Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2002). I’m using this film in my summer class, so I watched it again. I like this movie very much, and wrote about it back in 2002:
Minority Report is … one of the best representations yet on film of the world of Philip K. Dick. Dick's novels and short stories have enticed film makers for some time now, but in the eyes of this Phil Dick fan, they have rarely captured the Dickian essence (perhaps only in one scene from Total Recall when Arnold thinks he's on Mars and a guy is trying to convince him he's really just sitting in an Earthbound chair enjoying a pre-paid fantasy). … Minority Report … delivers the goods, and brings many moments of recognition for fans of PKD: the drug-abusing hero, the mechanical spiders, the confusion over identity, the way in which the future is recognizably connected to our present. … Best scene: when Tom Cruise and the "pre-cog" are on the lam, and the pre-cog helps their escape by anticipating the immediate future.
This was written before the movie of A Scanner Darkly was released, and that movie is probably now at the top of my Gets Dick Right list. But I think Minority Report is a better movie overall. And off the top of my head, I’d say it’s my favorite Tom Cruise movie, too. #183 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 250 films of the 21st century.
Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000). Another one I’ve seen before, but I wanted to watch the sequel, which I haven’t seen, and it had been years since I saw the original, so I thought I’d return to it. Quoting myself from 2002: “Ginger Snaps is a terrific movie. Not for everyone, since it's got a fair quotient of gore. But it's as smart about using horror cliches as metaphors for teenage existence as Buffy. … DVD fans should note that the Canadian DVD is much superior to the U.S. version.” My second viewing reminded me a bit of Ms. 45, another movie that paid rather obvious attention to feminist theory. Both films would be good in an Intro to Feminist Film Theory class, I think, because you can’t miss what they are up to. Advanced students might want something a bit more subtle. The acting by the leads is terrific. And I can’t quit without once again quoting my favorite line: "I get this ache. And I thought it was for sex, but it's to tear everything to fucking pieces."
A Single Man (Tom Ford, 2009). Masterful, understated work by Colin Firth. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the only reason to see this movie.
Meet the Feebles (Peter Jackson, 1989). Revisiting this one many years after a first viewing was a bit disappointing. A movie from Peter Jackson’s splatter period, Meet the Feebles comes between Bad Taste and Braindead, and isn’t as good as either. Not that it is worthless … it’s a one-joke film, but the joke is pretty funny, and I never get tired of the paparazzi reporter (this will make no sense if you know nothing of the movie, but here goes: the reporter is a fly who gets hot scoops by diving into the toilets of the stars and eating their shit … heck with hot scoops, this is hot poop). Not the place to start if you’re curious about Jackson’s early splatter movies. Well, really, there is no place to start … you either want to watch them or you don’t (my fave is Braindead, Robin prefers Bad Taste).