Ken’s Movie Diary 2017 – Week 16

Weekly Update: Yet another mix of the new and the old.

Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-

132. Free Fire (2017)

Director Ben Wheatley’s tense thriller is set in a dingy warehouse in 1970s Boston. Two groups of criminals are meeting for a gun deal. Something goes horribly wrong, and the two sides are forced into a fight for their lives against each other. What makes Free Fire so entertaining isn’t the macho badass qualities of gunfighting; quite the opposite, the film is all about watching the increasingly poor decisions of people in way over their heads. Full of style and humorous irony, Free Fire is a joyously dark comedy for those of a certain sensibility.

133. The Lost City of Z (2017)

Explorer Percy Fawcett believed he made a major historic discovery in the Bolivian rain forest in the early 1900s. That deep in the jungle were the remnants of a complex and long lost civilization that may have dated back as far as European history. To prove his much-maligned views, he journeyed back on several occasions and eventually disappeared forever. This film adapts Fawcett’s journeys with an visual style and pace bringing back memories of Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Apocalypse Now, and other similarly themed adventure stories. Sharply written and impeccably acted, The Lost City of Z is a thrill for those who long for a return to the more contemplative pace long left behind by the fast-cutting styles of modern cinema.

134. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

A classic adventure story about a group of three prospectors who discover gold in the hills of Mexico, and battle bandits and themselves to keep their fortune.  As a tale of morality, greed, and corruption, few movies have portrayed these themes more powerfully.

135. The Devil’s Candy (2017)

A Heavy Metal nightmare come alive. The Devil’s Candy is sort of what you’d imagine Rob Zombie might make if he had the capability to restrain himself and tell a coherent story.

136. Cry, The Beloved Country (1951)

Years ahead of its time, Cry the Beloved Country was shot in South Africa on the sly, with black actors Sidney Poitier and Canada Lee effectively smuggled in-country. Director Zoltan Korda managed to make a film directly attacking the race policies of Apartheid while never feeling overly preachy or exploitative.  While the 1995 remake with James Earl Jones in the lead is certainly a worthwhile film, this original feels incredibly progressive and advanced for the time it was made.

137. Inchon (1981)

A gigantic critical and financial disaster at the time of its release, funded almost entirely by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.  Inchon attempts to portray the story of the military victory that saved South Korea from disaster, thanks to the planning of General Douglas MacArthur. The film’s chief flaw is the dialogue, which brings back memories of other such stilted messes of war epics as Tora Tora Tora and Midway. Sir Laurence Olivier is hilariously over the top as MacArthur, but sadly the movie is ultimately not nearly comical enough to recommend as a “So bad its good” film. The film is noteworthy only for its hard-to-find nature, having never been released on VHS, DVD, or any other physical medium.

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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