Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Month at the Movies: September

What a month at the movies September was! When you compare it to the massive disappointment that was the summer of 2016, the gap in quality is humongous. This is possibly the toughest list I have had to create as there was so much quality and I wouldn't want it any other way. I was fortunate to see 13 different movies this month in what was a very solid month overall.

If you aren't aware of this series, I pretty much go through the month and rank the movies that I saw that month based on a combination of quality and how much I enjoyed the film. So lets get into the list! 

13. Anthropoid

The only movie that I didn't particularly like this month was 'Anthropoid'. A very slow and uneventful build up made the film feel very tedious and downright boring. The finale is very solid but a poor start had already done the damage. Not the most compelling period drama you'll see and if you wanted to learn about the events surrounding 'Anthropoid', then you'd probably be best watching a documentary.

Final Verdict = C-

12. Blair Witch

The surprise continuation of 'The Blair Witch Project' was a very mixed bag when it comes to a modern horror movie. There were many flaws in this movie, none other than the excessive use of terrible jump scares made this film hard to root for. However there are moments of genuine terror, including the final act that is truly frightening. An average horror movie that lacks consistency but still a reasonably enjoyable watch.

Final Verdict = C

11. Ben-Hur

The remake of the highly successful and multiple Academy Award winner was always facing an uphill battle. It was hard to see what would actually be done better in this remake and it appeared to be true. Nothing was done particularly bad but with nothing being improved, it makes you question why it even happened. It would be harsh to say that this is a bad movie though, just pretty average.

Final Verdict = C+

10. The Infiltrator

Bryan Cranston delivers yet again, this time as Bob Mazzur who is infiltrating drug dealers, a different approach to the subject matter compared to 'Breaking Bad'. Unfortunately the film struggles to find focus and doesn't get that interesting until later on. Once it reaches that point, the film does burst into life having a very strong finish. It wasn't enough though to make this a great film but a reasonably good watch nonetheless.

Final Verdict = B-

9. Morgan

Morgan looked set to take the success of last years 'Ex_Machina' with impressive trailers that showed a Frankenstein's monster set up. Unfortunately, the film couldn't decide between going all out with the action or to use the effective slow build apparent in 'Ex_Machina'. Anya Taylor Joy shines again though showing why she's one of Hollywoods best young actresses, see her scene with Paul Giamatti for evidence. An entertaining film throughout that could've been so much more but unfortunately didn't completely deliver.

Final Verdict = B-

8. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Tim Burton seems to have more misses than hits recently but thankfully, 'Miss Peregrine' was a step back on the right track for the visionary director. A fun film with that classic Burton darkness combined fairly well with the interesting characters really helping the film. These characters could have been explored deeper which was a missed opportunity and some poor CGI holds the film back from shining. Hopefully Burton can build on from this and get back to the heights he previously had reached.

Final Verdict = B-

7. The Girl With All The Gifts

Zombie movies are one of horrors sub genres that has been exposed to death recently to a stage where you think most ideas surrounding it have already been done. 'The Girl With All The Gifts' brings a fresh look at the genre with more intelligence featuring in the film, especially with the "hungries". Paddy Considine and Glenn Close are great in this film which isn't your normal look at a zombie film. There are some puzzling aspects within the film especially surrounding the creatures but overall, this is an entertaining, morally complex film.

Final Verdict = B

6. Kubo and the Two Strings

From Laika comes yet another great original story, this time disguised as a Japanese myth, 'Kubo and the Two Strings' is one of the most beautifully animated movies of recent times. A fun story with interesting characters made this easy to watch with great work from the voice actors. At times there were scenes that seemed to be filled with exposition that slowed it down and hurt it but nothing too severe to sabotage the quality of this film. If it wasn't for 'Zootropolis', this would probably be my top animated movie of the year.

Final Verdict = B

5. The Magnificent Seven

It seems as if remakes are a constant feature at the cinema these days but I cannot deny that I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Magnificent Seven'. A phenomenal cast where Ethan Hawke shines, the classic fun western feeling is captured magnificently well. Some great action set pieces make this is a film that the summer was crying out for and was delivered just too late. True entertainment with themes of revenge running through it, this is a remake done right.

Final Verdict = B

4. Don't Breathe

I love how great 2016 has been for horror movies. 'Don't Breathe' can be added to the list of great horror movies as it's intriguing premise and dark twist work very effectively. Another example of how modern horror should be made, 'Don't Breathe' was a low budget success that deserves more attention. Tense throughout with great filmmaking aspects makes this a film that appeals to more than just your horror fans. Be sure to see this one if you can.

Final Verdict = B+

3. Deepwater Horizon

Based on the 2010 BP oil spill, 'Deepwater Horizon' is one of the most powerful movies of the year. It tells the story of the crew where 11 men died on that unfortunate night and director Peter Berg displayed the horror and braveness that occurred. Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich all do great jobs in making this film even more impactful in a film which shows a side of the story that wasn't documented so well. A true disaster film that did a great job of portraying these men as the heroes they are on the Hollywood screen.

Final Verdict = A-

2. Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Perhaps the best comedy of the year has once again came out of the wacky and brilliant mind of Taika Waititi. The story follows the incredible journey of a young wannabe gangster and a grumpy Sam Neill in the New Zealand wilderness and the results are fantastic. Funny throughout the whole film, this film really is one that has snuck up on audiences. Again, this film needs more attention and is well and truly worth seeing.

Final Verdict = A-

And my number 1 movie in the month of September is...........

1. Hell or High Water

Easily one of the best films of the year, 'Hell or High Water' is another indie film that has really put the big studios to shame. A great cat and mouse story focusing on two different relationships on either side of the law, this movie was entertaining the whole way through. The cast really bring it in what is one of the highlights of the year. Incredibly well crafted with drops of humour added into it, this is a film that really delivers. Out this on your list to see urgently as you will not be disappointed. The say they don't make them like they used to but 'Hell or High Water' shows that they do!

Final Verdict = A

So that concludes my list of the movies that I seen in September. What was your favourite movie in the month of September and also what are you looking forward to seeing this month? Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor