Channel Film has been kicking about for nearly a year now, but this is the first post. Let’s enjoy the past year now.
Director Richard Linklater has a real love for time, be it the past, present or future, and Everybody Wants Some is another return to the American college life, only this time we visit the 80’s. This film looks into the lighter side of college life, with rivalries, baseball, romance, mild drug use and beer pong (BBFC 15). Sometimes its simply something to watch a film which doesn’t turn dark on your ass, Rules of Attraction exists for that.
A film for those who want to party like it’s 1980. In America. With baseball bats. To play baseball, not beat small animals up.
Room takes an enclosed place and makes it home. Watch as the mother provides rules in Room to her son, find wonder in how he differentiates television shows to the only world he knows. Grimace as the revelations unfold, gasp as the door opens to sunlight, and everything learnt needs to be unlearnt. It’s Oldboy without the blood lust, it’s the Room without the ‘so bad its good’ performances. This Room will lock the door and trap you.
A film for those who aren’t afraid of small spaces.
The Neon Demon has all the style one would expect from Nicolas ‘the guy who made Drive’ Refn, with blood pumping synths, neon lighting in every shot, demon or not, and a story which takes the modelling industry and turns it into one pulpy mess. How far would you go to be the best? Is skin simply a commodity? And is it worth all the gore, flashing strobes, and shock tactics? It’s certainly an unforgettable catwalk, for better or worse.
A film for those who want to have countless arguments with their other half.
Superhero films have been all the rage (all of it) for over five years now. Despite the vast quantity of them, each film is chained to a multi-verse. a status quo. Deadpool however takes the status quo and shoves it down a passerby’s throat. Rude, crude and not entirely sane, Deadpool throws everything un-Marvel to the wall and sees what sticks. What does is comic book gold, what doesn’t is quickly flushed into the sewer before it stinks.
A film for those who want to love superheroes.
Tarantino hasn’t finished with the western and neither have you. The Hateful Eight brings the worst of the worst together, real basterds, and locks them up in a cabin during a snowstorm to share the same air. Bounties, blood and everything nasty, it’s the craziest shut-in to unravel in the only way Tarantino knows how; ‘fucking’ great dialogue and plenty of graphic violence. Beautiful, especially set to the spaghetti sounds of Ennio Morricone.
A film for those who feel words speak just as loud as actions.
5. High Rise
If we all lived in a high rise, how would we function? According to this film class structure would still be the king, how high can you live?, parties would be your everything, every night, and it wouldn’t be long before things start to get just a little weird. And violent. It doesn’t recapture each moment or thought from the book, instead capturing the spirit, the atmosphere. And boy is it suffocating up there, as sanity crashes into the car park below.
A film for those who want to dance, to live, to bruise.
4. The vvitch
The vvitch, or The Witch? This horror takes us back to the era of witch hunts, and accents to make Americans long for subtitles. Jump scares take a backseat in this horror to make a tale of doubt, menace and thick pungent atmosphere take centre stage. Think of how it’s like to walk in the countryside on a typical Northern England day. Then take away those paths that lead you back home. That’s the witch, or the vvitch. Whatever you fancy.
A film for those who have an intense fear of goats. Yes, believe me, I know what it’s like.
If life is a composition, then it’s too early for this 27-year-old to go into detail about the ideas of youth. Leave it to Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, playing two best buds during a Swiss hotel vacation stay, as they swim with the youth, look back at youth, aid youth, and still live in youth. It’s all the components of life; beauty, jealousy, death, Mark Kozelek, regret, sex, the surreal, and everything else that makes up our compositions. Let it play.
A film for those who need a vacation in the hotel of life.
2. Your Name
Your Name is from the director who loves skylines to the point that films centre on them, and Your Name is no different. On one hand it’s an amusing body swapping romance story, on the other hand its a dark apocalyptic sci-fi adventure through time. The shift works as the skylines shift, and whilst the cheesy J-pop montages could do with a little annihilation, it doesn’t stop it from being a film full of emotion, boob fondling and skylines.
A film for those who like to ask what if questions, endlessly.
Creed, or Rocky VII as some like to call it, takes Channel Film’s 2016 Film Award, knocking out the competition with a hook, jab and probably an uppercut here and there. It’s the passing of torch, it’s a future which doesn’t discard the fond memories of the past nor lets them cling too tightly, it’s a series of fights that aren’t always so physical, and it might just be the best Rocky of them all… even without the ‘Yo, Adrian!’ calls from Stallone.
A film for those who must fight to come out on top.
More Films: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Anomalisa, Arrival, Cemetery of Splendour, Don’t Breathe, Finding Dory, Green Room, I Daniel Blake, The Revenant, When Marnie Was There
The 2016 Movie Shit List
Just so we have something for everybody, here is the shit list. It smells.
Oscar-winning The Jungle Book hits the top of the stink-fest, winning an award for its uncanny valley cgi animals. Ripping out the upbeat nature of the original film, the marching elephant song, those drugged up vultures and everything else altogether ‘out there’ is the order of the day, yet familiar songs, identical story beats and red pants Mowgli still appear, making for a film which doesn’t know if it’s a fresh new take or a tale treading old ground.
To understand Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’s place on this list is to simply explain the concept. There are people in the world who are a little peculiar, think X-Men, and are whisked to a children’s home to live, which is a place located at a certain date in the past, on a 24 hour loop which needs to be reset lest others can find the home, such as the freaky adults who command invisible monsters and seek to devour the children’s eyeballs to stay human, and… seeing it in motion makes just as little sense.
Two iconic superheroes beating each over to death, how do you screw such an exciting prospect up? Batman Vs Superman should be commended for doing so, as it instead focuses on being an Avengers (Sorry, I meant Justice League) set-up movie, has more knuckle clenchingly bad dialogue than actual knuckle busting, and lets it all drown in over two hours of slow-mo doom and gloom. As anti-climatic as Chris Brown vs Soulja Boy.
2. Zoolander 2
Anchorman 2. Dumb and Dumber To. Kick Ass 2. Zoolander 2. Each of these films have shared around the needle of ineptness, losing the smart writing that made such idiots funny, and instead run head first into a wall with bigger shocks, bigger gross-outs, and bigger cameos to make something truly insufferable. Zoolander 2 dresses itself in the skin of the original, mumbles incoherently and constantly shits itself for audience giggles.
Wouldn’t it be great if a film took a bunch of iconic villains, and had them working together like heroes do? It would be great if it wasn’t cut like a trailer, had the team pitted against an interesting villain, involved actual character interaction, and didn’t have the most iconic of them all pop up for five minutes just to drive off manically laughing into the sunset. If we got a film which fulfilled all this, well it wouldn’t be the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad.
More shit: David Brent Life on the Road, Hail Caesar!, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The BFG, X-Men Apocalypse
Some good, some bad, that’s just how it is in life. Maybe this year we’ll all learn to avoid comedy sequels and DC movies to make better use of our ever decreasing time. Maybe.