Welcome to the latest edition of the Snooty Ushers’ Round-Up! We’re looking back at the best (and worst) of November 2016.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them fantastically beasted the box office, setting up a successful franchise by expanding the Harry Potter universe, but also producing an entertaining stand alone film. Dr Strange also managed to squeeze one more origin story into the MCU, with Mads Mikkelsen giving one of the better Marvel villain performances. Trolls trounced Storks in the animated showdown, with its mixture of bright colours and catchy songs making its audience very happy.
But that’s just cold-hard box office figures and mere reviewers… what did The Snooty Ushers think of November?
What’s the best film you’ve seen this month?
Dave: Nocturnal Animals for me, great performances and brilliantly directed. It takes real skill to blend narrative strands together and Tom Ford does it in style. Amy Adams proves she is one of the best actresses working, great support from Jake Gyllenhaal and the brilliant Michael Shannon. I also took the family to see Trolls and loved it.
James: Arrival is a remarkable film. So is Nocturnal Animals, but Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi film is one my favourites of the recent years. If it wasn’t for my love of Rocky, it would be number 1 in 2016 by a long way.
Rich: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has definitely been my favourite and I wasn’t a huge fan of the Potter movies. I came out of it just wanting to talk about how good the casting, visuals and story were. The film gave me a similar feeling to that of Guardians Of The Galaxy in which I expected little but was given a lot.
And what was the worst?
Dave: Nothing in the cinema, but caught The Boss on blu ray, Melissa McCarthy undoing all her good work in Ghostbusters here. It was just a bit crass, despite a wonderful turn by Peter Dinklage. However, a special mention has to go to Warcraft, utterly dreadful. Ot felt like watching a cut scene from a game for 2 hours, and not a quick 2 hours either. To many characters, none of them interesting. A mess.
James: Only the two cinema visits for me this month, and there is absolutely no way I am putting Nocturnal Animals in here. So, I’ll say Eyes Wide Shut, which I watched for my Halloween to Christmas Countdown. Slow, ponderous, and just dull.
Rich: I had been searching Netflix for some hidden gems to review and the worse one I came across was Patient 7. A horror anthology which does nothing right and everything wrong, not even Michael Ironside in the starring role can make this decent, crap!
Anything else that has caught your eye this month?
Dave: I listened to James and caught the 3rd Season of Black Mirror on Netflix. 6 brilliant but different stories that will live long in the memory. Shut Up and Dance is the standout but they all have a something to say. Also, I finally got a around to watching Hail, Caesar! and loved it. The Coen Brothers back on top form, plays like a love letter to the Hollywood golden era. Josh Brolin and George Clooney are great as are the rest of the cast. Finally a mention for Doctor Strange, caught this too and thought it was great fun. The effects were a bit OTT, but Marvel have done it again with a great origin story.
James: I’ve been snowed under by Christmas movies his last month (see what I did there), but that has thrown up a few new films for me. One in particular is Joyeux Noel, a film about the Christmas Day truce of 1914. Also, the original Miracle on 34th Street is a magical film, try and catch it this Christmas if you’ve only ever seen the Richard Attenborough version. Oh, and Designated Survivor on Netflix has become one of my favourite shows, although it has the feel of one that will be cancelled after 1 season. I’d also like to thank Dave for taking over the TV Film of the Week mantle (although having a Hitchcock season on Film4 is pretty unfair) and reminding me that Rear Window and Vertigo were on this month.
Rich: I caught Doctor Strange at the cinema and loved it, I went into not knowing anything about the Marvel character but once again Disney/Marvel have made a great easy to understand origin story and obviously builds more hype for the upcoming films in the MCU.
What are you looking forward to in December?
Dave: Rouge One I suppose, not really that bothered, but am sure I will like it when I see it. No doubt will take the family to Disney’s Moana, they are on top form right now and it has The Rock in it, so that is always good.
James: Rogue One! Obviously a new Star Wars story is an interesting turn for the franchise to take, and would be intriguing enough, but I would watch Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn in anything!
Rich: I’m with everyone else here and saying Rogue One , I love that the film is re-telling a story from a whole new perspective, it looks gritty and moody and I love an underdog story!
And what are you dreading?
Dave: Office Christmas Party, looks like juvenile sweary pish from a group of actors who should know better.
James: Monster Trucks. Why? This will be more Battleship than The Lego Movie.
Rich: Not dreading much, Steven Seagal has a new film coming out, so maybe that? I’m slightly dreading grinding through more lesser known films only to discover there is a reason they are lesser known and that’s because they are bad.
What else has got you excited for December?
Dave: Not working in a cinema over Christmas is a big one. Elementary is back for a 5th season, Modern Family back for an 8th and I am interested to see the US version of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Finally, new episodes of Designated Survivor from December 1st.
James: Well, I’m looking forward to Christmas, even if it means an end to my marathon of Christmas films. Oh, and the small matter of moving to Edinburgh to start a new job! If I get to visit the cinema, I want to see Passengers as well. Then, there’s the return of The Man In The High Castle on Amazon. And I’ll probably re-watch season 2 of Danger 5 for a Christmas treat.
Rich: I’m going on my Honeymoon, so probably that. Oh and aeroplane films, they always have such an exciting list of things to watch. The best viewing experience is watching a film on a 10inch screen on the back of someones seat.
And with that, we are done! Let us know what have been your favourite bits of November’s offerings in the comments!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
Like what you’ve read? LIKE us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and sign up for our newsletter by filling in the form below! That way you’ll never miss another review, fan cast, or general ramble from your favourite Ushers!
Or, why not have a listen to our latest Podcast? It’s a Halloween special!