Monthly Roundup: April Movie Watching Recap

Happy May Day folks! April certainly flew by amazingly quick, I feel like I had just done this monthly round up not that long ago and now it’s time for another update!

Well, this month is a busy one blogging one. Here are a few blogging events I hosted as well as took part in, check ’em out if you haven’t already:

I’ve only gone to the cinema once this entire month, opting to catch up on some older films I haven’t seen yet, as well as TV shows that I’ve been wanting to check out for some time.

Movies I haven’t seen before:

I wanted to see The Raven last weekend as I was intrigued by the trailer, but the dismal reviews (21% on Rotten Tomatoes!) dissuaded me. Now, I like Luke Evans, but I think I’ll just rent it later.

  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man
  • Superman Returns
  • The Insider
  • David & Bathsheba
As you can see, in anticipation for The Avengers, I re-watched a couple of Marvel films. We were going to re-watch MI:4 Ghost Protocol as we just got the Blu-ray, but Ted gave me the BD of Superman Returns so we spent most of that night watching the Behind-the-Scenes stuff which is one of the most-detailed Special Features since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy! It was awesome to see the casting process on how Brandon Routh was cast, and various film shoots on location in Australia. We watched the movie Sunday night and I must say I have a whole new appreciation for the movie. I wasn’t blown away on initial viewing though I didn’t dislike it, but now I actually enjoyed it more. I still think the Superman’s son plot is ill-advised however, but it’s not a deal breaker. I also think that Routh was perfectly-cast, he may not be a good actor, but he made for an excellent Superman/Clark Kent.
TV shows/miniseries:
  • CBS Scarlett miniseries
  • BBC Sherlock (Season 1)
  • BBC Spooks (3 episodes of Season 7)
Well I’m hooked on both Sherlock and Spooks now, so in the next few months we’ll be playing catch-up on both those shows. Thankfully season 2 of Sherlock will air on PBS starting this coming Sunday. As for Spooks, I’m only watching the seasons when Richard Armitage joined the series [season 7, 8 and 9], even though I first discovered this series when Rupert Penry-Jones was the main um, hunk on the show. It’s such a thrilling, well-written and superbly-acted series, no wonder it’s been around for a whole decade. It’s inevitable of course that a US remake is already planned, no word whether the agents [spooks] will be Brits or Americans. I doubt it’ll live up to the original.
 Favorite April Movie:
Thanks to Jack Deth’s review that finally compelled me to rent this. It certainly merits its classic thriller status and it even makes me want to watch the sequel just to find out what happens to that Elusive Mr. Charnier! I realize it won’t be as good as the original though. Oh, after seeing this one and Manhunter, now I REALLY want to see To Live and Die in LA, directed by William Friedkin and starring William Petersen. Thanks Ted S. for lending me his Blu-ray!

So, how many films did you see this month and what’s your favorite?

31 thoughts on “Monthly Roundup: April Movie Watching Recap

  1. Like I said, once you see season 2 of Sherlock, you’ll be straining to see what happens next. (I should know. Saw it back in January, have to wait a bloody eternity for season 3.)

    1. Oh the agony of waiting! Good thing I have all those episodes of Spooks to keep me company until season 3 shows up. Richard Armitage could easily make me forget about Benedict 😉

  2. Ryan McNeil

    I love how many sites have started adding in their watchlist for the month – gives a nice little nest to discuss things we saw but didn’t neccessarily want to dedicate an entire post to.

    Happy as hell that you enjoyed THE FRENCH CONNECTION as its one of my favorites from the seventies. It’s a great example of the moral ambiguity that seemed to run rampant in the era.

    And as previously discussed, THE INSIDER is amazing.

    I think the best thing I watched in all of April (and I watched it twice actually) was the documentary BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING. It’s about a really cool visual artist who used to work on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and now has become a very clever painter and sculptor.

    Give my latest podcast a listen, since I talk with the artists himself and the film’s director…and in the post for the podcast I include the film’s glorious trailer.

    1. Indeed Ryan, I was inspired by a few bloggers who have done this regularly, including you 🙂

      Oh I’ll be sure to check out your podcast, that’s great that you’re able to interview the artist himself!

  3. Wow, Ruth! You’ve certainly been busy in April…and I’m quite impressed with your blog output! That’s a good cross-section of films and TV programs watched and blog-a-thons participated in. Way to go!

    I’m guessing May will herald some more Avengers coverage… 🙂 Alas, i won’t be able to see it for quite a while, as it dfoesn’t come out here in Japan till August (!!)

    And feel free to join in at Page of My Love of Old Hollywood’s “Horseathon” later in May, if you feel so inclined.

    1. Hi Jeff! I guess I’ve been too busy blogging to watch movies, ahah. Well I’m only planning to do Avengers review after I’m done w/ the movie. W/ the new Dark Knight Rises 3rd trailer out, I’m getting super excited for that one now.

      I didn’t know you’re in Japan. Are you working over there?

      Yes I’ll be sure to check out your post on the ‘Horseathon,’ sounds like fun! 🙂

  4. Ted S.

    I think the only new movie I saw last month was War Horse, other than that I watched some older films that I bought on BD.

    I really enjoyed watching the making of Superman Returns, unfortunately the film itself wasn’t as fun. There were so many things wrong with it, like you mentioned, the son plot line was way off. Kate Bostworth was totally miscast as Lois Lane and Lex Luthor wasn’t as menacing as I would’ve like to see. Also, it was a mistake for Singer and his crew to try to imitate the first Superman film, he should’ve just came up with a new plot. With all that said, I still enjoyed it. Let’s hope Mr. Snyder can give us a truly great Superman film next summer.

    1. Hey thanks for the BDs you gave/lent me. I’m so looking forward to checking out ‘To Live and Die in LA.’

      Yep, I share your sentiment about Superman Returns. I just couldn’t buy Bosworth as a Pulitzer-winning journalist, she didn’t seem to have the drive that Margot Kidder did. Plus she just isn’t all that interesting. But overall I enjoyed the film and appreciated it a whole lot more after seeing the ‘making of’ features.

      You’re right though, it doesn’t feel ‘unique’ as it’s more of an homage to Donner’s film. I think Snyder will give us something fresh, for better or worse, and give us an edgier Superman story. For sure he’s got the right guy playing Supes 😉

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    April was a very busy month, blog wise. Though not a really great month at the cinema. Kind of a catch your breath month allowing more time at the keyboard.

    And yours was very well spent!

    Your Gregory Peck Birthday/week Tribute was very active across film sites I frequent. It was fun to add my two cents by noting Peck’s collaboration with Robert Mitchum in ‘Cape Fear’.

    I’m also thrilled that my take on ‘The French Connection’ tipped the scales in its favor. Frankenheimer’s continuation of the tales is worth the effort to seek out and enjoy for Hackman’s superlative work alone.

    Friedkin’s ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ is also well worth the trip!

    1. Yeah, not a great month for cinema viewing for me, but I think w/ the Summer months arriving, I’ll be going more often!

      Thanks for your continued contributions here Jack, we want more!! 😀 How about a classic list of some kind to go along w/ your awesome reviews? [hint, hint]

  6. Think I need to check out Sherlock and Spooks! You have been busy blogging this month! It’s been awesome seeing all these bloggers getting together for common causes like Peck’s birthday. Great to see the unity and feel the love!

    1. Can’t believe you haven’t seen Sherlock nor Spooks since you live in the UK. Those are both excellent shows, very addictive!

      Glad that you enjoyed Peck’s b’day party here… I love that man so much! 🙂

  7. PrairieGirl

    Can’t tell you what I saw in April (who knows!, I don’t keep track.) But this weekend I saw To Be or Not To be (1983) with real life couple Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, and what a delightful surprise! It’s a remake of the 1942 film of the same name with Jack Benny and Carol Lombard, and believe it or not, it is a cross between Inglourious Basterds and The Sound of Music (really!) Leave it to Mel Brooks to make a quirky, funny romp out of the 1939 invasion of Poland by the Nazi’s. Charles Durning and Christopher Lloyd as fumbling German’s are top notch. Even if you’re not a Mel Brooks fan (he neither wrote or directed this one), this movie may make you a convert.

    1. A cross between Inglourious Basterds and The Sound of Music??! I really want to see ‘To Be or Not To Be’ now. I had no idea Mel Brooks was even married to Ann Bancroft!

  8. I keep hearing such great things about Sherlock. It’s on my to-see list, but unfortunately far behind a bunch of other shows I am desperately trying to keep up on. It’s so hard to strike a balance between movies and TV 😛

    I ended up seeing 19 movies last month, which is a little surprising since I also squeezed in a mini-vacation. Not sure how I pulled that off. 😀

    1. Wow, that is quite a feat to watch that many movies on top of your vacation. You’re right it’s tough to catch up w/ TV series AND movies at the same time, that’s why I’m always behind. Well there are only 2 seasons of Sherlock so far, so not that hard to catch up on. Spooks on the other hand has 10 seasons total! That’s why I’m only watching the last four.

  9. ooh, we do love Rupert Penry Jones 😉
    And, I must say, Flixy dearest, that it’s a bit sad if you rely on horrid Rotten Tomatoes if you will watch a film or not.

    1. He..he.. you have a fine taste, Dez.

      Oh no, I don’t always rely on Rotten Tomatoes to decide whether I’d watch something or not, as I often disagree w/ their assessment (i.e. John Carter). But I was kind of on the fence about The Raven as I don’t really like scary movies typically, but don’t worry Dez, I’d still rent that movie for Luke 🙂

  10. You’ve been busy I see! I have never seen Manhunter (1986), though since I’m going to post a review of Silence of the lambs in May, I should do so
    Director William Friedkin sure was on a roll back in the 70s with The French Connection followed by The Exorcist !
    My best film of April was an old favorite The Day of The Jackal (1973). Best new discovery was The Son (2002), both very gripping, I couldn’t look away ( :

    1. Manhunter is very good if you like the story about Hannibal Lecter.

      I’ll check out The Day of The Jackal at some point, the original not the remake. I heard that latter one is horrid.

  11. Interesting month you had. Not that many films but a lot of great blog posts (as always). Thanks to your review of the French Connection I couldn’t help but place it next in my queue of films, I should be watching it very soon.
    I had an extremely good day of film today, one of the best I can recall actually and I’m still very much thinking about what I have just seen. Two fantastic films like Where the Wild Things Are and Sunshine. Highly recommended!

    1. Oh let us know what you think of French Connection, Niels. I saw it because of Jack’s guest review as well, very convincing 🙂

      Oh I have seen Sunshine, it is a very good movie indeed. Not that interested in Where the Wild Things Are though.

  12. Boy Ruth you had a lot going on last month.
    I have no idea about how many films I saw this month. It is good that you can keep count 😀
    As for The Raven – definitely rent it and let us know what you think, eh?

  13. Wow, it seems like you got the TV bug because even I watched more new movies than you did, and I’m working like 60 hours a week lol! But as always, great month of blogging and outreach. Keep up the hard work Ruth 😀

    1. Well more specifically, I caught the BBC bug, ahah. Man those Brits are just so good 🙂 You’re working 60 hrs a week AND still manage to keep up such an awesome blog? You’re superhuman, Castor, well your gravatar suits you then 🙂

    1. You’re too funny matey, I only saw four movies I haven’t seen before in a whole month, that is hardly amazing 🙂 I do hope you’d participate in more blog-a-thons though, maybe next year?

  14. I was going to comment here, but then had some health issues which set me back. Now I’m ok again.
    Actually gave Manhunter (1986) a watch after reading your review, I will post my thoughts on M Mann’s film in my next monthly recap.

    My favorite of May so far is Suspiria (1977) . I’m liking Dario Argento’s style, why didn’t I watch his films earlier?! ( :

    1. Oh, are you ok Chris? Wishing you good health and speedy recovery, man!

      Oh cool that you check out Manhunter. I still have ‘To Live and Die in LA’ to watch, I just love watching young Gil Grishom (William Petersen) in his earlier roles.

      Oh my buddy at work is a big fan of Suspiria, but I’m not a big horror fan myself.

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