It is well documented that repetition inevitably gets dull and people end up switching off. This is the case with many romantic comedies and generally any genre that repeats the same themes and plot lines continuously and with minimal difference.
The One I Love (2014) can be accused of no such thing. Yes. the narrative contains a classic stage in the long term relationship lifecycle. But the execution is a very refreshing and unexpected difference.
The story is about a married couple trying to find their way back to that great past period in their relationship where happiness was the default setting, and as they begin their journey, rather peculiar things start happening.
I find The One I Love to be more of a drama than a romantic comedy, but it has been labeled as all three (comedy, romance and drama) simultaneously.
Watch it because of the two impressive lead actors. Watch it for the different kind of execution. Watch it because you’re somewhat bored of the formulaic nature of romantic comedies and need something else. And watch because you want to be pleasantly surprised.
A small town, suddenly sprinkled with a few non local visitors can only mean trouble, and trouble does come. Especially for Tom Stall, a well regarded local coffee shop owner with a wife and two children.
Directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello and Ed Harris, there’s much to love and little else left to be desired here.
For those familiar with Cronenberg’s trademark visceral style, this drama/ crime/ thriller definitely has scenes and moments that remind you perfectly of who the director is.
A well written story, that’s brilliantly delivered is the reason A History Of Violence (2005) is one of my favourite films of all time.
What’s brought to mind each time I’m reminded of it, besides the fact that it entertained me like crazy?
Push someone far enough and you’ll be awakened to the truth of who they really are. Chances are, however small, you won’t like what you find.
Last Night (2010), a beautifully told story and well paced drama / romance about a young, professional married couple who must confront their past and potential future whilst they spend a night apart. All this thanks to an attractive new colleague and a chance encounter with a past/ first love.
Besides the hypnotic musical score and attractive young cast, featuring the wonderfully faced Keira Knightley, Avatar’s Sam Worthington plus Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet, two things stood out for me in this film.
The first is a reminder to always trust your instincts. The second is the necessity to tread carefully in romantic entanglements – because given the choice, nobody really wants to have someone from their past that they label as ‘the one that got away’.
One more thing. Did I already mention the enchanting musical score?
You have to go into Locke (2013) with the mindset of someone who knows that this will be a different kind of film. The kind with self imposed parameters for the purpose of exploration of what is creatively possible.
Ivan Locke is a desperate man in the midst of a balancing act between trying to sort out his personal life whilst also attempting to salvage the remainder of his professional integrity. The most intriguing part being that all the action takes place inside his car.
You see Mr Locke causing immense distress with phone call after phone call. But what is at least for me, even more interesting are the silences and the dialogue he has with himself.
Fans of Tom Hardy’s well documented acting prowess will want to watch this. As will enthusiasts of Colin Farrell’s Phone Booth (2002), another film that succeeded in keeping the audience engaged, regardless of the single location setting.
There are a few things Locke will cause you to reflect upon. One of them is the quality of the relationships you’ve built with your colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Watch it because it’s good, a great Hardy performance.
Mel Gibson’s Mayan Epic Apocalypto (2006) is tense, gruesome, violent, emotional and contains a big, black, beastly creature I adore. Best of all though, Apocalypto features a wonderfully thrilling hour long chase scene.
I love well-crafted dialogue but few things in film are more engaging than a beautifully choreographed chase sequence. The one in this movie is, I think, one of the very best.
This film is not always the easiest to watch thanks to some challenging scenes. But it is a very entertaining, drama, action and thriller hybrid. At no point did I deliberately avert my eyes from the screen whenever a tough scene was happening. However, my hands did fly up to my mouth and face a few times without warning.
Some people’s dormant misanthropic tendencies may be tested by this great story. But by the end you’ll want to appreciate the smart, quick thinking and undoubtedly strong people in your lives. That’s certainly where my mind was at in the end.
Apocalypto is for fans of great storytelling, big cats (a puma in this instance – the aforementioned big, black, beastly creature I adore) and the perfect chase sequence. Watch it because it’s great!