[Movies of the Month] January

January

NEW RELEASES
The Revenant – Epic in various senses of the word, but I would have prepared more time focused on Glass’ survival story and less on side plots that add to the long running time. ★★★★

1ST TIMERS
Pan 
– Colourful and magical from start to finish but doesn’t rank against other Neverland-related films. ★★★
Big Sur – Stunning scenery but ultimately this falls flat and is uninspiring considering the subject matter. ★★
Oldboy – Not one for me but Brolin is impressive, certainly earning his action stripes. ★★★
The Great Gatsby – DiCaprio shines but the bold colours and inclusion of modern music doesn’t sit as well as in Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. At 2hrs 23 it’s far too long as well. ★★★
All is Lost – A challenging role (Redford is the only cast member and says, maybe, three words) but Redford pulls it off extremely well, and you find yourself constantly rooting for him. ★★★★
This Boy’s Life – Young DiCaprio shines in this tense drama biopic about a boy’s relationship with his stepfather. De Niro certainly packs a punch too… ★★★★
Laggies – Entertaining but Rockwell is the stand out in this, not lead protagonist Knightley. Knightley’s character is, unfortunately, hugely unlikable. ★★★
The Aviator – Another DiCaprio biopic and another role that he pulls off extremely well; Hughes’ descent into extreme OCD is brilliantly reenacted. ★★★
A Little Chaos – A very sweet period film that has its moments but is, sadly, one that is fairly forgettable. ★★★
The Man Who Fell to Earth – Completely bizarre, far too long but, ultimately, a must-watch for any Bowie film; he excels in the role. ★★★
Walk of Shame – Surprisingly, this provided a few twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, happily resulting in a fair few laugh-out-loud moments. ★★★½
The Martian – Not quite what I was expecting but, potentially, all the more enjoyable because of that. Damon was a fantastic casting decision. ★★★★½
The Stag – Absolutely brilliant Irish comedy that had me laughing and cringing in all the right places. ★★★★½
Reign of Fire – Interesting premise with a top cast but it doesn’t quite reach its potential. I’d potentially be interested in a contemporary rewrite and remake. ★★½
Man Up – Pegg and Bell both give above-average performances, especially Bell with her excellent accent, but this is forgettable. ★★½

REWATCHES
Jurassic World – Several rewatches later and I’m still enjoying this. While it doesn’t have the same magic as the first film, it is a worthy addition to the series. ★★★★
Groundhog Day – Always a pleasure to watch, this is one of my favourite Murray performances; I can’t think of anyone else in the role. ★★★★
Cinderella – A classic Disney that still captures your imagination and leaves you with a smile on your face, especially from the adorable, comical mice. ★★★★★
East is East – Excellent Brit flick that captures life for a mixed race family in the 1970s; practically all the leads and supporting characters give memorable performances. ★★★★½

Total: 20

Since 1st January 2016 

New releases: 1
1st timers: 15
Rewatches: 4
Total: 20

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