Apologies for these lists becoming fortnightly of late, all I can do is try to be better next week. I sit down to write them every weekend, but something comes up, or inspiration doesn’t, and I end up putting them off. The problem is then I watch more films, meaning more to write in these posts, and so on. Anyway, enough procrastinating, here’s what I’ve watched this past fortnight: Continue reading →
In the First World War, British Lt. T. E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is selected to assess the situation of Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness), who is having issues with the Turks. Going against the wishes of his superior officer, Lawrence catches the attention of the Prince, and advises a plan to attack Aqaba, a strategically positioned shipping port, by land, something deemed impossible due to the treacherous desert that must be crossed to do so. Even so, Lawrence and 50 men set out to do just that. Continue reading →
Five years into their marriage, Gerry and Tom Jeffers (Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea) are having difficulties making their financial ends meet, and are soon to be evicted from their duplex for owing too much rent. Despite a sudden burst of unexpected riches, Gerry believes they will have more success separately and plans to divorce Tom so he can continue with his business developing a new airport built above a city (just don’t even think about it) whilst she finds and marries a millionaire who will give her the money to finance it. Continue reading →
During the preparations leading up to the public unveiling of three products – the Mackintosh in 1984, NeXT Computer in 1988 and iMac in 1998 – business “composer” Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) deals with the same handful of people and problems, including his friend and marketing associate Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), co-Apple-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), engineer Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stuhlbarg), Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels) and Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterstone), Steve’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his potential daughter Lisa. Continue reading →
Brothers Gabriel and Elias (David Dencik & Mads Mikkelsen) discover they were adopted after their apparent father passes away. Elias’ mother died in childbirth, and the fate of Gabriel’s is left unclear, so the pair set out to discover their biological parentage. Their quest takes them to the small island of Ork, a place with barely 40 inhabitants, and a dilapidated house believed to be the home of their father. Upon their arrival, Elias and Gabriel face another shock when they meet their three other half-brothers, aggressive but protective Franz (Søren Malling), gluttonous Josef (Nicolas Bro) and simple Gregor (Nikolaj Lie Kaas). The brothers live in a state of disarray and constant fighting, which Elias fits right into, but Gabriel attempts to reform it, all while persisting to find his father and uncover the secrets of his mysterious basement. Continue reading →
This past week I turned 29, an age generally only noteworthy for being the last chance to do everything you’d planned to do before turning 30. At this point it might be expected for me to list those remaining things I’ve yet to cross off, as some form of checklist for the coming 12 months but – and I fear this may be perhaps the most depressing notion I’ve come across – I have none. I’m not bragging and crowing about how I’ve accomplished all I’d set out to do, and am over a year ahead of my lifelong schedule, no, instead it would seem that I never had any goals of this kind. No grand plan to follow, no aspirations in life. The path I’m travelling is one I have no map or compass for, no earthly clue where it may lead, and no real destination in site. You might think this is somewhat liberating, but you see I yearn for such an aim. I crave something to head for. That’s probably why I occasionally dedicate this blog to wading through various movie lists, else otherwise what would I possibly write about? And if anything, it’s these lists that are my one concrete goal, completing them is the one clear (if incredibly distant) point in my future. Outside of them, I really have no clue.
Turning 29 does have a different significance for me, personally though. I’m sure I’ve made reference in the past – probably when I first started the 1001 List, so I’ll forgive you if you’ve forgotten – that I once had a dream that I’d die at a certain age. I didn’t put a great deal of stock in this notion, but it’s one that has stuck with me, niggling at the back of my mind. The age at which I always thought I’d pass was 28 years old. The number of months, weeks and days into that year were never specified, so whilst the past year hasn’t been spent with my back pressed firmly against every wall, head on a swivel seeking out my impending, imminent demise, I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind from time to time. In fact my quest through the 1001 List even began with an otherwise arbitrary deadline that passed midway through my 29th year. Now it would seem all of this has just been a waste, but fortunately a waste of not very much, and now I can go on living with the knowledge that the end could occur for me at any time. Knowing my luck I’ll get knocked off my bike one film away from finishing. Anyway, speaking of films, here’s what I watched over the past week: Continue reading →
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a put-upon movie producer for Capitol Pictures in 1951. Over the course of one 27-hour period he must deal with rival gossip columnist twins Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton), a rising western star (Alden Ehrenreich) being reimagined as a dramatic actor, much to the chagrin of his new director (Ralph Fiennes), the unexpected pregnancy of a swimming starlet (Scarlett Johansson), offers for Mannix himself to change to a high powered position in another company, as well as the supposed kidnapping of major star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) by a Communist cell calling themselves “The Future” and the fall-out from Whitlock’s disappearance, which is delaying the production of a lavish epic. Continue reading →
After a crew of thieves – including two corrupt cops – partially botch the robbery of a bank’s safety deposit box for Russian gangsters, the team are given another chance and their fee is withheld until she successfully steal more information, key to the release of the gang’s boss. The only way to pull off the heist is to distract all the local cops long enough for a decent window of time, and the corrupt officers Marcus (Anthony Mackie) and Franco (Clifton Collins Jr.) believe the best way to do this is to pull a “Triple 9”, to kill a cop. And they think they’ve got the perfect target in Marcus’ new greenhorn partner Chris (Casey Affleck), the nephew of prominent Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Allen (Woody Harrelson). Meanwhile, the thieves’ leader Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor) receives grief from the Russian boss’ wife Irina (Kate Winslet), whose sister (Gal Gadot) is the mother of Michael’s son. The rest of Michael’s team is comprised of Russell (Norman Reedus) and his younger, unstable brother Gabe (Aaron Paul). Continue reading →
Suzy (Jessica Harper) is an American dance student arriving in Germany to attend a prestigious ballet academy. However upon arriving during a heck of a storm Suzy is greeted by a mysterious girl fleeing the school shouting something about irises, and finds her entrance into the school prevented. The next day Suzy successfully gains entrance and begins her training, but the girl who ran away was mysteriously – and pretty horrifically – murdered the night before, and that’s only the beginning. Continue reading →
Brace yourself for some first world problems people!
I went for a run on Saturday. You see, we’ve been having our bathroom redecorated for over three months now and, due to numerous scheduling issues with the various tradesmen involved, we’ve been without a shower for the past month. This means for the past few weeks when I’ve wanted to clean myself it has been with the aid of a bath, and being a little on the larger side than most I find the act of getting into and out of a bath to be awkward and cumbersome, and often resulted in great deals of splashing. I’m a fan of having a shower, so 30 days of baths has been less than ideal. Then, on Friday, our new shower was fitted, so Saturday morning I decided to really maximise the potential of this month-in-waiting shower. So I went for a run. My first run in months, mainly because I get very sweaty when exercising (I believe I covered this recently) and didn’t fancy the idea of bathing in that sweat post-run. The intention for this run was for it to be a kind of warm-up, a breaking-in gently back into the world of exercise, given all I ever normally do is cycle, and that uses completely different muscles (FYI, I have amazing calves. You can cut cheese with them.). In reality, however, I got lost. As such the run, which devolved into a jog, then a walk, then a sort of prolonged stumble, ended up lasting almost two hours and traversed me approximately nine miles, including one big unintentional loop around a residential area I barely knew existed before. I’ve never regretted living at the top of a big hill more than when I finally made my way home. I’d made my daily FitBit target of 12,000 steps before 8:30 am, which is ridiculous. The only problem was I didn’t cool down properly afterwards, so whilst the post-run shower was easily one of the best I’ve ever had, what really would have been useful to ease my aching joints would have been a nice long soak in the bath. Continue reading →