The Bad (and Not So Bad) of Bridget Jones

When the first Bridget Jones book Bridget Jones’s Diary came out in 1996, the author Helen Fielding said it was a feminist book and it was an instant best seller, fast-forward five years and the 2001 film version starring Renee Zellweger comes out and teen girls and women fall in love with the awkward character once again. But in reality, there is far much negativity with the character. It has been nearly twenty-one years since the first film was released to mostly favorable reviews, but the protagonist and stories have not aged well.

For one, within the first five minutes of the film, there’s a terrible joke about Auschwitz, a racist joke about Japanese people and a butt grabbing uncle. No lovely introduction for a rom-com. Much of the film revolves around Bridget’s weight, her smoking and relationships with two very dull men, one of whom is a pig. The weight subject is hard to ignore and they make Bridget seem fat, when she never is. Her weight being between 125 -136 pounds in the first film, which make her BMI in the healthy range for her 5’5″ height. But Renee Zellweger had to gain like 30 pounds for the role, but still nowhere near fat, just curvy, which a much healthier image than those waiflike models that storm runways. Better than promoting too thin like Kate Moss or Kaia Gerber or promoting obesity like Lizzo or Ashley Graham. Bridget should have been proud of her curves and being a healthy weight, not ashamed.

She should have just stopped smoking, drinking and started exercising and eating healthy and not wasting her time, puffing away, getting drunk and wallowing in her loneliness and self hatred with junk food, sad music and romantic movies. She is so naive and desperate to find love, she falls for the first guy that shows her attention, who happens to her boss at work. He is inappropriate to her and she takes it all like gifts from him, from grabbing her butt in an elevator, to sending her steamy instant messages, to sleeping with her taking her on a trip away and even cheating her with thinner, younger woman whom is actualy engaged to. The only good thing she did with him is tell him off at work and quit, though later she finds her wondering if she wants him back.

The other boring man she is attracted to is Mark Darcy, a top London barrister, a Fitzwilliam Darcy (hence is name) type character, but less personality, who has known Bridget since she was a child. He is an awkward fellow, though not nearly as embarrassingly as her. In the first film, he seems to only want Bridget when she is seen with Daniel Cleaver (her boss) or any man. He does eventually fall deeply in love with her exactly the way she is, but the two couldn’t more oposite in every way except being British.

The film teaches ladies that sexual harrassment is okay and to just cover it up. Daniel Cleaver would have gotten #MeToo-ed in today’s world. The fact Bridget eats up all the inappropriate actions of Cleaver, is a sickening problem and glamourised for part of the first movie, until she finally realizes what she went through. Just taking it in the first place is awful enough. She at first is so desperate for a relationship, she’d do anything for one. The movie also makes the note of if you’re over 30 and single, your life is over. Not true, because some people find true love later in life and some people never do and are still happy.

The story glamourizes smoking, sexual harrassment and heavy drinking and is fat phobic, though the main character is far from overweight. They make it seem like weight loss and a relationship are the only things that can make a woman happy, which isn’t true at all. The naivety of the protagonist at times seems so much like a teenager that has never dated before and knows very little about sex, since she allows herself to be manhandled and made fun of. She also had created so many problems in her life from heavy smoking to heavy boozing to obsessing over romance and her body, instead of enjoying her life. She constantly complains but doesn’t do anything about until forced to. What kind of female role model is this?

The story isn’t all bad, because Bridget does eventually stand up for herself, get another job, stops smoking, works out, learns more about dating and goes after her true love. But the vast majority of the film is the oppsite of being feministic. It is not an inspirational story, in fact none of the books or movies are. In Bridget Jones’s Baby she doesn’t even know who the father is. Bridget is not the brightest bulb, in fact, she can be downright stupid. She constantly makes makes mistakes and pins so much negativy on herself that it oftentimes shows in the way she presents herself, her atitude, body language, etc. Who wants someone like that in their life? Why would anyone fall in love with a person like that?

Should Bridget Jones be cancelled for teaching the complete oposite of how to be a lady and feminist? Or should just say, “Oh well, it’s fiction?” To me stories like these are harmful because of how teach bad things. Like how these illuminate self-loathing, harrassment and how not to get a man to want you.

Bridget Jones is a relatable character for so many women, but not always in a good way. Her way of life is not always healthy or positive and we need more positive female role models. We need ones that embrace themselves with postivity, acceptance of the flaws they can’t change and changing bad habits. We also need ones that don’t just sit around and complain about their lives, they actually do something about it, because self-pity won’t get you very far. BJ tought me to hate myself and obsess over finding true love, not to enjoy life and be patient and love who I am. Not the kind of heroine I’m sure Helen Fielding set out to create, but she did, sorry, not sorry. There are other female icons real and fictional that uplift and inspire for the better, so bye bye Bridget!

The Power of the Dog (2021)

The Power of the Dog is a 2021 Western psychological drama film written and directed by Jane Campion and is based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. 

In Montana in 1925, wealthy rancher brothers Phil and George Burbank meet widow and owner of an inn Rose Gordon during a cattle drive. The kind George is taken quickly by Rose, while the turbulent Phil, influenced by his mentor Bronco Henry, makes fun of Rose’s son Peter for his lisp effete ways. 

George and Rose get married and she moves into the Burbank ranch house and is able to use George’s money to send Peter to college to study medicine and surgery. Phil takes a instant hatred towards Rose, believing she married George for his money. George arranges a dinner party with his parents and the gorvernor. He intends to introduce his guests to Rose, so they can meet her and hear her play the new piano, of which she says she can barely play. During the party, Rose is shaken by Phil’s earlier mocking of her skills, is unable to play more than a few notes. She begins heavily drinking alcohol, something she was against doing before. 

By the time Peter has come to stay at the house for summer break, Rose has turned into an alchoholic. Phil and his men tease Peter and resorts to staying in his room. He he brings home a rabbit he has caught, making his mother excited, but she later finds that Peter has killed and dissected it. Alone in the woods, Phil masturbates with Bronco Henry’s scarf. Peter enters woods and finds magazines with Bronco Henry’s name on them with pictures of nude men. He watches Phil bathing in a pond with the handkerchief around his neck. Phil sees him and runs him off. 

Phil begins to show respect to Peter, offering to teach him how to braid a lasso from rawhide and teach him how to ride a horse. Peter goes with him. Peter goes on his own one day and finds a dead cow, from which he cuts off pieces of it’s hide. While working on fencing, Phil hurts his hand moving the wood. Peter tells him about finding his alcoholic father, who hung himself and cutting down the body and Phil scoffs. 

Rose’s drinking worsens when she sees how much time her son is spending with Phil. After learning about Phil’s rule of burning the hides he doesn’t need anymore, Rose goes against him and gives the hides to local Native Americans who thank her with a pair of gloves. She then faints from too much alcohol in her systemand George helps her, throwing away a bottle of Bourbon that he had found in the bed. 

Phil is angry about not having any of the hides he needs to finish Peter’s lasso and he tries to throw is anger towards Rose but is stopped by George. Peter calms Phil down by offering him the hide he had gotten from the dead cow, but Peter fails to tell him that animal was already dead when he found it. Phil is touched and informs him that their relationship will be even better now. 

This is not your typical western, being that it takes place in the 20th century, so you do see cars and electricty, instead of covered wagons and oil lamps. The film is a bit too slow throughout and doesn’t go into enough detail about Rose’s first husband and Peter’s father, other thank he was abusive, an alcoholic and hanged himself. Also, not enough scenes of George and Rose together. But the movie is filled with powerful emotion. 

Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Phil Burbank oustandingly, making you really believe his a cowboy and rancher and not just a great English actor. Jesse Plemons is also great as his brother George Burbank, although his character could’ve been on the film more. Kirsten Dunst is fantastic as Rose Gordon and Kodi Smit-McPhee also does a fine job as her son Peter Gordon. 

This film is filled with themes such as grief, love, hatred, jealousy, sexuality and greed as well as wealth and alcoholism. It is a bit slow for much of the movie, so it can be a bit boring, but the acting is superb and the music is exquisite, the setting is absolutely beautiful throughout. But at a runtime of two hours and six minutes, I was hoping for something at least half way exciting to hold my attention better. 

Overall, this is one of the better films of last year. It’s not a perfect motion picture, but it’s not quite terrible. It is very well done , aside from being really slow, but it’s not as good as other westerns, but does deserve applaus for acting, costumes, soundtrack and setting. The story and film itself is lacking as far as entertainment, so I found myself wanting more and was disappointed since this got such rave reviews and awards. It left me wishing for more. If you’ve never seen a Western film before, don’t start with this one, try a classic like Hang ‘Em High first. Overall, a fairly well done movie. 18+ 3.5/5 

The Fallout (2021)

The Fallout is a 2021 American high school drama film written directed by Megan Park in directorial debut. The film stars Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Julie Bowen, John Oritz, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp and Shailene Woodley.

High school student Vada Cavell goes to the restroom in the middle of class after her younger sister Amelia calls her when she has her first period. While in the restroom, a school shooting accurs and Vada hides in a stall with her classmates Mia, a dancer, and Quinton, whose brother is killed in the shooting. In the following weeks after the incident, Vada’s trama causes her to become depressed and isolated from her family. She also isolates herself from her friend Nick, since she cannot relate to the gun control activism he has been coaxed to do. Instead, she becomes closer to Mia and begins to spend lots of time at her house.

Vada’s parents put her in therapy and returns to school, but finds the situation uncomfortable. She cannot bring herself to go to the restroom where she hid, resulting in her peeing on herself when she hears a soda can being crushed. To cope with the stress, she takes ecstasy, resulting in Nick having to help her through the high. She and Nick argue about her weak coping skills, resulting in her venting to Quinton and trying to kiss him. Quinton rejects her, as he is not emotionally ready for a relationship yet. She isolates herself more from her family and friends, including Mia.

Later, Amelia admits to Vada that she assumed Vada was mad at her for the call that has put her in more danger. Vada tells her that is not the case and they make up. Vada recconnects with her parents and Mia, with the two of them agreeing to remain friends. Vada makes progress with her therapy, in coming to terms with what happened, though she admits that she and Nick might not make up. Vada waits for Mia outside of the studio she takes lessons at. She recieves a notification of another school shooting in the country.

The story of a school shooting is both powerful and disturbing and this film does cover that part, but it spends far too much time on Vada withdrawing from others in her life and her depression as well as her relationship with Mia. Not enough of this film is spent on the actual shooting, mostly just the aftermath and the students, school staff and the students’ parents’ reactions. Had the film focused more on the incident and not the feedback of the school community, I would have enjoyed it more. The acting from all the main stars is great. The soundtrack by Finneas O’Connell was also great.

The character of Vada Cavell is a tomboy with no real sense of fashion, dressing like a cross between a female basketball player, a rapper, hippie and Billie Eilish and had very little as far as personality, making her a rather boring protagonist. Mia Reed, the rich girl Vada becomes best friends with, also has very little perosnality and does underage and inappriate things, even with Vada like drink wine, skip school, smoke weed, have sex and listen to unedited music, making her not a likable character much at all either. Vada’s mother Patricia is overprotective of her daughters and her father is more likable as he is more lenient, fun and not afraid to curse (though some may not like that).

Overall, I found this film to be anything but spectacular. It is good and that is all. You’d think for a story about school gun violence, it would’ve been great, but I found myself rather bored for a good portion of this movie. Also the abrupt ending, just made it worse to me. Powerful story, not executed powerfully enough. 18+ 3/5

4 ways screenwriting provides you with novel writing skills — Uninspired Writers

Over the last few weeks at uni I’ve been studying script writing, with particular focus on screenplays. It’s a lot of fun, and very different from novel writing. Yet at the same time, there’s a lot of skills that can be applied and strengthen your novel writing ability. I’ve discussed before how writing short stories […]

4 ways screenwriting provides you with novel writing skills — Uninspired Writers

Classic of the Week: Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American period comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heather Graham. It is set in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley and follows a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a popular star in pornographic films, documenting his rise in the Golden Age of Porn of the 1970’s to his downfall into the 1980’s. The film is an expansion of the director’s mockumentary short film The Dirk Diggler Story (1988).

In 1977, high school dropout Eddie Adams is living with his father and emotionally abusive mother in Torrance, California. He works at a Reseda nightclub owned by Maurice Rodriguez, where he meets porno director Jack Horner. Interested in starting Eddie in porn, Jaxk auditions him by watching him have sex with Rollergirl, a porn actress who loves to roller skate. After arguing with his mother about his girlfriend and sex life, Eddie moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley house. Eddie gives himself the screen name “Dirk Diggler” and becomes a star because of his good looks, young presence and unusually large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, a large wardrobe and a 1977 Chevrolet Corvette. With his friend and co-star Reed Rothchild, Dirk pitches several successful action themed porn films. While his is at a New Year’s Eve party at Horner’s for the year of 1980, assistant director Little Bill Thompson finds out his wife is having sex with another man. Bill, tired of the adultry, shoots them both dead.

Dirk and Reed begin using cocaine on a regular basis and because of this, finds it very difficult to have an erection and falls into violent mood swings and beomes aggrivated by Johnny Doe, a new leading actor Jack has recruited. In 1983, after fighting with Jack, Dirk is fired and takes off with Reed to start a music career with Scotty, a boom operator, who is in love with Dirk.

This is a film you either love, hate, or have a love-hate relationship with. It is awkward to the max, not a film one would want to watch with your parents, or anyone super conservative. There is still to this day, controversy with this film. The fact Eddie Adams is a teenager working in the porn industry and using drugs, is highly inappropriate and can make some viewers very uncomfortable, but this is not Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film like this, he does these kind of things again in 2021’s Licorice Pizza. PTA is known for pushing the bounderies and causing controversy with his works.

The film also

This would have been a really good movie if it weren’t about a teen porn star and druggy. The film focuses far too much on Eddie in the porn film industry and not enough on his life outisde that ot the other manin characters. Though this film recieved tons of rave reviews, I was left unimpressed. The acting is outstanding, the costumes are period perfect and the soundtrack is great is as well, but the story lacks in quality. Adding great talent does not always make for a great movie.

The film also talks far too much about the size of the star character’s pecker and focuses a bit much on him trying to get erections. If I want to watch teen porn, I’ll go on porn website. This movie is considered a dramedy, but I didn’t find it funny much at all. The sexual jokes were all throughout, giving the film a pretty sleazy feel, which I guess is what PTA was going for just like in Licorice Pizza, where a fifteen year old boy tries to woo a twenty-five year old woman.

Overall, a decent film, but the runtime of two hours and thrity-five mintutes is had me wishing it could’ve been over sooner. Fantastic acting and a great soundtrack is really the best thing about this one. Not Paul Thomas Anderson’s best work, but not his worst. 18+ 3.5/5

125 Most Stylish Films and Television Shows of All Time

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 1961
  2. Atonement – 2007
  3. Annie Hall – 1977
  4. My Fair Lady – 1964
  5. Phantom Thread – 2017
  6. A Simple Favor – 2018
  7. Funny GIrl – 1968
  8. Clueless – 1995
  9. Boogie Nights – 1997
  10. Gone With the Wind – 1939
  11. Wall Street – 1987
  12. Signin’ in the Rain – 1952
  13. Sex and the City – 2008
  14. Sex and the City 2 – 2010
  15. The Talented Mr. Ropley – 1999
  16. 3 Women – 1977
  17. Carol – 2015
  18. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967
  19. A Bigger Splash – 2015
  20. In the Mood for Love – 2000
  21. A Single Man – 2009
  22. Paris, Texas – 1984
  23. Rear Window – 1954
  24. The Royal Tenenbaums – 2001
  25. High Society – 1956
  26. La Dolce Vita – 1960
  27. The Danish GIrl – 2015
  28. The Millionairess – 1960
  29. Belle Du Jour – 1967
  30. Breathless – 1960
  31. American Gigolo – 1980
  32. Blow-Up – 1966
  33. The Virgin Suicides – 1999
  34. Heathers – 1988
  35. Crazy Rich Asians – 2018
  36. Ocean’s Eight – 2018
  37. Nocturnal Animals – 2016
  38. Moulin Rouge! – 2001
  39. Dior and I – 2014
  40. The Great Gatsby – 2013
  41. Working GIrl – 1988
  42. Marie Antionette – 2006
  43. Pretty Woman – 1990
  44. Casino – 1995
  45. Coco Before Chanel – 2009
  46. The Devil Wears Prada – 2006
  47. The Thomas Crown Affair – 1968
  48. Mohagany – 1975
  49. Pret-a-Porter – 1994
  50. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – 2019
  51. Casablanca – 1942
  52. To Catch a Theif – 1955
  53. La La Land – 2016
  54. The Great Gatsby – 1974
  55. Dreamgirls – 2006
  56. Gossip Girl – 2007-2012
  57. Sex and the City – 1998-2004
  58. The Grand Budapest Hotel – 2014
  59. Pierrot le Fou – 1965
  60. Emily in Paris – 2020-Present
  61. Succession – 2018-Present
  62. Reservoir Dogs – 1992
  63. Dr. No – 1962
  64. Killing Eve – 2018-2022
  65. The Trail of Christiane Keeler – 2019-2020
  66. Fight Club – 1999
  67. Rosemary’s Baby – 1968
  68. Mad Men – 2007-2015
  69. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – 2017-Present
  70. Amelie – 2001
  71. Chinatown – 1974
  72. Glee – 2009-2015
  73. Friends – 1994-2004
  74. Gilda – 1946
  75. North by Northwest – 1959
  76. Ugly Betty – 2006-2010
  77. Desparate Housewives – 2004-2012
  78. Three Days in Condor – 1975
  79. The Godfather Part II – 1974
  80. The O.C. – 2003-2007
  81. Gilmore Girls – 2000-2007
  82. Sabrina – 1954
  83. The Dressmaker – 2015
  84. Will & Grace – 1998-2020
  85. Charmed – 1998-2006
  86. Parasite – 2019
  87. Little Women – 2019
  88. Melrose Place – 1992-1999
  89. Beverly Hills, 90210 – 1990-2000
  90. Grease – 1978
  91. The Bling Ring – 2013
  92. Desgning Women – 1986-1993
  93. The Golden Girls – 1985-1992
  94. American Hustle – 2013
  95. Cafe Society – 2016
  96. Dynasty – 1981-1989
  97. Charlie’s Angels – 1976-1981
  98. Charade – 1963
  99. Cruel Intentions – 1999
  100. The partridge Family – 1970-1974
  101. The Graduate – 1967
  102. Scarface – 1983
  103. The Brady Bunch – 1969-1974
  104. The Sound of Music – 1965
  105. The Parent Trap – 1998
  106. That Girl – 1966-1971
  107. I Dream of Jeannie – 1965-1970
  108. Contempt – 1963
  109. Clue – 1985
  110. Bewitched – 1964-1972
  111. That 70’s Show – 1998-2006
  112. The Notebook – 2004
  113. Licorice Pizza – 2021
  114. I Love Lucy – 1951-1957
  115. The Get Down – 2016-2017
  116. The Nice Guys – 2016
  117. Love Story – 1970
  118. Empire – 2015-2020
  119. Scandal – 2012-2018
  120. Saturday Night Fever – 1977
  121. In Fabric – 2018
  122. The Crown – 2016-Present
  123. The Queen’s Gambit – 2020
  124. Little Women – 1994
  125. House of Gucci – 2021

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