Movies I saw in June

lobster4

1. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978): A classic kung Fu film about a young student who runs away from his oppressive village and swearing vengence on the regime who rules his people by becoming a master of Kung Fu in the legendary Shaolin temple. The film is an excellent Fung Fu film filled with some great action sequences, and I was fascinated with the philosophy it brought to the art of Kung Fu showing it less as a means for battle but more about discipline of the body and the spirit. However this doesn’t stop the film from becoming a well done action film in the end. 3.5 stars out of 4

2. Hello My Name is Doris (2016) The story of a women in her sixties who finds a new found freedom in her life after her mother who she has cared for all her life suddenly dies is very sweet, funny, and kind hearted. It follows the beats of this type of film very well, but it’s really the performance of Sally Field as Doris that makes this film very special. Field creates a full character that is lonely, shy, but also manipulative and a little misguided. She’s the main reason to see this film. 3 stars out of 4

3. Midnight Special (2016) The fourth film by director Jeff Nichols a truly unique voice in American film, and one of my favorites. His films are becoming highly anticipated for me. This film is a science fiction story involving a father on the run with his son who has special abilities. They are running away from both a religious cult who worship the boy, and the government who see him as a potential weapon. Although Nichols borrows from early Spielberg films and John Carpenter’s “Starman”, his way of telling this rather familiar type of story is very unique and strictly his own. I have a feeling Nichols will be a major player very soon. 4 stars out of 4

4. Love and Friendship (2016) Based on the Jane Austin novella “Lady Susan”, this tells the story of a recent widow played to witty perfection by Kate Beckinsale who is the bane of the existence of the family of her late husband. We watch with glee as she moves in with her in-laws and plays matchmaker to her daughter and herself as well in order to stave off poverty. Written and directed by Whit Stillman who fills it with the type of witty dialogue not really seen in films these days. The film is a wonderful comedy of manners. 4 stars out of 4

5. The Lobster (2016) The best film I’ve seen so far this year, this dark, dark, dark, comedy builds a wonderful world where people must find a mate or else they will be turned into an animal of their choosing. Colin Farrell stars as a hapless architect who’s wife suddenly leaves him so he checks himself into a place to find a mate in time. That is only the beginning as the film goes into unexpected territories. It’s a brilliant satire on how dating has turned into a thing where couples now feel like they are assigned to eachother rather than falling truly in love. This film goes to a lot of dark places, but it’s very touching, but also hilariously deadpan, with Farrell showing off his comic sensibility just as well as he did with his other great performance “In Bruges” along with star turns by John C. Reilly, Rachel Weiz, Ben Whishaw, and Lea Seydoux. It uses a highly inventive narrration, and I can’t wait to see this one again. 4 stars out of 4

 

 

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