August 2015 in Review

September's here, which means Summer's officially over and children are back to school. My attempts to catch up on films has resulted in delving into some considered classics, quite a few from this year (of which only a few are actually good), and many rewatches. I've also added a new feature onto the bottom, a monthly average for the films I've watched in the month. So, how was my August in viewing?

Ted 2 - 2/5 - To sum up this film in a word? Pointless.

Star Wars [rewatch] - 5/5 - An attempt to show my girlfriend one of my all time favourite films. She lasted 15 minutes.

Wet Hot American Summer - 4.5/5 - David Wain expertly crafts a hilarious satire of 80s sex comedies, helped by a talented & hilarious cast.

Star  Wars: Best film of the month
and Best film rewatched

Lava [rewatch] - 4/5 - I Lava This Short

Inside Out [rewatch] - 5/5 - 2nd viewing, and this is still a new Pixar classic.

And I still want to cuddle Sadness, she's so adorable.

Fantastic Four (2015) - 1.5/5 - Dear Fox, it's clear you have no idea what to do with these heroes, but you're too greedy to give them back to somebody with a clue. Good job.

Inside Out: Best film seen in cinemas

The Night of the Hunter - 4.5/5 - Charles Laughton's only directorial effort, and from what's witnessed here, it's a shame to make that statement. He's crafted a brilliant film, one that's equal parts creepy, atmospheric and tense. At the centre of it all is Harry Powell, a preacher with a penchant for marrying widows and killing them for their money. Robert Mitchum is pitch-perfect, managing to convey the perfect amount of charm, while utilizing a great amount of menace which bubbles beneath the charming façade, and comes to life behind closed doors.

TimeCrimes - 4.5/5 - It all seems so familiar. It begins with a man who spots something in the woods, so goes to take a look. The result has him attacked by a mysterious figure, face wrapped in bandages and wielding a pair of scissors. The chase continues on, in slasher film territory. And then the second act comes around. As things continue on, you realise this is far from your typical slasher film. In fact, Nacho Vigalondo has managed to terrifically blend genres, resulting in the delivery of a deftly handled mindbender helped by an ingenious script.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show [rewatch] - 5/5 - 40 years old, and the film remains as fantastic to experience. This love letter to the B movies of yesteryear manages to power through, thanks to the fantastic cast & the astounding songs. The rendition of "Sweet Transvestite" is one of the best onscreen musical performances, with "The Time Warp" being a close second. Tim Curry deserves the most praise, as he effortlessly slips into the role of Dr Frank N Furter like no other, as though it's a second skin to him. Pretty much my all time favourite Musical.

2001: A Space Odyssey:
Best film watched for the first time

2001: A Space Odyssey - 5/5 - My thoughts are scattered about this, but I can say this is an utterly engrossing experience which causes 2 and a half hours to whiz past, and deserves complete analyses and essays devoted to this.

In short, a masterpiece.

Tank Girl - 1/5 - Example one of how to take a seemingly interesting character in a seemingly interesting world, and turn it into an irritating clusterfuck not worth revisiting.

Pixels (2010) [rewatch] - 4/5 - Still a great short with wonderful ideas. Shame on its adaptation.

Me and Earl and the Dying
: Biggest disappointment

Pixels (2015) - 0/5 - If you want a film which shows a clear affection towards video games, then look no further than Scott Pilgrim vs The World or Wreck-It Ralph. But if you want to see nostalgia whored out for the purposes of an Adam Sandler film, then Pixels is your best bet.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [rewatch] - 4.5/5 - Edgar Wright's kinetic direction is a defining factor in this films unique nature. From the visuals of written sound effects, to the use of sounds from various games, you'll certainly see nothing like it. The fights especially deserve a mention, being some of the best action captured to screen in years.

Plus, how can you knock a film that has a psychic Vegan, villains shattering into a shower of coins, Giant Hammers being pulled out of purses and the one and only Vegan police?!?!?

The Double (2014) [rewatch] - 4.5/5 - Richard Ayoade's direction and Jesse Eisenberg's dual performances still excel in this excellent drama, as does the humorous moments which showcase Simon James' sadsack nature.

Pitch Perfect: Biggest surprise

Pitch Perfect - 4/5 - Anna Kendrick leads a likeable entourage, as they manage to power through the generic structure for a delightful flick, packed with catchy tunes.

Coming to America [rewatch] - 4/5 - It feels like ages ago when Eddie Murphy was a box office hit and a star of cinema. But this is a nice reminder of what to expect, as Murphy delivers great comedic timing alongside the equally talented Arsenio Hall. The two manage to elevate a tale which remains formulaic, but manages to sidestep being overly generic. In fact, the woes of Murphys character and his evolving relationship are believably done to a good standard.

Pixels: Worst film of the month

Trainwreck - 3.5/5 - A solid starring vehicle for the talented Amy Schumer, juggling comedy and drama with a (mostly) effective hit rate, while being refreshingly honest. Unfortunately, like many of Apatow's other projects, it's in need of a brutal edit.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - 2/5 - Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's film can't escape it's lacking attempts at substance, nor its attempts of cover up through forced quirks, foreign cinema name-dropping or dime-store philosophy. There's a good film within here, it's just been done through better films.

Paper Towns - 4/5 - Jake Schreier chooses to focus on the characters over the mystery. This proves to be A wise move, as it makes for a heartfelt film full of warm moments, and plenty of fun

Best film of the month: Star Wars
Best film seen in cinemas: Inside Out
Best film watched for the first time: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Best film rewatched: Star Wars
Biggest Disappointment: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Biggest Surprise: Pitch Perfect
Worst film of the month: Pixels

Number of films watched: 20

Monthly average rating: 3.5/5


Unknown said…
I'm glad you enjoyed pitch perfect 😀
James Rodrigues said…
I was surprised by how delightful the whole thing was.