Last week I hit my target to watch 52 films in 2015. Yeah, in May. Not great forward planning by me there – I knew I would end up exceeding it; between a Netflix account and an Cineworld Unlimited card, I knew I’d be watching a lot of films in 2015. But I hadn’t really accounted for how quickly I’d do it, and if I had thought about it a little more, I’d have aimed for 100. I’m not going to change it now, I’m just going to see how far I get.
Anyway, in reaching my goal, I realised that I hadn’t done an I Watched That roundup in ages. And ages and ages and ages. In fact, the last time I wrote about films was in February. So I’m remedying it, and I’m going to try and get up to date!
Pretty in Pink
I haven’t seen enough of John Hughes’ classic films; in fact, The Breakfast Club is the only one, as far as I’m aware. When I realised Pretty in Pink was available on Netflix, I thought it was time to remedy that. There’s something about an American High School film that I just love, particularly when they are well written, with engaging characters, as is the case here. I finally believe in Andrew McCarthy as the ultimate 80s leading man, and James Spader, who is always excellent in everything, is, as expected, excellent.
I watched Albatross because it popped up on iPlayer, and I won’t lie, mainly because it involved a young woman having an affair with an older man. I really like Jessica Findlay-Brown, and she brings a wonderful insouciance to this role, along with enough vulnerability to ensure that you don’t think she’s a callous young thing for sleeping with her friend’s dad. Felicity Jones is also great, as ever, and I enjoyed Julia Ormond’s funny turn as the betrayed wife!
I think this was another one that I found on iPlayer, and a film that I knew nothing about until I watched it. It stars Richard Jenkins as a college professor who travels to New York to stay in his apartment there, only to find a pair of illegal immigrants living there. I enjoyed it a lot; Richard Jenkins is a fairly quiet actor, but his performances are always strong.
i went to the cinema to see Ex Machina; ever since I read about Alex Garland’s directorial debut, I was intrigued. With a cast consisting largely of just Dohmnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander, it tells the story of a young man who wins a prize to go and stay with his reclusive genius boss, only to discover that he making huge advances in the world of artificial intelligence. Oscar Isaac shines as the aforementioned boss, and Alicia Vikander’s performance as the robot is sad and compelling. I’m eagerly awaiting this film’s release on DVD, as I’d like to see it again.
Guardians of the Galaxy
I wish that I had loved Guardians of the Galaxy slightly more than I did. I mean, I didn’t hate it; it was fun, and funny, and just about everything you want a Marvel film to be. And I really enjoyed all the character interaction; the coming together of the troupe of heroes, and their interplay. But for me, there was slightly too much in the way of action – things crashing into each other in space. Maybe it would have been better if I’d seen it at the cinema. Great soundtrack, however.
Another film that I had been wanting to watch for a while, after it got all of the love from Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo on Wittertainment. It was worth the wait, as it’s a beautifully made film, telling the amazing true story of Dido Belle, a young mixed race woman who was raised in society by her uncle alongside her white cousin. Gugu Mbatha Raw is wonderful as the titular Belle.