My Monthly Movie Mumble (MMXVII)

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Rather than a daily film diary like last year I thought I'd just keep a thread updated with what I've watched on a monthly basis.
__________________
Purely for the benefit of my bad memory: 2016 • • • 2017 • • •
2018 • • • 2019 • • • Summer • • • Noms


Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



JANUARY (32)

2046 (Kar-Wai Wong, 2004)
+
Very nice but not quite as good as his In The Mood For Love imo

Attack (Robert Aldrich, 1956)
+
The principal characterisaions knock it down for me as they are just too over the top

Bait (Dominic Brunt, 2014)

Absolutely ludicrous with no real redeeming qualities - half a popcorn for it's use of a sink but best avoided imo

Beautiful Creatures (Richard LaGravenese, 2013)
+
Enjoyable enough fantasy piece but hardly memorable

Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013)

Rather a fun revenge outing

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, 2014)

A pleasant surprise in being far better than it's predecessor imo

Divergent (Neil Burger, 2014)

Fun enough for what it is

Divorzio all'italiana [Divorce Italian Style] (Pietro Germi, 1961)

Delightfully understated humour

eXistenZ (David Cronenburg, 1999)
+
Ok but lesser Cronenberg for me

Faa yeung nin wa [In The Mood For Love] (Kar-Wai Wong, 2000)

Beautifully made and for me quite captivating

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999)
+
Ok but tries too hard to be 'cool' imo

Le Doulos [The Finger Man] (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1963)
+
Lovely noir but let down by final act

Predestination (Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, 2014)
+
Decent sci-fi though a little see-through

Seconds Apart (Antonio Negret, 2011)

Pretty bad and forgettable

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez, 2014)
+
Ok but nowhere near as interesting as it's predecessor

Solyaris [Solaris] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)

A little drawn out but nicely made sci-fi

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)

Decent but less interesting than Solaris for me and likewise somewhat drawn out

The Corridor (Evan Kelly, 2010)

Starts well enough but gradually and inexorably goes downhill in the second half

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951)

Classic sci-fi that never needed remaking imo

The Eichmann Show (Paul Andrew Williams, 2015)

Decent enough tv presentation of the televising of the trial

The Evil Inside aka Dead Inside (Pearry Reginald Teo, 2011)

Substandard low budget offering

The Fly (David Cronenburg, 1986)
+
Classic sci-horror remake that is equally as good as the original, albeit a rather different interpretation

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 (Francis Lawrence, 2014)
+
Ok YA outing that is marginally better than those that preceded it in the franchise imo

The Last Of The Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992)
+
Very nice colonial period drama

The Letter (William Wyler, 1940)
+
Very nicely made noirish crime drama

The Maze Runner (Wes Ball, 2014)

Decent enough YA outing though could've been pared back a little imo

The Spiral Staircase (Robert Slodmak, 1946)

Nicely atmospheric crime drama

To Kill A Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962)
+
Deservedly a classic

Transcendence (Wally Pfister, 2014)
+
Sci-fi offering that sadly doesn't live up to it's potentially interesting story

Vivre Sa Vie [My Life To Live] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)

Nicely made but sadly didn't blow me away

Wolfcop (Lowell Dean, 2014)
+
Quite a fun werewolf outing in parts

Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
+
Hardly believable but entertaining enough



FEBRUARY (40)

A Farewell To Arms (Frank Borzage, 1932)

Romantic drama that is a touch overly melodramatic in places but still manages to hold the attention and tug at the heartstrings a little

Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da [I Saw The Devil] (Jee-woon Kim, 2010)

Rather far-fetched in terms of story but beautifully brutal at times and a really fun watch for those that enjoy a little craziness in that regard

Anime nere [Black Souls] (Francesco Munzi, 2014)

Very nice understated Italian crime drama centred on one family that builds slowly but believably and effectively with some excellent performances

Arpointeu [R-Point aka Ghosts Of War] (Su-chang Kong, 2004)
+
Fairly decent military-based horror that has good locations and uses sound pretty well with a nice underlying tone virtually throughout but sadly doesn't always flow well and imo puts mystery a little ahead of story

Babymother (Julian Henriques, 1998)

Musical drama that does improve in the second half where it settles into a more conventional format but prior to that is so full of clichés and caricatures it's difficult to care by that point and the musical aspects mainly aren't up to snuff either

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
+
Great performances, an interesting overall story and generally well made but still a movie that takes a little warming to each time for me

Dead Reckoning (John Cromwell, 1947)
+
Solid noir that has bags of atmosphere and some very snappy dialogue though it is just a little too snappy in places imo

Devil's Due (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett, 2014)

Low budget offering that employs an unoriginal story with lots of handycam and weak acting which all overshadows anything of interest really

Dolores Claiborne (Taylor Hackford, 1995)
+
Enjoyable Stephen King adaptation that uses it's timelines well to gradually reveal the tale (though in all honestly much can be guessed) and has decent performances from all involved

Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
+
Wife's choice, watched it last year

Dressed To Kill (Brian De Palma, 1980)
+
Not without flaws but still decent and contains the odd lovely moment (q.f. the boarding of the metro)

Fail-Safe (Sidney Lumet, 1964)
+
Fascinating and thought provoking drama that suffers a little from feeling a need to over-explain things in the early stages but is well made and acted and builds nicely and effectively to a crescendo

Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985)
+
Comedy horror that is very much of the eighties and never really hits any highs until the final half hour or so but for the most part is a moderately fun watch (that seduction scene is truly cringeworthy though)

Horns (Alexandre Aja, 2013)
+
Odd fantasy crime drama that despite having to suffer Radcliffe's scrawny body was actually quite enjoyable with an interesting storyline and a few somewhat bizarre splashes of humour until it opted to dive off the end of a pier and delve more into it's horror aspects

Irezumi (Yasuzô Masumura, 1966)
+
Nicely made drama in which Ayako Wakao seduces the viewer with her performance as much as any of those within the tale itself

Kwaidan aka Kaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964)
+
Four independent tales of the supernatural told with beautifully stylised use of colour and light though for me the third whilst the best is also a little long-winded and contains one minor but glaring annoyance

Kingsman: The Secret Service (Matthew Vaughn, 2014)
+
Fun spy spoof romp that nicely fits my sense of humour in the main though some of the extended action scenes aren't to my taste

L'armée des ombres [The Army Of Shadows] (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969)

Beautifully understated resistance drama that is anchored by fine performances and a sense of realism

La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
+
Nicely atmospheric piece that presents a well told tale

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (Lian Lunson, 2005)
+
Documentary of the tribute concert interlaced with biographical snippets and celebrity comments that is of interest but the performances are mixed and some of the celebrity soundbites not really welcome imo - R.I.P. Leonard!

Love On The Dole (John Baxter, 1941)
+
Worthwhile socio-poitical drama set during The Great Depression that tries not to be overly bleak but still conveys the time reasonably well though it is let down in places by some overacting, most notably from young Geoffrey Hibbert in his first ever role

May (Lucky McKee, 2002)

Moderately effective horror but somewhat predictable

Midnight Lace (David Miller, 1960)

Reasonably effective mystery thriller that never gets overly dark (it is a Doris Day and Rex Harrison fillum after all) but doesn't suffer unduly for that and is quite an enjoyable offering

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
+
Nicely made drama centred on the seedier side of the news media in which Gyllenhaal nails the portrayal of a slimy, manipulative bastard and the story builds gradually and interestingly

Paradies: Glaube [Paradise: Faith] (Ulrich Seidl, 2012)

Second in the down-to-earth trilogy about female longing is also certainly not a barrel of laughs but again not without aspects that help lighten the tone, this time by way of the somewhat bizarre (q.f. the encounter with Herr Rupnik)

Paradies: Hoffnung [Paradise: Hope] (Ulrich Seidl, 2013)
+
Final entry in the 'Paradise' trilogy and the least enjoyable - partially due to the interlaced moments of humour not really working that well for me and partially because the central 'relationship' is morally unsettling - but it has to be said the young lead does play her part reasonably well and the drama quite watchable

Paradies: Liebe [Paradise: Love] (Ulrich Seidl, 2012)
+
Initial entry in no-frills dramatic trilogy that has some nice acting (especially the lead) and is not without a few moments of humour but is an inherently unhappy tale

Sky High aka Skyhigh (Ryûhei Kitamura, 2003)
+
Manga-based fantasy adventure that has a muddled first half and the SFX throughout aren't great but the second half is more linear with better exposition, events feel far more controlled and one is actually able to invest somewhat in the characters

Somewhere In The Night (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946)

Enjoyable enough noir that unsurprisingly has some very smart dialog but sadly it doesn't always work well here as those involved can't always manage to sell it and the acting really isn't that strong in places

Surveillance (Jennifer Lynch, 2008)

Starts off scrappy and somewhat incohesive (deliberately) but slowly begins to both gel and improve as it goes on

The Colditz Story (Guy Hamilton, 1955)

Enjoyable WWII telling of the attempts of those interned within the famous Oflag IV-C to disinter themselves

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011)
+
Well made and thoroughly enjoyable period drama centred on civil rights with some very nice performances and attention to detail but the story arc is rather predictable and somewhat pat in the way it seeks to manipulate audience emotions

The Night Of January 16th (William Clemens, 1941)

Light-hearted mystery thriller that takes far too long to build any rapport with the principal characters and doesn't walk the line between comedic and serious very well making it a rather hit and miss affair that is sadly rather more miss than hit

The Roommate (Christian E. Christiansen, 2011)

The two leads do well enough for the most part but it brings absolutely nothing new to the table, fails to build any real suspense/tension and actually shies away from delivering anything that could possibly raise it above mediocrity

The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock, 1956)

Wife's choice, watched it last year for the 50s countdown

They Live (John Carpenter, 1988)
+
Decidedly cheesy, and of the emmental variety too, but also a lot of fun - not one for the po of face

To Catch A Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1953)
+
Wife's choice, watched it last year for the 50s countdown

Tomorrowland aka Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (Brad Bird, 2015)

Overly drawn out tale in which the first two-thirds have moments of great fun and humour before the not unexpected attempts at manipulating emotions kick into overdrive and lower the enjoyment

Wyrmwood (Kiah Roache-Turner, 2014)

Comedy horror that is a little confusing at first and although it does eventually settle down and contains a few fun moments of gore the humour mainly fails to connect and a distinct lack of any real atmosphere really harms proceedings for me

Yabu no naka no kuroneko [Kuroneko] (Kaneto Shindô, 1968)

Beautifully made piece that invokes some nice atmosphere in places though the early stages do suffer a little with regards cohesion



MARCH (45)

100 Bloody Acres (Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes, 2012)

Aussie comedy horror that does have a few chuckles along the way but is patchy on that front and no more than standard fare

800 balas [800 Bullets] (Álex de la Iglesia, 2002)

Low-budget action comedy that is a little drawn out and spotty in terms of laughs (especially in the first half) but enjoyable enough overall and well enough made

A Royal Scandal (Otto Preminger & Ernst Lubitsch, 1945)

Delightfully witty and farcical romantic drama that is for the most part nicely paced with some lovely dialogue and very good performances from all the principals though proceedings do run just a little out of fizz in the latter stages

Après mai [Something In The Air] (Olivier Assayas, 2012)

Well enough made drama and perhaps rewarding to some but to someone like me with no real knowledge of the summer 1968 troubles in France it took far too long to really bring me into the story making it pretty uninteresting with characters that for the most part I saw no real reason to care about

Baskin (Can Evrenol, 2015)
+
Turkish fantasy/horror that contains some lovely images of the grotesque in the second half but it's not enough to fully counter a first half that fails to either excite or intrigue and a narrative that could have been better

Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

Relationship drama that for the most part is well enough acted and fairly effective in it's portrayal though for me the confrontation at her workplace simply didn't convince at all and even for someone that doesn't mind a slow story it just began to drag occasionally

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

An absolute classic and a film that mixes, romance, comedy and intrigue in it's wartime-backed story to perfection and even the element of propaganda/nationalism is completely suited to the tale imo

Cheap Thrills (E. L. Katz, 2013)

Moderately interesting, though hardly original, drama laced with horror that builds slowly with darkly comic undertones but for me only isolated moments were amusing (primarily connected with moments of absurdity) leaving the whole a rather patchy and uneven affair

Closed Circuit (John Crowley, 2013)
+
Reasonable crime thriller but a little clumsily handled in terms of exposition and lacking in surprises

Cockneys vs Zombies (Matthias Hoene, 2012)

Comedy horror that is reasonably amusing in places but there just aren't enough of them to either lift a tired format above mediocrity or from becoming somewhat repetitive

Day Of The Warrior (Andy Sidaris, 1996)

Pops takes the reins back for the Eleventh in the Chests, Cannons and Corn franchise and it begins almost like an attempted parody of itself as the acting, script, action and 'comedy' hit all time lows for the series at times (no mean feat) but sadly not consistently enough to qualify as so bad it's good - just bad

Do Or Die (Andy Sidaris, 1991)
+
Sixth in the Sleaze, Silicone and 'Splosions series resorts back to an overabundance of attempted tittilation, perhaps because it is self-aware enough to understand the 'action' is getting rather repetitive, but the overall effect is just to make proceedings even more yawnsome and pointless

Eliza Graves aka Stonehearst Asylum (Brad Anderson, 2014)
+
Period mystery/thriller with a good cast and a decent enough story but fails a little in the execution with at times bizarre choices regarding the tone, a run time that imo should have been reduced and an overall feeling nobody really put their heart into it

Enemy Gold (Christian Drew Sidaris, 1993)
+
Ninth in the seedy series and son Christian officially takes over the directing reins but aside from the script being even worse than usual (who'dathunk it possible), a slight change in predilection from boobs to buns and the action scenes being even less well realised it's pretty much business as usual

Excision (Richard Bates Jr., 2012)

Horror with fantasy elements that is watchable and isn't badly acted but for me never really hit any high notes and for the most part just felt somewhat flat

Fit To Kill (Andy Sidaris, 1993)
+
Eighth in the Pin-ups, Pecs and Pathetic Puns series that as usual provides for plenty of wood, though not from the many gratuitous attempts at titillation but from the direction, acting and script in an instalment that seems a little short in terms of budget, even resorting to archive footage brielfy

Gokudou daisensou [Yakuza Apocalypse] (Takashi Miike, 2015)

Absurdist piece that I'd imagine either tickles one's fancy or leaves one completely cold - personally, I enjoyed it, especially it's more absurd moments

Guns (Andy Sidaris, 1990)

Fifth (but sadly nowhere near final) instalment in the Babes, Boobies and Baloney series that whilst still unremarkably sub-standard is another step up in terms of acting, script and dare I say it entertainment (albeit that's still not saying a huge amount) - alternatively it could also be that I'm becoming somewhat inured to their many deficiencies now

Hard Hunted (Andy Sidaris, 1993)

Seventh in the somewhat seedy (and seemingly endless) franchise and even most of those involved appear to be getting bored of the whole thing judging by this predominantly lacklustre effort

Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Andy Sidaris, 1987)

Second of Sidaris' triple-G collection that is at least more structured than the first and with being used as a vehicle for several Playmates thankfully eases away somewhat from sleazy toward cheesy but is still rife with both stiff acting and dreadful script - but even after adding in the most ridiculous of subplots with some mediocre animatronics it's still an improvement

High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2015)
+
Absurdist/surrealist drama set in the 70's as a none too subtle social commentary that is nicely amusing in places and artistically lovely at times (that rooftop!) but what starts as interesting descends into a mess and even though proceedings do recover a little toward the closing stages the damage is already done and irreversible

High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941)

Decent enough crime drama though the chase scene could be better, the mixed tone detracts a little at times and the side story isn't great imo

King Kong (John Guillermin, 1976)
+
Fun enough rendition of the classic story but the creature doesn't really convince and proceedings feel a little 'flat' at times

Lakeview Terrace (Neil LaBute, 2008)

Thriller that builds reasonably slowly and is an ok watch up until the latter stages where events become a little annoying with the climax reached rather blithely

Lo sbarco di Anzio [The Battle For Anzio] (Edward Dmytryk & Duilio Coletti, 1968)

Disappointing war drama that isn't helped by it's anglicised title promising more of an action fest than it delivers and whilst what action scenes depicted are managed reasonably well (especially the encounter with the snipers) proceedings are dragged down by concentrating far too much on just a few men with a little ham fisted anti-war sentiment tossed into the script and a rush to wrap things up at the end

London Boulevard (William Monahan, 2010)
+
Crime drama that doesn't really offer anything that's not been seen before but is reasonably fun if one just accepts it's chock full of stereotypical caricatures and situations

Madhouse (William Butler, 2004)

Horror/thriller that on paper no doubts sounded decent but lacks finesse and simply tosses clichés and stereotypes amidst a few rather pointless psychotropic image sequences and some unconvincing acting in the hope that some of its audience will at least be entertained some of the time

Malibu Express (Andy Sidaris, 1985)

First of the Girls, Guns and G-Strings collection but more like Boobs, Buffoonery and Boredom as it features far too much attempted titilation that verges on soft porn and poor production values alongside mostly bad acting and script

Memory Of The Camps (Sidney Bernstein & Alfred Hitchcock, 1985)

WWII Death Camp documentary begun in the 40's but subsequently shelved using liberation footage primarily from Belsen and Dachau but also from Buchenwald, Ebensee, Mauthausen, Ludwigslust, Ohrdruf, Leipzig, Gardelegen and Auschwitz

Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
+
Beautifully made biography of the painter that I have to admit took a little while to get into but was thoroughly immersive once I did and captures the period quite magnificently

Night Will Fall (Andre Singer, 2014)

Documentary about making of the Frontline WWII death camp documentary Memory Of The Camps

Northern Soul (Elaine Constantine, 2014)
+
Music-based drama that recreates the period fairly well and contains enjoyable tunes but despite being acted reasonably well is rather uninspired when it comes to the story

Picasso Trigger (Andy Sidaris, 1988)
+
Third in the wannabe hybrid Charlie's Angels/Magnum/Doritos franchise now delves into Bond territory with some less than stellar gadgets accompanying the bad script and all too often bad acting whilst the attempted titillation reverts back to being less well integrated

Red Lights (Rodrigo Cortés , 2012)

Disappointing mystery/thriller that failed to really engage or provide characters I cared much about with a final act that was in turn both ludicrous and self indulgent

Return To Savage Beach (Andy Sidaris, 1998)

Final entry in the Floozies, Fake Funbags and Firearms franchise involving the ridiculously named Legion to Enforce Total Harmony And Law agency and the series at least goes out on an improving note though the exposition heavy ending is rather yawnsome and whilst it's virtually guaranteed the twists won't be guessed in advance it's also almost certainly guaranteed no-one will really give a toss either

Savage Beach (Andy Sidaris, 1989)
+
Fourth instalment in the underwhelming series and aided by a plot that doesn't sidetrack too much this time and generally better acting than in previous offerings it's the best yet though it's still nothing more than an amateurish piece of cheesy fluff

Shi [Poetry] (Chang-dong Lee, 2010)

Nicely made drama in which the principal character is certainly engaging and it ends beautifully but imo it could have been shortened by losing a few of the peripheral characters and part of the story didn't resonate with me, which is perhaps a cultural thing as I simply couldn't get behind the attempted cover-up

The Dallas Connection (Christian Drew Sidaris, 1994)

Tenth in the franchise and sadly the only freely available version I could find is obviously a 'second-hand' copy and has a few key minutes missing after around an hour and a quarter (let's face it, I'm not gonna pay to watch this crap so it'll have to do) but there's enough to safely rate it as being equally as bad an effort as the one that kicked the whole sorry thing off

The Double (Richard Ayoade, 2013)

Interesting offering set in a dystopian world that immediately brings to mind Gilliam's Brazil and it's an equally enigmatic tale directed with flair, containing some nice comedic touches and good performances but for me the initial spark seemed to dissipate around halfway before being reignited in the very closing stages

The Illusionist (Neil Burger, 2006)

Mystery romance that is quite nicely made, well enough acted and reasonably entertaining but for me would have been better ending without any explanation/disclosure as it simply doesn't hold water and imo actually insults the intelligence

The Purge: Anarchy (James DeMonaco, 2014)

Reasonably Fun action thriller that is an improvement on it's predecessor but a couple of the more frenetic action scenes aren't that well realised and it does become rather predictable

The Quiet (Jamie Babbit, 2005)
+
Disappointing thriller that has no likeable characters at all, a script that fails to convince and lacks any real subtlety so even an improved final third does little to redeem it

The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (Lewis Milestone, 1946)
+
Nice noirish crime drama in which both leads perform well and the support is adequate even if they do both overact a little in places but sadly is marred by the young cast in the first quarter hour

Tropa de Elite 2: O Inimigo Agora é Outro [Elite Squad: The Enemy Within] (José Padilha, 2010)

Gritty crime drama sequel that is just as compelling and at times as realistically brutal as its predecessor

Yoidore tenshi [Drunken Angel] (Akira Kurosawa, 1948)

Delightfully entertaining tale with some deft touches of humour and excellent performances by both Shimura and Mifune as the leads but admittedly is a tad rough and ready in places with regards the editing



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Were you on holidays in jan and feb or do you normlly watch that mny movies, Chyp?



Were you on holidays in jan and feb or do you normlly watch that mny movies, Chyp?
I'm at home 24/7 Dani, the wife is off work since December so prolly watching a few more than normal though (beats sitting and talking ).



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Wow. Very impressive. Even when I was a total movie geek before the golden years of tv captured my attention I dont think I ever watched that many in one month. Well done, young fella. No time for an irish pub crawl.



Wow. Very impressive. Even when I was a total movie geek before the golden years of tv captured my attention I dont think I ever watched that many in one month. Well done, young fella. No time for an irish pub crawl.
Nah, none of us qualify for 'impressive' compared to our very own mark f
Appreciate the 'young' bit though



You can't win an argument just by being right!
I think mark needs a thread like this, or does he already have one? I havent made my way to the individual mofo movie threads yet.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Wow, long thread. Thanks chyp.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
LOL. Would keep me busy all week I would think.



'Attack!' is my favorite war film.

Strong performances by Palance, Eddie Albert and Lee Marvin.

Robert Strauss and Buddy Ebsen excellent also.

"Look Lieutenant, if ever a man needed killin', it's that no good putrid piece of trash lyin' there"



APRIL (47)

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)
+
Quirky vampire tale that is visually appealing, generally well acted and uses sound nicely in places but one or two of the soundtrack choices felt rather strange to me and aside from the odd moment it's a rather slow and uneventful affair with little reason to connect to any of those involved

Andrey Rublev [Andrei Rublev] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)

Period biographical drama that is beautifully shot with some good performances and whilst the animal cruelty is definitely an issue (thankfully the version on Film 4 omitted the worst parts) the second half is nonetheless very good and holds interest but the first half is just so tiresome and arduous to get through and perhaps telling that for me by far the most interesting segment is one in which he titular character remains predominantly peripheral to proceedings

Big Bad Wolves (Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado, 2013)

Israeli comedy thriller that is a bit light on the comedy elements at times but when they are there they are amusing enough and although there's no real breaking of new ground it's well enough done and the tale is generally well told with only the very ending being a little disappointing

Bin-jip [3-Iron] (Ki-duk Kim, 2004)

Offbeat but oddly compelling and delightful romantic drama in which the two principal characters barely utter a sound and a story that for me is not so much about the plausibility of what transpires but the emotions invoked and how it makes you feel

Bitter Victory aka Amère Victoire (Nicholas Ray, 1957)

WW II drama that for the most part is very nicely made but I'm not enamoured of the core story and the way it transpires whilst some of the drama veers way too far into melodrama for my taste

Black Rock (Katie Aselton, 2012)

Weak survival thriller that neither has anything new to offer nor reinvents the wheel with any particular aplomb as it runs through familiar tropes and albeit watchable it's pretty poor in parts and the soundtrack is quite irritating in places too

Call Northside 777 (Henry Hathaway, 1948)
+
Nicely made crime drama based on actual events surrounding a prohibition-era Chicago murder and the subsequent journalistic investigation into it more than a decade later in which Stewart employs his stock character but it's perfectly suited to portraying the reporter driving proceedings along

Casshern (Kazuaki Kiriya, 2004)
+
Animé based sci-fi action adventure that has its moments of lucidity where it is enjoyable but is overlong and not the easiest of watches with overlaid imagery at times, a colour palette that may well be stylised but isn't particularly appealing much of the time, a narrative that lacks flow at times and a score that is overblown, intrusive and downright irritating in places

Cidade de Deus [City Of God] (Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund, 2002)
+
Excellent no-frills crime drama about juveniles set amidst the favelas and beaches of Rio where lives are even cheaper than bullets but dreams of escape still occasionally flourish

Cry Wolf (Jeff Wadlow, 2005)

Mediocre horror-thriller that takes far too long to actually get going, has a lead who's delivery really grates imo and even in the 'uncut' version shies away from showing any real graphic detail but it does at least manage to retain a modicum of interest throughout

Dark Passage (Delmere Daves, 1947)

Noirish thriller that thankfully manages to avoid overusing the first person perspective in the first third of proceedings and is a decent enough watch but the story is just a little too pat for my taste

Dead Man's Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)
+
Excellent no frills revenge drama that is at times darkly comic but is inherently bleak and assisted perfectly by the choice of soundtrack and use of both b&w and flashback interspersed into a subject matter that unfolds nicely and naturally evokes a level of empathy which benefits from fine performances by both Paddy Considine and Toby Kebbell as the troubled brothers

Die Mörder sind unter uns [The Murderers Are Among Us] (Wolfgang Staudte, 1946)

Effective post WW II drama that is set amidst the rubble of a war-torn Berlin and for the most part nicely made and beautifully lit, with even the odd moment of melodrama hardly marring a film and managing to avoid being overly preachy with it's message - a film that was both brave in the making and important in it's domestic viewing

Dip huet seung hung [The Killer] (John Woo, 1989)

Action-thriller that doesn't have the greatest score and gets a little overly schmaltzy in places but that's more than countered by the gloriously over-the-top and stylised action while both 'Shrimp Head' and 'Runt' appear to be having almost as much fun as the audience

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (Troy Nixey, 2010)

Fantasy horror remake that manages to create some decent atmosphere in a couple of places but it's all far more childish than horrifying leaving it too childish for adults but too adult for kids imo

Fasandræberne [The Absent One] (Mikkel Nørgaard, 2014)
+
Second in the 'Department Q' crime thriller series could have been pared back a little in terms of duration but it does maintain interest and has decent production values

Flaskepost fra P [A Conspiracy Of Faith aka Department Q: A Conspiracy Of Faith] (Hans Petter Moland, 2016)
+
Third in the crime thriller series takes a while to really get going and stretches credulity in places but remains watchable

God Bless America (Bobcat Goldthwait, 2011)
+
Satirical social commentary on aspects of American modern life (and elsewhere) that starts off quite amusing and engaging despite the occasional flat spot and contains a nice piece of irony but sadly gradually and inexorably begins to wane as it continues to beat the same drum before reaching an easily foreseeable and rather lame conclusion

Guardians Of The Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)

Pretty entertaining sci-fi comic-book action adventure that has a few amusing lines sprinkled throughout, some acceptable action scenes and Karen Gillan's make-up is particularly well done but the story is hardly groundbreaking and as much as I wanted to care about the characters I never really did and as a result the whole affair seemed very slightly overly long

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
+
Absolutely beautifully filmed drama that utilises the power of b&w with a very good performances from Agata Kulesza as the aunt and a promising debut from Agata Trzebuchowska as Anna though the film could have flowed a little better in places and also could have benefitted from a little more meat on it's bones in terms of story imo

Ivanovo detstvo [Ivan's Childhood] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962)

WW II drama that for the most part is quite sublime with it's cinematography in a tale that is both well acted and powerful yet also beautifully understated

Kung Fu [Kung Fu Hustle] (Stephen Chow, 2004)
+
MA comedy that is completely daft and decidedly over the top and although a little patchy and slow to begin with doesn't take too long to build up a head of steam and is hugely fun to watch once it does

La femme infidèle [The Unfaithful Wife] (Claude Chabrol, 1969)

Solid crime drama that may be extremely languid in terms of pace but is none the worse for it and Stéphane Audran is certainly easy on the eye though the score won't be to everyone's taste and is a tad over the top in places whilst the conclusion feels a little abrupt

Lat sau san taam [Hard Boiled] (John Woo, 1992)

Superb action thriller that may not be the best film ever made but is certainly one of the most fun to watch with some beautifully orchestrated action pieces and a final act that delivers in spades

Monsters University (Dan Scanlon, 2013)

Moderately amusing animated comedy prequel but sadly employs a rather predictable story arc and is somewhat reliant on the likeability of it's central characters

New Guy aka The New Guy (Bilge Ebiri, 2003)
+
Low-budget comedy/horror with not very high production values in which the dry humour is rarely funny and events far more ridiculous and contrived than horrifying that may have been better served as a short imo

Onibaba [Demon Woman] (Kaneto Shindô, 1964)

Dark drama that is beautifully shot and acted in a setting perfect for the tale and although the score feels a little odd at the very beginning that too soon becomes perfectly suited to the visuals

Pionér [Pioneer] (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 2013)

Thriller set in the oil & gas sector that has an interesting enough storyline and is reasonably well made but is also just a little predictable and ultimately underwhelming

Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002)
+
Bio-drama adventure that may not have the strongest beginning but soon draws the viewer into it's tale which is filmed quite beautifully with strong performances in the central roles

Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales] (Damián Szifron, 2014)

Anthology of six tales, some naturally more satisfying than others but there are some very nice touches of dark humour throughout (and possibly the most thrilling in-car fight scene ever ) making the whole an enjoyable watch

Sanctum (Alister Grierson, 2011)
+
Adventure thriller that for me just does far too much that irritates - an overpaced initial act that doesn't allow any rapport to be built, a score that doesn't always fit and actually grates at times, the spurning of generating any real claustrophobia in the action scenes despite many having no depth of field ... not to mention how irritating or twee the script, characterisations and/or events are at times

Shurayuki-hime [Lady Snowblood aka Lady Snowblood: Blizzard From The Netherworld] (Toshiya Fujita, 1973)
+
Period revenge drama that suffers a little from editing and camerawork that is occasionally a little below standard whilst in the early stages mixes its timelines just a little too often for my liking but the majority of the tale is well told and the moments of arterial spray or amputation deliciously over the top as befits a movie of this ilk

Shurayuki-hime: Urami koiuta [Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song Of Vengeance] (Toshiya Fujita, 1974)

Period sequel that doesn't have the same simplistic appeal of storyline and lacks the flair and passion of the original for much of it's runtime but has it's moments and is still a fun enough watch

State Of Emergency (Turner Clay, 2011)
+
Moderate zombie sci-horror that brings nothing new to the table and is a little short on excitement (with some of the action somewhat less than stellar) but does manage to generate a little atmosphere and even a soupçon of tension once or twice

The Devil's Sleep (W Merle Connell, 1949)

Technically substandard crime drama with poor acting and a weak script that goes on to pontificate and moralise about the dangers of drugs and adolescents in the closing stages but remains watchable even if it is in a car-crash type of way

The Gift (Sam Raimi, 2000)
+
Mystery thriller with horror overtones that has a strong central performance from Cate Blanchett ably assisted by the supporting cast in a tale that evolves quite nicely even if, up until the final twist, also rather unsurprisingly

The Gift (Joel Edgerton, 2015)
+
Mystery thriller that starts a little weakly with neither script nor acting hitting the mark at times but does gradually improve and although the tale hardly breaks new ground and is rather predictable it is managed well enough to maintain interest to a conclusion that would have been far better if just alluded to

The Hitcher (Robert Harmon, 1986)

Somewhat ridiculous thriller that is best not scrutinised but certainly has it's moments where it's a great ride and never fails to entertain

The Monuments Men (George Clooney, 2014)

WW II drama based on reality that is competently made and certainly amusing in places but the whole affair feels derivative with a tone that not only chops and changes but also doesn't particularly work well plus a score and voiceover that are pretty irritating at times

The Rover (David Michôd, 2014)
+
Post-apocalyptic crime drama that's perfectly watchable but doesn't really deliver for me as it perhaps should, partly due to the soundtrack - which grates at times - and partly because I really don't care for any of the characters during events that are sporadic with far too much uneventful 'road trip' inbetween

The Stranger (Orson Welles, 1946)

Noirish crime thriller that is a little overly melodramatic at times in the first third but eventually settles down to be a nice, taut tale even if it does suffer from a wont to preach to the audience in the odd place

The Tall Man (Pascal Laugier, 2012)

Mystery drama that deliberately obfuscates what is transpiring at first and has a nice performance from Jessica Biel in the lead but in doing so it initially fails to engage and an early action sequence that is rather poorly managed further detracts from interest in proceedings

The Windmill Massacre aka The Windmill (Nick Jongerius, 2016)

A hackneyed storyline and poor script alongside some weak acting and overplayed tropes that sadly aren't even redeemed by a number of decent kills which means although watchable it's no more than a run of the (wind)mill 'slasher'

When The Sky Falls (John Mackenzie, 2000)

Crime drama recounting events that led up to the murder of Irish crime journalist Veronica Guerin (though with names changed) and although reasonably well made and a subject of interest does drag and seem longer than it's runtime

Yeogo goedam 4: Moksori [Voice aka The Voice / Whispering Corridors 4: Voice] (Equan Choi, 2005)
+
Penultimate entry in the Korean 'ghost school' quintet is a multi-layered tale brought to life well with nice performances and use of sound though some of the visual effects are a little underwhelming and imo the runtime could have been slightly shortened in the middle third

Young Sherlock Holmes (Barry Levinson, 1985)

Patchy mystery adventure yarn that contains a few moments of fun but although obviously influenced by Indiana Jones (Spielberg is executive producer) it falls quite a way short of that standard albeit perfectly watchable

Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015)
+
Quirky drama that isn't immediately engaging but gradually grows more and more quaint, immersive and enjoyable as it progresses and even one or two of the peripheral characters being a tad contrived and a somewhat overly theatrical ending don't knock proceedings down too much