My heart wasn’t really broken. I was just angry. Over Christmas I felt pretty awful after a recent break up and needed some old fashioned distractions. The first of which is seeing and speaking to friends, I might add, but in the alone time that we all need in order to think things over, I watched films. I’ve always enjoyed a good movie, and I get kicks from bad ones too – I try not to be a movie snob – so here’s my list of films to distract the aching male heart. Warning: this is a rom-com free zone. Yes, it’s action and horror centric, sure, but after one break up even watching ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’ made me sorrowful, so I tend to stick to these as escapism helps me through the dark times. But I’m not completely heartless (see bottom of the list!)… Click the film titles for links to trailers.
– Dredd. When I said male heart, I meant it. This is an orgasm of violence. Judge Dredd, grizzled and bitter (I’m never sure what about) and his sidekick sneer their way through a kilometre tall building filled with criminals. No love story, no emotional roller coaster, just action. The film looks like a comic, feels like a video game and utterly blows away the Sly Stallone bore-off of the 90’s. Dredd draws comparisons with The Raid, also well worth a watch, as the plots are so similar. In fact the Raid would have its own space in this list if the two weren’t so similar. Bloody Disgusting. Compare them here.
– I Saw the Devil. Without wanting to go into detail, I wanted revenge. This film from Korea serves up revenge; warts and all. It’s not a good idea. But then I’m also not a kick arse Korean cop, and actually didn’t possess the moral ground on which to justify the level of violence in I Saw the Devil, or any violence at all for that matter. Or the karate skills. That said, it’s a dark, pulverisingly visceral film. See it. See it now.
– The Wind that Shakes the Barley. It’s political. It’s engaging. It’s Ken Loach. A man crush of mine enters the fray, Cillian Murphy. The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a bit serious, but if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll become more incensed about what these people go through than any relationship worries you have.
– Any of the Final Destination films. I know, I know, they are to the art of film what jewellery from Brighton pier is to craftsmanship – gaudy, repetitive, cheap and cynically made. But my word, I do find myself dribbling with delirious glee as CGI body parts fly past the camera.
– Drive. This one has a love story. In fact, it has two if you count my all-consuming crush on Ryan Gosling. His eyes – you could swim in his eyes. He drives cars for money, he beats people up, he takes on the gang and woos Carey Mulligan. All this from the director of Bronson and Valhalla Rising and also
starring Hellboy (aka Ron Perlman). Yes please.
– Angels in America. It’s good to remember, when your heart is smashed to smithereens, that you do care about other people. Angels in America is a mad, beautiful, heart wrenchingly sad mini- series. Al Pacino, Meryl Streep (points for anyone who spots her cameo as a male character) and Emma Thompson make appearances. So much to like about this film, which interweaves different lives affected by HIV in the 80’s. You’ll be so involved in the stories that you’ll climb down from your isolated tower and remember you are human.
– Boy Wonder. Read in to this film what you like – is the protagonist a young Robin
from the Batman series or not? Is it a lower budget Kick Ass? Not a concern for me – the film is about a young man who becomes a vigilante and helps people where he can, and disposes of the bad guys. It makes me happy.
– Little Miss Sunshine. This indie-comedy about a madcap family driving theirdaughter to a beauty pageant is brilliant. With an older brother holding a vow of silence, an uncle yearning for a lost boyfriend, a dad who aspires to inspire, a grandfather who wants to get high and bone old ladies and the stressed mother at the centre of them all, makes for a touching, hilarious and heart-warming story. It might even make you smile.
All in all, I hope a fairly encompassing list, and one that may take the edge off. Escapism is good, but always remember to smile. I’d love to hear what people think of this list, and hope it helps!