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 in a story about a married couple. A pair trying to find their way back to that great past period in their relationship; a place 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 and because you’re somewhat bored of the formulaic nature of romantic comedies and need something else. And lastly, 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 with the mindset of someone who knows that this will be a different kind of film. The type with self-imposed parameters to explore what is creatively possible.
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a desperate man amid a balancing act between trying to sort out his personal life while also attempting to salvage the remainder of his professional integrity. The most intriguing part of it all being, all the drama takes place inside his car.
The audience gets to see Ivan causing immense distress with phone call after phone call. But what proves even more interesting are the silences and the dialogue he has with himself.
Those aware of Hardy’s well-documented acting prowess will want to watch this. As will enthusiasts of Colin Farrell’s Phone Booth (2002); another movie that kept audiences engaged, regardless of the single location setting.
Locke will likely cause you to reflect on a few things as it plays. One is the quality of the relationships you have with your colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
Make time for Locke because it’s impressive. And Hardy’s performance is likely to turn you into a life long fan; in case you weren’t already.
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 sequence that I won’t soon forget..
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.
Apocalypto certainly isn’talways 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.
When you sit down to watch Julie and Julia, I highly recommend having a few of your favourite foods with you. I say this because you will find yourself with at least one or two serious cravings.
Based on the life of American Chef, Julia Child, and Writer Julie Powell, meet two ladies with a shared passion for food, cooking and feeding the people they love.
Besides the joy of a well executed drama about two women who quite literally come alive whilst indulging in their favourite pass time, Julie & Julia will likely inspire you to dedicate more time pursuing your own passions.
To look at it another way, should the task of silencing doubters be a hobby of yours, or one you wouldn’t mind taking up, then look no further to see it done with such admirable aplomb.
If you’re still unsure, I have two words. Meryl Streep.
Martin Scorsese’s Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) is absolutely dripping with testosterone, not that this should be surprising.
Typical of all other popular accounts of life on Wall Street, there’s plenty, and then some – of the expected excess and debauchery.
Based on a true story about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (Dicaprio’s character), the audience, particularly the ambitious will relate to the protagonist’s determination to succeed, as well as get some insight into the many ways the American dream can go very wrong indeed.
With plenty of well written male banter (one of my favourite things), and great performances all round, you will spend a surprising amount of time laughing. Leonardo Dicaprio and his more than qualified supporting cast absolutely deliver.
The Mark Hanna character played by Matthew McConaughey is so entertaining that you’ll find yourself wanting more.
Jonah Hill, an Actor better known for comedy hits including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Superbad (2007) is great as Donny Azoff. Azoff’s teeth and hair may be highly questionable, but you’ll see that Hill’s performance certainly isn’t.
Girls will definitely enjoy the film but I have a strong suspicion that boys will love it more.