A few cinematic suggestions

If you’re like me, you enjoy watching a good movie, or more precisely, movies.

There’s much to be appreciated when it comes to the art of visual storytelling. Many elements work together when producing a fine film. Well-written and sustainable dialogue, superb acting, sublime cinematography, scrupulous editing and skillful directing to name the big ones. That’s not to say that movies lacking these key ingredients don’t slip out, but does this make them bad or substandard? It depends on what you wish to spend two hours of your time watching.

Films occupy a considerable portion of my life and mind, so much that I spent a college career studying the medium. I have learned that movies are powerful forms, capable of influencing and changing how the viewer participates in life. After all, the eye is the lamp of the body. I personally find great contentment in watching a well composed film and allowing it to have a positive impact. It also pleases me to share or introduce such films to others so that they may enjoy the effect as well.

Now that online sites such as Netflix, Hulu and, recently added, TCM offer wide selections of instant viewings, it’s easy to spend time sifting through the available titles in order to find a movie of merit. In fact, you might spend more time searching for what to watch than actually watching anything at all.

If you find your movie night spiraling into this ruthless cycle, perhaps I can offer a few cinematic suggestions.

If it is comedy you seek, Hulu offers a free viewing of To Be or Not to Be (1942, Not Rated) It’s an older, but bold movie that features Jack Benny leading a band of actors against the Nazi party in Poland. The thespians use their craft to run rings around the German invaders, all while you watch and wonder if it’s safe to laugh.

In the mood for a suspenseful drama? Head over to Netflix and play Following. (1998, R) Before helming the Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Nolan wrote and directed this engaging non-linear tale of twists and turns. Its unorthodox narrative reveals just enough clues at a time, putting you on detective duty. You’ll want to re-watch and re-examine this one.

Still having trouble deciding? Why not use Netflix to travel down to Bolivia with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? (1969, PG)

This western recount puts you on the saddle with the buddy outlaws. You experience the firsthand troubles and, sometimes amusing, situations of being on the wrong side of the law. It’s a fun ride, written by the great William Goldman.

(Reece Kelly, a native of East Liverpool, studied Film at Regent University. He can be reached at ReecesReviews@gmail.com)