Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Movie Status

In the month of February I saw 7 new films, plus I re-watched 2 more.

This is even fewer than last month and the reason is the same – I just haven’t been in much of a movie watching mood.  I don’t know why.  I made myself watch two of the three DVDs I’ve had from Netflix for more than a month.  I’ve been doing some reading instead.

In February I did finish off the last of the Oscar Best Picture nominees for 2016 – making me as complete as I can be on all nominees again, but I didn’t watch any of the 14 additions to the IMDB list.  February also saw a new They Shoot Pictures Don’t They list being issued.  The result of the re-ranking done for 2016 is that I now have 16 films to watch to once again be complete on that, too.

I will probably plug away at these 30 films over the next few months rather than try to just get them all out of the way as quickly as possible.

Here are the 9 films I saw in February.  Ones I would recommend (give at least a three star rating to) are highlighted.  

Oscar (3): Room (2015), Bridge of Spies (2015), Brooklyn (2015)

101 Genre (2): Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), The Wiz (1978)

Other (2): Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015), Crazy Horse (2011)

Re-watches (1): Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Hollywood Shuffle (1987) – I re-watched this film and reviewed it for an “Acting Black” blogathon.  You can read my review here.   3 Stars

Room (2015) – I reviewed this Best Picture nominee here.   3 Stars

Bridge of Spies (2015) – I reviewed this Best Picture nominee here.   4 Stars

Brooklyn (2015) – I watched this Best Picture nominee, but did not write a review because it was not quite good enough for me to recommend.  Oh, it's not a bad movie, but ultimately there's not much depth to it or the characters.  A young Irish woman with a crappy life moves to the U.S., is homesick, makes friends, takes classes, aces her bookkeeping certification, meets a great guy, falls in love, and is very happy. Of course, if you know anything about movies you know the happiness won't last for two major reasons: 1. the movie's only halfway through; and 2. critics like the movie.   2.5 Stars

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – I re-watched this Best Picture nominee.  You can read my review of it here.   4 Stars

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)This is a different kind of film. It's one part anti-war drama, one part musical, one part satire, and one part theatrical allegory. A whole host of familiar faces cameo in a retelling of how WWI started and its impact on one fictional British family.   3.5 Stars

Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)It doesn't start out that well, but after 30 minutes or so it improves. Aardman has done better than this, both with this character and with others, but there are still some smiles to be had. Just don't expect A Close Shave.   3 Stars

The Wiz (1978)There are parts of this that are quite good (i.e. Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow breaking into Ease on Down the Road for the first time), but there are also parts that are just terrible (i.e. trashcans with fangs, many of the bland songs early in the film).  I do admit that it grew on me as it got towards the end, but not enough that I could recommend this.   2.5 Stars

Crazy Horse (2011) – Director Wiseman has been making documentaries since the 1960s. I guess it takes that much experience to film the most famous nude revue show in the world (Paris' Crazy Horse) and somehow make it a little boring.   2.5 Stars


  1. If you're not watching movies, I can forgive you as long as you're replacing that with reading. Still need to see most of the ones you did watch, myself. Glad you checked out The Wiz, even if it wasn't your cup to tea. I grew up on it and have a real soft spot for it. I appreciate the effort to watch this bizarre little film that I love.

  2. I'm sure if I had seen it as a kid I'd like it a lot more. The Wizard of Oz was shown on TV every year when I was little and consequently I love it. However, a foreign blogger who watched it for the first time as an adult commented in confusion as to what exactly was supposed to be so great about.

    I really liked the songs more towards the end (i.e. Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News), but almost all of the ones during the first half seemed bland. It was like they were trying to give Ross only ballads to sing. I was impressed by the job Nipsy Russell did. I had only ever known him as a comic. The ugliness of the Oz landscape did bother me. Of course, at the time the film was made New York City was a cesspool.

    The Wiz was on the 101 Cult Movies You Must See Before You Die list, so that's why I saw it. I might have checked it out at some point just out of curiosity, but this gave me an excuse to see it.

  3. I watched Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) in high school in history class when we were learning about WW1. Your review refreshed my memory of it.

    Not a huge fan of musicals. As a fan of MJ I should listen to The Wiz soundtrack.

    Hope you are coping with the loss in your family. I lost a grandparent a few years ago and I know it's not easy to deal with.

    1. Off the top of my head, I only remember one solo song from Jackson. He sings You Can't Win right after we first meet him. Ease on Down the Road starts with him, but is a duet with Diana Ross. He's part of multiple singers on other songs once Dorothy (Ross) meets others.

      Here is the clip of Ease on Down the Road:

    2. Sorry - hit publish too soon.

      Thanks again for your kind thoughts. I appreciate it.

    3. I'll give those songs a listen, thanks

  4. I'm (hopefully) seeing Bridge of Spies tonight, so your 4 stars on it leaves me anticipating it for good reasons.

    1. I hope you liked it (I will see soon). I'm a little outside the mainstream I think, in my opinion of it.

  5. Oh bummer you didn't like Brooklyn. I thought that it was well-written and whilst the story is simple it was absorbing and all around lovely. I also LOVE Shaun the Sheep Movie despite not having seen the tv series. Glad you like Bridge of Spies and Fury Road though.

    1. I didn't dislike it, either. I liked the first half, but the second half story felt extraneous and artificial to me - as if it was there only to produce conflict.

  6. Each of the films demonstrates the best features in its genre. The connoisseurs will certainly find such plots informative and interesting.

  7. Oh, it's not a bad film, but neither the plot nor the characters have much substance. A young Irish woman from a bad family arrives to the United States, becomes homesick, makes friends, enrols in classes, passes her bookkeeping certification, meets a great guy, falls in love, and lives happily ever after.
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