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Tag: Movies

Editorials

Ten Movies Turning Twenty In 2019

March 8, 2019

1999 was a good year for films but really, most years are a good year for films. Some years you may have to look a little harder for them but they’re always being made – here are ten films that are turning twenty this year.

Fight Club

Fight Club (moviemet.com)

This film became a cult classic almost instantly. A fierce and brutal movie about feeling detached from the modern world, feeling like the consumerist culture offered nothing and wanting something simpler and more violent. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt’s characters start having fights in public and amazingly more people join, seemingly made up almost entirely of people who don’t look like the sort of people who get in fights. Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) turns them into something far more sinister; along the way giving the legendary rules of the club.

In my opinion Fight Club is both Brad Pitt’s and Edward Norton’s best film, both giving amazing performances with Pitt’s Tyler Durden becoming a film icon. It is a film that feels as relevant today as it did then – watch it.

Office Space

Office Space (20th Century Fox)

This little known Mike Judge film should come with a warning that after watching it you will probably want to quit your job. A hilarious work-based comedy about someone stuck in a job they don’t see the point of and him wondering why he should even care. After a derailed session with a hypnotherapist, the lead character acts on his impulses, turning up late, telling his manager what he really thinks and knocking down a wall of his cubicle. Where does this fearlessness lead? Crime.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (Gramercy Pictures)

The film that launched a thousand bad British gangster films into production. One of the most damning things I can think to say about this film is that I liked it when I was a teenager and no longer see the appeal. Perhaps I am being too harsh – the film was certainly of its time and made a huge impact. Historically it’s been hard for British gangster films to compete with their American cousins – they were cooler, they had more money (the gangsters and the studios) and everything was on a bigger scale. Lock Stock showed that you could make a successful and popular British gangster film that still felt British.

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You (freepressjournal.in)

Quite simply 10 Things… is one of the best teen movies ever made. Using Shakespeare’s Taming of a Shrew as a blueprint it told a story of teenage life and love wonderfully. The central four actors are all perfect in their roles and at least two have gone on to become major film stars. The film reolves around the father setting a rule that for the younger sister to date, the older sister must be dating as well, leading to man 1 who wants to date younger sister to recruit man 2 to date older sister – got it? For all of the deviousness going on with the plot, there is a niceness to the film. The two male leads aren’t awful selfish misogynists, the female leads are intelligent women while being completely different characters.

Election

Election (Letterboxd.com)

Alexander Payne’s whipsmart Election is a high-school film like no other. Centred around the election for class president, an almost meaningless office, teacher Matthew Broderick conspires to stop seemingly unstoppable, manipulative and overachiever Reese Witherspoon’s Tracey Flick winning the election. Witherspoon is sensational as Flick, sometimes almost seeming like a sociopath but never quite reaching it. Broderick is at his best as the teacher’s life falls apart – only partly connected to his class president plan.

The Mummy

The Mummy (TheAgonyBooth.com)

The Mummy, likes Jaws, is a film whose reputation has suffered because of the sequels. I forgot that Jaws is a masterclass of tension and acting and I forgot that The Mummy is a hugely enjoyable action adventure romp that rarely got made even back in the nineties. Starring quintessential 90s leading man Brendan Fraser and too-good-an-actor-for-this-film Rachel Weisz the filmmakers were clearly going for a new Indiana Jones style film and while not reaching those heights it is a lot of fun.

Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (DenofGeek.com)

I had never been more excited for a film release in all my life. A new Star Wars film seemed like an impossible event. I remember my dad shouting for me to come downstairs because a tv show was going to play the trailer (which I watched over and over again online, or as much as you could with pre-broadband internet). I managed to convince myself I liked it, focusing on the good bits like Darth Maul and the excellent John Williams score. As time passed though I realised it wasn’t a very good film. After the ferocious maelstrom of criticism that accompanied The Last Jedi I am actively trying to tone down negative feedback – The Phantom Menace was disappointing. It’s albatross hung heavily around the neck of The Force Awakens which against all expectations – including my own – was great.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense (IMDb)

This is surely one of the cultural touchstones of the year – a film that seemingly everyone saw. This, like another film on this list, has a “twist” and is probably the default example of a “twist film”. A great horror/ghost story of a boy who sees dead people and the psychiatrist trying to help him, who naturally enough starts from the position that ghosts aren’t real, and that’s how he’ll help him. The slow realisation that the child might actually be right is played very well. Of course, this is the film that launched M. Night Shyamalan’s career and that has been, at best, a mixed bag. If somehow you still haven’t seen this film go and find it.

Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 (pixartalk.com)

The Toy Story trilogy (soon to be quadrilogy) is held up by some as the best trilogy in cinema history and quite frankly it’s hard to argue. Each film is brilliant yet different from the others. Following the practically perfect Toy Story was always going to be a challenge but the filmmakers succeeded. Toy collector Al, surely one of the greatest villains in cinema history, steals the incredibly valuable Woody causing the rest of the Toy Story gang to band together to get him back. Featuring incredibly fun new characters like Stinky Pete, Tour Guide Barbie and Evil Emperor Zurg – Buzz Lightyear’s archnemesis. The film is a triumph.

Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich (beyondtheboxset.com)

When I first saw this film I didn’t know what to make of it. I liked it but couldn’t quite explain why. It’s one of those films where if someone asked you to explain why it’s good it was a struggle. It still is. A bizarre story of love, jealousy and a portal into the head of John Malkovich, and not a character played by Malkovich, the actor John Malkovich. Directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, both known for making weird films this is probably their weirdest.

Editorials

The Perfect Post-Apocalyptic Holidays

January 9, 2019

One thing Hollywood and I have in common is an obsession with the collapse of civilisation and the end of the world. I’m not quite sure what fuels this but perhaps it’s just interesting to see how people react to catastrophe. Maybe a brief holiday to some of these destinations can satisfy our curiosity rather than being condemned to a lifetime of it. So whether it’s an admittedly brief singles holiday in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World or a pub crawl to The World’s End the apocalypse brings up a lot of interesting holiday opportunities.

Road Trips, Cruise & Train Journeys

The nuclear weapon devastated world of Mad Max is the perfect getaway for a car aficionado who’s looking for some adventure. You can take a road trip down the legendary Fury Road and marvel at the eccentrically dressed gearheads who are all too keen to demonstrate how their amazing vehicles work.

Those looking for some live entertainment should check out The Thunderdome in Bartertown where semi-willing participants take part in a very extreme form of theatre – you’ll not find more committed performers anywhere in the world. Due to sparse retail opportunities make sure to bring plentiful water, petrol and ammunition.

Many people love cruises although being trapped on a floating prison for weeks, or even months on end with the same people already sounds like the end of the world to me. But if that sounds appealing Waterworld may be the apocalypse for you. You can sail and swim to your heart’s content, however, despite spending a huge amount on this vacation spot many visitors found it a massive letdown.

Your friendly cruise director, Waterworld (IMDb)

We’ve all heard how wonderful a trip on the Orient Express is – if a little murdery – so recreate the golden age of train travel on board the best train the post-apocalypse has to offer: Snowpiercer. Passengers can enjoy fresh sushi or even the more interesting culinary delights in the lower-class section before moving forward to a world-class nightclub in a train! Snowpiercer is constantly crisscrossing the globe so you can see the Empire State Building buried by snow and…the Taj Mahal buried by snow. Warning – I know we’ve all done it but don’t try and sneak into the first-class carriage if you don’t have the right ticket as they are really strict about that. If you get caught paying a fine will be the least of your worries.

City Breaks

For those who want to rest and be pampered at the same time why not enjoy a stay in The Matrix? You can enjoy long baths and uninterrupted sleep while at the same time luxuriating in the pinnacle of human civilization – the late 1990s, enjoying pre-broadband internet, mobile phones you had to flip open and the dawn of reality television.

Be on the lookout for overly-officious government agents and very eager people pushing red and blue pills. And for those environmentalists amongst you don’t worry – this world uses extremely renewable energy.
Perhaps it’s my age showing but I can’t think of a better historical period to be trapped in for my entire life. This is my idea of the perfect holiday and have always thought our robot overlords set up a very nice post-apocalypse for us.

Family Getaways

For some people family comes first and if you’re looking to bond why not go to The Road? Yes, on first glance it’s possibly the bleakest and most horrible of all post-apocalyptic worlds but you can forge an everlasting father-son relationship. You’ll go on a very, very slow roadtrip taking in scenic views of dead forests, barren fields and gruesome remains. Personally I can’t abide a world that promises an acting masterclass from Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron and then only gives us a few minutes of the latter.

Family fun in The Road (IMDb)

Those with larger families why not take a country house in It Comes At Night – make boarding up windows, collecting water and dealing with the infected a fun family activity! And nothing stokes family unity like the fear of any and all outsiders, whether they simply want to steal your food or are infected with the mysterious but deadly plague that has wiped out billions it’s best to avoid them.

If you’re sick of your hustle and noise of the city – or just your family – A Quiet Place is a wonderful respite. Your children really will learn that silence is golden and you can enjoy countless hours of reading, lying very still and trying not to scream in pain.

The Zombie Experience

Zombies might seem the perfect way to ruin a holiday – after all who wants flesh-eating nearly unstoppable monsters attacking them? Well if you decide to hole up somewhere comfortable it’s not so bad. Do you want an old-fashioned lock-in at a real London pub? Then stop by the Winchester and once the zombie hordes arrive there will be no getting you out.

Enjoying a genuine London pub with friends, Shaun of the Dead (IMDb)

How about going to Zombieland and enjoying the last functioning theme park in the world Pacific Playland? It has exciting rides, sort-of friendly clowns and security is provided by a cowboy-hat wearing Woody Harrelson? Zombieland is also well known for it’s celebrity guests and they are all from the tippy-top of the Hollywood tree.

Some people pick their holiday destinations based on where they can do some great shopping and Dawn of the Dead offers you two fantastic malls in Monroeville. Whether you prefer the more sedate 1970s experience or fast-paced shopping trip from the mid 2000s they’ve got you covered. You’ll have plenty of time to explore shops as stays can last for months. The mall even comes with it’s own shuttle buses which a lucky few actually get to work on!

So there you have it: adventure, relaxation, luxury, whatever you want for a holiday experience the post-apocalyptic world can provide it!

Big Picture Film Club

Big Picture Film Club Presents: Love & The Abstract

May 6, 2016
Big Picture Film Club Presents: Love & The Abstract

Big Picture Film Club is back! Our next event, Love & The Abstract, is an exploration of relationships, love, and the difficulties they have to overcome. We have curated a list of 5 short films, from an array of talented filmmakers, each tackling a unique perspective on love and relationships. Check out our film list below:

Signs Of Silence [@SoSilenceMovie] (Director, R.M. Moses) – Born into a world of silence, Eli finds himself not able to communicate well with people. Mainly because not everyone understands sign language. This has impacted his self-esteem and confidence. This is Eli’s story of how difficult life can be when you aren’t being heard.

Anchor [(Director, Madeleine Morlet) – Although Joni isn’t emotionally available she needs the comfort and support of Olivia. In seeking this understanding she allows a situation of forced intimacy to evolve and despite there being much tenderness between them it is clear that their expectations of one another are not matched.

Devotion [@Devotion_film] (Director, Dan Horrigan) – Devotion is an exploration of grief, and love gone dark. It’s a story about the human shadow, how it can overwhelm us if we don’t learn to live with it.

Love Me Tinder [@LveMeTinderFilm] (Director, Sami Abusamra) – Love Me Tinder is a dark comedy about an encounter between two lonely strangers. A man spends an awkward evening with an older woman after they match on a dating app. Meeting each other is easy, but as their night progresses connecting proves to be much more difficult.

Populace [@Populace_film] (Director, Dan Horrigan) – Set in 2097 it follows a day in the life of John, a clone who works for the Tyrannical, Orwellian “Populace” corporation. His world is turned upside down when he is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the reason he was created.

Tickets: http://loveandtheabstract.eventbrite.co.uk

Click here for the Facebook Event Link.