Amadeus

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum.

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Amadeus is the story of two creative geniuses whose overlapping passions forge one of the most interesting and engrossing cinematic rivalries I’ve ever seen – not a result of circumstance or even history, but rather the work of F. Murray Abraham’s Antonio Salieri and Tom Hulce’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Continue reading “Amadeus”

Rush

The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

When Rush was first released, I remember seeing a series of gifs, comparing the critical moments of Niki Lauda’s infamous crash in 1976 to the cinematic recreation in the Ron Howard film. To say that it was near-identical is to sum up Rush – its dedication to accuracy is both one of its strongest qualities, and its only downfall. Continue reading “Rush”

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”

12 Years a Slave

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Knocking Schindler’s List from the top spot in the category, “Fantastic Films I Fucking Hate” is 12 Years a Slave. Before I’ve even put the film in my DVD player, it’s reminding me via an insert signed by director Steve McQueen that 21 million people are still in slavery today. Combined with the real-world racial tensions in certain areas of the United States, plus that whole Confederate flag thing that I can’t weigh in on because of my being English and out of touch, 12 Years a Slave is all the more poignant. Continue reading “12 Years a Slave”

The Elephant Man

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

The Elephant Man isn’t a feel-good movie. I’ve never seen a David Lynch film before, but I had expectations. I understood him to be rather surreal, and perhaps a little bleak. My suspicions were confirmed in The Elephant Man. Continue reading “The Elephant Man”

Papillon

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Papillon did something that’s very difficult – it made me root for its lead character right from the very start. Unfortunately, it was only because I so desperately wanted him to successfully escape so the movie could be over. Continue reading “Papillon”

Schindler’s List

In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

I dare not suggest that Schindler’s List isn’t a perfect film, for fear of being labeled insensitive. Fortunately, it’s absolutely one of the greatest films ever made, because unfortunately, it’s horrible and I fucking hate it. Continue reading “Schindler’s List”