This week had me return to the theaters after a no show the previous weekend. It’s pretty obvious which film I chose to see, as it’s the one many other people in this sphere likely saw as well.
Deadpool 2 by David Leitch (2018)
Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool in this darkly funny sequel that pits him against the mysterious Cable. I’ve heard quite a few reviewers express that they prefer the first Deadpool over this one. As for me, I’d say this one edges its predecessor out. For that matter, I have to say I enjoyed it more than Logan if for no other reason than because it’s not ashamed about being a superhero film and decides to have fun with it rather than making a conservative effort to appeal to the super-serious critics.
I feel what helps Deadpool 2 triumph over its predecessor is that it has a more interesting driving conflict. Indeed, what really stood out to me about this film is how its cast goes through more interesting arcs than characters in certain serious works. Then of course, there’s the fact that with the origin story out of the way, there’s more time to set up the jokes and flesh out the plot. All in all, if you liked the first one, you will like this one as well.
Woodstock by Michael Wadleigh (1970)
You don’t really become a music fan without learning a thing or two about Woodstock. For that matter, even those who aren’t music fans would know about it thanks to history classes. Opened by Richie Havens and closed by Jimi Hendrix, this legendary three-day music event was one of the era-defining moments of sixties America. After hearing stories about it, it was great to finally see the performances for myself. Whether you’re a music fan yourself or would look into such a film as a historian, this documentary is a recommended watch, perfectly capturing the energy of the festival in the moment.
The Lady from Shanghai by Orson Welles (1947)
Orson Welles is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of all time. Despite this, most people can only name one of his films. Previously, I watched Chimes at Midnight, which he considered his favorite work alongside The Trial, and though I liked it, I have to say it wasn’t as good as Citizen Kane. This brings us to his fourth feature-length film: The Lady from Shanghai. This film was notable because while it received a lukewarm reception in the United States, it was quite popular in Europe. Having seen it for myself, I can say it’s an underrated gem.
Orson Welles is Michael O’Hara, an Irish sailor, who meets a beautiful blonde Elsa – played by Rita Hayworth. Accepting a job aboard her yacht, Michael finds himself caught in a complex plot involving helping a man fake his death. |For his efforts, Michael gets framed for murder.|
Critic David Kehr has described The Lady from Shanghai as “the weirdest great movie ever made”, and I can say that’s an apt description. You’re going to be wondering where the film going at any given moment, for it always seems to have a twist up its sleeve to prove you wrong whenever you convince yourself it can’t get any stranger. If you’re a fan of classic film noir, you will enjoy The Lady from Shanghai, and if you wish to get into the genre, this would be a great one to start with.