Oct 31, 2011

October- the essentials


Autumn is here, October has past and it was a great month for me, since I got to watch a lot of interesting movies at the London Film Festival!

Inspired by the great Andy Buckle(who watched 41 movies this month only), I decided I should give a short recap of what I've seen in October plus some few honorable mentions of great blog posts!

In cinemas: Crazy Stupid Love, The machine that kills bad people+A trip to the moon(in colour), 50/50, Restless, Carnage, Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Miss Bala, Ides of March, An American in Paris

At home(DVD or other illegal sources:): Bicycle thieves, Another Earth, Let me in

All in all, for October, JUST 13 movies! Dissapointing, I know! But hey, in my defense, I am post-graduate student with classes and essays to turn in, so cut me some slack!

I've also squeezed in some TV, mainly 30 rock, Castle and some episodes of The Good Wife, Grey's Anatomy and Supernatural!

This month I've been much more active on my blog, but also reading and posting on other blogs. I have discovered some great ones, I have constantly viewed others, and here are some honorable mentions:

Nikhat from Being Norma Jean has one of the most colourful, funny blogs out there. I love the fact that everytime I open her blog, I always discover a new, great song. Also, her Thoughts posts, like this one, for example, are very good!

Alex from And so it begins has been on my watch list almost every day. I love his style, his posts and it doesn't hurt that we have similar opinions and tastes in film-sometimes, not always. Two honorable mentions for him:  10 best criterion DVD covers and his new series, In character. P.S. Does Paul Bettany qualify for that? He is great!

Similar situation with Andy Buckle- great blog, very useful, always updated, the best reviews  (have to admire his passion for films). This month, his classic throwback gets an honorable mention

I can relate to the lovely Ruth, as university has been taking up some of my time, as well, so this post was interesting. Keep up the good work!

I always check CS's  Sharing the Blogging Love posts, hoping I am there (I had that honour a couple of weeks before, when I reviewed Revolutionary Road and it made me so happy, for some unknown reason). Also, I try to comment on the Which is better? series, like this one.

FlixChatter.net is a wonderful new blog I discovered a couple of days ago thanks to this post dedicated to one my favorites, Rufus Sewell!

Scott from Front Door Cinema has two lovely daughters that remind me of my nephews and an awesome blog, to top that. He is going to re-watch Shame in his local film festival- I am very jealous of him because of that- and, go figure, he also has DVD giveaways (hint: I have never won on these kind of competitions; hint2: Sin City would look so good in my DVD collection). A lot of love for him for always trying to comment on each post!

Phil on film has done an extensive LFF coverage, but I love this interview with the star and director of Miss Bala.

Bonjour Tristesse has such a wonderful blog and great writing style, that I always feel guilty that I can't really comment on her post- I don't watch a lot of international movies, unfortunately. This week, she did a similar post about the month of October and I am very happy to be there, on her list!

Tyler from Southern Vision always makes me feel like a kindergarden girl when it comes to movies- his knowledge on films is fantastic and I hope I'll get there someday! Interesting post right here!

Another great thing: my blog stats are off the charts! I remember on the 1st of October I had 300 something views, and now I have around 800. It's crazy!

Thank you guys for all of the support!

Hoping for a great November, full of interesting movies!

Another earth[2011]

Recently, I saw the trailer of Another Earth in a cinema and loved it- the idea was like nothing I've ever heard, it was edited in a good way, the main character seemed very interesting, so I wanted to see it as soon as I could!

I did watch it last night! To put it simply, as I said it on Twitter, despite it's numerous flaws, I kinda of liked it!

Let's go from the beginning! The film tells the story of a young girl who, one night, after a party, whilst looking for the new planet that was discovered, crashes into another car, killing the woman and the child and leaving the father in a coma. After 4 years in a prison, she gets out, determined to apologize to the man she ruined, but ends up not telling him, instead helping him recover. In the meantime, she wins a ticket to fly out to Earth 2, as it is now called. I won't continue the story from here, you should see it for yourself.

The main point I liked and what actually attracted me to this movie was the plot, the story itself. It was very appealing for me and I liked the idea of another earth, another me out there. All in all, the script was rather good, what bugged me was the directing! It was bad, it was amateurish, it looked like a 2nd year student film. Mike Cahill, I don't know you, but next time try harder. Update: Mike Cahill won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance for this movie- really? Is it just me?maybe I just can't appreciate it.

If you get past all of the bad camera shots, it is a rather beautiful movie. I loved the ticking scene and the violin-saw one, they  were lovely. Also, the recurring theme of dust just flowing in air was beautifully shot (for a change). Brit Marling, as an actress (she is also the scriptwriter and producer of this movie) was very good and has a certain distinct quality about her- she sometimes reminded me of Elizabeth Olsen! We should definitely watch out for this girl, she is a triple threat- actress, scriptwriter and producer- her new movie, The East, has a promising cast and an interesting synopsis!

To wrap up things, it was a great idea, but poorly made. Maybe if they would have brought in a more experienced director or a different cinematographer, this movies would have been a succes. But, still, a very good try! It shouldn't be on the top of your list, but if you get around to it, give it a go!

Oct 30, 2011

2 in 1 post!

Hey guys,

So lately I have been going to a lot of movies and I have a rather poor bank account to prove it (tickets+transportation+Coca Cola each time, not a good idea).

Instead of doing 2 different posts, I decided to do a short one, as the movies I saw didn't really give the inspiration to dedicate an entire post for each one!

Thursday, with the help of Time Out Magazine, I got into a screening of Miss Bala, a mexican drama about a woman who wants to be a beauty pageant queen, but gets mixed up with the wrong people just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a very action based movie, with raw, violent scenes that look and feel real. The leading lady, Stephanie Sigman, offers a very good performance (considering it's her first), taking us to through hard times with believeable reactions. Although I loved the movie and felt that it delivered something new to the cinema, I left the theater thinking the pace was always the same. A goes to B goes to C the end. Yes, the scenes were real and her reactions matched that, but I would have liked more from it, just something to raise my pulse a little bit! Oh...and the movies is based on a true story! You should check it out if you have the chance!

Friday, it was time to see Ides of March! First of all, I don't get the title...I should google it (Did that, now I see)! Second of all, I really enjoyed myself! I thought it was a very smart movie, very alert movie, with good performances and correct direction (I am saying that just because, out of all of the movies I saw recently, this seemed like a normal, nice one, with usual shots, nothing exciting in this department, but still very good). I don't know if it's good or bad, but considering the movie had Gosling and Clooney in it, you can imagine my surprise when I realised the best performance was given by Paul Giamatti (strictly my opinion). Don't get me wrong, all of the cast is good (Hoffman, Wood, Tomei, Max Mingella etc), but I loved him; Ryan Gosling and George Clooney played it safe, and I would be surprised if they get a nomination for this. Actually, thinking about it, Gosling delivered a strong performance, but can it top the one in Drive?No. The best part of the movie was the script: I loved the pace of it, the twists, the dialogue, the feel of it! One of the best big Hollywood movies I have seen recently! All in all, a very good movie you should watch!

Extra one: Saturday, I went old-school and watched An American in Paris at the British Film Institute, in one of the most beautiful cinema theaters I have ever seen! I won't review it now, instead it will be safe in my movie jar for when I'll do a musical week...if you are interested! :)

Oct 29, 2011

Houdini's Magic Ticket

Dan from www.top10films.co.uk recently started a great blogathon that you should check out, it's wonderful! http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/8591/comment-page-5#comment-37359

Basically, if you can get a magic ticket transporting you anywhere you want, what would you do with it?

What animated feature would you love to walk around in?

I've never been a huge animation movie fan, but I remember growing up and seeing Beauty and the Beast and Snow White over and over again! If I'd have to choose, Beauty&Beast wins just for the great songs and great characters!

If you were a cop who would you want as a partner?
Are you kidding me? Mark Whalberg any time night and day! He is one bad ass mother f***er!Loved him in this movie! He might be evil, the bad cop, and he gets the job done!

What character would you most want to enjoy a passionate romance with?

This is probably the hardest one! Being a rather sensible, romantic girl, there are so many to choose!Trying to remember the best romance movies I have seen, I can't really say that I would like to have a passionate fling with either of them! I love Dirty Dancing, The Notebook, Legends of the fall, but I wouldn't like to be involved with Patrick Swayze. So it comes down to Ryan Gosling or Brad Pitt- considering we are talking about character and not actor, I guess I have to choose....no, I won't, I can't!
Oh, I know, I got it!
Have you guys ever seen Country Strong? I would love to get a guy like Beau Hutton, tall, sweet, deep voice, guitar man, who I can have a quiet night at home! Garrett Hedlund all the way!
See, you are getting the romantic side out of me! It's so cheesy sometimes! :)

What movie gadget would you love to try out?

That's easy, the Dolerean time machine! You can guess why...I would just borrow it for a couple of journey back in time, during the 1800s England and one in the future; wonder how I will look like!

What film's plot would you alter and how would you do it?

Hard to say, I don't usually have the need to change the plot. I think the only time I remember it to happen has the end of American History X; I was so furious about what happened and I wished I could change something! But I couldn't really say how I would alter it! No inspiration here, sorry!

What one film would you most want to be transported into, simply to be a part of that world?

Again, not a surprise here, but I love the Harry Potter world and the movies are really good!In some points, even better then the books (horror, I know)!

That's my take!Hope you liked it!

Oct 28, 2011

Fridays are the best: A single man[2009]

Fridays are the best, that's why, from now on, you'll get to see some of my favorites every Friday!This week: A single man!

Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford, David Scearce
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode

Before the movie even starts, you find out it is directed and produced by Tom Ford, the famous designer. What are your expectations? I thought I was going to see amazing clothes, beautiful sets and elegance. Now, at the end, I can say that I did see those things, but they were so many others that raised the bar even higher.

First of all, I loved the way it was directed. The shots, the specific details that he focused on, the style, all were special and elegant, smooth. I absolutely loved the fact that, whenever George, the main character, saw something that reminded him of the great past or something he loves or admires now, that each moment was captured in amazing colour, bright and full of life. All, in contrast, to the rather dull and grey scenes in his ordinary day that is making him feel miserably and pushes him to suicide.

Tom Ford also shows in a very artistic way the unbereable speed in which time is passing, speed that is slowly killing George. Every moment he is reminded of Jim, his love, with whom he spent 16 years and who, suddenly, died in a car accident. Since that day forward, his life wasn’t the same. It is a story of colours, of smell, touch, hearing.

Second of all, it did have, as you would expect from a fantastic designer, class;  elegance is a key word when I think of Julianne Moore, who portrays Charley, a lonely women who is George’s only friend.  She is a triple threat: beautiful, talented and elegant, and I love her. The dinner scene was very sweet and you can really see the relationship that the two have; it’s a very cool, straight-forward, honest and full of love and memories that always makes them nostalgic of past times.

I always noticed, as I said in the beginning, the obsession for details. I thought it brought quality and beauty to the film and made it very special. You’ve got to love the neatly way George prepares his death,  worried even about the damage his blood is going to cause to the bed.

Kenny Porter, played by Nicholas Hault, was quite a revelation for me and I can’t wait to see what he does next. The game between him and George was so sweet, simple and fun, that it would always keep me guessing the nature of their attraction: sexual or not sexual? Does he admire Falconer as a professor or as man?

The movie, unfortunately, doesn’t really give us a solid answer, but leaves it to our choice.  The end, however, is sad, but fufilling, I guess, for the main character!

It is a beautiful film that I highly recommend! It is one of my favorites!

Oct 27, 2011

Tree of Life[2011]

I finally got around to seeing Tree of Life by Terence Malick!

I started watching this with the idea in my mind that I will probably hate it or think it is too much for me. Let's just say that I was right, but I got a few surprises, as well!

The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it's a unique one, not something you normally see. You love it or you hate it! There are few chances to get in the middle (surprise, surprise, I am there, anyway, moving on).

The film starts with the story of a 1950s family, with Pitt as the father figure, Jessica Chastain as the mother and 3 young brothers. It's the beginning of a beautiful, sad, yet very real story following the normal struggles that a family can go through. Here, Terence Malick shows his great gift and surprises the audience (well, actually maybe just me) with amazing camera movement: sometimes it's erratic, uneven, alert, but beautiful, it feels like he is playing with the camera, experimenting the best way to introduce us into their lives; other times, it's looks studied and fluid.

Then we go into the part that I don't understand and I think shouldn't even be in the movie. Although I loved the nature scenes and they were very well executed, I didn't really understand their relevance. I know, it has a deeper meaning that I am not getting! My loss!

Seeing this film, I couldn't help thinking about what Terence Malick was thinking and why did he choose to shows particular scenes that didn't feel necessary or interesting enough to be on screen. The whole movie, in my perspective, is like the mind of an artist, a creative, mad genius. You feel like he is telling the story, he is behind the camera- he has so many ideas and thoughts, that sometimes he can't put them in a simple, straight way, he doesn't know how to express them in a logical manner. It is very appealing and mesmerizing and you can sense there is more then meets the eye, but it's so chaotic and so artistic, that for the majority of the people seeing it, it gets confusing.

After the nature scenes, we go back to reality and the family. He shows us the love connection between the man and woman and then goes on to show and describe the life of the 3 brothers- their fears, the love they have for one another, trust, sympathy, questions, feelings etc.; you get that for the next 1 hour and 45 minutes and this where things go downhill for me. As much as I loved seeing Jessica Chastain unearthly presence, the fantastic performances given by the father (Brad Pitt) and the son(Hunter McCracken) and, again, the fluid way it was shot, 105 minutes is a bit too much. I got bored and was hoping, by the end of it, to just get it over with it.

I was so annoyed by those long, unnecessary scenes, that I didn't even had the patience to properly see and understand the end of the movie, who anyway seemed too deep and philosophical for me. Hey, I admit, I don't have that level of knowledge or appreciation of art- but I am getting there!

I am not saying it is not a good movie, because it is, but it is too much sometimes! Terence Malick tried to create an amazing artistic film, but didn't really stop and think about what the audience might want or understand. It might have won the Palme D'or, but does he really want it to be seen and loved only by a very small percentage of the population?Maybe he does and I am just stupid!

In the end, most of my friends (and by that I mean 90% of them) would hate this movie and walk out during the dinosaurs scenes, so I will not recommend them. I don't think you should see it either, unless you are a cinephile or love art in any form. Then maybe you should give a try!

Am I crazy? What did you think of it?

P.S. Just because I loved the cinematography and the posters are great, here are 2 more!

Oct 26, 2011

Recommendation day

Hey lovely people who check my blog from time to time :)

Hope you all woke up and are having a great day!

Since I love the weekly thematic posts that some of the film blogs have, I wanted to make one of my own, but I really can't do it without your help!

I was just thinking yesterday, during a class about media ethics and values, that I need a new book! So, who better to ask then this fun crowd for recommendations?

This week I am hunting for a good action-filled, fast-pace, page turner book; the one that makes you take it to the kitchen because you can't leave it out of your hand, in the desire to see what happens next! Any recommendations on that?Think that you are not doing it just for me, but also for the other 10 people to read this blog :) [don't worry, the number will grow eventually]

In the case that you don't read books or can't think of one right now, you can apply the same principles to a movie!

Wednesday, 26th October-  a good action-filled, fast-pace, (page turner) book or movie!

Start typing people! Thank you! :)

Oct 25, 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene[2011]

I have to admit: I didn't see the first 5 minutes, I was busy running from the tube station through the very crowded Leicester Square! I don't think I missed too much...I think!

So, Martha Marcy May Marlene, or MMMM from now on, was brilliant! Definitely my kind of movie, going in the category with Hunger, Hard Candy, American History X and others: great script, perfect performances, with a very good direction and stunning cinematography!

The story "dances" between the past and present of MMMM, played superbly by Elizabeth Olsen. She was a revelation for me (as was Jessica Chastain yesterday)- not only is she talented, but her beauty is haunting, it's simple, yet very attractive and sweet! I think she is amazing and I can't wait to see her in another movie. I was actually thinking during the movie that I wouldn't mind watching a 2 hour movie just with her on screen! MMMM escapes from a weird family (also known as a cult, but she seems to not realize that) and goes to live with her sister Lucy (played beautifully by Sarah Paulson) and her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy).

The transitions are very good and well executed, and some scenes are shot and edited in such a way that you can't help admiring their beauty, even it is a creepy scene; for example, the skinny-dipping scene, the one in which cult leader Patrick plays Marcy's song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NGQD63qAOw&feature=player_embedded#! it's haunting), most of the random shots of Elizabeth Olsen! I must agree that lately I have been attracted to great direction, to new, interesting ways to shoot a scene, to the way it moves around the character or the sound of it (again, the waterfall, dipping scene is a great example). The finest pieces of art in this area that I have notices lately belong to movies like Drive, Hunger, and now MMMM. These are the directors we should be looking out for, not Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese. They bring something new to the table.

The script was good and to measure it in my own kind of way, I didn't look at my watch (please check the other reviews and comments to understand what I mean). It was engaging, interesting, but I can understand why someone would get bored. I didn't, because I noticed and loved the direction and the feel of the movie. It was sad to see that MMMM spent so much time there that she couldn't see the difference between good and bad, between right and wrong anymore! I remember seeing a documentary a couple of months ago about a family in the US who live life with so much hate and anger towards gay men and more; but the weird part was that they didn't think it was a wrong thing to do- for them it came naturally and they didn't understand our point of view!

As for the end, you kind of know what will happen, but it leaves it hanging- something that I usually hate, but I have seen so many endings like this one lately that it doesn't even bother me anymore! It wasn't satisfying, but I didn't hate it either!

Anyway, overall, MMMM is a fantastic movie that you should see, if not for Elizabeth Olsen's brilliant debut, at least for its story and direction! Please check it out in your local theaters or online :)

And with that, the London Film Festival reporting is over! Hope you liked it! I have more surprises lined up for you in the future, so stay tuned!

Oct 24, 2011

Take Shelter [2011]

Sunday was a beautiful, productive day for me and I love it!

I went and saw Take Shelter. Previous to that, I had heard many wonderful things about it and I was looking forward to catch it at the London Film Festival.

Let's start with the good things. Michael Shannon gives his best performance to date and one of the best of the year as Curtis, a 30-something working man who starts having hallucinations about an apocalyptic event. I loved the way he interpreted the part, the emotions, the insecurities and the crazyness he showed during those 2 hours. He is brilliant! Also a very pleasant surprise was Jessica Chastain, who is the revelation of the year for me- she's not just beautiful and talented, but possesses a great quality that just attracts you to her, a very old Hollywood vibe. I think she has a bright future ahead of her and I expect great things from her. Chastain won't get a nomination for her role (unless no other big names surge ahead), but I sure hope Shannon does- he truly deserves it!

Another big thumbs up for the script. I thought the idea was original and I liked the development of the movie, especially the line of actions that lead to the end; Jeff Nichols delivers both as a screenwriter and as a director.

Now it's time to cut some points off: it lost my attention numerous times during the screening. I always say that if a movie doesn't make you check your watch, then it is a good one or at least an interesting, worthwhile one. I did check my watch on this one and my mind started wondering what should I do after the movie. I am not saying it wasn't good, because it was, but it was lacking in some areas. It was like an EKG, who spikes at certain times, but usually stays in normal levels throughout the day.

The end was surprising and I think http://nevertooearlymoviepredictions.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-i-saw-take-shelter.html is a great article if you want to know more, especially his/her 3 options of what the ending was trying to say! Hope you don't mind I linked your website!

Overall, it was a good movie, but if I were you, I would see it on DVD or wait for it to be online!

Today is the last London Film Festival I will be checking out- Martha Marcy May Marlene- review tonight or tomorrow!

Oct 19, 2011

Carnage [2011]

4th movie at the London Film Festival and I am still loving it! Today I went to see Carnage!

I must admit, from the beginning, that I am not familiar with Roman Polanski's work, but if the rest of his movies are similar to this one, I am willing to give a try.

I never thought you can have an interesting movie, with smart, funny lines and great characters, in only one location- an apartment! 90 minutes and I think I took only one look at my watch! Carnage was amazing and all due to the 4 main actors: Christopher Waltz, Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and John C.Reily.

They take the film to the next level and carry the action, the entertainment and the drama. It is a tough job, but they are great at it. Waltz and Foster and perfect and give a wonderful performance, while Reily and Winslet are strong, as well, but they don't over shine the first two. I can't explain the characters here because you learn so much about them in 90 minutes- I would spoil you the fun of discovering them for yourself, which you should definitely do!

Clearly, the script is derived by a play, The God of Carnage, which Polanski adapted to the big screen. As you might think, normally, 90 minutes in one location is a very though thing to shoot, especially if you plan to keep the attention of the audience. They are very few movies who dare to do that (Phonebooth sounds similar and it worked there, as well, as I recall), but he manages to do that in a beautiful manner, relaying only on his actors and quick paced script.

Overall, it is a good movie and you should definitely give it a try! It is an interesting experience!

Oct 17, 2011

Restless [2011]

"Restless" was a little bit of a game changer for me. Watching this movie was an experience I will not forget anytime soon.

It tells the story of two young people, Annabel and Enoch, who share an interest for death and funerals, and the development of their romance. The two characters are strange, awkward, funny and so loveable, that you can't help falling for them, worrying for them and rooting for their love story, although we all know the ending will not be pretty.

Mia Wasikowska is wonderful as the sweet, energetic and calm Annabel; she just surprises me every time I see her on screen and this part is something she hasn't done before...and I love her for that. The big surprise was Henry Hopper, the son of the late Dennis Hopper, who, for his first leading part, was amazing as the sad, unsure Enoch. Great supporting parts were provided by Schuyler Fisk (Annabel's sister) and Ryo Kase (Enoch's ghost friend). The script, the story is pretty simple and straight-forward, but the magic lies in their interaction, the way it was shot, the cinematography, the soundtrack...it creates a great background for their love story to develop. Some reviews were not as kind as mine, but please go see it before you make up your mind.

This film was an emotional rollercoaster: at the beginning, you're curious, afterwards you enjoy their sweet romance, then you feel anger for Enoch's inability to help her, and in the end you just cry. It was one of saddest, heartbreaking movies I have ever seen. Don't think the end was shocking or anything, it wasn't, but the simple things that we were all expecting to happen were portrayed in such a way that no one left the theater when the credits rolled. You could hear some whispers, some quiet sobbing, but everyone was affected by it...I have never seen anything like that before. When I left the room, I could see that everyone had tears in their eyes, just like me; I cried.

Afterwards, I decided to write the review in a Starbucks. I never know if it's better to write right after you saw a film or just let it past a couple of hours. Usually my best ones are written minutes after seeing a movie. The sensation I had after this one was overwhelming: I can't really put my finger on it, but I was very impressed by it. What I can tell you that one feeling has stayed with me: I wish, one day, my film could trigger these emotions in someone's heart just like it did to me.

"Restless" will probably not have the same effect on you, maybe you will think it's boring or just a silly romance, but please do give a try and I hope you like it as much as I did! It has become one of my favorite movies of the year!

Oct 16, 2011


Yesterday I had the luck of getting in to see 50/50 after I patiently waited in line, whilst talking to some lovely press people who, apparently, have to do the same if they want to see a movie.

Let me just start by saying that 50/50 is a great movie, every part of the magical process of film making doing his job at the top level.

Firstly, and most importantly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fantastic as the young man who discovers he has cancer. For me, it was the best performance of the year so far, ahead of Ryan Gosling in Drive (I haven't seen Shame or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, so bare with me). The way he portrays his character, what it is going through, all of the emotions, it is wonderful, funny, yet sad to watch. I couldn't find a single flaw or say something wrong about him, because JGL was very real, I could understand and believe him. I really do hope he gets an Oscar nomination for this and he probably will.

Secondly, the script was particularly interesting and lovely, as it had so many funny elements intertwine with the sad ones, but in a suitable way. The writer knew when to throw a couple of jokes and when to just let it go on the silent, melancholic vibe. There were a lot of funny lines there (mostly of Seth Rogen) and I loved the reaction of the audience in the theater- I think everyone loved it. The characters developed along the way and the end, although predictable, was still sweet and rewarding.

Few tidbits I loved whilst watching:
- soundtrack (why do almost all the JGL have an amazing soundtrack? see 500 days of summer, Inception etc)
- weed macaroons scene- the trio is fantastic together
- very original cheating scene- script and acting wise; Seth, Joseph and Bryce killed it!
- it almost had me crying at one point - which rarely happens with me
- nice surprise by Anna Kendrick- considering she started in Twilight, I think she has a bright future ahead of her, if she will continue choosing parts like this one

All in all, I loved this movie and I really hope you will see it soon!

Now, off to see Restless! Busy weekend for me :)

Oct 14, 2011

The machine that kills bad people[1948] + A trip to the moon[1902]

My first experience at the London Film Festival was wonderful! It all started when I walked into the NFT1 room in the BFI, which is probably one of the most beautiful theaters in the world (everything was impeccable, clean, very well arranged, big red curtains and comfortable seats). After that, at precisely 15:30 two gentlemen introduced the movie and then it was time to see the extra part of the experience- Trip to the moon, the 1902 silent film of Meliers, in COLOR! As I was not familiar to the genre, I was looking forward to the film that was restored this year by a Spanish organization. It was very interesting and you can see the parts that were originally colored and the ones that were digital, but still, it had an amazing quality to it. The story centers around 6 men who go to the moon; first, they prepare, then they leave in a special capsule; have their adventure  on the Moon and then they are forced to come back! The actual adventure is a little weird and creepy and it might be one of the first signs of science-fiction in a movie, but still, very well done for that period of time. An interesting twist to it was the fact that it had a soundtrack, to say so, and that was the music of Air, who fitted perfectly to the story!

On to The machine that kills bad people! This rarely-seen film of Robert Rossellini was a very pleasant surprise! I loved it and if you have a chance to see at a festival, please do! They reminded us that it was considered to be a lost film and that they put a lot of work into it- and it is worth it! The story is pretty simple: a man discovers (with the help of a certain character that will be revealed at the end) that his photographic machine can kill the people it photographs. So, for example, if he would photograph a picture of his cat, the animal, in real time, would take the exact position in the picture and die. Now, I know, it might sound creepy and stupid, but trust me, it was a very delightful, playful and funny film, with a special meaning to the story! I can't really explain everything that was shown without giving away too much, but I can advise you to look out for it! It was a special experience for me and I will remember it!

Tomorrow I will try to get in to see either Shame or 50/50, so look out for the review on Sunday morning!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Oct 12, 2011

London Film Festival

Hey guys,

It's the 12th of October and today is the first day of the London Film Festival! As you may know, I live in the beautiful British capital and I am so excited for this event! I already bought tickets for 5 shows:

The machine that kills bad people- Friday 14th Oct: Rossellini's rarely-seen satirical fantasy, now restored, about a photographer whose magic camera has the power to kill the greedy and the corrupt.

Restless- Sunday 16th October: An affecting and delicate teen romance which confirms Gus Van Sant as one of Hollywood’s most astute and sensitive chroniclers of American youth.

Carnage- Wendsday 19th Oct: The Brooklyn bourgeoisie under the microscope in Roman Polanski's beautifully acted adaptation of The God of Carnage.

Take Shelter- Sun 23rd Oct: An extraordinary tale of ordinary madness.

Martha Marcy May Marlene- Monday 24th Oct: Newcomer Elizabeth Olsen stars in this atmospheric story of a young woman recently escaped from a cult-like commune.

+ I will be queing for Shame or 50/50 on Saturday, the 15th of October; depends how lucky I am and where I can get tickets!Wish me luck!

For more information about the films or the festival, check www.timeout.com/lff or bfi.org.uk

Of course I will be reviewing all of the above and I hope to see you soon on the blog if you are interested in these specific movies or just to hear more about the festival!

I did wanted to see other movies like A dangerous method, Wuthering Heights, Ides of March or Descendants, but I couldn't schedule them in or I couldn't get tickets!

Please do let me know if you have any requests or recommendations or anaything like that, I am up for anything new!

Hope you have a great day!
Aziza or you can call me Diana :)

Oct 10, 2011

Crazy, Stupid,Love [2011]

You are probably expecting a long, objective, rather interesting review- I might dissapoint with this one! Because for this post I am getting out my girly side, the side who loves cheesy romantic comedies, likes to stare at hot men and secretly wishes she might be in the situations the characters are put in!

Crazy, Stupid,Love is a great movie! Really, I am not saying that just because of Ryan Gosling :), it really does have a great script, it delivers funny, believeable performances and is hilarious. Steve Carrell is at his best in the role of Cal, a man who loses his wife because he forgot to live. His chemistry to Ryan Gosling is amazing and they work very well together, getting the best out of eachother. The forementioned Canadian is...you know; I'm just going to stop complimenting him. 

I especially loved Jessica's storyline and the twist in the end with Emma Stone, I was not expecting that, but the garden scene is one of the funniest I have ever seen! Big pluses for Julianne Moore (who reminds me so much of my sister that it creeps me out everytime I see her on screen), Emma Stone (one of the sweetest, nicest, talented girls in Hollywood right now), Marisa Tomei (the single most funny character in the movie) and the little brother- I forgot his name, sorry!

I can't really explain why this movie is worth a drive to the cinema, but if you are looking for a sweet, normal movie for a Saturday night, this is the one! Something for the girls, something for the guys, nothing really complicated! I'm sure you will love it!

Oct 7, 2011


Director: John N. Smith
Writer: LouAnne Johnson, Ronald Bass
Starring: Michelle Pheifer, George Dzundza

Short recommendation today!

Great movie! I loved almost everything about it (except some storylines, they are so predictable). It all seems so raw, so real: the music, the scenary, all of the characters, nothing seems faked or acted. It brings back the 90s mood and makes you nostalgic, but also wanting to hear some „old music”! (Coolio-Gangsta's Paradise)

One of the things that stuck in my head is something the character Raoul says. I’m not going to give the direct quote, just paraphrase it. When the cops took him to the car, miss Johnson comes and asks him why did he do it. Raul says that he must fight for himself, that if he didn’t, people will think he is weak and he couldn’t walk with his head up high anymore. He said that if America wouldn’t stand up for itself, anyone would attack it. I understood what he was saying...because it is partially true. One of the reasons America is so strong as a nation is because it fought all the way to the top and didn’t stop at anything...even if it was too fast, too stupid or too risque. It didn’t had the wisdom of the European, but it had guts and power. That’s one way to succed!

Long story short: good movie! If you’re in the mood for some 90s music or vibe, check it out!

Oct 5, 2011

Game of Thrones [TV][2011]

Game of Thrones is, dare I say, a masterpiece of television. It has so many qualities to it, and the eventual flaws just make it more real and loveable.  The show is based on the George R.R. Martin books „A song of Ice and Fire” and follows the stories of the great seven kindoms of this magical word Martin created. I already read the first book and I’m on the second one and they are wonderful, as well. The first one, at least, is a page-turner, as I read somewhere recently. You should give it a try!

About the show, HBO has done an impecable job with this one, and there are so many reasons you should watch it, that I’m just going to write them, plain and simple. You should watch Game of Thrones because of:
-          The most eleborated, complex and beautiful sets you can see on TV. Everything from the costumes to the great Iron chair is a piece of art.
-          The quality and appeal of the story and the story telling. It has drama, mistery, love, fantasy, battles, lords and kings, all in one place, wrapped in a very raw, yet sexy way.
-          The Casting- it’s fantastic. I started reading the book after I saw the first episode and I was fascinated by the accuracy of the portrays. Yes, the TV characters are older then the ones in the book, but trust me, the story is much more natural and interesting with older people. 
-          On the acting level, there is not too much to say. 99% of the cast plays its part to the T and gives life and so much more to those wonderful characters. I especially love Sean Bean as Edd Stark, Lena Headly as Cersei Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyron Lannister, Emilia Clarke and Harry Lloyd and Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen- these and a couple more are fantastic.
-          Now, as a girl, I must appreciate the beauty and hotness of certain men and I’m sure you will, too: Richard Madden as Robb Stark, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, even Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, if you fancy that. And as a bonus to season 2, I am keeping an eye on the bastard son of Robert Baratheon who wants to join the Wall.
-          Varys and LittleFinger’s verbal duets, especially episode 10. Very entertaining!
-          Emilia Clarke as Dany- her performance in the last 3 episodes is amazing, and well, if you see the last scene of season 1, which is so cool and crazy,  you’ll appreciate it, too. Her storyline was my one of favourites.   
-          Tyron Lannister is one of the most intriguing, funny, wild characters you will see on tv.

I’m sure there are much more things I should mention, but I don’t want to spoil it for you! Please buy, download or watch this TV show- it is worth it!

Oct 3, 2011

Last Night [2010]

Director: Massy Tadjedin
Writer: Massy Tadjedin
Starring:   Keira Knightley, Guillaume Canet,  Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes

It’s all about the eyes! They express all that can’t be said, all that is felt, all that is needed to know in that situation! That is what Last Night is all about: feelings- loneliness, boredom, lack of interest, longing for another, uncertainty, and especially passion and interest...and so much more!

The eyes, which help the audience see and understand the story, also translate the emotions of the 4 main characters, played by Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet.  Joanna(KK) is married to Michael (SW), who we find out early on is attracted to Laura(EM). Soon after the departure of the husband on a business trip with the intriguing partner, Jo meets Alex(GC), a former lover who she wasn’t forgot.

Over the course of a night and with the help of some drinks, the feelings come out one by one, some hidden for years, others ignited by random looks over the table. It might seem that one hour and a half is too much for this development, but it isn’t- the script is very good and it all plays out wonderfully. Everything seems effortless, very simple, clean, the little details are what makes this story so believable and loveable. He wants to experience something new, to go into the future, she longs for a lost love, a short, but passionate affair she once had in Paris, looking backward.

I won’t ruin the ending, but I do want to acknowledge a great thing that Alex’s friend says to him at one point, and it goes something like: „you can’t take away the memories she was with him, the years spent with him....”, and it is true, in a way. Those years always haunt each other.

The performances are great (Guillaume Canet is a very charming, talented man), the script is simple, yet real and it's transformed with the help of beautiful cinematography and good direction! All in all, a movie that you check out!

Oct 1, 2011

Annie Hall [1977]

Director: Woody Allen
Writers: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts

Annie Hall is a charming story about the relationship between Annie Hall and Alvy Singer aka Woody Allen. It was an interesting movie, with a great script, funny lines and many moments of introspective thought, because that’s what he likes. The film itself is about Woody Allen, with Woody Allen, directed and written by him. Now, don’t get me wrong, he is a fascinating man and I am sure a conversation with him is something a lot of people would die for, but let’s face it, a relationship? Any woman would go mad because he is special and he makes you feel “special”, too.

After just seeing Midnight in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I can really see the fact the he matured a lot and that he thinks in a more organized, structured, objective way now, in 2011. His 1977 self was very chaotic, it feels like he had so many ideas and concepts he wanted to implemented and didn’t really knew how to put it all together in a convincing way. But it was a great try!

There were some great scenes in it that I will remember: the dialogue scene in her house, on the terrace, about photography, meeting the parents and brother(nice surprise by Christopher Walken), the walk after her first performance etc.  and some great quotes, as well: “Life is divided between the horrible and the miserable” or the final one:

“After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I... I realized what a terrific person she was, and.. how much fun it was just knowing her; and I... I, I thought of that old joke, y'know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs.”

Diane Keaton is wonderful in this role, it fits her to a glove and I love the scene after the tennis match, she is adorable. Woody Allen is Woody Allen and we can all expect greatness from him!

Overall, an enjoyable movie, although not entirely captivating! The end made me reconsider some points in my review!

Do you like Woody Allen movies? Which one is your favourite?