Tuesday 29 April 2014

Review: The Truman Show (1998)

Not only is this a film off the IMDB Top 250 list, but this morning it was announced on the radio that Paramount Pictures are going to be turning The Truman Show into a TV Show!

Last Saturday I half watched Bruce Almighty whilst doing some housework, and it reminded me just how much I love Jim Carrey. I loved his comedies but I also really enjoyed The Number 23, so it reminded me that I still hadn't seen this film! Cue gasps of horror...
*Gasp of horror* You think I would be over the gasps of horror when finding out you haven't seen something amazing by now, but I'm not!! It still shocks me!  It has been a while since I have seen this film, so I will be brief!
I thought the idea behind this film was fantastic, and increasingly relevant these days with the amount of reality TV show we have now. I was trying to imagine how a modern day version of this would look, but now I won't have to with the new show coming along!  Did you know this film came out in 1998 and the first ever Big Brother aired in 1999? I would have automatically assumed it was the other way round!  That means when this came out it was so far fetched and such a new idea, I wish I could watch it for the first time again before I'd even heard of Big Brother and see if my thought and opinions were different. I actually wondered to myself how that timeline worked you know! I'm happy that this came out first then! I really wish I could go back in time and see it when it first came out...
The film itself was great but there are a few things I never understood. Maybe Jenna can help me? Those little moments, like the light falling out of the sky, and the tiny raincloud following Truman around, were they accidents or were the crew trying to get Truman to realise that this isn't actually real life?  I think these were technical errors in the system (which were bound to happen!) but Truman happened to see them, casting doubt in his mind about his 'world'
Let's now go to the kind of moment I was waiting for throughout the film!
I read somewhere that the whole of this scene was improvised by Jim Carrey...fantastic!  This doesn't surprise me, he is the master of improv!
This was thoroughly entertaining, but I felt saddened by the ending (look away now if you've never seen this before). Truman got to leave the show, but he left behind what he thought was real life. How will he cope in the real world now? He has no job, no place to live, no friends! Very sad indeed...
I remember being heartbroken at the end of this film and it affected me for days, I couldn't forget about Truman and where he had gone and was he happy?!  I found this message board which I found amusing suggesting the various outcomes for Truman after he left the domehttp://goo.gl/iUqjF3
I personally like 'Because there was nobody looking out for him when he left, he was struck and killed by a bus almost immediately.'
Oh wow, that list is brilliant, if a little morbid in places! I love 'Surely he'd go to Fiji'!  'Hit by a cement truck' cracked me up!

Sunday 27 April 2014

DVD Organising

Many of you will probably think I am one sandwich short of a picnic, however, I love to organise my DVD's.  They have been for the last 2 years in alphabetical order, which I thought at the time was the most efficient, I can easily tell if a film is missing or find a film if I'm looking for it.  But, recently I am starting to ponder whether alphabetical is not the best solution.  How often do I head to my DVD shelves and think 'hmmm I fancy a film beginning with H today' and so begin a search!

I've been organising since I was about 5 years old. My Mum loves to remind (tease) me about how I had a pack of 48 Crayola crayons that I used to spend hours organising into different orders, and so unsurprisingly, I too love to organise my DVDs! Thankfully I don't have as many as Jenna...

No, I head to the DVD shelf with 'I fancy a romance film today' therefore, would it be more logical to have them in genre order?  Will this cause chaos if people borrow a DVD, how will I know it's missing? Also, would you file Titanic under romance or disaster movie?!  Captain America under Action or Comic Book?! The problems are endless but it still crosses my mind regularly to make this change.  Am I crazy?  Or am I more crazy for making this seemingly none problem into an entire blog post?!  

We have to admit, this isn't the sanest post we've ever put together! I think it needs a discussion though because I've found myself thinking 'Hmm, I'd really like to watch a thriller' and then I have to stand with my head to one side and read through my entire bookcase.

If you ordered them by genre though, how would you work in films like Zombieland, which I at least would still consider a little scary? Like Jenna said, where does Thor go? Into the Action section, or should I have my own Superhero/Comic Book section? Would Jingle All the Way go into the Comedies or do I create a Christmas section?

I'm getting stressed just thinking about it all....

Answers on a postcard.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I finally went to the cinema to see this last week and I was not disappointed (as I knew I wouldn't be!) I am a huge fan of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and he completely lived up to my expectations, building on the character from the first film and making you love Spidey even more!! I had to wait till yesterday but I was seriously looking forward to this, the first one is probably one of my all time favourite comic films.

This sequel focuses mainly on Peter Parker (Garfield) trying to find out what happened to his parents as well as battling various enemies including Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and - all be it briefly - Rhino (Paul Giamatti).  It also continues to build on the relationship between Parker and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), which personally is my favourite part, but I'm a sucker for a love story! How can you not be when it's Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, probably the cutest couple on the planet ever?!

As a big fan of the Amazing Spider-Man film, I had high hopes for this and superficially I wasn't disappointed, the flying scenes were particularly impressive, even without 3D.  The comedy one liners from Spider-Man were there and the love story was there.  However, I did feel like the whole film came across a bit choppy and hard to follow.  One minute it's this bad guy, then it's that one and then this one is back and then oh look another different bad guy.  It almost felt like two different versions had been filmed and then cut and pasted together.  Certain parts of the film felt rushed while other parts dragged on and on.  When I left the cinema, I read the reviews as I do for every film and the Total Film review actually mentioned that MJ was going to be in this film and Shailene Woodley had filmed scenes but they were all cut. 

The comical moments were great, with one exception! Electro in Times Square, cue dramatic music, tens of police officers on standby, guns ready, and what does he say? "It's my Birthday...time to light my candles..." Urghhh... This clip below though? Comedy gold!

I wish I watched this at the IMAX Giant Screen like I did with the first, because some of the action scenes would have been incredible! They were great enough in 2D to be honest. My heart was literally racing throughout the final fight scene, it was incredible. I thought the film was fine to follow, but it all got a bit rushed at the end. There was really no need for Rhino at all, he was only really in it for about 5 minutes anyway.

I personally didn't see the big shock of the film coming, but after it happened I looked back at the whole film and they had been teasing and hinting at it all the way through, dragging it out unnecessarily I think.  I won't put any spoilers in here but it was a shock for me but it was clever as it curves away from what a comic book movie would normally do, if you have seen the film this will make perfect sense, if you haven't - well go and see it and get back to me!

I've read the comics so I knew what was coming, but damn they really didn't try to hide it. I've learnt from this to never like a film's Facebook page until you've seen it, as I saw a lot of people's angry reactions when a screenshot was posted with the caption 'Will Peter have to pay the ultimate price?'.

None of these 'issues' took away from my love of the film though, it held my attention and I was gripped from beginning to end.  I love the actors and the way they play these characters (although never saw Paul Giamatti as Rhino but it worked!!) and I did very much enjoy the story and would happily watch it again and again.

Great filming, great actors and great characters, if only the story had kept up this would have been a 9 for me. I can't give this a 10 because even I will point out some flaws, but I loved it and can't wait to see it again.

Friday 25 April 2014

A-Z of everything!!!

So this is the A to Z of everything, i.e. what we would consider our favourite character, actor/actress, movie, TV show or quote from each letter of the alphabet!  Not the most exciting of posts but may prompt some ideas for reviews or just keep us entertained for a few weeks trying to fit everything we love in!! 

Or at least what we thought would take us weeks! As I'm writing now, 2-3 days after Jenna created this post, we're probably about 80% done. I'm pretty sure I lost sleep last night trying to think of something for 'I'.

Personally stumped on 'B' and 'Z' (trying not to cheat!!) I could quite easily do a 'B' for you, I'll let you copy mine! ;)

What would be your A-Z? Share with us, we would love to know!
Aaron Paul
(The) Avengers 
Breaking Bad
Benedict Cumberbatch 
 Captain Hook (Once upon a time)
 Chris Hemsworth
Disney's Little Mermaid (is this cheating?!) - Totally :P
Dexter (TV Series)
 Eric (The Little Mermaid)
Emma Stone 
Friends (TV Series)
(The) Goonies
Game of Thrones (TV Series)
(The) Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 
Ice Age 
Jack Sparrow 
Jason Sudeikis 
Khaleesi (Game of Thrones) 
(Anna) Kendrick (Cheating!!) - No way! (yes way!)
Love Actually 
Men at work (TV series)
(The) Muppets 
Now you see me (Guilty Pleasure!!)
Need for Speed 
 Over the Rainbow (Soundtrack)
 Olivia Wilde
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield)
(The) Proposal 


Quentin Tarantino 
(Zachary) Quinto (Is this not Z?!) - Not now I have brackets ;) (more cheating!)
Ryan Gosling 
Ryan Reynolds 
 Spiderman, The Amazing
Sherlock (TV Series)
Tom Hanks
Unagi, The One with (Friends) - And this isn't cheating?! urrrrm!!
Vampire Diaries (The) 
(National Lampoon's) Vacation 
 Walt Disney
White Collar (TV Series)


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Really?) - For Deadpool alone! Gah! Should have known!
Yes Man 
Zooey Deschanel

Thursday 24 April 2014

Review: Adore (2013)

I was bored on Saturday afternoon so I looked through my Sky box to find something to watch while I was re-organising my shoes, so I didn't want anything too taxing or that I had to focus on too much.  So, I picked this film but got more than I bargained for.  

It is the story of two best friends played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright who inadvertently fall for each other's sons.  This wouldn't be weird, except they were childhood friends and raised their sons together, like brothers.  I'm sure situations happen like this in real life all the time, but I found it a little bit disturbing (particularly since I kept mixing up which son was which making it that much worse!).  Many reviews online are praising this a beautiful and heartfelt.  Don't get me wrong I think both the leading ladies are brilliant actresses and both play their parts spectacularly throughout the film.  The story is compelling and interesting but 'beautiful' and 'heartfelt' I didn't see.  This is touching on the very taboo subject of incest and although it's not technically incest, it borders on it, as both lead characters confirming they had 'crossed a line'.  

I think this film is clever in it's use of a taboo subject to make an interested film which was beautifully shot and well written also a key insight into various subjects, friendship, love, forbidden relationships, adultery and heartbreak.  

This sounds like a seriously odd film, but I have to say, at least it's an original idea! Not one I'll rush out to see but I'll happily watch anything once.

Overall, I have chosen my rating on the filming, the development of the character relationships, the writing and the acting.  Although, I found the subject a little bit out of my comfort zone, this doesn't take away from the overall quality of the film.


Tuesday 22 April 2014

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

I seriously can't believe it's been 3 years since Captain America: The First Avenger! I was so happy to see this on the weekend with my gang. I have to admit, I'm actually more of  a DC girl, and Cap isn't my favourite Avenger, but who doesn't love a good ol' superhero flick? I'll try to keep this spoiler free. Allie being the DC girl, I am most definitely the Marvel girl (and a sucker for Chris Evans in a tight fitting outfit!!) therefore my review may be slightly biased!! Got to see this with my Dad a week or so ago and I'm so glad I saw it at the cinema, there is so much more atmosphere there than in your living room with a cup of tea and a pair of slippers! (I'm rambling again!!)

I'm sorry to say that I wasn't a big fan of the first film, not to say I didn't think it was good, but the story just didn't grab me. I'm not overly excited by war films, and yes, I do understand that's kind of Cap's thing, but that's just me! I'd heard great things about the new one though.  Ooooh that hurts (you wait until the Green Lantern review missy!) I loved the first film, although I am a fan of war films in general so it hit two notes for me.  However, funnily enough the trailer for this film didn't grab me, I honestly thought it looked a bit rubbish, too cheesy and had overly set up jokes. Fortunately, my initial judgement was unfounded once I actually saw the film. 

Safe to say it didn't disappoint me. This was the perfect mix of action, funny one liners, and explosions. There were twists, some expected, one very much so, but some that took me by complete surprise too and I love that. Also, as much as I can't stand Scarlett Johanssen, we got to find out a lot more about her character, and the inclusion of Falcon was a great move too.  I agree, if we are talking about the same twist, I guessed it too, it was so bloody obvious!  Not a fan of SJ, nor Black Widow so her back story and life bored me totally but everything else made up for that, Cap (that beautiful, beautiful man!) was ace, I enjoyed the story (although as a non-comic book reader, there was a huge spoiler on the cover of my Empire magazine which was disappointing and killed one of the 'gosh' moments for me! 

There are plenty of easter eggs for the die hard Marvel fans; Black Widow's necklace was my favourite one, I may have squeed a little in the cinema! The main thing that disappointed me though was that the film didn't really set us up for Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I was expecting it too.  I don't think I would have spotted this unless you had told me Allie so my favourite Easter egg was the mention of Tony Stark having 'a closer look' at the turbines on the hellicarriers, referring to the scene in The Avengers. Plus Stan Lee's usual presence, this time as a security guard in the Smithsonian Museum.

Nonetheless though, I really enjoyed this, Oh, and as usual, make sure you stay till after the credits! They don't play with you like Iron Man 3 did, don't worry. Not just until after the initial credits either, you have to stay until the end of the rolling black and white credits as there are two extra scenes for you to enjoy!

One more thing! If anyone can find out how much Chevrolet paid for the crazy amount of product placement, I would love to know! Love it!

Action, adventure, good guy wins, bad guy loses and plenty of comedic one liners to keep it flowing.  Good shout Marvel :-)

Review: The Usual Suspects (1995)

Last night was our first official Flick Chicks get together! It's also been 4 weeks exactly since we created this blog. Exciting times! We had 2 films planned to watch, but due to a technical hitch and general chit chat, we only had time to watch 1. We chose wisely and went with a film near the top of the IMDB Top 250 list, The Usual Suspects.  Actually 'last night' was quite a while ago, but as usual I have delayed the publishing of this post!! I know, I know i'm terrible, but i always have the best intentions to 'add to this one on my lunch break' or 'type that up after work' which generally gets overrun by food or...no usually food!!  Anyway, back to it, quite pleased to be reviewing a film on the IMDB Top 250 list, if only to test out whether the hyperlinks work!! ;-)

Films are much more enjoyable when watched with company, and we had a great time watching this. I think Jenna will agree with me though that the first half an hour or so was really difficult to follow. We were both sat in front of the TV a little like this:

That was exactly my face to be fair!! We got our heads around it all in the end! Don't ask me to recall all of the main characters names though...

I think we felt a tad disappointed that we both worked out what the plot twist would be. We literally both had a lightbulb moment at exactly the same time! (I still think it was really obvious!) That said though, we both knew that this film had a massive plot twist, which is what made it so popular, so we spent the whole film trying to work out what it might be.  I did find it difficult to follow and to be honest if the ending hadn't been so good, I might have enjoyed this film a lot less! I think it is one of those films that is only good because of the ending, when you can go back and re-watch the whole film just to see if you missed any clues.  Although, not so much in this case as Allie mentioned we both had our lightbulb moments and clocked the twist very early on.  I was surprised actually because I asked my Dad who watched it years ago if he figured it out and he said he had no idea (and he's REALLY smart!!)

I get the feeling that Bryan Singer is going to be using a lot of these plot upon plot, twists, turns and confusion in my most anticipated film of the year X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Watching this has only made me want to see it more, to see what plot twists might come about.  Adding in the time travel element, my brain might actually explode ;-)

Even though we knew it was coming, the ending was fantastic. It actually made us laugh out loud! I'm really glad we watched this. Fully agree, plus very much enjoyed checking out the trivia on IMDB and rewinding (how very old fashioned of me!) the film to spot them, I think this will come to be a Flick Chicks tradition!  I wanted to give this a 9 but I think by losing grip of the plot in the early parts of the film, I lost a certain level of interest in the ending!

Sunday 20 April 2014

Review: Bridge to Terabithia

Last week I posted a message on the IMDB boards, asking for some recommendations. I asked about films that had a huge plot twist, after watching The Usual Suspects. Now I know, asking for that is kind of a spoiler in itself, but I was curious! I had several replies with the usual Sixth Sense, Fight Club, etc, but one post stood out to me in particular. They suggested Bridge to Terabithia, which I'd heard of, a Disney film! That alone was enough to make me dig this film out.

Although curious, I was a little apprehensive too. I love Disney films, don't get me wrong, but at 24 years of age I worried I was too old to appreciate this. Oh, how wrong I was!

Do you recognise that baby face by the way? It's Peeta from The Hunger Games! I couldn't get over just how young he looked, this film isn't even really that old! It even has Zooey Deschanel in it, but I got really confused because she is basically Jess Day in it...

Anyway, the film is about two children Jess and Leslie, who have a really tough time at school, and in Jess' case, at home too. They find some land just a rope swing over the river away, and turn it into their own imaginary, magical land. Each creature they imagine is based on someone in their lives, which is an interesting and often comical idea.

I won't ruin the twist for you, but I didn't see it coming at all, and I was looking for it to, and it really hit me hard. This is a Disney film, folks! I almost turned it off just so that I could imagine it never happened...

I really loved this film and I knew my Mum and littlest Brother had seen it, so I asked them what they thought about it. They had a completely different opinion to me and thought it was boring and depressing! So this film isn't for everyone, I now know. But if you have a spare hour and a half, and you feel a little curious too, just give it a try.

Friday 18 April 2014

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

I couldn't bear to watch this film at the cinema. I really wanted to see it, and I did at the second opportunity, but I can't sit still for 3 hours in a cinema! I can happily say that I've watched it in the comfort of my own home in two sittings.  I really wanted to see this at the cinema but had to be aware that it was NSFD, the D being Dad!!  I usually head to the cinema with the old fart but I have to be careful what we see (a prime example was the opening scene of Dallas Buyers Club - awkward!!!)

So, the film is based around the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who after joining a 'penny-stock' firm decides to start his own company and so begins Stratton Oakmont.  What follows is divorce, prostitutes, drugs, money, drugs, more prostitutes, parties and a trophy wife.

Jenna had warned me about some of the scenes in this film. It is most definitely NSFT, NSFP and a lot of other acronyms which we need to dedicate a blog post of its own to. There are some shocking scenes, but I think what shocked me the most was learning that many of them had been toned down during editing! I dread to think what the originals would have looked like!

I really enjoyed this film, but I have to admit it did lose me in certain places. I get distracted easily and I stopped paying attention at one point. To be fair to the film though, I have absolutely zero knowledge of the stock broker market, nor do I have any interest in learning about it, so it wouldn't be fair of me to call those parts boring.  I have to disagree, I was gripped from beginning to end, I didn't even notice how long the film was until it finished.  The story was great and somehow made you love a character that you should hate, DiCaprio does help with this though as he is just so likeable! As someone who isn't a die hard fan of Scorsese's work (I think Goodfellas is a must see on our to-do list!) I think this might be by favourite of his (at the moment!) and particularly my favourite partnership between him and DiCaprio (I found Shutter Island too dull until the end and lost the plot completely with The Departed)

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the scene below? It was my favourite scene and had me howling with laughter!  This was also by far my favourite scene, as well as the morning after when he sees the car!! Brilliant!

So all in all for me, an enjoyable, funny film, but far too long! I certainly won't be watching the extended, 4 hour long version. - I will!!!  I'll post an update when I've seen it!

Very funny, very enjoyable would happily watch it again.  Although, I wasn't bothered by the length of the film, it could have been cut shorter and been made more concise in certain places to accommodate the Allie's of the world ;-)
What I really needed was you there to explain all the bits I dozed off to!