Jackie inspired many filmmakers and martial artists alike. Drunken Master is one of those golden examples. Focuses on a young man who is mischievous and arrogant. However, his life takes a round house kick when his punishments catch up to him and his father hires a drunkard to train his son. Drunken Master is mainly focused on Jackie becoming a better man, a better fighter. With the apprentice learning you can’t always get out of a situation by lying or hiding. And you may not be the best at facing your problems either. In a key moment when he becomes demasculinized and must crawl beneath dominance looming over him in order for Jackie to find his humble self. It’s here when he takes pride in learning and overcoming his foes. There are many fight scenes to the point it’s almost exhausting. But it’s quirky, the showdowns have fun with themselves. Never straying too far into the drama. There many jokes jabbing to one other mid fight and many slapstick humor that will hardly leave anyone displeased. And the fights are heavily clever and delightful, encouraging your reaction to be no less than Owen Wilson’s “Wow.” Drunken Master is persistent in it’s entertainment and the humor is highly expressionistic leaving you feeling like you’re not wasting your time watching a quirky kung fu movie. The sequel is just as good.
For a 90 minute movie Bad Company ended too soon. Just as I’m invested in the relationship of the two leads, the film ends. And it is a good ending. This film trotted by without recognition. Makes you wonder why it isn’t as big as other western epics. I reckon it would be the run time, give this an extra 30 minutes, you got yourself a fuller story expanding beyond the prairies. I recommend blowing the dust off this ol’ gem if you like journies without an end, the point of boy to man, and moseying westerns.
Bad Company is an American movie. One of the most American movies I have seen. It renders my imagination what the U. S. of A. forefathers were doing. Serving the blue coats. Gray coats. Living off the land. Contemporary mentalities. Interesting to think what it was like during this historical chapter. Many changes were happening: natives were being forced off their land; immigrants were trying to make a living in the new world; slavery and runaways; then the civil war. The youth who were able bodied were being drafted into serving during the civil war. Some got away, looking for a freer world.
Bad Company focuses on a hand full of youth who decide to run from an ever changing world and its challenges. While escaping one reality they are found with the pleasures and tribulations of another. Freedom was sought after by everyone during this time and to this youthful lot, freedom was riding horseback among the prairies against the wind, away from law and a call to arms. The nature of the story is very human. Considering what you have learned, your strengths, our differences, and how far we’re willing to go to trust each other. Some themes spoken here and ideas are still relevant today.
It’s like the film holds a frame up in time, capturing what it’s like before America became fifty states. The music even fits the time period, with a classic piano sounds contemporary for the time as it cascades through your speakers (sounds almost like Snoopy is going to exit his dog hut). Bad Company just feels real. In the way it handles consequences, youth curiosity and the coming of age. The sequence of events that lead to the end wrap up very nicely. I carry only my imagination on how our leads continue their journey because I wasn’t ready for it to be over yet.
Many times a movie can slip underneath your nose and you may never have caught a whiff. Bargain Bin is an accumulative set of movies I found underrated or hidden gems. Movies I’d like to bring attention to. You may have seen one, or a few, before but I’d like to dig inside the bin and discuss what we find. Perhaps, you may have found your next ‘Movie Night’ entertainment.
Today, I have a selected list of Animated features that may fancy your itch for something light and fun. And at the same time, being captivated by the artistic worlds the stories are surrounded by.
Watership Down (1978)
The movie opens beautifully with a tell-tale backstory of the Watership Down‘s folklore, then transitions to our main characters Hazel (John Hurt) and Fiver. After a vision, the rabbits decide to move away from their warren to escape the evil humans tearing down their land. What follows is a perilous journey, testing each other’s strengths and wits. Beautifully told and masterfully hand drawn. The film can be quite gruesome at times, with images of blood and flesh tearing; it is said this is the most violent PG film ever made. But it’s balanced by the serene landscape and a fateful bird “[perfectly] landing” some dorky comic relief (if only there was more of it). Watership Down became an instant favorite of mine.
PS: The locations you see are actually based off the map the author, Richard Adams, put in his book. Also is based on some real locations in Hampshire, England.
Song of the Sea (2014)
A film i recently watched and had to tell the world about. This is a movie that could rival Ghibli Studios. The animation and the music was just captivating. Literally. When not much was happening and I got up to get a snack, my eyes were still on the screen. Song of the Sea serenades us a bedtime story inducing lucid dreams. This is one of those moments when a family will look back on and say “remember when we watched-“. A magical movie that reminded me similarities that strung to Spirited Away. I knew nothing of this movie, and i suggest you keep it that way and let yourself become enchanted.
PS: Nominated for best Animated movie of the year. I’d like to also point out the backstory of Irish folklore is very interesting. And a selkie is my spirit animal.
Pom Poko (1994)
Three of my childhood years was spent in Japan, this was when i was exposed to the wonderful world of Ghibli. Since then I have grown up watching these films and I have to say, Pom Poko is one of THE most underrated films i have ever seen. Written by legendary Hayao Miyazaki, tells a story of raccoons trying to save their land from the humans who continue to deforest their home. They’re no ordinary raccoons though, these are shapeshifting raccoons. And they will fight to survive; whether that means they put on a psychadelic, full-on trip-out show to strike fear, or simply blend in. I found myself laughing at some of the going ons because it’s actually quite funny. Yes, Pom Poko took me by full surprise.
PS: Hayao Miyazaki is no stranger to telling stories about ‘humans and their deforestation for their industrial greater good’, Princess Mononoke anyone? Pom Poko is just a little more comical.
Ernest and Celestine (2012)
Another animated feature that became an instant favorite of mine. Ernest and Celestine is a French film, in English, delivering the laughs and, i must say, is quite cute. When Celestine befriends the bear, Ernest, which is taboo, they must depart from the city life, but not without the marshmallows. The authority says other wise hence they have unfinished debts to be repaid. I truly cared for what happened between the newly found friendship as they found they are not that different at all. This movie had me laughing at the expressions being made and other situations, all making me fall in love with the genius behind this creative animation. Simply one anyone will enjoy.
PS: Anyone get a flashback to Totoro when the mouse started poking the bear?
Mary and Max (2009)
Mary and Max is a sweet story about long distance friendship. Based on a true story, Mary lives in Australia and writes to her friend, who she has never met, Max, who is living in a New York apartment and is diagnosed with asberger’s syndrome. They send each other letters about their private lives and sometimes a box of local goodies. The stop motion animation is fun and the different color schemes when bouncing back and forth between Australia and New York really adds to the whole experience; giving each other separate moods. Sometimes the subject matter can be dark or unexpected but it’s hard not to care for their friendship and hoping that they one day meet. I enjoyed this movie, lending me a good few chuckles which lead to a near tearjerking end.
A magnificent film. After just watching Apocalypse Now I still have a profound feeling of being lost in a cruelly insane, dark but beautiful world. Wonderfully shot by Francis Ford Coppola and relishly written. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the screen with mysterious amazement. I have never seen Vietnam filmed so beautifully and so dangerously. This movie will stand the test of time for it is timeless. One generations will come to watch and seem familiar with because of so many other movies it has inspired today, but still will be viewed as it is iconicly fresh, as in with it’s own zest that can not be coppied. It is brutal, raw, a drug trip down the river hell.
There are some things about this movie you simply can not put down on paper. The imagery will stay with you long after the credits roll. I’m not talking about the shoot outs and the gun-ho scenes at the beginning, for me, it was the smaller imagery that took up a small bit of screen time like an airplane facing nose down in the river and the tail sticking straight out of the water as our unfateful crew boat beneath it. The writing as well is vivid and engrossing, it’s what captured my attention at first. When Willard hears Colonel Kurtz for the first time, and you get the first sense of the guy, it’s over a tape recorder and Kurtz says: “I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.” This is but one example among the single lines, conversations, and monologues that truly stand out and brings the film to another level. i would to make a list of the lines that most impressed me but I believe that will dull the effect of it and will be too long of a list, with the exception of: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
The story of Apocalypse Now is a simple one: Capt. Willard must find a rogue soldier, Col. Kurtz, who has gone mad deep in the jungle and he must terminate Him. The lengthy movie (not taking in account it’s extended Redux) is a build up to the final half hour of the intimidating presence of Marlon Brando (Kurtz). He is sly and patient, smart and unpredictable. Kurtz is no ordinary man, he is a soldier who has been awarded many colors and stripes. However, he has reached a breaking point of going geniously mad and becoming a God among the locals and a few mindlessly lost Americans. One of which is Dennis Hopper who is great fun to watch as the photojournalist. When Willard arrives to Kurtz’s domain, he meets the Photojournalist who speaks about Kurtz on another level that makes it more personal and psychological; you learn more about this mad man and what he’s capable of. You start feeling more anguish and a lob in your throat. You start to wonder as Willard does to himself ‘how is he going to confront him? What is going to happen?’ The Vietnam jungle itself is a character. It boasts fear of the unknown into soldiers’ hearts; a labyrinth of lush trees and bushes leading to impending doom, and a hot attitude that will influence the strongest of soldiers to do unspeakable atrocities. Staying in the boat on this death trip away from the trees will not save their souls.
Apocalypse Now takes you on a journey that showcases war of men and horror. It is not easy as the dread sinks in from the first scene and doesn’t let up, dumping buckets as the minutes go by. Every image has its on spectacle and epic beauty. I remember movies on how they make me feel, and this one is worth remembering after all these years since it’s release and more years to come. The moments that happened prior to the conclusion are just as important. It is shot with patience and great magnitude that will leave you speechless after venturing into the Heart of Darkness.