Must-See & New In Film: The Febuary Edition

9 02 2011



Director(s): Lars von Trier

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Rating: NC- 17 (for Some Explicit Sexual Content, Graphic Nudity, and Disturbing Violent Imagery Including Self-Mutilation)

Length: 108 minutes

IMDB Rating: 6.7/10

Alright, so maybe this isn’t a must-see outside the arthouse crowd, but this film is notable in how messed-up it is. I will never see this movie because I was nothing-short of cringing just reading description of the events of this film. Basically, the son of this couple dies, and while they retreat to their cabin in the woods, some messed-up stuff happens. It’s so extreme in fact, that when it first premiered, four people reportedly fainted. Critics didn’t exactly love this one, but if this is your type of movie, then good for you. Just don’t use it as a date movie. This is strictly an arthouse feature.

Beauty & The Beast:

Director(s): Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Starring: Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson and Richard White

Rating: G

Length: 84 minutes

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

One of the best Disney animated features of all time and coming at heart of the late 80s/early 90s Renaissance, this film still holds up as this fantasy romantic comedy.  I watched this quite a few times when I was a kid, and it’s been in ownership in various formats in my family ever since.  I would go as far as to call it a classic movie, and it’s pretty much a must-watch for any Disney or animation fan.

The Blob:

Director(s): Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Starring: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut and Earl Rowe

Rating: Not Rated

Length: 86 minutes

IMDB Rating: 6.2/10

One of the perennial monster movies of all time, The Blob is the essentially the classic monster movie from the 1950s you think of. You know, two teens are on a date when something falls from the sky, it turns out to be an alien lifeform and said lifeform proceeds to destroy things. Ridiculous? Yes. If anything, you should watch this if only for reference for the various parodies that have been coming ever since. This film also notes Steve McQueen’s debut as a leading man.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

Director(s): David Fincher

Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton

Rating: PG-13 (for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking)

Length: 166 minutes

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

Not going to lie, that length is kind of brutal. Despite the talent involved, and its numerous Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, Benjamin Button got sort of a mixed reaction. The film moves at a glacial pace, the relationships are sort of iffy, and the action is few and far between. But that’s just me. Many critics loved the film, and it went on to gross over 300 million dollars worldwide. I personally wouldn’t recommend watching it, but if the film interests you, then check it out.


Director(s): Catherine Hardwicke

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Billy Burke

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and a scene of sensuality)

Length: 122 minutes

IMDB Rating: 5.6/10

Let’s face it, if you wanted to see this movie, then you probably would have seen it by now. But if you just finished the books, then this would be a good time to get started on the movies. Obviously, your enjoyment will vary. You might like it genuinely, like it ironically, or not like it at all. You may even think it’s OK, or that its overrated.  There’s no right answer and no way to tell unless you actually view it with your own eyes.

Twilight: New Moon

Director(s): Chris Weitz

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence and action)

Length: 130 minutes

IMDB Rating: 4.5/10

Not going to lie, I’m on Team Jacob. Again, your opinion on this film will vary, but one thing for certain is that its indie-infused soundtrack is genuinely great. But I’ve even seen differing opinions on that. Basically, these films are very hard to peg.

Twilight: Eclipse

Director(s): David Slade

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality)

Length: 124 minutes

IMDB Rating: 4.8/10

Since this film is fairly new, you actually might want to check it out if you haven’t had a chance to rent it or watch in theaters yet. I like to watch my Twilight films in the non-judging comfort of my own home, but that’s just me. I’ve heard this film isn’t quite up to the standards of the first two, but opinions will obviously vary. I’ll let you know what I think when I finally get my hands on it… in the comfort of my own home. Don’t judge me.


Director(s): Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page

Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of violence and action throughout)

Length: 148 minutes

IMDB Rating: 8.9/10

Pretty much blowing the minds of the whole world, Inception is a film that can be enjoyed by everybody, and whose quality the world is better off for having. A completely original script from the mind of Christopher Nolan, Inception builds an utterly epic world, makes you care for a bunch of likable characters played by one of the best ensemble casts of recent memory, stuns you with its visuals, keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, and in the end, it’s just the journey a father will take to reach his kids. There’s something for most everybody, and the films success speaks to it, as well as the constant water-cooler talk the film experience throughout the year. Inception was a rare event to bond over. To love, and to be collectively blown away by. Christopher Nolan, I’m still trying to find the rest of my brain after you blew it away.

The Kids Are All Right

Director(s): Lisa Cholodenko

Starring: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo

Rating: R (for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use)

Length: 106 minutes

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Exploring the dynamics of a same-sex relationship and family, the film explores important and relevant social topics. Nominated for a bunch of awards, and winning many, I haven’t seen this film yet, but critics sure seemed to think it and its message were worthy of a watch.

Lucky Number Slevin

Director(s): Paul McGuigan

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman

Rating: R (for strong violence, sexuality and language)

Length: 110 minutes

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

I vaguely remember hearing about this film once upon a time, but it never seemed major enough for me to pay attention to. Still, Josh Hartnett and Bruce Willis shooting things? I’m down with that.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Director(s): Edgar Wright

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kieran Culkin

Rating: PG-13 (for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references)

Length: 112 minutes

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Knowing/hoping this blog’s primary audience is that of college students, I think I can wholeheartedly recommend this to you since you’re probably part of the only audience who’ll like this film. Think 500 Days of Summer except with more action. This is a tale of love and emotional baggage told in one of the most original ways possible.  Its pop-culture and video-game influences are many, its music is amazing. Just try this film out. Judging from the audience I saw the film with at IG Greer on the App State campus, I think you’ll be pretty pleased.

Winter’s Bone

Director(s): Debra Granik

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Garret Dillahunt

Rating: R (for some drug material, language and violent content)

Length: 100 minutes

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

People have been telling me to see this tale of a girl from the Ozark’s search for her father for the past year. Critically lauded and nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress & Best Picture, the film certainly seems to be worth a watch. Plus, it stars Bill Engvall’s daughter from The Bill Engvall Show, and yes, she’s the one nominated for Best Actress.

Best of the Rest:


My Neighbor Totoro

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Howl’s Moving Castle

Castle in the Sky

White Chicks

Temple Grandin