The Round Up #12 (Feb 23)
Hello again everyone. February has literally flown by and by crikey, we're into March already. The weather is starting to look up, Tesco's are selling Mini Eggs and I'm not permanently wandering around the flat wrapped in a duvet clutching a hot water bottle with my gloves on to save me from turning the heating on due to the bloody silly energy prices. February was the month for love, of course and there were a couple of half-hearted stabs at it from those that do. As you can see, the Round-Up is pretty short this month due to me STILL spending most of my time watching The Last of Us, Shrinking, 1923, Mayfair Witches and Poker Face. March promises to be much better, not least because The Mandalorian is back for Season Three today (1st March) on Disney+ and a glut of decent movies promise great things. Hope your February was full of flowers and chocolate. Love and toffee popcorn to you all. Let's just start with the highest repeated song of February on my playlists.
Not what I thought it would be, but then again, I never thought Leeds United would win another Premier League game, but yet, here we are. See you at the end of the month, Buffs! xxx
Your Place or Mine (2023) - This is one of those movies that I will inevitably mistake for something else in the next six months and reference incorrectly as my memory is not what it used to be and it's far too similar to quite alot of other movies that are the same in tone, style and content. Good one for Valentines Day, I guess, but hasn't got much going for it beyond the pretty people that are the stars of the show.
The Dog Lovers Guide to Dating (2023) - I don't see many Hallmark rom-coms. It may be because there aren't many. I am happy to remain in the dark in this regard if this is an example. Predictable and desperately needing laughs of any kind, this is regularly painful, with only the dogs themselves coming out with any kind of credibility. We all know one of these people, childless singletons that are sensible enough to know that dogs are better than humans in almost every way. But just like a vegan, they can't wait to tell you about it.
Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things (1971) - Never have I felt quite so disconnected. And yet, quite so curiously engaged. This is an exploitation oddity of the best kind. Released when I was still an infant, the story of 'Aunt Martha' is fully balls-out wtf, intriguing and unashamedly of its time. Florida in the seventies looks like where I should have grown up. The soundtrack is glorious and represents a period often reproduced by others since, but this is so clearly the real deal. Between free love and disco, this sits exactly where you'd expect to find it, you just have to look really hard to see it.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (2023) - I wonder if anyone has approached Jordan Peterson to make a film version of 12 Rules For Life? What would that even look like, I wondered, staring at Mark Manson's belly as he languishes in a swimming pool, filled to the brim with his own ego. Not dissimilar to this, I mused, just as much of a lecture, but not dressed up as the wolf the sheep really is. Mark is leading a charmed life, clearly hitting the zeitgeist, so when he tells us we're all going to die, you have to wonder if he really believes he's included. So popular, they asked him to star in his own movie. And he said yes. *sigh* Give me Bertrand Russell, anyday.
After Love (2020) - BFI and the BBC always make for comfortable bedfellows, even if like this case in point, it is not always comfortable to watch. Happy to approach difficult subject matter,
their output is always considered and admirably polished. Aleem Khan takes a unique and ultimately simple story of Mary who - "suddenly finds herself a widow following the unexpected death of her husband. A day after the burial, she discovers he has a secret just twenty-one miles across the English Channel in Calais."
Powerful delivery and beautiful storytelling come in spades here and for the movie lover, well, you will feel spoiled. Scanlan is reliably brilliant.