The MovieViews 500 – September Summary

The MovieMuse team has set ourselves the challenge of watching 500 different films between us in 2017. Every new film we watch will be rated and given a short review as part of our MovieViews database.


This month saw a significant improvement in the number of films watched across the team, with an overall total of 63 films viewed and 47 new reviews added to the database. A much bigger contribution from Simon was most welcome, as he finally awoke from his movie-watching coma! With an overall total of 374 different movies watched, we only need to keep the same pace as this month for the rest of the year to reach our target. With the weather getting colder you can expect us to watch more films than during the summer months, as we spend more time indoors sat on our warm sofas!


September was also unique in that we all agreed on the worst film of the month, the dismal Duel rip-off Wrecker, which we watched as part of an upcoming Film Club podcast.


Below are the stats for the month, and you can also scroll down to see the reviews written by each team member for every film watched in September.


Overall Stats

January - JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
Total Films Watched282393563383774
Unique Films Watched258323251363666
New Reviews Added231303047333661
Average Rating Given3.303.
Challenge Completion51.6%58.0%64.4%74.6%81.8%89.0%102.2%

Team Member Stats for September

Total Films Watched371511
Unique Films Watched3394
New Reviews Added32105
Average Rating Given3.313.033.36
Best Film of the MonthA Ghost StoryJack ReacherDunkirk
Worst Film of the MonthWreckerWreckerWrecker

Gordon’s Reviews

A Ghost Story 2017 A minimalist masterpiece of slow and thoughtful cinema as a white-sheeted ghost tries reconnect with his bereaved wife. 8
A Scanner Darkly 2006 An interesting near future take on an undercover cop losing his own identity. Its big name cast and a unique cell-shaded art style elevate the film above its slightly pompous tone and dialogue. 6
Aguirre, Wrath of God 1972 Semi-biographical tale of a the 16th century conquistador. Where others would meticulously dress a scene, Herzog prefers authenticity and Aguirre's minimalist story is blown wide open by the unforgiving terrain of the Peruvian rain forest. 8
Brainstorm 1983 A ridiculous view of what VR could be and a pretty dull thriller. Walken and Wood are both far more capable than they show here. 4
Bushwick 2017 Following an unexpected insurgency, two strangers make a perilous journey across Bushwick to safety. A surprisingly real and very timely thriller that succeeds despite its limitations. 8
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie 2017 A hilarious first period is dulled somewhat when the bad guy enters the film, killing the momentum and making this super anti-hero film a little less than it should have been. 7
Chain Reaction 1996 As predictable as any other 90s thriller, but a great cast and satisfying action make this clean-energy conspiracy great fun. 7
Duel 1971 Spielberg's debut is so self assured you would think he was an old pro as he delivers a murder weapon in the shape of a 40 ton truck! A fantastic thrill ride that hasn't aged a day. 8
England is Mine 2017 A mostly charming biopic of pre-Smiths Morrissey that spends a little to much time in the earliest parts and not enough at the end. 7
Good Bye Lenin 2003 Cleverly weaves a humorous farce around the fall of the Berlin wall as a boy tries to hide the momentous occasion from his staunchly Communist mother who was in a coma at the time of reunification. 8
Hounds of Love 2016 A superb and creepy story of the abduction of a teenage girl. With its brilliant sense of unease and a great soundtract, Hounds of Love deserves to be a cult hit. 8
It 2017 Taking its tone from Stranger Things or Stand By Me, this is a tame horror film, but no less fun for the lack of shock and gore. 7
Joy Ride 2001 The influence of Duel is clear to see, but this is a very different take. A little more horror and a little less comedy would have been welcome. 5
La Cabina 1972 A simple Tales of the Unexpected style short film about a man getting stuck in a phone box. The Film should be on everyone's movie bucket-list, but it will make you think twice about ever entering a phone box again. Available for free in full on YouTube. 8
Logan Lucky 2017 A dumb and overly convenient heist caper. But that doesn't mean it isn't great fun! 7
Lost in Translation 2003 A gentle character study of two lost souls and their fleeting friendship in Japan. Charming and beautifully shot. 8
Micro Men 2009 This BBC comedy drama about the birth of the British computer industry has some hammy acting and a rather one sided viewpoint as it sets Acorn as the Hero to Sinclair's villain. But it ticks all the right boxes for computer geeks and retro freaks. 7
No Manifesto 2015 This documentary about the Manic Street Preachers provides some insight, but is presently so glibly that it makes the band look dull and their fans look like loonies. 4
North v South 2015 This low budget British gang thriller sets the Northern mob against the Southern. Despite having ideas well above its station, it was a fun expletive fuelled 90 minutes. 5
Rememory 2017 Despite his excellent performance, all the ponderous shots of Dinklage staring into the distance can't help this interesting sci-fi mystery from being a little too slow and predictable. 5
Scandal 1989 Despite being based on the Profumo scandal that took down a whole government, the film is light on intrigue and has little to keep you entertained apart from some terrible acting and Ian McKellen's amazing hairpiece. 5
Shooter 2007 Contains every action-thriller cliche as ace marksman Wahlberg kills dozens in an attempt to clear his name for the attempted murder of one other. 6
Still 2014 Grief and self destruction takes a violent turn as a feud with local teens escalates. Doesn't match the grit of Harry Brown and the first half is slow, but the emotion is very well played and the last 20 minutes are really gripping. 7
Stormy Monday 1988 Much like the jazz at its heart, this trashy thriller takes itself far too seriously (including a completely gratuitous Sting double bass solo). But take it for what it is and you should find enough enjoyment within. 6
The Big Sick 2017 Semi-autobiographical story of how a Pakistani comedian met his white American wife. Gloriously feel good and some excellent supporting performances. 8



Mat‘s Reviews

Baywatch 2017 This was never going to be a masterpiece, but the excessively crude language and humour, derivative plot and 2 hour running time make it even worse than expected. Aside from a few in-jokes, it completely fails to capture the spirit of the TV show. 4
Europa Report 2013 A pretty effective, tangible, but ultimately depressing Space thriller. The 'found footage' style suits the film perfectly but the addition of a soundtrack is completely at odds with that style, although it does help build tension. 6
Eyes of Laura Mars 1978 Sadly not as good as I was hoping for given the director, writer and cast involved, but the premise was interesting and it was good to see Tommy Lee Jones in one of his earlier roles. 6
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 2008 After an enjoyable opening 20 minutes, it just gets worse and worse with some awful acting, bad CGI and tiresome action sequences, before a dreadful finale. That said, it wasn't as bad as I remembered! 5
Iron Man 2008 The character seemed an odd choice to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the time, but Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of the egomaniac with a heart is very engaging, while the origin story, action scenes and villain all work well. 8
Jack Reacher 2012 Far less action-packed than expected, but all the better for it, this is a clever, thrilling and gripping movie with a brilliant and surprisingly witty performance by Tom Cruise as the anti-hero. 8
Joy Ride 2001 Unashamedly influenced by Duel and The Hitcher, this thriller still manages to entertain with a tension-filled first half, good cinematography and decent casting. Only the unmemorable finale lets it down a little. 7
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 Angelina Jolie is perfectly acceptable as the herione, but the story is convoluted, the action scenes boring and the biggest issue is that it barely resembles the video game it is based on. 5
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life 2003 The story is marginally better, but this sequel repeats most of the failings the original had, with scant references to the video game and a number of badly-acted characters doing incomprehensible things for no good reason. 5
Paranormal Activity 2 2010 For the first hour this film builds up tension effectively, has some genuinely creepy moments and one of the best jump scares of all time. Unfortunately it all gets a bit silly for the finale. 6
Poltergeist 1982 In some respects time has not been kind to this film, with some of the once-terrifying scenes now rather comical. Even so, it is still a good story with some impressive visual effects and suprisingly good acting from the children involved. 6
Spider-Man 2 2004 Continuing where the first film left off, the sequel features a similar blend of action, comedy and relationship drama, but benefits from a greater villain and a couple of outstanding setpieces. Arguably the best superhero movie ever made. 9
Stranger Than Fiction 2006 A quirky, touching and frequently hilarious comedy-drama with a really unique premise. Will Ferrell is refreshingly subdued in the lead role, while Emma Thompson is brilliant as the woman that unwittingly has his fate in her hands. 7
The Adventures of Tintin 2011 The animation is excellent, though the characters are somewhat unnerving in their realism. Story-wise it's rather haphazard, but at its best it is reminiscent of the early Indy movies, not least thanks to the John Williams score. 6
Wrecker 2015 Poor acting, cinematography and special effects contribute to this dreadful rehash of Steven Spielberg's Duel, which also has none of the tension of the original. It's hard to understand how someone can take the same story and make it so bad! 3



Simon’s Reviews

48 Hours 1982 The seminal Eddie Murphy buddy cop/felon movie, an absolute hoot from beginning to end, has one of my all time favourite movie lines and is as watchable today as it ever was. Wonderful! 8
Duel 1971 Where Spielberg cut his teeth, a TV movie made into a cinema release. A chilling, relentless tale of a motorist pursued and haranged by an evil looking tanker truck. Classic movie material, and if you haven't seen it, why the hell not? 8
Dunkirk 2017 A well crafted, almost documentary style account of a very poignant part of WW2 and the heroic actions that took place. I was absorbed by the whole scenario it portrayed and genuinely cared about the individuals whose stories were played out in the film. 8
Frankenweenie 2012 It won't set your pulse racing but if you like Tim Burton's style then you will like this. If you don't then this won't change your mind. 7
Joy Ride 2001 An interesting suspense action thriller starring Paul Walker. It is loosely based on the the Spielberg film Duel and has enough intrigue and suspense to keep you interested. 7
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 I like the video games so I quite like the movie. It has reasonable action, Jolie plays Lara well enough and looks the part. I find it inoffensive and it portrays the games well enough. 6
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life 2003 More of the same, even if it doesn't seem to flow quite as well as the first film. Again I find it OK, again it pans out like the games, which doesn't necessarily make it a successful movie. Not a travesty, but not great either. 5
Pandemic 2016 A stylish apocalyptic zombie movie. The action is fast, if a bit predicatable, and the story is well constructed with a few interesting set pieces and twists and turns. 7
Super 8 2011 A very enjoyable, well crafted movie, with strong characters and an interesting scenario that unfolds in a drip feed style which keeps you watching. Highly entertaining. 8
Wonder Woman 2017 A lavish and stylish big screen reboot of DC's female super hero. It has strong performances and great effects and is very watchable even if the story is a bit flat at times. No invisible plane or spinning costume changes, sadly. 7
Wrecker 2015 A bad remake of the the Spielberg classic Duel, brought up to date but that is not necessarily a good thing. An inconsistent storyline, bad acting and convoluted cinematography make this one to avoid. 3


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