*Oh-wow-oh-wow. I had no idea it had been so very long since I’ve done a beguilement series. The first five are from a draft I had saved SINCE OCTOBER 15th!. So I will try to do much better, now that we’re all settled in (yes, we’ve moved; please let it be a poor excuse of my absence) and he’s a brief summery of things that have been occupying our time [apparently since October].*
Objectified: This 2009 documentary from director Gary Hustwit is about everyday manufactured objects and how their design aesthetic plays a pretty significant role in our lives. It is a really fascinating look at our world and the objects that surround us, things we use everyday: a toothbrush, a car, a chair, etc.. It isn’t very in-depth, but I highly recommend this to anyone. Even Ben had a skeptical face at first, but sat down and watched the whole thing with me. It’s pretty interesting.
The Hurt Locker: So I realize we’re a bit late to the party with this movie–but it’s fantastic!! And ultra-depressing. Did anyone else feel the utter futility that followed this movie? The hopelessness? Man, this movie got me down. But it was so good! And our movie-loving friend, Brandon, said a lot of people said it was sad, and he just doesn’t get it. But it’s so good. I doubt it’s Best Picture good, but it’s still really amazing.
Son of Rambow: This is an adorable little indie flick from 2008 held the tagline “Make Believe. Not War.” That pretty much sums it up: it’s about two English boys during the 1980s who decide to make a short film inspired by First Blood. Surprisingly touching, it’s one of the best movies of it’s genre that I’ve seen (including Stand By Me); and the two boys acting in it do a superb job. We Netflix’d this one, but I’d like to buy it to watch the commentary.
Bio-Dome: This is a re-watch of course. And you know, if you’re not a teenager of the ’90s and high, it’s really just not very funny.
The Harry Potter series: My love for these books is deep and unending. I didn’t start reading the books until just before the fifth book was released, and I read the first four in five days and was then forced to wait for the following three books to be published and now I read the entire series once a year. I am an unabashed ultra-Harry Potter freaky-fan nerd.
The Town: Based on a book and not a remake, this Boston-based movie is FANTASTIC. One of the best car chase scenes from an American-made movie that I’ve seen in a really long while. And although I’m not on the I-Hate-Ben-Affleck bandwagon, I do think he typically has really poor tastes in his choice of movies, however as a director this guy is the cat’s pajamas. The characters are believable and incredibly well-acted. Really a very wonderful movie.
The Hunger Games trilogy: What started out as my buying the first book for my young cousin as her Christmas gift, turned into my reading it before I wrapped it and enjoying it so much I bought the next two books for my (fantastic xmas gift from my mother) kindle. The books are really good, and although the writing is a little trite, it gets better with the second and third book. The story is wonderfully dystopian with a strong independent young female leading the rebellion. The third book contains a lot of information, and could probably have been better spread out between two books rather than feeling somewhat rushed and very edited. But it was still very good and I would highly recommend these books to anyone, especially to pre-teen and teen girls.
A Christmas Carol: The 2009 version directed by Robert Zemeckis with Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth. I really enjoyed this movie. I liked how closely it stayed to the book; which is to say it was very dark. But I’m a sucker for most any version of the Dicken’s classic book. We watched this one among a whole slew of others of our favourite holiday variety during the month of December.
Dances With Wolves: This 1990 winner of Best Picture from the Academy Awards is still a very powerful movie. At nearly four hours long it was the perfect movie to watch on our unexpectedly snowed-in day.
Easy A: Surprisingly very entertaining. This new movie is a not-so-subtle homage to the great John Hughes. I didn’t expect to like this movie very much at all, but ended up loving it so much that I’m wanting to buy it RIGHT NOW. It’s wonderful, and more important, original (as original as a contemporary teen flick can be) and funny!
The Social Network: This movie was well made, and Jesse Eisenberg does an amazing job of portraying Facebook-creator, Mark Zuckerberg. And while I enjoyed Justin Timberlake’s performance of the Napster creator (Sean Parker) I have a really hard time not being ultra-flabbergasted about how many people are LOVING this movie. I have a problem with historical fiction in general, most people do not bother to bother finding out what is true and what has been made up and (in the case of a friend of mine) goes around spewing the information from the movie as if it is the truth of the life of Mark Zuckerberg. I think David Fincher has done much better movies, (I’m looking at you, Fight Club and Se7en) and while this movie isn’t wonderful, it isn’t bad either.
Young @ Heart: A sweet documentary about a group of singing geriatrics from the UK. Really sweet and wonderful to see just how much life this group has in it (with an average age of 80!). A fantastic and touching movie.
Don’t You Forget About Me: This 2009 documentary tribute to John Hughes blew my mind. There’s not many docs that I want to own; I love them, but most don’t call for repeat viewing. I will be adding this one to the collection as soon as possible. It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, if only because it is so heartfelt. If you love a single John Hughes movie, please go watch this.
Black Swan: The latest Darren Aronofsky flick has garnered a lot of attention to his leading lady, Natalie Portman. And even though she seems like a great person, I have never been truly impressed by her work–until this film. She does an AMAZING job in this movie; as does the ever-beautiful Mila Kunis (although her role is fairly minimal and undeserving of a nomination if only for it’s brevity). And the cinematography, by Matthew Libatique is so far beyond gorgeous. Like most women, I am a sucker for a dance/theatre movie (not Step Up; think Flashdance or Centerstage) and I have seen and own more than my fair share of them; but I have never ever ever seen a ballet movie filmed the way Libatique shot this one. Part of it must be due to the fact that Natalie Portman is an actress and not a ballerina, but that is the case in most movies about dancers. The scenes are tight on the face, too tight, uncomfortably tight, you are invading her privacy by being so close; the lighting is dark and moody and fantastical. The use of colour in the film was nearing cliche, but it stopped just shy of being overtly dramatic. It’s a beautiful movie to watch. And I feel it would be amiss to not mention the notorious lesbian scene: the people who have been making such a big deal about it apparently don’t actually watch movies with real lesbian scenes; in the words of my sweet Ben, “I was really disappointed in the lezzy scenes–nothing really happened at all!” But the movie is great and surprisingly I like the use of CGI to help show Portman’s character’s psychosis. HIGHLY recommend.
Buried: Directed by Rodrigo Cortés, this 2010 movie is essentially a one-man show starring Ryan Reynolds. And I have never been a fan of Ryan Reynolds, I find his acting weak and he looks a bit too puppy-ish for me to find him attractive.
In terms of acting, this movie still didn’t impress me. I think it’s easy to play over-dramatic with the help of tight spaces and odd lighting. However, from a technical standpoint, this movie is fairly mind-boggling. The entire movie is spent with Ryan Reynolds in a coffin with a weak flashlight, a glowstick, a lighter, and a cellular phone as the only light sources used. Technically speaking, this movie is a marvel; as a moviegoer, I was bored to fucking death.