The new crop of 2013’s TV

TV

Previously I mentioned in passing my reluctance to get into any new TV series. Strangely, right now, the thought of perhaps something I get sucked into lasting years is enough to put me off watching anything new. Or maybe I’m still mourning Breaking Bad and fear that nothing will ever reach those heights.

Maybe that’s a fear worth having. Because honestly, the new TV pilots I did catch – what utter crap. That’s just my point of view, but it’s a point of view I’m standing by. American network TV has taken a serious nose dive. Right? Let’s take a look see at the ones I took a look at:

100 movies: Midnight in Paris

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]

Midnight in ParisMidnight in Paris (22/12/12)

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancé’s family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

Woody Allen films aren’t a group of films I have seen many of. In fact, I think the only other Woody Allen film I’ve seen is You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. And that wasn’t a great one at all. Last year I attempted to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona and had to stop about 20 minutes in. Boredom and frustration were the main reasons. Also, the tone of voice. It didn’t speak to me. If that makes sense.

Midnight in Paris felt different. Sure, I was struggling with it a bit in the beginning. But something felt like it was worth sticking through. Well, that and the fact that pretty much the entire blogosphere raved about this film.

Glad I stuck with it. For one thing, Midnight in Paris went in a direction I was not expecting whatsoever. The fantasy aspect of the film blind sided me a little bit. In the good way. It helped with the storytelling and re-emphasised the notion that we all believe in that golden era. That the time we’re living in is nowhere near as great as things used to be. Heck, I’m guilty of thinking that every now and then!

Midnight in Paris did an excellent job of showing off Paris. It’s been years since I last visited. But I never thought I needed to visit it again. It definitely wasn’t among my top 5 European cities I feel like I need to visit. But now, I think it’s creeping back up there. I want to see if I can see that whimsy and magic! (Perhaps it’s the seasonal time of year talking there!)
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Indie and the big budget

100 movies of 2010

Couple of new films in the cinema seen. Start of a good December, cinema release wise for me.

MonstersMonsters (03/12/10)
First time writer and director, Gareth Edwards, does a damn good job with his first film. It’s a beautifully shot film with convincing CG at times and then at other times not so convincing. But at those times you’re not too fussed about being convinced that the CG isn’t perfect. Enough about the CG, what about the film? On the surface it’s a sci-fi film about an alien invasion and humanity fighting to stay alive. Well, in Mexico at least. Though the bigger part of this film is the story of the two leads, their journey to get back to America and seeing them slowly fall for each other. I think a lot of people have compared this to District 9, purely for the style it’s been shot in. It’s nothing like District 9. Other than, there are aliens. Highly recommend this film. I’m hoping, it’ll be one of the better films you’ll see this year.
Rating: 4/5

TRON: LegacyTRON: Legacy (07/12/10)
It’d been a good long while since I saw the first TRON film. Until Sky Movies thankfully put it on in the run up to the release of Legacy. Refreshed on what happened in TRON I was really looking forward to Legacy. The trailers looked stunning, but what really grabbed me about this film? Having a score done by Daft Punk. Daft Punk being heavily influenced by the original TRON movie to the go on to doing a score for a sequel. PERFECT! It really was just that. It’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen this year. The way the Grid’s look has been updated is fantastic. There are loads of little throwbacks to the first film. But you don’t need to have seen it to watch this film. It’s a pretty straightforward plot with maybe one mcguffin thrown in for good measure. The action is breath-taking. Some amazing things have been done. I’ve already talked about the soundtrack, but I will again – it was PERFECT. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. The actors were all solid. Though Jeff Bridges’ CG face was a tad rubbery at times. The more you saw it, the worse it got! Garrett Hedlund was a good Sam Flynn, though he came off as a little wooden at times. But he held together the film well enough.

If I have one gripe it’s got to be the 3D. You’re given a little heads up at the beginning of the film informing you that there will be some 2D scenes. Fine. But then when we’re given the 3D scenes, again for me, they add nothing to the film for me. I don’t enjoy a film more with added 3D. In fact I probably enjoy it less because I’m not feeling comfortable with glasses on my head! Yet another film where the 3D is not needed at all. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find many screenings of this in 2D, if any. Thankfully the film was brilliant enough for me to just pass the useless 3D off and just enjoy the film. Going on my list of top cinema releases of the year.

Oh! Forgot to mention! Cillian Murphy cameo! I did a double take. Expected him to show up somewhere else. But he didn’t. He’s got about four lines, but he’s there!
Rating: 5/5

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

100 movies: A weekend of bad(ish) films

100 movies of 2010

Sometimes, you just need a weekend of slightly crap, brainless films. Am I right?

G.I Joe: The Rise of CobraG.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra (13/11/10)
I feel as though I need to defend my choice to watch this film. It’s quite simple. Joseph Gordon Levitt. Yep. That was the reason to watch this film and after seeing it I’m left feeling that I should have done my research a bit more. It’s not a great film but it’s fairly entertaining. You don’t need your brain at all. Channing Tatum does a good job of being the good-looking all American hero. I think I was laughing because of the sheer stupidness of certain parts of the film. It does get ridiculous. The action sequences are completely and utterly over the top. Joseph Gordon Levitt is also completely over the top, but I’m guessing he was told to do that for the film. Cameo Brendan Fraser made me laugh. Not that it was hilarious, just funny to see him. Clearly Stephen Sommers pulled some favours to get him and Arnold Vosloo in the film! If you want really brainless action with some dubious acting, go for it.
Rating: 2/5

New MoonTwilight Saga: New Moon (14/11/10)
Don’t look at me that way. I watched this film so I can continue to talk down about the Twilight movies with a whole lot less guilt. Yet another completely awful movie. Am I getting old? I don’t think I could actually hear some of the dialog because of all of the whispering! Was genuinely bored in most of the ’emotional’ scenes. The acting from Taylor Lautner can’t really be called acting. Same goes for that Robert Pattinson guy. I’m confused with Kristen Stewart – I’ve seen her in other films and she’s not that bad! What happens when she walks onto the set of a Twilight movie that makes her unbearable to watch? Oh, that must be the script. I tried to go into the viewing of this film with an open mind. Didn’t help.
Rating: 1/5

Paranormal ActivityParanormal Activity (14/11/10)
I watched the Paranormal Activity films in the wrong order. I don’t think it’s made much difference to my understanding of what was going on. If anything, the second one gives me a bit more understanding of the first film. Though I’m guessing that wasn’t the intention, as you’re meant to be pretty clueless while watching the first one without knowing the history of the ‘hauntings’. It was probably better than the second, marginally. I wasn’t scared at any point. Though, this was lacking the laughs I got from the first film. They might have been unintentional laughs though.
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see the entire list of the movies I’ve seen this year.

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.