100 movies: This Means War

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!

This Means WarThis Means War (02/03/12)

Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

Hand on heart, this was probably the most fun film I’ve seen this year. Yes, it’s just another McG mindless action film. Yes, the plot’s very simplistic. But you know what? I enjoyed it. Sometimes, I need a bit of mindless fun.

I know a lot of people are asking why on Earth Tom Hardy felt like he had to do this film. I’m glad he did. Yes, he’s an incredibly strong actor with some amazing performances behind and ahead of him. But he got to do something a little light here. For that, I’m grateful. And yes, I might just be a little bit more in love with Tom Hardy now.

I thought the film flipped between your typical romcom to action film fairly well. The action sequences were done well enough. Nothing amazing, but they weren’t botched. Tom Hardy and Chris Pine were great together. Bromance lives!

When the film ended the audience actually applauded. This just doesn’t happen (often). Especially not here in England. We’re just too uptight! And yet, the entire packed cinema were applauding and cheering.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ Movies: A big ol’ update

120+ Movies of 2011

This is a massive catch-up on films I’ve seen over the last few weeks. I promise to post something other than 120+ movie stuff on this blog some time soon.

True GritTrue Grit (15/02/11)

A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father’s murderer.

A simple, old-fashioned Western is how I would describe this film. Really enjoyed it. Didn’t tax my brain all that much. There was some gorgeous cinematography as well as some minor hokey bits of computer graphics towards the end. But overall, a really good film. Not just a film with good performances from everyone, but the film worked as a whole. Hailee Steinfeld was shockingly good for someone so young. She really held the screen well alongside Jeff Bridges. Who’s Western accent was very authentic. Though I think it got so authentic that I couldn’t actually understand what he was saying at times.

True Grit also has one of my favourite movie posters of the year so far. Love the typeface and the feel to it. More film posters like this please! Though obviously not exactly the same, but something other than sticking the main actors on the poster with no imagination.
Rating: 4/5

RedRed (19/02/11)

When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last-ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants.

Why on earth does this have such a high rating on IMDB? I think I got bored part way through the film and then completely forgot the plot points of the film to care much more as the film got to the climax.

The ongoing joke about these people being too old and yet getting things done got old pretty quickly. Though John Malkovich’s character kept me most amused. He was actually funny! Oh and Morgan Freeman did a good enough job too. But Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren? Poor show!
Rating: 1/5

InvictusInvictus (20/02/11)

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

This is one of those films that has some great performances but ultimately just lands a little flat. Morgan Freeman really convinces as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon transforms himself really well to play a believable rugby player. Nelson Mandela’s story of trying to get a united South Africa did get transformed to screen well enough, the film just felt like it was missing something.

That something was missing big time during some of the rugby scenes towards the end of the film. There was just no drama or urgency to them. Whether it was to do with how they were shot or edited. They just didn’t pack the punch I was expecting them to.

I wish I could give this film a higher score, but it was just an average film with some great performances.
Rating: 3/5

CoralineCoraline (28/02/11)

An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

A really good gothic feeling animated story. Aside from some lovely animation I wasn’t caught up in the spell of the film. I feel like I’m getting old! It was a very charming story but nothing in it really swept me up into the story.

Coraline herself managed to annoy and frustrate me at times with her petulance. Or what I translated as petulance. Maybe that little fact led me to not get caught up in the film. Shame!
Rating: 2/5

JunoJuno (02/03/11)

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

I know, I know – it’s taken me a long time to see this film. I think I’ve got a copy of the soundtrack which I’ve listened to and loved before even seeing the film.

A nice fun and inoffensive film to watch. Ellen Page was great as the quirky Juno. I really warmed to Jennifer Garner’s character and her wishes and hopes of being a mother. Loved Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons as the parents too. Always love J.K. Simmons in almost any films he’s done – he makes me laugh!

Glad I finally got around to watching it.
Rating:3/5

Monsters vs. AliensMonsters vs. Aliens (06/03/11)

When a meteorite from outer space hits a young woman and turns her into a giant monster, she is taken to a secret government compound where she meets a ragtag group of monsters also rounded up over the years.

Distinctly below average animated film. The whole notion that we should be happy in our own skins is something that’s been done in other films before and a lot better. Of course I can’t remember any of those films off the top of my head right now, but they’re there!

Pixar’s raised the bar so high when it comes to the quality of computer generated animation it’s hard not to compare. Monsters vs. Aliens really can’t compare with any Pixar films.

There’s some good voice talent in the film, just a shame the actual film part of the film just doesn’t measure up.
Rating: 1/5

Jennifer's BodyJennifer’s Body (06/03/11)

A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Hey, look, it’s Young Neil! That’s pretty much how I spent watching the film. I wouldn’t say it was a horrendously bad horror film but it’s pretty close to it.

I’m putting the blame firmly on Megan Fox and Diablo Cody. Diablo for trying to make an uncomprehendingly cool sounding script and Megan for just not being very good. When you’re meant to feel compassion for Jennifer, I couldn’t find an ounce of sympathy. She was just a bitca.

Poor Amanda Seyfried – she did the best she could and was the best thing in this mess of a film.
Rating: 2/5

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

100 movies: Milk, Jesse James, Rendition & The Reader

100 movies of 2010

I’ve been a little bit poorly the last few days. Good thing? I relaxed, recouped and watched a few movies. Sadly, I had no movies that were what I wanted to watch – brainless, action and unthinky. The only movies I had were big dramas that are all fairly intense. They all required a certain amount of attention. Oh well!

Milk (26/02/10)
The true story of Harvey Milk, brilliantly portrayed by Sean Penn. Loved the movie very much. Everyone in it was brilliant, though Sean Penn did blow me away. So convincing in this role – couldn’t imagine any other actor in the role. A part of American history that I knew nothing of, so I felt that I walked away (figuratively) from the movie a little better educated.
Rating: 5/5

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (27/02/10)
Another ‘based on true story’ type of movie. I seemed to be watching a lot of those movies this year. While I did enjoy this one, it didn’t amaze me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong I did really enjoy it and everyone’s performance in it was brilliant, I just felt that it dragged. I usually love a good long movie. Length of movies doesn’t usually phase me. Only when it doesn’t feel like the movie is long for me. This movie felt long to me. Casey Affleck lifted this movie for me. He was brilliant!
Rating: 3/5

Rendition (27/02/10)
A good ol’ political drama. I think this is the first movie I’ve seen where Jake Gyllenhaal was playing an adult! Well, someone close to his own age. Though I didn’t think he did very much throughout the movie, except look a bit moody. It was a good enough political drama, though I didn’t feel the tension. Or any kind of real feeling to any one character. The saving grace was the bit of a twist in the movie time line that happened towards the end of the movie. Didn’t expect it but fully appreciated it!
Rating: 3/5

The Reader (28/02/10)
Amazing movie. I had no expectations from this movie other thank I knew I was meant to think Kate Winslet was amazing in it. And she was. Very beautifully told story with a really good performance to the actor who played young Michael.
Rating: 4/5

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