January has been a great month for films, not least because of all the cinema visits. All this means that I have to be on top of my film posts, otherwise I’ll get way behind!
I’m not entirely sure why I watched The Rock. I’m not a huge fan of Michael Bay films (though I try not to be a Kermode-acolyte and just dismiss them out of hand), but I had heard that this particular film was one of the better ones. I didn’t hate it, but it was far too long. It got to a certain point, where I was sure that it would be ending, and then it just carried on for about another hour. Not one for me, I’m afraid; I love a nineties action flick, but this one didn’t do anything for me.
The Titfield Thunderbolt
I watched The TItfield Thunderbolt because it was on iPlayer, and it’s one that I have been meaning to watch all the way through for years, as it’s a firm family favourite. It tells the story of a group of people who fight to save their branch line from closure. In true Ealing style, it’s ridiculous and absurd, but it’s such good fun, and full of some great character actors.
20 Feet From Stardom
I’m trying to watch more documentaries, because it’s a massive hole in my film-watching, and when I spotted 20 Feet From Stardom on a Netflix, I popped it on for a watch. It’s about the backing singers that make many famous songs sound as good as they are, and it’s a really fascinating look at people that, by their nature, tend to get overlooked. Famous faces pop up, including Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger, but the focus is largely on a group of women who have truly amazing voices, but are relegated, for the most part, to the back of the stage.
The Theory of Everything
The Theory of Everything was my first cinema visit of the year, and it already feels so long ago that I saw it! It’s been everywhere, not least because both Felcity Jones and Eddie Redmayne (Redmaybe) have received Oscar nominations for their performances. It’s the story of the marriage between Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane, and it’s based on the memoirs of Jane herself. Many have lamented the lack of science, but I think there’s just enough, and given that it’s the couple’s story seen through the eyes of Jane, it was hardly going to be an analysis of A Brief History of Time. The performances are truly outstanding, with Eddie Redmayne transforming himself throughout the film, and Jones portraying Jane as a very sympathetic and engaging woman. The score is beautiful as well; be prepared to cry!
Battle of the Year
I can’t believe that I have to include this film in my list, and this round-up. I watched it completely against my will, as I was babysitting, and I watched it in full, so it has to go on my list. (Can you hear me sighing?) It’s a terrible film, about a break dancing competition, starring Josh Holloway and Chris Brown. It took all my willpower not to tell the three small girls I was watching with just why Chris Brown is an odious human being while we were watching. Honestly, there is nothing to recommend it; it’s predictable, boring, and Chris Brown is in it.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
I’ve been wanting to watch this since it came out last year, even though I can’t honestly call myself a Wes Anderson fan, having never watched anything other than Rushmore in the past. I loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. It looks amazing, with a beautiful colour palette, and it’s really, really laugh out loud funny. Ralph Fiennes is a marvel; you would never guess he could put in such an accomplished comedic performance! The cast is great, with everyone from Tilda Swinton to Bill Murray putting in an appearance.