Dang it’s cold out there! Not -98 like it was in Winnipeg last week, but cold for this neck of the woods. But fear not, Black Dog is here to warm your cockles with a boatload of new films to huddle with around the warn glow of your TV.
Best F(r)iends – Who told Tommy Wiseau (The Room) that he should make another movie? At least he didn’t direct this one. A drifter befriends a weirdo mortician. Guess which part Tommy Wiseau plays? Available only on Blu Ray for some reason.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Big ass bio-pic of Freddie Mercury and Queen as they rise from wherever they came from to the throne of rock and roll royalty. Nominated for best picture.
Channel Zero – Cool-looking four part horror anthology series from something called Creepypasta. Yes please!
Department Q Trilogy – Three-movie British cold case mystery series. Heard it’s quite excellent.
Girl in the Spider’s Web – The Queen of England (Claire Foy) cracks her whip as the new Lisbeth Salander in yet another telling of this tale.
I am Not a Witch – Zambian drama that finds a young girl accused of witchcraft so she’s exiled to witch camp. Sounds almost like a Harry Potter spinoff but I doubt that it is.
Jobriath A.D. – Very good doc about a guy named Jobriath who was one of the first openly gay rock stars in the early 70’s.
Maigret – Funny man Rowan Atkinsen dips his funny hands in the crime world as a detective detecting crime. Looks good!
Old Man and the Gun – Robert Redford’s (reportedly) last film. He’s a real-life crime fella who escapes prison at the age of 70 and goes on a gentlemanly crime spree. You have to watch this, right?
Studio 54 – Excellent doc about the famous coke-fueled club in the 70s. If only I had a time machine.
Widows – Fine crime heist caper flick with an impressive pedigree – directed by Steve McQueen (the Oscar-winning director, not the cool dead hunky movies star) and written by Gillian Flynn – and a top notch cast. Worth a look If you can get past Liam Neeson attempting to devour Viola Davis’ face in the opening shot.
Better Things Season 2 (Season 1 and 2 for Commercial)
Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer
Hounds of Love
Mermaid: Lake of the Dead
At Eternity’s Gate
And Dylan finally submitted his list for his favourite films of 2018. Pretty good for him as last year hey gave me them in April.
10. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?: Richard E. Grant just guzzles this movie like a highball. Unassuming and charming. I loved it.
9. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOUR?: I would love to, Fred. I saw this shortly after the death of a friend and the scene where Mr Rogers talks death to kids in a frank and compassionate way well, let’s just say Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls…
8. FIRST MAN: Long, contemplative and quiet. But the moon landing sequence makes you really appreciate how terrifyingly, insanely REAL it must have been to sit in a metal box and explode yourself to the goddamn moon.
7. FREE SOLO: Holy fucking shit. I mean just what the fuck is that guy doing?!!! (Me and the audience watching this guy climb a fucking mountain with no safety gear at all)
6. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE: No idea why this one didn’t do better at the box office. Colourful, violent and smart. Good to see an entertaining R rated thriller back on screens again.
5. JULIET, NAKED: Could be a sequel to High Fidelity. Great cast, solid characters and hilarious dialogue.
4. A STAR IS BORN: I really thought I’d hate this one because movies about fame almost always suck, but goddamn of Cooper doesn’t pull it off.
3. THE DEATH OF STALIN: The most original comedy I’ve seen in a very long time. Armando Iannucci’s political farce takes what could easily have been dry and depressing subject matter and infused it with the spirit of a screwball comedy rife with backstabbing, paranoia and treachery. The cast is one of the best assortments of comedic talent since the days of Monty Python. Don’t let the title put you off, this movie is fucking hilarious.
2. FIRST REFORMED: Wow! 2 movies with Ethan Hawke in my top ten. Crazy, because I’ve never really liked him. But now I get it, this guy’s got chops. Easily the biggest Oscar snub in years. First Reformed is utterly engaging and perfectly crafted low-key thriller about a man losing his faith in the church, mankind and himself. Paul Schrader’s best work since Auto Focus and Affliction.
1. LEAN ON PETE: I rank this one at the top of the heap simply due to the difference between what you expect going in and what this beautiful film actually turns out to be. Yes, it’s a movie about a boy and his horse but it takes you in unexpected directions and you feel for this kid every step of the way. The cinematography is spectacular and it’s great to see Steve Buscemi acting again. But the real gem here is relative newcomer Charlie Plummer. This kid has an intensity beyond his years that reminds me of River Phoenix. This kid is going to be big, I’m sure of it. LEAN ON PETE didn’t receive the love it deserves, like many films. Do yourself a favor and rent it at Black Dog Video because, as far as I know, that’s the only place you can see this underrated masterpiece. See you next year!
That’s it for this week, my lovelies. Stay warm, stay hungry, keep watching.
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