10 Films I Saw This May (Film List 2021)

Hello All,

This month I have been really busy with filming and all that goes with it – hopefully, in the next few months, I can share more with you all. Until then here are the films that I have been watching. I would definitely check these out.

The rules are I can only write about films I haven’t seen before. I want to engage with films that have been on my watchlist for a while now. I have really enjoyed the films I’ve seen in this series so far. Hopefully, during this busy period, I can keep watching them. Stay safe and be there for one another.

Sunshine – Date Viewed: 03/05/2021

Director: Danny Boyle

Studio: Moving Picture Company, DNA Films, UK Film Council, Ingenious Film Partners

Release Date: 2007

One of Danny Boyle’s most underappreciated films. A sci-fi gem, which admittedly loses its way towards the end, but until then, it’s one of the most compelling sci-fi experiences I have ever had. A team of scientists travel to the dying sun to delivers a bomb that will re-ignite it. Alex Garland, who went on to direct ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Annihilation – the latter being one of my favourite sci-fi films, creates a creepy and philosophical script, which Boyle crafts brilliantly – a worthwhile watch for its beauty and performances.

Currently on Disney+ (At the time of writing)

Honey Boy – Date Viewed: 08/05/2021

Director: Alma Har’el

Studio: Automatik, Stay Gold Features, Delirio Films

Release Date: 2019

A deeply personal and introspective film – written by Shia LaBeouf during his time in rehab – brilliantly directed by Alma Har’el – this film charts LaBeouf’s childhood as a child actor and his abusive father and chaperone. Jupe, Hedges and LaBeouf give incredibly raw performances, all of which meld together to show the transformation of a boy to the adult we see in the public eye.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

When Harry Met Sally… – Date Viewed: 09/05/2021

Director: Rob Reiner

Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment, Nelson Entertainment

Release Date: 1989

A rom-com classic, which seemingly breaks every rule as the relationship of two friends develops into something more deep and profound. A brilliantly directed comedic landmark that uses the chemistry of Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan to great effect. This film has iconic moment after iconic moment, from the diner scene to the baseball scene amongst many. This is a real delight and every aspect of the film is masterfully crafted.

Currently on BBC iPlayer (At the time of writing)

Blood Simple – Date Viewed: 10/05/2021

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Studio: River Road Productions, Foxton Entertainment

Release Date: 1984

The feature debut of two of the most influential directors of the 20th and 21st Century sees them create arguably one of their best films. A film that sets the foundations for so many Coen Brothers traits, from the black comedy and framing to the odd yet distinctive characters. A ground-breaking film in terms of what it allowed the Coen Brothers to do later in their careers. The film revolved around a murder plot sparked by an affair and how it goes from disaster to disaster.

Currently on BFI Player (At the time of writing)

Edward Scissorhands- Date Viewed: 12/05/2021

Director: Tim Burton

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: 1990

The quintessential Tim Burton / Johnny Depp collaboration. This film centres on the titular character as he goes from isolation to suburbia – he discovers what it is to love and to be loved as he impacts everyone’s life until it turns sour very quickly. Burton is on form as he creates one of his most realised visions, which has gone on to be a landmark film and very popular and far-reaching in its impact on pop culture.

Currently on Disney+ (At the time of writing)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Date Viewed: 13/05/2021

Director: Rian Johnson

Studio: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Release Date: 2017

Only Star Wars can create this much controversy, but I think this is the best in the new series and is also one of the best Star Wars films. It’s seemingly impossible to balance the expectations of audiences while presenting something new and fresh. For the most part, this film achieves that and brings new perspectives and themes that are independent of any Star Wars film. It’s a film about letting go, giving in to destiny and mistakes of the past. I liked this film as I’m not a super fan, but this film delivers on emotion and set pieces with a stunning visual sensibility.

Currently on Disney+ (At the time of writing)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker- Date Viewed: 14/05/2021

Director: J.J. Abrams

Studio: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Release Date: 2019

Abrams, was brought in to steady the ship after the audience response to The Last Jedi. Honestly, I think he had the impossible task of correcting the previous film while concluding these characters in a Abrams, was brought in to steady the ship after the audience response to The Last Jedi. Honestly, I think he had the impossible task of correcting the previous film while concluding these characters in a meaningful way. I don’t think it works – because I don’t think there was much thematically wrong with the previous Star Wars film. I believe that this is the culmination of listening to the audiences to the extreme. So much of the story is shoehorned in and I think the jeopardy is gone as well. It looks amazing, but at what cost. A poor end to the saga – hopefully, this proves the point of why audiences shouldn’t be backed to the hilt and allowed to have so much influence. I hope they bring in an array of interesting directors and allow the infinite story threads which can be plucked from this universe to the foray and create something special.

Currently on Disney+ (At the time of writing)

High School Musical 2 – Date Viewed: 15/05/2021

Director: Kenny Ortega

Studio: Salty Pictures, First Street Films

Release Date: 2007

I really like the first High School Musical and the same applies to this one. A real bubble-gum film that has a lot of catchy songs and great performances. I love what they have achieved here and it’s extremely fun and it invites everyone to come and join. I promise it’s worth your time and this franchise launched many careers, which is a testament to its universal appeal and pop culture status.

Currently on Disney+ (At the time of writing)

Judas and the Black Messiah – Date Viewed: 24/05/2021

Director: Shaka King

Studio: MACRO, Participant, Bron Creative, Proximity

Release Date: 2021

Daniel Kaluuya steals every scene as Fred Hampton, legendary revolutionary and Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party. The story revolves around an informant in the party as he’s under the thumb of the FBI as he committed a past crime. An incredible insight into the grassroots movement of the part and the length the FBI go to stop the movement and Fred Hampton. This film moves from inspiration to harrowing very quickly and it is an incredible portrait of an inspirational man. His influence is still felt to this day due to how his words have lived on. This is an incredibly well written and directed film and the cinematography is incredible as well.

Cinema

Force Majeure- Date Viewed: 28/05/21

Director: Ruben Östlund

Studio: Beofilm, Coproduction Office, Film i Väst, Motlys, Plattform Produktion, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Société Parisienne de Production

Release Date: 2014

Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable films you’ll ever see. This film isn’t violent or graphic, but it centres around marital and family issues. A middle-class family go to the alps for a ski holiday, while they’re at a restaurant a controlled avalanche happens. The mother shields her children the father runs for his life – deserting his family. He then returns to find them safe and well – this is the start of it all. A riveting and darkly funny film that deals with the fallout of a loved one leaving in the midst of a disaster.

Currently on BFI Player (At the time of writing)

It’s been a strange month, I’ve been so busy with filming but going back to the cinema after a year away has been really invigorating, having just wrapped I’m feeling good right now and I also feel a sense of renewal in terms of what I want to do with my career. Judas and the Black Messiah is most definitely a film worth going to the cinema for and considering the world, why not shut off for a couple of hours and enjoy a trip to the cinema.

I have been watching these using a mix of Netflix, Amazon Prime, BFI Player and Disney+ and even rental. Typically all of these would cost a lot, but I have been fortunate to have access to these platforms for free – at least for now. Once that is over, I’ll be prioritising which platforms to still stick with moving forward. I hope you check these films out.

Watching these films again helps get money back into the film industry, so it feels good to feel like I’m helping while enjoying these films.

Stay safe, be present, enjoy things that you like.

Adam

Stills courtesy of FILMGRAB / Kiss Them Goodbye / Bluscreens.net / anothermag.com / Elevation Pictures / Movieclips Classic Trailers / movienco.co.uk / screenmusings.com / Screen Goblin /commonsensemedia.org / NME / Joe’s Movie Blog / cultandexploitation.blogspot.com / fancaps.net / ingloriousbaguettes.com / starwarsscreencaps.com / boardchairman / animationscreencaps

Published by Adam Shafi

Here's my work, ranging from films to essays. Hope you enjoy it!

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