100 movies: Argo

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]

ArgoArgo (07/11/12)

A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

I tip my hat off to you, Ben Affleck. I more than tip my hat off to you. Never have I been so happy to see an actor turn director and do it so damn well. Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo. That is an impressive list. And they just get better and better.

Now, I didn’t really know about the story behind the film, Argo. Shame on me, I know. And watching a film about the events isn’t really filling in the gaps as I’m sure there was a level of artistic licence with the events that took place.

Okay, the film, what about Argo? Bloody amazing. It’s a pretty unbelievable story, but it’s made believable by all of the characters involved and the actors playing them. You really feel for them from the beginning with the rather terrifying scene of the beginning of the hostage situation.

What I thought Argo did beautifully was blend humour and the rather tense situation that’s going on around these people. The moments of comedy complimented the moments where I was gripping onto the armrests of my seat. Especially the last 45 minutes. Wow. It honestly felt like, to me, the situation could go either way. Tense stuff.

The cast make this film for me. Everyone from Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Tate Donovan, Alan Arkin and John Goodman. What a freaking cast list! They were all perfect in their roles, helping make the film feel realistic and down to Earth. Special kudos to Ben Affleck. Not only did he do a brilliant job directing, but he made for a great leading man. Sort of an understated performance. But solid.

Argo is an excellent thriller. One I am itching to see again.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Kung Fu Panda 2

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!

Kung Fu Panda 2Kung Fu Panda 2 (14/05/12)

Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.

Jack Black is not my favourite actor. He’s far, far, FAR down the list. That’s the reason why I’ve been putting off watching this film. I did enjoy the first film. Wasn’t blown away mind. It was fun. Felt there are better animated flicks out there.

Feel pretty much the same way about the sequel. Enjoyed it, there were some very nice looking sequences. Overall the film looked so much better than the first. Beautiful. Loved the conventional style animated scenes. Reminded me of Samurai Jack. Those were probably my favourite bits of the film.

The story was strong. While it’s nothing new, I liked that there was some development of Po. Though there were a few of the same ol’ gags from the previous film. Jack Black was very toned down, thank God. Don’t need another hyper gurning performance from him.

I feel like I might get eaten alive for saying this – good enough animated film. I enjoyed it, but it’s not staying with me in the long run. Looks like it won’t be the last we’ll see of Po.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

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.