“An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.”
Director: Terrence Malick
Writers: Terrence Malick
Staring: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek
Release Date: January 5, 1974
Streaming: HBO MAX
Martin Sheen, you handsome, super-talented son of a bitch. Sissy Spacek, what a come out party and what a perfectly delivered voiceover. Badlands is a 93-minute story about young love, unblemished ignorance, obsessive love and lovable twisted Ted Bundy-esq charisma.
Kit (Martin Sheen) is a young 20s kid struggling to keep a job and find a purpose. His life changed when he sees Holly (Sissy Spacek) and almost instantly falls in love with her. Her feelings begin to develop and the pair have a forbidden relationship. It all comes off the rails when Holly’s Father (Warren Oats) finds Kit packing Holly’s bags. He tells the Father that he and Holly (without her knowing), and he didn’t like that.
“Three generations of women fight back against those who could take everything from them.”
Director: Navot Papushado
Writer: Navot Papushado
Staring: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Cara Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, Chloe Coleman
Release Date: July 14, 2021
Gunpowder Milkshake had a dose of everything I love. Karen Gillan (who I love) in the lead role. She is joined by a series of recognizable supporting parts, most notably Carla Gugino and Chloe Coleman. There is a plot…but it is not important. There are also a lot of slow-mo action scenes with totally unrealistic choreography, which is important. Gunpowder Milkshake is a classically enjoyable Netflix action movie mixing pot.
“Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.”
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writers: Bruce Joel Rubin
Staring: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena, Danny Aiello, Jason Alexander, Patricia Kalember
Release Date: November 2, 1990
Streaming: HBO MAX
Jacob’s Ladder has a movie poster that I have seen since I was a kid. Whenever I traveled to the DVD store with my family I would see the haunted face of Jacob (Tim Robbins) staring at my from the aisles. It is a good thing I didn’t watch Jacob’s Ladder as a kid because it would have flown over my head, but with that being said, my personal enjoyment of the movie may not have wavered too much from then and now.
I was personally a little surprised when I opened up the IMDB and Rotten Tomato pages and saw Jacob’s Latter with the high praise that it received. The story illuminates the trauma and what post-traumatic stress disorder can do. The audience sees multiple different timelines and is left determining which one is real and which one is not. In the end, it is the most meta possibility for which of the story arcs is the realist.
“The Mask Of Zorro”
“A young thief seeking revenge for his brother’s death is trained by the once-great, aging Zorro, who is pursuing his own vengeance.”
Director: Martin Campbell
Writers: Johnston McCulley, Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio
Staring: Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson
Release Date: July 17, 1998
Streaming: Amazon Prime
There are movies that stick with you when you are young. Whether it be a personal favorite, remembered as unnecessarily scary, or a glorious memory trigger, everyone has a movie that transports them to a different time and place. The Mask Of Zorro (1998) is that for me. This movie was one of the first “adult” movies I watched with my family and to this day it is locked in my happy trunk as a comfort viewing. Last week I watched it for the first time in nearly seven years and I got to share it with my girlfriend. I can happily say The Mask Of Zorro did not disappoint.
The Mask Of Zorro takes place in the early in the early 1800s with a tumultuous relationship between Old California, Mexico and Spain. The political backdrop is just the groundwork for a movie based in personal relationships and on-screen chemistry. Antonio Banderas plays Alejandro Murietta, a bandit who is seeking revenge aimlessly until he meets with Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins)…also known as the original Zorro. The transfer of heroic power and ethos is complicated by Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the lost and stolen daughter of de la Vega. Murietta and Elena develop a wonderfully smooth bond and soon the new truth of Zorro is unfurled and it becomes a classic battle of good versus evil and kindness versus greed.
“The Woman In The Window”
“An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence.”
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tracy Letts, A.J. Finn
Staring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie
Release Date: May 14, 2021
If anyone told you that Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie and Julianne Moore would be in a movie based off a best selling novel, you would expect it to be decent right? In the case of The Woman In The Window (2021), you would be dead wrong.
The Woman In The Window is a Netflix original that with movie stars that the same uninspiring viewing experience as Deadly Illusions (2021). Everything about the this movie is a mess; the screenplay is childish, the acting is bad, the direction is elementary and the tone is inconsistent at best. There are some scene transitions that are dreadful; like not even worth arguing about. How in the hell did that fake blood transition get in there? What are you doing Joe Wright?
“Woodstock 99: Peace Love And Rage”
“Woodstock 99, a three-day music festival promoted to echo unity and counterculture idealism of the original 1969 concert but instead devolved into riots, looting and sexual assaults.”
Director: Garrett Price
Release Date: July 23, 2001
Streaming: HBO Max
Woodstock 99: Peace Love And Rage (2021) opens with director Garrett Price explaining the viewpoint his movie was made in. He notes how it is not about the comedic 90s clothes or crazy catchphrases but rather how Woodstock 1999 was a horror movie that showed the depravity of American society and humanity of the time.
Garrett Price is absolutely right. Mankind, and and specifically men, are the worst.