March 2014 – If they’re shooting at you, they’re bad!

Under The SkinThis month, like most others, was spent catching up with reviews.

I only saw six movies at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, but it wasn’t until March that I finally finished reviewing them (actually, I still haven’t finished writing up Calvary, so you’d better make that April.) Of the remainder, backing singers doc Twenty Feet From Stardom was easily the stand-out, though there was plenty to admire in part-Hollywood satire/part-surrealist animation The Congress.

Soon it was business as usual, however, and between press screenings in Glasgow and trips to Dundee Contemporary Arts I this month managed to see 300: Rise of an Empire, Need For Speed, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Zero Theorem, Labor Day, About Last Night, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Muppets Most Wanted. Today, March 31st, I will add to that list with upcoming releases Noah, Divergent, The Double and The Raid 2.

Two films this month were particularly impressive: Starred Up and Under The Skin. The former, starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, was an unexpectedly touching father-son drama set within a prison context, while the latter saw an extra-terrestrial Scarlett Johansson patrol the streets of Glasgow abducting loners. Both provoked a strong physical reaction: sympathy and repulsion respectively. Under The Skin is only the second film I’ve awarded five stars so far this year, alongside The LEGO Movie.

This month was also remarkable for two other reasons. I submitted my first few articles to Cal King for his exciting upcoming project, sixteenbynine, and contributed my last ever review to BestforFilm.com. I started writing for BFF in 2010, shortly after graduation, when it was still run by prodigious creator and bona fide genius Natasha Hodgson. It all started with a six-week internship in London, and though the site has since changed hands to the equally talented John Underwood it has always been a place for aspiring writers to get a step in the door, learn from the best and embrace their weirder side, whether by writing a review of fictional owls (by Magda Knight) or listing the most colourful films (Florence Vincent). This month it closed its doors, but not without a fitting farewell, in which John rounded off the BFF’s Favourite Flicks series with five of his own.

Elsewhere I continued my preparations for the West Highland Way, which I will finally walk with Paul Greenwood (whose name, this time at least, I totally got right) and Nathanael Smith on April Fool’s Day– though I can assure you that at 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William it will be no joke. This month we walked Glasgow to Lanark(ish), and raised over £250 for Cancer Research in the process. Should you wish to sponsor us there’s still time, just visit http://www.justgiving.com/highlanders3 and donate what you can.

Anyway, I’d better get going. I have things to pack and films to watch.

Film of the month: Under The Skin

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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