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

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

Kicking off the year’s film watching with Flight

Flight - starring Denzel Washington, directed by Robert Zemeckis

An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.

The first day of the first month of 2013 and I’m getting started with my film challenge for the year – watch at least 100 new-to-me films within the year. And the first film? Flight. Starring Denzel Washington and directed by Robert Zemeckis, who hasn’t done a live action film since Castaway.

I admit it. I have a soft spot for Denzel Washington. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I don’t think he can do no wrong, but he can almost do no wrong. Even with last year’s Safe House, while the film wasn’t the strongest, his performance was the best part of the film.

Flight is a much stronger film. It’s does have its flaws, but Flight is an engaging and thoughtful film. If a little repetitive at times. Watching the self-destructive Whip Whitaker drown himself in booze and drugs is depressing. Here’s a guy who’s a straight up hero, clearly has a drinking problem and yet can’t admit to himself that he needs help. And yet, it was how Whip’s addiction was written was one of the weakest aspects of the film. Drilled home time and time again. I get it. He’s an alcoholic. He’s a jerk. Let’s move on!

Despite this weakness in Flight, I enjoyed watching. It’s probably not the best film depicting addiction (The Basketball Diaries holds that mantle for me). But from the beginning watching the disaster of the doomed flight unfold to the ever excellent comic timing of John Goodman, it’s hard to keep your attention off the film. The final conclusion is sign posted a good mile before the end. But, by then it doesn’t matter. Denzel’s performance sells this film for me.

Flight (Viewed: 01/01/13 | Rating: 4/5)

Check out all of the films I’ve seen this year: Continue reading Kicking off the year’s film watching with Flight

100 movies: Safe House

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!

Safe House Safe House (24/02/12)

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

So, we’ve got Denzel in another action packed film. Playing a little bit more a bad boy. Ryan Reynolds is the fresh blood. You know what? It all works well. Yes the plot is pretty damn predictable. There’s nothing new. I pretty much guessed from the get-go who was double-crossing who. Though, it’s a story that’s told well with some decent characters thrown in.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with Ryan Reynolds. To me, he’ll always me Berg from Two Guys and a Girl. Think he held up his parts of the film well, playing a very fresh agent pushed to the limit.

Denzel Washington is… well Denzel Washington. He is great as Tobin Frost. Fair enough, he has played the same or very similar characters in the last few films of his. But he has such great onscreen presence and charisma, I can’t help but have respect for the man and what he does.

I am getting a little tired of action films having that over-saturated look that Tony Scott just loves. It’s like it’s needed to just show how sweaty and tough things are. It’s not necessary. Let Tony Scott keep his over saturated action films. (Which I will happily admit, are a guilty pleasure of mine.)

There are some great action set pieces. The initial car chase is superb. As is the chase through the township. You know what’s great about them? The fact that they’re on location. There’s none of this CG on-a-set crap. The fights were excellent too. Throwing punches that sound like they hurt.

All in all. A good film. Could have been great with a stronger plot and truly unbelievable twists. I’m not complaining. Too much.
Strong>Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year… Continue reading 100 movies: Safe House

120+ movies: The weekend’s fill

This time last year I had seen a heck of a lot more films. Trying to ramp things up but a backlog of TV seems to always get in the way! Here’s what I saw on the weekend:

Daybreakers Daybreakers (12/02/11)

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

One day there’s going to be a vampire film that doesn’t look like either the Blade films or the Twilight films. Daybreakers falls firmly in the Blade category. Muted colours, everything’s got a little tinge of blue to it. Vampires are all wearing super fashionable clothes. Well, guess if you’ve got eternity, you may as well dress well.

Though there is some attempt to go in a slightly different direction with the traditional vampire story. This time the vamps aren’t doing so well with being the ruling species on Earth.

I enjoyed the film. It didn’t take much in the brain department. Ethan Hawke played a brooding and conflicted character very well. You’d think he’s had practice at it! The film wouldn’t have worked if you didn’t have any sympathy for his character, so thankfully I had plenty and got a sucked into the film.
Rating: 3/5

The Book of Eli The Book of Eli (13/02/11)

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Is it wrong that I actually had some hopes for this film. Denzel Washington – great! Gary Oldman – fantastic! Put them in a film together and surely there should be something in it to write home about. Sadly not.

The pacing was incredibly slow. As slow as Eli’s walking at times. Gary Oldman didn’t really get to play the bad guy that he plays best. He just looked a bit pathetic on-screen. I even started getting bored with the post-apocalyptic landscape.

The message behind the film of having such blind faith and knowing it will get you to where you need to be was understood loud and clear to me, but it left me feeling a little bit ‘eh’. I just didn’t care by the end.

I really wanted to like the film and feel very let down that I didn’t really.
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: Continue reading 120+ movies: The weekend’s fill

100 movies: Checking in at 115

I think I might just be able to hit my adjusted 120 target for the year. Which scares me a little. Why? I wanted to aim for more movies next year. I don’t think I could top 120 for next year!

Unstoppable Unstoppable (26/11/10)
Unstoppable has all the ingredients of an extremely enjoyable and fun to watch popcorn film. You’ve got Tony Scott directing, Denzel Washington playing the hero, Chris Pine playing a younger hero and the villain of the piece is an unstoppable train. Of course you need the two heroes of the piece to start on rocky ground and then through the events of the film, they grow to be friends. All of this works in Unstoppable’s favour. The movie does take a little while to get into, but once the action kicks in, it’s a fun ride. You do know how it’ll all end before you get there, but there’s enough banter between Chris and Denzel’s characters for you not to care. There are some fun action set pieces and the score by Harry Gregson-Williams is brilliant (With a throwback to his work he did on Man on Fire). A very good action film to lose a few hours to.
Rating: 4/5

The Soloist The Soloist (28/11/10)
I wanted so much to enjoy this and really like this film. But I got slightly bored and frustrated. I honestly did wonder why Robert Downey Jr’s character cared so much for this homeless but brilliant musician. Of course you can do things out of the goodness of your heart, but I didn’t get any of that from him. Well, not in the beginning. Both him and Jamie Foxx did a good job with their performances; Jamie Foxx in particular. I just didn’t feel the ‘heart’ of this film at all. Everything seemed too superficial, as if it was just skimming the surface of what the real point of the film was. I’m probably missing something. Highlight of the film for me was LaFayette (Nelsan Ellis) turning up as a person who runs a homeless shelter.
Rating: 2/5

The Next Three Days The Next Three Days (30/11/10)
Remake of the French film Pour Elle which I saw earlier this year. Back then I had no idea they were remaking the film. When I did find out I knew I wanted to see it. Just to compare. It’s pretty much a straight remake, with little variance from the original. The scene where the wife is arrested is almost exactly the same and there are a few others which are dead on too. The remake is definitely more ‘American’. In the sense that there’s a bit more explanation of the whys and whats. There’s more action. There’s less style. The French version had a bit more realism in it. The Next Three Days is a good enough thriller, if exceptionally slow. It did not feel like a film that was just under two hours. There were far too many endings. Though the cast were all good. Russell Crowe did an ample job of playing the helpless father and Elizabeth Banks the locked up mother. If this sounds like your kind of film just watch Pour Elle instead. It’s much better.
Rating: 2/5

Continue reading 100 movies: Checking in at 115