Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of animals. Oh wait, damned Wikipedia brought up the wrong milk! Milk is the true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in California who was assassinated in 1978.
What Tierna thinks: “The story follows a successful, openly gay politician who lives what becomes a pretty tragic and lonely life. Yet, he’s someone a lot of people live up to. It’s not a groundbreaking film but it’s a good watch. I’ll give this one a seven out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “Yeah pretty good film this. Have to say I’m not overly familiar with 1970s San Francisco politics so I didn’t really know what was going to happen… certainly the end was a surprise and I couldn’t believe it was true until I read the actual story online. Too much sugar indeed! I’ll also give it a seven out of ten.”
Up next: The Constant Gardner
54. Bad Santa
What makes a Santa bad? When he’s a miserable alcoholic who curses non-stop, pisses himself whilst at work, has a penchant for plus-size ladies and robs department stores every Christmas with his black dwarf accomplice.
What Tierna thinks: “I really enjoyed this one. The kid actor was absolutely hilarious and in my opinion, he made the film that extra bit funny. “Want me to fix you some sandwiches?!” Bad Santa was a horrible individual, yet slightly endearing towards the end. Great film, made me laugh and although I’m making a habit of this I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “Always good to get into the Christmas spirit… in September! Bad Santa is my kind of Xmas film, good dark humour and enough heart without being schmaltzy. The recent ‘Bad Teacher’ showed just how hard it can be to get this kind of comedy right and Billy-Bob Thornton is perfect in the lead role. It’s always hard to rate these films, its not a classic film per se but is a very entertaining film. Hmm, I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
Up next: Milk
The true-life story of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, a notorious Australian gangster turned best-selling author, following his time both in and out of prison from the 1970s to 1990s.
What Tierna thinks: “This was generally quite grotesque and more than a little bit psychotic. It was a good film though, putting my issues with blood aside I actually found it amusing in parts. It’s a scary thought that it’s based on a true story and it was interesting to see the real chopper on the commentary! While it’s not something I’ll ever want to watch again I can see that it’s a good film and it was pretty entertaining so I’ll give this an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “Really glad to see Chopper on the list, it’s a film I had seen a good few times before (and own on DVD!) and love. Eric Bana is amazing as Mark Read… just check out the real Chopper on the DVD extras and the performance is uncanny. He’s the kind of guy you’d love to share a pint with but you would be waiting for him just to pull his shotgun on you for asking him to repeat himself or something! Really good film, well worth an eight out of ten.”
Up next: Bad Santa
Volver is a Spanish film about Raimunda, her daughter Paula and her sister Sole. While Raimunda tries tries to deal with the dead body of her husband, who tried to sexually assault Paula, Sole must also figure out how to deal with the apparent resurrection of her dead mother.
What Tierna thinks: “I had watched this before but I enjoyed it more this time around. It was definitely one of the best of our foreign films so far. It’s a typically Spanish film; an element of the after life colliding with the living. The storyline was gripping and often unexpected although some of the story is quite common to many Spanish films I’ve watched. A good film and I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “We’ve had quite a few slow and boring foreign films on this list (as well as quite a few awesome ones I may add) and this was a prime candidate to be another. Alas, it was not and is a pretty entertaining movie. The story of the mother leaves the viewer guessing through most of the film – is she dead or isn’t she – and all in all it was fairly enjoyable. I’ll give it a seven out of ten.”
Up next: Chopper
Posted in Cannes Film Festival, Oscar Nominated, Palme d'Or, Spanish Film, Uncategorized
Tagged Carmen Maura, Death, La Mancha, Madrid, Murder, Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz, The Flower of my Secret
57. The Consequences of Love
Le Conseguenze Dell’Amore is an Italian psychological thriller about a lonely and secretive man who befriends a beautiful young waitress in the hotel he lives in and has a run in with the mafia.
What Tierna thinks: “A good film, not memorable as such but certainly very watchable. The car crash scene seemed oddly placed to me as it changed the course of the final days of his life yet it didn’t ‘fit’ for me. When watching the film the ‘consequences of love’ didn’t jump out at me as such. Looking back on the story now while thinking of it in the context of the movie title makes it all make much more sense. It left me a bit confused but it’s well written and for that reason I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “We’re finally back after taking a few months break now that Tierna has finished her degree. This was a pretty good film to get back into the list with. The first hour or so of the film its almost difficult to guess what is actually about – Titta Di Girolamo is like a dour Larry David who merely ‘exists’ in the hotel he lives in until he finally starts to talk with Sofia and then the story starts to pick up. A well made film that I thought was good but not great, this gets a seven out of ten.”
Up next … Volver
58. Shaun of the Dead
In the world’s first ever rom-zom-com, Shaun tries to win back his girlfriend whilst dealing with a zombie apocalypse along with his best mate Ed.
What Tierna thinks: “It’s nice to watch a ‘zombie’ film with Tom and for us to actually agree that it was funny & enjoyable. Ok, it’s by no means your traditional zombie film. It contains all the antics and tongue in cheek humour that you’d expect from Simon Pegg & Nick Frost. As for the gore, it’s so ridiculous I didn’t even squirm. I really enjoyed this one and I’m going to give it an eight out of ten”
What Tom thinks: “I’ll start by saying that Dawn of the Dead is one of my favourite films of all time, and when I originally saw this in the cinema I was hooked right from the start when the classic music kicks in. Shaun of the Dead is the ultimate homage to an amazing movie and also works as a film in its own right. Its literally the most entertaining film I’ve ever seen. I love it, and its worth at least a nine out of ten.”
Up next … The Consequences of Love
59. Etre et Avoir
Etre et Avoir (“To Be And To Have”) is a 2002 documentary film about a small rural French school, following the students (ranging from 4 to 11) being taught by a single teacher.
What Tierna thinks: “My sister first introduced me to this film and I must admit that I was sceptical at first. There are some abstract, extended scenes showing natural landscape which I’m not sure are needed. However I appreciate the film more and more each time I watch it. It’s a heart warming story, set out over the course of a school year. The personalities of the children are central to the story, as well as the dedication and love that their teacher shows them. I really enjoy watching this film and I’ll give it a seven out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “This is the second French film on the list about schools (the first being The Class). I found it a decent film – I think your level of enjoyment will very much depend on cute / funny you find children and how rewarding you find it watching children learn stuff. While the film didn’t blow me away, I did think it was an excellent achievement to have followed the class over the course of a school year and turn it into a cohesive film – so well done Nicolas Philibert! I’m giving it a six out of ten.”
Up next: Shawn of the Dead