My Movie Life

Recently I was reading the March 2017 issue of TOTAL FILM magazine and came across a feature which interested me. Director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko – 2001) did a feature entitled ‘My Movie Life’ in which he gave a list of movie titles he would watch in various circumstances. As I was reading the feature I thought it would be fun to do the same so here are a selection of movies that I’ve selected for these varied topics.

MY DESERT ISLAND MOVIE

Tangled (2010)

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Picking a movie for this section is hard because you have to think of a film that will have a lasting impact. Tangled is a movie which I can watch over and over again. It’s a vibrant, fun and colourful movie with a strong leading character and a welcomed modern twist on a fairytale classic. I will declare Tangled as my favourite Disney movie and will even go as far as to say Tangled has one of the best soundtracks for a Disney animation (even better than Frozen – 2013).

THE MOVIE THAT MAKES ME CRY

Never Let Me Go (2010)

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In all honestly I haven’t physically cried at this movie (the last movie I actually cried at was the 2005 movie King Kong when I was 12, no joke) but Never Let Me Go is the most thought provoking and emotionally raw movie I have ever seen. It’s a very effortless and understated movie which is also very poignant and emotionally captivating. This is a movie with a powerful ending due to its subtlety and leaves you with a lot to ponder over. You won’t be sorry to have watched it.

THE LAST MOVE I WATCHED ON A PLANE

Date Night (2010)

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Tina Fey plus Steve Carrell equals an enjoyable watch. Don’t judge me as it was 3am in the morning (I think) and it was on a long flight back home from Africa so I wanted to watch something fun and light hearted. I had watched movies like Midnight Special (2016), Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)...ahem…Daddy’s Home (2015)...but Date Night is the last movie I have watched on a plane.

THE MOVIE I WISHED I DIRECTED

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

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Not that I could ever reach the towering heights of Oscar winner Peter Jackson’s brilliance but of course directing my favourite movie ever would be amazing. Directing a movie with huge spectacle rooted in depth is something a lot of filmmakers could learn from (maybe Christopher Nolan and Peter Jackson could teach the world that lesson).

MY FAVOURITE MOVIE THAT MESSED WITH MY HEAD

Gone Girl (2014)

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There’s not enough words to do justice of the major plot twist that Gillian Flynn writes for both novel and movie version of Gone Girl. The moment which really grabbed me was halfway through the book/movie when Amy says…

*SPOILER*

“I’m so glad now that I’m dead.”

I literally gasped and was so shocked. I’m pretty clueless in general but even this plot twist caught me off guard. From that point onwards the plot escalates and Amy is fully let out of her cage.

Even though I knew what would happen in the movie it didn’t lose its impact as Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike perfect encapsulates the character of Amazing Amy. The movie is brilliantly crazy in a perfectly calculated way. You’ll finish the movie trying to process everything that has happen, it definitely leaves an impact.

THE MOVIE I LOVE THAT NOBODY TALKS ABOUT 

Sing Street (2016)

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Easily one of the best movies last year! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it when I watched it at the cinema but my love for the movie has only grown stronger. There’s such an authenticity in all respects that is endearing and engaging. It also helps that it has an incredible soundtrack with songs that won’t leave you.

It is an indie movie that premiered at Sundance 2016 and sadly not many people (hardly anyone) knows about this movie from the people I talk to. There’s something fun about feeling like you’ve found a hidden gem but at the same time it’s criminal that not more people know about Sing Street. It was nominated a Golden Globe after all.

 

It’s fun trying to fit different films in various categories, it’s worth a try to do what I just did for this blog post yourself.

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Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Currently I’m writing my follow up to my ‘Actors Appreciation Season’, but for now I thought I’d grace this post with a film review I wrote for American Pride Magazine. They have been really supportive of my writing and are generous enough to take my reviews and post them on their website. When they asked me to review a film I loved, The Return of the King was an obvious choice. It is literally my favourite film ever.


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has managed to captivate audiences all around the world for the past decade, it was a huge commercial and critical success. The concluding chapter in the trilogy The Return of the King earned over $1 billion worldwide and won 11 Oscars including Best Picture.

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Everything from the first two films has built to this moment, it’s the final showdown and finally we see the conclusion to this epic saga. As audiences we’ve had the chance to go on a journey with these characters, thus seeing them develop and fleshed out. For example, we see the ring taking a deeper hold on Frodo with the help of Gollum. Frodo’s friendship with Sam is tested in this film, this perfect friendship starts to see some cracks as the corruption of the ring and Gollum’s evil intentions intensify. Frodo and Sam’s friendship is the core of the film, as their mission can only be complete with their support and universal goal to destroy evil.

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Aragon is gradually accepting his true destiny as he seeks out additional forces for the final battle of Middle Earth. There is still a reluctance, but he realises the time has come to come into his own and help win the battle for mankind. It seems like a natural profession of the character because you see the journey of dealing with his heritage and trying to run away from it in the previous films, but in this film you see him use it to his advantage. This is very much Aragon’s film as it’s about the fate of the ring.

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One of the strongest characters is Eowyn, she is a great representation of strength and bravery. Defying the norms of gender stereotypes and warfare, she doesn’t let her love for Rohan prevent her from trying to fight in one of the biggest battles of Middle Earth. Her connection with Merry as well, who also intends to fight, is special because by spurring him on to fight for those he loves, she also is given the confidence and reassurance that this is what she must do. Eowyn is an incredibly inspirational female character that becomes a vital part of the film.

Peter Jackson manages to successfully breathe life into these characters and add depth and substance to them, allowing the audience to truly care for them and stay with them over the course of the film. His care for narrative is evident as well as he effortlessly weaves the multiple story lines together to make one cohesive film, with the help of the amazing Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh. It truly is on an epic scale, emotionally and physically as we see one of the biggest battles at Minas Tirith, Saurons last attempt to destroy the world of Men.

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Howard Shore is a genius when it comes to composing music for Middle Earth, The Oscar winning soundtrack is a perfect send off for the trilogy. The music is beautiful on so many levels, it can be sinister and yet ethereal and so many other things. The soundtrack is like a character itself, a tool to allow the audience to feel certain emotions and understand the mood of the film.

The Return of the King is an exciting, emotional, epic fantasy film soaked in depth and universal themes that have resonated with audiences across the word after all this time. The trilogy itself is a huge success story, as incredible as the third film is you need to watch the first two first because it’s like one long 12 hour epic. It’s more than a film, it’s an experience