10 Films I Saw This November (Film List 2021)

Hello All,

Back to normality this month, I have been able to watch more films that I have done over the last couple of months, and I have really enjoyed watching a lot of the films in this months selection.

The rules are the same as always, I have to watch films I haven’t seen before. I have been using a range of services, from Netflix, Amazon Prime and even IMDb TV. I hope you enjoy what I have written.

King of New York – Date Viewed: 04/11/2021

Director: Abel Ferrara

Studio: Rete Italia, Scena International, Caminito

Release Date: 1990

Legendary director Abel Ferrara neo-noir crime thriller sees a recently released drug lord trying to share his profits with the poor. Christopher Walken delivers one of his most iconic performances as he leans into the insanity that he can bring to a role, which reflects in some insane exchanges between characters. Ferrara is known for dark, violent and reflective films and this is no different as we see the extent of the madness on screen as Frank White tries to wash his hands of the blood money he makes.

Currently on IMDb TV (At the time of writing)

Jackie Brown – Date Viewed: 05/11/2021

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Studio: A Band Apart, Mighty Mighty Afrodite Productions, Lawrence Bender Productions

Release Date: 1997

One of Quentin Tarantino’s most underrated films, but perhaps one of his best. A unique film in the fact that it’s an adaption and not an original story from Tarantino himself. Possessing all the usual quirks of his style, such as hilarious dialogue, incredible visuals and developed characters this film feels different in regards to the pace, which seems inconsistent, but does have these bursts which bring the film to life.

Currently on IMDb TV (At the time of writing)

Spencer – Date Viewed: 08/11/2021

Director: Pablo Larraín

Studio: Komplizen Film, Fabula, Shoebox Films, FilmNation Entertainment

Release Date: 2021

Kristen Stewart is incredible in Pablo Larraín’s historical drama. The film has more of a ghost story quality, as it goes from reality to dream states seamlessly, which creates the never-ending nightmare for Diana Spencer as the walls enclose on her. The film is beautifully shot and designed, which gives an almost horror edge that makes some of the sequences almost unbearable as the tension cranks up. Kristen Stewart’s lifelike performance relies on much more than mastering the accent and mannerisms – it focuses on embodying the character, which gives the portrayal more dimension instead of falling into caricature. Overall an incredible film, which I would highly recommend.

Currently in Cinemas (At the time of writing)

Cape Fear – Date Viewed: 13/11/2021

Director: Martin Scorsese

Studio: Amblin Entertainment, Cappa Films, Tribeca Productions

Release Date: 1991

Robert De Niro chews the scenery as Max Cady, a convicted rapist who terrorises his lawyer after serving 14 years in prison. One of the most iconic films of the 90’s the score alone is cemented in popular culture. The slasher feel constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat from the introduction of Cady to the violent and insane crescendo. Martin Scorsese’s collaboration with De Niro has constantly evolved over the years and this time it gave us one of the defining villains in cinema.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

Ear for Eye – Date Viewed: 19/11/2021

Director: debbie tucker green

Studio: BBC Film, British Film Institute, Fruit Tree Media, Eon Productions

Release Date: 2021

Olivier and BAFTA award-winning director and playwright, debbie tucker green adapts her titular play. The film is full of verve as it moves from dance to spoken word while meditating on the black experience in the U.S and U.K. The film is a beautifully directed and told story, which can be felt through every word and action by a brilliant cast headed by Lashana Lynch. The film is divided into three parts and has a myriad of stories and experiences that builds to an extremely moving and powerful ending. debbie tucker green also directed ‘Second Coming’ – also an incredible film and I would recommend both films to anyone.

Currently on BBCiPlayer (At the time of writing)

Throne of Blood – Date Viewed: 20/11/2021

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Studio: Toho Studios

Release Date: 1957

Akira Kurosawa’s abstract adaptation of Macbeth is one of the defining screen presentations of the iconic Shakespeare play. Kurosawa, much like he did in ‘Ran’, relocates from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan and uses the landscape of such effect as the interiors look atmospheric and cloudy and the exteriors are large, unforgiving and foreboding. Shot on the scenic Mount Fuji amongst other places this film shines as a standalone adaptation, which shows the universality of Shakespeare through the film titanic performances from both Toshiro Mifune and Isuzu Yamada. The film is shot beautifully by Asakazu Nakai and directed impeccably by Kurosawa.

Currently on IMDb TV (At the time of writing)

Alleycats- Date Viewed: 22/11/2021

Director: Ian Bonhôte

Studio: Misfits Entertainment, Elephant Gun Films, thefyzz

Release Date: 2016

Upon the death of her brother in an illegal bike race, Danni investigates to only be drawn into a world of corruption and shady doings. The film operates at a breakneck speed, which keeps tensions high as we delve deeper into the conspiracy. The film has a great ensemble cast, which shows the divides in characters, motivations and lifestyles as the walls close in on them all. The film has some incredible bike sequences too, which keeps the energy high throughout the film. I enjoyed the film and if you want more from Misfits, they also created the incredible documentary McQueen, which I would also recommend watching alongside Alleycats.

Currently on Netflix (At the time of writing)

A Quiet Place Part II – Date Viewed: 27/11/2021

Director: John Krasinski

Studio: Platinum Dunes, Sunday Night Productions

Release Date: 2021

The sequel to the brilliant 2018 smash is as good as the original, still possessing the incredible sound design and performances that made the first so engaging and visceral. As we are shown the past events that led to the present that the survivors are enduring – the film moves from one horrifying event after the other. What makes this film so great is that as a member of the audience – it makes you feel like an active member of the story by how great the sound design is – even to the point where you start noticing how eerily slow and quiet you get while watching the film. John Krasinski does an incredible job, expanding on the characters and the story world without feeling removed from the main characters.

Rental

Malignant – Date Viewed: 28/11/2021

Director: James Wan

Studio: New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster Productions. Starlight Media Inc., My Entertainment Inc. 

Release Date: 2021

Creator of the Conjuring Universe and the subsequent spin-offs, James Wan introduces his newest film – Malignant. The film revolves around Madison, who begins to have visions of people being murdered, but as the story comes to its crescendo – the events start to tie to her personally. One of his more unique films, Wan doesn’t overly rely on the jump scare trope, which has been some of the more defining and memorable aspects of his last films for better or worse. The film has more room to breathe, which I feel that this story needs at some point as the moments where the creepiness sets in actual have room to grow – as opposed to just becoming a jump scare. Overall I thought the film was good and I hope to see this in more of Wan’s films in the future.

Rental

V for Vendetta – Date Viewed: 29/11/2021

Director: James McTeigue

Studio: Silver Pictures, Virtual Studios, Anarchos Productions

Release Date: 2006

Based on the series of comics written by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta is set in an alternative future – a fascist regime has gained ascendancy over the United Kingdom. The story revolves around V, an anarchist, who seeks to bring down the establishment and free the country from the grip of the High Chancellor, as well as Evey who is caught in the mission. The film has a really strong visual sense, which reflects the murky nature of the politics and violence which punctuate the story world, the story has a lot of relevance in regards to how media uses stories, how politicians evoke certain emotions towards an end goal to consolidate power.

Currently on Amazon Prime (At the time of writing)

I have been watching these using a mix of Netflix, Amazon Prime and IMDb TV. I also use other platforms such as All4 and BBCiPlayer, which are both free in the UK. I have also set myself a benchmark to watch at least one film in the cinema a month. I think it’s vital to see these films on the big screen, as it’s the way these films were intended to be seen.

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 / forum.pixarpost.com / shattereddteacup / MyCenterMovie / disney.fandom.com / talkbass.com / indyweek.com / theguardian.com / echoartists

Published by Adam Shafi

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

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