Tuesday, 4 March 2014

February Film List

Fun fact! I actually saw a lot more films but chose to narrow it down to these 10. I am definitely keeping my late resolution, watching more films, way more films.

Lake Bell is one of my new heroes. She wrote, directed and starred in this indie masterpiece about a vocal coach who aspires to be a female trailer voiceover artist. Its a film that all women, who wish to creative, should see. It amusing and brilliant at the same time. At the end, you just want to punch the sky with delight. I liked that the story was about an industry, dominated by men was shown up for being so sexist. To be honest you could adapt this tale to many creative professions. Its not feminist to think that woman have a fair chance too and this film is in no way feminist, its just brilliant. 5/5

2. The Wolf of Wall Street

I heard an old couple, in their 70's discussing this film just after they had seen it and of all things they talked about on their bus ride home was Joanna Lumley and what she was doing in the film. I was warned of the excess of drug taking and the graphic sexual scenes, I was more taken back by the drugs, how did those guys stay alive? And none of the characters/real life people were nice, apart from Jordon Belfort's first wife and his father, otherwise, it was such an amazing film that was filled with excess beyond belief, yet there was barely any sympathetic characters. But, like the characters, I wanted more. I couldn't stop watching disaster unfold for these people, its was insane. Scorsese truly has outdone himself and Leo, alas poor Leo, still hanging on to that dream of winning an Oscar. He'll get one, but unfortunately, not for the right film. He should have won it this time. I fear that Leo will find it hard to follow this story of Jordan Belfort.

Don't know why but I find documentaries about ballerinas fascinating. This film was no different. The  is an annual gruelling competition where ballet dancers, aged 9-19 compete to get into the finals, held in New York city, where younger dancers try for awards and older dancers try to get a place in the most prestigious ballet companies around the world. The film concentrates on 6 dancers from around the world and follows their progress into the competition. Its amazing to see how hard these children and teens work, they are literally consumed by ballet and its really inspiring to see how mature they act about the fact they know they will have a short career and the pain they go through but they wouldn't do anything else. The dancers all have very different backgrounds which kept the film moving swiftly along, I loved it. 4/5

4.The To Do List

A comedy set in the 90's is now a period comedy. I grew up in the 90s and everything in this film, the clothes, the shows, the food, the way people are, I recall all of this. Its very weird, yet strangely comforting. Movies set in the 90s but made now, are great. Brandy (Plaza) about to go to college, shes very uptight and has only ever excelled academically. Now she decides she must master all sexual activities before college, so she makes a list. I admit, I laughed out loud several times during this film, the cast is just great, I love Johnny Simmons and Alia Shawkat most of all and now love Sarah Steele too. But, Aubrey Plaza, she was born to play April in Parks & Recreation but alas she can't really do much else. Although saying that, Safety Not Guaranteed, she mixed it up in that heart warming tale. Back to this very obvious sex comedy or comedy about sex, either or. Funny but predictable and its the side characters around the Plaza that make this good. Favourite moments were definitely in the cinema, the reactions are just hilarious. 3/5


I was told to see this film so many times by so many people, finally saw it after the hype. Two little girls are abducted on the street where they both live. A young man seen in a camper van close to the time the girls went missing is arrested but due to lack of evidence is released, this sparks of a whole lot of anguish, affected Hugh Jackman's character the most. This was good, definitely a thriller and I thought that all the characters, the four parents each reacted to the event in different ways, giving the story room to breathe. Jake Gyllenhaal is also believable as the detective in charge of the case, he felt like a new kind of detective, a rebel who does the right and legal thing. But, I felt two hours in, its a very long film, too long, that I had seen this film before. The ending, not the outcome, felt borrowed SPOILER ALERT as if it had been taken straight from The Vanishing, that annoyed me. 3/5

6.The Talented Mr Ripley

I remember when this film first came out, 1999. Matt Damon and Jude Law were not big names back then, not really anyway. It was brilliant film but I felt myself clutching my chest finding it hard to breathe as the events unfolded. Half way through, I just felt plain uneasy and the ending was tragic. I glad I finally got to see this because I think it really was as great people said it was back then. Chilling, sentimental and tragic, a film about the blandest person who creates such a great story about him. 4/5

7.Robot and Frank

Someone said this looked boring, I asked them is it because it had old people in it, they tried to change the subject and said no, it's because it romance. This film is not about romance. This film is a friendship, bonding, coming to terms with illness film. The friendship between Frank and Robot is so well crafted it almost moved me to tears, it was that well made. It felt like the calmest crime film ever made. I also thought the way the characters are weaved in the story and into Frank's life was done so well, the ending is even more heartbreaking, I can't explain any further without ruining it. I think this is the alternative alzheimer's drama and better than an out right one. 4/5


A love story by Spike Jonze, an  winning story, is a beautiful thing. Known for adaptions or making Charlie Kaufman films, this is a beautifully crafted story, so simple and yet so deep and although you never see the other person in this love story, it does matter, you really feel the emotion. The power of voice. Spike Jonze was the director who made me cry in the cinema after years, not joking, years. But that was Where the Wild Things Are. Her made me smile and feel hope, plus I would stare intently at any screen where Joaquin Phoenix was. He is perfect as Theodore, the lonely writer of hand crafted letters he is the author of but writes on other people's behalf. A simple story, man falls in love with his computer operating system would sound like a comedy but after seeing this film, I can't think of anything more serious and in parts, romantic. And by the way I usually steer clear of romantic films. 5/5

9. Irma LaDouce

Saw this film in the sale, Jack Lemmon directed by Billy Wilder, you can't go wrong. Jack Lemmon was a brilliant actor, I wish we could get him back. The story is funny, set in Paris, Lemmon plays a by the book policeman so when he accidentally raids a hotel full of hookers, one of which is with his boss, he loses his job and meet Irma (Shirley MacLaine). They fall in love but Nestor (Lemmon) is jealous so hatches a plan, play a rich old English gent, borrowing money from the bartender who has too many stories to tell, and become her only customer. But then Nestor ends up working all morning at the market to make the money. Lemmon does an excellent English gent impression, its uncanny. Typical Wilder comedy, makes a little more original setting it in Paris, like the original play. Its funny and can't say it enough, its to Lemmon. 4/5

10. The Monuments Men

I enjoyed this true life story about a group of men who, during WW2 were tasked with protecting art, in some parts it was moving. I don't think this film sat well with most who were expecting an war time Oceans' Eleven. Its about war and the people who lost their lives and its about art, protecting art. I enjoyed it for the right reasons. A superb cast, standout moment was a scene with Bill Murray and Bob Balaban in German farm house talking to a Nazi officer, brilliantly acted. It was a different kind of war film, I had never even known about this group protecting the art, you ever seem to hear about the art that the Nazi's stole or destroyed. It was not meant to be fun and games as people expected. It was a well told story about real people. 3/5


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