Thursday, 29 November 2012

November Watch List

If you have those old blue and red 3D glasses, put them on . . . . . .  . . . . . . NOW!

This is the awesome cover of the current Little White Lies issue, this bi-month, it is The Master Issue.

1. The Master

To some this film is known as 'the Scientology' (and I was just spell checked to make sure it had a capital S), to others its the sixth film from Paul Thomas Anderson and to critics and film fan everywhere it is a highly acclaimed masterpiece. For me, its the return of Joaquin Phoenix on the screen, not as a crazy hobo beard character. Although that documentary was hilarious. This film is not about L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Although there are comparisons this film is about Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)who is the charismatic leader/author of The Cause. After Naval veteran Freddie (Joaquin) wonders onto the leader's boat, he becomes enthralled by the man and his following, but their relationship ultimately unravels. People have been split over this film, mostly because of the build up. It wasn't as in your face as some campaigns, the film sort of crept up on us. It's an amazing film and the cast are incredible. Most of the applause will go to Hoffman but I think, not bias opinion, Joaquin Phoenix deserves praise for his portrayal as broken, animalistic, lost Freddie. I think I need to see it again just to take it all in but as I saw the film screened in 70mm I'm not sure a second view would measure up to how amazing it looked. It felt like it was actually from the 50's. A masterpiece. 5/5

2. Rust and Bone

If I could just play the trailer in this section, it would sum up the beauty and brilliance of this film. Based on a collection of short stories of the same name by Craig Davidson. In short its the story about an unemployed single father and ex-boxer/kick boxer who falls in love with a woman who trains killer whales. In truth they start to fall in love til very late on in the story. Stephanie, the whale trainer has a terrible accident that completely ruins her life. When I saw the trailer I thought she only damages her legs but the scene where she wakes up to see her lower parts of her legs missing is unbelievable horrific. Its after this accident that they begin to connect. The scenes under water are amazing, but the scene that touched me the most is when Stephanie is standing in front the whale tank and she starts the routine she used to do and whale responds and it still remembers her. Although Marion Cotillard's name is everywhere on this film and she really is great in the film, I see this as Matthias Schoennaerts' story. His character has been left with his son by the mother, who you find out later was using her son as a drug mule. After being taken in by his sister, he takes various jobs to keep afloat but he soon starts to take part in illegal street fighting. The fights are brutal but aren't seen as terrible because Stephanie approves, even helps out with sorting the bets. The film is amazing and I can definitely see some awards on the horizon or its criminal. Then again, Drive was the best film of last year and snubbed completely. 5/5

3. Spaceballs

I love an old spoof as much as the next person but really Mel Brooks, do you really have to have THAT many Jewish jokes in the film? Apart from that, the film was good and I did laugh out loud, especially at Rick Moranis as a sort of piss take of Darth Vader. The fact it was a spoof of a collection of sci-fi films was enjoyable. I particularly loved John Hurt's cameo in the diner scene, brilliant. The story was basic, the best way to make a comedy, Princess Vespa is rescued after she runs away from an arranged marriage. Lone Starr (a very young looking Bill Pullman) and his buddy Barf (a hald man/dog John Candy) rescue her and her android friend and an adventure ensues. They meet a disturbing yoda type wise creature (Mel Brooks) who teaches them about 'the schwartz' (annoying) and there is a satisfying ending. Not my favourite, nothing beats Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but a pretty good film. 3/5

4. Gambit

I love how the lion is on the poster yet only seconds in the film. Gambit is the long awaited film written by the Coen Brother but not directed by them. Shame. Gambit is a remake of the 1966 version which the producer, Mike Lobell saw at its premiere in London. After several revisions, cast changes, script changes, the Coen Brothers script triumphed. The story is about art curator Harry Deane who works for the god awful Lord Shabandar. To exact revenge on him, he devises a scheme involving his friend the Major who paints copies of famous artworks and rodeo queen, PJ Puznowski. The film feels set up to be this great caper but in fact its very subtle the whole way through, that is, until we see a lion as the 'security' of an art gallery. The cast is good, the script is better. When watching the film, I did laugh out loud several times but I couldn't help but wish the Coen Brothers had directed it. It would have be so much better, more Coenesque, maybe more violent and possibly not a 12A. Saying this, the scenes at the Savoy were pitch perfect, Colin Firth is brilliant as Harry Deane as he changes from room to room not wearing trousers. See it just for that scene, or best wait for DVD. 3/5

Monday, 26 November 2012

Seal of the Day

Something cheerful this morning that was brought to my attention by my sister.

This awesome design The Seal of Approval and Friends by Gemma Correll that was posted up on Ohh Dear's facebook page.

Here is a link to Gemma's website

and to Ohh Dear's facebook page

When I researched further I found another website where you buy all these marvelous things with this design on it! Including a cushion which I am very tempted by. 

If you find anything seal related let me know by emailing me, I'm always interested to see more seal discoveries!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

To the Beach, Of the Sea and the Animals

I finally got the film from my camera developed. The beach photographs were from our day out at Airbourne in Eastbourne. It was so foggy and later cloudy that day that all the photographs had a mist about them.

The animals and the Needles photographs were taken in October when I went to stay with my family who live in the New Forest. They took me out for a day trip on the Isle of Wight.

We walked further up the beach after lunch to see how far we could go and so I could follow the cutest Westie dog called Ceaser. As the weather wasn't great, the beach was almost deserted. You can see the edge of the beach covered by mist in the distance.

Unfortunately it isn't clear in this photography, but there were several boats out on the horizon.

This is one of my Dad's favourite places, The Needles, Isle of Wight.

These were the steps leading down to a tunnel that lead to a look out post that looked over The Needles.

We had planned to visit a castle, also on the Isle of Wight, but it had closed. I thought the view from the entrance was amazing though.

While driving through the New Forest we were sheep and pig spotting. We came across, like always, a small herd of sheep blocking the road. But the pig, I spotted her rummaging around in the mud, we almost missed her.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Necessary Culling

Just seen how I have neglected my blog, over a week without a post, that's bad. I have a very good excuse though, I have been working non stop. But other than that I've been absorbing everything film.

This post will appeal to those to have huge collections of things, mainly movies, and have run out of space, meaning their addiction or collections cannot grow.

My November Watch List is looking bare, I only have two films on it and its already halfway through the month. Next week I look to rectify this but going to the cinema at least three times, or if I'm lacking funds, I will watch some films that are hidden away in my collection that I still haven't seen.

Last weekend, actually the weekend before that too, I began sorting out the boxes that were in my cupboards. Filled with things I couldn't sell or give away, but I had kept because I thought I could use them as props or for nostalgic reasons. It was time to get rid of everything I could. I seem to do this every so often. Get all my things out and then take out a fraction and put everything back into the cupboards and draws. Usually I am successful in this culling but now that its basically just paper and old magazines, I am stuck with the things I horde. I know my parents do the same but they never get rid of anything. I volunteered to do a necessary culling for them, but they declined.

When it comes to DVDs, books and mugs, I can't part with anything. But this time I had to, not to sell or anything like that but simply because there is no room at the inn anymore. I have stocked up all walls and shelve space. Boxsets have had to be moved upwards, sewing machines* have been banished to the loft and magazines have been thrown away (not Empire or Little White Lies). I looked through every book, decided if it would go or stay, same with DVDs. Mugs weren't going anywhere, I needed them in my argument with certain people who don't understand or appreciate a decent sized mug. They all have a purpose.

These are currently where I can store them. No more space, its insane. TV box sets are at the top too, double stacked.

In the end, only two DVDs went, 'See This Movie' and the Czech version of 'Living In Oblivion' (I didn't realise it was a Czech version, I bought the English one ages ago). The latter has Steve Buscemi in it so there was no way that going if I had only one copy, but i had two so it could be spared. As for 'See This movie', it had the promise of a great story but in fact it was just utter crap. Too long, not funny, bad acting, literally no proper story. It tried to make a point about filmmakers and didn't make a point about anything. Or maybe it did, that anybody can make a cack film. I really want those two hours I wasted, back.

The rest of the collection is safe, for now, until the next cull.

I may need more shelving. And a place to put the shelves. Maybe I should invest in a Beauty and the Beast type library, but with DVDs, that would be magical.

*I have one, its just the way I was writing.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

October Watch List

Sorry for the delay! Also there is a number missing, Frankenweenie bu it had its own post.

1. Queen of Versailles
I love the fact that documentaries are in cinemas more often now, seeing The Imposter on the big screen did have an impact. But with this one in particular, I would have been happy seeing this on TV. Saying that, the film was really good. It was about billionaire David Seigel and his wife Jackie and how they planned to build the biggest family home in America, using inspiration from Versailles itself. But when the recession hits, everything goes wrong financially, David has trouble keeping his business' afloat and they are forced to put their dream home on the market unfinished. The film is brilliant in the way it depicts all the family and the couple especially. There is a particular moment where Jackie, after the recession, goes back to her home town to see old friends. At the airport she hires a rental car and asks who her driver is. The man behind the counter looks at her disgusted and confused. She then realises that a driver doesn't come with a car. 4/5

2. All in Good Time
Based on the play, Rafta Rafta which played the National Theatre, the story is about the troubled relationship between Eeshwar and his son Atul. Atul and Vina are newly weds but are having trouble consummating their marriage. Atul's interfering father doesn't help. Its a short story and I can see why it would have made a better play. There are plenty of opportunities are long played out scenes that have been cut down to make it work for a film. The leads are great, wished we could see more on them on screen but the story was just ok. Funny in places but overall frustrating. At least there is a satisfying ending. 3/5

3. The Cabin in the Woods

I said I wouldn't see this in the cinema as I would get freaked out but after many people reassuring me I rented it and watched it late at night. Not a cool move. Luckily I was wrong and was scared some of the time. To be honest the only original reason why I wanted to see it was for Franz Kranz, actually Fran Kranz of Dollhouse fame. I needed to see Topher on screen again. You think you know the story, well you don't, as the whole this is a massive twist that the audience is in on, the characters are on the outside. Excellent concept. 5 friends go to stay in a cabin in the woods, that just screams horror film, strange things happen and monsters are released, really scary monsters. But they are being watched but an unknown company who are in charge of making a ritual happen. They need five sacrifices, the slut, the athlete, the scholar, the fool and the virgin (well sort of). Its a great story, the ending is a tad off but it has funny moments which make it all better, plus it has the key ingredient, Franz Kranz. I demand more Kranz!4/5
4. Taken 2
As there was nothing else at the cinema my friend and I watched this. It was unbelievably bad. The script was ridiculous and they stole the soundtrack from Drive. Complete crap. As far as story went, the people he killed last time, well they're families came after him and kidnapped him and his ex-wife. He got away quickly but kept leaving her, everywhere. Seriously, he left her so many times. It was up to the daughter to sort of save the day. The film was about an hour and a half but only 10 mins of story and actually felt like an hour to watch. Terrible film. 1/5 is being generous.

5. Casa Me Di Padre
Loved it. It was funny, it had my favourite Mexican actor, (Gael Garcia is awesome), the theme song was hilarious, it was in Spanish and it was like watching a telenovela. The story is about Armando Alveraz who has to protect his father's ranch from an evil drug lord. Fantastic idea, but the story wasn't super. Predictable, in a way and I thought the actress was annoying. When I heard about this film from Will Ferrel's biggest fan, I couldn't believe it but really wanted to see it as it was such a bizarre idea. I'm hoping that this film will encourage more people to see foreign films too after seeing it. Subtiltes do not get in the way of a film, this proves it to those doubters. 3/5
7. Lockout
Prison in space, that's right. If Luc Besson is involved, there has to be some kind of sci-fi/violent element to it. Framed criminal Snow has to go into the space prison to rescue the president's daughter who was captured after a prison riot while on a visit to see how the inmates were being treated. Great action film and I liked the idea of a prison in space, why did no one think of this? Guy Pearce is on top form as the severely sarcastic Snow, while he is not matched well with very annoying Maggie Grace who just needed to shut up for 80% of the film. The prison inmates were also very good, genuinely freaking scary but guess what they were all Scottish. Surprise surprise, Hollywood need criminals, and British actors fit the bill but these are your swarve villians these are hard as nails crazy thugs, so naturally they thought make them Scottish. It's really offensive that Hollywood need criminals, make them English, Irish or Scottish. Why not Welsh? That would be a change. Other than that, great! 3/5

8. Skyfall
Bringing Bond back! That's what it felt like anyway. First I was worried that the 12A rating was going to mean less violence but it was actually not bad at all. Loved the new (but old) characters, such as the amazing Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomi Harris as, well her name isn't revealed until the end so I won't spoil it. There is also a death that I have waited to see on screen for years but again I cannot say because its a glorious spoiler, but it was worth the wait that's all. Hints to the past 50 years of Bond was not over pratronising but welcomed. I am not a fan of Bond but I did love Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace was utter cack and Skyfall has redeemed the Bond name. It sounds strange but also loved how London was very much involved with the story. Skyfall itself, the place where Bond grew up was a nice touch too. In the trailers and teasers, it looked like it was a secret mission or something but instead, the family home. It gets completely destroyed at the end which is a shame but an amazing film. Bring on Bond 24. 4/5

9. Friends with Kids
  From the trailer I thought this film was going to be really funny, alas, it wasn't. The two funniest actors, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm were under used and their characters were lame. Chris O'Dowd should never do an American accent EVER. The two leads were good but everything about this film was just too serious. Everything 'go real' when everyone had children, everyone was so depressed or angry and I just couldn't enjoy this film. The story, two friends who are perfect for each other but aren't attracted to each other want a child so decide to have one together. Everything actually turns out fine until they start dating again. Not great but not awful either. 2/5

Sunday, 4 November 2012

"Let's turn on the juice and see what shakes loose"

(Quote from Beetelejuice)

I just thought I'd take a moment to write a random blog about Michael Keaton that I starting writing last year. This could be a distraction from the many prolonged fictional stories I have planned but not finished but I wanted to at least get this post published.

Anyway, on with Keaton! Five roles which I thought he was great in:

1. Beetlejuice, of course!

2. Henry Hackett - The Paper

3. Batman/Bruce Wayne

4. Billy Caufield - The Dream Team

5. Captain Gene Mauch - The Other Guys

But nothing can beat Beetlejuice. Why can't doesn't Tim Burton take another Johnny Depp d=break and work with his original (male) muse again, I'm sure they could come up with something amazing and weird.

Bang Bang Fizzle Fizzle

Friday night was fireworks night!!

Even though it wasn't bonfire night, that is on Monday, there was an amazing free fireworks display happening in Brockwell Park in Brixton.

Here is just a snippet of the amazing display. Sorry for the not so awesome quality.

After the display we all went looking for food and what did we find, apart from the usual waaaay overpriced burgers and beer, we found WAFFLES! My friend was very kind and leant me money (out of cash) so that I could enjoy the crazy waffle that was on a stick, strange but so delicious. Anyway enough about the waffles, more about the fireworks.

When the crowds were walking towards the light, it looked like we had all been hypnotised by the pretty lights or we looked like we were part of a cult of some sort.

It reminded me of the episode of 30 Rock when Jack pitches a one off show, NBC's Salute to Fireworks and it is an utter disaster. Hilarious.

Couldn't find a better clip, bu you get the idea.

Hope you all get to see some fireworks!

Remember remember the 5th of November . . .