Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The King's Speech (5)




The story of King George VI of Britain and his surprising ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped him get there.

Watching movies like this makes me disappointed to see movies like Little Fockers and Yogi Bear(which mind you, I haven't seen yet, but really...come on) owning the box office while such a astounding and once in a life time film like this sort of hides under the lime light. So sad. This is a masterpiece. Every little bit of news you have heard about this film is true. It is such an amazing story with extremely impressive performances and perfect comedy to top it all off.

Colin Firth, I heart you so much. I respect your choice in keeping to where your audience likes to see you, in the romantic type films, while leaving yourself some room to grow in movies like A Single Man. Yet, seeing you play something so perfectly, so intensely beautiful as this makes me want to shake you and kiss you at the same time. You really are an amazing actor. I don't care what anyone says. I watched A Single Man and thought you were at your prime but no, you were just getting started. This is the best performance of yours to date. Hands down. Thank you very much.

Not only was Mr. Firth at his extreme, ultimate high but then here comes Geoffrey Rush. What an amazing supporting role. So well done. There were scenes with him and Colin that took my breath away. Seeing these two on their own is one thing but when they were in one shot together...it was so powerful. I can't even explain it. They made this film what it is. They really did. Without one or the other it wouldn't have been as fantastic. I hope they work together again soon...

It was good to see Helena Bonham Carter in a role like this as well but even with her good performance she just didn't shine as much as Rush and Firth.

The story is really good. I know you might tell yourself that you're tired of all the royalty stories and gossip but this movie isn't like what you think it is. No. Not at all. They humanize the family more than in any other film I have ever seen. They were just people with extra ordinary problems. I loved that. They don't actually spend that much time at all focusing on them in that way, which was a nice break from your everyday royal family tale.

Best scene: the swearing one. You'll know what I'm talking about. I haven't laughed like that for a long time. Actually, this film was full of moments like that which really surprised me. I never thought it would be as hilarious as it was. Moments filled with honest, every day, sarcastic humour. Fantastic. I was laughing my ass off.

I liked how they added in some personal stories about King George IV, ones that I had never heard of before. Some really sad true stories from his childhood that made me really latch on and connect to the character. I was teary eyed for a few parts. The speech at the end was all the more powerful because of it. Not only is it a King leading his people through hard times, but it was an everyday man over coming himself, his fears and humility. Strong stuff. Very moving.

I want to give this a 5/5...there was some slowness at the beginning that had me worried, but then it was necessary in order to set the characters and the reality of the whole thing before diving into the butter of the story. So. I guess...

5/5

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

127 Hours (4.5)



Based on the true story of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who gets trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah for 127 hours.

I had wanted to see this film since I first heard it was happening. I've been a fan of Danny Boyle (director) ever since Slumdog Millionaire. I've been a fan of James Franco ever since, well, ever. I tried to go see it at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) but it was sold out before I could blink. It was worth the wait though. Oh boy, was it ever.

I love any adventurer story. Into the Wild is another ultimate favourite of mine, if you end up liking this film (which you should) I highly suggest you check it out. The book is great as well. Anywho, I love all stories like this one. There is just something about raw survival that heightens the senses and inspires you; gets your blood flowing. This film did that and then some. Right from the very first shot I was in. I was in it. They had my full attention and they kept it right until the credits.

James Franco, you're amazing. I don't know how he did it, but he really really did it. I felt so connected and on the roller coaster with him. Any little change in expression I was there with him, mirroring his emotions from the audience. Fantastic.

I can definitely compare the suspense to Buried. It was such a ride. I think I started to get a cramp in my arm from being tense for so long. The close up shots and the very well done and synced music definitely helped with that. Sometimes the music effected me more than the visuals, which is always a treat.

The big scene which I'm sure you have all heard of by now was super gruesome. Not for the light of heart, yet I have seen worse. That shouldn't calm you down that much though seeing as I've seen some really horrific horror/slasher/rater super R films that make you lose sleep. Still, it could've been worse but I'm glad they had it the exact way they did. Any less or any worse would've ruined the whole thing I think because the rest of the story would have paled in comparison to this one "big" scene. Still crazy though. Gives me the shivers.

Best scene was when he starts talking about how his whole life and the rocks entire life was set up for this to happen. That it was fate or destiny or whatever you want to call it. That was amazing. I got pretty emotional, well, more than I already was at that moment. They way the set that whole part up was really well done. It gave me chills. There were a few others scenes like that too that had me thinking harder than was required about my own life.

Great story. The fact that it really happened makes it even more intense. Amazing performance by James Franco with great directing by Danny Boyle. Good music and all the rest. Yup, easy to say that this is a film that you don't want to let slip by you. Go out and watch it. The horrific scene shouldn't keep you away, it's worth the grimaces and tears.

4.5/5

Inkheart (3.5)



A man discovers that he can bring characters from the books he reads to life. As his daughter gets older she finds out who her father really is when a mysterious man, a character from a book called Inkheart that he has been looking for for 9 years, finds them and threatens her dad. Suddenly they all find themselves kidnapped by the villain from this same book and all must fight to get back to the families they have lost.

I have no idea why I decided to watch this movie. It looked so cheesy and so lame anytime I saw the cover and a trailer. I was tired but wanted something fun and simple to watch before bed but I had already seen all the family-esque films that we offered to me, all but this one. I took a chance, and it was way better than I ever could've thought. This movie is surprisingly decent.

Brendan Fraser. I forgive you. You got older and had a family and still wanted to act but didn't want anything too crazy or serious. You had some bad films buddy. Some really bad choices that have coined you as, well, a wash up. I liked you in this role though. I really did. You have some action and some family stuff but you also had some good scenes that had me raising my eyebrows in remembrance of how amazing you used to be. You still got it, it's in there. I felt it while watching this film. Now bring it on back!

Paul Bettany is easily one of my natural favourites these days. I am always so drawn to him. I have no idea why, but he is just amazing. Even in this silly little roles, he is always 100% the character he is portraying and you can't ever blame him for a movie being bad. He is always the best part of any film he is in. Yet, he is just slightly out of the lime light, which makes it even better. Even after films like The Young Victoria and Legion you can't help but feel connected to him no matter the character or film.

This is a family movie though so you can't blame them for the action and the cheese. All things considered though this movie could have been awful but instead it was a fun flick with some good acting and not so awful ending. Huzzah!

3.5/5

Me and Orson Welles (3.5)



A teenager is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar" directed by the up and coming Orson Welles in 1937. Here he finds out the hard way how life in theatre can be and who this Orson Welles guy really is. There's not room for love or kindness in show biz.

I'm a pretty big supported of Zac Efron. He especially had me convinced after I watched Charlie St. Cloud. I know that he got a bad rap and was type casted after his days of High School Music 1 through 78, but he really is talented. If you step back and allow yourself to look at him as an actor now you would (hopefully) see that too. Come on, he's a pure bred triple threat. That is more rare than you'd think. He can actually act and sing and dance without any voice overs or fill ins and what have you. That's awesome. And he's a looker...which always helps. heh. Really though, he was great in this role. It was nice to see him 'on stage' even if that stage was being filmed.

I have found myself liking Claire Danes these days as well, especially after seeing her as Temple Grandin. She was good as the love interest, the selfish love interest.

One big question I had while watching this film was where the hell did this Christian McKay fella come from and why isn't he in every single movie I watch?! He plays Orson Welles and was fantastic. I was shocked to look him up and find that I had never even heard of him before. Hopefully he starts getting more attention because if Zac was so hot I would've been completely glued to him for the whole film.

The story is basic. It was nice to see some theatre on film action going on. It is weird though, as someone who works in theatre, to see it on the big screen. Yet, it's still good to see it. They did a good job of making the theatre seem theatre. All the little stage tricks are real life theatre tricks. That was great to see.

I don't know that much about Orson Welles to be honest, at least not his early years, so it was nice to see this film for that yet it's not a biography. Not at all. It follows the teenager more than Orson so don't bother renting this film and expecting to get an inside look at Welles. The whole movie had a bit of a family feel to it but that didn't make it bad, it just stopped them from digging too far into the real going-ons throughout the film.

Still, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching this movie. It's different from watch I usually watch which is always nice. Acting was great. Story is entertaining and there are some really funny moments and a few inspiration lines that had me "hmmm" with my chin in my hand. Literally.

Worth a gander for sure.

3.5/5

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hamlet (4.5)



A BBC film of The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2009 adaptation of the classic play starring David Tennant, Patrick Stewart and Penny Downie.

I am a pretty big David Tennant fan at the moment. I have been watching the new Doctor Who series almost religiously and I love, love, love watching him play the doctor. I also remember him as Barty Crouch Jr. from the fourth Harry Potter film. There is something about how David acts what as soon as he enters the shot you cannot take your eyes off of him. It's almost like he is electric. I thought that was caused only by my love of Doctor Who so I was rather looking forward to watching him in another role. Not just any role, but in my favourite play and my favourite theatrical character of all time: Hamlet.

He did no disappoint. He did the complete opposite of that and completely blew me away. I have seen numerous live productions of this play and have watched almost every film version I could find and he might just be my favourite. That's right, he is right next to if not surpassing Lawrence Olivier's portrayal of Hamlet. That is huge. That is hard for me to say. Yet, it's true.

It's something about his little facial reactions. His tiny snaps in dialect and use of words that had me grinning like an idiot or stunned into silence. It was amazing to see. His physicality was astounding. I have never seen a more physical portrayal of Hamlet in my entire life. It almost shocked me really because it was so new. Every other Hamlet is still unless he is 'acting' crazy...but no. David was in this character body and mind. Fantastic to see.

If you can't tell already I am going to go out and buy this movie on Boxing Day. That's right, it is so good I will face the crowds to get my hands on my own copy.

Even if David Tennant isn't enough then, oh, who's this? Patrick Stewart! I mean, come on! How amazing is that?! He did an amazing job as Claudius. Fantastic.

Okay. So. Even if you think you hate Shakespeare I say give this version a chance. It is never dull. You would never know it was a 3 hour long film. The set is stunning, I really loved the use of reflective surfaces and playing with the "play within a play" scenario with the cameras. David does one of the best if not the best portrayals of Hamlet I have ever seen. The everything is amazing...

Ya. Okay. I'll stop now.

4.5/5

The Ghost Writer (2)



A ghostwriter is hired to complete the memoirs of the former British prime minister after the previous writer's body washes up on shore. With no experience in politics, the new writer begins the work on this long awaited book but the deeper his research goes the more his life is in danger.

I'm generally a sucker for the corrupt political films. I am slowly getting tired of them as the most recent ones tend to be pretty dry and, in my opinion, exaggerate a little too much. I was hoping this movie would be different but alas it was worse than I could've guessed.

Boring.

So boring. I started fast forwarding during the last 30 minutes of the movie. It was that bad. And even after all that I didn't miss anything. Some of the 'ground breaking' events in this movie were less than a surprise. In fact, the whole movie moves at a slow pace so you think it's because something big is building but when that 'big' thing comes it's almost as exciting as a firework that never goes off.

I was pretty disappointed. The beginning of this movie takes far too long to start up. It starts up and every character is dull and adds almost nothing to the story. Then some other events take place that don't seem to matter all that much. Suddenly the writer is running away on less than exciting get away attempts then...what you thought was true is true.

End.

Lame. I really didn't like it. The only reason why I am giving it a 2 is because I'm a huge Ewan McGregor fan and he can never do wrong (this movie was not his fault). Also, you get to see his bum. That was exciting.

The very, very ending was cool. I love that shot. That was the only time in that 2 hour chunk of my life that I was remotely interested and then 5 seconds later the credits rolled.

*sigh*

2/5

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2)




A life time bachelor and sleaze finds himself haunted by the 'ghosts' of his ex girlfriends during the weekend of his brothers wedding.

Oh boy. How to start this review...

I sort of wish I hadn't wasted my time on this movie. To be honest, I was playing games on my phone and nothing else was on that I hadn't seen before so I just started to watch this and suddenly I had watched the whole thing and I had no idea why.

I don't find Matthew McConaughey extremely sexy but there is something there so maybe that was the reason. His role wasn't anything wondrous, you are meant to dislike him anyways, but the writing was not so great. Well, by that I mean that it is the most basic and classic case of romcom I have ever viewed. Almost as amazing (sarcasm) as The Back-up Plan. *shiver*

I also could care less about Jennifer Garner and haven't really enjoyed her in any of her films I have seen yet (there is still hope). I can never seem to care anything about her characters. She is just...dry, to me. I guess that's an appropriate word, there is no juice to her characters. What you see is what you get. I guess that works for this simple romcom.

Story is nothing amazing. It's an eye rolling spin off of one of the best stories ever created: A Christmas Carol.

If you want a brainless, not so funny or even so sexy, semi-entertaining and simple movie you should watch this. You don't even really have to pay attention in order to watch it. It sucks because I've liked Matthew in romcoms before this movie and now I'm back to thinking I don't like him...

It's a romcom. It's corny. It's not humourous. It's meh.

2/5

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waterworld (3.5)


1995 action/sci-fi starring Kevin Costner.

Okay, stop rolling your eyes! I feel like most people, even those who have never even seen this movie, they just assume that it's bad or remember it being bad. I am one of those people who quite enjoys this movie. I am going to tell you why! And, no, Kevin Costner is not hot so that is not the reason.

Set in the future when the entire planet is consumed by water, we follow the story of one drifter who gets stuck trying to help a woman and a young girl to find dry land. There is something special about the girl that this drifter didn't know about until the outlaws begin to track and hunt them down. Now they are not only looking for land but for a way to save their own lives.

I will admit that there are gaping holes in this story so don't bother trying to look at it in any sort of realistic way; it wont work and you will hate it. Also, yes, the acting is nothing short of awful (for the most part), but even if the acting was a little better, what makes this movie good has nothing to do with the acting.

Maybe it's because I grew up with this film so I've always liked it but I really like the over all idea. I liked how they tried to look at the "end of the world" scenario in a new way. I mean, I think this was one of the first movies that made people stop and think about the ice caps and the environment in a whole new way. This was a decade before movies like Day After Tomorrow and 2012 and what not. Those aren't very good either but they force you to think about how bad stuff could really be. The only thing is that Waterworld didn't have the CG or the effects that the end of days movies do now which to me adds to it's awesomeness.

I liked the cheese. I enjoy that every thing, though bogus, was real...it's basically Mad Max on water and Kevin Costner is Mel Gibson. That's basically what it is. It also said screw you to the 90's movie go-er crowd and just threw this story in their face which ultimately back fired but I still think they need some credit for doing that. It really is a cool idea.

Granted, if you don't like action movies, Kevin Costner, or sci-fi type films you will probably want to stab your eyes out but if you do give it a chance. It's not so bad. IF anything it's entertaining and some of the seriousness will make you laugh pretty damn hard.

...it could be worse. Trust me. It really could.

3.5/5

Casablanca (4)


The 1942 romantic/war time classic that still wins hearts.

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, a American owns his own salon in Casablanca, Morroco during the second world war. This man seems cold and/or neutral to everyone he meets until the most beautiful girl anyone has ever seen walks into his salon with a man every Nazi wishes he could arrest. Soon everyone finds out how fate wasn't ready to let these two people forget one another and how far it will go to make them be together again.

Ever wonder where some of the most quoted romantic movie lines come from? They are probably from this film.

This is one of the most classic films of all time. I had seen it years ago during a random black&white film kick but then I put it behind me and moved on. Since then I've come across a ton of people who had never seen it so I felt the need to go back and watch it again. It was just as good the second time around.

Keep in mind that this is a movie from the 40's so the action isn't what we're use to. The romance isn't what we would really call romantic. The dialect and difficulties are not as intense as they normally are, but it's so fantastic. This is an incredible movie and a must see for all movie watchers. Even for those not-so-avid movie go-ers, you should really consider seeing this movie.

The story is amazing. The characters are fantastic. This movie is all about its characters and that's what makes it so amazing. The majority of movies I watch now don't spend enough time on the people but rather look at the scenery and the special effects. There is very little of that in Casablanca. That's what makes it so raw and so powerful. Simple sets. Straight forward characters and a solid, believable story.

See some good old style acting with Bogart and Bergman and enjoy the simple yet complicated story. Just sit back and enjoy this one, it's a part of history.

4/5

The Proposal (4)




The leading editor of a big publisher in New York City is about to be deported back to Canada when she announces that she is in fact getting married to her over-worked assistant Andrew. In truth, she is blackmailing him into the whole ordeal in order to get a visa so she can continue working for the company. What she doesn't know is who Andrew is, or more importantly, how amazing he could be.

I've always liked Sandra Bullock so I tend to attempt to watch all her new releases. This one slipped past me last year though and I only came upon when web-stalking, I mean, researching Ryan Reynolds online. Then a friend told me about it and another and another so I had to see it. Even after watching it about 5 times I still love it. It's far more hilarious than I thought it could be.

Sandra is amazing. She nails the role. I always find her funny though, not sure why. Ryan Reynolds is amazing and super as always hot in this film. I like them together in this movie because just like their characters you would think they would be good together...but they are. Really liked watching them work together.

I'm not sure if I 100% believed them being in love by the end though. Not sure why, I just didn't believe it.

Bonus: Betty White is Andrew's Grammy. Fantastic. She is part of the most hilarious scenes in this film. That whole "give thanks to the universe" chant thing kills me every time. So good. So glad to see her as this character. You rock Betty! ...and the puppy. I love that little fur ball.

When it comes down to it though, and you get past the hilarity of at least half of this movie, it is a romcom. With that comes an obligation to not question every thing and allow yourself to be entertained. If you can do that this movie will surprise you just as much as it did me. I really like this movie.

Funny. Cute. Some magically hilarious scenes and Ryan with his shirt off. Yum.

4/5

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Temple Grandin (4)




Based on the true story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who becomes one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.

I had never heard of Temple Grandin before, or maybe I had but then forgot about her so this movie was a very random find. At first I turned it on because it sounded lame and because I had no idea what the hell it was about. I am so glad I did, this was a delightful surprise!

The story of this women is enough of a reason to watch this film. Spectacular. Really amazing. From where she started to where she ended up, it's so inspirational. Temple herself seems like an amazing person, Claire Danes did a fantastic job portraying her. Such a great character.

There really wasn't a dull moment at all in this film. Not sure if I really liked the ending or not but there was really no good way to end this movie so I'll have to let that one go. All the characters were interesting and the writing was great.

The best moments were when they gave you a glimpse into how Temple sees things. For example, one character uses the term "husbandry" but Temple pictures it as marriage and they cut quickly to a cow with a wig standing beside 'her' husband on their 'wedding' day. Hilarious. The little things like that made this movie.

Like I said, Claire Danes was fantastic. Really amazing performance. I felt so connected to her the entire time. It was nice to see David Strathairn too, even though it was only for a brief time. I've always liked him.

Fantastic true story that I feel is a must see. Very well done with an amazing portrayal of this magnificent woman. I'm really glad that I stumbled upon it!

4/5

The Bounty Hunter (3)




A bounty hunter gets the assignment of his dreams: to find his ex-wife and bring her to jail. The only problem is he is wanted for gambling money and she is wanted for sticking her reported nose into a corrupt suicide case and they both need to make it to the courthouse on time. There's nothing wrong with one last adventure together, until you're fighting for your lives instead of fighting over who is to blame for ruining the relationship.

I'm not sure what it is but no matter how bad, I cannot help but like every single Gerard Butler film. I mean, I have never liked Jennifer Aniston (settle down Friends fans) but it didn't seem to matter because Butler was there. I mean, he isn't even all that attractive so it must be something about his personality that draws me in. Who knows, it's a mystery, but I enjoyed this film.

When you put aside the hilarious obviousness that is the plot you can really sit back and enjoy the ride. This movie was fun and should not be taken seriously. Mind you, I didn't laugh as much as I wanted to or could have but it was still enjoyable.

The action is shrug worthy for the most part but for some reason once I started watching I couldn't turn it off. I was looking for a simple before bedtime film that I could turn off half way through but then I had to watch it all. I guess there is something to be said for that...

This is your average rom-com meets action flick. Same-ish style characters with all the obvious plot twists and turns. So, if you dig those types of films you will most likely love this one.

Also, Gerard Butler....

3/5

Red Cliff (4)




A 2008 John Woo film about a story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

This may be my new favourite of this genre. Usually these types of films have a certain percent of unrealistic scenes and fighting styles (ex. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). I personally enjoy that style but I know it stops the majority of people from being able to take the genre seriously. Whether you're in the first category or the second I think you will like this movie.

Any exaggeration is minimal and almost non-existent. The fight scenes were magnificent. They were so beautiful. Some of them I literally gasped out loud they were so stunning. The action was pure and the way it was laid out and executed was perfection. IF anything watch this movie for that; for the fight scenes.

Acting was generally amazing as well which also isn't always the case when discussing this style. Some of the performances were very memorable and the characters thoroughly thought out and portrayed. Mind you, this is based on a true story, so that adds another layer to the film that I always enjoy. These people existed and did these amazing things and that is fascinating.

I really liked how John Woo structured this film. All the strategic meetings/plannings were split screened with images of the tactics in action. I love when movies do that; you really have no choice but to get sucked in. It's like they're letting you in on the plans, that you can see into the minds of those speaking. Fantastic.

Like I said, stunning film. Good acting. Amazing everything else. Also, they throw a little character strife, slight romance and personal struggles that makes it all the more real. Some parts dragged a little too long but nothing overly annoying or distracting.

Unless you hate all things action I promise you will get something out of this film. I really liked it.

4/5

Monday, December 13, 2010

TRON: Legacy (4.5)




One day Sam's father, Kevin Flynn, disappears. The famous computer game creator and programmer drops off the face of the planet and no one, not even Sam, knows what happened to him. When Sam grows older he gets a tip to check out his fathers deserted arcade. He finds a secret door behind the Tron game. This door finally reveals to Sam a new side to his father, the side that took him away from him all those years before. His greatest creation...

I was really, really, really looking forward to this movie. For a long time now. I held back a bit though because I felt for sure that they weren't going to do it right. I mean, Disney is great, but generally when they try to do these types of films it's always lacking something. Missing a key part that would make it fantastic.

They found that part for Tron. This movie was way better than I ever thought it could be. Maybe it was because I didn't get my hopes up or maybe it's because I don't know as much about Tron as I should...regardless. This movie is one of my new favs. Hands down. I wish I could watch it again right NOW...

Jeff Bridges. Just...amazing. I loved him. He was perfect for Kevin Flynn. I don't think anyone else could have played it just right, just the way he did. Double high fives.

I was a little worried about Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn but he was actually pretty good. I liked him. He handled all the action and what not really well. Nothing ground breaking but he wasn't annoying and for that I tip my hat. He could've played it all wrong but no, he did me proud.

Okay. Now for the good stuff: the visuals. Only exclamations and swear words come to mind here. It was beyond imagination. I was breathless for some of the shots. I mean, whoa. Really amazing. All the game stuff, the lights and even the 3D was spectacular. It was a nerd dream come true. Amazing action. So good. Well paced, well edited and didn't need to be used to cover any flaws in the story (at least I didn't think so) so it made it all the more raw. And fun. Amazing.

I am not generally a 3D supporter but this movie finally showed me what potential lies in that technology. It was a wild ride, very well done.

Only one thing that bothered me and it was only in the slightest: the young Flynn CGI. I mean, it was only so obvious because the rest of the movie was so perfect, but still. It bugged me a little. You can't blame them though really, it looked amazing but it just wasn't real.

Word of advice: don't treat the plot like a puzzle, even if you don't know anything about Tron before now you will be fine. There are no secrets hidden or anything (well, there are little nerd things but if you don't get them it doesn't ruin anything). Basically what I'm saying is if you get too caught up in the story and put all your focus on the plot than the whole movie will flash by you. Just listen and take everything at face value and go along for the ride. If you have questions after do what I'm about to do and go back and re-watch and re-read what came before. Honestly though, not knowing any Tron history does not matter at all.

Daft Punk. You're Gods. Really and truly. The soundtrack is 50% of what makes this film so perfect.

As the credits rolled my mind was on fire. My imagination was at it's peak. I love when a movie can do that. I saw things just a little bit differently than I normally do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
See it!

4.5/5

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paper Heart (4.5)



Charlyne Yi goes on a hunt across America to try and grasp a better understanding of something she's never felt and doesn't belive in: love. Sometimes when you look for something hard enough it finds you, but will she be able to feel it when it happens?

I was interested in this movie when I first saw trailers for it last year but then it slipped under the radar and I hadn't thought about it until a friend told me I had to watch it.

So glad that I did.

Yet another, thank ye lords, Michael Cera film that I love! Woohoo. I'm so glad that I'm a fan again (sorry Michael, you had some awful, awful movies and I lost faith). He was super amazing in this movie. I was grinning and giggling because of him the whole time. Also, strangely the cutest thing ever. High five.

Charlyne Yi was someone I had never heard of before and at first I wasn't feeling her. Then I really got to love her. I don't know, there is something about her that is very interesting and by the end of the movie I was sucked in.

Best parts of the movie were the little puppet things that Charlyne did/does. I can't tell if she did that just for this movie or if that is one of her things she does. No idea, but I LOVED them.

This movie definitely warmed my heart and a little bit of my soul. Listening to all of the stories and seeing all these people was amazing. I really liked the way this film was set up and how it all came together. Well done. It honeslty made me feel less awful about being single than most rom coms do. I didn't feel bad and lonely, I felt refreshed and excited about this whole "love" thing. It's not as easy as it sounds to talk about love without making those without feel like garbage. Hat tip for that.

I really want to know if this was fictional or not. I want to know if they actually met like that. I feel like not, but at the same time I feel like it's part truths. Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera are dating in real life...that makes it all the more cute.

I dig it. I thought it was different and super amazing. Definitely will be watching it again soon. Maybe even tonight.

4.5/5

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Top 15 "Not So Christmas" Christmas Movies

Hello to all. Sorry I have been away and completely neglecting my blog but life is at an all time crazy high right now. That being said I took some time to make up a list of my favourite holiday themed films! Sometimes I get tired of the same old, same old that is on the television and I usually resort to these fantastic films (in no particular order):

1. Love Actually (2003, Romantic Comedy)

This isn’t only one of my favourite of favourites Christmas themed films; it’s also one of my favourite all around movies of all time. With a stellar cast and brilliant characters left, right and maybe all too close and centre, you really can’t let this movie slip by you. The writing is fantastic and everyone can relate to at least one story or one character in this movie, even the kids and even the man folk. I don’t really suggest this as a family film though as there is some slight nakedness and a few sexual slams (aka jokes) but I think it’s very PG-13 worthy. A great laugh and a great heart warmer for all!

2.The Holiday (2006, Romantic Comedy)

That’s right, another romantic comedy! Who doesn’t feel a little more succumbed to rom coms this time of year? For me nothing makes me want to cuddle on the couch with a cup of tea more than 30 below freezing. Even if you are spared the harshness of winter, there is something about the holidays that makes your heart warm. One of those things may be this movie, The Holiday. If Kate Winslet and Jack Black don’t make you want to watch this already, how about being shocked by how much you will like Judd Law and Cameron Diaz. I’m not usually a Judd fan but I love him in this role. He makes me grin like an idiot. A big, girly idiot. Jack is fantastic in this movie and really shows you a side of him that I am still stunned by every time I watch this movie. A little more couple-ie than Love Actually but I think the man will be pleased with Jack Black being involved. Once again, not so family friendly but I’ll leave that to you.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005, Family/Fantasy)

Such an amazing story with generally good acting and the animals that steal the show (I love when they do that). Narnia is such an amazing family movie. Everyone loves something about these stories. There’s snow, there’s polar bears, there’s good and evil and what not, but there’s also something very Christmas like about it all. Plus, Mr. Tumnus. Come on. That’s worth it right there. And there’s a lion. Brilliant. Not super scary but I’m not sure how younger kids would handle this movie. There are quite a bit of tears, some blood and fighting. Once again, I leave that to you.

4.Babes in Toyland (1986, Family/Musical)

This movie is hilarious! It’s one of my all time favourites. Keanu Reeves and Drew Barrymore when they were really young is amazing enough but over all it’s just a very entertaining movie. It’s got “written for television” all over it. Yet, it’s a quirky adventure flick and a good one to put on while decorating or baking. If all else fails at least it will take you back to those crazy 80’s. Family friendly for sure!

5.Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987, Comedy)

A man is trying to get home for Thanksgiving and ends up with the worst travel partner ever. Nothing says the holidays or comedy quite like John Candy. Already you know it’s good. This is another classic John Candy film. So if that isn’t enough incentive: Steve Martin. End. It’s great! Not so family friendly but it will guarantee to make you giggle.

6.National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989, Family/Comedy)

I wasn’t sure if this fell along the same classic lines as The Grinch for anyone else so I thought I would put it in here. I love this movie. To me and many others it is as classic to the holidays as any other Christmas flick but I know it’s sometimes forgotten. Don’t forget. It’s hilarious. It’s entertaining. It’s pretty family friendly too in my books.

7.Die Hard (1988, Action)

How could I not put this one in here? Not only is it one of the best action movies of all time but it’s Christmas themed! Win for everyone! I don’t have much else to say about it as I’m sure you’ve all seen it before but you can have some gun fights while still keeping the Christmas spirit alive and warm. Yippee-Ki-yay! I watched this when I was really young but there is some swearing here and there, nothing crazy though.

8.Lethal Weapon (1987, Action)

If Die Hard wasn’t enough action for you and you’re feeling traditional still why not continue your festivities towards this classic flick. Such a great movie. Not as good as Die Hard (in my books) but it will do. Oh yes, put this movie on and you will remember the good old days…when Mel wasn’t crazy yet. I mean, when you would sit on the couch Christmas Eve with the family and feel the holiday joy. I also watched this when I was young but once again, caution.

9.Edward Scissorhands (1990, Drama/Fantasy)

Such an amazing film and perfect for the holidays. It’s all about family, love, cheerfulness and Johnny Depp. What more is there to life really? I’m sure you’ve seen this but, once again, it is a nice break from the normal Christmas flicks but doesn’t stray too far away to make you feel like you’re skipping the classics on purpose. I think it’s family friendly but Edward is pretty darn scary as it is so best judge that for yourself.

10.The Shinning (1990, Horror)

A little Jack Nicholson for the holidays is just what the doctor ordered. Plus, nothing says Christmas like hiding in the arms of someone you love, or maybe just that favourite pillow/blanket on the couch. It’s family friendly…for a bit. Really though, not a family flick. Something good when you’re enjoying a night cap though! Baileys anyone?

11.Kiss Kiss, Bang, Bang (2005, Action/Comedy)

If Jack and John aren’t enough to bring the holiday cheer why not add a little Robert to the mix? One of my new favourites and with just enough Christmas in it to make it to my list, the whole thing is hilarious and amazing. Val Kilmer is fantastic in this role and with Robert Downey Jr. added in this movie is a must see during the holidays. The action is amazing and the comedy is pure. Hear those sleigh bells ringing…

12.Ghostbusters II (1989, Action/Comedy)

Another classic. Man I love these movies! Plus I think this is my favourite of Ghostbuster series, mainly because it has Sigourney Weaver in it. Win. This movie was definitely part of my traditional Christmas programs while growing up. Pretty hilarious and with some ghost. Think of it as A Christmas Carol but with Bill Murray and a lot more jokes. You just can’t go wrong.

13.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Drama/Romance)

This is one of my all time favourite movies. The fact that it has some snow and maybe mentions the holidays and/or Christmas at some point (at least I think it does) was enough to make me put it on this list. It’s wintery for most of it so it counts. Kate Winslet and Jim Carey are fantastically amazing in this movie. It’s a little heavy and will probably be boring for kids but there isn’t anything too awful in it. It’s not entirely a feel good movie but it is when you take the time to think about it. It’s a thinking movie, I mean it’s entertaining but it’s more intense than any of the other films on this list. It’s still amazing. A nice change from the other holiday flicks.

14.Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001, Romantic Comedy)

Another of my all time favourites, these movies make me laugh and laugh and laugh some more. I love Renee Zellweger as Bridget; it’s my favourite role for her. Colin Firth is a deliciously handsome touch and Hugh Grant is tolerable in this role. It suits him, I’ll say that (sorry Hugh fans). It’s got some Christmas stuff here and there and is all about love and family and isn’t that just what the holidays are all about! Definitely a feel good flick. Not so much for the whole family but I didn’t think it was that bad. I suppose it has a lot of swearing though. Best to take caution, it’s a good afternoon-while-wrapping-presents kind of film.

15.Happy Feet (2006, Family/Comedy)

You know what they say, save the best for last! I love heart love this movie. I always have. Penguins and dancing and singing. It’s so amazing! A well done film with such a great story. Robin Williams is hilarious. The cast for this is actually really intense: Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving….The list goes on and on. Happy Feet is super awesome for the family. The whole family will love this movie. It will easily be a new holiday favourite if it isn’t already.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TiMER (3.5)




What if there was an invention that could tell you when you will meet your soul mate, would you want it? Would you get a timer? Why leave love to fate when it hurts so much and seems so hard to find the one you're suppose to be with? Is it wrong to want to know? Oona doesn't think so, until her life gets turned upside down all because of the timer.

I didn't know how to feel about the story at first but as my friends and I watched it the more questions I noticed we were asking. Some out loud and some we discussed after the credits rolled. I liked that about this movie, more than anything else, I loved that it caused me and others to question what they think is right when it comes to love. When it comes to soul mates. When it comes to planning fate...

The writing wasn't amazing but at least the story leaves you questioning. Obviously there were flaws in the story but it did the best it could with the allotted 2 hours.

Emma Caulfield (Oona) was decent in this movie. Having watched her in Buffy I couldn't help but notice how similar both the characters were. Not sure if that just happened or if it was bad acting, but she did a good enough job. Nothing life changing or brag worthy, but she wasn't annoying or make me roll my eyes.

I now have a huge school girl crush on John Patrick Amedori though. He plays Mikey, the younger and slightly greasy lover of Oona. I liked his character. Once again, nothing amazing but he had me giggling and sighing at the proper parts. His good looking face helped him out there though, what can I say...

No one acting wise was impressive, but once again I liked the story. Some parts didn't match up and caused some eye brow action but it still left me thinking about "the one". That whole obsession with that. They didn't try to candy coat anything, all the relationships were pretty raw.

The ending wasn't the greatest but I know I wouldn't have liked it no matter how they decided to end it. There really was no good way to finish this movie so I can't really complain about the end.

If you want a different take on the whole romcom bit than check this movie out. It wont amaze you but it should leave you questioning one or two things by the time the credits roll.

3.5/5
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