A week in film – 2016, week 4

Well, OK, technically I have not watched any new films this week, so I’ve already failed on my quest to watch one for every post. A grand total of four weeks in! But this week, while quiet, has not been a total loss – I’m going to count new episodes of TV shows, because that makes this whole situation more redeemable.

Firstly, I am still too emotionally invested in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Remember how last week I was banging on about how much I loved Fitzsimmons? Those feels were so much worse this week. Basically Fitz’s whole quest to get Simmons back to Earth left me an emotional mess of a person, and that is something that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has no right achieving. (Potential spoilers ahoy if you care about AoS) I was terrified it was all going to go tits up for them at the end, but fortunately it didn’t – and there was a lovely moment right at the end of the episode, where poor, understandably shellshocked Simmons can’t sleep and realises Fitz hasn’t left her side. God, those two. I mean, the rest of it verges close to rubbish – it did make me laugh a few times, I admit, but Ward is the goddamn worst – but it is all worth it for them.

I’m also fully caught up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s third season now (or at least as much of it has aired in the UK), after continuing to get distracted by other things. The characters on Brooklyn Nine-Nine continue to be my favourites in almost anything I’m watching right now – they’re all distinct, individually funny, and however ludicrous the situations they seem real – and the show itself is great. I’ll be honest – I watched a lot of these episodes (I had two weeks’ worth to catch up on) while I was cooking, so my attention wasn’t 100% committed, but I still had time to laugh out loud at least a few times. If you still haven’t picked it up yet, do. It’s one of those shows that isn’t heavily reliant on arcs and continuity, so you could probably pick it up wherever and enjoy it.

On a slightly more disappointed note, I’m winding down on my rewatch of The West Wing (so, like, back to one episode every few days) because I’m really noticing the dip in series five. I do still love The West Wing, I love its characters and its stories, but it’s got to the point where I’m skipping episodes because I don’t particularly like them (potentially because Josh is having a crisis, which happens a lot). There are some great episodes ahead of me, I know, but I think now is the time to dip in and out rather than commit to a full rewatch.

We also ended up watching a few post-evening-out episodes of Friends, which I haven’t watched for AGES…and I don’t think I’ve missed. I loved Friends a lot when I was younger. I would watch episodes on E4 at 5 and then watch the same ones again at 8. That, and watching most of the shows heavily influenced by it, is probably why I struggle to enjoy it now. It was series 5 as well! I remember liking series 5. But not so much any more. Despite people still raving about it, it really does feel pretty dated (those episodes have to be about twenty years old now) and maybe the constant quoting of it has made the real thing seem repetitive. I don’t know. As I have learned, Friends is not my go-to sitcom any more.

As for films, it’s been relatively quiet and fairly predictable. More because I wanted to play around with Blu-ray, I watched Ant-Man. I’d somehow forgotten how trippy it is until I sat down and saw it off a plane. So many sequences are plain weird, like the whole bit in the quantum realm (I actually saw the Easter Egg this time, hooray) and the enormous Thomas the Tank Engine of the final showdown, his eyes swivelling side to side like the villain of nightmares. As the film goes, though, it’s definitely Michael Peña who stands out – he’s so funny, and I can only hope that he’ll be in the sequel. It also apparently cures Sunday afternoon listlessness, which is good to know.

We also felt the need to watch How To Train Your Dragon, when we decided that we were too exhausted to watch Mad Max: Fury Road (we’ve been planning to watch that again for ages…one day). I feel like I talk about how much How To Train Your Dragon means to me a lot, but it bears repeating – at one point in my life when things weren’t great, I watched How To Train Your Dragon about once a week and felt better for a few hours. I potentially prefer the second one, but that doesn’t diminish my love for the first – the dragon design is beautiful, the landscape GORGEOUS (it’s so beautiful – particularly the scene where Hiccup goes through the woods to find the Night Fury he shot down or the first proper flight, which are both animated so wonderfully).

The closest I’ve got to a new film was watching Pacific Rim, which I’ve only seen once and a long time ago. Pacific Rim is essentially a film where giant robots hit giant monsters for two hours. As that is generally my cup of tea, I am on board for Pacific Rim. It’s got Idris Elba in, which is always a bonus. It’s got the line “today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”, which is a useful quote for everyday conversation. Some of the visuals are also incredible – the nighttime fight in Hong Kong is an enormous moving mix of neon and grey which looks amazing. So, I may have fallen asleep somewhere near the end and woken up slightly confused as to where certain characters had gone, but on the whole I didn’t think I’d missed that much. I was just happy to be along for some the ride, really.

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