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Black Snake Moan
This is one of the weirdest, most absolutely bonkers films I saw in my teens, but this sexploitation film stays in a positive realm due to incredible performances.
When a religious blues player comes upon a young nymphomaniac, he does all he can to cure her of her disease, by any means necessary.
It’s absolutely over-the-top and at times totally insane, so of course Samuel L. Jackson fits right in as the bluesman. He goes toe-to-toe with 90’s star Christina Ricci in a film you’ll never forget.
With a jarring supporting turn from Justin Timberlake and fantastic direction from Craig Brewer, most recently of Dolemite Is My Name, this is one of the most interesting films to come out of the 2000s.
I don’t think I could love many movies as much as I love E.T., a film that has influenced popular culture since its release in 1982.
This remarkable, relatable story about a troubled kid who makes best friends with an alien is one of those pictures you’ll never forget.
E.T. receives the child’s help to escape earth and return to his home planet, and an unbreakable bond is formed.
Child stars Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore are equal parts adorable and effective, with an adult turn by Peter Coyote keeping things steady.
First Steven Spielberg scared the heck out of us with Jaws, and then he showed us he could do first-rate family fare with E.T. He’s proven to be one of the most versatile directors, and this was one film that proved it.
It doesn’t get better than E.T., and it’s always worth a re-watch.
Sicario: Day Of The Soldado
The original Sicario was one of the best crime films to come out of the 2010s. It was a true, star-making performance for Emily Blunt.
A sequel was a foregone conclusion – though Blunt’s disappearance from this one was a huge blow for fans.
However, with stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin returning for proceedings, this is a rare sequel that continues a great franchise.
This time, we’re given a brutal look at the U.S.-Mexico border fight against drug trafficking, and the work of federal agent Matt Graver (Brolin) and Alejandro (Del Toro) to stop things.
It’s a completely different film from the original, but it puts forth a new, interesting story. Day of the Soldado is a great companion to the original, even when audiences do miss Blunt.
Charlie Chaplin has been an inspiration for me throughout the years, and was a fixture in film theory when I went to university.
He and Buster Keaton would dominate the silent comedies, and his work was always so expressive and interesting.
In perhaps an incredible allegory, Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in this film following his character The Tramp, about a man struggling to live in a society constantly pushing forward through an industrial revolution.
This film came as the last silent film from Chaplin before the talkies took over, and was arguably his very best. It’s one of the greatest comedies of all time.
Though the Snowpiercer TV series can hardly be compared to the cult-classic, Chris Evans movie, it has the potential to be something great.
Set seven years after humans have ruined the world and climate change has caused everything to freeze over, the rich have boarded train Snowpiercer, which circles the globe over and over.
But in the tail of the train, the disenfranchised who managed to get on are treated terribly and without humanity. There are constant fights over class and status.
When Layton – played by Blindspotting star Daveed Diggs – is taken from the tail, it’s revealed he was a homicide detective before Snowpiercer. He is asked to investigate a first-class murder.
As he pushes and fights for rights for his friends, he tangles with Melanie – who helps run the train. The plot isn’t as tight as it should be, but the acting is incredible.
Diggs and the Academy Award-winning Jennifer Connelly as Melanie steal the show, and four episodes in, there is room for great improvement on a solid foundation.
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.