Monthly Film Roundup: March 2021

Films Watched: 23

How Many Were New: 17

Best Films: Do the Right Thing (1989), The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Big Fish (2003)

Worst Film: Police Academy (1984)


I Care a Lot (2020)
Though a stylish and inventive comedy thriller, ‘I Care a Lot’ suffers from a predictable third act, and a waste of its delightfully dark central premise. However, Rosamund Pike delivers a great performance that won her a Golden Globe at this years awards

Hairspray (1988)
Once you’ve stripped away the tightened narrative and high energy songs of the Broadway hit, the film the musical was based on will inevitably feel slightly less exciting. However, the originality of the story and the impact of its morals means the film still thrives

Us (2019)
Despie lacking the sharp social commentary and slick plot of ‘Get Out’, Jordan Peele’s follow up thriller remains a great piece of original entertainment, in large part due to the fantastic central performance from Lupita Nyong’o 

Under The Skin (2013)
A haunting and hypnotic sci-fi that asks a lot of questions, but leaves a little too much to be interpreted. Scarlett Johansson delivers a stunning performance as an alien observing – and praying upon – our human world, and Mica Levi provides a thoroughly unsettling score  

Con Air (1997)
A fantastically stupid but fantastically entertaining action movie. High energy, massive set pieces, and hilariously operatic performances from the A-List cast. A perfect Friday Night Flick

Do the Right Thing (1989)
Exquisitely observed and stunningly performed, Spike Lee’s visceral drama is an incredible affair. Racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighbourhood reach boiling point over one heated summer day

Concussion (2015)
An inspiring story, uninspiringly told. Will Smith delivers a watchable performance, but when the film delves into his characters personal life instead of his important work, the writing begins to let the film down

Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Relentless and unashamedly stupid, Jim Carrey’s third comedy of 1994 also proves to be his funniest. He and Jeff Daniels make the perfect double act, and the film cemented his legacy as a huge star

Mulan (1998)
Exquisite animation and an empowered story can’t save the film from a weak story, bland villain and a terribly miscast Eddie Murphy

Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
A fantastically well crafted and well performed drama chronicling one of the most infamous trials in US history. Shocking and unfortunately easy to draw modern parallels, it’s as timely and important as it is well written and directed

The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015)
Stylish in design, well cast and sporting a fantastic score, this film is also very bland, thinly plotted and lacking charm. Most of this is down to the lazy job done by hit and miss director Guy Richie

Police Academy (1984)
While not as offensively dated as ‘Animal House’, Police Academy shares the same puerile sense of humour. Drawn out and often unfunny, it’s a pretty poor comedy with only a few passable gags

Black Swan (2010)
A tense, creepy and well-crafted psychological thriller from Darren Aronofsky. Thoroughly melodramatic and brilliantly performed by Natalie Portman, it’s a tragic ballet of thrills

The Farewell (2019)
A wonderfully crafted Chinese drama with a sweet and tender story. Awkwafina is fabulous in the central role, and Lulu Wang directs the film with a beautifully understated tone 

Lilo & Stitch (2002)
A super cute film, even if it’s just a sillier version of E.T. Beautiful watercolour animation and an amazing vocal performance from young star Daveigh Chase (‘Spirited Away’)

So Long at the Fair (1950)
A fun British thriller with an intriguing central premise. Though it isn’t as well tied up as its opening act promises, it still makes for an entertaining watch 

At Eternity’s Gate (2018)
A poetic and visceral portrait of the tragic final years of Vincent van Gogh. Willem Dafoe delivers a stellar performance as the tortured artist

Rocketman (2019)
A stunning biopic that evokes the story, feelings and mental state of Elton John perfectly through its evocative musical genre. Taron Edgerton acts (and crucially sings) his heart out and deserves every bit of praise. Four-word review? Better than Bo Rap!

Big Fish (2003)
A beautifully handled and highly emotional fantasy drama. Tim Burton manages the difficult balancing act of blending the emotional drama of a dying father, and a series of fantastical vignettes from the father’s larger than life stories

Bad Trip (2020)
Sporting Eric Andre’s usual blend of outrageous stunts and hidden camera pranks, this comedy lacks the class of Borat, but makes up for it with Andre’s infectiously audacious energy

The Hunt (2012)
A simple but relentless Danish drama that dares to ask tough questions about its subject matter. Mads Mikkelsen gives a powerful performance as a nursery worker falsely accused of sexual abuse 

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (2002)
A relentlessly stupid but affectionately entertaining martial arts parody. To say it’s “good” would be lying, but there’s certainly worse ways to pass 80 minutes 

The Fuzzball Rally (2007)
An absolutely joyous documentary that recounts the Hot Fuzz US Press tour undertaken by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Fellow filmmaker Joe Cornish documents the trip and captures the three stars at their most deliriously hilarious

See you next month for April’s watchlist!

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