What I've been watching: Last five films

What I’ve been watching: Last five films #2

Film

Guess who’s upped her film count in a matter of days? This person. You know how you make time to clean the house or plan your weekend. Well, I’ve made time for some film watching and it reminded me that it’s something I need. I need my film time. So I carved out some time to watch some great films.

Top 10 Actors/Actresses I’d See in Just about Anything

Film

A little while ago Kristin over at All Eyes On Screen posted her Top 10 Actors/Actresses She’d See in Just About Anything, and it’s now a blogathon. As is the way of blogathons, the batons been passed on to me.

First, let’s see where this blogathon has been before:

1. Abbi at Where the Wild Things are
2. Fernando at Committed to Celluloid
3. Kristin at All Eyes On Screen

I would like to pass it on to Nostra, over at My Filmviews.

And now onto my Top 10 Actors/Actresses I’d See in Just About Anything. There appears to be a bit of gender bias going on in my list. I have always found it hard to think of actresses off the top of my head that I genuinely enjoy watching in films. Don’t ask me why. So, just to let you know, I’m not being sexist – just useless!

Jumping on the Snowpiercer Bandwagon

Film

Snowpiercer

Before this bandwagon leaves the station, I need to get on it, and just tell you how much I too enjoyed Snowpiercer.

But before I start, do yourself a favour. If you haven’t seen Snowpiercer and do intend to at some point in time, don’t read this. Please. I don’t spill any major spoilers, but even then. Just do yourself a favour and stay dark on this one.

100 movies: Avengers Assemble

100 movies of 2012

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!

Avengers AssembleAvengers Assemble (26/04/12)

Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

I’m going to attempt to do a spoiler free mini review of this film, however, I can’t guarantee that the comments will be spoiler free, so you have been warned!

Avengers Assemble the film that a year ago, I wasn’t all that excited about. I was dreading it a little bit. But then I saw Thor. My excitement level crept up. Marginally. Followed by Captain America. The film itself didn’t really make me look forward to Avengers Assemble, but the post credits trailer did. The teaser trailers and full-blown trailers that have followed since have firmly planted me on the ‘Oh my GOD, I’m so excited!’ bandwagon. Attending the European premiere last week only made sure of the fact that I wasn’t leaving the bandwagon.

With hype levels so high, the film could have hopelessly disappointed me. Or lived up to the hype. Guess what? It completely lived up to the hype and I’m still buzzing now from it. Over 12 hours after seeing the film!

It is an epic comic book film because of all the massive characters involved. Bringing them all together and making them work, while not getting lost, was a huge ask of Joss Whedon. That was my biggest fear for the film. The characters, who are great in their standalone films, will just be watered down versions of themselves in this big team up. This couldn’t be further from the case. What was better, was the interactions between them all. Especially the ones we hadn’t seen before. I loved seeing Captain America butt heads with Iron Man. Then seeing Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as lab partners – loved it! I can’t get over how much fun I had watching all the characters interact with each other.

Did I mention this film was bloody hilarious. Not slapstick bad funny. But genuinely laugh out loud funny. And I rarely laugh out loud! This one did the trick. There are some fantastic one liners. Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson has some brilliant moments. The dialogue was sharp! I expect nothing less from Joss Whedon on that side of things. I think I rate him more as a writer than a director.

Of the new Avengers, I really enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s take on Bruce Banner. He had a bit of Eric Bana’s Bruce in him. And the best thing was, was that the Hulk had a bit of Mark Ruffalo’s face. Hulk had some great moments.

The story isn’t anything totally new. Try and bring a team of ‘misfits’ together. Earth in peril. Your average stuff. But it’s all put together so well here. Yes there are some great set pieces, but they never feel like set pieces. The film flows from beginning to end seamlessly. Sure, the film comes in at a staggering 142 minutes, but it never felt long. It never dragged.

Loved having Loki back. He’s grown in crazy, and looked like Tom Hiddleston had fun playing that. There wasn’t all that development or explanation about The Chitauri. They just seemed to be there to make the final epic battle all the more epic. Worked for me. I didn’t care too much. Spent the whole time rooting for my favourite heroes.

The score disappointed me a little. I couldn’t hear a strong theme. Though, I did recognise Captain America’s theme from his standalone film from last year, whenever Cap was on-screen doing his heroics. It sounded like Alan Silvestri was borrowing a lot of what he did for last year’s Captain America film. Sad. Was hoping for a score I could go home and be desperate to listen to over and over again.

I did end up going to see this in 3D. Why? Too impatient to wait for Friday’s ‘normal’ release. A day made all the difference apparently. I could have lived without the 3D. I still don’t think the tech’s there yet. Though, the 3D here was one of the better ones I’ve seen. Still not a fan.

Desperate to see the film again. There’s a lot going on and I just want another chance to soak it all in on the big screen!

(It looks like I’ve rambled on for a good lot longer than I thought I would. AND I was restraining myself – there’s still so much more I have to say. )
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ Movies: Lagging behind!

120+ Movies of 2011

I hit a dry-spell. Summer came along. I went on holiday. There is suddenly an epic amount of TV I have to watch on my list. Films just slipped away. Hopefully the next few weeks of film-age should change that.

Transformers: Dark of the MoonTransformers: Dark of the Moon (29/06/11)

The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.

Sometimes I think I’ve given this film a slightly higher rating than it truly deserves. It wasn’t a great film. It bordered on being a good film at the best of times. And yet I’ve given it a 4/5. Why? My childhood bias, I believe.

Dark of the Moon isn’t nearly as strong as the first film, a lot stronger than the second film but with plenty of hiccups. It’s literally a film of two halves. The first half being filled with some of the worst characters I have ever seen in a film. The second half filled with some of the best CG and most awesome robots ever seen.

Question – what on Earth did they do to Sam’s character? He’s gone from being a likeable and very relatable character in the first film to being the most annoying in the third. I just wanted him to stop complaining and whining about his poor pathetic life and just get on with things.

I have to admit – Alan Tudyk’s character, Dutch, did make me laugh. He was funny! Well, he brought some light relief.

What this Transformers film did better was focus on the robots. They’re in the title after all! But still not enough. The battle in Chicago was awesome to see. Grateful that I chose 2D over 3D. My retinas would have been dying after some of the battle sequences. It should all have been about the Transformers and less about Sam’s inability to get on with his life and the weak politics of the great US of A.

Steve Jablonsky has once again produced a very fitting score. While he did produce a theme for this film, I couldn’t help but thinking of the score from The Last Samurai, when I listen to it.

If there’s a plan to do a fourth, there’s still plenty to learn from this third film.
Rating: 4/5

PredatorsPredators (30/07/11)

A group of elite warriors are hunted by members of a merciless alien race known as Predators.

I was expecting something along the lines of the original Arnie Predator when I started watching this film. I was mightily disappointed.

There was just nothing special about the film. Sure we see a slightly more evolved predator and there’s some more story given to those ugly aliens, but everything else was just blah. Nothing unexpected, nothing new. Felt like a very by the numbers film.

I thought with a name like Robert Rodriguez onboard they’d be something more in the film. Sadly there was not. I’d happily take Predator and Predator 2 over this one.
Rating: 2/5

Captain America: The First AvengerCaptain America: The First Avenger (31/07/11)

After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top-secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals.

The onslaught of summer comic book films continues. I did enjoy watching Captain America, but it just lacked that something extra that made Thor and X-Men: First Class great comic book films.

Chris Evans did a great job as Steve Rogers. He filled out the role I was expecting of Capt. America. Gave the film some heart. Good job! The villain of the piece – Red Skull… he was, well just didn’t convince. Who else does the great Captain America go up against but a Hitler-esque adversary?

Or maybe it was the whole plot of the film. The plot didn’t veer from going from A to B. There weren’t any surprises. A lot of the time I couldn’t help thinking the plot was very similar to that of GI Joe: Rise of Cobra.

I think it’s getting harder and harder for comic book films to really stand out from the crowd. There are just so many of them. Captain America does blend into the background a little bit, but as it’s part of The Avengers franchise, we’ll be seeing more of Cap. And I’m actually happy about that. I see potential, everything’s there. Just a better story.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: