Hey, everyone! Just a quick word before we dive into the history of November film releases and shine some light on some great films that are enjoying anniversaries this month. I’m going to be doing this every month. It will be half a walk down memory lane, half a “Hey, look how old this movie is, feel old now?” reminder of your mortality, and half a “need something to watch this month?” recommendation list.
Yes, those are three halves. I’m a writer, not a mathematician, ok? Most importantly, it’s going to just be fun.
Let’s get on with it.
Anniversaries then. Turning five this year is the great adaptation, Life of Pi. There were a handful of movies to pick out for this milestone anniversary, but I really want to talk about this film. As a fan of the book, I was in awe of seeing it come to life. The visuals are stunning, the acting is top notch and the story? Well, the story is far and ahead one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of watching unfold (and reading). It gives us such a thought-provoking look at religion and basic human instincts that really needs to be seen to fully understand.
We are told a beautiful story of survival between a young boy, Pi, and a Tiger, named Richard Parker, lost at sea, sharing a small life craft after a shipwreck. However, is that really what happened? Or is that just another extraordinary tale (like one found in the bible) as opposed to what really happened, because we are too afraid to admit to ourselves what humans are truly capable of when survival is on the line?
This is a film I show to everybody I can because it’s one everybody needs to see at some point in their life. Check. It. Out.
Honestly, I can’t decide which movie to showcase for their 10 year anniversary between Bee Movie and Fred Claus. Truly one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. So, I’ll compromise and let’s go with the Coen brothers’ masterpiece, No Country for Old Men. The Coen brothers have such a long resume of great films (The Big Lebowski, Fargo) that it’s really saying something when they come out with a movie that stands above the rest.
No Country for Old Men is the tale of a World War 2 vet turned Sheriff overseeing an investigation into a string of murders when he unknowingly messes with the wrongest of men. Javier Bardem gives a chilling performance as Anton Chigurh, a psychopathic hitman, in which he won an Oscar and Golden Globe on top of being named one of Empire Magazines Top 100 Movie Characters of All Time. No big deal.
Happy 10th Anniversary, you bloodbath… and Fred Claus, I guess.
Celebrating a 15th Anniversary is 8 Mile, the movie that turned rapper Eminem into an Oscar winner. Really did not see that one coming, like, at all. The film itself is a story of perseverance and hard work and believing in yourself… and losing yourself in the moment, or something. Marshall Mathers’ story is a tough one, an up and coming MC living with his mom in a trailer park in Detroit. However, while Eminem’s portrayal of himself is surprisingly good, I think an incredibly underrated performance by the late, great Brittany Murphy goes really unnoticed. Oh, and the famous song from this film inspired a ton of great internet memes. Who knew spaghetti and sweaters could be so funny.
Another fantastic release that month in 2002 was Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, aka the best film in the series. I am ready to fight anyone who says otherwise. Try me.
Now, I am completely serious, November 1997 might have been the greatest month in cinematic history. No joke. These films are all turning 20 years old this month – Starship Troopers (HELL yeah), Flubber (amazing), Alien: Resurrection (sure), The Mr. Bean Movie (oh baby), and last but not least Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (ok, this one is really bad). I, seriously, can’t even pick one to write about.
First, we have one of the greatest sci-fi films ever, Robin Williams being the Robin we all love, Ripley slam dunking a basketball in space, Mr. Bean raising absolute hell in LA and Mortal Kombat 2 setting off a chain reaction of every video game adaptation after it being atrociously bad. Screw it, guys and gals, just watch all of them. Watch Starship Troopers twice, though. Happy 20th birthday, Johnny Rico and the bugs on Klendathu.
In November 1992 we were absolutely BLESSED with the release of Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin. It happens to be my favourite Disney film as well; I was completely obsessed as a child and I still give it a yearly watch 25 years later. On top of my own love for it, Robin Williams gives one of his best performances ever with simply his voice. The script played to his strengths and let Robin do his thing; we really truly did lose a great one when he passed. Also, any film that makes me love Gilbert freakin’ Gottfried deserves a hundred gold stars. Other notable films turning 25 this year are Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Bodyguard, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (and Also Inferior to the First One).
So, because the 80’s pretty much blew chunks in November, we’re skipping to 1977, where Steven Spielberg’s classic Close Encounters of The Third Kind turns 40. I often feel like this is one of his most overlooked films. If you’re like me and love a good alien story, this one is definitely for you. It also happens to feature one of, if not the worst fathers in cinematic history. No spoilers, I promise, he just is not a good person. Anyway, next time you’re about to pop E.T. into the ol’ VHS machine, try Close Encounters out instead.
With November just getting started I hope we get some new gems released this year, it’s looking like it could be a fun one with Thor: Ragnarok out now and Justice League soon upon us. If there are any that I’ve missed feel free to leave a comment with your favourite or a memory of seeing any of these in theatres, we always love to hear from you beautiful people.
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