So, last time we stayed up at Lake Of Menteith we spent our evenings catching up on many of the movies in our DVD collection that we’d never got round to watching. This year we did it again. The rules demand us sitting down and paying proper attention to the films in question, so no phones, no internet. The only distractions allowed were good wine, beer, fruit and cheese and the view over the loch. This year’s selection differed a little in that we allowed a few old favourites into the selection.
Here’s the verdict:
The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – an old favourite that we wanted to watch having just sat through the touring stage version. Somehow the adaptation to the stage managed to drain almost all of the grace and poignancy from the story. Thankfully the film remains as fun, camp and sensitive as we remembered.
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello – really charming little animated feature telling the tale of an airship navigator trying to discover a cure for a disease that threatens his family and redeem a past fatal error. There are elements of steampunk, shadow puppetry and Victorian sea adventure.
Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson’s feature from last year. Absolutely frickin brilliant movie – a quirky and sweet and beautifully made story of true love on a tiny island, and scouting. All of the adult performances are superb, but the standouts are the two runaways. Just watch it.
Team America: World Police – just because we needed a laugh and hadn’t seen it in ages. The satire is about as blunt as you can imagine, but it still works. And Kim’s deadly panthers are still hilarious.
The Million Dollar Hotel – okay, so this was apparently co-written by Bono. This wouldn’t normally be an incentive for us, and our instincts proved right. The hotel in question is home to an array of not-terribly-interesting disfunctionals, and the story revolves around the investigation of a murder/suicide and the attempts of the inhabitants to pull a fast one on the authorities. It’s stylish and occasionally funny, but ultimately confusing.
Blazing Saddles – sometimes you just need to watch a movie you know all the lines to. At Christmas that movie is Young Frankenstein. In the Summer, it is now Blazing Saddles.
Django Unchained – what surprised us about this movie was how beautifully shot it was, almost like Tarantino doing a costume drama. The two leads, Waltz and Foxx, are a mesmerising duo and their story is pretty much perfectly told. Tarantino paces the movie superbly well and proves once again how he has mastered the slow building of tension to point where the colossal amounts of bloodshed you’ve been led to expect from him is inevitable. A really good watch to finish off the week.