21) Troy’s Pick – Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs is the Rankin/Bass movie that I always wanted to see. Troy found a special place in his heart for Wes Anderson’s latest almost immediately upon release. While the Woke Folk desperately tried to mine out a reason to be mad about American soundings in a heavily Asian movie, Troy just watched the damn movie.
Check out his Isle of Dogs review here.
21) Daniel’s Pick – Den of Thieves
Another number, another throwback to a different kind of cinema. Whereas Hostiles harkens back to the works of Milius and Hill, director Christian Gudegast very much has the films of Michael Mann in mind here. Hell, if this film had come out a decade earlier, it probably would have been released as Heat 2: Den of Thieves.
What we have here is a pulp cops vs. crooks heist thriller that pits the big personality of seedy copper Gerard Butler against a cold and professional “den of thieves” that include Pablo “Pornstache” Schreiber and O’Shea “Lil Ice Cube” Jackson Jr. Is it derivative? It absolutely is, but the execution is so good that I don’t care. Gudegast does here what all of our favorite ‘70s/’80s directors did before him: he takes his love of a specific film and spins it into something new, instead of doing a typical remake. It’s something I wish more filmmakers would try. Death to remakes, long live rip-offs!
21) Mike Flynn’s Pick – The Night Comes For Us
The other night (as of this writing), my sister texted me complaining about why Bird Box was getting so much press. I don’t know how effective my recommendation of Netflix’s torrential downpour of blood and gore would have been as a palate cleanser. Hailing from Indonesia and much of the cast and crew from the Raid films, writer-director Timo Tjahjanto has made what is perhaps the goriest action film of all time.
This one broke me. I don’t even know what to say. If John Woo bailed on a crime film, a 30-year-old Peter Jackson replaced him, and he called Tom Savini, KNB, Screaming Mad George, and all the Fangoria gods to choreograph the action, this would be it. There’s emotion running through this, too. A cattle bone is used the way Catherine Trammell uses an ice pick in the first half-hour. From there, it does for the east what Fury Road did for the west.
21) Jamie’s Pick – Mary Queen of Scots
Jamie enjoys Margot Robbie. Jamie enjoys Saorise Ronan. But, it’s period pieces about what would beget Elizabethan England that really makes the J man hot. Dude used to Livejournal about it all the time.