120+ movies: Getting behind!

120+ Movies of 2011

I think I’m running a bit behind this year if I hope to get to over 120 films for the year! Need to pick up the pace.

A Beautiful MindA Beautiful Mind (01/05/11)

After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn to the nightmarish.

Beautiful film. Really great film. Great performances from everyone and I think Russell Crowe’s best since Gladiator. Jennifer Connelly completely tore me up as John Nash’s world started falling apart. I completely and utterly believed what John Nash was seeing and doing. I didn’t really think that he might be hallucinating. Well, until things started going really crazy.

Loved the James Horner score. Think it’s my favourite score of his since Titanic. It doesn’t sound like a lot of his other scores, most of the time! The biggest problem I have with Avatar and Troy’s scores.

Very touching film that had me in tears!
Rating: 4/5

ExtractExtract (05/05/11)

Joel, the owner of an Extract plant, tries to contend with myriad personal and professional problems, such as his potentially unfaithful wife and employees who want to take advantage of him.

Thanks to my new love of Arrested Development I have a bigger love for Jason Bateman. Seeing his name listed in the credits for this film made me think it’d be worth a watch. Him and Mike Judge of Office Space fame, which was one of my favourite films I’d seen last year.

Extract just bored and irritated me sadly. There were some funny moments. JK Simmons made me laugh as did Bateman. But overall it just felt like a painful film to watch with none of the fun or wackiness that Office Space had.
Rating: 2/5

HannaHanna (06/05/11)

A 16-year-old who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Loved this film. I really like my action-thriller type films. This one had the added benefit of Eric Bana. Even with a slightly unidentifiable accent he was very good in the film. However all the credit in this film goes to Saoirse Ronan. Fantastic young actress who can play a ruthless assassin as well as a very naive young girl who’s never been out in the world. Think the weakest character in the film was probably Cate Blanchett’s Marissa. She just felt a little one-sided to me.

At times the film felt a bit schizophrenic, but in a good way! Flipping from fast paced action thriller to an indie feeling film about a very innocent girl.

Loved the British family played by Olivia Williams and Jason Flemyng. They weren’t caricatures, instead felt like real people. Funny people at that.

The score was awesome! I’m loving this trend of DJs scoring films. There was Daft Punk and Tron, Basement Jaxx and Attack the Block, and now we have The Chemical Brothers and Hanna. Loved some of the pieces they did during the action sequences.

I know there are talks of a sequel. I hope there isn’t one. Well, unless they can top this one!
Rating: 4/5

CatfishCatfish (07/05/11)

In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel’s brother.

A lot of hype surrounding this film and it’s hype I got caught up in. However, it still took me a long time to watch the film. I think the hype ruined it slightly.

I did enjoy the film but I think I was expecting a bit more of an ‘OMG’ twist towards the end. I kept hoping something else was going to happen. Though, after I’d watched the film and thought about the events a bit more, I did see the madness of it all properly.

Ariel really annoyed me throughout the film. I just got more and more annoyed with him. I can’t remember why, but I remember the annoyance!
Rating: 3/5

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (20/05/11)

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

I’m one of those weird people who enjoyed films 2 & 3 in the POTC series. Yes, they were long and convoluted. But they’re fun to watch and get lost in.

I did not get lost in On Stranger Tides. Johnny Depp is still fantastic as Captain Jack Sparrow and new additions Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane were great, but there were some other new additions who weren’t so great. The main plot line of the fountain of youth was a fun bit of adventure. The love story between Philip and Syrena felt a bit pointless and was just in there for extra padding. Neither character had much depth to them and I couldn’t get behind either of them.

There were some good set pieces, but none of them felt like they were as big in scope as any of the ones in the first three films.

I sadly did spend some extra money and see this film in 3D, due to lack of 2D screenings. There were some attempts at some things pointing out into the audience, but for the most part, like Thor, it just wasn’t necessary. Especially during the action and fight scenes where things are moving so quick it makes me feel slightly cross-eyed with 3D glasses on!

Wasn’t impressed with the scoring on this film either. I was looking forward to some good stuff from Hans Zimmer – I’ve loved his previous work with this franchise. But it just didn’t feel like this film had its own theme.

I hope there’s not a fifth film!
Rating: 2/5

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

120+ movies: The holiday films

120+ Movies of 2011

I am still here. Came back from holiday. Spent a ludicrous amount of time sorting through photos, which I’ve only just managed to almost finish.

On holiday I also managed to watch a few films. I can’t say they were all on my ‘to-watch’ list but killed some time.

The TownThe Town (20/01/11)

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heist, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Fantastic film. I really enjoy these kinds of films. Drama/thriller. A little bit gritty. Chuck in a bank heist, maybe more than one or some other criminal activity.

I thought everyone in the film was very good. I know Jeremy Renner’s one of the flavours of the moment after his turn in The Hurt Locker which I shamefully still haven’t seen. I thought Ben Affleck stood out a bit more. I know he hasn’t got that many fans, and I wouldn’t call myself a fan as such. Thought his performance was one of his best since Good Will Hunting. And I do like the films that he’s directed – Gone Baby Gone and this one.

I couldn’t see Jon Hamm as anyone but Don Draper. Even though the character clearly wasn’t, it was Don Draper the FBI man on the hunt for the thieves and waving his shotgun around.

Overall, brilliant film. Just wish I had seen it on a big screen. The poxy little screen on the aeroplane did the film no justice at all and I think I’ll go and search this film out on Blu-ray.
Rating: 4/5

Ninja AssassinNinja Assassin (24/01/11)

A young ninja turns his back on the orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.

Not a film I would search out to go and see but it was on TV and I was awake. My reasoning behind watching this isn’t all that convincing, is it?

It was an okay film. Nothing all that impressive or completely original. It did entertain, there was some fairly impressive action and fight sequences. The plot was as bog standard as these kinds of films get.

It filled 90 minutes I had going spare.
Rating: 2/5

He's Just Not That Into YouHe’s Just Not That Into You (25/01/11)

The Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting story arcs deals with the challenges of reading or misreading human behaviour.

See reasons above for watching this film. I’ll be saying the same thing for another film in this update I think!

Your average romcom, with far too many actors thrown at it in some attempt to make it some money by attracting people to see it just because ‘so-and-so’ is in it. I think I might have smiled at a couple of moments in the film. Overall though I can’t really say that much about the film because it was less than average and very forgettable.
Rating: 1/5

Imagine ThatImagine That (27/01/11)

A financial executive who can’t stop his career downspiral is invited into his daughter’s imaginary world, where solutions to his problems await.

This is probably one of the ‘better’ Eddie Murphy movies I’ve seen where he’s not a talking donkey, a fat professor or some other character with a million layers of prosthetics on his body.

Typical family film where a career driven father takes care of his daughter and realises the true meaning of life. Or whatever you want to take away from the film. There were some truly embarrassing moments from Thomas Haden Church. I think I cringed every time he appeared on-screen.

What happened to the good, non-Eddie Murphy driven family films?
Rating: 1/5

Now the next couple of films weren’t seen while on holiday, but figured I’d save some space and add them in here.

Gentlemen BroncosGentlemen Broncos (04/02/11)

A teenager attends a fantasy writers’ convention where he discovers his idea has been stolen by an established novelist.

Well this was just a weird film. I felt mildly embarrassed watching it because some bits were just so weird. Jemaine Clement was funny and amused me. Though he looked awfully like Benicio del Toro in it. There was a lot of facial hair going on.

The ‘sci-fi’ sequences were the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’m ever going to see anything like this film again. That’s a good thing.
Rating: 2/5

Hachi: A Dog's TaleHachi: A Dog’s Tale (06/02/11)

A drama based on the true story of a college professor’s bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.

Now I knew I was in for a tear-jerker before I even started watching this film, but I had no idea I’d be in tears throughout most of it. As a dog lover and part owner, this film broke me in the worst way possible.

It’s a really lovely film about love and loyalty that dogs to show for their owners and just how deep that bond can go. It really is very touching.

Whoever trained the dog/dogs in the film should be commended. From the puppies right up to the adult dog they used, they were the stars of this film. That’s why I’ve probably given this film one more point than it should really get. Getting dogs to do what you want them to do is hard!
Rating: 4/5

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

100 movies: A Time Traveller, Sack Dolls and 27 Dresses

100 movies of 2010

The Time Traveller's WifeThe Time Traveller’s Wife (02/10/10)
A sci-fi love story. Strange, but it works. This was a very touching film, though initially it felt a little aimless. The thought of just watching the couple go through their life didn’t fill me with any kind of thrill. Though there was enough thrown into Henry and Clare’s life together to keep me vested in the film. Think I enjoyed the film more because of Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. Excellent leads and were very believable as a couple. Also Ron Livingstone! I haven’t seen him in a film for too long. And was that Kale Ingram from Rubicon in this film? Looking older than he does now.
Rating: 3/5

99 (03/10/10)
For some reason I thought Tim Burton had more to do with this film than he actually did. Might be something to do with the fact that this film seems to always be introduced as Tim Burton’s 9. As far as I could see he only produced! It didn’t have much of a Tim Burton feel to it at all. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Strange little animation with a very strange plot – sack cloth dolls are the last living beings on Earth, trying to battle machines that have taken over. Not sure it totally worked, but it did keep me entertained for the duration of the film. There were some neat little action moments and some very touching times too. Though it’s pretty forgettable.
Rating: 2/5

27 Dresses27 Dresses (03/10/10)
Hmm, your typical romcom. A very easy to watch film, that’s for sure. No brain required! Katherine Heigl plays the leading role well enough. James Marsden did well enough as leading man too. They played off each other pretty well. The dress changing scene was cute. Everything in it was pretty predictable. But then I think you know that going into the film.
Rating: 2/5


Read on to see all the movies I’ve seen so far this year.