My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 24

I mentioned a few weeks ago that sometimes you create entirely unexpected correlations between the films you watch. Back then I managed to see a string of films all involving families with many Italian brothers, but this week it’s a much more specific and unexpected relationship between the two films I saw, and the two podcasts subsequently recorded about them. After a couple of months of scheduling conflicts the Lambcast finally got around to recording the podcast for April’s Movie of the Month franchise special on The Godfather trilogy. In the first film, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) spends some time in Sicily, during which he meets, falls for and marries a girl names Apollonia. Immediately after recording that show I sat down to watch June’s Movie of the Month, Purple Rain. Guess what the name of Prince’s love interest is in that film? You guessed it, Apollonia, as played by Apollonia Kotero. It’s a name I’ve never even heard outside of these films, yet here are two watched and discussed consecutively. Freaky, right?

The Godfather Part III (1990)
Had I watched this in close proximity to the first two films I’d have been liable to suffer cinematic whiplash.
Lists: Empire Top 500
Full review here.

Purple Rain (1984)
purple rain
There are films in this world that just aren’t made for you, be it due to subject matter, genre, execution etc. Purple Rain is a film that is capital “N” Not For Me. It tells the story of The Kid (Prince) growing up in an abusive household, trying to find success in a night club that just doesn’t seem to “get” his style, whilst also being a bit of a dick to everyone around him, and fending off the advances of aspiring performer Apollonia. For starters, I’m not really a Prince fan. He was a very talented musician and his recent passing is very sad, not least because of the musical ability that passed with him, but I’ve never been a fan of his music. In fact, when he passed I saw numerous sites ranking their lists of Prince’s greatest 100 songs of all time, which shocked me as I’d have struggled to name 5, even including Manic Monday which he just wrote. I’ll gladly acknowledge Purple Rain the song as being a great rock ballad, but conversely When Doves Cry is one of the worst songs I’ve heard, and the only songs that make me change the radio station faster are Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven Is A Place On Earth and the Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling. Now, having seen the film and heard some more Prince songs, I can definitely say that I’m just not a fan. The songs seem to go on forever, being very repetitive on the way, and never really going anywhere. Film-wise Purple Rain is a mess of horrible acting, barely-existent character arcs and a cavalcade of unlikeable characters. If the main reason to watch it is for the musical performances then I’d say give it a miss, as I feel had I been in the audience for these songs I’d have given a similar reaction to the one Marty McFly receives after his post-Johnny B. Goode rock-out. The best part of the film was The Kid’s nemesis Morris, played by Morris Day, who is just as unlikeable as everyone else, but is at least entertaining and doesn’t take the film as seriously as everyone else. If you want to listen to more of my thoughts on the film listen to the latest Lambcast episode dedicated to it. Find that here.
Lists: None
Choose Life 3/10

Infinitely Polar Bear (2015)
polar bear
Cam (Mark Ruffalo) suffered a bi-polar breakdown after losing his job, and lived in an institution for a while as he recovered. Upon leaving he lived in a halfway house, occasionally seeing his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and their two young daughters. When Maggie sets out to build a better life for the girls she embarks on an 18-month training course in New York, leaving Cam in her Boston apartment to care for the children. I knew pretty much nothing going into this – less than that brief summary in fact – but watched this on the strength that both my fiancee and I enjoy Mark Ruffalo as an actor. His role here may seem like an unsuccessful Oscar bid, but it’s also a pretty good portrayal of a man eternally on the brink of flipping out and losing control. Story-wise there weren’t any unexpected twists, and sometimes the pace dragged a little, even with a run-time of under ninety minutes, but this still proved an enjoyably sweet way to spend a Friday evening.
Lists: 2015 Movies
Choose Film 6/10

Posts you may have missed:
Lambcast #325: The Godfather Trilogy I was joined by Nick Rehak and Will Slater to finally discuss all three Godfather movies.
Lambcast #326: Purple Rain I was joined by Nicole Ayers, Jeanette Ward, Mario Brown and Nolahn to discuss Purple Rain in all it’s ridiculous glory.
The Marriage of Maria Braun
The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part III
Bridge of Spies

Goals Update
Aim: Review 8 or 9 1001 List movies each month
Reviewed: 28
Should be on: 46
On Track: No!

Aim: Review 1 “Bad” movie each month
Reviewed: 5
Should be on: 5
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review 1 “Blind Spot” movie each month
Reviewed: 6
Should be on: 6
On Track: Yes!

Aim: Review 2 “Film-Makers” movies each month
Reviewed: 9
Should be on: 12
On Track: No!

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