Another week (ish), another round-up of ten films I’ve watched. My challenge is almost over, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life… In the meantime, though, you can follow me on Letterboxd to see what I’m watching and the ratings I give these films!
DAY 334 – THE BABYSITTER (2017)
A pleasant surprise, The Babysitter is a fun ride of a horror film. The story is centered on a boy named Cole (Judah Lewis), who is bullied for still having a babysitter (albeit a very beautiful one). He’s dared one night to spy on Bee (Samara Weaving) after he goes to “sleep” to see what she does when he’s not awake. What he finds puts his life in risk.
This is a funny, gory, action-packed film with good performances from its attractive cast (including Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, and Hana Mae Lee). It’s not scary, but it’s a hell of a ride that I highly recommend you check out. Plus, it has one of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard in a film: “What kind of dick shoots a girl in the boob?!”.
DAY 335 – SULLY (2016)
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart, Sully is based on the true story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his miraculous emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009. The film follows Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Eckhart) as they face a media firestorm after the event and an investigation into their actions. Tom Hanks is great as always, and Eckhart is strong. The supporting turns from Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, and Mike O’ Malley are also great, and I thought this was a respectful account of this incredible event. Sure, some of the film felt rushed, but it packs an emotional wallop and is beautifully shot.
DAY 336 – EUROPA REPORT (2013)
I love horror, I love science fiction, and I love both Michael Nyqvist (Rest in Peace) and Sharlto Copley, but this movie is boring as shit. Neither scary nor fascinating as a work of sci-fi, this is tedious slog of a film. The acting is great and the cinematography is good, but the effects are iffy at best and the story is abysmal. Don’t put yourself through this.
DAY 337 – 1922 (2017)
The latest Stephen King film adaptation, 1922 stars Thomas Jane (in his third King adaptation) as a husband and father who is struggling to provide for his family. He soon commits a horrific deed that haunts him for the rest of his life. The acting is great, and this is a handsome film, but it’s so slow that it becomes boring at points. There are some genuinely great scenes, but it takes so long to get to them that some viewers will check out before they get to witness them. I feel like this story had so much potential to be great, but it’s just meh.
DAY 338 – INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956)
A film that holds up surprisingly well today, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic for a reason. An intriguing story, great performances from the cast, and effects that were advanced for the time, this is a film that you need to watch if you’re a film buff.
DAY 339 – CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984)
I went into this expecting a cheesy horror film. It definitely is at points, but it’s also pleasantly unnerving and holds up today (for the most part). A chilling story about a town run by murderous children, Children of the Corn contains themes of religion, family, and the lengths we’ll go to to protect our beliefs and the ones we love. The effects are good, besides an iffy scene near the end of the movie, and Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, and John Franklin turn in good performances. Some of the other actors fall flat, but when a film is this fun, that can be forgiven. An unexpected Halloween treat.
DAY 340 – ADAPTATION. (2003)
A brilliant, meta film from Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, Adaptation. takes place after Being John Malkovich has entered production. Charlie (a brilliant Nicolas Cage) is trying to write his next screenplay, an adaptation of a book called The Orchid Thief. As the film progresses, we see him struggle to flesh out the main character of the book, and the movie also chronicles the author of the book, Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), as she’s gathering information to write the novel. Sounds really confusing, right? In the hands of another director and screenwriter, this could have been a disaster, but Jonze and Kaufman embraced the eccentricities of the story and ran with it, resulting in an exemplary film that portrays the human condition and shows how we’re all equal, no matter our circumstances. An astounding work.
DAY 341 – SAW V (2008)
I finally hopped back on the Saw train, and this entry is just meh. Of course it has extremely gory traps and kills, but the story is on the weaker side and some of the actors feel like they’re phoning in their lines. Still, it’s a fun time-killer (no pun intended).
DAY 342 – PERSONAL SHOPPER (2017)
This is a divisive film, and for good reason. Personal Shopper is a ghost story, a drama, and a thriller all wrapped in one ambiguous package. I fucking loved it. Kristen Stewart is phenomenal as Maureen, a personal shopper living in France who also happens to be a medium. She desperately wants to communicate with her dead twin brother, but she also has to contend with a mysterious person/entity sending her sometimes suggestive, sometimes threatening text messages. I loved how Personal Shopper explored the themes of family, grief, sexuality, and finding yourself, and Olivier Assayas has an eye for beautiful cinematography. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a film that takes a risk and isn’t afraid to alienate some viewers.
DAY 343 – SAW VI (2009)
After a mediocre turn from the fifth Saw movie, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this film was one of the better installments in the long-running franchise (and how did I not realize that Scott Patterson was in this series BEFORE this movie?!). A fun, gory movie with plenty of twists and turns, and good turns from Peter Outerbridge, Betsy Russell, and Costas Mandylor, this is one of my favorite entries.