Saturday, 29 November 2014

Movies with the WORST endings

Has anyone else had this situation... you watch a movie and it's entertaining enough and has kept your attention all the way to the end and then...the end happens...and it the point that it ruins the entire movie... Just me?!

Here are a few movies I can remember that were completely and utterly ruined by the endings *SPOILER ALERT*:

Knowing (2009)
Professor John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) finds a list of numbers that appears to point to all the past and future disasters and sets out to stop the biggest catastrophe yet.

Anyone who has seen this film will know what I'm talking about.  This film had such promise, the trailer was amazing (even with Nicholas Cage) and up to about half way through the movie I was gripped. Then it started slipping and lost my attention a little bit but I hope the ending i.e. the big reveal would save it but no, it made it soooo much worse.

The Village (2004)
A small isolated village is contained by the vicious creatures living in the forrest surrounding them, until they send a local blind girl Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) to get medical supplies from the surrounding village.

Although, the ending was clever and a good twist I personally thought it really detracted from the rest of the movie.  It almost felt like the rest of the movie was redundant once she climbed over that wall and you realised what was really happening.  I felt a bit sad for the residents of the village in the end.

Cast Away (2000)
Chuck Noland gets stranded on a dessert island when his Fed-Ex plane crash lands.  He suffers emotionally and physically from the crash and has to learn to survive.

The ending was probably more believable than the happy ending everyone wanted for Chuck but still.  The whole movie is carried by one character with no supporting cast (brilliant feat as always by Tom Hanks) and then all of a sudden it becomes this broken hearted sob story.  I personally think Chuck would have been stronger than to just expect to walk back into his old life and maybe a bit too broken to want it but they decided to go out there with the movie and generic with the ending...pfft!

Grease (1978)
The classic musical where Sandy and Danny, played by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta fall in love over the summer and then unwittingly end up in the same High School but are faced with various obstacles in rekindling their summer love.
So there are many parts of this film that are pretty unbelievable, the main one in all musicals is 'how does everyone already know this dance routine?' but the most unbelievable and movie destroying is the flying car....why!?  All was going well and then the car started heading into the clouds and Sandy turns and waves at the onlooking crowd who aren't at all shocked by this 'law-of-physics breaking' turn of events.  Just why!  This didn't actually ruin the entire movie but you know...

Number 23 (2007)
Dog catcher Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) becomes obsessed with a book he believes was written about his life and the significance of the number 23 starts to take over his life.
This movie had me well and truly gripped, I couldn't wait to find out who wrote this book that had so many links to Walter's life and what the significance of the Number 23.  Then it turned out it was him, he wrote the book and forgot about it.  Massive disappointment and for me ruined the whole movie!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Review: Premium Rush (2012)

I tried really hard to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy last night. Maybe I was just too tired, or maybe it's not the film for me, but I had to turn it off after ten minutes. Instead, I put on Premium Rush, a film I've been meaning to watch for a while. It kept popping up on IMDB as a film recommend to me, so I thought, 'why not!'.  I've tried to watch this film twice and fallen asleep both times, maybe I need to try one more time.  Third times a charm! Ok I tried again and got 30 minutes in before I fell asleep - I give up as much as I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this is just not a film for me :(

Wilee (Jospeh Gordon-Levitt) works as a bike courier in New York City, and he's also a complete mad-man, riding around on a bike with no breaks. I didn't believe bike couriers were even a real thing until I looked it up! Anyway, one afternoon, Wilee ends up picking up an envelope which is also being hunted down by a dirty NYPD cop who will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.

As a car driver myself, I have a natural aversion to cyclists anyway. Birmingham might not be New York, but it's still a nightmare to drive around in rush hour, and cyclists are such a nuisance! I thought Premium Rush might change my view and actually sympathise with the dangerous journeys cyclists have each time, but Wilee and his colleagues are so reckless that it just fuelled my aggression!

Serves you right, Wilee...
It terms of the film itself, I actually really enjoyed it. Wilee had some great witty lines, and there's one particular cop trying to catch him for his dangerous cycling that had me laughing out loud. He just can't catch a break and you can't help but feel sorry for him. The actual storyline surrounding the letter doesn't make much sense if I'm honest, but the chase scenes and humour make up for it.

One particular thing I liked about Premium Rush was some of the effects. When Wilee approaches junctions and crossings, time slows down as his mind processes which route he should take. You also get some pretty cool clips of the routes that the cyclists have to take. I can't find a great clip to emphasise this but here's a goof example of the chase scenes:

Although it had its flaws, Premium Rush is something a little different and it was fun to watch. Plus, come on ladies, who wouldn't want to watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt on a bike for an hour and a half?

Jenna, I now realise that you are the exception to that!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Mini Reviews: Tammy (2014), Cold in July (2014) & Secretary (2002)

I loved Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids and The Heat, so I felt like I owed it to her to watch Tammy. It’s your typical ‘something bad has happened so let’s go on a roadtrip’ kind of movie, which always makes me smile. There’s quite a few films like this out there, and I have to wonder, does this sort of thing happen in real life? I don’t think it is in the UK! It would cost us far too much in fuel to drive 600 miles on a limb.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Tammy started off okay, a few funny moments but nothing laugh out loud. My favourite moments were whenever Tammy knocked something over in a grump, which happened often. Sadly, it just went downhill and I stopped paying attention for the last 20 minutes.

I was missing Michael C Hall after getting used to watching him every night with my dinner for 4 months, catching up on Dexter. Cold in July seemed like the best way to get my fix. Honestly, I just couldn’t get out of my head that his character wasn’t actually Dexter. I think I ruined it a little for myself with that.

The film itself started really well and was full of suspense, starting with an intruder in the main character’s home, resulting in a murder. Unfortunately, from that point on it got terribly predictable, and the last half an hour didn’t make much sense. It was okay though, but that’s why it’s in my mini-review post, because it was ‘just ok’ and that’s all I really have to say.

I’m a woman, so of course I know what 50 Shades of Grey is. I’m also a blogger, so I’ve learnt that inspiration for 50 Shades also came from the 2002 film Secretary. It then became my duty to find out just how similar the two are. I’m not decided on whether I’ll see 50 Shades in the cinema yet (Jenna maybe we’ll have to go together?!) but at least I could watch Secretary in the comfort of my own home, and alone as I’d sent my other half out for a play date!

The emotional themes and issues were too close to home for me and I feel a little uncomfortable to really discuss those themes in a full review. Nonetheless, it was nice to see more of Maggie Gyllenhaal who I thought was fantastic in the film, especially as I’ve only ever seen her in minor roles.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review: District 9 (2009)

You know the drill by now. I have an ever-growing lists of films that people mention and then gasp in horror when I tell them I've never seen it. I'm slowly ticking films off this list, and the other night I finally got round to watching District 9. I completely forgot what it was about actually, but the DVD cover reminded me that it had something to do with aliens. Nothing to do with the Hunger Games then! Haha!

Basically, the gist of the story is that years ago, an alien mother-ship arrives on Earth, and is discovered to contain hundreds of malnutritioned beings. District 9 is formed for the aliens to live in, but the living conditions are awful and slum-like.

The film itself plays as a documentary on TV following the events of the aliens arriving and Wikus Van De Merwe’s involvement in the eviction of the residents of District 9. I think this is what makes it stand out so much for me and I don’t remember another film quite like it. It definitely sets it apart from other alien invasion films.  The first time I actually watched this I thought Sharlto Copley was a terrible actor, that was until I realised he was 'being filmed' for the documentary and actually he was a fantastic actor, in fact he was the highlight of this movie for me.

I found myself conflicted throughout the first half of the film, I actually didn't know which side I wanted to root for, or which side I was supposed to be. During the first few scenes I was extremely against the aliens, or ‘prawns’ as I should probably call them! However, once Wikus and his team strolled in, I suddenly had this extreme disliking of the guy and started to side with the prawns. It was subtly hilarious though, the thought of Wikus walking through District 9 asking for signatures to confirm that each household understood the terms of their eviction!  The connections between this scenario and real life society in regards to the Rich-Poor divide and racism was quite jarring in places I thought, it tugged on my heartstrings a bit even though these are a fictional race.

I really enjoyed this aspect of the film, normally if you watch an alien film you are either on the side of the aliens or the humans that are against them.  This film had you flicking back and forth from one to the other, but it kept you on your toes.  It also stopped you from guessing what the ending would be, it kept me interested I can say that.

I promise to keep this review spoiler-free, so let’s just say that I very quickly took Wikus’s side again. For me, this is where the film really kicked up a gear and turned from great to epic. This is the first film that I've seen Sharlto Copley in, his acting was superb, I couldn't fault him. Even though I couldn't work out how it could end happily, I still rooted for Wikus throughout and the scenes where he was on the phone to his wife broke my heart.  Curl up in a ball, try not to cry, cry a lot...

Despite everything, my favourite character might have been Christopher Johnson and his little son. The digital effects team did a fantastic job because even though they speak a language we can only understand through subtitles, through their gestures and facial features, their eyes in particular, you can feel every bit of emotion they portray, which was so clever.

I can’t comment on whether the ending was what I expected, because I genuinely just didn't have a clue how it would pan out. It saddened me deeply, but with my critic hat on, it was the perfect ending. Has there been talk of a sequel? As much as I would love one, I wouldn't want it to jeopardise such an amazing stand-alone film.  Really it was the only way it could end, but you don't know that until you get there.  I have to agree with the sequel, it could be great or it could ruin it completely.  I think there was talks of one at one point but not sure if anything panned out.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Review: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

The other night, me and my other half had a much needed film night in. Pizza was ordered, the freezer was stocked with ice-cream, and we just needed to decide what to watch. Then he just happened to casually mention that he'd never seen Shaun of the Dead before. What! Well, that was one dilemma solved! When will you pair learn to hide your shameful non-movie watchingness, you just get shouted at from all angles!!


Shaun of the Dead is the first of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, and also fits into the extremely niche zombie rom-com genre! A Zom-com if you will! Shaun (Simon Pegg) isn't having a great time. His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) has just dumped him; she's tired of spending every night at the Winchester pub with Shaun and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost). To drown his woes, Ed takes Shaun to the Winchester pub to cheer him up. Ed's speech is actually foreshadowing the rest of the film if you listen carefully!

So, Shaun and Ed get horrifically drunk, completely p*ss off their housemate Pete by playing electric music in the middle of the night, and wake up the next morning to find out that everyone around them has turned into a zombie. Despite the warnings of the news reporter on TV, Shaun and Ed set out to rescue his Mother (but not Philip, sorry) and Liz.  Just reminds me how much I love the scene when they are deciding on the plan:

"We take Pete's car, we drive over to Mum's, we go in, take care of Philip - "I'm so sorry, Philip" - then we grab Mum, we go over to Liz's place, hole up, have a cup of tea and wait for this whole thing to blow over. "

I don't watch horror films and the only other zombie film I've seen is Zombieland, so I can't really discuss the parody characteristics of Shaun of the Dead, but as a comedy, I absolutely love it. From terrible throwing skills to Ed's driving skills, this film makes me laugh just as much every time I watch it. I don't remember when I first saw it, but I know it was with my Dad, and we still talk about it and quote it all the time. We were on a caravan holiday and it just happened to be on TV one evening, and so we sat and watched it on a TV smaller than most tablet screens!

I too am not a horror fan but I am a zom-com fan (i'm not entirely sure if I came up with this or its a common thing to call them zom-com's but for the purpose of this post, I am staking claim!).  This was a great start to what turned out to be an awesome trilogy, I still love the scene where Shaun and Ed are throwing records at the zombie lady but don't want to throw the 'good ones'.  I laughed out loud nearly all the way through this film, its typical British humour paired with a zombie apocalypse - what more could you ask for?!


Don't be fooled though, because nestled in this loud-out-loud comedy are some serious moments that really grab you. I'm sure everyone must have seen this but spoiler alert anyway: the part where Shaun has to shoot his Mother brought a genuine tear to my eye.  I'm pretty sure the first time I saw this I cried, she was so lovely about it all as well!

I recently got a copy of Shaun of the Dead on DVD as I'm pretty sure the last copy is my Dad's, and there are a crazy amount of extras to go through. I've already watched the gag reel which is great, and there's a little section for the plot holes too. I'll make sure I get through all of it at some point! We need to have a movie night solely dedicated to the Cornetto Trilogy and its extras!!!

Now, I don't like giving out full scores because I tend to think that nothing can be perfect, but if any film deserves it from me, it's Shaun of the Dead.  Ooooh this is interesting, have you given a 10 before?  I don't remember seeing one!! I think Gone Girl is my only other 10 so far!

I did love this film, I can't give it a 10 because it's not up there with my other 10's but it's pretty close.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

'My First Movie' Blogathon - Flick Chicks Contribution

How could me and Allie do a blogathon and not contribute ourselves?!

My first movie memory would have to be seeing the Little Mermaid, for what I thought was my Birthday but after checking the release date in the UK, it couldn't have been.  Must have been one of my cousins birthday parties.  Anyway, it was my first ever trip to the cinema and I remember staring in awe at the giant screen in front of me.  Then it actually came on, it was so loud and all consuming I loved every minute of it.  I think I was the only kid in there to sit in silence through the whole movie (unlike Allie you will soon find out!!).  I actually remember be so engrossed in the movie and all the bright colours on the screen, I only snapped out of it when I realised my Mom was actually laughing at me (I think there was a good chance I had my mouth draped open and I may have been drooling - I was only 5 in my defence though!!).

The story is really grown up to be fair for a 5 year old and I think there was a lot that I didn't understand but all the pretty colours and the talking fish made it entertaining enough for me.  As a kid I remember being terrified of Ursula, but watching it as an adult she is by far the best character written.  She is one of the first of the Disney characters to make comments that are 'made-for-adults' something you see a lot more now in animation but back then it didn't happen nearly as much. 

The Little Mermaid has long since been one of my favourite movies, and I think this cemented both my love of cinemas and my love of Disney.   That first experience of hearing the speakers blast on the Dolby Digital advert and the screen light up can never be replicated so I am so glad I can remember it.

My Mom brought me the VHS a few years later and I watched it until the tape literally wore out, it wouldn't play anymore because it had been used so much! Can you believe that I still don't have this movie on DVD?! After writing this, that might have to be my next purchase. And now I know what to get your for Christmas! Just kidding...I got you something even better :D

Over to you Allie.....

I don't actually remember what the very first movie I watched was, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it was Beauty and the Beast. However, I do remember my very first trip to the cinema. It was a very rare occasion that I was taken there, times were hard and as a kid it's very easy to be entertained by one VHS tape being played over and over again. 

In 1994, 5 year old me was taken to see The Lion King. It was an exciting and terrifying time for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the dark, and that advert with the white-hot metal rod being thrusted at the screen still ignites fear in me. Does anyone remember what that advert even was?

Anyway, let me cut to the chase. I thoroughly enjoyed my first cinema experience, but I was 'that kid' during The Lion King. Whilst everyone was holding back tears with dignity, I cried out 'Mummy, is he dead?' and emotionally destroyed everyone in the room. I'm sorry, I really am. Someone else's 5 year old got revenge on me during HTTYD2 if that helps.

I still love The Lion King now, and it's a film my kids will be watching (when/if I have any!). The soundtrack is on my iTunes but do you know what? Like Jenna, I don't think I have this on DVD! I do remember having The Lion King 2 on VHS though. That might just be my most-watched movie of all time, I remember watching it every single Saturday morning until I could recite the entire script off the top of my head.

So, that's enough from us, let's here your first movie experiences! You have until 2nd December to get your posts up, and here's the original post if you need a reminder of the rules.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Mini Reviews: Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014), My Fake Fiance (2009), Picture This (2008)

This is my first post in our Mini Review Series and I have to say, it's Allie's best idea yet.  Some films I watch do not have enough in them to write a full review.  I started my review on The Angriest Man in Brooklyn weeks ago but hit a writing block and just couldn't bring myself to finish it because I had nothing left to say, that is why it is my first contribution to the Mini Review Series:

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)

Continuing on my homage to Robin Williams I recently watched one of his last movies, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.  I took a guess from the title of what it would be about but I really didn't know anything about the plot line so I went in blind.

Henry Alltman (Robin Williams) is mistakenly told he has 90 minutes left to live and decides to fix his relationship with his wife and son while Dr Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis) his doctor runs around New York trying to stop him doing anything stupid with disastrous consequences.

This was a strange film, it was enjoyable and comical in places but it just didn't seem to flow right.  I can't put my finger on what didn't sit right with me but that didn't stop me from enjoying it.  It was entertaining to watch but not very memorable, I think if you ask me about this a year from now, I wouldn't remember watching it let alone the plotline. 

My Fake Fiance (2009)

Netflix may well be the bane of my life, I have a guilty love for 'made for TV' movies, particularly the rom-com variety.  Netflix is full of them, I find myself watching one and then it recommends another and another and bam! my weekend is gone!

Jennifer (Melissa Joan Hart) and Vince (Joseph Lawrence) find themselves both strapped for cash and so decide to fake a wedding so they can get the money and gifts.  The gifts to refurnish Jennifer's apartment after the moving truck was stolen and the cash for Vince to pay off his gambling debts.

As a lover of all movies cheese, even I have to admit this was awful.  The storyline was particularly bad and add to that the awful characters and questionable acting really made it tough to watch.  Every joke (if you can call them that) was set up in the most obvious ways and it was so predictable I could have turned it off 20 minutes in and still told you how it ended. 

Picture This (2008)

This one popped up on my Netflix after watching My Fake Fiance, I should have known not to watch it but I did anyway. 

Invisible Mandy Gibson (Ashley Tisdale) is invited to the biggest high school party by the cutest guy in school Drew Patterson (Robbie Amell) only to be grounded by her father.  Mandy and her friends have to try every trick in the book to get her to the party in time...

This was surprisingly entertaining and wasn't quite as painfully cheesy as My Fake Fiance (although if I see one more film where the ugly duckling takes off her glasses and becomes prom queen I will cancel my Netflix account!!), I actually found myself rooting for the main characters.   The bad girls were disappointing (nothing will ever top Regina George) and the love interest is about as interesting as a root canal but it was entertaining enough to keep me watching.  I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone or watch it again but it filled a gap on a quiet Sunday evening. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Review: The Grey (2011)

I’ve been meaning to watch The Grey for far too long. So long in fact, that when I finally got round to sitting down to see it, I completely forgot what it was even about. Liam Neeson and some wolves. That was about all I could recall. At least I could convince my other half to watch this with me!

Here's the thing, I loved Liam Neeson. However, the Taken phenomenon and everything in between has pushed me into being extremely bored of him (and his one character) so although I probably should watch this and give it a chance, for now I'm not going to. So there...

Bare with me now as I don’t fully understand the underlying plot here. That’s my bad though, not the film’s. Ottway (Liam Neeson) is an oil worker in Alaska who is desperately unhappy. I can’t work out if his wife is ill or dead, or whether they are actually still together. Regardless, Ottway and his colleagues take a flight (I’m not sure where or why) and the worst case scenario happens, the plane crashes in the middle of nowhere, leaving the few survivors to fend for themselves.

The film introduces Ottway quite nicely I thought. We certainly get an insight into what’s going on in his head. We also get introduced to his colleagues on the plane, and get a feeling of their characteristics. The plane crash scene itself was incredibly dramatic, and I think I was holding my breath throughout part of it!

I wasn’t expecting the film to be quite as jumpy as it was; I’m certainly glad I didn’t see it at the cinema or I would have embarrassed myself! You know those moment where you’re saying to yourself ‘that person is going to get jumped on, I just know it, you’ll see’ and then it happens and you still jump? I was doing that throughout! It added a big element of suspense that I wasn’t anticipating.

I really did enjoy The Grey, but I thought it was a little too long and the pacing wasn’t very consistent at times. Some of the gruesome moments didn’t look very real in terms of visual effects, and the wolves themselves looked a little off when they were close-up on the screen. That said though, I didn’t know how the film could or even would end, and I have to say that I really enjoyed the ending, as unsettling as it was.

It may be a while before I watch The Grey again, but if you’ve heard of it before and you’re sat on the fence as to whether to watch it or not, give it a go, I’d definitely recommend it.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Review: Foster (2011)

I happened to catch this on Sky one Saturday afternoon when I was looking for something to watch that required no effort whatsoever, and that is what I found.
Foster (known as Angel in the House in some places) is the story of a couple played by Toni Collete and Ioan Gruffud who in the wake of the loss of their child and their inability to conceive face serious marital problems.  In order to try to mend their marriage they take a visit to a foster home and the next day Eli arrives on their door step (played by Maurice Cole), Eli is quite clearly wise beyond his years and becomes the bridge between Zooey and Alec and the key to mending their troubled marriage.
This all sound terribly boring but its not, it a beautiful story of hope and love and loss that is played out really well by Collette and Gruffud.  The heartbreak that is demonstrated throughout the film feels real and left me with goosebumps.  The story plays out as Zooey and Alec learn to deal with not only having a child in their lives again but a child that is significantly smarter than they are. 
Collette is a dream to watch as always (I have loved her since my first viewing of Muriels Wedding when I was 10yrs old) and she brings a real warmth to the character, starting from a depressed woman dealing with the loss of her child, to a confused mother figure to a child she doesn't know, to a loving Mom.  Gruffud's, Alec can't seem to find his place, his business is failing, his marriage is failing but you never blame him, you just want him to succeed. Even when the couple are arguing you are fighting for both corners because you like both characters.  It was odd for me, as a cynical man-hater (no offence to any male readers out there) I usually automatically side with the female character but this story gave me food for thought.
I wasn't even put off by Richard E Grant, who I usually despise in pretty much everything he has been in, he actually brought some much needed comedy to the table as homeless Mr Potts.  The winner for me though had to be Maurice Cole who played the extremely articulate 7 year old Eli, he was fantastic and I just fell in love with him the second he came on screen.  He was perfect for the role, I don't think I could name a child actor who could have done it better.
Overall, this is a lovely story with a lot of warmth.  Great to watch in the cold months with a big blanket and a cup of hot chocolate :-)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Happy Birthday Ryan Gosling...

...In honour of Mr Gosling's 34th Birthday, I thought I would cover my Top 5 Ryan movies.  However, in looking for these I realised he has not actually done that many films.  I reckon I can see all of these pretty sharpish therefore I would have justification to write the Ryan Gosling Best/Worst post.

I know this film had a huge twist but everytime I go a year without watching it I forget the end so I can watch it again with fresh eyes.  I can't decide whether this is a good or bad thing but I enjoy the film and Anthony Hopkins is brilliant as sociopath Ted Crawford tormenting Detective Beachum (Ryan Gosling) at every turn.

Gosling is brilliant as the strong silent type in this action packed thriller, he barely speaks and yet you know what he's thinking (to a certain extent) and he steals every scene he's in (which is most of them).  It is gory in parts, but that's not something that has ever bothered me and I think in this particular story it's relevant rather than pointless (such as in Hostel).

We've already done a review on this, if you haven't seen it you can here but this was one that really surprised me.  I wasn't expecting to enjoy this at all but Ryan Gosling saved the day with his incredible performance as the lonely Lars who falls in love with a  sex doll.  He does such a great job that you actually start seeing Bianca as an actual character.

Need I say more.....

Anyone who knows me would have guessed that this was my number 1 as it is one of my favourite movies.  I love Gosling and McAdam's  chemistry in this and the brilliant similarities between Gosling and Garner's versions of Noah.  For me, his best yet.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

'My First Movie' Blogathon

Me and Allie have been desperate to host another Blogathon and have been wracking our brains for ideas.  Then we came up with this 'My First Movie' Blogathon, this title however is open to interpretation as not many people will remember the first VHS that was played to keep when quiet when they were a toddler.  Therefore, it might be your first favourite movie or your first cinema experience or the first VHS (or if you're a little younger DVD) your brought for yourself.

I know we're all going to be showing our ages here, but hey, we're all friends, right? ;-)

Basically, we want you to write about an early experience you have of a movie and the story behind it.  Do you still like the film?  Have you watched it since?  Do you still have the VHS in a dusty cupboard somewhere? Did you get your kids to watch it?

We thought this would be a great way to hear about peoples movie experiences as kids but also an awesome way to get to know a bit more about the people in this blogging community.

The rules are very simple:

1. Write a post about your 'First Movie' (interpret that as you will), you can choose multiple movies if you have ideas for more than one - go nuts!

2.  Include the banner above in your post and link it to this post.

3. Comment on this post or e-mail to let us know you have contributed.

The deadline will be Tuesday 2nd December, we will post a summary shortly after that.

We'll have our own contribution post up soon so if you're really stuck, feel free to use ours as a guide!

If you miss the deadline, don't worry send it us anyway and we'll add it on :-)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

My Hometown Blogathon

The lovely Caz at Let's Go To The Movies is hosting her first Blogathon right now, and she's come up with a brilliant idea. Everyone who takes part is going to put a film/TV/theatre orientated post about their hometown. It's going to be so interesting to read everyone's posts! I had very little knowledge about my own hometown on this subject before drafting this post, so it'll be insightful to read the others.

Jenna lives in Birmingham, and I live in a little town just outside it, although I've worked in the city centre for the last 5 years so I would say it counts! We may not have the likes of Brad Pitt roaming our streets on the weekend or the film crew for the next Transformers film closing our roads off for shooting, but we do have a few cool links.

Does the name Julie Walters ring any bells? She played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter series. Julie was born in Birmingham in 1950, and got kicked out of grammar school for bad behavior! She went on to train as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before leaving to study English and Drama at what is now known as Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2009, Julie received a star in Birmingham's walk of stars on its famous 'Golden Mile', Broad Street.

I'm not sure how many of our BBC programmes are popular across the pond (apart from Sherlock and Dr Who!) so you may not have even heard of this before, but BBC's Peaky Blinders is set and filmed in Birmingham. It's a historical drama based on a criminal gang in the late 19th century. Apparently, they got their name, Peaky Blinders, from the disturbing fact that they sewed razor blades into their flat caps to use as a weapon.

If you haven't heard of the TV Show itself, you've probably heard of its main actor, Cillian Murphy. Tom Hardy has also recently joined the cast for Season 2. Since writing this I learnt that Season 1 aired on the US version of Netflix on 30th September 2014, and Season 2 will launch later in November.

I'd just like to give a mention to the Cineworld Broad Street cinema too. It's not my local but Jenna & I have seen a few films there together. It's also been home to a few premieres, namely Tom Hardy's fairly recent film, Locke, Peaky Blinders Season 2 and if I remember correctly, Dr Seuss' The Lorax.
This looked really interesting so I thought I would do a little research myself. 
The man who played R2D2, Kenny Baker was actually born in Birmingham in 1934.  Kenny is one of only 2 actors who have starred in ALL six Star Wars movies (so far!).

I personally live about 10 minutes walk from Sarehole Mill which after moving to Birmingham in 1896 was a haunt for JRR Tolkien and his brother.  Many of these areas including Moseley Bog were inspiration for The Shire and Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit - New Zealand pfft, they should have filmed in Hall Green, Birmingham!!

Lastly (but might be pushing it a little bit) Birmingham is in the Midlands and I found out that Superman IV, that was supposed to be set in New York was actually filmed in Milton Keynes which is also in the Midlands.  Apparently, due to budget constraints after the first 3 films they didn't have the spend to film in New York.  Supposedly, if you watch the film you never see the top of the buildings because Milton Keynes doesn't have skyscrapers.  The UN building that is used in the film is actually Milton Keynes train station.

I hope this is somewhat interesting to read, but it's certainly been interesting to research my own local area in terms of the film and TV business! Thanks again for hosting this blogathon Caz, we've loved taking part.