“That’s it. Game over man. Game over.”
Holy hell. We’re a quarter of the way through the year already! The clocks have gone forward and it’s light when I leave for work. It’ll soon be Christmas, guys.
March saw a period that I was worried about when I started this challenge. It was the time when big, time-sinking games started hitting shelves. With commitments to the Character Unlock podcast as well as this challenge, I worried I might quite possibly burn myself out trying to do everything.
Luckily, I had half been planning for this to happen; a particular game, Horizon: Zero Dawn, had been on my radar for a while and I had to work around it when it arrived. It’s one of the reasons I hit the previous couple of months as hard as I did. It meant I could take it easy and miss a few days of film watching if I needed to.
That wasn’t the only issue I had though. Let me explain…
Horizon week. I got back from my Logan screening to the message that my game was installed and ready to go. It took all my power to not put it on immediately so that I could get my review written. And, because I was getting a second screening of the latest Wolverine film that evening (a repeat viewing that I can’t add to my count), I chucked on the thoroughly awful Seagal flick Asian Connection to keep me “entertained”.
The next few days were an up-and-down affair with quality – mainly up though, as the terrible xXx: State of the Union was countered over and over again with greats like last year’s Beyond the Gates, the classic The Long Good Friday and the sublime Headshot.
Superheroes, both real and animated, rolled though our weekend with Nikita breezing through X-Men 2, Big Hero 6 and Iron Man 3. The first week ended in the strangest way, with a Lifetime TV movie (that was as pants as you’d expect) from personal indie favourite James Cullen Bressack: If Looks Could Kill.
This week saw the second problem of the month. Netflix’s latest entry into the Marvel TV Universe, Iron Fist, hit the streaming service and took three days from the month instantly. It was the first time that I actually panicked about the state of my challenge; all for a thoroughly average show too. Dammit! Not to be deterred, we started the movies this week with the gorgeous throwback horror, The Love Witch.
A busy weekend that included another Deadpool screening meant that the only thing I could add to the list in my days off work were the splendid Moana; and the fun bit kinda pants X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
But… my week ended in the most beautiful way as we tackled a franchise from the “to watch” list in time for the next instalment. One of my favourite horror franchises: Five Saw films rounded off week two.
Finishing the torture porn series was the order for the first night this week, before a random trip down memory lane, back to 1984’s Police Academy, thanks to a random recommendation from the Sky box.
Then, after missing far too many early screening opportunities in previous weeks and months, I finally got to see tense psychological thriller Get Out. A great film (if not really a horror one) that really got the juices flowing for some good scares. So what better way to follow it up than with our first Frozen viewing of the year?
Ok, I jest, it was the weekend and I can’t be showing the three year old Rob Zombie movies (or can I?). But what I can show her – and I was so chuffed and so proud when she properly got into it – was Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. In my opinion, a perfect gateway into horror for a kid that loves films that make her jump.
Finishing up with the opening film (and one of my top five) from last year’s FrightFest, I finally got to share my love of thriller My Father Die with the wife.
My latest steelbook delivery meant the Failed Critics best film of 2016 was first this week; and Arrival was just as great the second time around. This was followed swiftly by a kindly supplied review screener for gross pregnancy horror Antibirth. A few hours to myself and stuff to write meant horror was the order of the day again. Some good, some bad, as I flicked between modern classic American Mary and modern nonsense Dead Rising: Endgame.
A trip to the flicks for the thoroughly dull Life inspired the start of the next franchise binge. Dusting off the Alien Anthology (and the Predator trilogy, and the AvP films, etc. etc.) meant a few nights of classic sci-fi horror (and Alien Resurrection) were in the bag. Filling gaps with fluff like Liar Liar and the 1998 version of Godzilla meant that even in this busy month, we were padding out the numbers nicely.
Bringing up the rear was a midnight screening of the Ghost in the Shell remake – a film I fear I’ll spend far too long defending my enjoyment of. Followed by writing and podcast editing sessions, that meant films on in the background: Daft action from Sabotage and Wanted, to classic – yes, CLASSIC – comedy Mallrats.
The last film of the month was a happy accident of greatness and brilliance. Timeless Arnie actioner Predator has set the bar pretty high for April, I can tell you.
Oooof. A tough month that has tested my patience for this challenge (and other things, to be honest), but we’ve powered through and come out the other side with some bad ass entries for March.
A quarter of the year done. Pretty much committed now.
Films seen this month: 43
Current count, as of 31st of March: 157 of 365.