I’ve been on holiday for two weeks, and in my world, holiday is synonymous to binge watching movies. In this post I will be doing short reviews for of movies I ‘ve seen on Dvd (not all have been released this year) and to spice things up, they’re going to be listed from worst to best (just for the fun of it), :
9. The postman always rings twice (1946) directed by Tay Garnett
Frank, a homeless man of sorts, has an affair with Cora, the wife of his employer of the diner he works at, and like most film noir, with lust and greed comes destruction.This ticks all the boxes when it comes to the classic film noir movie. Unfortunately this movie failed to excite me or make me care for any of the characters, despite the fact that I’m usually a fan of the genre. Lana Turner (who steals every scene she’s in with her iconic monochromatic style, playing a great femme fatale) complained when she heard that John Garfield would play her male co-star: “Couldn’t they at least hire someone attractive?” I couldn’t agree more, not only did I not understand why either one of them fell for eachother but I also felt absolutely no chemistry between them, I also found their character motivations to be unclear. If you want to see a classic film noir with scenes that follow the guide book to great editing, watch it. I’d watch The Big Sleep instead.
8. Fish Tank (2009) Andrea Arnold
Mia, a young girl in Essex dreams of breaking free from her “fish tank” and falls for her mother’s boyfriend Conor, played by Michael Fassbender. This is a visually arresting movie, it renders the beauty of this world from the perspective of Mia. With recurring visual metaphors (such as the horse) it made a depressing world seam cinematic. Certain shots from the baptismal river scene felt taken out of a romantic painting. However, I was disappointed that this poetic style didn’t change with the development of the character. Furthermore, I didn’t sympathise with any of the characters, even Mia , whose motivation are understandable but the director doesn’t shy away to show her cruel side. However, where this movie fails, is the relationship between Conor and Mia, which was predictable, Arnold doesn’t try to surprise us. Oh and Fassbender is too beautiful for that world, he never fits in, even the camera swoons at his sight.
7. Captain Fantastic (2016) Matt Ross
Nature/ hippie / intellectual family set off into the civilised world to attend their mother’s funeral. Like there is comfort food in this world, there are also comfort movies. Re-watchability factor here is 10 out 10 as a result of all the cool little details of the style and home of the children the filmmaker has created. Aesthetically pleasing, this makes for a very enjoyable two hours. But this is also a great movie on the subject of raising children, it’s fascinating to watch how different children can be depending on the environment they grew up in. It also explores the theme of morals, is there a difference between giving your trained and experienced child a real knife or letting him play ultra-violent video games that is ruining his brains? The best part is this movie actually gives an answer: it’s all a question of balance. Why only at 7? It’s fun, but come on, compared to other movies on this list, it remains a fun movie (with interesting questions) but nothing more.
6. Ferris Bueller’s day off (1986) John Hughes
A movie about Smart kid skipping school and having a fun time, whose sub title could actually be entitled: Carpe Diem. If you haven’t seen this, why? This is a re-watch for me and Hughes never fails to please me.
5. Midnight Special (2016) Jeff Nichols
Go into this movie only knowing as much as I did: spielbergian road trip movie of sorts with a weird kid. Visually stunning, Michael Shannon killing it but above all the script is near geneious. We are thrown into the plot in medias res and we spend the rest of the film bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together. For a movie that does so such a good job at not telling you anything, unfortunately the last five minutes stumbles on exactly what is trying not to do. Watch this for some stunning shots especially those when they drive at night.
4. Annie Hall (1977) Woody Allen
Woody Allen being Woody Allen in one of the most enjoyable movies ever made. I watched this movie when I was eight being so impressed by the characters culture, I can now say that eight years later, I now understand them all (not to brag, but it was just surprising for me). This movie is pretty much life goals on how to dress yourself and how to decorate your flat.
3. My name is Joe (1998) Ken Loach
Peter Mullan plays Joe, a once alcoholic trying to get on in life in a run down Glasgow. The most impressive aspect of this movie by far is Peter Mullan’s performance, who physically owns his role. His character is so alive he not only invades the screen but room you’re watching it in. Joe does things that aren’t morally right, but he is so helplessly human you end up crying. Oh, and Loach, unlike Andrea Arnold, doesn’t try to embellish this world and yet the images stay with you.
2. The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick
There are two places that terrify me 1) Restaurants that I haven’t been to before (the horror of wasting money on food that isn’t good) 2) Mazes (I’m looking at you Labyrinth) so of course when it came to this movie that was what terrified me the most. Other then that I wouldn’t say this movie is scary as much as atmospheric and disturbing. Oh, but the set the design, the editing, the amount of detail are what send thrills through me. The documentary Room 237 only increases the pleasure.
1. Mon oncle d’Amérique (1980) Alain Resnais
Scientist Henri Laborit compares mice and human behavior. Great movies are the ones that after having been watched, make you see the world in a different way. This movie does exactly that. You learn more on human nature, you cry on its condition and above all this is a movie that will stick with you. Do yourself a favor and watch this, it’s both instructive and visually pleasing.