Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Noah (2014) - ★★★

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins, Douglas Booth

I look back on Noah with fondness. It's hard to explain why, but I feel nothing but warmth towards this film after having seen it. Noah is far from a perfect film. It had an absolutely stellar first half, and an absolutely shit second half. They almost balance each other out, but I'd say the greatness we witnessed in the first half saved the film from being a bad movie. I don't know what people are talking about when they call this an 'epic.' Let me clarify... I don't think this is an epic film. The special effects and story itself is grand, that's for sure. However, the small cast and medium length running time just puts it into the category of 'big budget production.' Never the less, it was an entertaining film for the most part. There are things in it that are forgettable, and there are things that are absolutely unforgettable.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

My Girl (2005) | ★★★★½ [Korean Drama TV Series]

Genre: Korean Drama, Romantic Comedy.
Stars: Da-hae Lee, Dong-Wook Lee, Jun-ki Lee, Si-Yeon Park, Seok-Hwan Ah, Hie-bong Byeon, Ran Choi

My Girl is up there with the funniest Korean dramas I’ve ever seen. It was so refreshing to watch, breathing life into a genre that I was starting to find repetitive and unexciting. It contains many of the things I love about Korean dramas, and cuts out almost all of the things I hate about them. It’s just a perfect show for me! Words cannot do justice to how immensely joyful I felt whilst watching My Girl. The characters were hilarious, the story was hysterical, and the romance had everything I wanted and more. Each episode made me laugh, swoon, and more than a little emotional. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. If it weren't for the sub-par ending, I'd call this the greatest romantic-comedy I've ever seen. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

Spin-Off Blogathon!

The amazingly awesome Sati at The Cinematic Corner created this really interesting Blogathon. If you'd like to partake, you can find the original article here.

Here are the rules:

1. Choose a character that you love and would like to see as a leading character in the movie and write why you chose this character and what that movie would be like 

2. Don't choose leading characters or supporting characters with lots of screentime, the goal is to focus on minor characters who have between 1-5 scenes. However if you really loved a character who is on screen for more than that, go for it.


Billy Elliot was an Oscar nominated film by Stephen Daldry. It is set in a coal mining town, where almost all of the miners are on strike. People can barely afford to eat, and the only pass time for the young children are: school, boxing for boys, and ballet for girl's. This is a film about a young man named Billy Elliot, who chose to do ballet, and overcame all of the adversity that came with it. 

Michael Caffrey was Billy's best friend, who fully supported him in his efforts to become a ballet dancer. He is one of the kindest, most down to earth young men I've ever seen in a film. What makes him so interesting is the secret that he hides. 

Michael likes to dress in women's clothing, and wear make-up. Imagine the kind of inner conflict this poor boy had to deal with... and the social stigma that he would have to face in the future. He lives in a town filled with sexist, bigoted miners that believe men should act a certain way. What I loved most about Michael, was the way he could see the silver lining in everything. He was the one supporting Billy, even though it was he himself who faced greater troubles. There were many scenes where I just wanted to give him a hug, because life must have been very confusing for him. 

I would love to see a film about Michael, because there just aren't enough films that show the struggle of transgender children. 

If Stephen Daldry made a film dedicated to Michael's journey to acceptance, then that would be a ground-breaking and remarkable piece of cinema. *SPOILER*, By the end of the movie 'Billy Elliot', you see Michael all grown up wearing women's clothing and sitting next to what appears to be his boyfriend. He looks like he made it into some kind of art community, and... he just looked happy. Imagine how powerful this story could be for a young transgender child struggling to come to terms with their feelings. Now this is a character that would be remembered for generations to come.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Starman (1984) - ★★★★★

Director: John Carpenter
Writers: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel

Starman is my favourite sci-fi film of all time, and one of my favourite romances. It saddens me to see that hardly anyone knows of this film, when there's so much beauty to be found within this tale. In my opinion, Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges give their career best performances in Starman. Their chemistry was as powerful as any I've ever seen captured on film, and the pure emotion they expressed was more believable than almost any other. It features some really nice special effects, fantastic cinematography, and some of the most beautiful dialogue I've ever heard in my entire life. On top of all this, it is scored by the brilliant Jack Nitzche, who created one of the most soul-touching compositions I've ever heard in a movie. I love this film as much, probably more, than any other I've ever seen.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) - ★★★★

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Jerry Leichtling, Arlene Sarner
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Sofia Coppola, Maureen O'Sullivan, Leon Ames, Barbara Harris, Catherine Hicks

Peggy Sue Got Married is a film with a premise that delves into many diverse, powerful emotions. Memories, nostalgia, lost relatives and friends, old crushes, new passions, and all the possibilities in the world are just some of the things explored in this thoroughly engrossing film. Kathleen Turner gives arguably her greatest performance as Peggy Sue, earning her a well deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress. This film also served as an early spark in the acting career's of Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, and most notably, Nicolas Cage. It's far from a masterpiece. It seems more like a fun project that Francis Ford Coppola decided to take on. What I love most about this movie is the way it opens our minds to ask "what if I could do it all over again?" That made this film a really fun, emotional experience.

The Movie Man gets a Liebster Award

The Vern at The Video Vortex has nominated me for a Liebster Award, and I couldn't be more happy or proud. It seems fitting that Vern has nominated me for my very first award, for he was the very first blogger to ever give me any feedback and encouragement (way back in 2012). You should visit his blog if you get the chance. I now have to nominate 11 bloggers, but first I need to establish the rules.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Wolf Creek 2 (2014) - ★★★½ The Comeback Review!

Director: Greg McLean
Writer: Greg McLean
Stars: John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn, Philippe Klaus

Wow. Wow. Wow. When I sum up my experience of watching Wolf Creek 2, all I can say is that it is one darn entertaining, suspenseful piece of cinema! This is the kind of film that will put you through a roller-coaster of emotions. It aims to horrify the audience, and keep them in a constant state of suspense. While I wasn't horrified in the least, there were moments that had me at the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen next! Not to mention, the humour and hilarious stereotyping that is the serial killer, Mick Taylor, made me laugh more than it should have! He said some truly hilarious things, and his over-the-top accent and Australian slang just made the funniness of it all increase by ten-fold. So one second I would be biting my nails in suspense, and the next I would be laughing out loud in the cinema! I really liked Wolf Creek 2. It's far from horrifying, but so worth watching!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Academy Awards 2014 | My Official Predictions

Best Picture

I think almost all of us realise that Best Picture will go to one of three movies. They are: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity. The other films are all fine films, and two of them I think are outstandingly good (Her & The Wolf of Wall Street). I'm almost certain that the top prize will go to 12 Years, but who knows, maybe the Academy voters will create an upset once again by voting for an inferior, "funner" film (such as American Hustle). After all the awards buzz, 12 Years garnered the top honours, which makes it a shoe in for the Oscar for Best Picture. 

Best Director

Alexander Payne and David O. Russell seem to be the most unlikely of the nominees to win the award, for they themselves have garnered very little buzz. Martin Scorsese could surprise us all with a win, seeing as he's worked with many people in the business and turned out one of his career best films. Steve McQueen crafted what many see as a 'masterpiece of cinema,' so that makes him a big contender. However, it is Alfonso Cuaron and his magical directorial wizardry that garnered the most love during awards season, so I place my bet firmly on him. 

Best Actor

I'd consider it a pretty big upset if anyone other than Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor this year. No one saw his turn as a cowboy dying of aids coming, and man did he make many jaws drop. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the clear runner up, followed by DiCaprio's hilarious turn as the villainous Wolf of Wall Street. Bruce Dern doesn't seem to be in the race, but god knows he deserves an Oscar. As for Christian Bale, he was good in American Hustle, but far weaker than all the other nominees. 

Best Actress

I say with confidence that I think Cate Blanchett will win the Oscar this year. Of all the nominees, it was her stunning turn as the mentally unstable Jasmine that proved to be a performance for the ages. Judi Dench gave one of her greatest performances in Philomena, which could serve as an upset this year. Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams are the biggest threats to Blanchett, but they shouldn't even be serious contenders for the Oscar. Meryl Streep doesn't stand a chance, for she's been nominated too many times. Also, her performance, while fiery and outstanding, is not her greatest performance to date. Dench is the only REAL competition in the field, but popularity has served as a much bigger threat than talent in the past (such as when Gwyneth Paltrow beat Blanchett in 1998).

Best Supporting Actor

Supporting Actor is by far the most unpredictable category this year. Barkhad Abdi stunned everyone with his debut, and garnered much awards buzz this season. Jared Leto won many awards, and is a very popular, almost veteran actor that made a huge comeback this year as a trans-gender man dying of aids. I'd put my money on one of them, however, Michael Fassbender could surprise everyone and win for his portrayal as a detestable plantation owner. He is very popular, and in my opinion, he gave a perfect performance. As for Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill, I thought they were both great in their respective roles, but neither of them stand a chance at winning. If I had to predict a winner, I'd go with Barkhad Abdi based on his recent popularity. 

                             Best Supporting Actress

I have a sickening feeling that Jennifer Lawrence is going to win this year. She gave the most mediocre performance out of all the nominees in every acting category. However, her popularity amongst her peers, and indeed around the world, is what seems to make her such a heavy favorite at these awards ceremonies. Lupita Nyong'o on the other hand gave a heart-wrenching performance, and has garnered much awards buzz this season. Julia Roberts and June Squibb seem to have faded into the background of the nominees, which is saddening because they were both phenomenal. Sally Hawkins, who was perfection in Blue Jasmine, has also faded out of contention really. So I'll say Lawrence will win, even if it is a disgusting decision by the Academy.

The Greatest Romance Movies of All Time

These are the greatest romance films I've ever seen. It is a list that shall forever grow with every masterpiece of love and heart-ache that I see. The romances range from the humble spark between tramp and flower-girl (City Lights), to the fiery passion between two young women (Blue is the Warmest Colour).