The writers of That Shelf have spent hours in front of screens big and small this because what better way to spend the mostly-frozen hellscape that is February in Canada?
New releases fared well this month including The Invisible Man which earned raves from more than one writer, while Birds Of Prey (or whatever we’re calling it now) was also tops in February, along with a handful of movies from the 1960s. And, it should come as no surprise that Rocketman continues to be a favourite of That Shelf. Plus, we share what TV series are filling up our time between movie-watching.
Following our top views for January, we’re hoping these answers might lead you to your new favourite movie or binge-worthy series. We want to know what you’ve loved this month too: Let us know what the best thing you watched in February in the comments or on Twitter.
Here’s what That Shelf’s writers were loving in February:
A revamped spin on an old story that brings domestic abuse startlingly to the forefront without sacrificing scares or atmosphere. – Joe Lipsett
Honestly, this is a pretty incredible horror film. The violence is brutal but not gratuitous. The tension thick and soupy. But best of all it uses the scope of a fantastical horror classic to not only pivot and tell a woman’s story of abuse, but to do so from her perspective while never doubting her and her experiences for a moment. It has some gaping plot holes, but I enjoyed watching it and have loved thinking about it. – Deirdre Crimmins
Where to watch it: in theatres
The One I Love (2014)
A movie that keeps you guessing about the overall direction of the film as well as character motivations. – Daniel Grant
Where to watch it: Amazon Prime
This month has been filled with plenty of personal sadness (death of a family member and death of a classmate days a few days apart) and Cathy Yan’s energetic film brought the biggest smile to my face when I needed it most. Birds of Prey is a film that is not afraid to take risk, which is refreshing in a world where comic book movies have played it far too safe for over a decade now. Yes, there is A LOT going on in the film (i.e. comedy, action, commentary on toxic masculinity, female empowerment, glitter-filled bullet shells, etc.) and it all worked gloriously for me. The film lives up to the promise that Yan displayed in her equally enjoyable film Dead Pigs a few years earlier. – Courtney Small
Where to watch it: in theatres
Le Doulos (1962)
A first-time watch, the gorgeous Criterion restoration of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1962 crime film is dark, moody, violent, and thrilling as it blurs the lines between good guys and criminals. It may not as be as great as Le Samouraï, but with all the usual noir themes (and not without some highly problematic treatment of women), Melville’s film contains a single, circling long take at a police station that alone is worth the watch. Bonus points if, like me, you borrow the out of print Criterion DVD from the library. – Rachel West
Where to watch it: Criterion Channel, DVD, non-Criterion Blu-ray
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Upgraded to the Criterion Blu-ray, and I’ve never enjoyed the film more, especially with a glass of wine and my cat Fellini on my lap. Easily one of my favourite films and one that I’ll never tire of revisiting. – Pat Mullen
Where to watch it: DVD, Blu-ray
The Train (1964)
I was expecting another bland sixties World War II movie (a lot of them got jokey in that era, I love The Dirty Dozen but it doesn’t really seem like it takes place in the forties), but this one has a darkness to it, and the scenes of train accidents are incredible! – Bil Antoniou
Where to watch it: Criterion Channel
I had heard mixed reviews on this, so I went in somewhat skeptical but keeping an open mind. I was completely surprised by how refreshing and different this was from a typical biopic! I get that it’s not going to be everyone’s jam, but I absolutely loved the way Elton John’s story was told, fluidly and seamlessly weaving past and future and incorporating thoughtful details like costuming that underscore the broader story. It’s magical and I can’t wait to watch it again! – Jenny Bullough
Where to watch it: DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Prime, digital
Palm Springs (2020)
Palm Springs is a hilarious comedy with an absurd premise and it features another great Cristin Milioti performance. – Victor Stiff
Where to watch it: A Sundance release with a release date TBD
In a time of remakes, it’s always great to watch something original. – Erin Fernie
Where to watch it: DVD, Blu-ray, digital
Best TV show you’re currently watching:
Star Trek: Picard – It’s still mighty slow, but it’s surprisingly engrossing?
The Way Up
Love is Blind – It’s not good TV, but it is a highly addicting trainwreck and I cannot look away!
Call My Agent
I Am A Killer – Real-life horror
Better Call Saul