BICYCLE THIEVES (LADRI DI BICICLETTE)- (1949)
Perhaps one of the best films to come out of Italy and no doubt one of the most acclaimed . It was awarded a special Academy Award for “most outstanding foreign film” seven years before the category officially existed. Written by neorealist Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio DeSica, Bicycle Thieves is a uncomplicated film that highlights the life of Antonio (played by Lamberto Maggiorani) and the circumstances around his bicycle which gets stolen on the first day of a new job. He employs his son Bruno (played by Enzo Stailo) to help him recover his stolen bike and along the way some valuable lessons are learned.
HIGH NOON (1952)
No doubt you have heard of this movie even if you haven’t seen it. To say it is a classic is an understatement – it is undoubtedly one of the best Westerns of all time. Staring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, the marshal prepares to give up his job due to his wife, a Quaker, being a pacifist. Word gets out of the marshal’s pending retirement and four outlaws show up in town at “High Noon” to kill the lawman. High Noon set the bar for the genre. This film is an absolute must see.
If you are a 007 fan, undoubtedly, you’ll agree, Sean Connery was the best actor to play James Bond and Goldfinger was the best 007 film. While the second best actor to play James Bond may be up for debate, SKYFALL qualifies as one of the best Bond film to date which, clearly, makes Daniel Craig the second best actor to play the part of 007. In SKYFALL Bond is shot and presumed dead. He resurfaces as MI-6 is under comes under attack. This movie has everything one would expect in a Bond film and then some. While I wasn’t entirely sold on Daniel Craig being cast as James Bond, in Skyfall all doubt was removed and he earns his spot among all the other that have played the role.
This animated movie has gotten rave reviews and for good reason -its message is one of inclusion. Because of this, this is a great family film. In the modern animal metropolis of Zootopia (a melting pot where animals from every environment live together) – a place where no matter what you are, you can become anything. In this movie, the first rabbit to join the police force teams up with a sketchy fox to solve a crime. It is everything you have come to expect in a Disney film and then some.
This is a long film, at 165 minutes and a daring project to say the least. Boyhood is filmed over 12 years with the same cast so you literally see the main character, Mason, grow up before your very eyes. This film has a magical quality of getting to vicariously experience the nuances of growing up through the eyes of the main character. If you have ever wanted to go back and experience childhood all over again, this is your opportunity. Along with being an amazing film, it will certainly take you on a nostalgic journey of your own youth. It also has a great soundtrack.
DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)
While I am a HUGE fan of superhero movies, especially those made by Marvel, Doctor Strange was not high on my list of films to see. I attribute this to not having read any of the comic books and , because of this, not knowing the back story. As it turns out, Doctor Strange was a magnificent surgeon who had his hands crushed in an auto accident. After spending all of his money to rehabilitate himself, he is still unable to return to his life as a doctor. He meets a man who was miraculously healed by a sorcerer. He journeys to Kathmandu with the goal of getting his life back and finds that there are greater things in store for him. This movie’s special are amazing and the film was nominated for an Academy Award because of them. This was one of my favorite films of 2016.