20 films from LOVEFiLM: 11 to 20

Posted on 1 August 2012 in Entertainment (No comments yet - be the first!)

So yesterday I revealed the first ten films I ever rented from LOVEFiLM. It seemed a good idea at the time.

But why stop at ten? You want the first twenty really. Don't you?

Alien 3

Is this the one everyone says is rubbish? I can't remember but we watched the extended Directors Cut from the Alien Quadrology boxset and which apparently makes up for most of the flaws.

Sigourney is in a prison and there's no guns. Or other women. And most of the prisoners are sex offenders of some kind or other. And there's no guns. And some aliens. Also, almost everyone is British for some reason.

Get the Quadrology version. It's worth it.

4 stars

Silent Running

Plant pots in space and cute droids. You must see this film. I'll say no more.

3.5 stars

L'Homme Du Train

This film is complete mis-representation as, whilst there is a man on a train, he quickly gets of it. The train is not mentioned for the rest of the film.

It's another French classic. Man turns up in small town to commit robbery. Accidentally moves in with a chatty former teacher. They're the original Odd Couple! Well not quite.

Superb film.

4.5 stars

City of God

One reviewer, can't remember who, described City of God as being the Brazilian Godfather. I've never watched The Godfather so can't comment (hmm, maybe I should add it to the list then…) but one thing I do know is that it's Brazilian friend isn't an easy watch. But then a story of children growing up in shanty towns, and getting involved with drug gangs and ensuing gang warfare in Rio de Janeiro probably shouldn't be.

What's most impressive about City of God are the actors. Only one of the film's star was a professional actor, with the rest of the cast coming from the kind of shanty towns that the film is set in.

To wrap it all, the whole thing's based on a novel that was based on real events. And that, frankly, is the most unnerving thing of all.

4.5 stars

Submarine

Richard Ayoade is an effortlessly funny person. That must is revealed watching the various extras on the DVD for his directorial debut - the 2010 coming-of-age drama based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne.

Set in Swansea, it follows 15 year old Oliver Tate as he falls in love, and as life changes around him. It's a gentle theme, but given a grand treatment by its director and has an utterly superb cast. It also marks Ayoade out as a director to watch out for.

4.5 stars

The King's Speech

Can there be anyone who doesn't know of the King's Speech? Of Colin Firth with a stammer, and Geoffrey Rush trying to help him get over it? And that it's a true story, the story of the reluctant King George VI? And that it was a major success and got 12 Oscar nominations?

Can there be anyone who doesn't know of this film? Really?

5 stars

Whisky Galore

Many years ago I lived in Ealing and whilst there, I went to the pub. Ealing had some lovely pubs but my favourite was called The Red Lion and it sat opposite Ealing Studios, home to the Ealing Comedies.

Pubs near studios often get used by cast and crew and a previous landlady had amassed a mighty collection of photographs of the stars which once filmed in the area, and which lined the walls at the front of the pub.

Whilst we lived in the area the pub had a tasteful extension at the back, and the owners had obviously wondered what to put on the walls. The answer was obvious with the back of the pub featuring large posters of classic Ealing Comedies. The Ladykillers. The Man In the White Suit. The Lavender Hill Mob.

I was intrigued and began to watch the films. And loved them. I have a few on DVD.

I don't own Whisky Galore but I probably should. Loosely based on the tale of a shipwreck during the Second World War, its cargo of whisky soon snaffled by the locals of the nearby Scottish island who happened to have run out, it's a classic. Not the best Ealing Comedy. But thoroughly enjoyable.

4 stars

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Terry Gilliam films have a habit of being a bit bonkers, but this tale of massive drug taking in Vegas was on a whole new level.

Based on the Hunter S Thompson novel, you either get this film, or you stand around going "what the…"

Sorry Terry, much as I love your work normally, this one didn't do much for me.

2 stars

Alien Resurrection

Yes it's the fourth and final one. And look, it's directed by that mad bloke who does MicMacs. And YES! It's got Dominique Pinion in it!

4 stars

Doctor Zhivago

Here we go then. Final film and it's the film of the famous Russian book based at the beginning of the communism era in Russia between 1912 and 1923.

David Lean's film is well known to be a classic and stars Omar Sharif and Alec Guinnes. The film's an epic masterpiece - over three hours long. So long that it doesn't even fit on one DVD disk, which confused us as we didn't initially realise we'd been sent a double sided DVD.

Despite the length, it's a gripping film with the only negative comment you can really say is that the ending feels a little rushed. And frankly, very depressing. But then it is a story about Russia…

4.5 stars

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