Friday, January 31, 2014

5 Things that British People Love to see in Films

5 Things that British People Love to See in Films

By: A. Aleister Sirrat

    Hello mates, Sirrat in the Hat here bringing you another Top 5.  You know, being of British origin (I’m from Belfast but I was born in Manchester in case I never mentioned that before), I kind of feel that our films have a more sophisticated and refine look then our American Counterparts.  That isn’t to say that, American Film Studios aren’t good at what they do.  Hell my favorite film—“The Godfather Part II”—was made in America, but I am also very proud of the films that have been put out by British Film Studios.  However, I seem to notice a things and trends that seem to appear in many British films so here I am today presenting a list of 5 Things That British People Love to See in Films.

5.)  Zombies

Run, run as fast you can
It seems we Brits love Zombies just as much as Americans do.  Some of the world’s most beloved Zombie films, such as “28 Days Later”, “28 Weeks Later”, and “Shaun of the Dead” have all been filmed in England.  Not to mention a slew of others.  However, if you ask someone like my dear friend “Das Film Junkie” he would argue (or complain I should say), that the creatures in the “28 Days…” films are mutants because they were transformed by a virus (something that’s manmade) and therefore cannot be classified as zombies, because real zombies are the result of a curse or hex and were resurrected from the dead and are not caused by an infection.  Also, he goes into a blinding rage every time he sees “running zombies”. Well nonetheless, we Brits love our undead zombies, and find them to be rather enjoyable even though some of them are quite frightening.

4.)  Aliens

Even more loved by the Brits then zombies, aliens have always had a unique fondness and appreciation for aliens (I think Doctor Who has something to do with it).  With popular films such as the “Alien” Franchise (including “Prometheus”) , “Attack the Block”, “Storage 24”,  yeah there’s no doubt about it that us Brits love seeing those little green mean from outer space in films.  We tend to be more afraid of aliens in films because they tend to be more intelligent more vicious then most humans, I also because I believe that because we know less about them—as opposed to zombies—that’s what makes aliens more terrifying.  Whether you believe they exist or not is totally up to you, but one thing is for certain: if aliens do exist they are in for the fight of their lives if they come to face the people of Great Britain. 

3.)  Big Guns

    Despite popular misconceptions there are guns in Great Britain. They just are just more restrictions and bans on certain types of guns, but we do have them.  I mean look at films like “Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels”, “Snatch”, “Gangster No. 1”, “Get Carter”, “Essex Boys”, those are some big freaking guns that those guys are toting.  Even James bond uses him, but we’ll talk about him later.  There’s nothing more that I like as British male then to watch a Jason Statham, or a Vinne Jones, or a Jason Flemyng walking on scene with a big ‘effing gun and they’re locked, loaded, and ready to kick some a$$. 

Say hello to my not so little friend
2.)  History

God save the Queen
The people of Great Britain are a proud people.  We’re proud of our heritage.  With so many important and notable people from History, we Brits love any film that has to do with our history.  From the Academy Award Winning films like “The Kings Speech”, “War Horse”, and “The Pianist” to the biographical films such as “The Iron Lady”, “Chaplin”, and “The Queen”.  Even lesser known Independent films, like “This is England” are popular amongst the British people and show the great power and might of her empire. The History of Great Britain is a fascinating history, and continues to make for great stories for great films.

1.)  James Bond

    Bond.  James Bond.  He was popular British literary character before he made his first appearance in a film over 50 years ago.  Since his first film, James Bond has been played by many great British actors such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig (but for some reason or another no one ever thought that Michael Caine would make a great James Bond).  Can you imagine all the cool and amazing things if you could ever get your hands on any of his gadgets?  Not to mention he has shagged some of the finest ladies in the world.  There’s no doubt about it, James Bond is the Greatest Fictional British Hero of All-Time, and he will probably be around as long as there is British Empire.

     Now with all that being said, I think it’s high time that British Film Studios go to work on the Greatest British Film ever made, and I think it should go a little something like this.  Aliens land down in London during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth and begin to resurrect the dead and it’s up to James Bond to stop the aliens in a big blazing gun fight.  Find some way to incorporate Jason Statham into the plot and you will have the Most Popular and Beloved film in British History.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

5 awesome films that (almost) nobody has heard of before (PART I)

5 Films that almost nobody has heard of that will make you feel smart and cultured just by watching them.

By: Brian Cotnoir

     Hello friends, Das Film Junkie here, sorry it’s been a while since I posted anything, but I’m here now and I’m ready to make it up to all of you, starting now.  Have you ever been in a situation where you’re surrounded by a bunch of people talking about their favorite films and how “brilliant”, and “original”, and “ground breaking” they are, and you’re just sitting there to yourself thinking “the latest ‘Hunger Games’ film was pretty bad-a$$ if you ask me” .  Have you ever been afraid that people would judge you because of your taste in films or because you haven’t seen certain films?  Do you feel dumb because you’ve watched “Spring Breakers” on DVD like 27 times?  It’s all right if you have, because not everyone can be a film aficionado like, yours truly.  But today, I am here to recommend 5 films that almost nobody has heard of that will make you feel smart and cultured just by watching them.  And just to make sure we broaden your horizons, I am picking 5 films from five separate countries, so enjoy, and if you haven’t seen any of these films, yet I seriously recommend that you do.

1.) Cashback

“Cashback” was originally 20 minute film that was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short film in 2004.  Two years later the films writer and director expanded that film into a feature length production. This was the debut film for writer and director Sean Ellis, and manages to combine stunning visuals and an interesting—all be it a melancholy—story of love, art, heartbreak, and fantastic adventure.  This was my favorite film in college and each time I watched it, I felt a little bit more intelligent.  This one of those films that every time you watch it you notice about a half-dozen things you didn’t notice the previous times you watched it.  Even though, the film does contain graphic nudity throughout, it’s quite tasteful, and is done entirely in the name of art.

2.) The Legend of 1900

This film comes to us all the way from Italy, but don’t worry folks this film is done entirely in English.  It’s the story of a man named “1900”, a man who was born and abandoned on an immigrant ship, The Virginia, on its way too America.  Little 1900 was raised by the crew of the ship as if he were their own.  He learned everything on the ship including how to read, walk, and play the piano.  It was on this ship that 1900 composed and played some of the most beautiful and astounding music that anyone had ever heard of. However, 1900 was only able to accomplish all of these amazing feats because he never once stepped off the ship. “The Legend of 1900” has a unique story, fun and likeable characters, drama, comedy, romance, and a stellar soundtrack.  If you watch this film for just one reason, it should be to hear the amazing music.  Trust me gentleman, you show this film to your girl on date night and she’ll be like putty in your hands.

3.)  The Living Wake

Who says that America is incapable of producing a film that’s witty, original, and artistic?  Well if anyone does say that it’s probably because they have never seen the wonderfully enjoyable dark comedy, “The Living Wake”.  “The Living Wake” is the story of an eccentric artist named K. Roth Binew (played by actor Mike O’Connell, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film).  K. Roth is told that he is to die of a “rare and unnamed terminal disease” and decides to make the last 24-hours of his life the grand finale performance of his life, by holding a “Living Wake” where people will have the opportunity to see and let him know why he was so great.  There are so many moments of comedic joy that range from the bright & happy to the dark & macabre.  Mike O’Connell is cinematic genius and more people should see “The Living Wake”.  The film also features actor Jesse Eisenberg (star of critically successful mainstream films “Zombieland” and “The Social Network”).

4.) I’m a Cyborg, but that’s okay

I am a member of the ever growing population that believes that all the best films today come from either Japan or South Korea.  “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s okay” was written and directed by Chan-wook Park (critically acclaimed writer and director of “Oldboy” and “Thirst”) and is one of the Best Foreign Films, I have ever seen.  Unlike, many of Park’s other films, which have darker themes and tones, “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s okay” is an enjoyable romantic comedy...that’s set in a mental hospital!  It’s the story of a girl named Young-goon who believes that she not a human, but a cyborg, so she is sent by her mother to live in a mental hospital.  The film largely focuses on Young-goons interactions with the other mental patients in the hospital, in particularly a romance that blossoms between her and kleptomaniac named Park Il-Sun (played by Korean Pop Star Bai Rain).  This film is comedic, it’s entertaining, it has heart, and it is just so enjoyable to watch.  You need to see this film, you just have too. 

5.) Kongen av Bastoy (The King of Devils Island)

“Kongen av Bastoy” is a semi-biographical film released in Norway and is the story of three young boys who were sent to the Bastoy Island Reform School for boys.  Bastoy is a Reform/work prison camp for young boys who have all been convicted of crimes.  The boys of Bastoy have many obstacles to deal with including harsh weather conditions, abusive staff members, and a Power-hungry Headmaster played by Stellan Skaasgaard (co-star in the “Thor” & “The Avengers” franchises).  Two of the boys eventually plot a daring escape from the Bastoy and they do it during a massive riot on the island where the Norwegian army is called in to stop the boys from completely taking over Bastoy Island.  This film is similar to a 2003 Swedish film called “Evil”, but if you ask me “Kongen av Bastoy” is much better film.