It’s time to unleash yet another “feature” for this website. There’s no way I can bother with a whole write-up of every movie I get from Netflix, but I want to start doing a round-up with some quick blurbs about each film at the end of the month. What genius! Who else could come up with such an original idea? Here we go:
The Departed – So we start off with the big Oscar winner – picture, writing, and directing. And I have to say that it was very deserving. Scorsese does a masterful job of stringing together a twisted tale of deceit played out by some of the best actors of our time. I was completely engrossed in the film and never questioned its realism.
Schulze Gets the Blues – Here’s an interesting one – retired German salt miner picks up his accordion and forgoes his traditional polka when he discovers zydeco. It’s very slow-moving, and far more subtle than the trailer might suggest, but wonderful nevertheless. A very satisfying look at a guy very set in his ways who finds out it’s never too late to explore new passions.
Raging Bull – The Departed got me on a Scorsese kick, and I figured it was time to finally watch this classic. My first thought while watching it was, “how did Scorsese not win best director for this”? Absolutely brilliant direction. He uses every trick in the book to show us Jake LaMotta’s torturous world and the abuse he laid out in and out of the ring. This is a must-see movie.
Blood Diamond – Don’t watch this before you go jewelry shopping. Seriously, this movie does for diamonds what The Constant Gardener did for pharmaceuticals. It is an intense, gripping and action-filled drama that shows the horrors that exist in third world countries ruled by governments and rebels so eager to sell their souls for weapons. Leonardo DiCaprio puts on another stellar performance that tops even The Departed and is only overshadowed by the intensity of Djimon Hounsou.
Touch of Evil – What a bizarre and twisted film. It’s the kind of plot that I would expect from some 90s indie attempt at film noir, not from the 50s. Definitely a film to check out if you’re into Orson Welles or noir, as his direction pushes this dark story almost over the edge into madness.
Babel – We went pretty heavy with the “critically acclaimed” movies this month, and Babel certainly had its share of praise… and criticism. Looking back at it, I think the film was overly ambitious. There are four main storylines all tied together, but some of them a little too loosely. Each sequence is very well done, but maybe just focusing on the tragedy that strikes Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and the Moroccan family directly involved would have been better. Of the other two parts, the story of the deaf Japanese girl was magnificent, but felt out of place while the one involving the housekeeper and Pitt and Blanchett’s kids just gets a tad ridiculous. It’s like a cross between Syriana and Crash, but not quite as good as either. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, it’s just that looking back on it the flaws become more apparent.
Childen of Men – Rent this! Now! Absolutely stunning, brilliant, intense, captivating, creative, engaging… I think you get the idea. This was severely overlooked when it came to Best Picture. The concept of a struggling world that has lost the ability to procreate is delivered in such gritty realism, the it frightens you with the possibilities – not just with that specific problem, but the way in which people handle wars and epidemics. It was a wonderful film. I cannot stress that enough.
I’d honestly suggest all of these films, with Children of Men, Raging Bull, Blood Diamond, and The Departed all being heavy recommendations for any movie lovers.