Every film I saw in July 2020

With cinemas and new releases beginning to gradually return, the next few months should be very interesting. But for now, here is every film I saw in July, encompassing basically every genre and decade, from high art to b-movie schlock. And because finding film clips has become really tiresome, I will instead be adding One Random Observation that I had whilst watching. So let’s begin –

  • Nightcrawler

AKA “Jake Gyllenhaal goes insane for 2 hours”. Focusing on a freelance cameraman who will do anything to get a good story, Nightcrawler is a perfect depiction of a sociopathic individual and a scathing critique of news media. Gyllenhaal’s character has the demeanour and attitude of a perfectly normal and charismatic individual but peel back the surface and a very cold, cynical persona emerges. The film presents crime and the media cycle as one and the same, with neither being able to exist without the other. The film’s ending is brilliantly dark and perfect for the film’s themes of obsession and detachment from humanity. It’s on Netflix right now so give it a watch if you want unique, complex and dark storytelling from the streets of LA.

One Random Observation: “Hey, I’ve been on Santa Monica Boulevard!”

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Every film I saw in June 2020

About halfway through this month I realised I was watching too many horror films. I love the genre but I always want to make these monthly film lists more varied and I’m keen to explore genres outside my usual ones. So let’s go straight into this-

  • Porco Rosso

It appears that I watch one Studio Ghibli film a month and this month it was the highly entertaining story of a an Italian pig pilot. No I’m not joking. With a great score and beautiful visuals, Porco Rosso’s story is in typical Ghibli style very weird and vague but once again, that’s not the point. The point is to have a talking pig do talking pig things. Miyazaki has said that this was his attempt to create a simple, straightforward and fun film for the explicit purpose of watching on planes. And there’s nothing wrong with that – it shows a filmmaker willing to make any kind of film he wants and no one can tell him otherwise. It’s no Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, but it’s not trying to be.

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Every film I saw in May 2020

Films! So. Many. Films! I have broken a record with this month, having seen more than a dozen films over the course of 31 days. I’m personally very chuffed with this achievement as it means I can talk about MORE films. Cinemas? Who needs em when you have streaming services, a television and a computer at your disposal?

  • 28 Days Later

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Every film I saw in April 2020

The world’s at a standstill, aliens apparently exist, a new crazy news story breaks about every half an hour, and it was a LOOOONG month doing not a lot but read, write, study and, of course, watch films. Lots of films. So let’s get straight to it-

  • Life of Brian

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Every film I saw in September 2019

OK, back onto the regular monthly posts after last month’s double bill. From this month on expect a wide variety of films- you may find me discussing Hitchcock or Welles one moment, then back onto the 80’s trash cult films. This is because I’ve started studying film at university so naturally will have to be watching “proper” cinema along with the stuff I usually throw into these articles. Luckily, today saw my first lecture and film screening so we’re getting some much needed variety for September. But first, the usual nonsense-

  • Mars Attacks!

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Avengers: Endgame review- The perfect end (spoiler free)

Eleven years ago a film by an untested studio, directed by an indie director with a star who was no longer seen as bankable and based on an obscure comic book character from a company that went bankrupt a decade before was released. From this singular film came the biggest, most ambitious and risky endeavour ever put to film- make Marvel comics cool to the mainstream. Obviously Blade, the X-Men and Spider-Man were all successful but Iron Man kickstarted a decade of interconnected films, bringing obscure comics into the mainstream and changed Hollywood forever. All this leading to the Endgame. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is my generation’s Star Wars, and the hype and anticipation for Endgame has been unprecedented, eclipsing even that of Return of the King and Deathly Hallows Part 2. In my lifetime, only The Force Awakens had this much riding on it. Was it worth the wait? Was Infinity War too high of a bar?

In short.. Endgame surpasses expectations. It is the perfect ending for this journey that started with Iron Man. It’s three hours long but is perfectly paced, never dull and an experience that has to be seen on as big of a screen as possible. Watching this film with a group of Marvel obsessed friends, at midnight, surrounded by a full cinema, in 3D is an experience I will never forget. It is my favourite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I will have to watch it a couple more times to see if it reaches the heights of my Holy Trinity of Comic Book films (Batman Returns, Spider-Man 2 and Logan if you’re interested).

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Top Ten comic book movie battles

Action scenes! Part of the parcel that comes with comic book films. Thanks to the rise of computers and new filming techniques we have seen some truly spectacular comic book battles, and to honour Avengers: Endgame let’s take a look at some of the finest brawls presented on the silver screen. To qualify for this list, two or more combatants must be physically battling each other and have somewhat equal strength. Excluded are chase scenes (with warm regards to The Dark Knight’s highway pursuit), one sided demolishing (Wonder Woman kind of thrashes the German Army with no effort in the iconic No Man’s Land scene, despite it being a magnificent sequence) and action scenes that have no actual battles between opponents (take Nightcrawler’s White House sequence or Quicksilver’s standout scene in Days of Future Past). With that aside, let’s look at how the comic book world’s finest slug it out-

10. Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman and Johann Kraus vs Nuada and the Golden Army- Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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Every film I saw in March 2019

This month I immersed myself in a huge variety of films. From tentpole releases to classics, from obscure genre films to dramas, March saw this cinephile engage in a lot of exciting cinematic stories. From this month I’ll be stating if I’ve seen each film before and just for fun, how I saw them-

  • Get Out

Have I seen it before? Yes.

How did I watch it? Netflix.

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is one of my favourite horror films. A extremely original and blackly comic take on suburbia and race, Get Out can make you laugh one minute then have you with your mouth on the floor with the bizarre and brutal world Peele concocts. Daniel Kaluuya more than proves he deserved the Oscar nomination for Best Actor with his tour de force central performance as Chris, giving Bruce Campbell a run for his money as greatest “Final Guy” in horror history. It could have been easy for the film to simply be a “racism is bad” message but it’s a lot more complex than that, examining the mentality behind rich white American suburbia and the subtleties of race relations. I cannot stress just how funny and quotable this film is and whilst it is technically a horror film it is mainly a satire and whilst it can occasionally be uncomfortable viewing it is always one step ahead of the game and presents the audience with twists and turns that just captivate you. I highly recommend this film to the three people who haven’t seen it.

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Captain Marvel review

With Endgame just around the corner, one key Marvel character has yet to be introduced- Carol Danvers. A very long and complicated comic book history including an alien who dies of cancer , a period in a coma when Rogue of the X-Men steals her powers, multiple identities and a long stint with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Carol Danvers FINALLY became Captain Marvel only recently in the comics, leaving her former moniker of Ms Marvel to be inherited by Kamala Khan. Carol Danvers is one of Marvel’s most high profile and important female characters and no matter what the comics are trying to do to her (Civil War II? Really?) the fact remains that a film with this awesome character is long overdue. The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe does an excellent job streamlining the insane and convoluted backstory of the character into an accessible film and the result is a really fun time at the cinema that leaves you wanting more. And with Captain Marvel set to appear back on our screens in just over a month’s time, it’s great that her solo film has given audiences a taste of what Thanos will be feeling.

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Every film I saw in February 2019

Alrighty righty let’s get straight back into my monthly list of every film I saw in 2019. I still didn’t see anything at the cinema (although that will have changed in a month’s time) but I still saw plenty of quality films. Let’s dive straight in-

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street

One of the most iconic horror films of all time, this timeless 80’s classic is often imitated, never bettered. Focused on a group of teenagers being haunted in their dreams by the mysterious Freddie Krueger, the film gave birth to one of horror’s greatest heroines- Nancy Thompson. We all know who Kruger is now after endless sequels and saturation but in this original film he is an enigma and a terrifying presence brought to life by the great Robert Englund. This film is also known for being Johnny Depp’s first film and even if you haven’t seen the film you know what happens to him- it’s a memorable and brilliant scene. If there’s one film that captures the 80’s suburban nightmare, then this is it. It’s been referenced so much, most memorably in Rick and Morty, but the impact is still immense. The best way to watch this film is when you’re on the verge of sleeping, and it’s how I’ll watch it next time. It’s one of the great slasher films and any horror fan should watch it.

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