May 17th, the fated day when we were finally allowed back to the cinema in the UK. The month since has passed quickly, and I wanted to mark the occasion with the top 5 films that I’ve seen in the cinema. Between you and me, it was the 19th when I got to visit for the first time as Cineworld didn’t reopen its doors until then and I have an Unlimited card, so I can see as many films as I want. Since the doors to the big screen reopened, I’ve seen a total of 15 films, through back-to-back screenings and often nightly outings. What else am I supposed to do?
First I want to give an honourable mention to Scott Pilgrilm (See yesterday’s post for my review). It was released as a special 10th anniversary screening. I’m not going to include this in my list. It’s one of my favourite films. I loved the comics as they were coming out, eagerly awaiting each release. I saw it way back when it was first released at the earliest screening possible. I loved it then and I still love it now.
Before we get to the main list, I also want to mention the worst film I’ve seen, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. A terrible blockbuster comedy that is void of laughter and reeks as a cash-grab sequel to an ok film. A stellar cast, but not much more.
Number 5 – A Quiet Place part 2
I didn’t think much to the first Quiet Place when it came out. There were a few moments that took me out of the suspense and I couldn’t get back into it. The second one was quite a surprise when I saw it, and it’s miles better than the first one. It’s scary, well paced and has some great performances. Hopefully the next one lives up to this great film.
You can read my original review here: https://ashleymanning.com/2021/06/01/a-quiet-place-part-ii-review/
Number 4 – Dream Horse
I didn’t have high hopes for Dream Horse when I first saw the trailer. It’s not something that would usually appeal to me. My wife, Tabby, wanted to see it and we ended up going. I was surprised. It’s a really heartfelt film, with some laughs and a true underdog tale. It’s gripping and all the way through I rooting for Dream Alliance. A great feel-good film.
You can read my whole review here: https://ashleymanning.com/2021/06/05/dream-horse-film-review/
Number 3 – Cruella
Something about Disney films makes me have to see them as soon as possible. Even though I haven’t enjoyed most of the live-action remakes/re-imaginings, I still end up seeing them as soon as possible. The first film I saw with my Unlimited card was actually The Jungle Book from 2016. Something told me that Cruella would be different and I couldn’t be happier to confirm that it is. Emma Stone is superb in the film and the soundtrack is one of the best. There are so many of my favourites songs, essentially just lined up, with needle drop after needle drop. It’s funny, stylish and entertaining as hell, what more could you want?
Read my whole review here: https://ashleymanning.com/2021/06/02/cruella-movie-review/
Number 2 – In the Heights
I haven’t seen many musicals, especially classic ones. I do end up enjoying most of the ones I’ve seen and it’s one of my goals to seek out the great ones, so if you have any recommendations please let me know. So far there’s only one bad one that I’ve seen and that’s the lifeless ‘The Last Five Years’. I knew from the second I first saw the trailer that I was going to love In the Heights. It looked full of personality, great music and mesmerising dancing. I could tell it was going to be an emotional ride and it turned out to be all that and more. I can’t recommend this enough. It is the film of the summer, for sure.
Read my whole review Here: https://ashleymanning.com/2021/06/12/in-the-heights-film-review/
Number 1 – Judas and the Black Messiah
The first film that I got to see on the big screen, and it is definitely the best film that I’ve seen in cinema since they reopened. This film tells the story of Black Panther, Fred Hampton, who was assassinated as part of an FBI investigation into the Panthers, this is one hell of a powerful film. It’s a story I didn’t know anything about and I’ve since looked into it more. It’s a must see film, and if you only see one on this list, then it must be this one. Daniel Kaluuya won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Fred Hampton and it couldn’t be more deserved. It’s a heart breaking story that is expertly directed and every performance is amazing. Combine it with last year’s overlooked Seberg to really see how messed up the FBI’s history in America is, especially in the 1960s.
So there’s my top films from the last month, that have been in UK cinemas. I obviously haven’t seen every film, and a few that I wanted to see weren’t even released near me. Have you been to the cinema at all? What did you see and what would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and until next time,