*Week 12 – Movie Recommendations from #ADAF

3:10 to Yuma (James Mangold, 2007)

Struggling to support his family and seeking a cash reward, a small-time rancher (Christian Bale) agrees to help transport a captured outlaw (Russell Crowe) to a train station, where he’ll board a train to a prison in Yuma, Arizona.

When the video game developer Rockstar (in/famous for their “Grand Theft Auto” series) announced late last year that there will be a sequel to “Red Dead Redemption” (an open-world action game with a glorious wild west theme), my brain switched to movie mode and I immediately thought of 2007’s “3:10 to Yuma.” I consider both the game and movie to be the best westerns in their respective media in the 21st century. The two main characters in “3:10 to Yuma” are so well-developed, that the audience gains the respect of both Bale’s and Crowe’s characters, even though they represent the opposing archetypes of hero and villain. Russell Crowe’s role of Ben Wade has a striking resemblance — in terms of morality and character arc, anyway — to Darth Vader. And who doesn’t like being compared to the baddest villain in the galaxy, am I right? I have a feeling that “3:10 to Yuma’s” director, James Mangold, will once again deliver something impressive later on this year, as he closes the chapter for my favorite Marvel character in “Logan.”

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad, 2014)

“Love & Mercy” focuses on two time periods pieced together by Brian Wilson’s life from Beach Boys. We get into Wilson’s tortured mind. Paul Dano plays Brian from the 1960’s period and he is amazing as always. And the 1990’s where Wilson – severely drug-damaged, mentally ill and now played by John Cusack – is being taken for a ride by an unscrupulous and dangerous psychiatrist, Dr Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). It’s hard to believe all those happy songs came from such a dark place. Good biographical movie, check it out!

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008)

After botching an assignment in London, two hit men (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) are ordered to lay low in the small Belgian town of Bruges, where they’ll wait for instructions from their boss (Ralph Fiennes) that may not be to their liking.

Criminals have a conscience too. That idea, as contradictory as it may sound, has to be the central hook to this smart crime comedy from writer/director Martin McDonagh (his other big movie is “Seven Psychopaths”). Entirely taking place in “the most preserved medieval town in Europe,” the story is brimming with interesting characters, laugh-worthy dialogue exchanges, and even a couple of twists. Granted, the first quarter of the movie may feel like a bore, but you’ll quickly realize that we’re just being primed for the rest of the raucously fun remaining three-quarters. The set-ups and pay-offs are undeniably clever. That may be the very thing about the script that got the Academy members’ attention, giving “In Bruges” an Oscar nod for best original screenplay. Particularly, the third act is pure genius in the way it wraps everything up, a textbook example of good screenwriting. And when really good writing is transferred over to celluloid, it makes for really really good watching.

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Experimenter (Michael Almereyda, 2015)

I was excited when I learned a film was being made about the Milgram experiments. In the 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram measured the willingness of participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. The experiment found, unexpectedly, that a very high proportion of people were prepared to obey, albeit unwillingly, even if it apparently caused serious injury and distress to another person. Milgram’s theory provides a perspective for a confusion that I’ve always had about racism, about inequality, about slavery, and so on. But the film is not just about the Milgram experiments, it is the story of the man who conducted them. This film is about Stanley Milgram, the person, and it fascinates me.

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

A Seperation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)

Asghar Farhadi was nominated for an Oscar this year in the foreign film category with his new film “Salesman.” I haven’t seen it, but I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I was introduced to Asghar’s work with “A Seperation,” which became the best foreign language film of the year in the 2012 Oscars. There is no good, bad, right or wrong in the director’s work. Farhadi makes you observe life with pure realism. After I watched “A Separation,” I watched the other movies of Farhadi and I saw his his obsession with the concept of judgment. It is not about culture, it’s more about the human aspect that makes people attached to this film. I really recommend this film for any cinema lover.

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

Ceremony (Max Winkler, 2010)

Two friends set off on a weekend outing. Marshall (Reece Thompson) thinks it’s a trip to re-establish their friendship, but Sam (Michael Angarano) has an ulterior motive: to crash the wedding of an older woman (Uma Thurman) he still loves.

For my last adaf post I recommended “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” a movie with a sub-par IMDB rating of 6.7 out of 10 (through my own observations, I figured out that a movie with an IMDB rating of 7.0 or higher is considered to be “good” by the internet community). For today’s post I’m going to recommend (and hopefully defend) a movie with an even lower 5.6 rating. I don’t mind having an opinion about a movie that doesn’t flow with the majority. In fact, it kind of feels good to run outside of the pack every now and then. I thoroughly enjoyed “Ceremony,” a dramedy with an unmistakable Wes Anderson feel to it. Directed by Max Winkler (the Fonz’s son in real life) as his feature film debut, “Ceremony’s” first 20 minutes is crammed with hand-drawn illustrations, quirky dialogue, lesser known songs by well known musicians, and the short, but well-constructed scenes that you’d expect to find in a Wes Anderson film. By the start of the second act, the main character’s goal is established and so is Winkler’s own story-telling pace. Because the entire movie takes place over just a couple of days and practically in one location (a lakeside house in a Northeastern state), the story feels very intimate to the audience. You stand where the characters stand; and because of that, it’s much easier to feel what they feel. It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly  turns people away from this movie, but frankly, I have very little complaints about “Ceremony.” It’s a funny, heart-felt, and heart-breaking story about love and its amorphous nature. I liked it! And that’s coming from a guy who hates run-of-the-mill romantic comedies… with a passion! Haha! But seriously, I do.

Get it? “I do.” Wedding ceremony? Yeah? Never mind.

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Jeremy Yonzon

Gattaca (Andrew Niccol, 1997)

Time for sci-fi! “Gattaca” is a brilliant, but under-rated film. In retrospect, I see it as one of the more outstanding movies of the nineties. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) dreams about being an astronaut, but he is considered to be genetically inferior based on the standards of a society where all aspects of human genetics is fully controlled and commercialized. To achieve his dream, he switches identities with a genetically superior Jerome (Jude Law). This film is very thought-provoking that passes an important message about historical facts, a warning for the future, and about discrimination and human nature. “Gattaca” foresees a future with a more subtle discrimination. I had to see this film more at least three times to fully understand all the underlying messages and to see all the details. Even if you don’t like sci-fi, give it a chance. This film deserves a nod.

@anohterdayanotherfilm Recommended by Merve Tekin

Leave a Reply