Weekly Update: This week was another hodgepodge of whatever films happened to fall into my lap. The highest highs to the lowest lows. Truly, this was a week of movie choices that would make the most sober critic feel a bit tetched.
Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-
97. The Evil Within (2017)
The 15-year long project of first-time director Andrew Getty, who sadly passed away before its completion, The Evil Within tells the story of a mentally challenged boy who begins to see visions in his dreams and his own image in a mirror in his room, telling him to kill. Clearly the work of passion, albeit entirely misguided in approach, The Evil Within is one of the most hilariously bad movies I’ve ever seen, standing strong against the likes of Dangerous Men, Fateful Findings, and Miami Connection.
98. Amazing Grace (2006)
In England during the late 1700s-early 1800s Parliamentary Minister William Wilberforce fought a years-long political fight to end the slave trade. Ioan Gruffudd plays Wilberforce with passion and strength, as a man who is driven to the very brink physically due to his beliefs. His performance is what bolsters the film and elevates it beyond stock historical drama. Perhaps more time could have been taken with the secondary characters, such as Olaudah Equiano, a freed slave whose writings contributed greatly to the anti-slavery movement in England. Ultimately, though, this film is the story of Wilberforce, and it pays due tribute to this important figure.
99. Tickled (2016)
This documentary follows a New Zealand Journalist on his long and strange road into the world of Competitive Endurance Tickling, or so that’s how it begins… But when he begins to receive legal threats and personal attacks from the person who ostensibly runs the organization, he is compelled to dig deeper into its background. The twists and turns in this story are truly compelling, as a strange mystery turns into a layered conspiracy.
100. Alamo: 13 Days to Glory (1987)
This made-for-TV film about the battle of the Alamo is much like the 1960s John Wayne film and the 2004 Billy Bob Thornton vehicle, in that it highlights just how spectacularly twisted the history behind it is, focusing on the legend of its principle characters, while skirting any substantial issues. Oddly though, this version is probably the most interesting, if only to see a young Alec Baldwin act against weathered screen veterans James Arness & Brian Keith. For history movie completists only.
101. The Compleat Al (1985)
This Mockumentary chronicles Weird Al’s rise to fame as the king of parody in the early 1980s, blending real and fake facts about his life with music videos and interviews. Co-directed by the director of UHF, much of the humor feels drawn out from the same pool. Perhaps Al’s brand of humor is best summarized by the title of the music video that closes this film: “Dare to be stupid”.
102. Hoop Dreams (1994)
This documentary follows two high school kids from the South Side of Chicago who have eyes on a future NBA career. Hoop Dreams explores the social and cultural dichotomy between the working class kids and the big-name private schools that try to recruit them. The pressures pull them one way or the other between academics, sports, and troubles at home, all in the name of playing a game.