Sunday, 14 December 2014

this week on 100 Films

The 2014 Advent Calendar continues this week on 100 Films in a Year, meaning there were another seven new reviews...

Dead Poets Society (1989)
Here’s a film all children should see, to understand the value of free thought and rejecting the system. Cynics probably find its purity of message, coupled with a tragic ending, to be over-sentimental and twee, but this earnestness is what makes it work.
Read more here.

Edge of Tomorrow, aka Live. Die. Repeat. (2014)
It’s Groundhog Day with shoot-the-aliens bits. It’s easy to be cynical about Edge of Tomorrow — it’s a mega-budgeted Tom Cruise actioner that sounds like a semi-rip-off of several other movies and was perceived as a flop (it wasn’t, at all) that no one knew how to sell. In fact, it’s a very entertaining movie — suitably exciting, surprisingly funny, and actually quite clever.
Read more here.

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Inspired by the true story of a US Army DJ in Vietnam during the war, the resulting film is a showcase for star Robin Williams — reportedly, his antics aren’t even close to what really happened. Doesn’t matter though, does it, because this is Williams at his best.
Read more here.

Good Will Hunting (1997)
Damon and Williams have numerous incredible scenes together; encounters that feel like genuine slowly-evolving therapy, rather than the simplistic and implausible series of repeated revelations and breakthroughs that such treatment is often reduced to on screen. They run the emotional gamut, too, [including] intense humour — that’s what you get when you have Robin Williams at your disposal, of course. His Oscar is well earnt.
Read more here.

Pacific Rim (2013)
This is a film about giant monsters invading Earth, and we fight back with giant robots. It has the logic of the Japanese movies, anime and art that inspired it rather than any basis in the real world. Which is fine — del Toro has said it was aimed at 11-year-old boys (hence the “for over 13s” rating, of course), and it slots pretty neatly into that world.
Read more here.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
There’s fun to be had seeing the creation of a classic movie — I’m sure it’s not 100% the honest truth of how it went, but it is based on the tapes Travers insisted were made of the meetings, so it would seem the spirit is faithful. This isn’t a dry “making of” narrative, however, but a lively romp, as the two sides clash over jaunty tunes, characterisation, casting, and made-up words.
Read more here.

The Searchers (1956)
Westerns don’t come more renowned than this Ford-Wayne collaboration about the years-long hunt for a girl kidnapped by Native Americans. Alongside the usual Western thrills, peerlessly executed, it touches on themes of obsession and racism
Read more here.

Also this week, one archive review was re-posted...

Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)
Judi Dench is clearly having a whale of a time in this 1930s-set comedy about a 70-year-old widow who starts up a nude revue.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.

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