You Should Watch Jodorowsky’s Dune

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Why?

This is a documentary about one of the greatest “What If?’s” in cinema history. Imagine if in the late 70’s, a 14-hour version of Dune hit the screens starring David Carradine, Orson Welles, Salvador Dalì, and Mick Jagger with an original soundtrack by Pink Floyd. It almost kind of happened. This is a documentary about a true artist given complete freedom to develop a blockbuster with no restraints. Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky says that he wanted this film to be a spiritual experience for people, he really wanted you to be a different person after watching it. At least at the end of this documentary you will want to jump up and make something.

Why Do I Like It?

I can empathize with Jodorowsky. Everybody in a creative field has had to fight for your vision against non-creative people. He collected an amazing crew of artists and designers to create his vision, and they contributed some amazing work. It’s fun to watch such talented people so inspired to make such a unique and groundbreaking movie. It reminded me of the documentary Man on Wire where an artist with a crazy idea convinces others to follow him simply because of his contagious passion.

Who is in it?

Obviously they speak to Alejandro Jodorowsky at length. You also hear from artists such as HR Giger, Chris Foss, and the late Dan O’Bannon. All three had major impacts on cinema after their experience with the unmade Dune.

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You Should Watch: The Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer

Why?

It looks absolutely insane. The Mad Max series has never been conventional and this doesn’t look any different. This is thankfully not a remake but a continuation of a movie series that looks like it is benefiting greatly from modern technology and a more experienced George Miller.

Why do I like it?

I’ve been a fan of Mad Max since I was a kid and recently revisited the first two movies. I find they hold up really well against the test of time. Where the first one is about revenge, the second one has unfortunately relevant political undertones. The Road Warrior (part 2) is at it’s best in the third act with a dynamic and epic car chase that never lets up. I’m excited to see that Fury Road will take it to the next level.

Who is in it?

Probably not Mel Gibson, but they might throw him in a cameo at some point. Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Warrior) takes over Mel’s iconic role as Max. Charlize Theron (Monster, Young Adult, Prometheus) and Nicolas Hoult (X-Men, Warm Bodies) round out the insane-looking cast. George Miller, the creator and director of the Mad Max series returns to write and direct.

You Should Watch: The Babadook

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You should watch The Babadook

Why?

If you like horror movies, or intense thrillers, this should be right up your alley. The Babadook is an Australian film that takes a simple story with very few characters and turns it into something terrifying and original. This film earns every scare it delivers without resorting to any cheap tricks. The Babadook takes it’s time building the suspense and pretty soon you’re watching the movie with your eyes covered. The characters are easily relatable, a widow who is questioning her son’s sanity and then begins to question her own.

Why do I like it?

I like that it’s a movie that made a lot of smart decisions. It’s dark and scary without resorting to gratuitous gore, rather it creates well-rounded characters and placing them in peril. I would feel confident saying that this movie is far more terrifying than any recent bigger budget horror movie. The script was excellent as was the direction. Everything felt practical and horrifyingly real. There were way too many shadows and hiding places that lingered. I also loved the look of everything and especially the book that Mr. Babadook first appeared which you can order your own copy here, at your own risk.

Who’s in it?

Essie Davis (The Matrix 2 & 3) stars as a long suffering mom to a troubled boy played by Noah Wiseman. It was the first feature Jennifer Kent has written and directed. She is an Australian actress with several credits to her name. She definitely need to continue making movies like this.  

You Should Watch: The Affair

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You should watch The Affair.

Why?

If you are in a post-Breaking Bad funk like I am, aimlessly searching for a multifaceted show that you will obsess over, then look no further! The presentation of the story is amazing. There are two lead characters and each episode shows the story from their very different perspectives. We see the development of a relationship between two very different people who see things differently. As bad things continue to happen and lies are exposed the tension is ratcheted up each week.

Why do I like it?

It is one of the best-written shows I’ve seen in a long time. Yes it shows us the point of view of a man and a woman separately, but it’s not really about how different the genders are. There is a crime, but they don’t give you any details until a few episodes in. The Affair takes a lot of conventional ideas and themes and presents them in a very interesting and methodically paced way.

Who is in it?

It stars the awesome Ruth Wilson, from Luther and a few recent movies, and the equally awesome Dominic West from The Wire. The awesome Maura Tierney, from ER and News Radio, is really fun to watch as Dominic West’s wife. Finally, the great Joshua Jackson from Fringe and Dawson’s Creek plays Ruth Wilson’s husband. The main title is a haunting new piece of music by Fiona Apple, by the way.

You Should Watch: Nightcrawler

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You should watch Nightcrawler.

Why?

It is a rare piece that doesn’t require you to like the main character, it only asks that you are intrigued by him. You re along for the ride as very determined sociopath gets his career started. What is his career? He figures out you can make decent money filming active crime scenes and selling the footage. The premise of a guy who films crime scenes and gets paid based on how bloody and violent they are lends itself to a lot of tension. You know it’s just going to get worse as the movie goes on. But you can’t look away.

Why do I like it?

It’s pretty dark. I enjoy stories that explore dark subjects and especially with such an interesting character. One reason I love Breaking Bad is that it centers around an anti-hero. You are supposed to like the main character aren’t you? What happens when the main character starts doing bad things? It challenges your expectations and, if successful, is the product of writing and performances.

Who is in it?

Jake Gyllenhaal really committed himself to this role. He plays the lead as a very focused and intense psycho. I’ve always liked him as an actor. He has a string of great layered performances in movies like Jarhead, Zodiac, and Prisoners. There’s something different and unique about him in this film, though. Rene Russo plays a pretty twisted character as well. Her husband, Dan Gilroy wrote and directed the movie. He is a veteran writer (Real Steel, The Bourne Legacy) but this is his debut as a director. Definitely an impressive debut.

You Should Watch: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser

 

You should watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Why?

This is our first look at a Lucas-less Star Wars movie. Disney paid a lot of money to be in the Star Wars business and have made some smart choices about the talent involved. If you are a true Star Wars fan, then you should be elated that we are going to see a new series with new characters and a story that moves forward instead of backwards.

Why do I like it?

As a promotional piece, the creators are keenly aware that a large portion of the audience have at least a basic knowledge of the current Star Wars news, so they spend the majority of the brief teaser introducing new characters with some familiar looking locations, costumes, and sounds. Like any good promotional piece that wants to keep the mystery, it creates more questions than answers.

Who is in it?

The first person we see is John Boyega, and he steals every scene in Attack The Block. (I recommend that one to fans of Shaun of the Dead and the like.) We also see Daisy Ridley who will be a household name next year, but I’ve never seen any of her work. Adam Driver from Girls and several recent movies. Drive and Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Issac is seen piloting an X-Wing and the undisputed king of Mo-Cap, Andy Serkis provides the foreboding voiceover.