Wednesday 25 February 2015

Late to the Oscars

The day after the Oscars was the day I realised I missed it. No matter, I got to see all the 'best bits' posts which suits me fine as I was unable to watch the ceremony anyway due to having work at 6:30am on Monday.

I cheered and shouted when I saw the results but ultimately Patricia Arquette's speech was the highlight, like Cate Blanchett's speech last year, women sticking up for women. Which is what I like to see.

Firstly, I was appalled disgruntled seeing that Michael Keaton had been snubbed for the Best Actor award. Eddie Redmayne won. This doesn't sit right with me. I'm not a fan of the British actor and saying might seem like a betrayal but he's just not that great, whereas Keaton was superb. Keaton played a character, Redmayne immitated Hawking. Sorry.

Saying this, I was proud to see many Brits nominated and Vanity Fair honoured this with an amazing spread in the Hollywood edition. But again, it's a shame that the only British films that get noticed by Hollywood are costume dramas or biopics. There are amazing British dramas out there that are continuously left out, the UK has far more to offer than Downton 'I'm so bored of this' Abbey.

Ending on a high note, I was over the moon to see that Birdman took home the 'top award' for Best Motion Picture'. I've heard a few people say now that 'it was obvious Oscar bait'. I don't think this is true. A few years ago, a film like Birdman, would never have even been considered. It is a triumph not a sighing moment of acceptance that this amazing film won. True brilliance.

Here is the full list of winners and nominations:

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything

Best Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory Of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Supporting Actor
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

Adapted Screenplay
The Imitation Game
American Sniper
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything

Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song Of The Sea
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya

Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales

Best Cinematography
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert Yeoman
Ida, Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner, Dick Pope
Unbroken, Roger Deakins

Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Guardians Of The Galaxy
X:Men: Days Of Future Past

Film Editing
American Sniper
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into The Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner
Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory Of Everything

Best Original Song
"Glory", Selma
"Everything Is Awesome", The Lego Movie
"Grateful", Beyond the Lights
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You", Glen Campbell…I'll Be Me
"Lost Stars", Begin Again

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Best Documentary
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Makeup And Hair
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Live-Action Short
The Phone Call
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper

Monday 23 February 2015

ABC Movie challenge

After reading Katy's brilliant film blog, Girl Meets Cinema and loving the ABC film challenge, I had to take part and create my list.

Anticipating Movie of 2015 -  Jurassic World 
 The Park is open. And Chris Pratt will be there, with dinosaurs. I'm excited.

Book Adaptation I'd Love To See - Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov

I have to admit, the title caught my eye and the blurb made me read this. A struggling writer agrees to take a job at a newspaper writing obituaries for famous and important people. These are only to be printed in the event of these deaths. Soon many people do start mysteriously dying. The writer becomes involved in a conspiracy that isn't fully clear as it always involves his pet penguin. It would make a great film.

Celebrity I'd Most Like To Meet - Tina Fey

She has been my idol since the very first article I read about her back in 2007. I read about 30 Rock being shown in channel 5 (in the UK its a terrible channel) and about the creator being the first female head writer for SNL. That same week I became obsessed with 30 Rock.  

Dream Director/Actor Pairing - Wes Anderson and Steve Buscemi

Not exactly clear choices but I love them both and I think it would interesting to see Buscemi in an Anderson film, not playing a villain, weirdo or side character. Buscemi is an amazing character actor, the pairing would be beautiful! 


Essential Classic Film - A Night at the Opera
This film is actually in my top 10 favourite films of all time. My parents love the Marx Brothers so my sister and I have been a fan of them for decades. More film fans should exposed to these geniuses. 

Favorite Film Franchise - The Hunger Games
 Gearing up to the DVD release of Mockingjay, I'm getting more and more excited about Part 2. Rereading the books and listening to the audiobooks.

Genre I Watch The Most - thriller 

I tend to watch more thrillers, comedies and dramas.
Hidden Gem - The Fall

Epic in scale but seen by few. It hasn't, as I had hoped, become a cult hit. Tarsem's epic small scale story about a stuntman, hospitalised after an accident/suicide attempt during a film ends up telling a story to a little Romanian girl to pass the time and enthrall her enough to help in his next suicide attempt. From the picture below, you were not excepting that. The stuntman uses people the girl sees day to day an incorporates them into the story which is seen on epic scale and every shot is beautiful. It is definitely worth seeing.

Important Moment in My Film Life - When I first saw The Fellowship of the Ring at the cinema for the first time

I actually wrote a blog post about this experience, you can read about it here.

Just Right for A Rainy Day - Rear Window

This is usually my 'feeling unwell' film to watch, this or 'Soapdish'. When I was at University, I always seemed to watch this when it was raining or to try an unwind.

Kiddie Movie I Still Shamelessly Enjoy -Return to Oz

For ages this was my go to film to watch while I was drunk. I come back at whatever time in the morning and put it on. I would usually end up falling asleep around the time Dorothy discovers Tik-Tok. But I can enjoy this classic children's film anytime.

Location I'd Most Like To Visit - Hobbiton, its the dream
One day I will make it to New Zealand and I will finally fulfill the dream I have had ever since 2001. 

Marathons I Watched - Lord of the Rings, X-MEM, Marvel Superheroes

I have had my own marathons at home. While trying to sort out my room I ended up watching all of the X-Men movies, including the X-3. I sat and watched all the Marvel Superhero movies I had (at the time).

I went to the Prince Charles Cinema in London with my friend to see the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was amazing. It felt like we were camping out, complete with food and my all important flask of coffee. I tried to do it again a year later, but I was by myself, it wasn't the same. The room was extra cold and whole group of children were behind me making noises throughout, I ended up leaving after two films. 
Last year though, I planned and watched all extended editions of The Hobbit AND The Lord of the Rings, it actually took me three days and this wasn't included 'The Battle of the Five Armies'. That was intense.

Netflix Movie I Actually Watched - She Devil

Hilarious gem I watched many times while it was on Netflix. I think its been removed though.

One Movie I Saw In Theaters More Than Once - The Hunger Games, saw it three times, totally worth it.
Preferred Place To Watch A Movie (Cinema or at home) - cinema

Home is comfort and you have everything around you, plus you can pause if needed, but nothing beats the big screen and if you have the right snacks if needed, its perfect.

Quote that Inspires Me - Cate Blanchett, at the Oscars when she won her award for Blue Jasmine. 

"... And thank you to Sony Classics, to Michael and Tom for their extraordinary support, for so bravely and intelligently distributing the film and to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people."

Remakes (Friend or Foe?) Foe
Mostly foe. There are a few exceptions like 'The Girl with the Dragin Tattoo' but in that case both of the films are brilliant. 
Snack I Enjoy Most - coffee

  Technically not a snack but it's my cinematic choice. I always have a coffee in the cinema and sometimes at home, just for watching a film, unless its a drinking game film.

Thrilling Movie That Blows My Mind - Sin City

Sin City is actually my favourite film. I was blown away from it when I first saw it at the cinema. At the time, 2005, no one had seen the technology being used this way. The added comic book effect and the fact it was a series of graphic novels just made it even better.

Unapologetic Fanperson For - Tina Fey and the Coen Brothers

Loved Tina Fey since 2007 but oh, the brothers Coen I am a huge fanperson for. I have their whole collection, including Crimewave which they wrote the screenplay for and The Ladykillers reamke which I don't agree with. I even have Ethan's poetry, short stories, plays and audiobook.

Very Excited For Award Show Season? Yes, I am this year

Wish I Never Watched... Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland 
XXX Movie I First Watched At A Young Age (R or NC-17!) High Plains Drifter, rated 18 and I was 11. I was ill and had been for a few days. I was alone as everyone was at work or school and I had already watched all early morning TV, seen most of the videos we had already and needed something new. High Plains Drifter was right at the back of the cupboard in the 'forbidden' area along with some late night sketch shows that had been taped. I knew who Clint Eastwood was so thought it would be ok. T
o be honest, it wasn't that gruesome and as I recall, not that great either.

Your latest movie-related obsession - Inherent Vice

ZZZ-Catchers (name a movie that has put you to sleep) - Gremlins

Saw this film at University when loads of people came round our house. I think we ran out of seats so I was on the floor and I think we had all been drinking because I fell asleep pretty quickly. I preferred Gremlins 2 anyway.

Sunday 22 February 2015

February Watch List

Those who said this film was confusing are wrong, sorry. The truth is, it doesn't matter. As along as you're watching the screen and listening AND you have a memory, you'll be fine.  A mixture of noir, psychedelic haze and good detective period piece, there is an array of crazy and colourful characters to see and its damn brilliant film. The only thing I don't understand is why everyone was making such a deal over Katherine Waterston? She was good but not amazing, it doesn't help that her character, Shasta is actually only there to start the story. In fact whenever she shows up, things slow down and halt the progression of story. Apart from a few little things that bothered me but didn't really bother me, I can't complain about anything, I cannot praise this film enough. Some have said it was 'hard to follow' or 'it was too confusing'. If you don't try to solve the crimes in this film as linear and just appreciate and watch the characters create chaos and some sort of conclusion, I think you will understand.

I knew that this was going to be unbelievably sad and I wasn't let down.  It was beautifully shot and the cast were sublime, especially Swedish actress, Alicia Vikander as Vera Brittain. As the film was based on Vera's memoir, I knew that she was a feminist first before the war, arguing her right to go to Oxford and eventually getting in on merit. During the war she volunteered as a nurse in England and in France. She lost her fiance, brother and close friends and became a pacifist. She was an inspirational person, with her memoir held in high regard. The film captures this woman's spirit and the pain that people suffered during and after war. A brilliant and moving film.  4/5


Not sure why this was called a comedy horror. I wasn't laughing. I found this film very depressing and without end. In fact as soon as Ryan Reynolds mentally ill would be murderer 'accidentally' kills his first victim, you know there is no happy ending for anyone really.  Directed by Marjane Satrapi who made and wrote the brilliant 'Persepolis' I expected better but this film was a bit of shambles of depression and no balance. The fact that Jerry (Reynolds) talks to his pets (he does the voices too) and sees a doctor almost every other day AND had a mother who was exactly the same again points to sad character trying to be normal but knows deep down hes not. The comedy comes from, actually not idea where but the horror is when he accepts what his cat, Mr Whiskers, says to him and gives in to the murderous urges. I was actually very excited about seeing the film when I first read about it and even when I saw the first trailer but when all info about the film drifted away, I suspected why. It's not very good. Loved the pets though. 2/5

 Formally known as 'Nailed' and was meant to be directed by David O. Russell but he disowned the project crediting the work to 'Stephen Greene' another name for an Alan Smithee film. I had read about the premise for the film a while ago and was intrigued by the story about a woman who ends up with a nail in her head but because she has no health insurance, the medical services won't help her. She meets others who have weird medical issues that interfere with their lives but no one will help. She goes to Washington DC to ask for a bill to be passed that these emergency procedures be performed without insurance needed. It was funny and I have more respect for Jessica Beil (who I thought was just plain boring) but she should do more comedy as should Jake Gyllenhaal who was also very amusing as the hapless politician. Unrealistic to a fault, the girl scouts randomly supporting her cause and the fact the Speaker of Congress wants to push a bill where a Moon Base is built for 'protection and not being blown up' but taking that with a pinch of salt, it was a fun film, that will most likely never see UK cinemas. 3/5

I knew after seeing the trailer and reading about the film that it wasn't going to be great. But now, after actually watching it, I admit, I enjoyed it. I'm not saying it was good, I'm saying I was entertained. There were plenty of moments where I rolled my eyes in despair and my friend felt motion sickness at the cliches and I almost punched the chair next to me every time Eddie Redmayne spoke in that pointless raspy voice. But, I still enjoyed it. The story was difficult to grasp, Jupiter was caught between being endearing and annoying and most of the dialogue was one cliche after another but as wiki described it, a space-opera, it all seems to shift into place. Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is a cleaner and lives with her large family. One day she is abducted by Caine (Channing 'all over your' Tatum') a human sliced with the DNA of a dog or wolf. He tells her that Earth is not the birth place of the human race, it is in fact a planet created for profit. Royal families in the 'real' universe' like the Abrasax family harvest the planets to create a serum that gives them 'more time', its described as an 'industry'. Jupiter, as it turns out, is genetic reincarnation of the Abrasax's children's mother, which means she inherits Earth (following?). Each of the siblings want to meet her, either wanting to to kill her, marry her or convince her to claim Earth. No sci-fi opera film is complete with out the love story which is there throughout like a smack in the face, throughout. I viewed this film as so bad that the good shown through. Some of the graphics were beautifully down, especially the scenes with the planet, Jupiter. The characters were all, as expected, British text book villains, British supporting characters that make mistakes then redeem themselves and of course the American heroes. I think this will become a future guilty pleasure of mine and quite possibly receive 'Showgirls' status one day. Both my friend and I who watched it agreed, sometimes its good to see a not so great film once in a while. And remember, as Sean Bean says 'Bees don't lie'. 2/5

Friday 20 February 2015

Fandom Friday: Have Yet to Watch or Read

Every few months I like to reorganise my DVD collection and sometimes I'll extend this to book collection. I always make a pile of the unread books or unopened films, then proceed to vow to watch and read them all then very slowly actually read or watch them. But that pile grows ever bigger.

1. Unwritten Volume 9. The Unwritten Fables

This was a Fables/Unwritten crossover story arc. It didn't have anything to do with the Fables storylines but it was connected to Fables so I bought it with the intention to read. Alas, I have yet to and I'm actually really behind in my Fables too. I haven't read any of the Unwritten comics and I was hoping this may spur me on to. We shall see.

2. Fables/Fairest comics

 I think, as I am so far behind hide, I will be forced to wait until the paperbacks come out. I haven't read any Fables or Fairest comics since November. I have been caught up in books and my film magazines, but writing that just sounds like an excuse. I'll read the ones I have stored, then I'll catch up. I think I stopped because I knew it was all ending in June. That's right, in case you didn't know, Fables is officially ending in June.

3. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

I was hooked on the Thursday Next series and I have now moved onto the next set of book in audiobook form. I loved the sound of the Nursery Crime Division as it mixes the Next series with a detective vibe involving crimes against literary characters. Sadly other books have come my way since I bought it and it is still on my shelf.

4. Banshee Season 2

For a while I was unable to watch US TV online so I had to wait and buy it on DVD the old fashioned way. After getting Banshee season 1 for my birthday last year I was hooked. The show is about a criminal who sets out to find his old partner/lover after being released from prison. He ends up pretending to be the local Sheriff of a small town that she now lives in under a fake name. The fake Sheriff has a few run in with local gangster/butcher who also happens to have rejected from the Dutch Amish community. Such a great show! It has been a sleeper hit, now in its in 3rd season. I only managed to see 2 episodes from season 2 and then had to endure the wait for the DVD release. I finally got my hands on it but its been a few weeks now. I think I am biding my time.

5. The Aristocats

I have only seen this film once and I don't remember much, just that song, 'Everybody wants to be a Cat'. I prefer dogs so it follows that I never had much interest for this Disney classic. Seeing as I have some Disney points to burn, I got a free DVD and as I had most or didn't want copies, I got this. Once day I'll watch it, I promise.

Friday 13 February 2015

Fandom Friday: Favourite Fictional Couples

I've noticed a 'ship' theme' sorry everyone, I don't quite understand it, so I've just gone for straight up favourite fictional couples, hope you all enjoy.

1. Liz Lemon & Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)

No they're not a couple but they are better than that, they're best representation of best friends I've seen on TV. They are both ridiculous and share so many adventures with each other and quieter moments too. They know each other so well, it transcends the conventional 'couple' status. Plus they are both capable of messing up and admitting to each other - while being hilarious.

2. Ben & Leslie (Parks & Recreation)

I've noticed in reading other's posts that P&R couples are favourites. I think this is because not only is the show brilliantly written but everyone is 'nice'. No nasty people lurking, main characters anyway. Ben and Leslie are an adorable couple who saw, hate saying this, blossom so it felt realistic and just so right!

3. Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games)

They survived two games together and we all know that these two are meant to be (trying not to spoil it for the non-readers here). They make a team, they complete each other, should I go on? They are just a great couple. Forget Gale. He's super lame.

4. FitzSimmons (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)

In season one this one would seem blindingly obvious but in season two so far, I have not been satisfied with the severe lack of FitzSimmons moments. Hoping that will all turn around when it returns to the screens. These are brilliant, not so obvious at the start apart from that they are lifelong friends who are revealed throughout the series to share a bond. Don't break it Marvel or I'll harm the lot of you!

5. Tim & Daisy (Spaced)

This is probably one for the UK, unless it did reach the states. An amazing non traditional 'sitcom' written by the two actors, Jessica Hynes and Simon Pegg, directed by Edgar Wright. This once in a generation TV show was made before they 'all got famous'. Brilliant friendship that didn't go further than that, but as loyal followers know, there was always 'something' there and as revealed in a documentary, Tim & Daisy would have eventually got together, in thier own time, as it should be.

Special mention: Fry & Leela or Fry & Bender (Futurama)

Couldn't pick between the two groupings. One a strange and bizarre relationship that eventually headed in the right direction, the other a bizarre and sometimes meaningful 'bromance', even though I'm sure Bender would not admit.