I’m usually not the big movie-goer. It’s kind of rare for me to catch a flick on a regular basis. However, this week I had the opportunity to catch three gut-wrenching, eye-opening, inspiring, and undeniably cool films that I passed up on previously mainly due to their obscure, hard-to-find nature here in our shores.
No Country For Old Men. Javier Bardem‘s Oscar-winning turn as Anton Chigurh was absolutely scary. It’s like this: imagine yourself being included in the film’s setting, then, imagine yourself encountering the unescapable Mr. Chigurh. Will you ever think of surviving that encounter? I answered that question, and the answer was no. Once you see that built-for-a-slaughterhouse Captive Bolt Pistol aimed at you, death is upon thee in a split-second.
Also notable in the film was the performance of Tommy Lee Jones, as the town sheriff awaiting retirement. As Ed Tom Bell, Jones portrayed a frustrated enforcer as even the supposed long arm of the law couldn’t solve the gruesome violence that prevailed in the West Texas region in the 1980’s.
Natural Born Killers. While No Country had their fair share of blood-splattering action, NBK (Quentin Tarantino wrote it, Oliver Stone directed it) packs the ultra-violent punch. Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory Knox (Juliette Lewis) is the 90’s Bonnie and Clyde, but compared to the revered ass-whooping couple, the Knox’s got the nation hooked, as they were glorified as media darlings being the most popular — and romantic — serial killers on the planet. Their popularity soared to new heights, so much so that they were actively pursued by obnoxious TV reporter, Wayne Gale (played by the incomparable Robert Downey Jr.).
The film, both loved and hated by critics, was a true 90’s movie gem. NBK was a satire on what was becoming a national pastime: violence, fame, and media obsession. The look and feel of the film, as well as the soundtrack (Thanks, Trent Reznor!), was very edgy, and if you’re into these kind of flicks, this is a cool one not to be missed.
This is England. Skinhead subculture. 1980’s. Dr. Marten’s Boots. Rolled-up, acid-wash denim. Ben Sherman button-downs. Ska and Punk music. White nationalists. To say that this is one of the most stylish, as well as one of the most racially-charged films in the past decade is an understatement. This is England took a story about a bullied 12 year-old kid, and surrounded it with a very original and very ballsy plot. Thomas Turgoose was spectacular in his role as Shaun, the foul-mouthed kid wanting acceptance and an oversized pair of boots. Critically-acclaimed was Stephen Graham, for his portrayal of ex-con/white nationalist Combo.
This is England is one of those cool rebel flicks of the 2000’s, but what separates it from the rest of the pack was the original story, written by it’s director Shane Meadows. A film worth catching, and definitely deserving of major style points!