Letterboxd Reviews: September

My Letterboxd account documents what films I am watching, usually films for the first time but occasionally a film I haven’t logged before. Here’s a summary of the films I have watched this month, including a rating and short review for each.

This September I have watched 51 films:

Here’s what I thought of them:

Batman & Robin

“Despite its many flaws, it’s a very fun film. Bane is awful, and Schwarzenegger is a joke, but I enjoy Uma Thurman and Alicia Silverstone. Clooney somehow works in the lead role here, but only in this more comical portrayal of Batman and his sidekick Robin.”

Requiem for a Dream

“Wow. Well. What to say? It’s… powerful. It’s obviously a very good film, brilliant directing, a great story line, strong performances from a decent cast. I’d give it 4 stars but I’ll never watch it again. Still, it’s very impressive, just very dark.”

Labyrinth

“One of my favourite films of all time. A brilliant childhood classic with some great musical numbers. Jennifer Connelley is great in the lead role, but it is David Bowie -and that bulge – that this is all about. It’s got romance (that’s at least implied), it’s got comedy, it’s got fantasy, it’s got adventure, what’s not to love? This will never get old for me.”

This Is England

“Great and powerful British drama set in the 1980s. Brilliant performance by a young Thomas Turgoose and love Joseph Gilgun’s part in it. A very tense and quite brutal film, but also a very honest coming of age tale.”

Risky Business

“One of few roles that I enjoy Tom Cruise in, and I will definitely watch it again. A great 80s film that is very sexy and has a great message – start saying “What the fuck” more. Rebecca De Mornay is stunning and it’s her sexual chemistry with Cruise that makes this film so successful – especially that train scene.”

Failure to Launch

“Yet another average McConaughey rom-com, but isn’t he just lovely to look at? I enjoy Zooey Deschanel in this and a few other supports, but Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t make for a great film away from her Sex And The City role. It’s not awful, it’s just very predictable and mediocre all around.”

The Cabin in the Woods

“I was really looking forward to this film but it didn’t live up at all. It seemed to be taking the piss out of shit horror movies so much that it became one. Amazing final few scenes though. On a second viewing I like it a little more, but I still feel that it spends too much time on the ‘scary movie’ plot with characters we are not supposed to care about, when it could very easily just kill them off and spend more time focusing on the people behind it all.”

Tyrannosaur

“An excellent piece of work by Paddy Considine, especially for his feature directorial debut. Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman are both absolutely incredible in the leads, giving very raw and extremely strong performances. The story is bleak yet original and deeply emotional, and whilst parts are difficult to watch, this is the reason for its powerful effect. It may lack any kind of message but there is a deeply rooted sense of hope in that two damaged people can find such comfort in each other, which is what I think pulls you in so much.”

Total Recall (1990)

“Well I didn’t enjoy it at all, is that bad? I know you’re not supposed to take Arnold Schwarzenegger seriously but I can’t enjoy his acting in a film where a serious actor is needed. I spent too much time focusing on him rather than the rest of the film which brought it all it down. The action was bad, I found it hard to engage with the story line, and it just didn’t interest me.”

Clueless

“This has 90s American highschool written all over it, but it is a big guilty pleasure of mine. It’s witty and somewhat comical. Absolutely love Alicia Silverstone in this and especially enjoy a young Paul Rudd.”

Role Models

“One of my favourite comedies. An absolutely brilliant script with dialogue I will be quoting for years. This is one of Paul Rudd’s best films (alongside I Love You, Man!) and Sean WS surprisingly works really well along his side. Funny throughout and enjoyable from start to end.”

The Royal Tenenbaums

“There’s something about Wes Anderson films that will fill you with joy, and that’s what you’ll love about this film too. Yet again with a brilliant, mainstream cast stepping out of their comfort zones into a not-so mainstream film, Anderson is able to create such magnificent characters. With more brilliant cinematic sequences and a soundtrack that fits the film to a key, this is one of my favourite Anderson films.”

Dazed and Confused

“A very unique teen drama, looking at a group of teenagers all at different ages living in the 1970s. The cast is amazing – with familiar faces such as Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey making us laugh – and they all manage to make an impact in one way or another. A few plot holes as it doesn’t seem to really go anywhere but a classic film nonetheless.”

Charlie Bartlett

“I first watched this before I knew who Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr. or Kat Dennings were. It was a good film then, but now it’s even better. I love Yelchin in this film even though I don’t enjoy any of his recent roles, and he is brilliant alongside Dennings who is at her best here. Downey Jr is very funny and also quite moving, and it’s great to see him out of the Iron Man suit. This is a very decent film about trying to fit in at school that has a very good cast and an even better story line.”

Limitless

“Not as good as I thought it would be but a very interesting story line. A really great concept but it became too gangster focused for me. Bradley Cooper is brilliant in this, nonetheless.”

The Truman Show

“One of my favourite films growing up – I’m still scared to this day that the same thing is happening to me! A big fan of Jim Carey, and as always he is brilliantly funny here.”

Inception

“Another fantastic Nolan film! It took me a couple of watches to fully understand this film but absolutely brilliant nonetheless. With an amazing plot and screenplay and incredible cinematography, this film is strong from start to end. Its best quality however, is its cast of brilliant actors – DiCaprio, Hardy and Levitt are brilliant male leads, and Marion Cotillard is absolutely stunning.”

Fatal Attraction

“A sexy thriller with great performances from Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. There’s certainly a few memorable scenes.”

My Sister’s Keeper

“Why isn’t anybody saying anything good about this film? I think the fact that I cried about three or four times means that it was decent enough. It was very impactful, and had great performances from all involved. A worthy drama about a very personal and unique situation that promises an emotional engagement.”

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

“A brilliant and dramatic comedy from The Duplass brothers. Excellently written and directed and has a lovely score running throughout, which helps to set it aside from just another Segel comedy. The premise is thoughtful and therefore both moving and engaging, and it even makes you laugh. Great performances from Segel, Helms, Greer and Sarandon; what a combination they make!”

The Hangover

“Superb comedy with a brilliant trio of actors in the lead roles, with a great supporting cast too. Very funny, brilliant dialogue – I have no intention of watching the sequel though. A one-hit wonder for me, so to speak.”

I Love You, Man

“One of my favourite comedies. A brilliant script and Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are an hilarious duo. What a great bromance! Love the story, and the rest of the cast has some great names to it as well. The quotes will never get old.”

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

“Michael Cera and Kat Dennings make a brilliant couple in this lovely little comedy drama. Everything happens over one night which makes for a great plot device, as we are able to see their relationship develop in realistic terms. It’s not an amazing film but it’s one I enjoy watching over and over. The soundtrack is the best thing about this film though.”

Punch-Drunk Love

“I don’t understand the love for this film. I couldn’t get into it at all. Of course it’s a great role for Sandler, but I just found it to be completely dull.”

True Romance

“A brilliant Tony Scott film with an excellent script by Tarantino. It really is a great film making duo as the film comes together so well. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are incredible in the leads and their characters have such a great – and at times very sexy – chemistry. There’s something for everyone with the romance being played into the film, even if very gun-heavy at times. Absolutely love Gary Oldman in this, too.”

Margaret

“At its heart, Maragaret is a very good film. Unfortunately, a three hour run time, too many unnecessary sub plots, and a cast of unsympathetic characters diverse too much attention from what it could have been. Anna Paquin is incredible as a young adult who is forced to deal with a grown up situation at the same time as her own adolescence. Its characters are real, Paquin gives a fearless performance, and the film on a whole is very powerful – It’s all there, it’s just hard to love.”

Total Recall (2012)

“I liked the look of the futuristic, dystopian settings, and some of the action scenes looked great, but it was a very forgettable film. Personally I preferred it to the original but I felt that neither were above average.”

The Watch

“It’s not a new concept and for that reason it doesn’t stand out. But it wasn’t all bad. I felt that the script was good and that it was humourous – although I didn’t laugh much – but that it was only the combination of the four main actors that made it worthwhile. I watched this purely for Richard Ayoade but he didn’t give as much impact as I thought he would, and Jonah Hill practically played the same character as he did in 21 Jump Street which was annoying; I think it turned out to be Vaughn that made me laugh the most. I’d say it’s worth the watch anyway.”

Haywire

“Whilst it had the threat of being a Bourne copy-cat, Haywire is something much different. The film has its qualities – the cast, the minimalist yet strong action sequences – but it is nothing new and it is nowhere near on-par. There’s a constant lack of depth and engagement as the film just plods along for 90 minutes without ever picking up motion. It’s a very unthrilling thriller.”

Battleship

“I’m finding it hard to comment with losing interest so early on. Apart from the explosions looking pretty good, there isn’t anything else to compliment. When Rihanna is one of the main characters you know it’s not going to get much better, either. Poor acting, poor script, and poor direction – it was hard to watch.”

9

“Well what a rather dark family film that was. A great concept and really brilliant animation, but the plot felt a little lacking, often skipping over parts to drag out others. I’m just a little disappointed that it wasn’t ever exciting or entertaining, it was just quite thought provoking and not quite the children’s animation you would imagine.”

Despicable Me

“Oh, wow! I don’t think I stopped laughing at all throughout this. What a perfect animated comedy. Amazing voice acting, especially from Carell, and the script is hilarious. This is now one of my favourite animations.”

Battle Royale

“A dangerous and very well put together film with a lot of action and even more gore. The story is surprisingly well developed and it’s very easy to enjoy and follow. What I liked most was that these children knew each other, so it has a strong focus on the individual victims and how they each react in the situation they are thrown into, which helps to better capture the brutality of this dystopian concept. It’s only too easy to compare the film to the recent Hunger Games though, as it’s obvious that Battle Royale was a big influence to Collins when writing The Hunger Games novels. Whilst Battle Royale does a lot of things better, working in human emotions without making it sound like Twilight, for one, I much prefer Collins focus on the dystopian society and of oppression and the want of an uprising. For me, whilst I really enjoyed this film, this battle felt like it was a one off and only for a laugh at the expense of a run down teacher, rather than for the intended good of humanity.”

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

“I haven’t read the comics but really enjoy how it plays out like one with all the genius, stylish effects. It’s very original and that’s what’s so good about it, as well as a comical script and some very interesting roles that are all well acted. I wouldn’t say it’s Michael Cera’s best role, even if they are all very similar, but it’s got to be some of his best acting with all the very well choreographed fight scenes. There’s a few cringy moments but the film doesn’t take itself seriously so it gets away with it for the best part.”

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

“A great Woody Allen film that looks at a number of interesting characters and their different views on love. Not very romantic but very enjoyable nonetheless. Scarlett Johansson is a great addition to the cast, and I plan to watch more of her Allen-directed films, but it wasn’t her best acting. Great roles for Rebecca Hall and surprisingly even Penélope Cruz, though, and I enjoyed the Arrested Development type voice-over too.”

The Blue Lagoon

“For some reason I enjoyed watching it, but it’s not a very good film. I liked the concept of it and I watched mainly out of curiosity as to where the story would go. However, whilst hinting at a number of disasters – sharks and tribes people to name a few – that could have given the film a lot more strength in story line, the film always avoided any real dramas. It seemed to be extremely PG, for example at the end when the final sentence goes against what you already know, as if it was aimed at a very young audience and that it wanted to pretend there’s always a happy ending. It could have been so much more.”

Blade Runner

“It’s a hard film to rate as I can see why it is a cult film, but it just didn’t do it for me. There is a great script and some very memorable sequences, yet I found it underwhelming. One thing that I will say is that it is a gorgeous sci-fi, and the world that Scott has created is far better than anything seen in the crappy sci-fi’s of today. As for the rest of it, though, I think it’s extremely over-rated.”

Rock of Ages

“I started off hating this film, but then I began to love it. From the script to the story line, everything is pretty bad. Fortunately the film has many great 80s songs that are well performed throughout that help to constantly pull it out of the mud. Tom Cruise has the one decent role in the film, as the rest of the cast are pretty laughable, but after a while the cringiness of it all starts to become its best attribute; what at first is cliché and over the top becomes comical and somewhat watchable. I don’t know how it does it, but it works.”

Star Trek

“First film where I’ve seen Chris Pine in the lead, but he handled it excellently. I’ve never been a fan of the TV series but the film was really engaging, J.J. Abrams has done well! Looking forward to the sequel.”

Finding Neverland

“A beautiful story that is both fun and adventurous but also serious and sad. It promises to make you laugh, smile, and cry, and for that reason it is a great film. Both Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are brilliant in their roles and each give a stunning performances in their own way. How can you not enjoy a film based around the real-life creations of Peter Pan?”

Fight Club

“Having not read the novel it is based on, Fight Club is a brilliant David Fincher film that is violent and gorey, but also thought provoking and raw. With a genius twist at the end, this is most definitely a classic. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are both amazing in the leads, and Helena Bonham Carter, too, gives a strong performance, one of her best, I think. The soundtrack is very well suited to the film, and some of the scenes are stunning, despite the film’s violent premise. The scene at the end with Bonham Carter and Norton looking over the city, especially, is one of my favourites.”

Eyes Wide Shut

“It’s one of those films that you need to think a lot about and pay close attention to to really appreciate it. Kubrick uses so many hidden references that whilst watching the film keep you in suspense, and when the film comes to an end make you take a deep breathe and say, “Wow.” Take the title, Cruise’s lead role has his eyes wide shut throughout the film, so we constantly have to question what is real and what is being seen through his jealousy. It’s very clever. Cruise is brilliant here and I’m finally coming to enjoy him as an actor, but what I enjoyed most was the recurring piano piece that played throughout the film, as it heightened the mystery. It was quite chilling, really, but also pretty sexy.”

Rain Man

“A great and well-told story about autism and a brother’s bond. It’s touching and also quite sweet. Hoffman is amazing and he plays the role exceedingly well, and it is a good role for Cruise, too.”

Moonrise Kingdom

“Another wonderful Wes Anderson classic, and probably my favourite so far. It’s quirky, with stunning cinematography, and it is, as always, very well scripted. Yes, it’s set around another detached reality that is sometimes Anderson’s biggest downfall in his films, but the innocent structure works at its best here with the boy scout premise. And let’s not forget the cast, one of the most stand out qualities of Anderson’s films, which this time includes a number of brilliant additions to Anderson’s originals, including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Tilda Swinton, but it is the young stars that lead the film who deserve the credit here. Everything about it is just charming.”

The Break-Up

“It’s exactly what you would expect, but with a few added home truths. It’s almost emotional which is therefore almost a quality, but it isn’t one of the best rom-coms. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn each play their stereotypes, but it’s quite interesting to see them as a couple together, moreso Vaughn dealing with a serious relationship. It’ll do for a rainy day.”

Rushmore

“Currently making my way through Wes Anderson films, this is, so far, at the bottom. Sure it has everything that’s good about an Anderson film, but I just didn’t engage with it as I have with his others. I’m finding it hard to see the film’s appeal, as it was quirky on an unrelateable level, which, for me, was it’s downfall. I’m not saying it’s a bad film, and there’s room for change in my ranking of Anderson films, but this one wasn’t for me.”

Sound of My Voice

“I’m bewildered, completely and utterly bewildered. Is that a good thing? From a mysterious thriller like this I would say probably yes. But as the end of the film began to quicken up and the twists came in to play, I became so intrigued, but now I will never know. I’m a little underwhelmed by that, but at the same time I appreciate it. Other than that, it’s quite a slow-paced film that does, in places, drag you into this cult-like state like the people we are watching, but it was very interesting. I absolutely love Brit Marling, both for her acting and her writing, as much like Another Earth, she has brilliant ideas that she can lead extremely well.”

Flipped

“A very sweet film. Part of my wants to scream that this was a bad film but I actually really enjoyed it. I like that you got to see the story from two different perspectives, and, if nothing else, I’d quite like to read the book now. The two young leads were pretty decent too, it just seemed very dated.”

Grease

“This will always be one of – if not the – best musical around. A cheesey story line, a great cast, and an amazing soundtrack. Timeless.”

Magnolia

“From the reviews I’m reading, you have to watch this film more than once to truly appreciate it. So for a first watch, I didn’t enjoy it. I spent far too much time trying to understand everything that was happening – and that’s a hell of a lot! – and trying to link the characters together – because the story obviously had to come together somehow – that I couldn’t see what people love about it. It’s a complicated film, so now that I understand it’s premise I may have to rewatch to see if I can enjoy it.”

You Instead

“This just came on late night TV and from seeing Natalia Tena (Harry Potter) and Ruta Gedmintas (Lip Service) I thought I would give it a go. I ended up really enjoying it. It seems like a very experimental film, although the director has a made a lot of feature films already, but I liked this kind of rough cut/indie-wannabe feel to it. The premise of a music festival was it’s main quality, and it really brings back some memories if you’ve been to one yourself. The romance was genuine due to the very enjoyable cast, including a well acted role from Luke Treadaway too, and it will definitely be something I will watch again and again when I have nothing to do.”

2 Responses to “Letterboxd Reviews: September”


  1. 1 Luke Grima | WGTTM? (@LGrima) 3 October, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Only 51 films Charlie? Pah!…ah…ah…a….a…..*cries*


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