Sam Hawksmoor shares with us his view on some special movies, come join the conversation with us (Sara Troy) and Brent Marchant ON WHAT THE MOVIES ARE REALLY SAYING TO US. GO HERE
Jeff Nichols Midnight Special, is an excellent supernatural character study. A man (Michael Shannon) abducts a boy (Jaeden Lieberher), who possesses paranormal powers. They’re pursued by members of the cult to which they belonged. Only gradually do we realise that this is his son and he is protecting him rather than harming him. The FBI get into the act and track the boy and father with a terrible ruthlessness. When we finally meet the mother, Kirsten Dunst we come to understand the terrible burden this family has been put under. The Cult built around the boy feels robbed, but the boy with his ability to sear you alive is unique. He needs to be with his own kind but where are they? What are they? This is a human mystery that turns over your emotions at every turn with great performances from Shannon, Lieberher, Joel Edgerton (as Shannon’s friend), and Kirsten Dunst. A much undeservedly neglected film
2 : Everybody Wants Some
Linklater follows up his masterpiece with a good-hearted “spiritual sequel” to his high school-set classic Dazed & Confused ). Set in the first week before college classes begin in the fall of 1980, Linklater follows a group of oddball baseball-playing freshman, as they screw up relationships and get kicked out of disco parties. It’s mostly all about just hanging around with these characters as they take their first immature steps towards adulthood. It’s got the period perfect right down to the wallpaper. It’s simple yet profound.
4 Dr Strange
Above average Marvel movie with brilliant special effects and wit and style. One leaves impressed not just by the magic but how skillfully they can take such a selfish prig who by learning humility (well a little) turn him into a fighter for justice. It’s a triumph of style over substance but definitely superior to many other Marvel films of late. Cumberbatch is always fun to watch.
Miss Perigreen and her Peculiar Children is a charming whimsical piece a nice antidote to super-hero movies – with a slightly iffy premise, but life affirming for special needs kids. Slightly jarring between the present sterile Florida that Terence Stamp lives in and the romanticized English past as they live in a permanent state of imminent destruction. Tim Burton is all style here but that’s what we expect.
The Revenant won Oscars but sticks in the mind for trying to be historically accurate and not politically correct with a stand out performance by Leonardo. It was illuminating reminder about life as pioneers and how little respect everyone had for the lives of others and or the environment or animals. Historical movies tends to gloss over the inconveniences of the past but perhaps we are more ready to admit to just how rapacious it all was and had very little to do with glory or justice.
+ Stranger Things on Netflix was more compelling than fifty other movies in 2016 and a welcome return to our screens for Winona as the hysterical mom. The kids were brilliant and it doesn’t matter they stole every plot from Stephen King because they were all good plots.
The Magicians likewise on TV, racy, spiteful, sexy and a brave attempt to bring the Lev Grossman’s YA books on dark magic to life. Should have had more impact on the world Harry Potter it ain’t
Me Earl and the Dying Girl
Charming, cute, sad and bittersweet tale of a boy forced to befriend a girl dying of leukemia.
The little movies he makes with his best friend are hilarious and all the performances are beautifully nuanced – particularly the dying girl. Not a weepy – it’s got guts.
Best teen movie of the year.
The Nice Guys – A Shane Black Movie
A wonderful riff between Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as they play cheap detectives and shake down artists.
Colorful but shocking to see Crowe so bloated. Once you get past this it’s a buddy movie and everyone likes a good buddy movie.
La-La Land Directed by Damien Chazelle
Why don’t they make movies like this anymore? Oh wait they did. Charming and life –affirming story of a struggling pianist Ryan Gosling and actress Emma Stone. (Not yet arrived in UK but I am very keen to see it)
SING – brilliant rip off of any number of Reality TV singing idol shows with singing pigs, crocs, hedgehogs, frogs. the Trailer is totally wonderful. Can’t wait to see it.
Look forward to Bladerunner 2049
It has to be very good to top the original bleak view of humanity. Where is my Atari now?
Sam Hawlsmoor is a lecturer in Creative Writing, editor of the long running Hackwriters.com on-line magazine and author of The Repossession Trilogy, The Repercussions of Tomas D, Another Place to Die: Endtime, Marikka and his latest YA novel J & K 4Ever – a story about love in a post-apocalypse.