This week has been an interesting week in terms of my movie watches. I watched three new films, all of which are very different from each other. As well as that, I also rematched one of my favourite films in terms of nostalgia and I will talk about that in the end of the review. In terms of the three new films, one in particular is already a strong contender for film of the year.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I did not hear about this film until a few weeks ago when it started getting nominated for every award possible. What struck me about this film was the title. To have a title that bizarre and long is a bold choice, yet it stands out and makes perfect sense once the film is watched. The premise of the film is also an interesting choice, choosing to highlight crime in the form of advertising and no black-and-white perspectives on the situation.
To simply put it, I love this film. I need to go and see it again because I cannot stop thinking about it. The characters are all brilliantly written to have pros and cons, and to present a case that can be seen in both perspectives. You relate to Frances McDormand’s character because of what she went through, but you also see the police’s point of view, particularly with Woody Harrelson’s character Chief Willoughby due to his own situation.
This is one of the best acted films I think I have ever seen. Each character is shown with real passion, and it is clear that the actors had a true passion for the story and their role. Special shoutouts go to McDormand as well as Sam Rockwell who are more than likely to win their respective acting categories in the Oscars, as they rightly deserve.
Whilst the film has a central theme of crime, they also cover other aspects of the law. They address the issue of racism and bigotry mindsets in several cops, something that is still talked about to this day. This film is brutal and will leave you blown away by what they are showing right in front of you.
I seriously hope that this wins best picture at the Oscars. It might be a risky move is it isn’t the typical Oscar film, but it truly deserves it. I am not sure how any other film is going to beat this film in 2018, and the year has only begun.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This is a similar situation to Star Wars in which I had never seen the series as a kid. The only real exposure I have had to the Lord of the Rings franchise is trying to read The Hobbit and ending up only getting two chapters in because it was just long and tedious. Therefore, going into this film I had low expectations of liking this film.
The best part of this film is the back story and history of the one true Ring. I love the amount of care and attention that went into the history of the ring in order to make it connect and seem like it is the thing between good and evil, life and death. I also love the powers of the Ring, and how with all of its good comes evil and misuse of power.
The characters are also really fun and well created. I particularly enjoy the hobbits and their own little world. I really love the hobbit houses and their little village and festivities. If I was in the Lord of the Rings world, I would definitely be a hobbit.
There are some definitely flaws to the film though. There are quite jumpy and weird tonal changes that don’t flow well. It goes from a dark back story, to a light fun scene, then back to danger, then back to light-hearted, then back to danger. There is little soft transition between them and they feel hard and rough.
I also found the action scenes to be lacking. Not only is there a lack of danger, with only Frodo getting attacked and put in danger most of the time, but the actual action was badly shot and felt bad to watch to the eyes.
This might be because I didn’t grow up with the franchise, but I haven’t got the strong love for the Lord of the Rings as most people do. It’s a shame, because I am open to everything and I wanted to fall in love with another trilogy. I am still willing to watch the other two films and keep an open head, but this won’t become a classic for me.
A Trip to the Moon (or Le Voyage de la Lune)
Most chances you will have never heard of this film. I only found out about it from the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. This is the oldest film listed in the book, having been released in 1902. Weird to think of a film being made 116 years ago! This is a 12 minute silent film directed by Georges Méliès that realms into sci-fi and surrealism.
In A Trip to the Moon, a bunch of scientists discover a way to travel to the moon and do so, taking over the colony and capture an alien from the moon’s civilisation. This is revolutionary not only in the sense of film making, but for space as this came 67 years before the official moon landing.
If Georges was still alive to this day, his films would still be revolutionary. He managed to create a full film with a story, characters, themes and feelings over a century ago. There is also special effects that look better in this film than they do nowadays! The whole idea of this film and what it celebrates is so inspiring to watch.
You can tell that so much passion went into making this film. The scientists in this film are the most excited characters I have seen for a while, something which is lacking in films. Nowadays people star or make films not because of passion but because of pressure, money or reputation. If people cared about film as much as Georges did, there would be a lot more passion shown on the big screen.
The entire film can be watched on YouTube and if you are even slightly interested in the history of film and how far we have come in the past century, I highly recommend watching this!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
This is true nostalgia for me. I have grown up in a household that loved the Harry Potter series, so much so that midnight book launches happened and day one screenings and purchases of films were a must-do. I have even been down to London to see the Harry Potter studios back in 2014 and I loved it. If you look in my room, I have memorabilia all across my bookcase and walls.
What is so special to me about the first film is the innocence of the situations and characters in it. It is incredible to watch everyone grow up and then go back to the very first film and see how it all began. I must have seen every movie a hundred times, and I will never stop watching these films. I’m not going to do a full review of this film here, but if you want a review of the entire Harry Potter series and ranking order, let me know and I might make a blog post about it.
In short, if you haven’t read or seen any of the Harry Potter films, you need to sort out your priorities.
This week has once again been a great week for films, and I am particularly excited about next week. There are a lot of new films coming out in cinemas in the UK this week (Coco, The Death Cure and The Commuter) and I am definitely going to be checking out all of them. I also have a quiet week so more films should be watched both in cinema and at home.
Until Thursday, that was some film for thought.