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: From the small screen

120+ Movies of 2011

Going to try to make some headway with the mountain of films I’ve got recorded on my Skybox. Here are the first couple down:

The WolfmanThe Wolfman (15/01/11)

Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf.

I can’t remember this film being very well received and I’m wondering why that could be. I thought it was a good werewolf story, with the traditional mythology. A nice classic re-telling. There was some shonky CG animals though and I’m not entirely convinced of the make-up used on the werewolf. But I liked the story and the characters. The mood in the film was wonderfully gloomy, which reminded me a little of An American Werewolf in London. There was some gore and bright red blood which made me think of Sleepy Hollow.

The werewolf transformation scene was really well done and had some moments where I cringed a little, but An American Werewolf in London still wins hands down on best werewolf transformation scene. Don’t think anything will beat that.

Really enjoyed watching The Wolfman. Tragic. But then, don’t think it could go any other way.
Rating: 3/5

Believe: The Eddie Izzard StoryBelieve: The Eddie Izzard Story (16/01/11)

Chronicles comedian Eddie Izzard’s rise to fame from early influences – losing his mother to cancer at a young age before being sent with his brother to boarding school – to his close relationship today with his father.

I think I’ve always liked Eddie Izzard as a comedian. I don’t think I call myself a fan. However, I’m more of a fan of Eddie’s than I was a couple of years ago after I saw him live at Wembley a couple of years ago, live at Laughs in the Park last year and after seeing him run all those marathons on the TV last year. Thought this was a great documentary looking at his life, where he came from and how he got to where he was. Inspired by his tenacity to be who he wanted to be. Being a comedian really didn’t come easily to him, but he fought really hard, worked hard and he did it. That’s what I love about Eddie – he comes across as a really hard-working person. Sets himself goals and does what he can to achieve them.

I didn’t realise he was accused of being a fraud a few years back! There were definitely some eye-opening moments in the film. Think it was a very honest look at his life and really well done. It wasn’t too sappy, but had enough emotion in it for not to be a clinical and boring documentary looking at his life.
Rating: 4/5

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

100 movies: What the kids are watching

100 movies of 2010

I may be bingeing on Christmas season TV…

Race to Witch MountainRace to Witch Mountain (15/12/10)
Harmless film, easy enough to watch with a very simple plot. There weren’t much surprises but it was entertaining enough. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was a good enough leading man in it. The actors who played the kids – AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig weren’t all that amazing, but did an okay enough job I guess. Why did I watch it then? Well it was on TV and I had done packing. That a good enough reason?
Rating: 2/5

ShrekShrek (23/12/10)
How have I gone this long without ever having seen Shrek? I remember vaguely seeing the second one at some point or another but not being all that impressed. The first one was a lot better than I was expecting. Some good jokes, fun music and a nice twist on some fairy tales. Of course the animation quality has aged the film a fair bit. Though you could say the same thing about Toy Story. I’m not as in love with Shrek as some people got, but enjoyed it while I watched.
Rating: 3/5

Shrek the ThirdShrek the Third (25/12/10)
Christmas day is to be spent laying like a lump on the sofa watching whatever turns up on TV. Shrek the Third happened to be one such item. Not nearly as good as the first. The music was still good though. Jokes were a bit weak and not all that great to laugh at. More rolling of my eyes than anything else.
Rating: 2/5

March of the PenguinsMarch of the Penguins (27/12/10)
Beautifully made documentary narrated by one of the best voices to narrate anything like this – Morgan Freeman! It was interesting to watch but you really have to respect the people who were out there to make this documentary. Not only were the penguins out there in -80 degree Celsius weather but so were the film makers! Penguins have it really hard, it’s a wonder that they’re not extinct if you combine what they have to go through in order to have children and humankind’s impact on their environment. I’m perhaps giving this a higher mark than I was initially thinking, only because of how much respect I have for the people who were down there filming all of what I saw.
Rating: 4/5

Happy FeetHappy Feet (27/12/10)
Penguins dancing and singing – more amusing than I initially thought it would be. Drawn in by the cuteness of the animated fuzz balls the songs were fun and the tap dancing was kind of very cute to watch. The obvious message behind the film was the effect of humans on the environment felt a bit forced towards the end. Jammed in there just to make sure the film had a message in it. I don’t personally feel it was needed, but then again, I don’t know where the film would have gone had that not been put in there. Fun, cute and even more cute.
Rating: 3/5

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

100 movies of 2010 – 4 more movies

100 movies of 2010

It’s been a slow couple of weeks but I’ve managed to try and get a few more movies watched for this year. As soon as the new TV schedule kicks off again, I start lagging behind!

Valkyrie 30/01/10
A movie starring Tom Cruise as one of the German officers who tried to do what they could to bring Hitler’s Germany down… who’d have thought he’d pull it off? Well, in the beginning it was hard for me to ‘buy’ the American accented one as the lead here without having a German accent, but I think it was pulled off well enough. Very good movie of a part of history I know very patchy details on. For one thing I didn’t know there were so many attempts on Hitler’s life. All of which failed. I knew that he committed suicide, but that was as far as my historical knowledge went. Very good movie with a good message of the German officers of that time – not all of them were like him.
Rating: 4/5

Love the Beast 30/01/10
This had been sitting on my hard drive for a while. No idea why it had taken me quite this long to see it, it was cars + Eric Bana which instantly equals awesome in my books. Thankfully it lived up to that! Very good docufilm about Eric’s love of the beautiful Ford Falcon and the Taga Tasmania. After watching the movie, I feel like I want to take part in that race! I’ve always admired Eric Bana for, despite being a very good actor, picks his movies very carefully and isn’t seen in that many per year as he clearly has other passions in his life – cars and his family and friends.
Rating: 3/5

Brick 31/01/10
I was very confused in the beginning of this movie. The dialog was not at all what I was expecting and found it a little hard to understand what was going on. The setting was a highschool but everything that was going on around it and the actions of the characters was something out of a film noir detective story and there lies the genius of this movie. It mixes the themes so very well and you’ve got an extremly unique film experience. Joseph Gordon Levitt was fantastic in it. Really amazing. Totally the highlight of the movie.
Rating: 4/5

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