Friday, 31 October 2014

Trivia Round-Up: October

Another month over already? Show of hands, who's started on their Christmas shopping? No, buying a fantastically ugly sweater for yourself doesn't count. I've done both ;-) Here's our usual monthly trivia round-up for the movies we reviewed this month.

The production crew used the fake title of 'Basic Math' as the film's working title because it was hard to secure filming locations for a project called 'Sex Tape.'
There is limited trivia for this, honestly, this was the most interesting!!

During the game of "Suck and Blow" the cast was unable to sustain the breath to make a real credit card pass from mouth to mouth; a prop card made of cardboard was substituted that still did not work. Holes were drilled into it to make it easier, and when this failed also, the whole cast's lips were heavily coated in chapstick to force the card to stick.

The main characters' initials spell ABRA (Alfred Borden Robert Angier), as in Abracadabra, a common word used by magicians.

A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges's own clothes, including his Jellies sandals.
Sorry, there was lots of great trivia for The Big Lebowski, but this just tickled me!

According to the date on News Today's final issue hanging in the news stand near the beginning of the movie, the film takes place around March 24, 2021.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt considered casting friend Channing Tatum as Don Jon before taking the role himself. 
I would have been happy either way!! ;-)

There is so much trivia for this film, it's impossible to choose, but this particular piece made me want to watch it again to check, which is what I love about trivia:
With every transition of Forrest's age, one thing remains the same- in the first scene of each transition he wears a blue plaid shirt.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
Bo Peep was omitted from the film because her surviving the incinerator was deemed highly unlikely as she was made of porcelain.
That just broke my heart a little bit...

Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher explained that one of the reasons he cast 35 year old Rosamund Pike as Amy is that she was of ambiguous age in her appearance, and could pass for an older or younger woman.

22 Jump Street (2014)
During the Spring Break scene in Puerto Mexico, a club/restaurant is called "Gringo Pendejos" which roughly translates as "Dumbass Americans".

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Slasher Cast-a-Thon

Oh, wow. I know I say this every time, but this might be my favourite Blogathan yet. The ever-creative Dell at Dell on Movies has masterfully put together a fun Blogathon for us to take part in this October, cleverly named the Slasher Cast-a-Thon.  I am sooo excited about this, I can't even tell you!!

Here are the rules:

1. Our slasher is already cast for us. He is the most evil, sadistic, brutal person you could possibly imagine. Let's just leave it at that.
2. Pick anywhere from 6 to 12 movie characters whom you would like to see murdered for one reason, or another. Maybe it was that annoying sidekick in a comedy, or the person who lost the wedding ring in your favorite rom-com. For each person you pick, explain why you'd like to see them killed. However, there are some caveats.

A. The character cannot be from a horror movie.

B. The character must NOT have died in whatever movie they were in.

C. The character cannot be the main antagonist (villain) of their movie. That would be too easy, we're supposed to hate them.
3. Pick one movie character as your "Final Girl," or the person who will survive and slay our slasher. Though I would prefer it to be a female, in keeping with genre norms, it doesn't necessarily have to be. In any event, explain why you chose this person. Tell us what makes them survivor material. There are some restrictions on this person, as well.
A. The character cannot be from a horror movie.
B. The character must NOT have or be implied to have sex during their movie. (Remember that stuff about the virginal heroine, right?)
C. The character cannot have killed or implied to have killed someone during her movie.
4. Include a link to this post.

OK so it seems this cast-a-thon was a lot harder than I first thought it would be.  Me and Allie decided to work on it during our last movie night and even with two heads over one we still struggled.  There are probably thousands of characters out there we could use, its just remembering them!

Anyway, this is what we came up with:

Annie/Jay (Cameron Diaz/Jason Segal) - Sex Tape (2014)
This is as simple as they deserve to die because they are so damn stupid.  They made this huge debacle out of getting the iPads back when they could have said, "could we borrow your iPad as we sent something to it by mistake" Done! - Slightly shorter film mind!  Basically, they would be the characters in the movie that would make the stupid decision that would get them killed (think Tatum 'doesn't fit through a cat flap' from Scream or any character that thinks going upstairs is a good idea.  You get the idea!

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) - Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)
So, Connor Mead is this good-looking, smooth-talking ladies man, and every woman who sees him wants to sleep with him. Err, not me, thanks. In fact Connor, you're so irritating and full of self importance, that you're going to die in this made-up slasher film you now find youself in. You won't even see it coming.

Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards) - Jurassic Park (1993)
This girl only survived Jurassic Park because people had to keep dragging her out of danger but throughout she was ridiculously irritating.  To the point that I feel ANY serial killer would take her out just to stop her freaking out!!

Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) - Transformers (2007)
I could have picked several (any) of Megan Fox's characters, because she winds me up for countless reasons. I can't even bring myself to watch the new Turtles movie thanks to her. I picked Mikaela from Transformers for this post, in the hope that an AWOL transformer might actually kill her.

Claudia (Aubrey Peeples) - Sharknado (2013)
Solely because she SHOULD have died in this movie and didn't.  She was a miserable mean cow who smiled when she thought her brother was going to die, issues much!  I'm not too fussed on how she would die but a flying shark wouldn't hurt...

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) - Admission (2013)
This lady is so heartless that she won't even mind that I've included her in this list. She's presented with her long-lost adopted son, and keeps a straight poker face. Honestly, woman! Let's hope in our little make believe slasher movie her son turns out to be the bad guy and takes her out.

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) - Mean Girls (2004)
If she can survive Regina George and the Plastics then surely she can survive ANYTHING!  She also grew up in the African bush jungle where it is survival of the fittest and not only that, she survived public high school with the ultimate bullies.  Although, I don't think it's officially stated that she is virgin but growing up in the bush I think it can be assumed.  Cady would survive our slasher flick.
Dell, this has been one of the hardest but most fun blogathons we've ever taken part in, and we really hope you do something like this again next year. That gives us a whole year to put a longer list together!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review: 22 Jump Street (2014)

Sun's out, guns out! You just can't beat a good summer comedy sometimes, and they're great Orange Wednesday films. I really loved 21 Jump Street, I know I've said before but I think I picked up the DVD when it was cheap, not really knowing what it was, and just fell in love. There's always a lot of pressure on sequels though!

You know what the deal is, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) have already gone undercover in High School for a drugs bust, and now Jump Street has moved across the road to 22 and Schmidt and Jenko need to go undercover in college for another drugs bust. The film follows the Muppets in pointing out that the sequel is never as good as the first, although Jump Street is a little more subtle!

This film was everything I wanted it to be. The laughs were there, and even though the storyline was pretty much exactly the same as the first, it still felt fresh. The comedy was spot on, and didn't fall into the spoof trap that other films have. I'm now wondering where I can find one of these tops, but I don't think it's the same really! I'll have to get one for the other half instead... Or you could get to the gym and get some GUNS!!

My only real whinge about 22 Jump Street is that the bromance was a bit overdone. I love a good bromance as much as the next girl, especially a bromance with Channing Tatum, but it did start to get a little old as the film went on. I really liked the bromance jokes, when they were acting like a couple breaking up, I was in bits. 
I really enjoyed this, which I didn't expect to being a comedy sequel.  As Allie said the story was pretty much the same but they basically take the piss out of that themselves at some points throughout the movie.  I loved the car chase "I mean it looks cool...but it's just so wasteful" had me in stitches (maybe I was just in the mood to laugh when I watched it!).  The gags are painfully crude and grim for the most part but Hill and Tatum's chemistry makes it watchable and actually funny.  Better still is Ice Cube whose anger takes over every scene he is in.
You'll understand what I mean if/when you've seen it, but my favourite part of this film was the credits. That sounds harsh, doesn't it? But trust me! Best. Credits. Ever. Couple of cameos thrown in too for good measure. 
The film felt a little bit too long, they could have easily cut 20 minutes out without ruining it but if that's the only real issue then its not too bad all in all.  Fully agree, the credits were the best part of the whole film without a doubt, absolutely brilliant!

I think this is the end of the line now for the Jump Street films, but I've fallen a little in love with Channing Tatum and I can't wait to see some of his other films.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Review: Starter for 10 (2006)


Sunday nights are just perfect for Netflix, they really are. I think I should make it a weekly thing, 8pm, glass on wine, kittens on my lap, and Netflix. I had no idea what I wanted to watch, but I was tired and didn't want anything that would make me think. So I had a flick through the Romantic Comedies section and chose Starter for 10.

I have finally go around to getting Netflix and therefore watching this (only 6 months after the original post but hey ho!).  This was the first thing I headed for on Netflix (after I realised that Gilmore Girls was only on the US version boo hoo!!) as I knew Allie had already done her bit so I could add to it :-)

I'm going to try and actually review this film. I promise you, I'm going to try. But I spent the whole film in shock because I knew every single actor and actress from something else I'd seen. I knew nothing about this film when I started to play it. I knew James McAvoy was in it, his face was the poster! I'm rambling already, so let me try and get to my point.

This is an awesome little British film about a student called Brian, starting his first year at Bristol University. As a child he loved quizzes and would play along whilst watching University Challenge on the TV, and so he tries out for the team at his university...whose team captain just happens to be Benedict Cumberbatch. I think I dropped a biscuit and threw a kitten across the room at that moment! Back on track Allie...back on track...but first!

I really enjoyed this film. It wasn't anything original, and I may have enjoyed spotting the cast more than anything else, but it was enjoyable none the less and it ended how I hoped it would. Being a British film as well I hold it close to my heart. Especially the New Years scene because I don't know anyone who actually knows the words to Auld Lang Syne! I even had to Google 'New Years song' just to find out how to spell that.

This film was entertaining and typically British, my Dad watched University Challenge religiously when I was little so there was a bit of nostalgia thrown in there as well.  James McAvoy was great as always and proved why he has done so well since.  He delivered the comedy with perfect timing and the head-butting scene literally made my spit my tea across the room! 

I did find the story overall quite predictable, but there was odd lines and actions that I just didn't see coming (see head-butting comment above) and the 'meet the parents' scene in the kitchen so I was engaged throughout.  I can't say I liked either of the leading ladies, I have never been a fan of Alice Eve since seeing her 'act' in Star Trek Into Darkness and I actually found Rebecca Hall's character quite irritating.
If you'll forgive my rambles, I have a little trivia for you. Benedict went on after this film to star with 3 other actors/actresses in this film. Sherlock with Mark Gatiss, Parade's End with Rebecca Hall, and Star Trek Into Darkness with Alice Eve!
Don't rush out to see this but if, like me, you have a Sunday evening free, give this a try because it's worth a watch!

That is what I did and I was pleasantly surprised, held my attention (moreso that University Challenge ever did) and loved seeing Cumberbatch and McAvoy before the 'big time' but the ladies let it down for me.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Review: Gone Girl (2014)

Since starting this blog, I don't think I've ever logged in to look at our reading list and seen so many reviews flood in for just one particular movie. I'm not even sure how to review Gone Girl because I can't even explain to friends and family in person how much I loved it, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.

I was shocked by the flood of love for this film and had to get out there and see it myself.  I was delayed somewhat so Allie saw it before me and explained how much she loved it so I was ridiculously excited when I got to the cinema (I didn't even stop for sweets!)

You must have seen at least a trailer by now, but if not, Gone Girl is based on a book written by Gillian Flynn. It tells the story of a seemingly happy married couple, Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). On the day of their anniversary, Nick comes home to find that his wife has disappeared under unsettling circumstances, and alerts the police. As time goes by and the search for Amy continues, the media and public begin to question Nick's behaviour and involvement in the disappearance of his wife.

I went into the cinema last week with mixed emotions. I was really looking forward to seeing the movie but at two and a half hours long, I wondered how a seemingly simple 'did he, didn't he' plot could keep me entertained throughout. If you hadn't already worked this out, I hadn't read the book either, although my Mum had and nearly blurted out how happens before I stopped her!

Prior to actually watching Gone Girl, I tried not to think too much into what might happen, I didn't want to spend the whole day before trying to work out what happens before I even saw it. I just can't help myself though! The actual story is almost split into three parts which definitely helps with the run time. It was fascinating trying to work out whether Nick had any involvement with Amy's disappearance, I kept questioning my own thoughts, and just when I thought I might figure it out, part two kicked in without any real warning, and blew me away.

Well, I never thought that the hype of a movie could lead to such disappointment.  Don't get me wrong the film was entertaining and the suspense and acting was superb but (and this is not a small but) I was expected so much more.  I wanted bigger twists.  I predicted pretty much every twist (bar one) before they happened and found myself disappointed when I was right and when nothing else happened.  Now I can't be certain whether this is the same response I would have had, had I not seen so many positive reviews for the movie.

This movie has to be enjoyed spoiler free so no more on that from me, let me talk about Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Although I wouldn't class him as one of my favourites, I do like Ben Affleck's work and he didn't disappoint me in Gone Girl. However, Rosamund Pike, who I've never really seen before, was absolutely amazing and if I could, I would hand her an Oscar right now for her performance, she was really that good. 

Although, I wasn't 100% sold on the plot, my love for Affleck and Pike remains, they were both fantastic in the lead roles and the support characters provided the perfect background for this time hoping adaptation.  The voice over diary entries were a brilliant way to show how Amy and Nick met and their marriage prior to Amy's disappearance.  The characters saved this one for me, they kept me interested and entertained even when I was waiting for something better to happen.

What surprised me the most was how much dark humour was in the movie. I wasn't expecting it at all but some parts had me laughing out loud to the point I had to hide my face in my cardigan! There was some great humour in this, Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) made me laugh out loud as the hardcore lawyer.

As you know by now, I watch most films on a Wednesday where I can get half price tickets, which I really enjoy as the screen is always full, as was the case with Gone Girl last week. Never before have I witnessed a reaction at the ending of a film like this. It was an audible gasp from everyone, followed by stunned silence, and then crazy whisperings and looks of amazement as we all left.  I actually just sat there for 5 minutes wondered what had just happened and whether they were 'just joking' when the end credits rolled!

If this isn't my new favourite movie of all time, it's at least my favourite of the year by far, without a shadow of a doubt. I don't like giving out 10/10, but I can't fault the movie in any way.

I am fully aware that I am going very much against the crowd with my opinion on this movie (that's part of the reason why I love the blogging community, so many different ideas) but it just didn't quite match up to my expectations as I hoped it would.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: Toy Story 3 (2010)

When have sequels ever been better than the originals, I've heard rumours about The Godfather Part Two but haven't seen it myself so I can't comment on that.  The answer is rarely, until Toy Story that is.  As much as I enjoyed Toy Story 2 it didn't surpass its predecessor but then there was 3, and everything 2 couldn't do, 3 did, and better!

Toy Story 3 continues to follow Andy's toys but now the game has changed, Andy is going to college and decides to only keep Woody (I'd guess for sentimental value).  The rest of the toys mistakenly get shipped to the local day-care centre instead of heading to the attic, leaving Woody to convince them they are not unwanted and encourage them to find their way home.

As always with Toy Story and Pixar in general, the animation is spot on with an incredible attention to detail in both the main focus of the scene and the background.  Everytime I watch a Disney/Pixar film I spot something new that I didn't see last time (and I'm always looking out for the Pizza Planet truck that is in every Disney/Pixar movie).  This is where Toy Story 3 beat out 2 though, the story, they brought in a whole range of new characters in the residents of the care home but ensure there is still plenty of screen time for the beloved favourites.  They all have to work together if they want to escape the hell hole that is Sunnyside Day Care.

I was apprehensive at first before I watched Toy Story 3. Introducing just a few new characters in Toy Story 2 worked well but I didn't know how to feel about such a wealth of even newer characters. However, Pixar nailed it, and I am a proud owner of a Lotso bear (although he doesn't smell like strawberries any more after 4 years!).

The main story is not only brilliantly written but the side stories also stand out, Barbie and Ken's not so match made in heaven (particularly his wardrobe montage!!) and Buzz Lightyear's reset repair causing him to speak Spanish and Mr Potato Head becoming a Tortilla for the good of the team.  There is no moment in this film when you are not grinning from ear to ear - except maybe the truly terrifying and heartbreaking incinerator scene.

Spanish Buzz Lightyear is my absolute favourite part of Toy Story 3 and I was so happy when I saw the new toys in my local toy store. If only I had an excuse to buy one for myself. Note - Lotso doesn't count, he was a gift and a soft toy!

One thing that I noticed moreso in this one to the other Pixar movies was that it appeared to touch on much more adult themes but in a way that children can understand.  Themes of friendship, loss, mortality, change and relationships are all touched upon in enough detail to prove they are not dumbing down films to kids levels, rather they are briefly introducing them to feelings they will inevitably have to deal with in life.  I love that. Yeah, I agree. It was almost like Toy Story 3 was made for the kids who grew up with the original, who are now all adults (sigh).

I cannot find a fault with this film, it's clever, funny, sad and visually stunning.  I will admit I did cry at the end as well!

I really enjoyed Toy Story 3 and loved how it ended, which yes, did make me cry a little, but Toy Story 2 is still my favourite of the series.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review: Forrest Gump (1994)

This is one of my all time favourite films and in the IMDB Top 250 movies that we are determined to watch and review so I thought it was about time that I reviewed it.  I've seen it almost as many times as I have seen The Goonies (and that's saying something) and it never gets old.  I have also seen a fair few set pieces, locations and props from the films in my various trips to the US.

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is not a smart man but he's happy and plods through life with his main purpose of living happily ever after with the love of his life, Jenny (Robin Wright).  While waiting at a bus stop for a bus to take him to see her, he tells various people about the things he has done in his life.  It turns out he has been present at numerous historic events and it also pretty famous himself.

This story is so different from anything I had seen or have seen since.  Forrest is played incredibly by Tom Hanks (I still think his best role to date) as a simple but lovable mommas boy who only wants his fairytale ending.  I have read bits and pieces about the political stance of this film, but I have to think those people are overthinking the whole movie.  It's supposed to be easy to watch not broken down at every step to identify political agendas, that would ruin the movie for anyone.  Robert Zemeckis does an amazing job putting Forrest 'into' real life American historical events, my favourite being him showing President Nixon his "butt-ocks".

I think Forrest Gump is one of those movies that everyone should see at least once. I first watched it when I was young, and admittedly forgot most of it, but when I hear a friend tell me they've never seen it I've sat them down with me and made them see it, and so I've seen it a fair few times as a result!

Gump sees everything in a positive way and that is reflected in the film, meeting numerous people who he should be awestruck by, he just chats away to them like he met them at a bus stop.  He see's people for people not for their status or achievements.  This is one of those films that is so hard to put into words, you have to see it for yourself to understand the brilliance and the magic of it.

Quotes in this film are still used in passing conversations with me and my friends (particularly 'Life is like a box of chocolates...' and 'Stupid is as stupid does') and if I see a Bubba Gump Shrimp company when I go to the States its the first place I eat (even though I am allergic to Shrimp haha!). 

Every time I watch Forrest Gump I really enjoy it, but then I forget so much of it, and I don't know why! It's almost like my mind does it deliberately so I have to see it again.

If you haven't seen this film- where have you been? living under a rock?! See it NOW!! 


...If I spot anything that might be Forrest Gump related the camera is out and I'm on it, I hope you don't mind but here are a few tidbits from various FG related places:

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Universal Citywalk, Orlando Florida

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco

Jenny - Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida
Santa Monica Pier - This is the pier that Forrest run to the
end of then turns around and runs back! (that's my Dad!)
I was told this was the actual bench from the movie
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, California

However, I have since been told the original is in
Savannah so who knows!

The cap and trainers used by Tom Hanks
during the running scenes.
Paramount Studios, LA

Friday, 17 October 2014

Currently Watching: The IT Crowd

In my mind, when we first started these ‘Currently Watching...’ posts, the idea was to put a post together about our first impressions and what we were thinking about the TV Show at the time. Sounds sensible, right? So when I started watching The IT Crowd, I was starting to think about the post I would put together. But then I kind of binge watched every episode in less than 2 weeks. Oops. Let’s just pretend that I’m mid-series, humour me, if you will.

Back in 2006 when the series was first advertised, I knew this would be the comedy for me. I’m a bit of a geek and family, friends and colleagues turn to me for all sorts of IT advice, and I get irrationally irritated when the IT team at work would tell me ‘have you tried turning it off and on again?’. No, I haven’t, because the printer needs a new toner!

I don’t remember what episode I watched, but I didn’t take to it at all and never bothered with it, until last year when the final episode aired when I just so happened to have my friends over. They loved the show and demanded that we watch it, and I found the episode hilarious. It was my mission since then to actually get round to giving it a second chance.

If you've never heard of it before, The IT Crowd is a typical British comedy, full of moments that make you cringe. Roy (Chris O'Dowd) provides the worst IT support you've ever seen, and answers the phone with the greeting 'Have you tried turning it off and on again?' every time. Moss (Richard Ayoade) is a highly intelligent geek who doesn't quite understand how humans actually process. Jen (Katherine Parkinson) is their manager who knows nothing about IT, not even what it stands for! All in all, a great trio for a comedy set in an IT Department.

I've never had so much fun watching a bit of TV early in the morning before work! I don't normally laugh out loud when watching comedies alone, but this had me howling in places. My absolute favourite episode is the one where the three end up watching Gay, a gay musical, and Roy has to pretend that he's disabled. This escalates throughout the whole episode to the point where he ends up in a wheelchair on a disabled bus on his way to Manchester!

As much as I love it, I don't think The IT Crowd is for everyone. There are moments in another favourite show of mine, The Office, that make me cringe just a little too much to find funny, and anyone who isn't a fan of that would struggle with some episodes I think. For me though, this is the perfect balance of cringe and comedy. It's now a TV show that I'll put on in the background whilst doing something else, and actually find myself stopping what I'm doing to watch it. It's just that good!

I have to agree with everything you've said, including the wheelchair episode, that is by far my favourite.  I have never seen the UK or the US office so I can't compare but I might give it a chance if it's similar to this!

I've got to post this little montage of Roy for you all, he is by far my favourite character and these moments are just great:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Don Jon (2013)

I have every faith in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I have been a fan of his since his Third Rock from the Sun and 10 Things I hate about you days.  So when I discovered that he has written, directed and starred in Don Jon, it became a must see for me.  I never once doubted JG-L's ability to succeed and I was right not to...

Don Jon has been on my radar for a while now, but knowing I could never bring myself to watch it with someone else has made it difficult to get round to watching! Jenna's review popping up in the drafts list gave me the push I needed.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays 'Don' Jon Martello a cocksure New Yorker who spends his time rating women with his friends and encountering one night stands with the higher scaled ladies and masturbating.  The voice over makes it abundantly clear that Jon is addicted to porn and fails to find the same satisfaction in real women. (This is when I thought it became predictable)  That is until he meets a 'solid 10' in rom-com lover Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) who refuses to sleep with him until she is good and ready. 

I really enjoyed this film, particularly the two halves that seemed like two different films.  The first half was a fast paced raunch fest, cut with porn scenes to emphasise Jon's addiction but still comical and the scenes with his friends in the bars were really funny. 

Yeah, the film's introduction was great, and as cringy as they were for me, the porn cut-ins were fantastically timed and really aided Don's story. I just couldn't stand Barbara though. I tried to picture Janice from Friends whenever she was on the screen (that's who she reminded me of) and that just didn't help me at all!

Then the second half surprised me, it became almost a romantic drama once Julianne Moore's character Esther got her toe in the mix.  It went from a comedy about porn addiction to a drama delving into these characters and finding out why they are the way they are.  This mix of two genres really made the film for me, I didn't expect it and when he met Barbara I thought I had the film penned (maybe Jon's confidence and attitude rubbed off on me) but this gave it a whole new depth.

It was definitely something different, and I do appreciate that. I've seen films that although enjoyable, are completely predictable so major kudos to Joseph Gordon-Levitt here. However, for me, the romance between Don and Esther was just too unbelievable, and a little uncomfortable to watch. I don't blame either actor/ess for that, it's just how I felt.

This movie never holds back, its got all the confidence of the lead character.  It never shies away from awkward, uncomfortable or damn right gross scenes instead it draws attention to them repeatedly.  Although, there were a few moments in this film where I cringed, the corridor scene outside Barbara's apartment had me covering my eyes but it was effective in showing Jon's desperation. I also found the family dinner scenes uncomfortable, but I think that was the effect they were going for, if so it definitely worked.  Basically, anything that made this film uncomfortable, made it better.

I liked how blunt and un-afraid Don Jon is, and it was a film like no other that I'd seen before. I was also surprised at Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor, as I would never picture him in a role like this, and he pulled it off well.

There's a cameo towards the beginning that I just had to text Jenna about (I was excited) and she told me that they were actually meant to have the lead role until Joseph took it for himself. I couldn't help but picture that actor in the role then and I think I might have preferred him!

Brilliant work from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a real surprise, not at all what I expected.

An enjoyable and un-expected film all round, but sadly it's just not one for me.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

I wanted to see this at the cinema but unfortunately, I missed it.  Luckily, it's now on Sky Movies and although it was enjoyable, I'm ultimately glad I didn't buy the DVD straight off.

Funnily enough I started watching this nearly a year ago and had a power cut (weird!) half way through, and it was only Jenna's review that reminded me I never watched the rest!

Three weeks before an asteroid is due to hit Earth and kill all of humanity.  Dodge meets Penny and they embark on a a road trip to find her family and his long lost love before its too late.  Their journey teaches them a lot about themselves, but is also pretty funny in places.  (The Friendsy's scene had me laughing my head off!)

This is seeing the end of the world from the other side of the coin, there are no rescue missions, no chance of survival, no one even trying to run just two characters and their response to the end of everything.  It is the ultimate 'What would you do?' movie.  Steve Carell's lonely and lost Dodge is painfully believable and heartbreaking to watch.  He has nothing to 'do' at the end of the world, he just carries on with his life as normal, going to work everyday.  It's only when he meets Penny that he is willing to try to do something daring and different in the countdown to his death.  

This is actually a terrifying movie, not in a horror movie kind of way obviously, but it makes you think about what you would do if you had 3 weeks to live and would you be alone.  Is that not the scariest idea ever? Spending the rest of your life completely alone!  

I couldn't understand what this film was trying to be. Is it an end of the world comedy like Zombieland? Or is it just a heartbreaking, no hope film? For me, the characters weren't interesting enough for me to feel sorry for them, and there wasn't enough comic relief to make it a comedy. 

There were a few moments that just didn't make much sense, like when Dodge and Penny visited Speck in his fully stocked titanium bunker. They asked to borrow 'one from the fleet' and from the walls of weaponry, stocks of red bull and displays of games consoles, I expected to see a row of BMWs or huge 4X4s. Instead was a set of Smart cars in every colour possible. What? I'm going to guess that was meant to be funny? I just didn't get it!

Thank god for Penny, played by Keira Knightley, who gives Dodge the kick up the arse he needs to take a chance on his first love, what has he got to lose.  The development of their friendship is lovely to watch and the actors actually have great chemistry (which I wouldn't have thought before I this) but for me the ending (there will be no spoilers here!) ruined the whole film for me.  It suddenly became much less believable, which up until that point had not been an issue and that spoilt it a little for me.

I didn't have a problem with the ending to be honest, I thought that was the only way it could really end. However I'm a real fan of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley and they both disappointed me in this. I don't think it was their acting, perhaps the writing and the direction instead, but not even they could save it for me.

Don't let my opinion of the ending put you off this as you may love it, the rest of the film is entertaining to watch, albeit a little depressing.

Sorry for sounding like a negative Nelly but I just didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped I would!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Review: True Blood Finale (2014) *SPOILER ALERT*

This is kind of a review and kind of not.  It's more like a recap of my thoughts on the whole seven seasons of this awesome show.  

I first started watching it when there was already 3 seasons out, so I binged watched all three and couldn't get enough.  My eagerness for the next episode immediately didn't die down until season 6 which I felt was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the others.  Anyway, when I started watching this it was a refreshing change from the Vampire Diaries and Twilights of the world.  With its 18 rating, it had a lot more swearing, a lot more sex and a lot more blood and guts! Therefore it held a lot more of my interest.

The series follows Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) in her little quiet town of Bon Temps and the ways in which her life is turned upside down after falling in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).  Over the course of 7 seasons we encounter Vampires, infected vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, fairies, witches, murderers, fangbangers and much more.  Adding more and more mythical creatures throughout the season stopped it from becoming repetitive and made the threats to Sookie's life more interesting each time (although the fact that Sookie's life was in danger every time did become a little repetitive).

I got very excited about the final season, there was so much hype about it and after being a little disappointed with the way season 6 went, I was really hoping for a better season 7.  Maybe I shouldn't have got my hopes up so high, the whole season felt rushed, like they were trying to tie up all the loose ends too quickly.  I don't think at the end of Season 6 they had quite prepared for finishing the whole thing in one season.  They could have rounded up some of the stories in Season 6 instead of dragging them into season 7 and some that could have been avoided all together. However, they obviously wanted to keep certain actors/actresses in so they had to make a story fit around them. 

The final episode though did what all finales should and rounded everything up, everyone was happy, all the danger had magically disappeared and everyone was still friends and still living in Bon Temps all because Bill killed himself? or Sookie killed him? or both?.  I should have loved this, when I was younger if I didn't know what happened 'in 5 years time' at the end of a  series I would expect (hopefully) for more to round it up.  However, as I have gotten older, I prefer the less predictable endings, something with a twist, maybe the protagonist who you have been rooting for, for 5 years dies.  I just expect these '5 years from now' endings and it always disappoints because it's like all of a sudden everything that was an issue throughout the seasons disappears and no one questions it.

It was nice to see all the characters happy and settled but as True Blood has pushed so many boundaries throughout it's years on the TV, I expected better and more shock value than what the final season and the finale provided. 

A special mention does have to go to Eric and Pam though, they were by far the highlight of the final season (particularly the flashback video store scenes) and their ending in the Finale was brilliant (and purposely cringeworthy) and saved the whole thing for me.

All in all, it wasn't as disastrous as the 'Lost' ending but it certainly wasn't good by any means.  Too rushed and false to have any kind of impact on the viewers who have stood by for 7 years through all the shock value and controversy to be given a happy ending was just disappointing.

Did anyone else think the same? or did you love it?