Saturday, 29 June 2013

Bully (2011) - ★★½

Director: Lee Hirsch
Writers: Lee Hirsch, Cynthia Lowen

Bully is an average documentary that tackles a subject that is very dear to my heart. That is bullying in high-schools. I say it's average because it doesn't fully explore the kinds of bullying that goes on (there's not one mention of cyber-bullying I believe). It's pretty heartbreaking to see, but I don't think it's close to scraping the implications that bullying can have on a child. They cover suicides and self-harming, but it just doesn't quite get through to us the way it should. We don't get the facts or figures of bullying, but rather the stories of a few children and parents that have been through it. It just doesn't do justice to such an important subject.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Up in the Air (2009) - ★★★½

Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Walter Kirn (Novel), Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner (Screenplay)
Stars: George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, Zach Galifianakis

Up in the Air is an intelligent and pretty funny dramedy. I found it really entertaining for the most part, but that's mostly to do with Anna Kendrick's electric performance. At times I found myself underwhelmed by the story, especially when Kendrick took a lengthy absence. Everyone gave brilliant performances and I found myself loving the dialogue. It's a solid film, but I'll never really get why people call this a masterpiece. I'll have to watch it again, but my final thought was "Meh."

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Heartbeats (2010) - ★★★★

Director: Xavier Dolan
Writers: Xavier Dolan
Stars: Monia Chokri, Xavier Dolan, Niel Schneider, Anne Dorval

I was captivated by Heartbeats. It embodies heart-ache, jealousy, frustration, anger and lust in a most beautiful and glamorous fashion. The performances are all spectacular, mainly because the actors can portray these heavy emotions realistically. One thing that is absolutely stunning is the cinematography. Director Xavier Dolan was only 21 years old when he made this film, and my god has he put it together well. It's a story that many can relate to, but it's modern and youthful. Long story short, I loved this movie.

Chicken Run (2000) - ★★★★½

Director: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Writers: Peter Lord, Nick Park (Story), Karey Kirkpatrick (Screenplay)
Voices: Julia Sawatha, Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson, Tony Haygarth, Lynn Ferguson, Benjamin Whitrow

Have you ever wondered what The Great Escape would be like if the humans were replaced by chickens? Well look no further than Chicken Run! It's a hilarious, beautiful, and a downright entertaining movie from the team that brought you Wallace and Gromit. I was obsessed with this movie as a child! I must've seen it dozens of times in the space of one year. Last night I watched it for the first time in years, and my feelings haven't changed. It's one of the best animated movies I've ever seen.

The Sunshine Boys (1975) - ★★★½

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin

The Sunshine Boys would have to be one of the funniest movies about senility. Walter Matthau is downright hilarious in this movie! It's entertaining for the most part, but a little bit slow. One thing it did do is rekindle my love for vaudevillian humor. With wonderful dialogue and amazing performances, it made me laugh pretty darn hard.

Oh, did I mention that Phyllis Diller makes a cameo? 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Under the Hawthorn Tree "Shan zha shu zhi lian" (2010) - ★★★★½

Director: Yimou Zhang
Writers: Ai Mi (Novel), Lichuan Yin, Xiaobai Gu, Mei Ah (Screenplay)
Stars: Dongyu Zhou, Shawn Dou, Meijuan Xi

This is one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen. For the first time in my life, a film has actually made me projectile cry! I held my emotions so well throughout the whole movie, then bam! Right at the end of Under the Hawthorn Tree, I cried as hard as I ever have. The chemistry the two leads have in this movie is incredible. Their story is so romantic, and Yimou Zhang put it together in such a beautiful way. It's a privilege to see masterpieces such as this.

WALL.E (2008) - ★★★★★

Director: Andrew Stanton
Writers: Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon
Voices: Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

Not only is WALL.E one of the greatest animated movies I've ever seen, it's also one of the greatest movies ever made. I can't believe it took me 5 years to finally see this movie! I don't think I've ever loved a character as much as WALL.E, or a romance as cute as the one he had with EVE. The story is like a classic silent-movie romance mixed with the setting from 2001: A Space Odyssey. There is heaps of original content too, and tons of fun in every scene. I ended up growing so attached to the mechanized lovers that they even made me shed a tear of joy. This movie proves that the golden age of Disney is not yet over.

Last Ride (2009) - ★★★

Director: Glendyn Ivin
Writers: Mac Gudgeon (Screenplay), Denise Young (Novel)
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita Hegh, Kelton Pell

The Last Ride is an interesting, well-acted drama that is slow and tedious for the most part. It flatlined from start to finish, with hardly any light moments or exciting scenes. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, being the only thing here that's really noteworthy. I can't say that I enjoyed the film, nor would I watch it again. It's pretty good in a lot of aspects, but it failed to impress and maintain my interest.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) - ★

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.s. Anderson
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Bingbing Li, Oded Fehr, Johann Urb

Wow. Resident Evil: Retribution is easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The first 15 minutes alone is just gun-violence and a re-cap of the previous movies. Then we finally get to the story (if you can call it a story), and it's the most repetitive, mind-numbing experience imaginable. It's not scary, it's nothing new, the special effects are awful, the acting is atrocious, the product-placement is despicable... but everyone involved in the film knew this. In fact, everybody knows this. Paul W.S. Anderson seems to take pride in making these incoherent pieces of garbage, and his fans just lap it up. For anyone who enjoys good movies, I think you already know that this one stinks to high heaven.

Monsters University (2013) - ★★★½

Director: Dan Scanlon
Writers: Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Dan Scanlon
Voices: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Bonnie Hunt

Monsters University was exactly as I expected it to be. That is exceptionally ordinary. There are plenty of laughs and some pretty cool things here and there, but there's nothing special about it. What was special in Monsters Inc. was the beautiful relationship these two monsters formed with Boo, a human girl. It's not an unnecessary sequel/prequel, because it does show the origin of certain stories (like why Randall hated Mike and Solley in the first movie). In retrospect, I wish I didn't pay money to see it in cinema. I'd rent it on DVD though!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Pet Sematary (1989) - ★½

Director: Mary Lambert
Writers: Stephen King (Novel and Screenplay)
Stars: Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl

I'm at a loss for words to describe how bad this movie is. The acting is so bad that I was either gritting my teeth or laughing my ass off the whole way through. It isn't the least bit scary, with minimal suspense and thrill. The special effects are atrocious at times, but what can you expect from a B-grade horror movie from the 80s? The story is actually pretty awesome, it's just executed terribly in every possible way. For me, the one redeeming factor is that Fred Gwynne (AKA, Herman Munster) is in this movie! Pet Sematary is a classic, but it's actually a terrible film.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Top 10 Greatest Romance Films of All Time

This is my first Top 10 ever! What better way to start this new monthly tradition than to kick it off with my Top 10 Favorite Romance Films of All Time. If there are any I've missed, sound off in the comments.

Honorable Mentions:
Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

Under the Hawthorn Tree absolutely broke my heart. The chemistry that Jing and Sun have is so natural. I found myself hanging on their every action and decision. What can I say? It was an extremely romantic relationship. The problem is that they fell in love during a time where you had to slave away in order to keep your head above water. This is the only movie that has ever made me projectile cry!

The English Patient (1996)

Some say that the romance in The English Patient was 'cold.' I found that Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas had electric chemistry, making this one of the most heart-breaking romances I've ever seen. The music, cinematography and performances were all spectacular, but nothing was more beautiful than the story.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

The whirlwind romance of Scarlett O'hara and Rhett Butler is easily one of the most entertaining, heart-breaking, and greatest in the genre. When he says "You need to be kissed, and kissed often," my heart just melts. It's an unconventional romance, but one of the most memorable on-screen couples of all time.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

One quote has immortalized this movie forever. "This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime." There is one particular scene that had me crying harder than I ever have in a romance film. That is when Clint Eastwood is standing in the rain, crying and heartbroken. I didn't expect to like this movie, and I came out in love with it. Oh, I also fell in love with Clint Eastwood.

Ghost (1990)

Yet another film that had me bawling my eyes out crying at the end. The romance between Molly and Sam was so beautiful. His final goodbye at the end just tore my heart to shreds. Not to mention, the pottery scene these two shared was so raunchy and romantic. It's a scene that no one will ever forget!

Harold and Maude (1971)

Perhaps the most unconventional of all romances, seeing as she's a granny and he's just a young man. Their friendship, connection, care and love for each other is what makes this one of the greatest romances of all time. Ruth Gordon and Bud Hort had such powerful chemistry, making this a heartfelt and eye-opening piece of cinema.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

It's quite simple, really. That one song is so powerfully romantic, it just tears me to pieces every time. That song is of course 'Come What May.' "Come what may, I will love you, until my dying days." Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are mesmerizing, convincing, and everything good with the world in Moulin Rouge.

The Piano (1993)

While many will disagree with me about The Piano, I found the relationship between Ada and George to be wonderously beautiful. It starts with their sordid love affair being "wretched," but they slowly fall in love with one another and begin to miss each other's company. It was unexpected, but Hunter and Keitel bring these characters to life with their powerful chemistry and perfect performances.  

The Sound of Music (1965)

Ahh, I could swoon over Christopher Plummer all night! There's something so romantic about a Nun falling in love. What makes it more romantic is that her love changes a hard man into a loving person. The Sound of Music is undeniably romantic, with Andrews and Plummer making the perfect couple.

The Top 10

10. The African Queen (1951)

This is one of the most awe-inspiring romances in movie history. Rose and Charlie started out imposing on each other, disliking that they have to share a boat. As they make their way down a rapid river in Africa, they have to work together in order to survive. Slowly they start to like each other, learning to compromise in order to please one another. By the end of the film, I was so entranced by their love and devotion that I couldn't stop smiling. Bogart and Hepburn had magnificent chemistry, making this one of the greatest movies of all time, let alone greatest romance.

9. In the Mood for Love (2000)

This was the first ever Chinese film I have ever seen, and my god did it make an impact. To be perfectly honest, it showed me what true romance could be like. The connection between Su and Chow was just so touching, my heart was completely hooked on their relationship. What makes it truly romantic however is the way they enjoy each other's company. They connect through their spouses cheating on each other, and leave us in awe of the impact they've left on us.

8. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Mrs. Pott's said it perfectly. It's a tale as old as time, a song as old as rhyme, but it's done to perfection in Disney's most magnificent achievement. That is Beauty and the Beast. A prince that judges people based on their appearance is cursed to be a beast until he falls in love with a girl who loves him back. This story alone makes it one of the most romantic movies ever made. It is the scene where Belle and The Beast dance together in the grand-hall that makes this film one of the most mesmerizing, romantic movies of all time.

7. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Not only is Pride and Prejudice one of the most romantic novels of all time, it's also one of the most stunning romances in all of cinema. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are arguably the greatest couple in the history of the genre. I wouldn't dispute this either. The connection that they have is electric. When he proclaims his love to her, "You have bewitched me, body and soul," I literally giggle like a school girl. It's one of the most beautiful lines in movie history. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful lines in the history of communication!

6. Lost in Translation (2003)

To me, there is nothing more romantic than natural chemistry. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson go beyond acting in this film. They ARE Bob and Charlotte, and their romance comes across as very much 'real.' I'd go as far as to say they have the best on-screen chemistry ever. Both of their lives seem to be falling apart at the seams, but then they meet each other. Together, they run around Tokyo doing all sorts of hilarious stuff, yet there's always an electric sexual chemistry between them. They bring light and life into each other's lives, which is what makes this one of my all time favorite movies.

5. Titanic (1997)

This may shock you, but Titanic is my personal favorite movie of all time. The romance of Jack and Rose is a classic that will always rank up there with the very best. Who doesn't love the simple story of a poor boy that falls for a rich, aristocratic girl. However, Titanic goes so much further with their relationship. There are more romantic scenes in this movie than any other I can think of. From "I'm Flying", to "Draw me like one of your French girls," and the most heart-wrenching of all, "I'll never let go Jack." Winslet and DiCaprio have a raw and powerful chemistry, making this easily one of the greatest romances of all time.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Kate Winslet makes my list again, but in a more heart-breaking and realistic romance with Jim Carrey. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shows you how the good memories of a relationship vastly outweigh the bad. When Joel decides to erase his ex-girlfriend Clementine from his memory, he realizes that he doesn't ever want to let these memories go. He chases them down one by one, as we relive them with him, and we see the sheer amount of love that these two shared for each other once. They're complete opposites and they fight like crazy, but they're more intimate and realistic than almost any other screen couple in the history of cinema. This movie made me cry a lot and showed me that I should always cherish my relationships, both present and past.

3. Brief Encounter (1945)

Now we're really hitting masterpiece territory. Brief Encounter displays adultery not as an evil, disgusting sin. What we're seeing is one of the most beautiful and tragic romances of all time between a middle aged man and woman that both families. Celia Johnson gives one of the most heart-wrenching performances of all time in this role, because she loves this man so much that it hurts. When they break off their romance, she says "I had no thoughts at all. Only an overwhelming desire not to feel anything ever again." It's so powerful, so real, THAT'S HOW HEARTBREAK FEELS! They captured heartache in that simple statement. Not to mention, Trevor Howard is such a sweet and beautiful man in this film. It never fails to make me shed a tear. A true classic romance.

2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

If you're a homophobe, then stop reading now. Some people can't see the genius and subtlety in Brokeback Mountain, but it comes across plain and clear to me. It's so much more than a 'gay-cowboy film.' These two men have had to suppress who they are their whole lives. Ennis and Jack fall in love while sheep-driving over Brokeback Mountain one summer. When they first leave each other, Ennis' stomach hurt so much that he tried to vomit it out. Little did he know that his heart was broken. My favorite scene is when Jack is sleeping whilst standing up, and Ennis hugs him from behind and sways with him gently. They don't utter a single word, because everything is said just by touching each other. The finale, the very end of Brokeback Mountain, is in my opinion the saddest moment in the history of romantic-cinema. When Ennis says "Jack, I swear", I cried for god knows how long. No, it's not just a 'gay-cowboy romance,' but more 'one of the greatest romances of all time.'

1. Casablanca (1942)

Yes ladies and gentleman, Casablanca got to me too! This is the greatest love-triangle of all time, the greatest romance of all time, and in my opinion, the greatest movie ever made! You can't beat the chemistry between Bergman and Bogart. You can't beat the lines "Here's looking at you, kid," "We'll always have Paris," and "The problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." You can't beat the impossible situation that is the love-triangle! Where Ilsa must choose whether to stay with Victor for the good of the world, or follow her heart and go with Rick. When "As Time Goes By" plays, I get chills. I've seen this movie countless times, and it still gives me chills! You know what truly makes this The Greatest Romance of All Time? It's the way the ending always shocks and breaks my heart. Every single time I watch this movie I find myself wishing and wanting for a different outcome. I know what's for the best, but I can't help but get heart-broken over it. This movie just gets to me in a way that no other film can. It's timeless, it's perfect, it's Casablanca!

Thank-you for putting up with my incoherent ramblings. As you can now tell, I'm a lover of all things romance. What did you think of my list? Sound off in the comments!

If you liked this list, check out my list for

The Star Chamber (1983) - ★★★

Director: Peter Hyams
Writers: Peter Hyams (Screenplay), Roderick Taylor (Story)
Stars: Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, Don Calfa, Joe Regulbuto, Sharon Gless

The Star Chamber has some good acting, a very intriguing story, and a few thrilling scenes. Sometimes it defies the laws of 'basic cop thriller,' which is a term that describes this movie to a tee. The ending is ridiculous, but the whole way through I was entertained in one way or another. It's satisfying, but far from a good movie.

The Lorax (2012) - ★★

Director: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda
Writers: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul (Screenplay), Dr. Seuss (Book)
Voices: Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Betty White, Rob Riggle

The Lorax is one of my favorite children's books of all time by Dr. Seuss. It was beautiful, creative, mystifying, funny, and had a brilliant message at its core. This movie just couldn't capture any of those things perfectly, right down to the animation. I can't help but feel that if this story was left in the hands of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, we'd have a masterpiece on our hands. Instead, we have an almost lifeless 3D modern adaptation that captures neither the heart or the life of Dr. Seuss's vision. It's modern, and at times unfaithful to the book, which is essentially what caused its downfall.

50/50 (2011) - ★★★★

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Angelica Huston, Bryce Dallas Howard, Philip Baker Hall

I was surprised at how much this movie got to me. 50/50 handles the subject of cancer in a very different way to every other film, which is with light-humour and sincerity. The performances are all flawless, with brilliant and believable chemistry between the people and their relationships. Instead of letting cancer dominate the story, it's the people that highlight what is happening on the screen. Disease becomes secondary to feeling, making this an emotional and terrific film.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - ★½

Director: Drew Goddard
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kanz, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins

I absolutely hated this movie for the most part. For the first three quarters, it grained on me and gave me a headache. As a horror movie, it fails miserably at scaring the audience. As a comedy, it just fails at being funny enough to maintain interest. In terms of originality, most of it are hand-me-down stories from previous horror movies... that is until the end. The last quarter of the film was pretty cool, which brought entertainment and a little bit of originality. Overall, practically everything about this movie was awful. Unless you like mindless films where drab characters get killed off one by one,  I'd give this one a miss.

The Tin Star (2006) - ★★★★

Author: J.L. Langley
Genre: Gay & Lesbian, Romance

For my very first book review, I've chosen The Tin Star. Let's just say that it had me hooked from the very first chapter and I couldn't put it down. It's sometimes funny, very unrealistic, and contains so much gooey romance that you can't help but love this book. If there's one thing The Tin Star does, it makes gay romance look beautiful and passionate. However, it fails to highlight the extreme difficulties of being in a same-sex relationship (especially since it is set in the deep-south). Overall, this book is intended to excite and enthrall its target audience, and it does just that.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tumbleweeds (1999) - ★★★½

Director: Gavin O'Conner
Writers: Angela Shelton, Gavin O'Connor (Screenplay)
Stars: Janet McTeer, Kimberly J. Brown, Jay O. Sanders, Gavin O. Conner, Laurel Hollomon, Lois Smith

Not quite a road-trip, not quite a coming-of-age story, Tumbleweeds is a pretty awesome drama about the crazy lives of a mother and daughter. Even though I think it's really good, I can't deny that it's entirely forgettable. I sat down at my computer and had to think about what movie I was watching last night. It took me a while to remember the name Tumbleweeds. Yet I can't stop smiling when I think about it. With the film fresh in my mind, I can tell you that this is a solid movie that's worth a watch.

Plus, Janet McTeer's performance was amazing, so that makes it a must-see in my opinion.

Game of Thrones: Season 2 (2012) - ★★★★½

Stars: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, Jack Gleeson, Richard Madden, Sibel Kekilli, Donald Sumpter, Gwendoline Christie, Rose Leslie, Natalie Tena, Joe Dempsie, John Bradley, Charles Dance

To put it simply, Season 2 of GoT was near perfection! New and mysterious characters are introduced, old and awesome characters are killed off! There are twists and turns in practically every episode, making the game extremely riveting. We're introduced to magic, supernatural creatures, wars and epic battles. After watching this season, I've finally been convinced that this is the greatest show of all time.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Space Jam (1996) - ★

Director: Joe Pytka
Writers: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod (Screenplay).
Stars: Michael Jordan, Wayne Knight, Bill Murray, Theresa Randle

Space Jam is infamous for being one of the worst movies of all time. I thought, surely it can't be that bad? Usually with such ridiculous stories I find them to be 'so bad it's funny.' Not this time. Not with this monstrosity! This movie is so bad, that it's just plain terrible. I hate to sound like a wet blanket, but I couldn't even muster a smile throughout the entire movie! My favorite comedic actor of all time, Bill Murray couldn't even save it! I wanted so badly to find Space Jam enjoyable, but the complete lack of creativity and wit was its ultimate downfall. 

(Plus it's pretty apparent that the whole film was just a ruse to take money from silly Basketball fans and children.)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Holy Motors (2012) - ★★★★

Director: Leos Carax
Writer: Leos Carax
Stars: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Kylie Minogue, Eva Mendez

I still have no idea what this movie is about. After reading multiple interpretations of Holy Motors, I've come to the conclusion that you can't give a correct explanation for the story. I was unflinchingly sucked into the crazy world of a man with many faces. The whole way through I was wondering what was going on, and by the time it had finished I realized that we don't need to know all the answers. It's absurd, captivating, beautiful, wildly original, and one of the best movies made in 2012.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) - ★★★½

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Writer: Stephen Chbosky (Screenplay and Novel)
Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, Nina Dobrev

I really enjoyed The Perks of being a Wallflower, even if it was ridiculous at times. You'll find that it's a cut above the average rom-com, but very overrated. The major problem I had with the film was that none of it seemed real, the characters and the dialogue reeked phoniness. Stephen Chbosky just couldn't convince me that these are real people, which in the end led to a total disconnect from the characters. However, the acting, music, and cinematography were superb. When I look back at this film, I smile.

In the Realm of the Senses (1976) - ★½

Director: Nagisa Oshima
Writer: Nagisa Oshima
Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda

Here comes the age old question, is it art or is it porn? In the Realm of the Senses is about 80% porn in my opinion. The acting is quite good, the music is nice, the costumes and cinematography is very well done. Unfortunately, the rest of the film consists of sex, masturbation and even kinkier sex. It's a labor of love from Nagisa Oshima, who shows us that sex is more than just 'touch' and how it feels. The smell, the taste, the sight and even the sound can maximize a person's desire and pleasure. In the end, it's basically a high-class Japanese porno.

Monday, 10 June 2013

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) - ★★★★

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear (Screenplay), Lionel Shriver (Novel)
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly, Jasper Newell, Ashley Gerasimovich

We Need To Talk About Kevin is the depressing, frustrating, and realistic portrayal of a mother whose son is a sociopath. I found the story to be very interesting, mainly because I have known people like Kevin growing up. This is a movie everyone should see before they race into having kids. I love the way it shows that you can't always blame the parents for the way their kids turn out. In the end, I was not only sad, but in awe of this movie. The whole way through I was either furious or depressed, which is an accomplishment in itself because most films these days can't even make me sad.

Laura (1944) - ★★★★½

Director: Otto Preminger
Writers: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth (Betty) Reinhardt (Screenplay).
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson

Otto Preminger's 'Laura' ranks up there with some of the greatest works of Alfred Hitchcock. Yes, it's just that good! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, twists and motives arise that completely took me by surprise. It's filled with marvelous performances, a riveting murder mystery, and plain old excellent cinematography. It's one of the best movies from the 1940s, and is truly one that I'll never forget.

Oh, did I mention that a young Vincent Price is in this? Well that alone makes this a must see film!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Best Movies and Performances 2012

Here's my latest video guys! I hope you enjoy it. They're my choices for Best Supporting and Leading Performances, as well as the Best Picture of 2012. Thanks for your support! - Ben

Friday, 7 June 2013

Lady and the Tramp (1955) - ★★★½

Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Voice Actors: Peggy Lee, Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts, Bill Thompson, Bill Baucorn

Lady and the Tramp surprised me. When I was a child, I despised this movie. I can't exactly say why, but I just never connected to the story or the characters. Probably because I'm a cat person.

Anyway, watching it again I realised that this is one of Disney's better films. The animation looks magnificent for 1955, and many scenes just had me in awe. I think what surprised me the most was that I got a little bit emotional towards the end. It's not one of my favorite Disney films, but I can't deny that's a very good movie.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) - ★★★½

Director: Stephen Daldry
Writers: Eric Roth (Screenplay), Jonathan Safran Foer (Novel)
Stars: Thomas Horn, Max Von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Caldwell

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close didn't manage to pull at my heartstrings. What it did do however was make me extremely intrigued in the story of an autistic boy on a mission. Everything with Thomas Horn and Max Von Sydow was absolute gold. The chemistry these two had was beyond words. I found myself absolutely enthralled in the adventure of Oscar (Thomas Horn). It seemed like the film was split into two different sections. One was the awesome tale of an autistic kid trying to keep the memory of his father alive, and the other is the sadness of the 9/11 terrorist attack. While the story of this kid's struggle is amazing, the film falls flat whenever they focus on 9/11.

The Cell (2000) - ★★½

Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Mark Protosevich
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Dylan Baker, Marianne Jean-Baptiste

What do you get when you cross Alice in Wonderland with Silence of the Lambs? You get The Cell. It's a bad movie... but slightly better than most modern horror flicks. You can put that down to it having better special effects, amazing costume design, stunning cinematography, and an interesting story. However, it lacked in terms of acting, character development, and perfecting the story. It had a hell of a lot of potential! Like I said, it was very interesting. Oh, did I mention that this is one of the weirdest freaking movies I've ever seen! It's the kind of thing that would disturb the masses, but it didn't disturb me as much as I thought it would. In that sense, it was also a let-down.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Moneyball (2011) - ★★★★½

Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: Michael Lewis (Book), Stan Chervin (Story), Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

I never liked baseball. I'm from Australia, where the sport isn't very popular. I know little about the game rules or history, so I had no idea what this movie had in store. You know what Moneyball did, it made me interested in baseball. In all my life there have been only two other movies that had me curious about the sport. They were: The Sandlot Kids and Bad News Bears. Moneyball trumps them all; it's thrilling, intelligent and very well made. The story itself was extremely interesting by showing us the unfairness of the sport and how mathematics can be a valuable tool. Look, if a movie can make you interested in a sport you never payed attention to, then it's done a great job.

All the King's Men (1949) - ★★★★★

Director: Robert Rossen
Writers: Robert Penn Warren (Novel), Robert Rossen (Screenplay)
Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, Joanne Dru, John Derek, Anne Seymour

Money, Power, Greed, Corruption, Manipulation and Ambition. All of these subjects are explored in one of the greatest movies I've ever seen, All the King's Men. I'm at a loss for words when it comes to this movie. It absolutely blew me away. I find many classic films about politics and whatnot quite dated and boring, but this one was something different. In my opinion, it's as good as Citizen Kane, with perfect performances, cinematography and a story that remains relevant to the politicians of today.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pocahontas (1995) - ★★★

Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg
Voice Actors: Irene Bedard, Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly, Linda Hunt, Russell Mean

Here's how I think the movie Pocahontas was conceived:

"Hey, let's have a Native American Disney Princess."
"Sounds good, who can we use."
"I think we've hit the jackpot!"

Yes, Disney has tried to do the impossible by making a children's movie out of America's brutal history with the Native Americans. I didn't find it offensive, but I didn't find it very entertaining either. It's one of the most beautiful animated films I've ever seen, and best of all, it has the most beautiful Disney song of all time. "Colors of the Wind," sung by Judy Kuhn.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) - ★★★½

Director: Neil Jordan
Writers: Anne Rice (Screenplay and Novel)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater

You know what Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas have in common? They're three of the sexiest vampires in the history of cinema! I have to say, this would have to be one of my personal favorite vampire movies. What's better than a movie filled with sexy vampires? A good quality movie with sexy vampires! But seriously, this is an example of an occult film gone right. With absolutely marvelous performances and a story that never fails to interest me, it's no wonder I found this thrilling from start to finish. At times it does get a bit ridiculous and the ending could have done with a more thorough explanation, but in the end I found it very enjoyable.