A Gang of Movies Reviewed #1

Sorry for the title, I really couldn’t come up with something more witty. But a “gang” of movies makes me think of movies with a bad attitude that go around pushing people away.


For some reason, during the academic year I am more prone to watch series rather than films. In my defense, an episode usually is no longer than 40 minutes.

I’ve now had more time to watch some movies from my unending list at Filmaffinity.

SLOW WEST (John Maclean, 2014)

It’s an indie movie set in the 1880s (educated guess) in the US. Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young boy from England that doesn’t look a day over fifteen, has come to the States to find his beloved, Rose. He’s the son of an English Lady so, of course, he has no idea on how to deal with the Wild West but he is a persistent guy.

Soon in the movie he meets Silas (Michael Fassbender), a bounty hunter that will guide him through his journey.

The movie is, indeed, slow, but it is beautiful to watch. Every scene is well prepared and designed, there are a thousand of details that makes it delightful to watch.

Actually, this sort of reminded me of Wes Anderson. However, despite what the summary of the movie induces to think, it’s far less innocent and naïve than recent Anderson’s movies such as Moonrise Kingdom or Grand Hotel Budapest. The Wild West was no place for children and, indeed, there’s a certain amount of violence and a necessary dose of reality in the movie.

It is not a cowboy movie either, it is a realistic portrayal of how the Wild West must have been at the time, without all the scheming, revenging, and dueling found it most westerns.

THE MAN FROM EARTH (Richard Schenkman, 2007)

The poster could have been so much cooler.

Another indie movie that I would have never watched were it not for a friend’s recommendation.

John Oldman (David Lee Smith) is a University professor that decides to leave his job and move to another city. He invites his close friends to a farewell party at his house. His friends cannot understand the motives behind his sudden wish to leave and are even more taken aback when John tells them his reason.

A debate ensues, and it lasts for the whole movie. All the characters are University professors (from different areas ranging from Biology to Religious Studies) so expect nothing but brilliance in their interventions.

No, it is not boring. It is actually quite engaging and an intellectual challenge. At the same, their views on the matter reveal a lot about their personalities, congratulations to the writer!

I really enjoyed this movie, and I wish I could tell you more about it, but I fear it would spoil it completely!


Simply brilliant.

To end on a lighter note… yes, it’s a Bollywood movie, everyone has its guilty pleasures and this one is mine.

Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) is a 40-year old sweets-seller in Mumbai who is entrusted with his grandfather’s ashes. He has to immerse them in the river Rameshwaram.

However, because this man is a selfish idiot, he prefers to go on a vacation to Goa with his equally stupid friends. So he takes the Chennai Express just to trick his grandmother (confirming he is a selfish idiot) into thinking he is actually going to the Rameshwaram.

However, he helps Meena (Deepika Padukone) – who is far too young to be his love interest, but who cares, right? – to get in the train, and there his troubles begin. The girl has been kidnapped by her father’s goons and is to be taken back to her hometown to be married to someone she does not love.

The fact that the (rather cheerful) main theme pops up now and them in the most dramatic situations only makes you laugh more of how ridiculous everything is. Actually, what I liked from this movie is that, because Rahul and Meena are the only ones who can speak Hindi (the others speak Tamil), they use songs to communicate and not arouse suspicion. This is the best excuse for musical numbers I’ve ever seen in a Bollywood movie.

If you get past the fact that the main character is extremely annoying, you might have a good time watching it. Chennai Express is so absurd and over-the-top that it is actually quite/funny and entertaining to watch, especially if you have some neurons you want to get rid of.


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