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Category Archives: Movie Recommendations

Documentary Recommendation: The White Helmets

Since 2013, 130 White Helmets have lost their lives. In that same span, they’ve saved over 58,000 lives.

That’s how The White Helmets, a documentary about a group of voluntary first responders who rescue victims from the constant bombing attacks in Syria, ends. The story told before that is why it won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary – Short Subject. It’s only 40 minutes long, and again, it won the goddamn Oscar, so you don’t need me to recommend it to you, but it’s such an incredibly important achievement that I want to recommend it anyway. It’s one of the most emotional documentaries I’ve ever watched, and it’s shot so claustrophobically that it’s impossible not to let if affect you. Syria is being absolutely torn apart by war and bombing, and it’s unfortunately very easy for someone like myself to not pay attention and pretend it’s not happening. What this documentary does is force you to pay attention, but instead of placing blame (and there is plenty to go around) it focuses on the White Helmets – former tailors, blacksmiths, builders, and shines the brightest light possible on them. It’s infuriating to watch, because of how senseless the entire thing is, but it’s also necessary viewing. The White Helmets is currently available on Netflix.

-Ryan

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Watch “Stutterer” – The Short that Won an Oscar, but was Rejected by Sundance.

Stutterer doesn’t look or feel like a first film. Its confident direction, from bold voiceover to distinct visual style, belies the fact that it was director Benjamin Cleary‘s first time behind the camera.

Fortunately, these attributes were not lost on the Academy. This year, the short film Cleary subletted his apartment to fund won an Oscar for Best Short Film at the 88th Academy Awards.(Via No Film School)

(Spoilers ahead) What an amazingly emotional film. You can feel the frustration as his inner voice begs to break the chains from its captor. Come to find out what holds him captive is what eventually will set him free. Meeting El and finding out their both just two pieces of a puzzle sends a wave of relief rushing over him that I don’t think I will ever feel. Working in a job that makes him press letters, being unable to help someone in distress, and trying spit a bit a philosophy to a friend are all things that torture his soul. You can see it in his eyes. Meeting El, someone who with he can finally communicate with, is the perfect ending to this wonderful story. Bravo, Mr. Cleary. I look forward to more from you.

-Matt

PS – This was shot for 5k over 3 days.

 

 

Trailer Alert/Movie Recommendation: Blood Father

Have you ever watched ‘Taken’ and wished that Liam Neeson would be replaced by an aging, recovering alcoholic and who moonlights as a tattoo artist out of his trailer? Have you also wished that the character would be played by Mel Gibson? Well if you have, then Blood Father is literally the movie for you. All jokes aside, Blood Father stars Mel Gibson as everything I’ve mentioned above, including being a neglectful father who is thrust back into his daughter’s life after she gets in with the wrong crowd and needs help. While the daughter (played by Jessica Jones’ Erin Moriarty) drives the plot, Gibson is the one who steals every scene. He has a mini monologue at the beginning of the movie that is clearly a reference to his real life troubles, and how he’s squandered away what could of been one of the greatest careers in Hollywood history. Once upon a time, Gibson was the guy you went to when you wanted a layup at the box office, but his personal demons got the best of him and almost exiled him out of show business for good. I’m glad he’s back here in some capacity though, because he’s a hell of an actor, and nobody does action/war movies better than Mel Gibson. While Blood Father might not get a lot of recognition, Gibson’s next effort, which he co-wrote and directed, received a 10 minute standing ovation at it’s world premiere in Venice on Sunday night. Hacksaw Ridge, which tells the real life story of US army medic Desmond Doss and his heroic feat during the battle of Okinawa in World War II, will be released on November 4th. For now though, check out Blood Father, and try to not to cheer too hard for a full fledged Mel Gibson comeback.

-Ryan

It’s Friday – See A Movie

It’s the weekend. A time for rest and relaxation. A time for movies. Here are some flicks to see this weekend.

Don’t Breathe

Whenever a movie is described as “shit-your-pants terrifying”, it’s safe to call it must-watch. For all my horror junkies out there, this is the film for you. Fede Alvarez is basically my spirit animal when it comes to horror movies. To be fair, he’s only made one other (Evil Dead [2013]), but he’s got quite the foundation for this next one. I’m excited to see it, and you should be too.

Hands of Stone

Just like how the Black Eyed Peas sold their souls to the devil for unlimited hits, I think the boxing movie genre sold its soul to make unlimited good boxing movies. Seriously, think back and try to find a boxing movie that wasn’t good (i’ll even include MMA movies). You can’t, right? Impossible. This movie came out of nowhere for me and i’m pretty hyped to see it…I’m hyped to see anything Bobby De Niro does, if we’re being honest.

Home Movie Pick – The Dark Knight

Looking to play something from your own collection? Make it The Dark Knight. I assume everyone has this on dvd or blu-ray, and if you don’t, I question you patriotism. EVERYONE should have this, and the other two movies from the trilogy, in their collection. It’s cinema at its finest.

3380824081_9bde045ff3My reasoning for why The Dark Knight is the home movie pick of the week is simple. For the most part, everything on my dvd self has been watched at least once, and in the case of Pacific Rim and Prometheus at least 15 times. So, when selecting a movie from a pile of already watched movies I use a specific method. I break down my wants and needs into 3 categories: Characters, sequences and directors.

If i’m feeling a specific character (in the case of this week’s pick it’s Heath Ledger as The Joker) I search for movies that have standout, all-time performances and select from those. Characters like The Bride from Kill Bill or James Conway from Goodfellas. If i’m feeling more a specific sequence, I gravitate towards movies with some fantastic scenes. It’s the underground bar scene in Inglorious Bastards or the car chase in The French Connection. It’s sequences that hold you at the edge of your seat. The last category, directors, is simple. Who’s style of storytelling do I want to enjoy? Do I want a good twist? Time for Shyamalan. Blood and guts? Tarantino or Marty. Do I want to laugh myself silly? Maybe I pull out a Harold Ramis classic like Analyze This. You get the picture.

However you watch this weekend, whether it be with a giant bucket of popcorn in a theater seat that smells of stale farts or in privacy of your own home with some take out Chinese food, make sure you do it with an open mind and heart. Happy viewing and be sure to tweet as us what you watched! (@AverageNobodies)

::Roll credits::

-Matt aka TSG

 

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