A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.
Film three in our loosely sketched out "May/December" movie marathon, we review one of Matt and Mark's favorite films, Lost in Translation. An Oscar nominated performance that Bill Murray should have won, coupled with the nascent stardom of ScarJo, gives life to authentic characters in believable, if not quirky but ordinary situations (namely business travel). Sofia Coppola deftly captures the shimmer of an ephemeral relationship, relationships relieved of the day-to-day routine, allowing us to connect, strangely, in more meaningful ways.
Continuing our May/December movie review marathon this week, we review the 1994 debut of Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional. When a precocious hard scrabble 12 year old Matilda meets up with the emotionally stunted hitman Leon, a unique chemistry forms. Matt and Mark discuss the primary argument of why Besson chose a 12 year old for the lead role. Despite Ebert's nebulous and inconclusive derision, the film flat out wouldn't work as well if Matilda were older. Also of note, is Oldman's chthonic maniac portrayal of DEA agent Stan. OIdman at his finest.
This week we kick off a loosely defined "May/December" movie marathon with the seminal cult classic Harold and Maude from 1971. Unlike Ebert, we refrain from drunkenly urinating over this film. With a simple straightforward message, its characters are as a result... simple. While the film does have its plausibility problems, its uniqueness and quirkiness set it apart from both black comedies and romantic comedies.
This week we review a contemporary companion film of El Topo with Refn's arthouse adventure drama Valhalla Rising. Matt prattles on about possible meaning while Mark gets to the heart of what makes this evocative film intriguing; dudes, violence, vikings, gladiators, general badassery, and no chicks! (except as the reward of pillage and conquest). The beauty of the Scottish Highlands is on full display in this film and Refn delivers. Believe me, there's nothing quite so satisfying as standing in the highlands, longsword in hand, surveying the great mountainous expanse.