NOVEMBER 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month


Well I guess we better get used to saying ‘see ya next year’ now that we’ve only got a month left in 2016! Of course now that award season is officially in full swing, there’s a slew of new film screenings coming in December! I sure hope next month isn’t going to be too snowy. I don’t mind cold temps so long as it won’t cause traffic havoc, which always happen whenever there’s a snowstorm.

After a hectic October, I only watched a third of what I did last month. But I had been busy planning a script reading in January and I also did a phone pitch to a producer in the UK for the first time. I bought a pitch session via Stage 32 site just to see if I could do it, it was nerve-wracking!

In any case, stay tuned for some of the interviews from TCFF I haven’t posted yet, i.e. my chat w/ indie comedy Funeral Day‘s director Jon Weinberg and star Dominic Rains.

Here are movies I saw in October:

New-to-me Movies

(Click on the underlined titles for a full review)


Doctor Strange (2016)


X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)


Arrival (2016)


We’ll Take Manhattan (2012)


Allied (2016)


Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016)


The Little Prince (2015)


Loving (2016)


Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)


The Shallows (2016)


Cairo Time (2009)


Tales By Light documentary (2016)

We also got to see season 1 of this amazing Netflix Original documentary. It follows five photographers around the world documenting their approach to photography and story telling. A must for photography lovers, or those who appreciate beautiful imagery (and who doesn’t?)

Movies I look forward to in December

So far I’ve RSVP-ed to see Miss Sloane, Jackie, Passengers, and Rogue One in the next couple of weeks. My blog contributor Laura S. will be watching/reviewing Office Christmas Party, Why Him?, and Collateral Beauty. There are even screenings scheduled for January and I can’t wait to see Hidden Figures!


| Sing Street | Love and Friendship

After watching the sputtering Allied (thanks for that description Cindy!) which has many scenes in Morroco, I’ve convinced my hubby to finally watch the masterful classic WWII romance Casablanca! Well let’s just say it was still amazing and though it looked beautiful, it wasn’t style over substance. The other two films were in my top 10 fave movies of the year. I’m glad Sing Street is on Netflix now, and I watched Love & Friendship on the plane back from Vegas.



We have a tie again this month! I have written a review of Hunt For the Wilderpeople and Arrival that I’ll be posting next week. They’re two very different films in terms of tone and plot, but both are excellent in their own right. You can rent ‘Wilderpeople’ now and Arrival is in theaters, so I highly recommend both of these if you haven’t seen them already. Both will surely make it to my top 10 BEST of the year!

Well that’s my viewing recap of NOVEMBER. What’s YOUR favorite film(s) of the month?

24 thoughts on “NOVEMBER 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month

  1. I didn’t see a lot of new films last month, can’t believe 2016 is almost over! Of course I saw Hacksaw Ridge and Arrival at the press screening, you know my thoughts on the former film; while enjoyed Arrival, it didn’t blow away like I thought it would. Also saw X-Men: Apocalypse, I enjoyed the heck out of it, more than I thought I would. I watched Green Room and revisited a film I haven’t seen in years, the masterpiece The Vanishing; bought it on sale from Criterion’s website.

    1. Hi Ted! Yeah, still can’t believe tomorrow is December! But then again, so many good movies are coming out so I guess that’s ok 🙂 I was surprised I didn’t hate ‘Apocalypse’, ahah, but I thought Oscar Isaac was so ridiculous in it. Haven’t seen The Vanishing, what is that about?

      1. Yeah this time of the year we can at least be happy about more quality films opening in theaters. Apocalypse was the silliest villains I’ve seen in a superhero movie and it’s a shame because I loved the character from the X-Men cartoon series, he’s probably the most menacing villain in the X-Men universe. I’ve been waiting for years to see him appear in the film version but unfortunately they made him into silly cartoonish character. I thought the actors made the film worked, the script was pretty lousy but Singer’s direction and the performances saved made the film watchable.

        You know I’ve included The Vanishing in that article I meant to send you, hopefully this weekend! But it’s about a man who’s searching for his girlfriend and the man who took her. It’s one of the most brilliant thrillers I’ve ever seen. I’ll lend you the bluray if you want to see it. The film virtually has no violence but it’s a nail bitter. There’s an American remake but I advise you to not watch that one before seeing this original version.

        1. Yeah and they cast one of the best actors of this generation in Oscar Isaac but gave him such horrendous lines. But I still love Magneto and Professor X and that scene w/ Quicksilver is awesome!

          Oh ok Ted, I look forward to your post. And boy I like the sound of The Vanishing. Yes I’d love to borrow your BD!

          1. Oh yeah I loved that scene where Quicksilver came to the rescue, I’m going to buy the 3D bluray since I know it will look cool in 3D! But I thought Isaac was totally wrong for that role, they should’ve cast someone with more imposing features or make Apocalypse a full CGI character. I thought Magneto and Professor X were great too, I mean I’m sure those two actors thought the script was pretty silly but they gave 100% in their performances; cant’ say that about most accomplished actors in Hollywood these days.

            If you want to meet for coffee this weekend, let me know and I’ll bring the Bluray of The Vanishing.

  2. Hunt for the Wilderpeople looks great! I’ll see if I can rent it tonight. I’ve been looking forward to ‘Loving’, too. I’m glad you had a great trip! Zion is on my list to visit. It’s so close–maybe this summer.

    1. Hey Cindy! Yes do rent ‘Wilderpeople’ when you get a chance! Such a fun movie but with a big heart. Zion was great indeed, it’s so close to you, so no reason for you not to visit that place soon.

  3. Arrival was a game-changed in terms of sci-fi. I still maintain that it is the best sci-fi since 2001. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts. And we’ve spoken about Wilderpeople, O’Niell and the kid were great together. And the over-the-stop ‘youth welfare officer’ is such a great and exaggerated reality of what young people are seen as in our culture. Its disgusting and her character couldn’t represent that more perfectly.

    And you are SOO lucky. Of those films you mention are out in December, none of them are playing here. Some might next year =/ Most I will have to wait until the internet comes through. Jeez, and they wonder why Aussies download more than anyone else per head. I couldn’t care less about Star Wars either so I won’t be rushing to see that.

    In fact, apart from Paterson, and Allied in late, late December, there is NOTHING to watch down here. Unless I want to watch a freaking musical, which considering its done by Damien Chazelle, I’m half interested in trying to watch it. At least if I walk out early I get my money back!!

    I still need to properly watch Love and Friendship, I plan to by years end. I started it but didn’t get to get far into it, but I liked what I saw. Kate Beckinsale cracked me up, I must get onto that.

    I still maintain though that Sing Street is a shallow mess with thin, forgettable characters, an insulting plot if you’re a musician, and absolutely no insight into what it is like to be in a band. The music was enjoyable enough but without any focus on the music aspect of the film, to me it just felt like every other romantic comedy. I can’t remember any of the characters apart from the brother, who was the only one who had any depth.

    Of course, that’s just me 😉 Have a nice weekend

    1. Hi Jordan! I’ll be posting my review of Arrival in a few days. Yeah it’s really an excellent sci-fi and I love that it’s emotionally-resonant. Ahah yes that youth welfare officer Paula is a hoot, esp. that Terminator joke!

      Ah geez, it’s really a bummer you won’t see those films anytime soon! Ahah yes I know you’re not really into Star Wars movie, but I love that it’s a female-led film and has a racially-diverse cast. Allied is just ok, I don’t even know if I want to recommend it as it’s just so mediocre. Ahah, not a fan of musicals either eh? Maybe that’s why you’re not into Sing Street? Now I’m not a musician so I can’t really speak about the insight into what’s it’s like to be in a band. But I think it’s supposed to be a lighthearted look into young love, I actually don’t see it as a rom-com. I do think the brother role was indeed well-written. Hey it’s ok to disagree man, we can’t all love the same thing 😉

      Have a great weekend too! It must be getting warmer where you are, lucky you!

      1. indeed, it is heating up. Starting to get regular 30 degrees C days now. And to be honest, I’ve never seen a musical. Ever. So perhaps Chazelle’s will be my first. ONLY cos its him though…

        And I agree, that its cool to disagree 😛 I love cinematic discussion, its one of the main reasons I started the blog, to try and find like-minded people and to engage in discussion with them. Cos its not like anyone I know in real life gives two shits about film, not like I do anyway

        December is a really crap month for our cinema. There is less than ten films to choose from really. I’d glad I’ll at least be able to watch LOVING, that one isn’t even on the schedule for next year. Which like you said is weird considering Joel is in it. Bah, who knows with this shitty state!!

        1. Ah ok, well I’d be curious to see what you think of La La Land then. I’m not really into musicals but I have enjoyed a few, i.e. Singing in the Rain, Moulin Rouge (which is made by an Aussie and starred an Aussie movie star).

          Yep, it’s always fun to have honest discussions. I mean we like what we like, there’s no right or wrong.

          Hmmm, interesting how December sucks for you in Australia as in the US, as it’s closer to Oscar time, there are a slew of films being released and they tend to be better quality than Summer blockbusters. I hope you like LOVING. It’s a slow film, but I love emotional romances like that, and this one has a special historical significance.

          1. yeah of the Oscar films we do get, it isn’t until Jan/Feb that we get it. Inherent Vice got here mid-Feb the year after, Room was released mid-Feb this year. We certainly seem to get shafted!

            I’m gonna give La La Land a try. But I’m gonna be walkin out to get my money back if I don’t like it! It will all depend on what the music is like I suppose… but even then, I don’t like the idea of a story being sung. I despise it when cartoons have songs in them for example. Heh I have a hunch I won’t like it

            1. I still haven’t seen Inherent Vice yet, ahah. Y’know, I don’t like a full blown musicals either where every single dialog is sung like the latest Les Miserables, that’s why I haven’t seen it yet and probably never will. I prefer musicals w/ mostly spoken dialog, with some musical numbers thrown in. Ahah, but if you don’t even like cartoons that have songs in them, I’d say just wait to rent La La Land then 😉

    1. Yay!! So glad you love Roman Holiday, that’s one of my fave classic films of all time! I take you have seen Casablanca? That’s one of my fave rewatches in a while. Arrival is a great one too, my review will be up soon!

        1. Me too! I saw it for the first time on the big screen when TCM was screening it at my local theater. Ahah, I’m surprised your parents thought it was boring. I loved it, one of the best WWII romances and that ending is definitely iconic.

  4. Look forward to your review of Arrival. I was glued to the screen, although I was a bit lost by the complexity, so I read about it afterwards. Need to rewatch 🙂

    Love those quotes you shared from The Little Prince. I agree the film is not great, the storytelling failed to engage me emotionally. I love the book.

    By the way, I’m posting again at my blog. Maybe see you around.

    1. It’ll be up this weekend Chris, I’d love to discuss Arrival w/ you.

      I feel that the animated film might have some things lost in translation. I’m sure the book is better.

      Love your latest post and yay on you blogging again!

  5. You know what the only 2016 movie I saw this month was Harry Potter thingy…I’m so terrible when it comes to movies this year. Westworld ends on Sunday so maybe then I will watch I don’t know 2 this entire month?:P Arrival played here for 2 weeks only and I didn’t catch it :/

    1. Ahah you mean Fantastic Beasts? Well you’ve been busy w/ Westworld, which I can’t wait to see later this month. Now that season 1 is almost over we can binge on it hopefully within a month or so, thankfully HBO subscription is free for the first month! 🙂

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