2017 Movie #125: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

2017 Movie #125: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Valerian from here on out) is a hallucinogenic science fiction epic that, despite its many flaws, manages to be a fun excursion into outer space.

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2017 Movie #124: Roman Holiday (1953)

2017 Movie #124: Roman Holiday (1953)

To be sure, Roman Holiday is a well-made movie, based on a clever, but simple, premise by legendary screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, directed to great effect by the legendary William Wyler, with striking visual style (most notably on display in the scooter sequence) following an exciting romp through the city of Rome, and featuring a charming performance by the debonair Gregory Peck. However, without question, Roman Holiday succeeds largely on the back of the breathtakingly, achingly endearing Audrey Hepburn.

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2017 Movie #123: The Square (2017)

2017 Movie #123: The Square (2017)

Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s idiosyncratic vision may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that it’s bold and original; his is a challenging lens, one which is darkly comedic, questioning, dizzyingly suspenseful, but ultimately satisfying if somewhat bewildering. Coming out of his Palme d’Or-winning 2017 feature, The Square, I couldn’t help but feel this entire wide array of emotions, even as I felt that I may not have “gotten” Östlund’s vision.

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2017 Movie #121: Some Like It Hot (1959)

2017 Movie #121: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot is a classically hilarious romp built upon a premise that, all things considered, hasn’t aged well at all. And yet, thanks to Billy Wilder’s excellent sense of comic timing, as well as fantastic lead performances by Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, this movie feels fresh and vivid even nearly 60 years after its original release.

Lemmon and Curtis may be the stars of the show, but Marilyn Monroe is easily the most captivating actor in Some Like It Hot, delivering an all-timer sultry performance that won’t be easily forgotten.

Ultimately this film, despite its many signs of age, proves to hold up.

“Nobody’s perfect” is the perfect line for this film to end on, too, with absolutely top-notch delivery from Joe E. Brown.

2017 Movie #120: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

2017 Movie #120: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Between The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow crafted two of the most important statements on post-9/11 America, despite neither film taking place in America itself. While The Hurt Locker presents the audience with a more palatable message, in a more accessible package, for my money, it’s Zero Dark Thirty that is the more well-made, well-crafted film, a film that raises more questions than it answers, that spotlights much of American foreign policy since 9/11 through the lens of the chase for Osama bin Laden.

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