The MovieViews 500 – March Summary

The MovieMuse team has set ourselves the challenge of watching 500 different films between us in 2017. Every new film we watch will be rated and given a short review as part of our new MovieViews database. Keep reading to see how we got on in March…

 

Amazingly, Simon didn’t manage to watch a single film in March, so it was left to Gordon and Mat to pick up the slack, and despite now being two men down, we still managed to watch one more film than the entire team managed last month! With a quarter of the year gone we’re still ahead of schedule, though we’d expect the numbers to drop a little as the weather improves.

 

Viewing-wise, Mat definitely focussed on some personal favourites and big budget Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies, with titles such as Logan, Thor, Robocop and Fantastic Beasts amongst his favourites for the month. Gordon’s range of movies watched was as eclectic as ever, but there was certainly a focus on British film makers old and new, with Prevenge and Free Fire showcasing the latter and a selection of Ken Loach classics the former.

 

Below are the stats for the month, including each team members’ best and worst picks from the films they watched for the first time. You can also scroll down to see the reviews written by each team member for every film watched in March.

 

Overall Stats

 JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay
Total Films Watched8445463151
Unique Films Watched7837402743
New Reviews Added7237392537
Average Rating Given3.213.273.322.733.23
Challenge Completion15.6%23.0%31.0%36.4%45.0%

Team Member Stats for March

 GordonMatSimon
Total Films Watched30160
Unique Films Watched29140
New Reviews Added28120
Average Rating Given3.183.56-
Best Film of the MonthPrevengeLogan-
Worst Film of the MonthThe Love WitchSlap Shot-

 Mat‘s Reviews

PosterMovieYearCommentsRating
Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954 The rubber-suited creature may no longer be scary, but the film itself is still enjoyable in other ways, and features some impressive underwater cinematography for its time. Fully deserving of its classic status. 3.5
Dressed to Kill 1980 Unashamedly taking influence from more than one Hitchcock film, this movie was probably pretty disturbing in its day, but almost 40 years on provides more giggles than scares. 2.5
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2016 A darker, more grown-up story from J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World, with glorious production design and superb performances from Eddie Redmayne and especially Dan Fogler. The only letdown is the below-par CGI rendering some mostly unspectacular beasts. 4
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989 It may not be much different to its predecessors in terms of story, but the addition of Sean Connery as Indy's dad brings a new dynamic to the main characters and more humour, making this my favourite of the series. 4.5
Logan 2017 To call this a superhero film does it a massive disservice. An emotional and violent road movie that is a fitting end to the Wolverine story and is exactly the mature film that many have been hoping for from this genre. 4.5
Moon 2009 A great performance by Sam Rockwell anchors a dark and intelligent Sci-Fi film that successfully captures the feel of some of the iconic 70's films from the genre. 4
Robocop 1988 An absolute classic of the genre, and still as gut-wrenchingly violent and darkly satirical as it ever was, but recent viewing also revealed a emotional tale about humanity that I hadn't previously appreciated. 5
Shaun of the Dead 2004 A quintessentially British blend of horror and comedy, with plenty of pop culture nods and dozens of memorable scenes. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright may have gone on to bigger movies, but there are few that hit the mark as well as their debut. 5
Slap Shot 1977 There are a few humorous moments at either end of this film, but the story is so marginal that an hour could easily be removed from the middle and have barely any effect, while Paul Newman seems either bored or embarrassed to be involved. 2.5
Star Trek: Insurrection 1998 A surprisingly light-hearted and amusing outing for the usually serious Next Generation crew, with the lack of significant deep space action a definite plus-point. Much better than expected! 3.5
The Croods 2013 One of the most gorgeous-looking animated films I've seen, and it has some nice characters and funny moments too. It's just a shame the story is rather lacklustre and predictable. 3
The Dark Crystal 1982 The story is a fairly generic fantasy offering, but the puppetry and voice acting is generally impressive and this has aged far better than Labyrinth, despite being produced 3 years earlier. 3
The Purge: Election Year 2016 The most visually stylish of the three films, and the concept is great, but the story doesn’t work as well as in the first two films. It is still a decent and logical conclusion to the Purge story so far, however. 3
Thor 2011 An entertaining debut for Marvel's God of Thunder. The action sequences are largely forgettable, but as with most Marvel offerings, the humour and charisma of the lead actors is what stands out. 3.5
Top Dog 2015 Exactly as good as you'd expect a family film about International Dachshund Racing to be. Undemanding and instantly forgettable, but entertaining enough. 2.5
X-Men 2000 Assembles a very well-cast and generally well-acted group of characters, but then does very little with them. In retrospect this film feels like it was just a set up for the superior sequel. 3

 

Gordon’s Reviews

PosterMovieYearCommentsRating
A Street Cat Named Bob 2016 A bland yet entertaining and mildly uplifting tale that lets itself down by glossing over the difficulties of heroin addiction and homelessness. 2.5
Adult Life Skills 2016 An American styled indie film told in a very British way. Funny and entertaining, if a little trite. 3.5
Bokeh 2017 A relatable and semi believable study of how a couple would react if they woke up one morning and were suddenly the only people on the planet. Beautifully shot on location in Iceland. 4
Breaking Bad: The Movie (Fan Edit) 2017 Click to see our Fan Edit review. 3
East of Ipswich 1984 Apparently based on writer Michael Palin's own memories of meeting his future wife on a boring seaside holiday with his parents in the 50s, this TV drama is so sedate it is almost a painting rather than a film. Amusing, but slightly dull. 2.5
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004 A great cast and a wonderfully 'Kaufman' script, but the visual appeal is lacking and the scenes with young Jim Carey are excruciating. 3
Free Fire 2016 As chaotic as it is magnificent, Free Fire is a typical Ben Whreatley dark comedy masquerading as a big budget gangster film. More fun than people getting shot in the legs really should be. 4
Get Out 2017 The racial element feels like a gimmick and the acting is a bit hammy. Despite the critics fawning all over this supposed horror film, it turns out t be no more than an enjoyable thriller. 3
Gold 2016 A fun modern day (well, 1980s) gold rush adventure that is far too pleased with itself for making Matthew McConaughey so fat and bald that it has to ram it down your throat in every scene. 2.5
I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore 2017 Starts off as a quirky tale about burglary and disillusionment, but laters morphs into a bloody shoot-out farce. Another indie hit for Elijah Wood 3
It's Not My Fault and I Don't Care Anyway 2017 Alan Thicke plays the self help guru very well and the film has a very interesting premise of selfishness as a deliberate way of life, but it fails to develop the idea beyond a simple farce. 2
Kes 1969 Almost 50 years old and still an almost perfect film. Ken Loach is still going strong, but Kes will be hard to beat as his best and most loved picture. 5
Kong: Skull Island 2017 Loses its way in the second half when it focusses on the other animal habitants of the island, but when Kong is on screen the film is a satisfactory action adventure. 3
Lethal Weapon 4 1998 Rounding the series off in style, though the addition of a rather superfluous Chris Rock and the underuse of Joe Pesci is a shame. 3.5
Monster Trucks 2016 With no humour, pathos or excitement, there is little to enjoy in a movie that sounds so much better on paper. 2
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975 With a less controversial subject matter Grail will never hit the heights of Brian, but it is another example of how unique the Python boys were/are. 4
Monty Python's Life of Brian 1979 An almost perfect comedy. Packed to the brim with jokes that you won't tire of and a hugely clever satirical script. 5
Poor Cow 1967 Told in a documentary style, Ken Loach's debut film tells the story of a poor single mum in 60s London. Less moralistic than his later outings, but just as clear a social commentary as everything else that followed. 3.5
Prevenge 2017 A superbly macabre and darkly funny film using a topic that is usually taboo. A brilliant debut directorial feature from Alice Lowe. 4
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter 2016 Pretty standard Resi fare for the most part, but a mildly satisfying ending leaves you lamenting the end of Alice's story. 2.5
Space Jam 1996 The film seems to have got a bit of bad press in recent times, but it is still genuinely funny and the animation holds up extremely well. Still my favourite duvet-day movie. 4
Synecdoche, New York 2008 Very well acted by Philip Seymour Hoffman as the boundaries of time, size and personality are subverted in another fine Kaufman screenplay. Won't be to everyone's taste, but fans of his previous work should be satisfied. 3.5
The Chain 1984 The kind of film only the early 80s could conjure. Philosophy and the housing market that doesn't quite stand the test of time. 2.5
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 2006 The plot is a complete cheese-fest but there is enough choreographed car dancing to see you though. 3
The Fits 2015 An extremely well directed and shot minimalist tale where a young tomboy's turn towards girlhood coincides with a bout of unexplained fits befalling a dance troup. 3.5
The Love Witch 2016 Don't be fooled by the aesthetic, this isn't a horror version of Bewitched. It is an awful film that disguises its poor script and worse acting by looking like it is bad on purpose. 1.5
The Ref 1994 At its best when Spacey and Davis are at each other's throats. A straight forward farce with a few laughs, though Leary isn't very appealing. 3
The Village 2004 Another fine M. Night Shyamalam showpiece, though the acting was a little under par. I'd love to see a darker version by the director of The Witch. 3.5
We Don't Belong Here 2017 A well meaning portrayal of mental illness in a middle class American family, but too much melodrama and an awfully convenient end clouds the real pain. 2.5
What's Eating Gilbert Grape 1993 DiCaprio is superb and the rest of the cast are all very good, but the film has an air of liberal superiority throughout that gets a little too much. The end of the film is also pretty odd and definitely illegal! 3

 

What do you think?