“It ain’t the size that counts, asshole. It’s what you do with it.”
Brooker’s challenge to watch 365 films in 365 days takes an unexpected turn this month. An announcement from his favourite cinema had him slamming on the brakes hard at the half way point of July.
I’m sure that at seven months in to this 365 films in a year challenge, you’re as bored of reading these predictable diary entries as I am frustrated when writing them. It has turned into a bizarre chore that, while I love doing it, I’m worried is turning into the same nonsense month in, month out and I really don’t want to be boring people with my man-diary. But as this month just started to get going, I had to drop the anchor when the perfect opportunity arose.
Things are all change for me this week: I’ve started a new job and I’m absolutely exhausted in the evenings. So, you know, what’s perfect for days like that? Stupid, dumbass comedy. Cue a double bill in one day of the amazing 21 Jump Street and its outstanding sequel. Name me a better way to burn an evening? I’m not sure you can.
Talk on the Failed Critics podcast, and more conversations with fellow podcaster Matt Lambourne, convinced me to finally bite the bullet and buy the 30th anniversary steelbook edition of Transformers: The Movie. Once delivered, it was time to introduce Nikita to one of my favourite animations that doesn’t star Robin Williams as a blue genie. It went down pretty well, I have to say.
At this point, the line-up for this year’s FrightFest was released. More about that in a minute, but what it did do, was spur on a binge we were planning for a little later in the year and we started on the Child’s Play series. Going through the first three movies, all the way to my personal favourite, Bride of Chucky, in the space of three days.
At this point, a catch-up was needed. Between playing games, recording podcasts and generally vegetating on the sofa for the time I was off work meant that I missed a couple of films at the cinema. So this week saw my busiest as far as cinema trips went.
Starting with the fun-as-balls Baby Driver, a high point to start the weekend, that continued with the beautifully atmospheric horror It Comes at Night. Two films I would certainly recommend to anyone. I can’t say as much for the pretty mundane Spider-Man: Homecoming; sorry, reader, I just didn’t like it.
We finished our week ploughing through the last two Chucky films; one bloody terrible, and one bloody brilliant. And in preparation for the last in the trilogy, we revisited the reboot/prequel Planet of the Apes films.
Ok, here’s where the month took a turn.
A trip to the cinema to see War for the Planet of the Apes started a couple of days that included finally watching the “Noir” version of Logan. Yes, I know, but much like Mad Max: Fury Road – The Black and Chrome Edition counts as a separate additional film for the tally, so too does this. That weekend, just as we were tucking in to The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Prince Charles Cinema (my favourite place on Earth) announced a season of David Fincher films to be shown over August and September. As I rushed to find that yes, indeed, my favourite film of all time was getting some screen time, my plans for this challenge changed. Kind of.
It was always the idea to make Fight Club #365 in my list; but to get the chance to have my challenge end at the PCC? And it still be the best film ever made? That was a chance I couldn’t pass up. With FrightFest just around the corner – and as it turns out a very quick 25 films added to the list – I was going to need to slow it down a bit.
The only other film I saw this week, in a wholehearted attempt to keep my numbers DOWN, was Christopher Nolan’s infuriating, over-hyped war movie, Dunkirk.
Loads of TV this week. Loads. Mainly, that included a revisit to season one of Netflix and Marvel’s near perfect comic book series Daredevil. But there was also a few BBC things, and films we’d already seen this year that can’t be added to the list again, like John Wick and its gorgeous sequel, to keep things moving along.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of willpower required to not watch films. I’ve got a list of ones from Sky Cinema and fresh horror purchases from iTunes that I’m dying to get to. But no, I must be strong. This challenge was a bit of fun when it started back in January. A chance to prove just how much shit I can force myself to get through, but now it’s gotten serious. It’s Fight Club, dammit! Only time will tell if I can hold out long enough to make this the perfect end to this challenge.
Oh yeah, and I saw Despicable Me 3. I liked it.
My quietest month yet, but at least I’ve done it on purpose. August obviously brings the extra challenge now I’m shooting to end things in September. And with FrightFest in the last weekend of it, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about the films I get through in month eight.
Come back then and see if I manage to hold out.
Films seen this month: 21
Current count, as of 31st of July: 316 of 365.