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The X Files (1998)
I don't watch X-Files on a regular basis but the reviews here and elsewhere say that it's not a problem. Sorry, but it is. Both my girlfriend and I are reasonably intelligent and cinema literate, but we both came out of the cinema, gave each other blank looks and shouted "What the Hell was THAT all about?"
Everything was going smoothly until the meeting of obviously very important and powerful people in London. After that, poof! Even the 'explanation' given to Mulder in the car didn't help and we were hanging on every word. Utterly baffling.
The final scenes in Antartica also challenged my ability to suspend disbelief. Aliens etc I can handle but Mulder being shot in the head and then apparently going without sleep for 4 days I can not. And how DID Mulder get an unconcious Scully dressed (with clothes obtained from I know not where) and up a 60ft ice cute whilst being chased by aliens?
Grim but Absolutely Captivating
One of the defining films of my life. Very few films have come so close to accurately portraying Northern, English, Working Class life. Anyone from outside of this kind of community may find it grim and not appreciate the all the references. As someone who grew up at the same time and in a similar environment as the film then all I can see is the wit, spirit and sensitivity displayed in the face of individual and institutionalised brutality.
David Bradley as Billy is superb and even more amazing is the fact he did nothing before or since this film. All of the incidental characters are played by local residents - unfortunately this is sometimes clearly obvious. The football match however is, in my opinion, a classic cinematic moment.
The film has become even more poignant since many similar communities have since been devastated by the Thatcherite induced collapse of Britain's industrial base.
All in all a exceeding moving, funny, honest and captivating account of a young boy's life in a sometimes hostile, sometimes beautiful environment.
Forrest Gump (1994)
Insidious, Offensive Claptrap
For those of us who do not subscribe to the conservative, Mom's Apple Pie, American Dream twaddle that this film propagates (i.e. Most of the World) then this film is patronising and annoying at best, insidious and offensive at worst. Lets look at the main messages in this film shall we:
1) Even if you are a simpleton, don't worry. Tow the line, do as you're told, don't question war, injustice, corruption, exploitation etc and America will reward you. Remember, if you do want to say anything of worth, make sure the microphone isn't working. 2) Question authority and you will die of AIDS (but lets not mention Homo***uality)
All in all a propaganda movie mourning the passing of the 1950's Anglo-White Middle Class America whose myth died with Eisenhower. "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates"? No I don't think it is really is it?. And as for one reviewer comparing it to Schindler's List - you should be ashamed of yourself. I wonder how Forrest would have danced around the Holocaust? Probably thinks it's a caramel cup.