The Fluctuant Monthly Review of October 2019

October was very nearly my weakest month in almost a decade (9½ years, to be precise), saved from that fate at literally the last minute, as the story of what may very well be 100 Films’ most fluctuant year continues…


#130a Fifteen (2018), aka Quince
#130b Cumulus (2018)
#130c Pleased to Eat You! (2019)
#130d Special Delivery (2018)
#130e Allan + Waspy (2019)
#131 Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans (2019)
#132 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two (2012)
#133 For Sama (2019)
#134 The Fear of God: 25 Years of “The Exorcist” (1998)


  • So, I watched four new feature films in October.
  • It was very nearly just three, until I watched that Mark Kermode Exorcist documentary (which was freshly added to BBC iPlayer for Halloween) late last night. And whether or not that counts as a film is debatable. (The one on iPlayer is an extended cut that Kermode calls the “festival cut” because it was only shown at film festivals, which I think means it’s a film, so it counts.)
  • As I said at the start, you’d have to go back 9½ years, to April 2010, to find another month with so few films.
  • But for four you only have to go back to June this year. Nonetheless, that means October is tied as the lowest-totalling month of 2019 (for now…)
  • Unsurprisingly, it’s not even close to any of the usual array of averages I mention, and so it brings them all down — taking October’s average from 14.0 to 13.2; the average for 2019 to date from 14.4 to 13.4; and the rolling average of the last 12 months from 15.4 to 14.4.
  • The run of shorts I watched at the start of the month almost doubles that tally for the year. It was a FilmBath thing, which also means there’ll be more next month.
  • Neither a Blindspot nor a WDYMYHS film this month, which leaves me with quite a few to catch up (seven in total) with just two months of the year left.
  • From last month’s “failures” I watched only Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (see Rewatchathon).



The 53rd Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
A film that, frankly, I might’ve overlooked were it not for most of the rest of the FilmBath office talking about how great it was, Channel 4’s hard-hitting war documentary For Sama.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
This is an even easier choice: of course it’s Breaking Dawn: Part Two.

Favourite Short Film of the Month
Sorry to recommend this when I don’t think it’s freely available to see anywhere, but Pleased to Eat You! is bloody brilliant. Look out for it. (If you’re in the area, FilmBath are screening it before Little Monsters.)

Most Disappointing Non-Appearance of the Month
Not meaning to spoil anything (it’s kinda shown in the trailer anyway), but the storyline of Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans involves amassing different iterations of the Titans from across the multiverse… but that doesn’t include the cast of the live-action version, Titans. Okay, it might’ve been hard to integrate them with the animation, plus they’d’ve had to actually get the cast together, but it still seemed like a missed opportunity.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
Even though I’ve been posting a lot less recently, my number of monthly hits has stayed within the same range — but, over the past few months, the number of unique visitors has started dropping a lot. This month, it dropped to its lowest level since June 2017. Well, fair enough. But what I find weird is that the ups and downs of both views & visitors have always been in sync before, so I don’t know why they’ve started separating. Anyway, this is meant to be about this month’s posts. Despite going up just 38 hours before October ended, the winner is this month’s TV column.



Things aren’t looking any rosier down here. I should be at #41 by now, but instead all I’ve got is this…

#24 Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

My brief review (linked above) possibly doesn’t do justice to my feelings about this movie (i.e. I love it!) I mean, I didn’t even mention the guest voice cast, which has some superb cameos. Partly that’s to do with not ruining gags and surprises, I guess. Still, I feel I could’ve and should’ve done better on that one. I did include it on my best-of-year list, at least.


No cinema trips this month, so I’ve missed a bunch of big releases, not least the super-discourse-provoking Joker; the third attempt at Terminator 3, Dark Fate; the inevitable flop Gemini Man (and it was showing in 3D HFR near me too, which I’m never likely to have a chance to see it in again); and the second Shaun the Sheep movie, Farmageddon.

More big-screen misses resurfaced on disc this week, namely X-Men: Dark Phoenix (in 4K) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (in 3D). I also picked up a handful of Criterion titles in a Zoom sale (Do the Right Thing, The Magnificent Ambersons, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, and Panique); a selection of Asian movies (re)released by Arrow (Oldboy, with Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and Lady Vengeance) and Eureka (King Hu’s The Fate of Lee Khan and three films with Sammo Hung (Eastern Condors, The Magnificent Butcher, and The Iron-Fisted Monk); I finally managed to get a great deal on the Spider-Man Legacy 4K set (containing Sam Raimi’s trilogy and Marc Webb’s duology); and I ended the month with Arrow’s new release of An American Werewolf in London, which made me glad I never got round to upgrading from DVD to the previous BD. (Whew! That’s quite a lot, really, isn’t it?)

Finally, there were a few big name releases on streaming this month. Most discussed was probably Netflix’s Breaking Bad sequel, El Camino. Well, I’ve still not seen any of Breaking Bad, so it’ll be a long time before I watch that. Higher on my watch list are the new Steven Soderbergh, The Laundromat, and Eddie Murphy true-story comedy Dolemite is My Name, which looks like a lot of fun. There was also In the Tall Grass, which I’ve heard mixed things about. Amazon had no brand-new additions to equal that lineup, but I did spot a few archive adds of interest, including Robin Williams sci-fi thriller The Final Cut, arthouse classic La Dolce Vita, and Liam Neeson’s latest revenge thriller Cold Pursuit.


FilmBath Festival should guarantee a tally over ten films, as the rollercoaster of my 2019 monthly totals continues.

Another Month Bites the Dust: The Monthly Update for October 2018

Another month gone and another month gone, another month bites the dust. Hey, I’m gonna get November too! Another month bites the dust!

(So, I didn’t actually get to see Bohemian Rhapsody this month, but I thought of this title and it was too good to miss.)


#207 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)
#208 Prevenge (2016)
#209 Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)
#210 TiMER (2009)
#211 Suspiria (1977)
#212 Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999), aka Jin-Rô
#213 Matinee (1993)
#214 Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage (1966), aka Zatôichi umi o wataru
#215 The Night Comes for Us (2018)
#216 The Producers (1967)
#217 Rocky Balboa (2006)
#218 It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
#219 Unsane (2018)
#220 The Lives of Others (2006), aka Das Leben der Anderen
#221 Phantom Thread (2017)
#222 Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Suspiria

Phantom Thread

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  • This month I watched 16 new films. It’s not the best month of the year, but it’s not the worst, either.
  • It beats the October average (previously 13.8, now 14.0), but not the rolling average of the last 12 months (previously 21.0, now 20.4), nor the average for 2018 to date (previously 22.9, now 22.2).
  • One of those 16 was Rocky Balboa, which means I’ve now watched all the main Rocky films for the first time this year. That wasn’t the plan when Rocky scraped onto my WDYMYHS list in last place! But at some point I made the conscious decision to finish them (rather than let them spread out indefinitely, like many other series I’m in the middle of), and I’ve enjoyed them all (even Rocky V). With Creed II out at the end of November, I intend to get fully caught up on the entire Rocky legacy very soon.
  • This month’s Blindspot film: colourful and sonically bombastic horror in Dario Argento’s original Suspiria. I’ve been saving it all year for this month (for hopefully obvious reasons), and it didn’t disappoint.
  • This month’s WDYMYHS film: superb behind-the-Berlin-wall dramatic thriller The Lives of Others. And, as I only do ten of them, that’s the final WDYMYHS film for 2018!



The 41st Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
Lots of enjoyable films this month, including some high-quality Oscar winners… but it was October, aka horror month, which just tips the scales in favour of Suspiria. It was the first Dario Argento film I’ve seen, but I look forward to experiencing more.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
There’s no point beating about the bush: it was definitely The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

Best Demonstration That Shooting On Film Is Still Better of the Month
Phantom Thread may’ve looked gorgeous in 35mm-derived UHD, but nothing reminds you of the beauty of film quite like Unsane’s fugly shot-on-iPhone visuals.

Most Gratuitous Nude Scene Without Any Nudity of the Month
Bella and Edward going skinny dipping before finally consummating their marriage was barely necessary, but at least the whole series had basically been building to the point when they finally do it. Megan Fox going for a completely unmotivated nudey dip in Jennifer’s Body, on the other hand, was… well, gratuitous.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
For only the fifth time this year, the winner of this award is not my TV column. In fact, it’s the second most-viewed winner of this award in 2018 (behind Avengers: Infinity War’s huge tally back in April). That would be Netflix’s Indonesian actioner The Night Comes for Us.

Leaving aside new posts, my overall most-read post of the month by an absolute mile (much higher than any other post has ever managed in a single month, barring that time Cracked.com linked to me, which is mainly why I’m mentioning it) was last month’s TV review. Why? Well, it included my review of Bodyguard, which, following its phenomenal success in the UK, debuted on Netflix in the rest of the world last week. It previously won Most-Viewed New Post in September, but in October it received over six times as many hits!



My Rewatchathon continues apace…

#39 School of Rock (2003)
#40 Face/Off (1997)
#41 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

Face/Off was one of the films I put into my 100 Favourites without rewatching, but if I had… well, I’m not saying I wouldn’t’ve included it, but I wouldn’t’ve given it 5 stars. It’s sort of terrible… but it goes about its business so outrageously and so ridiculously that it’s also sort of glorious. If it didn’t star Travolta and Cage or wasn’t directed by John Woo, I think it would’ve been a disaster; but they all carry out their roles with OTT abandon, and that’s actually what makes the ludicrous material work.

The South Park movie was going to become the latest in my ongoing series of “films I’ve owned forever on a DVD that I’ve never played, but were available on a streaming service in HD so I watched there instead”. Not that South Park’s self-consciously simplistic animation is crying out for the extra detail of 1080p, but a bit of crispness never hurt. But then it turned out it was only available to stream in SD anyway (goodness knows why — an HD version definitely exists because there’s a Blu-ray available in several territories), so I decided to pop in the DVD after all. But then I couldn’t find where my DVD copy was, so I elected to just watch the streaming version after all. What a story, eh? Look out for the movie adaptation, coming soon…

Oh, and the film was pretty good. It’s nearly 20 years old and has dated somewhat, but the vulgar irreverence has its charms.


A new Coen brothers movie! A new Orson Welles movie! Chris Pine’s penis! And that’s just on Netflix…

The Lost in Time, Like Tears in Rain, Monthly Update for October 2017

This month includes three shorts and two feature films in the Blade Runner universe, one of them a contender for Film of the Year. Now I just need to dig out the old computer game…


#129 Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
#130 Public Access (1993)
#130a Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 (2017)
#130b 2036: Nexus Dawn (2017)
#130c 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017)
#131 Perfect Sense (2011)
#132 Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
#133 The Straight Story (1999)
#134 Manchester by the Sea (2016)
#135 Assassin’s Creed 3D (2016)
#136 Frost/Nixon (2008)
#137 Vixen (2017)
#138 What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
#139 Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D (2008)
#140 Train to Busan (2016), aka Busanhaeng
#141 Silence (2016)
#142 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
#143 Rurouni Kenshin (2012), aka Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins
#144 The Heat (2013)
#145 Moon (2009)
#146 RocknRolla (2008)
#147 In the Loop (2009)
#148 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
#149 Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno (2014), aka Rurōni Kenshin: Kyôto taika-hen
#150 The Exorcist (1973)
#151 Vehicle 19 (2013)
Blade Runner 2049

Train to Busan

Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno

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  • With 23 new feature films watched this month, October becomes the best month of 2017 so far, beating the 20 of March.
  • It smashes the October average (12.78), raising it over one whole film in the process (to 13.8). It’s not the highest October ever, but October 2015 is my highest-ever month, so, you know.
  • It also surpasses the average for 2017 to date (14.2; now 15.1) and the rolling average of the last 12 months (13.83; now 14.58).
  • Reaching #151 means 2017 is already my third best year. I’d have to reach #196 for second place, which I’m not on track to do. But come the end of the year I’ll factor in the Rewatchathon too, and that may say differently…
  • This month’s Blindspot film: it was Halloween, so I saved the film still advertised as “the scariest of all time” for October — William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. S’not that scary. S’good, though.
  • This month’s WDYMYHS film: with Duncan Jones’ new film coming to Netflix sometime this year, I finally got round to the movie that made his name (and his Twitter name in particular), Moon.



The 29th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
There were a fair few films I enjoyed a lot this month — indeed, when I’m finally done reviewing them, there could be as many as nine five-star ratings handed out (that’d be 39% of this month’s films, well above my average of 16.7%). In most months that’d make this a very tough choice, but after only a little consideration it’s clear that the winner has to be Blade Runner 2049.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
Conversely, there were a few clangers too — again, several I’d be happy to give this dishonour to. The most egregious of them all was Vehicle 19, a thriller whose high concept was right up my alley, but was so poorly realised that I’ll be giving it a very low score indeed.

Film I Most Often Forgot to Review This Month
I watched Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows partly so I could review it the day his Thor sequel hit UK cinemas… but I forgot. Then I discovered it was going to be on BBC Two last Sunday night… but that was only 55 minutes before it was due to start. I guess next I’ll aim to tie my review to Thor 3 coming out in the US… but I’ll probably forget.

Most Surprisingly Popular Review of the Month
My most-read post for the past two months in a row is The Past Fortnight on TV #22. Is that because of The Defenders? The Game of Thrones finale? The long-awaited return of Agent Cooper to Twin Peaks? Well, I’m sure they all helped, but my stats say the highest number of referrals from IMDb (far higher than anything else in that post) came from Designated Survivor. Who’d’ve thunk it?

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
Reviews of new cinema releases almost always do well, and so two of them duked it out for the top spot this month: Blade Runner 2049, which sat clear for most of the month, and Thor: Ragnarok, which took a run at it in the last week. With 24 hours to go it was still a tight race: they were separated by fewer hits than Thor had typically been getting in a day. But in the end the Marvel movie didn’t get anywhere near that many yesterday, leaving Blade Runner 2049 this month’s victor.



I always thought that the next time I watched Blade Runner it would be to finally see the original theatrical version. That’ll have to wait for another day: because I was rewatching it the night before 2049, it seemed most appropriate to choose the ‘official’ final version.

#36 Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982/2007)
#37 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
#38 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
#39 Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
#40 The Reckless Moment (1949)

I’ve got a long list of things to consider rewatching for this project, but that’s frequently going ignored in favour of where my whims take me. So, after randomly alighting on Wayne’s World last month, I fancied carrying on through Mike Myers’ oeuvre, thus all three Austin Powers flicks are here (with my short Letterboxd comments on each linked to above). It’ll be Shrek next. (That was a joke, but, actually, it is something I’ve been planning to rewatch…)

Finally, film noir The Reckless Moment. I first watched it over a decade ago (and reviewed it here) and have been meaning to revisit it for a lot of that time because I thought I’d been unfair to it. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s got a lot of good stuff — the cast, the direction, the concept — but parts of it are rushed or underemphasised. Although it’s not all it could be, I feel like something will keep drawing me back to it. Not any time soon — that’s not in my nature — but someday. Maybe, ironically, some of the appeal lies in the imperfections.


As 2017 hurtles towards 2018, the big screen offers up a death on a train, a marmalade-loving bear, and a league of justice. Feel free to guess which is the only one of those I’m likely to bother going to the cinema for.

The Strange Monthly Update for October 2016

TV dominated my viewing this month, with whole seasons of Luke Cage, Red Dwarf, and Ripper Street released, plus sundry other shows, new and old — so many I’m not even going to list them. And I’m currently most of the way through Stranger Things too (more on that in next month’s TV round-up).

Despite that, I still found the time to watch a decent number of films — in fact, October isn’t even the lowest-totalling month this year.

And those films were…


#158 The Russia House (1990)
#159 The Quay Brothers in 35mm (2015)
—#159a In Absentia (2000)
—#159b Quay (2015)
—#159c The Comb (From the Museums of Sleep) (1990)
—#159d Street of Crocodiles (1986)
#160 A Knight’s Tale (2001)
#161 The Big Short (2015)
#162 Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2016)
#163 Moneyball (2011)
#164 Raising Arizona (1987)
#165 The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016)
#166 The Transporter Refuelled (2015)
#167 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
#168 Cover Girl (1944)
#169 Doctor Strange (2016)
#170 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
#171 The Witch (2015), aka The VVitch: A New-England Folktale
The Russia House

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Doctor Strange

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  • I watched 14 new films this month, for the 29th consecutive month with 10+ films.
  • No WDYMYHS film this month, the first time I’ve faltered this year. Concerted effort at a double-bill in November, then.
  • 2016 slips behind 2015 for the first time this month: by the end of October last year I’d reached #172, whereas this year it’s only #171. Not a huge difference, but how much more will that gap widen over the next two months? Well, November 2015 was unexceptional, but I’m away for most of this December (more on that this time next month). Time will tell.
  • Two Le Carré adaptations this month, The Russia House and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Later in November, Our Kind of Traitor is coming to Amazon Prime Video; and of course we had The Night Manager earlier this year. I would say I’ll be Le Carré’d out, but his stuff is so darn good.
  • I can’t spend a whole month watching horror movies like some people do — if I spend a week watching one kind of thing I’ll usually get fed up of it. Nonetheless, I had a whole load of horror movies lined up for the last weekend or so of October… but then Stranger Things happened. Well, it happened in July, but I finally got round to it. Anyway, that’s why the extent of my horror viewing became New Moon and The VVitch.



The 17th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
Quite a few films I liked this month, but only a couple that stand out as worthy of a “favourite” award. The biggest pleasant surprise was Cold War spy thriller The Russia House, an underrated Le Carré adaptation.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
Oh, but this one’s hard! A couple of weaker films are spared this award by a pair of horrors: Fox’s Rocky Horror remake and the second Twilight movie, New Moon. Which was worse? Rocky Horror was insultingly poor, but it did have a couple of enjoyable parts, whereas New Moon was just dull.

Best Worst Fake Action Movie Title Ever
Face Punch! Whatever else it does or doesn’t offer, I will always be grateful to the Twilight saga for giving us the scene where they decide to go and see Face Punch.

The “Oh, Look Who It Is! This Must’ve Been Before He Was Famous” Award
goes to The Russia House, for featuring an abundance of recognisable British faces in smaller roles, from Martin Clunes as an aide who doesn’t have a single line of dialogue, to David “grandad from Outnumbered” Ryall as Sean Connery’s chum whose face we don’t even see properly because he’s filmed half from behind.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
Whether or not people wanted to do the Time Warp again I don’t know, but it certainly seems they wanted to read about it: my review of Fox’s dire The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again isn’t just my most-viewed new post of October, it’s already my most-viewed new post of 2016.



More of the most popular movies of all time in this month’s selection, starring big damn actors, made by big damn directors, and featuring big damn heroes.


As my 10th year of 100 Films heads into the home straight, I’m not only thinking about what the final tally for 2016 will be, but also my total for the past decade of doing this blog. Exciting times.

The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Monthly Update for October 2015

It was inevitable that the sheer size of September’s accomplishment would overshadow whatever I watched in October. After all, it was my highest-viewing month for over eight years — how long would it be before I could say that again?

Turns out: one month.

Though, actually, October 2015 isn’t my highest month for eight years — it’s my highest month ever.

(Alright, I promise to never use memes again.)


In a conversation in last month’s comment section, Tom of Digital Shortbread observed that my monthly updates had “lots and lots of stuff to take in”. As I responded, “I think I may have overloaded these monthly posts,” and I think I was right.

So this month I’ve slightly pared back, simplified, and rearranged (you can now find the Arbies right at the end, here) to focus in on what these are meant to be about: a progress report on my eponymous goal. Exorcised categories may resurface in other forms later, and things will be even more streamlined from December when my archive reposts are complete — and when I haven’t watched the most number of films ever, of course — but this is fundamentally it for the new new-look monthly updates.

The first thing I’ve done away with is the contents list, so it’s straight in to:


#142 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
#143 The Wrestler (2008)
#144 The Fifth Estate (2013)
#145 Twilight (2008)
#146 Ender’s Game (2013)
#147 sex, lies, and videotape (1989)
#148 Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
#149 Supermen of Malegaon (2008)
#149a The Crying of Lot 49 (2007)
#150 Parabellum (2015)
#151 Dreams of a Life (2011)
#152 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
#153 Wings (1927)
#154 Jurassic World (2015)
#155 The Decoy Bride (2011)
#156 Coherence (2013)
#157 Circle (2015)
#158 Europa Report (2013)
#159 Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
#160 The Grandmaster (2013), aka Yi dai zong shi
#161 Back in Time (2015)
#162 Stoker (2013)
#163 The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920), aka Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam
#164 Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
#165 Mr. Holmes (2015)
#166 Life Itself (2014)
#167 The Machine (2013)
#168 Spectre (2015)
#169 Jupiter Ascending (2015)
#170 The Babadook (2014)
#171 Blue Ruin (2013)
#172 You’re Next (2011)


  • One more What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen film this month: Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. I’ve got four left to get through in the next two months, now.
  • As I mentioned in my review, I was going to review the entire Twilight Saga for Halloween, but a free month of Netflix (which I had to take now lest it expire (oh the hardship)) saw to that.
  • Relatedly, a point about director Bill Condon: if the Twilight plan had gone ahead, he’d’ve gone from “never seen one of his films” to one of my top twenty-something most-reviewed directors in just one month. But I didn’t, so he doesn’t… for now.
  • After last month’s awesomely wide decade spread, this month I watched two films from the ’20s, one each from the ’70s and ’80s, four from the 2000s… and 24 from the 2010s. Business as normal, then.
  • I don’t think I watch a great many documentaries (though I have no stats to back that up), but this month I watched five. However many I watch normally, that’s certainly high for one month.
  • I also watched ten sci-fi films this month. That’s less surprising, but it’s still a relatively large amount.
  • Finally: thanks to all those films, the header image took me a couple of hours to put together. I mean that literally — it took the best part of two hours.


After discussing last month the uncertainty of how many films I watched in August 2007, which makes it hard to know whether it’s been surpassed or not… well, this month I soundly, definitively, unquestionably overtook it: that long, long list above adds up to 31 new feature films.

Now I just need to do it twice more and the August 2007 issue can be put to bed forever. I can tell you for nothing, it won’t happen this year (but we’ll come to that).

So what else is there to say about those 31 films? Well, obviously it maintains my ten-per-month goal, for the 17th month in a row now. It’s also the second month in a row with over 20 films, the first time that’s ever happened… which is unsurprising when you remember that before 2015 I’d only ever had one month with over 20 films. It also surpasses last October’s tally, because, obviously. That’s a full 12 consecutive months besting the previous year’s counterpart. And it goes without saying that it’s the best October ever (by 17) and the best month of 2015 (by eight).

For most of 2015 the rolling monthly average has been 15 films per month. September dragged it up to 15.67, the first time it had been closer to 16 since January was 16. October’s tally is pretty much double that, in the process single-handedly dragging the average all the way up to 17.2! It has even more of an effect on the all-time October monthly average, which goes from 10.0 to 12.6.

And all other year-to-date and entire-year records have already been smashed in previous months, so that’ll next be worth discussing after December.

So what about predictions for the remaining two months of 2015? Well, in January I laughed at the ridiculous suggestion that I could make it to 192 by the end of the year. That’s now just 20 films away, meaning I only need to watch my ‘minimum’ 10 films per month to pass it. And 192… well, that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from 200. 200! 200! Two frickin’ hundred!

Now, let’s calm back down, because there are challenges in the way of such a bold target: later in November I’m away for most of a week, and there are a couple of time-filling TV series on the way (more on that in a bit), which will likely roll over into December, and before you know it it’ll be Christmas and all the travelling and spending time with family will hamper proceedings somewhat. Damn family.

Away from the real world and in the realm of numbers and statistics, though, we can conjure up the following array of possibilities. If I only reach my historical average viewing levels for November and December, I’ll make it to 190 — and thereby miss the aforementioned ten-per-month target, so I’ll be thoroughly upset with myself if that happens. As mentioned, achieving that target for two more months places me at 192. If I continue my other on-going streak — of surpassing the same month last year — than I’ll wind up at 202. If I manage the monthly average that I maintained for most of the year, that also puts me at 202. If I can hold up the new average of 17.2, though, I’ll get all the way to 206.

206! 206! Two hundred and frickin’ six!

Well, we’ll see.



This month’s flood of reposts takes us all the way through my recaps of 2008 to 2011, leaving the way clear for next month to be all about the year-end summary posts.

The pictures are all a bit samey, so let me guide you though them in clumps. The month began with a week-long rush through all of 2008, 2009, and the start of 2010:

Then it was on to the first ever monthly updates, which cover the bulk of 2010:

Finally, the entirety of 2011, across twelve monthly updates:

Now, 2011’s summaries are already online — you can peruse the full list and all the exciting statistics here, and learn about my top ten and bottom five here. Next month, as I mentioned, I’ll be reposting the summaries for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, one year per weekend.



The 5th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
In a month with so many films, there’s a fair chance a lot of them will be good — indeed, 15 of October’s films are on the long-list for my year-end top ten (I’m quite liberal with what goes on that list, but still). Pushing aside mind-boggling done-for-real action, hugely successful reboots of childhood favourites, atmospheric Gothic thrillers, and thoroughly terrifying horrors, is a little documentary that was shown in the middle of the night on Channel 4 about a bunch of amateur filmmakers in India. The only one of those 15 to have definitely reserved a place on my top ten is the life-enhancing Supermen of Malegaon.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
Similarly, in a month with so many films there’s a fair chance a few of them will be bad. There would indeed be a few contenders for the October wooden spoon, but they were all saved the dishonour by a rare single-star film: dull arthouse SF Parabellum.

Film You Have to Be Most Careful How You Talk About In Case Someone Thinks You’re a Paedophile or Something
One minute it’s Arya Stark having a sexual awakening about her brother, the next it’s Alice in Wonderland having an orgasm when she plays the piano. I think October’s pair of erotically-charged movies starring schoolgirls, The Falling and Stoker, can share this one.

Biggest Nostalgia Hit of the Month
It was pretty special to relive some of my childhood favourites through the documentaries Turtle Power (I had so many of the toys they showed!) and Back in Time (I really need to re-watch the BTTF trilogy), but this honour goes to the hair-raising thrill elicited when John Williams’ memorable theme swells under the unveiling of a place full of wonder in Jurassic World.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
This crown was claimed and re-claimed several times during the month, but the final victor may not be that surprising: my moderately-speedy spoiler-free first thoughts on that always-popular topic, a new James Bond film: Spectre.


Jessica Jones comes to Netflix and The Man in the High Castle comes to Amazon Prime — on the same day, frustratingly. I won’t be reviewing either, but they’ll ultimately eat up around 23 hours of my potential film-viewing time, so let’s expect a smaller-scale month than I’ve achieved of late.

In amongst all that, hopefully I’ll finally find time to bloody well re-watch the Veronica Mars movie and bloody well get bloody 2014 bloody finished.

Also, when we meet again for one of these round-ups it’ll be December (already?!) and I’ll be launching my 2015 advent calendar, too. What larks!

October 2014 + Favourite Fairy Tale Films

Lots to get through in this most decimal of months, so I’ll provide you with a nifty ten-point contents list…

  • October’s WDYMYHS entry (if there was one!)
  • Announcing this year’s #100!
  • All of this month’s viewing.
  • Analysis of the above, plus…
  • A note on my quite grand all-time review total.
  • A visual recap of this month’s archive re-posts.
  • A note on changes to some header images (more exciting than that sounds… maybe…)
  • A section I have titled “No longer loving film”…
  • What are your Favourite Fairy Tale Films?
  • And the “next time” bit. Bet no one ever clicks through to that. But this month there’s a poem. Oo-ooh.
  • All in all, it’s a thorough monthly round-up! So let’s get going…


    What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?

    This one’ll be quick: there’s no WDYMYHS film this month. First time I’ve slipped this year.

    Why not? I simply didn’t fancy one. The pool has narrowed to just Oldboy, Rear Window, and Requiem for a Dream, and while I’m sure they’re all great films — and all ones I’ve been keen to see for yonks — an opportunity didn’t arise where they felt right. I could’ve forced one last night, but what’s the point in forcing it?

    Two months remain to make it up. And maybe actually watch Raging Bull like I said I would, too.

    In happier news:


    And #100 is…

    I’ve tried to make previous #100s notable, when possible: in 2007 it was the (then-)greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane; in 2010 it was the most recent Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker; and last year it was the epically epic Lawrence of Arabia. (The other two, Swing Time and The A-Team, are both films I liked, but both were viewed more of necessity than strict “what would be a good #100?” choice.)

    Come this year, then, and what have I chosen for my sixth #100? After being scuppered for several days by not fancying anything too momentous, I threw the desire for meaning out the window and acquiesced to the other half’s request for me to “get that rude-sounding film off the Virgin box”, rendering 2014’s #100 as the debut feature of American Hustle’s David O. Russell, Spanking the Monkey. Here’s my drabble review.

    (It’s an unfortunate coincidence that I’ve posted multiple drabble reviews in the past week. Full-length reviews do continue, and I’m sure there’ll be some soon.)


    Dead Poets SocietyOctober’s films in full

    #98 Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978), aka Se ying diu sau
    #99 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
    #100 Spanking the Monkey (1994)
    #101 The Tourist (2010)
    #102 Edge of Tomorrow (2014), aka Live. Die. Repeat.
    Cockneys vs Zombies#103 Dead Poets Society (1989)
    #104 La Belle et la Bête (1946), aka Beauty and the Beast
    #104a The 10th Kingdom (2000)
    #105 Ten Little Indians (1965)
    #106 Furious 6 (2013), aka Fast & Furious 6
    #107 Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
    #108 Last Action Hero (1993)


    Analysis

    Ooooooone-huuuuuundred!

    Ahem, ‘scuse me. But that’s undoubtedly the headline of this month’s viewing: as you may’ve noticed, I’ve reached #100, for the sixth time out of eight attempts. That’s a 75% success rate — not bad, really. This is the first time I’ve done it in October; a month behind my two earliest years (2007 and 2010 got there in September), ahead of last year’s November finish, and considerably less stressful than the down-to-the-wire December conclusions of 2008 and 2011 (both of which reached #100 on December 31st!)

    This is also the fourth time I’ve passed the 100 films total. The next milestone is last year’s 110, which I’m closing in on (I’m already further ahead than I was at the end of November last year); after that, there’s 2010’s 122 and 2007’s 129 still to overtake. 2007 was my first year and remains unbettered, so it would be just shiny to finally achieve that. I’m 22 films away from that goal, which the averages for this year suggest is possible — a little too possible, actually, as 11-films-a-month is the precise average of the year to date. (Which, you’ll note, makes October a particularly average month.) Alas, history adds no reassurance: my average tally for previous November & December viewing is 17 films — and that’s boosted by strong numbers in 2008 and 2009, too: over the past four years, my Nov./Dec. average total is just 11. Still, 2014 hasn’t played ball when it comes to past averages, so we’ll see.

    And, incidentally, though I ‘only’ watched 11 new films this month, I gave over five film-viewing slots to The 10th Kingdom — if I’d watched countable films instead, I’d be at 16, which would’ve made October my second-best month of 2014. But I didn’t, so it isn’t… but without a similar miniseries re-watch project lined up for the immediate future, November and December’s numbers might benefit.

    It’s all to play for! Which is exciting for me, at least.

    Moving on…


    Niiiiine-huuuuundred

    Also this month, I passed 900 feature film reviews. Sure sounds like a lot to me.

    OK, firstly, I haven’t posted 900 reviews — my backlog’s still quite extensive — but I’ve surpassed 900 films that will be reviewed. I’m somewhere in the 850s right now, I think.

    Secondly, it doesn’t mean I’ve reached #900. The tally includes all the extra reviews I’ve done down the years — the repeat viewings and the not-that-different director’s cuts and so on. The official #900 (as it were) would be this year’s #148. I’m doing well, but that’s not very likely at all. Next year, then.

    And with that, there’s a chance for something even bigger: if I can make it suitably far past #100 this year and next year, one of 2015’s last films will be #1000!

    (For those interested in a more precise number, I need to reach #124 both years for that to happen. Alternatively, if I do make it to a record-breaking #130 this year, then 2015’s #118 would be #1000. There are dozens of other plausible permutations besides those, of course.)


    This month’s archive reviews

    As I discussed a couple of weeks ago, my old stomping ground of FilmJournal is no more. For more on what that means check out the link, but for the purposes of my archive re-posts: they’re now more labour-intensive to complete, and I’m lazy, so there have been fewer. The project will still be finished, but it may take a bit longer than the speed I was churning through them before.

    Nonetheless, the last 31 days have seen 20 reviews re-appear:


    Pretty Pictures, Mk.II

    Back in August 2013, I finally added some header images to my “list of reviews” and “reviews by director” pages. This month, there’s been a little refresh and addition. “List of reviews” remains the same, but “reviews by director” has been updated to reflect my most-reviewed directors — mostly thanks to zombie movies

    George A. Romero barged his way to near the top of the pile when I reviewed all six of his “of the Dead” films this time last year, while World War Z saw Marc Forster tip from the also-rans into the must-includes. There are 20 slots on that banner, and a fourteen-way tie for 18th place means I had to be selective. Quite by chance, I remained alphabetical: Hideaki Anno and James Cameron remain from the previous banner (Cameron due to significance, Anno because I’ll watch Evangelion 3.33 early next year when Manga UK are finally able to release it, which will only cement his place), while Danny Boyle is added. (Directors leaving the banner to make room are Richard Lester, George Lucas, and David Yates.)

    Finally, I’ve finally added a header to the “coming soon” page. That’s a page that lists films I’ve already seen but will review in days to come — it’s looking ‘back to the future’, if you will. And that explains that.


    No longer loving film

    Also this month in the world of 100 Films, I finally cancelled my LOVEFiLM (or, as it’s now known, LOVEFiLM By Post) subscription. I liked it for the ability to rent pretty much anything released on disc (a far better selection than any streaming service offers, not to mention the comparative picture quality), but between all the stuff I’ve bought, the convenience of aforementioned streaming services (LOVEFiLM may have more choice overall, but only one or two discs in your possession at any one time), and recording stuff off TV too, I wasn’t getting through my rentals. Indeed, in some cases I’ve theoretically spent more on one rental than if I’d just bought a copy. Ugh. So I finally made the cancellation leap.

    I’ve still got a Now TV films subscription for the time being, but as the price of that recently went up, I’m not sure for how much longer…


    Favourite Fairy Tale Films

    Once again I haven’t found the time to get stuck into a fully-written list of five, but having watching La Belle et la Bête and The 10th Kingdom in preparation for next weekend’s Fairy Tale Blogathon, I was thinking: what’s your favourite fairy tale movie?

    Disney seem to have a near-monopoly on these, so undoubtedly some of their output would’ve made my list — Beauty and the Beast, definitely; The Little Mermaid and Aladdin are childhood favourites for me; and Cinderella is my pick of their older classics. Also from the Mouse House is Enchanted — inspired by fairy tales rather than technically adapted from them, but one of the best movies to play in that sandpit. Similarly, the Shrek series, and The 10th Kingdom too.

    And if you want to get really out there, the BFI’s list of 10 great fairytale films allows in cinematic originals like My Neighbour Totoro and Pan’s Labyrinth. The former I could definitely go for in my final five, but I didn’t warm to the latter. Must re-watch that.

    Feel free to share your thoughts below.


    Next month on 100 Films in a Year…

    Remember, remember, you films in November,
    have good characters, dialogue, and plot.
    I know of no movie
    worth considering groovy
    that does not have the lot.

    (With my apologies.)

    October 2011

    Boo!

    Cos it’s Halloween, see. Well, it was when I posted this. Just.


    Quintuple X

    Still not watched any of those films I’ve been aiming to watch.

    Still not at 100.

    I think I would have made it to 90 though, or possibly even a bit further, but I re-watched X-Men: First Class on Blu-ray last Friday night and got a burning desire to re-watch the rest of the X-Men films in chronological order (having started with the chronological first, that only seemed to make sense). So using my film viewing time for that these past few days left no room for anything after #88. Ah well.

    Nearly done, though (it’s X2 in a bit, hopefully), so maybe next month… maybe…


    Meanwhile, this month… er, last month…

    #82 Centurion (2010)
    #83 Magicians (2007)
    #84 The Brothers Bloom (2007)
    #85 Batman: Year One (2011)
    #85a DC Showcase: Catwoman (2011)
    #86 Battle Los Angeles (2011)
    #87 That Touch of Mink (1962)
    #88 RED (2010)


    Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

    Maybe 100… maybe…

    October 2010

    Boo!

    Hehe.

    Yeah…

    As the Witching Hour passes, here, as usual, are the films I watched this month.


    Beyond catching up

    October last year was something of a tipping point, when I finally stopped falling behind and actually began catching up.

    This year, I’m just forging ahead: as we know, I reached 100 at the end of September, and now I’m aiming to reach 130, thereby beating my previous best. Having watched 11 features this month, and with two months to go, I’m about on track… for now…


    #100a Tales of the Black Freighter (2009)
    #100b Angels & Demons: Extended Version (2009)
    #101 Road to Rio (1947)
    #102 The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
    #103 The Good German (2006)
    #103a How Long is a Minute? (2000)
    #104 Witchfinder General (1968)
    #105 Grindhouse (2007)
    #106 Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    #107 Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
    #108 The Night Listener (2006)
    #109 Born Free (1966)
    #110 Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
    #111 Living Free (1972)


    Next time on the all-new 100 Films in a Year monthly update…

    61 days of the year left, 19 films to go — how many will I manage in November? Does anyone but me really care?

    To find out… same time, same place. As it were.

    2007 | Weeks 43-45

    It’s goodbye to October and hello to November, as the year moves into its final sixth. It’ll be over before you know it — and with it, my final total of new films this year. How exciting! It may wind up being lower than some of my previous predictions would’ve had it, though, considering the increasing number of weeks I feel the need to cover, and with an increasingly low number of films too…

    But anyway, all of that’s a whole seven weeks away yet. For now, let’s stick to this little (literally) lot:

    #109a Manhatta

    #110 The Crowd

    #111 Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine

    #112 The Naked City

    2007 | Weeks 41-42

    Ah, University! Work has now fully returned to interrupt all the lazing around and film-viewing I so enjoyed before; of course, studying a film module does mean there’s a guaranteed one or two new films every week, and probably quite unusual ones too. “Hurrah,” cries the statistics! “Ooh,” cries… erm… anyone who likes more unusual choices…

    I do feel a tad arty this week, actually. Of the six films listed below, two are French, one German, one Japanese, two are shorts, and five are between 77 and 94 years old. That’s two weeks at the start of a University film module for you!

    We begin with the two oldest of all those, both made 94 years ago. That’s no guarantee of anything, mind… well, except no spoken dialogue.

    #105 Fantômas: Juve Versus Fantômas

    #106 Traffic in Souls

    #107 Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

    #108 Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

    #108a À propos de Nice

    #108b Skyscraper Symphony

    #109 The Paleface