Thursday, 30 April 2015

Trivia Round-Up: April 2015

You know the drill by now! Here's some fun trivia we've found for all the films we've blogged about this month...

The word "vampire" is never used throughout the film.

Many of the characters' names are taken from historical figures and most are from inventors, mathematicians, philosophers, or scientists to illustrate their intelligence (which was a major plot element in the novel): Thomas (Thomas Edison), Alby (Albert Einstein), Newt (Isaac Newton), Chuck (Charles Darwin), Gally (Galileo), Teresa (Mother Teresa), Winston (Winston Churchill), Ben (Benjamin Franklin) and Frypan, in the novel also called Siggy (Sigmund Freud). Author James Dashner has said that Minho is not named after anyone famous but his nieces' Korean husband. The novel also featured other characters such as Aris (Aristotle) and Harriet (Harriet Tubman).
Much of the trivia for this movie is regarding the differences between the book and the movie, I haven't yet read the book so I have swerved those trivia pieces for now.

Frozen Fever is not the only short Disney has done after a movie. After Tangled (2010) they did a short called Tangled Ever After (2012).
Wait what! How did I miss this?! How weird after I read your Frozen Fever post I downloaded and watched Tangled Ever After and then you mention it on here - spooky!

This film won the Best Feature Film awarded by the jury at the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival. Director Denis Villeneuve responded by saying that "As a poetic sign of gratitude to the Adelaide Film Festival, I'll give the name of 'Adelaide' to one of my main characters in my next film. So thank you one thousand times to the Adelaide Film Festival!"

The customer who keeps saying "Hi I'm Tom" is a nod to the character Tom from 50 First Dates who has a 10 second memory span. Both Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore starred in the film.

Because all the actors recorded their parts separately, Simon Pegg was initially unaware of best friend Nick Frost's participation in the project, and vice versa.
These guys are like Ant & Dec for me, you can't have one without the other!

In one scene, Leonard quickly passes in front of a comic book store. The Batman emblem is displayed prominently on the store's window. Christopher Nolan later directed Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). There is also a Superman emblem in the same store window. Nolan was producer of Man of Steel (2013) and is executive producer of the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
I'd like to think this is super cool, but have you ever walked past a comic book store that doesn't have a Batman emblem in the window?

2nd time Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick appear in a movie after Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
There is so little trivia for this film, this was the best I could come up with!!

At a Q&A session after screening of the film, James Corden recalled an incident during rehearsals in which Meryl Streep jumped on a table and her foot got caught in her costume. She started falling backwards, head first, toward a concrete floor. Both Corden and director Rob Marshall froze in the fear that they were about to witness the death of Meryl Streep. However, a pregnant Emily Blunt stepped in and caught Streep before she hit the floor.
Go Emily!!!

For a cornfield scene, Christopher Nolan sought to grow 500 acres of corn, which he learned was feasible from his producing of Man of Steel (2013). The corn was then sold and actually made a profit.
Sorry, almost all the trivia I could find was too science-y and I spaced out (pun intended). (groan)

Director Martin Scorsese claims that the most important shot in the movie is when Bickle is on the phone trying to get another date with Betsy. The camera moves to the side slowly and pans down the long, empty hallway next to Bickle, as if to suggest that the phone conversation is too painful and pathetic to bear.
This explains a lot actually, both Jenna and I couldn't work out what the deal was with that shot.

The crocodile at Alexander's birthday party is very obviously an alligator. The reason was due to the fact that alligators are far less hostile than crocodiles, and therefore are far less dangerous on set to both handlers and cast/crew.

Completed in 2012, not released until two years later.

In a movie whose main theme is dance, the only choreographic credits are given to three people as miscellaneous crew.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Mini Reviews: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014), The Longest Week (2014) & Step Up All In (2014)

Every time I try to tell someone about this film or find it on IMDB, I have to go via actors names because for the life of me I cannot remember any part of this title after Alexander and even after I write it I still can't remember.  This isn't really relevant to my review but just thought I would throw that in there.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) is usually the one in the family to have a bad day, their lives seem to go well while he is stuck with gum in his hair and various other calamities. That is until he wishes for his family to have a bad day instead of him, which leads to a whole heap of chaos.

I was stuck in an apartment with nothing to do except watch films, i was looking for something easy to watch and that is what I got with this one.  Its not overly clever or hysterically funny but its entertaining and keeps you interested throughout.  I've caught some reviews for this and everyone says how bad it is, 'truly awful' and 'don't waste your money' - OK so maybe I wouldn't pay to go to the cinema to see it but when its on the TV its not all that bad.

I liked this more than I thought I would! It's definitely not a film targeted at me and it's super cheesy, but I wasn't bored for a single minute.

The Longest Week (2014)

Conrad (Jason Bateman) is a spoilt man-child who lives in the hotel that his parents own. When they decide to get divorced neither of them want to pay for Conrad and so he gets left out in the cold.  In the same week, he falls out with his best friend and falls in love, making up the longest week.

I think this was supposed to be good but I just couldn't get into it, in fact I fell asleep twice and I had to rewind it to the point when I dosed off.  Unfortunately, I was that uninterested that I couldn't place where I had fallen asleep, do I had to start from the beginning each time! argh!  I don't think helped with my opinion of the film.  It had a Wes Anderson feel about it but less edgy and clever.

This film actually felt like a week to me. I was convinced I'd love it because of the cast, but wow, it sure fell short of the mark!

Step Up All In (2014)

I'm not even going to provide a synopsis for this, its the same story as every other Step up movie and every other dance movie for that matter.  As per usual, the dance sequences are amazing to watch and the music is awesome but the dialogue is painful at best and the story utterly predictable.  I was expecting a bit more from the choreography though, I always expect the newer dance movies to improve on the older ones but this one just didn't step up <--- yes I went there!! (Groan...)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: Taxi Driver (1976)

So the Blind Spot challenge has been a bit hit and miss for me, time constraints meant I missed the first two movies but I'm trying to keep up now.  Therefore, two weeks ago we arranged the movie night to watch our April movie - Taxi Driver.  As an contender for the Oscars Best Picture, I assumed it would be amazing.

The Blind Spot Series is proving to be a great way for Jenna and I to keep putting film nights in the diaries! This month we’re trying to be healthy so whilst Jenna cooked enough stir-fry to feed a wedding party (thanks for the extra lunch by the way!) I picked up some Weight Watchers dessert and headed to hers, armed with Taxi Driver on DVD. It proudly boasted its new ‘Wide Screen Presentation’, oh boy…

An unstable war veteran, Travis (Robert DeNiro) finds a job as a night time New York taxi driver to kill time after developing insomnia.  His obsession with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) and his determination to save pre-adolescent prostitute, Iris (Jodie Foster) lead him down a dark and dangerous path.

It was so strange to see Robert DeNiro in this! I've never seen any of his older films so I had to keep reminding myself it was even him.

I feel like is should love this movie because it is so highly praised by so many people.  I have read countless reviews from both professional critics and the bloggerverse and I just don't understand it.  I just found it a bit boring, it was a interesting subject and a creative take on the effects insomnia can have on a person but it felt like it dragged. 

All the synopsis's I have found for this, imply that him being psychotic and his obsessions lead him to extreme violence, however this seems to take forever to get to and feels dragged at the beginning and the middle.  Now I know this won't be a popular opinion so please be kind :-/ but I just didn't enjoy it.  Once it gets to the latter part of the film, it starts to get interesting and I love the shoot out scenes and the hospital scene near the end.

After Pulp Fiction last month, I wanted to mull over this film for a while before I really made a verdict on it. Taxi Driver to me was like the 70's answer to Drive (although I realise that should actually be the other way round) and it took me several viewings to really appreciate Drive for what it was. I hated it the first time round. I wouldn't say I hated Taxi Driver at all, it was an interesting character story and I was never bored, but I wasn't thrilled either.

Maybe, I need to watch it again to get a better feel for the making of the film now that I know what to expect.  The actors were all great, without a doubt, one of the highlights being Harvey Keitel but I don't feel like there was much of a story to it.  The shooting, I guess was great when it was made in the 70's but now comes across a little bit cheesy to me.

I think I need a second viewing, too! Although it's going to take a serious amount of willpower to get round it it...

I hope I don't get too much of a battering for this but that's the point of reviews I guess, multiple opinions :-)

After 3 cracking Blind Spot films, maybe it was about time we had one I didn't love so much.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Review: Interstellar (2014)

Is it possible to love a film you don’t understand? I’m ashamed to say it took the DVD release and my future Father-in-Law’s birthday to get me to finally watch Interstellar. I avoided it like the plague when it came out in the cinemas, despite how amazing it probably was on the big screen, because it was just too darn long. I can’t sit that still without copious tea breaks. Give me a pizza and a comfy sofa however, and I’ll sit still all day.  I just never got around to seeing it and when I finally had the time it had finished at the cinema!


The plot, in short, sounds like something that’s been done a hundred times already. The Earth is dying, humanity needs somewhere else to live, let’s send some astronauts off into space, yada yada. Maybe that put me off, too? This is all I knew about the film before watching it, and now, I almost think it’s a better experience if that’s all you know.

Did I mention I can’t stand Matthew McConaughey? Sorry - he just winds me up for absolutely no reason. He’s alright in Interstellar though. Okay, he’s pretty good. The cast as a whole were great I thought, and I especially loved the two robots, TARS and CASE. They have so much personality! Plus TARS is a little sassy, and you can’t go wrong with a sassy robot.  Weren't they awesome!!

Did anyone feel a bit sorry for Cooper's son, he barely got a mention throughout, the whole situation seemed to be circled around Cooper and Murph.  They hinted at the beginning of the movie that Tom's scores weren't high enough for college and that he would make a great farmer which seemed like an early justification for why Cooper has this bond with his daughter but not his son.  I felt sad for him all the way through the movie and more so at the end *SPOILER ALERT* when he didn't even ask if his Son was still alive, just his daughter.


Okay, so the science-y stuff I didn’t really understand. I’m just not clever enough to get it. I know why they’re off to space, I sort of understand the wormhole thing, I understand how Matt Damon got there although I don’t know why he’s such a grump, and I don’t understand the whole equation thing. The time-relativity thing (I need to find another word for thing) was really cool once I got my head around that.

I absolutely loved this and I was really surprised by that, I think that because I missed out on all the hype for this I just had no expectations for it so I just enjoyed it for what it was.  I did lose track of some of the science bit but that didn't ruin anything for me, I loved how the whole thing came full circle. 

The idea of time was approached in really interesting (and I'm assuming scientific) ways throughout, reminding me of Inception's approach to dreaming and the dream world.  I was terrified by the thought of how long they were staying on the planet when 1 hour equals 7 years in their 'home' time, I was on the edge of my sit willing them to hurry up.

Something I picked up on throughout the film was the music. Normally my mind switches off to that and I don’t even remember music being in films, but the score in Interstellar is so loud in places that it’s hard not to notice. I can imagine some loved it and others hated it, but in certain scenes it had me holding my breath, it was so powerful.  I thought exactly the same and also the use of complete silence was really cool, there was a huge explosion but as the astronauts wouldn't hear anything, neither did we.  It really brought home the isolation of the situation.


Just a warning, there aren’t any spoilers below but it might get you thinking about things you shouldn’t if/when you watch Interstellar for the first time. That sounds so wrong.

I think the reason I loved this film so much was the last half an hour or so, you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it. Watching this with my fiance’s family was a great experience, because as we realised certain things, one by one we’d gasp, shout and wave our arms around like mad! Do you remember one of the first spoken lines in the entire film, when Cooper walks in to Murph’s room? She says ‘I thought you were my ghost’. That friggin line just wins it for me! I hadn't even thought of that, I now want to watch it again to catch the links between the beginning and the end!

If I can find some spare hours, I’d love to understand the science bits and then re-watch Interstellar to truly experience it for what it should be.

Many might disagree with my score for this but for me it had everything and I was glued to the screen the whole time.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #41 - Superhero Movies

This is the first time of jumped on the Thursday Movie Picks band wagon without tagging onto the end of Allie's and this has to be my favourite topic so far.  I'll let Wandering through the Shelves explain Thursday Movie Picks in their words....

Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share three movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each.For further details visit the series main page here.

Soo I spotted one of my favourites on the hosts own list - Sky High, it was great twist on the superhero movie, but no point going over the same movies again and again so I thought I would choose another three...

Fantastic Four (1994)
Based on the comic book movies that are coming out now, this one seems pretty lame but at the time I loved it.  It was my first experience of a comic book movie and really one of the first superhero movies I really enjoyed.  Having loved this so much when it came out, I am a little apprehensive about the up and coming reboot but The Amazing Spiderman didn't disappoint me so fingers crossed.

Chronicle (2012)
Bit of a twist on the typical superhero movie (and maybe cheating just a tiny bit), I loved how it was a different view on what happens when one day you develop super powers.  Somehow it seems a more realistic approach than squeezing into a lyrca suit and mask and chasing down villains.  Also one of my first films with Dane Dehaan who I love.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I'm going to go all 'typical' and choose one of the popular ones :-) I can't help it, I absolutely LOVED this film.  Ok the villain was a bit wet and really had no reason to destroy the Earth but everything else made up for it, the soundtrack, the characters, the acting, the dialogue and the CGI work, brilliant.  I remember watching the whole film with a massive grin on my face and it still happens every time I watch it.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Review: Into the Woods (2014)

I have no idea what to expect when I rocked up at the cinema to see Into the Woods, I knew it was a musical but I didn't know if it was serious like Les Miserables or funny or complete fantasy.  It seems I was surprised on all counts...
Somehow I didn't even realise it was a musical until about a week before it was released in cinemas, and then my other half wouldn't go with me! Boo...

Into the Woods is the story of a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who are desperate for a child but in order to be able to do that they have to lift a curse put on their house by the wicked witch (Meryl Streep).  They venture into the woods to gather four items that the witch needs to reverse the spell, at the same time Cinderella happens to be in the woods running from her prince, Jack is escaping and giant from the beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood is wandering having lost her Grandmothers house and Rapunzel is banished there by the queen. 

This is a great mixture of lots of different fairy tales but it took me at least half an hour to settle into it.  In this first half an hour I was desperately trying to take the film seriously (and losing) and finding it cheesy and awful.  But then, I was about to give up when the Prince brothers (Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen) meet in the woods and break into a rendition of Agony, which was hysterical.  This brought me back, I stopped taking it so seriously and enjoyed it for what it was.  It has it's serious moments, comedy scenes and completely ridiculous sections but I was engrossed.  I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and, considering these are well known fairy tales, I had not idea what was going to happen next.

The mixture of different fairy tales is what really captured my interest. These are stories we all know, stories we've heard a million times before, but take a bunch of them and put them together, and suddenly they're no longer boring to see brought to life for the hundredth time. Red Riding Hood and the Wolf was a tad creepy, but really, what could they do to tone the theme down without losing the story?

I know there have been some mixed reviews about this but I think the benefit for me is that I haven't seen (or heard of) the stage version (which I have been told is better by far).  This meant I went in with no expectation and because of that I was pleasantly surprised.  The music, what can I say about the music, it took a bit to get used but it was totally gripping, I have already downloaded the soundtrack and the original stage version (as there were some songs missing in the movie) and I can't wait to listen to them.

I didn't even know it was based on a stage show until now, oops! It makes perfect sense now. The music got me instantly and I found myself humming 'Into the Woods' all evening, much to the annoyance of my fiance. Could anyone else listen to Chris Pine singing for hours on end? Is it too late to cast him for Pitch Perfect 2?

After all that though, there was one clear cut highlight of the whole film.  That was Meryl Streep.  She stole every scene she was in with complete ease and her singing voice is unreal (apparently she sang everything live even though she has pre-recorded the songs).  Last Midnight was amazing, so much so that it gave me goosebumps.  Is it just me or (once she was made young again) did Streep look as good in this as she did in Death Becomes Her way back in 1992, she has got some good ol' genes!

The film is pretty much in two halves, and the first half was amazing, the second dragged a little and there was a huge break between songs which wasn't great, but the twists in the story made it worthwhile I think.

I know many won't agree with me but I really loved this, I can't wait to learn all the songs and then (attempt) to sing along. 

Apologies to Jenna's neighbours, because I'll be blasting this soundtrack in the car on my way to her house next time I see her!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review: Life After Beth (2014)

I watched this film with no real idea what it was about and what to expect, I had read about it but forgot before I watched it.  So when it started I thought it was going to be a coming of age drama about and young guy trying to get over his girlfriend dying and his relationship with her parents.  I was so wrong.....

Zack Orfman (Dane Dehaan) is trying to deal with his Girlfriend Beth's (Aubrey Plaza) death but after her parents stop returning his calls he goes round only to find Beth alive and well.  But things aren't quite what they seem, Beth has been brought back to life and may not be the same as she was before she died.

The is without fail now my favourite zombie movie, I loved it.  The humour was great and Dane Dehaan did a great job at being the brooding teenager distraught over his dead girlfriend right through to being terrified she was going to eat him!  My only wish was that they used more Anna Kendrick, I love her awkward relationship with Zack and I felt like it could have been utilised a bit more.

Dehaan and Plaza had great chemistry, so much so that you almost wanted them together even though she might have eaten his brains.  It's very much dark humour throughout which is perfectly timed to make this just one step better than Warm Bodies.  It has the blood, gore and general grossness but the focus is on the relationships between the living and the dead people that keep popping up alive again and inevitably trying to eat them. 

Ridiculously awesome, could happily watch it again and again.  Love the plot, love the cast and really really love the dark humour.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Review: Memento (2000)

After watching The Usual Suspects a while ago, I put the feelers out on the IMDB boards for suggestions of films with a similar, plot-twist theme. I love these kind of movies, ones where you have to really sit and think, but you definitely have to be in the right mood to put one on. Memento was suggested to me, and I noticed that it's also in the IMDB Top 250 list, so I couldn't say no.

Memento (2000) is a mind bending film about Leonard (Guy Pearce) who suffers from short-term memory loss. He's on a self-given mission to find the man who murdered his wife, which, given his condition, is a near impossible task.

He writes himself notes constantly to remind him of things he's been told, and takes photos of places that he;s visited and people he has met to remind himself who they are, and whether they are trust worthy or not. He also tattoos the key facts he learns about his wife's murder on his body.

I just love how this film is sequenced. In the opening scene, we see Leonard kill a man called Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) who he believes is the 'John G' he's been looking for. Doubt gets put into your mind instantly because either this John G is a very good liar, or there's a fair chance Leonard has caught the wrong man.
The rest of the film plays almost in reverse; the next five minutes or so of footage ends where the previous part began. It really confused me at first but after a while my head got round it. I've never seen a film like it before so it was a great experience.


This Teddy turns out to be a main character in Memento, as well as a lady named Natalie (Carrie-Ann Moss). They both seem to be trying to turn Leonard against the other, although it's not clear what the link between Teddy and Natalie is. Throughout the story we also get another timeline running through of Leonard on the phone to somebody talking about Sammy Jankis.

Leonard has a tattoo on his arm telling him to 'Remember Sammy Jankis', and he talks in great details about the insurance case that he was involved in before his accident. These scenes threw me off a little every time, just when I thought I was working out what was going on.


Just when I thought I was never going to work out what was happening, the twist came and threw me completely. There was even a huge hint at it which I thought I saw but completely dis-regarded it. I have to say, it was a brilliant twist, although really quite saddening.

Memento was a fantastic film experience for me, and I'm definitely going to see it again sometime. Apparently there's a special edition DVD you can get where you can watch the film in exact chronological order - that would be a real treat to see!


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review: The Boxtrolls (2014)

Have you ever, when you’ve met someone new, or been stuck next to a stranger for any length of time, had an extreme disliking of them, for no real reason? (I really hope it’s not just me by the way). There’s a review here somewhere, I promise. When the trailer came out for Boxtrolls, I was a little ‘meh’. It looked alright, but I was going to wait for the DVD release to watch it. Then the Oscar Nominations came out, The Lego Movie was denied a slot, but there was The Boxtrolls. From that moment, I hated the film for that reason alone.

But the other night, I decided to give it a try. Partly because I felt guilty, and one of my friends wouldn’t stop singing it’s praises. Partly because I wanted to see why the Academy thought it more deserving than The Lego Movie.

The Boxtrolls are a group of mischievous but kind-hearted creatures who live underground in the town of Cheesebridge. They each wear a box which they hide and sleep in, and never take off. Together, they raise an orphaned boy who they have named Egg, after the box he wears. Trouble hits the Boxtrolls when Archibald Snatcher, the town’s exterminator, starts to capture them all.

Anyone with an appreciation for stop-motion animation will be fascinated by this film. I studied it very briefly in college, and it was a royal pain in the ass. It’s easy to forget just how long each movement must have taken to create, and I did forget, until a really clever, almost breaking the fourth wall moment after the credits. That little clip really brought a smile to my face.

The Boxtrolls themselves are adorable. They’re grubby, heavy-handed, but loving and helpful at the same time. They’re all named after whatever is on their box, so you have Fish, Shoe, Sweets, Wheels, and even Knickers, who’s constantly pulling up his box. My favourite thing about stop-motion animation is due to the crazy amount of time it takes to create, there’s plenty of tiny, intricate details to spot. Wallace and Gromit is a great example of that.

My absolute favourite part of any kind of animated film is trying to work out who voices each character. It’s like a game to me, and I feel sorry for whoever is watching the film with me as I’ll pause every few minutes to pop onto IMDB to see if my guesses were right. I didn’t guess Ben Kingsley at all, that was a huge surprise to me, and as much as I love Richard Ayoade, his voice didn’t match his character at all, which was weird.

The plot was predictable, and the little twist was fairly obvious, but I can’t criticise that as I’m not the target audience. It didn’t spoil anything for me, however. All in all, I really enjoyed The Boxtrolls, and I’d like to apologise to it for the undeserved hatred I gave it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and buy a Fish Pop! Figure…

Monday, 13 April 2015

Review: Blended (2014)

I know this isn't necessarily a popular opinion these days BUT I love Adam Sandler - I think it may be partly nostalgia having grown up watching Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore so I always make time to watch his latest offerings (even if they just seem to be getting worse!).  After the success of T-pairing Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, this had to be good, right?!

Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) are set up on a disastrous blind date (at Hooters) and then by some ridiculous plot point they end up in Africa together with their respective children.  What follows is typical Sandler comedy (and cameos) but all wrapped up in a disappointing and stupid plot. 

Admittedly, many of Sandler's movies tend to have stupid plots (Mr Deeds, Don't mess with the Zohan) but this seemed different somehow.  It felt like they decided what was going to happen then had to come up with a way to get to that point! (FYI it involves ringing a complete stranger and asking him for his holiday and said stranger being happy to oblige WTF!).  Sidebar: I get the feeling that my age and the fact that since taking up this blog I have started watched more good films instead of relying solely on Adam Sandler for entertainment has impacted on my love of AS films.  I have outgrown them!

The children were all equally irritating and completely lacking in any kind of character development and Wendy Mclendon-Covey is wasted as Lauren's best friend.  After her performance in Bridesmaids I expected better things from her.  I also have no idea what this guy was doing, why he was even in the film and why someone, somewhere actually thought it was funny...

The whole film felt quite similar to 'Just go with it' although the stories were pretty different (I actually found that one funny!).  This one just didn't sit with me, a few parts were mildly amusing at best and I hoped and hoped for a laugh out loud moment only to be disappointed.

Pretty much a disappointment across the board.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Review: Incendies (2010)

We’re not doing too well with getting through the IMDB Top 250 list. It’s a blogging goal of ours, and it’s on Jenna’s 30 before 30 list, and well, she’s getting on a bit now! (I’m joking - I love you!) so we’ve both given ourselves a kick up the backside recently to get a move on. I had quite a few films recommended to me on the IMDB forums after a post I made about The Usual Suspects, and when I realised one of those suggested films was also on the Top 250 list, I knew it should be the next thing I saw!

Incendies is a fantastic Canadian film which was nominated for an Oscar in 2011 for ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year’. I would love to find out what won and watch it just to try and understand why Incendies didn't win. It tells the story of twins (Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette) who have just lost their mother (Lubna Azabal), visiting their mother’s colleague and friend to witness her will being read. Included in her will are multiple notes and envelopes instructing the twins to find their brother and father. Thing is, they were under the impression that their father was dead, and they didn’t even know they had a brother.

I wondered whether I might struggle with Incendies. It is with great shame that I confess this is the first foreign-speaking film I’ve ever seen, and I wasn’t sure if I would get the full emotional effect by reading subtitles for just under 2 hours. Although I would always prefer an English-speaking film, I have to say that the subtitles didn’t distract me at all and the emotions were still clearly evident. Incendies won’t be the first and last foreign-speaking film I see, that’s for sure.

Let me move on to the film itself though. Incendies is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, it tells a fascinating tale of this inspiring lady, the twins mother, through a series of flashbacks and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such graphic scenes without actual graphic content. I realise that may not make sense right now, but if you see the film you’ll understand. The themes certainly aren’t for the light hearted. The very mention of a war film makes me want to nod off to sleep usually, but Incendies has opened my eyes to a film genre I have always pushed aside and ignored.

As fascinating as the story was, I did the feel the time length quite heavily. However, just as I started to get fidgety, wondering how the issues could be resolved in the next half an hour without ending terribly, everything started to come together and I spent that time with my jaw hanging. As the entwining stories finally came to their conclusion, I was stunned and actually had to rewind just to be sure I’d read the subtitles correctly. Simply amazing, that’s the only way I can describe that ending.

I’ve already mentioned this, but Incendies is definitely not for everyone. I image many would be turned off at some of the adult themes, and others may give up just before I nearly did. Those who stick with it though are in for an amazing experience.