My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 5

Normally around this time of year I’d be desperately attempting to hoover up as many unseen Oscar nominees as possible in anticipation of the forthcoming Academy Awards ceremony that, more likely than not, I won’t actually watch given it finishes here at roughly 5am on a Monday morning (would it kill them to move it to Saturday night, really?). However this year I find myself somewhat unmotivated to do so, given how little interest I have in many of the films in contention. Of the 8 nominees for Best Picture I’ve so far seen just three (The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road and Bridge of Spies). I’d quite happily see the likes of The Big Short, Room and Spotlight, but none of them strike me as films that are only suited to the big screen, so I feel almost obliged to simply wait them out until I can see them much more inexpensively within the comfort of my own home, especially given my recent reading of the novel Room upon which the film is based, which is very good and comes highly recommended from me, but with the story so fresh in my mind I just don’t think the film would have the required effect. The only film nominated for much that I’ve any real interest in seeing is The Revenant, as I’m certain that won’t be quite as effective back home, but thus far my attempts to seek it out have resulted in a faulty projector, a refunded ticket and a wasted half day’s holiday taken from work.
So as late February approaches I find myself caring increasingly less about what films and film-makers will be awarded much of anything come the big night. Amongst the other major categories the likes of Carol, Brooklyn, Trumbo and The Danish Girl all look very worthy but ultimately dull, and with the over-rated Inside Out seeming to lead the chase for Best Animated Feature (the only other contender being Anomalisa, which isn’t released here for another month) I can’t even get excited about that. But hey, in spite of all that I (just about) caught up on all my goals for January, but predictably that last minute dash burned me out a little so I’m now behind again just a few days later. When will I learn?
Also this week I finally got around to seeing the 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer. I’m pretty sure this show never made it to the UK which, having seen a few of the sketches on YouTube, I wasn’t all that upset about, but when I saw an online trailer for this particular episode I knew I had to watch it, because a) 12 Angry Men is one of my favourite films, and b) it features the likes of Paul Giamatti, John Hawkes, Vincent Kartheiser (Pete from Mad Men), Kumail Nanjiani, a bunch of other know-the-face guys and the almighty Jeff Freakin’ Goldblum. Having watched it I was not disappointed. For fans of the film there are a lot of references that pretty much all work, but the bit that had me dying was Juror #2 (Chris Gethard) saying “Oh bother” during an intense situation, because Juror #2 from the original movie (John Fiedler) voiced Piglet.

Here’s what I watched this week:
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Top 10… Movie Cab Drivers

This week’s Lambcast is another Movie of the Month, and this month the topic of conversation was Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. As such, here’s a rundown of my Top 10 Movie Taxi Drivers:      VVa3lael6qrninjqCHYu8rP9o1_1280

Honourable mention: John McClane & Zeus Carver (Bruce Willis & Samuel L. Jackson), Die Hard With A Vengeance?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

OK, technically neither John nor Zeus (who does not look Puerto Rican to me) are taxi drivers, but at various points throughout this New York-set sequel they do drive a taxi, so technically they are taxi drivers, and therefore eligible for this list. I’ve loved Die Hard with a Vengeance since many years before I even saw Die Hard, and I think it’s the bickering relationship between the two that drew me to it. Specifically, I love the scene in which the two must make it across town in a very short amount of time, during rush hour traffic. The solution? drive straight through Central Park, ploughing through cyclists and pedestrians alike. This scene gives way to my favourite line in the film, when Zeus asks if McClane is aiming for the people, he replies “No, well, maybe that mime.” Other great taxi drivers I could have used are the pain in the ass sports fan who Cuba Gooding Jr. is lumbered with in Rat Race, Darwin (Edi Gathegi) the underused evolving mutant in X-Men: First Class, who we first meet driving a cab, Beauregarde from The Great Muppet Caper, Alan Ford in An American Werewolf in London, J B Smoove in Date Night and the terrifying, snarling, grotesgue “Ain’t much better in here, kid” guy from Home Alone 2. Continue reading