Monthly Film Roundup: August 2021

Films Watched: 19

How Many Were First-Time Watches: 15

Best Films: Another Round (2020), A Matter of Life and Death (1946),

Worst Films: Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021), Stillwater (2021), Reminiscence (2021)

New Releases: Stillwater (2021), Jungle Cruise (2021), Another Round (2020), Free Guy (2021), Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021), Reminiscence (2021),


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
A gorgeous marriage of brutal action and impressive camera work, the third instalment of Hollywood’s hit franchise continues to be a great vehicle for Keanu Reeves, and a better display of filmmaking than 90% of the modern box office

Adaptation (2002)
With a hilariously self-deprecating script from Charlie Kaufman, and an excellent dual role from Nic Cage, ‘Adaptation’ is another idiosyncratic joyride from Spike Jonze, even if it does eventually fall into the pitfalls it initially lampoons

Stillwater (2021)
Despite a strong cast and interesting premise, this drama is overly long, often boring and straddles too many genres. The end result is a tonally confused film that stumbles at any profound statements it might be trying to make

Jungle Cruise (2021)
Despite being let down by a stretched out plot and a bland finale, this throwback to adventure movies is an absolute blast. Charming leads and a fun, vibrant tone lend themselves to brilliantly daft escapist fun

The Mummy (1932)
An influential but bland classic horror that relies on mood rather than plot. Fancy sets and costumes can’t distract from a stuffy narrative with little shock

Nightcrawler (2014)
Each rewatch of this deliciously dark thriller builds another level of awe and respect to Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut. Every department delivers masterful art in a satirical and thrilling masterpiece that also sports a career best performance from Gyllenhaal 

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
As expected, this film is a stuffy narrative built around Robin Williams’s improvised mania. While he provides a lot of laughs and entertainment, the rest of the film stumbles at any deeper political statements it tries to make about the conflict

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Yes, it’s just two hours of people screaming jokes at each other, and yes the plot is totally ridiculous. But it’s also a crowd pleasing romp with a fantastic all star line up of A+ comedy talent  

Another Round (2020)
At once an intoxicatingly entertaining film, and a deeply sobering portrayal of mid-life crisis. Vinterberg directs pitch-perfect performances across the board, and crafts a tone that is as comical and light as it is darkly harrowing. The end result is a phenomenal success

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
An exhilarating and fantastical film that revels in 1940’s romantic melodrama. Stunning design, innovative technical achievements and an intriguingly unique premise make it feel far more modern than its 75 years suggest. A true British classic

Free Guy (2021)
A fine but flimsy action blockbuster that borrows a little too much from ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘The Lego Movie’. The film is a perfectly entertaining romp and sports a charismatic cast, but suffers from a plot-hole ridden script with clunky dialogue

The Artist (2011)
Telling a similar tale to ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, and providing an even more affectionate look at the Golden Age, ‘The Artist’ is a crowd-pleasing love letter to the silent movie industry. Its era-appropriate style will alienate some modern viewers, but as a lover of classic cinema, I found this film to be a real winner

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021)
Better made than ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ but infinitely more boring, ‘Snake Eyes’ is one of the blandest superhero films for years. The film strips away Henry Golding’s usual charisma, and it suffers from terrible dialogue, poor action direction and an undeservedly serious tone

Buried (2010)
A tense psychological thriller about a man fighting to survive after he is buried alive. Ryan Reynolds delivers a fantastically serious performance, and the story just about sustains its 90 minute runtime

Nocturnal Animals (2016)
A darkly tense thriller with an amazing cast at the top of their game. A bleak and ambiguous tone creates layers of mystery in an ever deepening story

The Kid (1921)
Charlie Chaplin’s short-but-sweet debut feature is not as comedically rich as his later films, but with an emotional narrative and a fabulous dream sequence, it certainly shows his fabulous handling of storytelling in the silent era

Reminiscence (2021)
Produced by Jonathon Nolan but by no means directed by his brother, this is a second-rate neo-noir that thinks it’s brilliant, but is actually a cliché-filled, pretentious copy of better films. The design of it is pretty great though

Election (1999)
A fantastic cast playing a fantastic set of characters make for a fantastically entertaining film. Twisted situations and darkly comic content accompany a story about one teacher’s midlife crisis amid a student council election 

The Mummy (1999)
A brilliantly entertaining adventure through the supernatural mythology of ancient Egypt. As one of the 90’s defining blockbusters, it’s always fun to see Brendan Fraser at the height of his fame

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next month to see what I watched in September!

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