Them (2006)

The psychological thriller “Them” (or if called by it’s rightful name “ils”), evokes an O-M-G-I’m-gonna-pee-my-pants-impending-doom- feeling, that can be related to the more theatrical  American filmThe Strangers” (2008), starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.

Luring us with young beautiful actors who quarrel then hanky-panky to make up, all the while prepping our subconscious with ambiance music and dark warm lighting–“The Strangers” is a gory character driven film for the young cabin-in-the-woods type’a horror-film-lover. While on the other hand, “Them” seems to happen smack in the middle of a boring mundane night, with cold shadowy colors; which to me, makes for a more convincing mature need-to-protect-my-family-from-crazy-mofos scare.

I absolutely detest watching movies that make me feel like I’m going to die, because of course, I simple have to know what happens, just in case I’m in a similar situation (smh) lol. I’ve compile a short list of what to do in such a case (which includes finding a weapon, trying NOT to get injured, being quick but quiet, and definitely fighting back.) I don’t know about you, but the New Yorker in me wants to fight to the death–especially if you’re comin’ into MY home, try’na scare me: not without a fight!

Anyways, you can see how these kind of movies make me neurotic (smh), enjoy the film! The ending statement (if it is based on a true claim) is a jaw dropper in any standard.

Why I Love Foreign Films: Magic Without Needing Graphics

CLICK pic to see our Twitter feed for up-to-date tweets on which and when I'm watching movies

I geek out when I talk about the indescribable reasons why I think foreign films have a certain mojo that is lacking in box-office Hollywood films.

I often wondered why I find non-English speaking films (that require subtitles almost 90% of the time) MORE enticing? Could it only be because French sounds sexier than English? Perhaps foreign films are written better? Maybe executed better? More creative perhaps?

Magical world of Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

I mean…It’s easy to see why young adults would love to believe that we can somehow escape the mundane reality with Pan’s Labyrinth by drawing a door  with a chalk to visit another world.  It’s clearly understandable why I’m willing to believe for an instance that a horse who drives a car, can play the piano in  claymation A Town Called Panic: It takes some serious skills and dedication to create such cinamatographical goodness!!!

The Price of Milk (2000)

However,  that doesn’t explain why I would rather watch a woman who collects baby shoes (in a suitcase) living in a farm, trade a quilt for a kine of cows– while fighting for the one she loves; in The Price of Milk, as oppose to watching “No Strings Attached” (with the  overrated Ashton Kutcher)  which I didn’t see but is probably about a boy and a girl who were once strictly platonic and decided to have a sexual relationship (and nothing more), then ended up falling in love; a story that targets demographics like myself!? (take a breath)

Well I think I just figured it out. My friends think I’m psychic because when  we go to the movies I can predict what’s going to happen, almost always to a T: “…after the kiss there  will be a wide shot from behind the car, as it drives off into the sunset.”  But it’s more than just because I learned film for 4 years in college.  I don’t want to know what’s coming next, but I can’t help it, having seen it a million times!!!

I cannot say that all foreign films are written and executed well. I cannot testify that they are all as  creative as The Science of Sleep— or sound sexy like French. But I can say that I gravitate toward films that are unpredictable– with unusual but undeniably engaging plots; as opposed to the typical, predictable– photocopied-to-death box office cash cows in Hollywood. 

Good 'ol Gremlins (1984)


Don’t get me wrong, I love cheesy ’80s- ’90s flicks like “Honey, I shrank the kids”, or “Gremlins”, as much as the next ’90s baby. I equally appreciate easy-goin’ films like “You’ve Got Mail”, “Spaceballs”,  and respect  films like “Benjamin Button”, “Pursuit of Happiness”, “Finding Nemo”, “The Hurt Locker”,  “Pulp Fiction” or “Avatar”, just to name a small few.  I hold in high regards  Tim Burton, James Cameron, Quintin Tarantino, and good ‘ol Steven Spielberg among other creative geniuses that have written and or directed notable American films.

But more often than not, the need for bigger and badder, lets-re-release-a-classic-in-3D, gets in the way of the art that is film.  

A "baby" tree stump that eats people Little Otik (2000)

The foreign films I love are unapologetic, humbling, thought provoking, no-need-to-explain-just- accept-what-you’re-about-to-witness,  that give a sense of perpetual wonder. Films that feel like it comes from the heart,  and not from the pocket.

Soon, I will make a list (I freakin’ love lists) of my favorite foreign films and perhaps some American Independent films as I gather all that I’ve seen in the past 9 years.

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P.S. I respect everyone’s right to like what I don’t, and to love what I loathe, but I’m not going to apologize if I’ve offended anyone. THIS is MY house.

-JRB

Rumba (2008)

Title: Rumba

Release Date:  September 10, 2008

Country: France

Directed By: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon & Bruno Romy

Starring:  Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon & Philippe Martz

Other films by director (s):  L’ iceberg (2005)  The Fairy (2011)

“Absurdly funny and stylish” claims the Montreal Mirror, this movie is one of those feel-good-I-wanna-watch-it-over-and-over-again types that make you wish the world was just as simple.

Charming, with very little dialogue, I adore this movie’s ability to tell a love story without being sappy, and with simple-yet-effective comedy reliefs, that only an odd-couple-that-seem-to-only-make-sense-together can deliver.

This ” Whimsical, wisp of a movie, likely to bring a smile to viewers’ faces” (National Post), is great for Girl’s Night In, or a lovely ice breaker for daters.

Definitely one of my favorites!

-JRB