The Duological Monthly Update for September 2017

Well, I don’t know about you, but September flew by — it doesn’t feel like we can be in the last quarter of the year already. But here we are.

Two weeks ago I posted a mid-month update that noted September was behind average and asked the question, “could this be the first month in over three years to not reach the ten-film threshold?” Well…

#119 Antz (1998)
#120 Vintage Tomorrows (2015)
#121 Lions for Lambs (2007)
#122 Guardians (2017), aka Zashchitniki
#123 Life (2017)
#124 T2 Trainspotting (2017)
#125 Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
#126 Yojimbo (1961), aka Yôjinbô
#127 Drew: The Man Behind the Poster (2013)
#128 Black Swan (2010)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

  • So, the answer to the mid-month question: no. I watched exactly ten new films this month, maintaining that double-figure minimum for the 40th consecutive month.
  • However, that does make it the lowest month of 2017. It also failed to reach the September average (previously 11.78, now 11.6), the rolling average for the last 12 months (previously 14.25, now 13.83), and the average for 2017 to date (previously 14.75, now 14.2).
  • Part of the reason for this shortfall is I’ve been making more of an effort with my Rewatchathon. More on that later.
  • This month’s Blindspot film: Akira Kurosawa’s pre-make of A Fistful of Dollars, the superb samurai movie Yojimbo.
  • This month’s WDYMYHS film: with everyone getting in a tizzy about mother!, I thought it was a good time to finally get round to Black Swan. No idea what I’ll make of Aronofsky’s new one (I’ll catch it on Blu-ray or something), but I thought Black Swan was fantastic.
  • This month’s titular adjective comes from the fact I watched Trainspotting 1 and 2, Kingsman 1 and 2, and Wayne’s World 1 and 2. Just a coincidence, that. Shame I didn’t watch Sanjuro ‘n’ all, really.

The 28th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
When I eventually get round to reviewing them, there’s a couple of films this month that will likely get the full five stars. Neither of those were the most enjoyable experience I had in front of a screen this month, though. That honour goes to Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
I don’t know what I expected, but it turns out a Russian superhero movie whose trailer went viral purely because it featured a bear wielding a machine-gun wasn’t actually the basis for a great film. Sorry, Guardians.

Best Poster of the Month
Eh, sod any of these films’ posters — documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster is stuffed full with some of the greatest movie posters of all time, all painted by Drew Struzan, of course. For me, his three posters for the Back to the Future trilogy take some beating.

Best Dance Scene of the Month
Natalie Portman may have undergone a tonne of personally-funded training so she could do 80% of Black Swan’s ballet sequences for real, but she’s got nothing on Channing Tatum’s poison-induced moves in Kingsman.

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
For whatever reason, this is by the far the lowest-ranked most-viewed new post of the year so far: previous ones have all been in the top ten most-viewed posts for their month (surrounded by posts that weren’t new, obviously), but September’s victor was down at 16th. And for the fourth time this year, it was a TV review; specifically, my thoughts on the Twin Peaks season 3 finale. (The highest new film review was Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in 23rd overall.)

As I mentioned above, this was a good month for my Rewatchathon; in fact, it’s tied with May as the best so far.

#29 Jumanji (1995)
#30 Godzilla (1998)
#31 Trainspotting (1996)
#32 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
#33 A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
#34 Wayne’s World (1992)
#35 Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

Lots of films I’ve been meaning to re-watch since my childhood this month — Jumanji, Godzilla, Wayne’s World — all films I watched on or close to their original release but haven’t seen since.

Godzilla was also my latest attempt at watching something in 4K. I’m beginning to come to the opinion that 4K does actually look better than 1080p, but, Jesus, it’s hard to tell. When I switched from SD to HD the difference was like night and day (that’s not the case for everyone, I know — some people either can’t tell or don’t care enough to notice), but from HD to UHD it’s like, “Is it better? It might be… I think…?” Maybe a side-by-side comparison would make this clear, but I’ve not been arsed to set one up. I think I’ll continue to get the 4K option when I subscribe to Netflix in the future, but I certainly have no plans to invest in a new Blu-ray player or start re-purchasing (or even initial-purchasing) my collection on 4K discs.

Party like it’s 2049.

4 thoughts on “The Duological Monthly Update for September 2017

  1. Your opinion on 4K/ UHD is interesting. I think my current HD TV is fantastic and perfectly happy with blu ray films and HD streaming, but I have wondered about upgrading. Well, Blade Runner has been released on 4K and 2049 will surely follow in the New Year. But like your post above I keep reading about people not being as wowed as we were upgrading to HD. And of course ironically it does seem many modern films get the least benefit with cgi effects rendered in 2K incapable of benefiting from upgrading up to 4K. A bit like the directors cut of ST:TMP having been rendered in SD only leaving a HD release impossible (making it, strangely, quite obsolete in today’s HD world, nevermind the UHD of tomorrow).

    So where does it leave us, I’m not sure. Waiting for my current telly to fail/blow up I guess- could be years yet. When do I start future-proofing my disc purchases though?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My TV’s pretty much the bottom end of what they bother to make in 4K size-wise, so in that respect I suppose it was destined to show the least improvement. People say that the HDR colour is more important than the added resolution anyway, but I’ve not watched anything that’s made me go “I never saw those colours in plain old HD!” Of course, I’ve only tried Amazon, Netflix, and one downloaded semi-pro webseries, so maybe UHD Blu-rays do look mind-blowing.

      That said, I’m not bothering to future-proof. Partly because I primarily got this TV for 3D and they rarely do 3D/UHD combos, but also because 1080p looks at least as good as ever. Maybe better, because it’s upscaled. Which is a point: considering some DVDs can look almost-HD when upscaled, it’s no wonder the difference between upscaled-1080p and 4K appears so minimal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’m wary of future-proofing myself so still buying standard bluray discs rather than UHD combos. I’ve been burned by 3D, as I have several 3D combos assuming my next TV would be 3D capable but the technology is clearly being dropped with 4K the ‘New Hope’ instead. Funny, I remember when stereo and wide-screen were the new tech, and like HD the benefits were clear. 4K seems suffering from the law of diminishing returns.

        Oh well, it’ll be holograms next…

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’ll be interesting to see if 4K catches on at all. Of course, TV manufacturers will make it a success for a bit — at some point we’ll hit the phase of “4K accounts for 80% of new TV sales!”, which I seem to remember from both HD and 3D. But the former didn’t kill off DVD and the latter didn’t make 3D popular, it’s just that buyers won’t have a choice. With the man-on-the-street still buying DVDs or moving towards streaming, surely it’s a question of “will people fork out the extra for Netflix in 4K?” rather than “will everyone get UHD Blu-ray?” It’s destined to be a niche of a niche.


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