What I've Been Watching

What I’ve been watching: Last five films #3

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It’s been so long since I last wrote one of these that there are more than five last films. There are fourteen. October was a great film-watching month for me. Thanks to a longish-haul trip to London. Well, rather the flight back home to Bahrain. And the lull between TV seasons.

Rather than going through every single one of the films, I’m going to pick out five of my favourites of the last couple of months of film viewing.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

The wait to finally see this film was painful. Reading snippet upon snippet about how wonderfully amazing this film was, was eating me alive. I began to worry. Would all this hype get to me? I didn’t let it. And I’m surprised how well I did at blocking anything about this film out of my view. Whether it was trailer upon trailer, that we seem to be bombarded with these days. Or whatever was said on the Interwebs. Mad Max: Fury Road is a simple film. It’s predictable. But I didn’t care. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen a balls-out action film that is strangely beautiful to watch. Loved every second of this film and patiently waiting more. Since seeing the film I’ve been known to randomly blurt out, “Witness me!”, just because.

Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah

You already know how the score for Z for Zachariah totally enchanted me. The film did the same. Truthfully though, it wasn’t the film I was expecting. I was expecting more … apocalyptic action I guess. Just from the synopsis of the film. Pleasantly surprise though that it was a very low-key drama. Very tense at times. The ending had both me and Anish looking up potential meanings and what actually happened. Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor were both excellent in the film. Chris Pine stuck out for me. Miscast. Z for Zachariah is one of those films that had me thinking about it for days after.

The Martian

The Martian

The Martian was one of “my” big films of the year. After having read the book you could say I was excited about seeing the film. Brilliant film. Excellent casting. Even if I was a bit miffed that the one Indian and Korean characters were somewhat “changed”. It just wasn’t the book onscreen. Which is fine. I can understand that for certain types of films, changes would need to be made. I can’t remember where I read it, but I remember reading a comment from a fellow book fan saying that the film adaptation of The Martian was Hollywood’s version of the book. Can’t disagree. The book’s filled with the sense of time, frustration, desperation and sheer loneliness that Watney feels. I felt like the film skimmed over much of that. It made the situation more accessible. And it felt too easy! It’s still an excellent film. Just not the one I was expecting.

Alive Inside

Alive Inside

My documentary film pick of this past couple of month’s viewing. There rarely was a moment where my eyes weren’t leaking while watching this film about music therapy for dementia sufferers. My favourite type of documentaries are ones where I feel like I’ve learnt something. That I’ve got something out of it. And this filled that need. Music’s never been a huge part of my life. Sure there are bands I enjoy listening to, types of music that I like. But I’ve never had that connection to music that many people have. Where it’s attached to such massive memories. And now after watching Alive Inside, I felt like maybe I need to make more of an effort to make those connections. Music is more powerful than I ever imagined.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E

The Man from U.N.C.L.E

Some of my earliest TV watching memories include watching the likes of MacGuyver, The A Team and The Man from U.N.C.L.E with the family. To be honest, I can’t remember much of what I saw of The Man from U.N.C.L.E, it was just one of those TV shows we could all watch as a family. Everyone one of us would get something out of it. The film version is great! Thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s got a great feel to it – the characters, the locations, the music – the music was perfect! Worked effortlessly in setting scenes. It essentially was a cold war version of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films, but I’ve enjoyed the heck out of them, so I’m not bothered about that. Here’s one film I do hope they’ll do a sequel for.

So what else did I see in the last couple of months? Well there was Los Ojos de Julie (nowhere near as horrifying or interesting as I thought it was going to be), Southpaw (the trailer ruined this for me – predictable and a bit flat. Great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal), Man Up (Brit rom-com with Simon Pegg – ehhhh), San Andreas (enjoyed all the silliness – can’t help it, it’s The Rock), Aloha (can anyone explain what happened in this film? Such a mess), The Babadook (kind of terrifying, made me think I’ll never want kids), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (totally enjoyed it when I watched it, can’t recall the plot right now though), The Nightmare (well made but boring documentary on the interesting topic of night terrors), Jurassic World (failed at being the original film, kind of stupid but entertaining).

Now that fall TV scheduled has kicked in, and with a backlog of TV shows to watch, films have taken a bit of a back burner. There are loads on my to-watch list though that I’ll need to get through. You guys seen anything interesting of late?


  1. I can’t get Alan to watch Mad Max but I heard it was a pretty good movie. I still NEED to see The Martian. Too bad we didn’t have a babysitter for when it came out. Guess I’ll wait for DVD. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t HATE Jurassic World but so many parts of the movie I was scoffing at it because REALLY?!?!?!?! C’mom. Horrible plot development.

    • You NEED to make Alan watch Mad Max – it’s a fantastic film! One of my favourites of the year.

      And yes, you also need to watch The Martian. It is a shame you didn’t get to see it on the big screen – small screen will be just fine. I lucked out being able to see it at the cinema as I was in London at the time.

      Going into Jurassic Park I knew to hold any sort of expectation for a well thought out film on hold. It worked. Plot hole after plot hole combined with terrible characters. And yet… there’s likely to be another!

  2. I also finally just watched Mad Max, and it’s amazing! I had a similar wonder if all the hype would make it not be as thrilling, but I was hooked. I love the Road Warrior, and it’s definitely in the same vein. I love the way the plot isn’t overly complicated. Just awesome!

    • I hope with the success of films like Fury Road producers see the benefits of having well made, uncomplicated and enjoyable action films. It feels like the action film genre has been left to the crappy or overly complicated of late.

  3. I loved Mad Max and the Martian! It’s been a good year for movies, I’d say. I may have been the one to say the movie the Martian met my book expectations, ha! I felt like, besides the change of point-of-view, they did a pretty good job with it.

    • It’s been a very solid year for films – a lot of variety, if you ignore the onslaught of comic book films during the summer blockbuster season. Lots of interesting little films and documentaries came out this year which have been great to see.

  4. I agree with your review of The Martian. But I haven’t seen your other films. And I’m still on the first season of Manhattan! Almost finish though…sometimes I try not to binge watch 😛

  5. I remember my husband rented Mad Max … I tried to watch it with me but it didn’t really grab my attention. I did watch The Martian though and i LOVED it! The movie was really good. I didn’t know it was a book until I saw the credits… I am definitely planning on reading it!

    I saw Southpaw too and I liked it. It was very predictable but I too thought Jake Gyllenhaal did a great job!

    • Think Jake Gylenhaal is one of those actors that I will watch anything that they’re in. Such a talented actor. He was great in Nightcrawler too – highly recommend that one if you haven’t seen it.

  6. moviesandsongs365

    Mad Max was a fun, and yes simple, adrenaline ride, I hope they do another, in which they expand on the characters. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation had some great action scenes, especially the underwater sequence impressed me, although I can understand if you forgot the villain, he was bland and forgettable. Two movies with feisty action heroines!

    • Right now, I don’t remember the villain for Rogue Nation at all. Vaguely remember some double crossing, the underwater sequence was definitely a highlight, but nope, everything else is gone.

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