Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Movies

For the first time in three days, I'm not going to the cinema. There was The Raid 2 on Thursday ( I love Gareth Evans, if you like brilliantly choreographed, violent martial arts films, you owe it to yourself to watch both this film and its predecessor). On Friday I saw the first three Indiana Jones films at The Prince Charles Cinema, reminding me yet again why they are some of the greatest films ever made. Last night I was back at the Prince Charles for Empire Records, which was so good I wanted to immediately watch it again. And tomorrow I'm back there yet again for The Dark Knight trilogy.

So, in order to stop myself feeling at a loose end today I decided to share some Easter movies with you, Beautiful Reader.

For kids and adults alike, try Hop. It could just have been a cute little film about the Easter Bunny, but the voices of Russell Brand and Hank Azaria give it an edge that make it really funny. Also worth a mention is Rise of the Guardians. It's actually about Jack Frost, but Easter plays a crucial part in the story and Hugh Jackman's Easter Bunny is fantastic. And, of course, you can get all Arthurian with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "He chose... poorly."

For 1950's epics, I'd have to go for The Robe. For me, it is the perfect example of a Hollywood movie from the Golden Era that is trying to be big and important. It is knowingly grand and has moments when people just look meaningfully past the camera for a minute or two in order to express emotion or signify they've just learnt something important. It can make the film a little slow, and even a little silly, but if you go with it and get in the mood, then it's wonderful. Also, I love Richard Burton and Victor Mature.

I suppose if you want a bit of Passover action you could watch The Ten Commandments. Yes, it's technically well made; yes, it's got Yul Brynner in it; but even six years after his death, the mere mention of Charlton Heston's name is enough to send me into a violent rage and I just can't watch anything with him in. Deep breaths, Momento Maureen, deep breaths.

If religion is your thing, then you can't go far wrong with Jesus of Montreal, in which a group of actors staging a controversial Passion Play find the story being echoed in their own lives. It's beautifully made, and gives everyone a chance to say Lothaire Bluteau, which is a brilliant name. Say it with me... Lothaire Bluteau. Nice. I should also mention Godspell. It's painfully dated, but worth watching to see Victor Garber as a hippy-clown Jesus, before he got type cast as stern father figures... or maybe just look at the pictures online, I found it a bit much.

Finally, inevitably, let us move to horror films. This afternoon I shall be cracking open my box set and watching Critters 2. Not only is it a worthy sequel to an awesomely ridiculous horror-comedy, but it's also set at Easter! There's a church service and a guy in a bunny costume and everything! If you like really silly, gross things, if you liked Gremlins, then you owe it to yourself to give these films a watch.

And of course, on a day that celebrates a man coming back from the dead, what better than a zombie movie or two, or even the ten recommended in this brilliant article. Let's be grateful that Jesus resurrected without wanting to eat any brains, or this could be a very different holiday indeed.

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