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Week 21-22 - 3rd June

By Eloquent Gushing

Matthew's Letterboxd Watchlist Matthew's Letterboxd Diary iTunes RSS Feed Google Play Stitcher Radio TuneIn To try to keep on track more I'm going to change the point at which I cut off the week of films. I'm going to say that I will discuss everything I watch up to the previous Monday. Then I'll have time to record even if the weekend is busy, and still schedule for a Monday release, just a week behind. This should hopefully allow me to keep the schedule, and means the weeks will run right up until December 31st. This list is everything up until the week of what should have been the hiatus. I had written these at the time but with wedding planning and looking after international travellers I ended up without the time to record something. So here it is. Atomic Blonde I was really interested in seeing this as I liked what the director had done so far and it seemed to be continuing the trend of stylish and interesting violent thrillers. But it wasn't interesting and was barely stylish. The fighting was excellent, with some great set pieces, but the core of this film was pretty dull and it's disappointing to spend so much time with James McAvoy when the other characters were potentially more well drawn. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness The idea of a documentary about Studio Ghibli, and Hayao Miyazaki more specifically, is one that sounds fantastic. But there was no narrative to hang this documentary on, so it ended up being a pretty dull sequence of older men talking at each other and Miyazaki talking about his work but giving no real detail, just his feelings on creating. Very disappointing. Arrival Jenn and Caitlin over on A Command of Her Own watched and discussed this recently, which made me want to see it again. This is still an excellent film, but the second watch was less rewarding than I thought it might be. Go listen to their episode for better insights than I could give. Shutter Island This seemed like it was going to be another interesting thriller, but the plot was fairly linear and the denouement was significantly less clever than it seemed it was going to be. Spider-Man 16 years later we have Avengers Infinity War, arguably the largest and most significant superhero film ever. This original Spider-Man, one of the originators of the modern superhero film, feels worlds apart. It is incredibly cartoony, and really honest to the comic book origins where the trend for the last decade or so has been to try to root the films more in the real world. Still fun to watch, but it's not aged as well as you might suspect. Vertigo Every so often I try a Hitchcock film, wondering if this will be the one I really enjoy. Not yet. Vertigo was strange until the fascinating third act twist, which then itself became strange and problematic, and eventually just odd in the final moments. Split After hearing the interesting discussion about the Village on Movie Crush there was a mention of Shyamalan's Split being much better than his recent films, and tying into the Unbreakable world. It's not as strong a film as Unbreakable, but it is really interesting at times. Sadly we have too much male gaze with the young girls gradually having clothes taken away, without payoff or need. The Dark Crystal One we're covering in a future Pop Culturally Deprived, this is probably the third time I've seen TDC. I always have high hopes for it, but ultimately it's a bit bland when considering the story, and our protagonist is a waste of character. Zoology A very strange Russian film, which didn't have anyone particularly nice or that we wanted to root for. Basmati Blues This film has a great cast and very high production values, but felt like an infomercial about the dangers of GM crops and corporations damaging the Indian economy. War for the Planet of the Apes Whilst this was a great film, it didn't quite feel like a great third in a trilogy, so I suspect there will be more in this series. It's still got astounding effects and performances in it - if this was a human character then Andy Serkis would have won many more awards. Dunkirk War films aren't my genre, and whilst this wasn't a normal war film it was just stress and tension throughout the two hours. A second watch is probably very rewarding. Inside Llewyn Davis This might be the most bizarre Coen brothers film, which is saying something. A second watch is definitely needed next year, but the performances were terrific and there were some really interesting things going on. The Con Is On / The Brits Are Coming This is now easily the worst film I've seen this year. A good cast wasted with poor writing, terrible setups, excess male gaze and misogyny. Amelie Finally watching Amelie and it's as rewarding as I'd hoped. I knew some of what the film contained but it's still a delightful film. Emma This is the ITV film version released the same year as Gwyneth Paltrow's version, but starring Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong, and Samantha Morton. It's a terrific version, probably the best I've seen, although with a couple of choices that were strange about what they did and didn't include. The Double A very weird film that feels like it has a moral to it a la the Machinist but I don't think that came out very strongly. Clueless Having watched Emma I felt like we should watch the most famous adaptation after several years. It's still really good, but as with other films of this era there's a couple of problematic moments alongside some excess male gaze. But it's a lot of fun and something that shows how to adapt a story well. Uncle Buck I had not seen this in years, and it's not aged at all. This is a phenomenal performance from John Candy, with some really on point writing. Bullitt I can see why this film is famous for the car chase, but it's really not gripping outside of that. It's an early example of the exceptional male on film (Bond, Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible), and you can see how they learn from this film about making a world that's accessible and interesting. American Made A recommendation from my friend Dave, this was really gripping. I didn't know the story beforehand, and there's a lot of licence taken but it was entertaining from the start to the end. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders An animated movie of the 60's Batman? Excellently silly, with some sly references to modern Batman which made this fan chuckle. Recommendation Week 21 - Although War for the Planet of the Apes wasn't the trilogy ending I had hoped, it was still incredibly well done. Week 22 - Most people have probably seen Amelie, but if you haven't you should check out a film that uses visuals, audio, and special effects to make a delightful story.

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