Sunday, September 30, 2012

September in Movies.

Wowsers. Tomorrow we'll be in double digits months. Is anyone sitting there wondering where the heck 2012 has gone? It honestly feels like just yesterday I was partying hard on New Year's Eve and watching Inception before the year ticked over. And now I feel like I haven't had the time to watch Inception in 2012. Jeez, I've had nine whole months.
Anyways, some of you will be pleased to see that this end of month post doesn't come with an announcement saying that I will be leaving you all for a few weeks. I take that as a sign of a new beginning. Lately, I've been so down on blogging, but I refuse to give up. I'm rolling straight into my third year of blogging in October, so it is going to be out with the old and in with the new. Which also means no more trying to be a film critic. This is a blog, and I'm going to endeavour to make it so. So if you don't like my really funny jokes, tough.
I have three weeks of "extended study break" (a.k.a. holidays with exams jammed on the end), four weeks of school and then proper exams after that. You'll have to bear with me, but I promise, I'll do my best to bring awesomeness to as many days as I possibly can. Now let's all hold hands and sing some ABBA songs. I feel like we couldn't get much more awesome than that.
Plus, I'm totally disappointed by how few movies I saw this month. I blame the show, and the fact that no-one wanted to release any new DVDs until last week.

Movies I hadn't seen until the month of September...

Badlands - Jeez, I watched that this month? Feels like ages ago. Alas, I did very much like this Malick film, which slides itself behind Days of Heaven and ahead of The Tree of Life. Plus, Sissy Spacek is awesome.
The Lucky One - Came out on my birthday, but didn't have time to watch it then. Yes, I still make a habit of watching Nicholas Sparks adaptations even though I know I'm going to dislike them. This was no exception.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - I need to stop taking the piss out of this title. However, it was still a splendid little film. Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor were lovely.
The Darkest Hour - Watched this because it came out in like, May, and for some reason I didn't get 'round to it. If I wasn't such a completest, I wouldn't have to watch one of the worst scripts ever being put into play.
Margin Call - On the other hand, I watched this directly after The Darkest Hour and was pleasantly surprised by how great the script for this one was. And I actually understood this film. Which is a big deal.
W.E. - Had I left my best of 2011 lists til now, Andrea Riseborough would have been a sure bet to be in my top five favourite female performances.
A Doll's House - Watched it in Drama because we're performing an act from the play (by Henrik Ibsen) for our next assessment. Which reminds me, I must learn those bagillion lines.
Lars and the Real Girl - Decided it would be a good idea to watch this after a show, so I was up into the wee hours of the morning. Still, a very good film.
The Deer Hunter - My English teacher gave me this to watch, despite the fact that it is an R18. I liked it enough, but there were just too many flaws holding it back.
Notes on a Scandal - I'm actually terrified of Judi Dench now.
Man on a Ledge - Surprisingly, this movie was about a man on a ledge.
The Lady - I didn't really have much interest in this film, but I came out liking it.
The Woman in Black - This movie was actually kinda scary. Also, I have a feeling that Daniel Radcliffe might be onto something.
Batman - Got the entire series from work, and I'm slowly making my way through them. This one was okay, but I admit that it is hard to view them post-Nolan.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits - Actually loved this movie. It was so funny. You can't go past British humour.
This Must Be the Place - The best thing about this movie is that 'This Must be the Place' is my favourite song, and it played it so many times during this film. There was even an unbroken, complete run through the song. So while I didn't enjoy the film, I could still sing along with it.
Dark Shadows - See the 'review' for this film? That's the kind of stuff I'm going to be striving for in the future.
The Five-Year Engagement - I liked it, but I have a feeling that's because I love Emily Blunt. Although, this movie was actually kinda depressing.
Mirror Mirror - I'm not sure why so many people hated this film. I thought it was pretty good for a family film. And anyone hating of Lily Collins' eyebrows can go swallow a tea bag. She's beautiful.
Batman Returns - Liked this one a lot more than the first one. Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman was perfect.
The Cabin in the Woods - 300th film of the year. And yeah, I finally got to see it. Admittedly got really scared, but I don't deal well with horror films. I would write a review, but so much has been said about it already so yeah, it was cool.
True Romance - It was actually a lot different to what I was expecting. And oh, Gary Oldman.

Movies I've already seen before but felt the need to see again because I'm cool like that...

Mulholland Dr. - Had to savour it before I sadly sent it back. What a marvellous film.
The Help - I have a feeling that this is my new "sick" movie...I always want to see it when I'm sick. Between all the coughing and snivelling and headaches, I was dying inside because I'll never be as lovely as Jessica Chastain.

Also, a big happy birthday to Ezra Miller! I don't know how I made it through an entire month without seeing any of his films. Anyway, what do you think of these films? Seen anything good this month?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dark Shadows, or: How Eva Green and Co Went Crazy (Over Nothing)

Once upon a time, I used to be in love with Eva Green. Okay, maybe I pretended to be. You see, when I was 11 (jeez, it is hard to believe that I was once that young), I had a HUGE crush on Daniel Craig. And I hadn't even seen Casino Royale until I'd been 'in love' with him for at least three months. Anyway, through this mini obsession I also decided that I would be obsessed with Eva Green.

And how could you not be? She's insanely beautiful.

Admittedly, I haven't seen that many of her films. I haven't seen The Dreamers, even though I've promised myself all these years that I would. But I have been impressed with her work in Casino Royale, Perfect Sense and even The Golden Compass, to a degree. But then there's Dark Shadows.

Her performance in Dark Shadows is like this whole other beast. In fact, the entire movie is.

So she plays Angelique Bouchard, a witch who was jousted by Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) back in the 1700s and made him into a vampire to suffer forever. The guy wakes up in the 1970s, and then he finds out that Angelique is still around, causing all sorts of witchy havoc. Witchy havoc which includes, well...I'm not actually sure. She likes to burn stuff down, yell a lot, bulge her eyes at inappropriate moments. And there's the weirdest sex scene I never knew I needed to see. Now, I have watched four seasons of True Blood, so I am no stranger to the mysterious world of vampire sex. But wow...Eva Green really went for it in this one. I would say that Johnny Depp did too, but he didn't look bothered either way. There was flying around the room. There were weird shots. There was a red snake tongue. While I had my head buried in my hands, somehow Eva Green got even more crazy.

Okay, maybe I'm being harsh on Eva Green. I remember when that awful trailer came out and everyone was posting gifs on their Tumblrs to show their appreciation for the minute or so of footage they'd seen of Angelique Bouchard. I admit, Eva looked like she was doing good. But then you see the movie, and she's just too much. It is nice to see an actress going all out, but the problem is that there's not really enough development behind her character to justify how batshit crazy she is. She's just taking the jealous ex-lover to an extreme level. A level so extreme that it can't even be justified by the fact she's a witch.

However, Eva Green isn't the only one in Dark Shadows who is over the top. There's the case of Chloe Moretz. I'm neither here nor there on the girl. She's like, a year younger than me and has managed to be in movies with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Chastain (fun fact: Jessica actually played Chloe's role in a made-for-TV version of Dark Shadows a few years back) and Mark Strong, so yeah, I'd say she's doing pretty well. Dark Shadows shows exactly why most people shy away from these child stars. Chloe plays Carolyn, the teen daughter who is, well, everything you stereotypers can list about your perception of teenagers. The problem is that Chloe is a teenager, which worries me about what she really thinks teenagers are like. I mean, I don't even know what to say about her performance - it is like she's on drugs (don't even get me started on the 'twist'...). Which I suppose they kinda all were back in the 1970s, but case in point, Dark Shadows is a big mess of good actors being given stereotypes and told to go wild. And the problem is, they do. They go absolutely insane on making everything so over-the-top that they lose sight of what actually makes for a good movie. And yet, this has to be one of the most tame films that I've seen from Tim Burton. Which is partly due to the fact that the film is not sure of what it wants to be.

It wants to be a family film. Sticks in a weird sex scene a la True Blood but double the weirdeness.

It wants to be a comedy. Makes it into a big family melodrama.

It wants to be a drama. Still tries to make jokes. That are usually not all that funny.

It wants to be a horror. The 'evil' person is way too insane to be scary.

It wants to be a Tim Burton movie. So it has Helena Bonham Carter in it for like, five minutes so it can be justified as that.

At the end of the day, it had a nice soundtrack. And Michelle Pfeiffer. Who is the only one who seems to keep herself on the ground.

What did you think of Dark Shadows? Did you love or loathe Eva Green? Was Chloe Moretz the perfect teenager?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dear Hollywood: Mirror Mirror

Due to the break and what not, it has been a little while since I did a Dear Hollywood. For a refresher, set your eyes on these top notes. For now, I'll be Dear Hollywood-ing Mirror Mirror, one of the two Snow White films to come out this year. And yeah, I actually kinda liked it. It isn't exactly the "worst film of the year" material that many made it out to be.

Dear Hollywood, 
I want to make a film based on Snow White. I'm all excited to do that, but then I find out that there's another Snow White film being made. You know, it is all gritty and tough, just like everyone likes it because The Dark Knight made a ton of money, so anyone can make a ton of money by making things dark. Including children's fairytales. And you know what? I hear they have Kristen Stewart, too. Wow, there's no way I can compete now, I'm sure that movie will be extremely dark.
Please tell me, what do I do?
Kind regards,
Unabashed Snow White Fan

Dear Unabashed Snow White Fan,
Here's an idea: why don't you just adapt another fairytale for the darker market? Cinderella loses both shoes? That hasn't been done before.
Kind regards,

Dear Hollywood,
Kind regards,
Aggressive Snow White Fan.

Dear Aggressive Snow White Fan,
Well there's nothing I can do about the fact that there's a dark Snow White film already coming out and it stars Kristen Stewart as the fairest of them all. So why don't you just go to the opposite end of the spectrum? Just go crazy silly. Get all your jokes out of 1001 Cool Jokes. Have Julia Roberts play your evil queen and get her to have all these weird beauty treatments. Get someone happy to play your Snow White. Have ridiculously big costumes that no-one could ever move in.
It is a tough road when you can't have explosions. That's why it is easier to adapt board games. No-one can tell that every explosive movie actually derives from Battleship. That was until they made a movie called Battleship.
Kind regards,

Dear Hollywood,
Hmmmmm...I could go in the ridiculously OTT direction. But...I mean, how can I really compete with such a big production starring Kristen Stewart? How would people remember me?
Kind regards,
Troubled Snow White Fan

Dear Troubled Snow White Fan,
I really don't know what else to say, unless you want to put craploads of explosions in your little Snow White movie. But I assume you're going to be a more family-oriented affair.
Throw a dog in there. People like dogs.
Wait...I have an idea! To make yourself REALLY stand out, get Sean Bean in your film. Instead of killing him off, keep him dead for the entire film and then bring him back to life at the very end.
Then people will remember you for being the most heart-warming movie of a lifetime.
Kind regards,

-several months later-
Dear Snow White Movie That Doesn't Have Kristen Stewart But Has Sean Bean Living,
By "throwing a dog in there", I did not make Armie Hammer act like a dog.
Just thought I better clear that up.
Kind regards,
P.S. You could've just had some explosions.

What I got:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Links and Other Stuff #35

What I'm watching tonight...

I don't know why suppliers think it is okay to just release a whole lot of movies on the week before the holidays. Okay, I get why they do that, but it isn't very helpful when there's six movies that I want to see but I can only manage three on a Tuesday night. I caught The Pirates! Band of Misfits yesterday (very cool), and I'll be catching Dark Shadows, The Five-Year Engagement and Mirror Mirror tonight. Hick and Jeff Who Lives at Home shall have to wait until next week. I mean, it is already dodgy that I'm watching three movies tonight because I have so much school work to catch up on, and I'm extremely sick at the moment. Ah well, I do a little too much for my own good.

Video of the week...

So this trailer for Mama happened. It has Jessica Chastain with black hair and looking bad ass. Enough said.

Jess at Reel Insight quite liked W.E., and managed not to compare any component of the film to Spanx. Seriously, how my brain works is beyond me.

Somehow, by either drugs, coffee or no sleep, Ryan has managed to post every day for 1000 days. 1000 days. Jeekies.

Alex, probably the list master, has a list of the ten best films about addiction. I love films about addiction myself, so it was nice to see such a complex, interesting list.

The amazing Bonjour Tristesse has just celebrated their second year of being open for business. Go send them some congratulations!

Asrap offers up a pretty good review of Dredd, which I'm totally looking forward to (apart from the fact that it is an R18 here, sadface).

Mettel Ray just watched My Neighbour Totoro, and like me, thought it was just the cutest thing.

Andy reviews Looper, which is probably going to be the highlight of my school holidays.

Courtney reviews Frances Ha over at Anomalous Material, which definitely helped in making me more excited for this film.

Final word...
What's your favourite modern movie shot in black-and-white?

Monday, September 24, 2012

10 Movies that TIFF Got Me Extra Excited For

The Toronto International Film Festival may have ended a week ago, but it's going to stick with me a while. Why? Because I'm super excited to see a whole lot of films, mainly because the reaction they got at TIFF. It is a fairly boring list, but hey, it was nice to know that these movies should be pretty decent. ( case you're wondering why The Master isn't on here and everyone must be super excited about that movie, TIFF didn't really do anything to amp up my excitement. I've had the same level ever since I knew that Paul Thomas Anderson's name was attached to it)

Frances Ha
Admittedly, I had no idea that this movie existed until TIFF happened. I'm damn glad that TIFF shed some light on it, though. Directed by Noah Baumbach, which reunites him with his Greenberg star Greta Gerwig, who both co-writes and stars in the film, Frances Ha is basically a slice of Frances' life shot in black-and-white. It just looks like one of those simple films with a simple purpose, which is something that gets so overtly dressed up these days. Plus, Greta Gerwig is a pretty funny lass.

I knew that this one would be good, but I wasn't expecting the amount of rave reviews that I've seen. Rian Johnson's latest, again reuniting him with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who this time has a few alterations so he looks like a young Bruce Willis), looks like quite the mind-bender. Like, it looks a little Inception like, but with a bit of an indie twist. I don't know, I could be talking complete bullocks, but all I know is that I'm really looking forward to catching this on the big screen in the holidays.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Royally Tacky Mess.

Film: W.E. 
Director: Madonna
Written by: Madonna and Alex Keshishian
Starring: Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy, Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, David Harbour, James Fox, Judy Parfitt, Natalie Dormer.
Running time: 119 min.

Though it is embarrassing to admit, I often think of movie ideas. As they develop in my head, they start getting a bit wild and out of control, and I decide that I want all of this different stuff in my movie. It isn't too long before the idea starts sounding pretty stupid, and I flag the idea all together (and that is why I could never write a screenplay). Madonna, on the other hand, seemed to do exactly what I don't - she kept going with her frankly, quite stupid idea. First off, I think it was fine and dandy that she researched so much into the story of King Edward VIII and how he gave up the throne to be with American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Yes, that is a mighty interesting story. People love stories about the royal family, especially if your name's Oscar and you're made out of gold. That's when Madonna should have decided that "yes, this is enough for a movie, let's go with it". Alas, that wasn't the case.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If the Titles Laid the Whole Movie Out For Ya...

In the past couple of weeks, we've been blessed with two movies that have very straight-forward titles: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Man on a Ledge. From those titles, you can instantly guess what the movie is going to be about. So I wondered, what would happen if this happened for a whole lot of other movies? Hmmmmm? Of course, I had to whip out my funny cap and Photoshop and come up with these gems. Advertising would be a whole lot easier if they had these titles.

Coming at you straight from "Biopic Pity Parties for Oscars", in association with "Meryl Streep Guarantees Oscars".

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Links and Other Stuff #34

What I'm watching tonight...

This is actually the second week in which I've been all excited to see This Must Be the Place but it hasn't been at the shop. Last week was understandable, since I got the release dates mixed up. Today wasn't, because it was actually supposed to come out tomorrow, but it is M.I.A. Instead, I only have The Lady and The Woman in Black to watch. This week's release slate is so funny - on one hand we have The Lady and The Woman in Black, and on the other we have Man on a Ledge and Men in Black 3. And then we have The Woman in Black and Men in Black 3. Of course I'd notice that.

Video of the week...

I'm not very into fragrance advertisements but oh wow, this has melted my heart. Like, after I saw it, I made a point of wearing white and purple to the show. Jessica Chastain is the most beautiful woman in the world. End of story. And the fact that this is made by Nicolas Winding Refn also excites me.

As per usual, Ryan's TIFF coverage was fantastic. One day I'm gonna get there. One day.

Also at TIFF with some brilliant coverage was Tom Clift. And now he's off to soak up some more festival goodness. Which makes me feel sad because I didn't even go to the NZFF.

While I've been working hard at Little Shop of Horrors, Ruth has been working hard at a short film project, Weeding In. Check out her behind-the-scenes post.

Scott reviews Dredd, which I'm surprisingly looking forward to seeing - mainly because our man Karl Urban is doing so well for himself.

Alex, who also happens to be the blog of the month, has a couple of lists of the most game-changing Best Picture winners and the least deserving winners. I love Oscar-y lists.

A little while back Mette looked at the colourful costumes from The Wizard of Oz. Now there's a show I'd love to do.

Nikhat offers up three mini reviews on Margaret, 2 Days in New York and Bachelorette - three films which I really look forward to seeing, especially the latter.

The Kid in the Front Row takes a look back at Cemetery Junction, one of the most underrated films like, ever.

Final word...
After TIFF happened, what is now hot on your radar? Mine is currently Silver Linings Playbook, although I'm now extra excited for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Looper, Dredd, Cloud Atlas, Much Ado About Nothing, The Place Beyond the Pines, Rust and Bone, Seven Psychopaths and Smashed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Little Shop of Horrors...

Hey. I have my life back. I actually had to take a moment to breathe in the fresh air yesterday and let the fact sink in that there's no more Little Shop of Horrors. No more rehearsals. No more shows. No more watching people getting gobbled up by Audrey II. I've been in many productions before, and have experienced this same feeling. Surprisingly, though, unlike those other productions, I haven't really complained about the amount of rehearsals I've had to go to. No, life as an assistant director was pretty alright.

This story really begins back in March when my drama teacher said that I could direct the school production. Best day of my life. Alas, the school decided that they didn't want a production (if we were playing rugby on stage or something, it would have happened in a heartbeat), and thus my world pretty much came crashing down around my ears. Thankfully, my drama teacher offered me the chance to help out with Little Shop of Horrors. So back in June, I gave up a lot of my spare time to do just that, and I don't regret it at all. It was aces. I even got to direct my own scene (the scene in which Audrey gets eaten), which was pretty fun.

There's not really a lot I can say here because many of you didn't see it. And hell, I wish you could (if you live in NZ though, you might be in luck). Well let me tell you that it was just a really good time. The rehearsals were mostly good. There were a few dropouts, but everything fell into place. I had to even be Audrey once. Which meant singing. And of course, my singing skills don't venture too far outside the shower and my vocal range is the size of a pea but I managed. I do admit that I missed being on the stage quite a lot. I love performing. Even if I can't sing my way out of a paper bag. However, this hasn't really deterred my over-ambitious and stupid want to be a director. Unfortunately, school has, and now I'm destined to be something really boring. Directing was fun, and I'd like to do it again. Who knows when that will happen, though?

So now I'll just share some photos. Other photos are either on my Facebook or here. All the show photos were taken by me, so don't misuse them. Otherwise I'll be after you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails