Movie Recommendations: February ’10 Part II
Okay so because of work and other stuff I’ve missed my Valentines day launch so my romantic movies can wait for now. What I do have though is a bit of a mixed bag. Some new sci-fi, a bit of feel-good teen comedy and what is simply the most horrific movie I’ve ever seen… seriously.
Sometimes what we need as movie lovers is something to strip things back to the old school to remind us that a genre is worth our time. Moon did this for the sci-fi genre. Written and directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son), Moon tells the story of Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell); the lone occupant of a lunar mining station coming to the end of his three-year rotation. But with just a few days to go Sam begins to see strange things. These hallucinations cause him to crash a lunar vehicle and become trapped. Things get really weird when Sam is rescued by an apparent clone of himself.
A super stylish tale of paranoia and the malice of the multi-billion dollar mining corporation; Moon is a triumph. The confusion and claustrophobia are palpable and the ending will leave you slack-jawed but totally satisfied. A rare thing in modern movies.
Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
So with coming-of-age comedies having had somewhat of a revival with Empire Records in ’95 one of the earliest of the new school teen comedies that spawned American Pie and the like was Can’t Hardly Wait. Starring Ethan Embry and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Can’t Hardly Wait is story of the last high school party before the class leave for college (Cliche now but quite fresh back then). It focuses on Preston’s last chance of give Amanda (Hewitt) a love letter he’s been holding on to since the first year of high school when Amanda moved from another town.
Running in parallel to this soppy love story is actually a pretty funny teen comedy. A good, old fashioned feel good movie Can’t Hardly Wait stands out among a bazillion other, sub par teen comedies. Sunday afternoon fare, for sure.
Street Kings (2008)
The third cop movie from writer/director David Ayer to feature in my recommendations, Street Kings is a story of crooked cops and betrayal in a Los Angeles police division. Keanu Reeves stars as Tom Ludlow, a great but disgraced cop battling alcoholism and discrimination. When a fellow cop is murdered Tom begins to see where the trail of deceit leads.
Featuring Forest Whittaker and Hugh Laurie (as House MD in everything but name and limp) Street Kings is a high action, fast paced cop thriller with all the tension of Ayer’s other greats, Training Day and Harsh Times. If you enjoyed them, you’ll enjoy this. Simple.
Disturbing Behaviour (1998)
Not quite teen movie, not quite horror and not quite sci-fi, Disturbing Behaviour is a bit of an oddball. It stars James Marsden and Katie Holmes before she went all schizo and married that dwarf and revolves around Steve (Marsden) who is new to the town and sees that not everything is as perfect as it first appears with the “Blue Ribbons”; the group of seemingly perfect students. Steve, with the help of friends Gavin (Nick Stahl) and UV (Chad Donella) soon discovers that the Blue Ribbons are the result of an experiment with the aim of eliminating teenage rebellion and creating a perfect school.
Though not as slick as it could have been, Disturbing Behaviour is something a little different. You can clearly see that The Faculty draws a lot of its inspiration from it and for its time, it was pretty unique in the teen genre. Maybe not the very very best but a pretty good example.
I wasn’t sure about recommending this one. Ash suggested that I watch it after she said it scared her so much she couldn’t get through it. Martyrs is about a girl who goes after revenge some years after she escaped from a prolonged horrific abduction. Well, at least the first 20 minutes are. Then it gets reeeeally nasty!
Believe me when I say this; Martyrs is the most horrific film I’ve ever seen. Nothing is sugar coated and no punches are pulled. Most people who have seen this make the obvious reference to Hostel but me, I saw something darker. Something more akin to Hellraiser than Eli Roth’s blackly comical splatterfest. Really, really, really use your discretion with this one.
So that’s all of them, folks. Sorry for the dealy this time. Hopefully March part I will be on time. See you then.