Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week 4: March Movie Challenge

Another week where I only watched five instead of seven movies. I've come to the conclusion that watching a movie every day for an entire month is actually quite difficult. Week 4 coincided with swimming week at my son's school, meaning I was up mega-early each morning and very tired all week as a result. I now have four films to catch up on in the final week of my challenge, in addition to the last three movies that take me from Day 29 to Day 31. Seven films. So that come's to another entire week of movies. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I actually can't wait until this is over.

Here's what my March Movie Challenge is all about. And here are my posts on Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Following is what I saw in Week 4......

Quentin Tarantino double!

I loved this Quentin Tarantino-penned and directed war film based on the notion of an alternate history regarding Hitler and Nazi Germany. I can definitely see why Christoph Waltz won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Colonel Hans "The Jew Hunter" Landa, as he is phenomenal here. At 2 hours and 33 minutes, this is a very long film, but it never drags, and the long running time didn't bother me whatsoever. Graphic in parts, but that's to be expected when you're watching a Tarantino film.

Day Twenty-Three: ROOM 237
This is a fascinating subjective documentary detailing some of the various conspiracy theories and hidden meanings concerning Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror film The Shining. Some of the theories are a tad farfetched, but that doesn't make them any less interesting. I found the Apollo moon landing theory mind-blowing, to be honest. I love a good conspiracy theory. At the very least, this shows the immense attention to detail the highly intelligent Kubrick paid in setting up his scenes, even down to perceived minor background props and posters.

Day Twenty-Four: no movie

Casey Affleck mumbles his way through as Lou Ford, a small town sheriff's deputy who basically begins murdering people. The violence against women in this slow-paced film is brutal and sickening. I'm actually disgusted that director Michael Winterbottom thought it was a good idea to show a long, drawn out scene of Jessica Alba's prostitute character being repeatedly bashed, seemingly to death, in such gruesome, sadistic detail. Also Kate Hudson's character is violently murdered by Lou, which is also shown in graphic detail. However, when he murders men, it's a couple of quick gunshots in one case, and not even depicted onscreen, in the other. I would not recommend this film in the slightest.

Day Twenty-Six: DEATH PROOF
I like the unique way Tarantino has shot Death Proof, like a '70s grindhouse theatre movie, complete with jumpcuts and deliberately damaged film. Kurt Russell stars as Stuntman Mike, a psychopath who hunts down young women and kills them using his 'death-proof' stunt car. Quentin Tarantino shows up as Warren, the bar owner. Yes, this is graphic in parts (particularly the car crash scene), however towards the end, the women are empowered and definitely kick some arse. This has the usual QT-style dialogue and close-up shots of feet we've come to expect from this director. I must admit, some of the characters did annoy me, especially Zoe Bell (playing herself), Pam (Rose McGowan) and Kim (Tracie Thoms). Not Quentin Tarantino's best work (acutally, he agrees it's his worst film), but still worth a look.

Day Twenty-Seven: no movie

Day Twenty-Eight: HUNGER
Hunger, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, is a harrowing look at the real-life events surrounding the 1981 IRA hunger strike at Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. Gritty, dramatic, raw and moving, this film is immensely hard to watch. The prison cells are tiny, claustrophobic and filthy, with shit-smeared walls and urine everywhere. The bashings are brutal and intense. And then the hunger strike begins, and with it, scenes of an anorexic Fassbender, whose dedication to this film is undeniable. The physical deterioration of Bobby's body is heartbreaking and again, extremely difficult to watch. A very well-made film, with brave performances, that I don't think I could ever sit through again.

Have you seen any of these films?

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