Tag Archives: filmfreak

In the Mood for Love

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Because this movie isn’t in English, I’m just going to do a fat dissection of the visuals… Enjoy!

A story about two married couples who move into an apartment next door from one another. One couple is Chow Mo-wan, a journalist, and his wife. The other is Su Li-zhen, a secretary, and her husband.

Chow and Su both have a spouse who works over-time often, leaving them alone in their rooms most nights. However, their absence slowly brings Chow and Su together, and they speculate over unfaithfulness in their respective spouses… Continue reading

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The Interview: Could it Cause the Disappearance of Cinemas?

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The controversial film we’re all waiting for [here in New Zealand and Australia] is of course, The Interview.

I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the politcal satire comedy is causing quite a stir as the basis of the film is about the assassination of Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea.

Having worked in a cinema leading up to the release of The Interview, I came to hear of the general LACK of buzz the film was receiving (before it’s release was postponed).

I heard people say – or maybe I just heard myself say – that it was going to be a typical Rogen film: crude, immature humour identical to that of This is the End, Pineapple Express, 40 Year-Old Virgin… Continue reading

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Top 4: Feel-Good Film Trailers

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I love getting to the cinema early to watch the trailers! But if I’m not watching movies, I’m sifting through film trailers on YouTube.

My attention has been drawn to the skill of making compelling and intriguing trailers, there is such an art to it.

Of course, the idea of a trailer is to get as many people to buy a ticket to the movies as possible; trailers are an advertisement.

Recently, I’ve realised the most compelling trailers have no dialogue. It’s the music that sets the mood.

Such as the first trailer released for the movie… Continue reading

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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What a total disappointment!

The first movie was INCREDIBLE! A breath of fresh air. A new and exciting concept – different to the usual slog. Themes of anti-corporation, anti-government and shining a light on the absurdity of focussing on reality television rather than the actual reality.

But the second movie barely mentioned these themes. And if they did, it was literally one line of dialogue which summed the whole idea up, causing an originally important theme to become meaningless and redundant. It is pretty much leaving the best parts for the third movie. Catching Fire is just a set-up for Mockingjay.

“Yes” I have read… Continue reading

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Everlasting Light – The Black Keys

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Everlasting Light on their album, Brothers.

That. Bass. *Drool* The distorted vocals. That beat. Phwaaaar!

The backing vocals are such an unexpected surprise. The fifties “shoo-shoo-shoowah” is such a cool twist!

Let me be your everlasting light
Your train going away from pain
Love is the coal that makes this train roll
Let me be your everlasting light

A wicked song! Will be on repeat for a while!

Connie.
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Now You See Me

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Um. Yeeeeaaaah. So the reviews I had been reading before I went to see Now You See Me, basically stated that it was over-complicated and so layered that one would need to watch it more than once.

This is quite simply, not the case.

It is so clichéd, so typical, so obvious, that the ending could be guessed half way through the film.

The ‘twist’ is… Barely even a twist. It wasn’t shocking or unforeseen at all. My reaction was more like, “oh yeah. Hmm. I’m not surprised”… Continue reading

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Who’s Sorry Now? – Connie Francis

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This is one of my favourite 50s songs!

Connie Francis did this cover in 1958, but there have been many versions with some of the earliest being in 1923 by Marion Harris, Irving Kaufman and an orchestral version by Isham Jones. Ella Fitzgerald also covered this song in 1960.

But none of these beat Connie’s version, which is probably just as slow, but more ‘jukebox’…

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World War Z

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I love zombie films! They are probably my favourite kind of horror.

World War Z was an awesome, classic zombie film with big frights. It was not nearly as gruesome or cringe-worthy as many other zombie films like Dawn of the Dead or its sequel, which I think, although mildly disappointing, was an interesting change for the genre.

I won’t give away the unique trait of these zombies, but it is certainly a cool adjustment to the classic zombies you’ve seen in other films.

I can assure you, you will be intrigued with the altered storyline in this film. It’s not quite a cookie cutter zombie movie.

There was no mucking around at the beginning! There was like a five minute intro, then BANG! You’re in a world-wide zombie apocalypse.

There were heaps of moments where… Continue reading

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The Great Gatsby

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Visually, this film was MIND BLOWING! This is Moulin Rouge on steroids.

The party scenes are phenomenal! The lights, the atmosphere, colours, fashion and music… It is ground breaking. Just beautiful sets, like we’re being sent to another world.

The sets and feel of the movie are very similar to the likes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Edward Scissorhands (the garden scenes) and of course, Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet. I think it’s because all of those movies are fantastical and unbelievable.

The actors were very convincing, Leonardo DiCaprio gave another ground breaking performance. Although his accent was a little confusing on occasion, his dialogue was incredible! I feel like speaking formally, like an upper class person from the 1920s now.

Come on, old sport!

I wasn’t expecting much from Toby Maguire, and for a while believed that Ewan McGregor could have done a better job, until it was mentioned to me that his “pluckiness” was what made his character convincing. Which I thought was a good point.

I’ve never been a huge fan… Continue reading

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Jack the Giant Slayer

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What an exciting cast! Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and Ewan McGregor! *drool*

I first saw the advert on the back of the bus, and quite frankly I thought it looked a little.. Lame.

I mean starting from Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, we have had remake after remake of these fairytales and fables; Beauty and Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Mirror, Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman… So to see Jack and the Beanstalk being remade was not a surprise, and I expected it to have similar disappointments with all of the other remakes.

Namely the fact that the violence has to be toned down so that it can be suitable for the younger audience. Despite the storyline being 100 times better if it went the full hog and making it an M.

I was right. But it didn’t stop the story being enjoyable.

I do think the writers… Continue reading

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Okay, it was NOTHING like I thought it would be like.

This is not a happy-go-lucky, up beat and freeing movie like the trailer makes it out to be. In fact, it has a lot of very serious themes, making this high school drama rather dark, and not at all light hearted.

Despite the totally unexpected storyline, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very emotional journey – you laugh just as hard as you cry in some parts. So it evens out into a humbling story.

The main character, Charlie (Logan Lerman) and both of his friends Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), each go through massive emotional roller coasters. Huge changes to their lives that are developed incredibly well. Feelings and emotions are messy, unexplainable and complicated, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower accurately represent them this way… Continue reading

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Morning Glory

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I love this movie. This is my happy movie.

Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, a workaholic who is made redundant. She eventually gets hired by a breakfast show that’s going down the pan. The story follows her struggles to rebuild herself, and the show.

There are some fantastic lines! Harrison Ford is so dry with his delivery. It’s so perfect!… Continue reading

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Dead Poets Society

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Imagine Good Will Hunting + Scent of a Woman… and with a touch of The Ron Clark Story. That pretty much gives you Dead Poet’s Society.

It is a great story about breaking the mould. Not being what your father wants you to be, not giving into the black and white versions of education, but finding the creativity in it and allowing your imagination to run riot.

Robin Williams plays John Keating who is an English teacher with unorthodox teaching methods in a private all boys school. The tradition and formality… Continue reading

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Walk the Line

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I thoroughly enjoyed this biopic about one of the best country rock n roll singers of the sixties, Johnny Cash.

Joaquin Phoenix did an incredible job of becoming Johnny Cash. His natural intensity was perfect for the really heavy and dark life of Johnny Cash. I didn’t know much about Johnny Cash until I impulsively bought this movie. I had a few of his songs and enjoyed them, but assumed that he was just a country singer for geriatrics.

It turns out that Johnny Cash’s life and the people he rubbed shoulders with is incredible. The stories he has are inspiring. I am not sticking up for everything that Johnny Cash did, but I have to say that it was so unfortunate… Continue reading

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L’accordéoniste – Edith Piaf

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La Fille de Joie Est Triste (L’accordéoniste)
“The Accordionist” (1940)

This is a beautiful song written and performed by Edith Piaf (Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien – Inception and Tu es Partout – Saving Private Ryan). The chorus gives me chills.

It is about a prostitute who is married to an accordionist who will be going to war soon and will not return to her alive.

Her man will never come back.
Goodbye to beautiful dreams.
Her life is done for.

I interpret her story as though she has to forget her emotions while she’s working, but as soon as she leaves and watches her husband play the Java, she becomes overwhelmed with emotion… Continue reading

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Water For Elephants

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I bought this DVD as a bit of a whim. After stumbling across the trailer on YouTube I thought that the look of the whole film resembled the circus scenes in Big Fish.

It is the story of the dark side of the circus during the early 1930s, with a forbidden love story between Jacob (Robert Pattinson) and Marlena (Reece Witherspoon) intertwined. Jacob runs away with the circus and poses as a certified vet to continue travelling with them, but discovers that there’s much more to performing that the magic the audience sees.

On the way, he experiences the control and under handed acts that go on in order to keep the circus from failing during the depression. Staff would go missing in the night if the boss and husband of Marlena, August (Christoph Waltz), was unable to pay… Continue reading

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Burlesque

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So, Burlesque is pretty much a lighter, chick flick version of Moulin Rouge. It is an upbeat, modern story with back to back songs that make you want to get up and dance.

Christina Aguilera is a singer who I admire for her talent, yet if I am honest, I do not enjoy her music.

She does an amazing job during the scenes where she is performing on stage. However, for the most part her acting is much to be desired. Her squeaky voice gets a little on nerves considering she has such a deep, powerful singing voice.

The same goes for Cher, her acting was average… But so was her auto-tuned voice. I’m not convinced that she should really be classed as “a legend”. I swear… Continue reading

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Midnight In Paris

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When I first watched this film I was disappointed because in my mind I had hyped up the plot line of Gil (Owen Wilson) travelling through different time eras of Paris. The artistic, fashionable, sophisticated and elaborate times of the 1920s, as well as the ceremonious, coming of age times of the 1890s.

The plot is about the Golden Age. That is, longing to live in a time before your own. For example, mine is the early 1960s. Better music and fashion with the huge liberal movement against war and for free will. However, Midnight In Paris attempts to… Continue reading

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My Favourite Character: Maggie Jacobs

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The ditsy character in the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant TV series, Extras, is Maggie Jacobs (Ashley Jensen).

I like her because she is so innocent and naive. It makes a huge change for one of the leading characters to be so honest and unaffected by mainstream beliefs. She is fresh-faced and relatable, similar to Bridget Jones but much more average. I guess because she’s… Continue reading

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Easy A

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This is quite a different version to the typical high school chick flick that drowns the market. Easy A is about how rumours can make or break your reputation, as well as who your friends really are. But also how you can take insults and use them to your advantage.

It has a pretty funny script with some catchy insults from the witty and very sarcastic Olive (Emma Stone). Her best come backs are usually toward the “Jesus Freak”, Marianne (Amanda Bynes), who was responsible for spreading the original rumour about Olive losing her virginity… Continue reading

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Megamind

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This animation is one of the most enjoyable ones I have seen. The best animations are ones where they are enjoyable for more than one age group, which Megamind certainly is! Great for the younger audience as well as for teenagers and adults.

It’s about a blue alien named Megamind (Will Ferrell) who grew up on Earth causing destruction and trouble, and his arch nemesis Metro Man (Brad Pitt) who is the city’s ‘super hero’. It’s a classic good guy/bad guy relationship which becomes a game to Megamind, until he finally defeats Metro Man and realises that the success he had always strived for was not as rewarding as he had thought… Continue reading

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Sour Times – Portishead

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I found this album in my mum’s CD collection and gave it a listen.
Heavy much! As soon as this song begins you suddenly feel in a daze… Perhaps that’s not an overly positive reaction, but that’s how strong this song is, it’s very influential on your emotions. Really puts you on edge, for sure.

In fact most of Portishead’s songs are, (particularly on their album Dummy (1994) anyway), the drone of the instruments mixed with the drowned vocals is original and gives you chills. If you need to chillax or need to have a good cry, give this song a listen.

I just read that the Portishead genre is referred to as “trip hop”. Never heard of that term before. Also, watching the music video, the lead singer looks like Jodie Foster… What do you reckon?

Love it! Continue reading

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The Breakfast Club

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Probably the best high school based film. Openly addressing and mocking their stereotypes and the pressures each one of them are under by their associated peers.

It is a very well made film because it is entirely based in one place during one day, with a tiny cast. We are sitting in on a Saturday detention with five completely contrasting students who soon find out what they hate and what they love about each other and themselves. Very human, very emotionally rooted.

The Characters… Continue reading

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The Blair Witch Project

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I literally did not sleep last night.

I remember seeing snippets of this film when I was about 11, but I had not remembered how effective the horror aspect of it was! It is the best horror/psychological thriller I have seen in a very long time.

Three film makers go missing in the woods while covering the legend of the Blair Witch that supposedly haunted the area. The film makers were never found again, but their footage was, which makes up this film.

Pretty simple plot line with amateur filming which is very convincing! The idea of this horror is that the less you see the more your imagination runs a riot. You never actually see any witch or any sort of witch craft or… Continue reading

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Made In Dagenham

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This movie is based in the late sixties during a time when women were treated unequally in the work place. They were degraded and given less pay than the men, simply because they are women.

The leader of the movement Rita O’Grady, played by Sally Hawkins, a worker in a Ford factory in Dagenham, organises the rallies. Based on a true story, these women made history in their success in getting equality in the workplace – even meeting Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson)! … Continue reading

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