While I was away, I watched LOTS of movies. During the flights, I managed to squeeze in 4 going out and 4 coming back. Although, one of them I didn’t watch completely because I got bored (The Artist). Yes, I know it won all of those awards, but I wanted someone to speak dammit! There were a few others to update on my challenges page as well so I lumped them in to one post. That makes 10 movie reviews follow! 🙂 I do so love em, don’t you?
My Movies Slide-Show (okay, this doesn’t work *Grr!)
My Week With Marilyn (8/10)
Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.
I love Marilyn and Michelle Williams who played her, so thought this would be a marvellous experience and a sneaky peek behind Marilyn Monroe (and her gigantic persona) and into Norma Jean. It wasn’t really. But I did enjoy what little insights it provided. She almost certainly had a mental health issue which remained untreated. Perhaps even bipolar disorder like me. Or at least that’s how this movie portrayed her. I imagine Colin Clarke dined out on this experience for the rest of his life. 🙂
The Iron Lady (10/10)
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
I respected Margret Thatcher my whole life so had to watch this. And I have to say I am still pleasantly stunned with the way Meryl Streep morphed into her… seamlessly. Incredible. Not just looks (one could put that down to make up and stylists) but the voice, the subtle tells, the walk. I know it’s hard, but this has to be Meryl’s performance of her life-time. I cannot see her topping this. Apart from her expertise, the movie itself was stand out. It illustrated without prejudice Margret’s positive and negative attributes, the light and dark or her personality. In particular her control freakishness which eventually lead to her being utterly betrayed by her cabinet. A thoroughly rounded and perfectly executed movie.
The Artist (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) (I couldn’t watch it all – unrated)
Silent movie star George Valentin bemoans the coming era of talking pictures and fades into oblivion and self-destruction, but finds sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer lighting up talkies like no one else.
I watched so little of this, it’s difficult to write anything here. I thought it was about a silent movie star – not that it was a silent movie. I wanted so much to watch this and like it but I got bored quite quickly. I really don’t understand all the awards it received or why Jean Dujardin, got such high acclaim. Did you see all of this and like it?
The Rum Diary [Blu-ray] (8/10)
American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1950s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.
Johnny Depp is always beautiful to watch as a character actor in most roles… the weirder the better it would seem. Here he’s a functioning (barely) alcoholic surrounding by dysfunctional, end-of-the line alcoholic journalists. A strange set of friendships and romance are quickly established, along with a good mix of high-jinx, humour and drama. As with Depp’s first dalliance with writer Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in 1998, there were elements of surrealism and drug usage.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (9/10)
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.
As with the book: We Need to Talk About Kevin this was a captivating and dark story. The very best kind in my opinion. I do like it dark. Those of you who prefer sugar on your fiction will not love this or even like it. I did. It’s been quite some time since I read the book (2005 I spent some time in hospital and this was in the cast-off library. Result!). I knew I had to see what the movie-makers had made of the book and I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t as I’d imagined and was not quite as good as I remember the book being, but still… It was bloody good. Ezra Miller who played the evil teenager was beautiful and this conflicted beautifully with our sense of what evil should look like. He played the role well and I look forward to seeing him in more movies soon. Tilda Swinton played his confused, haunted and abused mother who loves this monster unconditionally, regardless. Often to her own detriment. John C. Reilly plays the annoying father, blinded by love and Kevin’s two-faced charm, he ignores his wires continued pleas for help with her son’s wickedness and oddball behaviour. He just will not believe his son could do anything wrong, rather favouring the idea that his long-suffering wife is at fault. I wanted to reach through the screen and throttle him. This movie is about many things…. all of them human. This is why it’s so utterly dark and so captivating. My only issue is that there are no answers… but isn’t that the way of life sometimes?
The Darkest Hour (4/10)
In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply.
It started off with an interested storyline, utterly irrelevant to the movie as a whole which bounced right in moments later. There was an interesting invisible force aimed from aliens who invaded Moscow (and other places around the World) which spat you out like dust. Cool! But so much else was utterly disappointing: I had no investment in any of the characters because character development was awful or none-existent. And why did everyone seem to run into the lasers or stand in the middle of the road or think they could sneak past the great huge alien forces which turned you to dust? Too many people sacrificed themselves throughout. The clichés came thick and fast too, like around every corner. Corny and cheesy and unrelenting. Things I would go into more specifically but then I’d spoil just how pants-to average this movie was. Watch it and see… but only if it’s on TV and it comes free. And if there’s nothing else on.
Meeting Evil (6/10)
John is taken on a murder-fueled ride by a mysterious stranger that transforms the weak-willed, disillusioned husband and father into a desperate hero willing to go to any length to protect his family.
Luke Wilson, Samuel L. Jackson star in this meaningless trip through deceit and psychosis, that seems as aimless as the lead duo’s murder-infested road trip. The ending never explains the need for so many murders and leaves one feeling exploited by the sheer abundance of death when it had nothing to do with the over-all storyline. I have marked this higher than it deserves mainly because of the performances of the two stars, which were no stretch, but worthy enough. What they were actually doing in this tripe I have no idea. Times, it would seem, are hard even in Hollywood?
Friends with Benefits (8/10)
Jamie (Mila Kunis) is a New York head-hunter trying to sign Los Angeles-based Dylan (Justin Timberlake) for her client. When he takes the job and makes the move, they quickly become friends. Their friendship turns into a friendship with benefits, but with Jamie’s emotionally damaged past and Dylan’s history of being emotionally unavailable, they have to try to not fall for each other the way Hollywood romantic comedies dictate.
Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake had an undeniable chemistry in this fun and emotive movie. It had some seriously cute moments and I laughed out loud at others, too. I’m not into rom-coms much, but this was more than that – it was genuinely fun, believable and realistic. It was human and not a fairytale. I think therein lies the difference – for me at least. Great script, performances and it made me feel all yummy, without the fluff of most rom-coms. I appreciated the spin on an old concept, it’s timely humour and in-ground humanity.
When her sister disappears, Jill is convinced the serial killer who kidnapped her two years ago has returned, and she sets out to once again face her abductor.
Amanda Seyfried was a convincing paranoid victim of assault who runs around after a release from and mental institution, when her sister mysteriously goes missing. She instinctively knows its her assailant and goes all out – gun in hand – to find him. The police in the drove me crazy – the evidence was always there, but they preferred to believe she was crazy… that was for her own attack before being sectioned. After her release from hospital, she was never going to be taken seriously – until she got a gun. Because that made her a possible problem for them, then. They were clueless from beginning to end, where she sought only to find her sister alive and to rid them both of the perp. There were a few issues with this movie, I admit. Character development wasn’t great – apart from perhaps the main role. There were a few other roles opened up interestingly only to wither to nothing. The ending is at first weak, then if you think about it seems slightly better. There were some scenes which left me frowning or groaning. Overall, it was not bad, not great. Watch it on TV.
Game Change (9/10)
Follows John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore ) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson ) suggests a game changer: picking a conservative female with media savvy, unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin, as vice president.
Juliane and Woody gave excellent performances in this awesome movie, tracing the tragedy that is Sarah Palin and was the 2008 McCain campaign. How she got ANY respectable position is beyond imagination. Her talent for acting (Sarah’s not Julianne’s) was clear – her only successes throughout the campaign came from this one talent. But this also highlighted her complete vacuity and inflated ego. There were hints at some sort of mental breakdown or mental illness as her fragile image, the tumultuous lie, began to crumble around her. But I’m unclear on how correct these suggestions were. Her lack of knowledge and inability to learn it stands the test of time however, and is legendary. This movie gave some classic examples. In all, a fabulous movie. Isn’t it odd how I dislike reading biography, but love to watch it?
Oops, I just recalled, there are two other movies (two rom-com’s I think, which is perhaps why I can’t remember them) which I watched with my sister-in-law and niece while they stayed here, prior to our UK holiday. I’ll have to add them later. 🙂
I do hope you enjoyed my many tiny reviews. Did you watch any of these?
What did you think of them? I do love a good discussion… 😀