Have you ever wondered why you might score a hat-trick, be third time lucky or receive three strikes and you’re out? Is there some significance in the fact that there were Three Little Pigs, 3 Ninjas, Three Amigos or Three Men (And a baby). Why is it that the third movie in a series is always the best, be it The Godfather Part III, The Matrix Revolutions or X-Men: The Last Stand? Well it turns out that just like working out what was eating Gilbert Grape, this is inherently unknowable. So instead we decided to write a little something about our three favourite or most memorable movies we’ve watched for the pod so far…
First Up is Reegs's choices.
Kevin Smith’s 2014 movie is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s a disturbing and often grisly descent into madness and also it’s sometimes a broad wacky accent based comedy and virtually everything else in between. Featuring an admirable commitment to playing the audacious premise essentially straight and a genuinely superb performance from Michael Parks, it’s true that not everything works about this movie – some of the characters lack subtlety and the pacing particularly in the third act is jarring but this is an absolutely original movie and how often can you really say that?
Jonah Hill’s debut feels so incredibly authentic, at times it seems as if you aren’t even watching actors. Following 13 year old Stevie as he attempts to find somewhere to belong and finding his place in a group of misfit local skateboarders, the characters are nuanced and thoughtfully portrayed and the unmistakeable nostalgia for the time period is offset by the mood of melancholia that permeates this satisfyingly raw coming of age tale. The soundtrack featuring Nirvana, Pixies, Morrissey, The Pharcyde, GZA and 2Pac amongst others is phenomenal.
Proof that an inventive filmmaker can do a lot with a little, James Ward-Byrkit’s ambitious movie follows a group of friends over the course of a dinner party, served with a side of quantum mechanics. An ingenious thriller that makes the most of it’s tiny budget and minimal setting, the less you know about this before you see it the better. Suffice to say, as in all great sci-fi the really scary stuff comes not from the threat of violence but from the philosophical implications of the mind-bending plot.
Lets see what Sidey thought of last years catalogue...
Peanut Butter Falcon
This was a hit with us for two reasons. First up the movie was fantastic. Secondly, we were joined by Peter Andre for our review. Peter has first-hand experience of raising a son with learning difficulties. This led to our discussion on this occasion having some substance. Let me tell you that does not happen often.
The movie itself. Well, it features a brilliant performance by Zach Gottsagen. It also managed to briefly put Shia LaBeouf back onside for a brief moment. The accusations that came to light at the end of 2020 have put paid to that! Throw in a healthy amount of wrestling content and an appearance by Jake the Snake Roberts and you have a sure-fire winner.
Lars and the Real Girl
I’d tried to have this nominated when we ran a poll on twitter to choose a film. But I lost out to the also excellent Coherence. Worry not, Reegs nominated this one later in the year. I’m bloody glad he did because it is brilliant. I went as far as to claim this was my favourite we’d reviewed on the show so far.
The premise of the movie is that Lar, played superbly by Ryan Gosling, acquires a sex doll and passes this off as his actual girlfriend. However, the movie was not at all what I had expected. This could have been a real screwball comedy or a real daft take on the film’s story. Instead what we have is an incredibly sensitive take on Lars mental health and the effect of a community rallying around someone in their time of need. Of course, there are laugh out loud moments. The dinner time meet the family moment where Bianca is introduced is hilarious. Overall this is quirky, funny, touching and has great performances throughout. Highly recommended!
Under The Skin
I’m not just picking this because Scarlett Johansson gets naked. This is a movie that stood out a mile to me. It really wasn’t like anything I’d seen before.
SJ plays an alien who is sent to earth to observe human life. Outside of that the plot is very ambiguous. Throughout the movie she lures people into some sort of body harvesting house. These sequences are dreamlike and horrific and bizarre and compelling all at once.
Warning! The film features a scene on the beach which it’s fair to say of the most disturbing and downright upsetting I’ve seen in a long time. Approach with caution!
Just to add a little more flavour to our review, we also managed to snag an interview with the wonderful Adam Pearson. Yup, this was a really original movie, with a creepy but compelling tone. Also, Scarlett gets naked.
This bittersweet drama comedy based in part of the life story of director Taika Waititi. A New Zealand boy finds that his father is a far cry from the heroic adventurer he's imagined the man to be. A slow paced reflection of life in 1980’s New Zealand coupled with a wonderful score and stunning backdrops on what was a very poor and outcast community that was fragmented in many places, but united eventually in family and the concept of ohana. The Michael Jackson thriller haka is a gem to!
An unusual friendship develops when a street smart immigrant is hired to take care of a disabled French nobleman. This was a film that really brought a smile to my face. It was uplifting, predictable and wholesome. I don’t care that it was a cliché. I just really enjoyed it. It made me feel good and sometimes that all you want from a film. I don’t need a plot twist or a character study. I just want to be entertained. This ticked all the boxes.
From out of nowhere this 2019 British drama film written and directed by Mark Jenkin was served up to the team. Starring Edward Rowe as a struggling Cornish fisherman, the film deals with the tensions that arise between locals and tourists in a Cornish fishing village against a backdrop of second homes, short-term lets, and gentrification. Shot with a unique take via a hand processed painstaking development with a 16mm monochrome film. This visually stunning piece of art completely absorbed me. Some of the scenes on the beach, where hand caught fish are taken from the nets drew me into an ethereal world. Coupled alongside an interview with director Mark Jenkin, this was one of my favourite film reviews.