Here is my regular monthly roundup of films not featured elsewhere on the site. A relatively quiet month thanks to life getting in the road and a focus on longer film reviews, but still a lot of cracking stuff in here. I actually found it really hard to choose my top pick of the month.
- Like Water (2011), Pablio Croce – The title refers to a Bruce Lee quote and the film concerns the closest that mixed martial arts has to Lee – Anderson Silva. This doco is a great insight into a man who is generally very guarded. We see a charming, relaxed side that does not get much exposure. Silva is a transformative genius, but it is good to see that this film, which was produced by his manager, is happy to tap into some of the controversy surrounding the man
- The Loneliest Planet (2011), Julia Loktev – This film is a pretty extraordinary, elemental experience. The three leads are very good, especially Hani Furstenberg who is wondrous. The film looks incredible, the shooting is lush and deliberate bringing to life beguiling scenery. A late plot point I found hard to process and reconcile with what had come before. But it left me thinking long after the film. This is an at times challenging watch, due to the pace of the film as much as anything else. But as a chronicle of life’s endless cycle of sullying then purging, it is an extremely interesting one too.
- Parks and Recreation Season 1 (2009), Greg Daniels & Michael Schur – This is a very funny mockumentary style show, which reminded me of the classic Aussie show Frontline. It gets progressively better as the series wears on and the final few episodes are crackers. Amy Poehler is incredible as the wannabe political go-getter. The series benefits greatly from writing that is able to examine a woman’s place in the public service in a very clever and funny way.
- Rust and Bone (2012), Jacques Audiard – So much of this film should be unbearably trite. A woman loses her legs in an accident, then we see her swim, dance and make love for the first time afterwards. But none of it is trite, thanks to a very real sensibility, stylish shooting and great performances, especially from Marion Cotillard who is out of this world good. The film encompasses so much of life, what makes it simultaneously wondrous and crushing.
Not Worth Watching:
- G.I Joe: Retaliation (2013), John M. Chu – Better than the first one, but still utterly daft. Atrociously acted aside from Adrianne Palicki and I guess the Rock. D.J. Cotrona undermines that by giving one of the least charismatic performances I have ever witnessed. This series is the new Transformers.
If you only have time to watch one Parks and Recreation Season 1
Avoid at all costs G.I Joe: Retaliation