reading time 2 minutes
© Columbia Pictures
We list a number of recently released films on Netflix. This week: a terminally ill Michael Keaton, grotesque games with Jigsaw and an elusive Leonardo DiCaprio.
Actors: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover
Director: James Wan
For years it was the standard around Halloween: a new one Sawmovie in the cinema. Something that creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell probably could never have imagined when creating the first part. In addition, they were also responsible for a horror icon that is now mentioned in the same breath as Freddy, Jason and Chucky. John ‘Jigsaw’ Kramer (Tobin Bell) is a terminal patient who tries to teach ‘ungrateful’ people to appreciate life again. However, he does so by using them under the motto ‘how much blood will you shed to stay alive?’ to carry out all kinds of grotesque and deadly assignments. The first film is still fairly restrained – later they really went wild with ‘torture porn’ – with the ‘reverse bear trap’ that Amanda (Shawnee Smith) has ended up in being one of the highlights.
My Life (1993)
Actors: Michael Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Bradley Whitford
Director: Bruce Joel Rubin
© Columbia Pictures
Michael Keaton (Dopesick) played mainly comedic roles for a long time, but in the earlier years he was also occasionally, and successfully, allowed to sink his teeth into a more dramatic role. As in for example Clean and Sober (1988) and the sentimental tearjerker My Life (1993). Keaton plays a man who is about to become a father, but is then told that he is terminally ill and will probably not live to see the birth of his first child. As he slowly but surely accepts the approaching end, he tries to capture the necessary wisdom for his descendant on camera. My Life is the first and still only directing job of screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, who with his screenplays for Ghost and Jacob’s Ladder has previously explored similar themes around life and (acceptance of) death.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Director: Steven Spielberg
© Dreamworks Pictures
Nice and light-hearted telling of the incredible life story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio in his first and only collaboration with Steven Spielberg), a good-hearted con man and counterfeiter who successfully poses as a pilot, lawyer and doctor. Tom Hanks (in his second film with Spielberg) plays the FBI agent who is hot on his trail, after the previously cast James Gandolfini had to drop the role due to obligations to The Sopranos. According to the real Frank Abagnale, although many fact-checkers would later question this, the film was ultimately 80% accurate, with the most drastic changes – such as the scene where Frank reunites with his father, played by Oscar nominee Christopher Walken – had been approved by him.