Sunday, 24 February 2013

One Sentence Review Sunday #6

Stitches (2012)

Ross Noble, as with his stand up, had me in fits of laughter... thought I was gonna say "had me in stitches"

Rating - Awesome, lets say 3... so bad (in a great way) its funny.

Hasta Luego

'The Loved Ones' (2009)

Why I took so long to watch 'The Loved Ones'

I knew someone from Twilight was in it. I am not an ignorant Twilight hater. I vowed never to watch nor read Twilight, and then a friend somehow wangled me into watching 3 of the Twilight movies... And I have my opinion intact, I wish I could have those hours back but then again at least I am dislike them when at least having seen some of them.

I kept hearing generally rather splendid things about it but the Twilight-ness of it kept putting me off, then I sort of forgot about the Twilight-related-ness because so much time had went by from when I first heard about it to getting round to picking it up on blu-ray. Time as in years, literally 3-4 years.

What have I learned about a random shitty reason like that putting me off watching a movie...? Don't listen to myself going "Eurgh that's the dude from.... (insert a crappy movie here)"

Similar happened when said friend who made me watch Twilight was watching a movie I picked one evening for us to watch... 'Dread'. I'm glad, because I like that movie, that I didn't know, and she pointed out to me that, some other dude from Twilight is the lead. Had I known that going in, perhaps I would never had picked up the Clive Barker 3-pack with 'Dread' in it.

Another reason I eventually got my ass to see it? It appeared on a few Top 10 lists last year on horror sites... which made me remember this movie from years back and be all... "how is it on a 2012 list?" I figure it took years to hit America, just like Mandy Lane.

Back to 'The Loved Ones' however... Dayum I wish I'd bothered my ass to watch it sooner.

I do not love the movie as a whole entity but there are key scenes and moments that for a horror fan you have to see. I was saddened that there was parts of the movie I just didn't care about, since after I picked it up my family got to watch it before me and preceded to hype the shit out of it for me. I don't take kindly to that, I try to keep my expectations low so I'm not disappointed.

A plus point for me not loving the entire movie is that the running time is small, so it whacks by quick through the character development. Please don't take that as all I'm interested in is "kills" and "gore".

I love the Saw franchise but I love it for the characters not just the traps.

Fact is with 'The Loved Ones' I didn't like the lead. The guy rubbed me the wrong way but credit to them finding my humanity, when the shit goes down I sort of felt sorry for the guy. Sort of. Ok, more accurately I thought about what it would be like for me to go through what he went through. So its close enough as we are gonna get to me caring for the dude.

The sub-plot, I get why it is there. We need a break from the torture, the gore. We are shown what Brent would be doing if he went to his Prom... but I just didn't care about his friend and his date... Maybe I am just here for the gore...??

He killed his father in a car accident, and is a boring moody emo son of a bitch.

I actually liked the killers... shocker! We never glorify the killers in horror films...

Anyone else think their wallpaper looks like the carpet from 'The Shining'? Just a random thought.

Ok back to that sub-plot... Lola kidnapped and tortured Brent's friends dates brother... and he was the dude that Brent almost ran over which caused the car accident that killed his father. Guess that connects everyone in the movie. Still, I don't care... but damn if I'm sort of talking myself into liking the sub-plot... but when watching it I didn't like it, so there. I like Princess Lola.

So the sequences I loved in this, and loved in such a way I have not been able to go back and re-watch as it was so painful to watch... this is a compliment, honest... is everything that happens from when Brent is tortured inside Lola's home. 

Lola asks him out to prom, he says no, and she is not exactly taking rejection too well.

The movie becomes very claustrophobic when we are inside her house, and I was inclined to think he would never leave, movie endings being bummers as they tend to be now.

The physical torture with nails and a drill is fraking fantastically shot, with, for me, the right amount of humour. I need humour in my horror, it breaks the tension, gives that release that the horrific images and stunning sound design in this movie build up. 

Rating - I've seen it once and I don't think I can rate it yet. It needs to settle. It's damn good and I recommend it. That's all I got folks. 

Hasta Luego

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Artist (2011)

The lives of George Valentin and Peppy Miller cross, as one descends into obscurity from stardom and the other embraces the new technology of talkies to become a star.

I believe this deserves its spot on the Top 250. The Artist is beautifully made, the score by Ludovic Bource is authentic, light in places, playful but also deep and emotional. I will admit I had not came across any of his work prior to this movie, but I hope he goes on to a great many movies, as he was awarded Breakout Composer of the Year 2011.

There is some controversy about his use of the Vertigo score, but the Director Michel Hazanavicius has stated in defence of the use of the Vertigo score,

"'The Artist' was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew's) admiration and respect for movies throughout history," Hazanavicius responded in a statement. "It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, (Fritz) Lang, (John) Ford, (Ernst) Lubitsch, (F.W.) Murnau and (Billy) Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I'm very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly, and I'm sorry to hear she disagrees."

I guess its like how you borrow from family, you never steal. (Unless you are some inbred on the Jeremy Kyle Show with little to no teeth...) The music is used with respect and love of film, it's a compliment to it.

On my first viewing of this, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had somehow convinced my sister to go along to see it, without giving her any details, knowing she would have said no if she knew it was 1. Black and White. and 2. A silent movie.

But big surprise, she loved it. As did I.

Paraphrasing her... she loved it because its an old style movie but made today, so the actors actually know how to act. When he's "mugging" to the camera in the movies within movie, its self aware, Jean Dujardin is aware that he is overacting as George Valentin within the movie in the movie.

I simply fell for George Valentin in much the same way I love Gene Kelly.

Yes, I went through a phase as a teen when I watched a lot of 1930s/40s/50s Hollywood musicals. Yeah I'm so uncool and I'm cool with that.

Both men have a gracefulness to them, especially in the way they dance. I find it very masculine, very athletic and that's partly down to even the clothing Gene Kelly chose to wear. He would dress like a regular guy but smart. Agree or disagree, I think he's a mighty fine man.

George Valentin is also such a masculine figure to me, yet he is his own tragic downfall. His stubbornness, his inability to see the new technology of "talkies" as a way to expand cinema. His unwillingness to embrace change. All factors in his descent, which is rather beautifully shown around 36 minutes into the movie in a scene where George Valentin runs into Peppy Miller. This scene is pure show don't tell, heck the whole film is show don't tell. this staircase is in the central atrium of the Bradbury Building located at 304 South Broadway, Los Angeles, California. Dozens of movies, TV shows, and music videos have been filmed there. Most notably, the interior and exterior were featured prominently in 'Blade Runner'. So even the use of this location has Hollywood engrained into it.

But boy that dance scene which is said to have taken 5 months of rehearsal  in the same studio Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds used for 'Singin' in the Rain'. "It was really hard," remembers Bérénice Bejo, "and even now when I look at the movie I can't believe how fast we're doing it. Sometimes it's like my feet still hurt."

It's authenticity is down to how the movie is shot in 1.33:1 ratio because as the director Michel Hazanavicius states it gives the actors "a presence, a power, a strength. They occupy all the space of the screen.", using only shots that could have been used back between 1927-1932 so there is no zoom shots and the wipes used between scenes are also authentic.

The Artist was shot with 22 FPS, so when it is played at the standard 24 FPS, the actors movement becomes faster, not so noticeable but it's effective. This was used to mirror how most silent films were shot with 14 to 24 FPS, which makes many of these films appear "faster" in motion when played on modern projection equipment at 24 FPS.

The titles and credits being fashioned after movies in the 20s and 30s also add to its reallness of being a silent movie.

There's a scene where George Valentin is watching on a home projector one of his movies, where he plays a swashbuckler. The movie is in fact 'The Mark of Zorro' but instead of Douglas Fairbanks, our protagonist is substituted for him.

In short, heh, this is made with love for it's subject, and is an emotional character study and romantic piece. Please if you let the black and whiteness or the silentness of this put you off in any way...don't, recommended hewl yeah! :D

Rating - 6 Baby!

Hasta Luego

Sunday, 10 February 2013

One Sentence Review Sunday #4

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Achieves to embody the fun Glee used to be before it spiralled off into the High School Musical end of bad taste.

Rating - 3

Hasta Luego

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ahead of schedule?

I should be watching 20 of the Top 250 movies a month to make it, right? So that makes me, currently at 35, and watching my 36th as I write this ahead of schedule... or very much on it. Splendid.

I almost thought I wasn't going to get from 17 to 34, but self high five, I did... even got to 35 titles. It's pretty much been a week, and I ticked off another 18 movies off of the IMDb Top 250, but movies I all own/seen already. Which to me wasn't the point... I wanted to see movies I'd never seen before off the Top 250 list, but its surprising me how many I've already seen.

Lets check out what I checked off...

Last week included a not so very special day, the day that is Groundhog Day. Woopy shit, right? But with that shitfest of a holiday? is the awesome sauce of a movie... Groundhog Day. To quote Zombieland.. Bill Murray has a direct line to my funnybone. (and anyone following me on twitter will know I watched this already and how much I was creasing at it.)

The dude is hilarious. Bill Murray, marry me?

Can we just officially change Groundhog day to Bill Murray day?

Next, cause I was in that comedy mood I watched an old favourite of mine...

The Princess Bride

I remember when I first saw this, I was a wee lassy staying with my grandparents and we went to the video store and we picked up 3 movies in that one visit (movies I don't think we took back) and they were 'A Christmas Story', 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'The Princess Bride'. Not a bad haul right, thank you Grandad. (Ah frak I miss video rental store days.)

I am ashamed, however, to admit I've never read the book. It is on my kindle (which I called Yossarian, electronic gizmos should have names, they just should)

Anywhoballs, I love this movie. Honest to blog, I love this movie. I love it more now than I did when I was a child.

Got a 'The Princess Bride' T-shirt and everything...

Then I rattled off some classics, check my movies list over to the side there for what I watched, The Deer Hunter, Cool Hand Luke, Goodfellas, Casino...

And what I'm finding out here is it's better to watch awesome movies, but it makes it more awesome when you throw in some doozies... cause then the good movies stand out more. And also it's easier to write about bad movies. Something I've noticed from podcasts I listen to... the funnier reviews are for bad movies... theres just more to say.

So fellow bloggers and movie fans, which do you like to write/discuss... the good movies or the bad movies?

Hasta Luego

Sunday, 3 February 2013

One Sentence Review Sunday #3

Toy Story 3 (2010)

This meant more to the adults that grew up with the Toy Story movies, than it did to their children who they took to have an excuse to see it in theatres.

Rating - 5

Hasta Luego

Friday, 1 February 2013

Christopher Guest-a-thon

This Is Spinal Tap

Favourite moments
-Goes up to 11
-The IMDb rating on this movie also goes up to 11, go check it out for yourself.
-The sustain on the guitar you would hear if it was playing
-Derek Smalls getting stuck in the pod for the majority of a song
-Derek Smalls getting out of the pod at the end of the song just as Nigel and David get back into the pod.
-Mick Shrimpton being happy to do without the rock and roll, as long as there is still sex and drugs
-Nigel wondering what the hours of a fictional job in a shoe shop are
-Gold and Miniature golf... the holes are smaller
-Elvis Presley's grave sing song
-Boston not being a college town
-Nigel unable to get back up from his big guitar pose
-It being a hard task to find mandolin strings in Austin
-Getting sued by a record label for "lack of talent"
-How are you supposed to sign your name on a record that is completely black?

Wating For Guffman

Favourite Moments
-The 'Remains of the Day' lunchbox
-Auditioning with a scene from 'Raging Bull'
-Not being the class clown but sitting beside him and taking notes
-Not being allowed to wear glasses during 'Covered Wagons' because its not historically accurate
-Sheila weird bangs
-Considering the Mississippi river a coast
-That old joke about how many babies fit in a tire, its a zen thing
-'Less is More' acting
-Corky getting refused money for the play, and going home in a rage to bite his pillow
-Having a potluck dinner on the alien spaceship that landed
-Libby grilling a single chicken wing
-Come to the Dairy Queen for a coke if you are thirsty
-The temperature inside the crop circle is always 67 degrees with a 40% chance of rain.
-Midnight at the Oasis
-There are 5 letters in the word 'Blaine'
-Mix up the letters of 'Blaine' and you get 'Nebali', which of course is the planet the aliens come from.
-Ron always having to explain to his wife who he is doing impressions of.
-Libby singing 'Teacher's Pet'
-Blaine - Stool Capital of the World
-The way Corky says "Everybody Dance"
-Ron getting Sheila to do his hair before the performance, and then he is wearing a hat.
-Finding the Chinese restaurant via a huge neon sign.

Best in Show

Favourite Moments
-Naming nuts
-If you get tired, pull over, if you get hungry, eat something.
-Losing the Bee toy
-Cookie and Gerrys good credit card
-Cookie has until two notices to pay the credit card
-Gerry asking if the hotel takes travellers cheques, which they do, but he doesn't have any travelers cheques.
-Sheri and her husband both loving soup
-Sheri always having things to talk or not talk about with her husband, and still finding things to not talk about.
-Everyone loves a terrier
-Everywhere Cookie and Gerry go, Cookie meets some guy she's slept with
-Gerrys literal two left feet
-The Swans meeting at Starbucks's that were across the street from one another
-Hamilton's sweaters
-Being lucky to be raised amongst catalogues
-6"4, where are you from? Norland?
-Scott wanting to hold a meat stick
-Scott and Stefan packing lots of Kimonos
-Don't water plants, they're plastic

A Mighty Wind

Favourite Moments
- Thank God for model trains because otherwise where would the idea for big trains come from?
-Mitch wanting to see the model train town in the autumn.
-The Main Street Singers starting their set with the song The Folksmen were going to sing
-No hole in the middle of The Folksmen records
-Amber's "humming"
-Ambers smiling face in the background of the press conference
-Mitch and Mickey "you rock" "you rock my world"
-Mark Shubb becoming a woman
-The way Jerry sings "theres a star on the horizon" during "A Mighty Wind"
-Lauries story of how she did Porn
-Sissy being "on the streets"
- The Witches in Natures Color
-Diane Delano being one of the members of WINC in the cutaway
-Mike's shit catchphrases from his old tv show
-Sure Flo
-Can we get a crane?
-Ed Begley Jr.
-The musical nature of Terrys childhood trauma
-Terry getting sent to bed with nothing but dessert
-The names of The Folksmen's albums
-The Folksmen's albums only being printed in two colours
-Real furniture or rehersal furniture
-Irving worried about the plants in the lobby
-Naomi Steinblooms reactions to the songs 
-Lawrence slapping Irving
-Mike LaFontain's hair
-Mike coming up with shit ideas for new tv shows featuring the New Mainstreet singers
-Sean being sick of wearing his New Mainstreet Singer costume
-Elliot Steinblooms hatred for folk music 
-Alan leaving the map at home.
-All of Mitches album covers post Mitch and Mickey breakup
-Mitch took a bus
-The kiss at the end of the rainbow

For Your Consideration

Favourite Moments
-The Oscar buzz
-The drawing of Rachel as a child on the nightstand
-Changing the name of the movie
-The internet is the one with emal
-Whitney's hair not being naturally blonde
-Morley making time for his important clients
-Victor on the TRL type show
-Drunk Marilyn post oscar nominations
-Throwing the script on the floor
-Whitney being reminded of her family, that she hates, by the posters of "Home for Purim" 
-Whitney liking the posters for the movie to be misleading
-Hula balls
-Auditioning for commercials
-Fred Willards hair
-Marilyn's facelift
-Paper Badge
-The french movie being nominated, whats with that? She's not even legal
-The interviewer who never lets the writers answer
-Sarah Shahi 
-No Penis Intended
-Callie telling Brian he's not confused sexually
-Corey's native american blood 
-Whitney hurting her back by falling over the side of an escalator
-Marilyn's acting class
-Was the difference "its louder?"
-Brian getting the Oscar nomination
-Jay wanting the set to be lit like a stadium

Each viewing of these movies makes me love them more, and see some other small thing one of the actors will do that cracks me up.

What are your favourite moments from Christopher Guest movies?

Hasta Luego