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Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
A Brilliant Story brilliantly told
No capes. No rubber suits. No endless and pointless montages of citywide destruction. No teaser at the end for the inevitable sequel. Just a fantastic story, adapted into an excellent screenplay, wonderfully acted and well directed. The Edge of Tomorrow was, in my opinion, the best film of the year so far. Tom Cruise is pretty much the only Big Movie Star who is doing what big movie stars are supposed to do - finding great stories and using their charisma and talent and fan base to get those stories told. And he is great in this, likable, funny, physical and convincing. In short, everything a big movie star should be. I won't go into the story, as I feel it's best discovered as you go along - but I absolutely recommend that people should see this film, and support original and clever film making.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Director's Best Cut
I just caught up with Butterfly Effect on DVD and I was blown away. The controversial ending literally gave me goose bumps. I would absolutely urge everybody - SEE THE DIRECTOR'S CUT. I haven't seen the other cuts, admittedly, but this ending is absolutely PERFECT - heartbreaking, sincere, edgy, brave film making.
It's SUCH a shame that the producers, or New Line, or whoever balked at releasing the Director's Cut when it was first in theaters. If they had I'm 100 percent positive they would now be sitting on a movie that at the very least had acquired a cult reputation as big as a certain Mr. Darko's...
Thank God for the format of DVD. Now we can see what the film makers intended, and how brilliantly they worked towards one of the most fitting endings I've EVER seen to a film.
Kudos to all concerned, to Bress and MacGruber, to Ashton Kutcher (who overcame all my previous fears about his involvement), to Amy Smart (heartrendingly good in all her character's incarnations) and to Melora Walters, confirming the promise that P T Anderson showed.
A wonderful movie, 10 out of 10. Check it out, but my advice is to steer clear of the alternate endings, see the Director's Cut for harsh, unadulterated excellence.
The Best Film Ever Made
Jaws is the best film ever made. It's that simple. It's the best use a movie camera has ever been put to. Steven Spielberg is a genius and that's just a fact.
Everyone knows the shoot was chaotic, the script constantly in flux, the actors unsure of themselves and the crew seasick. Everyone knows the robotic shark frequently sank. And none of it, in the end, mattered because Jaws is the best film ever made and it's that simple.
It's the film that made me want to make films and it's the film I've watched more times than any other. I can still remember my Mum constantly reassuring my brother that "It's only a film" when we first saw it on a Friday night on TV (probably it's UK network debut as my brother and I were very young). I've never forgotten it, the pure power of cinema in the hands of a genius really hitting his stride for the first time in his career.
Miracle Mile (1988)
This is the film I bring up in conversation with my film-loving mates, whenever the topic turns to "great films that deserve to be seen". Miracle Mile is a film my friends and I rented on a whim, with a bunch of others, for a VHS-watching marathon when we were kids. And it just blew us away (no pun intended). Without any idea where the story was going (so I'll avoid any spoilers here) we just sat and watched in silence and when the movie ended, well, the silence lingered on for a long time.
It is a shocking, brilliant film. Some of the production and costume design has dated since the 80's but somehow that adds well to the surreal aspect of the story. The themes of the story are absolutely timeless.
It's a beautiful film, so powerful, so well made and well acted.
I bought the DVD of Lucky after reading about it on a horror film site I stumbled across. I just watched it and was very, very impressed. Other comments accusing the film of misogyny are, in my view, misguided. Every abuse and sadistic scene is set up in such a way that, well, I'll abide by the SPOILER warning and not spell it out here, but if you watch the film (and I strongly recommend you do) then you'll see what I mean. All in all I felt this was excellent story telling, really communicating the inherently terrifying concept of what it would FEEL like to lose your mind. That (in answer to some of the previous comments) is what makes it a horror film, and a damn effective one at that. Congratulations to the guys who made it and I'll be sure to check out anything else that the writer and director make in the future.