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#34. Watch 100 movies and write about each one

October 25, 2007

34. Watch 100 movies and write about each one (26/100)

  1. 26th October 2007 – El Mariachi (1992)

    • My initial thoughts when I first pressed play was “what the @#$% is this..?!” Of course I didn’t realise that somehow I had accidentally turned on the commentary haha X-DD So while nothing was really happening, all of a sudden these men started to talk in low voices about how *insert insightful descriptions* the settings were. And also, i must have accidentally, again ‘somehow’, set the audio to German so they were speaking German too instead of Spanish. X-DD Anyway, this movie was quite different to what I expected. I didn’t realise this was such an old movie, and you could really tell. Everything was kind of off-colour & not very high-quality (apparently it was a low-budget movie) but surprisingly I really got into this movie. It was slow moving at first, I admit but as the plot unraveled I found myself on the edge of my seat and at times laughing; there was a bit of humour — not a lot but not overdone either. It also helped that Carlos Gallardo had pretty eyes ^^ *refers to the bath tub scene [one of my favourites !]*. Overall, simple but very effective movie. I enjoyed it !

  2. 26th October 2007 – Desperado (1995)

    • So I just had to watch the sequel after El Mariachi, plus I had both of the movies on the one disc & I needed a break from studying. And let me tell you, how DIFFERENT it was to the first one. Barely two sentences in Spanish were put together, one of the first things that came as a surprise, and another, was that at the end of the movie, I noticed that El Mariachi’s (now all grown up and played by Antonio Banderas) friend Campa, was played by none other than the original El Mariachi — Carlos Gallardo. I found that was kind of weird and i’m not sure how to compare the two performances. They were both quite contrasting characters. The original was rather soft and sort of ‘naive’, if I may, and the other was such a brut ! In general, it was alright, I mean I’m glad to have watched it cause’ I was curious to know what was going to happen next but they’re both extremely different. In a way, it seems as if it wasn’t really a sequel at all but more like a ‘fun’ & ‘big-budgeted’ version of El Mariachi. Anyway, I just found out Once Upon A Time In Mexico, with Johnny Depp *melts ahh dear >.<* is the third part to the El Mariachi trilogy so I’ll have to watch that too sometime.

  3. 27th October 2007 – The Woodsman (2004)

    • I know, I know. Never judge a book by its cover also refers to movies and their covers. The only reason I actually even watched this movie was because after organising all the DVD’s I own (many ;-x), I started to take out the ones I hadn’t actually seen before & that I could possibly like. And on this particular DVD cover there were heaps of good reviews, plus it was a “special edition” DVD, so it was easy on the eye & appealing to me. So really, besides all the raves about it, I really had no idea what this movie was about. I hadn’t even heard of it before and didn’t realise it was so recent made ! [I consider 2004 to be recent ;-b] Boy was I in for a surprise when I found out that Kevin Bacon was starring as a pedophile ! In fact, I didn’t realise how intense the film was going to be despite the lack of words and the slow pace of the film. It didn’t have a particularly exciting plot, that doesn’t mean to say I was bored during it — I was definitely intrigued by what was happening, and I really liked it. Just like the DVD cover had tried to convince me, “Kevin Backon gives a performance that WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS!”. Well I’m convinced. Bacon’s performance was truly Oscar-worthy. He really made you believe in Walter and drew you into the issues that were brought up. Very powerful movie. Can’t say I understood all the imagery though. ;-x Maybe it’s one of those movies where you have to watch more than once to pick up all the things you missed the first time around.

  4. 29th October 2007 – Melinda & Melinda (2004)

    • So I’ve never seen a Woody Allen movie and I thought it was about time. First impression ? It was interesting and different. Whenever I do personal “reviews” on movies I tend to look at what’s already been said to see the reactions of others & was somewhat surprised that a lot of people didn’t particularly like this film. I mean true it wasn’t a masterpiece but I didn’t feel like it was a complete flop either. But then again, most of those who didn’t enjoy it were already hardcore Woody Allen fans. Maybe I will be one day, and maybe i’ll look back at this post & wonder why I didn’t find this film so horrible. But to be honest, I thought it was somewhat intelligent to incorporate the question of whether life is a tragedy or a comedy & I do agree that “it all depends on how you look at it“. I must agree though ; it wasn’t exactly like sliding doors — the two situations were completely different and I didn’t feel there was a strong parallel with the Melinda’s. The ‘tragic’ Melinda is a suicidal divorcee, with two children she has no access to and a secret past, who comes to entangle the marriage life of her childhood friend Laurel (Chloe Sevigny) whilst the ‘comic’ Melinda is the whacko neighbor of Hobie (Will Farrell) and his wife Susan (Amanda Peet), who reawakens both of their love life, albeit not to each other. Moreover, Melinda and Melinda is intended to be a sort of showdown between a comic and a tragic view of the world, but the comic story isn’t all that funny and the tragic story isn’t all that sad. Ultimately, it’s not a bad movie & is quite watchable and sporadically amusing.

  5. 30th October 2007 – Educating Rita (1983)

    • I think I’ve had this DVD lying around in the house for a few years now without ever being watched and I know it sounds shallow but it was because of the DVD cover itself. Don’t let the imagery fool you though — this is indeed an extremely good film. Funny, honest, moving, full of warmth & charm. Sounds cheesy but you should definitely give this one a go. It didn’t win so many awards without good reason ! Michael Caine and Julie Walters give an EXCELLENT performance in this movie. And hands down is Michael Caine the best world-weary, boozy burnout I’ve ever seen on the silverscreen ! Both are wonderful characters as is the story, with the emphasis being placed on Walters’s insistance on choosing for herself. *warning: spoiler up ahead* It’s a credit to Willy Russell’s script that she does not fall in love with Caine at the end (that would have been an easy road to go down): the good professor’s life is changed for the better and given purpose again by Walters, but he does not win her in the end. */end of spoiler* The dialog is crisp and sharp (though it takes a bit getting used to, especially Walters — UNLESS you put subtitles on [which I generally do cause’ I like to workout during movies X-DD]), and the whole movie is most enjoyable. Well worth a watch.

  6. 26th November 2007 – Stardust (2007)

    • I’m probably going to be bashed by a number of fan girls but I found this movie to be mediocre at best. I mean, I did get a few laughs, especially watching a cross-dressing Robert De Niro on screen, but it just reminded me of a movie that I might have enjoyed as a twelve year old. Stars, pirates, witches, princes; I guess I should have expected it because how many films do you know that incorporates all these characters in a manner that doesn’t leave you full of comments describing how predictable and cheesy the movie was ?! Didn’t think so. However, speaking as a completely third party objective with absolutely no personal interest in the matter [this line from She’s The Man is gold X-DD], the choice of male actors wasn’t bad, namely Charlie Cox who played Tristan Thorn and well *sort of, not really* Henry Cavill who played Humphrey. I mean Cavill usually looks good in whatever role he plays but his peroxide blonde-white hair, I must admit, looked hidious. Eh, blah. It’s a good enough way to kill time with friends & family. It has no swearing, there are funny bits and happy endings.

  7. 27th November 2007 – Ratatouille (2007)

    • It’s strange that I haven’t heard anything at all bad about this movie.. but I wonder, is it because comparatively this movie is better than all the crap out at the moment or is it because people’s standards have lowered OR alternatively, and in the more conventional sense, is it because this movie is actually GOOD ? I’m not quite sure. I felt this movie was very cute, and made rats look like the most adorable things ever [like ever Disney movie anyway: ants, plastic toys, bees etc etc] even though I squirmed when there were thousands running across the floor in some scenes, but it wasn’t FANTASTIC, the most popular word used to describe this movie. “Really” before ‘good’ was also often used. I didn’t find this movie fantastic for a number of reasons. My main one was that I found the principle character, to be intolerably annoying — you know them ; the dumb characters that do stupid things and make this huge-ass mess of things but in the end by some miracle, everything is fine & of course .. they fall in love [which to me, makes the recipient just as idiotic]. I forgot the other reasons .. suppose you’ll just have to watch it. Run along now, have fun.
  8. 27th November 2007 – Knocked Up (2007)

    • Unless you find drugs, sex and an overload of cussing, you will not like this movie at all. I have to say, I am EXTREMELY disappointed with this movie after all the good reviews I read in the newspaper. I really don’t understand how anyone could find this movie entertaining. I found it annoying and boring waiting for some sort of climax, and when it did come, I got even more annoyed. But mainly what got to me was how unbelievable this movie was (particularly the ending). And you might be saying “well, all movies are unbelievable. They’re not supposed to be like reality TV!” but you know what ? I disagree. Lord of the Rings was FICTION but the talents of Tolkien and Peter Jackson made the whole fiction genre come to life and made me believe than in an alternate universe, these things *could* happen. If you still are shaking your head, I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t be told to be more ‘open minded’ before. X-DD. Anyway, watch it if you want. It’s a buncha crap and you will be wasting two long, long, long, long hours of your life.

  9. 27th November 2007 – 300 (2006)

    • Apparently this is a guy’s movie. I noticed this at the start of the movie with the porn-like sex scene. Despite the movie stereotyped as a ‘guy’s movie’, I really liked it. The camera work, graphics, the acting and of course the BATTLE SCENES [powerful, aesthetic and elegant — a ballet of blood done so nicely X-DD]. My favorite aspect of the art direction was this profound grittiness (manifested in the dirt, bloodshed, contrast, and other details that were brought forth because of the filming technique) that almost became a character in itself, contributing to the harshness of the plot. And well, though 300 has received criticism that it wasn’t an accurate depiction of what really went down in Thermopylae in 480 B.C., those who are prepared to see it should only expect, plot-wise, a film based on a graphic novel [Frank Miller is a GENIUS] rather than historic accounts. The film’s dialog is pretty much exactly the same as it is in the graphic novel much like how most of the dialog in Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City was taken directly from Frank Miller’s graphic novel. Personally I think that 300 is the best film of it’s kind. It’s faster paced than Lord Of The Rings, more accurate than Troy, more compelling than Tristan and Isolde, and more violent than Gladiator.
  10. 4th December 2007 – Halloween (2007)

    • Where do I start with all the things that disturbed me in this movie ? And I’m not talking about ‘disturbed’ in a twisted, horror-movie context, but rather in a ‘quality’ sense. In essence, Rob Zombie used every cheap trick in the book and it plays as one boring cliché after another. Add this film to your archive of ‘lame slasher stalker movies’. I think the problem with this movie is that it’s just way too unoriginal: a boy with a messed up childhood turns into a serial killer after he snaps one day and gets sent to an asylum before breaking out and going on a killing rampage. Here’s another fun fact. Zombie cast his wife in the role of Michael’s mother, and she can’t act at all. I also thought it was funny how everyone who got naked got brutally and gorily murdered. Well, if you’re still unconvinced and want to see this sordid, depressing world of white-trash family dysfunction and pop psychology go ahead but don’t be expecting the thrill of the spectral. But if that’s what you want, stay home and watch Dr. Phil and save $9.
  11. 15th December 2007 – Disturbia (2007)

    • I usually never get scared in movies of the thriller/disturbed genre but this one really made me jump out of my seat. Well “jumping out of my seat” isn’t really the expression I’m looking for. There’s a Chinese expression but I don’t know how to insert Chinese characters here so I won’t try. It was probably all the paranoia associated with Shia LaBeouf’s character, Kale Brecht, and how he kept spying through his binoculars only to look up and get a quick glimpse of the murderer of red heads [random much ? What a coincidence he chooses to kill a nearly extinct species of humans] looking back at him through his window. I found that to be highly unrealistic but what am I talking about here ? These sorts of movies are never realistic. Except for the part where Kale falls madly in lust with his new next door neighbour, Ashley, without even so much as a “hello, I’m Kale and I think with my penis.” X-DD I’m being crude, but you know it’s true. And lastly, this movie is extremely disturbing. I’ve seen worse but nonetheless it is. Don’t let your children watch it.
      PS. Aaron Yoo is HAWWTT. So cute. Funny. I really thought he was dead.
  12. 31st December 2007 – Enchanted (2007)

    • I made fun of someone who paid to watch this movie so I suppose I deserved to be laughed at for paying to see it myself. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I thought it would be cheesy [cheesy .. well yes it is], predictable [oh-so predictable], and lovey-dovey laa-ddeeee-daaa [goodness yes]. But somehow that was *alright*, just this once. Perhaps because it was 42 degrees [or 105F] and I just desperately wanted to escape the extreme heat, or perhaps it’s because I realised that that’s what it was trying to be. And there were many amusing bits in it. The singing, the animation, the costumes, the lines. It’s ideal for children and couples who like to believe they are in love.
  13. 1st January 2008 – National Treasure : Book Of Secrets (2007)

    • To be honest I didn’t really want to see this film and didn’t plan to. It was just that it was a 40 degree day or so & I wanted air-con since we live primitively as my dad doesn’t believe in air condition =.=” It felt quite long .. perhaps because it was so mediocre. Though I shouldn’t be so surprised since the first one was as well. Well apparently the first one was “crap” and the second is supposed to be “good” but as I’ve seen them both, I can credibly say that it’s the same old goose-chasing, law-breaking, history-buffing film with basically the same actors, different bad guy of course. Eh, it’s getting old and hopefully there won’t be a third. It would be a terrible waste of money.
  14. 5th January 2008 – I Am Legend (2007)

    • Interesting movie – interesting concept. From the ads that were on television I didn’t really know what to expect in the first place since it was very vague & so finding out that zombies, or humans that became psycho-cannibalistic, had a very large role in the plot was surprising, in the least. Not sure if it was a pleasant surprise or not. I think this movie *could* have been better. It just required a lot more back-plot and character development because we don’t get a lot of explanation and detail; just a vague outline similar to its ad. I can say I thought the canine actor, Abby — who played Sam [Samantha] was very good ! I don’t know .. I’ve always been in awe of such intelligence in canines. But I thought it was a terrible pity what happened to her in the end .. find out for yourself perhaps. Maybe I’ll read the book, who knows ? I heard it was good. Very interesting movie indeed. Too bad it was cut short in so many aspects.
  15. 10th January 2008 – American Gangster (2007)

    • Very good movie. Only heard about it from a work mate and decided to see it that night since it was too hot to do anything else. Worth watching, but requires a lot of concentration. It’s probably not the type of movie for those who prefer light romantic/comedies such as 27 Dresses like my mum. I think she found it interesting because she didn’t exactly keep her personal opinions to herself during the movie. Especially when she saw a junkie injecting drugs into their veins and naked people. And considering I was sitting in between my parents it was particularly awkward when there were sex scenes & naked people. Maybe not so much with the naked people but with the grunting and .. yeah etc. One of Russel Crowe’s & Denzel Washington’s better performances. But overall, very good movie [suggest synonyms ?] — raw, and real — based on a true story.
  16. 11th January 2008 – War and Peace (1956)

    • I like old movies, I don’t know why. They’re just different to the ones you see in the cinemas today. Not as predictable maybe. It’s arguable. Anyway, I’ve heard a lot about the book by Leo Tolstoy. Not so much about the movie. So when I was going through all the DVD’s we had [half of which I haven’t watched >.<] I put this one aside for a rainy day. And though it wasn’t a rainy day I did have three hours to burn so I watched it. Not bad, interesting plot indeed with the history of the Napoleon Bonaparte and his French troops conquering Europe and Russia. The things I didn’t like about this movie ? Basically Audrey Hepburn’s script and all the romantic nonsense between her and the three different men who fall completely head over heels in love with her character — Natasha Rostov. I don’t understand. She IS gorgeous but her personality is so .. cringing. There are a lot of situations and endings that I don’t understand with the relationships too. Like HOW could Nikolay Rostov end up with the snobby Princess Marya instead of Sonya ? Stupid men. But I suppose the movie wouldn’t be the same without it. It would just be fighting and war. However this movie has inspired me to read the novel. I’m sure it’s much better than the film as in most cases. Interesting indeed.
  17. 12th January 2008 – 27 Dresses (2008)

    • Considering my expectations of movies in the genre of comedy / romances are defaulted to “going to be REALLY REALLY bad, cheesy & mediocre“, this one wasn’t so bad. Maybe it’s because I was too busy drooling over James Marsden *ahem* uhh.. well, he was pretty good in the movie. One scene that did stand out for me was the one where they were in a bar drenched from the pouring rain outside & they started singing a duet. Katherine Heigl & James Marsden totally ruined Benny & The Jets for me but well, it was funny. Stupid drunks. But don’t worry, I haven’t gone to the dark side — I still think that 27 Dresses IS kinda cute but ridiculously clichéd. Particularly when Jane [played by Heigl] realises she loves Kevin [played by Marsden] and follows him onto a boat super-hero style and publicly declares her love. So pointless. He wasn’t leaving the country.. she could have just met him for dinner and talked with him but I suppose we were nearing 107 minutes and all the directors & cast people wanted to go home [and don’t forget the non-chick flick audience too]. This over-the-top scene ruined any chance I had of any cinematic believability. The ending could have been way better.
  18. 16th January 2008 – Paris, Je t’Aime (2006)

    • I’ve been wanting to watch this movie for sometime & was finally forced to in the company of my cousins. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie. Whether it would be strange, like every other European or French movie or whether it would be somewhat influenced by western culture. It was hard to tell with such a large cast list and the number of directors that were involved in this “experiment” of a movie. What we did get though was eighteen different, short-ish scenarios which had something to do with love, or the particular director’s angle on it. I’d have to say, it was quite like Love Actually except A LOT quirkier except you definitely don’t get to play favourites. The story of the mimes, the blind boy & the actress [played by Natalie Portman] and the Tuileries episode were highly amusing and just brilliant, where else there were some that were completely incomprehensible — the Chinese one ;-x [if you watch this & figure it out, give a shout] and for the other bad bits, you just sat them through; ca vaut la peine, they were only very short. Ashamedly, I admit, I also watched this for the fact that Gaspard Ulliel was in it. Except I found his monologue to be totally disappointing and just .. ergh. Weird ?! It was just too unbelievable to say those things he said [don’t understand ? Watch it !]. On the whole, this film is worth watching for the good scenarios and ties in pretty well so you get an understanding of a few things — reference to Elijah Wood’s farcical role as a vampire X-DD.
  19. 17th January 2008 – Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

    • People say this movie is stupid. It is. But I still love it. X-DD
  20. 18th January 2008 – Juno (2008)

    • Brilliant, witty movie. THE INDIE SCENE IS NOT DEAD. Never will be. Stupid pricks. On their high horses.
  21. 24th January 2008 – Valentine (2001)

    • Slasher stalker movies are *always* bad, but this one really is. Terrible script, shallow characters who call each other ‘friends’ but then leave them out alone to die, and inconsistencies with the plot sums it all up. Also did I mention twisted ? It was. The plot: A nerdy young boy is teased and pranked by a couple of his classmates at the beginning of the film. Then the film moves years later when those classmates are all grown up, then they’re picked off one-by-one. The killer is presumed to be the young boy now all grown up looking for revenge. But is it him? Or could it be somebody else? “Valentine” has an attractive cast which includes Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Jessica Capshaw, and Katherine Heigl. Except, I don’t think it’s fair to put Katherine Heigl on the cover of the DVD if she dies within the first 5 minutes of the movie.
      PS. Even though there are still so many movies with killer in masks [Halloween, Scream etc] I’d have to say they are official OVER. *yawns*

      PPS. Mum only bought this cause’ she knows David Boreanaz is yummy [from Buffy & Angel & BONES <333333]

  22. 24th January 2008 – Marie Antoinette (2006)

    • The movie is too long & boring for my taste. Not to say that Sofia Coppola movies are bad, they’re just overly stylistic.
  23. 25th January 2008 – Gone With The Wind (1939)

    • adflkj
  24. 28th January 2008 – Big Bounce (2004)

    • It’s one of those unfunny, poorly made movies with a ridiculous story that leaves you wondering — what was the POINT of THAT ?! The cast wasn’t entirely bad though but their talents were wasted. Cast included Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise, Owen Wilson, Bebe Neuwirth and Charlie Sheen. Notice I excluded Sara Foster ? [who played Nancy Haynes] Considering there were a dozen better actors constantly on-hand, the camera followed her FAR too much ! Her time should have been cut with this cast. I think the biggest problem with this film is that nothing much happens in it for over half of its length, and when something does happen, it is so poorly constructed that it’s not very clear what’s going on and everything falls flat. I don’t think I got anything out from watching this crap [people keep mentionning the scenary at this point as if a pity remark but scenes shot at a beach isn’t original — should we be fishing for compliments here?!], and I don’t think Elmore Leonard [the author of the book] did either. Terribly marketed. The Big Bounce is just a very unnecessary movie.
  25. 31st January 2008 – The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

    • I like movies with spaceships, preferably exploding at some point. Also shooting, sword fighting and violent death. Oh, and car chases. And if I can’t have the above, then can there at least be some explicit sex please? And yet I loved this movie.” — David Beukes.
      This is similar to how I felt about this movie. No, I didn’t “love” this movie but I mean, if shortly after, I started a book club — this movie must have had some sort of positive impact on me, correct ? It was probably the presence of Hugh Dancy. *Drools*”I gladly relinquish one of my Man cards for saying that. I’m off to watch something with guns in to compensate, though.”
  26. 8th February 2008 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

    • Tim Burton never fails to amaze me, despite the critisism in his direction [he doesn’t appeal to the Academy’s personal taste]. From the moment he says “lights, camera, action!” we are all captivated on the silver screen, particularly in this movie. What stunning visuals and powerful music, and the story itself is poetically potent, unforgettable and seductive. Of course, it would not have the same effect without the electric performances of Johnny Depp and Helem Bonham Carter. Surprisingly I much prefered their singing than that of, singer turned actor, Jamie Campbell Bower who’s performance I found completely amateur and annoying. Overall, this film is dazzlingly disturbing. Probably because of Todd’s complacency when he slits his victims throat. The audience doesn’t get much preparation compared to in your typical horror film where there is usually a general build up of music. I want to see it again. And again. It’s a brutal and shattering masterpiece, and in my personal opinion — Burton’s best movie yet !
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