Monthly Film Roundup: September/October 2021

Films Watched: 16

How Many Were First-Time Watches: 14

Best Films: No Time to Die (2021), Annette (2021), (500) Days of Summer (2008)

Worst Film: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

New Releases: People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan (2021), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Copshop (2021), Annette (2021), No Time to Die (2021), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)


People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan (2021)
As someone who is unfamiliar with the original TV show, I found this film to be a wonderfully charming Brit-Com. Thinly plotted, and borrowing a little too heavily from The Office, its still an often hilarious film, with Asim Chaudhry providing most of the laughs

Bottle Rocket (1996)
Showcasing his love for idiosyncratic storytelling, Wes Anderson’s debut feature film isn’t his strongest work, but it certainly works as an entertaining early marker for his stunning career in filmmaking

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
A strong start eventually devolves into a confused blend of Mulan meets Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The muddled tone lends itself to fun entertainment and acting performances, but emotionally flat storytelling

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
A bit too ‘naughties’ for its own good, this entertainingly cheesy chick flick is a cliche-filled romp that suffers from irritating superficiality and mildly problematic values, but benefits from a fabulous central performance from Meryl Streep

Monster (2003)
Perhaps Charlize Theron’s greatest performance, Patty Jenkins’ debut feature is a gripping crime thriller. Theron’s chameleonic performance adds a sympathetic complexity to a dark character, and this creates an enthralling atmosphere

Copshop (2021)
A big slice of popcorn fun, Copshop is far better than its name or trailer suggested. Tonally confused but totally entertaining, it makes a star of the unknown Alexis Louder, who more than holds her own against her male costars

The Raid (2011)
Light in plot but heavy in action, ‘The Raid’ is a breathtaking showcase of martial arts filmmaking. Innovative camera techniques make this Indonesian flick much more than just a blood and gore fest (though it still delivers this in its bucketloads)

Annette (2021)
An ambitious and mystifying musical befitting of Sparks. Stunning performances and dazzling visuals mean you can forgive any narrative shortcomings of this brilliantly unique project 

Léon: The Professional (1994)
A gripping and deliciously entertaining film that makes a quirky pairing from Jean Reno and a 12-year-old Natalie Portman, and delivers a thrilling performance from Gary Oldman. Director Luc Besson revels in the criminal underbelly of New York in this stylish, if tonally confused, thriller

Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan’s dream-filled heist movie remains one of the great modern blockbusters. Huge action and huge ideas provide entertainment on every level, and the all-star cast help sell the complex plot aswell as the emotional central themes

No Time to Die (2021)
A fitting and brilliantly entertaining end to Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond. Not everything in the story works, and Rami Malik’s villain is a little one-note, but the film more than makes up for this with stunning design, excellent performances and devastating emotional weight, all expertly directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga 

(500) Days of Summer (2008)
A sweet, quirky and beautifully told non-linear romcom that perfectly captures the love and heartbreak of its main protagonist. Sure, some of its angles are a little male oriented, but its refusal to simplify the female characters mean that some of these issues can be tolerated

The Great Outdoors (1988)
A little too reliant on the star power of its two leads, ‘The Great Outdoors’ is a watchable slapstick comedy, but one that lacks the energy and comedic greatness of some of John Hughes’s other scripts.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
Director Andy Serkis brings a more entertaining sequel, but one that is equally stupid, bland and tonally confused. A talented cast are unable to save the hasty story from cliches and sub-rate jokes

Swingers (1996)
An entertaining 90’s comedy drama, but one whose male-oriented gender politics make it quite difficult to fully enjoy in the 21st century. It does, however, show the early potential of director Doug Liman and writer Jon Favreau

Midsommar (2019)
Ari Astra’s 2019 folk horror remains a truly remarkable film. A visual and sonic masterpiece, his movie is one of dark lingering intensity, and sports a phenomenal performance from lead star Florence Pugh

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

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