The film watching streak continued fantastically with the month of March. I’ve noticed that watching films back-to-back has actually been doing absolute wonders for my mental health and stress management, which astonishes me quite a bit is that my brain usually never sits still long enough to consume a 2-hour film in a single sitting. I briefly chatted about this during last month’s wrap-up shindig, and the fact that the luck has made it this far, just blows my mind. But I won’t complain, and I hope to Hell that it doesn’t go away anytime soon!
I watched thirteen films and about eight seasons of TV shows, most of which while I was doing other things like Uni studies and blog work. I prefer to multitask as it helps my brain focus the best. There’s a good mixture of dramas and suspense titles in the mix here and I would even recommend the vast majority of the media I consumed; another indicator of a fun cinema-fuelled month.
There are a couple of films that I plan on doing reviews for as I’d love to discuss their content with more depth, particularly the themes that resonated the most with me. So, if you’re into that kind of content, please keep an eye out for it!
As per usual, I’ve listed everything below, first the films and then the TV serials, in completion order. There’s a small snippet, brief musings, and the platform that I streamed it on for those who are curious.
The Resident (2011) [Hulu]: A thriller about a young woman who moves into a building and doesn’t realise that she’s being stalked until it’s too late. I watched this at the beginning of the month when I was still in a mood for psychological suspense things. The film is a bit of a slow-burn and it definitely has supreme creepy vibes as the stalker is slowly revealed and the manner of which they conduct their preying, so to speak, is also shown. It’s an average film of the genre that has a good amount of suspense, but it doesn’t have much more depth to it than what is shown on the surface level. Because of that it’s quite predictable and I didn’t like it as much as I probably could’ve for a thriller. Overall, I felt INDIFFERENT about it. Content Warnings include mild sexual content, non-consensual drug use, stalking, rape (off screen), attempted sexual assault, blood, death.
Along Came a Spider (2001) [Showtime]: This is the sequel film to Kiss the Girls, which I watched in February. It follows forensic psychologist, Alex Cross, as he hunts down the person(s) that abduct a politician’s daughter from her elite private school. I really liked this one, but I’m sure that has much more to do with the fact that I’m a big fan of Morgan Freeman than anything else. It had great pacing and a decent chunk of tension to it. It was mildly predictable from about the halfway point onwards, but it’s not so glaringly obvious as to detract from the thriller aspect of the narrative. It’s a film I could see myself watching again and I’d definitely RECOMMEND this to fans of the action-thriller genre. Content warnings include cursing, child kidnapping and endangerment, death, blood, violence (gun), sexist microaggressions.
Alex Cross (2012) [Showtime]: The last of the Alex Cross films, this one is actually a prequel that shows a young Cross (played by Tyler Perry) just as he’s starting out as a detective dude. Man, this film was so disappointing to me. It’s another action-thriller, but it felt much more actiony and less thriller-esque. The crime is also written to be much more convoluted than it needed to be, which really made it difficult for me to stay interested. I love complex stories, but when they’re written poorly, I have intense trouble staying invested, which is what happened here. I will say, though, that Matthew Fox’s acting as the villain was fucking excellent. I never realised that he could be such a versatile actor and it’s a shame that he was never able to build up more of a reputation within the industry as I feel he could’ve done some amazing work. Beyond that, however, I DON’T RECOMMEND this film. Content Warnings include mild sexual content, restraining victims for torture and on-screen torture, violence, murder including death of loved ones, cursing, alcohol/substance consumption.
Enemy (2013) [Showtime]: A surrealist neo-noir thriller about a mundane college professor who realises that there’s another guy out there in the world with his exact face. This was film is supposed to be a super artsy title that’s essentially commentary on the repetitiveness of life and how to avoid it, which I understood and appreciated, but overall, I just didn’t like the execution at all. It’s super slow and has an intense vibe to it from beginning to end that’s very uncomfortable and anxious. In a suspenseful sense, it works well, but with the storytelling it can be mildly frustrating. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting is fucking phenomenal. But the symbolism is so vague and subtle that I found myself feeling far more bored than anything else. If I were in the mood for the cerebral experience this film offers, I may have enjoyed it a lot more. Also, mild spoiler alert, there’s a scene with a giant spider that I really didn’t fucking appreciate. Again, I understood why it was there, but holy fuck, NOPE. All in All, I felt pretty indifferent about the this title overall and probably WOULDN’T RECOMMEND it if given the chance. Content warnings include cursing, sexual content, gaslighting, infidelity, partner-swapping, violence, death, a scene with a giant goddamn motherfucking spider.
Godzilla (2014) [Prime Rental]: A sci-fi action film about a bad monster dude that wakes up and threatens humanity, so the King of Monsters wakes up to kick the bad monster guy’s ass. They have a final showdown in San Francisco, after which Godzilla is like, “Peace human bitches, I’m out,” and goes back to napping in the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean. I re-watched this with my roommate so we could prepare for the arrival of the latest title in the franchise (just dropped on HBO). What can I say, I love the movie’s action and it’s cool to see Godzilla kick ass. It’s my least favourite of the three currently released flicks though, however, I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND this if you’re into monster/kaiju type shite. Content warnings: Lots of death and violence, mild cursing, city devastation.
Madtown (2018) [Prime]: This drama suspense film follows a young stand-up comedian as he looks back on his life when his sister is released from prison. An extremely difficult film to watch due to the topics it explores, but it’s also so damn good. A story and character driven piece about the strength of found families and also how devastating childhood trauma can alter our perception of said trauma as we grow and work to survive the aftermath. The acting is top-notch, the emotions are sincere and perfectly balanced to the storytelling, and it was just a great film all-around. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one for sure. Content warnings: Lots of cursing, death of parents, verbal and physical child abuse, psychological manipulation, crude humour, rape (discussion and briefly on-screen).
She’s All That (1999) [HBO]: A bunch of high school jock jerks make a bet to transform one of the nerdiest girls in school into the prom queen after one of the jocks gets dumped by his primp and prissy prom queen bitchy girlfriend. The only reason I decided to watch this film is because of nostalgia. When I was in junior high school (fuck, I’m old), this was extremely popular. All of the kids wouldn’t shut up about it. In hindsight, though, this film is pretty terrible. It’s entertaining in a mindlessly stupid way, but I definitely DON’T RECOMMEND it for film watchers of the modern age. There are much better RomComs out there. Content Warnings: bullying, cursing, mild sexual content, racist microaggressions, sexist microaggressions, crude humour, alcohol consumption.
The Judge (2014) [Cinemax]: This drama, mystery is about a hot-shot city lawyer who has to return to his small town in the wake of his mother’s death, where he’ll confront his severely dysfunctional relationship with his dad, a renown judge in town. When his father stands accused of murder with no memory of the event, the son must stick around to defend the father who treated him like shite for years. The Judge was my favourite film that I had watched all month. It was so fucking good in just about every way. There are multiple layers to it that can be equally as endearing, cathartic, incredibly evocative and difficult, as well as contemplative. The acting was stupendous as well, which is what sells it so fantastically as a masterful film. I’m really quite astonished that I had heard so little about it. My goal is to write up a full review discussing the breadth of my feelings on this title, but as it stands, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. Content warnings: Lots of cursing, alcohol consumption, mild sexual content, microaggressions and bullying against neurodivergence, psychological and physical abuse, mild gaslighting, passive aggressiveness, dysfunctional family relationships, death of loved ones, grief, physical symptoms of Stage IV cancer and chemotherapy.
Deadpool (2016) & Deadpool 2 (2018) [Hulu]: An action film about a merc who falls in love and then learns he has cancer. He decides to accept a shady proposition with hopes of being cured, yet ends up getting far more than he ever bargained for, in the most excruciating manner possible. Deadpool and its sequel were re-watches for me. They are my go-to laugh-out-loud films when I need something comforting and hilarious to help me through a particularly difficult time. My favourite part of these films is that Deadpool and I curse in essentially the same manner and the humour is brilliantly crude and entertaining; it has absolutely no fucks to give. I love it. Plus, they’re just awesome, badass fucking films. Content warnings: Sexual content; graphic violence, blood, and death; torturous scientific experimentation; heavy cursing and use of a wide variety of crude and problematic insults; mention of masturbation and drug use; alcohol consumption; child abuse, verbal and physical; prison violence; death of loved ones.
G.I. Jane (1997) [Hulu]: A drama, suspense title that follows the controversial political experimentation of having a woman training to become a member of the U.S. Navy Seals. I’m not sure why, but I really enjoy military-type dramas like G.I. Jane and Men of Honour. They’re super interesting to me and I love the fact that I can sit there and watch it from beginning to end so effortlessly. I loved Demi Moore’s acting here and watching her get fucking ripped during her training was excellent. She’s not someone who’s work I typically care for however G.I. Jane was an awesome ride from beginning to end. I’d RECOMMEND this to anyone else who enjoys dramas of this specific calibre. Content warnings include cursing; lots of sexism, gender double-standards, and micro-aggressions; brutal military training; violence; nudity.
Mary Shelley (2017) [Hulu]: A drama, romance film about Frankenstein author, Mary Shelley, and her tumultuous affair with Mr Shelley and the inspiration that eventually led to the creation of her most infamous tale. I did not finish this film. I watched the first half, found myself completely bored by the melodramatics of Mary’s and Shelley’s quite taboo and scandalous relationship. There was nothing remotely compelling about it, so I didn’t bother finishing it. If you’re someone that likes films of the sort—salacious, dark romance types—then you might like it far more than I did. As it stands, I DON’T RECOMMEND it; there are better films out there. Content warnings: infidelity and polyamory, death, substance consumption, sexual content (mild).
Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019) [HBO]: An action film where a grieving mother unleashes the ultimate titan monster of them all with the hopes of restoring nature’s balance. However, the monster she awakens ends up wreaking havoc in catastrophically unexpected ways. Godzilla, the King of Monsters, is once again awakened in order to help humanity to fight off this extraordinary threat. Another re-watching for me for the new instalment. I’ve actually seen this two to three times this year already because I really love the film. Ghidorah is one of my favourite titans and seeing him on-screen is a whole load of fun. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this title for fans of action and monster flicks. Content warnings include lots of violence, destruction of many cities which lead to mass death, mild cursing, death of loved ones, grief.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 (1997) [Prime]: The sequel television show to the film of the same name, it follows Buffy Sommers as she moves to the small town of Sunnyvale where she must continue her work as a vampire slayer. I picked this up after many years out of nostalgia. I remember thoroughly liking the first three seasons, but not caring for it much afterwards. Suffice to say that one season was enough to satiate my childhood yearnings, so I didn’t watch past this. However, if you’re someone that’s looking for a good retro show that defined the 90s, then I RECOMMEND this for you! Content warnings: violence and death, vampires and other monsters, high school bullying.
The Musketeers Seasons 1 & 2 (2014) [Prime]: Very loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Three Musketeers, the British historical drama follows a group of four men who work as the King’s musketeers trying to maintain peace and safety in Paris, France. I picked this up on a whim because I was craving a historical British show, and this completely hit the spot for me. If you want an authentic take on the novel, then you’ll hate this because it’s pretty far removed from the original tale. However, if you’re in the mood for some wit and sass with swashbuckling action fun-times, and handsomely charming musketeer dudes, then you may get a kick out of it. As it stands, I excitedly RECOMMEND this series! Content warnings: violence, death, blood, sexual content (mild), racism, sexism, infidelity.
The Dragon Prince Season 3 (2019) [Netflix]: A kid animated fantasy series about a long lost dragon egg that can be the salvation between warring nations vying for power over the realms. This charming little series reminded me quite a bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender with the cute humour and subtle references to modern media. The camaraderie is what really sells it though. Watching three kids trying to take on the world while formulating awesome bonds of friendship and trust is just so fucking endearing and I loved it. The fantasy elements are also pretty great and entertaining. I initially watched the first couple seasons back in 2018, but then forgot about it after catching up. Content warnings: death of loved ones, violence between humans and against animals, classism (mild).
Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer (2020) [Prime]: A nonfiction series that’s an Amazon Original that takes a look at the time period when Ted Bundy reigned terror. The series specifically focuses on the women of Bundy’s life including his former girlfriend and her daughter, as well as the loved ones of his victims and a couple of survivors of his attacks. In 2019, I read a true crime novel about Ted Bundy and ever since I’ve been a bit obsessed with true crime as it pertains to serial killers. This series is really fascinating because it’s a short show that focuses on the women specifically who are always being misrepresented and treated like garbage when it comes to Bundy. It was nice to see hear their side of the story and to see that they were victims in every sense of the word, yet they shouldn’t be blamed or defined by it. Content warnings: discussion of manipulation by Ted Bundy and details of Bundy’s crimes such as the rape and murder of over thirty women, including a twelve-year-old victim; cursing.
NCIS Seasons 4 (2006) [Netflix]: A crime drama about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the many military-related crimes that they solve. My trek through the series to catch up to the most recent episodes continues. It’s cool revisiting it again and watching the development of Ziva’s and Tony’s relationship. Content warnings vary but mostly include death of various sorts and manners, and crude humour.
Stargate Season 5 (2001) [Netflix]: A military sci-fi series about teams of Air Force members who go through an intergalactic gateway to travel between planets and explore the galaxy. Season five is one of the hardest ones for me to watch because of how it ends. I actually ended up skipping that Episode That Shall Not Be Named because I didn’t feel like crying and sobbing (every single fucking time). It does have some of my favourite segments though, including the revelation of the origin of the Replicators! Content warnings vary but generally include military action and violence, portrayal of enslaved and oppressed peoples, torture (non-graphic).
Criminal Minds Season 11 (2015) [Netflix]: A crime drama that centres on a special unit of the FBI that focuses entirely on hunting down and capturing serial killers and criminals. I have been making my way through this series very slowly. I began it when I first became outrageously sick with my heart shenanigans in October 2019 and ended up on prolonged bedrest (something that shall, unfortunately, happen again due to the nature of my heart), but because of the strong and disturbing nature of the episodes, I have had to pace myself with it. One of the things I enjoy about Criminal Minds is the psychological aspects. It’s also really great to see how involved the characters get in the cases that they work; they all have their own personal histories that help to humanise their interactions and the motives behind why they do the work they do. Plus, I’m just really fascinated by serial killers. Content warnings vary by episode but usually include very hefty and detailed looks at brutal death, rape, child abuse (all forms); sadistic acts of violence and torture; gaslighting.
My goals for April are to try and watch more television serials since I’ve been making such marvellous headway with the films. Unfortunately, that means my tele watchlist has backed-up quite heavily. Some of the serials I’m most excited to check out include The Nanny (another round of awesome nostalgia from my childhood), Perry Mason, Sleepy Hollow, and Westworld (I’ve seen the first one and a half seasons, but I’d like to re-start and catch up on this one as well).
Thanks so much for sticking until the end of this beastly post! If you have any film or TV recommendations for me, please drop them in the comments. I’m pretty open with what I watch in terms of genres, languages, and things. My only request is to give me a head’s up if something has cat deaths or sexual assault as those are my sensitive triggers.