August Movie Watching Recap & Movie of the Month


Well, that was that, Summer is unofficially over. Yes I know the weather is still going to be pretty warm for most of us, even those in the Northern hemisphere, but once we enter the ‘ber’ month, you could say that Fall is in the air. To be honest with you, I’m ok with that. I LOVE Autumn. I love the cooler temps, the Fall fashion, the quieter movies, and of course Twin Cities Film Fest is coming soon! Check out the early look of the 2013 lineup if you haven’t already.

Well, since hits and comments are definitely down in the Summer, a lot of people are likely have missed a lot of my blog posts 😉 Here are some of my posts this past month:

New-to-me Films Watched:

DragonsKnightDragon Knight




TheButlerThe Butler


TheWorldsEndThe World’s End





Shadow Dancer

I never got around to reviewing Arbitrage, but I might still do that as a Rental Pick post. It’s a pretty good drama with Richard Gere in top form. Great performances from Susan Sarandon & Brit Marling as his wife & daughter. I was very impressed by MUD and Shadow Dancer. Two very different dramas but both featured strong performances and kind of a minimalistic-but-efficient script and direction. Both are quite emotionally-charged where the real special effects are the taut writing and top notch acting. I miss seeing Clive Owen on screen, the last film I saw him in was Gertrude & Gelhorne on the plane last December.


Oh, I also watched a few episodes of Shark Week from Discovery Channel. I didn’t realize Netflix has them but we were actually looking for some Documentaries to watch but ended up watching a couple episodes of The Great White Invasion episodes. Fascinating stuff but pretty gory as well as they did re-enactments of people who got attacked in various parts of the world.



SupermanReturnsSuperman Returns

PridePrejudice2005Pride & Prejudice

I actually only got to about a third of Titanic. I was just bored one night and saw that it was on Netflix streaming, so I thought what the heck. It’s been over a decade since I saw it and boy the CGI looked so obvious on the long shots on top of the boat. Funny how I briefly had a crush on Leo when it came out, but now he just looked like a little boy next to the womanly Kate Winslet.

Not sure why I felt like watching Superman Returns last week but I stopped about 10 minutes before the ending with the ill-advised part with Supes’ kid. I still love the flying sequence and the plane rescue scenes though. Following the screening of Austenland, I felt the urge to watch Pride & Prejudice. I think I love Joe Wright’s version even more than the BBC version, and yes, I boldly say Matthew MacFadyen is my favorite Mr. Darcy as well 😉

Movie of the Month:


I had been wanting to see MUD since last April at MSP Film Fest. I’ve actually got the ticket in hand but I had to bail due to a darn snow storm! In any case, this film was SO worth the wait. Shrewd script & direction from writer/director Jeff Nichols, paired with a fine, career-topping performance from Matthew McConaughey. Definitely lives up to the hype!

Well, that’s my monthly recap folks. What’s YOUR favorite film you saw in August?

51 thoughts on “August Movie Watching Recap & Movie of the Month

  1. Writing down MUD as to watch movie 🙂

    Hahahaha…the boyish Leo to the womanly Kate. When I watch that movie, I though Kate was way to old for Leo 😉

    1. Yes Nov, definitely should check out Mud! Yeah i don’t know why i used to find Leo attractive, but then again i used to like NKOTB (face palm) 😁

        1. I like rock bands too but yeah, not sure what possessed me to like NKOTB, ahah. Every time I think about that I still cringe. I don’t think I’d ever ever listen to any boy bands again even if someone paid me!

  2. I’ll look out for your reiew of Arbitrage, as you remember, I really liked it. Agree the performances are excellent.
    I’ll probably mini-review Mud at end of September, so we’ll likely be able to compare notes then.
    My favorites last month were a couple of classics, Metropolis (1927) and Safety Last (1923)

    1. Cool Chris! Yeah i remember you liked Arbitrage, glad it’s finally on netflix. I still haven’t seen Metropolis yet, i should do that at some point this year.

  3. Woo Hoo! I love that you loved “Mud”. What a tremendous movie and still my favorite of 2013 so far. There are so many bits of brilliance scattered all through it, from the direction to the performances. But what I think many people miss is just how accurate Nichols portrays this unknown subculture. That really affected me especially since I live within a short reasonable drive of the area he’s depicting. It’s so well done. I can’t wait to see it again.

    1. Hi Keith, that is so cool that Nichols is able to capture your neck of the woods so well. What are you referring to about the subculture? Would you care to enlighten me?

      1. The entire poor river-working community is a part of the American culture that many are unfamiliar with. It’s so brilliantly realized through Nichols’ lens and cast.

        1. Ah I thought that could be what you meant but I want to be sure. I’m not familiar w/ that subculture so that’s quite enlightening for me. Thanks Keith!

          1. What’s really cool is that he brought out so many things new to me. I went to my father who shed some light on some of it. For me that was a real strong point of the film.

  4. jackdeth72

    Great list, Ruth!

    I caught ‘Arbitrage’ late night, a few weeks ago. The plot, Gere and the cast reminded me a lot
    of the badly adapted and PC mangled ‘The Bonfires of the Vanities’. In regard to reactions of its suspects as the police make inroads and concocted stories slowly fall apart.

    Oh, and Matthew McConaughey rocks in ‘Mud’ !

    1. Hi Jack! So are you saying you’re not too fond of Arbitrage then? I havent seen ‘Bonfire’ but I think Arbitrage was pretty well-done, it’s more of a slow-burn kind of drama.

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        ‘Arbitrage’ is well done and the script enhances the arrogance of Gere and the willful ignorance of Susan Sarandon, her husbands philandering, double dealings, the deals of sudden accessories before and after the fact; that are slowly revealed through their diligent daughter.

        And yes, it does have a long and delicious slow burn.

    1. Hi Bonjour! I haven’t been to that part of the country either but thecinematography is soo beatiful. The story about unlikely friendship really won me over.

  5. filmplicity

    I’d have to agree with you on Mud Ruth as my fav for August, we saw it on the plane coming back from KZ, I really liked it. Heartfelt and down to earth, artistic without showing off. And a revelatory performance from MMC, interested to read your review. I’m also keen to know what you thought of the Kiera Knightley in P&P given how much I know you love the BBC version and how much (I think I’m right in saying) you dislike Kiera Knightley. I’m amazed to read that you prefer this version to the BBC version. How can this dude top Colin Firth? Are you feeling ok Ruth!?! I can’t comment too much as I haven’t seen it but to be honest I’ve been avoiding it like the plague as I couldn’t stand Atonement or his version of Anna Karenina, mostly because of KN. I think Joe Wright is seriously over-rated.

    1. Hi Ronan! Glad to hear you love MUD too.

      Ahah, not a fan of Joe Wright eh? I actually like his work in Atonement, P&P and also Hanna. Yes I’m feeling ok in saying that I LOVE MacFadyen as Darcy. I’m not saying I didn’t like Firth’s version but the more I saw this version the more I like MacFadyen’s portrayal. Y’know, initially I hated Keira as Lizzy but she kind of grew on me. I haven’t seen Anna Karenina though, probably best to avoid it as she’s so wrong in the role.

  6. Mud is out over here tomorrow I think on Blu-ray and I’ll definitely be picking it up after some really positive reviews. Also glad to hear you liked Shadow Dancer. I really enjoyed it and thought it went pretty unnoticed. I’m not the biggest Clive Owen fan but he was really good in it. Movie of the month, for me, has to go to Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Such good fun 🙂

    1. Oh I hope you do Chris! It’s such a great story and beautifully acted and shot. Oh you’ve seen Shadow Dancer too? Cool! Yes, it seems to have come and gone unnoticed, too bad as ppl should see how Andrea Riseborough is such a great actress.

  7. Ted S.

    I watched Mud over the weekend too, very solid film from a young and talented filmmaker. I’ve never seen any of Nichols’ film before, might have to check out his earlier work before he jumps into doing big spectacle films and gets corrupted by big studio politics, let’s hope that won’t happen to him though. Mud somehow reminded me of Huck Finn and then later I read that Nichols’ actually stole some elements from Twain’s novel for his script. Also, since he grew up in Arkansas, he’s able to capture that “culture” of the south really well. Looking forward to his next film.

    Funny you mentioned about Leo in Titanic, I never understood why he’s so popular with the ladies back when Titanic came out in theaters. He looked like a 15 year old boy, yet somehow a lot of women were in love with him. LOL.

    1. Hello Ted, that’s cool that you got to see MUD too. I still need to see Take Shelter. Yeah, you’re so right how a lot of young directors get corrupted by the studios. Yeah, the film does feel personal to him, no wonder as he’s from the area.

      Ahah, well my 15 year-old self has such horrible taste! I’m not fond of him now as he still looks like a boy to me. I prefer manly and rugged guys now 😉

      1. Ted S.

        It’s funny because I never liked Leo back then, partly because all the girls from my high school then college were in love with him and I also thought he’s kind of a douche when he’s younger. Now I think he maybe might second favorite actor right behind Tom Cruise, he’s smart by keep making movies with A-list directors, Scott, Nolan, Scorsese and QT.

  8. Nice one Ruth! Mud is without doubt the best film I’ve seen all month too. Great little flick. Not flawless as we have already spoken about but it’s was thoroughly enjoyable.

    1. Hi Mark! I knew you’d be happy w/ my pick. I haven’t reviewed it yet but yeah, not flawless (rarely a movie is), but certainly a VERY good film.

    1. Hi Andina! Hmmm, I’m not sure why people think it’s a propaganda film. Propaganda of what and for whom? I mean, the perpetrators are the ones incriminating themselves so I’m not sure what those people are referring to.

    1. He..he.. yeah great minds, though I can’t imagine people not appreciating that film. I’m not fond of McConaughey but he really was good in this, seems like this role was tailor-made for him!

  9. stellamarie

    My problem has been deciding what is worth the trip to the theatre and what is available at my local dvd rental as blockbuster closed down a while back. Not sure I want to entangle myself with Netflix so I considered the following at first run and second run theatre when it turns up.

    Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett I am not a huge fan of Woody personally but his films always seem to draw me in. The plot to this story reminds me of an 90’s british show called with the late Diane Bull “Sitting Pretty” makes me wonder if Mr Allen had ever come across it as it is eerily similar in tone. But I will wait for it to come round as TIFF is coming up and every theatre in town is booked.

    The World’s End – I love Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and this is very reminiscent of that but I have heard very bad reviews and only one theatre is playing it which surprised me as it sounded so funny when it was first described in the UK papers. I will see it but will wait for it on dvd as travelling far north from me a bit of a trek not sure it’s worth it.

    Great Gatsby – by the time I was going to see it I changed my mind. Baz Lurhman is a pet hate of mine since Moulin Rouge and hearing as I didn’t know it was in 3D totally unnecessary put me off it as that kind of stuff is for kids and this isn’t a kids movie. I remember the original as I have seen it and hearing that Lurhman said he was forced into doing it I can’t believe. So whether I rent it or not is for debate or not. I was saddened by it as I would have liked it even with the cast in it as I do love a 20’s style film but this was too much a stretch for me perhaps one day I will change my mind.

    1. Hi Stellamarie! Btw, are you still working at the Jane Austen forum?

      Yeah, I think if it weren’t for the press screenings I might not have seen so many films at the big screen. I hear ya about Netflix, that’s why I only have the Streaming subscription, but I often rent via iTunes. No more brick & mortar stores near me.

      I LOVE Blanchett so I’ll definitely rent Blue Jasmine. Woody’s work is a hit and miss for me. Yeah The World’s End has some similarities w/ ‘Hitchhikers’ but the plot is quite different. I also wasn’t too fond of that movie, not as funny as I had hoped. I’d say just give it a rent.

      Oh you didn’t like Moulin Rouge? I happen to LOVE that movie, I adore the songs and the love story. Gatsby is not as exciting compared to that one IMO. I’d say it’s worth a rent for the visuals and esp. if you like the cast. I’m generally not a proponent of 3D but in Gatsby it’s actually pretty cool.

      1. stellamarie

        No I don’t volunteer at JA Centre anymore and haven’t for years as the centre was not investing in it as much as I was so I gave up

  10. Oh I loved Mud! Right after The Conjuring, my favorite movie of the year so far. I loved that Nichols used David Wingo as a composer again, the music was wonderful.

    1. Mud is wonderful! I haven’t reviewed it yet but it’s definitely impressive.

      I like Brit Marling since After Earth and she’s VERY good here, not to mention gorgeous! It’s a decent mystery drama, worth a rent for sure.

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