A week in film – week 53/week 1

Well, I can’t fully decide what week this comes under. Is it the last of 2015 or the first of 2016? Despite being slightly unwilling to admit it to myself, this series is almost certainly going to continue into the New Year (it’s nice to write about something I care about, and to have the structure and routine willing me to actually do it). But this post needs to work as a bridge between the years, so it’s magically serving both as a week 53 and a week 1 post. And the year has finished/started strong.

This isn’t necessarily because of the new things I’ve watched, because predictably it hasn’t been the season for starting fresh. In fact, the sum of content I’ve never seen before amounts to about half of Clue – our internet cut out, and I’m not entirely sure that was a bad thing – and the new episode of Sherlock, ‘The Abominable Bride’, which I actually ended up watching twice. I love Sherlock, and I look forward to every episode (which, as there’s only been ten over six years, keeps me motivated to go back), but I was a little perplexed by ‘The Abominable Bride’ the first time. Sherlock‘s always been pretty pretentious, but it felt a bit like it had gone way too far…and some of the dialogue was cheesy to the point of irritation (oh God, “it’s a shotgun wedding” was TOO MUCH, even for me). But watching it a second time, knowing where it was going and looking out for the signs, it was so much more fun. Sherlock, if nothing else, is still shot so beautifully and unusually, which does make it a delight. And for every line I found awkward, there’s about five more which are completely brilliant. For all my initial reluctance (I was so worried it wasn’t going to fit into the show’s continuity at all), it did win me over in the end – and it really should be applauded for being different.

Then, fully embracing the inevitable post-Christmas/pre-back-to-work slump, I’ve been touching base with the old reliables. Community, or specifically ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’ (honestly one of a great show’s best episodes), still make me laugh. Both Avengers Assemble and Iron Man Three (I am SO predictable) made me so ready for more Marvel movies, and has kicked off a craving for a Phase 2 rewatch I’m not even going to attempt to fight. And The West Wing, well…I just love The West Wing. Different characters become my favourite on every repeat, so this time is Charlie Young’s turn (ugh, he’s so GOOD, guys), and it still makes me cry, laugh, and want to applaud.

There have also been other repeats which can’t really fit into that dependably enjoyable category. I mean, The Hunger Games is fantastic, but it is pretty harrowing and, even if I’m looking at it objectively, I still prefer Catching Fire. Also, as reluctant as I am to admit it, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens again and wasn’t as taken with it as I was the first time. It’s strange for me because I generally love everything more the second time (I don’t know why, but it was certainly true for Sherlock this week), and I wasn’t expecting Star Wars to be the exception. It really isn’t a case of hating it, either – it’s just that the initial enthusiasm and infectious fan excitement wasn’t carrying me through this time, and instead I was more aware of its flaws. Mainly that it reeeeaaally slows in the second act. This is a problem I struggled to get past, even if there are bits I still REALLY like (particularly Rey and Finn), and I definitely think I need a bit of a break before I go back and see it again – which I inevitably will, despite what I’ve just said.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, because I immediately forget about them –  which is why writing this blog series has been so rewarding in its own way. And because I clearly managed to get through an entire year without forgetting to do it, come the end of a degree, the beginning of a job, and moving back to and away from home, I’m going to add some conditions. Like, I really WILL watch at least one new thing a week (and thankfully my wonderful and very tolerant housemates know this condition, and are going to be strict about it). Also, I actually will write a list of everything I’ve seen so I can publish it in full at the end of the year (and not give up mid-January like I did last time). It’ll just reiterate that I have a crippling Marvel addiction, I guess, but hopefully it’ll be both slightly illuminating and not too alarming. We’ll see how quickly those resolutions go out of the window, but I’d rather be making ones like that then trying to convince myself to eat fewer snacks (never going to happen) or going jogging three times a week (“I know it keeps you healthy, but God, at what cost?!”).

Thank you so much for sticking with me. Here’s to a fun and varied 2016.

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