Category Archives: Films & Television

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

This is another famous classic that we had yet to watch and naturally we were reminded of its existence by La La Land. It’s another case in which many of the individual elements are familiar, such as James Dean’s iconic look, the knife duel and the car chickie run, yet have never added up to a coherent whole. As it turned out, this is indeed an eminently watchable film but I’m not certain that it would have become the huge cultural icon that it is if Dean had not died one month before its release.

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Sully (2016)

After American Sniper, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to watch this, especially as it’s a film about a relatively inconsequential event. This one does have something like 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Tyler Cowen named it as one of the year’s best films, not just an important one. Combined with the fact that it’s likely an undemanding watch, I decided to throw it into the rotation.

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Logan (2017)

I don’t have much love for Fox Studios’ stewardship of the X-Men intellectual property and skipped out on their last film. I was prepared to give this one a miss as well but a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and rave comments on Broken Forum made it impossible to ignore. In the end I found this to be a decent action movie but I would consider it to be more of a missed opportunity than anything else.

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The Blue Kite (1993)

This one was once again an entry selected by my wife by a director belonging to China’s Fifth Generation of filmmakers, Tian Zhuangzhuang. This is the first time I’ve watched one of his films and he seems less internationally known than his peers but The Blue Kite seems to be a highly regarded film and predictably was banned in China following its release due to its critique of the policies of Mao Zedong.

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It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

After two beefy films, I thought I’d end the week with lighter fare. This one is apparently a collection of three short films that were originally made and released independently but it’s clear that they were meant to be seen together. What’s remarkable is that they were mostly made by one single person, Don Hertzfeldt, who seems to have written, drawn and voice acted almost everything by himself.

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The Killing Fields (1984)

As my wife and I are travelling to Cambodia on holiday later this month, she insisted on watching this one as soon as possible, upsetting my carefully thought out schedules and lists. This is a film that made waves when it was released and I remember it being shown often on television when I was a child but I’ve never sat down and watched it properly. Perhaps the Malaysian authorities were very happy about its anti-Communist messaging?

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