Firstly thank you for reading my blogs in 2012 and welcome to 2013!!
When flicking through TV channels I often stumble across a number of films and despite some of them being in my library, I find it almost impossible not to get whisked into their worlds!
Here are the first four which spring too mind.
Twelve Monkeys, Ed Wood, I, Robot, & The Hudsucker Proxy
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
John Cole (Bruce Willis) struggles with reality, is he a time travelling psychopath or a delusional psychotic? In his quest to find out the truth he ropes in psychiatrist Kathryn Railly (Madeline Stowe) and emotionally damaged rich kid (Brad Pitt) as they search for the elusive “Army of the Twelve Monkeys”.
Why I love it.
If you read my previous blog “Time Travels Through My Week” you will know that I have a soft spot for fiction which deals with the simplified versions of quantum physics. Twelve Monkeys was the first work that dealt with the effects of possible time travel real or imaginary on an emotional level. Bruce Willis give one of his career best performances, constantly on the edge of a nervous breakdown, Brad Pitt once again proving that he is a better supporting actor than he will ever be a leading man. Madeline Stowe is always consistent. All under the manic orchestration of Terry Gilliam’s (“Time Bandits” & “The Fisher King”) plot bending baton.
Ed Wood (1994)
In Hollywood during the 1950’s the struggling and misunderstood filmmaker Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) collects a band of misfits around him including the ageing Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) as he seems to want to prove that a desire to make movies is enough reason to be in the film business.
Why I love it?
Tim Burton celebrates the king of the Zed movies, Ed Wood, in his own darkly comic style. Johnny Depp’s over the top performance mirroring Ed Wood’s own movies. Martin Landau’s Oscar winning performance as the tragic washed up Lugosi. Bill Murray camps it as a wanna-be transsexual actor. The many surreal touches that give this film its wonderful peculiarity e.g. Tor, the Norwegian wrestler, bumps into the scenery and making it wobble it is suggested that they redo the take but Wood replies “No, it’s fine. It’s real. You know, in actuality, Lobo would have to struggle with this problem every day.”. Vincent D’Onofrio provides an almost unrecognisable cameo as Orson Welles. This movie should not be taken as a documentary!
I, Robot (2004)
In the distant future Detective Spooner (Will Smith) has an innate distrust of the semi humanoid service robots despite the fact that the three laws of robotics forbids them from harming humans. So when a colleague dies in an apparent suicide, Spooner is called to the scene only to be confronted by a ‘malfunctioning’ robot.
Why I love it?
Author Isaac Asimov may easily have hated it. The first time round Will Smith’s cheeky personality grated but what eventually won me over was the clean and slick view of the future. The design of the robots are endearing with humanoid faces and obviously mechanical bodies. The action and chase scenes are dizzyingly engrossing. But most of all it was the treatment of the first step in the development of how robots might evolve into sentient beings which is what took my imagination for a spin on the futuristic merry-go-round.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) enters Hudsucker Industries, armed with a degree and blind optimism in the hope of making his fortune. Unknowing to him the company is in trouble. After the suicide of their Managing Director (Charles Durning), a scheming board member Sidney Mussberger (Paul Newman) makes the lowly post room boy the new Managing Director. Then the fun begins.
Why I love it?
It may not be one of the Coen brothers better known films but it is a lovely exercise in re-creating a cartoon-like caricature of 1950’s U.S. movies. Newman chomps on his cigar and the scenery, Robbins plays the idealistic naïve to a tee but the performance that really makes it is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Amy Archer, the rapid-fire-Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter who smells a rat. The Coen’s love of Film noir, more than a touch of fantasy, and just general playfulness with story/character makes this a treat.
Which films keep you watching again and again?