100 movies: Seven Psychopaths

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

Seven PsychopathsSeven Psychopaths (12/12/12)

A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.

Chaos. Mad and utterly beautiful chaos is how I choose to describe Seven Psychopaths. In the best possible way. The plot is pretty hard to describe. Well, apart from the very simple summary that’s on IMDB. That describes the surface of the film.

Seven Psychopaths had me from the opening scene. It sums up the feeling and theme of the entire film. Also, it’s pretty damn hilarious. You can see it coming and yet the characters are none the wiser.

And now I’m stuck for what to say. Trying to collect your thoughts on a film which you thoroughly enjoyed and yet stumps you when you’re trying to talk about it is a little frustrating. It’s just that sort of film.

Yes, I enjoyed it. Seven Psychopaths is a great film. It’s got some fantastic laugh out loud moments. The clich├ęs are thrown about and talked about at length. I like that sort of self referential humor. The characters are all completely unique and cracked me up. This is what Colin Farrell needs to do more of and less of the Total Recall crap. (Not that I saw it, but going on general consensus!) Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken stole it for me. Christopher Walken’s Hans’ last tape recorded message to Marty brought silence to the entire cinema. Great way to end it all.

Seven Psychopaths is bat shit crazy at the best of times and surprisingly touching for the rest of those times.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Illusionist

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The IllusionistThe Illusionist (29/11/12)

A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever..

I really wanted to like this film more. I wanted to love it. Love it for its beautiful animation. A charming little story. And just to be swept up in it. I feel like a cold, hard person for not falling in love with it. I merely enjoyed the ride.

Shall I start with the animation itself? It is beautiful. From the perfectly quirky characters to the Scottish countryside. I’ve not seen an animated feature quite like it, in terms of the visuals.

The lack of dialog, or rather the film’s own dialog, took a little bit of an adjustment. It was just a little strange in the beginning. But it made for a very unique animated film. Following along with the actions and the story itself rather than the dialog driving the plot forward. The story and characters were strong enough.

Talking of the characters, that’s where I fell out with the film. The magician himself was a lovely, warm character. He was just doing what he loved where he could. I think it was the young girl and her relationship with him that turned me off the film slightly. Or maybe I’ve just become horribly cynical in my old age. Sure it was cute and adorable in the beginning how this girl is totally taken with this magician. But, to me, it was like she was just along for the ride, taking what she could get. See, told you, cynical!

This poor magician was struggling to keep going with his craft and yet he still lavished this young girl, who looked up to him, with gifts and the sort. She, I didn’t think, really appreciated it.

Maybe I’m looking too far into this film and the characters, but this really bugged me. Well, considering the relationship between the two characters is the central part of the film, if I didn’t ‘get it’, sure it’s going to bug me!

Still, this is a unique and beautiful bit of animation. You just have to be less jaded than me.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Lars and the Real Girl

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

Lars and the Real GirlLars and the Real Girl (28/11/12)

A delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Is it okay for me to call his film adorable? Because that’s exactly how I feel about this film. Maybe not in the beginning, but as the film picks up pace, it just made me want to say ‘aww’.

Before the ‘aww’ though, things are a little weird. For one thing, Ryan Gosling has something bizarre attached to his face! Oh, it’s a weird fuzzy moustache thing. Ryan Gosling plays the awkward Lars. He keeps to himself and goes about his life on his own. Despite all of the attempts of his sister-in-law. That is until he finds himself a girlfriend. On the Internet. Called Bianca. Who’s made of plastic.

What I really loved about this film was that it was more than just Lars’ delusion about Bianca, but it was about this whole town of people who come to accept Lars and Bianca and they get over their own issues about it. It’s a very touching film especially at the end. Yes, I did cry. It got very emotional! Not just over the loss of Bianca, but the journey that Lars’ had been on throughout the film and his relationship with Bianca. And how that was him helping himself.

Lars and the Real Girl was a lot more touching than I ever thought it was going to be. While I wasn’t expecting a laugh a minute, I wasn’t expecting such a heart warming film. Especially as, on the surface, it’s a film about a man and his plastic doll of a girlfriend.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Moneyball

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

MoneyballMoneyball (27/11/12)

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Still playing catch up on the previous years big award winners it seems. Moneyball is the latest in the long line of films I’m playing catch up with. A film about baseball. See, I like my sports films. But usually I have more than a vague idea about the sport. Baseball? It’s like cricket, right?

Thankfully, I didn’t really need to know much about the sport to get the film. All good sports based films should be like that, right? So with my little knowledge of baseball I managed to really enjoy the film. Moneyball is pretty much an underdog story. A well told underdog story with some solid characters and a tight script.

I remember Brad Pitt being praised for his work on this film. Now don’t get me wrong, I think he was solid in this film. But I have never seen the big ‘wow’ about Brad Pitt. In any of his films. He’s never blown me away. I’m not saying he’s not a good actor. He is. I reckon. I’ve just never seen a performance from him that’s left me reeling. In Moneyball, I thought Brad Pitt did a perfectly good job. Sounds a bit patronising, right? It’s not meant to be! I just can’t think of a better way to put how I thought of him in the film. More than adequate, but it’s not the sort of role that’s a stretch for him, right?

For me, Jonah Hill stood out a bit more. Here he is in Moneyball, a fairly serious drama. And he’s considerably more toned down than I’ve seen him. I’m not Jonah Hill’s biggest fan. I’m definitely near the other end of the scale, but he stood out for me here.

Moneyball’s a good film. A well told story. I like the message it brings across. It’s not the sort of film I’m dying to see again, but glad I’ve given it a watch.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Raid

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The RaidThe Raid (25/11/12)

A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

The Raid is one serious action film. Seriously epic. The story is simple. SWAT team need to get to the top of a block of flats and along the way encounter, what is effectively, an army of guys whose one and only goal is to stop them.

It’s light on storyline but heavy on the action. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen action sequences choreographed quite like those in The Raid. Ridiculously tight and intense to watch. And they look like they HURT. Big time.

There are some excellent moments of very highly strung tension. Moments where everything goes deadly silent and you’re honestly not sure where the guys are going to burst out of! There’s a fair few horror films that could learn a thing or two about real tension from this film.

For a pure action film, it’s hard to beat The Raid. There’s a short set up and then you’re thrown straight into the action and you’ve got a pretty satisfying ending. The pacing is as tight as the action. You’re not left bored for a single second. Well, at least I wasn’t.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…