Tag Archives: Psychological

Friday Film Club – Balto + Kitten With A Whip

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – Balto (1995)

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Loosely based on the true story of a dog of the same name who helped save children in Alaska, Balto has some live action scenes in Central Park of an elderly woman recounting his story and what makes Balto a hero. Most of the movie aside from the beginning and ending is animated filled with not only a group of sled dogs in Alaska but also with a Russian goose called Boris and polar bear brothers Muk and Luk who are terrified of water and of course, Balto who is an outcast and expected to be dangerous because he is half Husky and half wolf. An unexpected grouping but an effectively funny one that gives it the cute and fun adventure with a bit of drama.

Balto is a family adventure animated film. At the same time, it has those added elements of romance between Balto and Jenna where Jenna’s affection is trying to be won over by the top dog called Steele who doesn’t want to admit defeat when he fails at bringing home the medicine to save the children in Nome during the storm. It is a story of triumph, danger, friendship and romance. At the same time, Balto is a character that has to learn to embrace his own differences and use those differences as what helps him to succeed in this journey. Its an inspiring little animated film.

Voiced by some great talent like Kevin Bacon as Balto, Bridget Fonda as Jenna, Bob Hoskins as Steele and Jim Cummings as both Muk and Luk, there’s a lot to love about this film as they bring on some great fun times and totally one that didn’t get its recognition as its release collided with the much more successful Toy Story but that doesn’t stop the greatness that this animated film deserves.

Elwood’s Pick – Kitten With A Whip (1964)

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Despite the S&M title this home invasion thriller is alot less sleazy than the title would have you believe as Ann-Margaret in an attempt to rebrand herself as a serious actor stars as the young runaway Jody who breaks into the house of upcoming politician David (John Forsythe) while his wife is out of town. Initially he attempts to help the young girl as he buys her new clothes and puts her on the bus with money to help her out. Unfortunately for David she just turns up at his house again not only refusing to leave but also bringing with her a group of beatniks who only further throw David’s life into chaos.

For fans of MST3K this might already be a familiar title seeing how it received their peanut gallery treatment but enjoyed in its original form this is actually a pretty effective thriller especially during its first half with David trying to be the good person while Jody soon is revealed to be hiding more than her share of dark secrets and soon is threatening to damage David’s political aspirations by twisting the reality of their situation.

While the first half of the film is fantastic thanks to the strong chemistry between the two leads which is a little lost once Jody’s friends turn up including amatuer philosepher Ron (Peter Brown) and quick to anger Grant (Richard Anderson) and turn the situation from mind games to more physical threats all while you wonder if Beatniks are worse than Hippies as certainly Ron and his musing certainly make you wonder who buys into this tosh. Thankfully you the unclear allegiance of Jody keeps things interesting as your never sure if she trying to help David or if it’s another of her mind games. When we get to the finale the film also randomly shifts location to Tijuana in search of a shady doctor though it really seems to be just an excuse to work in some light titillation via a burlesque club which has nothing to do with the plot as we build to a climactic car chase.

Despite being MST3K fodder this is still a fun throw away watch with some fun twists even if it loses its way in the second half it’s brisk runtime and tight pacing means that it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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Friday Film Club: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before + The Sacrament

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

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In the sea of Netflix Originals that get released throughout the year, one of the weaker categories does go to the teen/YA genre. Being an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jenny Han, To All The Boys’s I’ve Loved Before is a teen film that works because of its charming source material but also its execution and tone, not to mention an equally charming cast too.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before tells the story of Lara-Jean Covey (Lana Condor) who writes a letter to all the boys that she’s loved before and instead of sending them, keeps them in a box. One day, she discovers that the letters are all gone and one by one, the boys she’s written letters to start confronting her. In a mix of situation, she ends up starting up a contracted fake relationship with Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), who wants to use her to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Of course, we all know that their little intimacies and time together inevitably brings them both together.

What makes To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before unique is the execution of the simple premise and giving each of the characters their own personality. While the cast does a great job and this feels more like a romance than a coming of age, it is a lot of both because when you grow up, it is a mix of both. Lara tackles friendships, coming to terms with her own feelings, her relationship with her sisters and her father and all this is shown bit by bit, shaping each of these characters. Both the story of family and the Covey sisters relationships are equally as fun and heartwarming to watch as Lara-Jean’s fantastic chemistry with Peter, making the movie have both a lot of depth and development. Its charming, romantic, fun and comedic: a true feel-good movie.

Elwood’s Pick – The Sacrament

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In 1978 a total of 918 members of the Jonestown cult under the leadership of Jim Jones committed what they termed “revolutionary suicide” by cyanide. It would be an event that would go down as the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until September 11, 2001. It’s also an event which provided the key inspiration for Ti West when it came to making this film. As a result the burning question is why he just didn’t make a film about Jonestown and it certainly hangs heavy over the film.

Shot as a found footage film here we follow Patrick (Kentucker Audley) and his friends Jake (Joe Swanberg) and Sam (AJ Bowen) venture out to the cult like Eden Parish which Patrick’s sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) has joined. The trio believing that there is a good story to be found set out to film the experience only to soon find themselves way out of their depth when the dark secrets of the cult are brought to a head. this is actually one of those rare occasions were the format actually works for the film much like VICE allowing for their brand to be associated with the film which unfolds like one of their documentaries especially with the film embracing their style of immersion journalism. As such the trio are certainly happy to enter into the cult’s compounds despite the warning signs of it only being accessible via helicopter or those armed guards that patrol the perimeter of this supposed Utopia.

Once Sam sits down to interview the cult leader or “Father” played with aplumb by Gene Jones whose southern drawl not only allures you into a false sense of hospitality but also t hints of the darkness lying under the idyllic surface of this community before the situation starts its nightmarish decline and while West certainly takes his time establishing the tone with a slow burn first hour before cranking up the insanity once he’s lured us in. For the more impatient movie watcher it might be a little off putting but certainly the pay off makes the film worth sticking with, especially as the true power that Father has over his followers is made all the more clear with the end game for the cult showcasing some incredibly haunting imagery alongside scenes of nail biting tension.

If you can remove the film from it’s real-life inspiration which arguably West would have been better adapting than what can be seen as an exploitive use of the tragedy. As a director I have been aware of West since the release of House of the Devil but despite his rise to being one of the top names in horror it’s taken me until now to actually see any of his films so as a starting point it certainly left me keen to know what else I’ve been missing.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Event Horizon (1997) – Kim’s Take

Event Horizon (1997)

Director: Paul W. S. Anderson

Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board. – IMDB

Paul W.S. Anderson’s change in film genres is definitely making his filmography nice and colorful. As he hops into the sci-fi psychological thriller genre with might I say, a rather impressive cast, seeing both some of the successes before and after Event Horizon, there is a certain calibre here that many forget to appreciate. Sam Neill had taken a dangerous adventure with dinosaurs in a Jurassic Park 2 years before and Laurence Fishburne will soon go with Keanu Reeves into the Matrix 2 years later and well, Jason Isaacs is due for a visit to Diagon Alley and Hogwarts 4 years later and of course, Sean Pertwee takes us for even more wild rides to the most recent version of Alfred in TV series Gotham. Suffice to say, these achievements for this cast is mostly just the tip of the iceberg.

Anderson is quite the craftsman when it comes to structure and with Event Horizon, he is able to use his skillful cinematography to structure these shots to make it all come together. Event Horizon, the spacecraft itself is full of fantastically atmospheric setting where it has so much suspense in its details. Some of which is revealed through lighting and lack thereof as we follow the crew to explore the corners of this deserted ship. Blood-splattered windows and the quietly structured areas, its really a play on how fantastic the sound and silence all play into putting this film together.

The story itself is also very impressive. It carries the sci-fi plot into quite the mystery, making everyone question what happened as we watch the crew fall in distress and be mesmerized by some mysterious evil. A haunted ship is quite scary here especially in some of the places the characters need to venture in like the narrow vents and the odd elongated structure of Event Horizon. Both the ship feel  alive just as much as the characters all have their balance and roles to make this story a memorable experience that provides so many thrills. Both horror and thriller and psychological experiences are hard to get right but I’d have to say that Event Horizon ticks those boxes so very well.

Event Horizon is one of those films that sends chills down my back every time I watch it. Knowing what happens doesn’t make the experience any less thrilling than the first viewing. Paul W. S. Anderson may have some questionable titles in his filmography but never forget that Event Horizon is one of those shining moments that show just how skilled he is as a director.

Listen to our podcast discussion HERE.