What If We Were All as Positive as Eddie the Eagle?

Considering we’re now officially on lockdown, much more online media is presumably being consumed…

At least by me.

So I thought I’d share what I’ve been watching in the wonderful world of remote cinema.

[Warning: Potential spoilers]

Eddie the Eagle

I knew the general story about Eddie, but during this Coronavirus catastrophe, I needed a pick me up.

The film tells the story of an unathletic English boy who went to compete in the 1988 ski jump Winter Olympics after taking up the sport in his 20’s (most people start at around 6).

Through sheer determination and effort, coupled with blind belief, Eddie overcame his doubters and finally achieved his childhood dream of competing in the Games.

Despite the over-sentimentality of the film, it’s a true testament to the power of persistence and possibility, even when lacking natural talent or ability.

A nice little feel-good film in these quarantine days. 

Straight Outta Compton

Another story of rising from unlikely places, this is a gritty look at the success of NWA from their humble beginnings in crime-ridden Compton.

Having never really been into the music, I didn’t know much about the group and was interested to discover that they were largely responsible for popularising rap and hip hop.

With their rude and raw social commentary, they told the story of life on the streets, with its gang warfare, violence and police oppression.

As you can imagine, NWA were pretty divisive in the public eye, with rifts soon spreading to the group itself due to financial disagreements.

Seeing the early lives of Dr Dre and Ice Cube, it’s hard to reconcile the celebrities we see now with their younger, brash selves.

The Foreigner

For reasons unknown, I’m an absolute sucker for the silent assassin trope.

Maybe it started with the Bourne films, but either way, I love the simplicity of a no-frills revenge-redemption story centring on a mysterious protagonist and unexplained past.

Enter Jackie Chan, who’s an adept fit for a role which requires more action than dialogue.

As he clashes with the IRA over a terrorist bombing which kills his daughter, we see that at 62 years old, he’s lost none of his incredible ninja skills.

Plus you get Pierce Brosnan speaking in a Northern Irish accent for good measure.

What’s not to like?

The Post

Plonk tom hanks and Meryl Streep in a film and what do you get?

Probably something pretty good.

The Post tells the story of the Washington Post newspaper and its battle to publish leaked Vietnam War documents outlining government secrets withheld from the general public.

Setting such a vital precedent for freedom of speech, the subject matter made the narrative even more compelling.

Upon publication of the initial documents, the government tried to censor the papers through the courts.

The sub-layered character story also plays its part, examining an era of systemic sexism and a female newspaper owner’s brave decision to publish in the face of chauvinistic criticism and despite the threat of imprisonment.

All that said, it’s a typical Tom Hanks film, heavy on the dialogue and light on action, meaning you actually have to actually erm…concentrate.

Shock horror.

What If

Another feel-good film for those feeling despondent, here’s a nice cheesy rom-com.

I don’t know why, but I find Radcliffe pretty irritating, a position only reinforced in this film due to his annoyingly twee English accent.

The story itself is pretty predictable, but worthy of special mention is the legend that is Adam Driver; perhaps my new man crush.

Driver’s got some great lines in this film, playing as he does the comedic, brutally funny best friend role.

Despite desperately wanting to dislike this film, I actually didn’t.

In these troubled times, it can be rather reassuring to know exactly what will happen next, assuaging this existential angst we’re all experiencing.

And I probably shouldn’t be so hard on Radcliffe, considering he can do a banging recital of Blackalicious:

So, there you have it, spiritual wanderers. 

A few film recommendations to keep you entertained as we shelter from this viral storm.

If you have any other suggestions for good watching, hit me up.
Alternatively, click here for some book recommendations to leave the real world behind for a while.