30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 18: A film that is your guilty pleasure

1 07 2011

Not much to say about this except that I want to say I don’t watch a lot of crappy movies and though this isn’t super crappy, it is kind of cheesy fluff… but I still like it.

And according to my original facebook post, a lot of others like the film too, so maybe I shouldn’t feel all that guilty about liking it… hmm.

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 17: Least favourite book adaptation

30 06 2011

A few years ago, a friend had posted a list compiled by the BBC of 100 Classic books and collections, claiming that the average person has read six out of the hundred.  You could go over the list and see which books you read/hadn’t read and see if you were better than the average person.  So I did that, and I had a grand total of… insert drum roll here… seven!  I’m slightly better than average!  Huzzahs are in order.  I had another friend go over the list and she had read almost everything.  Man, was I jealous.

After doing that, I set out to read as many books on that list as I could, and one of the ones on the list was Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.  Like you, I thought it was going to be a sappy, boring romance story with some fantasy thrown in, but it turned out to be way more profound and deeper.  The two main characters are deeply flawed, and very modern (they’re in punk music, for one).  The time travel aspect of the book is also really interesting and it deals with the science and science fiction of it pretty well, I must say.

I asked my twin sister if she had read the book and she said she had, and had also seen the movie but she warned me: “Whatever you do, DON’T watch the movie.”  So naturally, after I was done, I watched it.

And oh god.

They diluted the charisma and wonderful, unique characterization of the leads into horrible stereotypes.  Claire, for one, is turned into the typical “I’m a woman so I must want a child” character; their interesting anecdotes are lost in the movie; and Henry time travels abruptly all the time, while in the novel it is mainly due to stress — ie. there’s a reason for it and it’s not random.  It’s cliché-filled, which the book is against and apart from the time traveling, it feels like a run-of-the-mill Hollywood film.  Ugh.

I should’ve listened to my sister.  On the other hand, watching the movie made me appreciate the novel and really, just writing and literature that much more.

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 14: Favourite documentary

27 06 2011

Those who read my blog know that I have my own category dedicated to documentaries, so picking one out of everything I’ve seen was difficult.  My first thought was something from Michael Moore, either Fahrenheit 9/11 or Bowling For Columbine as they are up there on my list of favourite docs.  But I had to go with the truly affecting Hearts and Minds.

I think part of the reason Hearts and Minds was more affecting for me was because I was learning about the Vietnam War in my History class so I was better able to grasp everyone involved and the background of how it all developed.  There’s a scene in the film that really disturbs me: a solider is in the street in Vietnam and he shoots a man in the head.  As the man collapses on the ground, blood releases from his head like a fountain, and at the time, I was in so much shock because I had seen this happen in Hollywood movies before but this was real — a man just got shot in the head.  There was no special effects, no pouch of blood exploding.  It was all real.  This was reality.

It still haunts me today.  Reality is horrific.  Take a lesson from that, modern horror movie makers.

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 13: Favourite chick flick

26 06 2011

Does every romantic comedy equal a chick flick?  Is that really the only thing that qualifies a film as geared towards women?  I guess Titanic could also be considered a chick flick and in that case, would every romance movie a chick flick?

So if we’re going by those standards, then I picked from my favourite romantic comedies and came up with When Harry Met Sally, a romantic comedy that is actually romantic and funny, unlike a lot of rom-coms today. What I really like about this film that stands out to me more than typical rom-coms is that for the majority of the film, the two leads (SPOILER ALERT!) don’t get together.  It’s an exploration of friendship and love, and what happens when sex does and doesn’t get in the way.  That in itself is more relevant to people’s lives than any re-hashed Adam Sandler movie today.

Here’s the diner scene in the film:

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 12: Favourite love story

25 06 2011

Now I know that not every gay person likes Brokeback, just as not every straight person likes Titanic.  But I really did enjoy Brokeback Mountain, and was so stoked about the movie before it even came out that I went straight to the library when I read that such a movie was even going to be widely released and borrowed Annie Proulx’s short story.  Unfortunately, when the movie did come out, I had no one to see it with, and I ended up watching it on TV when it came on Movie Central.  Even my homophobic mother saw it in theatres (only because Ang Lee directed it and she’s a fan of his, I think).

This is my favourite scene in the film.  I think it’s really romantic and cute.  There isn’t really much else to say, except how fitting that also NY approved same-sex marriage yesterday too.  🙂

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 11: Favourite kids’ movie

24 06 2011

Favourite movie for me as a kid?  Favourite movie for me made for kids?  Because this one was ambiguous, I decided that since this challenge is about my personal opinion on things, that it should be about my favourite movie that is a family/kids’ movie, since I didn’t really watch a lot of films as a child (the first movie I saw in theatres was Independence Day).

So.  The Wizard of Oz.  Well, I don’t have to describe what it’s about but I will say that I had the book when I was young and I read it over and over again ’cause I really liked to read then.  It wasn’t until when I was a teenager that I saw the film with my sister and thought it was awesome.  I remember when Judy Garland started singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” that my sister said, “That’s not her voice!  It’s so… good” because Dorothy was supposed to be like 13 or something in the film and Judy was also in her teens when she starred in the film, yet her voice was so mature, so beautiful to hear.

Here’s a trailer of the film when it was re-released digitally re-mastered a few years back:

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 10: Favourite foreign film

23 06 2011

I know Federico Fellini’s films can be kind of obscure and confusing(I definitely felt that way watching 8½).  I think La Dolce Vita is the first Fellini film I ever saw (or perhaps second), and I remember getting about halfway into the movie and thinking, “This is so damn good.”

It’s hard to describe why I like this film so much.  It could be because of the fantastic cinematography, the fascinating and colorful characters that Marcello meets, or the commentary of society’s obessession with celebrities and, well, the “sweet life”.  This film and Amarcord are my two favourite Fellini films.

Here’s the Trevi Fountain clip from the film:

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 9: Favourite musical

22 06 2011

Well, this one shouldn’t come as a surprise.  I haven’t seen a whole lot of musicals but this one stands out to me as, well, the best.

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 8: Favorite thriller

21 06 2011

I think the genre of “thriller” is hard to define because it’s very often paired with another genre, like action or crime or horror.  There isn’t really a movie that is strictly a thriller, whereas it’s easier to label other movies as simply comedies or horror films or dramatic features.  Once again, I turned to imdb’s top 250 list and thought Inception would be a really good choice, since it did thrill me, but the genre of thriller wasn’t in the top 3 genres for the film.  Sure, movies can be categorized different from one person to the next but maybe I suppose thriller wouldn’t be the first genre I’d label for Inception.

Further down the list, I came across a little 1955 French film called Les diaboliques (which was remade by the Americans with Sharon Stone 40 years later and apparently it’s not very good).  I won’t go into the story much but I will say that it’s a film that made me wonder what was truth and what was lie, that really made me guess everything going on to try and figure it all out.  The climax and twist of the film is also filmed really well and for me anyway, managed to shock me and even scare me a little, despite today’s standards of shock, gore, violence, etc.  Watch it alone in the dark at night and the film will be even more effective…

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 7: favourite animated feature

20 06 2011

I’ve got a midterm for English Lit. tomorrow and I gotta review what I’m gonna be saying in the essay that I have a mere 50 minutes to write.  Huzzah.

Spirited Away is fantastic.  Watch it if you haven’t or you will have never lived life.