Batman Begins

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from the corruption that Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

Did you know that Batman was created by Bob Kane? Of course you did. Everybody does. So why does Batman of all superheroes need an origin story? You know the hero – a pop culture icon. But Batman Begins isn’t an origin story for a superhero. It’s an introduction to one of the most iconic mythologies of the twentieth century. Continue reading “Batman Begins”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Random thoughts for Valentine’s Day 2017. I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind today. Remember that you probably won’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Then again, if you let it go, did you really appreciate it in the first place? Continue reading “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron’s army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Late in 2015, having gone on and on about the importance of The Lord of the Rings films to me, I decided to read the books. I’ll be the first to admit I wouldn’t have picked them up, let alone finished them if it wasn’t for the films. But now that I’ve experienced both, it’s clear to see the differences between them. Continue reading “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

Monsters, Inc.

To power their city, the monsters of Monstropolis scare children so that they scream. But when a “toxic” child gets through, two monsters realise things may not be what they seem.

In 2001, when I was nine, I’d already been writing stories for fun for as long as I’d been able. But Monsters, Inc. and Pixar’s wonderful approach to storytelling proved to be one of my earliest wake-up calls: I needed to do something creative with my life, and I needed to tell stories. Continue reading “Monsters, Inc.”

Inglourious Basterds

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.

Inglourious Basterds has its indulgences. But when Tarantino is described as masturbatory, I argue: this is a man who has loved movies all his life – a passionate authority on 20th century cinema. Countless homages across his entire filmography illustrate a love of film, and a love of sharing it. He’s not masturbating. If anything, he’s hosting an orgy, and we’re all invited. Continue reading “Inglourious Basterds”

Oldboy

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

A month ago, I started this film. It was a hungover Sunday evening. Normally I’m smarter than to expect comfort from an unfamiliar film. If you’ve seen Oldboy, you’ll understand why I got all claustrophobic and anxious and had to turn it off. Continue reading “Oldboy”

There Will Be Blood

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

There Will Be Blood was one of only 69 films I’d seen of the Top 250 before I started this project (one year ago today). It was not a prominent member of that exclusive club, and I am a fool for overlooking its brilliance the first time. There Will Be Blood is, upon second viewing, and without overstating it, this is just my opinion… Here we go… An absolute masterpiece of cinema. Continue reading “There Will Be Blood”

The Lives of Others

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

I feel like I’m always dropping the fact I was born in 1992, but here’s another opportunity: The Lives of Others made real something I considered very much in the past. In 1989, three years before I was born, the Berlin Wall fell. Like an ignorant moron, the way I contextualise that is: that’s the same year Back to the Future Part II came out. Continue reading “The Lives of Others”

Memento

A man creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle.

One of my favourite things about the way Nolan makes films is his often-jumpy, erratic editing that can take you from one place to another in an instant. I didn’t notice it until Inception, as it’s explained by DiCaprio’s character to Ellen Page as they have lunch together. “How do you think you got here?” It what makes the film troubling and mysterious long after it ends. I think Inception is the film Nolan will never top – the perfect vessel for his style, and certainly his masterpiece. But Memento, with a similarly stunted and severed narrative, serves as an excellent insight into the way Nolan continues to make films. Continue reading “Memento”

Into the Wild

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness.

Chris McCandless decides he’s not destined to live by proxy any longer. Disillusioned by a world of “things”, where people, he judges, are unnecessarily cruel to one another, he decides to leave for a destination of his own choosing – freedom. For 140 minutes, we’re along for the journey, although it’s anything but an adventure. Continue reading “Into the Wild”