The Hex team have got a few film recommendations if you’re looking for something old or new to take a gander at this month. So, sit back, relax and take a look at these narrative treats.

The Fall (2006)

The-FallOnce upon a time, a girl called Alexandria falls from an orange tree, breaking her arm. She is confided into a Los Angeles hospital.

She has a beautiful and inspiring imagination which fuels the stories of a man who has also fallen – Roy, played by the undeniably handsome (and rising star) Lee Pace. He is paralysed from the waist down, and his stories reveal the struggles he faces and the torment and pain of a love lost. Together, with the power of stories and a beautiful imagination, they heal.

The Fall is a stunning film, with beautiful scenery and cinematography. It is hard to believe that the forty and more film locations are real; Tarsem has travelled to India, Prague and South Africa to capture the most stunning natural and artificial places on earth for this colourful and visually delightful film.

Roy tells a story about six men from all sides of the world, and each character is acted superbly, often with a bitter-sweet poignancy. In Alexandria’s imagination people from around the hospital are the characters, with the hero of the story, The Red Bandit, Roy himself.

As their struggles and emotions spill onto the screen you have to wonder at the enchantment of the film making. An interesting documentary found on the DVD reveals that some of the most poignant moments in the film were unscripted accidents, the young actress playing Alexandria completely sucked into the world and fantasy of the film and its making.

This film is beautiful; the characters, the story and the cinematography. With Beethoven’s Symphony Number 7 Movement 2 (used to great effect in The King’s Speech) as its exceptional and emotional soundtrack this is a film no-one will be able to forget.

Lucy Cokes

12 Years a Slave (2013)
10-years-a-slaveWhen I was originally asked to recommend a film, I found myself a little stumped. There are plenty of films I’d love to recommend. Choosing just one seemed quite a tall task. So l decided to look at what newer films, l have had the pleasure of watching. One instantly jumped to mind. It’s a film which, took me on an emotional roller coaster – I cried, felt helpless and at the end I felt emotionally drained. The acting was sublime, the story grabs your heart and soul. Its a film that shows us a dark side of humanity and some of the kindest. The films name is 12 Years a Slave. If there one film you see this year, l strongly recommend this fine film – a masterpiece of cinema.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-it-RalphI’ve always had a fascination with videogame/film tie ins, but it’s only relatively recently that they’ve been doing rather well. I don’t mean videogames turned into films, but rather films inspired by videogames.

One of the main problems with turning a videogame into a film is the translation of logicistics. With a videogame, there are certain things that are required to make it fun – challenge, collectables, increasing learning curves, improved skills, unlockables, and overwhelming odds. While some of these don’t translate well to films, there are other features that do.

However, Wreck-It Ralph actually plays things from the other end. Because it’s a film about videogame characters, they get to focus on the amazing story rather than the logistics. As such, not only does it come of as hugely entertaining, it also comes off as meaningful.

One of the fantastic things about the film is that it breaks the mould. Wreck it Ralph is the bad guy – he is the one that puts everyone in danger. Even if you consider it a twist of roles, Ralph doesn’t get the girl (he saves friends instead). The damsel in distress is actually trapped in her own world (rather than a kidnapped trophy) and is far from behaving like a princess – even when brought back to her rightful place. It’s not about changing the world, it’s about fitting in.

Oh, and the cameos. The cameos!

Paul Blewitt

Akira (1988)

AkiraIt seems odd to me that when asked to recommend a film, I’d pick an anime. I’ve never really been a fan of the genre and style that it uses, never really ‘got’ it. But here I am, recommending and anime anyway, and that’s because Akira isn’t just the best anime I’ve ever seen, it also happens to be one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen.

Set in Neo-Tokyo, a dystopian and post-nuclear war city of sickly neon and dark and towering skyscrapers, the film follows a teenage biker gang, led by Kaneda, whose main ambition in life is to beat their rival gangs. But then all that changes and a chance encounter drags Kaneda and his friend Tetsuo into a nightmarish world of politics, science and violence.

The film is beautifully animated, with stunning visuals and brutal violence, and the action sequences are both breathtaking and horrifying in their scope.

Possibly the most influential anime of all time, its echoes can still be seen in a lot of Western sci-fi, and it deserves to be revered as the ground breaking movie that it is. And try to make sure you watch the original Japanese version, rather than the dub, for one very simple reason: KAAAAANEEEEDAAAAAAAAAA!

David Hurd

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain-America-2Playing with issues of trust and Big Brother, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has managed to vastly improve on its predecessor and fleshes out the character of Steve Rogers far more than he’d been allowed in the original film or The Avengers/Avengers Assemble. Like I said in my part of our review of The Winter Soldier, when I went to see it, it far surpassed my low expectations and turned out to be an enjoyable watch.

The film’s themes are what make it enjoyable, not just the excessive use of special effects. Messing around with ideas around what could be done with big data and data analytics in the future, the film envisions ideas of preventative measures for keeping society stable along with the risks of not just having a surveillance society, but one that overly shares. It certainly felt like a comic book film living in a post-Snowden world.

And Black Widow is fantastic in the film. Her presence on screen was far more varied than previous Marvel films and it felt like we got a chance to find out more about her. Yes she can kick ass, but she’s got a past and personality driving those boots too.

It’s definitely worth seeing while it’s out in cinemas.

Emily King

RoboCop (1987)

RobocopFor my recommendation, I’ve chosen to revisit Paul Verhoeven’s iconic RoboCop, re-released on Blu-ray in a beautifully shiny, remastered package. A film that goes into triple figures in terms of my viewings over the past twenty five years, Robocop has become so much more than the ultraviolent and expletive laden sci-fi action flick that inspired a generation.

Alex Murphy, the fresh faced cop who just transferred to Detroit, gets savagely gunned down by gang members and left for dead. This forces Omni Consumer Products, an industrial giant who have invested heavily into the police force, to use Murphy as a test subject for their Robocop security program, and is rebuilt to become a peacekeeping cyborg. It’s a typical movie of a hero seeking justice, yet cleverly tied in with corporate politics and corruption to paint a bleak vision of the future. All whilst a man struggles to regain his humanity within the machine.

Although a little dated in places, it’s still a pleasure to admire it’s brutal physical effects compared to today’s CGI laden efforts. The suit still remains impressive. It also has great tongue in cheek humour, mostly poking fun at broadcast media, something Verhoeven would replicate later on in Starship Troopers.

Even after all this time, Robocop still remains an iconic figure, and stands out from the pack of like-minded genre movies due to it’s story of heart and soul. An essential for any collection.

Paul Fakir

Do you have any recommendations for April? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, G+ or Facebook.