- The Karate Kid (1984), John G. Avildsen – Now this is a family movie, not the tripe that passes for one these days. Pat Morita has created one of cinema’s most beloved iconic characters in Mr Miyagi & his central relationship with Ralph Macchio’s Daniel is genuinely affecting.
- Niagara Falls (1897), The Lumiere Brothers – Yep, made 113 years ago. I found it on youtube and was transfixed, watching it over and over again. The Lumiere’s were two of cinemas founding fathers and it is fantastic that these wonderful images are so readily available online. Check it out here friends, pretty incredible stuff:
- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (1997), Thomas Jahn – This life affirming German road flick about two terminally ill men is imbued with more spirit than just about any film I’ve seen. Concerns the fact we are all going to die and the way we should live in the face of that.
- The Town (2010), Ben Affleck – Really authentic crime flick taking place in Affleck’s Boston. Well made, violent and gritty film about a life of crime, and how hard it is to escape alive.
- Lucky Country (2009), Kriv Stenders – Interesting early Australia set gothic tale. Wonderful scenery provides the backdrop for a tale that whilst not always completely satisfying still packs enough of a punch to make it worth your while.
- The Frozen North (1922), Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton – Hilarious North Pole set short sees Keaton playing against type as a bit of a cad. Really nice Western/pioneer spirit to the film. And typical Keaton hilarity of course. Here it is:
- Love You Too (2010), Daina Reid – I am a fan of both Brendan Cowell & Peter Helier so had hopes for this gentle comedy. The inclusion of the fantastic Peter Dinklage really makes this worth a look. Plenty of spirit, quite a few laughs, and an emotional kick at the end to the sounds of what is probably my favourite song of all time all impress.
Not Worth Watching:
- Jackass 3D (2010), Jeff Tremaine – These guys are at their best when they are good-naturedly hurting the shit outta each other. Unfortunately they’ve moved towards stunts featuring bodily fluids and more concerningly animals. I can’t, even in my own small way, endorse a film whose credits state the American Humane Society monitored some scenes & no animals were hurt in those scenes.
- The Last Sunset (1961), Robert Aldrich – In which Kirk Douglas and his hair venture to the ol’ West. Not even his supreme talents coupled with Joseph Cotten’s can elevate this abysmal clichéd Western with unpalatable themes of incest. Cotten, brilliant as always is on screen far too little. He and Douglas only share one scene – the film’s best.
- The Tailor of Panama (2001), John Boorman – Cerebral tale featuring Geoffrey Rush on fine form. Let down by a bland and at times nonsensical narrative and the attempts to make Pierce Brosnan’s character look sleazy, which simply serve to portray all women as utterly stupid.
- The American (2010), Anton Corbijn – Stupid name for a movie really, and for me it was a bit of a nothing film. Confuses nothing really happening for arthouse chops. Entire movie hinged on Clooney’s main character, but I just did not buy him.
If you only have time to watch one Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Avoid at all costs The Tailor of Panama