Monthly Movies 10/08

Working Girl (01 10 08) – So 80s! I like 80s Harrison Ford; he’s more fun and silly. I think this is one of the only things I’ve seen Melanie Griffth in. Odd. I really needed a girl power movie to inspire me since I can relate to the Tess McGill character somewhat.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (02 10 08) – This was a bit slow to get into, but there are some fun, Almodvaresque moments. I really liked the gazpacho scene at the end. I saw the dub version sadly, but still an okay film. There is a young Antonio Banderas in this movie who wears big 80s glasses.
Dream for an Insomniac (02 10 08) – A 1996 romantic comedy with Ione Skye, Jennifer Aniston, and Sean Astin’s brother Makenzie Astin. Notable things I learned, Ioane Skye really reminds me of Nicole Kidman. They have the same cheekbones and have similar eyes. I also did not know that she is folk singer Donavon’s daughter; that explains the name. This was an okay rom-com. I liked the cafe, but I do not know if I related to any of the characters at all. Ione’s character was much too intense.
Sisterhood of Traveling Pants (04 10 08) – It could have been worse. I liked the Greek scenery. It’s a bit cute if anything.
The Ipress File (06 10 08) – A spy thriller from the 1970s staring Michael Caine. It’s a tad slow moving, set in London, and has rather deadpan Caine wearing black square glasses. When he isn’t, the director likes shots of his nice eyelashes; did they put mascara on him? Since this is a 70s movie, I am inclined to think yes. Unsurprisingly, Caine is a ladies man, and his impassiveness is rather good. I can’t say it’s shot well or badly, but the director was obviously going for intense, dark spy thriller. It’s just a sloth paced thriller and most of the interesting things happen rather late. It is by no means an excellent or rewatchable film, but I liked it just for Caine’s expressions or lackthereof.
Mamma Mia (18 10 08) – The cast is the only reason to watch it. To be honest, I barely paid attention to this and did other things while it was one. It makes no sense plot wise because of Sophie’s age. Amanda Seyfried is cute in it. It isn’t bad, but that much ABBA after awhile can be irksome.

Total: 6

Rewatched Movies:
Paris Je T’aime (02 10 08) – I showed this a friend of mine who hadn’t seen it. We rewatched all but two of the vignettes. I find that most of the ones I liked initially I continued to like. The others did not grow on me. It’s still a good anthology.

Monthly Movies 09/08

Aristocrats (02 09 08) – REVIEW
In Bruges (05 09 08) – REVIEW
Thumbsucker (06 09 08) – The cast for this is very interesting and probably the best part of the film. Tilda Swinton downplays her ethereality to be nurse and mother married to L&O: CI’s Vincent D’Onofrio. Vince Vaughn appears as debate teacher who wears big glasses and ugly sweater vests. Benjamin Bratt appears as cokehead TV star and is involved in the nastiest scene of the film. Finally, Keanu Reeves plays an eccentric, sometimes New Age orthodontist (very apt). The plot was alright, and it was sweet not anything spectacular. A likable coming of age story.
The Ladykillers (06 09 08) – Alec Guinness is creepy in this film. He seemed positively vampiric. I don’t know when I’ll get over his crazy teeth and manner. It was a decent plot and acting, but I do not think I really get entertained by these comedies very much, especially since I recently saw In Bruges.
Last Orders (08 09 08) – REVIEW
St. Trinian’s (13 09 08) – I assume I did not hear a lot about this movie because it seems to have gotten mixed reviews. It really was not that bad. Some of the comedy was a little too slapsticky to me I must admit: the humping dog, the pranks, etc. Some people would find Rupert Everett in drag for the whole movie tacky; I ran with it especially since Colin Firth plays opposite. With Russell Brand and the appearance of Stephen Fry. A few others I recognized include Fenella Woolgar, Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited), Talulah Riley, new Bond girl Gemme Arterton, and Mischa Barton which was kind of random, but appropriate and tolerable in this circumstance. Back to the Firth thing, it is cheap, but I loved all the meta Pride and Prejudice jokes they put in.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (14 09 08) – This is actually my first Judd Apatow related movie. While it was not too bad, I’m not running to see any other Apatow related movies soon. I liked Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis in this. Russell Brand stole every scene he was in. Jason Segel’s script and part were not too bad either, but I can really do without seeing his penis so many times in a movie. Okay overall.
The Bank Job (14 09 08) – My sixth British movie of the month! This was another really good one. It’s a clever and well acted heist movie set in the 1970s. I have no idea how true it is, probably not a lot, but the 70s art direction is nice and stuble enough. Refreshing from watching all the heist movies now with high tech gadgets. I’ve liked Jason Statham since I saw the Guy Ritchie films, and this is probably his best work since then. Really good heist movie.
Thank you for smoking (14 09 08) – Finally I saw this after it being in my movie queue for awhile. This was also my third film of the day because I have been knitting sleeves. Aaron Eckhart is very good in this; I hope he lands more good roles like this. Good cast and smart, satirical script.
Sex and the City (18 09 08) – I never followed the show; I’ve seen only a couple of episodes. I saw the extended cut version of the movie; I found the movie overall okay. I will say the best part is the eye candy for the fashion. I wanted half the stuff in the movie. The New York urban porn was nice too; something about snowing in NYC looks really good in film. One can definitely see why it’s like a cult show that they made into a movie; I like how it does explore the dynamic between female friends. Nothing too bad in the acting front really.
Lost in Austen – Fun.
The Family Stone (27 09 08) – This did nothing for me. I did not really feel for any of the characters, and the script just seemed to force all these family poignant moments. I like Rachel McAdams, but her character was annoying. I did not care for the relationship swapping halfway through. All “funny” moments were in the trailer. I guess I like some of the actors; Paul Schneider’s bit part was nice. I seem to watching lots of his films lately.
The Butterfly Effect (28 09 08) – Apparently, the critics hated this movie, but it made a lot of money. I can see how it has a wide appeal because I kind of liked it myself. Mainly due to my fascination with alternate universes, time travel, and chaos theory. The script is not that badly written, and I do like Ashton Kutcher more after seeing this. Not necessarily as a great actor, but the movie makes him look better than he usually does. Callum Keith Rennie even makes an appearance albeit for one scene. I would not watch this movie again though; it just seemed too violent for me. Quentin Tarantino movies are violent, but they are also funny. This movie had no funny moments and was quite sad and creepy for a lot of it. It was intense overall. For a moment towards the end, I thought they were going to go Hollywood and have a trite ending, but respect to the movie makers for having the ending live up to movie’s plot.
Iron Man (30 09 08) – Fun. I have been looking forward to this as I love a good summer blockbuster/ super hero movie. I have had a soft spot for RDJ for years. Someone said that he deserved this role, and honestly, he does. He’s this gem of an actor, and I’m glad he has finally found a vehicle and more opportunities to showcase his awesomeness. I like this cast. I hardly recognized Jeff Bridges in this role, and I like Terence Howard in anything. Coming off of Sliding Doors (below) and the grounded character of Pepper Potts, I did like Paltrow in this role as well. With her Spain travelogue show, I think I have to admit that I like the formerly known as fishstick. Even Paul Bettany’s voice is in this movie. Knowing that a lot of the dialogue was improvised makes me love this film even more. Looking forward to the sequels.

Total: 14.

Rewatched Movies:
Sliding Doors (15 09 08) – There are few movies I like to rewatch, and this is actually the first time I have rewatched this one. It won’t be the last time though; I have been thinking about this movie for awhile now. It came ten years ago; it’s very late 90s. The movie even features Dido’s “Thank you” which is a song that I liked way back then too. I have never been a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, but this is the only one of her movies that I absolutely love her in. I can’t imagine the film without her, and her faux Britishness seems the most sincere here. I love the concept of this story, and the ending is bitter at first, but then very lovely overall. I hope one day I get chatted up on the tube by a guy like John Hannah’s character. Seriously, how did he go from this to being Brendan Fraser’s sidekick in the Mummy movies? He and Rachel Weisz were the only reasons I saw the first and second Mummy movies; they were pretty fun movies overall too, but even John Hannah can’t make me see the third Mummy movie. I digress though. I think Hannah is seriously underrated as an actor and a leading man as a result of how much I love this film. It’s very London and British, has an unconventional premise, and a really good romance. Now that I finally got a copy, I can be sad, be happy, and hope for a down to earth and funny guy like James.

Last Orders

This Booker Prize winning book by Graham Swift tells of four men on a day trip to scatter their friend’s ashes to the sea. The chapters are short and the narratives switches with each chapter. Most are told by Ray, the closest friend of the dead man Jack Dodds. There are numerous flashbacks revealing the lives of all the men and a couple of others in their lives. At first the book reminded me in a slightly of Trainspotting, the writing was colloquial but far more intelligible. They also share the a similar theme of friendship and endurance over time. As I read it, it became much more. The dialogue is quite sharp and well written; Swift has a knack for characterisation. The language and changing perspectives makes it evocative. I sometimes managed to feel the bitterness and the anger that some of the characters do when they narrate. It is very English; all the characters have a working class background and there is something very stylistic and true about the way he writes about their livelihood. If anything, it feels sincere even if real working class Londoners do not all the issues these characters did. I liked the book for the most part, but it got bit depressing the further you went. The flashbacks reveal missed opportunities, unsaid things, wrong choices, bad luck, and estranged relationships. The ending, as with life, is open ended. Not a very uplifting read, but Swift does have a good voice throughout the story.

As with the book, this is not exactly an exciting film, it has a slow languid pace, but is actually decently adapted. I thought the script made the efforts to really weave the plot, narrative switching style and flashbacks really well. As with most British movies, the cast really make it. Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Bob Hoskins and a few others are in this. I adore Caine and Mirren so it was wonderful seeing them together. Even more delightful was the young versions of their character was played by JJ Feild, another favourite of mine and Kelly Reilly (who was in L’Auberge Espagnole; I still really want to see the sequel to that). Every time I watch a British movie, I play a game of 50 Actors and see what else I’ve seen them in. Anyway, the movie showed the characters in even a better light than in the movie and has a more hopeful tone than even the book. Well adapted.

In Bruges

Things I generally like include Irishmen, funny crime plots and characters, on location filming where the place becomes a secondary character, and Ralph Fiennes playing an evil bastard. He wears it well; he’s always disturbingly attractive when being a supreme psycho except when he’s Voldemort. I really liked this movie. It was funny yet had some very decent moments of poignancy, the usual dose of good acting from a British-Irish film (expect nothing less), and a very good script from first time feature director Martin McDonagh. Colin Farrell fit nicely in this flick. I’ve never found him particularly attractive and generally do not watch most of the films he’s in, but he can have pretty entertaining and decent turns in such things as Daredevil and Minority Report. He’s better when he keeps his accent, and sticks to comedy with appropriate amounts of drama. McDonagh is originally a playwright, and at certain points in the film, it does feel rather like a theatre play mostly in terms of characterizations and in the deep moments. One can definitely compare it to Layer Cake or Guy Ritchie films which are also British movies about criminals and feature violence, this one has a more sober note and setting yet still remains hilarious throughout. I look forward to McDonagh’s future films, and hopefully he works with Brendan Gleeson (already their second project), Fiennes, and Farrell again as he knows how to use them.

Monthly Movies 08/08

Only two films in August. For many reasons, I read more, I knit more, and the Olympics were on. Also, I have been saving and storing my films for my move afraid that I will not be able to watch as many movies in my new home.

Waitress (19 08 08) – Not actually a romantic comedy as the trailers lead you to believe. It does have great chemistry between Keri Russell and the criminally hot Nathan Fillion, and lots of implausibility as you do in rom-coms. Also Andy Griffith. Pacing can be a bit slow, and there really is never enough NF, but cute flick.
Serenity (20 08 08) – Yes, I needed another excuse to watch NF again, and this time, Chiwetel Ejiofor was along for the ride. I’ve liked CE since Dirty, Pretty, Things. That reminds me that I want to see Kinky Boots, but have trouble finding a copy. In any case, I only saw one or two episodes of Firefly while it was on air. It’s a great cast, but the writing or the space cowboy concept never grabbed me. The Southern accents can be jarring. Decent sci-fic flick which is chilling and intense. Very Whedonesque.

Total: 2

Monthly Movies 07/08

Modern Times (01 07 08) – Finally, I get to see this after having seen most of his other major films. I liked it, though I think City Lights is still my favourite. I particularly like the department store scenes with him roller blading around.
Then She Found Me (04 07 08) – I will always know Helen Hunt as Jamie from Mad About You. The film was alright. Colin Firth is too attractive for his own good even as a not-suppose to be sexy single father. Bette Midler is amusing.
Half-Nelson(08 07 08) – The plot was much slower than I anticipated, but then again, I didn’t really watch this for that as Ryan Gosling just captures me on screen. Damn he is talented. I always get this weird sense of watching him because I remember his earlier TV days so well. He is so talented and good in this.
Psycho (13 07 08) – Very well done and entertaining. Even as a someone who watches lots of classic films, I managed to remain unspoiled for this making the reveal good. Hitchcock at his best, but I love lots of his other stuff as well (The 39 Steps is underrated). It really is a classic in the truest sense of the word.
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort) (29 07 08) – I quite adore Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, and this film is just not as superior as that. It has too many characters and the plot seems not as cohesive or stands out to be special. I like that there is more dancing. There is even Gene Kelly! It had Jacques Demy’s characteristic crazy colour schemes, attention to detail and his vision.

Total: 5.

Monthly Movies 06/08

Bee Movie (01 06 08) – I love honey bees. This has a stellar voice cast; they even got Oprah. There were a lot of bee jokes, but they amused me even though they were incredibly cheesy. I guess I love bees and honey too much.
I’m not there (02-03 06 08) – REVIEW
Jumper (08 06 08) – What happened to Hayden Christensen’s voice? He must be smoking a lot. It bothered me, but not as much as Jamie Bell’s irritating character. It’s funny how the movie ends with a possibility of a sequel, but there is no way that is going to happen. I knew before I saw this movie it would not be great, but low expectations are the key to these things. At least Rachel Bilson is pretty, and they actually have decent chemistry due to their real life romance.
Coming Home (30 05 08, 14 06 08)
– I actually was looking for the other Coming Home, but got this 1998 tv mini series starring Peter O’Toole, Joanna Lumbley, and Emily Mortimer. It also stars Paul Bettany and Kiera Knightley, who plays the younger version of Mortimer’s character; she really hasn’t changed that much in a decade. I don’t know why I like Emily Mortimer; she is a frail little thing, but I like her rather mouseish, British looks and demeanor. I like that she does not scream glamour in the way Knighley and Bettany do. Also Bettany could totally be Peter O’Toole’s son. PT and JL are fabu together. Any excuse to watch either of them works for me.
Boogie Nights (22 06 08) – For some reason, I had few inclinations or knowledge of this movie before I watched it. Odd considering it’s such a cult film, but I watched it based on the rec of a friend who told me it was such a wonderful film that exemplified the 80s (she having grown up in the time era of the film). I enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe the plethora of actors who are in this film. Almost the whole cast has had best acting Oscar nominations now. Heather Graham had purpose at some point. So the acting works, and so was everything else. It was funny. It was sad. It was the late 70s, and the early 80s. It’s not something I would rewatch often because it can be so sad, but also, I was not alive for most of this era to feel nostalgic. I liked the montages, and Anderson’s film style. Actually, this is the only PT Anderson movie I’ve ever seen. Methinks I should go about getting Punch-Drunk Love now.
Marty (27 06 08) – This film was uncomfortable to watch because it was honest. I could understand the pressure about being a late bloomer, and the negative stereotypes and ideas perpetuated. I felt the ending was a bit rushed and wished for more insight. Good film.
Persepolis (29 06 08) – REVIEW
Punch-Drunk Love (29 06 08) – So I did get this movie as I said I would. I was underwhelmed and annoyed by the music. Positives include the presence of Emily Watson, Adam Sandler’s acting, and Anderson’s direction. It’s peculiar and has lots of annoying characters except Sandler who really does shine in this however slow the plot is.
Love in the Time of Cholera (30 06 08) – I did not think this was as bad as the critics made it. I’ve read the book, and while I don’t think it can capture the book (too difficult with magical realism), it had it’s nice points. Javier Bardem is wonderful and super fine for one thing, and the visuals are another bonus. It was slow, but not unbearable. The actor that played young the younger version of Bardem’s character looked a lot like Daniel Day-Lewis. It reminded me that Bardem himself is a bit like DDL in his character choices, intensity, and talent. I need to watch No Country for Old Men soon.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (30 06 08) – I heard that this was one of the most beautifully shot films of 2007. I must concur. The cinematography was beautiful; I like the director’s choices. The acting was great as well. I really adore Brad Pitt these days, and Casey Affleck surprised me. He was good at being the insecure twerp and transformed into someone I felt pity for. The downside is the slow plot of course. It drags at the beginning, and all the good stuff is in the second half.

Total: 10

Rewatched Movies:

Pride and Prejudice (02 06 08) – My friend who has never watched P&P and I watched the 1995 BBC mini series. It was pretty much a late marathon. I think it was my fifth time rewatching it. It is always so fun and addictive. One can appreciate the intense chemistry between Firth and Ehle. This is definitely one of my favourite mini series. I do wish they included one more scene at the end of the couple before the final scenes. I always thought the fast cut to the ending was somewhat abrupt. Also missing out the hilarity of a scene were Lizzie tells her mother. Still, one of the best series ever to watch over and over again. Never gets old.

I’m Not There

This was very strange and different. I liked it. It was funny, entertaining, well written, directed, and acted. It is true that I am a Dylan fan, and you get a lot more from this by knowing the man’s works and history. I found the awkwardness and the alienation displayed by some of the Dylans very true since I sympathised with that anger displayed in Dylan’s memoirs Chronicles. Cate Blantchett is amazing in this. She is perfectly androgynous, twitchy, funny, in your face, beautiful, etc. I could go on. I love Christian Bale’s storyline too as he has that young political charisma. Julianne Moore as the Joan Baez character is very amusing; I loved them casting David Cross as Allan Ginsberg. This was the first time seeing any Heath Ledger film since it’s death; it made me very sad. He is so talented, and his story with Charlotte Gainsbourg was very true of young love. I thought this movie did a better overall job of showcasing the 60s than Across the Universe did; it felt more personal and detached at the same time. Though I was not born yet, this film’s capturing of the decade works for me. As for the other Dyland story lines, I liked Marcus Carl Franklin. The kid is a good actor and has a nice singing voice. Ben Whishaw was underused. Of all the Dylans, I cared for Richard Gere’s the least. Maybe it was the way he played it. I got the two-disc original soundtrack as well which has lots of covers and Dylan’s “I’m not there”. Good stuff overall. Definitely worth a rewatch or two.

Monthly Movies 05/08

Adam’s Rib (01 05 08) – Isn’t it fun to watch onscreen couples knowing they are offscreen couples? The chemistry is marvelous. I love the pull and tug, and neither really right, but it’s such a nice little Hepburn/Tracy rom-com. Why aren’t there more rom-coms with married people like this anymore?
Penelope (05 05 08) – Produced by Reese Witherspoon, this is a cute, quirky flick with a very great cast. They shot it in the UK so there are quite a few brits, but only some of them kept their accents (Simon Woods, Lenny Henry, Russell Brand) while the others adopted American accents (James McAvoy, Burn Gorman, Nick Frost). The movie also stars Christina Ricci as the eponymous character, Catherine O’Hara, Richard E. Grant, and Reese herself. Sweet, short, and it has James McAvoy.
Hellboy (08 05 08) – I had the chance to watch this on a flight in 2004, but I dismissed it having heard mixed reviews. Since then, I’ve heard positive things about this film, and with the sequel imminent this fall, I decided to watch it. It’s my second chance at watching Guilerrmo del Toro after Pan’s Labyrinth. I can see his distinct dark fantastical style in both movies. Also, both films have fascists. I do think this film’s script is not the best comic book adaptation, but it really makes up for it with the characters. The romance is kinda sweet albeit rushed through the film. It’s fun and quirky too; I look forward to the sequel.
A World Without Thieves (09 05 08) – This is a Chinese movie starring Andy Lau; it’s okay. Lau’s wig is ugly, and all the females in Chinese movies are bone thin. They shot some of it in Eastern China, but it’s not exactly a strong script and some of the poignant, spiritual scenes are flat.
Message in a Bottle (11 05 08) – I refuse to read another Nicholas Sparks novel, but I actually like the casting in all the movie adaptations. I didn’t even recognize Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) in this movie. Kevin Costner wasn’t that bad, but he is no Ryan Gosling. I love Paul Newman. That is all.
Cranford (4, 11-12 05 08) – What is it about Elizabeth Gaskell that makes her books so adaptable to screen? I have yet to see an adaptation of Gaskell’s novels I did not like or am indifferent too (same can not be said for the Brontes and Ms Austen). This is actually based on three Gaskell novels, and the creators have weaved the stories so effortlessly and beautifully. The acting is magnificent. There is a lot of humor, a lot of death, but a lot of warmth too. Wonderfully done.
Todo sobre mi madre (All About my Mother) (12 05 08) – None of the Almodóvar movies I’ve seen so far are all that realistic in plots, but the important thing is that they all have raw and real emotional, beautifully written, acted and shot. I like the ambiguity and the humanity of all his characters; nothing is clear cut, and there is love and feeling amidst it all. I can understand why many think this is still his most mature film to date. This one has so many layers and themes with All About Eve and A Streetcar Named Desire attached to it. Almodóvar is love.
The Forbidden Kingdom (17 05 08) – So you don’t watch these movies for plot consistencies, dialogue or even characters. It’s all about the action sequences and the cinematography in China is very well done. Still, I am not going to lie: I cringed at some of the plot turns. Why did Sparrow speak in third person?!
Lust, Caution (19 05 08) – REVIEW.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (30 05 08) – A supernatural romance where Gene Tierney (Mrs. Muir) and Rex Harrison (the ghost Captain Gregg) fall in love. It is rather sweet, and I found myself relating to Mrs. Muir’s solitary nature. I am pretty sure this was the first time I’ve seen a Tierney film, and like the third time I’ve seen Harrison. They have such nice chemistry too. I have not watched George Sanders in a lot things, but he does play assholes really well.

Total: 10.

Monthly Movies 04/08

Juno (13 04 08) – As predicted, this movie is likable. Lots of Canadian actors too. I enjoyed all of the performances and the script did have a lot of heart. Sweet and enjoyable little flick.
I am Legend (13 04 08) – Slow stuff, but people watch this for Will Smith. This is actually my first Will Smith movie in a long time. It’s well shot, and I liked the dog as I usually do.
A Room with a View (13 04 08) – I’m fairly understanding of Andrew Davies’s scripts and his lack of subtext at times, but he does not do well with Forster. While it wasn’t all bad, it was boring and just not as good as the Merchant-Ivory version. The most annoying thing was he changed the ending to one that felt empty and just weird.
Dan in Real Life (14 04 08) – It feels like ages since I’ve seen a typical rom-com. This was such a cute one too. I actually did chuckle a few times, and I adored the Steve Carell/Julie Binoche pairing. I like how romantic tension is played, the setting, and just the simplicity of a nice adult romance. Underrated and sweet.
Lars and the real girl (15 04 08) – Well, this was fine. Nothing too extraordinary, but Ryan Gosling does make this movie. I’ve been watching RG since his TV days (so about 10+ years), and he has always had the screen charisma. Patricia Clarkson and Emily Mortimer also did well in this. I hope EM gets more work; I warmed to her from Match Point on.
The Swan (15-6 04 08) – This is a 1956 film directed by Charles Vidor starring Grace Kelly, Alec Guiness, and Louis Jordan. It’s a bit slow moving, but the ending is a nice twist. There’s the right humor, and Grace Kelly plays a very convincing shy and awkward Princess. Harder to discern what AG was going for in his immature Prince character, but Louis Jordan is as gorgeous and romantic as always.
Becoming Jane (19 04 08) – I avoided watching this for the longest time because I had heard iffy reviews based on its fictionalization of Ms. Austen’s life. It had a trite Hollywood ending, but the best thing about this is James McAvoy. I am really glad his star is on the rise, and he is one of those actors that can make a movie so much more bearable. His acting and screen charisma is off the charts.
Hable con ella (Talk to her) (24-5 04 08) – REVIEW
Across the Universe (25 04 08) – I love the Beatles. I like interpretations of their songs, and the only good thing about this musical is that some of the numbers (Let it Be, I want you so bad) are well done. It is also well shot, but it is clear they wrote a story around the music. I felt absolutely nothing for the characters. You never get a sense of them at all, and my emotions rang from indifference to annoyance. The characters didn’t even seem to care about each other either, and there were some irksome plot holes. I’m not really keen on any of the actors either. It has no real humor like Moulin Rouge or warmth like Singin in the Rain or the Astaire/Rogers movies. This is how you should not do a musical. As a result, this movie was extremely slow even though I knew all the songs and sang along. It was trippy and well shot, but it was far more tedious.

Rewatched Films:
Moulin Rouge – I own this film; it was given to me by friends for a birthday years ago. It was my third DVD I think, and I’ve watched it a couple of times since. I’m not in the habit of rewatching or rereading many things, but I wanted to watch this again after Across the Universe which has nothing (except the Beatles song) on MR. If Baz Luhrmann decided to do a musical with solely Beatles songs, it would be funny, have some warmth, and a decent (albeit melodramatic) romance. It’s sad for me to admit this, but this truly seems to have been Nicole Kidman’s career height. Right after this movie, she went on to do The Hours (which I also loved), Dogville (I am never watching a Lars Von Trier, but she was good in it), The Others (great reviews; have not seen), Birth (same), but lately, her choices have not been great. I am cautiously optimistic of Australia coming out this November because it is Kidman reunited with Baz. I am only seeing it it because it is a Baz film. Back to MR, based off Dumas’s Camille (I only realized this until after seeing George Cuckor/Greta Garbo’s Camille), this is a fun movie. The songs have been on my playlists for years; I like all of the musical numbers and interpretations. Another thing that AtU lacked was charismatic acting. All the actors in MR seem to have fun and really get into it. Kidman is incredibly zany in the beginning, and I have rarely disliked Ewan Macgregor or Jim Broadbent in anything. Maybe I shouldn’t have rewatched this because now I’m more annoyed by AtU.

Hable con ella (Talk to her)

Hable con ella (Talk to her) My third Pedro Almodóvar film, and if I haven’t said it before: I really like this guy’s work. Auteurs are interesting and getting rarer. First off, the silent erotic movie scene is one of the weirdest things I have ever watched; it’s pretty great how he put that in the film. As usual, it’s well shot, well written, good soundtrack, and nice performances all around. Javier Cámara plays Beningo with such a soft intensity and even as creepy as he can be, it’s hard not feel sorry for the guy which the performance should take credit for. Now, a big reason I enjoyed the film is because I really adored the Marco character played by Darío Grandinetti. I’m not surprised he’s a Piscean like I am because he cries beautifully and convincingly on screen. He shed tears during so many scenes, and it was not cliched or old at any point. Maybe I just like a man who is can cry because of beauty or memories. I think I developed a small crush on Marco as a result and Grandinetti has this soft intensity about him. It’s too bad he hasn’t worked with Almodóvar again.

More and more, I appreciate Almodóvar’s writing and themes of relationship, women, love, desire, and his eclectic story telling. I really appreciate how slow yet well paced his movies. He takes time to elaborate on extras, secondary characters, and the little moments. For example, he does not cut directly from Marco going to see Beningo at a critical point in the movie, but there are various interactions with secondary characters, seemingly pointless, but wonderfully normal. I have liked all three of his movies I have seen so far, they are all different yet the same. His style is pervasive in them or at least the directorial, acting, and writing quality is high in all. Since I have unintentionally being going backwards in his filmography, my next Almodóvar should be All About my Mother followed by Live Flesh.

Movie Meme

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.

No such movie exists. I don’t rewatch movies all that much, and there are a few that I do, but more or less the same amount.

2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

I saw Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone twice because I went with different people. Wasn’t worth it; I don’t want to watch a movie in theatres multiple times again.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.

There are many, but I still weigh it against the likihood of a bad or boring movie. For dead people, I’ll watch anything Audrey Hepburn. For current ones, I’m inclined to Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Ioan Gruffudd, Daniel Craig, basically half the British actors in the world, and a few others.

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.

Also many: Sienna Miller, Lindsay Lohan, Adam Sandler, Robin Williams (all his new stuff), Nicholas Cage, and to some degree, Keira Knightly though she is unavoidable and picks some good movies.

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.

A friend and I quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail a bit. Otherwise, The Princess Bride.

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

None. I know a lot of songs, but not all the lyrics to all the songs.

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.

Singin’ in the Rain, Sound of Music, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (well not really), Moulin Rouge (kinda)

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.

Any movie by Hayao Miyazaki.

9. Name a movie that you own.

Roman Holiday.

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