I expect I’ll still probably see in the vicinity of 200 films throughout the year, but very few will be at the cinema. Most will likely be on VOD catch-up. I have set a reading goal at 20 novels for 2017. This year I hit 40, so I think this is realistic.

After the jump is a listing of everything I watched in December. I needed 36 films to hit 365 films for the year. I wasn’t trying for this number, it just happened. I didn’t make it anyway, ending with 27.

Oh, and if you missed my 25 Favourite Films of 2016, be sure to check it out.

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Jun 012016
 

JamesWhite

Though it was a quieter month at the cinema – just four trips – I got through a heap of viewing at home. Some of this viewing was in preparation for Sydney Film Festival. Some of it was catching up on films I missed at the cinema, on digital platforms. I ended up watching 29 films and 15 episodes of TV. But, more importantly, I finished two projects I had been working on for months. The first: Bond. I watched all 24 James Bond films and ranked them here. The second: Goosebumps. In one of the most ambitious and foolish things I have ever attempted, I re-read all 62 of the original Goosebumps novel series, and ranked and wrote about each one. The idea, to spark some nostalgia and to take once R.L. Stine fans through each novel and give the experience of re-living them. Also, it serves as a guide on which ones to never ever read again.

In addition to all this I recently began reading Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. Tremendous work, but deeply scarring. I have read over 400 pages in a short amount of time, and am struggling to emotionally process some of this beautiful, but distressing story. On the TV front I have been addicted to The Thick of It, a perfect tonic to a long tough day at the office, but haven’t really given much time to anything else. Albums of the month go to Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and James Blake’s The Colour in Everything. 

Coming up in June: Sydney Film Festival. Check back in regularly for reviews and a series of diary entries. Some thoughts on fresh watches after the jump:

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Apr 022016
 

Peter Sarsgaard plays social scientist Stanley Milgram in Experimenter. </em

I had a much quieter month of viewing in March – 20 films, and 20 episodes of television. Thankfully most of what I watched was pretty decent, which was a nice change from February’s film mediocrity. I also passed my reviewing goal in March. One per week.

I finished several substantial novels, including ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ and ‘The Goldfinch’, the latter which has been sitting unfinished on my shelf for a long time. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. One of the most extraordinary novels I have ever read. I have also, rather foolishly, embarked on a quest to read all 62 of the classic Goosebumps books (in order). I have missed a few so far, but I read 22 of them in March. At the conclusion, if I make it, I will be writing about my experiences.

I also got addicted to the ‘Uncharted’ series on PS4. I am deep into ‘Uncharted 2’, which is living up to the widespread ‘Greatest Game Ever’ acclaim. I look forward to continuing the series in April. While I did cull back TV, I did regretfully miss a few theatrical releases I was keen to see: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Eye in the Sky and Kung-Fu Panda 3. I hope I will be able to still catch them in the coming weeks.

My thoughts on all of my fresh film viewing in March after the jump: Continue reading »

Mar 012016
 

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In February I watched 28 films and 21 episodes of TV – not bad, considering most of them were around the 60 min length). I was also trying to review one film per week, which I maintained until the final week. Honestly, there wasn’t much I felt inspired to write about. I watched a lot of average films this month. I also read Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Purity’, Ernest Cline’s ‘Ready Player One’, most of Anthony Doerr’s ‘All the Light We Cannot See’, and for a step back into the past multiple of the classic original ‘Goosebumps’ series.

Like January, I haven’t been to the cinema very often – only Hail Caesar! and Concussion outside of the three media screenings, content with watching semi-new and older content at home. I had either seen most of February’s big releases already (Brooklyn, Jobs, 45 Years), or they simply didn’t interest me (Deadpool).

Coming up in March – some hotter screenings, including 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Witch, A Bigger Splash and Sherpa – and a well-deserved break at Easter. I have an ambitious reading goal in mind, and I would like to spend a little more time gaming. Though I am looking forward to continuing on with 11.22.63 and starting American Crime Story, TV will be culled.

My thoughts on most of my new viewing after the jump: Continue reading »

Oct 312015
 

SET DEL FILM "LA GIOVINEZZA" DI PAOLO SORRENTINO. NELLA FOTO MICHAEL CAINE E HARVEY KEITEL. FOTO DI GIANNI FIORITO

October has been a weird month. Following a much needed break, and a short-lived feeling of refreshment, we have had a lot of social engagements and I have been dealing with some exhausting work-related pressure. I feel like I have had a lot of different projects going on at once, but haven’t achieved very much. I have done very little writing, unfortunately. This is both due to time constraints and being unable to articulate my feelings about some of the films I have seen (see The Lobster and Youth). Thankfully Sam has been picking up my slack. We have visited to cinema a lot – it has been a treat catching up with some of the Palme d’Or contenders at various festivals.

In addition to watching 25 films and juggling an anxiety-inducing amount of TV (five shows going at once, very unlike me), I also polished off Making Movies by Sidney Lumet. This has been described as the most honest account of the filmmaking process ever written. It is terrific, and I urge all film buffs to read it. Eye-opening stuff, and if it wasn’t already obvious that Lumet is one of the most intelligent directors to ever work, it will be clear after this. I also tackled Infinite Jest and saw all hope of my December 3 completion goal drift away as I struggled to page 115. I will persevere, and complete it, but I need a new approach. I am nowhere near Zen enough right now to take it in comprehensively. The NBA season has re-started so I can add that to the numerous distractions.

Coming up in November – we will be watching four films at the British Film Festival, including Sufragette and 45 Years, as well as Knight of Cups and Spectre. I will also dedicate some time to catching up on films missed earlier in the year. Also, expect the ‘Awards Season’ to commence, and we will try and cover this period as comprehensively as we can, similar to previous years.

Check out my thoughts on everything I watched in October after the jump: Continue reading »

Sep 012015
 

thegroundwewon

A short trip to the Melbourne International Film Festival saw this month have a healthy 22 films viewed, 13 of those at the cinema. While MIFF contained my two favourite viewings of the month, it also saw me walk out of a film for only the second time in my life, and saw me fall asleep in two other films. Oh dear. My film and TV viewing round-up for August 2015 is after the jump.

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Sep 012015
 

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With regular life being busy – planning a move of house, and serious work commitments – my recent viewing habits (29 films in August) have been erratic and somewhat purposeless. We traveled to Melbourne for a long weekend for MIFF, which ended up being a great weekend for socialising, but a mixed bag in terms of films. I caught another six films in cinemas to keep in the know, and spent a considerable amount of time surfing Netflix, watching random films that took my fancy. Certainly the best time investment was Bloodline, which Sam and I consumed one episode at a time over a fortnight. Coming up in September – coverage of the Sydney Underground Film Festival and hopefully the Italian Film Festival. But, it is likely to be another quiet one. Thoughts on everything I watched in August after the jump.  Continue reading »

Jul 202015
 

gilmore

 

So, I just watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls in 6 weeks. What an emotional rollercoaster. I feel like I was just transported back to the age of 16, and re-lived the 7 following years in hyper-speed. The show completely passed me by at the time it aired, which is a shame considering I was the exact same age that Rory was when it was on. I think it might have been a great comfort for me. In honour of my new-found love for show, I present the 10 things I love about Gilmore Girls. I’ve also listed my 5 favourite episodes. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!! Check it out after the jump.

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