We’re halfway through Movie March, and Week Two has been interesting in that it hasn’t been all movies. In addition to some brilliant movies I watched this week, I also rewatched an episode of one of my favourite shows of all time, and the discovery of an addictively pulpy new show meant that my Sunday night was filled with teen drama. But this week was a wonderful mix of all kinds of entertainment, so let’s review my week in film!
8/3: Parks and Recreation
Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day, and I was feeling very inspired to watch some strong female characters kick ass and be amazing. So I thought, who better to watch than Leslie Knope? Parks and Recreation is one of my favourite shows of all time, Leslie Knope is such a role model, and the episode I picked, Win, Lose or Draw, is a real pivotal moment for her as a character: when she finally realises her dream of taking office and becomes a Councilwoman. I love her intellect, I love her humour, and I love her passion for her friends, town and government, and watching this episode reminded me of how much I love this series.
After watching Iron Man 1 & 2 last week, I have decided to turn it into a long-running marathon, and Thor was the next movie on the list. Though not the best Marvel film, acting as a stepping stone to get the universe to the Avengers, Thor has some fantastic elements: Natalie Portman is a brilliant scientist and great love interest for Thor; Kat Dennings is such great comic relief as Darcy; Chris Hemsworth’s stunning transformation to become a literal god, and Marvel’s best villain to date in Loki, a spoiled, petulant brother who you still sympathise with. If you can get past all the crappy magical science jargon, Thor has some great moments and great heart.
9/3: Batman Begins (review to come)
Oh yes. It finally happened. I finally watched Batman Begins. Much of my initial excitement came from the wealth of great facial hair in this instalment (Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe and Gary Oldman all sport fantastic moes), but when I really got into it, it blew me away. Christian Bale makes a fascinating Bruce Wayne, a great combo of tortured playboy, and his Batman wasn’t as goofy as I had been warned (though the voice got worse as it went on). Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul was so menacing, the Scarecrow did actually scare the hell out of me, it was visually stunning, and the thing I loved the most was that everyone was giving a great performance. No one was phoning it in, there was great chemistry between almost everyone (though I can see why Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes in the next one), and the cast looks genuinely happy to be there, despite the film’s somber tone. It was just so refreshing to watch a good DC movie.
Hers my problem with Superbad: the first act is awesome. Starting off as a high school movie about two friends on the brink of graduation who are trying to get laid, Superbad is a very realistic depiction of high school, so hilarious, and the friendship between Jonah Hill and Michael Cera is awesome and almost John Hughes-esque. And then it becomes a cop movie, as their third-wheel friend Fogell gets taken under the wing of two inept cops. Even though I love Bill Hader and Seth Rogen as their characters, the film takes such an unexpected detour for someone who had no idea what it was about going in, that I was negatively surprised. In fairness, these scenes do have funny moments, but I personally wasn’t captured again until they reached the party, which felt much more like a culmination of the movie I wanted. It was definitely worth the watch, since it had me cracking up, it just wasn’t what I expected.
This was my other television indulgence this week, which I took a chance with on Netflix and was completely captured. Riverdale is a loose adaptation of the Archie Comics Series, but takes these iconic characters and settings and tangles them up in a murder mystery, where this small town is in shock after the mysterious murder of Jason Blossom, captain of the football team. I’m currently five episodes in (Netflix is releasing episodes weekly), and at this point everyone is a suspect, hiding secrets of their own: Archie (KJ Apa) has something to hide after hooking up with his music teacher over the summer, Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) family is swimming in secrets after her sister Polly is sent away, new girl Veronica (Camila Mendes) is constantly in the shadow of her controversial father, and Jason’s twin sister Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) is a straight up psycho. There’s lies, lust, love and danger, and Riverdale is so ridiculously addictive and mysterious, but also well-written, so it’s a well-deserved indulgence.
12/3: Beauty and the Beast
With the live action Beauty and The Beast hit to theatres next week, I thought it fitting to watch the well-beloved original, which was such a good idea. Though not without faults, Belle is such a wonderful character, her love for reading and independence so inspiring, and she’s surrounded by a number of interesting supporting players. Gaston is so vile that I love to hate him, Lumiere, Cogsworth and co. are absolutely delightful, and the Beast manages to defy the weird connotations of his capture of Belle so well that you really do love them as a couple in the end. Plus, Beauty and the Beast also has some of the best songs in all of Disney: Tale as Old as Time genuinely made me cry, and that scene is so beautiful that it made me even more excited for this new version.
13/3: The Princess Bride
This is one of my favourite movies ever, and even though I say that about a lot of movies, I really mean it this time. Set with the most brilliant framing device of a grandfather reading a book to his grandson, the Princess Bride is about (as the grandfather so well puts it) “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, Giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”, all tied together with irreverent humour, loveable characters, and a great cameo from Billy Crystal. It’s quotable, it’s beautiful, it’s hysterical, and it’s just… INCONCEIVABLE!
With such a range of movies this week, who knows what films the next week will hold? If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below, and until next week, happy watching!
Photos taken from IMDB.com: