120+ Movies: A big ol’ update

120+ Movies of 2011

This is a massive catch-up on films I’ve seen over the last few weeks. I promise to post something other than 120+ movie stuff on this blog some time soon.

True GritTrue Grit (15/02/11)

A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father’s murderer.

A simple, old-fashioned Western is how I would describe this film. Really enjoyed it. Didn’t tax my brain all that much. There was some gorgeous cinematography as well as some minor hokey bits of computer graphics towards the end. But overall, a really good film. Not just a film with good performances from everyone, but the film worked as a whole. Hailee Steinfeld was shockingly good for someone so young. She really held the screen well alongside Jeff Bridges. Who’s Western accent was very authentic. Though I think it got so authentic that I couldn’t actually understand what he was saying at times.

True Grit also has one of my favourite movie posters of the year so far. Love the typeface and the feel to it. More film posters like this please! Though obviously not exactly the same, but something other than sticking the main actors on the poster with no imagination.
Rating: 4/5

RedRed (19/02/11)

When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last-ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants.

Why on earth does this have such a high rating on IMDB? I think I got bored part way through the film and then completely forgot the plot points of the film to care much more as the film got to the climax.

The ongoing joke about these people being too old and yet getting things done got old pretty quickly. Though John Malkovich’s character kept me most amused. He was actually funny! Oh and Morgan Freeman did a good enough job too. But Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren? Poor show!
Rating: 1/5

InvictusInvictus (20/02/11)

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

This is one of those films that has some great performances but ultimately just lands a little flat. Morgan Freeman really convinces as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon transforms himself really well to play a believable rugby player. Nelson Mandela’s story of trying to get a united South Africa did get transformed to screen well enough, the film just felt like it was missing something.

That something was missing big time during some of the rugby scenes towards the end of the film. There was just no drama or urgency to them. Whether it was to do with how they were shot or edited. They just didn’t pack the punch I was expecting them to.

I wish I could give this film a higher score, but it was just an average film with some great performances.
Rating: 3/5

CoralineCoraline (28/02/11)

An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

A really good gothic feeling animated story. Aside from some lovely animation I wasn’t caught up in the spell of the film. I feel like I’m getting old! It was a very charming story but nothing in it really swept me up into the story.

Coraline herself managed to annoy and frustrate me at times with her petulance. Or what I translated as petulance. Maybe that little fact led me to not get caught up in the film. Shame!
Rating: 2/5

JunoJuno (02/03/11)

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

I know, I know – it’s taken me a long time to see this film. I think I’ve got a copy of the soundtrack which I’ve listened to and loved before even seeing the film.

A nice fun and inoffensive film to watch. Ellen Page was great as the quirky Juno. I really warmed to Jennifer Garner’s character and her wishes and hopes of being a mother. Loved Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons as the parents too. Always love J.K. Simmons in almost any films he’s done – he makes me laugh!

Glad I finally got around to watching it.
Rating:3/5

Monsters vs. AliensMonsters vs. Aliens (06/03/11)

When a meteorite from outer space hits a young woman and turns her into a giant monster, she is taken to a secret government compound where she meets a ragtag group of monsters also rounded up over the years.

Distinctly below average animated film. The whole notion that we should be happy in our own skins is something that’s been done in other films before and a lot better. Of course I can’t remember any of those films off the top of my head right now, but they’re there!

Pixar’s raised the bar so high when it comes to the quality of computer generated animation it’s hard not to compare. Monsters vs. Aliens really can’t compare with any Pixar films.

There’s some good voice talent in the film, just a shame the actual film part of the film just doesn’t measure up.
Rating: 1/5

Jennifer's BodyJennifer’s Body (06/03/11)

A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Hey, look, it’s Young Neil! That’s pretty much how I spent watching the film. I wouldn’t say it was a horrendously bad horror film but it’s pretty close to it.

I’m putting the blame firmly on Megan Fox and Diablo Cody. Diablo for trying to make an uncomprehendingly cool sounding script and Megan for just not being very good. When you’re meant to feel compassion for Jennifer, I couldn’t find an ounce of sympathy. She was just a bitca.

Poor Amanda Seyfried – she did the best she could and was the best thing in this mess of a film.
Rating: 2/5

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

100 movies: From animated to just plain weird

100 movies of 2010

I think this is the highest number of movies I’ve seen in a single week. Or the last couple of weeks. It’s what helps me feel better when I’m not so well. So here’s the last few days worth of movies.

Alice in Wonderland (05/03/10)
I didn’t have the highest of high hopes for this movie. I was going into it expecting some amazing stuff from Tim Burton’s mind, crazy stuff from Johnny Depp’s and general entertainment. That’s roughly what I got. I did go and see the 3D version of the film and, to be honest, the 3D didn’t grab me. As more and more movies try out the 3D I’m finding myself getting more and more jaded by it. Not once did I oo or ahh at the 3D. In fact I was vaguely more impressed by the 3D trailer for Toy Story 3 and the Sky 3D advert! Some people in the cinema ooo’d when a teacup came flying at the screen, but in my mind it wasn’t really coming out of the screen.

Enough poo-pooing 3D, what about the film? I really enjoyed it, as I already said. The couple things I really liked was the vision and the casting. Tim Burton’s mind never fails to give you something that looks amazing. And I wasn’t disappointed at all here. Wonderland looked amazing. All the characters were brilliantly conceived. Just lovely to look at. Then there’s the casting, which in my mind was perfect. Everyone from Mia Wasikowska as Alice to Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. I couldn’t fault any of the cast on their roles. Just perfect casting. And Johnny Depp? Well he plays crazy really well and I thought he was great as the Mad Hatter.

I was slightly disappointed with Danny Eflman’s score. It really wasn’t that memorable. I can’t remember the last score of his where I thought ‘wow’.

It was a nice enough story. Nothing mind blowing and nothing unexpected. Good entertainment in my mind. I think my score might look slightly inflated, but I really loved the look of the movie.
Rating: 4/5

Bolt 06/03/10
Disney’s Bolt – a movie about a girl and her dog. Or just the dog. I’m a bit upset at myself for waiting so long seeing this movie. I’m a dog lover and I lap up anything that involves dogs and Disney. Yes, even Snow Buddies. I loved the film. Much funnier than I was expecting and I warmed to all of the characters more than I thought I would. I even forgot Miley Cyrus was in it! Bolt just reminded me of Axel so much at times! I miss that dog. So I had a fair few tears watching the movie. More than I was expecting. Rhino was hilarious. He really made me laugh. All in all a be-awesome Disney movie!
Rating: 4/5

Gran Torino (06/03/10)
I wasn’t expecting to laugh in this movie. All I knew was that it was Clint Eastwood going all badass on a bunch of neighbourhood thugs. There were quite a few laughs! Just at the bits where Walt is getting to know his neighbours and really getting into the community spirit. Fantastic film. Clint Eastwood was brilliant and I just really enjoyed the whole thing. Not completely what I was expecting, but that was a good thing. And the car? It is a thing of beauty! And here it is!
Rating: 5/5

Franklyn (07/038/10)
Umm, I don’t know what to say about this film. Throughout most of the beginning I was clueless as to what was going on. I thought the two narratives jarred incredibly. I understood how the two narratives were connected, but I just couldn’t buy into it. I was impressed by Ryan Philippe’s English accent! Eva Green was good too. Just couldn’t get behind this film much.
Rating: 2/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.

100 movies – 4 more movies!

100 movies of 2010

With yet more recovery and resting at home, a few more movies have been seen:

Flags of Our Fathers (03/03/10)
I like war movies. Not that I like watching wars or anything, but I like the history aspect and there’s something about them. Maybe the depression in them! I liked this movie. It really made war look brutal and harsh. It didn’t glamorise it at all. It did well at creating the sense or camaraderie there is between men at war. The cast were really very good – I kept seeing actors and thinking, ‘Ooo, I recognise him’ throughout the whole movie. Visually the movie was stunning. The war scenes just looked so bleak.
Rating: 4/5

A History of Violence (03/03/10)
What a brutal and depressing movie. Well partly depressing. Very harsh movie. Viggo was fantastic in it and really sold the role he was playing. I really liked Maria Bello in this movie. The only other thing I’ve seen her in was the third Mummy movie where she did her terrible impression of Rachel Weisz. Great movie. Just not something I’d like to see again any time soon, just because it’s quite harsh!
Rating: 4/5

Office Space (04/03/10)
Why has it taken me so long to watch this movie?! It’s been sitting on my Sky Box for more months than I can even think of. I honestly can’t remember when I recorded it but so glad I did. I loved this movie. Really funny. There’s some bits about that office life that I could relate to, to some extent. The characters were hilarious and I just loved the whole movie. Milton made me laugh a lot and then think, ‘Aww bless’. Fantastic movie.
Rating: 5/5

The Eye (04/03/10)
The movie was on and I wasn’t going anywhere, so I sat and watched it. It was OK, as far as adapted horror movies go. I was getting a bit bored part way through the movie because I felt it took far too long to get to the point of the movie and actually go anywhere. I didn’t understand why Sydney kept going back to the doctor, who clearly didn’t care. But then did care. I didn’t jump at all throughout the whole movie. Nothing that unexpected and it was all a rather happy ending. Well, actually, that I wasn’t expecting.
Rating: 2/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.