Blog Team’s March Favorites: Films

Howdy, howdy, everyone!  It is almost the end of March, so summer is almost here!  For those nights that you’re burnt out from school work and just need a film to kick back and watch, blog team has assembled our favorite films!  We hope you find one (or five) that you like!

Aubrey Rieder – Donnie Darko, Dir. Richard KelleyDonnie Darko

Plot description: “A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.” (IMDB)

What Aubrey had to say:  Donnie Darko has become one of my favorite movies for the intricate theories by which it is surrounded. This cult-classic 2001 film directed by Richard Kelly explores the mind of a troubled teen—the titular character Donnie Darko, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal—as he struggles with solving his Doomsday visions. A figure in a monstrous bunny costume named “Frank” gives him clues, and reports on the impending end of humanity. Wickedly funny, it explores mental illness while adding a level of mystery: is Donnie really psychotic, or are his visions true? The most fascinating part of this film for me is the speculation that lies beyond the film. After watching Donnie Darko, I felt compelled to research the possible theories behind the movie, leading down the rabbit hole (pun intended) of crazy conspiracies and outrageous time-travel theories. This additional knowledge made re-watching it (three days later) all the more fun and mind-blowing. Donnie Darko is a great film for people who enjoy learning about conspiracies and psychology, and who love trying to solve nearly impossibly enigmas.

Caelan Cheshire – Moulin Rouge!, Dir. Baz LuhrmannMoulin Rouge

Plot description: “A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.” (IMDB)

What Caelan had to say: If you haven’t seen Moulin Rouge!, you should remedy that. Immediately. A dramatic, comedic, romantic musical, Moulin Rouge! is a film you’ll want to watch over and over again. Spoken from experience.  Featuring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman as two of the main characters, this unique film follows the life of a young Scottish writer who falls in love with a cabaret actress and courtesan in the Montmartre Quarter in Paris. Of course, it isn’t nearly so simple as that. Moulin Rouge! will have you crying tears of laughter and soul crushing despair in no time at all. It was nominated for eight Oscars, and won two, for good reason. One of the film’s most notable features is its anachronistic music and its amazing costumes, which will have you wishing such a colorful, bizarre, and splendid place really exists. So the next time you’re sitting on your couch, avoiding homework, watch this classic. Have the popcorn and Kleenex nearby, and brace yourself for a taste of cinematic beauty.

Cassidy Nelson – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Dir. Lorene Scafaria

SeekingPlot description: “As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.” (IMDB)

What Cassidy had to say: If you knowingly had one week left on Earth before an asteroid came barreling at you to disrupt life as you know it, how would you spend it? The movie, Seeking a Friend For The End Of The World, tells an interesting story of a man on the hunt for his high school sweetheart by working together with his neighbor who is trying to get home to her family before the world ends. If you were like me, you probably didn’t see this movie while it was in theaters, nor did you probably even hear about it, and it’s long been neglected and overlooked in your Netflix queue. What I loved most about this movie is that once the final credits rolled, it brought forth discussions that I’ll never forget between my friends and I about what we would do if this was to be our reality. I’ll admit, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley seem like an odd pairing, but together they move you between laughter and tears as they embark on their journey together. It does a marvelous job at making you laugh when you think you’re about to cry and vice versa. Next time you’re procrastinating on that reading assignment or feel you have nothing to watch between binges on Netflix, watch this. It’s a feel good movie that may even make you hit the pause and refresh button on your life after you start thinking about what you would do if the end was coming and why you aren’t spending your time doing just that already.

Kirbie Koonse – Wild, Dir. Jean-Marc Vallee

Wild.pngPlot description: “A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.” (IMDB)

What Kirbie had to say: I walked away from Wild completely inspired and desperate to walk 2,600 miles. Complete with a topnotch soundtrack, Wild is a powerful tale about the resilient human spirit. Not only that, but the author, Cheryl Strayed, is endlessly fascinating. Her story turns the rugged beauty of the PCT into art and will ignite your adventurer spirit. The original novel is even better, but both adaptations have my highest recommendation.

Morgan Crider – Silence of the Lambs, Dir. Jonathan Demme

Silence.jpgPlot description: “A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.” (IMDB)

What Morgan had to say: I know what you’re thinking, how can a horror movie be someone’s favorite movie? Well guess what, the film is technically under the genre of mystery and it is riveting. This is easily one of the most well crafted suspense movies I have ever seen, with thematic symbolism and intellectual references galore! Clarice Starling, played by Jodi Foster, is the dynamic heroine of this story that holds her own to Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Praise to Thomas Harris for creating this ingenious book series that inspired the movie; he made a serial killer that is so multifaceted you don’t know whether to fear or admire him. In 1992, Silence of the Lambs won Oscars for best actor in a leading role, best actress in a leading role, best director, AND best motion picture. I cannot speak highly enough of this movie and the complex journey this story takes you on. By the end of this movie both you and Clarice Starling will be waiting for the silence of the lambs.

And there you go!  Grab your popcorn, pull up a blanket, and press play!

[Image sources: FeaturedDonnie Darko, Moulin Rouge!, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Wild, & Silence of the Lambs]

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