// —> Lights. Camera. Actor. // —>
Lights. Camera. Actor.

Okay so I have to pick a movie to start with and I’m going to go ahead and select Gatsby. I was unbelievably excited for this, I saw it the day it came out, I’d been looking at all the sneak pics and whatnot, and I have to say that it only sort of delivered what I thought. First, as it is a book conversion, it adhered to the novel so well. It was amazingly accurate. However, they made some really poor production choices, namely musical, of which I was really not a fan. I understood their attempts at parallelisms and relating to the audience, but I thought it was, frankly, stupid. Toby Maguire was what I expected - good physically, not so great vocally. Carey Mulligan was casted beautifully as a Daisy and, as expected, Leo DiCaprio was a glorious Gatsby. The last third of the movie was really well done, just intense and true to canon and really fun, so go see it because books are great and it had my whole group of friends gasping in nerves even though we spent ages filling out a 60 page packet on the book earlier this year.


I was with my friend yesterday who is a huge Benedict Cumberbatch (who I must say is an impressively good actor) fan since Cabin Pressure and BBC’s Sherlock so for her birthday I got her a few of his movies / paraphernalia and we ended up watching Third Star. This movie felt so incredibly natural. Partially, of course this was because of good onscreen chemistry between the four main actors (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Burke, JJ Field, Adam Robertson) that mad it seem like they’d known eachother for a long time. It’s an incredibly realistic story with realistic characters. That being said, it was a bit overdramatic at times to the point where it just feels like its pulling too hard to try to get an audience reaction, which really bothers me about films. So, yes, it is predictable until perhaps the final plot twist and some people who don’t really care about the character stuff I’ve talked about may find the middle incredibly slow, but I didn’t and I appreciated the realism (and tears) and thought provocation about life I got from the movie.

Got to see Memento on my uncle’s giant fabulous tv last night. It was a really interesting movie, and I thought the direction was brilliantly put together. I kind of want to watch it in chronological order to see how it fits together. I was able to piece a lot of it together before I was supposed to so I think that a lot of the surprise was taken out of it. Guy Pierce did alright, but I felt that Carrie-Anne Moss was really good. There were some unanswered questions at the ed, they left it open, rather like Inception in that respect, but a tad bit more subtle, but I think that leaving things open for interpretation can be okay. It deserves  the awards an all that, but I didn’t like it as much as I was hoping. Definitely a good movie to watch with some people so you can discuss it and predict and be surprised together as the story reveals itself. Also, don’t turn it off if you don’t like the beginning scene or two, becasue I was unsure, but then it turned out to be entertaining enough.

Alright, I know, I’ve been slacking off, but I’ve had some other stuff on my mind. I watched Animal House last night though, which was one I hadn’t seen before, and while it was funny at times, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping. Again though, I had other stuff on my mind so I may have simply not gotten as into it as I may have otherwise. The ideas in it were funny and a lot of the circumstances and situations that occurred were amusing, but it didn’t feel like it was going anywhere until the last 25 minutes or so. The acting in it was pretty good throughout, Belushi really seemed in his element here. There are some terrific one liners though and, again, the ridiculousness of parts of it make it worth watching. There are a lot of comedic lines that come from this movie that I didn’t know before watching it. It is a good movie just to put on if you want to watch a goofy movie, but it doesn’t feel like it has much more than the silly laughs.

I apologize for delay, but I just finished BBCs Sherlock last night. Last Friday I watched “A Study in Pink” with some friends, and being a Sherlockian, I loved it. I know some of you probably get annoyed with the amounts of Sherlock on your dash because of the blazing fandom that is Sherlock, so I opted to make one post as if it were one nine hour movie. For anyone who is really into Sherlock Holmes and has read the stories, you may be a bit unsure of the idea of putting him into today’s world, but really, don’t be. They did a wonderful job of keeping the characters and referencing the books, also it points out the stupidity of the deerstalker hat icon. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a good Holmes, I think, because so often Holmes will be portrayed as such a dry character, but he’s not, and a combination of good scripting and good acting make it work. Martin Freeman does a flawless job at Watson, my favorite so far. There are a few things that irk me, for example, instead of feeling threatened by Moriarty I felt like he was just the most obnoxious person in the world and wanted to hit him in the face, but overall, the good definitely outweighs the bad. Its worth watching, if you don’t mind a day of your life being spent away with it, because it’s hard to stop watching. Like the stories, you just want to keep reading another one.

I just finished The Great Dictator, and i have mixed feelings about it. It was wierd watching it because it had the feel of a Chaplin film, in the choreo (which was both hilarious and beautiful at times), the sit-com like situations, and the laughs brought on in the most intense situation, but the dialogue felt wrong because it had the feel of a silent film and since there was dialogue there was not as much of the music to go with the scenes. Had I not been thinking of it as a Chaplin film, I would have thought nothing of it though. That being said, it was still brilliant. The double casting idea was fantastic, and some of the lines I thought were genius in the way they showed the hypocracy and absurdity of the whole thing. I can see how this would have been a controversial film at the time, but now it sends a message to humanity and is actually a really good movie with awesome symbolism. Also, I found it funny that even the dialogue had that slapstick/Chaplin feel to it, I don’t really even know how to explain it, but if you have watched a few of his movies, you’ll know what I mean. Overall I really did enjoy it.

Some Like it Hot was so good! I mean, of course it was, its a classic, but it was even better than I had expected. The characters were fantastic and the storyline and script held were done beautifully. It feels like a modern film when you watch it, except of course that it’s in back and white, and it was quite funny. The actors were great, Tony Curtis,  Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe held it up pretty well, especially considering the “diverse” parts that the two guys had to play. Its a fun movie for a rainy day for those of us who like a good laugh and a cute romantic comedy.

Super Hero!

I was with a friend yesterday who hadn’t seen Captain America yet and it was preventing her from seeing the Avengers, so that’s what we watched last night. While there are some things about the story line that don’t exactly fit, and the script is pretty cheesy at times, it does make a solid superhero movie. I actually had to look up how they made the skinnier version of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) because it was really well done. Chris Evans, and the whole supporting cast as well, (Hayley Atwell, Sebastion Stan, Stanley Tucci), did a fantastic job with the movie, despite the silly lines that the had to say sometimes. I feel like what made me like this the most was its unpredictablility, I mean, yes its a superhero movie and some things are given, but there were a couple times when something happened and I was sure it wasn’t. The special effects and everything made it pretty to look at and it was entertaining.

I wasn’t fully warned about Schindler’s List, so it was far more intense than I had expected, but it was also a true story that actually tried, and to a point succeeds at, showing the good in humanity. It is a holocaust movie, so yes, there are going to b many sad parts and I felt like during this film you really get a sense of how little the Nazi soldiers did care about those people and everything they went through, but at the same time, I feel like it had the same flaw as many of the Spielberg films. It went straight for your emotions and at times seemed more focused on tearjerking and show than the the story, which is enough in itself and doesn’t need any help to get some tears from the audience. That being said, there were some really cool director’s choices made with the color throughout the movie and the acting was fantastic, Liam Neeson’s last monologue speech sticks out in my mind for him, but Ralph Fiennes (Goeth) stuck out for the whole movie for his acting. It’s a good story, but it is extremely gruesome, which was necessary for the point of the movie, but some may have an aversion to it.

I read before that Bonnie and Clyde was pretty controversial at the time because the sympathetic characters were actual criminals that were a big deal. Either way, the movie was done pretty well, it held my interest and made me actually like the characters and feel for them as well as telling the story about what led to the Barrow Gang’s creation. I think part of the reason  I enjoyed this was the pictures from Bonnie and Clyde’s camera that they showed in the start credits and tried to explain throughout the movie. I went back afterwards to all of the pictures at the beginning to try to match them to the ones taken throughout the film. Anyway, it felt like it dragged at times, but overall it was pretty fun, the acting (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman) was good and it was well directed.

my dogs are named ^clyde^                                     and ^bonnie^

Rebel Without a Cause is such a classic movie and James Dean is fantastic. Natalie Wood of course was good as well. It was a lot different than I expected as far as Dean’s character and even the seriousness of  the plot, but it was good. As sort of a side note, it was funny that I kept having to remind myself that this was a movie that was actually released in the 50s, not some movie like American Graffiti that just tries to illustrate it. I guess it sort of showed me that movies made later didn’t exaggerate things as much as I had thought. Anyway, I thought the story was really well written and the characters and underlying themes and all of that were pretty interesting and they actually made sense. I think what makes this movie so good is the fact that all the characters’ have very realistically  human and relatable lives that make them behave the way they do. Knowing why the characters are doing these things and where they come from makes you care a lot more. 

I absolutely love the movie Chaplin. It was one of the early ones that got me into movies and made me start to want to act. Charlie Chaplin himself was a genius and the ability to capture that in a movie would be difficult, and even though it, sadly,  only touches the surface of Charles’ genius, I think it reminds people that he was just a person who had a lot of troubles in his life that led to his incredible films and makes you think of the motivation and meaning behind them. But the real reason I love this movie was the performance of Robert Downey Jr, absolutely blows me away. I’m just thinking about how much time he must have put into becoming Chaplin the way he did, from the accent, to the walk, the dance of the rolls, all of that. I can imagine how much fun it must have been to dive into a character like that. Anyway, this will remain one of my favorites for a lot of reasons and I sort of hope I can get others to watch it and see how fantastic it really is.

Sorry, I actually had friend that wanted to do stuff with me this weekend, but its ok, everything’s back to normal now. Yesterday one of my friends wanted to show me this movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and I was surprised at how good it actually was. Unlike a lot of Holocaust movies, it wasn’t just a continuous barrage of terrible things happening, but it contrasted the horror against the innocence of the children. The kids, by the way, did a beautiful job with it, Asa Butterfield and Jack Scanlon held up to their adult coworkers. The whole cast though did a good job, I felt, especially the mother and father, (Vera Farmiga, David Thewlis. It was well directed, but I’m sure a lot of it came out of the book, which I plan on reading. It was predictable in a lot of senses and to me it felt like towards the end some of the “innocence” became pure stupidity. I can’t go into it much because it would ruin everything, but there were some parts that I didn’t like about it that i can’t really articulate, but it was a crier and it definitely drove the point home. I would probably have to rate it 3 1/2 stars

I really don’t even know what to say. Apocalypse Now was fantastic and everyone needs to see it for so many reasons. The directing and writing was amazing and the acting was really good all around, but I have to say that Martin Sheen had a lot on his shoulders for this character, and the outcome was impressive. There are moments that have such interesting symbolism in them too that made it so enjoyable, some of the really tiny roles in the film had a huge impact on me. Just watch it, now. 

Another Crime Flick

I’d heard of Fargo before, but this is the first time I actually was able to see it, it was pretty entertaining, I always like movies based off of true stories. The way this one followed the criminals and the circumstances reminded me of In Cold Blood a bit (I read the book, never saw the movie). It had some comedic parts to it, which as goo, t kind of balanced out some of the more gruesome bits, especially towards the end. Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare fit well in their parts and played it well, but I think Frances McDormand had a wider range of situations to deal with and emotions and all that and she was good at it.