Friday, 31 May 2013

May: Hit, Miss or Maybe

All films this month have been HITs, its been that good a month at the movies. So instead I have rated them out 5, like old times, just to clarify which films were better than others.

1. The Paperboy

Based on the novel by Pete Dexter (which I tried to read before the film and then ended up only reading half before, half after), the story is about brothers Ward and Jack Jansen. Ward is a newspaper man, he writes, with his partner Yardley, for the Miami Times. After the fiance of convicted murderer Hilarly Van Wetter, offers evidence of his innocence, the newpaper men return to Ward's rural hometown to investigate. Ward hires his younger brother Jack to be their driver for the duration of their stay. Jack becomes of obsessed with Charlotte Bless, the 'fiance'. Things take a violent turn when Van Wetter becomes involved. In the book the narrator is Jack but in the film it is the Ward family's maid, Anita. After reading the book, that didn't make sense as she isn't present for most of the plot but apart from that, the film played out like a downbeat 60's/70's thriller and it was good. The gritty, sexual violent scenes are spread out so the audience doesn't feel disgusted the whole time. It is actually quite funny in places too, not sure if it was intentional either but the story, altered for the screen, touches on all the themes of the day such as racisim, homophobia and sexual experimentation as well as murder and how newspapers work. Worth seeing, but wait until DVD rental.

2. I'm So Excited

Just like the classic Pedro Almodovar films, this film is full of crazy characters, everyone is over dramatic, every line just flows off the tongue and is hilarious, with added campness this film is brilliant. If, like me, you're a fan of Almodovar, you will not be disappointed with this film. After a plane setting out to Mexico from Spain experiences problems making them unable to land, the three male flight attendents do their best to keep the passengers calm. First by drugging all the economy passengers and staff members and then by getting the business class passengers drunk, high and entertaining them cabaret acts. The central piece is scene where the three campest flight attendants Spain could muster perform the song 'I'm So Excited'. It's amazing. While to story focuses on the passengers in turn and the problems the staff are facing, the plot is all over the place but is doesn't matter. The characters are so entertaining you just want them to carry on with this flight for longer. More Pedro, more of this please!

3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

(the best poster was in french)
I don't really like John Wayne. But I do love James Stewart and I was so glad that his character wasn't weak in this film. My opinion of John Wayne has changed too. He's actually pretty good in this, except for his crazy scene near the end, it was a tad over the top. This is one of the all time classic westerns, dramas, classics in general, it always features on the 'best film' list of some sort. I can see why. With three of the best male actors (James Stewart, John Wayne, Lee Marvin) of that time the story becomes elevated to a film that had me on the edge of my seat. Beginning in flashback with an older Ransom Stoddard (Stewart) returning to a small town with his wife Hallie. It soon unfolds that they are there for the funeral of Tom (Wayne) an friend. The story then starts with Stoddard arriving at this same town years previous, he is a lawyer and has been sent out west to start a firm. He is beaten and robbed by the notorious criminal Liberty Valance (Marvin) and after being found by Tom, he is determined to fight back, but not with guns like Tom and the rest fight with, but with the law and justice. The question that anyone who has never seen this film is, who is the man who shoots Valance? I wouldn't tell for anything. Watch it and find out.

4. Iron Man 3

I love Iron Man, but its a 3 because of a few stupid things that's all. This was meant to mark the start of Marvel phase 2 but it feels more like the close to phase 1. I did not like the end to this film either. I have had so many arguments with people in the past about how superhero films are good, fun and have great characters and they are NOT 'boy films' but I'm fed up with it. Marvel movies are awesome, fanatsy/science fiction is fun. Iron Man, Tony Stark is suffering from anxiety attacks from the Avengers Assemble events, specifically flying into a wormhole then falling out of it. In this film his new nemisis, The Manderin is threatening the world by using exploding people. He is a new kind of terrorist that destroys Stark's home and almost, the Iron Man suit. With the second best twist of the Spring, the film was brilliant. And War Machine was barely involved, just the way it should be. Old faithfuls will love it, newcomers too, but those who don't like fantasy, comics or sci-fi, just don't watch it.

5. Star Trek: Into Darkness

This film had the best twist of the Spring, even if it was just a name. But oh, that name. Even though the marvelous Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the 'British villain in an American Movie' club I still think he's brilliant. Cumberbatch plays super terrorist villain, John Harrison (or does he?) who bombs innocent people and attacks Star Fleet's head quarters. Kirk and his crew are on the case to find out why and how he committed these crimes. Excellent follow up to the mind and time bending first film. The changes made in the first film made it possible to re boot the Star Trek franchise and making the sequel darker with twists and gasps was perfect. I don't anything about the original Star Treks apart from what I've learned from Futurama episodes and The Big Bang Theory, so I can safely say I'm a fan of the new. Apart from the main plot of the film, the side story and lack of connection on Spock's side where he is unable to show emotion is actually really sad and means more at the end. Great film.

6. The Great Gatsby
To be fair I have already written a post for this. But just to say again, its really good, I cannot stress that enough. Those critics out there are fussy. Its like the book and its my favourite novel. 4/5

7. Populaire

Firstly, the adverts are wrong, this is not a 'Mad Men meets The Artist' is better than that. It is nothing like The Artist (a great but silent and black and white film) and it only share costumes and 1959 setting with Mad Men, that is all. This film is amazing, I was smiling all through, it is a romantic comedy that is actually good! The romance side played more into the typewriter until later. Set in Normandy, France. Rose Pamphyle, a young modern woman or at least she likes to think so, from a small village wants to be a secretary but her only skill is her typewriting speed. Never the less, she gets a job as Louis Echard's secretary. It is clear that she is not very good at being a secretary but Echard is intrigued by her speedy typewriting and decides to train her for the Speed Typewriting Competition.  From there they grow closer not only as trainer and athlete because, yes speed typewriting is a sport too. It is a delightful film and both leads are entertaining as well as heart warming. This is the definition of a feel good film and it does make you want to get a typewriter. I can't say how much I adore this story, its so new and fresh even though under neath the costumes, setting, typewriting, it is a rom-com but with spirit and drama too.

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