Sunday, 22 June 2014

El Orfanato "The Orphanage" (2007) - ★★★★

Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez (screenplay)
Stars: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep

I rented The Orphanage, expecting to be scared out of my wits. I did not expect it to be one of the most touching horror films I've ever seen. It holds a very dear place in my heart now, for it is one of only two horror films that has ever made me shed a tear (the other being Hideo Nakata's stunning Japanese horror, Dark Water) (2002). It's the kind of movie that spends most of its time creating such a stunning, perfect atmosphere. With this atmosphere, there is no need for cheap scares and thrills. The suspense was constant for me. While The Orphanage was suspenseful, it made me scream out loud only once (and trust me, I scream many times during most horror films). So it isn't all that horrifying, but the story, the acting, the music, the cinematography... every other aspect in this film truly captivated me. I really enjoyed The Orphanage. It's one of the best "horror" films I've seen in many years.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

10 Film Facts You Didn't Know About Me

1. The Land Before Time is a childhood favourite of mine. I work in a child-care, and I watched it with a new generation of children. They were all enthralled! Meanwhile, I had to turn away because I got overly emotional and had to fight back tears. 


The Land Before Time (1988)

2. I truly enjoy watching "Twilight." It took me out of the depressing world of high school, and to this day I still think it's a good film. I guess it is my guiltiest pleasure of all.


3. James Franco is a good actor, but for some reason, I don't like him as a person. He annoys me so much! 
James Franco everybody...

4. The only film I've ever walked out on was "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." I found it so unfunny that it aggravated me. It was my 14th birthday too. There's only so much "fat guy gets hurt" humour I can take, until it becomes as irritating as the sound of nails scraping a chalkboard.



5. I think Studio Ghibli is a vastly superior animation company to Disney, because of their quality of stories, scores, and even animation. Few Disney films stand up with the best of Ghibli.

A collection of some of the works from Studio Ghibli.
6. Two directors are notorious for their disturbing actions in the past. Woody Allen, and Roman Polanski. I tend to hold the viewpoint that "talent is talent," and these men have talent. I don't agree with their actions... but I love their films. 



7. The first gay film I ever saw was an Aussie film called "The Sum of Us," starring Russell Crowe. I was 6 years old, and it was my first time seeing two men kiss. I can't even describe just how obsessed I was with that film. It was an important part of my life.

Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson in "The Sum of Us." Love these Aussie legends <3
8. Glenn Close is in my opinion the most underrated actress of all time. As much as I adore actresses like Bette Davis and Meryl Streep, I feel Close deserves just as much praise. 



9. The score to the film "Monster" (2003), by Brian Transeau  is one of the most moving pieces of music I've ever heard. No other score captures the feelings of heart-ache and depression quite like this underrated masterpiece. 

Theron's performance, and Transeau's score, moved me to tears. Such a powerful, underrated film.
Listen to the score in the video below:


10. The film "United 93" devastated me to the point where my hands were shaking, and I couldn't even talk because I was so overcome with emotion.

I wasn't aware of what would happen at the end of United 93. I've never been so affected by a film in my life.


There you go guys. These are just some random facts about myself. I will try to do this at least once a month, so you can get to know me more as I review films. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Divergent (2014) - ★★★½

Director: Neil Burger
Writers: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay), Veronica Roth (Novel)
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

I've seen so many YA (young-adult) films in the past 6 years, that they're all starting to blend in together and fade out of my memory. I disliked almost every modern YA movie I've seen during this period of time, because they're more silly than entertaining, they're poorly acted, poorly written, poorly produced, and quite frankly, poor excuses for films. While there are a few exceptions, like The Hunger Games (2012), this whole genre, whether they be book or film, stinks to high heaven with a lack of originality.

Divergent is a silly film.  Yet, I find its characters are interesting, the cast is brilliant, the soundtrack is unique, the set-production/cinematography is good, and most importantly, it's consistently entertaining. These critiques alone make Divergent stand as one of the best YA films made in recent years.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - ★★★★½

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Stefan Zwig (inspired by the works), Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (Story)
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Mathieu Amalric, Edward Norton... and many more.

The Grand Budapest Hotel gave me one of the grandest experiences I've ever had at the cinema. It's stunning to look at, pleasing to listen to, and filled with characters that tickled my funny bone from start to finish. It reminded me a lot of Grand Hotel (1932), a classic that starred many of Hollywood's greatest actors of that time. Except it contained Anderson's flare for tongue-in-cheek humour, and over-the-top set production and style. I truly loved this film, and I loved seeing many of my favourite actors take turns in bringing their own personal flare to the screen. It's films like this that ignite my passion for cinema. You can tell that it's a labour of love, and a film that may just stand the test of time.

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.

MY CHOICE IS:


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.