Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Recently Watched and Recommended

Over the last week, i've seen quite a few pretty impressive movies that I had never seen before, and I think it's only fair to share them here with my loyal readers. I'll even give a few reasons for each, why you should take the time to buy/rent/steal them and watch them. How great am I!?

The Hurt Locker - An interesting look at a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, and the daily terrors they amust endure. A semi-character study of the energetic, sometimes erratic leading man, his methods, and how he deals with things outside of normal procedure. I won't say too much as it's a huge movie that you can read about in any of the regular places, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and can say it had a well structured mix of tension, sadness and excitement. I will say you should watch it on Blu-Ray if you have the option, as it's stunning. What it lacks in actual story, it makes up for in detailed, glorious intensity.

District 9 - I never really had much interest in this movie until I saw a clip of it during the BAFTA awards. The first sight of the aliens grabbed me, and i knew i had to see it. Finally got to watch it on Blu-Ray last week, and was not disappointed. I hadn't really heard much about it or the screenplay as i'm not one to seek out science-fiction movies, so i was pleasently surprised with the documentary format to start with, which really draws the viewer in to the story, and also gives us a chance to become close to the primary character, who we later feel deep sympathy for as his predicament deepens. The CGI is amazing, never disappointing, and it's nice that the movie is set in South Africa rather than a predictable LA or NY. Go watch this film if you want to be enthralled for 2 hours.

Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows - This is the story of the wonderfully impressive Judy Garland. Her rise and fall and rise and fall. It's the story of constant ups and downs for the late singer, and anybody who has even minimal interest in Judy Garland should watch this. It won't tell you everything there is to know about Judy and her time, but Judy Davis does an excellent job of portraying the late singer and bringing her energetic passion to the screen. It also gives an interesting insight in to her family life and her addiction to pills. It's a sad story of exploitation and cruelty that we all know the end to, but it deserves to be seen by anyone with even a passing interest in that period of music history.

The Pianist - This true-life movie begins in Poland in 1938 and stretches all the way through to 1945; the end of the Second World War. We experience the war of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a talented Jewish-Polish pianist who eventually, after the capture of Poland, watches his family get taken away to certain death, while he is left to struggle and starve through every day on minimal rations and a constant threat from Nazi thugs, until the Russians liberate Poland once again. This film made me feel lucky to live in such comfortable, safe times. The music is beautiful and fits perfectly. What stood out for me was Adrien Brody's pure and faultless dedication to the part. It's admirable. It's also refreshing to view the Holocaust from a slightly fresh, albeit narrowed perspective. Rather than see the death and decay in concentration camps(portrayed perfectly in Schindlers List and other films), we experience the almost-fatal twists and turns of one mans war as he's trying to survive within a ruined, decaying city. My heart nearly exploded from my chest at the films end, and I won't say any more than that. Watch this film.

The Blind Side - I'm not a Sandra Bullock fan, but i'd heard she was good in this film. Then my girlfriend watched it and recommended it so i gave the movie a chance. It's the true-life sentimental story of one boy, down on his luck, at the bottom of the barrel, being given more than a helping hand by a strange family and eventually being drafted in to the NFL after a struggle through High School. It's one of those films that almost restores your faith in humanity. Some moments are really heart wrenching and sad to watch, other moments make you laugh and sigh in relief, and it's my favourite Sandra Bullock movie since Speed. The rest of the cast ain't too shabby either, although i found the son, S.J., to be way over the top sometimes, but i suppose that gives the film extra comedy points. It's not my favourite movie in this bunch, but it's worth the ticket price. As you all know i'm a fan of unique credit sequences, and at the end of this film we get to see some pictures of the real family that the movie is based on. I thought that was a particularly nice touch.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, its b2 from ubi.

    Just thought that id say i agree with you on district 9 and the hurt locker. My housemates and i were discussing the oscars and were very suprised that i preferred the hurt locker over avatar, but to me it was just the more entertaining film.

    I went into district 9 without knowing too much about it and was very pleasantly surprised. I think though that the cgi was somewhat lacking in places. Nevertheless thats rarely a dealbreaker for me and i loved the characters. Have you seen the original short film ?