The Delayed Monthly Update for April 2016

I was away this weekend and didn’t have much time for blogging, and most of what I did have was spent finishing 1999 Week, so that’s why this post is later than normal (and also why I have plenty of your posts & comments still to catch up on!)

(Also-also, if you were wondering where the “top films of 1999” post I promised had got to, I wrote about three-quarters of it before I decided it was rubbish, so I abandoned it. I’m sure I’ve published lots of rubbish on this blog over the years, but never deliberately.)

Anyway, on with what I watched in April…


#68 Of Human Bondage (1934)
#69 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
#70 Cool World (1992)
#71 Warrior (2011)
#72 The Limey (1999)
#73 The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
#74 Election (1999)
#75 The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984), aka Wu Lang ba gua gun
#76 Ghosts of Mars (2001)
#77 Caesar Must Die (2012), aka Cesare deve morire
#78 300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
#79 Lost River (2014)
#80 The Fighter (2010)
#81 Wuthering Heights (2011)
#82 A Royal Night Out (2015)
#83 Locke (2013)
#84 Maleficent (2014)
#85 Christine (1983)
#86 The Iron Giant (1999)
#87 Badlands (1973)
#88 Pixels (2015)

.


  • This is the earliest I’ve ever reached #75 — the previous best was 1st June, last year.
  • Coincidentally, I reached #75 this year on the date that I reached #50 last year (8th April) — which at the time was a record.
  • “What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen” continues at pace with Brad Bird’s popular animated B-movie homage The Iron Giant. I’ve already reviewed it here.
  • Four films from 1999 this month. We know what that led to.


For the fourth month in a row, I’ve crossed the 20 film boundary. Out of 112 months I’ve been doing this, it’s only the 7th time that’s happened. Expressed another way, it only happens 6.25% of the time; before 2016, it only happened 2.78% of the time (and before 2015, it only happened 1.04% of the time!)

The final number of films this month was actually 21, which is slightly behind the 2016 average — but only slightly, because that was 22.3. It’s now adjusted to a round 22. Conversely, being five films better than April’s previous best, it raises the April average from 8.25 to 9.67.

Predictions are typically futile, though it’s beginning to look like I’ll be away for most of December, which throws an interesting variable in the mix. (I say “interesting” in a relative sense.) Of course, “most” is not “all”, so it likely won’t count for 0 — but will it reach the 10-per-month minimum I’ve been holding steady on for nearly two years now? Well, that’s a discussion for December itself. In the meantime, even if December doesn’t reach 10, my final tally should be in excess of 160 — easily enough to score the second best year ever. If I hew closer to that 22 average, 2016 could wind up passing 250…



Foreign deconstructions of American values, genre revisionism, high camp, one of the greatest Bond films, and paternal revelations — it’s all go in this month’s eight favourites!



The 11th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
Quite an easy choice this month. Films that are made ‘artily’ (for want of a better word) sit on a fine line, for me: too far one way and they tip off into pretentious dullardom, but get it right and they can be utterly fantastic. A couple of films erred on the right side of that line this month, thankfully, but only one really nailed it, and that was The Limey.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
Even in a month that includes multiple critically-reviled films (Cool World, Ghosts of Mars, Lost River, Pixels), my pick for this category was really easy — and it’s none of those. This winner’s predecessor wasn’t exactly high art (far from it), but it had something to it — some innovation; some merit in its extremeness. This sequel doesn’t have that. For being almost entirely vacuous and looking cheap as chips, this month’s travesty of cinema is 300: Rise of an Empire.

Most Inexplicably Popular Film of the Month
I’m going to steal a bit from the draft of my forthcoming review to explain this one: “The weirdest thing is, this is the kind of movie I regularly give 4-stars to, while loads of other people give it 3 and I think they’re being a bit harsh but I can see where they’re coming from. Yet somehow Warrior transcends such criticism from people who usually have too much ‘taste’ — they acknowledge it’s terribly clichéd, but then give it a pass on that. Why? Why don’t you give the same leniency to the tonnes of other movies you cruelly rip to shreds for their clichés?” (For more on this theme, see table9mutant’s review.)

Most Critically-Reviled Film of the Month That I Actually Really Enjoyed
As I alluded to above, there are several contenders for this trophy (not Cool World, though — that is rubbish). Leaving aside a couple of sci-fi blockbusters that, while not as bad as many critics made out, are still not really more than “entertaining while they’re on”, the winner here is Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River. Heavily influenced by other filmmakers, certainly, and almost self-consciously elliptical with its pace and storytelling, I nonetheless thought there was a lot to like if you’re open to ‘that kind of film’ (think Lynch).

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
Thanks to a retweet by Film4, views for Starman went through the roof (relative to my normal posts, anyway). It wasn’t enough to challenge Harry Potter 1&2 for the most-viewed post of the month overall, but then nothing ever is.


Once upon a time, I made a comment that can be summarised as, “Perhaps one day I could reach #100 in May — ha ha ha ha ha, like that could ever happen!”

Well…

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7 thoughts on “The Delayed Monthly Update for April 2016

  1. Does this mean when you reach 100 in the summer you change your blog to 200 Films In A Year? Crazy as that sounds, maybe that should be your target every year as you cruise to 100 fairly easily now. Victim of your own success, so to speak. I’ll shut up now before you start screaming at me…

    Congrats though. Now I’ve tried putting a count on how many (new) films I watch, I see 100 as a tough target. So where you’re heading towards (150? 170?) seems plain nuts. I don’t think I could cope with all the bad ‘uns to be honest. Which raises the question how many good films feature in a list of 100 films, or how difficult it is to maintain a list of quality films whilst still hitting 100 in a year. Which raises the issue that while I’d like to reach 100 films this year, I’m not willing to waste my time watching bad films getting there. I’m too old for that!

    Theres an idea for your blog – 100 QUALITY Films in a Year.. What total would you be on now, if you had that criteria?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is continually baffling to me that there have been years where I failed to make 100, plus others where I only just made it, and yet this year & last I’ve sailed there. (Well, I’m not there yet, but 1.5 films a month sounds doable!) It’s partly that I’ve made a concerted effort to watch more films, but I also don’t feel like I’m trying that hard. Anyway, I know how tough it can be even making 100, so I’m certainly not about to become one of those dicks who are like, “100? That’s only 2 a week! It’s easy!”

      The quality point is another strange one. I’ve also made an effort to stop watching time-wasters (because there have been times I’ve watched stuff I knew would be mediocre/crap, but easy going, just to get the numbers up), and mostly I’ve been watching stuff I think is very good. I have watched some poor films this year, but there have only been one or two that I wish I hadn’t bothered with. But the number of 5-stars I’ve awarded this year is lower than I’d expect — it’s at about 9%, and my all-time percentage as of last December was 17.2%. So… I’m not sure what that signifies, really. I guess you always have to take the rough with the smooth, to an extent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah there’s plenty of good stuff out there, plenty of unwatched ‘classics’ as well as pretty good new films (i often act as though everything post-2000 is shite, but thats patently wrong. Mostly). The Revenant, for example, is a great film and Marvels latest aint too shabby either. They are still far too rare though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link! I still say that Warrior is the equivalent of a chick flick for men. Hmm. What would you call those…?? Oh! D*** Flicks! Sorry, I thought that might be a little rude so I put the stars in. But I had to type that as it popped into my head & made me giggle like Beavis & Butthead. ; ) Ugh – I’ve just watched Pixels too. Not that I expected much. And I’m currently about 40 minutes into For A Few Dollars More! (I gotta do these Westerns in small chunks…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Dick flicks” is one of those names that seems so obvious once you hear it! Accurate, too, though I guess a bit too rude to enter common usage. Shame.

      I kinda liked Pixels. I mean, there are bits of it that are uncomfortably bad (I’m certainly not about to become an Adam Sandler film!), but chunks of it I quite enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

        • It was a bit sloppily done, like they thought it was such a ridiculous idea they didn’t need to think any of it through. I’ve seen some people wish they’d do a sequel, to make more of that potential, but it seems pretty unlikely to me!

          Liked by 1 person

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