31 January 2017

2017: The Rest

The other new films I saw in 2017 which didn't make my best of list.

January 31, 2017 at 09:44PM

Jackie, 2016 - ★★★★

Focussed and exquisitely framed, the look and structure are only outmatched by the haunting score and the totally absorbing performance from Portman.

Along with Manchester By The Sea and A Monster Calls January has been quite the month for cinematic grief.

The original White House tour film is available on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbFt4h3Dkkw

January 31, 2017 at 09:40PM

29 January 2017

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, 2013 - ★★★★

Perhaps not as good as I remembered. I was watching this as a tribute to John Hurt and he is still excellent in this.

January 29, 2017 at 05:44PM

Belle, 2013 - ★★★½

The element of race adds something different but for much of the running time this is familiar Austen-esque material. It's only when the focus of the film switches to the legal case that it steps up and really shines.

January 29, 2017 at 05:36PM

The Croods, 2013 - ★★★

A lot better than my admittedly low expectations. There are some really beautiful scenes and several very funny slapstick moments.

January 29, 2017 at 11:39AM

22 January 2017

Gimme Danger, 2016 - ★★★

A well made documentary making good use of various types of footage but it wasn't interesting enough (or I was too tired) to fully convert me to The Stooges (and I do already like them and have seen a version of them live).

January 22, 2017 at 08:52PM

19 January 2017

Manchester by the Sea, 2016 - ★★★★½

My only real complaints were that the music often felt out of place and Michelle Williams has very little screen time. It would be great to see another film focusing on her side of the story because as one other reviewer stated containing something this intense in two hours is hard.

Unlike the grief in A Monster Calls which steadily flows towards a devastating climax here it's just ever present and unlikely to go away. It's that intensity and how Lee deals (or doesn't deal) with it that makes it feel so authentic.

January 19, 2017 at 06:55PM

2017: Misleading/Spoilery Posters

It's only the middle of January, it's been a great year for film in the UK but a terrible year for posters.

  • Silence

    "and Liam Neeson" i.e he's hardly in it.

  • Manchester by the Sea

    Best scene in the film but it doesn't happen by the sea and Michelle Williams is hardly in the rest of the film.

  • Toni Erdmann

    I think anyone who's seen the film will think the posters are spoilers.

January 18, 2017 at 11:38PM

16 January 2017

Sherlock: The Final Problem, 2017 - ★★★★

Watched on Sunday January 15, 2017.

January 16, 2017 at 08:21AM

11 January 2017

David Bowie: The Last Five Years, 2017 - ★★★★

A lovely tribute to the last five years.

January 11, 2017 at 05:19PM

09 January 2017

To Walk Invisible, 2016 - ★★★

Thought I'd like this a lot more and it might even make my film of the year list but just thought it was fine.

January 09, 2017 at 04:15PM

10 Cloverfield Lane, 2016 - ★★★★

Only really let down by the title and an unnecessary sequence from another film in the finale.

January 09, 2017 at 04:10PM

My Scientology Movie, 2015 - ★★★

Does enough to justify the cinematic outing but struggles to bring much new to a well covered subject. It's still a pleasure watching Theroux investigate anything though.

January 09, 2017 at 04:06PM

Sing Street, 2016 - ★★★★★

Another end of year rewatch because it felt like I'd forgotten about Sing Street. Reading back my original review it does sound like I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered. My one criticism was that I didn't enjoy the songs that much and perhaps because they are more familiar to me now is why I definitely liked it a lot more on this viewing. The Drive It Like You Stole It sequence is as good as anything in La La Land, if not better.

January 09, 2017 at 03:58PM

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 2016 - ★★★★½

Like La La Land, my most anticipated film of last year also left me slightly disappointed so I wanted to watch it again to give it another chance. As expected I bought into it a lot more and it be moving up my 2016 list. Not quite five stars but a step closer.

January 09, 2017 at 03:47PM

La La Land, 2016 - ★★★★

There are many reasons why I've been waiting to see La La Land for what seems like such a long time. The next film from Whiplash's Chazelle, or even Stone and Gosling, a modern day musical, nothing but critical praise since it debuted at Venice, that magical piece of City Of Stars used in the trailer. I tried lowering my expectations but it was perhaps inevitable that I was going to be slightly disappointed.

Disappointment is perhaps too strong a word for a film which fixed a smile on my face more or less throughout. I'm not doubting that it's anything less than a solid four star film but for me the magic of the early scenes faded and only reappeared for the brilliant epilogue. There's a huge section in the middle where La La Land stops being a musical and that's perhaps is the source of disappointment.

I'll almost certainly be seeing the film again next month when it closes Keswick Film Festival and I think with some distance (not to mention listening to the soundtrack which I'd avoided before seeing the film) I'll enjoy it a lot more.

January 09, 2017 at 03:43PM

Little Men, 2016 - ★★★★

Somehow this completely passed me by when it came out and it's a shame if other people also don't know about it. I'm not sure if it's as good as Love Is Strange but it manages to pack a lot into a short running time. It's one of those films where it looks like nothing is happening but somehow presents a realistic anti-climatic snapshot of life.

January 09, 2017 at 03:17PM

April and the Extraordinary World, 2015 - ★★★

It presents an extraordinary world but despite many moments of greatness never managed to completely engage me.

January 09, 2017 at 03:10PM

08 January 2017

My Films of 2017

The best/greatest/worthwhile/favourite new films I saw during 2016.
  1. A Monster Calls
January 08, 2017 at 01:57PM

A Monster Calls, 2016 - ★★★★½

Okay Bayona, I forgive you for The Impossible. Just beautiful, although I found it lacking a little something so can't quite give it 5 stars.

January 08, 2017 at 01:55PM

Kubo and the Two Strings, 2016 - ★★★★

I still can't believe this is stop motion (and still keep thinking Kubo should have been a girl). Regardless of the technique this is beautifully animated and a great story (although I did get a little lost at places so wonder how smaller children would cope). It reminded me of Ghibli and Zelda and that's only a good thing. 2016 was a great year for family friendly films and puts the grown up films to shame, this joins The Jungle Book, The BFG, Pete's Dragon, Zootopia, Finding Dory and Moana (I assume) amongst the best films of the year.

The inclusion of some behind the scenes footage in the end credits seemed inevitable if only to prove that this was stop motion. If most people aren't aware and think this is CG anyway I can't help but wonder if there was any point. There were only really a few points where it looked like the 'tactile-ness' made a difference but perhaps it's impossible to know how effective full CG would have been.

January 08, 2017 at 01:36PM

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years, 2016 - ★★★★

Watching this and seeing how, for a while at least, The Beatles brought so many people together made me think we could really do with another Beatlemania although that seems unlikely to ever happen. Focussing on the touring years this covers a lot of the same material as the Beatles' Rock Band and so it was fairly familiar. However that doesn't matter when the material is so good and carefully put together, although digital touches such as the animated cigarette smoke on photos get overused.

I wasn't sure if it was a problem with my equipment or the streaming service but there also seemed to be a slight disconnect between the sound and pictures.

January 08, 2017 at 01:26PM

05 January 2017

2016 A Year of Animation

"A series of still images put together to create the illusion of movement"

January 05, 2017 at 10:22PM

04 January 2017

Silence, 2016 - ★★½

A disappointing start to the year. The first half of this was incredibly dull, repetitive and could've been told in about 15 minutes. Things do become more interesting but the entire film is completely predictable and comically bad in places. It's an entirely one sided version of something I knew nothing about so it's impossible to really gauge how effective it is.

January 04, 2017 at 10:47PM

How to Train Your Dragon 2, 2014 - ★★★

Still one of the best looking animated films and it's over two years old now. It's a shame I'm not particularly keen on the character (human or dragon) design and found the story quite lacking.

January 04, 2017 at 10:33PM

My Most Anticipated Films of 2017

The films I'm looking forward to seeing the most (hopefully) released in the UK during 2017.

This doesn't include films I've already seen

...plus 10 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

January 04, 2017 at 10:56PM

Cinema 2017

Everything I saw at the cinema in 2017.

January 04, 2017 at 10:48PM

01 January 2017

When Harry Met Sally..., 1989 - ★★★★★

A flawless film. I can't believe I haven't seen it in my Letterboxd lifetime. I've been trying to watch it on New Year's Eve for years and finally managed it this year. It's hard to imagine a better time to watch it even if it was tainted by knowing Carrie Fisher is no longer with us.

December 31, 2016 at 11:52PM

Singin' in the Rain, 1952 - ★★★★★

Just as as good as I remembered, perhaps a bit better. I had hoped that now I was more familiar with musicals I'd be more forgiving of the Broadway Melody section but it still feels completely out of place and unnecessary to the rest of the film (even though it's incredibly impressive).

December 31, 2016 at 11:41PM