April 2015 in Review

This month was dominated by binge-watches of Netflix's latest addition, Daredevil, and the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, so a lot more shorts were seen this month. But a good amount were still viewed, especially with the latest instalment in one of the best recent film franchises. So, let's witness the films I viewed over the past April.

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (rewatch) - 3.5/5 - It's clear this film's not aimed at my demographic. Despite the hit and miss jokes, the charming characters and overall theme of being proud of who you are are good. Not sure of the need for scenes with live-action pirates, but where else will you see a fight take place ON David Hasslehoff?

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water - 2.5/5 - This is a film of two parts. The animated side, where scenes are well done and gags manage to land more often, and the live action side. This is where very few of the gags land and the humor gets TOO goofy to have much fun, putting the focus on turning these charming characters into superhero wannabes. Plus, it's jarring how this films villain has the same motive as the previous films villain, to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula.

The House of The Devil - 4.5/5 - Ti West's 2009 entry into the horror genre comes off as an 80's throwback, and has the makings of a classic. Well formed characters who make understandable decisions, astonishing editing, suspenseful atmosphere, spine-chilling direction.

Presto (rewatch) - 4/5 - One of Pixar's better shorts, delivering imaginative visuals with fantastic moments of slapstick. Plus, that little bunny's so cute!

The Avengers: Best film of the month
and Best film rewatched

Robot & Frank - 4/5 - It's clear what this films biggest strength is, as the title characters friendship is wonderfully developed over the 85 minute runtime, The children of Frank could've been developed better, as well as his relationship with his ex-wife, but the overall result is a gentle and bittersweet tale worth watching.

The Critic (1963) - 3.5/5 - This 3 minute short is a showcase for artistic visuals, and the entertaining rants of a Mel Brooks character.

Bambi Meets Godzilla - 4/5 - An inspired meeting of two vastly different characters, building up to the only outcome that could possibly occur. And by god, it's glorious.

Wild Tales: Best film seen in cinemas

The Sandman - 5/5 - Paul Berry takes clear inspiration from German Expressionism, delivering dreamlike visuals that act as a precursor to his work on The Nightmare Before Christmas. This nightmarish tale delivers a sinister tone throughout the 10 minute runtime, resulting in a chilling end and a post-credits stinger which will haunt you. One of the best shorts I have ever seen, if not THE best.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck - 4.5/5 - If you want a documentary focusing on Kurt's legendary status, or the circumstances of his death, search elsewhere. For an intimate, heartfelt look into the man that was Kurt Cobain, look no further.

In Fear - 2/5 - Jeremy Lovering sets things up well in the first act, but then things get problematic. Things get dull, lack tension, and the overall film feels like you've previously seen it done better.

The Sandman: Best film watched
for the first time

Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase - 2.5/5 - Joan C. Gratz's award winning short is impressive for how she did it, using clay to transition from each art piece to the next. What's unfortunate is how the short serves as much purpose as a GIF, while the 6 minute runtime leaves things feeling tedious.

Cop Land - 4/5 - James Mangold's mostly slick tale could benefit from dropping a few of its unnecessary plotlines, but the acting on stage is rather impressive. Sylvester Stallone may have a meathead reputation, but the guy really can deliver. His understated, vulnerable performance is engaging to watch, and the standout thing about this film.

The Avengers (2012) (rewatch) - 5/5 - Iron Man may be credited for starting the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this film showed how viable such a thing could actually be. 3 years on, and it's still great how Whedon managed to give every character a good amount of screentime. Plus, that "Puny God" moment is still gold.

In Fear: Biggest Disappointment and
Worst film of the month

Robot Chicken: Star Wars (rewatch) - 4/5 - The first Robot Chicken short remains a humorous take on the popular franchise, boasting a clear admiration for it.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II (rewatch) - 4.5/5 - The gags in this instalment hit their mark more consistently, as the Robot Chicken gang manage to invent fresh, creative gags that lovingly poke fun at all things Star Wars. Plus, any gag with The Emperor is a riot to watch, as is the Stormtrooper taking his daughter to work.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III (rewatch) - 3.5/5 -  The weakest of the trilogy, but still contains a lot of great jokes. The Robot Chicken crew manages to capitalize on the best elements from the previous instalments, such as Gary the Stormtrooper and The Emperor.

Undercover Brother: Biggest surprise

Avengers: Age of Ultron - 4.5/5 - The highly anticipated sequel may not bring something as fresh as its predecessor, or succeed with its Black Widow/Hulk relationship. But it manages to succeed everywhere else, delivering a worthy follow-up to the MCU.

Wild Tales (rewatch) - 5/5 - A rewatch confirms it, this is a blackly hilarious masterpiece. Plus, the first non-English speaking film my girlfriend watched, AND SHE DIDN'T HATE IT!

Undercover Brother - 4.5/5 - Eddie Griffin leads a stellar cast, each managing to deliver in this hilarious spoof of the blaxploitation genre. Of course, the razor sharp wit helps, and i'm still laughing at the OJ gag and "How Stella Got Her White Man Back". Truly a funky film, and perfect to double bill with Black Dynamite.

Best film of the month: The Avengers
Best film seen in cinemas: Wild Tales
Best film watched for the first time: The Sandman
Best film rewatched: The Avengers
Biggest Disappointment: In Fear
Biggest Surprise: Undercover Brother
Worst film of the month: In Fear

Number of films watched: 19