Batman Begins (2005) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

24 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Luke of Oracle Of Film. Luke has a “Question Of The Month” series which is always a fun read and I was one of many to answer this month’s question HERE. He’s also taken on the huge responsibility of reviewing Christopher Nolan’s entire Batman trilogy (Zoe was NOT happy that Luke beat her to these so she’s grabbed another huge trilogy as well). I’ll be posting Luke’s review for The Dark Knight this same time next Thursday. First let’s hear his thoughts on Batman Begins, IMDB rank 103 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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BATMAN BEGINS: THE REVIEW

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkinson, Linus Roache and Morgan Freeman
Plot: When his parents are brutally shot dead, Bruce Wayne (Bale) gets lost in his grief, emerging at the other side as the infamous Batman.

Batman had finally escaped the comics.

I know that Batman has had movies made about him before, but they had always kept both feet firmly planted in their comic book origins. Tim Burton twisted the graphic novel to create a gloomy, gothic atmosphere, ripped straight from the pages of a Frank Miller fantasy. Joel Schumacher had taken the slapstick nature of the comics, also harkening back to the Adam West days. However, Christopher Nolan realised that, in order to survive, Batman needed to fly further from his comfort zone. Therefore, he took this beloved comic book figure and throw him in the real world. This is Gotham City, as we have never seen it before. Filming the city using actual London boroughs, the dark, gloomy streets of this deadly, fictional city could very easily be a place not far from you, albeit the worst-case scenario. It makes the dread that all Gothamites fear, so very real. Certain parts of town are so dangerous, people give themselves a curfew that they need to follow or wind up dead. Not only the location, but the characters feel real. Bruce Wayne’s evolution, while never too big a problem originally, is far more relatable, helped by a powerhouse performance as Christian Bale, the orphan boy always moments away from exploding with the rage dangerously bubbling inside of him. Alfred and Commissioner Gordon have always felt like add-ons in the movies; they need to be there, because they are an important part of the mythology, but who actually wants to spend time with them. Nolan reinvents them, so they actually matter here, affecting the story more than they ever used to. Taking this idea further, Nolan also throws in Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, a Batman ally long forgotten, because he is the easiest to cut out of the origin story.

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And Batman Begins is all about the origin story. If I wanted to find a flaw with the movie, I would go with the fact that Nolan does drown us in exposition for almost half the movie, as we get the beginnings of Batman slowed right down and explored extensively. However, despite my dislike for lengthy origin stories, especially ones almost every movie-fan knows like the back of their hand, I cannot bring myself to count this as a flaw. Here, we get Bruce Wayne explored so well, I feel closer to the character than I ever have before. Usually, Bruce Wayne gets brushed to the side, so the director can spend more time with the masked alter-ego, but Nolan never does this. Not only do we get the usual strands of story, like the death of his parents in Crime Alley, but Nolan actually goes to great lengths to explain how he got so good at martial arts. There is also a break-away segment, where we discover how Bruce Wayne grew up so against killing, yet it never feels pointless, because we are also introduced to one of three main antagonists, Carmine Falcone. Yes, there is so much information to take in, and those fans wanting a more slap-and-dash action-packed superhero movie might be better off drifting back to the Tim Burton era, but personally, I feel that Nolan makes Batman Begins more than a superhero movie; he makes a gripping character piece.

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Ironically, seeing as I just contradicting this following point above, Batman Begins is probably the most generic action movie of the entire trilogy. While The Dark Knight sees Nolan tackle deeper themes and begin to create a lasting trilogy arc, Batman Begins just enjoys being a Batman movie. Sure, the gritty realism slows the action down, but there is a clever action movie narrative going on. We get the origin story, the city run by multiple villains, which all accumulates into a terrific finale battle, where half of Gotham gets overrun by inmates from Arkham Asylum, all led by the murderous villain (if you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil the reveal for you). But yes, Batman Begins seems like a time, before Nolan saw the bigger picture, before he decided upon turning this story into a trilogy. Here, he just visualises the Batman universe he wanted and paints it beautifully for audiences everywhere to enjoy.

Final Verdict: Batman has never been so perfectly depicted on the big screen. Deep, realistic, yet still a worthy action: Christopher Nolan ticks every box.

Five Stars

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My Top Thirty TV Shows (20-11)

23 04 2014

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Okay – so I’ve already posted 30-21 of My Top Thirty TV Shows HERE. I was surprised at the great response that post got and am really looking forward to posting my Top Ten on Friday. And, wow – a lot of you sure loved Quantum Leap! :-)

So here, counting down, are 20-11 of My All-Time Top Thirty TV Shows. (My Top Ten will be posted on Friday. I think my Top Five may be a little unexpected)

20. Frasier

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When they made this Cheers spin-off, I was surprised they’d chosen Frasier as the Cheers character they thought should have his own show. But it worked! Loved the relationships with his father & his brother. And dog. And that manky old chair. What a great show.

19. M*A*S*H

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Who didn’t love these characters?? This was on every evening after the news when I was in my mid-teens & I watched every single one. **SPOILER**: I still won’t name names but that was one of the MOST depressing TV deaths ever. I may have cried a little… :-(

18. The Golden Girls

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Admit it – these women RULE! My favorite will always be sweet & dumb Rose. Betty White is possibly the coolest woman EVER – I worship her. I’m very sad she’s the only “Golden Girl” left. Also loved Sophia and all her rude remarks, especially about that “slut” Blanche. Lol! And her relationship with Dorothy was always so loving & hilarious at the same time. I’ll shut up now… I just loved these ladies. :-)

17. The Simpsons

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I’ll admit that I haven’t watched The Simpsons religiously for at least ten years now. Supposedly it’s not as good as it used to be anyway? Hey – who cares? How many people could keep making something THAT good for SO long? The Simpsons gave us such iconic characters and the world is a better place for having Homer Simpson in it.

16. South Park

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Yes, I have this above The Simpsons although I think that’s the better show overall. Similar to The Simpsons, South Park has had some pretty dodgy episodes and isn’t as great as it used to be. But when they get an episode right, they get it VERY right and nothing else makes me laugh quite as much.

15. Doctor Who

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Chill out, Eric – top 15 isn’t bad! ;-) This has the potential to move further up the list if I ever see more. I moved to the UK a while before the Christopher Ecclestone ones started up so that’s where I started. I LOVED him and then ended up loving David Tennant even more. Then came the Matt Smith ones and it all went very downhill for me… Hopefully it gets better again. In the meantime, yes – I need to make a start on some older ones. I know, Eric. I know… Lol. I will say I love the stories and the characters and it’s amazing how this show keeps going. I totally understand the love for it.

14. Star Trek

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It was hard to know where to place this one. I probably “like” some of the shows I’ve already mentioned more than I actually like the original Star Trek series. But you have to credit this for the start of, well, something pretty great. The movies (that I’ve seen) and the other shows (that I actually liked more)… Shit – does that give something away? ;-) It looked a little dodgy but the writing was fantastic!

13. Friends

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Okay – I know there will be some “Friends Haters”. I was almost going to say this was a “guilty pleasure” but, screw it – Why make excuses? It was a HUGELY popular show so clearly these characters really worked for lots of people. Joey & Phoebe were my favorites (I always love the dumb ones). Like all the most successful shows, we grew to know these characters so well that it was almost like they were real. I liked Friends! And I know some of the rest of you did too. But, WOW – this thing looks soooo “90s” when you watch reruns now! (Yeah, I had a Rachel haircut at the time. So sue me). ;-)

12. The Muppet Show

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It’s THE MUPPETS! Do I really need to explain myself? I’m not going to. :-)

11. 21 Jump Street

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Showing my age again. Younger people won’t QUITE realize JUST how freaking cool the young Johnny Depp was. This show was loads of fun (Cops pretending to be teenagers & going undercover in high schools? HELL YEAH! That was awesome!) but it really was Johnny Depp who made this show what it was. It wasn’t at all surprising when he went onto bigger things and the show definitely suffered after he left. Favorite episode: When Tom Hanson (Depp) had to protect a teenage boy who was HIV-positive. The show got pretty heavy at times – I don’t think it got the credit it deserved. Hmm… Maybe I should have been listing my favorite episodes all along.

Oh well – maybe I will for Friday’s top ten… See you then! :-)

The Golden Girls: The Best Of Rose Nylund





Question Of The Month: Best Movie Quote

22 04 2014

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I’ve answered another great “Question Of The Month” from Luke over at Oracle Of Film. Click this link HERE to go check out lots of great answers to this month’s question: “What is your favourite movie quote of all time?“. Yes, my answer has to do with the above picture, although it’s only one of MANY favorite quotes of mine. Luke asked a pretty impossible question for us movie geeks! ;-)

Thanks for letting me join in, Luke! I look forward to the next question. :-)





North By Northwest (1959) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

22 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Niall of Raging Fluff. Thanks so much for contributing to these IMDB reviews, Niall! :-) Now let’s see what he has to say about Alfred Hitchcock classic North By Northwest, IMDB rank 42 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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***SPOILERS THROUGHOUT***

North by Northwest (1959)

Number of Times Seen: Too many to recall

Synopsis: A Madison Avenue ad executive, Roger Thornhill, is mistaken by enemy spies as CIA agent George Kaplan, a man who doesn’t even exist. Or, as the publicity had it, “it’s a deadly game of ‘tag’ … and Cary Grant is ‘it’!”

My Take: Should obviously be seen by Hitchcock completists and fans of Cary Grant, but should also be essential viewing for anyone interested in editing and scoring.

First, let’s get the film’s flaws out of the way. At 136 minutes, it’s far too long. James Mason as the villain is unfortunately given far too little screen time. The famous finale at Mount Rushmore is, for me, not as exciting as I think it could be, and several of the effects shots are rather shoddy. The filmmakers were prohibited from filming on top of the real Mount Rushmore. The plot itself doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny, and the famous crop-dusting scene – brilliant though it is – is the most ludicrous way to dispose of someone: wouldn’t it be easier to just drive by and shoot him?

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All that aside, it is still wonderfully enjoyable and holds up to repeated viewing. It’s a great piece of romantic suspense cinema. Director Alfred Hitchcock turned down the suggestion of Cyd Charisse as the girl, casting Eva Marie Saint instead, and we should be happy that the hero is played by smooth Cary Grant instead of drawling James Stewart, who was the original choice.

Screenwriter Ernest Lehman was originally hired to adapt The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes, but finally admitted to Hitchcock he simply couldn’t do it without turning it into “a boring courtroom drama”. Hitchcock told Lehman they would simply work on something else; the studio brass couldn’t believe their luck, thinking they were going to get two Hitchcock films for the price of one. In the end, Hitchcock passed on the Innes story to others, and he and Lehman focused on North by Northwest. Film fans should be grateful: we got, in Lehman’s words, “the Hitchcock film to end all Hitchcock films”, and The Wreck of the Mary Deare is seldom remembered.

North by Northwest is a marvellous, breezy and confident retread of the best of Hitchcock, combining parts of The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much. It has many of Hitchcock’s great touches: a fantastic score by Bernard Hermann, a brilliant title sequence by Saul Bass, an ice-cold blonde, a suave villain, a powerful mother-figure, and a shallow, sophisticated big-city hero caught in a story of intrigue that will put him in peril in a sequence of masterful set-pieces.

TITLE SEQUENCE:

He’s a shallow, possibly unlikable character, Roger O. Thornhill: R.O.T. (“What does the O stand for?” “Nothing.”) He begins the film as a man in total control, a 1950s movie idea of success, a smooth-talking, twice-divorced adman, dapper in his grey suit, without conscience or guilt, dictating instructions to his secretary that include buying kiss-off gifts to girls. For reference, let’s say he’s closer to Roger Sterling than Don Draper. By the end, he’ll have been almost killed several times, start an affair with a beautiful double agent, beginning with one of the sexiest conversations in cinema, have hung off Mount Rushmore (a working title for the film was ‘The Man in Lincoln’s Nose’), and finally be successfully married.

It wouldn’t work if the man wasn’t handsome and charming Cary Grant, but because it’s him, and because many of the dramatic scenes are played as high comedy, the film bounces along on its own sense of ridiculousness. He’s abducted by a couple of heavies and transported to a Long Island mansion. “Not that I mind a slight case of abduction now and then, but I have tickets for the theatre this evening.”

They pour a vat of bourbon into him and put him behind the wheel, hoping he’ll drive off a cliff. He doesn’t, and when the police arrest him for drunk-driving, he calls his mother from the jailhouse. “They poured a whole bottle of bourbon into me … No, they didn’t give me a chaser.” Thornhill’s mother (Jessie Royce Landis, in real life the same age as Grant) doesn’t believe his abduction story. She’s almost as joyously reckless as he is. When they’re in a lift beside the thugs, she turns to them and cheerfully asks, “you gentleman aren’t really trying to kill my son, are you?”

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Of course Thornhill calls his mother. He still lives with her. He is still essentially a child, even if he is a ladies’man. Mind you, he’s the one who gets seduced by the beautiful Eve Kendall (Eva Marie-Saint). She turns out to be the mistress of the chief villain, but also a double agent. Their romantic meeting on the train has been copied several times, most recently in the forgettable The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

The villain, Van Damm, is James Mason, and to watch he and Grant together, trading witticisms in their beautiful voices, is one of the great pleasures of film-watching. Mason casually says, “the least I can do is afford you the opportunity of surviving the evening.” Van Damm’s chief henchman is played by a nervous-looking Martin Landau, who plays the role with a hint of homosexuality: at one point he asserts his “woman’s intuition.”

The villains think Thornhill is a man called George Kaplan, who it turns out doesn’t exist. He’s a fiction created by the CIA as a decoy so the bad guys don’t realise that the real CIA agent is right under their nose. The McGuffin – only revealed at the end – is some microfilm they’re trying to smuggle out of the country. Having failed to kill him in the car, they try again, luring him to an Iowa cornfield, where they try to kill him with a crop-duster. The reasons for the scene makes very little sense, but it’s so brilliantly conceived and constructed – nearly six minutes of silence before anything happens – and the fact that it’s urbane Cary Grant in a nice suit being chased by a plane in the middle of nowhere, make it unforgettable. If you want to study how effective direction, editing and music score can be when combined correctly, watch that scene repeatedly.

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As with much of Hitchcock, the film has to do with his own fears. He distrusted authority and was afraid of the police. The crop-dusting scene works in part because its setting induces agoraphobia: no matter which direction you look, all you see is a flat expanse of nothingness extending to the horizon. The film also has a lot to do with the suave and charming persona of “Cary Grant”. It was their fourth film together. He was 55 when he filmed North by Northwest – getting up there, but still something of a romantic lead – and some have read his journey in the film as a journey through his career. It’s an interesting idea: at times you can see the Grant of Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, and The Philadelphia Story. There’s a wonderful moment where he breaks into a hospital room and wakes up a woman. She screams “Stop!” Then she gets a good look at him, melts and breathes “Stop…?”

Some other moments worth noting: the opening shot of the side of a skyscraper reflecting the traffic; the incredible overhead shot of the plaza in front of the United Nations building; the schoolboy joke of the train going into the tunnel that ends the film.

As enjoyable as North by Northwest is, I’d probably still choose to watch Hitchcock’s The Thirty-Nine Steps first. It treads similar ground with verve, wit and economy (a mere 81 minutes), and is beautifully filmed in black and white, instead of the rather lurid technicolour of the 1950s.

Niall McArdle

Follow Niall’s Blog – Raging Fluff

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The Fifth Element Art Poster

22 04 2014

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Sweet! This poster was created by artist Kilian Eng of DW Design. I’ve posted the alternate color version. See the other poster here: GeekTyrant





Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen Play The Newlywed Game

22 04 2014

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I love these two so much! They’re so adorable. I love checking Patrick Stewart’s Twitter for new pictures of this “couple”. How cute is the one above??: Phoneboxes

Anyway! It looks like I’m late to the party on this but I had to share it anyway because it’s so sweet & hilarious. Here are Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen playing The Newlywed Game. :-)





My Top Thirty TV Shows (30-21)

21 04 2014

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In recent years, I’ve found that I have less & less time to devote to watching TV shows. Plus, half the time I start watching a new show, it’s cancelled after one season & I’m pissed off at having wasted my time. So when I have any spare time these days, I watch a movie instead and, of course, that’s what 90% of this blog is all about anyway. But I LOVED TV as a kid! And I still make time for the occasional show (The Walking Dead & The Good Wife are the main two that I currently watch). So many movie bloggers have been posting about TV shows lately and I feel really left out as I don’t watch them (Game Of Thrones being the main one. I’ll make the time someday, people!). So I figured I’d do a top ten of my all-time favorite TV shows. Well, it turns out that I wasn’t able to narrow it down to only ten. So…

Here, counting down, are 30-21 of My All-Time Top Thirty TV Shows. (Stay tuned for 20-11 being posted on Wednesday and 10-1 on Friday, by which point you’ll be sick of me). :-)

30. Highlander

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I liked it! Duncan was hot (even though the ponytail was kind of weird). And you have to admit the show was better than all but the first movie…

29. Fawlty Towers

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My first introduction to a British TV show after moving to the UK (Monty Python doesn’t count – all Americans have seen that). It was close between including this one or Only Fools & Horses. Both are great but I think this one is slightly better.

28. The Wonder Years

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I think a very big part of the reason I liked this was that it made me think of Stand By Me, one of my favorite movies ever. And I loved the time period in which it was set. Plus the music was great!

27. The X-Files

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I couldn’t WAIT to see this every week. But I have to admit I got bored with the overall “alien abduction” storyline and far preferred the individual stories about other weird & wonderful shit.

26. My Name Is Earl

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This. Show. Is. Freaking. Hilarious. I don’t find many things all that funny and this was the first “sitcom” I’d liked in YEARS. I miss good sitcoms. Plus they’re short – I have time for that!

25. Quantum Leap

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This show had the BEST concept! Well executed as well. Very original. And I love shows with such different stories each week. Such a fun watch.

24. Growing Pains

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Leave me alone. Being the age I am, I’d be a complete liar if I didn’t include this. Hehehe… “Boner”…

23. The Facts Of Life

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Again, it’s my age talking but I LOVED this show! I wanted to BE Jo. Jo was cool.

22. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

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So many classic skits (and many bad ones, just like with SNL). But the good ones are brilliant, making us forget all the rest.

21. Saturday Night Live

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Since moving to the UK over a decade ago, I no longer see this as it isn’t shown here. We all have our favorite SNL years, mostly according to our age. My favorite years were, naturally, the ones that brought us WAYNE’S WORLD and two of my all-time favorite characters. Like with Monty Python above, SNL has made some utter shite over the years but the classic skits more than make up for those not-so-funny ones.

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**As I said above, I’ll be posting 20-11 on Wednesday and 10-1 on Friday. As usual, I’ll have IMDB Top 250 Guest Reviews on Tuesday & Thursday. One is of a Hitchcock classic & one is the first movie that’s part of a beloved trilogy. The same blogger has reviewed all three, which I’ll post over the next three weeks. This IMDB thing has been so much fun – thanks again to everyone who has contributed! :-)





Mondo Poster Art for Jaws by Cesar Moreno

21 04 2014

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Nice! This Jaws poster was made by artist Cesar Moreno for Mondo. Link HERE.

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My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies

18 04 2014

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Haha! WTF? I got this picture HERE.

I’m going to be CRUCIFIED for this list! So, in the spirit of Good Friday… Let’s do this. ;-)

The fabulous Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are posted her Top Ten Nicolas Cage Roles (list HERE) and I was all “I don’t really like Nicolas Cage”. Then of course Eric of The IPC came by and was all “You suck! I hate you! I worship Nicolas Cage! Our friendship is OVER!”. Then Abbi said I should do my own Top Ten. So, screw it – I have! Remember I’m not a huge Cage fan and my list is my favorite movies he’s been, not my favorite roles of his. I don’t hate him – I just don’t exactly love him. Jesus – I’m going to get in more trouble over this list than I did for leaving Saving Private Ryan off My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies (a list I did HERE for the lovely Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger).

*deep breath*

Here we go….

My Top Ten Nicolas Cage Movies (counting down from ten) *going into hiding now*

10. The Croods

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9. National Treasure

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8. Adaptation

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7. Matchstick Men

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6. Leaving Las Vegas

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5. City Of Angels

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4. The Rock

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3. It Could Happen To You

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2. Con Air

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1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High

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(hahaha! yes, I know – he’s barely even IN my number one choice… sorry!)

Honorable Mentions:
Guarding Tess
Honeymoon In Vegas
The Family Man
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
Peggy Sue Got Married
Face/Off
Werewolf Women Of The SS ;-)

Not Seen and/or Saw Part Of But Don’t Remember Much: *ducks*
Raising Arizona
Moonstruck
Wild At Heart
Bringing Out The Dead
Rumble Fish

Don’t Like:
Kick-Ass
Drive Angry (but Amber Heard is hot)
8MM
Snake Eyes

Not Sure How I Feel About:
Knowing
Gone In Sixty Seconds
Next





See The Cast Of Say Anything Then And Now

18 04 2014

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Yep – I LOVE Say Anything. I know I’m getting to be totally predictable and anyone who knows me & the age I am will have guessed that I love Say Anything. Like Jake Ryan, the sweet & perfect Lloyd Dobler also ruined boyfriends for me for life. The movie is now 25 years old (man I feel old!). Here are some “then & now” photos of the cast. You can see these and more here: ScreenCrush.

John Cusack

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Ione Skye (Donovan’s daughter! I love Donovan…)

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Lili Taylor

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(I’ve always loved Lili Taylor, especially in Say Anything. Loved seeing her in the actually-very-good-horror-movie The Conjuring! I reviewed that HERE).





Twelve Monkeys (1995) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

17 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Eric of The IPC. He’s already done a bonkers review of Se7en (which you can read HERE) and now he’s back to give us another review in typical Eric-style. ;-) Thanks so much for joining in on this IMDB thing, Eric! Now let’s see what he has to say about Twelve Monkeys, IMDB rank 180 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

12 MONKEYS – 1995

We’ve all seen 12 MONKEYS, right? RIGHT??? RIGHT???!!!??? Well, since we’ve all seen it at least 30 times, I recently constructed a highly safe, comfortable, humane movie theater and screened it for twelve monkeys who hadn’t seen it. Using my high tech and professional recording devices, let’s see what they had to say.

Subject 1: Babboo Jones

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That was pretty good, Meester. That was made by Terry Gilliam?? The Monty Python guy?? Not bad, I need to see some more of his shit. Can I get my fucking bananas now???

Subject 2: Peepers “Stinky Butt” Brown

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They “live underground like worms?????” YIKES!! Also – LOL!!! “You are the most bootiful woman I have ever seen” HAHAHAHAHA!!! Even I can spell better than that I’m a shit eating monkey!!!!

Subject 3: Johnny “Stinkfinger” Harris

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Remember when Brad Pitt was cool?? Remember when he’d do character stuff like this?? Now he’s all ‘I’m fuckin’ Brad Pitt!! Look at my woman’s hair!!!” and shit. What a dope. OOOPS, sorry, just farted.

Subject 4: Daniel Isaacs (no relation)

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Time Travel, eh? Interesting. I like how it’s new for them and it’s not always correct. Hey – was that Arthur Dent?? The original one. From the TV show.

Subject 5: Raul Buena Vista De La Munoz

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What the fuck is that smell coming from the break room??? It smells like broccoli and SHIT. Excuse me for a minute.

Subject 6: Caitlynn “Like A Whisper” Simpson-Bonilla

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I like how we had to look at Bruce Willis’ butt. Not once but TWICE! MEEEEEEOOOOOW PUSSYCAT!!!

Subject 7: (name redacted)

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DID HE JUST EAT A FUCKING SPIDER??!?!!!??????!!!!

Subject 8: Lisa “The Angel” Scheueczk

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I really liked how it ended with the ki – DID I JUST HEAR A GUNSHOT?????!?!

(audible screams from outside screening room)

I have blood on my hands…. I HAVE BLOOD ON MY HANDS!!!!!!

Subject 9: Phillip “The Distance” Fudge (that’s really his last name)

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“The boy is hiding in a barn” CLASSIC!!

Subject 10: Jeffrey “Bleeding Gums” Johnson

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This is a total Sci-Fi classic – all the way! Great acting and story telling! I’m VERY hungry. VERY.

Subject 11: Jimmy “The Schnozz” Durante

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Where’s the fucking food??? HA CHA CHA CHA CHA CHA.

NOTE: At this point the subjects were becoming unruly due to lack of feeding. The Alpha soon took charge.

Subject 12: BRIAN @ HARD TICKET TO HOME VIDEO

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EAT SHIT ISAACS!!! HERE COMES A KNUCKLE BALL!!!! (flings a handful of fresh poop)

And with that, the session ended and I was left with quite a mess to clean up.

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**Terry Gilliam has called 12 Monkeys “part of a dystopian satire trilogy or Orwellian triptych” begun with Brazil and ending with The Zero Theorem. Without meaning to, I guess Eric & I have recently reviewed this “trilogy”. You can read his review of Brazil HERE and my review of The Zero Theorem HERE.





The Zero Theorem (2013) Review

16 04 2014

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The Zero Theorem (2013) (what?? it just came out in the UK!)

Directed by Terry Gilliam

Starring:
Christoph Waltz
Mélanie Thierry
David Thewlis
Lucas Hedges
Matt Damon
Tilda Swinton
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Peter Stormare
Ben Whishaw
Dana Rogoz

Running time: 107 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Zero Theorem is a 2013 science fiction film that centres on Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz), a reclusive computer genius working on a formula to determine whether life holds meaning. Terry Gilliam has called it the final part of a dystopian satire trilogy or “Orwellian triptych” begun with 1985′s Brazil and continued with 1995′s 12 Monkeys.

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My Opinion:

I’ll be honest – I’m too stupid for this movie. I’m also taking a bit of a break from reviewing movies but felt I should get this one out there (especially as we have a fun guest review coming tomorrow for another Terry Gilliam movie. In fact, one of the three of the “dystopian satire trilogy” Gilliam named above, of which The Zero Theorem is the final part). As Gilliam films are very artistic & fun to look at (and confusing), this “review” is going to be full of images from the film. Here’s a cool one (not great quality – it was fun seeing the different signs in the film):

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First off: Christoph Waltz is in this. I love him. I admit that the hubby kind of had to drag me to this movie but, when I saw that Waltz was the star, he didn’t have to try QUITE so hard to get me into the cinema. I ended up enjoying this movie more than I’d expected to and that was all down to the actors & the look of the film.

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As well as Waltz, we have the very sexy French actress Mélanie Thierry. She bares a lot of skin in this and wears outfits like the one below, which should keep a lot of male (and some female) viewers happy. I ended up really liking her character, who ends up being deeper than you first expect her to be.

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Then we had the young Lucas Hedges, who I also thought did a great job in this. He, Waltz & Thierry were the highlights of the film. I enjoyed their characters which, to me, is always very important in order for me to like a movie. The typical quirky types of characters you always get from Gilliam were played by David Thewlis in a fairly big supporting role and Matt Damon & Tilda Swinton in smaller but fun roles (especially Swinton’s – I kind of really like that crazy-ass woman. She seems like she’d be a blast to hang out with in real life. And she looks like David Bowie, the coolest person EVER).

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So Christoph Waltz is trying to figure out if life has meaning and it’s driving him mad and blah blah quirky characters and yada yada cool science-looking stuff and ooh la la sexy French chick. And what’s with Terry Gilliam & bald heads??

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Summary:

Basically, if you love Terry Gilliam, you’ll be perfectly happy with this film and I’d totally recommend it to you. If you hate him, avoid this. It’s very “him”. I had fun watching it, it gives you some food for thought if you like that sort of thing and, if you don’t, it’s cool to look at. That’s it, really. If you’re looking at this being part of some sort of “trilogy”, it’s the weakest compared to Brazil & 12 Monkeys but it’s been so long since I’ve seen those that I can’t fully comment. Time for a re-watch of both of those, I think…

My Rating: 6.5/10

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finger





The Green Mile (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

15 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Zoe is loving this IMDB project – she’s already reviewed The Departed (which you can read HERE) and she’s planning on doing more! (And may have done another one already…) ;-) Thanks so much for the reviews, Zoe!

Now let’s see what she has to say about The Green Mile, IMDB rank 65 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Here’s another entry for Table 9 Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 challenge. I have been having so much fun with this, revisiting some movies, checking them all for her, some of them I have been meaning to look into again for so long, and now I finally have the driving factor. This is a movie that I hold most dear, who lived up to every inch of the book, proving that you can, in fact, adapt a book successfully if you just know what you are doing.

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“On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job?”
- Paul Edgecomb

The Green Mile is an absolutely stunning tale of the supernatural, faith, the strange things, horror, hope, miracles and all sorts of things. Naturally, when it begins, you don’t really know what is coming. I mean Stephen King is renowned for horrors, but what some people forget is that he is an exceptionally talented author who has more skills than just to terrify the pants off of you. From his strange mind he brought us an account, one that makes you smile, one that makes you sad, one that evokes anger and pity all at once. John Coffey is portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan (R.I.P.), and I think he was superbly cast to play the giant that was accused of the disgusting slayings of two young girls. He is a monster of a man, not the most intelligent person in the world, but shy, wholesome and well-mannered, very incongruent to the hulking monstrosity his physical exterior represents.

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“People hurt the ones they love. That’s how it is all around the world.” – John Coffey

Coffey’s character can only grow on you, and if it does not, then there is something fundamentally flawed in you. He was pure innocence in a world of cruelty, anger and hatred, and even though he was wronged, he did not take it out on anyone once. I loved the relationship he developed with the guards Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks), Brutus “Brutal” Howell (David Morse), Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper) and Harry Terwilliger (James DeMunn). It was great to see how they interacted with this man on death row. Then there was Tom Hanks, again pulling together a great drama role right here as Paul, the man who had to get to the bottom of whatever was going on, who was drawn in and fascinated by Coffey, a peaceful and pure human being. Naturally not everyone was going to be so nice, and Dough Hutchison did a fine job as Percy Wetmore… in other words, I really did just want to climb over somewhere and kill him. He was inhumane, he was cruel and he deserved so much more than a big, fat slap. He was revolting and evil to the core, and was intent on throwing his weight around and bullying everyone no end. People like that sicken me, and he was incredibly convincing, always selfish, putting himself ahead and being resentful at every available opportunity.

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“Try it! You’ll be on the bread lines before the week is out!” – Percy Whetmore

Sam Rockwell was simply brilliant as “Wild Bill” Wharton, and impressed me with his portrayal of the malicious and wicked man. He was undeniably cracked and never once let you forget about it. He was the very embodiment of what I expected from King’s character. I also enjoyed David Morse, whom I find to be an underappreciated actor. He lent dignity and morals to Brutus and gave him real flesh and character. The movie’s pacing was gradual though never boring, but you must not expect something gushing action in every scene, never relenting or letting you breathe. This is a film designed to make you chew over it, think about it and make decisions based on that.

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“All I wanted me was a little cornbread, motherfuckers! All I wanted me was a little cornbread!” – William “Wild Bill” Wharton

I enjoyed how the film was set in the thirties, and the appearance of the prison, the uniforms, the way of life… things was done so much differently. Coffey’s gift being discovered was a thing of beauty. Paul had been suffering for a while with a severe bladder infection, and in a moment of fear and pain, Coffey had healed him, fixed the problems. Such is the nature that shows that Coffey is special, that he is amazing and that he should not be where he is, though he is there now and will have to make the best of it. The guards all become rather protective of Coffey and develop a respect and friendship with him, though not everything is destined to go that way. Paul’s relentless need to get to the bottom of what really happened is touching, and it shows you how one person can change your perception in life as well as how you go about it.

I honestly believe The Green Mile is a classic, and most definitely something that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Frank Darabont again gave another striking vision of a King novel, something I am starting to feel only he fully grasps.

I just can’t see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child. – Paul Edgecomb





My Top Five April Fools

13 04 2014

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The beautiful Cara over at Silver Screen Serenade is doing a really fun series called “April Fools” in which we all discuss our favorite lovable idiots from films and/or television. Go have a look at all the great entries so far! You can see my list of My Top Five April Fools HERE. Thanks, Cara! :-)

And speaking of lovable idiots, I never mentioned that I also took part in Eric’s epic post about the, um, *wonderful* television show True Detective over at The IPC. A bunch of great people got together & talked about how much they love that damn show. Read all about it HERE (but maybe skip my bit if you really love the show – I’ve had enough abuse!). ;-)

And here’s a photo of Garrett Hedlund for no reason whatsoever:

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Oh! And I almost forgot – I did some bitching once again at the blog I call by its shorter title because I’m lazy: Don’t Sit By Me Ahole. Read about annoying couriers HERE and let the lovely Eric above know if you’d like to contribute to this fantastic blog. :-)





My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies

11 04 2014

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I’ve done a little top ten guest list for the wonderful Zoe over at The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Zoe has an amazingly popular blog full of movie & book reviews and I’m sure you all know her already as she’s not exactly a “beginner” anymore. But if for some reason you DON’T, go follow her! NOW! ;-)

And if you care to see the list of My Top Ten Steven Spielberg Movies, you can follow this link HERE. (Directed by, that is!). Thanks for letting me join in on the Top Ten fun, Zoe! :-)





The Matrix (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

10 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Chris of Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop. Thanks for the review, Chris! :-) Now let’s see what he has to say about The Matrix, IMDB rank 18 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Few films over the past 20 years or so have had as big an impact as The Matrix. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most important films of all time.

Yeah, I went there.

Some people might not like it, but I don’t think anyone can argue over its cultural significance. It’s a bit like me and The Beatles. I get why they were so big and so important but I actually think much of their music is pretty crap.

I went there again.

The premise of film is that everything we know and see around us is a lie, an artificial reality known as the Matrix created by machines who use our bodies as fuel. Only some people are aware of this and have been freed to live in the ‘real world’, although they are in a constant war against the machines. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are freedom fighters of sorts and have recognised Neo (Keanu Reeves) as someone who could fulfil a prophecy and bring peace between the humans and machines.

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It’s a pretty crazy-ass plot and can take a quite a while to get your head around, but what an absolutely phenomenal concept; the kind of idea that only comes along every so often. Think Metropolis, 1984, Blade Runner; an idea so revolutionary that it inspires people to think differently. Not many films do that.

When we first see the ‘real world’ with the scary Giger-esque machines farming thousands upon thousands of humans all sealed away in little pods, it’s simply awe-inspiring and it just gets better and better from there on in.

Just think about it. There are so many standout, memorable and groundbreaking scenes and lines that it’s almost inconceivable they’re all from the same film. The first time we see bullet time; the lobby shootout; the subway fight; the meeting with the Oracle; even the notion that deja-vu is a glitch in the Matrix; all of these are scenes that have since become engrained in cinema’s pop culture, and there are many more besides. You only have to look at how many other films have taken clear inspiration from or have parodied The Matrix to see the effect it’s had.

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It even made Keanu Reeves look like a good actor. That might be slightly unfair but there’s no denying that Reeves was absolutely perfect for the role of Neo, and there have been few cooler moments in cinema seeing Neo kicking ass.

Unfortunately, The Matrix’s legacy has been tainted somewhat by two tremendously disappointing sequels. Both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were totally unnecessary and whilst they had some fun moments were just far too complicated and self-indulgent. Despite the sequels, The Matrix remains one of the most original, groundbreaking and influential films of all time.





A 4-Year-Old’s Tribute To Italian Horror?

8 04 2014

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Has this kid been sneaking downstairs to watch 60′s & 70′s Italian horror in the night? Time to lock up Suspiria! ;-)





Argo (2012) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

8 04 2014

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Mark of Marked Movies. He also reviewed Heat for this project – you can read that review HERE. Thanks for the reviews, Mark! :-) Now let’s hear his thoughts on the movie Argo, IMDB rank 195 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE. See the full IMDB Top 250 list & links to all the films that have been reviewed HERE.

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Director: Ben Affleck.
Screenplay: Chris Terrio.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Zeljko Ivanek, Richard Kind, Kerry Bishé, Chris Messina Michael Parks, Taylor Schilling, Titus Welliver, Bob Gunton, Keith Szarabajka, Philip Baker Hall.

After a great directorial debut with “Gone Baby Gone” in 2007 and a brilliant sophomore effort with “The Town” in 2010, all eyes were on Ben Affleck in his third outing as director. Questions were asked as to whether he could do it again. And the answer? The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes’. Argo completes Affleck’s hat-trick behind the camera and confirms that he’s definitely a director that has an abundance of talent and awareness.

Based on true events in a post-revolution Iran in 1979. A mob of Ayatollah supporters storm the US Embassy and take 56 American hostages. 6 officers managed to escape, however, and take refuge in the home of a Canadian Ambassador. After two months in hiding and their sanctuary becoming increasingly risky, the CIA hatch a plan to get them home and extraction officer Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is given that responsibility. His plan is to create a fake movie called “Argo” and pretend that the six officers in hiding are his crew, scouting for shooting locations within the country.

Before going into Argo, I admittedly expected a heavy-handed political thriller but that’s not exactly what it delivers. Apart from the first five minutes of a brief overview of the, questionable, political relations between the U.S. and Iran, it sidesteps any political agenda and gets down to capturing the thrilling, human drama at it’s core. I’m not adverse to political film’s at all. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy them but Affleck is wise not to get too bogged down in boardroom banter and bureaucracy when there’s an brilliantly exciting story to tell. It does share similarities with the great political tinged thrillers of the 1970′s like Alan J. Pakula’s “All The Presidents Men” or “The Parallax View“. The late 70′s and early 80′s style is captured to perfection by cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and Affleck’s orchestration can sit comfortably beside any from that great decade of cinema.

Chris Terrio’s solid screenplay delivers many dialogue driven scenes but Affleck keeps things moving at a frantic pace and not for a second, does the film ever get dull or drawn out. The tension is almost unbearable at times. Why Affleck didn’t, at the very least, nab an Oscar nomination for his substantial and well-constructed direction here is beyond me. There’s no doubt that he’s in complete command of his material as he leaps from Tehran to Washington to Tinseltown and delivers completely satisfying environments and effortless shifts in tone for the whole film to gel and come to life. He has the ability to capture a politically ravaged country; the backroom jargon of the CIA and the dark humour of Hollywood (that shares more than a passing resemblance to Barry Levinson’s “Wag The Dog“). In order to capture this ludicrous, stranger-than-fiction story in it’s entirety, it demands a maestro at work and Affleck can certainly consider himself one.

This is the edge-of-your-seat tension that “Zero Dark Thirty” wishes it had. With only three film’s under his hat, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Affleck has been at this directing malarky for a very long time. The comparisons with actor, turned quality director, Clint Eastwood will rage on and if anyone thinks otherwise, then Affleck can tell them to “Argo fuck yourself“.

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Mark Walker

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Review

1 04 2014

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**SPOILER-FREE REVIEW. I THINK!**

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Starring:
Chris Evans
Scarlett Johansson
Sebastian Stan
Anthony Mackie
Cobie Smulders
Frank Grillo
Emily VanCamp
Hayley Atwell
Robert Redford
Samuel L Jackson

Running time: 136 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America and the Black Widow join forces to stop a covert enemy that is hiding in Washington, D.C.

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My Opinion:

As I’ve said at the beginning of every superhero movie I’ve reviewed, I don’t know anything whatsoever about these things beyond what I’ve seen in the films. So, luckily, I can just sit back, eat popcorn, and watch these superheroes kick some ass without having to get all geeky nitpicky. I really enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Captain America isn’t my favorite Avenger (so far). He can be a little dull and he’s not exactly Thor-level hot. I liked the first movie fine but it didn’t exactly blow me away. I also felt the same way about the first Thor movie. But I thought Thor: The Dark World was a lot of fun (you can read my review HERE). And I think Captain America: The Winter Soldier is also a very big improvement over the first one. With the exception of Iron Man 3 (review HERE), I think these Marvel movies are getting better & better and it’s getting me very excited about seeing more.

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I’m struggling to think of what to say about this. As I said, I’m far from being an expert on these superhero movies. So I’ll list a few good & not so good things.

The Good:

- The Cast. I really can’t say anything negative about any of them. Scarlett Johansson is one of the best things about this and I quite often don’t like her much. That’s two in a row where I really liked her! (This & Her). Samuel L Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford – all good! And I especially liked Anthony Mackie. Like. LIKE! I liked everyone! Really – this is cool because I usually hate at least one person in a movie. Oh, and Chris Evans is good too but, to be honest, he’s kind of the weakest thing about the movie. (Sorry! More about that later).

- The Winter Soldier. Well, I thought he was pretty bad ass. And occasionally hot. But not from every angle. I can’t decide! Sometimes hot, sometimes not. But his metal arm is pretty freaking cool.

- Falcon & Agent 13. I like these characters!

- Stan Lee cameo. They’re always fun but I thought this one was especially cute. Am I allowed to use “cute” in this review? Screw it – I’m a girl so I can say cute if I want to say cute. It’s really cute!

- The action. There’s A LOT of it but I thought it was all really good. The fight scenes were, I dunno – really well-choreographed? That sounded stupid. What I mean is – they looked cool! And the car chase scenes were pretty damn awesome too. Now, I like some “worthy” films. But, in the UK, the first couple months of the year tend to be the time they show all the worthy Oscar-nominated movies in the cinemas. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wolf Of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Her… (not American Hustle so much). But sometimes you really just want to be entertained & have some fun and I was SO ready for a movie like that. The Winter Soldier is the very definition of a “good-time popcorn movie”. I didn’t look at my watch once. (And by watch I mean phone. Who has a watch?). But I still want a decent plot & characters (Hello Pacific Rim! You were fun but some time spent on your script would have been nice!). The Winter Soldier delivers just fine on plot & especially on characters as well as some really kick-ass action. (And, yes, sometimes there can be too MUCH action. I’m talking to you, Man Of Steel!).

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The Not So Good:

- Captain America. Chill while I explain. I’ve gone & decided to break this down into the good and not so good and have now realized that I can’t really think of anything for the not so good bit but I’m too lazy to go back & change things. Lol. So…

I already mentioned above that Chris Evans is kind of the weakest thing about the movie but I don’t really mean him as an actor – I just think they’ve not done the greatest job developing his character. Yet. I feel like we should know this guy a bit better by now plus he’s not developed much of a personality in the way they at least made Thor more “fun” in The Dark World (Although we still didn’t get anything deep from his character. I’d like Thor a lot less if Chris Hemsworth wasn’t so damn FINE). To be fair, though, it’s kind of a problem with most superhero movies. I think it’s probably also very hard with these movies to get that right balance between “too serious” and “too cheesy” but they’re getting it right more & more often these days, especially with all the Avengers-related ones. So I’m not really complaining much. Other than Iron Man 3, these movies just keep getting better.

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Summary:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, well, a kick-ass superhero movie. What else can I say? If you like all the other movies with all the other Avengers, I really can’t see you not liking this one. And I think it’s a massive improvement on the ones that have come before it. I find the character of Captain America a little bit weak compared to the others but if they put this level of effort into the rest of the Marvel Avengers films, we’re in for a real treat. I can’t WAIT to see more based on this one. A thoroughly entertaining movie.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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Scenes After Credits?: Duh. It’s a Marvel movie! Why do people rush out the second the credits roll?!

Are they worth holding your pee for? There are two: One partway through the credits and one at the very end. The one partway through is a definite must-see. Man I want to see what comes of that one!!! And thanks to the hubby for filling me in on the details with that one. The scene at the very end is worth watching if you’re a completist. I MUST stay for these scenes after the credits otherwise I get really annoyed knowing that I’ve missed something. But, hey – you’d probably have time for a quick pee between the two end credits scenes if you really can’t hold it. ;-)

**See My Top Ten Superhero Movies HERE.

By the way – I think I have a new favorite blog! :-) Click HERE.





The John Hughes Blogathon Has Officially Ended

31 03 2014

You’re still here? It’s over! Go home. ;-)

Thank you, everyone! :-)





Thanks To Everyone Involved With The John Hughes Blogathon

31 03 2014

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Wow – what a busy month! I can’t believe how many people wanted to be a part of this blogathon. Thank you so much to everyone who did a review. Or five (Eric). Or ten (Rob). ;-) I’ll include links below to all the reviews. There are 54 total. 54! That’s insane. Love it! They’ll also be kept on a page at the top of this blog.

And thanks just as much to all the people who stopped by and commented on all these reviews. That really means a lot to me (and to the guest reviewers). I do apologize for having a very hard time keeping up with replying to everyone. I’ve had a busy month (in real life!) & I’m an entire week behind on replying to comments. Sorry! I’ll still get to them. I feel awful if I don’t reply to people within a day….

It’s business as usual tomorrow but I need to take a bit of a break for a while. I’ll probably just review any movies I go to see in the cinema (plus the five I went to this past month – Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Zero Theorem, Muppets Most Wanted, Non-Stop, Moshi Monsters: The Movie). And I’ll start up the IMDB Top 250 guest reviews again next week. I hope all you great new followers will stick around & that the old ones will come back to read my usual shitty reviews of non-Hughes movies. ;-)

Thanks again everyone! You’re the best! *MWAH!*

All John Hughes Reviews:

101 Dalmatians by Fearsome 5 (and family!)

Baby’s Day Out by Film Grimoire

Beethoven by Film Grimoire

The Breakfast Club by The IPC

The Breakfast Club by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

The Breakfast Club by A Clockwalker Orange

Career Opportunities by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Curly Sue by MovieRob

Dennis by MovieRob

Drillbit Taylor by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs

Drillbit Taylor by MovieRob

Dutch by MovieRob

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Fast Film Reviews

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by The Dirk Malcolm Alternative

Flubber by MovieRob

The Great Outdoors by Smashing Through Life

The Great Outdoors by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Home Alone by MovieRob

Home Alone 2 by Screenkicker

Home Alone 3 by Ten Stars Or Less

Just Visiting by JJames Reviews

Maid In Manhattan by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Miracle On 34th Street by Where The Wild Things Are

Mr. Mom by JJames Reviews

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation by Tvor Travels

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion by Brian at Hard Ticket To Home Video

National Lampoon’s European Vacation by Tvor Travels

National Lampoon’s Vacation by The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger

Only The Lonely by Ten Stars Or Less

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by Film Nerd Blog

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The Cinematic Frontier

Planes, Trains & Automobiles by The IPC

Pretty In Pink by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Pretty In Pink by Tranquil Dreams

Pretty In Pink by MovieRob

Savage Islands by MovieRob

She’s Having A Baby by Rhetologue’s Movie Logs

She’s Having A Baby by MovieRob

Sixteen Candles by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Sixteen Candles by Where The Wild Things Are

Sixteen Candles by Film Nerd Blog

Sixteen Candles by The IPC

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Silver Screen Serenade

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

Some Kind Of Wonderful by MovieRob

Tajna Nikole Tesle by 501 Must-See Movies Project

Uncle Buck by The IPC

Weird Science – special double review by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!) & Eric of The IPC

Weird Science by What About The Twinkie?

EXTRAS:

Don’t You Forget About Me (documentary about John Hughes) by Cinema Parrot Disco (Me!)

John Hughes Mini-Reviews by Mr Mutant (my hubby!)

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! It’s curtains for this blogathon. :-)

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Poster by Raúl Salazar – Link HERE





CPD Classics: The Breakfast Club (1985) Review

31 03 2014

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

Directed by John Hughes

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Emilio Estevez
Anthony Michael Hall
Judd Nelson
Molly Ringwald
Ally Sheedy
Paul Gleason
John Kapelos
John Hughes (uncredited – as Mr Johnson)

Running time: 97 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Breakfast Club storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal.

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My Opinion:

I figured I should end this blogathon with my review of my very favorite John Hughes movie: The Breakfast Club. So don’t worry everyone – THIS IS THE FINAL REVIEW OF THE JOHN HUGHES BLOGATHON. (Unless I quickly watch the DVD I just received in the mail). ;-)

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As always, I struggle the most when writing about the films that I really love. What is it about The Breakfast Club? Why do so many people of my generation hold this movie so dear? (And some from a whole new generation. Or two. Or three. HOW many generations have there been since I was a teenager?? Man I’m old…). All I know is that we have John Hughes to thank for it. The actors chosen all did a great job and everything but it’s the writing of John Hughes that really spoke to teenagers everywhere. And he’s never been bettered. Why can’t they make teen movies like these anymore?

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For me, I could really relate to The Breakfast Club because it felt EXACTLY like my high school. My high school was also very small, in the Midwest (not far from where the fictional Shermer, Illinois would be), and it was full of cliques. And the thought of a group of teens from these different worlds coming together and finding that they had a lot more in common than they realized was such a lovely thought. Okay – I’m not completely sure how realistic THAT was but it was still great watching the relationships develop between the characters in this movie.

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Most of all, it was seeing that each of these teens had their own problems & fears (even the popular princess & the athlete!). And having five such different characters meant that every teen watching would be able to relate to at least one of them. Me? I was a combination of the basket case, the brain, and a tiny bit of the princess. My boyfriend was the criminal (Totally. He even looked a bit like John Bender). So the one I could relate to the least was the athlete (But this was probably the largest social group in my school. Stupid sports! I sucked at sports. I had no chance of being popular!). Well, I was a cheerleader. Shh – don’t tell anyone that. How freaking embarrassing… Rah rah rah and all that bullshit. Blech!

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Summary:

The Breakfast Club “spoke” to me as a teenager the way it did to countless teens then and even to some of them today. It made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so different after all. We all have the same thoughts and fears and we all just want to belong, whether we admit to it or not. John Hughes knew exactly what was in a teenager’s heart and mind and was able to beautifully capture this in the teen movies that he wrote. This is the most apparent in The Breakfast Club, which is why it’s my favorite John Hughes film and a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9.5/10

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John Hughes Movie Song Of The Day: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

31 03 2014

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John Williams – Star Wars (Main Title) (featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986)





Don’t You Forget About Me (2009) Review

31 03 2014

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Don’t You Forget About Me (2009 Documentary)

Directed by Matt Austin

Written by:
Matt Austin
Michael Facciolo
Kari Hollend
Lenny Panzer

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Don’t You Forget About Me is a 2009 Canadian documentary film about screenwriter, director, and producer John Hughes. The film specifically focused on Hughes’ fade from prominence in the early 1990s. It details the journey of a group of young filmmakers who go in search of the reclusive icon, documenting their search through interviews of the people with whom Hughes had worked and fans of his films.

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My Opinion:

Obviously, I was interested in watching this documentary as, like the filmmakers, I grew up with and love John Hughes teen movies and was sad that he stopped making those types of films and that he pretty much disappeared from Hollywood. I think it’s quite a sad story and, as we know, he died too young from a heart attack at the age of 59 on August 6, 2009, just after this documentary was filmed.

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This is worth a watch for anyone who is a big fan of Hughes but not so much worth a watch if you’re not. The best part by far was seeing all the interviews with those who had worked with Hughes and those who were influenced by his work. It’s pretty impressive that they were able to get as many people together for this documentary as they did. The following are just some of the people they interviewed:

Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Ally Sheedy
Judd Nelson
Kelly LeBrock
Mia Sara
Alan Ruck
Kevin Smith
Roger Ebert
Richard Roeper
Jim Kerr

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As for the rest of the documentary, I was hoping for something a bit more in-depth on why they thought Hughes had disappeared but we don’t really get this from the filmmakers. They talk a bit about their favorite Hughes films and what those movies meant to them but we don’t really hear anything new. I was a little confused by a couple things too. They say they spent two years (or maybe it was two and a half) on this documentary. I don’t think this is a spoiler: they drive to Chicago to try to track down John Hughes & interview him (I won’t say whether they manage to or not). But, once they get there, they sit down and start writing out some questions to ask him. Then they try to decide how to go about contacting him: walk right up to his house & talk to him or give him a letter or what. They write the letter right outside his house. In two years they didn’t think to have any of this prepared until they arrived in Chicago to try to meet with Hughes???

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Summary:

A documentary worth watching if you love John Hughes films as you get to see some interesting interviews with those he worked with and those he influenced. However, you won’t really learn anything new or get an in-depth look into the man and why he disappeared from the scene. It’s also a little disappointing that there’s no focus whatsoever on any of his movies other than a few teen ones (what’s wrong with the Vacation movies? Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Etc?). Like I say – I do recommend this if you like John Hughes but I was a little uncomfortable at the thought of fans trying to track him down as I think he wanted a peaceful life with his family. And knowing that he died so soon afterwards made watching this even harder. (Please read below the picture for something I DO highly recommend….) And for another opinion on this documentary from another fan of John Hughes, you can read Rob’s thoughts over at his MovieRob blog HERE.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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**To be honest, if you’re a John Hughes fan (or even if you’re not), I’ve been meaning to share this absolutely fascinating piece from a girl who was pen pals with Hughes from 1985-1987 (and more beyond). THIS should be read by everyone – Hughes lovers or even those who are simply interested in being writers or just knowing a bit more about the feelings of someone who was in the public eye. It’s a brilliant insight into the man & you will learn much more about him from this lovely piece written by a girl called Alison Byrne Fields than you will from watching this documentary. Please read this – It will be well worth your time (and there’s more to be read if you wish to explore more about John Hughes on her blog). Link here: Sincerely, John Hughes

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John Hughes Mini-Reviews By Mr Mutant

31 03 2014

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I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. So, since starting my little blog here in November 2012 I’ve asked the hubby, Mr Mutant, to contribute several times. I even let him go to a few movies without me as long as he’d review those movies for my blog (where’s my Evil Dead & Robocop remake reviews, dude?? Hmmm???). So, FINALLY, he’s decided he’d like to join in on something. All it took was a John Hughes Blogathon. Yes, he loves his movies too and, quite frankly, it’s a big part of the reason why we got married. So thank you, John Hughes, for helping to bring us together. For the most part. You know, on those days where we like each other. ;-)

So let’s hear Mr Mutant’s quick thoughts on every John Hughes movie that he’s seen! Thank you, Mr Mutant! *KissHugCuddle*

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(Artwork by Robert Wolverton)

John Hughes Mini-Reviews

Weird Science

Supercalifragilisticoingoboingodocious….!!

Sixteen Candles

Ranting, raving, racism and rape-ism wrapped up like a birthday gift in this often hilarious “bittersweet sixteen” moment.

The Breakfast Club

Five teens eloquently impart never-bettered observations for every generation’s inner high schooler… and take a toke while they’re at it.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The essence of teenage wisdom distilled into a day’s adventure, alongside a water tower, a symphony of synthetic sickness samples and a fake Ferrari… This film IS the 80s to me.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Clever script ruined by studio meddling.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

Cack. This helped give American tourists a bad rep in Europe for decades.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Affectionate classic festive cheese (shitter is full!).

Uncle Buck

Dated but still have much love for this one, warts and all!

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Top notch comedy worth repeat views – it’s like a pair of warm pillows – by that I mean welcoming and reassuring, as opposed to hairy arse!

Home Alone

Pure Christmas MAGIC with added sadomasochistic hi-jinks.

Career Opportunities

The essence of shit on a shiny silver disc. With added boobs.

Pretty In Pink

“Otis. I love Otis…”And even though I shouldn’t, I love this…. “Love is real… Real is love”.

The Great Outdoors

Squeak squeak squeeeeak. (Translation: gotta love John Candy but OMFG make it stop!!!)

Drillbit Taylor

Drillbit to the left temple. Next…???!!!???

Maid In Manhattan

Sappy but not as bad as I feared. A near love letter to Manhattan that fails to come close to matching his love letters to the Chicago area.

Home Alone 2

More pure Christmas magic from the tail end of that still-innocent era in American family film… with pigeons and skyscrapers to boot!

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Pretty In Pink in reverse – this underrated 80s high schooler that’s not quite as strong but has almost as many quotable lines… And the right ending!

Mr Mom

Heavily dated but the comedy encapsulates the changing family and working values of the early 80s.

Baby’s Day Out

Agony for adults, but somewhat fun for children (and occasionally for your inner child).

Miracle On 34th Street

Pointless remake still keeps the magic of Christmas alive despite serious flaws in this version.

Curly Sue

The one that made us all realise that even the mighty Hughes could lose his mojo.

She’s Having A Baby

Semi autobiographical and semi yawnsome – but did Kevin Bacon’s character here steal that yellow cab in Planes, Trains & Automobiles? Hughes fans need answers!

Haven’t seen:

Beethoven
Just Visiting
Flubber
101 Dalmatians
Dennis
Dutch
Class Reunion
Reach The Rock
Savage Islands
Tajna Nikole Tesle

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