Foreign Films: By Elise Sweeney
Welcome To The Sticks / Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis (2008)
This is a great French comedy about a postman who gets demoted to a position in an isolated town in Northern France. This lovely, light-hearted film follows the character as he learns to love his new home and the people who live there. As the comedy often relies on cultural misconceptions and differences in regional accents in France, it could have been a disaster once translated, but the subtitles are very well written, and succeed in translating the essence and humour of every line. Although a bit formulaic, the self-deprecating humour and actors are good, and it’s a great piece of light entertainment that is easy to enjoy.
Available on SBS On Demand, iTunes
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night / A Garota Que Anda à Noite (2014)
An Iranian movie filmed entirely in black and white. This is a minimalist story, set in the eerily deserted “Bad City”, where a mysterious vampire lurks the streets to prey on men who disrespect women, and where a cool pop soundtrack and a ditch full of bodies can occur in the same moment. With influences from all sorts of genres, striking characters that make you want to know more, and a quietly unsettling nature, this is a film that you won’t forget easily. If you don’t like the sound of that, watch it for the incredibly beautiful cinematography that had me not wanting to miss even one frame. This film might end up seeming pretentious to some, but just know that you’ve never seen anything like this before.
Available on Netflix, iTunes
Animated films: By Claire-Louise McCann
At first glance, Zootopia may seem like your usual cute and fluffy kids movie for the school holidays. Cute bunny cop enlists the help of sneaky fox con artist to figure out what’s happening to some missing mammals. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find a sharp commentary about how different groups in society share space and work together, and how you don’t have to be outwardly bigoted to be prejudiced. An endearing movie that will make you think.
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
What do you think your pet does all day while you’re gone? Chances are it’s nothing like you thought. When Jack Russell Terrier Max and mutt Doug lose their owner and accidentally join a gang of mistreated animals called ‘The Flushed Pets’, chaos ensues. A light and funny movie with occasional toilet humour that will make you laugh and if you’re anything like me, run home and apologise to your pet for leaving them alone all day.
Classic Films: By Andrew Grey
Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
So, I’m sure you know of this movie. If you haven’t seen it, you would have heard/seen parts of this movie spread out within the DNA of popular culture, i.e. The Simpsons, American Horror Story. So, the story. Marion Crane steals $40,000 from her employer so she can marry her lover, Sam. While on the road she gets lost and decides to stay at the Bates Motel. While there Marion decides to return the money. Cue shower sequence.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story for those that haven’t seen it. Released in black and white, Psycho is suspenseful, a masterpiece of cinema (soz Citizen Kane). Starring Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, and Vera Miles, Psycho is one of the best movies you will ever see in your life. Yes, it is Empire Strikes Back good.
My Fair Lady (1964, dir. George Cukor)
My Fair Lady tells the story of a man, Henry Higgins, who thinks it’s possible to take a young cockney girl, Eliza Doolittle and pass her off as a Duchess. The film shows Eliza Doolittle and Higgins practicing, and Higgins’ success. There is also a romance thrown in for good measure.
Released in technicolour, My Fair Lady is a film that is, essentially, perfect. Some parts of the film don’t quite translate to 21st century views towards women, but Audrey Hepburn (snubbed for even a nomination for Best Actress) defines grace and elegance and gives a wonderful performance. Also starring Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady is a must see.
Logan. A Beautiful farewell: By Ethan Woodward
As a child raised with superhero movies it saddened me to hear that Logan would be the last movie in the X-men franchise starring Hugh Jackman. But to my delight, Logan is the best movie in the series so far.
In 2029, Wolverine has a greying beard, a limp, and as demonstrated by the first encounter with a street gang in his limo, diminishing powers. It would seem that mutants, the leap in evolution, are no longer being born. Their leader Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is afflicted with terrible seizures. And Logan’s dream of a happy ending failing to materialise.
This is when young Laura (Dafne Keen) enters the picture in a blaze, being hunted by a corporate mercenary, Pierce (Boyd Hallbrook), who is demanding her return. Created in a lab, Laura possesses all of Wolverine’s mutant powers including his rage. The film boasts a series of incredibly compelling action sequences, but beyond all the gore, there is sadness knowing this is the only life Laura has experienced.
The filmmakers aren’t trying to match the scope or scale of The Avengers with this film. Logan is an intimate film for the most part and Keen pushes Jackman to delve into the depths of Logan’s tortured mind, as moments of joyous asylum turn to tragedy. Logan is on par with Nolan when he was helming the Dark Knight series. Logan is a movie for fans of the superhero genre who have lost hope in it. Logan is about the passing of an era in film, but also the solace in a new beginning.
TL;DR. By far the best movie in the X-men franchise I highly recommend you see it.