I have to admit to being a sucker for coming-of-age stories and I suspect that my wife is as well. Since The Kings of Summer is one such film that made it into some lists of most notable films of last year, this was sufficient reason for me to want to watch it.
Continue reading The Kings of Summer (2013)
As someone who studied in university in France, I am aware of the special status Algeria has to France and how traumatic its independence was to the French. As such when I followed up on a mention of this film on Broken Forum and learned that it was effectively commissioned by the newly independent Algerian government to tell their side of the story, I was instantly intrigued.
Continue reading The Battle of Algiers (1966)
After watching Matthew McConaughey in True Detective as well as his short but memorable cameo appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street, it was utterly unthinkable not to watch this. McConaughey won the Best Actor Oscar for this film while Jared Leto won in the Best Supporting Actor category. If nothing else, we expected to be treated to some terrific performances.
Continue reading Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
In the three decades since its release, My Dinner with Andre has gained a reputation as a poster child of boring and pretentious art films. As its title indicates, it consists of nothing more than two people sitting down for dinner and having a conversation for two hours. Andre Gregory and Shawn Wallace play characters who appear to be thinly veiled versions of themselves. Having not seen each other for a number of years, Shawn is surprised to receive a dinner invitation from Andre and reluctantly agrees. Andre then proceeds to regale him with stories of the adventures he has had over the past five years.
Continue reading My Dinner with Andre (1981)
The first The Raid was a genuine eye-opener that gave new meaning to the word “visceral”. Cinema-goers who have been inured to sanitized Hollywood fighting were reminded that physical violence causes actual pain and damage. You couldn’t help but wince at the snapped bones, crushed cartilage and mutilated tissue that are the inevitable result of people seriously trying to kill one another. It turned the limitation of its low budget to its advantage, setting the entire film within the confines of a single apartment complex and focusing on the fighting with laser-like intensity.
Continue reading The Raid 2 (2014)
Ridley Scott is of course a celebrated Hollywood director, even if he is actually British, especially notable to me for such films as Alien, Blade Runner and Black Hawk Down. Unfortunately his recent output is of more questionable merit. Like many people, I was enthusiastic when Prometheus was first announced, but ultimately didn’t bother to watch it because its reviews were so uniformly bad.
Continue reading The Counselor (2013)
Despite the extra care and seriousness with which I’ve taken to watching films recently, my knowledge of cinema remains sadly inadequate. There remain an endless number of classics of world cinema that I really should watch but have never done so. I must include in this the entirety of the work of Ingmar Bergman, a film-maker whom I have always found to be too intimidating and perhaps inscrutable to approach.
Continue reading The Seventh Seal (1957)