Passing (2021)

Rebecca Hall directs Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga and André Holland in this period drama set during the Harlem Renaissance following the reunion of two light skinned African American women who can “pass” for white.

Anyone who watched the TV adaptation of Preacher will know Ruth Negga has a charm and an intensity that lights up the screen. This is the best showcase for her yet as a devil may care agent of chaos on Tessa Thompson’s more formal, staid, “worthy” lifestyle. The movie can be a little Brechtian at times, feeling like a series of short plays, very fixed and almost deadpan. But the emotions hidden behind that enforced flatness bubble away alluringly. Eduard Grau’s cinematography is sumptuous and painterly, like a photo being developed but not yet fully fixed.

7

Perfect Double Bill: Shadows (1959)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)

Nicholas Meyer directs William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Ricardo Montalbán in this space adventure where a villain from the Enterprise’s past declares a vendetta on Kirk and Star Fleet.

An iconic antagonist, a thrilling game of cat and mouse in a nebula, the shock ending and those nightmare inducing, mind bending ear worms mean this often is many people’s favourite entry of the franchise. The lowered budget sometimes shows things up though. Shatner smugly telling us “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” is one of my favourite Trek moments. James Tiberius is fucking awesome – middle aged Kirk is second only to Chris Pine Kirk.

7

Perfect Double Bill: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Top Gun (1986)

Tony Scott directs Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis and Anthony Edwards in this war movie where the best jet fighter pilots in America train for high speed combat.

That epic synth soundtrack (Faltermeyer / Berlin / Loggins) . The Cruiser becoming an A-Lister right in front of our very eyes. The golden shimmering sheen Scott sells every image with. Flippin’ the bird. Sweaty topless beach volleyball. Goose’s death. That Lovin’ Feelin’. Every winning, glorious chunk chimes still as shameless image entertainment. Only the dogfights feel a bit underwhelming on the small screen. The romance has a jerky, undercooked nature that actually gives Cruise and McGillis space to breathe. Every thread of this feels hashed out and cobbled together, like they made the story up as they went along. The only overriding factors that unify it all are the constant homoeroticism (a man could drive himself crazy figuring out just how intentional that is) and Cruise’s coming of age as an eternal shining movie star he is and always will be. Turn your brain off and just enjoy.

7

Perfect Double Bill: Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Unfaithful (2002)

Adrian Lyne directs Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez and Richard Gere in this erotic thriller where a happy housewife starts an affair with a mysterious French book dealer.

In the opening sequence, Lane is buffeted by a gale on a New York back street. The wind exposes her legs, tightens her immaculate clothing to her body. It is like Lyne is a naughty giant blowing her garments astray to give us a teasing show. The star looks classy and resplendent throughout, constantly generating heat. Lyne doesn’t even bother to gift us any notable nudity until at least an hour in, long past the first few trysts. Then the movie goes off the rails with a murder. Neither male lead matches Lane’s appeal, Martinez especially is just a pretty face. The dour final act has minimal grip and little opportunity for Lane to wear and then not wear a stunning outfit. Lacklustre after a promising start.

4

Perfect Double Bill: Fatal Attraction (1987)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Love Meetings (1964)

Pier Paolo Pasolini directs Lello Bersani, Alberto Moravia and Cesare Musatti in this documentary collating the vox pop interviews of the people of Italy on the subject of sex.

Not particularly mind blowing stuff but some of the members of the public have a nice energy about them. It does feel that Pasolini is often trying to categorise certain attitudes that don’t always come across in the actual opinions expressed. He makes a point of interviewing big groups in public, meaning a certain herd-like mentality dominates the interviews. But he is making another valid point by doing exactly that. Becomes overly repetitive.

5

Perfect Double Bill: This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Wild Child (2008)

Nick Moore directs Emma Roberts, Alex Pettyfer and Juno Temple in this fish-out-of-water kids comedy where a spoilt American rich girl is shipped off to an English boarding school.

Very scrappy, and I’m aware I’m not the target demographic. This will keep a 10 year old girl entertained but even they will want even more scenes where Emma Roberts calls someone a “Bi-Atch!” Thus completely owning them. I know I did. Fuck the true meaning of friendship!

5

Perfect Double Bill: What A Girl Wants (2003)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Minari (2020)

Lee Isaac Chung directs Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri and Alan Kim in this drama where a Korean family settles in 1980s Arkansas and struggle to start a farm.

Sweet, well acted, manages to represent the differing perspectives of nearly all the family members. Not entirely sure what all the Oscar adulation was about but Minari is a neat enough one-watcher.

6

Perfect Double Bill: Field Of Dreams (1989)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Summerland (2020)

Jessica Swale directs Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Lucas Bond in this British wartime drama where a female writer, living a secluded life, finds herself looking after an evacuated boy.

Perfectly watchable. No great shakes in any technical category but a good showcase for Arterton. Some of the final act revelations are well handled.

6

Perfect Double Bill: Tell It To The Bees (2019)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Movie of the Week: The Big Sleep (1946)

Howard Hawks directs Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Matha Vickers in this detective story based on Raymond Chandler’s labyrinthine novel.

The plot is a bramble bush, you could untangle it but where’s the fun in that? This is a delivery system for a series of scenes where Bogart negs, flirts and cracks wise with a series of beauties. Each more ravishing than the next. The wit of the dialogue, the heat of the chemistry, those gowns and short shorts. Who cares about a few little unsolved murders?

8

Perfect Double Bill: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Sam Raimi directs Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Wong in this sequel to a fair few Marvel properties.

More big budget telly… though interrupted with bursts of pure Raimi 5D mayhem. His signature stuff sticks out like sore thumbs on a giraffe but makes this somewhat enjoyable. Olsen is the MVP and is given a character arc worth her time. The trailer takes great pains from spoiling a first act revelation… yet also features big revealing shots of the finale… which is obtuse. The middle section drags, especially if you don’t really care about cameos from other franchises… past and future. You can’t help but have the nagging feeling that this is all middle section.

7

Perfect Double Bill: Doctor Strange (2016)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/