Robert Zemeckis’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is a charming, if flawed tribute to the Beatles and the rampant Beatles Mania that ran throughout much of the late sixties. I’m sure Zemeckis bear witness to a lot of the “Beatlemania,” and his film seems to come from a place of experience. For folks that loved movies like “American Graffiti” or “Dazed and Confused,” Zemeckis’ 1978 comedy is one of those movie set over the course of a night that centers on a group of teenagers that are so devoted to the Beatles, they risk just about everything to see them on the Ed Sullivan Show.
I first saw “The Legend of Billie Jean” on Television when I was nine years old on my favorite network WPIX Channel 11 in New York. This was a time when I had no cable, so my only movie entertainment were the edited for time, pan and scan films from the eighties that were also cut for adult content and language. In either case, “The Legend of Billie Jean” became an instant favorite and it’s remained one of my favorites for a very long time. Now with a Retro VHS re-release from Mill Creek, I thought I’d ponder on my favorite memories with what I consider a classic from 1985.
When I was a kid I was heavy in to the mythology of Arthurian lore. Everything about King Arthur and the knights of Camelot drew my immediate attention and fascination. I spent a great three years learning everything that I could about that era. As a kid if I’d have seen Joe Cornish’s “The Kid Who Would Be King,” I’d have left the theater with a humongous smile on my face and anxious to learn a lot more that was available in the libraries. Joe Cornish has a particular love for making heroes out of underdogs and the least suspecting people you’d come across, and he carries that trademark in to his newest film.
Director Chelsea Lupkin’s “Lucy’s Tale” is a short I hope to see turned in to a movie someday very soon. I think it has so much potential to become a twisted coming of age story about the birth of evil, as well as a story about body insecurity, sexual awakening, and the horrors of modern bullying. “Lucy’s Tale” suffers from a pun of a title, but once you get past it, Lupkin delivers a narrative that I wish was a hundred minutes and went further in to the story of Lucy.
I wish I liked “Lost Holiday” a lot more. While I think the premise has a ton of potential to be an off kilter drama mystery, it works a little too much in the bizarre comedy spectrum to really involve the audience. Michael and Thomas Matthews mix a coming of age comedy with a crime mystery, focusing on a gum shoe of a woman who has no idea how to keep herself from falling over, but decides to solve an unusual kidnapping that only sees her descend deeper in to catastrophe.
One of the best movies of 2018, “Anna and the Apocalypse” is a movie that’s destined to catch on with midnight audiences, as it begs for sing alongs from an enthusiastic audience. John McPhail’s zombie horror musical is a pastiche of the best from the genres it puts on the big screen, delivering what is one of the pleasing and creepiest zombie movies of the years. “Anna and the Apocalypse” manages to be both life affirming and a spectacularly vicious zombie movie at the same time, with some of the more entertaining musical numbers and sequences filmed in a long time.
As with every single year, we try to cover as much indies as possible, but we just never have the time to see them all, sadly. As with previous years, this top five comprises five of the best indies I saw all year. It’s not to say the films that didn’t make the list are terrible films, or that the films the other writers on Cinema Crazed enjoyed aren’t good, either. This is merely a subjective list of five independent films we highly recommend to you that we saw this year.
It’s good to remember this is opinion, and not gospel.
If you want to see what films the Cinema Crazed collective consider A+ Indies, visit the link included!
Also, be sure to let us know some of the best indie films you saw all year!
Even for a nineties kid like me, I can fully acknowledge that “Empire Records” is a clumsy, tonally uneven, and terrible coming of age dramedy. It works hard to be as relevant and generation defining as “Dazed and Confused” or “Clerks,” but it comes up short as artificial and hollow, despite its great soundtrack. “Empire Records” even for 1995 is a pretty insufferable film that never quite finds humanity in its archetypes and cast of nineties youngsters. It’s hard to enjoy a film that features a fun sing along to AC/DC one moment, and a tear soaked nervous breakdown by one of the characters who pops pills forty five minutes later.