Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monthly Round-Up: What I Watched In September

 Well, tomorrow is October, so that means another month is over.

I re-watched a lot of films in September, with many being 2012 films. In the case of Moonrise Kingdom, The Avengers, Your Sister's Sister and Berberian Sound Studio they were all cemented in my Top 30 of the year. I watched Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol with my family and it was just as much fun. Unable to get the story of the West Memphis Three out of my head with the release of Damien Echols' novel, I decided to re-watch two of the Paradise Lost docos. 

I watched a total of 36 films in September. After a strong start I did slow down in the final week, having seen a lot of the new releases earlier in the year at festivals and being unable to fit in some of the films on my desired Italian Film Festival list. The Italian Film Fest. is in full swing - and reviews of three of the films can be found below.

Overall, it was a pretty disappointing month. Very few exceptional films - no new five star films - and some very bad films (Bait 3D, Project X, Hit and Run and The Watch to name a few).

As I have just become a member of the team at Graffiti With Punctuation, and will be working LOTS in the near-future, I am unsure what is in store for October. It will take a few weeks to acclimatise and I will be trying to ensure my writing is quality, and not aiming to post every day. The Film Emporium will be scaled back, but I will still be posting several times a week here, and keeping you up-to-date with all of the new releases, and maybe even a new Director-of-the-Month. It's been a while.

New-to-Me Films (Cinema/DVD/Screener) in order of preference

-------- Essential Viewing ---------

From Up on Poppy Hill (Goro Miyazaki, 2011)

Searching For Sugar Man (Malick Bendjelloul, 2012)

The Station Agent (Thomas McCarthy, 2005)

Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominic, 2012)

Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)

Rocketeer (Joe Johnston, 1991)

Shun Li and the Poet (Andrea Segre, 2012)

Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)

-------- Essential Viewing --------

Eyes Without A Face (Georges Franju, 1960)

Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)

Phenomena (Dario Argento, 1985)

 Take It Easy! (Francesco Bruni, 2012)

Shadow Dancer (James Marsh, 2012)

The Bourne Legacy (Tony Gilroy, 2012)

Kryptonite! (Ivan Corontoneo, 2012)

Cedar Rapids (Miguel Arteta, 2011)

Isole [Islands] (Stefano Chiantini, 2011)

Francophrenia (Ian Olds, 2012)

The Watch (Akiva Schaffer, 2012)

Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006)

Hit and Run (Dax Shepard, 2012)

Project X (Nima Nourizadeh, 2012)

Bait 3D (Kimble Rendall, 2012)

Re-watches (Cinema/DVD) in order of preference

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 1996)

Paradise Lost: Purgatory (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 2011)

Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley, 1992)

The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008)

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)

Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)

The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)

Your Sister's Sister (Lynn Shelton, 2012)

Killer Joe (William Friedkin, 2012)

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird, 2011)

Jarhead (Sam Mendes, 2005)

As I can't review them all, here are some tweet reviews of some of the films I did not have the time or desire to review in length:

BAIT: as expected, a pointless logic-defying endeavor. Serious tone eliminates 'fun' factor w/ scares absent. Obnoxious 3D. Awful ending.

HIT & RUN: coming up with next-to-nothing to praise. Some smart dialogue & slick car chases marred by ludicrous characters & developments.

THE STATION AGENT: simple, charming, funny & sad indie drama/character study delights. Entire cast shines, but Dinklage, Cannavale standout.

LOVE ACTUALLY: wow, EVERYONE is in this film. Some stories worked more than others, but a surprisingly charming romcom. Cornballer very prevalent.

CEDAR RAPIDS was average. Laughs inconsistent & despite the heartfelt finale, only highlights are John C. Reilly & a few WIRE/fart jokes.

ROCKETEER: With Nazis, gangsters, aviators & actors, ROCKETEER is explosive, fun, action-packed entertainment. Terry O'Quinn as Howard Hughes = gold.

THE BOURNE LEGACY: sporadically exciting w/ an excellent chase seq. coming too late. Let down by dull pharmaceutical plot/exposition. Intelligent, but overlong w/ little reaching heights of Damon trilogy. Renner suited & hit hard. Weiss strong. Norton & team stuffy.

Year to date: 267 + 36 = 303 Films Viewed.      


  1. That is a massive amount of films! I'm trying to think how many films I've seen this month...Brief Encounter, In the Dark Half, Withnail and I, My Week with Marilyn, Melancholia. I think that's about it. Must try harder in October!

  2. Oh man, I envious that you got to see the new Ghibli.

    Also, what did you make of the masterful Southland Tales?

    1. I didn't dig it, James. Ambitious, and there are a handful of scenes that I really enjoyed, but (and I know this is a ridiculous criticism) I just didn't get it, and that made me frustrated/bored.

      I hope you like Poppy Hill as much as I. It would be in my Top 10 of the year so far.

  3. Great month of films. Can't wait to see From Up on Poppy Hill and Killing Them Softly.

  4. You've had a fantastic month of movie viewing! There are many here I still want to watch, including The Station Agent. I can't believe I haven't seen it yet. Oh, and I can't wait for the new Ghibli film.

    1. The only Thomas McCarthy I had seen prior to The Station Agent was Win Win. He is a very talented filmmaker. It is lovely, and Peter Dinklage and Bobby Cannavale (the latter a scene-stealer) are superb.

  5. I saw 26 films (all in a cinema) this month and oddly only overlapped with you on 3 ! We sure get an awful lot of choice of movies in Australia.

    1. That's extraordinary! I guess I did watch a lot of films released this month at festivals/screenings earlier in the year. I also missed a lot of films. There are always at least 4 films out a week. It is pretty insane. Usually there is at least one I immediately dismiss, and focus on films I am likely to enjoy in some capacity.

  6. I only watched a total of 15 movies this month. I did see Looper, seems like everyone in the blogosphere saw it but still it didn't make #1 at box office, I guess they still can't beat an animated feature!

    1. I'm not surprised Looper didn't make #1 at the box office, but it is disappointing. Yeah, Madagascar, who thunk it?

  7. Glad to see some love for The Station Agent. It's a little seen gem.

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