We survived January, folks! At least I hope we did, because I’m starting Mettel Ray’s Hidden Gems Challenge with such enthusiasm that I’m actually writing this in mid-January, having already watched my 3 chosen Dan Stevens movies. If you want to find out more about the challenge, check out Mettel Ray’s original post.
Why Dan Stevens?
My Dan Stevens phase happened very quickly and out of nowhere, as many of my obsessions do. I’d just started watching Legion with my husband, without realising the lead star also happened to play Beast in the new Disney remake I’d only watched days before. Suddenly, Dan Stevens was cropping up in more things I just happened to be watching and well, who doesn’t fall for those shockingly blue eyes?
Letterboxd has 36 movies listed under Dan Stevens’ filmography (although some are shorts and others are unreleased) and before the challenge I had seen 10. Not bad! Out of the ones I’d already seen some of my favourites include The Guest, Eurovision Song Contest, Colossal, and, of course, Beauty and the Beast.
I’ve also seen Her Smell, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Rental, The Call of the Wild, A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Fifth Estate.
I tried to pick 3 movies where Dan was in a lead role, and so my choices ended up being Kill Switch (2017), Apostle (2018) and Permission (2017).
Well I started on a right blunder here. Does anyone remember the 2015 movie, Hardcore Henry? It was an action movie shown entirely in a first-person view. To this day I haven’t watched it, because for whatever reason just the trailer gives me motion sickness. Not great when a huge chunk of Kill Switch is also shown in the same view. Hurk!
What I will say though is this. Kill Switch isn’t a very good Sci-Fi movie at all, but it’s ambitious. It also has some absolutely stellar CGI work which is almost baffling considering how small of a movie it is. Seriously, the CGI here is better than in some very recent WB movies I’ve seen…not naming names, of course.
This movie has been on my radar for a while but it took the Hidden Gems challenge to finally push me to see it. It’s quite long and it has a Wicker Man feel to it which just isn’t my kind of movie at all. The genre has just never appealed to me, and I couldn’t tell you why. For most, this would have definitely counted as a gem of a movie, and I can appreciate it for what it is, especially the horror elements.
I like to think I can handle gore in movies quite well, but there were several scenes in here which were really hard to watch – but I say that with praise because it’s clearly a testament to how well those scenes were shot!
Here’s the setup. Dan Stevens and Rebecca Hall are, on paper, the perfect couple. They’ve been together ever since school and Dan Stevens is waiting for the perfect moment to propose. But they’ve only ever had sex with each other, and after a suggestion from their friends they decide to sleep with other people to “get it out of their systems”. It’s an AWFUL idea. Frustratingly awful. Some reviewers praised the movie for its unexpected ending but I would have been mad as hell if it ended any other way. There were still some great moments in the movie though that so very almost made me class it as a Hidden Gem.
Their friends are a gay couple with problems of their own, made worse by one’s desire for children. On his walks to the park he meets a struggling Dad (Jason Sudeikis) and I so desperately wanted his character to be gay also so they could be happy together. The prize moment goes to Dan Stevens whilst drunk with the customer who bought a table from him just to sleep with him though. She tells him to do whatever he wants with her, absolutely everything is allowed. What does he do? Spits in her mouth and then bursts into tears. It was so shocking I burst out laughing and terrified my cats.
No gems this month then but it’s confirmed one thing to me – this challenge is definitely what I needed to do this year! I probably never would have seen these 3 movies otherwise and although I can’t say I loved them, they were still entertaining and I always enjoy finding new movies out there. Next month it’s Kristen Stewart’s turn!