Sunday 26 January 2014

What we've been watching...

Our LOVEFiLM membership gives us two films at home at once; this means that every Saturday night (nearly) we watch two movies. The problem is that what with lots of distributors tying themselves into deals with Sky Movies or similar it is really hard to get hold of good current movies. As we learnt last night, if it is a famous studio and the film is not that old there is probably a reason you can rent it so soon; the cynical say so that they can make the money before word gets out how terrible it is. We sometimes see older movies we missed, or straight to DVD or (eventually) movies we really we want to see.

In the last three months we've had two dozen films rented (plus a few from Husband's large collection, not included here). Films in grey were switched off or I slept through so I can't meaningfully comment, films in red I would recommend not watching, the rest is up to what you want from a movie:-
  1. The Smurfs 2 - we enjoyed the Smurfs enough to rent the sequel. Gargamel (Hank Azaria gives a hilarious performance) and his cat Azrael (a mix of CGI and actual cat) are worth watching the film for by themselves.
  2. Pacific Rim - unbelievably didn't get switched off. Terrible, awful movie. Warner Bros released last year but already available to rent. Should have rung alarm bells. All the money spent on effects, a little bit on actors and absolutely none on story or script. We were just constantly amused by the Jaeger (a bit like giant Iron Men) and probably could have made up some drinking game with Jaeger-bombers and nonsense in the movie. Two hours of tedium. You have been warned. 
  3. Bernie - another true story. Jack Black gives a fantastic performance as an assistant funeral director who was convicted of the murder of the widow of one of the funerals on which he worked. Set in East Texas and populated with vox-pops acted by actual residents of East Texas. Well put together, well acted - and don't miss the extras on this of the stories behind the film.
  4. Stand Off - fell asleep 
  5. ATM - another film that really should have been switched off. Passable to poor acting, ridiculous behaviour of the protagonists (only in a movie) and an ending which really (really) couldn't have been less satisfying.
  6. Much Ado About Nothing - switched off (modern setting with Shakespeare's script)
  7. After Earth - switched off (as predicted by Husband)
  8. Epic - here we are with CGI animation. A rather sweet little fairy tale of the folk of the forest who live just out of sight, and what happens when a human girl finds herself transported into the middle of it all. The writers seem to share a lot of my Kindle list - as it is a mix-up of a good few books I read last year!
  9. The Look of Love - true story of Paul Raymond (which I didn't realise was a true story - thought it was an odd vehicle for Steve Coogan). Well put together and well told.
  10. Ted - amazingly we'd never seen this (even though it is quite old). Very amusing as it goes - I wasn't convinced before we watched it.
  11. 2 Guns - super buddy movie cops and robbers type film - with several twists which keep you watching until the end.
  12. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - good fun, but then if you watched Alan Partridge and  enjoyed it you're going to enjoy this.
  13. Red 2 - fell asleep (despite having re-watched Red in anticipation).
  14. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - brilliant fun movie about magicians; Steve Carrell and Steve Buscemi put in solid performances although Jim Carey's character is irritating and doesn't add a great deal (he doesn't need to be that annoying).
  15. Monsters University - not a patch on the original film. Actually a prequel to the lovely Pixar Monsters Inc. The problem here is that people who don't have to keep at least 10 films on their love film list might not be renting CGI animations, and the original audience of Monsters Inc have all got older and moved on to other movies. Good enough, but nothing special.
  16. Beautiful Creatures - not really what I was expecting, but a fun enough movie (even it was fairly obvious what the end was going to be).
  17. Idiot Brother - not as much comedy as we were thinking of; but fairly whimsical and a good story with a good cast.
  18. Scary Movie 5 - when you get to iteration five of a film franchise odds are you really should give up because they are just in it for the money. Never so true. No redeeming features in this movie, and amazing that we made it through the film.
  19. The Numbers Station - very peculiar film. John Kusack is half of a pair manning a numbers station (which governments all deny exist). Well crafted film, although not terribly surprising at any point. 
  20. Stand Up Guys - Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin. Well I'll watch a movie if Christopher Walken is in it (much the same way I'll watch the lovely Christian Bale). Great film about the 'last stand' of a group of gangsters.
  21. Dead Man Down - switched off.
  22. Red Dawn - North Korea (somehow) invades America. The citizens mostly fall into line apart from a small group of teenagers who stage a resistance. Amazingly the film made it to the end and didn't get switched off.
  23. Ruby Sparks - whimsical and imaginative. A delightful tale full touching moments. The only movie we've rented in a while that I'd think of purchasing.
  24. World War Z - I only wanted to see this because I saw the movie set when I was in Glasgow. I didn't like the movie much, which is strange as I'm usually the first person to choose post-Apocalyptic type films. As to seeing Glasgow in the movie; I think I saw more of it when I was there than in the film.