On to the next 5!

6. I Am Chris Farley (2015)

Although not technically a movie, it’s a feature length documentary so I’m counting it as one. There will be a few of these scattered here and there as we go out throughout the year. Ever since I was young I’ve been a fan of Chris Farley. I remember watching Beverly Hills Ninja & Black Sheep & although not fully understanding the jokes and premise of the movie I just enjoyed watching Chris Farley entertain. I found this documentary very interesting, the story of Chris Farley told from the ones closest to him and the ones that worked with him throughout his short career. The story of Chris Farley reminded me very much of Robin Williams, somebody who spent his life entertaining others and bringing laughter to millions around the world, suffered greatly with depression. You can see parallels with Farley, he also spent much of his life entertaining others and being the “class clown” kind of character and he struggled deeply with living up to his image within show business. I highly recommend this documentary to anybody who remotely appreciates Chris Farley’s movies or his comedy.  9/10

7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This Stanley Kubrick movie is considered by many to be one of the greatest movies ever made. I’ve been meaning to watch this for many years but keep putting it off time and again. Finally after years of sitting on my shelf I dusted it off and put it into the DVD player. By the end of it I was bewildered by all the praise and it’s received by pretty much everybody who has seen it. For the first couple of minutes you get treated with a completely blank screen, with no music, no credits rolling onto the screen, just black silence. For a moment I had thought the disc was broken and I was going to have to re-buy it. Suddenly it kick started & for what seemed like eternity it was just a whole lot of visual imagery with a lack of dialogue and unnecessarily dragged out sequences. This may be a very unpopular opinion among movie lovers, but I just didn’t understand the hype.  4/10

8 Solaris (2002)

After being highly disappointed by my previous sci-fi adventure, I decided to give Solaris a watch to try and redeem the genre which had taken a knock since the disappointing 2001: A Space Odyssey. Unfortunately this didn’t do what I had hoped. It was another disappointing science fiction movie which just didn’t deliver on so many levels. The story was a little confusing & it wasn’t until the very end that I was fully understanding of what was going on. A big redemption of the movie was that of the performance and character played by Jeremy Davies, most known to me as Daniel Faraday from Lost. He was very intriguing during his limited screen time & my only hope was that he featured more regularly. I’m not sure what it is about George Clooney but most of his movies are very lack luster and disappointing. For somebody who is such a huge deal within Hollywood, he’s done a whole bunch of poor movies, The American & Syriana are the two that first spring to mind. I suppose you can now add Solaris to that list too.  5/10

9. August: Osage County (2013)

A basic movie rule for me is anything Meryl Streep touches is usually gold. This is no exception. Meryl was the stand out performance but closely followed by that of Julia Roberts and to a certain degree Benedict Cumberbatch. In a movie full of stars, this certainly didn’t fail to deliver. A family reunites after a tragedy and go back to the home they grew up in Oklahoma. Meryl Streep plays a dysfunctional wife and mother of three daughters made worse by her illness and her dependency on prescription drugs & knocks her performance out the park once again. The twists, turns and revelations of one family going through a tough time is gripping  and at times uncomfortable. The dialogue is dark yet witty and the ensemble all deserve credit for the performances given as everybody pitched in and did a fantastic job. This movie and it’s themes may not be for everybody but for me it was a great watch. 8/10

10. The Conversation (1974)

Gene Hackman in my mind is one of the most under rated performers to grace our screens. He has always produced great performances in pretty much all movies I’ve seen him in. The Conversation was no exception. He plays a paranoid surveillance expert who prides himself on getting results and completing the task at hand, but he has a crisis of conscience when he suspects the latest couple he has been spying on are going to get murdered by the people employing him. A lot of twists throughout the course of the movie and Hackmans character development is crucial to making this film believable for me. For me this movies only drawback was that it was possibly a little bit ahead of it’s time. Although I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, if it was a movie from the 80’s or even the 90’s it would benefit from much more in the way of gadgets and equipment to make it a more tense affair. 7/10


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