Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Five Films to Check Off the “Must See List” By the End of March

After successfully completing last month’s list, I figured it was time to finally remove another five random films from my personal “must see” list. While not all of them may be considered cinematic gems, here is what is on tap for the coming month:

Battle Royale – This is one of those films where I think it will be hard to live up to the hype. For eleven years now I have kept hearing that Battle Royale is a film that I must see. Many found it disturbing, while others simply thought it was awesome. I think it is time to finally see what all the fuss is about.

Bright Star – A co-worker recently offered to lend me a copy of Bright Star. Seeing as it was a film I had been procrastinating on for a while now, I could not pass it up.

The White Ribbon – I have mention several times on this blog that Michael Haneke is a director who always evokes some sort of reaction out of me. As a result, any film he makes is an automatic must see for me. The White Ribbon has been a film I have been meaning to watch for over a year, so it is time to finally check it off the list.

I Killed My Mother – Xavier Dolan’s latest film Heartbeats was released in U.S. theatres last week. Although the film has received critical acclaim, I have held off seeing it until I catch the young Canadian director’s semi-autobiographically debut I Killed My Mother. Despite the horror film sounding title, I Killed My Mother is more of a coming of age tale about a gay teen who is at odds with his mother. Judging by the praise I have heard for both films it sounds like Dolan may be one of our country’s next great directors.

Bronson – This film has been on the list for a few years now, but it recently got bumped up a few pegs after seeing Tom Hardy’s scene stealing work in Inception. Although Hardy was good in Layer Cake and Scenes of a Sexual Nature, everyone keeps telling me that Bronson is the film where he truly shines.


  1. Hope you enjoy Battle Royale and White Ribbon, loved those two. I haven't seen the others myself ;)

  2. Heh, I saw 'I Killed mt Mother (J'ai tué ma mère) some time ago after it was released on DVD. I enjoyed it, although it partly felt like a movie made by an angsty teen/very young adult who needed to get a bunch of stuff off his back. Very personal movie. It's still good though. I want to see 'Amours Imaginaires' (is that what 'Heartbreakers' is?

  3. Oops, 'Heartbeats', not 'Heartbreakers', I think that's a Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy. Shudder...

  4. Edgar, yes "Amours Imaginaires" is indeed "Heartbeats". I didn't end up enjoying it as much as his first film, but I think I'm in the minority there. I couldn't get past two very self-centered unlikeable characters and had no idea why the third character would even want to spend any time with these two. But others see it differently.

    "The White Ribbon" is gorgeous, ever so slowly disturbing and a perfect way of showing how humanity has within it the capability to do nasty nasty things.

    "Battle Royale" is definitely one of those films that can suffer from too much hype. Lower your expectations...Kitano is great in it playing, well, Kitano and it is "fun" to see how events transpire. I don't think it'll transform your life though...B-)

    And Tom Hardy is pretty terrific in "Bronson", but it's an over-the-top performance. He's on screen just about every frame, so you certainly get the most out of him. I don't think I'll rewatch this as much as Winding Refn's "Pusher" trilogy or even as much as say "Valhalla Rising", but it is worth it for the sheer energy of Hardy.

    make sure you watch them all before the next pub night OK? I'll be at that one for sure!

  5. Need to see The White Ribbon, too. Battle Royale's a trip, but it's also a victim of its own hype. Bronson on the hand, is effing awesome. Hope you dig it, man.

  6. White Ribbon was incredibly disturbing to me. Brilliant, though.

    Personally, I think Battle Royale is deserving of the hype. Damn entertaining.

  7. I've got White Ribbon saved on one of my DVR consoles and I think I should do the same for Bright Star. I kind of have a list of my own as well that I've DVRed (I'm actually new to it).

    Carlos, Moon, Doctor Zhivago, Broken Embraces, and the 1945 film version of Mildred Pierce. I guess we have a lot to do.

  8. @Castor –Hoping to see Battle Royale this week. Might try and get a review up in the next week or so.

    @Edgar – Glad to hear you liked I Killed My Mother. I am really looking forward to that one. Let me know what you think about Heartbeats when you finally see it.

    @Bob – I will definitely squeeze those three in prior to the next pub night. So we will have much to talk about. Also, the Pusher trilogy is on my “to see” list as well, heard a lot of great things about it. I will have to look around and see if I can find a copy of them somewhere.

    @Aiden – For some reason every time I see the Bronson trailer I think of the character Begbie from Trainspotting. Both seem to be men with very short fuses.

    @Sammy V – Good to know. It seems that The White Ribbon really struck a lot of people in a positive way.

    @thevoid – Moon was quite good, but I thought Broken Embraces was average at best.

    Doctor Zhivago, though iconic, is a film that I have never watched. I remember my aunt had a VHS copy of it, but I do not recall actually viewing it. I will have to add that to the list as well. Same goes for Carlos and Mildred Pierce...have not seen either but heard good stuff about both.

  9. I too really want to see BATTLE ROYALE

    I’ll have to disagree with the other commenter’s about WHITE RIBBON though. It’s certainly disturbing in parts, looks gorgeous and has some great individual scenes, but altogether I thought it was meandering (read: boring) and extremely pretentious.

    BRONSON on the other hand, is really entertaining. Hardy is insane, and the performance makes me very excited to see him playing a villainous role in the upcoming Batman film.

  10. Ah, my own 5 next on the chopping block? Well, here's the next 5 that would count as "been meaning to see for awhile":

    Decline Of The American Empire
    The Music Man
    Nine Queens
    The Brother From Another Planet
    My Best Fiend

    And Tom's got it all wrong about White Ribbon...B-)

  11. @Tom – I am very curious to see how both Hardy and Nolan will interpret the Bane character. They have an opportunity to mould Bane into something truly memorable.

    @Bob – I think we need to set up a Row Three style Battle Royale to see who is right between you and Tom about The White Ribbon. Of the five films you mentioned I have only seen The Decline of the American Empire. I saw back in my university days but, from what I remember, I quite enjoyed it. I also really liked the sequel as well. I will have to look into the others ones you listed, they all sound very intriguing.

  12. Good choices, Battle Royale and Bronson are insane but enjoyable...
    The White Ribbon is one of the those films I just can't make up my mind on, I honestly can't say whether I liked it or not.
    Haven't seen the other two but I've heard good things about Bright Star.

  13. I've been running into Bronson everywhere now (probably because that Hardy is everywhere now) so I need to check it out before I explode. I hate it when something pops up everywhere and I haven't seen it.

  14. @Jack - Sounds like The White Ribbon might be a film that I may have to watch multiple times to get the full effect.

    @5plitreel – The Bronson talk has been rather insane online. It just got to the point where I figured I better move it up the list and see what all the fuss was about.

  15. I'm especially anxious to see what you'll think of Bright Star.

  16. @Andrew – I hope to watch Bright Star in the next two weeks. Hopefully I can get a review up by the end of the month.


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