Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday afternoon, and I'm bored.

Anyone up for a quick round of Guess the Movies?

01. His Girl Friday, as guessed by Joe
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02.
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03.
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04. The Incredibles, as guessed by Joe
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05.
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06. The Boat that Rocked, as guessed by Simon
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07. Vertigo, as guessed by Joe
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Screening Log (19/04/10 – 25/04/10)

Sorry dudes, I’d slacked up on this for a few weeks, but I’m 20 now, I’ve decided to shove some consistency into my life (lol). Anyway, here we go.

The Nanny (Seth Holt, 1965)
Curious drama starring Bette Davis as a competent nanny who works for mentally fragile mother Wendy Craig, her husband and their bratty son (played by William Dix), who despises his nanny. At first, his antipathy toward her seems to be nothing more than a by-product of his spoilt brat attitude, but then we see that there is a dark reason behind it all. The old fashioned style of the film both works to its advantage and disadvantage – it’s unashamedly unfashionable, so the focus is on substance rather than style, but as a result, the clunky acting from Craig makes it, at times, difficult to take the film seriously. Bette Davis is, as ever, superb, and there was horror in the surprise.

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In My Father’s Den (Brad McGann, 2004)
Matthew Macfadyen stars as a war photographer who goes home after the death of his father and his presence alone starts unravelling bitterly resentments and hidden family secrets. Although the film was fairly languid in tone and pacing, it still held my attention throughout. The characters were all fairly detestable, though the depiction of Macfadyen’s relationship with a girl that may well be his daughter was well done and intriguing. The twist, when it came, was as surprising as disturbing. Bizarre little movie, I appreciated it far more than I enjoyed it.

Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, 2010)
Entertainment, though not the smartest. Full review here .

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2009)
Somewhat of a let-down considering the sheer volume of talent involved. Full review here .

Cruel Intentions 2 (Roger Kumble, 2000)
Cruel Intentions worked so well because of the sexual magnetism between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Philippe. Cruel Intentions 2, which tells the story of how the two characters came to be how they were, serves as a prequel to Cruel Intentions. Only this time, Amy Adams and Robin Dunne plays the respective roles. I quite enjoyed Cruel Intentions 2, even though it was extremely crappy, just because it knew it couldn’t live up to the original and didn’t attempt to. There was a weak, weak twist, which doesn’t even shock because the whole film itself is so weak. However, my main problem with the film was Amy Adams. She’s so lovely and warm and her attempt to play it bitchy just didn’t carry off at all.

Love, Honour and Obey (Dominic Anciano, 2000)
Oh dear. I don’t even. If you want to see bad acting, shitty camerawork and Kathy Burke and Denis van Houten get buggered, then watch this. If you have any appreciation for good cinema, then don’t.
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01. Are you a collector of anything?
02. What's the last thing you did that made you happy?
03. Are you by nature naughty or nice?
04. Name one thing you could change about yourself.
05. Last movie you watched at the cinema? was it any good?

Last night’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Oh, how I love the BGT. The over-usage of Requiem for a Dream music. The crazy acts. Simon’s bitchy comments. As entertainment, it is second to none.

We start with auditions in Manchester, where the first act, a Christine from Leeds dubs herself a “triple threat” – she intends on dancing, singing and playing an instrument. However, we soon see that she is using all three of those terms in the loosest possible sense when the music to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean comes on, and she a) moonwalks terribly, b) sings out of tune and out of time and c) merely shakes some castanets about. The fact that her ill-fitting sequined leggings and jacket make her resemble a Christmas bauble simply adds to the sheer incredulity of her performance. She’d said that she wanted to take over the world in five years, but on that performance, the only way she’ll achieve that is by blinding us all with her dodgy attire. The audience are unrelenting, shouting “Off! Off! Off!” and even Piers Morgan has it in him to make a joke, “I haven’t seen moon-walking that slow since Neil Armstrong.”

The dubious amalgamations of two performances in one continue with Sinead, who claims she can play the guitar whilst jumping on a pogo stick. As with the previous act, though, in trying to be groundbreaking and mixing two acts, she doesn’t get either one right. Then we get a 39-year-old man who says he’ll “body build” whilst singing, but his bodybuilding consists of lifting two puny little weights. Lame. Lastly, a woman named Tina tries to fuse fire and singing. In an embarrassing attempt to sex her act up, she removes her robe to remove nothing but her tatties underneath. Whilst is succeeds – Piers and Simon gives their yeses – I think it’s mortifying and that women should act their age.

The next act is both sickening (literally) and beguiling. A man has five coins laid out in front of him, and he swallows each one. After the first one’s been swallowed, we can actually hear the sound of the next coin hitting it, which proves to be an extremely disturbing sound. He then proceeds to chunder up four of the five coins, much to the shock of everyone. The icing on the cake, if you will, is when he swallows a billiard ball (yes, a billiard ball!), in order to get the final coin to come back up. It’s one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever seen and I still don’t know how he did it, but as I have no intentions of trying it myself, I’m happy not knowing. Such acts are extremely polarizing, but this one was just so crazy (plus, unlike the previous acts, he actually did it well), so the judges send him through. The Britain’s Got Talent sob story factor comes out when the dude explains how he came to swallowing coins – growing up in a children’s home, he did it to stop other kids from stealing his money. Whilst I’m usually quite wary of these types of stories, the idea of a child going to the extent of swallowing scabby coins just to save a bit of money does genuinely make me sad.

We leave Manchester and go to the London auditions. First up are Melissa & Laika. Melissa is the proud owner of Laika, who she claims is a guitar-playing dog. Only, it doesn’t quite end up like that. Melissa plays the guitar and sings. The dog, wearing a ridiculous hair band, just lounges on the stage. When asked why the dog isn’t playing, Melissa lamely tries to get the dog to strum the guitar. One crappy strum =/= playing the guitar.

The terrible attempts to try and get animals into acts continues. We get a pig that supposedly does tricks, but he runs off the stage as soon as the act begins. It’s pretty farcical, truth be told, especially how the pig so clearly scares Dec. Then there’s snail racing, which needless to say, is not the most titillating thing I’ve seen in my life. The acts have pictures stuck on them, and hilariously, the Ant and Dec snails seem to be mating. Next up is a girl, Louise Sinclair, and her horse. “Is it a boy or a girl?” Simon asks, before he checks for himself. Anyway, Louise’s act is to do gymnastics on her horse. Animal cruelty if you ask me. It’s boring and tepid and lacks any flavour, and naturally, she gets nos. Not the most talented bunch of animals by any stretch of the imagination.

Thankfully, the next act actually is a bit different. They are The Arrangement, a group of Sixth Form students. I’ll admit, when I first saw them, I didn’t think they were up to much. But they soon prove me wrong, with their classical renditions of Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” then “Low” then Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”, which is not fashionable, but kinda works.

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The best bit is at the end when it goes to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” because it’s the only time the orchestra show a bit of a life. The centrepiece of the performance is definitely the lad with the microphone, who I think is incredibly brave, and, whilst not the best singer in the world, has enough public school swagger and energy to carry it off. All three of the judges give their yeses, much to the delight of the audience. I really really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to see what The Arrangement do for next time. If they pick four totally new songs and the orchestra come to life a bit more, I could really love it. However, if they use the same four songs, then I’ll be quite bored.

Someone who’s got Lady Gaga’s style down with the platinum wig and extravagant clothing rather excites things, because the audience think it might actually be Lady Gaga. It turns out to be a man. And their performance is atrocious – just crappy parading about the stage, and the part where he tries to sing the part in French from “Bad Romance” brought to me another song title “Can’t Speak French”. “If we’ve got Lady Gaga, why do we need you?” demands Simon. Not for the first time, Piers, Amanda and the audience love the act, and Simon hates it. I’m with Simon. I love Lady Gaga, and watching a weird guy bastardise her isn’t my idea of talent.

As is the way with the show, there are equal amounts of sweet and sour, and the gymnasts who perform next are definitely sweet. Their act has epic classical music, and it takes a while to get started, but when it does, it spellbinds. Cartwheels. Lifting people up. Balancing. All synchronised. It’s very impressive. The precision and control is second to none. There’s a bit where the girls all do a synchronised backwards flip and no-one puts a foot out of place. Spinning, throwing, body turns. The linking between different sections in the act is fluid too. Best part – when a girl is used as a skipping rope and a lad jumps over her. SO good, you wouldn’t believe kids did that. I think I'm more impressed by acts if I've attempted the things they do so I know how hard it is, and, I was always terrible at gym, so to see them succeed so much spellbinds me. It gets 3 well-deserved yeses. To sum up Ant & Dec, “wow.”

To end on a high, we go back to Manchester auditions, wherein there is a Mr Christopher Stone, an accountant. In his introduction, WALL-E music is played. I recognise it, yeah? Anyway, he sings, and he has a beautiful baritone voice. What he also has, and is picked up by Simon, is a lack of conviction. “You’ve got to have a slight swagger” Simon notes, which makes me happy obviously, as swagger is one of my favourite words. Nonetheless, he gets three deserved yeses, and that is BGT for another week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Friday Five.

Five things that make me happy
01. My birthday presents
02. Melanie Lauren't fierceness in Inglourious Basterds. I'm still not over it.
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03. This week's Madonna-inspired episode of Glee. It was terrific.
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04. Being a poser with my Lolita sunglasses
05. hai 

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, 2009)

A remake of Anne Fontaine’s 2003 film Nathalie…, Chloe is a film about obsession, sex, and the tangled web that lies weave. Julianne Moore is a successful gynaecologist, who’s accomplishments in her job sadly do not translate to that in her married life. Her son’s a semi-manic depressive teenager who shuts her out and her husband (played by Liam Neeson), misses his own surprise birthday party, under suspicious circumstances. Her mistrust is further fuelled when she spies a picture message on his iPhone (there’s your product placement). Deciding to take matters into her own hands, she enlists upscale hooker Amanda Seyfried to initially talk to him, see what happens, but soon their encounters become less-than-chatty as relations between the three become increasingly convoluted and messy.
Julianne Moore, as I may have mentioned the odd few times, is one of my favourite actresses, and her performance in Chloe is the epitome of nuance and quiet heartbreak. The writing in the film is less than stellar, and she is the glue that cements the entire film together. Amanda Seyfried is a lovely girl and everything, but her acting is a bit off here because one minute she’s sexy and smouldering, and next she exudes a childish air which does not gel at all with the character she’s playing. Liam Neeson is good as the possibly philandering husband who simply gets sexier and more attractive to women with age, and the relationship between him and Moore is portrayed well. The relationship between Seyfried and Moore (which enters lesbo territory), not so much. The two women have no chemistry whatsoever and whilst men watching wouldn’t really mind, I just found myself embarrassed for both women in their horrendously cringey “sex” scene.

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This claustrophobic three-hander boils and bubbles up nicely to its ultimately shattering denouement, and there are a fair few thrills along the way.  Perhaps because I'd seen the original, I knew what was coming, and thus the "twist" didn't surprise me at all, though to be fair, I think most of the unitiated will see it a mile coming to. For all the talent involved (Egoyan himself has done sexual obsession so much better), I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed.

Clash of the Titans (Louis Leterrier, 2010)

I haven't been to the cinema for over three weeks (the last release I’d seen at the cinema was Shank on the 29th March) due to various things beyond my control (ie not having enough time or money), but on Wednesday night, me and my housemates thought we’d take advantage of Orange Wednesdays, treat ourselves and check out Clash of the Titans in 3D.

The story is an age-old one: Zeus, Olympian god, creator of man, finds his creations turning against him and rebelling. In an attempt to put them back into their places, he allows his brother Hades to enlist hell upon them all, so that they will be praying once again. However, Hades, smarting from his brother condemning him to the underworld, has some plans of his own to overthrow everybody. The only person who can stop him? Demi-God Perseus, son of Zeus.

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Clash of The Titans is a remake of the 1981 Ray Harryhausen film. It was he who first decided to instill a Kraken, the Medusa, and all the various other characters we see in the modern day edition of the film. He based these characters from Greek myths, and for the most part, played true to the myths. Louis Leterrier uses the same characters and plot, and updates the 80s version with some very fancy fantasy sequences. It’s not a criticism – the Medusa scene was completely breathtaking and the film, on the whole, is pure cinema, so in terms of entertainment, Clash of the Titans certainly does its job.

One criticism that I did have, however, was the clear audience exploitation in trying to push a 2D film as 3D. I still haven’t seen Avatar, but I hear that was a film that was intended to be in 3D, and as such, the cinematic experience worked. With Clash of the Titans, however, the 3D “experience” was akin to the time me and my dad (both of us wear glasses anyway) watched Arsenal v Manchester Utd in 3D in a pub and both of us left with headaches, wishing that they’d just left the damn thing in 2D. Clearly studios thought “hey, it’s the summer, let’s milk these stupid-ass audiences for all they’re worth”, got the director to insert the odd scene in 3D. On the whole, I just wanted to take my thick frames off and watch it through the glasses I was already wearing. Bah.

That said, I enjoyed the cast, a lot. Gemma Arterton has turned my head ever since I first saw her, and as Persues’ Guardian Angel Io, she is ethereal, beautiful and hypnotic. Sam Worthington isn’t given an awful lot to do aside from brood and kill monsters, but he does that well. I enjoyed the Liam Neeson/Ralph Fiennes casting as good/evil yin/yangs, because it brought memories of Schindler’s List to the cinema geek in me. Both are apt in their roles, though both are also capable of a lot, lot more; Fiennes, in particular, looks a little awkward in his raspy voice. I enjoyed the “Slumdog” factor – trying to tempt in teen audiences by bunging the Skins cast in the film – in this case, both Stonem siblings. Kaya Scodelario does nothing more than wear a toga and look pretty, but looking pretty has always been something she does exquisitely well. Nicholas Hoult, on the other hand, gives one of his weakest performances, but thankfully, he too isn’t in it much either. The best performance of the film, by far and away belongs to Mads Mikkelsen (the baddie in Casino Royale), as Draco, in a performance that’s by turns swaggerous and wryly comedic, the only performance in the film which hints at a little more character development than just slaying monsters and shouting nonsensically.

All that being said, however, I still enjoyed the film, a lot. Perhaps it wasn’t quite worth the half of £8.25 (plus half of £8.75 that me and Garry spent on drinks and popcorn), but it’s nice to now and then put my pretentious self away and just sit back and enjoy a movie. There were flaws aplenty in this, but the entertainment factor – just about – redeemed it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My thoughts on last night’s Britain’s Got Talent.

I do love my Britain’s Got Talent. It’s just so entertaining – mostly for the wrong reasons, but entertaining nonetheless. Yesterday, it hit our TV screens again.
We start, as we usually do, with the London auditions, and almost immediately we are reminded of how farcically deluded some of the acts are. Double Take, two frumpy looking middle-aged women, bring the hilarity. They play an instrument that looks awfully like a tambourine to me, but when Simon calls it that, they got arsey. “It’s a timbrel” one of the women says haughtily. Whatever it is, their act has no artistic merit and they are rightfully given their marching orders. The embarrassing acts continue with Cheeky Boys, a group of old men in dressing gowns, socks and nothing else. They take off their dressing gowns and have nothing but balloons to cover their members. “I think those balloons are a bit big,” Piers observes wryly.

Amanda Holden’s botox agent does a pretty good job, because she does look nice. The next act is a woman with sock puppet penguin. Very lame. Speaking of lame, Kevin Cruise epitomizes “Oh dear”. He works as a cruise guide, and he tries to sing a medley of songs, but it doesn’t go beyond half-baked karaoke act. He’s exuberant, no question, but so, so bad. The audience loves it but there’s just no talent involved. When the medley hits “Boom boom pow”, he sings his own rendition “Put the bread in the toaster” AHAHAHAHA. The medley ends with “I’m Telling You”, which is rather ominous, “You’re Going to Love me”. I’m not so sure. Anyway, Amanda loves him, Simon absolutely loathes him, and has no qualms to say it flat out, “Unquestionably no”, which he gets booed for, but I totally agree with. Piers has the deciding vote, and he picks yes. So we’ll be seeing more from Kevin Cruise. Oh dear.

Thankfully, some of Britain does actually have talent. Josh, a young dancer is a bit good.
His mum is proud and he seems like he knows how good he is, but as Piers observes, “Cocky little devil, but you can carry it off”. He’s cute and cheeky, and it’ll be interesting to see how far he goes in the competition. Another successful dance act are the Ruby Girls, who are very leggy and sport mink coats. Thankfully, for them, it’s not all about sex appeal as they exhibit some dancing talent with a well-synchronised routine that shows off their great bodies. Simon, Amanda and Piers are all fans, and Ant and Dec don’t mind it either, leery men.

Next up Tobias Mead, who seems like a bit of a dude. He tells us that his parents wanted him to be a footballer, but he wanted to be a dancer. When asked if he’s attached, he says happily, “I have the most amazing girlfriend in the world” which I just think is so refreshing and sweet. Onto his performance, it is… spellbinding. On one hand, it’s nothing new, with popping and locking and wobbly legs, but then he puts his hood up and we see he is wearing his hoodie on back to front. On the front, he has a creepy mask and starts dancing backwards. The whole thing looks so bizarre, a bit of a disturbing dance act as well, but I loved it. The audience go wild and Amanda is hugely taken with him, “It looks like your body was made of liquid”. Piers likes it but isn’t overly blown away, for which Amanda reprimands him. Nonetheless, he gets three yeses and will almost certainly feature again.

Now we go to the Birmingham audition. Simon is ill. Everyone is ecstatic.His replacement = Louis Walsh. Hahahah, I wanted Cheryl! The auditions in the midlands don’t start too well, with Dave Lavelle, a stand-up who is not funny at all. The cruddiness continues with Pipes and Drums, who sound like shit. Then we’re “treated” to a reading of poem with The swan in the background which would send even the biggest insomniac to sleep, and I begin to wonder if there is any talent in Birmingham at all. Thankfully, next up is 10-year-old Chloe Hickinbottom. They way they build her act up, you know she’s either going to be really good, or really bad. When asked what she’d do with her prize money, she reveals she wants to spend her prize money on clothes from Primark. High aspirations then. Her song choice is rather unusual - Vera Lynn, but I found Amanda’s reaction to her choice of artist rather patronising. Anyway, true to their word, Chloe is amazing. As Louis says, she has a “Beautifully old fashioned, powerful voice” and what’s more, every line is in tune. Good act.

One performance from yesterday which I didn’t understand much of the love for was the Dancing dog. It’s ok, fairly cute, but I think Kate and Gin will always be my favourite owner and dog act, and anything that follows is somewhat passé. Amanda and Louis actually stand up to commend it, which I really don’t understand. Next is an Irish dancer. He’s an oldie but a sweetie and resembles Louis Walsh an awful lot.

After a brief stint as judge, Simon’s back. Cue dramatic music. They introduce him banterfully, in the style of an audition, for which Piers and Louis press their buzzers. I find this whole cheesy stint hugely entertaining. What entertained me less was the next act: A burper. Gross, and no talent involved whatsoever.

It’s second time round for Kieran Gaffney, who almost made it last year with his drumming. He’s come back with his parents to form a group “Mixed Emotions.” Simon bluntly says it’s “utterly atrocious”, but he’s right, because the mum and the dad have no talent whatsoever. Also, his mother looks like a complete whore in her outfit. The audience cheer to let Kieran audition by himself again and there is dramatic “Hometown Glory” piano chords in the background as Simon asks them if they’ll let Kieran audition by himself, to which Kieran happily says yes. Thank God, he was good but the parents were crud. His act without his performance is as good as the act with them was bad. His drumming bit on the snare is really good, plus there’s a good mixture of timbres
If what he says is true and he has just made it up in the short space of time, I thought he did rather wonderfully. They let him go through.

So that was that for this week’s Britain’s Got Talent. Nothing hugely mind-blowing, but some very talented acts nonetheless. I can’t wait for next week!
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Aww.

I saw this in Look magazine, thought it was lovely.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

I can hear the sound of violins long before it begins.

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Downloads available for the three Princess and the Frog tracks.

01. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Blue ft. Elton John)
All throughout March, I was on a bit of a Blue kick, and downloaded all of their albums to relive my early teen years, wherein I would frequently dance around the living room to their songs. Whilst Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word probably isn’t my all-time favourite of their’s (that’s probably You Make Me Wanna), I love how amazing Blue sound with Elton John, as well as the truth behind the lyrics.

02. Ma Belle Evangeline (The Princess and the Frog soundtrack) download
This song is completely and utterly adorable, and, for me, sums up the cuteness of The Princess and the Frog, plus the theme of the song is used later, in a minor key. It’s just lovely.

03. Fly By (Blue)
Haha, more Blue. The music video for this song makes me chuckle quite a lot, because of the way the men think they have swagger.

04. Stephen (Ke$ha)
Right, I don’t actually like Ke$ha one bit. I think she looks like she has lice, and she really can’t sing. That said, I do think Stephen is an extremely likeable song, and a decent counterpart to Taylor Swift’s Hey Stephen.

05. Du bout des lèvres (Mélanie Laurent)
In addition to being beautiful, a stunning actress and one of the coolest women in Hollywood, Laurent continues to stun me by singing too! I don’t know any French so if anyone fancies translating the lyrics for me, that’d be greatly appreciated, but even if the meaning’s completely lost in translation, it still sounds pretty.

06. The Swan (Camille Saint-Saëns)
Standard. Saint-Saëns seems to be me classical composer du jour recently, as I’ve also been listening to Danse Macabre a lot since last night’s episode of Jonathan Creek. But The Swan is absolutely gorgeous.

07. Down in New Orleans (The Princess and the Frog soundtrack) download
Yeah, I like The Princess and the Frog soundtrack.

08. Chelsea Hotel (Leonard Cohen)
So many lines in this song actually make my heart pang from the level of beauty. “Giving me head on the unmade bed” and “You told me again that you preferred handsome men / but for me you would make an exception” come to mind. Regina Spektor captured the beauty of the song in her own cover. Both rock.

Speaking of Chelsea (ha, see what I did there?SEE?!), I did the BBC online predictors for the remaining fixtures, and... it doesn't look good for my team D:
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Admittedly, I am being super-pessimistic, but I can just see us fudging up against Liverpool and Spurs. Hence the Surrey Reds getting another title. Wah.
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09. Something Kinda Oooh (Girls Aloud)
Just a fun, sexy, amusing song. Stupidly catchy, and Cheryl, Kimberley and Nadine are all awesomesauce.

10. Almost There (The Princess and the Frog soundtrack) download
*sings along*

--

Finally, if you fancy learning Chinese, nothing's better than this cribsheet:
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:P

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Every night I go, I go sneaking out the door.

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Brothers (Jim Sheridan, 2009)
Vaguely interesting re-make of Brødre, with some strong performances from Gyllenhaal and Maguire, but Portman was lol-worthy. I strongly disliked the uglier daughter in the film as well; the things she said to Tobey Maguire over the dinner table deserved a slap.

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)
I'd read the book beforehand so knew the twist, but even so, I adored this film, a lot. Not my favourite from Scorsese, mind, that’s The King of Comedy, but it was really tense and well-sculpted, and Leonardo DiCaprio reminded me why he’s one of my 3 favourite actors with a characteristically strong performance. The sequences with DiCaprio and Williams were terrifically staged and dead depressing. The music was reallllly intense (albeit heavy on the usage of the double bass), which added to the impending sense of doom of the film. I don't think I like it quite as much as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, but I prefer it muchly to Mulholland Dr.  Anyway, recommended.

Shank (Mo Ali, 2010)
Oh dear. I'm not exaggerating when I say this was one of the worst films I've ever seen in my entire life. I only watched it in the first place for Kaya Scodelario (Effy from Skins), but, aside from looking quite slutty and skinny, she didn't do anything. The male characters were all major pains in the backsides and I found myself, more than once, thinking "just die already". There was also a quite terrible scene in which two dogs beat the crap out of each other. Shit acting, shit direction and animal cruelty to boot. Piece of shit.

Cracks (Jordan Scott, 2009)
I'd been looking forward to watching this film for ages, and it didn't disappoint! Eva Green oozed charisma and it wasn't hard to see why Juno Temple and her fellow classmates idolised her so. Relative unknown María Valverde impressed me greatly and I felt for her in her plight. The "seduction" scene, wherein Green misuses her teacherly role was classily and darkly handled, and the score from Javier Navarrete (the guy that scored Pan's Labyrinth) was beautifully haunting.

Saw VI (Kevin Greutert, 2009)
Disappointing and not even terribly scary. I just thought Saws I-III did it a lot better, and some of the tortures (a man getting his insides incinerated with hydrochloric acid) were just beyond grim. Saw I was brilliant because it was so groundbreaking, but now everything was done and nothing surprised me.

Pretty Persuasion (Marcos Siega, 2005)
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My main problem with this film was that it quite patently couldn't decide what it wanted to be more like: a Heathers of the noughties, or a slightly meaner Mean Girls. As such, it couldn't quite deal with its own tonal modulations. Some of the banter was fun, but on the whole, it turned my stomach to think about 15-year-old girls doing some of the things that Evan Rachel Wood's character did.

I also watched the Easter special of Jonathan Creek, called "The Judas Tree", and I was reminded of why I love this show so much. Whilst I still haven't quite accepted Sheridan Smith as his sidekick, the mystery, plotting and denouement were all brilliant, and there was a fair dose of heartbreak in the finale. <3
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01. Katy Perry. Discuss.
02. Which cities have you never been to, but want to?
03. Do you exercise? How much? What kinds of exercise?
04. What's the most important quality you look for in a friend?
05. March. How was it for you?