You are viewing moviebuffs

MOVIE BUFFS' Journal [entries|friends|calendar]

[ website | Cult Movie and TV Original Art ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

Sing-A-Long Frozen [24 May 2015|12:39am]

[ mood | awake ]

There was a bit of a works outing today with myself and two of my colleagues taking three of our service users to see the Sing-a-long version of Frozen at the Prince Charles Cinema. (They are currently screening this every Saturday for as long as the demand lasts - possibly forever on today's evidence.
Luckily none of my crowd wanted to get involved on the fancy dress side of things but for the most part they through themselves wholeheartedly into the interactive sections. Its a bit of a hybrid between cinema and pantomime with the audience encouraged to sing along with the (subtitled) songs, cheer the heroes, boo the villains etc.
This was only my second time seeing the movie, though I gather that there are millions of long suffering parents who have endured countless repeat viewings. I actually quite like the film as modern Disney movies go. I especially like the slight subversion of the Disney princess motif (where the handsome prince is a necessary requirement) and some of the songs are annoyingly catchy.
What I got today, maybe for the first time is what this movie has come to mean to the main target audience for this film (little girls) who soundly identify with the main characters and who live every moment of the film (and each note of many of the songs) no matter how many times they have seen it. At the key moments in the film today the area between the front row and the screen was filled with sweet little girls in princess costumes singing, dancing and twirling entirely unselfconsciously living the magic of the film. An argument could be made about Disney brain-washing - but it is clearly powerful stuff.

tear your ticket

[22 May 2015|04:33pm]

I went to my second screening at this year's Seattle International Film Festival last night.

Boulevard (2014)

In one of his final roles, Robin Williams delivers a subtle, affecting performance as a 60-year-old man deep in the closet, but after a sudden meeting with a young hustler, he finds that he can no longer keep living a lie, and begins to come to terms with being gay. Punk musician turned director Dito Montiel crafts a sound drama, and while it doesn't tread new ground thematically, it does allow the audience to empathize with a man denying his own truth and slowly builds to an emotionally satisfying finale. Sometimes you have to lose what you have in order to gain something more. The quality cast includes Kathy Baker as Williams' character's wife, Bob Odenkirk as his best friend, and Roberto Aguire as the hustler. It's a touching memorial to the talent of Williams.
tear your ticket

It Might Get Loud, Montage Of Heck & The Magic Trip [22 May 2015|01:49am]

[ mood | awake ]

Three documentaries on music & culture:

Three musicians, The Edge (from U2), Jimmy Page and Jack White are interviewed separately then chat together about their music and influences with particular reference to the electric guitar - which is the star of this particular show. The insights into the journeys these iconic musicians have made are quite enjoyable but watching them play with and for each other is amazing. The moment where Jack White and The Edge's eyes light up when Page plays a Led Zeppelin lick is (for me at least) by itself worth the price of the dvd.

This is a pretty interesting look into the life and times of Kurt Cobain. The film makers have impressive access to Cobain's friends and family but also Cobain's art, scrap books, journals and home movies. I'm not sure how much I learned about the reasons behind his suicide but the glimpse behind the tabloid headlines and media hype has maybe helped me understand the man a little more.

In the early 1960's author Ken Kesey and some friends boarded a converted school bus and traveled across America to see The Worlds Fair in New York. A few years later the hippies might have called this 'a happening' but there were no real hippies at this time. The hugely influential beat poets had started to kick the doors of the counter culture open but Ken Kesey and his 'Band Of Merry Pranksters' drove their bus right through them. Much of the trip was filmed for the basis of an intended movie but 40 years later that was still to get off the ground.
This documentary manages to some extent to do that. Many of the participants gave recorded interviews to Kesey shortly after the trip so memories and opinions are not as steeped in nostalgia as they might have been now. An incredible moment of cultural history is captured here. If the beat poets were the parents of the counter cultural revolution, this film shows that Kesey may well be the midwife. This stuff should be taught in schools!

tear your ticket

"THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL" (2014) Photo Gallery [21 May 2015|01:43pm]


"THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL" (2014) Photo Gallery

Here is a GALLERY featuring images from the Oscar nominated comedy, "THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL". Written and directed by Wes Anderson, the movie starred Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori.
tear your ticket

Out of Italy [20 May 2015|09:43pm]

[ mood | okay ]

I've posted a review of La Vita Facile over at my journal.

Review here:

tear your ticket

"THUNDERBALL" (1965) Review [18 May 2015|03:27pm]


"THUNDERBALL" (1965) Review

I wrote this REVIEW of the 1965 James Bond film, "THUNDERBALL". Based upon Ian Fleming's 1961 novel and directed by Terence Young, the movie starred Sean Connery as James Bond.
tear your ticket

[17 May 2015|03:25am]

I went to my first screening at this year's Seattle International Film Festival last night.

The Hallow (2015)

An Irish horror film about a rural family under attack from monstrous figures lurking in the woods. Director Corin Hardy's first feature film has a focused narrative, a high scare factor, quality creature effects, and is visually polished. Once it gets going, it keeps you on the edge of your seat 'til the end (then throws in another scare mid-end credits). Hardy's next gig is directing the reboot of The Crow. Recommended.
tear your ticket

Two for the Price of One [16 May 2015|05:35pm]

[ mood | content ]

I've posted a review of Pier 23 over at my journal.


tear your ticket

The Princess and the Reporter [13 May 2015|04:44pm]

[ mood | annoyed ]

I've posted a review of the comedy-drama Roman Holiday over at my journal.


tear your ticket

Kill Your Darlings & Carnage [13 May 2015|10:19pm]

[ mood | awake ]

Two catch up movie reviews:

Set at the dawn of the beat poet cultural revolution, the story of this film is set around a significant event in the early life of Allen Ginsberg and his young college friends, namely a murder. The killing and subsequent trial are real and actual events. The film even flies the 'based on a true story' banner. It might perhaps be better described as 'based on the writings of Allen Ginsberg' who wrote a semi-fictionalized account of the events. I don't know how much is fact, guesswork of literary invention but the story remains compelling.
Some of the great figures of American literature are here on screen, Ginsberg, Kerouac and William Burroughs. We see them begin to form their counter-cultural ideas against a backdrop of literary, moral and sexual repression. The fact that they also become connected to such a brutal crime is incredible. The excellent cast and script bring vividly to life a very particular moment in time, a genuine crossroads for the people involved and its great to watch. Daniel Radcliffe stretches himself quite far from his Harry Potter roots by playing the lead role here and that may well be the primary thought in a lot of minds since he took the role. He isnt at all bad either, but the film would have remained fascinating regardless of which actor was cast.

Based on an international hit play, Roman Polanski directs a brilliant cast in this sophisticated farce. Jodie Foster, Kate Winslett, Christoph Waltz and John C. Riley make up almost the entire cast of the film which is almost entirely set in a single Brooklyn apartment. Two couples have been brought together when the child of one couple physically assaults the child of the other couple. What starts with two middle-class couples affecting a 'civilized' meeting to resolve the situation quickly descends into a bitter rivalry between the two couples which also exposes the weaknesses in both marriages. Sometimes its couple verses couple, sometimes its gender verses gender and sometimes its one character verses the other three but each are given their chance to be challenged and to state their opinions honestly. None of the characters turn out to be particularly likable but each are eloquent in their own way. The tone remains farcical as the sparring couple beat the levels of pretension of each other. Once the alcohol starts to flow the apartment could well be the island from Lord Of The Flies as far as 'civilized behaviour' goes.
Clearly with this director, cast and script you can expect a wonderful, theatrical piece of entertainment and Carnage delivers that without disappointment.

5 movie buffs| tear your ticket

"KELLY'S HEROES" (1970) Photo Gallery [11 May 2015|09:21pm]


"KELLY'S HEROES" (1970) Photo Gallery

Here is a GALLERY featuring images from 1970 World War II comedy, "KELLY'S HEROES". Directed by Brian G. Hutton, the movie starred Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland.
tear your ticket

Cops and Politicians [10 May 2015|06:26pm]

[ mood | content ]

I've posted a review of the movie Bullitt over at my journal.


tear your ticket

Blade Runner [10 May 2015|02:06am]

[ mood | pleased ]

I saw Blade Runner on the big screen for the first time tonight. The Prince Charles Cinema have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film's release by showing 'The Final Cut' version. It looked spectacular and (something I hadn't actually considered) sounded amazing. There are only a few films now that remain on my big screen wish list as most films I have either seen on the big screen already or I don't mind if I only watch them on tv/dvd. Akira is one of the few remaining and the cinema are showing that in a few weeks and I may well book myself a ticket for that as Blade Runner on the big screen certainly did not disappoint.

tear your ticket

Magnificent Citizen [06 May 2015|11:14pm]

[ mood | rushed ]

As part of the Hit Me With Your Best Shot Challenge, I've posted a review and an eventual re-review of two Orson Welles' movies; The Magnificent Ambersons and Citizen Kane.

Ambersons review:
Kane re-review:

tear your ticket

"THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD" (1938) Review [06 May 2015|07:03pm]



I wrote this REVIEW of the 1938 classic adventure film, "THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD". Directed by Michael Curtiz, the movie starred Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland.
tear your ticket

Only Lovers Left Alive and Byzantium [04 May 2015|01:18am]

[ mood | awake ]

Two excellent and original Vampire Films:

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE sees Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play vampires-as reclusive rock stars. Blood is a heroin metaphor (addictive, of variable quality and potentially difficult to score, unless you have a dealer). The usual vampire tropes are left far in the background for much of the film. We see the two main characters dealing with their immortality: she revels in sitting back and enjoying human chaos, he is depressed and considering suicide. The arrival of a disruptive younger vampire becomes the catalyst for change. John Hurt also appears, playing a vempire Christopher Marlowe, the 'real' author of Shakespeare's plays. The film luxuriates in its faded bohemian glory and the lugubrious pacing reflecting the ennui of the eternal central characters. It may be a bit artsy for some tastes but the performances and execution of the film are pretty near perfect.

BYZANTIUM also takes an original path into Vampire mythology. Neil Jordan (who took a similarly original journey with werewolves in 'A Company Of Wolves) directs, and the movie always feels like it is in safe hands. The novel take on this is that the two central characters are women, which nicely flips the usual predator/prey gender stereotypes. Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan play a mother/daughter vampire pair, passing themselves off as sisters to the unknowing world. Arterton plays the elder, keeping the pair constantly moving and in front of those who would hunt and kill them. Possibly because of the things she has to do to keep them alive, safe and funded Arterton dismisses wider concerns about her past or even what she is doing in the present, whereas Ronan remembers everything and is struggling to come to terms with her own history and to some extent wo she is. As Ronan's character tries to understand her situation by writing her life story, others around them become aware of what they are, which forces change on the characters which cannot be resisted.

In both films the writing and performances cannot really be faulted. In both films we can see the hope that there can still be good original vampire stories in the post 'Twilight' world.

2 movie buffs| tear your ticket

Western's Hidden Depths [03 May 2015|04:41pm]

[ mood | good ]

I've posted a review of the interesting Western Dallas over at my journal.


tear your ticket

Most Watched Movies [03 May 2015|04:13pm]

[ mood | awake ]

One of the things I have enjoyed in this community (or wherever film fans gather) is the sharing of lists. One person suggests a list of movies either around a specific topic of just general favourites then others debate or suggest their own lists. I tried to think of an original list to post here. What I eventually came up with is a slight variation on the basic favourites list, but as my list of favourite movies shifts with my mood, I thought of a measurable, quantifiable selection method: The movies I have re-watched most often.
This may partially reflect my actual favourite movies but quite often I like some really trashy films. Some of these would probably never make a 'best' list but this is a measure of how much fun I have had with a movie, whether I have wanted to share it with friends etc. Making my selections was quite difficult as I realised that the way I watch films has changed significantly. As a teenager and into my 20s I had a VHS collection than ran into the hundreds and when British TV only had a handful of channels I would watch my favourite movies MANY times. Since I started collecting dvds (and have cable tv) my collection runs into the thousands and I watch even my favourite films only a few times each. This has led my to produce two separate 'most watched' lists as the films on my VHS era list would distort the results and not much reflect the films which have gotten repeat viewings in the past decades or so.
I make no apologies for the poor quality of some of these films - these are the films that I have seen the most often, divided into 'VHS era' and 'DVD era'. Please feel free to comment or add your own:

VHS Era:
1. The Life Of Brian
2. Lord Of The Rings (animated version)
3. Star Wars (any/all of the original trilogy)
4. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
5. The Blues Brothers
6. An American Werewolf In London
7. Ghostbusters
8. Die Hard
9. Rear Window
10. Brazil
11. Gremlins
12. The Sting
13. Withnail & I
14. Terminator (1 & 2)
15. Alien (1 or 2)
16. Once Upon A Time In America
17. Mr Vampire
18. Leon
19. Reservoir Dogs
20. Marathon Man
21. The Crow
22. Beetle Juice
23. Lost Boys
24. Trading Places
25. Christine
26. Easy Rider
27. Highlander
28. Yellow Submarine
29. Akira
30. Better Off Dead

DVD Era:
1. Lord Of The Rings (Any/all of the trilogy)
2. Shaun Of The Dead
3. 28 Days Later
4. The Matrix
5. Dr Strangelove
6. Dawn Of The Dead (original version)
7. Grosse Point Blank
8. Kung Fu Hustle
9. The Shawshank Redemption
10. Back To The Future
11. Delicatessen
12. The Italian Job (original version)
13. Donnie Darko
14. Black Sheep
15. Dodgeball
16. The 40 Year Old Vtrgin
17. Bubba Ho- Tep
18. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
19. Big Man Japan
20. A Knights Tale
21. Moon
22. The Departed
23. Snatch
24. Little Miss Sunshine
25. The Third Man
26. Reign Of Fire
27. Spirited Away
28. Serenity
29. Attack The Block
30. Avengers

tear your ticket

Movie 36: Mockingjay Part 1 (finishing up year 2014) [03 May 2015|10:02am]

[ mood | busy ]

Originally posted by audrey_e at Movie 36: Mockingjay Part 1 (finishing up year 2014)

I've been very busy with my master's degree, so I'm still finishinp up my 2014 reviews.

36 MOCKINGJAY (US, 2014)
Dir: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman...


The revolution has started, and Katniss is asked to become the mockingjay that represents it.

This time, it was easy to tell that every effort was made to stretch the story in such a way that it would turn the last chapter into two movies instead of one, and that's even though I had not read any of the books yet.
Not much happens really, and since most of the action happens underground, I was regularly bored. Moreover, in this installement, the franchise was mostly robbed of its best actor and most interesting character in my opinion, Peeta.
Having said that, the theme of media propaganda was cleverly extended to the revolutionary setting, something I did not necessarily expect from a teen franchise. So that part was a good surprise.

tear your ticket

Cold Mountain and My Blueberry Nights [30 Apr 2015|02:15am]

[ mood | awake ]

Two films with Jude Law in romantic lead:

COLD MOUNTAIN: For whatever reason I did not rush to see Cold Mountain when it came out in 2003. Despite favourable reviews the prospect of a romance set against the American civil war starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger just did not appeal at all. About a year ago I saw the last half hour while channel surfing on tv and thought that it didnt look bad at all and I made a mental note to check the full movie out at some point. I had forgotten all about it until a few weeks ago when I read the excellent book it is based on.
The three leads do their job well enough, but the cast of small secondary characters is staggeringly good and includes scene stealing performances from Brendan Gleeson, Natalie Portman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ray Winstone, Donald Sutherland, Jack White and more beside.
On the surface it is a romantic film set against the background of a terrible war and i that regard is pretty universal. This could be any romance set against any war. The combination of authentic details, brilliant casting and a near perfect soundtrack lift this movie into a special place. I had deeply underestimated how good it was but am pleased to have finally caught it.

MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS: Three short stories (or chapters of the bigger story are played out with Norah Jones' heartbroken female lead being the thread which binds the stories together. Jude Law runs the late night New York diner where Jones' journey begins and ends. Each of the stories could easily be self contained and are well observed but using Jones as the common denominator makes sense and we see her learn and change a little as her journey continues. Each of the stories is about the search for love but it is only the book-ended story featuring Jones and Law that features a traditional style movie romance, the other stories look at very different aspects of love. I am a massive fan of Norah Jones and so was curious to see her official acting debut. Without her I doubt if I would have ever made the effort to watch this. The film is understated and pleasant enough to watch without ever doing anything special - apart from feature Norah Jones!

tear your ticket

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]