July 2016 Recap

I’m making a few changes to the blog that I’ll post about tomorrow, but one of them is that these monthly round-ups are now just going to focus on new / new-ish releases. If you’re interested in reading about any other (i.e. older) films that I’ve watched and written about then there’s a list of the last fifty or so blog entries on the sidebar to the right (except if you’re reading on a tablet, or phone, in which case I have no idea where the sidebar is, or if it even shows up at all; here’s the index anyway).

I watched a total of 37 films (including several shorts) last month, of which 12 were new or recent releases. There were several additional films that I wanted to catch, but I just haven’t had time or (more specifically) haven’t been able to get to certain cinemas to see them, so hopefully I’ll see them on DVD later in the year. Anyway, of the 12 a few really stood out, such as the glossy Italian crime drama Suburra, the wonderfully understated docudrama Notes On Blindness, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s vibrant, disturbing new film The Neon Demon. I’d recommend all three, though of course the things I liked about them may well be things other people end up hating, but there you go.

I saw a few other films worth recommending, such as Rachel Tunnard’s witty comedy-drama Adult Life Skills, Rebecca Miller’s New York-set Maggie’s Plan and the animated Disney feature Zootropolis (aka Zootopia). Slightly less enjoyable (but not bad) were the blockbusters Star Trek Beyond and Jason Bourne, and also the Chet Baker biopic Born To Be Blue, for which Ethan Hawke delivers one of his best performances (if not his very best).

Alas the month contained a few disappointments. Ghostbusters didn’t really make me laugh all that much and relied too much on the original for my liking, which was a shame given the female cast and the ongoing abuse on social media surrounding the film; The Secret Life Of Pets seemed like a blur of chase scenes, despite some good material at the start and end; while The Violators had some good elements but suffered from a mishandled final act.

So, that’s it in terms of new releases for the previous month. I liked Suburra and The Neon Demon equally, but if I had to pick one as film of the month I’d probably go for Suburra, simply because it hasn’t got much press and I’ve seen few people post about it.

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