Another double Queue to satiate you hungry beasts. Following a terrible week of movie watching, in which I only caught two films, I’ve spent unemployment watching at least one movie a day. Among them, some of the best and worst films I’ve ever seen.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Directed by Karyn Kusama
You probably think this is the “worst” I referred to in the opening paragraph. Well, you’re wrong, dear reader! Jennifer’s Body is actually a stellar film that touches upon themes of rape survival and the destructive nature of male sexuality. All that, and it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.
“Why does it smell like Thai food? Have you guys been fucking?”
Malcolm X (1992)
Directed by Spike Lee
It’s unfair to most directors that Spike Lee can have Do the Right Thing under his belt and still have the incendiary passion to create another masterpiece in Malcolm X. Not only is the greatest film of 1992 a perfect encapsulation of race relations of its time, it is still relevant in today’s context. A fact that just makes me tired.
The One I Love (2014)
Directed by Charlie McDowell
There are aspects of this film’s central conceit that are never fully explained, and they don’t need to be. All you need to know is that in this world there are rules, and those rules are rarely broken. If it sounds like this film teeters on the precipice of believable, it’s only because it’s a hair’s breath away from not working. But it worked for me, and the performances may just be enough to distract you away from the insanity herein.
Hardcore Henry (2015)
Directed by Ilya Naishuller
Go read my review. My only regret is not bashing GamerGate to the full extent of my ability. Fuck those guys.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Arguably, the epitome of Tarantino’s referential style. The film feels like a glorious collage of every kind of film Quentin Tarantino grew up watching. And holy hell is it a magnificent piece of work. The entirety of the final act fight is an all-timer.
Eyes of Fire (1983)
Directed by Avery Crounse
Either Robert Eggers is a time traveler or a very sophisticated thief. This film not only shares some tangential themes with 2016’s The Witch, but the general plot and setting are the exact same. Now, The Witch is a far superior film which much clearer thematic underpinnings, but Eyes of Fire is a romp that’ll surprise you at every moment despite it’s modest budget.
Directed by Danny Boyle
The divisive tonal change at the heart of this movie wasn’t as whiplash-inducing as I had anticipated. There is a sense of dread from the film’s inception that helps establish the more horrific elements to the story. Admittedly, I would have adored a film that focused on the questions of humanity’s salvation, but what we got instead is a supremely entertaining film with some spectacular visuals.
What ever happened to Cilian Murphy?
Directed by Fritz Lang
Some movies are so good they leave you with little left to say. It is during these times that I recognize the inherent shortcomings of film criticism. The best argument that can be made for a film, is the film itself. M is utter perfection. It is a technically marvelous film that explores issues of crime and punishment.
For a technically perfect murder mystery double-feature, watch this and Zodiac (2007).
For a thematic exploration of justice and punishment, couple M with A Short Film About Killing (1988).