Locke-d in for this car ride

Film

Locke

“It’s not even a film”, he proclaims. “Nothing happens!”, he exclaims. Those are the words I heard when I fell out of my slumber after originally falling into it midway through Locke. Feeling guilty that I made him sit through the film while I nodded off half way through (Out of sheer tiredness and being far too comfy on the sofa.) I promised that I will sit myself through the film when I’m more awake.

And I’ve kept my promise. Though in all fairness, even though I did drop off part way through watching Locke, I had a feeling when I did get around to watching it in its entirety, I would actually enjoy it and like it very much.

Top 10 Actors/Actresses I’d See in Just about Anything

Film

A little while ago Kristin over at All Eyes On Screen posted her Top 10 Actors/Actresses She’d See in Just About Anything, and it’s now a blogathon. As is the way of blogathons, the batons been passed on to me.

First, let’s see where this blogathon has been before:

1. Abbi at Where the Wild Things are
2. Fernando at Committed to Celluloid
3. Kristin at All Eyes On Screen

I would like to pass it on to Nostra, over at My Filmviews.

And now onto my Top 10 Actors/Actresses I’d See in Just About Anything. There appears to be a bit of gender bias going on in my list. I have always found it hard to think of actresses off the top of my head that I genuinely enjoy watching in films. Don’t ask me why. So, just to let you know, I’m not being sexist – just useless!

100 movies: Lawless

100 movies of 2012

[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]

LawlessLawless (30/08/12)

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.

Lawless was a film I was looking forward to. I was looking forward to Lawless being that end of summer hit. After all the blockbusters were over with, in would come this great little film with a fantastic cast that would just end the summer film season perfectly.

I didn’t quite get my wish. See, I think my expectations were too high. Aside from the Shia inclusion, I was blown away by the casting in this film. Not just Tom Hardy in a leading role, but Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain and Guy Pearce. That is a whole lot of good to fit into a film. And it turns out, there just wasn’t enough film to fit all those good people in it.

Lawless is based on the true story of the Bondurant boys – a family of bootleggers. Like the IMDB summary says, their way of life is threatened when Guy Pearce’s Rakes enters the game and his only goal is to get shot of al booze in the county. Simple story. Which is fine. But the story itself didn’t amount to much. Thing happened. But there was never a real climax. It felt like watching a very pedestrian story of a family of bootleggers. Well, ignoring all the bloody violence, of which there was a fair amount of.

Alongside that, the players in the film, while great, I left the cinema wondering why they were in it. Gary Oldman’s Floyd Banner was pretty much a cameo appearance. I wanted more Oldman – he was great in those short minutes we got him. Jessica Chastain’s Maggie was barely in it and her role just about amounted to a bit of eye candy. Why was she there? Tom Hardy was fantastic as one of the Bondurant boys. With a mere grunt he could convey so much! Also, I don’t think there has been such a manly man who can pull of cardigans as well as Tom Hardy did here. Jason Clarke was another stand-out for me. The ever loyal but oh so drunken Howard. The last thing I saw him in was The Chicago Code (which I do still miss). What about Shia LaBeouf? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by his performance here. BUT. I don’t think he has the chops for such a heavy leading role.

Lawless did have a great score and a beautiful selection of songs. It felt like it could be authentic. That you were watching this true story of the Bondurant boys. I just wish something happened towards the end.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Dark Knight Rises

100 movies of 2012

[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]

WARNING: This is a spoiler warning! I was going to attempt writing up my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises without plot points about the film. But that’s proved somewhat impossible. So, if you’ve not seen the film but will be at some point and don’t want to be spoiled, go look at some of my photos. Oh and also, in case you didn’t already guess. This one is going to be a long one. I can’t make myself succinct about this film!

The Dark Knight RisesThe Dark Knight Rises (20/07/12)

Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Before I begin with sorting out my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises, let’s go back to the beginning with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. See, in the run up to the release of The Dark Knight Rises I did what any sane person would do and did a rewatch of both. Sane or weirdly obsessive. I’ll let you decide. Anyway. Before this rewatch I was certain that The Dark Knight was the better film. It was beautifully dark. Serious. Unforgiving. It was everything a comic book film had never been.

As you might be able to guess. After the rewatch, I changed my mind. I’m not saying that The Dark Knight is a bad film or in any way a poor sequel to Batman Begins, but I just want to argue that it is actually a better all round film. Batman Begins sets up the universe. Gives us Gotham. Its heroes and villains. Sets the tone. It’s well structured. Has a fantastic score. It begins with a purpose and by the end, you’ve got it. The Dark Knight I found a little messy on my rewatch. I think the film is overshadowed by the epic performance given by Heath Ledger. It’s all anyway sees or talks about when it comes to that film. There is more to it than that, but it’s all anyone can really take note of. The Dark Knight also ends about 3 times before the actual ending.

So there you have it. Now you know where my mindset is in terms of the trilogy, let’s get into my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises.

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…