This would be an OK run, except that it covers two months, leaving me with a bit of a mountain to climb to reach the 52. In September I actually only watched one film, on the flight to Amman:

35. The Karate Kid. New version -- I've never seen the original -- with young master Smith, who was actually pretty good. This was in general a lot of fun.

October brings four:

36. Fantastic Mr Fox, which is just brilliant. By far my favourite Wes Anderson film.

37. The Mist. Some nice moments, and good creature design, but hackneyed situations and the pacing of the ending unfortunately renders it ridiculous.

38. Ponyo. Both deeply adorable and deeply, deeply weird.

39. The Social Network. Probably the best piece of drama I've seen all year. Possibly a reprehensible piece of fiction.

(no subject)

38) Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs - Joyous blend of SF, comedy, family saga, romance and meatballs.

39) Johnny Mnemonic - Oh dear

40) Cargo - Haunted House in space. Again.

41) Pontypool - Very weird, low-budget, off-kilter Canadian horror film about memes. Think I need to give it another watch.

42) Deathwatch - Billy Elliot experiences limbo in the trenches of the First World War. Dull and stupid.


A busier month:

28. Near Dark. Another one of those films people talk about a lot that turns out to actually be not very good. Far too slow, with too many obvious holes in the set pieces (often having to do with the sun coming up or going down unfeasibly fast). It also seems as though it wants you to be excited just because it's a vampire film, and never mind the fact that it's not doing anything interesting, although this may be a function of having been superseded. There are a few moments of reasonable intensity. Quite pleased that I managed to correctly deduce that Christopher Franke must have been a member of Tangerine Dream by dint of the fact that the score for this film, by that group, sounded a bit like the score for Babylon 5 at points.

29. Toy Story 3. Good, and with great bits -- the claw pay-off, the terrifying monkey -- but not quite great; which is to say that for me it's on a level with the previous two. The prison-break stuff all felt a bit obvious, such that I was waiting for the story to go through the motions to get to the interesting bits.

30. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Neither as bad as it could have been -- Benjamin doesn't start interacting with famous events and people of the 20th century, and some of his glancing engagements, eg WWII, are quite nicely done -- nor as good as it really should have been, given the people involved and the strength of the basic concept. Also, while Brad Pitt's age makeup is pretty good, everyone else's is terrible.

31. Man on Wire. This man is mad. Entertainingly mad -- the image of him prancing around naked on the roof of the World Trade Centre trying to find an arrow by feeling the attached fishing wire against his skin is going to stay with me for a while -- but mad nonetheless. Watching this as a double bill with United 93 would be interesting.

32. Salt. Were I Nick Lowe, I could no doubt construct a witty summation based on the fact that this script about sleeper Soviet agents being activated in present-day America feels itself like a film script that's been dusted off from twenty-five years ago. Not being Nick Lowe, I will instead just say that I rather enjoyed this as an old-school runaround.

33. The A-Team. Obviously rubbish, but I had an awful lot of fun watching it.

34. Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Obviously very clever, but I actually had less fun watching it, because I'm so familiar with the comics and this version is so obviously not as good. That said, I want to see it again, and suspect I will enjoy it more when I do.

Been remiss again...

34) Triangle - A tangled modern horror take on Sisyphus which I enjoyed but don't think can be full untangled.
35) Rushmore - Wes Anderson was Wes Anderson right from the beginning.
36) The Book Of Eli - Utterly shit B-movie with a mysteriously A-list cast.
37) Inception - Good but not that good.

I also re-watched Fantastic Mr Fox a couple of times. I love Wes Anderson.


Crumbs, even worse than last month.

26. Inception. Lesser Nolan, but I enjoyed it.

EDIT: I forgot one!

27. Predators. Its commitment to stereotyping and tokenism is almost beautiful in its purity. But there is a superb guest turn from Laurence Fishburne.


Hmm, I seem to have only watched two films this month. I'm not sure how that happened.

24. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Ace.

25. The Breakfast Club. Meh.


18. Blindness. Incredibly faithful adaptation, often to its credit but not always (some authorial narration is rendered as dialogue and just doesn't work, and some narration is retained as Danny Glover voiceovers and feels superfluous). Harsh stuff, beautifully shot. Prompted me to get around to reading Seeing.

19.Agora. Lovely from-space shots lend a sense of perspective to melodramatic story; some good individual scenes, but a bit baggy.

20. Hunger.A very tough film to watch, but impeccably made; the last twenty minutes it's hard to look directly at the screen.

21. Iron Man 2. Actually quite enjoyed this, although the Sam Rockwell character was too dumb even to be credible as a comic-book military industrial contractor.

22. State of Play. Obviously not as good as the original mini-series -- this suffers in particular from downgrading the Stephen Collins role, and similarly the newsroom stuff, although I'd swear they just gave some of Bill Nighy's dialogue straight to Helen Mirren. But quite fun.

23. Robin Hood. About 65% beautiful medieval England (at least from the point of view of a non-historian, this seemed one of the most credible medieval Londons to have been put on screen recently), 10% wants to be Lord of the Rings (with a hojillion-horse charge), 15% slightly odd stuff (poacher urchins riding into battle on ponies as Maid Marion's honour guard, sort of), and 10% utterly bonkers stuff (all the bits to do with Robin inventing the magna carta. Or his dad inventing it and Robin rediscovering it after a memory/vision. Or something. And that godawful line about Englishmens' homes being their castles...)
old lady


12 - Moon - Excellent film that we only just round to watching; had a limited distribution (don't think our local Cineworld showed it).  Sam Rockwell's central performance is makes the film; Kevin Spacey's is brilliantly ambiguous (the more so for the echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey)

13 - Kick Ass - Lots of fun, but a real headfuck too. The violence swings from nastily real to ultra-cartoonish and back again, and Mark Strong's final fight scene is truly disturbing (Strong is, as usual, very good).

14 - Clash Of The Titans - Not dreadful, but definitely not brilliant. Odd choice to have quite so many strong accents on display, especially given that Sam Worthington's two biggest films to date have seen him in neutral mid-Atlantic mode, rather than full-on Aussie as he is here.  Harryhausen's mechanical owl is a nice touch.

15 - 23 Steps to Baker Street - Black and White melodrama featuring a a blind American playwright living in self-imposed isolation in post-war London, who overhears a kidnap or murder plot, and spends much of the rest of the film trying to stop it happening.  Very much of its time.

16 - Valkirie - Excellent portrayal of one of the German plots against Hitler during WWII. Tome Cruise is a good actor when he forgets to be Tom Cruise, and here is a part of a strong ensemble cast (but David Bamber deserves a mention for his wonderfully creepy, enigmatic, menacing portrayal of Hitler). I am baffled by the kerfuffle over the choice to have the actors not use German accents; after all, there characters are not supposed to be Germans speaking accented English. A bit like Apollo 13, this film manages to ratchet up the tension despite all of us already knowing how it ends.

17 - Aeon Flux - Dark secrets lie behind the outwardly perfect world in an Orwellian future.  Yawn.  Stylish, but not really very good.


One new film in April! Just one!

17. Kick-Ass. I had a ridiculously good time watching this, and felt very wrong afterwards.

But also three rewatches.

C. Star Trek 2
D. Star Trek 4
E. Star Trek 6

Of which my favourite remains the latter.