The Machinist (2004, USA) | Rating: 3/5
I've heard of this movie before and the extremes that Christian Bale put into his body for the role, but I wasn't completely sure what it was about. On the surface, it didn't seem like my type of movie, so it was interesting having to watch it in a classroom setting. First of all, I was shocked by Bale's body image and the story, for me, was pretty easy to keep up with. It may take a couple watches who don't catch minor and perhaps major details though. The movie was quite enjoyable, but it reminded me of another cult classic which I can't mention without giving away a major spoiler.
The Dreamers (2003, France) | Rating: 2.5/5
I immediately groaned at the sight of a certain actor from Funny Games U.S., but I slowly got over my little grudge from the movie. This movie has some interesting plot intersections that probably require a second viewing to fully grasp everything the movie is trying to tell its audience. It has an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister, but then we have this third character squeezing himself it which is more or less the focus of the movie. It also caters to film buffs as it references a lot about film culture. The movie is decent and the relationships didn't make me uncomfortable, but the ending was a little disappointing.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005, USA) | Rating: 3/5
This is definitely not a movie I would've seen on my own, but this movie was quite good. It's based off a true story and I believe a book that one of the daughters wrote. It was pretty cool that they incorporated the actual family at the end as well. Although it may be a bit frustrating to watch with the time period difference, it gives a realistic and perhaps even a more accurate depiction of housewives back then. It's an inspiring story and I doubt this strayed too far from the truth.
Trekkies (1997, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5
If you want an accurate depiction of a dedicated fanbase, this is the documentary for you. Watching this documentary had me mentally reflect on being part the cosplay life at anime conventions. The standards and treatment is very similar. I think this is a good film to watch for those who don't understand nerd/geek culture and their obsessions. They might not be able to completely grasp everything that comes with being involved in a fandom, but they will have some sort of idea. I know I learned a lot from the Star Trek universe through this.
Good Hair (2009, USA) | Rating: 4/5
I could probably do a full length review of this comedic documentary, but I'll leave that up for request for anyone who is interested. I've seen this many times before watching it in class and I still find this film full of some good information about ethnic hair and black perspectives on beauty. This also might explain why it takes a whole day for black women to get their hair done. Not only is this informative, but it is entertaining through the interviews and Chris Rock's commentary and delivery. In a way, I hope this brings up discussions about controversies with ethnic hair care and beauty standards in the black community.
If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.