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.
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.
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.
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.
I confess that I did not actually see the end of this movie, but I saw most of the movie. The ending was not a surprise when I found out about it. Like most Elia Kazan movies from that era, there is a lot of angst. As for the acting, Warren Beatty is hot in his first role and of the three Natalie Wood films I have seen, this is probably her best work. I think Deannie’s (Wood) descent into madness/nervous breakdown is fastening as is the film’s take on late 1920’s sexuality and young love from a 1961 perspective. It is outdated in some ways, but I think many of the themes are still very relevant such as the Madonna/Whore complex which is explored. I wonder about how it was received at the time because even watching it in a less conservative time, some of the scenes were very sad in the treatment of women. Bud’s (Beatty) sister’s portrayal as a girl who only boys talk to in the dark was annoying, but the movie pushed the point home about how far she would go. Her last scene is almost lurid in its depiction of “the other type of girl”. The constant idea for men to seek these other girls, use them, but marry a nice girl like Deannie. While she must remain pure as that is what good girls are for, and “nice girls” don’t have sexual urges. It does seem outdated for Deannie to go mad from a broken heart, but I think if you consider the pressure she was under and her sensitive, young nature, it probably was not completely far fetched at the time. It is definitely a movie to consider gender roles and stereotypes then and now.
Based on the book of the same name, this film recounts the based on true story tale of the British military’s Operation Mincemeat, a plan to fool the Axis powers that the Allies intended to attack Sardinia and Greece rather than Sicily.Â I watched a bit of this film a few weeks ago on TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies which is a treasure for a classic film lover like me. The film is a little gem of suspense and classic espionage. It doesn’t have a lot of special effects, and though I knew how it would end, the tension build up and drama were just right. I have a thing for spy films so this fits right up my alley. It’s also humorous in the deadpan, ironic British way at times. Though there is a romantic B plot that serves as the fictional drama, it fits seamlessly into the film. In all, the film does not over extend itself to what it really is. A very well adapted, acted, and directed movie about this World War II deception plan. Smart and underrated old flick