100 movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

100 movies of 2012

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!

Snow White and the HuntsmanSnow White and the Huntsman (05/06/12)

In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to kill Snow White turns into her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen and help Snow White reclaim the throne.

Would someone please figure out a way to get an expression out of Kristen Stewart’s face. It would have made this film a million times better! Who on Earth thought it was a good idea to put her in the lead role which required her to be charming and gracious and get some sympathy out of the audience? Show me their face!

Aside from my annoyances with Stewart, I enjoyed this film. A nice bit of retelling of Snow White’s story. Surprised that there was actually a different spin left on this story which feels like it’s been done to death already with two other Snow Whites out there with Mirror, Mirror and Once Upon a Time.

Charlize Theron is the stand out performer in this film. She gets more to do other than walking into rooms looking dramatic and pissed off (Ahem, Prometheus. Ravenna is a very multi-faceted villain, unlike our ‘heroine’. By the end of the film I was beginning to feel for the pressures that Ravenna had put on herself because of her past. Yes, a little part of me wanted her to win out.

Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman was a good solid character too. I don’t think he was a stretch for Hemsworth to play, but I enjoyed his role. Even with his Scottish accent. Which wasn’t as atrocious as I was expecting. The Huntsman has always been such a quiet, untold character. I would have liked a bit more from him, heck, it would have been a great spin for him to have been the lead instead of Snow White. That’s just my brain talking crazy!

The film was entertaining. I believe it was trying to be massive in scope competing with the big fantasy films like Lord of the Rings. (There was one scene that felt right out of FOTR – Snow White getting chased by those black riders after her escape felt very similar to Arwen getting chased by the Ringwraithes.) I don’t think it quite pulled it off. But the film did create a rich little universe. I do like when fairytales are given a bit more of an edge.

Not as great as I’d hoped, but still a fun little ride. After the first hour or so.

Oh and fun fact, this is the fifth Chris Hemsworth featuring film I’ve seen this year. Nah… I don’t think I have a problem.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ movies: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the UnicornThe Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (27/10/11)

Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. But someone else is in search of the ship.

This was the kind of film I was hoping the last Indiana Jones was going to be. It’s fun. It’s not just for kids. And it’s fun. Though one irk to get out of the way – I don’t understand in the point of doing an animated feature if the point of your animation is to make it as realistic as using people. Why not just use people and live action! Answers on a postcard please!

Minus my little irk, I really enjoyed the film. There was a father sitting near me who kept telling his children, who didn’t seem to care, that it was exactly like the old comics and cartoon. He couldn’t stop telling them how much it was like he hoped it would be!

All the voice talent was spot on. Most of the time I couldn’t tell the difference between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost! Jamie Bell’s voice was almost unrecognisable as Tintin. He did good!

The story was a simple one, but it didn’t need to be anything more than it was. There wasn’t anything unexpected. There didn’t need to be. There’s enough character in the characters and a few laugh out loud lines. Or at least moments that will deserve a snort.

Go and see it. Not in 3D. I think I might be blind to 3D. Barring a few moments of floaty dust and swords protruding, I just didn’t see the 3D!

One last thing – the opening sequence is beautiful. John Williams score and some gorgeous animation. Yes, it’s a bit Catch Me If You Can, but it’s still a wonderful opening title sequence.
Rating: 4/5

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

120+ Movies: Update!

120+ Movies of 2011

This post has taken me over a week to finally finish writing. Must not leave it this long in between updates!

I dread to think how much money I’ve spent going to the cinema this year….

X-Men: First ClassX-Men: First Class (01/06/11)

In 1962, Charles Xavier starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr, his best friend… and future archenemy.

X-Men 1 and 2 are among my favourite comic book films. You’ve got to hand it to the first X-Men film, that effectively kicked off all of the current comic book movie adaptations we’ve got now. Well, you might or might not be grateful for that.

Last Stand had some good bits, but on the whole it was a mess. The less said about Wolverine, the better. So First Class had a lot of work to do. The terrible film posters before release didn’t help it.

Though am happy to say that it surpassed my expectations! Okay, so said expectations were probably quite low, but they were still surpassed.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender held the film together brilliantly. I loved James’ portrayal of a young Xavier. Michael’s Erik was excellent too. Even if his accent slipped all over the place a little bit.

Some of my favourite bits were the training montage of the new mutants. Love me a bit of split screen. The closing credits were beautiful! I just blocked out the song they were playing over it. Oh and the score has been one of my favourites of the summer blockbuster season.

The not so good were probably the villains. Not Kevin Bacon (who was rather good!), but the other villainous mutants. January Jones sucked the life right out of Emma Frost. Azazel and Riptide weren’t given the courtesy of actually having a character past their mutant abilities.

The cameos were brilliant and I may have snorted a little bit when I saw Michael Ironside appear in the film. He has that reaction for me when I see him in any film these days!

While Thor remains my favourite comic book movie adaptation of the summer so far, this is a close second. Glad to say the X-Men movie franchise has found it’s feet again.
Rating: 4/5

Electra LuxxElectra Luxx (04/06/11)

Life for porn actress Elektra Luxx gets turned upside down when she finds out she’s pregnant.

For the love of JGL. That’s the reason I watched this. It’s turning into a habit. First GI Joe and now Electra Luxx. However, unlike GI Joe, this was more of a better film! With the added bonus of Timothy Olyphant. I’m not a totally fickle film viewer, honest.

It’s a funny little film. Funny ha-ha, not funny odd. Well, maybe a little odd, but the good kind of odd.

Sadly, it’s been so long since I saw this film I can’t remember all too much about it save that I enjoyed it, laughed a little and at the end was rather happy that I decided to watch it.

Oh and the opening credits are among the best I have ever seen. Reminded me heavily of the Queens of the Stone Age music video for Go With the Flow. Just gorgeous to watch!
Rating: 3/5

The Usual SuspectsThe Usual Suspects (05/06/11)

A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup.

Yes, it has taken ME this many years to see this film. Woops! Was the whole ending ruined for me? Not really. Somehow I’ve shielded myself from seeing the twist here from the never-ending lists on film sites about the ‘best film twist ending’. Probably my own subconscious knowing that some day I would finally see The Usual Suspects.

Loved it. From start to end. Very tense. Very cool. Questions at every turn, up until the ending. Not much more that needs to be said! I understand why this film is a modern classic. Though I think I need to see it again.
Rating: 5/5

SennaSenna (10/06/11)

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.

In 1994 I was 10 years old and I remember watching the Formula 1 race at Imola that Ayrton Senna had an un-spectacular crash that ultimately killed him. I also remember playing my F1 game on my Amiga and the only driver I wanted to play was Ayrton.

I’ve been looking forward to the release of this film since Jeremy Clarkson mentioned it way back on Top Gear. Though, this was not the documentary I was expecting.

What I got was an impressive documentary magically stitched together using footage from races and the behind-the-scenes of Ayrton’s life as a racer and a very proud Brazilian. No talking heads. Instead we’ve got Ayrton narrating his own life along with the people he worked with and his family.

The film charts his life from his go-karting career into F1 where he his the spotlight being a bit of a risk taking driver. No doubt about it, when he got into the cockpit and out onto the track, all he wanted to do was win. And why not? He was known for doing some insane things on the track and you get to see a few of them.

The portrayal of the ongoing battle between him and Alain Prost was amazing to see. I’m not sure how much of it was over-hyped for the documentary’s purpose. Or how the saga had been manipulated for the film’s purpose. It made for some good drama.

There were lots of emotional moments in the film. Seeing the aftermath of Martin Donnelly’s crash was tough to see. Equally emotional was watching Ayrton Senna’s career unfold.

But the bit that hit me hard was moments before Senna’s own crash. I knew it was coming. I remember, vaguely, watching that race. I think my heart was beating in my throat, then it happened. My memory made it look a lot more violent than it actually was! Strange to think that that was the accident that killed Senna. After that, my emotions were all over the place. Which made Senna’s funeral all the harder to watch with tears streaming down my face!

Right, this is a bit long already. I should end it now. Go watch Senna. Even if you’re not a driving/racing fan. I’m not an F1 fan. I was back then. I went with a non-petrol head person and he seemed to enjoy it! Senna is a brilliantly put together documentary with a very moving soundtrack about one of the best sportsmen of our time.
Rating: 5/5

The Human CentipedeThe Human Centipede (10/06/11)

A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a new pet – a human centipede.

From Senna to this. And the less said about this the better. It’s a very bad film. Sure the subject matter is horrific, but in the execution of it, they’ve skipped the majority of the gross-ness.

Bad acting, bad dialogue, bad everything. Why did I watch this? Like a lot of people – I was curious!
Rating: 1/5

Green LanternGreen Lantern (17/06/11)

A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.

Considering how many comic book films there are already out, getting released and have all ready come and gone, there’s a bar up there which they all need to hit. Green Lantern just didn’t cut it.

As origin stories go, this was your average story. Childhood trauma leads to unstable adult who eventually overcomes his own shortcomings to become the hero he’s known to be. There was nothing along the way to attempt to change things in any way. Just to shake it up a little bit at least.

Ryan Reynolds made the film watchable and amusing at times. The rest of the cast weren’t all that engaging. The CG wasn’t all that fantastic. There just seemed to be so much of it. I understand the need for it, but if you’re going to throw that much CG at a film, at least make it good. Most of the time it looked like I was watching a digitally animated film. Yes, those moments on the Green Lanterns home planet.

The underlying notion of will vs. fear was an interesting one, though I don’t think they made full advantage of it. It was just used in passing to explain a few little things. Which is a shame – could have been what was needed to give the film some added depth.

Had I seen the film in 3D, I might have called it a waste of money. I was grateful that there was a 2D showing that I could see. Which might have given me the inclination to give this film one more point that maybe it’s worth. It’s light entertainment. Not a great comic book film. Not a terribly bad one either. Definitely not as bad as Wolverine. Just doesn’t match up to what has already come this summer with Thor and X-Men: First Class.

(I think I’ve been a tad harsh giving this film a 2/5, but I couldn’t justify a 3! Even though I did partly enjoy it.)
Rating: 2/5

PaulPaul (18/06/11)

Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.

I think Paul lived up to expectations. Funny, silly and full of Simon Pegg/Nick Frost bromance. With an added alien. Lots of fun cameos. Jason Bateman being pretty damn awesome. Tonnes of other sci-fi movie references. Made for a very entertaining film.

I didn’t find it hilariously funny. Just had a bit of a smile on my face throughout the film. The film rattled through to the end pretty swiftly. With one little surprise.

Paul himself I loved. I wouldn’t mind my own little Paul. He made me laugh! And surprisingly good CG on him.

Fantastic score too – thanks to David Arnold. Really made a big impact during the more action packed scenes. It’s not the kind of film I’d pair up with having a score on par with Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace. Wouldn’t have been possible without David Arnold.

A very silly but fun little film.
Rating: 3/5

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

120+ movies: Oh the horrors!

120+ Movies of 2011

From Paris With LoveFrom Paris with Love (15/04/11)

In Paris, a young employee in the office of the US Ambassador hooks up with an American spy looking to stop a terrorist attack in the city.

I had an inkling that Luc Besson was somewhat linked to this film considering it’s mindless action and based in Paris. What are the odds? Well, he wrote the story and it does feel like your average Luc Besson action film. Stupid action, a very loose plot and more mindless action.

To be fair, you don’t watch a film like this for the plot. It’s your usual buddy copy mixed in with a terrorist plot. It does jump around a bit and I didn’t predict it to end where it did, compared to where it started. John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys-Meyer worked well together. There were some laughs. One very cool car chase sequence, though still waiting for a car chase to top Ronin’s. Don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Overall, I enjoyed the film. I feel slightly dirty for saying that. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure film.
Rating: 3/5

Scream 4Scream 4 (16/04/11)

Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Firstly, I think I did enjoy this film while I watched it. For the majority of the time. Though there were more than a couple of occasions where I got annoyed with how self-aware it was. The whole Scream franchise is very good at nitpicking at the horror film genre and twisting things on its head. But it all failed slightly a little bit in the fourth film.

It was great seeing the ol’ Scream gang back. Though Courtney Cox had some shocking plastic surgery done and her face did scare me a tad more than Ghostface. The new Scream gang I didn’t like so much. I can’t actually remember any of their names or how they died. Sad. Though was very excited to see Alison Brie on the big screen and her death made an impact!

I did still enjoy the film. Scream’s the original new wave of teen slasher films and for that, I’m grateful for the franchise and this film. Here’s hoping the fifth will be rectifying some of the badness of the fourth. I don’t want this franchise to go down the Final Destination film franchise!
Rating: 3/5

Hot Tub Time MachineHot Tub Time Machine (17/04/11)

Four guy friends, all of them bored with their adult lives, travel back to their respective 80s heydays thanks to a time-bending hot tub.

This film teaches me that I should seek out the ability to travel back in time, make some changes to better my future life and roll with it. Also, I’m slightly more wary of hot tubs.

It’s not a genius film, I’m wondering what John Cusack is doing in it. Some bits were a little bit funny. The best thing about the film was definitely Clark Duke – very funny and got to see him do a little bit more than what he got to do in Kick Ass!

Chevy Chase makes a suitably creepy repair man. And look, that’s two Community actors in one post!
Rating: 2/5

Attack the BlockAttack the Block (20/04/11)

About a teen gang in South London defending their block from an alien invasion.

Don’t let the dodgy title from IMDB or the trailer put you off seeing this film. It’s a brilliantly funny, mildly terrifying and so very south London film. My expectations were low-ish going into the film. I think I saw the trailer in the cinema which was fine. Only I think it followed the trailer for Anuvahood and I think I confused the two of them in my head.

Confusion aside, what Attack the Block is a funny little Brit sci-fi film with some very talented young, first time actors. Was very impressed with the monsters in the film. The aliens in the film had no idea what they were coming up against when they landed in south London.

It starts off fairly brutally and that stays with you for the whole film. There’s loads of great dialog thrown in. Kids in situations you never thought they’d be in. And a fantastic soundtrack from Basement Jaxx. Matched the atmosphere of the film. First Daft Punk did Tron: Legacy, now we have Basement Jaxx on this and next we’ve got The Chemical Brothers’ doing the score for Hanna. I’m not minding this at all!

Go see the film. It’s funny, action packed and just slightly gory. Brilliant.

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