[Movie Review] Cult films (part 1)
It's Tuesday... and from now on it's movie Tuesdays. And today we'll talk a little about "cult cinema". We've heard the expression "cult film" or "cult movie" a lot of times. But, what is it precisely?
Well, here it's some definitions of the term
Entertainment Weekly quote:
Most died at the box office, some of them horribly. Mangled and despised, they were re-animated on video. And now they compose our cultural Esperanto, a subliminal vocabulary of vaguely subversive images, ideas, and phrases that we continue to obsess over and dissect at parties, around watercoolers, in bars, over the blaring banalities of the mainstream media din. They are Cult Movies[.]
A cult film is characterized by its active and lively communal following.
Highly committed and rebellious in their appreciation, cult audiences are frequently at odds with cultural conventions – they prefer strange topics and allegorical themes that rub against cultural sensitivities and resist dominant politics.
Cult films transgress common notions of good and bad taste, and they challenge genre conventions and coherent storytelling.
Among the techniques cult films use are intertextual references, gore, loose ends in storylines, or the creation of a sense of nostalgia.
Often, cult films have troublesome production histories, coloured by accidents, failures, legends and mysteries that involve their stars and directors.
In spite of often-limited accessibility, they have a continuous market value and a long-lasting public presence.
AMC's Filmsite quote:
Cult Films have limited but very special appeal. Cult films are usually strange, quirky, offbeat, eccentric, oddball, or surreal, with outrageous, weird, unique and cartoony characters or plots, and garish sets. They are often considered controversial because they step outside standard narrative and technical conventions. They can be very stylized, and they are often flawed or unusual in some striking way.
So after having a notion of what is that we are talking about. I'm going to get a little more deep into four movies of this list, not great box office success, but definitely movies with a huge fandom.
They are (in chronological order of release): A Clockwork Orange (U.S. total lifetime grosses #2,201); The Shawshank Redemption (#2,117); The Big Lebowski (#2,885); Fight Club (#1,676).
Before getting to the actual reviews some final reminders:
1) This post DOES NOT contain download links, just a review to guide your decisions about movies to watch.
2) This post MAY CONTAIN some spoilers
Original Title: A Clockwork Orange
Duration: 136 minutes
MPAA's Rating: R
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee and Michael Bates
Plot: In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex
DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an
experimental aversion therapy developed by
the government in an effort to solve society's
crime problem... but not all goes to plan.
It's not a bad movie. Actually it's one of those that you can discuss over and over, looking for morals, critics to modern society, freedom, and stuff like that. And even though, I enjoy raw (and even bizarre) movies, this one goes a little too much over the line. Just a little. The message (messages actually) from the movie will remain in our minds even after years of watching it. That's the power in its (almost vulgar) rawness! And because of this violent visceral roughness it provokes feelings of love and hate in equal parts (a key in a "good" cult film). I'm one of those who liked it and I recommend it... but just for this much.
IMDb Critic Rating: 78/100 (148 critics)
IMDb User Rating: 8.5/10 (240,062 users)
RT Tomatometer: 91% (Certified Fresh)
RT Audience: 92% liked it
RT Critic Rating: 8.3/10 (44 critics)
RT User Rating: 4/5 (384,188 users)
Roger Ebert: 2/4
Original Title: The Shawshank Redemption
Duration: 142 minutes
MPAA's Rating: R
Director: Frank Darabont
Writers: Stephen King, Frank Darabont
Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and Bob Gunton
Plot: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years,
finding solace and eventual redemption
through acts of common decency.
For years it was my favorite movie. I saw it as a teenager and left me with this feel-good sensation afterwards. With a simple story and with great performances (especially Morgan Freeman's). And it's not surprise that, even not being a box office success at all, it was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Too bad it run against Forrest Gump... although for me, it should've been for Shawshank that year.
IMDb Critic Rating: 80/100 (139 critics)
IMDb User Rating: 9.2/10 (666,145 users)
RT Tomatometer: 90% (Certified Fresh)
RT Audience: 98% liked it
RT Critic Rating: 8.1/10 (61 critics)
RT User Rating: 4.4/5 (769,577 users)
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4
Original Title: The Big Lebowski
Duration: 117 minutes
MPAA's Rating: R
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Julianne Moore
Plot: "Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski,
seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists
his bowling buddies to help get it.
I watched on DVD and it blew my mind. Beautiful in the conception, in the creation and in the execution. Great, great cast... you have Turturro and Buscemi that steel the minor roles, and two magnificent lead actors (Bridges and Goodman) who make their characters lovable, laughable and believable. The sensation when the movie it's getting over during the final speech of Sam Elliott is: "when I grow up, I wanna be like the Dude".
IMDb Critic Rating: 69/100 (180 critics)
IMDb User Rating: 8.2/10 (225,935 users)
RT Tomatometer: 80% (Certified Fresh)
RT Audience: 93% liked it
RT Critic Rating: 7.2/10 (81 critics)
RT User Rating: 4/5 (305,096 users)
Roger Ebert: 3/4
Original Title: Fight Club
Duration: 139 minutes
MPAA's Rating: R
Director: David Fincher
Writers: Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Uhls
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter
Plot: An office employee and a soap salesman build a
global organization to help vent male
This is the raw I'm talking about. This is the rough that I like. This is the spiral I want a plot to be. This is the kind of movie I love. This is the kind of movie I recommend. Especial kudos for Pitt, he's not just a pretty face, he's a great actor.
IMDb Critic Rating: 66/100 (247 critics)
IMDb User Rating: 8.8/10 (496,434 users)
RT Tomatometer: 81% (Certified Fresh)
RT Audience: 95% liked it
RT Critic Rating: 7.3/10 (149 critics)
RT User Rating: 4.2/5 (965,529 users)
Roger Ebert: 2/4
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