Two of my post-1970 watches from November will be getting full reviews: Allied (2016), reviewed for my series on period films, and Lady Snowblood (1973), for the new “FilmStruck Friday” feature. A third, Arrival (2016), won’t be reviewed because I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said! Anyway, here are miniature reviews of the rest of the modern movies I watched in November!
Almost Christmas (2016) – It’s been several years since I’ve seen a new-release Christmas film and loved it. In fact, I don’t remember the last time, offhand. But surprisingly, this was one of my favorite modern viewings of the month! Almost Christmas can definitely be added to my winter viewing rotation. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s heartwarming… everything I want from a holiday movie. Not exactly an unfamiliar tale, but it has a lot of heart and a strong cast. That ol’ cliché of “You’ll laugh! You’ll cry!” applies.
Don’t Say a Word (2001) – A creepy thriller with more than a few moments of Lifetime-y drama. Entertaining, but not great.
Godzilla trio: Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) – On November 25, I spent the day binging the new Gilmore Girls episodes with my mom and sister. After watching Rory have an affair with my least favorite of her three suitors all day while eating way too much pizza and drinking way too much coffee, I needed to watch some stuff get destroyed. Luckily, the Movies! network was airing a Friday night Godzilla-thon with dubbed-in-English versions of these three monster flicks. These aren’t technically “great” films in the sense of award-worthiness or innovative storytelling, but they’re so immensely entertaining! Mothra and Mechagodzilla are tied for my favorite of the three, though the girl whose only friend is a plant (and whose voice seems to be dubbed by a kindly 40-something Canadian woman) gives a slight edge to Mechagodzilla, along with the badass woman fighter pilot character.
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) – Fascinating documentary about sable trappers living in the harsh environment of Siberia. I was gripped by this story the whole way through and really enjoyed getting to know these folks through their interviews and experiences. As an animal-loving vegetarian living in a metropolitan area of the US, their experiences are pretty opposite of my own, which is always valuable to watch. I liked the fact that the film didn’t overly romanticize the lifestyle of these people, balancing the “happy” with the hardships.
Inferno (2016) – Had to head out to the theater for this one because I love Tom Hanks and Irrfan Khan, haha. A decent popcorn flick, just like the other Robert Langdon movies. Really made me want to go to Italy. Not much else to say!
Jane Got a Gun (2016) – With all of the infamous delays and production problems, my expectations were not exactly high for this one, but I decided to tune in when it was added to Netflix. It’s a decent 21st century Western, and much more conventional than I thought it would be, so most fans of the genre will find something to like about it, and I’m always on board for more Westerns with gun-toting female leads.