100 movies: The Woman in Black

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 Woman in BlackThe Woman in Black (24/08/12)

A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

I was very much looking forward to this film. For someone who doesn’t scare easy, I’m always looking for a good horror or ghost film that can successfully put a scare in me. The Woman in Black looked like it could do that. All I remember hearing about it, when it was out in cinemas, was how genuinely chilling it was.

On that front, it disappointed. Well, on a few other fronts, but mainly that one.

Where to start. The scares. This film had the makings to be a really chilling piece. It’s got the classic vengeful ghost. The period settings. Unwelcoming locals. Then add a fish out of water in Daniel Radcliffe’s Arthur Kipps. But it just came off as a little boring with some cheap scares.

Yes, I was bored. There were long moments without dialogue. Which, I presume, were there to build up the suspense in an upcoming scare. But those long build ups just sign posted the scare a little too much and made the build up a bit pointless. Sure, the scenes where the various dolls are all moving on their own in unison is down right creepy. (I’m glad I wasn’t a kid back then, those toys are not friendly looking!) But the scare that came after them was one used one too many times throughout the film.

Then you’ve got Daniel Radcliffe. Hot off the Harry Potter express. See, I never got into Harry Potter. The books or the films. I thought I’d give Daniel Radcliffe the benefit of the doubt for The Woman in Black and I think he did a fairly good job. But I couldn’t help but feel he was too young for the role. Or the character was too young. For the amount of heartbreak and grief his character was meant to have gone through and still reeling from. He just felt too young.

Aside from a few moments of boredom and some dodgy CG fog The Woman in Black isn’t a bad ghost/horror film. It’s just not up there with the likes of The Devil’s Backbone and The Orphanage. For me those are among my favourite ghost stories because they have a whole lot more than just the scares.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

120+ Movies of 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyTinker Tailor Soldier Spy (23/09/11)

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons.

I admit that throughout about 40% of this film I was confused. I was confused with what was going on, why it was going on and where it was going on. Regardless, I think I enjoyed the confusion because I left the cinema feeling like I’ve experienced one heck of a brilliant film.

Amazing performances from all involved. I couldn’t have guessed what was going on with the storyline if I had tried. I was using so much brainpower to concentrate and keep up with the film, trying to predict anything would have severely hindered my ability to just watch. So I sat back an enjoyed.
Rating: 5/5

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

100 movies: What the kids are watching

100 movies of 2010

I may be bingeing on Christmas season TV…

Race to Witch MountainRace to Witch Mountain (15/12/10)
Harmless film, easy enough to watch with a very simple plot. There weren’t much surprises but it was entertaining enough. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was a good enough leading man in it. The actors who played the kids – AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig weren’t all that amazing, but did an okay enough job I guess. Why did I watch it then? Well it was on TV and I had done packing. That a good enough reason?
Rating: 2/5

ShrekShrek (23/12/10)
How have I gone this long without ever having seen Shrek? I remember vaguely seeing the second one at some point or another but not being all that impressed. The first one was a lot better than I was expecting. Some good jokes, fun music and a nice twist on some fairy tales. Of course the animation quality has aged the film a fair bit. Though you could say the same thing about Toy Story. I’m not as in love with Shrek as some people got, but enjoyed it while I watched.
Rating: 3/5

Shrek the ThirdShrek the Third (25/12/10)
Christmas day is to be spent laying like a lump on the sofa watching whatever turns up on TV. Shrek the Third happened to be one such item. Not nearly as good as the first. The music was still good though. Jokes were a bit weak and not all that great to laugh at. More rolling of my eyes than anything else.
Rating: 2/5

March of the PenguinsMarch of the Penguins (27/12/10)
Beautifully made documentary narrated by one of the best voices to narrate anything like this – Morgan Freeman! It was interesting to watch but you really have to respect the people who were out there to make this documentary. Not only were the penguins out there in -80 degree Celsius weather but so were the film makers! Penguins have it really hard, it’s a wonder that they’re not extinct if you combine what they have to go through in order to have children and humankind’s impact on their environment. I’m perhaps giving this a higher mark than I was initially thinking, only because of how much respect I have for the people who were down there filming all of what I saw.
Rating: 4/5

Happy FeetHappy Feet (27/12/10)
Penguins dancing and singing – more amusing than I initially thought it would be. Drawn in by the cuteness of the animated fuzz balls the songs were fun and the tap dancing was kind of very cute to watch. The obvious message behind the film was the effect of humans on the environment felt a bit forced towards the end. Jammed in there just to make sure the film had a message in it. I don’t personally feel it was needed, but then again, I don’t know where the film would have gone had that not been put in there. Fun, cute and even more cute.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see the full list of movies seen this year: