Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2015 - Scott From Married With Clickers ""

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Film Discoveries of 2015 - Scott From Married With Clickers

Scott and his wife Kat run the Married With Clickers podcast. It's a great show and you should listen. They basically watch movies together and then talk about them on the show. They have themed months and whatnot and always seem to choose interesting films to watch. This is Scott's 6th (!) year doing a discoveries list - see his old ones:
Here 's his list of his top 10 discoveries of 2010:

Also, check out the episode of the podcast where they talk about the below Discoveries:
1. Les Diaboliques (1955)
I had circled around this one for years, trying to stay in the dark about the plot as much as possible. I wanted to see a nice print and the Criterion Blu Ray certainly provided that. What a ride! It is beautifully shot, features wonderful performances and oozes atmosphere. If Wages of Fear was not enough evidence; this one proves M. Clouzot knows how to manufacture suspense.
2. F is for Fake (1973)
I caught this on TCM one day (beautiful print, btw) not really knowing what I would be getting from Orson Welles. What I got what a strange mixture of documentary, sleight of hand and perhaps even fantasy. Welles proves that, if nothing else, he is a master showman. It is a wild, engaging and entertaining ride.
3. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
I know that everyone else saw this a few years ago but, for me, horror-comedy is typically more miss than hit. As a result, I waited a long time to see this. Too long. My wife and I had so much fun with this one. While the splatstick certainly results in many laughs, the key to this movie is its heart and the good-natured, caring bromance between Tucker and Dale.
4. Scream of Fear (aka Taste of Fear) (1961)
A wonderful 1961 psychological thriller from Hammer than is criminally underseen (I was obviously in that category until very recently). It is well paced and features a moody, claustrophobic setting that brings to mind Rebecca or My Name is Julia Ross. It was the only film I watched twice in 2015 and would make for a great double bill with my #1 choice.
5. Titanic (1943)
A minor historical footnote in terms of both Nazi propaganda and James Cameron's favourite ship, this 1943 film is well worth tracking down. At 85 minutes, it does not waste any time in setting the scene and does a valiant job at mixing melodrama, nautical mayhem, Anglophobia and criticism of capitalist societies. The effects are quite good (some were used for A Night to Remember) and the backstory is remarkable, including the likely murder of the director by Joseph Goebbels' goons.
6. College (1927)
2015 was the year we started introducing silent films to our children. In fact, I was introducing many of them to myself, too. To an extent, I'm happy that I waited so long to fall in love with Buster Keaton because I can better appreciate all of the art and athleticism that went into his work. This tale of a young man's adventures at a California university is a riot with his anti-athletics snobbery coming back to haunt him. Aside from a cringe inducing black-face sequence, the film is flawless, climaxing in an amazing cinematic decathlon of sorts.
7. Bad Girl Island (aka Sirens of Eleuthra) (2007)
Every year I watch plenty of truly great films for the first time. I also watch a decent amount of trash. Sometimes the trash puts too big a smile on my face to ignore when contemplating a top 10list. As far as I can tell, my wife and I are the only two people on the planet who like this movie. What's not to love? It's a giant slice of cheese, sweating in the Bahamian sun. It stars Annalynne McCord (a favourite in our household), Antonio Sabato Jr. and James Brolin. That hammy trio gets involved in a plot filled with mermaids, voodoo and Haitian refugees. When you mix all of those ingredients in a 'film within a film' framework, you've got a very fun film. But it's terrible, too.
8. The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
Disaster movies are pretty big in our household, but I'd never seen this British gem. Val Guest's film about the impact of weapons testing on the Earth's orbit is quite serious in tone, as we see the impending doom through the eyes of a journalist. Production values are good and there are strong performances throughout but the key to everything is the atmosphere established by Guest and cinematographer Harry Waxman. The screen is saturated with an orange hue, giving a sense of both heat and despair. The film also gets extra points for helping me discover the music (and awesome late 70s video) of song 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire' by the band City Boy.
9. Crossfire (1947)
A tense and taut RKO film noir directed with great style by Edward Dmytryk and starring a trio of Roberts (Young, Mitchum and Ryan). Set in post-WW2 Washington, D.C., the plot revolves around a brutal hate crime and the investigation closing in on the wrong man. The strength of Dmytryk'sdirection (and John Paxton's screenplay) is that the viewer is on the edge of their seat, even though it is pretty apparent whodunit. The suspense lays in the setting of the trap and the danger posed by the highly volatile villain. All the performances are strong and the small, supporting roles are great fun. This is a great and honorable noir that loses a few points due to somepreachiness in the final act.
10. Full Eclipse (1993)
Mario Van Peebles meets the original Wolf Cops! I stumbled upon this film after Googling for some suggestions of werewolf films to watch for our podcast. This is pure early 90s cheese blending 80s buddy cop clich├ęs, a late night erotic thriller aesthetic and lycanthropy. It is ridiculous from start to finish, with gonzo action mixed in groan inducing one-liners and aggressive sex scenes. I think this is an early 90s gem with cult classic written all over it.

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