Films watched and reviewed in November 2021

As we continue to hurtle towards the end of the year, I made another trip to the cinema (totalling five visits so far this year) and rewatched my beloved The Lord of the Rings trilogy ahead of Fellowship‘s 20th anniversary. I’m now up-to-date with Phase Four of the MCU and have enjoyed a few more of the delightful shorts on Disney+.

FIRST WATCHES

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) – As a horror film this isn’t anything special, as it follows very familiar, well worn vampire tropes. Saying that, it’s entertaining enough and an easy way to while away a couple of hours. ★★½
Falling for Figaro (2020) – This is predictable with uncharismatic leads, but Lumley clearly had fun with her role and it’s always nice seeing Scotland on screen. ★★
The Green Knight (2021) – I watched this with my fiancé and as the final credits started rolling, I was saying how much refreshing it was with its bold cinematography. My fiancé, on the other hand, was saying it was awful and how it was a waste of two hours..! ★★★★
The Harder They Fall (2021) – This is action-packed from the get go, bringing together classic Western elements with a modern soundtrack and highly stylised cinematography.. ★★★½
Spirited Away (2001) – The crew expertly delivered an immersive, magical world that is heavily inspired by Japanese folklore. It’s another example of a young female heroine from Studio Ghibli. ★★★★
Eternals (2021) – While it is a change of pace and style that fans of ‘The Infinity Saga’ might not appreciate, director Chloe Zhao has delivered a film that is a breath of fresh air and one that I look forward to re-watching. [Read my Letterboxd review.] ★★★★
Passing (2021)Passing is a strong directorial debut from Rebecca Hall that focuses on race and self identity, but while there is a lot to praise, it suffers from a lack of intensity and repetition. ★★★½
The Money Pit (1986)The Money Pit is light-hearted, slapstick and very, very Eighties. Good fun. ★★★
Candyman (1992) – As a horror with an 18 rating I didn’t find it particularly fear-inducing and would have been interested to delve deeper into the social commentary. ★★½
Red Notice (2021)Red Notice is a film that spent its whopping budget on its stars and visual effects rather than a solid story and exciting script. [Read my Letterboxd review.] ★½
Four Brothers (2005) – While this type of action film isn’t my typical type of watch, it’s entertaining with a story that keeps your attention with great casting. ★★★½
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an absolute joy, marrying Chinese mythology with the spectacular visual effects and high octane stunts that we’ve come to expect of the MCU. ★★★★
What’s Your Number? (2011) – Anna Faris is an absolute delight and the cast list reads like a ‘who’s who?’ guide of actors pre-MCU. ★★★½
Love Hard (2011) – While this is very predictable, it does have some witty moments and a fun dynamic between Dobrev and Yang. ★★★
A Castle for Christmas (2021) – This is very predictable, but it’s nice to see middle-aged love for a change rather than another pair of 20-somethings. ★★½
Like a Boss (2020) – Some fun moments and characterisation, but ultimately it falls flat as it’s very obvious and formulaic. ★★½

REWATCHES

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) – This still holds up on second viewing. Dr Bravestone is without a doubt my favourite role of Johnson’s. It’s as if the part was written specifically for him. ★★★½
Ibiza (2018) – Watched this for one reason and one alone: Richard Madden. He gives a very convincing performance but it’s still a fairly lacklustre film. ★★★
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – A masterpiece, as always. ★★★★★
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – The quest continues, and so does the enjoyment level. ★★★★★
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – A fitting conclusion to an epic trilogy. ★★★★★
Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – Huh. I apparently I had watched this before – in 2013. I have zero recollection of that! ★★★
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – This has long been a favourite of mine from the series, which I put down to the addition of some excellent new cast members (including Gary Oldman and David Thewlis) and Alfonso Cuarón’s excellent direction. ★★★★
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) – This film is a standout in the series, not only because it introduces us to more of the wizarding world, but because it marks a turning point in the series: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is well and truly back and a very real threat. ★★★★

SHORTS

Bao (2018) – Still my hands down favourite short. This time I watched it with my parents – it was fun watching their reactions! ★★★★½ [rewatch]
Burrow (2020) – Charming story and there’s so much beautiful attention to detail. ★★★★
Us Again (2021) – Very charming. It gets your feet twitching and before you know it you’re having a full on jive. ★★★★
Lava (2014) – Very sweet but lacks the depth of some other shorts. ★★½ [rewatch]
Inner Workings (2016) – Very witty and clever – put a big smile on my face! ★★★★
Paperman (2012) – A sweet black-and-white romcom. The music – by Christophe Beck – was very familiar: it was used in this year’s Free Guy, which was also scored by Beck. ★★★½
Destino (2003) – Quite mesmerising. A moving work of art. ★★★★

Total: 31

Since 01/01/21

First watches: 135
Rewatches: 45
Shorts: 10
Total: 190

One thought on “Films watched and reviewed in November 2021

Add yours

  1. There are many of the newer releases I have yet to see. I prefer Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy to The Money Pit but it is a fun watch. Love LOTR and Harry Potter but especially LOTR. I do want to see The Eternals but I heard it is not that great but I really do want to see The Green Knight.

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