2017 in Review – April

Another month into Andrew Brooker’s self-imposed challenge to watch 365 films in 365 days. See how he’s been getting on below.

“Fuck, shit, cock, ass, titties, boner, bitch, muff, pussy, cunt, butt hole, BARBRA STREISAND!”

Well, it’s happened.

It’s only April and I’ve run out of clever ways to start these diary entries!

A third of the way through 2017 and this challenge is going smoothly. This month saw a week at work during the easter holidays where I was in the office on my own. Left to my own devices, I ploughed through Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in search of something interesting to watch.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as I’ll explain in a bit. As work gave, work also took away.

Week One

The Easter holidays. If working in education has any advantage, it’s the weeks that I can be left alone when everyone else is on holiday. Starting the week at home, we continued the kid’s introduction to Jim Carrey by watching the Ace Ventura films together. With Ant-Man finishing her Marvel marathon (for now), we decided to go silly and went with Night At The Museum to finish off her weekend. Ours ended with the last two films in the Predator trilogy.

Monday saw a week of insanity as I had nothing to do and an iPad in the office with me. To go through the entire list of what I watched would be nuts, suffice to say that a week of horror movies was upon me hitting lows like The Human Centipede trilogy and highs as lofty as Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones.

Evenings this week were peppered the same way the days were. A ton of new horror – some I’ve been looking forward to, some that came out of nowhere – but all excellent as Prevenge, The Devil’s Candy and Stake Land II all hit the lofty expectations I had for them.

The week ended with a little indie horror that I’ve been looking forward to for ages. The Void was an outstanding little body horror that left its Clive Barker influences hanging for the world to see. Simply outstanding.

Week Two

A slow week, but a pretty good one for the most part. Starting with new kids movie The Boss Baby and moving on to a recent favourite Inside Out was most of our weekend. The Sunday ended with another sadly hard to find screening of the excellent french horror/drama Raw.

One of my favourite parts of this week though, was to finally watch the last film from the pile of shame that has haunted me, and this challenge, for too long. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within was every bit as good as I remember. Of course, this week I also spent a small fortune starting up a whole new pile of blu-rays to watch, but at least I managed to clear one pile.

Good Friday was our first visit to the Ghostbusters reboot for this year and the first day of the 4-day weekend ended with a pair of Bad Boys movies.

Week Three

A slightly more… eclectic week. Got a literal shit-ton of movies watched that covered a whole spectrum of genres.

The remainder of the Easter weekend heavily leaned towards Nikita-centric films. The Mask, the original Ghostbusters, Dumbo; the list was a decent one. Grown up films included Doctor Strange – one that Nikita can watch once my count doesn’t matter anymore – and bonafide action classic Desperado. The weekend ended with a trip to Cineworld to watch a film I was surprised to see on their billing for Easter weekend; Park-Chan Wook’s excellent Japanese/Korean drama The Handmaiden.

The tail-end of a bout of chickenpox meant, although she was happy and healthy and not in the least bit contagious, Nikita wasn’t allowed in school. So when I asked her what she wanted to do once everyone else was back at work, she asked if we could go see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema. I obliged, only really for the list, and surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. The second musical I’ve seen this year and it was infinitely better than that La La Land shit. A review screener for straight-to-video horror The Watcher, a trip to see F8 of the Furious and starting the Purge franchise again almost round off the week.

A free Friday meant an afternoon cinema trip to see the excellent The Belko Experiment and a podcast inspired viewing of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut while I wrote the review. Leaving the an excellent day, and a very good week to finish up with surprise recommendation The Happiest Day In The Life of Olli Maki.

Week Four

A couple of podcasts this week and some insane work scheduling made this final week of April a tough one. But it did have a couple of highlights.

Looking for inspiration for the Failed Critics fifth birthday pod, I revisited a couple of excellent Michael Douglas thrillers. I can think of no better way to end a quiet Sunday night than with Falling Down and The Game.

Contemporary vampire film The Transfiguration (a film recommended to me by fellow Failed Critic alum Mike Shawcross) gave my week a surprise injection of independent excellence that I really wasn’t expecting. With popcorn actioner and Steve Austin vehicle The Condemned the only film I watched during the week, it was a dead slow one. Luckily, the final weekend of the month saw a decent kick in the amount of films I could see.

Last year’s The Magnificent Seven remake started a free Saturday morning, while a revisit to fun favourite Street Kings wrapped my day up. As the weekend (and the month) drew to a close, I made a last ditch attempt to crowbar a couple more films on to the list. The splendid Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 started a day that ended with the surprisingly great Split and the pretty rubbish Jamie Foxx cop “thriller” Sleepless.

Until I got to the end of this piece, I didn’t think I’d had as successful a month as previous ones have been, but by the looks of things, it could have been far worse. Next month sees yet another big game released to fight for time against big, anticipated films like Alien: Covenant. Here’s a hoping.

Films seen this month: 59
Current count, as of 30th of April: 216 of 365.

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