Here are the last five flicks I watched, usually accompanied by Lady C. I have tried to avoid any spoilers in this article, but feel free to harass me in the comments.
Dawn of the dead (1978)
I found a list of the top 30 zombie movies of all time, most of which I had already seen, when I realized I had never seen the original Dawn of the Dead by Romero. I immediately got a hold of it and convinced Lady C to see it with me. This movie still holds its own, and I must admit it is way better than the 2004 remake (with faster zombies). This flick is a mixture between serious zombie survival and humorous slasher film. Since its production in the late 70s, some of the social caricature roles in cinema have changed, so it took a while before we understood that e.g. Roger’s character was more renegade than goofy and stuff like that. But the movie had a nice pace, with many intriguing scenes and the more speculative questions we ask ourselves facing this end-of-the-world hypothesis. We really enjoyed it!
Spirited Away (2001)
This flick has been on my to-do list for quite a while, ever since an anonymous /. user shared his opinion that Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi was the most beautiful film he had ever seen. Lady C was skeptical even though I seem to recall that we both enjoyed Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989). With a running time of 125 minutes it may be a bit much when you’re not already into anime, but Spirited Away turned out to be a great, fantastical experience which can be enjoyed by anyone with an imagination. The movie contains some of the most well-known anime creatures, that are really expressions of human desires, longings and quirks. The road this movie takes is also unpredictable and keeps you guessing for what’s next, in a good way. Put this movie on your list!
There hasn’t been a good monumental monster movie since the creature of Cloverfield upped the game in 2008. In this sense, Godzilla really delivers! And to be sure, it also erases our shameful memories of the embarrassing flick from 1998 that everyone wanted to like but didn’t. With these other two in mind, how does the new Godzilla fare?
First of all, this movie harkens back to the good old days of Gojira lore. Not only does it establish a convincing background story, but the characters, the plot development, the music and some of the scenes really pay tribute to the old Godzilla movies which featured (a man in a costume as) the enormous, towering creature that was worthy the title of god-like. Second, I think it ties in with Cloverfield without actually claiming to do so. This alone should make your monster boner tingle.
There are some weak points to the flick though. The humanization of Godzilla goes a bit too far. We must not forget, that to Godzilla (and also the Cloverfield creature) we can be no more than ants. This is also what the film says, but not what it does. In addition, I’m not convinced that the choice of having a non-VIP main character follow the first hand experience was a good one. The Godzilla event was global so there is no reason why the movie could not have followed the creature from the perspectives of several characters. Finally, Bryan Cranston’s predictions don’t seem justified, but the jury is still out on this one, while we wait for a director’s cut.
Europa Report (2013)
I suspect this movie fell in the shadow of Hollywood’s Elysium. At least I hadn’t heard of it at all before someone mentioned it on a forum post of interesting sci-fi movies. This film follows the private space mission to Europa, which is funded by a live television broadcast from the ship back to Earth. (This is actually a real possibility for the Mars One colonization project.) You have to pay attention to the film, because it follows a non-linear storytelling; but it follows it through successfully and it makes for an exciting ride and keeps you involved in the plot. This movie may give the impression of being low-budget. I could only recognize Sharlto Copley (lead character in District 9). But that only speaks volumes for its successful execution! I recommend this to anyone looking for a Sci-fi adventure. This movie has character and harkens back to some of the classic sci-fi of the 1970s and 80s, but is modern and provides an interesting piecemeal storytelling which adds to the experience. Great flick!
Spring Breakers (2012)
If you bought this movie thinking it would provide tits and college humor, you’re going to be disappointed. This was another accidental find for me, I can’t even remember why I watched it originally. Perhaps I was looking for tits and college humor. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. But compared to my non-expectations this was a breath of fresh air! This movie reminds me somewhat of the 1998 Hurlyburly feat. Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey, in terms of atmosphere and feel. It is as sexual as it is cynical, but underlying the entire movie is an existential depression which expression comes forth in the four girls’ spring break break with society. This movie has gotten a bad rep, for reasons unknown to me. If you’re into exploitation and decadent films, this is a new item for your collection. It is a ride of moral relativism and could easily be mistaken as politically incorrect; but I find it an interesting comment on society instead, though to a somewhat more implicit extent than Hurlyburly.