Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pulp Fiction.

Hello Bloggershpere.

Where to even begin with this film. I decided to watch this, because I was tiered of having not seen it. Pulp Fiction is a modern classic, and like 'The Godfather' in the way media will reference snippets from it, and if you haven't seen, you just can't understand the hundreds of jokes and witty comments regarding this film.
So i watched it, however at nine o'clock in the morning probably wasn't the best idea- immediately blood and violence erupts (which is expected from a Quentin Tarantino film) which is actually quite frightening. It's just so unexpected so early on, and you begin to understand the criminal characters personally before all the violence, and they seem like good, normal people. The brutality shown goes hand-in-hand with the light comedy masterfully given by Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Chirstopher Walken, Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta. Jackson and Travolta are especially amazing as the funny yet deadly hit men, Jackson in particular is electrifying. You can be laughing at his witty delivery then biting your nails in fear of his murderous killings, all in the same scene.
But what is the film actually about? To be honest you may not even find out by the end of the film, or realise where the story's going until half way through. This is quite a cool technique Tarantino used in his directing. You watch four seemingly separated stories including hilarious hit men, and couples involved in armed robberies, which you then learn are all connected. Quintin Tarantino also stars briefly so look our for his quite random appearance and awful acting.
Do not watch Pulp Fiction if you faint at the sight of blood, or if your are offended by some pretty obscene story lines. Also don't watch it if you don't like stand out performances (bar Tarantino), brilliant directing (by Tarantino ) and an all-star cast. However if you dislike Uma Thermon as much I do, you should definitely watch this film, as ~Spoiler Alert~ she gets stabbed pretty early on.
My rating: ★ ★ ★
(bare in mind this was made in the 90's)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Blue Valentine.

Hello Bloggershpere.

I'm not quite sure why I chose to watch this film. It's not a comedy, action movie, horror or anything that looks interesting on the surface, but my God was the acting good.

Yes Ryan Gosling stars in this film, but if you're hoping to see him as the hot womaniser like in 'Crazy stupid love' or the romantic boyfriend that mesmerised girls everywhere in 'The Notebook' this isn’t the film for you, (although he does play the Ukulele) he's serious but funny, and quite deep.

Michelle Williams plays opposite Ryan Gosling, and the film focuses on their present day relationship which is quickly falling apart, whilst contrasting this ruin with the romantic and loving relationship the two once had as teenagers. Now I know what you're thinking: can a film sound more boring? And I agree to some extent-I still don’t quite know what the films about if I’m honest, or why it ends the way it does. However how it was filmed is the interesting part. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams actually lived together whilst filming in order to capture a real family atmosphere and most of the script is improvised, as well as part of the story.

It is definitely not the most exciting film I’ve seen, but if you're into drama that's stripped back of all the gimmicks and CGI, Blue Valentine could not be a better watch. Not so great a story, but excellent, honest acting.

My rating ***

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Simply the best-Actors Acting

Hello Bloggershpere.
Preparing for my Drama GCSE was a great time to seek inspiration from some of my favourite actors, who have performed so greatly it would be a crime not to share some of their awesomeness. So here are a few clips of what, in my opinion, are some of the best cinematic performances yet. Brace yourself...

1) Kate Winslet & Leonardo DiCaprio (what's this guy gotta do to get an Oscar?) in revolutionary Road.

2) Denzel Washington, in Training day.                                                                                                   
3) Micheal Fassbender, Shame. Due to the inappropriate nature of this film (way too much skin for this blog) I can only put the trailer on here. However the scene I find magnificent in the film is when he breaks down crying on his routine run. Go check it out.
4) Marion Coutillard, La vie en rose. Youtube doesn't have my favourate scene, but this'll do. You'll have to watch the film.
5) Monique, Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire. This one is defiantly a deep one, tissues at the ready.
6)   Angelina Jolie, Changeling. Defiantly a must-see.
7)  Kate Winslet, The Reader. This is the performance that genuinely gave me an interest in film, blew me away.
8)  Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds. The man, the myth, the legend.
9) Tom Hanks, Philadelphia. tears everytime.
10)  Heath Ledger, The dark night. (This clip is pretty dark & violent) but brilliant.
And there you have it. These clip are not in any order, ranking these performances would be an impossible task. Hope you enjoyed and thought they were as amazing as i did, and if you didn't-the Academy mostly agreed with me so, ha.                                                                                                                                                         

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

50/50: Can cancer ever be funny?

Hello Bloggershpere.

When you decide to watch a film a about a man that developed cancer you’re going to want to have the Kleenex at the ready, however when watching 50/50 (starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick-directed by Jonathan Levine) I found myself choking on my popcorn with laughter, instead of crying into it.
But cancer can’t be funny, surely? It turns out it can. Seth Rogens’ character was defiantly my favourite ; playing the best friend to cancer patient Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) one would expect a sad and sympathetic best friend, however funny-man ‘Kyle’ instead uses his best friends’ cancer as a way to ‘pick up chicks’. Kyle’s’ unlikely reaction to finding out Adam as cancer was especially funny. His reply?  “50/50. If you were a casino game you’d have the best odds”.  I know right?
Even though the film can actually be classed a comedy, some of the saddest scenes in film history can be found in this one film. But fear not- instead of having a suicidal aftertaste in your mouth once the film is over, you can expect to have one of those ‘life-is-so-short-you-have-to-live-and-love- while-you-can’ epiphanies. And any film that actually makes you think about real-life at the end (and not how you wish you had a vampire boyfriend) is defiantly worth a watch.
Anyone that knows me knows that much like the academy, I do love an actor to suffer at least a little for role, and what I love about Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is that he didn’t hold back on his performance at all. Levitt shaves his head in just one take, and even loses weight to mirror a real cancer patient, and did it all for an indie film, to which you can’t be sure any recognition would come your way. For this however, Joseph was nominated for a Golden Globe for ‘Best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical lead in 2011. Of course he was overlooked, Paul Giamatti (whoever that is) won the award- but his nomination shows just how beautiful his performance was- without a doubt 50/50 was Levitt at his prime.
Expect a little bit of romance in there too, with Anna Kendrick playing his psychiatrist/girlfriend in the movie, which honestly works amazingly. And despite all the joking around, the love Adam is shown by the people around him really is incredibly heart-warming, and the fact this heart-breaking and hilarious story is a real one gives you all the more reason to watch this inspiring film.  The role of cancer patient Adam is based on the real-life Screen writer Will Reiser, and not surprisingly Seth Rogen character is based on… well, Seth Rogen.  So what are you waiting for? This drama/rom-com has a little something for everyone, whatever genre you like. So hit the link to watch the trailer below and get ready the shed some tears of joy and sadness…

My rating ****

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

Hello Bloggershpere.

I know, I am very late to review this film as it came out last year and before you even think it, no I do not have a knack for only reviewing movies surrounded by Oscar buzz. However ‘Silver Linings playbook’ did have my favourite actor Robert de Niro starring as well as two other actors I couldn't resist watching play opposite each other- of course Bradley Cooper and Jenifer Lawrence. Unlike ‘Les Miserables’ I went into watching 'Silver Linings' without any real expectations. Yes, it has already won some serious awards like a Golden Globe, but other than finding it inevitable that some tour de force acting would come from de Nero, I had no idea what the story line was about or what any of the characters were like. Which was probably a good thing, because a story about a thirty something man that moves back in with his parents after a stint at a mental hospital doesn't exactly scream “Film of the year” as some critics are calling it. But then again, you can never judge a film by its synopsis.

A good thing about the way this film was written and directed by David O. Russell, was that it didn't take too long to address the key issues. You know from the start ‘Pat’ played by Bradly Cooper is in a mental institution, but they tell you why pretty soon. Unlike many precocious indie films that don't actually tell you anything about anyone and then you wake up at the end of film wandering where those 2 hours of you life went. With 'Silver Linings' the important stuff such as what happened to put Pat in the mental facility, or how widowed ‘Tiffany’ played by Jennifer Lawrence lost her husband are addressed. However the effects of these events on the characters is left to the audience to discover, with little hidden clues and analytical details like how the position of a portrait on a wall shows the relationship between father and son. Geeky I know. But this style of directing is a thinkers dream.

Bradly Cooper is amazing at showing all the different aspects to his  character, who is at times violent but incredibly sensitive, confused but also very honest, and in my opinion is strongest of the cast (which I guess you have to be when leading in a movie) but Bradley holds his own against incredibly strong actors such as de Niro and is, dare i say, on par in terms of his performance. 

If only I could say the same for Jennifer Lawrence, who yes is good, but I’d be lying if I said no other actress could have played her role. Her character has a spectrum of different characteristics, but for me the overwhelming sadness that come with being widowed just didn't come across. In some movies actresses have shown it in their eyes if not anything else and Jennifer just didn't to that. Its an unpopular opinion, but hey ho.

I absolutely loved the comedic relief in the form of Chris Tucker, who made me laugh every time he managed to escape the mental ward, and wound up intruding on the family. Last but not least the father of acting himself Robert Di Niro played the gambling obsessed superstitious father, and might I say brilliantly. This character is no ‘Al Capone’ as Di Niro has previously played, but he still manages to take a seemingly dull part and make it pop onscreen, as well as being completely believable throughout, bravo.

If you’re like me and have been waiting to see the film for months, I would defiantly recommend. An emotional and deep yet hilarious film. 

My rating: ★★★★

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Les Miserables: Overrated?

Hello Bloggershpere.

It was my first film of 2013, and also my favourite musical. So needless to say ‘Les Miserables’ had to meet some incredibly high expectations; most of them mine.
Annoyingly Hugh Jackman had been nominated for best actor in a leading role by the academy. As well as Anne Hathaway for best supporting actress two days before the film was released in the UK. Which evidently put me under pressure to be left ‘speechless’ by Hathaway’s performance as Fontine: a loving yet heartbroken prostitute (probably the most ‘Miserables’ of all the characters). And left ‘in awe’ of Hugh Jackman’s’ portrayal of ‘Jean Valjean’ as many critics were. However having witnessed the operatic master that is Alfie Boe who majestically seduces entire audiences with his voice in the west end: could anything Hollywood do really match the classic show?  
Well, it turns out it can. Although I’m sure it would make a more interesting review if I disagreed with the millions that called ‘Les Miserables’ ‘astounding’ but unfortunately I do. It certainly is a film-lovers Havana with its epic cinematography (especially in the opening scene) incredible cast and remarkable direction from Tom Hooper who truly pushed the boundaries of film-making and set a bar that all other directors should endeavour to meet. But I tried to hate it, promise.
What is it about ‘Les miserables’ that makes it so beautifully breath-taking you ask?

Firstly it has to be the ensemble. Now I’d be lying if I hadn’t foolishly gone to see a film just because it has an all-star cast in my younger much more naïve days, because regretfully I have. Films like ‘New year’s Eve’ and ‘Valentine’s day’ are what’s described as rotten oranges. They look perfectly fine on the outside (due to a well-edited trailer and huge promotional budget) but sickening when you eat it (or in this case make the rookie mistake of watching it). But ‘Les Miserables’ is different. The a-list cast really do live up to the hype, and are actually a-list. Let’s take Anne Hathaway-the most talked about actress this year yet I was still sceptical. Yes, she can play a princess but Fontine is quite the reverse-undoubtedly the character that begs for an audiences sympathy, and wouldn’t you know, she managed to make me cry multiple times with only 15 minutes screen time in all.
Hugh Jackman also astounded me- although his vocal talent was never questioned-I was prejudiced after having believed he was a mutant with knives for fingers the majority of my childhood. Nevertheless my pre-judgement was again put to shame and the way Hugh Jackman genuinely handed himself over to his character is to be commended and of course the Academy love one to suffer for their art, whether it be shaving your head like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ‘50/50’ or dramatically losing weight like Natalie Portman in ‘Black swan’ and Hugh Jackman did not disappoint, losing a whopping 30lbs and shaving his head to realistically present to us starved, browbeaten prisoner in 19th century France. Eddie Redmayne was also a pleasant surprise. His voice was closer to operatic than expected (defiantly romantic lead worthy) and the incredibly intimate close up shots Eddie Redmayne’s boyish freckled face didn’t go amiss amongst a younger audience.
Unfortunately nothing’s perfect, and although Russell Crowe was able to instill fear anytime he appeared onscreen as the cold hearted Inspector Javert’ his singing voice was at times painful to listen to (especially the solos).  Needless to say the four months of singing lessons was money not well spent.
Nevertheless the film was a triumph. The actors live singing made the production raw and allowed them to take risks we seldom see in Hollywood blockbusters today, making ‘Les Miserables’ stand out from the other film-musicals. The authenticity of the sets and the colossus CGI tasks must also be applauded, but the tributes to the stage shows I found warming. With the west-end star Samantha Barks playing Eponine’ and hundreds of west-enders cast as extras including one of my favourites Kerry Ellis, the original medium of the musical felt appreciated. Aaron Tveit also waved the Broadway flag playing Enjolras’ making the production inclusive with bounds of talent. Yes it will make you cry, but I challenge anyone to not spare a chuckle with the hilarious one liners from Sacha baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as ‘The Thernardiers’.

For anyone who doesn’t believe my shudder inducing and clichéd however honest praise for the film, should simply see it for themselves.

My rating: ★★★★

Hello Bloggershpere.

  My name is Danielle, I am sixteen years old, live in Surrey and most importantly am a huge film-geek. I have no idea when I started, but after watching films like ‘The Godfather’ one and two (defiantly not three), Submarine and strangely ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ I have loved watching/reviewing/recommending films. I simply find everything about them interesting- from the directing style to the cinematography, and especially the acting. So I thought why not share this on the Internet? And if I were lucky enough to have any readers, hopefully they would enjoy my opinions of all kinds of films: past, present, Hollywood or foreign, independent or blockbuster. And maybe they might just check out one or two.

After jealously watching the likes of Carrie Bradshaw and laughing endlessly at YouTube ‘vloggers’, it wasn't long before I decided that blogging is in. Not that I am one to follow crowds, but it comes to a point when diaries just don't cut the mustard, and being able to share my passion of films with other people sounded pretty cool.
And so it begins…