A Life in Movies

Posted on May 8, 2011. Filed under: Memes and Blogathons, Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The ever-creative Andy has come up with another fantastic blog-a-thon idea and I’m determined to get in on the fun. The idea is to pick a favourite movie for ever year you’ve been alive. (I think it’s his sneaky way of finding out how old we all are.)

Notoriously indecisive as I am, this is probably going to be a tricky one for me…

1988

That’s right folks, I reach the ripe old age of 23 this August

This is actually pretty tricky, putting aside such cinematic wonders as Crocodile Dundee 2 and Police Academy 5, this is also the year that brought us Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Big. The dilemma for me though is choosing between two of my favourite films: Rain Man and Die Hard.

In the end I’m going to have to go for Die Hard. It’s just everything I want in an action film.

1989

This one is a bit easier. Although I’m sure that most of you who were around at the time will be picking Batman starring the fantastic Jack Nicholson as The Joker, I have to go for Dead Poet’s Society.

1990

We’ll just gloss over the fact that this was the year that brought us Kindergarten Cop shall we? 1990 also saw the release of the final (and weakest) installment of the Back to the Future trilogy and the second (and weakest) of the Die Hard quadrilogy. Enough of the slightly dodgy though, there was also some good to ring in my terrible twos, including the surprisingly sweet Mermaids starring Cher and Winona Ryder, the quintessential Christmas film Home Alone and this year’s winner: Edward Scissorhands.

1991

This might be an unpopular choice, but I’m going to pick Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It might involve a more American Robin than we’re used to in the form of Kevin Costner, but Alan Rickman as the sheriff of Nottingham more than makes up for it.


Here’s where I start to change the game a bit….As I was working through finding films that were released in each year, I came across a problem. There are films that came out in these years that I absolutely adored at the time, and still love now, but there are also films I’ve come back to as an adult that might edge out those childhood favourites if I’m asked to choose. So from here on I’ve kind of cheated a bit. Sorry Andy. Hopefully as well as being a massive cheat, it’s interesting for people other than myself to see what I was into at the time, and what I’ve come back to discover later.

1992

So what was the 3-4 year old watching in ’92? Aladdin of course! Meanwhile the grown up (well, not really) version looks back on ’92 as the year that gave us Reservoir Dogs. Bit of a contrast there….

1993

This was a good year for childhood movies.  Not only did it see the release of my guilty pleasure movie Free Willy but also Mrs Doubtfire and Nick Park’s brilliant short film The Wrong Trousers. The best childhood movie of ’93 for me though had to be Cool Runnings. Some people say you know they can’t believe….

Coming back to the ’93 films and I’ve got a tricky choice, but in the end I’m going to pass over Philadelphia in favour of the more feel good Benny and Joon

1994

This seems to be the year of Jim Carrey, with both Ace Ventura and The Mask showcasing his “rubber faced humour” as they love to call it.

There’s no question that the 5-6 year old me’s favourite film is The Lion King, I can still vividly remember going to see it in the cinema. It still a contender for my favourite film of the year , but faces stiff competition from a whole collection of films I love including; Pulp Fiction, Speed, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. In the end I’m going to have to go with the perhaps predictable choice, but outstanding film, Forrest Gump

1995

1995 was a big turning point for animated movies. It was the year Toy Story was released, becoming my favourite film instantly and holding on to that top spot for a long time.

Also that year came Apollo 13, Braveheart, Desperado, Die Hard With A Vengeance and The Usual Suspects, but you know what? I still love Woody the most.

1996

This is an easy pick in both directions.  My favourite film at the time (and I still love it now, because I’m cool like that) was Muppet Treasure Island. Tim Curry as Long John Silver. Yes.

But the best film to come out of ’96 has to be Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. I’ve written about it on this blog more than once, but it really is a fantastically made movie and a clever adaptation of the worlds best known love story.


1997

OK, don’t judge me, but as soon as I saw this on the list of ’97 movies I knew what my favourite film at the time was….George of the Jungle

*ahem* Moving on.

Lots of big Sci-Fi movies in ’97: The Fifth Element is an under-rated movie, sitting alongside Men In Black and GATTACCA.  This was also the year the world went crazy for Jack and Rose in Titanic, but I’m going to pick a film that you might not know: Donnie Brasco. It’s a great look at what it’s like to infiltrate the world of organised crime, made all the more significant because unlike the many other gangster movies out there this one is true.


1998

In the year I hit double figures I have another very clear early cinema memory; going to see A Bug’s Life.  This time it was my little sister (then 5) who was in awe of the big screen for the first time. She stood up for the whole thing.

1998 was also the year of the battle of the killer Meteorites, with both Deep Impact and Armageddon coming up with different ways to prevent the apocalypse. I’ve gotta admit I prefer the ever so slightly cheesy but more fun version involving Bruce Willis and a giant oil drill.

As much as I love both these films though, I think my adult film of ’98 is going to have to be The Truman Show because not only is it a much unloved movie with a beautiful soundtrack that more people should see, but it also proved to me that even though I’d always been a fan of Jim Carrey because his dumb humour made me laugh, it turns out he can actually act too.

1999

It’s 1999! The year I started secondary school and everybody started panicking that the world was going to end when the millenium came. Light relief form these two distressing issues came in the form of a year of great movies including Sleepy Hollow, The Green Mile, Dogma, Notting Hill, The Talented Mr Ripley and 10 Things I Hate About You. This presents both the young and old versions of me with a dilemma because it’s quite hard to pick.

11 year old Katie is torn between The Iron Giant and Toy Story 2. Both amazing films. Both still watched with regualrity. I think my life long love of Pixar will win in the end though.

Meanwhile 11 years older Katie is debating whether I love Fight Club more than The Matrix. I don’t think I do.

Ps. Just in case you were forgetting/mentally blocking/still recevinign counselling for it, this is the year that George Lucas decided three epic Star Wars films wasn’t enough…exit, persued by a Gungan

2000

The world didn’t end. Confused computers didn’t bring civilisation to a standstill and (scarily) we have reached the halfway point in my life. Quite a lot of good “family” films came out this year, and despite being 12 at the time, I still had a soft spot for movies like El Dorado and The Emperors New Groove. Kids movie of the year has to go to Chicken Run, especially because it’s better than the classic its based on.

And while I can imagine a lot of you bloggers out there will pick Gladiator as your movie that kicked off the noughties, for me film of the year is the one that started my transformation from realtively geeky kid into Marvel comic super nerd. Because this is the year they brought out X Men.


And here’s where the split ends….by 2001 I’m 13 and my favourite movies of each year at the time tend to still be firm favourites. That probably has a lot to do with the release of a certain trilogyThere are still a lot of movies that I discovered later, but there’s less of a stark split in tastes as there was in the earlier years, so I’ll stop cheating and go back to only picking one movie per year.

2001

I’m not going to pretend that the next couple of years picks aren’t going to be pretty predictable. I could deliberately pick other movies in the interest of variety, but then I wouldn’t be picking my favourite film, which kind of misses the point now doesn’t it? 2001-2003 was all about three films for me despite other great releases including Donnie Darko and Moulin Rouge in ’01. But there’s never going to be any question that my film of the year is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. If I hadn’t been to see that film, this blog would not exist. And that’s about all I can say that you haven’t heard a thousand times.

2002

Not even the release of Spiderman can topple Tolkein in ’02.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

2003

As one trilogy came to an end, Pirates of the Caribbean appeared to fill the hole. But the big finish was definitely worth the wait, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King delivered the epic battle scenes and final showdown we’d all been waiting for.

2004

OK, no more LOTR, you can stop rolling your eyes now. ’04 is quite tricky for me because there are a lot of films I really like, but not one that stands out against all the others.  There are some fun films like Spiderman 2, The Day After Tomorrow and Wimbledon but I think I’m going to have to go with The Motorcycle Diaries; a recent discovery that really surprised me with how good it was.

2005

Even though one of my current favourites, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang came out in this year, I’m going to have to pick Brokeback Mountain because not only is it a fantastic piece of cinema, it was quite a moment in movie history, if only for showing us just how talented Heath Ledger was.

2006

2006: I left school and set out for the big smoke to start my degree. 3 fantastic years of new friends and new movies followed.

Loads of great films came out this year, but I’m picking Casino Royale because it was the first film I ever saw on the big screen in Leicester Square, with 3 people who are still among my best friends. It also converted me on Bond films.

2007

Lots of sequels in ’07:  Spiderman 3, Pirates 3, Die Hard 4, but movie of the year for me has to be Stardust. Because its brilliant 😛

2008

I will never forgive 2008 for Mamma Mia. It still gives me chills. It does try to make up for it though with The Dark Knight and the possibly controversially picked, (but I am a Marvel girl after all) Iron Man.

2009

The year I graduated from uni (the first time). The year I started this blog, and a big year for movies. No wonder I was inspired!

I find it impossible to believe that Avatar came out 3 years ago. I was also converted to the trekkie side by J.J. Abrams and got into endless fights with  bloggers about why Wolverine should not be trashed all over the internet. It’s a tough choice, but I think I’m going to pick Sherlock Holmes as my film for ’09, because I can’t wait to see what happens next.

2010

This gets easier as I’ve had less time to get to the cinema and so have seen very few of the films released in the last year. The ones I did see are all strong contenders though; Inception, Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3…I’m going with The King’s Speech. Partly because it got me to finally forgive Colin Firth for the sins of 2008, but mainly because it did what very few films manage to do, it lived up to the hype.

2011

And here we are. Although I still have trouble remembering it actually is 2011. Depressingly this post has made me realise that I haven’t been to the cinema yet this year (is it really May already?) However, with Thor already out, Pirates 4 coming out on May 16th and X Men: First Class hot on its heels in June, I’m sure it’s going to be a very good year. 🙂


And there you have my semi-autobiographical life in movies. I’m back at uni again, and struggling a bit to find time to get to the cinema or post on here, but getting involved in things like this reminds me why I started STRM in the first place. Hope you all enjoy having a read through my tragic taste over they years. Looking forward to being trashed in the comments.

Click HERE to see what everyone else has picked.

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A Knight’s Tale

Posted on April 27, 2011. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A Knight’s Tale almost falls into that category of films not enough people know about. It’s not exactly a cult or unheard of movie, but it rarely pops up on blogs or lists of must-see movies, which I think is a shame because it’s a really great film.  In fact, every time I watch it, I’m always surprised by how good it actually is, and so I thought a post was in order.

For those who don’t know, A Knight’s Tale is based on one of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and tells the story of William, a peasant who decides to pose as a Knight in order to achieve fame and fortune on the Jousting circuit.  What writer/director Brian Helgeland does so well here, is seamlessly mix the modern with the medieval to come up with a movie which feels entirely up to date while at the same time being about what may seem (until you see the film of course) a rather quaint dark age pastime.

Jousters were the rock stars of the middle ages. They were the ridiculously overpaid footballers who people would argue about in pubs and cheer on in the stadium. And that’s what is done so well in this film.  The matches are full of action, with some effective use of slow motion, and Helgeland really highlights the potential danger of charging at someone with a pointy stick!  The rock star theme is furthered by some fantastic merging of modern anthems with traditional music. Queen’s We Will Rock You is used to get the audience straight into the right mindset, and there is a fantastic bit of work with Bowie’s Golden Years in the Banquet.  One of my favourite uses of pop music in a movie because it’s done so well. Check it out for yourself:

The fusion of eras is at times anachronistic; femme fatale Jocelyn’s costumes and hairstyles would I’m sure make a few historians twitch, but it doesn’t matter in a movie like this, which is more about the feeling of the time than the actual detail.  And it brings what could be quite a stuffy story right up to date, still feeling fresh now a decade later.

Not only does A Knight’s Tale have some quirky use of music and costume, it also has some knockout performances from a great cast. Heath Ledger is reliable as always, and Rufus Sewell fits easily into the brooding bad guy role, but for me the star of the show is Paul Bettany. As one of my favourite actors, I’m always a bit surprised that he doesn’t seem to turn up much in big movies. He seems to have taken a Depp-esque route of doing films you wouldn’t expect to find him in.  As writer and overzealous gambler Chaucer, Bettany is just brilliant. From his first unflinching entrance through to his collection of awesome speeches he steals every scene and rightly so.  He has a perfect balance of humour and heart which is reflected throughout the movie and I think has a lot to do with why this film works.

For those who have the DVD, there is a deleted scene containing an extra speech from Chaucer at the stocks and I can’t for the life of me work out why it was cut. It’s a beautiful moment and really should have made the final movie, so check it out if you can.

A Knight’s Tale really is a film that deserves more recognition.  On the surface it looks quite fluffy, and it isn’t exactly Apocalypse Now, but it deserves some credit for telling an old story in a very new way.  If you haven’t seen it yet then you really should.  Definitely more worth your time than the endless Royal Wedding coverage this weekend anyway.

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Movies that couldn’t survive without their lead actor

Posted on July 25, 2010. Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Some movie characters are iconic.  In some cases the reason for that is more to do with the actor playing the role than the character itself.  There will always be parts that you couldn’t imagine anyone else playing, but arguably some characters are so wrapped up in the identity of the actor that they would be entirely different with someone else in the costume.

The character who I think fulfils this most of all is Captain Jack Sparrow.  Just try to imagine any other actor playing that role.  Can’t do it can you?

Legend has it that Johnny Depp turned up to the audition in that costume, complete with make up, accent and real gold teeth.  Without Sparrow there is no Pirates of the Caribbean and I would argue without Depp there is no Sparrow.  The movie was a real risk-taker, with the appeal of pirate movies long dead and many people  wondering if a film based on a little known ride, made by Disney but not strictly for kids, could make it. Then Jack staggered on to the screen and everyone was hooked.  The whole movie hinges on that one iconic character; a point backed up by the fact that he is the only returner (except Gibbs) in the upcoming fourth movie.  Sparrow is now as famous, if not more so, than Long John Silver or Captain Hook and I really don’t think the movies would have done even half as well without Depp at the helm (bad pun not entirely intended).

Another character who I think is intertwined with the actor playing it is Iron Man.  He basically is Robert Downey Jr.  When he was announced as the man stepping into the suit it seemed a strange choice but it’s turned out to be a career defining role.  I’m not saying that no one else could play Iron Man, because I can think of a few other people who probably could, but I think the characterisation would be very different, as the writers have clearly put a lot of RDJ into Stark.

It’s not just faces on screen either.  Imagine Disney’s Aladdin without Robin Williams voicing the genie.  Doesn’t work does it?  And I’d put a strong case for the fact that Woody and Tom Hanks fit so well together that Toy Story would be a different movie without him.

Pretty much anything in Jim Carrey’s early career is entirely dependent on him too.  Obviously a lot of that is down to parts being written for him, but can you really picture Ace Ventura or The Mask in the hands of someone else?

There is only one incidence I can think of where the same character played by two different actors has an equal impact on the movie, and that’s The Joker.  Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman completely owned the movie and was put down as the definitive Joker.  Or so we thought. Fast forward 19 years and Heath Ledger brings something completely new to the table which has audiences and critics alike lost for words playing a huge part in the success of The Dark Knight.

Usually we think of movies as making or breaking the career of actors, but it works both ways.  One  performance can lift a mediocre movie to a whole new level, or just as easily bring it crashing down.

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Posted on May 3, 2010. Filed under: Movies to miss, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Faithful followers will know that I was really looking forward to this films release. No doubt they will also have noticed the lack of review on this site.  The inconvenience of having a full time job mean that I never got to see Parnassus in the cinema, but the epic rain that washed out the Bank Holiday weekend allowed me to finally get around to watching the DVD.

Let’s get the obvious bit out of the way first. Yes, it’s weird. In fact it’s very weird.  But this is the mind of Terry Gilliam, where if you think it makes sense, you’re not getting it.  So put that aside before you start and you’ll get on a lot better.

Gilliam is essentially an artist, and it’s the visuals that make this film.  Each trip through the Doctor’s magic mirror takes us into a world beyond imagination that only Gilliam could create.  But unfortunately it has little else to offer.  I did enjoy the juxtaposition between the old-fashioned world of the Imaginarium and the modern world of it’s clientelle.  The opening credits set you up for a period piece, but then a drunk guy wanders into shot from a nightclub and you realise you’re expectations were wrong.  Just how Terry likes it.

I don’t want to call Parnassus a bad film, because it isn’t bad exactly.  But I’m not sure what it is.  The plot is as expected; convoluted and very hard to follow, but if you strip it down to the bare bones it’s actually relatively simple.  The problem is the characterisation.  I’m not really sure whose side we’re supposed to be on.  There isn’t really a protagonist story to follow, the plot just seems to meander around a group of people.

As for the actors behind the performances, Tom Waits does a great underworld Mr Nick and Verne Troyer proves he can do more than just be the funny little guy in his first proper acting role.  The focus however,  falls inevitably on Heath Ledger.  This is where it gets difficult.  Neither Ledger, nor alter egos Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, really get to stretch their acting muscles.  If anything, the only thing that caught my attention was Ledger’s wandering accent, which never seemed to get hold of a region (Farrell on the other hand carried off an impressively non-Irish dialect.)  It’s a shame to have four huge talents like that on screen and see them go to waste, but to be honest not many members of the cast get to do much.

The eponymous Dr Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) spends most of the time asleep, and it’s hard to keep up with who bet what to who and why.  I’m still not actually sure who won.  Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield are good though as Valentina and Anton.  In fact, Garfield wins the prize for being the only character I actually cared about.

I’m so reluctant to criticise this film.  Not only because it is Heath’s last, but because it had potential to be really good.  Wishful thinking can’t rescue a film though, and I’m afraid I have to confine Dr Parnassus to the missable movies vault.  Maybe watch it once just to say you’ve seen it, but I fear that without the macabre draw of this being a film where the lead actor died during filming, few people would have given it the time of day.

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10 Things I Hate About You

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

I know I’ve been off the radar but I’m back with a review of a movie that I think is often overlooked.

10 Things I Hate About You could have been just another teen movie, but it’s not.  As a rule, teen movies don’t really do it for me, but after catching twenty minutes of this on a recent TV run I went straight out and bought the DVD.  It’s one of those films I forget how much I like until I watch it again, so I’m hoping to rekindle some interest out there in what is actually a pretty wicked movie.

Unlike a lot of high school dramas 10 Things has the major advantage of being based on a Shakespeare play, putting it way ahead in the plot stakes.  Throughout the movie there are little nods to it’s Elizabethan heritage, such as direct quotes from both the play and The Sonnets, as well as giving the sisters the surname “Stratford” and even an appearance from “William” himself. The Taming of the Shrew has been re-imagined almost as many times as Romeo and Juliet, but I reckon 10 Things is up at the top of the list as an adaption that stays true to the play while still giving it an entirely modern spin.

My favourite thing about this film is that, unlike so many other ugly duckling stories, Kat doesn’t have to change who she is in order to get her happy ending.  She keeps her fierce temper and “screw everyone” attitude, still managing to get the guy.  I’m hard pushed to find another film where a character who so obviously stands out from the crowd doesn’t have to conform in some way, and for that 10 Things should be applauded. Correct me if I’m wrong, (I’m no expert) but as far as I remember even in the original text Katarina becomes submissive to her new husband and relinquishes her power to him.

A great plot can get you so far, but you also need great actors to pull it off. Luckily this movie has plenty of them, headed by the always brilliant Heath Ledger.  I think this was the first film I saw with him in, and while a 20 year old playing a High School kid with a secretive past isn’t the biggest stretch in his tragically short career, he carries it off with effortless charm and appeal which make him the perfect foil for Julia Stiles’ Kat. While we’re on the subject, what happened to Stiles? Apart from a small-ish part in the Bourne films she seems to have vanished.  She’s  brilliant as Kat, bringing out her frustrated anger while still showing moments of vulnerability that make her sympathetic.

I could go on about this film for a while, but I’ll draw your attention to one final key ingredient that makes it so good.  The soundtrack is brilliant.  Perfectly matched to every scene, it really takes you back to the 90s, but steers clear of the mainstrem, just like our heroine.  I think the best example of the use of music in the film is in the opening sequence; where the upbeeat “One Week” gives way to “Bad Reputation” as Kat’s car pulls up.

If you haven’t seen 10 Things I Hate About You I strongly suggest you pick up the DVD (it’s pretty cheap now, 11 years after it’s release….anyone else feeling old?) It’s a fun film with a snappy script and a feel good ending that’s still light on the sugar.  I’ll leave you with the most famous quote from the film, Kat’s own version of Sonnet 141

I hate the way you talk to me.
And the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare
I hate your big dumb combat boots.
And the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick
it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you’re always right.
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it that you’re not around.
And the fact that you didnt call.
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

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10 Days to go!

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: News, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , , |

Today is the premiere of one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year: The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus.  I really hope it lives up to the hype, because with a cast like that and Terry Gilliam at the helm it’ll have to work hard to go wrong.

Of course, there’s gonna be a lot of the same cautious criticism that there was with Dark Knight, and again there will be a significant proportion of the audience who wouldn’t have bothered to turn out to the cinema in different circumstances, but I’d like to think that the movie should be able to earn praise in its own right.  It definitely looks like it’s gonna be one amazing ride.

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Great Expectations

Posted on March 7, 2009. Filed under: Movies to see before you die | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Tonight I found myself with some free time on my hands, which is becoming increasingly unusual for me, so I decided to re-visit the most hyped film of last year: The Dark Knight.

Raving about the brilliance of the film is old news, but I realised as I was watching it that there was no way it was ever going to live up to the expectations people had for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I think its a great movie, and Heath Ledger is in a league of his own when it comes to performance, but I too fell victim to the hype and found myself rating this movie higher than perhaps it deserved when I first saw it in the cinema.

The cast is something to be envied, including star turns by Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, and the special effects are pretty awesome.  Christian Bale also plays well, although I find his “bat-voice” increasingly difficult to take seriously.  The main problem with the film is its length; clocking in at 2 hours 25 mins which I think must be something of a record for comic book films, and there are sections that feel slow, mainly because you’re just waiting for Ledger to reappear on screen.

*update: I thought it was long, then I saw Watchmen!*

It falls foul of the same problem that Spiderman 3 had: one two many villains.  Even though the signposting for the transformation of Dent into Twoface is a delight to comic book geeks, it feels like the final half hour is actually another short film tacked on at the end, which could legitimatley have been saved for a sequel, especially since the actual ending is so clearly gearing up for one.   In general the plot is good, but there are sections which are confusing.  I’m still not that sure what’s going on in the car park at the beginning with all the copycat batmen….

Basically it boils down to this: The Dark Knight is an average film catapulted to mega-success simply because of Heath Ledger.  I would like to believe that if the tragedy which brought the film into the media spotlight had not happened, the film would still have enjoyed the same hype on the basis of what really is an astounding performance.  The scenes in the jail are creepily reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs and everything about the characterisation is completely unique.  I guess we’ll never know,  but it just goes to show that when tragedy is involved even critics draw in their claws and choose to overlook faults in favour of seeing the good.

Case in point: I’m a Marvel girl, I’ve never liked DC or Batman, mainly on the basis that he has one of the lamest costumes in superhero history!  But I desperately wanted to see Dark Knight.  Now, I have always been a Heath Ledger fan, and that was a big part of it, but I can’t help wondering if I’d have heard so much about his performance if he hadn’t died.  I still maintain that it was for Brokeback Mountain that he deserved the Oscar.

I love Dark Knight, and I think everyone should see it, but without Heath Ledger, I don’t think I’ll be fighting to see the next one.

why so serious?


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And The Oscar Goes To:

Posted on February 23, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

It’s afternoon, my bad. Got distracted helping a friend with an election campaign and then I was being a spare pair of hands for someone else, maybe I shuld say no more….

Here’s the winners from last night, I didn’t actually do too bad with my predictionsOscar

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Well guessing this right wasn’t exactly hard.  Brilliant to have a British film top the Oscars. 🙂

Best Director: Danny Boyle

I changed my prediction, stupidly. But after the BAFTAs it was clear Boyle had it.

Best Actor: Sean Penn

Didn’t predict this one but Milk is turning out to be a must see.  Penn’s second statue after Mystic River in ’03, somehow it always seemed unlikely the Academy would follow BAFTA and give it to Rourke.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet

Fantastic news that Kate finally gets her Oscar. Another hit for the Brits.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

This one was never in doubt. The second actor to win a posthumous Oscar after Peter Finch in ’77. I still maintain he should have had one for Brokeback Mountain.

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz

Mirroring the BAFTAs, I hadn’t heard much about Vicky Cristina Barcelona when the nominations came in but the buzz is growing.

Best Original Screenplay: Milk

I had it as Wall-E, many others had it down as In Bruges, but that’s the Oscars for you!

Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire

Check!

Best Animated Feature: Wall-E

Right again 😉

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Beating Benjamin, yet again.

Visual Effects: Benjamin Button

Well, Slumdog couldn’t take them all.

Original Score and Orignal Song: Slumdog Millionaire

I was wrong it got both.

So there you are, Slumdog got 8 in the end to add to its 7 BAFTAs, while poor Benjamin only came away with 3.  So no one has yet beaten the joint record of Lord of the Rings, Titanic and Ben Hur for 11 in one night.  No huge shocks, I haven’t yet seen the footage to see if Kate cried, but I’m guessing she did.  A great year for British cinema.

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And the BAFTA goes to…

Posted on February 9, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

As promised, I’m back with a full list of the winners (‘cos who needs to write their dissertation presentation?)

I’m always going to miss Stephen Fry as host, but Jonathon Ross did a decent job, and kept Stephen’s game of getting a random word into the show via a twitter vote.  Unfortunately I missed that bit when I was travelling but I’ll try and find it later.  Just goes to show that twitter really is taking over the world…

The BAFTAs are a pretty good indicator of who’ll be taking home the Oscars, and I think some of my earlier predictions are a bit off now that I think about it.  Here’s last night’s results:

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire

No surprises there, it’ll get the Oscar too. (Somebody take me to the cinema so I can back this claim up having actually seen it!)

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke

As I said last night, this one shocked me, but I’m hearing nothing but good things about The Wrestler.  He is nominated for the Oscar but I still don’t quite see him winning it.  Something’s telling me Brad Pitt will get it, but Rourke’s in with a chance…

Best Actress: Kate Winslet

Well this one was obvious wasn’t it?  You can’t not win when you’re nominated twice.  Incidentally, she got it for The Reader rather than Revolutionary Road which I have on good authority is the most boring film ever.

Best Director: Danny Boyle

Continuing Slumdog’s sweep.  He’s a dead cert for the Oscar I reckon

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

Of course.

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz

Vicky Cristina Barcelona has only just come to my attention but I’m intrigued.

Best Music: AR Rahman-Slumdog Millionaire

In the little clips we got from the Noms, this was the only one that caught my attention.  Might change my mind on my Oscar prediction based on that.

Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle-Slumdog Millionaire

That sweep just keeps going…

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy-Slumdog Millionaire

And going…

Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh-In Bruges

I really wanted to see this despite bad reviews, now I want to see it more!

Best Animated Feature: Wall-E

Had to be didn’t it?

Visual Effects: Eric Barba, Craig Barron, Nathan McGuinness, Edson Williams-Benjamin Button

Again, it’s hard ot argue with that one.  I completely take back my stupid prediction for the Oscars (I really wasn’t paying attention) Button is way ahead of the pack.

Academy Fellowship: Terry Gilliam

I wasn’t expecting this, but as soon as you watch that reel of all his movies you know he deserves it.

That’s not quite all of them, but it’s the biggies.  Slumdog finished with 7 masks, and we can expect a repeat performance at the Oscars.  I don’t think there’ll be much difference in the winner’s either, but I may well be eating those words in a couple of weeks.  In the interests of fairness, I wont go and change my predictions from a couple of weeks ago, but the BAFTAs have changed my mind on a couple of them.

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Oscar Nominations 2009 Announced!

Posted on January 22, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

It’s that time of year again. Here’s the nominations for this year’s Oscars (thanks to Oscar.com) and who I think will win. Time to find out how psychic I actually am….

Best picture

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Frost/Nixon

Milk

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

It’s gotta be Slumdog.

Best director

Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire

Stephen Daldry – The Reader

David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon

Gus Van Sant – Milk

It’s between Slumdog and Benjamin Button I think. Probably Slumdog. Actually I’ve changed my mind. Button.

Best actor

Richard Jenkins – The Visitor

Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon

Sean Penn – Milk

Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

I’ll come back to this when I’ve had a think…Maybe Brad Pitt but I haven’t seen it.

Best actress

Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married

Angelina Jolie – Changeling

Melissa Leo – Frozen River

Meryl Streep – Doubt

Kate Winslet – The Reader

It’s tipped to be either Winslet or Hathaway. I think its Winslet’s year after the Golden Globes.

Best supporting actress

Amy Adams – Doubt

Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Viola Davis – Doubt

Taraji P Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

I’m gonna go with Benjamin Button as I’m predicting a sweep.

Best supporting actor

Josh Brolin – Milk

Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt

Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

Ledger, no question.

Best foreign language film

Revanche – Austria

The Class – France

The Baader Meinhof Complex – Germany

Departures – Japan

Waltz With Bashir – Israel

I’m not gonna know I’m afraid. Psychic guess says The Class.

Best animated feature film

Bolt

Kung Fu Panda

Wall-E

Wall-E for sure.

Best adapted screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Doubt

Frost/Nixon

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog.

Best original screenplay

Happy-Go-Lucky

Milk

Wall-E

In Bruges

Frozen River

I reckon Wall-E

So there you go folks.  I guess we’ll find out on 22nd Feb.

*Update*

In my hurry to blog this before anyone else, I missed some of the smaller categories, but having got some of them up I reckon I’ve got time to go back…

Cinematography

(A subject of much debate on this blog)

Changeling

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

The Reader

Slumdog Millionairre

Having only seen one of the nominations (sad isn’t it?) I can’t call it. I’m guessing Button.

Music (score)

My favourite

Defiance

Milk

Slumdog Millionairre

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Wall-E

I’ve only seen Wall-E and the music in that wasn’t groundbreaking…Slumdog or Benjamin Button. Incidentally, Slumdog is double nominated for best song (against Wall-E). It’s bound to win that so I don’t think it’ll win this.

Visual Effects

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

Iron Man

I think Dark Knight

It’s probably going to be a sweep by Slumdog Millionairre and Benjamin Button (which has 13 nominations).  Button will get the most overall.


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