Category: Films

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 11: Favourite Kid’s Movie

I hardly ever gone for the standard kid films. The films I liked when I was  young were things like Back to the Future and stuff like that, but I hardly ever watched stuff like The Goonies or something. I think the thing that comes the closest to something that would qualify is either The Toy with Richard Pryor or The Lost Boys if I stretch it. So, I think I’m going to stretch it, because I like The Lost Boys more than I liked The Toy. I mean, come on, it has the Corey’s in it!

The Lost Boys

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 10: Favourite Foreign Film

I suppose what is meant by this category is favourite non-English film. The one that comes to mind immediately is John Woo masterpiece The Killer, starring Chow Yuen-Fat and Danny Lee. It’s a story about an assassin who, while on a job, blinds an innocent girl. He decides to use his earnings to try and restore her vision while at the same time trying to get even with a crime boss that double crossed him. All the while, a driven police detective is hot on his trail, chasing him with a skill and zeal that matches his own. It’s a beautiful, late 80s film that shows John Woo’s true artistry. Set in a pre-handover Hong Kong which is atmospheric and enigmatic. I should really see this film again.

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 9: Favourite Musical

I can be short and sweet on this topic; I don’t like musicals. There are some notable exceptions, but they usually border on not being a musical, but more a film with music. In light of that, my favourite “musical” has to be The Blues Brothers. In the words of Crazy Elf; this post is over.

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 8: Favourite Thriller

Black SwanFor every article and category in the 30 Day Movie Challenge, I’ve been helping myself by reading the best/worst lists that iMDB compiles on each genre. Just to get a feel for which films fall into that category and to make sure I haven’t overlooked any really good films. (I’ve seen quite a few and my memory isn’t so great.) Based on the list for Thrillers, I should be picking The Godfather, but I don’t consider that a thriller, so I won’t. Pulp Fiction? Nah. Inception? Very, very good so possibly. The Dark Knight wasn’t much of a thriller. Neither was Fight Club or Goodfellas. Most of these films resist being pigeonholed into one genre and the first real thriller on that list is Psycho, which I haven’t taken the time to watch yet.

The film on that list that I’ve seen that comes closest to being a thriller is Black Swan, which I thought was absolutely amazing. There’s a good chance I might be overlooking a few top notch, classical thrillers out there at the moment, but this is the most recent film that I’ve seen that a) I consider an actual thriller and b) I was amazed by to the point where it remained on my mind for a long time afterwards. The subject matter is just so disturbing, especially when you start seeing the mother/daughter sexual abuse theme. It was incredibly well played — to the point that I got genuinely annoyed at Natalie Portman’s character — and visually incredibly solid. The suspence was properly built up and the foreshadowing was subtle yet impactful. All in all I thought this was a truly amazing film.

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 7: Favourite Animated Feature

Ghost in the ShellThis is one of the few categories I didn’t have to think too long or too hard about. Ghost in the Shell is an amazing anime that features a great, sophisticated storyline, an atmospheric and immersive visual style and good voice acting. It deals with existential and mature subjects and isn’t afflicted too much by the obsession that a lot of Japanese anime artists seem to have for juxtaposing the cute with the hyper-violent. Both Kusanagi and Batou, arguably the story’s main characters are rich, three dimensional and well thought out, and the antagonist is not your run of the mill opponent either, both the Laughing Man and The Puppet Master. GitS was the second anime I really loved, after Akira, which was the only other anime that could come close to getting the title Favourite Animated Feature. It also spawned several spin-offs, all of which had a high level of quality, though none had the impact on me that GitS had, probably because it changed something inside of me forever.

Since GitS and Akira there have been a few others of note, but none as good as either of these, nor as fundamental and impactful to animated films.

I remember when I first watched Akira with my cousin. It must have been 1990 or so and we had rented it from the local video store back when renting was still the thing to do. I ended up not being able to watch it for whatever reason, but my cousin did and informed me that I really had to make some time for it. I picked it up and watched it three times that very weekend before returning it to my cousin so he could return it to the video store. It was so amazing, so special and so not like the Disney crap I had expected to watch simply because it was an animated film. Sure, I’d watched Robotech and whatnot, but all feature animations were always that honey-sweet Disney shit. So I was pretty much hooked and I started watching all kinds of anime, mostly Manga. Most of it was pretty bad, but I liked the edge and grit it seemed to have over western cartoons. And then when I just thought I was done with anime, just when I thought that Akira was lightning in a bottle, Ghost in the Shell hit and sent me into the stratosphere. I’m still waiting for another to come along and do that again. :)