Last Friday, I loaded the family into the car and we spent Easter weekend in our old stomping grounds in Tennessee. Good Friday was also my 40th birthday and we celebrated with multiple parties, tons of food, and lots of laughs with some old friends.
On several occasions, various friends came up to me to ask what movies I had seen lately, or what my top films of 2015 were, etc. This isn’t surprising as I’m a big pop-culture nerd and film buff and as such that tends to be what me and my friends talk about. The thing is, my wife and I have struggled to make a lot of close friends over the last two years here in Oklahoma. I work with my family and so there isn’t a chance to meet new people there and my wife stays home with the kid, which makes it hard to branch out and mingle. There are some nice acquaintances, but we’ve yet to really form tight bonds here. So it was a really wonderful experience to hang out with people I dearly love all weekend and chat about the cinema. I already miss them.
I did not discuss Quentin Tarantino’s newest film, The Hateful Eight, because I have not yet seen it. I meant to see it in the theatre as Tarantino's films are always interesting, if not always that good. The Hateful Eight is especially worth seeing in the theatre as Tarantino shot it in 70mm which gives it a grand scope. Alas, fate worked against me, Although I had plans to see it a few times, things always fell through and now I’ll have to see it on a much smaller screen.
I try to learn as little as possible with films I know automatically that I will watch and this is true with The Hateful Eight. It's got a great cast (including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins and Tim Roth) and its plot involves a bunch of random ruffians being stuck inside a cabin in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard. It was nominated for lots of awards and won a few (including composer Ennio Morricone’s first Oscar.) But really it's a Tarantino film and I always watch those. (Read Chris Morgan's review.)
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Hidden Fortress (Criterion Collection): Akira Kurosawa’s fantastic action-adventure flick about a two peasants who must smuggle a princess across hostile territory. It heavily influenced Star Wars.
Bicycle Thieves (Criterion Collection): Italian classic about a father whose bicycle (and only means to get to work) is stolen and his struggle to redeem himself. I’ve always meant to watch this one and now is the perfect time with this new upgrade.
Humans: British TV series about lifelike androids who can perfectly mimic human behavior but have neither consciousness or free will. Sounds fun.
Concussion: Will Smith drama about the major health problems that stem from the multiple concussions football players receive over their career and the NFL's efforts to deny the problem. An important topic, but the film looks rather dull.
Archer: The Complete Season Six: I need to give this adult animated comedy another try, but the last time I caught it I found it way too loud and obnoxious. But lots of people I like really love it.