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 weekend’s fill

120+ Movies of 2011

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:

DaybreakersDaybreakers (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 EliThe 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:

Black Swan takes me over 100!

100 movies of 2010

Thanks to Black Swan, I’m over 100 movies for the year. Sure I could have just stopped at 100, but I’m intrigued to see how far I can go. Let’s see!

Black SwanBlack Swan (24/10/10)
Let me say this first – I can’t recommend this movie enough. It’s a beautifully told story and beautifully made. I was left sitting stunned in my seat as the movie ended. Though I do have to warn you, it was the most tense I have ever felt in a cinema. I think, for the first half hour of the movie you’re introduced gently into the characters and the general plot of the film. After that point you’re left with your eyes glued to the screen and flinching every few minutes until the end. That doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?

I’ll try to re-convince you to watch this film. There’s some lovely ballet, great score music and an amazing performance from Natalie Portman. She really convinces as Nina, the prima ballerina who’s either spiralling into madness or there’s something darker at play.

When the credits began rolling I was left reeling from what I’d seen. In a good way though! This movie certainly packs a punch.
Rating: 5/5

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