• Monthly Movies,  Movies

    Monthly Movies – November 2015

    Spy (09 11 2015) – Saw this in Berlin with my friend. She highly recommended it and wanted to see it again. It is indeed funny because all of the cast were firing. Pairing McCarthy with Melinda Hart, Stratham, and Bryne was brilliant. I’m not a fan of crude humor so those jokes didn’t always work with me, but in general, this was a funny, satirical spy movie. Hope the sequel is just as fun.

    The Hundred Foot Journey (17 11 2015) – Plane movie. Lasse Hallstromm always directs this cute European Anglophone movies. I liked the book, and as an adaptation, it mostly got the spirit of the film. It’s hard to go wrong with Helen Mirren in the French countryside with food. Wish I knew more about Hassan’s family though. Charlotte Le Bon looks lovely though.

    The Second Best Marigold Hotel (17 11 2015) – Plane movie #2. Cute to see the same characters again and I adore most of the actors involved. The inclusion of Richard Gere was actually a bit random though. Ending with all the couples was on the cheesey side. Bless Maggie Smith though. Her snarky and poignant role stopped the ending from being over the top corny.

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies

    Monthly Movies – October 2015

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron (16 10 15) – A bit long. Hawkeye really grew on me; Jeremy Renner shone in this movie. I like Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. Everything else was standard Avengers fare.

    Trainwreck (26 10 15) – I really enjoyed this. While there were a few scenes that went on too long, most of the movie worked for me. There aren’t enough good romantic comedies like this anymore. Schumer and Hader were wonderful. I thought Schumer did well in her dramatic scenes. The supporting cast was fun. Swinton! At the end of the movie, I wanted more and to follow these characters. A sign of a good movie.

    Pitch Perfect 2 (27 10 15) – I knew this would not be as good as the first movie which I really enjoyed. I even have some of the songs on my phone. This second movie was slower paced and I wasn’t as engaged. It had some nice moments and songs, but not enough of them. Not essential viewing.

    Rewatched Movies

    Groundhog Day (20 10 15) – Was feeling a bit sick so movie time. I read a FiveThirtyEight article on most rewatched movies. Many commenters noted that this was not on the list, but it should have been. I agree. I love the spiritual aspect of this, and it’s my favourite Bill Murray movie.

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies

    Monthly Movies – September 2015

    About Time (06 09 2015) – Absolutely wonderful. I wish films like this were more popular. I loved everything about this movie. I think it’s one of the most romantic films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s probably one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. I found it incredibly touching, moving, and simply perfect. Even with the plot holes! I’m a sentimental and introspective person so this movie was right up my alley. Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy are good in everything, but this is definitely some of their best roles for me. Now I have to add Gleeson to my ever growing list of actors whom I adore. Definitely a movie for rewatching in the future.

    Man of Steel (06 09 2015) – I can see why this movie didn’t do well. It’s a bit grim and much too serious. However, I really like Henry Cavil as Superman and I think Amy Adams is good Lois Lane. I was satisfied.

    The Parent Trap (14-15 09 2015) – Lindsay Lohan really did have a great screen presence. Not sure why I missed this movie since Lohan and I are the same age, but I grew up watching the original version. Even then the idea of those parents divorcing and splitting the girls up annoyed me. In any case, a fun family movie though I got a bit bored toward the end with the shenanigans.

    Pollyanna (15 09 2015) – Hayley Mills was on my mind, and I’ve never actually read the book or seen the movie. It was a bit slow in parts, but I enjoyed it. I like how Mills looked like such a real child. She was pretty, but she’d scrunch her face up like a kid. You don’t really see that kind of look in child actors anymore. Jane Wyman was beautiful. I liked the storyline of her being this repressed matriarch.

    Wet Hot American Summer (21 09 2015) – Watched because I wanted to see the show, but this movie was a bit meh. It’s silly and at times amusing, but a lot of it wasn’t that funny for me.

    Eyes Wide Shut (21-22 09 2015) – I started this years ago and decided to finally finish it. Boring. Well directed, but very slow paced. I would have preferred to see more of Nicole Kidman, but instead watching Tom Cruise being mauled by various women like he’s a sex god. I understood some of the themes, and I think it would have been alright if the pacing was better.

    To Die For (22 09 2015) – Nicole Kidman is good in this. What an underrated role for her. Joaquin Phoenix is pretty too.

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies

    Monthly Movies – August 2015

    Selected films that I remember watching in August.

    August

    The Wind Rises (August 2015) – I cried. I love Hayao Miyzaki. Beautiful.

    John Wick (August 2015) – I saw this in August. Loved it. Can’t wait for the sequel.

    The World’s End (August 2015)- Hot Fuzz was better.

    Only Lovers Left Alive (August 2015) – Tilda Swintonw + Tom Hiddleston = Love.

    The Grand Budapest Hotel (August 2015)- Gorgeous. Ralph Fiennes in one of his most lovely roles. Lovely Saorise. Wes Anderson at his best. This may even eclipse my love for Rushmore and equal to Fantastic Mr Fox.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – May 2013

    For the last couple of months, I’ve been watching mostly TV and rewatching movies and shows. I don’t think I watched a new movie for almost two months until War Horse.

    War Horse (18 05 2013) – Review Here.

    Kinky Boots (25 05 13) – I remember seeing the trailer for this back in 2005 o 2006. I’ve liked Chiwetel Ejiofor since Dirty Pretty Things and the man should be more famous. He is wonderful in this film. It is fun and underrated. The romance aspect of the movie is a bit trite and boring though. It should have just focused mainly on Ejiofor’s character Simon/Lola and the friendship with Charlie Price. I would still recommend this film just for people to see Eliofor.

    Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (26 05 13) – I could have watched something funnier, but I just wanted something to knit along to for a Sunday night. Since I’ve read the book and seen the original Swedish movie, I thought it would require less attention. I’ve had the movie for awhile too because I adore Daniel Craig. I would watch a whole movie of him and that cat. It was interesting and realistic to see people smoking for once in an American movie. In any case, great acting all around. While I loved Noomi Rapace’s acting, Rooney did a great job here too. She was physically very Lisebeth. I felt the Mickael/Lisbeth hookup was rushed in this film compared to the other one, but these two actors had more chemistry than the first film. I was not crazy about the music. They changed the ending and some of the details, but they elaborated on the ending a bit more. Then it ended rather abruptly just like in the book. I think overall, the Swedish version does edge out this one. I’ll watch the sequel, but I really only liked parts 1 and 3 of the series.

    Notably Rewatched

    Howl’s Moving Castle – Hayao Miyazaki is one of the few people I consider geniuses. His movies touch me and make me feel good without being too contrived or cliched. He really captures imagination and creativity. I’ve been rewatching a lot of his movies in the last year, and not sure which to pick next. Though none of them can do wrong. The movie reminds me that I should read the book one day.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – March 2013

    Taken 2Taken 2 (01 03 13) – Liam Neeson is awesome. I liked the hand on hand fight sequences, but I found the plot and villains of this one even weaker than the first film. Istanbul definitely feels less dark than in Paris. As with most sequels, it was not as good as the first, but it was still good to watch Neeson taking names and shooting guns. I honestly think his Bryan Mills is a better action character than most. His name isn’t exactly as good as some others, but he makes up for it with experience, dedication, and awesomeness.

    SkyfallSkyfall (05 03 2013) – A stranger spoiled me on this film in passing and didn’t know it. That really irked me because the movie was not even on DVD at the time. People shouldn’t spoil others on films that aren’t even 3 months old. That irritation aside, I found this movie slower paced than other Bond movies which is why a lot of people disliked it. I liked it because of the focus on characters. I adore Judi Dench so watching more of M was fine with me. I usually like Javier Bardem, but Judi overshadowed the guys in this including Ralph Fiennes (who is only 5 years older than Craig – not the same dynamic). What a good cast though and they even had adorable Ben Whitslaw. Not crazy about the two Bond girls though. There were definite plot holes, but oh well. This was leaps better than the mundane Quantum of Solace, but it won’t really replace Casino Royale. I still love Daniel Craig aka Mr. Rachel Weisz as 007 though.

    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (09 03 2013) – This felt exactly like the book: slow and anticlimactic until they improved it by adding that one big scene. Honestly, I think the director Bill Condon has made a movie that has surpassed in its writing. I don’t like the story or the characters so I rolled my eyes as usual, but they have made a movie which has respected the fans and the material. I found out Condon made Kinsey which I liked; I do think these are the best films in the series. Still, I hope Michael Sheen did some nice things with his pay cheque as he is the only actor from this that I would follow anywhere.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – February 2013

    The BodyguardThe Bodyguard (10 02 13) – Kevin Costner is good looking in this though I was not of fan of those high waisted trousers. Oh, the 90’s. It is a sad movie to watch because of Whitney Houston. She looked wonderful in this movie and I was reminded by her beautiful voice. The plot was melodramatic. I actually found myself a tad bored of it, but kept at it because of the actors and to see the ending. Rachel was very annoying. This is an utter cheese fest. I read that this was panned, but Roger Ebert, like me, believed there was some chemistry between the actors. Costner’s character and in a lot of roles I see him, is very restrained, but that does not mean he is cold.

    Game of Thrones: The First Season (11-12 02 13) – Review here.

    Notably Rewatched

    InceptionInception (04 02 2013) – I primarily rewatched for the suit porn of JGL and Tom Hardy. Then I followed it up with a “BBC Horizon” documentary on dreams. Good themed viewing. I don’t list documentaries as much anymore because in general I forget. I don’t watch that many docs. Anyway, Inception is great even if you just watch for the visuals. It may be my favourite Nolan film.

  • Monthly Movies,  TV

    Monthly Movies – January 2013

    The Dark Knight RisesBatman: The Dark Knight Rises (03 01 2013) – This was long. I think I got a headache from watching it. Batman (DCAU) is part of my childhood, but Nolan’s Batman will never be my Batman. I can’t imagine Batman giving up for eight years in seclusion or even saying goodbye to Alfred. Nolan really made sure Batman lost everything though: his money, his city, his identity, Afred, but I did like the ending of this film. This film felt like two films though. There was perhaps a little too much going. I thought the casting was great in all parts. I like Tom Hardy, but I wasn’t really in love with his Bane voice or his portrayal until the very end. Marion Cotillard is amazing in anything. But really, the stand out for me was Joseph Gordon-Levitt whom I continue to adore and have since “Third Rock from the Sun”.

    A Young Doctor's NotebookA Young Doctor’s Notebook (17 01 2013) – This is a TV mini series. I don’t watch enough TV or movies nowadays for them to get separate posts. This four 22-minute episode series stars Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe playing older and younger versions of a Russian doctor the 1934 and 1917. It is based on stories written by Mikhail Bulgakov (one of Radcliffe’s favourite authors). The plot is rather thin, and it’s more a psychological analysis of the doctor. Hamm and Radcliffe talk to each other as the former reminiscences about his earlier self. It’s on the gory side and there are a couple of sexual situations (no nudity) with Radcliffe aka Harry Potter. While I don’t imagine Radcliffe when I read the Harry Potter books, he is still one version of Harry so it weirded me out to see him in those situations. Still, there is some really dark funny moments for it, but this series is not for everyone. The ending is dark which is typical of Russian literature. Not really a light series.

    ScandalScandal (22-23 01 13) – I watched all of season one and caught myself up to date with the episodes of season two. This is an addictive show, and I have not really liked Shonda’s writing, but her team is doing a decent job of the writing. The serialized procedural aspect is not often interesting and usually all about sex scandals. A couple of the characters are a bit flat. Of course with a lot of shows I watch, I overlook the writing for the actors. Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn have some best on TV. I am definitely an Olitz shipper. I also adore Olivia Pope’s wardrobe. Good show.

    Cloud Atlas (29-31 01 2013) – Movie and book review posted here.

    Notably Rewatched

    Sliding DoorsSliding Doors (earlier in January) -I skimmed this to all my favourite i.e. all the scenes with John Hannah. I’ve seen this film at least four times. I do see the gaps in the plot and the timeline, but it is a dramatic rom-com so I can’t be too hard on it. This is still the only movie where I find Paltrow tolerable, but is very thin in this movie.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – December 2012

    LabyrinthLabyrinth (11-12 12 12) – Wow, I loved this movie. I missed out on this classic growing up. Apparently it did poorly at the box office and with some critics. In any case, I’m sad that Jim Henson was disappointed that this tanked. I like Henson’s works on the Muppets, but this is in a different league. It’s slightlt dark, fun, and classic tale of growing up and friendship. Also, DAVID BOWIE! He wears really tight pants in this that should make this film PG-13. He is one of the only men I can think of who looks good with that much makeup. I prefer Bowie with short hair, but his wardrobe was rocking it. I really wouldn’t want to show this to any young girl because there seems to be a lot of sexual and romantic tension between a 15 year old girl and a Goblin King who looks twice her age (and probably way more since this is fairy tale). I often find myself being tempted by the villain and in this, I did want to spend forever with the Goblin King. Too bad the baby was in the way. I’ve seen Jennifer Connelly in only a couple of movies, but she was pitch perfect here. She demonstrated that growth of a young girl to a young woman seamlessly. One thing I like about 80s films is there are a lot of great teen actors and teen stories. Also, the special effects in this were excellent and it reminded me of a time when effects weren’t just on the computer. The puppets really helped make this very real. I could write more, but it’s almost a perfect movie for me in many ways.

    Just a GigoloJust a Gigolo (16 12 12) – The things I do for David Bowie. Apparently, this movie was panned and even everyone associated with it is embarrassed. It is not a good movie. David Hemmings said that he wanted an ironic and tongue in cheek take on interwar Berlin. It is actually both these things, but in the package of a very slowly paced and badly written story. It does have its funny moments. The mauseoleum scene had me laughing out loud. The problem is that it wasn’t funny enough and the movie felt emotionally disjointed. The protagonist Paul is the opposite of Davie Bowie: repressed, awkward, and frigid. His acting isn’t that bad in it, and if you’re a true Bowie fan, you can at least appreciate he looks very good in this film. The film itself had good historical details, but I’m grasping here. Marlene Dietrich’s last two scenes weren’t all that either and the ending was depressing. I don’t recommend this unless you really want to see David Bowie looking good in 1920’s clothing.

    From up on Poppy HillFrom Up on Poppy Hill (27 12 2012) – While this is not one of the best of the Ghibli films, it is a lovely film. The animation is wonderful as always and so is the music. The story did make me cry or that could have been because I was sick and thus, moody. The plot is weirdly melodramatic, but it is touching in terms of friendship and also as a picture of Japan in the 1960s. Definitely a must for any Ghibli fan.

    Notably Rewatched

    SabrinaSabrina (11 12 12) – Gosh, I love Audrey Hepburn. Her smile is amazing. No one in movies has a smile like hers anymore. She is radiant in black and white filmography too. This isn’t one of her best movies and in general, this movie isn’t even that good. Still, this is early Audrey and thus, very charming resplendent in a lovely Givenchy wardrobe. Billy Wilder always makes things at least somewhat fun. He’s one of my favourite directors. The ending is romantic too.

    Funny FaceFunny Face (11 12 12) – I was sick so I had a Audrey Hepburn marathon. I noticed that in both Sabrina and Funny Face, she gets kissed very early on. I forgot they use to do that a lot in older films where the kissing comes early on and the final scene is usually good old fashioned embrace. Audrey is adorable in this film and allegedly, this bookish character is one of the closest to the real Audrey. Even the transformation of the character from nerd to supermodel showcases how her beauty goes from cute charm to classic elegance. As a musical, it’s mediocre since the songs aren’t very memorable. I’m not a big musical person in the sense I obsess over them, and I do like them. I just don’t memorize the songs or rewatch them a lot. The memorability is that this movie was shot on location in Paris and other visuals. I adore Fred Astaire. He is my favourite dancer so this pairing of him and Audrey worked for me. When I watch Audrey movies, I’m often envious of her wardrobe. In this movie, I was envious of the wardrobe and the fact she got to dance with Astaire. He is quite funny in this too. I love the movie pokes fun both at the fashion industry and counter-culture. Definitely one of my favourite Hepburn films along with Roman Holiday, Charade, A Nun’s Story, and Two for the Road.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – November 2012

    This was a busy month for movies because I was finishing a sweater so I had lots to do while watching films.

    Whisper of the HeartWhisper of the Heart (04 11 2012) – Another lovely and wonderful Ghibli/Miyazaki film with great soundtrack and music. There are cute allusions to other Studio Ghibli films as well. At the core, this is another coming of age story with themes of growing up, first love, unrequited love, and hope for ever lasting love. The story is about trying to find yourself and having faith. I didn’t know when I started this that the spiritual sequel would be The Cat Returns which is the film I planned on watching after this any way.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – October 2012

    The AvengersThe Avengers (October 28th 2012) – Finally got around to watching this. I even had a dream about this movie last month. In the dream, I was tempted to side with Loki and I kinda was during the movie if only because Tom Hiddleston is very charismatic and really steals all his scenes. The only other person to rival him in the cast charisma was Robert Downey Jr. I liked the other actors OK, but they really didn’t hold up to RDJ and TH. Otherwise, it was a decent action flick and Whedon’s script made sure all the Avengers had a vital role in the climactic scene. It wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, and I felt the team was good, but perhaps needed another member to balance it out. Colbie Smulders impressed as well, and I wish she got more roles than just being in “How I met your mother”. She needs a get a bigger role in the next Avengers movie; I’d be willing to ship Maria Hill/Captain America. All in all, very few directors could have done as well with this movie than Joss Whedon and the supporting character death count was low for Joss too so yay. Fun stuff.

  • Monthly Movies

    Monthly Movies – August and September 2012

    I only saw two things in August: “Northanger Abbey” 1986 (24 08 2012) and “Pride and Prejudice” 1980 (27-8 08 2012). Both reviewed in Austen Adaptations.

    September

    Best Exotic Marigold HotelThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (08 09 2012) – I knew I would love this movie when I heard about it. Stellar cast, lovely setting, and touching storytelling. It had some slight moments of cheese, but it is such a nice feel-good movie.

     

    IntouchablesIntouchables (09 09 2012) – I have a European friend who recommends a lot of French movies to me because i have generally always liked French movies. She told me about this one when it came out on DVD in France some months ago, and since it has taken the theatres here in NA, I finally got around to it. The version I saw did not have subtitles which means I understand most of everything in the movie, but not all the little nuances. Still, you don’t really need to know a lot the language since the humor and beauty of this film comes from largely from what you see and from the actors. The two actors have expressive faces and Omar Sy is one good looking man. A lovely human film.

    Father GooseFather Goose (23 09 2012) – Got this for Cary Grant. I’d never heard of this film before. It stars Leslie Caron too. It’s a bit slow paced and not the best classic or Grant movie, but it has its cute moments because of Grant. He is decidedly undapper in this role. He is not as suave and very Bogart actually. The girls in the movie are rather annoying at times though.

     

     

    Notably Rewatched

    My Neighbor TotoroMy Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away (09 09 2012) – Hayao Miyazaki is a genius. I only use the word genius rarely. To me, Miyazaki is one because he puts down in words, film, and animations such things that are part of all of us. He is able to capture emotions from when we were younger and there is such a beautiful optimism and realism in his works. Spirited Away I really can’t stress out how much I love his movies. Totoro is light and amusing. It has no real plot other than being a wonderful time with some fun characters. Spirited Away is amazing in every way and the most romantic of all of Miyazaki’s works, and in some ways, one of the most real in terms of growing up.