100 movies: We Need to Talk About Kevin

[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]

We Need to Talk About Kevin We Need to Talk About Kevin (07/07/12)

Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

If there’s ever a film that could do more for teen pregnancy, then this is the one. I defy anyone not to sit through this film and then have second thoughts about having kids. It just gets under your skin!

This film is incredibly tense. From the beginning, every scene is tinged with a ridiculous amount of tension. I don’t think I’ve been this tense while watching a film since I saw Black Swan. From the start you’re made very aware that Kevin is not your average kid and in the future Kevin does something amazingly wrong and bad and just plain evil. Though all you can do is watch, scene by scene, as the past unfolds with the present rolling on, watching through the mother’s eyes.

Speaking of which, Tilda Swinton is fantastic as Eva. From the beginning, seeing her struggle with the infant Kevin, right through to his adulthood. I could feel her pain and frustration. Though, being a mother, she just takes it. Everything that Kevin throws at her.

Kevin himself… just despicable. Ezra Miller freaked me out completely. As Kevin, he just had a complete disregard for anything or anyone around him. Every moment I was wondering what his real motives were. Chilling.

I loved the colour scheme of the film. The red splashed across almost every scene. Reminding us, that all is never going to be right.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year… Continue reading 100 movies: We Need to Talk About Kevin

100 movies: A Lonely Place to Die

[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]

A Lonely Place to Die A Lonely Place to Die 26/06/12)

A group of five mountaineers are hiking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands when they become caught up in a terrifying game of cat and mouse.

I’d be lying if I said that this film was totally not what I was expecting. Only because I’ve read a fair few people have that reaction before watching this film. But even with the vague knowledge that this film is in fact, not about mountain climbing, I was still pretty damn surprised.

One minute I’m watching some stunning cinematography selling Scotland’s amazing highlands. The next people are running, there’s screaming and gunshots are being fired. When the shit hits the fan, it really, really gets going. And I’m struggling talking about this film without actually talking about it. I’d like for other people to be as surprised as I was. A very convincing little thriller. I was definitely on the edge of my seat a few times. And I rarely am. My sofa is massive. It takes a lot for me to move that far.

Aside from the surprise, I enjoyed this film. Loved the little joke about Scottish money at the beginning. (I totally did that when I got given a Scottish £5 note!) Thought the ending got a little bit drawn out and despite the film coming in at just about 90 minutes, the last 20 minutes felt like double the amount of time. Melissa George is a great lead. She needs to do more films!

If you see this pop up on your radar, give it a go.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year… Continue reading 100 movies: A Lonely Place to Die

100 movies: Killer Joe

[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]

Killer Joe Killer Joe 29/06/12)

When a debt puts a young man’s life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

After watching this film you will not want to head out for a lovely bit of KFC for a while. Trust me.

Killer Joe sees Matthew McConaughey plays the titular Killer Joe, a police detective who also has a nice little side business of professional killer. For a price, he’ll kill whoever you want him to kill. Emile Hirsch’s Chris is in a bit of spot of bother – he’s in debt. The only way he sees how to get out of his debt is by killing off his mother and collect her life insurance. Chris isn’t the brightest spark in the book, so as you can imagine, things go very wrong.

Matthew McConaughey really does shine in this film. Joe is a charismatic, charming, slimy and calculating kind of guy. All of these qualities make for one interesting character. At one point I was very much on his side, thinking he’s an altogether good guy. Wow, did my views change throughout the entire film. I’ve avoided a lot of Matthew McConaughey’s romcom type of films. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any. The last film of his I remember and enjoyed was Sahara. A guilty pleasure film of mine! He’s a completely different person in this film. For the good. He’s got such a command of the screen as Joe. Just totally drawn into him.

The rest of the cast is great. Thomas Haden Church has some fantastic lines that made me laugh out loud. Though I don’t think I’d say that this film is a comedy. A comedy of errors, but definitely not a comedy.

Felt like the first 45 minutes of the film were a little slow. I was getting shifty in my seat, waiting for something to happen. After that approximate marker the pace changed up a notch and it felt like we were finally heading towards something.

The final scene is brilliant. A little bit squirmy at points. Correction – very squirmy. The ending itself is all I could have asked for out of the film.

Killer Joe is a good film. Enjoyed watching it, with all the uncomfortable-ness in some scenes. I’m glad I decided to rush out of work on the Friday and peg it to my nearest cinema to see it. (In one of the tiniest screens known to man, I might add. It had 5 rows. And this was the Vue cinema at Westfield!) It’s just not the sort of film I’m rushing to go and see again.
Rating: 3/5

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

100 movies: Insomnia

[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]

Insomnia Insomnia (16/06/12)

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

There was a strong sense of familiarity while watching this film. Not the plotting so much but just the way it looked. Certain scenes. Use of score. In my head I could place scenes from everything from The Prestige to Batman Begins, Dark Knight and even Inception. I love it when you can see familiarity in a director’s work from his earlier films. The only difference I could call between this earlier film of his is that it’s a fairly normal and linear in the way the story is told. It is a detective story. A well told detective story.

The story itself was simple. Find the killer. Made more interesting by Pacino’s insomnia-ridden detective struggling with dealing with what he’s done. Whether he meant to do what he did or whether it was all just an accident. He was doubting himself. Which made me as the audience member, doubt him and what he himself was seeing.

I think the only weak point, which I couldn’t ignore in this film, was Al Pacino. I think he did a brilliant job and I’m not knocking his performance. It’s probably his last good film in recent years. But I couldn’t help but thinking the character called for someone a bit younger. Especially in the scenes where he needed to be a bit more, spritely. It just looked like he was struggling! Maybe that was the point. What with the whole insomnia thing.

Robin Williams was excellent as the creepy killer. He wasn’t overly creepy. Just weird enough. A muted performance. Him and Pacino worked very well together. Both the characters and the actors. Never thought I’d see Robin Williams and Al Pacino in the same film together!

Overall, a very good film. The ending didn’t really satisfy me. It felt too clean. Maybe I was wanting too much. But other than that, a good crime thriller with Nolan’s fingerprints all over it.
Rating: 3/5

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

100 movies: The French Connection

[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]

The French Connection The French Connection (15/06/12)

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

You know what I really enjoyed about this film? It’s simplicity. That’s not to say it wasn’t a clever and entertaining crime thriller. It’s more the fact that today a lot of films insist on having some sort of great big twist. A big reveal towards the end of the film that you didn’t see coming. They’re becoming more and more prevalent these days that I’ve come to expect said twists. So it’s refreshing to watch a film that is just what it is. And it does it very well.

Gene Hackman’s Doyle is the no-nonsense cop. Right from the beginning, complete with the Santa suit. After handing in his daily paperwork, rather than going home, he’d rather stake out his next ‘victim’. He just won’t let it go. He’s unrelenting. And that gives us one of the best scenes in the film – the chase scene where he’s going after his target on the train, while he’s in the car. Excellent car chase!

Watching this film now, just over 40 years after it was made, it (to me) epitomizes everything about the 70s. From the soundtrack to the cars. While some of the shoot out scenes, the way they end, don’t exactly hold up today, the rest of the film holds up perfectly.

I tried watching this a couple of months back and I fell asleep. But soon after my first attempt Ruth over at FlixChatter watched it and wrote a review. Since then I was determined to give it another go and I’m glad I did.

Oh and look! This is the first film I can cross off the films I need to see list.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year… Continue reading 100 movies: The French Connection