Five Underrated films from the early 10s

Here are five underrated films from the early 2010s that you may have missed.

Five underrated films from the early 2010s

One thing that has become apparent over the years and that is there are more classic films being made. With digital filmmaking making it easier for more people to make more movies. The downside is that it’s getting harder and harder to choose. It’s the abundance of choice that makes us go back to those old favourites. The upside of more films being made is that from a statistical standpoint it makes it more likely that more classics are being made.

The problem is how do you choose.

Due to the positive reaction on 5 horror films that I love I thought that I’d take the time to recommend a few more movies to you.

Now, let me make one thing clear. These films aren’t indie darlings, they’re all mainstream fare. However, they didn’t set the world on fire. You’ve probably heard of a few of these, maybe you’ve even seen them.

Whether you agree or disagree would you mind letting me know because I want to know what you think.

Without further ado lets get on with the list.

Morning Glory (2010)

This is a romantic comedy, it’s the only one on the list. I do have a soft spot for romantic comedies. There’s a myth that men don’t like them, it’s not true. The problem is it’s hard to do right, but when it is done right, it is some of the sweetest cinema. Don’t put on PS I Love You and call it Bringing Up Baby.

It’s got Rachel McAdams at her pluckiest. She is a small town tv producer who moves to New York to take over a Good Morning America style show. She has to balance the ego of a former beauty queen played by Dianne Keaton and curmudgeonly old school real journalist played by Harrison Ford.

The primary relationship between McAdams and Patrick Wilson’s character isn’t anything special. The movie comes alive when it’s the scenes between McAdams and Ford. The two have this electric chemistry that makes the whole thing transcend. This is as close as Ford has come to playing an antagonist.

Anyway, it’s a better than average romantic comedy that you might want to check out.

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011)

Let me tell you about how unbiased I am about this film. When I saw this, I hadn’t seen the first one. I wasn’t an RDJ fan. I’d seen the first two Guy Ritchie films and thought they were OK.

I didn’t have any skin in the game when it came to this film.

It was way better than it had any right to be.

There are two ways to describe this film. It’s either the gayest straight film or the straightest gay film. The film is a love story between two men. The relationship between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr is a brilliant double act. RDJ as Holmes is jealous of Watsons (Jude Law) marriage. He ruins the honeymoon, kidnaps his wife and whisks him off on a trip around Europe. You might not see it the first time you watch it, but it’s there in the subtext.

Even the action is good.

The main reason to watch this film is for the double act.

Killing Them Softly (2012)

This one you’ll probably give me a funny look over.

I remember that someone referred to this as Boring them Slowly. This is not for everyone.

It’s a film about bureaucracy in the gangster world. I love movies about the decision-making process especially when it’s about low lifes whos neck are on the line.

It’s also a film about men and how they talk when women aren’t around. I recommend that if you want to understand men better, you should check this film out.

This is based on a book. The dialogue in this film is so raw and blunt. I asked myself if this was created for the movie or if it came from the source. I bought the book to find out. This book was written in the 70s and felt like it was written yesterday.

The film is nasty, brutish and short, you know, the perfect metaphor for life.

There’s an inevitability to events in the film. You know exactly what’s going to happen as soon as it starts and the fun is watching it all unfold.

You know what I don’t think that I can do this film justice in 200 words. So as you’re reading this know that I’m going to be doing something longer.

Of all the films on this list, I recommend this one the most. It flopped when it came out and was considered a failure by audiences and critics alike.

I, however, think that it is one of the top films to have come out in the last ten years.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

This English film is like Harry Potter, it features every British actor to ever Britished.

As spy films go, you can’t get much further away from James Bond than this. It’s way more realistic in that it depicts what the world of espionage is like. It depicts a bunch of civil servants and the only thing that they hate more than their jobs is their coworkers.

Like Killing Them Softly this is a film about men putting on a front to cover for weakness. Men not trusting each other turns out to be a great resource when it comes to making engaging films.

You may find the lack of action and pace a bit lax. Some of the plot can be a bit abstract, even I’m not entirely sure about some points, but you might like this.

A more restrained thriller where just as much rides on a look as much as a gunshot.

The Grey (2011)

I’m not a big fan of Liam Neeson. Just because he’s from Northern Ireland doesn’t give him a pass. Dark Man is good, and his voice work in the Lego Movie is amusing. This may sound like damning with faint praise but what I’m about to say I mean sincerely.

Liam Neeson is reliably wooden. Like Clive Owen, Keanu Reeves and Sean Bean. They’re dependable and unpretentious. They present you the viewer with a blank enough expression. That means you can project your own emotions onto them. You know, like good heroes ought to.

The Grey is Neeson’s best work, and I’ll say the same for writer/director Joe Carnahan.

I described the film to a friend as follows, “Imagine John Paul Sartre wrote a script for William Freidkin in the 70’s, but it didn’t get made till the 80’s”. I’ll admit that I was pitching the film to a pretentious friend, but it’s an apt description.

Neeson and fellow plane crash survivors traverse a barren snowscape chased by wolves.

The beauty of a film like this is in its simplicity. If you want it to be Liam Neeson fights a pack of wolves, that’s fine. If you’re going to read deeper into it, then go ahead.

Again, as I’m writing this, I realise that this is another macho film. I swear I didn’t mean to compile the list like this it just kind of worked out that way.

Is my subconscious trying to tell me something?

Check out the other list of films that I watched.

If you think any of these films suck would you mind telling me why in the comments because I want to know what you think.

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Four Films I watched when I was sick

Four films back to back? Leave me alone I’m sick.

four films

I’ve been sick for a few days, and it completely robs you of any motivation. You slip back into those lazy habits that you would prefer yourself not to. I’ve not been exercising and have been eating the wrong foods. The justification for my behaviour? Fuck it I’m sick. Leave me alone.

I was sitting in the main room watching Toast of London. It’s one of those shows that I don’t understand why I’m watching it as I’m watching. It’s not funny, it’s not unique. They do this thing where they have sections were the point is that it’s deliberately not amusing. Does announcing that you’re not funny excuse you from not being funny?

There are no characters, just people with quirks. I guess I like the musical interludes because they’re fun and surreal. It occurred to me that the real reason that I love it is just down to Matt Berry’s voice. I just like his cadence and the deep baritone levels. It’s good to listen to, and there’s something soothing about his voice.

My housemate, Alex, came in and asked if I wanted to watch a film.

I said yes, but there was a couple of conditions. I didn’t want to watch anything that would make me think. I’m sick, and when you’re sick you don’t have to think that’s the law, look it up.

It was up to me. After some scrolling through Netflix, I found a film.

Don’t be a menace to South Central while drinking your juice in the hood. Four films #1

This is a Wayans brothers film. I saw it years ago as a kid and thought it was hilarious. I hadn’t seen it since and man oh man is it broad. It’s more like a Naked Gun film than anything else. It’s one of those joke factory films where they just keep firing more and more stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

Some of it does some of it does not.

There’s a hilarious idea of the hero’s father is somehow younger than him. The dad asks can he go to a party but isn’t allowed because it’s over 18s only. Shawn Wayans has such an expressive face. It’s a shame that he usually ends up playing the straight man to his brother Marlon.

The editing in this film is lax. I could imagine it’s for audience laughter. Now it just seems like there is a lot of dead air which in an hour and a half film, is a bit much.

As I said, it’s a broad comedy. You don’t have to have seen the films it’s sending up, but there were a few jokes that flew over our head. Even if you haven’t seen Boyz N, The Hood Bernie Mac is hilarious as the racist cop.

After that film was over, we decided to watch another.

You Were Never Really Here Four films #2

My God, this was bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hater. I loved Lynn Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Morvern Caller. Two films that look at violence and the destruction that it leaves in its wake. I was hoping for an interesting take on a generic gangster film. My word I didn’t get it.

This film was downright pretentious. For such a simple premise: Tough guy gets hired to rescue a politicians daughter. I mean, I think that’s what it was. It was told in such a needlessly confusing way. There is a lot of ACTING in this film. There’s also mumbling. Like we tried everything, from turning the volume way up to trying to turn on the subtitles (there were none). Didn’t matter, couldn’t make out a damn word that they were saying.

There were some interesting ideas. I liked how you weren’t given the satisfaction of violence, you get hints of it, but it’s not gratuitous. There’s a bit where the hero holds hands with a dying man. None of this is enough to redeem it.

Alex and I talked about how you can either have a film like this action based (Taken) or character based (Drive). You can’t have neither of either.

This film is a lesson in pacing. We actually worked it out. Subtracting opening and closing credits the feature is one hour twenty minutes. It felt like it went on forever.

I was hoping this to be Lynn Ramsay’s Drive. Instead, it was her Only God Forgives.

After that, we needed something unpretentious to cleanse the palette.

Mortal Kombat Four films #3

We both loved this film as kids. Alex is more into martial arts films than I am so I think he enjoyed it more than I did.

This film introduced a whole generation to techno, and for that we are thankful.

It’s a tournament film like Enter the Dragon with a supernatural twist.

Man, this film cannot be accused of being pretentious. Characters deliver on the nose dialogue so on the nose that you secretly suspect that they are noses.

This film looks cool. The sets and the lighting look like high-level, it helps with the atmosphere. The same can’t be said of the acting. When your props have more life than your cast, it’s not a good sign.

There is some ropey CGI in here as well.

This film is not short on action either. At one point Alex and I kept a tally, there are seven fights scenes in a row. It’s an odd choice because the start of the film is so exposition heavy.

This film could have been so much better with a bit of restructuring. As it stands, it is probably the best video game adaptation so far which isn’t saying much.

Talking about video game movies from the nineties led to an obvious choice.

Super Mario Bros Four films #4

This film is something else.

Like what the hell were they thinking?

You take one of the happiest, colourful games in history and turn it into this drab Blade Runner-esque mess.

As we watched it Alex and I kept asking “Who signed off on this?”

The film looks cool. This was back in the day when you couldn’t green screen your problems away.

The talent is on screen is top notch too. You have Dennis Hopper, Fiona Shaw, Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Fisher Stevens. That they all signed onto this garbaged is a feat in and of itself.

The problem is that if the film was divorced from the Nintendo franchise, it might have been OK. It wouldn’t have been a classic, but it’s the association with the brand that makes it worse.

It feels like there were last minute rewrites to make it more kid-friendly. The result is a grim and oppressive film with slapstick intervals that are grating.

Again, what were they thinking?

If you haven’t seen the film here’s a link.

You aren’t in for a treat.

The making of is more interesting than the result.

You also have to remember that we have this film to thank for this Bob Hoskins quote:

“The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Brothers. It was a f***in’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set! F***in’ nightmare. F***in’ idiots.” -Bob Hoskins

Goodnight sweet prince.

There you have it, watch these films or don’t I don’t care.

Have you read about 5 horror films I love?

Win Bigly: A cure for Trump Derangement Syndrome

Trump Derangement Syndrome, Win Bigly

Win Bigly is the book that will diffuse the hysteria that has been ravaging America since the 2016 election.

This post contains an affiliate link to the book, Win Bigly.

Trump Derangement Syndrome, Win Bigly

Before I continue have you read about how snobs hate Trump?

The following post isn’t a review of Win Bigly but a recommendation.

Let’s get going.

With the midterms, America could be facing another bout of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

What is Trump Derangement Syndrome?

Have you heard of Trump Derangement Syndrome?

It affects half the US.

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is hating Trump so much that it distorts your view of reality.

Take a look at this:

This is a friend of a friend’s Facebook profile. Their identity is tied up with hating Trump.

That’s a sign you have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Here are some excellent examples of TDS captured on camera.

And

You understand that TDS isn’t medically recognised, but there are symptoms that you may be able to spot.

How to tell you have TDS

Before we begin remember I’m not a doctor. Please consult a medical professional if you feel you’re exhibiting symptoms of TDS.

I’ll list three symptoms of TDS

You said you were moving, yet you remained. During the run-up to the 2016 election, you heard celebrities vowing to move to Canada (never Mexico) if Trump won. Two years on and you’re still here.

You probably think with this next bit that I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not.

If you lived in a country where you thought that the leader was going to execute people in the street would you stay? If you thought the leader was painting a bullseye on the country for nukes, do you think the best place for you is the 10 point zone?

Again you might think that I’m being snarky, but I’m being serious. If the country you live is so bad, why are you hanging about? If you’re in danger why stay exposed?

I live in Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland, things aren’t perfect. Here’s the thing: none of us are under any obligation to stay. If I didn’t like Northern Ireland, I’d be gone.

You think that Trump is a genius/doofus, the puppet of Putin who wants to start a war with Russia.

I understand that there are times when you have to hold two contradicting thoughts at the same time. The mental gymnastics when it comes to Trump however, are Olympic level.

Trump’s an idiot who stole the election from people who have spent their whole lives in politics because he’s a mastermind genius. Does that make sense? Oh and he’s also Putin’s puppet yet he keeps delivering sanctions that hurt mother Russia.

You think that African Americans and Latinos are White Supremacists.

You’ve seen this clip.

Have you seen this meme?

Does not compute!

You cannot see an individual outside their politics.

There is this need you have to categorise people into a black/white either/or binary. You can’t understand people’s thoughts and opinions as a spectrum with shades of nuance. It’s one or the other.

There are more symptoms of TDS, but we’ll stop it here for now.

Who is responsible for TDS?

I’m going to say that I don’t want to point fingers but let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s precisely what is going to happen.

The main culprit is the mainstream media. They’re stirring up and inciting hatred. The Democrats to a degree but the media more so. Afterall “Things are fine” doesn’t exactly sell out. No news is good news and the mainstream media know that bad news is a lot of news. That means more clicks, more money.

The media and pollsters spent the run-up to the election telling people they had nothing to worry about. Trump’s campaign and this will soon be a distant dream.

Only it wasn’t a dream.

It was a brave new world that they woke up to.

Now they’ve realised they’re wrong. It was a shock to the system. Instead of taking stock and reflecting where it went wrong, they doubled down.

The problem is that with every “bombshell” discovered they’re presenting themselves as ridiculous. Trump by comparison is seen as reasonable. The media meanwhile is showing themselves to be the sore losers they are.

Win Bigly: The cure for TDS

What if I told you that I don’t think that Trump is the mad lad that they portray him?

Is there a method to the madness?

What if there was a book that stiped back the curtain?

Win Bigly just might be the cure for TDS.

Scott Adams, as well as being the creator of the Dilbert comic strip is also a trained hypnotist. He recognises hypnotic qualities in Trump.

Scott sees the world through the “Persuasion filter”. He tells you that Trump is a master persuader.

The election of Trump, as Scott puts it, has punched a hole in reality. Trump’s poll has shown to us that facts don’t matter. You may think that you’re rational and logical most of the time. Scott tells you that you’re not.

I’m a big fan of Scott and his explanations about how reality works helped me.

Let me tell you about how his writing helped me.

During the run-up to the election I thought that Hillary was going to start a nuclear war with Russia. Looking back it’s so silly. This fear dragged me into a depression. I started planning an exit from society. The reason I didn’t follow through because when you look up nuclear payloads, you get a bit demoralised.

Scott helped me realise that I was suffering a delusion.

This is what it’s like everyday for the anti-Trump patrol. As fun as it is to watch them meltdown every day I want them to get the help they need.

If you haven’t read or watched any of Scott Adams before, start with Win Bigly.

Win Bigly takes you through Scott’s journey of how he came to see Trump as a master persuader. By the end of it, I see him that way too. It’s not just Trump. Win Bigly will help you understand the world at large. It will help you see things through the persuasion filter. You and I like to think that most of the time we’re rational and use logic to navigate life. Scott in no uncertain terms tells us that we don’t.

You probably won’t read the book, why?

You won’t read it because there’s a part of you that likes the doom and gloom. There’s a part of you that loves the outrage.

If you ever get tired of being upset, you know what to do.

Did Jon Stewart read Win Bigly?

Jon Stewart has returned from the wilderness. He appears to be the voice of reason that both the Dems and media haven’t heard in a while.

Watch this clip:

Stewart gets it.

Stewart appears to be wise to Trump’s gameplan. He knows that Trump is playing them and they continue to take the bait.

Makes you wonder if Stewart has read Win Bigly and cured his own Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The question is will Democrats and the media stop overreacting? Will they stop looking ridiculous? Will it be six more years of Trump and Trump derangement syndrome?

Only time will tell. As much as I enjoy Trump and his hijinks some are getting tired of winning.

Snobs hate Trump, here’s why.

Trump, Donald Trump, POTUS

Snobs, if you are one you probably hate Trump.

I’ve been thinking to myself, why is that?

Trump, Donald Trump, POTUS, snobs

Still engaged

You know I’ve been following American politics since the beginning of 2016. I’m not going to beat around the Jeb Bush, but the reason that I got interested was Donald J. Trump. I’ve never been interested in politics all that much. I did politics for A-Level, got a D, didn’t listen in class and paid the price.

I was not interested.

Even on the local level politics is depressing and stuffy. In Northern Ireland, some of our politicians have flat out murdered people. What’s worse is they won’t even deliver the goss. I don’t know whether it’s to do with getting arrested or respect for victims, whatever it’s really frustrating. It’s the same as someone going, “Here, let me tell you what I saw the vicar and the groundskeeper doing. No wait I can’t tell you”. It’s not that they did it, it’s that they did it and refused to talk about it.

Local politics is frustrating because with some adjustment they could get people more involved.

I got so frustrated that I wrote some advice for a party I do not support.

Don’t even get me started on British politics. The UK is a shit show. I’m not saying it’s dirty, but the blanket men told them to scrub the walls. It’s depressing, and it’s performed by uncharismatic husks.

Politics is Wrestling

That’s why I like the politics of the US. It’s my equivalent of wrestling or competitive televised sports.

The 2016 election campaign was so entertaining to watch. I don’t care about Republicans or Democrats. It was fun to watch Trump indiscriminately whale on everyone.

The Republican primaries had some laugh out loud moments. The second debate between Trump and Hilary was TV gold, especially “You’d be in jail”.

There were also the memes.

I thought that once the election was over that would be it and I would return to being disengaged.

Only, you have to understand, that didn’t happen.

Watching the mainstream media fail to comprehend a person antagonistic towards them is glorious.

Can you imagine how fascinating it is for someone like myself who is a novice when it comes to politics?

My memories of politicians is that they go on TV, get asked a question then proceed not to answer.

To have someone come on and not only answer the question but turn it around on the questioner.

I could be wrong, maybe he doesn’t answer questions. What’s it more like? I’ll tell you what politicians lie, you and I accept that. Politicians lie like women. I mean this in the sense that they tell you some of the truth but don’t tell you the complete truth. They lie through omission. Trump lies like a man, it’s over the top, you know that it’s a lie. You find yourself going “Hold on wait what?”

“Trump fails basic fact-checking.”

I hear that frequently and I’ve come to realise that when they say it, they mean it as a criticism.

Here’s the thing, I expect politicians to lie. The problem is most politicians lie like the dirty leech public sector workers that they are. As in their lies lack vision and doesn’t function. Trump, on the other hand, lies like a private sector person would. It’s big gaudy and makes you take in the scale and personal vision. It appeals to the emotion rather than the intellect.

Anyway, you’re wondering why I’m rambling, so am I. What I’m trying to say is that it’s two years later and I’m still here.

Why is that?

I’ve been thinking about it and part of it is Trump’s appeal. Here’s a video from the softly spoken nerd writer:

This video comes to the wrong conclusion. Trump talking in a basic way does not make him stupid.

Trump talks like a copywriter. The words are simple and to the point. The effect that this has on the uninvolved like you or me is you feel you finally understand what the hell is going on.

Now let me set you straight on something. I love big words, you could say that they are the best words, but I am aware of their limits. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, then you feel like you’re getting removed from the conversation. I’ve had this happen to me. I’m sure you have been talking away to someone, and they use a word that stops you in the flow. All a sudden you’re playing catch up.

It’s a Red Hot Chilli Peppers song. Their lyrics are so retarded that it can take you out of the song. Instead of listening you’re trying to work out what they’re saying, “Jade Fox in the treetops” what? You get taken out so far that you miss the chorus.

That’s how big words can hurt you when it comes to communication.

Trump simplifies all that.

Can you imagine how annoying that is if you’re one of the snobs trying to pull the wool?

This is why it must be frustrating to some of the snobs who would be happier if Trump wasn’t about.

Who do I mean by snobs?

You know who I’m talking about, they don’t even acknowledge the plebs let alone trying to help them. You could argue that Trump doesn’t either, but he’s acting as if he does. His solutions could be temporary. For some people holding onto a job for a little longer may make the difference.

Trump is pulling back the cover on bad deals that America has made. Whether it’s the Paris Climate accord which turned out to be literal hot air. There was also the Iran deal where they were just bribing the Iranian regime to stay out of trouble.

Trump’s simple speaking has made politics more accessible to the less privileged. By lowering the barrier for entry into political discourse he’s pissing off the snobs.

He’s democratising democracy.

I hope other politicians follow suit.

5 Horror films I love

Here are 5 horror films that I recommend that you check out. Some of these you may have heard of, some you might not.

You may have read my post yesterday about how I love horror.

I love horror films. As genres go, it is one of the most diverse. It most closely resembles your dreams and therefore speaks to us on a subconscious level.

These films fall more on the creepy side of the horror spectrum rather than the jump scare side.

Here’s the thing, I’m not a fan of jump scares. Mainly because I am a cowardy custard but also because it’s more of a physiological reaction that I can’ help rather than a genuine emotion of dread.

This is in no way a definitive list, and I may come back to this subject again and recommend you some other horror films at some point.

Anyway, hope you take these films into consideration next time you’re looking spooked.

5 – It Follows

This is the most recent of this list. The central idea is so simple yet effective. It’s a film about a sexually transmitted demon (STD?). You have sex with someone who is a carrier. Next thing you know a demon follows you until it gets up close and personal then it goes back down the line. The demon looks like anyone, but you can spot it by it walking towards you.

I love a film with a basic premise. This film makes someone walking forward creepy as hell. It has a great soundtrack too.

To be honest with you the film loses steam around the halfway mark. Everything up until then makes it something work checking out.

I love it when a film creeps me out, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Check it out and let me know what you think.

4 – The Innocents

A loose adaptation of Henry James Turn of the Screw this is a good old-fashioned ghost story. This film drips with atmosphere, luscious black and white photography. Out of all the movies on the list I’ve seen this one the least amount of times. It’s stuck with me the most.

Again if you can make something normal feel unsettling, then you have my respect. In this films case, it’s something as simple as a man standing at the other side of a lake, in broad daylight.

The film has child actors which I’m usually not a fan of. Here it’s okay, they’re creepy but again for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. It could be that spooky child singing about the “Weeping Willow.”

There are more subtle chills provided in this film. If you’re looking for a more jumpy film, then stick with Paranormal Activity.

Good news, you can watch it on YouTube, it’s cropped but hey, what can you do?

3 – Day of the Dead

This is my favourite of George Romero’s Dead trilogy, and for my money, it’s the most underrated of the three films.

There is a Red Letter Media Re: View of Dawn of the Dead. During the discussion, they compare Dawn with Day. “Dawn of the Dead makes me feel like I have the flu watching Day of the Dead makes me feel like I’m covered in bugs”. That’s the best way to describe it.

The film is grim. Whereas the other Dead films you get a feeling that the world outside is operating in some capacity. In Day that feeling is gone. You get the sense that this is humanities last stand and worst of all the humanity that is left are a bunch of assholes.

The special effects make up in this film still hold up today. When I first watched this as a teenager some of the effects had me thinking, how the hell did they do that? Which is the ultimate compliment you can pay to a film.

2 – The Shining

In my humble opinion when it comes to horror films you either love The Exorcist or you like The Shining. If you like one, then you don’t necessarily see the appeal of the other. I’m throwing my lot in with The Shining.

This film is the epitome of creepy horror, my preferred type and as movies go, it gets under the skin.

Is the horror at the Overlook hotel happening or is it cabin fever the Torrance family are suffering? What I like is that the film remains ambiguous and open to interpretation.

Full disclosure I’m not a Stephen King fan, I tried to read the book but to be honest, gave up. Family Guy sums up my attitude to King well.

Don’t get me wrong his books have provided great inspiration for filmmakers. I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that the better adaptations are when the filmmakers deviate from the source material. Kubrick is no exception.

Part of what I like about the film is that it is very much a Kubrick film. Kubrick’s films are about a heroes journey to the centre of the maze and how that changes them. In 2001: A Space Odyssey the astronaut David goes through the Monolith into the central room. David emerges enlightened as the Star Child, the next step in human evolution. In The Shining Jack Torrance enters room 237. Instead of transcending he devolves into something primal, Oedipal.

Next time you’re watching it keep an eye out for doubles. Whether that’s the two Jacks the two Dannys, the twins, the use of mirrors, the list goes on. You’re watching one of the great cinematic representations of the uncanny.

Oh, and one more thing, the Overlook Hotel isn’t haunted.

1- Martin

This is one of the horror greats. This might be Romero’s best work. As much as I love the Living Dead trilogy, this is his most concentrated concise work.

It’s a horror film, but like many of the best film’s, it’s main focus in on the character. In this case, there is the titular Martin who believes himself a vampire. Is he correct in his belief? He needs to inject his victims and has no fangs. He can also walk about freely in daylight and has no problem with garlic or crosses.

The film has some great set pieces for its limited budget. In particular a home invasion scene around the mid-point. The film has an atmosphere of melancholy that pervades throughout. The story plays out against a Pittsburgh that is down on its luck.

Due to legal issues, the film is hard to get a hold of. I managed to get it on DVD years ago, but you’re in luck because someone has uploaded it to YouTube.

Check it out.