My ‘get up and go’ appears to have got up and left, without me. However, I’m going to troop on.
Now, the “classic” films. This poses a problem, I don’t wanna be the clichee: “OMFG!!! GONE WITH THE WIND/CASABLANCA/THIRDMAN/CITIZEN KANE” everyone recommends those. In fact, type the words ‘classic films to see’ into Google and I can pretty much guarantee they will all appear in fast succession on the same list.
Me, I’m an individual like everyone else. Therefore, my list is going to be of films which people should, but don’t, watch (this way I can justify it as in-keeping with the other lists). This in no way means you shouldn’t watch the films above, they are all cinema gold. But who wants a gold doubloon when instead I give you a pickaxe and an empty mineshaft with only the promise of perhaps finding gold? Fell free to not answer that rhetorical question.
Let the listing begin…
3) Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Words cannot explain how much I adore this film. In my opinion it is the single best sequel in the history of creation. Personally, of the Die Hard Trilogy (speak one word about 4.0, and I will gouge out your eyes with a shoe), I reckon it’s the best. Holly Genaro appears in it for as little time as possible, and you don’t have Sammy L. Jackson having a fit about being a minority every 5 seconds. I guess the only sad bit really is that Gruber didn’t appear in it. Also did I mention it’s one of my favourite Christmas films?? Seriously, it has snow, and fat grumpy cops, and a chase scene in the secret cave where luggage goes once it has been checked (much of my childhood spent flying to various places meant that John Maclane jumping around there made me want to try it out on more than one occasion). Did I tell you it has ‘splosions a-la-Michael Bay?? also that the dialogue has terrible zingers like ‘”what sets off the metal detectors first, the lead in your ass, or the shit in your brains?” or my personal favourite “Motherf**kin’ Motherf**ker!!!” it’s totally over the top, ridiculous and just a great movie to watch.
Unlike its counterparts like Lethal Weapon or Tango and Cash, it doesn’t have mullets, which I think is a bonus, but then again I’m not from Alabama. Also it has the added extra of not having had a jack-wang like Gibson eff up the film due to ‘future’ bad behaviour, or a now-deformed boxing nut who should real stop with the surgery…. did that sentence make sense to you? Well anyway, the cast are likeable because none of them have made fantastic mistakes and ridiculous lapses in judgement, so it’s still okay to like them!
This film is not high art, “NOoOoOo” I hear you squeal “How could you say that about such a masterpiece!!!” or maybe I imagined you said that. Either way, it’s not, but it hits all the right action movie buttons, enough action, romance, planes exploding, and sarcastic one-liners to pull you through a dull afternoon. It’s a pre-9/11, pre-political- correctness, pre-anti-smoking, pre-anticoolness film. Sure it’s dated, the in-air cell phones are funny, the fact that Maclane has a beeper is just down right adorable, and ohhhh those ugly ugly sweaters. BUT ITS BRUCE!!! Which means, honestly, I can’t fault it.
2) The Fall
Artsy-fartsy here we come, but in a good way. Tarsem Singh brings you avisual treat that will make your eyeballs want to dance. This film is a beautiful serenade of a film, it has some of the most exotic locations on the planet and scenery that will melt your face off. Like the German dude from Indiana Jones when he plays with the Ark, just like that, really. Twenty or so countries were used to film what is basically a story about a suicidal stuntman and a little girl that he tries to coerce into helping him die. Yup, it’s that upbeat.
Actually, despite the film’s morbid thematic matter, it’s a pretty feel good film. The kid who is played by a six year old girl is spontaneous, and Lee Pace’s injured stuntman is charming in an offhand, stuttered way. Obviously the script and acting is put into second billing to the scenery, which is why the film lacks pace and maybe a little clarity. BUT- and this is a big but (it’s in caps), it is a labour of love, and you feel that. Oh, and I should mention the costumes, bat-poop insane… samurai-zorro-hussars…. I mean Mr. Singh, if you’re gonna smoke that stuff you should at least give hand outs with the DVDs so we can all see it like you!
The Fall proves that films can be beautiful these days without using CGI scenery like “300” or excessive amounts of gore (like Saw, Saw II, Saw III, Saw XVIII, Saw MCMXVXIIII… seriously how many films about torture porn do want???? You people sicken me). All in all it’s a film that is glorious visually, but maybe lacks some oomph when it comes to narrative, which is probably why it doesn’t have that much of a rep yet. So watch it and be all like “oooh”, “ahhh”, “wow” and “golly-gosh!” it’s worth it.
3) Cold Comfort Farm
Yes I know, none of you have heard of it. Not to sound like I’m hipster-ing it up, but it is pretty underground as films go. The reason why: it was a made for TV, and its a BBC production from the mid-90s. Originally based on Stella Gibbons’ novel of the same name, it stars British greats (or at least they are now) Kate Beckinsale, Eilleen Atkins, Ian McKellen, Joanna Lumley, Stephern Fry and the much under appreciated Rufus Sewell. It tells the story of young Flora Poste, recently orphaned at the age of 17 in the 1920s, bored, she decides to live with relatives, and chooses the Starkadders out of a bunch of people you would never want any blood relations with. Who are the Starkadders? The British version of hilbillys.When I say this- don’t think of Beverly Hillbillys, this is more the deliverance type (minus the rape, and fewer banjos).
Flora, having been thrown into what is basically a medieval village decides to drag her new family into the 20th Century kicking and screaming. Her uncle Amos Starkadder is a fire-and-brimstone preacher, the main religious tenet being that God’ll roast your balls whether you’re good or bad so you better start a-shaking. Her aunt Judith a gloomy, fatalistic, fortune teller, who looks the joy has been steadily sucked out of her eyeballs is a great foil to her religious husband- but she kinda has a thing for her son. Kinky. Flora’s cousins Seth and Reuben are strong-backed, broad shouldered farmers who resent the “little lady” skipping into their midst. Adam Lambsbreath, the cow-milker is there. And then there’s Great-aunt Ada Doom who commands the entire household like a prison kommandant, from her room, which no-one ever enters.
Little Flora, being the plucky, organising type, (see class-A meddler) decides to help out. Being a city gal she must adapt to the oddities of the countryside, like her uncle shouting “Drain the well. There’s a neighbor missing”, or the seriously Ted Bundy-esque Urk, who sits in trees watching chicks undress (this was filmed before cable, these days he’d have a channel for that- or an app on his iphone). Basically there is so much whimsy, and downright wrongness in this film it’ll take two goes just to get all the funny names down. Did I also mention that the yokel accents are HI-larious??? Well they are.
A true comedy of errors, with double-entendres, and jokes oozing out of every orifice, its basically the comedic version of ebola. Without the monkeys, despite some of the locals striking resemblance to lesser primates. This film is treasure if you can find it. I myself watch it every year, and have done since it came out. In fact it is a family Christmas tradition in my house-hold. The year we didn’t watch it, Christmas was cancelled due to an incident known between me and my siblings as ” the Fart that killed Christmas”. Perhaps not the most captivating film of all time, but its quiet humour, interspersed by its effing-funny sit-com stuff makes it a comedic high, that has sadly been lost to the cruel mercies of tv-movie reputation. Watch it. Revive it. Make it shine! I command you!!!!