It’s that time again! Here is a round up of my favorite films I watched (for the first time) in the month of June.
Bugsy Malone (1976)
Bugsy Malone is quite well known in the film loving circles I run in. It’s one of those movies I knew I’d love even before I popped in the DVD. What shocked me is how much I enjoyed it. The kids in the film (if you don’t know, the cast is comprised solely of children) are adorable, and in the case of Jody Foster, super talented. For me, what kept it interesting and elevated it beyond a cutesy flick filled with kids is the Paul Williams score. The final song, “You Give A Little Love,” made me burst into tears. Without fail, that man can string together the perfect combination of words to make me weep. If you haven’t seen this, I recommend it. It is much more than a kid’s movie.
Superman II (1980)
Is it possible I like this one more than the original? No… Well… It’s certainly close. The 2nd installment of Reeve as Superman is fun and MUCH goofier than the 1st. I love that man. He is so handsome and truly captures everything I love about the DC hero. Honestly, I don’t typically like Superman. But these films (at least the first 2) present the Man of Steel as an interesting, dynamic character. I wish I had seen them as a kid.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
I’m and X-Men fangirl. When I was little I used to dream of a live action film. In fact, I used to sit around and try to cast all my favorite characters (there was no hope for me!). At the time of its release, I enjoyed the first X-Men film. Upon subsequent re-watches… Not so much. So being able to watch an X-Men movie, as an adult, and love it, is a huge deal for me. This isn’t just a good superhero movie, it’s a good movie period. I place a lot of that onto Fassbender. He was phenomenal in the Magneto role and is easily my favorite part of the film. There are just so many things they did right. Obviously, it isn’t a perfect film, but it’s closer than I could have ever dreamt. The story is solid and pacey. The acting is (mostly) good. The introduction of lesser known or previously unused characters is thrilling (Havok!) I can’t wait to own this on blu.
The Lives of Others (2006)
This is a German film that I had actually never heard of (even though it won an Academy Award). It came up in the Girls on Film podcast queue and that’s how it ended up on my radar. And I’m certainly glad it did. Set in the mid 80s, the film follows a member of the Stasi as he bugs a prominent German playwright’s home. This is a very political film and it’s deeply affecting to see the fear that many German citizens lived with during this time. While I found the depictions of everyday life powerful and well communicated, what really got to me was the relationship between the man doing surveillance and the man being, um, surveilled. I mentioned it on the podcast (GoF Radio episode 25) that this would make a tremendous double bill with The Conversation. For me, the similarities between the 2 are striking and fascinating.
Super 8 (2011)
Both my theater visits landed on the top 5. This is not a perfect movie. I’ve heard all the complaints and I get why people have so many issues with it. I simply don’t. The monster didn’t bother me. I didn’t find train crash unnecessary. And I did get emotionally involved. This was certainly no E.T. But then again, it wasn’t trying to be. Sure, I suppose you’re supposed to feel some kind of empathy for the alien. But it was eating people, so I don’t think the filmmakers had any real E.T. illusions. Admittedly, there are many places this one fell short. It simply comes down to the fact that I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t care. Everyone is saying how wonderful the kids were and how cool all the models and movie posters and Eerie magazine covers in their rooms are. That was enough for me to make it all work. I was this film’s target audience.
I’m hoping next month Captain America will be on this list. I’m so excited; it’s one of my most anticipated Summer films! What are you looking forward to? Or, what’s disappointed you thus far?