Watched, Read, Reviewed: April 2018

I’ve been disappointed with a lot of the movies I’ve watched this year but I finally saw some decent ones in April. I even saw a good modern horror! Those are few & far between. Here’s my month of April…

MOVIES THIS MONTH

MOVIES REVIEWED (ranked best to worst):

A Quiet Place – 8/10
Avengers: Infinity War – 8/10
Citizen Kane – 7.5/10
Love, Simon – 7.5/10
Blockers – 6/10

MOVIES WATCHED (ranked best to worst):

Enter The Dragon – I loved this! Probably my favorite movie I’ve seen this year so far. It’s a Blind Spot choice of mine so I’ll review it in full soon. – 8.5/10

A Quiet Place – 8/10

Avengers: Infinity War – 8/10

Love, Simon – 7.5/10

Berlin Syndrome – I actually thought this was a decent psychological thriller. Starring Teresa Palmer & Max Riemelt, this is the IMDb synopsis: A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave. I’m always interested to see how a character will behave in this sort of situation (Teresa Palmer is the one being kept locked up in the apartment belonging to a stranger she’s slept with while on holiday). It’s strange to see him go about his daily life as normal each day while keeping her imprisoned and to see the “relationship” develop between them (he sees her as his girlfriend, of sorts, in his messed up mind). And she of course depends on him for food, etc, to survive. It’s based on a book so I’d be interested to know more about the characters’ feelings & motivations as I think the movie doesn’t explore this well enough. Maybe I’ll read the novel sometime. – 6.5/10

Blockers – 6/10

Midnight Run – Yes, the 1988 Robert De Niro/Charles Grodin film. This is one of those “re-watches” that I don’t count as a re-watch since I didn’t remember it whatsoever. What can I say? Yes, it’s a bit dated & of its time but I grew up in the Eighties & love films from that time. This was enjoyable but, yes, somehat forgettable (which is why I’d forgotten it!). They make a good movie duo, though. Certainly worth a watch if you like De Niro and/or Eighties films. – 6.5/10

The Beguiled (2017) – I was quite disappointed with this film, although I don’t think it’s “bad”. I like a lot of Sofia Coppola’s movies & was really looking forward to seeing this remake done from a female perspective. I saw the original Clint Eastwood movie last year & thought it was really good (it made it into My Top Ten Clint Eastwood Movies list – I don’t know why I’ve watched so many of his movies since starting this blog but he really has been in some great films!). This remake ended up feeling completely pointless. Okay, I know that 99.9% of remakes ARE pointless. But Coppola brings nothing new to the table. The movie is pretty much a straight copy but with far more shallow characters, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. I figured they’d have much more depth but the characters actually felt far more complex in the original. There are so many shades of gray going on in the original – you don’t know who to trust or who you should be rooting for (well, probably Eastwood – those ladies go pretty crazy). Oh hell, it’s probably Colin Farrell’s fault that I didn’t like the remake. Is it just me or is he a borderline horrible actor? The women all did fine (although their characters were very watered down versions of those in the original film). But, with Farrell, there was this… Nothingness. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t get into this one. I don’t even particularly like Eastwood but he was soooo much better in this role. Okay, maybe it’s not your fault, Sofia! This film did look lovely and it was worth a watch to compare the two. But the male lead character is SUCH an important role in this film and they chose someone very wrong for the part. They needed someone with depth whose motivations seem unclear. Oh… Imagine Daniel Day-Lewis or similar in this movie. It could’ve been great if that had happened. – 6.5/10

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Again, this was a bit disappointing but my expectations weren’t exactly high. I just wanted a fun popcorn movie and who doesn’t like Samuel L. Jackson & Ryan Reynolds?! It was fun seeing them together but Reynolds doesn’t get to be as lovably goofy as I think we all expect now. Overall, the movie was a bit boring & forgettable. Salma Hayek’s character (the kick-ass, tough talking wife of Jackson) actually steals the show. – 6.5/10

Honey – Yeah, the old Jessica Alba dance movie. I admit to liking a girly dance movie sometimes (like Save The Last Dance, which I’d now like to re-watch). Although the Breakin’ movies kick the shit out of these two! Anyway, Honey is cheesy & predictable but I liked it just fine. It’s exactly what I expected. And my kid loved it (she’s a fraction young – we skipped some of the sexy sexy stuff). I’d have liked to see much more Missy Elliott in this – she was fun. – 6/10

The Circle – Ugh. This was a very bad adaptation of a flawed book (I reviewed the book HERE). And I’m starting to think that Emma Watson truly annoys the hell out of me. To be fair, her character was thoroughly hateful in the book so she was probably right for the movie adaptation. Tom Hanks was very wrong for his role. This movie just does a horrible job getting its point across. Well, I’m not sure it even had a point. The book starts out really well addressing the evils of shit like Facebook and a world with a complete lack of privacy (See? NOW you’re all starting to see the truth!). But the book falls apart at the end, which sucked as it was making a very scary & valid point to begin with. But the movie just says “fuck it!” and doesn’t even attempt to make any sort of social commentary whatsoever. Just watch The Social Network instead of this. – 5/10

• Re-Watch: Iron Man – I won’t rank this re-watch as I know this film very well. I’m going to work my way through re-watching the Marvel movies with my kid as she loved Avengers: Infinity War and now wants to see them all from the start. I’m not a massive superhero fan but I do like the Marvel characters a lot and this film is easily one of the best (I’ve ranked all the MCU films HEREIron Man is my second favorite). – 8/10

BOOKS, TV, MUSIC, MISCELLANEOUS THIS MONTH

BOOKS READ (ranked best to worst)

The Masque Of The Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe – Well, I’ll be damned! Edgar Allan Poe was one hell of a writer. I guess that’s why he’s considered one of the best in this genre, eh? I loved this short story. So descriptive and atmospheric. Macabre and creepy. I’m definitely going to finally read some more Poe now. I should’ve read this years ago. The spooky shit is right up my alley. – 4.5/5

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz – I love Dean Koontz – he’s kind of a guilty pleasure that I don’t actually feel guilty about. He’s no Stephen King and, I’m not gonna lie, all his books follow the exact same sort of formula. But it’s an enjoyable formula that always contains likable characters and very weird supernatural stories that are a lot of fun. This is the third book in the Odd Thomas series (I reviewed the movie HERE). The first Odd Thomas is easily one of Koontz’s best books and Odd is a great character who is clearly popular with fans. I can’t say I remember Book 2 very well but Brother Odd is possibly one of the slightly more strange Koontz stories (they’re all highly strange, though!). Strange is good.  I’m eager to continue the series now after finding Book 2 forgettable and not reading the next one until many years later. – 3.5/5

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – Hmm. This short story started out strong then just kind of… Ended. It was one of those stories where you finish it & go “Huh? That’s it?” I really enjoyed Flynn’s Gone Girl & especially Sharp Objects and am currently in the middle of Dark Places. Good so far. Guess her full length novels are much better than her short stories. – 2.5/5

TV SHOWS WATCHED (ranked best to worst)

Greys Anatomy – Why do I watch this? I think I just like to see who they might kill off next. How do so many doctors die violently in medical dramas?! ER was the best for that. Remember when what’s his face grumpy bald doctor dude got squished by the helicopter after previously having his arm chopped off by one? Being a TV doctor is dangerous.

The Walking Dead – Fuck this show. That finale was the worst one yet. I’m finally giving up on continuing with this.

BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH

Upcoming Movies I Want To See:

Wow – May is a shitty month for movies! I only want to see three. Maybe I’ll be more productive this month since I won’t be wasting time at the cinema. Hmm…

Tully – I really liked Juno and thought Young Adult was okay so am looking forward to another Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman collaboration.

Deadpool 2 – The first one was hilarious and Ryan Reynolds is adorable. I’ll definitely be catching this one.

Solo: A Star Wars Story – Tickets already booked! I actually wasn’t sure how I felt about this one but I have to say that the trailers finally got me excited. This may turn out to be quite good. We’ll see! Fingers crossed…

Maybe watch on Netflix if I can be bothered:
Life Of The Party (unless reviews are dreadful), Breaking In, How To Talk To Girls At Parties,The Cured, On Chesil Beach, The Breadwinner

No Fucking Way:
I Feel Pretty

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My Blog’s April 2016 Recap

Happy Bank Holiday Monday, UK people! Well, it’s finally May. Not that you’d know that from the weather here lately… Brr! Well, here’s a quick recap of what happened on my blog in April. 🙂

I started out the month with Coppola Week, in which I reviewed movies directed by Francis Ford & Sofia Coppola. I managed quite a few movie reviews in the month, including one IMDB Top 250 film (Warrior) & my April Blind Spot choice (True Romance). But I took it easy on my weekly Top Tens, just listing my favorite movies from various actors. I’ll try to put a bit more effort into the Top Tens in May.

POSTS

My Most Popular Post: My Top Ten Patricia Arquette Movies – This was surprising but, for some reason, this post was pretty far ahead of everything else when it came to number of views. I guess there are a lot of Patricia Arquette fans! (For the record, her movie that topped my list was A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)

My Favorite Post: Probably my double review of Turbo Kid & Space Station 76. I really appreciated what both these movies did in trying to capture a specific era of film and think that Space Station 76 did an especially good job (although most people will probably prefer Turbo Kid). I even talked some people into checking these movies out! I love when that happens. 🙂 Both were fun & I’d love to see more movies like these get made.

I also really liked the sci-fi time travel film Predestination so I enjoyed writing that review & having a chat with some people about its mindfuckiness.

MOVIES REVIEWED

My Most Popular Movie Review: Midnight Special – This one wasn’t surprising as reviews of current movies always get the most views. It’s a solid sci-fi film from the director of Take Shelter & Mud and I’m certainly interested in seeing what he does next. I don’t think it will be at the very top of my 2016 list by the end of the year but I expect it will stay pretty high.

All Movies Reviewed (ranked best to worst):
Space Station 76
The Outsiders
Predestination
Midnight Special
True Romance
Turbo Kid
The Conversation
Kung Fu Panda 3
Marie Antoinette
The Bling Ring
Warrior
The House Of Magic
Muppets Most Wanted
Rio 2

MOVIES WATCHED

In Cinema (ranked best to worst):
Midnight Special
The Jungle Book
Kung Fu Panda 3

At Home (ranked best to worst):
Space Station 76
Predestination
True Romance
Turbo Kid
A Fistful Of Dollars
Pixels

(for the record, A Fistful Of Dollars is obviously a million times better than Pixels)

TOP TEN LISTS

I needed a break so took the easy option of listing favorite movies from specific actors/directors in April. They’re quick posts to put together but still end up getting a lot of conversations going, which is the whole point of this blogging thing. Who would’ve guessed that Patricia Arquette would be the most popular of these?

Top Ten Francis Ford & Sofia Coppola Movies
Top Ten Patricia Arquette Movies
Top Ten Jack Nicholson Movies
Top Ten Rob Lowe Movies

SEARCH TERMS

My Top Search Term: “the great outdoors pool stick between legs” – Yeah, my review of The Great Outdoors gets a lot of hits from people searching for Lucy Deakins. You have to admire how specific they got with the above search, though. I should never have included a gif of the above image in that post… Pervs.

My Favorite Search Term: Probably “movies and carpets” as that means my list of My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies finally brought someone to my blog. YES! 

Here are my top search terms for the month:

BOOKS

Books Reviewed:
Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin

Book I’m Currently Reading:
The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett

And according to my book poll results, it looks like I’ll be reading Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box next. I’ve been looking forward to that one!

BLOG PLANS FOR THE COMING MONTH

Clint Eastwood Week! I have Ennio Morricone playing in my head now… Well, it’s Mr Eastwood’s 86th birthday on the 31st of May so I’ve decided I’ll devote that whole week to him the same way I did Coppola Week this month. One of my alternate Blind Spot picks was his movie Play Misty For Me, which was the first one I watched back in January, so I guess I’ll make that my May Blind Spot review. I’ve also now watched A Fistful Of Dollars & plan to watch For A Few Dollars More so both can be ticked off my IMDB Top 250 Project list once I’ve reviewed them (plus, I figured I should finish the Dollars Trilogy after enjoying The Good, The Bad And The Ugly). So I just need one more Eastwood film to review for Eastwood Week: I’m thinking either Million Dollar Baby or The Dead Pool simply because I have access to both of those. Which should I watch?

Upcoming Movies:

As for movies being released in May, I’m still desperate to see Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! (finally out here on May 13th). And Captain America: Civil War came out on April 29th so I hope to have seen that by the time this posts on Monday. Green Room looks interesting (mainly because I love Patrick Stewart) and I know I’ll go to X-Men: Apocalypse but I’m not all that excited about it.

At home, I need to catch up on watching films on my Blind Spot list so Battle Royale is maybe the one I’ll watch this month. I also need to watch two more Eastwood movies for Eastwood Week. In between, I’ll watch whatever takes my fancy. Any recommendations? Oh, and I tend to watch one horror movie a month in preparation for October. Crazy, huh? This blog thing does change my viewing habits! Anyone have any UK Netflix horror recommendations? I’m especially interested in “killer doll” movies…

Happy May, everyone! 🙂 I usually end these with a song clip so, as I already posted a bunch of Todd Rundgren clips in my review of Space Station 76, I’ll post something from my April Blind Spot movie’s soundtrack (True Romance). Here’s Billy Idol’s White Wedding. For a thorough analysis of this classic 80’s exploding toaster video, check out my Music Video Friday post with Brian of Hard Ticket To Home Video HERE.