Well, it’s been a few months since I last wrote about the films I have seen at the cinema in 2017. For those of you who don’t yet know, I am clocking my way towards 100 films at the cinema in 2017. Why you ask? Because I can! And, I love film. Always have and no doubt, I always will. It provides the perfect escape into foreign worlds and adventures. Not to mention, it’s a beautiful way for one to relax and unwind. Seriously kids, what’s not to love about going to the cinema?
I’ve really pushed my way outside the comfort zone this year. Normally, film goers flock to the big budget Hollywood blockbusters and the foreign/art house films are left to the weirdo’s and odd balls like me. This year however, I have seen a decent smattering of Hollywood big budgets flicks and been pleasantly surprised by the quality (The House) and naturally, been left deflated by some absolute Hollywood tosh (Rough Night) and thankfully, missed some dreadful releases (Snatched and King Arthur) whilst still getting my fix of some truly brilliant flicks (The Big Sick and Bag of Marbles). Tonight I am due to hit film number 60 for the year. slowly but surely. Anyway, let’s take a look back at some more of the films I have paid my hard earner to witness in 2017.
Any new Christopher Nolan film deserves your full attention. Don’t think about it. Just see it because you know it’s going to be good. Dunkirk was no exception. Actually, it was that good that I saw it twice in the space of three days. The aerial scenes fought off the coast line were something else all together. Dunkirk is the story of a miraculous evacuation of some 400,000 troops of the beaches of Dunkirk. It came down to local British fisherman to pull of a high portion of the rescue mission which you could not imagine yet it’s how it all happened. An all star cast which was led by a masterful acting class from One Direction singer, Harry Styles. The lads got talent as an actor and I will look forward to seeing more of him on the silver screen in years to come.
Have you heard of the 1.5 MILLION Armenian refugees slaughtered before and during the first world war? I thought not. Whilst we are constantly reminded of the plight of the Jews from 1936 onwards, The Promise tells the story of an American journalist who accidentally uncovers a massacre of human life on a grand scale. It all unfolds towards the end of the Ottoman empire in 1915. Christian Bale gives perhaps the performance of his career as Chris Myers and is back up superbly by fine supporting roles led by Oscar Issac and Charlotte Le Bon.
PARIS CAN WAIT:
Truth be told, I love a good rom com and Paris Can Wait, whilst being a tad predictable in patches does a rather cute job at adding new life to an always struggling genre. We follow a love triangle that really doesn’t go anywhere yet goes everywhere in the same breath as Anne (Dianne Lane) sets off on a journey to Paris from the south of France with her husbands’s confidant, Jacques (Amaud Viard). The problems arise when Anne’s husband, Michael (Alec Baldwin) constantly put his marriage to Anne on the back burner whilst he chases the Hollywood dollars through European film sets. It doesn’t take too many brain cells to follow what happens next but a few twists and turns leave you all warm and fuzzy by the end.
I never really imagined Charleeze Theron to excel in a role as bold and adventurous as Lorraine Broughton but fuck me sideways, the girl does good in one of the best films of 2017! Once again, a stellar support cast including James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan and John Goodman follow the story of an MI5 agent (Theron) as she battles her way past the secrets and lies of East Germany in 1989, just before the fall of the wall. Atomic Blonde is a colorful landscape of the time which opens the lid of crime and corruption through a seedy underworld where you just can’t trust anyone who crosses your path. If you are looking for something sexy and sophisticated then may I suggest you get your hands on a copy of Atomic Blonde to enjoy. The only real let down was a deflated lesbian sex scene between Theron and support actress, Sofia Boutella. Why not go for a male on male sub plot for a change? Kinky sex antics aside, you simply won’t want to miss this stellar production from director, David Leitch.
Where do you start with Tom Cruise? Pretty much any role the guy takes on, he excels at like nobody else can. He may be a twat off the set but he always brings his best form to the big screen and American Made is simply no exception. American Made allows us to follow the deceit and corruption by the US government through the 1970s and 80s as Barry Seal (Cruise) is picked up to fly planes in and out of South America transporting a absolute shed load of snow white (cocaine for those of not up to speed on slang) and other substances into the United States. If you hadn’t already guessed, Bill Clinton (then Governor of Arkansas), Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr collaborate to ensure they get their slice of the pie. American Made is a fabulous look into a world where you trust absolutely nobody, including your government.
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO:
The story of the negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story!
Whenever I hear a white man tell what a hard life he has had, I always like to remind of things like, well, you know, the slave trade and segregation throughout American history. I am Not Your Negro follows the story of James Baldwin who, in 1979 wrote to his then publisher informing him of his intentions to start writing about the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evans and Malcolm X. The book is never published. In fact, only 30 pages were written so we are given a snap shot of the civil rights movement that was led some powerful and provocative characters of the times. A chilling and powerful narration by Samuel L Jackson provides the backdrop to a truly terrifying story that was in fact, a harsh reality for millions of African American men, woman and children. A nation of hate that still exists today in some quarters.
The film is screening in limited release but is one you need to see. At time, the archival footage is incredibly difficult and upsetting to watch but that’s the whole point of the film. A not so subtle reminder of just how horrible human beings can be and still are.