Tuesday 30 June 2020

Watch List: April & May & June

This really should be called Watch List: Lockdown edition but as I don't really want to look back at posts in the future and see the words 'lockdown' in the title, I'll stick to the months. I've rewatched quite a few TV shows and binged throughed new ones but I seem to be winding down. I've gone back over my watch list on Netflix mainly and plucked a few films from there to watch. As there are no new cinema releases, the excitement of going to the cinema is still yet to happen, new releases on streaming services are less exciting but non the less available. I've taken to renting a few titles as well as watching films on Sundays with friends over Zoom but I haven't included every single film I've watched. This is a selection I wanted to write about as I really don't think me mentioning 'Mr Nanny' is going to add to anything.

The Platform

Not always eager to watch the latest horror film but the premise of this Netflix film was something that disgusted and fascinated me. Also having watched this at the start of lockdown really was the cherry on top of the hell cake. Set in a gigantic concrete tower spanning suposedly 200 floors, each floor with two peopl, some criminals, others volunteers and a rectangle hole in the floor, a platform travels down the tower stopping at each level for 1 minute. This platform is filled with food but as it travels down, there is less and less food for everyone. The film is literally a comment on the distribution of wealth and how humanity has failed this. The film is bleak, there's no way to shy away from that but its discussions between the protagonist and his cell mates are what give this story meaning and hammer home that there could be enough food for everyone if they rationed. The realisations at the end are the real horror as they aren't shock moments, they linger in your mind long after the credits roll. 4/5

Love. Wedding. Repeat.

Standard. Rom-com. This literally is a colour by numbers rom-com ticking all the boxes you'd find in the genre. But it is set apart from other films set at weddings by offering several possible outcomes, all with a very amusing scenarios but each ending in chaos and disappointment for most of the characters. With an assortment of characters each with their own plot, it is entertaining and romantic in all the right places. Would be interesting to see the original French film, 'Plan de Table' and its any different. 3/5

Proud Mary

This was a film I almost saw at the cinema, if it had been given a decent release so I was very excited to see it pop up on Netflix. Unfortunately I was left with a knot in my stomach at how disappointing it was. I love hitman films, I love them more when its female protagonist and I love Taraji P. Henson BUT there was literally nothing beyond that. Henson deserved so muc more. The plot was so thin that it didn't make any sense and it ended up being about a kid and how Mary ended up helping that kid. Why do all stories set up to seem like a thriller end up being about a woman protecting a kid? Or falling for the wrong guy? Seriously?? When are we going to get a story about a hitman or hitwoman where she's free from this and able to have her own storyline?? 1/5

The Matchmaker

As an avid fan of Janeane Garofalo I of course went looking for films she was in and hadn't seen and this very hidden gem from 1997 was one that was accessible. As with this type of rom-com, fish out of water, out of towner, culture clash, the plot is high concept for little impact. Garofalo works for a Boston politician running for re-election and sends her to Ireland to look for his supposed Irish roots. But when she arrives in the small town, its right in the middle of the annual matchmaking festival and guess what? She is a a cynic when it comes to romance. There's laughs, there's some kind of love and a bit of sad note before the end but on the whole, its was surprisingly good. 3/5

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

We've waited over 25 years for Terry Gilliam's magnum opus and after all those changes and re-writes, i think the moment has passed. My full review is over at Vulturehound HERE.

Circus of Books

There are stories within stories when the main subject begins with a book or a film or a beloved and famous bookstore within a local community. Director Rachel Mason delves deep inside the bookstore her parents owned as it plans to close its doors, talking to the people who loved, patroned and worked at the store. The otherside to this film is about how her brothers and her didn't know until much later that it was a gay pornography store, their family history and how their parents kept it this information quiet from them. At times uplifting and inspiring but the personal history of the family steals the hard hitting moments. 4/5


Released on the cusp of the cinemas closing down and with little flare, I fear that this brilliant piece of British film will suffer the fate of 'Emma'. Based on the events surrounding the 1970 Miss World competition when Women's Liberation activists staged a protest during the live televised show. We get an insight into the activists lives, the contestants in the pagent and those hosting. These are the films and subjects that need to be shown. The end shots of the real life people and what happened to them after the event is beautifully edged into the frame and inspiring to see what these women accomplished. More of this please. 4/5

To the Stars

An unexpected gem that came out of nowhere, hopefully this will be a hit later on when an audience discovers it. Rent/buy this film!! My full review can be read HERE. 4/5

The Lovebirds

I thought this would get a cinema release but having seen it, I can see why it didn't depsite having the dynamite duo of Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani who are so fun to watch but even they can't save the mediocre plot about a secret organisation, blackmail and a corrupt cop. The jokes are there but the couple plot verses the film plot doesn't quite have a balance. Can we get these two in another film together? Also, enjoyed seeing the town where I live appear on screen at the end. 3/5

The Man Who Cried

This film caught my eye while looking through the endless list of films on Netflix (that will happen quite a bit as its lockdown...) and as this is a Sally Potter film, thought it was long overdue to check out her filmography. Potter directed and wrote this story about a young Russian Jewish girl who is separated from her father when he travels to America and her village is burnt down. Her journey back to her father takes her to Paris where she first becomes a dancer then part of an opera company, until the Nazis invade France and she must decide whether to stay or escape. There are low key brilliant performances all round here and it surprising how I hadn't heard of this film before, especially with the cast. An unexpected gem amongst the teen dramas. 3/5

The Legacy of the Bones

I read the first in this trilogy, 'The Invisible Guardian' and was pleased to see the rather faithful adaptation. This second enstallment focuses much closer on Amaia and her psychotic mother, delving deeper into her past and the connect that she has with serveral suicides. Discovering baby bones buried on the family home property and the possible resurrection of a witch like cult, the story and cases become entangled with Amaia once again. This story was even more terrifying than the first as we learn what Amaia's mother was really up to, more family secrets start to surface. 3/5

Body Cam

A horror film that I think was released at either the wrong or right time. My full review is over at Vulturehound HERE. 3/5

Splitting Heirs

A riduculous black comedy from 1993 where Eric Idle and Rick Moranis were switched at birth, now the latter is the Duke of Bournemouth and the former spends the film trying to bump him off so he can claim his rightful title. It is amsuing, far fetched beyond recognition but with John Cleese thrown in there as a shady lawyer along with Catherine Zeta-Jones before she disappeared off to Hollywood and had to fake her own Welsh accent, its not as unwatchable as anticipated. 3/5

The Assistant

This film was much more than I thought it was going to be it deserved it's own post which can be read HERE. 5/5

The Addams Family

Having rewatched the 90s Addams Family films many many times, its hard to picture anyone else as the family. Although the voice cast are quite good matches, the animation is not as pleasing. The story is bold and very in keeping with style of the Addams we know, involving a power hungry TV home make over host and her plans to get rid of the Addams whose home is not fitting with her asthetics but I can't help but going back to the quirky delights of the 90s. 2/5

Plus One

Two best friends from college agree to be each others plus ones at 10 weddings that seem to be happening all in the same year. This is the kind of rom-com I get enjoy, both the leads are cynical, forthright and funny, plus they are the OTP right in front of each other but take a while to realise it. There's genuine friendship followed by genuine attraction and affection. Apart from having to swallow the unrealistic amount of weddingings that they are both invited to, I really enjoyed this one. 4/5