Saturday, March 04, 2006

Movie Recommendations

If you're looking for a good movie to watch this weekend, here are a few of my top picks:

The Company of Wolves

"A wolf may be more than he seems...."

So Granny (Angela Lansbury) tells young Rosaleen in this erotic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. This movie is part allegory, part seek-and-find, part fairy tale, part horror movie. It's got some of the best werewolf transformation scenes ever. It's dark, fantastic and beautiful. One of my favorites.

Rob Roy

"I will think of you as dead until my husband makes you so. Then I will think on you no more."

If there was an Academy Award for Best Portrayal of an Angry Woman, Jessica Lange would get it for her portrayal of Mary MacGregor. But you'd be pissed off too if some guy in a wig raped you in your own kitchen.

Liam Neeson stares as her husband, the Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor, whose dealings with Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) go from bad to worse after the money he borrows is stolen. Montrose sends The Worst Villian ever, Archie Cunningham (Tim Roth) out to arrest MacGregor, setting off a chain of events that lead to the Best Revenge Scene Ever .

It's also worth noting that, in one scene, Liam Neeson walks out of a loch where he's bathing stark naked. I ruined my old videotape rewinding it to and replaying that scene. Thank God for DVD's.

Excalibur

"If a boy has been chosen, a boy will be king!"

I've watched this movie so often that I can recite the charm of making by heart. This is the best King Arthur movie ever made. Well casted - Nicol Williamson was born to play Merlin just as Nicholas Clay was born to play Lancelot.

And this movie isn't just good. It's beautiful. I still get chills when I see the Lady of the Lake pull the sword back into the water.

Secretary

"Does this look sexual to you?"

If you're a bit of a freak, then yes. Excellent, odd little movie about two people (James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhall) who learn that sometimes love means not working the kinks out of your relationship.


Donnie Darko

"Sometimes I'm afraid that you'll tell me that this is not a work of fiction."

I don't even know how to describe this movie. You might just want to buy this DVD instead of renting it, because you'll find yourself watching it at least three times to pick up clues you missed the first time around.

Basically, it's about a sleep-walking teen named Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhall) who leaves his house during his somnabulistic outings and encounters "Frank," a scary-looking 6-foot rabbit who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. From there it just gets weird.

It's got a great, eclectic cast that also includes Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnall and Noah Wyle.

God, destiny, time travel..if you've ever pondered these things you'll love this movie.

Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood, Die Hard or any of the Harry Potter movies

No, these aren't great movies. But they do all star Alan Rickman, who's a wonderful actor, a really funny guy and has a voice that just captivates me. I often fantasize about him reading to me. He doesn't do anything else in these fantasies. He just reads to me.

17 comments:

prettylady said...

I feel exactly the same way about Alan Rickman. The way he says "Give me an occupation or I shall go mad" in S&S gives me chills. I would probably wear out my videotape on that one.

I also loved 'Secretary.' The best and most romantic portrayal of BDSM ever made.

Morgan said...

I watched that last night. I'm not big on romance movies, but I caught the last half of that one on TNT a few nights ago and bought the movie Thursday.

That is a good line.

I also love James Spader and believe 'Secretary' offers a very valid portrayal on self-acceptance, sexually speaking. The last part, where she puts the dead cockroach on the bed is my second favorite part. My favorite, of course, is when she asks her former boyfriend, "Does this look sexual to you."

Morgan said...

Oh, and speaking of 'Secretary,' sometimes -when I help Larry in the greenhouse, I pot the plants upside down. ;-)

Taylor said...

I've seen Excalibur many times myself. It's extraordinary. The cinematography, musical score (I adore Wagner), story, casting (the best Merlin ever). That's probably why you get goose bumps in that Lady of the Lake scene - Wagner's music works so well throughout the many enchanting scenes in that movie.

Morgan said...

The music was awesome, Taylor.
An interesting tidbit: Nicol Williamson - who played Merlin - and Helen Merrin - who played Morgana - loathed one another.

And the director thought Helen Merrin was the most beautiful woman in the world and still keeps the breastplate she was wearing - the one in the last scene when Merlin came in and used the charm of making to steal her youth.

Taylor said...

I didn't know that. It's always fun to get that kind of background info on stuff. Nicol Williamson, he's marvelous and I thoroughly enjoy seeing him in anything - what a voice. Yes, I recall that breastplate in that scene. Then that little demon son/nephew of hers, Mordred, freaks out and kills her after Merlin finally gets freed after poor Perceval finds the mystery of the Chalice.

I also enjoyed reading the stories of Arthur and the knights in English Lit.

Shrubbery said...

Rob Roy was awesome! I loved how he cleaved Tim Roth in two.

Morgan said...

Was that not the best sword fight scene ever?? There's some debate as to whether Rob faked Archie out or drew from some reserve of strength at the end. Either way, he did put a hurting on that fop.

And Archie so had it coming, not just for raping Mary and killing Alan McDonald but for the way he cast off the poor pregnant maid, Betty.

Betty: "Ive been dismissed on account of my state?"

Archie: "And what is your state pretty Betty."

Betty: "You know very well I'm with your child. And this one here has made report of it."

Callan: "Ah, Betty, I did nothing your belly would not soon announce on its own."

Betty: "Archie, what am I to do?"

Archie: "Root it out. If Callan here doesn't know an old crone with a twig, I miss my guess."

Betty: "It's gone to far for that!"

Archie: "Then it will not be the first bastard born in Scotland."

Betty: "Archie, I love you!"

Archie: "Love is a dung hill, Betty, and I am but a cock that climbs upon it to crow."


All that from memory, which should tell you how often I've watched that movie.

Morgan said...

Mordred was indeed a creepy kid. I liked the scene of the night Mordred was born, when the priest prayed, "God, save us from Morgana. And save us from her unholy child." And then the lightning came through the cross and struck Arthur.

JohnR said...

Morgan: I thought Excalibur was a little campy. I hated the way the actor(don't remember his name)played Arthur. He was thick, couldn't control his anger, and always needed Merlin's help.

I have also found it fascinating the way people believe the King Arthur stories to be medieval tales and not late ancient/very early medieval tales. I believe the legendary Arthur dates to the 5th century.

Morgan said...

JohnR, I willingly plead ignorance of the standard Arthurian legend.

Do you have a good book to recommend on Arthur that shows him more in the light you've described?

JohnR said...

Morgan: There is always Malory for the definitive Arthurian legends. I believe he was supposed to be good and wise. But I have to admit to never having read Malory. My problem with the movie is Arthur seemed rather stupid.

tc said...

Ah, Alan Rickman.....

I also highly recomment Galaxy Quest, where he plays a much-maligned "Mr. Spock" type and Dogma, of course, where he first appears in a ball of flame as Metatron, Voice of G-d, and is promptly doused with a fire extinguisher wielded by our fierce heroine.

Tom

Morgan said...

Oh, I'd quite forgotten about "Galaxy Quest." That movie is so funny.

I thought the guy (can't think of his name) who plays Monk was great in that, too.

tc said...

Tony Shalhoub.

Tom

Courtney said...

I insist that you see the movie Quills. It's based on the Marquis de Sade and his writing from the madhouse (all busting with perversions that got him there in the first place). Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet and Joaquin Pheonix are all remarkably convincing. You'd enjoy it!

Morgan said...

Thanks, Courtney!
It sounds like a great cast and an interesting movie. I'll let you know what I think. ;-)