[Movies of the Month] November

November

NEW RELEASES
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them– It is brilliant to be back in the Potterverse. This first offering in the Beasts series is an effective combination of light-hearted fantasy with dark themes that relate to modern culture and history. ★★★★

1ST TIMERS
Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Funny, touching and with a great soundtrack; I can’t wait to watch this again. ★★★★½
Cinderella – A charming retelling with some very lovely moments. ★★★★
Star Trek Beyond – The weakest of the trilogy so far, as it feels like the same story (Into Darkness) is being retold. ★★★½
Dracula Untold – An interesting spin on the famous legend, Evans is a good lead supported by strong and effective effects. ★★★½
Warcraft – I am a beginner to the Warcraft world, never having played it before or come across any of the characters. Watching it as a straightforward fantasy film it felt too long with too many characters. I found the effects quite jarring as well, as they are appear to be a hybrid between animation and real action. ★★★½
Sicario – A solid, tense look into a very dangerous world. Excellent performances by Blunt and del Toro. ★★★★

REWATCHES
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone  – As always, an excellent first foray into the wizarding world. ★★★★
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  – My least favourite of the series (due to its weak plot, in my opinion) but you cannot fault the brilliant effects, visuals or soundtrack. ★★★½
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – The intensity and drama is taken up a notch with Cuaron at the helm, in particular with interesting visuals and camera angles. ★★★★½
Titanic – A timeless classic that was well deserving of its slew of Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs. ★★★★½
Stargate
– I had actually seen this before (three years ago) but it clearly wasn’t memorable as I didn’t realise for a good while. I won’t make the same mistake in watching it a third time… ★★

Total: 12

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 11
1st timers: 73
Rewatches: 53
Total: 137

[Movies of the Month] October

October

1ST TIMERS
Midnight Special 
– Interesting concept but slow to get going. ★★★
Bad Moms – A handful of laugh-out-loud moments but mostly thinly-veiled sexism, in my opinion. ★★
X-Men: Apocalypse – Great to explore the historical side of the X-Men canon.  ★★★★
Underworld: Evolution – Very disappointing; completely OTT. ★★½

REWATCHES
World War Z – A good addition to the zombie genre. ★★★½
Underworld – Interesting ideas and excellent turns from Sheen and Nighy. ★★★½

Total: 6

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 10
1st timers: 67
Rewatches: 48
Total: 125

[Movies of the Month] September

September

NEW RELEASES
The Secret Life of Pets
– Not quite as clever or humorous as I was hoping for but certainly a good kids flick. ★★★½

1ST TIMERS
The Reef 
– This Australian independent certainly tries but fails through weak acting, unengaging characters and by being hugely predictable. ★★
Below – Interesting idea but poorly executed. ★★½
Open Water – Feels very realistic but lacking intensity.  ★★★½
This Is Where I Leave You – A good, but not great, combination of laugh-out-loud and more poignant moments. ★★★½
The Shallows – An excellent addition to the survival genre.  ★★★★
The Legend of Tarzan – Engaging with interesting character development; successfully avoided becoming trite. ★★★★
Zootopia – There are so many things to enjoy about this film, from the lovable characters to the attention to detail and the plot line tackling very serious issues. ★★★★
Me Before You – Thought-provoking with engaging characters; Clarke and Claflin have great chemistry. ★★★★
Everybody Wants Some – In true Linklater style, a fly on the wall’s view at the entertaining first days of college.  ★★★½
Room – The hype was definitely deserved. ★★★★½

REWATCHES
Fright Night – Light-hearted, entertaining and action-packed. ★★★½
The Sixth Sense – A great film but slower than I remembered; once you have seen it is understandably not as enjoyable on subsequent viewings. ★★★½
Bad Neighbours – Second time I have seen this and the rewatch was much funnier than I rembered. ★★★½

Total: 14

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 10
1st timers: 63
Rewatches: 46
Total: 119

[Movies of the Month] August

August

1ST TIMERS
Into the Woods 
– Shot well, with great turns by Blunt, Corden and Streep, but the mish-mash of accents is very irritating. ★★★
Rogue – Tense Australian indie that’s let down slightly by poor CGI and some wooden acting. ★★★½
The Nice Guys – Crowe and Gosling are the perfect pairing! Plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a great step back in time. ★★★★

REWATCHES
Kill Bill: Volume 1 – Probably my favourite Tarantino film. Q&U created such a  spirited, kick-ass character in The Bride. ★★★★
Kill Bill: Volume 2 – One extended film would have been too much; two parts are perfect. A fitting conclusion. ★★★★
Wayne’s World – An excellent feel-good film that will have you quoting lines for days after. ★★★★
Total Recall – Action-packed from start to finish with a good lead in Farrell. Can’t comment on the fact it’s a remake as I haven’t seen the original. ★★★½

Total: 7

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 9
1st timers: 53
Rewatches: 43
Total: 105

[Movies of the Month] July

July

1ST TIMERS
Miss You Already 
– Emotional engaging from start to finish; very well put together. ★★★★
The Monuments Men – An interesting story with some poignant moments coupled with comedic ones. Isn’t particularly standout, though, considering its all-star cast. ★★★½
Mr. Holmes – This captures the infamous Holmes at a different point in his life. McKellen delivers a great performance and while it is a slow burner, it keeps your attention throughout. ★★★½
Allegiant – As the story progresses the concept and becomes intriguing. It’s a shame that the final edition will be straight-to-DVD. ★★★½
Predestination – Definitely a sci-fi mind-bender, leading you to question ‘have I got this right?’ multiple times. ★★★
Pressure – A fair few ‘on the edge of your seat’ moments but the characters aren’t particularly likeable. ★★★
Dead Calm – Interesting concept and the leading trio give good performances, especially Zane. ★★★½

REWATCHES
Top Gun – An oldie but a goldie, this never fails to have me quoting and singing along. ★★★½
The Way – Uplifting and inspiring, Sheen is perfectly cast and carries the film well. ★★★★
Now You See Me – Part way through I realised I had already seen this film, which doesn’t say a lot for it. My rating is based on the special effects and the concept of the film rather than the delivery of it. ★★★

Total: 10

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 9
1st timers: 50
Rewatches: 39
Total: 98