Worth Watching April 2011

Worth Watching:

  • Die Hard 2 (1990), Renny Harlin – I watched this over a longneck back home, with an old friend. This film was the perfect accompaniment. Bruce Willis is one of the perfect action heroes. Has a bit where he blows up a plane and says “Yippi ki aye motherfucker”, so that’s pretty sweet.
  • The Killing (1956), Stanley Kubrick – Brilliant early Kubrick which is almost an archetypal crime film. Clearly influential on films such as The Town and even The Dark Knight. Long stretches of almost Tarantino-esque dialogue. Rocks a soundtrack dripping with Jazz and an incredible, back and forth, Groundhog Day structure which actually enhances the film unlike most attempts at this kind of thing.
  • Torn Curtain (1966), Alfred Hitchcock – In Julie Andrews and Paul Newman this film sports surely the most engaging lead duo in history. This is a slightly more melodramatic than average Hitchcock outing but features enough typically awesome camerawork to get any film-nerd excited. A cool, cold-war espionage story ensures this, like the best of Hitch’s films is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
  • The Passenger (1975), Michelangelo Antonioni – Beautiful settings from North Africa to Barcelona provide a cool backdrop for this interesting road film. Jack Nicholson, for once not overdoing it, assumes the identity of a dead man to escape his unfulfilling life. Slow moving, but engaging and unpretentious.
  • Johnny Stecchino (1991), Roberto Benigni – Benigni is a divisive figure and this is the first film of his I’ve seen. He is a comedic spiritual successor to Chaplin and Sellers. Standard material that could’ve been predictable is saved by a cool script and lively, good-natured delivery. Funny.

Not Worth Watching:

  • Rambo-First Blood (1982), Ted Kotcheff – I watched this thinking it was on the 1001, because I’m working on an action film piece. I thought I had seen my first ever ‘Schooner of Tooheys New film’. Unfortunately though it’s not on the list. I have no idea why this has any kind of reputation. Poorly made with the production values of any crappy run of the mill midday movie you couldn’t be bothered finishing in your childhood. Humourless, with no one to cheer for. Two pretty terminal flaws in an action film. A nasty film.
  • Swept Away (1974), Lina Wertmuller – A quite offensive Italian film, supposedly a ‘political romance’. Is happy making obvious and shallow comments on politics, but lets the male lead’s quite confronting physical and sexual abuse of the main female go unchallenged. Main dude looks like Zack Galifinakis, and his performance makes that tubby bearded man look like the greatest actor in history.

If you only have time to watch one The Killing

Avoid at all costs Swept Away

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