120+ movies: Despicable Me

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

Despicable MeDespicable Me (11/12/11)

When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.

One word to describe the film – awww. It is a cute film. Had a grin on my face at the end of it, coupled with a few happy tears. The minions made me laugh – they were so cute! I didn’t get tired of them either.

Cuteness aside, it was a good film. It’s not one of the best animated films I’ve seen, but I liked the story and I’m struggling to say anything else but that! Really struggling.

It’s worth a watch. Not a bad Christmas time film either.
Rating: 3/5

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120+ movies: Bridesmaids

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

BridesmaidsBridesmaids (10/12/11)

Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride’s best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef.

Right, this wasn’t the female version of The Hangover, as everyone kept telling me it was. But it was still a funny film with plenty of standout gags. Not as hilariously funny as I was hoping, but a good film none the less.

I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with the film, just felt like it could have been better. There were sections of the film I felt dragged a little bit. It’s a pretty long film for what it is.

Can’t think of anything else to say really! Other than I did really like it, it was funny, slightly predictable, long but entertaining.
Rating: 3/5

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120+ movies: 28 weeks later

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

Hmm, it looks like I might actually at least be able to get to the 100 film mark for the year! WOO!

28 Weeks Later28 Weeks Later (09/12/11)

Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.

I’ve not seen 28 Days Later. I know, I know. I need to watch it. I’ll get round to it soon! I know 28 weeks later is an almost completely different film to days later. For the most part I enjoyed it. Zombies – tick. Terror – tick. London looking like a ghost town – tick. The pacing was good – the film never felt like it dragged. Skipped along really nicely.

One major thing that irked me was the shaky cam. I do like a bit of shaky cam. I loved it in the Bourne films and the new Bond films. But here, it just felt a little too much. Too frenetic. I can understand that that’s what they wanted out of the scenes with the shaky cam, but a little less please!

I didn’t really understand the whole Robert Carlyle’s infected character being the villain of the piece. I didn’t expect a few of the deaths, but in a good way. A zombie film isn’t a zombie film without some actual stakes.

Enjoyed the film, some good creepy scenes and the infected were a little bit terrifying.
Rating: 3/5

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120+ movies: The Thing (2011)

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

The ThingThe Thing (07/12/11)

At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.

I think I’m being a little bit generous giving this film 3/5. It’s not quite as bad as a 2/5, though I don’t think it’s a good 3/5. It’s a slightly below average 3/5. Enough rambling about the score I’ve given it!

So, here we have a prequel to 1982’s The Thing. The Norwegian camp that we saw in the ‘original’ The Thing has been given a story here and I now know what happened to those poor buggers. Does it make my enjoyment of 1982’s The Thing any greater or less? Nope. Does it add to what was set out in that film? Nope, not for me. Was it at least enjoyable? Yeah, I think so. Even though I admit in parts I was a little bit bored and just wanted them to get on with it.

The original The Thing is pretty fresh in my mind, considering I only saw it for the first time a month or so back. No CG will compare to the puppetry in that film. The CG was fine in the prequel but it felt like overkill. You’d see The Thing over and over again. The shock and disgust of what it was, was lost. At times, it even got a bit comedic. In the original, the sightings were fleeting. That made The Thing all the more terrifying!

There are endless hints back to the original. I was really happy that they used some of the original score music but still I didn’t think Marco Beltrami’s score had quite as much paranoia as Ennio Morricone’s in the original. I think the whole film lacked a bit of tension and paranoia as a whole.

The cast was good enough. Joel Edgerton’s character was clearly meant to be some kind of Kurt Russel-esque throwback. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was fine, but she’s no Sigourney Weaver as Ripley.

Enough bashing, it was a good enough horror/sci-fi film. It entertained and followed through to the beginning of the original The Thing. So you’ve got some sort of full story which does make sense. It doesn’t tread any new ground. But I guess, that wasn’t the purpose.
Rating: 3/5

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120+ movies: 50/50

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

50/5050/50 (30/11/11)

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

A comedy about cancer. A comedy about cancer that works as both genuinely funny and a touching portrayal of a young guy struggling with his diagnosis of cancer. I had a lot of laugh out loud moments. A lot from Seth Rogen’s Kyle, in his effort to make light of Adam’s disease. Ok, there were a lot of crude jokes. But they made me laugh.

But the great thing is that the humour never makes light of cancer. You never feel like they’re belittling the disease. It’s treated with respect. If diseases can be.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the lead. He’s sympathetic and easy to relate to. Meanwhile there were a few occasions I wanted to throw Kyle under a bus, you realise he’s only doing his best as the best friend of a cancer patient.

Heart warming is the most clich├ęd but best ways I can describe this film.
Rating: 5/5

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