Sunday, April 30, 2006

Films that are Worth a Second Look

As with any form of art, whether or not its any good or not lies strictly in the eye of the beholder. There are some wonderful offerings out there if one is willing to take a chance. The following short list is submitted for your approval.

Donnie Darko (2001) Directed by Richard Kelly. Modern masterpiece. This film suffered at the box office because it opened the weekend after September 11th. Do yourself a favor and rent the director’s cut. What an amazing piece of filmmaking. This is the kind of picture that leaves you with an impression that last long after the film. Trying to find answers to the questions that you come away from after your first viewing will rack your brain and be the fodder for many a conversation over a couple of cups of coffee or a few beers, if one was so inclined. Can one outrun fate? How about those pesky time paradoxes and Stephen Hawking inspired wormholes? Amazing picture.

The Americanization of Emily (1964) Directed by Arthur Hiller. Timely and timeless. It is one of the most intelligent discussions on war ever put to film. It stars James Garner and Julie Andrews. I was lucky enough to catch it on Turner Classic Movies. If by chance you get the opportunity, see it. It will make you laugh and make you think.

Time Bandits (1981) Directed by Terry Gilliam. Lets get something straight; I love Terry Gilliam. The man is a genius – bottom line. The story revolves around a group of dwarves who work for the Supreme Being and a young boy that they scoop up along the way. They steal a map that shows where and when portals in time and space open and close, using them to rob the treasures of history. The Supreme Being wants it back and Evil, played by David Warner, wants to exploit it. It is just an amazing picture in a line of amazing pictures from Gilliam.

Blade Runner (1982) Directed by Ridley Scott. Rick Deckard is a “Blade Runner” whose job is to hunt down and kill “replicants,” genetically engineered – android super beings, that have lived past their allotted years or have gone renegade. He is very good at what he does, but some things are not all they appear to be. This is another film that will stay with you not just because of the jaw dropping shots of a future Los Angeles but because of the revelation of a man who may or may not be all that he thinks himself to be.

Shaun of the Dead (2004) Directed by Edgar Wright. This is one of the films that I would gladly take with me to a deserted island. Simon Pegg is Shaun (he and Wright wrote the film too). The tagline is priceless, “A romantic comedy – with zombies.” What’s not to love? You’ll laugh and you will be surprised as to how much heart and wallop the film brings as well. The characters, which are played as real people under quite extraordinary circumstances, all grow and develop to the point that you really care about their survival. It’s amazing what a man in love with a Cricket Bat can do. Fun film. See it.

All right then, there are five that I don’t believe you should miss. They are most certainly worth a second look.

(All copyrights belong to other entities and I’m not making a shilling off of their efforts.)

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