Monthly Film Roundup: April 2023

Films Watched: 14

How Many Were First-Time Watches: 13

Best Films: The Last Temptation of Christ, Magnolia, How To Blow Up A Pipeline

New Releases: Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Amongst Thieves, The Super Mario Bros Movie, How To Blow Up A Pipeline, Air, Renfield, Missing, Polite Society


Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves (2023) An undeniably fun film, but similar to Shazam 2, it’s one that suffers from a baffling narrative and a lack of definable character powers. Chris Pine shines with undeniable charisma, though the rest of the cast struggle with the underwritten dialogue that leans heavily into admittedly successful comedy ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) It’s colourful, bright and loud, but wow is this a terribly made film. Less of a ‘movie’, it’s more a series of ‘recognisable moments’ from the iconic game series strung together into what barely resembles a plot. At what point did we start disrespecting kids to the point where their movies have to be as bland as this? ⭐️⭐️

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Scorsese’s fictional exploration of Jesus’s life, and his desire for one after crucifixion, is a fascinating dissection of destiny and salvation. Take away all the religious allegory, and you’re still left with a hypnotic central performance by Willem Dafoe who portrays Christ’s inner turmoil with gripping intricacy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Harvey (1950) A unique and admittedly off-kilter comedy drama, but one that is anchored by another fabulous central performance from Jimmy Stewart. His imaginary furry friend feels like he’s always on screen thanks to Stewart’s committed performance and some clever camera framing. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

How to Blow Up A Pipeline (2022) A fantastically tense environmentalist action thriller about eight eco-warriors who decide to take action against the oil industry. Thrillingly shot, well performed and brilliantly scored, it’s an excellent demonstrator of the power of great filmmaking without high budgets. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Air (2023) Massively aided by its on-point 1980’s production design and soundtrack, ‘Air’ is a fun film telling the story behind the iconic Nike shoe, but at the end of the day, it is also just a film about making a shoe. Thankfully the cast provide sparky performances in this well biopic that zips along with great momentum. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Renfield (2023) The cast are fun to watch and there are some gloriously gory sequences, but this is a tonally confused horror comedy that wastes its inspired premise by getting bogged down in a crime syndicate subplot. It might just be this years most frustrating film, mainly due to the fact that it squandered its fantastic potential. ⭐️⭐️

Raging Bull (1980) An impressively assembled biopic from Martin Scorsese; albeit one not without its issues. A wholly remarkable performance from an intense De Niro, and exquisite editing from Thelma Schoonmaker, make for entertaining viewing. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Big Sick (2017) A well-written and well-crafted rom-com that works brilliantly as a vehicle for co-writer and star Kumail Nanjiani. It’s too long, but it has a lot of fun moments, including a wonderful supporting performance from Ray Romano. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Social Network (2010) Quite frankly, this could be a fully fictional story and it would make no difference. Technically speaking, most scenes in this film are a masterclass in screenwriting, directing, acting, scoring and design. Also, it’s a really goddamn enjoyable movie. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Missing (2023) An absolutely wild screenlife thriller that you’ll never see coming. After about 14 million different plot twists it starts to loose its way, but it’s always engaging, exciting, and the screen remains an incredibly smart method of storytelling. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Of course it suffers from the usual ‘straight white male helps marginalised group’ narrative, but this biopic is massively elevated by its transformative central performance from Matthew McConaughhey. Jared Leto also delivers a great emotional performance, but in retrospect it can’t help but feel like a missed opportunity for the transgender community. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnolia (1999) PTA assembles a stunning mosaic of characters for this expansive exploration of life. It’s a little aimless, but it provides many unforgettable moments of purely Operatic cinema from one of Hollywoods most confident filmmakers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Polite Society (2023) In her feature directorial debut, Nida Manzoor delivers a wonderfully fun tale of sisterhood with the energy of a Bollywood ‘Scott Pilgrim’. Bursting with confidence, humour and charm, it’s a great britflick sporting fabulous representation. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s