Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Numbers in Titles (Not Part of a Franchise)

In the 16th week of 2020 for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We go into the subject of numbers in titles but not part of any franchise. Movies that have a certain number in these title that says something but could also mean other things. Here are my three picks:

1. The Seven Samurai

Akira Kurosawa’s sprawling epic about seven samurai warriors hired to protect a village from a group of bandits remains one of the touchstones of 20th Century cinema. A film that would inspire countless remakes takes a simple premise of poor farmers trying to hire warriors to protect them play into these seven samurai warriors finding a reason to help people and fight against these bandits. When it comes to Akira Kurosawa, there is no film that is the best place to start with than this one as it showcases Kurosawa’s approach to action and drama but also in setting as Kurosawa knows where to put the camera as well as place importance in parts of those locations.

2. 12 Monkeys

Terry Gilliam’s dystopian remake of Chris Marker’s short film La Jetee is a strange sci-fi film that revolves around a man dreaming about an image of what he saw as a child. He is sent into a world and then tries to figure out what is going on as well as meet an assortment of odd characters including Brad Pitt as the son of a revered scientist who also leads an underground movement. It’s a film that is quite timely considering that Bruce Willis’ character is trying to find the source of a virus that wipes out the human race with only 1% of humanity actually surviving.

3. 8 Women

An adaptation of Robert Thomas’ play is this strange mystery that is Agatha Christie meets Douglas Sirk with French pop songs. Francois Ozon’s film is definitely a murder mystery where a family patriarch is murdered and the eight women in the house that includes the wife, his two daughters, his sister, his sister-in-law, his mother-in-law, and two maids all try to figure out what is going on while they all get the chance to sing a song.

© thevoid99 2020


Brittani Burnham said...

I haven't seen any of your picks this week! Seven Samaurai is one I keep meaning to put on a Blind Spot but then the length scares me off (which is a bit hypocritical of me considering how many times I watched The Godfather) I'll bite the bullet eventually.

joel65913 said...

Great picks!

Seven Samurai is both rousing and intricate. It's not my favorite of the Mifune/Kurosawa collaborations, that's High and Low, but it is an essential.

12 Monkeys isn't one I revisit very often but it is one I can run across and get suck right into. Both Willis and Brad Pitt are terrific

8 Women is such a treat. All those phenomenal actress in one film, it's heaven.

So many choices this time and ways to go so I simply chose three that I really liked in three different genres.

5 Card Stud (1968)-In the town of Rincon, Colorado in 1880 a gambler is caught cheating by his tablemates and in the heat of the moment lynched despite the efforts of one of their number Van Morgan (Dean Martin) to stop it. Disgusted Morgan leaves town but returns when he hears that some of the other players have been killed in grisly fashion. Upon his arrival he finds the hamlet taut with tensions and a somewhat sinister Baptist minister Rev. Rudd (Robert Mitchum) who carries a pistol in his bible. The situation only becomes more fraught as others of the lynch mob fall victim one by one and Morgan races to solve the mystery. Superior western with a great cast which beside the leads includes Inger Stevens and Roddy McDowell.

11 Harrowhouse (1974)-Small-time diamond merchant Howard Chesser (Charles Grodin) is offered the chance to purchase and cut a large diamond by its owner Clyde Massey (Trevor Howard). But when the diamond is stolen he is blackmailed into pulling off a heist at "The System," located in London at 11 Harrowhouse with the help of his girlfriend Maren (a stunning Candice Bergen). Assisted by inside man, Watts (James Mason) they navigate an elaborate network of defenses to carry out the robbery. Sleek, stylish caper film.

45 Years (2015)-Kate Mercer (an extraordinary Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff (an almost as fine Tom Courtenay) are planning a party to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. One week before the celebration a letter arrives for Geoff with news that the body of Katya, his first love has been discovered frozen in an icy glacier of the Swiss Alps where she had fallen 50 years ago. Disquieted by the news both start to reexamine the entirety of their relationship and as the party nears there might not be a marriage left to celebrate.

Sonia Cerca said...

Seven Samurai is a great film but 8 Women is my favourite because it is so funny, quirky and entertaining. I'm glad you picked it :)

keith71_98 said...

It's funny, the moment I saw the topic two films instantly came to mind. You mentioned one - Seven Samurai. The other would be The 400 Blows. It absolutely love that movie and it's one of my favorites from the French New Wave.