Saturday 31 May 2014

Review: Office Space (1999)

For whatever reason, IMDB has been telling me for months that I need to watch Office Space. It's been one of those films that I really wanted to watch and kept on putting off for no real reason. I work in an office myself so really appreciate office comedy, and it's got Jennifer Aniston in, one of my favourite actresses! As you've probably gathered, I got round to watching it in the end...

Office Space tells the story of Peter Gibbons and his colleagues, who don't enjoy their jobs at all. Management have hired some consultants to downsize the company. Peter is also having problems at home; his girlfriend is cheating on him but convinces him to go to therapy to talk through his issues. In a strange turn of events, Peter actually gets a promotion, and learns that his two closest friends are going to be fired. Together, they hatch a scheme to infect the company's computers with a virus that will pilfer funds from the business to their own bank account.

To be honest, straight after watching this, I wasn't that impressed. It was funny, sure, but it didn't make me laugh out loud, and as Jenna will tell you, I'm easily amused. There was one particular scene that just tickled me and I couldn't stop laughing, this one:

That's just a short clip unfortunately, but it's enough to give you the gist of what's going on. As someone who works in a city but lives on the outskirts, I really connected with that scene!
The more I think about Office Space, the more I actually like it. There's a lot of office comedy out right now, and with TV Shows like The Office and films like Horrible Bosses, Office Space is sort of sadly forgotten. I can understand why it had such amazing reviews when it came out though, I won't argue with those.  I actually don't think this has been forgotten, in fact after watching it I found I finally understood a shed load of memes that I didn't understand before, here are a few of my favourites:

I really enjoyed this film, it was well written and funny and still rings true to offices today.  I think compared to some 90's comedy films, it has aged well.  The smashing of the printer scene had me in stitches, I have spent so many hours daydreaming about destroying the printer (particularly the one in my current office that sounds like it is trying to make contact with an alien species every time you print something!).  One liners keep the pace up and Milton's (Stephen Root) sillier character keep it from being too serious. 
I wouldn't say that this film is timeless, but there are certain jokes and themes that still ring true to this day. The rage you feel about the printer absolutely, and how protective you get over stationary for sure! Thankfully my boss isn't quite as bad as Lumbergh. I fully agree, my stationery is my life, I have lost 6 staplers since travelling abroad for work and it's starting to make me very twitchy, if people ask to borrow it now I follow them around until I get it back :-) I come across like Milton 'I believe you have my stapler' haha!

This is only a must watch for office workers I would say, anyone else just wouldn't connect with it enough to find it funny.

I would happily watch this again, if only for Stephen Root, who is by far the highlight of this film.  Would have been a 7 if not for him.

Friday 30 May 2014

Review: The Woman in Black (2012)

Why do I do these things to myself? I've already mentioned that I don't cope well with scary films, yet still I try one every now and again! To be honest, I actually don't mind watching a scary film if I have friends over. We can talk through all the quiet, suspense-building scenes, and then scream and laugh at each other with each jumpy moment. I thought that I would be okay with The Woman in Black though, it was given a 12A rating in the UK! I am also not a fan of horror films, I don't find them particularly interesting and I find more and more modern horror films are all either remakes or false suspense like Paranormal Activity, not entertaining just irritating.  Saying that, I recently watched The Conjuring which dashed all my assumptions of modern horror movies by focusing on the story, which was actually interesting and not on jumping the viewer - but I'm going off on a tangent now!!

The other night, we had our friends over to play some games, and as I'd just picked up The Woman in Black and we've been talking for ages about doing a scary movie sleepover once they've moved house, we thought why not just watch this now.
I struggled at first to understand the storyline, but from what I gather; Daniel Radcliffe plays a young lawyer who has lost his wife. He's been struggling at work and his boss has given him one last chance to redeem himself, and sends him to a remote village to deal with the paperwork relating to an old house where the owner has died. I'm pretty sure you can picture the rest.
There is absolutely no way that this should have been a 12A! I looked into the changes that had been made in order to be awarded that rating, and it's miniscule. About 15 seconds from the total film were cut. I couldn't imagine my 10 year old self enjoying this at all... Funnily enough, I wasn't scared of films when I was a kid but when I turned about 20 it all went wrong...
Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this film. The suspense got the best of me more than a few times and the guys were laughing at me and my friend Robyn because we kept screaming and talking through the too-quiet moments. The clip below was one of the moments we were hiding in our jumpers going 'lalalalala'!  I might have to get you round for a movie night if I want to even attempt to watch this, the trouble I find is not throughout the movie, but at the end when you have to turn the tele off and go upstairs on your own in the dark and check all your cupboards for 'people'
The story was interesting, it didn't go off on a tangent at all and the ending was unexpected but satisfying. It can be translated in two ways and I'm not sure which I prefer yet. This would have been an easy 8 for me but there were quite a few scare moments in it that were just un-necessary. Also I gather there's been a sequel!?  I hadn't heard of a sequel but maybe we can do a double whammy movie night if there is ;-)

Thursday 29 May 2014

Blogathon: A-Z Movie Titles

This is Brittani at Rambling Films' first Blogathon and as it will be our turn soon I'm sure we should try to contribute to as many as possible in hopes that people think the same for us when it's our first time!

So the rules are:

1) Going through the alphabet, list your favourite movie title beginning with each letter. 

2) You don't have to necessarily like the movie to use it's title. 

As simple as that.  This is the link to the original post on Rambling Films in case you want to join in

This is actually more fun than I thought it would be. We already posted an A-Z of our favourite Films, TV Shows etc but this is an A-Z of our favourite film titles. Loads of mine are actually films I haven't seen yet but I love the names!
A Beautiful Mind
A Million Ways to Die in the West

Back to the Future
Black Swan
Cool Hand Luke
Crazy, Stupid, Love

Dude, Where's my car
Die Hard

Easy A
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Forrest Gump

Groundhog Day

How to Train Your Dragon

 Inglorious Basterds

 John Dies at the End

Killing Them Softly
 Kingdom of Heaven

Life is Beautiful
Little Miss Sunshine

Monsters, Inc

Now You See Me
Need for Speed

Only God Forgives
Olympus Has Fallen

(The) Pursuit of Happyness
(The) Perks of Being a Wallflower

(The) Queen
Queen of the Night

Requiem for a Dream
Race to Witch Mountain

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Spirited Away

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

 Up in the Air

Vertical Limit
V for Vendetta

 (The) Wolf of Wall Street

 X-Men: Days of Future Past
 X-Men: First Class

Youth in Revolt
Yes Man

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Review: Godzilla (2014)

Please allow me a moment of ignorance right now. I have never seen a Godzilla movie. Mercifully, this confession has so far been met with shrugs of shoulders, and no one seems to think it's a big deal. Last weekend I gladly walked blindly into my local IMAX to witness Godzilla for myself.

I learnt something new about a week ago too. There's a fantastic cinema inside Millennium Point in Birmingham, which was an IMAX. About 2 or 3 years ago they re-branded to The Giant Screen, and I always assumed that it was still an IMAX, but it isn't! I'm equal parts shocked/betrayed/confused about that. So after a confusing chat with friends, we booked at an actual IMAX cinema.  I used to love the IMAX at Millennium Point but when they changed it to Giant Screen it was rubbish, went once and never went back again!

I promise to try to keep this as spoiler free as I can, but if you haven't seen Godzilla yet or know much about it, maybe you should check out another page of ours!

Firstly, I can't emphasise how amazing the IMAX experience was, especially for a film like this. Godzilla's roar literally made my seat shake!

There was a lot in this that I didn't understand very well (shut your face Jenna!) but that's probably down to my lack of knowledge on anything Godzilla more than anything else. Also, I had no idea that Godzilla is actually a good guy?! That's where his name comes from I'm guessing...think, Allie, think.  Don't worry Allie, there was a lot I didn't understand, mainly because they didn't explain it, the characters just pulled suggestions/ideas out of thin air with no justification and they just happened to be true!  As for not knowing that he was a good guy, it depends which version of the film you watch, the 1998 film with Matthew Broderick shows a different perspective.

Honestly, this film was nearly perfect. Godzilla himself? Awesome. The other monsters? Terrifying. The music? Blew me away! It could have definitely done with more action and more of Godzilla himself, but I appreciate that then we would all whine that there wasn't enough of a storyline.  I could tell what the Director was trying to do, bring through the human element and make Godzilla almost a supporting character in the background, unfortunately it didn't sit too well with me.  They didn't showcase any one characters personality enough to care about the human element so you spent the whole film gagging for more Godzilla action and less of Dr Serizawa staring dumbstruck into the distance, while his sidekick explains why.

I'm completely gutted that Bryan Cranston only had a small role in this, in fact, the first trailer was really misleading in regards to Bryan. I also didn't like Aaron Taylor-Johnson in this. He was great in Kick-Ass but he lacked something in Godzilla. He just didn't seem to care that much if that makes sense?  All the characters lacked something I thought, they massively underutilised Bryan Cranston and briefly touched on family issues in the Brody family but never went deep enough for me to care.  Does it make sense that this guy, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) would completely walk out on his father who appears initially to have had some sort of psychotic break but will miss a flight to see his family to help a small child he has never met before?? Yeah that's what I was thinking too, but then I don't think I would have wanted to sacrifice Godzilla screen time to go into more character development.

I loved the film though. I'll be getting it on Blu-Ray when it comes out, and I'm even tempted to watch a previous Godzilla film to fill in the gap. Does anyone have any suggestions?

The idea of focusing on the humans (instead of the monsters) and how they deal with the situation was a good concept but didn't quite do enough for me to enjoy it.  The serious nature of the film means that errors in the plotline are massively highlighted where they would have been laughed off in a joke in the 1998 version. I'm just happy that for once my confusion is justified and not just me being thick!

Monday 26 May 2014

Review: Turbo (2013)

I've done a terrible thing. I told you all in my Best and Worst: Ryan Reynolds post that I'd seen every film Ryan Reynolds was in, and I hadn't! Technically I don't think this should count as it's just his voice in the film, but as me and Jenna were going through IMDB lists, I suddenly realised I hadn't seen Turbo yet. Netflix to the rescue! Really? I'm amazed, I remember you being so excited when it was announced.  I actually saw this on a flight to god knows where while it was on at the cinema in the UK.

It doesn't matter how old I get, I'll always be excited about animated films. I've always loved DreamWorks films, possibly more than Disney, but let's save that for a planned post we have for the future! WHAT?! This is definitely a discussion we need to have in the future!!
You can probably guess the story for Turbo without watching the trailer. Theo is an ordinary garden snail who dreams of winning the Indy 5000, a famous car race. He winds up in an accident which gives him nitros powers, essentially changing him from Theo into Turbo.
I'll be honest, the plot was incredibly obvious, but you have to remember that this is predominantly a kid's film; you shouldn't expect an Inception style plot! Nevermind the kids, you wouldn't understand it if they made it too complicated!! ;-) - Hey!! That said, the story is still enjoyable and you really do root for Turbo throughout the film. The other snails are perfect side characters too, and virtually everything that Samuel L Jackson's snail, Whiplash, says will make you laugh.  Agreed, I loved him!
There are plenty other famous voices in this too which you'll have fun trying to identify, especially the little old lady who runs the nail salon! I'll give you a hint - The Hangover! The cast of this is pretty incredible to be fair, if all these actors were in a live action film together it would have to be a must see!!
I really did enjoy this film even if it was missing the hidden 'just for adults' jokes that Shrek provides.  It was more for kids and less for adults with a liking for kids films.  The story as Allie said was predictable but you don't expect anything else and it is perfectly enjoyable (and ideally SFP!!).  The animation (as expected these days) is faultless and has your eyes glued to the screen even if the storyline doesn't.
If that's not enough for you, there's a great moment poking fun at how the internet just takes everything too far! 

All in all, a decent movie that your kids will love, even if you don't. Plus, at least now I really can say that I've seen every film Ryan Reynolds has been in!  Well done, quite an achievement!!

Enjoyable but for me a 'one watch wonder'

Saturday 24 May 2014

Top 10 Disney Songs (Jenna)

This post is easy for me, I have loved Disney songs since I was little.  Me and Mom would put the films on and fast forward to the best songs (old school VHS!) and turn the TV up as loud as it would go and dance around the living room like crazy people.  So I have the fondest memories of many Disney songs but these are my top 10:

10.  Following the Leader - Peter Pan (1953)

This isn't actually one of my favourites, but it was my Mom's favourite (as was Peter Pan) and I remember her forcing me to sing along with my cousins while making a train around the living room and following the leader!! 

9. Gaston - Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Didn't expect that one did you?!  I really love Beauty and the Beast and as much as I love the soppy love songs, this song is great to sing full blast in your car.  If you hadn't guessed I have more than one Disney album in my car and when this comes on, I turn it right up and sing at the top of my voice.  Took me years (and a print out) to learn all the words so I have to make it worth it!

8.  Be Our Guest - Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Spent an entire car journey singing this with my cousin once.  Another one that took me so long to learn all the (right) words, I feel a sense of pride now when I can sing it all the way through.  Plus this is the most exciting part of the film with all the plates and cutlery flying through the air and Belle's look on wonder.  Makes me smile every time!  Plus I think everyone will agree that Lumiere is without fail the best character in this film.

7. Hakuna Matata - The Lion King (1994)

Not only do I love the tune of this song and to sing along too but I also love the sentiment:

'it means no worries for the rest of your days, its our problem free, philosophy, Hakuna Matata'

6. Colours of the Wind - Pocahontas (1995)

This is probably my least favourite Disney film, I have watched it once and I have never had the urge to watch it again.  However, I have this song in my car and it's truly beautiful.

5.  One Jump Ahead - Aladdin (1992)

This is my favourite part of this film, I could watch the scene again and again.  I just always want the song to be longer, it seems so short!

4. Zero to Hero - Hercules (1997)

I should put this in small text but I've never seen this film all the way through, I have watched bits and pieces.  I do need to sit down and watch it properly because I don't know anyone who doesn't love it so it must be good.  Particularly, if it's all like this song, which is awesome.

3.  A Whole New World - Aladdin (1992)

This is a classic Disney love song, easy to learn the tune and the words (not like Gaston!) and anyone who hears it will know where it's from.  It's just a beautiful song.

2. Let's Go Fly a Kite - Mary Poppins (1964)

This song is sentimental to me, I can't hear it without crying like a girl!  I watched a lot of Disney as a kid but this film reminds me of my Mom so much. Not sure if it's because Julie Andrews reminds me of her and it's a sad moment for her character, but this song for some reason tugs on some heart string and possibly a tear duct.  It's right at the end of the film and a great way to finish it off, I love watched Mr Banks flying the kite with his children, it's a lovely ending.

1. Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid (1989)

My favourite Disney film of all time and the first film I ever saw at the cinema.  I loved this song from the second I heard it and as a kid I spent hours in the bath pretending to be a mermaid and singing it at the top of my lungs (my poor parents!!).  The perfect choice for my number one spot.