Licorice Pizza (2021)

Licorice Pizza is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie and John Michael Higgins.

The film takes place in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. 15-year old Gary Valentine prepares for his high school picture day, when he notices 25-year old Alana kane, a photographer’s assistant and starts a conversation with her. She rejects his advances, but then later meets him for dinner and the two begin a friendship. Gary goes to auditions and appears in a variety show with Lucy Doolittle, when Gary’s mother says she’ll be in Las Vegas when she is supposed to take him to New York, Alana chaperones him instead. On the plane, Alana meets Lance, one of Gary’s co-stars in a Doolittle film, and the two start dating. but they break up after an awkward dinner with Alana’s family.

Gary starts a waterbed business with Alana as an employee and assistant. While selling beds at an expo, he is arrested on the suspicion of murder but is released soon after. When Alana decides she wants to try acting, Gary introduces her to his agent, who gets her an audtion for a film starring Jack Holden, directed by Sam Harpoon. After her audtion, she goes with Holden to a local restaurant, which Gary and his friends as well as film director Rex Blau, are paying for. Blau convinces Holden, a motorcycle lover, to recreate a stunt on a local golf course involving a jump over a firey ramp. A wasted Holden brings along Alana but she falls off the bike during the stunt. Gary runs to her to make sure she isn’t hurt while Holden performs the stunt and wreck the motorcycle, though he is unharmed.

Gary, Alana, and Gary’s friends deliver a waterbed to Jon Peters’ house as a gas crisis starts to take over the country. An irritated Pters leaves ro see a movie, but not before threatening to murder Gary’s family, specfically his brother, if they ruin his house. After setting up the bed, an upset Gary floods the house before leaving with Alana. They’re later flagged down by a furious Peters, whose car has run out of gas. They drive him to a gas station but when they arrive, he threatens a customer. Alana and Gary leave him behind. Gary stops and attacks Peters’ car, but they end up running out of gas too. The waterbed company ultimately fails because of the gas crisis.

Alana starts to work on the Joel Wachs mayoral campaign. Gary briefly joins her, but after overhearing that pinball has ben legalized in California, he decides to open an arcade. The two cut ties after an argument, where Alana pretty much calls Gary immature and he calls old in revenge. As Gary prepares for the opening of his arcade, Alana is invited to have drinks with Wachs that night. She gets to the restaurant and learns Wachs is gay after being introduced to his partner Matthew. He asks her to take Matthew home as a beard, despite Matthew’s obviously hurt feelings. Afterwards, apologizes to Matthew and they share kind talk. She goes to Gary’s arcade, but finds him gone, as he has gone to look for her.

This film has a sweet story, but the age gap is beyond weird, him being fifteen and she being twenty-five, but at least Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t make it pedophilic, unless you count him seeing her boobs and them kissing, but at least there is no sex between them. But the fact that she is a woman hanging out with immature teenage boys is also weird. It’s like you want to jump in the movie and tell her to get some friends her own age. At times, Alana seems like a mother figure to Gary and other times, she seems just as immature as him mand his pals. Gary does eventually become very mature and a businessman and you are proud of him. Alana, makes poor decisions throughout the film, like wearing a bikini and heels to sell waterbeds at the grand opening of Gary’s waterbed company. Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son) and Alana Haim (of the band Haim), both of whom have never acted before this film, do fantastic jobs in their rolls as Gary Valentine and Alana Kane, definitely Best Lead worthy.

There are some things about this film that have stirred controversy, like the age gap between Gary and Alana, the fake Asian accent used by Jerry Frick, John Michael Higgins’ character can be seen as racist, the fact she never wears a bra and you can tell and the fact a fifteen year old boy becomes a businessman.There is also a couple of scenes that deal with anti-semitism. All of this controversy might make some people uncomfortable and/or offended.

The acting is great and the story would’ve been better if several things had been changed like the ages of the two main characters, the underage-ness of Gary running businesses and slight racism. The soundtrack is great, although Bowie’s “Life on Mars” doesn’t fit. The costumes are spot on 70’s, although you get see Alana’s nipples a lot, same as the cars and decor. I just wish the band Haim would have recorded a song for the movie, since they do often have a sort of Fleetwood Mac sound to them.

Overall, a very good, not outstanding film. They focus too much on Gary and Alana’s relationship and Gary’s business ventures and not enough on each others lives outside of that. I thought it was going to be more about Gary trying to become an actor and win over Alana as well, so that was a disappointment. I like the indie feel of this film and the era. This is better than most Paul Thomas Anderson movies, but not his best. I was so excited to see this one and when I finally saw it, it was not nearly what I anticipated. Good cinematography, excellent acting and awesome soundtrack, but that is practically all. 18+ 3.5/5

The Greatest UK Films of All Time

  1. The Railway Children – 1970
  2. This is England – 2006
  3. Braveheart – 1995
  4. Philomena – 2013
  5. Hedd Wyn – 1992
  6. God’s Own Country – 2017
  7. Comfort and Joy – 1984
  8. The Quiet Man – 1952
  9. Solomon & Gaenor – 1999
  10. Dr. No – 1963
  11. Gregory’s Girl – 1981
  12. Sing Street – 2016
  13. Mr. Jones – 2019
  14. The offence – 1973
  15. Local Hero – 1983
  16. Brooklyn – 2015
  17. Pin Cushion – 2017
  18. Picadilly – 1929
  19. Rob Roy – 1995
  20. The Crying Game – 1992
  21. Ray & Liz – 2018
  22. Four Weddings and a Funeral – 1994
  23. Skyfall – 2012
  24. The Young Offenders – 2016
  25. Sleep Furiously – 2007
  26. Edvard Munch – 1974
  27. Sweet Sixteen – 2002
  28. My Left Foot – 1990
  29. Three Identical Strangers – 2018
  30. Oliver! – 1968
  31. Whiskey Galore! – 1949
  32. The Snapper – 1993
  33. Tiger Bay – 1959
  34. Topsy-Turvy – 1999
  35. Sunshine on Leith – 2013
  36. In the Name of the Father – 1993
  37. Misbehaviour – 2020
  38. Walkabout – 1971
  39. Shallow Grave – 1994
  40. Bloody Sunday – 2002
  41. Submarine – 2010
  42. This Sporting Life – 1963
  43. Brigadoon – 1954
  44. Frank – 2014
  45. Pink Wall – 2019
  46. Dunkirk – 2017
  47. Gwen – 2018
  48. 24 Hour Party People – 2002
  49. Highlander – 1986
  50. The Commitments – 1991
  51. Ethel & Ernest – 2016
  52. Zulu – 1964
  53. Neds – 2010
  54. The Magdalene Sisters – 2002
  55. Bastards – 2014
  56. Land and Freedom – 1995
  57. Mrs. Brown – 1997
  58. In America – 2002
  59. A Way of Life – 2004
  60. The Go-Between – 1971
  61. Ratcatcher – 1999
  62. The Wind That Shakes the Barley – 2006
  63. Just Jim – 2015
  64. The Bridge on the River Kwai – 1957
  65. The Illusionist – 2006
  66. The Secret of Kells – 2010
  67. Grand Slam – 1978
  68. Night and the City – 1950
  69. The 39 Steps – 1935
  70. The Guard – 2011
  71. The Citadel – 1938
  72. Fish Tank – 2009
  73. Tunes of Glory – 1960
  74. Michael Collins – 1996
  75. Orlando – 1992
  76. Culloden – 1964
  77. Cardboard Gangsters – 2017
  78. Hang Up Your Brightest Colors -1973
  79. Blue – 1993
  80. Alfie – 1966
  81. The Prime of Jean Brodie – 1969
  82. Kisses – 2008
  83. The Falls – 1980
  84. Brief Encounter – 1945
  85. The Wicker Man – 1973
  86. The Secret of Ronan Inish – 1994
  87. How Green Was My Valley – 1941
  88. Second Best – 1994
  89. Kind Hearts and Coronets – 1949
  90. Restless Natives – 1985
  91. Maudie – 2016
  92. Pride – 2014
  93. The Ladykillers – 1955
  94. Breaking the Waves – 1996
  95. The General – 1998
  96. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness – 1958
  97. Brighton Rock – 1948
  98. Trainspotting – 1996
  99. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – 2017
  100. The Lion in WInter – 1968

Classic of the Week: Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

Steamboat Bill Jr. is a 1928 silent comedy film starring Buster Keaton and directed by Charles Reisner. The film is known for what may be Keaton’s most famous film stunt: The exterior of a whole house falls around him while he stands in the ideal spot to pass through the open attic window instead of being crushed. The film inspired Disney’s Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse’s 128 film debut.

The film follows William “Steamoat Bill” Canfield, who is the owner and captain of a paddle steamer that has seen better days. He impatiently awaits for his college student son to arrive, whom he hasn’t since the boy was a baby. Expecting a big man like himself to help him compete with businessman John James King and his brand new, expensive riverboat, William is sorely disappointed with his awkward son, who arrives with a beret, a pencil mustache and a ukulele. He gets enraged when he finds out that his son and King’s daughter Kitty, also visiting her father, are in love. Both business opponents are determined to break up the relationship.

When Canfield’s ship is said to be unsafe, he accuses King of plotting it. He beats him up and is put in jail. His son tries to set him free by bringing him a loaf of bread with tools hidden inside, but his plan is dicovered. The sheriff hits the son on the head, sending him to the hospital. A cyclone then hits, tearing down buildings and jeopardizing this ships. As Canfield Jr. is making his way through town, a build front falls around him.

Although this film was a box office failure and received mixed reviews upon its release, it has since gone down as one of Keaton’s best movies and one of the greatest films of all time. It has many laugh out moments, lots of slapstick and special effects that were ahead of its time and still impress to this day. It has romance, drama and a few heartwarming and instense scenes.

This iconic film has inspired so many movies and televisions shows, especially the house falling scene. This is a movie with a simple plot and that was so brilliantly executed in every way, I don’t understand how this did so poorly in theaters and had such mediocre reviews. It is a wonderful, fun-filled and very entertaining film from begining to end. There is not one dull moment and it is Keaton at his best.

There is no nudity, no profanity (of course) and no drinking or smoking. There is slapstick violence. The father’s rejection of his vain son and the cyclone scene may be disturbing to some children, but other than that this is a pretty family friendly film. This is one movie that can be watched over and over again. This film has definitely stood the test of time. Truly a masterpiece that will continue to entertain and inspire. 7+ 5/5

House of Gucci (2021)

House of Gucci is a 2021 American biographical crime film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed by Sara Gay Forden. The film follows Ptrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), as their romance blossoms into a struggle for total control over the Italian fashion brand Guicci. Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino also star. 

In 1978, Patrizia Reggiani is a young, pretty Italian woman working as an office manager at her father’s small trucking firm. At a party, Patrizia meets Maurizio Gucci, a law student and heir to 50% interest in the Gucci fashion house through his father Rudolfo. Patrizia forcefully pursues the awkward Maurizio. Rudolfo warns him that she is only after his wealth and tells him that he will disinherit him if he marries her. Maurizio chooses Patrizia over his relationship with Gucci, leaving the family. Patrizia and Marizio marry and he takes a job at the Reggiani trucking company. 

When Patrizia gets pregnant, she sees her child as a way for family recognation . She slips it out to Maurizio’s uncle Aldo and he is delighted by the news takes them in. Maurizio reconciles with his very ill father shortly before his death and Rudolfo writes him back into his will, but forgets to sign the papers, sending the Gucci shares to him before he dies. Patrizio falsifies his signature, giving Maurizio 50% interest in the company. 

Patrizia starts to invent a scheme to take a powerful interest in Gucci by taking Maurizio’s uncles Aldo and Paolo’s shres. At a family ski trip, Patrizia senses that Maurizio is having an affair with a family friend and consults a psychic for help. Maurizio asks for a divorce and says he also is going to take away her shares in the company. Many illegal events happen after she is dropped from Maurizio’s life and the Gucci brand, prompting her to devise a plan with the psychic to hire hit men from Siciliy to trick Maurizio and shoot him. 

You don’t have to be rich, a fashionista, or even a fashion designer yourself to enjoy this movie. The acting is equally superb from all the main stars. The soundtrack is awesome with a great mix of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s hits. The constumes and makeup is outstanding as well. Parts of the film are very slow and not much time is spent on the tiral of Patrizia and Pinna the psychic, just facts on the screen mostly. I was affraid the actors wouldn’t get the Italian accent right, but most of them did, except for Jeremy Irons whose accent was a mixture of Italian and British. 

This a really long movie at two hours and thirty-eight minutes and seemed like it wasn’t going to end. I did find myself a bit bored at times, wishing certain scenes would get over with. Some scenes are dragged on, like Aldo and his birds, just show he has them and move on, it’s not that important to the overall story. So much of the film seemed a bit soap opera-ish, like an Italian version of Dynesty, making it not as entertaining as Ridley Scott intended. For a film of a highly talented cast, I was expecting an exceptional motion picture, but got far less. Not worth spending money to watch on the big screen that’s for sure. 

The acting, fashion and music are the only things really good about this movie, so those award nominations will be well deserved, but not Best Picture or Best Director. Save yourself time and money and just read the book on audio, because the film is not as good they make it seem. 18+ 3/5 

 

8-Bit Christmas (2021)

8-Bit Christmas is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Michael Dowse, from a screenplaty by Kevin Jakubowski based on his novel of the same name. The film stars Neil Patrick Harris, Winslow Fegley, June Diane Raphael, David Cross and Steve Zahn. The movie, set in the late 1980s, follows a young boy named Doyle who plans to get a Nintendo Entertainment System before everyone else.

This film is filled with 80s nostalgia from the 80s music and fashion, but mostly from the NES video games and gaming system. It is also filled with several laugh out loud moments and cheesy jokes and mediocre acting. The entire film focuses only on Doyle trying too hard to get his hands on an NES system and not much more. This movie has the feel of A Christmas Story, but is nowhere as funny and almost seems like a 1980s story rip-off, where as instead of a Red Rider BB Gun, it’s a video game system and instead of a pink bunny costume, it’s a set of encyclopedias.

The acting in this film is weak, despite several big name stars. The story, though an original one, seems unoriginal and most of the film just one cheesy line after another. There are scenes that are a bit too slow, making the film not as exciting as it was intended to be. Preteens and teens will probably enjoy it more than young children and adults. There is quite a bit of adult humor, mild langauge and mild violence as well. This seems less like a Christmas film and more like a movie about a kid trying to get the latest toy to be popular.

I found myself bored for the most of this movie. It was funny in a few scenes, but mostly just an immature mess of a film not so much about Christmas, but a video game, adding to the commercialization of a sacred holiday, it does not teach children the true meaning of the celebration at all, but makes them think it is all about gifts. So there is not much heart to this movie, it is very vain in the story of a kid only wanting something for themselves, not considering those who couldn’t even afford a pair of mittens.

There was not much imagination to this story and other Christmas movies will always be more rewatchable and entertaining. This film is falls flat in entertainment, originality, and humor. I don’t understand how such a movie has garnered such good reviews, when I was left unimpressed. I’ll stick with other holiday films from now on and give this one a pass every time. Truly a waste of time. 10+ 1.5/5

Documentaries to See Before You Die Part II

101. The Murder of Fred Hampton – 1971

102. The Tillman Story – 2010

103. Newtown – 2016

104. Tarnation – 2003

105. Portrait of Jason – 1967

106. Gideon’s Army – 2013

107. Jane – 2017

108. Listen to Me Marlon – 2015

109. Crime + Punishment – 2018

110. 4 Little Girls – 1997

111. I Called Him Morgan – 2016

112. The Girls in the Band – 2011

113. Buena Vista Social Club – 1999

114. They Shall Not Grow Old – 2018

115. Virunga – 2014

116. King in the Wilderness – 2018

117. The Sparks Brothers – 2021

118. The Bleeding Edge – 2018

119. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed – 2021

120. The Last Dance – 2020

121. Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind – 2018

122. Tina – 2021

123. Summer of Soul – 2021

124. The Endless Summer – 1966

125. Gimme Danger – 2016

126. I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story – 2014

127. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story – 2017

128. The Celluloid Closet – 1995

129. Food, Inc. – 2008

130. Super Size Me – 2004

131. Waco: The Rules of Engagement – 1997

132. The Farm: Angola, USA – 1998

133. Long Night’s Journey into Day – 2000

134. Born into Brothels – 2004

135. Jesus Camp – 2006

136. Exit Through the Gift Shop – 2010

137. The Mole Agent – 2020

138. The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman – 2001

139. Human Zoos – 2018

140. A Simpler Way: Crisis as Oppurtunity – 2016

141. Real Value – 2013

142. Modern Day Miracles – 2017

143. Child of Rage – 1992

144. Beware the Slenderman – 2016

145. Life in a Day – 2011

146. Wisconsin Death Trip – 1999

147. The Big Scary “S” Word – 2020

148. The Dark Hobby – 2021

149. The Reason I Jump – 2020

150. Stray – 2020

151. Bullied – 2010

152. Public Housing – 1997

153. Juvenille Court – 1973

154. Domestic Violence – 2001

155. Near Death – 1989

156. Welfare – 1975

157. 2040 – 2019

158. A Secret Love – 2020

159. Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love – 2019

160. Always in Season – 2019

161. Tea With Dames – 2018

162. Abducted in Plain Sight – 2017

163. 10 Billion: What’s on Your Plate? – 2015

164. One of Us – 2017

165. LA 92 – 2017

166. I am Jane Doe – 2017

167. A Suitable Girl – 2017

168. The Bad Kids – 2016

169. Oklahoma City – 2017

170. 3 1/2 Minutes, Tin Bullets – 2015

171. Becoming Bulletproof – 2017

172. A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story – 2015

173. Amy – 2015

174. Merhcants of Doubt – 2014

175. Above and Beyond – 2014

176. Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory – 2014

177. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer – 2013

178. An Apology to Elephants – 2013

179. G-Dog – 2012

180. Bully – 2011

181. Marley – 2012

182. Thin – 2006

183. The Babushkas of Chernobyl – 2015

184. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon – 2015

185. Life Itself – 2014

186. Sour Grapes – 2016

187. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – 2014

188. Silicon Cowboys – 2016

189. Trumbo – 2007

190. Big Men – 2013

191. Frank and Ollie – 1995

192. Burn Motherf*cker, Burn! – 2017

193. Sid & Judy – 2019

194. Emanuel – 2019

195. Bergman Island – 2004

196. Town Bloody Hall – 1079

197. Vernon, Florida – 1981

198. Gates of Heaven – 1978

199. The War Room – 1993

200. Koko: A Talking Gorilla – 1978

Documentaries to See Before You Die Part I

  1. Apollo 11 – 2019
  2. 20 Feet from Stardom – 2013
  3. Minding the Gap – 2018
  4. Man on Wire – 2008
  5. Dick Johnson is Dead – 2020
  6. Amy – 2015
  7. Totally Under Control – 2020
  8. Stop Making Sense – 1984
  9. Inside Job – 2010
  10. Hoop Dreams – 1994
  11. One Child Nation – 2019
  12. Iris – 2015
  13. Rewind – 2020
  14. The Invisible War – 2012
  15. Spellbound – 2002
  16. March of the Penguins – 2005
  17. Muscle Shoals – 2013
  18. Citizenfour – 2014
  19. Tower – 2016
  20. Blackfish – 2013
  21. McQueen – 2018
  22. Amazing Grace – 2019
  23. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution – 2020
  24. Athlete A – 2020
  25. Slay the Dragon – 2020
  26. 56 & Up – 2013
  27. Collective – 2020
  28. Three Indentical Strangers – 2018
  29. Time – 2020
  30. The Decline of Western Civilization – 1981
  31. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – 2012
  32. Seymour: An Introduction – 2015
  33. On the Record – 2020
  34. Sound CIty – 2013
  35. The Look of Silence – 2015
  36. RBG – 2018
  37. Life Itself -2018
  38. Faces Places – 2017
  39. The Last Waltz – 1978
  40. Welcome to Chechnya – 2020
  41. Paris is Burning – 1991
  42. Capturing the Friedmans – 2003
  43. I am Not Your Negro – 2017
  44. Taxi to the Dark Side – 2007
  45. The Interrupters – 2011
  46. A Thousand Cuts – 2020
  47. More Than Honey – 2013
  48. Hitchcock/Truffaut – 2015
  49. The War Tapes – 2006
  50. We Were Kings – 1996
  51. Rivers and Tides – 2001
  52. Bill Cunningham: New York – 2010
  53. Last Train Home – 2010
  54. Afghan Star – 2009
  55. The Missing Picture – 2014
  56. Maiden – 2019
  57. Knock Down the House – 2019
  58. Muderball – 2005
  59. Free Solo – 2018
  60. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – 2018
  61. Waste Land – 2010
  62. Bowling for Columbine – 2002
  63. Searching for Sugar Man – 2012
  64. Grey Gardens – 1975
  65. The Work – 2017
  66. The Act of Killing – 2012
  67. Gleason – 2016
  68. Life, Animated – 2016
  69. How to Survive a Plague – 2012
  70. O.J.: Made in America – 2016
  71. The Times of Harvey Milk – 1984
  72. The Thin Blue Line – 1998
  73. Harlan County, U.S.A. – 1976
  74. Shoah – 1985
  75. Night and Fog – 1956
  76. Don’t Look Back – 1967
  77. Nanook of the North – 1922
  78. Man with a Movie Camera – 1929
  79. Grizzly Man – 2005
  80. Hearts and Minds – 1974
  81. Roger & Me – 1989
  82. Titicut Follies – 1967
  83. Lake of FIre – 2006
  84. Woodstock – 1970
  85. The Sorrow and the Pity – 1969
  86. Salesman – 1969
  87. Triumph of the Will – 1935
  88. Crumb – 1994
  89. Gimme Shelter – 1970
  90. For Sama – 2019
  91. Monterey Pop – 1968
  92. F for Fake – 1973
  93. Kon-Tiki – 1950
  94. Helen Keller in Her Story – 1954
  95. The War Game – 1966
  96. The Hellstrom Chronicle – 1971
  97. Marjoe – 1972
  98. Malcolm X – 1972
  99. The 81st Blow – 1974
  100. Best Boy – 1979

50 Movie Roles Too Mature for Child Actors

  1. Macaulay Culkin – The Good Son (1993), 13 years
  2. Dafne Keen – Logan (2017), 12
  3. All the actors – Kids (1995)
  4. Natalie Portman – Leon: The Professional (1994), 12
  5. Dakota Fanning – Hounddog (2007), 12
  6. Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine (2006), 10
  7. Drew Barrymore – Poison Ivy (1992), 17
  8. Tatum O’Neal – Paper Moon (1973), 10
  9. Brooke Shields – Pretty Baby (1978), 12
  10. Thora Birch – American Beauty (1999), 17
  11. Linda Blair – The Exorcist (1973), 13
  12. Kirsten Dunst – Interview With a Vampire (1994), 10
  13. Evan Rachel Wood – Thirteen (2003), 14
  14. Alicia Silverstone – The Crush (1993), 18
  15. Mariel Hemingway – Manhattan (1979), 16
  16. Dominique Swain – Lolita (1997), 14
  17. Jodie Foster – Taxi Driver (1976), 12
  18. Jacob Reynolds – Gummo (1997), 14
  19. Julia Stiles – Wicked (1998), 16
  20. Elle Fanning – The Beguiled (2017), 19
  21. Ryan Simpkins – Gardens of the Night (2008), 8
  22. Kikki Reed – Thirteen (2003), 14
  23. Dakota Fanning – The Runaways (2010), 15
  24. Claire Danes – Romeo + Juliet (1996), 17
  25. Sue Lyon – Lolita (1962), 14
  26. Christian Bale – Empire of the Sun (1987), 13
  27. Chloe Grace Moretz – Kick-Ass (2010), 12
  28. Nicholas Hoult – A Single Man (2009), 18
  29. Olivia Hussey – Romeo and Juliet (1968), 15
  30. Leonard Whiting – Romeo and Juliet (1968), 17
  31. Brooke Shields – The Blue Lagoon (1980), 14
  32. Leonardo Dicaprio – This Boy’s Life (1993), 19
  33. Anna Paquin – The Piano (1993), 12
  34. Balthazar Getty – Lord of the Flies (1990), 13
  35. Oliwia Dabrowska – Schindler’s List (1993), 11
  36. Danny Lloyd – The Shining (1980), 6
  37. The Girls – Cuties (2020)
  38. Harvey Spencer Stephens – The Omen (1976), 12
  39. David Bennett – The Tin Drum (1979), 11
  40. Jena Malone – Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), 11
  41. Haley Joel Osment – The Sixth Sense (1999), 11
  42. Kristen Stewart – Wlecome to the Riley’s (2010), 17
  43. Niyar Saikia – Sold (2014), 15
  44. David Kross – The Reader (2008), 18
  45. Carol Baker – Baby Doll (1956), 19
  46. Sue Lyon – The Night of the Iguana (1964), 16
  47. Katie Jarvis – Fish Tank (2009), 18
  48. Elliot page – Hard Candy (2005), 17
  49. Leelee Sobieski – My First Mister (2001), 19
  50. Paula Haun – Too Young to Love (1950), 15

Land (2021)

Land is a 2021 drama film directed by Robin Wright in her directorial debut. It stars Wright, Damian Bichir and Kim Dickens. The film follows the story of a grieving widowed woman who seeks a new life off the grid in the mountains of Wyoming.

After experiencing trauma Edee Holzer (wright) is in the middle of therapy, telling to the therapist that she doesn’t like to be around people because she doesn’t think it’s right that they share her pain. Wanting to escape, she leaves the city where she lives and moves to Wyoming where she purchases a small remote cabin and is determined to live in solitude without any modern conveniences to bring her to outside world, including telephones or cars.

At first, she struggles with the basics of survival like chopping wood and fishing. When a black bear enters her cabin, eats her food and destroys most of the rest of her supplies while she hides from them, she reaches her breaking point. Without fire for food or heat, she tries to hunt but cannot bring herself to shoot a deer. Not knowing what to do next, she tries to take her life by shooting herself with the hunting rifle, stopping short when she remembers her sister Emma (Dickens) pleading not to hurt herself.

During an extreme snowstorm, the metal roof of her cabin becomes dislodged by the wind, making loud noises. She leaves the cabin to try and repair the roof and gets injured. A local hunter, Miguel (Bichir) and his friend and nurse Alawa rescue her and help nurse her back to healthy. While Alawa leaves, Miguel stays to look after Edeeby cooking for her and giving her more supplies. She thanks him but explains that she came to the cabin to be alone and wants it to remain that way. He understands and offers to help give her better survival skills so she can have the solitude she wants. He shows her to trap, fish and hunt. Over time, a friendship develops as Miguel continues to come over to help her hunt, plant and harvest crops and explore the land. Miguel shares that his wife and daughter died in car accident eight years prior, while Edee reveals that she used to have a family.

Land is a very slow, pretty depressing, yet somewhat inspirational film. It makes you appreciate who and what you have in your life. It isn’t exciting at all, but really pretty boring for the most part. There is very little action and dialog. The gorgeous setting doesn’t make up for how dull this movie is. It isn’t a long film, but the mundanity and slowness make it seem much longer. From an award winning actress (Wright), I was expecting an exceptional movie and this one fell flat.

I’m not saying this film was a snooze fest because it is a survival type, because there are great survival films like Cast Away. Had there been more dialog, action and more about her life prior to moving to Wyoming, I would have like this one a lot more. The beautiful background and soundtrack were the best things about this movie. I’m so glad I didn’t waste money seeing this in theater, because I’d be asking for that money back. This movie was missing a great story, because the one that was produced was bland to the max. This could’ve been a wonderful motion picture, instead it was rushed and lackluster all the way around.

This film does teach about forgiveness and the power of family and friendship and that’s pretty much it. Not the worst film I’ve seen this year so far, but far the best. 13+ 1.5/5

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho is a 2021 British psychological horror film directed by Edgar Wright and starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Michael Ajao, Diana Rigg and Terrence Stamp. It is the final film appearances of Rigg and Margaret Nolan, who both died in 2020.

The film follows Eloise “Ellie” Turner, who loves the music and fashion of the Swinging Sixties and dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Her mother, who was also a designer, killed herself when Ellie was a child. Ellie occasionally sees her mother’s ghost in mirrors.

Ellie moves from her rural house in Redruth, Cornwall, to London, to study at the London College of Fashion, where she has trouble fitting in with the other students, especially her stuck up roommate Jocasta. Only John, another student, is sympathetic towards her. Unhappy in the dorms of the school, Ellie moves into a bedsit in Goodge Place owned by the elderly Ms. Collins.

That night, Ellie has a vivid dream where she is carried back in time to the 1960s. At the Cafe de Paris, she sees a brave young blonde woman, Sandie, ask about becoming a singer at the club. Sandie begins a relationship with charming teddy boy manager, Jack. The next morning, Ellie designs a dress inspired by Sandie and discovers a love bite on her neck.

Ellie has another dream in which Sandie auditions at a Soho nightclub, arranged by Jack. before returning to the same bedsit that Ellie has rented. Inspired by these dreams, Ellie dyes her hair blonde, changes her clothing style and gets a job at a pub. She is approached by a grey haired man, who recognizes her resemblance to Sandie is not living the life she had wanted and Jack begins to pimp Sandie to his male business partners. Ellie begins an investigation after discovering in a dream that murders have taken place in the bedsit and soon discovers that the owner of the place she is renting from has a dark past and that she may or may not be the real Sandie.

This film is equal parts intense, twisted, bizarre and disturbing. The combination of putting present day London and 1960s London together is ingeniously done, combining the fashion and music of today’s Britain to the fashion and music and to what it was in 60s, along with the two stories clashing together as one and at times separately. The soundtrack is great combining both sixties and 2000s hits, the fashion is fantastic, everything Sandie and Jack (others from the 60s) wear is beautiful and spot on with the time period, making the film both gorgeous and thrilling at the same time.

Thomasin McKenzie does a good, not great job in the film as Ellie Turner, but was not the best fit for the role. Anya Taylor-Joy is outstanding job as Sandie , Matt Smith is equally outstanding as Jack. Terrance Stamp is good as Lindsey, the grey haired older man who stalks Ellie at the pub, I just wish he had had more lines in the movie.

The film seems to jump into the wickedness almost too quickly, not really building up much beforehand. You do learn how Sandie meets Jack, but you learn too fast, so that part is bit rushed, making it seem like she becomes nightclub star and he becomes her boyfriend and pimp overnight, which is impossible. The story is almost all intensity and too much of it takes place in the 60s world and not in the present day. Also, the film towards the end, stretches the horror factor too far, making the landlady into the overdone insane character, which at first you think is Ellie.

If the director would’ve spent equal time in both eras, stopped the overdoing of the weird towards the end and cast a better actress for Ellie, the film would have been fantastic. It is still entertaining, but I don’t see it winning any best picture awards or Palme d’Or at Cannes. But both Taylor-Joy and Smith deserve awards for their performances. 18+ 3.5/5