[Editor’s Note: Introducing Kennisha Archer! A friend of ours from our days as a podcast. Hopefully we’ll be introducing more writers through their Film Queues very soon.]
I’m super excited to become a new writer on this site! I first joined The Film Queue for their podcast on Magic Mike XXL, and now they’ve welcomed me to talk about the random films I’ve watched this past week. Being a part of this has given me the push I needed to re-watch some favourites, or to finally see movies that have been on my list for awhile. I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my opinions, and hopefully, we’ll be able to spark some discussions.
13 Hours (2016)
Directed by Michael Bay
I went into this movie with almost no expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of sincere, honest, and simply human moments. You got the opportunity to see how the situation affected the American soldiers’ emotional well-being, in addition to the humanization of the Libyan militants. They were able to display that, while they were the “enemy”, they had lives and families who cared for them too. The one thing that irked me about this movie was that there was only one woman. Although it was unsurprising, I wish more women were given combat roles in war films.
Knock Knock (2015)
Directed by Eli Roth
Knock Knock was by far the worst performance I’ve seen by Keanu Reeves. There were multiple times I cringed. Although, it did hold my attention because of how laughably ridiculous it was. This movie took itself way too seriously and ended up being a poorly told morality tale. I understand and appreciate where Roth was trying to go with this, but he really missed the mark.
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Inception is still one of my favourite sci-fi movies. It’s always nice to watch an original screenplay rather than the plethora of adaptions that have been out recently. Nolan doesn’t spoon-feed you all the answers. You’re given enough room to think and figure out for yourself what really happened. When this movie first came out, everyone found it too hard to follow. It is a complex story that requires you to actually pay attention. What amazes me was Nolan’s attempt to minimize the use of CGI, which left me thinking, “how the fuck did they do that?” The combination of an amazing cast, unique story, and storytelling made for an incredible movie.
Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by David Fincher
I love David Fincher’s work, so it came as no surprise that I love Gone Girl as well. When this movie first came out, a large discussion developed, questioning whether this movie was feminist or misogynist. Somehow, it manages to be both. Amy reinforces the “crazy bitch” trope, although Rosamund Pike, David Fincher and Gillian Flynn were able to add a bit more complexity to it. Pike captured how brilliant, maniacal, and psychotic Amy really is. Amy critiques the position of women in relationships with the “cool girl” speech, which sheds light on the pressure women face to change themselves for a partner to become what they want. An excellent point was made, but other aspects of this film reinforced the myth that women lie about rape or abuse. I do still love this movie despite this. Overall, I think the good parts outweigh the bad.
Captain Phillips (2013)
Directed by Paul Greengrass
I’ve wanted to watch this movie ever since it got Oscar buzz two years ago, and I finally got around to it. My expectations were a little high for this film and yet they were most certainly met, if not exceeded. What I loved most is how much you are drawn into the story. From start to finish you can feel every moment of tension, fear, and danger. You were able to connect with Tom Hanks’ character and feel your own desperation for him to make it out. Hanks was absolutely great, but the people who played the Somali pirates were impressive as well. As first time actors, I was surprised at how well they were able to instill fear and seem savage while displaying their own humanity. You didn’t want them to win, but you understood the unfortunate circumstances of their lives that got them into that situation. The ending will hit you real hard.