Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Month at the Movies: November

We are getting closer to award season and that is clearly evident with some of the films that came out in November. Some of these movies are surely going to be in contention come February. However, it wasn't a flawless month as there were a couple of disappointments. I was fortunate enough to see 10 different films this November in what was a mixed month. 

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 let's get into the list! 

10. Bad Santa 2

The sequel from the 2003 crude Christmas movie came as a surprise when it was announced. Nobody was really asking for this sequel and it would have been better if it was not made at all. The old cast is back along with Kathy Bates who does add some good moments to the film. However, the film sticks to its rude humour which doesn't deliver the whole way through. A poor sequel, not that it was expected to be a classic.

Final Verdict = C-

9. Paterson

I think that I am the only person in the world who does not like this film. Critics have been raving about this film and Adam Driver's performance, describing them as some of the best pieces of work this year. I didn't feel this at all. In fact, I don't see anything special about this film. It's dull, boring and uneventful and just did not work at all for me. A very disappointing showing as I expected a masterpiece. Possibly the most overrated film of the year.

Final Verdict = C-

8. Bleed For This

The last film I saw this month was 'Bleed For This' and was the most average film of the month. The film most certainly isn't bad but it isn't good enough to stand out, especially within its genre. Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart both do great in their roles but the film just seems to be lacking that extra something. The action isn't up to the usual standard as the film fails to really engage you like other boxing films would do so. 

Final Verdict = C+

7. The Accountant 

Ranking these next four films is very hard as they are fairly similar in quality. Unfortunately for 'The Accountant', they fall last on that mini list. The film is filled with great performances, especially from Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. The film had a great situation with these two actors but split them up, making the second half of the film less enjoyable. There is some good action but a poor finish and pacing do hinder the quality of this film.

Final Verdict = B

6. A United Kingdom 

Next up the biographical-romance-drama 'A United Kingdom'. This film brings a powerful and effective story as it looks at serious issues. The film is also elevated due to the performances of David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike who both show their class. The film does become a little stale as there isn't much progression throughout the film. There are moments that seem to be repeated as the film loses its strong hold on the audience. A solid film nonetheless but repetitive viewings aren't likely with this one.

Final Verdict = B

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

The return to the wizarding world was a fairly successful one as 'Fantastic Beasts' was a fun movie. The quality doesn't quite match the 'Harry Potter' films but there is plenty to enjoy in this film. There are some fun characters and creatures that do make this a pleasant viewing. The film is a bit predictable and some of the characters aren't fully fleshed out do hinder the film, though. Overall, this is a fun, easy watch that fans of the series will surely enjoy.

Final Verdict = B

4. Allied

Marion Cotillard cements herself as one of film's best current actresses with her role in this film. The film is beautiful looking with incredible sets and costumes being on display. The film uses tension very well throughout the film too, which makes this a very enjoyable viewing. The film isn't perfect though as the first half is building up the romance which in the end doesn't feel completely genuine. This does pose a problem as it takes up a lot of the time and does impact the story due to it not working that well. 'Allied' is an adequate film, bringing an intriguing story with great performances.

Final Verdict = B

3. The Light Between Oceans

Much like 'Allied', 'The Light Between Oceans' takes a lot of time to set up its romance aspect. The difference, though is that TLBO feels genuine and truly works. Vikander and Fassbender are fantastic in this film which really allows it to succeed. The film is packed with emotion with many highs and lows that will make you both happy and sad. Again, the film is stunning as the cinematography is phenomenal which may earn cinematographer Adam Arkapaw some nominations during award season. A great and tragic movie overall, however, I would say that you need to like this kind of film to get full enjoyment from it.

Final Verdict = A-

2. Arrival

'Arrival' is undoubtedly one of 2016's best films. The Sci-Fi film is unlike many others as it is an alien invasion film, but succeeds by not making the aliens themselves the main part. It's more 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' than other Sci-Fi films as its slow, effective burn story works a treat. There's a reason to why this film has achieved large critical acclaim. Amy Adams steps up in this incredibly clever film with a powerful message within. The writing, cinematography and performances all come together to create greatness. This only cements Denis Villeneuve's position as one of the best modern film directors. This film is truly incredible and one that you have to see. 

Final Verdict = A

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

1. Nocturnal Animals

It was going to take something phenomenal for a film to overtake 'Arrival' and that is what 'Nocturnal Animals' was. An incredibly stylish created by fashion designer Tom Ford who clearly has a Midas touch. Ford creates an incredible film that is packed with emotion, drama and great performances. Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Amy Adams deserve recognition for their roles in this film, bringing some of the best performances of the year. Like 'Arrival' this film is very clever with its unique storytelling with dual stories going on but intertwining as well. This is a certainty for my top 10 list as I really loved this film. Go see it now!

Final Verdict = A

So that concludes my list of the movies that I saw in November. What was your favourite movie in the month of November 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