Saturday, 2 February 2013

January: Hit Miss or Maybe

Anyone remember that TV show/segment that was on ages ago that was called 'Hit Miss or Maybe'? No? Well to be honest I can't recall if it were a dating show or review show or what, but I will be changing my monthly film list. Inspired by that segment, my posts will follow this structure! 

1. Kung Fu Panda 2

I loved the first film, who doesn't love a panda that can do kung fu and eat noodles at the same time? This film was more serious. The story is about a mass murdering, kung fu expert peacock voiced by the ultimate villain, Gary Oldman. He is back for revenge against kung fu (that I don't really understand) and The Furious Five plus the Dragon Warrior defend it. Along side this plot, Po's origin story is also explained, as it it obvious he was adopted by a duck and there has been no other panda sightings in the films. The story was extremely sad, especially for a children's film but still a fantastic sequel. HIT

2. Quartet

Films featuring older British actors are all the rage right now thanks to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I didn't like that films at all, too much Dench and Nighy. But this film, directed by Dustin Hoffman and featuring four award winning older British actors (Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connelly) as famour opera singers, was a sight better. I like all the actors in the film, literally, all of them, main cast and supporting cast. The story could be a slight sentimental but was great fun. Plus it was approved by my Nan. HIT

3. The Aviator

I had wanted to see this biopic of sorts about the great and crazy Howard Hughes, mostly because of its old Hollywood connection and partly because I was intrigued. Unfortunately I was bored. The acting was ok, it wasn't Leonardo DiCaprio's best work at all, Cate Blanchett annoyed me greatly and I was confused with the timeline of things. I got more information from various internet sites about Howard Hughes history. I studied one of his films at A Level, The Outlaw, and wanted to know more, I did not need to see the film. Fair enough it was about his aviation years mostly which didn't interest me but I just thought it was too long for the subject matter. MISS

4. Stay

Having never heard of this film before it was a pleasant and disturbing surprise to see as part of the Ryan Gosling season on Film 4. The story was seen from the point of view of Ewan McGregor's psychiatrist but it was Gosling's disturbed art student's story. If that makes any sense. Having tried to work out the twist at the end and praying that it wasn't a 'it was all a dream/we're the same person' scenario, I was surprised by the really sad ending. The twist was really good, but it made some of the plot unnecessary. The title of the film will also become clear at the end. Worth watching if you like the actors and strange thrillers. MAYBE

5. Fracture

The film is about Anthony Hopkins who kills his wife after finding out about her affair, but he the hides the evidence that could convict him. As he says to Ryan Gosling's lawyer 'I killed my wife, prove it' so he does, at least he tries to prove it. There was lots of court room scenes with plenty of lawyer talk mixed with a boring subplot about Gosling getting a new job. I was expecting more from it. I enjoyed it though, not really a film you could have on in the background though. MAYBE

6. Les Miserables

I admit, I dislike most of the main cast, but I had wanted to see Les Mis on the stage for years. My Dad had promised but alas it didn't happen so instead we saw it at the cinema. Absolutely amazing! The music was fantastic, scenery, costumes, actors (except Anne Hathaway) were all brilliant (ok, Hathaway sang her song well, but that's it). If anyone makes a musical in the future, which I'm sure they will, they should take note of the choice to record the actors live. It makes the acting and emotions from the songs more believable and heartbreaking. Tom Hooper is a director I admire after two amazing costume dramas now (The King's Speech), I can't wait to see whats next. His epic telling of the poor in French revolution times is amazing and if you don't cry or at least well up at some point, you must be made of stone! HIT

7. Gangster Squad

Set in the 50's about a a group of cops who take of their badges to form the squad of the title so they fight real life character Mickey Cohen, crime lord of LA. The story loosely based on true facts got me hooked, plus Ryan Gosling was in it (his name has been appearing lot in this post). The reviews weren't great and for some parts I can see why, but I really loved it. Yes the pointless cheesy voice overs ruined the ending and the relationship between Emma Stone and Gosling wasn't really convincing and not to mention Gosling's voice was unusually high, it was an excellent period piece. Rogue cops shooting guns, taking back their city from a violent crime lord/drug baron was a great trip to the cinema. HIT

8. Django Unchained

From start to finish I was laughing. Tarantino back to what he does best, expect his god awful scene where he tries to act again. He should just stay behind the camera. I read in a review that the supporting actors out shine Django, Jamie Foxx, and I have to agree. He's good but frustrating. Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio was electric, very funny and play their parts so well, I demand a spin off, but for those who has seen it, you know there will never be one. Some people who have seen this, didn't like the film, but when the reason was that it was too rascist, I can't help but say 'its a film, set in the time when people actually talked liked that, you need to look past that'. The soundtrack was brilliant too and I enjoyed a cameo from the original Django, an Italian actor who wore a mask in his films, see if you can spot him. HIT

9. Lincoln

I can see why there is fuss being made of Daniel Day-Lewis, he is a brilliant actor, but I'm not sure about this film. We all know that slavery was abolished and at times it was tense but ultimately, we all know the ending. It was fun saying, in every scene, 'oh my god its that guy from...' but I don't think my sister appreciated that. Both Django and Lincoln are about slavery but out of the two of them, I'd see Django again. It felt too over blown. It had been made a big deal of and then the film felt like an anti climax. MAYBE

10. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

 I do love my 30's dramas especially centered around romantic drama and this one involved a pet tortoise. Dolly is about to get married, very suddenly, but who should arrive but Joseph, her lover from the summer. Now she has to decide what shes going to do. Everyone in this film is prim and proper, exactly how I like these films. But the fact that Dolly's mother disapproves of Joseph confused me as there was no real reason why. He was a nice guy, he was a professor and had a good family and all that. Even the outburst at the end didn't explain anything other than Dolly's habits. That aside I liked this story and made me think I should read the book, might be more in it. Its only a MAYBE because of the ending, but as it is based on a book, you can;t expect them to change the ending.

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