Jul 272011


Yes I’m aware I’m a week late with this installment of #Towatchpile Lite, but I had a very busy week last week so here is what I watched two weeks ago.

 Gangs of New York – Martin Scorsese 2002

Gangs of New York is one of Scorsese’s more indulgent pictures and is the story of the immigration issue that caused the formation of nationalist and migrant gangs. These gangs struggled for control of New York’s infamous Five Points district. This film follow Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he seeks to avenge the death of his father at the hands of Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), a fierce nationalist and all round ruthless nut job. The film is inspired by Herbert Asbury’s book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld and was a labor of love for Scorsese as he planned this movie for decades. The film splits opinion, some love its glorious colour and over the top nature, where some feel these aspects and indulgences cloud a stronger issue contained within the film. I personally love this film I’ll admit it has flaws but Daniel Day-Lewis is simple mesmerising and Leonardo DiCaprio is really starting to find his groove as a more adult actor. There is also an amazing supporting cast, as well as Cameron Diaz. 7/10 

 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – David Lynch 1992

Twin Peaks is still for me the greatest TV show of all time. Now, that’s not difficult as I watch very little TV, but I also think its the greatest story ever committed to film. So for me this film is a stone cold masterpiece. The film is a prequel (of sorts) to the TV series and is mainly focused on the final days in the life of Laura Palmer. I’m not going to even bother trying to explain the plot because I feel everybody should watch the series and then watch this film, its haunting beauty astounds me each and every time I watch it. There is so much going on and new nuances are discovered on each viewing. Everybody who is a fan and lover of the show has their own opinions of the meanings that can be taken from this film and I have mine which I will share with you all one day. Until then if you’ve not seen the show then buy the Gold Edition, watch it and then buy this film and watch it over and over. This is Lynch at his most beautiful and heartbreaking. 10/10

 Days of Heaven – Terrence Malick 1978

Days of Heaven is the second film from director Terrence Malick and follows the story of  Bill (Richard Gere), a Chicago manual laborer, who together with his girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) and younger sister Linda (Linda Manz) find work harvesting crops in the Texas Panhandle in early 20th century (1916). They all pretend to be siblings to prevent gossip about them not being married. Abby catches the eye of the farm owner and spurred on by Bill she marries him believing he is ill and will soon die. Bill’s plan is simple, when he die’s Abby inherits his money, and they live out their lives never needing to worry about money again,however things don’t go to plan. As with all of Malick’s works this film looks amazing, his outside shot composition is breathtaking, and the film moves along as one heartbreakingly beautiful story. This is a must for any fans of visual cinema. 8/10

 Badlands – Terrance Malick 1973

Badlands is the first film directed by Terrance Malick and this is his most story based and controlled outing so far. As with all Malick films it’s made up of largely outdoor shots and is the story of 25 year old rebel Kit (Martin Sheen) and how he falls for 15 year old Holly (Sissy Spacek) much to the dislike of her father (Warren Oates). The pair run away from Holly’s father, and Holly starts to discover a darker side to Kit’s charming demeanor, Kit seemingly enjoys, and sees nothing wrong with, killing people to aid the pair in their journey. This film displays Malick’s use of slow pacing, something that puts a lot of people off his work. All Malick’s films move at a very slow pace and are led by narration by cast members, often not the principle characters. This is still a deeply engaging film and reminds you of just how talented an actor Martin Sheen is. 8/10

 Animal Kingdom – David Michôd 2010

A full review can be found here http://www.towatchpile.co.uk/2011/07/animal-kingdom-dvdblu-ray-review/





 Bio Dome – Jason Bloom 1996

Ok there is not a lot of plot or real story to Bio Dome, its essentially Bud “Squirrel” Macintosh (Pauly Shore) and Doyle “Stubs” Johnson (Stephen Baldwin) accidently finding themselves trapped inside a  Bio Dome for a year, after they break in to use the bathroom mistaking the building for a new shopping mall. The pair then reek havoc for the scientists who are trying to maintain the delicate ecological balance within the dome. The pair’s girlfriends are moved and impressed by the duo’s involvement in this significant ecological experiment. But do their antics go too far? This film is stupid to the extreme, and would you expect anything less from a Pauly Shore movie? It does however have its charms and nostalgia seems to be one of the main ones. This is not a good film, but I still laughed a lot harder than I have at most modern comedies.  Also it has a great supporting cast and Kylie Minogue doing a very strange accent. 6/10

 Dawn of the Dead – Zack Snyder 2004

Its not often that a beloved horror film is remade to the standard of Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 zombie film. I’m not saying that Snyder’s is a better film, but it’s stylistically and story wise different enough to be judged on its own merits. Snyder opts to have his zombies be slightly more threatening as they move at a quicker pace and have a more aggressive style to them. The structure of the story is the same, a mysterious virus is sweeping the town causing people to attack and kill each other, but they don’t remain dead, as their bodies reanimate their need for human flesh consumes them. A small group of survivors congregate at the local shopping mall and attempt to survive long enough to find out what going on. The film stars Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber and a host of others that will have you uttering that great line “its that guy, from that thing”. The real star of the show however is Snyder, whose debut film is as bold and as confident as you could possibly get. There are so many themes that we see in this film that we have now grown so accustomed to from Snyder, and as a massive fanboy I still adore this film, it’s entertaining and great to look at. A rare great horror remake. 8/10 

Ok so that was my week in film from two weeks ago, and a damn good week it was.

Anyway peace out suckers!