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Watching a Film a Day in 2024 – Week 1

Last year, I had hoped to watch a film every day, aiming for a total of 365. Despite starting strong and viewing 340 films, the introduction of a PS5 into my life for my 50th birthday, courtesy of my generous brother, led me into the world of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City7. In addition to video games, my time was filled with TV shows, Improv classes, board games, role-playing games, and various other commitments. Juggling these activities alongside work made it challenging to reach my initial target.

Nonetheless, I did indulge in a plethora of films—some impressive, others not so memorable, and a few I might not have watched if not for my self-imposed goal. I also discovered numerous older films available for free on YouTube.

Recognizing the arrival of a new year, I’ve decided to embark on this cinematic journey once more. The plan for 2024 is to watch at least 366 films, given that it’s a leap year. While daily viewing might not always be feasible, some days may see two or three films. Success or not, the goal is primarily for enjoyment and to keep things lively.

Should you choose to accompany me on this venture, I intend to provide weekly updates, sharing the films I’ve watched and my thoughts on them. I am based in the UK, so I’ll note if certain films may not be available on streaming platforms in your region. Additionally, I’ll be referencing release dates from

As of January 7th, the first week of 2024 has concluded, and I’ve already watched 8 films. The year commenced with an excellent film that I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

1st – 7th January.

Gattaca – 1997

  • Director: Andrew Niccol
  • Writer: Andrew Niccol
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal, Xander Berkeley
  • Watched on Prime Video

In this captivating sci-fi drama/thriller, set not too distant from our reality, the concept of eugenics becomes the foundation for the future of humanity. Individuals are genetically engineered to eliminate diseases and optimize human potential, creating a societal divide that discriminates against those conceived through traditional means. The narrative unfolds as Vincent, a genetic outcast or “in-valid,” assumes the identity of a “valid” individual. Despite the challenges he faces, things run smoothly until a murder occurs, prompting a police investigation involving the collection of dust and hair samples.

What makes Gattaca enduring is its timeless quality, achieved through the use of real buildings and locations that possess a futuristic allure. The retro-future aesthetic, reflected in the costumes, cars, and settings, adds a layer of visual splendor to the film. The stellar performances from the cast, including Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal, and Xander Berkeley, contribute to its cinematic excellence. Notably, the film features supporting actors who later became prominent stars in both film and television.

This tense and absorbing drama navigates significant societal issues in a compelling and enjoyable manner, making Gattaca a visually stunning and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space – 1988

  • Director: Stephen Chiodo
  • Writers: Charles Chiodo, Stephen Chiodo, Edward Chiodo
  • Cast: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon
  • Watched on Prime Video

A cinematic gem that lingered in my childhood memories, Killer Klowns from Outer Space had been a film I encountered through trailer snippets on VHS tapes but never managed to watch in its entirety. While catching glimpses over the years, the opportunity to experience it from start to finish finally presented itself.

I must say that this movie is an immense amount of fun. Crafted by the Chiodo Brothers, who not only directed but also created the practical effects and makeup, it exudes a whole lot of love for classic creature features and monster movies.

The brilliance of the practical effects remains a highlight, making the film a worthwhile watch for those who have yet to experience it. The inventive kills woven around the circus and clown theme strike a perfect balance between gruesome and hilarious, rendering it an ideal choice for group viewing with friends.

Over the years, there has been buzz about potential sequels, remakes, and more. Hopefully, the day will come when we can indulge in more Killer Klowns, continuing the legacy of this uniquely entertaining cinematic experience.

Stalag 17 – 1953

  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, Edwin Blum, Donald Bevan
  • Cast: Don Taylor, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck, Peter Graves, Neville Brand, Richard Erdman, Michael Moore, Sig Ruman, and Otto Preminger
  • Watched on Blu-ray

Billy Wilder’s masterful adaptation of the Broadway play takes us deep into the confines of a German prisoner-of-war camp, delivering a stellar war film experience. The ensemble cast, featuring the likes of Richard Erdman (known as Leonard from Community), skillfully portrays the day-to-day struggles within the POW camp during World War II.

Balancing both drama and comedy, the film unfolds with a swift momentum as the prisoners grapple with the task of identifying a spy among them. William Holden’s remarkable performance as Sefton, a resourceful individual capable of obtaining anything, may well have influenced Steve McQueen in the great escape.

Despite multiple viewings, Stalag 17 remains an engrossing film that reveals new nuances with each watch. It stands as a cinematic treasure, prompting viewers to marvel at the exceptional cast and exclaim, “Where have I seen them before?”

“At ease!”

Game 6 – 2005

  • Director: Michael Hoffman
  • Writers: Don DeLillo
  • Cast: Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Bebe Neuwirth, Griffin Dunne, and Catherine O’Hara
  • Watched on YouTube

Game 6 is a film I knew very little about. I had heard of it, but could not remember anything about it apart from it had a great cast. Set during the day of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, we see a playwright travelling around New York meeting people and chatting about life and baseball. He has a new play due out but would rather get to the game. He then hears that the new drama critic who has been trashing other plays will be reviewing his play.

Doubts set in. Tensions rise and events escalate.

Game 6 is one of those film that I enjoyed but felt it was a little uneven. Don DeLillo’s first script to be made into a film does feel very much like a play and some of the dialogue, while funny, does not always feel it belongs in a film. Luckily the brilliant cast do deliver all the lines in a believable manner and it is always good to see Michael Keaton. I some ways this feels like it would make a good double bill with 2014’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Double Team – 1997

  • Director: Hark Tsui
  • Writers: Don Jakoby, Paul Mones
  • Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, Paul Freeman
  • Watched on Prime Video

An absurd gem from the Nineties action era, Double Team revels in its beautifully stupid narrative.

Despite winning a few Razzies, the film is a unique amalgamation of The Prisoner, Way of the Dragon, and Gladiator. The climax features an unforgettable showdown in the Coliseum, starring JCVD, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, and a tiger—an ensemble that encapsulates the essence of the film.

If any of that makes you go “sounds good, I’m in,” then go for it.

Completely ridiculous yet undeniably enjoyable for those seeking mindless action, Double Team unfolds like a live-action Saturday morning cartoon. The concept of The Colony, reminiscent of The Prisoner, adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, leaving one to wonder about the potential spin-offs had the film gained traction back in its day.

Into The Inferno – 2016

  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Writer: Werner Herzog
  • Cast: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
  • Watched on Netflix

A captivating addition to Werner Herzog’s impressive body of work, Into the Inferno takes viewers on a global journey, exploring various active volcanoes. The documentary delves into the world of volcanologists and examines the profound belief systems tied to these natural wonders by those who reside in their formidable shadows.

Werner Herzog’s unique storytelling style and keen observational eye infuse the film with a mesmerizing quality. The documentary not only captures the primal, raw energy of the volcanoes but also explores the cultural and spiritual significance attributed to them.

As a fan of Herzog’s films, I found Into The Inferno to be another compelling and thought-provoking exploration of the natural world. For those intrigued by the enigmatic allure of volcanoes and the people who study them, this documentary, alongside the excellent The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft, is a must-watch.

Fight Club – 1999

  • Director: David Fincher
  • Writer: Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Uhls
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter
  • Watched on Blu-ray

Thinking back to the first time I saw Fight Club, it’s like revisiting a piece of my cinematic history from the pre-internet days. Before spoilers infested every corner of the web, the reveal about Tyler Durden hit us in the cinema like a collective gasp, leaving us all in stunned silence. When the credits rolled, a Welsh voice broke the quiet with, “What the bloody hell was that all about?”

That initial experience was truly a cinematic revelation, and while the impact has lessened a bit on subsequent viewings, it’s still an incredible film packed with Easter eggs and hints that make it endlessly rewatchable. The way your perception of Marla Singer does a complete 180 on the first rewatch is just mind-blowing. David Fincher’s meticulous attention to detail blends seamlessly with the film’s complexities.

I’m a sucker for a good twist, and Fight Club might just have one of the greatest. I never saw it coming, and that’s part of what makes it such a memorable cinematic moment for me.

Foe – 2023

  • Director: Garth Davis
  • Writer: Iain Reid, Garth Davis
  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal, Aaron Pierre
  • Watched on Prime Video

A deliberate and dialogue-rich film, Foe delves into the intricate layers of relationships, gaslighting, love, identity, and the essence of humanity.

Approaching the film with no preconceived notions turned out to be the ideal way to experience it. This sci-fi psychological thriller tiptoes on the edge of horror, creating an unsettling atmosphere that lingers.

The performances are nothing short of stunning, with Paul Mescal delivering particularly remarkable moments. While watching, I found myself unsure if I was truly enjoying it, given its slow pace and weighty conversations. However, in the aftermath, Foe has occupied my thoughts extensively, prompting me to consider a return for a repeat viewing in the future. The film’s impressive craftsmanship and thought-provoking themes have left a lasting impression that transcends the immediate viewing experience.

Here we have it, the culmination of my first week of film viewing, and overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As I embark on the upcoming week, I find myself without a predetermined list of films, opting instead to let my cinematic fancies guide me.

For those of you partaking in a daily film regimen, I encourage you to share your cinematic journey in the comments below. Let us exchange thoughts on the films we’ve watched—our impressions, delights, and perhaps the occasional disappointment.

Wishing everyone a week filled with cinematic delights and happy viewing!

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