Monthly Film Roundup: June 2021

Films Watched: 18

How Many Were New: 14

Best Films: The Father (2020), Bo Burnham: Inside (2021), Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Worst Films: Cruella (2021), The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

New Releases: The Father (2020), Nobody (2021), Cruella (2021), Bo Burnham: Inside (2021), In The Heights (2021), The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021), Supernova (2021)


The Father (2020)
A gut-wrenching and emotional drama about the slow deterioration of a man suffering with dementia. Anthony Hopkins delivers the best performance of his career with a devastatingly empathetic portrayal

Whiplash (2014)
A stunning feature from La La Land’s Damien Chazelle about an indefatigable jazz drummer and his abusive mentor. Incredible editing, sound design and an Oscar-Winning performance from J.K. Simmons make it a pleasure to rewatch

Nobody (2021)
From the producers of John Wick comes another fantastic action flick of an average joe taking on an army. Exquisitely violent and brilliantly funny, it’s a crowd-pleasing action film with a fabulous central performance from Bob Odenkirk

Cruella (2021)
Despite Emma Stones fabulous performance and a stunning costume department, this film suffers from a lot of issues. A flimsy script with too much filler, an over reliance on its jukebox soundtrack and a wasted supporting cast all add up to a unfortunately underwhelming film

Bo Burnham: Inside (2021)
To call this a stand-up special feels mightily reductive for this introspective and highly experimental work of art. Exploring his slowly declining mental health during the lockdown, Bo Burnham writes, performs, films and edits a stunningly stylish piece of work with catchy songs and exposing lyrics

An American In Paris (1951)
Its songs and story aren’t as strong as Gene Kelly’s other iconic musicals, but the visuals and choreography of this movie more than make up for it. The finale, a 17-minute ballet sequence, holds up as one of the most beautifully designed sequences ever shot

In the Heights (2021)
What it lacks in a strong narrative it more than makes up for in unapologetic vibrant energy. Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical gets a big screen treatment that bursts with great performances and a toe tapping soundtrack, even if it can’t quite maintain its lengthy runtime

Zelig (1983)
A fascinating mockumentary from Woody Allen, with his trademark off-beat sense of humour. It’s unique style and technical achievements make it enjoyable to watch, even if the newsreel conceit gets a little tired by the end of its runtime 

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)
Obnoxious and largely unfunny, this sequel is as unneeded as its title is convoluted. An all too common second installment that makes you question why you even loved the original in the first place

Insomnia (2002)
While lacking the simple wonder of his greatest flicks, Christopher Nolan’s psychological thriller still holds up as a worthy entry in his filmography. Fantastic performances and a great style make for very entertaining watching

The Jerk (1979)
Unapologetically stupid and entertainingly silly, Steve Martin’s first lead role in a feature film isn’t his strongest, but it certainly introduced him as a comedic force to be reckoned with. Carl Reiner directs the film’s wacky tone well, but overall it suffers from a lack of emotional stakes and narrative

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
P.T.A’s 4th directorial feature is a much shorter affair than his usual work, but still sports the same offbeat comedy and exquisite performances. Accompanied by Roger Elswitt’s gorgeous cinematography and artistic interludes by Jeremy Blake, it’s a real crowd pleaser

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
A fabulously fun film with silly jokes and excellent songs from Brett Mackenzie (of ‘Flight of the Conchords’ fame). The human cast are clearly having an absolute blast, and as long as you take everything with a pinch of salt, you’ll have a jolly good time 

Bait (2019)
Though its alienating production style is difficult to adjust to, Mark Jenkin’s experimental drama is still a fascinating film about the gentrification of a small Cornish fishing town 

Rock n’ Roll Nerd (2008)
A fabulous fly-on-the-wall documentary about Tim Minchin’s meteoric rise to fame. Balancing his dizzying fame with his down to earth home life, his story is intimately documented by close friend Rhian Skirving

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
As emotional a triumph as it is a technical one, Spielberg’s war epic is a visceral and powerful affair, with a stunning ensemble cast, fascinating characters and jaw dropping special effects

Supernova (2020)
A beautifully written and exceptionally performed drama about the emotional toll of dementia. Despite not quite reaching the emotional heights of The Father, it’s still a mightily accomplished piece

Following (1998)
Christopher Nolan’s feature debut is by no means his most accomplished film, but it certainly introduced him as an intelligent and original filmmaker. His love of non-linear narratives and mysterious protagonists are in full play here

See you next month for July’s watchlist!

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